Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Hi" Flower Card

This card looks so simple but it took me forever to get the components just right and assembled.  I stamped the flower onto patterned paper and cut it out by hand.  Used a SU punch on the blue background piece and hand drew the notebook paper lines.  A Martha Stewart punch was used on the double border on the bottom and the Divine Swirls folder was used to emboss the white background.

The flower center is a white SU punch with a button and twine attached.  I hand cut the flower stem and punched the leaf with another MS punch.

S'more Card

Looking back through some old issues of Cards magazine I saw a card with a marshmallow and graham cracker on it made of chipboard.  I thought the card was cute so this is what I designed.  The marshmallow was made using the small SU oval punch to trace the rounded top.  Two colors of brown cardstock were layered, trimmed by hand and the corner punched to look like a bite was taken out.

The branch was cut using the Bloom cartridge and the 3 1/2" circle moon was embossed with my Cuttlebug and inked.  The sentiment was printed on my computer.  The faces are Peachy Keen stamps.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tim Holtz Grungy Paper

The papers that Tim Holtz designs are some of my favorites.  The dark colors and interesting objects he chooses always cause me to want to buy those stacks.

The background papers came from an old stack (not TH) and the punched rectangles are from his Lost and Found stack.  I went online to find the old postcard image, imported it into my cardmaker software to re-size and print, and used Plantin Schoolbook cartridge to cut the "U".  The edges were all inked and some baker's twine was tied around the rectangle.

I made a total of six of these layouts, two with the dark green background, two with antiqued orange and a dark red.

I really am very happy with the way this card turned out!  It was inspired by one I saw in Card magazine.

Want to win 100 yards of Baker's Twine?

This leg stamp is from a set I bought yesterday at Michael's.  I'm giving away 20 yards of five different colors of baker's twine for the best suggestion for a greeting or sentiment  to use this stamp on an A2 sized card.  The image measures 1 1/8" wide by 4" tall.

The only restriction is that the suggestion has to be totally rated "G" and suitable to include in the cards I send to Cards for Soldiers.  Remember, these cards are sent to the military for them to use to send back home.

I'll review all the suggestions and decide the winner on Wednesday, May 4th.   So, leave a comment with your suggestion....I've drawn a blank!  LOL!

Bargain Stamps from Hobby Lobby and Michael's

Since 3M has decided to change the tips on their Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive bottles, I decided to drive to Oklahoma City yesterday morning, go to Hobby Lobby and Michael's to search for the old style bottles.

That's the good thing about being can make these spur of the minute decisions to blow the entire day shopping and never miss a deadline! LOL!

I was able to find some of the old style bottles at Michael's and headed over to Hobby Lobby with my 50% off coupon in hand.  Why is it whenever you have a good coupon that everything you'd spend the coupon for is already on sale?  I did find this set of stamps on clearance and picked them up.

 I made this card today to use up some paper scraps, twine and to play with the new stamps.

These were my bargains from Michael's.  Don't know yet what I'll use the "legs" stamp for but I had to buy that set because of the shoes..

The paper pack is probably one that's been out for a while.  It has some good pages of birdhouses and birds so it will be good for my spring and summer cards.  I figured I could use the stamps with the birdcage with some of the paper from this stack too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bee Card

Robin Lee posted a card similar to this one on Splitcoast Stampers recently.  Thanks, Robin, for the inspiration!

The background is embossed using a Cuttlebug folder, the flowers, bee and sentiment are from SU stamps and punches. The flower centers are Black Diamond Stickles.

The page from the book came from one that I found at the library in a stack of free books.  The name of the book is "The Dancing Bees An Account of the Life and Senses of the Honey Bee" ---how appropriate! So I made sure part of the title appears at the top of the cut off portion I used.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"You make my heart sing" card

When I'm looking around online and see a card that catches my eye, I save it in an ideas folder to use for inspiration.  Most of the time I try to be sure whose card I copied so that I can give them credit and will even post a link back to their blog if they have one.

This card has been in my folder for some time.  I know that the cardmaker's name is Nancy Kirk but I don't know if she posted it on Splitcoast Stampers or on a blog.  Wherever it came from, thank you, Nancy for sharing your card! 

The red hearts are cut from DCWV Old World stack using my George cartridge.  The music paper is vellum layered over white cardstock.  The sentiment was computer generated and the dotted ribbon came from Offray.
The scalloped border was done with a SU punch and I used my Corner Chomper to round the edges.

Virgo5 Card

I love Splitcoast Stampers!  There are so many talented people who generously post their creations for us all to see.  Virgo5 posted a card a lot like this one.  Thank you, Virgo5, for sharing this layout!

I used three different Cuttlebug folders to put texture onto the cardstock.  The bird, branches and flowers were done with  SU punches.  The flower centers are Liquid Pearls.

The bird was inked around the outer edges and then chalked on it's stomach to make it look more like a robin.

Card for today

I'm not getting much done today because of the HSN launch of the new Cricut Expression 2.  Since they've had several shows featuring it I've been watching TV most of the morning.  I even saw it at 2:00 a.m. hoping to see some of the layouts that Okie had sent in for their contest.  LOL!

This card was an experiment to see if my new printer would work on vellum.  I set up the sentiment in my cardmaking software and ran the vellum through my HP printer and it worked fine.  My old printer always smeared the ink whenever I printed on vellum.

The iris came from a package of K & Co. embellishments that Okie saw in the clearance bins at Michael's on our last trip.  The scalloped circle is punched out of mica paper, which doesn't show up in the photo.

I also used a Gelly Roll pen on the iris to add some sparkle to it.  That way it looks better next to the mica paper.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Making digital stamps

I've had some inquiries about making the digital image of the checklist on the birthday card. Using Excel is the easiest way I've found to do these.  You just type in your text and adjust your spacing on the columns until it's set up the way you want it.  You can select any font on your computer to use in Excel just like you can in MS Word.

I copy and paste my layout until I have a page full and then just print them and cut them out to size.

Using Excel is easier than MS Word because you can actually see that the text is perfectly aligned. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Love Card

I "guess-timated" where to print the sentiment so I could finally use this Cuttlebug folder.  I've had it for over a year and couldn't come up with a good use for it!

The hearts are a SU stamp and punch.  The thinner font is my favorite of the two I used.

This would make a good wedding card too!

Kid's Birthday Card

The cat image came from Hallmark Card software.  This gave me a chance to use some more of my twine! LOL!

Punched Butterfly Card

The card front was embossed with my Scor-Pal.  I used a Martha Stewart punch for the butterflies and added some Liquid Pearls on the bottom.   Papers are from Stampin' Up.     Very spring-like!

White on White Cards

White on white cards always look so elegant to me.  I used a couple of different Cuttlebug folders to do these.  And I tried three different embellishments on the butterflies before I decided the pearls looked the best.

Frosted Lace Stickles look dull on the white cardstock, silver Stickles had too much contrast and leaving the butterfly plain just didn't work either.  So, I got out my white adhesive pearls that I've been rationing out!  It's a good thing that GASC is in a little over a month!  Shirley and I went last year and bought a lot of embellishments for only $1 a package and I'm running out of all of them!

The flowers and branch were done with a SU punch.  I rounded the corners with my Crop-a-Dile Corner Chomper.  That's the best corner rounder I've ever used!

Adhesive pearls and sea shell embossing folder

Frosted Lace Stickles

Adhesive pearls

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Using up embellishments and my digital stamp I made

There are too many embellishments laying around back here!  I discovered these little party hats today in a magnetic tin hanging on a rack so I decided to use them up! This week has been all about using up supplies on hand to make room for new stuff.  lol!

The main thing about this card today is the digital stamp I made.  Using Excel makes it simple to do things like this that need to be lined up perfectly.  I probably spent about 30-45 minutes getting it just the right size and picking the font.

More and more things are going digital and I'm hoping in the near future that Stampin' Up will offer more of their stamps as digital downloads that you can purchase by the set and not have to get an entire CD of digi images for their scrapbooking software.

I think it would be a "green" thing to do and would be so nice not to have to find a place to store the stamp sets.  Several of the crafting magazines I enjoy are now offering digital subscriptions that I've signed up for.  No more piles of magazines taking up my shelf space back here!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Summer card

I printed and cut out some free digital flower images, added some baby buttons and ribbon onto an embossed background.

So far today...

I cleaned house!  Not something I do a lot of since there's just me and Fred here.  But my house is cleaner than it's been in years since we just finished our remodeling projects and got new floor coverings so I'm trying to keep it that way!  LOL!

We have some long time friends coming to visit in June and for once, I don't want to have to kill myself cleaning and straightening up for two days before they arrive! 

I enjoyed looking around at Splitcoast Stampers for a while in between loads of laundry and got inspired to do these two simple cards.  They're blank inside and that way they can be used for any purpose.

Why I make cards

Whenever I post a new card on my blog, I get asked if it's for Cards for Soldiers or my personal stash.

With very few exceptions, all my cards are done to be contributed to Cards for Soldiers.  I do have a handful of my cards in a basket for my own use, but on the shelf below that basket are two APO Priority Mail boxes full of cards to send to the military.

About every 6 weeks we get a new challenge for CFS and I try to make no less than 150 and most of the time about 250-300 cards for each challenge.

I began cardmaking over three years ago.  At the time I was an avid quilter and had reached the point where I had no more room to store my quilts after they were finished.  I've been doing crafts since I was a child and so I looked around for something new to try.  I began making cards for charity and that's what I've been doing ever since.

Of course, our anniversary and other holidays means I make special cards for Fred and the grandkids.  And, I have two sisters and some friends that I make cards specifically for but everything else goes to charity.

It's been six months since I retired and making cards, going to stamp class and shopping for supplies has become my new "job".  I spend at least six hours a day making cards and when I decide on a layout for one, I make them six at a time.  If it's one I'm really happy with, I may make as many as 18 and divide them up so that many that are alike won't go to the same unit.

It's fun to do cards.  Each one is a new project, you can use so many kinds of techniques and embellishments and get instant gratification by seeing a project  finished.  I encourage everyone to make cards, whether for their own use or for donation.  And, I'd proudly accept your cards to include in the Cards for Soldiers shipments.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teapot Card

Lacy Labels was used to cut the scalloped shape, Ashlyn's Alphabet for the teapot.  Using Design Studio, I flipped the lighter colored teapot over.

The sentiment is a SU stamp and was punched with a SU punch.  All the edges were inked and then I did some pen work with a SU marker and a gel gloss pen.

The papers came from Mirabella stack.

Digital Sunflower Images

Scrappers Emporium offered these free digital sunflowers today.  They have 3 different colors, yellow, lilac and a bright blue.  I just downloaded them and used my Hallmark software to print them out.  The original plan was to use them printed onto my white cardstock and add either some cut out, or stamped leaves and stems.

After a couple of trials, I cut the flowers out by hand and placed them over a stamped image.  The pop-dot behind the flower made a lot of difference in the appearance of the card.

The stamped leaves were colored with Promarkers, edges of the cut out pieces are inked and then I added some hot fix rounds for a little detail.  This card was inspired by one seen on Splitcoast Stampers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Luck Card

A SU punch was used for the border; I cut the row of dice from a full sheet of paper, the stamp is an old Studio G, the hand of cards was cut using Old West and distressed with Tim Holtz ink.

I've had these cut outs laying on my work table for over a week trying to decide how to use them.

I added a little baker's twine to make everything come together better.

I made multiple versions of this and added some heat fix dots to some of them and omitted the stamped sentiment.  This is my favorite of the ones I put together.

Patty Melt Recipe

Okay, I'm trying to expand my variety of recipe layouts and include some that don't have a lot of food or kitchen images on them.  I grabbed a box of paper out of my Jetmax cubes and found this:

There were two sheets of this large scale printed paper in a package.  As a cardmaker who makes A2 sized cards, I've pulled it out a couple of times and just put it back.  The pattern is just too big for that sized card.

Now, don't ask me what a French themed paper has to do with a patty melt sandwich done on rye bread, but that's what I picked to use!  LOL!  Since the sandwich is grilled and has gooey melted cheese on it (love that!), the Martha Stewart Drippy Goo punch seemed like a good idea too. 

At this point I just had the recipe and the melty borders and thought, why not add some French words?  I don't speak French, well, I can say "french fries"  LOL!  So, I used an online translator to pick a couple of words and printed them in my cardmaker software.

So, if I've got a drippy goo punch, some words in French and a recipe, why not add the Eiffel tower and some travel labels?  What a combination!  The colors work well, but I'm not too sure about the concept!  LOL!

The Eiffel tower photo was found online and the travel labels came from the clip art in my cardmaker software.

Don't let my funky layout discourage you from giving this recipe a try.  It's a really hearty sandwich that would be great to feed a teenage son!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cheeseburger Soup Recipe Layout

That link will take you to the page with the recipe on it.

Almost every page in my recipe album has "kitchen-y" items on it.  So, I wanted to do one without anything food related today and ran across these flowers I've had quite some time. 

Then I challenged myself to put the flowers on paper that didn't match them.  It turned out pretty good IMHO.

Yesterday would have been a good day to prepare this soup since we had a little touch of Blackberry Spring and the temperatures were pretty low all day. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Digi Stamp from The Greeting Farm

Jennifer Kozar, who enjoys visiting  The Greeting Farm told Okie and me about a couple of free digital images being offered on that blog this weekend.

There's a cute little boy and little girl peeking out of an Easter basket.  I quickly downloaded, printed and colored the image with Promarkers.

I wanted to use some Easter colors and found the striped background paper before I mounted the colored image onto the mats.  Now, in my opinion, with the mats I chose, it looks too "stripedy" (is that a word?).  But, in spite of my goof up, the image is a cute one, easy to color and will be great on Easter projects!  Here's a link for the free images!

Patty Melt Sandwich Recipe

 Cook's Country magazine is a great source for new recipes.  The chefs from American's Test Kitchen take standard recipes, test them and find the best way for them to be prepared.  Part of the reason I enjoy the magazine so much is that they explain the different ways they test the recipe and describe the results.  After multiple testings and tastings they print the best recipe.

Around here, a patty melt is a hamburger patty with a slice of American cheese on top.  I've never ordered one in a cafe because I thought, "why?".  This recipe may be more like a patty melt that's prepared in a diner back east.


Adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Country magazine May 2011

5 slices light rye bread
2-3 T. milk or half & half
½ tsp. Dried minced onion
¾ lb. Lean ground beef
3 T. butter
1 onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

In a large bowl, combine 1 slice of rye bread that’s been cubed
with the milk and dried onions.  Add beef and mix until smooth.
Shape into two patties.

Brown patties on one side, about 5 minutes.  Remove from skillet.
Melt 1 T. butter in skillet and cook onions until golden brown.

Put patties, browned side up, on top of the onions, lower the heat and
cook, uncovered, until patties are done.

Divide ½ cup of shredded cheese among two slices of bread. Top
with patties and onions, remaining cheese and other two slices of

Wipe skillet out.  Melt 1 T. butter and brown sandwiches on both sides.

Makes 2 generous sandwiches!


I fixed these sandwiches for our dinner this evening and they turned out great!  Definitely a recipe that I'll be cooking again in the near future.  We think that the patties were too much meat for one person though!  I believe that I could have made the meat mixture into three or four servings since you have the onions and all the cheese to eat along with two slices of bread. 

Bluebird Card

Although I find that the SU multiple punches make a huge mess every time I use them, I got my bird punch out this afternoon after I saw a card made by Sheryl Dickinson at Splitcoast Stampers.

I also used a SU border punch, some Liquid Pearls, Chestnut Roan ink, and a Signo pen to add details.

Graduation Card

A couple of months ago Shirley and I went to a garage sale in Norman and this is one of the SU stamp sets I bought.  The image was colored with Promarkers and I added some hot fix circles to jazz it up a little.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poem for college bound kids

I've had this a long time.  It would be a cute gag gift to have framed for your college bound kids.

Be sure to study
In class never cheat
Get plenty of rest
And good food to eat.

Keep off the grass
Stay out of bars
Avoid loose women
Don't ride in fast cars.

Write home often
Sad news or funny
Call, if you must
Don't ask for money.

Follow these rules
Our pride will run riot
Should any be broken
Shape up and keep quiet.

Chocolate Sings Card

The play money on this card was some I bought at the Dollar Tree in the teacher's supply area.  It was so much smaller than a real bill that it fits just right on an A2 card.  It was printed on white paper so I distressed it with Tim Holtz ink.

In the photo, the papers appear to be white when in fact they're all cream colored.

I added this view later---with the bills done into a fan across the bottom.

Second layout

Original layout

Father's Day Card

A while back I finally broke down and bought the diamond plate Cuttlebug folder.  I kept seeing projects with that pattern embossed on them and thought it would be one that would work well on masculine cards.

The truck is from SU Loads of Love stamp set.  I printed the "DAD" and then just punched it with circle punches.  I colored the image using Promarkers.  This card was inspired by one on Splitcoast Stampers.

The truck was stamped onto white cardstock, then scanned into my computer.  It was flipped horizontally and resized in my card software.  I find that I'm using my computer more and more these days for this type of item.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bird House Card

The bird house is from Cindy Loo.  I punched the bird and the branch with a SU punch. 

Spring Flower Card

Ashlyn's Alphabet was used to cut the flower and the stem. The photo doesn't show that the flower is cut from mica paper.   The sentiment stamp is an old Studio G, I think.  I wanted to add something to the corners and ran across these Stickles that Okie gave me a long time ago and there were some yellow ones that worked just fine.  I added a little pen work to the borders.

Spring Flower Card

Today's card was inspired by one seen on Splitcoast Stampers by Cindy McGurk using her Boho Blossom Punch from SU.  Wish I had the stamp set that goes with this punch!

The sentiment was done at stamp club last week.  I often stamp off a page of a single image that I like.  Then, I can either use those or make a copy at home and cut the copy up to use.

Thanks, Robin Bogle, for telling me which cartridge had a photo corner on it!  I had looked and couldn't find one, even using the website.

I like the way these turned out but it took quite a while to assemble the flowers for six cards.  Lots of little pieces to line up and punch for the brad to go through.

Some of the cards have photo corners that I embossed with a Cuttlebug folder, and I made a cut file in George for a photo corner and used that on a couple too.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownies.

 I really, really need to quit finding new recipes to try out!  Just pulled these out of the oven and they're going into my recipe book for sure.  Even though they're called brownies, this has a more soft cake-like texture than a regular brownie.  The peanut butter/cream cheese filling is delish!

You do know, in Oklahoma, cream cheese is considered its own food group, right?  LOL!

In my oven, using an aluminum 9 x 13 pan, these were done in only 20 minutes.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. flour
1 c. + 6 TB sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1/4 tsp baking soda
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
In a heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips and butter.
Remove from heat. Stir in eggs. Add flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and baking soda.
Pour into prepared pan.
 In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and peanut butter. Beat on medium-high heat until completely smooth. Add in 6 TB sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla, scraping the bowl as needed.
Drop spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture onto the brownie batter, creating a cobblestone appearance. Using a wooden skewer or knife, swirl peanut butter mixture into brownie batter to create swirls.

 Bake 25-30 minutes, until set. Let cool to room temperature before cooling in the refrigerator. Once cooled, cut into bars. Makes 2 dozen large brownies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And I even used a color wheel!

The colors on this card are just ugly.  I don't care if the Stampin Up color wheel does say that real red,  creamy caramel and old olive go together, or not.  It's a good thing I only cut enough of the caramel and the olive to do two cards!  I'm switching colors, for sure!  LOL!

The coffee cup is a clip art image that I colored with my Promarkers and cut out.  Punched the scallop circle and the bar holding the sentiment.  The silver rounds on each end are some hot-fix embellishments.  I Cuttlebugged the background paper, of course.

This card should win me the "What was she thinking?" award.  LOL!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cowboy Cards

Last year at GASC, I bought several sheets of chipboard stickers with a western theme.  I thought they'd make good images to use on cards geared toward children.

After working with twine on some other cards today, I decided it could also work as "rope" and here's what I made this afternoon.  The background paper was bought at Hobby Lobby a while back.