Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I drank the Kool-Aid

I finally did it. I jumped on the Project Life bandwagon. What is Project Life you ask? To quote Becky Higgins web site "The Project Life "way" of memory-keeping is so crazy-simple, it has become known as "revolutionary" in the scrapbooking industry. All you need is one of our Core Kits, a Binder, and a Big Pack of 60 Photo Pocket Pages. By pairing your pictures and words with these basic products, you will be able to tell your story, in your own way, resulting in a complete album".

I had coveted this project for a few years now but thought I couldn't do it. First, I have a cat and a husband no kids what kind of stories could I tell. Second, doing it weekly was way to much of a commitment for me. Then one day I was at Michael's checking out the new Heidi Swapp products and saw this small chipboard album. Inside were tabbed dividers and little pocket page protectors. I had to have this album--for what I did not know--but by the time I got home it hit me: I was going to do a mini Project Life album! *angels singing*

Oh it doesn't stop there. I was going to do a page for each month how easy is that. Each page protector only had 3 or 4 pockets for pictures or journaling cards anyone could handle that right? Well after I did my second month I said "this won't do, I must have more space". Holy cow I had been abducted there was no use turning back. I still did not want to do it weekly but I wanted bigger pages so I could put more pictures or journaling cards etc. But, as my buying craft supplies has been curbed due to my unemployment status, I had to think creatively. I actually went shopping in my craft room. I had these 8 1/2 x 11 9 pocket page protectors from and my One Little Word project (which I never finished...sorry Ali) which I thought would be perfect! Nine little bits of stuff for the month. I have to confess I did take my 40% off coupon and run to Michael's to get a new album: plain brown chipboard my favorite, nothing fancy.

I don't have an iPhone (my husband won't let me get one!), and I don't carry my Canon around with me, but I do have the cutest little Sony Bloggie video/still camera. I love that little sucker. So I can look cool like all the iPhone users and take a picture on the fly for my album. Not the same as my Canon but when in Rome....

I also went to work on my Silhouette machine creating journaling cards. I created a rounded rectangle that is 3.5 x 2.625. This is the size of each picture and any cards I put in there. I am thinking I will follow this up with a short YouTube video on how I make these journaling cards. Easier to see than to explain.

So now it is April and I am hooked. I just take pictures throughout the month, print them out as I want, tuck them in the pockets then when I am ready I do some journaling or add bits and pieces (movie tickets etc.)
I even did 2 pages for March as it was a busy month. So you see, there are no hard and fast rules for me on this project.

Here is a sample of some of the pages so far. I love the calendar card for each month..the March spread doesn't show one as it is a second page.

I made up the "currently:" journal card from one I saw online (I am known for my thievery). This is also a first as I actually used my own handwriting on the card! GET OUT!

I will try to get a video done soon on how I make the journaling cards but, as I don't have a good video editing software, it takes me forever--so don't hold your breath! If you really want to know just let me know; I would be happy to explain.

(this post was edited for grammar by my niece Meg who has 2 masters--it's like having a plumber in the family!)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Clam Chowder Extravaganza

Well....I spent the day making clam chowder...and posting it step by step on Facebook. I believe I annoyed enough people so I can end my day happy. However, one of my nieces said I needed to start a blog and post this extravaganza. After I told her "I do have a blog" I then smacked myself in the head and decided to write a post. Novel idea I know. So without further adieu....

New England Clam Chowder....step by annoying step.

Place 30 little neck clams in pot and add 3 cups of water, simmer until they open. Throw away the sucker that doesn't open.

Remove clams from liquid, line a small fine mesh strainer with a coffee filter and strain the broth into a bowl. Remove the clams from shells. Place in a bowl covered in plastic wrap so they don't dry out and set aside.

Dice up 4 slices of salt pork (you can also use thick sliced bacon if you want), 1 medium onion and 3 ribs of celery. Take a break.....have a glass of wine if necessary.


Saute the salt pork until crispy golden brown about 10 minutes on a low heat. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside. Leave all the greasy good stuff in the pan.

If you remembered to bring in your thyme for the winter, cut some and chop up 2 tsp.

Add onion, celery and thyme to bacon fat and saute low for approx 10 min. Then add in 2 tbs of flour and cook for approx 1 min.

Add reserved clam broth and 1.5 cups of water to pot. Add the diced potatoes. Cook about 15 min. until potatoes are tender. Lower heat and add 2 cups of half and half. Warm through but do not boil.

The next step is to chop the clams but once I started I had to stop and make a my big brother the Executive Chef. Why you ask? Because as I was chopping the clams I noticed some icky green stuff in the bellies. Conversation went something like this "Hi Billy".."Hi Jane"..."So I am making clam chowder"..."That's nice"..."Question, when I started chopping the cooked clams I noticed so icky green stuff in the bellies. Am I supposed to keep that stuff or get rid of it"..."Well some people would keep it, but knowing you I would get rid of it". Thank you and goodnight.

Chop the clams (choose to keep the icky green stuff or discard) and add to the broth, salt and pepper to taste. Heat back up to temp and serve!

So in looking for a crouton recipe to top my soup I came upon this blog DO NOT LOOK I BEG YOU DO NOT LOOK. You looked didn't you? I so want to be able to take those kind of shots....sigh

ps: so after eating this soup here are a couple of thoughts. It was not thick enough for me. DON'T START YELLING ALL YOU PEOPLE FROM NEW ENGLAND! I don't mean THICK...I mean thick enough. So next time I may make a bit more roux on the side just in case. I would also add more clams. I would add the potato a bit later in the recipe.....just so they don't get too soft. Oh and add a bay leaf!!! But other than that I liked this recipe.