Monday, November 18, 2013

A Dart to My Heart

My husband and I celebrated our 7th anniversary at the end of October.  I can't believe we've been married that long already.  Time goes by so quickly, especially now that we are chasing after 3 handsome boys.  For his birthday back in September, I had attempted to get him a new set of darts.  Well, that didn't go over so well and they were exchanged for a pair of new workout shoes.  I decided to try again and do some online dart shopping.  Apparently darts come in different weights.  Instead of picking the wrong set AGAIN, I took the easy way out and just got him a gift card.  He hates gift cards - thinks it is a thoughtless gift.  To show I put some thought into it, I did research and suggested a particular dart set for him. The only reason I didn't purchase the set was because I was unsure of the weight.  This appeased him.  Plus this gave me an excuse to make a cute card to hold the gift card and to use my totally awesome anniversary gift.  

You see, my husband does put a lot of thought into his gift purchases.  For our anniversary, I always receive at least one gift that follows the anniversary gift list.  The modern gift for the 7th anniversary is desk sets.  He thought the perfect desk set for me would be a new Silhouette Cameo!!  I was so excited!!  He even gave it to me early so I had a weekend to play.  Does this man know me or what? 

Using my new Silhouette Cameo, I made this anniversary card for him.  I created the dart cut file from a free png file I googled.  It was so easy to do!  The sun burst paper is actually from a Project Life kit.  The heart is a wood piece I colored with distress stain and then covered with a Wink of Stella glitter brush pen (just to give it a little shimmer).  To make the dart realistic, I dry embossed the yellow piece with an argyle folder and then inked with Walnut Stain distress ink.  I also cut an extra tail piece that I adhered the center and folded up the edges.  I wrote the number "7" on each tail piece as a reminder of what anniversary we were celebrating.



Supplies: Black, yellow, silver, and blue cardstock (craft supply), wooden heart (Studio Calico), Wink of Stella Clear Glitter brush marker (Zig), journal card (Project Life), Smitty's ABCs (Lawn Fawn), Jet Black Archival Ink (Ranger), Fired Brick Distress Stain and Walnut Stain Distress Ink (Tim Holtz/Ranger), Argyle Embossing folder (Stampin' Up)

A simple, masculine card for my husband that he enjoyed.

TFL and keep creating!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

An Indian Inspired Wedding Card

As usual, we had a few weddings to attend to this summer.  One wedding was an Indian wedding, full of lively colors and such great fun!  We had such an awesome time.  At the time I was 8 months pregnant, but still got out on the dance floor.  I had to get my groove on (even if my preggo belly was moving about a beat behind)! 

Here is the card I made for the happy couple.  The picture doesn't do the colors justice, but I tried to match the vibrancy of the wedding invitation as much as possible.



Supplies: Gold cardstock (Recollections), Rich Razzleberry cardstock, scoring board, Together Forever stamp set, Fancy Fan embossing folder (SU), Gold ink (Encore), Gold glitter embossing powder (Zing/American Crafts), Embossing Diffuser (Tim Holtz/Sizzix)

You might have noticed I listed scoring board in the supplies.  I used it to create the matching envelope and envelope liner.  It is also a little hard to tell but the top layer is popped up with foam squares. 

A simple but elegant card, which I am entering into the Moxie Fab World All that Glitters is Gold Challenge.

TFL and keep creating!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pinterest Inspired - A Wedding Card

Today I wanted to share a wedding card I made for a co-worker.  The wedding colors were purple and black and I didn't want the card to be "girly" since it was for a guy.  I really liked these cards I found on Pinterest.




I combined the two ideas to create this card....
Supplies: Black cardstock (Recollections), Wisteria Wonder cardstock, embossing powder, Medallion stamp, Monogram stamp, Together Forever stamp, Wisteria Wonder ink (SU), circle punch (CM), black rhinestones (Kaisercraft), foam square adhesive (craft supply)
I love the monogram in the center of the medallion, which is also popped up.  Also the photograph doesn't capture the beauty of Wisteria Wonder from Stampin' Up.  It is such a beautiful color - a grayish purple. Subtle and not overpowering like darker or brighter purples, but not pastel like a lavender.

A few of us in the office had pitched in to get him a gift card as well.  On the left inside panel, I created a small pocket to hold the gift card.  On the right side, I add a square Wisteria Wonder panel that I left blank.  This left ample space for everyone to sign the card.

My co-workers liked it and so did the groom.  He was a little confused when I said I need to take a picture of it before he went home.  Then he cracked up after lunch before we got into our building, I pull my SLR out my bag and said "Let's take the picture real quick."  He wasn't expecting a big camera and me to be so serious about the lighting.

TFL and keep creating!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Christmas in July


It's time for Christmas in July!  CHA Summer is almost here and that means lots of new holiday products soon to debut!  I can't wait to see all the new lines.  Being from Texas, I appreciate winter/Christmas lines that don't focus too much on snow.  I don't see a lot of that in Houston so I gravitate more toward generic Christmas lines.  I would love for someone to do a tropical Christmas line!

Anyway, to start prepping, I thought I would show you a card I made last year.  It was inspired by a Tim Holtz Christmas tag he had done previously.


I wanted to do a card very similar to his tag - alcohol technique and all, but I didn't have enough time.  Plus I was making this card for a Christmas swap I was doing with my Stamp Club and I wasn't going to actually be there to explain/demonstrate the technique.  So I went a safer, simpler route - using a different set of Tim's wonderful products to create a similar look.  

Supplies: white card, miscellaneous green cardstock, white cardstock  (craft supply), Gumball Green and Cherry Cobbler cardstock (Core-dinations/SU), Cherry Cobbler ink (SU), Christmas Background texture fade, Festive Greenery and Tattered Banners decorative strips (Tim Holtz/Sizzix), Antique Linen distress ink (Tim Holtz/Ranger), Holiday Sayings stamp set (Hero Arts)

To make this card:
  1. Cover the front of the card with green cardstock.
  2. Cut a slightly smaller red cardstock rectangle.
  3. Emboss red piece.
  4. Using various pieces of green cardstock, die cut leaves/greenery.
  5. Leaving a gap at the top, adhere die cut leaves into a wreath shape on the red embossed panel. (Don't worry about getting the whole leaf to stay down.  Use enough adhesive so they don't fall and bend or roll the free edges to add dimension.)
  6. Tie bow from seam binding and use to fill in gap at top of wreath.
  7. Using white cardstock, die cut banner.
  8. Stamp sentiment in red and ink edges in brown on banner.
  9. Z-fold ends of banner and adhere across wreath (use one foam square in the center and adhere ends with regular adhesive).
  10. Adhere red panel to green panel.
Some fun alternatives or embellishments to add
  • Color the seam binding.  The plain white is too bright to go with the rest of the card.  Or you could not distress the banner and leave that pure white as well.  
  • Add some bling or stickles to the wreath. 
I thought it was a simple, fun card to make and fairly easy to mass reproduce (the greenery would be kinda of pain after a few cards).  Apparently it was a toss up with Stamp Club.  Everyone loved it, but a few thought it was a difficult card.   What do you think?  

TFL and keep creating!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Mind's Eye June 2013 Sketch Challenge

I had a little bit of extra time this week and decided to play along with the My Mind's Eye June Sketch Challenge.  It also helped that as soon as I saw the sketch, I knew the photos and papers I wanted to use.  That always makes the process go faster.

Here's the sketch

Cute right??  So here's my take using the fabulous Kate & Co collection...
Supplies: White and black cardstock (Recollections), Pattern papers, stickers, brads, enamel dots (MME), Sticker and alphabet stickers (Echo Park), Spray mist (October Afternoon)

These were some photos taken for Jacob's first birthday and they are two of my favorites! He can be serious and so happy and these two pictures really show that.  Don't they just look great with the Kate & Co collection?!?  Such a great collection to showcase my handsome boys!

TFL and keep creating!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pinterest Review: Chicken Parmesan Burger and Crispy Zucchini Parmesan Fries



When you find yourself in the mood for a burger, but don’t particularly want to spoil your diet, this Chicken Parmesan Burger fits the bill!  They were so yummy, my husband did not even complain that they weren't beef.  We've actually made them a few times since our first attempt.  The only thing we changed to the recipe was to add a bit more marinara.  I’m a sauce girl so I just wanted more.  You can use homemade sauce or a store bought one as long as it’s a favorite.  We've done both.  When we do store bought, we typically stick to the Classico brands.    

Here’s picture of our finished dish the first time we made it.  It really did taste as good as it looked.



The next time we made these burgers, I also tried another Pinterest recipe…Crispy Zucchini Parmesan Fries.
What a great pairing these two were!  The fries were being eaten as soon as they came out of the oven.  They barely made it to the dinner table.  Seriously, you forgot you were eating a vegetable.  Using Panko bread crumbs kept the fries crunchy even though they are baked.

Both of these items have made become regular meals at our house.

TFL and keep creating (even in the kitchen!)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pinterest Review: Spicy Chicken Rigatoni



At the Lala house, creative skills extend to the kitchen, not just for me but for my husband as well.  We love to cook and try out new things.  So when I saw this on Pinterest, I had to try it.  I mean its pasta (who doesn't love pasta), chicken (my favorite protein), and spicy (goes over real well in this Mexican/Cajun house).

No picture of our finished dish (I need to do better at taking pics of our meals), but here’s our review of it.  The recipe claims this is same dish you can get at Buca Di Beppo and is very spicy.  We did not find it to be spicy at all and I used more red pepper than the ½ tbs  in the recipe.  We are more cayenne, jalapeno pepper people.  For the marinara and alfredo sauces, we used Classico's Fire Roasted Tomato and Garlic and their Four Cheese Alfredo.  The meal wasn't bad, but it didn't “wow” us either.  We won’t make this version again.

Instead, we will continue to make our own take of Zio’s Spicy Chicken Pasta.  To make this, saute in a sauce pan some onions, either fresh tomatoes and jalapenos (we leave the seeds in, but adjust for your desired heat level) or a can of Rotel (whatever you have on hand), and chicken (cubed or strips) with a little bit of olive oil.  When the chicken is just about done, add a jar of Classico’s Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo sauce.  Simmer for about 10 minutes and then serve on pasta.  Delish!! You could add shrimp to the chicken or in place of the chicken.   This is definitely a favorite of ours and decided it was much better than this Spicy Chicken Rigatoni.

TFL and keep creating (even in the kitchen!)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Diaper Shower (Yes, I know it's been almost a year!)

Besides honoring and thanking all the men and women who have served or currently serve our country on Memorial Weekend, we also get to celebrate Jacob's first birthday.  Before I post pictures of his party, I figured I should finally share with you the shower we had in his honor.

To welcome the arrival of Jacob, my wonderful mom and aunts gave us a diaper shower.  All babies deserve to be celebrated whether they are the first, second, or tenth child (not that I'm planning for that many).  Since Jacob was our second boy, a diaper shower seemed most appropriate.  We had plenty of clothes and toys, but the disposable items - like diapers and wipes - were the most needed.   Once we decided on that, planning the party and theme was easy.

First on the agenda - invitations.  We wanted to incorporate a diaper as the invite.   I found several cute templates online, but those required hand cutting.  I wanted something quicker and easier - something I could do on my Cricut.   Using the Cricut Craft Room and the Creative Memories Stork's Delivery cartridge, I designed a diaper template with cut and fold lines.  Then I simply had the Cricut cut the design, I folded on the score lines, and taped the flaps down.  My diaper card was done!

Unfortunately, I didn't do a test card before I bought materials.  I had planned for 4 cards per 12" x 12" card stock.  To make that work, the diapers ended up much smaller than we intended.  Never fear though!  We decided to just make a rectangular piece that would slide inside the diaper.   This piece would contain the party information.

Here's the finished invite...

Supplies: Blue card stock (Bazzill), cream card stock (Recollections),Night, Night Moon stamp set (Papertrey Ink), Introducing stamp set (SU), button (Doodlebug Designs), Stork's Delivery (Cricut), Spice Tin ink pad (Jenni Bowlin/Ranger)

Aren't they too cute??  If you want to make your own version, click here for the Cricut Craft Room file.  With this file you can change the size and have your Cricut do most of the dirty work.  You will need to download the file onto your computer.  Then when you open Cricut Craft Room, simply import the file. With this file and the Stork's Delivery cartridge, you will be creating diaper cards in no time!

As for the rest of the party, we went for simple and cozy. 
  • A small cake with a diapered baby topper
  • In small pails next to the cake we had cake pops, which also served as the party favors. I added a rosette done in various baby boy papers to each pail.
  • For the edible fruit arrangement, I made a small pennant with Jacob's name.
  • Hanging from the chandelier are some handmade tissue flowers.







Aunt Jackie, Me, Jacob, Aunt Jeanette, and Mom (Roxanne)

Thanks to my mom and aunts for throwing a wonderful shower!
TFL and keep creating!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mother's Day Cards (Long Post)

This year, I actually started on my Mother's Day Cards early and made 14 cards to send out!  I wanted to recognize not only my own Mom, but also my Aunts and Godmother.  Each of them have played a vital role in developing me into the mother I am today.  For that I am extremely grateful.  I also wanted to send a note out to my close friends who are mom themselves.  For a couple of them, it is their first Mother's Day, so I really wanted to let them know I was thinking of them of this special occasion.

I wanted to make all the cards similar but each unique since I was making so many.  The majority of cards would follow a design from my Stamp Club.  Except that my Mom, an Aunt, my Godmother, and a good friend were in the same Stamp Club with me.  So they needed special cards.  Then my Mom gave my other Aunt the card we made in Stamp Club, so I couldn't give her a repeat card either!  The more I thought about  the more I wanted my Mom's card to be special as well.  I ended up with 3 different designs then.

With that out of the way, the next part was to pick paper and embellishments.  To quicken the process, I broke out my My Mind's Eye 6x6 paper pads I had been hoarding.  If Mother's Day cards weren't a good enough reason to finally use my papers, nothing ever would be!  Most of the cards use the Indie Chic Saffron 6x6 paper pad or the Indie Chic Citron 6x6 paper pad.  It was so easy matching papers with a pre-coordinated paper pad!

This first group of cards were inspired by this card from Pinterest.

The embossed honeycomb just spoke to me!  Since I mailed all my cards and I was making 3 copies, I decided against the metal brad and rosette.  Instead I just tied a simple bow.

  
Supplies:  Blank white card and envelope (my craft supply), pattern paper (MME Indie Chic Citron), label punch, stamp, ink, and ribbon (Stampin' Up) 


The next set of cards were inspired from a card I made at Stamp Club.  It was such a sweet, simple design I knew it would be perfect for mass producing.  And, I love making these little dresses.  Again, to keep things quick, I used one paper pad and a handful of different embossing folders.  Most of these have matching envelopes.  Also, if you they weren't stamped on the outside, then the sentiment is on the inside of the card.

  
Supplies:  Blank white card/envelope, rhinestones (my craft supply), pattern paper (MME Indie Chic Saffron), Dress it Up framelit, Flower Garden embossing folder, stamp, and ink (Stampin' Up) 



Supplies:  Blank white card/envelope, rhinestones (my craft supply), pattern paper (MME Indie Chic Saffron), Dress it Up framelit, Elegant Lines embossing folder, stamp, and ink (Stampin' Up) 


  
Supplies:  Blank white card/envelope, rhinestones (my craft supply), pattern paper (MME Indie Chic Saffron), Dress it Up framelit, stamp, and ink (Stampin' Up) 





Supplies:  Blank white card/envelope, rhinestones (my craft supply), pattern paper (MME Indie Chic Saffron), Dress it Up framelit, Framed Tulips embossing folder, stamp, and ink (Stampin' Up) 





Supplies:  Blank white card/envelope, rhinestones (my craft supply), pattern paper (MME Indie Chic Saffron), Dress it Up framelit, Elegant Bouquet embossing folder, stamp, and ink (Stampin' Up) 


This next card was supposed to my Mom's card, but it turned out more pink than lavender.  I really did like the look though and decided not to waste it.  So my Mom and an Aunt got similar cards.  The technique is super easy, which I learned about on Pinterest.  Here is the inspiration pin...



I embossed some vellum and then on the back side I used my Copics to quickly color.  You don't have to be perfect with the coloring or spend a lot of time on it.  The result is a very subdued watercolor effect.  Don't you just love it?


   
Supplies:  Blank white card/envelope, vellum (my craft supply), pattern paper (MME Indie Chic Saffron), Flower Garden embossing folder, stamp, and ink (Stampin' Up), seam binding (Snug Hug), assorted markers (Copic), white cardstock (Recollections)


This is the card I ended up sending to my Mom. In some ways it doesn't look as fancy as the other cards, especially since my paper choices were more subtle.  But to me, it is more her and that's what the day is all about - her!   

  
Supplies:  Blank white card/envelope, vellum (my craft supply), pattern paper (MME Indie Chic Saffron), Flower Garden embossing folder, stamp, and ink (Stampin' Up), seam binding (Snug Hug), assorted markers (Copic), white cardstock (Recollections)

I hoped you enjoyed your Mother's Day and thanks for sticking with me for this entire post!  Each card was its own beauty that I had to share.

TFL and keep creating!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hey Friend! Long Time No See

So it's been a while since I posted.  Life tends to get busier than usual starting in September. The hubby's and my birthdays are in September.  Plus it is the end of the fiscal year at our jobs, which means I work alot from then until October.  The end of October sees our anniversary and annual children's Halloween party...not to mention Halloween itself.  Fall craft shows start around then too, so I'm busy trying to prepare for them.  Then comes Thanksgiving, followed quickly by Timothy's birthday and Christmas festivities.  Before I know it, Christmas is here along with New Year's.  And to top it all off, this year we discovered I was expecting again.  So I needed some time for a minor freak-out in there too.  All is good now as I prepare for Jacob's first birthday (I can't believe it) and gear up for being pregnant during a Texas summer (something I have always dreaded)!

Despite all of this, I have been busy crafting as much as time allows.  Typically it has been in preparation for one event or another, but I've gotten some other things done too.  For a while I'll be playing catch up showing off my creations.

First up is the cover to Project Life 2013!  I started Project Life in 2012 and am behind.  I still got more documented in one year than I have in the past. So I decided to keep trying. One thing I did learn is the variety of pocket sizes didn't work for me. One half of page always worked for the photos I had (hence why I chose it), but the back-side of the page didn't necessarily match the next week's photos.  This became a major stumbling block for me personally.

What's a girl to do?  This post from My Mind's Eye blog really helped me.  For 2013 I've decided to stick with 4x6 mini-pages.  I only order those pocket pages for Project Life, the Seafoam Core Kit, and the Seafoam 12x12 paper pack.  My plan is to make 4x6 pages to use with wallet photos or for journaling or use 4x6 photos.  I also am not going to force myself to use two pages for a week or even one page. I'll just create as many mini-pages as need to tell the story of that week.  Maybe its just one with all journaling because I sucked at taking pictures that week.  Maybe it is 3 pages worth because we had lots going on.   Who knows?  I certainly don't. I do know that instead of trying to fit into some box, I'm going to fit the  box around me.  Hopefully this will keep me better on track for 2013.

Here is the cover page for The Lala Family Project Life 2013 ...




Supplies: Seafoam Core Kit (Becky Higgins Project Life), Dew drops, Alphabet stickers (Thickers by American Craft)
Family photo by A Joy Photography

I love the simplicity of it.  The family photo is printed to 8"x 10", which I cut into quarters.  To make each piece fit in the pocket, I add a thin strip of a card from the Seafoam Core Kit.  The two cards at the bottom are from the Core Kit as well.  Some Thickers for our family name and year and some dew drops complete the page. Nothing too fancy, but something very us!

As always, TFL and keep creating!