Monday, July 30, 2007

Manda's Mailbox Monday - Beautiful Cards

I was lucky enough to get two beautiful cards in the past week from two fabulous stampers. The first one was a strawberry card from Laura P in Chandler, AZ (it didn't have far to go). It is just such a cute little card. You can check out Laura's blog and see more of her gorgeous work! Thanks Laura.

The second card I got was a RAK back from Beate. She has some stamping skills and I was totally loving the color combination she used on this little thank you note. She is the one that writes lots of the awesome tutorials on Splitcoaststampers. What? Never heard of it -- well head on over to the site and check them out. Thanks Beate.

Friday, July 27, 2007

ATC Swap

So I was recently lucky enough to be invited to participate in an ATC swap hosted by genie1314 (Jen). It is by invitation only and the talent in the group was absolutely outstanding. I am still in awe of the amazing cards I got back. I thought I would post mine for you to see.

The butterfly is from Lockhart Stamp Company. I found this little local stamp store here in Phoenix and it boasts an amazing amount of stamps in the small store it is. I was so surprised when I walked in. It was so cool. I will for sure be headed back there, and if you are in the area and love rubber stamps -- check it out! I used the crayon resist technique on the background. Oh and of course my snap stamps on the sentiment "aspire." I really hope the other girls like it!

Here are some of the cards I got back in this swap:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What's for Dinner Wednesday - Simple Pasta Salads (A Day late and a $ short)

So when I was at the Dr's office the other day, I came across this page in a magazine that had four pasta salads on it that I thought I might like to try so I stole the page. I don't feel bad though because they had about 10 copies of the magazine (Parenting, Aug 2007) and I probably could have just taken the whole thing with me. Anyway, I thought I would share with them so you don't have to steal them from the magazine too *wink wink*

Southwestern Salad

8 oz. wagon-wheel pasta
1 c. frozen corn kernels (defrosted)
1 c. black beans (rinsed)
1 c. cooked fajita style chicken strips
1 pint grape tomatoes, (halved)
2 tbs fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped


1/4 c. lime juice
2 tbs honey
1-2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. canola oil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Put in a large serving bowl. Add corn, black beans, chicken and tomatoes. Mix well. In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, honey, chili powder, salt and pepper with canola oil. Pour over pasta mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro/parsley.

Sesame Chicken Salad

8 oz. long fusilli
1 c. snow peas
1 c. shredded cooked chicken
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1 tbs. sesame seeds
1 scallion, thinly sliced

1/4 c. peanut butter (creamy)
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice or cider vinegar

Cook pasta according to package directions. Add snow peas to the boiling water about 1 minute before pasta is done. Drain and rinse. Mix the peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar in a large bowl. Add the pasta and the snow peas and mix well. Add chicken and carrots. Toss to combine. Top with sesame seeds and scallions.

Tricolor Salad

8 oz. tricolor fiori pasta
1 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1 c. reduced fat cheddar cheese, cubed
4 oz. smoked turkey, cubed (*if you get the turkey from the supermarket deli, ask for 1/2 inch slices)

1/2 c. light mayonnaise
2 tbs lowfat milk
2tbs ranch dressing mix

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Place in a large serving bowl. Add peas, carrots, cheese and smoked turkey. Mix the mayonnaise, milk and dressing in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over salad and stir well to combine.

Citrusy Salad

8 oz. campanelle (petal shaped) or small shells
1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges in light syrup (drained)
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 medium red pepper, diced
2 ribs celery thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/3 c. honey mustard dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Put in large serving bowl. Add oranges goat cheese, red pepper and celery. Pour honey mustard dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

I've been TAGGED

I have been tagged and nominated etc multiple times and I promise I will respond to it as soon as I can . . . I have just been pounded with lots to do lately -- we are trying to sell our house, get packed, read Harry Potter, etc.

Thank you to Melissa at I Ink, Therefore I Am for tagging me!

Here are the rules:

* Post 7 random things about yourself on your blog
* Tag 7 other bloggers to do the same
* Post rules and the bloggers I tagged on my blog (no time for this one)
* Leave tagged bloggers comments on their site so they know they've been tagged (no time right now for this one)

Okay - here we go! 7 Random Things About Me:

1. My house is for sale. We plan on moving into a new house that we are having built sometime in December/Jan. I am really excited about this.

2. I am a shopaholic. I love to buy new toys for my kids and new stuff for my house -- much to DH's dismay, oh and don't forget shoes and clothes, and stamping stuff . . . DH spoils me rotten.

3. I finished reading the Harry Potter book last Saturday -- I spent all day reading it because I am totally addicted. I can't wait to start reading them again at the beginning of the series in sequence without having to wait for the next book.

4. I am addicted to music. I graduated in Broadcasting and Interpersonal communications -- and radio/tv are my passion. I love Itunes and my Ipod and spend lots of time listening to new artists, making new music mixes and playing on there in general. I also hang out on the radio and records site, just for fun too!

5. My husband and I have not been able to get pregnant for over a year (and I am not 30 yet) and my Dr. has recently put me on clomid to try and make things work. I am excited and scared of what this change might bring.

6. I like red licorice (not red vines) but twizzlers. I have gotten my son addicted to it too! It is yummy! I also love Junior Mints! My favorites!

7. I am thinking of getting myself a new camera soon. I need ideas and feedback on this. I want a nicer camera than what I currently have, but also not mega huge . . . I have an Olympus Camedia C-2040ZOOM, which in its day was a nice expensive camera, but it is getting older now. Ideas and help appreciated!!!

Okay, and secondly, I have been nominated by multiple people (Teresa, Gena, Kristine) as a Rockin' Girl Blogger! I am totally flattered, you are all so sweet and I feel bad for being such a bad little blogger as of late . . . but anyway, it is apparently my honor to nominate 5 more as rockin' girls (an post the badge on my blog) . . . so here they are in random order:

Alli at Rubber Rambles - Alli is AWESOME and is off being a really good mum right now, but she will be back soon! Check out her past posts -- they are awesome!

Emily G at Icing on the Card - Emily not only boasts awesome cards, but also yummy cupcakes. I just love cupcakes! She rocks!

Debbie at Thinking Inking - Debbie has been an inkspiration to me since the beginning . . . she always does the coolest stuff! I want to be like her as a stamper when I grow up!

Lori at Make a Difference - I got to meet Lori at So Cal Stampmania and she is a wonderful person! Her blog is awesome and her cards rock!!! If you have not checked this chickadee out . . . go do it!!!

Julie at Paper Blessings - A wonderful blogger and always has the latest on up to date products because she has her own online store. She also has some awesome notes and pictures from CHA!

So there you have it! 5 awesome girls, soon to be nominating 5 more of you awesome bloggers!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Splitcoast is celebrating three years! YAY! The dirty girls have been giving challenges on the fanclub member side of the site. It is super fun! Here are the cards I made for the challenges today:

This card was for a layout challenge (Jen's I think). It is the last one I did and I struggled the most with it. I love the sentiment, and the cupcake, but they were not working together well.

The colors are purely pomegranate, always artichoke and perfect plum. I watercolored the image using my aquapainter and my ink pads using the smoosh the lid technique to get ink. I also decided to use my paper crimper on the circle for a change of pace, I had not used it in awhile. The little green rick rack is by Cosmo Cricket. Oh and did I mention I am in love with the new SU's Polka dot background??? Love it!

This little puppy was for Anna's challenge. I love him so much. He is from Penny Black.

Ribbon was some that I had from a card making kit that I picked up in the Target $1 spot a long time ago and had not put to any good use yet. Puppy is watercolored using aquapainter, watercolor wonder crayons and watercolor pencils. I like to use the pencils to outline here and there to make it *POP* more. Sentiment was created using my snap stamps. I wanted it to be in "dog-speak" so it fit the challenge more perfectly. Background yet again uses the polka dot background.

This card was for Jody's challenge. I think I have 28 brads on this card total. The brads I used are the little flower ones on the black and white background panel. Cow is by Penny Black. I colored the image to match the brads. I layered it all on an apricot panel. I thought it would be bright and cheery and since the background paper had both apricot and red tones in it, I thought it worked. I also sponged some red and apricot on the edge of the white paper the cow image is on -- just to make it blend in.

Sentiment is from new SU set called "Absolutely Fabulous." I was trying to be punny. Inside it says, "Congrats on your big news."

This card took a couple attempts. The first one had all the "toile" pattern stamped in soft sky ink, on both the white and the background soft sky panel and glittered over with stickles on the white panel. I decided to "fix it" after it was dry and I put it all together. I pulled it apart and stamped chocolate colored "toile" on the white panel over the soft sky toile. I think it looks so much better. Sentiment is by Penny Black. I thought this would be perfect to send a friend who looked after my kids the other day so I could sign the paperwork on my new house.
I tied the chocolate double stitched ribbon on it to create a more finished look and I think it turned out rather well. I am so glad I neglected the laundry and put in some stamp time yesterday!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Skipping Stones Submissions (Some Quick and Easy Cards)

I was working on a card call for Skipping Stones Design all of last Saturday and Sunday. I thought I would share some of their awesome images with you. These are the ones I submitted.

This card was intended for someone who got a promotion. Inside it says "You deserve it." The background comes from a set called Beautiful Blocks. The polka dotted ribbon going across the middle is red. It is hard to see that in this picture. The martini image is from a set called Girls Night Out. I used my scallop punches (these are great - you totally need them). I also embossed with a versamarker and red embossing powder on the pimentos in the middle of the olives -- but it turned out really dark. I tried. I added some stickles on the glass and on some of the bubbles in the background to make it sparkle. It is a really classy looking card all in all. Sentiment was made using my Karen Foster Design Snap Stamps in small casual.

This card was totally fun to make for me. I just love Halloween so much! It is totally one of my favorite holidays! I had this great designer paper from KI Memories and was just saving it for Halloween. I love the way the black stitched ribbon seemed to make the whole card just POP! The pumpkin was watercolored and is from a set called "Season Sentiments" which has all sorts of great stamps in it for all the holidays. I just love it! I have used it so often. The colors I used are old olive, basic black and whisper white. I stamped "Boo!" using versamark watermark ink on the old olive background. Sentiment says "happy halloween" and is stamped using Karen Foster Design Snap Stamps in Tiny Casual. I added the purple ribbon tabs at the last minute and I think they work well with the overall card design.

This card was me trying to be creative. I don't have a lot of flower sets in my Skipping Stones collection, so I decided to use this little flower to create a sympathy card. I think it worked out well. It has a gentle feel to it. The background comes from that set mentioned above "Beautiful Blocks" and I laid vellum over it after stamping it to soften the look. I found this stitched ribbon from Stampin' Up! that I think I got from a secret sister on splitcoast - and I saw how well it matched with the almost amethyst and decided I had to use it somehow on this card. My favorite thing about this card is the wavy cut edge -- my friend recently gave me some wavy scissors and I love them!!!

Valentines . . . well, yes, Valentines are already being collected by the magazines for publication in February issues. It seems so weird to stamp them at this time of year in weather that is 100 degrees plus here in Phoenix, but I did it! I did not have a lot of Valentine stamps from Skipping Stones Design, so I made do with the ones I did have. Swirls and flourishes are really "in" so I decided to use them with the hearts I had. I think the result it fun! I paired them with some paper I have from The Paper Studio with paisley and was pleased with the results. This is SO not my typical style, but it works!

This last card is another Valentine I created. I was going for a different color combination -- so I went browsing on a color creator site (listed in my sidebar) and came up with this one: rose romance, regal rose, and not quite navy. Some of the hearts on the heart panel are popped up for texture. I used Beautiful Blocks again on this one on the pink piece and layered vellum again to soften the look. I also used my vanilla rick rack that I got from Jody (thanks so much girlie!)

I hope you like these. In the future I plan to upload some of the other projects that I have done for Skipping Stones so you can see them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Playing with Booglie Eyes

DO YOU HAVE THIS SET YET? IF NOT, YOU NEED IT!!! October is only a few months away, my friends. I am absolutely in love with this set and totally and completely in love with Halloween. It is my favorite holiday ever. So many people don't understand at all -- my husband included. He just does not see the draw. I think I like the mystery of it all. I love seeing all the little kids in fun costumes. I love that everyone comes out to play. I like that it is creepy!

This first card was inkspired by a layout I saw in Chantel's gallery. I had added it to my favorites a long time ago, and yesterday it just came to life for me. The paper is by KI Memories (I am pretty sure I got it at Hobby Lobby). I added polka dots to the spider because it made him less scary and more fun. Also, I had a polka dot theme kind of going on, so I just went with it. The colors are apricot appeal (a color I don't use too often), old olive and basic black. I really love the way black seems to just set everything off. I faux stitched in black along the edge of the olive cardstock (a bit hard to see).

This second card was another card for the TLC 124. I decided to try adding some wavy stripes. I trimmed the strips and then hand cut them with my wavy scissors and they came out pretty well. I also wanted to try pairing thick and thin strips of scrap card stock. It worked really well with this silly little witch. I also tried to switch it up a little bit by putting the stripes a different direction. I absolutely love watercoloring images. It is just too fun and such great therapy! It helps reduce my "I'm a mom of a 3 year old and a 4 year old stress." On all of these cards I used my scalloped circle punch by Marvy Uchida. I seriously love this punch. I used the blue circle punch to punch out the image (also by Marvy). I pierced the edges of the circle using a mouse pad underneath and a push pin (yep, I am primitive since I lost my piercing tool - but for the record it works just as well).

Sentiment stamped a little crooked, but I think I mounted it slightly crooked because I know that block was straight. Somehow it just works though still. Colors are lavendar lace, green galore, pumpkin pie, basic black and whisper white. Black with white polka dot ribbon is by Ribbon FX and was purchased at Hobby Lobby.

This third card was inkspired by another card I saw in the gallery that had a background of frogs with just their eyes colored in. I thought it would work perfect for my image. They rest of the layout is very basic. Sentiment is put on the inside of the card this time "Happy Boo to You." I attached a brad on the strip of the ribbon with some ribbon wrapped around it to make a little bow. I think it works. I watercolored in Dracula. I just love him. He is funny and cute. Dracula's cape is covered with black diamond stickles. I have found that I prefer both of my diamond stickles because they tend to get less clogged up than the other stickles I have.

This last card is a little different in that I used very neutral colors (creamy caramel, whisper white) but I thought it worked well because I colored the mummy with creamy caramel. I used the same technique of scrappy stripes (TLC124) but I made them not straight. I was trying to mimic the bandages. Sentiment is Karen Foster Snap Stamps again. Such a simple card, but packs a punch . . . know what I mean?

Happy Stamping and go play with this set. It is still in the current SU catalog and is mega super fun!!!

TLC 124 - Yipes STRIPES - New Order COMING TODAY

Today is the day! The new order from the new stampin' up! catalog full of new stamps and accessories arrives today. I am such a nerd, I called UPS to find out an ETA -- and they said 1:00 pm, so that gives me a couple hours to finish up the laundry and put it all away and get a shower in because after that -- I will be stamping the day away.

I find that when you lose your stamping mojo, the best way to get it back is to stamp, stamp, stamp. I did a lot of stamping in the past couple days and things are starting to be cute again. I am so thankful for the challenges on SCS because they have totally helped me to be inkspired again. Here are some of the cards from yesterday.

This first one is an alcohol inked background. The butterfly is by Rhonna Farrer (Autumn Leaves) and I watercolored it in and then put stickles and glittery gems on it. The prima flower with the star just seemed to match well. Sentiment is stamped using, yup, you guess it - Karen Foster Snap Stamps in Tiny Casual. I am really in love with these snap stamps! They are so versatile and easy to use -- but you already knew that right? And how much do I just love love love that polka dot sheer purple ribbon? It just seems to make everything happy!

TLC-124 -- The next two cards are for the technique lovers challenge on SCS. Every monday you can try a new technique and this one was to use scraps of card stock to create a striped background. I had lots of fun with it.

I did the pirate card first. I had watercolored him the night before and added stickles (diamond on his pants, black diamond on his shirt and eye-patch) and let them dry. The challenge seemed perfect to make a background that would work with him. I wanted it to be different than just all striped so I left a big white open space in the layout close to the bottom. It worked out really well as a place to put the sentiment and I added the little treasure trail and x marks the spot for some interest.

The next card was inkspired by one that I saw in the gallery shortly after uploading my first one. I loved how the stripes were done on a diagonal, and decided to put that to work on my next card. I stamped, masked, and watercolored some pumpkins on confetti cream card stock. Then I remembered the sentiment I had by AMUSE and checked to see if it would fit in the small oval (it did, just barely) and then I layered it on the pumpkin pie card stock. I put the strip of twill across the bottom with the intention of putting the oval sentiment on it, but when I moved it off to the side edge of the rectangle- it kind of just worked there, so I went with it. I am super pleased with how this one turned out. I love it when a card just magically works. Hope you are having a good day. It is kind of overcast here in AZ today. Perfect for playing outside though so I might just have to take the kiddies out to play later today! Happy stamping!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Confessions -- I've Lost My Mojo!

Okay, I am sure we all have days when whatever we stamp, it comes out looking . . . er, "special" -- well today is that day for me. Seriously! Here is what I made:

The first card was my attempt at mulberry batik. I wanted to create a Valentine using that as the background. I even used a super cute Penny Black stamp in addition to the batik piece and it still turned out totally junky!

I even tried adding some fun polka dot ribbon -- one of my fave things to use and something that usually saves my cards when they are going downhill fast -- and yet . . . it didn't work *cries* I think I feel like it just needs another background layer or something -- like if I layered the white piece on chocolate chip or something it *might* work. Of course, it is too late for that since there is no room to trim it so I could *sigh*

The second card is a bit better than my first today. You can always tell when I have not stamped in a couple days because things just look wonky on the cards I make. This card features another adorable Penny Black stamp and yet, something went terribly wrong with the rest of the card. I really like the color combination in the background paper, but for some reason . . . it looks weird. Better than the first one, but weird. "Thinking of You" sentiment is by "katie & co."Paper is My Minds Eye - Kaleidoscope Pink Flowers. I will have to revisit both of these cards a little later when my mojo has returned to see what I can do. Until then, they are yours to laugh at! Oh and get this -- the layout was inspired somewhat by one done by Julie HRR! Impressive that I could screw it up that much!
Hopefully I will get some more stamping done over the weekend. I have some upcoming deadlines that I need to work on stuff for (but I am scared to after today's stamping fiasco). Oh and we are at 95K visits -- getting closer and closer to 100K! Thanks for visiting!

Happy stamping!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July! SC 131

Hooray! It's a holiday! And my kids are still sleeping! About these cupcakes - DISCLAIMERS - Okay, so I am a little, wee, tiny bit obsessive when it comes to things. I had some leftover icing colors from the McQueen cake (read A TON) and so I thought that I would make some cupcakes to give to some of our neighbors and friends to say thanks for being cool and doing us favors in the past few months and wish them a happy 4th. I really hope they like them. I am having tons of fun playing with cupcakes and cake decorating. I *might* just have to take a class once we get settled in the new house . . . *grins* These were so easy. I just iced them in white and then piped stripes in red on some and stars in blue on others . . . (sorry about the colors in the photograph -- they are kind of wonky doodles.

And just in case you think I forgot how to stamp ... (well you might think that anyway - but I digress) -- here is SC131 for you. I had lots of fun making this card and it took me forever to get it just right, but I am now content with this design. The cupcake is popped up on pop dots. I did have star brads in the corner, but I decided to add some "bling" instead and went with these CK jeweled brads. Ribbons are Ribbon FX by Hobby Lobby. Blue background texture was made using Fiskars texture templates. I added some dots using my white gelly roll to "spiff" if up a bit. Stars are by Rhonna Farrer, Autumn Leaves - Hearts & Stars collection. Cupcake is by Great Impressions.

Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July and watch some fun fireworks and celebrate!!! It is gonna be a hot one here in Phoenix, so we plan to stay at home and watch the fireworks from Tempe Town Lakes on television after we grill. I think that is the best plan with the two kids. FUN FUN!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back to Stamping . . .

I woke up really early this morning (5:30 am) because my cute little boy was awake. He quietly played toys in his room with afforded me some quality stamping time. I am so glad I made use of my early wake up.

This first card was an effort to use some of my gorgeous stamps from Skipping Stones Design. I recently got this set called "Beautiful Blocks" which features all sorts of cool strip patterns like the swirl, as well as a few backgrounds. I really like this set. In this card, I stamped the swirls tone on tone on the apricot card stock, and then pierced along the stamped lines. I love how it turned out. I think it looks so neat. Bella was watercolored in and her pants/hat were made by stamping on my designer paper and cutting them out and applying them to the image.
The brads in the corners are by Little Black Dress Designs and are called Fastenations. Ribbon is some that I got at Michaels. Sentiment is using my Karen Foster snap stamps again - says "wish." I am absolutely in love with these snap stamps and have seriously considered purchasing another set in another font because I love and use them so often.

This second card I was playing around with my ink refills and alcohol inks. I put the inks on using cotton soaked in alcohol, dabbed them until I got a look I liked, but instead of just letting them dry, I wiped them off the glossy card stock and I got a much more muted look. It worked perfectly for the butterfly. Butterfly image is by Lockhart Stamp Co. They have such a beautiful line of stamps and I love that the image is printed right on the wood block. Their images stamp really crisply too! Pierced flight trail was traced in white gel pen. Sentiment is stamped with Karen Foster Snap Stamps and reads "friend." Ribbon is Dots, Dashes and Checks from Michaels Inc. Thanks for visiting my blog today. Hope these cards inkspire you or make you smile!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Sweet Baby Boy!

My little boy turns 3 years old today. Time flies so fast. For his birthday he wanted a Lightning McQueen birthday cake (from Cars) and so I decided to attempt it. I had never made a cake like this before, but I am satisfied with how it turned out. It really wasn't all that hard -- just time consuming. I will totally make a cake like this again!

This was a fun birthday because he actually blew out his candles on his own for the first time ever and he eagerly tore open his presents! It was exciting. Here are a couple pictures of the main event. It was just me, E, J, and their dad. A fun little family birthday party!