Sunday, July 25, 2010

Love You Pug

Happy Sunday Everyone:

I got up with the dogs at 6 and started on this card.  I've been trying to color this Pug image since about Christmastime and it has just never come out to my satisfaction.  Well, I decided to resize it a bit smaller, and just like that, the coloring became more manageable.  I want to dedicate this card to my dear little friend, Biscuit.  She has been a loyal dog friend for 9 years now and is starting to show her age I'm afraid.  Even with arthritis, blindness and some ear problems, she still manages to give me a smile on a daily basis and she has the sweetest nature of any dog I've ever met.  I love you Biscuit.

and here is the inside of the card:

I colored Mo's Digital Pug Love image with Prisma pencils and Gamsol.  The heart portion of the image was paper pieced with DCWV cardstock.  I used an SU 3-heart punch to make the various hearts and inserted them along a Sizzix swirl border.  I also used a Sizzix die to do the lettering.  Just a couple of brads and some braid trim, and there you have it.

Hope you have wonderful Sunday.  I'm off to can some zucchini relish... more on that later.

Til next time,

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Good Morning,

Last weekend, I finally caught up with my brother to celebrate his birthday.  He's fun to treat, because he is generally a big kid; a 46-year-old kid, but still a kid, and what kind of birthday do you give a 46-year-old, science-fiction writer kid?  Well, a Spiderman birthday of course!

I went to this awesome blog for help Blinkin', Thinkin', & Inkin'.  You would not believe all the wonderful things this blogger, Ellen Kemper, has created with SU punches.  I searched her blog for Spiderman punch art, and wouldn't you know it, she had a wonderful example.  I followed her instructions and easily made a Spidey to be proud of.  I also used instructions from Splitcoast to create a backpack to house a gift card and then attached my Spidey to the front.  What do you think?

and here's the back
My brother was so surprised when he walked in and saw not only the decorations, but also the fun stuff we had created.  We had Silly String cans set out and goody bags full of fun things, like parachute men, stickers, bubbles and temporary Spiderman tattoos.  Of course, we had his favorite cake with a Spiderman candle on top.  It was amazing seeing kids and adults alike getting into the spirit, having parachute races off the upper deck and running around having Silly String wars.  My son had a great time helping me put this together and even created a drawing to give his uncle. 

We also served my famous teriyaki burgers, one of my brother's fav's.  I'll share that recipe with you soon.  As a side note to the party, the next day I arrived at work wearing a sundress, and as I sat at my desk typing away, a co-worker walked past my door and did a double-take; he looked at me more closely, and asked, "is that a Spiderman tattoo on your arm?".  Oh my gosh, I had completely forgotten!
Smiley from

Til Next Time,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cookies That Are Good For You?

Well, the zucchini harvest is upon us.  Luckily, I thought ahead this year and printed out recipes corresponding to all my crops.  I kept seeing recipes for cookies made with zucchini and was intrigued.  I guess if you can have zucchini bread and cake, you could also make a cookie.  So, I decided to give it a try.  Everything was a go until I realized that I didn't have any raisins.  I almost gave up, but then realized I had some Raisinets stashed in the cupboard for when I had a chocolate craving.  Hmm? Chocolate, zucchini, yeah that will work!

So this what I came up with:  Zucchini Raisinets - recipe at the end of this post.

I did learn something along the way, like next time I'll make my mounds smaller on the cookie sheet, since they tend to spread, but other than that, even my toughest critics loved them.

I also decided to make a recipe holder to celebrate my culinary triumph.  I used one of Mo's digital images, colored him with Prisma pencils and cut him out.  The base is 4-1/2 x 7 inches.  The recipe card is 4 x 5-1/2.  Wouldn't this be cute accompanied by a basket of cookies as a gift?

So here's the recipe.  Be sure to do the glaze on top of the cookie.  It really makes a difference in the overall flavor.

½ c. butter or margarine, softened      1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. sugar                                          1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg                                                 ½ tsp. salt
1 c, finely shredded zucchini              ¾ c. Raisinets
1 tsp. grated lemon peel                     ½ c. chopped walnuts
2 c. all-purpose flour                         2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. baking soda                             2 T. lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, zucchini and lemon peel. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in Raisinets and walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Mix confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice, add water as needed to create a glaze consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookie and let set. Enjoy, these are good for you!

Til Next Time,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Honey of a Holiday

Don't we all have grand plans at the beginning of a three-day weekend?  I had visions of stamping for hours and hours.  Well, I did get to stamp, but I spent a fair amount of time doing chores, sleeping and spending time with friends and family and that is how it should be be afterall.  I put together this bit of a tutorial for you.  I hope you like it.

I started out with this lovely set called "Honey Bear" that I purchased on ebay a few years ago.  With the multitude of new stamp sets to choose from, I'm still drawn to the older stamp designs.  They have such charm.

I ended up using all the images from this set for my card.  I stamped in Stazon Brown on watercolor paper and then stamped my main image on a large Post-It note for masking. 

I cut out my masking image with a small pair of detail scissors (believe me, the size of your scissors can make a difference in tight, detailed areas).  I added a bit more temporary adhesive to my mask and placed it over my main image.  You can see how my mask is cut slightly inside the lines; this is to eliminate any white areas when we add our next techinique.  Now, we need to add some fluffy clouds.

I used an SU scallop circle punch with another Post-It to create my cloud template.  Now, you can use any round or oval shape you would like.  I've also cut my own cloud shape freehand to make my clouds as well.
Again, I added a little more temporary adhesive to my template and placed it randomly in the "sky" area of my main image.  I then used a sponge and Bashful Blue ink to "pounce" the sponge around the template. Continue moving your template around, including over areas you have already sponged, until you are happy with the result.  I must say that this technique is not my original idea.  I learned it a few years ago at Splitcoast Stampers.  It's made it's way around in many forms and I'm not sure who originated it.  If any of you know the artist who came up with this, please let me know, so I can give them credit.

Now, remove your mask, and we'll continue with coloring our image.  I'm using SU watercolor markers for this image.  I normally use SU re-inkers to watercolor, but this is much faster.  I use both the brush tip and the writing tip to "shadow" the areas where I want color.  Keep in mind that the area you are adding color is where the sun would not be hitting, thus a shadow.  For the fence, since we want a white fence, we are just going to add shadows of gray in areas. We are then going to use a waterbrush to blend our colors, starting with the lightest shades and ending with the deeper colors, such as orange or red, allowing the different areas to dry before moving on.  Be sure to clean you brush on paper towel often.

And here is the finished card.  I added another honey bear, flying overhead.  He has been watercolored in the same fashion and cut out.  I added some Crystal Effects to his wings and honey jar.  Then, of course, I added the hive, flowers and sentiment to the top of the card.  I finished everything off with some DP from DCWV and a ribbon-tied button.

I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend and are ready to attack your work week.  On that note, I better go get ready.

Til Next Time,