Friday, April 30, 2010

Nuts About You

It's finally friday! Woo hoo! Have you got yourselves any exciting plans for the weekend? I'll be working most of it, but that's okay. I worked tonight as well, but before I left I did get a card made. What do you think of this little guy?

This one required some paper piecing. I made all the elements, from the tree and grass, to the squirrel and acorn. The squirrel and sentiment were stamps from Hampton Arts, but the rest I just did free hand.

It's a 4"x4" square card -- I just thought it would be something different to try. I used the leftover cream colored Bazzill cardstock from yesterday as my base. The cloud DP is a leftover scrap from American Crafts. To complete the natural look, I tied a bit of hemp into a bow at the fold. It's really turning out to be a rather useful material.

I don't know about you, but I am so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open! I'm going to head up to wash my face, then go to bed. Hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Live Your Life Blackbird

Another beautiful day! I'm happy because today I noticed little buds all over my lilac bush. I love lilacs. I mean, I LOVE lilacs. One of the sweetest joys of spring is when their heavenly scent wafts in my open windows. But we're too far North to be there quite yet. Another couple of weeks.

In the meantime, how about a card? This one has a spring thaw feel, with the mix of cool and warm colors, budding branches, and of course, a blackbird.

This paper from Basic Grey was the inspiration. I just loved the colors and pattern. The dark brick color I used for the scalloped edge is actually the backside of the same sheet. I had this bird stamp set from Fiskars, and this little guy perched on his spindley branches seemed like he'd be right at home in that world.

I stamped both him and the sentiment from the same set with Versamark ink, then embossed using black embossing powder from A La Mode. And here's a little tip I learned while doing it that I thought I'd pass along. When embossing words or scrollwork or anything with fine lines, it can be frustrating when the embossing powder collects where it shouldn't, and you lose that definition. What I did was take my mechanical pencil and draw through the powder very lightly, so that no lead marks were left behind, but the spaces opened up again. I did this to separate the dots over the i's and inside the e's and also the little flourishes on either side. Worked like a charm.

Cream colored Bazzill cardstock for my base, and after I thought I was done, I decided to add a bit of hemp twine just to tie in that whole bird's nest idea. I'm happy with how it turned out.

And that's it for me tonight! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Imagination Tree

Hi, everyone! How are you lovely ladies doing tonight? I'm still hangin' in there. My sweet hubby actually took the kids to school this morning and let me sleep in, and then brought me home a cafe mocha before he headed off to class. Is it any wonder I love that guy? I tell ya. ;o)

After I picked my two little guys up from school, I made some grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, then headed upstairs to get some much-needed crafting done. Here's my card for today.

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been playing around with distress inks, and I really love the watercolor effect they give a project. It's taken me more than a few tries to get the result I was going for though. I think this one here was number seven or eight. It does take a little practice to get the hang of, but I think it's totally worth it.

The main technique to master with distress inks is to start applying the ink OFF the project and work onto it. If you don't, you get the dark impression of the applicator tool (in my case, round make up sponges) which is almost impossible to blend out. By cutting a piece of scrap paper into a rounded shape, I was able to apply the green color (Peeled Paint) to the center where I wanted it to show through the tree, then apply the blue (Broken China) all around the edges. I inked the stamp in Peeled Paint and Tea Dye, then spritzed it with a little water from my Mini Mister, and applied the watercolor paper directly over it, smoothing it out with my fingers to make sure I picked up the entire image. Then I dried it with my heat embossing tool.

I trimmed the image and mounted it on some brown Bazzill cardstock. I had planned to use a white card base, but it looked so drab, I decided to take the distress inks to it as well. On went more Broken China and Peeled Paint, which I lightly spritzed and dried to give it that speckled look.

All that remained to do was to add a layered prima flower with a button center and hemp tie, and to write a sentiment in my Signo broad white gel pen on a bit of scrap cardstock. I think it turned out pretty, don't you?

And that's going to close up this blog for tonight. Lady Antebellum is coming up on Idol (LOVE them!!!) and my boy Casey is currently in the bottom three. This is definitely going to require my undivided attention. ;o)

'Night, all!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Rose Is A Rose

Happy Tuesday, everyone. How's your week been so far? I've been feeling under the weather the last few days, and fighting it tooth and nail with vitamins and Airbourne. Hopefully it doesn't evolve into a full-blown cold or flu or whatever it is that's on the attack.

I've been playing around with Ranger distress inks and a mini mister yesterday and today, but I've discovered that it really takes a delicate hand that I haven't quite mastered. Either I get not enough bleeding, or bleeding all over the place that ruins my image. Maybe tomorrow I'll upload the photos and show you what I mean, but I'm too tired tonight, and considering my current not-quite-well state, I thought I'd take a book and head to bed early.

Instead, I'll share with you a photo already on my computer. I mentioned before that I'm a novice photographer, and one of my favorite subjects is flowers. This is a picture I snapped about six years ago (wow, has it really been that long?), of a birthday bouquet for my husband's aunt in Germany. We were living there at the time.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Distress Resist Flowers

Hello, all! TGIF, am I right?

I tried an interesting technique out today. It's called distress resist. What I did was take a stamp with a solid background, stamp it in versamark on a book page, then emboss it with clear embossing powder. Then I took my tea dye distress ink and rubbed it over the image where it collected only where the negative space was. It gives a neat effect.

I cut that out and mounted it on some brown cardstock, then on cream cardstock, and finally on the brown cardstock base. I think the ribbon is from American Crafts.... I thought it was going to be dark brown, but I guess it's actually black. Oh well!

This is the great stamp I used from Hero Arts. Love it.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Talk to you soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Hmm. Well, I'm not really sure if my project for today "worked." I had two things in mind when I began: over at Kristina Werner's blog this week, she challenged everyone to make a simple, one-layer card. Since we're also celebrating Earth Day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make a card that used a very limited amount of supplies that left no waste. And because Earth Day is all about "going green," I went with some tone-on-tone green ink and cardstock.

First, I stamped a square background stamp from Studio G in a repeating pattern across the bottom of the card, then added some squiggly stitch lines to the top. I used a sentiment from Inkadinkado, and added "earth" into it with a chocolate brown pen for a little variation on color.

But somehow it still looked so plain, so flat. So I tried crumpling it a little, to give it a recycled look. I'm not sure if I accomplished that or if it ended up looking like I just pulled it out of the trash. What do you think? I distressed the edges with the blade of my scissors to try to carry the idea further that it was rumpled on purpose. Again, I'm not really sure that it worked.

I did want to show you some new stamps I picked up at JoAnn's today though. I found them in the dollar bins, which I check regularly for little goodies like these. I normally only pick up one at a time, but most of these were the only one left, so I decided to go ahead and splurge this once on the whole set. The sentiment I used on my card was from one of these. Won't they be great for some summer cards? I love that most of them are perfect for coloring. Aren't the pelican and the seahorses fantastic? These are all from Inkadinkado.

Well, that's it for me tonight. Over and out. ;o)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fishy Birthday

Happy Wednesday, everybody! How are you all today? Out enjoying this beautiful weather? Today was a good day for me. My hubby took the kids to school so I was able to sleep in, I finished the book I started yesterday (told you it was good!), and even made a card!

This one definitely is more masculine, since it will be going to our Thursday night writer's group leader, who has a birthday coming up this week. We like to tease Todd because he loves the Billy Blue Bass character that sings the extremely annoying filet-o-fish jingle on the McDonald's commercials. I knew I had to play on that when I was brainstorming for his card, but I also didn't want it to be too goofy. I think I struck a nice balance.

I found this great fishy paper from Carolyn Holt at A.C. Moore, and used a sheet of beige Bazzill cardstock for my base. I cut out one of the fish as my "Billy" and bent him gently out so that he looked like he was turning to speak. I mounted him with dimentional adhesive on another piece of beige cardstock that I stamped with a woodgrain background in Chestnut Roan Colorbox chalk ink. I popped that off as well on another piece of beige cardstock to resemble the plaque Billy hangs on.

Then I stamped the sentiment from Fiskars in Tuxedo Black Memento ink and drew a little speach bubble around it. I cut that out and adhered it with more dimentional adhesive near Billy's mouth. I think Todd will get a kick out of it.

Hope you enjoyed today's craft. :o) I'm off to tuck my little ones into bed and tell them a story, then settle in to watch a little Idol Gives Back. Have a great evening.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Books Bring Better Days

I apologize for yesterday. It takes a lot to get me so upset, so that should give you some idea to how awful the day was for me. Ugh! So glad that it's over and each day offers a new and fresh beginning.

I didn't have to work this evening, so I took it easy, spending the extra time with my boys, and curling up with a new book from the library. I saw it there last weekend, and I've been carrying it around with me everywhere since (I never leave home without a book) but today was the first chance I've had to crack open the cover. It's called, I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times In Stand Up Comedy's Golden Era by William Knoedelseder.

I thought it looked like an interesting read, but I wasn't prepared by how fascinating it is. Once I started reading, I wasn't able to put it down until dinner simply couldn't wait any longer. Even now, I'm anxious to get back to it.

I don't know why, but comedians have always pulled my interest. They're such complex people, standing up on that stage under those white hot lights, turning their most intimate and embarrassing moments into comedic fodder for the masses to laugh at. Yet so many of them are angst-ridden, painfully shy, and introverted. The guts they have to get up there and lay it all out -- "Here I am, this is me. Love it or hate it." leaves me awe-struck.

In that way, they aren't that much different than writers. Only we get to hide behind our books most of the time, while with comedians, the judgement is never reserved until later. I admire gutsy people. Those who have this burning within them to bare their souls and move people to laughter, to tears. That's what unites us and binds us together as human beings. The fact that we're able to partake in each other's joys and burdens, to lift up eachother's spirits or send them shattering to the ground.

So if you need a lift of your spirits, a temporary ease of your burdens, as I did today, why not give this book about some of the funniest people on the planet a read?

Monday, April 19, 2010

No Post Today

No post today, due to the sheer crappiness of this day.
Thank God it's almost over.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tropical Turquoise

Happy Friday, everyone! Aren't you glad it's the weekend? I know I sure am. The rain is pounding against my windows right now, making me sleepy. Not good, since I have to leave for work in a bit! I think I'd better pop me open a diet Coke when I'm done here. ;o)

Thankfully, I did manage to get some pics of todays project before the rain began. I made a bracelet. I wear a lot of blue, especially turquoise and soft turquoise... what would you call that? Sea blue? That's what it makes me think of. Anyway, I needed a bracelet to match, so I picked up some beads at Michael's this week while they were all 50% off.

I used Bead Gallery glass beads and Crystazzi crystals with tiny silver seed bead spacers between. I wanted this to be very versatile and go with a lot of different things, so I stuck with a simple repeating pattern. It might even match my work shirt, though that's technically French blue, but I think I might be able to get away with it. I'll try it tonight and see. ;o)

I love the shimmer in these beads. The pics don't quite do them justice, because they don't show any movement, but I think you get the general idea. I actually used these beads in a pair of earrings way back when I started this blog, if you've been around that long. I was glad they still carried them when I went back.

Well, I'm off to guzzle that diet Coke and give some attention to that neglected laundry pile that's been growing by leaps and bounds all week. Then I'll be off to work! If I get a paycheck today (I'm hoping), my employee discount will kick in, so I'll be able to do another mini blog candy giveaway in the very near future. Stay tuned! And have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Alright, here's the card I made with the images from yesterday.
I have to say that I am so pleased with how this turned out.

What I did was take a piece of white cardstock trimmed down to slightly smaller than my card front. I filled in the sky area using the chisel tip of my Copic BG10, then filled in the ground area with some Tea Dye distress ink from Ranger. I'd never used distress ink before, but I really love how it gave a dusty appearance, which is exactly what I wanted for these two little cowpokes. I drew in some pine trees on either side of the trail and popped the kiddies off with dimentional adhesive.

As you can see, I cut off the balloons that were in the original images, and made little ropes out of hemp. I glued those on, then added a bit more at the bottom of the card. I distressed the phrase "howdy" and popped that off the card as well.

Then I distressed the edges with a little more Tea Dye, and because the sky looked so flat, I did a little there as well. In fact, I thought I had ruined it when the circular marks (I used a makeup sponge to apply the ink) came in the middle, but after layering everything else on, I decided they sort of looked like distant dust clouds or mountains or whatever. Anyway, I decided to just leave them.

And that's it! I'm really looking forward to our visit tonight from Kathy Otten. She's a fabulous writer -- I'm simply in awe of her talent.

Have a wonderful evening everyone!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cowboy/Cowgirl Up

Hey y'all! As you can see I'm on another one of my "southern voice" kicks (I'm about as Northern as you get) but at least today I have an excuse! I was coloring cowboy and cowgirl images!

Tomorrow night we have another special guest speaker at my Thursday evening writer's group: Author Kathy Otten. If you haven't read her books, I cannot recommend them highly enough. She is AMAZING. Kathy writes westerns, so when I volunteered to make her a thank you card from the group, I knew I had to do one with a western theme. Check out these cuties.

Meet Cowboy Billy and Cowgirl Lily from Pink Cat Studio. The minute I saw these adorable little kiddies, I knew they'd be perfect. I only had time to color them before I left for work,, but I'll be cutting them out and making a card with them tomorrow.

Kathy is a redhead, sort of the color I made Cowgirl Lily. I didn't bother with the balloons, because I'll be cutting them off and making ropes out of hemp to glue on their hands instead.

I had originally intended Cowboy Billy to be dark-haired, but there ended up being so much brown already between the horses, hats, boots, and belts, that I added a little Carmel and turned him into a dark redhead. I actually really like how the color turned out.

I'll finish up the card tomorrow afternoon when we get home from school and have it posted before I leave for my meeting. I'm really excited for this one! I think it's going to turn out really cute.

Have a great night, y'all! ;o)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hello Birdies

How are you all today? Here the sun is shining and I just saw a cardinal outside my window. Fitting, since today's card features one! How's that for a coincidence?

I've got dinner on (barbequed pork loin, roasted potatoes in a dry ranch rub, and corn) so I'm going to just jump straight into the card. My hubby will be none too pleased if his dinner goes up in flames! ;o)

I found this adorable stamp today at A.C. Moore (yes, I'm there even when I'm not working!) from Inkadinkado and used a 50% off JoAnn's coupon, since my employee discount doesn't kick in until I get my first paycheck. I just loved how cheerful these little birds seemed.

I colored them with Copics: R24, R27, R59, B00, B02, B06, G20, G21, Y11, Y15, Y38, YR04, and cut them out in a cloud shape to match this paper by American Crafts. The sentiment is from Hampton Arts -- one of those Footlong sets with little woodland animals. I wanted the ribbon to go behind the sentiment, so I cut two little slits on either side of the sentiment with my craft knife and threaded the ribbon through, securing it on the back with glue dots. I layered everything on some Georgia Pacific white cardstock, then popped the birdie cloud off with dimentional adhesive. It blended in too much with the background, so I carefully went around the edge with the side of my BG10 to make it stand out better.

I'm really happy with the way this one turned out! It's just a cheerful, everyday greeting card that's sure to put a smile on the face of whoever receives it.

What have you all been up to lately?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Ever have one of those days where everything you touch seems to turn out wrong? I am so having one of those days. After lunch, I spent about an hour looking through the digi stamps I've collected for inspiration. I finally settled on a sweet Pure Innocence girl that I bought on Etsy from the talented artist. I haven't used it yet, so I printed out three copies -- one to use today, and the other two to save for later. Well, I ended up using and tossing them all. I don't know if I was being heavy-handed or what, but the color kept bleeding through the lines and messing up the whole image. So an hour later, I abandoned card making and decided to dig through my bead box instead. I must have tried 30 different combinations of earrings and bracelets, and took all of them back apart because I wasn't happy with how they were turning out.

So long story short, I spent a total of THREE HOURS this afternoon trying to get crafty, and failing miserably. So this is me officially throwing in the towel. Instead, I'm sharing with you a pair of earrings I made last summer, using turquoise and freshwater pearls. I called them "Cowgirls."

In other news, some friends of ours who served as missionaries with us in Cameroon, West Africa were in town this weekend and we were able to take them out to breakfast this morning. They are still serving on the mission field, so this is actually the first time we've seen them in almost EIGHT years! I can't believe that much time as passed. It was so nice to sit and chat over eggs and blueberry waffles and catch up on all that's transpired since then.

If you're a praying person, please send up a request for Hans and Donna that God would richly bless them in their ministry. So many lives are touched and changed because of them and the work they are doing in Africa, and I count an honor to know them and call them our friends.

Blessings to you all!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Neopolitan Hi

So, tonight was my first night of work at A.C. Moore, and oh my gosh! My feet are killing me! Since it's Friday, it was pretty busy in there, and it was just going, going, going nonstop the whole time. I also got to assist something like 30 customers, with everything from where the glue guns are located to coming up with a whole concept for wedding favors using little flower pots and wildflower seeds. It was really fun and interesting though, and I think I'm really going to enjoy it there.

Before I left for work, I did get a card made. Check it out.

Somewhere on someone's blog this week, I wish I could remember where, I saw a card challenge using a "neopolitan ice cream theme," in other words, chocolate, vanilla, and light pink for strawberry. A quick look through my supplies told me that I already had everything I needed to make it, so I thought that would be perfect for today's project.

I used some chocolate cardstock from Bazzill and pink polkadotted paper from American crafts. I cut a slopey line through the middle of the patterned paper, and then trimmed a little off either side so the chocolate could peep through. I added some faux stitching with a white gel pen to bring in more of the white. I spelled the word "hi" with some stickers from K&Company, and added a sweet little flower to finish it off.

I've been wanting to make one of these book page flowers ever since I saw a video tutorial over on Dawn McVey's (love her!) blog, Raspberry Suite. Being a book lover, I was very hesitant to cut up a perfectly good one, but in my purging of "stuff" that we don't really need, I came across one that I didn't mind using so much.

It's Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt, and I picked it up at the Library Book Sale this past summer on the last day when everything was a buck a box. It's a pretty beat up copy, but the pages are still smooth and intact. They're yellowed with age, of course, but that actually works for the look I wanted. I just tore out one page and then put the book with my craft supplies so I can use it again next time.

Added a button from Foof-a-la for the center, which I adhered with a glue dot, and that was it.

I think it turned out sweet. A nice, everyday card, which you can never have to many of.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Take care, everybody!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Friends Are Flowers Gracie

Hey there, all! How are you tonight? Are you safe and warm inside your houses? Let's hope so. The wind is howling outside something fierce. I was out in it earlier this evening to attend my Thursday writer's group, but I'm glad to be back indoors. In fact, I think I might even go to bed early! It's eleven here now (ignore the time stamp below, it's wrong), so if I hurry, I might make it by midnight, which would be a great improvement over the last two weeks or so. I'm a night owl, I can't help it. Unfortunately, I live a morning person's life, and the two don't mix so well. The lack of sleep in these last few weeks is really getting to me. I just feel really tired and run down. So lets see if I can get todays craft posted in a reasonable amount of time. I am long-winded, after all. ;o)

Today I decided to use this adorable image that a new friend generously stamped and sent me. It's Gracie, by Lori's Lollipops, and she's available from Stamping Bella if you're interested. Isn't she sweet?

I colored her with Copics, and in the interest of the aforementioned time, I'll stick to just the numbers: E000, E00, R20, E33, E57, B00, B02, G20 for the background, and I think that's it. I saw this gorgeous patterned paper at JoAnn's this morning. It's by a company called Remember When. I cut along the flowers with my exacto knife on either side of her and wiggled her down between them for some added interest.

I thought she looked like she should be holding something, so I stamped a little flower from Hampton Arts and cut that out and glued it behind her back. And I just drew in the stem and leaf. The sentiment was from the same set as the tiny flower, and I thought that it just worked really well with the image and paper. I originally stamped it directly on the card, but it didn't come out completely perfect, so I stamped it again on a scrap of cardstock, colored it the same color as the background of the image, and punched it out with my oval scallop punch. Added some American Crafts blue polkadot ribbon and viola!

So, I'm thinking of doing another mini blog candy giveaway soon... Anyone interested? I'll keep you posted on that. Speaking of posts, I just did this one in less than fifteen minutes! Woohoo! Go me! ;o)

Sleep tight, everybody.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thinking Of You Flower Vase

Just a simple card for today. I began with some white Georgia Pacific cardstock, and paired that with some polkadotted paper from Debbie Mumm. Then I stamped this flower vase image and colored it with Copics to match.

Colors used were: R20 (Blush), R22 (Light Prawn), Y11 (Pale Yellow), Y15 (Cadmium Yellow), B00 (Frost Blue), B02 (Robin's Egg Blue), G20 (Wax White), G21 (Lime Green), BG10 (Cool Shadow) for the glass, and E000 (Pale Fruit Pink) for the background. These just happen to be some of my most favorite Copic colors. They blend so well together and are extremely versatile. If you're just getting started with Copic markers, I highly recommend that you add these ten colors to the top of your wish list. I'd also add BG13 (Mint Green) to compliment the BG10. Another really gorgeous color. E000 (Pale Fruit Pink) is also a wonderful shade for skin tones.

I hadn't planned on cutting the image out, but a slip on my paper cutter made it necessary, unless I wanted to restamp and color the image, which I didn't. I popped it off the card with dimentional adhesive and added some ribbon from American Crafts.

In other news, as of tonight I am now the newest employee at our local A.C. Moore! I needed a part-time job in the evenings to suppliment our income now that my husband's in school (he's studying to become a nurse) and what better place to work than a store where I can get a discount on craft supplies? I'm actually really excited about it. It's been a while since I've been in the work force, but I always loved it and I'm eager to get back into it, even if it's only a couple evenings a week. I went up tonight and signed all the paperwork, so it's official! I start Friday night.

Hope all you ladies are doing wonderfully! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate each and every one of you. :o)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Scarf for Teddy

How are all you lovely ladies out there tonight? Let me just tell you, I am exhausted! I mean, seriously. I am so tired, I can hardly even function. It's been like that all day. I went to my happy place (aka Tim Horton's) this morning, and even my usual cafe mocha didn't help. School breaks may be a vacation for the teachers and students, but they certainly aren't for the parents! Lol.

Anyway, I tried to get crafty today, honestly I did, but it just wasn't happening. I did a little coloring, which did improve my mood, but doing something relaxing when you're so tired you can hardly sit up straight is a dangerous thing to do unless a nap is in your very near future. And since I had two little ones at home with me, that wasn't happening. So I saved the card for another day.

It's a sweet image though, isn't it? It's a children's coloring page, actually, I just printed it out on cardstock and turned my Copics loose on it. I used BV00, BV02, BV04, BV13, E000, E00, E33, E57, R20, R22, G20, G21, and I think that's it.

And now, before I have to break out the toothpicks to prop my eyelids open, I think I'll head off to bed. Gotta get all the rest I can before Summer Vacation begins! ;o) Have a great night, everybody.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Happy Monday, everybody! How was your Easter? Today was the last day of the boys Spring Break, so we decided to get out and enjoy the sunshine by heading to the zoo. We had a great time looking at all the animals -- everything from zebras, to rinos, giraffes, tigers, and my personal favorite -- the polar bears! The boys were more interested in the jaguars and river otters, and the sweetest little baby orangutan.

In the greenhouse, I came across these lovely orchids and had to snap a pic to share with you all.

Aren't they gorgeous? I love photographing flowers. They have so much personality. A living work of art. I like this quote by Terri Guillemets, "If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom." There's something so hopeful about flowers. Despite the fact that they're born to be picked and die, they keep right on blooming, lifting their beautiful faces to the sun and drawing strength from the earth, all for the chance to fill our hearts with gladness for a moment.

Well, I'm going to keep this short and sweet for tonight. Gotta be ready to get back in the swing of things tomorrow! Hope you all have a great evening.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hoppy Easter

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin' down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity, Easter's on it's way! Lol. I used to love that song when I was little. Well, luckily I was able to get my Grandparents to babysit the boys at their house for a couple hours today and got much of my Easter shopping done. I decided to go a different route this year and do an outdoor play theme. We really don't need any more toys in the house, in fact, I'm really trying to pare down a lot of what we own and don't use. But outside stuff usually has to be replaced every year, so I'm using sand pails for baskets, and filling them with sand toys, water guns, bubbles, and things like that. I feel good knowing that I'm giving them things they actually need and will use, rather than cutsey trinkets that clutter up the house. Hopefully this gorgeous weather lasts a little longer so they'll be able to get some use out of them right away. We were actually dressed in shorts and t-shirts today! On April 2nd! That's unheard of around here.

And I made a new card this afternoon. I wanted to try making one of those cute 3X3 cards. The nice thing about them is that they don't have a lot of space, so a few simple embellishments is all you really need.

This adorable bunny stamp is from one of those Studio G $1 stamp sets. I love those! It's one craft supply that I never feel guilty about splurging on, because it's such a good deal. You usually get two images and a sentiment, sometimes even more, for a buck. Can't beat that! And if I don't have anything else I need to use my store coupon on that week, sometimes I'll use it on those and get a pack for $.60! I probably pick up a pack a week, so I'm gathering quite the collection. :o)

Paper is from The Sweet Stack from DCWV. Ribbon from Dashes, Dots, & Checks. I colored the image with Copics: C0 (Cool Gray 0), C3 (Cool Gray 3), R20 (Blush), G20 (Wax White), G21 (Lime Green), and BG10 (Cool Shadow) and punched it out with my square scallop punch. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! ;o)

I hope you all have a great weekend and a wonderful Easter holiday! Stuff yourselves with candy and don't feel guilty about it!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What's Cookin'? White Chili!

Greetings, all! How are you this April Fools Day? Did you play any tricks on anybody? I thought about making some faux eggs with yogurt and canned peach halves on pound cake "toast" for breakfast this morning, but I ended up not going to the store last night so I had to forgo it. Oh well! I'll save the idea for next year.

Speaking of cooking though, I did make some yummy white chili in the crock pot for dinner last night! It was a brand-new recipe for me, and as usual, I modified it to suit my family's tastes. Everyone loved it! I served it with hot corn bread muffins. Have a look at this steaming bowl of deliciousness!

White Chili

3 15 1/2oz cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed or shredded
1 15oz jar alfredo sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 4oz can chopped green chilis
1 can corn
1 8oz bag shredded colby jack (or any jack) cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 8oz block cream cheese
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT cream cheese and cilantro.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
Cube cream cheese and stir in until melted.
Ladel into bowls. Top with fresh cilantro.

And in keeping with the kitchen, I also made a new card this afternoon.

I wanted to use this adorable mixing bowl stamp from Hero Arts (What's the Scoop?) so I stamped that in Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored it in with Copics. I had this picnic-y red plaid paper that I thought would go perfect with it. I wish I could remember the brand -- I know I got it at JoAnn's if that helps.

I used some black Bazzill cardstock for my card base, but it looked really bland and flat, so I decided to clear emboss some of the other tasty treats in that stamp set, as if the bowl is daydreaming of all the yummy possibilities. I did a little faux stitching in a white gel pen around the patterned paper to make it pop.

Even after all that, it was still missing something. None of the sentiments I had seemed to work, and I didn't feel like going all the way back downstairs to plug the laptop into the printer to print something out, so I just wrote "what's cookin'?" as neatly as I could. Lol. It only took me three tries! I punched that out with an oval scallop punch and had a tiny scrap of yellow polkadot ribbon laying on my desk, so I used that behind. I popped both the image and the sentiment off the card with 3D dimentional dots.

It turned out pretty cute, no? And I know just who to send this one to. A sweet new friend recently sent some adorable stamped images for me to color and use and it just so happens that she loves to bake, so Alison, this one's for you. :o)

Hope you all have a lovely evening! Get outside and enjoy this gorgeous spring weather!


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