Sunday, January 30, 2011

Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration
The Result - ODBDSLC46 Challenge

It's just in us, isn't it?  If we love to stamp we are creators, artists, skilled imagers or whatever you want to call us.  I don't know about you but I am always looking for inspiration.  I see things and think "I can make a card like that"  sometimes I take a picture, sometimes I just take a mental picture.

Today was one of those days.  We were in La Cross at a little restaurant called Hackberry's Bistro up above The Peoples Food CoOp.  While we were waiting for our delicious food choices to come out we were observing the decor and all the elements of the place.  It was unique without being weird.  Softly modern with hints of old.  I liked the ceiling and took a picture of it with my camera phone.  It's not too clear of a picture but it will give you the idea of why I was inspired.  In the picture you can't really tell but they had these elongated lamps lit up over the bar and that's where I got the idea for the drapery cord on my card. The cord is an embossing stencil from Dream Weaver.  I punched the different circles out of card stock scraps using my Creative Memories circle punches. They were the perfect tools for this job.

By the way; the food....It was soooo good.  Gilbert had the minestrone soup and 1/2 of a Monte Cristo sandwich.  I had the Juevos Rancheros.  Didn't think to take a picture of either of them I didn't realize I was going to be blogging about this.  :)

So tell me, what inspires you???

Friday, January 28, 2011

On the way to Iowa and Red Cowboy boots

Gilbert and I are on our way to Sioux Center, Iowa to attend the funeral of Justin Ray Remmers, our nephew who died unexpectadly last Sunday morning from a heart attack.  He was at Mayo in Rochester waiting for open heart surgery scheduled for this past Monday.  He had an attack on Thursday and the local hospital life flighted him to Mayo.  Who could think it would turn out like this.

A moment to remember; first time for me to be blogging while riding in the car.  We have an electric battery plug in box that plugs into the lighter and then we can plug the computer power source into that and I can blog, FB, play games, look up whatever.  Someday this will be extinct but for now it is one of those, "I remember the first time....." things to store away in my memory box.

We decided to make the 8.5 hour trip in two stages.  We would go up to Minneapolis on Thursday evening and spend the night and then shop a bit and head down to Sioux Center about noon.  All went as planned.  We went to Dania furniture store last night to look at some new dressers for our bedroom.  Got that checked off our list.  We stayed at the Fairfield last night, had a good breakfast this a.m. and headed out with our list and GPS to see what we could find at the Value Village Stores.  I LOVE to thrift shop.  I looked for some stamps and ribbons there too but didn't see anything that I thought I needed.  (yay me!)

I did score on two nice green tops for spring both Chicos.  Likin' that deal!  Green tags so half off the already good prices.  Found a nice coral colored fitted jacket for spring annnnd the pair of black leather boots that I have been looking for for about five years.  I wanted heels but not skinny ones, not tall ones, not wedgy ones, these are just right.  the brand is Blondo and they are made in Canada.  Gilbert is a leather lover, he loves to polish shoes and hand bags, and he can tell good leather.  He thought they were a great bargin.  They fit perfect and are just what I was looking for.  Glad I waited.  Not green tag but still a very attractive price.

RED COWBOY BOOTS:  The other day in Wausau at a resale shop I saw a pair of Red Cowboy boots and then again today.  It brings up a poignant memory for me.  I remember many years ago, maybe twenty? Because Dad's been gone thirteen already.  Anyway, way back then I found a pair of ladies red Cowboy boots at Good Will for five  bucks!  I bought them.  It was so out of character for me.  I'm not a cowboy boots sort, but for some reason, I just knew Dad would like them on me.  I couldn't wait to show him.  I had several things that just went with that particular height of boot and I wore them quite often.  Sure enough, when we got to Tennesee and I was able to show Dad my new boots (he wore cowboy boots back then; we're talking a Ford Motor Detroit City Man, here) he chuckled in the way he did, and what I remember best about him, and THAT moment still brings a smile to my face today.  If this was physical journaling, I would paste a sticker of some red boots right here!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Using things up

Ah Spring.  On gray days like this I have to think of spring.  I believe someone posted only 51 more days til Spring.   I love those first spring flowers that pop out in the woods.  Such promise of glorious days ahead. 

 While sitting here at the Toyota dealership waiting for tires to be put on, I'm bummed!  I was planning to digi scrapbook and when I got into the program I realized I completely forgot to bring the external drive that has all my pictures on it.  Ah, what to do now to keep from being bored.  Hmmm....I could blog!  So here it is.  I've been thinking of doing a post on this anyway.  My mantra this year is USE IT UP.  That means everything.  That's part of why I started the Grab and Go challenge for myself.  I have a "small" store of  designer papers, inks, embellishments, ribbons, rub-ons, punches, pencils, crayons, stencils.  Now think about that.  Do I need any more?  So use it up.  

Looking around our home I see other areas that need the use it up principle.  How many hand lotions, hand sanitizers, furniture creams, polishes, oils do I have on the premises.  How many facial products?  How many different toothpastes? Why do I have so many?  I am a marketers dream.  Ha. Ha.  I love trying new things to see if it works better, If I like it better, I like to recommend things to people and if I'm not 100% plus satisfied, then I'm looking for it in another version of the same type of product.  Call it RESEARCH!!  For you!   I have been consistent with this using it up mode since the beginning of December.  I have one tube of toothpaste almost gone. I have one moisturizer almost gone, I have already tossed two hand cream tubes.  (they were almost used up) This is what happens, I get the new and then the old one gets pushed to the back and doesn't find it's way to the surface again until I clean that drawer out.  It doesn't help that Gilbert likes to try new things too.  So now we have BOTH of us doing this research.   Now I have put all the hand creams in a drawer except for one tube in both bathrooms and the bedroom.  When the current ones are gone I will go to the stash and bring out another.  I'm excited about doing this as I don't like to waste things.  But it doesn't do a bit of good to have money spent on things and then have them lying in a drawer waiting to be used.  That's like putting your real money in a drawer and not getting the interest.  Well that's my post and thoughts for the day. I do have some pics of some of the tubes to add interest to this but they are on my desktop computer and I can't access them from my spot here at Toyota. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Layer Wednesday #37

Whew!  How can something that looks so simple be so difficult.  OLW challenge was to use two or more sentiments and nothing else on the card.  I needed a quick Thank You card so I dug out my stash and colored the sentiments because a lot of my Thank You stamps have other words on it too.  So here is what I came up with.  I wanted some color as no images just doesn't seem right!  LOL
 One of Sarah's clients who is a Stampin Up demonstrator picked up some graduation photos here instead of having to drive to Green Bay and when I asked her if I could purchase some Creamy Caramel re-inker or a stamp pad, she GAVE me the bottle of re-inker, her used Creamy Caramel Stamp pad AND the SampNWrite marker. She did allow me to purchase the pack of dimensionals for popping things up on my cards.  I've tried other brands but truly SU has THE BEST dimensionals ever. I never feel I over spend for those, they are such nice quality.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ODBD Sketch Challenge and Grab and Go # 8

ODBD had this sketch challenge happening this week.  I really enjoy doing sketch challenges as it really forces me to think outside my box.  I couldn't just grab this time because I needed an image that would fit the oval shape of the pattern.  I haven't used this cute little girl for a long time though so it still was refreshing to stamp with her. Her dress is paper pieced a technique we used on VSN and I like it and have used that technique but I tend to forget about using it. The background is a tiny little stamp of lilacs and stamped all over in pink and then added a few splashes of the same stamp in green for some contrast.  It ties the paper in with the scalloped oval. What do you think?  Does it look a lot like the sketch?  Two more stamps used from the collection.   (smile)

Grab and Go #7 for Speedy the Cat challenge #39 sympathy

As I'm digging through my large collection of stamps I came across this one.  This was one of the first that I had purchased from a store instead of a SU party.  I remember the technique and always thought it was pretty.  You emboss with white on the front of the vellum and then turn it over and color it.  It is such a beautiful and soft look.  I don't remember how we attached the vellum to the CS though b/c this time the adhesive showed through.  Thus the reason for the scalloped frame. (aha!) The verse inside simply says "Remember the lilies."  It's a favorite verse of mine and comforting to think about.  Maybe that's why the Lily is my favorite flower. GRAB and GO--one LARGE stamp accounted for Chllnge: Speedy the Cat # 39 Make a SympathyCard Thanks for looking.  

Grab and Go #5

This one took 43 minutes.  Whew!
About ten minutes

I love how this turned out.   About twenty minutes from idea to finish
This one was fun but I didn't know if I made ladybugs or buds.  Either way I liked it. 

Whee! What a great time.  Have you ever gone to a Virtual Stamping Party?!  Split Coast Stampers hosts one variety of these called VSN Virtual Stamp Night. It was a blast.  Everyone is on their computers at their home with their stamping room, snacks, CS and a list of supplies ready.  Then on the hour the hostesses give a challenge and you have forty-five minutes to complete it.  Can't you just see everyone tearing off to their stamp rooms?  You make your interpretation of the challenge and post your card to your gallery there. It's free, it's fun, there's lots of chatting back and forth in the forum and you find out how really creative you can be....or not!  ha- ha.  So here's my cards, good and bad, and I got to put marks on some more of those stamps that I'm using from my stash.  I actually used seven of them. What a fun way to do it!   I'm marking them with pink as I use them b/c I know over the year I will lose track.  It doesn't mean I can't use one again, just that I know that I have used it. Thanks for stopping by.  See you next week.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grab and Go #3 & #4

 What fun.  I actually used nine stamps for these cards.  The set off to the left was a gift to me from my daughter Sarah.  It's called Bitty Bouquets from Stampin Up from way back in 1999.  She found she wasn't using them and she had a bag of goodies for me to go through.  I, of course, can't resist a "free stamp set".  I really like this set as I am a sucker for little stamps.  That was always a challenge for me.  I would purchase all these little stamps and then not know what to do with them.  I so love my Cuttlebug and the die cuts that make it easy to use small stamps.

 The frames on the two cards were made from the Fancy Tag dies from Nestablities.  Stamp TV has a great tutorial that Gina did.  What beautiful results with this technique. I love it when something simple turns out so gorgeous. (sigggghhh with a smile)
 I decided I would go through all my winter stamps as 'tis the season.  I really found it hard to get into the winter stamping this year so it was a good challenge for me to start in that box.  Maybe I can still send some out while it's cold and give people a warm winter cheer up on these -17 degree days.  Even though the sun is  shining brightly it's pretty nippy out there.  I think everyone gets a smile when they go to their mailbox and find something personal there, don't you?  And I hope you get a smile while viewing these fun snowmen off on the right. Well, I'm enjoying my personal challenge and I hope you are too.  Thanks ahead of time for all your sweet hugs via comments. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grab and Go (using up what I have) #2

Card # 2:  I used Designer Paper (DP)  well, this is one DP that I have used several times.  I got an opened pkg. at a rummage sale a couple of years ago for fifty cents. .  It is Stampin' Up (SU) and it's reversible so I chose to use both sides. I don't have much left of this paper, I don't think, unless there's more hiding in that big stash somewhere. I embossed the little snowflakes on the white paper.  Total stamps used THREE!  I'm not counting my sentiments stamps in this project as I do use most of what I have quite often.  I'm on my way!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Grab and Go (using up what I have)

I just had the idea while in my stamping room. This year...I will begin using every single stamp I own. I will start in one bin and pick up a stamp and USE it.  I am officially calling this my Grab and Go Project

I will be posting these on my blog so if any of you want to follow along you may.  It's easy to subscribe by e-mail in the box to the right.  My other rule is every week I must use/ make at least one card with designer paper. agggghhhhh! Did I really say that???? 
So tonight was my first project and it is an ugly tree stamp that I have never used. I think I got it free from a give away bin somewhere and I thought it would be good for Halloween but I have never used it. It actually turned out not so bad. I didn't want it to be for Halloween. So those are my thoughts. (p.s. I hope I win some last year I won 4 sets) yahoo yippie yi yay!
Image is shadow stamped with mustard first and then close to cocoa SU colors, I stamped the leaves on the BG paper and then pencil colored lightly and used a blender pen to fill them in. I brayered the tree image with Spectrum rainbow pastel colors, sponged the torn edges, added the ribbon and then I thought about hand printing the sentiment.  The CS is done with CB folder argyle.  One down, 7 more boxes, bins to go.  :) 

Monday, January 17, 2011

All things new

SCS #72 challenge is to make a card representing something new.  Here is a card representing Spring, when all things become new again. Thanks fo rlooking.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wings ODBD

Well, I did say I liked challenges and ODBD is having a wings challenge this week.  I love these little ladies and I  am almost out of them.  They were a gift and I don't know the artist.  EK Success punch is one of my favorites b/c you can punch all four corners with it  See how it has that extra wing thingy on it. That way you get the frame to work on a folded card.  Isn't she adorable?  And the little frog too?  You can't help but smile at these images.  Look at the little bells on her shoes. .

Crazy 4 Challenges

That should be my blog name.  I love the challenges the different blogs tthrow out there to get our creativity flowing. Crazy 4 Challenges has a simple challenge this week and it is Thanks.  Now the winner will win some new flower soft colors.  
Uh-oh!  Don't tell anyone I told you about this challenge because I want to win this one. I would love to have some flower soft to try.  I've seen it but never worked with it and it looks so beautiful.  I'm going to try another year w/o spending except for basic card stock and adhesive.  I really want to get my stash of unused embellishments used up and then get some of the pretty new things that are coming out on the market. 

Here's my card and THANKS C4C for the chance to win. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wings-SSIC #71

SSIC #71 is challenging us to a wings card.  The image was a gift of these cutest little fairy girls printed on Vellum.  I don't know who the designer is.  I used silver Sakura glitter pen to highlight the scallops and they turned up so cutely like this.  The saying is MFP Flourishes and Frames.  Inside says "filled with joy" the perfect saying for this little lady.  Doesn't she make you smile?  I hope your day is Filled with Joy.

P.S. on wings....I loved the saying when my children were growing up, give them wings to fly and roots to keep them grounded.  It takes both.  :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Something New~Something Old

ODBD has a Something New Something Old challenge.  My friend Crafty Math Chick from GKD sent me this oh so cute hearts set as a gift and that is my NEW the EP and ribbons are "old" from my stash. CAS card and I like how it turned out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mojo Monday

I made this for  Heidi, owner of the Stamp Shoppe in Weston.  She had posted a card with this sketch on her blog and I thought it would be fun to send her a card designed after the same sketch.  She'll get a giggle out of that.  It's much more vibrant in real life. It's a Mojo Monday Sketch  #172 and I thought it looked like fun.  I left the die in place after cutting and ran the die cut through the cuttlebug swiss dots folder. I used a glaze pen on the flower that I had dry embossed and cut out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On starting an e-book

Quite a while back I started saving my "recipes" for the things I make from leftovers.  I've got a few of them tucked away now and I thought about that again today when I made this soup.  I'm wondering if it would make a good e-book to market on the web.  I have a ways to go with more variety and it needs some basics in it but I think someday I will have it ready.  It's intriguing to me because so many people can't believe the things I feed them without any planning.  They stop in, I open my fridge, what's there I use.  The result is Yummmmmmm!

We had a roasted turkey breast the other day, a real one, not one of those pressed rolls.  It cost $9.30.  I want to factor price per meal and price per serving for two people. (us two) or (we two) whichever is the proper way.  I am getting three meals from this one purchase, that makes the cost $3.10 per meal.  I am feeding two people so that is six servings @ $1.55 per serving. That makes it a very reasonable purchase.  You can't buy that kind of nutrition at fast food places.  The other ingredients are very minimally priced and I have them on hand all the time and use them for five or six different meals before purchasing more. 

Start of the leftovers:  Turkey Dumpling Soup  I always told the kids growing up that if they wanted to be prepared for drop-in company to always have on hand...... Celery, Carrots, Onions and eggs.   You can make almost anything with those as a base. 

So here's the generalized soup recipe.  Chop two small onions, four stalks celery including leaves, and two medium sized carrots.  Put a couple of Tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a 6 quart pan and heat over medium. Add the chopped veggies and stir and cook til onions and celery are translucent. 
Add some kind of chicken stock, either from a box I really like Kitchen Basics brand, or bouillion cubes and water, or stock in jar like Penzey's which I always have on hand. I add a bit of water to the boxed stock if I feel it is too salty for our taste.  While the mixture is simmering I stir up the dumplings.  Here's the story about the dumplings.  Way back when I was first married and working there was this little restaurant we girls from the bank would bring soup back to the auto-bank caboose we worked in.   It was called "Dinos" I think.  Anyway, I took Gilbert's mom there for lunch for the specific purpose of feeding her the dumplings in their soup and have her eat them and tell me how to make them.  She did good.  Here's what she told me. 
Egg Dumplings
One large egg beaten
Stir in 1/2 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
just a couple of shakes of salt

Now stir in the dry ingredients till it looks like this. It needs to be a little thinner than muffin dough .  At this point I usually add about three Tablespoons of  fine chopped parsley if I have it. 

Now starts the fun stuff.  Take a small metal spoon.  I use one of those baby feeding spoons.  Not the big ones like they have now.  Dip the spoon into the hot broth and then into the batter.  Then put the spoon with the batter on it into the hot broth.  The batter will slide off.  Dip the spoon again and repeat until all the batter is gone.  This will make about twenty -two to twenty four tiny dumplings. prepared, they will surprise you and puff up to the size of walnuts in the shell.  Let them simmer for ten minutes.  Now add as much chopped up cooked turkey as you would like and add just a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and some black pepper.  If you have some Chablis wine on hand add a Tablespoon of that and let it simmer for about five more minutes.  That cooks off the alcohol and leaves you with a wonderful tasting soup.  I've found if you add a bit of sherry or chablis to anything turkey based it improves the flavor. 
Now add a fresh green salad and you are ready to go.  And if company is there, you will get rave reviews. Bon Apetit!

Digital Stamping-something new for me

I found this site that gives free digi stamps and I wondered what that was.  Here is my first project using a digital image from a site.  Check out Design2Delight if it's something you would like to try. You can't tell very well from the photo that I flocked the image with white to make him all soft and fluffy feeling.  I'm also entering this card in the challenge at Card Ideas-something old something new.  The new of course is the digi image and the old is the hearts punches from Creative Memories that I have had for several years and hardly use.  (ahem)
  I made this card for Sarah, our daughter, because she is always doing nice things for us.  When she went to Ireland a couple of years ago she brought Gilbert home a gorgeous tie and a wonderful woolen scarf for me.  We both use them often and get such pleasure from them.  We have thanked her before but I thought I would just remind her how much use they get.  Isn't the "ewe" image the perfect thank you for woolens? (p.s. now i hope she doesn't read this before i send the card out tomorrow)  :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Speedy Cat Challenge Emboss

Speedy the Cat #37 is to use embossing on your card. I chose to use the very first stencil I ever purchased.  I really do love dry embossing as a technique and yet I rarely remember to grab my stencils and I have a whole drawer of them. I kept the stencil in place and dabbed the images with a finger sponge and ink pads. Grabbed my glaze pen for a little shine. Easy Peasy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I just had to post this.  Several on-line friends and I have a weight loss challenge going. We all want to exercise more and be accountable for ninety days.  It's all about making exercise fun.  Come on ladies, lets keep ourselves in shape and lose the "blubber" .  :D

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Love Unending

 It came today...I haven't worn my wedding ring for a couple of years now because it was just too tight on my finger. I was under 100 lbs. when we got married and the ring just didn't expand any more. We have been looking for rings for quite awhile and just didn't like any of them enough to want to purchase them. Then I saw this one in an ad in a Veterans magazine.  Even that is fitting because Gilbert was just home from Vietnam and still in the Army when we married. We ordered it and it actually came in time for our 40th anniversary but was too large and we had to send it back for resizing. It is so beautiful and I love how it looks.  Gilbert took the ring out of the box and placed it on my finger.  Ah, the memories!  With this ring...I thee wed. Remember those words? I didn't mind NOT wearing a ring but really it is so special to have this symbol of unbroken love and I know I will cherish it each time I look at it.  Our first rings were gold and silver too. (the ring on the left is the photo I took off their website)  I told my cousin we got the ring really reasonable because it was engraved with Jennifer and Michael. LOL!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Learning something new

I am so grateful to my friend Stacy for helping me out today.  I was struggling with knowing how to rearrange and change things on my blog.  We chatted for a bit and then she helped me via phone and I love the new look of my blog.  I have a goal to learn something new every day; even if it's a new word.  Today was a great day because I learned lots of new things Thanks to Stacy.

Its such a wonderful feeling to have friends of all ages.  My youngest best friend is Fonnie she is seven and my oldest best friend is Edith, she is ninety-three.  Stacy falls into the middle group as she is mid-thirties.  I do believe I have a close friend in every decade.  Eric is my best teenage friend.  So I smile as I think of each one of them and love what each of them gives to me in my life.  Isn't this an adorable picture of Fonnie helping Marie Nueske with Maries b-day cake.  Marie has been gone almost a year now.  That's Eric in the background.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Speedy the Cat's Challenge-Something New

Something new for the Speedy Cat challenge..I've used this idea for a card before but I just got my NEW Scor-buddy!  I love it.  This was my first card with it.  Ahh...the days of using my old crooked grooved Fiskar cutter is over.  This was SO simple.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

First Card of 2011

My first card for 2011 and I wanted it to be clean and white and fun..a whole new year awaits us. I thought One Layer Wednesday would be a good challenge to match my desire.

So here it is, one image and no more than 2 colors.  I embossed the circle with the CB die and then colored my pooch and went over about three times with the ink on all the hash marks.  This will be a get well card for a guy who has humor in his life. He is battling some severe cancer and still keeps such an upbeat attitude. Here's to you Tom Sikora!

And one more very first card with Gina K's pure luxury cardstock and oh my, it IS luxurious. I've been missing a lot.