Monday, December 31, 2007

Brand Spanking New Year - 2008

Happy New Year! Hooray for 2008! I cannot believe how fast this year went by. And I cannot believe that I actually accomplished my goal this past year to get published. Here is to another year of accomplishing my goals. Hope this year brings you all the happiness and health and stamps you deserve. I think my first goal that I think I want to accomplish this year is to keep up on the laundry in my house. The second is to get healthy -- increase my water consumption!

I made some cupcakes this afternoon! Yummy chocolate cupcakes - butter recipe so ultra rich and super moist and yummy. I also made my first real buttercream frosting with egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and lots of butter. I am really proud of myself because it turned out fluffy and fun! I added a bit of vanilla for flavoring and some blue food coloring for a nice celebratory theme color. I think they turned out cute! It had been a long time since I had had a chance to decorate some cupcakes. The only thing that could have made them more perfect would have been some silver or clear sugar decors sprinkled on top.

Hope you had a fun new years eve. I spent my time cuddling my DS and watching Mary Poppins (we both fell asleep) and then I had a glass of chocolate milk with DH and then we watched New Years with Carson in Times Square. Not exactly a party, but I was with the people who mean the most to me. Happy 2008!

Confessions and Hanna Stamps

CONFESSION -- I admit it, I am stuck on sewing. I have an addiction and I am hoping that eventually I will be able to conquer it, but it is just so easy and the results are a lot of fun! My good old Singer machine has found a permanent home on my stamping desk . . . there I confessed (Jody would be so proud *giggles*)!

Now I can tell you my other news. I have been invited to be a guest designer for the months of Dec/Jan for Hanna Stamps. I absolutely love their stamps! Hanna is such a sassy and cute character to play with. The new set for this month, which will be released

Jan 4th, 2008 (FRIDAY)

is amazingly adorable and you are SO going to want them!!! Yep, so make sure you are saving your pennies. You can see more previews of this set on the Hanna Stamps Design team blogs.

Hope you like today's preview! Check back tomorrow for more fun Hanna antics . . . my favorite parts of this card are the kiss prints stamped on the patterned paper (I stamped off onto another sheet of paper first and then stamped on the patterned paper), the double stitched line of sewing (of course - read above about my addiction), and the layout which came from Jen's blog - her Saturday Sketch . . . thanks for the idea sweetie pie!

Stamps: Hanna Stamps - Celebration set (release date: Jan 4th/08), sentiment by Amuse Artstamps Paper: Cardstock by Stampin' Up! (Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla), Paper Salon - Enamored: Iron Gates Accessories: Pretty in Pink and Blush Blossom Classic Ink by Stampin' Up!, Staz On Brown Ink by Tsukineko, Prima Flowers, Copper Brads by Making Memories, Pink and Red brads by The Paper Studio, Rick Rack and Chocolate Chip ribbon from my collection - I think the rick rack was from a Jody share, brown thread, and my good old singer sewing machine Techniques: Sewing on a card, stamping off, watercoloring with ink pads, Paper piecing

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What's For Dinner Wednesday - Italian Sausage Soup

Tis the season for soups! I bet it is more freezing where you are than the barely freezing AZ temperatures that we are suffering here -- but seriously, 50 degrees and I am freezing my butt off. Add to that the heat in my house is not working, and the warmest I have been feeling is about 67 degrees inside, which is still chilly! Soup has been sounding really yummy!!! I made this the other day and thought I would share it this week with you! Hope you are having a wonderful Boxing Day and spending quality time with your family and that Santa was good to you! Happy Holidays!

Italian Sausage Soup


1 pound Italian sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth (I used chicken)
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, undrained
2 small zucchini, cubed
2 cups spinach - packed, rinsed and torn
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
2. Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
3. Remove from heat, and add spinach. Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready to serve after 5 minutes.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Full Sheet 2,4,6,8 Box in Acetate

I am finally all done with wrapping presents. I need to do some holiday baking but all in all I am feeling pretty much ready for Christmas. I did not get all my Christmas cards stamped and off yet, but I figure I can wait and mail them off the day after Christmas and no one will mind a bit. We are staying home for the holidays also which will allow me time to catch up on my stamping and playing.

So today I drove by the model homes in my development and I saw that our sales agent was working today, and I thought I should make something for the agent who sold us our new house - I kind of felt bad that he had to work so close to Christmas! So I wanted to come up with a quick project! I had seen some nugget boxes that my friend Nicki made with acetate sheets and I thought it I would make the tall version and fill it with wrapped truffle nuggets. This box uses one sheet of 8.5 x 11 acetate and one sheet of 12x12 paper (including wrapping the nuggets). I put a bottom piece in patterned paper (made it an inch tall - and made it just like a 2,4,6,8 box) and a topper on the top to match (I layered the pattern paper on pixie pink SU card stock). I think it turned out cute!!! I wrapped each nugget with the matching paper and tried really hard to make all of them face out to show the paper.

The paper is by KI Memories. I punched the tag with my scalloped circle (mega) punch and then sponged some pixie pink on the edges for depth. I just hand wrote the greeting and attached the tag with green polka dot organdy ribbon.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cute Snowmen Cupcakes Alert

I have been wanting to make these for days!!! I saw them on the family fun website and fell in love with them. I think they turned out cute. I used airheads for the scarves. I would use red ones next time, but I only had blue and green on hand. We made funfetti cupcakes and iced them with whipped white frosting (from a can). I only made a dozen and I followed what some people had said and put a candy cane in the center to hold it together and hold it in the cupcake. The faces and buttons were done with betty crocker decorating icing. Noses were pieces of Dots candy.

Here is the link to the site that had these: Snowman Cupcakes

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Altered Tootsie Roll Bank for DD

We decorated my DD's old bedroom in Disney Princesses and so in this new house, she wants to keep having a Princess room. We have looked for the perfect Disney Princess Piggy Bank, but have yet to find one where the doll looks pretty in the face like the actual Disney Princesses, or that matches her room, or that has it's stopper in the bottom not missing. Anyway, I decided to make her one and when I was at The Dollar Tree the other day, I saw the Tootsie Roll banks and thought it would be perfect.

The paper was some scraps that were in my drawer of scraps. The lavender lace piece was stamped with an SU set about a year ago, and had just been sitting there. I stitched the pieces together (my second time sewing on a project) and it worked well. The E for DD's first name, was a chipboard letter that I altered. In hindsight I don't think I would have sponged the edges and I may go back and make the white dots more crisp using my signo gel pen. We will see. I punched two sizes of ovals (mega and giga) and layered them and put a swarovski crystal every other scallop. Attached the whole piece on with 4 big glue dots. The rick rack in the back behind it really does match -- it is velvet so it photographed a weird color. Oh and I finished it off with a shiny bow above the "E". DD came in while I was making it. She was really excited to see what I was working on and more excited when she found out it was for her. I hope she likes the finished bank!!!

SC134 - Wreathabella Christmas Card

I made this a few days ago, but I thought I would share her today. I have a few more colored images that I need to turn into cards. This one was inkspired by the tent topper cards that were made for SC134. I wanted something that would be quick and easy to duplicate and besides the coloring -- this card is perfect. I bought a few Bellas and they have been waiting for me to ink them up and since I was stamping off some images for someone from the Bellaholics Yahoo group, I decided to play with some images myself.

Bella is colored using prismacolor pencils and other colored pencils and gamsol. The bow and the berries were colored in using a red gelly roll pen. I also added polka dots to Bella's dress with this pen. Ribbon is from Hobby Lobby. I just fell in love with it when I saw it and had to have it. Paper is by The Paper Patch - Small Kelly Green Plaid. Sentiment is by Elzybells (Amuse distributes these). I was really excited that this sentiment fit so perfectly in the oval.

How are you doing on your Christmas cards this year? Hope you are more caught up than I am. Only a few more days until Christmas! I hope you are having a joyous holiday season!!!

SC155 - Thank You

Last night the one and only couple that we know in our ward at church brought us a plate of cookies (a gorgeous assortment with recipes). I was so excited that I felt inspired to make a thank you card to thank them for being so kind.

I did the sketch challenge! This was my first time sewing on a card. I tried first with a ProvoCraft Sew Mini machine that was given to me but for some reason I could not figure it out and it would not work, so I grabbed my big machine and got to it. I *almost* sewed a straight line. The other random accent I added was little squares with white brads in two of the corners. Oh and I added some diamond stickles on the pink flowers to make them sparkle and pretty!

The striped paper is by SEI (Garden Rows) and the green background paper which almost looks like it was stamped with SU Linen stamp, is actually a printed paper called Paisley Green Solid by Making Memories. The ribbons were from my collection -- I think the coral/pink color came from a share I purchased from texasjodylynn.

Flower Images are by My Favorite Things and the set is called Bundles of Bouquets. Sentiment is Everyday Flexible Phrases by Stampin' Up! The original sketch for this challenge was actually turned 90 degrees, but I thought it looked cool turned on its side like this.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Sure Sign That Christmas is Around the Corner . . .

I woke up all sniffly and coughing this morning. A cold has finally caught me. It makes sense because our weather has been so cold at night lately and my body is not used to that at all. Anyway, after a couple glasses of Theraflu Cough and Cold, I was back in business.

Today I decided to bake cookies and as a second thought, make some fudge. Usually my fudge turns out all crazy and it is not so chewy and perfect like store bought fudge, but I found the most amazing recipe that was super easy (well except for the stirring, my arm got sore) AND it tastes so darn good. Shall I share????

Microwave Mint Fudge

1 1/2 c. Sugar
1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter
5 c. mini marshmallows
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 packet (1 oz.) pre melted baking chocolate
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

In a 2 qt. microwave safe bowl, combine sugar, milk and butter. Microwave on high until mixture comes to a full rolling boil, stirring after 2.5 minutes. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring after 3 minutes.

Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Stir in chips and chocolate until smooth. Stir in nuts and extracts. Immediately pour into a well greased 9x13 dish/pan. Chill until firm. Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 1/4 lbs.

Grandma's Gingerbread Cookies (from the Grandma's Molasses site)

8 tbls. (1 stick) butter, or shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Grandmas Original or Robust Molasses
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


Beat butter with sugar and molasses. Mix in egg. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Mix well. Chill in freezer 1 hour or in refrigerator 2 hours. Heat oven to 350ºF. Roll out a portion of the dough 1/4-in. thick on lightly floured board. Chill remaining dough. Cut with cookie cutter, place on greased baking sheets. If decorating with raisins, add them at this time. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool. Pipe on royal icing and add candy pieces, if desired.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes (*The Faker Method*)

Have you missed me? Just like you I have been caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season -- I have managed to stamp and color some images, but have I made them into cards yet -- nope! One night really soon I plan to sit down and do that -- it's just that by the time I get to the end of the day I am pooped and just fall into bed and sleep as soon as the kids are asleep. Seriously, it is kind of embarrassing really, that I am going to bed at like 9 pm! Sheesh! I have had to catch up on my shows online lately because I have been too tired to watch.

Anyway, today I decided to test out some cupcakes -- I am going to a Christmas Party and Hayride Caroling Event this weekend at a farm, and I am supposed to bring a dessert, and I thought cupcakes would be perfect! I mean, when aren't cupcakes perfect??? So today, I made Hot Cocoa Cupcakes and tomorrow I plan to try some spice ones. Now for the faker method -- I used chocolate fudge cupcake mix and marshmallow cream by Kraft (SMALL SIDENOTE: Isn't marshmallow cream the weirdest thing ever -- seriously it just amazes me for some reason) for the topping. I got the idea for these yummy cupcakes from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella (I have referred to this book before -- I really like it). Oh and the cupcake papers are actually Creme Brulee cups that my friend Jaime told me about from Smart and Final (thanks Jaime). I love them, I think they look totally cute and they make it so you don't have to use a cupcake pan, you can just put them in the oven on a cookie sheet and fit a lot more at once! They are fabulous!!!! Oh and the cupcakes just pop right out of them too! Perfect! Anyway, hope you take some time for holiday baking -- even if it is the faker variety just like me. No one will remember that you brought the not from scratch cupcakes!!!! How could they possibly ever know????

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Finally Stamped {Artful Inkables & ElzyBells}

So the past couple days I have been stamping and coloring images. I am kind of in the groove with coloring right now for some reason, so I am going with it. A good friend of mine, Kristin, designed a line of stamps for Starvingartistamps called Artful Inkables. They are absolutely adorable. Seriously if you don't have any -- go order some now. Anyway, when I saw her a few months ago, she generously gave me some of her stamps, and so I decided to put them to use now that I am moved in.

SC 131 -- This first card is a cute fishy one. I used some of the sketch challenge layouts for all of these cards I made recently. This one is hard to see (my new stamp room needs better lighting so my photos look better - the colors on these do actually match in real life, I swear), but the turquoise panel is cuttlebugged and the water has some stickles on it. It looks cool in person. I colored the image using my prismacolor pencils and gamsol. Paper is by KI Memories - Surprise Hoopla.

SC90 -- This second card is the turtle - also part of Kristins Artful Inkables. I seriously fell in love with him. He is just precious. I colored him with prismacolor pencils and gamsol as well. The paper is Bohemia My Journey Brocade by My Minds Eye. I thought it looked perfect when I held the image up to it. Ribbons are from my stash (Sheer brown with white polka dots and some brown gingham). I did a lot more sponging on this card than I would normally but it sort of needed it. It seemed to fit. The water in this card also has some stickles on it.

Inside I stamped a sentiment by Penny Black that says "Thinking of you and smiling." I thought it was perfect because when I look at this turtle, he has a cute little smile.

The last card I made was with a cool stamp that my cute Elf Jody sent to me. It is Winter Song from Elzybells. I made this first card with it -- it kind of just flowed out and then I saw this dirty girl challenge on Jody's blog from Jami and my card actually fits it I think . . . well all except for the no patterned paper part (as if? lol) -- too funny.

The patterned paper I used on this one is double-sided paper by Bo Bunny -- called Forget Me Knots. The sentiment is Just a Note by Stampendous. Oooh and I got some swarovski crystals at Hobby Lobby before I moved for half off -- I used a couple of my pink ones here on the corners. Anyway, thank you again to Jody for this adorable stamp -- I love her.

Tomorrow I shall try to post a couple pictures of the Bella cards I have been working on. It feels so good to be back and stamping -- even if my stamp room is the biggest disaster I have ever seen. *grins*