Thankful for a Break!

It has been such a long time since I have been on here. During the school year, I do not find the time to create as I would like. I thought team teaching would lessen my work responsibilities, but instead it has increased. I am thankful for this needed break and an opportunity to join in on the November Papertrey's Blog Hop. Here is the inspirational photo:

I am planning on having some friends over for a little holiday get together. I want to have a holiday owl theme. The colors from this photo inspired my owl treat bag. My room mom, from work, made my kindergarten class and I some adorable Halloween treat bags. She told me she found the idea on Pinterest. I am hooked! Below is my Holiday owl treat bag, based upon her Halloween bags.


I used a mini lunch bag as the base of my owl's body. First I folded the top and cut a triangle out. I used my scallop and circle punches to make the eyes. I cut out some green and red dp and used my scallop border punch to make the ruffles. I used Papertrey's sentiment from the Holiday Tree set. I free hand cut the feet and beak. Easy peasy, lemony squeezy! Here's a close up:



Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Hugs!
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With a Little Bit of Time

I thought after Labor Day things would settle down for me, and I could play more in my craft room. However, it has not calmed down, especially with my work. Last Tuesday, my 20th student entered my class. He is one who needs more love and attention. Lucky for me, I have such a sweet class that they are so helpful in his adjustment. This week, I will hopefully be interviewing some great candidates to be my co-teacher in my classroom. Once hired, we will be getting more students. I am excited for this experience, as I have not co-taught before. I have had college interns, but not with another teacher. I'm sure at first, I will be busy helping my new teacher and students get acquainted. Then I think it will be smooth sailing and I may even have more time to craft!! :0)

In addition, my sister is moving to St. Louis! I got to see her and my nephew last night before their big drive up north. I am sad that she and her family are moving further away, but happy that she has found a job. I guess there will be some future visits there.

Today, I went to the TGF site and saw that they are having a white challenge. I am super happy that they have made some changes on their site. Instead of posting only in their gallery, we can post on Splitcoaststampers or on our blogs. I had a little bit of time to play this morning, and made a MFT card for the current sketch challenge. (I will post it in my Splitcoaststampers Gallery.) After I made my MFT card, I made this one for the Farm Fresh Friday challenge:

I received this TGF Snuggle and TGF Because of You sentiments in the mail a couple of days ago. This image was on sale and I could not resist. It reminds me of my childhood, as I had a white bunny that I snuggled with. I have a difficult time just using white, so I added some hair color, skin color, and pink to my image. I added white flocking to the bunny, cuttlebugged with Swissdots, and scored with my Score-pal for texture. I also used a glitter pen on the girl's nightgown, but it does not show up here. My heart snaps were oldies that I had since my scrapbooking days! Yeah for me for finally using them after all those years!

Thanks for visiting! Remember to take time to enjoy the moment!
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I (heart) 2 stamp September Sketch

Last week, I received my Stampin Up order. I got some ribbons, Turtle & Co. stamp set, and cardstock. For this particular card, I used Papertrey's kraft cardstock, Bazill's copic paper, SU's Pool Party, and SU's Lucky Limeade. I love earth tone colors, especially of the kraft, blue, and green together. I used I (heart) 2 stamp September sketch to put this together. Such a fun sketch!!

Supplies used: Papertrey's kraft cardstock, Bazill's copic paper, SU Pool Party cardstock, SU Lucky Limeade cardstock, SU Turtle & Co. stamp set, corner rounder punch, Circle Nestabilities, SU Baja Blue ink, sponge, copic markers, white gel pen, google eyes

I will be sending this one out to my friend, Peggy, who had a birthday in August! Usually I remember to call. This year, I got caught up with the beginning of the school year activities. Happy Wednesday!
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SSSC#133

I got to use one of my freebies from my shopping spree at MFT boutique a couple weekends for this sketch challenge. I still have a few more to use that I have not inked up yet. This roller skating Pure Innocence girl makes me think of last May when one of my friends had a skating party for her 30th birthday. She had a "13 Going on 30" theme. I think I will send this to her, to let her know I am thinking of her during our busy beginning of the school year. She is a kindergarten teacher too.

Supplies Used: Black cardstock, MME Lime Twist dp, MFT Pure Innocence Roll With It stamp set, MFT dienamics, copic markers, Nestabilities circles, black brads, white gel pen, glitter gel pen

Happy Tuesday!
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Papertrey's Make It Monday #31 & Pink Elephant #115

My first weeks of kindergarten have been exhausting. With this extra day off today, I am feeling human again! I browsed the web and participated in a few challenges. This one is for Papertrey's Make it Monday #31, Creating Backgrounds with Non-Background Stamps. I used my new Papertrey set, Baby Button Bits stamp set. I received this set over the summer when I was a lucky winner of one of Papertrey's Make it Monday challenges. I used the sentiment as my background stamp. I stamped it in SU 's Old Olive and Baha Blue. I also sponged the edges of my panels to soften them.

The Pink Elephant is also having a sketch challenge, TPE#115 which I used for this card. I made a new size (for me) that I learned from Colleen Schaan. It's 3.25" X 5.5". I really like it, and will be using it more often. Here's a close up of the rolled flower. I punched a circle from one of my Stampin Up circle punches. Then I just cut a swirly inside. There are tutorials out on the web to do this. I know that My Favorite Things also makes dies for a rolled flower.

I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend!!
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Labor Day Weekend Fun!

Finally, a long weekend, so I can sufficiently rest! This morning I got up early and played in my craft room. I also took a picture of the cards I colored at Colleen Schaan's Copic Coloring workshop at the new MFT boutique in Mt. Dora from last weekend. Here they are:



While I was at the MFT boutique, I got some freebies from my shopping spree. One freebie was a Pure Innocence set: Make a Splash. To try out one of Colleen's tips, I used a copic marker and colorless blender to color yellow around my little girl. I paper pierced her bathing suit, one of my favorite ways to create fun clothing... perfect for the PInk Elephant's challenge # 114. I also followed the MFTWSC#35 sketch.


After eyeing some beautiful hair creations, I found some video tutorials on how to create the look. In addition to coloring the hair from lightest to dark and back to blend, I attempted to add some streaks of the darker colors to add lowlights to my TGF girl's hair. She's from the Just for You set. I used TESC#145 for my layout.



We are heading over to our friends' home for a bbq tonight. I am making some beef and chicken kebabs for our dinner. I plan on playing more in my craft room later this weekend! Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

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Busy Weekend!!

It has been a crazy busy weekend!! Maybe that is why I am so exhausted today?? I started on Saturday morning heading over to the MFT opening and getting some color tips from a copic class by Colleen Schaan. She is such a sweet lady. She had us create two cards. One is posted on her blog. I haven't taken any pictures of mine created in her class, but will later. It was fun to get some craftiness in. I also am a big fan of MFT stamps and I ended up buying more than planned. I also got some free stamps too!!

After that, I ended up heading down to Ft. Lauderdale to see my sister graduate! I had wanted to visit with a few friends there, but I didn't have the luxury of time. My husband and I got to spend some time with my sister, her husband, and my cute little nephew.

I am so looking forward to this Labor Day weekend. I am hoping to have some time to play in my craft room! Have a great week! hugs!
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A Dinner and Two Cards

Last night for dinner, I made some bouillabaisse, a French seafood stew. My mother's friend and my sister have both made it before. I attempted to make it with a combination of their recipes. Here's the Williams and Sonoma one: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/bouillabaisse-mediterranean-fish-soup.html. I ended up throwing out the mussels. Their smell and insides gross me out!! Here's a picture of it after my hubby stirred it a bit. We did enjoy it, and will make it again... but with no mussels!




This morning, I made a card for the MFTWSC#33. I received the Who's That Girl image from Splitcoaststamper's Wish RAK. It's a great way to try out some images and decide if it's an image to have or not.


Also at Splitcoaststampers, the featured stamper is sweetnsassystamps. This summer, her creations caught my attention. She uses lots of bears in her creations, so I made this one inspired by her.


I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend! I plan to enjoy it!
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Fluttering Butterflies

Today, I had time to create two cards. One this morning that I posted on Splitcoaststampers and one this afternoon for The Pink Elephant Challenge #111. The theme was to use butterflies! I love butterflies. I also used Verve's AUG2011 Week 2 sketch.


It has been a very busy week back at school. I have met my new batch of cute little kindergarteners. My husband has been very supportive, as I have warned him of this time of year. He made an Indian dinner for us on Wednesday. He brought sunflowers home on Thursday. On Friday, he came to my classroom and brought me some bubble tea. Then he moved and rehooked some computers for me. We even went out for a dinner and movie! Now he's off doing some grocery shopping, as I get caught up. (Love you honey!)

Tomorrow will be the first day of school! I am excited about the new year with my new students and new administration. It should be a good year!







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Monday's Polka Dotted Mug

I created this coffee card thinking mainly of Papertrey's Make it Monday #26: Decreasing Apertures . There is a video tutorial at Nichole's blog showing how to use different dies to make a window. I also was inspired by Splitcoaststamper's Inspiration Challenge #296. At the site there are pictures of pink napkins with white polka dots. With Papertrey's Warm Happiness polka dotted mug, Warm Happiness Too sentiment, and Warm Happiness Dies to match, I made something to go with the browns in my cards. This also fits DTGD11leigh_obrien challenge at Splitcoaststampers to use several dies.




Here is a look through the front window into the inside of the card.

I think I will be working on some more DTGD11 challenges today over at Splitcoaststampers. Then later tonight, I will be going with my hubby to an Ethiopian restaurant to meet up with his brother and hopefully my sister and her little family!! Have a wonderful day!
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OTWC #58

I love photo collages, especially ones related to wedding inspirations. Seeing these OTWC collages reminds me of the one I made last year for my wedding. I will have to share that sometime in the future. Kim has another beautiful picture collage for OTWC#58. Here it is:



I was inspired by the blue and coral colors. I used Stampin Up's retired colors: Buckaroo Blue and Groovy Guava as my blue and coral. My layout was inspired by Sweet Sunday's Sketch #128. I was also inspired by three Splitcoaststamper's DTGD challenges: use handmade stitching, piercing, and inking up a cupcake.
Here's my Cupcake Turtle card:



Today is my last official day of summer! Back to work on Monday! I love the beginning of a school year, but will  miss my carefree summers. Have a wonderful weekend!
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The Pink Elephant #110 Challenge

I already posted this at the Splitcoaststampers site, but could not get it to link up for TPE110. This is the sketch:
I loved the samples from the TPE team. Here's my entry inspired from this sketch and their samples. I made mine into an easel card. There is a great tutorial on Splitcoaststampers.

I used the turtle and sentiment from Papertrey's Tiny Treats: Birthday. There are lots of challenges going on at Splitcoaststampers. I am working on incorporating them into my creations. One has to be a fan club member to participate. Click HERE for more information there.


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Cupcake Exchange Party

Last Wednesday evening, I had a cupcake exchange party. It was fun to plan and participate in.These are the cupcake invitations that I sent out to some of my friends. I made these in May before school was out, because I knew I wanted to have a cupcake exchange party during the summer. I finalized them two weeks ago so that they would be sent out a week ahead. I had sent a Facebook invite weeks earlier, and then these to those who could attend. These were basically made similiar to the flower pocket card.



I also made cupcake sugar cookies. Here they are with the sugar sand on top:

Here they are packaged in their individual bags:


In the foyer, on the wall, I used small clothespins and twine to display my pictures. I took a couple pictures down and replaced with cookies. This was my third attempt at making decorated sugar cookies, and I was pleased with myself at how they turned out!


I also made a candy bar on my bookcase in the foyer area. I got pink yogurt covered pretzels and chocolate covered expresso beans at Fresh Market. I go the pink and green truffles from Lindt. I went to Target and got some minty green M&M's. I put these in different glass containers. The girls enjoyed this, especially my friend Amber, who loves Lily Pulitzer.

Underneath the candy bar, were my favor bags and cupcake sugar cookies. I used a die cut at my school for the bag. Then I used my Nestabilities and Cuttlebug to cut out the shapes for the cupcake template. I used Papertrey's Tiny Treats: Birthday and a cupcake dollar stamp from Michaels to make my little circular tags. My friends were impressed with the felt on top of the cupcakes that were on the favor bags.

I also made prize bags for the best presentation and the best tasting cupcakes. Inside the identical bags were identical cupcake necklaces from Bashful Bliss, a cupcake frame, and a cupcake lip gloss. The owl box full of little 3X3 cards were put into a bag with some other cupcake goodies for a scrapbooker/stamper.


After my friends arrived and settled down, we sat down and tasted the cupcakes. I cut the a few cupcakes into quarters for each person to taste. The other cupcakes were left untouched, so that we could each take the different cupcakes home.
 

Now for the delectable cupcakes. I used my new phone and its vintage warm setting to take photos. Love that setting!! I made mochaccino cupcakes that were yummy. I even created my own icing to go with it!




Even though the votes varied for taste, my friend Colleen and I tied for the best tasting cupcakes with 2 votes each. Since I was the hostess, she won the prize. Here are her Oreo Cheesecakes.


Amber won best presentation with her Pink Lemonade cupcakes. Since she had the most votes, she also won the scrapbooker/stamper cupcake goodies.


The other cupcakes we had were Chai Latte, Vanilla (orange colored frosting), Vanilla Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Cannoli, Key Lime, and Mintalicious Brownies. Below is my first photo collage created with Photoshop. Just a few more random pictures from the party.

We had yummy cupcake for sharing and eating for days! If you have an inkling for a cupcake exchange party, I highly recommend hosting one!


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Papertrey's July 2011 Blog Hop

I happened to check out Nichole's blog and saw a beautiful inspiration photo. There is a July 2011 blog hop going on, so I had to give it a try.


It took me less than 5 minutes to put this one together. I wish I had picked  a different blue background, as mine is too blue rather than more blue-green. I think I will have to make more though, as it was a quick one! Time to get some rest!


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SFYTT2011 July

Another post for today. This is one I have worked on a while back, but just haven't posted about it yet. This is my take on I (heart) 2stamp Sketch for You to Try July 2011 sketch. My Favorite Things is supporting the sketch this month. I heart MFT!! A few years ago, I had an opportunity to meet the owner at a card swap. Not that she would remember, as it was a group event. She had stopped by to drop off some stamps for us to try. She gave each of us a Who's That Girl Mother Day cling set. She made a loyal costumer out of me! Every time I order online, I get quick service. This may due to the fact that I live in sunny Florida like she does. She has a store opening coming up this August 2011! I plan to be there and better my copic coloring skills! I love their Pure Innocence and a La Modes images. For this particular sketch, I used Apple For You. I really wanted to use my apples from a K & Co. Greenhouse dp I had. So to make it work, I felt it looked better going down the side versus in a group. Now it's time for me to give my little family some attention!! :0)
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Cookies!!

I love cookies. Chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, gingerbread men, peppermint chocolate, key lime thumbprints, etc... During each Christmas season, I have made homemade goodies for families, friends, and coworkers. Just last year, I started experimenting with sugar cookies with icing. I didn't like the idea of using raw eggs for my royal icing and discovered a great meringue icing recipe from Bake at 350F. I even made my own favors for my wedding last October. I cannot find my butterfly sugar cookie pictures... but the actual cookies were yummy! I used Williams and Sonoma's sugar cookie recipe. Instead of a vanilla bean, I use a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Here's a picture taken from my wedding photographer of my favors. Underneath the bike tag are two mini butterfly cookies peeking through, a triple chocolate cakeball, a small box with green jelly bellys, and another small box with chocolate covered expresso beans. (My wedding colors were green, brown, and white/ivory.)


This past Mother's Day, in my classroom, I decided to make more cookies for my Mother's Tea for those mommies who come in on a weekly basis to help out. I typically have a berry tea theme. This time my sugar cookies were not fun to make! I had issues with the icing. My butterfly experience was easier, as they were tiny bite size cookies. These were much bigger.
I think that the difficult part for me was getting the right consistency, as I am used to making gingerbread houses and the icing should be more fluid.
My mommy helpers were feeling appreciated at their tea. They had sweet treats and berry themed gifts: strawberry hand lotion, thanks berry much frame from my class, berry note cards, strawberry tea, a heart shaped strawberry box filled with strawbery chocolate, and strawberry cookies. My kindergarteners recited and acted out poems. They also served the moms juice, tea, and sweets. Here are some photos from previous years:
I used Papertrey's berry images and sentiments. I  believe from two different sets: Green Thumb and Punny Valentine.

Inside each strawberry are a couple chocolate kisses. The strawberry template was found on Splitcoaststampers. I found this site using a Bigshot Flower die to make the strawberry.
Today, I decided to attempt to make sugar cookies again for my upcoming cupcake exchange party. Instead of using a cheaper brand of meringue powder, I used the one from Williams Sonoma as the lady from Bake at 350 suggested. I noticed a significant difference. I made one bowl of white meringue royal icing. I used my Williams Sonoma containers to put my icing on. First the white and then flooded it. Then I made some pink for the cherry on top and dots in my white icing. Then I made green for the cupcake holder.
These were fun to make. I didn't make such a big mess. I only have 3 gel icing colors from Wilton's: leaf green, black, and Christmas Red. A little red makes a vibrant pink! I bought my cupcake cookie cutter from Crate and Barrel. I changed the Williams and Sonoma sugar cookie recipe by using whole wheat flour and vanilla extract. I made my meringue icing on the runny side. I added an orange extract, rather than my typical vanilla, and it tasted yummy!! Yeah, I think that I am becoming more successful at making sugar cookies with royal icing!!

Tomorrow, after the icing has dried, I plan to add pink sanding sugar to the top cherry. Then I will package them in clear bags with pretty ribbon. My cupcake exchange party is coming up soon!! I have been working on various projects for this party. My color theme is pink, green, white, and a hint of brown. I plan to take lots of cupcake photos!! Have a wonderful weekend!
 
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Back to School Treats

I still have a few weeks left of summer before the new school year starts. I will go back the second week of August. So it's time for me to prepare for the new school year. To start, I made these treat bags for my kindergarten teammates. I used my new die, Mat Stack #5, from Papertrey and made quick tags for my mini white lunch bags. Inside are apple themed items: apple scented hand gel, apple sticky notes, and chocolates. The chocolates were wrapped with mailing labels stamped with Papertrey's Limitless Labels. On the back of the tags, I wrote some happy notes for the first day of school.



On the first day of school, I read to my class, The Kissing Hand, which is about Chester the raccoon and his anxiety about the first day of school. Here are some favors I made inspired by this link. Instead of making a raccoon puppet or box, I made a raccoon topper out of SU's top note die. I think my new kindergarteners will smile when I give these treats to them. I made these by folding Stamping Up's top note die in half. To make the white mask, I used on white top note and made a template by cutting a V into it. I used a sharpie to color in the blacks on the white. I used a 3/4" circle punch and the owl punch to make the eyes and noses. I used SU's scallop punch to make the paws. I used Spellbinder's Scallop Hearts to cut out my first day notes and attached it to small glassine bags filled with Hershey's hugs and kisses.


Have a wonderful weekend!! I'm off to the post office to mail some packages and then to a Turkish restaurant with my husband to eat some yummies!

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Tea Time

Papertrey had their July countdown and I almost forgot about the Make it Monday challenge. This week's challenge involves creating a pocket with border dies. I do not have any border dies, but I do have a couple border punches. I used my scallop one to make a tea pocket for my tea bag. I also incorporated two of Splitcoaststamper's challenges: F4A73 Twine and WT331 Crazy Collage. I have not made a stamped collage before and I used several to create the collage on my tea pocket. I stamped with Elzybell's tea/coffee background with vintage cream. It is not easily seen in my picture. I used a leafy branch from Papertrey's Life to stamp in old olive. I also used creamy caramel to stamp mini butterflies from Butterfly Kisses and a sentiment from Tea for Two. I also stamped other images from Tea for Two to decorate my plain chamomile tea bag.

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Using SU's Scallop Envelope Die

Last year, I purchased SU's Scallop Envelope Die to make cute little Ghirardelli chocolate holders for Halloween. I only used it that one time. That is not worth the $20 I spent on it. So I decided it's time to make use of it. For my upcoming cupcake exchange party, I need some favor ideas. I made this Ghirardelli chocolate holder, similiar to the ones I made last year. Chic 'N Scratch has a great video tutorial to make it. These are pretty easy to put together!





Here's a close up side view...


Another idea from Splitcoaststampers is the Scallop Envelope Box. This was pretty easy to put together as well. I think a normal size cupcake would fit in it! Here's one I made with the owl and cupcakes. The owl came from a stamp set that I got at Joann's called Whimsical Birds. The cupcake came from Michael's in the dollar bin section.

 


Since my mom's birthday was today, I used the Scallop Envelope die to make her a gift card holder. Normally, the die is too small to fit a gift card in it. Here are two tutorials to show you how to make it larger.
Picture tutorial: Gift card holder
Video tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DogmOPte8-k

I used VLVJul2011Week2 sketch for my mom's birthday card in the background. The butterfly image came from Verve Visual's Fluttering By. The sentiment "sending you birthday wishes" came from Michael's dollar bin section. The "for you" sentiment came from Papertrey's Fillable Frames #5.


Here is a closer view of the gift card holder. I made the flower by following the video tutorial by Tara. I did not have the five petal flower punch that she had. I tried my six petal punch one and the SU scallop die. Both worked following her tutorial.

Here's a closer look at my mom's bday card.

While browsing online, here are a couple other creative ways others have used the scallop envelope die:
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