Thursday, August 1, 2013

The anticipation is killing me!!!!!!

August is the month we have been waiting for!  Our oldest daughter, Meghann, is expecting our first grandchild mid August.  And I cannot wait to see her!

For Meghann's baby shower I made this little booklet for keeping track of the gifts she received. 

For this project I used the "Sweet Baby" digi stamp from Shelly's Images. 
This digi stamp set comes with three different versions.  You get the "Welcome Baby" version, the decorated scallop and heart version, and the blank version for adding your own text.  This would be a great place to add the baby's name and birthdate.
The digi stamp is colored with copics in Meghann's colors of gray, teal, and pink.  The booklet is made using Bazzill cardstock as the cover. The printed pages for the inside had lines for recording the gift and who it was from.  I bound the pages inside the booklet by punching two holes on the center spine of the booklet through all layers.  Then I put ribbon through the holes and tied a pretty bow.  The bow is decorated with little beads.  

To be very honest I was so busy getting ready for the shower that this booklet was kind of a last minute idea so I had to rush through making it much faster than I liked.
Here are a few other pictures from the baby shower.
This is my favorite picture from the shower.  The bib is from Rachel who is a very special friend of Taylor's that we consider a part of our family. 
The Baby Shower food consisted of punch, Lemon Rasberry Mini Cupcakes, Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes, Frosted Sugar Cookies and fruit for mini fruit pizzas, and cream cheese mints.

My husband has decided that "Doo-Dah" will be his Grandpa name.  Of course Doo-Dah had to crash the party to see all the excitement.
Meghann and her sister Taylor

Meghann and her sister Jordan

Meghann got so many wonderful gifts

Thanks for dropping by my blog today.  I hope you enjoyed this fun project and a little peek at the baby shower.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Christmas in July

How is it possible to be so far behind on my albums?
Isn't that the question we always ask ourselves?  I think if I ever am truly caught up I won't know what to do with myself.

I spent a huge hunk of time a few weeks ago trying to organize all of my digital pictures.  Again, I am sure that many of you find yourself in the same sea of digital pictures that I have.  I am a pretty organized person, but haven't ever found a way that really keeps the pictures organized and easy to find.  And of course the other worry is backing them up so a big computer crash won't result in losing all the precious photos I have taken.  Augh!  

After spending time organizing pictures and albums I realized that my daughter Taylor's albums were only done to the beginning of her 1st grade year.  YIKES!  She is beginning her Freshman year of High School in the Fall and if I want to have her albums to show at her Graduation Open House I probably better get a move on. 

Here is one page I recently finished.  This page uses the "Christmas Garland" digi stamp from Shelly's Images.  I colored the digi with Copic colors and then added some Copic Opaque White for highlights. I also used Pearl Ex Sunset Gold for more sparkle on the gold areas.  I added tiny pearls to the middle ornament.  Since the bottom pearl shape of the middle ornament is kind of a tear drop shape I added liquid pearls to fill in that shape.  It worked great!  Then I covered the ornaments with Glossy Accents.  I wish the pictures captured just how pretty it turned out.  A nice result is that the glossy accents kind of pulled away from the Copic Opaque White.  Which really added an interesting detail.  I did some fussy cutting around the digi and popped it up on the page.  I really love how it turned out.  Not a difficult scrapbook page, but very pretty.

The new challenge is starting today over at Shelly's Images Blog.  Please stop by to see the other "Christmas in July" projects from the Design Team. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Just swimming by.....

The new challenge starts today at Shelly's Images
and we are featuring the "Wish Upon a Star" digi.
Be sure to stop in at the Shelly's Images blog to see the projects made by the other amazing designers we have at Shelly's Images.

For my project I decided to make a "Triple Easel" Card.  I wasn't sure exactly how this digi stamp would work but I really love how it all came together.  
I do want to thank CraftsdotCupcake for her wonderful YouTube video and the inspiration for my project.
Triple Easel card closed with matching envelope
And open to reveal the inside sentiment

The sentiment is popped up to hold the center easel.  The two sides have actual shell pieces
from Anna Maria Island and a bit of lace to hold the side easels.
Side view to show the easel parts
And the inside.  Thanks again to CraftsdotCupcake for the inspiration.
I love having a full inside for writing a note to the card recipient.

My base card measures 4 1/2 by 5 1/2
I used the Envelope Punch Board to make my envelope
The patterned paper is "Brave Boy" gingham from my mind's eye
I used Kraft for the card base
The lace was sent to me by my friend and Shelly's Images DT Member Amanda
Sentiment - Available soon at Shelly's Images
Shells from Anna Maria Island, Florida
Image Wish Upon a Star from Shelly's Images colored with Copics and white highlights with Copic Opaque White

Thanks so much for dropping in.  I hope you enjoyed this fun project. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Horse is an Angel

The new challenge at Shelly's Images is to use SCALLOPS on our projects. 

I decided to make a fun 3 dimensional card. If you would like more information on how I made my card be sure to watch the video tutorial and pick up the free templates that are being offered at the Shelly's Images Blog.
 I decided to close my card with this buckle that I made.  I thought the buckle brought the horse theme to the project even more.
 The inside of the card shows the 3 dimensional effect of the tree branch layer and the fence layer.  
I hope you enjoyed seeing this project.  I really enjoyed making it. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hippity Hoppity

Shelly's Images and Digi Stamps 4 Joy are teaming up for a 
really fun "Get Together" Event.  Check out the blog post over at Shelly's Images Blog if you would like more details.  We would love to have you join us. 

Here is the project that I made for this fun event.  The card is a window card with Shelly's Images "Peter" featured on the inside.  And Digi Stamps 4 Joy digi stamp "Egg Basket".

Monday, January 21, 2013

A few "secrets" to making layered cakes

I have been told that I make the "BEST" cakes ever.  And I have been asked what my secret is.  hmmm....I didn't know I had a secret.  I guess I just learned little things along the way that lead to amazing rich, dense, moist cakes.
shhhhh.....I will only share these secrets with you.  Everyone knows you are supposed to keep secrets and not tell EVERYBODY!

Tip #1 - Use Wilton's Bake Even strips. It is true.  They do work!  I have had mine forever and they still work like a charm.  Your cakes will raise evenly and not have those big cracks across the top.  Don't worry about the size of your bake even strips.  I use the large one and just wrap it around the pan and pin the end.
Just soak your strips in a sink with a little cold water.  After it soaks completely just run your fingers down the length of the strip.  You don't want it to be dripping, but leave it pretty wet.
Tip #2 - For a beautiful layered cake be sure to level the cakes.  Here are my two layers on cooling racks.  The Wilton cake leveler has different height settings.  So just find the one that is perfect for your cake and cut across the tops.  (I have the old version of the cake leveler. The new one folds in half for easy storage.)  You might be asking yourself "why use the bake even strips if you are just going to level the cake anyway?"  And the answer is that without the bake even strips you will have to cut much more off the tops of your cakes to get a level layer.  Without the bake even strips the cake really "humps" up in the center and you lose alot of your layer when leveling.  Remove the cut off portion and set aside.  ( I will show you why later)
 Now mix your frosting.  I use Wilton's Butter Cream and Chocolate Butter Cream frosting recipes.  This will be a 10 inch two layer cake so I recommend doubling the recipe for a cake that large. This is beginning to sound like a Wilton commercial.  :)  And to my lovely daughter Meghann...if you are reading this...don't forget to measure cocoa by spooning and leveling just like flour.   Oh...and add the cocoa powder to the mixer with the mixer on low speed.  That stuff has a way of flying everywhere.

Tip #3 - For the bottom layer of the cake place it on your cake board or plate with the cut side up.  In other words bottom side down.  This gives you a nice stable base for your cake.  Add a dollop of frosting.

Be sure to cover the layer completely.  I even let my frosting extend past the edges so that I don't have to do any filling between layers when the second layer is added.
For the top layer, place it carefully on top of the frosted 1st layer cut side down.  In other words bottom side up.  The cuts you created when leveling will face each other in the middle of the cake.  This placement of the cake layers will give the best end result.  Just be sure that the top layer is centered.  You don't want the cake to look like a leaning tower. that the frosting has begun the dogs are standing guard for anything that I might accidentally drop.  That is Toby on the left and Jasmine on the right. 
Tip #4 - This really isn't a tip, but I thought I would share my edging decoration while I am taking pictures.  I generally do this version of the traditional scallop along the top edge.  Sorry, I am sure Wilton has a name for it, but I don't know what it is.  Basically loop of the scallop goes opposite direction of the last loop.  This scallop kind of "lays down" against the top of the cake. 
For the bottom layer I do the traditional scallop.  The loop is on the bottom and the tail comes up over the top.  So this scallop kind of stands up against the side of the cake. 
Tip #5 - And this is maybe the ONE TRUE SECRET.  I always refrigerate my cakes.  It is best if you can make, frost, and decorate your cakes at least one day before you plan to serve it.  Loosely cover it with saran and put it in the refrigerator overnight.  The result is a moist, dense, delicious cake that makes everyone ask for the cake recipe.  I love making things from scratch, but generally for my cakes I use just a boxed mix.  And people never believe me.  Here is my finished cake.  This cake is going to my daughter's Middle School Dessert Social, so I have placed it on cake boards so that I don't have to worry about getting my nice cake plates back.  I actually put this cake on two layers of cake boards because I knew it would be very heavy. 

 Oooh...and for those cake tops that you cut off when leveling.  Go ahead and put them on a plate and frost them with any extra frosting.  My family always complains when I make something for a special event and they don't get any.  This way they can have some too! 

I hope some of  my cake secrets are helpful.  I know there are lots of young cooks out there like my daughters and maybe these tips will be helpful.
I am entering my cake in the CDAC Anything Goes Challenge.  Such a fun way to share the "other" things we do and make.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lots of fun at Crafter's Digital Art Center

There are lots of changes happening at Crafter's Digital Art Center.  
If you haven't ever been to CDAC you really should drop in and check it out.  It does require a membership, but it is super fast and easy.  

There are currently 5 CDAC Challenge Rooms

For the Progressive Challenge you receive a free digi from Shelly's Images.  For the other 4 challenges you get a freebie at the conclusion of the challenge just for participating.  That's right!  Everyone who plays along gets a special freebie from the Challenge Sponsor.

 These are new groups too! Check them out! 
These community rooms are wonderful places to keep in touch with everyone, get an answer to a question, or crafting advice from crafters all over the world. At "Link it up to Learn" you can find tutorials submitted by members and you can link tutorials from your own blogs.

Hope to see you there!