Saturday, June 30, 2012

Make A Wish Birthday Card

Happy Saturday everyone!  For many of us all over the US it has been a long, hot week!  With temperatures in the three digit range, I have been working on several indoor projects!   However, I do want to take a minute and share this cute Loralei stamped card with you.

I created this card earlier this month on my scrapbooking weekend in Spartanburg (I told you I got a lot done that weekend!).  This image is the Loralei Scrapbook girl image.  I love that she has her cuttlebug and her tool back and is ready to crop!!!

I used a Silhoutte Cameo card cut file with an added oval on the inside for my sentiment and personalized note.  On the front I added the "make a wish" sentiment and the candle onto layered ovals.  I cut the base card with Bo Bunny dotted cardstock.  I added white and pink cardstock layers along with micro dots and doodles!

I want to give you one last reminder - today is the final day of Stampaganza!  This is the last day that you can order two sets of Close To My Heart Stamps and get a third set of equal or lessor value stamps for free.  That's right - BUY 2, GET 1 FREE!!!  But only until midnight tonight!!

That also means it is the last day of the June Stamp of the Month, So Tweet.  This set retails for $17.95 but with a $50.00 order you can add the Stamp of the Month set to your card during check out for only $5.00. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Menu Cards

Hey there!  I am back with the last of my three part patriotic tablescape posts.  Today's past is all about the menu.  Often at formal dinners you will find a menu at each place setting.  Sometime ago I decided that I was so fond of the individual menu that I have began using them for more casual dinners also.  And how fun to include your all-American menu on your all-American tablescape?

I used only one cartridge to make the menu cards, Stand and Salute.  I cute the red frame using Cricut Craft Room and the Stand and Salute cartridge.  I then used my paper trimmer to finish the menu cards. 

I added a strip of navy cartstock behind the red stars and then I added a gold glitter cardstock rectangle behind the red frame.  Using Microsoft Word, I created sized text boxes in which I listed the menu items and also added some clip art red stars.  After printing the Word file on to white cardstock, I trimmed the white menu cards apart and glued them over the gold shimmer cardstock.  Very easy!

In the photo above I placed the menu in the middle of the stars and stripes plates, with the napkin off to the right of the place setting.  In the photo below I switched the menu card and napkin around with the menu being off to the side.  I decided that although the photo above looks nice, ultimately I chose to place the menu on the side and put the napkins in the plates. 

Now I must go "un-set" my table and put everything away for a week!  At least I know what I am serving and how I plan to set my table for our July 4th cook out!!!

Thanks for following along with the Patriotic posts.  I have enjoyed sharing the elements with you.  I will be back later this week with yet another June birthday card to share with you!!

A quick CLOSE TO MY HEART Note:  Today is June 27th.  You only have three days remaining to purchase the June Stamp of the Month and to take advantage of Stampaganza!!!  Click on the link at the upper right of the blog to visit my on-line CTMH store!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tablescaping for July 4th

Hello everyone, welcome back to day two of my patriotic tablescape series.  Today I am going to share a second element of my tablescape, the placecards.  I used two cartridges to to create the placecards - Ribbons & Rosettes and Stand & Salute. 

The placecards were fun to create.  To be so simple looking they really involved several step.  I used Cricut Craft Room and welded together a card and border from Stand and Salute.  I cut the base card in navy cardstock.  Using my paper trimmer, I cut red rectangles and affixed them inside the tent fold card behind the stars. 

I used Ribbons & Rosettes to create the cute little patriotic striped rosettes.  I added navy circles to the center of the rosettes and affixed a fire cracker to the middle of each rosette.   I added gold Stickles to the fuse of the fire cracker.  Using glue dots I affixed the rosettes to the upper right corner of the place cards.

I used an oval paper punch and punched out the the white name ovals.  I then used a Close to My Heart alphabet stamp set to stamp the names onto the ovals.   The stamp set is called Type Face and retails for $6.95.  And like every other stamp in the Close to My Heart line, this stamp is part of the June Customer Special - Buy 2 stamp sets, Get 1 stamp set FREE! 

Remember the large rosette in yesterday's centerpiece?  I used the negative star cuts from the panels to embellish the placecards!!  I added small dots of glue to the center of the stars and affixed the tiny striped stars to over the navy stars.  I also added a star under each name.

A couple of people asked about the dishes used in the tablescape.  I realized that I should highlight the other decorations on the table.  I started with a stars and stripes table runner from Kohl's.  I added red round placemats (from Target) and gold chargers.  I added white porcelain dinner plates and topped them with Pfaltzgraff Stars and Stripes stoneware salad plates.   The stainless is a pattern called Queen and is made by Wallace.  The drinkware is (very UN-American!) by La Rochere and is called Versailles.  The napkin rings are beaded edge silver rings. The little lanters were from my summer decor stash.

I will be back tomorrow with details on the last element of my Independence Day tablescape, the menus.  Thanks for stopping by today!!

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Just a reminder:  Today is Tuesday June 26 and that means you only have 5 days left to take advantage of the Close to My Heart Stampaganza All acrylix stamp sets are BUY 2, GET 1 Free!!!  Your order will be calculated during checkout so that the lowest priced stamp set is free!!!  Visit my on-line Close to My Heart store for more information!!

And remember while you are visiting my CTMH store to check out Life is Tweet, June's Stamp of the Month!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Patriotic Centerpiece for July 4th

Hello everyone!  Welcome to this week's Bitten by the Bug 2 Patriotic Cricut challenge!  This week we are having another of our theme challenges, selected by me (!), where we are asking you to use any Cricut cartridge of your choice and craft a Patriotic project.    With July 4th (Independence day here in the United States) next week and I thought if the Bitten by the Bug 2 design team hosted a Patriotic challenge this week that you would have plenty of time to create your own projects for the holiday.
For my Patriotic project I crafted a July 4th complete tablescape.  I will share the elements of the tablescape with you over three posts this week, beginning with today's project, a Patriotic Centerpiece!  I used three cartridges to create my tablescape and all three cartridges are also used in my centerpiece:  Flower Shoppe, Ribbons and Rosettes, and Stand and Salute. 

I started by cutting several different sizes and layers of flowers from Flower Shoppe.   I used solid and printed red, white and blue hued cardstock.  Once I had finished cutting the flowers I wanted to add some dimension each layer.  I used a foam pad and the tool in the photo below to shape the flowers.  I pressed the tool down onto the cut flower and rubbed in small circles to create a lift in the flower petals.

Below you can see how well the petal shaping technique works.  The flower on the right has not been shaped, where as the flower on the left has been shaped and will now hold this shape!

I sorted the layered flowers together in piles and topped each pile with a button to serve as the flower center.  Working from the back of each button, I inserted the floral wire through one hole, bent the wire and threaded the end back through another hole in the button.  I then ran the wire through the center of the flower pile.  I bent the short end of the floral wire out (like a brad) to hold the layers together.  The long end of the floral wire was inserted into floral foam to create the centerpiece.

The photos above and below show the variety of printed and solid card stock used, as well as the buttons with the floral wire centers.

In addition to the flowers, the centerpiece also has two other elements, rosettes and fireworks!  I used the Ribbons and Rosettes cartridge and cut two different rosettes.  The larger center rosette has a star pattern on the edge with random stars cut out of the middle area. 

The rosette below (the two smaller rosettes in the centerpiece), use a much less complicated edge cut.  Each of the rosettes is assembled from six panels, then scored and assembled.  I used navy cirlces with heavy glue dots on each side of the rosette to hold the rosettes together.  I then added the cute firework from the Stand and Salute cartridge to center of each rosette.

I finished the rosettes by applying Stickles to the fuses and affixing Wilton large sucker sticks between the pleats.  Like the floral wire, the sucker sticks were there inserted into the green floral foam to create the the centerpiece.

Below is a bit of a tease photo to give you an idea of what I will be sharing with you in my Tuesday and Wednesday blog posts.

Be sure to drop by the Bitten by the Bug 2 after 11:00 am Eastern time.  I hope that you decide to play along with us this week - I cannot wait to see what you create!!  The directions for joining the weekly BBTB2 challenge are posted at the top of the BBTB2 blog.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope that you will be back tomorrow!

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's a Girl Baby Shower Invitation

Hello everyone.  Today I have a Cricut and Silhouette Cameo hybrid project to share with you.  This invitation is one of a set of 20 invitations I created for a double baby shower in North Carolina.  While spending the weekend in Spartanburg at Scrapbook Creations, I met the grandmother-to-be of the two baby girls and she engaged my services to create the shower invitations for a double baby shower.  The baby shower is for two of her daughters, hosted by her other five daughters!!!  Her two older daughters are each having baby girls, their due dates only five days apart!  The family thought a double baby shower would be fun for everyone.

As I mentioned above, this invitation is a hybrid card.  I cut the lace cards with my Silhouette Cameo.  I created a 12 x 12 inch cut file that included two the cards on each page and cut the page 10 times. 

I used my Cricut Expression 2 along with two cartridges to cut the baby carriages and the scallop oval tags.  The baby carriages are from the Baby Steps cartridge and the oval layers are from Art Philosophy

I used Peachy Keen baby face stamps to stamp the sweet little "O" mouth babies and shimmer chalks to pinken their cheeks! 

For the "It's a Girl" phrase I originally purchased a cute stamp at our local Hobby Lobby.  But someplace between my friend Beth's house on Monday and my house yesterday, I lost the stamp!!  After searching high and low I finally went on to Plan B - Just Right Stamps!  I used 15 point Times New Roman Just Right Stamps on a clear round Just Right block and stamped the phrase onto the tags.

It is always nice to have a few sets of alphabet stamps around just in case you need to stamp something unique or unusual in size.  I like both the Close to My Heart alphabet stamps and the Just Right stamp sets.

Today I will finish the invitations by printing the shower information on vellum or cardstock inserts and affixing them to the pink rectangles inside the cards.  All I will need to do then is pick up some special sized envelopes and ship the invitations off to the family of the moms-to-be.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I will be back tomorrow with a new card to share.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Busy in the Kitchen

Hello everyone.  With Ian home for the summer, I find that I am in the kitchen a bit more than normal.  Ian has a list of favorite entrees that he likes for me to prepare during his visits to Aiken.  The entrees he asks for me to make are still a bit advanced for his culinary skills:  Greek Chicken Pie (in Phyllo with Feta), Moroccan Chicken Pie (with saffron and golden raisins), Beef Bourguignonne, Steamed Mussels, and our Stone Grill dinner (featured in this post from Easter).

Last night's dinner was the stone grill!  We dinned on steak, chicken breast, jumbo shrimp and scallops - all cooked to divine tenderness on the stone grill.  Oh yes, and there were side dishes too... but blah... It was ALL about the stone grilled meats/seafood and the dessert!!

Since the entree was one of Ian's favorites, dessert was one of mine and Doug's favorites - Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle!!  Yummo.  There are a lot of varied recipes for this dessert available all over the Internet.  In fact my original recipe was from a food blog.  However, over the last couple of years I have modified my basic recipe and find that we like it better.  So in the interest of sharing all of the goodness of summer captured in a single bowl, below you will find my latest version of this fabulous dessert. I have lightened the recipe by using light or fatfree products, replacing some of the sugar with Splenda, reducing the powdered sugar in the cheesecake mixture, and reducing the quantity of Cool Whip by one quarter.  And even with all of those changes, we like this lighter version better!

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

2 Quarts of Strawberries, hulled and sliced.
1/4 Cup of sugar (I used Splenda)
1.5 Tablespoons of Almond Extract (or depending on your tastes and guests - 1.5 Tbsp of vodka)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2 8-oz blocks of cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1 Cup of powdered sugar
1 Cup of sour cream (I used fatfree)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
12 oz tub of Cool Whip (light)
1 large Angel Food Cake

Mix sliced berries with sugars and extract (or alcohol) and set aside to rest (reserve a few to garnish).

In mixer bowl beat cream cheese until creamy.  Add sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Mix until smooth.  Fold in the cool whip.

Slice the cake into bite size pieces

Place half of the cake pieces into a large trifle or clear bowl.  Top with half of the strawberry mixture.  Add a layer of half of the cream cheese mixture.  Repeat the layers ending with the cream cheese mixture.  Add the garnish berries to the top of the trifle. 

Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve chilled.

As an added note, having Ian home is playing havoc with my dieting.... I have been stuck at the same weight since he arrived home two weeks ago!  I suspect the list of entrees above (that we have only had half of so far) and desserts like this one my be part of the problem.  Hopefully I can be back to normal in a few weeks with lighter fare!

Thanks for stopping by today.  I have a cute baby project to share with your tomorrow!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gator Fun for a Friend

Hi everyone.  So sorry to be MIA yesterday but I was down with a bit of a tummy thing.   However, I am back today and have a fun, though not artistically award winning(!) card. 

About two weeks ago a sweet friend (and former co-worker) asked if I could fashion a Florida Gators birthday card for him.  I assured him that while I could make a Gator card, I would not promise anything wonderful

I checked alligator images in the Cricut library and then I moved on to the Silhouette store.  I found a gator that I thought I could do some handing trimming on and make him work.  I pulled up a photo of the Florida Gator mascot and did my best to make a copy.  The Florida colors are royal(ish) blue and orange, with a touch of white and the green gator. 

As I was working on the card I called my son (who is home from college for a few weeks this summer) what he thought of the gator.  Ian suggested that I make the gator look mean.   I added a googly eye and then I pulled out my black micro-tipped Copic and tried to create a grimace on the Gator's face.

Inside the card I used the cut out from the front frame and stamped happy birthday.  Dwight really liked the card. He contacted me today to tell me that his friend (the birthday boy) had also enjoyed his personalized Florida Gator card!

Again, I know this is NOT the best card I have ever made or shared, but it is fun.  Also, sharing this card will hopefully inspire you risk trying to copy a favorite team mascot for someone close to you!!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pearls and Petals Happy Birthday

Hello everyone, welcome to this week's Bitten by the Bug 2 challenge:  Pearls and Birthday!  My new design team sister, Stephanie selected this week's challenge cut and I must remember to thank her.  I have so many friends with June birthdays and this challenge provided me yet another opportunity to craft a much needed birthday card! 

I used two cartridges to create this card, Close to My Heart's Art Philosophy and Formal Occasion.  I cut the base card, the eyelet top, the middle circle, the tag and the top layer of roses with Art Philosophy.  The corsage layers were cut using the Formal Occasion cartridge.

I chose a soft color of patterned cardstock for my roses.  I cut the Art Philosophy rose at four inches and inked the edges before forming the rose shapes.  I used liquid glue to adhere the roses to the top layer of the corsage.

I used white cardstock to cut the base card and the tag.  I stamped the tag with a Close to My Heart Happy Birthday stamp then added the pink tag topper.  I looped sheer pink ribbon through the tag and used pop dots to add the tag to the card.

The inside of the card is stamped with a simple Happy Birthday phrase and still has plenty of room for a personal note.

I finished the card with pearls and doodle-dashes.  I really like this card and hope that my friend Beth does also. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please remember to stop by Bitten by the Bug 2 today and check out the great Pearl and Birthday project!!!   I will be back tomorrow with a couple of Father's Day photos to share, along with a Cricut Father's Day card.

Friday, June 15, 2012

You Make Me Smile

Hello everyone.  Today I am sharing another card I crafted last weekend.  This is a simple card created using four colors of cardstock, the Close to My Heart Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, the Close to My Heart Hooray Bouquet stamp set and CTMH inks.

I started with the CTMH stamp set pictured below, Hooray Bouquet (D1491).  I cut the four layers of daisy-type flowers using the Art Philosophy cartridge.  Next to each of the stamp on the acetate overlay is the measurement you should use to cut each flower with your Cricut.  This allows the stamps to fit the flowers perfectly.  I used American Crafts white textured cardstock to cut the flower layers and the flower centers. Using three colors of Close to My Heart inks I stamped the flower stamps onto each of the petals and the flower centers.


After stamping the flowers I used a foam mat and an embossing stylus and gave each of the flowers a bit of dimension using a rubbing technique.  I then layered the flowers together and topped with the centers.  The flowers were attached to a leafy stem, also cut with Art Philosophy.  After tying a length of yellow ribbon around the matting it was attached to a yellow dotty matting.  I finished assembling the card and stamped the "you make me smile" phrase in the lower right corner.

I know that I have mentioned this repeatedly this month, but.... Like every other set of stamps in the Close to My Heart line, Hooray Bouquet is on sale this month during our Stampaganza special.  This month only with every 2 sets of stamps you purchase, you will get 1 set free!  That's right - Buy 2, Get 1 free is good for another 15 days only!!!


And finally, here is another look at June's Stamp of the Month, Life is Tweet!  This limited edition stamp set is available this month only and retails for $17.95.  However, with a $50.00 stamp order (which would be a lot of stamps given the stampaganza sale!) you can add the Life is Tweet set to your cart during checkout for only $5.00.