Sunday, March 27, 2011

Making more of less...

The fast approach of April  has forced me back to where I belong - sitting at my desk upstairs with the radio on, staring at uncut paper and unused embelishments.  With 8 birthdays and 2 baby showers next month, I need to get some cards done.

I got the idea for the cards below while I was at a StampinUp! Demonstration today.  This company turns out high quality products and has so many cute things to choose from. (

The leader, Julie, was distracted, so I rummaged through the pile of cards she had sitting on the side.  She had a card that was exremely simple: white card, black mat, and a black ink stamped design on a white rectangle.  I was so minimal, it was genius.

But I need some color in my life - just a touch...

The following StampinUp products were used in the making of these cards: whisper white 8 1/2x11 card stock, Something Sweet stamp set, extra large circle punch, basic black 12x12 card stock, melon mambo ink, (a stamp set from the Sale-a-bration catalog that I can't remember) and basic rhinestone jewels.  The circle in the middle of the "rattle" is popped up by a pop dot.

The cards are for the two baby showers, one of which is for twins!

Beauty doesn't always mean lots of coordianting colors, paterns, embelishments or stamps. Black and white with a touch of color is minimal, classic, crisp, clean and beatiful on its own...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dreaming of the Emeral Isle...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.  My favorite Irish blessing is: "May you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows your dead."

I have some Irish in my blood (a wee bit on my Mother's side), my name literally translates to "Ireland" in Gaelic, and my birthstone is emerald.  Needless to say, I get very excited when March 17th comes around.  I would LOVE to take a trip to Ireland, to learn to speak Gaelic, and to find a real four leaf clover.  At least I have a leprechaun - aka Hubby!

The following project has nothing to do with scrapbooking, but I'm ok with that.  I have been playing around with the idea of doing non-scrapbooking related posts on my blog for a while.  I think this is a good one to start with.

Korie & Frank came over for dinner again, and I wanted to be a little festive.  What better way to celebrate the luck of the Irish than emerald potato pancakes and green beer?

Yes, our food was green.  All it took was food coloring.

I took the basic recipe for potato pancakes and added about a 1/4 tsp of green food coloring gel before mixing everything together.  You could use food coloring liquid, but you have to be careful about the moisture in potato pancakes.  Just a few drops of liquid food coloring in the beer and it is a lovely shade of green.  Korie actually used the gel, but she desolved it slowly in a small amount of beer first, then added it to the cup.

Doesn't it look delicious?  And you could use this same concept with almost any food and with any food coloring.  You can get the basic colors at the supermarket - red, green, blue, yellow - or you could go to a party or craft store and get the funky colors - black, orange, pink, purple, etc.

Have boring vanilla cupcakes?  Put in half a 1 oz bottle of any color food coloring into the batter.  Have plain white icing?  Only a few drops will do you good.  Put food coloring in the water for pasta.  Put food coloring in your clear or amber soda.  Get creative and have fun with it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Erin & the purple page...

A new tool for scrapbookers is digital scrapbooking.  You design a scrapbooking page using elements on the computer, then print it like a picture.  You can use it as is, or add some more elements to it, like you would a traditional scrapbook page.  My project is a twist on that idea.

I use several picture sites online to store and print my digital memories.  I love - there's one a mile away and the prints are always good quality.  They were running a special online a few weeks ago.  An 8x10 collage for FREE!  I jumped on the deal.

I've used these 8x10 collage prints as gifts before.  Frame them with a $3 frame from Walmart and voila!

This one I used as a scrapbook page.  I had a group of pictures that were related but I couldn't quite figure out how to use them all together.  I threw them on my account, arranged them on the 8x10 page, and added a title.  The part in black in the final product.

Once I picked it up at the local store, I picked out the paper that would be the border.  This paper was perfect - it reminded me of Harold & the Purple Crayon.  What a wonderful theme for this page.  It's pictures of me and my buddies being creative.

And I added buttons!  I LOVE buttons!

This page took me a total of 10 minutes - 5 on the computer and 5 to put it together once I picked up the print at the store.  Quick, easy and cute!

Think outside the box!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The early bird gets the Ph.D!

March is the beginning of the nice weather, the world becomes new again, and for me, it's a time for some fresh ideas. This month's theme is thinking outside the box.

My brother's girlfriend of 10 years finally received her Ph.D (after 10 years of schooling!).  We had a party in her honor, and my mom and I picked out some nice gifts for her.  The problem was this: it's a little too early in the year to be looking for graduation wrapping paper.  I was already going to make a card for Adria (aforementioned girlfriend), so when I told my mom about the cute little bird in a cap and gown I had on one of my Cricut cartridges, she said "Well, can you make mini ones so I can put them on the plain wrapping paper I bought?"

Why, yes, yes I can.

I started by laying out the project on my Gypsy.  If you don't have one, buy one.  It gives you so much flexibility and can really open up your imagination once you get the hang of the menus.

This bird is from the 3 Birds On Parade Cricut cartridge.  I wanted a 2 1/2 inch bird for the card, and then a flock of 1 1/2 inch birds to decorate the wrapped packages.

Then, I laid out my paper on the Cricut mat to match where I had set the layers.  Her alma ater is George Washington University in Washington DC, and their colors are buff and blue.  I wanted the cap and gown to be buff and the bird face to be blue.  Tassel was red, beak and claws yellow.

Next, we load the paper into the Cricut and cut!  Isn't she pretty! :)

Once they were all cut, I set out to assemble them.  Here are the two different sizes:

All that was left to do was attached the smaller ones to the packages.  My mom wrapped them and put the birds on.

You could also use stickers to decorate plain wrapping paper or tissue paper, if you don't want to bother with all the cutting and gluing.

Adria liked the little birds so much, she kept them to use on another project.  Here is the card I made with the bigger bird.