Monday, November 9, 2009

Chocolate Cake

My second post today! Scroll down for a project I posted earlier.

This post is a response to Diecut Diva's request for favorite family recipes. If you post a recipe on your blog and then add a link in her comments section you are eligible to win this.

This recipe is my husband's and son's absolute favorite cake. It's a snack cake so it is meant to be eaten sans icing. It also uses mayonnaise instead of eggs. You would never know the mayonnaise is in the cake, all you taste is moist, sweet chocolate cake. I know the recipe by heart.

Chocolate Snack Cake

1 cup cold water
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix water, mayo and vanilla. In another bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add sugar to mayo mixture and stir until sugar is blended. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir until moistened. Pour cake batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes* or until a cake tester shows clean.

*My oven typically runs hot so I do not bake the cake for more than 20 minutes. Overbaking will give you a dry, tasteless, crumbly cake and that would ruin the loveliness of this moist dessert.

If desired, sprinkle with some powdered sugar for a nice decorative effect.


Now with all my excuses behind me I've started doing some handiwork again :) Here is a notebook I made for a friend who just had surgery.

It's a plain composition book that I wrapped with a brown paper bag quite some time ago, so the paper isn't quite as tight and nice as I would have liked it. The paper used is from my scrap pile so I have no idea of the brand or the particular names for the colors (like marigold or sunshine yellow).

I do know the tools I used :) For the butterfly I used the QuicKutz butterfly. The grass or sea (if you think like my husband) was cut using EK Success Dotted Wave border punch. The sun was cut with my Spellbinder Classic Circles, then edged with Stampin Up Pumkin Pie classic ink. The letters were die cut from Cuttlebug's Olivia Alphabet. They are kind of thin and can be hard to work with, but I like the elegant look they give. The flower is a layered Martha Stewart Daisy punch, and the center is Doodlebugs Sugar Coating glitter in Bumblebee topped with a bit of Diamond glaze. And there you have it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I am officially done with my reorganization! I have to tell you it feels really good to have that out of the way. I received my cabinet on Monday and have everything in it that was in plastic bins. So, here are some pictures of my space:

The space still has clutter and I don't think I will ever be fully rid of it (unless my house burns down) but I'm really happy with this.

And just for fun, here is a favorite movie character next to my computer monitor. Can you guess who this is?

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's so sad...

...but I can't even get to my blog on a regular basis. I'd apologize, but I don't even know if there is someone to apologize to. My husband? I'm not even sure if he reads my blog.

I'm the kind of person who either has a hundred projects started or a hundred waiting to be started - well, actually, it's both. My current project is reorganization, which has stalled any current and future crafting project. As you can see below, I can't even get to my crafting space.

It is my intent to put this mess into a craft organizer and have a space that would make Martha Stewart jealous (or at least a Martha Stewart wannabe).

I would actually get my act into gear if I had the CABINET that all the shelves (which I received last week) will go in. Sigh.

Sometime in my life I will be organized and I will be on top of things and I will finish what I started and I will keep a record of finished projects on my blog. Some time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What time?

Where do all these crafty bloggers find the time to create these amazing projects and THEN spend the time putting them up on their blogs??
I'll admit I've been out of town for a bit and had NO internet access, so I was completely unable to post, BUT I've been home for a while now and can't get the opportunity to sit down and finish a project. I figure I'm either the world's greatest procastinator or I'm so severely time/organizationally challenged that I'm actually occupying a dimension in space that existed two days ago.
Right now, I have company visiting but have finally found some time for myself. What I have been doing with that time is a mystery to me. Wait, I do remember finishing a book called Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by The Waiter.

I thought I would really like this book. My family LOVES to eat out and I thought this would be a great way to learn the inside story of waiting tables. I voraciously worked my way through the first half of the book - I found the interaction between the kitchen staff, the waiter and his customers extremely fascinating. I liked the book up until the point I realized I was one of the customers the waiter hated.
"Why?" you might ask, "Would the waiter hate you?" Well, I tip on the total before tax, and I tip in such a manner that my bill total always comes out to an even dollar amount (20 percent, or darn near it). What can I say? It's much easier for me to subtract a even dollar amount from my checkbook. What really got under my skin was that the author put a tipper like myself in the "accountant" category and then wrote that "these people enjoy a special place in hell." I'm not a rude person, I say please, thank you, how are you, and so on. As I read on, I realized that the only customers that this waiter liked were those who tipped 25 percent AFTER taxes. Cynical was an understatement for this gentleman. Not everyone in the world is going to be sugar sweet and free with their money. Why hate the rest of us? I wonder if normal fits somewhere in this author's realm of waiting tables, or if there is just 25 percent tippers and everyone else (who, according to my understanding, are supposed to go to hell). Needless to say, I didn't like the book.
I'm now reading The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds. I think it was an Oprah pick sometime back. Sounds very interesting, and I hope to get through it in the next couple of weeks. I'll post a review and summary of the book in time (sometime, not sure when, but sometime).

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Well, this is a first for me. I am completely prepared for my card swap/project day with the ladies. This NEVER happens. I'm usually throwing stuff in a box hoping something will come to me when I get there. Then I spend my time trying to piece together whatever I brought.
I've already shown you the two swaps I am bringing, the Halloween card and Trick or Treat bag. Well, here is a card that I am bringing to make.

I even had time to cut out all the little pieces so we can spend our time stamping and pasting :) I'm too good.

Here is what I used:

~Ingredient List~

Paper: Ruby Red cardstock from Stampin Up. Green designer paper from Stampin Up's Patterns Pack II. Speckled off-white paper from my own stash.

Stamps: Papertrey's Fall Elegance and Fancy Flourishes

Inks: Papertrey's Pallette Hybrid Inks in Orangerie, New Leaf and Dark Chocolate. Tim Holtz's Distress Ink in Tea Dye for the aged look around the die cut outs. Versamark for the watermark flourish on the card base.

Other: Spellbinder's Large Deckled Rectangles and Small Petite Ovals. Martha Stewart's Lace border punch. Brown satin ribbon (5/8th inch) from Michaels and clear dew drops.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trick or Treat

Oy Vey! I'm killing myself with this bad picture taking. I need to practice where in the house I can get good lighting and can take some good pictures. I took the pictures for the following project outside, but that's not always possible (could be raining, could be dark, could be smoggy from a fire in California, or there might be Bigfoot waiting to sell me a magazine subscription). Anyway here is what I've been working on...

This is a little treat bag for the ladies in my stamping group. I took a picture from the side so you could see the little chocolates I put inside.

And here is a stamp image that I couldn't leave out. I'm not typically one for whimsy, but sometimes one just catches my eye and I have to use it. This is one of those images.

I used a 3.5 x 8.5 inch piece of cardstock and scored it at 3.5", 4" and 7.5". I went ahead and creased all the score marks so that the paper folded into something like a small envelope with a 1/2 inch flat bottom. I then took my deckle scissors and cut the little fold of the envelope for a small decorative edge.

For the front of the card I cut a vanilla cardstock circle with my 2 inch circle punch and stamped it with "Trick or Treat". I added stickles for a bit of glow. I then cut out a 1 x 3.5 inch piece of black cardstock and punched out Martha Stewart's Graveyard Gravestone border punch. Then assembled the front as shown in the picture above.

For the back, I used Spellbinders Label Three for the die cut and stamped the cat image directly onto designer paper. I also stamped the image onto white cardstock and cut out just the toilet paper to paste over the image on the designer paper. I then embellished the back with a die cut from Sizzix Scribble Swirls and a single dew drop.

At this point I added my chocolates (in a 3 x 4 inch cellophane bag) by stapling it to the top inside back of the "envelope". I closed the envelope up and punched on either side of the exposed staple a ribbon slot with my Fiskars punch. I then added 14 inches of 1 inch black organdy ribbon. Tied it shut and voila! A cute Trick or Treat gift.

~Ingredient List~

Paper: Elegant Eggplant, black, vanilla, and white cardstock from Stampin Up. Orange designer paper from Patterns Pack II from Stampin Up.

Stamps: Ghouls & Goblins clear stamps from Inkadinkadoo

Other embellishments: Graveyard border punch from Martha Stewart, 2-inch circle punch, Spellbinders Nestabilities Label Three, Sizzix Scribble Swirls die, Crystal Stickles, 1" black organdy ribbon and a dew drop from my own stash.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Yes, I'm still working on those crafts - just haven't had time to take some pictures.

The family had a very busy weekend. Usually we are a stay at home kind of family, but this past holiday weekend we had a lot planned. Saturday we attended the opening Air Force Falcon football game. Here are a few pics...

The Air Force usually has a fly over of some sort at every game. These are F-15's.

Here is a parachutist coming into the stadium before the game.

And here are the Air Force Falcons!! The game was a complete blowout, Air Force won 72 - 0!! Of course, it really wasn't an even match but I really didn't expect to see the Falcons score so high.

Then that evening the family went to a hot air balloon event called a "Balloon Glow". We've been here for several years but had yet to get to this annual event. It was beautiful!

Then we returned on Monday to watch a mass ascension. That was great too!

It was a very fun but exhausting weekend for us homebodies. I am hoping to have some time this weekend to actually post a project or two. Looking forward to getting them on the blog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crafting Time

Its amazing how I overestimate how many hours there are in a day. You would think that I would have caught on that it is always the same, never enough. I started this blog with the intent of completing at least one project a week and posting it. Ha! I've already blown that resolution. I did complete a project this weekend and I am almost hesitant to post it - because I don't like the way it came out. But I want to at least prove that I try. So here is a picture of my latest attempt at crafting...

Its small because I don't want you to look too closely at it. It is supposed to be a recipe or coupon box. I haven't decided which - because I haven't even decided if I am keeping it at all. I bought a clearance recipe box at Michaels for 47 cents. It was already covered with a cute apple picture but I thought I could do better (ha!) so I re-covered it with some K & Company paper, added some spellbinder die cuts with Stampin Up's Rustic Rooster. I also tried my hand at coloring with copic markers. That was a disaster. Either I picked the wrong colors to blend, didn't blend them properly or both! Then I added the buttons in the vain hope that it might improve. Not really. It also doesn't help that I can't tie a ribbon.

I've also discovered I'm lousy at taking close-up pics. I need to figure out how this camera works - I've only had it for a year. I also know my lighting is terrible in the house. Need to plan better and take pics outside in full sun - or something close to it.

So, I haven't completely abandoned the idea of doing a blog. I'm sure as I muddle through all this new stuff and find a way to create a few more hours in the day, I'll be just fine. Stick with me, okay?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Halloween and Glimmer Mist

I'm part of a group of ladies that get together once a month to trade cards and do several make and takes. This September we are doing Halloween/Fall cards and I came up with this one.

I embossed my favorite new stencil, "Bare Trees" from Dreamweaver, using the Big Shot on SU kraft paper (see yesterday's post for how-to). Using the stencil to mask the embossed kraft paper I lightly sprayed it with Tattered Angels Black Gold Glimmer Mist.
Now I don't know about you but I can make the biggest mess with glitter sprays. It does not matter how much I cover my workspace, I will get glitter mist everywhere. So I recently discovered that I can keep my mess to a minimum if I put what is to be glittered in a box and then spray it. Voila'! The mess is easily contained and I don't have to wipe down everything in sight. Here is the kraft paper and stencil just after spraying:

Don't spray too heavily, a light misting will be enough to show a contrast. If you use too much you risk having the spray ooze under the stencil.

Final touches were the witch image (Broderbund Printshop) printed on SU Barely Banana Cardstock and cut out with a circle punch. Touched up the moon with Crystal Stickles. Used black organdy ribbon with a hand fashioned buckle. Happy Halloween (from Inkadinkado) is embossed in black. Paper is from Stampin Up, Kraft, Pumpkin Pie and Basic Black.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Using Spellbinders Impressabilities with the Big Shot

I thought I'd have time between my first post and this one to actually get a project done - but that's not happening. What I have been doing is trying to get the Spellbinders Impressabilities to work on my Stampin Up Big Shot. I was working with Spellbinders' tan embossing mats, the platform, and the cutting pads AND I was getting nothing. Very frustrating. Finally after some research I realized I was working with the wrong Big Shot accessories. So, to save someone else from the same hassle, I thought I would share how to get the Impressabilities to work.

In addition to the Big Shot, you will need the multipurpose platform, one cutting pad, the embossing plate, cardstock (preferably the lightweight variety), Sizzix's silicone rubber pad (found in the Texturz Starter Kit), and the Impressions pad (also in the Starter Kit).

First place the platform on the Big Shot with Tab 1 & 2 open. You will not be using these tabs.

Then place one cutting pad on the platform.

Place your Impressability plate (or any thin metal embossing plate) on the cutting pad.

Cover with a piece of lightweight cardstock.

Then lay the silicone rubber sheet over the cardstock.

Finally, put the Sizzix Impressions pad on top and roll through the Big Shot.

Voila'! You can remove the cardstock from the embossing plate, or leave it on and use the plate as a stencil. Here I have removed it to show the detail as is on the cardstock.

ETA: One more photo to show the embossing detail. Here I took a classic (water-based dye) stampin spot, placed it upside down and flat against the cardstock. I then drew it lightly across the paper. The ink highlighted the raised areas. Pretty cool I think :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Naming the blog

I seriously doubt anyone is going to be reading this. With a reported 200 million plus blogs floating around on the internet, and sanguine scaredy cat created all of two minutes ago - what are the chances you would find it? Anyway, this is a test message to see how this looks on the web. So I thought I would explain the blog name.

Since wanting to start this blog I've tried to come up with some catchy titles that won't pigeonhole me into one particular category or another. I started with "this n that" and that blog was taken 7 years ago by someone who posted once and that was it. I then tried "neither here nor there" and that was taken by another absentee blogger. I even did some research to see if I could get google to take them off (give them to ME) but couldn't find a reasonable way to contact them about the dead blogs.

So, then I gave some thought to all the things I like to do, but they are wide and varied and, again, wouldn't want to confine myself to one thing or another. Hey, that might have been a good blog, "one thing or another". Bet you that one is taken too. ANYWAY, I thought about my character and how that could be turned into a blog title. Difficult to sum up one's self into three words but I came up with "the optimistic pessimist". Well, guess what? That, too, was taken as was "optimistic pessimist". I had thought it would have been the perfect title, for deep down I am a pessimist who tries very hard (most of the time) to see the brighter side of life. Not that my life is rotten (it's not) but I tend to lean towards doom and gloom, catch myself doing so, and then try to find the bright spots in whatever I've condemned myself too. It can be a struggle to be happy somedays, but for the most part I would say I succeed in at least being content. Not a bad thing to be.

Well, how did optimistic pessimist get to be saguine scaredy cat you might ask (that is if you've even gotten this far)? Through a thesaurus search. I initially just changed optimist to sanguine but thought that looked funny with pessimist. Then I came across "scaredy cat" as an acceptable synonym to pessimist. I'm not really a "scaredy cat" but I do like cats and I think it sounds nice with sanguine. And voila' "sanguine scaredy cat".

So, what do I plan to do with this blog now that I've created it? Mostly I hope to post handicrafts that I have created and instructions for those who wish to recreate them. My favorite things are created with paper, but I also have done sewing, knitting, sculpting, wreath making, home decorating, etc. etc. I also enjoy my cats, reading, chatting and hanging out with friends and family - and thought that I would share some of these things once in a while.

So, there you have it. The intro to sanguine scaredy cat. Thank you for reading my blog, its really amazing to me that you made it here anyway :)