Sunday, February 28, 2010

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Chocolate Cupcake, Blog Hop, and Fabulous Blog Hop Candy

Wow, what a great Monday morning! 

First - it is the monthly BBTB2 Design Team Blog Hop!  That means you probably arrived here from BBTB2.  The featured cut this week is one of the cupcakes from the Celebrations cartridge.  I cut my cupcake in chocolate brown paper with pink frosting and gem flower sprinkles.  I then added a birthday hat, a scalloped card front and a Happy Birthday tag made with Stampin' Up stamps and Spellbinders oval nesties to create this girly birthday card.  I topped the birthday hat off with a lovely prima flower and a larger gem flower and trimmed both the hat and the cupcake wrapper with Making Memories ribbon

In addition to the blog hop, we have a lot going on at BBTB2.  BBTB2 has a blog hop give away which is being sponsored by Everyday Cricut (formerly known as Holiday with the Cricut).  You can win the Sweethearts cartridge and package of SEI (Happy Day) scrap paper.  All you have to do to be eligible to win is leave a comment on BBTB2 blog AND sign up to follow the BBTB2 blog.  How easy is that?

I too have a fabulous blog hop give away/blog candy.  Custom Crops is sponsoring me this week with a $25.00 gift voucher for their store.  Just leave a comment below and I will select a winner for the gift voucher on Thursday, March 4th.  Thank you so much Custom Crops for sponsoring my prize this month!

After you leave your comment below you (because YOU KNOW you want the $25.00 gift voucher) you will continue on the BBTB2 design team blog hop.  Your next stop is at Lori's blog.  Lori is a very talented designer and I know you are going to love what she has made to share.  Happy Hopping!!

Hop for Joy! A new Magnolia-licious DT sketch challenge

Good morning and happy March 1st....the month that has the first day of spring! YAY! LOL! We have a new DT sketch challenge for you from Magnolia-licious. This month, it's Jacque's turn to choose the challenge and she provided us with an awesome sketch! I wanted to use this adorable Tilda in a bunny suit that I got from Magnolia-licious. And true to my record, I have used yet another stamp that is not in stock in the store. UGH! I'm so sorry. But if you're interested, please be sure and email Diana. I also used #427 flowers from Lazy Summer Days collection. Both are colored with Copic markers and Tilda is cut out and popped up for dimension.

The fun and punny sentiment is from a set of Easter Greetings at The Cutting Cafe' called Happy Easter Inside and Out Greetings. The butterflies are cut using my Cricut, and I added a Prima rose I got from Stamp and Create and some cherry blossoms I got from Wild Orchid Crafts. Please be sure and visit Magnolia-licious Highlites to see the gorgeous cards the rest of my design team sisters have created. They are all so fabulously talented. And we're excited that we've got two new guest designers joining us as well! So a huge welcome to Mindy and Angela!

That's it for today! Thanks so much for stopping by to see me today, and hope to see you back again soon! Hugs!!
Card recipe:
images - Magnolia from Magnolia-licious, sentiment from The Cutting Cafe'
Paper: DP - Basic Grey Two Scoops; cardstock - Bazzill; stamped images on cryogen white
ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Copic Sketch markers
Tools: Cricut with Tear Drop cart for butterlfies, MS frond and branch punches, Round and scalloped round Nestabilities
Misc: ribbon from Stamp and Create, Kaiser half backed pearls, dimensional tape, stickles

Batman Tattoos

Batman TattoosI think in response to a recent post here at the Bat-Blog, about Batman Tattoos, I got these in the mail from 2 different Bat-Fans. The 1st one is our new friend Jake. He got a Vintage 1970's Batman Comic Book Logo on his arm, it looks great! This has always been a favorite logo of mine, good choice Jake & it looks really well done! The next pic is from a cool guy named Andy who said he saw a Dude with a Batman Tattoo & had to get a photo for the Bat-Blog. WOW! Thanks for thinking about us, that's awesome! Here's a cool Bat-Tat that is kinda weird but not really once ya know the story. The guy said he got this to remember his dog who recently died. His Dog's name was "Batman". I think that's really nice. Andy also said that the guy told him that the cityscape in the background isn't Gotham City but it's Chicago, IL. Thank you very much Jake & Andy for sending these 2 photos to us, I appreciate that a lot. I also wanna invite any other Bat-Blog Readers to feel that they can send pics anytime, anything Batman-related! Thanks Guys!

Batman Tattoos

SMS - Piggy Sugar Cookies

The Sugar Cookies chosen by Nina of Nina’s Cupcakes for Sweet Melissa Sunday was a big hit. We had fun making little piggy sugar cookies but since we are also getting ready to hike at Tiger Mountain this morning ( in Washington state - part of the Northwest is not frozen or under snow), I am going to be kind of quick.
In my house we collect cookie cutters and have oodles of them but we decided to go with only one design. The cookie dough was delicious and a little sticky while rolling out. I had trouble getting my pieces of cookie dough off of the board, even using a pastry scraper as a spatula.

The flavor was wonderful with the lemon zest added and this is one of our little piggies decorated. The royal icing was a little messy but fun. Thank you Nina for a wonderful choice! To get the recipe for this week, go to Nina's blog and also see what great things she did with her cookie dough. Don't forget to check out the other Sweet Melissa Sunday bakers here to see everyone's artistic side. Happy Baking and Happy Sunday Everyone!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

♥ (HELP) which one a better foundation? ♥

I almost ran out of make up foundation & getting a new one soon.
but I wanna try something new~~ but still not sure what brand should I get?
I have been using Liquid MAC Mineralize Satinfinish Foundation foreveeer now.
I like them especially the yellow undertone color on me but I'm still not 100% perfectly satisfied with the results. :(

I have tried Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation.
But I HATE the color on me. It makes my face looks a bit pale & the pinkish undertone is deff not my favorite. :(
I got them in Medium Ivory, it was probably either too fair or too dark for me.

I have also try CLINIQUE Perfectly Real Makeup in True Beige but I also hate the color on me.
It was again, either too fair or too dark for me. :(

I'm looking for my holy grail foundation. 
I have a very dry skin, I don't have many acnes so I don't really need a full coverage but I do have a bit pores & bit of imperfection this and there so I still want the medium coverage with a natural look.
I'd love to get the luminous dewy flawless kind of result. 
It's one of the most important standard for my HG foundation other than finding the perfect color.
I also need to find a perfect color foundation, so far NC35 is the colosest to perfect I've ever got.
I don't like the pinkish color undertone, I like yellow undertone better. But of course not too yellow.

soooo please, anybody, help me to find my HG foundation??

I've been thinking of getting any of this..

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation
I'm interested because the foundation supposedly gives a luminous glowing result & moisturize my skin in the same time. It also have the anti-aging formula. The color result suppose to look very natural or sheer coverage that won't makes my face looks 'cakey'.
Should I get this??

Chanel Pro Lumiere Foundation
the 'holy grail' foundation for many people. but is it really worth it? 
It's really expensive though, almost double price more than MAC! :(
but if its really that good, I would buy them for the quality.
this foundation promise to gives a 'dewy' result, that's why I'm interested in it.
Should I get this??

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
one the most popular foundation out there.
should I get this??

or if you have a more better suggestion. I'd love to know.
thankssss~~ ^^ ♥♥

Out of Order for the Week

I needed a big sign hanging on over my shoulders this week which read: "OUT OF ORDER".  No that is not a Robert's Rules of Order reference, but rather the state of my existance.  I had a rather unpleasant stomach virus.  I finally turned the corner yesterday and was feeling better, that is until dinner tonight.  I think I over estimated my ability to handle "real food". 

I was on the BRAT diet for a few days, but last night I decided I could have a light meal.  The light meal went so well that I over reached tonight.  Now my stomach is not happy with me, nor I with it!

I really am sharing so that you might understand where I have been this week.  I will return early, early Monday morning with my BBTB2 project, AND the blog hop, AND a nice sponsored prize.  So visit me again on Monday and in the meantime, try to avoid the germs that are floating about this winter!

Not wanting to post an "empty" entry, I am sharing photographs of Sheldon Church Ruins (originally named "Church of Prince William's Parish"), a magical place in the southern part of the state, near the ocean.  The church was burned down twice and was not rebuilt the last time.  The first time it was burned by the British in the Revolutionary War; the second time it was burned by Gen. Sherman's forces as they marched though during the Civil War.  Such a beautiful place to have such a sad history.

April Showers bring May Flowers. Peggy Loves Vintage with The Cutting Cafe'

Happy Saturday everyone! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. We had a rainy day today, which is wonderful. I love rainy days. Now please understand that I also live Reno, which is high altitude desert. So we just don't get rainy days. We get good snowy days, but rain storms are far and few between. So when we get one, I love it. Ok, enough about the weather! :) Let's move on to this adorable duck and baby from Peggy Loves Vintage! This image is actually from the New Baby Volume 2 cd. Be sure and really look at the images on Peggy's CDs with an open mind. They can be used for so many different things. I cut the image from the front of a baby shower card, because I thought they'd make the most adorable card to celebrate Spring.

I printed out two of the images because I wanted to pop up Mama Duck, baby duck, and the top part of the umbrella. I just used some dimensional tape to pop them up. Hopefully you can see the dimension a little better in the picture below. Please visit Peggy's blog too. She's got a couple great images she's giving away right now. Please be sure and leave her some love and let her know which image you like best. She'd also love it if you'd link up your project you made.
I mounted this adorable duck and baby on a FABULOUS scalloped square from The Cutting Cafe'! I don't know if you've seen the new large scalloped square from Spellbinders, and I also know I don't have to tell you how spendy they are. You can get the Assorted Scalloped Set 1 file from The Cutting Cafe', which has quite a few different type of scallops on it, for a grand total of $5.99, and you can make it any size you want with the click of your mouse!!! Easy peasy! You can either use the wpc file to cut it out with a cutting machine, or you can use the pdf file and your scissors. I truly LOVE this file of scallops! I cut mine out with my Pazzle Inspiration which I got from Hallmark Scrapbook! Hallmark is one of my favorite stores to shop at on line. Jody and Brad are the most wonderful people! They have the best prices and service ever! I also used the Rain, Rain, Go Away file for the sentiment. Regina has been releasing lots of new files, so please be sure and check them out over at The Cutting Cafe'!!
Thanks so much for stopping to see me today, and hope to see you back again soon! Hugs!

Card Recipe:
Image - Peggy Loves Vintage New Baby Volume 2 cd; Sentiment and scalloped frame - The Cutting Cafe'
DP - DCWV Whimsy stack; cardstock - Bazzill
Tools - Pazzle Inspiration, EK Success flower punch, Circle Nesatabilites for sentiment
Misc: buttons - stash, silk ribbon, Kaiser half backed pearls, dimensional tape

Appetizer: Hot Lobster Dip; Dinner: Asian Shrimp Bisque with Shrimp Toast

Dinners. What comes to your mind when you think about dinner? Does each day bring about a different thought on what dinner should be?

Me? Dinner Monday through Wednesday means cook something lighter, easier and quick for clean-up. The beginning of the week always means work, schedules and unexpected events. Thursday is looking closer to the weekend so I want to cook fun dishes, usually requiring more effort. Friday, well, its' Friday! Weekend . . . Anything GOES . . .

The Hot Lobster Dip and Asian Shrimp Bisque with Shrimp Toast is my Friday dinner menu. I do make my menus for each week and know what is possible and what is not. Fridays, I let myself leisurely make dinner, sip wine and talk about whatever makes us happy:

Hot Lobster Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
1 T. milk
1/2 lb. lobster meat, diced
2 T. onion, grated
1 t. cream style horseradish
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/3 C. almonds, slivered and toasted

Soften cream cheese with milk. Add all other ingredients except almonds. Blend well. Spoon into oven proof dish. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 15 minutes at 375.
Asian Shrimp Bisque with Shrimp Toast

Serves: 2 quarts soup serving 8, 8 pieces Shrimp toast for garnish
(adapted from Emeril Lagasse)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup small diced onion
1/2 cup small diced carrot
1/2 cup small diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped leek
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 to 3/4-pound shrimp shells and heads (if possible)
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup sake
6 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 cup sushi rice
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 recipe Shrimp Toast, recipe follows
8 sprigs cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons diagonally cut green onion tops

Set a deep, wide pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots and celery. Saute, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly caramelized, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Add the leeks, ginger and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook until the vegetables are well coated about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the shrimp shells and heads to the pan and cook until the shells are pink and well caramelized, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and sake and ignite.

Continue to cook the brandy and sake until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove the shells and heads. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

Season with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper and the paprika.

Add the rice to the soup and cook until the rice is tender and beginning to burst, about 45 minutes.

Use an immersion blender (or in small batches in a bar blender) to puree the soup and then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pot. Return to a simmer and add the coconut milk and cayenne pepper.

Heat through but do not allow the soup to boil after adding the coconut milk. Adjust the seasoning and serve while hot with the shrimp toast. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and green onion tops.

Shrimp Toast:

1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (about 9 ounces unpeeled)
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons minced green onions (green parts only)
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 slices brioche, or home-style white bread
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted clarified butter


Combine the shrimp, egg, egg white, green onions, cilantro, garlic, salt and white pepper in a food processor and process until blended but still slightly chunky. Add the cream cheese and pulse until smooth and thick. Add the cream and pulse just until blended being careful not to over-process. Spread 1/4 cup of the shrimp mixture on each slice of bread, spreading it to the edges and smoothing the top. The remainder can be used within 2 days or frozen for up to a month.

Heat the vegetable oil to 360 degrees F in a large deep skillet. Add the shrimp toast, in batches, coated side down, and fry until golden on first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn and cook until golden on the second side, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. To serve, cut each toast diagonally into quarters, and serve one quarter in each bowl of soup.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bertoia, oh Bertoia...

The Bertoia Side Chair has been on my mind a lot lately; my friend and client has been enamored with this chair for a while, and as we have been planning for new chairs in her kitchen, naturally, we keep coming back to the Bertoia. I love the chair too for its modern classic appeal and chameleon-like ability to suit any environment where it is placed.


L: Canadian House & Home. R: Domino

Style at Home
I know this image has been all around the blogosphere as of late, but obviously with just cause; I can't begin to tell you how head-over-heels I am for this space!


Coastal Living via In(side) the Loop

Meyer Davis Studio

I'm not sure how it is already Friday again, and while my weekend will involve some work, I am hoping to find some time to unwind and I plan to enjoy the last few days of the Olympics too! Whatever you are up to this weekend, I hope you have a great one!

What is this plant?

I really like the smell of this plant. I always disregarded it as a shrub that fills space in the garden. There is one growing right outside my studio room window and yesterday, I was trying to get the screen back into the window and I plucked a couple stems to put into a vase. Later, Matt smelled it and said its scent was nice... and it was! It is fresh smelling, a little medicinal and just a little sweet. Does anyone know what it is called?



Thank you, in advance!
Update: Thanks to Amelia and Alison! It is Pieris japonica, or also known as the lily-of-the-valley shrub! Looks like lily-of-the-valley, but it is a shrub. It has to be easy to grow because it is growing like a weed outside my window and I've neglected to water it... umm, ever. It was here before we moved into the house.

New velvet crush

I'm just a little hooked on and excited about velvet right now. Why? I don't know, but if pressed on the question, I guess it's because it has a vintage feel about it. I like the the weight and thickness as well. It creates lovely durable and substantial head pieces. Expect to see many more velvet pieces soon. Here's the latest:

Milky Way
Hand dyed and handmade silk velvet and silk organza flower.
Thank you so much, everyone, for your sweet comments on my previous post. I'm SO happy that you like the new work. That really keeps me going! I "treated" myself to a shower this morning... ha ha! I don't look like such a grease ball in these latest photos. ;)