Sunday, July 26, 2009

Upcoming August SOTM

I know it's not August yet, but I couldn't wait to share a preview of the August Stamp of the Month from Close To My Heart! This set, "It's Your Day" is perfect for birthdays, parties and special occasions of all types. The versatile words and images will help you create invitations, cards and scrapbook pages for all of those special times! This set is only available from August 1-31, 2009 and with a minimum qualifying purchase, you can get your Stamp of the Month at a great discount or FREE! Contact me to get your set!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Park Layout

This spring, one of my favorite activities to do with my kids was to head over to one of our local parks. We are so blessed to have many parks to choose from within walking distance from our home, and many other great parks to drive to if we want.

This layout utilizes papers and stickease from the Unforgettable kit. It is a good example of a great layout using no stamping, and it came together so fast with the fabulous coordinating papers and stickease from CTMH. Our stickease are cardstock weight stickers in all sizes that make your artwork flawless and super easy. The colors and design are perfect for the photos of my swinging and park-going kiddos!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Emporium Easter Layout

Here's another layout I finished on my scrapbooking getaway. I originally did not create this layout for use with my family Easter photos, but with the birds and the colors, it worked perfectly. Emporium is one of my most favorite kits of all time from CTMH. I paired the Emporium background and texture papers with some stamps I made with the Bird Basics set and branches from the Aspiration set. This layout is from the Cherish book and I added an Edge Anchor with some Vineyard Berry Organdy ribbon for that finishing touch.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Super Bowl Layout

So, a couple of weeks ago I went on a fabulous scrapbooking getaway to the Oregon Coast in Lincoln City. It was a ton of fun and I got lots of pages completed and in my scrapbooks! I'll be posting lots of layouts in the next few weeks that I finished on this trip.

This first layout showcases a couple of my favorite techniques - one I've used for a long time (random stamping) and another that I've only started using fairly recently (stamp kissing).

I custom designed this entire layout to fit these special photos from this winter when my husband's favorite NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl again! I knew I wanted a layout in the bold Steeler team colors of black, yellow, white and gray, but I didn't have any patterned paper to match, so I created my own using the random stamping technique and my favorite football stamp set - Touchdown. I used Black, Grey Wool, Sunny Yellow and White Daisy carstock and ink pads, along with my handy Imagine book. To make the title, I stamped the letters using the Headline Alphabet stamp set and then "kissed" off some of the ink using the stamp from Touchdown with the field markers and lines on it. The result is a super-cool football themed effect on my letters!

I also used Black Bigger Brads and the wonderful new Foam Tape on this layout.

It is a great example of how you can use random stamping with a color combination to coordinate with your photos to make your own wonderful personalized patterned paper!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CTMH - July Special

If you've ever thought about doing what I do - becoming a consultant for Close To My Heart, this month is a great time with the special that CTMH is offering.

Choose your "Favorite Five" in July - add five favorite products to your New Consultant Kit for FREE! Become a Close To My Heart Consultant between July 1-31 and CTMH will send you your choice of five additional select products* for FREE, with no additional shipping/handling or tax! It's a limited opportunity you'll want to jump on right away!

Choose your "Favorite Five" from this list of products:
My Acrylix Thank You Stamp Set (retail value $22.95)
Magic Moments Scrapbook Kit (retail value $34.95)
Basic Textured Cardstock Combo Pack (retail value $14.95)
Life Delights Memory Showcase (retail value $12.95)
My Originals Hello Birdie Card Kit (retail value $12.95)
Creative Basics Silhouette Collection (retail value $8.95)
Heartfelt Whimsy Die-Cuts (retail value $9.95)
All-Out Adventure Rub-Ons (retail value $9.95)
Window Charms Squares (retail value $9.95)

*Limit of one item each, up to five items total, while supplies last. Select your Favorite Five during the online enrollment process.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Banana Cake

So, I tried a new cake recipe this week for a special dinner the night before my grandfather left - he is 89 and was here visiting from Santa Rosa, California. I've always loved banana cake and I thought I'd try a recipe I found in the Kraft Kitchens magazine awhile back. Well, it turned out fabulous, I must say. It got rave reviews from everyone, and my husband Tony said multiple times, "this is the best cake I've ever eaten in my life" - wow, the ultimate compliment! It was pretty easy as well. The sour cream makes it super moist.

Banana Sour Cream Cake - recipe from Kraft Kitchens Magazine
1 pkg (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup oil
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 oz powdered sugar (It originally called for 16 oz, I used less for a more cream cheese flavor)
1 cup walnuts or pecans finely chopped

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix, eggs, bananas, sour cream and oil with mixer on low until moistened, scraping bottom of bowl often. Beat on medium 2 minutes.
2. Pour into greased and floured 13x9 inch pan. Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on wire rack.
3. Beat cream cheese and butter with mixer on medium until blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition.
4. Remove cake from pan. Carefully cut cake crosswise in half using serrated knife.
5. Place 1 cake half, top-side down, on plate; spread top with frosting. Top with remaining cake half, top-side up. Frost top and sides.
6. Press nuts onto sides. Sprinkle top with additional chopped nuts if desired.

I'm off to finish the last piece of leftover cake now!

MIA - Again!

Wow, today is July 15th and my first post of the month! I should know better than to make promises on how frequently I would be posting on here! My reasons are many - but mainly I just need to make it more of a priority! Summer has been in full swing for our family - camping trip to Ft. Stevens, beach trip to Lincoln City, visit from my grandfather up here from California, swimming lessons for Alex and potty training for Ava. I've also been taking a few dance classes myself this summer, which I've been very thoroughly enjoying! It has been nice to be together as a family and have some relaxation time as well!

Thanks for checking my blog and to those of you who comment - I love to hear your thoughts on my posts, keep it up!

Artwork, photos, recipes, info all to come soon - and, a new CTMH catalog in the not so distant future!

Allison :)