For a while my mother would give me a calendar for Christmas each year. And she would really find some uber cute ones that I would love to hang up and gander at as the year passed by. But when it was time to take it down I was just a little sad that the pretty artwork was going away and went into pack-rat mode and tucked it away in some obscure spot. I had that "I-know-I can-use-this-for-something-in-the-future" anxiety attack and my house was one more item closer to being on the tv show "Hoarders".

BUT... I was recently blessed with a new ScrapBox and while transferring all my cra(p)ft items over I came across this cute calendar again! My mission: to find a crafty something to do with this item to justify keeping it five years.

I took this...

And turned it into this...

This is two sets of four cards with matching envelopes and holder. You need a pretty calendar that is at least 12x12, some coordinating card stock, embellishments and some creative mojo (even if you have to borrow the mojo).

First, take the staples out and cut it in half. Take two of the full sheets and make the holders:

Fold it in half to make a triangle. Score at 5 1/4" on each end.

Then score down the folded edge at 3/4". My calendar paper was pretty thick so I had to open it up and make about four turns/passes before it was sufficient enough to fold neatly.

Now, with the middle score line horizontal, bring in the left and right sides and set the folds.

Then bring the bottom up and set the center fold line with your bone folder. It's starting to have so many layers that this tool will really be a huge help. It should be the solid paper side of the holder facing outward.

You technically have an inside-out holder at this point so all you do is set the two score lines that are along side the center fold by bringing each side right-side-out. I hope the pictures will make some sense if my description is lacking.

Now you can put a little adhesive on the tip to make it easier to embellish.

I used a 1 1/4" circle punch to make the handle. I've done it a little different in the past where I just simply used a brad or a grommet. It's really up to you and what you have on hand so be confident in choosing your own method.

I embellished with a scalloped circle and a piece of ribbon.

So on with the envelopes...

Start out with a 8 1/2" square. Then my Martha Stewart scoring template told me what to do.

Score two sides (opposite each other) at 3" and then the remaining two sides at 3 5/8". Use your bone folder to make nice, neat, crisp folds. Decide which is the top of the envelope and snip those little triangles off. This picture should adequately describe it:

I looked at my envelopes that I had in my supplies and based my folds according to that. But I don't think it really matters *that* much.

I chose to take that notch off so I used my scoring tool and ruler and folded it under.

Then put the adhesive on the edges...

A pretty legit envelope, wouldn't you say?

I put a white label on the front of the envelope and tape without removing the backing on the flap. This way there is no need for random supplies if I give it away or if I use it myself - ready to go. I did use my corner rounder to trim the tip of the flap just to give it a detail of intention.

Cards always take me a loooong time to design. But once I have my layout it's pretty quick. My method was to use a 1 1/2" circle punch to choose little scenes from my calendar scraps and then mounted them on scallop circle mats with dimentionals. I gave the scallops a little sponging on the edges to get some depth.

Paper piercing is a nice way to add more texture/interest/detail to cards.

I cut 3x4 1/2" more plain scene rectangles for a back ground. I embossed the card and then set off to put them all together.  I like to use more than one texture for cards to keep them interesting so I added some ribbon pieces to the front and just a couple little pearls to that.

Again, here's the cuteness in finished form...

Over the past several years I have tweaked my whole wheat bread recipe to see if I could improve the process and fluffiness factor. And I was a little crazy about not "losing" a loaf of bread so we ate whatever I wound up with in this process. It wasn't so bad. Whatever was "brick" status just got popped into the toaster and well buttered! Ha ha.

Fluffiness is of utmost  interest because whole wheat anything seems to immediately call to mind an absence of this character. Being an individual who grew up on the Wonder Bread of the 70s/80s/90s it is a habit and expectation that is difficult to set aside! I know... I am weak. Honestly, I didn't want to complicate my recipe with a bunch of additives and make the process a pain in the hiney - whether it was an additional, potentially costly, ingredient or whether or not it was an item that was easily found. Well, after you see the comparison photo I think you will understand why this addition was so readily accepted!

Lecithin: derived most commonly from soybeans, is used in baking for its ability to moisturize, preserve and emulsify.

For no other reason than I just wanted to see what happened I went ahead and made two batches of bread: one the regular way, one adding lecithin. I noticed right away that when I added the lecithin that the liquids looked more mixed (emulsified) than without. Hmm. At the time I wasn't sure that was so great. After all, water and EVOO technically do not mix, right? Then during the rise time it appeared to be a little taller than the original recipe. And lastly, after baking there was a significant difference.

Here is the result:

See? Do I really have to indicate that the one on the right is the lecithin batch? And it was a lovely elastic texture that was closer to my preference. So - there you have it. Documentation/justification of the addition of LECITHIN to my recipe.

Here is my updated recipe:

2.5c warm water
1/4c EVOO
1/3c honey
1T red palm oil
(if you don't use red palm oil simply increase the EVOO to 1/3c)
2t salt
2T powdered lecithin 
(I tried liquid as well and it was identical results)

- mix for 4 minutes.

2c hard white wheat
2.5c hard red wheat

- add to wet ingredients.

1 heaping tablespoon of dry yeast

- add to wet ingredients.

-knead in mixer for 6-8 minutes. 
(the bowl will be quite tidy and dough elasic-y)

Let the dough rise for an hour in an EVOO coated bowl covered. Then punch the dough down and divide into two pieces shaping it into two loaves and place in large bread pans that have been rubbed with EVOO. Allow to rise for an hour. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven at 350.

After the bread is baked let it sweat slightly for about 5 minutes and it should slide right out of the pans without any issue. If you notice that it's not coming out easily give it another five minutes. Otherwise you probably didn't oil the pan well enough. Oh well, just slide a knife down the sides and remember next time to be a little more liberal with the EVOO.

Don't leave the bread in the pans much longer than 10-15 minutes because it may get soggy. Let it completely cool on a rack to room temperature. You'll find that the top of the bread is crusty but as it cools it will begin to get more tender. I don't butter the top because that is my preference - no other reason. I keep my loaves in plastic bags and four loaves usually lasts my family of eight about a week.

Good luck and I'd love to hear from you!