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Saturday, April 28, 2012

More Easel Boxes

Hey all- happy Saturday! Here's a quick note- these aren't made using solely Stampin' Up products (save the colours I used and a few stamp sets) BUT the amazing thing is, Stampin' Up DOES have very similar products- I just haven't gotten them for myself yet ;)

I made these little easel drawer boxes for each of my kids. I love that you can decorate the easel part as a card, or with their name etc. Quite a few of SU!'s letter stamp sets are retiring, so if you love the idea of creating your own personal titles or names like this- make sure to grab them before May 31st!

 With Bella's I used Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo and Daffodil Delight. I love using a bright burst of yellow to add some vibrancy to an otherwise monochromatic colour scheme. The flowers were SO much fun to make (not to mention messy! but hard to glue on- make sure they are SUPER dry!). I dipped them into Versamark and then sprinkled my 1/2 and 1/2 mix of fine embossing powder and glitter on them and heat embossed them. They didn't adhere right away, the back of the flowers becoming waxy, so you may want to try a different way to glue them on. I DID use the Labels collection die cuts from the Occassions mini to create the 'shape' of the easel. I hope SU! comes out with even more shapes in this design! I really enjoy layering them-and it's nice that they are easier to work with and don't take up as much space as other dies.
 
 I used Pool Party, Lucky Limeade and Chocolate Chip for Gabe's, using snippits from the Time for Tea Simply Scrappin' Kit. I also love the Designer Brads from the Sale-A-Bration (fingers crossed they bring it back!)
To be honest, I don't think I used any SU! products on Lexie's save the colours- so I'll just skip to that ;) Here was Certainly Celery, Pretty in Pink and Concord Crush. OH! And For All You Do Stamp Set's Butterfly is in there, as well as the Rhinestones. The amazing thing about SU is that you can coordinate everything. Here, the buttons aren't the same shade as the paper, they are a little off. And for the flowers you could use the large Paper Daisies and then dyed them Concord Crush by placing them in a dish with water and some drops (depending on how vibrant you want them) of Ink Refiller (I just didn't happen to have this shade). It would have coordinated better with the paper, even if it was lighter or darker- it would still be the same colour.

These boxes are so much fun to make and can be a perfect gift for a new mom to place a baby's hospital bracelet and ID card in, or a gift for a friend with some note cards or candies in it. These are versatile and can be used as a decoration as well as a gift box/card combo.

That's it for me for today- playing with my new toys I received in the mail yesterday- so should have some new goodies to showcase next week.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Brandie~

Friday, April 27, 2012

Stampers 10 Gifts

Eee! Timing. Timing is amazing! As you can see by my sidebar, one of my favourite blog 'haunts' is Inking Idaho (seriously- check her out- amazingly talented that one is!) and 2 days before my last order came in for my first Stampers 10 group, I saw some gifts she made for HER Stampers 10 that is ending soon. I thought it was a fabulous idea and CASED it from her, but instead of using the new Summer Smooches suite (don't be like me- hurry and get them, they are so cute) I used what I had on hand!

The colour combo is Melon Mambo (sure- I love a good hot pink!), Pool Party and Lucky Limeade (I'll be sad to see those colours go- but for the next year we still have them!) Also, I earned my very first FREE stamp set for selling a certain amount during Sale-A-Bration. I didn't even know I qualified for a free set! It was a nice surprise, and being as I had the retired list already, I grabbed a few sets to replace what will be retiring. I got the Fabulous Phrases in clear 120501, and then ordered the Tiny Tags in clear 118592 and being as the Occassions mini is 3 days away from retiring as well, I grabbed Bordering on Romance in clear 125482 as well as the Adorning Accents (125595) dies and Adorning Accents Textured Embossing folders (125601). I don't know if they are coming back after the Occassions Mini is gone, but I hope so- they were so much fun to play with and super cute! SO anyways, using all my new goodies I took a page from Inking Idaho's book and made my Stampers a thank you gift:
I love the colours together, so springtime sweet! I whipped these up, including the homemade candies inside (being as I wasn't able to swing by a store). The candies are larger than you'd get in a store so they are a bit bulky in the 4x6 cello bags, but they were still able to fit :) I had some silver candy wrappers from Wiltons, and wrapped them in some DSP that went with the colour scheme, even if they aren't the same colour :)
The candies, for any interested parties, are Cream Egg and Peanut Butter Cup. Here's the recipes (as I am also an avid candy maker/cupcake baker!)

Peanut Butter Cups Filling:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chunky style peanut butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Makes:
Approximately 30 candy centers.
Instructions:
Cut butter in small pieces and put in small saucepan over low heat. Add peanut butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar, blending well. Add more confectioners' sugar, as necessary, to form a pliable mass. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour. Use filling as a candy centre for dipping, or as a centre between two layers of coating. (what I do is 'paint' chocolate in a mould and then let set, fill the moulded chocolate and then add more melted chocolate to cover).

Cream Eggs:

Ingredients
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I use 1/2 this amount to make it gooey. It's still sweet!)
4 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops red food coloring
1 (12 ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
Directions
Combine corn syrup, butter, vanilla and salt. Beat well with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add powdered sugar, a little bit at at time and mix by hand after each addition.
Mix until creamy.
(now- I don't do the following steps to make them look like cream eggs- but here they are if you want to! I just pipe them into set chocolate moulds)
Remove about 1/3 of the sugar mixture and place in a small bowl. Add the food coloring and mix well.
Cover both mixtures and chill for at least 2 hours or until firm.When mixtures are still firm roll a small, marble size from the orange filling. Wrap a small amount of the white filling around the orange.
Form into the shape of eggs and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.Repeat until done and chill for at least 4 hours. You want them set.
**I use melting chocolate- easier!****
Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a double broiler or ceramic bowl.
Melt down and mix well. Take each egg filling and dip into the melted chocolate mixture and return to baking sheet.Repeat and chill again for 2 hours. Repeat the dipping process, chill again and your good to go!

That's it for me- hope you enjoyed it! Remember- paper crafting is fun on it's own to scrapbook or make cards, but it also gives you the ability to make thoughtful gifts for the special people in your life. Thanks for stopping by!

~Brandie~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mini Boxed Scrapbook

Hi folks! Sorry it's late- hubby took the computer for the weekend and then SOMEONE (eyeballs her two year old) decided that being up from 12:30am-3am would be a wonderful thing on Sunday night, so I was pretty wreaked yesterday.

My newest favourite colour has got to be Basic Grey. Grey itself seems so dismal and boring- but boy was I wrong! I bought a pack of 11x8.5 cardstock and ink in Basic Grey and I have been enjoying it ever since! Of course, being as girly as I am, I had to throw some Rich Razzleberry and Pretty in Pink to give it some feminine charm :)

So here's what I whipped up:











I made a 4.25x4.25 box in Basic Grey and cut a square peek a boo window on the top and added some silver embossed flowers along the edge. Then I have a Rich Razzleberry scalloped square and sentiment on top using a stamp set from the Sale-A-Bration flyer. Finish with some Pretty in Pink strips and some Whisper White grossgrain ribbon. The scrapbook itself is 4x4 and is accordian album style. I cut a bunch of 4x8 strips of whisper white and then scored them at 4 inches, attaching them in an accordian style. It made a bunch of pages,  so you can fit quite a bit of photos and pages in this book, but you can also cut back instead. The box height is 1 inch and the book closes nicely without bulging.

Here's the inside and what I did with the inside. I can put 2x2 photos, 3x3 or 3.5x3.5 (using digital photos and sizing them may be easier than cropping existing photos).




Okay there! (trying to place pictures is starting to be a pain in the bum! I hope they worked out okay!) Anyways, here's the inside of the album. This isn't all the pages, but they are all pretty cohesive. The bottom (last page) of the album is undecorated and attached to the bottom inside of the box. I had a lot of fun putting this together once I had the concept. I would suggest that if you just want to make the album, just go ahead unless you already have a set of pictures you know you want in it. I didn't know what pictures I wanted to put in it, so I wasted a day trying to figure it out- and then decided I'd just make it and leave it empty. So I can use it as a baby album, a gift, a just-because album or whatever :)

That's it for me for today ;) Will be working out and working on some craft ideas later today so hopefully will have some more for you during the week!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Brandie~

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Belated Easter Goodies

Being as there was a lot of sickness over the Easter holiday, I am a little late in getting my Easter post in. It may be too late for this Easter, but would work for next year (as SU! doesn't have the Everybunny stamp set on their retired list- we know we are sure to see it again next year!) You could also use these as a base for other holidays, just change up the stamps and colour scheme.

Here are the vanilla cupcakes I whipped up for my kids' classes. There were a LOT of cupcakes. I wasn't overly impressed with the recipe, they said it should taste just like the cake mix (soft, moist and sweet), but from scratch. Mine had a weird after taste. I don't think the kids minded at all. I made little tent pop ups to place on top of the cupcakes, hiding a next of jelly beans underneath. Being as I needed to make a LOT of them, I chose simple over fancy. Especially considering kids just throw them out.

For a few practise goodies that I made the day before Easter, I tried these mini carrot patches:
I cut a good 6 inches off of my Wilton cake decorators bags (unfortunately they put their logo on the decorators bags now). It wasn't really what I was going after but I do love candy carrots. I think they look adorable :) I can't wait to try something with cocoa for Christmas with these little baggies.

Well, that's it for today. I have something super cute I can't wait to share with you tomorrow! It took me a couple of days to throw together, but I think the effort was worth it. So I shall see you all tomorrow!
Ciao!

~Brandie~

Sunday, April 15, 2012

So Long, Farwell

Sorry guys! I have been meaning to share since Easter ;) My poor little guy got the chicken pox and then I came down with a cold. THANKFULLY no one else got the pox (mom can't remember if I had them as a child or not). So blogging and crafting has been put on hold.

As you will notice on my side bar, I have a link that brings you to Stampin' Up!s retired list. I haven't gotten savvy enough to figure out how to attach a pdf file, so you'll have to forgive me that. I haven't gotten any sneak peeks at the new items yet- so it's hard to tell how I feel about saying good bye to so many favourites. Most of them I put in my Starter Kit when I signed up a year ago. Flight of the Butterfly is my favourite set to enhance a card. For All You Do is my continueous go-to set, full of floral images that I adore. I guess they will be easy to replace and I don't doubt Stampin' Up! will have some amazing products to take their places, but until I see what they have in store, the retired list is very bittersweet. I am excited to see what Stampin' Up has coming out though. As sad as I have been in the past as a customer to see certain 'must have' beloved faves gone before I had a chance to grab 'em, I was always enthralled with what new and amazing things SU brought out in their current catalogue.

So enough about retiring :) Make sure if you have any MUST HAVES you grab them now. AND remember- the 2010-2012 In Colours will be gone as well (Concord Crush, Blushing Bride, Pear Pizzazz, Peach Parfait and Poppy Parade). I can't wait to see what sort of colour combination SU will come up with to replace these fun colours!
To reminisce I have an older project I made when I first became a demo: Here's all the little trinkets I made with my Starter Kit. I chose 4/5 in colours and bought the last one as an add on. They were hostess treats. And, as you can see, my beloved Flight of the Butterfly gave them dimennsion.
Here's a Mini Magazine note card holder with coordinating note cards.
It's a great way to put those scraps to good use and a quick and simple gift for a teacher, mother or friend (or yourself - don't forget to treat yourself!)
That's it for me for now, make sure you go over your wishlists and get those retiring items before it's too late! And join me in the coming weeks to see what's retiring on the accessories side, as well as sneak peeks as soon as I am able with fresh new items coming your way!

~Brandie~

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tap Dancing Technique

Good morning and happy Wednesday all! I hope today finds you cheerful and inspired. I look outside here from my Northern Alberta home and see the snow and ice melt away and the sun blazing through my window and I know that spring is here. Time to relish in new life, not to mention get rid of the extra pounds from Christmas (and, yanno, the years before then too). It's inspiring to see the sun out side and motivating me to get out, enjoy the fresh air and walk! The cheapest way to lose weight and be healthy. Not to mention, pretty effective to those who keep it up!
Now on to crafting ;)
I was on the demonstrator website for Stampin' Up! and I stumbled across this gem of a technique. I am eager to show my Stampers 10 group this tonight and see what they come up with. I just 'had' to use the technique once I saw the video and this is what I came up with.
I also bought my first pack of Basic Grey cardstock and ink. When I opened it up and set it down, I immediatly began looking for colours that would work beautifully with it and came across this colour combo which I fell in love with. Basic Grey, Rich Razzleberry and Pretty in Pink. I was just playing with the technique with my Dot Dot Dot background stamp 115332. I inked it with Pretty in Pink, then took my Rich Razzleberry Stampin' Write marker and, using the brush end, just lightly tapped randomly all over the stamp. Then I took a scrap of 3x3 Whisper White and stamped it. It was so pretty, and used the colours I wanted that I used it as the base of these cards. I then used that stamp and created a background. I inked my background stamp with the Basic Grey, and being as it was very dark, I stamped on a scrap and then stamped again on my piece that would be going on my card, to make it a lighter shade. Then I added mini flower blooms from a couple of random stamp sets in Rich Razzleberry and Pretty in Pink to create the background. I think they came together beautifully and used my A Word for You stamp set (117032 w 120528 c) and Basic Grey Stampin' Write marker to ink one part of the stamp for the sentiment on the outside, then the bottom part of the sentiment for the inside. It came together pretty quickly when I finally figured out what I was doing. That can be the hardest part sometimes, looking at your beautiful Stampin' Up! supplies, sitting at your desk, knowing you want to create SOMETHING, but not knowing where to start!

So I hope I inspired you today, thanks for stopping by!

~Brandie~

Monday, April 2, 2012

Summer Smooches

Hey everyone!

That was my very first Sale-A-Bration. It was a lot of fun and I got to network with some amazing people and give away some great products, but it's over now and that's a bit sad. I didn't hit the goals I had hoped to achieve, like finding my very first downline, but alas, it is what it is and I had a lot of fun doing it! There is always next year ;)

So to keep the fun going, Stampin' Up! has introduced their Summer Smooches line. This is a suite that will be available in the new 2012-2013 Idea Book and Catalogue, but for the first time I can ever remember being a demonstrator AND customer- SU is letting their customers have a sneak peek and even purchase some select items from the new catty. The Summer Smooch Suite is fun and colourful and flirty- here's the link for you to take a look yourself:
http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/itemlist.aspx?categoryID=909 Here's a little peek at some of the products available for pre-sale. They are so vibrant and fun! I don't have any samples to show you as *I* didn't take advantage of pre-ordering (shame!) So don't be like me and get these fun items early! You only have until April 30th- then you will have to wait until the new Idea Book and Catalogue comes out.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Brandie~