Sunday, January 31, 2010

BLING it on

I have a birthday card to share today that I made for a special little someone who'll be celebrating her first birthday very soon. I wanted to pull out all of the stops and use as much color and accoutrement that I could from my blingy supplies. Afterall, a first birthday deserves lots of flare and fun, right?

Isn't this GRUFFIE just the cutest? When my children celebrated their first birthdays this was similar to the scene they shared as they sat in their highchair and enjoyed their cake.

I have been having a lot of fun lately using my FLOWER SOFT product on a variety of cards and for today's card it was sort of a last minute idea to use the Flower Soft for cake crumbs. I used ivory Flower Soft and mixed in a few flakes of yellow Flower Soft to give a cake-like color. I'm tickled with the outcome. Doesn't it look like the bear is getting crumbs all over?

This card has inspired me to start using Flower Soft in ways other than just for flowers.

Card Recipes:

Stamps: Stampabilities - Beary Nice Celebration OR1049 and Just Johanna sentiment stamps
Paper: K & Company
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Stazon Orange and the image is colored with Copic Markers
Accessories: Nestibilities label die, Ribbon, Yellow brads, a variety of different colors of Stickles, clear dimensional glaze on the candles, Machine stitching and Flower Soft (ivory mixed with a bit of yellow).

The card is finished and now I need to finish up making the gift to be given with the card. I'd better get back to my sewing machine now.

Enjoy your day!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

LOVE in Lavender

The Friday Sketcher's challenge this week (shown above) was the inspiration for another non-traditional Valentine card. I really like the simplicity of this layout while allowing for some embellishment to be added to the card.

For my card I used another well loved stamp set from Stampin' Up! called "Long Time Friend." In my effort to make Valentine cards this year I wanted to step away from the traditional hearts and red, white and pink colors and still make cards that one could give to family and friends. This set also screamed for me to get out the FLOWER SOFT product and make the lavender become almost real.

On the sentiment portion of the card I added some hand made Lavender stems using Flower soft on the end of a wire and tying in a bow with a ribbon.

To the flowers on the main image I also added Flower Soft to give life to the otherwise one dimensional flowers.

Card Recipe:

Stamps: Stampin' Up! "Long Time Friend" and Papertrey Ink for the "Love" sentiment
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Whispers Archival Rio Purple and image colored with Copic markers
Paper: Craft cardstock for card base, Bazzill deep purple cardstock for mats and Nature's Garden (Marjolein Bastin) patterned paper
Accessories: Stampin' Up! Oval punches, Martha Stewart lace eyelet border punch, machine stitching, Flower Soft (Lavender), ribbon, stickles

It is a frigid, albeit sunny Saturday here in Eastern Ontario. I hope you are keeping warm and having a relaxing day.



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blueberry Delight

I got some new House Mouse stamps and I couldn't wait to ink them up and so you know you'll be seeing a lot of House Mouse and House Mouse friends cards in the next several weeks. I just love these little critters. And look! This one is eating a blueberry tart, very similar to the tart I made a couple of weeks ago. YUMMY!

The House Mouse and Friends Monday challenge site posts a new challenge every other Monday and the latest challenge is to create a faux grid background on your House Mouse card. I've never done this before but it was very easy and I think makes a super looking embossed background. The way I accomplished my grid background was using my scoring tool and my papercutter grid. If I had a scorepal or one of the new scoring boards that are out I'm sure the measuring would be faster, but I found this to work easily for me.

Card Recipe:

Stamps: Stampabilities Blueberry Delight HMUR1068 and Papertrey Ink Handwritten Notes for the sentiment
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black and Whispers Archival Starry Starry Night blue, imaged colored with Copic Markers
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! blue and Papertrey Ink white and craft
Accessories: Nestibilities Octagonal and scalloped octagonal dies, lace, ribbon and buttons from my sewing box stash, a little dimensional glaze on the blueberries to make them shine and a tad of pink stickles on the mouse's ears and nose.

Oops, our sun just went behind the clouds and it is snowing hard again. Perhaps I should get out the blueberries and lemons and make another tart.

Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gingersnap Creations Challenge: NUMBERS

It's the 4th Wednesday in January and that means the 4th January challenge at Gingersnap Creations blog is posted and the challenge this week is NUMBERS. Serendipity Stamps is this month's sponsor and is offering some great prizes so be sure to enter in on the challenge for your chance to play along and possibly win a great stamp set.

For my card for the NUMBERS challenge is a bit of a play on the words in the Serendipity Stamps sentiment stamp "It's not the Years in your life that count, it's the Life in your Years." You're only the NUMBER of years you feel rather than what your birth age number is. OK, I might have stretched the challenge a bit, but I really love this sentiment and the bicycle stamp and thoroughly enjoyed using it in this week's NUMBERS challenge.

Card Recipe:

Stamps: Serendipity Stamps stamps #219G Bicycle and 574E (sentiment)
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black and Stazon Orange. Image colored with copic markers
Paper: K & Company
Accessories: Nestibilites oval dies, Flower Soft, Machine stitching, Stickles (distressed orange), Ribbon (dashes and dots), Prima Flowers and brads.

For more inspiration of cards using the theme of NUMBERS check out the rest of the Gingersnap and Serendipity samples over at GINGERSNAP CREATIONS and of course my Serendipity Design Team members work:

Amy Cokley
Anya Schrier
Kathie Bailey
Lynda Benden



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Round and Rectangle Valentines

This week's MOJO123 Layout Challenge was the layout inspiration for two more Valentine cards. The challenge layouts (pictured below) is to make cards either a round or square or one of each.

Making these fun little round cards reminds me a lot of the little Valentines we used to exchange in elementary school. Oh the excitement of decorating a white bakery sack and taping it to the corner of our desks. Then, on Valentine's Day, we would walk back and forth through the rows of desks and place a Valentine in each of our classmates Valentine sack. It wasn't until we went home from school that we could go through all of the valentines and see what each child wrote on them.

The Stampin' Up! Vintage Valentine set, which as I've mentioned in previous posts, is my favorite set to use each year when I make Valentines. I think it is probably mostly due to nastolgia in that they remind me so much of the Valentines we exchanged back in the 1950's and 1960's.

Stamps: Vintage Valentine set from Stampin' Up!
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, images colored with Copic Markers
Paper: Stampin' Up! Card stock and patterned paper
Accessories: Nestibilities circle and scalloped circle dies, buttons, ribbon, stickles.

These were great fun to create and I really think I may use the circle layout for more Valentines.

Until next time,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet Wonderful You!

This week's Penny Black Saturday Challenge was to create something "sweet." This very sweet Penny Black stamp titled "furry embrace" suited the challenge perfectly for me. And, I love this sweet stamp so much that I made two cards (same design) just because it was so much fun to color and to have on hand with my stack of Valentine cards I've been making.

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Penny Black Furry embrace 2288K and the sentiment is Papertrey Ink handwritten notes.
Cardstock/paper: Stampin' Up! pink and rose cardstock, image stamped on Papertrey Ink white and the patterned Red Heart Vellum is from Michaels.
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black and Momento Rose Bud for the sentiment
Accessories: Martha Stewart Heart Border Punch, red crystals, foam mounting tape, 1/8th inch pink satin ribbon, and red and cotton candy pink Stickles.

Have a wonderful day!



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gingersnap Creations Week #3 Challenge: Metallics

This is week #3 for GINGERSNAP CREATIONS challenge and the challenge is to use METALLICS on your card or project. And once again the Serendipity Stamps design team is joining in with Gingersnap Creations design team to create some samples. Be sure to check out both GINGERSNAP CREATIONS Blog as well as SERENDIPITY STAMPS Blog for your chance to win some lovely prizes and see all of the samples.

For my card using Metallics I used Serendipity Stamps set 419QCL Heart with Words. I stamped the heart on pink cardstock in Versamark and then used Silver Metalic embossing powder. With the addition of shiney silver cardstock as the mats and adding a silver heart LOVE charm on silver cord I've created my version of the challenge to use Metallics.

Stamps: Serendipity Stamps 419QCL Heart with Words
Paper: Heart patterned paper from Michaels, shiney silver metalic cardstock
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Nestibilities oval and scalloped oval dies, silver detail embossing powder, EK Success Heart corner punch, Pearls, Heart charm, silver coard and sheer pink ribbon.

For more inspiration of cards using the theme of METALLICS check out the rest of the Gingersnap and Serendipity samples over at GINGERSNAP CREATIONS and of course my Serendipity Design Team members work:
Amy Cokley
Anya Schrier
Kathie Bailey
Lynda Benden

Here's wishing you a wonderful day!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Puppy Love - Mojo122

Yesterday Julee posted this week's MOJO122 Sketch Challenge and as soon as I saw it I thought PUPPY LOVE! Anyone who knows me knows of my love of my Newfoundland Dogs and this sketch layout seemed to lend itself to a stamp I haven't used in ages but the comic expression makes me think of my own big dogs.

I can't give you too much detail for the card recipe details because the cute patterned paper with the dots and pawprints is a little scrap leftover in my scrap box and I have no idea of the manufacturer. The Stamp is one of my favorite Eat Cake Graphics stamps. Awww ... just look at that face. So without a lot of card discussion this morning, I present my Mojo122 card for this week's sketch layout which I've aptly named "Puppy Love".

But it would be impossible and not at all appropriate for me not to post some photos of my big puppy loves. These are my Newfoundland Dogs that have owned me in various stages of their lives.
This was my first Newfoundand, Bella. Bella carried her stuffed bear everywhere...even out in the snow.
From left to right is Gabe (Landseer Newfoundland), Paige as a Newborn (also a Landseer Newfoundland) and on the right is Willow, another black Newfoundland we got from a rescue.

Always an oldie but goodie...the day we brought Gabe home and introduced him to Bella. I'm not sure if Bella was as thrilled as Gabe was but they grew up to be best of buddies. I think Gabe still remembers and misses our Bella-bear.

No other words to describe other than BEAUTIFUL WILLOW!

Awww...what a face! This is Paige taken yesterday while I was trying to do something else but she wanted to be in my face! :)

Gabe must always receive loves and hugs if anyone else is getting them. He's first! ALWAYS first in line for lovin'.

So there is today's card and my big puppy loves.

Have a day filled with lots of happiness and love. And if you have a dog, give that pup a hug!



Monday, January 18, 2010

Blueberry-Lemon Tart

My very good friend, Eileen, is a WONDERFUL cook/baker and all around creative and talented person. Eileen is more like a sister to me but then that would be a bit creepy to call her my sister since she is in a relationship with my brother and you wouldn't want your brother and sister ... ummm... I digress. Let's just leave it that Eileen is a WONDERFUL cook . How wonderful, you ask? Well, at Christmas she made her family's secret recipe for real, true and authentic Sicilian Cannoli. I ate not one. Not two! I ate THREE cannolies in rapid succession. I do NOT think this is a recommended meal by the surgeon general but ohhhhhhhhhhh, they were out-of-this-world fantabulous!

So the other day Eileen mentioned that she was making a blueberry-lemon tart. But then when I asked, "May I have your recipe?" I never heard back from her. Probably she's just busy. Eileen! I couldn't wait. So yesterday I tried my hand at a blueberry-lemon tart. Ohhhh my friends, this is so good! You MUST like lemon. You know, lemon that when you bite in your eyelashes will curl. OOohhhh it is good.

I have one more disclaimer and then on with the recipe for Blueberry-Lemon Tart. You really should make this tart in a tart pan that has a removeable bottom...sort of like a springform pan but it really is a tart pan. I don't have one so I used a pyrex pie dish which is ok but your end presentation won't be as pretty or as easy to get out of the pan. Oh still tastes good!

First you'll make the pastry. The food processor makes it so easy to work the cold butter and flour together.

You just hit the pulse button on the processor until it looks a bit like cornmeal.

Then add an egg yolk and a tad of ice water and pulse again.

You'll see immediately when your dough is ready to roll out when it begins to pull away from the sides of the processor. It only takes a few pulses for this to happen.

OK. You are wondering why I have a photo of a box of Kosher Salt. I have it here because I have a question for YOU. Are you cooking and baking with Kosher salt lately? Is this a new fad or is it just me?

This is what Kosher salt looks like. My husband never imagined he'd be a hand model but how was I going to focus the camera without a hand model to hold the salt for me? Kosher salt is more coarse than regular salt but I am finding I'm using it a lot lately. OK, back to the blueberry-lemon tart recipe....

After letting the dough rest in the refrigerator for a while I rolled it out and folded the edged to the inside. If I owned a proper tart plate this would look a lot prettier, but like I mentioned earlier, it is ALL ABOUT THE TASTE and not so much the presentation.

Then prick the bottom with a fork.

And then line your crust with parchment paper and weight the parchment paper down with pie weights. You don't have pie weights? That's ok. Just go to your pantry and line it with dry beans. I didn't have dry beans but how about dry peas? It worked great!

After baking your crust lightly brush your crust with egg white whipped with 1 teaspoon of water. Unfortunately, one of my dogs used my pastry brush as dental floss and chewed mine up. At least I think that is what he thought the pastry brush was for. Consequently, I don't have pastry brush at the moment so I used a spoon. Yours shouldn't look quite this wet but this will do.

Now that your crust is finished, set it aside and start squeezing those lemons. Depending upon the size of the lemons you may need to squeeze five lemons. Ooohhhhh heavenly. Can you smell the fresh lemon juice?
Save one of the lemon rinds and zest the entire rind.
Now we're cookin'!! Time to start mixing the lemon curd. In your mixer you will blend the lemon juice, eggs, sugar, cream, zest and kosher salt. Have I mentioned previously how much I love my Kitchen Aid blender? This isn't a commercial for it. I just can't live without it. It's fun!
Now you are going to line the bottom of your cooled pie crust with the blueberries. Next pour the lemon curd mixture over it and pop the pie in the preheated oven and bake.
Use the rest of the container of heavy cream and make real whipped cream! You deserve it. I grated a little more lemon peel on top.

Get ready to pucker! This is sweet and pucker-y and ohhhh so good.

Here is the recipe:

Blueberry-Lemon Tart

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, in chunks
1 large egg, separated
2 tablespoons ice water, plus 1 teaspoon

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 lemon, zested
Pinch kosher salt
1 pint blueberries

To make the pastry, pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the dough resembles cornmeal. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse again until the dough pulls together. Wrap the dough in plast wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it inside a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the edges of the pan and fold the excess dough inside to reinforce the rim. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to rest

To bake the shell, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Cover the shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with pie weights (or dry beans if you don't have pie weights). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 teaspoon of water and brush it onto the bottom and sides of the tart shell; set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, cream, zest and salt. Line the pie shell with the blueberries and then pour the filling over the blueberries. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. The curd should jiggle slightly when done. It will firm up as it cools. Cool to room temperature, remove from the tart ring and ENJOY!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pop-ular Fun

I've been rockin' and rollin' with stamps and coloring images this week. Oh yes, I DO indeed have other things to do. This has been a guilty pleasures week for me playing in my stamp room. My hubby has been away on business and so my critters and I have had a ball just goofing off.

I should also admit that I'm a messy stamper. I ALWAYS stamp more than one image when I'm playing with my stamps. I do this in hopes that I'll than one card made. Also, I know that 9 times out of 10 I'll mess up the image and have to start over. But this time I got two nicely colored and stamped House Mouse images colored so I' have two more Birthday Cards for my growing stash of cards.
These two cards are very similar, just differences in colors of the background paper and the balloons I attached as accoutrement.

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Stampabilities House Mouse "Pop"-ular Fun and Stampin' Up! Sentiment from the set Lots of Thoughts
Ink: Stamped in Momento Tuxedo Black for the image, Whispers Archive Azure Seas Blue for the sentiment and the image is colored with Copic Markers
Designer Paper: Martha Stewart
Accessories: Nestibilities rectangle and deckled rectangle dies, Nestibilities circle and scalloped circle dies, Silver stickles, Clear dimensional glaze, Small balloons and scraps of ribbon for the bows.

I just never tire of my House Mouse stamps and this is an old one but not one I've used as often as others so I thought it was time to ink it up again.

Woo hoo...we are having a heatwave today! It is +2 Celcius! Lovin' it!

Here's hoping y'all have a super weekend!