Friday, February 29, 2008

I Learned How to Make Watermark!

I was on SCS today (lik usual) and I found the link on a mini video feed on making a watermark for you cards etc. The video uses Adobe Photoshop 4 and I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 and it worked. If you'd like to make one click here for the the tutorial. Kurtis shows you how to make the watermark and from there it will be easy to change the look etc.

Here is my first watermaked image:

This is another Grace moment, this time it is lipgoss!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Cookies are Sorted!
Madelyn sold about 168 boxes of cookies and I sorted them this morning. It wasn't to bad of a task and I was only stiffed on 3 boxes.

The job front is looking a little better as well. I should be starting a temp position on Monday. (I will know today or tomorrow for sure.) It is not with Progressive, but a company closer to home. The position is suppose to last until June, so that does give me time to find something permanent as well. Plus the checkbook may start loving me again :)

I haven't shown off my floors to everyone, but you can see in the top left hand corner my floors. I really love this type of flooring but I never would have thought it would have even been an option. Plus, when you hear the idea of seconds flooring you think I do not want somone else's floor. But it an aspect that is what I have. I have all the cut offs of over 20 different types of wood in 6 different sizes and stained oh naturale :) Well, its time to start getting the projects done that I have been wanting to get down before I went back to work....I better get started.

Edited to add another Matt Jr moment....
(an attempt to edit this post last night failed due to the weather)

She strikes again! After dinner, or while Matt and I were still eating, Grace came upstairs with my brother. We assumed that she would be playing the PS2 while he was up here. Well you know what Assuming gets you!

Matt and I cleared the table, I was getting ready to go to the studio to work, he was going to read for school by the fire. Next the we know, my brother brings Grace downstairs to show us what she was doing.

Please without further ado, Grace's interaction with a smelly marker (thank goodness it was Crayola washable).

Yes, that is her smelling the marker and if it smells goog up the nose, then it must make the pits smell good too.

Then I sit here and think, 7 yr olds really are not so bad, but I realized I have been doing a lot of posting on Grace and not Madelyn. Probably because even though Madelyn is more like me, it seems that Grace has all of my blunders where things just happen to her all the time.

Madelyn is doing very well is school, she has completed the entire 1st grade reading program and it work on writing a story at school so they can have a book made. Pretty cool. I am in the process of writing a letter to her to be put in her book as a surprise. I will probably get this done this week since I should be working on Monday. Here are some pictures of Madelyn from her Valentine's Day Party. One is of her and her sister (yes that is a full mouth of cupcake) and her friend Teagan.

Just as I was about to publish, out of the corner of my eye I saw a gush of snow blow past my window. The trees do look very pretty, but I am ready to have some warmer weather. We can get our yard fixed up from the past year of wear and tear from the contractors. We will get our roof replaced. The deck needs some powerwashing....there are still char stains on it. We are going to be pulling up parts of the deck to do some water proofing in the basement. We are also installing the electric dog fence and possible have our pig roast this summer.

I love to throw parties, I love to have people over. I am very much more apprecitive of my friends since my last year I have needed many of them frequently. I even want to throw an Anniversary Dinner for Matt and I in March for our 5 year, at the place we had our wedding reception. I really want to pull that off. But, it would interesting to see it turn out bigger than the first time. Anyway, I need to stop daydreaming and get to work. I will leave you with some pictures of my backyard. I grew up in Hambden/Chardon, the heart of the snowbelt, now I live in Burton and I'd say its about the same.

Reflective Remembering

I made this card this evening as it was a technique that I have wanted to try for some time. (Directions located here.)

Basically, I stamped my main image (TAC set Precious Girl) on a piece of watercolor paper, then again on a piece of parchment paper. After I stamped that image I placed it in the location that I wanted and brayerd the image onto the watercolor paper.

I then used a Zig pen (size .005) to add a little more detail (in this case I added a line where the water meets the ground and added a few extra blades of grass.) Once all of the pen work was complete I started water coloring. I used watercolor pencils (I have some from Prismacolor and Dewalt, both good sets). I used the the more concentrated colors on the top image and the diluted colors on the bottom image.

Both the brown piece of CS and the top layer of white are embossed with the cuttlebug. I rubbed the brown layer with the Palette Burnt Umber pad and the 2nd white later with the Toile Pink Palette Pad.

I really like how this turned out, it almost looks too plain looking, but I did not want to take from the watercoloring either. I'd like to try this again with more vibrant colors.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Things we do for Our Children....
But, first let me tell you what Matt Jr did.

This morning/early afternoon I was helping Matt with a lot of paperwork so that he could go and deliver several applications. We were all over the house. Grace must have taken our lead and was going between the Basement, Toy Room and Studio all morning. Every so often I would make sure that she was in fact in the basement with Grandma. Well this last time she wasn't there. So, I started calling, Grace where are answer. So, I said I was calling 911 and have them come look for her...(which usually works) answer.

Then I got this major whiff of nail polish. So I went to the sitting room off the Master, the door was locked. Great, now I have to find the key which is never where they should be. Opened the door, and saw Grace on the floor in front of the dog cages with her daddy's dry erase board....which wouldn't have been so bad has she not dumped the entire bottle on the board and painted a picture with it. So, I made her help me clean it up. After we got all the nail polish up we started to put daddys stuff away.

We turned to look at Rhylie in his cage to see him eating the face off of her buddy. The ears were already gone. As many of you know Grace has two prized posessions in the world, her binki and Buddy which is a stuffed Giraffe that was given to her as a baby. She has carried him everywhere. He has been through everything with her...through the teething stage, puking etc. Our friend Kevin, knowing the importance of Buddy, search the house for Buddy after the fire. He stunk for days because after all she had been through he wasn't going to leave her side.

My friend Kristen brought her another Buddy, but she knows better and that is now named Buddies sister. (She is pictured above with Buddy...pre cosmetic surgery).

We found her this morning and she was thrilled with her until she started to get tired. Then I heard her crying, I found her sitting on the kitchen counter, with her face buried in her hands and crying "my buddy was eaten". So, I turned in to Dr. Leona and applied stitches to buddies face and opened his head to insert the new ears I had constructed out of felt. She was so thrilled to see him with Ears. He is now recovery nicely, has has a bath in the washing machine and is now being fluffed in the dryer. Here is buddy now (well before his bath):

The 2008 TAC Spring Supplement is HERE!

Please click here and check out the 2008 TAC Spring Supplement!
Here you will find 14 new stamps sets!

Also, in the supplement, you can get the "Big Bite" Crop-a-dile II for $39.99! And starting April 1st you will be able to to get the storage case!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another Great Recipe.

I truely love Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes....but they come from a box and are a processed food. I have always wanted to find a good recipe to make my own version of Au Gratin Potatoes but they never really turned out the way I'd like, they were good, but just not Betty Crocker.

I found this recipe in the Taste of Home: Homestyle Classics mini cookbook that I had used prior with the 7 Layer Gelatin Salad. These Potatoes turned out wonderful and tasted very much to me as a homemade version of the boxed potatoes!


3 T butter, 3 T all-purpose flour, 1.5 t salt, 1/8 t pepper, 2 cups milk, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 5 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes (about 6 medium) and 1/2 cup chopped onion

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thinckened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted. Add potatoes and onion; stir well.

Transfer to a greased 2 qt. baking dish. Cover and Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover; banke 30-40 minutes longer or until the potatoes are tender.

The only things I added was more cheese, we love cheese at our house I would say I used a little less than 2 cups. I made sure I sprinked cheese on the top before placing in the oven. Picture from Idaho Potato:

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Little of This, and a Little of That.....

I have been a litte busy this week....I have been focusing on finding a job even though I love being home with the girls, the checkbook does not love it so much.

I did have some time to play this week. Madelyn had another birthday party this past Sunday and I had to make another card.

I used a left over Pet Shop Valentine to create this card. I cut the horse out of the Valentine and adhere it too the card with a 3d-dot. I also used the TAC stamp sets Chicken Scratch and Wild West to complete this card.

Card details: Pink 2 CS (TAC), Beige (unknown vendor) and Chocolate Chip (SU) Cuttlebug EB folder (Squares). 3D-D0ts by EK. Versa Mark. Beige and Chocolate ribbon from Michaels. TAC stamp sets: Wild West and Chicken Scratch.

Then, I decided to do some glass etching. I received this glass coaster at a Wedding as a favor. I had been holding onto it until I figured what I could do to it. (besides use it for its purpose).

This is how I etched it (Directions based on a tutorial on SCS).

First I cleaned the surface with a glass cleaner. Then I measure the opening (the area I didn't want etched) and covered that area with a corresponding sized piece of contact paper. Once I inked my image (in this case, I used a TAC set Paisley Rockz), I carefully stamped it on the glass making sure that it did not slide. Then I poured Clear EP over the area and heated. I continued this process until the area was covered to my liking. Be careful, the glass will get hot and you may at time have to allow it to cool some before you move on.

After I had stamped all of my images and embossed, I poured Armour Etch cream over the areas I wanted etched. I used a sponge brush to spread out the cream. I kept it some what thick and covered well. Then I allowed the cream to sit for 5 minutes.

Once the time was us, I put n my kithen gloves and washed of the etching cream. It may take a bit of rubbing to get the Clear EP off the glass. Once it is all cleared off you will be able to see the etching in the glass.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Swirly Heart's Wedding Invitation

I was playing around with some wedding invitation ideas that have been milling in my mind....This is a tri-fold card (9.25 x 4; finished size) with an insert. This insert has can be pulled out and ran through a printer with all the important wedding details. It has two hearts stamped in Almost Amethyst craft pad and embossed with clear EP. The heart is from the TAC set called Mini Sampler. The side flaps are embossed with the cuttlebug and is closed with ribbon. The heart is cut with the cuttlebug as well.

To make things easier, I cut 2 2"x9.25" and embossed those peices with the Swirly embossing folder. I then adheared those pieces to the fronts of the card and carefully cut the already cut heart out of the embossed pieces. There is a seam to where the embossing lines up so it is covered with the ribbon.

Getting the most out of your Embossing Powders...

I was sitting here thinking of how to get the most out of my Embossing Powders, especially clear. I say this because besides using it for some sort or resist technique I rarely use my clear EP. So I gathered a bunch of stuff and decided to play with it to see how many things I can do with my clear EP.

1. Image stamped in Versa Mark and embossed with clear EP.
2. Image stamped in Versa Mark and embossed with clear EP, while still hot, I added a fine glitter.
3. Image stamped in Versa Mark and embossed with clear EP, while still hot, I added turquoise pearlex. I heated the image again and added a little more. while cool, I blotted the area to pull up as much excess pearlex as I could.
4. I used pigment ink, here I used the Brilliance Pearlecscent lime and embossed in clear EP.
5. I used a hybrid ink, here I used the Pallette: Claret and embossed in clear EP.
6. I used a SU Craft Pad: Almost Amethyst and embossed in clear EP.
7. I used a TAC Dye based ink: Sun Ripened Raspberries and the Transcendence EP for dye based inks and embossed. With this power you have to pour the powder as soon and the image is stamped.

Then, I was thinking what if you do not have this Transcendence EP? And what if you are looking for a particular color, to match a ribbon or a dye based ink? What if you just want a particular color EP period?? In the picture below, you will see a little bag with some purply EP in it. What I did was take some of my clear EP and added about 6-7 drops SU Almost Amethyst dye based reinker. It is in the process of drying out so that it will be a fine powder again and I can emboss with it. I can not wait to try it out and as soon as it is dry I will try it out and post my results here.

I figure that if a dye based reinker works, then a hybrid reinker should also work. And if it all works out I will experiment with other types of ink. This is a great possible money saver because I found a great deal on ebay once on buying a large amount of clear EP and I already have several reinkers so if this works, then I also have several more colors of EP.

Keep your fingers crossed for my experiment!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Try this fun Recipe!
I found this Taste of Home: Homestyle Classics mini cookbook at the checkout...this one contains 76 comforting favorites with a photo every page..I'm a sucker and bought it.

While browsing I found this recipe called 7 layer gelatin salad and the kids were very excited to make it and eat it!

Here is the recipe:

7 packages (3 oz ea) assorted favors of your choice of gelatin
(4) 1/2 cups each of boiling water and cold water, divided
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk, divided
80z frozen whipped topping, thawed
Fresh mint, sliced strawberries and kiwifruit, optional

-in a small bowl, dissolve one package of gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water. Add 3/4 cup cold water; stir. Spoon into a 13"x9"x2" dish coated with cooking spray. Chill until set, but not firm, about 40 minutes.

-In another bowl, dissolve another pacakge of gelatin in 1/2 cup boiling water. Add 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 of the milk. Spoon over first layer. Chill until set but not firm, about 40 minutes.

-repeat 5 times, alternating plain gelatin layers with creamy gelatin layers. Chill each layer until set but not firm before spooning next layer on top. Refrigerate entire salad overnight. Just before serving, spread top with whipped topping. Cut into squares and serve. Garnish with mint and fruit if desired.

Editors note: this salad takes time to prepare since each layer must set before the next layer is added.

We used 7 different flavors and went for a rainbow effect: bottom layer was grape, then blue raspberry, lime, lemon, orange, strawberry and cherry. Do NOT pour the gelatin on to the next layer and I STRESS this because you will mess up the layers underneath. Use a ladle and pour it. Check out another pic of our dessert below, the girls thought it was pretty tasty (the whipped cream started to melt quicker that I thought, otherwise the picture would have been better):

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I Love my Cricut!

I joined a Disney Autograph Book swap on SCS, so I worked on the pages today as the internet was out for the majority of the day....

I decided that when the investment was made in the Cricut that I would use it to its fullest capabilities. So, along with the machine and cartridges, I also have the Cricut Design Studio. This program is a great way to mass produce and pre-plan. This software allows me to plan out my entire Mickey Mouse so that I can cut paper to size, lay it out on the cutting mat and cut away. Since the swap that I was for 13+1, I could cut 14 of each thing at a time, the smaller items I could all be cut in one pass through the machine with the DS software.

Also, with DS, I can use markers to draw out what I want rather than cut it out. In the example below, you can see the Mickey Head background need to buy any disney paper now :)
Now that I look at these pages in more detail, I feel I should have added something to the background on the left hand page, it looks a little too simple for me.

Card details: Red, Black, White, Yellow, Ivory and Gray CS . Cricut cartridges: Mickey Font and Mickeyand Friends. Cricut Markers. 3D-Dots by EK.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Never a dull moment....

Yesterday, my littlest, Grace (better known as Matt Jr.) told me while I was watching the dogs outside that she was going to come upstairs and play her computer game. So, I would keep calling up here while watching the dogs to make sure she wasn't getting into trouble. She kept assuring me that she was playing her Freddie Fish Game. Finally LG came in and Rhylie ran up the stairs in which I her Grace cry I ran up the stairs....guess who wasn't playing her Freddie Fish Game?? Yep! Matt Jr.!

This is what I found:

Today, my oldest had a birthday party to go to...and another party tomorrow. So, I needed to get out of this card funk that I have been in. Nothing seems to come out how I plan it....since my husband is suppose to be gone all finishing up his sqad time so I figured I would really work on some of these things that I needed to, scrapbook pages, projects etc. etc.

First I worked on some birthday cards. Both cards are for 7 yr old girls, and Madelyn decided pink, purple and princess was the route that I should take.

In this card, I used my cricut and my cuttlebug to make it. I also put glitter within the embossed circles which I thought helped with the white background not being so blah! I then stamped "there's a princess in every girl" on the inside in Claret ink. Here is what it look's like:

Card details: Pink 2 CS (TAC), White CS (TAC), Gray CS (unknown vendor) and Almost Amytheyst CS (SU). Cricut cartridge: Happily Ever After (princess crown). Cuttlebug EB folder (spots and dots). Martha Stewart ballpoint-tip glue pen. DecoArt Glamour Dust. 3D-D0ts by EK. Rhinestones (from Heather) and periwinkle and pink ribbon from Michaels. Disney Princess Sentiments set. Claret by Palette.