Monday, January 30, 2012

Baby Carriage BBTB2 Challenge/Blog Hop

Happy Monday morning and welcome to the monthly Bitten by the Bug 2 blog hop.  If you are following the blog hop, you probably arrived here from awesome Jeri's awesome blog where you oooh'ed and aaaah'ed over Jeri's project.  This week is just like a regular week at BBTB2, with our fabulous design team co-leader, Carole, selecting the weekly challenge cut, except this week you get to visit each team members' blog to see how the challenge cut was used.

For those new to the world of Cricut, each week the BBTB2 design team is presented with a single cut that we must use in a single project.  We then ask you, our readers, to consider playing along and creating your own project using the Cricut challenge cut. 

This week Carole chose the baby carriage from the New Arrival cartridge.  And even though I do own New Arrival, I decided to use the sweet silhouette cut from A Child's Year cartridge and create a baby girl show invitation - because let's face it, I have been into the invitations in the last two weeks!

I used two cartridges to create these cut baby shower invitations: A Child's Year and CTMH's Art Philosophy. (I have NO IDEA what I did before Art Philosophy was released!).  I used Art Philosophy to cut the oval and scalloped oval used to mat the silhouette cuts.  I used A Child's Year to cut the two silhouette layers.  I did minimal embellishing of the silhouette, simply adding two buttons on the wheels.

I cut two background layers, one in dark brown card stock and the other in craft card stock.  I then added a sweet tiny pink floral print card stock to the top of the craft card stock.  I topped this layer with clear vellum printed in hot pink ink.

I finished the entire card by adding a pink and white striped bow accented with a jeweled hat pin.  I thought the pen was the perfect feminine finishing touch.

I did mention the BBTB2 blog hop this week, right.  The next stop on the hop is at the blog of very talented and very nice Theresa - Tree Frog!   I hope you enjoy the blog hop and that you drop by later in the week and check out my additional posts for this week!!!

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While I have you here, I would like to remind you that tomorrow is the last day to order Close to My Heart's Stamp of the Month set, Little Reminder.  The 25 piece stamp set is available only through 1.31.12 for the special price of $17.95.  Or with a $50 Close to my Heart order, you will be prompted during check out to purchase the Stamp of the Month set for only $5.00!!  For more information on the Stamp of the Month set or any Close to My Heart products, visit my CTMH on-line store.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bridal Tea Invitation

Hello everyone!  I have FINALLY finished the invitations which I have worked on off-and-on all week.  This invitation is for a bridal shower for MFK's (My Friend Kathy's) son Kyle's future bride, Ashley.  Kyle's aunt Kimberly and I are co-hosting a bridal tea in two weeks.  I had to finish the invitations in order to get them in the mail today - and I succeeded!  The last thing Doug and I did before leaving Aiken for the weekend (we are in Chattanooga visiting his mother) was stop by the post office.  AND YES, I did pay twenty cents extra per envelope because of the bow!

I used Cricut Craft Room and three Cricut cartridges to create these invitations:  CTMH's Art Philosophy, A Child's Year, and Kate's ABC's.  The most time consuming part of the cutting and assembly, as you might have guessed, was cutting and assembling the little girl with the tea cup.  She did take a while, but the details were worth the effort!  In the original cut the little girl is reading a book (I think).  I used scissors and trimmed away the book area and added in the tea cup.

I printed the pastry layer cardstock using the Yummy Imagine Cartridge (oops, I guess that means I used four cartridges).  I then printed the invitation information on vellum and added the vellum layer over the pastry cardstock. 

I finished each invitation with a a two inch wide striped ribbon bow, attached with large glue dots. The only problem that I foresee is that the bride to be does not like pink!! Oops.

I will be back with a new post on Monday morning for the monthly BBTB2 blog hop.  But in the meantime, I am in Chattanooga enjoying my in-laws.  Anyone know any good scrap stores in the Chattanooga/Hixson area???  :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Theater-Drama Class Bulletin Board with Cricut

Several months ago I mentioned that I had assisted my future daughter-in-law with bulletin boards for her Theater classroom.  Crissie wanted to post photos of her students performing and as well as have a place to post auditions and other information and I agreed to help her. 

I cut medium size tickets and in an effort to assist with her "word wall", a wall with words of study for her courses, I cut the word wall words inside the tickets and Crissie used them as a border on her board.  She was thrilled to have the words displayed in a way that added to her board visually, yet was decorative and represented theater!

I also cut large tickets, with cut outs of the phrase "Admit One" included on one end.  Crissie used this large tickets as matting for photos.  She posted photos of her students performing.  The large tickets were cut initially in red cardstock with gold backgrounds.  However on her visit this week Crissie asked for a few more large red tickets as well a some large gold tickets.

I also cut a stage scene for Crissie's bulletin board.  She placed this in the center board and added some title cuts that I gave her after these photos were taken.  I apologize for the low resolution of some of the photos, but they were taken with Crissie's phone camera.

Crissie told me that she has received a number of compliments on her bulletin boards and was quite happy that her co-workers and students noticed the changes to her classroom.

Monday, January 23, 2012

3-D Flowers with Cricut and BBTB2

My goodness that weekend went by quickly, but yes, here it is already Monday.  And you know what that means - It's Bitten by the Bug2 day.  This week's challenge cut, the Cricut cut used by the BBTB2 design team to create the projects for the week, was selected by my fabulous design team sister, Jeri Thomas of Bug N Me Creations.   Jeri chose to use the six petal flower on the Bloom cartridge.   Jeri requested that the team use the flat cut flower to make 3-D flowers to share this week. 

I do not own the Bloom cartridge so I used an eight petal flower from the Serenade cartridge and created my 3-D flowers.  I used the same technique that I used to make flowers for my mom's birthday party.  I cut five flowers the same size, and one smaller flower.

I folded four of the flowers into quarters and secured the folds by placing a small glue dot on the inside of the flowers on the second fold.  I then adhered the four flower quarters to the fifth flower, which remained flat.  I then used a smaller cut of the same flower to create the centers and I finished the flowers with button gems available from Close to my Heart.  If you would like detailed info on assembling these flowers you can go to this previous post of mine for details.

I topped the flowers off with a 3-D butterfly cut from Close to my Heart's Art Philosophy cartridge.  This is my favorite butterfly cut, ever!

I used the Sweet Boxes cartridge to cut my box.  I used pink cardstock for the bottom of the box and white cardstock for the box top.  I wrapped the box in a pink and white striped ribbon before topping the box with the 3-D flowers.

I want to remind those of you who like to collect the Close to My Heart Stamp of the Month sets that you only have one more week to purchase this month's Stamp of the Month, Little Reminder.  I especially love sentiments that come with this stamp set.  You can purchase the stamp set on it's own for $17.95, or with a $50 purchase you can get the stamp set during checkout for $5.00!  You can purchase the Stamp of the Month set, the Art Philosophy cartridge and all CTMH products at my Close to My Heart on-line store!

Thanks for stopping by today and please do remember to go by Bitten by the Bug 2 and check out the design team's awesome work!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby Boy Shower Invitation for Everyday Cricut

Hello everyone!  I am finally back to the joy of crafting!  And when I return to crafting I do it with a bang!  I spent many hours on Friday cutting the elements for this adorable baby shower invitation - fourty-four baby shower invitations!!  However, the timing was perfect as this is my day as Saturday Designer at Everyday Cricut

For details on the cartridges I used, visit the Everyday Cricut blog.   As a bonus, Everyday Cricut's Friday post features wonderful photos of the TEN new cartridges released this week!

To download the Cricut Craft Room cut file, look for the list of craftroom cut files in the left column of my blog and select the title, Baby Invitations

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Not Quite Ship Shape Layouts

I wanted to give you a quick up date.  The root canal went as well as humanly possible.  My dentist is a god amist mortal dentists!  I should be completely back to normal by the tomorrow.

I am so looking forward to sharing the layouts from my cruise scrapbook but I need just a day or two more.  I found a ton of things to do today and did not finish the scrapping or the journaling.   Also there are still a number of pages yet to finish.  On the up side, I really like the way the cruise scapbook is coming together!

Soon, very soon I will have projects to share!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Missing From Blog Land

Hello readers!  Yes, I am still missing from blog land... well, sort of.  I do not have a project to share today, nor did I complete my Bitten by the Bug 2 project this week.  I am not feeling quite like myself.  I have an unhappy tooth. 

I broke a tooth on some EVIL caramel corn.  I will be spending Tuesday morning at the dentist undergoing step one of a root canal.  :(   I am a bit nervous, but on the other hand, I am ready for the pain to be gone!!  I am hoping that by the end of the week I will have a happy tooth again!

I did manage quite a bit of scrapping over the last weekend as I was at the lake with my scrappy girlfriends - along with my antibiotics and vicodin!  I spent much of the weekend scrapping the photos from our November cruise - as well as being moody, spilling tea in MFK's van and being the person who was using MFK's Expression when it DIED!!  Not my best weekend.   I still have about 8 - 10 pages of cruise to scrap before the album will be complete.  Of course I also have to go back and do the journaling on the pages I completed/nearly completed at the lake (about 18 pages).   I have the photos grouped and I have a plan so the remaining pages in the book should come together easily, if not quickly.

I do hope to have some pages to share with you soon, as well as some baby shower invitations that I making for one of my Grandmother-to-be friends!

Think good thoughts about my tooth today, if you get a chance!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Birthday Party Decor


Here she is, my mom - the birthday girl.  To me she does NOT look like she is 75, especially with her tiara I supplied for her birthday party.  She seemed to truly enjoy her party, the guests, the gifts, and especially the food.  I had spent the week before her party baking and preparing foods.  In the end I served Beef Brisket, Shrimp cocktail, Spinach-Feta balls, Macaroni and Cheese, Cheese platter, Veggie and dip platter, fruit platter, and rolls.   Additionally there were lots of sweets!

Last week I shared the invitations that I sent to the guests.  I used a pink, black and white palette.  I continued the color scheme and the princess crown theme through the decorations.  Using Teresa Collins Black and White Imagine cartridge, I printed both sides of white cardstock with the crown print.  I cut the sheets with Ribbons and Rosettes, to make the large black and white rosettes.  I cut pink scalloped centers and added the same glitter crown cut to the rosettes.  

Most of the rosettes were double sided so they were wonderful for center pieces on the tables.  The exception was the very first rosette - the prototype - was single sided.  I ended up using the singled sided rosette in the napkin/plastic ware basket.   

I used the same rosettes in bright pink buckets on the tables with the Cricut flowers.  The flowers are the same design as the Mother's Day Cricut flowers from last year.  I used assorted pink print cardstock to cut the flower pieces.  I finished each flower with a tiny center flower with a gemstone. 

This is a close up of the flower with a white background.

This flower was created with a fun pink plaid.

This is the napkin/plastic ware basket in an off center photo so that you can see some of the 3-D details.

I used extra crowns and crowns on scalloped circles to decorate the buffet table.  Below is a view of the shrimp tower and cheese platter.  I also found five inch skewers with tiny rose buds on them to stick into the cheese!

The fruit platter and spinach-feta balls are surrounded by crowns.

My nephew, Carter, was very interested in Granny's tiara.  He knew it was a girly toy, but wanted to try it on anyway.  I completely encouraged Carter's exploration of his royal side!

Finally, I snapped a quick photo of my mom and my honey, Doug, at her party.  She was nervous as the evening began, but she settled down and had a nice evening.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bookworm Caterpillar Book Marker

Happy Monday everyone.  I am back from my mom's 75th birthday party and I can report that everything went wonderfully.  The food was a huge hit, as were the cricut created decorations.  More on that tomorrow.  Today is a Bitten by the Bug 2 Monday.  Our new team co-leader, Carole, selected this week's BBTB2 challenge cut - the Caterpillar from Walk in My Garden.  I decided to improvise a bit, and I chose to use a different Caterpillar - the one on the Create a Critter cartridge.

I made a bookworm book marker featuring my gentleman Caterpillar.  The Caterpillar was cut at 5 inches tall and is dressed in various cuts from the Billionaire cartridge.  He is wearing his reading glasses and is reading a copy of that nature classic, "Gone with the Worm".  I love to mix and match my cartridges to create fun looks, and this book marker is a great example of one of my mixes.

Be sure to drop by BBTB2 today and check out the design team projects - they put my cute little bookworm to shame.  He should just go bury his head in a book and hide!!!

Thanks for stopping by today and I will be back tomorrow with photos of the b-day celebration.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Susan's Almost World Famous Yeast Rolls Recipe

Hello everyone. I have been totally busy cooking and making decorations for Mom’s 75th birthday party…. Friday is getting closer and closer and I am not quite ready yet. However, I have faith that by Friday I will have finished everything I need to do.

I was asked to post the recipe for my rolls when I posted the photo of them over my Christmas break. These are NOT quick rolls, but they are not difficult and worth every minute you invest in them. They truly are THAT good! You mix, rise and shape the rolls on the first day and then you bake them the next morning. They smell and taste SO GOOD straight from the oven.


4 Cups of Water
1 ½ Cups of Sugar
1 Pkg of dry yeast (NOT Rapid Rise)
1 Cup of Shortening (I use Crisco)
1 Tbsp of Salt
4 Eggs, beaten
14+ Cups of All-Purpose Flour (I use unbleached)
¼ Cup of sugar
¼ - 1/3 Cup of milk

Very Important – begin the rolls around 1 pm (depending on how early or late you prefer to go to bed)
Combine 4 cups of water and 1.5 cups of sugar in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and boil continuously for 5 minutes. Pour the boiling water into a very large bowl and add 1 tablespoon of salt and a cup of Crisco. Let the water mixture sit and cool unit the temperature is between 105 – 110 degrees (roughly 45-60 minutes). Add the dry yeast to the mixture and let it develop for five minutes. Add four beaten eggs and mix well. Add 6 cups of flour and stir. Add another 5 cups of flour (or so) until the dough is firm enough to handle. Roll the dough onto a floured surface and begin adding flour and kneading. Knead the dough until it is firm but elastic and not too sticky.

Put the dough back into the large bowl and cover the bowl with a clean dish towel. Let the dough rise for four hours. Punch the dough down and let it continue to rise. Two hours later punch the dough down a second time.
You are now ready to shape the dough into rolls. I cannot stress enough that if the yeast was proofed correctly, this dough will rise!!! I “pam” several large baking sheets and place dough balls (a bit larger than a golf ball) onto the baking sheets. You may also choose to put three quarter size balls into regular muffin tins and let them rise to become Parkerhouse style rolls (see the photo for the risen PH style rolls). I fold the dough around itself creating a smooth top for the rolls. Cover the pans with clean dish towels and let them rise in a draft free area over night.

The next morning preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes (approximately). While the first pan is baking, mix the milk and ¼ cup of sugar in a small bowl. As you remove each pan of rolls from the oven, using a pastry bush, glaze the rolls with milk and sugar mixture.

This recipe make about 60-70 rolls, depending on how large you shape the rolls. I ALWAYS freeze any rolls that are not eaten on day one. The texture of rolls changes slightly as they age. By freezing the rolls they stay Day 1 fresh all of the time.

I usually just wrap the frozen rolls in foil and reheat them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes. My kids will microwave a single roll and snack on them, but they are better from the oven.

I hope you enjoy the rolls if you decide to bake them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Birthday Party Invitations

Hello everyone.  Yesterday I mentioned that I am hosting a celebration for my mom's 75th birthday this Friday.  Originally I planned for the event to be a surprise party, but upon further reflection I decided to get mom's input on the guest list.   And I was pleased that I did.... She provided info on some of her older cousins.

I mailed 25 invitations to some of my mom's friends and to our family members.  I used my Cricut and the Girl's Make-Up Party cartridge to create the invitations.  Going with my somewhat ridiculous theme of "Princess", I chose a pink and black color palette.  I used basic Bazzill cardstock for the pink shaped  base card and black shaped front.  I found the hot pink sparkle cardstock for the crowns and the polka-dot paper at my local Hobby Lobby.   I added a solid pink shadow to the crown as well as a small strip of bling.   I used white Close to My Heart ink to stamp the "You're Invited" phrase.

The inside of the invitation was a bit more complicated.  I began by setting up a Microsoft Word file with six text boxes.  I placed the invitation text into the text boxes and printed the text on white 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock.  I returned to my Cricut Craftroom file and placed six shaped squares on the virtual mat.  Using a ruler I measure the exact location of each text box on my printed page and moved the boxes on the virtual mat to line up with the printed boxes.  

I have used this technique of printing and cutting previously, though never quiet as successfully.  I managed to hit the cutting correctly placed the first time and that has never happened before.  Below is the inside of the invitation, with some of the text redacted (Mom's last name and my home phone number). 

I cut extras of the crowns on the cover of the invitations to use in the middle of the Rosettes I plan to cut with Ribbons and Rosettes and use as decorations at the party.  I will share the rosettes later in the week!  Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Happy 2012!!  It's the first Monday in the new year and the first Bitten by the Bug 2 post of 2012!   We have had some some changes at BBTB2 while on break.  Heather, who has done a fabulous job with the blog and team, had to step down from managing the design team due to the arrival of her new Grandson!  However, the design team, the BBTB2 blog and the weekly Cricut challenges will continue.  My very talented and super-amazing design team sisters, Donna Mundinger and Carole Lowe Beath have stepped up assumed the leadership roll in continuing the team.  Woo-hoo for Donna and Carole.

So the new year is already bringing new changes!  The first Cricut challenge cut of the new year was selected by my adorably sweet design team sister, Krista Norman.  Krista is such a sweetie and I just love working with her!  Krista chose the ice skate cut from the Winter Woodlands cartridge.

I used the Cricut Expression 2 and cut the skate, the skate shadow, the boot, and the bow at 2.5 inches.  I attached the skate to the card using pop dots to give the skate a "hanging" effect.

I used lots of blues and silver to give the card a cold feeling, though I think this may make a great January birthday card.

Speaking of January birthdays, I am hosting a party for my mom's 75th birthday this week so I will be sharing some of the projects I have made for the party on my blog later this week.  Also, I did get the request to share my roll recipe and I will do that this week also.    After such a long break from my blog and paper crafting in December, I am excited to get my life back to normal!!

Please remember while you are out to go by the Bitten by the Bug 2 site and check out the design team's projects.  They out did themselves after their holiday break!!