Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Made in the U.S.A. { by me! }

Can you believe it's almost July? I decided to get out some patriotic decor yesterday and wanted to add to what little bit I have. Perfect excuse to play along with two challenges this week also!

The first challenge is a color challenge over at H2H. I chose dutch blue for the "any blue" and added in some white embossing and desert sand ink.

I'm also playing along with the challenge on the Ribbon Carousel Blog. What says "Happy Birthday" to America more than a festive banner!?!

I originally had 3 barn stars over my fireplace mantle. I replaced them with one great big one which was hiding in my bedroom and out of view anyhow.

Here is a close up on the pennants. You will see that I used a Spellbinders label die for each of them. I stamped a flourish from the You & Me stamp set in white first and embossed it. Then I stamped script background in desert sand ink and sponged the edges to make it appear more aged. The letters are from old textured card stock die cuts. I simply embellished with some barn stars with buttons, faux pearls and hemp twine.

Here is a pic of the entire fireplace wall.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Strawberry Shortcake

Want a simple summer time dessert? Here's my semi-homemade strawberry shortcake sure to satisfy!

What you'll need:

1 pint strawberries (washed and sliced)

1 tblsp sugar (I prefer Stevia)

1 lemon

1 tblsp fresh mint (snipped into small pieces)

1 container cool whip (I used fat free)

1 tblsp vanilla extract

1 store bought pound cake from bakery

Combine strawberries, sugar, fresh lemon juice and mint in medium bowl. Allow to marinate in fridge for an hour or so. When ready to assemble, open container of cool whip and add vanilla, stir. Cut pound cake into 1 in. slices. Layer pound cake, strawberries with a little juice to soak the cake, then cool whip. Repeat the layers once more for an extra special treat!

Adding the vanilla to the cool whip gives it another layer of taste. The mint and lemon in the strawberries really perks them up and the flavors pop in your mouth!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Reading Chart

I've struggled every summer to find ways to get my kids to read. They are not big fans of reading and don't want summer break to feel like school! So this year I've come up with a reading chart.

It's made from a cookie sheet, bottle caps and some fabulous Close To My Heart papers and embellishments. Here is what the chart looks like before they start reading. The bottle caps are magnetized to the side handles of the sheet. Once they read for 20 minutes they get to move their bottle cap into the space under their name.

Here you can see that the bottle caps have been moved. I had each child write a list of rewards they would like to receive once reaching their goals. {total of 5 bottle caps must be on the board for the reward} They range from a pack of gum, candy, soda or an energy drink.

My son mostly enjoys reading on the Internet. He is always interested in different countries or does research on military and guns. My daughter has enjoyed reading some older favorite books. She cracks me up though. She loves to hula~hoop while she reads! She can exercise her body and her brain, BRILLIANT!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Dad's Day!

This ones for you Dad!

This big comfy chair stamp had Dad written all over it! Why? Because in his plush recliner is where I could usually find him. After working all day this is where he would usually end up.

I can remember evenings of him watching Jeopardy and being able to answer most the questions before the contestants on the show. If my brother or I wanted something he would make us answer the questions too. The one with the most points wins... it was usually me!!

He often enjoyed a big bowl of ice cream after dinner in his chair. He taught me how to pour just a little bit of milk over creamy chocolate ice cream to create a tasty icy dome on top. Very yummy!

My Dad is a cat person, therefore it was not unusual to see one of his feline friends curled up on his lap.

At Christmas time he would sit on the edge of the seat while we opened gifts. I can remember waiting to see him open what I got him or made for him hoping that he would like it. He was my art teacher in Junior High so it made me very proud when he genuinely liked my artwork!

In my teen years when our parents went out on a date, it was a battle between my brother and I to sit in his chair. For just a few hours we got to feel the power of the recliner, to be in control, it was awesome!

Soon after I married and had my first child. When I visited my Dad he would sit in his chair and hold his first grandchild in his arms. He would stare at my sons little face and predict what kind of man he would become, how tall he would be and give him silly nicknames.

Funny how just a chair can give you a lifetime of memories! He has moved to another state and I have not yet been able to visit, to see his home where he now lives. I can only close my eyes and imagine him sitting in his recliner, with a cat on his lap, watching baseball or Jeopardy. I am certain of that!

Happy Father's Day Dad! Relax and Enjoy you day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Song on my Sketch!

A silly title for this post, but I really do have a "song" on my sketch challenge card! I have combined two challenges for this lovely card. The first is from Ribbon Carousel Challenge Blog and the other is Mojo Monday.

At RCC we are challenged to create a card inspired by the music you enjoy. I happen to big fan of Dave Matthews and will often turn my iPod to his albums before I sit down to create. One of my favorite songs right now is called You & Me. Listen to it sometime when you get a chance.

Here is the sketch from Mojo Monday. I love all the layers, but was mostly drawn to the center sentiment.


(CTMH) Wings paper, colonial white cardstock, black buttons & brads, stamps; Universal Backgrounds, Hodgepodge Alpha & Love Birds, black ink.

(Twinery) Honeydew Twine

(Fiskars) Scalloped Punch

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Background BBQ

Heart 2 Heart Blog challenges us this week to background stamping. One of the very first techniques I learned at a home gathering and still my favorite! Once you create your background paper you can cut it and add it to several cards. In this case a Father's Day card. I used some star images in some "all-American" colors for my background, then I used images from His & Hers stamp to complete my theme. This one's for Dad, A.K.A. The Grill Master!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wedding on H2H

It's wedding week on Heart 2 Heart challenges. I loved the samples of inspiration from the design team this week. Here is what I came up with.

I am drawn to the Kraft cardstock lately, especially the fact that I can emboss in a lighter color on it. I first did a tone on tone stamping in colonial white, which unfortunately does not show well in the pictures. I embossed the congratulations in white daisy then using a spellbinders die, punched a label in the center. I second generation stamped the flowers on the front and stamped the butterfly. I also stamped the butterfly again on another piece of cardstock and cut out only the wing, popping it for added dimension. Finally, I finished the card with some opaque pearls.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

RCC6 "Get Sketchy"

It's a sketch challenge this week on Ribbon Carousel Challenges Blog. Go to the blog for all the details and to see what the other talented designers created!

My card uses the Splendor papers and My Stickease from Close To My Heart. There is hardly any stamping, only the "Happy Birthday" title, the Stickease does all the rest of the work for me! How awesome is that? I used some Heavenly Blue ribbon {CTMH} and orange twine {The Twinery} as my "spool" items.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Scallop Punched Flowers

My Card Club meets tomorrow to make this set of cards using the Close To My Heart scallop punch. Using some different techniques they will learn how to create truly unique and beautiful flowers for their cards or any projects!

This flower was created by punching 4 scallop circles out of the Wings Basic papers. Each circle is folded just so, then mounted on a circle base. When looking straight on it seems to be flat, but if you take a look from the side you'll see that there is nice dimension.

This flower requires some precise cutting with you scissors and some curling. The result is stunning!

This last one is probably my favorite. It is five layers deep, you get to do some stamping with our fabulous background stamps and then you get to crinkle and crunch them in your hand. So easy to do, creating such an awesome flower!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So Long Super Stars!

Just a quick post to show you the little treats I made for the students I help all year long!

I wrapped some Hershey's chocolate in Fanfare papers then tucked them in a snack sized ziploc bag. I created a label with their names and stars on them, because they are all super stars to me!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sweet Blessings

A friend's daughter celebrated her first birthday last weekend, so I wanted to make her something special to keep and cherish forever. The photo's were snapped the weekend before when they visited us for a BBQ, so momma never saw these before!

I used 3 pieces from the mix & mingle album connected with jump rings and various ribbon. The yellow paper on the chipboard pieces are leftovers from the You & Me Kit! I combined it with some crystal blue, sweet leaf and cotton candy. Lots of fun details everywhere, take a look~

Here is how I packaged it all together. It is nestled in some recycled Easter grass and I created a little label for the front using the stamp from You & Me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lollipop Watermelon

Do you recall when "lollipop flowers" were the hot new trend? Today I bring it back, not as a flower, but as a watermelon!

In July I am hosting a "food themed" card swap. The participants already have their assignments and possibly hard at work. However, if they don't have a variety of "food" stamps to use, this is a great alternative. Use the papers you already have and make it look like food. I will post more ideas all month long, so come back for more inspiration and in July I will post the cards from the swap!

I am also submitting this card into two challenges this week. The first is for Heart 2 Heart's sketch challenge. I really enjoy the simplicity of the sketch allowing the artists to embellish as they desire.

This is also for Ribbon Carousel Challenge this week. Anything goes as long as it contains some sort of fiber that comes on a spool! No problem!

My watermelon has 7 layers. I started with some Tulip B&T papers from a mix of paper packs. These make up the first four top layers. My next layer is from an old children's dictionary. I punched a section out and inked the edges lightly in green. {if you look closely you'll see that I used the section with the watermelon definition on it!} The final two layers are sweet leaf cardstock and clover meadow green B&T papers. By having that little bit of white paper it really makes it look like the rind of the melon. Finally, I added some little black seeds which were free hand cut from black cardstock.

Here's the sketch~

So many favorite products and techniques on this card. First, is the watermelon. Whether it's lollipop flowers or fruit, it's just a simple and fun edition to any project. I also love faux stitching. It really ties the base pieces all together. By removing the guard on the corner rounder punch you can create perfect scallops as I did here on the Tulip cardstock. I {heart} the new CTMH buttons and pearl opaques. My papers are all CTMH. Did you notice the lovely creme brulee paper leftover from the You & Me kit? My fibers include a stitched sweet leaf grossgrain ribbon from CTMH and Peapod green twine from the Twinery.