Saturday, December 31, 2011

Butterfly Valentine Card

Yesterday my friend, Shirley called to tell me she'd found some good deals on scrapbook supplies in a discount store.  She bought Memento ink pads, Memento dew drop ink pads, stamp sets, punches and paper stacks at 40% off, and she picked up a ton of things for me too!

I used items she picked up to do this card.

The ink I used on this card is Memento Bamboo Leaves, the leaf stamp is a Cloud 9,  the small butterflies are a Martha Stewart punch, the larger butterfly is from an EK Success three step punch.

I made several versions of this card, all with slight differences, trying to decide how to lay it out.

I like them all but the last one is my personal pick.

Lime Green Valentine

What an unusual color combination on this card!  And, for once, I came up with it on my own!  Shocking, I know, since I'm color challenged.

I used an EK Success border punch, cut the heart using my George cartridge and then embossed it with a Cuttlebug folder, inked the edges and added some simple embellishments.  The flower centers and the tiny pearls on the edge of the heart were done with a Pearl Pen.  The sentiment was computer printed and the edges of the background were shaded with olive ink.

My card was based on one by Laura O'Donnell that I saw on Pinterest.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Loads of Love Valentine Card

I love the little truck in this set of Stampin' Up stamps.  The set includes several different stamps for things to put in the back of the truck so it can be used for a lot of different occasions.

This card gave me an opportunity to use my latest Tim Holt purchase, Vintage Lace dies.  I've used all my border punches so much that I'm tired of seeing them! lol!  I figured the $20 I paid for these dies was cheaper than picking up three new border punches. ***I can always justify a new toy if I really want it!***

These dies are to be used with a Sizzix machine because they're 12" long.  I only have a Cuttlebug, which is fine for doing cards so I had to play around with the cutting sandwich to get it to cut cleanly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Valentine Postage Stamp Card

This was a card seen on Scrapbooks. etc.

The papers I used are all Little Yellow Bicycle.  It was donated to me by a very generous vendor at the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Arlington, TX after I told them that I send all my cards overseas to our military.

The postage stamp shape is from Sentimentals and the hearts were cut using Design Studio from the Indie Art cartridge.  I used the hide contour feature to cut the solid red heart without the openings in it.

Valentine's Day is going to be here before you know it!  So, I've got to get busy and see how many I can get done in the next two weeks!  They need to be sent to a shipper by then to get them overseas in time to be sent back home!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Patriotic Themed Valentine

Carla Bazhenow shared this card on her blog.  I used  Cuttlebug folders to emboss the papers, sanded the blue Coredinations cardstock and inked the edges of the checked star and the red stripes.

The heart was cut using George and the stars from Indie Art.

It's a great patriotic themed Valentine card that will go to Operation Write Home.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cash Holders

Leave it to me....I decided to give cash to my adult son and granddaughter for Christmas and then had nothing to put it in!  Our family celebrates Christmas on December 24th, which is tomorow, so I had to get cracking and make some cash holders.

After spending some time searching through my Cricut handbooks without finding a cut file for a cash holder, I called Shirley, Okieladybug, to ask her if she knew which cartridge had one on it.  She suggested that I use the library pocket that she'd made to hold the Santa Bucks at her Christmas party.

I found a copy of a cut file that was done by Capdia from the old Cricut message board for a simple cash holder and then used Design Studio to modify the library pocket from Tags, Bags, Boxes and More.  I had to cut it larger than the 12" width of the Expression mat so I cut it in two pieces.  That was the only way to do it and get it large enough to slide the cash holder into the pocket.

I used a circle punch to make the opening at the top of the envelope.

By tucking a piece of twine into the bottom seam I was able to use a button for a closure.
I made the yellow one first and decided it needed a sleeve to cover the envelope.  The library pocket I used if on the TBB&M cartridge.

The scallops were done with SU punches; the sentiment was printed in card making software.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Large Candle Birthday Card

Carrie Gaskin is a Stampin' Up demonstrator and her blog Artistic Avenger has some really cute projects on it.  This is my interpretation of a card she posted.

The sentiment was computer generated; the candles were cut by hand; the flames are a teardrop shape from the cartridge Splish Splash.

Snow Globe Card

This card was inspired by one seen on Splitcoast Stampers.  I tried to go back on that site today to get the name of the person who posted it on there and the photo has been removed.

I used George, Doodlecharms and Bloom to cut the shapes.  The card front was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.  The bird is from an old set of SU stamps; I colored it with Promarkers.  The snowflakes were made using a Pearl Pen.

Thanks to Okieladybug, aka Shirley, for giving me some photography tips and explaining how to use a homemade light box.  The photos I made of this card really turned out better than the ones I made before she explained how to place a lamp to illuminate the object!

I'm going to have to work a little more on the line work on the snow globe base. The Promarker bled into the cut so I need to smooth it out with some shading so it looks straighter.  

The inking on the card would have looked a lot better if my Color Box chalk inks weren't so dry.  I have several colors of these inks and use them a lot but every one of the blue ink pads I've purchased is dried up when I get them!  There are six blue ink pads on my work table right now and they're all that way---and they're new!  I sure need to find some other brand of blue ink to buy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shadowbox for Christmas

Shirley, aka Okieladybug, made this yesterday.  I took my grandchildren to get photos made after their mother told me all she wanted for Christmas was pictures of her kids.  The pictures turned out pretty good and I wanted to make something special for her with one of the poses we chose.  I knew I could do it, but it would be pretty "vanilla" so I asked Shirley if she'd help me make it.

Yesterday morning I drove to her house with some sheets of cardstock and embellishments.  The paper was really just to give her some idea of the color combination I had in mind.  (I guess a scrapbooker knows that you should use paper that compliments the colors in the photo---I sure didn't! lol!)

Shirley fired up her Design Studio and was able to utilize the cut. files she'd made for the acrylic frames she gave as gifts at the Annual Girlfriends' Christmas party.

Shirley did 99.9% of the work on this.  I did push the "load/unload" buttons on her Expression, cover the chipboard shapes with cardstock, partially shape the flower petals and pay for lunch.  lol!  I told her after lunch that if she was being paid, she was up to almost $2 an  hour!

Isn't this gorgeous!  And, it only took about 8 hours to lay out, cut the pieces and get it assembled.  I love the doilies and the pearls she used for the flower centers.

The sentiment is   The most precious jewels you'll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shirley Working on the Shadowbox

Just got home from spending the day at Shirley's house watching her design and assemble a 12 x 12 layout in a shadowbox.  I'll post photos of the finished product as soon as she sends them to me.  She set up her light box and made some really good photos.

For now, here's Shirley:

She's working her magic in Design Studio laying out the idea she has for the frame.  Notice the deep concentration!

I told her to turn around so I could get a better photo of her face!

She started on the project around 10:30 this morning and I left her house just before 7:00 this evening.  We did take a few breaks, went for lunch at Sante Fe Steak House and made a trip to Scraptopia.  I'm estimating that she worked at least 6 hours on the project!

My contribution was pretty much two sheets of cardstock and a little minor labor.  She entrusted me to shape some of the flower petals and to trim some paper off a couple of chipboard shapes.  Other than that, she did it all!  And, it turned out beautifully!  Hopefully, she'll get the photos uploaded and sent to me tomorrow so I can share them.  I can hardly wait to show off what she made!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rows of Hearts Valentine Card

 You may think it's a little early to be working on a Valentine Card but when I saw this one I had to make it!   Thank you, Maile Belles for sharing your creation!

Using Design Studio and the George cartridge, it took no time at all to cut the rows of tiny hearts.  Each row is mounted with an 1/8" strip of mounting foam.  The sentiment was printed using card making software.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bird Punch Card

Thanks to KittyKraft for posting a card like this on her blog.  Hers is done in red and has more of a Christmas feel to it.  Since I'm finished with making Christmas cards, I used blue so it will work for an anytime card.

The bird, small flowers and the scalloped circle are all made with SU punches.  The border and the branches are Martha Stewart punches.

Here's a link to the original card:  KittyKraft

Masculine Card

The ruler is cut from a 12 x 12 page full of different types of measuring tapes and rulers.  That sheet was part of a stack and I've been wondering what I could use it for.  Today, I saw a card with a ruler printed on it while clicking through Pinterest and decided this would be a good way to use that page.

The printed ticket came from the same stack.  I used a diamond plate embossing folder, sanded the embossed area and inked the edges.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Okie's Crab File

A couple of years ago, Okieladybug made a cut file in Design Studio to duplicate the crab stamp by Stampin' Up.  She and I had spent the afternoon making cards with the stamp set and she cut a few of the crab images out by hand to make layers.  It's a pretty intricate shape to cut with scissors so she made the cut file shape to speed the process up.

Here's a link to her cut file if you use Design Studio.     Okie's Got Crabs .  The file cuts three crabs at a time, one large one and two small. 

This is one of my favorite stamp sets by Stampin' Up.  It has some cute sentiments and accessories to go with the crab image.  Having the cut file gives me another good way to utilize the stamp set!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa's Pants Box

This was inspired by a box seen on Pinterest.  Since I'm always in a hurry when I decide to do a project, I knew it would take me too long to make a cut. file in Design Studio so I used an empty box for the base.

An empty saltine cracker box was my starting point.

I measured one half of the box and made a mark 5" from the bottom fold.  This is my cut line and I'll get two finished boxes from each saltine box.

I opened  the side seam on the box and flattened it out.  This makes it easier to cut the bib portion on the pants.

You can see where I drew the black lines as the outline for the bib cutout.

Then I used a ruler to make a straight cutting line across the width of the box and cut on the line.

To finish the box, I covered it with red paper, cut a 3/4" strip of black for the belt and punched out a white square for the buckle.  The only black brads I had were too small so I colored some large brass ones with a black Sharpie Marker and attached the straps to the front and back of the box.

Now I have a Santa Pants box that's 4 x 4 x 3.5"---a perfect size to hold a pint sized jar of homemade goodies.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another Christmas Bag

Very Merry Tags was used for the "Ho Ho Ho".  I cut strips of red and white cardstock, embossed them and then cut the edges with shaped scissors. The top of the bag was trimmed off and folded down and secured with a yarn bow.  These bags will be used for food gifts this Christmas.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Baby Card

Very simply made.  I really like the sentiment.

The absolutely easiest pie crust recipe

Several years ago I took a class dedicated to making pie crust.  Up until I took the class, I could make a decent crust but mine never looked pretty, especially around the edge of the pan.

This is the recipe we received at our class.  It's absolutely the easiest pie crust recipe I've ever used.  It never fails to be flaky and it doesn't even have to be rolled out.  You can divide the dough into thirds and pat it into your pan, if you like.

Since there's only me and Fred at home now, I don't make pies very often.  It's a waste if you wind up having to throw it in the trash because it didn't get eaten!  But, today's Fred's birthday and he prefers pie to cake so I made him this apple pie.

The recipe makes three single crust pies.  If I'm not going to use all the dough for pies, I roll the left over amount out, brush it with butter and sprinkle a cinnamon-sugar mixture on it.  Then I cut it into strips and bake it on a cookie sheet.  I'm not sure whether we like the pie or the cinnamon-sugar leftovers best!


3 cups flour
1 1/3 cups shortening
1 T. salt  (you may want to only use 2 tsp.)

Mix together with a pastry blender.

In a small bowl combine:
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. white vinegar
6 T. ice water

Mix and form into a ball.  Divide into thirds.  Roll out on floured surface or pat into your pan.

If you need a prebaked crust:  bake at 425°

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Decorated Gift Bags

Yikes!  It's only sixteen days until Christmas Eve!  That's when my family gathers and does our gift exchange and has dinner.  This year, I'm making several different types of food items as gifts for my nieces, nephews and their families so I had to settle myself down today and get the bags decorated!

These are white lunch bags; they're a good size to hold a pint jar of homemade goodies. 

I used the new Paper Trimmings cartridge and Elegant Edges, some border punches, a snowflake punch, scalloped oval punch, Pearl Pens, ribbon,  computer printed sentiments and clip art images that I colored with Promarkers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crack Potatoes and Crack Dip

I love to cook and experiment with new recipes.  This one came from Plain Chicken and it's called "Crack Potatoes"; on the blog it explains that they're addictive!

Crack Potatoes or Loaded Potato Casserole

2 (16oz) containers sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (3oz) bags real bacon bits
2 packages Ranch Dip mix
1 large (28 - 30oz) bag frozen hash brown potatoes - shredded kind

Combine first 4 ingredients, mix in hash browns.  Spread into a 9x13 pan.  Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes.  
For just the two of us, I halved the recipe.  Fred thought they were pretty good and says he'd definitely eat them again....and that's about the best recommendation you'll ever get from him!

The first four ingredients make a dip referred to as "Crack Dip".  It's really good on tortilla chips.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gift Package Ornament

Isn't this cute?  My friend, Carrie Elmore, wound up with an extra My Story binding and laminating machine and offered it to me.  She wrapped it up in pretty Christmas paper and attached this ornament on top!  Now I know it's's got my name on it!  LOL!

Thanks again, Carrie!  It was sweet of you to share your toys with me!

Shirley's Girlfriends' Christmas Party

Shirley, aka Okieladybug, hosts a party each December for her girlfriends.  She spends the entire year accumulating and making prizes and items to put into a loot bag for each attendee!  I've attended the last three she's had and it's been a ball each time!

This year's party was really anticipated since she skipped it last year.  She'd won a Cricut Cruise and decided to forgo the party!  For some reason, she thought getting ready for that cruise was just more important!  I'd have made the same choice myself, given how much preparation it took for her,  Karen O'Brien and Shiane to go!  But, we all missed the party, for sure!

The 2011 party was held on December 3rd.  The weatherman had predicted some possibility of icy roads so our FB friend, Robyn Abbott, drove in a day early so she wouldn't miss the party! 

The fun started a little late.  A couple of guests were a little tardy.  Shirley was on the phone checking up on them since she has all the games, etc. designed for a certain number of people.

But once she spoke to them and learned they were on their way, the party was ready to get started!

Lucy was dressed for the occasion in a plaid Christmas dress.

This is a great photo of the "Cricuteers" at the party.

Shirley, Lucy, me, Carmen, Wendy, Robyn and Carrie.

I don't know where Shirley comes up with the games for us to play!  This year, she blindfolded us, handed us a wooden spoon and we had to scoop cotton balls from one container to another.  Whoever got the most inside the container won the prize.  Oh, did I fail to mention that she spun us around first?  

Carmen being blindfolded (with a plastic bag!)

Carrie lauging so hard she couldn't hit the contiainer

Shirley wanted to be sure there was no peeking
When it was my turn to be blindfolded, I tried to cheat by keeping it off my eyes just enough to see the table.  But, Carmen and Robyn caught me!  
The next game we played involved our being split into teams of three, being given some tissue paper and having fifteen minutes to design an evening gown.  My team gave its all but the hands down winner was Robyn's bunch.  Woo-Hoo!  What an outfit!

 I really thought that Wendy stood a chance in our creation!  Carrie's outfit included a stylish evening bag.
I think that Robyn and Shirley were just having too much fun here!
By the end of the party, Lucy was just worn out from all the excitement!  I'm sure she was glad to see us all go home so she could just have her couch back and rest.

After the party broke up, we hopped in our cars and went to the casino.  No luck for me!  But at least I made it home with a few dollars in my pocket!

Eeveryone there had a great time and we are already looking forward to the 2012 Girlfriend's Christmas Party!