August 31, 2009

Spooky Sweets

Are you like Broom Hilda these days, flying every witch way? Then you've come to the right place cuz I'm brewing up some speedy quick Halloween treats. They're quick, easy, cute....and no kettle is required!!

At our schools now, it is policy that we can't bring home made treats to school anymore. Boo. Hiss. They all know I'm the queen of homemade treats, how could they do this to me, right?? Well, I'm going with the flow and improvising!

Here's what I'm giving as teacher treats (and maybe some of the girls' closer friends) this year as Halloween goodies. We'll start with the supply list: Hocus Pocus patterned paper cut into 5-1/2" squares, 2009 Halloween Tags stamp set, True Black ink, Kraft and Summer Sunrise cardstock, True Black ribbon, circle and scalloped circle punches, Scor-Tape, pop dots black sequin stickers, and Hershey candy bars.
Directions: Wrap the patterned paper around candy bars, using Scor-Tape. I make sure to not tape my paper directly to the candy bar. This way the recipient can slide off the wrapper to keep...or regift by inserting another candy bar inside. Stamp a Halloween tag image onto Kraft cardstock and punch with circle punch. Punch scallop circle from Summer Sunrise cardstock. Tie ribbon around candy bar, cut ends with pinking shears. Attach tag to candy bar with two pop dots. Put one black sequin sticker on tag.
And that's it! Easy peasy and ready for gift giving. It's hand stamped and it's chocolate.....can't get much better than that!
A few other nifty ideas: Try using other candy bars like Kit Kats, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups(my personal fave)......or gum packets. Use the pattern paper as gift wrap and package up an I-Tunes card in the same fashion. Just remember, gift giving doesn't have to mean you spend hours in the craft room or that you break the bank.....keep it simple, keep it inexpensive pay attention to detail and whip these little gifts out. Have fun!!

For even more cute treat ideas, visit these talented girls' blogs:
Nichole Heady
Becky Oehlers
Heather Nichols
Lauren Meader
Lisa Johnson
Teri Anderson

In the Window Cards

Karen Lockhart has two new stamps called Pie in the Window and Cupcakes in the Window. They are beautifully illustrated and offer lots of details to color. Click on the link and scroll down to see the full images of the stamps. Today, I chose to die cut two large circles from the stamped images and just color a portion of the stamps. This allowed for a little elbow room when it came to design elements of the cards.
After coloring my images with Copic Sketch markers, I added some sentiments from my Vintage Picnic set from Papertrey. Circles were layered onto Aqua Mist scalloped circles cut from Spellbinder's Nestabilities die templates. Red and pink polka dot patterned paper, punched circles and tied buttons in red, pink and white finish off the card.

It's turning out to be another glorious day here in Kansas. Think I'll go out and weed some grass from the flower beds. How come that tall grass grows much better than my flowers??

August 30, 2009

Ghosty Cards

I looooooove to send cards, love to make treats, love to decorate for it, love to go trick or treating with my kids still. It's just a fun time of year for our family!

So here's some fun ghosty themed cards I made using a set from My Cute Stamps called Ooga Booga. Zoom in up close to see all the details.
I had such a fun time designing all the elements for this trio of cards. The main images were stamped onto polka dot patterned paper (a new favorite technique of mine), then die cut with Spellbinder's Circle Nestabilities and Pinking Circle Nestabilities die templates. The ghost images were stamped and colored with Copic Sketch markers and then paper pieced for even more dimension on the circle accents.
For a background, I punched circles from polka dot Halloween themed paper from my stash, then centered them in some loopy circles stamped from PTI's Borders and Corners Circles stamp set. For the bottom accent strips, I stamped fun borders of bats, scallops and a pumpkin with a fence onto patterned paper. I colored them all up with Copics, added a snippet of Halloween striped ribbon and then stitched along the top of the strips. The Happy Halloween sentiment is from Pine's Boo to You stamp set from Papertrey.
Total Halloween cuteness! Have I said how much I love Halloween?

August 27, 2009

I've taken the Etsy plunge!

Yep, it's true. Many of you have asked me to sell my goodies. You can now link to my Etsy shop on the left sidebar of my blog and shop til your little heart's content. I'll be adding more and more items all the time. Thank you so much for your interest and support!

Halloween Monsters

I am excited to be chosen as a designer for My Cute Stamps through November. Thank you Holly, for this fun opportunity! Today I'm using images from two sets....Eek! A Monster! and Ooga Booga .

One thing I love about My Cute Stamps is that the images are super easy to paper piece. As shown below, I simply stamped the images first onto Kraft cardstock....colored in the parts of the images that would not be paper pieced......then stamped the images again onto patterned paper and cut them out with fine tip scissors. I used Copic Sketch markers to color my images. I also used a black Copic Multiliner to outline my Spellbinder's Square Nestabilities die template......before removing the die from my cut square. I like the framed look it gives my images.
I finished up my focal images by matting them with Spellbinder's Inverted Scalloped Square tie templates. The main image squares use lots of little stamps from both of my chosen stamp sets. I particularly like the paper pieced scallops from Oooga Booga.
Then I used lots of Halloween papers and ribbons from my stash. The circle embellishments are from Elle's Studio, I love her little die cuts. I used them as moons on my cards.
I think these little epoxy stars are from Making Memories. So many times, I just rip everything out of it's packaging and mix it all who knows where all these goodies came from.
During my design team gig, I'll be posting all of My Cute Stamps projects in their gallery HERE. Pine (Heather Nichols) was on the previous MCS Design Team so be sure to check out all of her cute projects in the gallery too.

August 26, 2009

Apples for my teacher...

I made another teacher themed card from some scraps and came up with another layout that I love! I used Karen Lockhart's cute Itty Bitty Apples again which were colored with Copic Sketch markers in greens and reds. Glossy accents give them a shiny appearance. I used the *for my teacher* sentiment from Papertrey's Vintage Picnic set. For the blackboard look, I stamped the word teacher and the apple(from PTI's Teacher's Apple) onto True Black cardstock using Fresh Snow ink. The polka dots on the side of the Ripe Avocado card base are from Polka Dots Basics II.
For the fun October Afternoon apple circles, I used my Spellbinder's Circles Nestabilities die template to cut them out. I used a tiny bit of adhesive to place them on my card front, then used my sewing machine to secure them down, using a wavy stitch pattern by just moving my card back and forth as it fed through the machine.
This is such a fun card to look at...lots of teacher themed elements like the apples, the basic circle shapes, the chalkboard and the colors. Hope you enjoy!

August 25, 2009

Be thankful....for apples

When the last big storm rolled through, our local apple orchard had a ton of apples blown off the trees. They've got bushels and bushels of apples for sale now. I think I hear a fresh baked apple pie calling my name soon! JustRite has picked a winner of a stamp too. This pretty little basket of apples is from the Autumn Blessings Borders and Centers stamp set. I love that JR is now carrying more images that can be colored with Copics. I chose to color my apples with both green and red...I love those rustic looking apples that you pick right off the tree. Ranger Glossy Accents dots the apples for a little shine.

I cut my colored image out with Spellbinder's Oval and Scalloped Oval Nestabilities die templates. The embossing gives the main layer some great texture and the red scallop layer really brightens up the apple image. Patterned papers are from K and Company. Kraft base card and ribbon are from Papertrey.
So here is my question of the day for you. Do you prefer cobblers or crisps? I made a peach crisp the other night and had to explain to the family what the difference was between a cobbler and a crisp. I definitely prefer a peach crisp or an apple crisp over cobblers. It's the oatmeal that does it for me. I love the yummy taste and the texture it gives the topping. And the cinnamon, definitely have to add some cinnamon.
Hope you have a warm and *crispy* kind of day! I'll be working in the stamp room today!!

August 24, 2009

Mum's the word...

If there's one flower that defines the Fall season for me, then mum's the word! Chrysanthemums to be exact. My dad just brought over this rusty, spiral, tiered plant stand that was my grandmother's. It was like a Christmas present to me! Dad and I both thought that some nice fall mums and perhaps some pumpkins from the garden would look great in Grandma's plant stand. I can't wait!

So today, I found some fabulous photos for you...straight from my inspiration files of online photos. Here's some beautiful yellow mums. And how about these.....would you say Berry Sorbet? Or Melon Berry?
Or mix and match 'em, I think all colors look great together.
Here's some tiny mums mixed in with some beautiful, creamy, dreamy spider mums.
And these beauties mixed in with some peachy/salmon colored roses are what inspired my color choices for today's projects. What a beautiful, simple arrangement!
And talk about Autumn Abundance, look at this awesome bucket full of mum and fall gourds and apples. Be still my heart!
And leave it to Martha to have something good too:

I couldn't be more inspired! There's nothing like a photo or visual to get the creative juices flowing. Remember to cut out photos from magazines, take photos of your surroundings and google stuff like crazy. There's lots and lots of inspiration to be found, you just have to look for it.

Today, I'm going to be using Nichole's beautiful Autumn Abundance stamp set, in particular the mums. But first, I wanted to create some beautiful background papers. I stamped Melon Berry and Lemon Tart ink onto pieces of 2008 Bitty Dots Basics patterned paper. I'm reaching for this dotty paper more and more, I love it! I thought this little flower from Everyday Classics (PTI Aniversary stamp set) was very mum looking.
Next up was coloring Nichole's beautifully illustrated mum image. Here's my lineup of Copic Sketch colors.
If you zoom in close on the photo below, you can see that I used a variegated color scheme for my mums. The dark red(R59) was in the center with an orangey color (R02) next to that, and then my yellows(the Y's) on the outside tips of the mums. Just gorgeous colors, I say! I used the neutral colors to make a stoneware looking vase. After I was done coloring, I used the Colorless Blender (0) to make dots on my it a mottled look.

For the oval shadow, I stamped the oval image from Everyday Classics with Spring Moss ink...first masking my vase off with Eclipse Masking Tape. Images were cut and embossed with a Spellbinder's Labels 1 Nestabilities die template. A length of pretty Summer Sunrise Swiss Dott ribbon finishes off the card fronts.
For my sentiment, I placed it on my clear block in a curved line then stamped it along the curve of the Labels 1 die edge. Cool!
And don't forget the buttons, the beautiful Vintage Buttons! I used one each of Lemon Tart, Melon Berry and Scarlet Jewel to reflect the three colors in my colored mums. Rustic Cream Twine finishes off the buttons. A Fiskars edge punch was used on the Lemon Tart cardstock for some added detail. Card bases are Kraft cardstock.
And here's my finished creations. Such beautiful colors, these are so pretty!!
So should I start stalking my greenhouse for potted mums yet? I cannot wait to decorate my porch for Fall now! I'll keep this beautiful summer weather......just give me some mums though and I'll be a happy camper!!

August 23, 2009

Fall flowers...

We've been having beautiful weather here in Kansas. It's nice and cool, no humidity and the mornings and late evenings get rather *crisp*. It feels like Fall is just around the corner....and naturally my design work follows suit with Fall images, colors and embellishments. Today I used an image from JustRite's Autumn Blessings Borders and Centers stamp set. I love these old watering cans so this was a fun image to color. I used my handy dandy Copic Sketch markers to create an old metal watering can filled with orange and yellow Fall colors. I cut my image out with Spellbinder's Oval and Scalloped Oval Nestabilities die templates.
Background paper is from K and Company....ribbon, sentiments,Vintage Buttons and Rustic Twine from Papertrey ink.
And speaking of great's wayyyyyy too nice to be sitting in front of the computer. I'm heading outside for the day to enjoy the beautiful day!

August 22, 2009

For my teacher...

School is back in full swing for us now. My girls are gone til 5:30 each day with school and volleyball practice.....and I have my first subbing job on Monday. I thought I would build up a stash of some teacher themed cards. Looking at the photo below, it's like I've never gotten over that *new school supplies* feel good feeling!!For today's lesson, I used Karen Lockhart's Itty Bitty Apple. It's the perfect little stamp to have in your stash to use on teacher themed cards. I've been trying some new layouts too, this will be a fun one to add to my idea book.To keep with the teacher/school theme, I used scalloped square and circle punches to make some shapes. Learning those shapes is very important! Tied Papertrey Vintage Buttons and Papertrey Pure Poppy Luxe Satin ribbon finish off the top of my card. Paper is by October Afternoon.
This strip of stamped Lockhart apples that I colored with Copic Sketch markers and the sentiment from Vintage Picnic was the first element I made when beginning this project. I love how the ideas just flow from there. The bottom of my card was stamped with Papertrey's Background Basics: Text Style. I think the black cardstock stamped with Fresh Snow ink gives a real chalk board feel to the card. The outside border of my Kraft card base was stamped with Polka Dot Basics II in True Black ink. Glossy Accents by Ranger was added to the apples to make them shiney.
And here's the Copic Sketch marker colors I used for the Lockhart apples.
A few fun cards to add to my stash....ahhh, life is good! Now, I better make it a productive weekend since I'm back to school on Monday. I know the girls are glad to have a weekend off after their first full week of school. Josey(7th grade) already had to sit out recess after lunch yesterday because she jumped off some playground equipment....correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the purpose of playground equipment?? I just blew that one off. And Jordan (6th grade) got to practice with the varsity team yesterday at volleyball practice. She was quite excited about that! I love to hear school stories from my girls......they are constantly interrupting each other because each one wants to tell their story first!! Good times indeed!

August 21, 2009

My trip to the candy shop.....

So I didn't really go to the candy shop, but tell me how sweet the photo below is!! With all these Papertrey goodies laying there together, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. And the sweet colors and cherry stamp just make me think of cherry suckers and sweet morslets of goodness!I love Everyday Button Bits as much as you all do! It's such a fun set to play with. I couldn't wait to make some cherry cards!
I stamped my cherry stems with Ripe Avocado ink then used Pure Poppy buttons tied with Rustic Cream Twine for my focal point. The *You're so sweet* sentiment tops off the focal point like a cherry on a hot fudge sundae, doesn't it?

You know I loooooove to make my own background paper. I used 2008 Bitty Dots Basics patterned paper in Sweet Blush and then stamped images from Everyday Classics(retired Anniversary set from PTI) to create a custom cherry patterned paper. So fun!
Then I dolled up the rest of my card sides with Ripe Avocado Saddle Stitched ribbon, Sweet Blush Twill and some elastic ribbon from my stash (source unknown, I got it at Archiver's). More Vintage Buttons in Ripe Avocado, Pure Poppy and Sweet Blush are aligned along the ribbon strips. I used a long piece of Rustic Cream Twine make a little tied trail of button cuteness. 2008 Bitty Box Basics patterned paper in Spring Moss has been edged with a Fiskars paper edger punch.
Hmmm, to keep or not to keep these cards all for myself, that is the question....?

August 20, 2009

Fall Elegance

Fall Elegance was a beautiful stamp set that was included in Papertrey's August release. The first card is sample that I have in my Papertrey gallery, using Kraft, Spring Moss and Ripe Avocado. Gold ribbon and tied Vintage Buttons finish off the card.This card is a recently new sample, using the swirly pumpkins and vine images from Fall Elegance. I used Green Tea Leaves patterned paper for my background paper along with Kraft and Ripe Avocado cardstock. Vintage Buttons tied with Rustic Jute Twine finish off the medallion like stamps. Pumpkins and medallion images were stamped with Melon Berry, which is a nice orange color to use for Fall when stamped on Kraft cardstock. Spring Moss ribbon finishes off the card. Martha Stewart glitter was used on the pumpkins. My pumpkin patch is full of pumpkins so I'm especially fond of the pumpkin stamps this year. Fall is just around the always seems to come fast once the girls get back in school. Enjoy!!

August 19, 2009

Best Ever Banana Bread...really

Helpful Tip: Do NOT OVERBAKE the banana bread. I fell asleep while mine was baking and it got too dark and was a little dry. Mine baked at 1 hour and it was too long....I'll set my timer for 45 minutes next time. You want your bread to not have much brown color to it....just keep it soft and gooey.....just like Brooke's. ;)I mentioned a few posts back that Dawn's friend (and my new friend now too) named Brooke picked us(Dawn, Pine and me) up at the airport in Orlando and drove us to and from our hotel. She is just the sweetest girl ever and her twinkling smile has stayed in my memories since CHA. She's pictured on the far right in the photo above...hi Brooke!

Brooke was gracious enough to give us all a warm loaf of freshly baked banana bread as we greeted her. Each loaf was baked in individual bread pans and had a ribbon and a little tag tied onto it. Oh and a little knife to cut it with. It was such a sweet gift!

Little did we know just how sweet this gift was until I decided to share my banana bread with Dawn and Heather late one night at our hotel rooms. Little did I know that I should have hoarded my bread and locked myself in my hotel bathroom, hid in the shower tub and closed the shower curtain......just to savor this wonderful banana bread all by myself. It's really THAT good people, let me tell ya!

I HAD to make a recipe card for the BEST EVER BANANA BREAD. I know I'll be making this for years and years to come. The recipe is from Martha Stewart and I think it's the addition of the sour cream that makes this bread so.......moist.......and soft.....and kinda gooey on top.......and yummy........and moist.......get the picture?

My recipe took up a lot of space on my 4" x 6" card (fonts are posted at the sidebar on the left) so I didn't have a lot of room for embellishments. I used Papertrey Lemon Tart for my base recipe card and the Chocolate Remix patterned paper for the strip on the right. The cute Itty Bitty Bananas stamp is from Karen Lockhart, the perfect little image for my recipe card. I also added a pretty Papertrey swirl to the front of my recipe card.
The Copic Sketch marker colors I used are shown below...the three Y colors are perfect for coloring bananas, a great little trio.
HERE is the original recipe from the Martha Stewart website. You done good, Martha. I revised the verbiage a bit for my recipe card but the ingredients are all the same. My file messed up so I can't paste it here for you.....but you can easily print Martha's recipe from the website.
Thank you Brooke for the wonderful gift and recipe! I will think of you each and every time I make the banana bread!!!

August 17, 2009

Just Rite Christmas Blog Hop

Welcome to the JustRite Christmas Blog Hop. JustRite has a wonderful new collection of Christmas and holiday themed stamps....just in time for gift giving season. Today I've made some notepads that will go right into my stash basket. I'll either sell them or use them for gifts. Notepads are always a good gift because everyone needs to keep track of their Christmas gifts, recipe ingredients, etc. I used the Merry Little Christmas, Borders & Centers Round 1-5/8" stamp set which has the cutest little snowflake with matching sentiment. You will need the 1-5/8" wood stamper to use this set. You can check out all of the other Christmas/Holiday themed stamps HERE, along with a limited edition Halloween set too.

I started out my project by stamping the snowflake in Papertrey's Aqua Mist ink onto white cardstock. I punched the snowflakes out with a 1-1/4" circle punch. I then removed my snowflake image, put the border sentiment in the round stamper and stamped the sentiments onto white cardstock. I punched those out with a 1-3/4" circle punch. I adhered the snowflakes onto the sentiment circles with pop dots.
Next up, I got all my embellishments ready. I used PTI's Enchanted Evening Vintage Buttons, ribbons and Rustic White Twine. I also have some sequins ready.
After cutting my covers for my notebooks, which are a finished size of 4" x 6"(source unknown), I stamped the Kraft covers with more of the Aqua Mist snowflakes. I used various polka dots stamps on the covers too.

The main focal point piece is a patterned paper from K & Company along with my snowflake/sentiment circle, my ribbons and buttons, sequins and some machine stitching with white thread.
I assembled them all together to create a nice little threesome of notebooks.
Ohhhh, it sure feels good to put a few Christmas goodies in my stash basket. There's nothing like working ahead to beat the holiday rush. If you're feeling inspired, then turn the AC down real low, grab a cup of cocoa and visit these blogs for even more fun ideas. Tis the season!

Becca Feeken

Sankari Wegman

Sharon Johnson

Kazan Clark

Sharon Harnist

Laura Davis

Debbie Olson

Michelle Woerner

Taylor Van Bruggen

Jenn Balcer

Michelle Wooderson

Lori Craig

Lauren Meader

Beate Johns

Barb Schram

Kimberly Crawford

Michele Kovack

Jami Bova

Kellie Fortin

Jennifer Buck

Heidi Blankenship

Angela Barkhouse

Lisa Somerville

Gerrie Johnnic

Kathy Jones

Debbie Seyer

Kim Sonksen

Terre Fry

Sheryl Dickinson

Bonnie Sharp

Mary Pfaff

Holly Simoni

Angela Robledo

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