Saturday, May 23, 2015

Finishing Strong Blog Hop

Operation Write Home, a charity that has supported heroes since 2007 with handmade cards, will be closing later this year.  If you have or plan to make cards for service members that are deployed, you need to send them to OWH by August 1st.  

I'm happy and sad for this at the same time.  It is wonderful that more of our military men and women are home.  At the same time, it is a little sad because this is organization has blessed the lives of so many with the help of YOU!!  You can find out more information of what they need to get them through 2015 HERE.
Typically when I make red, white and blue cards they are what I consider the true blue and red, like our American flag.  This time I went with the a lighter shade on both.  Hope you like it.

Stamps:  Build a Birthday (new 2015-2016), Big Day
CS:  Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Watermelon Wonder, Cherry on Top DP
Ink:  Bermuda Bay, Watermelon Wonder, Pool Party
Misc.: Dimensionals, gems, extra large oval punch, scallop border punch

Please visit OWH to see more wonderful cards that have been shared for this event.

Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

VC Rocks! Blog Hop

I was putting away some framelits with the corresponding stamp set (best tip I've read in a while to store the framelit inside the stamp set case with the stamps) and I saw the Happy Watercolor set and thought how I really wanted to use this set and I never did.  I decided this would be the set I would use for the hop as it is a retired set.

The strips on the side are done using the bokeh technique.  I find this a fun technique simply because I like watching the colors spread.  

Stamps:  Happy Watercolor
CS:  watercolor, WW
Ink:  Tuxedo Black, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, White Craft
Markers:  Cucumber Crush
Reinkers:  Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight
Misc.:  gems, sequin trim (I used leftovers from a paper pumpkin project)

Participants in the hop are able to link to their blog starting Friday night through Sunday.  You can find all of the participants by going to the VC Rocks! blog.  Check the VC Rocks! blog again on Monday so you are sure to see it all.

Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Patriotic Jars

I wanted to jazz up the mantle a little with something patriotic for Memorial Day.  If I can, I prefer to use what I already have rather than buy more things.  I was on Instagram and saw jars that were painted through Michael's.  I'm loaded with jars and I have a lot of acrylic paint so I made a mental note to do this sweet little project.  It took about an hour and half to get the three jars painted.  Add some flowers and it is a nice decoration that brightens up that area.  

I will seal the jars before I put them away because the paint will scrape off easily since I used acrylics.  Hopefully if I pack them away carefully I will get many more uses out of them.  Then again, distressed is still a popular look.
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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dryer Balls

I read about dryer balls a while ago and had some yarn to make them.  Dryer balls are said to cut drying time by 20% and they soften your clothes in the dryer so you don't need to add a dryer sheet.  I had read that you can put some lavender oil drops on the balls to scent them for the laundry but I didn't do that because not everyone in our house likes that scent.

I had 3 skeins of each color and ended up with a dozen balls.  In order for the balls to felt, you need to use 100% wool.  I had some other yarn I was going to use that said it was wool but upon reading the label, it was 80% wool, not good enough.  It has to be 100% wool. After I wound the balls, I used a needle to thread the ends into the balls.
Then I put the balls in the legs of some hose and tied between the balls with linen thread to help the balls hold their shape.  One place I read said not to use the wool yarn to tie between the balls because it would melt to the hose and be a hassle.
I boiled the balls for 10 minutes to help the felting process begin.  Then I put the water and hose with the balls into the washing machine and washed them on the hottest setting and dried them.  I did this twice before using them.  Some of the blue from the hose bled onto the balls but it hasn't affected clothes dried with them.
This is what they looked like after they were done.  3 of the balls were in the dryer being used when I took the picture.  I typically use 6 balls in the dryer and it has definitely has cut the drying time.  The dryer we have been using in the kitchen used to have to run 2 times before the clothes were dried but now they are done with one drying cycle.  So happy to be saving electricity and money.

One thing I learned is not to wind the balls neatly like you would for knitting or crocheting.  Wrap it but go all different directions forming the ball.  I had a couple that I had to trim because a portion (it looked like a cap) fell off from the ball.  Those balls were fine and usable after I trimmed them.  I'm thinking if you spent more and got super good quality wool yarn they would felt better than mine have, but that said, they have worked well and will felt more with each use in the dryer.  In my case, it is good to have a dozen balls because a ball or two goes missing when my kids do their laundry.  Eventually they make it back to the dryer.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Berry Treat

I've had this to share for a couple of months and didn't remember until today.  My husband made us this berry treat on a Sunday night a couple of months ago.  I think it would be a nice addition to a brunch, afternoon tea or a baby shower.  It was light, refreshing, and not overly sweet.  The pastry itself could have used a little more time in the oven to brown up, but what he did works too.  :)

Berry Tarts

1 pkg. refrigerated pie pastry
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4C confectioners' sugar
1/4t almond extract
2C blueberries
2C raspberries
1/4C slice almonds toasted (*he omitted this for the kids)

Preheat oven to 400.  On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry sheets.  Roll each to 1/8" thickness.  Cut with a 3" cookie cutter to make 8 circles or shapes.  Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; prick holes in pastries with a fork.  Bake 8-10 min. or until golden brown.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.  In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and almond extract until blended.  Spread over cooled pastries.  Top with berries, pressing lightly to adhere.  Sprinkle with almonds and confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Note - to toast the almonds, spread on a 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Or, spread the nuts in a dry nonstick skillet and heat them over low heat until they are lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Vivid Vases

This is a total CASE.  The ribbon is different because I mounted my bottom layers before getting the ribbon on, so I improvised.  I loved this card mostly because it is white with splashes of color.  I'm usually drawn to cards that are white on white because of the clean, bright look.  I went to Connie Babbert's site to link you up to the card but I can't find it.  No search bar on the site that I saw.  I googled for it.  Alas, her card didn't pop up.  I'm surprised by that.
Stamps:  Vivid Vases
CS:  Coastal Cabana, Strawberry Slush, Crushed Curry, Basic Black, WW
Ink:  Tuxedo Black
Markers or Blendabilities:  Crushed Curry, Strawberry Slush, Coastal Cabana
Misc.:  Strawberry Slush stretch ruffle trim, Rhinestones, flower punch

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Watercolor Bokeh Technique

I've been wanting to try the bokeh technique since I saw a card using it.  I also wanted to use the Lotus Blossom set.  When I think of lotus blossoms, I think of McKee Gardens in Florida.  They had several ponds with lily pads and lotus blossoms.  I always thought that lotus blossoms sat low to the water but they can and do actually pop up on a stem above the water.  I wanted to use lotus colors, but also the colors in the pond.  Bokeh was a perfect way to go.

Stamps:  Lotus Blossom, Sassy Salutations
CS:  WW, Watercolor, Coastal Cabana, Mossy Meadow, Lost Lagoon
Ink:  Old Olive, Mossy Meadow, Primrose Petals, Strawberry Slush, Blushing Bride, White
Re-inkers:  Mossy Meadow, Coastal Cabana, Lost Lagoon
Misc.:  Lost Lagoon Stitched Satin Ribbon

This next card is essentially a CASE from Mary Brown, just different colors.
Stamps:  Best Day Ever
CS:  WW, Watercolor, Tangerine Tango, Island Indigo, Pool Party
Ink:  White
Re-inkers & Markers:  Tangerine Tango, Island Indigo, Pool Party
Misc.:  Ribbons & buttons from Sycamore Street

I have one more background I made but haven't stamped a greeting on yet.  It is the same colors used in the tutorial on Splitcoaststampers.  If you haven't tried this yet, it is easy, messy and fun to watch the colors spread.  I found on one I shouldn't get the paper too wet.
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