Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - It's Party Time

I think this one is definitely a birthday card!

Supplies Used: 
Various Cardstock
Stampin Up Itty Bitty Punch Pack Flower
McGill Paper Blossom Tool Kit
Fiskars Threading Water Punch
1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon
Mounting Foam Squares
Westcott Titanium Non Stick Scissors 

This balloon was a pain to figure out. I wanted it pop dotted but the "string" was so thin I was afraid that it might tear during handling so I glued the majority of the "string" to the paper and then pop dotted just the balloon.

This was another card that I cut out the background and replaced it with something I liked more. It's amazing how you can make things look so different with Graphic 45 papers!

I used a stamp image on this card because I need to add something besides the main image and the little stamped images seem to work well for such purposes. I used my flower making tools to add dimension to the punched flowers and the fussy cut flowers. Of course I used the Nuvo Drops!

You can't see the Fiskars Threading Water punch border in this picture but I have to tell you a story about using punches while making these cards. So like I said at the beginning of the series, these were made after my hand surgery and each one took quite awhile due to how my hand was wrapped up and then the soreness I found it impossible to use some of the punches. I tried using my left hand to punch but it was still sore and my right hand was totally out of the question, so how did I do it? Well I put the punch on the floor and use my foot! YES...MY FOOT! Ya know the old saying...where there's a will there's a way!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - Let's Party

Are you guys tired of these cards yet? I hope not because there are still 3 more after this card! I kinda like the "Let's Party" on this card because it can be used for a variety of occasions such as birthday, anniversary, wedding or just if ya wanna give your friend a card and get drunk!

Supplies Used: 
Various Cardstock
Spellbinders Iron Motif Die
Bazzill Swiss Dot Ribbon
Stampin Up 3 Flower Punch - retired
Stampin Up Photo Corner Punch -retired
Hotfix Rhinestones
Mounting Foam Squares
Westcott Titanium Non Stick Scissors 

This card has a bit more going on than some of the cards. I added the photo corners because without them it looked a little too plain to me and after the plain baby card I wanted to do something a bit more decorative and now that I look at this I wonder if it might be a bit too busy. If it is then it's too bad because I'm sure not taking it apart!

There is a lot of decorative layering here. I used the Spellbinders die and then a circle and then one of the postage stamp images in the collection. Since the white die cut looked a little plain, and I can't leave well enough alone, I added some hotfix rhinestones...besides, who doesn't love bling?!

I had cut the die cuts a long time ago and had them in reserve for when I might want to use them and this series of cards seemed like a good time to use them. I think I need to do that with some of my other dies because it makes it nice to have something ready and not have to get out the Cuttlebug or Gemini.

I punched out the little flowers from the vellum type paper and then inked the petals a bit. The centers are Nuvo Jewel Drops, which are different than the Nuvo Crystal Drops. The jewel drops dry translucent while the crystal are opaque. I totally serious guys when I say you need to try these things! I wish I had all the colors in both the jewel and crystal but surprisingly I do not *okie thinks that might be a good Mother's Day gift for herself in a few months*.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - New Baby

This baby card was the hardest for me to do and it is probably the most simple looking of all the cards I did out of this collection. I was trying to come up with something different and every time I did I either cut off part of the baby's head or the mother's head and that just wouldn't do so I ended up with this.

Supplies Used: 
Various Cardstock  
1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon
Mounting Foam Squares

I ended up framing the image of the baby and mother and pop dotting the frame. I honestly couldn't figure out what else to do with the image and then that took up most of the card so it's pretty dang simple.

On the tiny flowers I used the Ivory Seashell Nuvo drops on the centers and then also on the centers. Since the centers were a darker pink it gave the little flowers a whole different look than the original image. I dotted Bubblegum Nuvo Drops randomly. I think y'all can tell by now that I Crystal Nuvo Drops are one of my new addictions!

The butterfly was on the original "frame" and I and I think it adds a nice little touch up in the corner. You can tell better in this picture how the frame is pop dotted off the main image.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Peekaboo Card - File Available

I was perusing through Facebook and came across this really cute card on the Unity Stamps page and the post asked if anyone had tried the layout for the card, which I had not, but I sure wanted to try it! Of course I didn't have the die set or stamp set used so I had to come up with my own and used Make The Cut to design the file and then saved as an SVG and imported to Design Space for cutting.

Supplies Used:
Stampin Up - A Good Egg stamp set
Stampin Up - Delicate Dots paper
Stampin Up - Pale Plum Cardstock
Mounting Foam

The stripe paper is cut at 2.75 x 2.75 inches if you want to cut that manually but it is in the file. 

I curled the banner and glued on the left side, and middle so the banner would have a wavy look. 

The chick image was stamped on the stripe paper, on white cardstock and colored with ProMarkers and then on the blue pattern paper. I cut out the chick from the white cardstock after coloring and also the blue egg. The chick was then pop dotted over the image I stamped on the stripe paper. I used Nuvo Crystal drops on the eyes and then to dot on the blue egg.

It would be easy to use this card with a stamp or a cut out image and add a different sentiment. I really like how the openness of the top layer of cardstock shows off the beauty of the paper and I will probably use this again for a different card.

This file is being offered for free. If you download for use please leave a comment of acknowledgement. Remember if you are importing to Design Space you will need to resize the image, instructions are in the file (don't cut those) for resizing.

SVG FILE - Peekaboo Card

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - Happy Anniversary

I don't think I've ever sent out an anniversary card but if I decide to do so I at least have one in my card stash now.

Supplies Used: 
Various Cardstock  
Bazzill Swiss Dot Ribbon
Martha Stewart Arch Lattice Punch
Generic Paper Flowers
Fun Flock - Teddy Bear Tan
Mounting Foam Squares
Hotfix Rhinestones
Westcott Titanium Non Stick Scissors 

The lady had a fur wrap so I added a bit of glue and then put the Fun Flock on the glue so it made her mink stole look a little more life like. I'm not sure if anyone even uses flock anymore but I still like to use the stuff when I can. It just always adds a nice touch. I think the last time I used flock was when I did a mini album using Graphic 45 World's Fair collection and I just realized I never posted that project!! *bad okie, bad, bad, bad okie!!*

I had to really search through my little paper flowers to find some that matched the colors of the paper and luckily I was able to find just enough to finish the two cards I made! The centers are Buttermilk Nuvo Drops and then I also used Ivory Seashell Nuvo Drops randomly. To add a little sparkle I added a few hotfix rhinestones here and there.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - Very Happy Birthday

And today we have yet another birthday card! I used this image on the Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate Birthday Girl but I just loved her sweet face and wanted to use her again.

Supplies Used: 
Various Cardstock 
Stampin Up Itty Bitty Punch Pack Flower
Bazzill Swiss Dot Ribbon
Mounting Foam Squares

Is anyone else a ribbon freak? I love ribbon and use it on almost all my cards and scrapbook pages *okie tries to remember the last time she did a scrapbook page* and the organza ribbon is always so nice! You can see how I added the banner over the image and I pop dotted it for dimension.

Once again I feel the inking really made the banner stand out and that is why I'm an obsessive inker!

The little flowers were punched out of a vellum like paper with the Stampin Up Itty Bitty Punch Pack Flower *okie so loves her punches but then again okie is rather attached to all her toys in her craftroom*. I used Buttermilk Nuvo Drops on the flower centers and then dropped Bubblegum and Ivory Seashell Nuvo Drops randomly for added accent.

The butterfly was a fussy cut add on and I did pop dot the wings. Y'all know good and well I am all about dimension!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - Boy With Balloons

So this is a birthday card but not sure I would give it to a boy because of the colors. I guess some boys would like the colors but most I know would be wondering why I gave them a girly looking card. 

Supplies Used: 
Various Cardstock  
Mini Brads
Stampin Up Marker - Chocolate Chip
Stampin Up Corner Punch
Glossy Accents
Mounting Foam Squares

To jazz the card up a bit I used Glossy Accents on the pink balloons but left the white plain and to be honest I was just too lazy to do the white and it actually seemed to work out better with giving the pink a little more dimension and make them stand out.

I always have to make sure to set things aside when I use Glossy Accents or any other product that goes on wet because I am notorious about picking it back up and sticking my finger right in the wet stuff. Anytime I show my daughter something I have to make sure it's dry because she always, ALWAYS, wants to touch whatever is sticking up, even if I tell her DON'T TOUCH THAT PART! But she does anyway...good thing she had moved out before I did this card! *okie cracks up laughing*

One of my favorite little punches is the Stampin Up Ticket Punch which was retired a few years ago and I have seen some other punches that will do this effect but not at a very good price, at least not in my book. 

After I got the sentiment all done it seemed to need something else so I got out my hotfix rhinestones and added a few of those and that seemed to do the trick. My friend Carmen sometimes tells me that I don't know when to leave things alone *okie agrees she doesn't at times* but usually after I add just a little more she likes the project even better.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - Girl With Doll

Getting back to the Graphic 45 Time to Celebrate cards that I was posting...this one is definitely a birthday card!

Supplies Used: 
Various Cardstock  
Organza Ribbon
Ribbon Buckle
Mounting Foam Squares
Westcott Titanium Non Stick Scissors 

I should have written details after I made the cards because now it is hard for me to remember for sure what all I used and did to make the cards but I'm trying my best to remember.

I cut the frame from one image and then added the girl from another, including the banner. I pop dotted the frame on another background. I had to cut a piece of edging to go on the right hand side of the frame so it would size right. That is one of the great things with Graphic 45 papers, you can always find something to make your ideas work and people will think you are a creative genius when the credit really goes to the paper designers for always making sure there are different images that can be cut out and used in other ways.

I double matted the frame on white and then pink paper because the base paper was busy and I didn't want main image to just wash into the background.

Inking always seems to make a world of difference to me. I always complain about doing it and I do try not to ink at times but with these type of cards it seems to really help the images stand out a little more. *okie raises her hand, stands up and says "Hi, I'm okieladybug and I'm an obsessive inker*.

I've had ribbon buckles for quite a few years and I always forget to use them and actually found them while digging through my embellishment drawer looking for something to use with this card. I have a hard time using them on cards because I always wonder if it's too thick to go through the regular mail but I'm trying to get over that issue. The ribbon is actually from one of those instant bow things and I cut it apart to use just as regular ribbon for cards. I think I got them for like a nickel a piece or some ridiculously low amount at the local bargain store. 

The white doily looking paper is cut from one of the Spellbinders Moroccan Accents die set and it just kinda gives the ribbon and buckle a nice little center.

Hope you guys aren't tired of seeing these because I have several more from this paper collection to post!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Tim Holtz Stamping Platform Grid - OMG!!

If you are a stamper and don't have a stamping tool I highly recommend the Tim Holtz Stamp Platform! We had to anxiously await for the release because of the whole copyright lawsuit thing but it was worth the wait! 

One of the things I wish it did have was a grid at the bottom so it would be easier to place my papers when I am stamping. Since I make 6 of each card I have to constantly try and line up my little stamping papers but I fixed that chit! First I thought about printing a grid on some cardstock but then remembered I had some laser printer transparency sheets *okie figures you can use something in an inkjet printer but is too lazy to do the research on that since she has hers made* and thought I would try and print a grid on that. 

I did a quick search for printable grid paper and there were a number of sites that came up and I just chose one, not sure which one now though. I downloaded the 1/4" grid and printed two sheets. I cut one down to 8.5" x 8.5", using the grid lines as a guide and then the other I cut to 8.5" wide and 7 rows down to finish out the grid for the platform. 

I used my double sided ATG tape and applied it to the edges, which I think you can see in the picture if you click on it and make it bigger, and then lined up the lines with the 1/4" marks as best I could. They are not exact but close enough. Once I had the large piece in place I put my magnets on and then started at the top by taking the paper backing off the tape and pressing down and worked my way around. 

For the bottom piece I cut right below one of the printed lines so it would line up with where I cut right above a printed line and I did this so I wouldn't have a double printed line on the grid. I then did the tape the same way as I did on the big piece and POOF - OMG! I now have a nice gridded stamp platform! Oh and one last note, I put the printed side down so I could wipe off any ink that might get on the transparency when I am stamping. 

I'll be trying this out a little later today when I make some cards but right now I am about to go meet my friend Linda for lunch at a Mexican restaurant here in town. Hopefully it works as good as I am hoping!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - Dancing Couple

While I was thinking anniversary for this card I think it could possibly pass for a wedding card and maybe even a birthday card. 

Supplies Used: 
Various Cardstock  
Bazzill Swiss Dot Ribbon
EK Success Border Punch
Mounting Foam Squares
Queen & Company Pearls

The image was very large and took up a lot of the card so I did cut off part of the bottom so it fit better and then incorporated the ribbon and banner to camouflage how I had to cut the image off. I actually had to talk myself into cutting off the bottom because....well, OCD ya know! But I think it worked out in the end.

I picked up the Tim Holtz Tattered Flower Garland the last time I was in Houston and this is the first time I've been able to use it. My friend Carmen actually said "You know you don't need that" and while I wanted to smack her for saying such words I just told her "I may not need it but I want it" and so I got it! *okie thinks she sure showed Carmen*

I did use my McGill Flower Blossom Kit to help shape the flowers. If you like to make flowers and don't have tools to help shape them I highly recommend them! It really helps bring the flowers to life, as much life as there can be in paper flowers anyway. I generally use some Glimmer Spray to wet the flowers a little for shaping but this time I just spritzed with water. 

I think I have another birthday card for tomorrow but I really can't remember. But it is a card using the same paper collection. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - Woman With Rose

I have a hard time coming up with what to title posts at times and "Woman With Rose" was the best I could come up with for this card.

Supplies Used:
Various Cardstock
Bazzill Swiss Dot Ribbon
1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon
Stampin Up Eyelet Border Punch - retired
Mounting Foam Squares
Thermoweb Super Tape Double Sided
Westcott Titanium Non Stick Scissors 

The reason the Westcott Titanium Non-Stick Scissors are mentioned is because I use them to cut my mounting foam and Super Double Sided tape and let me tell ya folks...they are a game changer!! Neither of those products will stick to these scissors and if you cut a lot of that stuff you know how often you have to clean your scissors because they get gummed up! They have the OKIE 5 STAR APPROVAL for sure!

As most of you know I am totally addicted to inking and I wasn't going to ink with these cards but what I found was the images that I fussy cut seemed to stand out a little better when I did ink the edges so inking I did! The lady was cut from one image and then layered on a different image because and I did that with quite a few of the cards. I started to pop dot the lady but didn't want too much bulk...the envelope issues I have ya know, but I think she looks fine just glued on top of the paper.

I liked how this one just simply says "Time To Celebrate" as it can be used for birthday, congratulations or any celebration type occasion. It's always nice to have some multi-purpose cards in the old card stash box.

I did pop dot the rose bud but the stem is glued down. As you can see I added some random Nuvo Crystal Drops here and there. It always amazes me how such little things can add so much more to a project. I am willing to admit at this point I am addicted to the Nuvo Crystal Drops and you will likely see them on every card from this collection. I might need to start buying them by the quart *okie wonders if such thing is even possible*.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate - Birthday Girl

I did do a little crafting during the time of my hand surgeries and it was slow going and typing up posts for the projects were impossible at the time because I would have been beyond frustrated but now that I can type I thought I would start posting some of the things I have done.

I'll be posting a series of cards I did using Graphic 45 Time To Celebrate. I got a couple of these paper pads sometime back during one of my trips to Houston and just knew they would make easy cards. Easy is not a word I would use now since they required a fair amount of fussy cutting and I only made 2 of each card...yes TWO! My hands wouldn't let me do the labor required to make 6 of each.

Supplies Used:

Various Cardstock
EK Success Medallion Chain Punch
Hotfix Rhinestones
Mounting Foam Squares

Instead of the regular A2 size card I made this series bigger and opted for 5x7" since some of the images were too large for the 4.25x5.5" area of the A2 cards. This also gave me more room for layering some of the gorgeous paper. The border at the bottom of the card is actually cut in half from the Medallion Chain Punch. Since half of it was going to be mostly covered I didn't see the sense in wasting it *okie knows she is such a cheap azz sometimes*.

I believe the colors of ribbon are Moss and Deep Mauve, I'm too lazy to get up and check right now. Even though the pink looks too dark there is some darker pink on the plaid paper and I tried some lighter pink but it just looked a bit washed out. I had to stagger the length so the bows wouldn't over lap too much and cause the card not to fit in an envelope well.

I absolutely love some of the cards I see with all the embellishment but my practical mind won't let me partake in such things because I always think "well that won't fit in an envelope" and if I would allow my mind to think further I would realize that I rarely send out the cards I make and they sit in a box in my craftroom closet so embellishment probably wouldn't be a problem! Please tell me that other people have the same thought about embellishment and then not sending out cards. I do give a lot of my cards away for others to use so maybe I am justified after all.

If you look closely at the little flowers you can see the centers are done with the Nuvo Crystal Drops. People if you have not tried the Nuvo Crystal Drops then you are missing out! I have tried many different type products such as the Viva Decor and the Liquid Pearls but the Nuvo are the best I've ever worked with! The bottle squeezes nicely and instead of the pointy tops like I tend to get with the Liquid Pearls I get nice round tops.

 I think I still have 11 different cards from this paper that I will be posting so be sure to come back and see the rest of them!

Monday, March 5, 2018

ProMarker Blending Charts

So I've been gone for awhile...had two hand surgeries and just now getting back to where I can start doing some things without it causing pain on the incision sites and I wanted to share what I think is awesome project I just completed.

I love my ProMarkers, been using them for a number of years now and while I don't use them all the time I do love having them. I have tried many coloring techniques and I always end up going back to my ProMarkers. I think I like them because it's faster than any other method I've tried when I'm wanting to color a stamped image, especially since I always make 6 of a card.

Anyway, I use to have a few little blending charts I made up and when I loaned out my markers the little charts didn't return with the markers. Ever since that time I've kinda just avoided using the markers because I didn't want to have to go back and look up colors to blend. For some reason a few nights ago I got the bright idea to reorganize my markers and have them stored in the monochromatic style that is listed on the website, which you can find HERE if you are interested.

It looks much better this way than how I had them grouped by colors. In this picture I was missing the red marker but I now have it and the appropriate square is shaded. When our Hobby Lobby opened I was thrilled to see that they carry the markers because it hurts my heart *okie thinks and her pocketbook* to only need one or two markers and have to pay like $8 shipping! 

I also made some chipboard dividers and spacers to keep the markers from falling over. Originally the markers were in the little hanging file bags that were meant for CD's. I had cut the bottoms out so the markers would fit in the case. Oh if you don't know this is a 200 disc CD case and even had a little lock on it *okie wonders where the heck the key would even be*.  This is the full set of ProMarkers, sans any limited editions markers as I do not own any of those, and two blender pens. I also have two extra markers at the top because those are about to go out and they are in reserve. 

After reorganizing I decided that I wanted to go ahead and make some blending charts. I got to looking at my storage case and wondering if I could make some small booklets, using my Cinch to bind the pages together and keep them in the case along with the markers. I did some measurements and off to Word I went to see what I could come up with for charts. I did a lot of editing and such but finally came up with something I thought would work for me.

One of my go to charts was the one I found on the former ProMarker site long ago and it gave easy blending for pastel, vivid and muted. I did remake that chart. I always have a problem when it comes to doing skin tones so Google was my friend and I was able to find a few great blending combinations for my skin tone and hair color booklet. 

Also for the skin tone and hair color booklet I found a half image from a website *okie can't remember the name of that dang website to save her life* that works great for reference. I left spaces so I can write down the hair and skin tones I use. Can you say TIME SAVER! I did 3 color combo's for the color combinations and I figured I am smart enough to choose two out of 3 colors if I am only wanting to use two colors on an image. 

You might have noticed blank areas on the pages and those are there so other combinations can be added later if needed. I included blank pages to both booklets, including some uncolored girl images.

Now if you use markers you know sometimes you get bleed through and to avoid this happening as I had more blending combinations I added a page in the back that folds out and then can be placed under the page I will be coloring on so it doesn't bleed through to the next page. Not sure you can really tell but the booklet on the left shows the flap sheet. 

And best of booklets fit in my marker case! I am able to close the lid perfectly and now I will have quick reference when I am wanting to color. I honestly think this will help me use my markers more often! 

I think it took me maybe 4 evenings to get this finished, and probably a good part of the day Saturday. I would have finished quicker but I kept tweaking the charts. But I have to say...IT WAS WORTH EVERY MINUTE!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Reindeer Ornaments - Vinyl and Paper

Last year I made some Snowman ornaments that had hats and they were such a big hit that this year I thought I'd try my hand at some reindeer ornaments!

I started working on this file before my carpal tunnel surgery (that will be another post) and I have just been able to finish it up in the last few days because of limited use of my left hand. I am really loving these cute reindeer and I think they will be a great addition to a Christmas tree.

Supplies Used:
3" plastic ornament
Brown Glitter
Vinyl - various colors
Cardstock - various colors
Hot Glue Gun

I used Make the Cut to design the elements and then exported the file as an SVG so I could upload it into Cricut Design Space for cutting.

One thing that irritates me about Design Space is that when I import an SVG I always have to make sure the file size is correct because it always imports larger than what the design is suppose to be. My work around that is to always include a base layer, 12x12 in this instance, so I can easily resize to the correct proportions.

On some other sets I made I used the Martha Stewart Branch punch and placed them where the holly is in the picture. I also used some red ribbon instead of cutting a paper ribbon. I think I might add some "snow" to the antlers and ears for the next set I make. 

My carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand is going to be the first week in January and when I have that one done I will have to take off work because I will be a lot more limited to what I can do so I am hoping the sales on this file will help me get some bills paid in advance so I won't be stressing out about having the next surgery done.

If you would like to purchase this file you may do so and once purchased it is yours to do with what you wish, as long as you are not re-selling or sharing the file.

IMPORTANT PURCHASE AND DOWNLOAD INFORMATION, PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS (I have had people turn me into Paypal because they said they didn't receive the file but they did NOT follow the directions below).

Purchase and Download instructions: Once you hit the "BUY NOW" it will take you to Paypal where you can pay for the item. Once purchase is complete Paypal will redirect you to "Return to Merchant" where you will given the link to download the files from Google Drive. You will need to know where files are saved on your computer in order to open the files. I do not have that information as I don't know how your computer is set up.

1 zip file is included in this purchase.
  • 1 PDF files - Instructions for supplies needed, cuts that are in the file and assembling the reindeer ornaments.
  • 1 SVG files - Includes all pieces needed to complete a male and female reindeer ornament.

Price: 5.00 

If you missed out on the Snowman Ornament with Gingerbread Bonus last year I am offering a special of the Snowman Ornament with Gingerbread Bonus AND the Reindeer Ornament.

1 zip file included in this purchase.
  • 3 PDF files - Instructions for assembling the SVG files
  • 3 SVG files - 1 file of Snowman faces, along with the Gingerbread faces bonus. 1 file for Snowman Hats. 1 file for Reindeer faces and elements.

Price: 8.00 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cookin' With Grease

When I was growing up we used bacon grease a lot, it went cornbread, to cook popcorn, in green beans, frying potatoes and pretty much anytime grease was needed in a skillet. Not that we didn't have vegetable oil or Crisco, any country pantry is gonna have those things. If you grew up in the country you know what I'm talking about and understand that cookin' with grease meant cookin' with bacon grease.

Of course back in those days *okie suddenly realizes she has reach THAT age* we didn't really know about cholesterol or if we did we either ignored it, didn't think it was true or just didn't care. Now days we hear about how bad bacon is for us and to cook with bacon grease is something that most people won't admit to as to avoid being ostracized from the vegetarian, vegan *okie shudders at the word vegan because those folks give okie the absolute heebie jeebies* or health nuts in their circle of family and friends, not to mention the soapbox preaching about the saturated fat. monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat that bacon contains. Now I'm not sure what a saturated fat really tastes like but it must be something that really adds flavor to food because I think everything I've ever eaten that tasted delicious had saturated fat in it.
As I grew up and out of my country home away from my family I realized that cooking with bacon grease was not good for me. I started eating turkey bacon, which I do like, and found new ways to cook items that required oil, grease or shortening going into a skillet. I learned to cook with cooking spray and teflon skillets, grilling and broiling meat was the way to go in my kitchen. When I did cook bacon I threw the grease out, no way was I saving that heart attack ambrosia. I would pat the grease out of the bacon until you could rub it across a mirror and the mirror would be squeaky clean.

I remember one weekend my sister Cheryl and I were visiting with my mom and she said "if you girls want some bacon grease there is a quart jar in the fridge for each of you". My sister and I gave each other a quick sideways glance and politely declined and I remember us laughing and rolling our eyes at the thought of cooking with the bacon grease, even though we were raised on the stuff. We also discussed the amount of bacon that had to be fried to fill up not one quart jar but two!
Now I'm not sure when I decided that bacon grease might not really be that bad for me but I think it was several years ago when I was at the doctor and he was going over my lab results and told me that my cholesterol level was 132. I told him that I should be able to go off my cholesterol meds and I never understood why I was on those meds since my cholesterol had never been over 180. He went on to explain to me about how there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol and my good was low and my bad was high. I must have looked at him like he had 3 heads because with a number of 132 I just can't imagine me still needing to be on the meds and I told him "well if that shit drops anymore I am gonna have to eat a pound of bacon a week just to keep enough grease in my veins for the blood to keep flowing". He looked at me and said "uh, no". I sure miss that doctor. Oh I didn't change doctors because of that, he stayed my doctor until about a year ago when he retired. 

I remember leaving that appointment thinking how I had been trying to cook things right for so long and that I really did avoid bacon because I thought it was so bad for me and then thinking "WTF??? I try and do right and it's still not good enough? Well phuck that! I'm eating bacon!". And so I did. I started buying bacon and frying it. I started keeping the grease to use in my green beans.  And let me tell you....the glorious taste of those saturated fats in those green beans make them taste like 1000 times better than just heating them up! So yeah here I am at 52 years old cookin with bacon grease, just like I did when I was a teenager. I don't save a whole lot of grease, just enough to keep around for adding a little flavor to things, mostly green beans, and I let the grease sit in a bowl and them scoop off most of the grease and then scrap up the bottom that has all the little bits of flavor. 

Sometimes ya gotta make a tough choice and I made mine - I still don't fry a lot of food but by George I am gonna keep my little bacon grease and use it to add some good flavor to some of my foods!