Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twilight Tuesday Sketch Challenge #2

I know it's Tuesday and I haven't really started my Twilight Tuesday Inspiration Challenge project yet, but I did complete the Twilight Tuesday Sketch Challenge. Here is this month's challenge:

March’s TTSC is inspired by the three main characters in the Twilight Saga. Individually they are 3 unique characters and together they give us a story that won’t let us go.

For my project, my inspiration was based from Eclipse, p.143, where Edward and Jacob try to make Bella choose between them. This is what tells them:
"But I want you to know something -- when it comes to all this enemies nonsense, I'm out. I'm a neutral country. I am Switzerland. I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythical creatures. Jacob is family. You are ... well, not exactly the love of my life, because I expect to love you for much longer than that. The love of my existence. I don't care who's a werewolf and who's a vampire."

I went with more of a symbolistic approach to my sketch challenge. I have Bella, Jacob and Edward represented in this card.

From Semper Papercrafting

I know it's a bit of a stretch, but my ribbon/bow is supposed to represent the Swiss flag. :)

Birthday cards

In an earlier post, I mentioned that the months of March and April are pretty heavy for birthdays in my family and my husband's family. So, here are 2 cards I created today for some family members -- let's just hope they don't check out my blog before they receive their card.

From Semper Papercrafting

I used the Taylored Expressions challenge to inspire the next card.

From Semper Papercrafting

From Semper Papercrafting

From Semper Papercrafting

Monday, March 30, 2009

Swap Cards

For the monthly swap I'm involved in, we had to create cards with an Easter or Spring theme and then the 2nd card was our choice.

From Semper Papercrafting

The "Happy Easter" was created on the Cricut Design Studio using the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge. The inside is the same font but says "to ewe".

From Semper Papercrafting
I found the cute paper for the background at Michaels. Inside of card says "What a hoot!". I have to say I'm digging the little owl stamps I picked up awhile back.

From Semper Papercrafting

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour -- Are you participating?

In less than a half an hour, I am participating in Earth Hour. This is where you turn your lights off for 1 hour starting at 8:30pm to raise awareness against global warming. The goal for Earth Hour is to have 1 billion people to take a stand and turn off their lights. Below is a short video on the history of Earth Hour.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I sparkle like Edward... oh wait that's glitter.

I received 2 new Anya stamps (by The Greeting Farm) last week and I absolutely love them. I found a card on SCS that I couldn't resist trying my hand at case-ing (CASE = Copy and Share Everything). I made some slight alterations but it turned into a fabulously, sparkly birthday card for a friend who is turning 30 this month. On a side note, I had a bit of a time dealing with my silver glitter and my desk, self and chair ended up a bit sparkly. LOL

The card is cut from a Cricut .cut file I found online at Capadia Designs (with a slight alter to the letters in the design). I was able to download a trial version of the Cricut Design Studio and it's worked out GREAT so far. It's really opened my eyes to all the new possibilities of working with my Cricut machine -- which I know my hubby is thankful for since I hadn't used my expensive birthday present in several months!

Here's my rockin' birthday card:
From Semper Papercrafting

The pic is a bit washed out on the Anya, but below is a closeup.

From Semper Papercrafting

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Twilight Tuesday Inspiration Challenge #24

Twilight Tuesday's challenge focuses on Dr. Carlisle Cullen. Here is what Dani challenges us:

Carlisle is an important part of the Twilight saga. In fact there is even a chapter in Twilight named after him. In this chapter we learn about his history as well as how the Cullen family was started.

The Creative Challenge: create something from Carlisle’s history. It can be about anything: his life in London, how he swam to France, when he turned Edward into a Vampire…

The Comment Challenge: Is there something in your family history that you are proud of? Is a relative of yours famous for some reason? Do you work on your family’s tree? Tell us something about your family’s history.
Okay.... so I had an extremely hard time coming up with a project. Since this is a blog about my crafting (including the bad), I'm going to post my card. I'm not thrilled with what I created, but it's the best I could do. I was inspired by the passage in Twilight (p. 337) where Edward is telling Bella about Carlisle's history.

"One night, a herd of deer passed his hiding place. He was so wild with thirst that he attacked without a thought. His strength returned and he realized there was an alternative to being the vile monster he feared. Had he not eaten venison in his former life? Over the next months his new philosophy was born. He could exist without being a demon. He found himself again."
Carlisle's greatest strength is his compassion. This is most evident with his "vegetarian" ways that the rest of the Cullen family abides by.

From Semper Papercrafting

On to the comment portion:

Recording our family history is something my family takes great care in keeping up with. My grandfather had his family roots traced back for many generations and we all have a hard copy of this history. My mom spends some of her time researching our family tree and recording it. She also makes sure to write down any oral history that has been given to us by my grandparents.

I guess my contribution to my family's story is keeping scrapbooks (which is something my grandmother did before they had a word for what they were doing). I was in awe of the scrapbook she created of my grandfather's military service -- something I have been doing for my husband's career. My mom is also a scrapbooker, so I guess it's just in my blood!

I'm very passionate about the importance of scrapbooks and being able to look back at happy and even not-so happy memories. My upcoming focus will be on creating a lifebook for the child we are planning to adopt. They have the right to know their history no matter how sad it might be.

**Anyway, I guess I didn't mean to get to far off track. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Twilight Tuesday Inspiration Challenge #23

To keep in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, Beth, from Twilight Tuesday challenged us to incorporate today's holiday with the Cullen family.

Crafter’s Challenge: Take the spirit of the holiday and create a St Patrick’s Day themed craft. Try to incorporate some Cullen in there - imagine them celebrating! Erin go bragh!

Comment Portion: Think about how the Cullens would celebrate… they are smart vamps - did they come up with an ingenious way to color their “beverage” green? (Um, yuck! ) Attend the Forks Irish Festival (they could have one!) or jet off to Ireland for a quick vacation? -AND- How do YOU celebrate?

Since I have been super festive this year (in particular on my blogs), I loved this idea. Some of the examples from Twilight Tuesday's design team have been utterly amazing.

I originally thought I was going to do something with the Irish coven of vampires from Breaking Dawn. I even researched Irish vampires, myths, etc., which there isn't a whole lot of. So, today while I was out running errands and of course stopping at Michaels, I had a bit of a creative breakthrough... or in my case a big DUH! moment.

I created a card that Edward would give to Bella for St. Patrick's Day.

From Semper Papercrafting

When I had my epiphany today, I thought of the Irish claddagh. The expression often associated with this symbol is: "With my hands I give you my heart, and crown it with my love". That statement made me think of Edward's note to Bella in Eclipse that says: "Look after my heart -- I've left it with you." So to incorporate Edward into my project, I put the crystal heart in the center of the claddagh and also used his font for the claddagh quote. I also used a new (to me) technique with the knotted ribbon trim around the claddagh. I was inspired to use the knotted ribbon after seeing Celtic knot graphics online.

**Editing in** Click here for the info on the ribbon frame instructions from SCS.

For the comment portion of this project, I don't even want to THINK about a green beverage for the Cullens... gross!! Today I wore something green and was a little overly ambitious in the kitchen. My husband is of Irish decent (apparently our last name is VERY common in Ireland) and I am Scottish (my great-grandparents immigrated from there), so my plans for dinner got a little out of hand. I made Irish soda bread, bangers and mash and sticky toffee pudding, all of which I have never made before. I would have made corned beef and cabbage, but someone (not I!) in this household can be a picky eater. But I must say they all turned out really well.

Top O' The Morning!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope you're wearing green today. I already had the smell of Guinness brownies baking in my kitchen yesterday. I'm being a nice wifey and made the brownies for my husband's work. I added a few more notes to my recipe that I forgot to include when I originally posted. Here's the link: Guinness Brownies.

St. Patrick's Day is almost like an anniversary for me with stamping. My first set of Stampin' Up stamps was Pinch Proof. So, I guess that shows you I'm still a newbie to all the stamping community. But I have been an avid scrapbooker since 1998.

First off, here is a St. Patrick's Day card I created. It's super simple since I had to mass produce a bunch of them:

From Semper Papercrafting

My mom has also gotten the stamping bug and sent me a St. Patrick's Day card this year. My husband said she "one upped" me. What do you think?

From Semper Papercrafting

I think she definitely out-did me with her card making skills. This leprechaun is so cute. She made it in her Stampin' Up class and it looks like it's just a lot of different punches. It also unfolds so that it lays flat during mailing.

Finally, I HAVE to share this picture. It is from our local paper the New London, Day. My husband and I got a good laugh out of it since the look on the kids' faces is priceless. Our caption for the picture is:

So... they really DON'T wear anything under those kilts... GROSS!!!!
From Semper Papercrafting

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Win Twilight goodies!

Twilight Tuesday is celebrating the release of the movie, Twilight, by hosting a scavenger hunt with some great Twilight prizes. Visit Twilight Tuesday for more info!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SCS Sketch Challenge

I am finally posting my sketch challenge card for Split Coast Stampers. I just picked up the Garden Delight acrylic stamp set by Inkadinkado which includes a butterfly and I decided to give it a whirl. I really like the stamp and I am already coming up with a few future project ideas for it!

Here's the challenge:
From Semper Papercrafting

My card:
From Semper Papercrafting

Friday, March 13, 2009

More blog candy...

Check out this blog to win a little blog candy from the Greeting Card Farm.

I was recently browsing the Greeting Card Farm's website. They have some super cute stamps. They even have a military stamp called Hero and I've become quite smitten with the Anya stamps too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Twilight Tuesday Inspiration Challenge #22

The Twilight Tuesday Inspiration Challenge was issued by Rebecca this week:
New Moon opens with Bella’s 18th birthday and Alice in full party mode. Most people dread turning 30 or 40, but Bella dreaded turning 18 - mostly since that meant she was “older” than Edward. For the Cullens, they were excited - the last birthday they had ever “celebrated” was Emmett’s many decades earlier.

For the creative challenge part - create a birthday themed item - you’re welcome to draw inspiration from the party or just go with “birthday”.

For the comment part - tell us if you’ve ever given or been the recipient of a surprise party or let me know if there was a birthday you dreaded. Or simply just let us know what your favorite birthday gift was.

This passage from New Moon, p.25, was my inspiration for the elements I included on the project I created:
We were pulling up to the house now. Bright light shined from every window on the first two floors. A long line of glowing Japanese lanterns hung from the porch eaves, reflecting a soft radiance on the huge cedars that surrounded the house. Big bowls of flowers--pink roses--lined the wide stairs up to the front doors.

I moaned.

Edwards took a few deep breaths to calm himself. "This is a party," he reminded me. "Try to be a good sport."

. . .

They were all waiting in the huge white living room; when I walked through the door, they greeted me with a loud chorus of "Happy birthday, Bella!" while I blushed and looked down. Alice, I assumed, had covered every flat surface with pink candles and dozens of crystal bowls filled with hundreds of roses. There was a table with a white cloth draped over it next to Edward's grand piano, holding a pink birthday cake, more roses, a stack of glass plates, and a small pile of silver-wrapped presents.

Also, mentioned in this chapter was the gift Bella received from her parents, a scrapbook and camera. So, I created a scrapbook page to commemorate Bella's 18th birthday.

From Semper Papercrafting

It's an 8x8 size page. The Stampin' Up set, Gifts from the Orient, has lanterns in it -- so I knew I HAD to use that stamp!

For the comment portion:
I have never had a surprise party thrown for me, but a couple years ago I threw a surprise 60th birthday party for my mom. My dad and I planned it all through email and a few secretive phone calls. It turned out great. As a party favor for our guests, my dad (who makes wine as a hobby) created a "limited edition" white zinfandel. Here's is a picture of the birthday girl, my mom, and my dad at the party.
From Semper Papercrafting

Now for the birthday I'm dreading. I am turning 29 (the sequel) in June, but I'm celebrating in a big way -- I'm going to Disney World. I can't think of a better place to celebrate a *gulp* milestone birthday than at the happiest place on earth! :)

Mojo Monday Challenge 77

I've been getting some great use out of my Stampin' Up Crab & Company set. Thankfully I picked it up before it was discontinued. I used this set for this week's Mojo Monday Challenge.

Here's the sketch:
From Semper Papercrafting

My project:
From Semper Papercrafting

I will post my other project with this set after it is received. I think it turned out far cuter than this card.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In honor of St Patrick's Day...

I've had some requests for the Guinness Brownies I make, so I thought I'd go ahead and post the recipe on my blog for all to see.

Guinness Brownies

(recipe is originally from The Grand Rapids Press)


4 eggs
3/4 cup ultrafine sugar (I've used regular granulated sugar and noticed no difference)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I've used salted butter and didn't notice a difference)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/4 cups Guinness stout
Confectioners' sugar for dusting


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-inch square pan and set aside.
In an electric mixer, combine the eggs and ultrafine sugar.
Beat until light and fluffy. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat into the egg mixture.
Whisk in Guinness. *If I remember correctly, the batter will be thin, so don't worry if it is since the liquid will bake out in the oven*
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost clean. *I've found it usually takes longer than given time* Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. To serve dust the cake with confectioners' sugar and cut into squares. *Dusting is optional*

Makes 8-10 large servings.

These brownies are very fudgy and rich. The Guinness taste isn't too overpowering. I can't say these are my favorite brownies, but they're good for St. Patrick's Day. :)

**Editing in** When whisking in the Guinness, keep whisking until it stops being foamy and turns a dark chocolate color, that's when you know the beer has been incorporated well into the batter. For my oven, they took approximately 30-35 minutes to bake.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Twilight Tuesday Inspiration Challenge #21

I'm a little late this week with my Twilight Tuesday challenge project. This week's challenge was brought to us Margie and is based on Bella’s mom - Renee Dwyer. It is also a dedication to the mothers in our lives.
Comment Portion: What do you care most about the “Mommy(s)” in your life (Moms, Sisters, Daughters, etc.) and/or do you have a similar relationship to someone like Bella and her Mom’s relationship?

Craft Portion: Create a Twilight project dedicate to “The Mom” in your life!

I really had to brainstorm on my idea for this one. Though I did learn that my supplies are a bit limited and I need to do some shopping. LOL Last night I finally came up with a project I'm happy with.

First off, my mom and I have become closer over the years. I feel that we have become more like friends but are able to maintain the parent/child relationship. Once I headed off to college, my parents and I began the family tradition (I do believe my mom and my grandmother did this also) of calling each other on Sunday. Now, 10+ years later, we still talk on Sundays and it is very rare if we miss calling each other. I think that's why I've been able to be so close to my parents despite living many miles apart.

My relationship with my mom and I is nothing like Bella and Renee. But I can relate to the distance (in miles) that separates them, which is where I think my inspiration for my project came from. The card I created is very simple, but it expresses that I miss my mom, which could be a similar sentiment between Bella and Renee.

Here's my project:
From Semper Papercrafting

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Two Sketch Challenges

After a week in sunny Florida, I find myself playing catch up with a few card projects. I'm getting close to the "mother-load" of birthdays for our families, which are the months of March and April plus my usual St. Patrick's Day and Easter cards.

I participated in my 2nd Mojo Monday challenge, but haven't gained enough confidence to post my submission on their blog site yet. The card I created is just so-so.

Here's the sketch:
From Semper Papercrafting

Here is my card:
From Semper Papercrafting

On Wednesdays Split Coast Stampers hosts a card sketch. I have had a card idea in mind for awhile, but didn't know exactly how I wanted to execute it. I am happy with what I created.

Sketch idea from SCS:
From Semper Papercrafting

My card:
From Semper Papercrafting

Okay... now back to a few more projects. I have my Twilight Tuesday challenge to work on (now that I *think* I know what I'm going to do) and several birthday cards I hope to finish this weekend.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Check out the Unity Stamp giveaway

My fellow Coastie Chick, who happens to be an awesome stamper is giving away some Unity stamps. You can check her out at: http://islandhoppingfoustcrafts.blogspot.com/2009/03/unity-giveaway-i-hit-my-100th-post.html

I hope I can win me some awesome blog candy. ;)

Give Winston a little love!

Just a quick break from my craft posts...

Click on the picture to vote for my kitty, Winston, to help him win his week in Bissell's Most Valuable Pet photo contest.