This photo was taken the day before Thanksgiving, me and my boys basking away in the glory of a cat nap. Yes, I'm in there, you can see the top of my head. My little fur balls are such an inspiration, aren't they? I plan to indulge in another feline siesta again this holiday weekend and hope that you enjoy yours.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving! I've taken a break from the kitchen to check e-mail and my Etsy shop. I've already prepared the cranberries along with the pumpkin pie. The green bean casserole, the one with the French fried onions, is in the refrigerator ready to bake later this afternoon. I make mine with fresh green beans. Yum!
Anyway, I thought I'd make a Thanksgiving post just in case you decided to take a break from the cooking too. Or perhaps you're hiding out from that annoying relative for just a little while? Every family has at least one! I have several! Just my luck! Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Recently, while shopping at my favorite place, my home away from home...can you guess where that would be? Archivers, the Photo Memories Store! I found these cool stitching cards from Bazzill Basics. They're called 'In Stitch'z and they come in a variety of sizes and a large assortment of patterns from flowers and winter snowflakes to borders for your scrapbook pages.
While I was stitching away last night, making the above friendship card I was hit with a memory of doing an almost identical craft as a child. Remember those lace cards with holes punched in the chipboard that came with shoe laces? These are just as fun to do now as when you were a kid! The difference in these stitching cards is you use them as a template to pierce holes in your greeting card or scrapbook page and then stitch the design directly on your project. It's 'sew' simple!
If you would like to give these a try, I'm selling the four templates picture above in my Etsy shop at http://www.cardblanc.etsy.com/ in the supplies section. Additionally, I'm giving the photographed card away in a drawing. To enter, add a comment to this blog entry now through November 28th and I will randomly select one of those entries. Please check back to see if your entry was selected.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Lately I've been collecting hammered aluminum pieces, hand crochet lace doilies and delicate handkerchiefs from Serendipity Treasures, a sweet little antique shop on Etsy. The hankie in the second photo is so beautiful and has lovely detailed stitching. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds went to Breast Cancer Research! The shopkeeper at Serendipity Treasures is passionate about breast cancer awareness and often lists items to help fund research.
Serendipity Treasures also sells a variety of hammered aluminum pieces also known as poor man's silver. The third photo is a darling little vanity powder box from the 1940's. You should see some of the service pieces she has in stock, so pretty! With all the doilies I've purchased, like the one in the first photo, I plan to have a few framed for a collage on the dinning room wall.
If you're interested in lovely pieces like these, see Ali at http://www.serendipitytreasures.etsy.com/ and tell her Kathy sent you. She'll be surprised since she doesn't know I'm giving her a plug here! She deserves it, she's a giving soul, offers great service and sells her items at reasonable prices.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It's amazing what a little Christmas music can do to the creative spirit! I came up to my office this morning to check e-mail and perhaps continue to work on a mini album I started yesterday for great grandma's 90th birthday. I put on a Christmas Brass CD and before I knew it, I was decorating this little holiday mailbox. It turned out rather cute, don't you think? I'm putting it up for sale in my Etsy shop in the Christmas section at http://www.cardblanc.etsy.com/ if anyone is interested or would like to see photos of the back and side that has additional accents you can't see from this photo angle.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
No, I didn't post my photo upside down, these plants have been potted in Boskke Sky Planters. The advantage, other than a fabulous conversation piece is that the plant needs less water than the standard upright. And you don't have to worry about soil spilling over your antique area rug from grandmother, that's part of the wonder. To learn more or to acquire one of these unique plants log onto http://imaginativegrowth.com/planter.html#planter.
Friday, November 21, 2008
We woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground here in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Brrrrr! It's been unseasonably cold. It seems that Mother Nature decided to skip the last part of autumn and head straight into winter.
Cold weather means it's time for comfort food, something that's warm and filling of body and soul. In our house, it's time to make home baked Macaroni and Cheese!
From the Pasta book of Food & Wine comes this fabulous recipe that my in laws ask me to cook when they come to visit. It's the recipe my husband asks me to make for his birthday. It's that good!
Serves 4 (More like 6)
5 tbls. Butter
3 tbls. flour
2 cups milk
3/4 Pound Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 pound elbow macaroni
2 tbls. chopped fresh parsley
1. In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk. Still over moderate heat, bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, mustard, cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and whisk until the cheese melts.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the macaroni until almost tender but still slightly underdone, about 7 minutes. Drain.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine the macaroni and cheese sauce. Transfer to baking dish.
4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and combine with the bread crumbs, chopped fresh parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the macaroni. Bake until the top is beginning to brown and the sauce is bubbling, approximately 30 minutes.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I can remember making Christmas cards when I was just a girl. I used construction paper and made little paper pieced scenes of a chair next to the fire place and a Christmas tree on the other side. I'd gather some pine needles from outside to add to my cards so it looked like there were real logs in the fireplace.
Now that I'm grown up, I still enjoy making cards, but now I do it for a living through my business Card-Blanc. The photo above is one from my line. One of the questions I get asked a lot as a card designer is what are my favorite card manufacturers? Here's just a few of my favorites with their websites so you can take a peek at some of the top handmade greeting card manufacturers. They are so inspiring!
Unique Artistry - http://www.uniqueartistry.com/Some of Me - http://twigandthorn.com/notes.htm
Meri Meri - http://www.merimeri.com/
Koko New York - http://www.madisonparkgreetings.com/
Letterspace - http://www.letterspacepaper.com/
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It's turkey time and in honor of Thanksgiving, Christopher's second grade class was given an assignment to dress up a turkey. All the kids brought home a simple turkey drawing to decorate with their family. Christopher and I decided that we would first color our turkey's tail in a rainbow of colors and then fill in his body with tissue paper. I remember doing projects like this as a child. It's so simple...just cut up tissue paper in small 1.5" squares, wrap them around the eraser end of a pencil, dip in glue (a little goes a long way), and place onto your project. Lift pencil quickly and there you have a fluffy piece of tissue. So, here you have it, Christopher's perky turkey! By-the-way, he named it Wally!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Oh happy day! A friend of mine who has a telent for writing and an amazing sense of humor, especially when it comes to parenting, has finally created a blog! He calls himself 'The Bart (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Jedi' since he spends a good deal of time riding the system with his son who is autistic.
My husband and I also have an autistic son so we understand just how crazy life can be trying to raise and relate to a child who is hard wired differently than ourselves. Looking at the humorous side of parenting is what The Bart Jedi is all about. And if you think you have to have an autistic child to appreciate his sense of humor, think again. The Bart Jedi also has a neuro-typical daughter who is 2 1/2 years and lends a lot of material to write about as well. You can find The Bart Jedi at http://www.thebartjedi.blogspot.com/. Enjoy!
Monday, November 17, 2008
How about this beautiful crocheted daisy to embellish your next scrapbook page or handmade greeting card? You can find a lot of cool and unique embellishments at awesome prices on Etsy. The shopkeeper who makes these lovely flowers in just about any color of the rainbow can be found at http://www.mirandagirldesigns.etsy.com/. Happy shopping!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I've been bitten by a craft bug this weekend! I've been making cards and ornaments and just plain having fun trying out some new techniques and embellishments. This ornament was made in part with my Silhouette digital craft cutter. It's a breeze to make scalloped ovals in any size you desire. I'm addicted to throwing a pinch and dash of glitter on just about every project these days. I love the way it sparkles along with the silver tinsel stem I added as a frame for the Victorian image. This little ornament is currently up for sale in my Etsy shop at www.cardblanc.etsy.com.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
It's that time again, time to start making my annual Christmas ornaments for friends and family. Making ornaments is one of my favorite holiday activities that I started doing years ago, a tradition I adopted from a friend.
One year I made mini wrapped Christmas present ornaments and made the mistake of not telling everyone not to open them! I had to make a lot of those over again! Another year I made ornaments from cookie cutters and scrapbook paper, a fun idea I found in a Martha Stewart magazine. I believe the first year I started making ornaments, I made miniature wreaths all decorated just like the larger versions. Last year's ornament was a wire and beaded icicle. One of my all time favorites was a miniature wreath made with the smallest 4mm jingle bells.
So, what will it be this year? I started playing around with a paper type ornament made with old sheet music and stitched holly leaves. I like how it turned out, but to make a lot of these might be a little time consuming. And besides, I can't post a photo of the ornament I go with this year since it would ruin the surprise! So, maybe this ornament will be something you want to make for your friends and family, or just for your tree. If you have any questions on how to make one like this, just send me a comment. Thanks for visiting.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wow, it's been a busy week. Nothing special going on just busy with the everyday stuff. I did manage to get a couple scrapbook pages done. This is one of Christopher and I planting flowers that will survive frost. I finally remembered that I wanted to do a page where my pictures are either black and white or faded and then you print the pictures again in color and layer some of the color photo over the top. Kind of a neat look, don't you think?
Monday, November 10, 2008
I've seen a lot of great projects on Two Peas in a Bucket where transparencies are used. They make cool windows in scrapbook pages and awesome looking cards.
Finally, I got myself a pack of transparencies and gave it a shot. Tada! My first project! I'm already addicted! I love the way this card turned out! I owe much of my success to Two Peas in a Bucket for their Finally Friday video series by Kristina Werner. A couple weeks ago she made a cute transparency card that gave me the basics and tricks to working with see through materials, after all, you don't want your adhesives showing on the backside!
If you would like to see Kristina's video yourself, log onto http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/userblogpost.asp?id=39817 and get ready to learn something fun and new!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I love trees! Not only are they incredibly beautiful, but they provide homes to animals, shade on hot summer days and the oxygen we breath.
Four years ago my husband and I searched for a new place to call home. We could live just about anywhere since we both work at home so it was a matter of education for our son and what kind of environment we wanted to live. We chose North Carolina for a multitude of reasons, one being the trees!
Unfortunately, our earth and its trees are in jeopardy. Too many trees are cleared for infrastructure and products such as furniture and paper. But this is an issue we can easily do something about. Fall is the perfect season to plant a tree, but if you don't have room for a tree, you can make a donation to American Forests at http://www.americanforests.org/ and they'll plant some trees for you. You can also buy paper products such as facial tissue, toilet paper and paper towels made from recycled materials made by Seventh Generation. These products are not hard to find, you can purchase them at your local Target store. If you are lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods Market, their brand of recycled household paper, 365, is higher in post consumer recycled materials.
So get out there and plant a tree and hug another while you're at it!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
If you love to craft or enjoy handmade items, my on-line Etsy store is a fun place to visit. With nearly 90 types of ribbon, over 100 embellishments, and handmade cards and gifts, it's a great place to spend a little time browsing.
I started my Etsy shop in August 2007 to sell the handmade goodies I enjoy making and eventually decided to sell supplies too. I now have over 5,100 sales and more than 2,500 Etsy users who have marked Card-Blanc as a favorite place to shop.
Here's a funky and fun picture frame that I used to frame an array of buttons which can be found in the handmade gifts section of my Etsy shop. Come take a peek at http://www.cardblanc.etsy.com/.
Friday, November 7, 2008
It's finally Friday night and I'm looking forward to crawling into bed a bit early to read the last couple chapters of Twilight. I heard about the book on Two Peas in a Bucket of all places. Such a popular series that I've run across several scrapbook pages about it.
So, will Bella pull it off? Last night I left off where she is given 15 minutes to pack her bags and convince her father, Charlie, that she has to move back to Arizona. Now. Tonight.
The movie comes out this month, the twenty-first.
I'm looking forward to seeing if the movie follows the book exactly or what changes are made.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Well, we're about to see. I'm 42 and embarking on a new thing called blogging. Well, blogging isn't new, I'm new to blogging. I hear it's a good way to keep in touch with family and friends and a great business networking tool. So here goes...
Today was a lovely day in North Carolina with all the fall leaves coloring the landscape in rich warm hues. The temperature was a warm 70+ degrees and I tried to enjoy autumns splendor and drive safely to Archivers, my favorite shop and home away from home.
I scored big at Archivers since they had their Christmas displays out and ready for an open house starting tomorrow. I found so many fun lines of papers and embellishments, mostly Christmas, and can't wait to get started on some holiday cards and projects.
I love when you check out your purchases at Archivers and the cashier asks, "Have you shopped with us before?" I have to hold back from laughing hysterically! Then they ask,"Are you working on a particular projects?" If they only knew! I get to craft everyday! It's what I do!
Today's project, after the hunting and gathering of supplies? I made this birthday card for my sister-in-law. For those of you who absolutely have to know what beautiful card stock I used, it's October Afternoon Detours and Daydreaming lines.