Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Card-Making Continues

I realized that on Monday what I really meant to ask was--"Are you making Christmas cards this year? Because, you may be sending cards but not making them which is perfectly ok too.

Remember the sunflower shutter card I showed you a few months ago? Here's one using patterned paper. 

This is a standard 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 card, each piece scored on the sides at
 1/2 inch and 1 inch.
I used Labels 2 to cut out the middle, then two sizes smaller to create the frame.
The frame is popped up, carefully placed so the pattern lines ups.
The round sentiment is from a retired Stampin' Up set.
 I put Scor-It tape on the 1/2 inch sides and bent the folds to
creae the shutter effect.
The only problem with this card is that there is no place to write,
so this would be fine if you were doing a Christmas letter to include.   

I used the same paper to create the next card and the stamp set I used
on Monday. By the way, it is called Big on Christmas and retired from
 Stampin' Up after last year.

The card base is one by DCWV. Yeah for using up another one.
I don't think I will ever make it through my stash, but I'll keep trying!  
The card is pretty self-explanatory, but here's a tip.

If you purchase a package of pre-made embellishments,
like the scalloped border on this card (turqoiuse originally),
and you want to change the color, just run it over an ink pad.
The color just has to be a little bit darker to cover. 

Speaking of snow--or cold
If you live in a part of the country where you have to contend with these winter
conditions, do you know how to:
--ice-proof your car windows
--prevent your car doors from freezing shut
--de-ice your frozen car door lock

If not or you need a reminder, here's a good article for you.

This article will be placed in the archives of AWESOME ARTICLES.
In the future, just click on that tab at the top of this page to find this
and other informative material.   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Are You Sending Christmas Cards?

I believe that those email subscribers who have not been receiving notifications the past few weeks are again receiving them. I hope that you will browse back through the latest posts and see if there is anything that might interest you. Thank you for sticking by me. I appreciate all of you so very much!

Some crafters have been working on Christmas cards all year long, but I am not one of them. I am just now thinking about them --now that Thanksgiving has past. Although mass production would go faster, I get bored making very many of the same design. So I will be showing you several different cards, some of which I will make four to -six of, some just two. I find that it takes very little extra effort to make one more, so I usually make a minimum of two. If I hate it, that first one gets trashed. Why bother?

I still had my Penny Black stamp out that I used for the invitations that I made, so this time I inked it up three times with the Royal Satin Kaleidacolor
 (remember those?), choosing a slightly different spot on the pad each time for variation.
I used the same Hero Arts bough and adorned it with some fine glitter.
The strings are made with a gold spica pen, and the card is layered on a blue/black marbelized
glossy paper.
Sentiment by PaperTrey--embossed in gold. 

Image--3-3/4 x 5 (cut longer to allow for scallop)
Blue--4-1/4 x 5-3/4
Card base--4-5/8 x 6-/3/8

Christmas plaid is so traditional and one of my favorites,
so I never run out of this paper!
Embossing folders can be your best friend to help 
you create a simple yet attractive card--
this is the Swirls, one of the first and most versatile, in my opinion. 
The stamp is from a three-piece stamp set by Stampin' Up.
I stamped the Christmas tree again on green and popped it up,
added some glitter with Stickles, which can also be very helpful
in adding some bling, especially at this time of year. 

The slot punch provides the way for the ribbon to pass
through the card stock. It is often just the width that you need! 

Image--2-1/4 x 4
Gold glossy--2-1/2 x 4-1/4
Background--3-1/2 x 6 
Card base--4-3/4 x 6-1/4

Have your creative juices started flowing yet?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Steps to a Juicy, Moist Turkey

I apologize to my Feedbliz subscribers if you have not been receiving email updates. I am trying to find out what the problem is.

How was your Thanksgiving? How did your turkey turn out.? If it was dry, you might try this  suggestion next time. My husband came up with this technique and swears by it. Several of our friends have tried his steps for a moist, juicy turkey and have had success also.

  • Stuff the cavity with citrus--halves of grapefruit and oranges, also onion, garlic, apple, fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, basil, thyme, tarragon--whatever you have.
  • Salt and pepper outside; put in foil pan.
  • Cook on outside gas grill. Turn on outside burners to 325 degrees and middle one same, adjusting middle one as needed. Do not cover with foil until it is sufficiently browned. Baste periodically.  I am sure you could do this in the oven also.
We have done several turkeys this way now and each one has turned out great.

Freebie Friday

Get organized for Christmas with this selection of printables HERE 

Vintage calendar 2012 at Crafty Secrets

Christmas Gift-Giving Printables by HowDoesShe

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Napkin Folding--Adding a LIttle Extra to Your Table

Today my wish for you is:

Suggestion: Save as, re-size, print, frame and give it as a hostess gift tomorrow!  

I have an easy napkin folding technique that you might want to use on your table tomorrow.

It is so pretty! 

Napkin Folding 101--The Rose 

Step 1

 With a square napkin, fold all four corners to the middle.
(The squarer the napkin, the easier this is.
Mine is a little off but not to worry.)

Step 2

Repeat step 1, folding all four corners to the middle again.

Step 3

Turn the napkin over, and repeat step 1, folding all four corners to
the middle again.

Step 4

Reach underneath the 4 corners, and pull out the "petal."

This is what it will look like when you have done step 4.

Step 5

Reach underneath between the petals, and there is another petal
that you can pull out.


Be creative with what you put in the middle.

Perhaps a place card or salad plate.

What ideas can you come up with?
There's lots of possibilities for Christmas, but we'll talk about that
once Thanksgiving is celebrated.
I believe that Thanksgiving deserves its full recognition first
before we jump into that!

Hope you enjoyed learning The Rose Napkin Folding Technique.
If so, I learned others on our cruise that I'd be happy to show up!

Have a wonderful day with family and/or friends.

If you are traveling, please be safe.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Creating Christmas Invitations Using Microsoft Publisher

One of my friends asked me to make invitations for their Christmas party again this year, so that is what I have been working on. I am happy to say that they are in the mail and everyone should receive theirs today!

I have used Microsoft Publisher over the years for my real estate newsletters and any other documents that required text boxes and printing. I found this program extremely computer-friendly--the boxes are so easy to move and re-size. It is easy to add clip art, pictures, and borders also. This is what I came up with this year.

  I decided to go with a flat card, 5 x 7 inches. 
I used a pre-made card, ran it through the printer, then cut it in half, 
and cut the printed side 1/4 inch larger than the border.
 Next I stamped the ornament (Penny Black) in Versamark
and embossed  it in Fire Opal Gold. There is a sparkle to it even though it does
 not show up in this picture. The bough is by Hero Arts stamped
with Staz-On Forest Green.
The string was drawn with a Sakura gelly roll pen.
The card is layered on My Mind's Eye designer paper.
For a  finishing touch, I added fine white glitter by The Rubber Cafe
 to the bough.

As a surprise, I decided to line the envelopes--I hope she likes them!
I really think it adds a lot!

" 'Friendship' said Christopher Robin,
'is a very comforting thing to have.' "
-A.A. Milne

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let's Talk Turkey for a Moment or Two

Thanksgiving is next week and I know that a lot of you are planning a dinner for the big day. I have found some very practical articles on Real and am sharing them here. They are definitely worth a look.

How to pick the bird that best suits your palate,
your philosophy, and your wallet.

Your Guide to a Foolproof Thanksgiving

How to Fix 10 Common Thanksgiving Problems

10 Tricks to a Trouble-Free Thanksgiving

Easy Thanksgiving Desserts

How to Carve a Turkey Properly--VIDEO

3 Helpful Hotlines

 I guarantee you'll learn something you didn't know!

These articles will be archived in the AWESOME ARTICLES page so you will be able to
refer back to them easily at a later date!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to Make Strawberry Limoncello Jello Shots

These started out to be strawberry margarita jello shots, but my husbard suggested I try making them with my homemade limoncello instead. I'll save that tutorial for another day. I think they turned out even better!

  1. Choose large, ripe strawberries. Ream out the centers--I used a melon baller and it worked great. Do not go to the bottom.
  2. Slice off the bottoms so that they will stand up. Turn them onto a paper towel to drain.
  3. Boil 1 cup water and combine with 1 small package of strawberry jello. Once the jello is dissolved, take off the heat and add 1 cup limoncello.
  4. Put the strawberries on a cookie sheet and carefully fill with the jello mixture. I found that a small funnel helped. I also found that it helped to work near the refrigerator since the strawberries have a tendency to fall over.
  5. Carefully place in refrigerator until firm. You can add more jello as it tends to settle.
  6. When ready to serve, wet the rims and dip in lemon drop cocktail sugar.     
Linking up to The 36th Avenue  last party of the year--2011!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Well, this couple decided to do something pretty extraordinary for 11-11-11!

 The Associated Press is reporting that a military family welcomed a baby boy into the world at exactly 11:11 on 11-11-11, which was Veteran's Day. To add to the already amazing coincidence, the mother 
of the baby is a veteran.
The mother – Danielle Saydeh – was a member of the Air Force and the father – Staff Sgt. Christopher Saydeh – is currently serving in the Air Force.
Jacob Anthony Saydeh weighed in at  8 pounds, 13 ounces, and one thing for sure, no one should have trouble remembering his birthday!

Have a great week-end!

Hope you have time to use some ink,  glue,  pretty paper,
yarn, beads,  fabric,  or whatever craft that gives you relaxation.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What the Heck Are Fractals?

Wikipedia defines a fractal as:
A Geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry.

That's about as clear as mud to someone like me who is not mathematically inclined. All I know is that they are pretty fluid shapes that I stumbled upon a while ago. If you goggle "fractal galleries" you can find some beautiful photograpy such as this one.

I have no idea how they are produced, but the colors and designs are so beautiful that I decided to see what I could do with them on a card. I chose one that was not totally solid in color and printed  it on a transparency. I stamped an image that I thought would work behind it--one that was solid enough to show though the fractal. I stamped that in black on white card stock and mounted the transparency over it for an interesting effect.

Freebie Friday
Thanksgiving isn't far off so here are some holiday printables.

I Am Thankful tags from Jones Design Company

Several place cards, favors, Mayflower centerpiece by Martha Stewart

A whole collection by Kind Over Matter

Fun coloring pages by Parents Magazine

Reminder--Besides being Veteran's Day, it is 11-11-11.
Las Vegas wedding chapels are super busy and
 lottery sales are expected to go off the charts!
What about you?
 Are you superstitious and doing anything out of the ordinary?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Returning to the Original American Christmas Tradition

I received the following email last evening and it really struck a cord with me. See what you think and share your thoughts.


Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.

This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift
receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half-dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery
and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theater. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
Also, don't forget about the people who have Mary Kay, Arbonne, Avon , Fuller Brush or other home-based businesses. Most of these businesses also have nice Christmas gifts available.

It's time to return to the original American Christmas tradition.

Together we can all make a difference.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birthday Greetings from Friends

I recently celebrated my birthday and was blessed with some beautiful cards, Facebook greetings, phone calls and e-cards. I even got to see both of our children and their spouses.

I thought you might like to see the handmade cards that I received.  

The last three cards were sent by Splitcoast Stampers who so
generously send birthday cards to ladies they don't even know.
The idea is to leave it blank inside so that the recipient has a card
that she can use when the time is right! 

If you enjoy card making, and don't know about Splitcoast Stampers
you must check it out  HERE.
It is THE gathering place for stampers to post their cards
and other paper crafting projects--a wealth of information!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm Back and Unpacked!

Hi Everyone--We had a wonderful  7-day cruise from Boston to Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine on up to St. John's and Halifax, Canada. The only problem was that we then got caught in the big Saturday snow storm driving from Boston to New Jersey as we planned on spending a few days with our son and DIL before heading home to AZ. It was harrowing, to say the least!

But we're home now and settled back into our routines. While I'm thinking of it, I do have a few TRAVEL TIPS:  
  1. Start a list as soon as you get home of the items you forgot or would want include on the next trip. Put it someplace you will remember to check prior to your next rip. I put mine in my Rolodex under T.
  2. Cruise items--Even though I don't normally wear a watch, I would have liked to have had one, since I did not have my cell phone. There are not many clocks on the ship, and if you're off the ship, you need to keep track of the time.
  3. It's nice to have a canvas bag or tote to carry your items in such as: a book, camera, sea pass (ID card and key for room), glasses, lipstick, sweater, etc.  
  4. If you depend on a curling iron, take a few velcro rollers along in case your curling iron breaks and you are someplace that you won't be able to replace it. It happened to me!
  5. I never travel without Immodium AD!  
The Versatile Blogger Award
Upon my return, I learned that I was the recipient of The Versatile Blogger Award from
                                             Decorating with CENTS. 

My prime objective in blogging is to share ideas and projects that I hope other women will find interesting, so I am honored to be recognized by a fellow blogger for my efforts. Blogging has opened up a wonderful network of creative women who are so eager and generous in sharing their ideas, and I am happy to be a part of it. Thank you to Sherry at Decorating with CENTS--make sure you check out her blog.. She turns junk into treasures and decorates more for less with her kitchen and pillow makeovers, window treatments, and floral and furniture arrangements. She is one of my followers and I always appreciate her kind comments, as I do from any of you. It means so much, especially for a new blogger who is trying to find her place among this vast world of extremely talented and energetic women!
                                  The rules for those who receive 
The Versatile Blogger Award 
are as follows:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave the award to you.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Send it along to 15 other bloggers and let them know you have awarded them

    7 things about myself--well--here goes:
  1. I grew up in Oak Park, IL but got "transplanted" to a farm in central IL when I married my husband who unexpectedly went back to farm with his brother because of family circumstances.  We lived there 16 years before moving to AZ.
  2. I love to watch people dance and would love to take dance lessons but my husband isn't too thrilled with the idea. I also love to listen to good karioke. (no participation though!)
  3. Besides crafting, I love to play mah jongg and give mah jongg lessons too.
  4. I love Jujubes and red licorice.
  5. I am terribly afraid of being in water over my head--and snakes.
  6. I am very nostalgic. Our children are 36 and 37 and every day I wish that they were little again.
  7. I am trying to remember to thank God every day for His many blessings after recently reading--"What if you only had today what you thanked God for yesterday?"
I would like to pass on THE VESATILE BLOGGER AWARD to:

Do yourself a favor and visit these blogs.
These ladies have so much to offer! 

See you tomorrow with handmade cards that I received for my birthday.

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