Friday, October 29, 2010

A Natural Calendar

Joans' Garden Challenge #21
I enjoy every aspect of nature and when the challenge came along from Joan's Gardens to use something from nature, of course I knew what I'd use the last remaining section of the Christmas tree for!  My girls tell me I never throw anything away - well in this case I am glad I didn't!  I love to have a smaller calendar for each year and traditionally have always done the CD Calendar.  For 2011, however, I'm going to the 6x6 vertical calendar to sit on my desk and inspire me.  So Joan's challenge gave me the opportunity to try it out and see if I like it; and truth be known, I absolutely love it.  This little section of a pine tree trunk is totally dried over the years so my hubbie took a large green paper clip and inserted it into the center of the chunk of wood.  Now all I do is slip my calendar for the month in and out of the giant paper clip.  These would be awesome for displaying those gorgeous cards we all get and want to drool over for just a few more days before tucking them away!

Joan's requirements were:

  • Something from Nature but not flowers - Real or handcrafted (such as twigs, corn husks etc.)
  • Something Punched
  • Something Green
  • A background for your focal point such as a Spellbinders Nestie  
My backdrop is a very dark green 6.25x6.25 of bazzill.  The top layer is 6x6 and from Webster's Pages Petite Papers (gotta love those papers!).  I double mounted the calendar (which I have updated for the year 2011 now), punched some butterflies out of colorful stock with my MS butterfly punch, covered with liquid glass and bent them so they would be in flight.  Altho they don't quite look like it in the photo, they are beautiful in person.

I also have a button and leaves hot glued to the wood piece.  So in essence I followed the formula as:  something from nature is my wood piece; something punched are my butterflies; something green is ribbon/paper clips/felt flower/green ribbon, and the background of my calendar for the month is a nestie.

Thanks for visiting; please let me know your thoughts pros and con.  Now I'm off to finish my calendar and do an extra one for Mrs. Secret Claus!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Trees, Thanksgiving and Joans Challenge #20

Joan's Gardens Challenge #20

As the wind blows around the upper Midwest it draws one's attention to the trees and how quickly they are shedding their leaves.  Each year is so different in our fall color - I have memories and photos of some awesome years and then this year has been one of those 'oh so so' years for us.  We have a maple in the front yard yet that still hasn't shed any and retains its green.

But in an effort to do a few Thanksgiving cards for the Caring Hearts Card Drive, I decided to put together this one. It will be my pattern for a few more and also an entry into Joan's Garden Challenge whose recipe requires:
  • A tree (any kind)
  • An embossed object (not a background)
  • Something cut out with a die
  • Brads
The tree is created on an alcohol ink background and matted twice; the brads are 3 gorgeous heritage green brads from Creative Imaginations; the rectangular die cut is embossed with white CTMH ep and then a small maple leaf button affixed near the Happy Thanksgiving; I also cut out another pear (upper left) and made a bit more dimension of the fruit as so appropriate for Thanksgiving and fall meals.  The paper is Webster's Pages Petite Papers Collection Triple Pack, which I dearly love every sheet of!  Hope you enjoyed it also.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Joan's Gardens Challenge #20

Hooray!  Off to a great start with my holiday cards - and I literally needed a challenge to do it!  I love, love, love the Basic Grey Jovial Paper Pack I won at Joans Gardens and the plaid is definitely a big fave of this Midwesterner!  Joan's recipe card requirements for Challenge #20 are:
  • A tree (any kind) - Christmas Evergreen
  • An embossed object (not a background) - The Evergreen
  • Something cut out with a die - 2 Nesties around the tree
  • Brads - Snowman

So I chose a 6x6 card size and embossed a Christmas Tree from the CTMH Evergreen clear stamps using Evergreen Embossing Powder from Ranger. I then die cut the tree with a nestability and shaded around the edge of the nestie with a lighter green.  I removed the actual mini embossed edge from the tree die and die cut another nestie (same size) in a green and mounted the 2 together so the green slightly extended beyond the tree die cut.   I also distressed the edges of the plaid BG Jovial with sandpaper and stitched that to a 6x6 black cardstock.  Then I decided to make my own Snowman brads using snowmen I've been hoarding for a few years.  Altho they could've been just stuck down with dimensional dots, I wanted a little movement and more of an impression to the recipient.  I used CA glue to strongly affix the brad to the back of the snowman button and wallah!  The CA glue is something my husband uses in his RC hobbies.  The real reason is I just wanted to be different!  The black ric rac, bow and beautiful acrylic snowflake attached to the ric rac are from stash also.  I'm striving to really make large dents in all my stash with cards this year!

4 more cards to my Christmas card box!  Hope I've inspired you to make something special today!

I couldn't resist working on some snowmen today - but glad they are only on paper yet!  This little fella is waterbrushed with CTMH Daisy White.  I simply pressed the pad to my acrylic block and lifted the paint from there.  A little touch up with copics to the heart and nose and wallah!  And of course he's distressed all around the edges - after all it's too warm for him to stay yet!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I'm working my way thru a huge stack of cards for the troops.  This is an example of many altho I don't follow exactly - I just use my sketch for a guide.  I'm on card #75 at present and have been able to use up a great deal of stash.

I realized also that this card will also satisfy the recipe card challenge #19 at Joan's Gardens so I uploaded it there as well.  I used a Martha Stewart punch/flowered pp/paper flowers and a Just Rite sentiment.   Come on over to Joan's Garden and order your card supplies - she has the latest and her shipping is perfect!

Get your supplies out and make up some cards to help our troops write home - click and you'll have the address!

HOORAY for myself!  As of this evening, I have completed 819 cards, a great majority have gone to the troops........and as of tomorrow morning another 80 will be on the way thru the mail system!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I have enjoyed sending a card a week to my youngest daughter who is an RN for kids in a major hospital in Milwaukee.  Most of her patients are in some phase of cancer and she really spends extra time with the children in her rounds, making cards, helping parents thru the various stages of the diseases, and sometimes, yes, sometimes helping them fill a scrapbook with memories of their loved ones who have lost the battle.  It's sad, but she loves her job, and she's great at her job!

So this week, this card goes to her for her desk - and it also goes into Joan's Garden Challenge #19.  I used a Martha Stewart punch for the top and bottom edges, I created my own paper flowers from the Cuttlebug quilled rose set, the Just Because is a Just Rite image, and my background paper is CTMH.

Do something special for someone this week - make their day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Flowers, border punches and Joans Garden Challenge 19

I'm enjoying creating paper flowers this week - I may never buy another prima!  And it's so easy to coordinate colors with your cards or layouts, so it's a no brainer for me!  Here's my entry for Joan's Garden Challenge 19.  Her requiremetns were:

Paper-Flower background paper - preferably Webster Pages
Rosette or paper flower
Stamp - Sentiment - preferably JustRite
Border Punch -preferably Martha Stewart

I didn't have Webster Pages so used a CTMH background paper from their fall pages.  The JustRite stamp came from a friend and the border punch is indeed Martha Stewart.  I love butterflies and the Making Memories metal butterfly in the upper right corner is enjoying his trip!  A set of gems in the lower right and we're ready to send to a friend!

Hope I inspired you to create something - anything - this week!

Move over manufactured flowers!

I am soooo loving my new Cuttlebug Quilling Kits!  These are my 1st 3 mums - and I have the project already for them!  A quick way to use up strips (and who doesn't keep their strips!) and a fast inexpensive embellishment to cards and layouts!  I just had to share with everyone - I'm probably the last person on the planet to learn to make these, huh?!  :)  Now on to the daisy and then the rose!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trick or Treat (and Joan's Garden Challenge #18)

 A surprise card for my great grandchildren!  This card also fulfills Joan's Garden Challenge #18 - a site I'm just loving to follow, participate in challenges and learn from the techniques.  Joan also has an awesome store designed for all of us card makers!    Her requirements for this challenge are:

Paper-Vertical Strip
Die Cut Flower - If you don't have a die cut you can cut by hand
Some kind of alteration to card stock- Diamond Glaze, cracked ice or anything to change the texture...even embossing
A Swirl - either pearls, rhinestones, paper, or stamped

This all evolved because recently I made up some 6 5/8 x 6 5/8 in. envelopes for a friend and realized I hadn't made up a 6x6 card in seemingly eons.  So this Trick or Treat card is just that.  I used Bazzill vanilla for the card base but did all my work on a special 6x6 of tiny spiders running thru it.  I distressed the edges with sandpaper and then used Distressed Black from CTMH for edging to deepen the contrast. 

The vertical strip is very narrow.  Actually the horizontal strip at the bottom started out as a vertical but alas as I changed my mind I found I liked the strip on the bottom so cut another for the left side.

I colored Tilda with copics and distressed her nestie she's sitting in.  Stretching the feet beyond the nestie is my first attempt at this.  Found the instructions on You Tube.  The pumpkins are EZ RUBONS from Royal Brush.  The flowers (SOLOZ Stamp) of which I have no name for are in 3D effect and the edges curled with a double point knitting needle.   The cats are and bat (on the broom) from Recollections and popdotted for lift.  "Trick or Treat" is a Heidi Grace Chipboard.

Visit Joan's store for some excellent buys!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Perfect Apple Recipes

Last evening our favorite apple orchard haunt's main building burned and the family business was destroyed...Oakwood Fruit Farm, Sextonville, WI.  I have been taking my children to this orchard for many many years - apples were always awesome and the family feeling one received as a customer was out of this world.  We only hope they will rebuild.   These recipes are from their family; I only wish I could share the taste and smell of those apples with you.

Grandma Louis' Old Fashioned Apple Butter

  1. 10 pounds of apples. Cook with peelings using very little water. (use apple cider or juice instead of water) Run through sieve colander to separate peelings from apple sauce.
  2. Add 5 pounds of sugar
  3. 2 rounded soup spoons of cinnamon
  4. 1 level soup spoon of cloves
  5. Stir and cook until desired thickness, about 45 minutes in an oven at 350
  6. Put in jars and seal
Makes about 15 8-10 ounce jars

Phyllis' Apple Crisp

  1. Slice apples in 11x17 pan
    1. Mix together scant 1/2 cup sugar
    2. 1 teaspoon tapioca
    3. 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
    4. Mix with apple slices
  2. Toppings:
    1. 3/4 cup flour
    2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
    3. 1/3 cup oatmeal
    4. 1/2 cup butter softened
    5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  3. Bake in oven at 350 until apples are done. About 1 hour.

Apple Dip

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
  1. Mix first 3 ingredients then add peanuts
  2. Slice apples and dip into mixture, tastes like carmel apples

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cuttlebug Quilled Flowers and Joans Garden Challenge #18

It's Halloween Greetings again and I'm slowly getting my Halloween cards done!  I just love these little vintage images!  This card is being entered in Joan's Garden Challenge #18.  The background of the card is MME and I sprayed it first with Tsukineko Lilac Walnut ink.  Then I ran it thru the Cuttlebug for a delightful Swiss Dots effect.  A piece of patterned paper runs downthe left hand side and fulfills the strip request in Joan's recipe challenge.  There is a lovely kit out from Cuttlebug that you can make these quilled dimensional flowers with.  I edged the whole card in Wisteria Color Chalk Ink and added Pebbles Candy Dots in Orange to the flower center and the fluorish.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween Time (Joans Garden Challenge #18)

Another Vintage Halloween card reads:
"Tonite upon your pillow,
Close your eyes and hide your head,
For the fairies and the goblins
Will be hovering round your bed!

Joan's Garden Challenge #18 requested we use the following:
Paper-Vertical Strip
Die Cut Flower - If you don't have a die cut you can cut by hand
Some kind of alteration to card stock- Diamond Glaze, cracked ice or anything to change the texture...even embossing
A Swirl - either pearls, rhinestones, paper, or stamped

My strip of pattern paper (MME) is to the left and actually is 2 strips with a bead line - all are distressed.  The daisies are die cuts that I rolled with a double edge knitting needle and covered with Liquid Glass (CTMH)  and rolled some more.  The flourish is part of a set from RECOLLECTIONS that just sets off my Vintage Halloween photo card.

 The flowers were something I've never done (rolling with needle) and just loved it.  Thank you Joan for pushing me one little bit further!  If you'd love to stretch your talents and perhaps win a prize, come on over!  See you there!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Joans Garden Challenge and Vintage Halloween!

With Joan's Garden challenge including stripes/plaids and dots on our cards, this led me to create a cutesie vintage Halloween Card.  Kept it simple but still impressive.

The paper is mainly MME Tres Jolee - from my stash which needs to be changed out very soon!  I am getting tired of the same ole stuff, kwim?  But at least I do have coordinating stripes/plaids/dots and I am planning on using it up for cards as long as I have a great example to go's much easier for me to do cards in assembly line style than one at a time.

The inside greeting reads:  You are he cutest pumpkin in the patch!  I hope you find time to create something this week - after all we are now heading into the holidays, aren't we?!

Friday, October 1, 2010

World Card Making Weekend and Challenges!

Here in Southwestern WI we are getting ready for our first hard freeze of the fall crops.  So needless to say, I spent another day outside - but it was sunny and beautiful no matter what the temps.  But it's also the beginning of World Card Making Day and with all the challenges this weekend, it's a tough call as to enter what where.  So hoping I have made an appropriate card for a few challenges as well as for Scrapbook Place card group, here I go.

My challenge was stripes/plaids/polka dots/pearls/circles at Joan's Garden challenge.  And I'm shooting this one into our Home Page Folder on Scrapbook Place as well.

The 3 papers are from MME and Cloud 9.  Various copic colors were used.  Hope you have a great weekend, but don't forget to make and send some cards to the troops.  Email me and I'll give you an address or two.