Wednesday, March 31, 2010

That Old Black Magic with a Mojo Challenge

Here's a card I made for the Mojo Monday Challenge.  I won't tell you how long it took me to do this card!  I just couldn't decide on the colors or the layout ... whether I wanted a round card or a square one.  I would have it all taped together and decide "nah - don't like it" and undo it all and try something different.  I should have taken pictures of all the rejects!  I'm still practicing the Black Magic Technique.  I really like this technique.  I explained how to do it on THIS post.  I just didn't use the white re-inker on this one for any accents on the flower (actually forgot but think it looks ok without them.)  I used my white Gelly Roll pen for the added white accents on the Black and Razzleberry cardstock.  The base card is some retired Pink Piroutte.  The DSP is from the Saleabration stack.  Today is the LAST DAY!! 

I got some new stamps yesterday and I'll be putting them together and sharing some cards with them soon.  Only problem is 2 of them will be retired after today since they are FREE Saleabration ones.  Maybe I'll sneak upstairs later today and make something with them.  I doubt it though.  I promised Sonny I would help out in the yard today .... with the $%$#$^ WEEDS!!  A never ending battle, don't you think?  If anyone has any good solution of getting rid of weeds, leave me a comment!  I could use it and so could my daughter who is fighting the weed battle in her yard too.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Top Ten Performs on Idol

Tonight the top ten are taking advice from Usher.  I'm not familiar with Usher but his advice is pretty good to the performers.  He was really honest with the contestants and gave them good feedback.
  • Siobahn Magness singing Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire"  Not a great start to the night - sure wasn't her best.  The judges didn't like it but I don't think she will get voted off.
  • Casey James -"Hold On I'm Coming" by Sam & Dave.  He did good but I think the song is a little safe - not showing much range.  He moved around the stage better than he has in the past.
  • Big Mike Lynche singing "Ready for Love"  I don't usually like slow songs on Idol cause they're boring BUT his was great tonight.  He has such a great voice and it was beautiful!
  • Didi Benami singing "What Becomes of a Broken Heart"  Not good - she was flat, not in tune and kinda dramatic. 
  • Tim Urban singing "Sweet Love"  by Anita Baker.  During Ryan's interview, he mentioned that the news refers to Tim as Teflon Tim because of the beating he takes from the judges each week.  He looked a deer in the headlights.  That was just not the song for him.  I think he may have just saved Didi.  The only good thing the judges had to say was Ellen telling him once again he was adorable.
  • Andrew Garcia singing "Forever"  by Chris Brown.  He picked the right song tonight and was good!!  This is the Andrew we liked during Hollywood week.
  • Katie Stevens singing "Chain of Fools" by Aretha.  A big song for a little girl.  Her vocals were good but she is just not giving it the attitude for an Aretha song.
  • Lee DeWyze singing "Treat Her Like a Lady"  I love this song and he is doing great!  As Randy said, Unbelievable!!   Best of the night!!
  • Crystal  Bowersox singing "Midnight Train to Georgia"  Wow - a slam-dunk for sure!  She's going to be in the top three for sure.  Tonight she played the piano instead of the guitar.
  • Aaron Kelley singing "Ain't No Sunshine"  Just ok - not his best but not the worst either.  His hair do was a little much - think he came up with that or the hair stylist on the show??
Bottom three:  Didi, Tim and Katie  If the teeney-boppers save Tim, it'll be DiDi leaving.

Top ones & got my vote:  Crystal, Big Mike, Lee & Andres (in no particular order)

Easter Cards .... finished!

Well, I've finished my Easter cards and they are in the mail!  Now on the other things.  But first, I will share the cards with you.  I don't think I've shared these cards with you yet, but if I have you can have a second look!!

This one uses Fifth Avenue Floral - one of my favorite stamps.

This one uses Eastern Blooms - love those flowers!

What kid doesn't like Big Bird?  Hope Jayce does because this card is going to him!

I went to the eye specialist on Friday.  He examined my eyes and saw no evidence of tearing of the retina.  But he said it still could happen - you are not "scot free" until three months after you see the symptoms.  I am supposed to go see him again in a month.  BUT, I totally did not like this doctor.  He was just a tad too full of himself and his importance.  He bustled into the room & after a brief handshake, sat down at his laptop and spent about five minutes looking at something on the computer - don't know if it was my records or his previous patient.  Then he argued with me about a previous eye problem I had a couple of years ago (one which he saw me for but didn't diagnose it correctly.)  I am going to try and see another specialist in Charlotte (the one who did diagnose me correctly last time.)  I don't doubt this dr's diagnosis, but in case I do have a problem down the road, I would rather not see him!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Blessings

Here's one of the Easter cards I made.  Again, I used a challenge to give me some inspiration.  This was done for the color challenge on Picture Perfect Creations.  I did a card for this earlier - this is my second one.  I don't think I have used this stamp from the set, Peace Within!  Not sure why though.

I love the bird and basket of flowers!  It reminds me a lot of one of the stamps in the set, "Flower for All Season" which I have just ordered (FREE from Saleabration!!).  I also used the FREE Saleabration Scallop Trim Border.

Recipe:  Stamp:  Peace Within, Abundent Blessings
Cardstock:  Pretty In Pink, So Saffron, Elegant Eggplant, Watercolor paper
Ink:  Black & Watercolor Crayons
Acces:  Aqua Painter, Modern Label Punch, Photo Corner Punch, Scallop Trim Border, Pink Taffeta Ribbon, Pewter Jumbo Eyelet;  Crop-a-dile; Dotted Texturz Plate, Big Shot

For My 14-Carrot Friend Challenge Card

I'm still working on my Easter cards but I think I'm almost done!  I took advantage of some of the challenges out there in Blog Land when I was running out of ideas for my cards today.  Here's one I did for the challenge on Stamping 411.  The sketch was a very easy one today.

Here's my take on the sketch:

Isn't that bunny the cutest?  He's in a clear set that I have from Inky Antics.  I colored him with my Copics and my Spica Glitter Pen (pink & orange).  The paper is from Stampin' Up.  I ran the orange piece through the Big Shot using an texture plate that I have had about 10 years from Fiskars.  The punch on the pink cardstock is the heart border punch from the Occasions Mini.   

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Last few days of SALEABRATION

These are the final days for SALEABRATION.  If you want to get your free goodies, you need to call me ASAP! 

My Monday Mailer card that was sent to me this week uses the Bird Punch from the Occasions Mini Catalog to make these cute tulips.  It's fun to find all the different things you can do with punches other than what they were intended for.

This is such a great card and could be made for Easter or Mother's Day or just about any occasion.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food Info

The American Cancer Society recommends eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily to help prevent cancer. There are others that recommend up to nine servings daily. Below are a few ways you can sneak in a few servings of fruits and veggies.

♦ Top baked potatoes with your favorite steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, tomatoes and onions. Fold green peppers or spinach into an omelet. Stir mixed veggies into your kids' favorite casserole.

♦ Add blueberries and strawberries to cereal, oatmeal and smoothies. Each month, buy one fruit you've never tried.

♦ Several times a week, make your entree a colorful salad with a variety of veggies. Swap iceberg lettuce for assorted greens and add fresh broccoli cauliflower and avocado. Sprinkle with black beans and sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

~~Heart Beat Magazine

How to eat a...

JELLY DOUGHNUT: Scoop out jelly with spoon. Eat. Stuff inside with miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Warm in oven.
MALLOMAR: Pick off chocolate coating. Suck out marshmallow middle. Pop graham wafer in mouth.
CHEESECAKE: Say, "I'll only have a sliver." Eat. Cut another sliver. Eat. Continue until cake is gone. Smile demurely.
SMORGASBORD: Grab the largest plate. Bypass the jellied aspic molds and head straight for the desserts (these go quickly). Keep hot and cold foods separate. Avoid diners with blue hair or those dressed in polyester. They dawdle, have difficulty deciding and move slowly.
CHOCOLATE PUDDING: Cut pudding with spoon, puncturing skin. Tunnel pudding out of dish, leaving skin in place. When pudding has been eaten, wrap skin around spoon. Hold spoon vertically and scrape skin off with teeth.
PIZZA: Cut into pie-shaped wedge (large). Crack slice in middle and eat with the sides curled up to avoid losing the filling. Do not even think of using a knife and fork.
BARBECUED RIBS: Let grease drip to elbow. Do not wipe mouth between bites.
MILANO: Insert one-half of cookie in mouth. Apply pressure with both upper and bottom teeth to center of cookie. Without biting through, slowly pull cookie out of mouth, scraping off brown-edged wafer but leaving chocolate middle intact. Repeat with other half. Let remaining chocolate melt in mouth.
THE LAST COOKIE, THE LAST CRACKER, THE LAST PIECE OF CANDY: Look both ways. In one continuous motion, scoop up cookie (or cracker, or candy) and stuff in mouth before someone else can beat you to it.
~~Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

American Idol Top Ten

Ryan starts out teasing us with …The Save and then introduces the judges. Aww, isn’t Randy precious in Dreamsicle orange?  Ellen’s sporting a checkered scarf.  Kara is shimmering and Simon smiles in a, what? A v-neck sweater? Who’da thunk?  The group song tonight is "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go."  What's up with all the 70's and 80's songs? Crystal looked a little strange diddly bopping on stage with the rest of the kiddos!   I thought it was kinda cheesey.

 Ryan reminds us how crucial this week is because of the tour and then he chats it up with Casey. Turns out rehearsal was a tad frazzling for Casey.  Siobhan’s boss is not shaving until Siobhan wins. Hey, buddy, you MAY want to reconsider that one. Next to him is more of Siobhan’s friends who look like they have blood drawn all over themselves.   I couldn't figure that out so I did a little research.  This is what I found out:   The bloody girl is part of Siobhan’s entourage and they call themselves, Siobhanbies. A play on Zombies. Get it?  (Don't feel bad - I don't either!)

Katie’s dad can’t watch the live results so he’s across the street at a dive bar or something. Ryan addresses Big Mike’s shoulders and they show footage of him carrying the baby around in a sling/carrier thing on his chest.  Sweet!

Now the lights dim and we find out who the final three are ... Paige, Tim and SURPRISE, Katie (what's up with that???) stand center stage and Ryan sends Katie back to safety. (YAY)  It’ll be between Tim and Paige.  Final lights dim… and Tim is SAFE!!! Paige is going home unless the judges save her. Simon spares nothing and tells her they are not saving her. She is going home. Goodbye.  One big improvement this year is that the outgoing contestants don’t have to sing the song they sang last night. They can choose anything, evidently.

Maybe next week I'll make these American Idol Cupcakes I saw on this blog.

That Old Black Magic

I've been working on mastering the Black Magic Technique today.  I am going to be demonstrating this technique in May at the NC Stampin' Up Quarterly meeting in Kernersville.  I also did this card for a color challenge at Picture Perfect Creations using Elegant Eggplant, Pretty in Pink and So Saffron.
I used the stamp set Wings of Friendship.  Here's how to do the Black Magic Technique:

  • Stamp a solid stamp in White Craft Ink onto a dark cardstock.  I used Black but you could also use Basic Gray, Night of Navy, Elegant Eggplant, Chocolate Chip .... 
  • Let the ink dry or speed it along with your heat gun.
  • Color the images with pencils - prismacolors, watercolors, metallic - OR watercolor crayons.  I used a combination of them on my image.
  • After coloring, I squirted a little white reinker out and using my Aquapainter, I added white accents along one side of the flowers, bird, etc.  On the other side, I used my White Gel Pen to add more accents.
To finish the piece, I used my White Gel Pen all along the black piece; punched out a corner and did the white gel pen on it.  I stamped the bird's wing again with the white craft ink, cut it out and popped it up.  Then I sprayed the piece with a mixture of alcohol and Shimmer paint to make it sparkle.  I backed the piece on So Saffron.  The card base is Pretty In Pink although the colors did show up too great.

Hope you like it and try one of your own.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Idol Top 11

So on American Idol, we are down to the Top 11.  Someone will go home tonight and miss the chance to go on tour with the Top Ten.  Miley Cyrus was the advisor tonight and I thought she was very truthful with the contestants.  I just think someone should have dressed her better.
  • Lee Dwyze -  "The Letter"  I agreed with 3 of the judges and loved it!  Simon didn't think it was a recording performance and it was corny.
  • Paige Miles - "Against All Odds"  HORRIBLE!!  This time, I agreed with the judges.  I feel bad for her but she's had her time in the spotlight.  I thought she should have gone long ago.
  • Tim Urban - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"   Not good!  He was "smoozing" with the crowd like he was a rock fan.  Paige is going to save him from going home though.
  • Aaron Kelly - "I Don't Want to Miss A Thing"  For a 17 year old, he is quite good and reminds me a lot of David Archuletta.
  • Crystal Bowersox - "Bobby McGee"  SOLID GOLD!  My husband, Sonny called it last week - he said this was the song she should do.  She's Janis Joplin made over.  Can't wait till next week - she's already planning what she's going to do and said it was going to be different.
  • Michael Lynche - "When A Man Loves A Woman"   Perfect for him in my opinion.
  • Andrew Garcia - "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"   Not good .. again.  Bottom 3
  • Katie Stevens "Big Girls Don't Cry"  What a great song for her!  I think Myley really helped her out tonight.
  • Casey James "Power of Love"   He needs to drop the guitar and move around the stage more.  I didn't care for his song choice but I thought he did a good job with it.
  • Didi Benami " You're No Good"  It was no good!
  • Siobahn Magnus - "Superstition"  Good as usual .... just not her best performance.  I have to agree with Simon - the screeching at the end is getting old.  I don't know about her hairdo tonight and can't believe not one of the judges commented on it!!
Bottom 3 in my humble opinion
Paige Miles
Tim Urban
Andrew Garcia

Going home:  Paige Miles

Top 3:
Crystal Bowersox
Mike Lynche
Katie Stevens

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sweet Treat Easter Cards

I've been working on Easter cards lately.  I've been trying to come up with different ideas for 3 cute little boys in my life - my neice's two boys and my grandson - using the Sweet Treats Cups.  They are such fun to work with.  I don't know why I have let them sit on my desk for about 4 months without doing something with them!!  One problem I have though is I keep eating all the candy that I buy to go in them!!   I had some yummy Starburst Jelly Beans and some gummy rabbits but .... they're all gone!  So this weekend I bought some regular ole jelly beans at Big Lots and they are not near as tasty to me so I think they will be safe!!   Anyhow ... on to my cards!

This little fellow is made from punches.  Isn't he cute??

And who can resist Big Bird at Easter???  Plus, I love the red and yellow combo. 

Hope these give you some inspiration for your Easter cards!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Color Combo Challenge

What beautiful weather we had yesterday!  But today is overcast and rain is expected ... to be followed by a chilly day tomorrow.  Hey, at least we're not in Dallas where it snowed yesterday!!  Hard to believe that!!

Just a quick reminder.. there are only about 10 days left to take advantage of Sale A Bration!

Did you know that there are over 60 stamp sets you can recieve for FREE during Sale a Bration!?   In addition to the wonderful sets in the SAB mini catalog, you can also get a 72 sheet pack of designer paper, or a great new scallop edge punch FREE with each $50 order!

I worked on a Challenge last night and finally finished the card today.  I think I had everything I owned on my desk when I finished (trying to get the card just right)!!  Here's my creation in response to the Color Combo on Picture Perfect Creations.  These colors were hard for me!!

The Not Quite Navy card (and dots) didn't photograph well - they look almost black!
Cardstock:  Not Quite Navy, Lovely Lilac, Whisper White, DSP from Daisy Bucket (Beach House)
Ink:  Not Quite Navy
Stamps:  A Little Birdie Told Me (SU); Doodles (Inkadinkado)
Access:  Nestabilities; Word Window Punch; beads, wire; SU Scallop Punch; 1/2" Circle Punch; Pretties Kit 
Here's a close-up of the beaded antenna.  I definately gave my eyes a work out stringing those beads!

I entered a color challenge from this same blog last week (HERE) and got runner-up.  Here's the link to the winning card.    I'm hoping to win this week!!

Megan (Picture Perfect Creations) is also doing a Design Team Call.  If you are interested, you can learn more on her blog 

Happy St Patty's Day & 2 Monday Mailers

(This is posted late because I just realized it didn't get posted when it should have!!)

Happy Saint Paddy's Day to you all!  These are the cookies I made for my Mahjong group and this is what I have left!  I doubled the recipe because the single recipe said SIX Servings!  I think I would have been fine without doubling because these will be gone by Friday .... in mine & Sonny's stomach!  Although I'm having Stamp Club tomorrow so I'll tempt them with the cookies too!

Here's the recipe for the cookies .... they are really good and easy!

1/2 C butter, softened (I used a Crisco Shortening Stick)
1 3-oz package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 1/3 C baking mix (Jiffy, Bisquick)
1 egg
1 T white sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease baking sheet. 

  • Cream together shortening (or butter) and pudding mix.  Blend in baking mix, egg, and sugar.  Mix well.

  • On lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 3/8" thickness & cut into cookies with cookie cutter.

  • Place cookies on prepared baking sheet & bake 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.  Let cookies cook on rack.  Frost with green icing.
Now for my Monday Mailer cards!  Here is the card I made and mailed to my partner.

I found the pattern for this egg in the March CardMaker magazine.  All supplies for the card are from Stampin' Up.  The DSP is from the Good Neighbor pack that is in the Saleabration Catalog.  I ran all the pieces plus the white square through my Big Shot with the SU Texture Plate.  The felt flower and leaf are in the Occasions Mini Catalog.  The cardstock is Melon Mango and Bermuda Bay.  I love the White Satin Ribbon!!  "happy easter" is from the Abundant Hope set in the Occasions Catalog.

Here is the card I received today! 
Isn't it great?  She embossed the cardstock with the Texturz Plate and I think she inked her plate yellow when she ran it through the Big Shot.  The butterflies are from the Occasions Mini - Embosslets.  I have to get those butterflies - they are on backorder right now though. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

A little of this and that

Whew!  What a crazy busy day!  Remember  a couple of months ago when I had that spot floating around in my right eye and the eye dr. told me it was a sign of aging and was called a vitreous detachment??  Well, yesterday, I noticed with my LEFT eye, a cobweb like matter floating around in my field of vision and a couple of times, a few light flashes.  I remembered that the eye dr. had asked me if I had seen any light flashes with the right eye when I was there last month and I had not.  So this morning, I was able to get in to see the doctor right away.  Turns out, this cob-webby thing is blood.  Doesn't sound too good, huh? Last month when I saw the eye dr, my vision in my left eye was 20/20 ... today it was 2/40.   I am going to see a retina specialist in Charlotte next Friday.  This could mean that the vitreous is pulling away from the retina or that the retina itself is becoming dislodged from the inner back of the eye that contains blood, nutrients and oxygen vital to healthy function. When the retina is torn, vitreous can invade the opening and push out the retina — leading to a detachment.  Right now, my eye dr. doesn't see that but he wants to be safe than sorry.  Yeah - me too!  What I've read about this is:   "A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in late 2009 found that sudden presence of eye floaters and flashes means that one in seven people with these symptoms will have a retinal tear or detachment. And up to 50 percent of people with a retinal tear will have a subsequent detachment."   So,  if you believe in the power of prayer, please say a prayer for me this week.  I'm really pretty scared.  And I just hate that there is nothing I can do but wait.

On to happier topics!  Today was the first day for my Stamp Club.  I had 7 ladies and they really enjoyed stamping.  I just need to remember to make simple cards!!  They really don't know anything about stamping and that's hard for me to remember when I was like that!  But, really, the most challenging thing to them was tying the bows!!!  We did 2 cards and a little Easter basket.  Unfortunately, I only remembered to take a picture of one card and I gave my samples away!  I am going to make the other card and the basket tomorrow for one of the ladies who was out of town so I will share it with you then.  Here is the first card we made.  I wanted them to know watercoloring because I think you can get a really pretty look very easy by using watercolor pencils or crayons.

This uses the stamp set, Abundent Blessings from the Occasions Mini Catalog.

I also colored this panel in different colors to give them another idea of how to do their flowers:

Most of them just did the yellow flowers but I did have one lady who "stepped out of the box" and did multi-colored flowers.

After the ladies left, Sonny and I hopped in the car to meet a group of his Golden Boy members at the movies.  We saw "The Green Zone" - a real action packed movie.  The focus of 'Green Zone' is on the early stages of the 2003 US Iraq invasion.  The war being fought in the film is more between the Pentagon and the CIA than the US vs Iraq which makes it all the more interesting and the film allows you to see things from Iraq's perspective for a change.  No matter what your view is of the Iraqi war, this film will make you think as it deals with looking for the non-existant WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Idol Results

The very first one up on stage is Paige Miles and she is in the bottom 3.  I am surprised.  I thought she did good last night.  Plus, I thought she would get the sympathy vote because she had laryngitis.

Tim Urban is in the bottom three.  That is not a surprise to me.  I predicted him.

Lacey Brown is the third one in the bottom three.  Another surprise for me.

Well, America voted for Lacey to go home.  I don't agree. I don’t think she was a contender to win it, but I would have sent home 2 or 3 others before her.   I think it should have been Tim or Andrew before Lacey.   The judges can save her so she does a final song for them.   They are all huddled together, pretending to discuss whether or not they are going to “save” her. Sure, with 11 contestants left, they are going to use the save tonight? I seriously doubt it.  And they don't. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rolling Stones Night on American Idol

Well, we've made it to the Top 12 on Idol and now the fun begins!  Tonight the contestants are singing Rolling Stones songs.  I was never a big Stones fan so a lot of these songs didn't do it for me.
  • Big Mike Lynch singing "Miss You"  I'm not familiar with this song but thought he did great!  He's a real showman.  The judge loved it ... but of course, Simon had to add his two cents worth - thought his dancing was a little corny. 
  • Didi Benami - "Play With Fire"  I thought it was a little "dragging" but guess I was in the minority - all the judge thought it was one of her best performances.
  • Casey James "It's All Over Now"  It was just ok for me.  Of course Kara loved it and thought it was one of his best.  Not Simon though.
  • Lacey Brown "Ruby Tuesday"  I liked this one.  I hope she makes it back next week.  Her outfit was just a little strange!
  • Andrew Garcia "Gimme Shelter"  No - too pitchy; just not great.  His family interview was weird - his mom is like a zombie!
  • Katie Stevens "Wild Horses"  The beginning wasn't so great but then she got into the groove and did a great job.
  • Tim Urban "Under My Thumb"  I'm with Randy and Ellen - I didn't like the Rolling Stones Reggae version!  I do give him kudos for trying something different though.
  • Siobhan Magnus "Paint It Black"  WOW - best of the night so far!!  I can see her as a front runner for winning this competition.  She looks so different tonight with her hair all curled.
  • Lee Dewyze "Beast of Burden"  I like it!  He's one of my favorite of the guys.  I love his voice.  As Randy says, "it was dope!"  I'd love to hear him sing country!
  • Paige Miles "Honky Tonk Woman"  Wow - she really surprised me!  I didn't think she would do good with Stones songs but she hit the big notes with this song and worked the stage.  According to the judges, she had laryngitis this week.  Don't think she'll get voted off this week.
  • Aaron Kelly "Angie"  Another good solid performance.  He has a good voice and he chose a good song for his range.
  • Crystal Bowersox "You Can't Always Get What You Want"  Still my #1 Favorite!!  She is just awesome.  She was born to do this.  I wonder about her family life.  During her family interview, no mention is made of her mom.  If it weren’t for Siobhan, I’d say  just give Crystal the American Idol titleand send the rest  of them home.
It's going to be tough to vote someone off this week.  My pick for the bottom 3 is:  Casey, Tim and Andrew.

50 Years and still Laughing!

Uh oh - I thought I posted this already - oh well, here it is - Marianne turned 50 Tuesday!!

My baby sister, Marianne, turns 50 today!!  It is hard for me to believe she is that old!  Our winter has been one for the books this year, but in 1960 when Marianne was born, it was another one to remember.  It snowed or sleeted every Wednesday that month!  And Marianne was born on a Wednesday!  It was really weird because we don't usually have that much cold weather in March.  I remember that we got out of school a day or two every week that month!  I was 11 at the time so that was a big deal especially since I had to walk to school!! 

We celebrated Marianne's birthday a little early this year.  Her husband, Greg, surprised her Saturday night by taking her to The Melting Pot Restaurant.  We surprised her by picking her two boys up earlier and beating them there so we were at the table waiting when she got there.  Oooh that chocolate was good .... as you can tell by the picture of Marianne licking the plate!

Last night, we continued the party at my house.  My mom and sister, Angela, came over.  Angela brought balloons and decorations and the guys cooked Ka-Bobs out on the grill.  I made a chocolate cherry cake (yea - we like chocolate!!).  It was a fun family get-together.

Here's Marianne and her husband, Greg.  She's trying to blow out the candle!

This is one of the cards I made for her.

Here's the other card I made her.

I also made this photo tray.  It is from 7Gypsies and I bought it at AC Moore.  I tried to find different pictures through out her life to put in it as well as family sayings.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fifth Avenue Floral Gift Set

I made a card box a couple of months ago with some cards from Fifth Avenue Floral.  I've just realized I did not share them with you!  What was I thinking???  I used the set for a hostess gift.  I enjoy making a gift set of cards and a box to give away.  It always impresses the recipient.

This is the acetate box I made to hold the cards.  I used the paper from Night and Day DSP.

The roses are the watercolored roses.  You spritz the Shimery White Paper with water and use your Aqua Painter with reinkers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Picture Perfect Challenge

I promised you a card today!  I found a new blog today that was offering a challenge so I took the challenge!

I decided to work those colors into an Easter card.  Here is what I came up with:

This stamp set is part of a clear set from Inky Antics that I forgot I had!!  I used my Nestabilities ovals for the bunny.  The black scallops are from the Scallop Trim Punch in the Saleabration Catalog.

Don't forget .... only a couple more weeks to get FREE items from the Saleabration catalog.  It will be all over March 30!!

American idol Top 12

Just a quick post before going to bed.  I'll be posting a card tomorrow afternoon for you.  Today I attended a luncheon at a friend's house.  There were 7 of us there and each of us chose a recipe from Jan, Feb or March issue of Southern Living Magazine.  It was really good and I got to taste some things I probably wouldn't have tried. I don't eat asparagus but I tried the salad and it was good.  Our menu was:

Appetizers - Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese & Pears & Spicy Pickled Shrimp
Tomato Soup
Roasted Asparagus Salad
Linguine with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Lemon Drop Squares (my contribution)
Maple Coffee and Mango Tango Tea

We were also supposed to have Oven Chicken Risotto but the girl who was bringing that forgot and didn't show up!! 

I watched Idol earlier and was shocked at the results tonight!!!  I hate that Lily Scott went home.  I think that was not right.  The others that were voted off were Toddrick Hall, Alex Lambert, and Katelyn Epperly.  So, I only got one right this week and that was Toddrick Hall although I did mention in my previous post that Katelyn might be in trouble.  Next week they will be performing songs from Rolling Stone so it should be interesting!  I thought Crystal Bowersox didn't look well.  She never even smiled when she made it to top 12.  I hope she is ok. 

Off to playing mahjong tomorrow. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Week 3 - The Guys on Idol

Lee Dewyze singing Fireflies - he's one of my favorites.  Sonny & I both don't think he beats the last two girls from last night though but he was good.

Alex Lambert singing Trouble - he's not one of my favorites but I thought he did ok tonight.  Just hope he doesn't become a "cocky banana" as Ellen said.  Don't really know what that means!!

Tim Urban singing Hallelujah -Wow!  Just when I thought it was his turn to go home, he surprises me with that great performance.  I'm with Ellen - she ran on stage and hugged him and told him "fantastic."

Andrew Garcia singing Genie in a Bottle - This one didn't do it for me tonight.  I hope this doesn't send him home.  The judges feel like maybe he peaked too early.  He was so great during Hollywood week and I thought he was going to be THE one.

Casey James singing You'll Think of Me - I love this song!  He was pretty good - not great but good. Ellen loved it - Kara is getting back on the "Casey train"; Randy thought it was safe; Simon thinks it's forgettable but he sounded great.

Aaron Kelly singing I'm Already There - Well, it's interesting to hear a 16 year old sing this song - how can he understand this song?  He started out not so good but got better as he went on.  It wasn't great to me.

Toddrick Hall singing Someone to Love - Well, that was one of the best tonight!  He was comfortable on stage and singing a Queen song!!  He's definately theatrical and should be on Broadway.

Michael Lynch singing This Woman's Work - He IS my favorite of the boys and he didn't disappoint me tonight!  The judges loved him.  As Randy says, that was DOPE!  Ellen thinks he's the one to beat.

It's hard to guess who's going to get eliminated this week.  My guess would be Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly or Toddrick Hall.

411 Challenge

I've had a busy week so far.  Monday, I played bridge.  Yesterday I worked the Soup Kitchen in the morning, making my Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.  It was a big hit!!  But, we made way too much.  The day before they had served 148 people and I bet we hardly had 100.  We made 6 large pans of the casserole and had 2 1/2 pans left over!!  Several people came back for seconds and a few had us give them tinfoil so they could take it home and have it for dinner.  We have decided that that casserole will be the Newcomer's signature dish!  One of the gals I was working with is a big volunteer with the Red Cross and she got a call about a big apartment fire in Charlotte that had displaced about 165 people.  Sonny & I were asked to help with a shelter that they were setting up at an elementary school in Charlotte the next day ... or so I thought.  They said they needed us from 10:30 to 7 and I assumed they mean 10:30 AM to 7 PM on Wednesday.  When I got home that afternoon, Sonny had already talked with the Red Cross and was prepared to go help at the shelter at 10:30 that night!  I wasn't going to go because Linda needed me to help her the next day entering the clients in the computer.  Sonny ended up going to Charlotte and returned home at 4 AM.  He was not a happy camper!  They ended up having only ONE person in the shelter!!  I think earlier there had been 4 people but 3 of them left and didn't come back!  I talked to Linda today and asked her why keep the shelter open for one.  Why not just put him up in a hotel?  A lot of it has to do with $$ - the Red Cross is strapped for funds just like everyone else in this economy.  And of course, at the time, they thought more people would be coming but they evidently found family and friends to put them up for the night.  Of course, today, they are back and needing places to stay - probably only about 15 families and they are putting them up in hotels now.  It just doesn't make sense to me.  I'd tell those people if you don't come to the shelter, forget about a hotel!  Linda did tell me that the local hotels were calling with some great offers.  They were able to get rooms at Howard Johnson for $140 for 7 days!

Here's my recipe for the Chicken Spaghetti if you are interested:

1 large chicken
1 8 oz pkg spaghetti
2 10 oz cans cream of mushroom soup
1 med. onion, chopped
1 4-oz can sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup olives
salt, pepper
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Cook chicken until tender.  Remove, reserving broth.  Cook spaghetti al dente in reserved chicken broth; drain; reserving broth.  Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.  Combine all except cheese in large bowl.  Add small amount of broth.  Pour into lightly greased 10 x 13" pan. Top with cheese.  Bake 350 45 minutes.  

Saturday and Sunday I did a little stamping.  I decided to do a challenge from Stamping 411.  You can follow their link on the left side of my blog.  They post a sketch every Saturday and I haven't done one in a while. Here is the sketch: 
Here is the first card I did.  I used a retired SU stamp set, Summer by the Seam my oval Nesties and a Cuttlebug embossing folder.
Then I decided that I didn't really follow the sketch to the "T" so I did another one that was a rectangle instead of an oval.  This card I used Crazy for cupcakes, a felt flower and the background is from a wonderful two step stamping set, Greenhouse Garden.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week 3 - Girls Sing on Idol

The night started out with Ellen sitting on Simon's lap ... interesting considering I just heard today that Simon might be engaged!  I was surprised Ryan didn't bring the engagement up. 
  • Katie Stevens - She sang one of Kelly Clarkson's songs.  Her voice was good but she needs more stage presence.  She is only 17 years old and just needs time to get better.
  • Siobahn Magness - She's singing "House of the Rising Sun" one of my favorite songs.  I look forward  to seeing what  she will bring us every week, and this week doesn’t disappoint. Love how she starts out a-capella.
  • Lacy Brown singing The Story.   She has such a great look and such presence on stage. The judges loved it.  I thought it was a little boring though.
  • Katelyn Epperly sang Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move"  That girl has some hair!!  I'd hate to have to wash & dry all that hair every day!!  I felt like she was too karoke with that song tonight.  She might be in trouble.
  • DiDi Benami singing Rhiannon. This is more like her original audition - kind of coffee shop-ish.  The judges liked it.  Simon and Kara loved it.
  • Paige Miles singing a Charlie Chaplin (???) song, Smile.   I love this song (just not her arrangement) and didn't know Chaplin wrote it!   I think she will be going home Thursday.  If not, I'lll be REALLY surprised!
  • Crystal Bowersox singing another of my favorites!!  Tracey Chapman's "Gimme One Reason".  I'M A FAN!!  I can see her winning the whole thing this year.  As Simon said, "You are the one everyone else has to beat. It’s yours to lose."
  • Lily Scott singing Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces"  I  like her sort of retro vibe and what she does with the songs she chooses.  I really want her to stay!  The judges like her .... except Simon (what else is new?) but hey, 3 out of 4 ain't bad!! 
This is a no brainer tonight. Katie Stevens and Paige Miles should be going home. They both have bright singing careers ahead of them, but the other contestants are in a different league. It’s like the majors vs the minors.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Board #2

Here's the second book board I made this weekend.  Great for a teenager, don't you think?

I'm off early in the morning to do my thing at the Soup Kitchen!  Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Easter Projects

So, are you going to watch the Oscars tonight?  I think that's all I've heard lately on TV - mostly Oprah, The View, Rachel Ray ....  With the addition of 10 movies up for Best Picture, it should be interesting!  I'm pulling for Sandra Bullock to win Best Actress, Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Maggie Gyllenhaal for Supporting Actress.  As much as we go to the movies, those are the only two I've seen of all the nominated movies.  I really want to see Precious, Julie & Julia, A Single Man, Up in the Air, Invictus and Hurt Locker.  We were going to go see Hurt Locker today (it's still playing at Concord Mills) but the weather was so beautiful, we opted not to sit in a dark theatre.   We actually took a walk this afternoon around the neighborhood and saw a lot of our neighbors out enjoying the sunshine.

You can call me the Chicken Lady this weekend!  I cooked about 25 POUNDS of chicken Friday!  I am in charge of the team cooking for the local Soup Kitchen next Tuesday and we are going to make Chicken Spaghetti.  I didn't think we'd have time to cook the chicken, chop it up and put it in the casserole which has to cook for 45 minutes by the time we have to serve (11 am), so my partner and I decided to divide up the chicken and cook it at home.  That way all we have to do Tuesday is cook the spaghetti and put the casserole together on Tuesday.  My house smelled like Chicken all weekend!!  I'm having steak for dinner tonight!!

I have been busy being creative this weekend also.  I made a cute Easter frog card for my grandson.  When I finished it, I decided to do a couple of Board Books for two of my granddaughters that I had picked up at Target's Dollar Spot.  They turned out really cute and I think the girls will like them.

I'm getting good with the punches!!   I did the tree free hand in Chocolate Chip and stamped the Weathered Background over it in black.  The weeds in the background is Inspired by Nature and the dragonfly is from Unfrogetable.  I used the Sweet Treat Cup with green jelly beans for the face. 
Here's  the punches I used:
Large Oval - stomach
Small Oval - legs, face and inside of stomach
BoHo Blossom - feet
1/2" Circle - eyes
1/4" Circle - inside of eyes

Here's one of the Board Books.  This one is for Kennedy. 

I used a couple of Prima Flowers with an orange brad, inked the edges in Pumpkin Pie, and inked the "k" with Pumpkin Pie Craft ink and embossed it with Hologram Embossing Powder.

The "girlfriend" was cut from a piece of Basic Gray paper I had.

These pages have SU Felt Flowers and a rub-on (laughter) that I found in my stash.

This one has another Felt Flower, rub on (forever) and FRIENDS is cut from some DSP that I used on the cover and back of the book.

More rub-ons and ribbon.

This is the back of the book.

So, what are you making for Easter???