November 05, 2008

Picture update!

It's a new day! I love America! Change is a-comin'...

Sorry for not being more regular now that I'm inside more...I've been working on some wedding invitation samples for a potential customer. Plus, this being my favorite time of year (the Autumn equinox, Halloween, my DH's and youngest DS's birthdays, our "adoption day" celebration) I've been a bit busy!

Here are some recent photos just to let friends and family know were are still here and kickin!

Above pictures from a recent camping trip in PA (Allegheny National Forest)

Raking leaves in the backyard (in our Crocs boots!).

Our four pumpkins in the front yard.

My two trick-or-treaters all dressed up!
Dr. Frankenstein's Monster. (I'm not the best at face make-up and really had no idea how to give him the bone structure he needed...)
My little Garden Gnome.

My two carved pumpkins (which, for the first time since we moved here 5 years ago, DIDN'T get smashed by pranksters!)

October 16, 2008

All Hallows Eve is coming up!

Are you ready for Halloween? I've been sewing like mad to get the boy's costumes ready. This weekend we will be choosing our perfect pumpkins. I love to carve and usually go all out...remember last year?

September 15, 2008

Don't blame me

if you don't leave your computer for days because of this little black box.

This thing is seriously addicting. I keep going back for more and more.
If you are interested in discovering new blogs about things you never imagined, then click "decide" and see where it takes you. This thing will broaden your blog-horizons and get you out of your comfort zone! Plus, you can add your own "deciding factor" and link it back to your blog so others might arrive there too!

Have fun, but don't blame me...

September 03, 2008

First Day Back

Today is Crumbgrabber's first day of third grade. He is delighted to be going back to school; new backpack, new school supplies, not wearing "play-clothes", etc. Then, I remembered that my camera is broken. Oops. So much for the requisite "first day" photo! Here's one from a month ago instead...

Now you know the title of this post has double meaning because I've been an anti-blogger for a few months now, so to welcome myself back to the blogosphere I made cupcakes. (I've been making a LOT of cupcakes this summer.)

These were Peanut Butter cupcakes, with chocolate hazelnut mousse filling, marshmallow buttercream frosting, and topped with dark chocolate shavings.

Um yeah. *drool*

BUT....I detest peanut butter, so they had to be enjoyed by everyone but me. I was told they were "magnificent" and "best ever", so I'll have to take my husband's and 9 year old's word for it!

Here I am filling the cupcakes with the mousse.
All filled!

Adding the marshmallow buttercream...
Don't they look yummy?

Ooh, a touch of dark chocolate on top is the perfect crowning touch.
Hey, check out the flower in the it coming out of the top of the cupcake?

So, welcome back to me. I hope you enjoyed this little photo essay on cupcake making. I promise to get cracking in my studio soon and produce some much needed cards for your viewing pleasure. I miss working with paper, although I do have lots of creative food posts to share from my summer.

May 20, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is my awesome friend Bobbie's Birthday, and I want to wish her every happiness she desires. She's a super-mom and also very creative when it comes to stamping and making cards.

I know it's been a while since I posted, but I wanted to let all my subscribers know that I am considering taking my blog back to my original intention and posting food photos and recipes again. I've had several readers ask why I stopped posting about everyday life and saying they missed the recipes and "food porn" (as I call photos taken of food)!

So, to start, here is one of our favorite quick, week-night meals:

I saute diced faux-chicken (we buy it in bulk from with onions and spinach, and toss it with couscous that's been cooked in vegetable broth, and sprinkle feta on top. YUM!

April 09, 2008

Miss you guys!

Hey all!

Long time no post. I'm sure you can understand how a few things can just slip away so easily! While I do have lots of creations to share, my camera isn't with me at the moment, so they will have to wait!
The kids are going to "Grandma Camp" tonight for 5 days, so my DH and I are super-thrilled to have a few days to ourselves! I'm busy packing and doing laundry right now during my lunch break, but as soon as this next load gets switched over, I've got to run back to work.

We are all going on vacation next Tuesday, so I won't be posting next week (unless I get in gear and schedule some pre-written ones!).

Oh, and have you heard about the new site for sending and accepting money? Paypal fees drive me nuts, and obviously I wasn't the only one because is now in Beta form. YAY! no fees!
If you sign up right now, they will deposit $25 into your account. It's totally free to open an account and make 25 BUCKS! I did it yesterday and I promise you get your money. *grin*

Check it out! click the green button below!

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

*sigh* there is nothing like a making money for just signing up for something you will undoubtably use anyway. This is my kinda deal.
I'll be back soon with photos.

March 20, 2008

Swapping again?

I joined an ATC swap last month hosted by Michelle Giraud (flaxychick on SCS), in which there was a LO that had to be followed. I used to swap ATCs regularly on a group board with some super-talented folks (Barb, Jessica, Bobbie, Breedeen, Holly, Shelley, know who you are!) but I had never participated in one where you had to follow a set LO. It was more difficult than I like to admit! I have a few Alice In Wonderland stamps that I adore, but don't get frequent use, so I brought out the "Drink Me" Alice stamp from StampFrancisco. I colored her in using a blender pen and an ink pad, sponged the edges, added four eyelets and matted her on a piece of cool caribbean that I cut out with scalloped scissors. The background is done using Basic Grey PP (Stella Ruby, I think), and a small piece of brown grosgrain ribbon.I had to make 10 for the swap and I forgot to make one for myself! Arg. Now I don't have one for my collection. Does that ever happen to any of you?
I think the last time I dug out my Alice stamps, I made a cute BD card for my sister, here. that was LAST April! Poor Alice, she needs more love than that!

March 18, 2008

And now, for something...

...completely different!
I'm a huge Easter fan. The eggs, the bunnies, the baby chicks, the black jelly beans (YUM!), well just about everything! Although we don't focus on the religious side a lot in our home, we have family members who do, so Easter Elegance by Verve is the PERFECT stamp set for me. The fun, frolic-filled side of Easter, and the more subdued, thoughtful side all wrapped up in a single set that works both ways. Using the egg stamps, I created this simple card to emphasize the fun in celebrating the Easter holiday.The black card base really sets off the bright colors of the eggs, and the pink ribbon seemed just the right touch. I stamped the eggs numerous times with many inks, cut them out and pop dotted them up on small white scalloped ovals that I cut with my Nestabilities. I stamped the sentiment on a larger scalloped oval, used a marker to add some pink details, punched out two slots for my ribbon and it was done! This card was made with my MIL in mind because she is a pastor. I knew I wanted to focus on purple (being the eminent color of Easter due to it's symbolism of royalty, penitence and sorrow), and soft yellow seemed to be a good highlight color. I stamped the beautiful, swirly cross on an oval and added some sparkly touches with a glitter gel pen and a mini white button brad. Then I matted it with many more ovals and adhered it on top of the patterned paper I made with the sentiment stamps. The main sentiment is embossed with white EP, and the background is stamped with purple chalk ink. I added some faux stitching using a white gel pen and a thin yellow ribbon.
If I get this card in the mail today it should just about make it to her by Easter!

March 16, 2008

My Birthday.

I had a great birthday this year! My husband woke me up at midnight singing "Happy Birthday" to me and holding a cupcake with a candle in it. I was slightly dazed and he said at first I kept trying to "put the light out" with my hand! LOL! What can I say, I was sleepy. He made me open my gifts right then and there in the middle of bed too! He searched out and purchased an amazing, high-quality rolling tote for craft supplies and filled it to the brim with some awesome crafting stuff. Brads, buttons, punches, magnetic storage, Prismacolor MARKERS, embellishments, etc. I was in awe. And he also gave me a super nice, long sleeved tie-dye T-shirt.
In the morning we drove to my mom's and she made me a BD lunch that was super yummy. And that evening she and my sister watched the kids while my best friend and my husband and I went out and had a ball! We ate an incredible meal at this fun restaurant that brews it's own beers, and then we bought the ingredients for Dessert Nachos and went back to my mom's and opened presents and chowed down on dessert. My BF got me a new pair of Chucks (Converse) that I just adore! And also Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium. I love, love, LOVE that movie. And also the soundtrack to the musical Once! I've been listening to it non-stop! So it wasn't so bad to turn 31.
ETA: Recipe for Dessert Nachos: Take flour tortillas, spray or brush with melted butter, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and sugar, cut into wedges, bake in oven until crisp (350 10-15 minutes, turning over once). Arrange them on platter, top with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, fresh chopped fruit (kiwi, bananas, pineapple, cherries), some whipped cream, and more cinnamon sugar. Gorge yourself.

March 14, 2008

Crazy Hectic!

OK, it's not that I haven't been feeling creative. I've just been so incredibly busy that I don't have time to sit down at the computer and edit photos and type-up blog posts! Has it really been a week since I posted?
Here are the cards I had my stamping/card class make last Tuesday night. And to prove that I'm truly busy, I had to take pictures of them in the early hours of the morning, on top of my car, after I got to work! (see all the snow in the BG?)
I love this PP (DCWV). I like any striped paper actually, but the fun colors in this inspired me to design a fun kid-friendly card. Marigold, Caribbean and a few other colors make it nice and bright! Stamps by SU.
The idea for this card was totally inspired by Alli Miles. She made this adorable owl card awhile ago that just stuck in my head! Now, that black ribbon that you see on my card is NOT the actual ribbon I gave my students. they got the nice, quality, black stitched ribbon! LOL. Bird stamp by Autumn Leaves, large polka dot BG by CHF, sentiment by Verve Visual. This card was inspired by one I saw on a blog last week also. I hadn't ever inked up my strawberry stamps from PTI's Green Thumb set, so I dug 'em out and put them to use! The red on the bottom is CHF's Burlap Backgrounder, and the rest of the stamps are PTI.
Another card inspired by my blog hopping last week, but I don't know who. Any ideas? Bazzill card base, CHF stamps, Zig markers for ink, SU cardstock.

Thanks with bearing with me while I deal with being sick, taking care of two sick kids & a sick husband, doctor visits, parent-teacher conferences, teaching my friend Meagan how to budget grocery shop and meal plan on a weekly basis, work a regular 40 hour week at my job, clean my house, make three meals a day for 4 people, pay bills, feed pets, teach a class, fend off inquiries from family and friends about when I'm coming to visit, and..oh, yeah..I turn 31 tomorrow. YIKES! Beware the Ides of March....

March 08, 2008

Butterflies galore!

So when dropping off my littlest munchkin at daycare early this past week, one of the teaches asked me if I was the one "who did scrapbooking and stuff". Turns out she wanted a set of invitations made for her cousin's Bachelorette party. She said her cousin liked butterflies, and when I pressed her for some colors, she said the bridesmaids would be wearing black. So without much to go on, I created four samples for her to choose from. This one is covered with glitter, but it just doesn't show up in the photo. Wing stamps from Sunday International, vines from Rhonna Farrar (Autumn Leaves), and sentiment from PTI.
This was my favorite sample! I loved the celery DP and the wing stamps used on this one. The wings are from SundayInt. again, and the sentiment is based on a SU stamp that I have ordered but hasn't arrived yet. (I just created a look-alike in Word and printed it out.)
The layout for this design was CASEd from this card, and I used SU's desiger prints PP and CS, Rhonna Farrar butterfly stamp and PTI sentiment again.The colors and LO for this sample were also cased from here. I used the same SU look-alike (printed in Word) sentiment just to give her the idea. The butterfly stamp here is Verve Visual.
So I dropped them off to her and let her stew on which one she liked and wanted reproduced. I will find out on Monday!

March 07, 2008

Butterfly in the sky...

...I can go twice as high. Take a look, it's in a book, a Reading Rainbow!Surely some of you will remember that show from when you were a kid? I used to LOVE Reading Rainbow, and whenever we went to my older sister's house or my grandparents I would immediately ask to watch it (because as a kid I had no idea of timeframes that tv shows ran in!). I think I had a small crush on LeVar Burton.

Ok, here's where I admit something. *deep breath* I've never liked butterfly stamps. Too froofy, silly, typical, whatever...I didn't like them. Only used them when I absolutely HAD to. Well, here's my confession: I like them now! Shhhhhh. Don't tell, ok? I have a reputation to uphold here!
I created this card for my stamping class ladies too. You should hear how they all groan when they see designs like this! They HATE cutting out ANYTHING! But when they were all done with this one, they loved it, so I rest my case. *wink*
It was fun stamping the butterfly in black on the red nestabilitie rectangle, and then cutting out 4 pairs of wings to adhere on top. I then cut off all the overhanging wings except for one. I used SU's red and sage CS and PTI's white. The wings were stamped and cut out from a piece of Cosmo Cricket PP, from the Dutch Girl collection. The ribbon came from Big Lots! All stamps are Verve Visual, and the PP can be found there too! I would normally have added a bit more to this card, were I sending it out, but it was just right for my class. It was SO hard not to add some sparkle or glitter to those butterflies!
Wait till you see all the butterflies I have to show you tomorrow! Good thing I like them now!

March 06, 2008

Bring out yer dead

I dug out some of my very first wood mounted rubber stamps the other day. Real pressed flowers from Hero Arts. Although I've been making cards since I was small, I only got into using stamps on them about 5 years ago. And these were some of the first one's I ever bought. I used them almost exclusively for many months!This is the simple card I designed for my stamping/cardmaking class on Tuesday. I think the ladies had a lot of fun using these stamps and all the different versacolor ink cubes I had out for them to try (15 colors!). The polka dot background is from CHF, and the sentiment stamp is from Verve. I used SU's Marigold and Bayou cardstock, and PTI's stamper select white.

I also showed the class the first card I ever made using rubber stamps, but I'm NOT showing it here, so don't even ask! *blushing*

March 04, 2008

Easter Eggs

I set this up to post automatically this morning, but it didn't work...*pout* I thought Blogger finally got around to enabling us to schedule posts!? Oh well...
I played so much with my new Verve Visual set, Easter Elegance, that I think I've made too many Easter cards! I love 2-step stamping, and this set is perfect for it. I stamped the egg outlines first with brown Staz-on and then inked up the individual egg centers and stamped them on top. Because these are clear photopolymer, it's so easy to see where your outlines are and make them line up perfectly.
The PP is from a new company called Scribble Scrabble, and Verve sells it! I like the colors in this collection (called Felicity), they match SU's sage and chocolate spot on!

I made the first card and then decided to give it some more "umpfff", so I made a small panel with more PP and some gold eyelets to place underneath the egg oval. Everything else stayed the way it was.

March 03, 2008

Staple it together and call it fair-weather... um. "Jack Johnson"
So it's been a while since my last post, but that's not because I wasn't creating or stamping...I've been out of town for work and haven't had access to my personal PC. Did ya miss me?
I created this card for the release of the newest Verve Visual stamps. The set I used here is called Thankful Blossoms and it has so many possibilities! I really like this set a lot. For some reason, the leaves and stems on this card are not showing up as the correct color, but I promise IRL they match the ribbon!
This was a really simple card to make, but it packs a punch too! Go check out the other samples in the Verve Visual gallery, you may just be inspired to create something AMAZING!

February 21, 2008

In trouble again!

The color combo for today's card was inspired by my friend and blogging buddy, Bobbie, when she created THIS card for the Verve Visual Honored Guest Sketch Challange (Whew, that's a mouthful!) Although I didn't use the same colors, they were close enough that the "feel" was there. Again, I used stamps from VivaLasVegas Stamps. My three year old LOVEs this stamp, and always makes the same face when he sees it, saying,"He's in trouble Mommy."I didn't have matching brads, so I used some Alcohol Inks to color them, hence the color variations if you look closely. The face stamp is MUCH more vibrant when done with black ink, but I wanted to use my blue chalk ink that matched the paper anyway. The rust CS was stamped with a backgrounder from CHF, Houndstooth, with Versamark. I added some white gel pen dots (my pen is dying, can you tell?), and distressed the edges of the rust CS as well.
I LOVE this sentiment, and it fits well with the shocked look on the boy's face too!

Today is the two year anniversary of the day our kids moved in with us. Feb 21, 2006. Crumbgrabber was 6, Stickyfingers was 15 months. WOW! So much has happend in just those two years. I'm so happy we are a family now!

February 20, 2008


I dug out some of my VivaLasVegas stamps to make this card! At one point in my stamping life, I was seriously obsessed with random funny images like these. The LO is based loosely on Julee's MOJO Monday sketch #25. I was in the mood for some bright colors, and I always think brights pair well with black, so I started with some super-bright hot pink, and some eye-watering neon green, and some black. But when I wanted to add some PP I realized that I most likely wouldn't have anything with those colors in it, so back to the drawing board it was!After toning down both the pink and green, the card came together quickly. I used an old Sizzix die for the black oval frame, and since my sentiment wouldn't fit perfectly inside, I popped it up on top after cutting it out! Add some Heidi Swapp pink jewels, a few white eyelets, and oh yeah, a touch of color to her cheeks and call it done!
I really intended to stick to Julee's sketch, but it wasn't working out. I moved things around, and then switched sides, and brought the ribbon lower and made a slit through the PP panel (Basic Grey PP BTW) so my ribbon could see the light sooner!

February 19, 2008

Back in the old day...

Do you yearn for the simpler times? When it was just you, your stamps, some ink, and some paper. Remember those times? Occasionally, I get so caught up in adding "more" to my cards, that I forget that simple can sometimes make a big impact. Not to mention that is can be much easier to mass produce! I used no embellishments on these cards. Only, ink, paper, stamps and adhesive. Using just white CS and one other color (thyme green here), I created a simple Mother's Day card. Repetative stamping can make pretty patterned paper. If I wanted, this card can easily be added to, using some ribbon, brads, glitter, etc.
I then took the same idea and made a Father's Day card. Simple. Quick. Unadorned. But lovely all the same.

Paper: white cardstock (PTI) , thyme CS (SU), tan CS (Bazzill)
Stamps: Serenity, Happy Thougths (Verve Visual)
Ink: Dark Moss, creamy brown (Colorbox liquid chalk)

February 17, 2008

A little bit political...

I'm so behind the times. Seriously. We don't have TV, haven't for quite a few years, so I get my news online and from AM talk radio (which I'm addicted to!). Forgive me if this is old news...just saw this video today on Youtube and wanted to share. I've been a "Mama for Obama" since he first appeared on the scene, but this video/song/speech really hit home with me.

February 15, 2008


Is anyone awake out there in blogland, or are you all sleeping in because you were up late for the Papertrey Ink release party last night? *grin* Some amazing stuff, huh?I'd like to have a stash of "generic" cards on hand for last minute things that crop up unexpectedly, but I enjoy personalizing a card too much to be able to think of good ideas. I usually start with someone in mind before creating a card...that way the colors, design and extras are tailored just to the reciever.
Well last week I decided to get down to business and make a few cards that could be for anyone.
I only made this one. It took me so long just to be able to think up this idea that I was exhausted by the time I was done! But my plan is to use this same sentiment stamp set (Happy Thoughts, by Verve Visual), and make a bunch of cards using this same general layout, but different colors and themes. I used another Verve set for the BG (Wonderful Wishes), and just alternated my placement of the square. I think it looks very cool and geometric. I also used some AI to color the brads to the perfect shade!

February 14, 2008

The more we get together...

Goodness, can anyone save me from the children's songs running through my head?! We've been listening to Raffi all morning, and while I DO enjoy his music and singing, I think I've reached my daily quota!Just wanted to share with you the Valentine I made my mom. I wasn't going to post this (I made it 2 weeks ago), but sentiment finally won. I saw that another AWESOME stamper made a card SO INCREDIBLY similar last week, and because she is so awesome, I thought if I posted everyone would think I CASEd her card. *chuckle* We are silly creatures, aren't we?! Anyway, I'm posting it, because I love my mom. This paticular sentiment stamp from PTI has a few errors in it, and that's why it looks sort-of sloppy and crooked on my is. The "to" is missing completely from the first line, so I inked up the second "to" and tried to stamp it where the first "to" should go. Didn't work so well, but I was NOT going to start over!
I finally broke into my textured SU CS for this card. Why is it that we like to hoard paper instead of using it? *grin* The matting around the tiny oval is cut by hand, because I used the smallest Nestabilitie I had but then wanted small mats too. All stamps by PTI.