Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snapshots of Life - Thanksgiving at 4 PM

Just about four o'clock, we sat down to eat dinner. This year we sat downstairs in the family room. Nicholas joined Joel , Mom and me at the bar. Usually we sit upstairs in the dining room  with the "grownups." It was fun to watch football on while we ate!

Check out eighteen25 to see what other people were doing at 4 PM on Thursday, November 25.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

And the winner is....

The winner of the Operation Write Home blog candy is
Please send me an email with your mailing address (christi (dot) spadoni @
I will mail your goodies out this week!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Operation Write Home Blog Hop!

Welcome! Today's post is part of the Operation Write Home Be My Valentine blog hop. Operation Write Home supports our nation's armed forces by sending blank handmade greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them.  Over 670,000 cards have been sent to the troops. 

Last month, my mom, my best friend Jen and her mom and sister, Heather made a big batch of Christmas cards and sent them to Operation Write Home. The deadline for sending Christmas cards has passed, but they are always looking for birthday, thinking of you and love you cards. 

Heather is a captain in the Army Reserves and spent 18 months in Iraq. A group of Red Hat Society ladies sent her blank handmade cards that she could send home. Making cards for Operation Write Home is a way for us to pay it forward.

The theme for this blog hop is Valentine. Now it may seem strange to see Valentines in November but Operation Write Home has to work ahead of the calendar to get cards to the troops so they can send them home to loved ones. If you would like to donate some cards, the deadline for sending Valentines is January 7. Visit the Operation Write Home website for all the details. 

Here's the Valentine that I created. It's loosely based on this week's sketch #63 at Get Sketchy.

I'd also like to do a little giveaway to continue spreading the love. So leave me a comment by Monday, November 15 at noon. I'll pick a name at random to win a few fun embellishments. 

Now hop on over to see what Paula at Handmade by Paula has created! If you would like to start at the beginning go to the Stars and Stripes blog!

Don't forget to vote for Operation Write Home in the Joann's Craft for a Cause contest. You can vote once a day. 

Supplies Used:
cardstock: Die Cuts With a View (coral), Papertrey Ink (chocolate)
patterned paper: Basic Grey, Jillibean Soup
stamp: Studio G
ink: Papertrey Ink (snow white)
punch: Fiskars
felt embellishment: K&Company

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

OLW26 - What's Black and White and Red All Over?

The challenge at One Layer Wonders this week is What's Black and White and Red all over?

I did two cards for this challenge. It's been a great way to get started on Christmas cards.
On the first card I stamped and embossed the candy canes and embellished with stickles. I finished with a hand drawn frame to ground the images on the white background.
This card is also for the Christmas Card Challenge #48 to include candy canes, or some kind of Christmas treat, on your Christmas cards.

This time, I reversed the color combination letting the bold red background take center stage with some white embossed jingle bells. I used the FTL114 sketch again for this card.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

The new moderators of the Silhouette Users group on Yahoo issued a challenge to create a fall item with the new Silhouette Studio software.

I die cut the card fronts with my Silhouette SD. Then I added a strip of patterned paper and stitched them onto the black folded card bases. I finished with a looped banner of ribbon and a sparkly chipboard sentiment.

Inside, I stamped and embossed the sentiment in white and added our own little greeting at the bottom. Then mailed them all off to the kidlets - and one college kid!

Supplies Used:
cardstock: Bazzill
patterned paper: Basic Grey
chipboard stickers: Making Memories
stamp: PSX
ink: Colorbox (frost white)
embossing powder: Filigree (white)
die cut: jack_o_lantern_card_C20090904130829_19210
ribbon: May Arts
bling: Heidi Swapp
pen: Uniball Signo

Snapshots of Life

The girls over at eighteen25 started a challenge to take a photo at a specific time of day. They are calling it Snapshots of Life. This first round was for Thursday, October 28 at 5:00 PM.

We served red velvet cupcakes at our wedding. To celebrate our anniversary, I bought two for dessert. Behind the cupcake is my absolute favorite wedding photo taken by our fantastic photographer, Lea Lawson.

Can you believe I served these cupcakes at 2 parties last year and never ate one until today?? 
The bakery was closed on our actual anniversary, so much like birthdays, it's become Anniversary Week around here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Are you ready for some football?

It's always nice to have some masculine birthday cards on hand. 
My card is based on this week's Clean and Simple FTL #114.
One layer cards are sometimes tricky because you need the right balance of color and pattern to keep it from looking *too* simple or empty. I liked the repetition of the stamped images across the middle of the card.

Supplies Used:
cardstock: Bazzill

stamps: Papertrey Ink Have a Ball and Limitless Labels
ink: Papertrey Ink (deep chocolate), Pallette (l'amour red, prussian blue)
corner rounder: Creative Memories

Monday, October 25, 2010

October Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

It's time for the Papertrey Ink Blog Hop! This month's theme is to create a project celebrating a winter holiday other than Christmas. 

I used two of my favorite stamp sets, Limitless Labels and 2008 Holiday Tags, for these projects. Ocean Tides cardstock and ribbon with a little kraft and cream were perfect for a wintery color scheme for my gift tag and card.

For the gift tag, I punched 1" and 1 3/4" inch circles from a Basic Grey tag. Then I stamped and embossed a tag and a sentiment and popped them up with foam squares. Some platinum perfect pearls, ocean tides ribbon and chocolate bakers twine complete the look. 

I made a coordinating card with Ocean Tides cardstock and a piece of Basic Grey patterned paper. I stamped and embossed the dove tag on cream cardstock and created a coordinating border by stamping the label stamp several times on cream cardstock. The card is finished with a scalloped strip of kraft cardstock that was swiped with some Antique Linen Distress Sticklesto add some vintage, subtle sparkle. 

Before this challenge, I hadn't noticed how well these two sets worked together in scale and design. That's what I love about these blog hop challenges. I get so much inspiration by working with my stamps in a new way. 

I hope you enjoy this month's Papertrey Ink blog hop entry. Hop on over to Nichole's blog to see more great projects or to add your own link.

Supplies Used:
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink (ocean tides, kraft and cream)
Ribbon: Papertrey Ink
Patterned Paper: Deck The Halls from the Basic Grey Fruitcake collection
Stamps: Papertrey Ink (Limitless Labels, 2008 Holiday Tags)
Ink: Papertrey Ink (Fresh Snow), Colorbox (Harbor, Seaglass)
Punch: Fiskars
Embossing Powder: Judikins (detail clear), Sparkle N Sprinkle (shimmer)
Glitter Glue: Stickles

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

This month's PTI blog hop challenge is to show off any skills you might have learned from a fellow stamper, and perhaps even give them a little shout out to thank them for the inspiration they have provided.

My card was inspired by Dawn McVey and the scalloped text paper she used in this card.
Instead of vintage book print, I used an old piece of patterned paper from my stash (I think it might be Jenni Bowlin?). The colors were inspired by a co-worker's wedding palette - ivory, chocolate and peach. I also stamped the envelope with a damask image to tie the whole thing together. That's a trick I've also embraced from the fabulous idea sharing on the blogs of PTI's many many followers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You are in My Thoughts

It is starting to feel more and more like autumn around here. The mornings are chilly. The leaves are starting to change colors. It's football season. Go Patriots!!

All the good shows are starting back up again.  I'm looking forward for new episodes of Glee and Parenthood and The Amazing Race. I might watch some of Survivor. Jimmy Johnson is a contestant this time around and I think it will be interesting to watch him interact with the other players.

This week's Curtain Call Color Challenge worked perfectly with the change in season.

I created a sympathy card using these muted, almost somber colors and the Clean & Simple Fall to Layout #107 sketch. 
I don't know why I almost always reach for this tree when making a sympathy card. I used just a touch of the white as an accent and let the other colors take center stage. The only other embellishing was a chocolate button, some Glimmer Mist applied with a fine paint brush to the flowers and a bit of green colored pencil on the leaves. 

Simple and understated. This could be a masculine card too. Just switch out the sentiment. 

Supplies Used:
cardstock: Prism (green) and Paper Source (kraft)
patterned paper: Basic Grey
punch: Fiskars
stamp: Imaginisce
ink, button and button twine: Papertrey Ink
glimmer mist: Tattered Angels
c olored pencil: Prismacolors

Wish Big

I love the sketches at Inspired Blueprints. They are so versatile. I created this birthday card using sketch #55 as my starting point.
Bazzill cardstock
October Afternoon patterned paper
May Arts ribbon
Papertrey Ink stamp
Versafine ink

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bachelorette Party

My cousins threw a bachelorette party for their sister who is getting married in September. I helped out with the party decor. I took my inspiration from the bride's favorite color: raspberry. The party was at a beachfront cottage so I kept the decorations colorful, fresh and festive. 

I created a custom canvas to set the party mood. I used my Silhouette SD to cut the letters out of vinyl and apply them to a canvas I painted with a custom blend of colors to get the right shade of shimmery, rich pinky-purple. I love how this turned out!

The party favors were Hershey nuggets embellished with Papertrey Ink Limitless Labels, bundled up in sets of four in little treat bags and tied with a raspberry satin ribbon.

My favorite party item? These hot pink insulated tumblers personalized with vinyl and pink bling. The bride's tumbler was clear with rhinestone bling.  Perfect for keeping track of your cocktail throughout the night. The font is Sweetheart Script.  

No party is complete without cocktails. We had Sweetheart sangria and a non-alcoholic option of Passion Tea Lemonade.

Lemon Blackberry cupcakes were served for dessert. The custom cupcake toppers continued the raspberry color scheme even further. 

A party banner behind the bar completed the decorations. 

I'll leave you with some photos from the party. A great reason to get together and celebrate in the summer.

Supplies Used:
stamps: Papertrey Ink Limitless Labels, Round and Round
cardstock: Bazzill Basics
patterned paper: Bo Bunny Sophie Collection
dies: Nestabilities
punch: Stampin' Up
ribbon: Wrights
die cutter: Silhouette SD
acrylic paint: Plaid

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pay It Forward

I saw this on Kimberly's blog. I started following her blog when she was Mrs. Lemon on Wedding Bee. She found the idea on lilygrass. I thought it was a terrific idea to spread some handmade goodness around the world.
If you comment, please post this on your blog and keep pushing the love along (or if you’ve already done this on your blog, just say when you did!)
  1. I make a handmade gift for the first 3 people to comment.
  2. I have 365 days in which to send you the gift.
  3. The gift will be a total surprise.
  4. You keep this going by posting Pay It Forward on your blog

    (obviously, you must have an active blog to participate).
She also shared a wonderful story about a 7 year old who paid it forward that you may enjoy. So let's go pay it forward in September!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

We had a few bananas that were a little past prime. I'm not a fan of mushy bananas in my cereal so I took it as the perfect opportunity to try a recipe that I saw on the King Arthur blog

The damp weather hasn't helped the muffins keep the crunch tops. But a few minutes in a 350 oven crisps them up and makes the chocolate chips all melty and gooey. Delicious with a cup of coffee. I hope to someday take a baking class or two at King Arthur in Vermont. My friend MaryAnn learned how to make AMAZING croissants at King Arthur that are simply to die for. Maybe I should add that to my list of 100 Things to Do Before I Die?

Here's the recipe with the tweaks I made from the original.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (adapted from King Arthur)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup mashed banana, about 2 medium bananas
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar till smooth.
  3. Beat in the banana, then the egg and milk.
  4. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flours, stirring till smooth; don't over beat.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  6. Fill prepared muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with turbinado sugar. (Neat trick from King Arthur: let the batter rest for 30 minutes before baking which yields a nice round muffin top.)
  7. Bake the muffins for 20 to 23 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, when a toothpick comes out clean from the center
  8. Cool muffins on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

This month's Papertrey Ink blog hop challenge is to dress up, alter, change an ordinary brown lunch bag into a paper crafting work of art.

I tried a new banana chocolate chip muffin recipe this morning. I used the challenge to pretty up a bag to package up a few muffins for my mom. I ran the whole bag through my Cuttlebug to give it an embossed floral pattern.

Wouldn't this be a fun way to bring a homemade treat to a neighbor, new teacher or friend?

supplies used:

stamps: Papertrey Ink Just For You
embossing folder: Cuttlebug
ink: peony pigment (Colorbox) and black (Versafine)
patterned paper: Bo Bunny Sophie Stripe
cardstock: Bazzill
die cut: Nestabilities scallop circle
border punch: Fiskars