Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Picket Fence Card

Inspired by a card I saw on Pinterest, I created an "outdoor" Mother's Day Card and got to use some of the photograph scrapbook paper that I've had on hand for quite a while.

The fence is from My Community.  It was resized in Design Studio and embossed with a Paper Studio wood grain embossing folder.  I hand cut the boards that go across the fence from an additional piece of embossed paper.

The sentiment was done in MS Word and I made the "V" cut in the end of the flag using my 1 1/4" punch.  I believe the sunflower embellishment is from K & Company.

CTMH Art Philosophy Card

The sentiment was made with CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge and stamps.  The large flowers were done with an EK Success punch.  The flower centers were done with the SU Boho Blossoms punch and a piece of embossed paper.

Monday, February 27, 2012

More Butterfly Mother's Day Cards

I'm stuck on butterflies this week!  Here are a couple more Mother's Day cards for Operation Write Home.  The first one is based on a challenge sketch seen on their website.  I didn't like the way it turned out so I changed the layout.

The sketch indicated to use three strips of paper, 1/2" wide beside the center rectangle.  I wound up with the sentiment being on a piece that wasn't tall enough for the three bands to look appropriate beside it.  If the sentiment had been on a long narrow rectangle, it would have been okay.

I had multiple card bases prepared so I cut out some shapes using Elegant Edges and printed my sentiment on those.  The shadow was made using Design Studio.

I used Martha Stewart and Stampin' Up punches for the butterflies and added some accents with inks and Pearl Pens.

Inside sentiment was printed using card making software.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mica Paper Butterfly Card

I used three different Martha Stewart butterfly punches and my Indie Art cartridge on these.  The papers are from the K & Company 360 sheet pack from JoAnn's.  I printed the sentiment on vellum and then adhered it to the card front.

Wish I'd taken a better photo!  The shiny butterflies really do pop off the flowered background when you can see them in person!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Art Philosophy Mother's Day Card

Operation Write Home let us know in a Ustream chat that they need Mother's Day cards.  Here's one that I came up with this afternoon while rockin' out to some Led Zeppelin in my craft room!

I used the CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge to cut the swirls and the flower.  Punches were used for everything else.  The papers came from a 360 sheet K & Company paper pad that Shirley and I found at JoAnn's.  It's got so many beautiful floral papers in it that I knew it would be great for Mother's Day cards.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mother's Day Card

Color Block Card

Here are the pieces you'll need for this card:

Card base cardstock - 5 1/2  x  4 1/4

Black cardstock    -  2 pieces 2 3/4  x  2 3/4
                                1 piece 2 1/8  x  4 1/4

Patterned cardstock - 2 pieces 2 1/2  x  2 1/2
                                  3 pieces 1 1/4  x  2

Printed sentiment was punched with an 1 3/8" circle punch and mounted onto a 1 1/2 circle.

Baker's twine of your choice

3 self adhesive pearls

Chestnut Roan ink for edges

My card layout was patterned after one done by Niki Estes and seen online.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shawna's Cheese Dip

About 11 o'clock at the swarm, I smelled something wonderful in the kitchen and had to go check it out.  Shawna Maxwell had brought a crock pot of cheese dip to go with the submarine sandwiches for our lunch.  I've had the Velveeta Cheese and Rotel dip several times and it's okay.  Usually a little hotter than what I care for though. Shawna's recipe is creamier and has a milder pepper flavor to it since she uses Pace Picante sauce instead of the Rotel tomatoes with green chilies.

She was kind enough to share her recipe with all of us at the swarm.  I made it for Fred the very next day and he agrees that it's just pretty darned good!  Knowing that I'd want to keep the recipe and use it again, I made a layout for my Cricut Cookin' recipe album.

The pot was cut with From My Kitchen; I used clip art for the images and just printed the heading on my computer.

Thanks again for sharing this with me Shawna!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cards Using Leftover Cuts

This card used the leftover pieces from the card kits I took to the swarm.  I just added the stem that I cut with a Cuttlebug die.

Cards from the Swarm

Going to a swarm without some card kits means I get nothing done except visit and snack!  For the one last Saturday I made up kits for four different cards.  They didn't all get completed at the swarm because I was too busy eating the cheese dip that Shawna Maxwell brought!  My project this afternoon was to complete them.  Now I have another 46 cards for Operation Write Home!

The popsicle was cut by hand.  I used an 1 1/2" scalloped circle punch to take the bite out of the corner.

This is a repeat of a layout I've done before.  I wanted some quick, simple cards to assemble at the swarm.
Here's the inside sentiment.

This one used the Bitty Punch and the Boho Blossoms punches from Stampin' Up.  I layered the flowers and added some Pearl Pen centers.

 The flower shape is a negative cutout.  It went together so easily that I made it in two colors.  The yellow ones really do look like springtime!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Valentine Exchange for the Swarm

Today was the swarm in Norman.  Several of the attendees decided to exchange Valentines even though it was last Tuesday.

Since I make my seasonal cards about 2 months in advance, I decided to do a little food Valentine for the exchange.  These items were seen on Pinterest (of course!).

 The cookie monster was done with SU punches.  I had some paper with chocolate chip cookies on it, so I punched them out and then used a scalloped circle punch to make the bite mark.
The sentiment was printed in my card making software and mounted onto a scalloped punch out.  I added some doodledots along the scalloped edge of the bag topper.

Swarm Valentines

Even though I've made some items to use for the Valentine swap at the swarm, I decided today to make Valentines too.

These are note size - 5 x 3 3/4"- instead of the A2 size cards I generally make.  The front is embossed with a heart folder, edges rounded with an EK Success punch and Design Studio was used to resize and cut the hearts.  The front was pop dotted onto the card base for added dimension.

My Pay It Forward for Okieladybug

A while back I participated in a "pay it forward" post that appeared on Facebook.  The first five people who replied to the post would receive a handmade item from me.  The first four were no problem at all! But, then Shirley, aka Okieladybug, replied.  What the heck do you make for someone as talented as Okie?  lol!  Not only does she make such pretty things out of paper, she sews and does other types of crafts too.

We sort of set ourselves a deadline of March 1st to deliver our pay it forward gifts.  I've wracked my brain trying to decide on something to make and this is what I came up with.

Shirley loves to watch movies and she collects ladybugs.  When I saw this planter I knew it would be a perfect container for a movie night goodie package.  Microwave popcorn packets, Milk Duds and some Diet Coke should give her all she needs for a serious Twilight movie marathon!  There are also some foil wrapped chocolates snuggled in between the other items to enjoy during intermission.

So, this is what she's getting.  I have to say that the only handmade things on it are the labels and popcorn packet wrappers though!

This is on the bottle hanger for the Diet Coke.  The swirls were cut with a Cuttlebug die and I added some pen stitches.  The label was cut with Elegant Edges, sentiment done in Hallmark card making software and then I ran the image through my printer to get it centered on the label.
Online clip art images and Promarkers were used on the popcorn sleeves.  I added some details with Pearl Pens and gel pens too.

She'll get this on the 18th since we're going to the swarm in Norman together.  Hope she likes it!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Shopping In Small Businesses

Today I can give you one more reason for shopping in small businesses.  This has nothing to do with paper crafting at all, but the same principle applies.

While in WalMart this afternoon, I went to the deli to purchase some pastrami.  There were several customers waiting for the clerk to slice the meats they'd chosen.  Not wanting to stand in line for several minutes, I continued on through the store and finished getting the other items I planned to buy and then went back to the deli counter.

When I got back, there were no other customers at the counter.  The clerk was standing with her back to me using the meat slicer so I took a minute to be certain they had the luncheon meats that I wanted.

I stood there for 2-3 minutes, walked up and down in front of the deli case, and finally asked her if they had pastrami.  She did finally look up at me and say "Yes, we have it.", sort of indicated with a wave of her hand that it was further down in the deli case, and went right back to what she was doing.

By her tone of voice and body language, it was evident that she didn't really care if she got what I wanted or not.  She could have said, "I need to finish this and I'll be right with you."  or even "I'll get that for you in just a minute."

I ran my own business for several years and taught my employees that no matter how busy you are, or even how short tempered a customer might be, they are to be acknowledged and treated with courtesy when they come to the counter.  It takes just a few seconds to say "I'll be right with you." and give a smile to let them know that their business is appreciated and important.

Customer service and courteous employees are the hallmark of a good business and I find it severely lacking in large corporate owned stores.  The employees have no stake in the business.  Their managers have so many employees to oversee that they have no idea how customers are being treated.

When you shop in a small business, the owner is generally there and often involved with customers.  And, when you shop in a small business, the money you spend stays in your community instead of being absorbed by a huge corporation!

Simple Card with Twenty Pieces!

Thanks, Claudia Harvey, for sharing this pretty card layout!  I saw it on Pinterest; it seems like that's where I'm getting all my card inspiration these days.

A Martha Stewart punch was used for the butterflies; the word "Imagine" was cut from some Slice specialty paper with adhesive on the back and I added some doodling with a Signo pen.

The card front has tiny lines embossed horizontally across the front.  They don't show up in the photo.

Shirley and I found some packages of the Slice self-adhesive paper at Tuesday Morning.  After making some cards yesterday and wrestling with applying glue onto cut out letters, I dragged mine back out and used it for today's project.  It was simpler to peel the paper off the back of each letter than to apply glue and try to get a letter positioned on the card front.

Thanks again, Shirley, aka Okieladybug, for creating the watermark for me!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just a couple of cards

Clock Face Card

Shirley pointed this card out to me on Pinterest.  It was pinned from the Operation Write Home site but I never could find the original post to give the card maker credit for her layout.

My original plan was to use clock stamps for the images until I remembered I'd found these really cool clock face clip art images online.

My dilemma with clip art and my card making software is that I'm never 100% sure of the size.  I've used the software for over four years and realized just this week that I could make a template with different sized circles in the program, then place the clip art image inside the circle and know exactly what size punch I'd need to use! ***sometimes it just takes me a while to see something so obvious! lol***

Using my template made it super simple to get the faces sized for my 1 3/4" circle punch.

I love, love, love the background paper on these!  It's from a DCWV stack called Tattered Time.  I'm hoping that JoAnne's in Norman still has one of these stacks so I can pick another one up on Saturday.  The papers have a lot of shiny embossing on them and they fit into the "steam punk" genre.  Sort of like Tim Holtz but not as expensive!

See how pretty the embossing is on the paper?  The cardstock base is Bazzil bittersweet brown.  The sentiment was printed in the card making software and I used a SU label punch to shape one end of it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Card Experiment

Someone pinned this card by Heather Nichols.  Heather Nichols

I decided to make my own version of her concept.  There are four different layouts of the same card.

For this one, I printed clip art butterflies directly onto the paper
I chose for the card base.  Then I used distress ink for the shadow.

Nothing really wrong with this, it's just too one dimensional.

Three of the butterflies are printed onto the card base and the fourth one is cut out and pop dotted for dimension.

This one is better.

For this one, I laid the butterflies onto the base paper and created the shadow, then glued the butterflies onto the base paper.

I like the cut outs on the card better than the ones printed directly onto the paper but they're still too flat.

For this one, I laid the butterflies onto the card base and inked the shadow.  Then I pop dotted each of the butterflies so that you can barely see the area underneath them that has no ink.

This is the one that I like the best.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cowboy Boot Valentine

Shirley, aka Okieladybug, designed this card and so I stole her idea to make the perfect Valentine for my husband!

The boots are an image that Shirley stamped an entire page of at stamp club a couple of months ago.  Then she colored the images and scanned the page.  Now whenever she (or I) need the boots for a quick card, all we have to do is just print them and cut them out.  Talk about a time saver!

Old West cartridge was used to cut the barbed wire frame.  Shirley gave me a great tip for inking the barbed wire.  Cut the image out first, leave the paper on your mat and hit the "load paper" button again.  The blade will align with the original starting point.  Remove your blade and insert a Cricut marker and then cut the images again.  Perfect outline and detail lines!

The reason I knew this was the perfect Valentine for my husband was the sentiment Shirley used inside hers.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be like a pair of old boots...the worse we look, the better we feel!"

It's perfect because DH and I are always talking about how old we're getting! LOL!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Afternoon Card

It seems like it's taken me forever to get this card assembled.  The idea was such a simple one but I just couldn't seem to find colors/patterns that go together! 

This is one of those "I'll set it aside for a few days and look at it again" cards.  Then I'll decide if I want to make any duplicates of it using these papers.

Taco Soup Recipe

This is one of those "throw it together and season to taste" recipes.  You can double or triple it for a large crowd.  It's also one that you can brown the meat and onions, then toss everything into a crock pot and cook slow all day.


1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can pinto beans
1 or 2 cans diced tomatoes (depending on your preference)
1 can hominy (or corn--we just like the hominy better)
1 can Ranch Style beans
1 can blackeyed peas (optional)
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 package your favorite taco seasoning mix

I add a little chili powder and garlic powder to the pot sometimes too.

Brown the meat with the onions and dump everything else in the pan.  That's it!  You let it simmer for a few minutes and it's ready to serve with tortilla chips or cornbread.  I generally let mine simmer for 30-45 minutes at least or I'll cook it ahead and reheat it to serve later.

I've seen similar recipes that call for a package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix.  I don't use it.  It will cause the soup to stick to the pan and it's way too salty if the dressing mix is added.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pickle-O's Recipe Page

I used card making software and free downloaded clip art images for this page.

Goulash Recipe Layout

The only thing Cricut on this page is the recipe card off of From My Kitchen.

A Successful Kitchen Experiment

I've been reading cooking magazines (again!).  Recently, I tried a new recipe from a Taste of Home 5 Ingredient publication and we liked it but it wasn't one we liked well enough to add to my recipe album.

Tonight I made a variation of the recipe as an experiment and it turned out really good.  So, now I need to get another recipe page made before I forget it!

From start to finish, you can have this on the table in less than 20 minutes.  Add some good bread and a salad or green vegetable and you have a complete meal.

Easy Goulash

1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 3 ounce package of beef flavored Ramen noodles (broken into pieces)
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Bay leaf (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef with the onion and bell pepper.

Add the seasoning packet from the Ramen noodles, Italian seasoning, undrained can of tomatoes and bay leaf.

Simmer until the noodles are tender.

I always use Hunt's diced tomatoes.  They have the best flavor of any brand I've tried.  We like the flavor added by a bay leaf but you can omit it.

Since I cook just for the two of us, one pound of ground beef makes enough for our dinner and then there's enough left over for lunch tomorrow.  The dish cost less than $5.00 to make so it's a great one to stretch your food budget too!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Punch Art Card

Would you believe that this punch:

Was used to make this card?

I saw this card with the instructions at Ann's Creative Moments.   Stampin' Up demonstrators can surely come up with some neat ways to use their punches!  She has some simple to follow instructions and hints on making this; once you read through them and look at the photos, you'll see that it's not difficult at all to assemble.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Butterfly Mother's Day Card

Splitcoast Stampers provided the inspiration for this one.  I used Lyrical Letters for the word and several Martha Stewart and Fiskars punches for the rest of the embellishments. I added some white Enamel Accent dots.  The papers are Heidi Grace and Coordinations.

Mother's Day Card

A Child's Year was used for the silhouette and Hanna Montana for the doily.

The inside sentiment:

Bingo Birthday Card

This card was seen on Maile Belles' blog.  I adapted her design to use supplies and tools that I own.

The bingo card image is free clip art found online.  I resized and printed it using Hallmark card making software.  Then I chose a font and sized the letters to spell out HAPPY that would fit onto the bingo card squares.  They were printed with the card making software too and then cut out by hand.

The bingo card is pop dotted for dimension; the edges of the card are inked and I added a baker's twine bow.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Making Valentine Cards at Shirley's

Shirley invited some friends to her house for a card making party.  She set up banquet tables in her living room and made kits so we could complete four different Valentine cards.  It was a lot of fun and here's the cards I made.

The bee's wings have vellum as the shadow layer.

The brown background was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.

Shirley even cut out silver metallic pieces for the arrow!  Tiny, tiny! Lots of work there!

She knows I can't tie a decent bow, so she even had that done for us.  She hand stitched the heart charms onto the bow too!

Shirley did all the hard work.  She designed the cards and cut out all the pieces, putting them in zip lock bags.  The tables had everything we needed to assemble the cards all laid out in front of us.  Even the sentiments for the inside!

There were six people there; four of us were familiar with how to work with paper and two were novices.  But, they did a great job on their cards and the left with four pretty Valentine cards they'll be proud to give.

This is Andrea, who's really never done any paper crafting.  She thought she wouldn't be able to make these and was really proud of the way hers turned out.

Nancy decided to ink the edges of hers.  Shirley was so proud!  LOL!

Shirley was "supervising" while Nancy and Wendi were working diligently to finish their projects.  Did I mention that we had complete kits to make the cards, but had no finished ones to see what they were supposed to look like?  LOL!  I had to ask Shirley on a couple of mine just where to put some of the pieces.  It's a good thing she showed me.  I tried arranging the hearts on the pink/brown one and they just didn't look right until she suggested that I overlap them.  (I am NOT artistic!)

We all agreed that Shirley is very talented and should probably give classes at the LSS.  But, she insists that she doesn't want to do it because she "doesn't want people asking her "stupid azz" questions! LOL! 

I got to Shirley's house about 4:30; the party was to start at 6:00.  We had enough time that she and I went to an architectural salvage yard to see if I could find some wooden spindles or table legs and ceiling fan blades for an outdoor craft project.  I got exactly what I wanted and am anxious to get started on making my dragonflies to hang on our wood fence in the back yard.  Of course I'll post photos on here once I get them assembled and hung.

Friday night at Shirley's was fun!  I'm hoping she's leaving the tables set up permanently and will plan another card making party real soon.