Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some more Scrapbook Layouts

Hi there, this week I did a few more layouts, kind of on a roll, and I thought I'd share them with you. Maybe they can give you some inspiration if you need it. Tomorrow, I'm meeting with my career advisor, then hopefully, I can find interviews and get a job. There seems to be a lot of internships out there right now, especially in fashion but what do you do when you can't afford to live somewhere to be at the internship? I'm hoping to find a PAYING job. Maybe sometime in the future I'll post some pics of my portfolio up. I'm working on my personal fashion-y website that will be like an online portfolio. When I finish, I will post a link here. Enough about my job woes, here are some new layouts:

College Graduation Day:



I submitted this one for a Sunday Sketch over at Studio Calico.

Free Spirit:




Free Spirit is my mantra for this new year, do everything I want to, pursue my dreams without worrying what other people think.

*Mom* My Biggest Fan:




My Mom truly is my best friend and a terrific support system. I also submitted this one to a Studio Calico challenge.

and Last but not Least,

I wonder what 2011 will bring:




That's all for the Scrapbook layouts.

You may or may not know that Spring 2011 couture Fashion shows are going on right now. When they finish, I'll post my favorites here. I'm not super inspired or impressed with a lot of the collections right now, except for Elie Saab (go to Style.com and look at these stunning gowns). I'll keep you posted.

-Ashley

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some Scrapbook Pages and Cards for Etsy

I've been continuing to work on scrapbook pages for myself and cards to put in etsy so I thought I'd share some here with you. I've noticed that I haven't shared any scrapbook pages on this blog so I thought I'd display some and give everyone a glance at what's in my etsy shop.

First off, my most recent scrapbook page:



This one was created for a Studio Calico weekly challenge to use fabric on a page. It is a picture of my mother's fourth birthday. I'm the only one in my family that scrapbooks so I've made it my mission to get everyone's scrapbook done. I really like the finished look of this page, it's fancy and I'm proud of it. I love that satisfaction of creating something and being happy with it because I'm a perfectionist and very rarely completely happy with any of my work. Lately, I've been learning that it's ok to be proud of what you accomplish, even if it's not "perfect".

This next page was for another Studio Calico challenge, last week's Sunday Sketch. I wanted to display a few pieces from some of my college drawing classes. I want to scrapbook while the memories are still fresh.




After I finished this page, I felt like I had great accomplishments to be proud of and I loved how the finished page turned out too. : ) Not too shabby!

Now for some pages I created a few months ago, just a little gallery, if you will:

High School Photography Class:


Homecoming:



Grandma's House:





San Diego, California:



So now you've seen some of my scrapbook pages and now I'll move on to some cards that are now in or are coming soon to my etsy shop, which you can visit via a link on the right of the blog, how convenient!






Some of these are singles and a couple are small variety packs, people seem to like the smaller varieties better, easier on the pocketbook I think.

Anyway, the last time I posted was my birthday and I mentioned that I was making pizza, let  me just say, disaster. Have you ever had a plastic bowl melt on top of your stove because the oven below got too hot! This is what happened, I needed a warm place for my pizza dough to rise so I turned the oven on to sort of preheat and help the dough rise at the same time. Well, we are in an apartment complex and have a very cheap oven of sorts and this heat from below melted my plastic bowl and cooked my dough, bleh! All is not lost, the cupcakes turned out delicious and we ended up having delicious nachos instead.

 I've since made that dough again (from the Gluten Free Girl and the Chef's cookbook) and let me tell you, it made the most delicious gluten-free pizza crust! Muah! Everyone should go out and get this cookbook, it's not just for those who are eating gluten free. There are lots of wonderful, restaurant-y recipes that are smart but unpretentious.

Also a must have are the Debbie Meyer Green boxes. These things are amazing. They really do keep veggies and fruits fresh for a long time. They give you time to eat your wholesome foods and to conquer those New Year's resolutions. They pay for themselves so quickly, these are amazing! There I said it again! Sorry if I'm sounding like an infomercial,  but I like to let everyone know about amazing products that really work if I've used them. You can find the cookbook on Amazon and the greenboxes on HSN.

*no one is paying me to endorse their products, these are just my opinions.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me and a Gluten-Free Cheesecake

Hello all, today is my 23rd birthday! YAY! I don't really feel any different, this year's a tight one, being out of college with no job, so it's just me making a pizza and cupcakes for my mom and I ( I'll let you know how they turn out). It's difficult being so far away from family at a time like this but alas, I must go on and just be happy to be with my mom this year, which I am. I love her dearly and I'm so glad to have someone like her in my life, so supportive and so loving.

I'm updating my etsy shop tonight with a few Valentine's Day goodies so I thought I'd give you a  peak at what will be in the shop tonight. I should have more cards to post tomorrow and so I'll post them here first!


These are the V-day embellishments that are going in my shop. They are die-cut pieces ranging in size from about 1" to about 1 3/4" and then have a dimensional square on the back for easy embellishing! I made them from a bunch of different cricut cartridges and some free svg files, then decorated with with glitter, glossy accents and pop-dots to make them even more dimensional. They turned out so cute, lots of romantic stuff like hearts, lovebirds, love-squirrels and chocolates!








Here's the different cards that I've made for the shop. I'm really excited about them, trying out something a little different. I drew out the backgrounds and messages for each one (except the "All We Need is Love" one), imported them into Illustrator and printed them out, then placed my decorated embellishments on top. I really liked this effect and will definitely do this sort of card again. I'll have 2 sets of 6 in my shop later tonight or early in the morning.

Now on to the Delicious part! Cheesecake! I made this one a while back and really loved it so I thought I would share it with you. There's no pesky crust to worry about and it's gluten-free with out any special instructions, even better.
Family Cheesecake (adapted from a recipe in Family Circle magazine) Ingredients:
4 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. cornstarch
2 c. heavy cream
6 eggs

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350F. Coat a 10-inch spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap outside of pan with foil. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugars, then cornstarch, butter, cream and eggs, beating well after each addition. Pour into prepared pan. Place in a pan filled with 1 inch of water.

2. Bake at 350F for 1 hour or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

3. Once cheesecake has cooled (about 3 hours) remove side of pan, cover and put in refrigerator.


I like my cheesecake on the sweeter side so I added a 1/4 c. of brown sugar to give it a sweet, caramel-ly flavor.This doesn't make the cake sickening sweet or anything, it justs makes it taste more like a dessert and less like a blob of cream cheese!  Make sure to use a 10-inch pan to bake in, I used a 9 incher and it was way too full and ended up a little undone in the middle. This makes a large cheesecake you can devor. I topped my cheesecake with a simple strawberry compote, just a bag of frozen strawberries, a splash of lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of sugar and wah lah!, a delicious topping. You could also make a quick toffee sauce with a tab of butter, a bit of brown sugar, a splash of cream and a tiny pinch of salt ( I just eye-ball the amounts I need based on how much sauce I want, remember that the sauce cooks down as it turns into thick toffee sauce).

*disclaimer: this cheesecake is a dense, New York style, touch your lips and you know it's cheesecake, cheesecake, not a whimpy light one, so if you prefer the lighter version, back away...

This is the easiest and most delicious cheesecake I have made and it's definitely staying in my easy-access recipes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year with a MPS Challenge

Well, it's a new year! YAY! Time to start fresh and make resolutions. This year I'll definitely be participating more in paper crafting challenges like this one from My Pink  Stamper. It is a designer call challenge, only two spots available, fingers crossed. Anyway, the challenge was to create a project with your favorite cartridge with Robyn's fav colors, which are pink, green and brown, and you can choose another color to complete the project. I chose to do a card with Give a Hoot, such a cute cartridge.

I'm so looking forward to Valentine's Day so I decided on the love squirrels  and added layered hearts from Home Accents to symbolize their love. I think this came out so cute and I think I'll be putting it in a Valentine's Card Set in my etsy shop.

Supplies used: Paper: My Mind's Eye, Punch: Martha Stewart, Stamp: Provocraft Circa 12Pt, Squirrels: Give A Hoot, Hearts: Home Accents.

I Hope everyone's New Year is off to a great start and I'll be back with more posts later this week!