Friday, June 22, 2012
Welcome to this week’s Food Friday! It’s Casharina… here to bring you a Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Recipe! Wow! That’s a long title! ;) But boy is it delicious and really it’s not even that bad for you!! These little treats are EASY to make and are great for lazy summer days!
Let’s get started…grab the ingredients and ask the kiddos if they want to join in on the fun! The sprinkles always make my girls happy!! (Although for this post we didn’t end up doing sprinkles, itty bitty was gone to Mamaws by the time they were frozen and ready for dipping!)
For this tasty treat you simply need a few ingredients! (That’s ALWAYS nice!) For each batch you will use:
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening
- Popsicle sticks
- Wax paper
- Sprinkles, nuts, etc. that you’d like to add!
To get started you’ll need peel your bananas. I like to get the girls to help me with this part; it makes them feel important when they’re helping and it’s GREAT quality time. This time I only had the itty bitty with me so we especially loved the one on one time!
After they’re peeled, you’ll cut them in half. I’ve found that this size is best for dipping and storing.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, and then begin carefully sticking your popsicle sticks into the bottom portion of your banana halves. Tip: Be careful so that you don’t accidently poke it through the side. I try to put them in at least half way through the banana to help ensure they won’t fall off during the dipping and eating stages!
Now pop them in the freezer until they’re frozen I usually wait a few hours, and have even waited overnight. (Do not grab by the stick until they’re completely frozen!)
For this portion you have to work pretty quickly. The chocolate will start to dry very quickly, so if you’re planning on letting the kiddos “decorate” the goodies they need a ready work station. I usually place a piece of wax paper over a cookie sheet and have the sprinkles handy for them to use immediately.
Measure out the amount of chocolate chips you’ll need. I usually use a 2 cup glass measuring cup to do the mixing/melting/dipping in and it works pretty good.
- Melt the chocolate chips. I have a wonderful button on my microwave that is specifically for melting butter, chocolate, or marshmallows, and it works GREAT for me! If you don’t have this option simply melt your chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in a microwave safe bowl on high power for up to 1 minute.
- After this first cycle, take them out of the microwave and stir, if they’re easy to stir you’re ready…if they still a little on the stiff side put them back in for 10-15 seconds as needed to get that soft dipping consistency.
- Now, you’ll take your bananas out of the freezer, I only take a few out at a time, so that they don’t defrost while waiting their turns to dip into the chocolate. Once you dip, simply swirl them around in the container until the banana half is covered to your liking.
- Quickly hand it off to your child/helper to begin the sprinkling. The chocolate will dry very quickly so you have to work fast to ensure the banana is covered before the chocolate dries. Sometimes I will lay them on the cookie sheet for the girls and just let them decorate them on one side, they don’t seem to mind, it’s still fun for them. We’ve tried all sorts of goodies on the bananas, from sprinkles, to sugar crystals, peanut pieces, and even white chocolate swirled on top of the dark chocolate. These are so much fun and so tasty.
- Once they’ve dried place them back into the freezer, when they are totally frozen you can place them into a Ziploc bag to last for a few days?? Weeks?? Who knows, we always eat them within a few days! ;)
That’s it for today, I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you choose to make them I’d love to hear how they turn out and what kinds of toppings you placed on them!
Be sure to stop back by on Monday for the Layout of the Week!! Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Food Stuff, Uncategorized
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Hello everyone! :o) It’s Kylie here today and I’m super-excited to share our new project SCRAP templates for JUNE. Hope you LOVE them as much as I do and enjoy making them your own…by adding your photos, a little paper, a little embellishment here and there, your all-important story-telling…and of course, some L.O.V.E!
You can click on the image below…or, CLICK HERE to download your NEW templates!!
Are you new to project SCRAP? …well then, if you are not familiar with our little scrap project (if you ARE familiar with it, skip this paragraph, as always, lol)… THIS POST is a great place to learn more! Also, if you click on the PROJECT SCRAP 2012 category (on the right side of the blog)…you can ALWAYS easily find ALL posts related to the subject! It’s your go-to place if you want to keep up with everything in 2012! But, as a quick little reminder… here is the project in a nutshell:::
Again, I hope you enjoy playing with this month’s two-page spread…filling it with your precious pics & memories, in combination with your fabulous Shabby Shoppe goodies…doesn’t get any better than that, now does it?!! ;o) And…of course, do not forget to upload YOUR pages in the 2012 project scrap GALLERY for all of us to admire! That’s what project SCRAP is all about…inspiring and motivating each other to get the year SCRAPPED! SP will be posting her JUNE ‘check-in’ in a few weeks time…and will, of course, be sure to include some gorgeous gallery inspiration using these brand new June templates…and maybe a lil’ sneak peak of the July templates! Can’t wait!!
Thanks for joining us today and be sure to stop by tomorrow! Casharina will be sharing a yummy little treat for Food Friday!!! :o)
Free (not desktops), project Scrap 2012, Uncategorized
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Hi all! Kylie here…and can you believe that this is my very first focus on photos post! ;o) I do not pretend to have any real talent or technique when it comes to photography…I’m strictly a point-and-shot & hope for the best kind of girl!! So, today my post is all about sharing some cropping tips to enhance your photos post-click! There are so many components in crafting standout digi-scrap layouts…and a good crop can make all the difference!!
Beckie, photographer-extraordinaire, has touched on in-camera cropping in some of her previous photography posts. She said: “Professional photographers get gorgeous results by controlling every aspect of what is in the frame for each shot. Most of the time, the best photos are those with a clear and obvious subject! You can do this through in-camera crop, which means that you “zoom in” on only that subject matter that is important to you. (Click here for more information, from Beckie, on lenses and crop sensors) Often, however, we’re so busy (and hopefully caught up having fun!) that sometimes you’ll need to crop the image later, before you use it.” I agree! And, if you’re like me, generally, there is little time to think about the all-important composition of a photo because, rightly or wrongly, I’m too concerned with capturing the moment…kids move QUICKLY!!! However, thanks to our photo-editing software we can easily crop images in ways that can instantly transform them…making the composition all the more interesting and, at the same time, more appealing to the eye.
Cropping is a simple task. All we are really doing is removing part of an image…too easy, huh?!! Most of us should be familiar with the crop tool and how to use it. In most programs it looks like this…
If you’ve never cropped digital photos before here are a couple tutorials provided by Adobe that go through the process step-by-step.
Before we all get a little bit too crop-happy, let’s consider a few things:
ALWAYS CREATE A COPY/DUPLICATE of the original photo first, before you even touch the crop tool. Make all the necessary edits (by tinkering with adjustment layers, the various tools in photoshop or via pre-made photo actions etc) until you are happy with the result…then it is time to crop your image. Saving a separate copy to the original is sooo very IMPORTANT…I think we all understand the need to be careful with this, because once the original or master file is saved-over you can’t go back, can you?!!
Consider the design of your layout and the story you want to tell. Then think about how you can creatively re-work your photo/s to match your design concept and assist your story-telling. A little fore-thought and pre-planning can help you create amazing pages…pages that catch everyone’s eye!!
Choose your focal point and trim away all the distractions and/or empty space…so that your focus really does become your FOCUS!
Choose a photo shape
that complements your layout. Rectangles are our default, but you don’t have to stop there…make the most of that standard rectangle to really focus on the subject of your photo. Or think about squares, circles, ovals, other fun shapes, or even a combination of shapes using your shape tools and clipping masks, or an extraction
…just don’t over do it or your page may end up a complete & utter jumble and the eye won’t know what to focus on!! ;o) And if you work with Photoshop Elements have you tried the Cookie Cutter tool
? Oh…and don’t forget about SP’s Scallops, Shapes & More
set…an array of awesome pre-made shapes to clip to!
Take advantage of contrast! If you are choosing your background papers first, then have a look at the design you’ve picked – circles, polka-dots?? …well, contrast the paper with square photos…and vice-versa!
Use the Rule of Thirds
to guide you…creating focus that is a little off-center! According to the rule of thirds a photo or image is best composed when broken into nine equal parts (three sections and four quartiles). The focal point (for example the subject’s eye, face, or smile) is placed in one of the four quartiles. When used properly, it automatically creates an image that is more visually appealing than one that has the subject placed directly in the center. It gives a photograph motion and energy by drawing the viewer into the picture, instead of the subject of the picture coming straight at them. If you are lucky enough to have Photoshop CS5, or above, it provides a rule of thirds ‘crop overlay guide’ within the crop options tool bar. If you don’t have CS5 our good friend Damien Symonds
has a rule of thirds action for Photoshop
that you can download and use to help you crop to perfection! Also, check if your camera has a rule of thirds guide function?…have a play – it may save you time in post-editing!
Don’t forget to consider balance and proportion when cropping! With digi-scrapping it doesn’t matter so much, but sometimes it’s nice to stick to standard photo sizes…4×6, 5×7 and so on…to add a little more structure, formality and realism to a page! And don’t just concentrate on image size dimensions when it comes to balance and proportion…think also about the space & shapes that have formed within the actual image…negative space vs positive space…triangles…points of interest. Check that you have achieved balance before you apply that crop!! ;o) Oh, and balance does not always mean symmetry.
If you are cropping a number of photos you may want to keep your crop area to the same ratio. You can do this by setting your width and height boxes instead of using the free transform option of dragging the marquee selection handles over the photo randomly. Click on “clear” if you want to change the size or go back to free transform.
Try not to crop limbs (feet, legs, arms, hands etc) in awkward places! There’s no real rule to this…but if the composition looks wrong to you somehow…then it probably is. And if the original shot you captured made the chop - oops!! – attempt to improve the composition by adding a frame or some elements to disguise the awkward ‘amputee’.
Here are some other cool ideas for cropping…just experiment and have FUN!!
Now that I’ve outlined a few cropping tips, to be honest, I don’t technically use the crop tool as much as you’d think…I fake it!! First, I create a photo shape layer, using the rectangle tool for example, and then clip my photo to the shape (you can go with your preferred method of creating a shape layer and if you need help with clipping then you’ll find help right here in the Shoppe Tutorials for both PS and PSE!). In a way it’s the same as using a layered template! I then re-size and position the photo exactly where I want it. I consider this a faux-crop as I haven’t actually removed/trimmed away any of the photo. I prefer this way because I already have my “photo area” locked-in as far as my page design is concerned, but I still have the freedom to move the photo layer around until I’m 100% happy with its position within the shape (my “photo area”). Just be careful, going back to your photo and moving it round & round and re-sizing up & down within the shape, will cause the photo’s resolution to deteriorate. My advice is to play with your positioning until you are happy and then grab the original photo file again, place it over the other photo, in it’s final position…then delete the first photo layer -> in other words: the one that has lost some of it’s resolution and is now a bit on the fuzzy side (you can tell this easily by zooming in at 100%)!! Of course if you get the photo in the right spot on the first move you don’t have to worry about that last step.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post…and it has given you a few fun ideas to play with next time you edit your photos for a layout! If you have any questions, please leave a comment on this post and I will do my best to answer it!! :o)
Thanks for stopping by…I’ll be back tomorrow with your JUNE projectSCRAP templates!! :o)
Photography, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Monday, June 18, 2012
It’s that time of the week everyone! Jenelle here with our latest Layout of the Week post! I really love doing these posts even though it is extremely difficult to narrow my choice down to just one layout (I know we always say that, but it really is so hard!) However, there was one particular layout this week that TOTALLY jumped out at me in the gallery. I’m sure you noticed it too.
This week, I’ve chosen a layout called Just Married by the very talented mcmoran as our LOTW and here it is… just look at all that fabulousness!!!
First up, I adore the colour scheme mcmoran has chosen to complement this wonderful B&W photo of her parents on their wedding day (looking oh-so-stylish I must add!). Combining the Twirl and Darling papers, along with SP’s Just Married stickers is a perfect scrapping match. I also really like the way mcmoran has added her parents’ names to the wedding cake. This fabulous photograph is still the main focal point on this page and these pops of red are the perfect embellishment in my opinion!
Congratulations mcmoran, you will be emailed a $10 gift certificate to the Shabby Shoppe today. Have a great time shoppe-ing and we can’t wait to see another fabulous layout from you in the gallery soon. (Don’t forget to check your Spam folder if you don’t see our email in your inbox.)
Thanks for checking in today. I’d really like to encourage you all to continue posting your Shabby Shoppe layouts in our gallery as we are always on the lookout for stand-out pages. And you’ve got to be ‘in in to win it’ , right?! And if you haven’t yet made that big leap and posted your first layout yet, why don’t you give it a try? We’d love to see how you use SP’s wonderful products in your memory keeping.
Kylie will be back here on Wednesday with our latest edition of Focus on Photos, so we’ll see you all again then. In the meantime, happy scrapping!
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized
Friday, June 15, 2012
Hello everyone! Casharina here, bringing you another hybrid project! When I found a set of 4 burner covers from a little this and that store for a buck, I KNEW I could do something with them! I decided to create a mini message board for a teacher. This project is another simple project that could be created for your home, or as a little gift to give someone to brighten their day! I think it’d make a CUTE door hanger as well!
Gather your supplies:
A set of burner covers (may be already decorated, colored, and used, we’re going to cover them!)
E600 or another type of all purpose glue (be sure it’s STRONG)
Photo paper (I always use Office Depot brand Matte finish)
Digital supplies (I ended up using the beautiful Blossom
Ric rac or ribbon
Paint the covers –
I only painted the outside edges of each cover but I wish I would’ve painted the whole thing. Also, next time I do them I’ll probably either leave it all white or paint them in a color that matches my theme a little better. When I did the painting I had a whole other “theme” in mind for the boards. I was originally planning to use the Darling Paper Collection
by adding the black and white damask paper as a background and then adding a large monogrammed letter in the center for the Teachers name…however as you see, that is NOT how it ended up! LOL! Nope, I had to get too crafty and add more colors and take advantage of the fun embellishments that the Shabby Shoppe
has to offer! It was fun and I do LOVE the colors, but next time I think I’ll design the cover and then choose the paint! SO ALL OF THAT TO SAY: if you KNOW what colors you’ll use, go ahead and paint up the covers, otherwise wait until you’ve designed them and then paint
Design your cover – first open a page as large as you need to create your project. I chose to use an 8.5×11 sheet of paper, so I opened an 11×8.5 document. I then chose the elliptical marquee tool and set the feathering to 0. I created a circle as large as I could to cover the whole page, be sure to hold in the shift key while dragging the circle out to create an even circle. This is where I chose to design my layout, inside this circle.
The paper will not be large enough to completely cover the cover. You can either add an additional portion of paper to the top and bottom (that’s what I’ve done, and then I added ric rac to cover the seams), or you could paint the whole thing and create a smaller circle to paste in the center of the cover and then mod podge this.
Design a layout
– I chose to add in different embellishments and frames to add various papers using the gorgeous Blossom collection
! I just love the rainbow, flowers, and vibrant colors of the papers, beautiful!! I also used a monogram stamp from the Carousel Monograms
set, and created the ABC sheet from the font Traveling Typewriter - one of my favorite free fonts by far!
After I was finished I printed the page. I then printed a second sheet of ALL orange to use as filler for the top and bottom. To ensure the whole burner cover was covered I cut the all orange sheet into two pieces and taped a portion of it on the top of the circle and one on the bottom of the circle and then traced the cover onto the back of the photo papers.
Cut the outline and then you’re ready to mod podge the design to the burner cover. Before adding the print, make sure you’ve got your covers painted in a color you love! ;) I always apply a thin layer of mod podge onto the back of the photo paper and the cover, and then I apply another layer on top of the design to give it more of a finish.
Add ric rac to cover the seams of the paper – optional
A little extra: Add decorative magnets by placing small pieces of scrapbook paper on the back of glass decorative stones, and then adding a magnet.
Okay that’s it for today, if you choose to make a project like this we’d LOVE to see it in the hybrid gallery!!
Check back Monday for Layout of the Week! Until then, I hope you all have a lovely weekend (and a Happy Father’s Day to all of the guys in your life – and if you missed Kylie’s free Father’s Day card simply CLICK HERE!)
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized