Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Masculine Birthday Card-Lift

I also needed to make some masculine birthday cards for my parent's store, but I struggle with these a I'm not used to doing "masculine" anything...and I like pink and bright colors, so it was a bit of a challenge. My favorite one ended up being one I "card-lifted" from fellow Craft Warehouse Design Team member, Amanda Sherman. I was on her blog and saw this design (hers was a Father's Day card), and really liked I adapted it a bit...and this is what I came up with.
Paper by My Mind's Eye
Buttons from Lasting Impressions
Stamp from Paper Trey Ink

A Couple Sympathy Cards

My mom said they also needed more Sympathy cards, so I made a couple of those too (would have made more, but ran out of time). I like the way these turned out...I think I made both of them in about 1/2 hour (that's pretty quick for me!).
Almost all the paper is from My Mind's Eye. The stamp is from Paper Trey Ink.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Some Wedding Cards

We're getting ready to leave tomorrow for a trip (via car this time) to Spokane for a week to visit my family--YAY! And last week my mom told me that they were running low on a few types of cards (the handmade cards that I sell at their jewelry store). So this morning I whipped up a few wedding cards...I think they turned out pretty well! I was struggling for what to mount the embellishments on (I only had flowers, rub-ons, and patterned paper), but then realized that I could use some of the I cut out or punched out quite a few of the pieces from the packaging included with the flowers and rub-ons. What do you think?
From the Bow Tie line from Making Memories

And here's one more Wedding Card to share...
Paper and sticker from Pebbles Inc.
Twine from Paper Trey (I like the way the twine 
turned out...sorta looks like a butterfly, don't you think?)

Fun at Lucky Peak

Yesterday evening our small group (affiliated with our church) went to Lucky Peak Reservoir to share a potluck dinner and have fun in the water! We all had a great time, especially the kids!
Three cute girls - Kali, Gabi & Ellie enjoying the water

Pete helping Ellie & Gabi build a sand castle

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cool Flip-Flops!

Yesterday while Ellie was doing her swim lessons, I was looking through some old issues of Family Fun Magazine (we're talking years old---but I had saved them because I never had a chance to read them) and one of them had this great idea for decorating flip-flops. Ellie's friend Gabi was spending the day with us, so I told the girls that we should make some of these and they were very excited. So after a trip to JoAnn's for fabric (I just bought fat quarters) and a trip to the dollar store to get Gabi some flip-flops...we went home and made some...I even made some for myself because I thought they were so cute. Then I gave the girls (and myself) a pedicure and took photos...the photos I took of Ellie's and Gabi's feet didn't turn out so well. So this morning I took one of Ellie and me in ours. Aren't these cute?
You just take some fabric and cut it into 1 inch by 6 inch're supposed to use pinking shears to do this, but I didn't have any so I just used regular sewing scissors. Then you just tie these pieces in a single knot all around the foot straps. I think I used 22 strips (per each flip-flop) for Ellie's and 26 for mine.

We're both loving our FUN & FuNkY Flip-Flops!!! (and hoping Gabi's enjoying hers too!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ellie's Magnificent Magnetix!

Today Ellie got out her Magnetix (really cool magnetic marbles and posts that Pete's dad--aka "Grandpa Art"-- got her a couple years ago). She hadn't played with them for awhile, but today she's been playing with them all day long! At one point, she said, "mom, come and see what I made". I went in and this is what I saw...
Pretty magnificent creation, huh?!! She then said "It's called Marbles of the Maya". And so I asked her where she came up with that name, and she said she didn't really know but that maybe she heard it on tv. Silly kid!

A Package from Kelly!

I have a wonderful friend named Kelly Keller from Ohio. We've been friends for about 10 years now. We met when we were both consultants for Close to My Heart, and even taught together one year at the CTMH convention. She is incredibly talented...for quite a few years, she was one of the major designers for the CTMH Idea books, she's been published many times in Paper Crafts and their special issues of "Card Creations", and is currently a designer for EK Success Brands (which includes K & Co.). She also works as a floral designer. She is humble, sweet, and a great friend. We email occasionally to keep in touch, and each year send each other birthday and Christmas packages. It was her that started the whole color-coordinated packaging with gift thing, but I've tried hard to keep doing it too, because it's so fun! I'm always excited to receive her packages and not just to see the gifts, but the way she packages things too. So...a package was on my doorstep this morning filled with this...(she knows I have a thing for bright colors!!)
Some of it you can adorable watermelon dish towel (I also have a thing for watermelon!!), a raspberry lemonade scented sachet envelope (smells soooo yummy!), a fabulous stash of bright colored buttons, and a set of green notecards with pink envelopes! But what's in the other packages? A big package of foam mounting tape (how did she know I had just ran out?), a package of bright epoxy circle stickers, three spools of pink and green ribbon scrumptiousness (yes...I also have a huge LOVE of ribbon!), and some perfectly matched green and hot pink embroidery floss. Plus...check out the cute card she made me (I'm really loving that EK border punch she used!!). Thanks so much Kel!

Ellie's Fifth Birthday Layout

One of the fun things I got to do for my birthday was to join three of my friends to scrapbook at one of the local scrapbook stores. It was really great--the store even had a cake for me (and gummy bears to snack on), and a gift! And Pete had given me a gift certificate, so I got to go shopping too! So what did I get done in that 6 hours? One 2-page layout! I don't know why it takes me so long to scrapbook, but this is completely typical (well ok, I did spend about one of those hours shopping---I got some really cute ribbon and some paper and embellies to make cards). I had just purchased some cute patterned paper and die-cuts from Craft Warehouse (they were taking 30% off a lot of their My Mind's Eye stuff, so I couldn't resist!) and I really wanted to use it.

This morning I was able to finish the journaling, so here is the completed page...(I'm not a big "collage" type scrapper...I typically like to work with one, two, or three photos...but for this one I had lots of photos, and I wanted to use most of them). 

Our Father's Day Meal & A Super Risotto Recipe

Pete decided we should try to make a nice dinner for Father's Day (I warned him he would have to help me if this is what he wanted:o)). So he looked through the stack of recipes that Denece, our awesome cooking class instructor, had given us from her classes, and decided that we would make Jalapeno Southern Fried Chicken and Lemon Risotto (yes, a different combination I know...but it was his pick!). So we went to the grocery store and got our "supplies"...then spent the next 2.5 hours prepping and cooking. Wow! The chicken is fabulous, but A LOT of work. The risotto is also delicious, but not nearly as hard to do (thus, this was my main contribution to the meal) I'll share the recipe (Vonda...I think you'll really like this one!).  
Denece's Lemon Risotto
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (I used salted)
2 cups Arborio rice
4-6 cups hot chicken broth (I used 4)
1/2 cup dry white wine like Chardonnay
1 large lemon, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cream, optional (oh yes, I used it!)

Saute onion in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Add butter to mixture. When butter is melted, stir in rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring until all the grains glisten. Add wine and stir until absorbed (if you don't want to use wine, you can leave it out and just start with the broth). Add hot broth one cup at a time and stire after each addition until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth until the rice is creamy, but still firm to the bite (approximately 20 minutes). Stir in the lemon, parsley and parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/8 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp salt). Finish with cream, if using. Serve immediately.

*Note: you can use leftover risotto, pat together with some grated parmesan cheese into a patty, and roll in bread or panko crumbs. Fry with oil or bake till crisp. These are yumm-o!!

Dinner at Ling & Louie's

To celebrate my birthday (and Father's Day for Pete), we went out to a new restaurant in Meridian called "Ling & Louie's" that I've really been wanting to try. They say it's "Pan-Asian meets Comfort Food" interesting twist, huh? It was really good (although I'd probably say I still like PF Chang's a little more...even if it's a bit more expensive). I've heard they have a great Happy Hour for drinks and appetizers, so Pete and I might have to go check that out on one of our date nights. was fun! Thanks for dinner Carol (my MIL)!

Check out these cool triangular crayons they had 
for the kids!
This picture totally cracks me up---poor Ellie...she was frightened by the fact I was still taking photos of her even after she started eating. But seriously...check out that cool "bento" box of food they have for kids! Hee-hee!!

Some Great Gifts!

I'm a sucker for great packaging, and my mother-in-law gave me this sweet pile of beautifully wrapped gifts. She used patterned paper as wrapping paper. And, as you can see, she loves her Cuttlebug and her dies (and uses it with felt too--love that felt pom-pom!). What was in them? Four spools of baker's twine, two acrylic stamp sets, and two paper packs all from Paper Trey Ink (her favorite online store)...and a Xyron sticker machine and refill (I've never had one--can't wait to use it!) .

Here's the cute, simple card she made me (with one of the stamp sets she gave me...she got her own set too). Now I'm excited to make some cards with this set.

A Birthday Zoo Trip

So what did I do on my birthday? Well, my friend Candy called and invited me and Ellie to join her and her three kids (it was also her youngest's, Lucy, 2nd Birthday!) to the zoo. Since I had missed Ellie's preschool field trip to the zoo, I thought this would be fun...our Zoo Boise has some new attractions like a baby giraffe and a giant anteater! Overall it was a good time...including nice weather (not too cold and not too hot) until Ellie freaked out in the Butterfly exhibit (luckily this was at the very end of our time there)---she just started screaming and saying there were "bugs all over" I had to "excuse me, pardon me" through a huge line of people in the exhibit to get us outta there. BUT the rest of it was pretty fun! Here are some photos...
Mama & Baby Giraffe

Ellie on the Carousel Giraffe

Nate, Lucy (Happy 2nd Birthday!), Gabi & Ellie...all "caged" up!

Me and Ellie enjoying Dippin' Dots for the very first time...
they're pretty yummy (and so fun and colorful too!).

A Birthday Morning Greeting

So I haven't blogged in awhile...last week was a busy one, and included my birthday! This was the beautiful bouquet that Pete got me. I LOVE Gerber daisies (they're just so bright and cheerful!!)...and so these and a beautiful card (with a gift certificate to spend on scrapping stuff) were what I woke up to find sitting on my table last Thursday morning. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Swimming Lessons

This week Ellie started swimming lessons. We've done private lessons at a friend's pool the past two summers, but this summer (since we've moved) we're too far away to do that. So we signed up at a nearby outdoor pool in a class of six kids. We've had a cool, wet spring, so I was really wondering if it was going to work out...but this week has been pretty nice (yesterday was gorgeous!) and because the pool is heated, it's been fine. AND Ellie LOVES going! She loves the pool & loves her teacher (a sweet young girl named Kelsey) it's all good! They go for 2 weeks...Monday through Thursdays at 11:30am (love that time as I'm not a morning person!). We'll also do one more round of them in July too. I'm so glad she's enjoying it so much! 
All bundled up waiting to swim (it wasn't the warmest
day today and she was all wet from the shower!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fourth of July Two-Pager

With Fourth of July fast approaching, here's an idea without using the typical red, white and blue. It's a two pager, so a great way to implement lots of photos too. Hope this inspires you to try something a little different!
 A closer up view of first page 
A closer up view of second page

We're Now Backyard Chicken Owners!

Pete has wanted chickens ever since he saw my parent's chickens in Spokane. In our old neighborhood, I would have never felt comfortable doing this...but since we've moved into a different neighborhood (not quite "suburbia":o)---and there were already some neighbors a few houses down that had some)...I told him that as soon as he got the kitchen done, he could get some chickens (great motivation, huh?). Well...the kitchen isn't exactly done (some of this is because of me...I'm in charge of sanding and painting the cupboard doors and I need some nice weather to do this cuz I'm doing it outside), but it is pretty close (he says he needs help from our neighbor/friend to finish the last little bit) he decided it was "close enough" and told me he was going to get chicks on Saturday ("not without me, you aren't" I said...I wanted to see what we were getting--I didn't want some sickly looking things!). It's really funny too because in the last month two other neighbors have gotten them too. So now there's 4 homes in our little neighborhood with backyard chickens. not only does Pete have a kitchen to finish...he also has a chicken coop/house to build (he has great plans, but I sure hope it comes to be sooner than later because right now these chicks are living in a "ghetto coop" made of old fencing and window screens that looks like it could easily fall apart if someone pushed too hard).  So...hopefully within the next year we'll start having some fresh eggs! 

Here's a photo (the best one we could get...those little suckers know how to "busta' move"!)
and the names Ellie chose for them below:
The black one is a Black Sex Link/Black Star (Chirpie)
The red one is a Rhode Island Red (Lulu)
The "other" multi colored one you can't really see is an 
Ameraucana (Rosella)

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Sewing Project?

First off, I don't really sew (at all...not even on my scrapbook pages), but one of our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) moms just had a baby, and we always give them a new handmade blanket. Well, our stash of "girl" blankets was depleted, and so the task fell on me. I actually made another one last year (with my mom's help) and it turned out ok, so I decided I could do this (even without my mom to guide me). So I spent some time (ok, quite a bit of time because I'm slow) this afternoon making this simple flannel blanket. I think it turned out pretty good...especially for someone who has ZERO sewing ability. 
You just take 1 yard of 2 coordinating pieces of flannel and trim them up to match each other (there's no exact size it has to be). Then pin the two pieces together all around the outer edge. Measure to find the middle, and pin (or use a wash-away fabric marker or pencil) down the middle, as you will be stitching along the middle also. Sew in approximately 1" (I have a piece of blue painters tape on my sewing machine that I use as a guide so I can sew straighter) around the outer edges and then sew down the middle where you pinned (or drew your line). After sewing, use sewing scissors and cut fringe (making cuts about 1/2 inch apart from each other)...remembering to cut squares out at each of the four corners (IMPORTANT: make sure you don't cut past the sewn lines). Then wash your blanket in a dye-free, fragrance-free detergent and dry--the fringe will become frayed (this is what you want:o)). And viola--you have a wonderful, easy, cozy handmade blanket!!!
Trust me...if I can do this, anybody can do this!