Monday, April 30, 2012

BFF Open House Link Party #50 Wrap Up and Features: Chocolate Edition!

Thanks as always for all of the incredibly fun links! There is no shortage of wonderful ideas out there in blogland.

There were some amazing chocolate
 treats linked up this week so I’m doing a chocolate showcase! I mean after all…what blog is this?!

Let’s start with these temptations shared by Karyn from Pint Sized Baker. Do they look incredible or what?

Yes, you read that correctly. Chocolate Cream Cheese WITH Peanut Butter! Oh my.

There must be a chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow bug going around because there were a couple versions of these combos.

From Back for Seconds ( who wouldn’t be with treats like these!):

Jocelyn from Inside BruCrew Life also shared a chocolate and marshmallow confection:

I’d even go camping for these S’mores and those who know me know “I don’t do camping”.

Finally, with College Boy headed home for the Summer soon, this genius idea from Deana over at Country Momma Cooks, will come in handy:

She’s got a great series on bulk recipes from scratch that you really should check out. Better ingredients and cost effective. Even if you’re a small family like mine, if there are things you make frequently this is just a great time saver.

You can thank me ( or curse me lol ) now! Make it a creative week!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Monthly Post for Expressions Vinyl: Paris Inspired Bath Sign

I was so excited when the folks at Expressions Vinyl invited me to contribute to their blog. I'll be posting a project over there once a month! This is the first project I shared last week .

Paris Sign

 I love using old frames for projects and found this bead board looking frame at Goodwill. It was in great shape and I could have left it alone but what fun is that? I definitely had to "vintage it up" a bit.

Paris Bath Sign

I thought I had light yellow paint but since I didn’t, I lightened up some bright yellow by adding white paint. Painted my frame with a coat of that, then dry brushed over it with white paint. Instant re-purposed shabby chic frame!

Paris Bath Sign Frame

Now for  the fun part! Along with my Eiffel Tower, I downloaded this fabulous laurel leaf image from the Silhouette online store:

Sillhoutte Laurel

Sized in the Silhoutte design studio software and then cut it from metallic silver Expressions vinyl. I love love love the metallic vinyl from Expressions. Did I mention love?

Vinyl Laurel (2)

Except when trying to photograph it on a sunny day. This pic doesn't do the metallic goodness justice.  But you get the idea. I even saved the center of the laurel wreath to use on something else. Waste not, want not.

I decided I’d do our monogram, so I cut out the letter “C” and then the letters to spell “Le Bain” ( The Bath) , Paris, a flourish,  and the Eiffel tower using Expressions black vinyl.

Vinyl Paris Bath Sign

Paris Bath Sign Vinyl

I applied all of the vinyl to the glass. What’s that behind the glass?  A piece of fabric drop cloth from the HW store!
Paris Bath Sign Dropcloth

Since I was going for a shabby look, I wasn’t concerned about ironing the fabric. OK like that was going to happen anyway. HA!

Paris Bath Sign Vinyl

Lesson learned…I should have placed the monogram over the laurel in the design software before cutting either out. I think this would have positioned things better but I’m still mastering my Silhouette Cameo and that's one of the best things about the design software. Just didn't think of it soon enough.  Guess I'll just have to make more vinyl projects :) 

Now when I’m in the bathroom, I can pretend the bathroom is in an artist’s loft in Paris. Of course I also have a big box of French chocolates in that scenario.  A girl can dream.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

BFF Open House Link Party: 50th Party Edition!

I can’t even believe that this will mark my 50th link party! Thanks to all of you who have been coming since the beginning and to those of you who are new for joining in the fun. I really do enjoy going through the links each week and seeing what everyone’s been up to.

Work’s worn me out this week and I didn’t get a chance to feature a BFF. Thanks for understanding. So, let’s see what everyone’s been up to this week!

link party rules-001

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Old Typewriter Font Mother's Day Printable

I’m trying to be more prepared for Mother’s Day than I was for Easter. To get myself motivated, I came up with this printable that I thought I’d share. Haven’t yet decided if I’ll  re-size and use on my cards. That will depend on whether I run out of time!

MOTHER Printable Onyx-001

I created it using My Memories Suite scrapbooking software and a font called “Old Typewriter”.  You can download the font here. I used a damask background paper that comes w/ the software, and then framed each letter with the scallop circle.

Also made a turquoise version:

MOTHER Printable Turq-001

And a charcoal version using a different paper:

MOTHER Printable Grey-001

And finally, a tangerine version using yet another paper:

MOTHER Printable-001

Clearly I couldn’t decide on just one background paper or color! Click to bring to full size then right click to Save As. You can re-size in any graphics program.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

It's A Good Thing I Don't Like Tomatoes: Oven Dried Tomatoes

I don’t even really like tomatoes. There I said it. What doesn’t make any sense is that I love all kinds of stuff made FROM tomatoes. Salsa, ketchup, a good hearty red pasta sauce. But the actual tomato? Not so much.

Oven Dried Tomato Collage

And yet here I am writing about tomatoes. On a chocolate fueled craft blog no less!

I want to like tomatoes. I know they’re good for you. So when I was at the store and they had a BOGO ( buy one get one free) on cute little cherry and yellow sunburst tomatoes, I figured what the heck. Plus I liked the packaging. But what to do with all of these now that I had them?

I found a few different recipes for oven dried tomatoes. I thought maybe if I changed the texture a bit. Just kind of winged it.

OMG the best thing EVER! Time consuming (for the oven, not you) but easy:
  • Halve your tomatoes
  • Toss with a little olive oil, oregano, thyme, sea salt
  • Spread on parchment covered cookie sheet, cut side up
  • Bake in 250 oven for 2 hrs
  • Turn oven off
  • Leave in the oven for 2 more hrs
  • Go make stuff while this is going on
They should be good and shriveled and taste delicious. I ate a bunch right from the pan. Did I mention I don’t like tomatoes? 


I managed to save enough for dinner. We had chicken fajitas, and a few sprinkled in each fajita were just perfect.

Since I was trying new things, I also decided to try out FotoFlexer, a free online photo editing program. Thanks to Mary of Sweetwater Style for sharing it at my last link party. I used it to create the collage photo above.  Free. Easy. Fun!

It’s a really good thing I don’t like tomatoes.

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BFF Open House Link Party #49 Wrap Up and Features

Another great party and more new BFFs who linked up. Welcome! It amazes me week after week to see new ideas and new twists on ideas we know. Here are just a few highlights of some things I thought were really fun.

First up, being “height challenged” I am forever passing up pants because they will have to be hemmed. I don’t have the sewing skills and I’m too cheap to pay but this trick will save the day. DUCT TAPE!

Seriously! Katie from Creatively Living will show you how! Thanks Katie!

This was a great Earth Day project but it’s also one that can be used all year round.

Deana from Country Mama Cooks has a great tutorial for a reusable market bag. I don’t know about you, but I love my reusable bags. They hold more, don’t tip over in the trunk, and look at how cute this one is!

Love knock offs? Then you should check out this tutorial from Sew Passionate:

who knocked off PB’s coral motif pillow.

Another Earth Day inspired project that’s a great way to recycle and bust some stash:

Check out this wonderful necklace from Janet of All Trades and you’ll see how you can use things you probably already have on hand to make gorgeous jewelry!

Finally, I know many of us were really bummed when Picnik went away but no worries! Mary over at Sweetwater Style has a replacement and some tips to share!

Again, thanks everyone for linking up and continuing to make this a fun party. Have a creative week!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Printable 2012 (Print on Recycled Paper!)

Earth Day has always been extra special for us because it was the birthday of one of our best friends. Sadly we lost her to cancer a few years ago.

She loved Earth Day…not just because it was her birthday but especially because she was a pre-school educator. I used to save all of my paper scraps for her to use with her kids and they loved getting new batches of paper to play with. She always had a fun Earth Day project lined up to do with them.

Earth Day

I made this printable in her honor and to celebrate Earth Day. Of course if you print it, print it on recycled paper.

Happy Bearthday Kristine.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

BFF Open House Link Party #49 and BFF ReMade Simple!

The weeks just keep going by faster and faster but the problem is so do the weekends! Seems like we just had a party doesn’t it?

I am super excited to introduce you to this week’s BFF Kristina from the blog ReMade Simple! If you are looking for creative ways to re-purpose and recycle items and make them part of your d├ęcor, Kristina’s blog  is your go to place!

You might remember her wonderful Spring window from last week’s party features:

Kristina’s got some other lovely Spring projects like this gorgeous flower project …you won’t believe how it started out:

Or her DIY pincushion flowers:

Trust me, Spring has sprung over at Kristina’s place so definitely go pay her a visit and you’ll no doubt pic up some very wonderful and green ideas!

Now, for the party part:

link party rules-001
Party on!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Altered Canvas: Stashbusting Tale of Crazy Michaels Lady

One of the most dangerous sections of Michaels for me is their used to be  $1 section that’s now 2 for $3 (sorry Michaels, I’m still not over that although it hasn’t deterred me).

Key Canvas (2)

Despite my grumbling about the whole 2 for $3 thing, that section is a treat for me. It gets even better when that section goes on sale. Yes, that is me... the crazy lady doing the happy dance and talking to herself in that section and digging through the bins trying not to drop stuff because she didn't think she needed a basket because she came for just one thing. You’ve been warned.

Last year, I went a little wackadoodle over rub-ons. Completely justified since they don’t take up a lot of room and can be used on everything and I really truly will use all of the ones I bought ( someday).

Then when I was there on a trip not too long ago, I did an extra happy dance because that section had these cool mirrored pins in all kinds of shapes , ON SALE, and one of the shapes was a key that happened to go with key rub-ons I bought last year! Breathe.

Michaels Key Pin

Now this would have been cute as a pin,  but I’m not much of a pin wearer. So naturally I snapped the pin back off.

I had an 8x10 canvas in my stash that I covered with some shabby paper by Little Black Dress and then went to my scraps and pulled out some coordinating pieces. Layered them on the canvas w/ Mod Podge.

Key Canvas (3)

Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. I used the paper the pins came on and glued those to the canvas. Didn't even tear them or cut them just used as they came.

Tore a sheet from a notepad ( from the same section) and stuck that in the middle. Enter my last year’s rub-ons, an adhesive scrabook border and done and done.

Key Canvas (4)

Key Canvas

Easy, inexpensive, and “green” since I used packaging from the pins.

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