Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Treats

Finally... the teased Christmas post.

I got a little, um... involved this year, with making Christmas treats for my family. In the past, I've always done jars of cocoa, with varying degrees of creativity. This year, I had some new ideas. Last spring, we went to Atlanta, and went to a burger place where I had the best pickles I've ever had. It got me inspired to try making my own pickles. I spent some time experimenting with recipes and came up with a great one, and my mom gave me some jars that she's had for a long time, so I canned those... then decided to make a whole basket of it. I saw these little houses in Inspired Ideas magazine (GREAT place for fun projects) and thought I'd make some to hold cocoa packets.

I added little pipe-cleaner wreaths, and the twinkle lights are small rhinestones - they turned out looking even more like lights after I covered the whole thing with glitter. Each box holds only one packet of cocoa, so I made another packet to put underneath.

I based the tea towels on one that I saw at anthropologie - mine's very simplified from theirs, but I think they turned out cute.

And here's one of the completed baskets - pickles, pickle recipe, a house of cocoa, a box of marshmallows, and a tea towel.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I haven't forgotten!

I know I teased a blog post weeks ago from Twitter, but I'm still not ready to put up that post... waiting for the whole thing to be done. But in the meantime, I thought I'd put up the rest of the Christmas cards I ended up sending out.

I'm putting up two pictures here, because the first one is a better view of everything (click the photo for a larger version - with them all in one photo, it's kind of hard to see detail), but I forgot one card, so the second has it stuck in there. For three of the cards, I took my basic template that I created with the last card (patterned background, ribbon across the middle horizontally, and layered scalloped ovals) and played with it. I love the Basic Grey double-sided papers so much, because they're so easy to coordinate this kind of thing - just flip the paper over and you've got a scalloped oval that coordinates with the background. I heat-embossed the sentiment ovals with clear glitter embossing powder to give them a little texture and sparkle.

The other cards, the ones that aren't based on that same template, are made to feature this GORGEOUS flocked paper I got at Paper Source. I was actually planning to put a sentiment on the one with the wreath, but the wreath ended up looking so pretty by itself, I left it that way and added some "berries" with Tarnished Brass Distress Stickles. I could have sworn I had some red Stickles around here somewhere, but I think I've just looked at them several times and never gotten around to buying them. I like the tone-on-tone look, though.

Next time: Sparkle houses and everything that goes with them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Christmas Cards

I made an assembly line for these, and made several - that's really my favorite way to do Christmas cards.

I started out with some more awesome Basic Grey Figgy Pudding paper - I just used one sheet, and used one side for my backgrounds, and the other side for my scalloped ovals. I love using my Cuttlebug for things like the scalloped ovals - it makes it go so much faster.

I added some sparkle to the background with silver Stickles, and used Papertrey's Ocean Tides swiss dot ribbon for the middle. It ties in really well with the Basic Grey colors. Originally, I had this same Merry Christmas stamp (the same one I used on the last card) done all in glitter, but you couldn't read it. So I put the smaller white scallop on top, with the stamp done in Ocean Tides ink, and clear glitter covering the whole thing, so it looks like snow. I think it looks cuter now than when I'd envisioned the original.

Friday, November 5, 2010

First Christmas Cards of the Season

I got inspired yesterday to start on Christmas cards - it's going a little slow so far (2 days for 1 card? I may have to edit my Christmas card list...) but I think this one turned out pretty cute.

I started with a couple of chipboard stars - I glittered one (inked the chipboard with Papertrey's Fresh Snow craft ink, then poured glitter over - it actually sticks really well, and then wherever glitter comes off, white shows through instead of the chipboard color) and covered the other with paper from Basic Grey's Figgy Pudding line. I'll tell you what - I recently thought I'd lost most of my Basic Grey collections, and I was so sad. They're my favorite way to get inspiration - I think they're all so gorgeous. I highlighted the design with a glitter pen.

The background of this is Papertrey's Aqua Mist cardstock, embossed with a Cuttlebug folder. I don't remember where I got the Merry Christmas stamp - it's part of a clear stamp set, but I didn't put a label on it. I highlighted the stars in that set with more of the same glitter pen I used on the Figgy Pudding paper.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hobby Update

I haven't been stamping much lately, because I've been working on sewing/embroidery stuff for FMSC, and last week, Abbey taught me how to knit.

My first scarf-in-progress is pretty simple, but I love the colors. I saw some gorgeous yarn at a craft sale yesterday that made me want to get really good at knitting so I can make cool stuff with the fancy fibers. I guess the first step is to finish one thing!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One card, two gifts

First, an update:

Here's one of the finished coffee sleeves from the last post, modeled by a grande peppermint mocha.

And the back - the way the ribbon is sewn makes it look like it might be too loose, but it stays on just like a disposable cardboard sleeve.

Ok, now today's card - I had two birthdays this weekend to make cards for, so I decided to get my inspiration for the card from one of the gifts, and then carry it over to the wrapping for the other gift.

The travel mug was so cute with the pink and black, and swirls, I wanted to pick up that color scheme - and I had a perfect stamp set to use, since the basket I put everything in had butterflies on it (Papertrey's Butterfly Kisses, which has the swirly butterfly I used). I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder on the pink to give it some swirly dimension, too. For the second gift, I picked up this cute bag (guys, these recycled gift bags with the cute ribbons are all less than $.50 at Target!) and coordinating hot pink tissue to tie in the card. This is a closer view of the mug and card side-by-side:

And the card all by itself, since that's supposedly what this blog is about:

Card colors: PTI Hibiscus Burst, white, and black. Ribbon is PTI Hibiscus Burst and some black and white polka-dotted ribbon that came with the packaging for the mug.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Well, that was a long tease. Sorry about that. I posted on Twitter like a week ago about a project I was working on, and then it took me the whole weekend to get it wrapped up, and I still managed to leave the finished product at my parents' house.

So here's what I was working on:

Coffee sleeves! The first photo is the cut-out shapes - I used a Starbucks sleeve, cut open, as the template - two layers of felt (to protect hands from the heat) and a layer of cute flannel, with a felt pocket for cash or, as the Starbucks one suggests, one of those mini-Starbucks cards.

I'm making these to raise money for FMSC, so the numbers I'm stitching on to the pockets represent how many meals one will buy. These are going to be $5, and provide 21 meals.

This is the nearly-finished product - edges are stitched and they're ready for buttons. I did a button/ribbon closure on these, so that you can undo them and store them flat. I'll upload a picture of the finished one with a button when I go get it. I didn't realize, when I was taking pictures, that I took them all of the purple-number/red stitching combo - I actually did assorted stitching in different combinations of purple/red/orange.

I'm going to be doing some more masculine ones, next - just need to find a good flannel!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grab bag

I teased a new project on Twitter yesterday, but I'm not quite far enough along to blog about it yet (need my mom's serger), so I'm going to give you some fabulous odds and ends today.

First up, a "masculine" card I made for a family member's birthday.

Here's the deal - let me tell you how difficult it is to come up with suitable ideas for a card for a man. It's impossible, is how difficult it is. Which means I've given some weird ones over the years. My favorite, and also the weirdest probably, was a card I made for Father's Day a few years ago using the gel card technique. I printed out a drawing of a koi fish, watercolored it, and put it under the gel packet to make it look like the koi was underwater. Simultaneously pretty cool and kind of weird, honestly.

So anyway, on to this one. To be honest, all of the elements I used for this card have the potential to be... pretty girly. For the background, I was originally looking at another paper from the same collection that was "light red" - then realized, once I cropped it, it would just look pink. So it was either pink or blue stripes with flowers. I decided that the rest of the card would butch up the flowers a little bit, and went with the blue. The paper (top, bottom, and sculpted border) is all from one sheet of Sassafras Lass paper - I love their stuff so much. The top is the front of the paper, the bottom is the reverse side, and the blue sculpted bit is the border. I don't know now what this paper is called, because it looks like it's discontinued and isn't on their site. The frame (which is not, as my husband asked, a snake head eating the tickets...) is from the coordinating chipboard elements that go with the paper, and the tickets are from the same Papertrey ticket die and stamps that I used the other day on the Get Well card.

This little guy, it seems, is everyone's favorite. I've had a lot of comments from people who've seen it in person. I pretty much love it, too. I picked up a pack of giant paperclips at Staples, then found in my chipboard stash (I have a ton of chipboard) these circles that are just the right size - one for each side. I covered the circles in paper from Basic Grey (my other favorite designer paper company) - this is from the Bittersweet collection, and I used the small card-sized pack rather than the full-sized scrapbook pack. I love that they scale down their paper designs for cards. I stamped an image from the reading set I mentioned a few days ago in Dark Chocolate, stuck the chipboard circles together around the paperclip with dimensional Zots, and tied on a bit of Spring Moss ribbon. Easy and super-cute!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

An Experiment

Next-morning update: The pickles are very tasty, just still a bit too cucumber-y for my taste. I took out about half the horseradish, because they definitely have enough of that flavor, so I don't think it needs to be in the jar any more. Next time, I might leave the horseradish in bigger slices (so there's not as much surface area exposed to the brine) and put a bit less in there. So far, so good though!

So this isn't stamping-related, but I had a wild hair to try something new this weekend. When we were in Atlanta several months ago, I had the most amazing homemade bread-and-butter pickles at a restaurant (restaurant-made, I guess?) - they were so good fried, too. So I wanted to try making my own bread-and-butter pickles.

I documented the process:

I started with the slicing and dicing - horseradish is PUNGENT. I could make like 10 jars of pickles with this giant thing.

Slicing up the cucumbers - I had to go to Central Market to find "pickling cucumbers." Found the horseradish there, too.

The pretty jar, with all of the chopped-up cucumbers and horseradish, along with a bunch of fresh dill:

Brewing up my stinky, stinky brine - turns out that "signature" flavor of bread-and-butter pickles is turmeric. Who knew?

I'm glad I actually thought ahead enough to think to put the jar in the sink... usually I spill something bright-colored or stinky everywhere before I think of that.

Pouring - nerve-wracking!

I'll keep you posted on how they turn out - the jar's just cooling now so I can put it in the fridge.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Evolution of an idea

Today's cards were made with my favorite new stamp set - I ordered it with the other stuff I showed off yesterday. It's called All Booked Up, and I got the bookplate die to go with it. When I ordered, I got a bag of cute green buttons that coordinate with their Spring Moss green that I love to use, along with some saddle-stitched ribbon in the same green and some twill tape (my favorite ribbon, I think) in the Hibiscus Burst pink. I wanted to integrate some of that, so I chose these colors and put it all together:

I liked how the first one worked out, but I felt like the overall color scheme was too dark for the springy pink and green, and it needed a little jazzing up over-all.

So when I made more, for a friend's birthday present, I went a shade lighter on the neutrals - white instead of kraft, kraft instead of Dark Chocolate. The rest of the colors and layout are the same, but I also used my Cuttlebug embossing folders to add a little texture to the background and pink stripe. Oh, and I wasn't very smart with the first one and put glue on the ribbon to stick it down - the glue soaked through and didn't dry clear like I thought it would. So with this one, I taped it to the back, then glued the bookplate shape over it to give it a little more stability. Turned out much better, I think! I love the effect of tying through the button with twine - I think it's a nice detail that gives it more interest than just a button by itself.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back in the saddle again

At Lori's request/encouragement, I'm jumping back into this blog thing. For a while, I was living in an apartment with no good creative space - my office was basically a glorified laundry room, with no natural light and a noisy dryer running half the time, so I just wasn't that inspired to create. I also didn't have much storage/organizing space. Now we've moved to a new place where I have tons of great light, and I've been able to get my craft stuff out of storage bins and onto shelves where I can see everything to get inspired.

I also ordered some new Papertrey things - it's been a while since I've done a crafting order, so it was nice to have some new images and colors to get inspired by.

Since she encouraged me, I'll start with the card I made for Lori:

This card uses mostly new Papertrey materials - I based it around the"It's Official" patterned paper, picking up the colors and theme from that. The base is Dark Chocolate, with one of the It's Official patterns on top. I'd also ordered the cute Library Pocket die and Library Card stamp, so I used those, along with the Fresh Alphabet, to make the library card. On top are Hibiscus Burst tickets punched with my favorite new die, also from Papertrey, and stamped with Just the Ticket images. A couple of individual tickets, also stamped, are inside as a little accent.

I've got a few more things created, some with my new favorite stamp set - more blog posts coming!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Check it out!

If you enjoy my blog, take yourself on over to my new joint venture:

Now seating

The long-awaited furniture is finally here! At last, we can seat more than three people in the living room without having to drag in broken-down office chairs!

We ordered the couch the week of Thanksgiving, and when we ordered it, the salesman decided to order the matching swivel chair along with it, just in case. He was so convinced we'd love it, he wanted to make sure it'd be in the same leather as the couch and didn't want us to get the couch in, love it so much we needed the chair, and then have to wait another 12 weeks for the chair. And if we didn't want it, he'd just keep it in the store.

Smart man.

So we went to look at both of them last night, and (of course) ended up liking the chair too, and now we have a great, put-together living room!

Of course, there is that gaping space above the couch now... isn't there always something?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Morning After

This little wooded area behind our complex is so pretty anyway, but it looks magical in the snow.

Everything looks so different today - more snow than Dallas has ever gotten at once!

Barnaby's thinking he probably won't get out today, either.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thanks a lot, Northeast

I know you've had a lot of snow up there... would keeping the last 3 (...4 ...5) inches have killed you? I mean, this is Texas. In February. We don't know what to do with this stuff. No shovels, or plows, or, I don't know... whatever you have to deal with snow.

Barnaby's not too thrilled either.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Your $40 Worth

Your $40 worth - FMSC Dallas from First Church Media on Vimeo.

FMSC Signup

Ok, kids - here's what I'm going to do for FMSC. I signed up officially for the first shifts on Saturday and Sunday, and then I'm going to stick around pretty much the whole day Saturday and the other shift Sunday to help my mom and sister out with registration and lunch-running and whatever else needs doing. Some of you have asked me when I'm going to be there so you can sign up for the same shifts, so pick a shift that works best for you (because I know 8am Saturday might not be ideal) and let me know when that is, and we can maybe do a "Friends of Bonnie" shift signup and get a table together. Seriously guys, it's fun and a great way to help people in need! Check out the shifts available here!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Smart. Phone.

I won't be joining the iPhone cult any time soon (pretty sure I'm T-Mobile's contract bitch for the rest of my natural-born days), but I did finally get a smartphone today, and I'm loving it. My husband and sister both got new ones this week, and of course I had to keep up. Got a white myTouch 3G, which looks super-cute in the purple skin I got to keep it looking nice. I'm pretty impressed - it came in a really fancy ripstop nylon case with a TON of peripherals.

I've already loaded it up with all of my contacts and synched it up with gmail (although I think I'm going to have to clean up my gmail contacts - holy cow, it keeps everyone I've ever gotten an email from), and set up fancy ringtones for various people... all kinds of fun stuff. Turns out it's super-easy to bring over songs from my computer and edit them into ringtones - fun! I know that's probably old-hat to most people, but I couldn't do it on my ancient old phone. (Although don't get me wrong - it was a great, trusty old phone, and I'm sad that I managed to lose it between the counter at the store where we took the SIM card out and the car. I planned to hang on to it for a backup.)

Anyway, I'm excited! Now I can do all kinds of fun stuff with my phone.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Knotty Dog


I have been making knots ALL DAY. And I'm not even done. With the first dog. There's still another dog to do after this one. I think they're going to turn out cute, though.

Monday, January 18, 2010

This is Barnaby

Meet Barnaby the Beetle. He's been in the family for almost 6 years now. He gets his name from his pinstripes - they run down each side and end in swirls on the back that look like 'B's.

Barnaby started out his day with brunch at Mimi's Cafe - made it in time for the Brie Crepes (they only serve those till noon).

After brunch, Barnaby did some shopping at It's A Party... didn't buy anything, but ran into an old acquaintance and had a nice chat.

Barnaby had to stop at PetSmart to pick up some doggy de-stinker spray... gotta love that Nature's Miracle.

Then Barnaby picked up the stinkers themselves - they love to go for a ride.

Barnaby went for a shower - turns out Sadie is REALLY not a fan.

Although Miles thought it was a really exciting ride.

Wish there was a "before" for this shot... let's just say Barnaby's back was, um... trashed. Completely.

Barnaby spent another evening in the Bug-infested driveway, getting his maintenance finished up,

then drove home into the sunset.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday in the life

Met my family for lunch at Tin Star,

where Sus was acting sassy as usual.

Mom got an amazing-looking taco (which we decided was more properly a tostada or gordita, since one really couldn't be expected to fold it).

Then the Bugs had a meeting in the driveway for Dad to do some maintenance while Mom and I went shopping.

We surprised Sus at work,

and got to take a look at her latest FMSC awareness marketing campaign - she wears different aprons to work every day, so she's made a Feed My Starving Children apron, and carries cards with the website info in the pocket to hand out to people who ask about it. She's so great at coming up with ways to let people know!

Speaking of FMSC, slots are now open to sign up to volunteer for the packing days - Friday, March 5, from 6-8pm, Saturday the 6th, 2-hour shifts from 8am to 8pm, or Sunday the 7th, 2 hour shifts at either 1pm or 3:30 pm. I'll probably be doing at least one Friday and one Saturday shift - I haven't decided which yet. Click here for info on signing up to volunteer or to donate!