Sunday, January 27, 2013

THE JOY OF GIVING.

I'm just in the mood today to play with and share some of my photos. They are my passion and I love sharing them with others.  

I ran across some neat sayings in an old magazine I was reading, and they invoked in me a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation of the beauty around me.

These sayings speak of "giving", so I thought I would give to you some beauty as I see it........ and it is usually and mostly in the simple things.

 No one has ever become poor by giving.  Anne Frank, diarist, 1929-1945.


Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.  
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  1987-1960.


We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  Winston Churchill  1974-1965.

Scatter joy.  Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, 1803-1882.
 

My creed is that:
Happiness is the only good.
The place to be happy is here.
The time to be happy is now.
The way to be happy is to make others so.
Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899)
American lawyer and orator
 
 AMEN TO THAT!........... SO I GIVE BY SHARING WITH YOU. .................................and that is the reason I blog.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER!


Just can't wait any longer to give you a peek at the new Idea Book coming out on February 1st!  The Spring/Summer 2013 Idea Book goes public and can be viewed online on February 1st! 

Here's the cover. Isn't it fun and bright and pretty?  Just what we need to see this time of year. And look at a hint of all the gorgeous new papers!  I am so excited to see these beautiful pastel papers, and especially some more pinks and greens which are my absolute favorites.


Here's another peek at some of the For Always papers:

IF YOU'RE A BLACK & WHITE LOVER, YOU'LL BE THRILLED WITH THESE PAPERS!
 Here's one more page form the new Idea Book, just to tease you:

AREN'T THESE COLORS DELICIOUS????????????
That's all for now. I'll be posting some more peeks in the next few days.  It is so exciting and fun to see what new things Close to My Heart has come out with.  I've seen the new Idea Book and here are a few highlights:

1.  MORE HOW-TO VIDEOS which you will be able to watch from my website.  (as of February 1, 2013).

2.  7 NEW BEAUTIFUL 12 SHEET PAPER PACKETS.

3.  4 paper packs from the Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book are being CARRIED FORWARD to this new Idea Book..  Those are Avonlea, Dakota, Clementine, and Scholastic.

4.  TWO BRAND NEW, AWESOME products for those of you who love to incorporate some fabrics into your scrapbooking and card making! (very exciting).

5.  Many new, beautiful, and artistic My Acrylix stamp sets.

I could go on and on but will stop here for now.

Only 11 more days to go and then you can see what's inside the exciting Spring/Summer 2013 Idea Book!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

JANUARY STAMP OF THE MONTH - Happy Valentine's.

I was so busy baking my yummy gluten free desserts, that January has gotten away from me! I haven't even posted the beautiful Close to My Heart Stamp of the Month, Happy Valentine's which I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE! Here it is:

SET OF 7 BEAUTIFULLY DONE STAMPS. YOURS FOR $5.00 WITH YOUR $50.00 ORDER!
Can you imagine how fun this set would be using our wonderful markers or watercolor pencils?  

Here's a wonderful card by Renae at Renae Creates. She is using my favorite paper, La Belle Vie, which sadly is retiring at the end of this month.  Get it while it lasts!
 

Here is another fabulous card made by Allisa at  Rocky Mountain Paper Crafts using the January SOTM set.  She has colored in the roses using CTMH markers.  You can see more instructions for this card on her blog.

ALLISA HAS USED THE CHEVRON STAMP FROM THE WHOOO'S YOUR VALENTINE STAMP SET WHICH IS ALSO A SPECIAL DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY! THE FLOWERS AND SENTIMENT ARE FROM THE JANUARY STAMP OF THE MONTH.
Have fun and don't you just love this set???  I can hardly wait to get mine!
 
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

GLUTEN FREE CARROT CAKE!

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted! Time has gotten away from me, as with everyone I'm sure! Although I loved the holidays and what they represent, I am kind of glad to be starting a new year. 

Since I didn't get a chance to do very much baking this Christmas, I decided to try out a new gluten free recipe for one of my favorite desserts, CARROT CAKE! I just love carrot cake! 

OF COURSE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING MAKES IT EVEN MORE DELICIOUS!

SERVED UP FANCY ON MY CHRISTMAS DISHES, EVEN THOUGH IT'S PAST CHRISTMAS.  I STILL LOVE USING MY CHRISTMAS DISHES THROUGH JANUARY.
THE DELECTABLE FROSTING AND ALL THE WALNUTS INSIDE. OH YUM.
I got the recipe from the Betty Crocker website which has many gluten free recipes.  I love their gluten free products!  I made a few changes which I'll note:


GLUTEN FREE CARROT CAKE

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free yellow cake mix
1 c. water (calls for 2/3 cup but that is not enough)
1/2 c. softened butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (calls for 1/2 tsp. but I like more cinnamon in mine)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (I put in 1/2 tsp.)
1 tsp. guar gum (didn't call for this but if you add guar gum, it helps the cake be more spongy)
2 tsp. vanilla (gluten free)
3 eggs
1 cup finely chopped carrots (I used about 1-1/4 cup, makes it moister)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Frosting:

4 oz. softened cream cheese
2 tbs. butter, soft
1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 3 tbs. milk
Add 1/4 cut coconut to frosting if you desire 

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease bottoms of two 8 inch square cake pans with cooking spray.

FOR CAKE: In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, butter , cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl often. Once blended and mixed well, then mix in by hand, the carrots and nuts.  Spread half in each pan.

Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Check sooner to be sure you don't overbake!  This is the secret.... DON'T OVERBAKE!  Cool competely before frosting, or if you just can't wait, have the frosting ready, and make it a little thinner so you can drizzle it over a hot piece of cake right from the oven!  That is what I usually do.

FROSTING:  Beat all frosting ingredients together in a bowl on low speed. Add milk gradually, starting with 1-2 tbs and add powdered sugar gradually until frosting is smooth and the consistency you want.  Make it thicker if you want to frost your cake after it has cooled.  Make it thinner if you would like to drizzle it over a warm cake.

AND THEN ENJOY!  This is the BEST carrot cake I've made that is gluten free.  It is moist and flavorful and you can't eat just one piece.

HAPPY BAKING (AND EATING)!!!!!!!!

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