Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pumpkin Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Eyeballs

Aren't these cute?!  I made them for a kid friendly party we went to last night.

The cupcake faces were made from melting candy melts.  I outlined the feature with black candy and then filled the feature in with yellow for the light shining inside the pumpkin.  The stem is an almond.

The idea and template for the faces came from one of my favorite cupcake decorating books -- What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.  I made some modifications from the original recipe.

  • My girls don't like Tootsie Rolls (the features), which is why I used the candy melts.  I did struggle with that at first because the candy wasn't smooth like I'd like (and like the picture).  Then I realized it would be flat because I'd be using the the other side!  I relaxed after that.    : )
  • The almond was a substitute for the wheat twist pretzel (the stem) because I had almonds on hand.
  • I made the cupcakes regular sized rather than jumbo sized as called for.
  • Finally, I didn't make the picket fences called for.  No need to feed some softball players pretzel fences when they just want the cupcakes!

The second dessert we took to the party is one of my favorite peanut butter recipes.  The recipe dates back to Amber's second year playing soccer - 2009.  A mother brought them to our end of year party and I thought I'd died and went to heaven!  I made them as listed below, but I coated them with White Almond Bark (vanilla flavor) and then piped Chocolate Almond Bark (both found at WalMart) for the iris and veins.  I know they'd be more realistic with red veins, but they are done!
  Here's how I make them....
Peanut Butter Balls
3 C Rice Krispies
4 C Powdered Sugar
1 stick butter softened
2¼ C Crunchy Peanut Butter (more is okay)
½+ bar Chocolate Flavored Coating (Almond Bark is the brand – can be found at WalMart)

Crush the Rice Krispies (I use a potato masher).
Mix together the softened butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and crushed Krispies. Roll between hands to make balls about the size of a walnut (lately I’ve been making them smaller so you can eat more), put in fridge for about 15 minutes (you’ll want the balls to set a little).  Dip balls into chocolate coating. Depending on how large you make the balls will determine how much coating you’ll need.  I melt in batches and adjust the amount of coating I need. Put on cookie sheet and let set in fridge (about ½ hour). 

PS.  These freeze well.  I pulled mine out after a year, and they were just as yummy!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday 10/29/15

This past Sunday I was a JoAnn's for 1.5 hours!  It was CRAZY busy there - everyone buying fabric to make their own costumes.  I was there to buy fabric and tulle to make a lion's mane.  Then I found this quote...

I just hope the vision in my mind gets out of there and the mane looks okay!

Monday, October 26, 2015

More Fallen Leaves Stamp Set Cards (Eggplant)

Now that Halloween is practically behind us, I thought I'd share another fall card featuring the Fallen Leaves stamp set (B1492).

 The colors here are Fern, Eggplant, and Sapphire.  The leaves are randomly stamped on the White Daisy cardstock and matted with Black cardstock.  Fern ink was used for the saying which was raised with Thin 3D Foam as the focal point.

Interest was added with the addition of the Enamel & Glitter Duos (Z3122 - 3 shades of blue) and the Woodgrain Embossing Folder (Z1996) with the Eggplant cardstock as the base of the card.

When stamping multiply images, you'll want to stamp with the largest image first.  Here it's the Eggplant Maple leaf.  Next comes the smaller sized leaf.  In this case it's the Sapphire elm(?) leaf.  Finally, work with the smallest stamp and fill in the gaps.  I didn't worry about overlapping the images - even if they were solid stamps - because it adds interest to the card.

I did sponge the edges of the base of card with Eggplant ink.

The saying comes from the Artistry Cricut Collection.  There are three D-sized stamp sets in collection, so don't forget to use them (with or without cutting it out on the Cricut first).  : )

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday 10/22/15

Things aren't always as they seem.  Take this photo for example.  I came across this scene while walking my dogs a few months back.

Not that big of a deal, right?  It's a snail making its way across the road.

I was amazed by what the snail was actually making its way across...

Of course all sorts of questions popped into my mind... How did this snail make its way up the car?  Did he really travel up the car?  Did someone put him on the roof?  What is he going to do when he reaches this side of the car?

Just had to laugh and share with you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Boo to You Two Ways

Today I want to share another Pinterest inspired card.  Halloween is just around the corner, and these two cards were made from the Artbooking Cricut Cartridge.

This first card resembles the pinned card more due to design.  It's a lot "darker" than the pinned card, though - more like Halloween.  The pattern is from Make it from Your Heart Volume 1, Pattern #25.

And before you say something, I know the  black widow wouldn't be coming down on a thread.  But like I said above, this is Halloween.  And Halloween brings out the fearful things - thus the widow.  If you don't want your spider to be a black widow, use the "hide contour" feature in the Design Space or Cricut Craft Room to hide that element on the spider.  (BTW, I LOVE the "hide contour" feature!!)

I sponged some black ink on top of the Slate spider web that is covering some Nevermore background and texture paper.  "Boo" is cut from Eggplant cardstock.  Everything is layered on Fern cardstock.  Boo is raised with Thin 3D foam tape while the spider gets the double height of 3D foam tape (Non-stick Micro-tipped Scissors are the perfect tool to cut very thin pieces of the foam tape). Purple Glitter paper makes the spiders diamond shimmer, and black floss becomes the thread the spider is descending from.

My second Boo card is, again, from the Artbooking Cricut Cartridge.  I hid some extra cuts from "BOO" so that the word is thicker (and cut from Eggplant cardstock).  Boo is outlined to further focus on the word.  The spider web's ratio was unlocked so that I could make the web into a square shape. Just click on the lock next to the height and width fields on the computer to allow individual alterations.  Pear cardstock adds to the brightness of this 4.25" x 4.25"card as the base.  Finally, Boo and the spider are once again mounted with foam tape.

I hope either of these cards inspire you to make some Halloween magic yourself.  With the Cricut, these cards can be made up quickly.  So break out your machine and create - there is still time to send Halloween wishes!

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Closer Look at Watercolor Pencil and Watercolor Paint

I forgot to share with you a close up picture of the watercolor paint and pencil.  So here you go...
I also want to call to your attention that there are times were markers DON'T work.  This is one example!  The embossed lines do not allow the colors to blend well - or at all!  The leaf looked pitiful in real life too.

But on the brighter note, you can see that the watercolor pencils don't look that good before adding water.  The problem with the pencil was the same as the markers.  The embossed lines didn't allow the best to come out with the tool (pencil and marker).  However, you can see what a difference the water makes with the watercolor pencils.  If you felt the colors are too dark with the watered pencils, you could add more water to lighten the look.

Markers are a much better when used in open areas of coloring.  If I hadn't embossed the leaf, the marker would be a viable tool.

Look back at the cards the leaves were used in.  Here is the watercolor paint and here is the watercolor pencils.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Watercolor Pencils with Fallen Leaves

Want to see the difference between the watercolor paint and watercolor pencils?  I wanted to see the difference with my latest card -- I talked about it the other day.

Here is the watercolor pencil version of the Three is a Charm (modified from Originals) card...
After I embossed the leaves with Gold embossing powder, I took my watercolor pencils and colored the leaves.  Purples and Greens for the one on the left.  Yellows, Oranges, and a little Red for the middle leaf.  And Purples and Pinks for the leaf on the right.  Then I took a paint brush with a little water on it, and blended the pencil marks together!

Did you go look at the other card yet?  Can you tell the difference between the two?  Here, look at them side by side (I'll even make the picture bigger)...
You can't really tell the difference, can you?  I even had a hard time telling them apart!  The back card is the watercolor PENCIL card.

So why am I showing you this?  Because you may want to give those pencils another try.  The thing I like about the pencils is that I put the color exactly where I want it.  If I want more color, I layer the pencil more.  Then I blend it with water, and I get beautiful colors.

However, the watercolor PAINT colors can be more natural because there is more color variation as the brush dries and I'm applying the color.

Will I give up one for the other?  NO WAY!  Both methods have their advantage.  For this card, I love the look either way!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday 10/15/15

Some days are easier to see this quote properly.  In other words, believe what it says.  It's so easy to look at the negative stuff around us - even see negative in the good stuff.

For example, I was in a school meeting the other day.  Progress reports just went out.  A mom told the principal she was scheduling a conference with four teachers because her straight A student had received four "G"s instead of "O"s for his conduct in the classes.  To me, she's off mark.  And I hope I remember her if I start thinking that Good isn't enough.

I also think I will be happier if I stop thinking about what I didn't accomplish during the day.  But instead, focus on the enjoyment what I DID accomplish.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Holiday Gift Basket

For the past three years, my daughters' middle school has put on a Holiday Party and Auction to raise funds for technology on campus.  This year I decided to assemble a basket of gifts and holders.  I also included a workshop certificate.
Hopefully the basket sells decently!

Several of the items were cut on the Cricut, with Art Philosophy, Artiste, and Artbooking.  The rest were cut the old fashion way, with a paper trimmer.  : )

Art Philosophy:
Tissue Box Cover Saying (upper left)
Mini Bags (winter and fall themed)
Pillow Boxes
Banners on Gift Card Holder ("FOR YOU")
Postage on large pillow box
Saying on Fall Mini Bag (bottom left)
Flowers on Clipboard (bottom right)

Gift Card Holder
Mitten Holder including Mittens and Snowflakes
Floral Box
Owl pieces on small pillow box

Snowflakes on tissue box cover and winter mini bag
"notes" on Clipboard

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Yea, I'm Released

I saw my orthopedic surgeon who released me for my right wrist.  The 24th of this month will mark my one year anniversary of wrist surgery.

I'd say I'm 95 percent back to before my injury.  The wrist is a little tight sometimes but will loosen up pretty fast.  I've been able to cut for quite some time.  The range of motion was the last to come back.  I know that will continue to get better over time and use (and stretching).

Thankfully Dr. Thompson and his nurse, Dan, didn't take it personally when I told them I hoped not to have to see them again.  : )

I'm so glad I had the surgery, and would do it again (if I had to -- I'd prefer avoiding the injury in the first place).

Keep healthy!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fallen Leaves with Sangria

I'm in love with Sangria paper now that Fall is here.  It's as if the leaves have fallen off the trees and landed on the paper (shown is the paper packet papers when you order X7199B which consist of 6 sheets of background and texture paper - 2 each of 3 double-sided designs - and the cardstock)

Another of my fall favorite stamp sets is Fallen Leaves (B1492).  Once upon a time we carried a similar stamp set (wood mounted) that I loved.  When I saw this stamp set, I had to have it and relive my "youth" - updating a card from my past.  But that's another story...

Today I thought I'd share a card that made me very happy,

The leaves were heat embossed with Gold Embossing powder and then heated with our Craft Heater.  I then colored the leaves with watercolor, cut them out, and mounted them.  Three is the Charm card pattern from Originals (pg 19) was modified for a standard 4.25" x 5.5" card instead of the 5" x 7" card in the book.

The paper is one of the background and texture papers from Sangria.  The other cardstocks are Cocoa, Desert Sand, and Cashmere.  "Thinking of you" is from the hostess Reward set Say it All (C1632) and was heat embossed in Gold Embossing Powder to match the leaves.

I hope you're happy now too!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday 10/8/15

Sometimes you can't be the by-stander.  If you hear someone griping about others you respect, you should speak up, even if you are a guest.

Speaking up doesn't make you a bad person either.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 2015 Stamp of the Month

Just in time to start your Christmas cards, this versatile stamp set, Twinkle (S1510), will make card making quick and easy.  The light bulb can be cut out on the Cricut (Artiste Collection), saving loads of time.

The stitching holes for the ornament holder could have been made using the Ruler (Z1471) and then hand stitching with thread.  Some people might prefer to use a sewing machine.

Here is the rest of the stamp set - so you can see the possibilities are endless.

Like always, the stamp of the month is only available through the end of the month.  In this case, October 31, 2015.  You can purchase this D sized stamp set for $17.95 or, if your purchase meets or exceeds $50 (before tax and shipping), it's yours for only $5. So if you order your card supplies, you'll be ready to create once your order reaches your home!
What will you create?!

Monday, October 5, 2015

You're an Original

If you're like me, you enjoy perusing Pinterest and pinning inspiration.  But what happens to the inspiration then?  Just like our pictures, do they get stuck on our computer?  Well the other day I decided to act upon one of my pins.  : )  I was inspired by this card, but changed the stamp set to one of ours.

It's a very simple and elegant card.  The saying is stamped in Black, the flower is Eggplant and Gypsy.  The leaves are stamped with Sweet Leaf and Pear ink, and the ink blots are stamped with Whisper.

Then I thought, "what if..." I add a few layers? These cards are the results.  At first I thought I'd match the color of the flower to the cardstock (Poppy) -- the most upper card.  That flower, however, is two toned, and I thought, "what if..." and went with the darker color (Pomegranate) mat.  Then my thoughts went to "what if..." I change the color of the flower?  The Sapphire flower came about .  And here I thought I'd make it a little more formal and mounted the focal with the Black cardstock.  Love it!  Much better than the original pin because of the added interest and depth of the card.
My next "what if..." goes back to color.  I had already stamped the flower in several colors because flowers come in all sorts of colors!  But what if  I change the color of the ink blot?

 Here the flowers are Saffron and Honey and then Eggplant with Thistle.  The focal piece is surrounded by Honey, Chocolate, and Thistle (working left to right and down).  The ink splatter on this card is a different one than above, and is stamped in Saddle ink.  The saying is stamped in Chocolate.
I hadn't been able to decide with the brown color family, so the last two cards I stamped the ink splatter in Cashmere ink, which is lighter than the Saddle ink.  The flower colors are Cotton Candy and Pixie, and Peacock and Lagoon.  The background colors are Chocolate and Lagoon.
Finally, here are all of the improved cards put together.

Two stamp sets were used to create all of these cards.  After I made them, my next "what if..." was about rotating the orientation of the card.  That result is for another day. The flowers, leaves, and saying are from Blossoming Expressions (D1665). There are several stamp choices for the inside of the card within the set.  The ink blots come from Ink Blot (D1660).  I used three of the available seven blots.

So, go take a look at your pinterest boards and create something!  You'll be glad you did, I was!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Zoe Workshop Updated

Zoe was the paper packet being featured in September's workshop.  Unfortunately, the stamp set was already discontinued.  Don't fret!  In with current stamp sets, the papers are the same, the feel is almost the same, and the look is refreshing.  : )

 The replacement stamp sets are awesome and versatile stamp sets.  Ones I think any stamper would want?  Who me, biased?  Of course, because I have both sets.  : )  Let me show you the sets, and then tell me with a straight face they aren't awesome!

Finding the Words

Pretty Petals

What was used here?

Z3171  Art Philosophy Cricut Collection
C1599  Pretty Petals Stamp Set
D1646  Finding the Words Stamp Set (cut banner by hand since this banner is in the Artiste Collection)
Z2192  Pacifica Ink
Z2164  Sorbet Ink
Z2153  Sweet Leaf Ink
Z2155  Topiary Ink
Z2642  Flaxen Ink
Z2105  Black Ink
Z2172  Whisper Ink
Z2641  Glacier Ink
Z1294  Sanding Kit

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday 10/1/15

Ack!  It's October already.  As it gets a little colder here in San Diego, California (maybe we'll only reach the mid 70s this month).  I think this saying is a hummmmer...

Have a hummful Thursday!