Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Cards and Tags: Fly

You know I'm a fabric fiend, so I thought I'd post a picture of this bird card I recently made.  I stamped the bird image, then sewed around it with my machine, shaded it with ink, then added a crown that I cut from a piece of patterned fabric.  I also used a text stamp to help add dimension to the background.

This card is especially meaningful to me because one of the background fabric pieces I used came from a box that was lovingly assembled by my grandma.  She was a quilter and had several boxes of patterned and solid fabric arranged by color and often cut into quilt block triangles and squares; just waiting for her talented hands.  That means a lot to me.  Creativity, after all, is not an isolated gift-- it's something that can tie us to our past and can keep us connected to those we love the very most.  Whenever I incorporate my grandma or mother's fabric or lace, I feel closer to them and have a deep gratitude for the bond we share as we try, throughout our lives, to make things more beautiful.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tutorials: Easy Halloween Treat

With Halloween upon us, here's a quick and easy treat that involves only THREE (count 'em, THREE) ingredients (cause that's just how I roll when it comes to culinary matters):

Ready for this highly complex recipe?  Here goes!  Take a package of Vanilla-flavored CandiQuik and melt it in its own handy microwaveable tray (side note: they're not kidding when they say to only increase the microwave time by 15 second increments until melting consistency is achieved.  I learned this the hard way one year).

Open some Oreo cookies and dip them into the melted CandiQuik.

Put the cookies down on wax paper then throw on some Halloween sprinkles before the CandiQuik dries.  That's it!  You're done!

For those of you who still may struggle like I do in the kitchen, here's an exciting action shot right after the cookies have been sprinkled.  What you're making should sort of resemble this in some way.

I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't like this treat and it's so quick and easy to do.  I went with a purple and green theme, but you could also incorporate orange and use the Halloween edition Oreo's with orange-colored creme centers.

I bought two packages of plain Oreo's (not Double Stuff) and one package of CandiQuik.  I had a little bit of CandiQuik left over after dipping all the cookies (approximately 90 cookies total).  I bought the CandiQuick and Oreo's at Target and got the sprinkles at Target, Michael's and JoAnn's.

Since the point of this post is "easy" Halloween treats, you can simply put these in cellophane bags when they're done and tie them with Halloween-colored yarn or ribbon.

If you have the time, these also look very cute in paper boxes with tissue paper, coffin boxes, upside down witch hat cones, or ceramic cauldron bowls that you can pick up at the dollar stores on occasion.  No matter how you package them, they'll get eaten up pretty quick and you'll be the hero for bringing something with sprinkles to the party!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Other Creations: Sewing Tin

Sewing and I have had a love/hate relationship.  I'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say that in junior high, sewing class ruined my nerd-driven perfect GPA.  Why?  I bombed my final project which was one of those silk-backed floral vests that were all the rage in the late 80's.  Remember those things??  Wow!  I still can't look back at those vests without bitterness.  Despite my wonderful mother's sewing skills and teaching attempts, I just couldn't make sense of patterns.  They seemed like a cruel mix of math and hieroglyphics.  Failure, failure.  To this day, patterns and I don't mix.

But I still have a fascination/obsession with fabric.  LOVE IT and only realized in the past several years that you can totally incorporate fabric and sewing into your projects even if you're not a traditional, pattern-using seamstress.  I've at last found peace and balance and have learned that when it comes to sewing, I'm fine as long as I don't know what I'm doing or what I'm supposed to be doing (if that makes sense).

So here's a little tin I made to honor the art of sewing: whether you staunchly follow those mysterious symbols on the tissue paper or not.  It's just a reminder to me that the beauty of most creative endeavors is all about interpretation and execution.  It's about individualism!  If you don't follow a pattern, sew on!  If you do follow a pattern, I admire you!  There's room enough for all of us, no matter our methods, to create amazing things!

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Cards and Tags: Christmas Cards

October 1st and guess what treasure came in the mail today?  The Oct/Nov/Dec issue of The Stampers' Sampler!  And whoa Nelly!  Guess whose Christmas card made the cover??  Great joy and rejoicings!  It's mine!  Pretty sweet surprise.  Here's a visual:

And hey- here's another one of my cards that's inside this issue in the Christmas section: