Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It's a bit hard to see, but this card is actually shaped like a door.  How fun is that! I found it on the Silhouette store.  99¢ well spent.  It went just perfect with a Door County Rubber Stamp I had of a girl peeking through the door with her teddy.  Then I found the "I knew you'd look" sentiment from River City Rubber works.  I love it when a plan comes together :-)

I made a few versions of the card.  One (this one) I used flowersoft on the wreath.  Another I embossed and sanded.  Both were pretty, I love the realism of the flowersoft, but if I were doing masses for Christmas, I would probably emboss and sand.  Much faster
Here's a close up of the image.  I love the sepia tone, with just a pop of red for her hair ribbon.

 Here's the same image used as the whole front of the card.  It reminds me a lot of Maurice Sendak 's art for some reason.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Secret Garden Chunky ATC

Ever made a chunky ATC?  This was my first try.  You just take a 2x4 and slice it up and it makes a block just the same size as an ATC, only 3 D.  Or in my case you ask Michelle LaRue from Pine Needle Hill Co., the block making/altering expert if she and her charming husband would make up a batch for you. 

I am slightly obsessed with the Secret Garden.  It's my favorite book ever.  And movie.  Gosh that is a pretty movie.  I think it helps me survive February.  Spring is so close, and yet daffodils are so far away.

So here's my little Secret Garden...

Flowersoft blooms and ivy grows on the top while Mary's hair (a stamp from Door County Rubber Stamps) blows in the wind off of the moors.  I fussy cut her and layered her on top of a beautiful script and floral stamp from B Line Design that just happened to be a quote from the Secret Garden :-)  I got that tiny darling nest off of Etsy, on inspection I don't think it would be too hard to make if you were feeling clever.

 Jenni Bowlin mini bingo card on the back

Turn the knob hidden in the ivy to enter a magical, secret world.

Every secret garden needs a secret key (Tim Holtz)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Retirement Layout

A girl can dream, right?  Ok, I'm nowhere close to retirement.  And even if I were retired....I'd be doing the exact same thing as I'm doing now. On the other hand, being free to take off for someplace hammock friendly- sounds pretty darn good right now, don't you think?


 I added a little gecko stamped in green ink and highlighted with glossy accents to give the paper an even more tropical feel.  And you need one of these guys around to eat the mosquitoes while you are lounging in your hammock.  Plus a sentiment stamp with a tidy little To Do list, because just because you are retired, doesn't mean you don't have to do stuff.  Like relax.  That's important, can't forget that.

Stamps by Door County Rubber Stamps, paper by Websters Pages, title stickers by SRM

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Miracle

 Two projects, but the same materials and images.  I think if I were doing this again I might paper piece the angel's cloak, since it was a bit challenging coloring in such a large area with copics.  Door County Kid stamps often work wonderfully for paper piecing.  So much fun.  Like paper dolls.

 The first project is actually a wooden block made especially for me when I need a block to hold a photo by sweet Michelle LaRue of Pine Needle Hill.  I've become a bit addicted to the larger size of these as a focal point when making a set.  Or you know, just making a single pretty block to perch around that won't get hurt if little people (or klutzy me) knock it off the display.

wooden block (snowy church is a stamp by Northwoods Stamps)

And here's the card I made from the same concept.  I did paper piece the snow on this one.  Love the texty-ness of this paper snow.  And now texty-ness is a real word.  For sure.
card with texty-ness snow

You can find the stamp here: Door County Rubber Stamps or if you are in my neck of the woods here: Backroads Plum Crazy.  Papers are from October Afternoon's Silent Night, and the Snowflake Frame is a Spellbinders die.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beribboned Basket

I think this stamp is just the sweetest image in the whole wide world.  I might be a bit biased, living in Iowa.  And in a Dairy Barn.  But I think it just makes lovely springtime cards, especially when colored with the pale, pale Copics.

You can learn how to make the pretty ribbon weave basket here:
voila! The stamp and the finished basket.
 I will warn you it is a slightly epic undertaking, but it can be done :-) By the fourth panel you will be a pro.

a little bit closer detail

Just so fresh and darling.  I can almost pretend spring is here with apple blossoms, newborn calves and fluffy chicks.  And no howling blizzards and double digit negative temperatures (boo)  oh well, being stuck inside allows plenty of time for weaving ribbon panels, lol!

You can find the stamp here: Door County Rubber Stamps or if you happen to be in my neck of the woods here: Backroads Plum Crazy

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Emporium Necklace

I just love Graphic 45, don't you?  I'm such a paperholic and they just keeping feeding my dependency.  So Naughty of them.  Santa probably will still visit them though, because they are awesome.

 I was working with their Christmas Emporium Collection, making this incredibly layered juicy flip book I learned off of YouTube (another addiction, and Pinterest...there really should be a Crafter's Anonymous) when I dropped everything (left a big mess in the middle of the crop room) to run off to Galena for my second ever all day workshop over at Vintaj.  Oh my gosh and goodness.  I learned so much.  Tons.  And I drug along Michelle my scrappy chum/business partner/aunt who had never made so much as a friendship bracelet before.  Bless her, she is always game for a wild hare brained new idea:-)

To dip her toes into the waters of jewelry making, I signed both up for a basic stringing class over at Galena Beads the night before.  While Michelle was whipping up a necklace that has to probably win the Best Necklace by a Complete Novice Ever Award, I whipped up my own necklace from some beads and (yes!) Vintaj pieces.   

I had all those great warm Christmas Emporium Colors that reminded me of Christmas at home percolating in my head.  I wanted the necklace to look like the old glass garland my mom used to put on our tree in the big bay window of old Victorian house.  Reading in old green tapestry chair by the fireplace with a cup of spiced cider and making pomanders out of cloves and oranges to put on the buffet with the Christmas cards.  Amazing how many memories a few mossy greens, rich reds, and aged brass beads can bring up, hmmm.  I even added a little mistletoe on each side of the magnolia leaf bead cap ;-) and a "wreath" closure.  It gives me warm fuzzies and makes me want to sing Holly and the Ivy (which I will do despite not knowing all the words, be forewarned).  Go make yourself some holiday cheer!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kudos and Typos

I'm so excited!  Why?  I'm now a famous blue ribbon farm girl cook.  Faaaamous.  In Iowa anyway and some of Nebraska.    I just got a two page spread in Iowa Farmer Today.  You can see it here. Well, I guess you will next week.  This week Kay Wohlenhaus is having her moment in the sun :-) Those oatmeal cookies sound good, might have to try them.

Tim came by right on the heals (like the day after) we had our big scrapbook retreat at the Dairy Barn.  I did most of the cooking for that, plus ran a couple classes.  I was a little crazed at the end.   And then I made 6 dozen filled cupcakes in 3 different flavors, chocolate chip cookies, gingersnaps, chicken vegetable soup and foccacia.  Maybe manic might be a better description than crazed, lol.   Unfortunately that meant I had to delegate something, in this case, typing recipes so this lovely man could take them back to his paper fell into my grandmother's lap (bless her heart for helping).  But you know every cook changes something as they go... yep, so my margin notes didn't make it into the final copy.

The recipes are good as they are, but I like the way I do it  :-) So here you go if you want to be awesome and faaaamous in your state.

1) I was born in Iowa, and grew up on the Kansas-Oklahoma border.  On the Kansas side.   I went to college in Oklahoma.  I like cowboys, okra, and ranch dressing and picked up a little accent that I've kept, 'cuz it's fun.  I point this out so nobody in Kansas thinks I'm putting on airs.  This postcard is about 2 blocks and a hundred years from where I lived.  Hmmm, hasn't changed much.

2) Like I said, I was a bit manic and making food.  I took a shower, but didn't have time to do my hair or makeup before caught in action making focaccia.  Sorry about that photo.  Most days I look like this:

3) I did not make Irish Car Bombs for Tim.  He just thought they sounded good.  Which they are. I did make Tuxedos (devils food filled with raspberries and frosted with white chocolate) and Daisies (sour cream yellow cake filled with from scratch lemon curd and frosted with lemon white chocolate)  plus the Pumpkin Spice (which need cute name suggestions).  We weren't done chatting 'til lunch so we had my favorite chicken vegetable soup, focaccia, all those cupcakes, plus my BLUE RIBBON!!! winning Gingersnaps.  I'm just a little in love with those gingersnaps.  Alfie (the dog) likes them a lot too.

4) The Irish Car Bomb and Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipes are actually perfect.  I had them on file because I made them up and I have a rotten memory for measurements.  Bake them.  You won't be sorry.  Unless you are in AA.  In which case, leave out the booze, you will still be happy.

Now Margin Notes from the Delegated Recipes

5) Chicken Vegetable Soup: Corrections

  • Feel free to substitute canned vegetables for fresh.  It's winter.  You aren't getting fresh corn on the cob and if you do you are going to hell for not being a locavore and your punishment will be having corn that tastes like cardboard.  Just sayin'.  ;-) But realistically time and effort is an issue for everyone.  I try to use home canned tomatoes, but when time and pantry don't allow, I reach for the Rotel.  See that part about growing  up on the Kansas-Oklahoma border.  Only ingredient better in the whole wide world than ranch, is rotel.  
  • I sometimes throw in pesto instead of fresh basil, because my basil plant is usually naked stems because I made pesto.  It's an addiction, but I don't smoke so it must be okay.  
  • I use leftover chicken in my soup.  And sometimes canned.  Shhhh, don't tell.  
  • Pickapeppa sauce = Tabasco sauce.  I like a bit of spice.  You can leave it out.  
  • I don't blanch my zucchini.  I just peel it and cut it up and toss it in the pot with the corn.  This is an excellent soup to use up the giant zucchini that got away from you in the garden.  Most people eat it and think it's celery.  
  • I don't ever thicken it with cornstarch.  That is what crackers are for.

6) Focaccia: Corrections
I think this is my dear grandmama's recipe.  It isn't mine or at least not one I've made in the past decade.  Pesto is involved so it's got to be good.  I'll put a link to my current fave (the one I'm chopping rosemary for in that oh so lovely photo) here just as soon as I retype it, sounds like a goal for tomorrow morning.