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Monday, May 30, 2011

Featured Freebies for the Week of May 30th

Happy Monday! Here are this week's wonderful digital images and stamps freebies found on websites and blogs or shared with us by friends and followers:

Victoria at Paper Squirrel shares a little girl with flowers digital image

Altered Scrap is all about animals this month and shares a moose, a rooster, a lion, and a cat digital image

When the Scrap Hits the Fun (just love that blog name) shares the With Love, Have Fun, and Happy Birthday ticket digital stamps

Di's Digi Downloads shares a little girl digital stamp

That's all for this week! Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In Honor of Memorial Day


Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May.  Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States.  First enacted to Honor Union and  Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end. It began as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the civil war, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not.

Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events.

The Unknown Soldier 
by Roger J. Robicheau

You need not ever know my name
This unknown soldier seeks no fame

I'm here to bring out thought from you
May your heart see more than your view

America, we marched with pride
We gave our life, for you we died

How well we knew the time might come
When life could sound that final drum

Please think of us as life moves on
We tried so hard till that last dawn

Do let our spirit fill the land
Pass treasured freedom, hand to hand

God blessed this country with such love
Hold in your heart, abundance of

And when you stand before my grave
Think not of one, but each who gave

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday!
Creativity Bugs ~ Sandy and Sue 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Recipe Friday: Greek Chicken


Lemon is widely grown all over the world and found in abundance in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mexico and West Indies. Unripe lemons are green in color and when they mature, the color chances to a deep yellow. Lemon is a must in the kitchen, whether for cooking or using as a household natural cleaning product.


Today's recipe uses lemons and oregano to make a fabulous rub on chicken. You can either grill it on an outdoor or indoor grill and serve it will a nice fresh salad to complete the meal.

Greek Chicken 


Ingredients
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
5 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon water
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
4 lemon wedges
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation
Prepare grill.
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Combine lemon rind and next 6 ingredients (through minced garlic); rub evenly over both sides of chicken. 
Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 3-5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.
Remove from heat. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge evenly over each chicken breast half. Sprinkle parsley evenly over chicken.

Greek farmers' salad: 
Combine 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves, stirring with a whisk. Combine 3 cups coarsely chopped English cucumber, 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes, 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper, 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, and 1/4 cup halved kalamata olives. Drizzle dressing over salad, toss to coat. Serve with lemon wedges.

Happy Friday!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: candles, business card holders, and a necklace

I don’t have any personal tutorials to show today as I have been job hunting and interviewing. However, I didn't want to disappoint anyone so I have included a few links to other blogs that I found some great tutorials.

Pebbles Inc has a tutorial on how to make a candle decoration with rolled flowers which I think would look wonderful as part of a table centerpiece.


Dee from Create! with Dee has a tutorial on how to make tea light cakes using battery operated tea lights. This are simply adorable and would make great party decorations for a special birthday celebration.


Michelle at I Stamped That has a tutorial on business card holders. Perfect to display on a reception desk or at craft fairs.


Simply Modern Mom has a tutorial on glass pendant necklaces. Who could have imaged that a little bit of Modge Podge, some glass tiles, and beautiful papers could turn out like this?!


Hope you enjoyed these tutorials and have fun making a few new projects!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Monday, May 23, 2011

Featured Freebies for the Week of May 25th

Happy Monday to Everyone!

Here are this week's digital stamps and images that we found on blogs, websites, or shared with us by friends and followers:

Fimolas Arts shares another adorable mole digi stamp called mole in a flowerpot

When the Scrap Hits the Fan shares a few sentiment digital stamps including Lov Ewe, Birthday, and Happiness

See My Crafts Digital Arts shares a gorgeous wedding cake digital image

Meljens Designs has a Hoorah sentiment digital image to share

Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recipe Friday: Side Dishes in Packets

To accompany those yummy easy meals in a packet, here are a few side dishes in a packet that you can make.

Grilled New Potato Packets


Ingredients:
1/2 lb. each red and white new potatoes (about 4 each)
¼ cup  vinaigrette or Italian dressing (ie. Krafts Sundried Tomato or Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette)
2 Tbsp grated  Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp  chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

HEAT grill to medium heat.
PLACE potatoes in center of 18-inch-long piece heavy-duty foil; drizzle with dressing. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
GRILL 18 to 20 min. or until potatoes are tender.
CUT slits in foil to release steam. Open packet. Top potatoes with remaining ingredients.

Southwestern Potato Packet


Ingredients:

1 sheet (24x18 inch) heavy-duty aluminum foil
1 medium  onion, thinly sliced
4 medium potatoes (1-1/2 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp.  seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp.  ground cumin
1 can (4-1/2 oz.) chopped green chiles, undrained
1 cup  mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup  sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Spray foil with cooking spray. Place onion in center of foil; top with potatoes. Mix seasoned salt, chili powder and cumin; sprinkle over potatoes. Top with chilies.
BRING up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
PLACE packet on grill; cover with lid. Grill 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Open foil; sprinkle potatoes with cheese. Let stand 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve topped with salsa, sour cream and cilantro.
Use Your Oven:
Preheat oven to 450°F. Assemble foil packet as directed; place, seam side up, on baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Open packet, sprinkle with cheese and continue as directed.

Cheesy Vegetable Packets

Ingredients:
1/2 lb (about 3) small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 lb.  zuchinni & summer squash, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 lb. baby carrots
1 large  onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup  shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1   lime, cut into quarters

Directions:

PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Toss vegetables with dressing.
SPOON vegetables evenly on center of 4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packets, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
PLACE packets on grate of grill; cover with lid. Grill 20 min. Remove packets from grill. Open carefully; add 2 Tbsp. cheese to each packet and reseal. Just before serving, open packets. Sprinkle each packet with 2 tsp. cilantro and squeeze juice of lime quarter.
Yellow Squash, Tomato, and Onion Packets


Ingredients:

1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium  yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 large plum tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup  chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup KRAFT Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Place onions in center of (24x18-inch) sheet of foil; top with squash and tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil.
BRING up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
GRILL 15 min. or until vegetables are tender. Open top of packet; sprinkle vegetables with cheese. Let stand 3 min. or until cheese is melted.

Have a great time grilling and enjoying a wonderful meal with family and friends!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Recipe Friday: Meals in Packets

Looking for a quick, easy, and only a few ingredients meal? Well, look no further. These packet meals are easy to put together, requires only a few staple items from the freezer, taste great, and requires very little clean up.

Italian Chicken Packet


Ingredients:

4 cups frozen broccoli cuts
1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup light Italian dressing
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 breasts = 1.25 lb)

Directions:
  •  Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine broccoli, drained tomatoes and dressing in medium bowl.
  • For each packet, lay two 20x12-inch sheets of regular foil on top of each other.
  • Place 1 chicken breast on each foil packet. Spoon broccoli and tomato mixture equally over each chicken breast. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather.
  • Place packets on baking sheet; bake 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers (165°F). Carefully open ends of packets to allow steam to escape before fully opening.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size        =             4 servings (1 chicken breat and 1 cup vegetables per serving)
Calories              =             266
Dietary Fiber      =             4 grams
Fat                     =             8 grams (2 grams saturated)
Sodium              =             480 mg
Sugars                =             4 grams

Barbecue Chicken Dinner in a Packet


Ingredients:

PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
1/2 cup Hunt's® Original Barbecue Sauce
2 cups thinly sliced small red-skinned potatoes (4 to 6 potatoes)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz each)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese

Directions:
  •  Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat according to manufacturer's directions. Place four 18x12-inch pieces of heavy foil on counter. Spray each with cooking spray. For each packet, spread a generous teaspoon barbecue sauce in center. Place 1/2 cup potatoes in single layer over sauce. Spoon another teaspoon sauce over potatoes.
  • Top potatoes with chicken. Spoon 1 teaspoon sauce over each breast. Top each with 1/4th bell pepper, onion and black pepper. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather.
  • Place packets on grate of covered grill. Grill 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers (165°F) and potatoes are tender. Carefully open packets; sprinkle 1/4th cheese on top of each breast. Close foil and let stand 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

*** Packets may be baked on shallow pan in 425°F oven 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers and potatoes are tender. ***

Nutritional Informaiton:

Serving Size        =             4 packets (1 packet per serving)
Calories              =             369
Dietary Fiber       =             2 grams
Fat                      =             8 grams (3 grams saturated)
Sodium                =             452 mg
Sugars                 =             12 grams

Santa Fe Chicken Packets


Ingredients:

1 can (15 oz each) Rosarita® Premium Whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz each)
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend

Directions: 
  • Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat according to manufacturer's directions. Stir together beans, corn, drained tomatoes and cumin in medium bowl.
  • Place four 18x12-inch pieces of heavy foil on counter. Spray each with cooking spray. Place 1 breast in center on each piece of foil. Spoon 1/4th bean mixture over chicken for each packet. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather.
  • Place packets on grate of covered grill. Grill 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers (165°F). Carefully open packets; sprinkle 1/4th cheese on top of each breast. Close foil and let stand 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

*** Packets may be baked on shallow pan in 425°F oven 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers. Or, to save aluminum foil, place chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon bean mixture over chicken; cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake in 375°F oven 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers. ***
Nutritional Information:
Serving Size        =             4 packets (1 packet per serving)
Calories              =             386
Dietary Fiber       =             6 grams
Fat                      =             9 grams (3 grams saturated)
Sodium                =             600 mg
Sugars                 =             4 grams

Italian Style Salmon Packet

Ingredients:
1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Stewed Tomatoes, drained
1 can (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
4 frozen salmon fillets (4 fillets = 1 lb)
PAM® Original No-Stick CookingSpray 
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine drained tomatoes, beans, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl; set aside.
  • For each packet, lay two 20x12-inch sheets of regular foil on top of each other. Place about 1/2 cup bean mixture in center, spreading slightly.
  • Spray both sides of each FROZEN fillet with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and salt over fillets. Place on bean mixture. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather.
  • Place packets on baking sheet; bake 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork (145°F). Carefully open ends of packets to allow steam to escape before fully opening.
Nutritional Information:
Serving Size        =             4 servings (1 filet plus ½ cup bean mixture per serving)
Calories              =             309
Dietary Fiber       =             7 grams
Fat                      =             13 grams (3 grams saturated)
Sodium                =             569 mg
Sugars                 =             4 grams

Happy Eating!! 
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Thursday, May 19, 2011

BESTeam Weekly Feature - TiLTcreations

Come check out this week's BESTeam featured site TiLTcreations Etsy shop owned by Teresa from Michigan.

TiLTcreations owner Teresa is a stay at home mom to 2 wonderful boys. She likes to sew and create to keep sane, “making her family quite happy in the process too”. Teresa loves to create whenever possible with whatever she has on hand… paints, fabric, thread, clay, inks, etc.

TiLTcreations is a beautiful shop filled with handmade handbags and home accessories. Here are a few pieces that caught my eye.



This handmade, one of a kind, handbag is made with a fun cotton print of black dots and green swirls on a red background. The Janet bag is designed to fit comfortably in the crook of your arm or swinging freely in your hands.

It is fully lined with a solid green cotton fabric. A light interfacing gives the bag some shape and stability.
It closes simply with a magnetic snap. There are no interior pockets.

Brown and Pink Rose Oval Fabric Basket



This handmade, one of a kind, fabric oval basket is made with a pre-quilted interior making it both soft and sturdy. The handles are cotton twill webbing.

The exterior cotton fabric is a print of pink roses on a chocolate brown background. Trimming the top edge is a solid pink cotton fabric.

Bright Circles Market Tote



Vibrant blue, red, green and yellow spots adorn this 100% Polyester wipe with damp cloth fabric. Nylon webbing straps are sewn all the way down the sides and underneath to give extra support. 

Brown Daisy Wristlet with Flower Embellishment



This handmade, one of a kind, wristlet is decorated with ruffle line and flower. It's cute and simple and just the right size for carrying the basics.

The main exterior fabric is brown cotton with small ivory daisies printed in rows. The ruffle and flower are made from a solid brown duck cloth fabric. The flower's center has a blue button for a little pop of color.

These are only a few of the wonderful items available. Please check out the rest of this beautiful collection at TiLTcreations Etsy Shop and also take the time to view the TiLTcreations blog.

The Creativity Bugs love the opportunity to promote other artisans including the fellow Estians but especially the BESTeam group. These friendly, talented, and very hardworking individuals work together to promote their shops and help others with marketing, advertising, and tips and tricks for running an online business. If you are a seller on Etsy, have a blog, and either FB or twitter, then you might be interested in joinging the BESTeam. You can find information about the team, as well as apply for membership HERE!

Happy Shopping!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: Tea Light Flowers

Many of you may have already seen this project on other blogs called “tea light lollipops”. I did a little change to the original and decided to call them “tea light flowers”.  They are pretty easy to make, require only a few supplies, and make great favors for bridal showers and ladies luncheons.

Supplies:
Popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks
Green marker , paint , or stain
Tea light
Small plastic baggies
1 ¼ or 1 ½ inch circle punch
Tag or tag punches
Ribbon
Ink
Stamp
Glue gun
Double sided tape or tape runner
Green cardstock
Colored cardstock (of your choice)


Step 1:  Using a marker, paint, or green stain color the popsicle sticks.


Step 2:  Using glue gun, glue popsicle stick to the back of tea light


Step 3:  Punch out a green circle using circle punch and glue it onto the popsicle stick to cover


Step 4:  Using store bought tag or punched out tag, stamp image or saying using coordinating ink


Step 4:  Place tea light/popsicle stick into small plastic baggie, fasten with ribbon, and add tag. 




This is where most of the other how-to’s stopped. I went one step further, because it just looked a bit plain to me. I made what looked like a lollipop into a flower.

Step 5: (optional) Punch or die cut out a flower from cardstock or pattern paper. Make sure the flower is at least 3” in diameter. Using double sided tape or tape runner, attach to the underside of the tea light.




These were so quick and easy to make that I was able to complete a dozen in just a few hours. We are selling them next month at a library craft sale and sure hope they will be a hit. Our biggest problem is that we aren't sure how much to sell them for. The supplies comes to $1 per completed flower and don't know if asking $2 or $2.50 is expecting too much or not enough.  Please post a comment to let us know what you think concerning pricing.

If you decide to make this project, please attach a link to your blog or FB post in the comment section below so that our followers can admire your work.

Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Monday, May 16, 2011

Featured Freebies for the Week of May 16th

Hello and Happy Monday!

Here are this week's fabulous digital stamps and images freebies found on blogs and websites, or set to us from friends and followers.

Louby Loo's Digital Delights shares Graduation Larry just in time for graduation season

Sew Many Cards shares a digital image of a pot of Spring flowers

Bugaboo Digital Stamps shares two new baby digital stamps

Beccy's Place shares a treasure chest for a pirate themed party

Beyond the Fringe Crafts shares a few something sweet digitals perfect for summer

May Brit shares another puppy digital with puppy brings the mail

The Crafty Journal shares a party giraffe digital image

Looking for a few pages to print and have your kids color? Check out The Fun Coloring Pages blog.

That's all for this week!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Friday, May 13, 2011

Recipe Friday: Pasta Salads

The weather is finally getting warm and soon you will be invited to backyard barbacues, family reunions, and outdoor events. This means quick and easy potluck side dishes that will sure to please the crowds.

Grilled Veggie and Pasta Salad


Ingredients:
2/3 cup Italian dressing
4 cups fresh vegetables, 1-inch pieces
1 package (12 ounces) farfalle (bow-tie) pasta

Directions:

  • Pour 1/3 cup of the dressing over vegetables. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Drain vegetables, reserving marinade. Thread vegetables on each of eight 10-inch metal skewers. Brush with marinade. Cover and grill vegetables 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 15 to 20 minutes, turning and brushing twice with marinade, until crisp-tender.
  • While vegetables are grilling, cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
  • Remove vegetables from skewers. Toss vegetables, pasta and remaining 1/3 cup dressing, adding additional dressing if desired.
Speedway Pasta Salad


Ingredients:
1 package (16 ounces) wagon wheel pasta or rotini pasta
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup reduced-fat Italian dressing
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh dried oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
5 roma (plum) tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 large peeled or unpeeled cucumber, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium red onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained

Directions:
  • Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain.
  • Mix tomato sauce, dressing, basil and oregano in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss.
  • Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled but no longer than 48 hours.
Chicken Parmesan Pasta Salad


Ingredients:

8 oz. (3 cups) uncooked pasta nuggets (radiatore)
1 cup fresh baby carrots, halved diagonally
1 cup fresh small broccoli florets
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
¼ cup sliced green onions
½ red bell pepper, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
1 cup purchased peppercorn ranch salad dressing
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
  • Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package, adding carrots and broccoli during last minute of cooking time. 
  • Drain; rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
  • In large serving bowl, combine cooked pasta, carrots and broccoli with chicken, onions, bell pepper and cucumber; mix well. Add dressing and cheese; toss gently to coat.
Have a wonderful and sunny weekend!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue