Monday, April 25, 2011

...maple sugaring & thank yous

Here in New England when the weather starts to warm a magical thing happens. But you have to know where to look. It is hidden inside the sugar maple trees. When the days start to warm but the nights are still dipping below freezing, the sweetwater sap starts to flow in the tree. And if you know how you can draw the sap from the tree and make the most de-lish maple syrup! And that is exactly what we learned how to do....

First tap the tree.

and then collect the sap. It looks like water and at this point only has the slightest maple flavor to it. The sap gets collected in buckets and then the real work begins.

The sap gets cooked down for hours. It takes 40-50 gallons of sweetwater sap to make one single gallon of maple syrup. The sap reduces and must be watched carefully so that it doesn't burn. But I have to tell you that the amazing aroma at this point is beyond my writing ability to describe. It is almost as satisfying as the taste of the liquid amber...almost.

The final product is so delectable! It is not even comparable to the "pancake syrups." It is even better than those jugs of real maple syrup. It is one of the most absolutely DEE-LISH things that I have ever tasted in my whole life!

Isn't it pretty?!

So, I had to thank our friends, Joe & Elaine, for showing us this hidden treasure. And for sharing their sweet syrup with us.

Which led me to make up this card. I wanted to send a thank you to them and knew exactly what I wanted to make. I started with the base, using a woodgrain impression plate to give a nice woody texture to the dark brown card front. Then I stamped and die cut a label and added my sentiment. For the final element, I stamped the tree and embossed it, trimed it out and popped it up.

Makes a sweet thank you don't you think?

card recipe:(ALL ingredients by a muse studio) Stamps-vintage labels, love conquers all, contemporary greetings; cardstock-kraft, french roast, sage; Ink-french roast, sugar;Embellishments-woodgrain impression plate, vintage label dies, sugar embossing powder, 3D tape

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

to celebrate birthdays!

One of my very favorite things to do is throw a party so I was thrilled when my friend Ann's husband asked me to help him surprise his wife for her birthday. I love the little detail involved in throwing a party. I especially love to make party favors! Though many have tried to convince me otherwise I simple don't believe that favors are meant only for children. Who doesn't love a tiny something that says in its diminutive way, "Thank you for coming and celebrating with me. I appreciate you." So, this is what I cooked up for my sweet friend Ann.

Cutie-patootie chocolate boxes. They were super easy to make and who doesn't want a little bite of chocolate? Here is a link to direction to make your own chocolate boxes:

Also, this is the cake we had. If you are ever in Hampton be sure to make your way to the Galley Hatch and ask for the Rosebud Cake. You will not be sorry! I am still dreaming of it....

Have an a*musing day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

a challenge.

I find myself completely unable to resist playing along with the Moxie Fab World Tueday Trigger. If you want to play along visit the Moxie Fab blog here: I am so in love with the colors of this weeks Trigger pic:

I love all of the white space! I love the orange and blue! I love the simplicity of it! I had no ideas at first because I was determined to use only what I have on hand. So I started pulling things out and then THIS happened:

I love the white space! I love the orange and blue! I love the simplicity! Here's a close up for good measure... Isn't it cute? I think it is if I do say so myself. I love it when my crafty time is productive. Let me know if you are playing along this week. I'd love to see what you made!

Orange ya'Blue Birthday Wishes Card Recipe: Stamps-contemporary greetings; Ink-ocean; Paper-sugar, sky, bermuda, orange, orange gingham; Embellishments- bermuda button, a random bit of twine I found in the bottom of a drawer.