Monday, July 17, 2017

Backpacking with Friends


Hello friends!  Welcome to this week's Bitten by the Bug 2 Cricut challenge. This week's challenge was selected by Laura, who challenged us to create 3-Dimensional Cricut projects.  The Design Team did a great job of creating a variety of 3D projects. 



In a VERY un-Susan-like moment, I only used one cartridge for this challenge project (I know - so not like me at all) - Campin' Critters!  I love the camping backpack with it's faux bedroll and multi pocketed look. I borrowed some of Avaleigh's Calico Critter Bunny family for display.  I think she is going to really like these photos when she views them.


 If you have not already been by the BiItten by the Bug 2 blog, you should be sure to head over and view the Design Team projects.  They are amazing.  



CLOSE TO MY HEART JULY SPECIALS


Stampaganza 2017 - buy two stamp sets, get one free!


Let Stampaganza JULY 2017 begin! Buy any two My Acrylix® stamp sets at full retail price and get a third stamp set of equal or lesser value FREE! Choose from any current stamp set, plus a collection of popular sets that we have brought back just forStampaganza!
When you add three sets to your order, we will automatically make the least expensive set FREE in your shopping cart. Check your cart at any time to see how many free sets you have!  Click here for more info.

July Stamp of the Month - Storybook Alphabet


Spend $50 and get this Stamp of the Month set for just $5 in checkout.  Or your may order the stamp set as a stand alone item at full price for $17.95



This stamp set is perfect for Scrapbook layouts and card.  I love using fun fonts on my layouts!!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Ice Cream Cone Stand


Hello friends!  Welcome to this week's Bitten by the Bug 2 Cricut Challenge. This week's challenge was chosen by one of our two new Design Team members, the very talented Janis! Janis has challenged us to create projects featuring the Sweets of Summer.  

Our Cuisinart Ice Cream maker has been getting quite a workout this summer.  I have made two batches of dreamy chocolate, a very large batch of the best fresh peach ice cream ever, Dole Whip (think Disney), and a sweet strawberry.  Doug, my mom, and I quite enjoying our homemade ice cream, which gave me the obvious Summer Sweet for the challenge.

I used five Cricut cartridges to create this card:The basic cart is from City People, with customization on the awning.  The scalloped circle cut is from Art Philosophy, though the word Cones was cut using MS Elegant Cake art. The Ice Cream banner is from MS Birthday Cakes and ice sickles I added to the card were cut using MS Seasonal Cakes. 

I assembled the card elements, finishing with white pen and baker's twine. The 6 x 6 inch card front was placed on an easel  card.  


Have you visited the Bitten by the Bug 2 blog yet this week?  The design team has created a wonderful selection of Summer Sweet projects.  I hope that you might join us this week and create your own summer sweets project.  We do love it when you play along.


CLOSE TO MY HEART JULY SPECIALS


Stampaganza 2017 - buy two stamp sets, get one free!


Let Stampaganza JULY 2017 begin! Buy any two My Acrylix® stamp sets at full retail price and get a third stamp set of equal or lesser value FREE! Choose from any current stamp set, plus a collection of popular sets that we have brought back just forStampaganza!
When you add three sets to your order, we will automatically make the least expensive set FREE in your shopping cart. Check your cart at any time to see how many free sets you have!  Click here for more info.

July Stamp of the Month - Storybook Alphabet


Spend $50 and get this Stamp of the Month set for just $5 in checkout.  Or your may order the stamp set as a stand alone item at full price for $17.95



This stamp set is perfect for Scrapbook layouts and card.  I love using fun fonts on my layouts!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Fourth of July Family Fun


Hello friends!  Welcome to this week's Bitten by the Bug 2 Cricut Challenge. My super sweet Design Team sister, Emily, selected this week's challenge. Since Tuesday is July 4th, and July 1 was Canada Day, Emily is challenging us to use red, white, and blue colors on our projects or to complete a patriotic project. I went with a Fourth of July family fun layout.  



Since I completed the layout BEFORE the July 4th holiday, I am using my "faux family" in the photos.  For those of you who are unaware, every so often I pull out my "faux family" to enhance incomplete projects on my blog. My "faux family" photos are really just stock photos that I crop and print to fit the layout.  Though, I KNOW this layout will look even better with my REAL family (read Grandchildren) photos on it.

I used four Cricut image cartridges and one Cricut font cartridge. The two layered stars were cut using Martha Stewart Seasonal Cake Art, the American flag and fields of stars were cut using Home for the Holidays, the Uncle Sam hat was cut using Independence Day, and the Independence Day Circle was cut using Graphically Speaking.  I used the Extreme Fonts cartridge for the Fourth of July title.


I also used a lot of basic shapes and welding on this layout.  I used pearls and glitter pens to embellish the layout, along with my trusty white gel pen.

I hope that you take time this week to capture your family activities for the fourth, whether that be a vacation, BBQ, or quite time at home. Be thankful for our country.   And please 
do join us at Bitten by the Bug 2 this week by sharing your project at the BBTB2 blog.



CLOSE TO MY HEART JULY SPECIALS


Stampaganza 2017 - buy two stamp sets, get one free!


Let Stampaganza JULY 2017 begin! Buy any two My Acrylix® stamp sets at full retail price and get a third stamp set of equal or lesser value FREE! Choose from any current stamp set, plus a collection of popular sets that we have brought back just for Stampaganza!
When you add three sets to your order, we will automatically make the least expensive set FREE in your shopping cart. Check your cart at any time to see how many free sets you have!  Click here for more info.

July Stamp of the Month - Storybook Alphabet


Spend $50 and get this Stamp of the Month set for just $5 in checkout.  Or your may order the stamp set as a stand alone item at full price for $17.95



This stamp set is perfect for Scrapbook layouts and card.  I love using fun fonts on my layouts!!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Birds of a Feather 2


Hello friends!  Remember last week's Bitten by the Bug 2 Cricut Challenge, Birds of a Feather?  I actually made two projects for that challenge, using the same or similar cuts, and once again using non-traditional Peacock colors.

Inside this card, like last week, is a pocket for a gift card.  There is plenty of space remaining to include a nice personalized message.


This card is accompanied by an open top envelope.  I am not sure I will ever use the envelope as it is less than secure.

Now all I need is to be invited to another "purple" wedding!!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Susan's Almost World Famous Rolls - Repeat



Hello Friends. This is a repeat post from January 2012!  I recently had a request for this from a friend and I remembered that it was once posted on the blog.  This recipe produces the best yeast rolls that I have ever eaten, bar none!  I hope you enjoy....

From 2012

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.



Ingredients:

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. 

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Fireflies in a Jar



Hello friends!  Welcome to this week's Bitten by the Bug 2 Cricut challenge, Summer Nights. Our sweet and talented Design Team sister Laura selected this fun challenge. Laura told us to use anything we associate with summer nights - camping, fire pits, fireflies, etc.  After using the search feature in Design Space, I chose to use this firefly embellished jar.

The jar is from the Summer Love cartridge.  I really liked the idea of the jar, but I wanted it to be more decorative than just the firefly cutouts. I copied the jar and removed the cut outs using the Contours feature.  I then copied the plain jar and using the Weld feature, I created the yellow base card.  

Using Cricut drawing elements from Everyday Planner Pieces and Photo Fun cartridges, I embellished the front of the jar. I chose three different colors of Cricut pens to do the drawing, silver, gold, and turquoise.  I colored in the flowers and dots with a metallic purple. I finished the front of the jar with some yellow/gold sequins. 

I  added the written sentiment to the inside of the card using the Be Mine writing font.


Using Basic Shapes, I created a matching envelope.  I used the Slice feature in Design Studio and cut out the fireflies and dots in yellow.  I attached those to the envelope.

The final element on the card is the jar lid.  I used hand drawing and Cricut drawing to embellish the lid.


Again this week my Design Team sister Laurie and I used the same cut. And again this week Laurie did it better!!  If you have not been by the Bitten by the Bug 2 blog, you need to go take a look. The team has made really cute projects and I fear I am this week's Weakest Link!  But when in such good company, I am fine with that!!

CLOSE TO MY HEART

Remember that this is the final few days of our amazing CARDSTOCK CARNIVAL SALE.  All of our Cardstock Packs are 25% off through this Friday.



Hello friends!  I have a new sale to announce:  Cardstock Carnival!!! Now through June 30th all Close To My Heart cardstock packs are 25% off!! Now is the time to stock up on your cardstock solids!!

Choose from among these great cardstock options:
  • Combination packs that include 20 sheets, 2 each of 10 colors, example:


  • Single-colored packs that include 24 sheets, examples (plus so many additional colors):



  • Coordinating cardstock packs that include 12 sheets, 3 each of 4 colors that coordinate with our themed paper packs, example:


You can never have too much paper, so now is the perfect time to enjoy great saving on this staple!



WHILE SUPPLIES LAST ONLY

Remember to check out our Monthly Specials while you are shopping!!  



This month we have a great special for scrapbookers - buy one of our Legacy Albums and add another to your cart during checkout for half price!!  Stock up now for all of those finished pages.


Our stamp of the month, Hello Foxy, is a darling set you will enjoy so much!!  The stamp set retails for $17.95, or with a $50 order, you can add it to your cart during checkout for only $5.00 at my online store!!



Monday, June 19, 2017

Peacock Gift Set


Hello friends!  Welcome to this week's Bitten by the Bug 2 Cricut Challenge, Birds of a Feather, selected by our amazing Design Team sister, Caroline!  

I was not sure what to do with this challenge but then I decided to try something different.  I am still very much enjoying Anna's Gracious Giftables cartridge so I combined the gift bag with a card and used the peacock cut from the French Manor cartridge.

I confess that the star of my card is probably not the peacock, but the embossing and the lace drawing from Anna's Lace Cards and Embellishments.  I had a lot of fun with the lace drawings, though I have since then ordered the 30 Color Cricut Marker Set for the Explore! (Use the coupon code JOY for 15% off).


The card features a lace cut on the right, the color matching the peacock tail. The lace cut is from the Vintage Wedding cartridge. I forgot to photograph it (duh!) but inside this is a smaller lace cut trimming the gift card slot.


I had a lot of fun creating this set.  I was able to use cuts and designs that I had not previously tried.  I think maybe that is what the challenges are all about.

If you have not already done so, please do go by Bitten By the Bug 2 and check out the fabulous bird projects the design team has created.  They constantly amaze me with their creativity and talent.



If you did not already see my post from last Thursday, you need to know about the Close To My Heart Cardstock Sale!!!


Hello friends!  I have a new sale to announce:  Cardstock Carnival!!! Now through June 30th all Close To My Heart cardstock packs are 25% off!! Now is the time to stock up on your cardstock solids!!

Choose from among these great cardstock options:
  • Combination packs that include 20 sheets, 2 each of 10 colors, example:


  • Single-colored packs that include 24 sheets, examples (plus so many additional colors):



  • Coordinating cardstock packs that include 12 sheets, 3 each of 4 colors that coordinate with our themed paper packs, example:


You can never have too much paper, so now is the perfect time to enjoy great saving on this staple!



WHILE SUPPLIES LAST ONLY


Remember to check out our Monthly Specials while you are shopping!!  



This month we have a great special for scrapbookers - buy one of our Legacy Albums and add another to your cart during checkout for half price!!  Stock up now for all of those finished pages.


Our stamp of the month, Hello Foxy, is a darling set you will enjoy so much!!  The stamp set retails for $17.95, or with a $50 order, you can add it to your cart during checkout for only $5.00 at my online store!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cardstock Carnival = 25% off Cardstock Packs



Hello friends!  I have a new sale to announce:  Cardstock Carnival!!! Now through June 30th all Close To My Heart cardstock packs are 25% off!! Now is the time to stock up on your cardstock solids!!

Choose from among these great cardstock options:
  • Combination packs that include 20 sheets, 2 each of 10 colors, example:


  • Single-colored packs that include 24 sheets, examples (plus so many additional colors):



  • Coordinating cardstock packs that include 12 sheets, 3 each of 4 colors that coordinate with our themed paper packs, example:


You can never have too much paper, so now is the perfect time to enjoy great saving on this staple!



WHILE SUPPLIES LAST ONLY


Remember to check out our Monthly Specials while you are shopping!!  



This month we have a great special for scrapbookers - buy one of our Legacy Albums and add another to your cart during checkout for half price!!  Stock up now for all of those finished pages.


Our stamp of the month, Hello Foxy, is a darling set you will enjoy so much!!  The stamp set retails for $17.95, or with a $50 order, you can add it to your cart during checkout for only $5.00!online store!!