May 28, 2010

Greek Spinach Orzo Salad

No card today. Everything I've been creating lately can't be shown yet! Instead I thought I'd give you a recipe for one of our favorite warm weather dinners. We eat this at least once a week!

Greek Spinach Orzo Salad

12oz. dry orzo pasta
5 c. fresh baby spinach
1 small red onion, chopped (or half a large one)
1 1/2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
1 c. pitted Kalamata olives, quartered if large, otherwise halved
1 1/2 c. feta cheese (we use tofeta to avoid the dairy)
1 c. your favorite vinaigrette dressing (mine follows)

After cooking your orzo until al dente, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside to cool while you chop your tomatoes, olives, and onions. Have dressing ready. Mix everything in a large bowl. Stir more than you think you need will help "wilt" the spinach a bit. Serve at room temp or chilled.

Dana's quick vinaigrette

3 T. lemon juice
1 T. red wine vinegar
1-2 T. honey
1/2 t. oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 t. kosher salt
1.4 t. freshly cracked black pepper
1 t. lemon zest (optional but tasty)
1/3 c. olive oil

Combine first eight ingredients in blender or mason jar. Add oil and emulsify! Shake before using because the honey settles on the bottom if not fully incorporated.

Thanks for stopping by today friends, do something creative (even if it's only cooking)!

May 27, 2010

PTI Princess Challenge no.9--redo an older card

Hello all! I'm here today hosting my first ever PTI Princess challenge! Although I've been in the group for more than two years, I've never hosted a challenge before so I'm excited!

OK, the challenge is to REDO one of your cards from at LEAST 1 year ago. You can use the same LO, the same colors, the same stamps, or all three, but you must remake one of your older cards. And you have to post BOTH of them! (the old one and the new)

Here is my new card. I do admit to loving Terracotta Tile! *smile*  I used my new wave border punch, an image from Masculine Motifs, an old piece of Basic Grey PP and some twine & buttons.

I inked up the tops of the waves so they would stand out a bit. I also stamped off the sailboat once and used half for the sail.

Here is the card I re-did. You can see I used the same basic LO and a few of the same elements, but if they weren't side-by-side you wouldn't know one was inspired by the other. I originally posted this card on February 20, 2008. The original post is here.

So I can't wait to see what the rest of the group does!
Thanks for stopping by!

May 26, 2010

Feelin' Groovy

Can you believe it's time for another Sasya Sketch? Yep. Today's card is for Sasya Sketch No. 12! Goodness it seems like the days are going by so quickly now that summer is almost here.

Want to know something about this card? All  stamps used were WOOD MOUNTED (except for the SU Wheel BG)! I'd forgotten how it felt to hold wood in my hands. It was fun but I sure do like seeing where I stamp when I use clear stamps.

I held off with a sentiment because I thought  I could use this card for several different occasions and will add the sentiment when the need arises.

If you feel like playing along, join us at Sasya Sketches for a new sketch every Wednesday!
Yes, the blog is in Russian, but the important parts are translated in to English...don't be shy! Art has no language barriers!

So what do you think about this card? I really, really liked it when I was done (is it ok to say that about your own creation?)

Thanks for stopping by today friends, have a good one!

May 25, 2010

Tuesday Throwdown #1

It's time for a Tuesday Throwdown challenge!

The challenge is to use any stamped image you can color. 

This week's sponser is Sweet-n-Sassy stamps. That's where I got this adorable first ever digital stamp! (even if my coloring doesn't do it justice!) It was so fun to manipulate by resizing and flipping it...then I used a punch and chose areas to highlight for my card.

I wanted it to look like lots of trucks were following each other...did it work?
The sentiment was part of the download too (one of three with this set)...adorable! 

If you play along with us this week, you're in for a whopper of a prize from Sweet-n-Sassy stamps! Why not play along for some free goodies? *grin*
Click here to read more and see the other awesome projects by the Design Team!

Stamps used: Keep truckin' by SNS, Polka Dot Basics II by PTI.

Thanks for stopping by today! Hope you'll play along!

May 24, 2010

Life's Moments

Happy Monday! 
My goal this week is to stay positive and upbeat. I have so much for which I am thankful! I find that setting mini-goals for myself each week is more attainable than one large resolution on January first. And I feel like I've accomplished something when I can stick to it!
(Last week's goal was to cut back on sweets...didn't meet that one so well *sheepish grin*)

This is just a quick card that I made last weekend while I was at the Scrappin' for a Cure retreat. I used Copics and colored some thin silk ribbon for the bow.  IRL it matches the pink flowers I stamped on the card quite well.

Stamps used: Life by PTI

Crumbgrabber made this card for his dad for Father's Day. Isn't it cute?! My favorite part is the caterpillar on the turtle's back. You should have seen the ink all over his hands when he was done...WOW! I don't encourage the boys to stamp with me enough...maybe I should make that a future goal...

Stamps used: Pond Life by PTI

Thanks for stopping by today friends! I hope you have a great day!

May 22, 2010

Blue leaves

Happy Saturday folks!
The idea for this card has been in my head for so long (more than a year, really) that I forgot what made me originally think of it. It might have been a sheet set from Crate & Barrel...this would make a pretty sheet pattern don't you think?

We're off to purchase some new kitchen cabinets today. It seems time to overhaul our archaic, antediluvian kitchen from the 1920s. No joke here. I've been living with a single porcelain sink, one base cabinet, and truly ancient pinkish-red, kitschy (read: asbestos) linoleum flooring for far too long! 
I like retro and all but enough is enough! (our house was built in 1902 by the parent's of the 88 year-old lady we bought it from. We are only the second owners since it was built!)

Stamps used: Turning a new Leaf by PTI, and Words of Wisdom by Hero Arts

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a good one!

May 21, 2010

Cloud lift hot air balloons


So I made this card last week...on Thursday May 13th to be exact. Just a simple quick card for a friend who needed something to cheer her up. I mailed it out that same day because I knew I was going to be leaving for a long weekend. I planned to post it eventually but I have quite a few cards in my files that I never get around to posting.
Fast forward to Tuesday of this week. I'm blog hopping, visiting all my favorite stops and leaving comments on some awesome creations when I happen upon Laurie's Blog, Soapbox Creations.
I literally gasp out loud.
Because I see THIS card. (you HAVE to go see...I'll wait...) OMG. I know, right?!
Apparently, great minds really DO think alike! *grin*

Same card base. Same cloud stamp. Same sentiment. Almost the same colors of buttons. Same LO. Image stamp from the SAME SET, and even the same color BG paper for photographing!
*cue Twilight music now* doo do doo do...

Has this ever happened to you? Because it happens to me fairly regularly. Really. In the past few months it's amazing how many people have emailed me to say they created a card similar or vice versa. 

Stamps used: You're Dandy by Practicing Creativity Designs, Everyday Button Bits by PTI.

Thanks for stopping by today friends and reading my crazy story! TGIF!

May 20, 2010

It's time for another Sasya Sketch!

This week's sketch over at Sasya Sketches is so much fun. I like oval shapes on rectangles!
Because the DT has to submit work a week before, this card was made almost 2 weeks ago and I was tickled when I finished. Really it isn't my "style" at all, but I ended up liking it a lot!

As you can see, I inverted and flipped the sketch for my card. 
Won't you join us for this round? The prize package is awesome! 700 Rubles (equal to about $23) to spend at an online scrapbooking store! Go see!

Thanks for stopping by today! Do something creative!

May 19, 2010

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

Some for the glories of this world; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

-Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (by Fitzgerald)

May 18, 2010

Lemon spring leaves

So I learned something this weekend...packing one's studio up for a trip and having everything you need when you get there is impossible. I guess you need to know in advance exactly what you want to create. I did not have any ideas in mind when I packed up so when it came time to actually create something I almost always did NOT have the stamp set, or ribbon, or brad, or ink color I wanted. *rolling eyes*

"Making do" with what I had was a learning experience. I am used to being able to reach up and grab exactly what I want to create with. *smile* So while this card would have turned out a bit different had it been made in my studio, it is not bad for being made in a rec center at a camp in the Adirondacks! ETA: My BFF came to the rescue with those gorgeous sparkly lime brads and willingly sacrificed  three of them to save the card!

Stamps used: Take Three: Spring and Turning a New Leaf

Thanks for stopping by, I've missed you guys!

May 17, 2010

I'm back!

Hi everybody! *waves madly* I'm home from my fun stamping weekend and exhausted! I had no idea those ladies would be into "cutthroat" scrapbooking! *grin* They stayed up until 4:30 AM just trying to complete the most pages. Craziness. I just calmly made a few cards all weekend (I'm not really a scrapbooker) and went to bed when I was tired.

I made this card for Kristin, the girl who worked so hard to put the whole retreat together and we all signed it. I was inspired by this card on Sasya's blog. Isn't it just gorgeous?! *sigh*

Now I have the formidable task of unpacking and reorganizing my studio. Bleck. THat's the worst, isn't it? Unpacking.

Stamps used: BB: Text style II, Life, Fancy Flourishes, Take Three:Spring.

Thanks for stopping by today friends, have a good one!

May 15, 2010

Asian peace branch

Just a simple card using new stamps from Waltzing Mouse. I like this Asian Gardens set a lot and can't wait to try out the tree image from it!

The Dark Chocolate twill and CS look black in this photo, but IRL it looks so good with the Aqua Mist and Ocean Tides.

I'm still away having fun at my stamping retreat, so I'll catch-up on blogs when I return.

Thanks for stopping by friends!

May 14, 2010

Orange and pink thanks

I'm on the road yet again, so this post is a scheduled one. 
I'm headed to a scrapbook retreat in the Adirondacks called Scrappin' for a Cure! I've never been to a crop in my life, so I'm terribly excited and plan to get lots of cards made and maybe even a few SB LOs (if I'm feeling so inclined). 
I've got a long drive today, so I pulled out my Ipod with several audiobooks on it and plan to make good use of the almost 6 hours I will be sitting on my tush just driving on I-90!

Today's card is simple. I went for my favorite color combo (orange and pink) and stamped an elegant card base with one of the scrolls in Vintage Labels. Added a ribbon, and loopy bow, some buttons and a sentiment on a white CS panel from Signature Greetings and it was complete!

I'll be back late Sunday night, but I do have a few scheduled posts for eye-candy.

Thanks for stopping in today friends. Do something creative! 

May 13, 2010

Sasya Sketch #10

It's time for another sketch with Sasya! 
Because this round is actually #10, there are LOTS of prizes being awarded so be sure to head over to Sasya Sketches and submit your project based on the sketch below. You have until May 18 to submit your card!

The card I created for this round was lots of fun. I used an older CB embossing folder, lots of kraft CS, some Ripe avocado, and some Aqua mist. The distressed block stamp is from my stash, but I think it may have come from Scrapgoods when I was a member of their monthly kits more than 5 years ago now. (Alas, they are no longer in business)
The image stamp is from one of my very favorite PTI sets by Lisa Johnson, called Life
Yes, this is another card with no sentiment...but I can personalize it so easily on the inside with almost anything I want, so I like to have these types of cards in my stockpile.

So, come on, try out the sketch and post your link on the site! The DT chooses their top 5 favorites and also 2 entrants to be the guest designers for the next round, so get crackin' friends!

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have a good one!

( I miss the PTI forum and talking with everyone! Hopefully it will be up this morning!)

May 12, 2010

PTI Princess Challenge No.7--Closet colors

Good morning friends! Today's card is for the challenge that Diane issued on her blog to "throw open your closet doors" and find some inspiration. When I open my closet doors I see a multitude of peasant skirts and old hippie-style dresses that comprised my wardrobe in college. *grin* 
The first skirt I saw was orange and white and I used to wear it with an aqua colored tank top so I based my card on those colors.
I was going to take a picture but then I was afraid to let you really see my "other" side! lol
Some things just shouldn't be published on a blog!

Poppy stamp by Hero Arts, Sentiment by PTI. I know all the stamps should be PTI for a PTI challenge, but I couldn't resist, and everything else is PTI so I hope it counts.

Have a good day, thanks for stopping by!

May 10, 2010

Birthday Boy

Our oldest turns 11 years old today! When we first adopted him and his brother the state gave us new birth certificates showing that we were the legal parents. I almost choked at the part where it gave my age at the time of his birth...21! 
I was MOST DEFINITELY not thinking about having kids when I was 21 and still in college! lol
So it seems weird (to me) to have an 11 year old when I am only 33.

I made this card for him late last night when we returned home from our trip to visit some family on the other side of the state. All products except for the PP scrap are from PTI. I just love that Fly Away set. Oh, and I tried Belinda's technique for making clouds and it was so easy and fun! You can see I also added some white dots to the BB: Retro BG.

The birthday boy asked if we could go bowling for his BD treat. He loves to bowl! Here we are on the way to the bowling alley with my great-nephew to the far right.

(The birthday boy is in the center)

And here we all are at the bowling alley (I'm taking the photo). Notice the completely absurd expression on the birthday boy's face? What a nut!

Hope all you mothers and grandmothers out there had a nice Mother's Day. Mine was spent mostly driving, but when we got home my hubster did cook supper for all of us, so that was a nice change.

Thanks for stopping by today friends! It's good to be home.

May 09, 2010

Photo lighting

I've been getting a lot of emails about how I photograph my cards. I thought since it was Mother's Day I'd do a quick post addressing some different lighting ideas as my gift to you!

1. Where the light source is coming from is very important. In this example, the light is behind and to the left of me. Rather high in the sky (I'm using the sun). It washes the card out a bit, and makes it hard to see the small details like the embossed BG.

2. Here I turned the card just a bit, and it faces full sun. See how it casts icky shadows and the bottom of the card is dark? It also highlights all the flaws! Yet, now we can see the embossed BG perfectly and the stitching at the bottom (and the tiny insect crawling on the main image panel! lol).

3. This is inside, but still using natural light filtering in through a window. It removes the bad shadows and shows the card rather well, while NOT drawing attention to the minor flaws. BUT, you can no longer see the stitching at the bottom, and some of the depth is gone. This makes the card look a bit flat.

4. I went back outside for this one and stayed out of any direct sun. This example is back-lit. You can see the subtle nuances of inking on the BG best here, and all of the flaws are hidden (except for my horrible stitching job around the oval panel which has nothing to do with lighting and everything to do with user error).

5. I also took a photo using my home made light box studio but inadvertently deleted it! Figures! It was the best of the bunch for this particular card! Sometime with white or cream cards, my light box is best because I can use tiny spot lights all around it to better highlight the card base.

So these are just a sampling of different lighting and BG techniques you can use to showcase your specific card to it's fullest extent. Remember that each card will be different concerning which type works best.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers, mother-to-be, and grandmothers. You are doing a great job and we thank you!

Much love,

May 08, 2010

Bright and Dandy

Hi friends! We're travelling right now so this is a scheduled post. Apparently a lot of you did not like my vintage/grungy card yesterday...or maybe you all are just plain busy! Who isn't, right? *grin*

Today's card was meant to be uplifting and happy for its recipient. I'm hoping to cheer her up while thanking her...think it will work? Rarely do I add buttons without any floss, thread or twine in them but I thought it worked here. I know the color scheme is a bit daunting, but it doesn't actually clash or anything, so I kind of like it. Hawaiian Shores, Plum Pudding, Orange Zest and New Leaf.  I LOVE those giant dots!

All stamps are Practicing Creativity Designs (For the love of Dots and You're Dandy). All other supplies are PTI.

Thanks for stopping by today, I'll be back tomorrow!
Have a good one,