Sunday, December 20, 2015

Season's Tweetings, musically!

Who doesn't love birds singing? Well, maybe not if you're trying to sleep a few more minutes, but other than that?

Today's card features a new die I picked up at Tuesday Morning. Yes, the musical notation die (Darice) just jumped off the shelf at me! It WANTED to go home with me, I swear.

The birds are Lawn Fawn's from Season's Tweetings.

In real life today's Christmas music is Diana Krall's "Christmas Songs". 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Special Gold Wishes

Today is the last day of the Holiday Coffee Lovers Blog Hop. For this last day I have another teacup card, and a bonus card that is a variation on my last post's card.

The cups are both The Alley Way Stamps' Tea Par-Tea or Swee-Tea. The holly leaves and berries are Paper Smooches dies, as are the scalloped frames.

The "Merry Christmas" sentiment is from a Paper Smooches Christmas Words die. Wowza, nobody warned me how hard it is to glue down letters that tiny!!!! I thought it might be easier today, but, no.

Today's Christmas music is old-school. Elvis, baby! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Happy Christmas Tea

It's still Tea Day for another hour and a half, so I'm just in under the clock on this one!

The teacup is paper pieced from The Alley Way Stamps' Tea Par Tea set and coated with Glossy Accents. The little tag is from TAWS' new set called Swee Tea. I still am bummed that they are going out of business. The tag has a little piece of baker's twine that goes "into" the cup.

The scalloped frame and the words are my newest toys, I mean dies, from Paper Smooches. The letters, and the tea tag are covered with Wink of Stella. I finished it off by adding the white dashed lines around the edges.

Today's Christmas music is Al Jarreau. He's so smooth.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Warm robot wishes.

Today is day 3 of the Holiday Coffee Lover's Blog Hop. For today's submission, I have a very skinny robot/alien holding a large cup of cocoa with marshmallows.

The robot is from The Alley Way Stamps' Oogles set (2nd day in a row!), the coffee cup is from Your Next Stamp, and the greeting is from Lawn Fawn's Winter Fox. The white panel is mounted on a gold glitter panel, and his horns are gold glittered too (Wink of Stella gold). The snowflakes are die cut with Paper Smooches' snowflake die from glitter card stock. The robot's eye is coated in Glossy Accents.

Well, tomorrow it's back to my day job at the library. I may or may not have another card. Wish me luck!

Today's Christmas music is Asleep at the Wheel's Merry Texas Christmas You All. Fine music.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Let's get merry!

Today is Day 2 of the Holiday Coffee Lovers Bloghop.

I just love the little monster from TAWS' Oogles set. I masked off his horns and added the "antlers" and a cocoa mug, colored him up, cut him out, and put him on this very simple landscape background.  The sentiment is from an older set by Hero Arts. I fell in love with the typewriter font and sentiments on it, and I use it at least once every year now. I used my white gel pen to add snow to the trees and a few marshmallows to his hot drink.

Stamps used: TAWS' (The Alley Way Stamps) Oogles, TAWS' Penguins on Parade, Your Next Stamp's Perk Up! and Hero Arts'CL463 Get Merry.
Dies used: Lawn Fawn's Forest Hill border and Lawn Fawn's Puffy Stitched Cloud border.

Tomorrow is national cocoa day, so I'm just barely ahead of the curve here. Can't say I've ever done that with a card before.

Today's Christmas music is Brian Setzer's Orchestra -- Rocking Rudolph.  Who knew the Flintstone's theme music would make a great Christmas song?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Peppermint Everything!

Yay! It's time for the Holiday Coffee Lover's Bloghop! I'm actually on time for it this time, so here we go. I copied this design more or less, from Holly Endress. The coffee mugs, puffs of steam, and the small holly sprig are from The Alley Way Stamps' set Breakfast Club. The large sprig, candy cane and sentiment are from TAWS' Mistletoe Kisses set. I topped it off with a few Cranberry sequins from Pretty Pink Posh. I don't know if you can tell,but the cups are paper pieced, and the holly and candy cane are stamped, fussy-cut and applied on top. I used paper from an old My Mind's Eye Christmas 6x6 pad.

True story : I'm obsessed with most things peppermint. It is so yummy! Several years ago I found this  mint coffee in Target, and it was my favorite mint coffee until I discovered the mocha mint sugar-free creamer.

This year I saw these. What can I say? I haven't even cooked any yet but I have eaten a good-sized chunk of the dough. Yum.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Who forgot the coffee?

Not a creature was stirring, because someone forgot to make coffee, that's why. That little mouse looks like he should be holding a mug of the steaming stuff.

Theses critters are from The Alley Way Stamps' "With Wondering Awe" set. I colored them with Prismacolor pencils. Not my best coloring, but the person who gets this won't know that, LOL.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Just some simple cards with a simple message.

For these I created an embossed brick panel and put the baby in a manger and the star atop it. I heat embossed the "Believe" on the dark panel.

The images are from The Alley Way Stamps' "Seek Him" set, and the sentiment was put together with Lawn Fawn's "Harold's ABCs".

The baby and manger are colored with Stablio pens, and the star is painted with gold Wink of Stella.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Keep 'em coming!

Yup, more Christmas cards. This one features the Santa from Paper Smooches' Santa Paws set. I call this set Fleas Navidad after the best sentiment. I had to go and check for its real name.

 I have LOST the puffy white paint I was going to trim his suit with. At least I could find the Glossy Accents for his glasses. He needs a little ground, too, so I'll take care of that detail later. I know it's time for a craft room cleanup, I just get so distracted!

I used a pearlized watercolor on Santa's beard and it came out a little flat. My experiments with coloring other than Copic/Spectrum Noir markers are mixed, to say the least.

This is my craft room directly to the right of my work desk. Stuff I use often is stacked up on the floor around the desk. That's a crazy way to work, let me tell ya.

My Silhouette Cameo is on a little table in the living room, and the big paper trimmer and Martha Stewart scoring board are on the dining room table. It is starting to spill out around the house again.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (card time)

I don't need a lot of Christmas cards, but last year I was still making them up to about, oh, December 19th.  So this year I'm trying to get the jump by putting them together in November. What a concept!

One thing that helped me a lot was deciding to let go of perfection (not that I ever achieved it, but still) and also trying to keep it more simple. They are likely going to get tossed fairly quickly so I'm making them accordingly.

So I made several of these cards with the ever-so-cute bird from The Alley Way Stamps' set called All Wrapped Up. The sentiment is from TAWS' Jolly Holiday set. TAWS is going out of business and I'm so very sorry, for them and for myself. I do hope the artist will continue to create images that we can use. Digital would be ok, really.

Now, off to the next design. I have enough holiday cardstock to make hundreds of cards and all I really want to do is mess around with the plain watercolor paper. Go figure. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

All off the desk, some assembly required

I literally had all these pieces cut out already and on my messy desktop. The dogs were in a folder/box under the desk where I keep colored images. The banner was in a cup with other sentiments that are pre-cut and pre-stamped.

Wow, no playing with markers, paints or colored pencils today. Just as well I guess, since I'm home sick with a cold.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hoppy Halloween!

Just a cute little card featuring this cute little bunny in a vampire outfit. That's Hoppy Halloween from Lawn Fawn, a stamp I've had several years without using.

The image is colored with colored pencils, and the background of the focal point is lightly water-colored in. You can't tell by this photo, but the part surrounding the circle is raised.

Hoppy Halloween, ya'll!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Be your old wonky self!

Another too-late coffee card for the Fall Coffee Lover's blog hop.

I did some masking for this one. I masked the coffee cups one by one in order to stamp them in a stack, and I masked the original face of the monster so I could use this crazy face on him. Then I used my Spectrum Noir and Copics to color them.

Here's a tip for you all. The tip-to-tip blending trick doesn't really work all that well with the Spectrum Noirs. I'm just saying those purples are hard to work with. That's all.

I am definitely wonky before my coffee, so I can relate.

I used stamps from The Alley Way Stamps: Breakfast Club, Oogles, Face It, and Unique Peek.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Coffee gives me wings to fly

Once again I'm a day late (or 3) and a dollar shy.  I finished my coffee cards for the Fall Coffee Lover's Blog Hop too late to join in the fun. Hiss, boo on me.

My first card was water colored with my Gansai Tambi watercolors, and a cheapo set from Michaels. The dragonfly is painted with the beautiful iridescent colors from the cheapo set, and the coffee cup is painted from the Gansai Tambi.

Here's a closeup of the iridescent dragonfly:

After I saw this closeup I went back in with a multliner and drew the outlines again where I had over-painted.  The glitter spots were made with some liquid glitter glue that was a gift last Christmas from a coworker. Somehow I expected the glue to dry in dimensional dots, but no, they went flat on me. Oh well. It's interesting to be able to work with glitter again. I couldn't do that when making cards for Operation Write Home.

The stamps are from the Alley Way Stamps, Fly By and Breakfast Club.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

On an orange fence

The entire reason for making this card was to use the picket fence die I got from Simon Says Stamps over 4 weeks ago. Actually, I think I got it just before I went on my cruise in August.

Since I never have enough birthday cards, and I just happened to have a cute birthday themed turtle stamp set (It's My Party from The Alley Way Stamps), I was off and stamping. And die cutting, and Copic coloring, and gluing. I couldn't help myself, I had to use the googly eyes on the turtle, too.

The inside greeting is "Hip hip hooray!". Simple, and it does the job, right?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Watercolor fun

Well, I am back to playing with my watercolors again. Watercolors are so much fun, and very forgiving. I love playing with them.

The first card was a belated birthday card for my sister, and the second one is just because. I chose the "Oops!" sentiment for the first scene since it looks like the maraca is falling on the short cactus. Unfortunately the explanation point looks like an "I", so it appears to say "oopsi". Oh well. 

Both are from stamp sets from The Alley Way Stamps; the first card is from Cha Cha Cha and the second one is from Oinkers. Both are delightful sets.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Almond "butter" blondies

I'm still working out how to use up all that coconut flour I bought a few weeks back. I thought I would look for some more Paleo recipes, since those are more likely to have coconut flour in them.

Also, I ordered a dry container for the Vitamix a couple of weeks ago and it hasn't been shipped out yet. I had blanched and skinned a bunch of almonds to make almond meal, so I used the food processor to make the almond meal.

There is a site that lists Almond Butter Blondies as a good use for failed almond butter. That is, you grind and grind them but it never becomes butter. The recipe calls for 2/3 cup coconut flakes, so I tried to substitute the flour.

They are delicious, but too dry, not chewy as they are supposed to be. The coconut flour ebook that came with the flour did say to use more eggs when substituting them in a recipe.

The honey was good, thanks to my brother the beekeeper.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

This is what a can of tuna should look like.

I'm not kidding, I just thought I'd share what a good can of tuna looks like. Back in the day, even Starkist and Chicken of the Sea looked like this. Yes, chunk light tuna actually had identifiable chunks in it, and the can was actually full of meat and not a lot of water with floating flakes.

I first found this at Whole Foods, but now I order it from Amazon. 

I remember breaking up with Charlie Tuna back in 2011. For a couple of years I didn't eat tuna at all. I still remember the Charlie watch (and towels)  I had, fondly, but the tuna, not so much. Crown Prince is da man! 

I'm so out of it I didn't know I was a winner!

My entry in the Naughty or Nice Challenge back in July was a winner in the naughty category! I'm so out of it I JUST found out today!

Here's my post:

And here's my winner tag!

Here's the card:

I'm so chuffed I might actually finish a card this weekend!  I really lost my steam after I sent my last box to Operation Write Home. I really need to get my mojo back or stop spending money on stamps.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Coconut mini muffins, an adventure with too much coconut flour.

I read a recipe for a cross between donuts and bagels that intrigued me. They were made with coconut flour and sweetened with raisins. The most interesting thing about this recipe is that they were cooked in a mini-donut machine.

I have, so far, avoided buying one of the little donut/cupcake/mini-pie bakers, because honestly my garage is FULL of seldom used, single purpose small kitchen appliances. Enough is enough, right?

But, I was intrigued  by the the "Donagles" on this page. This is Jennifer Priest's website and this is a page on Paleo diet friendly snacks for kids.

Disclaimer: I am not following a Paleo diet, or any other kind of diet, for that matter.

So, off to Amazon I went to get some coconut flour. If I had been paying attention I would have seen that the recipe called for 1/3 of a cup of coconut flour and I was ordering a 3 pound bag. So this big bag of coconut flour comes in and darned if it doesn't say on the bag that it should be kept in the freezer, or at the very least in the refrigerator. Of course the bag it came in was not resealable.

The artwork on this bag suggests that the company is related to "Nuts About Florida". Or at the very least they use the same graphic artist.  So, into mason jars went the flour, until I ran out of mason jars, that is. The rest went into another zip top bag and into the freezer. Did I mention that this is best used in a few short months? Yikes!

I made some changes to the printed recipe, of course. I used dairy milk (I don't have issues with dairy, thank you very much). I also had a mason jar full of flax seeds and no flax flour (flax meal?) so I just put the flax seeds in the Vitamix with the other liquid ingredients and let 'er rip.  When I got to the part about sifting the coconut flour I said "Oh hell no" and just put it in the Vitamix, too. As a matter of fact, the only thing that didn't get the blender treatment was the raisins and the walnuts.

This recipe is the perfect size for a mini-muffin pan. I baked them at exactly twice the time recommended for the mini-donut cooker and they came out great!

The only thing is, they taste exactly like bran muffins to me. They do not have a bagel texture at all. If you are avoiding grains, this is a great recipe. For me, it was just a delicious experiment.

Now I have to cook other stuff with coconut flour and see if I can pass this off to my coworkers. They might suspect something is a little off about these, due to the "rough" texture. If cooking these for others, I will top them off with some cinnamon sugar to give that first sweet bite.

Any suggestions for my next coconut flour experiment?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Shake your tail feathers!

Yup, variations on a theme! I love the back of this cute chicken!

I wanted to use the sentiment "I Miss Your Face" but after searching my stash, apparently I don't own that set. I tried to put one together from an alphabet stamp set and I really need a lot more practice with it to get the letters lined up correctly. Or even in a pleasingly crooked fashion.

These are 2 more for my last Operation Write Home box which will go out at the end of this week.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Water coloring for amateurs!

I gotta tell ya, I LOVE to watercolor images. It looks good no matter how you plop it down there.  I waited to get this cactus and roadrunner image from The Alley Way Stamps, (Cha Cha Cha set) and boy is it a lot of fun to put faces on the cactus. Yes, there is more to come later. (TAWS' Neener Neener again).

I used my Gansai Tambi watercolors for this image, and you can't tell by the picture, but the ground is actual metalic gold. Oh my! I need to work out better shading for the ground, but still I think it looks so cool!

The sentiment is from TAWS' Chick Magnet set. It is so much fun!

Another 2 previously unused sets that are now used. Does it matter that I ordered them and got them after I set my goal? I guess I can make up my own rules now, right?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Two more down! Jars and coffee cups!

Two more virgin sets got used today. I am determined to use as many unused stamp sets as I can before I pack up my last box to Operation Write Home. That box really needs to go out in less than a week now. Yikes!

The coffee cup and its sentiment are from The Alley Way Stamps. the Jar and the scripty "Thanks" are from Lawn Fawn. I will confess to rushing these to get them done. I can't believe how I HAD to have that set with the jar in it, and once I got it I never used it. I actually have another jar stamp from a different stamp company that I got for the critter that came with it.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Oops, get the Windex!

Ok, I might just be reaching with this one, but really.

In my quest to use all my stamp sets before approximately July 15, I had to stop and scratch my head when I got this set called Oh Splat! from The Alley Way Stamps. It's all splats, drops and liquid-looking  oopsies.

I can't be the only one who immediately thought of bird poop when I saw it. No, this won't be the last bird poop card because I have, thanks to TAWS, a large collection of bird stamps.

I used 2 previously unused sets, both from TAWS -- Tree's Company and Oh, Splat! The bird, branch, and blue sky "glow" are water-colored with Distress inks. The splats and star sprinkles are stamped with Distress inks.

I am entering this into the current "Naughty or Nice" challenge, so that's why there are stars stamped in the upper right corner. They don't really work but I really wanted to get in on the "naughty" action.

I don't usually do inside sentiments, but this one will have one that says either "Get the Windex" or "Time for a big rain storm!"

True story: My ex-husband made the entire extended family wait an extra half hour one Thanksgiving while he meticulously polished all the car's windows until you couldn't see them. 10 minutes into the 2 hour drive we got the biggest, grossest bird poop EVER in the exact center of the driver's side windshield. I thought he might pop a blood vessel; he was so mad. Yes, we had to find a place to stop and repair the damage.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Marching onward, towards my goal

It's official. I am stealing design ideas directly from the Alley Way Stamps's website and design team members. 
Yes it's crooked. Please don't notice, please?

This notecard was designed by Tara Chaussee at Secret Bees Studio. It was fun but there was a lot of stamping and masking involved. I cut enough paper for 3 more which I may do in time for the final box. Maybe.

So, 3 cards using 4 previously unused sets puts me at 50% of my goal. So much pressure, I don't know how to deal! I think I need more coffee and chocolate!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

It's good to have goals, I guess.

So, with Operation Write Home winding down, I reflected by looking through all my stamp sets, which I had to have. HAD to have.

There were a lot of sets I had never even opened. And of those I had opened, some of them were only for one image or sentiment, one time.


My goal, between now and July 15th is to use each of the stamp sets I've purchased and never used. I'll never make it, as slowly as I work, but at least I'm not drifting from one thing to another without a plan.

So, Friday and Saturday, July 3rd and 4th, I created 3 new cards. Big deal, right?

This card is created using Paper Smooches' Vegetastic set. The papers are from a mat stack set I got at Target over a year ago.

This card features Lawn Fawn paper and sun die. The cool face is from The Alley Way Stamps new mini set called Neener Neener. It has all faces, and when I saw the cool sunglasses I knew he belonged on a shiny sun. The sentiment was a bit trickier. The letters are mostly from TAWS new alphabet set Express Yourself. I haven't got the hang of the individual letters in this set yet, and couldn't get through the whole phrase without messing up or smudging at least one letter. So I went old school and cut out the words from different attempts. The "you're" came from something else.

This is a summer card, obviously. The milkshake is from TAWS' Slurp set. I think I may have used something in this set before, but I can't remember so I added it to the virgin packages.

So that's my weekend so far, at least crafty-wise. My goal is 3 or 4 more sets to be broken into today. It counts if I use more than one set on a single card, right?

PS, I have 24 unused sets. Don't judge me.