Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Meredith's Note Cards

Well, I'm a few days late for my weekly update, but better late than never!  It's been busy as ever, and I haven't been crafting, so don't really have anything new to show off this week.  However, I realized that I forgot to post the note cards that I made for my daughter, Meredith, so wanted to do that real quick.  I think I mentioned this awhile back- I found this cool "M" stamp in the dollar bin at Michael's, and thought it would be cute to put on a little note card for Meredith.  The need for something to write thank you cards for Christmas gifts prompted me to go ahead with that project, and I like how it turned out.
I made four cards for her- two of them had a dark pink ribbon instead of the green, but I ran out of that color and did green on the other two.  If I'd had more of the pink ribbon, I would have done bows- I think it needs a little something else.  In any case, Meredith really liked these.  Her favorite color is blue, and I really liked the mix of colors in this paper.  I used one of the Spellbinder Nestabilities label dies for the piece that I stamped with the M, as well as the pink frame.  Love those Nestabilities!  I wish I could find more of them locally, but Craft Warehouse is the only store that carries them here, and they have a limited selection.  The inside is blank, and Meredith did indeed write her thank you cards in these.  I ended up making these in the standard A2 size, rather than note card size, because the M stamp was bigger than I remembered, and would have been too overwhelming on a smaller card.  It worked out well, because I already have some A2 envelopes, and had been having trouble finding notecard sized envelopes without the cards.

I sent in my cards for the Thank You card swap, and am now awaiting my swap package- I'm excited to see what everyone else did!  That is my favorite part about the swaps, even more than creating my own, is seeing the ideas and interpretations that other people come up with.  It really helps me to expand my own ideas and creativity.  I have also joined another swap- this one is for Valentine or love-themed tags.  I have never done tags before, so I'm kind of scared...but thankfully, most of the other gals in the swap are also new to tags, so we're all in the same boat!  I have some ideas for mine and have purchased a couple of supplies, but need a few other things, so a trip to Craft Warehouse is in my near future so that I can get started.  We have a long time to get this one done- end of February, but I don't want to put it off and then lose track of time like I did with the thank you cards!

Til next time- happy crafting, everyone!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thank You Card

Hello!  So, last week was the first week back to work after the lovely 2 week holiday vacation.  Ohhhhh, it was rough!  For 3 weeks out of the year (winter and summer vacations), I get to feel what it's like to get adequate sleep.  It's not hard to get used to!  It is certainly hard to go back to getting up so early after a couple weeks of sleeping long and late!  We were all dragging for most of the week.  Consequently, I really did not do much in the way of crafting.  Or cooking.  Or a whole lot of anything but coming home and collapsing at the end of the day.  This week is a little better so far, although I can't say that I ever really "get used to" getting up at 5:45 am.  It's SO early, sigh.

Here's what I did do, though.  I realized on Friday of last week that the due date for the Thank You card swap on PBS Swappers is NEXT Friday.  D'oh!  That meant that I had to figure out a design, make the cards, and ship them out in time to get to Christy for the deadline!  So on Friday evening, dead tired as I was, I was a-making cards.  There were only four of us signed up for this one, so I only had to make 3.  I kind of had an idea for a design in mind, so I just had to flesh it out.  It was all based around a paper that my daughter Meredith picked out when we went to JoAnne's a few weeks ago.  She spotted it and decided she wanted a bookmark made with it.  It was expensive- $1.99 for one 8.5x11 sheet- ouch!  But I went ahead and got it, because I thought it was kind of cool, too.  So I decided to use some of that paper for the Thank You card.  I have plenty left over, so there is still a bookmark in Meredith's future, when I have time to make one!

So, it's the paper on the left that M picked out.  The one on the right is embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder via the Big Shot.  Then there is just a strip of black paper down the edge between the two, topped with some silver ribbon.  The "Thanks" message was printed out on the computer.  It's a pretty simple design, but I like the nice clean look of it.  Hopefully the others in the swap will like it too!

I don't have any other swaps in my immediate future, but am hoping that things will slow down a bit so that I can do more of them, as well as more of the challenges at PBS Swappers.  I have missed the challenges for the last couple of months since I have been so busy!  Hopefully that can change soon.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

The holidays are over- whew!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!  I have been off work for 2 weeks, and it has been blissful...sleeping in, doing lots of cooking, spending time with the family.  Unfortunately, not much time for crafting!  I had a list of things I wanted to do around the house during the time I was off, and that kept me pretty busy.  I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but I made a pretty good dent in the to-do list!

We spent Christmas Eve with my husband's sister and her family and had a lovely time.  She has three kids around my kids' ages, so they always have a good time together.  I decided to make some bookmarks for the kids to go along with their Christmas presents.  I had already made one for my husband's oldest niece, which I posted a few months ago, when I first started making the personalized bookmarks.  This is for his younger neice, who is the same age as my daughter.
 I took this photo late at night when the lighting was not very good, so it's hard to see the colors accurately- here's a closeup, so that you can see the pretty plaid paper in the middle layer.
I made one for my husband's nephew also, but I neglected to get a picture of it.  I think he liked it- it's hard to tell with a 7 year old who never stops moving!

We also stopped in to see my husband's step-father, though we missed seeing his step-sister, as she was at work.  I made both of them bookmarks as well:

They both do a lot of bible study, so I think they will get a lot of use out of these.

I promised a Kitchen Creation after I did my holiday baking, so here is my favorite cookie recipe.  It's actually the oatmeal cookie recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook (wtih one small change), to which I add a bag of white chocolate chips, and some chopped dried cherries.  I don't know what it is, but the combination of the white chocolate and the cherries is just fantastic!  The only thing I do differently than Betty is I use 1/2 cup of butter instead of 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup of shortening.  Shortening is one of those things I don't keep around as a staple, because I use it so infrequently that it inevitibly goes bad before I can use it all.  The texture is slightly different than it would be if I followed the recipe exactly- they would probably rise more than they do, but the flavor is really good.

White Chocolate Chip, Cherry & Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (I use real, but you could sub margerine)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 bag (regular size) white chocolate chips
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries, depending on taste and how much you like

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix butter with sugars, vanilla and egg.  Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir into sugar mixture.  Stir in chips and cherries.  Drop by teaspoofuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 10 minutes until light golden brown.

Sorry, no pics of these- we gave away lots to friends and family, and the few we kept for ourselves were gone pretty quickly!

Next on my crafting agenda is another card swap with the PBS Swappers, this one a Thank You card.  I already have an idea for a design, so I just need to block out some time to put it together.  I also have an idea for some notecards that I want to try out.  Awhile back, I found a cute "M" stamp in the dollar bin at Michaels and bought it, thinking I could make something for my daughter Meredith with it.  Since she got lots of nice gifts for Christmas and needs to write some thank you cards, I thought I'd like to make her some monogrammed notecards for that purpose.  So I am going to give that a try soon- I picked out some paper today, and have a basic design in mind.  I just need to find some notecard-sized envelopes, as Michaels does not carry any by themselves, only with cards.  Guess I will be taking a trip to Paper Zone soon!

That's all for now- I have to go get ready to go back to work tomorrow!  Boy is that going to be tough...I could sure get used to the slower pace of life staying home!  Next time, I will have a Kitchen Creation on healthy cooking, since we're all trying to eat healthy after the new year and lose a few pounds, so look for that next week.  Have a great week everyone!