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.