Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last Minute Halloween Crafting... **UPDATED**

... as you know, I've been sick all week. Today I'm feeling MUCH better - just in time for Halloween!

Last night we carved pumpkins... can you guess which is mine and which is hubby's?

Today I worked feverishy in the craft studio to finish Halloween costumes for my nieces...

You can't get the full effect of the cupcake costumes when they're not on bodies... I'll post pics tomorrow of the girls wearing them! **UPDATE... photos added 11/1/2009**

And finally, a few last minute goody bags for my nieces and nephew, who we're spending Halloween with. Plain brown paper bags got jazzed up with some Halloween stamps (Stampin' Up! set "Batty for You") embossed in black and silver and finished off with some Halloween ribbon tied to the handles (50% off at Michaels - yeah!)

I stuffed the bags with novelties, candy, glow sticks, and more. My littlest niece got a Halloween board book in hers.

Happy Halloween to you and yours!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Back to the world of the living...

... well, sort of!

I've been sick ALL WEEK with the flu and it's been just miserable. I had some new stamping supplies arrive in the mail a few days ago but haven't had the energy to do anything with them (that's how you know I'm REALLY sick!) until last night.

I put together a set of quick thank you cards for the folks who donated to Travis and I's team in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. (to see pictures from the event, head HERE)

I love the "Ribbon of Hope" stamp from Stampin' Up! because you can use it paired with different colored inks for different causes. Very versatile!

I hope everyone is keeping themselves healthy! I'm headed to make a pot of tea and relax on the couch for a bit, but don't worry I'll be back again soon. I have a whole host of stamping, sewing, and holiday projects in the works!

Happy Friday, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pardon the Interruption...

... I've been hit with a nasty flu bug and have been in bed for the last few days. I hope to return to blogging by the end of the week...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Quick and Easy Stamping Techniques Class

Sunday November 08 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Join me in my home for a stamping class!

This class is ideal for beginning and experienced stampers alike and costs just $5.00 per person. I will provide cardstock, inks, stamps, and supplies, plus some snacks and door prizes! All you need to bring is yourself - and maybe a friend or two?

Stamping techniques I'll be covering will include... Masking, Stamping with Markers, Spotlighting, Shadow Stamping, Kissing, Stamping with Bleach, and Watercoloring with the Aqua Painter.

Each technique will be demonstrated and then you'll have the chance to try for yourself - you will take home samples that can be used as pieces for card fronts or scrapbooking pages.

Leave the husbands and boyfriends to watch football and come over for an afternoon of stamping fun! Great ideas for your holiday cards and more for just $5.00!

E-Mail me at to get registered.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Charmed, I'm Sure!

The day finally came - I received my charm bracelet kit and charms in the mail from Saucy. You remember that I was participating in her Halloween Charm Bracelet Swap don't you?

I was soooo excited, and even more so when I opened the package and was WOW-d by the goodies that poured out...

I spent forever opening all of the little packages and ooh-ing and aah-ing over the charms that had been created all over the US and Canada. So neat! Every single one was joyful, but here are a few of my faves...

Super original design based on Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven"

Clever clay creations... I love the half eaten bar of chocolate!

Scrabble tile anything's are neat-o...

And you know I love me some kitty cats... : )

Then it was time to assemble the bracelet, so I unpackaged everything and laid my charms out...

I was a little intimidated but I forged ahead anyway and it didn't take long before... ta da!

(Yup I have little wrists...)

(I swear my arms aren't as hairy as these pictures make them look! Ha!)

Ridiculously cute, no? I can't wait to show this off on Halloween! Thanks to Saucy and ALL of the ladies who participated in the swap! Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Decor

One of the things I love about Fall is that there are so many easy, and NATURAL decorating options.

After a trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend, I assembled these little pumpkin towers to frame my front door...

I simply cut off the stalks of the bottom two pumpkins with a hack saw, leaving a flat surface to stack the pumpkins on each other. That's it!

Hubby says they look like pumpkin snowmen... : )

All I need now are some lovely Mum's and my outdoor fall decor is done!

How do you decorate your "stoop" for the seasons?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sneak Peak...

... of the Christmas cards I'm working on for my Stamp A Stack I'll be hosting in November.

For just $20, you can attend my class and walk out with 16 Christmas cards and envelopes.

The Stamp A Stack will be held at my home, and I'll provide snacks and door prizes in addition to all of the supplies you'll need to create your cards. Additionally, I'll have Stampin' Up! catalogs and Christmas specials available for perusal.

More info coming soon!

Image from "Punch Pals" stamp set featuring watercoloring using the Aqua Painter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Comfort Food

I don't know about you, but the one thing I looooove about the weather getting cooler is all of the delicious soups, stews, casseroles, chili's and more. I wanted to share with you a few recent yummy recipes that I have come across one way or another - and they are all super simple!

Mum's Shepherd's Pie
I've been eating this since I was a little girl and now I love to make the English staple for Travis and I.

Ingredients: Potatoes - six or so good sized, 1 large onion, 2lbs ground beef, 2 packages of brown gravy mix

Directions: Brown beef in a pan over medium heat, add onions and let them cook. Add gravy mix and about a cup of water. Put meat mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish. Meanwhile, boil and mash potatoes. Layer potatoes on top of meat mixture and bake at 350 until browned on top.

Travis' Chili
Chili is such a great easy dinner because you can add a little of whatever you have on hand.

Ingredients: 1.5lb ground beef, Garlic to taste, 1 jalapeno pepper, x2 cans diced mexican tomatoes, 1 can corn kernels, x2 cans chili beans, 1 package of chili seasoning, 1 large onion and... chocolate!

Directions: Saute onions and garlic, add ground beef and brown. Finely dice jalapeno and add. Combine with all of the canned vegetables and let simmer. Add chili seasoning and chocolate. Travis refuses to tell me how much chocolate... but I'd guess a couple of squares. Add chocolate to taste! Simmer everything to combine and then enjoy.

And finally, my dear friend over at Steinway Street shared a delicious meatloaf recipe lately. Head over HERE to check it out.

What are YOUR favorite fall comfort foods? Please share!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Card

I just love Halloween, don't you? I've had such a busy (and yucky! boo!) couple of weeks that I feel like I'm a bit behind on Halloween prep. I took a couple hours last night to put together a Halloween card design and made several to send to friends. With all of the online communication we partake in these days, it's even MORE fun to receive something in the mail!

Stampin' Up! Products used: "Batty for You" stamp set, jumbo stamp around handle black ink cartridge and "Batty" wheel, Cast a Spell Designer Paper, Black Stampin' pad, Pumpkin Pie ribbon, stampin' dimensionals.

What Halloween projects are YOU working on?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baby Appliques

Appliques, appliques, everywhere!

I took some time this weekend to make a whole bunch of appliques to keep in my stash. I love to applique onesies, tee shirts, etc. for a quick and lovely handmade gift for friends and co-workers. I figured that appliques were something I should always have a stock of - especially with the holidays upon us!

I found these two fabrics lately, and snapped up a quarter yard of each. These work perfectly because the images are already outlined in circles. Much easier to cut and sew!

You'll be seeing these lovelies again soon, that's for sure! To see my how to on making and sewing your own appliques, head over HERE for a tutorial.

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Halloween Tricks & Treats - Featuring "Batty for You" Stamp Set.

I've been a busy bee prepping samples for a Stampin' Up! workshop this weekend. With the holidays coming up there are all kinds of projects to demo that are super cute and functional, too! At Saturday's workshop we're focusing on some Halloween projects and some Christmas ones as well. Here are some great Halloween gift ideas featuring the "Batty for You" stamp set from Stampin' Up!

Supplies used: Pillar candle (on sale at Michaels), Batty for You stamp set, Basic Black Cardstock, Basic black stamp & write, Lovely lilac cardstock and stampin' pad, 1 3/8 circle punch, Scallop circle punch, Cast a Spell paper.

Supplies used: Pixie sticks, Batty for You Stamp set, Real red cardstock and stampin' pad, 1 3/8 circle punch, Scallop circle punch, Only orange cardstock and stampin' pad, lovely lilac cardstock and stampin' pad, tempting turquoise cardstock and stampin' pad.

Supplies used: Halloween pencils ($1 for 8, Target dollar bins), Batty for You stamp set, Basic black cardstock & stamp & write, Old Olive cardstock and stampin' pad, 1 3/8 circle punch, Scallop circle punch, Only orange cardstock and stampin' pad, lovely lilac cardstock and stampin' pad.

Supplies used: Halloween candy, Batty for You stamp set, Basic black stamp & write, 1 3/8 circle punch, Scallop circle punch, Cast a Spell paper, Only orange cardstock and stampin' pad, lovely lilac cardstock and stampin' pad, Old Olive cardstock and stampin' pad.

If you're interested in ordering this set, or any others, feel free to drop me a note and let me know. I can place orders for anyone, no matter where you live, and have your stamps mailed directly to you! If you want to order for Halloween though, we'll need to place orders by Monday at the latest to get your stamps to you in enough time for you to get creative before the holiday, so keep that in mind!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In Color & The Aqua Painter!

Since I'm still a NEW Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, I'm trying to take a little time each day to play around with products and create. I've been working a lot with the "In Color" series, and recently began experimenting with the Stampin' Up! Aqua Painter to color images on my cards.

Here's what the tool looks like, in two sizes...

Essentially you put water in the barrel of the Painter, and use the brush paint with your Stampin' Pads to watercolor images. It's like real painting but less messy - and is super easy!

Here are a couple of examples of cards I made (pardon the poor light in the photos - it's awfully dull and grey here!)

Tools used: Stampin' Up! In Color Cardstocks, Whisper White Cardstock, In Color Stampin' Pads, Aqua Painter, All Natural Stamp Set.

I love how to Aqua Painter really "kicks things up a notch!" and makes a simple design pop. These cards would be really quick and simple to create in a large quantity in different color combinations.

Like what you see? Hop on over HERE to check out the latest Stampin' Up! catalogs - and feel free to contact me (no matter where in the country you are!) if you'd like to place an order. Also, check out my Stampin' Up! page on Facebook! (see the box on your left!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

October CUPKINS - Halloween Double Whammy!

It's the first Monday of the month - welcome to the October edition of CUPKINS, a collaboration between Meg at Mega•Crafty and I. This month's theme ingredient is PUMPKIN... of course!

I jumped the gun a little this month and posted my pumpkin cupcakes before CUPKINS time, so for some delicious pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting topped with candy corn - please head over HERE.

And for our double cupcake feature - how about some SPOOKY eyeball cupcakes for Halloween? So much fun!

Now that we're getting into the holiday season things are beginning to get busy - and you don't necessarily have the time to bake from scratch all the time. When that happens, I go to a couple of recipes from Saucy over at Saucy's Sprinkles to save time without compromising flavor!

Saucy recommends forgoing traditional box cake directions and combining the following...

1 box chocolate cake mix (Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines)
3 eggs
1 cup water
1 half cup butter

Her frosting is even simpler - 1 cup butter, and 1 cup crisco combined. Add 4 cups powdered sugar (gradually) then finish with 1 tsp vanilla and 2 tbsp whipping cream. Easy!

For the extra spooky eyeball cupcakes, I colored the frosting purple, added purple and black sugar sprinkles, and topped them with caramel chocolate eyeballs. YUM!

Now what are you waiting for? Click on the CUPKINS logo at the top of the page to head over to Meg's to check out her Jack O Lantern Pumpkin Muffins!