Monday, April 25, 2022

This Week's Musings


  April is soon ending and spring is here! Although I haven't gotten my hanging flower baskets yet a pair of finches have decided to nest on our front porch anyway (every year we get at least one nest in each basket). They managed a nest at the top right corner of our front porch under the roof and it was difficult but I managed to climb up on the bench , hold on with one hand, and take photos with the other so I could see what was in the nest. Not the best pics, but...

My hope is that they'll be safe here:)

 I spent much time outdoors starting on Friday -Earth Day,  where I spent time with DIL Kyra and others who met at a local shopping center to clean up trash. It was through Kyra's organization Lehigh Valley Trash Pact and this was the second year she had the clean up here. We met in front of the Hot Yoga Hut. The owner kindly gave us each a  pass good for one free visit/class.

 Kyra is fourth in from the left and I am next to her. So much garbage in one not very large parking lot๐Ÿ˜ฉ. And sadly there is constant trash blowing around this space. 

 Then on Saturday hubby and I went to Dimmick Park in nearby Hellertown to help Kyra celebrate her two year anniversary since the Lehigh Valley Trash Pact conception. It's a huge park, and driving into it it certainly appeared very clean so we were all surprised by how much trash we found- including on the baseball fields and in the dug outs. It was a great day!

 There were a few others who helped out but left before the group photo. Then on Sunday it was clean up time in our own yard. I picked up and planted just a few flowers because it is still a bit early here as it gets fairly cold some nights.

 And oh my, I just realized as I'm getting ready to post for T Stands For Tuesday- that Earth Day was also our dear hostess' bEARTHday! So sorry to have forgotten your day Elizabeth- I hope it was a special day full of celebration- happy belated bearthday to you๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽˆ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿ’!!!

 Such a coincidence that my ticket for T day happens to be this:

 This is a molasses cupcake recipe Elizabeth shared with us some time ago. I make it on a regular basis but I do it the lazy way- in a 7" x11" glass baking dish ๐Ÿ˜. It's a delicious recipe! Cheers!


a journal page in the Dina Wakley white journal page I did just for fun- no challenges.

But here is one for Art Journal Journey (Play it Again, Sam), and Try It On Tuesday (I Can hear Music):

 I bet many of you know the song that inspired this page ๐Ÿ˜‰. Last Friday evening I came upon a movie on Hulu Live 'Freddie Mercury - The Final Act'. I was so drawn into this documentary-like film, and it was very emotional. I kept hearing the songs in my head, especially this one,  and I had to create a journal page around the song and the feeling. All products are Dina wakley but the song lines are computer generated. 

 A simple and quick page in the kraft journal. And speaking of, my first kraft journal book is completed - cover to cover! I'll share the covers in my next post. My second kraft journal is waiting for me:)

 Enjoy the final days of April in this week ahead. ๐Ÿค—

"It is in awareness that we bring everything to life that lives within us. There is no time like the present to give birth to creativity."        Kathleen Anderson

Monday, April 18, 2022

April Showers


 Hi everyone, how was your holiday weekend?  Ours was quiet and for the most part the weather was warm- enough that we could have breakfast outdoors finally:). The last two days we had intermittent bouts of sunshine and rain showers but it didn't deter us from getting yardwork done and walks/runs in. Hubby ran, I walked๐Ÿ˜‰. My next door neighbor brought me this bunny planter with succulents in it. So nice of him. Fingers crossed I can keep those plants alive as I don't do well with indoor plants. As you can see I took the photo of it outside and it was just beginning to rain again... and heavy rain is expected through the night-sigh.
 Our Easter Sunday didn't go quite as planned - because it turns out my Mom got Covid-19 ๐Ÿ˜–! What she thought was bronchitis was worse. She finally got tested this past Friday after I implored her because she had the symptoms and was pretty sick all week. Thankfully she's slowly getting better and has been able to rest and recuperate at home. We've stayed in touch by phone and have been dropping off (on the porch) whatever she needs food wise and such. Todd and Kyra came to our place and we had spinach lasagne for our dinner, along with warm rolls, salad, and chocolate chip cookie bars. Very non traditional but Kyra is eating very little meat especially now that she's expecting, and we are all doing more plant based eating. Speaking of...

 Two books I got from the library. Anyone read these? OMD by Suzy Cameron (she's the wife of James Cameron the famous filmmaker known for Titanic, Avatar and others). Very informative, but also scientific and technical with many statistics and references. I admit I skimmed over some of it but there are also many helpful ways to start incorporating more plant based foods in your life. There are recipes at the end of the book. I admire her passion for getting children involved too and eating this way at home and in schools.
 I copied a nice handful of recipes from Veganize It! and will share as I try them out. I'll link this part of my post to Food Wednesdays where Kathy hosts this blog for food related things- recipes, books, etc.

 And here is my share for T Stands For Tuesday with Bleubeard, Elizabeth and friends where we share anything drink related:

 One of the lovely, warm mornings outside with my Easter mug and coffee. Cheers!

Now for the art!

 I made this cute scalloped tag card for the new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge (Whatever The Weather), along with the new Tag Tuesday Challenge (Animals, Tame or Wild).
Supplies: scalloped tag card (the Paper Cut); stencil- Basically Bricks/Wendy Vecchi (Simon Says Stamp); image and sentiment -Showers and Flowers clear stamp set (Simon Says Stamp); alcohol markers (Spectrum Noir); Versafine Onyx Black ink; white Posca pen; Moonshine Sequins (Simon Says Stamp).

 This journal page is for Art Journal Journey with the theme "Play It Again, Sam" . I chose another favorite movie of mine:

 Anyone know ???  I love, love both the movie, and this line from it!  It stars Bette Davis, Claude Rains, and Paul Henreid. The movie is 'Now Voyager'. Bette Davis is my favorite actress after Katharine Hepburn. Yes, I have seen this movie MANY times ๐Ÿ˜.

Another journal page - this one I shared on Instagram but didn't post it on my blog:

 I think it's an appropriate way to end my post along with recognizing Earth Day this coming Friday. To celebrate the day we will be participating in a local park clean up on Saturday where our DIL Kyra is hosting the two year anniversary of the local volunteer group she founded :  Lehigh Valley Trash Pact.
 We are so proud of her for her dedication to keeping our earth clean, especially the parks! And she volunteers her time on a very regular basis every week driving to a different area and cleaning up the trash left behind on the grounds. She also keeps the site going, does all the admin and scheduling! That's our girl ๐Ÿ’“.

 Wishing you a wonderful week!

   “You have power over your mind- not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”.                           Marcus Aurelius 

Monday, April 11, 2022

This And That


 Happy new week all! Do you celebrate Easter or Passover? If so I imagine it will be a busy end of week. Not so much for me as it will be small and quiet as usual with a simple Easter dinner with my Mom and our son and DIL on Sunday.

 I'm going to start off with this card I made for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge for the theme of "Happy Birthday":

They are celebrating their 13th birthday so I made this card a personal one just for them๐Ÿ˜‰. Happy birthday!!

Products: Simon Says stamp: Etched Meadow Flower and Leaves, Happy Birthday wafer die sets; Neenah Solar White, Desert Storm #100 cardstocks. The cute little dog peeking out of the flower is Simon Says Stamp's mascot. I fussy cut him from one of their packaging envelopes. Other: black cardstock, rhinestone (Recollections).

 This is a journal page I made for Try It On Tuesday (Spring Colours):

 I used Dina Wakley Lime and Carnation Gloss Sprays for the bright color along with a scrap of turquoise recycled from an old placemat. 

 This journal page is for Art Journal Journey with the theme of (Play It Again, Sam). We are to do a page around a favorite movie or song. Fun!

 Here's a close up of the flowers because I wanted you to see that I added glitter glue to them:

This page is so much prettier in person! The background is a napkin. The tile letters are Tim Holtz, and the vintage image from my stash. I have seen this movie 'The Enchanted Cottage' so many times over the years that I lost count. It's a beautiful story. It's from 1945 and stars Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young. You can read about it here on Wikipedia.  Can you watch a movie over and over without tiring of it if you love it? I can for sure ๐Ÿ˜!

 I have another vegan meal to share with both T Stands For Tuesday and Food Wednesdays:

 Another wonderful meal! I got this recipe for Vegan Creamy Pancetta and Pea Pasta from the "It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken" blog. So far this is a favorite vegan blog of mine. I have tried a number of Sam's recipes and so far every one has been Bill (hubby) approved and I can make it again๐Ÿ‘. The "pancetta" is cubes of marinated tofu that is so flavorful and smoky you couldn't tell it's tofu. These would be great as croutons on a salad too. And this meal is even better leftover! I just kept the "pancetta" cubes separate and reheated them in the oven so they'd stay a bit crispy. Cheers! 


 That's it from me this week. Hope it's a good one for you all! 

" Easter is the only time when it's perfectly safe to put all of your eggs in one basket".      Evan Esar

Monday, April 4, 2022

Happy April!


 Finally we are getting ever closer to spring weather. And it won't be long before Easter is upon us. I made this vintage tag for both Tag Tuesday (theme is Green and/or Blue) and the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge (Easter/Spring). Products: Tim Holtz- Sizzix Thinlits Dies Wildflowers #2, Vintage Photo Distress Ink, Seasonal Chit Chat stickers, Postal washi tape; vintage image (ARTchix Studio); dark green cardstock(Recollections); diecut tag (Colorbok).

 I did some more cardmaking over the weekend using two new new dies from Simon Says Stamp, and I will join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge (anything goes) with these three CAS (clean and simple) cards:


Card 1: small white notecard (Recollections); lattice stencil (Dina Wakley); Distress Oxide ink - Bundled Sage; Versafine Onyx Black ink; SSS Etched Meadow Flowers  and Leaves wafer dies; SSS Neenah Smooth Desert #100 cardstock; Hampton Arts sentiment stamp.

Card 2: white notecard (Recollections); patterned cardstock (DCWV); SSS Stitched Circles and Privet branch wafer dies, Neenah Solar White #110 cardstock, Moonshine Sequins; birthday stamp (DeNami).

Card 3: small white notecard (Recollections; patterned paper (Stampington); Versafine Onyx Black ink; sentiment (Papertrey Ink); SSS Moonshine sequins.

 And now for T Stands For Tuesday, and Food Wednesdays I have dinner, drink, and a recipe to share:

 Garlicky Shrimp Sheet Pan Gnocchi along with a salad and glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Sooo good๐Ÿ˜‹! I saw this easy recipe in our local paper months ago and had to make it, and I have since made it several times. It is all cooked in the oven on one sheet pan, and I line my pan with non stick foil to make clean up very easy too. You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post. And I will also link it at the top of my blog under the "recipes" tab along with all the other recipes I have shared so far. Cheers!

 This journal page is meant for the new theme this month at Art Journal Journey (Play It Again, Sam) with guest host Alison. Base your page on a favorite song or movie.

 Whether or not you know French I know you can guess the song๐Ÿ˜‰. It is a favorite Edith Piaf song which I love sung by Andrea Bocelli with Edith's voice also dubbed in. The rose images are old rubber stamps. I stamped them onto white tissue paper then glued them to the page. They were colored in with alcohol markers. The words from the song were computer generated and printed on tissue paper. What a fun theme to play with this month! Hope you'll join in!

 And that's a wrap for this post. Looking forward to seeing what YOU have been up to lately. 

      "If people did not love one another, I really don't see what use there would be in having any spring."         Victor Hugo

                                       Garlicky Shrimp Sheet Pan Gnocchi

1 pound fresh, shelf-stable or frozen potato gnocchi

2Tbsp olive oil     3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided     1/4 tsp ground black  pepper

5 cloves garlic    1 pound medium peeled, deveined raw shrimp   1 lemon  

fresh parsley, chopped  to garnish (optional )

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the potato gnocchi on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp  olive oil, season with 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper. Toss well to combine then spread out in an even layer. Roast, stirring halfway through for 12 minutes total. Meanwhile, mince the garlic cloves. Remove baking sheet from oven, Add the shrimp. Sprinkle with the garlic and remaining 1/4 tsp salt and toss to combine. Spread into an even layer. Continue to roast until the shrimp are just cooked through and the gnocchi are plump, 6-8 minutes more. To serve, garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped fresh parsley.  Serves 2-4 depending on your portion size.

Note: I use fresh gnocchi.