Thursday, July 12, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches #43 - Be of Good Cheer

It's about 35 degrees outside (95 degrees to you ladies south of the border).  I love the sun and heat, but after baking outside in it for a few hours, a girl needs a break.  Where to I go to take a break?  My craft room - of course.

This week, Tui over at Freshly Made Sketches came up with a great little sketch for us.  The two panels make for a nice DSP display, and I've been stocking up on Christmas cards so I grabbed my Be of Good Cheer paper and away I went.


I love to mix up non-traditional colours for Christmas cards, but sometimes I really love good ol' red & green.  I'm not in love with the way Garden Green and Wild Wasabi look with any of our reds, and I got a little sick of always pairing Cherry Cobbler with Old Olive, so the addition of Gumball Green this year really made me happy. It's a fantastic green green.  Like grass green.  It's the green I think of when I think of Christmas.  As I dug through my Christmas stamps I almost cried when I realized that all but three of my sets are no longer available.  Delightful Decorations however is still going strong.  I love dimension on a card, but hate cutting things out, so punches are my friend.  I've gotten a lot of use out of this set, and think I'm going to use this card at an upcoming workshop.

Now for something completely unrelated to stamping, but that I feel the need to share.

When it's hot out, I want a cold drink.  The other day the heat was blazing and it was practically the Kalahari in my backyard.  I'm taking the kind of heat that you can see coming off the road in little waves.  The kind that makes your eyes turn into little swirlies.  I wanted something ice cold and tasty.  Problem there is that I wanted something tasty.  Not water, something with flavour.  The problem there is that I'm trying to cut back on my sugar intake.  Since I had two massive coffees in the morning with some flavoured cream, I couldn't justify drinking iced tea (the bad kind, made from crystals).  I wanted a Passion tea Lemonade.  The problem there, is that the closest Starbucks is a little more than an hour's drive along the highway.  So in my quest for a Passion tea Lemonade I drove into town and got some supplies to make my own.

Imagine my dismay when I got to the grocery only to realize that Tazo teas are $7!  What the heck!  Are you kidding me?  [And for starters, fruity "tea" isn't really tea at all.  It's masquerading as such, but I know better.]  There's no way I was spending $7 on something that I was almost embarrassed to buy, so I headed over to the Western Family selections (basically our grocer's no-name brand).  There I found Cranberry Raspberry, for $2.49.  Much better.  I dropped it in my cart and headed to the coolers.  When buying Lemonade, get the good stuff.  Simply Lemonade.  It's a complete rip off at $5.50 for under 2L, but it's delicious.   I added that to my cart and off I went.  (I realize that I could just post the recipe on here, but how boring would that be?  Plus, you can scroll down if you get bored of my rant.)

So here's what I did to make my very own just-as-delicious-but-homemade-so-better Passion tea Lemonade (okay, it's Cranberry Raspberry Lemonade, but tastes exactly the same).  First, separate your lemonade into thirds.  Keep one third in the bottle and store the rest for later (or make a huge batch if you have a big container).  Boil 1L of water and steep 7 "tea" bags in it for about 5 minutes.  Remove the tea bags and stir in about a tablespoon of sugar (I did this in a mason jar).  Then, wait for it to cool and mix it with the lemonade.  (To speed up the cooling process because I'm impatient, I poured it into a large baking pan and threw the lemonade container in the freezer.  It was ready to drink in about 20 minutes.)  The "tea" really cuts down on the sugar level of the lemonade, and gives it just the right amount of refreshingness (that's not a word, but bite me if you care).  I got three batches out of my one box of "tea" and container of lemonade. 

Now, I'm not one to always be looking for ways to save money, but it ended up costing me less than $8 for about 5L of tea.  I'm thinking each batch is about the equivalent of 10 ventis, so it seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Maybe tomorrow I'll make a batch of black tea lemonade and see how that goes.


  1. Lovely Christmas card! I do love the traditional colours and all your layers! Your lemonade/iced tea recipe sounds delicious! I may have to give it a try some time! Thanks for joining us this week at Freshly Made Sketches!

  2. I love your Christmas card Crystal! And that tea sounds awesome! I could use some right now. Thanks for playing with us at Freshly Made Sketches!

  3. Beautiful ... what a great Christmas card, love your chrissy colours and love the looks of that delicious iced tea!
    Thanks for joining us this week at Freshly Made Sketches!!!

  4. Wow I want some of that tea! Your card is gorgeous. I love the colors and how the clean lines really show off the design of the sketch. Beautifully done! Thanks for sharing with us at Freshly Made Sketches!

  5. i really love your card, really nice design

  6. Love your Christmas card...not sure which is more refreshing, your card or the lemonade! Thanks for playing with us at Freshly Made Sketches!

  7. Your card is gorgeous, congrats on your win.

  8. Congrats on your win! Your card is a lovely take on the sketch and the tea recipe sounds sooo good. I'll have to give it a try.