Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Last of the Cards and "Marshmallow Day"

As I mentioned earlier, I fell a little short with my Jingle Belles challenge cards and thanks to this beautiful candle die, I was able to pull together the remaining cards I needed for this year.  I stamped the background with both VersaMark ink and Marina Mist stamped off once to give it that foggy look.   And then, after I cut out all the components, assembled the candle and greenery.  The centers of the flower are dabs of liquid paper (the crafty kind, not the office supply type).   Don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the drip part of the candle was cut out of glossy white paper to give the candle some dimension.    You can see below that my dining room table is a mess with cards.  HWNSNBP and I have an agreement that since I make the cards, it's his job to sign and address them...... and even pick out who gets which one once I've gone through them for the personal ones that I need.  

And speaking of a mess, Sunday was "Marshmallow Day"......... well at least here in this house.  The making of the marshmallows doesn't take that long really.  And the recipe is simple (find the link in this post).  There's just some lengthy waiting for them to set up, so I usually let them sit overnight and get a fresh start in the morning.  So I guess you could say that it's a two-day job. 

Anyway, I made a large batch each of the vanilla and the cinnamon and have divvied them up for distribution to Physical Therapy, my spine doctor's office, and for school.  There happily is a little to spare for home.  This is working out quite nicely since there is no bending involved in  making these and I'm not on my feet that long either.  I'll be making half batches of each tomorrow for some more gifts that I need for some dear friends.

Well, the tree is almost complete....... waiting for HWNSNBP to finish up with the bigger ornaments on the bottom.  And once that's done I have another little decorating project to tackle this year which I hope to share soon.  He keeps telling me that he wants everything to be done by Sunday night so we can sit down and enjoy it for a few days before Christmas and just maybe that might happen this year. 

Speaking of Sunday night, they're advertising the Sing-a-Long Sound of Music to air then.  Believe it or not, I actually went to a live, in the theater Sound of Music Sing-A-Long with my good friend JT and it was a lot of fun.  Truth be known, I usually do sing-a-long even when the words aren't on the screen at home.  We just won't have the props that they had in the theater.  

If you're in the neighborhood and want to sing-a-long with me, I'll be here and there'll be marshmallows......... just sayin'.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jingle Belle Round-Up and a Quick Little Tree Project

Above you see my stash of completed Jingle Belle Challenge cards for this year.  I am soooooooooooooo glad that I decided to do this again this year.  The way that things turned out health-wise, I would have been hard-pressed to get enough cards done if I had waited until this month.  I still need a few more and what I'll do is pick a couple of the easiest to recreate and do a few more of each of those and possibly a few more with some other goodies I have not yet had the chance to use.  I have a few certain cards picked out for certain people but for the most part, it will be up to HWNSNBP to choose a card, sign it from both of us and post it.  I've made it pretty easy for him with an Excel spreadsheet with all the names and addresses.  This way he gets to be a part of the process.

And, speaking of easy, here's a quick little project I finished this weekend.  It started with three tubes of small glittered ornaments that were in the clearance section of the Dollar Spot at Target post-Christmas last year.  I just fell in love with the colors and despite the fact that they were glittered (I do not particularly like working with glitter), I thought that they would make a splendid tree.  Getting my daughter to picture it was a little difficult.  She wasn't sure that I would have enough ornaments, but I made it work.

I started by using a pair of jewelry pliers to snap off the little hangers.  This was done because my first attempt at screwing those suckers into the styrofoam cone wasn't quite working out like I wanted (see the evidence of that fail at the bottom of the cone).  Talk about mess...........if I didn't do it just right with the right amount of pressure, they were shooting all over the room.  And I must admit that a couple of the cracked a bit, but not to worry, that wasn't going to show.

I painted the cone with some silver metallic acrylic paint and let it dry.  Then I got out my glue gun and glued them onto the cone.  I almost said randomly, but it wasn't done randomly.  There were five colors and I kept the same order for each row just moving them over a couple so the same colors were not together on each level.

Uh, yeah, well, it didn't quite look complete did it?   Maybe she was right and I should have gotten a few more of those tubes, after all they were only 25 cents each.  Hmmmm.....

A trip to Dollar Tree for some silver garland saved the day.  I snipped it into 2" pieces and then folded them and glued them between the ornaments.

Oh, yes, and the bottom, well there weren't quite enough ornaments to cover the whole cone (I know, I know, she really was right after all!) so, not wanting to cut off the ornamentless bottom, I wrapped more of the garland around the bottom giving it a sparkling silver base.

And here it is for the time being on the coffee table alongside a silver paper and glittered ornament I found in Walmart.

The total cost of the tree was less than $3 and I do like the way it turned out which made it a bonus for me even though it was not how I had pictured it in my head.  

Gotta run and finish those cards now!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Jingle Belles - Christmas Feast

I'm sure those Corgi's are feasting on those candy canes as the children put together their gingerbread house.  I used my Tasha Tudor stamp again (click here for the card I made in April using it).  I usually like to stamp the images that I am going to watercolor in Basic Gray ink and I did this time too, but about half way through I started regretting that a bit.  I might have to try it in black also, though the softness of this doesn't look too bad IRL.  I'd love some constructive criticism.

I combined an MS border punch with a branch punch to fatten up the gingerbread garland.  Oh, and those tiny ginger bread men were also part of a border punch but I just chose to use the punch outs and added their little icing details with a gel pen.  

So I'm pretty sure that this is the last Jingle Belle challenge for 2014 and I want to thank Lauren and Stephanie for all the wonderful challenges and support they give throughout the year helping us to keep December a lot more manageable.  Merry Christmas ladies!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

End of November and Two Inches of Art a Day

We get so much junk mail at work and some of it has really cool graphics.  I decided to cut out some of that art in the shape and size of the boxes on my desk calendar and glued them over each day as it passed.  It went a lot faster than I expected and became a lot easier when I took a scrap of transparency film and cut that out to the size to use as a lay-over pattern when deciding what graphics to use.  I found this size calendar at the Dollar Tree last December and it was the perfect size for the corner of my desk but they don't have the same one for next year, or at least not yet.  I'm hoping I'll still be able to find one this size again.

Now to finish up the Two Inches of Art a Day

Nov. 16 - Inspiration:  Squares.
(Markers and Gel Pen)

Nov. 17 - Inspiration:  Dotted Swirls.
(Metallic Sharpies and Micron Marker)

Nov. 18 - Inspiration:  Silver and Neon.
(Metallic Sharpie and Markers)

Nov. 19 - Inspiration:  Snowflake.
(Scribbled Pencil)

Nov. 20 - Inspiration:  Last of the Leaves.
(Melted Crayon Shavings)

Nov. 21 - Inspiration:  Bluebirds.

Nov. 22 - Inspiration:  Bluebirds.

Nov. 23 - Inspiration:  Last of the Mums.

Nov. 24 - Inspiration:  String of Squares.
(Micron Pens)

Nov. 25 - Inspiration:  String of circles.
(Micron Markers)

Nov. 26 - Inspiration:  It's a Maze Thing.
(Micron Marker)

Nov. 27 - Inspiration:  Peppermint Candy.
(Micron Markers)

Nov. 28 - Inspiration:  Holiday Flannel Pajamas.
(Micron Markers)

Nov. 29 - Inspiration:  Time to Tangle.
(Micron Marker, Pencil)

Nov. 30 - Inspiration:  Message of the Month.
(Watercolors and Micron Marker) 

And here is the whole month at once.

I hope you enjoyed viewing this challenge.  I certainly did enjoy keeping up with it.  Thanks again Michelle for the idea. 

Now........on to December. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November Card Catch Up

This card above and below was made for a friend of ours who celebrated his 60th birthday this month.  Part of our Table 7 crew and the last of the men to reach 60.  That means the ladies are next starting in March.  It will be another year to celebrate 60 years.  

I used the retiform technique to be able to use different themes that depicted his interests.  And it was bigger than normal to accommodate all that - 8" x 8".  

And sadly I had to make a sympathy card this month for some friends whose adult children had a car accident and one of them didn't make it.  How my heart is aching for them.  They are friends of my daughter and we've known them for a long time and they're still kids to me.  I can't even begin to imagine what their family is going through and I really didn't have the words.

A blogging friend recently had double knee replacement surgery and since she always makes me smile with her humorous and poignant posts, I sent her a box of sunshine. (I hope you're seeing a honey colored card and not the intense greenish gold that I am seeing.  Don't know if it's the camera or my computer?)

Okay, it's time to count the Christmas cards in my box and see how many more I need to create.  Luckily, thanks to the Jingle Belles challenges I am way ahead of where I would be if I hadn't taken part this year.  One more challenge this week and we'll be done until January.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Wishes and Treats

And I do hope your Thanksgiving was stuffed with Happiness!

This little box was stuffed with some holiday sweets.  I made my spice cookies a little smaller than normal in order to fit it.  Stacked and wrapped four cookies and then threw in a few Hershey Kisses.

I stamped the flower on three of the sides and the sentiment you see on the front.  I tied some raffia on the handle and these were sent to the secretaries in our school district.  

Last night I came across a recipe for pumpkin cranberry butter on Pinterest that originated at Athletic Avocado.  Last year I had picked up some delicious cranberry butter at Trader Joe's but I couldn't find it this year.  And being that I had just opened a large can of pumpkin and only used a portion of it for my pumpkin roll dessert, had a bag of cranberries in the fridge, and it looked quick and easy I decided to make this this morning.  (I do admit that I did not have any honey in the house, but HWNSNBP was going out to the store for our fresh vegetable so he was also able to pick up a jar of honey.)

Cranberries are so pretty aren't they?

The recipe calls for:  
1 cup of frozen cranberries (mine were not frozen)
3 tbsp. of honey
1/3 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 tbsp. of cinnamon (I used way less than this because I was looking for tartness)

Put the cranberries and honey in a sauce pan and heat them for 7-10 mins. until they are saucy.

Yes, saucy.

Add the butter and cinnamon and continue to heat for 5 more minutes whilst stirring.

When cooled put it in a container and refrigerate.

We had biscuits with dinner and I tried the butter on one but found the biscuits a little too salty to go along with the tartness.  I think that it will be great on scones though and can't wait to give that a try this weekend.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Two Inches of Art a Day - Continued

On a whim I decided to use the same color palette for these next six creations.  I wondered while doing this if this would be how someone would design their own scrapbook paper.  In each case I used two little ink pads that came in my Paper Pumpkin kits.  Additionally I used some markers in the same color family, a black marker, and also a gold gel pen on one of them.

Nov. 10 - Inspiration:  Empty lemon bag. 
(plastic mesh bag, mini ink pads, colored markers, black marker) 

Nov. 11 - Inspiration:  Gold Gel Pen.
(mini ink pads direct to paper and gel pen)

Nov. 12 - Inspiration:  Circles.  I used anything on the table that could produce a ring.
(mini ink pads and markers)

Nov. 13 - Inspiration:  Stamp pads as block stamps.
(mini stamp pads and marker)

Nov. 14 - Inspiration: Swipe.
(mini ink pads and coordinating markers)

Nov. 15 - Inspiration:  On the Edge.  I turned the ink pads on their sides to swipe them down.
(mini ink pads and markers)

I like almost all of them.