Sunday, June 28, 2009

Handy Dandy Notebooks

Do your kids ever watch the Blue's Clues?
My kids have been watching it - Gosh I don't know how long- FOREVER!
I once bought a spiral notebook from Michael's $1 bin but it was a bit long, so I cut it in half and then covered it with paper and drew a chair for the front and Tyler has had it ever since, drawing bits of this and that. Unfortunately, Kyle got a hold of it recently now that he is really into Blue's clues and drew all over the inside with his little drawings and then fighting ensued with lots of tears shed that by all parties- esp Tyler that his little book that he has been treasuring was RUINED! Actually the plastic spiral was already breaking up and it was kind of ratty but Tyler was upset nevertheless.

So, the good mom that I was with the little Bind-it-All sitting on my shelf gathering dust decided to make up some handy dandy notebooks. Using the 4x4 coasters, I covered them with black CS, mounted colored CS that each of my kids chose, then drew 3 chairs in black marker on red CS, drew swirls with my versamark pen- I had a swirl stamp from SU that I used the first time but in my currently disastrous workroom, cannot for the life of me find- then put it together with bunch of copy paper that I cut up to make the pages and bound it up with my bind it all and some red 7/8" spirals. made a little handy dandy notebook for all three of them.
Now there is again harmony in my house- You think I did it for the kids? Nope. The effort is worth it for just some peace and quiet.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Easy Thank you card

My CTMH friend Kristine Baldwin sent me a thank you that I liked so much that I've been CASE'ing the layout to use for thank you and other sentiment cards all the time. This time I used the razzleberry lemonade paper with the new in colors Melon Mambo and Crushed Curry CS- here textured using SU backgrounds 1 texture plate and mounted on a 11x 4 1/4 vanilla CS with the bottom 1 1/4 cut off the front bottom.

The DD paper is 1 1/2" square with corners rounded on 2 ends and placed like a pinwheel. Place a brad of your choice- flower, metal, and here the clear rhinestone brad is lovely and adds that special something. Mount on 3 1/2 square then onto 4"square. Sentiment from Thank you kindly stampset from SU.

For all you demos out there, this is perfect size to place one of those pretty square SU sticky notes inside to write your personal message- which can then be peeled off to be used as a brand new card by the receiver- it's the gift that gives twice.

Try other DD paper combinations. It's a good way to use up left over paper you may have laying around- Make 1 1/2 inch strips and cut them at 1 1/2 inch intervals - you need 2 contrasting papers and if you have double sided paper even easier.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Julie brings me the most interesting stuff to try. I have seen cherimoya at the stores but had never know how to eat it so never bought it to try but she brought me one and I had to check it out.

The name origninates form the Quechua word chirimuya, which means "cold seeds" because the plant
grows at high altitudes and the seeds will germinate at higher altitudes. The indigenous inhabitants of the Andes say that althought the cherimoya cannot stand snow, it does like to see it in the distance.
It is cultivated in many places throughout the Americas, including here in California where it was introduced in 1981 and in Hawaii.


The fruit is fleshy and soft, sweet, white in color, with a sherbet-like texture, which gives it its secondary name, custard apple. Some characterize the flavor as a blend of banana, pineapple, and strawberry. Others describe it as tasting like commercial bubblegum. I tasted a hint of sweet ripe pear I thought. The texture is like that of a soft ripe pear and papaya. Similar in size to a grapefruit, it has large, glossy, dark seeds that are easily removed. I am told that the seeds are poisonous if crushed open and can be used as an insecticide.

This is a little excerpt from Wikipedia on how to buy and store it:
When ripe, the skin is green and gives slightly to pressure, similar to the avocado.When shopping, one should look for large fruit which is uniformly green. Avoid fruits with cracks or mostly browned skin. Ripe fruit may be kept in the refrigerator, but it is best to let immature cherimoyas ripen at room temperature, until it yields to gentle pressure. Different varieties have different characteristics of flavor, texture, and fruit shape contours. If the skin is allowed to turn fully brown, yet the flesh hasn't fermented or gone 'bad', then the texture can be custard-like. Often when the skin turns brown at room temperature the fruit is no longer good for human consumption. Also, the skin turns brown if it's been under normal refrigeration for 'too long' - a day or two maybe.

Julie, you are opening up the world of culinary goodies to my family. Thanks again!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Technique- Shadow effect

We made this card at one of my workshops- It is adapted from a card I made at one of my Stamp and Chats with other demos- I just can't remember who to give credit- The original used the walk in the park designer paper and Baja Blue CS split down the middle and I really like that but
changed up everything else because I wanted to showcase the Eight Great Greeting stampset and the shadow technique.
Stamp leaf from Great Friend with versamark on the base Baja Blue card. Round off the endges. Run white taffeta ribbon around the card and adhere to the front where it will be hidden by the central image. Stamp the image in Baja Blue using the stamp positioner- Usually I eyeball everything but this is one time that this thing really is important to use- Offset the image some depending on how much offset you want and stamp using the white craft ink to creat the shadow. Edges were pierced, corners rounded and mounted on white and then black CS. Stamp the word from Define your Life using basic black marker, then punch with the round tab punch. Any solid image especially silhouette images works well for this technique. Try it out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Get well birthday pop up

One of my stamping friends Lynne got really sick and had to be hospitalized the day before her birthday so I had to make her a card to commemorate both occasions and to hopefully cheer her up and make her laugh a little. The base card is SU good morning sunshine designer paper, stamped with little birdie told me sentiment and legs from Good Friend. The bird is stamped on whisper white CS with Pacific blue and tangerine orange and used dimensionals to mount it. Inside are the sentiments from the same little birdie set and Voila. It's the popup 3 tier cake from SU with a little patient in gown on top- called hospital visit from Katiebug stamp here at I bought at the San Jose Rubberama years ago came in handy- again my obsession with images of real things even if whimsical- IV pole, bandaids- can't help it with my medical bent. My son Dylan was making rounds with me on her birthday and he sang her Happy Birthday in his sweet 4 year old voice in the ICU- it was a site to see. She's feeling a little better now and hopefully will be joining us in our stamping workshops soon.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Redwood National Park

Life is supposed to slow down somewhat as we get older, isn't it? But strangely I feel my life is speeding up - as if I am heading downhill in a car with no brakes - and it is exciting and scary at the same time. And sometimes I need a little help slowing things down and my DH helps me do just that.
He told me he made reservations for a campsite 2 weeks before we were scheduled to be there- it was a last minute thing- we were going to meet some friends and their 2 kids there - when he saw how stressed I was, he told me he COULD go alone with the kids and I had visions of Tyler, Kyle and Dylan running amuck and the mayhem they could create and felt too sorry for him to go it alone - but I had to find people to sub for me at work and trying to get basic things done before I left- the work just accumulates so when I come back, I have to spend more time at work to catch up so vacations are never vacation like other people- but I really did want to go.
We stayed at a campsite at the Redwood National Forest in Northern California and it was just soooo beautiful, serene, and magnificent. You'll have to see it for yourself. The trees are really that tall and some are hundreds of years old and would take many many grownups to go around them. There was this mist that hung on the trees that the trees use in dry seasons to get moisture. I am so happy to have at least some of these incredible trees preserved for future generations to see.

This is fern canyon where downed trees, the narrow canyon and the ferns growing on the sides of the canyons make the place seem ancient. One of the Jurrasic park and some other dinosaur movies have been filmed here. My kids LOVED this place and got soaking wet, wading through all the streams that flowed, playing with mud and checking out the fish and the frogs that inhabit the shallow waters.

We saw lots of wildlife, this is one of the elk just grazing by the side of the road nonchalentaly eating his lunch.

At the Gold Bluff Beach, the sand was gray black but so clean. There were seals bobbing in and out of water and the kids ran around chasing the waves, playing in the sand and all around getting soaked- do you see the theme here- lots of changes of clothing and towels will be required on our next visit here which I hope will be soon- even if I do have to spend 8 straight hours in a car with my kids- it was worth the trip.

This is elk prairie- now I know why it is called that- they do recommend that you not approach them by foot- they are big animals and could do you some serious damage if you provoked them.

We stopped at Grizzly Creek and at one of the stops in the middle of the redwoods was this beautiful canopy of a tree and the sun was shining through and the kids were trying to climb the tree- just gorgeous!
We meandered through the Avenue of the Giants on the way home and these trees are truly breath-taking.
Just a little too short of a time to get away but I have to thank my DH for putting the brakes on my ever hurried life and making me stop and smell the flowers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day Weekend

I have this little weakness for stamps that depict real life things- toasters, coffeecups, ipod, and that includes tools. I saw this set and HAD TO HAVE IT. I've been playing around with it with a toolbelt idea for awhile and saw this card on SU website- sorry demos only!- and thought it was just perfect for my father's day card - but you could make it as a thank you for any handyman in your life- so I CASE'd it for my stamping workshop last night and it turned out really cute.
I separated the Totally tool set words from the images and I even split some of the sayings to make it a little more versatile for me. The tools are stamped on whisper white in basic black, colored with markers, basic gray, rose red, pumpkin, and mustard and cut out. The tool belt is more mustard CS, 1/2 in strip across the top and 2 1/2x 3 1/2 for the main part- the pocket is the small tag punched upside down. Sponge the edges, then mark it up with white gel pen to make faux stitches then add the 1/4 mustard grosgrain. I used skinny slices of the sticky strip maybe 1/16 inch wide intermittently and use my paper piercing tool to hold up the ribbon so I could stick it down intermittently to make the loops and taped it down under the pocket. Added the silver brads and the tools, lifting them up with the dimensionals cut in half so they would not show. Embossed the words inside and out with white embossing powder - inside sentiment from the All Holidays set.
Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

End of Year Tacher Gifts

I love to make handmade gifts for the teachers at school. I still participate in all the class gifts that the parents all chip into but I still want to express a special thank you for all that they do with such limited resources. I got these lunchpail tins from Oriental Trading- they are pretty roomy and can fit a lot more cards than some of the other brands but you have to be careful, they are not well packed and sometimes the closure mechanism have fallen off when I receive it- although they did promptly replace it when I called- so I covered them with designer paper and filled them with a selection of handmade cards.
This one is for one of the teachers whose favorite color is purple. I looked all year for some pretty paper and auditioned many but no avail. I did not like ANY of them. But I found this last week and just loved this print and it had a periwinkle base which I hope she will like. It is so sweet. Celery Grosgrain Ribbon from SU and the bling from Martha Stewart.

I made the divider inserts. This paper is Penny Lane from My Minds Eye. Really sturdy double sided CS.
labels punched with Stampin Up punch and stamped with everyday favorite sentiment and then the whole thing laminated wtih xyron to make it a little more sturdy for long term use.

Tyler had 2 teachers job sharing so I had to make two this year.

This one is Girl Friday line from Cosmo Cricket- one of my favorites from this season. Ribbon from SU striped grosgrain.

Inserts inside.
I fill it with a selection of hand made cards and envelopes they can use to send out the cards. It really is a gift that keeps giving..... I hope they like it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

School year thank you album

I was asked by one of the moms if I could help decorate the scrapbook album cover for

album and buterfly stickers by Marcella from K and company - cover paper from making memories,

the perforated orange lined paper from Chloe's Closet line from Making Memories

teacher's apple from PT

A small thank you

I had to go out of town and was desperate to find someone to fill in for me for a volunteering job- one of the moms came to my rescue so I 've been meaning to send her a little thank you package including these cards shown here- I used to get Lockhart stamps on line but was able to find some in Seattle at Impress when I was there and now Cranberry Hill Merchandise in Sunnyvale, CA carries it so here are a few more images I've added. Both cards are on PTI extra thick cardstock scored with my score-Pal to add dimension, stamped with memento tuxedo black inkpad and colored with my copics. Sentiment on the geranium card from SU stamped with kiwi pad and mounted on kiwi cardstock- both to be retired end of this month- I will SOOO miss it- this and pirouette pink and ridinghood red I used all year!
I have not yet received the new catalogue but have been hearing a lot about it- all good!
Can't wait to get my hands on it- but sad so many of my favorites will disappear.....
You can order anything on the retiring list or any accessories some now on sale until they are gone. Order on line or e-mail me! Check out my Stampin' Up website on the side bar.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tyler's school project- Quilted pillows

Tyler's second grade class made quilt squares after visiting with San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and I volunteered to make them into pillows. The squares were so darling, all colored in with bright and bold markers I wanted the fabric to match but could not find any fabric that matched the pictures enough after visiting 4 different fabric stores and the one I did finally find not only cost 9.99 a yard, it was not even available and they could not guarantee me a date even if I ordered it. Even with my 40% off coupon, I could not make it work with the $40 budget for the 19 pillows.
So I ended up piecing the borders and the backing and I thought it turned out really cute. The one on top was one that one of Tyler's playdates made and I thought it was adorable.

This is the pile that we had to put it all together.
I strip pieced all the different fabrics -some from my stash to add variety and Tyler stuffed all those pillows we made to put inside the casing. I forgot how much fun it was to sew and piece things. I am going to get back to my quilting- or maybe I can incorporate some of my infamous fabric stashs into my papercraft!
My 4 yr old twins loved the pillows so much and they were begging me to make one for them too. I had to go out and buy some more muslin and stuffing for them to use to to paint on with my Fabrico markers and they love their little pillows I made for them this weekend with left over scraps.
I had the twins stuff their own the pillows and they loved playing with it - they said it was a cloud- and they loved taking part in making their project.
If you could only see all the "clouds" they spread all over the living room......