Friday, November 30, 2012

"Beautiful" Card

The Japanese character from Pagoda cartridge translates as "beautiful".

Operaton Write Home

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Operation Write Home and informed that I'd been chosen as a featured card maker by their organization.  It was a pleasant surprise and quite an honor to me!

Here's a link if you'd care to see the cards they chose to feature.

Operation Write Home Featured Card Maker

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Another Thanksgiving is over...

Another Thanksgiving is over.   Everything I fixed turned out just the way it should have and we ate way too much, of course.  This year I cooked dinner and our son and his friend, Jackie, joined us.  Of course I cooked enough food for at least ten people so we're definitely going to be eating turkey and dressing for a couple more days!

This year, I set the table with a red and white checked bistro style cloth and used my white dinnerware.  The table favors I made looked cute sitting in the plates.  Jackie and Gene seemed to really like theirs and there was some discussion about whose chocolate was whose.  But, I packed up enough leftovers and sent with them that I know they won't fight too much over it!

This morning I made two loaves the "easiest bread I've ever made" from the recipe I shared here a while back.  Gene really liked it and even asked for the recipe when I told him I made two loaves and had them on the table in under an hour.  He says if he doubles the original recipe that it should be just about what he'd need to make for one of the meals they cater.

Fred and Jackie spent some time surveying our yard.  She's a horticulturist, and has some great ideas on how we can improve our landscaping.  In 2010, we had a tornado pass within an 1/8th of a mile of our house, uprooting eight huge trees. That summer, the yard was a total mess from doing the tree removal and cleanup.  Then last summer, Fred took the fall off the ladder and was housebound and nothing much got done.

Those factors combined with the drought the past three years means our yard really needs some TLC from someone who knows what to do.  Jackie's generously offered to come back with some landscape sketches and advise us on what planting needs to be done. I'm excited to see what she comes up with.  She was rattling off names of all types of shrubs, trees and plants so fast that I couldn't keep up!

One thing she told me was that we can replant trees in the places where the ones were blown down by the tornado.  I had been told by a nurseryman as well as the professional tree service that did the stump removal that I'd have to wait 8-10 years before replanting in the same spot due to the old root structure.  Now, I want to make a trip to one of the large nurseries in Oklahoma City and pick out the largest trees that we can handle (and afford) and get something in the ground.

I've enjoyed the past two days.  I got the opportunity to spend hours and hours in my kitchen cooking, which I love, and to share what I prepared with my family.  We enjoyed the pretty weather and had a good time visiting.  After the kids left, I managed to slip into a "turkey coma" on the couch for a couple of hours. 

Tomorrow, we'll get back into our regular routine and get the house ready for Cooper.  Melissa's going to drop him off so we can keep him for a few days.  I sure hope the weather stays pretty so he can be outside with Grandpa!  It's been over five weeks since we've seen Cooper and I can hardly wait to give him a big hug!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Table Favors

It's after noon on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I decided to make some favors for our table tomorrow.  Nothing like waiting till the last minute!  I even had to make a WalMart run to get the Nuggets to put inside the tins!

These little tins turn out so cute and take very little time or materials to do.  I'm not real creative so mine just has paper bands and a ribbon.  But, I'm happy with the way they turned out.

There's one for my husband, son and his friend who'll be joining us for lunch.  I didn't make one for myself---I got the rest of the bag of the Nuggets!  LOL!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have the entire day planned.  I'm going to get in my kitchen and spend it baking and making side dishes for our Thanksgiving lunch on Thursday.

My son and a friend will be joining us so there will only be four at the table and I can't make as many things as I'd like because I don't want (1.) to have to eat them for a week or, (2.) throw them out!

DH will be smoking the turkey tomorrow too.  Maybe that will keep him occupied and out from underfoot while I totally trash the kitchen with my baking mess!

I'll be baking a large patch of cornbread and a pan of biscuits to make the dressing.  While this is in the oven, I'll get my pie crusts made for a pumpkin and an apple pie and while they bake I can get my fruit salad and cranberry salad made.  We like those salads better if they sit overnight to let the flavors meld.

The only things I'll have left to do on Thursday is to make some bread, the gravy, green beans and set the table.   This year I may just draft my son to do the kitchen clean up!

2012 Thanksgiving Menu at our house:

Smoked turkey
Mashed potatoes
Green beans
Fruit salad
Cranberry salad
Homemade bread
Pumpkin pie
Apple pie

Quite a feast for such a small group!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Three Cups Card

This card is based on one I saw online over a year ago.  I do not know who made it originally, but it's probably from a Stampin' Up page since the cups on the original look like one of their stamps.

I used a cup from the Birthday Cakes cartridge and cut the oval using George.  The papers I used are Stampin' Up.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Embossed Snowman Card

This Cuttlbug folder doesn't get used much.  I really like the design on it, I just forget about it when I'm doing winter themed cards.

I highlighted the snowman with Stampin' Up and Promarkers.  The mug is from Love You a Latte cartridge and the heart border is a Martha Stewart punch.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Playing Around With Punches - 30 Minute Cards

I scored a bargain on some EK Success and Martha Stewart punches at the local Ross store.  I've been playing around with the "punch all over the page" punch and came up with these.

 I used the punch all over the page and added a couple of strips of embossed paper.

The heart border is a Martha Stewart punch.
I used shape scissors on the outer edges, a Cuttlebug die and folder for the large butterfly and a Martha Stewart punch for the little ones.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30 Minute Card

The butterfly is an EK Success punch shape.

My First Nugget Tin

Quick, Cute Valentine Cards

This first card is one that I've done the past couple of years to send to the soldiers.  I love the black, white, and red combination; it goes together quickly and packs well into the shipping box.

The second one was inspired by Tracey McNeely.   I embossed the red square with a tiny heart patterned folder and my Cuttlebug. 

Using Microsoft Word, I typed in the poem "How Do I Love Thee", printed it and used a Stampin'  Up punch for the heart.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Five Hearts Card

Today it's cold, windy and rainy at our house.  It's about time we're getting some fall type weather!  It's only eleven days until Thanksgiving and up until today, we've had the house wide open and temperatures in the upper 70's to mid 80's! 

This kind of weather calls for a big old pot of pinto beans or chili.  So, my beans are cooking away in the crockpot for tonight's dinner and I'll make a pot of chili this afternoon.  It's a perfect day for making cards while enjoying the aroma of comfort food cooking.

I'm still working on Valentine cards for Operation Write Home.  There are 230 cards in my box so I won't make too many more to have it completely filled.  Since I'm doing Valentine's there are more bows and pop dotted embellishments so they take up more room in the box and I don't want to pack them tight enough to mash them.

This card turned out so cute!  I used Make The Cut software and imported a 4 x 5 1/4" rectangle and the hearts from the basic shapes menu and could cut four card fronts at a time.  ***wish I'd thought to round the corners in MTC too and saved myself that additional step!***

The sentiment was printed using Hallmark card software.  I added the white dots inside the hearts with a gel pen.

There's no inside sentiment.  That way, they can be used for Valentine's Day or just a love note

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Embossed Hearts Card

I liked the digital sentiment used on this card when I saw it at Me, My Stamps and I.

My background was embossed with a heart Cuttlebug folder.  I used white Craft ink to stamp the design onto the heart punch out.  The heart patterned paper is from Little Yellow Bicycle and is part of what they donated for me to use to make cards for soldiers.

Ice Cream Cone Snowman

The ice cream cone is from Sweet Shop and the snowman hat is from Paper Trimmings.  I used a Peachy Keen stamp that my friend, Robin Bogle, sent me for the face.

To The Moon and Back---Revised

I used a Peachy Keen stamp for the face on the moon, printed the sentiment and the rocket ship is clip art.

The first card was done after midnight last night.  I wanted to get one completed so I wouldn't forget my idea.  This afternoon, I made a couple of changes.  Using MTC, I cut out a rocket ship and replaced the round porthole with a heart shape and put two layers of the green paper on the bottom to make it look more like a landscape.  All three elements on the card front are pop dotted.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Today's Valentine Cards

 The branch on this is from Art Philosophy.  The birdcage is a clip art image I found online.

This is the original layout.  I inked the edges of the words and added a shadow around the bird cage with a Promarker.  On the leaves, I added some veins with a Stampin' Up marker.

I tried three different background papers and decided that the khaki colored polka dot was the best. 

I didn't like the inked edges around the words so I reprinted them with a narrow box border and used pop dots to raise them as well as the birdcage off the card's surface.

I also left the scroll work on the  bottom of the birdcage rather than trimming the edge off straight.

Then I colored the heart with a Clear Star Jelly Roll pen to add some sparkle.

Three Hearts Valentine Cards

Make The Cut software was used to cut the hearts.  It's so much easier to fill a mat with duplicate shapes in that software compared to Design Studio!

I printed the sentiment and added some pen work around the edges.

                                       The red pearls are some I bought over two years ago at the Great American Scrapbook convention in Arlington, TX.

The sentiment is one of the many available in Hallmark card making software.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Valentines? Already?

My shipper for Operation Write Home is requesting Valentines!  It's hard to get enthusiastic about hearts and red paper since we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet!  This is what I came up with this evening. Super simple!

The large heart is inked on the edges and pop dotted for dimension.  Some of the cards got the outside edges inked and some just have the white pen work.

 The background has "Love You" stamped on it with Versamark ink.
 This one has hearts in the background.
 I remembered that there were some paper doilies in my resource center and played around with including one on the front.
This is the one I like best of the layouts I came up with. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Strangest Casserole I've Ever Made!

Okay, I have to admit this recipe was seen on Pinterest.  The photo of it was so pretty and the name intrigued me so I tracked it back to the original blog post.

It's fun to try new recipes, but even I had some doubts about this one!  Imagine how surprised I was at how good it tastes.  Now I'll have to scrap a page for it in my recipe album.

Cheesy Onion Casserole

    2-3 Tbs butter or margarine
    3 large sweet onions or 4 medium white or yellow onions
    2 c. shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz.)
    1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted**
    2/3 c. milk
    1 tsp. soy sauce
    8 or so slices of French bread

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and add onions. Saute onions until clear, a little brown is ok. In a shallow 2 qt. casserole pan, layer onions, 2/3 of cheese and pepper to taste.

In a sauce pan, heat soup, milk, and soy sauce, stirring to blend. Pour soup mixture in the casserole and stir gently to mix.

Top with bread slices. 
Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, top of bread should be nice and toasted.

Push bread slices under the sauce and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 more minutes and you are done!

One pinner called this French Onion Casserole, but it  doesn't taste anything like French onion soup.  You can barely taste the Cream of Chicken soup.  **The original recipe says you can substitute Cream of Mushroom soup and make it totally vegetarian.**

Be sure you use real French bread and not the soft squishy loaves that are only in the shape of a French loaf. I used an artisan loaf and the texture of it was perfect.  

Dragonfly Card

This card was seen at Stampingmathilda.     I followed her basic design but used card making software to print the images and sentiment rather than using a stamp.  The dragonfly is free clip art found online.

The next thing I did, was to measure the image and cut myself a mask for the width of the strip I wanted to sponge the ink into. 

This time I used Make The Cut software rather than Design Studio to cut my mask.  I'm gradually weaning myself off using Design Studio.  Make The Cut is quicker to use and now that I'm getting more confident with using it, I totally understand why so many people like it.

The outside dimension of the mask is 4 1/4" x 7".  It's the same width as an A2 card and slightly longer.  I secured the mask onto my cutting mat with a strip of tape to keep it in place.

The folded card was placed under the 2" x 5 3/4" opening and inked.  I needed the stencil opening to be slightly larger than the card so that I could ink all the way to the upper and lower edges.

The grid lines on the cutting mat helped me keep the card squared up with the opening.

Doing the distressed ink technique isn't difficult if you have the proper daubers.  I find the round fingertip daubers work better for me than the square wooden handled tool that Tim Holtz recommends.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let it Snow! Card

The snowman image is free clip art found online and colored with Promarkers.  I embossed the base with a Cuttlebug folder and added a premade bow.

I found these tiny bows in the Christmas ornament aisle at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.  Every year I buy two or three more packages to have on hand.  Much less stressful than tying bows this small! The only regret is that I can only find red ones.

My Gorgeous Shoe from Carrie!

My friend, Carrie Elmore, made this and had no idea what she was going to do with it.  Really?  Like she thought I, who collect shoes, wouldn't absolutely love it!  She made it several months ago and today was the first time we've had a chance to meet up so she could present it to me.

We enjoyed some old fashioned hamburgers at the local diner and tried to catch up on what's been going on in our lives.  Honestly, I jabbered so much that I'd eaten my entire chili cheeseburger before I even realized it!  Of course I had to show off the shoe to the girls who work in the diner.  Everyone thought it was super cute!

Carrie said she painted a black pump with acrylic paint and then added all the embellishments.  There's even a set of lights inside the shoe!

 There's a strip of satin leaves adhered along the sole and pink trim inside the shoe.
 Now I have my own fairy godmother to sit beside me while I make my cards!  She'll be next to a little sign I already own that says "One shoe can change your life".....Cinderella.
 There's a lot of bling on each side of the shoe too.  (Imagine Carrie putting bling on something! lol!)
 The pink bow on the heel reminds of of the one on Eyore's tail---from Winnie the Pooh!  She even put some bling on the heel!
Thank you again, Carrie for letting me have your wonderful creation to add to my shoe collection.  It's definitely one of a kind and I absolutely love it!  (And when I showed it to Fred, even he admitted it was "cute" without doing an eye roll!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Minute Valentine

Yesterday I posted a card made like this one but in a winter theme.  Today's card was done using Design Studio, George and Fabulous Finds cartridges.  The white mat is embossed with tiny little hearts and then I punched some red hearts and added those to the white mat.  I thought it still looked too plain so I added some red and white pen stitching.

This is the first one I made using the hearts and I wasn't completely satisfied with it.

Thinking I didn't like the way the white heart looked in the center, I omitted it.  Looked too plain.

To soften the edges of the red center heart I added some white pen work and liked it better.

This is my favorite of these..  The white pen work breaks up the solid red and gives a lacy look to the edges.

Now I need to go through my stamps and find an appropriate sentiment like "Be Mine" that I can emboss with white embossing powder in the center of the heart and it will be just what I want.

 The white sentiment is just what it needed.

 Adding the embossed words on a banner across the white heart was a good touch too!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Minute Winter Card

I like the way these turned out.  The embossed mat is pop dotted off the blue card base.  I used Design Studio to cut the mat and the circular opening and Paper Trimmings to cut the snowflake.

These will be left blank inside since they're going to Operation Write Home.

By adding a couple of punched leaves and a bow it would be a perfect Christmas card.  It's definitely one you could make multiples of in a short period of time.

Facebook doesn't like me any more!

Yesterday I had issues trying to do posts on Facebook.  I couldn't leave a comment on any post or update my status, but, I could make posts on my friend's home pages.  Go figure!

I tried rebooting my computer, waited a few hours and still couldn't post so I decided to log out and log back in, thinking that might reset something.

Well, evidently, it did.  Now I can't get back onto Facebook at all! 

I'm hoping that my repeatedly trying to reset my password, log back in, reset my password, etc. hasn't totally screwed up my account and I'll be able to get back on after letting 24 hours go by.

So, my Facebook friends, I'm not ignoring you........Facebook doesn't like me any more and won't let me on to play!  LOL! 

If the password resets after 24 hours, I'll be back on again,  posting and aggravating you all!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday's Card

The solid cardstock is Coredinations; the patterned paper is from the Prima Ledger stack; the leaf was cut from Freshly Picked and embossed; the bird is a Stampin' Up stamp and punch combination.  I used Memento Rhubarb Stalk and Rich Cocoa inks for the stamping.

 A super easy card for Saturday!