Thursday, September 25, 2008

Papertrey September Blog Hop

I'm SO excited to finally get to participate in one of PTI's blog hops! This month's challenge was to create anything holiday. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, so I was thrilled to start getting in the holiday spirit. I love love love all the new holiday sets released by PTI this month and they made it easy for me to start creating!

I have two projects to share - a card and a favor or treat box. I am in the process of buying my first home and will be closing before the holidays, so I want to combine my Christmas cards with change of address notices for some of my extended family members. So I used PTI's fabulous Home for the Holidays set to dress up the city home from Boards & Beams and stamped Just Moved on the front. On the inside is the sentiment "There's no place like home for the holidays". One of the things I'm most excited about is decorating my new home for Christmas, so it was fun to play around with decorating the house on this card as a little teaser for me! I plan to print out my new address on some small cards so I can stick those inside the cards that I send out.

Every year I make a lot of cashew brittle, chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, fudge, etc. so I wanted to make a cute little way to package it. If I can get my act together quickly enough, I may be able to have a combination Christmas and Housewarming party and can use these as favors for my guests! It's just a quick and easy 2-5-7-10 box which would be easy to reproduce and I think definitely provides a festive touch.

I stamped the snowflake background stamp from Melissa Bickford's latest PTI set, Merry & Bright. I then scored and cut the box using a Jenn Balcer tutorial from SCS, which can be found here. I built and stamped the trees, also from Merry & Bright, and cut them out before popping them up with dimensionals. Some of PTI's silver metallic edge ribbon completed the project and holds the box shut. I'm really happy with how this turned out and am hoping to make up a bunch of them before my stamping supplies get packed up for the move!

Supplies - Card
Stamps: PTI's Boards & Beams, Home for the Holidays
Ink: Palette Noir, SU's Real Red, Garden Green, Going Gray, Sahara Sand
Paper: PTI White and Pure Poppy, SU Garden Green
Other: PTI Pure Poppy twill, glue pad, Dazzling Diamonds glitter

Supplies - Box
Stamps: PTI's Merry & Bright, Mixed Messages
Ink: PTI Pure Poppy, SU Garden Green
Paper: PTI White, Pure Poppy, SU Garden Green
Other: SU scallop punch, PTI silver edge ribbon, double slot punch, dimensionals

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Mother of All Blog Candy!!

If you haven't seen it yet, run and check out Carolyn "Cammie" King's most recent blog post here. In memory of her beloved grandmother, and in recognition of World Alzheimer's Day, Cammie is hosting the jackpot of all blog candy giveaways. You can be entered to win over $1,000 dollars in stamping products, plus some artwork created by some of the most famous names in the business, just by spreading cheer to those dedicated men and women who work with patients living with this frustrating and sometimes heart-breaking disease. This is the card that I will be sending to the staff at the Artman Home, where Cammie's grandmother spent her last years. I hope the bright colors and sparkly glitter brighten their day and let them know how appreciated they are!

Stamps: All About U, Print Pattern (both by SU)
Ink: Pink Passion, Versamark
Paper: Tempting Turquoise, Certainly Celery, Pink Passion, white
Other: clear embossing powder, Dazzling Diamond glitter, white grosgrain

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Marathon Card

This card took me sooo long to do. At least two hours, and it's not even a fancy card with lots of layers or anything! But, I'm really happy with how it came out, though the picture doesn't do it justice in my opinion. This is definitely not a card I'll be mass producing, though I think if I make a few more they shouldn't take as long now that I've got some masks made, I've played with a few options for coloring the roof, etc. Nichole at Papertrey Ink really thought of all the little details you could want in this holiday set, and I had a lot of fun figuring out where I wanted garlands, which fence to use, adding the glittery snowman, etc. Christmas is barely 3 months away, so it's definitely not too early to be working on this year's cards!

Stamps: PTI's Boards & Beams, Home for the Holidays
Ink: Palette Noir, SU's Real Red, Garden Green, Close to Cocoa, Creamy Caramel
Paper: PTI's white, Pure Poppy
Other: glue pad, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Quickie glue pen, gold spica pen (for the star)

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Return to Stamp Camp

I used to be a SU demo, as SU was my first stamping love. After a while though, I found I wasn't enjoying it anymore. Designing and prepping cards for stamp camp became a chore and I realized it was time for me to say farewell to my demoship. Plus, I was rapidly discovering a plethora of other stamping products out there and just couldn't buy them all while making my demo minimums at the same time! Fast forward to a few weeks ago when my former upline, who has become more of a hobby demo now, asked if I would be interested in running stamp camps with her again - she would do two cards and I would do two as well. I said I would, but only if she was ok with me using non-SU products. She agreed and the following cards were the projects I designed and taught:

I really struggled with the butterflies - I didn't know if I wanted one butterfly, two, or perhaps if I should leave it sans any butterflies at all. I decided to put two on so my campers could see how it looked and they could do what they wanted with their own card. They all decided on two. :-) I am SO happy with SU's new Baja Breeze color. It's so gorgeous!!
Stamps: A Muse sentiment
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Baja Breeze, PTI white
Other: SU scallop edge punch, Martha Stewart Royal Butterfly punch, PTI dark chocolate twill ribbon, paisley cuttlebug embossing folder, clear spica pen

Sorry for the less than ideal picture of this one - it somehow came out a little blurry, but quite frankly, once I realized it, I had already uploaded and resized it and was too lazy to take a new picture! This was just a sweet and simple card. It's tough to tell in the picture, but the ladybug is cut out and popped up on dimenstionals to look like she's flying.

Stamps: PTI's Little Lady, sentiment from Lizzie Anne Designs
Ink: Palette Noir, PTI Berry Sorbet
Paper: PTI White & Berry Sorbet
Other: SU double slot punch, PTI Berry Sorbet twill ribbon, dimensionals, Sakura stardust pen

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Using Up Scraps

I don't think there's a papercrafter on the planet who isn't inundated with scraps of patterned paper that they can't bear to part with. I've been playing around with my scraps today and made a few cards that are a quick and easy way to use up some of those small pieces. Paper collections, like those from Basic Grey and Stampin' Up, make it helpful to pair colors together - just use random pieces from the collection and the colors will naturally complement each other. Or, go for a monochromatic look as I did with my turquoise card below. These aren't necessarily "Wow" cards, but they're fun to make and great to mail since they're not bulky at all! I used a 1 1/4" punch for all the circles and found that was the perfect size for a 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" card.

Stamps: Holiday Script by Lizzie Ann Designs
Ink: Palette Noir
Paper: PTI white, SU Holiday Thyme
Other: Cranberry Crisp stitched ribbon from SU

Stamps: Holiday Script by Lizzie Ann Designs
Ink: Palette Noir
Paper: PTI white, Basic Grey Figgy Pudding
Other: star embellishments from Joann's

Stamps: A Muse sentiment
Ink: Palette Noir
Paper: PTI white, SU Tempting Turquoise Prints
Other: turquoise gems by Kaiser

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Oh. My. Goodness.

My mouth is so happy right now! My friend Stacy shared a recipe with the LOSTies this week, more as a joke than anything. We are a pie-loving bunch, but have some rules about pies with meat in them. I personally don't condone meat in a dessert pie, but have no qualms about meating up savory pies. So I happened to think the pie she posted looked delicious and I knew I had to make it pronto. Well make it I did and it is so so good. The flavor combination is so wonderful and, while it was a little bit time consuming to make, it wasn't difficult. This one's a keeper! So without further ado...

You can find the recipe for Apple and Sausage Pie here. Go, check it out now, and make it immediately! One little note - I chose to use asiago rather than the other choices of fontina or provalone just because I love asiago quite a bit. Other than that, I have no other comments because I followed the recipe to a T and wouldn't do it any other way! Well, on second thought, I might decrease the amount of sausage a tad to make room for more apples, but it wasn't like the sausage was overpowering or anything, so I'd make it as the recipe says on your first try.

I also have Stacy to thank for introducing me to Scentsy. I've had their Simply Irresistible scent melting all day and my living room smells soooo good! This is my favorite of their scents - it smells like an irresistible man with good taste in cologne or body wash. YUM!

In the Christmas Mood

Looking at all of the holiday items posted today by the Papertrey design team really got me in a holiday mood. Those ladies are so talented and I cannot wait for this month's PTI release - it's shaping up to be my favorite one yet!

My friends Kim and Tammi challenged each other to use their neglected A Muse ovals this weekend. Well, I decided to get in on the challenge, because I haven't used mine in ages! I was trying to think of the perfect thing to put on the oval and, given my Christmasy mood, I decided this Riley was just the guy for the job. I stamped Riley with Palette Noir ink and then masked his bottom half so I could stamp the oval in Versamark. That gave me just enough of the oval outline to be able to trace it with my glue pen and then dump Dazzling Diamonds all over for some sparkly snow.

I really need to learn how to watercolor, because I think I ruined this card with my streaky coloring of Riley. But, the coloring was the last step I did and I wasn't about to redo the whole card! I'm also annoyed at my brads (which are glittery in case you can't tell) not being lined up even though I used my paper piercing guide to mark where to punch the holes. Oh well, hopefully all the pretty sparkles will overshadow those things!

Stamps: Carrying Tree Riley, A Muse oval
Ink: Pallete Noir, Close to Cocoa, Cranberry Crisp, Old Olive
Paper: Old Olive, Cranberry Crisp, PTI white, SU designer paper from a few years go
Other: Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Stardust Stickles (for snowflakes), brads from Imaginesce

Undead and Unwed

Undead and Unwed (Undead Series, Book 1)

Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this well enough; it was a quick, mindless read and was about vampires, so I can't complain! I found myself getting a little annoyed at times with the main character's smart remarks though. They were funny at times, but now and then started to get on my nerves. Overall I enjoyed the book though and will pick up the rest of the series from the library when I'm done with the book I'm reading now.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Early Halloween

I apparently was on a Halloween kick with my stamping today! I challenged myself to use something new on every card I made this weekend, so I was playing around with some Halloween Cuttlebug folders I got not long ago as well as some $1 sets from Joann's and a clear set from Impression Obsession. Plus, there was a LOSTie challenge to make some one layer cards, so a few of these fit that as well!

These first cards were so quick and easy! All the stamps are from Joann's $1 clear sets, which I just picked up this morning. The eyes and mouth of the jack-o-lantern are filled in with a clear spica pen and the words on that card are traced with a black spica. More spica sparkle on the second card too, as the band on the hat is colored with a lime pen and the letters are traced with lilac. A silver sakura pen was used on the buckle to finish off the card. The orange polka dot ribbon is from Making Memories and the satin Plum Pudding Ribbon is from PTI.

Some more simple cards with a hint of sparkle. The spider image is also from one of the Joann's sets and the sentiment is from the Impression Obsession set called Candy Corn. The candy corn image and sentiment on the second card are from the same set. And like with the first two cards, the sentiments are traced with spica pens. I think it's physically impossible for me to make a card without one of those pens! The Plum Pudding grosgrain ribbon is from Papertrey as well.

I had a hard time getting a good picture of this card, but I really love how it turned out. This is one of my new cuttlebug folders and I flipped it around so that the indented side is facing out. I used a 3/4" square punch, punched a few times in a row, to make a window for the sentiment to show through and then looped some PTI Plum Pludding grosgrain through the window on the left side. The sentiment is, of course, traced with a black spica pen, and the card is finished off with 3 mint green adhesive gemstones from Kaiser. I was VERY tempted to trace every line of the spiderweb with my clear spica pen, but I made myself resist! The cardstock colors used are SU's Basic Black and Green Galore and PTI's Plum Pudding.

This was my other new Halloween/Fall Cuttlebug folder. It was the first one that caught my eye when I saw the new folders, so this was a quick card to try it out. I used my word window punch to create a window for the sentiment, which is from A Muse. The cardstock is PTI white and SU Pumpkin Patch and the ribbon is PTI's Dark Chocolate satin polka dot.

Big Old Post

I've got a mondo post coming at you since I've been a bad blogger and have not posted anything in almost 2 weeks! I am currently in a delightfully good mood, enjoying the lovely sunshine and cool breeze coming through my living room window. My beloved Patriots are playing right now, as are the Pittsburgh Steelers. Normally I couldn't care less about the Steelers, but given that I've got 4 of their guys on my Fantasy Football team, they are suddenly of great interest!

On today's menu: a super easy, super yummy dip: brown one pound of ground beef in a large pan and drain the grease. Add a jar of Tostitos salsa, a jar of Tostitos salsa con queso, a can of kidney beans, and let that all simmer and mix together. Top it with sliced scallions and dig in with some hearty tortilla chips. Mmmm! I am not supposed to be eating things like this anymore, or certainly not in the quantity I intend to consume, but this weekend my diet has been pretty much nonexistent anyway, so oh well! Tomorrow I start on NutriSystem, so I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts!

I have two more LOSTie birthday cards to share that I received since my last post. The first is from Tracy. It's tough to see in the picture, but next to the flower stem it says imagine and the little charm says the same thing. And the second is from Alyson, complete with a cupcake that looks good enough to lick! Thank you ladies, they're beautiful!

And now the two books that I've read since my last post:

Outlander (Outlander, Book 1)

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! It's got time travel, romance, sex, danger, suspense, comedy, everything you could hope for in a book! This is the first in a series and I can't wait to move on to the next one!

The Next Thing on My List: A Novel The Next Thing on My List: A Novel by Jill Smolinski

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the latest selection by my book club. It's not a work of literary genius by any means, but it was a fun, quick read. I was trapped home with a flooded parking lot last night, so I read the whole book in one sitting and it was the perfect kind of book for a rainy night. June, the narrator of the story, is in a car accident in which her passenger, a girl she barely knows, is killed. She finds a list that the girl had written of 20 things she wanted to do by her 25th birthday. June decides to complete the list as a way to make amends for the girl's death. The book takes us through the tasks she needs to complete, some easy and some more complicated. It's a sweet story, and a reminder to make the most of your life, as you never know when it will end.

And now my delightful mood is gone! In the time it's taken me to write this post, Tom Brady has gotten hurt, and I am now about to punch my computer because the layout on my post is all messed up. So I'm going to stop here and post whatever else I had to share at a later time when I am much more calm!