Friday, July 29, 2011

House of Poe: Wonky Mixed Media House

This is my entry for The Octopede Factory Friday Challenge: Spots and Dots

I used their Edgar Allan Poe Digital Collage Sheet printed on Claudine Hellmuth's Sticky Backed Canvas and colored with Faber Castell's Big Brush markers.

Click on the pics to see the details.

This is also my SOS entry for "Buttons, Blooms and Bananas" as I used my treasured black and red  buttons - from an at least five year old kit - and my yo-yo flower "blooms".

I still need to decide how to quilt and bind this as well as if I'm going to add paint or more ephemera. It's huge - close to three feet - so I'm a little intimidated. LOL. So far though, I like where it's headed.

Thanks for popping by,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Card Set: Reuse Your Own Designs

Today I'm CASEing myself. I know, kind of radical, but it occurred to me that it's a great way to increase the return on your design time investment.

Plus you already have all your supplies out, might as well make good use of them.

This one is a little more uni-sex, masculine(ish). Clouds seem better then flowers... but not by much.

and the card that started it all, from Saturday's post:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Behind You All the Way

My Mom's husband had a pretty severe stroke a few weeks back and I made this card for him to brighten his week. My cards for him are usually pretty cheeky as he has all the bible quotes and kittens he could possibly need from everyone else. I just want to make the man smile, and maybe chuckle a bit. 

Plus he knows I'm praying.

I used Raisin Boat's Undie's in a Bunch set - it's hysterical -  and Faber Castell's Aquarelle water color pencils. I tried to create that loose, messy watercolor look... but I may have missed the mark.

Either way, he's going to love it.

My sweet husband bought me a wonderful new lamp to go with our master bedroom redo. We were at an antique shop and he noticed it, knowing it would be just perfect.

I'm completely infatuated with it's cool, unusual, hugeness. Can't wait to get our room painted. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Treasure Card: Heat and Dry Embossing Galore

This is my entry for the July Bombshell Stamps Sketch Challenge.
Here's Kathi's awesome sketch:

It's also my entry for Shopping Our Stash Challenge 9: Technique Turn Back. The technique I used was heat embossing with funky embossing powder. I NEVER do that anymore. So I hauled out my verdigris, gold, bronze and went to town with the Versamark ink. What a mess! I can totally see how this technique got left in the dust. On the other hand, the effect is really stunning. I still can't believe that started out as a plain piece of white paper! Thanks to the girls at SOS for inspiring me to bust out an oldie but a goodie.

I had embossing on the brain because Simon Says Show Some Embossing... it's just fun to say isn't it. Now I want to play Simon Says... do you think the kids will mind? Anyhow... have you checked out their challenges - awesome sauce!

Pirate's Treasure is also my entry for the GC110: Spicy Supply Challenge - Gears, Cogs and Watch Bits. I'm so glad they posted that challenge as I'd never used this embossing folder even though I made a huge fuss about 'having to have it'. There's a lesson there for me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birthday Wishes

"Punch a window from you card cover and tie ribbon or twine from the window to the side of your card. "

I was worried I'd run out of time so I snapped the above photo. Here is the slightly more embellished card - I took three more minutes adding jewels and some pen lines. 

Stamps: Make a Wish

Thank You Card: Floral

"Your challenge is to look at your stamps in a new way, turn them, rotate them at new angles and see if YOU can come up with anything unique!"

I decided to use birthday candles from Make a Wish combined with the flowers from Merry Little Christmas as flower stems and buds. 

Sentiment: Fillable Frames #2

This is also my entry for the Flower Power challenge at Stampotique Designers Challenge Blog. I never realized how much I DON'T use flowers in my projects until this challenge came up. Weird. 

Hello Sunshine

This is my entry for PTI's Stamp-a-faire Challenge #5: take a solid shape and create your own custom "faux" border.

I used a birthday cake/present from Make a Wish on this card:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cake #26: Amaretto Cake Balls

This recipe calls for leftover cake. And I know having leftover cake can be as elusive as a unicorn sighting but sometimes... like, say, when you make a giant, bordering on obscene, trifle, you do end up with some cake in the freezer. In times like that, think of these.

I first heard of rum truffles when reading Vanessa's lovely blog, Nifty Thrifty Things

She's nice. We talked. I like her very much.

Anyhow. All you do is crumble up your leftover cake, sprinkle it with cocoa powder and add liquor a table spoon at a time until it makes a nice playdoh-like blob. Roll it in little balls and then roll them in cocoa powder or sprinkles (we don't like sprinkles, even though they're very pretty). Delicious.

These are a grown up version of cake pops and I'm a big fan. 

We used Amaretto di Saronna but I bet Kahlua would be awesome too.

Be sure to pop by Vanessa's blog to see them styled all pretty. Mine are three days old and I'm not walking well so food styling was out of my scope in my current condition.

P.S. Did you see my ugly plate? I love those blue-smoosh atrocities. Back when I was a baby grown-up we used to host a care circle for our church and the first few weeks I went through a whole trees worth of paper plates. Appalled by the waste and the expense, I went to Goodwill and found a stack of thirty ugly restaurant plates for a dime a piece. We never bought paper plates again and since then whenever I send desserts home with guest I can say, "keep the plate" and not even bat an eye. Those ugly plates have saved the environment and our budget a thousand times over in the past ten years. Now they stand as symbol for who I try to be.

Check out the rest of my 52 Cakes HERE

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beautiful Inside and Out Card

Step One: Make Background

Step Two: Add Tags

Step Three: Add Embellishments

Step Four: Decorate inside of card with rub-ons and accents

Finished Card: I added a printed sentiment tag

All supplies came from the summer CupCards {to go} Kit. That kit is sold out but there are many others available.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mixed Media- For a Friend

Gosh, I think I've caught some sort of 120 day curse. I can't seem to get well for more then a day or two in a row. More likely, it's just my whack-a-doodle immune system paired with the Prednisone disaster. Either way, in amongst all the back silliness I've started throwing up. I don't think I'm actually sick though - just my body is acting weird. Or maybe, I'm just so darn charming my food wants to see me again. Either way... UGH!

So my apologies if my posts are slightly less frequent. It's been ugly around here.

On the good side, I've been laid-out enough to get to a lot of menial tasks I NEVER want to do. Like cleaning the lids on my various salt shakers, organizing and labeling my spices, throwing out long expired food... yeah, I'm a wild party. My cupboards look fantastic though :-)

Back in April I made this for my gorgeous friend Brittany. My plan was to have it complete except for her race stats, add them as soon as they were posted, varnish and have it to her early in the week following her race. Nice thought, no?

Instead I broke my foot on Monday, contracted creeping death on Tuesday and kicked off this happy time... back in April. But, it is finally done and in her possession.

And it has great texture...

...kind of like Brittany's hair. She's absolutely beautiful and often wears the cutest cap sleeved tops. I tried to capture her fashion sense and look in the collage:

Photo by Raji Barbir

Making something for someone I admire so much was a real pleasure.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cake #25: Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

I found this recipe on Pinterest at  Yum Sugar. It's a minor adaptation of Nigella's Fairycake recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I was intrigued as I've never made a cake recipe in my food processor before.

I'll warn you, it makes a shockingly small amount of batter that doesn't seem capable of making twelve cupcakes. But it does! Twelve gloriously fluffy, wonderful, kick-ass cupcakes.

Speaking of fluffy, I've never had a lighter from-scratch cake in my life. They're stunning.

Orange Creamsicle Cupcake Ingredients:
3/4 cup self-rising flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
7 tbsp sugar
2 tsp orange flavoring
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1/4 tsp almond extract
2-3 tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking paper cups.
3. Put all the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and blend until smooth.

4. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel to make for a soft consistency.

It doesn't seem like enough batter, but it will all work out, scrape every bit from the bowl and try to fill each cup equally. Mine came to about 1/3 full.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden on top. It's best to start checking them at 12 minutes.

Orange Cream Cheese Icing:
1 stick (4 oz) butter softened
8 oz softened Cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp orange flavoring

1. Combine the room temperature butter and cream cheese together in a mixer with a paddle attachment.
2. Slowly add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time and add the orange flavoring at the end.

3. Pipe unto cooled cupcakes.

A thing about piping. My favorite piping technique is to use a ziploc bag and to cut the end off the corner. No tip, no fuss, no bother. And it looks great. The bags are easier to fill if you place them corner down in a tall glass.

Add orange slice.

Next time when I bake these again, and there will be a next time, I think I'll add some orange zest. They were very subtle, but still incredibly delicious.

Linked up With:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Work in Progress: Free Piecing Wonky Houses

I don't usually post works in progress because they can really take away from the "ta-da" moment you get with a finished project. But I'm breaking form a bit today as I think actually finishing these will take a decent amount of time (or they'll get lost in my sewing basket and never be finished) and I'm excited by what I've made so far.

On House of Krom, Sarah posted an awesome wonky house for her free-piecing study and I was smitten. Yesterday one of my goals was to try something new I hadn't made the time for so, well, I did.

I used this PDF tutorial by Tonya to make my blocks.

Mine aren't really all that wonky... more like off-kilter at best.

Can you spot the giant mistake on this one? I had to do some mad improvising and ended up with a two-story house I'm pretty fond of. Gotta love that about crafting, mistakes are opportunities to try new things.

For each I added a strip of linen to stamp a quote onto and some borders. Next comes door knobs, yo-yo flowers and some embroidery. I think they're going to be fun... whatever they are :-)