Christmas Out of the Box

On July 25, a stamp company I like was having a “Christmas in July” sale.  As I went and perused their adorable Christmas images, I thought how cute they are, but how they almost all included snow.  Now, I was born and raised in the desert.  Granted, our desert has gotten snow a few times in my life, but usually not enough to stick once the sun comes up.  So, as much fun as it is to see snow in movies or pictures, maybe drive a couple hours up north to get out and play in it for a bit, it really isn’t a part of my life.

When I make a snow person card, I tend to use brown and make them tumbleweed people. I do have a friend that LOVES snow people, so I generally make a few cards with actual white snowmen and send her family one.  I’d be willing to bet those of you that live where it snows really don’t want most of your winter and Christmas cards to show you MORE snow, too.  (I am so very glad I live in the heat rather than where it snows.)  So, I suggest we make at least a few Christmas cards that are out of the trend of snow and red and green.

I have made a couple of Safari Christmas cards, recently, and wanted to give you an idea of what I mean.

Products Used:

  • White card stock (??)
  • Green card stock (??)
  • Memento Tuxedo Black ink
  • Scissors
  • Guillotine paper cutter
  • Scotch Adhesive: tape runner & 3D mounting
  • Stamp sets all from Gina K. Designs:
    • A Little Something
    • Wild About You
    • Holiday Tags
    • Scooter Diva
    • Seasonal Labels
    • The Good Life
  • Koh-i-Noor woodless coloured pencils
  • Various Gina K. Designs inks: Sweet Mango, Sweet Corn, Grass Green, Kraft, Powder Blue
  • Sponge daubers

To start, I formed my card base, which was 5-1/2″ by 8-1/2″, folded in half.  I also cut a piece of green card stock to 5-3/8″ by 4-1/8″.  Another piece of white card was cut to 5-1/4″ by 4″.  On that smallest piece of white card, I stamped the elephant and tree from the Wild About You set.  That gave me my “safari” background.  On some scraps of white card, I also stamped the little Santa head from the Holiday Tags set, and the trees from The Good Life set.

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Using some colored inks (just various Gina K. Designs colors), I stamped the presents from the A Little Something and Scooter Diva sets.  Then, I colored.  I used colored pencils to color in the hat from the Santa head, the large tree from the 2 trees, the elephant and the tree.  Then, I used some sponge daubers to use the listed inks and shade in my background.

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I very carefully sponged a bit in the white spaces in the tree and between the elephant’s legs.

Using sharp scissors, I carefully trimmed out the Santa hat, the large tree and the presents (which I had also colored with pencils).  With all my pieces ready to go, I started assembling.  The green layer was adhered to the base card front, with my “safari” panel on top of that.  Just before mounting, I added the sentiment.  Then I used some 3D mounting tape to adhere the hat to the elephant and the “Christmas tree”.  Some of the presents were adhered with tape runner, while others had mounting tape.

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Now I have a fun Christmas card with no snow, and not done in the traditional red and green.  In person, you can see all the depth with the tree, hat and presents.

Take the time to try something different with images, than what you usually see.  Here’s another one I did a while ago, that I really like.

10-17-14 SZ Funny

Thanks for spending some of your valuable time with me today.  Go enjoy the rest of your week and remember to think outside the ordinary.

Zig Zag Aperture

My husband was reading a book last weekend, that I asked to see.  Not because the book interested me, it was the look of the cover.  So, I designed a card to look similar to the cover.  However, I added a fun fold to it for a bit more fun.

To start, I cut a piece of lighter card stock (apx. 85lb) to 11″ x 5-1/2″.  With the 11″ horizontal, I scored at 1-1/4″, 3-3/8″, 7-5/8″ and 9-3/4″.  (This makes an A2 sized card – 4-1/4 x 5-1/2.)  As I was trying to recreate the book cover and I love the colors together, this base piece was a turquoise color.  I also took an 8-1/2 x 11″ piece of black card stock and sprayed both sides with Perfect Pearl mist.  (I only used about 1/4 of the sheet.)  I cut off a 5-3/8″ strip and cut the following pieces with that as the height: two 1-1/8″ strips and two 2″ strips.

The base piece was folded as follows: the first and last score lines were mountain folded, with the two inner score lines valley folded.  I then adhered the black pieces to the top of the sides that would be showing when the card is folded.

7-18-16 Fold Challenge 1

I then took 3 sequential nested diamond dies.  You can use whatever shape you want.  Using the largest and smallest dies, I cut out a diamond frame from silver shimmer/shiny paper.  Line them up on the paper and use some removable tape to keep them in place while running through your pressure machine (I used a Cuttlebug).  I also used the largest die to cut a triangle out of the leftover strip of turquoise card.  The middle sized diamond, I used to cut an aperture (hole) out of the front of the card.  First, I folded the card closed, then lined up my die and used some removable tape to hold it in place on one side.  Now, I tried cutting through the folded section, but that was incredibly difficult with 4 pieces of heavy paper/card and I had to finish it with scissors.  On the other side, I stretched out the paper to cut and that worked great.

7-18-16 Fold Challenge 2

7-18-16 Fold Challenge 3

To resemble the book cover, I wanted gears on the bottom of my aperture, so I ran my turquoise diamond through my Cuttlebug in a gear embossing folder.  I then lightly rubbed a black ink pad over the top of it.  That piece I lined up on the right side at the bottom of the opening.  It is adhered on the inside behind the diamond cutout.  The aperture rim, or the silver diamond, I adhered on the top section on the left.  You’ll notice that either by not lining my die up quite right, or running it through repeatedly with too thick of a stack, or finishing it off with scissors, I wound up cutting through the edge on the left side.  As I put the silver frame on top of that, it held it together and you can’t tell.  I did put a dot of glue on the back to hold the 2 points down and let that dry before folding.

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To center my stamp, I closed the whole card up and put the stamp where I wanted it, before inking it.  As the gears were embossed and inked, it was easy to see where I needed to stamp, and was able to lay out that piece flat before stamping.  On the book cover, there was a small symbol in white, but with the sparkle of the Perfect Pearls on the black, I wanted a bit of sparkle, so stamped it in gray ink, then traced over the top with a Sakura Stardust pen in clear.  You can’t read it well, so stamping in white probably would have worked better, but when you turn the card a bit, the words catch the light and sparkle, which is fun.

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I realize these aren’t the greatest pictures, but you can at least get the idea.  The sentiment is centered in the aperture when the card is closed completely.

I hope you try this and with my mistakes pointed out, can make it much easier than I did.  It really was quite simple and fun.  My husband thought it looked amazingly like the book cover.  I didn’t read the book, but my husband enjoyed it.

Book Cover

Thanks for spending some time with me today.  Have a wonderful rest of the day.

Cobb Chicken Salad Recipe

This was a really good Chicken Salad we had last night, so I thought I’d share the recipe.  It is from the June/July 2007 issue of Cook’s Country.

Cobb Chicken Salad

Makes about 6 cups, enough for 6 sandwiches.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 5 cups cooked chicken breast meat (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper (to taste – I put in the measurements I used)
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Mix mayonnaise, cheese, sour cream, and lemon juice in large bowl until combined (I put the salt and pepper in here).  Add eggs, avocado and chicken, then toss gently until coated.  Season with salt and pepper (I put it in above instead).  Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.  Serve or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

If making in advance, refrigerate bacon separately.

I hope you enjoy this.

Thanks for spending some of your valuable time with me today!

God Hit Me On The Head

Yep, He did.  Sometimes He has to in order to get my attention.  Not that I didn’t think I was paying attention.  But. . .

Yesterday was the 3rd day in a row of fighting high blood sugars.  They would be fine every so often, but then get really high and not come down for hours, if at all.  For me, that is both physically and emotionally taxing.

Anyway, I was also very busy, which added to the frustration.

To make a long story short(er), I told my folks what I was up to yesterday afternoon, which included an explanation of something that wasn’t necessarily bad, but they didn’t need to hear.  Neither did my niece who came up while I was talking with them, or the other gentleman that was nearby.  The hit on the head came last night when I started to do my Bible study.  Crud.  I should have not talked to another person about what was going on, I should have just talked to God about it.  Him and only Him.

My devotion this morning was about talking to God about each and every little thing.  Another hit.

Then, on the way to work this morning, there was at least 1 song, if not 3, that had to do with talking to God.  Hit again.

Now, I tend to talk to God about pretty much everything, on a pretty constant basis.  However, this weekend, I let not feeling good and busyness get in the way.  Not good.

After the 3 hits in a row, I’m thinking I really need to pick up my journal again and start writing letters to God each and every evening about everything that has gone on throughout the day.  This is in addition to praying about everything as I make my way through the day.

Last night I did ask for forgiveness.  I also asked that He let me know if I need to apologize to anyone else about it.  So far, I haven’t seen that, but life isn’t over, yet.  (Yes, I know I’m going to heaven after my physical death, so I know that life doesn’t ever end.  That’s the point.)

This was just a bit about me and what I’m going through right now.  I figure there is probably someone else out there that needs to hear that they’re not alone in this, or I wouldn’t have felt the need to share another of my shortcomings.

On a totally different note (this one’s good), a group of us from church got together on Saturday evening and we got into a discussion about poop (think Squatty-Potty commercials).  Sounds crazy and typically not something I talk about.  Ever, with anyone.  However, I laughed a lot and had a great time.  That was a definite positive in the weekend.

Thank you for spending some of your precious time with me today.  I hope this encourages you in some way.  If in no other way but knowing that Christians are just regular people with horrendous moments and good moments, too.  We just know that God is here to help us and we trust that He has already forgiven us.  If you don’t know God, I encourage you to get to know Him, as His help and knowing I’m forgiven is the greatest relief you can possibly imagine.  And, He offers it to you, too.  Yep, you.

Worship in Tears

This post is all about me, so just pass it on by if you’re not interested in ramblings.

This morning, I was in a building with a lot of other people worshiping and praising God.  This building was full of people that I care about deeply and I know quite a few of them care about me, as well.  As we were praising God in song, a couple of the songs hit me hard.  The sermon today really hit me hard, too.  I have to say, I’m not one to cry, but I was really glad that the lights were low and it was a rainy day, which made it even darker, ’cause the tears were falling today.

There are two things that I am desperate for from God.  One of them is something that hits me pretty hard every so often, but most of the time I just figure it’s one of those things that God knows wouldn’t be good for me to have and I’m fine with it.  Through worship of God today, I wonder if maybe having that one thing I’m desperate for would inhibit a closer relationship with God.  Usually it’s viewed as something that is good and helps people in their relationship with God.  I’m not most people, so maybe that’s not true for me.  Anyway, I’m going to try and let go of that desire.  So, if you worship God, the creator of all that exists from the beginning to the end of time in any and all realities/universes/dimensions, etc., the I AM, please pray with me that I’ll be able to let that desire go completely.

The second thing that I am desperate for from God is something that has to do with 3 other people and their relationship with God.  That one I know is within God’s will and I will keep praying for until it happens or I die.  Well, I’ll still be talking to God about it after I die, so that one’s not stopping.

And, no, neither of these things has to do with my health.  My health is what it is.  I pray about it and trust that it is in God’s hands.

Now, I’m done rambling.  There aren’t specific, ’cause you don’t need to know them to pray.  God’s amazing in that he knows exactly what’s needed, even when we don’t.  I’m hoping the tears are done and gone.  For those of you that actually made it through this, thank you for listening.  Sometimes, talking with someone else is what we need, and today, I needed to talk.  Writing it down is nice, ’cause then I can erase what comes out, before I’ve said too much.

Thank you for spending some of your precious time today with me.  Have a great rest of the day.  I appreciate your prayers and I will be praying for you, as well.

Girls With Curls Review

I was given 3 Original Dippity-Do, Girls With Curls products by Naturally to try and then review.  This post is about how the product.

3-13-16 Girls With Curls

First is the Girls With Curls: Curl Defining Cream, which is what I used first.  This was thinner/runnier than I was anticipating, but it seems to do a great job adding the moisture my curly hair craves.  It smells like a nice fresh peach, not the overdone peach fragrance, just light and yummy.

That was followed with the Girls With Curls: Light Hold Gelee.  I have never been fond of using any type of gel, as my hair always winds up crunchy, no matter how little I use.  However, this product did not do that, at all.  Granted, it had the same crunchy wet look, until my hair was completely dry, which takes at least 3 hours, but it had ZERO crunch.  When my hair finally dried completely, it didn’t have the wet look, either.  My hair holds the curl, or, on sections I pulled straight, held the straight, really well, but is nice and soft.  It also has that nice fresh peach smell.

For a few days, I used just the first 2 products, and my hair looked and felt good.  Then I tried the third product, the Girls With Curls: Curl-Boost Spray.  This did help it look a bit shinier and my hair was quite soft and moved around easily.  Yep, this one also had that wonderful fresh peach smell.

There is almost nothing that is made with the purpose of keeping hair frizz-free that works on my hair.  I have found a couple of items, but within a couple months of using them, the frizz comes back.  I have no clue why, yet.  So, was my hair completely frizz free with these products?  No, but it wasn’t horrendous, either.  And, like I said, that has something to do with me, not the product.

These are definitely good products that I will continue using.  The peach smell is a wonderful benefit, too.  It isn’t a fake, perfume like smell, which I hate, it just smells like you took a bite of a nice fresh, ripe peach.  It isn’t overpowering, just a light scent.  I love how my hair feels while using the product, too.  So, I do recommend these.

Here’s a picture where you can see how the back looks after it is completely dry.

3-13-16 Girls With Curls Dry

Not the greatest pictures in the world, but you can see just the light frizz, and how it looks.

Thanks for spending some time with me today.  If you have curly hair and are wondering about product, I hope this helps.


Yo Yo Spinner Card

I learned how to do this technique from a SplitCoastStampers Tutorial by Deb Valder.  This is my how to on it.

First, you need a panel that will be popped up from your card base.  You will need to have that panel stamped or decorated.  It will need to be popped up off your card base.  You will also need your spinning piece, which can be a part of your panel image, or just something separate you want to spin.  You will need a plain stamped and cut piece, and a finished stamped and cut piece.  You will also need a ROUND pop dot, two round pieces of pretty heavy acetate, some strong adhesive, a brad, about 6 inches of thin ribbon and two heavy pieces, like buttons, for the pull.

Yo Yo 1

Yo Yo 3

Now, you need to poke a hole through the center of the 2 acetate pieces, the unfinished spinning piece and the pop dot.  You also want to figure out where you want your spinning piece on the panel and poke a hole there, as well.

Yo Yo 2

Now, put your brand through the unfinished spinning piece.  Then take off the covering from one side of the pop dot and slide that onto the brad, adhered to the back of the unfinished piece.  Make sure you put one end of your ribbon between those two pieces, so it is adhered well.  Next, put one of the acetate pieces on, so it adheres to the other side of the pop dot.  Then, put the next acetate piece on against the first acetate piece.  This is how it will spin.  On top of that acetate piece, use some strong adhesive, glue dots, or something strong.

Yo Yo 6

Now, you will take this entire piece and put the end of the brad through the hole in your panel.  The bottom acetate piece should adhere to your panel.  Flip the panel over and open up the brad.  Do NOT try to squish it to flatten it.  It needs to be open, so it doesn’t pull back through the hole, but be free enough for the piece on the front to spin.

Yo Yo 7

Now, you want to put your heavier “pull” pieces on the front and back of the free end of the ribbon.  (You could also use twine, or yarn instead of the ribbon.)

After the front panel is done, you will flip it over and put 3D tape on the back.  I like to put it all around the edges, around the area where the brad is, leaving room for it to spin, as well as in other large open areas.

Yo Yo 8

You can center that on the front panel of the card.  In the above photo, I have the card open, so you can see the inside.

The last step is to adhere your finished spinning piece on top of the unfinished piece with the brad through it.  Just line it up and stick it together.

Yo Yo 9

Yep, it is as simple as that.  You just turn your spinning piece to wind it up, then the recipient can pull the dangling piece.

My video won’t link, but you can see it on my YouTube channel.  (Beware, the music is really loud.)

Thanks for spending time with me today!