Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last Day — Don't Miss Out!

This is the final day of the i {heart} papers Black Friday Sale. Don't miss out on Kate's great offers:
  • FREE SHIPPING on US orders of $25 or more ($50 or more for Canadian orders). This is reduced from our normal $40 threshold.
  • For every $50 you spend you will be rewarded with a $10 gift certificate towards a future purchase. Gift certificates will be issued on December 1.
See the website for complete details. Happy shopping!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Tale of No Turkey

Remember (yesterday) when I told you that my family always celebrated Thanksgiving together on the Friday after? And how we were gathering down near Philly at my brother's house? Well, some of us made it, and some of us, well...

This is what happened before we even left Brooklyn. That is not a flat tire — that is one shredded tire! I will spare you the story of how it actually happened (but it involves some construction workers and a metal grate that they had left in the street).

These are my daughters texting their friends (and updating their Facebook pages) while we were waiting for AAA. Aaahh, technology. Long story short: yes, there was a spare; no, we didn't have the little doohickey to release it from under the car. And neither did the AAA guy.

Over 3 hours later, and following a confluence of unfortunate circumstances, we had 2 new rear tires, still no access to the spare, and frazzled nerves. Not conducive to a 2-hour drive down to Philly, only to turn around and come back after dinner. I must give Laila due credit, though, for handling everything with amazing calmness and grace.

They felt awful about not being able to join the family for Thanksgiving, and even more awful for me, since they had enjoyed the holiday at a friend's house the day before while I was at home, baking cupcakes, swooning and drooling from the aromas wafting through my apartment from my neighbors' feasts, looking so forward to the gastronomic delights that awaited me the next day.

So we went to the supermarket, picked up my son-in-law from work, and he and Annisa prepared a chicken (which they named Agamemnon — don't ask, because I don't know), stuffing, and all the fixings for our own little celebration.

The food was delicious, and we enjoyed each other's company while consuming a surprisingly large amount of wine! While I did miss being with the rest of my family, I felt truly blessed to have these amazing people in my life. And isn't that what Thanksgiving is really about?

Friday, November 28, 2008

and speaking of cupcakes...

My family does things a little differently for Thanksgiving. To avoid the stress of traveling with the hoards of "normal" people, we celebrate on Friday. It works out quite well, actually. We get an extra day to prepare the yummies, and those with spouses/significant others have the opportunity to celebrate with both families.

More often than not, we travel down to my brother's house near Philadelphia. My sister-in-law is a fantastic cook (though she humbly denies it), so she handles the basics of the meal, and the rest of us provide things like appetizers, wine, or an extra dessert or two.

The splendiferous cupcakes you see above are one of my contributions this year. Well, these are the ones left after I packed up the rest to go. They are devil's food cake, stuffed with creamy white filling (à la Hostess), and the tops are double dipped in chocolate ganache. This was my first time filling cupcakes, and it's not nearly as intimidating as I thought. After they cooled a bit, I stuck the handle of my wooden spoon into the tops of the cupcakes to make a little room for the filling. Then I just piped the filling in with a pastry tip. The frosting covers up the hole.

They do taste as good as they look (thank goodness). I had to test one for quality control, if you know what I mean. Hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday. I'm thankful for so many things — YOU among them!

and we have a winner!

I've been struggling with a layout for the bulk of my mass-produced holiday cards this year, and I've finally settled on one. Thanks to Sharon Johnson (notimetostamp), I found my inspiration. Simple, but cute!

My criteria were: use the yummy cupcake stamps from Taylored Expressions, and this cute My Mind's Eye paper from i {heart} papers. Oh, and it also had to be sufficiently flat so it would not require additional postage. And of course, easy enough to reproduce many times...

The cupcake image piece is popped up on dimensionals. I think it needs a little bling. Maybe I should add some Stickles on the cherry. What do you think?

What I used:
Stamps: Season's Sweetings (SASI)
Ink: Palette Noir, SU! Riding Hood Red, Copics
Paper: PTI Cream, SU! Riding Hood Red and Always Artichoke, Trim the Tree (My Mind's Eye)
Other: Nestabilities

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday Sale at i {heart} papers!!!

While you're recovering this weekend from your Turkey Day, spend a little time giving thanks to Kate at i {heart} papers for this awesome sale. Click the graphic above for full details and get ready to gobble up some goodies!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Every year for Thanksgiving, at least for the past 4 or 5 years, I've made some kind of table favor — filled with chocolate, of course! This year I used Beate's Triangle Box Tutorial on SCS for my favors. 15 of them, to be exact.

I started with Pumpkin Pie CS, cut to 4" x 8" and rolled it with Stampin' Up!'s Forever Flowers wheel with Creamy Caramel ink and tied them with chocolate taffeta ribbon. Mmmmm! Sounds delicious, doesn't it? Pumpkin Pie, caramel, chocolate... tasty stuff!

I used PaperTrey's First Fruits for the decoration, cutting with the new Nestibilities Labels 2 die that I got from i {heart} papers, and using the die as a mask while sponging with More Mustard (just killed the dessert image, didn't I?) ink. The acorn is stamped with Close to Cocoa and Pumpkin Pie ink, and Thankful is stamped with Chocolate Chip. You can see from the picture that I needed to re-ink my Close to Cocoa pad halfway through the batch.

These little boxes hold 4 mini Reese's peanut butter cups perfectly. Sweet!

Edited to note: I actually used 2 different types of ribbon to tie these with. The kind shown in the photo above is actually some shimmery brown American Crafts ribbon I had on hand.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Season's Sweetings

I've been dying to use Taylor's yummy holiday cupcake stamp set, and this paper from i {heart} papers was just the perfect complement to the tree. I decided to use Jen's wonderful sketch. For the horizontal stripe I used some of this luscious embroidered satin ribbon (also from i {heart} papers). This image is colored with Copics, but what you can't see in this scan (I really need to get a photo tent) is the sparkle from the Spica pens I used on the tree ornaments and the cherry on top of the cupcake. The star on top is colored with a gold marker, and the designer paper is also outlined with the same gold marker, although not very neatly; I actually decided after it was all put together to outline that piece.

I still don't know for sure what I'm using for my own cards this year, but this is a contender. One of the things I'm focusing on is a card that's flat enough not to need extra postage. I love using bling and ribbon, but the bumps and bows have caused several cards to be sent back to me for additional postage in the last few months, and me no likey that.

So waddya think?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Birthday Tulips

I wanted to share a card I made a little while ago using Ranger Crackle Accents. It's just like the Glossy Accents (which is just like Crystal Effects), but it dries to a crackled finish. I thought it was perfect for a vase. The stamp is a Lockhart image, and it's colored with Copic markers. I went over the tulips with my Sakura glaze pen to give them just a little dimension.

One of my co-workers will be receiving this on her birthday tomorrow.

Also used:
SU! scalloped edge punch and Soft Sky CS, Nestabilities, greeting from one of my PTI sets, and some random DP I picked up at Walmart a long time ago.

Monday, November 17, 2008

i {heart} papers Challenge

For the first ever i {heart} papers Design Team Challenge, we are focusing on "Giving Thanks" in honor of the upcoming holiday. I use Thank You cards all year (although not as often as I should), but this one is done in autumnal colors, using supplies available at i {heart} papers (of course).

If the layout of this card looks familiar, it's because it's the same layout as the card I showed a few days ago. It takes full advantage of large-scale printed papers that card makers might ordinarily shy away from. This gorgeous paper is called Windsor by s.e.i., and there's a matching stamp set that I used for the elegant sentiment and to stamp a shadow design on the background cardstock.

Be sure to check out my teammates' blogs:

And as a special treat, check out the i {heart} papers blog for a limited time 10% off coupon!!!!

What I used:
Stamps: Windsor (s.e.i.)
Ink: More Mustard (SU!), Palette Burnt Umber
Paper: More Mustard, Chocolate Chip (SU!); Windsor (s.e.i.)
Other: Nestabilities, satin ribbon (PTI), scalloped edge punch (SU!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just a Few Birthday Fishes

Of course I had to make a birthday card to go along with the heart note card set, and what better opportunity to play with my until-now-unused heart Nestabilities. Now, I didn't have any of the paper left that I used on the note cards, so it's not matchy-matchy, but who says it has to be?!! But is it ever cute!!!! The patterned paper is from the K & Co. Berry Sweet assortment, and the sentiment is from the PTI mini-set Pond Life Sentiments.

On another note, I will be away for the whole weekend, from Friday afternoon until some time Sunday, and it is just killing me that I won't have computer access the whole time. I cannot imagine how many new blog postings will be waiting for me in my Google Reader when I return. But the hardest part is knowing I'll be missing the PaperTrey release! Seriously. I know I can see them and buy them when I get home, but somehow it's not the same. But you understand that, don't you? It's sort of a sickness... but the good kind.

Anyhow, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Trio of Hearts

My sister, stepfather and I are visiting with a family friend this weekend whom we haven't seen in several years. Her birthday happens to be next week, so I made a little package of note cards for her. There are 2 each of 3 cards.

Nancy has a thing for hearts — they're sort of her trademark, so I dug through my papers and found some scraps left from last Valentine's Day. Just enough to get a half dozen cards out of. I honestly can't remember what the outer 2 papers are — they may have been from K and Co. But the middle one is gorgeous. It's got silver foil on some of the hearts and swirls, and I know that that one is from the s.e.i. Chocolat collection that i {heart} papers carries. (Sneaky how I snuck that in there, huh? I'm a good design team member!) Oh yeah, and they also carry the JustRite Monogram Stamper I used.

Here are close-ups of the individual cards. You can click on them to see them even larger.

What I used:
Stamps: JustRite Monogram Stamper
Ink: PTI Berry Sorbet
Paper: PTI White, assorted DP, SU! Regal Rose and Rose Red
Other: SU! Rose grosgrain ribbon, Nestabilities

Blog Candy Alert!

On the off chance that someone is reading this blog who is not already on the i {heart} papers design team, or hasn't already visited their blogs, here's a rundown of who's got i {heart} papers blog candy right now:

Meredith has an adorable collection of paper, ribbon and a chipboard cupcake album.

Cathleen has some gorgeous holiday ribbon.

Sarah has an adorable Christmas stamp set, plus some glittery sparkly stuff to go with it.

Go! NOW!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh yes, even MORE birthdays!

Now I did warn you that there were a LOT of family birthdays this time of year, and we just celebrated 2 more this past weekend. My lovely and wonderful daughter (Laila) actually has the same birthday as my lovely and wonderful soon-to-be daughter-in-law (Jannie). Although they each had their own celebrations on the actual day, we had a family brunch at my house on Sunday. So, first things first — the cupcakes!
These are Red Velvet cupcakes, and they were oh so delicious. They were delicious because I didn't take the chance of messing them up by making them from scratch! I figured that Duncan Hines already knew what they were doing, so who was I to second-guess them. The cream cheese frosting is the same recipe I used last week. To decorate them, I sacrificed one cupcake and used the crumbs on top of the frosting. So pretty!

Now the cards. It's getting late and I'm getting sleepy, so I'll forego the details on these. If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'll fill you in (or get back in and edit this post).

For Laila:
and for Jannie:Night-night!

Pinky-Glittery Goodness

This card uses something that most card makers tend to shy away from — large-patterned papers. But in a case like this, the very scale of the beautiful Cherie paper just makes the card! You can't tell too well from this picture, but the butterfly and flowers are all pinky-glittery.

I also used Nestabilities for the sentiment (which is from Verve), and my SU! corner rounder to make the scalloped border. The ribbon was from American Crafts.

I know this card was inspired by one I saw a long time ago, but I can't find the original to give her credit.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

i {heart} papers BLOG CANDY ALERT!!!

This month, Kate at i {heart} papers is giving ALL her design team members candy to give away. This week, hop on over to Cathleen's blog for something truly scrumptious. I know we all {heart} papers, but I'll bet we all {heart} ribbons just as much! Go show her some luv, and get a chance to win an assortment of GOJUS holiday ribbons.

Also, you absolutely MUST check out the new and amazing stuff Kate just got done loading into the store. I'm talkin' about some highly sought-after NEW Nestabilities and stamp sets! Go check it out now (before everybody beats to you it!). And remember, shipping within the U.S. is FREE with orders over $40 (which as we all know, is not difficult to do with all the yummy goodies she stocks). She has also re-done her shipping table for smaller orders, which I know some of you will be very happy about. Go. NOW!

Friday, November 7, 2008

And the winner is....

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-11-07 18:35:04 UTC

Jaspere said...

I love the song Let it Snow although I don't care much for snow :)

Congratulations, Shelly! Please e-mail me ( with your mailing info so Kate can get your blog candy out to you!

Thank you all for playing along. I loved reading your comments, and I hope you continue to follow my blog (and my design teammates' blogs) for more papercrafting goodness!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

KWerner Color Inspiration #29

Well, I think I'm too late to enter, but here it is anyway. This is my first time actually doing one of Kristina's color challenges, and it was a hard one! These are not colors I would think of putting together, but I guess that's the point of a challenge!

What I used:
Stamps: Winter Birds (Inkadinkado) and Alpine Frost (s.e.i.)
Ink: SU Pacific Point, Taken with Teal, Elegant, Eggplant, Pumpkin Pie
Paper: All of the above, plus Whisper White
Other: Glue pen and Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Cuttlebug snowflakes folder, circle punches, sponges

Random observations...

It's rainy and yucky today, and my knees hurt and I'm cranky. So cranky that even I don't want to be around me. My boss, smart lady that she is, is laying low and keeping out of my way. So I'm left here to mull over the complexities of life, and I'd love your feedback on the following:

  • Why does making 1 single card make such a mess? My table was clear, and now it's covered with "stuff" again. 1 crummy card!!! How does that happen?
  • Have you ever noticed that the more "stuff" you have, the harder it is put together a card? It seems like it was so much simpler in the beginning when my choices were fewer. Now I have so much stuff that I forget what I have, and I feel less creative than ever!
Given my mood, this seems more like a rant, but please don't be put off. Do you have any of your own observations on these musings? Am I alone in feeling this way? Talk to me...

Tower o' Cupcakes

I wanted to post this last night, but the darned Stickles wouldn't dry! This is my feeble attempt at Julee's Mojo Monday challenge. I'm still feelin' the love for the Inkadinkado Birthday Cupcakes set, so I masked these little beauties to create a leaning tower of cupcakes. And I just had to use my new Cupcakes paper from i {heart} papers.

I'm actually not too thrilled about how my stars came out. I covered black punched stars with Crystal Stickles, which I also used on the cupcake frosting, but the color came out kinda greenish-blue on the black, which is not what I wanted. There are so many different colors of Stickles that look similar, so I really need to experiment to see what colors they cast.

Almost all of the ingredients for this card are available from i {heart} papers, of which I am a proud design team member. Kate just got a bunch of new stuff into the store, including some of the new Nestabilities (which I can't wait to get my hands on), so go check it out!

Also, don't forget about my blog candy offering — it ends tomorrow (Friday) at noon, so if you haven't already entered, go there NOW! Oh, and Amber also has blog candy, so scoot on over there, too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reminder - Blog Candy!

Don't forget, you have until noon on Friday to enter my blog candy giveaway courtesy of i {heart} papers. If you haven't already, go to this post and leave a comment to have a chance to win a gorgeous holiday stamp set.

Also, check out my design teammate Amber's blog for a chance to win her yummy blog candy. Our whole team will have blog candy spread out over the month of November, so check out the whole list on my sidebar and Subscribe to all of us so you don't miss out!

A Public Service Announcement

Don't forget to get out and VOTE today!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gotta Love the Cupcakes

As I might have mentioned in a previous post, my other current passion — besides stamping — is cupcakes. In a future post, I'll show you some of my favorites from the last few months, but tonight I'll show you the cupcakes I made for the Daddy Shower we gave my co-worker whose wife had the baby recently (the one from the "onesie" post last week).

These are not complicated cupcakes by any means. I confess to using Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow Cake mix, made exactly as the box instructs. The frosting is a recipe I got from my youngest daughter. She brought some cupcakes to my birthday party the other night, and they were to die for, so I called her up for the recipe (isn't it supposed to be the other way around?). Here it is:

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 - 8 oz. box cream cheese, softened
1 - stick unsalted butter, softened
2 - tsp. vanilla extract
1 - 1 lb. box confectioners sugar

In mixer with paddle attachment, beat first 3 ingredients until very well blended. Gradually add the sugar and beat at medium for a few minutes until it is all smooth and light and fluffy.

Easy peasy, and totally delicious! I just plopped it into a disposable decorating cone with a large star tip and piped it onto the cooled cupcakes. The decorations are made by melting pre-colored chocolate candy melts and pouring into a candy mold. Really takes no talent at all!

Gotta get into bed early tonight (actually, it's already too late to do that) so I can get up early enough to vote before I go into work tomorrow!

Want MORE blog candy?

I'll be back later with a real post, but in the meantime, I wanted to tip you off about one of my fellow i {heart} papers design team members who's giving blog candy this week too. Go check out Amber's blog for some yummy-liciousness (don't even bother looking that up!).

'til later,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Get Your Holiday Cards Started with BLOG CANDY!!!!

For those of you who are lucky enough to have stumbled upon my humble blog, you have earned a chance to win some delicious blog candy courtesy of Kate at i {heart} papers. In her munificence (look it up — this is also an educational blog!), she is giving her amazingly talented Design Team members some goodies to give out to celebrate the opening of her splendiferous new online store. But not all of us at the same time. You're gonna have to work for it a little and keep checking all of our blogs! You can see them all listed in my sidebar, or here. It might behoove you (oh, I'm loving this!) to subscribe to all of our blogs. Ya know, so you don't miss anything!

OK, so I have decided to let you vie for a stamp set from Inkadinkado called Winter Shapes that will be perfect for you to use on your holiday cards. Isn't it gorgeous?!!!!!All you have to do to win it is leave me a comment on this entry. Tell me anything. The name of your favorite holiday song, the best holiday present you ever got, what your favorite thing is on the i {heart} papers site, how much you love my work, anything! The deadline for entries is 12:00 noon (EST) on Friday, November 7th. I will somehow figure out how to randomly select from all entries and announce it sometime Friday evening/night, depending on how long it takes me to figure it out! One entry per person, please. EDITED TO ADD: If you are leaving a comment anonymously (without a Blogger or some other account), please make sure your name and email address are in your comment so I can contact you if you win!

Now go tell all your friends, and check out my teammates' blogs to see who else is giving away goodies this week!