Monday, February 23, 2009

We'll be back after this break!

So sorry I haven't posted in a few days....haven't had time to stamp due to the dinner and a murder party planning....just a few more days to go!! And my back is just as sore as ever. The chiropractor assured me today that that means it's getting better...I sure hope so. Some days my body just doesn't want to move but I keep telling myself, "Mind over matter!".

Planning on taking alot of pictures of the party so will post those here. Hee,hee...we even came up with school colors, a mascot and a school song. Can't reveal them yet but be assured you'll die (um, no pun intended!) laughing when you find out.

We're getting close to 5,000 hits! Wowzers!...thanks to all of you who've taken the time to visit. I have a really nice blog candy to give away so when we get closer, I'll post it.

In the meantime, click on the swinging Lily on the top left. The new Pink Cat Fairy Lily debuted today and she's soooo sweet! She's definitely on my wish list. I just love Lily and Billy! Will have some creations coming with them soon.

Thanks for visiting,
Blessings and Happy Stamping!

Charlene
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Comment Q & A

Some of my visitors said they can't figure out how to leave a comment. Sometimes I forget that there are lots of newbies out there who aren't familiar with the blogisphere. At the bottom of every post, under the signature, there is small wording, i.e., "Labels", "Links", Comments, etc. If you run your cursor over "Comments" on the page you're interested in, a new window will open up with only that page and a box for your comments.

You can sign in any number of ways.

Hope that helps!

Hubby home today and wants cookies to take to work tomorrow so no stamping until late tonight. We're also doing the cleaning prep for our 50's party next Friday night. Wish you could all be there...it's a dinner and a murder. We'll take lots of pictures and share some. Hubby is pretty good with a camera. :-)

Blessings,

Charlene

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sabrina Gift Set

You know how they say "one thing leads to another"?  Well, I just loved Sharon Johnson's Valentine found here.  Actually, I love EVERYTHING she does.  That is one talented lady.  Her style is so elegant and she makes everything look so easy.  I will never be able to do either but dreaming is fun, right?!  I actually started with the notebook, then the card, then I thought a mailbox for giving each other small gifts, sweet notes and candy might be nice....then I figured they might not write the notes so I made the post-it note holder and pen set and finally the bag.

Except for a few scraps,   I've used up my very favorite papers from the Making Memories Sabrina pack and I must say, it was very satisfying.  :-)  I'll try to give you some details about each item.  The card base is Papertrey's ivory cardstock.  I punched the edge with a Martha Stewart edge and emboss punch then adhered and stitched the center piece.  The hearts are Spellbinders...and yes, those black smudges come on the paper.  :-)  I found the tiny black jewels (actually plastic) in the jewelry dept. at Michael's.  $2.99 for over a hundred multi-sizes.  The pin is a combination of SU's Pretties Kit and some black beads from Michael's.  Sheer ribbon is Michael's as well.  The sentiment is Flourishes.  
 I just LOVE how the mailbox turned out!  Basically the same idea as the card with a sentiment from Papertrey.
  And finally, the post-it note holder.   (This blogger program is driving me nuts!!...won't let me add the pictures where I want them...grrrr)  I think it may be the user, too!! 
You can find the tutorial to make this on SCS.  The base is chipboard.  I found the Laura Ashley notes at Michael's a few seasons ago and put them in my stash.  Basically I measured the depth of the notes, then made a spine using my trusty Scor-Pal. I covered the outside wrapping a 1/2" seam to the inside, then covered that seam on the inside with more DP.  I used Scor-Tape to make sure everything held on tight.
Thanks so much for visiting.  I'd love to know what you think.  If you'd like any info on how to do anything here, just leave a comment here.  I check in daily.

Blessings and Happy Stamping!

Charlene
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Blog Candy Fun!!

A Fun Blog Candy!


I "won" a homemade gift by leaving one of the first 5 comments on Nancy's blog, so now I'll see who my first 5 are. The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you!


This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!

2. What I create will be just for you.

3. It'll be done this year! (I will get it to you in the next month or so, hopefully - grin).

4. You have no clue what it's going to be. I have tons of ideas, but who knows what it will be? Not you, that's for sure!

5. The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same deal to the first 5 people who do leave a comment  on your blog! (then come here and post, I WILL check your blog *wink*) The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did, will win a handmade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!


So....who will be the first 5 people?????

Blessings and Happy Blogging!
Charlene






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Here's my Nutty Heart

Last of my Valentine treats although this won't be the last time I bake these delicious Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread Hearts....easy and yummy.

This is a recipe from Cottage Living. I wanted to make something a bit different than pink/red frosted cookies this year and since time was at a premium, these fit the bill.

You can make the dough ahead, wrap it in plastic warp and freeze it up to 4 months. I bet you could also make it into a log then slice and bake to streamline the process even further. Thaw in refrigerator overnight before cutting and baking if you decide to freeze the dough.

Here's the recipe:


1/2 c. chopped hazelnuts, peeled and lightly toasted, plus extra for dipping
(I put them in the microwave for about 5 minutes, dump them into a clean dishtowel and rub to remove the skins. Nicely toasted, too!)
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 t. kosher salt
8 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
10 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped (or you can use chocolate chips)

Process 1/2 c. toasted chopped hazelnuts and next 4 ingredients in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground. Add butter, vanilla, and egg yolk; pulse until butter is cut in evenly ad the mixture starts to come together, scrpaing down the sides of machine once or twice. (Dough will be crumbly and may not come together fully until kneaded.)

Remove dough from processor, knead light 2 or 3 times. Flatten into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (you may freeze at this point). Remove from refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut heart shapes with a 2-1/2 inch cutter, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Gather and reroll dough scraps and cut again.

Bake 10-12 minutes or just until edges turn light golden brown. Remove from oven, transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Melt chocolate in microwave on high 1 minute at a time, stirring every 30 seconds. Cool slightly. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate and if desired, into finely chopped hazelnuts. Place on waxed or parchment lined baking sheet and chill about 15 minutes or just until chocolate sets. Store in airtight container up to 2 days.

Makes 2 to 2-1/2 dozen

Enjoy!!

Blessings and Happy Baking!

Charlene
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Breakfast, Anyone?


Aren't these just the yummiest looking cinnamon rolls? They are in the current issue of Bon Appetit. My mom passed away last year but she had pre-paid for several years of Bon Appetit for me. Every issue reminds me of how much she taught me about the art of baking and homemaking and I thank God for her and those gifts..
These rolls are HUGE! They're made with Yukon Gold potatoes which keeps them super moist. The dough is a bit sticky and there's an error in the recipe regarding the amount of flour necessary. It called for 4-1/2 cups and said it made 12 rolls. I used almost 9 cups of flour and made 2 dozen. Not to worry...they freeze beautifully and I've given a few away.
The coffee's on if you'd like to come on over.
Blessings and Happy Baking!
Charlene
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

He did it all by himself!!


Two posts today.
Look what my husband made while I was out. His very first card unassisted and with little to no idea what to use or how to do it. I came home from working at church and there it was. Isn't he the sweetest? He also brought me a beautiful bromeliad...I'm not one for things that don't last long...like roses. I love them but when they're gone...they're gone.

He found some single stationary notes that I had gotten in a huge pack at Target awhile ago so this is a flat card. He used a scrap I had laying out from the Making Memories Sabrina pack and the scalloped heart was on my desk. He found my punches and punched the rest himself. I asked how he adhered it all...Mono-multi...and did you notice he scored the center of the scalloped heart and left the edges upturned? Clever fella...he even has one of the hearts tucked into the dotted piece...he said he wanted it to look like it was coming out of a box.
I think I may need to take some lessons...he obviously has skills he's been hiding these 40 years.

P.S. He said he couldn't find a "bee" after he'd written his cute "Will you "bee" my Valentine?" hee,hee...I think it's fine the way it is.

Blessings and Happy Stamping!


Charlene
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The Chocolate Book...Revisited

Happy Valentine's Day!! Today has been a good day. The sun is shining and I got lots acomplished. I made another version of the Chocolate Book for the teachers at high school where our church meets. I used the K & Co. Valentine pack and was determined to use only papers from that pack except for the corresponding back side.

This version uses two DP's butted together and closed with a belly band. The stamp is a Michael's $1 that I stamped twice. I cut the center out of one with my 1" circle punch, sponged the edges and popped it up with a dimensional. The large hearts were cut with the Spellbinders Nestibilities then run through the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder. Hershey bars finish it off. YUM!

The insert is a PDF file that I have available on SCS along with the tutorial. For those of you who may have downloaded the tutorial previously, I've changed it to make it simpler and more generic. It was written specifically for the one I did for the Scor-Pal magazine a couple of years ago so it was due for an overhaul. Please note: this design is copyrighted and may not be reproduced for sale or publication.

Thanks for visiting. Your comments are appreciated and always welcome. Thank you too for all the sweet wishes regarding my back. It will take awhile but is getting better by the day...helps if I keep it iced like I'm supposed to...not my favorite thing to do. BRRRRR....

Happy Valentine's Day!

Charlene

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Not Your Average Notepad

A quick post today.  My back is still stiff as a board and I think my mind is too.  I had a stamp camp scheduled this week...on the 12th...that was yesterday, right?  Well, I sent my ladies an email saying I'd see them FRIDAY.  Sooooo, I made my DH a nice dinner and since it was warm, I decided it would be nice to eat outside.  My phone rings at 7 p.m.  One of my friends is at my front door...for stamp camp!!!  Thank goodness, I'm organized....most of the time, anyway.  I had everything ready to go and all loaded into bins.  My DH cleared the table, did the dishes and even made coffee.  I owe him big time....;-)...he assured me he would take advantage of that fact!  I wish I had thought to take pictures of their mailboxes....totally adorable and each unique.  They also made two cards...the one in the last post and another I'll get posted soon, that is IF I can remember!!!  LOL 
In the meantime, I made this chipboard notepad for a friend.  I LOVE the paper in the Making Memories pack called SABRINA.  I tried to find some online so I could show you a photo but couldn't find it.  I got mine at Michael's.  It's the prettiest paper...all pink, black and cream and the price was only about $12 for 24 12x12 sheets.  I also picked up the little flowers and matching bling packs.  I don't ususally do that and regret it later. 
I used my Spellbinders Label One Nesties and SU's Sweet Sampler sentiment.  I used the pink rhinestones from the bling pack on the flourishes.  The flowers were just simple round disks so I cut the top two into petals and shaped them a bit.  I sponged the edges in Versamark black ink.  It's darker than SU's black and I thought it looked better here.  I finally learned to use my binding machine.  Not hard, I just had to slow down and take the time to read the instructions. 
Thanks so much for visiting.  I appreciate your sweet comments and emails so much.
Blessings,
Charlene
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Anniversary Sketch Card - Late!!

Nicole at Papertrey issued a sketch challenge to win stuff...well, I didn't get it finished in time but I am in love with this pink and black combo. This was a super simple card to do. The size is 5-1/4 x 4-1/4 because I crimped a corner...don't you just hate that!!? I've managed to throw my back out...again (!) so can't sit too long. Afraid it's back to the chiropractor. This is a fun and easy sketch. Try your hand at it and see what YOU can do. Edited to add: I had a question regarding what a "sketch" is. It's the basic card layout. In this instance, the layout was to have a one piece back layer, the middle "pillar" layer, the image layer and the placement of the embellishments. What you do with the basic "sketch" is up to you.
Supplies: Cardstock - PTI, Making Memories, Stampin Up
Stamps - PTI Faux Ribbon, Michael's $1
Accessories - Ribbon - PTI, Bling- Michael's $1
Thanks for visiting...your comments are always welcome.
Blessings and Happy Stamping,
Charlene
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Saturday, February 7, 2009

I love you Beary much!..Before and After

I used to collect teddy bears....lots of them. While I don't do THAT anymore...um, stamps have kinda replaced them...I'm still a goner for a cute furry face.

I saw these cuties and knew they'd be perfect to tuck into my grandchildren's Valentine box.
Of course, I couldn't send them out of the house looking like this so I dressed them up a bit.





This is the one I did for my granddaughter. The cute image and designer paper are all K & Co.
in a Valentine pack I found at Michael's. The base cardstock is Papertrey Ink Sweet Blush and Summer Sunrise. I stamped her name using Spellbinders Brayton Font. See that sweet butterfly? It's the Martha Stewart punch....I used a product called Shimmerz in the color Pixie Dust, on the wings...I wish you could see the sparkle. Shimmerz is a paint on glitter. You just shake it up and put it wherever you want some sparkle. Easy Peasy!
That cute little bird was already all glittered up.
I made one for my grandson as well but that picture came out too dark...I'll say it again...I can't wait for my birthday and that photo light box. Geesh, I never thought I'd want another birthday to hurry and get here but anything for stamping, right? :-)
Thanks for visiting. Your comments are always welcome!
Blessings and Happy Stamping,
Charlene
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Friday, February 6, 2009

It's in the Bag!


Papertrey Ink is having a contest that asked us to come up with a bag design or decoration. I had some of these super nice glassine bags and my very favorite Berry Sorbet cardstock and ribbon so I decided to play along. The stamp set I used is Flower Garden. I can't tell you how many times I pull this set out. It's so versatile! I used Versamark ink to stamp the large flower onto Berry Sorbet DP then clear embossed it. I stamped over the center dots with both chocolate and Vintage Cream Palette inks. I stamped the stem in Spring Moss Palette ink onto Spring Moss cardstock then cut it out. The leaf on the left is popped up just a bit to give it dimension. The large flower is popped up on a dimensional in the center. I cut into the petals to give them some form then I stamped the word "smile" in Vintage Cream and clear embossed it as well.


Do you see the little petals falling of the flower? I cut those off one of the smaller flowers in the set. I distressed the edges of the tag and sponged them with Vintage cream as well.

The tag is removable so my friend can take it off and use it on a card if she wants to.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you find time to make a bag too!

Blessings and Happy Stamping!


Charlene

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You've got to take a look at these new Webster's Pages!

Sorry for the lack of posting the past few days, we're planning a dinner and a mystery party for our Bible study group.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  We have a group that meets for fellowship where two couples plan a meal and a theme, everyone makes a part of  the meal  and the rest is up to the hosts.  It's at the end of the month so I'll let you know how it goes then.  

In addition, I'm making some draperies for the bedroom sliding glass doors....beautiful silk, lined in blackout lining.  That stuff is HEAVY and the amount of material I'm working with is ridiculous,  but, she said shamefully, the fabric's been sitting in the master bedroom for a year and a half!!!   Confession is good for the soul, right?  OUCH!

I took a break from ironing and the sewing to look at some of the new papers, tools and embellishments coming out this spring and I'm in LOVE with this line of Webster's pages.  Whimsical, vintage, romantic, fun and elegance all rolled into one beautiful paper pack.  I don't own any yet, but I've read that these papers are heavyweight.  I'm thinking something like Crate Paper, maybe.  Can't wait until they make their debut in the spring, but you can WIN them if you go to the link and leave a comment.   Plus, you can get a close up look at each paper.   How cool is that? 
Thanks for visiting.  I'll have a project soon.
Blessings and Happy Stamping (and Baking!),
Charlene
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