Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!, an Award, a Recipe, and Some Things to Look at ...

Hello, and Happy New Year to you!!

First let me apologize for not having posted in such a long time. December flew by in a big blur for me and I didn't have enough hours in each day...and if anyone noticed I neglected my blog, I'm sorry. In my absence, I was busy working away on quite a few things, though since many of them were Christmas cards I think I'll wait until next Christmas to share them. ;)

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. We missed being with our older kids, but my parents came for a visit and definitely helped to make our Christmas a more joyful one. In all my years, I haven't had a single Christmas go by without my parents there to share in it with us...regardless of how far apart we live. To me, it just wouldn't be Christmas without them!

I promised my friend Stacy that I'd be sharing the sweet award she created and bestowed on me (EARLY last month - Ugh!), and so here it is (finally -- sorry it took me so long, Stacy!):

Isn't it pretty? And so unique! Here's what she wants the recipients to do:

"...pass it on to five other people and THEN post a favorite Christmas/winter recipe (I'm not being PC about Christmas -- I firmly hold to the "First five letters of Christmas are CHRIST" thing, but you might have a winter recipe you'd like to share that has nothing to do with Christmas). Please link back to the blog of the person who sent the award to you (which in this case would be me) so I can see your wonderful recipes!"
 Since I've been away from the blogging world for the last month I don't feel right about selecting anyone specific (they probably wouldn't remember me -lol), so if any of you reading this would like to share in this fun award, I'd love for you to link back here and share your recipe with me. ;) As you'll see here soon (*hint, hint*), I {heart} recipes!

Here's one of my very favorite recipes for Christmas cookies (they're a lot like traditional Snowballs, but just a bit different): I didn't take a pic of the back side of this recipe card (which was inspired by Michelle Wooderson), and in case you can't read what's shown, I'm gonna go ahead and write out the whole recipe here for you so you can try it next Christmas -- it's delicious!

The detail and colors don't show up very well in this photo, but in person it was really cute. Or at least I thought so. lol The candy cane has Liquid Glass covering the white parts and the twists of red have Stickles on them, so it's really pretty. ;)

Peppermint Kisses

2 c. butter (no substitutes), softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. chopped pecans
8 oz. white candy coating
1/3 to 1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add flour. Stir in pecans. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until easy to handle.

Roll into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. In the top of a double-boiler, melt the candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip the top of each cookie into the candy coating, then into the crushed peppermint candy.

Yield: 5 dozen

Okay, last but not least, I made this tag for a swap in early November but was waiting to post it until all of the tags were in and the swaps sent out, but you know how it goes with swaps...they're never on time. Then Christmas was upon us and I felt like I didn't have a chance to breathe, let alone post. So, even though you're undoubtedly very done with all things Christmas, I'm going to post this here anyway. ;)

And here's a closeup of one: I had a lot of fun making these and LOVED all of the tags I received back. It was a Christmas Alphabet Tag A-Z swap, and mine was "R" as you might have already guessed. lol

This post has been WAY too long (so sorry), so I'm not going to go into any of the details on the recipe card or the swap tag. But, as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer right away (I'm pretty sure I'm back into my 'normal' routine now and hope to be posting a lot more regularly).

Thanks so much for coming back to visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings, and wishing you a New Year filled with peace, love, good health, and happiness!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Recipe card:
Cardstock: White Daisy, Cranberry (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Peppermint from the "Figgy Pudding" collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: Christmas Cheer(Cornish Heritage Farms); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Cranberry, Cocoa (CTMH); Other: Classic and Scallop Circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), Liquid Glass, sponge (CTMH), Xmas Red Stickles (Ranger), computer

Rudolph tag:
Cardstock: Textured White Daisy, Cranberry, Chocolate (CTMH); Patterned Paper: (ret.) Cranberry gingham (CTMH); Stamps: Christmas Melodies (CTMH); Ink: Chocolate; Other: Checkerboard border punch (Martha Stewart), Xmas Red Stickles (Ranger), 1/4" square punch (SU!), white gel pen (Signo), various ribbons and fibers (LSS); foam mounting tape

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Sparkling Thanks

Last weekend seemed to fly by, but it was relaxing and nice (even though it was unusually quiet for our Thanksgiving). I hope you enjoyed your holiday too and aren't having too much trouble getting back into the swing of things this week. It's so hard to believe that Christmas is just about three weeks away...23 days from now to be exact! Eek!! Up until a few days ago I thought I was doing so well with having most of my shopping done a couple weeks ago, but with all the handmade items I have planned, I'm starting to panic a little. So here I sit at the computer -lol!

You guys were all so kind and patient with my last several posts (thank you!), I think I'll spare you the monologue this time and make it a quick post and hopefully painless for you. ;)

This card is really sparkly and pretty in person, though I'm not sure the camera captured it very well. There was very little stamping on this card, but it was still fun and fairly quick (even for me -lol). I started with some designer papers by My Mind's Eye, gave it a homemade feel with some stitching, added a funky flower and a simple sentiment, spiced it up with some Star Dust Stickles (my favorite), and topped it off some Swarovski bling and a little touch of ribbon. ;)

The flower was experimental on my part, but I eventually liked the way it turned out. ;) I made it by first punching three scallop circles (two in one of the designer papers and one in a coordinating cardstock). Next I took my scissors and snipped between each 'petal' on all three scalloped circles and then tore off every other petal from two of the 'flowers.' I then used the Boho Blossoms punch and punched one of those flowers out of the same designer paper as the snipped (but not torn) scallop circle flower. And for the very center, I punched a small circle out of the coordinating cardstock. I layered them all, curling some of the petals, adding glitter to only one of the torn flowers, and added a button on top (I'm really getting into buttons these days, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to best store them color group or season, by individual colors, by manufacturer, etc. -- got any suggestions?).

And here's the inside of the card: Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: White Daisy, Smokey Plum (CTMH); Pattern Paper: Wild Asparagus Dots, Lace Magnolias from "Pretty Little Girl" collection (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: Trees, Birds, & Messages (Hero Arts); Ink: Petal, (ret.) Orchid Bouquet, White Daisy (CTMH); Other: VersaMark (Tsukineko), Prisma Glitter, button, sponges (CTMH), Threading Water punch (Fiskars), 1/2", 3/4" circle punches, scallop punch, Boho Blossoms punch (SU!), embroidery floss (DMC), bling (Swarovski), sewing machine, thread, foam mounting tape, staple

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Heart of Thanks

My heart is so full of thanks, sometimes I think it could burst. Not just today, but whenever I take the time to reflect on how my family and I have truly been blessed. Especially in these tough economic times, I'm reminded time and again that God has been and continues to be our provider. I won't bore you by running down the list of things that I'm thankful for, but I assure you it's long and ongoing (and you're all on it!). I hope that whenever you take time to think about your life, and how fleeting any of its components can be, that your heart is filled with thanks as well. What a blessing it is to God and to others when we have a heart of thankfulness, and it's really a gift to ourselves as well.

Stamping and creating cards and other gift items is one of the things I'm thankful for, and I know you guys can relate. ;) It may sound silly, but from the time I picked up my first stamp (almost seven years ago!), I knew I'd found my passion and my life (and our bank account -lol) has never been the same. And even sillier, sometimes when I'm stamping and my hubby is playing on the computer right next to me, I'll often thank him for indulging me in my addiction. (He's into guns; I'm into works well for me, and because of it, he can also appreciate what I'm feeling. When I say it works well for me and not us, it's because he would love nothing more than for me to drop everything and go shooting with him every time he goes. And while I'd like to indulge him in his fantasy, it's just not gonna happen...not when I could be stamping!) It's fun, relaxing, and rewarding (unless I'm not feeling particularly creative and I've GOT to get a card made right then...which happens more often than I'd like), and I just feel so blessed that I have the supplies to work with, the hands and mind to enable me to create, and a family who supports me in it (and loves me in spite of it -lol).

Oh, that's right, you wanted to see a card! I should have recognized that glazed look in your eyes a long time ago. Oh, dear. I'm so sorry. It's time to wake up now. Of course, you can always keep dozing and then see the card when you're done napping...unless your drooling shorts out your keyboard. ;) And you've probably got guests arriving soon and a delicious turkey dinner to finish preparing. Or maybe you lucked out and someone else got to clean their house for your arrival today! :) Whatever the case, I'll not keep you any longer. Here's the card I made for my parents, THE bestest parents I could've ever be blessed with (and, thankfully, this is the last Thanksgiving card with issues I have to share -- yippee!): This card uses the same designer paper as the card I shared yesterday, only this time I added an embossed layer using the Autumn Type folder. The sketch is this week's Sketch For You To Try by Jen del Muro (I {heart} her sketches!). Here's the sketch: My "star" embellishment was to have been a beautiful and dainty Grungeboard flourish that I'd glitterfied to be so purty, BUT when I went to put it on, it was shaped too much like the cornucopia and just didn't balance out right. No matter how I played with its placement, it just looked it's still sitting here patiently waiting to adorn something else. Which leads me to why this card has issues. Like I've mentioned before, I was pressed for time; so while the glittered Liquid Glass was drying, I'd adhered everything else to the card base. (And, yes, I've since made a very large mental note to NEVER adhere ANYthing to a card until I'm completely sure where everything is going...something I'm sure you already know.) So the ribbon bow here matches (somewhat) but wasn't at all what I was hoping for. I would've loved to have used the same ivory ribbon I used on the card I shared yesterday, but it was too wide and a bit too stiff to form the size bow I needed. And had I had time, I would've loved to have made some sort of little charm to hang from the bow, but alas, I didn't. ;(

Well, the time is quickly getting away from me. I've got a lot of cooking and baking to do today! I hope that you enjoy a wonderful day of giving thanks. ;)

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many Thanksgiving blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Colonial White, Barn Red, Olive (CTMH), watercolor (Strathmore); Pattern Paper: Wild Asparagus "Family Roots" Floral, Dots (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: Heart of the Harvest (CTMH); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Brown Bag, Barn Red, Autumn Terracotta, Goldrush, Olive, Smokey Plum, Cocoa, Bamboo, Parchment (CTMH); Other: Cuttlebug, Autumn Type (Provo Craft), ribbon (May Arts), waterbrush, Liquid Glass (CTMH), sand paper, foam mounting tape

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Does Your Centerpiece Look Like This?

Hello again! ;) Are all of you (of my American friends, that is) ready for Thanksgiving? I hope you are, and in a world where it can be so easy to take things for granted, I hope you feel as blessed as I do.

I know Thanksgiving is a {hopefully constant} state of attitude of gratitude, if you will (I love that saying!)...but for the actual holiday itself, it seems so different this year for me because we're not traveling. I've always loved Christmas, but over these last several years Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday because I would get to be surrounded by all (or most) of my family without the added stress of 'the holidays.' We would just get together and share an extended time of wonderful food, laughter, fun, and games, and just enjoyed the closeness our family shares (thanks for always being such a gracious hostess, Mom!). Despite the mild grumblings of some, after dinner we would each sit down and write out our own list of things we were thankful for (I started a Thanksgsiving album about five years ago, and we've all been adding our 'thankful' pages to it each year). This year, however, it will only be the four of us. And while I'm still thankful for the exact same things that I would be if I were sitting at my parents' home in Arizona surrounded by all of those I love so dearly, tomorrow will just be a bit sad for me (in fact I'm feeling it already)...and the additions to our Thanksgiving album will be much fewer. The food should still be good though. ;)

Okay, enough of the poor-me thing. I think I'll thrill you with another of my Thanksgiving cards with issues. lol! This card is the one I made for my oldest daughter and I used THIS card by Michelle Wooderson as inspiration:

As you can see, it's still plain and simple, but I really like these papers and the Harvest Centerpiece image by Karen Lockhart is so pretty (I tried to link you to it at Ellen Hutson's online store, but I think maybe they're sold out for now...Oh! And before I forget, Ellen is having a really great SALE running now through Friday, the 28th, in honor of the store's second anniversary, so click HERE and check it out!). Now my coloring still leaves a lot to be desired, but the stamp is pretty enough to carry me on this one (I think anyway -lol). I would've loved to have added some stitching, piercing, and maybe Stickles or Pearl-Ex for some shimmer, but it just didn't happen. In my rush, I accidentally adhered the larger panel without adding the ribbon --I LOVE this ribbon!-- (again, I tried to link you to it --Stamper's Dream is where I got it-- but I think it must be sold out for now too), so it ended up as a bow where you see it. And I'm not sure why I didn't follow through with my thought to put some Liquid Glass on the hurricane, but I didn't. Simple can be good sometimes too; right? ;)

(BTW, and not that it matters, excuses for all of my plain-Jane Thanksgiving cards this are that my stamping time is really limited, I made them late at night, and I wasn't feeling well. And it doesn't help any that I'm likely the lowest stamper in history and I really struggle with making guy cards. Yeah, I think that's all I can come up with. lol)

Sorry to be so long-winded. I don't get out much. lol Well, I'll be back tomorrow with my parents' Thanksgiving card (so Mom, if you're reading this, don't peek at my next post unless your card has already arrived; okay?). In case you don't make it back here, I'm gonna go ahead and wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks so much for visiting me, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doing my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Colonial White, Barn Red, Olive (CTMH); Pattern Paper: Wild Asparagus "Family Roots" Floral, Dots (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: Harvest Centerpiece, Give Thanks (Lockhart); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Parchment, Barn Red (CTMH); Other: Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew-Cornell), ribbon (May Arts), waterbrush, sponge (CTMH)

Around the World in Four Minutes?

A friend shared this with me today, and I thought it might bring a smile to your face so I'm sharing it with you too. ;) (NOTE: I didn't name it. lol)

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

I'll be back in a little bit with my card share for you...after the kids finish up their school work for the week. ;)

I'm not sure what's up with my signature these days, but has anyone else been having their signature doing a disappearing act? Weird.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Give Thanks for Guys

Okay, I'm back! (Is anyone still out there? lol)

Well, as promised, here's the Thanksgiving card I made for my *other* older son...the one who is sentimental and actually keeps all of his heartfelt (and often homemade) treasures from family and friends (isn't that cool?!). I put a little more time into this one (translated: it was late and I wasn't feeling particularly inspired so it took me longer -lol...and I added more layers than the card I shared yesterday and fussed with the sponging a lot more), though it's still very simple. This card has some issues, but I didn't have time to deal with them (times like these are when Last-Minute Lucy regrets not being more on the ball). The designer paper isn't really my style, or maybe it's the ribbon choice I don't like?, but I kept having to tell myself It's a 'guy' card. Note: This American Crafts ribbon turned out to feel more like paper than ribbon, though it made no claims to be paper. It was very thin and flat and didn't want to be shaped into a bow very easily (I think it took me about five minutes to get it to look like it does -lol). And from the picture here it looks like it doesn't blend with anything on the card, but it really does...the pattern paper on the lower half has thin little green semi-circles on the upper outer edges of each acorn design (just trust me on this).

And with the large turkey images on the top half of the card (that are mostly covered up), I considered making a sentiment on the computer to read something ultra-creative like 'hey, turkey' or something equally lame, but then decided I'd better grow up and go with the beautiful Give Thanks verse (after all, this card was for one of my kids...what kind of example would I be if I poked fun at Thanksgiving? lol). And when I finished, I can't tell you how happy I was to be done with my 'guy' cards. ;) I was just having a really tough time with these Thanksgiving cards. Not sure why. Maybe cuz I hadn't stamped in so long?? Maybe because I know that I can't be all froufy (is that a word?) and detailed on guy cards (or is it that I don't know how to make a "good" guy card?)?? Maybe because it was late and I was coming down with a head cold? I dunno. Regardless...they are what they are, and they've already gone postal. Now I can just sit back, relax, and groan to myself (and to all of you -- sorry!). I sure hope my mojo comes back soon...and stays for a while...because I've got quite a few projects I'm wanting to do for Christmas! And none of them are for guys!!!! ;P (I love my guys, don't get me wrong...I just have the hardest time making cards for them.)

Anyway, enough of the blabbing. I'll be back tomorrow with another Thanksgiving card (non-guy!, but still 'simple with issues' -lol). If you can put up with me, maybe I'll see you then? ;)

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Bamboo, Garnet, Olive (CTMH); Pattern Paper: Fall Harvest specialty paper pad (K&Company); Stamps: Give Thanks (Our Daily Bread Designs), Harvest Wonders (CTMH); Ink: Timber Brown (Tsukineko), Chocolate, Garnet, Autumn Terracotta, Goldrush (CTMH); Other: rectangle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), ribbon (American Crafts), sponges, glue dot (CTMH), foam mounting tape

Monday, November 24, 2008

Planet Sketch for One of My Guys

Happy Monday! ;) I haven't had much stamping time lately, but over the weekend I did manage to whip up a handful of Thanksgiving cards. My first ever! That's because I've always spent Thanksgiving with my family...until this year. ;( With a fairly large family and having kids who are young adults now, trying to juggle all the details for long-distance traveling, time off from work, gas prices (thankfully, they're on their way down!), and all of the other little things that crop up, circumstances were such that it just wasn't going to work out for us this I HAD to send cards, right?!

Well, even though it was my intent when I started out, I didn't end up being a "smart stamper" this weekend. All of the cards are one-of-a-kind, and they're all VERY simple...and since two were made for my older boys, I think you'll agree with me when I say that I'm glad there's no more of these puppies floating around out there! And I'm certain that at least one of them will end up in the 'round file' before long (and this time I won't even think of whining about it -lol).

So, here's the one voted most likely to end up in the trash before Christmas (I'm not being hard on myself here, just realistic; I know my son....):

I used THIS sketch from Paper Craft Planet, but obviously left it unadorned and rather plain. I thought it was a fun sketch and think it has a lot of potential so I'll no doubt be re-visiting it again...just not when the end product will be given to this particular son of mine. ;) I sanded and sponged some ink over the dry embossed piece, and I also sponged some ink around the outer edges of the card, though I don't think any of it's visible from the picture. There's really nothing else to tell you about this card, but if by chance you happen to have a question, please feel free to ask.

Well, it's time to get dinner on the table, so I'll be back tomorrow to show you another 'guy' card. That's the plan anyway. ;) Hopefully you haven't lost respect for me after seeing this one and you'll be back to see the others? lol

Enjoy your evening, thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Colonial White, Barn Red (CTMH); Pattern Paper: unknown (it was part of a fun freebie pack of 6x6s from Eclectic Paperie!); Stamps: Happy Thanksgiving (Inkadinkado), Season of Change (CTMH); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Cocoa, Olive, Bamboo, Barn Red (CTMH); Other: oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug, Houndstooth embossing folder (Provo Craft), ribbon (American Crafts), brads (Making Memories), sponges (CTMH), sandpaper, foam mounting tape

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CASEing the Garden of Life

I simply adore Michelle Wooderson's style -- Is it because of her clean, fresh crafting style? her sharing of recipes? her fun and giving nature to make darling, often edible, homespun gifts to hand out to family, friends, neighbors, and teachers? her home's beautiful stone fireplace with the huge wooden mantle? her love for quilts and shabby vintage home decor? or maybe because she has Longaberger baskets? I'm pretty sure it's all that. ;) I don't even know Michelle, but since her tastes and mine appear to be so similar, her style and friendliness just draw me in and I love seeing what she's created.

What I especially marvel at is how she can create such darling cards for mass-production. She's what I have dubbed a Smart Stamper. I'm sure there are others out there, but she's the only one I know of. In contrast, I'm what I'd call a Slow Stamper, though one who desperately longs to be a Smart Stamper. ;) Sure, I've done swaps where I've had to mass produce, but never on a regular basis. Heck, I'm usually struggling to find the time to get a card or two knocked out each week. Now I'm not necessarily wanting to make 20 of the same card, or even to "smart stamp" more than once in a while, but making more than one card at a time so I a few extra in my stash is what I'd love to learn how to do (of course I'd actually have to have a stash in order for that to be possible -lol).

So, in my effort to graduate from s-l-o-w to SMART stamper, I thought I'd try CASEing some cards I'd seen on Michelle's blog a while back (you can see my inspiration HERE). As a rule I don't CASE others' work, and I didn't totally CASE these cards...but since I had bought this Garden of Life set when it first came out and hadn't used it yet, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to ink it up. While I was happy with the cards, they didn't just come together in a snap like I'd hoped they would. Guess I still need more practice. ;) Here's what I came up with:
Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you'll come back again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Many Blessings card:
Cardstock: White Daisy, Black (CTMH); Pattern Paper: "Wild Flowers" and "Bluebird" from the Urban Prairie collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: Garden of Life (Papertrey Ink), Polka Dots (SU!); Ink: Sweet Leaf, Honey, Black (CTMH); Other: button (craft store), craft seam binding (Martha Stewart), grosgrain, stipple brush (CTMH), narrow yellow trim from the Oh, Baby! collection (BasicGrey), embroidery floss (DMC), staples, foam mounting tape

Many Blessings and Happy Birthday to You cards:
Cardstock: White Daisy, Black (CTMH); Patterned Paper: "Hayfield" and "Bluebird" from the Urban Prairie collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: Pretty Pattern backgrounder (Cornish Heritage Farms), Garden of Life (Papertrey Ink); Ink: Twilight, Sweet Leaf, Desert Sand, Black (CTMH); Other: 1/2" circle punch (SU!), button (craft store), grosgrain (American Crafts), embroidery floss (DMC), stipple brush, Liquid Glass, gingham ribbon (CTMH), staples, pop dots, foam mounting tape

Much Appreciated card:
Cardstock: White Daisy, Black (CTMH); Pattern Paper: "Wild Flowers," "Harvest," and "Bluebird" from the Urban Prairie collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: Garden of Life (Papertrey Ink); Ink: Sweet Leaf, Honey, Black (CTMH); Other: button (craft store), craft seam binding (Martha Stewart), grosgrain (CTMH), embroidery floss (DMC), staples, foam mounting tape

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Appealing Cookies went Postal

I hope you all had a nice weekend! I did, but unfortunately it was too full for me to get any stamping in. I did finish up some tags for a swap I'm in, though the stamping was done previously so it was mainly assembly that was left. I'm not going to post that project just yet because I don't want to spoil it for anyone in the group (assuming any of them read my blog -lol!).

I also spent part of my weekend baking some more cookies for our troops -- this time for a very young soldier named Brandon and his troop. (I have a son his age!)
This was my second time being on Donna's team for Operation Baking Gals. Their logo just cracks me up! They are growing by leaps and bounds, but OBG is always looking for a few good {wo}men (sorry, couldn't resist ;)) to bake a batch of homemade treats for our troops. The more bakers they have, the more troops they can reach with our homebaked hugs from home. If you're interested, just click on the OBG link and you can check it out. It's really easy to get signed up, will help our soldiers feel loved and appreciated, and who doesn't like to bake cookies? Mm-mmm, good! My family has been benefitting because I've been making double batches and there's always a little bit left for us. Of course if I can't get a better handle on my self-control, I'm gonna need to start making something that I don't like to eat (or buy bigger clothes!). This time I made Snickerdoodles. Don't they look good? (They are!) ;D
In the photo directly above, you can see the packages just before I put the finishing touches on them. I think there's about four or five layers of cookies in each container. The photo directly below is just before I sealed up the box. And in case you're wondering what the little moist spots are under the top layer of paper towel, they're little pieces of apple peel to help the cookies make the long trip without going stale before they arrive (one of the tips OBG provides).
I hope they like 'em.

So...with the tags and the cookies off my plate (literally speaking with regard to the cookies -lol), I had some time for reading. Just kidding! If I'd had free time I'd have been stamping!! ;) However, I do read in the morning while I'm doing my workout on the stair climber (keeps my mind off what I'm doing! lol). Other than reading the Bible with my daily cup of hot tea, I find it's the only time I have during my day to read. I have a fairly big stack of Charles Martin books waiting for me, so I'm trying to burn through my current read: John Grisham's The Appeal. Since my background is in the legal field, I suppose it's natural that I'm a big Grisham fan, and with the exception of Skipping Christmas (and I really liked the movie), I've read all his books. Which brings me to why I even mentioned this in the first place....

My friend Jeanne tagged me with "A Different Kind of Tag" the other day. It goes like this:

1. Get the book on your nightstand (or whatever book you are currently reading).
2. Open it to page 56 and find the 5th sentence.
3. Post the next couple of sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
4. Do not go and find your favorite book, it has to be the one you are reading now!
5. Tag 5 other people to do the same.

So, here's what I can tease you with from The Appeal:

"But he was a professional. He served his client as well as his client would allow, and he never failed to do what Kurtin instructed him to do. And he would gladly do it all over again because Krane Chemical had paid his little firm over a million dollars to date.

He and Kurtin shook hands at the front door. Both knew they would speak by phone before the day was over. Both were quietly thrilled by the departure. Two leased vans hauled Kurtin and ten others to the airport, where a handsome little jet was waiting for the seventy-minute flight, though they were in no hurry. They missed their homes and families, but what could be more humiliating than limping back from Podunk with their tails between their legs?"

It's an interesting read (for me anyway) with a plot that is probably a lot more fact than fiction. If you haven't read it already and you're looking for something new, give it a try. I think you'll like it. ;)

Here's a shot of the cover:
Since Jeanne's already been tagged and has tagged some of my other favorite "victims," I'm going to choose:

Mary Ellen
Tanis (Does this count as a payback? ;P)

So...what are YOU reading? ;) If you feel like sharing, please leave it in a comment here.

I'm about to be late for my son's orthodontic appointment, so I gotta git!

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. I'll have a card or two to share with you next time. Until then, many blessings to you!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sharin' the Love and a Card

I used to say I didn't like surprises, but now that I'm older, I'm changing my mind about that. ;) Since I don't have a lot of blogging time these days (or time to comment on all the beautiful artwork I see when I do have time to blurf), I have to make the rounds sporadically and often times I miss out on when people need prayer, have an exciting announcement, or when they're offering up some tasty blog candy. Well, today as I was catching up on Stacy's blog, I stumbled upon a post from well over a week ago where she had received an award and I was among those she wanted to share it with. So here it is: What a sweet surprise that was (thank you, Stacy!)! BTW, she's also offering up some calorie-free blog candy right now, so you will want to go check it out here {NOW}!

I have no idea what the official 'rules' for this particular award are, but in the spirit of sharing the love I'd like to send this award out to a small handful of other sweet ladies whose blogs (and personalities) never fail to inspire and encourage me (and right back atcha, Stacy!). I love how, through stamping and blogging, I've met some of the most wonderful (and talented) ladies. My list could go on for days (have you seen my sidebar?!...and that's not all of them! lol), so if you happen to stop by and don't see your name listed, please don't be offended, just consider yourself on my very long honorable mention list. ;)

Mary Ellen
Patti (I miss you)
Stacy (the "other" Stacy -lol)

(Just it just me or has anyone else noticed that this award that is circulating the blog world lately is missing a letter in its title? It's something I can't help -- in my court reporting school and legal secretary/paralegal days, I used to edit a lot of court documents, etc., and my eye is just trained to pick up things like that --just don't ask me about the time I *almost* sent out a letter on behalf of one of our clients containing "fowl language" -lol! It's automatic for me and can come in handy at times; other times, it just makes me feel really anal. UGH! Hopefully, I'm not alone in this. lol)'s another masculine birthday card to share with you (the last one for a while, I'm pretty sure). This one I made a little while ago for my wonderful hubby using the Checklist stamp set and Good Times pattern paper by Close To My Heart: Pretty basic (cuz guys just don't really care, ya know?), and fairly plain (again, cuz guys just don't really care). He liked it -- and that's all that really counts, right? ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy boosters (just doin' my part - lol!):

Cardstock: Colonial White, Chocolate, Sweet Leaf (CTMH); Pattern Paper: Good Times (CTMH); Stamps: Checklist, Say It in Style (CTMH); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Chocolate, Sweet Leaf (CTMH); Other: word window punch (SU!), embroidery floss (DMC), paper piercing needles (Making Memories), ribbon, sponges (CTMH), foam mounting tape

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dad, You Take the Cake!

Just a quick post here...I've got a swap I need to get working on. I hope you're all enjoying your weekend. Oh! Aside from it being the first day of November (can you believe it's November already?!), today is my most favorite day of the year (well, okay, that is an exaggeration, but only a slight one -lol)...Daylight Savings Time ends so we get an extra hour of sleep tonight!!!! Gotta love that! ;D So don't forget to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed tonight or you'll miss out on that wonderful and rare gift of a little extra sleep without a penalty (and you'll be an hour early for church in the morning)!

Okay, I made this card for my dad's birthday earlier this week, using the design from a card I stumbled upon while blurfing as my inspiration. While I'm not sure this card really "looks" like my dad (the dp does remind me of him a lot, but the brads might be just a little on the flashy side for his style...WAIT! -- Mom, does Dad actually have a style? lol), and I wish I'd added a little bit more red in the way of layering (don'tcha love hindsight? ugh), I called it good and mailed it to my pops. I *always* have a hard time with 'guy cards,' but I think this one turned out okay. Oh, and the headless lady is supposed to be me...even though I definitely do not have her figure (darn!)...and the cake is chocolate, my dad's favorite (well, one of his favorites anyway -lol). ;) Also, just a quick reminder to make sure you do your homework and then get out and exercise your right, responsibility, and privilege to vote on Tuesday (if you haven't already)! Here's a little video to help put things in perspective (IMHO):

Thanks so much for coming to visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: White Daisy, Outdoor Denim, Grey Wool (CTMH); Pattern Paper: "Buckle" from the Boxer collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: You Take the Cake (My Favorite Things); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), White Daisy Pigment (CTMH); Other: classic rectangle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), Silver Pearl embossing powder, heat tool, Liquid Glass (CTMH), Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew Cornell), brads (Making Memories), embroidery floss (DMC), foam mounting tape

Friday, October 24, 2008

This New Old House

Some friends of ours recently moved into a new (to them) house. It sits on a large parcel of land with grass and trees galore -- every kid's dream...until they have to rake the leaves and mow the lawns. lol

This is the first time I've used my Boards & Beams stamp set, and I found it more of a challenge than I'd anticipated (although I think it's just me). I love the house images in this set, but since my coloring skills aren't where I'd like them to be (and it never occurs to me to practice...until something like this comes up -lol), so by the time I got done with it, it didn't much look like what I'd envisioned. One thing I realized after the fact is that I colored in what I assumed was the front door's kickplate (and most of the time they're a shiny gold tone, KWIM?), when I think it's actually supposed to be part of the front porch. Oh, well. It didn't come with instructions! lol I'd have given the coloring another shot, but I was running short on time (the story of my life).

Coloring aside, this house actually reminds me of a house I lived in back in the mid-80s...charming house built in 1917 (I think), but, boy, was it a lot of work (remember that, Mom?)! Seems like a lifetime ago. Anyway, I used Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge 61 as the starting point:
Because the house image is rather large, I had a little bit of trouble getting everything to fit, but I think it worked out okay (heaven forbid I actually make a 5x7 card! lol). I used the Tiny Bubbles embossing folder on the larger circle on the lower right, and I sponged some ink onto the smaller circle behind the house image (with that deep purple cardstock as the background, it kinda resembles a big moon, don't ya think?). For me, I think the Picket Fence border punch really pulled this card together. I was still in the thought-process stage of making this card when I found this punch on sale at Michael's, and I knew I wanted to incorporate it into the card's design somehow. I'm really glad I was able to use it here. ;)

BTW, the sentiment reads "Congratulations...," not "ongratulations..." as it appears in the photo. lol

Hope you enjoy your weekend! I plan to. ;D

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: White Daisy, Pansy Purple, Garden Green (CTMH); Stamps: Boards & Beams (PTI); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Chocolate, Goldrush, Olive, White Daisy pigment (CTMH); Other: classic circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug, Tiny Bubbles embossing folder (Provo Craft), picket fence border punch (Martha Stewart), Prismacolored pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew Cornell), sponge (CTMH), ribbon (from my stash), foam mounting tape, sewing machine, thread

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's Friday, and I've got Some Card Shares for Ya!

Happy Friday!! I hope you're all looking forward to a fun and relaxing weekend (or are those mutually exclusive adjectives? lol)! I know I am, and for me that means I hope to do some stamping! ;D

The first card I want to show you is the birthday card my awesome mama made for my husband (he loved it, BTW!) -- it's so masculine and rich looking, and I love all the metallic touches on it! The strings, frets, and other details on the guitars look kinda white in the photo, but they're actually silver in real life. The picture just doesn't do this fabulous card justice!
And these next two are RAKs that I recently received and they're too cute not to share with you. ;)

This first one is from my good friend Mary Ellen -- who, I'm proud to say is one of the ultra-talented designers for the Patstamps Technique Junkie Newsletter, which, if you're not familiar with it, is a wonderful newsletter put out by Pat Huntoon loaded with new and fun techniques for the avid stamper (Pat has CDs with detailed tutorials too, which are amazing!). Can you see all the sparkle in this one? I LOVE it!! (Thanks again, ME!)

This next one is from my sweet friend Laura (who doesn't currently have a blog or I'd link you up). Laura is always so thoughtful and is forever creating wonderful cards and handmade gifts for the special people in her life. This is a double pocket card, and I love how she used all those punches to play off the background pattern and create the whimsical feel of the card. And if you look closely, you'll see that she actually used what appears to be a recycled Archiver's ad as her card base -- very creative (and ecology-minded too)! Isn't it cute?! Thanks, Laura! ;D
Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some Bunny's Going to Pennsylvania

Can you guess who? (I gave you a pretty good hint there!) Nope, it's not me -- even though it's been over seven years since we were last there for a visit and I wish we could go back. (I have a brother who lives there with his family.) It's...Some Bunny!...and she'll be making two appearances there this week, hopefully bringing smiles to two very special little ladies. ;)

You see, I've got a niece who'll be turning seven on Friday (and if you do the math, you'll figure out that neither she nor her younger sister were even born when we were there last, but we have seen them a few times since then thanks to my brother's ability to travel). Time sure does fly! This is the card I made for her (she loves pink -- and I really hope she likes polka dots - lol!):
And this next, very similar, card is for Janessa: If you want to know more about little Janessa, and especially if you'd like to pray for her and her family, please click on the link above. Her aunt, Korin (whom I got to know through one of my online stamping groups before she started Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps), posts updates fairly regularly on her blog. It just breaks my heart when I hear of situations like this, but I know that prayer does help and they could use all the prayers we can offer up on their behalf.

There is another family I'd love to send a card to as well (maybe you read about them on Cammie's blog a little bit ago), but I just haven't found the time to get to it yet. It seems there's never a shortage of those needing encouragement, so one of these days I'll figure out a way to get a stash made up so I don't always have to be so late with everything. I know, good intentions and all that.... But one day....

Boy, that kinda seemed like a downer post...such trying times for these two families. Sorry about that. Hearing of things like this really cause me to be thankful for how very blessed my family has been. I think I'll go give my two youngest kiddos a hug -- I'd hug them all, but the oldest ones are too far away. If you can reach 'em, I'm sure it would do your heart good to give your kids a hug too!

I used Jen del Muro's current Sketch For You To Try on these cards (Did I ever mention how much I love her sketches?): It was a fun sketch, but you can see I didn't challenge myself to vary my two cards too much. ;)

And before I go, I also wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who left me such sweet comments regarding my daughter's coaster album. I always appreciate your comments, but this was such a special project for me and I was really touched by your kind and complimentary words. You ladies are just so sweet. (Oh, and did you see that my daughter actually left me a comment there today -- her only comment on my blog?! Yes, the tears were flowing as I read that one.)

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Some Bunny Polka Dots
Cardstock: White Daisy, Desert Sand, Blush (CTMH); Stamps: Some Bunny, Birthday Surprise (Verve), Polka Dot Basics (Papertrey Ink); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Blush, Desert Sand (CTMH); Other: classic and scalloped circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug, Swiss Dots embossing folder (Provo Craft), Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew Cornell), stipple brush, organdy ribbon (CTMH), sandpaper, foam mounting tape

Some Bunny Gingham
Cardstock: White Daisy, Baby Pink (CTMH); Patterned Paper: (ret.) Baby Pink Gingham (CTMH); Stamps: Some Bunny, Birthday Surprise (Verve), Classic Numbers (CTMH); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Chocolate (CTMH); Other: classic and scalloped circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), checkerboard border punch (Martha Stewart), Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew Cornell), stipple brush, glue dot, grosgrain ribbon (CTMH), foam mounting tape

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

'21 Reminders' Coaster Book

Okay, as promised, here's the coaster book I made for my daughter's 21st birthday. At first I thought it would be just from me, but then I changed my mind. Wanting to make this really special for her, I thought about this long and hard and decided to rise above myself and include ALL of her immediate family members...meaning, not only would this include sentiments from myself, my hubby, our two kids, my two older sons (my daughter's flesh-and-blood siblings), my stepdaughter, and my parents; I went even further and also asked my ex, his wife, her son, their daughter, and his parents to contribute to this as well (and if you know me, you know this was not easy for me to do because the relationship I have with my ex and his wife is less than pleasant, to put it nicely).

Anyway, not everyone followed my 'instruction' to list what they love about her, but the general idea was there and so I went with with the wording exactly as it was given to me. I'm not sure you'll be able to read it all, nor is that my concern here. I just thought I'd give you a heads up so you might be able to make sense of all this in case you were looking beyond the artwork. ;) Every person's sentiments are in a different font, and I tried to create each page with that person and their personality in mind...kinda tough when you're not overly fond of some of them. lol

BTW, she just received it today, and she said it was the BEST gift she's ever received, so I'm glad that all my thought and effort was worth it. I felt like I was living this thing for weeks, and it took almost a week for UPS to deliver it, so I'm really glad it's finally in her hands and also relieved she loves it. ;)

I'm going to list the "pages" in the order they were assembled, even though I don't have them in groupings of two. Make sense? And I took most of these pics before I assembled it...I was so afraid of ruining it when punching the holes with my Crop-a-dile! lol Oh, and you may want to go get a little snack and your favorite beverage...this could take a while. ;) There are so many pics, I'm wondering if Blogger will need me to break this up and put it into two or three different posts.... Guess we'll find out soon enough. lol

Okay, this is the front cover:
Page 1:
Page 2:
Page 3:
Page 4:
Page 5:
Page 6:
Page 7:
Page 8:
Page 9:
Page 10:
And Page 11 (this was one of my favorites):
The book opens to reveal my parents' sentiments (hope you don't mind that I'm sharing this, Mom):
Page 12:
And here's the inside of that one:
Page 13:
Page 14 (the inside of the back cover -- I tucked an extra little note inside this envie):
And no, I'm not going to let you read the inside of the note -lol:
The very back cover is just plain cardstock with my little signature stamp on it. Nothing fancy and not worth showing. ;)

I thought I was making each page relatively flat, but I had to use 2" binder rings to assemble this. I think it might have looked better only using a top ring, but I really wanted it to be more like a book, so I went ahead and used a ring at the bottom as well (but the ribbons are only at the top). My supply list was so ridiculously long, and most of the supplies used were from Close To My Heart (I think some ribbon and chipboard were the exceptions). I somehow misplaced it when I was cleaning the house to have friends over for dinner last weekend, but if I ever find it, I'll edit this post to include it all. Until then, please feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!