Friday, April 27, 2012

Stamped Soap Dispenser

My sister gave me a foaming hand soap for Christmas. I recently emptied it and saved the bottle to refill. The pumper still worked great so why recycle it, especially if I could make a refill for it. Not only refill, but play around with the idea I had to stamp the bottle with Stazon ink !

It was quite a bit of work to remove the stickers and sticky residue left behind. It required lots of Goo Gone and elbow grease to get the job done.

I took the pumper portion apart and cleaned it out well, too.

I chose to use the Roses In Winter stamp set (one of my all time favorites, long ago retired from Stampin' Up!) because it is so simple, fool proof to stamp. It also coordinates with other items I have stamped in the craft dungeon:
Stamp Storage Dresser
Stamped Desk Set

Plus, I figured if the rose images slid a little or didn't stamp completely, they'd still look okay since they are already a sort of "distressed" image anyway. Theory was proven correct as both things happened to me working on it - and it doesn't look half bad !

Stazon ink colors used on this project:
Royal Purple
Olive Green
Blazing Red

I'm going to keep it on the recently installed old vanity / sink in the craft dungeon basement . My parents renovated their bathroom and gave me their old vanity to use in the basement (it was really old and outdated, not something I'd use in our bathroom ). I am happy to have that sink down there now, it's been super handy to wash out paintbrushes and clean inky fingers =)

Thanks for looking !

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ford F150 Shaped Card

(the perspective is a wee bit off since it is standing up -
not that it was perfect to begin with!)

I spent quite a bit of time (HOURS!) making this shaped card for my sons birthday. It is supposed to resemble the truck he drives. All he would like for his birthday are parts for the truck, so I thought I'd make a card shaped like it for him. Sure would have been easier to make a card in My Digital Studio, printing out a simple photo of the truck onto a background ! I sure hope he appreciates the time and effort ;) I didn't have anything else to do yesterday anyway, ha ha . 

Let me first off start by saying, there is no pattern. Sorry. Here is a photo of the sketch I made and used as a pattern. 

The first step was to go outside and make a sketch of the truck along with some notes.

I redrew the truck by hand onto a piece of scratch paper, making it the size I wanted the finished card to be. It's not perfect and leaves a lot to be desired (dimensions are off, etc), but I think it turned out okay for doing it by hand and with limited artistic talent. Yeah, good thing I gave up on that long ago dream (one of many) to become a car art artist. Oh, to be able to draw like Chip Foose or even just have a fraction of his talent ! Anyway, on to the steps to make the card in case you may be interested.

I cut the drawing out with scissors and an Xacto knife.

I traced the cut out, upside down, onto red card stock (unknown). Cut out along the outside edges with scissors and inside the windows with the Xacto knife. I did the same thing again onto a folded piece of Whisper White (Stampin' Up!) card stock, only cutting the windows out of the top layer, to make the actual card. The fold is along the top of the cab of the truck. After the entire red card front truck was made, I adhered it to the folded Whisper White card. 

I have a ruler that has some dimension to it , a rounded edge that wedges up to the middle of the ruler. It was the perfect tool to make the body lines of the truck with (think of it as dry embossing). I had a heavyweight piece of chip board scrap that worked wonderfully to run along the edge, giving it the line I was hoping for. I didn't want a really crisp line as you would get using a stylus and scoring board.

A white Signo gel pen was used, along with a ruler, to make the two white pin stripes along the upper body line.

Pencil and Sharpie ink pen for details on the red truck. Pencil for the "seams" of where the door meets the body, Sharpie for outlining the windows that have black on them.

Metallic silver card stock was free hand cut with small scissors to create several details on the truck. A 1/8" hole punch was nearly the right size to make a teeny tiny circle for the door lock key hole.
I used an Empressor stylus and Sahara Sand (from Stampin' Up!) marker as well as the black Sharpie to add the dimension to the bumpers. 

The window is made from a piece of clear plastic (acetate) from a package. Sometimes I save clear packaging, if it is large enough, to be reused. I carefully cut the plastic in one piece to cover, from the back side of the red truck, the windows. I used think strips of super strong double stick tape to adhere them together. A black Sharpie marker was used on the acetate to make black lines to resemble the window posts and trim.

The tinted window is made by coloring a marker onto a piece of drafting vellum then using clear packing tape cut to fit. It is taped to the backside of the acetate window. 

The tires and wheels are made with several circle punches:
1 3/4" - wheel well, punched into the red body as well as a piece of scrap gray paper to line it with
1 3/8" - tire , Basic Black (Stampin' Up!) card stock
3/4 " - wheel , metallic silver card stock (Stampin' Up!)
1/4 " - center hub, metallic silver card stock with a bit of Sahara Sand ink along the edge

I used a black Sharpie marker and a silver Signo gel pen to create the dots on the wheels. I freehanded them, and boy can you tell !

The rear tail light was made from Real Red (Stampin' Up!) card stock, embossed three lines with an Empressor stylus then covered with Crystal Effects (Stampin' Up!). 

The tube "running board" was created by punching a thin strip of Basic Black card stock with the Word Window punch (Stampin' Up!) then trimming it out with scissors by hand.

The headlight is made in a similar fashion, using Whisper White and Only Orange (both from Stampin' Up!) card stocks covered with Crystal Effects. I ran the black Sharpie marker along the edge once they were dry to simulate the black trim around the real headlight.

The F150 "badge" is larger than I wanted, but it was as small as I could make it by writing free hand with a Silver Signo gel pen. I also used a blue (unknown) gel pen for the XL and a pencil to outline the letters.
Sticky strip and clear drying liquid glue are used throughout to adhere the parts together.

I will print out a photo of my sons face to stick inside to finish it off.

Thanks so much for taking a peek at my latest project. Comments are always appreciated =) 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just when I was getting the hang of how to "blog", they go and change it !!! So I am NOT posting the project I had planned on today, instead I am going to take a look around the improved Blogger. Check back tomorrow for a neat truck shaped card I spent HOURS creating today =)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Yard Sale Finds

I don't go to many yard sales. I liked to go when the kids were young and gas wasn't so high. I enjoyed looking for bargain clothing for them when they were little - and not so picky about what they wore and got dirty outdoors. However, there was an ad in our local paper that caught my eye this weekend, in the midst of all the goodies listed were the words "stamping up" . Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....... I decided the weather was great so it might be worth a drive early the next morning. I had a few errands I could do while out anyway.

That four family sale had lots of neat stuff, but nothing I really needed (which is another reason why I don't go to sales any more, I don't need more "stuff"). In the middle of all the boxes upon boxes and tables of "one families junk is another families treasure" was a single box with eleven stamp sets, a Stampin' Scrub, a heat gun,  Stampin' Pastels. I snagged four of the stamp sets for $20. However, in my giddiness at finding a few sets I didn't have for a great price (and in my haste to get them before someone else!), I didn't look closely enough at them.

Now here is the tip I want to share about buying used stamps if you ever have the opportunity: 
BE SURE TO LOOK AT THE RUBBER IMAGE SIDE OF THE STAMPS !  Also, you will want to make sure that the rubber is still soft, not hardened or cracked due to improper cleaning or storage. 

Yep, the thought never crossed my mind that they would be so poorly mounted. Sure, I took a quick glance and noted that the rubber hadn't been trimmed, but I had no idea because I didn't take the time to examine them as to how poorly they were actually trimmed/mounted. Warning, this image I am going to share may make some die hard stampers sick !!!! Ha, ha .  I was quite sad when I got home, ready to start remounting them and realized how they were mounted, cut improperly (gasp!).

note the three stamps to the far left of the image;
the person that mounted them cut through the rubber stamp designs 
to make the square piece of rubber fit the wood blocks !
This set is also missing a piece I discovered 
when I found it in an old catalog. 
On the bright side (?) the piece that is missing is the 
other part to the two step rose image that was ruined. 

Note that the squares of rubber are hanging off the edges of the wood blocks.
I can only assume that they learned a lesson about cutting through the
rubber stamp images on the previous set so they didn't trim this set at all ? 

So after a few hours of unmounting, trimming, removing glue, matching up proper wood block sizes and stickers to the proper images then regluing them back on, I have usable stamp sets.

Soft As A Feather

Hand Painted Petites
The three images that were ruined are outline in red.
I carefully trimmed them with an Xacto knife.
The double "vine" is now a perfectly usable single, yaay.
The swirl might work, just shortened.
I don't know if I'll use the solid two step rose image;
it stamps okay with some careful cleaning up of the cut off edge,
but without the top part to the set it won't look rose like.
Maybe if I ever think about it, I could use it as a tiny scoop of ice cream ?

The other two sets were not as bad, but they have a name written in
permanent ink on the side of each block.
After some research, I was able to find the names of all the sets.
The other two sets are Gifted Glove and Wishing Well.

                                       Lesson learned: should I ever go to a yard sale that has stamp sets again,
I will open them up and inspect them well.
I did get them for $5 a set, so I can't complain too much =)

Oh, I also walked away with:

  •  a two piece set of Farberware skillets for $5. New in package, red colored that won't go with the kitchen and deeper than I would normally use, but I did need new nonstick skillets. 
  •  a Martha Stewart griddle new in package for $2, aquamist colored. The color doesn't go with the kitchen (or the red skillets!), but I've never had a griddle skillet ! 
  • a yoga mat new in package for $2, my son has been wanting one so he is thrilled.
  • a new in package pop up hamper for my daughter, 50c. Even if it is neon green (by the way, did you know that neon colors are "in" again this year at Target stores? 1980's flashback!), it is a decent size and she needed one for her room. 
  • an old milk can (?) that I will decorate with paint, put a potted plant on top. It is ugly, repainted white and the lid will not come off, but I thought it would be neat to put on the porch -  $2 !
  • a  super soft stadium length lightweight black leather coat with liner. It is in good shape other than missing the belt (that I wouldn't use anyway) and still has that leather smell. It is sooooo not me (my son said it looks like something rich ladies wear),  but for $7 I couldn't pass it up. I spent a little time cleaning the leather and wore it last night since it was so cool outside again. Nice, medium weight coat that I didn't happen to have until now =)  I did pass up several nice tops because I won't buy clothing for myself at a yard sale. It is difficult to find things to fit properly so I prefer new items (on clearance!) I can try on in a store. 

53 miles round trip  = 4 gallons of gas in my gas hog SUV = $17 for fuel to get to these bargains
Yeah, I suppose they are still bargains after all  =)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

Here are a few links to Earth Day related websites as well as a fantastic site for finding all sorts of recycling centers for different materials in your area:

Be sure to look at some of the various repurposed item projects I've made and posted on my blog, too !

Aside from the every day recyclable items (paper, plastic, metal) I imagine you've heard of electronic recycling drives, but did you know that textiles can be recycled, as well ?  Here is an interesting article about textile recycling: 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Three Cards

I mailed out three birthday cards to one family today.

All images, papers used on the above card are from Stampin' Up!
The glittery image ( I do not recall the name of the set) was stamped and colored with markers on white card stock then run through a Xyron machine. The Xyron machine puts a layer of sticky "tape" on the image. I covered that sticky "tape" with Dazzling Diamonds glitter. It was layered onto Pink Passion and Basic Black card stock. Pink Passion card stock was run through the Big Shot with a Texturz plate and then layered onto Whisper White card stock. Black grosgrain ribbon and letters from the Alphadots set finish it off. I need to find a good, BLACK, ink - this Basic Black always seems to look purple to me. I probably should have heat embossed the letters with black embossing powder to get a good , black coverage.

You can find more information about how I created this card here

All images, papers used on the above card are from Stampin' Up!
More information about it here

Thanks for looking =)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

1950's Mom

According to my son and what he was learning in history class last week, he thinks I am like a 1950's mom. Minus the perfect clothing, hair and pearl necklace =)

When he gets home from school I ask him if he is hungry for supper and if he has any homework. This is soon followed by his telling me highlights of his day.

Today's conversation was fun as he told me about the lesson in history class and how he thought overall I was like a mom from the 50's. I found it funny that 1950s era lifestyles and TV shows were a topic of history class ! What is going to be hilarious is when they talk about the 80's. Oh the music, the clothes, the hair ! ha ha ha ! Not that I got into all of that (other than the music)........

images were found at the above web site

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole - recipe

I am NOT creative in the kitchen - at all ! However, last night I threw together a few things and came up with this family approved recipe.

It all started with a coupon and recipe insert that was in the Sunday paper. It sounded good, but I didn't have the right ingredients on hand. The original recipe I saw for Chicken and Noodle Pot Pie can be found here.

Here is my version. NOTE: add pepper, salt, etc to your family's tastes. I tend to not add extra salt to recipes. Also, the measurements are not exact since I just threw things in, leftovers I had on hand, as I went along.


  • leftover roasted garlic and rosemary chicken from our store deli (I chopped a thigh, leg and half of a large breast to use, all that was leftover from dinner a previous night. I think it needed more chicken, but that is all I had.  I found the chicken on sale, already roasted and seasoned, for $2.98 !)

  • 12 oz of wide egg noodles   (the dry packaged type found in the pasta isle at a store, cooked according to package directions. I used approximately 12 oz since I only had a partial 16 oz bag of noodles left and used them all) 

  • about 1/2 cup chopped onion sauteed in a little bit of butter, just to get them softened  (I only had about half of an onion on hand, you could certainly add more if your family likes onion)

  • one 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • one  10.5 oz can cream of celery soup  (I've learned to try to keep these as well as cream of mushroom soup on hand; note that I used store brand soups that were 10.5 oz cans )

  • 1/2  of an 8 oz package cream cheese, softened (maybe a full package would work ? I only had half of a package leftover from Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies I made a few days prior)

  • peas and carrots ( I used not quite a half package of frozen veggies, add as many or as little veggies - and different veggies -  as your family likes)

Blend soups and softened cream cheese well. Stir in onion, peas, carrots, chicken, noodles. Season to taste if desired. Pour into a buttered casserole dish (mine was a large stoneware baking dish).

Bread crumb topping:
I used four whole wheat rolls I had in the freezer (yep, more leftovers!). I defrosted them then crumbled them up into very small pieces. I mixed in 3 TBS Parmesan cheese (happened to be leftovers that we didn't use from a boxed pizza mix) and 3 TBS of melted butter. Crumble the mixture over the top of the noodle casserole and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This made quite a bit of food so I shared some with my parents and still have enough leftover for lunch today =)

Thanks for looking !

Monday, April 16, 2012

3D Floral Tent Fold Card

Totally inspired by a sample I saw in a book. I spent far too much time trying to make it work with a die rather than hand cutting as the sample was made. None of the dies I have would work quite right.  I managed to make one sort of look okay after much trial and error (yes, I should have spent my time more wisely!) .  In the end they turned out okay, but I won't make another card this way.

Designer Papers, stamp images, inks are all retired from Stampin' Up!
Die to make the flower is from Stampin' Up!


front and back laid open so you can see the cut

Place the fold of your card on the die, centering it where you'd like . I chose to line it up between the points where petals met. The half of the card that will be cut has 3 petals on it (it was a 5 petal flower die) so once it is cut and opened , there will be six petals. The violet version below has the full six petals by lining the die and card stock up as shown above. The yellow and green card above has a slightly smaller set of petals in the middle along the fold because I tried to line the fold up along the center of a set of petals to see what that would look like. They turned out much skinnier than I intended, I slid the die/card stock or didn't have it place exactly where I wanted.

I made a shim out of chipboard layers to cover the portion of the die I wanted to cut. I laid the plastic cutting pad over the card stock and die as I normally would, leaving the second cutting pad out of the "sandwich" to allow room for the shim. This way, when it rolled through (yes, it was tricky! even taping it down to the cutting pad the shim wanted to slide) the pressure would be on the shim, cutting out only that area of the die and not the entire die. As I said previously, I spent far too much time trying to figure out a way to make it work when I really should have just hand cut the flower opening out like the project in the book.

this shows the shim lined up along the fold

white core violet printed card stock from Lasting Impressions
Vintage Violet and Wisteria Wonder inks from Stampin' Up!
die, embossing folder and Stipple Plaid stamp from Stampin' Up!
ribbon unknown
edge of scissors to lightly distress card stock edge
stampin' sponge

Here is the original project inspiration from a book

Thanks for looking =) 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pop Up Bouquet Card

inside the card -  a pop up bouquet !

card front

I finally broke down and bought a new library card recently. Living in a rural area, we aren't part of a library district thus we don't pay taxes to one so we must buy a non resident card if we wish to use a library. I put my new card to use, spending a little time perusing crafty books last week. I came across two I hadn't seen before . This card - the pop up bouquet portion - was inspired by a project I saw in one of those books. The colors (CC370) and sketch (SC380) come from two challenges at The floral theme fits the 2TC2 challenge at TwistedTuesdays. This is the first time ever I have created a card with the intention of meeting multiple challenges !

All of these ideas came together well to make a card for an old friend and her husband to celebrate their Marriage Blessing. I really should have used YoYo Yellow and Gable Green to match the colors she chose for the decorations though.

This card required extra postage to be mailed.

inspiration image from book

My pop up bouquet isn't exactly as the one in the book. I spent far too much time fiddling with it, folding and bending, pushing in every direction, determined to make it work. In the end, I did manage to get it to fold into place - but the recipient probably won't be able to get it to go back in once it has been opened ! I must have spent 30 minutes myself trying to get it back into position after I opened it to try it out ! Had I followed the directions in the book and used the pattern that was given, it may have worked much better. Perhaps if you do a search online you will be able to find a photo tutorial for a pop up bouquet.

All items used, unless noted otherwise, are from Stampin' Up!

The flowers were made by inking up an image from the Mixed Bunch stamp set with Daffodil Delight ink then rolling the edges onto a Tangerine Tango ink pad. You can find an online tutorial for the "rock n' roll technique" here. Stamp seven of them onto lightweight copy paper and three onto Whisper White card stock.

The center dots were colored with a Chocolate Chip marker.

I ran a thin line of Diamond Sparkles (PSX) glitter glue down the center of the petals.

I used the coordinating Blossom punch to punch out the flowers. I punched 7 of them out of the lightweight copy paper for the pop up bouquet inside the card. One is for the center, the other six surround the center flower. Fold each flower in half, then fold that into thirds.  Unfold. Glue the flowers along the top edge of the petals to each other, just a little bit of adhesive right in the center edge of the petal. Glue the backs to each other, lining up the petal edges.

Do not fold the flowers punched out of  Whisper White card stock for the front of the card, just slightly curl up the petals for a little dimension.

The leaves are made from green mulberry paper cut with scissors - and are looking a bit sad after all of the smooshing, trying to get the pop up to work. You want to use lightweight papers for the flowers and leaves to reduce the bulk as well as make it easier to fold.

The butterfly was die cut with the Beautiful Wings embosslits die onto Tangerine Tango card stock. I lightly sponged a bit of  Tangerine Tango ink along the edges of the butterfly wings. Using a fine paintbrush and acrylic craft ink (432 Sunflower from FolkArt/Plaid), I painted the raised embossed design created by the die on the wings.

The butterfly body is made with a small piece of thin gauge craft wire and black seed beads (unknown). Bend a small portion of wire in half  around the body. String seed beads onto the front of the wire, twist ends together leaving enough to curl for antennae. Mount to flowers with dimensionals/pop dots.

"Happiness Always" from the Whimsical Words stamp set was inked with Tangerine Tango and Old Olive markers.  Stamp, then punch out with a circle punch and add a few rhinestones (unknown).

The decorative border along the bottom of the card was made with the So Swirly Jumbo Stampin' Around wheel inked with Daffodil Delight ink pad. I then carefully used a cotton swab to remove ink from the polka dot line portions so I could reink them with an Old Olive marker. I also touched a bit of Tangerine Tango marker onto the flower designs. "Huff" your warm breath onto the stamp to re-moisten the ink if necessary then roll onto card. It looked really neat being multicolored, but of course I didn't take a photo of it before it was all covered up with the flowers. Too bad none of it shows now.

I used a scoring board and stylus to make the double dry embossed lines at the top and bottom of the rolled image border after it was stamped.

4/15/2012 EDITED TO ADD:

I didn't think to add a couple of photos of how I managed to get the pop up to fold into the card! Hopefully it would be helpful to any of you wanting to try to make one yourself.

this looks straight at the pop up as it is being opened

one side of the pop up

the opposite side of the pop up; 
notice that the flowers fold in differently than the other side

Thanks for looking =)

 4/20/2012  BOOK TITLE - I found it! 

Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year-Round Celebrations

5/18/2012 - Instructions on the website I was just made aware of

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pollen and Pods

Wow, the pollen was terrible this year. Everything was coated in it, yellowed from it. Here are a couple of photos of pollen that accumulated around the tires of a parked car ! Also notice the zillions of Maple tree "whirlybirds" laying around. I don't recall seeing so many of them - or so much pollen on things ! The heavy rains today will help wash things down. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Luscious Lemon Angel Roll - recipe

This is the second dessert I made for Easter Dinner.
The recipe is from The Pampered Chef.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Silky Turtle Torte - recipe

First time I made this recipe, it didn't turn out too bad ! 
I melted some chocolate chips to drizzle on top.
If I ever make it again, I will add more milk to the melted caramels;
they set up too hard, it was difficult to cut - and chew! - the crust. 

this recipe is from The Pampered Chef

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter !!!!!

While everyone is still in bed,
I've been busy this Easter morning
(and I'm not done yet!):

Baskets are filled.
Yes, my teenage children still get a simple basket =)

"carrots" filled with jelly beans for the nephews

Morel mushrooms are ready to be cleaned !
They'll be fried up as an appetizer for dinner later today.

Gelatin jiggler eggs are set up -
although they didn't come out of the mold very well.

Angel food cake roll is cooling so I can finish it with the 
delicious filling a bit later.
 (it will be a Luscious Lemon Angel Roll recipe from
The Pampered Chef once complete)

starting the Silky Turtle Torte recipe from
The Pampered Chef

and once that is done I move onto the potato casserole.....

It looks to be a perfect Easter Day spent 
at my parents house.

Happy Easter =)