Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just Us Girls Challenge #9

Happy BELATED Thanksgiving everyone!  Today is the 9th week for Just Us Girls and our challenge blog!  Everyone has been so supportive and LOYAL, and for that we are all GRATEFUL!  We try very hard to keep our challenges fresh, fun, EASY, and we also try very hard to faithfully leave comments for all of our participants.  I must say, that I failed miserably at commenting last week and for that I apologize sincerely.  I can't explain everything I've been working behind the scenes but trust me when I tell you it has been a LOT :O)  Plus I'm studying for a promotion test next week so I'm tied up in that regard as well.  I PROMISE to get back to my normal commenting this week!!  Especially after my test on Wednesday ;] 

So, without further adieu, check out our fun 3-D/Template challenge hosted by our sweet, Mona this week. Oh, and I noticed on the JUGS site that our very GENEROUS Mona is also putting up a nice pile of BLOG CANDY as well!  Be sure to check it out if you haven't already.

For my gift package, I chose to use Lauren Meader's PTI "FOR KEEP{sake}" template.  It was PERFECT for the "gift" I had in mind.  My "gift" is a layered chocolate chip cookie mix!  Instead of using the typical jar to hold my mix, I used a clear treat bag that you can purchase at any craft store.  It proved to be a little more difficult to layer the mix without combining ingredients ( the flour you see that slid down into the brown sugar), but I LOVE how it turned out with this template!  NOTE:  I increased the dimension of the box and lid by 1/2 inch.  This made the lid a little too big, but it works for my overstuffed bag of mix ;]

I used Martha Stewart holiday patterned paper on PTI Select White cs.  I punched the windows using my Curved Rectangle Nestabilities after adhering the patterned paper.  I also cut slits in each side of the top of the lid to thread my ribbon through.  I used my Cuttlebug Snowflake ef on the aqua panel on the lid and sanded the flakes to make them appear white. 

I printed my recipe on some plain MS paper and left a little room for a stamped Inkadinkado flourish and snowflakes that I embossed in white.  I used white eyelash yarn to tie the recipe to my satin ribbon with some layered snowflakes and jingle bells :O)  I adhered the aqua ribbon around the lid and tucked it into one of the sides before adhering together.

Didn't it turn out cute?  I'm giving this gift to my friend's teenage daughter who loves to bake!  Hopefully I get to test the cookies when they're made ;]  LOL  Okay, so here's the recipe for my layered mix (press each layer down firmly before adding the next layer):

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour mixed with
             1 tsp baking soda
             and 1/4 tsp salt

...and the recipe to print on the tag ;]

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Empty bag of cookie mix into large mixing bowl.  Thoroughly blend mix.
2. Add:  1 ½ sticks butter or margarine, very soft
             1 egg slightly beaten
             1 tsp vanilla
3. Mix until completely blended.
4. Shape into balls the size of walnuts. Place 2” apart on greased baking sheets.
5. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies and finish cooling on racks. These cookies don’t firm up until completely cooled.

**Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies

That's all I have for you today, but be sure to check out the rest of the team's inspirational projects [<--- links in my left sidebar]!  They have some AWESOME eye candy this weekend...I already peeked ;]  We sure hope you can play along!  If you do, be sure to link it using Mr. Linky on the JUGS site and use keyword JUGS9 in any online galleries.  Don't forget about Mona's blog candy, it's a great pile :O)

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just Us Girls Challenge #8

So...have you played with the JUGS lately?  If not, you should definitely play this weekend!  Sweet Lisa is hosting a fab color challenge!  Here are the deets:

...and here is my card:

If you follow my blog or know me at all I am not a fan of orange.  I know today's challenge calls for Pumpkin Pie, but I don't own that color so I'm stuck with using orange :(  So, for my card, I did things kind of backwards.  Let me explain. 

I typically stamp my main image and look for awesome, coordinating patterned paper to add to my base panels. For today's card I cut out three layers of my bloom from PTI's In Bloom patterned paper, and stamped all of my other panels.  Oh and yes, I'm stuck on PTI's Fancy Flourishes stamps as well ;]  On the flower I popped up the two top layers using dimensionals and I colored the center of the flower with my VersaMark pen and heat-set with white embossing powder.  I stamped the rust panel under my flower with Tim Holtz' Vintage Photo Distress Ink using PTI's Background Basics: Text Style, and then stamped some Fancy Flourishes with VersaMark and heat set with White embossing powder.  I stamped a flourish design using the Antique Linen ink on my main rust panel, and stamped my pattern on the blue cs using the large In Bloom flower and Fresh Snow PTI ink.

I used a Martha Stewart punch with vellum and In Bloom patterned paper for my butterfly.  The vellum layer was in my stash...I stamped it a LONG time ago.  I added some blue pearl rhinestones and adhered with a glue dot.  I rounded alternating top corners on my panels and main layer and added some pretty blue twill ribbon I found at Michaels.  Isn't it pretty?  I love it! 

For my tag sentiment, I'll give credit right to Mona for that one!  She is the master of creating sentiment tags!  Hers turn out so beautifully every time.  Well, this is my stab at it ;]  I cut a piece of the In Bloom patterned paper and adhered it to the main tag before stitching them together.

My layout is from the very talented, Mercy Kerin's Tuesday Sketch Challenge (MTSC48)!  I flipped it to fit my design and I'm so happy I did!  I needed the extra space for my sentiment ;]

Hope you can play along with our super fun and EASY challenge this weekend!  We LOVE to see your work ;]  Be sure to add a direct link to your post using Mr. Linky on the Just Us Girls blog, and use keyword JUGS8 if you publish to any online galleries.

Don't forget to stop by our talented design team blogs!  You're sure to be inspired by their creativity!!  Links are in my left sidebar <---.  Oh, and sweet Ms. Dana has come down with something and just isn't feeling good at all this week!  She doesn't have a project to share but maybe some well wishes will bring a smile to her face :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend :]

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Abundant Thanks

Happy Sunday everyone ;]  I wanted to share another photo from Stampin' Around Philly and a thank you card I made with a set we received FREE from Papertrey Ink!! 

Ms. Becky Oehlers from PTI was one of our instructors!!  She's so COOL!  Her projects were awesome...they included one of Lauren's Timeless Templates (Take Note) and 3 cards to fill it!  She also brought us all a FREE Autumn Abundance set!  That was extra nice, considering it's one of the PTI sets I don't already own but always wanted :) I have to admit, I am a slooooooooow papercrafter (my High School art teacher said that was due to the fact that I am a perfectionist...I think she hit on something :)...and I definitely did not finish my projects in class :(  BUT, I WILL finish...and share some day.  LOL 

In the meantime, here's a card I DID finish using the free set:

...and here's a picture of me with Ms. Becky herself:

My color palette came from this week's Color Throwdown challenge (CTD68) courtesy of Broni :o)

Notice it doesn't APPEAR that I used all of the colors, but I DID!!  I promise.  Mind you I used Copics to color my image and I have a VERY limited supply, but I used Pale Sepia for my orange (it's a stretch, I know), and Mustard for my yellow (another stretch, but same family)...overall I focused on my absolute favorite colors from the combination and ran with it.  I also added green for my leaves (lots of cheating on this card, huh?)  LOL

Okay, just a quick post tonight, but I hope to be back mid-week with more eye candy!

Oh, and please don't forget about the JUGS charitable challenge for the Andersons!!  We haven't had a huge response but are soooo hoping we'll get a better turn out this week.  Only $3 to purchase the cute digi image Katie Cotton of Paper Makeup Stamps designed of sweet Henry the Snow Angel Fairy and all proceeds go to his family.  If you are not famliar with using digital images, check out the instructions (linked below) over at PCS who also have a digi image for sale in honor of Henry!  Giraffe & Monkey

Okay, I'm really finished now :O)  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just Us Girls Challenge #7

Today is a VERY special day for our group.  Not only is it challenge day over at Just Us Girls, it's Dana's birthday!!!!  Since her birthday falls on our normal challenge day, we decided that we would surprise her in a different way than how the group surprised me (remember the blog hop?).  So, we told Dana that today's challenge was to use the dry embossing technique and to make a thank you card!  BUT, the rest of the group got together and decided that the REAL challenge would be to use the same technique and make a birthday card instead!!  So, here are the OFFICIAL challenge deets!  I made two graphics so that we could keep up our ploy, so ignore Dana's graphic and use this one, please!!  LOL

...and here is the card I made for my sweet, adorable friend, Dana :)

It's hard to see in the picture, but I used the dry embossing technique with my Cuttlebug Swirls folder on the green panel.  I also incorporated heat embossing using my flourish from PTI, VersaMark and white embossing powder.  I LOVE how it looks with the vintage flower I created!  I used my brand new pack of Basic Grey patterned paper that Tammy bought for me to make the flower.  I used the three smallest sizes of the Spellbinders Blossom die to cut my bloom, and I added two layers of each size.  I crumpled the paper and then sponged Tim Holtz' Vintage Photo distress ink around the edges.  I sewed the button on and used Zip Dry to adhere to my card.

I know there isn't a sentiment on the front...I just didn't want to add any more to Dana's card...but this IS a birthday card, I promise!!  To prove it, I took a picture of the inside this time...and I even decorated it a little ;]  I mean, this IS Dana we're talking about!  She deserves all the bells and whistles!!  LOL

Soooo, HAPPY BIRTHDAY my sweet friend!  Hope your friends and family treat you like a queen this weekend!  This colorful card (hopefully your style...I know you love color...and NOT red :O) is on it's way to you!  I just wish I could celebrate with you ;]

Everyone else, it's your turn to play along!  Please post a link to your card using Mr. Linky on the JUGS blog, and use keyword JUGS7 if you upload to any of the online galleries.  Can't wait to see what you come up with!!  Check out the team projects (in my left sidebar <----) to see what they made for Dana...and the thank you card Dana made :O)  LOL

Don't forget about our special, charitable challenge Lisa posted on Thursday!  You can read about it's a wonderful cause and there is blog candy involved ;]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Us Girls Charity Challenge

Today the Just Us Girls team is hosting a special, charitable challenge in memory of little Henry, Sara Anderson's son who passed away unexpectedly at the tender age of 3.  You can read more about Henry and Sara on the JUGS blogLisa pulled this all together just to do a good deed and hopefully raise some money for the family by asking our participants to purchase the Henry snow angel over at Paper Makeup Stamps for $3 and to create a project with it.  Lisa is also offering a $15 gift certificate to Paper Makeup Stamps as blog candy!

My card is pretty basic...some cool patterned paper, a little Copic coloring, some CHUNKY glitter (thanks for the tip on that one, Lauren!!  BUY this in the children's section at your craft's WAY cheaper), some buttons and a LOT of stitching...I'm talking a couple hours JUST to stitch this card...and some dimensionals.  I used Mercy's Tuesday Sketch Challenge (MTSC46)for my layout.

We sure hope you will purchase this cute little snow angel in honor of Henry and in support of his loving, grieving family.  Please post a link to your card using Mr. Linky over at JUGS if you play along so that you are in the running for the blog candy! Also, be sure to check out the DTs' creations (<-- links in my left sidebar) and our sweet guest designer and owner of Paper Makeup Stamps, Katie Cotton.

Hope you have a great Thursday and Friday!  I'll see you back here on Saturday for our normal JUGS challenge ;)  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stampin' Around Philly...with friends!!!

I'm back from Philly, and boy did I have fun stampin' around!  LOL  I seriously did though.  I am so fortunate that I got to meet two really good blogging buddies while I was there, Tammy Hershberger and LeAnne Pugliese!  I LOVE those ladies!  Just as much in person as online!!  I roomed with LeAnne and a sweet young lady who I met when I arrived - Jackie Rakoski!  Two great roommates IMO...which we all know isn't always easy to come by when you're rolling the dice.  Here's a picture of the two of them:

LeAnne (left) & Jackie (right)

We only stayed overnight so most of our time together was in the stamping room.  Here's a shot of me and Tammy there:

...and me and LeAnne:

This next picture was taken in the dining room while Tammy and I pretended to be gazing into the skylight...which was actually a large porthole window...and I couldn 't help but laugh.  Did I mention that Tammy is hilarious?!  She cracks me up know she has me rolling in person!  Ha ha  I made this into a "vintage photo" just for fun...  Kind of looks like a post card to me ;]

If you read Tammy or LeAnne's blogs (...Mona?? :) you probably saw a picture of the three of us...with me squinting in the sunlight!  LOL  Well, this photo was taken at the same time just turned around and out of the sun. 

Sooooo...Tammy and LeAnne aren't only sweethearts and a hoot to be around, they are very thoughtful also!  LeAnne brought me the cutest little treat box she made filled with gourmet chocolates from a local chocolate shop!  Oh, and I'm sitting here devouring the chocolates at midnight because I'm starving...and they aren't just chocolate, but chocolate with PEANUT BUTTER!! I'm thinking someone read my blog post where I mentioned PB cups are my
FAVORITE!  Gourmet chocolate with PB is like royalty to PB cups!  DELISH!  Thank you, LeAnne!!  Isn't this box the cutest?

The frame is another gift she brought me for my birthday.  She bought the frame and used rub ons to glam it up!  I LOVE how it turned out and those colors are PERFECT for me!  Totally my will go beautifully in several rooms of my house...but I suspect I'll keep it in my craft room ;]

Tammy brought me a pack of Basic Grey patterned paper wrapped in kraft paper and tied with ribbon with a cute little tag attached!  I didn't take a picture of the wrapped present, but you can view them on Tammy's blog ;]  You can also check out some of the Basic Grey paper from the pack on these two thank you cards I made (Thank you, Tammy!!):

One for Tammy and the other for LeAnne.  Pretty simple really as I just used rub ons, did some layering and tied a pretty ribbon.  Oh, and I used Mercy's Tuesday Sketch Challenge from two weeks ago for my layout (MTSC45).  Isn't it the best?  She has FAB sketches.  Funny thing is when I tried tackling this sketch the week before last, NOTHING came to me and I really struggled to put something together...eventually throwing it aside.  Last night, it took me about an hour to throw these together (without adhering...I did that tonight) doubts, no failing elements...everything just WORKED.  IMO anyway!  I love how they turned out.

Okay, I'm writing this with TIRED eyes, so hopefully I didn't miss anything or fail to mention something.  I'll share more Philly pictures soon...sharing some of the projects we made and another pic of me and Becky Oehlers.

Swing by on Thursday for a special post!  You DON'T want to miss it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just Us Girls Challenge #6

Hi all!  Today marks the 6th week over at Just Us Girls and today Maria is hosting a fab sketch challenge!! 

This is my take on the sketch:

I love these colors together and couldn't get them off my mind for some reason!  So, I went with the palette.  I really love how it turned out!  I hope to never need this card, but we all know the circle of life and I expect that it will come in handy when I least expect it. 

I colored the tree by using a red marker first to color the leaves, then I used the brown marker to cover the trunk and branches and any stray red marks...huffed and pressed it to the cs.  I originally stamped the sentiment using Sahara directly under the tree, but it was a little off, so I restamped on cs and trimmed it with a curved rectangle nestie, pasted it under the tree and cut my circle.  I used a Martha Stewart punch for the brown and vanilla flowers on the left and used a red brad to hold them together.  I adhered to the cs using a glue dot.  I think the rest is pretty self explanatory, so I won't go into too much detail ;]

Looking for more inspiration?  Check out our fabulous DT members' blog!  They're sure to wow you!

If you play along this week, be sure to post your project using Mr. Linky on the Just Us Girls blog and use keyword JUGS6 in any online galleries :O)

Hope you can play along!  We love seeing your gorgeous creations, and just by playing you will be in the running to be our next Chic of the Week!

Have a great weekend.  I'll be in Philly...Stampin' Around :]

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Birthday Wish

Happy Monday everyone!  Today is a very special day for me...and my mother I suppose ;]  It's my birthday!  I'm officially 36 years old  I am closer to 40 than to 30!  Weird to think considering I don't feel a day older than 25. 

Many of you already know that today is my birthday thanks to my wonderful friends and JUGS teammates who planned a surprise blog hop in honor of my special day!  They made me feel so good that they did that :]  Each team member was sweet enough to make a card just for me (and a magnet from Maria :) if you arrived here after hopping along each team member's blog, thank YOU also for taking the time to help me celebrate my special day!  If you didn't, you definitely want to pop on over to the Just Us Girls site so that you can see the BEAUTIFUL projects the girls made for me :O)  I'm so lucky to be a member of the fabulously creative team!  These ladies are the BEST in my book ;]

Okay, since we're on the subject of birthdays, let me share a birthday card I made for a dear friend of mine...before I go through the list of birthday goodies I received :O)

I used the Color Throwdown challenge (CTD66) for my palette:

...and I used the Limelight Sketch challenge for my layout, featuring Celebrity Guest Designer, Lauren Meader (part of the challenge is to incorporate butterflies in your project):

I stamped PTI's Background Basics, Text Style on the Bordering Blue cs and layered it under my main panel. I also punched my Martha Stewart butterfly from the stamped cs.  I used PTI's Wishing You set on my main panel.  I popped up two of the larger tulips using dimensionals, added a couple of pearls to the layered butterfly (can you see the razzleberry butterfly under the folded one?), and tied a bow using some satin white ribbon.  Easy stuff, but hopefully worthy of my good friend's special day! 

Onto my birthday goodies... :O)

My sweet husband bought me a new camera to replace the one that kicked the bucket a couple months ago.  I've been using his and was so surprised by how well his camera photographed my projects compared to my old camera, it was almost a blessing in disguise that mine quit working.  I used to STRUGGLE to capture a good shot before and would take like 20 pictures before I would settle on one I deemed good enough to post.  With his camera, I can take one picture and it's good!  He bought me the same brand and make so hopefully I will be equally successful with mine :)

My daughter, Tia, and her friend, Hazel, made a birthday poster for me and Tia bought two sets of stamps, some Rochelle candy and LOTS of peanut butter cups (my FAVORITE)!  Her stamp choices were sooo sweet...she decided on the "Family" set from Stampology (awwh...tear).  She also bought a cute sentiment set that I will be using repeatedly, I'm sure!  Oh, and the basket she picked up to display my goods is extra cute and I can definitely use it to store some craft supplies ;]

My mom sent me my Great Grandmother's Swedish Bible that I have been requesting for years.  It is by far one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received.  The Bible is leather bound and intricately engraved on the front, back and spine, and it's written entirely in Swedish.  There is a date written on the front page with her name and what I believe is the name of her Pastor, along with a raised seal.  I believe the date signifies my Great Grandmother's first communion.  It is dated September 17th, 1911, which means she was just entering her teen years when she owned it.  What I find REALLY neat about the Bible is that she tucked a few things inside the book that she treasured.  I found two pressed flowers, one unique blade of grass (or what almost looks like it could have been baby's breath), a tiny card with a heart shaped sticker and her mother's name written on it, a scrap of newspaper or phone book type paper that I assume was simply a bookmark for her, a small leaf, and a lock of her hair.  My daughter was creeped out by the lock of hair, but I find it fascinating!  It's almost as if a part of my Great Grandma is with me...still as thick and pretty as it was when she used to brush and curl it :]  Just warms my heart.  Oh, and don't let me forget that my mother also sent me a gorgeous pair of birthstone earrings!  LOVE them!!

My sis bought me a PTI stamp set that I've been wanting but putting off forever!  The Fancy Flourishes set :O)  I can't wait to get my hands on that one!!  -->UPDATE:  No sooner did I type what my sister ordered from PTI did the mailman arrive with yet another package from my sis!  She bought me a ton of stamps, embellishments, patterned paper and a scrapbook!!  She also sent money...she's in soooo much trouble when I get a hold of her!!  LOL

Last but not least, my friend, Dan (who is actually my husband's best friend) bought me a hand painted wine glass titles "Queen".  It has a bunch of tiaras and crowns on it, rhinestones and glitter!  It's so unique, I love it!  I even used it last night already ;]

I hope I didn't forget anyone...though if any of you made it this far, I'm sure you're bored out of your mind by now!  LOL  Thanks again for sharing my special day with me, and thank you for all the well wishes!  I'm having such a wonderful day :O)