Sunday, 15 December 2013

Snowman Greetings Card

This is a card I made three years ago. Super simple, and easy to mass produce. Sorry I have no pictures of the actual making of the card, but here is what I did - its pretty easy to do.

I used a 6"x12" piece of white cardstock, and folded it to make a 6" square card.  I had some neat plastic like wrapping/tissue paper with blue and silver snowflakes on it, and cut that to 5 1/2 " square, and glued it onto the base. Then there is a 3 1/2" square of white vellum that frames a 3 1/2" circle that I printed a cute snowman and the Season's Greetings phrase on.  The snowman just bursts out a hello I think! For the inside I actually cut a 5 7/8" square of paper, and stamped with a versa pad and used silver embossing powder for the sentiment... one of the rare times I actually put something inside a card! I've really got to get back to doing that more often!

I tried to show how the snowflake paper is almost iridescent... hard to show in photos sometimes!

Enjoy your holidays! This is my last card until the New Year, and the last card of the year for the Card a Day Blog, as we start our winter break there tomorrow! Take good care, and keep crafting!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Home-made Shake and Bake

Just sorting out my kitchen and decided to make up some Shake 'n' Bake... it is a pantry item I always make ahead of time... it usually is slightly different each time I make it up, as it depends upon what bread or crackers I use to make the crumb base. This batch turned out exceptionally well, so I thought I would share the recipe on the blog so I have it for future reference too!   The original recipe I got was off of All Recipes, but it had 10 different spices and herbs to measure out... What I did below definitely simplifies it!
  • 4 cups fine, dry bread crumbs (or mixture of crackers or cornflakes and bread crumbs)
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs (I had these, and wanted some extra crunch in my mix)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Mrs Dash
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Kirkland No Salt Seasoning (I prefer this blend, there is no citrus taste like Mrs Dash)
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Roasted Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Parmesan Cheese (approx.)
  • 1/3 cup oil

Simply mix up in a large bowl, and store in a sealed container.

To use:
1/4 scant cup of mix per piece of chicken or pork. Shake together in a plastic bag and bake @ 375 d. F. until done.
Another great use for this mix is to sprinkle on top of casseroles instead of crushed potato chips... really adds some color and great taste!
I made a large mayonnaise jar (1 1/2 quart) in about 15 minutes.  I like doing this so much I printed the recipe and stuck it to the jar... Enjoy, this staple - it is so cheap to make compared to the store bought, and you can customize it to suit your taste too!

Monday, 9 December 2013

A Snow Globe Card for Marcel

At the Card a Day Blog, the theme is Snow… I just had to do this card for my husband’s memory, to help me remember to believe in the reason for the season and to find some joy in it… it may be a few years until I do.
Snow globes are one of my favorite ornaments… I love snow too, and thought that it would be a great idea to have snowflakes as the highlight of the snow globe.  I took a few items off of a couple of cutting files from my silhouette Studio… a hexagon base from one item, and a snow globe from another, then the Believe phrase.  I digitally colored the items, then combined everything (the snow globe is actually three layers).
Here is what I cut out:
marcels snow cardmarcels snow card base
A hint of the layering with dimensional tape:
And the final card:
Thanks for visiting! Hope my card inspired you to remember someone too!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

A Clean New Year Card

Hi! I made a quick and clean designed New Years Card, taking my inspiration from the Freshly Made Sketches here.  I made it with my silhouette, so I could co-ordinate all the colors of the items in the card. Used the honeycomb embossing die to make a base for my 5”x7” card.

My computer is acting up a bit, so before it dies, I will just share some quick pictures of the before part of my design and then the final card…. enjoy!

The picture of what I cut out… used everything except the rust colored buttons.

Dec7CADB New YearIMG_0121

Then a bit of the detail that I got by just painting on some glue to create a textured, somewhat glossy surface on the flowers and buttons.

I really like it, I hope you do too!


Visit the Card a Day Blog tomorrow when we start one of my favorite themes! Snow! (And yep! We’ve got snow where I live so I’ll have some great inspiration!)

Sunday, 1 December 2013

A Very Happy New Year Card

Over at the Card a Day Blog, I have the pleasure of making the first card of December, with a new theme! New Years! Its hard to believe that we have to start thinking about the New Year already! That means I’m really behind! I made a really simple card that I hope inspires you!
In this card, there are 5 layers, some I did digitally (no cut) and others I print and cut out, adhering them to the card with dimensional tape.  The layers in order, back to front:
  1. 5”x7” rectangle filled with a red texture pattern I had on my computer.
  2. 4.5” x 6.5” rectangle filled with a pattern I bought at the Silhouette store.
  3. A snowman that I colored digitally
  4. A birthday banner I changed into a New Year banner
  5. Wavy “snow” edge made of a scalloped border that I ran through my cuttlebug, using a new favorite embossing plate  from Cricut, designed by Anna Griffin, called “Foulard”
Here is what I print and cut to adhere dimensionally:
new year 2014 embellishments
Here is what I printed as a card “base”:
new year 2014 backgrnd
And the final result!IMG_0094
Sorry that I didn’t have time to note all the file names I used… I do hope you like the card though!
At the Card a Day Blog there are just two weeks of card making posts to do before our Christmas/Winter Break!  Its almost as good as an advent calendar, the excitement of the end of the year for our card making!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A Warm Thank You Card

One of the first quilt blocks I ever made with my sister was a Maltese Flower Cross, hand appliqued quilt square we did for a block of the month in the Quadra Island Quilters group we belong to.  I thought it made a very festive looking block that using Christmas colors would fit right into being a Christmas thank you card! Its as close to a paper piecing card that I’ll ever make (really don’t like fiddling around too much with cards…the quicker the better is my motto)
Here is where I got the inspiration!
Maltese cross pattern
I downloaded the pattern and copy and pasted it into my Silhouette Studio Program… traced the outside edge, digitally colored the pieces, and resized them to make an approximately 5 inch square card.  I made a background piece with a word border which repeated “Thank you” (you could have lots of fun with the program doing this, or opt to hand write a message around the edge too.
Here are the two screens in my Studio program showing the pieces ready to print and cut.
thank you maltese cross backgroundthank you maltese cross
It looks complex, but it is really assembled quite easily… Attach with glue or double sided tape as necessary:
  1. Cross the green stems, corner to corner and centered…
  2. Put the crown like golden flower petals down, almost touching both sides of the green stems.
  3. The center red circle should just cover the bottom of all of the golden flower petals.
  4. Arrange the  golden buds topped with the white strips on the arching stems
  5. Attach the leaves and red flower buds on the remaining stems towards the corner.

All in all, I think it will be a special card for someone on my list who loves quilting Smile


I’ve really been enjoying what other card makers have been posting on this theme at the Card a Day Blog, I hope you have too!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

8 Little Lights, a Card for Hanukkah

I am posting a card for the Card a Day Blog today, and the theme is Hanukkah.  Its not a card that I would usually make as I have no one to send it to, so I am a bit out of my comfort zone… therefore the reason to try to make it even more special Smile  I decided to do an easel card, and I adjusted the easel card file by Bird  - “Christmas Pudding Easel Card”. Using the cut file with my Silhouette, I  basically by just used the card base and adding an extra colored circle. The menorah was a cut file I found in the Silhouette store. 

The pictures below are from the start of my project to the finished, folded card.  All that is left to do is to print or stamp Happy Hanukkah in the space that is viewed when the card is opened.

hanukka2013hanukkah 2 2013hanukkah 3 2013 

Simple, yet special…. my favorite thing to do when making a card (K.I.S.S.) Smile

hanukkah 1 2013

Have a great card making day!!!!

Friday, 15 November 2013

… Silent Night

I’ve got another card for my post at the Card a Day Blog! The theme of the week is Christmas ornaments, and this card reflects one of my favorite ornaments… I bought 24 tin stars from LeeValley (search for victorian ornaments), and have had them on every Christmas tree since.  I didn’t want to lose one to a card, but I looked through my recycled stash, and found a star a similar size that I got from a quilting gathering (yep, another interest LOL).  The rest of the card is all Christmas wrap, cut and taped on with double stick tape.  I wrote the …. silent night with a Pen-Touch Extra Fine Point metallic ink pen. I just needed to remind myself to keep things simple at this time of year, and remember the silent night that made it all possible.
photo 1_2
Now as promised, some recycling card tips I use:
  1. Cut out parts of the images for embellishments… simple ones are best, unless you like doing fussy cuts with really good scissors. My favorite types are snowmen (easy!), although if the background is plain, you can cut out with a narrow border around the image too.
  2. Sort out your old cards and pieces of paper in color types…. reds… greens… blues… etc. It really helps find the right ones.  I also use zip lock sandwich bags to sort some special papers that I want to keep from getting dog eared in my stash box.
  3. Once a year, trash your stash (well, that’s what I should do, as my stash is much too big, but I do make an effort to go through my stash of cards and cut out the unnecessary parts of them and throw out the ones I don’t think I will use. 
  4. Sort by season and occasion. 
  5. Don’t forget the Flyers… I’ve got some great cards just utilizing junk mail! Remember the post I did here using a Boston Pizza ad?
I love recycling cards, it helps me get a designers eye when I see all the different designs out there. If I’m stumped for ideas, I look at some card sketch sites or my stash of cards to get my creative juices flowing.
The main thing is to keep having fun, and don’t worry about being perfect (or the card!). 
Enjoy your day!
Remember that the Card a Day Blog has a challenge going on for November…. for more information on it, click here

Saturday, 9 November 2013

An Elf Gift Card

I had a lot of fun making this Christmas gift card. I wanted to show that you don’t have to have much on hand to make a super cool card. Most of this card was just plain cardstock, but with a bit of embossing, coloring (thanks Xyla), and a smidgeon of wrapping paper, it turned out well IMHO.

I did have to make some lemonade out of one blooper - I had initially hand printed a sentiment inside the card, from one I found in another Christmas card --- which would have been perfect for a gift card --- then I discovered that I misspelled one of the words, sigh.  For future reference the phase was going to be:

Hope it glitters, Hope it sparkles, Hope its beautiful!

I made the card based upon the size of the elf my niece made for me (its so cute, don’t you think!). The card is 4”x6”

photo 3_1.

Elements of the card:

photo 2_1

  • Cuttlebug “Twill Stripe” embossing folder
  • Christmas wrap, scrap green cardstock, and a salvaged sentiment from the inside of an old Christmas card.

 photo 4_1

  • Gift card slider constructed from plain cardstock (see picture below). Sorry, no dimensions, I put it together using scrap paper and a credit card for sizing. Decorated it with Christmas wrap, and taped it to the inside of the card. The card holder has a built in paper bow that I colored with metallic and plain markers.

photo 1_1

I hope you have fun making some cards for the season.  I don’t really like giving money for gifts, but sometimes it makes more sense to send a gift like that through the mail, vs spending so much on postage by sending a parcel. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to make two gift cards….. now, who to send them too!

Remember to visit the Card a Day Blog for more ideas too!

Friday, 1 November 2013

A Card For Santa’s Helper

Here is my card for the new theme at the Card a Day Blog!

I love recycling cards… so much so, that my co-workers give me their cards after Christmas (usually just the card fronts, but sometimes the whole card (which can be a bonus as sometimes the area around the sentiment is blank, and I can use it in a new card too!)!!!  My husband always new if the card he chose for me was a good one if I wanted to cut it up right away. Actually, one of his cards did not make it until Christmas - I cut it up the next day and decoupaged it and stuck it to magnetic paper and it was on my fridge for over 5 years!

The card I made today is a recycled card… the card base is 5 inches square. I used a card front that I cut out the Santa, and the bottom strip, and then the sentiment that was above the Santa.  Well, you’ll see from the pictures below. The red and gold snowflake paper is actually tissue paper, which when glued onto the card stock kind of crinkles and gives a decoupage like texture… I’ll do that again!

First, the elements I used…

photo 1

The outside of the card…

photo 3

The inside of the card

photo 4

(I created a “pocket” for a gift card holder I cut from another piece of card stock, and a place to slide it into the card - I think you can figure it out by the picture!)

Thanks for visiting, and remember to take time to enjoy the holidays. Its hard not to get caught up in trying to do everything!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Ah, A Ginger Bread Man Card!

I chose to do a simple card for the Christmas at Home theme…. what says Christmas at home better than the smell of cookies and gingerbread men???

I made this card by diving into my scrap and salvage box (I save all sorts of card fronts, ribbon etc off of gifts from previous years). I chose this delightful gingerbread man ribbon, an embossed glossy beige and a rich brown cardstock. The sentiment is from a Christmas digital stamp from BrossArtfull Designs, I found it at their Etsy shop. I simply chose the phrase I wanted, print and cut it out to glue on the card.  Sometimes it is just easier and more time efficient to buy something like that Smile

photo 1

The card is 3 1/2 inches by 5 1/4 inches, top fold.  The ribbon was a wire edged one, so to make it easier to glue to the card, I just cut it to size and then removed the wire.

Hope you like it!

photo 2


What is your favorite thing to do at Christmas? Looking forward to see how you  inspire us with your entry for our challenge at the Card a Day Blog

Monday, 28 October 2013

I’ll be Home for Christmas

Welcome from the Card a Day Blog! Here is my entry for the Home for Christmas theme this week.
To me, nothing says home at Christmas better than some of my favorite Christmas tree ornaments.  I’ve had some home-made toy soldiers on my tree for the last 20 years or so. 
Like many of you (I hope!), I’ve been running short of time lately, and don’t really have a large stash to sort through to find items to inspire me, so I’ve opted to go all digital in this card.  I splurged and bought the Home for Christmas Bundle and Holiday Charm Elements from Scrapbookgraphics, for some great background papers and elements I could see myself using a lot.
Here’s what I did!
I’m planning to print the background paper with the holly and the word art on it, and cut the toy soldier, red strip of paper, and the three gemstone flowers to glue and layer on…. I think with a bit of dimensional tape and perhaps some spray acrylic gloss it will turn out wonderful!

Monday, 21 October 2013

My favourite hot chocolate mix

Based upon various recipes online, but adapted to using the large container of my nutri-bullet.  The secret is to finely blend everything together, it makes the mix dissolve easily.

1/3 cup coffee whitener (I used lite)
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup instant slim milk powder
1/3 cup cocoa (the dark, cooking stuff)

Blend with the flat blades of your nutri bullet until it all mixes together - you should find that it is a consistent powder. If you don't have a nutri bullet, try 1/2 the recipe in a blender, pulsing to mix.  

Use 1 heaping tablespoon per cup, add boiling water. For an extra special treat, add a splash of coconut milk for "cream"... it really adds a special flavor!


UPDATE, December 22
Just made a huge batch for my pantry...
done by parts:
4 parts sugar (measured before powdering)
8 parts skim milk powder
3 1/2 parts coffee whitener
3 parts cocoa

Much creamier, and not so sweet... really like this, although may up the cocoa to 4 parts too.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Christmas from the Netherlands

Welcome to the last day of the theme, Christmas Around the World at the Card a Day Blog!

Today, we are visiting Holland…  I was trying to think about where to visit with this card, and was browsing the theme of Christmas Around the World and settled on the Netherlands. It seemed to be an easy thing to focus on their Santa Claus (dressed a bit different than North America’s one). But then I also found more tidbits of their traditions, like “Sinterklaas” rides on a horse, and the children leave their clogs out with a bit of hay and carrots in the hopes that they will receive some sweets themselves! Out goes the milk and cookies at my house this year (I really don’t like baking).

I googled for images of Sinterklaas, and came across this png file that was so cute… I also downloaded some free christmas papers here.

I used my Silhouette to help me compose all of the “elements” to make my card.  Here is what I decided to do. If you look at the white dashed lines, that will be the outer edge of my card.  The white strip will be embossed, and Sinterklaas will be cut and adhered with dimensional tape. Prettgie Kerstfeest translates to Merry Christmas in the Netherlands.

Oct 19 prettgie kerstfeest

Here is how all of my card’s elements are cut out on one sheet of cardstock, for printing and cutting:

Oct 19 card in silhouette

I’m off to make my card now, and will be back shortly with the results! Sorry I’m so late this morning… Its 7:40 am Pacific now, and will be an opportunity to show you how quickly a card, once designed, can be done as a print and cut… the best thing is that once you save it, you can do it again, and again, so easily!  I’ll update this post with the card and time in a flash!

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men…. first spent 5 minutes updating some of my post at the Card a Day blog…. Then started my print and cut… everything looked great and then I didn’t set the cut parameters correctly… thought, hey, I’ll try the trick of using a piece of sandpaper to sand the back of the paper so the picture would be able to be taken out (didn’t work, I really had set my cutting parameters wrong!).  So, back again to the printer…. cut again, and everything turned out except the lettering… print and cut again, but this time setting up the white strip that I was going to emboss with the lettering, and forgetting about cutting out the lettering… no embossing for me today!

So, an hour later, after updating the post at the Card a Day blog, here I am, posting the final version of my card.  BTW, the “cord” of the balloon was too small to cut, so I opted to use a felt marker to draw it in… it would have looked cool if I could have found a thin piece of cord or ribbon. Will leave that for another day Smile

And the moral of the story is…. keep trying, and if it doesn’t turn out the way you expect it to, work with what you have, and be happy Smile  Have a great day!


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

An Italian Christmas

For those who have followed my blog, you know about my trip to Italy last month… With the Card a Day Blog theme of Christmas Around the World, how could I not focus on Italy?  I got my inspiration from this website that tells about traditions in Italy at Christmas, particularly where it discusses the Urn of Fate, where a large decorated bowl is filled with presents, and each family member takes one until the bowl is emptied. 

I used my Silhouette, and the following cut files:

Hope you get inspired to find a new tradition for your family this year!

Here are the elements of my card… the part of the bow and the presents have to be put onto another page to print and cut out…


And the final product…


Thanks for coming by! See you at the Card a Day Blog tomorrow too for some more Christmas Around the World!

Monday, 14 October 2013

A Lazy Thanksgiving

Like a lot of families in Canada, yesterday was our turkey day. I had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s, who cooked chicken instead of the traditional turkey. Chicken and gravy, mashed squash, basmati rice, home-made cranberry apple spiced sauce, and salad. Mini angel food cakes with home-made cherry pie filling (from their garden) and whipped cream. Yum! I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner, and Cody was definitely a gentleman by not whining too much under the table for scraps.

So, today I’m having a lazy day. I initially intended to get a lot done, but thought it would be fun to do a couple of things that have been on my radar to do.

1. Harvest a tray of worm castings from the Worm Farm I started in this post.  I could have done it last month before I left for Italy, but never got around to it before my sister started to look after them.  I will say that there are loads of worms now!  I harvested over 1/2 of a large dish pan of castings, and put back about 4 good cups of mostly worms into the bin.  Note to self, make sure that you don’t over water the bin before you go to separate the worms from the castings --- it was more difficult than it needed to be.

photo 1


2. Break out the Sun Oven I bought, to see how I can cook a meal inside my house on a sunny day without using the oven!  I’m still learning how to focus it, but I think it is a feasible thing to use, even in my house (I have a large window that faces south).

photo 4 photo 5   

You can see by the temperature gauge that its getting up to almost 250 d. Fahrenheit (and that with just being focused for about 1/2 hour. I just read the temperature after 1 hour of it being in the sun, and its holding steady at 250 d. That’s about high temp on a slow cooker, and it is supposed to retain heat and be able to be used as a heat retained cooker, so I’m going to monitor the temperature and hopefully by dinner time, everything will be done! I still have 2 good hours of cooking, and have 2 casseroles inside, the bottom one with mushroom rice, and the top one with a 1 lb meatloaf and tomato sauce.  Judging by the temperatures so far, I can see why they say that in the summertime the Sun Oven will get up to between 350 d. & 400 d. Fahrenheit! I know I’m going to be doing some baking when I’m camping next year!

Such a good day to count my blessings. Hoping you and your family have a great one too!


Here is what the meatloaf looked (temperature test), sliced, and with the rice I made. Its supposed to be sunny all this week, so I’ll be trying to make some dinner to be ready for me when I get home from work this week!


Friday, 11 October 2013

Florence Bike Tour

I think that this was one of the highlights of my visit to Florence.  Florencetown has several types of tours available. The thing that appealed to me about the bike tour is that there was a maximum of 15 people per tour, a small amount compared to walking tours, where there are usually 25 people (or even more) per tour. It was a bargain too! I got a deal because there was the bicycle race in town… and paid $18 EU vs the regular $25 EU. There ended up being only 7 people on our tour, so it was great, feeling like you were having more of a private tour.
Our first stop was at the  Piazza Santa Croce, where our guide was describing the soccer game that is held on June 24th of every year… it sounds like a really great time to visit Florence, during the celebration of its patron saint, San Giovanni. You can find out more about it here.
Our guide also described the flood that happened in Florence, November 3rd and 4th, 1966. If you look at the picture below, you can see the marker just below the street sign by the window… that was the water level of the flood.  Remember the doors are at least 12 feet tall, so you can imagine the devastation that occurred then!
We went to the Piazza della Repubblica, where there is a 3 dimensional map of the old city, also a carousal ride, and the Florence version of the Arch de Triumph.
We went around the Duomo, and she told us some more about the history of what happened during the flood, especially with the doors of “paradise” of the Baptistery… the current ones on the building are a replica, the originals had to be restored as the flood had forced the panels off the doors (the originals are now in the museum).  She also told us of the significance of the Baptistery having 8 walls… Seven for each day of the week, and the eighth for paradise… and the Paradise door (facing the Church) is the one you would exit from the baptistery after your baptism, and be allowed to enter the Church.
Onward to the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, which is a stones throw from the railway station.
Then across the river, to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito, the Church where Michelangelo donated a wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ on the Cross (he carved when he was approx. 18 years old)… We went inside, no pictures allowed, but the beauty of the paintings and sculptures made it so worth the visit.  The plaza by the Church is apparently a great place to eat too.
Then onwards to Palazzo Pitti, that opens into the Boboli Gardens.
Back towards the Arno river, we crossed the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, the only bridge in Florence that was not destroyed during World War 2. It also supports the Vasari Corridor, that went from the Medicci Residence to the Government Palace.  Jewelry stores line both sides of the Ponte Vecchio, although it was originally lined by butcher shops.
Our final stop was the Piazza della Signoria, with the Palazzo Vecchio (current town hall).
I managed to take pictures of the Palazzo Vecchio early in the morning before there were too many tourists around… a must do if you want to take good pictures!
These are just some of the statues that are in the open (covered) display to the right of the palazzo.
There was another tourist, who had worked and studied art, and was sketching during her visit. I was going to do that, but didn’t have the nerve to do art in front of strangers. Will have to practice lots before I do that! (Ok, its on my bucket list!)
I forget which plaza this was in, but there were some street performers, and the little boy was just having such a great time mimicking the violin and cello player - it was so fun to watch how enthusiastic he was! It was also evident at how much the musicians enjoyed him too!
Now before I forget, other places we rode by (but I didn’t take pictures) were the Academia Museum, the Artisan market (think leather), and the Bargello. We also enjoyed a gelato during a break about 1/2 way through our 2 1/2 hour tour!
Next time I think I will take the whole day bike tour… its $70 EU, but I think it would be worth it.
WOW! I can’t believe it, my final post on my vacation to Italy!  I’m sure there is lots I’ve forgotten to write about… but am so glad you’ve taken the journey with me here on my blog Winking smile.
On to planning my next big adventure!