Monday, January 30, 2017

Bold Pink and Orange cards!

I love analogous colors, they make my heart happy, really and truly. When I need color in my life I go straight to a monochrome or analogous pallet.  I had a wonderful time with this card challenge over at The Card Concept that I made a set of 6 cards, and they turned out awesome!

 I used simple art materials, nothing fancy... Here is what I used.

watercolor paper cut to 4inx5.25in then mounted it onto an A2 white card.
stencils that you don't mind getting gesso on, I was in a triangle type of mood that night so I went with that... I used some triangle background stencils from the Silhouette Design Store that I cut out on cardstock
Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor, I used pink and orange
Kuretake Stary Colors
a mop brush (mine was 12)

This is a very addictive way to paint, so keep that in mind when you start... I could have been doing this for hours!

For the Triangle cards:
You will want to stencil gesso on onto the stencil with a pallet knife. Remove the extra gesso from the stencil and separate the stencil from the paper and then let the gesso dry over night!

Then wake up run to your studio, and look to see if it's dry, and start the watercolor process, I used a red gold starry color to add to the pink and orange Kuretake Gansia Tambi watercolor set that really worked well, I love how the metallics mix with the watercolor, it's like watching paint dance on your pallet.

I used a juicy brush with lots of pigments, and then went in to lift up some of the watercolors from the raised part of the gesso to give it some definition and extra texture.

Then once the watercolor paper is dry again, I mount it onto a card base I have already made, 4.25inx5.5in, folded.

For the circle cards, I used the paint that was already mixed up on my pallet and just made circles like Yao Cheng from Creativebug. I added just water to create some texture and added some bolder colors to the painting, it was just whatever I thought in the moment was a good idea to do I did, it felt free and expressive for me to work this way!.

Then I just mounted the cards to a card base, I did stamp Relax on one of the cards for something different.

This was a simple and beautiful outcome, I didn't want to hide the color, so I used very minimum supplies.

I would love to know what kind of analogous colors are your go too, for me it seems that green and yellow are always favored, or blue and greens.

I also thought of using blues for this one, but I love the oranges and pink with the triangles!

can't you just see this card going to someone that loves horses?

decorative tape adds just the perfect element to this card.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sahms are the good in the world!

courtesy of  jengerbreadcreations

What it means to be a SAHM,

I get that being a stay at home mom is a job that not everyone can do, or even wants to do. I say this because I was in a funk about 3 years ago and wanted to find a small part time job to get out of the house, It was bugging me, and after thinking about it and realizing that it's just not possible for me to get a part time job to get out of the house. So I was at a Cross Roads

I could keep thinking that this SAHM  job isn't for me and that someone else could do a better job.
Embrace the Stay At Home Mom thing.

Let me start by just saying that motherhood is hard, and being a stay at home mom is not for everyone, and lots of SAHMs, have to stay home because the cost of putting your child in daycare is too expensive.  (the payoff isn't there) Here is a great article from this perspective from Times.  I fell into this boat, and still am in this boat. If I were the one making the money I would need to work and make at least $60,000 a year to make it worth my time to go to work. Thank God I have my Husband!

With that said, and with that perspective, I wanted to give you an insight as to how I decided to be a Stay at Home Mom. btw, I am a Mormon, we try to stay at home with our kids, and we put family first.

On a winter day not too long ago, I was agonizing over why I felt unacceptable staying at home, I do what I think is my fair share, I do my part for my community, and family. Why are these feelings so real?

I needed a different perspective on this whole SAHM thing. Two thoughts had come into my mind. This experience from Eliane Dolton helped me with this perspective:

"What-e're thou art, act well thy part. At that moment those words went deeply into my heart, and I felt the powers of heaven reach out and give me a message. I knew I was known by a loving Heavenly Father. I felt I was not alone. I stood in that garden with tears in my eyes. “What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.” That simple statement renewed my vision that Heavenly Father knew me and had a plan for my life, and the spirit I felt helped me understand that my part mattered."  Eliane Dalton We are Daughters of God

With those thoughts in my mind, I came to another conclusion: I must be committed:  As a mother that chooses to be a stay at home mom, I wasn't living up to my full potential that would offer me the joy that I get by staying at home with my children. I wasn't completely committed.  I really like this story that shows what commitment really is all about:

Two young brothers stood atop a small cliff that overlooked the pristine waters of a blue lake. This was a popular diving spot, and the brothers had often talked about making the jump—something they had seen others do.
Although they both wanted to make the jump, neither one wanted to be first. The height of the cliff wasn’t that great, but to the two young boys, it seemed the distance increased whenever they started to lean forward—and their courage was fading fast.
Finally, one brother put one foot at the edge of the cliff and moved decisively forward. At that moment his brother whispered, “Maybe we should wait until next summer.”
The first brother’s momentum, however, was already pulling him forward. “Brother,” he responded, “I’m committed!”
He splashed into the water and surfaced quickly with a victorious shout. The second brother followed instantly. Afterward, they both laughed about the first boy’s final words before plunging into the water: “Brother, I’m committed.”

Commitment is a little like diving into the water. Either you are committed or you are not. Either you are moving forward or you are standing still. There’s no halfway. We all face moments of decision that change the rest of our lives. We must ask ourselves, “Will I dive in or just stand at the edge? Will I step forward or merely test the temperature of the water with my toes?” Brother, I'm Committed By Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Staying at home with the kids is much more of a mental challenge than physical in my experience, so many things to think about and do when it comes down to it. Making that mental commitment that I Am going to be the best Stay at home mom that I can be changed my perspective and the way I govern my house, myself, and my family. I have found that to be committed to what you believe in is the best way to find happiness in your life. May we uplift ourselves and other mothers that are raising kids,  come together to make our children's world a little better, one hug, one dinner, one mess at a time!

Friday, January 27, 2017

I got my double oven in an unexpected way

The Anova Sous Vide precision cooker cooking brownies in mason jars

So There is a new kitchen gadget in my kitchen and it's a tool that turns any pot into a water bath oven, AKA my new double oven.

Let me explain. it's a precision cooker, what it does is heat the water in a stock pot, or dutch oven or even a cooler, to the exact temperature that you set, and it cooks the food only to that temperature. It's a dream for so many dishes.

Cooking turkey breasts with the Anova Precision Cooker 

They call this cooking process Sous Vide. I have an ANOVA Precession Cooker and I love it!

Sous Vide is a water bath oven, the long and the short of it: Once sous vide cooker heats the water to the temperature the food that you are submersing in water will only get cooked to that temperature, so there is no over-cooking, the food will never get hotter than what is set at. So if you like your steaks medium done, you set the Sous Vide cooker at 131 and it will never get hotter than that. The amazing thing about this is, your cooking it in vacuumed sealed bag so no air can get to it to make it dry, The meat that you sous vide is moist and tender you will never want to grill your stakes again... I promise!

So here are some youtube video's that have helped me wrap my mind around this new cooking process:

Or if you want to know how to make a meal like I did here is a short youtube video

One last thought about this cooking process: I look at Sous Vide as a really fancy way of saying this: I keep over cooking steaks, and it really makes me mad... so Sous Vide is another term for flawless cooking, in a vacuum sealed water bath with amazing perfect results every time... it takes the guesswork out of cooking your meat. Which reminds me, I have some pork loin I want to Sous Vide tonight, all I have to do is get the water going and let it do its thing! It's my new best friend!

Amazon has it for sale, a perfect gift for Valentines Day!

I am an affiliate for Amazon.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Craftsy Flash Sale

Remember my pair up post here from all the Craftsy's classes with reviews, well, here is another opportunity to learn a new skill!

SALE! Hundreds of classes under $20. Stock up on your favorites Craftsy classes!

Promotional Details:
  • Starts: NOW
  • Ends: Sunday, January 29th at 11:59 pm MST

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My love affair with Silhouette

I thought I would share my top 5 Silhouette projects I have done and posted about!

Birthday Bouquet

 My Favorite project to do with the Cameo Silhouette is to make flowers, So This post was a favorite of my all around, enjoyable to create, fun to write about, and entertaining to see where it leads me! This project would also work well for any wedding bouquet, just add more flowers. Need an impressive hostess gift that will be cherished, you got it! (frugal alert: I buy vases at my consignment shops for about a dollar!) 

Christmas tree stencil card
I am a mixed media artist by Nature, and this project in one of my favorite projects, I like to use what I have on hand, ( use what you got.)  So I came up with a way to make a bunch of Christmas cards that are all unique in a way, that doesn't break the bank but looks like you really spent a ton of time on. I had a lot of fun playing with watercolor techniques, this project is an open-ended one, use a stencil that you find on the Silhouette Desing Store, resize it to fit your card size, and play with watercolor. You don't have to be a seasoned watercolorist to do this card. Instead of Christmas trees do flower stencil, or a geometric stencil, So many ideas!

Santa washi tape
Crafting with the Cameo Silhouette and Washi Tape is a match made in heaven! Christmas can bring out the best in the crafting world, and although this is all about Santa, can't you see the colors and the theme to change for any type of season, Washi tape adds just enough pizazz to make clean designs look amazing! Check out my other post that used washi tape with the silhouette for a fast card

Silhouette Mint and watercolor pairs nicely together, I love that I can design stamps to fit my size, and my style, as always I wanted the mixed media(watercolor and ink) to stand on its own, add a bit of stamping to go with it and you have a really nice card. I loved how both turned out. This project is great for those color challenges that are popular right now!

A flower candle holder is perfect for so many occasions. I like how easy and elegant this project was to make. It's a beautiful piece that makes me smile when I see it in my house. I like it because it only takes two Design Store files flowers and a candle holder to make, and they are both files that I use on a semi-regular basis, both files are very open ended.

As you can see, I am a crafter that loves to use clean and simple design elements to enhance the project, I love watercolor and mixed media to produce a unique piece that doesn't break the bank, or dip into my family's grocery budget! (see my post about why I use coupons and try to save money.) 

Friday, January 20, 2017

A touch of Spring is on my table!

I made two hydrangeas. These make me smile every time I see them! They are surprisingly easy to make, I learned how to make them from Creativebug,  Totally worth becoming a member if you are a crafter or artist! Right now they are offering a one month membership free, which also means you can get this class for free, and always have it to reference! Go to this link to get started! Use code JOANN to get your free month!
Exclusive Savings: Use Code JOANN to Receive a Free Trial + Save 30%

Silhouete, 2 inch  60-80 paper hydrangeas pedals cut from your choice of paper 3-6 sheets of paper for the pedals, 15 floral wires, wire cutters, floral tape, scissors, hot glue, glimmer mist, or liquid watercolor to add texture to the pedals, and time.

I made these Hydrangeas for about $5.00, which makes for a frugal craft that looks expensive! I estimated I spent about 2 hours for both stems, not to bad, 20 min. for cutting out the paper, and 1.5 hours assembling these.

Here's how I made the hydrangeas:
Watch this class

I used the Hydrangea file from the Silhouette Design store Don't resize it, you may have to ungroup the file, I used 8.5x11 pink cardstock and got 30 pedals on each sheet. Double cheek to make sure each pedal is 2 inches. 2 inches is the magic measurement for this flower, don't make them bigger or smaller, you will not like the outcome. This is the time to add texture to the paper, I used pink glimmer mist, before you cut the pedals.

While the Silhouette is cutting you could start on assembling the stems. I cut the floral wire in half, to save on material cost. In total you will want 15-16 wires/stems. Use your needle nose pliers to make a loop then bend the loop to hold the flower on top of the loop.

Next gather all the stems together and use your floral tape to make one stem. To activate the floral tape stretch and wrap the floral tape around all the stems.

Next use your scissors to curl up each pedal, I did this while sitting next to my toddler watching Paw Patrol, it took me 30 min. to do all 120 pedals.

Now on to the assembling of the Hydrangea:

Hot glue pedals onto the wire loops you created.

At this point it's a good idea to use a jar or vase to hold up the stem, and you start adding all the pedals to other pedals, each pedal that is on a loop will have four pedals attached to it, I started in the middle, and then I divided the stem into four parts, and I glued away, this is the time to listen to your favorite podcast, or show.

It doesn't take to long, just lots of attention, make sure you are not using to much glue, a little dab will do ya! I add the glue in the middle of one of the curved part of the pedal, not to low, it won't hold, and not to high so you don't see the glue.

 See how the pedals are  attached, that is the look you are going for.

What it should look like when you have finished 2 sides. Keep going, at this time if you need a break or your kids need you it's not a big deal, to stop and start it up later.

This is what the finished hydrangea should look like!

For the taller steam, I used 30 wires, and looped them all, it took a little bit longer to do, but totally worth the bigger bloom. 
What is your favorite color hydrangea? it's so fun to customize your favorite color for these beauties, I think a blue hue and white would look really neat. 

Don't forget to get your fee month membership at Creativebug!
 please comment below if you have any questions, I enjoy responding to comments! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix (my all time favorite)

These winter days are the worst! so a cup of Hot chocolate always makes the day more enjoyable! You could get a mix from the store and enjoy it, or if you coupon you can make it way cheaper and insanely good, (I can't go back to hot chocolate mix you buy... unless you spend way too much. So here is the recipe, it's really simple and so good!

I have adapted this from Hy-Vee's hot chocolate recipe from the box of powdered milk (I like finding recipes on boxes of products.)

Coupon Sahm I Am Hot Chocolate

In a mixer mix with whisk attachment:
6 cups dry milk powder
1- 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C cocoa
1 pkg 3.4 oz pudding mix, I like chocolate and french vanilla.
1 Cup of powder Creamer

store mix in a 4-6 quart container or in mason jars.

I double this recipe and keep it in a 20 cup Rubbermaid container, then  I write on the container: add 6 oz of hot water to 1/3 cup of mix. Add creamer, to give it a gourmet taste if needed.

The pudding makes it exceptional! I have made it once without the pudding and it was not as creamy, it's worth not skipping this ingredient.

This mix is also a great gift, I have given this as a gift in a mason jar and it went over very well!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Birthday Bouquet

Loopy flowers Coreopsis flowers and Carnations in a bouquet for a friend's Birthday was a simple and fun way to use my Silhouette and use up some pattern paper I didn't know what to do with, It turned out amazing! 

Materials are pretty light here is the list:
Silhouette, 3-4 listed flower files from the Desing Store ( I specified each flower in this post) Patterned paper, about 10- 12in.x12in. coordinating sheets, I like to use them from a pack of paper instead of buying each sheet separately. Hot Glue, 7-10 floral stem wire, wire cutters,  needle nose pliers. And an assortment of brads, and sprigs to add some bling.

Adding up all the materials, I estimate that you can make this bouquet for about $5.00 or less, depending what you have on hand, I had everything on hand, so it didn't really cost me much, just time, and I estimated my time took me about 1 hour, 15-20 min. cutting, and getting the paper ready, and 20-30 min. to assemble the actual bouquet.  

A Loopy Flower or two in a bouquet always makes me smile, and they are so fun and easy to put together! If you make loopy flowers, don't use glue, I just use a brad in the middle to hold all the strips. 

Coreopsis Flower cut with orange MME patterned paper, to assemble Jamie Lane (the designer) has a great tutorial. 

A Carnation or two always makes a great addition to a bouquet. My daughter's first Dance recital had a bunch of Carnations in her bouquet, they can really add a nice design element! 

I also added some sprigs to the bouquet for some added bling. 

Too attached the flowers onto floral stem wire,  make a loop with needle nose pliers, Then I bend the loop to hold the flower with hot glue.

Then add each stem together and wrap floral tape around all the stems. Start at the top, about a third from the top of the stem with the loop, activate the floral tape by stretching it and wrapping it around the stems as you go.  Then attach your flowers to the loop, bend and twist the wire stems gently as needed to make the bouquet look real. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A free tool that changed my life

Morning pages saved my life!
I love how I feel after a 3-page writing session, it's my crack if I were a drug addict.

Here are some of the reason's why I love writing

I get to the other side of things, You may ask, what is the other side? It's when something isn't sitting right with you, maybe it was a thought that you just can't get out of your head, or maybe it was words that someone said that didn't sit well with you, maybe it's an idea that is wonderful but you have no idea how to implement that idea. Simply put you get all your frustrations on a page and then realize the real meaning behind why you feel the way you do. It's life changing, I think the world would be a better place if everyone took 30 minutes a day or even 30 mins. twice a week to get to the other side of things.
I often go back and re-read my morning pages and highlight ideas that I want to remember.

Writing helps you dream. It gets dreams out of your brain and into a place that you can see what you are thinking. I may never get to have my dream blog that I want, but at least I can dream and write about it in my morning pages. Morning pages can give me hope and faith in my dreams. It's a place to dream up the craziest dreams. I remember writing about 9 months ago about wanting to just go do Disney world, and how that won't happen, a powerful thing happened: 9 months later we surprised our children at Christmas that we are going to Disney World, and I can't wait... Dreaming is a powerful thing, and writing it out is even more powerful.

I plan, I explore other ideas, and just like that as if it were truly a magical experience, I get ideas, thoughts to problems that can be solved, an a-hah a hah moment, a way to deal with whatever issue I am facing. Recently my two sons are boycotting everything I make for them, words were exchanged by DH and I, I cried, and felt miserable for two days, After writing about it on the third morning, I figured out what to do... (spoilers for an upcoming blog post.)

Sometimes When writing I stare at a blank page, I know what I have to write about it, but it doesn't make it any easier. You see I have pride, lots of it, and I know that when I start writing my pride goes away and I am left feeling vulnerable. Yup, that's why it took me 3 days to write about the meal issue in our house. It happens every time but I am better off, and can usually get to the root of the problem with problem-solving strategies.

I can vent, seriously no one likes to hear me vent, I save that for my morning pages while venting I take stock of my emotions, and it's almost like a therapy, I can validate my feelings, and my injustice and then get to the other side of it. And it feels really good to just say what I want to say without hurting someone. Most often I can offend my family because I didn't have tact, I really like to tell it like it is, and I have hurt the ones I love the most with unkind words. Since I don't plan on sharing these morning pages with anyone in the near feature I  can be as tactful as I would like. (although I do hope that my children will get a good laugh when they are older and read them.)

some of the journals I have kept. Nothing spactacular!

Writing helps you heal! Mental abuse and other Abuse doesn't go away just by writing, but writing it out, can manage some of the hurt and pain that comes from the abuse.  There are days when I feel like I am just like my parents (mentally abusive.) I know I am not, but that ghost of the Nursery is real and it's enough to drive anyone crazy, Especially me. I don't like talking about it, I feel like no one can relate to me, so I write about it. Sometimes at the end of the writing session my soul feels nourished and free. It doesn't change the fact that it happened but by perspective has changed, and so has my soul, Writing helps me feel grounded to the world that I have created with my loving husband.

When you are in the healing process your sense of self is altered a bit, Writing helps you feel grounded, and have a sense of who you really are, Last year I wrote five affirmations to help me become more creative and find joy in my artistic talents, I wrote out five of the affirmations 3 times each day, for two weeks, It changed my life. If you are feeling less than your best, try it, you may be amazed at what comes next.  Try it, This is a great way to start journaling. I remember thinking to myself, I probably even wrote it before I wrote my affirmations for the day; with a thought like "this isn't really going to work, this is a waste of time". Maybe it was until the last couple days when I mentally saw my thoughts change to: I am glad I painted today, I really am able to bless the world by using my artistic talents! (one of my affirmations I wrote down 3 times for two weeks.)

I would love to know:  Do you journal? Does writing prompts help you? I love reading comments, please comment below!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Craftsy's Bogo Event going on this weekend

I love getting things free, and amazing classes are perfect for winter days. Learning and doing things keeps me out of trouble. So I am so excited to get a new class for those long winter months. I thought I would share a couple pair ups with you since Friday Craftsy is starting their BOGO class event. see the bottom of my post for all the details or click here

Here are some of my pair-ups: For Craftsy's BOGO event on all classes!

For a sweet treat:

Celebrate with cookies And The Perfect Cupcake once you know how to make the perfect cupcake and cookie, you will never ever have to buy them in the store, and they are both worth the money, it has saved me money not to buy cupcakes for birthday parties, and cookies for celebrations! both classes are really good choices if you like being in the kitchen. My kids love watching these two classes also and then helping me in the kitchen. Here is my class review for The Perfect Cupcake. Look for my class review for Celebrate with cookies in February!

For healthy fun in the kitchen I recommend:

Make the Most of your Food Processor with Greorge Geary and Guilt-Free Comfort food with Anna Bullett You will be using your food processor a lot in these classes! Both instructors are amazing at what they do, and I was so captivated by the content and knowledge that they taught! These two classes can really help you eat healthier with lots of flavors. With the help of a food processor, it makes short work of eating healthier! These classes also make cooking in the kitchen fun! Here is my blog post for Making the most of your food processor, and Creating Guilt Free Comfort Food with Anna

For watercolor: I have 3 pair ups

Luminous Watercolor and Simple and stunning watercolor techniques If you are thinking about starting watercolor, or need a push to get out of a rut, these classes are perfect, I learned so much from both instructors, It's tricky to get the right color in watercolor, but with a limited pallet you can do so much, Kateri teaches that for you! Mary Murphy does such a great job explaining in-depth about brushes, pigment, styles, and unique ways to stretch yourself as an artist.Both are wonderful for any skill level that wants to take their paintings to the next level. Here is my class review link for Luminous Watercolor and Simple and Stunning Watercolor Techniques. 

Painting florals in Watercolor
Kristy Rice's Getting Started Watercolor Fresh Florals and Anna Mason's step by step Painting Realistic florals. I love painting and creating flowers, and watercolor is the perfect medium to paint florals. These two teachers teach their unique style in painting their florals and pairing them together, learning from them will help you become a better floral watercolorist. Art is a process, and I love each style, taking these two classes helped me with my techniques and skills. My best advice is to keep practicing! This is a class you could practice over and over until you get it right! You can see my two class reviews for Kristy's Class and for Anna's Class both have great youtube channels too!

Angela Fehr's Better Paintings with watercolor Sketching and Watercolor Flower Bouquet with Mary Murphy. I like these two classes together because they teach you about creating the whole painting, it's not technique based, it's looking and painting with the whole picture in mind, from start to finish. They expect you to know your style, or to have a knowledge of how to paint and then take you through from start to finish, this is a very open-ended class that can really jump start your finished painting! Here is my Class review for Angela's Class, Look for my blog post review from Mary soon!

If you love mixed media, I have the perfect pair up!

Painting With Water Based Media with Nina Weiss and Mix it up Mixed Media Step by Step with Lindsay Weirich aka The Frugal Crafter Both instructors are amazing at mixed media, I love both of their styles, I have really enjoyed learning from them. There is a ton of information that you can branch of off with these two classes, They are worth your time and money!

Paper Crafting: With Pigment:
Water Color Cards with Depti Malik and Wild Cards with Catherine Pooler
These two classes go very well together, I find using watercolor and ink can really make your cards look amazing! Both classes offer unique styles to help you use your supplies is ways that are stunning! Both classes have about the same material list or are very open ended to the materials, You can get away with using all inks, or watercolor. Both have great ideas to make your cards look amazing! My best advice for these two classes would be to use what you have, most times one medium or tool can be used in different ways! I have a class review for both: Depti's Watercolor Cards and Catherine Poolers Wild Cards Both classes are excellent resourcesfor paper crafters!

Paper Crafting with paper and tools
Cards with Dimension with Daniel Flanders and Fresh Eyes on your Card Making supplies with Mariam Prantner. Both teachers really love layers, and using supplies in their own exclusive style that you can imitate to make it yours! They both love paper and layering it, and making cards into really neat works of art that you can be proud of! Here is a blog post that was inspired by Daniel's Cards with Dimension, and here is my blog post for Mariam's Fresh Eyes on your Card making supplies

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