Author Archive | Diane

Work of Art: Watermelon Card

Watermelon Card Header 2I LOVE this Work of Art stamp set. I’ve seen it used in so many ways and each time it’s brillant and exciting to see. For this card I used it for a fun watermelon card and the anticipation of Summer! Who doesn’t like watermelon or Summer?

Watermelon Card wm

HERE’S WHAT TO DO:

CARD STOCK< PAPER & CUTTING DIMENSIONS:

  1.  Cut an 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ piece of Watermelon Wonder and score it at 4-1/4″
  2.  Cut a 5-1/4″ x 4″ piece of Whisper White and 4-3/4″ x 3-1/2″
  3.  Cut a 5″ x 3-3/4″ piece of Designer Series Paper

STAMPING:

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    1. On the smaller Whisper White piece, stamp the curve from the Work of Art stamp set in Strawberry Wonder Ink.
    2. Clean the stamp and stamp it along the bottom of the watermelon using Always Artichoke Ink.
    3. Stamp the heart stamp in Watermelon Wonder randomly all over the layer background.

 

FINISHING UP:

  1. Punch out the smallest flower using the Blossom Bunch Flower Punch out of Basic Black card stock. Cut the flower petals up and use them for the watermelon seeds.
  2. Before adhering the card stock layers together tie a piece of Always Artichoke ribbon around the top layer. Tie a pretty bow as well.

These would be great to use for invitations to a Summer birthday party or Summer BBQ.

Lake what you love and love what you make!

Embrace the day,

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January 28: Year of the Rooster

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People born in the Year of Rooster according to Chinese zodiac have many excellent characteristics, such as being honest, bright, communicative and ambitious. Most of them are born pretty or handsome, and prefer to dress up. In daily life, they seldom rely on others. However, they might be enthusiastic about something quickly, but soon be impassive. Thus, they need to have enough faiths and patience to insist on one thing.

  • Strengths
    Independent, capable, warm-hearted, self-respect, quick minded
  • Weaknesses
    Impatient, critical, eccentric, narrow-minded, selfish

This is the most important holiday in China – like Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving combined. It has been celebrated for over 4000 years.  The actual date is not fixed because China used a lunar (moon-based) calendar. It’s on the first day of the first moon and falls between January 21 and  February 19. The exact date used to be announced by the Emperor himself. As the Son of Heaven, only the Emperor had the right to set the calendar. It was a major event because farmers planted their crops according to the Emperor’s calendar. If the calendar was correctly set and the growing season was successful, there would be plenty of food.

Chinese families spent weeks getting ready for New Year. They would clean house, pay bills, bathe, have their hair cut and put on new clothes, usually red in colour. In the old days, many poor people could afford to eat meat only once a year. They would save their copper coins and go hungry the rest of the year for this special occasion. The main meal was eaten at a round table. If someone was absent, a place would be set for him anyway in front of an empty chair.

chinese-foodThe holiday is celebrated in much the same way now. Special foods include rice cakes, pork, noodles, fish  and dumplings stuffed with chives and pork. There is a special dessert called Eight Treasure Pudding which signifies family union. It is made with sticky rice, lotus seeds, red dates, dried candied fruits and red bean paste. In the afternoon, people visit family and friends and exchange gifts. Children are given lucky money in red envelopes.

On the streets there may be a lion dance or a dragon parade, accompanied by beating drums, cymbals, dancers, acrobats, jugglers, and musicians. Firecrackers are supposed to scare away evil spirits. In the evenings, colourful lanterns dot the storefronts and fireworks light up the sky.

Chinese New Year celebrates family and friends, and symbolizes good luck and a new beginning. It is the most important holiday in China.

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CHINESE ZODIAC

Chinese Zodiac relates each calendar year to an animal and its reputed attributes, according to a 12-year cycle. The twelve animals are the following: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse. Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.  Legend has it the twelve animals were chosen by Buddha.

 

So, go and treat yourdelf to some Chinese food today to celebrate Chinese New Year. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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January 27: Chocolate Cake Day

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Before you is the ultimate in birthday confections, a rich and luxurious chocolate cake with rich Raspberry filling, you know it’s going to be a good day. Maybe you’re just coming into work, and some thoughtful soul has laid out a tray of chocolate cupcakes, each with their own design and one waiting for your mouth to wrap lovingly around it and fade away on a cocoa fueled holiday. However you like your chocolate cake, Chocolate Cake Day gives you an excuse to indulge as deeply as you’d like!

History of Chocolate Cake Day
Chocolate cake has been with us just over 150 years, having first come on the scene in 1764, when it was discovered that grinding cocoa beans between heavy stones produced cocoa powder, which could then become chocolate.

How to Celebrate Chocolate Cake Day
The way to celebrate Chocolate Cake Day is deliciously simple and perfect. Throughout your day, incorporate as many types of chocolate cake as you can! Below is one of my favorite Chocolate Cake recipes.

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} from Robyn

Chocolate Cake with decadent chocolate frosting that will quickly become your favorite!

Serves: 12
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
 
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

 

For the cake:

  1. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  2. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  3. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

Frost with your favorite frosting.

 Notes
The cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted! xo
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Fancy Fold: Flourishing Phrases

flourishing-phrases-headerThis card was so much fun to make. The colors make me happy just looking at them. All the directions and cutting dimensions are listed below and I would jot them down in a book for future reference. In fact you should have a book with all the dimensions to all the cards and projects you make. Just a suggestion…

flourishing-phrases

CARD STOCK, PAPER & CUTTING DIMENSIONS:

DAPPER DENIM:

  1. Take a sheet of 8-1/2″ x 11″ and cut the 8-1/2″ side to 7-3/4″
  2. Score this side at 1-3/4″ and 6″
  3. Turn and cut at 5-1/2″
  4. Cut a  2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″ scallop square using the Layering Squares Thinlits and the BIG Shot

PEEKABOO PEACH:

  1. Cut two 1-1/2″ x 5-1/4″ (top and bottom flap)
  2. Cut a 3″ x 3″  scallop square using the Layering Squares Thinlits and the BIG Shot

WHISPER WHITE:

  1. Cut a 4″ x 5-1/4″ piece for the inside of the card
  2. Cut 2-1/2′ x 2-1/2″ scallop square using the Layering Squares Thinlits and the BIG Shot

FLORAL BOUTIQUE DSP:

  1.  Cut two 1-1/4″ x 5″ pieces (top and bottom flap)

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STAMPING:

  1. Stamp the large flower from the Flourishing Phrases stamp set, on the 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″  Whisper White scallop square in Dapper Denim Ink.
  2. Again in Dapper Denim Ink, stamp “Happy Birthday”  from the Stylized Birthday stamp on the inside Whisper White layer.

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FINISHING TOUCHES:

  1. Adhere all the layers as shown. Only place adhesive on the top part of the center Peekaboo Peach Square.
  2. Place a Basic Rhinestone in the center of the flower.

Keep these cutting dimensions safe somewhere, because I know you’ll want to make more of this Fancy Fold card!

Thanks for stopping by and Stamp On!

Hugs,

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January 21: Granola Bar Day

homemade-granola-recipeTo honor all those busy times when a small cereal bar helped you make it through a hectic day at work, start celebrating Granola Bar Day right away!

Nutritious, yummy granola is typically based on rolled oats full of proteins and useful fibers. It’s been an increasingly popular type of breakfast food since the 19th century, but wasn’t compressed into a snack bar before the 1970’s. There’s been a dispute on who invented granola bars, but Stanley Mason remains accredited for creating this compact form out of loose granola by pressing it. To produce a firm bar, granola is bonded with honey, butter or syrups, and it is then baked. The exception are so-called chewy granola bars which are either briefly baked or completely raw.

The biggest fans of granola bars are hikers and other outdoor sporty types whose energy depends on highly nutritious snacks. Although there are no records of how Granola Bar Day started out as a food holiday, we should keep it up to promote a healthier lifestyle. The perfect way to celebrate it is to throw a home-made granola bar party for friends

GRANOLA BAR RECIPE by Ina Gartenpumpkinchocolatechipgranolabars

Ingredients
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:
Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.dashed-blog-divider

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Stampin’ Up!: Botanical Blooms Birthday

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This birthday card is oh so cheerful! Having the Botanical Blooms stamp set and the Botanical Builder Framelits makes this card a cinch to put together. Emerald Envy and Sweet Sugarplum work well with the Whisper White

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LET’S GET STARTED:

Cut a base from Emerald Envy at 11″ x 4-1/4″ scored at 5-1/2″

From Whisper White cut a 5″ x 3-3/4″ piece

Cut a 4-3/4″ x 3-1/2″ piece of Sweet Sugarplum 

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Using the Botanical Builder Framelits cut out one of the larger flower, the medium flower and the small flower out of Whisper White.

On a different scrap of Whisper White stamp the large leaf detail in Emerald Envy and the greeting. Leave enough room to cut them with the framelits and the Wide Oval Punch.

Cut a few flowers and flower parts from Sweet Sugarplum.

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Adhere all the flowers and the greeting.

Wrap a piece of Emerald Envy Ribbon around the Sweet Sugarplum layer.

Adhere all the layers on to the card base.

I hope these colors inspired you. Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

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Rose Wonder Birthday Card

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This Rose Wonder Stamp Set is so impressive. it’s hard to believe it’s a stamp. The size is so empowering and then the Rose Garden Thinlits just helps to add another dimension to your cards. This birthday card uses only the Rose Garden Thinlits and believe me it’s quite beautiful and easy to assemble.

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The card base is a 10″ x 7″ piece of Whisper White scored at 5″

Cut a 4-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ piece of Soft Sky

Cut a 2″ x 6-3/4″ piece of Wild Wasabi (strip behind Soft Sky)

For die cutting:

Whisper White 5″ x 7″ for roses

Sweet Sugarplum 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ for back of rose

Wild Wasabi 3″ x 3″ leaves

Cut out the large rose and leaves outline from Whisper White using the Rose Garden Thinlits and the BIG Shot. Cut one more rose which will be cut and placed along the card edge.

Take the Thinlit die and use it to trace around the rose with a pencil on to the Sweet Sugarplum

Trace around the leaves on to the Wild Wasabi

Hand cut the Sweet Sugarplum and Wild Wasabi. These pieces will be layered behind the big rose cutout.

Stamp the “Happy Birthday” in Wild Wasabi Ink and cut it out with the Rose Garden Thinlit.

Adhere  the card layers and carefully with All-Purpose Glue, glue all the rose die cut out pieces.

If you don’t have this set, now would be a good time to order it, because of Sale-A-Bration.

140697s

ROSE WONDER STAMP SET

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ROSE GARDEN THINLITS

Let me know if I can help you or answer any of your questions.

Hugs,

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Tool Tip Tuesday: Keep It Straight

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When you use the Simply Scored (122334) tool to score a line on a rectangle, it’s easy: just line up the card stock on the top edge and the left edge, right? But when you want to score something that doesn’t have straight edges (like a die-cut Top Note), it can be hard to follow the grooves on the Simply Scored tool. So, do what I did: use a Silver Sharpie pen to trace one of the lines from top to bottom. Then it is easy to position the shape at the top and bottom along that line and score.

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Best Birds Birthday Card

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This Best Birds Birthday Card was so much fun to make. A little stamping. A little coloring. A little cutting, A little bit of everything! Best of all, a little bit of birds.

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Cut the Whisper White card base at 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ scored at 4-1/4″

Cut a 5″ x 3-3/4″ piece of Island Indigo card stock

Cut a piece of DSP at 4-3/4″ x 3-1/2″ and 4-3/4″ x 1-1/4″

On a scrap piece of Whisper White stamp the bird, flowers, and branch in Memento Black Ink,

With colored pencils color everything in then cut all the parts out with the BIG Shot and the Birds and Blooms Thinlits.

best-birds-detail

Stamp “Happy Birthday” in VersaMark on to a piece of Island Indigo card stock. Sprinkle with White Embossing Powder and melt with a Heat Tool.

With a large Scallop Punch punch out the “Happy Birthday”  greeting.

Adhere and layer the card as shown. Add Dimensionals to the backs of some flowers.

Add Basic Pearls to the center of the flowers.

Thanks for visiting.

Embrace the day,

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Tool Tip: Embossing Buddy, Not Just for Embossing!

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The Embossing Buddy (103083) is a great tool to use to help you create a clear embossed image. Brush it over your cardstock before you stamp your image with VersaMark, add embossing powder and then heat emboss. Any unwanted embossing powder won’t stick.

Here’s my TIP: When you make a shaker card and use the Foam Adhesive Strips (141825), rub the Embossing Buddy around the inside of the tape once adhered to your card, but before you add your confetti. This will help remove any stickiness. Once your confetti is sealed inside the shaker card, it won’t stick to the sides.dashed-blog-divider

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