Sunday, April 29, 2012

... enter and sign in, please

Hi, guys!  Winnie’s hubby here.  Win got a huge number of orders for Mother’s Day and First Communion cards, and is in the basement creating away.  So she turned today’s blog post over to me.

I thought I would pull a Mario (and I suspect most of you will get the reference, if not, you can click on the link) and take you “Behind the Scenes” at Winnie’s Inky Fingers.

On weekdays, Winnie crafts during the evening, right after dinner.  The division of labor was a snap to figure out from the beginning of our marriage, and for those of you who’ve been following the blog it’s pretty obvious:  Win does the cooking, and I do the cleaning up.  She’s a fabulous cook, and I like the Zen of doing dishes.  Okay, so occasionally I forget a pot or so, but for the most part it works well.  She’s fun to shop with as well:  we hit Giunta’s Meat Farms and Stop & Shop and she’s creating menus on the fly.  You’ve already seen some of the great things she comes up with (thank you, Ree Drummond, Rachael Ray, Homesick Texan et al. for the ever-developing bay window around my midriff).  Once in a while we’ll see something fun from our youth and pick it up as well.  Which brings me to last night’s dinner.

We knew yesterday would be a busy day since, as I mentioned, Winnie had a number of orders (upwards of twenty cards) to take care of this weekend. We fortified ourselves on Friday night by treating ourselves at Carrabba's, where she had the lentil-and-sausage soup (ditto for me) and chicken parmesan, and I had The Damian (wood-grilled salmon, spiedino di mare - translation: sea scallops - and lobster ravioli). We split a John Cole (vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon rum pecans) and came home content.
So yesterday morning I was checking out the larder to find something quick and easy for Saturday dinner.  And I came up with:

Yep.  SPAM.  In a spasm of health-consciousness, we had picked up the 25%-less-sodium version.  Win fried it up in a pan, and we had it with Stop & Shop Tater Bites (which beats the name brands in taste by a mile) and their baby peas.

And, yes, we washed it down with a nice Chardonnay.

And, oddly enough, it was pretty yummy. The lower sodium content actually improves the taste from what I remember as a kid.   And it accomplished its main mission, which was to feed us both and get Winnie back down to the basement while I cleaned up.

And now you know why I leave the cooking – and blogging – to my talented wife.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Milestone Birthdays (65 and 100!)

Hi, guys!  Hope your day is going well.  I thought I would share with you two cards I made on Sunday.  I was asked by a friend to make a card for her best friend's 65th birthday.  She let me create whatever I wanted.  It was a lot of fun to make.  This background stamp I used is an older one by Stampin' Up that I just LOVE.   I heat embossed the background with white powder to set it off against the dark paper.

Paper: Stampin' Up, Ranger Speciality Stamping 
Ink: Archival, Versamark
Misc: White Embossing Powder, Tim Holtz numbers, flower, gem
Die: Deckle Rectangle Spellbinders

The next card I am sharing with you was made for a friend of mine who is celebrating her friend's 100th birthday!  Talk about a milestone birthday!  It was the first time I have made a card for someone turning 100 and it was a hoot and a privilege.   I had free reign on this card as well so I decided to keep it simple with some bright colors and easy to read numbers.  I used acrylic numbers and colored them with my Copic markers to match the ribbon.

Paper: Gina K Designs White,  Husk Note Card Ink Pad NYC
Ink: Archival
Misc.: Flower, Gem, Acrylic Numbers, Ribbon, Swiss Dot embossing folder

I really love making cards for birthdays, and when they are such special occasions I am very tickled and honored.  Hope your day is a great one and that you find a few moments to do something you love.  I know I plan to carve out a bit of "me" time tonight.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

Hi, guys!  Thought I would share another card I made for the online card class A Cut Above with Jennifer McGuire and Friends.  I made this one using old, clear packaging that I die cut and turned into leaves.   I used alcohol inks for coloring the leaves.  I am really happy with the way it turned out.  I LOVE that I can turn my trash into treasures with my trusty Vagabond and steel ruled dies.

Paper: Gina K Designs White, Husk Note Card The Ink Pad NYC, Papertrey Ink Designer paper

Ink: Alcohol inks
Die: Tattered Leaves Alterations
Misc.: Scallop punch, Glossy Accents

I stamped a sentiment inside that says "Thankful for you."  I think it will be perfect for a Thanksgiving card, or a thank you card.

I hope you like this card.  I hope it inspires you to think of ways to repurpose things in your crafting!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fun With Ribbon Scraps

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well.  I thought I would share with you a card I made for A Cut Above, the online card class by Jennifer McGuire and friends.  It is such a great class filled with so much fun and content. I made this card using some scraps of ribbons I have been saving.  I never thought to use ribbon with my die cuts before.

Paper: Gina K Designs White, Echo Park 
Ink: Adirondack Pesto
Stamps: Stampin' Up Canvas background and Stem
Misc.: Scraps of ribbons, Papertrey Ink button, Twine
Die: Tattered Floral-Alterations

This was a fun card to make.  I have a hard time tossing ribbon scraps out, so now I have some fun uses for them.

Hope you like it and will give it a try.  Have a great one!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Ink Pad, Part III: Dye Harder

Hi, guys!  Hope you are having a good day.   I thought I would share the last two cards I made for this month's submission for The Ink Pad NYC design team.  I colored the images with Copic markers and dyed the ribbons with the matching marker.  As you can see, these are more floral images.  All embellishments, images and sentiments were supplied by the store.

I hope you like them.  They were fun to make.  I am looking forward to seeing what May's theme will be!

Have a great day!  Hope you find some time in the day to do something you love!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just What the Dr. Ordered!

Hi, guys!  Hope you are enjoying the rest of the weekend.  It is finally raining here in New York and it is a good thing!  We haven't had any rain and brush fires were breaking out all over the area.   I am celebrating the nice rainy day.   Since I was lucky enough to be at home, I was able to make a fabulous dinner tonight.  I thought I would share some pictures and a link to the FABULOUS recipe.   I made Dr. Pepper ribs!  I got the recipe from THE HOMESICK TEXAN.  If you want mouthwatering ribs that are so tasty that my husband and I ate all but 2 ribs (the other 2 were reserved by request, and engendered a spirited argument between hubby and I on the value of a promise), I highly recommend you check out the Homesick Texan blog.  It is beautifully written with amazing photography.  I have her wonderful cookbook as well and I highly recommend it as well.

(Hubby's hands after he finished...)

Bass Ale, yellow rice, string beans and cooling cucumber salad are great accompaniments for these sweet, spicy and sticky ribs.   On a side note:  I did cut the heat from the original recipe for my hubby.  I cut the chipotle powder and cayenne pepper by half and they were perfect for him.

Hope you have a great night.  I am off to spend the evening making some cards for both a 65th birthday and a 100th birthday!  I will share them with you during the week.   See you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flower Window Card

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well and you are enjoying your weekend.  I thought I would share the card I made for day 2 of A Cut Above Online Class with Jennifer McGuire and friends.  We were learning how to use our die cuts to make windows.  This was a lot of fun to make. 

Card: Earthtone Card The Ink Pad NYC
Ink: Black Archival, Versamark
Misc.: Sizzix Die/Stamp Combo,  Leaf Ribbon, White Embossing Powder, Copic Marker, Pearl

I am playing catch-up with these classes this weekend.  Life seems to get in the way of my creating time sometimes.  I look forward to sharing more soon.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Floral Cards for April Design Team for The Ink Pad

Hi, guys!  Hope your day is going well.  I thought I would share two more cards I made for The Ink Pad this month.

This month I did a bunch of floral cards.  I love that even though they had flowers on them, they were all very different in look and feel.   Personally,  I am not much of an earth tone kinda gal, but ended up loving the papers so much that I had to go to the store and pick up a supply for myself.  The card stock is from a 6x6 pad from a company called Canvas Home Basics.

I also had to use Stickles in Star Dust.  So I applied it directly to the stamped flower image above and in the light it twinkles so nicely.   I love Stickles and have them in so many colors.  I am definitely a glitter and shine kinda gal.

One other tip I have for you is to use your markers to color ribbon.  I had a piece of pale pink ribbon, but you will see on today's cards and the cards that follow later this week that the ribbon is not that shade any more.  I colored it with matching Copic Marker colors to match the focal image.  It is a fun way to get even more use out of your supplies.

Hope you like them, and hope you have a great day!  I can almost feel the weekend upon us!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My First Submissions for The Ink Pad Design Team

Hi, guys.  A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was named to the new design team for a great stamp store in Manhattan called The Ink Pad for a period of 4 months.   I just turned in my first assignment of 6 cards.  I will be sharing them with you the next few days.  I used Ranger Archival inks, Tim Holtz Distress inks (no surprise there) and Adirondack Earthtones ink.  The first card I used Cherry Sorbet Twinkling H2O's for the flowers and on the sentiment.

I had a blast making these cards.  They both incorporate my love of distress inks, but they also made me step outside my comfort zone and do a lot more with earth tones than I normally do.

I hope you like them, and if you have any questions about them shoot me an email and I will get back to you.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Creating With Die Cuts

Hi, guys!  Hope you are all having a great day.  Today I thought I would share a couple of cards I made last night.  I am currently taking the online class with Jennifer McGuire and friends called A CUT ABOVE. It is focusing on various die cut machines on the market and learning how to use them to their fullest.  I own 3 die cut machines currently (yes, you read correctly). I own the Cuttlebug, Vagabond and Cricut. This class will include demos of both the Cuttlebug and Vagabond as well as other popular machines on the market.  I am enjoying this class as as there is something for everyone and the tips alone are worth the price of the class.

Paper: Earth Tone Card Ink Pad NYC
Ink: Memento Black
Stamps: Hambo, Lizzie Designs
Misc.: Sizzix Stamp/Die Combo, Sakura Glitter pen

Paper: Stampin' Up, Echo Park
Stamps: Hero Arts
Ink: Adironack, Distress Ink
Misc.: Tattered Floral Die, White Gel Pen, Button,Twine

This is my fourth online class with them and I can't speak highly enough about them.  If you want to take a class that lets you go at your own pace, full of handouts, information and fun - then I would suggest you look into taking one of them.  The forum and galleries alone are full of useful info and inspiration.

Off now to continue with the class.  I look forward to sharing more creations with you tomorrow.

Have a great night!

Monday, April 16, 2012

April Wedding Wishes

Hi, guys!  Hope you are all doing well.   I thought I would share a card I made with you.  A co-worker asked me to make a wedding card for her friends Michelle and Dwain.

Paper: Stampin' Up
Ink: Archival Black
Misc.: Charm, Rhinestones, Ribbon, Cuttlebug and Sizzix Embossing Folders, Twinkling H2O Cherry Sorbet

I laid the card down so I could get a better shot of the embossing and the charm.

It is a lot of fun making keepsake cards for people.  I wish Michelle and Dwain every happiness in their new life together.

Have a great day, and I hope you find some time in your day to do something you love.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Glorious Weekend Weather and Sunday Dinner

Hi, guys!  Hope you are having a great weekend!  The weather is so nice.  It is really summer-like here in New York.  This was a great weekend with a trip to New Jersey and a great barbecue with friends.  I hope you have had a blast as well.

Since today is Sunday, I like to make a nice large dinner that will keep for a few days and make my work nights a lot easier.  Today I made a great pulled pork recipe by the Pioneer Woman.  I have attached the link to the recipe.  My husband and I love it.

While I was at it, I decided to make Ina Garten's garlic roast potatoes.  They are so addicting that you can't eat just one!

I am off to do some stamping and card making now.   I will be posting them shortly.

Hope you have a great night and find some time for yourself!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

(First) First Holy Communion Card of the Season

Hi, guys!  Hope you are having a good day.  The weather here in NYC is turning nice and warm, a sure sign that Communion, Confirmation and Graduation season is upon us.  I was asked to make a card for a co-worker's nephew's First Holy Communion.  I was asked to personalize it for the boy and add his name.   It was a lot of fun to make and I hope Franco has a beautiful day.  Here is the card:

Paper: Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Catholic Rubber Stamps, Stampin' Up
Ink: Memento Black Ink, Copic Markers
Misc.: Small hole punch, Pop Dots, Large Scallop Nestabilities

This year my family has 3 First Holy Communions we will be celebrating.  My twin nephews in Ohio, and a niece here on Long Island will be receiving the sacrament in the upcoming weeks.  I can't wait to start making cards for each of them.

Hope you have a great day, and hope you find some time in the day to do something you love.

Keep Calm and Carry (and Stamp) On

Hi, guys!  Hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying the week so far.  I thought I would share a few purchases I made this weekend.  For those of you who may not know, I have a collection of teapots (and cups) as well as my trusty rubber stamps.  Well, this weekend I was out and about in Manhattan to see my husband perform in a play (his company does re-creations of old-time radio mysteries) and before the show I took in some shopping and browsing.

I was so tickled to see the stamp at The Ink Pad, and then a few blocks away I found the teapot.  How fun is that?

Now I will have to use the stamp to create something while using my new teapot.

It was a great evening of fun with friends, a great show and new treasures.

Have a great day, and I hope you find a moment in your day to do something you love!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Don't Distress 80 - Celebrate it!

Hi, guys!  Hope you had a great holiday weekend.  We had a very nice one.  I was asked by a co-worker to make a 80th birthday card for an attorney who used to work with us.  It was fun to make.  I wanted it to have a masculine feel and also a distressed look.  I sure hope he likes it.

Paper: Ranger Coredinations (Broken China)
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Copic Markers
Misc.: Tim Holtz Bingo Chip, Ribbon, Sanding Block, Cuttlebug Birthday Embossing Folder

This was the second 80th birthday card I have made these last few weeks.  It is such a thrill to make cards for people, but it is so exciting to make them for people experiencing milestone birthdays.  I often wonder why so many people don't want to celebrate each and every birthday with joy and happiness. So many worry about their age, or aging in general.  I know from personal experience that each and every year you are given is a gift and should be enjoyed to the fullest.  So, whether you are turning 40, 50 or even 80, kick up your heels and raise a glass to another year ahead.

Hope you have a great day, and find a few moments in your day to do something you love.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter and My Love of Bunnies

Hi, guys!  Hope you are having a great day!  With Easter right around the corner, I thought I would share a few Easter cards I have made this week (nothing like waiting until the last moment!).

Paper: Tim Holtz 
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Stamps: Papertrey Ink

Paper: Tim Holtz 
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Stamps: Papertrey Ink
Misc.: Ribbon, Scallop Punch, Pearls

Paper: Gina K Designs
Ink: Memento Black
Stamps: Darcie's, Studio G (sentiment)
Misc.: Copic Markers, Ribbon

Paper: Gina K Designs
Ink: Memento Black
Stamps: Darcie's, Papertrey Ink (Sentiment)
Misc.: Copic Markers, Ribbon, Pearls

These cards were fun to make.  I love using the vintage papers from Tim Holtz's line and I love digging out the set from Darcie's each year because I just adore that bunny.  I can't resist how cute he is.  I try to remember how much I love bunnies when I am trying to get them out of my tulips each Spring.  It is a losing cause.  My tulips come up and open, and in a few minutes their heads are gone, and contented bunnies are rolling around with full stomachs.  It is funny when I write this, but trust me - I long to see my tulips last at least a day. I have given up the fight; instead I have hung a sign on my door which reads PLANT A GARDEN - FEED A BUNNY.

Have a Happy Easter and Passover to all those observing.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Widowhood, Twenty Wishes and Bread

Hi, guys.  Hope you are having a great day.  I have been asked lately about my foray into bread baking. I thought I would share the why, when and how with you today.

I was widowed 6 years ago. During that time, my sister would supply me with TONS of books. Most of them had a young widow in the story (coincidence, I think not!). I fell in love with one of the books she gave me entitled TWENTY WISHES by Debbie Macomber. It focused on a widow group and an exercise they did where they each listed twenty wishes they had for themselves. At this point in my life, I found it very healing to sit and think about what I wanted in my life. The wishes in the story were not the usual "I want to win the lottery" type.  They were things you could do, work towards or places to visit, etc. - all obtainable with work. On my list was to learn to make good French bread.  Crusty, yummy bread. A good friend gave me a book for Christmas that was supposed to help me learn and, boy, did it ever. It is entitled ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY. I was skeptical, but I really wanted to learn. So, I dove right into the dough (and my fingers were NOT inky, but pristine!). The bread is delicious. I have been making the master recipe and will move on to the others eventually.  I just can't believe how easy -  and good - it is. Note: The title of the book may be a bit of a misnomer, as it refers to the mixing of the dough. You will need more time than 5 minutes to bake it off, but, boy, is it worth it.

I highly recommend you give it a try. The link above takes you to the authors' site where they will explain the science and the "how it works."

My personal list of wishes is 17 so far and growing. It is a great exercise for anyone, not just those who have been widowed.  What is life without having any wishes for yourself? I have been very fortunate in that I have had another wish come true.  I have found love again and have remarried! Can't wait to see what other wishes come true down the road!

Hope you have a great day and find a few moments in your day to do something you love, or maybe to try something new.   Maybe bake some bread?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101 - The Finale

Hi, guys!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  I enjoyed it very much as I was able to complete the rest of my tags for the Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 class.  I thought I would share them with you now.

Day 6:  Watercolor with Markers, Blending with Markers, Stamping with Markers

Day 7:  Nostalgic Batik , Rusted Enamel, Distress Powder Resist

Day 8:  Paint Dabber Resist, Crackle Paint Resist, Shattered Stains

Day 9:  Perfect Distress Mist, Perfect Distress, Perfect Splatter Distress

Day 10:  Rock Candy Distress Stickles

This class was full of great techniques and insights.  I highly recommend that anyone who would like to learn how to use the Ranger line of products sign up for this course.  The helpful hints Tim gives you are worth their weight in gold.  It is apparent that Tim really loves what he does and encourages you to stretch yourself and your creativity.  I found some of the techniques I will use over and over, and others I will pull out when I need to try something different and have some play time.  One thing I came away with from the class is that if I have an idea, I should just try it.  It may work, or it may not, but if it does, it can be great!

Have a great day, and I hope you find a few moments in the day to do something you love!