November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving and "The Survivors"

 Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had one of the best EVER!

My parents were here with us. Love you Mom & Dad!

I tried a new recipe and SUCCESS! Everyone, even my non sweet potato people loved it! I found the recipe on Martha Stewart's web site, it's called BUTTER PECAN SWEET POTATOES.

It is so simple and can {mostly} be made ahead! Begin by baking pieces of sweet potato tossed with olive oil and salt until they are fork tender.

Then transfer into a baking dish and top with pecans, butter and brown sugar. {Here is where you can stop and hold for a few hours in the fridge} Bake until butter is melty and the brown sugar looks yummy.



And now, here are the survivors! I snapped this picture early on Friday morning...we often have a flock of turkeys strutting through our backyard, so glad they skipped Thanksgiving Day. Funny, the turkeys are exactly where we took our Thanksgiving family portraits just hours earlier~~~

November 25, 2009

~Tuesday's Tips & Techniques: Embellishing Buttons with Rub-ons~

Rub-ons are so much fun! They are so easy to use and have TONS of impact.

I love, love, love using buttons in my layouts. Here I used them to make a border.

In this layout, I used buttons to hide the glue dots under my acrylic pieces and I loved how it turned out.

I also love the look of stacked buttons but oooooohhh, my albums are getting FAT!

Now I am using rub-ons to really make my buttons snazzy all on their own. It is so super easy.
Rub-ons (itty bitty ones work best)
Rub-on tool

You use the same technique to apply the rub-on to the button as you do on anything else: cut out the rub-on you want to use, place it where you want it to go and use your tool of choice (a popsicle stick is my favorite) to gently rub it on while holding that rub-on paper carefully in place.

I lift the paper very slowly while still holding it down exactly in the same spot. That way, if my image didn't transfer completely, I can just put the paper back down and keep rubbing. Honestly, I almost never get it down in one try. Maybe it is my excitement at seeing the finished product, or maybe it is just my lack of patience, yep lack of patience, that is probably it ;)

Here I used a leftover rub-on. It was tiny and the only thing left of the sheet so I decided to see how it would look on a button. I love it!


    I placed these finished buttons on die-cut felt flowers. Now they are ready to go on a layout or, or

or on a card!

November 24, 2009

~Thankful Contest at Creative Cookbooking~

For this contest you must do a layout or altered project on what you are thankful for, whatever inspires you. Use fall/warm colors, journaling of some kind is a must, and you must alter something... your whole project can be an altered item or you can alter an item on your project (ie….alter one of your embellishments or your alphas) just be creative!

These must be new layouts or altered items and posted in the Creative Cookbooking Flickr Gallery with your name and in the description labeled "Thankful Contest". Please also link them to the challenge thread so we can all admire them too. You will not only be playing for an awesome prize provided by, but your winning layout/project will also be featured on our blog. The design team will select the winning layout/project by voting for their favorite layout/project based on the layout itself and by following the challenge as described. The deadline for this contest is November 30 at midnight, EST time.

For my design team example, I made a Thanksgiving Thoughts mini-album. The chipboard album is from K&CO and all the journaling blocks are from Pink Paislee. I used pumpkin spice Glimmer Mist to alter and "spice up" the album;) and once it was dry I put in all the journaling blocks. Embellishments include SEI and K&CO as well as assorted ribbons, buttons and felt from my stash. This year on Thanksgiving, each member of my family will write what they are especially thankful for in their own special spot in the book. Each member's initial already appears near their journaling block so there is NO GETTING OUT OF IT.




Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2009

~Weekend Projects & Happy Birthday~

 Happy Birthday Honey!!! For his birthday, Jason got to go out for a photo shoot with me ALL BY HIMSELF! He was just tickled pink!
I've decided I need to take a photography class and really learn how to use my camera. (Sure, I've got plenty of free time for that...)

Then, between running all over town with various kiddos to various sporting events and various parties (thanks for the help mom) I did manage to sneak in a little crafting time. Mostly, at 3:00am, but I'll take it. Here is what I got finished this weekend!

I made a cute little travel mug with Cosmo Cricket's Nutmeg collection.

I finally remembered to grab a photo of the album cover for my scrappy cookbook.

AND, I created this "sweet" layout from the kids' photo shoot a couple weeks ago. The papers are Collage Press, SEI and Crate Paper. I made an absolute mess of my scrap space roughing up the edges of these papers & photos with my beloved little edge distresser. I used a K&Co. rub-on for the rather large flourish at the bottom, a bit of a challenge I must say. Perhaps it was because I was going over several different papers and stitching. I die cut the felt flowers with my Sizzix. Oh, and I had loads of fun tying those teeny tiny buttons for the flower center. Note to self, use a longer strand of floss.

I did lots of machine stitching on this one but my favorite part of all is the pocket. It is really stitched on and it works perfectly to hold my journaling card.

Happy Monday!

November 21, 2009

~The Window~

Here are some more of my favorite shots from our stroll downtown last week. The kids had fun trying to peek into this cool old window. Guess what they saw inside? Antiques! It turned out to be the antique store where I found my vintage dictionary (poor old book, it's in many pieces now) and the Ball jars that I store my ribbons in.

Can't wait to get these scrapped! We miss you G, G & G!



November 18, 2009

~Tuesday's Tips & Techniques: Distressed Tags~

I love tags! They are so easy to make, so easy to embellish and they work just perfectly for journaling and titles. I often take a tag and use ink to distress it a bit. It is super quick and easy. Here is how I do my basic tag distressing.

Tags, or cardstock cut into a tag shape
Distress Ink
Blending tool, or wad of paper towel :)
Craft mat, or wax paper

I load my blending tool with ink and pounce it right onto my craft mat. Nope, not right onto the tag, right onto the mat. It's kinda hard to see but maybe you can make out the ink on my craft mat.

Then I pull the ink off the mat and onto my tag with circlular motion, drawing it off the mat bit by bit. This takes only a light touch. This technique makes the ink blend smoothly onto the tag and then the shape of the blender doesn't show.

I usually use at least two different colors of ink to give my tag dimension. This ink color shows up a bit better on my craft mat, can you see it there now?

Now, pull the second ink from the craft mat onto your tag. Remember to use a circular motion with a little upturn at the end, almost like you are sweeping crumbs off the kitchen table.

Once the tag is distressed, you can embellish to match your layout. I've used a Tim Holtz stamp set on this one.


Now, here is the technique for those of you without the blending tool. Whip out a paper towel and crunch it up into a ball. Done, there, that's a great ink blending tool! Use the same pounce and pull motion to load your paper towel with ink, pounce it onto your mat and pull it onto your tag.

Happy Distressing!

November 16, 2009

~Jolly Snowman~

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a major "thing" for snowmen. I have been collecting them for years and years. I love to put them up above my kitchen cabinets along with greenery and white lights for winter. Yes, winter, not just Christmas, I like them smiling at me through those long bleak days of January & February too. This year I found this cute paper mache snowman at Hobby Lobby. I snapped him right up off the shelf and nestled him down into my cart.

I was in one of those "obsessive-creative" moods when I started to work on him so I don't have any photos of him naked. I began by giving him a little green glimmer mist shower. I wanted his edges to show but not to look raw once I was finished with him. Well, the green was HORRID! I let him dry and then hit him with some brown Maya Mist. It started to pool a bit so I wiped it with a paper towel and MAGIC! He looked like antique bronze. I was tempted to put him out just like that but I had already gotten my Cosmo Cricket Jolly by Golly papers and chipboard all picked out for him to wear. So I went to work.
Cut, cut, cut, do over, and cut again, nope, cut, cut, cut some more and finally, glue it all on. Done!

Isn't he just darling!?!? I know I'm biased but I just love how he turned out.

Here is his face. I used some stiffened felt for his nose, pompoms for his eyes and Cosmo die cuts for his mouth:

His body sports buttons "tied" with jute. {They are not really tied through the buttons but tied and then stuck on to the buttons as the jute is too thick to fit through the button holes}

Here is his right side:

And his left side:

And from the back:

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