Monday, December 31, 2007

One of life's simple joys

No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness.
~Sheik Abd-al-Kadir
Given enough coffee, I could rule the world. ~Author Unknown
I woke up this morning and brewed this fresh cup o' joe courtesy of my wonderful DH who got us this coffee maker below for the price of shipping ($15). The machine makes 1-2 cups (well, 2 is what I had in my cool new Starbuck's mug I got from my sisters/bil's for Christmas). The coffee is in 'pods' and they are put in the top of the machine and the froth comes out at the top. It's amazing and this is such a GREAT cup of coffee! "Coffee" comes from the Latin form of the Coffea group. The most familiar of the 25 major species within Coffea are Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora (robusta).

The higher the coffee is grown, the better it will taste; one coffee tree yields slightly less than 1 pound of coffee per year.

Coffee facts from a 2001 National Coffee Association survey include:
Fifty-two percent of the adult population of the U.S. over 18 years of age drink coffee every day, representing 107 million daily drinkers.

Another 28% drink coffee occasionally.

Coffee drinkers consume on average 3.3 cups of coffee per day.

Thirty-five percent of coffee drinkers drink their coffee black; while 62% add a sweetener and/or creaming agent.

I haven't posted in a few days since we were out of town celebrating Christmas with family and it wiped me out (4 1/2 hour drive one way to Tyler) so it's going to take me a few days to recoup. Plus I just need some down time since I really haven't had much the past few months. But, as I reflected on the end of 2007 and the fresh beginning of a new year - I thought about all the great things starting my blog brought me: a way to showcase my gift to encourage/inspire others, a group of gals who like what I do and understand me; give me positive reinforcement and encouragement, a few goodies just for replying to their messages, and most of all a reason other than getting a paycheck to get on the computer! So ladies, thank you for visiting me this year and I look forward to many more years sharing with you along the way.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Elzybell Frame

Look at the sweet image of Elzybell (distributed by A*Muse) I got from a sweeter friend! I totally love them, but didn't really want to dish out the $ for the stamps so thank you friend (you know who you are and sorry it took me so long to actually use one!) She is so tiny (Elzybell) but she was sure fun to color! I used this week's SCS Color Challenge since I had the cardstock colors out. I used my rectangle nestabilities to 'frame' her and loved doing that, the card looks better IRL - DH even commented that she looked 3-D. The sentiment is from Things Hanna Would Say by Hanna Stamps (have you heard there is a release on Jan 4?) UGH, so many stamps so little $$ I want to buy it ALL!

well: I just discovered the CUTEST Elzybells in the U.K.! Of course, they are most likely not available in the NA (North America) line...I found them on Carole Burrage's blog Mother's Little Helper she made the most adorable Elzybell eating sweets and I found a link to their line of stamps here that are right up my alley with their dogs, cats, chicks, etc! So, I emailed to find out if/when they would be available here. Pin It

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's a BOY!

No, not oldest sister Val just called tonight after her sonogram to tell me it's a boy!! Well, we already 'knew' it, we both had dreams she was having a boy. I got teary-eyed when she told me and I heard Gabby (big sis who will be 25 months old when he's born) say, 'boy' and what sounded like 'broder' and 'Joseph' yes. He will be named Joseph after our mom who died July 26, 1996 (her name was Josephine) and his middle name will be Anthony (his paternal grandfather's name who died in the early 90's). Joseph Anthony Gonzales (Jag?) ha! just kidding. I'm SO excited. Boys are pretty rare in our family. I can't wait to welcome him to the world. He is due May 23 (our mom's birthday was May 22) how awesome would it be for him to be born on her birthday?! AH! I am smiling from ear to ear and just want to scream!

Instead...I decided to make her this card to prove I can do 'boy' so far all I've done is 'girl' for Gabriella. Have to switch gears. Well, not completely. I will still be doing 'girl' for Gabby. Who, by the way is the SWEETEST! We sent them a webcam for Christmas & got one ourselves. It was SO fun watching her dance on Christmas day and look at the computer and wave 'HI' to me with her sweet high-pitched voice. I can't wait to hug & kiss on her again! Look forward to my visit when Joseph is born! woohoo!! I can hardly contain myself!!
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Original Birdie

When rummaging through my chipboard stash, I noticed I had a little birdie and thought it would be so cute to put my new Ginger Blossom dp (available Jan 1st via SU!) on it. Used my Distress ink (tea stain, I believe) DTP (direct to paper) on the groovy guava card base. kinda like how the lines showed up. Pin It

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

CC146 Glorious Green Hanna Thank You!

I really am tired of making Christmas cards, but of course need to make some 'thank you' cards, so today's Color Challenge was perfect plus I really needed to play more with my new Hanna Stamps set Perfect Package! Sentiment is Things Hanna Would Say The color challenge is to use Glorious Green, Gable Green & Real Red. I made a famous Mish original tent topper card Cuttlebug D'vine Swirls embossing folder on the red. Colored with prismacolor pencils. Pin It

RAK from Rose Ann

Look at my adorable House Mouse Christmas Gingerbread House card!!! Rose Ann of Paper Delightz sent this to me! She's the sweetest - I had sent her the images last month in a RAK and she returned it to me! She did a fabulous job with her coloring & I LOVE the sparkle on the icing on the house!! And I adore the 3 clear dots in the lower right corner (Rose Ann, you have to tell me what those are as I must get some!) Thank you, Rose Ann - Merry Christmas to you & your family. I'm so glad we're blogging buddies! Pin It

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sparkly Angel Ornaments

I just realized I never posted these ornaments I made! I'm quite tired of looking at holiday stuff but considering it's still Christmas I figured I would indulge a little bit more. These are made of chipboard coasters (used the Rectangle Scallop Nestabilities) and DTP with starting from the left: Tea Stain Distress Ink by Ranger, Walnut Stain Distress Ink and Vanilla Craft. Then I used VersaMark on top then Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder to make it sparkle (I love sparkle). Then sandwiched two together (which the ribbon runs through the center) and the angel's wings are stickles for more sparkle. The recipients seemed to love them. I hope so because they too a lot of patience & time to make and were hard to photograph.

Merry Christmas everyone! Pin It

Sunday, December 23, 2007

New Blog Background thanks to Kelly Samspon!!!

What do you think of my new floral background thanks to Kelly ?? She helped me with directions on how to change it...yea!! I'm so excited to have something a little more 'custom' that matches my blog banner. Pin It

Pink & Red Presents

Not sure why I don't participate in more challenges on SCS, they really are fun and take a lot of guesswork out of where to begin when you sit down to stamp. I finally got my new Hanna Stamps Perfect Package and Things Hanna Would Say {which incidentally, coordinate with current AND future sets Kristi will be putting out - yea!!!} I was SO hoping to get BEFORE the holiday so I could stamp during my days off and I did! woohoo! I love all the little packages and variety of bows and love the versatility of this set (esp with Hanna sitting on the floor wrapping gifts, it totally reminds me of growing up & wrapping with my oldest sister Val-we used to do the bulk of it and we would have to share the tape). I used SC155 for the layout, which was fun. I just realized afterward I should have distressed the edges of my Rose Red back panel to match the rectangle. Oh well.

btw- lovin' my new OTT lite!! Pin It

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Our Holiday Card To You

Please scroll to the BOTTOM of my page and click on PLAY to see. I didn't have time to send cards in the mail (or didn't make the time) but I spent about and hour and a half creating this on-line for you. For the life of me couldn't make it work in a blog post, though-ugh.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Love, The Bakers (John, Donna, Elsie (black & white cat), Chica (american short hair cat) & Shelby (border collie dog) Pin It

Christmas RAKs

This beauty is a Melanie at Hands, Head and Heart or melmel original! It's just gorgeous, isn't it? The snowflakes are stamped on wet watercolor paper (can't remember what that technique is called right now) and the sentiment is embossed with silver. I believe she handmade the big snowflake too (can't remember that technique either) maybe because I'm still trying to wake up and have only had a few sips of my coffee so far. Good news thought - eye hasn't twitched since Thursday! Maybe Melanie can reply to this message about how some of her card was done? Thanks, Melanie! It's One of a Kind, just like you!!

This Adorably-present wrapped Santa is from the awesome Allison at Stampin' When I Can I love the blue & red patterned paper and the happy Santa is too cute. Thank you for thinking of me this time of year, Allison! That was too sweet & such a surprise! Btw - have you seen the recent pics of her cuties?? Charlotte in pigtails totally made me smile - I just want to pinch her fat little cheeks! I had those when I was little too. Pin It

Friday, December 21, 2007

Welcome to Blogging, Melanie!

My gorgeous friend Melanie just started her blog! (I got her permission to lift her pic)! Most of you may remember her as Melmel on SCS (Dirty Dozen Alumni) and her creative out-of-the-box WONDERFUL stamping! She is such a sweetheart!

I'll never forget how she was the first person I CASED a card from, it was the SU! Favorite Teddy card where he was perched up on presents (just did a search for it, but couldn't find it).

I remember when I met Melanie for the first time IRL because we live in the same city and were in the same SU! sideline. It was at our up-upline's shoebox swap and we made the prettiest On Angel Wings set, using the Angel on Shimmery White paper with blue clouds and shadow stamped the 'believe' from the Breast Cancer set Hope is...I squealed with delight when I realized an SCS Dirty Dozen member was in my midst. Since then we had lost touch for a few years but out of the blue we were back in touch this year when she realized I was blogging. So I convinced her she needed to start one too (or maybe it was her idea, I don't know). But I am so glad we got hooked up again. Stay tuned for my post of the Christmas card she sent me this year!! It's beautiful, just like her! Pin It

Scalloped Angel

Here's another On Angel Wings (retired SU!) card that I made. It has the Floral BG on the Soft Sky base. I love the little pearls I got from Ellen Hutson's store, just the right touch of elegance
to finish off the card. Used my scallop rectangle nestabilities (which I also got from Ellen).

I'm so excited! My holiday stuff was featured on Craft Critique's Holiday Carnival Part 1. They just posted Part 2 yesterday too. Check out the links to some awesome blogs on there! It's taking me a while just to check out all the ones I've never seen before!

Good times, but lately my left eye has been twitching really often like 3-5 times a day and I think has gone on about a week. Keep in mind I have been overdoing it a little with the holiday to do's and I do work on a computer all day but I have been getting to bed at a decent time and waking up before the alarm goes off so it seems I am rested enough. I looked up what could be the cause of it this morning and here's what it said:

Causes of Eye Twitching
There are various causes of eye twitching in its serious and not so serious formats. The more common causes for eye twitching include:

  • Corneal irritation or injury
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Prolonged staring or eye strain
  • Neurological disorders
  • Possibly Hereditary
Another website recommended to go to your doctor if it goes on a week. DH jokingly calls me Dr. Donna when I self diagnose (well, from the internet) and tells me to wait another week. HA! Pin It

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Garlic Pretzel Gift

This is one of the gifts I gave the person I drew for the gift exchange at work. He's a major foodie so I gave him this, $20 gift card to Central Market, a pinecone ornament and heavy duty silver salad tongs set. He really liked it (except for the ornament which I'm sure he didn't care much about - I really gave it to his wife since she buys cards from me and she liked it). I used my Papertrey Ink Holiday Treats set {which I am SO happy I got!!}

Garlic Pretzels
1 box or bag of Pretzel Rods (broken up)
1 pkg Ranch Dressing mix
3/4 C. oil (recipe called for 1 but I think a little less is best)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp dill weed

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients well and spread on baking sheet. Turn after 10 mins of baking. Bake additional 10 minutes.

So easy so tasty! Pin It

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Homemade Treats Bag

Yea! UPS JUST delivered my True Color Portable Pink OTT Lite! So I had to put it together real quickly and take a picture of my project from this evening [I think my picture looks better already]!! These are treat bags I made for the superintendants (10) as a surprise for their Friday morning meeting [nothing fancy because I know this bag will just go in the trash when they're done eating their goodies]. Unfortunately I will miss seeing them/delivering personally because I work the late shift {yea, I get to sleep in!!!} LOVE that...every 4th Friday I work 1:00-5:00 and all the others I work 8:00-12:00. I love this schedule. What do you think of my pictures now?? Oh, I used the stars & swirls wheel by SU! (retired, I believe) and Papertrey's Holiday Treats

In the bag is:
Toffee Hershey's Kisses
Garlic pretzels (recipe to follow in another post)
Biscochitos (mexican shortbread cookies)
Nutter Butter cookies & Peanut Butter sandwiches dipped in vanilla & chocolate almond bark. Pin It

Birdie Under the Weather

Here's a card I came up with for a swap I'm participating in on SCS. Used A Little Birdie Told Me which will be in the Spring Summer Stampin' Up! Catalog (which is SO nice, by the way), available to purchase from beginning Jan. 1. Used Cutie Pie designer paper which I'm happy will not be retiring since I just got it & have wanted since I first saw it back in June. Rose Red, So Saffron, Bashful Blue and Certainly Celery are colors in the pack.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas card RAK from Monika

Look how pretty this card is from Monika Davis M.A.D. Stamper Check out her blog when you get a chance, she always has awesome creations (right now she's on vacation - a cruise, lucky girl getting away from all the hustle & bustle of the holiday to relax). I've never asked about what M.A.D. stands for but I have a sneaking suspicion it's her initials, because she doesn't ever 'seem' mad to me. I love all the background stamping, putting the tree in a 'frame' and how she stamped the sentiment in multiple places on the card. It's just beautiful. Thanks, Monika! Pin It

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thank you RAK from Charmaine

I don't have anything of my own to share today so I will show you the Thank You card I got from Charmaine at Oodabugalley Isn't it the CUTEST? She made me buy this stamp set (she's an enabler along with Lauren) I have to admit when I saw this card, I was really hoping I would get one and I did! I knew that I wanted to get this stamp too, so when All That Scraps released their new C.C. Designs stamps, I made sure I got it. I have lots of cute pictures to scrap of my niece taking a bath that this is going to be PERFECT for!!
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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snowman Jingle Bag

I got the pattern for this cute designer paper bag from Nancy at Paper Smiles

I had my stamp club meeting last night & the gals had requested gift bag ideas (and I ended up throwing in a box and favor too) and they loved it. I presented the hostess for this month with a coaster box I made and extra bags (such as this one) to keep/use. The other was the Lovely as a Tree box I posted earlier this week which she said she's going to keep for herself. She is going to give put this snowman purse on her tree for a little gift for her 12-yr old granddaughter and I know she'll LOVE it. Thanks for the inspiration, Nancy!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Jingle Snowman

Here is a Christmas card inspired by Debbie Olson's card Teach a Penguin to Fish I love the idea of the rounded corners of the card base (and have to frankly admit, I just never thought of doing that, but what a difference it makes!) I actually only did the bottom, should have done the top too. I must get the Round & Oval Nestabilities too, they tend to create a nice elegant feel to cards, but for now the scallop & circle punches were just fine for this whimsical card, I have used this set a lot that was in the SU! Fall/Winter mini catalog, although I'm ready to move on from Christmas images real soon! Thanks for stopping by today! Pin It

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Simple Angel

It's really hard to tell in my photo (bad lighting is almost out the door because I ordered this cute pink portable Ott Lite!! I am so excited, especially because when I want to craft in my room while watching t.v. (jewelry making, crocheting) I can with better lighting!! yea! Anyway, I used my Nestabilities Rectangle for this simple Angel card. Pin It

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Inspirational Tissue compliments of Kristi Ferro

Doesn't Kristi Ferro package her Hanna stamps in the cutest/prettiest tissue? Don't you love her little Hanna Stamps sticker? Well, when I got my last order, I knew I wanted to re-use the tissue so I tried to carefully unwrap my stamps so I didn't damage it. This is a Christmas gift for one of my sisters, homemade lotion & sugar scrub (no, I didn't make it - it's from a local natural make-up store called Myka that I am selling my cards in). Anyway, I took samples with me to my sisters on my trip in November and she really liked it so I bought her some for Christmas. After she's done with these, she can order on-line for more and they'll ship directly to her). Check out the on-line store, the products really ARE fantastic, especially the scrubs, they leave your skin SO soft, it's amazing!!!

I LOVED the butterflies on this tissue so I knew my Papertrey Ink Butterfly Kisses would be perfect to go with the packaging. Thanks for the inspiration, Kristi! Pin It

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tagged by Kristi

I have been tagged by Kristi Ferro, owner of my FAVORITE stamps right now - Hanna Stamps! Be aware - she is having another release on Friday! Sentiments and The Perfect Package - and they are SO CUTE!!!! Check out her blog post so you can learn some interesting facts about her (she is so much cooler to me now that I know those things!)

The rules of the game:
Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, we all want to know them.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Things about me:

1. I love reading the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff books by Richard Carlson! My DH turned me on to them (he only read the first, I have gone on to read Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women (written by the author’s wife Kristine), Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love (still reading) and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work (still reading). I am very saddened to realize when I looked up his website, that he died nearly a year ago (at the young age of 46) and his wife is going to carry on his work in his honor. These books have really allowed me to stay calm, think of things a little differently, not react so negatively so quickly, and try to manage my relationships and my actions more effectively. I admit I have not arrived, but I love to share how great these books are when I get a chance.

I’d like to give show you an excerpt to give you an idea how great the book is.

Featured Excerpt Become Aware of Your Moods and Don't Allow Yourself to Be Fooled by the Low Ones

2. I taught myself how to make jewelry this year and it’s been so fun!

3. I love foreign movies, in particular Bollywood (Indian movies). They have a lot of singing and dancing in the movies and no nudity, violence or drugs. They are feel good movies, a lot of them have great stories – one in particular in Lagaan – one of my favorites: A remarkable story about the triumph of the ordinary, set in 1890s India. The ruling British have imposed a harsh tax (lagaan) on the farmers, prompting the villagers of Champaner to plead for a waiver. So, an arrogant and capricious British commander, Capt. Russell, challenges the villagers to a cricket match: If the villagers win, they'll avoid taxation for 3 years; if they lose, they'll pay the tax thrice over.

4. I love White Fudge Oreo cookies

5. I love the smell of the ground after it rains

6. I have to wear craft gloves during the night and sleep with a squishy pillow in order for my hands not to fall asleep (symptoms of carpal tunnel)

7. I am Jeanne Streiff’s - Inky Paws SU! Upline. I am so glad I met her (I think it’s been about 4 years) and instead of me teaching her anything, she has taught ME! She is such a fun, genuine, kind-hearted soul…not to mention a Copic Coloring Queen and just overall Artsy Fartsy kind of gal! I couldn't be more proud of her, being on all the Design Teams she's been on (past and present) and now blog banner maker!

Now I need to tag 7 more (find ones that haven't been tagged)

Heather - A Secret Garden Grows Here
Marilyn – Stamp with Marilyn
Kathy – Kathy’s Kreations
Jeanne – Inky Paws
Rose Ann – Paper Delightz
Leigh – Sunflower Studio
And You!

**e.t.a. direct link to Featured Excerpt from Don't Sweat the Small Stuff**

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Calendar & Matching Pen

This is a stamped calendar (2 year) with matching bead-filled pen that is a Christmas gift for my current stamp club members. I hope none of them will see this post before I present it to them {maybe I need to wait to post it, nah}.

The SU! set Time Well Spent (Level 3 hostess set in 2007-08 Spring Summer Catalog active demos received as a gift) was PERFECT as the sentiment for the 'calendar' because it will remind them to make time for their friends. I even put my info in the contact section in the back so it's handy. I stamped one of these for myself last year and use it ALL the time! Sorry about the glare... Pin It

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Winter Peace Box

Of course this is nothing like the winters we see in Central Texas, but a girl can dream, huh? Actually, I am trying not to complain; but it really does not even seem like Christmas is a few weeks away. I was wearing shorts last night & at our Holiday party on Friday night, I wore a sheer blouse and it was a lovely evening (a little on the humid side, hair attested to that alright) big difference from a year ago it was COLD. Anyway, it's been in the 80's during the day and 60's at night. It's another story for those already shoveling snow, huh? I bet they'd love to be in the warmth! The grass is always greener...

I digress. The box is a template that Lauren Meader did a tutorial here last month. Isn't it the neatest? Her directions were great and it's simple to make! I really am pleased with how it turned out. Pin It

Birdie Birthday

As if I don't have enough to do {why is it so hard to say no?} I got involved in several swaps for the preview brochure. I really like the colors in the Bali Breeze Designer Series Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Taken with Teal, Old Olive, Rose Red (I used it all except Olive).

What do you think about my picture? I took it right outside the front door (as long as it's the weekend or Friday afternoon, I can take my picture on this concrete bench--couldn't help but keep the little angel in the photo, it's so cute). I think the photo's pretty good with the lighting even though it's overcast out there. I am contemplating purchasing an OTT lite as they are on sale at JoAnn's on-line and free shipping. I need better lighting at my desk-it's straining my eyes. Why would a home builder make a formal living area without a light? ugh I know when we build our house we will be able in control of all those little details and make sure we get what we want AND need. woohoo!! Pin It

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Simple Holiday Hello

One of my card orders was for a co-worker's nephew who is 18. She wanted something more masculine yes still Christmasy. I usually always go to my Papertrey Faux Ribbon set and knew Baroque Burgundy, Night of Navy & More Mustard would do the trick. She really liked it.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Embrace Life Cardmaps Sketch

I just got my new stamps (from preview of SU! 2007-08 Spring/Summer Catalog) and had to play with one before we head off to my company Holiday Party. Caardvarks posted a week's worth of their favorite Becky Fleck's Dec 2007 Card Maps on their site. I saw what Amy did earlier this week with one of the sketches, and loved it (love all her stuff!) and decided I could use a little inspiration. So here is my take on today's cardmap. I know I'm going to love this set Embrace Life and the patterned paper called Ginger Blossom. I used Very Vanilla, River Rock & Ruby Red on this card.
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Guava River Thinking of You

I just had to mix things up a bit - sort of overwhelmed with all the Christmas card making and was happy to take a break for someone who needed 'Thinking of You' cards. This is the wife of a co-worker who has two friends going through Breast Cancer. I hope she likes them. I was so pleased with how they turned out and love the hint of sparkle from my glitter pen on the flower petals. I love this set by SU! Petal Prints as it is one of my 'go to' sets. This card (and a few others I've done lately) was inspired by The Great Debbie O.
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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Simple Merry & Bright Snowman

Really having fun with my Spellbinder's Nestabilities!! They are so cool! They allow me to keep my cards simple yet make a statement. This card is pretty straightforward. Thanks for visiting!!!
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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cocoa Box

I wanted to package some cocoa for a gift and make a cute presentation for it. I re-packaged the cocoa in a medium flat cello bag and used Cambria's Batty For You basket for a template. But, I needed it a little bigger so I increased the sides to 2 1/4" (making the total cardstock square 6 3/4" instead of the 5" sqaure. I am so glad I kept this retired set by SU! Like it a Latte. Embossed the cup & sentiment on tag in Chocolate Chip Craft, Liquid Applique for the Marshmallows. It's real cute IRL, can't wait to give them away.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Longhorn Greeting

I couldn't resist making a Texas Longhorn's Christmas card! Back when Ellen Hutson was taking pre-orders for the Spellbinders Nestabilities, she was offering a free die cut with a purchase. I could hardly believe she sent me an image that looked like a longhorn (who knows, maybe it's supposed to be a Reindeer). But since I'm in Central Texas and one of the owners of the company I work for is a Longhorn fanatic - I made this card & presented it to him this morning. He sure got a big smile on his face and right away let me know he never saw anything like it in response to the handmade aspect of it. I have a feeling he'll proudly display the card in spite of UT losing the game against their rival Texas A&M University day after Thanksgiving. Thanks, Ellen (in the off chance you're going to see this post). Have you ever ordered from Ellen? Her shipping is fast, she has such a great variety of stuff and she always encloses a note of thanks with her signature (and this time I got a little goodie swatch of gold organdy ribbon)!!

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Here's to True Love (compliments of Debbie O.)

When I first saw Wordsworth's Stick People, I thought how cute! Of course, it was because of Debbie Olson that I fell for them! Debbie has such an awesome style; posts every day without fail to her blog Thinking Inking, has won so many Stampin' Up! Contests including the 2007 Artisan Award, belongs to several Design Teams and never ceases to amaze me with her creations!

Here is the first time I saw a card from the True Love set, which is what I used on my card. One day when I was out shopping at Hobby Lobby, I went to the clearance section-lo and behold, they had True Love, which retailed for $13.99 for $5.03!! Can you believe my luck? I had a hard time not buying ALL of them (I have learned a little restraint over the years, believe it or not) but I knew I wanted this one for sure. I also used my Spellbinder's Nestabilities for the first time (I am waiting on getting the rest of the supplies in order to emboss correctly, but there is a slight embossed line with just the cutting). I can't believe I waited all this time to get my Basic Grey! Well, last month I got the pad & ribbon but forgot the cardstock (duh moment) it is so gorgeous!!!

Thanks, Debbie - you're such a great enabler!!! p.s. I know there is a Thomas Kincade stamp purchase on the horizon for me too, because what she has done with those stamps...well, you will have to check out her blog to feast your eyes on the beauty she's captured in those images. Pin It

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tim Holtz' 12 Days of Christmas Techniques (and Giveaways)

A few days ago while blurfing, I came across Tim Holtz' brand new blog!! That man is so cool, never met him in real life but his stuff is so awesome. Anyway, he is doing a Christmas Tag tutorial each day for 12 days started yesterday, and giving away all the goodies used to make the tags! How cool is that?! Check it out, ladies! Pin It

Hedgehogs Sledding

This card was so much fun to make!

It started out with knowing I HAD to use my Stampendous Clear Christmas Critters I got from Eclectic Paperie. Then I got my color inspiration of Kraft, Ruby Red, Buckaroo Blue, Garden Green. The paper is Basic Grey Fruitcake, which fit the bill for that combination - score!

I stamped the hedgehogs on watercolor paper because I wanted to color with my re-inkers. I also used my Cat's Pajamas Snowflakes for the cardbase and SU! Itty Bitty Background for the snow flurries (also used Iridescent Ice embossing powder on those) and Papertrey's Holiday Treats for the sentiment. Then to top it all off, I had to put white Liquid Applique on the santa hats & snow on the ground. Then, I realized I didn't have ribbon to match the colors I chose, never fear...the COPICS are here - the Moss color matches Garden Green perfectly so I colored white grosgrain ribbon.

I won't tell you how long this card took, it didn't matter once I'd finished it. Plus, I made 2 and added it to my Christmas card stash! Pin It

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Homemade Bread - Compliments of Me, Papertrey & SU!

I knew right away when I saw Papertrey's Holiday Treats Set I would get a LOT of use out of it. I love to bake and when I feel the need to do it, I like to make it worthwhile (well it helps we got a kitchenaid mixer last year, it makes things so much easier on my arm). I used to sell Pampered Chef and got their mini loaf pan because I love to bake mini loaves and freeze them so if I have unexpected guests or need a quick hostess gift, I can grab it, make quick packaging & go.

People LOVE this kind of stuff, but more importantly I love to give so it works out perfectly. So the Holiday Treats set is perfect for these types of things. I made this for DH's co-worker who is recovering from hip surgery (she is a little person but she called herself a dwarf today) and has been off work for nearly a month now. Yesterday she was told her recovery will be another month and she is going batty.

We wanted to bring her some food so DH asked her what she wanted and she said Samosas from India Kitchen (awesome! I LOVE Indian food and hadn't had it in a while). So we got food to go & visited for more than 3 hours. I felt bad because at one point I fell asleep in the chair (was more likely because it was my regularly scheduled Friday-Sunday naptime) and because they started to talk about work stuff. But she didn't care, we're like family.

She really was thrilled about the samosas & pumpkin bread but more importantly, our friendship. We sure enjoyed hers and I look forward to seeing her again on the 19th at their company Christmas party.

Recipe Share - because this is THE BEST I've had (probably because it has butter instead of oil and we all know that everything's betta with butta).

Pumpkin Bread
Submitted by: Shirley SoberRated: 5 out of 5 by 125 members
Prep Time: 15 MinutesCook Time: 1 Hour
Ready In: 1 Hour 15 MinutesYields: 32 servings
"A friend of mine graciously shared her 'secret recipe' for this bread with me. It's become such a family favorite that I'm not allowed to enter my family's get-togethers without this bread in hand!"

1 cup butter or margarine, softened (I use unsalted butter)
3 cups sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners Evaporated Cane Juice Organic Sugar)
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 (16 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin

In a mixing bowl, dream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Stir in pumpkin. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans*. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until bread tests done.
Printed from 12/1/2007

*or 4 mini loaf pan Pin It

RAK from Nicole Cooke

Nicole Cooke - The Stampin' Librarian is the sweetest blogger and she's a very good stamper too! In fact, she sent me my FIRST Blogger RAK back in March. Well, I was in desperate need of some Merrybella images for a card order & she came to my rescue! I knew she had the stamp, so I emailed & asked if she would be willing to do an image swap. She agreed! She sent them out right away and I sent her a card with some bella images she didn't have. It was a win-win situation. Thanks, Nicole - btw, isn't the card she sent me BEAUTIFUL!? I really don't know why I still do not have the Peaceful Wishes set by SU! yet?! She even used Gold Pearl Ex on the main image, spectacular!

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Friday, November 30, 2007

*Completed* Personalized Notecard Set

This is for another order I got for a set of notecards. It's kind of a challenge to line up the wording to show in the window (well, with a little more work, I'm sure I can do it). The Taken with Teal bg has Paisley BG stamped on it, but because of my poor lighting, you can barely tell, I'm sure.

**E.T.A.** picture of completed set
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Blog Candy from Leslie - Card Creations

Leslie at Continuing to Create is giving away a new copy of Card Creations, which she uses for inspiration (who can't use a little now & then?). Just 'Post a comment and description of your favorite family holiday tradition and I'll add your name to the drawing. And, if you link to my blog, you'll get 5 extra chances to win the drawing. You have to let me know in the comments that you linked to my blog.' Pin It

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fruitcake Angel

Maybe that's not the best title. This is my card for entering Jen Del Muro's Want Verve contest! It is my version of her Sketch from Saturday This is On Angel Wings retired from SU! that is my go to set for Christmas every year because it's so pretty. I loved pairing it with Soft Sky (Floral BG on that), Blue Bayou and I thought a nice match was this paper from Basic Grey's Fruitcake. DH suggested I make her a redhead (I was thinking of the famous redhead who's become a mommy to her first boy recently, Charmaine...she's so sweet & pretty). I love using Dazzling Diamonds on the angel's wings. You can't tell in my photo, but the sentiment is done with White Craft ink and Iridescent Ice embossing powder (since I still had it out from last night). My pearls are from Elle Hutson's online store {which by the way is having a great 15% off sale on Friday and she's also giving away a set of heart nestabilities on this post Aren't they pretty? I almost forgot I had them (first time using) and I am not quite sure I like where I placed them?! Maybe they should have been horizontal with the lower layer. Oh well, too late to move them now because of the self-adhesive stuff.

**ETA - I forgot to color the bird, but then again Doves are white so I guess it's o.k. Tired & ready for bed. Pin It

I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus...

I had this card in my head all day Tuesday and made it last night (took forever, because what I had originally started with got scrapped) I had to make it smaller to look more real). Basic Grey Fruitcake paper was used. I hope Kristi doesn't get upset I 'changed' Hanna to fit with Santa. The only thing is, I messed up her face a little because I forgot I used waterbased black to draw her. I really should get a better camera.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dazzling Snowflakes

I've really wanted to make a card not using Hanna from my Hanna Stamps (*gasp*, I know) and thought the Dazzling Diamond Dust tutorial would fit the bill with these pretty different-shaped snowflakes! And of course, I had to add bling to the centers and on the lower right corner. Sorry the photo is not that great {I have no natural light to work with since I leave the house at 6:45 a.m. and don't get back until 5:15 when there's no sun anymore and I don't have that great of lighting in my stamp area). However, I was able to get the sparkle of the iridescent ice embossing powder! I heat set the ribbon slightly (thanks to a wonderful card that Nicole Cooke sent me [I still need to upload, I always forget about that simple yet unique tip]. I also used a retired SU! set Perfect Ending.
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Origami Box

Over on SCS there was a 2 week holiday project showcase where I learne how to make a few exciting things! Some, I've still yet to try but there's only so much time in a day, huh? I will do them as I need them, basically & some may just have to wait until 2008 and I'm o.k. with that. So above was An Origami Box by Jenn Balcer. I made this necklace & earrings & I loved that I could make a box to go with them perfectly because of this tutorial! It was SO easy to make. In fact it won't be difficult to memorize it if you even just make 2. I think I may make a few more. I love it.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

'Tis the Season for mistletoe

I haven't had time to play the Featured Stamper challenge on SCS in a while and I miss it. But, this morning I knew I had to make the time - it's Texas Grammy aka Beverly. I had the honor of meeting her a year ago at the Dallas SCS Shoebox swap and it was FUN! We even went to dinner at Olive Garden & I met her famous published daughter Jessica who just had another little boy and Texas Grammy is so proud! Here is the Hanna card I cased from her
Since I had Hanna stamps I didn't change that. I changed cardstock & paper colors and the embellishment I got from a blog candy won recently from Leigh O'Brien. Here's to still wishing I win one of the new sets that are drawn today on all the design team's blogs *smile*
Oh but I have to toot my horn to say that Kristi (the owner of Hanna Stamps) honored me by placing my Hanna Decorates the Fireplace card on the homepage of the Hanna Stamps yahoo group! How sweet is that of her? I am quite humbled, actually.
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Co-worker treats

I found these Wilton Favor tins at Michael's when they were on sale (even better when you have a 40 or 50% off coupon) and filled them {with the exception of the one on the left because one lady is Jewish and we want to include her, I'm so glad SU! has the Happy Hanukkah in the Fancy Flexible Phrases set} with holiday m&m's for DH to give to his co-workers. He never really cared to give a little something to everyone like I do until we were blessed with him getting this job. He loves his co-workers and they love him. Heck, they even love me (not trying to be conceited, I hope you don't think that). It's just that we've done a lot of things with them outside of work and they ENJOY one another's company. One of the ladies is supposed to have craft night at her house soon and I am so looking forward to it. So I made these little treats for about 50 cents each. So worth it, and it didn't take too much time to assemble either. I even covered the inside of the plastic pail they came in with some Basic Grey Fruitcake paper but I'm not going to get any fancier than this. DH could care less he has a cute container to pass these around in. It's going to get the job done and that's the most important of all. I got to cross something else off my to-do list - yea!!!
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Time Well Spent Notecard set

Set of notecards making for an order with my new set from SU! Time Well Spent. I really like this set! Colors used are: Pixie Pink, Old Olive, Garden Green, Blush Blossom, Groovy Guava. Papertrey clear box for packaging.

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Cheers by Hanna

Thought I'd make Hanna celebrating a birthday - whose I don't I'll put it in my stash for when it's needed. The cafe table, wine glass & border are by Fiskars clear sets. Her tiny hat is by A*Muse.
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