Friday, December 30, 2011

elegant card set

hi all!

so i anyone else thinking about new year's resolutions?  i rarely make any but this year is different - i actually have a number of them.  they are more like goals for the year i guess.  maybe some of both. i have been exercising regularly and want to continue - which for me is huge because i am so NOT a fan nor have i ever done it :P  i was more active once upon a time but not an exerciser for the sake of exercising.  however i am determined to put a stop to the weight gain if the last several years!  i have been doing weights with hubby downstairs in his gym and while i don't like the actual working out it IS nicer doing it all together.  pezza goes down their too and has some baby weights - she is hysterical down there.  she has been going in the weight room with daddy since she was very small and she is quite comfortable in there.  bubba comes too and hangs out with us.  i also want to learn to do more on my computer with photoshop, in design and my wacom tablet.  we have soe family financial goals too that we will continue to work towards (which means continuing to watch my spending - BLECH!)

of course i will continue to make it a priority to spend time in my studio!  today i wanted to show y'all a set of cards and tags i made for my MIL - i was very pleased with how they turned out:

hopefully she was too!

It's so easy to put one of these together - I started with the Damask Decor Cricut Cartridge - i have been itching to try some of the cards and tags on it and had not had time.

Next I picked out a 6"x6" paper pad i wanted to use.  I gathered some solid cardstock to match the colors in the paper pad and this way i knew all of my items would coordinate nicely with each other.
For the first 2 cards i chose the card creative feature.  This cuts out a beautiful card front in any size you want.  I knew i would be matting mine so i cut them at a slightly smaller size.  i could also cut out the card base but since these were both just plain rectangles i did not do that with the cricut - it would have wasted paper.  but there are shape cards on the cartridge too.

Next I made one using the main shape and it's layers.  every shape on this cartridge is gorgeous and they make incredible embellishments!

this last card uses the silhouette creative feature and is also very striking.  I wanted these cards to be clean & simple without any bulky embellishments so all i did was ink all of my edges and then i added a few glittered skittles or pezabling accents.

the cartridge also has a tag feature which i used for these.  the best part - see the two tags with the blue die cuts - that is one cut - i used the positive AND the negative of the cut to create 2 tags!

i packaged them up in a clear box - i purchased a big stack of these years ago from clear bags i think.  i tied the box with the same ribbon i used on the tags.

i am really anxious to make some more of these - i loved playing with the shapes as well as mixing and matching all the coordinating elements.  who knows maybe i can sell them on etsy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

hi all!

it's SNOWING!  ok it is a pathetic excuse of a snow but it is still flurries!  oh i am so ready for some snow!   we have little flurry piles on our deck but it isn't sticking anywhere else.

vacation pezza has been bouncing off the WALLS and driving us nuts so i took her to pump it up - for those not familiar it is basically a bunch of those big blow up bouncy things, blow up slides, blow up obstacle courses - quite cool really.  anyway i was hoping to reduce her to slight vibration mode for the afternoon so we'll see how that goes.  i am REALLY wanting to go work in my studio!  I am helping my buddy suzanne kick off a Smash book challenge group over on Color Me Creative and i am very excited about it!  the "rules" are very loose - smashbook/art journal/scrapbook/journal free for all really with challenge guidance and prompts and videos by us (maybe a few others) to help inspire along the way.  y'all should REALLY head over and join in!  my book will be home made (as opposed to a purchased notebook or special smash book) and i will be doing an art journal.  i had planned on doing this anyway so when suzanne told me her idea for the group i jumped on it!  i plan on filling it with ideas and trial techniques and practice pieces before making larger pieces to hang on my walls.  a fun aspect of the group - suzanne's 15 year old daughter will be joining in and doing a group for teens PLUS pezza is going to make a journal too!

for today how about another video tutorial sponsored by FaveCrafts?!?!

today is alcohol inks - a quick easy background ala Tim Holtz.  i used my pieces on a 2 page LO of snow pics:

the three small panels on the left edge are the Alcohol Ink puddle technique shown in the video

this is an easy fun technique to do so i hope y'all will try it if you haven't already!

my image is a super cute little pollycraft digi - love the look on her face!  she is colored with colored pencils and i added sparkle fluff to her clothes and stickles to the snow and her wings.

couldn't resist adding these felt embellies - felt on the fly felt cut with spellbinders dies!

here is the video - let me know what you think

Monday, December 26, 2011

one last christmas hurrah!

hi all!

ahhhhhhhh christmas - DONE!  hahhahhahh!  we had a great christmas but i am ready to move on!  here are a few highlights:

pezza was up at 3:45.  NOT because it was xmas - she didn't even remember.  nope just because some days thats how she rolls (lord help me).

we gave trevor money.  hubby put it in a justin bieber folder, wrapped it in pink snowman paper and had me write the to/from across the front with pink stickles - awesome! hahahhahhhaha

1 of my presents for pezza and hubby was a set of nerf guns.  silly me did not think of getting anything to defend MYSELF with.  as i was cleaning up the wrapping paper and such i hear pezza mumbling behind me "i've got my gun...i've got my dart...i've got my extra darts...i've got my momma target..."  HEY!

then trevor arrived and immediately goes for one of the guns and starts chasing his sister around and they run upstairs.  after awhile me & hubby are getting suspicious - sure enough an ambush arrives.  however trevor has BOTH guns with pezza following behind.  he tells us she has been demoted to "ammo mule" - ahhh older siblings....

she got a bejeweled game for her nintendo DS - hubby and i are totally addicted.
i have two more christmas cards i wanted to share - really i wanted to share them BEFORE christmas but things got a little crazy!  i posted my pearl mist video and talked about using the perfect pearls and water alone but you can also make shimmering colors to match your projects easily!  all you need is to do is add a few drops of your DYE reinkers to the water and perfect pearl mixture - any dye based reinker works.  this means you can adjust your shimmer color AND mist color!

On this card I used the Perfect Pearls and water on the polka dot paper and then added some cranberry reinker to mist a piece of white paper for some shimmering red.

here you can see the gorgeous cranberry color mixed with gold shimmer - i love that i can control just how much color i will have this way too - most pre-made mixes have a bit too much color for me!  i used a crafter's workshop stencil and gold viva decor modeling cream to add the leaf design.

this image is from lala land crafts - isn't she adorable?!  i colored her with colored pencils and then added some twinkling H2Os for extra shimmer.

I also made a pale blue shimmering mist

on this background i used viva decor crystal gel sprinkled with ultrafine glitter while wet and got some amazing snowflakes!

my image is a Peachy Keen i have had for several years - i just LOVE him.

he is also colored with colored pencils.  the embellies are cut from felt (from Felt On The Fly - ALWAYS) using spellbinders dies and then a fabric yoyo in the center.

here are some xmas pics for ya:

 sibling love
 christmas cat
 the haul
it will take pezza all week to get to all her presents i think!  so far what she has played with, she has played with for a long time so i think that's a good sign!

i hope you all had a wonderful christmas and i am really looking forward to spending another year with you!  i have been so blessed through this little blog of mine and am so grateful for the friends i have made and the opportunities that have come my way!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

pearl mist video!

hi all!

posting from the depths of christmas prep hell!  anyone else???  marathon baking yesterday.  i have decided i despise cake pops...alot...and stores that run out of things before white candy melts.  thus snowmen cake pops with least pezza loved them!

we headed in to DC this past weekend for hubby's work christmas gathering.  we sat with my two fave couples and i had lots of fun.  i love DC and don't get out there like i used to since pezza was born.  can't wait until i can take her to the smithsonian museums and stuff.  used to love doing that with the boys.

but onto my project - today's fun includes a video for ya!  i LOVE LOVE LOVE perfect pearls mica powders by ranger - they are the BEST for so many things!  and a great one is making your OWN shimmering pearlescent mists in ANY COLORS YOU WANT and the video at the end of the post shows you all about it.  it is sponsored by - a super place to browse for all sorts of free tips, project instructions and info.  You can mix up your pearl mists two ways - one is just perfect pearls and water in a mini mister - all shimmer in whatever color PP you use but no heavy color.  i really love to spray this mixture onto regular patterned paper so i get shimmer paper!  that is what i did on the dark green strip on these cards - i sprayed the full page and then cut it to use on all of the cards:

really hard to catch the shimmer on camera though :(

i used papers from the same paper pad so they would all coordinate and kept the overall design simple for mailing and for quickness!

the images are just right stamps from like 2 christmases ago that i HAD to have when they came out and did not put to good use.

i colored them with colored pencils of course

i really had fun coloring up these little images - quick n easy!  here's the video - be sure and leave a comment so i know what you think of it!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

marshmallow chocolate stirrers...

hi all!

well pezza finally got to experience the childhood glory that is chuck e cheese.  frankly i have been putting it off as long as possible.  having already raised 2 kids i have spent more than my fair share of time in the torment & insanity that is CEC.  in fact one of the things i told kevin when we decided to have pezza was that HE would be handling ALL CEC parties.  yea guess who had to work last be fair the party was early, 4-6.  so off we went to have some fun.  and i have to say it was a remarkebly good experience - the FIRST in CEC.  for one thing it seemed much bigger and less crowded than the ones we visited in the past.  in addition it was nearly empty - that is the true blessing!  so pezza got to try out some fun games and stuff and everything was only 1 token.  i remember in the arcades when the boys were younger games were costing 2-3 even 4 quarters each.  she even played skee ball - pezza flingin hard balls willy nilly - saw my life flash before my eyes several times.  the one big disappointment was how many of the games were broken - especially the ones with no sign on them so you didn't find out until after it took your token - really annoying.  overall a fun time though.  we brought one of her friends home with us and listening to the conversation in the back seat was hysterical.  he is obssessed with dinosaurs and was talking about a show called kung fu dino posse.  really????  every time he said the name in his very serious little 5 year old voice i was cracking up!

what other fun thing did i do yesterday - dipped marshmellows.  for those who missed it on facebook:

yea.  there was a bit of a learning curve with this.  don't be fooled.  it was not as simple as melt chocolate, poke marshmallow, dip, add sprinkles.  oh no.....for one thing i melted my candy melts TOO long and guess what happens - they go PAST the melted stage and back to the hard stage - very odd.  BUT i remembered a tip about doing this for cake pops on my buddy cat's blog - add some crisco too thin out the coating for a smoother look.  *frantic search for crisco i KNOW i have more of SOMEwhere*  ok.  got it all nice and melted and thin, dipped my candy cane tip in , pushed it into the melted candy, swirled it around and stuff and realized - IT WAS TOO HOT - my marshmallow was MELTING!  dip it in sprinkles, throw it all dripping and gooey onto the parchment lined cookie sheet.  yea that will be a hit in the treat bag - NOT.  so i added more crisco and let it cool down a bit before continuing.  dip in chocolate, dip in sprinkles, set down and watch all the excess pool off onto the parchment and cover the sprinkles.  dip, TAP OFF EXCESS, dip in sprinkles, set down, fall over.  pick up. fall over.  pick up. fall over and knock next one over too, get candy melt all over candycane.  i am having SO much fun. gonna be real proud bringing these into preschool.....but i kept going!  i wish i had found peppermint sticks but all i had was candy canes so breaking off the curvy part was an adventure all it's own.  so my sticks are all different sizes.  i was concerned at first but i quickly realized it was the least of my problems.  i did finally get most of the kinks worked out and the 3rd & 4th rounds turned out much better:

so here are my pointers in one easy to find place:
  1. when melting the candy melts add crisco - add and stir it in until the coating is pretty thin and runny - not water but just so you can dip and get a nice smooth even thin coating.
  2. melt them in a container deep enough so you can just dip them straight in and cover them completely - i used a one cup measuring cup and melted about 3/4 cups of candy melts.
  3. set it aside to cool a tiny bit whie you get your candy canes, marshmallows and sprinkles ready - i only did 9 of each so it worked out well.  don't set it aside for so long it hardens :)
  4. set the marshmallows on a plate, dip the tip of your candy cane in the melted chocolate and then push it straight into the marshmallow WHILE it is sitting on the plate. - that is the only way i could be sure mine would be straight and stand up.  let that set up a bit.
  5. dipe the marshmallow into the chocolate, take it out, tap gently on the side of the container to get the excess off then roll in sprinkle that are in a small bowl.
  6. set on parchment paper.
not really hard once i figured a few things out!  stay tuned for the final project with these - goodies for pezza's classmates and a few of my neighbors!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

lotsa {christmas} cards

hi all! 
(weird - my post posted itself all on it's own while i was typing....i apologize if you have to read this twice.)
hi all!

we had a great time at the cookie exchange party tuesday!  hollyn loved playing with all the kids and i loved seeing friends i don't see nearly often enough these days.  we came home with some yummy treats of all kinds and we also did an ornament exchange which was really fun too.  apparently this is not a new way to do things but it was new to me - everyone had numbers.  when it was your turn you could either pick a wrapped ornament from under the tree OR steal someone else's ornament they had already unwrapped!  too fun!

then yesterday we got together with some folks at the skating rink - wednesday morning they have a session for littler kids with push toys and ride on toys and bikes and such.  we used to go alot but the rink was closed down for quite awhile for major renovations.  i tried to get pezza to bring her bike to practice on a nice flat area but she refused.  instead she chose to bring a baby and a doll carriage (WTF?) and spent the entire time trying to get a turn on other kids bikes cuz she wanted something to ride.  unfortunately some were not interested in sharing with her so it was a whole lot less fun than the cookie party :P

also went for my third chiropractor visit - my headaches are improving some but when they hit they sure hit hard!

and in the midst of it all i made 7 more xmas cards to show you!

I used my ALL TIME favorite cricut cartridge and my Imagine - Snow Angels.  i love EVERYTHING about this cartridge - the colors, the patterns, the images, the shapes.  i got this after christmas last year and couldn't wait to make cards with it but i was having a lot of trouble callibrating my machine.  it's still not quite right but good enough to make the cards if i turn off the borders.

I chose all of my main shapes and then edited them so they were 3.5" and separated into layers.  this way i could stack the layers with foam tape after inking the edges to give the cards some depth and dimension - much more interesting than the flat one layer image!

after doing my main images i worked on my patterned papers - SO EASY with the imagine because they are all on one cart and totally coordinate!

i did not print out entire pages, which is an option on the imagine.  there would be too much wasted paper and ink that way.

instead i chose a 5"x7" rectangle from the stock shapes on the imagine and then added various patterns to it - i printed 7 altogether, 1 for each card. 

my cards are 5.5"x4.25" so i knew a 5x7 piece would give me plenty to cover the card front.

the extra i cut off was perfect for a smaller panel on the front of each card!  i ended up with VERY little waste!

next i dug around and found perfectly matched cardstock to use for the card base, the mat for the smaller panel and the nestie mat for each ornament - i rarely print solid colors.

i used a different edge punch on each mat and a different nestie on each as well and then put it all together!

this was a fun and relatively easy little project to do - it was somewhat assembly line since all of the measurements and the layout were the same without the boring monotony of making a bunch of cards exactly the same.

what do y'all think? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CMC Challenge

hi all!
{anyone ever get tired of thinking of clever titles for their posts?  i've got nothing....i always do the title last...}

i have been cooking up a storm still stocking my freezer as i go.  this weekend i made three blueberry baked french toast meals, 112 cranberry orange oatmeal cookies - some for a cookie exchange tomorrow with some friends and some put away for giving out at christmas and 3 meals of chili.  then yesterday i made 7 breakfast burritos to have on hand for hubby and 4 meals of enchiladas along with homemade salsa, guacamole and chicken salad for sandwiches for hubby's lunch - the salsa and chicken salad were both made with pre-chopped & frozen veggie mixes i made a couple weeks ago.  i am LOVING this method of cooking!   i will give some chili and enchiladas to trev too - the reality of bills is hitting pretty hard now that he is on month 2 of livving on his own!  the cool thing about cooking this way i have noticed is that it does not take a whole lot more time to do BUT it saves LOADS of time on future days when i can just grab something and warm it up!

as i mentioned last week, my buddy suzanne is letting us pencil folks join in on her copic challenge on color me creative and the current one is GOOD!  you do not want to miss out on this - there are some really good prizes up for grabs - this is what suzanne had to say:

For this Challenge we have LOTS OF PRIZES!!


-1 person will win a NEW Provocraft CRICUT MINI machine

-1 person will win a NEW KINDLE E-READER

-1 person will win a $50 Gift Cert. to SCACD

-1 person will win a $25 Gift Cert. to the Paper Temptress

-1 person will win 5 digis from Tiffany Doodles and a $15 Gift Cert to 7 Kids College Fund and a Gilli Gift Bag
it is a color challenge - white, cream and gold:

In addition I was inspired by the following challenges:
  1. ABC Challenge - E is for embossing
  2. Card Makin' Mommas - Christmas
the card base is gold, then i embossed a cream paper and brushed over it with gold ink.  the holly piece is from a christmas paper pad.  I covered the scalloped circle in platinum viva decor inka gold and then cut out my image with a fleur de lis spellbinders die.

coloring metallics is one of the topics in Prisma Class 2 on color me creative.  i stamped the image on a darker cream using coffee brown archival ink.  i gathered up some old (nice and flat) primas in white, cream and gold and misted them heavily with a mist of water and gold perfect pearls.  i topped them off with clear glittered skittles.

i am hoping all of you colored pencils fans will head over and join in on the challenge - if we have enough interest we can branch out on our own!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

key keeper

hi all!

i thought it was about time to take down the thanksgiving banner decorations and decorate for christmas - with digi elements from my most fave digi designer kimberly stewart at scrapbook elements.

yesterday hubby and i took pezza to the christmas parade here in town - a bit of smalltown americana :)  it was the first one we have gone to even though we have been here 7 years.  my neighbor convinced me to go - she said they do a really good job and it's a really long one with lots of groups that participate - dogs, horses, bands, they throw candy, etc.  so i thought huh, i guess we should check it out.  now, i grew up in south louisiana - with HEAVY mardi gras participation.  needless to say this was NOT mardi gras scale.  then again - what is.  BTW mardi gras is something i believe EVERY person should experience at least once in their life.  BUT it was still a good little small town parade and pezza had a great time which is all that counts.  we just happened to set up near another of our neighbors that she likes to play with so they were all happy to be near each other.  the funniest part was the focus on the candy - grabbing up candy (the throwing was far less than a mardi gras parade too!)  i kept trying to get her to focus on the "floats" and stuff - at one point i said honey we can buy a bag of candy at target - seriously.  but nope - the joy of the mad scramble was too much for her.  well except for the moment when she grabbed a snickers bar, looked at it and threw it back out in the road!  hubby was like hey!  i like those!  so while it wasn't mardi gras it was fun and i think we will have to go to the other ones they do during the year.

before we get to my project i wanted to plug the next Color Me Creative challenge - these have always been for copics but suzanne & i would like to get a challenge going for those of us who are pencil users.  so for now she is allowing us to join in on the cmc challenge and the timing is perfect because she has put together an amazing list of prizes for the holiday challenge!  these include a cricut mini and kindle fire!  the challenge is to use white, gold and cream.  get all the details - CMC Challenge.

i will post my project for tomorrow!

ok on to my project for today - i have been wanting to make a new key keeper/hanger for near the front door.  i made two which i hated and finally got one i liked:

i started with a blank wood plaque from Michaels and some really cool metal objects i picked up at hobby lobby - love that place!  i took cream colored paper and stamped with a large script background stamp in black.  next i stamped some flourishes with versamark and covered them in clear embossing powder.  then i covered the paper with various distress inks using the foam blending tool. then i stamped a few floral images with aged mahogany distress ink.

next i took a couple more tim holtz stamps and stamped the two circles and the saying (a fave of mine) and added those.  the keyhole and grungeboard key are also tim holtz.  the key is covered in perfect pearls.

the fleur de lis door knob and big metal flourish are the pieces from hobby lobby.

i also found a fleur de lis in my stash of chipboard so i colored it with distress ink and stamped it with one of tim's flourish stamps.  i mod podged my background paper to the wood before adding the elements.  the edges are painted a sage green and then covered in aged mahogany crackle paint.  i think it turned out pretty good - what do y'all think?  i'd like to do some more, larger, mixed media projects for around the house.