Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Strawberry Heart Cookies From A Cake Mix

As we gear up for Valentine's Day, I wanted to test a new recipe.  I found this one on Pinterest and it sounded good. The cookies were also really easy: just three ingredients plus a cream cheese frosting.

After we mixed together the cookie ingredients (cake mix, eggs and shortening), we rolled them into small balls and pinched the ends to form a heart shape.

As the cookies cooled, we made frosting, then iced the cookies and sandwiched them together.

These were so fun and easy to make and look festive for the holidays.  I think the cookies would also work great as a single layer, iced with sprinkles, like a Christmas sugar cookie.

Here's the recipe.  It's by Mique Provost.

Ingredients for cookies:
Strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
¾ cup shortening (don’t use margarine)

Ingredients for frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
½  stick butter, softened
2 t vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Mix the cookie ingredients together.  Roll into balls.  Pinch one end to make a heart shape.  Bake for 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Cool. 

Mix frosting ingredients.  Add powdered sugar slowly to form taste and consistency you prefer. You may need only 3 cups.  Frost cookies and sandwich together. 

Linking this to Tip Me Tuesday

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Non-Traditional Valentine: Little Yellow Bicycle

With February 14th just two weeks away, I thought it I'd better get started on a card or two.  Today, I'm sharing a non-traditional Valentine.  

I love the pretty palette of Little Yellow Bicycle's Winterings line.  It's so soft and pleasing.  I think it makes a sweet Valentine, don't you?  The sentiment says: If kisses were snowflakes, I'd send you a blizzard. 

As a mom of preschooler, I'm thinking it could be a get-well card too.  We kiss our share of boo boos around here. 

I have some fun news to share today from Little Yellow Bicycle too. The manufacturer has invited me to join the "cycling team" for its upcoming collection, Fern and Forest.  I couldn't be more excited. Yay! 

I'm in great company.  Joining me to design with the Fern and Forest collections are:  Tracy Schultz, Krissy Clark McKee, Juliana Michaels, Jodi Wilton, Jennifer Beason, Sara Zenger, Diana Poirier and Traci Penrod.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Quilted Card: Simple Stories

Are you a scrap saver?  Generally I am not, but I tend to hang on to the bits and pieces from my 6 x 6 paper pads, especially if the sheet is still attached.

I was flipping through what was left of my Simple Stories Sn@p 6 x 6 pad the other day and thought it was a shame to let the little pieces go to waste. The paper is so fun and cheery.  

To make the quilt, I punched 16 squares, laid them in a grid on a piece of cardstock, then stitched them down, quilt style. I added a piece of coordinating ribbon from May Arts and a bit of twine from The Twinery. 

I punched a tag from grid paper and ran it through my printer to add the sentiment:  When life gives you scraps, make a quilt.  I left some space to add three small quilt blocks. 

I uploaded this card to Two Peas in a Bucket Sunday night and was surprised to pop over to the site on Monday and see that it was the featured project of the day. 

Linking this quilted card to Tip Me Tuesday.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Support & Encouragement: I'm All Ears

Hello and happy Monday!  Today, I have a card to support a friend going through a rough time.  I used a mix of lines from October Afternoon: Witch Hazel, Woodland Park and Midway.  

The sentiment says:  I'm all ears.  I ran the yellow tab through my printer then stitched it onto the tag. 

I love October Afternoon's chipboard.  They always have fun, whimsical designs. These little bunnies captured my heart right away. I think they'd be sweet on a baby card too. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great week. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Brrr Winter: January Sketch Challenge

Every time I use a sketch, I think: why aren't I using more sketches?  It's really wonderful to have a jumping off point for my design, even if the sketch is more of an inspiration than a direct map for my layout. 

I used the January sketch from My Creative Sketches for this winter page:

I love Winterings, this pretty, new line from Little Yellow Bicycle. It has such a soft color palette that's easy to use. It was perfect for my photo. 

This snowman cluster at the bottom was fun to make.  I pop-dotted the snowman sticker and added a twine scarf around his neck. 

Here's a closeup of the title area. 

This is the new sketch by My Creative Sketches. You can see the influence of the original sketch on my layout, but I did take a few artistic liberties. 

We'd love to have you join us for the new sketch challenge. As always, there's a wonderful prize up for grabs (see photo below).  You can find all the details on the My Creative Sketches blog. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Minestrone Soup: Kid-Friendly Meal

My favorite thing about January?  Soup in the Crock Pot!   There’s nothing better on a cold, dark night than a hearty bowl of homemade soup.

One of my family’s favorites is the tried and true Minestrone Soup.  My three year old loves this soup. It’s a great way to sneak some veggies into his diet.

I use this recipe from the little book that came with my Crock Pot.  I often change it a little, based on what's in the pantry, but the basic recipe is just killer.  

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup cabbage, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
30 ounces kidney beans, drained
29 ounces beef broth
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in a Crock Pot except the macaroni and Parmesan cheese.  Cover; cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Add cooked macaroni the last 10 minutes.  When ready, add Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Together: Pop Pop and Me

I really loved this Family Ties collection from Pebbles Inc. It's bold and colorful and boy-friendly. Perfect for scrapbooking these photos of my Dad with my son. I love to watch their relationship. 

The chipboard in this collection is so cute.  Here's a closeup of the tree:

And of the little birdie up top:

This Pebbles line was included in the January kit at My Creative Scrapbook.   I always love the kit, but I think this month's kit was my all-time favorite.  It wasn't theme-specific and was neutral enough (blues, greens and yellows) to work well with a variety of photos.  

The design team has a lot of fun tips and tricks for card-making, layouts and altered projects on the My Creative Scrapbook blog.  You can find it here

I always appreciate your visits.  Have a great week.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

At The Sea: Pebbles Family Ties

Today I have a layout from the January Creative Kit at My Creative Scrapbook, which features the Family Ties collection by Pebbles Inc.  The pretty blues and yellows were perfect for a beach layout.  

I have been wanting to scrap this photo of my Dad leading my son to the ocean's edge.  It's such a sweet capture of their relationship: tender and trusting.  

Even though the paper line didn't include anything beachy, I thought the kit's flowers rather matched those in my son's swim trunks.  And in this photo, my son is kind of like a baby bird leaving the nest.  :) 

I used the banners and white cardstock to give an airy, playful feel to the page. 

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a great week. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January Kit Reveal: My Creative Scrapbook

It's the 5th of the month and time to reveal the new kits at My Creative Scrapbook.  The kit club offers several different kits each month.  I worked with the Creative Kit, which features the new Family Ties collection by Pebbles Inc.  It's lovely! 

This is one of the projects I made with the kit.  

I love how versatile this kit was. The bright happy colors and patterns worked well with so many photos. Here, I documented my preschooler's love of Lego bricks.

To make the pennants, I used cocktail toothpicks (they're longer than standard toothpicks). I cut the triangles from patterned paper then pop-dotted them over the toothpicks. Easy peasy.

This is a photo of the kit. I'll be back on Monday with more My Creative Scrapbook projects. I hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Tag and A Card: October Afternoon

Before we get too far away from the holidays, I wanted to share a Christmas tag and a card that were published in the December 2012 issue of CARDS magazine. Both feature paper and embellishments from October Afternoon.

Up first is the tag: 

I used a bit of burlap and twine to give the tag extra texture.

Here's the card:

The little kraft bag on the front is designed to hold a gift card. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'll be back tomorrow with the reveal of the new January kits at My Creative Scrapbook.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Read To Me / Our Handmade Christmas

I hope your new year is of to a good start!  I wanted to share a couple of Christmas layouts that were recently published. 

Up first is Read To Me.

This was published in the December 2012 issue of Scrapbook Trends and features paper and embellishments from Little Yellow Bicycle.  I took these photos Christmas morning 2011. When my little boy, then 2, opened a new set of Thomas the Train books, he immediately went lap to lap and had everyone in the family read to him. I love his love of books.

The second layout is Our Handmade Christmas.

This was published in the Winter 2013 issue of Scrapbooking and Beyond and features October Afternoon. These little felt ornaments hang on my grandmother's tree. I remember sitting by her side as a young girl, making ornaments. It was a holiday tradition to make something new for the tree each year.  She's 90 now and it makes me smile to visit her and see her little tree and the ornaments still hanging that we made together so long ago. 

I was so blessed to have had a grandma who crafted with me.  Her stitches were straight and true. Mine were crooked and tentative but she instilled in me a love for homemade things. Thank you, Grandma.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! / MCS Sneak Peeks

Hello and Happpy New Year!  I always love the first day of January. There's something magical about the hope and promise of new beginnings.  I'm excited to see what 2013 will bring. 

And, with the first of the month, comes sneak peeks from the new kits at My Creative Scrapbook.  Here's what I had been working on during the last few days of 2012.

Do you recognize this collection?  It's a great one. I have enjoyed working with it so much.  The full reveals are Jan. 5.

Just for fun (not with the kit), I made a New Year Countdown card:

CS: Memory Box
PP: Echo Park
Stickers: Cosmo Cricket, Crate
Wood Veneers: Studio Calico
Twine: The Twinery
Sewing Machine: Bernina

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a wonderful new year! 
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