Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birdie Birthday Card

I used some clip art images of birds, did a print and cut process using my Cameo, then added a couple of Prima flowers, some Pearl Pen dots and brads.

The inside sentiment:  That it's your birthday!"

Three Butterflies Card

The butterflies are clip art images.  I cut the white swirl with my Cameo and added a piece of fluted paper behind the sentiment to add some texture. 

Using a Cricut Blade Holder in a Cameo

Notice the difference between the green metal blade housing on the left and the plastic one on the right?  In order to use the Cricut blade holder in the Cameo machine, you have to file down the collar so it will fit into the blade holder.  My husband held the housing securely with a clamp and used a file to smooth off the collar.  You could also use a nail file designed for acrylic nails or even a Dremel tool.

It will fit snugly, so you need to be certain that you push it all the way down into the blade holder.

The cuts are "okay".  A Cameo blade makes a much better cut on anything intricate. In order to cut cardstock, I have to use the multi-cut feature.   I had no luck cutting vinyl with the Cricut blade, even when I used the multi-cut feature in MTC software.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Peacock Card

While looking through my Cuttlbug folders this afternoon I ran across one I didn't even know I owned!  Must have found it on clearance somewhere.

The background is really pretty and the peacock is kind of cute, but, boy is it a pain to weed!  Too many little tiny pieces to punch out.  I'll enjoy using the background for texture, but that peacock's probably history!

Umbrella Man Card

Tim Holtz has a line of stamps called Stamper's Anonymous.  I have several sets of them.  Today I wanted to use the silhouette of the man holding the umbrella. I wanted a cut out rather than using my stamp since the stamp isn't completely solid. He makes a die that will cut the image, which I do not own so I experimented to see if I could cut it out using my Cameo.

By doing a pixel trace of the stamped image and importing it into MTC software, I was able to cut it the size I wanted for an A2 Card-- but I had to cut it twice.

Cricut blades will work in a Cameo, if you have a modified Cricut blade holder.  While there were still blades available for Cricut rewards points, I stocked up in anticipation of buying a Cameo.  I've learned that you have to use the multi-cut feature in order to get a clean cut whenever you use a Cricut blade.  So, either the blades aren't nearly as sharp as the Cameo blades or the angle on the blade is slightly different.  I had cut an entire page of the silhouette and had to toss them out because I forgot to change the settings to multi-cut in the software and they didn't cut cleanly.

The typewriter is a clip art image.  I imported it into Hallmark Card software and added the text to the sheet of paper.  Then I cut it out by hand and pop dotted it onto the background.

The little flowers are a Stampin' Up punch.

This card was inspired by one done by Vicki Bridges, she teaches classes at And Bear Makes 3 in Moore.

Tim Holtz Journaling Tag Card

These journaling tags have been in my "resource center" for quite a while.  I love Tim Holtz products, but hate to use them.  Once they're gone, they're gone. ***I sort of think maybe I'm just a TH collector, rather than a user!***

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Key to My Heart Card

The lock on the card is from Sentimentals.  I used  an EK Success punch for the photo corners, added some inking on the edges and a bow to accent the lock.  The sentiment was printed using Hallmark Card software.

Another Vinyl Project--Wine Glasses

Someone on the Facebook Silhouette page shared a studio file to cut this.  The font in that file was so tiny that I never could get it to stick onto the transfer paper in order to put it onto the glass.  I used Script MT Bold font.  The capital letters are only 5/16th of an inch tall.

Weeding the letters was extremely difficult.  After ruining several of the phrases, I got out my magnifier visor and used it in order to see the tiny pieces that needed to be removed.  Then it was quite difficult to adhere the letters onto the transfer tape since they're so thin.

I'm going to re-work the file and use a different font.  Probably all capital letters to avoid as much weeding as possible.

Working with vinyl is fun, but I need to get back to making cards!  My January box for Operation Write Home is only about 2/3 full and there are only four days left in this month.  Looks like the remainder of the glasses will have to wait a few days while I get serious and fill that box!

The contour of the glass makes the words look as if they're not straight.  Trust me.  They are. 

By the time I got two of these done,  I was past the "Don't even ask" stage! lol!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

30 Minute Birthday Card

At the swarm last Saturday, Carrie Elmore suggested that we have a "grab box" of items we no longer wanted or use.  One of the items she put in the box, and up for grabs, was some paper straws.

The straws make perfect birthday candles!  I cut the straws into shorter pieces, then ran them through the Cuttlebug to flatten them.  These cards are for Operation Write Home and they have to pass through the post office machinery so they had to be flattened.

The sentiment is from a set of CTMH stamps and I used a Stampin' Up punch.

30 Minute Easter Card

The words are from Easter 2010 cartridge. 

Sometimes I find papers with so many images and colors on them that it makes it difficult to decide how to use them

I didn't need to add much to the busy background paper to make a quick, cute card--just a couple of flowers and a Pearl Pen accent.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Smith & Wesson Sign

I must say, I'm loving my Cameo and playing with vinyl.  To make this sign, I used clip art images found online and did a pixel trace in Make the Cut software.

The image is on a "recycled" awards plaque so I just put the vinyl onto the acrylic overlay.

It's a gift for our friends, Ken and Karen, who are avid hunters and gun collectors.  They can hang it in the building at the gun range.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vinyl Projects for the Secret Sister Swap

Here are the final items I did for the Secret Sister swap at the swarm today.  I saw the cake carrier online and decided to give one a try.  It was a good exercise for me.  Using Make the Cut software, I managed to create the arced text "From the kitchen of" and cut it from vinyl using my Cameo.

The blue tub contains several different packs of embellishments, the gift bags from a previous post, and some kitchen themed paper.  Kathy is working on a recipe scrapbook and that was something she mentioned that she could use.  I'll add some Diet Dr. Pepper and probably some Reese's peanut butter cups too.

 Top of the carrier.

I hope she will enjoy using these containers. They were fun to make and to select the items inside for her.

Gift Bags

Shirley and I found a great sale on small gift bags and bought quite a lot of them.  We decorate them with scrapbook paper and embellishments to personalize them.  Here are three that I made to include in the Secret Sister swap at the swarm today. 

Once or twice a year, a group of us gather at a local scrapbook store for a day of paper crafting, laughing, eating and shopping.  This year the swarm, as we call the meet-up, is being hosted by Carrie Elmore at the scrapbook store, Scrapbook Alley, in Harrah. 

 The paper is from Paper Studio.  I used Make The Cut software and my Expression to cut the letters.  The balloon is from the Artiste cartridge.
 The dragonfly is from the Art Philosophy cartridge.  The letters are done in Jewels HMK font and cut with Make The Cut software.  I love using the true type fonts and that program for words.  The border was done with an EK Success punch.
I chose not to embellish this one since the patterned paper is so busy.  The tag is from Tags, Bags, Boxes and More and the scallop border is from Elegant Edges.  Again, I chose to cut them using MTC software.

Each bag has a gift tag and tissue paper so they're ready to use.  I hope Kathy Lawson likes them since she's my Secret Sister today.

Friday, January 18, 2013

This is for Char52!

Char52 left this comment on yesterday's post about the pecan pie:

"I rarely get the cooking bug but I love to read your cooking posts. I live vicariously through you! I can't make a pie crust to save my life!!! "

If you and your family enjoy pies, I encourage you to try this pie crust recipe.  I took a pie crust class and this is what we learned to make.  It's a much softer crust than a traditional recipe and you can even just pat it into the pie pan rather than rolling it out and having to wrestle the dough.

The recipe makes enough for 3 eight inch single crust pies or, in my case, since I love crust, one decent sized cobbler.

You can use a Kitchenaid mixer rather than the pastry blender, just don't over mix the ingredients.  I prefer to use a little less than the full tablespoon of salt for traditional pies.  If you're making a savory pie, i.e. chicken pot pie or shepherd's pie, it will be fine.


Mix with pastry blender:    3 c flour
                                        1 1/3 c shortening    
                                        1 T salt   (you may prefer to use a little less salt)

Mix together:            1 tsp vinegar
                                1 egg, beaten
                                6 T ice water

Shape into ball.  Pat or roll and put into pan.
Bake at 400° - 425° for prebaked crust.
Brush fluted edges with egg white.

I'm not a big fan of meringue on a cream pie, but this is the best recipe I've ever used.  Most recipes say to the spread the meringue on the hot filling.  If you let it cool to room temperature, the meringue spreads easier.


Beat together:            4 egg whites
                                 3 T sugar (to taste)
                                 ¼ tsp cornstarch
                                 dash salt

Spread on pie filling that has cooled to room temperature
Turn pie while browning meringue

***Shhh! , don't tell anyone, but, yesterday I used a Pillsbury pie crust from the grocery store to make the pecan pie--just like Crockingirls!*****

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Another Kitchen Experiment

******UPDATE AFTER TASTE TEST:  I'll definitely do this again.  However, I will reduce the cooking time for my particular crockpot.  The narrow end of the oval was too hot and that portion of the crust was burnt on the bottom edge.  I will cut the time down by 35-40 minutes**********

On the website Crockingirls, I found this recipe for making pecan pie in a Crockpot.  It seemed kind of far fetched until I thought about a Crockpot being nothing more than a countertop oven. I decided to try it.  Whenever I bake a pecan pie in the oven, the crust gets too brown around the edges to suit me.  I decided the lower temperature of the Crockpot and longer cooking time might be a good solution.

The Crockpot I used is a 7 quart.  I also thought the larger area of the crock would make the pie itself thinner and a slice wouldn't contain so much of the gelatinous syrup filling.  My favorite part of the pie is the topping of crunchy browned pecans coated with the syrup mixture anyway.

Here's my "before" photo. 

This is what it looks like after 2 hours and 15 minutes in my 7 quart Crockpot set to high temperature.

I forgot to place strips of parchment paper in a cross fashion underneath the crust.  That would have made it easier to remove from the crock before slicing.

I removed the crock from the base and will let the pie completely cool before attempting to slice it.

It's sitting on the stove top right now and is still too hot to even attempt to cut.  The crust did get more browned than I had anticipated, but it's certainly not as overbaked as it would have been in the oven.

After it's completely cooled and we can sample it, I'll post an update and let you know how we like it compared to the traditional method of baking a pecan pie.  If it passes the test, I'll try it again in my smaller Crockpot and  be making a recipe album page for it.  And,then, my next experiment will be attempting a pumpkin pie this way!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

EKG Card

A clip art image of an EKG printout was found online and used on this card.  I printed the sentiment, punched the heart with a Stampin' Up punch and added some inking and pen work.

This is a prototype card.  I needed a project to take to the swarm in Harrah this Saturday so I'll make card kits and finish the rest of these there.

Each time I attend a swarm, I have great expectations of finishing multiple card kits.  Then I get distracted and wind up bringing them all home to complete instead.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Candy Box

The file for this box came from the Silhouette store.  It's another one by 3 under 3 and more....  I used her tutorial to make the assembly easier for me.

The boxes she designs aren't large and can be made from three sheets of 12 x 12 paper.  This box measures 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 5" and has a tilt out door to access what you place inside.

It's just the right size to keep on your desk for some Hershey's kisses or maybe even some Reese's mini peanut butter cups.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tea Box

Kat Schriber posted a box like this on Facebook and it intrigued me enough to purchase the file to make one from the Silhouette store.

Let's just say that if I hadn't seen the link for a tutorial at the bottom of the page that had the file on it, I'd never have been able to assemble this!  I studied the online tutorial, gave up and called DH in to see if he could figure it out.  After about 15 minutes, he gave up on the tutorial and just folded it.

I printed the tutorial, cut this one from some scrap paper, then numbered the pieces and followed the photo instructions step by step.  The cardstock I used for this one is light weight.  I have one cut from some Bazzill, which is much heavier, ready to assemble and embellish tomorrow. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can figure out how to convert the file to MTC format.  I do NOT like using Silhouette software.  I never did figure out how to add extra pages of mats inside the file so that I could separate the pieces into the box exterior, lid, and embellishments each group on their own mat.  The whole process of dragging the pieces you don't want to cut off into the grey area around the mat is quite the hassle when you compare it to MTC.  In MTC, I could have had three mats, two for the box pieces and one for the embellishments.  In Silhouette software, I had to drag the pieces off the mat, leaving as many as I could cut from a single sheet and repeat that process three times. 

The box turned out cute and it's going to be the perfect size to store tea bags.

Here's the link to the designer's page and tutorial  3 Under 3 and More...

Numbers 6:24-25 Card

Numbers 6:24-25 is my favorite scripture.  The cross is from the Easter 2010 cartridge.  It's a very intricate cut and I learned yesterday that I cannot cut more than 3 of them at a time using Make the Cut software and a Cameo.  The file is so large that it causes my Windows program to shut itself down.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Had to take a detour on this one...

This is not the cross I wanted to use on the card I had planned out in my head.  But, I took a slight detour and this is what I wound up with.

The original idea involved an intricate filigreed cross.  Using MTC software, I had six of them on a single mat and when I sent them to the Cameo to cut I got the "blue screen of death" from Windows.  It contained some scary information about having to shut down Windows in order not to damage my computer and I think it made me promise never, ever to do whatever I'd done to invoke the wrath of Windows again!

***I should have paid more attention yesterday when it threatened me with the same consequences when I tried to cut six other intricate shapes at a time.***

Once I'd calmed Windows down and got fewer of the filigreed crosses sent to be cut, I realized that you just can't cut Coordinations sand and tear cardstock that intricately and scrapped that whole idea.  By that time it was 11:30 p.m., my patience was worn thin, and I found this cross on Indie Art and just used it!

The cross was so plain that I added rows of dots using a Pearl Pen. The dots look white in the photo but they're actually a cream color.

The border is paper lace that I found in the Dollar Tree several years ago.  On the inside cover, I printed the Twenty-third Psalm.

The finished card is nothing like I had planned, but, sometimes, like on a road trip with a friend, we find some great things when we get lost and take a detour.  I'm satisfied with the way it turned out and hope that one of the soldiers will be pleased to send it home to someone they care about.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Two Cookin' Cats Card

 Inspired by a card seen online. 

I tried a tan background and decided it was not the right shade of brown and changed it to a light blue.
After making the change, I'm not sure which one I like best!
But, it's a good way to use up some of the twine on hand.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Buying a Cameo

I'm posting this information because I've had multiple questions asked about where I bought mine, etc.

I ordered mine from Paper Wishes.

The discount code I used, for 20% off, is  NLSUB20.  I have no idea if the code is still valid.  The shipping was free because of the Cameo's price.

Paper Wishes was out of stock on the Cameo for a few days, but they probably have them available now.

Hugs and Kisses Card

The cut off date for sending Valentine cards to Operation Write Home was December 31st but I had this idea for a card and decided it could be used any time of the year since it's blank inside.

What should have been a slam dunk, easy to finish card, wound up taking me a couple of hours. 

My expertise in using the Cameo and MTC is pretty limited.  It took me four or five tries to get the sentiment shape cut out.  It was pretty much trial and error for the first few attempts.  **note to self:  when using the print and cut feature in Make the Cut software, be certain you delete the printed words off the shape BEFORE you attempt to cut!**

I wanted to cut the candy kisses out using the Cameo also but realized after I cut some samples that they were too one dimensional and didn't look the way I wanted.  Clip art to the rescue!  I snagged the image online, printed them and cut them out by hand.  The photograph of the kiss looks much better than the ones cut with the Cameo.

The background paper is Little Yellow Bicycle.  It's some left over from the trip Shirley and I took to the scrapbook convention in Arlington, Texas several years ago.  The woman in the LYB booth gave me a large amount of their paper after she found out that all my cards go to military personnel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A-"maze"-ing Card

The plastic maze disks were purchased on the Stampin' Up clearance page online.  I thought they'd make cute kids cards for Operation Write Home.

Using Make The Cut, I cut the card bases and fronts separately, then attached the printed paper onto the card base.

The sentiment was printed on my computer.

I wanted the maze puzzle to be inside the card and just peek through the card front.

After taking the photos, I added a blue circle around the maze.  The clear plastic just didn't show up well on the white background.

I lined up the puzzle with the opening in the card front so it would fit snugly inside the opening.  I'll send a piece of thin foam along with these cards to protect the plastic mazes.

Three Butterflies Card

The background paper by Authentique was found on sale at Scraptopia in Ada. I added some Memento Pear Tart ink to help it coordinate with the spring green cardstock.

The stamped image has two small butterflies on the image and the butterflies were punched with a Stampin' Up die. They were a perfect fit to cover the ones on the stamp.

The blue strip was edged with a Stampin' Up border punch.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sopapilla Cheese Cake Recipe Page

Someone brought this to Shirley's Annual Girlfriend's Christmas party.  When I asked if they'd share the recipe I was told "The recipe is all over Pinterest, just search for Sopapilla Cheese Cake" and that's where I got it.  

 They taste much like a cheese danish to me.  It takes very little time or effort to make these, they travel well and everyone liked them on Christmas Eve.

The only thing cut with the Cameo on this page is the recipe card.  Following some instructions from Shirley, I opened the file on From My Kitchen in Design Studio and transferred it into Make The Cut and cut it using that software.

The red embellishments were all done with punches.  The journal card is from a page of them by Kaisercraft that I found at Scraptopia in Ada.

This is a Pinterest photo of them baked.  Some recipes call for a glaze on the top after you bake the dough.  I did mine with just the butter and sugar the recipe calls for.  They're not terribly sweet this way.

Pancit Recipe Page

A super simple page.  I cut some letters using a true type font and Make The Cut software, found a photo of the dish online and added it along with a journal card telling where the recipe came from.

This is a dish my sister shared with me.  She learned to make it while living in California.  It makes an entire wok full, is great hot or cold and keeps several days in the refrigerator.

The border was done with a Stampin' Up punch.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe Page

Today I decided to play with my Cameo using a modified Cricut Expression blade holder.  My husband ground down a flange on the blade holder in order for it to fit into the Cameo.

So far, so good.  I can say that it does not cut as well as the original blade that came with the Cameo.  But I have about twenty packages of Cricut blades on hand to use up; I'm really a cheapskate so I'm going to use them up and save the Cameo blade for projects that I'm more particular about making.

The recipe pages I make are for myself.  They often don't turn out just the way I thought they would.  I enjoy having my favorite recipes done this way and in a binder.

Today's page is for the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls that I made just before Christmas.  I wanted the page to look like a souvenir as if I'd visited Oklahoma and got the recipe as a memento.

The Oklahoma shape is from 50 States and the scalloped square is from Elegant Edges.  I found the photos online and mounted them to look like old fashioned pictures.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Making Pancit Tomorrow

While shopping at the Ada WalMart store, I picked up a package of rice sticks.  I'll be making Pancit tomorrow!  It's a recipe my sister gave me.  It's not something that my husband really cares for so it's a good thing it keeps for several days in the refrigerator.  I enjoy it hot or cold.


3 T. oil
5 celery stalks, sliced thinly
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Stir fry and remove from wok.

2 packages rice sticks
2 cans chicken broth
Break apart rice sticks.  Pour chicken broth over them and let them sit for a few minutes to soften them up a little then place them in the wok.

2 cans chicken
1 large carrot, julienned
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
and the vegetables you stir fried

Cover and cook about 15 minutes.  Toss with soy sauce and serve.

This makes a huge amount of Pancit.  I use one package of rice sticks and less celery.  I leave everything else the same.

Snowman Card

I saw this snowman on Danita Kinney's blog.  She had cut him out of vinyl for a charger plate.  I thought he was cute but needed a little tweaking for the idea I had in mind.

The original image came from Deb's Oodles of Doodles blog.  It was a coloring page.  The snowman is surrounded by eleven falling snowflakes, which I did not want to use.  Shirley, aka Okieladybug, explained to me how I could delete the snowflake images and leave just the snowman image using my Paint program.

I printed the snowman twice and cut out the mittens, feet and hat to pop dot them.  They're colored with Promarkers.  The snowflakes were punched into the card front to let the blue card base paper show through.  I added some pen stitching around the outer edge of the card.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Umbrella Card

Shirley and I met Denise Lewis last week for lunch and a trip to Scraptopia in Ada.  It's one of the best scrapbook stores in the state!  While shopping, I saw a set of stamps with coordinating dies to use in the Cuttlebug.  This was something new, to me.

I bought the set because of the sentiments; I know I'll probably be too lazy to use the die very often since I make multiples of all my cards. Instead, I used an umbrella from the Cricut cartridge, Nine Months, and Make the Cut software.  That way I could resize the image and cut a mat full at one time.

The stamp/die set is from My Favorite Things.  It contains an umbrella die and eleven sentiments plus raindrops and hearts.

The base of the umbrellas is dark brown cardstock, the umbrella top was inked and I added some pen stitching before pop dotting it onto the base.  Then I used the small single heart stamp and stamped over it for the raindrops.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Folded Doily Card

While looking through a Stampin' Up brochure today I saw a card with a paper doily sewn onto it.  This is my version of that card.  I used a Martha Stewart punch for the butterflies, printed the sentiment on my computer, added some butterflies on the background with Versamark ink, some Liquid Pearl drops and white stitching.

These went together quickly.  I managed to lay the design out and complete eight of them while my 17 month old grandson was down for a nap.  When he's awake, there's no way I can make cards! LOL!