Hi, I'm Torrey. Welcome to Left Field, where creativity runs amok and imagination is ALWAYS more important than knowledge. Shoes are not allowed but ties are optional. This is a repository of snippets from my life out here in Left Field. One never knows what shiny bits of creativity will be found here... cards, scrapbook layouts, photography, poetry, recipes, ponderings, rantings and musings. It could be anything! Life in Left Field is always changing, always real, always ...interesting.

February 18, 2015

When in Rome...

So, Jonathan and I are in (not so) sunny Florida visiting his parents. I thought Florida was supposed to be warm.

Apparently, I was wrong in my assumption.

It is absolutely FREEEEEZING here. I even had to scrape ice off the windshield. What's up with that? I want to go to the beach so badly...but there is NO WAY. I would end up with Popsicle toes, a runny nose with snot that froze on my cheeks, and pneumonia.

That is SOOOOo wrong. I mean, Pensacola has the most gorgeous sugar sand beaches.

'sigh'

I am holding on to hope, however. According to the weather forecast, it's supposed to be 70 on Saturday. And if it does reach temps above 60...I'm dragging Jonathan to the beach.

In the meantime, I've been sampling some "local" fare. I discovered a lovely soft drink called Cheerwine.

I had never heard of it.

Ever.

That is before last week when I started reading the "Mitford" book series by Jan Karon (they're quite entertaining). They drink Cheerwine in the book. It sounded so refreshing that when we were in the grocery store and I spied it on the shelf...I was tempted to get it. Then, a young man zipped right up to it and grabbed a 2 liter bottle of it. He exclaimed, "YESSSSSSS!!!! They have it!!". I asked him what it tasted like and he said it is as unique as Dr Pepper...but better.

That decided it. Jonathan and I grabbed a bottle to take home. (and a few days later, we picked up a 12-pack of cans to bring back to Texas).

It hails from North Carolina. And (according to the can) has been around since 1917. That's a long time. That's around the time of Model T cars, electricity in the home, and the invention of the wheel. Heck, that's even before my mom was born (oh she's gonna kill me).

I like the name. It's happy. It conjures up images of barefoot kids in overalls, sitting on the wooden steps of a country general store after a long, hot day of fishin' at the swimmin' hole. Except in my image, they aren't drinking it out of a 2-liter bottle, they're drinking it out of glass bottles.

It's a pretty shade of burgundy (probably why it has "wine" in the name, duh). It tastes like cherry with a hint of Dr Pepper and a splash of Pepsi. Mostly cherry. I like it. A lot. Darn, just when I was giving up soda altogether.


Another thing that is popular down here are boiled peanuts. These just sound nasty. They've been around even LONGER than Cheerwine (says so right on the label).

1838.

In retrospect, after having tasted them, I don't think that date is when the company was founded. I think that's the actual date these things were canned.

They look sort of appealing according to the label...

But in actuality, this is what they REALLY look like. Nothing like "truth in advertising", eh? Margaret Holmes (whoever she is) can keep her old "bahled" peanuts. Yuck.

I think they should be called Swamp nuggets.


To say they are disgusting is an understatement. They're beyond salty. They are more briny than the Great Salt Flats of Utah dissolved in the Dead Sea. I'm not kidding.

Not only are they pure sodium, they are waterlogged to the point of being mealy. Now, in my book, peanuts are supposed to be CRUNCHY and roasty toasty...not saline-ified mushy blobs.

Jonathan loves them. He bought 5 cans of the darn things.

I won't fight him for them. They're all his.

So, I guess that means I flunked being a Floridian, but I pass being a North Carolinian with flying colors!

December 28, 2014

Christmas Morning Casserole

I know...it's been months and months since I've posted anything. I have been very uncreative for quite awhile now.

Van Gogh had his blue period...

Torrey had her non-productive-uncreative-blah period.

Such it is.

Jonathan and I had planned on going to see his folks for Christmas...but instead, we both were hosts to Influenza Type A H1N1 (and yes, I got the shot). Then I started some medication for a new addition to my laundry list of physical diagnoses (I'll post about that later...maybe)....and ended up with a host of side effects from it. So, we postponed our trip by a few days...

then by a few days more...

then by a few more days. 

Before we knew it, Christmas had come and gone. So we are planning on going down to see them in February.

Needless to say, it's been a rather lackluster Christmas.

Quiet.

Peaceful.

Rather nice, actually...and we spent many days in our jammies watching episodes of "House". That made us VERY grateful we didn't have illnesses like those poor fictional characters. Jonathan playfully keeps threatening me with a lumbar puncture. I, in turn, tell him he most likely needs a brain biopsy.

I did, however, muster up enough energy to make a nice breakfast for Christmas morning. It's sort of a quiche-like egg dish. Sort of. Except there is no crust. It's super easy.

It's really yummy, and it can be adapted to include just about any accoutrements you desire (meat, veggies, etc).

Christmas Morning Casserole

Ingredients:
  • 9-12 eggs (12 if you're adding additional ingredients like meat or veggies)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (your choice)...I used 1 cup smoked Gouda, 1 cup cheddar
  • 1/4 cup cream (or half n' half  OR milk)...I used cream
  • 4-6 green onions, diced
  • 1 can (16 oz) refrigerated biscuits (I used flaky)
  • OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS: You can add other stuff if you feel like it... 3-5 pieces cooked bacon cut into 1 inch pieces, 2/3 cup diced ham, 2/3 cup cooked and crumbled sausage, 2/3 cup diced veggies (like asparagus, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, whatever)...though I did NOT.
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (~ 175 C) 
  • Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray
  • In large bowl, combine eggs and cream and beat until well blended
  • Separate dough into individual biscuits. Cut each biscuit into 6 "pie" pieces.
  • Stir egg mixture, cheese, and onions until combined.
  • Gently fold in biscuit pieces and stir until all pieces are well-incorporated and coated with egg mixture.
  • Pour it all into greased baking pan 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until biscuit pieces are browned and eggs are just set in middle 
  • Makes 10-12 servings (or more, or less...depending on serving size)

Bon appetit, y'all!



    


July 3, 2014

Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue

Hidy Ho, crafty peeps!

Quickie post here of an anniversary card I recently did for my in-laws. Ya know, I really dislike that term..."in-laws". It sounds so corporate and institutional. I love my "second parents" (that's better). After all, they produced my dear hubby whom I love with my whole heart.

Anywho, it was their anniversary (on the same day as my hubby's and mine...not coincidentally). I wanted to make them a special card. Jonathan's (my hubby) mom has a GIANT Raggedy Andy in her office. He sits on the sofa in there. I think she keeps him there as a reminder of Jonathan (it was his growing up). So that's how I landed on the Raggedy Anne and Andy theme. I found the digital black and white outline of them somewhere online. I colored them up with my ever-trusty Prismacolor pencils (as per usual). They turned out cute if I say so myself.


Ingredients:
Doily die - QuickKutz
Eyelet border/corner punch - Martha Stewart
Prismacolor Colored pencils
patterned paper
scallop decorative scissors
cardstock
buttons
embroidery floss
brown stamping ink


June 17, 2014

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Hidy Ho, crafty peeps!

I have a question for you. How many of you venture outside your crafting "comfort zone", and how often and under what circumstances do you go there? Do you challenge yourself? Or do you follow the prodding of some outside influence?

I stepped out of my crafty comfort zone TWICE within the last week. Once was by my choice...the other was because someone hired me to do a project (ok ok...so technically I choose to do both, but you know what I mean). The two media I dabbled in are Gelli printing and watercolor painting.

Neither of which I am REMOTELY practiced in.

Like...not at all.

The Gelli printing was my own choosing. I joined a Meet-Up group of mixed-media artists. This month's topic was Gelli printing. Boy howdy is it a messy art form. REALLY messy. It was fun, but I have a dickens of a time getting my prints to look like what I envision in my head. Here's one I did. To be honest...it's more "stamping" than it is pulling a print. I just don't get the whole positive/negative thing....and don't even get me started on layering. I just don't get it. This was was of the only prints I pulled all night that didn't come out with its colors all muddy looking. BTW, those little circles on there are made with bubble wrap. Cool huh?

The second sojourn into unknown waters was a wedding invitation that a friend of mine wanted me to "illustrate" so that it could be framed and given as a keepsake gift to the happy couple. Cool idea, really. She brought me her wedding invitation from 40ish years ago. It was illustrated quite beautifully with a hand-painted lily-of-the-valley border that went up one side. This couple is getting married in Vail, Colorado (must be rough), so my friend wanted it to reflect a "Colorado/outdoorsy" theme...so flowers just wouldn't cut it. I suggested that I create an image of the chapel they're getting married in...along with a snowy mountain range. My friend agreed...and it was then and there I knew it had to be done in watercolor. And she wanted it to be done on the original invitation itself...not on a copy. So I had one shot to get it right.*

Ugh.

What was I thinking?

This meant I had to draw...

and paint.

And draw in perspective.

AND PAINT...with watercolor.

All within a 5x7 inch space.

Ugh.

I thought I had a couple of weeks to do this...so I wasn't in any rush. BUT, my friend called me last night and informed me that she really needed this by Wednesday at the latest since she's leaving for the wedding on Thursday.

That's THIS Wednesday...as in tomorrow.

She apologized profusely for misleading me to believe that I had ample time in which to get this done.

In retrospect, it was my own fault. I should have looked at the date on the invitation.

Duh.

But, this morning I started drawing the building outline and general background in very light pencil onto the invitation... and by 2 pm this afternoon...it was finished.

Wow.

Be impressed. I am.



 Here is a photograph of the chapel
I think I did ok...considering I'm not a watercolor artist and it's so little.

My friend was THRILLED.

That means, I am THRILLED.

She thinks I should go into business doing this for people.

I think not.

*I did ask for more copies of the invitation...just in case I messed it up (which I didn't).





June 4, 2014

It's an Avalanche of Cards!!!

Hidy Ho, Crafty peeps!

So, it's kinda dusty in here, isn't it? I can honestly say I've been too busy to post.

SHOCK.

I have been working overtime in the Labora-Torrey this spring. I completed a custom-scrapbook for a client (I'll post the layouts in a later post). And, for some reason, I've had a major influx of card making opportunities. (opportunities sounds much better than obligations). Let's see...in the last month I've had my husband's birthday, Mother's Day, my bestee's birthday, my step-dad's birthday, my anniversary, my in-law's anniversary, and graduations out the wazoo. I could have made a few more graduation cards, but honestly...I ran out of steam. So, I apologize to Danielle, Kate, and anyone else I missed. I wish you all GREAT successes in your next adventure...but this old horse needs to hole up in the barn for awhile and put down her scissors (at least for a week, then I'm on to round 2).

So...I will post ALL the cards I've made during the past few weeks (except the Mother's Day card which I've already posted) in this post. One thing you may notice is how very different they all are. How unique each one is. That's how I roll. I'm not a cookie-cutter type card maker. I tailor each to the individual it's intended for. All the styles are different because all the recipients are different.

Another thing you may notice is that most of the graduation cards don't have people in caps and gowns on them. I find those types of cards to be sort of cliche...although I did break down and make one of them in the "traditional" style. Besides, the character on the card sort of looks like Tristen (the young man I'm sending it to.)

Are you ready????


Card #1.  My husband's birthday card. 
It's one of those card-in-a-box cards. I really, really like these things. And yes, if you hold it just right...the track on the front flap of the card lines up perfectly with the one on the back of the card. 
 


Card #2. Jodi's birthday card.
Jodi is my bestee. But you knew that. I started it by ripping out a page from a real antique reference book...that I purchased just for this purpose. It's a technique I've been dying to try for awhile now. The paper of the pages are SUPER thin...almost like tissue paper. I printed a digital image onto one of the pages and colored it with my Prismacolor pencils. I printed the fairy onto textured cardstock and colored her up as well. I fussy cut her out and adhered her over the colored text. I really like fairies. A lot. And, I really like Jodi. A lot. So, it was a no-brainer.  And, I think it's worthy of framing. 
(hint, hint Jodi).

Card #3. Richard's birthday.
Richard is my step dad. He loves the city. And, I love this new cityscape die I just got from Memory Box. It comes in a silhouette version...but I liked the one with the windows. I made the background by sponging ink on the cardstock. I made "reflections" in the "water" using a black colored pencil and a white pen for highlights and a few stars coming out in the sky. Star light, star bright...first star I see tonight.
   
Card#4. Haley's Graduation
Haley is Jodi's daughter. She's my "adopted" daughter. Actually, there is no "adoption" about it. She's my daughter too as far as I'm concerned. She's a bright, shiny, determined and extremely capable young woman. She has overcome some incredibly big obstacles in the last couple of years...to the point where they didn't even phase her. She treated them like little cracks in the sidewalk...she just stepped over them and kept going. She's amazing.

For her card, I wanted to convey how very proud I am of her. So I knew I needed to create something over-the-top. Way over the top. Y'all know how I am. I love 3-dimensional, pop-up cards. I recently got this balloon die set from Docrafts (their Xcut build-a-scene balloon die set). I adore it. Enough so, that I bought one for Jodi for her birthday. Happy Birthday, Jodi.

 Following are 3 shots of the card. The photos, as usual, don't do it justice.

Fully closed
 
Partially open
(belly band opened)

Fully Open

Card #5. Tristen's Graduation
Tristen is Haley's significant other. He has had to grow up quickly, and I think it hasn't been easy for him. My hope for him is that he realizes how wonderful a human being he is and that his life is filled with opportunities. All he has to do is choose which ones to pursue...which path to follow. My prayer is that he will make GOOD choices.

Card#6. Tina's Graduation
I've known Tina about as long as I've known Haley. They grew up together. She's kinda like my second adopted kiddo. Tina, too, has gone through some tough times in her young life. Her latest challenges include some health issues that would totally ground the average person...but with Tina...she takes them in stride and just keeps flying. She's like the Energizer Bunny.
She has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. She has Japanese roots, and is very proud of her heritage. I wanted to honor this part of her. The origami doll on the front is a compilation of several different patterns, which I combined/altered until I got a doll that matched the vision I had in my head. I have to confess...I was REALLY tempted to make the sentiment inside read "Congraturations and Good Ruck"...but I opted not to. But I just had to confess that the ornery little imp that whispers bad ideas into my ear was present for the creating of this card.
 
Card #7. Wyatt's Graduation
Wyatt is my mom's cousin's daughter's son. I have no clue what type of cousin that makes us. I don't care. He's family. I am amazed at how much he looks like his grandfather (my mom's cousin). I mean, he is the spitting image of his grandpa Eddie. Wyatt is a fish. Not that he has webbed toes or gills... He has been an accomplished swimmer since...well, about since he could walk. He is a regional champion and landed a swimming scholarship to college. He'll be going to school in Colorado!!! I wanted his card to be somehow related to swimming/water, without it being a dripping wet guy in swim trunks with a graduation cap on his head. So I made it kind of nautical themed. It's close to a swimming theme, right?

Card #8. Anniversary Card
My dear hubby and I just celebrated our 3rd anniversary. I know that's not very long in the grand scheme of things, but it still amazes me how fast 3 years has flown by. The heart puzzle, puzzle piece, and floating hearts are adhered with foam spacers for added dimension. The inside is filled with mushy stuff. 

What's written inside the card...stays inside the card. amiright?


So that about wraps up my card-making Lolapalooza. I still have 1 anniversary, 3 birthday, and 3 Father's Day cards to come up with in the next couple of weeks. More posting later!

And, I'm not posting any of the supplies I used. If you REALLY want to know what supply I used, just ask me in the comments. I'll be happy to tell you.