Friday, November 25, 2016

What do I do besides eat, sleep, work, and stamp?

I LOVE to bake!  Let's be clear about this, baking is NOT the same as cooking.  Cooking is a chore, something that you have to do to make food to stay alive.  Baking is optional, and you made things that people enjoy eating, that you can give as gifts, and that make the house smell good!

For the last year and a half I've been learning to make macarons.  Macarons are a labor of love.  They are seriously temperamental.  You can make a batch of shells one day that are perfect and then make a batch the next day in exactly the same way and they go wonky on you!  But no matter how they look they still taste just might not want to give that batch away as gifts!

I wanted to make some to take to the Mills for Thanksgiving.  I wanted a try a new flavor or combination that I haven't tried before, something fall-ish.  I found a recipe for S'mores macarons on pinterest.  They looked wonderful and graham cracker shells sounded fun.  Also, the recipe used homemade marshmallow fluff and how could I not try that?

So, a trip to the grocery store later, I was ready to get started.

Last July I bought a "how to make macarons" kit in Kansas City.  It came with this silicon mate that has slightly raised circles on it.  It generally keeps the macarons the same size.  I haven't ventured out to using a silpat mat and hand drawn circles yet.  Baby steps!  (I found a different kit at Target last Christmas that had the same mat in it, so now I have two and can pipe all of the shells at the same time!)

graham cracker macaron shells
Graham Cracker Macaron Shells

As you can see, some of the shells did wonky things. A couple cracked, some of them rose unevenly (??), a couple had tiny feet, and some of them ended up with growths out of the top of them.  I'm blaming the weather!  It was chilly and rainy yesterday.
There were enough good shells to make about 20 pretty macarons.

Homemade marshmallow fluff

While the shells baked and cooled, I made the milk chocolate ganache and then the marshmallow fluff.
This was new to me.  If you've made marshmallows, then you know that they use gelatin and sugar.  Marshmallow fluff uses egg whites and sugar.  
You first make a syrup of water, granulated sugar and corn syrup. You beat the egg whites to a soft peak stage and then pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites while beating...then you turn up the mixer and beat it until it's thick and glossy.  Once you add some vanilla, you continue to beat it until it cools off.  Voila! Marshmallow fluff!

S'mores macarons
Here they are!  S'mores Macarons

 Look at them!  They're so pretty.  And they were DELICIOUS!
The milk chocolate ganache was divine...I used Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate...I might have snuck one square of the chocolate while I was chopping it.  Cadbury Dairy Milk is my absolute favorite chocolate.

Joyful Baking!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

It's Sale Time!

It's Online Extravaganza time!  Don't snooze; you lose!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Amazing Swaps

The swaps at the November team meeting were great!  Everyone really outdid themselves this month.

Kay and I used new stamps and get a little sneak peek of Occasions and Sale-A-Bration!

Chicken with crazy hair!
Here chickie, chickie, chickie...

I LOVE this chicken! How cute is she with that crazy hair?

Dragonfly wonder
Beautiful Dragonfly

Kay made a gorgeous card with the dragonfly stamp and thinlit.  She used the new amazing bokah paper, too.

The Team's Super Swaps

Don't you think the team did a great job?  And only a couple of Christmas cards...I think we are all getting burned out on Christmas.  I think we've been stamping Christmas since August!  Maybe it just seems that way.  LOL

Joyful Stamping,

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MY Christmas Cards?

So, I realized tonight that I don't have any Christmas Cards!!  So, I started looking through my cards and stamping stuff.
And I found all of these gorgeous cards that are my samples from my Christmas Card classes!  Thankfully no one will compare their cards and know that I sent them all different cards!  So here they Christmas Cards.  Or at least part of them.

Sweetest Card Around!

Season of Gingerbread Houses

Llama Fun!

Merry Birdhouse

Plaid Owl

Pines and Pinecones

Pink Sparkly Stars

Ugly Sweater Contest Winner!

I know the I've made a few more.  When I find them, I'll update this post.
It's so much fun to look back at what you've done!

Joyful Stamping,

OnStage2016 - Kansas City

I've just recovered from OnState Live in Kansas City!  We had such a good time...from getting picked up in the custom outfitted stamping Tahoe to piling my stuff in the living room and taking a nap!

My friends M'Liss and George Collins went with me to Kansas City.  George custom designed a table for us in the Tahoe so we could stamp all of the way!  Seriously, how cool is that?  Look at me below...I'm using the Big Shot!

So much room to stamp!  We made all of my swaps for OnStage, designed and cut my shoebox team swap, and made keychains for everyone!

Oh, and M'Liss brought OJ and bubbly to make Mimosas!  Look at her stamping and sipping!

Here are the cute keychains we made.  I cut out the circles using the Big Shot and stamped with the Star of Wonder stamp set.  I added a little white pom-pom trim and some silver glitter ribbon and viola! an inspiring key chain.

We drove north with only one potty break, and no lunch I had to have some Kansas City comfort food after we got there.  Check out these loaded tots...loaded with burnt ends!  Yum!

I was selected to stamp displays for this OnStage event (!).  I met up with my fellow stampers at 3:00 to hang our displays.  They even had a sign thanking us!

You can see my displays here.

And then I got sick....
The rest of the day is a blur. 

Joyful Stamping,

Monday, November 7, 2016

Displays for OnStage Local - Kansas City

I was selected to be a display stamper of the Kansas City OnStage Local event.  Thanks Stampin' Up!

Here are the samples that I made.  I ended up making three cards and the scrapbook page from other stamp sets because I just ran out of ideas!  LOL

This is the softest ribbon!
I made this for my mom for mother's day.  Don't tell her!

This popcorn box was made with acetate!

Look, I made my own DSP!
How perfect is this for the Welcome Wagon?

Because pineapples mean hospitality!

Hello, you stinker!

This is one of my favorites.

I designed this to be a Christmas Card

Because, yes, it IS a family thing.