Monday, September 21, 2015

Use Your Stash Blog Hop theme Tool Time

It is time for Use Your Stash Blog Hop and this month we are using those forgotten tools. If you are coming from Priscilla's blog, you are on the right track.

 The first tool I needed to use is my ShinHan alcohol markers.

I love to color, however I am a little intimidated by the alcohol marker and so I longingly look at them, dreaming of beautiful projects and roll them back up in their pretty little carrier and off the shelf they go.

This card is created using our older Operation Smile stamp and I had created it several weeks ago and it too sat waiting for the ShinHan markers to be used.

I love how it turned out. I see more coloring in my future.

My second is tool I like to use for creativity ideas and that is challenge blogs. This is a Sunday Sketch, I believe or maybe a Mojo Monday.

I am always telling myself, this week I will do at least one challenge, but alas, I procraftinate.

Oh no, the card lost one of it's sequins -- off to fix it.

Now hop on over to Michelle's blog to see what she has created for us.

If you wish to start from the beginning, hop over to Marilee's blog.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

New Month New Recipes

Another once a month cooking marathon. It was so wonderful to have so many meals ready to pop in the oven, crock pot, or microwave with minimum prep, cooking, and clean up.

Meatloaf, sloppy joes, spaghetti, chicken broth, and taco chicken and beef were just a few of the meals I froze last month.

This month is going to be more of chicken and meatless month. Today I prepared biscuits and pancakes for the freezer. The pancake recipe is a new one, Good Old Fashioned Pancakes found on the They turned out great. The recipe made a dozen pancakes, cooked, placed on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. When they are frozen, place them in a freezer bag (be sure and gently squeeze out the air) ready for breakfast. I like to put a pat of butter on top with a little syrup and microwave for about 20 seconds. The syrup heats up, the butter melts and the pancake is warm and ready to eat!

The next freezer project is my favorite biscuit recipe. When rolling out, I had to learn to keep an even hand, some of my biscuits last month were thin and some were grands! Once made and cut out, I place them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and freeze, I don't precook. After they are frozen they are placed in a freezer bag ready for baking at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. And you can cook just one or two at a time. This recipe creates 15 biscuits.

One of the best recipes last month, was my everything in the pot chicken chili. I started with chicken broth and a little shredded chicken, the last of the salsa (about 1/4 cup), the last of the corn dip which had corn, cheese, and sour cream and a packet of McCormicks Mild Chili mix. It was so good and used up the leftovers that would have been tossed.

Now my freezer is full of biscuits, pancakes, spaghetti, chicken for chicken salad or chicken pot pie made with one of the freezer biscuits on top ( I will share that recipe after I do it), black eyed peas with green beans, and chicken and rice.

Thanks for letting me share this new adventure with you! Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Coloring is the Best for Stress

Are you needing a little stress buster? Coloring is what I use to help me. Coloring with alcohol markers, watercolors, blending pens, so many choices. 

Close To My Heart shared a great article on how to create our Exclusive colors using a combination of the ShinHan markers we carry -- click HERE to read the article. My favorite is the color chart created to help you remember how to create each color. I will share any tips I learn as I create my color chart.

This article encouraged me to finish a few cards I had in my card kit bag. The balloons and the sentiment were from the last Operation Smile stamp set -- it is retired BUT we have a cute new Operation Smile stamp set that 

Animal Greetings (D1679) - great for coloring, too!!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

My Little Ninjas and Nevermore

I have had these photos of my littles going to a fun amusement park in Japan where they actually were able to dress up and learn some ninja skills. Even my little Em learned how to use a bow and arrow while dressed in a beautiful traditional kimono.

Using the grays, blacks, and purple (new eggplant, isn't it lovely) were perfect with the photos.

Products used:
Nevermore My Reflections paper packet (X7198B)
Black cardstock (1386)
Slate cardstock (X5930)
Black ink (Z2015)
4"x6" Flip Flap (Z4114)
Documenting Moments (D1647) stamp set

The layout is from the Make It From Your Heart Volume 1 pattern 1. The flow of the photos across the page highlighted the day full of swords, karate, and more. The title is broken into two sections, one curved over the other. The title was created in the Cricut Design Space using a circle to line up the letters. Below are some cool tips I learned playing with it.

Using a 4" x 6" flip flap was perfect for the double matting.

Using the National Stamping Month Hello Life Scrapbook stamp set tab was the perfect handle for opening and closing the flip flap.

The flip flap has not been attached as the layout must be in the page protector so the flip flap may be attached on the outside of the page protector.

More photos and journaling opportunities are found under the flip flap.

Bring in a circle and size it to the preferred size.  Type in your title and click on the isolate letters to ungroup them -
Curve the letters around the circle and attach.

Click on the eye icon to hide the circle and now your title will cut curved - this would be great for vinyl so you can keep it curved onto the transfer paper. I used it to help keep my curve when I placed the letters on the layout.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Featuring Nevermore for Halloween Fun

Here is the first of many projects using the Nevermore paper pack. Nevermore (X7198B) is pretty Halloween inspired paper with deep purples, oranges, gray, and black. Is that not a juicy color scheme?

A little Artbooking Cricut cartridge images were used in creating this first September project. The layout is based on the Close To My Heart Creative Insider sketch -- they are so cool to help us create workshop and club projects faster, simpler, easier.

 I love using different patterns, here I took the round mini book pages from Artbooking and using the slice feature, I created circles for use on the layout. What do you think about circle photos under the title? That is what is floating in my head.

A few sparkly webs for photo corners and a border, remember when making a border, it is best to weld to pieces together so you don't get that stretched look.

The Halloween title needed a little pop, so a welded black cat finished it off. The green circle with the bats, would be a great place for some journaling and the green mats have a little black doodle lines - photos are 4" x 6" and 3" x 4". The circle photos at the bottom would be about 1 1/2" to 2".

If you purchase the products to complete this layout, I will send you the Nevermore Creative Customer Guide. Here is the link to my Cricut Design Space file, you will need the Close To My Heart Artbooking cartridge.

Products Used:
Nevermore Paper Pack (X7198B)
Pear cardstock (green) (X5764)
Black and Gray Glitter Paper (Z1922)
Black Journaling pen (Z1979)


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Stamp of the Month - Paper Garden (S1509)

It is September, the cool breezes are coming, school has started, and the lovely apple recipes are floating around everywhere (I love cooking with apples) AND it is time for a new Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month, Paper Garden (S1509).

An artistically styled stamp set with 11 images, my favorite is the chain linked fence looking image! 

The Stamp of the Month may be purchased alone for $17.95 or ONLY $5 with a qualifying $50 order, which with all the new products found in the NEW Annual Inspiration and Holiday Expression catalogs, it won't take long to meet that qualifying order.

My first Stamp of the Month project is part of the Rockin' heARTs team SOTM card swap (another reason to join the Rockin' heARTs not to mention the 22% discount you receive!)

I could not decide on Sunset with a Sunset flower or Whisper with a Thistle flower, which is your favorite, please share in the comments.

And the pattern paper is from Nevermore, see how versatile the Halloween inspired paper is.  I used both sides of the pattern paper shown in the upper left hand corner. Nevermore is one of the two paper packs that will be featured throughout the month here on my blog and on my Close To My Heart website.

Here are two examples of artwork from the awesome Close To My Heart artists -- the card shows off the watercolor look - did you know CTMH now carries watercolors, watercolor brushes and watercolor paper? WE DO!! Click HERE to see all the great watercolor products.

And the layout shows you how you can use it no matter what your crafting specialty is.

There will be more SOTM artwork throughout the month!!

REMEMBER, when September is over, this stamp set is gone forever.