Tuesday, September 1, 2015

October - With a Twist!

I accidentally hatched a class idea one day while playing with some of the holiday sets.

I was working on fall and Halloween cards, when I realized something.

I LOVE Halloween images. Love, love, love them. I love all the monsters, the owls, the black cats, the witches - every bit of it. I lived for Halloween when I was little and was so mad when I had to sit at the door on Halloween in fourth grade because I'd just had my appendix out. I rocked my mom-made Guinevere costume in that sad chair at the door though!

But I don't send Happy Halloween cards. I just don't  - I don't know who I'd send them to. Maybe if you were making cards for teachers around that time, it would make more sense. But I want to stamppppp!

So I decided to create a class that uses all these glorious images for REGULAR, EVERYDAY CARDS.

And they are AWESOME, I'm not going to lie. I combined them with fun greetings for just a general hello card, a thinking of you card and a thank you / miss you card. For me, this greatly increases the value of these sets - I can use them all month long for real live grownups I'm sending my cards to :).

I think you'll love them and be surprised by them. They are available in my October With a Twist class, available now. These cards have expanded instructions - one per page - because they have a few more steps than my normal classes.

In the meantime, speaking of classes, I had some negative space cuts from class prep from the Seasonal Frame Framelits and it gave me an idea. I like my warm colors contained safely in lots of white space. I don't like to let them roam freely around my cards because they can be overwhelming to my cool blue brain.

So I thought I'd use some nice Thanksgiving-y colors and sponge them through the negative cut onto Whisper White.

At first I thought I'd leave just the sponged greeting, which looked really cool, but then I set one of my die cuts from the Wild About Flowers class down on it and BOOM - it looked even better as a shadow for the white die cut.

The colors are Pumpkin Pie and Crushed Curry. (My Tangelo Twist ink pad and reinker are still MIA - sob!). I used a sponge dauber to blend them together.

I cut that panel down and put it onto a piece I embossed with the Large Polka Dot embossing folder just for a little texture. Then, after a consult with Brian, who did get into the fetal position about all the white space, I added a TEENY black cardstock border to draw your eye to the focal point. And to revive him. He's recovering nicely.

It's good to stamp with friends who will be honest with you about what your cards need. Especially if you have friends with very different styles from your own. Like that commercial about Febreze where people go "noseblind" to smells they are used to, I think if we stay in our own bubbles too long, we get blind to design features that we use again and again that maybe aren't always just right. So thank you Brian - please send me all your medical bills.

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Isn't that fun? It still has hints of Thanksgiving, but in a nice clean setting. I love cards like this where the color just pops.

And oh frabjous day! The holiday catalog is now LIVE! Let me know if you didn't get your copy from me yet.

And since we are entering the gift giving season, I have a gift for you -  anyone who places a $50 or higher order (before tax & shipping) in my store this month can  choose one of the digital versions of my Blue2You classes for free!  Use hostess code 9BGVXPPS to receive your free class.

Also - I cannot believe it, but it is SEPTEMBER! Whose fault is this??? I am so behind on so many things that seemed months away just weeks ago. I miscalculated the speed of this summer horribly. It might be all the time I spent with the dad gum dishwasher repairman, internet installers and plumbers. #lightacandleforme

As a result of this time crunch, I will be closing the registration for my October retreat soon, and you don't want to have regrets, so you had better sign up now.

This is in a STUNNING, Bali style private home in Southwest Austin, and we will be learning all sorts of crazy, fun techniques.

And don't forget, if you want to book this home for your own event, you get a special present if you mention me - a mid-week stay earns you a $50 Instacart gift card, and a weekend stay earns you a $25 Instacart gift card so you can have groceries delivered right to your door while you lounge in the pool.

Also, the owner has a HUGE special for the weekend of September 11th - $200 off per night, and instead of the normal 3 night minimum, it's a 2 night minimum. Just mention Understand Blue when you rent to claim your gift! Need to see the pool again? I thought so.

Hope to see you soon!

Oh - before I go - I have to share a fabulous fall recipe with you. We smoked 3 chickens this weekend because this week is made of crazy and there is no time to cook. So to go along with it, I made this.

Lydia’s Butternut Squash Casserole

I made this up and I love it.

1-2 Butternut squash, roasted whole
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened. If you use the lowfat, I will shun you.
1 LARGE Texas sweet onion, sliced into thin, 1” pieces
Fresh sage & fresh thyme
Chopped walnuts, lightly toasted on a cookie sheet.

  • Cook one or two butternut squashes - if they’re on the small side, two. Cook them whole on a cookie sheet at 400 until squishy. Cut in half and let cool before removing seeds and scraping out - it should be very soft like mashed potatoes. If you cut it and parts are still hard, just pop back into the oven with cut side up or down - doesn't really matter.
  • While squash is cooking, caramelize the onion in the butter - low & slow. When they start to brown, add thyme and sage. Stir frequently, and cook until deep, caramel brown.
  • Remove onions from stove and mix with cream cheese.
  • Add squash to this mixture, mixing thoroughly. Taste and add salt if needed.
  • Add to casserole dish and sprinkle lightly with freshly grated parmesan.
  • Bake at 350 until warmed through.
  • Serve topped with the walnuts, and a bit more parmesan, if desired.


1 comment:

  1. that retreat looks sublime and that casserole, fine! i'd caramelize the squash too, but that's a lot more work. if you've never skinned a b squash, tossed it in oil, and roasted it until it's browned, you haven't lived!


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