March 22, 2010

We Have a Blog Candy Winner !

I want to thank everyone for visiting my blog and leaving comments this past weekend for the Operation Write Home Spring Break Bloghop. I received 6 new followers!!

So, our winner is #27 on my comments, Jamie Papantonakis, JPSCRAPS.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp:2010-03-22 14:03:40 UTC

Congratulations! I will be mailing you your package ASAP!!

Marcy Pin It

March 18, 2010


Welcome to my blog, En Papillote Arts, your next stop on the bloghop. If you've hopped over from HERE, then you are on the right track! If not, then go back to START, so you can see all of the awesome blogs. There's a lot of talent there!

I was first introduced to OWH through former shipper, Fabre Sanders, a wonderful friend of mine, whom I met through our personal chef organization. Her enthusiasm for making cards for the heroes was so contagious, that I just had to check it out. I had never made a card, I was convinced I was going to only work in mixed media. Over one year later, and I don't know how many cards, I consider myself a proud cardmaker for Operation Write Home!

But my personal reason for making cards for OWH, is my own history with the military. My dad is a Korean War veteran, my oldest son was in the National Guard, and my husband, Bob, is a Naval officer veteran of the Gulf War. He is my own real life HERO because he donated a kidney to me six years ago!

I chose to make this "Springy" card because I wanted it to work as a Mother's Day card, (deadline for these cards is April 1st) as well as Easter, Love, Thank You, etc. Check out my blog - I posted a tutorial on how to make those cute flowers!

So for the FUN stuff! For every comment you leave here, I will make a card for OWH. AND, BLOG CANDY!! I am offering a nice package of goodies to one of you, by a random selector! It includes a really cute stamp from Inky Antics, a mini album, some Zing embossing powders, and more. Check back here on Monday, where I will post the winner.

Now hop on over to Marianne Colschen's blog, NEXT. We share a love for paper crafting, gardening, and most importantly, our love for family. She's extremely talented, so enjoy her blog!

Have fun and Happy Spring!! Pin It

March 14, 2010

Salad Swap Challenge for Hero Arts Flickr Club

This week, March 14-20, Hero Arts Flickr Club is having a Salad Swap Challenge. Unlike their card challenges, we were instructed to post a picture of our favorite salads. If anyone is interested in the recipe, we will e-mail it through Flickr Mail.

I originally developed this recipe, Mixed Greens with Pears, Dried Cranberries, Bleu Cheese and Roasted Pecan Vinaigrette, for Blackberry Patch, using one of their products. It was SO much fun. I also developed THIS recipe for pork tenderloin, to go along with the salad.

This is the next salad I made, Sugar Snap Pea, Black Olive, and Tomato Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette. I originally developed it for a client's surprise 40th Birthday BBQ Party. There's also thinly sliced red onion in it. The fresh lemon in the dressing just sings out. If you want to make this for a Springtime event, then use sliced cherry or grape tomatoes.

Sugar Snap Pea, Black Olive, and Tomato Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

1 pound sugar snap peas, blanched and cooled
1 large tomato (or 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half)
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup champagne wine vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper, to taste
optional - a drop or two of lemon oil

Dry snap peas on a towel. Cut tomato into quarters. Remove the seeds and ribs and slice into strips. Place the snap peas, tomato strips, olives and onion into a large bowl and keep chilled. In a jar, add remaining ingredients and shake well. Pour enough dressing over the vegetables to coat well and toss. There will be some left over. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

I hope you try these recipes. They accompany any meal and everyone LOVES them! Bon Appetit!

Marcy Pin It

March 08, 2010

Paper Flower Embellishments

Have you noticed how expensive embellishments have gotten? I've been playing around in my studio making my own. Buttons, old brads, ribbons, charms, and even paper, have all ended up in my new embellishment stash. I'm sure many of you have seen these flowers before, but I came up with my own version - prettier than most I've seen elsewhere.

This is the stack of 6x6 inch paper I took from stack packs (mostly from Basic Grey) I hadn't used in a very long time. It's a quick and perfect way to use up that paper.

Next, I took THIS Sizzix die and cut out my flower design in one of the patterns of paper. I then cut it out in a companion paper. I matched up the papers and lined them all up before I began, to keep track of my pairs.

Then I took the flowers and crumbled them up, as you see here. It's easier if you do them all at once. I sit and crumble these or assemble them almost anywhere. Love to multi-task! Now take a break because your hands will be sore, LOL! This is when I coordinated my brads to my flowers.

I filled my Mini Misters 3/4 of the way to the top and added Perfect Pearls (about 1/8 teaspoon). My favorite colors are kiwi - a pale golden green, and blush, a pale ballet pink. Shake VERY well. I held the crumbled flower in my cupped palm and sprayed with the Perfect Pearls - about four times.  Working quickly, I did about 6 flowers at a time. I then used a heating tool and aimed it into the center of each flower. You can see the flower shrink up into a pretty layered bloom.

Once the flowers were dry, I poked a hole in the center of both petals and attached brads to each flower, securing them together. I then used chalk ink and distressed the edges of each bloom, including the inside petals.

Another option, is to spray the completed flower with Walnut Ink. It gives you an aged, vintagey look, which I love.

And finally, here is my card with the finished flower.

I really hope you try this easy project. I can see using them for many different things, like a pretty flower topiary, barrettes, scrapbook pages, mini albums, and hostess gift packages, just to name a few. Thank you for viewing my first demo and please don't forget to leave a comment.

Marcy Pin It

March 03, 2010

Crop Party for Operation Write Home

I can't think of anything more fun than getting together with others who have the same interests as you do. Cooking is one of those for me and crafting is another. Well, on Saturday, February 20th, five of us did both! At the home of Fabre Sanders, a former shipper for Operation Write Home, Diane Wiswall, Laura Crawford, Rebecca Dosick Bernsweig, and I enjoyed making cards for troops of all branches of the military, serving overseas in the Middle East, to send back home to family and friends for all occasions. It is such a rewarding feeling to be doing something to help out our service men and women while also sharing time with friends, old and new! 

 A hearty pot of sausage-minestrone soup made by Fabre. Perfect for a cold, snowy day!

Homemade rolls I made that morning. See recipe below.

Avocado and apple boats made by Rebecca. Perfect to go with the soup!

And yummy scones, warm and buttery. No pics of dessert, because we ate it before it could be photographed!

We didn't even take pictures of the cards, LOL! We made about 100 cards, done and ready for Fabre to send to OWH by the end of that weekend. But the fun continued.

Here's Diane making piles of beautiful cards!

Diane has a really cool story. A close friend of hers was recently deployed overseas. Knowing how much she would miss him, she wanted to have something that would remind her of him during difficult and lonely times. Along came Eddy!

Eddy goes everywhere with Diane. Here he is having lunch with us.
Here's adorable Laura! This was her first time making cards - she's a scrapper. WOW, did she catch on quickly.
Here's our pile of paper that Fabre provided for all of us. Beautiful colors and patterns!

For anyone wishing to make cards or a donation to Operation Write Home, please check out this link to their website. There are so many things you can do to help out. They also have a blog hop coming up and all kinds of fun challenges.

As a little treat, here is the recipe for the dinner rolls. It's from Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters.
This is a WONDERFUL cookbook of collected heirloom recipes. I met these lovely and unique sisters at a lecture they gave at the Johnson & Wales College Culinary Museum in Rhode Island. This recipe is from the 1930's.

Clara J. Warren's Refrigerator Rolls

Yields 2 dozen rolls

For yeast sponge
1 package of dry yeast (not Rapid Rise)
1/4 cup warm water - 115F degrees
1 teaspoon sugar

For dough
1/2 cup butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups flour

Melted butter, for brushing rolls (2 tablespoons)

  1. For the yeast sponge, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar. Set in a warm place for 10 minutes to proof.
  2. For the dough, whisk butter into boiling water to melt. Add salt and sugar and mix well. Let cool.
  3. Mix cooled butter mixutre, eggs, and yeast sponge in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well. Add the remaining 2 cups flour and mix to form a soft dough.
  4. Coat a medium bowl with butter or veg. spray. Place dough in a greased bowl. Coast a piece of plastic wrap with vegetable spray and place it loosely over dough. Place in refrigerator and let rise for at least 2 hours or overnight (my favorite)!
  5. Coat the cups and top surface of 2 12-cup muffin pans with butter or spray. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Pat or gently roll to a 10 inch by 10 inch square. Cut into 24 equal pieces with a floured knife. Roll dough piece into balls, place in prepared muffin pans, and let rise in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until double in size.
  6. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
  7. Brush rolls with melted butter (you may sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt or poppy seeds, if desired) and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Turn rolls out onto a metal cooling rack. Store rolls wrapped in wax paper at room temp.
Bon Appetit!
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February 11, 2010

These Are a Few of My NEW Favorite Things

Welcome! Come on in. No, this isn't my front door, it's my newest stamp by B Line Designs. It looks exactly like the armoire in my living room, so I had to get it. My wonderful husband put a gift certificate in my Christmas stocking from my favorite stamp store, INK ABOUT IT, in Westford, MA. I have some cool ideas on how I plan to use it.

The "eyes" have it. I love her! She'll have fun showing up in many of my projects. She's by Limited Editions Stamps, also from Ink About It.

In my past life, I was a ballerina. Well, in my very early youth! STAMPINGTON & COMPANY, has THE most elegant and detailed stamps and this is one of my favorites. I'm still trying to think of some ideas how to use "her," but I may just frame this one. Suggestions anyone?

My dear friend, FABRE, gave me this stamp for Christmas. She knows I adore sunflowers. They remind me of France. Fields of sunflowers - is that not happiness? By Inkadinkado, this one also came from Ink About It.

Ok, do you know what this is? It's chicken wire!! Can I tell you how excited I was to find this background stamp? For my love of anything French, I have some ideas whirling around in my head for this one. A great source for all kinds of stamps, ADDICTED TO RUBBER STAMPS, I just couldn't let this one "fly" by. Made by Art Impressions.

Finally, I know they aren't stamps, but I hopped on to this site, SMALL STUDIO PRODUCTIONS, and found these awesome metal tags. How fun would it be to embellish them up with some grungy charms, papers, and findings. How about as a gift tag on a really cool wrapped gift. Look for a new project of mine using these tags, coming soon.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my new favs. I will, from time to time, post more goodies that show up in my studio, my kitchen and HOPEFULLY, my garden.

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February 08, 2010

En Papillote - What Does it Mean?

How do you meld one's love of art, food, and nature into a simple blog, especially the title? It's not hard when a favorite French cooking technique translates into cooking "in parchment" (or paper). En papillote is a classic method of cooking, where, usually fish or chicken is sealed in parchment paper or foil, with the addition of herbs and broth, and steamed inside the paper vessel.

And paper - do I love paper. You might say I'm addicted to it! I love to alter it in any way I can. I will be sharing my own techniques for projects I'm working on along with new products I'm trying. You'll see glimpses into my studio, my garden, and my kitchen.....all threads of my life woven into what I hope is as exciting for you as it is for me.

I want to share a lovely recipe for cooking en papillote with a Moroccan twist. It's adapted from Martha Stewart, one of my life mentors, who never fails to amaze me and always teaches how to live life to its fullest.

Moroccan Chicken "Tagine" En Papillote

Serves 4

2 sticks carrot - peeled, halved lengthwise, cut in 1/2" slices
1 cup canned chickpeas - rinsed and drained
1 small onion - chopped
1/2 cup raisins

1 tbsp. fresh ginger - peeled and grated

2 clovcs garlic - minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. extra virgin olivc oil
2 tsp. Kosher salt - more if needed
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper - more if needed
1/8 tsp. ground coriander

1/8 tsp. ground cumin
pinch cinnamon
4 large chicken thighs without skin - bone in, or 8 skinless drumsticks

1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine carrots,chickpeas, onion, raisins, ginger, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and olive oil. Toss to coat.

In another large bowl, combine salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. Add chicken pieces and rub in to coat.

Cut and have ready, four 12 x 17" sheets of parchment. Lay a sheet on a work surface. Place one quarter of the vegetable mixture in center of parchment sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 2 tbsp. chicken stock over vegetables. Place a chicken thigh over vegetables. Seal packet by bringing edges of parchment together to make a 1 inch fold. Crease. Keep folding and creasing along the edges. Repeat with remaining ingredients and 3 sheets of parchment.

Transfer packets to a baking sheet. Bake until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 75 minutes. To serve, carefully cut open each packet and remove thyme sprigs. Serve over couscous or basmati rice.
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