Tuesday, December 18, 2012

IHP Design Team December Challenge: Food, Glorious Food!

Since so much about the holidays revolves around food, our challenge this month was to make a food related project. Not so much of a challenge for me. This time of year, food is never far from my thoughts. Or my mouth.

I like to give homemade foodie gifts to the people at work. It’s fun, it’s cheap (usually), and it’s always appreciated. This year I decided to make little jars of dulce de leche (pronounced dool-seh duh laycheh), a devastatingly delicious, thick, caramelized sweetened milk. It can be spread on toast or heated a little and drizzled on pancakes and waffles. You can add it to your coffee or ice cream, or you can fill cookies with it. Or you can eat it with a spoon. Just saying.

dulce_de_leche-group I used half-pint canning jars, decorated simply but beautifully with a tag that rests on the lid and opens for more information.dulce_de_leche-tops To make the tags, I started by cutting a scored and folded piece of cream cardstock with a circle Nestabilities die, leaving the folded edge just inside the die so it wouldn’t cut completely. The inside with the information was computer generated and cut with the same circle die, trimming one edge just a bit to fit inside the fold, and glued in place.

The top of the tag also starts with another cream circle, but it’s decked out for the holidays. The red scalloped ring was made by cutting a scalloped circle the same size as the label, and then using a slightly smaller circle die in the center. Once I adhered that to the cream circle, I stamped the wreath and greeting, which is all on one stamp from the Flourishes Trimmed With Love set, with Memento Tuxedo Black ink. The inside left also uses stamps from that same set. The wreath is colored with Copic markers, glammed up with some red Stickles on the berries, and then that circle is glued onto the top of the folded label. Why use a separate circle for the top instead of just stamping the front of the folded piece? Because the Copic markers are likely to bleed through. If you’re using cardstock that won’t allow that to happen, by all means save yourself a layer and just dress up the folded piece. Once it was all glued together, I just attached it to the jar lid with a couple of mini glue dots.

Wanna make your own dulce de leche? The most common way is to boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk, completely submerged, for several hours. That seems a little scary to me. I found an awesome blog post by Monica at The Yummy Life with 2 different ways to make it: one in the oven, and one in a slow cooker. I tried both, and I liked the results in the slow cooker much better (although in all fairness, I used a different brand of milk when I did it in the oven, so that might have had something to do with it). She gives wonderfully illustrated step-by-step instructions, and she even has labels you can print out for gift-giving. I didn’t use her labels, but I did borrow her wording. Thanks, Monica!

12daysdecember Before I send you hopping off to see the rest of the yummy projects from the team, I just wanted to remind you about the 12 Days of Christmas Sale that Kate has been having. Each day a new sale item is posted at a steal of a price. Sale items are valid until sold out or until Christmas Day, whichever comes first! (Sorry, no restocks or rainchecks!) Inventory is low on some items but be sure to join us each day for the IHP 12 Days of Christmas!

Today’s special is all Washi Tape 35% off!

Here’s what we’ve had so far!
12/13 – Stickles/Liquid Pearls $1
12/14 – Scor-Tape 1/8” - $2
12/15 – Spellbinders 35% off
12/16 – BoBunny Flexi-ruler $9
12/17 – Scor-Bug tool $5
12/18 – Washi Tape 35% off

OK, so go shopping. Or go hopping. Or both! Here’s the rest of the gang:

Happy Holidays!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

A couple of holiday cards

Really, I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth. So many things going on, and I’ve just been physically and otherwise drained by the time I get home from work every day. Weekends are spent catching up and trying to prepare for the holidays.

But I have been doing some card making. Here are a couple (although not the one I’m planning to send out, assuming I actually buy the stamps and get them addressed in time). These are all made with goodies from i {heart} papers, although some may no longer be available by now.

I’ve also been waiting for a sunny day when I could photograph these things. I hate winter hours, and we’ve had more cloudy, rainy days than not lately.


I made this one a couple of weeks ago (I think), using a sketch challenge that’s probably not current any more. I don’t even remember which one it is, but I liked it. This card uses the Flourishes set Dear Santa, and paper from the Carta Bella pad Winter Fun. There’s a strip of pearls, too, because pearls dress everything up for the holidays. The focal circle is stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa ink and airbrushed with a Copic marker to coordinate with the paper.

holiday_door-closed This idea has been kicking around in my head for months, and I finally got around to trying it. The door is cut with the Grand Madison Door die by Memory Box. The wreath was made by cutting a base with two nested Nestabilities circle dies, and gluing on punched out branches made with a Martha Stewart punch. Red Stickles finish it off.

And here’s what’s behind the door:holiday_door-open The stamp is from an old Hero Arts set. I suppose I could have dress up the front of the card more, but I kinda like the stark simplicity of it. If I had given myself enough time, it might have been fun to mass-produce these. But I didn’t.

I did want to call your attention to an awesome sale that Kate is having – it’s a 12 Days of Christmas Sale, and there’s a new special every day. You really need to go check it out! The daily special will be listed at the top of the Sale page.12daysdecember

Anyhow, my tree is up now, and I have TONS of cleaning, shopping, baking and other preparations to do in the next week. Oh, and an IHP Design Team challenge to get done this weekend too! Better get crackin’!