Thursday, January 27, 2011

caitlyn's cards

Caitlyn (almost 5) made her first set of cards.  The cards were apologies to two of her classmates - unfortunately, there were altercations yesterday.  The first card is for Charlie:
(lovin' that 6am, no flash kitchen lighting)
And the second card is for Zsa Zsa. (Personally, I think anyone going around with that name's askin' for it, but that's just me...)

I did nothing but supply construction paper and trim corners.  From my perch on the couch, I heard DH rummage through the craft room.  He came out with an armful of punches and punched shapes - man-style, which was fast and furious.  She worked on the inside of the cards for an hour, with DH's help.
"Make sure you don't miss my rainbow!!!"
Here's the artist - complete with bed head.  I won't include the insisted upon My Little Pony portion of the photo shoot, but that was a hoot, too.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

daddy's album

For PTI's January blog hop (use an unused or dusty stamp set), I knew I wanted to pull out ALL the stamps, dies, and papers I hadn't used (starred in the supplies below).  I also wanted to make something special for my husband - our SAHD and the rock that holds the family together.  
This wonderful guy does ALL the laundry, cleaning, cat & dog care, morning daughter prep, shuttling to & from school, home maintenance, doctor's appointments, and over half of the cooking, shopping & dishes.   I'm not lazy :) but a working mom, 7 months pregnant with twin boys, who teaches science to 260 middle schoolers.  Seriously, 260.
This envelope book celebrates our 1st home together (we've sized-up to our 2nd).  While digging through the recycling for cardboard I found an awesome beer box and just went with it.  Layered mats and a placecard form the focal point, with a brown embossed sentiment put together from Boards & Beams, and Simple & Fresh Alphabets.
The tabs tell our story, each opening to journaling, photos, memorabilia, and a stash of realia in the envelope pocket. It's fun to pull out and unfold little bits of our history.
Here the sun begins to fade on my only two 'finished' pages.  I'll re-post a sequel with more loving pictures and details, so stay tuned!  

The top page has our dreams and plans for the house - a 'scaled' map used with tiny scaled furniture squares to fit everything in, and swatches of the paint colors used in our bedrooms and bath.  Below are clippings from a gathering of seven feisty old ladies at our soon-to-be home that made the local paper

Below are the unfinished pages (with more unused stamps to come).  My friend, Java, took our first picture as we first walked up to the free Adams Avenue Roots Festival.
And I have something fun planned for the page below, which highlight the work my electrician husband put into the home.  There's a sketch with plans for our xeriscape (low water), CA native plants habit from when we converted the front lawn.  Good times.
His birthday and Valentine's are three days apart so I'm going to roll them into one big extravaganza this year.  Can't wait for the fun!


stamps - PTI Boards & Beams*, Places Please*, Holiday Treats (house image), Fresh Alphabet, Simple Alphabet, Mini-Scrapbook Series: Tabs*, Library Card*, Tea for Two Additions*, Fancy Flourishes

paper - PTI fine linen, Library Ledger*, Green Tea Leaves, Bitty Dots 2009, kraft envelopes; cream vellum, recycled Ranger beer box

ink - PTI simply chartreuse, dark chocolate, orangerie, pure poppy, true black; Versamark

accents - PTI simply chartreuse grosgrain ribbon, dark chocolate twill ribbon; antique copper mini brads, chocolate brown embossing powder

tools- PTI dies (Tea Cup*, Place Card*, Mini Tab*, Library Pocket*), impression plates (Woodgrain, Linen)

Friday, January 21, 2011

ticket birthday

A 5th birthday is almost here!  This year's invitations are coming straight from Maile Belles' blog (link here).  I had a ton to do and needed to get 'em done.  I love Maile's colors, but I let the birthday girl choose from six options (hawaiian shores, raspberry fizz, hibiscus burst, simply chartreuse, plum pudding, and lavender moon).  She chose:
For the glittered cupcakes I drew over the stamped raspberry fizz image with a fine-tip glue pen.  And I don't have hawaiian shores ink so I stamped the outline for the liner onto bitty dots paper.  No new cupcake dies yet - just old-fashioned cutting here.
Check out this adorable floral button one lucky invitee will get: 
And debossing the envelope flaps was a nice complement:
It's the perfect card for a loud & flashy birthday with games, rides, tickets & prizes at a near-by pizza 'fun-ery'. (Waldorf teachers would not approve.)   Inside the card is a strip of tickets stamped with 'Ticket to Celebrate', 'Food & Fun Party Time' & 'You're Invited'.

One thing I learned - stamping a single sentiment to fit is HARD!!!  It took me eight tries to the background right: I had to lightly draw guide lines,  and practice placing each new row (the 'ti' fits tightly under the 'le' & 'it' fits halfway under the 'a').  Ridiculous, yes, but it had to be done for Maile's gorgeous card.


stamps - PTI Just the Ticket, Cupcake Collection, Birthday Bash Sentiments
paper - PTI hawaiian shores, raspberry fizz, plum pudding, stamper's select white; Bitty Dots 2009
ink - PTI raspberry fizz, true noir
accents - PTI hawaiian shores, raspberry fizz, plum pudding buttons; white craft yarn, extra fine multi-colored glitter
tools- PTI Just the Ticket die; Just the Ticket impression plate; Cricut 'Plantin Schoolbook' cartridge (for circle)

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    tofu veggie stirfry

    My brother and SIL in Portland have declared 2011 the year of eating in.  Cool.  I'm all for it.  We don't eat out much (but at the end of the post I will list our five fav eats in Uptown SD).  Our family goal is vaguely increasing ayurvedic meals and decreasing animal proteins.  Not a meat elimination here - I'm pregnant with twins and soon to be breastfeeding so I indulge my omnivore cravings.  But a tempering.  Here's some good stuff we had today:

    An almost-vegan breakfast: organic flax whole wheat waffles with organic mixed berry puree and fresh fruit salad (cara cara orange, apple, bing cherries and red grapes).  Olive oil spread and organic stick butter were both on the table - everyone reached for the butter.

    Lunch was intended to be baked tofu fries with a mixed green salad but I opened the pack of organic extra firm tofu to discover it was cubed.  Oops!  Change of plans.  My 6 month pregnant belly is making big dinners uncomfortable, so I decided to swap dinner and lunch and make a tofu veggie stirfry.  
    My so-called recipe: Cook 1 1/2 cups organic sweet short grain brown rice in a rice cooker with 3 1/4 cup filtered water and a dash of sea salt.  'Press' tofu cubes to remove excess liquid (sandwich them in a single even layer between clean dish towels and baking sheets - put a few cans on top and leave in the fridge for 20 min).  Remove the tofu, put in a bowl and marinate with organic tamari, organic rice vinegar, raw honey, organic veggie broth, and fresh ground black pepper.  Minced fresh ginger would be AWESOME but I forgot it.  Leave to marinate for a bit, tossing occasionally.  To reduce pitta (my ayurvedic 'dosha') I eliminated garlic chili paste - but it would be good too.

    Meanwhile, chop veggies and place in separate bowls - 1/2 a sweet onion, a medium head of broccoli, 2 carrots (slice diagonally), a big handful of sweet mini red peppers.  Rinse 1/2 can each of mini corns and water chestnuts.
    Set a big electric skillet to a low-ish temperature.  {I like the electric skillet because I can put all the tofu in a single, even layer to brown.}  Heat a little organic toasted sesame oil and organic olive oil, then add onions to cook for a few minutes.  Add tofu, stir, and spread the cubes out evenly; reserve the marinade.  Cover the skillet and brown tofu for a minute or two.  Stir and brown another side.  Repeat.  Next add carrot, stir, add reserved marinade and more tamari, vinegar, honey and broth.  Whatever feels right.  Cover and leave for a few minutes.  Next add red pepper, maybe a dash more tamari, cover and wait 1-2 min.  Finally add the rest of the veggies and a few splashes of whatever else (tamari, broth...).  Grind on some black pepper.  Stir, cover, and simmer until the veggies look bright and feel soft.

    Put a little rice in a bowl for the kiddo, divide the remaining rice between two adult bowls.  Cover the rice with tofu and veggies.  Sprinkle on some black sesame seeds.  Serve and be happy.

    Okay, and just for fun, here are our favorite five dinners out in Uptown San Diego (that's the Hillcrest, Mission Hills,  North Park, University Heights, Normal Heights, Kensington area):
    1. Adobado Burrito & Shredded Beef Flautas w/ El Perfecto Margaritas @ Ponce's
    2. Fish Tacos plates w/ Horchatas @ El Zarape's
    3. Rainbow Roll & Crunchy Roll (etc) w/ Crazy Milk Specials @ Sushi Deli
    4. Shrimp Pad Thai & Massaman Veggie Curry or Fried Tofu Spicy Noodles @ Bangkok Thai Spices
    5. Honey Walnut Shrimp & Chicken Moo Shu @ City Wok
    6. Chicken Kabob plates with rice & Hummus  @ Mediterranean Cafe
    Ok... that's six.  Oh well.  We love food.


    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    happy & sad cards

    Yesterday was a truly lovely day!  Thanks so much to my family and friends (blogging & IRL) for all the love.  It was also a good day because I made a card from scratch, no sketch, no special inspiration, no CASEing - yippee!  This may not be a big deal to many of the creative and extremely productive folks out there, but I'm just a regular crafty gal :)
    My one and only aunt is having a birthday, so I wanted something special.  Cards for aunts scream for florals, but I've never actually purchased such a stamp set (I know, weird)I do have Round & Round, however, and we're originally Kansas girls so it had to be the sunflower - in golden yellow.  Also purple because it's a complementary color, and I'm loving the spring time weather here (don't hate).  The card base is from the Cricut cartridge, A Child's Year,
    I also needed a card for the passing of a dear friend's father.  I did a variation on a set of thank yous from a previous post (link here).  For a masculine look I chose the wood impression plate on linen paper and inked the edges & grains with antique linen ink.  I used my fingernail to further distress the edges (looking a lot better than my usual distressing with scissors).  It's never fun to create a sympathy card, but I Iike this calming, soulful look.


    springtime birthday
    stamps - PTI Round & Round (Fillable Frames #8 & Birthday Basics on the inside)
    paper - PTI harvest gold, plum pudding, Egg Hunt patterened paper
    ink - PTI summer sunrise, plum pudding, dark chocolate; antique linen Distress Ink
    accents - PTI harvest gold buttons & swiss dots ribbon, new leaf baker's twine; yellow gems
    tools- PTI Mat Stack 1 die; EK Success 1 3/4" circle punch, Marvy super jumbo (blue) scalloped circle punch; Cricut cartridge 'A Child's Year'
    dove sympathy 
    stamps - Fillable Frames #2 (sentiment), Fillable Frames #8 (frame)
    paper - PTI blueberry sky, enchanted evening, linen
    ink - PTI enchanted evening; antique linen Distress Ink
    accents - PTI vintage cream felt
    tools- PTI Woodgrain impression plate, Peace Be Still Collection die

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    1-11-11 birthday roll call

    Oooo - a binary birthday!  I also have someone new to add to my list of fabulous people I personally know with this birth date (see last year's post here):
    1. Moriah McSharry McGrath
    2. Amy Harms
    3. Erin Relph
    4. Salma Dahir
    5. Baby Leda
    6. myself
    7. This year a dude made the list - Tony Cirrone who work at the SD Waldorf school ('This song is about a super hero named Tony. It's called Tony's Theme... To-ny!  To-ny!  To-ny!').  

    Important historical figures were born on 1-11, but that can be dry so here are some 'celebrities' instead: 
    Amanda Peet 
    Mary J. Blige 
    Naomi Judd

    One more I can't resist: Albert Hofmann. January 11, 1906. Swiss scientist in the field of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Trippy.  Makes me want to go on a bicycle ride.

    And there you have it!

    Today - some birthday crafting, dinner out (sorry, Tena!) and perhaps a Black Forest cake.  There's an amazing Dutch bakery two blocks from our new home - Hans and Harry's (link here).  At 7am on Christmas Eve I waited in line for over an hour to get their fresh fruit strudel.  It was awesome good.


    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    snowflake thanks

    Do you love creating patterned papers?  I do!  For one thing, it's a good way to use a lot of the stamps in a set.  It always feels better to ink up stamps to use, not just collect :)  For inspiration, I used a simple card from Niki Estes (link here) just tweaked a bit.  I think she totally nailed the dove and Fillable Frames #8 combination.
    I needed some thank you cards so I stamped a grouped block of sentiments from Inside & Out: Thank You.  I filled in gaps with snowflakes in various sizes and hues of blue.
    Blueberry sky and enchanted evening look so rich and gorgeous to me, and they pair nicely with rustic white and smokey shadow edging.
    This sentiment from Star Prints is one of my all time favorites.  The dove is glitter embossed so it's shiny and sparkly.
    I love this pearlescent electric blue because it's so bright and shimmery in person.  Yay - that's four special cards to thank four special people!


    stamps - PTI Peace Be Still, Inside & Out: Thank You, Fillable Frames #8, Star Prints, Rustic Snowflakes ('Handmade by' image on back of card)
    paper - PTI blueberry sky, enchanted evening, rustic cream
    ink - PTI spring moss, enchanted evening; Tsukineko Brilliance sky blue ink
    accents - PTI blueberry sky saddle stitch ribbon; glitter embossing powder
    tools- PTI Peace Be Still die, Fillable Frames #8 die