Monday, August 16, 2010

Birthday Circles

We have a birthday in the family tomorrow, and I've promised to use my stamps more, so everyone gets a handmade birthday card this year...or at least, that's the goal...

I hope you like this one.  I tried to coordinate with the wrapping paper I used for the gift - strangely the paper matched my Stampin' Up! colors perfectly - it has a Certainly Celery background with Daffodil Delight and Tempting Turquoise dots.  You have to love when things come together.  I would not have picked those colors, but I think they actually turned out quite pretty together. 

I used my Top Note Big Shot die, along with a hole punch for the little circles.  I cut a Top Note out of white and Tempting Turquoise cardstock, and half of one out of Certainly Celery.  I decorated the top half of the white with some birthday stamps (...from one of the free 2010 Sale-A-Bration sets) and the turquoise paper with some circles from the Circle Circus set (115778, $28.95).  I stuck them together with some Jumbo Eyelets (108432, $9.95, 60 pieces), and tied some pretty Certainly Celery ribbon on it (also from a free set of ribbon...).  I punched a bunch of circles with my hole punch in turquoise and daffodil to line the separation of white and Certainly Celery papers.
As a finishing touch, I punched out some little labels from the Tiny Tags set (118592, $16.95, Clear stamps) which read '4 You' and 'hand crafted', and attached them to the Certainly Celery ribbon with some pretty 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon in Daffodil Delight (120928, $4.95).   You can also see in the background that I decorated the envelope with some of the circles from Circle Circus in the three ink colors, and added a bit of sticky glitter to the candles on the cake to finish it off. 

I hope she enjoys the card!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chanterelle Hunting...

When I was a little girl (seems like a looong time ago...) my family would go to Oregon to visit various relatives, and in the fall, we'd get to go Chanterelle mushroom hunting with my Grandparents. 

Now, anyone who knows me knows I always ask the waiter for my dishes sans 'shrooms, I really hate the texture (this from someone who remembers what play-doh tastes like...).  However, I fondly remember trudging through the forest, carefully looking for these perfect little mushrooms, trying to avoid any poisonous ones (what's a kid know - yes, they were always double checked by Grandma; wonder how many she threw out??).  Once the bag was full of plump and perfect 'shrooms, we would head on home and wait for the feast. 

My Grandma, like Grandma's used to do (...some may still...) would grow what she liked, can lots of stuff, hunt up mushrooms (see above), pick wild berries for jams and pies, fish for dinner (may have been Grandpa on that one...), and make food for everyone.  And we always played outside, no TV (...can't imaging that today...).  When we made it back from mushroom hunting, Grandma would clean them off and get ready to cook them, dipping them in batter and frying them up, like big steaks (, I don't batter my steak, but I remember everyone kept saying, just cook them like steak...why??).  And we'd eat them as soon as they were ready, and there was nothing quite like the taste of fresh picked Chanterelles.  They didn't have that odd mushroom texture, and they did remind one of steak, even though they weren't juicy.  And Fall, they always remind me of Fall with their golden coloring, and harvest, and afternoons in the forest and around the kitchen counter.

So, the other day I was wandering the produce aisle at one of our upscale grocery stores (O'Briens here in Modesto, excellent food choices, good prices...), and saw a basket of fresh Chantrells.  These were on the small side, I don't believe it's quite harvesting time yet, but they looked perfect to me.  I grabbed a little handful (...these are expensive 'shrooms...$29 a pound...oh to go find my own without poisoning myself...that would be a trick.)  This morning I saw that forgotten handful in my fridge, and feeling really hungry, not to mention ready for Fall, I grabbed them, with a small shallot and some eggs.  I wanted to make a quiche, but really, I was hungry, so settled on an omelet. 

This is not something I cook well - my omelets are a bit flat and brown on the dad can make these perfect and fluffy - the talent was not passed down.  So after calling my dad (...the omelet guy...he knows everything...) I sauteed a bit of shallot and Chantrelle in butter, set them aside, then made my omelet.  Once it was almost done and ready to fold (...I need practice, don't blame the pictures on my dad's teaching, he'd be horrified at what they look you daddy!)  I threw on some shredded cheese (...Parmesan Reggianito, from Argentina, by way of O'Briens Supermarket...they have the best cheese shop there!  and this stuff is the most delicious cheese, great with pasta, wonderful full flavor...), tossed in my shallots and Chanterelles, and folded the omelet. 

Now, you see the picture before was a tad brown on the top and bottom, and a bit flat and messy looking, but mmmm...yummy.  Chantrelles had their nice fall flavor, the butter and shallot added a nice bit of toastiness to it, and the amazing Parmesan Reggianito flavor really brought it all together with a smooth, nutty creaminess (hmmm...)...  I still think a quiche would have been better, but this was good.  And it reminded me of happy childhood memories and the fact that Fall is on the way...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happiness Always

So, this is my attempt at the pretty little stand-up cards everyone is making. 

This is a 3x3 card you can stand up on your desk, it unfolds nicely and makes a nice little gift card.

To make, it's easy, there are instructions all over the web for this, especially at  They have instructions for everything there!

I used a 6"x3" strip of card stock for the card itself (blue) and a 3"x3" square (also blue) for the top.  Take your 6"x3" strip and make folds (with your bone folder) at 1 1/2" and 3".  Decorate your 3"x3" square.  You can probably figure it out from here - you tape the (blue) 3"x3" square to the top 1 1/2" - see this picture to get the idea ( want it to fold in on itself, does that make sense?  It folds flat with your decorated 3"x3" square facing up).  You can decorate the inside 3"x3" as well. 

You want to make the decoration on the inside slightly raised, so that when the card slides forward, it will stop it from closing.  I'm guessing this comes at a later point - mine is barely touching the inside cardstock, I'm assuming it's because it's new?  Hmmm...  It also appears that you can write a little note to someone under that blank spot where the card rests (above photo). 

I basically used scraps on this one.  You know all that old DSP you have sitting around?  Those are the scraps I'm talking about.  In addition, I used the lace Stampin' Up! punch, along with some new Stampin' Up! Daffodil Delight 1/8" ribbon. 

Hope you like it!  Now go try it...even those of you with no fancy paper...!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Greenhouse Gala Cards

Hi everyone!

It's been a few days and I wanted to share with you one of my favorite new Stampin' Up! sets and papers (DSP). Greenhouse Gala (117167, $9.95) DSP and Friends Never Fade (120618, $13.95, clear set).  The  stamp set and paper is so cute and very 'retro' looking to me, with the bold colors.  I think I mentioned them in my last post to you.  I liked them so much I painted my bathroom a pretty melon color that reminded me of a mix of the oranges and yellows in the set...not my normal color scheme!  I'm still not sure how to decorate the walls now that I did that...very bright, happy color...

The following samples are all made with Stampin' Up! supplies.  If you need any paper or supplies ordered, just send me a note and I can get you started.  Hope you enjoy the samples.

I'll make some more over the next few days so that you can see the range the DSP has to it.  It's so happy!