Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Birthday Cake Tower Card

 I purchased the Whimsy rectangle die (Slim Line Waves) to use on another card, but I happened to 'find' the Penny Black 'tall cake' stamp in my rolling bin of birthday themed supplies.  Voila! I absolutely had to put them together.  By cutting a second frame of foam sheet, I was able to make a shaker card.  Using foam for the inner layer has its challenges as the foam sheet seems to distort slightly when going through the die cutting machine so it might be a good idea to cut several frame layers from card stock and glue them together. The background with balloons and banners was cut from a 12x12 Pebbles sheet (Birthday stack) and inlaid into the frame.
As you can see from this close up, I inserted some pastel sequins and glitter into the cavities before sealing them with a clear acetate sheet and the dotted aqua frame. I didn't put too much in because then the printed design of the paper would be obscured...just enough and there is some sparkle plus sound.
The Pebbles printed card stock just happened to have a 'Happy Birthday' banner that fit in the top two windows of the die cut frame...how cool is that?  Did you notice the stamped sentiment, ' Did someone say cake?' I happened upon the clear stamp in an Avery Elle set that was squished in that bottomless rolling Birthday bin.  I guess I CAN go craft shopping in my own room....just like my husband always says..LOL!  Happy crafting and shopping at HM Ben Franklin Crafts!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Doughnut Puns on Postage Stamp Frame Cards

 I do love play-on-word puns, so this Whimsy doughnut stamp set really caught my fancy. I also have a sweet spot for for postage stamps. (They are like mini works of art.) Since I just got the Pink & Main postage stamp die set, I thought that it might pair well with the doughnut stamp set.  For the card on the left, I placed the die slightly above the fold of the white card before cutting so that the front and back would be attached.  The card on right has just a die cut stamp shape attached to a blue folded card.
 I used the stamp die as a measure for the dotted and rainbow papers.  The blue label was cut with a Spellbinders die before stamping the sentiment and rubbing ink on the edges.
 I could not find speech bubble dies for the words on this card so I hand cut them and rubbed each one with ink pad dye before attaching them with foam dots.
 To make these doughnuts more realistic I added Glossy Accents and Bo Bunny Pearlescent Paint to the pink doughnut. I smudged a little glue onto the twisted doughnut before dusting it with glitter 'sugar'.
 I glued sprinkles (free from Whimsy) with Glossy Accents onto the round doughnut.  The glazed long doughnut was decorated like the other pink one.  These doughnut pun cards were fairly easy to create and I am happily adding them to my card stash.  Although the postage stamp frame added to the cheeriness of the card, I think next time I will use it to make a more stamp-like card, perhaps with a foreign country background and numerical pricing.  "Doughnut Stop Crafting!"

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Cameo, Pearls and Gemstone Necklace


Sometimes planning and finding just the right parts are the most time consuming phase of jewelry making. That was the case for this vintage cameo necklace.  The small pink coral hand carved cameo is not quite an antique (100 plus years old), but it is still a beauty discovered in a tray of antique store bits and pieces....priced at about $10-$20.  I hand wire wrapped the small pearls with gold filled 26 gauge wire from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The double strands of gemstones were purchased from a vendor at the Tucson Rock and Gem Show and were probably made by some super patient/skilled person in India.
In this close up you can see the detail of the cameo carving and delicate vermeil? (gold plating over silver) finding.  There was an extra loop on the bottom of the pendant so I added a pearl and gemstone dangle.  A long time ago I purchased the fancy sterling clasp from HM Ben Franklin Crafts just because it was pretty and I knew I would use it ....someday.  I think the filigree clasp with a safety catch is a perfect finish for this 'someday' project. This jewelry project made me very happy as it turned out better than I imagined and gives me more reason to search antique stores and hoard 'pretties' for future one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. The magpie bird keeps flying and searching for shiny things. LOL!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tacos Puzzle Card



I was really excited to try out the Pink & Main puzzle die and I had a Whimsy stamp set that was still pristine.....so this card was the result.  Using light weight card stock from a marker paper pad, I stamped my Avery Elle 'happy anniversary' and Whimsy tacos/words.  Black Memento ink and Copic markers were used.  Next I used my Xyron adhesive machine to apply adhesive to the back of the stamped marker paper before I pressed it onto Doodlebug Design printed card stock from a 6x6  pad.  This two layered card stock sheet was now sturdy enough to die cut into puzzle pieces.  Because this puzzle has only 35 pieces, I didn't think it would be too hard to put it together to take the above photo...but I guess I'm not as good at puzzle making as I thought.  Mostly, the puzzle was hard to assemble because it kept sliding around....thin pieces made them non-interlocking, but three layers of card stock would have been impossible to cut with the die.  I suggest that you make a frame to assemble the puzzle on so the recipient won't get frustrated.  Also taking a photo of the card before die cutting into puzzle pieces would make life easier for the one who receives it.
Here is what the back of the card looks like disassembled. This would be a hard even for an expert puzzle maker. LOL!  I think I'll make a puzzle birthday card for my son but maybe I won't give him a photo guide or a puzzle frame....gotta keep his life challenging. Hahaha!



Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Rosemary and Olive Tempenade Scones

Are you doing more cooking these days?  I think it helps to keep busy and making something yourself is satisfying.  I was planning to make my usual cream scones but I lacked heavy cream.  What I had in my refrigerator was Greek yogurt and soymilk. While considering whether they would work in my usual scone recipe, I spied another recipe for savory scones.  I was intrigued and delighted that I had all the ingredients except for the heavy whipping cream.  Since I thought that the tang of yogurt would combine well with rosemary and olive tempenade, I decided to give this new recipe a try. Here is my altered version:

                                           Rosemary and Olive Tempenade Scones

2 cups whole grain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter (cut into pieces)
2 tablespoons of olive tempenade
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons soymilk

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter to make coarse crumbs. Stir in minced rosemary and olive tempenade.  Mix the yogurt with the soymilk and reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Add the 1 cup + 3 T. of yogurt mixture to the flour mixture to form a dough.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a 1/2" thick sheet. Cut the dough into 24 pieces.  Place the squares of dough on parchment lined baking sheets.  Brush the dough squares with the reserved yogurt/soymilk mixture.  Bake the scones at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

I made 24 scones from the recipe but they were elf-sized so next time I'll make bigger ones for people with big mouths...LOL!  If you are home with time to spare (who isn't?) give this recipe a try and feel free to alter it to suit what is in your refrigerator. Be creative and enjoy your edible experiment!

P.S. Besides crafting and cooking, I enjoy collecting vintage and antique ceramic pieces.  The flat bowl in this photo is one I purchased for very little....such a lucky find! It is well marked on the back so its origin and approximate age can be traced.  I love it because it is usable and pretty...so hard to believe it survived approximately 100 years of use.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Welcome Precious Baby Boy Card

 I just couldn't wait to ink up the Stamp Market marbled background stamp.  I made a bunch of tests using various white and cream card stock and some ink pads I had floating around on my craft desk.  I experimented with cheap ink pads because I knew that eventually the colors would get muddy.  I dragged various colors along the design and misted the inked stamp with water. One of the resulting faux background papers had colors that I thought would make a great baby card.  Since I do need one in a few months, I began assembling the parts for a not 'too girly' baby card.  My favorite image in the Whimsy Stamp set is the giraffe so I made him the focal point.  This stamp set has a matching die set which included the BABY die that I used on pearlescent blue card stock..  I used the Lawn Fawn rectangle rickrack die to cut out a yellow card with the top fold still attached.  I would have left the card like this but then I noticed that the inside of the yellow rickrack card was smudged so I attached it to a plain blue folded card.  Now the card looks like a baby blanket which is appropriate....  YAY!...card saved! The die cut giraffe was colored with Copic pens.  The pretty pastel ribbon is a Heiko product. The mini heart shaped yellow buttons is from my stash of heart shaped embellishments.  Even though I never really had a direction for this card, I am happy with the outcome which made use of my newly marbled card stock.  If you are still staying home quarantined, stamp marbling will keep you amused for a long time and is less messy than real paper marbling. After my stamping session, I was rewarded by a stack of marbled backgrounds which you may see in upcoming projects.  Thanks for visiting this blog and please do return often...leave a comment if you have some spare time. Hugs!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Quilter's Card


 When I saw the Pink & Main quilt die, I knew it would make a perfect card for a friend of mine who can whip up quilts like magic.  Admiring her, I purchased a new sewing machine and some great fabric, but alas no quilt has magically appeared...sigh!  This quilt die has allowed me to sort of 'quilt'.  It was fun to cut out the red card stock border and punch out the inside pieces.  Next I die cut a second piece from printed card stock.  I used a glue pen (Martha Stewart) to adhere the red quilt frame to the card front and add in the printed pieces.  The Ai stamp was stamped and colored in with Copic pens before fussy cutting and attaching to the card with adhesive foam squares.  The sentiment that came with the Ai set was printed on a rectangle of scrap paper and attached with Heiko double stick tape.  I photographed two versions of the card to show you how just changing the printed paper and arrangement of the elements can make a difference in the look of the final product.  I like the card on the left; my husband likes the other one.  The insides of the cards were left blank because that way I can use them for thank you, birthday, or any occasion cards. (Click on the top photo if you want to see the details of the cards.)  If we are still on lockdown and you need craft supplies, you can try calling HM Ben Franklin Crafts to get a drive-by pick up. As always, it is our privilege to serve you and we hope you will continue to be our loyal customers. Happy Crafting!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Peach Crumble Revised Recipe

Here is a recipe that I usually make with fresh peaches, but since I am trying to use up all the fruit I have stashed in my freezer, I decided to try making peach crumble with cut up frozen peaches.  I altered the original recipe by replacing some of the flour with coconut flour and some of the sugar with coconut sugar because I wanted it to be a bit healthier.  Anyway, since most of us are home with time to cook, I decided to share this revised peach crumble recipe. Enjoy!

                                                       Peach Crumble Revised

2 cups frozen cubed peaches
3/4 cup sugar(mixture dark brown and coconut)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup flour (mixture of whole wheat and coconut)
1 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
dash of salt
sprinkle of cinnamon

Put the peaches in a medium sized glass baking dish.  Mix the sugars and butter. Add in the flours and oatmeal.  Stir in the salt and cinnamon.  Crumble this mixture over the peaches and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the crumble starts to brown and the peaches are juicy and bubbling. Serve warm.


Sunday, June 7, 2020

Stay Paw-sitive Card

 I made this card using the Sneaky Kitties stamp set (Evelin T. Designs) and the Dandy Day (Lawn Fawn)stamps and dies.  The foliage with kitties were stamped with VersaMagic black ink and heat embossed with Nuvo powder. Next I played around with watercolors for the background colors.  After the watercolor paper was dry, I added more color with Copic pens and flicked on silver Liqutex paint.  The kitties have grass stained faces from rolling around in the greenery LOL!  The mouse with dandelion was stamped on white marker paper and heat embossed.  The mouse was colored in with Copic pens and crystal glitter was glued onto the dandelion.  The sentiment from the Sneaky Kitties set was stamped on a strip of white marker paper and glued down.  At first I thought this card would send a good encouraging message to everyone, but then I realized that the word 'positive' might be thought of as being positive for the virus. Aargh!  Oh well, it's the intent that counts.
 P.S. My husband thought the kitties were bears so to him the card didn't make a lot of sense.


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Gemstone Chain Bracelets

I felt like making a new bracelet for myself as a reward for obeying the quarantine rules.  Here are four that I created.  Top row:1) chrysoprase, pearls and sterling silver parts, 2) rutilated quartz, pearls and sterling silver parts Bottom row: labrodorite, pearls and gold filled parts, 2) semi-precious gemstone chains, pearls and sterling silver parts.  Click on the photo to see the bracelets close up.  Guess which one I'm keeping?  Which one do you like? The three extra ones will go into my locker box when HM Ben Franklin Crafts opens for business....soon? They are open now!!!!  Let's go shopping!

P.S. Two readers picked the green bracelet as the one I kept for myself, but I chose the gold one.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Floral 'Bloom' Card

I love flowers, but I haven't made a floral card in ages.  As I was tidying up my craft supply rolling carts (I ran out of shelf space LOL!), three never used products jumped up and said, "Use Us!" Being an obedient crafter, I listened.  I was pleased that I did.  It was so simple to use the Sizzix Tim Holtz die and cut the front of a Paper Arts linen card. Next, I adhered a piece of pearlescent vellum to the back of the card front because even though I originally imagined the card with a cut away front, the openings were too big to leave without a back.  I stamped the flowers on watercolor paper with red Memento ink and stamped the leaves with green ink. (I used Memento ink because it is waterproof and I planned to water color over the design.)  I am a very crude watercolorist but I tried my best with Kuretake watercolors and Prisma watercolor pencils.  The finished blossoms and leaves were die cut and attached with foam squares.  (The stamp and die floral set was a freebie from a magazine, but there are so many floral sets available that you can substitute one of your choice.)  The final step to this very simple card was to die cut 'Bloom' from gold foil paper and attach it with glue.
I have a lot of free time these days (who doesn't) due to self quarantining, so I decided to fancy up my envelope with the Sizzix envelope flap die set.  The envelope that came with the linen card didn't have a flap that matched the die shape but luckily I just happened to have a matching green one that didn't have a card. (Sometimes things just work out that way....hooray!) This was a good card making day....easy crafting and an addition to my all occasion card stash.  Hope you are having 'good crafting' days too!


Monday, May 25, 2020

Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl Bread

 This year for Easter, I decided not to make hot-crossed buns or even my biscotti bunnies.  I saw on a Martha Stewart site a recipe for Chocolate Cinnamon Bread and I thought it would be a good challenge.  I am very proud that I was able to successfully follow the recipe and obtain a tasty end product. 
The recipe was a bit complicated and probably not for a novice bread baker.  Considering that I had some very old yeast and gluten flour, it was an Easter miracle that it came out with a good texture and moist deliciousness.
Since I know that this recipe is a good one, next time I think I will make several loaves to share with others.  This virus quarantine gives lots of us time to try new things. I hope you'll look for the silver lining in the dark clouds and enjoy learning while waiting for the sun to shine again. Aloha to all!


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Birthday Cards for Future Use

 Having lots of free time (due to the quarantine), I decided to make cards for my stash.  Also I decided to ink up stamps that have never gotten 'inky'.  I chose a Hero Arts postal background stamp and two Mama Elephant stamps sets that I thought would pair well with the background.
 Because the cute creature stamps came with dies, it was easy to color them and die cut them out.  The postal background stamp was used with dark blue Memento ink on Lawn Fawn speckled card stock.  HM Ben Franklin Crafts has an ample supply of inexpensive stickers which I used on these cards...so many cupcakes with foil edging. Oh yes, the Lawn Fawn 'celebrate' die was used on blue foil paper to create the delicate word on the top card.  Well, that's all for this post.  Hope you're keeping busy crafting cards and other cute items.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Love You to the Moon and Back Card

 This card was made with no one special in mind, but with all the nieces and nephews having sons, I know that this 'boy' card will come in handy someday.  I was playing around with watercolor paper and Distress dyes but nothing stood out. I added some Liquitex gold spots (put the ink on a stiff brush and flick it) and then the piece seemed just right for an outer space card featuring the Whimsy images.  In the stamp set there is the sentiment, "Love You to the Moon and Back" which I stamped on black paper and heat embossed with silver Hero Arts powder.  The arrow was hand cut and points to the moon which was made from Yupo paper sponge dyed with alcohol inks. (I couldn't find my moon stamp with craters so this was my solution.)  The space creature and ship were stamped on Pearlized Silver Cardstock (Paper Accents) and heat embossed with Nuvo black sparkle powder.  I like the look of the metallic spaceship. Copic pens added color and Glossy Accents added some shine.
 For the inside of the card (click on the image to see the details better), I stamped the rocket on gold pearlized cardstock and heat embossed with HA silver powder.  Nuvo Crystal Drops added some color.  The words were stamped and heat embossed with silver powder and silver Liquitex was flicked on the entire inside of the card so the rocket would appear to be in outer space.  Most of these supplies were purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  If the stores are still closed due to the pandemic, I hope that you will be patient and know that we are trying to reopen as soon as possible. HouseMart Hugs!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Banana Blueberry Muffins, Mom's Banana Bread Recipe Re-make


 What are you doing to keep busy during the virus days?  I've been doing some baking to use up my 'someday' stockpile of frozen fruits.  (I throw cut up fresh fruit in the freezer when we go on a trip in the hope to someday put them in baked goods.)  In this recipe, I used frozen bananas and blueberries. I substituted 1 cup of the wheat flour with coconut flour just to see how it would affect the recipe.  (Cooking is always like a science experiment to me.)  I discovered the batter was a little thick so I added a splash of soy milk to thin it out.  Anyway, I really liked the way these muffins taste, so my experiment was a success.  I put the baked muffins in the freezer....hahaha! They took up the space once occupied by the fruit!


                                                      Banana Blueberry Muffins

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
3 ripe or frozen bananas (mashed)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
soymilk for thinning batter
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs and mix in the bananas.  Stir in the flours. Add baking soda and salt.  Thin the batter with soy milk if necessary.  Gently mix in the blueberries.  Spoon the batter into 12 paper lined muffin cups.  Place the muffin tin into a cold oven and turn it on to 350 degrees.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes until a knife inserted in a muffin comes out clean.

Note: The original banana bread recipe is very old.  I don't think ovens way back then had a preheat setting which is why the loaf was put in a cold oven.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Mother's Day 2020 Cards

 This card is going to a hard working doctor who is also the mother of two adorable twin boys.  It was pretty simple to make except for all the fussy cutting. Starting with a pre-made step card blank ( Hot Off the Press), I chose some Graphic 45 printed paper which reminded me of wallpaper.  The package of 5 cards comes with a pattern to cut printed card stock to cover the card, but it was not correctly sized so I ended up measuring and cutting my own pattern.  I stamped the Penny Black image twice, once on a printed paper and once on white marker card stock.  After coloring the image with Copic markers I cut it out and glued (Martha Stewart glue pen) it onto the printed chair before cutting out the entire chair and sitting lady.  I adhered the chair with foam dots.
 The side view shows how more dimension was added with a 'happy mother's day' banner (Lawn Fawn) and small roses.
 Here is another version of the card I made for myself and mothers in blogland who would rather craft than clean. LOL!  I used Ai stamp sets for the images and saying.
 I made the same sitting lady fussy cut image for the inside of the card and added a stamped (Dandelion Designs) sentiment on a Sizzix die cut.  I hope all of the messy, crafty mothers out in blogland have a good day of relaxation and crafting.....cleaning can wait!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Vintage Cameo Locket Necklace


Being home for an unknown length of time (due to the Corona virus) does have some benefits.  My husband has become stir crazy and started building shelving and organizing our clutter. Yay!  I have been shamed into a doing a little tidying up too.  On my barely visible side kitchen counter I discovered a myriad of items including the intricate curved metal piece that is holding the cameo.  Rather than tucking it away in a box of jewelry findings, I was inspired to create a vintage looking piece for myself.  Whenever I travel I try to peek into a few antique shops to pick up bits and pieces for my 'someday' creations.
Both the filigree part and the locket were found separately but somehow seemed perfect together.  The cameo (lady head carved out of shell) is set in a locket which is not a common find.  A gold filled bail and jump rings were used to combine the parts.
The gemstone chain was purchased at a trade show from a vendor who said it was made by hand in India. The bail was a lucky find from my ancient stash. I think I found it in a BFC sale basket of odds and ends.  As many of you know, I am a magpie (bird who collects shiny objects) and often gather pretty things for future use.  Making this necklace really made me happy because it closely resembled the finished piece I saw in my mind before I started(a rare occurrence) and kept me from dwelling on the local happenings with all the quarantines.  No worries; just craft and smile.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Llama Birthday Card

 I bought the Avery Elle stamp and die sets quite a while ago because I knew that it would make a great birthday card for my friend who adores llamas.  Recently, while playing with a Hero Arts background stamp, I created a background that somehow seemed just right for the llama images. (I think the colors and swirly pattern looks like an ethnic South American fabric.)  To make the llamas even more special, I used a glue pen to adhere white Fun Flock to them before die cutting them out.  I had to fussy cut the Lawn Fawn stamped conversation bubbles and rubbed some lavender ink on the edges to make them less white than the llamas.  The die cut cactus had white edges that were distracting,  so I colored them in with a light green Copic pen. (This is a trick you can use on the edges of die cut images so that they will blend into the background.)  Finally, on the back of the card I stamped a maker's mark from a Lawn Fawn set so that the recipient would know that I made the card especially for her.  It amused me to make this card for my friend and took my mind off the feeling of impending virus doom.  Send a friend an envelope of cheer and make yourself happy too!