Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hero Arts: At Home Thinking of You

Hi Everyone!

First, let me apologize for not posting the weekly "What's for Dinner Monday?" blog yesterday. Honestly, I don't really have an excuse, other than the fact that I didn't make anything spectacular or share worthy this weekend! We were out Friday evening, so we shifted our movie and pizza night to Saturday and then we just had tacos on Sunday. I should have something a bit more exciting to share with you next week!

SucculentTones605.png 400×459 pixelsAnyhow, onto today's project. I am sharing a card using a rather neglected stamp set I have from Hero Arts "Right at Home" I chose the color palette from my "Color Inspiration" Pinterest board. I matched the colors as best I could with various grey tones and a dark purple along with Melon Berry from PTI. I stamped the house image and the fence with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored them both in with copic markers: W3, W5, R20, E000, C1, C2, C3. The windows were trimmed with Seedless Preserve distress marker. I colored the sky with B000, C1, BV02, and V01. I stamped the sentiment with Seedless Preserve Distress Ink.
The stripes behind the house are from my newly acquired  "Basic Stripes" set from Clearly Besotted. I stamped these in Tattered Rose, Seedless Preserve, and Pumice Stone. To add a little more texture, I embossed the background with the Swiss Dot embossing folder. I added the faux white stitching line and embroidery floss, hearts with glossy accents and finished the card.

A quick note before I go, I have decided to not renew my inlinkz subscription for listing the products I use at the end of my posts. I may do it again in the future; but for now it's a lot of extra work for me in an already busy normal day. Since I don't receive any commissions or benefits from those links, I just don't think it's worthy of my time at the moment. I will always give credit to the products used within my post, however; and a quick google search should allow you the opportunity to purchase them from your favorite online crafting store.  

Thanks for your understanding, and thank you for visiting me today. Have a great day and I'll see you all again soon! 

Today's challenges:

Incy Wincy Designs: Something Old (Hero Arts Stamp Set) Something New (Clearly Besotted Stamps)
MarkerPop: Anything Goes (with Copics)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Happenings: Christmas, Coloring and TV

Hi Everyone!

Well, life has been a little busy, so I haven't been able to post much the last few days. I have been working on a few crafty projects and I thought I'd check in really quickly today and just share a couple of pictures with you so can see what's on my craft desk.
I'm really trying to branch out a bit and do some more crafting other than just cards. I see so much stuff on Pinterest that looks really neat and easy to do and it's all very inspiring. I find, however, that I get stopped by the "What would I do with it when it's finished?" At least with cards, I have an idea of who I might give them to either individually or perhaps a gift set. And then....I allowed my mind to start to wander towards Christmas, which was against every principle in my body because I normally don't even contemplate anything remotely related to Christmas until November 1st! (I could launch into an entire rant about the fact that stores have Christmas decorations out next to the Halloween decor; but I'll be good and spare you.)

I purchased the We R Memory Keepers Gift Box Punch Board (with my 50% off Coupon!) from Michael's a few weeks ago, so I started to play around with that in order to start thinking about how I'm going to package my holiday sugar cookies and fudge. It's all still a work in progress, and I'm not starting them yet; but at least I'm getting a bit of an idea of what I want to do.

The other thing I've been working on is just doing some coloring. Practicing with my Copic markers. I have limited supply of Copic markers, and am adding to them slowly. I spent last weekend just coloring. I have realized that it does take practice to perfect your technique with these markers; but it's also relaxing and fun to do. Here's a sample of a couple of things I've been working on. The first two were done with Copics and the last image was colored with Distress Markers. I make no claim to be a great colorist by any stretch of the imagination; but I think I'm doing ok! 

And finally, in the interest of full disclosure, much of my lack of creativity and blogging has also been attributed to the beginning of Fall TV!! I am SUCH a TV junkie and I'm so excited that all my favorite shows are FINALLY back on with new episodes. My husband did not watch the Blacklist last season; but saw previews for the second season and wanted to see it, so we binged watch 22 episodes of season 1 (2nd time for me) in order to be caught up. 

So, there you have it,  that's what's been going on in my world lately. I'm off to work on a couple of more crafty things to share with you this week. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, thank you for visiting with me and I'll see you all again soon!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pin it, Make it, Share it: Nicest Thought

Hi Everyone!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/35817759509506031/Welcome to this week's Pin it, Make it, Share it. I was looking through my Pinterest board the other day and knew I was going to have a busy week, so I needed a relatively simple card to be made quickly. I found this card (Originally pinned on Splitcoaststampers....click the picture and follow the links to the original posting)
I really liked the simplicity of the design and the use of the negative space of the die cut to frame the

For my interpretation, I kept a lot of the same elements of design; but I wanted to make sure I changed a few things as well. First, I chose a darker color for the base of my card because I liked the grey with the pink plaid. The patterned paper is double sided, so it coordinated well with each other. I did real stitching (by hand!) along the edges of the lighter pink pattern paper; but knew that there was no way I would be able to go around the edges of the die cut area as the original card did. I decided to just leave it blank. I added faux stitching around the edges with a silver pen (although it looks white, in the picture) I used Label 11 Nestablities to cut the frame for the sentiment

Like I said, busy day so that's all for me today.  Thanks for visiting with me, have a great day everyone and I'll see you again soon!

Today's Challenges:

1. Creative Moments: Anything Goes (optional 3 layers)
2.  Ruby's Rainbow:  Anything Goes (2nd Entry)
3. Simon Says Stamp: Anything Goes
4. City Crafter: Focus on Sentiment
5. Cuttlebug Mania: Anything Goes with a die cut

I have decided not to put the links for the products for this card because there really aren't that many to show. The patterned paper is from American Crafts and I believe it has been discontinued. The sentiment is from Verve Stamps and can be found here.
The card base is Smoky Shadow from PTI.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Simple Thanks

Hi Everyone!

I just have a very simple card to share today. One day last week, I was working on another project...which actually ended up not working out the way I had intended. However, I noticed as I succumb to defeat that I had some white strips of paper lying on my desk and I just couldn't bring myself to throw them away. So, I got out my distress inks and made some stripes for a background. I wanted to choose some bold bright colors because I knew I wanted to use a white background as a card base. I just swiped the ink pads along the strips until they were completely covered and then put the card together as shown.

For a little extra zip and bling, I added some sequins and some faux stitching lines, rounded some corners and finished the card. This was an easy card to put together...honestly, the sequence took the longest amount of time to do!

I hope you like it! As always, the supplies used and links are at the bottom of the page.(except the sequins...I'm not really sure where they came from!) Have a great day, and I'll see you again soon!

Today's Challenges:

Crafting From the Heart: Anything Goes
Incy Wincy Designs: Anything Goes
Loves to Scrap: Anything Goes (2nd Entry)
My Craft Creations: Anything Goes
Through the Purple Haze: Stitching (real or faux)
613 Avenue Create: Anything Goes
CAS on Sunday: CAS and sequins

Monday, September 22, 2014

What's for Dinner Monday? Baked Breadcrumb Chicken Alfredo

Click here for the printable recipe

Hi Everyone!

After I decided what I was going to make for dinner Saturday night (Saturday night's dinner is always the meal posted Monday) I realized that it was another chicken and pasta dish! We do eat a lot of chicken and pasta. After all, it's diverse, relatively easy and cost effective. It is not, however, the only thing we eat! So, I promise next week to have something other than chicken and pasta!

This pasta dish is a wonderful combination of a creamy pasta with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. I use penne pasta because it just my go to pasta selection at the grocery store. You  can use any short pasta you want however. I've done this with farfalle (bowtie) pasta, and shells as well.

This meal also uses ingredients which should be already in your pantry or can be purchased easily at your local grocery store. 

As always, there is a link at the top of the post for you to print or view easily while preparing. I hope you enjoy this meal! Have a good day, and I'll see you again soon!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Maternal Reflections: Raising a Dairy Free, Picky Eater.

Hi Everyone!

This week's maternal reflections post is all about my youngest son, Jonathan and how we have adjusted to a strict dairy free diet for him; and how we find balance between what he can't eat and what he won't eat. Jonathan was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis approximately 18 months ago. The awareness about EOE is relatively new among pediatricians and gastroenterologists, allergist and internists. There is more research and readings available about the disease such as this article here.

Jonathan has always been a "skinny kid". In truth, I used to wonder if people thought I wasn't feeding him and was grateful that no one ever saw him without his clothes on so they couldn't see his semi-emaciated skeletal structure. It doesn't help that he's tall either. In April of 2013, he was 50 inches tall and weighed 49lbs with a body mass index of  less than 1%. A notice was sent home from school and thus began a series of doctors visits to try to figure out why he wasn't gaining any weight. Blood tests indicated he had high levels of eosinophils. Our road to the discovery of EOE was long and winding, and included tests for Leukemia, Diabetes, and Parasitic Infection. When all of those possibilities were exhausted and eliminated, we started looking at his digestive system and his eating habits, including that he took a very long time to eat, had to have his food cut up very small, had difficulty swallowing and often vomited his meals while eating.

We were referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist who took about 10 minutes to diagnose him with EOE and suggested an upper endoscopy in order to get an actual count of the eosinophils he suspected were lingering in his esophagus. In laymen's terms he explained to us that EOE is like having eczema on the inside of your throat and that it is typically the result of an allergy to the proteins found in cow's milk.

Dairy Free Waffles made with Log Cabin
Natural Pancake Mix and Almond Milk
Thus began our dairy free adventure. In order to compensate for the nutrients he was going to lose by eliminating dairy products from his diet, he was given a hypoallergenic medical food (formula) called "Elecare Jr" to supplement his diet. At first, I was under the impression we were only eliminating typical dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc. It wasn't until after the second endoscopy where his numbers were still too high (although they had decreased from 85-35 eosinophils per high power field...keeping in mind the number is supposed to be 0) that we we discovered it was EVERYTHING that had ANY kind of milk product in it. I am here to tell you, you have NO IDEA how much stuff sitting on the shelf in a grocery store has milk products in it until you are the mom reading EVERY SINGLE LABEL on what you want to put in your grocery cart.
We have definitely had to make a lot of adjustments since Jonathan is a child that doesn't really like meat and vegetables but loves milk, cheese and fruit. Being able to keep the fruit in his diet has really helped; and we have just found ways to accommodate his other likings as best we can with dairy free alternatives. I have pictured a few small samples of his favorite things throughout the post. The top collage includes Tostito chips (he refers to them as "party chips") and hummus. Peanut Butter (actually has no butter in it...) and allows him to get the protein he needs. He enjoys PB&J Ritz crackers a lot. Being able to find a way to make him a pizza he could eat was HUGE because this boy LOVES cheese pizza. Is it the same? No...but he likes it and this way he doesn't feel left out of Friday Night "Movie and Pizza Night"

He loves chocolate soy milk and drinks it everyday. He also discovered that he can still eat cereal for breakfast in the morning if he put Rice Milk on it because the rice milk doesn't really taste like anything. Again, this was a monumental discovery because it makes school mornings so much less stressful! I keep a small thing of almond milk to use in baked goods and pancakes etc as needed.

Preparing food for him often means I'm quite busy in the kitchen at dinner time, because I have to make certain adjustments and modifications for him; but that is OK. His third upper endoscopy revealed only 13 eosinophils per high power field. Our road paved with tears, frustration, being left out of pizza parties and not being allowed birthday cake and so much more had FINALLY led us to the results we wanted. To go from 85-13 was the best news ever!

My purpose in sharing this with you today was to perhaps educate you a bit if you are noticing any of these signs in your child with their eating habits and weight gain etc. If you do, I highly encourage you to speak to your doctor. For those who have already had this diagnosis, I hope perhaps this eases your mind a bit so that you can see that you can make the adjustments necessary to ensure your child is still getting both what he wants and what he needs.

Have a great day. Thanks for visiting with me and I'll see you all again soon!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pin It, Make it, Share it: Amazing Birthday

Birthday card by Maureen Plut using the Borderline set from Verve Stamps.
Good morning everyone!

I am happy to be able to post early this morning for you. Maybe life will get back into some sort of routine....even if just for a little while!
Today, I'm starting a new weekly feature on my blog called "Pin it, Make it, Share it" Like many of you, I am sure, I have a slight obsession with Pinterest. I pin a LOT of crafty things for inspiration. I am sure that my non crafty type friends get quite tired of all the cards I am always pinning to my boards. Unfortunately, I also find myself part of the "I've pinned it, and now what?" group too. So, I decided to stop procrastinating and actually make something inspired by a Pin! What a concept...right?!
For my card today, I chose the beautiful card you see up there on the left at the top of the post. This card was made by Maureen Plut and if you click on the picture it will take you to the original pin on Pinterest. I loved this card because of the white background paired with the beautiful patterned papers. I did not want to copy the card exactly, so I made a few changes.

First, I flipped the card and made it a portrait style card instead of a landscape layout. I also embossed my top white layer. I believe that Maureen used a background stamp for this part on her card. Secondly, I chose a  green theme with my colors rather than the pink. Sometimes it is is just these little changes you can make to a card to make it your own. Inspiration can spark creativity!
Remember, you can find the links to all the products I used to make the card at the bottom of the post. I make no money from any of this and am not associated with any affiliate programs. I'm just here to enable your creativity and make shopping easier for you!

This card was fun to create and I can see how it could be easily multiplied into a set with different patterned papers and sentiments.

That is all for me today. Thank you for visiting with me and I will see you all again soon!

Today's Challenges:

1.Cuttlebug Mania: Anything diecut
2. Inky Chicks: Anything Goes (1st Entry)
3. Just Inspirational Challenge: Bows
4. Sweet Stamps: Anything Goes
5. Doubleclick Skittles: Anything Goes
6. Hobbybook Designer Challenges: Embossing
7. Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenges: Embossing
8. Ruby's Rainbows: Anything Goes


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mojo Monday, Verve Diva Dare and Sunny Days

Sorry for the delay in posting this morning. Life is busy; and as many of you know blogging takes a bit of time to prepare and upload etc. I am playing along with two Verve challenges today. The first is this month's Diva Dare Challenge "Terrific Trios" My two trios are the three die cut circles and the three gold brads. I'm also playing along with this week's Mojo Monday sketch, which is something I have not done in quite a long time. Mojo Monday does not require Verve Stamps to be used; but I always try to include some when I play along. For this card I chose to use the Sunny Days set. (All the links for the products I used can be found at the bottom of the post) I stamped the flower stamps and colored them in with copic markers before fussy cutting them and adhering them together. I added lots of textures with embossing folders and layers with foam adhesive.
I felt the card was really busy with patterns and layers and papers etc, that I wanted to keep the sentiment simple. I added some Ranger Studio Paint in Blank Canvas and gold stickles around the outer edges of the scalloped circles to add some sparkle and bling. Finally, I added some faux white stitching lines and a small blue button with a piece of white embroidery floss.

I was happy to find quite a few challenges where I can link this card:

613 Avenue Create: Anything Goes
Pile it OnFlowers or Feathers
Robyn's Fetish: Use an embossing folder
Artistic Inspirations Challenge: Anything Goes (and bling)
Crafting From the Heart: Anything Goes (1st Entry)
Loves to Scrap: (Must stamp) Anything goes
My Craft Creations:Anything Goes
Mojo Monday: Sketch
The Pink Elephant Monday Card Challenge: Emboossing
The Paper Nest Dolls: Anything Goes (1st wk 1st Entry)

That wraps it up for me today! Enjoy your afternoon and I'll see you again soon!