Jan 23, 2014

Little Boy Valentine

Well I sure hope you are staying healthy and well this Winter.  Knock on wood, I haven't been sick yet however,  I have been flirting with those little germs a bit too much for comfort!  First my daughter had the stuff and now my grandson has it.  Poor guy has been running pretty high temps today.

While he is resting, I thought I would do a quick post of some Valentine cards I made for my two youngest grandsons.

The cards below were made using my Cricut.  I have to say,  I have always loved my Cricut but have been a little disgruntled with them lately.  I tried to use my Gypsy and it didn't work.  The power light comes on but the screen is black. I have had my Gypsy for a long time but have barely used it.

I did quite a bit of research on line.  I actually found a blog where someone had given instructions on how to reboot the machine and it had resolved her issue.  I was elated that I had found the solution to my problem but unfortunately that would not be the case for me.

I sent a message to the Cricut help desk.  Their only suggestion was to send it in for repair.  I am pretty frustrated with the quality of this machine and the short amount of time I actually used it. I think I spent more time getting all of my darn cartridges loaded on the thing than I actually used it for projects. I'm not really sure I am ready to dump another chunk of money into something I don't really love.  They no longer make the Gypsy, so from what I understand, parts used for the repair will not be new.  I have never LOVED this machine other than the fact that it holds all of my cartridges and I don't have to lug them with me when I go to crops. 
I did see that just this week Cricut announced that they are coming out with another machine. I think the company seems to be gearing their new items toward their new online program called Cricut Craft Room.  I am not sure how this works but I am intrigued. I think you can actually purchase one image instead of having to purchase the entire cartridge, which I like.  I also like that you can use the computer screen instead of that tiny screen on the Gypsy.  You can bet that I will be researching my options. When I have some time I plan to work on the Cricut Craft Room site.   I'll let you know what I think.  If anyone has advise or knowledge on this subject I would sure love to hear a comment from you on any advise you might have. I know some of you gals use your Cricut more than I do and are quite experienced.

OK enough whining from me. Back to my project.  

I made this card using the New Arrival cartridge.  I cut all of the images out twice so I could have a front and back.  This served two purposes. First, on the plane, I wanted to put tiny pics of the kids sitting in the windows.  Cute right?!   I was able to stick the pictures in between the to cutout pieces.  Second, I was able to put the string in between the two layers,  giving it a finished look.  Just remember that the back piece will need to be reversed which can be achieved by choosing the flip option.

Well my patient is calling me.  Back to my duties.
Have a great day.

Jan 17, 2014

Simple Stamping Technique Without Harsh Lines

I haven't had many posts lately.  My poor daughter has been sick with the flu.   Ugh!  I have been trying to help her out with the kids.  Well, it wasn't technically the flu.  According to her doctor it didn't test positive for the flu but is a virus that acts just like it.  She ran a fever for well over a week, 10 days I think.  Anyone who knows me,  knows that I am a little bit (alot) afraid of germs.  Let me tell you... I have sanitized her house and my hands more than anyone might think possible.  I am trying hard to keep me and the kids from getting this terrible thing. She is starting to feel better now yeah!

Tomorrow is my Mother's Birthday.  Of course I had to find time to make her a card.  This is a special birthday so I didn't want anything silly.  I decided to make a card that is simple and one that hopefully she will find elegant too.  I used a wooden stamp from Stampendous called Flower Field.  I believe I purchased this at Michaels. I used my Distress markers to color in the image right on the stamp block so that I could control where to lay my color. I didn't want to stamp it in black first because I didn't want the harsh lines. 

Use your markers to color in the image on the stamp itself. If the stamp is detailed this may take a while, so once all areas on the stamp are colored in,  you need to "huff" on the stamp.  Your warm breath will re-wet the ink.  Then stamp as usual.  This is a great technique for an image in which you don't want the harsh black lines. Give it a try!  If you have any questions just place a comment and I will try to answer them.

Have a great day!

Jan 10, 2014

Yummy Chicken and Black Bean Soup

I found another great recipe this week.  I got this one from SkinnyTaste.com. So far this website is two for two! I made a few changes to the recipe for myself and I will list those below.  You can click on the link above if you would like to see the original recipe on the Skinny Taste website.
 I didn't really change much from the original recipe but thought I would share how I made mine.
The original called for Ancho Chili Powder, I used regular.  I would have added onion as well but forgot.  I made this on the stove top instead of the crock pot............ because I didn't get it done that morning :)  I already had leftover chicken from one that I had roasted the night before.  I followed the directions on how to make the soup otherwise.
When the soup was ready to serve I smashed my avocado with a little lime juice and put a dollop in my soup and served it with a few tortilla chips.  It was DELICIOUS and easy.  By the way... leftovers were even better.  The nutritional information can be found on the Skinnytaste website as well.   I hope you try this.  I know it's going to be a keeper at our house.

  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (10 oz) cans Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 16 oz (2) skinless chicken breast (shredded)
  • 2 medium scallions, diced
  • cut limes, for serving 
  • 1 medium haas avocado, sliced
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)

Jan 8, 2014

Make A Special Valentine

Well believe it or not I am actually trying to get a head start on Valentines day.  I've ordered some stuff to make my cookies and I am trying to work on cards. Today I thought I would share a book that I made for my granddaughter. 

Quite some time back I bought a Cinch Machine.  I have been really wanting to try it out so I decided to make a small book. It can serve as a valentine card since I made the story about a Heart Princess. Emma is five and very much into anything that has to do with a princess, sparkles, fairies or HER LOL!  .... well you know, typical little girl.  As for the Cinch I have to say I love it.  It was pretty easy to use by following the directions.  I think you could make some pretty cool gifts with this thing.

Let me first say that I am no artist. I draw a little but eh... you know.  Well anyway I made this book and I made up a story about a girl who helps a fairy and in return for her kindness becomes a Heart Princess.  I put some work into it, but not a CRAZY amount because I wanted her to actually use the book and I figure it will get it's fair share of abuse.  I do think she will love it.

I used paper primarily from the DCWV paperstack called Once Upon A Time.  It is really a beautiful paper stack.  I bought this a long time ago to make a birthday card.  You can see that post called Princess and A Frog Card. I posted it on May 31st, 2011.

For the top picture I just drew a simple little girl shape and then made her into a fairy by cutting out some wings from Vellum.  I used a little bit of Stickles to give them some sparkle.  I don't really know what the background paper was. It was a scrap that is really old but I liked the colors and the large flowers which helped to make the fairy look small.  I embellished it with a few of my Prima flowers too.
For the second picture, I actually used a picture I had of Emma and I took it to the window and traced the outline so I could get the dimensions right and also so the facial features would resemble Emma. Since I'm not that great of an artist I figured this would help.  WOnce I had the basic shapes traced I took the paper off of the window and drew in the details.  When I was done with the drawing, I used a Sharpie Ultra Fine marker to make the lines really bold.  I erased the pencil and scanned the picture on my printer to save it to my computer. At this point I was able to use it like a digi stamp.  I sized it to the size need for my book.  I printed it on paper suitable for Copic coloring colored it in with my Copic markers.  I cut into the dress part with my craft knife and poked some lace through just to give it some dimension and I also added some pearls to her belt with one my Viva Pearl Pens.

On the last page I did draw a picture free hand.    I tried to use some of Emma's features and just make them more mature.  I only did this because a "grown up" Emma was needed to fit with my story.  I also had some free time on my hands as the kids were on Christmas break and I was at my daughters for the day.

I really had fun making this book.  I might attempt another book for my younger granddaughter. If I do I will post some pics on here but I am not sure I can get it done by Valentines day.  We will see!

Trick or Treaters

Hello!  Happy Thursday.  As mentioned in yesterday's post, I wanted to share the other two cards I created using the shadow techniq...