Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Wishes and Treats

And I do hope your Thanksgiving was stuffed with Happiness!

This little box was stuffed with some holiday sweets.  I made my spice cookies a little smaller than normal in order to fit it.  Stacked and wrapped four cookies and then threw in a few Hershey Kisses.

I stamped the flower on three of the sides and the sentiment you see on the front.  I tied some raffia on the handle and these were sent to the secretaries in our school district.  

Last night I came across a recipe for pumpkin cranberry butter on Pinterest that originated at Athletic Avocado.  Last year I had picked up some delicious cranberry butter at Trader Joe's but I couldn't find it this year.  And being that I had just opened a large can of pumpkin and only used a portion of it for my pumpkin roll dessert, had a bag of cranberries in the fridge, and it looked quick and easy I decided to make this this morning.  (I do admit that I did not have any honey in the house, but HWNSNBP was going out to the store for our fresh vegetable so he was also able to pick up a jar of honey.)

Cranberries are so pretty aren't they?

The recipe calls for:  
1 cup of frozen cranberries (mine were not frozen)
3 tbsp. of honey
1/3 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 tbsp. of cinnamon (I used way less than this because I was looking for tartness)

Put the cranberries and honey in a sauce pan and heat them for 7-10 mins. until they are saucy.

Yes, saucy.

Add the butter and cinnamon and continue to heat for 5 more minutes whilst stirring.

When cooled put it in a container and refrigerate.

We had biscuits with dinner and I tried the butter on one but found the biscuits a little too salty to go along with the tartness.  I think that it will be great on scones though and can't wait to give that a try this weekend.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Two Inches of Art a Day - Continued

On a whim I decided to use the same color palette for these next six creations.  I wondered while doing this if this would be how someone would design their own scrapbook paper.  In each case I used two little ink pads that came in my Paper Pumpkin kits.  Additionally I used some markers in the same color family, a black marker, and also a gold gel pen on one of them.

Nov. 10 - Inspiration:  Empty lemon bag. 
(plastic mesh bag, mini ink pads, colored markers, black marker) 

Nov. 11 - Inspiration:  Gold Gel Pen.
(mini ink pads direct to paper and gel pen)

Nov. 12 - Inspiration:  Circles.  I used anything on the table that could produce a ring.
(mini ink pads and markers)

Nov. 13 - Inspiration:  Stamp pads as block stamps.
(mini stamp pads and marker)

Nov. 14 - Inspiration: Swipe.
(mini ink pads and coordinating markers)

Nov. 15 - Inspiration:  On the Edge.  I turned the ink pads on their sides to swipe them down.
(mini ink pads and markers)

I like almost all of them.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birthday Card and Surprise Cake

Yikes!  What do you do when you forget a good friend's birthday!  Seriously, I really botched up.   This friend was soooooooooooo helpful to me this summer at work doing things for me when I wasn't there and I went and forgot it was her birthday last weekend.  Oh my!  Well I made her a card and a chocolate cake.  Not your everyday chocolate cake, but a chocolate candy cake out of Hershey's nuggets.  I found the directions here for a cake made with Hershey's miniature chocolates and adjusted the size of the TP tube to the size of the double layers of nuggets.  Since the nuggets are thicker, the cake went further to the edge of the base, but it still looked okay to me.

The center of this cake is a cardboard tube (TP or paper towel cut down) and you can certainly fill the empty space with some little treat also.  I chose to add a battery-operated tea light to the cap on the cake top.  When I sent it to her I slid in a little handwritten note to pull the top off and light the candle.  The candle fit perfectly inside the cardboard tube and the scalloped "icing" top kept it in place.  

She loved it.  But what made my day was that HWNSNBP was impressed.  He's always positive about what I make but this time he practically gushed.  This is a project that I will definitely do again... and definitely before the birthday and not after!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two Inches of Art a Day

My blogging friend Michelle started a personal challenge at the beginning of this month.  She has challenged herself to make a 2" collage every day for 30 days.  I hope you click over to her blog and see what she is creating because they are wonderful.

I've done two art challenges this summer going from a 3x5 index card to a 4x6 index card and not only had fun doing them both, but I got a sense of accomplishment that I was being creative everyday even if it wasn't in an area that I was particularly comfortable.  It challenged me to stretch myself and try new techniques and use new materials.  But more than that, it challenged me to not be so self-critical.

So I decided to take Michelle's challenge and change it up just a little bit.  I cut 2" squares from watercolor paper and it is my goal to fill those squares, one a day, with little bits of art using whatever medium I have readily at hand.  My prompts will come from my activities of the day or from my surroundings.  I hope you don't get bored with the art show and I hope that I can meet my goal of "Two Inches of Art a Day"!

Nov. 1 - Inspiration:  Dinner with Table 7
(Watercolors and Micron Pen)

Nov. 2 - Inspiration:  The colors of the leaves driving home.
(Watercolors and Micron Pen)

Nov. 3 - Inspiration:  What's on Hand?  Metallic Sharpies.
(Metallic Sharpies, Black Sharpie, Micron Pen)

Nov. 4 - Inspiration:  Inside Envelope Pattern
(Strip of Envelope, Micron Pen, Markers)

Nov. 5 - Inspiration:  A donated set of brightly colored markers and some doodling.
(Micron Pen, Marker)

Nov. 6 - Inspiration:  Logo on the outside of the MRI machine staring back at me.

Nov. 7 - Inspiration:  Diagnosis - Left Foot Stress Fracture.
(Micron Pen, Prismacolor Pencils)

Nov. 8 - Inspiration:  Botanical placemat in Zentangle form.
(Micron Pen, Prismacolor Pencils)

Nov. 9 - Inspiration:  Target $ Spot Stocking Stuffer Gel Pens.
(Gel Pens)

Sometimes it takes a short amount of time to fill the 2" and sometimes I can sit there for quite a while adding more details or layers.  But all in all, like any good exercise, it gets me to stretch!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Jingle Belles - The Great Outdoors and a Little Critter

The Jingle Belles challenged us to make an outdoor scene this time.  As it happened to be, I had been working on this little scene that started with an empty paper cheese box.  I wanted to make a box card ornament.

Here is the outside of the box decorated very simply using neutral colors and a touch of gold.  

The back also has a circle of plain Crumb Cake cs so we can write a message and sign it.

Then you open it up and find the serene little Christmas scene inside.  

I used my chopped paper technique for the snow and added some glitter gel pen to the torn white edges to give it some sparkle.

I have a little stash of these boxes and plan to do some more experimenting with them as ornament cards.  Maybe I see a little village of them in the future.

I missed the deadline for the last Jingle Belles Challenge to make a card with a critter on it.  I certainly have enough Christmas critters to choose from, but I decided to go with this little owl from Purple Onion Designs.  I colored him with my Blendabilities and used my Snowflake Card Die in Coastal Cabana and Real Red.  

The Snowflake swings out when you open the card.

And on the back I added the sentiment.

This die set comes with words too.  What would you think this was looking at hit backwards and upside-down?  In my mind it looked like "ho" with an exclamation mark...........but........

it really was "joy".  Still I thought I could make "ho" out of it.

So if you look closely at the picture below you will see the marks where I took an Exacto knife and made the adjustments both on the "joy" to "ho" and I also trimmed away what I didn't like from the word snow to make the "o's" in both words look more alike.

The curl of the "j" was where I got the commas.  

On another note, this run of bad luck hasn't yet passed me by.  I now have a stress fracture in my left foot from........... wait for it................ walking!  I was walking at lunch time the week of Halloween and felt a sharp pain in the side of my foot which caused me to head back to work.  I was seeing my surgeon later that afternoon for a recheck and mentioned it to him.  He told me to stay off it as much as I could and give it a few days to make sure it got better.  Well, it didn't get better and we had to do some further investigating with an mri and a couple more visits to his office.  

Last Friday I got the bad news and tomorrow I get to see yet another doctor to find out the course of treatment for this.  Will I have a lovely new foot covering?  Crutches?  A cane?  We shall see.  

Anyhoo, it's time to go and check out the rest of the Jingle Belle creations for this week.  You can too.  Just click here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thank You With a Set of Cards

I used the card above as a Thank You to the woman who was subbing for me while I was out.  I included a gift card because I know how crazy the start of school is and she did not know what she was getting into when she agreed to cover for me.  

 Secret ingredient - the pumpkins were die cut from a box of pumpkin bread I had purchase at Trader Joe's.  I made muffins out of the mix and they were so delicious that HWNSNBP and I went back for a couple more boxes and they had changed the box.  (Or maybe, now that I'm thinking of it, the box I first bought was a leftover from last year.  But I do always check the sell-by date and it was not yet expired.)  I used some woodgrain dsp for the stems.  

Then I set about to make a set of notecards for her.  I chose to use the Wondrous Wreath stamps and dies and changed it up to encompass the seasons.  

This is a two step stamp.  For example let's look at the card above.  I used the first stamp in the lightest color - Daffodil Delight. Then the second stamp, which only consists of accent leaves is stamped over the first image in a darker color.  Try as I might I could not get these to cover exactly over the first image so I took a marker in the darker color and just added some highlights to the leaves covering up the yellow shadows that were peaking out.  I liked the way that those leaves looked with the highlights so much that I had to go back with the lighter marker on the lighter leaves.  I'm always making so much more work than necessary, but I do like the way they came out.

On the card below, not only did I stamp over the lighter green leaves with Crumb Cake, but then I took a Micron marker and attempted to make the darker leaves look like pine cones.  They might not exactly appear to be pine cones, but maybe another type of organic addition.  The berries on this were embossed with gold EP and that bow is cut from Brushed Gold cs with a gold glitter paper star.

The base of this card was first stamped with the flourish from Everything Eleanor and embossed in white.  The berries on the wreath are also embossed in white and it has a punched red glitter heart.

You can see that I added some sticky pearls to the centers of the punched flowers below.

I made three of each and packaged up two of each for her and kept one set for myself.  The insides are blank so they can be used for pretty much any occasion.  

And just for a bit of whimsy in this post - an "Oreo" cow that we spotted on our way back from Trader Joe's.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

I don't remember where I got this leaf stamp.  Maybe it was something I got from ebay.  In any case, it was sitting on my work table and sitting, and sitting, until I got tired of looking at it and decided to stamp it in Memento Black ink on Whisper White cs and then colored it two different ways with my SU markers. The tree in the center looked Halloweeny to me so I used it on these two cards for today.

On the inside it says - Have a Happy Halloween and I hope you do!

Oh, and thanks Sabrina for that grid embossing folder!