Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Taking a Chance

Just a quick post...I stumbled on a blog giving away FREE STUFF!!  Cute stamps and frills to be exact.  Wanna take a chance on winning with me?  Check out Crafty Little Pigtails and leave her a post.  Crossing my fingers...because, really...can you have to much bling?

Also, welcome to a new follower and fellow paper lover Jenny.  She has some fab cards on her blog, so check her out as well. 

Upward and Onward, Weeeeeeeeee.....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Branching Out

I saw a card similar to this in the back of a stamp catalog, I think it was Stampin' Up!, but I'm not sure.  I just had to try it out.  This card is an odd size, it's a bit larger than the usual 4 1/2" x 5 to accomidate the size of the tree trunk and the circles.  

I used various sizes of circle punches on different papers I pulled out of my scrap bags.  It took me a bit of shifting things around until I had a layout that I liked.
From there, I pulled out my brads, buttons and other embellishments.  The white velvet bird is {PERFECT} perched on the branch.

I used a ribbon instead of paper across the bottom and a Sharpie Fine Point Marker to outline the white layer.  My friend Lark was with me when I made this card and conned me into making another one for her ;).  Now I need to make one more to keep so I can send this one out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's All in the Details

Those 5 little words say so much about how I think!  Making this card was SO fun!  I haven't spent time on cards like this in a long time.  When I saw this set in the Stampin' Up! catalog, I just HAD to have it.  This is the only card I've made with it so far, but I've used bits and pieces on other projects. 

The paper clip tied with a snippet of ribbon is so whimisical!  I keep borrowing the Notebook border punch from my sister-in-law, I think I'm going to need to get my own soon.

This is BY-FAR, one of my favorite cards that I've created in the last year or so.

A Quiet Joy...

I love to watercolor when I am stamping.  The Aqua-Painters from Stampin' Up! make it super easy and mess free.  This simple stamp set is such fun to color.   I was very pleased with how the card turned out.  I wonder if I'll ever mail it...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Stamping Pear

Last October, I drove my mom to Washington for her birthday.  I left all five of my kiddos at home with my AMAZING hubby and we spent a glorious 9 days with my sister.  While I was there, I got to spend a WONDERFUL afternoon with my friend Shalyn, stamping.  I have talked about Shay in a few of my earlier posts.  We had such a wonderful time.  In addition to palying with paper, we chatted and ate and she taught me to make REALLY yummy White Mochas at home.  I didn't have any of my own stamp paraphanalia with me, so I had the chance to stretch my imaginantion and play with all of HER fun stuff.  

This is the first  (and my FAVORITE) of the two cards I was able to create that day.  I love PEARS.  Not to eat...blech...but to STAMP.  Aren't the cozy and friendly looking?

I love the colors on this card.  The golden yellow and that deep red just make me feel like Autumn.  I didn't have a brown waterproof stamp pad with me, so I just used a regular one.  It bled a little on one of the pears, but I fixed it with a brown pen.  I think it turned out pretty good.
The little bronze hanger is from the Hodge Podge set from Stampin' Up!.  I have never had a chance to use these before; I may have to add these to my wish list.
This is the second card (REMEMBER: you can click on the image to see it larger).  It's actually the FIRST card I made that day.  I really llike the paper, but am not in love with the over-all card.
I was going for that really rustic grunge look...I'm not convinced that this card pulled it off.  Something about the checkered ribbon is a bit too country.  I also thought I was being clever by tying the bits of twine to the ribbon, but when I look at the card, it makes me think of stitches.  I don't HATE the card, it's just not my favorite. 
I do love ALL of my fond memories from that October Journey with my Mama.  I think it's about time for another road trip!

Stay tuned...I plan on posting more of my cards throughout the next few days.

Happy stamping!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Matter for Miss Manners

After running a few quick errands, my oldest daughter asked me to swing into Arby’s so she could grab a sandwich. We pulled into the drive thru and shouted our order to the sign with the big speaker and listened carefully as she read it back and gave us our price. “That will be $6.79,” she began, and I expected to hear ‘at the window’, but what followed sent us into fits of laughter. Her closing statement was, “and we invite you to our window.”


I wanted to reply, “Now that’s an invitation I can’t refuse…seeing as how THAT’S where my food will be!”

We continued to giggle, as we waited for it to be our turn to pull up to “the window”, and speculate as to what would cause them to offer us a PERSONAL invite to the drive-up window. Was this a Franchise thing or just her own little way of brightening our day? She didn’t seem to have an accent and a good grasp of English, so it wasn’t a language issue. It didn’t seem to be some kind of promotion. She was just inviting us (and let me tell you, she was very prim and proper about the invitation) to the window.

I’m not sure WHY, exactly it struck us as funny as it did, maybe it was because today was the first day in the last three that I’ve been out of bed, but it did!

So what I need to know now is; do I need to send a Thank You note?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mama, What's For Tea Today?

Sometime during this last year, my children have all developed at least one hollow leg each. Up until recently, one snack a day had been plenty, but now they are suddenly starving ALL THE TIME! My friend mentioned that she would like to start having tea with her kids occasionally and I thought, "How fun would THAT be"?! So, I decided that we would have tea every day at 2:00. Then I realized that Taylor had an online class at 2:00 and so she would miss having tea with us. So I moved it to 3:00.

My first thought was to just use our everyday tea cups and saucers, they are pretty white porcelain with hob nails around the top, but my oldest daughter (the bossy one) thought that we NEEDED to use my china for tea. I told her that if she wanted to use it that she would have to get it out of the hutch and wash it all by hand before and after tea. I thought that with 6 of us drinking tea, plus the dessert plates that she would opt to use the dishes that, 1). were already clean and 2). could go in the dishwasher.

WRONG. She pulled out all the cups and saucers and plates and began washing them.

Now remember, this idea for tea was a last minute thing, what I was going to serve to EAT with tea, I had no clue. After scrounging around for a bit I came up with Toasted Tortillas with Cinnamon and Sugar. Not my favorite, but the kids love them.

We didn't sit down at the dining room table for a formal tea this first time; we just sat at the bar in the kitchen. That didn't seem to bother the kids at all. They just loved that they got to eat fancy food and use the fancy dishes.

After we got everything all cleaned up and put away, I had to wonder if we would really keep up with this on a daily basis. For Tea Time, day two, I actually had a plan for treats; chocolate snack cake and poppy seed bread and THIS time we did sit down at the table. About two days later, I had to run a few errands and knew I was going to be gone at Tea Time. I thought for sure, that the kids will decide to just grab a granola bar and continue along with their day. WRONG, AGAIN. Taylor and Meghan worked together to put tea out for everyone.

Tea Time is an evolving event. It's now been moved to 11:00 and while Tay does have an online class then as well, it's only one day a week and she takes her tea to her room. Sometimes we sit at the dining room table and use the china, but a lot of the time we drink our tea at the bar out of our everyday cups. Really, it's just about being together.

Taste Tea

Our church held a Gourmet Potato Bar Fundraiser to benefit our Women's Ministry last Saturday, where they raffled off different items that had been donated. I told the coordinator that I would love to do a Tea Basket, if she was interested, filled with some homemade goodies. She said yes, and so I spent Friday and Saturday creating a basket filled with tea, scones and love. What I pictured in my head, turned out to be way better in reality. I LOVE it when that happens.

This post will be pretty long, because there are a ton of pictures. Go make yourself a cup of tea, grab a cozy chair and get comfy.

I used a yellow, brown and white color scheme that just seemed to say RELAX. I picked up these cute little containers quite a while back at our local Dollar Store. They came in packs of three and because the Dollar Store was running a promotion on Tuesdays, they were only $0.88 a pack. You get can't better deals than that. I bought something like 5 packages. Now I wish I had bought more! I filled each little jar with loose leaf tea from a cooking store downtown. I spilled them all over my crafting table, but it smelled divine as I worked!

I used my scallop circle punch and the Pocket Silhouette stamp from Stampin' Up to create all my tags.

I found these cute containers at Wal-Mart and bought a bunch to organize my spice/baking cupboard. Isn't it SO great filled with the Strawberry Freezer Jam?

The Shortbread Cookies were one of the first baked goodies I packaged up and they set the stage for everything else.

The ribbon going around the cellophane bag was the perfect touch!

Next were the Mini British Scones. I mistakenly wrote ENGLISH scones on the package, but who cares? They still taste delish! I have been making the scones for our daily tea time, but decided to make these bite size. They are the perfect size to smear on a bit of jam and then pop them in your mouth. They have a little bit of a crunch to them because before you bake them, you top them with some sugar in the raw.

I had never had Irish Soda Bread before, but have wanted to try it for years. I watched Ina Garten make this recipe on her T.V. show The Barefoot Contessa. It seemed so simple, I had to try it! It's to die for yummy. I think it looks sort of French tied with the knot and the label off to the right.

The last baked goodie that I added to the basket, were the first scones I ever learned how to bake and the ones I have been asked to make for the last 4 or 5 ladies teas at our church. They are a Whole Wheat Scone from the Taste of Home series of recipes. My stamping friend Shalyn gave me the recipe to try and every time I make it I think of her.  My friend, Lark, suggested the brown paper bag for packaging.  Can I just say, "genius"?

My mind often comes up with ideas that I really don't have time for.  While I was gathering things for the basket I had the idea to make a little book with some different facts about tea and a few recipes. I titled it Taste Tea...do you get it? No? Say it out loud, "Taste Tea", ahhh, see? Tasty! He-he-he, it took my family a little while too, and they were not nearly as impressed as I was. *sigh*, oh well.

In my opinion, this book is what sent this basket over the top. It turned out fabulous! I've never made anything like this before so I was a little nervous. My husband got me a Zutter Binding Machine for Christmas and it came with this huge stack of Chipboard Coasters. I had no idea what to do with them, but they seemed perfect for this project. Now I'm pretty sure I will find ALL sorts of uses for them.

When I put everything together and got it all arranged in the basket, I almost called and told Kim that I changed my mind. It was TOO adorable to give away! I did fill the Lemon Curd jar, but not until right before I left to take the basket to the church, by then I was done taking pictures. I'm sure you can picture the jar filled, it was yellow, and it was pretty!

I was so glad to hear that my friends the Graff family won the basket. They are another family with a passion for tea parties and all things pretty and yummy. From their Facebook posts, it sounds like it was much enjoyed! Mom and Oldest Daughter each have blogs for you to enjoy.

Creating gifts like this, is my absolute FAVORITE thing to do with all my paper and ink.  This makes me SUPER happy!

NOTE:  I rearrange the pictures in this post because I noticed some were stacked under others.