Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kuretake watercolor cards with variegrated wash

Joy shape from Silhouette
I love watercolor for the interesting techniques you can get, add this with Kuretake Ganai Tambi Starry colors, you can really get some neat effects!

Cut your watercolor to size, mine were 4.5x5.5 (I cut it then to the size that I wanted after I knew what worked for each card.)

Mix the starry colors with the pigment, then paint the variegated wash
If your new to making a variegated wash go here for a quick tutorial
I played around, and when the paper was still a bit wet I would add some extra Starry Color  to add more shimmer.

Joy Shape from Silhouette

Kuretake Starry Colors come in gold and silver, it's easy enough to match the golds with the colors you are using. For example, if you use a red hue from the Gansai Tambi, use the red gold that comes in so the colors don't make mud, the goal here is to get your metallic to work with the pigment.

While the paper is drying, I cut out some shapes on the Cameo Silhouette on white card stock, and gold card-stock. I chose some that were thick, and graphic, and that would compliment the variegated wash

Once the paper is dry, you can add the die cuts, and the paper that makes the card shine. I also used some decorative tape to add some extra glitz.

Reindeer silhouette branch frame
  Each card's background was created with the V.wash, cut to the size that I thought would work best.  I added some embossing paper and ribbon along with some decorative tape.
Geometric tree cut

Adding two different colors and texture to the card really can add intrest, these cards has an elegant feel to them and I didn't want to add to much color to the base of the card so the watercolor can be the star of the show.

Christmas Card shape
I really enjoyed making these cards, the watercolor wash was so fun to play with, I enjoyed all the ideas I came up with while making these cards. I can't wait to send them to some of my family and friends!

Happy creating!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving card

I thought I would share a quick card, I used, my kuretake Watercolor that I love as a wash with heat embossed background, and then i used velum leaves to add some embellishments to it, it was an easy Card!

This card, I used a print and cut flower from Silhouette, and added some watercolor to add shimmer and color

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Joy hanging Canvas

This was one of those projects that I have had in my mind for like three years, seriously I have been planning this for a long time, finally my dream of making this came to life when I saw that Lori Whitlock had a file perfect for my creation! The best thing about it was I  had everything for this project! 

The hanging canvas file was purchased, with the tutorial on youtube and then I found the type face I wanted my JOY to be cut out at, it was a simple serif, School book serif that worked wonderful for this project.

The paper, I had to use 3 sheets of 12x12 sheets per canvas, so I used all coordinating paper, from a Christmas paper pack from Crate Paper Company. 
I then used 2 sheets of glitter paper, although I had plenty of scraps that I will save for another use. 

Then for the green picture frame, I wanted a frame that would hold the picture, but that I could change out ever year, so I just made a flap to hold the picture in, nothing to fancy! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Joy Canvas board

Joy is the one word I would describe the Christmas Season, it gives me such comfort knowing that we can really find joy!

So I had to crafty this up a bit! this was a simple project, I found some paper at Memory Bounds, bought the canvas board to go with it, then onto the fun part: I glued the paper to the canvas board, I used watered down Elmer's school glue, but lots of people use modge podge. Prior to starting this project I cut out a bunch of greenery, and pine cones, I used some Glimmer Mist on the greenery and pine cones to add some sparkle and texture to it.

Once the glue was dried and the paper was adhered to the canvas board, I added red stickles to the holly berries. once those berries were dry and all sparkly I added the greenery, and the pine cones to where I thought that the pine cones should go, and let it dry, it was a super easy process and looks really nice in my house. (those are the projects I love.)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

An atitidue of Gratitude How it changed my life

I was so mad at the world, in my early adult days, I don't think I was angry, I just didn't get my way all the time and it made me mad. Yah, I am not proud to admit that. I can self justify and make excuses but really it was a trait that I wasn't truly happy with. So What changed?

My perspective of what really matters most, and to be more specific I needed an attitude adjustment. I found it in the most unlikely sources: a loving husband. I remember someone say that we should have an Attitude of Gratitude. So I tried, and tried and tried and I have found that there really is something magical when it comes to being content with what you have! After all isn't there a commandment that says Thou Shall Not Covet... I think this commandment is totally over looked and we would do well to really learn why it's one of the top ten commandment that God told Moses that the Israelites/we need.

As I was pondering why I was "mad at the world" I realized that my heart/mind was not in the correct place, I realized that I was looking at what every one else had and forgot about all I had. During times like those, (I think we all have those times when we just feel like we get nothing in return for what we are doing, it's human nature right?) I did a couple things that seemed to help:

Morning pages, What??? Yes  again if you write in the morning, like I do spend some time writing what you are grateful for. and not on social media, it should be personal, and very blunt. if your thankful that your toddler is done in the stage where he has to push a button or he will go crazy, write it!

Make a top 5 list everyday of what you are grateful for, write about the silly stuff, or the experinces you made the day before. Most of the times the small things are not really small, I cherish hugs, smiles, giggles and cuddles from my kids, I would take one of those over anything in the world. Which then leads me to Paying attention.

Pay Attention: What does gratitude have with paying attention? I would say A LOT! When we are in the "mad at the world" stage in life, how often are we really paying attention to what we have? I was so clueless as to what I had when I was in my "Mad At The World" stage, that I forgot my basic luxuries of having clothes, having a good car to get me to a really good job (at the time I saw it as a crappy job that paid me half of what I thought I should be making.) Living in a country that is free, and living in a time where opportunities are endless.  We are truly blessed, I am truly blessed to have what we have.

So how can we pay more attention? For me I did three simple things that helped me have more of an attitude of gratitude:

I take walks, and looked at the beauty that this world had to offer, I looked at the people at the parks, the leaves on the trees, I just simply concentrated myself in the environment I was in.

I limited my use of distractions, like social media, reading magazines, or books, and truly observered more with my kids, family, friends. And something miraculous happened, I started seeing other's needs more, and my covetousness went away. If you want a really fun challenge that changed my thought process, Don't Read for a whole week, you can listen to what ever you want, but no reading or watching tv, after a week of this, your perspective will change. It's hard, way harder than I thought but totally worth it! I do this about once ever spring, I call it my game changer, every time I start it, I dread it, and at the end of the week I have a lot more perspective coming out of the week, that I feel balanced.

I challenge you to go a week with out reading, and watching tv, and see what good things, and thoughts come your way!

The Third way paying attention helps you have an attitude of Gratitude:
Do something kind for yourself, As a mom, you don't get days "off" I am lucky enough that I have a space I can call my own and I can create what ever I want, for me it's like breathing, I have to be able to create or I get into the "mad at the world" stage again, it's not terrible but it's not a great place to be in! The key to being kind to yourself is to do something that helps you feel better, Creating things makes me feel better, therefore I am able to pay more attention to the things that matter most.

So have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Pay attention to your family members and make an attitude of gratitude something that you cherish!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Paper ornaments

I love making and giving ornaments during the Christmas Season, do you? If so you are at the right spot, I have a some that don't take much tools (like a paper die cutter) and some that does require tools.

A side story to tell, a friend and I got to talking about how much money the spend on Christmas decorations, and then the What do you do? came up. I was like um not spend X amount on Christmas decorations, then talked about how I make a lot of my Christmas decorations because it's fun and my kids also like doing it with me. So now onto my blog post:

Paper is so fun!!!! and there are a tons of things to do with it, so why not make pretty ornaments you would like to give as gifts, or as decorations? So I came up with some that I really like.

 These two snowflakes are the same file, can you believe it? you can find the file at the Silhouettes Design store The first one was done with the DCWV Crisp Luxury paper collection, and the other was done with double sided paper I had from my stash, I have no idea what the brand is. But didn't the paper work nicely for the snowflake?  I hot glued the layers, and added a small pearl embellishment to the middle, but any cute embellishment would have worked well.
 I love manipulating paper, it's fun to see what kind of 3d things you can make, and this ornament was super easy to make, I got the idea from Memory Bounds in Ankeny IA, They have some really talented designers. This tree was originally on canvas borad as a multimedia collage, but I thought it would work really well as an ornament. The long and short of it, is tear 5 different widths of triangles x2, (it doesn't matter how long the triangle is,) you just want the width to keep getting smaller so when you lay it out it looks like a tree. I used two 12x12 paper for this. I tore both edges for the texture, then added some metallic glaze over the ends to make it look distressed. Then I hot glued each roll together, added a ribbon down the side of it, and then added the bead. It was simple and yet so elegant! I think even my small children could do this with my help!

Pine Cone ornament, I was picturing this to be in a cluster of three, but I think one by it's self was really elegant.  I also used hot glue to assemble all the pieces of paper, it was a lot of layers, but turned out really cool I thought! I did use monochromatic double sided paper, that I thought would work well. One side was lighter and had some texture and the other side had no texture and was darker, I switched the layers up a bit just to add some value and some visual interest to the pine cone. I used the last layer to hid the knot holding the pine cone together with a ribbon to hang it, and done! didn't this turned out amazing!?

So there you have it, three simple and yet stunning paper ornaments that are not the usual ornaments you make. Of course I could do another round of paper ornaments, but I think for now I will stop at three!

Did you have any paper ornaments that you make? I would love to see them in the comments below!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Christmas packaging for Caramels

So I have been thinking a lot about how I am going to wrap my caramels up, and present them as gifts, and the easy answer would be buy those simple Christmas tins and give them like that, and I will do that too, but today I thought I would show you another simple way to be crafty, and I bet the person that gets this cute treat box wont throw the gift box away!

I got the file from the Silhouette Design store and here is the tutorial for the file.

I used green Card-stock from my stash, I think the heavier the card-stock the better, and for the white panels I used White card-stock from DCWV. 

For the bow I used this file which I have used all the time, one of those best shapes for the money! The paper was from Paper Studio, a Hobby Lobby brand a couple years back. (from my stash of paper.) I hot glued the bow to the package, and done, a cute Christmas gift waiting to be given!

So if you make something delicious that you give away, send me the recipes!!! I love creating new things, who know maybe I will post it onto my blog!

Christmas Trees with Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor set

It's that time of year to start thinking about sending cards in the mail! I love making my own cards, this year I really dove deeper into watercolor, and wanted my cards to showcase my love for watercolor! I love all the avenues that watercolor can take you on, for example, this card shows a lot of value, even with just one color! Which is why I chose Gansai Tambi from Kuretake. In this card I used olive green and red gold for the trees, a simple and stunning watercolor effect!

This card was "easy" it's done with a stencil, I was watching my art shows on youtube, and came across this video,  it was exactly what I was looking for. I had a stencil already cut from the silhouette design store, so production of this card was simple. I will say it took a couple of tries to see what I liked and and how I was going to go about doing this, then like with the art process it just clicked and I knew what I was doing. for the top card I used a mop brush and just sketched the stencil with minimum brush strokes and let it dry, then with a detailed brush to add some yellow gold to the trees to give it some shimmer.  The bottom card I used a flooding technique, or a wet into wet technique to get those blooms you see with the yellow.

I got to say, that with the Starry colors that Kuretake came out with to use with the other watercolors, is a great addition to your paints, I also like the fact, that if you are a limited pallet user like me, you don't have to go with the 36 color set just to get the gold, and silver paints, you can buy just the starry colors and mix it with your favorite color to get a metallic look!

For the Merry Christmas I used some gold paper from Michaels, in the serene paper pack, cut that out using the miss kate cuttables
 Merry Christmas sentiment, and some wood grain patterned paper. I then used some decorative tape from Hobby Lobby to add some extra gold to the bottom of the card to anchor it.

I thought I would give you a peak into what I am working on next with these amazing watercolor paints, Spoiler, I am making some backgrounds to go with some way cute graphic style layered cards, I can't wait to post them soon!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Do It Myself PBS Kids cookbook

I love cookbooks, seriously I have a whole book shelf of cookbooks, someone should really stop me, and what's worse is I always have at lest two or three cookbooks cheeked out from the library....  So I couldn't resist this cookbook, remember that if your my child, every year for your birthday I give a cookbook... this is one of them that should make your list!

PBS Kids has a cookbook for kids,  that your elementary school child/children could easily with parent supervision cook themselves a complete meal with out your help (my kind of cookbook right?)  They say nothing sharp, and nothing hot, and they deliver on that promise.  Most of the recipes are snacks, or sandwiches, which works, and then the deserts are often dump pour and
mix sort of deserts. I like this cookbook a lot for the measuring spoons.
they take up less room than my set of measuring cups. The cookbook is illustrated very clearly, and my 7 year old daughter can read the recipes well, and understand the directions.

We made the Shrimp Tacos, they were good, I had my daughter tear the shrimp in half, they were little to start with, and she had fun cutting up the avocado, measuring and mixing.

We also made the Parfaits, that was an activity that my daughter did all by herself with the "help" from her younger brother, it was very heartwarming to hear and watch them in the kitchen.

We then for a lighter supper made the deli meat and pepper roll ups, I substituted the roasted peppers for green bell peppers, it was a hit. My 4 year old son really loved spreading mayo onto the tortilla.

After each recipe was completed my kids were feeling pretty good about themselves, and who can blame them, after all it's teaching them self reliance, and a whole host of good skills (math, reading, science, all in one activity.)

There are lots of variations you can easily do with the recipes provided, This is a spring board, add more or less ingredients, and steps, the sky's the limit to what you can create with this cookbook gem! I looked at this cookbook as a great addition to our cookbook collection! I want to give a big shout out to Downtown Bookworks for this amazing cookbook!
Here are some sample recipes!!! Try them out with your kids, They will love it!

Do you have a favorite recipe that your kids can make? I would love to hear about it!!!

King Arthurs Flour Fruit Pie Craftsy Class

It's pie season and Craftsy sure know's how to help you learn all the skills it takes to make a pie. I was so excited when I saw this class, it was exactly what I was looking for in a class for pie making. I have always been about the crust, I get the filling, and really, the filling was always easier to do than the crust, at least it is for me. So King Arthurs Flour's Fruit Pies came very timely. I am in charge of pies for Thanksgiving, I have been for the past 2 years, and this year I want to be called/labeled as the Pie Maker of the family. I think I will achieve that!

So why make your own pie when you can get one cheaper, or all ready done for you? It's about the process, and of course the taste, you can't beat a home made pie, not even if you pay $20ish for a home baked pie from a restaurant (Perkins, Village Inn, Bakers Square.) Which my apple pie I that is pictured costed about $3-$6 worth of ingredients to make, (got free apples when they were in season then froze them)

I make pies because I really like to know what ingredients are in my pies, I like to pick the apples, or the cherries, or the peaches or even the black berries. Making the crust is one of those fun processes that makes my heart happy, I don't know why it just does. With those reasons in mind I wanted to share some of the things I loved about this craftsy class, King Aurthor's Flour Fruit Pie.

I never learned how to make a crust that actually tasted better than the store bought ones, so you guessed it I would just buy the store bought kind. I now understand how to use different types of flour and fat's to cater to my pie, for example Melanie Wonders talked about why you would want some lard/Crisco in your pie crust instead of butter (Lard gives more of a hearty taste to the crust, perfect for your favorite pot pie, or quiche dish.) I really like the idea of using almond flour for a really extraordinary cherry almond pie.

I like that she used classic pies in the class to demonstrate the different crusts, I am a very traditional cook/baker and wanted to know how to make a cherry, peach, apple and blackberry pie, Melanie did a great job, she also explained how much sure-jell I will need for what type of filling, it took out the guess work.

I also really enjoyed learning the different ways that you could decorate your pie to make it look professional, or in my case to make the pies "look like I know what I am doing." From braiding the edge of the pie, or crimping the crust for the caramel apple pie. Adding cut outs to add a beautiful border, or topping the pie with different size shapes to make a top crust, and my favorite that I really hope to make soon: a lattice top, which will makes your pie stand out and almost to pretty to eat. I really enjoyed the artistry behind the process of the crust to your pie.

Melanie does a great job with the filling too, I made the caramel apple pie and it was truly delectable! The best apple pie I have had, let alone made. For a quick tip, I like to peel, core and cut my apples and then freeze the apples in a bag until I am ready to make an apple pie, it's easier that way, you can also do this with peaches, which is my preferred way of making pies. I don't like the idea of buying produce when it's not in season. So I get apples and peaches late august when they are in season for less than $1.00/lb, cut peal, core bag'em and freez'em then it's easy, the hard part come pie season is making the crust, which with this class is totally worth it!

I also had made the raspberry white Chocolate cream pie, with Cornmeal coconut oil crust, which was delicious!

If you are looking for a good seasonal class to help you in the Kitchen try this class, you will be so glad you did Here is the link to get started!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Pretty in Pink paper flower bouquet

I have a dream about creating a whole green house out of paper flowers becuase I can, and it seems more logical than to grow them. So with that in mind, I though instead of making a card that is cute for a friend that is needing some extra love, I made a paper flower arrangement! I used some paper that my distant cousin gave me while she was cleaning out her craft closet, by My Minds Eye, a girly paper pack (from  years ago) A mason Jar for the vase, it came together quickly. I used my Cameo Silhouette to cut the flowers, they have so many files, my favorite flower desinger is Jamie Lane from bits of paper  She really is extrodanary!

So that's my paper craft project for the week, I have been busy making tons of paper ornaments that I can't wait to post pictures off!

I am still working on an idea for Christmas cards, I have a color pallet in mind, like this:
What do you think? I think I could have lots of fun with some gold accents with either of these two, and yes they do seem to be the same color pallet, The second one seems to be darker and have more contrast! I would love to see what color pallet you would go with, leave a comment bellow, and who know's maybe I will send some packages of cards your way!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Guilt Free Comfort food

Is it possible to have guilt free comfort food? It may not be calorie free but it is possible to keep all the flavor and loss the calories! This Craftsy class is all about using those calories to it's fullest,  it's all about the flavor.

In Anna Bullett's Guilt Free Comfort Food Craftsy class, Anna does a great job explaining why we need good healthy nutrient rich food in our recipes, and their benefits. It's been so fun to learn ways as to why you substitute one ingredient, and use a healthier choice, like using mashed beans instead of a ton of ricotta cheese in your lasagna.

I love the smell of comfort food, the memories that come with the food, the process of cutting and cooking then baking it, makes my heart swell! The wonderful thing about using vegetables in this class is it's doable, I say doable because It has taken me forever to figure out how to get more vegetables into our meals with out vegetables being a side dish that we all snuff at.

My family's favorite comfort food will always Chicken Pot Pie, I cringe every time I make it with the two packaged pie crusts that you buy already done. I know there is a healthier and better way... This class shows you how!

 Yes my friends that is spinach in my pot pie, and you can tell that it just "melts" away to nothing! (my kind of vegetable) She doesn't compromise the flavor factor at all in this recipe, in fact I think it was far more flavorful than any other pot pie recipes I have made in the past without adding lots of salt. Yummy!

I must add, that these biscuits were made with whole wheat flour, I used 1 cup whole whole wheat flour that I milled, and then 1 cup regular all purpose flour, they were awesome! I have never had such good biscuits before till this class! She made me believe in my biscuit making abilities, and they are so cheap to make,  $1.00 for all of the ingredients to make just the biscuits.

This was such a great recipe that I will use a lot of in those winter months! Doesn't this make you want to make some really tasty Chicken Pot Pie?

Baked Potato Fries

They are a favorite, I enjoyed the simple process of the recipe, it's not hard and it really doesn't take a hole lot of time, For me, when it comes to recipes like this is it all about the planning. If i know that I want fries for supper, start it 30 minuets before eating, and hope that the timing works out. (we did these fries for lunch.)

I really loved the garlic and herb seasoning, It was worth the extra step to brown the garlic! This is a worthy side dish for anything that you want fries with. It's really convenient, and cheap, for less than $3.00 I was able to make this side dish, which tastes far better than any store bought frozen potato's and if you were to get them at a restaurant as a side I bet they would cost more $6.00 for the side and quantity. 

Here is the finished results, and yes they are as good as they look! Thank you for showing me a better way to make fries!!! Seriously it's a wonderful skill to know, right?

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I love the "idea" that I can make Mac and cheese from scratch at home, with it loaded with vegetables over half the ingredients are vegetables!  The dish was very flavorful like Anna promised. 

She didn't mention that when roasting squash to get it to roast with a little moister helps it to become tender and easier to mash up, so I wanted to share how I roast butternut squash when it's on sale for $.50/lb. Here is my way I use for both pumpkin and squash


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