Project Life Process: February 2013 part 1

Ok, so I’m just a bit behind…. well more like 1 year and 7 months behind, but hey, who’s counting!?!  I don’t scrapbook in order by any means, so this is just one month that needs to be done – better now than never!

PL Feb 2013a title

I started the monthly pages for my scrapbook album today for February 2013. I will have a left and a right side Project Life style spread, as well as 4 12×12 layouts in-between those two PL style pages. Confused yet? Once I get it all together, I’ll show you it in my album.

Since there are so many pages involved I’m going to do this in parts. This first part is the left side spread for the Project Life style pages – this includes the title card for February 2013.

PL Feb 2013a 2

PL Feb 2013a 3

PL Feb 2013a 4

PL Feb 2013a 5

PL Feb 2013a 6

PL Feb 2013a 7

PL Feb 2013a 8

PL Feb 2013a 1

To complete this I’ve used a variety of products… (this does not include the products used for the title card since it was completed prior to starting this page)

  • Me & My Big Ideas – Birthday themed cards (3×4 multi-colored striped cards)
  • Me & My Big Ideas – Summer themed cards (4×6 multi-colored diagonal striped card)
  • Echo Park Paper Co – For the Record 4×6 Journaling and Accent cards (pink floral 4×6 card)
  • Glitz – Wild & Free Bits and Pieces (3×4 ♥ This)
  • Simple Stories – Everyday 3×4 Sn@p! Cards (3×4 woodgrain card)
  • Echo Park Paper Co – Hello Summer 4×6 Journaling and Accent cards (small polka dots)
  • Becky Higgins Project Life Cards – 5th & Frolic 3×4 cards (pink with stitched hearts and “remember these moments” cards)
  • American Crafts – best of Dear Lizzy papers
  • We R Memory Keepers – Notable ‘Listed’
  • American Crafts – Confetti (pink stars)
  • Colorbok – Victorian Parlour metal accents
  • Twine and Ink – Puffy Stickers
  • embroidery floss
  • Pick Your Plum – washi tape (black and green tapes)
  • Freckled Fawn – washi tape (grey dots tape)
  • Fancy Pants Designs – Swagger label stickers
  • My Mind’s Eye – Indie Chic Saffron “Free Spirit” label stickers
  • My Mind’s Eye – Notable “Memo” label stickers
  • My Mind’s Eye – The Sweetest Thing Bluebell “Smile” stickers
  • Simple Stories – Sn@p! label stickers
  • Studio Calico – Clean Slate Color Theory alpha stickers
  • Corner Chomper – 1/4″ corner rounder
  • Scotch – double sided tape
  • Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue
  • tape runner
  • paper trimmer/scissors

That’s a long list I know!  But I’m guessing it could have been longer :)

And, lastly…. here is the video to see the scrapbook process…

Thanks for joining me today!!

Recipe: White Chocolate Pecan Cookies

I love white chocolate… like LOVE it – more so than milk chocolate.  So today I wanted to share a new cookie recipe with you all – it’s my take on a white chocolate chip cookie with pecans.

White Pecan title

Here’s what you need to get started…

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (better freshly chopped – it brings out more of the natural flavor)

White Pecan 1

Start by pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now grab your mixer… mine of choice is my KitchenAid mixer (I’ve had this thing for over 10 years now!)

White Pecan 2

AND your helper… (who always has this cheesy smile, haha!).

[A tip for baking with young children - make sure they are standing on a steady stool or chair, have all the ingredients already measured out in their own little bowls or containers, and give them a spoon to hold - it keeps them busy and feeling like they are being helpful!]

White Pecan 3

First, in your mixer, beat the shortening and the butter on high until smooth

White Pecan 4

Add the sugar (both the granulated and the brown sugars) and baking soda – beat until well blended (you may need to scrap the sides occasionally to ensure it’s all being well mixed)

White Pecan 5

Add the eggs and vanilla – again, beat with your mixer until well blended

White Pecan 6

Slowly, stir the flour in using your mixer – I’ve found it best to split the flour in half and mix between each addition — also, keep an eye on your mixer, the batter will be getting thicker as you go so you may need to switch to hand-mixing at some point if need be

White Pecan 7

Add the white chocolate chips and the pecans – stirring with the mixer again (keeping an eye out in case the mixer can’t handle the thick batter)

White Pecan 8

These are so my favorite cookies… I’m telling you!!

Now just form small dough-balls and place on your parchment covered cookie sheet to bake in the oven.

White Pecan 9

Bake for about 11 minutes and then ENJOY!

White Pecan 10

This recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies – I made them into small cookies so after you count all the ones I ate as I took them off the cookie sheet it was about 6 dozen cookies!  We made these to take to a Labor Day cookout with some friends – they were a hit for both adults and children.

Let me know what y’all think of them!

Layout Process (in real time speed): Vacation Tradition

It’s been awhile since I did a scrapbook layout process video for you guys so I thought I’d share my most recent layout with you all.  It’s a photo from way back when… in well 2005 – I say 2006 in the video and that’s even what I write on the layout, but after speaking with  my husband, we determined it was actually in 2005… oops!

Vaca Trad 1

It’s not my favorite photo of us, but it does tell a story.  We (Ernest, I, and our kids) have an annual tradition to go on vacation for a week in July every year.  It started with this trip – a trip with Ernest’s family to Orlando in 2005 (before we were even engaged).  Thus… Vacation Tradition is the title of this layout.

Here are some closer photos of the completed layout…. (the video will be posted at the end of this blog post – just scroll down if you want to start there)

Vaca Trad 2

Vaca Trad 3

Vaca Trad 4

Vaca Trad 5

I chose mostly navy blue, grey, lime green, and pops of white for this layout – a combination I hadn’t yet used.  Now that the layout is complete I can say that I do like how the colors look together.  The brightness of the green is offset by the darkness of the navy, then complemented by the softness of the grey – none of the colors compete with each other, which makes them work well together on one layout.

The supplies I used are…

  • Papers:
    • Limeade (American Crafts)
    • Ash (American Crafts)
    • Stormy Dark (Bazzill) – the base of the layout
    • Whisper (October Afternoon)
    • As Seen on TV (Studio Calico)
    • Archive (We R Memory Keepers)
    • Snapshots ‘Borders’ (Bella Blvd)
    • Listed (We R Memory Keepers)
  • Other embellishments:
    • washi tape (Freckled Fawn)
    • White DIY enamel dots
    • Kraft tag 2×4.25″ (Recollections)
    • Label die cuts (Life Love Paper)
    • Digits circle chipboard (Studio Calico)
    • Puffy heart stickers (Twine & Ink)
  • Alphas:
    • Vellum alpha stickers (Studio Calico)
  • Ink & Stamps:
    • Versamark Watermark stamp pad
    • Technique Tuesday – Family Circle by Ali Edwards
    • Zig Writer – Pure Black
    • Zing! embossing powder – Opaque White (American Crafts)

The video…

I hope you all enjoyed!!

Nail Tutorial: Glittered Nails

Recently I’ve been scouring Pinterest for nail art ideas… SIMPLE ideas, I’m no artist at all!  I came across a few photos that showed glitter on nails by using a paint or make-up brush.  Now, when I clicked on the photos to see the tutorial, there was not one.  I found like 4 different photos of this same thing with no link to a blog or tutorial to show it in detail, bummer!

I find this interesting… of course there are glittered polishes but I thought I’d like to try this with a brush.  I have a wide range of colors of fine glitters so if this looks good, it really will open up some options for me with  my polishes!

Glittered title

So we are going to learn together and see if this works.

The supplies I started with were…

  • base coat
  • top coat
  • color polish (I’m using a very VERY dark purple that looks almost black)
  • glitter (I chose white as an offset to the dark polish)
  • brushes
  • nail polish remover

Glittered supplies

First I started with freshly manicured nails and painted a base coat, followed by one coat of color polish.  This color has such great coverage there was no need for a second coat – if your color is a bit sheer you will want to apply a second coat.

Glittered colorJulep August Padma

(I went outside to take a photo of this color – Padma – to see if you can see the actual purple in the color… but it still looks black in the photo)

Next, polish the nails with a coat of the top coat – but do each nail one at a time.  Take the glitter and pour out a pile on a scrap of paper so you can use it easily.  Use a brush to dab in the glitter and dab on the nail in the wet top coat.

Glitter dab

This is hard to show on camera, but there is a video at the end of this post where I showed it on video on YouTube.

The photos I saw on Pinterest (which of course I can’t seem to find anymore, but it’s in my head!), the glitter was more concentrated towards the tip of the nail so that is what I attempted to do as well as I dabbed the glitter on my nails.

Lastly, put a final top coat on the nails.  Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat is by far my favorite… I’m almost to the bottom of the bottle and that will be the first time I’ve completely used up a nail polish before it dried up.

Glittered top coat

And that’s pretty much it!  Depending on how thickly you dabbed the glitter on, you may need a second coat of the top coat to seal it all in.

Glitter final

I can see this done for a wedding or maybe prom – very pretty and elegant, but simple, especially if you use a lighter base coat like a champagne or gold and then use a pale glitter.

Here is the video – it is much easier to see the process in the video…

I hope this gives you all some ideas!

Recipe: Cranberry Coconut Macaroons

Ooohhh Coconut Macaroons…. oooohhh Cranberry Coconut Macaroons!!  I love coconut, can you tell?  Mix it with one of my favorite snacks – dried cranberries – and we have a winner!

Macaroons title

These are delicious.  Like, for real, delicious.  And super easy.  So it really hits to marks in my book – easy and yummy.

You only really need 5 ingredients, and two of them are extracts:

Macaroons 1

  • 14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 14 oz package of flaked coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dried cranberries (this is really measured to taste, so if you want a lot of cranberries add more)

Macaroons 2

First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Next, in a large bowl mix all the ingredients together.  You could use I mixer I suppose, but it worked just fine for me with a large spoon.

Macaroons 3

Now, line your baking pan with parchment paper – this is CRITICAL!

Scoop out your coconut ‘batter’ and spoon onto the parchment covered pan.  Ok, so here’s where it really just depends on what you want.  I like my macaroons a bit tighter so they hold together so I just use my hands.  But you are more than welcome to use a ice cream scoop.  Just make sure you kind of pat each spoonful down to keep it a bit compact.

Macaroons 4

Bake for 15-17  minutes – the coconut on top will be slightly toasty.



Macaroons 5

Once you remove from the oven, take the entire piece of parchment paper off the pan and lay on your countertop or wire rack.  Since you are using parchment paper you can just leave them on the paper until they are completely cooled.

Now, remove from paper and enjoy!!  I haven’t tried any others, but this would be delicious with chocolate drizzled on top, or maybe with some almond slivers.  The possibilities are endless!

Card Tutorial: Ribbon Stitched Thank You card

I have another thank you card for you all today.  To be honest with you, I’ve had a hard time making cards recently that I’m happy with so I’m trying a few new techniques to try to jump-start my creativity.

A few posts ago I made a card using tulle on the background of the card (go here if you’d like to check it out).  That was a complete success.  Today I’m going to use a bit of ink with a mask and some ribbon stitched on the card.  Keep reading to see how it turned out…

Ribbon 1

Today’s card again started with the Jolee’s Boutique (by EK Success) Card Sentiment Stickers – Floral Card Sentiments embellishment pack.  I found another ‘thank you’ sentiment in it.  When I was taking it out of the package these two stickers landed on top of each other and just seemed to ‘nest’ perfectly on top of each other so I stuck with it.

Ribbon 4

Here are all the supplies I used to make this card…

  • white cardstock
  • orange cardstock (base)
  • Recollections The Pet Pad – 8″x8″ paper pad from YEARS ago
  • Memories dye ink in Mango
  • Plaid stencil page – small scallop border
  • miscellaneous ribbon and my sewing machine
  • embroidery floss
  • glue/tape

If you’d like to see how this card came together watch the video…

The measurements for the card are:

  • card base – 4 ¼ x 5 ¼” – trimmed to 4×5”
  • patterned paper – (same as card base)
  • white piece – 4 x 5″ – trimmed to 3 ¾ x 4 ¾”
  • patterned paper (the smaller one) – 3 ½ x 4 ½” – trimmed to 3 ¼ x 4 ¼”

Here are a few more photos of the card – a few close ups and another full photo.

Ribbon 2

Ribbon 3

Now… my charge to you… go find some ribbon and use it!

Different Ways to Use Masks

There seem to be a TON of different craft supplies to get these days.  Most people I know don’t have an unlimited supply of space to store their craft supplies so it’s nice to be able to find different ways to use one type of tool or supply.

Today I am focusing on using masks… including mists, paint, glitter glue, inks, and pens.

Masks 1

These particular masks that I am going to share with you today are… stencils that I purchased from Walmart, a Studio Calico mask, and a wood veneer shape (it’s a thick cut wood veneer).  Also, the sponges that I am going to use with the ink are actually make-up applicator sponges that I just cut in half – these are just the cheap-o ones from Walmart.

Watch the video to see how I use these tools in different ways…

Here’s another look at what I was able to create…

Masks 2

I hope this gives you a few ideas!  I plan to share a few projects using these methods in the next weeks to come, so stay tuned!