Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stickles-an old favorite!

We probably all have at least one bottle of Stickles. Some of you might even have the entire color collection (or close to it! LOL). If you are one of the rare few who doesn't actually own a bottle of fun yet, maybe you'll be inspired to pick up a bottle or two next time you are in your local craft store.

After my initial excitement with this glittery goo, I began to neglect these colorful bottles of fun. I've recently revisted my bottles of Stickles and wanted to share a few ideas for using them.
You can use your Stickles to...
..."paint" the petals on your flowers.
...cover the center of a flower.
...trace designs on your paper.
...dab over painted chipboard elements.
...add shimmer to the center of a button.
...adhere small embellishments (just put a glob on the paper and push your button, dew drop or other item onto it! It will squish out around the sides for a fun effect.)
...add dots around papers and photos.
...add a bit of color and shine on a stamped image.
...brush over the top of letter stickers.
Here's a card I made using Stickles on my chipboard, flower and on the design in the patterned paper.

I love how the stickles give the pattern a slight raised and shimmery look.

**Remember to allow plenty of time for your Stickles to dry.

Last but not least, here's a storage tip. Store your bottles upside down so they are always ready to be used. This reduces the chance that you will have an air bubble pop out and mess up whatever you are working on. Here's how I store mine:
I hope you'll have as much fun playing with stickles as I have been lately. They add such a fun element to scrappy projects!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Yummy Diet Soup

I got this recipe about a year ago at my Weight Watchers meeting. It is perfect for a cold winter night and very filling. It also makes a perfect quick meal for those days when you are scrapbooking and can't be bothered with making a complicated meal. My whole family enjoys this soup - no need for them to know it is diet! :)

8 Can Soup

1 can whole kernel corn
1 can green beans
1 can veg-all
1 can sliced or diced potatoes
1 can diced tomatoes or rotel (Mexican tomatoes)
1 can chili w/out beans
1 can chili with beans
1 can vegetable soup

Do not drain any of the cans. Just open then and dump all into a soup pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 30 minutes.

One cup = 1.5 points
Note: If you are concerned about sodium, look for low sodium products or drain the cans and refill with water to help lower the sodium content.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year - Good Eats!

In just about every culture, there are traditional foods that are prepared on New Year's Day to bring luck and prosperity in the upcoming year. My family growing up and still today always has black-eyed peas and cornbread on New Year's Day, but I have heard of others who eat everything from pork to cabbage to winter greens as a meal to welcome the new year. I found a neat article on that discusses some of these traditions. Some are very similar to some you may have heard of, while others are fairly exotic. Why not incorporate one (or more!) of these ideas into your own New Year's menu and start a new culinary tradition to ring in 2009?

Happy New Year from all of us at Feeling Scrappy!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post-Holiday Tips

Now that Christmas has past and New Year's Day is just around the corner, the task of taking down all of those decorations and reclaiming our homes from the post-holiday clutter is upon us. I always tend to put off taking our decorations down until after Epiphany, but there are a few things I always do beforehand to ensure that next year's decorating goes as seamlessly as possible. I thought I'd share a few of my post-holiday tips with you today to help save you some precious time and energy when you pull those decorations out again in 2009 and start your preparations for another amazing holiday season!

1. Take pictures of your decorations and displays before putting things away so that you remember exactly what goes where when it comes time to decorate again. Jot notes on the backs of the photos if there are specific things you need to remember, and then file them away to use as a reference for next year. You'll be amazed at what a time-saver this is when you are sorting through box after box of decorations after they've been stored away for an entire year!

2. Jot down a list of recipes you made and where they are located while this information is fresh in your mind so you don't have to search high and low for them next year.

For the above two ideas, I actually have found that creating a file specifically for Christmas-related items is really handy. In it, you can place your Christmas card list, gift lists (it is always nice to have these to look at next year to ensure you don't give duplicate gifts!), and any other pertinent information to have at your fingertips the next time you need it.

3. Use tape to label strands of lights outdoors so you know exactly where they go next time (north roof line, south roof line, etc.). Replace any bulbs that are burned out now, while you still remember which ones need attention. Take time as you are packing them away to loop them nicely, and then secure with twist ties. Trust me: you will be thankful next year that you took the time to do all of this when you aren't struggling to untangle endless light strands with too many spent bulbs to count!

4. Take inventory of things you lacked this year, and see if you can hit up some post-holiday sales to pick up those items while they are deeply discounted. Pack them away with the rest of your decorations to be at the ready next year!

5. If you have children, help them clean out their toy box before flooding it with their newer things (and therefore creating lots of clutter!). Have them find a particular number of things they would like to donate to charity. If there aren't any toys they are ready to part with, try boxing up a few things to put away in storage to pull out again later, after the newness of their Christmas gifts has faded. It is amazing how much a month of not seeing a toy can revive a child's interest, and it will help ensure your home isn't overrun by so many gadgets and gizmos!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

RAK winner!

Merry Christmas! I hope you are having an amazing day with family and friends.

As promised, here is the winner of my RAK!! I used again then counted down to the winner....

Snichols said...
Wow, love this blog! And an awesome rak Stacey!! Well the only really fun thing I did this weekend was bake Christmas goodies!
December 23, 2008 12:42 PM

Congrats! Email me at with your mailing address so I can get your goodies out to you!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a joyous holiday filled with many happy memories! Looking forward to reliving them with you through your scrapbook pages!

Your Feeling Scrappy Team

Monday, December 22, 2008

Red Chile Enchiladas

As a native New Mexican, Christmas Eve dinner has always been about New Mexican food: posole (a traditional hominy stew made with pork and red chile), tamales, and enchiladas. Red chile is the focal point of each of these recipes, and although it might seem exotic or intimidating at first glance, it is a very easy and versatile ingredient to work with! Here is a recipe using dried New Mexico red chile pods you can find in the Hispanic food section at your local market that I thought I would share. Try and and see what you think! The smoky flavor of red chile is something unlike anything else in the world!

Stacked New Mexico Red Chile Enchiladas

Prepare red chile sauce according to directions below. To assemble enchiladas, spray your plates with non-stick spray for easy cleanup. (Each stack of enchiladas is made on an individual plate.)Spread a bit of sauce directly onto the plate, and then layer one corn tortilla on the sauce, followed by a layer of chopped onions and then a layer of sharp cheddar cheese. Top with another ladle of sauce. Repeat layers as many times as desired (I usually make these in stacks of three) and then top all layers with a final layer of sauce, topped off generously with a final layer of cheese. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven until bubbly. Serve with a dollop of sour cream alongside some Mexican rice and black beans.

Red Chile Sauce
1 5 oz. package dried New Mexico red chiles
Rinse chiles, removing stems and seeds. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature and simmer 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove chiles promptly, reserving boiling water. Place chiles in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid, and process chiles until smooth. Continue to add liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, and process until puree is the consistency of a rich tomato sauce. If desired, strain puree to remove any course membranes that remain. Set puree aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium sauce pan. Add 1 heaping tablespoon flour, and stir into a roux. Press in 2 cloves garlic, and cook until garlic is fragrant and flour smells toasty, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup chile boiling water, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons beef base, and whisk until smooth. Stir in chile puree along with 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until flavors blend, 10-15 minutes.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let's make cards!

I have a fun giveaway for you today! I have been planning the Year of Cheer card class coming up in February so cards are on my mind. I put together a little card kit for you with papers and goodies I am using for a few of my card samples in the class. (If you don't make cards, you could always use the goodies in your scrapbook. :) )

To be entered to win, leave a comment on this post by Wednesday telling us something fun you did this weekend. I will randomly pick a winner and announce it on Thursday.

Happy Sunday!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Capture the moment

With the holiday season in full swing, we are probably all taking a lot of pictures. We all get the usual ones such as the tree, the family wearing Santa hats, decorating cookies, etc. But here’s a list of photo opportunities that you might not have considered:

~The look on a loved one’s face while opening a gift
~A child who has fallen asleep in the midst of the hustle and bustle
~A child inspecting a holiday decoration up close and personal
~Someone enjoying a favorite holiday treat
~A child holding tight to a comfortable old lovey while taking in the new wonders of the season
~The family pet waiting patiently for crumbs to fall
~A goofy family shot in addition to a serious one

*I hope you will share your ideas for interesting and unique photos with us in the comments!

Also, here is a link to some great photography tips from the pros at

Check back tomorrow for a fun giveaway from me!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blog Candy Winner!

Thanks so much for sharing and leaving us comments with our giveaway.

I used to pick the winner for our blog candy. I wanted to post an image of the number it picked but my computer is being difficult! So I'll just announce the winner and post the comment she left.

The winner is...

*Chelle* said...
Great blog candy!!

1. Nikon D90
2. New Uggs
That should do me!!!

Congrats Chelle. Please email your information to us at so we can mail out your prize.

**Also, I have a fun giveaway this weekend so make sure to check back with us then!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A scrapper you should know!

Tracy Kosofsky!

When I think of Tracy, the word "enthusiasm" automatically comes to mind. If it's a challenge, a class assignment or anything in between, Tracy is almost always the first to come through with her amazing work! We at Feeling Scrappy are so thrilled to have her a part of our little community, and we know all of you will love to get to know her, too! Read on for a bit about Tracy, and also visit her blog to see more of her lovely work.

What is the most important aspect to scrapbooking to you?
I think of myself as a very creative person trapped in a 9 to 5 (or more) office job. Scrapbooking allows me to both relax and exercise the creative part of my brain!

What are your favorite pages to work on?
Any page that has a "wow" photo on it - I love figuring out new ways to highlight the photo.

What, if anything, do you find hard to scrap?
A couple years ago, I would have said "me," but spending two years working on my Book of Me has cured that! I don't really find anything in particular hard to scrap.

What kind of camera do you use? Do you love it or hate it?
Canon Rebel XT (love it) and Nikon Cool Pix (love it).

What do you enjoy most about scrapbooking?
The sense of relaxation and accomplishment it gives me!

Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married to my husband Adam for just over 10 years and we have a 4 1/2 year old daughter, Alexa. We have been trying to adopt a second child from Russia since April of 2007, but things are complicated and moving slowly. We're hopeful that early next year is realistic. We also have two German shepherds, a cat, and two big tanks of tropical fish.

Tell us about the things outside of scrapbooking that you enjoy.
I read voraciously and always have a stack of books on my night table. I also enjoy swimming (and the beach!) and horror movies! I co-breed and co-own additional German shepherds who live with my partner in Connecticut, and when I have time I enjoy training and showing.
Tell us something about yourself that your Feeling Scrappy friends do not know.
I am a complete video game junkie. I can't help myself!

Two of Tracy's favorite layouts:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gingerbread Cookies

I have been making these delicious cookies for the last few years and hope you'll try them and love them. A friend of mine that I used to teach with gave it to me and it quickly became a favorite of ours. I look forward to making these cookies every year and enjoy them even more with a cup of coffee the next day.

Gingerbread cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup molasses
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 egg
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Cream sugar and butter together.
2. Pour molasses over sugar mixture. Add vinegar and stir until well blended.
3. Add egg to molasses mixture.
4. Sift dry ingredients together. Gradually add to molasses mixture. Mix well. Cover and chill dough for at least an hour.
5. Heat oven to 375.
6. Grease cookie sheets lightly. Roll dough 1/4" thick and cut gingerbread men with floured cutter. (I like the cookies slightly thicker so they end up super soft and cakey.)
Bake 8-10 minutes
Yields 36 3" gingerbread men.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Happy baking!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blog Candy :)

A little Holiday blog candy up for grabs today. Just leave a comment here by next Wednesday the 17th and tell us what gifts are on your wish list this year. Stacey will randomly draw a winner and announce it here on Thursday the 18th. Good luck and happy holidays!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santa Fun!

My kids and I enjoy these web-sites and I hope you do to!

This site has a village you can explore with holiday sing-a-longs, naughty and nice ratings, games and you can even e-mail Santa!

This site has stories, games, recipes, music, etc... all things Christmas!

Track the big guys flight on Christmas Eve. My kids love this!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Challenge #5 Winner!

Thanks so much to those who played along with us during our last installment of our card challenge series. There is something so satisfying about how quickly a card comes together, isn't there? I love being able to sit down and tackle a project from start to finish!

Drawn at random, the winner of the FREE Year of Cheer card class is......


Congratulations, Sheila! Please email us at so we can get you all set up for the class!

We know that extra time is of the essence during this hectic time of year, so look forward to our next challenge after the hustle and bustle in behind us on January 9!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Super Scallops

I love scallops! I really love the look of them on scrapbook pages, cards and crafts. And while there are plenty of papers and punches available for us to embellish our pages, I have a few tips for you to create your own.

My first trick is to use a corner rounder. Many of us have used this little gizmo to create a straight line of scallops but I only recently thought to try it on a circle.
1. Start with a circle and corner rounder.
2. Turn the corner rounder upside down and punch around the outside of the circle.

3. Trim as needed. Mine didn't exactly line up so I just used scissors to join the scallops.

4. That's it!

Another way is to use those good old decorative scissors. We all already know how to use them, but here is a tip you might not have tried before.
1. Trace a circle on the back of your paper.
2. Line up the bottom of your scissors with the circle as you cut.
3. If your cuts don't line up perfectly, just use regular scissors to trim as needed.

The last trick I want to share with you is super easy and I've used it many times. It's to use a bunch of small circles behind a larger one to create the scalloped look. I cut these circles in half before adhering them to the back of my paper.
Here's how it looks from the front:
I hope you can use one of these tips to create this look on your pages, crafts and cards. We'd love to see your creations using any of these ideas. Have a wonderful and scrappy day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Challenge reminder

Just a quick reminder - tomorrow is the last day to complete our Card Challenge for your chance to win a FREE "Year of Cheer" class. See this post for all the details:

Hope you will give it a go!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Spritz Butter Cookies

Every year my daughter and I make these cute, melt in your mouth cookies. Yum!

Spritz Butter Cookies

2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter (softened)
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Food coloring and sugar sprinkles (optional)

Sift together flour and salt. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the sifted flour. Add food coloring if desired. Fill a cookie press with dough and shot the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with sugar sprinkles is desired. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in a pre-heated 400 degree oven.
This makes approximately 36 cookies. We always double or triple the recipe.

Here is a page I made about these cookies about two years ago

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Megan Smith - Guest DT Member

I updated our Design Team page with Megan's information but I wanted to share it here with you also. Megan will be designing for our next two classes "From Mess to Success" and "Year of Cheer" Welcome to the team Megan!
Megan Smith

My name is Megan Smith and I live in Portland, Oregon where I just moved to in June from my childhood hometown of Hudson, Ohio. I attended the University of Dayton which is where I met my now husband of four years, Andrew. We do not have any kids (yet) but do have a golden retriever named Chase. I obtained a degree in marketing and finance and now work as the office manager for a private dental practice in the Pearl District of Portland. I have been scrapping in one form or another since I was 13 and found scrapping because I wanted a special way to preserve my photos. My scrapping philosophy is that the photos and journaling are first and foremost on the page and everything else should compliment these two elements. Besides scrapping, I enjoy photography and all the wonderful outdoor activities Oregon has to offer – camping, hiking, biking, skiing, etc. I am so excited to be a Guest Designer for Feeling Scrappy and I am looking forward to spending the next couple of months with you all!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Keeping holiday stress at bay

I know it's all too common for the joy of the holidays to inevitably bring along a bit of stress in its wake. No matter how much I always vow to plan and prepare each year, I inevitably find myself scrambling to accomplish everything I need to get done at the last minute. So, for all of us out there who are looking at our schedules and wondering how we'll ever possibly get it all done, this post is for you! From me to you: a few time- and sanity-saving tips. Many of these might be tricks you already have up your sleeve, but maybe one or two will be fresh ideas to lighten your load just a bit during the next few weeks.

1. Make a list, and check it twice. I am a list maker by nature, and I always find that seeing everything I need to accomplish on paper helps me feel that things are much more manageable. During the holidays, I actually make a master list to include everything I need to do over the course of December, and then a small list each day of the individual tasks I want to get done. In the master list, I separate things out into sections for gifts, cards, cooking, etc., and I always make sure to leave enough room to check things off as I get them done! There is something so incredibly gratifying about marking something off once it's complete!

2. Label it! Print off labels to address your holiday cards instead of doing them by hand. You'll have to create a spreadsheet or something similar the first time you go this route, but once it's done, you'll be able to revise it as needed and use it year after year. What a time-saver! I am a traditionalist in the sense that I do think there are still plenty of times when hand-written addresses are the way to go, but I always cut myself some slack at Christmas when I know all of my card recipients won't mind in the slightest!

3. Let your fingers do the shopping. Of all of my best time-savers, online shopping is the one I credit most with preserving my sanity. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, don your favorite pair of pajamas and some fuzzy slippers, and relish the idea that you are whittling down your gift list from the comfort of your living room! There are no lines to contend with, and you can shop at any hour of the day. It's perfect!

4. Freeze! Look at your list cooking list, and consider which things you can make a few weeks ahead and freeze. Things like cookies, bars and some candies are perfect for this.

5. Keep it clean. The last thing on your mind is probably housework when you have so much more going on, but one thing I vow will make you life so much easier is to make it a goal to do a little bit of cleaning each day in order to keep your home in shape for unexpected visitors, which always seem to inevitably appear at your door when you are least prepared! Avoid the stress of last-minute scrambling to welcome them in by making sure that at least the big, more noticeable cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, your guest bathroom) is taken care of. You will be amazed at the dividends just a small amount of tidying each day will pay!

6. Get moving! Whether its raking leaves, heading to the gym, walking an extra lap around the mall as you shop, or parking a bit further than you usually would in store parking lots, getting on your feet to get some exercise will do wonders to reduce your stress level. And it'll burn calories, too, which is always welcome at a time of year when tasty goodies are never far from reach!

7. Don't forget to take a time out! At least once during the holiday season, take a breather. Go for a pedicure or get a haircut. Go to the bookstore to thumb through magazines you like. Go to a movie. Just do something that allows you to recharge you batteries so you can tackle the next thing on your list with gusto!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Challenge #5 - more cards!

It's time for another challenge and we have an awesome prize for you this week!

The challenge:
Your challenge this week is to create a *new* holiday card using this recipe:

*Non-traditional Christmas colors (so no red and green)
*At least two different stamps
*Some bling (glitter, rhinestones or anything sparkly)

My sample:

Amy's sample:

Jayne's sample:

The prize: One person will receive the "Year of Cheer" card class for free! We will randomly draw a winner from all of the entries so everyone has an equal chance to win.

The fine print: All submissions are due by next Wednesday, December 10. All cards should be new and created specifically for this challenge. Since the prize doesn't need to be mailed, everyone is welcome to play along this week. Share your submission by posting a link to your card in the comment section. (See the sidebar for specific details about this.)

I can't wait to see all of your wonderful cards. Don't be shy...even if you haven't made many cards, give it a shot!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent Cookie Tree

It is December 1st! For us, this day always prompts us to put our Christmas prepping and decorating efforts into high gear, and one of the first things I always put together is a cookie tree to mark the days of Advent. With a cookie for each of the days leading up to Christmas, this idea really goes hand in hand with what Stacey shared yesterday. For both adults and little ones alike, making and decorating the cookies is truly the best of the fun with this project! You can really use whatever cookie recipe you prefer (I can't wait to have Stacey's gingerbread recipe!), but the icing needs to be one that dries firm enough to stay intact when the cookies are wrapped tightly in plastic bags to be placed on the tree. Over the years of making cut-out cookies, I have come up with a really great icing recipe for this project that hardens perfectly but also tastes great! The secret is corn syrup, which gives the icing a glossy sheen and allows it to firm up nicely.

Advent Cookie Tree
25 prepared cookies
Prepared icing (see recipe below)
Piping tips and decorator bags or large zip top baggies
Small plastic baggies (for wrapping the cookies) and twist ties or decorative wire garland
A small tabletop tree

Prepare and cool your cookies completely before decorating. Mix your icing, reserving a small amount of of the icing before adding too much of the water while it is a thick consistency (this will be for numbering the cookies). Leave this reserved icing white. Decorate your cookies. The icing I describe below is fine for spreading on the tops of the cookies, or you can also put it in a piping bag to apply that way. (If you don't have piping bags and tips, you can use a large zip top baggie with a corner snipped off in the same way. This is a great money saver!) Allow the base coat of icing to dry a bit before going back and numbering your cookies from 1 to 25 with the thicker icing. Once again, you can use the same snipped zip-top bag trick for this step as well, but this time cut a very small hole in the bag.

After the icing has had time to harden completely, wrap your cookies tightly in small baggies. I used sandwich-size bags with the zipper portion cut off, but you can also purchase small bags perfect for this in the cake decorating sections of many stores. Be sure to wrap your cookies very tightly, as those for later dates will be hanging on the tree for several weeks before they are eaten. After I twist each bag tightly shut, I use decorative wire garland you can find this time of year in the miniature tree section at places like Hobby Lobby to twist the bags securely shut. I make sure to leave the garland pieces long enough after they are twisted so I can also use them to secure the cookies to the tree as well.

After your cookies are wrapped, it is time to decorate your tree! Arrange the cookies any way you wish, placing the cookie for the 25th on the highest branch. As I mentioned earlier, to fasten the cookies securely to the tree, I use the wire garland on each cookie to twist and "lock" each one into place. After all of the cookies are in place, you are all set!

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp. water, plus additional water, as needed
2-3 tsp. light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
Assorted food coloring (I prefer the gel variety)

Combine all ingredients (starting with just 2 Tbsp. water) except food coloring in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until smooth, then set aside a small amount for writing on cookies (if desired). Gradually add additional water to bowl, 1 Tbsp. at a time, mixing well after each addition, until icing is a consistency that will spread/pipe easily. Divide prepared icing into separate bowls and color with food coloring as desired.

Here's to a delicious and memorable holiday season!