Thursday, September 29, 2016

Congrats - on Your Terrible Idea!

You know how good it feels when you come up with an idea that you think no one has thought of, and is just brilliant?

I had that feeling recently and was so proud of myself.

I love bubbles. I don't like regular water without bubbles so my water of choice is LaCroix - mostly the plain, but I like some of the flavors too, like coconut and grapefruit. But mostly the plain.

I also really like iced tea - that's what really runs in the veins of most Texans. And as you know, UNPOLLUTED tea with no sugar.

Since I frequently "cut" other beverages with fizzy water to cut the sweetness - like orange juice and cranberry juice, one day I thought - WHY IS THERE NO CARBONATED TEA??

In my mind's tastebud, it was glorious. The perfect drink. Not sweet, with delightful bubbles and BONUS - caffeine!

The next time I made iced tea, I made myself a bubbly tea.

And it. was. horrid.

I don't know why - because those things separately are delightful, just like fizzy water and orange juice are. And they are even better together.

But with tea, some horrible transmogrification takes place that just leaves you embarrassed and thirsty.

So yeah. There's an idea for the trash heap of history. Thanks a lot, dumb me!

I made a card to congratulate myself on this numbskullery. It's also for a Falliday Fest challenge - I can't reveal what the challenge is, but if you're coming here on October 9th, you already know! Welcome, visitors from the future!

I wanted a very splashy, bright background that had hints of fall but still the pretty blues of summer, so again I went to my trusty Schmincke watercolors.

I die cut a bunch of congrats sentiments from masking paper and adhered them to watercolor paper, making sure they were really stuck down with my bone folder so the edges were nice and tight. You'll want hot press watercolor paper to really make this work well, but remember - perfection is for serial killers - it's completely okay if it's not perfect.

Then I just dabbed primaries around the die cuts and let it dry naturally before removing the masks. I find that the heat gun can not only drive pooled water under the masking paper but it can also loosen the adhesive. It's best just to go throw out your gross bubbly tea while you wait for the air to do its work on your card.

Then when I pulled the masks off I was left with this fun background.
links to supplies

How fun is that? I thought this would be a great, cheery card for one of my team members for a job well done.

It is a sparkling season. Just one WITHOUT sparkling tea, thank you very much!

Don't forget - I have a new online class featuring Christmas Pines, and also a November class which you can get for free by participating in the buy 3 get one free DSP sale that starts tomorrow! Here are all the details.

Now go forth and have better ideas than I do!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016


When I was little, our biggest treat EVER was going to Baskin Robbins. I can still smellmember (yes, that's my new word for remembering a smell, which seems impossible to do but we still do it) the sort of frosty smell when you opened the door of the store. And even though I had my go-to favorites (Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Orange, Coffee, Jamoca and Daiquiri Ice), I still looked at every single flavor every time.

I loved the little taster spoons you could get because then I COULD try a few new things but still have my favorites. Sometimes we brought my cat Cucumber with us - and BR would give us these TINY cones for cats and dogs - maybe 3" tall - and we'd bring the tiny cone back to the car and give the cat his ice cream.

My all time favorite still is a sugar cone with Mint Chocolate chip. I hate cold chocolate, but the Baskin Robbins chocolate in that ice cream - at least back then - was shaved, so it melted the second you took a lick. It was as perfect as an ice cream gets.

But once year, during the holidays, I'd break out of my mold and get their candy ice cream. It was pink, minty ice cream, and it had tiny, crunchy, multi-colored hard candies in it. I think those candies were also minty.

When I was sitting down to work on a card for one of the card drives for Falliday Fest, I looked over at the sets sitting on my desk and BOOM - that candy ice cream turned into a birthday card in my head. Baskin Robbins was part of our birthdays as well - we almost always got an ice cream cake - mint chocolate chip for me and orange chocolate for my brother.

Part of my design process is to let stamps sit on my desk for a while while I work on other things - so my newest purchases are always within eyeshot of me. They sort of steep in my head, and then things like this happen and I get a card idea.

So I had the Brushed Cheers and Holiday Confetti sets from The Ton sitting in my new stamp pile - waiting for inspiration for that big, brushstroke sentiment - I love how it looks handpainted. I took the confetti corner and stamped it on each side in So Saffron, and then filled in in Pool Party and Blushing Bride with the smaller confetti stamps. It honestly looks good enough to eat :).

The card base is Pink Pirouette. Kind of an odd size because that's also what was on my desk. Finished cards size is 5.25" x 4 1/8".

links to supplies

Here's a real time video of how that card comes together.

This card is for the fourth card drive of Falliday Fest, and that will be revealed on October 20th. The event itself starts October 9th. We will have four card drives during the event for really special, sweet organizations, so I hope you'll join us!

Then I took the same confetti stamp and made a quick gift card holder with the Gift Card Thinlits. This is one of those dies that saves you when you're late for birthday party, because you can cut a cute holder in two seconds and stamp it up and look like you were actually prepared for something, which is rare :).

links to supplies

I wrapped it like a present with Basic Black Twine, and left the naughty or nice decision to the recipient.

I'm not Santa after all...

I'm hopping with some amazingly talented friends today - I stalk many of these people on Facebook and Instagram because they are so, so talented, so have fun taking a look!

And next time you're at Baskin Robbins, have a sugar cone with some mint chocolate chip for me, will ya?


Friday, September 23, 2016

Why are Tigers so Delicious?

I was on Pinterest the other day doing some work for Falliday Fest, and I stumbled across some holiday treats that were made of tigers.

Well not really MADE of tigers, but CALLED tigery things, because apparently Tigers taste like peanut butter.

I first learned that tigers tasted like peanut butter in the late 70s, when my mother discovered the insanely delicious Tiger's Milk bars. I freaking LOVED those things and was quite glad that tigers produced milk that tasted like peanut butter.

Then there's Tiger Butter fudge, Tiger Bark and Tiger Bars.

These many tiger-themed recipes, all of which contain peanut butter, cannot be a coincidence. Tigers clearly taste like peanut butter. God help the first people who discovered this. I imagine it was quite terrifying to get close enough to a tiger to give him a lick.

Now that that mystery is solved, let's have a card, shall we?

A few weeks ago in my stamping class we made a card with the detailed Santa thinlits die - WHICH I LOVE. And I had a few cuts left over after class that had been lurking about my desk until I decided to use one as a mask for one of my Falliday Fest samples.

I brushed three colors of ink over the mask onto the card base with my Clarity Stencil brushes and deliberately made the top left near his face the lightest part of the card - I wanted to make him part illusion and part reality to go with my sentiment.

I used the Sophisticated Script set from Concord & 9th to stamp "believe" - I actually started with the last letter of the word and worked left (pro tip - write the word down before starting if spelling backwards is not one of your spiritual gifts!). I love how no matter what you're spelling, all the letters link up.

Links to supplies:

He's so very cool in blue. :)

This would make a great Christmas card because start to finish it was five minutes to make. Speaking of Christmas cards - I have a new online class up using the Christmas Pines bundle if you are interested!

About three minutes of this card are captured in a quick video for you!

Now I'm off to find a delicious, peanut buttery tiger for a snack!

But speaking of delicious, I have to share my new favorite recipe of all time - Coconut Almond Granola. I'm not typically a granola fan because I find it too sweet and too polluted with cinnamon. (Cinnamon should be confined to cinnamon toast, Big Red gum, toothpicks and pumpkin pie, in my opinion!) This, with a touch of salt and not too much sweet stuff for the quantity of oats is AMAZING. I like it on Culina dairy-free Plain & Simple yogurt. This recipe is via my friend Bev Rousch - bevmom on Splitcoast.

  • 1 cup whole almonds, divided (I used raw almonds)
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    Other ingredients as desired - I added dried cranberries the second time - amazing. 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor or blender, pulse half of the almonds until they are very finely chopped. Pour them into a large bowl. Then chop the other half of the almonds coarsely, and pour them into the same bowl.
  3. Pour the oats, salt, and brown sugar into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
  4. In a small microwaveable bowl, combine honey and coconut oil, and heat for 40 seconds. Stir to dissolve the coconut oil, and add the vanilla and almond extract.
  5. Pour the honey mixture over the oats, and stir so that they are evenly coated.
  6. Pour the oat mixture evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet (helpful if it has sides).
  7. Bake for 7 minutes, and then stir and spread back to an even layer. Return to the oven for 7 more minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. I actually then turned the oven off and left it in there for another ten minutes or so - because the first time I made it it wasn't crunch with the original cooking time.
  8. Pour the granola and onto a piece of wax paper to cool. Spread it out into a thin layer - about 1/2 inch thick.
  9. After it cools completely, break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.

No tigers were harmed in the making of this granola.


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