Thursday, September 29, 2011


We all know I idolize Tim Holtz, nothing new there. I'm still learning a lot of his techniques he's had published for six or more years. One technique I tried recently was making foam stamps out of die cuts. Read about Tim's stamps here.

I created a whole bunch of stamps - one being Tim Holtz Fanciful Flight die. I should've used the first stamp before I made all of them... I don't know how I feel about them. I tried using regular ink pads and it didn't look very good. 

Here's my foam stamp, painted with paint dabbers:

Here's how it turned out:

I used silver and gold dabbers on a flourish stamp:

Meh. I like Tim's tag a lot better than my butterfly and definitely better than my flourish. I'll have to try a few other things... I don't know that I'll be using any of these stamps again. Good thing it was only a $2 project!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


My feet hurt. My job is the easiest money I've ever made, but I'm on my feet nearly all day. Definitely something I'm not used to. When I get home all I want to do is sleep and never be on my feet.

I have a lot to blog about. I've crafted, I've found some awesome ideas on pinterest (what else is new?), I've cooked up a storm, and I've spray painted a bit. I just have to find the energy.

Monday, September 12, 2011


My "Little Sister" had her birthday party on Sunday... she wanted to have a birthday party in the summer since her birthday is in the winter. The cute little thing invited me to her party! Since I spend money on her every week I was thinking about not getting her a gift, but I had to make her a card!

Remember the scrap paper card I made for my friend Amy? I whipped another one up for Jade! I was inspired by this post to do a little more. It didn't turn out exactly the way I planned, but still dang cute!

I used a spellbinders die to cut some shapes, then used three layers of foam tape to adhere the shape with the sentiment.

I seriously LOVE how quick and easy these cards are!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


This is it! The last sketch challenge from Moxie. This one is the Vertical Sketch Challenge and you can submit your project here, since I know you want to join us.

This is the sketch.

Remember the sun stamps I got for Erin's project? I've had them sitting on my desk since I received them, and I refused to store them until they were used at least once. I think I came up with something pretty awesome!

Now, I don't think anyone in this blogging world ever expresses the sheer frustration of paper piecing. I've never done it before this project. I stamped each ray of the sun separately along with the center, cut them out, then painfully pieced them together. The clouds came from leftover cardstock that I cut out also. 

I have bad, horrible wrists. Last year I had surgery to remove a ganglion cyst from my left wrist, and went through many months of therapy to help with my chronic pain in both wrists. Now that I don't have insurance I'm just dealing with the pain. Spending so much time tediously cutting small pieces of paper was super painful. 

I can confidently say that I will never paper piece again. At least until the pain is under control.

I don't think I could've chosen a worse hobby to pick up... bird watching would've been better. Or watching TV. Something that didn't strain my wrists :)

Negative Nancy aside - I am happy with the results!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


My friends,

I have discovered the magic of Photoshop.

I have to be honest, I found this program to be a little overwhelming. It can do so much stuff it's ridiculous and I had no idea it was such a complicated program.

I found this site via Pinterest and I've done four tutorials in just a few days. Granted, two of those days I had off work and did the tutorials the entire time Adam was at work, but I'm still dang proud of myself!

My favorite one is my Gandhi one I did yesterday:

I also made this one that doesn't look too great but I learned a lot while doing it. After three hours of being stuck on step 6, I finally realized that I don't have CS 2 or better, and I can't warp the rainbow into an arch.

This one doesn't look as cool as the tutorial either, but I still think it looks awesome.

This is the very first tutorial I did. It took about five hours because I couldn't find an easy way to write all the words in different sizes and fonts. Easy process, just tedious for the way I did it.

Have you created any digital art recently?

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I love Paper Crafts Connection. I really do. They have great posts, great ideas, great giveaways, great blog hops... I wish I could justify getting the Paper Crafts magazine every month. Anyone want to volunteer to convince my husband for me? :)

Last week there was a Freebie Friday post called "Betsy's Scrap Basket Challenge - Revisited". It had a great way to reuse your scraps of paper into a card. I popped this baby out in 20 minutes and gave it to my friend who had a birthday last week! The scraps are from a We R Memory Keepers pad called 72 & Sunny.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I don't understand why CAS projects are almost never simple in their execution. This card took me so much longer than I anticipated!

This card is for The Square Sketch Challenge in the Moxie Fab World. And again, this challenge isn't over until the 19th, so still plenty of time! *wink, wink*

Sketch designed by Kim Kesti
My card:

My camera skills aren't mastered enough to show you the detail of those circles, so bear with me. I used Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles die template to create each circle. I adhered each negative-circle paper (instead of using the circles that the template cuts out) on top of each other to create the multi-layered (7, to be exact!) card. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I actually can't believe I'm participating in another challenge. I always have so many ideas but I never actually DO them. Lack of commitment, time (HA!), motivation, actual creativity... I always let something get in my way. With the last 7 days off and being able to craft with my bestie, I've been able to complete projects for two more challenges!

This one is for the Shapes Sketch Challenge in the Moxie Fab World. The challenge doesn't end until the 19th, so you have plenty of time to join in! I had a lot of fun with this one!

Sketch #66 by Nina Bracket

This is what I crafted:

The lace is from Prima Marketing, a lace called "Alencon Col" (?) that I purchased from Two Peas in a Bucket. The heart and wings are from Tim Holtz that I lightly painted.

Thanks for joining in on my quest for happiness and love! Have a fabulous FOUR day week!

Monday, September 5, 2011


I've been having a fabulous weekend with Erin. She leaves tonight, and I will be very sad. I literally CANNOT wait until she moves here. We've played so many games, made and ate a lot of wonderful food, talked a lot and crafted a lot. I literally feed off of her creativity, happiness and love.

I found a new blog just now (thank you AGAIN, Pinterest!)

It's called A Creative Operation (super cute name!) and I already have a million ideas flowing through my head from browsing the blog just a few minutes. I thought I'd better write the thoughts down before I forgot them.

First of all, a smash book:

details here

details here

Along the same lines, a junk journal:

tutorial found here
a file folder album

a calendar journal:

a tea file (would be wasted space for me, maybe a gift? or change into something else):

apparently these weaved paper bows are easy:

a recipe tag book made from a Crystal Light container (for a gift):

SO much inspiration!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fabulous Felt

I honestly think the hardest part of these challenges is taking the photo. I've read a lot of How-To's online and Erin recently got me Photoshop and I've been playing around with that to fix the pictures. I still don't think they're turning out right.

Anyway! This post is for the cards I finally finished (and luckily in time!) for Moxie Fab World's Fabulous Felt Challenge! Of course, the challenge was to use felt in a paper crafted project in an innovative way. I've never used felt in a paper project and it was fun to see how versatile it is.

I had to make two cards for this challenge because I couldn't decide which one I liked better! I started out with using my Tattered Florals die by Tim Holtz and went through my endless supply of buttons to attach one to the middle of each flower. I stamped and embossed a simple sentiment on the lower right corner of textured cardstock, adhered the flowers to the cardstock and cardstock to the base. Easy peasy, as Cath would say!

Now I'm off to see what everyone else has submitted. I hope you will join in on the fun!


Yesterday was my brother-in-law Jerrod's birthday. I told him I wanted to make him a cake or cupcakes since I've been wanting to try new recipes and enjoyed decorating my rainbow cupcakes. I wanted to make something easy. I found some cool cupcake wrappers at Hobby Lobby that claimed you don't need a muffin pan to bake cupcakes in these wrappers. They claimed that they would hold their shape if you just fill them with cake batter, put them on a cookie sheet and bake like normal. They lied. Look at these abominations!

WhatThe. Fudge

Me: Jerrod, your cupcakes came out all jacked up.
Jerrod: lol
Me: Tell me what you want - I will make anything. Anything at all.
Jerrod: (10 minutes later) Cream filled cupcakes.
Me: (thinking: what the crap!? I can't make those! What is he thinking!? I'm going to tell him no.) You mean like Hostess Cupcakes? Chocolate cupcake with cream in the center and frosting on top?
Jerrod: Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking.
Me: (cursing. thinking: fudge that! Who does he think I am? Rosie from Sweetapolita??) Um. K.
Jerrod: That sounds really good.
Me: (thinking: of course it does. I'm not Betty Crocker. Wait... does Betty have a recipe for that?)

I immediately Googled "Hostess Cupcake Recipe". The second hit was this fabulous blog: Bake at 350. She got the recipe from another fabulous blog, Loves To Eat, who got the original recipe from the Food Network Magazine, page 107 of the Feb.March 09 issue.

From Bake at 350

From Bake at 350
Oy to the vey. They looked delicious! Scrumptious! Fabulous! Decadent! To die for! I told Jerrod I would make them. Come to find out, he was joking about the whole thing. He didn't think you could make cream filled cupcakes.

I was stressing out. I made the abomination cupcakes on Monday night and we were going to celebrate his birthday on Tuesday night. I had to work on Tuesday until 2:30, so right after work I rushed to the nearest grocery store and bought the ingredients for the Hostess cupcakes. I got home at 3:00, ran inside with the groceries, and frantically dumped ingredients into my Kitchen Aid to get them done before 6:00-ish, since we were going to meet Jerrod at Applebee's to celebrate his birthday even though his birthday was on Wednesday, not Tuesday.

Ok. Wait. Back up. This is where it gets really confusing.

What Jerrod thought was the plan:
His girlfriend and my best friend, Erin, was travelling to Chicago this week for a work event. Jerrod was going to drive down to Chicago on his birthday, Wednesday, and would bring her back up to town for the weekend. Adam and I wanted to celebrate his birthday with him, so we told him to meet us at Applebee's on Tuesday, the day before his birthday.
What actually was the plan, and went down:
Erin actually flew into Chicago on Tuesday, rented a car and drove to my house immediately after she landed (three hour drive, mind you!). Jerrod thought she was arriving in Chicago around dinnertime.
Erin helped me with the last-minute details on the cupcakes while I sent Adam to get balloons filled with helium. 
The three of us met up at Applebee's to set up decorations and waited for Jerrod to arrive.
Erin was sitting at the table, but the balloons were blocking the line of sight to the entrance so he didn't see her right away. Muhahaha!! Oh, and he loved his card!
Here are some pictures of the final product, three hours in the making!

Our waitress, Amanda, was awesome and our friend Kirstie was working that night. They came out and sang to him to add to the embarrassment factor :)  We gave them a cupcake for helping out.

The birthday boy:

As for the recipe, I made a few notations for myself that I thought may be useful to others. Next time I will probably halve the icing recipe - there was SO much left over.


Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
(adapted from Food Network magazine, modified by Lovestoeat, Bake at 350, and me)

For the Cupcakes
1 & ¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 & ¼ cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 cup marshmallow crème

For the Ganache
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Icing (may need to halve)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 & ½ - 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Place paper liners in muffin tin for about 20 cupcakes.

Prepare the cupcakes: Bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Using a mixer, beat the eggs into the chocolate, then mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about ¼ cup batter per cupcake, fill liners more than ½ full) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. They will sink in the middle… they'll puff up when filled later.

Cool in the pans for about 25 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

For the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in ½ cup powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow crème. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium star tip. Set aside or refrigerate.

For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl (I used a glass bowl). Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, use the filling in the pastry bag and insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top. Fill until the cupcake is heavier, do not overfill. It's OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache.

Spoon a little ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, ¼ teaspoon vanilla, the milk and powdered sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small, plain tip (#2 works well); pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Store in the refrigerator. Best when chilled at least an hour.