Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life By Chocolate Cupcakes

We made these cupcakes this weekend thanks to a yummy recipe from the Pioneer Woman.

Our favorite part of the cupcakes was the delicious surprise in the center of cupcakes >>> a Hershey's Kiss.
The kids helped me put these together, so they look a little messy, but they tasted really good.
We didn't have the heavy cream needed for the frosting in the recipe, so I just mixed up a regular chocolate buttercream frosting. Next time I definitely want to use the frosting in the recipe because I love ganache. It's so rich as creamy.This recipe is for regular sized cupcakes, but we made mini cupcakes. I love mini cupcakes. I think it's because I can eat more cake without feeling like I'm eating as much.

The cupcakes took longer that just mixing up a cake mix, but I think the extra time was worth it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I May Have a Paper Flower Addiction...

While we were at CHA early this week, we stopped by the Cosmo Cricket booth and got to do a fabulous make-n-take where we made a flower like this:Natasja Verbeek, who is on the Cosmo Cricket design team, taught the make in take. She has a great video up here on how to make these flowers.

Here's a look at the steps I took to put my flower together.

1. Cut 4 medium sized photos (around 3 inches across) and 1 small flower (around 1 inch across.) They do not need to be perfect.
2. Fold the flowers in half and put a mini staple as close to the fold as possible.Fold the small flower in half and then in half again. Place a staple in the center of the folded flower.3. Crinkle all of the flowers to give them a messy feel.

4. Ink the edges.
5. Layer all of the flowers pieces on top of each other. Use glue dots to attach the layers.

6. Freehand cut 2 leaves and attach to the back of the flower with glue dots.
7. Fold each petal tip down and push a little toward the center of the flower. This will give great dimension to the flower.8. Use the flower on a project.

Today I wrapped a mini loaf of banana bread that I just made in plastic wrap and then wrapped 2 strips of patterned paper around the bread. I topped the bread with the flower and a tag.These flowers will make such a great touch on many projects. Can't wait to make another one.

All of the paper I used in this project are from the Cosmo Cricket Material Girl line. They will all be in the upcoming Scrapbook Circle February kit.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Valentine Banner

I had to run to Walmart a couple of weeks ago to pick something up. On my way in, I saw a Valentine display with some heart dollies. The dollies made their way into my cart and I knew that they would be used on some sort of Valentine project.

A few days later, I decided to use the heart dollies as the base for a Valentine banner. I love banners and can't seem to get enough of them!

My second inspiration for the banner was my new Silhouette. It came with a roll of fuzzy black vinyl and I was excited to incorporate it into a project. After deciding on the "XOXO" theme for the banner, I cut the black letters out of the fuzzy vinyl. It really has a cool look at feel in person.
This was a great project to use up lots of bits and pieces of Valentine themed things I have around. A lot of the pieces came from this kit and this kit.
The dollies were not a solid enough base, so I cut triangles out of double-sided patterned paper and placed the dollies on top of the triangles. This worked out perfectly since I'm hanging the banner from a mirror and the back of the banner reflects the back side of the patterned paper in the mirror.I felt like this was a very busy banner and did not want to clutter it by tying ribbons between each banner piece. I decided to find something that I could just clip the banner pieces to. In my ribbon drawer was a yard of red felt with dots punched in it and it was the perfect base for hanging the banner pieces.Thanks to 4 Tim Holtz clips, each banner piece was quickly attached to the felt ribbon.Now I'm in the mood to make more Valentine decorations. Any good ideas?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Times at CHA

Every January I look forward to going to CHA. It's huge craft and hobby trade show that was held in Anaheim this year. I've also been to the summer show in Chicago a couple of times. It's a couple of days full of exploring the latest scrapbooking products, meeting people I know from the cyber world and spending time with friends.

This year, Jennie, Diana and I drove over to Anaheim. We all agreed that this was the best show yet. SInce we've all been to CHA several times, we know what to expect and found the perfect balance of work and play.

We were able to design 6 Scrapbook Circle kits while we were there! We also did several projects at the booths and managed to squeeze in some time to eat good food.

We ran into Stacy Julian, Rhonna Farrer and Janet Hopkins. This was my first time to meet Stacy. I have followed her blog, Simple Scrapbooks magainze, and Big Picture Scrapbooking for years and it was nice to finally meet her.
We loved the new lines from The Girls' Paperie designed by Margie Romney-AslettIt was fun to chat with her a while.The show did not have nearly as many attendees this year which worked out great for us. Less lines and crowds was a good thing. (CHA usually gives each company 10 badges and this year is was only 4 badges, so less people were able to get in.)

One of the sweetest people I meet was Elizabeth Kartchner. She has a new line with American Crafts and we loved her products. You will definitely be seeing her things in a Scrapbook Circle kit in the near future.
One of the big trends was jewelry making. We enjoyed making necklaces at three different booths (Making Memories, Tim Holtz and Hero Arts.) I love making jewelry, so it was fun to get to do both paper and jewelry projects.

A huge thanks to Jennie and Diana for coming with me on this fun adventure. Can't wait until we go again next time!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Banner in Progress

This morning I woke up with an idea for a Valentine banner, so I got out of bed and got to work. There wasn't much time to play because I'm leaving for CHA this morning, but I have a good start.

One of the things that got me excited to make the banner is this new toy that arrived this week.
I'm so excited to get to play with this! It's a die cutting machine that will cut any true type font including dingbats. Very fun.

I have some fuzzy black vinyl and decided to cut "XOXO" out using the Shilouette.

Here's a look at how the banner is shaping up so far.
I picked these red heart dollies up at Walmart a couple of weeks ago. I didn't know what I'd use them for, but I knew they would be put to good use.

Hopefully I will finish up the banner once I'm home next week. I'll be sure to show the finished project.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Retirement Guest Book

My mother in law asked me to put a guest book together for a retirement party for one of her friends at work.

She wanted the book to include the party invitation, pages for people to sign, page protectors for photos and a pocket for a photo CD.

Here's a look at what I came up with. The final dimetions of the book are 8.75" x 11.5".
Inside the front cover, I used gold Jenni Bowlin rub-ons for the "thank you."After the invite, I did cardstock cut in three different sizes. At first, I had all of the pages the same size, but it seemed to need a little more variety, so I trimmed some of the pages.
Next, came the page protectors. I trimmed 12 x 12 page protectors which were already prestitched to hold 4 x 6 photos.For the photo CD, I used an envelope as the base for the pocket.
The back cover.
I used my bind-it-all to put all of the pages together. I'm not sure why it took me so long to start using my bind-it-all, but I'm happy that it's finally getting some use. I love using it because it is able to bind a variety of custom products into one album while choosing the exact size album to fit my project.

Tomorrow I am heading off to CHA. I can't wait to see all of the new craft products in person. I'll be sure to share the highlights here!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Candy Heart Centerpiece

After taking down all of my Christmas decorations, things felt a little bare. So I thought that I would at least add one quick holiday decor item to my kitchen counter for Valentines Day. This is one that I've done for the past couple of years.
I love that it uses my trifle bowl because it rarely gets used.

Clear glass trifle bowl
Candle in Glass Holder (You wouldn't want a pillar candle melting all over your candy!)
Candy Hearts
Place the candle in your trifle bowl. I think this would be fun in a variety of kitchen bowls.
Pour candy hearts around the candle. My project used two bags of the sweethearts candy hearts. I bought three bags though so that I could refill the candy as it disappears.

Luckily, I don't really like candy hearts, so I'm not worried about eating the entire bowl myself. If it was M&M's, I'd be in trouble.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Heart Box

As soon as I saw this heart box from House of 3, I knew that I wanted to do something with it.This past week, I finally had time to play with it. I decided to use photos of my kids from my sister in law's wedding last October.

I love the layering that can be done with a shadowbox. I wanted some black scrolls on the clear transparency, so I ran a regular 8.5 x 11 inch transparency through the print using this downloadable and then trimmed it to fit inside of the shadowbox lid.The rub-on on the transparency came in the shadowbox kit.
One of my favorite things about this kit was the big clear jewel. I think I need more of these to attach to my projects!All of the paper and embellishments came from the SC January kit. I used my Fiskars Threading Water Punch to create the layered lace look with the paper.
The shadowbox kits are on sale for half off right now, so if you've been thinking about getting one, now would be a good time to do it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Be Mine

Just wanted to share a quick card I put together today. It's pretty simple, but I like it.
I'm down to the last scraps of the January SC kit and pieced them together for this card.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christmas Card Layout

While looking at Ali Edwards blog last week, I came across this post where Ali shares her idea for preserving all of the great photos she receive in Christmas cards each year.

I used to put together a scrapbook with a page for each card we received. That only lasted for a couple of years because it was so time consuming and used up a lot of cardstock. That was back in 2003. Now I am happy that I have a quick and simple way to save the photos we receive in Christmas cards each year.

I had hopped that I would be able to just do one layout for the Christmas photos, but ended up needing two layouts. Here's a look at what I came up with:I tried cropping all of the photos to 2" high. It was then a bit like fitting a puzzle together so that I could get the edges to line us.

It's great to have these photos organized and not have a pile of photos that don't have a home.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My First Sketchy Thursdays Layout

When I saw the sketch over at Sketchy Thursdays this weekend I knew that I wanted to use it to create a layout.

Here's the cool layout that Diana put together:
Here's my take on the sketch:

*Removed for Publication*

I'll bring the layout back once the idea book is out!

The patterned paper, pops flowers stickers, Elle's Studio labels, flower bling and alpha are all from the Scrapbook Circle January kit.

The semi-circle is the reverse side of the border of the Pink Paislee Reindeer Games paper. It was red on the reverse side, but the blank white side on the reverse made a fun addition to the page.

I also dusted off an old Heidi Swapp flower mask to help create the background along with a little misting.

I really don't ever use sketches when I'm creating layouts, but I really like how this turned out!

Time to Announce a Winner!

Wow, thanks to everyone who commented on the Scrapbook Circle January kit giveaway. I had so much fun reading about what you are looking forward to this year. Even though things are challenging at times, it's great to see there is so much hope and things to look forward too.

So...I'm sure you want to know who won the kit.
I had my son pick a random number and Shasta was our lucky winner!!! Congrats!

Just email your address to me: and I'll get your kit right out to you.

If you weren't the winner, remember that Scrapbook Circle has a deal this month (while kits are left) where you can pick up this kit for the 6-month price without any subscription commitment.
Just go here for all of the details.

Thanks for playing along and I'll be sure to do another giveaway soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Style School

I'm super excited because this weekend I signed up for an online class >>> Style School with Elsie & Leigh-Ann.
I've taken several online scrapbook classes before, but this one is going to be very crafty related and not necessarily scrapbook related. It will definitely push me to try some new things. One of my goals this year is to continue to build on my love of crafting by trying out new techniques and I think this class will be the perfect push for me.

Although, I won't be sharing any content from the class, I will be posting my creations here. Not sure how quickly I will be working on them, but I will be excited to share as things are finished.

Have you taken a class from Elsie before? What did you think of it?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Aunt Kris & Max

As soon as I uploaded these photos, I knew that I wanted to do something with them right away. I love how happy and playful my sister and son are in these photos. It was really fun using several different pieces of the SC January kit to put this together. The paper is a mix from Fancy Pants, Basic Grey and Pink Paislee. I really like how all of these papers work together.

Every scrap of my brown die cut paper has now been used up! I loved that paper. I loved the shape so much that I traced it onto the cream paper on this layout and cut it out to make a mirrored shape.

The pops flower stickers, vintage circle snowflake, brown label, love chipboard, flower jewel and tiny heart alpha were all from the kit too.

Remember to leave a comment here to be entered to win your own SC January kit! (If you don't win, you can still pick one up at the 6-month price with no sub commitment. You can go here for details.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Goals, Ideas, Thoughts 2010

There are a lot of things I want to do in 2010. Some of them are the daily things that keep me, my home and family running. Others are bigger items that involve creative and personal goals.

I decided that I needed one place where all of my goals, thoughts, to-do items could be written down to help keep myself on track. I'm sure I could have found a pre-made planner that would have worked, but really, I just need something simple. So I decided to put my own book together.All of the paper and embellishments came from the Scrapbook Circle January kit.

The book started with two pieces of chipboard that I trimmed to 5" X 9". I then covered the chipboard with paper and embellishments. The journal is filled with regular white 8.5" X 11" printer paper. Each paper was cut in half making the paper 4.25" X 5.5".I punched and bound the book with my bind-it-all. That little machine is so much fun to use! Now I'm organized and ready to accomplish much.I feel like so much more will be accomplished by just writing things down and believing in myself. This journal will be the perfect place for me to record things I want to accomplish this year.

"The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium." ~Norbet Platt

"A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes." -Mahatma Gandhi

Here's to a great 2010!

Don't forget to enter to win a January Scrapbook Circle kit. Just post your comment to this post by Sunday night for your chance to win.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Want a Free Scrapbook Circle Janaury Kit?

I have been having so much fun with my SC January kit, so I thought it would be fun to share one with someone else.
Just leave a comment about one thing you are looking forward to in 2010.

One thing I'm looking forward to this year is seeing my sister and her family who live in Virginia. It's been over a year since we've seen them and we really miss them. It will be great to be together.

If you want to be entered to win, please leave your comment by this Sunday, January 10th, at 10:oo p.m. MST.

I'll announce the winner next Monday!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma

Happy New Year! I hope everyone's new year is off to a great start.

Today is my grandma's birthday. She would be 108 years old if she was still alive. I was reminiscing about her this afternoon and decided to look through my childhood scrapbooks that I put together a few years ago.

I found very few photos of my grandma. She really disliked having her photo taken, so she was usually not in the photos. This was a good reminder to me that I need to just in photos every once and a while.

Thought I would share a couple of layouts (made several years ago) with you with photos of my grandma. Happy Birthday Grandma!


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