Thursday, December 21, 2006

Those Masculine Cards

I'm a simple stamper - always have been. Actually that's what got me hooked on stamping was the fact I didn't need to DRAW anything :-) Just be a little creative with ink & paper!! I can do that. I like to spend time on special cards & occasions -- get my creative juices flowing, try out a new technique & play. Other times, I like to be able to walk into my stamping space, sit, stamp & leave with a card within 5 minutes. PLEASE tell me others feel this way too. I'm always struggling for masculine cards. Those men seem to be difficult to stamp for. I sat down one day and stamped this card and I kept it as a template for masculine birthday cards, because it's easy, simply & not too fancy. I'm an embellishment nut -- love 'em! So the hodgepodge kit it a big hit with me. Add to that eyelets, brads, ribbon, snaps, frames, staples, clips, clasps, buttons...... and I'm able to dress up a seemingly simple card! I used the Sahara Sand cardstock. Very cool cardstock actually as it tends to lend itself to whatever colors you layer it with. When I put green next to it, it looks more green, browns - it goes a bit earthier. Lovely color. Then of course my "Green of the Year" - Always Artichoke and our basic black for layering. A simple knotted ribbon, couple of eyelets on the bottom (gotta have the double circle punch for this -- even EVERY time!!), a little hodgepodge clip, snippet of gingham ribbon and I'm done. :) Easy isn't it :) After the business of Christmas isn't it nice to have a couple of easy birthday cards on hand for January.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Five More Sleeps!!

Christmas banquets, children programs, Christmas concerts.... such a fun & busy time of year. I thought I'd post my Christmas cards that I did this year (I think they're all out now). I went VERY easy this year. Simple & quick. I just adore the snowfurries set in the past mini and HAD to use it for my Christmas cards this year. So here it is....
I used whisper white as a base for a nice wintry crisp feel, then my favorite green (this year) Always Artichoke and the fabulous new In-Color Cranberry Crisp. I used the 3/4" circle punch for the base snowflakes and then I used the 1/2" circle punch and stampin' dimensionals to pop the layered snowflakes on top. Some ribbon and silver cord, a greeting & I was done. Well, of course after making 50+ !! It's fun though & I always look forward to making Christmas Cards each year. I have a challenge for my stamping groups this year that I will pass along to you in the new year. In January, stamp a card & mail it off to someone who would least expect getting a card from you. With one action you'll find creativity as you stamp and design a card, you'll have a sense of accomplishment as you complete it & as you slip it into the big red mailbox, you'll smile knowing that your action will cause someone else to smile & perhaps even be the highlight of their day!
Happy Stamping!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Love Matters

It was suppose to be a stamping weekend with a good friend of mine, but the white fluffy snow fell upon her dwelling causing her to be snowed in. We all know it has to be quite a storm to keep stampers from getting together to STAMP!!! So as I moped I figured I may as well play with my new winter mini sets!! Best therapy - stamping! :) This card on the left is using Cameo Coral & Apricot Appeal. My youngest daughter's FAVORITE color is orange (and sometimes she will allow pink in there). So orange & pink are one of my favorite combos in her scrapbook.... I thought I'd try it on a card & I do like how it turned out. I added Certainly celery to the mix as well. The wonderful tag punch allows us the ability to make any slip of paper into a tag so a couple snips and voila! :) I also love the window punch & here I just folded it over and used it as an accent or pull of the tag (although it doesn't actually pull). The Love card (don't you just love the new Love Matters set!!) is using blues & Old Olive. It's not a great photo with my camera, but I stamped it with canvas & then put a piece of vellum over the front of the card. I did a little paper piercing on the Buckaroo Blue Cardstock, and just had fun playing & coloring. It was actually nice to stamp something non-seasonal -- although there's many tags to be stamped for packages -- but there's always next week, right? Mrs. Procrastinator here!! They say we're going to get some snow here, I hope so. We're always dreaming of a white Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Has it been a WEEK?!

Where does the time go during the Christmas rush! Wow, it's been a week since my last post -- shame on me :-) I tempted you with recipes & then I go into hiding for a week ('cause I was bakin' all those goodies!!). For my stamping ladies I made up little Christmas packages for them. I had never made biscotti before, but a friend of mine gave me this recipe and they are SO good!! So if you're in one of my stampin' groups and having a peek on here, you've caught a glimpse of your Christmas goodie from me. I always like to include a recipe when I give someone baked goods. Then if they love it, they can make more, and if they have allergies, they will know what's in the treat. So... without further delay - THE RECIPE.....

Chocolate Almond Biscotti
2 1/4 cups flour 6oz. white chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa Almond Extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups slivered almonds
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups white sugar
**Preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips and slivered almonds well in a bowl. In a new bowl, beat eggs & sugar until mixture holds a ribbon-like trail when lifting the whisk. Add flour mixture. Shape into a log on a cookie sheet (I find the dough VERY sticky! I also find it easier to make it into 1-3 logs as it REALLY spreads during baking). Press & flatten as desired. Bake 25 minutes, cool 20 minutes on a rack. Cut into 3/4" strips and bake an additional 12 minutes. Cool completely and dip tops in melted white chocolate with almond extract to taste.
ENJOY!!! Let me know how you like them.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Always a Birthday

Although Christmas Card creations are in the major production process for most people right now, there always seem to be a birthday card to make, doesn't there? Whether it's a kids' birthday party or family & friends, I always seem to be pumping out the birthday cards. :) Unfortunately the photo of this card isn't great -- not sure why the pink flowers look soooo blek in the photo -- MUCH softer on the actual card. But I do love this technique: cracked glass. It's so simple, although a tad messy, but the effect is this scrumptious aged look. You simply take your piece of cardstock and stamp it up however you like. I used the Hollyhock Jumbo Wheel, pulled out my watercolor pencils (I'm partial to the wonder crayons, but every so often I remind myself to pull out the supplies less used) and stamp away. I used close to cocoa classic ink on the edges to soften it up even more. Then... the fun part! COAT your WHOLE cardstock piece with Versamark Ink. I just use the ink pad as a stamp and "stamp" the piece of decorated cardstock like that. Using GLASSY GLAZE (also known as UTEE - Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) cover your image with powder (I like to use a coffee filter under it... works awesome!). Using your heat tool, melt it. Repeat the process at least one more time -- sometimes you need a third coat. Next, place this little glassy piece of cardstock in your freezer. Pull out a cookie & nibble while you wait a few minutes. By the time your cookie is done (and your glass of milk), pull out your cardstock and bend it in a few directions. You'll hear it crack as you bend it. If it stops cracking and you don't think there's enough cracks, stick it back in the freezer for a few more minutes and do some more. I like to take a brown ink (close to cocoa) and rub it in the cracks to bring them out a bit more. Adhere it to your cardfront and finish off your card however you'd like. The messy part is the bits of glassy glaze that seem to fly everywhere! :-)

So that was my stamping accomplishment today - Grandma's Birthday Card. I'm happy to find the time as my little boy is home sick with the flu. He's happy to play with his younger sister though, so that actually gave me a few stamping moments before the Kindergarten rush of skating lessons begin :) I love having a stamping room that I can dash in & out of -- I can't imagine having to lug it all out with little ones and putting it back each day. If you saw the condition of my stampin' pad, you'd know why! *smiles* -- I'm a very messy stamper!! :-)

I've also added some stamp sets in my collection that are ready to move on to new homes. If you are interested in any of them, please leave a comment for me and I'll get you details on those particular sets. I'll be adding to the list as I go through my things as well as deleting the ones that have been sold. Seems as a stamper your tastes change (or you collection just gets bigger than needed) and so some pocket change for Christmas might be a good thing.

Merry Christmas!! I hope to get some baking done and post a couple of holiday recipes too!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Where is the time going?

I haven't posted in a few days -- tsk, tsk! The balancing motherhood has come into play the last few days. :) I'm hoping tomorrow to stamp/play and post something to share with you all. I'm in Christmas mode as I'm sure everyone is and always looking for good ideas to make/share with others. I love these according bookets. I made this one with the kids for Daddy on Father's Day. It was perfect: one pocket for me, & three left so they each got their own. I found a picture of them and then they wrote a letter on the back of their personalized "tag". I was thinking this could be great for Christmas as well!! You could stick in gift cards, or homemade coupons... they are so easy to make. Start with a sheet of 12x12 cardstock. Score in half (six inches) then score the other way at 3", 6" & 9". When you fold it in half you've created these "pockets" You only put sticky strip (the best adhesive in my opinion for this type of thing) on the edges at each end. You can cut designer paper, photos, stamped images and decorate however you want. I just used the circle & square punches to create the notches at the top. When you're done, fold it up, tie a ribbon and your done! A very fun a quick project. What Gramma wouldn't love this little booklet of memories! :-) Looking forward to showing you something new tomorrow.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Weekend Is Here!

I love the weekend!! I love that I get to sleeeeeeep in (crazy to think that 7:30 is a sleep in!) and I'm not rushing the kids to and from school. The joys of having one in Kindergarten -- it's back & forth to school all day long it seems. My hubby got an invite to go to the mountains and snow-mobile for the day -- how excited was he!?!? So it's just me & the munchkins today. I found a few moments this morning to get a card made for a fellow stamper that I thought I'd share with you. I just love Peaceful Wishes!! Always Artichoke has become my new favorite green ( I was an old olive girl for the longest time!). I used it along with Real Red & the basic Black adds a little crispness to the card. I'm trying to get into the habit of the 2-card rule. When I make a card, I made a second one for my stash so I can go back and copy it if I need. I think this is a great rule for all stampers :) It's not too much longer to make a second as your things are all out anyway. Christmas Cards are in the mail (note to self -- mail out cards MUST be thinner -- cost me over a dollar to send each one -- that silly 'ol ribbon made 'em too thick!) but it feels good to have them in the mail. Still need to make some more that we hand deliver, but the ones needing to be sent away are off :) Need to clean my stamp room today -- sometimes doing this I can locate lost items :) Why is that room always such a mess?! Enjoy your weekend, hope you find some stamping time too!!