Sunday, December 25, 2011

A card from Last Week!

This card was made for the Our Daily Bread Designs Challenge last week - I just didn't have time to load it. Last week was a blur! I worked late most days trying to finish up work before a deadline and tried to get some last minute shopping done. I can't wait until I can drive again!!!

I love to do the ODBD challenges - they seem to inspire me so easily. I love white with a touch of color (that was from the Twisted Sister Challenge last week - those girls are so fun).

The card did receive a tip of the hat in the challenge. Can't wait until next week's challenge.

Merry Christmas to all! In all this hustle and bustle - may you see the true gifts of Christmas: God's true and pure love for us all, the delight in a child's eye (even if the child is 60 years old), the warmth of a real hug, the touch of a friend (even if it is an on-line touch), the comfort of a warm hug and a wonderful meal, and the unseen richness of true freedom (of religion, of decision-making, of movement, from fear, etc).

Hugz to all!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Toys and Thoughts of Joy

I finally got the Cheery Lynn die that everyone has been using - I love the thin spirals and cute little leaves.  I couldn't wait to make a card with it when it came in the mail.  I ordered mine from Our Daily Bread Designs. 

This card is also made with a stamp set from Our Daily Bread that was a birthday present from my sweet friend Sue Worthington.  Sue went thorough my comments on various Our Daily Bread cards and tried to find the stamp set I wanted the most before she ordered it.  What a sweet friend!  This card was made using the sketch provided on the ODBD blog - it was the challenge for last week. 

I included this card in a Christmas package for my supervisor - she loves purple so we all got her lots of purple things.  Our Christmas party was last night after work.  Our supervisor cooked us all dinner, and it was so yummy.  We had all selected a name out of a box, and we exchanged gifts.  The group bought the best gifts, and it was so fun to watch everyone open their presents.  I love to watch people open presents when they get all excited and yell.  It usually happens with children, but last night I saw it in several people (of course they got some really cool shoes and a purse).  I started thinking about that joy.  I think it is the kind of joy that the Lord wishes He saw in us when we praise Him and thank Him.  He hates lukewarm attitudes and believers - He says that in scripture.  I heard the word "joy" several times yesterday so I am thinking that there was a message being sent to me.  I think I need to be letting my Joy out more! 

Hugz and hope your weekend is really special.  I will be baking dozens of cookies so if you are anywhere around on Sunday, stop by!

P.S. Added 12-19-11 - this card was selected for the Shining Light Award - isn't that wonderful?  I am so proud!!!  Hope you all have something fun happen to you today too!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Bunch of CAS Cards and a Gift

This lovely beauty arrived in the mail this last week.  It is a kitchen towel and card made by Ann Merry.  Ann is so talented and I covet her kitchen towels.  She has sent me one every year for the last three years and I love every one of them!  Isn't the card cute too?  She is amazing!

I was talking on the phone with Sue Worthington (IrishGreenSue on SCS)  last night and I made a bunch of cards while I was talking to her.  I think we were on the phone an hour, but for some reason she inspired me.  My neck still hurts this morning!  Thanks for the Inspiration Sue!!!  Here are the cards I made yesterday (warning - there are a lot of them!). 

Here is another....

And another.....

And another....

And another....

And this one I made in the morning...

I actually made several more, but I am running out of time this morning - got to get ready for work.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I will be making cards can you believe it?



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inspirations from Neil

This week's teaparty challenge is to make cards with a motorcycle theme.  The cards are going to Neil Klippenstein. Neil is a total inspiration to us all!  His positive attitude reminds me of J.R. Martinez. If you have time, you should watch this clip:

Wow!  Is that inspiring or what? 

I used Priscilla's Midnight Madness Sketch to make the card.  You can check it out at:

Her layouts are so amazing! 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I ate too much as usual.  Right now, my darling husband is practicing frying a turkey in the Infrared Turkey Fryer I gave him 3 years ago. He hadn't even taken it out of the box, but after frying 2 turkeys on Thanksgiving and getting a hole in his fryer - not to mention the over $30 in oil that leaked out of the pot - he finally took the thing out and put it together.  I'll let you know how it comes out (I am a bit afraid since he couldn't find the assembly instructions and put it together by guessing how the parts went together and now he is at the stove mixing wine in the injection marinade and speaking with a cajun accent - he isn't cajun......). 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marleys Ghost and a Concept that went Off Track

This week's Our Daily Bread Shining Light Challenge calls for using something that falls into one of the following three categories:

Bells, or
Anything Clanging

I am pretty sure this meets almost all of those! I used Diamond Stickles on that chain so it may fall into the Baubles category (I know it is a stretch but run with me on this - LOL). In the scene where Marley comes to visit Scrooge, the door bell rings - watch this:

If everyone watched that scene every morning, the world would be a better place! Finally, chains clang or they do in the movies when people drag them like Marley does.

I used a Mo Manning image of Marley (isn't it great?) and a wonderful scripture from Our Daily Bread's Scripture Collection 1 (wonderful verses in that set). In the background, I used a page from an old hymnal with the song O'er the Gloomy Hills of Darkness. It was written in 1772 by William Williams (wonder if my DH is related to him?), and the third verse was my favorite (I had never heard this song before):

Fly abroad, eternal Gospel;
Win and conquer, never cease.
May Thy lasting, wide dominions
Multiply and still increase!
May Thy scepter
Sway th'enlightened world around!

Now, I my head the concept for this card was awesome.  Use the scary Marley's Ghost image and combine it with a scripture that states God will be there for you - you don't have to be afraid of anything - not a ghost and not that your fate will be to walk the world in pain forever never being able to fix the mistakes you made in life.  Well, in a challenge where everyone's cards are fancy, pretty, and all dainty, this card sticks out like a sore thumb. Oh well, it is still one of my favorite cards and I love how the chains look 3 D and sparkle. 
Hugz to all and have a blessed week free of haunting moments like Scrooge experienced!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Old Wine with Shrimp and Grits

A few years ago, Kenny and I got this wine on sale somewhere.  I have been hoarding it (I don't know why I was hoarding a $6 wine, but I did).  I needed some wine for a pasta dish, so we opened it up and it was wonderful.  I think the dust on the bottle made it better.  I drank a glass with my Shrimp and Grits martini.  This version of Shrimp and Grits is cheap and easy and everyone loved it.  Here is the recipe:

2 cups water
1 cup milk
Tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste

Bring to a boil, then add a little less than 1 cup of grits. Stir like crazy and immediately turn down the heat.  Once the boiling stops, continue to stir for a minute and then go to the next phase.

Take a frozen bag of shrimp out of the freezer and set the shrimp in a colander with cold water running over it.   Melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the following:

1 Tbs onion flakes
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Tabasco and black pepper to taste (I added a lot of both)

Then add the shrimp to the mixture and fry the shrimp until they look done - probably about 3 minutes.  Turn off heat. 

Add  1/2 cup cheese to the grits (cheddar, American, or whatever you have) plus about 1 Tbs of parmesan cheese (I just used the Kraft in a can kind since I didn't have any fresh).  Stir until the cheese is melted.  Turn off heat and let the grits cool off about 5 minutes.

Spoon the grits into martini or wine glasses (try not to get any on the sides).  Then add the shrimp and butter mixture on top (be sure to get plenty of the butter mixture in the glass).  Serve after the mixture has cooled a little.  

There are plenty of great Shrimp and Grits recipes with bacon and onions and all kinds of wonderful things, but around here I have to do everything fast because my family gets hungry and they all hang out in the kitchen while I am cooking.  Crystal helps a lot but she is always in a hurry.  This quick method still tastes wonderful and looks very festive.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Praising the Mountains and Valleys

To celebrate Anne (Itsapassion) being the featured stamper this week, I selected this card she made to case:

I love Anne's card - the texture, the simple and clean lines, and everything else. I thought the canvas part looked like a rug so decided that I would use some burlap looking paper in my scrap pile and make it look like a rug. It took forever to cut around those little string looking things. Then I put it on my first card base which was long. I needed more so I added gems, put on some flourishes, and it still didn't look right. I left it for a few days and then decided to take it off the base. I have no tape right now so I have been gluing everything - taking this little rug off a paper it had been glued to was a total adventure! Oh well, you live and you learn.

I used this sentiment in honor of my good friend Samir Paul. Samir likes to talk about life and interesting ways to look at it - which is so wonderful. The other day we were talking about the mountains and valleys in life, and I mentioned this stamp that I have. I forgot to tell him that a 6 year old said it - kids are so smart sometimes!!

I think this sentiment is one of the wisest out there. I watched Joel Olsteen on Sunday. He said we need to praise God when we are on the mountain, in the valley, climbing the mountain, or falling down in the valley. Praising at all times is the only way; this is is so true and something I need to do more of every day and in every situation

Have a blessed day and extra hugz to all you who are current climbing, falling, or stuck in that valley!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jesus and the Grinch

This week's ODBD challenge involved making a card with white or cream, silver or gold, plus a color or two.

I had been thinking about doing a white wreath for some time so it seemed like the perfect opportunity especially after the SplitCoast Stampers' WT348 challenge was to use space wisely by doing a 3-D portion on your card.

The Splitcoast Stampers' F4A90 challenge was to use your favorite embellishment - the one you are the most thankful for so this fits in that challenge as well. I am thankful for Stickles, bling, and punches (a tool really - but it produces embellishments). Embelishments made from punches are my favorite thing, but they wouldn't be the same without bling!

I love how this card came out.  The scripture is one that we can all count on at Christmas and any other time of the year.  The wreath reminds me of some wreaths my daughters and I made this year.  A memory I will not forget (I hope they won't either). 

I saw a round cake someone had decorated on Pinterest to look like the Grinch. I thought it would translate well into a punched Grinch. Here is the cake:

This was so fun, I think I will make some more.  The Grinch story is one of my favorite Christmas stories.  I wonder what we would all do if someone stold every little thing from our houses at Christmas.  Would any of gather at the town square and sing joyfully because we know Christmas is all in our hearts? 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cards (of course) and Birthday Sushi!

I participated in the Our Daily Bread "Think Pink and Encouragement" Challenge last week and this card was selected for the Shining the Light Award.  How exciting is that!  Breast Cancer Awareness is really special to me since my sweet mother, Sara, is a breast cancer survivor.  She found the lump in her monthly self-exam so we all need to remember to do those along with our yearly mamograms. Encourage everyone you know to do them!!! Here is the link to the contest so you can see the other wonderful cards:  I used a sweet Our Daily Bread stamp for my sentiment and some lovely flowers made by my sweet friend Pat Smethers.  A few people have asked me where I get these wonderful scripture stamps and you can get them at Our Daily Bread Designs - here is the link to the store:

My birthday came and went this past week.  I got lots of special cards and gifts.  Here are some of the sweet cards I received:

I realized after I took the picture that I forgot some, but doing these cards like this was rather like trying to build a card house with playing cards.  One little movement and they all fell down.  This was the last picture I took before I gave up.  I received four handmade presents.  Pat Smethers made me some beautiful flowers which I used in the card up above, my Mother made a carrot cake (my fav kind of cake), my friend Michele made me a cell phone holder since I lose my cell phone in my purse all the time, and my friend Sheila made me these awesome cupcakes that look like sushi:

They were so fun.  I love sushi so much, I ate it 2 times this week (3 if you count these cupcakes).

Hope you all had a great week!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pine cones and Branches

Unfortunately, the pine cones and branches on my kitchen counter are made of paper.  This past weekend, I did a lot of projects involving these pine branches made with the McGill branch punch.  That punch is so hard to punch with that it takes a man to do the punching (or a lady with really strong muscles).  I was creating with several friends and one of them is pretty strong (plus we used really thin designer paper from Creative Memories) so she punched a zillion of them for us.  We made this pretty card with the leftovers.  We needed a pine cone so I thought we could make one from small circles (from the SU! Owl punch) layered over each other in a cone shape. The sentiment is from Stampabilities.  I outlined each circle on the pine cone with gold Stickles.  Came out pretty, and now I have one more Christmas card done (only 10 more to go).  

This is the project I was talking about above - the one resulting in the leftover pine branches.  We used this new SU! image and some old trusty Spellbinders dies.  We didn't feel like coloring so we just left the image uncolored.  I have decided I am going back and adding some coloring before I send it out. 

I am going to post an honest picture of my counter this weekend - the one that really shows what is on my counter before I clean it off and take pictures of my cards.  It will be scary to brace yourselves!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wisdom from Albus Dumbledore

I will admit I am a big fan of Albus Dumbledore. When he died in the book and the movie, I cried and cried. I hoped he would come back in the last book, and I was thrilled when he did - even it it was really only in Harry's head.

One of the smartest things he ever said was: "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." This applies to so many parts of our lives. I prefer to think he meant look to God and to the positiveness that is inside us all. I admire people who can shine in the worst of times. One of my favorite people like that right now is J. R. Martinez who is now on Dancing with the Stars - what an unbelievably admirable man!!!! I love listening to this message:

Wow! Inspiring!

I did this card for the Twisted Sisters challenge last week which was based on a sketch designed by one of their members. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Flowers and Santa is Coming

The other day, I noticed that the bushes that frame our entrance at work still had the dead blooms on them but they were still pretty.  There was still some dew on them so they seemed to sparkle.  I decided I would try to recreate one of them on this birthday card for one of my fav paper crafters.  I cased a card by the very talented  Joan Ervin which you can find here:

I really like how this came out - used the Martha Stewart small Hydrangea punch to make the flower.  I layered 4 sizes of Spellbinders circle die cuts with stamping dimensionals.  Then I pushed each flower down into a small foam cushion with a stylus so they popped out.  Next I glued all the little flowers to the stacked circles.  A sprinkle of sugar glitter, dazzling diamonds glitter, and Ice Stickles made the flower really shine although the sparkles don't show up well on the flowers. 

I also made these adorable Santa candy holders:

I got the idea at a SU! party but couldn't figure out the Santas. I found this great blog with super directions::

Patti is a fun paper crafter - I am so glad I found her blog. The candy holder will fit a Hershey's nugget and can be made as follows:  cut a 6 1/4 by 2 1/4 inch strip of card stock.  Score at 1 inch, 3 1/4 inches, and  5 1/4 inches, fold and adhere the 1 inch base tabs with glue or other strong adhesive.  Can't wait to give these out at work around Christmas!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

If the Shoe Fits

I spent Saturday with some really great crafting friends - what fun!  We tackled the 3-D shoe from Ellen Hutson:

The template is only $2.  It was a bit challenging, and I couldn't follow the directions very well (I am directionally challenged) - but I love how it came out.  This one will be going to a sweet friend at work who adores shoes.

My counter didn't have anything interesting on it this week other than this shoe and some cherry cough drops, but standing at my counter this morning and looking out the window, I thought I saw a two headed horse.  Of course, it wasn't a two headed horse  - I just didn't have my contacts in yet.  I thought I would share the picture: 

My husband's brother-in-law has two of his paint horses visiting with our paint horse and our crazy cows.  You never know what you will see standing at my kitchen counter!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Days of Wine and Roses

Actually, these days there is very little wine and I make all my own roses since it is Fall now.

This card was made for the Case Study Challenge over at The Case Study Blog:

The Muse is still Julie Lacey and her work is awesome!!!

I made my rose using Carol's tutorial over at Chocolatecraftsandbearsohmy:

although I skipped a few steps (hope it doesn't show too much.

Also I cased Kittie's bouquet at Kittieraft:

Thanks for all the inspiration ladies - you are all masters!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Musical Flowers

This card is a case of Diane's card on SplitCoast Stampers.  Diane was the QFTD this past week and you can check out her card here:

In the Queen For The Day Challenge, you pick a card made by the selected Queen; then you try to put your own personal touches on it.  You post your "case" in her honor and tell everyone what you changed about the card to make it your own.

I had been kicking around doing some flowers using some old hymnal pages and the Stamping Up! Fabulous Florets stamp set so this challenge was a perfect way to try out my idea.  Instead of Diane's bright colors, I went with Fall colors since I am sooo ready for Fall.

I used the cupping technique on the flowers - that is when you take a large stylus and go around the flower petals in a circular motion.  This was a bit hard to do with the thin hymnal pages, but I really like how it came out. 

I am sending this to my Sister-in-law Kitty.  She really has been carrying a lot on her shoulders lately, however, when you talk to her- the world is full of sunshine and roses. You can hear her smile in every word she speaks.  It is so uplifting for me to talk to her  - she is one of heros!

I thought about posting my shopping receipts from today - but I wouldn't want to scare you all (it isn't that close to Halloween you know).  My youngest daugher Alex made Homecoming Court.  She volunteered to wear a dress she already had for the walk out during the Homecoming Game, but she needed a short dress for the Homecoming Parade and Dance.  Every dressy little dress needs sparkly earrings, an eye-catching bracelet, and some knock-your-socks-off shoes - right?  I'll try to get her to let me put those shoes on my kitchen counter so you can see them - 6 inches high at least!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fun Coincidences

I have been thinking a lot about coincidences lately.  OK, you got me, I have been reading Dean Koontz again (I finished "Your Heart Belongs to Me" on the airplane back from Las Vegas and I highly recommend it).  Here are some weird ones that have happened to me lately:

*When I had my seizure, I had it at home instead of in the car driving to work because my boss Laree had changed my schedule that week to come in at 10:00 AM instead of 7:30AM. If she hadn't done that, I would have had the seizure driving to work and possibly hurt someone and/or myself.  Thanks Laree!
*When we were riding the bus down the Las Vegas strip there was a couple in front of us that I started talking to (she had an English accent so I had to start up a conversation).  I soon found out they were from Florida near where I had lived when I was younger.  They asked where I was from, and I told them I was from a small town in Alabama.  She said her best friend lived in a small town in Alabama called "Deatsville."  What are the odds of that (do you hear the song from The Twlight Zone Movie yet?). 
*My Mom gave me that Dean Koontz book to read a few months ago.  I had put it away in my bookcase to read later.  I drug out some books to read on the plane ride to Las Vegas. Since it was larger, I thought it might be enough to keep me entertained on our 4 hour flight.  Somewhere around Chapter 5, the main character mentioned having his seizure (for those of you who don't know me very well, I had a seizure at the end of July).  In the next major scene, he was on a plane to Las Vegas. Ok, that made me stop reading for awhile - I was scared to see what happened next. The man next to me said I shouldn't read anymore of the book.  LOL!!!
*Now to the coincidence in my picture.  About a month ago, I participated in a card challenge called Teapot Tuesday.  The challenge involves a detailed make believe story (although Mothermark, the challenge leader/creator, swears it is real) and a featured teapot picture. The participants make a card based on something in the story or teapot that inspires them.  We usually send our cards to someone in the hospital, someone who is struggling, or someone who needs a major pick-me-up (how fun to get 42,000 cards from people all over the world when you are down).  Every once in awhile, we send our cards to each other.  Mothermark draws our names during that challenge and tells us who to send our cards to.  I got Mutnik.  For those of you who don't know who Mutnik is, she is a very tallented artist and a really sweet girl (her real name is Cathy).  The card I made was not up to Mutnik standards by any means, and then I had my seizure.  To shorten up this story, I didn't send my card to Cathy but I sent her a note telling her that I would send her eventually. Cathy draws cartoon dairy cows which are very funny and very well done.  When I was in Las Vegas I ran across a group of collectable cows from the Cow Parade.  I bought one to send to Cathy, and I came up with a cute card idea to send with it.  When I got home, there was only one envelope that wasn't a bill and it was from Cathy  - she had made me a card featuring Curt the Cow as a male nurse.   Her card is on the right in the picture above and mine is on the left.  My card is made with a stamp set from Mark's Finest Papers called "Fun on the Farm" and is patterned after last week's card on The Case Study Blog. 

Those of you who read all the way though this unbelievably long post would get some blog candy if I knew how to create it.  It would say something like, "I Made It Through A Story At Nancy's Kitchen Counter."

Hugz to all!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stuff for Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

I just joined Pinterest on Facebook, and I am addicted to looking at the interesting recipes and decorating ideas.  Today, I saw an idea on what to do with pine cones - you spray paint them bright fun colors like pink, mint, yellow, and white.  Then you put them in a large candle holder or vase.  So cute and soooo inexpensive.  Can you imagine what Gingerbeary could do with an idea like that?  The most interesting recipe I have seen this week was chocolate chip bacon cookies.  I bought all the stuff to make them today, and they are in the oven cooking right now - 1 minute to go.  You can find the recipe at:

I will let you know how they come out because I was missing a few ingredients....and changed a few others....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Unopened Mail And My Grocery List

We arrived back from our Las Vegas trip last night so the only thing on my Kitchen Counter is unopened mail and my grocery list.  I have looked up the recipes for most the great food we ate (or wish we ate) in Las Vegas including Bacon Waffles and Chicken and Waffles - so my counter top should look awesome tomorrow (or as soon as I get a waffle maker).  We had lots of fun in Las Vegas but not as much as Crystal and Joey.  If we were still 21 we would have had a blast!  No luck with gambling - but I only gained 1 pound which is a miracle!