Our layouts are nearly done - we have the journaling complete, the photos printed, and the basic design decided. Today it's time for some finishing touches and uploading to the flickr group. The amount of "finishing" you decide to do on a layout will largely reflect your own scrapbooking style. I usually only use one or two embellishments on each layout. I just have a hard time getting things right if I try to make myself use more. I love looking at layouts that have a great mix of embellishments - but it's just not my style, so I don't try to force it.
Your instructions for today:
1) Add the date somewhere on your layout - I love finding different ways to make the date itself an embellishment. Whether your scrap digital or paper, try to find a way to incorporate the date that's a little more interesting than just jotting it down on the back of your layout.
2) Add something with round edges - like a circle embellishment, a flourish, a swirl, a strip of patterned paper that uses dots, etc. When your photos are all lined up in a row, it's important to include something circular so the layout doesn't end up looking too blocky.
That's it! Add more embellishments if you you wish, but don't feel like you need to. Here's my finished layout from this week:
The journaling doesn't match the photos, the design is simple, and I didn't spend that much time on it. And I love it. I can't wait to see yours! Please upload them to flickr ASAP - I want to showcase as many as I can in tomorrow's post. If you could please leave a comment here and in the Flickr gallery mark your layout, "Autumn's Challenge," then I will be able to easily find it!
Well, we're just about finished. Except for the super-exciting tip for the day. It doesn't have anything to do with scrapbooking, but I'm pretty happy about it. Here goes: Whipping up a batch of cookie bars takes just 30 minutes start to finish and they taste just as good as actual cookies. Better even, if you use the recipe I'm going to share. And there's no standing around waiting for the cookie sheets to cool before you can scoop out the next bunch!
Here's my favorite cookie bar recipe. It's purloined in its entirety from Mel at melskitchencafe.com. I love her website. Let me tell you why I like this recipe so much - I've been on a quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. My problem was this: really good tasting cookies are made with all butter, but they tend to spread and get too flat. Really good looking cookies are made with shortening, but they're just missing that real butter taste. I looked and looked for a solution (butter flavored shortening was suggested, but frankly shortening in all it's I-don't-melt-at-room-temperature glory grosses me out a little). And then I found these bars. Full of yummy real butter, but trapped in a pan with nowhere to spread! Perfect taste and consistency. I just love them. Have I said that enough times yet?
So here you go. Reward yourself for finishing a great layout this week. And if you've discovered the secret to perfect chocolate chip cookies and it doesn't involve shortening, let me know!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars
adapted from 24 Hour Menu
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup oatmeal (use quick oats for a more traditional tasting choc chip cookie, whole rolled oats for more of an oatmeal cookie taste)
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use all brown if you're feeling frisky - I do :)
1 tsp vanilla (feel free to double this for a richer result)
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chunks (I use chips, not chunks, and cut it down to 1 1/2 cups - and that's not 'cuz I don't love chocolate, it's just 'cuz I love the cookie taste so much I don't want the chocolate to overpower things, you know?)
Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla till fluffy and add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chunks. Press into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until light golden brown. I have also doubled the recipe and pressed into a large sheet pan (11X17) with great results. (I always bake for just 18 minutes or until lightly golden - they are not nearly as good if they are overbaked.)
Be sure to check back tomorrow - the post will be full of YOUR layouts, as well as some of YOUR comments and my responses!