Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Wishes To Lori Whitlock!

Today is Lori Whitlock's birthday and in celebration the team has all made her special birthday cards wishing her a Happy Birthday!  :)

For her card I thought it would be fun to combine a winter theme with a birthday theme using Lori's Snowman Silhouette cutting file and Banner Flag Set (which can also be found at Lori's shop here).

I created a shadow around the snowman for better stability and cut two of them to form my card base (the back one was scored and glued to the front one at top).  The banner, scarf and hat were cut from Lori's older "Everybody Loves Christmas" paper release through Echo Park.

As I take a break with all the holiday festivities, I would like to take this time to wish you all a cozy and very Merry Christmas!  Hope you have a wonderful time in the company of family and/or good friends! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Last Minute Holiday Treat Idea

Today I have a last minute holiday treat idea to share.  I re-purposed some cleaned out peanut butter jars and turned them into festive containers for some caramel corn my daughter made for the neighbors as Christmas gifts.  Love that my twelve year old is enjoying baking this year!  :)

To decorate the jars I used "The 12 Days of Christmas" collection by My Mind's Eye.  :)
For the caramel corn, my daughter used one of my favorite recipes from using the recipe found at the link found here.
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 8 cups popped popcorn (1/3 cup unpopped)
  1. When I make this recipe, use 1/3 cup popcorn to achieve the 8 cups of popped corn.
  2. Preheat oven to 275F; have ready a jelly roll pan.
  3. Place popped corn in a very large bowl.
  4. In a large, heavy saucepan over high heat, combine the sugar, butter and corn syrup and bring to a boil; let boil for two minutes, stirring continuously.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Note that it is IMPORTANT to use a large saucepan, as this mixture will bubble up.
  7. Add baking soda and vanilla to sugar mixture and combine well.
  8. Pour this mixture over popped corn and combine, then spread mixture out onto jelly roll pan.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, stirring well every 10 minutes (I sometimes reduce this to 30 minutes instead of 40 minutes).
  10. Let cool before eating or before placing into containers.
Thanks so much for peeking!  I have one last holiday post tomorrow before I take a bit of a Christmas break.  ;)

        Thursday, December 20, 2012

        An Echo Park Gingerbread House Holiday Layout

        How are you doing?  Are you surviving the holiday season craziness?  Today I have another Christmas layout being featured over at Lori Whitlock's blog using the This and That Christmas paper collection that she designed for Echo Park and of course more of her awesome cutting files.  ;)

        For the focal gingerbread house focal point I borrowed some cork print paper from Lori's Note to Self collection and then set to work embellishing it with rhinestones, pearls and a wood star from Studio Calico. I finished it off with a little Stickles added to the icing diecut for some extra sparkle.
        I happened upon Lori's awesome Valentine's Day Heart border and thought it could be transformed onto a fun accent for this Christmas page.  I love how it looks cut from the wood print paper and how it showcases so many of the papers from this collection without making it feel too busy.

        For the Title I pieced together 3 different titles of Lori's. I wanted to use the phrase "Home Sweet Home" and I went on a hunt looking for a cute way to spell it out with Lori's existing cutting files.  Love when you can take the shapes you already own and get a little extra mileage out of them.  :)

        For this layout I used the following shapes available for purchase at Lori's Shop:
        6 valentines borders
        7 Labels 3 (used bracket label for background)
        1 Page Layout Kit  (used "sweet" word)
        ‘love at home’ title
        love at home phrase

        Thanks so much for stopping by.  :)

        Wednesday, December 19, 2012

        Another My Mind's Eye Christmas Wreath Card

        Today I have another card to share I made for the same Cards magazine issue that didn't get picked up for publication...

        For this card I used the same My Mind's Eye Merry Little Christmas 6x6 pad along with a different Silhouette Christmas Wreath cutting file found here.
        Check back tomorrow for a holiday layout I will be sharing from Lori Whitlock's blog.  Thanks so much for taking a peek!  :)

        Monday, December 17, 2012

        A Holiday Wreath 2012 CARDS magazine card

        How is your holiday going?  I can't believe Christmas Eve is only one week away! 

        I just realized I forgot to share a card that was picked up for the December Issue of CARDS magazine.  I created this for their style challenge calling for Holly wreaths and reds, greens and aquas. 

        For this card I turned to Silhouette's Wreath file cut from My Mind's Eye Merry Little Christmas 6x6 pad.  The sentiment stamp is from Papertrey Ink's Stocking Prints set.  It was a quick and simple card to make!  :)

        Thanks so much for peeking.  :)

        Friday, December 14, 2012

        An Echo Park Happy Holidays Layout

        Today is a good day!  It's Friday and it's my first December post for Lori Whitlock's blog!  Yay!  Christmas layouts were requested and scrapbooking is definitely my first love so I was excited for this challenge.  For this one I turned to Lori's mini kit for Echo Park called Happy Holidays.  These papers totally live up to their "happy" name, don't ya think?

        I was inspired by a snowflake banner sticker in the collection, but it wasn't quite right for my layout so I stole the string from Lori's Doily Pennant Banner cutting file to hang snowflakes from instead.  :)

        For the title I pieced two different titles and grounded them with the Vintage banner & seal diecut.  I liked Lori's "Countdown to Christmas" title, but the word Christmas had a bar that didn't work well with this application so I used a separate Echo Park Christmas phrase found at the Silhouette shop here.  Please note that I stretched the word Christmas from top to bottom to make it fit the space better.  :)
        For the trees I took my cue from the tree print paper from the kit (which I didn't end up using here) and cut out different styles of trees.  For the pink polka-dot tree, I backed the cutout holes with punched circles from the patterned paper.  I then added in a green tree sticker from the collection to round out my tree trio.

        As adorable as these papers are, a lot of them are fairly busy prints which can be a challenge for this self professed "B" side (tone-on-tone print) scrapbooker.  In an effort to capture the feel of the collection on my layout without overwhelming the page, I added this grouping of pennants featuring little stickers and snippets from the border paper.  I love the result!  These papers make me smile!  :)

        For this layout I used the following shapes available for purchase at Lori's Shop:
        3 Snowflake Set
        Baby Icon Set (Scallop Border)
        Christmas Icons Set (polka-dot tree)
        Countdown to Christmas Title
        Vintage banners seals

        And these shapes from the Silhouette store (coming to Lori's blog soon):
        3 Christmas Trees
        Winter Tree (used snowflake only)
        Doily ‘pennant’ banner
        borders (wavy rick-rack)

        On a side note, the original blog hop winner contacted me when seeing my last post so unfortunately I will not be drawing a new winner afterall.  Sorry about that...

        Thanks so much for stopping by!  :)

        Wednesday, December 12, 2012

        A My Mind's Eye Colorful Christmas Layout

        Hi there!

        I have been glued to the coverage of the Clackamas Towne Center mall shooting. It is my favorite local mall and hits so close to home.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected and to the families of the victims...

        As promised I'm finally sharing a layout I made last year using the older My Mind's Eye "Colorful Christmas" collection.
        I had fun with the title! I love when I can add a little interest with something different and this fit the space I had perfectly! :)

        I finished it off by embellishing some trees to mimic the trees in the patterned paper with some coordinating ribbon from the collection and various rhinestones and snowflake brads.

        Thanks so much for stopping by! 

        Tuesday, December 11, 2012

        Disneyland Holiday Photos

        Hi there!

        Sorry my posts have been few and far between...  I am delighted to be working on several sample layouts for Technique Tuesday's CHA booth using all their fun, new goodies which has been keeping me busy (I will be sure to share as soon as I am allowed).  Then adding to that a trip to Disneyland, a visit from my Japanese mother-in-law, my husband leaving on a 9-day business trip and holiday festivities in between I have been feeling seriously wiped out. 

        Today,  I thought I would pop in and share a "few" photos from our trip.  I love all things Disney and Disneyland at Christmas is even better!  Unfortunately I had trouble picking a favorite (I could really bore you with the endless Character photos so with the exception of this first one I'll try to stick with the holiday themed photos).  ;)

        Outside the entrance to the new Cars Land at California Adventure
        It's a Small World all decorated for the holidays...

        If you haven't done the parks at Christmas I highly recommend it!  It totally puts you in the holiday spirit.  Just make sure to pack your best running shoes (As much as I love my Converse my feet were KILLING me with the amount of miles we were walking everyday) and pack for all sorts of weather--We were so happy we threw our umbrellas in the suitcase because we sadly needed them every single day.  ;)

        I'll be back tomorrow with a holiday layout to share.  Thanks for humoring me.  :)

        Tuesday, December 4, 2012

        A Fancy Pants Holiday Layout Tutorial

        I've been busy working on some CHA projects, but I would share a layout and tutorial that was featured at Craft Warehouse's blog last year.  Make sure to check them out!  They have loads of fun tutorials and creative crafting ideas!  :)

         I was asked to create a layout based on this sketch designed by Jennifer Evans.

        ...And here was my take on Jennifer's sketch. I love how you can use sketches as a jumping off point for your creativity. I tried to stay true to the most basic bones of the sketch, yet I still altered it in several places to fit my style and the product I wanted to play with...
        For this layout, I was given supplies from Fancy Pants Holiday "Saint Nick" collection, Petaloo Flowers and some red tinsel fiber. Each of these papers are double sided and I was most drawn to the red, silver and ivory color scheme with accents of green for my layout so I looked for ways to pull from those colors when selecting my exact papers and embellishments.

        I also added a few basic supplies of my own such as Red Bazzill cardstock, Making Memories black glitter alpha stickers, American Crafts metallic Glitter brads and embroidery floss. I also utilized the following tools: Spellbinders Circle, Scalloped Circle and Leaf dies, Paper piercer, embroidery needle and a foam stamp pad (which doubled as a safe surface for piercing with my paper piercer). I love this thing and best of all it's cheap! :)
        So rather than showing you a step-by-step tutorial on how I created my entire page I thought I would share one of my other passions with you: Stitching! I love all kinds of stitching whether it be by sewing machine or by hand so today I thought I would share some fun ways to stretch your supplies and use things you have on hand to add hand-stitching to your layouts. After setting aside the bracket shaped border, I started by cutting out the leaves from the backside of the paper with all the borders on it.
        Then, using my Ranger foam applicator and some Tim Holtz Distress Ink I inked around each leaf to add a little depth and help the leaves stand out against my page background.

        Next, I used my paper piercer and foam mat and just freehanded about 6 holes in a straight line down the center of each leaf. These holes give the foundation in which to hand stitch later.

        Embroidery floss comes with 6 strands of thread wound together and I wanted to only use the thickness of 3 of the strands for my stitching so I just pulled them apart and divided the floss in half.

        After that, it's sort of like those needlepoint cards from when you were a kid. I used a back stitch, but it honestly doesn't matter how you do it because as long as it looks good on the front, that's all that matters. :)
        I think it adds such a nice little finished detailed to leaves, don't you?

        Another one of my favorite ideas with stitching that I don't use nearly enough is stitching my title. Using the free Microsoft font "Script MT Bold" I printed the second part of my title out onto printer paper. I did it in a couple different sizes as I wasn't certain which size would work best for my project.

        Then I set to work punching holes by just following the outside outline of the font...

        Then came the fun part of stitching. I found it helpful to keep the printer version with the holes nearby so I could refer to it anytime I got confused about where to stitch next (which can easily happen when you have all those tiny holes sitting right next to each other).

         Another fun way to stretch your supplies is to use shapes you already have on hand as a stitching template. In this case I used one of the larger heart stickers from the collection to pierce around, but punches and diecuts also work great for this technique too.

        I love how you can easily give your layout a cohesive look with this technique by matching your title font to your journaling font! It so fun to create your own accents too when the stickers aren't just right color or look you are going for.

        Lastly, I thought I would share another one of my favorite go-to techniques that I used on this layout--Printing on premade stickers and journaling spots.

        I start by printing my journaling or sentiment on a piece of printer paper. Then holding it up to the light (whether it be the nearby desk lamp or my window) and I tried to center my sticker tag over the pre-printer journaling--Sometimes this is actually easier by looking through the back of the printer paper and seeing the outline of your tag shape as was the case with this one. Then I just ran my paper through the printer a second time (using the specialty paper selection so that it wouldn't smear too badly on the glossy coated surface). Then after allowing it to dry completely, I just pealed it off and placed it directly onto my layout. So easy and yet it gives your projects such a polished look.

        When using a cardstock cutout that doesn't come with adhesive already, temporary adhesive or photo splits work perfectly for this technique too. And here's an up close shot of the finished tag on the layout...

        And, just in case you've completely forgotten what the finished layout looked like after all these photos, here it is again.
        Phew!  I think that sets a record for my longest post ever.  Thanks for stopping by.  :)
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