Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year and Many Thanks!

Hi, guys! Hope you are enjoying a lovely holiday!  Last night my husband and I took our niece Amanda to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center here in NYC.  It was a delightful time and truly a memorable evening.  Amanda is 8 and has been taking ballet since she was 3 and has wanted to go see a ballet for a while.  I waited on taking her as I wanted her to be able to remember the first time she went and to be able to appreciate all the beauty and grace.

One of the highlights was a dancer who was taking photos with guests.  Amanda got her picture taken and was able to "strike a pose" with her.  It was so special.  I love how the picture turned out.

If you live in NYC or plan to spend time here during the holidays some time, I would highly recommend you take in this wonderful ballet.  It is truly remarkable.  Amanda and I are both having a hard time picking out our favorite part.

I wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year!  Thanks for all the kindness and encouragement you have given me this year starting my blog.  You have made 2012 a great one and I look forward to sharing and learning with you next year!  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tag a-long with Tim

Hi, guys!  As many of you know, I have been taking part in the Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012.  Today I will be sharing the last two tags I completed for the December challenge.  All the products I used on these tags are Ranger and Tim Holtz products.

These were so fun to make.  When I work on any of Tim's tags, I end up using a lot of different products and techniques.  While working on these, I used Distress Inks, Distress Stains, Distress Markers (notice a pattern?).  I really enjoyed using the mirror sheets in the first one, as they are so pretty in person and so reflective and die cut very easily.  The poinsettia die was a fun one to use and I enjoyed using acrylic paint and the tissue tape.

Sad that the 12 tags are now complete, but feel so happy that I was able to complete them ALL!  I am hoping Tim continues this tradition in 2013!

Off to see the Nutcracker with my hubby and niece.  I cannot wait!  My niece has been doing ballet since she is 3 and now is 8 and so it is the perfect age for her to experience her first ballet.  Lincoln Center is just so beautiful and I can't wait to share the experience with her.

Have a great weekend!  Until next time!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fleece Navidad!

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  The weather has been brutal in so many areas of our country and today we are getting pummeled by a pretty wicked snow, sleet and rain combo.  Hope you are all staying dry and finding time to do something fun!

Today I thought I would share a Christmas card I made for my friend Kate. She loves puns as I do, and is always up for some humor.  I made the following for her:

Stamps: Stampington & Co.
Ink: Memento Black
Paper: Core-dinations Kraft, Gina K (White), Stampin' Up
Misc.: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Copic Markers, Ribbon

I always get a chuckle when I see this stamp.  Used a fun music embossing folder for the background and took out my trusty Tim Holtz sanding block and went to town.  I just love using the Core-dinations cardstocks! 

This was one card I got to hand deliver over a dinner, so it was fun to see her reaction.  It is always fun to make cards for people who really enjoy a handmade item.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Prime Rib, Anyone?

Hi, guys!  Hope your Christmas was a merry one!  I thought I would share a tidbit of our Christmas dinner.  For the past 3 Christmases I have been roasting a prime rib for dinner.  It is one of our most special meals of the year, and it really warrants the splurge if you ask me.  I wanted to share a great resource I found 3 years ago with you.  This site has amazing step by step directions for making a perfect prime rib dinner.  What I like about it is it keeps the meat simple and doesn't go to crazy on all the seasonings. The other thing I like is the timing and temperature chart, as not everyone likes their roast to be the same degree of doneness.  Ours must be rosy in the center, and have some great crust.  I know others who need it very rare, and some who want it cooked well (yes, I hear you groaning from here!).  I have no affilliation with this site, but wanted you to have the info should you decide you want to make one for a holiday (or special occasion) and want it to turn out perfectly.  The meat is not cheap, so why chance it?

The past two years I have been serving The Pioneer Woman's Whiskey Cream sauce with the roast.  Yummy does not begin to cover my description of this simple pan sauce.  I used Makers Mark Bourbon Whiskey in my sauce as it is what I have on hand.  If my hips would allow it, I would have this sauce on a lot of things, but, alas, I am not a rancher but sit on my bottom as a receptionist.  I must limit my consumption of this to holidays and special occasions.

This week I have a busy work week ahead, and am hoping to get into my stamp room to share some new projects I am working on with you.  My husband has also finished my stamp room, and I plan to share some pictures with you. 

Have a great day!  Until next time!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Peace And Love

Hi, guys!  For today, I am sharing two cards I made using an old set by Stampin' Up.  On both of these cards I heat embossed the focal image.

Stamps: Stampin' Up
Paper: Papertrey Ink, Tim Holtz
Ink: Versamark
Misc.: Joy Button, White Embossing Powder, Star Punch, White Ribbon

Stamps: Stampin' Up
Paper: Desert Storm Environmental Cardstock, Gina K (White), Core-dinations
Misc.: Gold Embossing Powder, Martha Stewart Heart Punch, Ribbon

I thought that the messages of Peace and Love were really needed this holiday season. Wishing both to you and yours!

Until next time!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ornament Christmas Cards

Hi, guys!  Today's cards are similar, but the ornaments I made were different.

I have a lot of friends who love their kitties, and so I made this card with them in mind. Many cats love to check out the Christmas tree and have adventures.  I fell in love with this stamp and thought this would be a fun way to use it.

Stamps: Stampendous, Stampin' Up
Ink: Distress Ink, Memento Black
Misc.: 3" Circle Punch, Ribbon, Copic Markers, Corner Rounder

This made me laugh and recall the cat I had for nearly 13 years.  Emily loved to sit under the tree and bat the ornaments. I would put soft ones, and ones with bells that couldn't be broken along the bottom, so she could enjoy them.  Emily was NOT a climber and couldn't care less about the rest of the tree.  It was fun to hear the bells in the morning.

The ornament on this next tree was made by paper folding.  It is hard to see in the picture, but the star is actually three dimensional.  I learned this technique from Jennifer McGuire in her Holiday Boot Camp Class last year.  If you are looking for a fun class to inspire you for Christmas card making or other fun classes on card making, I highly recommend you take one of these great classes.

Stamps: Paper Angel, Stampin' Up
Paper: Gina K Designs, Cosmo Cricket
Ink: Stampin' Up, Distress Ink
Misc.: Ribbon, Corner Rounder

I thought I would share the fun stamp I am using on the back of my cards this year. I got this fun fruitcake stamp from Viva Las Vegas Stamps.

Hope your day is a great one!  Hope you find a few moments in the day to do something you love!

Until next time!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Hi, guys!  I have been spending some time making Christmas cards for family and friends these past few days.  I thought I would share a few with you now.

Stamps: Stampin' Up
Ink: Distress Ink, Stampin' Up
Paper: Cosmo Cricket, Gina K Designs, Core-dinations
Misc.: Impresssion Obsession Ornament Die

Here is another take on using this ornament die.

Stamps: Stampin' Up
Ink: Distress Ink, Picket Fence Distress Stain, Stampin' Up 
Paper: Cosmo Cricket, Gina K Designs, Core-dinations
Misc.: Impression Obsession Ornament Die, Oval Stampin' Up Punch, Gems, Ribbon, Snowflake Cuttlebug Folder

Had a lot of fun making these cards.  I enjoyed embossing the ornament in the first one and sanding it to reveal the pattern, and for the second one I used the same technique but used it for the snowflake background.

Hope you are enjoying your holiday preparations!

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Nine Tags of Christmas

Hi, guys!  Winnie’s hubby here again.

Win’s finally finished all of her card orders and is now busy making all the Christmas cards we need for our family and friends, so she asked me to step in and blog the tags I made for Christmas.

But for all of you crafters who think you know what’s coming from the title, trust me, you don’t.  What is coming is yet another example of why I leave the stamping to her and stick to taking the pictures of her beautiful creations.  For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s some background:

Anyone who follows this blog faithfully knows that Winnie is a huge fan of Tim Holtz, and for good reason – the guy is to crafting what R.A. Dickey currently is to the knuckleball: probably the finest and most inventive practitioner out there.  (And the Mets traded him – Dickey, not Holtz - don’t get me started.) For a number of years he (Holtz, not Dickey) did what he called the “12 Tags of Christmas,” where over the course of twelve days he demonstrated on his blog various techniques he used to make these beautiful tags, suitable for attaching to gifts, as the gifts themselves, or, as we’ve done for the last two years with a tag Winnie made and gave me in 2009, when we were dating, as a Christmas tree ornament.  In fact, here’s the tag in situ on our tree this year:

This year he made it easier on himself (after storms and power outages last year forced him to trek to the local Starbucks every day to send his posts) and craft retailers around the country (who had to scramble to stock their stores with the supplies he used) and spread the work out over the year, turning the exercise into the “12 Tags of 2012.”  But traditions die hard at our house.  So here are my “9 Tags of Christmas”:

And here’s a close-up:

Stamps:  PSX Stamp E-317 (Winnie tells me some of these are valuable now – I’m guessing not this one, though)
Paper:  Red construction paper (Staples?)
Ink:  Personal Stamp Exchange Green

(Told you.)

I’ve been making these for my Christmas presents for the last twenty years or so.  I found the stamp at a craft fair back then and haven’t bought a tag since.  I may even be using the same stamp pad.  Winnie finds all this endearing somehow.

By next Tuesday this may wind up being the “22 Tags of Christmas,” as I’ve already used up five of them.  It’s kind of like the old snack food line “Crunch all you want, we’ll make more.”  But I (or anyone else) would rather get one of Winnie’s any day. 

However, she, as she recently showed me, has saved all the tags I made her, which as you can tell from the picture is basically the same one over and over again.  She has a tiny drawer full of them.

Awwwwwww, dang.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Small Christmas Gift Tags

Hi, guys!  Just a quick post today to share a few gift tags I made for a friend for her packages.  I used my Sizzix and Tim Holtz dies to make these festive shapes, and just varied the papers and trims to make them different.

I think this is a fun project to do to maybe match your gift wrap or bags, and also perfect to do with your children.

Have a fun day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest posting today!

Hi!  Hope your day is going well.

Just a quick post to let you know that I am a guest blogger today!  It is my first time and I am very excited!  If you have a moment, please pop by and visit.  In the post I explain how to make a Christmas card:

Thank you, Kelly, of Way Past Fabulous for the opportunity!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Made With Love And Memories

Hi, guys!  Hope you are all doing well and enjoying the holiday season.  For today, I thought I would share two tags I completed on Friday.  I made this tags for my sister in-law as a gift.  As you probably recall, I have been taking part in the Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012.  I had made a set of tags for myself a few months back when we learned to tint photos using distress inks.  My sister in-law liked the ones I did of my late husband and his mother and she requested a pair.  I decided to make them on Friday as it was the 6th anniversary of my husband's passing and thought it would be a fitting tribute to him.  I varied the tags from the ones I did for myself by using stamps that were more specific for a brother and daughter.

This project was very special to me.  I am not sure if I can relay the joy and memories that I was able to recall while creating these tags.  Charlie loved to sail, loved his garden, loved the stars and I was able to incorporate the verse my sister in-law read for us at our wedding.   For my mother in-law's tag, I used a Tim Holtz bingo chip to reflect the year of her marriage and it reminded me of her love of playing bingo and her "big" winnings of a couple dollars and her excitement.  I was able to use a page of an old book (avid reader and teacher) and scripture to reflect her strong faith.

When I was finished with these and put them in the mail, I felt very happy.  If you would have told me I would have felt those feelings Friday, I would have said you were wrong.  Crafting can bring me joy and contentment even when I am feeling at my lowest.  I am sure Tim Holtz probably never realized that such a project could have such a profound effect on someone.

If you are looking to make a special gift for someone (or just for yourself), I would highly recommend you visit Tim Holtz to learn how these are done. I am sure you will enjoy the experience and want to share your memories with those special in your life.

Thanks to Tim Holtz for always inspiring me (and countless others), and for sharing his knowledge. Teachers are truly special people.

Have a great day, my friends!   Until next time!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Coquito Celebration Tags

Hi guys! Hope you are enjoying the holiday season!  For today I thought I would share with you some tags I made for my friends Coquito celebration.  What is  Coquito? you may ask.  Well, I, for one, was not sure when I was first asked to make tags for it.  My friend explained to me that it is a traditional Puerto Rican coconut milk-based cocktail.  It reminds me a bit of eggnog with a coconut flavor.  My friend will put the tags on all the bottles of Coquito for all the attendees, about 20 in total at her celebration.  I was lucky enough one year to get a bottle and boy, was it delicious.  She made her batch rather strong, so it had a kick to it.   This year, I plan to make a batch for my home.

The tags were double sided, and to make them durable I used a piece of red and a piece of white card stock that I adhered together. It gave it more stability.

This party sure sounds like it will be a great time and I hope they will like the tags.  I understand this year they will be having a bottle decorating contest as well.

I will share a recipe I was given for Coquito.  There are MANY versions of this drink.  I will be sharing one that does not require the raw egg yolks as some people can't have them.

2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans cream of coco
1 PINT of rum or whatever you prefer (some people use brandy) (adjust amount of rum for your preference as this is STRONG)
Vanilla to taste
cinnamon powder to taste
pinch of salt
cinnamon sticks 3-4  per bottle

In a large bowl blend milk, coco cream, vanilla and powdered cinnamon. After milk mixture is well blended, stir in rum.  Put cinnamon sticks in a bottle and pour in the Coquito.  It is preferable to keep bottle(s) refrigerated for 1-2 days before serving for a better taste.
*Important:  do not forget the pinch of salt!


Now, how can a party with good friends making a fun drink and even having a bit of crafting involved NOT be a fun time?


Christmas Cards With Matching Tags

Hi, guys!  For today I thought I would share some tags and cards I made for my blogging friend Molly Jo for a raffle that she held.  I had not blogged them until now as I wanted to wait until after she had her contest.

When making these, I tried to make cards and tags that anyone could use.  I enjoyed using non- traditional colors and my "pun"ny stamps as well.

I sure hope the winner Ann will enjoy these cards and tags this holiday season.

Until next time, my friends!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dear Santa ...

Hi, guys! This weekend I had a lot of fun with a stamp set by Ranger and Dylusions (Dyan Reaveley).  She has designed a set of Christmas words that are very funny and at times a bit cheeky.  I made two cards using her set that I will share now with you.  I love that the words are done in a collage format.

For the first one, I embossed a cute image of santa with two children on his lap and included her fun sentiment.  White ink was used along the edges of the card to soften it a bit.

Stamps: Stampin' Up, Ranger Dylusions
Paper: Desert Storm Cardstock, White Gina K Designs
Ink: Versafine Black, White Stampin' Up
Misc.: Clear Embossing Powder, Ribbon

Since a lot of my friends are already grumbling about holiday treats and eating, I decided to make the next card.

Stamps: Stampin' Up, Ranger Dylusions
Paper: Desert Storm Cardstock, White Gina K Designs
Ink: Versafine Black
Misc.: Clear Embossing Powder, Copic Markers, Ribbon, Cord, Cookie Cutter Button, White Gel Pen

These were a hoot to make.  I am trying to figure how I will use some of the other sayings in a card. I can't wait to find time to use them again soon!

Hope you have a day filled with lots of laughter!

Until next time!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy "Owl"idays!

Hi, guys! Sorry for the lack of posting, but with the holidays comes lots of obligations, and also lots of fun times as well.  Today I am sharing a Christmas card I made for my friend Erich's nephew, Alex.  I thought I would use this adorable set from Hero Arts which features various owls.

Stamps: Hero Arts
Paper: Gina K Designs
Ink: Black Memento, Distress, Stampin' Up
Misc.: Copic Markers, Glitter, Red Gel Pen, Typewriter Dies (Memory Box)

Distress ink was used to make the sky blue (very light application of Tumbled Glass color). To personalize the card I used the Typewriter Dies by Memory Box.  I decided to use more untraditional colors for this card and used a lot of browns.

Wishing Alex and his family a very happy holiday season!

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Some Flurry Fun

Hi, guys!  I love snow and the thought of snow just speaks Christmas to me.  I thought I would make a card using a fun stamp by Impression-Obsession called Snowflakes.

Stamps: Impression-Obsession, A Muse
Ink: Stampin' Up, Versamark
Paper: Papertrey Ink
Misc.: Winter Wonderland Embossing Powder, Snowflake Buttons, Spellbinders Die, Silver Cord,Gems

Winter Wonderland embossing powder is a combo of white and silver.  I don't use it often, but when winter comes around,  I get a lot of use out of it. It really gave it a frosty look, I believe.

Hope you have a great day, and hope you find a few moments of the day to do something you love!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Merry Christmas, Victoria!

Hi, guys! Hope your weekend was a fun one!  Mine was filled with theatre, crafting and cooking.  I have a bunch of cards and projects that I will be working on these next couple of weeks for the holidays.  For today I thought I would share a card I made for my friend Christine's daughter for Christmas.  I wanted to make a religious card for her and she wanted the card to use the colors silver, white and blue.  I thought: what better image to use than Madonna and Child?

Stamps: Stampin' Up
Paper: Papertrey Ink (Silver and Navy), Mulberry Paper, Gina K Designs (White)
Ink: Versamark, Stampin' Up
Misc.: Silver Embossing Powder, Spellbinders Dies, Ribbon, Silver Cord, Snowflake Ribbon

This card was fun to make.  I felt it captured the meaning of Christmas to me.  What a special love there is between mother and child.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Leftover Mashed Potatoes, Anyone?

Hi, guys!  Just a short post that I thought you might enjoy.  Today I made mashed potato pancakes from leftover mashed potatoes.  I will let you in on a secret, I make a ton of extra potatoes so I will have leftovers just for this purpose!

I make large fat pancakes out of the mashed potatoes.  I then dust them lightly on both sides with flour. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and smoked paprika (if you can get Penzey's brand spices, I would highly recommend them as they are my favorite. I am NOT paid by them to say that, just want to recommend them to you).   I fry them up in a combo of olive oil and butter.  Let me tell you, they are delicious and my husband requests them as soon as he learns I have mashed potatoes on the menu the night before. My sisters and I all remember these from my mother's kitchen and us Poley gals never met a potato we didn't like.

Hope you have a great day!  I will be back soon with some inky creations!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Welcome Baby Jackson Liam

Hi, guys! Today I made a card to welcome my friend Alysia's new baby boy.  For this card I used a House Mouse image that I love.

Stamps: House Mouse
Ink: Memento Black, Distress Ink
Paper: Gina K Designs, DCWV
Misc.: Copic Markers, Papertrey Ink Buttons, Ribbon

The tiny mice in the baby shoes always make me smile, and I hope this card makes Alysia smile.

Making cards for new babies is a favorite occasion for me.  It is such a happy time and you can use such sweet colors and adorable images and sentiments.

Have a great day!  Until the next time I get my fingers inky!