Friday, August 27, 2010

Quick Card Set

Lucky for me - I have a lot of wonderful friends, family, and customers, that I needed to thank this week!  Soooo... I put together a quick card set using (a retired pattern of) Stampin' Up!'s designer series paper...

You've seen me make these types of cards before - in fact, you can find a tutorial for the cards here (scroll down to bottom of post), and one for coordinating envelopes here.

I love these cards because they are so quick and easy to make, and really cute!  Sets of these also make a lovely gift!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Finally!  We got one!  It only took three years for us to have tomato-growing success but we finally made it!

Excuse the photo quality, I took them on my phone.  Now let's hope we get some more!  A few are looking like they are getting ready to turn, so we may be in luck!

Happy gardening!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wedding Favors

I'm still alive!

I'm finally finished with my summer semester of classes - phew!  It was my last semester of classes in my graduate program, just six weeks long, two classes, and two huge research papers.  It was absolutely the toughest semester of grad school - and I'm PROUD to say that worked really hard, and just found our yesterday that I received a 4.0 for the semester!

Now I have three and a half weeks to recuperate and reenergize before I start my thesis - and as long as all goes well I'll be a MASTER in December!  Woot woot!

As you can imagine - crafting time has not been in the schedule lately - but I did want to share with you the wedding favors that we worked on last week (see posts here and here) in action...

I love the triangular theme that carries through the table -- the favors, photo centerpieces, and napkin folds.

Now that I have some time off I'll not only be designating plenty of time for crafting and blogging, but taking some time to enjoy what's left of summer as well.

There are so many of you whose blogs I love to read and just haven't had the chance to visit lately - I'm so sorry!  You can be sure that I'll be doing so, and catching up with e-mails, over the next few weeks.

Happy end of summer! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anatomy of 150 Wedding Favors: Part 2

Much progress has been made on the 150 wedding favors Heather and I were commissioned to make.  We scored and folded all of the boxes, attached the sentiments, and threaded ribbon through...

I just adore this paper and the range of blues.  So pretty! 

Now all that's left to do is to put chocolates inside, close the boxes and thread and tie the ribbons, and they're done!

I can't wait to see these favors on the wedding tables, set at each place.  I hope that the bride and groom, and guests, enjoy them!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Ready, Set, Craft Re-Run: Gnocchi with Summer Veggies

Originally posted here on RSC last summer, this recipe (courtesy of Everyday Food Magazine) is a summer staple in our home.  Travis (he's the cook in our house!) made it last night with fresh, locally grown squash, zucchini and grape tomatoes from the farmers market and it was amazing.  Simple and quick to prepare, it's an easy no-meat meal that's full of flavor.  Enjoy!

Gnocchi with summer vegetables

serves 4
prep time: 15 min
Total time: 15 min

1 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini or summer squash, or one of each quartered and sliced (we used one of each!)
2 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 package (15 to 16oz) frozen or fresh gnocchi
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2tbsp grated romano cheese
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add squash and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until squash in crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid, drain gnocchi and transfer to skillet. Toss gnocchi, adding enough cooking liquid to create a sauce. Remove from heat and stir in basil, cheese, butter, and lemon juice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happiness is... magic wands and sandcastles

This past weekend we headed out to the lake as we so often do, and our friends Heather, Anthony, and daughter Lily joined us.  South Haven hosts a Blueberry Festival every year complete with live music, an art show, and yes - lots and lots of blueberries.  We took advantage of the events and headed down to a concert on the water on Friday night, then spent Saturday on the beach. 

It's funny how you can see places and events in a whole new way just by adding a child into the equation.  It was so fun to watch Lily at the show, and on the beach.  She had a great time.  She loved her light up wand at the concert and clapped heartily at the end of each song - she had a whale of the time on the beach building sandcastles and sitting in the water as well.

Sitting at the waters' edge laughing with Lily as the ends of waves touched her toes was one of the best moments of the weekend - life doesn't get any better than experiencing true joy in those that you love.  I need to do a better job or realizing that it's those little moments that mean the most.  So glad the Hill Family was able to spend the weekend with us at the lake!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Stamp Set Spotlight: Itty Bitty Bits

Welcome to this week's Stamp Set Spotlight!  Each week I highlight a different Stampin' Up! stamp set and show you some project ideas using it.  This week I'm spotlighting the Itty Bitty Bits stamp set - this set first made its appearance in the Summer Mini Catalog but carried over to the 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog - and I'm so glad!

Itty Bitty Bits is a great set because it comes in both clear and wood mount, and has a coordinating punch pack and set of clear buttons that go with it.  So much cuteness!

Cardstock:  Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, Whisper White
Designer Series Paper:  None
Inks:  Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, Pear Pizzazz, Concord Crush, Blushing Bride, Basic Black
Adhesives:  Snail Monoadhesive, Mini Glue Dots
Accessories:  Poppy Parade Stitched Ribbon, Bitty Buttons, Scallop Border Punch
Cardstock:  Whisper White
Designer Series Paper:  None
Inks:  Pear Pizzazz, Poppy Parade, Blushing Bride, Concord Crush, Peach Parfait, Basic Black
Adhesives:  Stampin' Dimensionals
Accessories:  Punch Pack
Cardstock:  Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Inks:  Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue
Adhesives:  Snail Monoadhesive, Stampin' Dimensionals
Accessories:  Punch Pack
Cardstock:  Whisper White
Inks:  Pacific Point
Accessories:  Basic Rhinestones

Cardstock:  Whisper White, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point
Inks:  Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point, Soft Suede
Adhesives:  Snail Monoadhesive, Mini Glue Dots
Accessories:  Punch Pack, Bitty Buttons
To order YOUR Itty Bitty Bits stamp set and all of the bitty accessories - head over to my Stampin' Up! website today!

Friday, August 13, 2010

August Stamp A Stack Cards

I'm really excited about this month's Stamp A Stack cards... so excited in fact that some of these cards may crop up at workshops throughout the next couple of months as well.  If you're local - you should join us to make some great cards and learn some new stamping techniques.  We have a ball!

This card features the "Birthday Bakery" level 1 hostess set.  It's a simple card, but the embossing with the heat tool on the image and greeting really make it look sharp.

Here's the second card - also using Birthday Bakery.  I love the little cakes on cake stands - so cute!  We'll be using Stampin' Write markers to color in the line-art images.

The third and fourth cards we're doing at the Stamp A Stack are using the "For You Flower" a la carte stamp.  This is a great single stamp for just $7.95 that can be used throughout the year for a variety of occasions.  I'm loving it!  These cards use Poppy Parade, Concord Crush and Pear Pizzazz - three of the five 2010-2011 In Colors.  I love the red, especially.

Live in West Michigan?  I have plenty of spots available in my August 20 Stamp A Stack as several of my regular stampers are out of town this month.  First time class attendees get half off their class fee.  Join us to make 8, 12, or 15 cards - you'll have a great time!  Friday August 20, 2010 at 7:00pm at my home.  Drop me a note at if you'd like to join us.

Not local?  Head over to my Stampin' Up! website to purchase all of the supplies needed to make these cards and more!  Happy Stamping!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stamp Set Spotlight: Sweet Scoops

It's stamp set spotlight time again! Each week I choose one Stampin' Up! stamp set, and show you a variety of cards made with it. This week I'm spotlighting the "Sweet Scoops" stamp set from the Summer Mini Catalog. Sweet Scoops is a two-step stamping set, featuring mix and match ice cream cones and ice cream scoops.  It's so much fun to play with - check out my delicious creations!

Cardstock:  Pretty in Pink, Whisper White 
Designer Series Paper:  None 
Ink:  Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip
Adhesives:  Snail monoadhesive
Accessories:  Pink gingham ribbon (retired), Scallop Edge Punch, Big Shot Machine and Texturz plates

Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, YoYo Yellow (retired), Green Galore (retired) 
Designer Series Paper: None
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink,YoYo Yellow (retired), Green Galore (retired)

Adhesives: Snail monoadhesive
Accessories: Pretty in Pink 1/4 inch Grosgrain Ribbon

Cardstock:  Melon Mambo, Certainly Celery, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White
Designer Series Paper:  None
Ink:  Chocolate Chip, Tangerine Tango, Certainly Celery, Daffodil Delight, Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo
Adhesives:  Snail monoadhesive
Accessories:  None
Cardstock:  Pear Pizzazz, Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, Concord Crush, Blushing Bride, Sahara Sand, Whisper White
Designer Series Paper:  None
Inks:  Pear Pizzazz, Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, Concord Crush, Blushing Bride, Sahara Sand, Basic Black
Adhesives:  Mini Glue Dots, Snail Monoadhesive
Accessories:  Poppy Parade and Blushing Bride 1/2 inch poly-stitched ribbon, Big Shot Machine and texturz plates, top note die.

The Sweet Scoops stamp set is available in both wood and clear mount, and will retire at the end of this month along with the rest of the Summer Mini Catalog. Head over to my Stampin' Up! website to purchase your set today before it's too late!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back to School Crafts

I have an article over at this week as part of their "Back to School" package.  I hope you'll head over and check out my projects for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and grade schoolers (including art aprons, pictured below)  Click HERE to jump to the article!

Monday, August 9, 2010


I celebrated my 28th birthday over the weekend.  Despite feeling unwell the couple of days leading up to my special day, I was in good health the day of and enjoyed a weekend being spoiled by friends and family, all of whom I love very dearly.

After beginning my birthday weekend with a yummy meal at a restaurant in Kalamazoo with my mother and father in law and husband on Thursday, followed by a lovely breakfast at a local vegetarian restaurant with good friend Cindy on my birthday morning, we hosted friends Heather, Anthony, Justin and Kristen at our house for appetizers and drinks before heading out to a delicious Italian dinner Friday night.  Heather made Tiramisu cupcakes and they were divine!

I was spoiled with all kinds of gifts... including a variety of cupcake-y things, a beautiful leather journal, and a gift certificate to my favorite local yoga studio.

Travis and I purchased a laptop this weekend - I will be writing my thesis this fall and was in desperate need of something portable on which to write and research.  My parents very generously purchased the software we needed for it and gifted me some money to purchase a laptop/work tote.  Franklin Covey here I come!

As a final surprise, my parents drove 2 1/2 hours from the other side of the state to take us out to breakfast on Sunday. I had no idea they were coming!  It was lovely to spend some time with them.

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so special!  I'm feeling good about 28 - this is going to be my year!