Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Creating Christmas cards

I just had to smile when I lined up my Christmas cards like little elves anxiously waiting to spread Christmas cheer:) I imagined family & friends mooning over my glittery C, carefully nestled on the double layered tree of pearlized paper, surrounded by layers of beautiful papers with bits of sparkle. I see them slowly opening the card, not wanting to leave the majesty of the design but yet anticipating cheerful Christmas greeting within the shimmery package of a homemade card.........okay...a bit dramatic! But hey...these were done in July! I should at least get a standing ovation for that:)

 There is something so sublime about creating a beautiful greeting card... especially with shimmer and shine! I wanted to branch out from traditional colors this year and these are the first step in that decorating direction.

I chose a shimmer metallic heavy weight cardstock in aqua lagoon...secret reason? This paper was left over from my daughters wedding album...thrifty is in!
The border is a Martha Stewart punch. The tree is cut from the Winter Frolic cartridge (2 different colors for layering) I chose a glitter paper for the monogram C. I added a simple scroll from the Storybook cartridge to add the final flourish. 

It feels so good to have my Christmas cards ready...well almost, I still need to print the inside greeting, and take a really good family picture with all 14 of us looking at the camera and smiling. 
Now that will be impressive:)

p.p.s I am seriously in love with these Martha Stewart border punches! 
These are the border choices for the Christmas cards.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Autumn Days gift tags

My friend Debbie, who brings groups of scrapbookers to Nellie's Cottage is a Close to my Heart consultant. When I saw this beautiful stamp in their new winter catalogue I fell in love!

I love fall, probably because I live where the pine trees reign and beautiful autumn leaves are a fantasy.
One of my dream trips is to see the fall leaves in the northeast at their peak. I do always get to visit my children in Utah in the fall. They think I am coming to see them...really it is the leaves:)

I began with this...

Stamp the image on cream paper, trim to image, use a corner rounder, & punch a hole in the top.
Cut several strands of the ribbon yarn (this is great stuff!) and tie a bow on tag.
Punch scalloped circles & crinkle paper. Adhere flowers together adding tag on top.
Place tag on bag with flowers above top of bag.

And created this!
These would be a beautiful addition to a fall layout. 
I prefer plain bags that I can dress up for gift giving:)
Add something yummy for a treat (like the pumpkin pecan muffins-recipe is previous post)
Garnish with tissue paper and deliver to friends!

You can also do a fun treat pouch with a single piece of 12x12 paper.

p.s. you can find the Autumn Days stamp at

Monday, September 17, 2012

Perfect Pecan Pumpkin Muffins!

Brittany is craving pumpkin and since she is the chief cook and baker at my house we are now officially on a pumpkin odyssey! We are hoping that baking with pumpkin will usher in the cool days of fall in southeast Texas. She found a great recipe on which she tweaked for our southern pumpkin taste buds and we now have a 
PERFECT pumpkin pecan muffin recipe! 
Brittany added wheat flour, more spices, whole eggs, & vanilla. 
Southern cooks are not known for being minimalist:)

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins 
adapted from

Mix together in a large bowl:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Add in:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Fold in:
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bake @ 350 for 20 min. Makes 12 muffins

I was proud of myself...I only had 2...well till the next morning!

p.s. My sister says that if you change a recipe it becomes yours..what do you think?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Amateur with a staple gun!

I inherited 4 beautiful wrought iron barstools when we moved into our house. The fabric wasn't my favorite but it is my personal policy to NEVER turn down free furniture!

Two of the stools were broken from the beginning and a third bit the dust recently. It was a plastic part that broke inside the stem of the chair rendering these magnificent chairs useless! Ahh... but being the "do it your selfers" that we are, the problem was solved with a foot of pcv pipe wrapped in duck tape!
No self respecting southerner would attempt to fix ANYTHING without trying duck tape as a first option:) We actually had some friends in college that had duck tape in the engine of their dilapidated car.
 It is a fact woman cannot live by function alone, so I went in search for the perfect fabric, not to trendy, not too boring, and combining all of my decorating colors. Hobby Lobby had the perfect fabric which was sweet since my darling son had given me a gift card for mother's day. Just look at the difference a fabulous printed fabric makes!

I am solidly on the amateur list for such a project, solely motivated by the money saved by doing it myself. It might not make an DIY show but I am pretty proud of my effort:)

Instructions...well at least my version! 
First carefully pull off the backing so it can be used again.
I left the original fabric on...why work harder than necessary?
I used Michael's mini compressor staple gun tool.
Always start in the middle of a side.

I just followed the original coverings when I got to the corners, first a shallow tuck just before the corner and then a tight wrap of the corner using plenty of staples.

I am so pleased with my project. Paisley fabric, staples, pcv pipe, & duck tape...what's not to love:) 

 I am inspired to try a more difficult upholstery project. Who knows? I might even manage to transform the hideous country pink rocker from Nannie into a modern marvel of creative that would be a miracle:)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Scrapbooking with a toddler

A few weeks ago I was happily scrapbooking in the peaceful morning quiet when Annabelle came running as fast as she could down the hall yelling Nammie (grammie)! I moaned a bit to myself knowing my quiet time was over and my creative juices were about to be frustrated. She climbed right up beside my desk on some vintage suitcases and leaned over the desk.
I said "Grammie is scrapbooking." 
She repeated the word minus the R, and then in her halting toddler English
she said "Abeww scap book too?"
My heart just melted:) I put away my project & got out the star punch & some scraps.
She took to this like a little duckling to water..that's my girl:)

Brittany taught her to glue, turn it over and press!

This experience made me reflect on mankind's desire to create, to make something of our own, to accomplish something, to enhance the beauty around us. It is a strong desire to succeed, to create!
There are really stressful days when I long to sit and create a random page, or sew some trim on something...anything! When I do sit down to create I actually feel a peace wash over my frantic soul and I am at home within myself. I think of the beautiful world around me, the endless creations and realize where this creative desire comes from...God himself.

Annabelle and I have since made many star, & heart pages. She now has a preference for pink stars:) My paper scraps have a new purpose, to teach Annabelle to joy of creating, learning colors and shapes but mostly giving her the confidence and skills to bring joy to the world with her very own brand of creativity!

The glueing stars evolved on to stickers, much less messy! She promptly discovered the fun of sticking images to her body parts...see she is thinking creatively on her own already:)

Tip: partially stick the stickers to a cricut mat so they can easily be pulled
off and put on paper, or toes, or tummies:)
Another thing I realized with her little plea "Abeww scrapbook too?" is that others want to join in, they want to create something of their own. Maybe we could look around and see the possibilities of sharing. Think what this would mean to mom's & kids at a homeless shelter, long term patients in the hospital, or kids in a disadvantaged neighborhood housing complex. Being published as a scrapbooker must feel amazing, creating pretty layouts feels fabulous, but teaching others to create would be the MOST wonderful, joyful feeling in the world...I think I will try it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wedding with a View

My oldest son became a husband to a beautiful Welsh girl and stepdad to 3 adorable little boys all in one day!

It was quite a two year journey to get to this point but that isn't really my story to tell! 

My part of the story (besides mothering a sweet son, and wearing out my knees in prayer on his behalf!) is the decorating, cake, flowers, food AND... "Can we pull this together in extremely short notice" part! My children do not historically give me much time to leisurely put together a wedding. One son gave 6 weeks, a daughter 9 weeks and this son? Three very short weeks! I take comfort in the knowledge that the decision process to get married is longer and actually well thought out. If my last child will give me more time to pull together a wedding she will become my favorite child permanently!

We had a beautiful backyard setting on a mountain side in Utah. Plans were chairs, tables, linens, and an arch. Pick out a few things from a friend of a friend who has an event center. Most important...find a chocolate fountain and pay big money for the good chocolate, the kind from Belgium:)

The worst part of doing the wedding? Putting fondant on the cake! Utah is much dryer than Texas and so is the fondant. Several attempts spanning the whole afternoon were made to get that darn cake covered with fondant. It kept cracking and falling off. Finally we were in the last quarter of time, and last box of fondant, and last stash of crisco when it worked...well at least we had a "good side." The cake was sprayed with edible spray paint, the pearls "glued" on, flowers added to the top and a really wide satin ribbon added to hide a few of the flaws. The cake was leaning to one side so we pushed it over on the pedestal to make it look straight.
Imagine our surprise when the pictures of the cake looked so good!

Last job on the cake...taking it down the stairs to the table, which I gave to the groom who passed it on to to a buddy:)

 I created this "layout" for the table with embossed, metallic, & printed papers, borders punched with a Martha Stewart punch, trim, flowers from Spare Parts, vintage lace, and a satin bow. The Jasmine cricut cartridge was used for the letters.

It was a beautiful and simple wedding with a few surprises, like the boys escaping up the balcony to blow bubbles on the wedding, the youngest boy getting up and holding hands with the bride and groom, and the baby flower girl making another pass down the aisle with the rose petals after the wedding had started! I love these moments. They are the ones we remember best...the interesting bits, the less than perfect, the bloopers of life:)

From this experience and journey I have a new understanding of our hearts...they are meant to continually expand, to love, and to cherish not only those who are in our blood line but all those who become a part of our life. Happiness is love, and the more to love, the merrier:)

p.s.These pictures became a beautiful album with bling!