Sunday, January 30, 2022

Valentine Card, Squirrels with a Balloon

I had a piece of the heart stenciled paper leftover from a previous project so I decided that it would make a great background for a Valentine's Day card for my squirrel-loving grandson.  Art Impressions was selling the cutest set of Valentine squirrel stamp images so of course I HAD to get it.  I picked my favorite image and sentiment which I stamped, colored with Copic pens, and fussy cut. Like the birthday/Valentine card in my last post, I used my Lawn Fawn dies to cut the scalloped card base and coordinating inner panel.  Because the scalloped edge on the left side (folded side) had flattened scallops, I decided to thread ribbon through the folded edge to cover up the less than perfect edge.  It was a good camouflage but then I needed to add some pink to the card.  I think all the colors worked out except the heart balloon was too red so I applied some pink glitter.  While this addition will appeal to my grandson, it obscured the 'LOVE".  Oh well, he can't read yet...LOL!  For a little more interest and bling, I added a purple resin heart sticker. (I purchased the sticker set from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.) I didn't show the inside of this card but it has a fussy cut squirrel (the one holding the acorn) which I think is my favorite.  Hopefully my adorable, cutie-pie grandson will like this card and it will be a Valentine decoration for his room.  Heart Hugs!


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Valentine's Day Birthday Card

I purchased the Lawn Fawn heart stencils to make backgrounds for Valentine's Day cards.  I didn't realize there were two stencils in the package and that when used the hearts don't overlap but form a pleasing random pattern of hearts.  Using a stenciling brush, I applied the pink and purple shades of Hero Arts reactive inks to the openings of one stencil.  Then I applied Lawn Fawn pearlized stenciling paste (sorry, blurry photo of container below) to the other stencil which was laid over the first color stenciled hearts. Before the paste dried I sprinkled on fine crystal glitter.  I really liked the effect (hard to see in the photo) so I decided to use the background for a special card for my sister.  I used two Lawn Fawn dies to cut the lavender card base and the stenciled heart sheet. (If you off-set the scalloped edge die on the card blank you can cut the card so that it still stays in one piece but retains the scallop edge on the left.)  For the rest of the card I added the Simple Stories large scripted 'LOVE'  chipboard sticker (purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts), a paper heart doily, and some die cuts from my hoarded stash of Valentine stuff. 

My sister's birthday is a few days before Valentine's Day so she might be confused that I am sending her a V-day card, but she will be surprised to read the Happy Birthday message inside. LOL! Senior Sister Smiles!


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Yes, I'm still baking those cranberries into everything!  Luckily the fresh cranberries last a long time in the refrigerator.  I started with a simple chocolate scone recipe from Tea Time magazine.  I added about a cup of fresh cranberries, used dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, replaced some of the all purpose white flour with whole wheat and added a candied pecan to the top of each scone. (Yup, still trying to use up the candied pecans, too.)  I was pleased with the resulting scones and they should pair well with my homemade lemon curd (cooked up from lemons grown in my own yard)!


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Valentine Calendar Magnets

Valentine's projects are my favorite because they are so sweet.  I chose to make calendar Valentines because as usual I have Vippies calendars leftover.  I made the background heart paper by applying Hero Arts reactive inks through the LF heart stencil onto plain white cardstock. Then I used the small slimline LF die to cut out the basic shape.
After that it was simple to stamp the designs with clear ink and heat emboss with black sparkle NUVO powder.  The images were colored with Copic pens and dies were used to cut out the images. The words were cut freehand. 
Pop glue dots were used to make the images stand out. The mini calendars have adhesive strips on the backs so they were simple to apply.

House Mart Ben Franklin Crafts sells the magnetic sheets that I used on these calendars.  A Fiskar paper trimmer cuts through the magnetic sheets like butter.  The paper backings were peeled off and the magnets were pressed onto the Valentine calendars. The magnetic sheets add some sturdiness to the calendars but you could use firmer card stock and smaller stronger magnets if you desire.  If you have extra mini calendars this project is a good use for them and will make some sweet Valentine gifts for friends and family.  Give it a try! Hugs!


Friday, January 14, 2022

Chocolate, Cranberry, Ginger, Pecan Cookies

Okay, this recipe used up the last of my giant bag of fresh cranberries.  Were you getting tired of seeing cranberries in every one of my baking posts?  This last tasty cookie is the best use of the cranberries.  They turned out fabulous!  The variety of added ingredients really blended well together and the texture is perfect....crispy AND chewy. I wish I could say I created this recipe but I found it on Martha Stewart's site as 'Sparkling Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies'. Usually, I tweak recipes I find; this time I substituted whole wheat flour for the all purpose, used iodized salt instead of fine Kosher salt and replaced the 'sparkling sugar' with coarse Hawaiian sugar because I wasn't sure what 'sparkling sugar' was.  These cookies are really large so the recipe only makes about 18 cookies.  I think if you make smaller ones each cookie may not have the variety of  ingredients and if you put more cranberries or chocolate in the cookie dough, it may not hold together.  Anyway, who would complain to receive  a few gigantic, delicious cookies?


Monday, January 10, 2022

Tri-fold Birthday Cat Card

I needed a card for a birthday girl who loves cats.  Since I just received a tri-fold stamp and die set from Art Impressions, I decided to test it out.  It was easy to follow the instructions and the card came out as I anticipated. I used watercolor pencils because I thought that my Copic pens would bleed through the card.
I have a hoarded box of birthday stickers so I decided to hunt through it. I found the sticker words and birthday balloon sticker amongst the decorative goodies.
The 'surprise' cupcake is also a sticker from my birthday box of ephemera which seems bottomless.

Since the card was rather plain, I decided to decorate the envelope too.  The lavender birthday banner is a piece of shiny washi tape from Daiso.  I think I got the embossed gold medallion Happy Birthday sticker from Daiso too. For a tester card, this one turned out well and was very easy to create. Well, onward to wrap and mail a gift to the birthday girl!


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Holiday Banana Bread

 When you have three very ripe bananas and half of a very large bag of fresh cranberries leftover, what do you do?  I decided to reinvent my mother's much loved banana bread recipe.  By adding about a cup of fresh cranberries and 1/3 cup of chopped dark chocolate to the recipe and then pressing 1/2 cup of chopped candied pecans onto the top of the batter before baking, you get (after baking for 1 hr.)....Holiday Banana Bread! It is delicious and pretty enough for gift giving.  If you want the original banana bread recipe, please leave a comment with your email address. Did I mention that I bought an extremely large container of candied pecans from Costco?  Be prepared for more recipes to use up the candied pecans....LOL!  P.S. If you ever need baking soda but don't have any in your pantry, you can substitute baking powder (add three times as much). I learned this from Google and it works!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Reindeer Leaping Thank You Card

Here is another reindeer thank you card that I designed to use some holiday dies that I didn't get around to using for Xmas crafts. ( I promise to get started on holiday crafts in the summer next year.) The Hero Arts Fancy die is very subtle and can be used for backgrounds or even shaker cards.  On my card you can barely see the pine trees but I like the effect. There are two layers of glitter sprinkled vellum and only the top one was cut with the HA die.  After stamping the 'Thank You' (very old All Night Media stamp) then heat embossing NUVO silver powder on the bottom vellum piece ( heat may warp the vellum so be cautious),  a very light tape runner was used to stick the two vellum pieces together and down onto the snowflake printed card stock. These three layers were then attached to the card blank with Heiko tape. The reindeer was die cut ( ArtC) from silver foil card stock (DCWV) before gluing onto the top vellum layer.  This card does not show up well in the photograph but I do love the soft, peaceful look of an elegant thank you card. Don't you?