Let me ask you a question....
When you get someone to finally come to read your blog and you post something that you found on another blog (i.e., a link) do you want that person to leave your blog permanently or temporarily? Personally, I would only want them to leave temporarily and then come back to read the rest of what I was writing.
I am posting this because I have found that most of us put links in that automatically take the reader to the new site on the same window or tab that our blog is in. So, I thought I would share with you a little trick to make sure that when the reader clicks on the link you want them to visit, it opens in a new window.
So, let's say that we want our readers to see what Veronica at "Life In The Thrify Lane" has posted on her blog today. The HTML code that is needed to open in a new window is: target="_blank" Therefore, your link should look like this: <a href="http://lifeinthethriftylane.blogspot.com/ target="_blank" ></a> within your "Edit HTML" tab (for Blogger at least).
I hope that helps. Have fun blogging!!!
OK, I know it isn't the norm to have a Cinco de Mayo baby shower, but when your baby is due on Cinco de Mayo, you are bound to have a partying kid! Seriously, I have a co-worker that is due on 5 May 2011 and several of us are putting together her shower and went with the Cinco de Mayo theme. So, besides all the normal Mexican decorations I added a paper sour cream container with a cute little rattle, and the cutest ever tricycle diaper cake.
I found directions to create these here: Dawns Stamping Thoughts
Now, I have to be honest, I got the great idea to create this type of diaper cake rather than the normal from Southern Fried Gal who has the greatest tutorial on her blog. When you are there, you need to look at her ENTIRE blog as she has some amazing stuff on there. Wait 'til you see the recipe for her Carrot Cake Cheesecake. YUM!!!!
Anyway, this is my creation using her tutorial. If I can do it, anyone can!
Today, I went on a Craigslist excursion. I found a gentleman on Craigslist who was willing to GIVE me something like 20 antique windows that he took out of a building on his property. It actually ended up being closer to 30 windows. Boy do I have my work cut out for me on these. I plan on redoing some for here in my house, but then to do some more to sell finished. You will notice in the pic that there are pallets behind the windows...those are for yet, another project.
Anyway (I digress), it was on this 1 hr trip up to PA, that I stumbled across this awesome beauty. Of course, I had to take my family there after I got home. I just couldn't get over the beauty of this dam. When I got home and before I took my family up there, I looked up some info on it. Conowingo Dam is one of the largest Hydroelectric dams in the US. The original town of Conowingo is located directly under the dam. They relocated the town to build the dam. Can you imagine being told that "I'm sorry, you have to relocate so we don't build on top of your house"? LOL
Apparently, dams are notorious for Bald Eagles. At least this one is.
We had a great fee day!
I have to tell you all about my misfortune and how it turned out to be amazing! I am a huge Craigslist fan and shop for everything imaginable on there. Recently, I found a Sizzix Big Shot with about 20 texture plates for $55. Well, I jumped at the chance to get it (since I can't afford my Vagabond yet). I even had to drive 2 hours to pick it up...but for $55 for all that, you know I did it!
Anyway, I get the item home and I am so excited I have to try it immediately. Well, the arm won't crank on it. I think I'm doing something wrong as I have never used one before. I try and try and I can only move it a tiny bit.
Now, I have to say...I have NEVER been burned on buying anything on Craigslist until NOW!!!!!!!!!!! I was so upset as it was my last $55 I spent on this until payday. I emailed the older woman I bought it from and no response...Go figure! I tried to see what was wrong with the unit. I took the arm off to find the crankshaft completely bent and twisted.
I called Sizzix about a week later to find out that I can order the crankshaft from them for $5. I was so excited again. I can fix my baby. I wanted it quickly so I gave them my fedex acct number and they shipped it to me and I had it the next day. I immediately put the new crankshaft in and to my dismay, it still wouldn't turn. I couldn't understand what was going on. I called Sizzix again and they said, don't worry about it, I'll send you out a NEW MACHINE!!! I said really? Do I need to send this one back to you? She said no, don't worry about it, throw it out. I almost died right there and then.
This was on Friday, I was home sick yesterday...but guess what came? MY brand new Big Shot! I put the arm on and guess what...it TURNED. WooHoo!!! I am in business again! I sat there finding all sorts of scraps to play with. I was like a little kid in the candy store.
So, I guess I share this to let you know that I will now always be a fan of Sizzix and their customer service is amazing. Of course, at this point, with the shipping, etc. it has cost me more than if I just bought one new. But, what a good feeling I have about Sizzix now.
I have an online business that I am constantly trying to grow and their requirements are so high that I can't buy from Sizzix directly, I have to go to a distributor to buy their items to sell. However, I will be buying more now.
I absolutely recommend Sizzix to anyone!
P.S. I made my first card with my Big Shot last night for my son's basketball coach. I had to texturize the basketball on the card.
I found this recipe at Red Couch Recipes and tried the stove top version of it. I have to say, my entire family loved it and what a great comfort food for a cold day! Please try this:
2 lbs ground beef
2 cups diced onion (I forgot to put this into mine and still awesome!)
2 (15 1/2 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
1 (14 1/4 oz.) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes (I used Rotel)
1 (14 1/2 oz.) jar mild salsa
1 32 oz. beef broth
2 (1 1/4 oz.) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1 oz.) pkg ranch salad dressing mix
1 medium pkg mild Mexican Velveeta cheese, cubed
Graded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Green Onions, sliced
Tortilla Strips - See Below
Baked Tortilla Strips
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into strips. Place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil and salt and bake for about 10 minutes (I sprayed with a non-stick spray and sprinkled Kosher salt).
Directions for Soup:
Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer to slow cooker or a stock pot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, beef stock, taco seasoning, Velveeta cheese (only if cooking in crock pot), and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours (an hour in a stock pot). If cooking on stove, add cheese into soup after finished cooking, stir to melt in. Serve with garnishes on top.
I personally would recommend using tortilla chips from the store as the home made ones were tough to eat in the soup.
I want to make sure I give all the credit to Red Couch Recipes for this amazing soup. You want to check out that blog.
OK, so I left Blogger for a while, but I'm back. I tried the blog that is associated my storefront, but really didn't like the response I was getting....NONE! So, I am back and trying to get caught up on everything I have been doing since I've been gone. However, I cannot copy and post all the past posts. So, I am going to post pics here with links to my other blog for the how to and such.
Copic ClassOK Don't judge me:
Let’s not forget I just moved here and can’t find a place to put everything. I can organize at work but when it comes to my home…..not sure how to or where to put it all. Let me know what you think on where this stuff should go. My ScraproomNot done with My scraproom yet, but look....
I am in a swap and needed to create a brick card. You can find the directions here: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/resources/tutorials/brickwall/. I am not one for creating things the way they are supposed to. I love Tim Holtz and try to really try to expand my creative horizons. So, I new I wanted my brick wall card to be different and I decided to be 3D. So, I stamped one of Tim’s stamps onto some paper and colored it in with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I thought it looked a little flat. So, I took the new fall Glimmer Mist colors and spritzed some around the paper and used the technique that Heidi Swapp teaches with the paper towels and the brayer. I then stamped another image of the same stamp onto another piece of paper (the same color). I cut that image up into the “bricks”, inked the edges with Tim Holtz Faded Jeans Distress Ink. At this point, I attached them to the original picture with pop dots. I attached them so that the background image would display through every other brick. I then found some Bazzil cardstock that pulled some of the Dragonfly Glimmer Mist out a little, used a shear orange ribbon that I thought contrasted with it well and attached to a card front.
What do you think of it now?
Nothing like waiting until the very last minute to buy and carve pumpkins. So, I thought I would share some photos with you. They aren't the best quality as (can you believe this) all I had with me is my cell phone camera! I know, I know...how dare I? OH well, no big deal...at least I have some memories.
OK, I had promised all of you the pictures of my creations over the past month. I am home today with my 5 yr old son who has pink eye in both eyes. I LOVE LIFE!!!!
Anyway, had time to take pics, upload them, crop them, etc. So, hope you like.
First, I created these tags as the start for my tags to go on daily packages in a shoe box swap that I am involved in on cricut.com. I have been studying Tim Holtz lately and really trying out his different techniques. So, that is where the creativity came for these...it is all thanks to Tim. Hey, you definitely need to check out his web. He has an amazing blog and a lot of demo's on his site. www.timholtz.com
Second, in this swap that I mentioned we were given the job of making a tri-fold card for our partners. I found this great tutorial at splitcoast stampers and made the attached card. I am not a busy person when it comes to cards, etc. I really like it simple with some character. So, I hope you like what I created.
Thirdly, as I mentioned yesterday, Monday was my daughter's 21st birthday. I wanted to make her something that she will treasure for the rest of her life as I know she is getting close to moving out from my nest. So, I wanted to find a poem that expressed how I felt about her and create a shadow box to put this in and had some different ideas to begin with. However, I am pretty happy with how it turned out.
Lastly, I also mentioned I had a better picture of my king cake...I have attached that too.
OH...and I couldn't help but to show you, what my daughter thought was the greatest gift ever that she gave me this weekend.....I hope you laugh as much as I did...
Originally, she wanted to have 3 friends over and have an evening of making sushi at home while listening to Japanese music and then to watch horror movies on the big screen TV. Her friends bailed!
So, instead, I got some family friends over and we went to eat hibachi at a great Japanese rest. nearby.
Now to explain the king cake! I have mentioned to you before that we used to live in New Orleans. Well, Tiffany considers New Orleans home to her as I do as well. Ever since moving she has asked that I make her a king cake for her birthday. Well, this year she didn't ask and I made it for her as a surprise. Everyone at the rest. was intrigued to hear the history of the king cake so I thought I would share it with you this morning.
The history of the king cake starts in 12th century France where the cake would be baked on the eve of January 6th to celebrate the visit of the 3 wise men to the Christ Child. A small token would be placed inside as a surprise.
However, I'm sure you know that there are rituals that included the cake even further back then that. Apparently, back in Western Europe during the pre-Christian religions, it was believed that there needed to be a sacrifice for the harvest to be a good one. Therefore, to choose who would be the sacrifice they would bake a cake and put a bean in the cake. Whomever, selected the piece with the bean would be the sacrifice. He would be treated like a king for a year and then sacrificed and his blood put back into the soil making the harvest bountiful.
Then when Christianity came into play, they put their own spin on it as to not have any sacrifices, they chose to have it symbolize the 3 wise men coming to visit the Christ child. The French brought this tradition with them when they migrated to Louisiana and there it remained as part of the ceremony for the Epiphany.
When the cake was incorporated into MardiGras it was used by the 12th night revelers to select who their queen of the ball would be. They still do this to this day, however, now they use a wooden replica of the cake. The women pull out drawers and if you have a silver bean you are in the court and a gold bean means you are the queen of the ball.
However, for us peasants.....we have parties every weekend starting January 6th until MardiGras. Whoever gets the baby in the king cake at one party has to have the next party and supplies the king cake for that party.
These cakes are simply a cinnamon roll made into a log formed into a circle or sometimes braided. The fillings can be quite extravagant as well. My family prefers the cream cheese. Others can be cinnamon, apple, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry...you name it!
So, hope you all enjoyed that and have enjoyed sharing in my daughter's 21st birthday.