Sunday, July 29, 2012

This week's recipes

I may have mentioned my love of Pinterest before, but I must continue to wax poetic about how wonderful it is. I use it to plan our weekly meals. Here is the most recent round of recipes from Pinterest that I have made and we have loved.

Good both warm and cold, very pretty. This would make a great picnic or barbeque potluck dish. I was thinking that shrimp would be a good addition too, but this version was vegetarian.

These were delicious! We made these sliders and both pushed ourselves with 3 for dinner. I took Jacquelyn's advice and made double the batch of mayo. So glad I did, because I did use it on everything for the rest of the week,

These were no joke. I even withheld the pepper cause I am kind of a puss when it comes to heat in food and they were still a little on the hot side for me, but were so good that I insisted on eating some! The Hubs, who usually is wary of white sauce AND enchiladas, LOVED these. 

This was yummy. I did make a few changes, though I don't think it would be necessary. I had a Harvest Grains blends from Trader Joe's on hand and I used beef broth instead of chicken. I also substituted pepitas for the pine nuts, as I am not a fan of them. This turned out AWESOME! I ate it for lunch, used it as a side dish, and even went back and made a second batch just to have in the fridge for when I was hungry during the day.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ikea Experience

I will confess. I am an Ikea shopper. The Hubs and I liked to pretend that we weren't, but then we counted the pieces in the house with Ikea provenance and the number was kind of embarrassing. Let's face it, they offer aesthetically pleasing pieces for budget friendly prices. And when you need as many bookcases as this family needs, budget friendly is important.

It was obvious that our love of books had outgrown our current number of shelves, so I made a plan and headed to Ikea. By myself. I don't normally take the Hubs because, as he readily admits, Ikea is too much for him. It is easier if I go alone.

My first stop is always the stuffy aisle.

We have a love for the Ikea stuffies. Their faces are just too sweet and I can't get out of there without bringing one home.

Meet Bully. He was my shopping companion for the rest of the trip, my yellow bag First Mate.

Next, I head to the textiles. I am such a sucker for this area and Ikea knocked it out of the park. Seriously, look at these pillows!

It was almost too much temptation for me to resist taking one of each home with me and honestly, I am still haunted by the map pillow.

After textiles, it is an easy walk to the art section, another big weakness of mine. I really loved the bird print and at $10, it almost came home to replace an earlier Ikea owl picture, but I was good.

Then this set of Picasso prints caught my eye. I am not a Picasso fan, per se, but his animals are amazing to me. I especially love the flamingo, horse, and dog. I may go back to Ikea and see if they still have this one.

Finally, I meander to the warehouse, where on this trip, I loaded three bookcases onto my cart. By myself.

Yes, I am going to say it again: BY MYSELF. So when I was in line and the little twerp cashier asked me if I needed help out to my car and I replied, "no, thanks, I got it." and his response was an incredulous, "You sure?" I wanted to ask him, "How do you think the boxes arrived on my trolley? Magic? They jumped?"

And, you know what?

Like I said, I got this.
(And it only cost me one stubbed baby toe.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The lucky number 3

I have almost used all of the June SC kit. The cohesive collection plus my new scrap space, (photos soon!), have made me feel very creative. 

I used an original wood printer's block for the ampersand and while it isn't as clear as I normally would like, it works for me on this layout.

The first round of hand tying baker's twine. This was more of a pain in the butt than I imagined.

There is that hand tying of twine again! One would think I would learn my lesson. Ha!

This is based on a sketch and color challenge provided by the lovely Kathi

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Studio Calico kits

Studio Calico's kits seem to have been the creative kick in the pants I needed. I must admit that July's Main, Elmwood Park, and the add-ons, Twisty Slide and Monkey Bars, are total favorites for me. I love the colors, the pops of bold.

For this first layout, I used a combination of pieces from all three kits. The only thing added that was not in the kits is the map tape and the tiny letter stickers are from last month's kit.

This is a way paired down layout for me, the lover of embellishment vomit. I immediately fell in love with the Basic Grey letter paper from the main kit and these two pictures were just begging for me to scrap them.

I added ink stitching to mimic the printed red stitches around the letters and as tempted as I was, I resisted the urge to add an Eiffel Tower or poodle anywhere on the page.

Next is a layout using pieces from last month's kits. I still have a lot of product left and tons more inspiration to come. I am still a little surprised at how much I am liking the muted tones.

And, yes, you do spy more stamping on there! Not as much as the record holding 11 stamp layout from earlier, but still using them. In fact, I have been busy organizing my clear and flat stamps into binders for easier usage, so hopefully the stamping will continue.

Last is a layout that started with the best of intentions and quickly went downhill. The background paper is from one of last month's kits and they advertised the reverse side, but I loved the little cartoonish caricatures. The clouds with skulls and crossbones and zigzagged arrows reminded me of the Philadelphia summer weather and I knew I had to scrap our trip to the Philadelphia Art Museum.

This is when it went downhill. As I laid out the photos, I managed to knock over my beer, spilling it all over the layout. Which I guess is fitting texture for a layout sort of featuring the crazy weather. :)

After much hemming and hawing, I finally put it together, adding some Smash journal tape, and stamping. It isn't my favorite layout ever, but secretly have to admit, the paper still makes me smile when I look at it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A creative rush

First, thank you to all who read my last post and offered their understanding. And thank you to everyone who decided to come back for another day.

Second, I just have to say that I am sitting here at 1:30 in the afternoon in jeans, a long sleeved shirt, and a sweater. It IS June, isn't it?

I am beginning to feel like I am getting the desire to create layouts again. I think for many reasons I have been avoiding making them, reasons for another day, another post. Yet, as I am working through those reasons and coming to terms with them, the juices are flowing again. It started as a trickle and now it is a nice little stream.

I finally joined the "IN" crowd and subscribed to Studio Calico. As you may or may not know, I have a huge issue with commitment, especially when it comes to money. But I was tired of missing out on the exclusives, (damn you, cute stamps, damn you!). I received the kit 10 days ago as of today and I have made three layouts with it already. For me right now, that is huge. I made two yesterday alone. I purchased the Santa Monica add on and the More Patterned Paper along with the So Cal kit and have to sheepishly admit, I waited too long. I should have joined a long time ago.

This layout is a mix of the two kits, with everything except the gold pearl bling and the star burst stamp, which is still SC, coming from them.

*Sorry for the creepy No-Face children. Out of respect for them and their parents, I have blurred them for privacy's sake, but the layout was too cute to not share. Let me assure you that they are two of the most beautiful kids ever. And I am not in the least bit partial.*

This is actually the first layout I made with the kits, (a mix of both), and I am sure you will notice some repeat product.  I could paper the walls of a bedroom with that striped paper I love it that much. The honeycomb is hand cut from a piece of My Mind's Eye, which the remainder of shows up in another layout. There was a chipboard hexagon sticker strip that I cut up to add in places and then just piled on a bunch more.

The polka dot and word paper tapes and the Thickers were not part of the kits, but from my stash. They seemed the perfect touches.

This last layout is a kit as well, but it is from Basic Grey, their monthly kit that you can find more information on here. (FYI-- If you have a local scrapbook store, ask them about these as in store usually runs a little less.) I love these kits too 1) for their amazing value: price to product ratio plus layout idea is great, 2) they always spark creativity for me, and 3) there is always A LOT left over.

The photo is my cousin and I loved the playful nature of it. Her skirt, her cute little belly button peeking out, and that grin of hers. And it may seem silly, but is that not one of the most perfectly drawn chalk balloons ever? Her mom is an artist by nature and I promise, had I drawn that balloon, it would have unintentionally looked like Mickey Mouse.

I doodled the patterned paper clouds, cut them out and then hand stitched them. Note to self: Stitching them BEFORE adhering them to the page would make the task exponentially easier. You can see my wonky stitches up close in the second shot and the third picture is my inept doodling technique. I felt the layout needing something subtle and the white pen doodling would have pleased me to no end. IF I could doodle OR if I had sent this to the aforementioned artistic relative to have her draw on some swirls. Instead, I have to say the end result is 100% authentically Lora.

Monday, May 21, 2012

No excuses

I am not going to provide any excuses or reasons why I haven't posted in a while. If you are still here, thank you. Now, straight to the creativity!

By golly, Lora, is that a layout?!?! Why yes, yes it is. I know this is Amy Tan's last year release and I have Sketchbook sitting on my desk, but I still just love this line and how easily it comes together. Some of the embellies are from the line while others are from either the class I took with Amy or from Sassafras Lass. There is also some Maya Road rub ons, a Hambly overlay tag and some random stuff I had and yes, I do believe that is the last of the pink polka dot crepe paper so you won't have to see it again. (Unless of course I find more!!!)

I hand stitched the "JOY" to the tag and sewed the paper laves to the bottom. Oh! The flower there is an Epiphany Crafts bottom with a Dear Lizzy button on top and the chevron pieces near the title are Studio Calico Fabrip leftovers.

Then there was this little guy. It is a Midnight Musing creation. A mini canvas painted, layered with dictionary paper strips, stamped with a repeating heart image in Staz-on, then a Balzer Designs stencil over that with yellow paint. The saying and the bird were stamped or drawn on sticky back canvas and cut out. Both were colored with Gelatos first. I used the Sakura Glaze pen to write the quote and draw the little heart.

The twig is from the backyard and painted green then layered with a bit of distress stain. And this guy, over here on the corner?

That is the spark of inspiration from the Midnight Musing. I used push and mold, pressed a metal key to create the shape, and melted the UTEE. I added bright green eyeshadow that I had and there it is! While the color is very similar to Perfect Pearls, the eyeshadow didn't have the pearlescent look to it so the UTTE piece is less shimmery, but I love it. The ribbon is dyed with glimmer mist.

This poor layout. I had to do it twice. The first round was a hot mess and went in the trash after I pulled the photo and some embellies off. The second round was much better. It is still way different from my original conception, but I am at least happy with it. This is a Pagemaps sketch, I believe, and the inspiration is from a friends' blog.

The pink woodgrain is made by me with a stamp and embossing powder, the light pink and brown polka dots are Pink Paislee. Journaling spot is Jillibean Soup, the flower with tulle and the wood buttons are Prima, the white resin pieces are Melissa Frances, the little flowers and pearl button along the bottom are Webster's, and the milk cap is of course Jenni Bowlin.

AC Thickers and chip butterfly, K & Co fabric flowers along the top, Recollections pink resin roses, and the wood grain strip above Miss Lily's bow is from Heidi Grace Designs. We are going to say that everything else is stash.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Some Gertrude Stein in My Bedroom

Hahaha, did that grab your attention? I spent most of today working from an inspiration photo that I once saw of Gertrude Stein in her Paris apartment. She was an avid collector of art and this specific photo showed her living room with a settee in the middle of this large wall that was covered in pictures of all types, floor to what seemed 14 foot ceilings. I loved it immediately and it has haunted my hopes of home decor ever since. No longer, my friends.

We had the perfect wall in the bedroom and goodness knows, I have collected more than enough art pieces. It started like this.

So sad!!! I dug around under the bed and pulled out the pictures I had been hoarding which quickly became piles, measured two pieces of architect's vellum across the wall, and then laid the paper on the floor of the library.

I had to work in there as the bedroom does not have the uninterrupted floor space I required. Did I say uninterrupted? I must have meant something else because my paper and I were certainly interrupted by the two resident feline clowns.

Lotus Chief and Fuzzface totally thought Mom had laid this crinkly paper out for them to play. About five seconds after this photo, the Fuzz tried to sneak up on LC, only to have LC jump straight up into the air and Fuzz tear out of the room. There were small kitty claw tracks all over.

I laid out the pieces that I wanted to hang, rearranging as I went. It was a good thing I had my art supervisor down there in the left hand corner telling me I was on the right track.

After drawing around the frames and measuring the hangers on the back, I taped the paper to the wall and got to setting the nails. This was the easiest part of the endeavor.

Finally I have the Gertrude Stein inspiration wall in the bedroom! There are some small spaces left open purposefully for future finds. While looking at this wall, I counted that there are only 2 things here that I bought in a regular retail store. Everything else is either thrifted or handmade. I love that. I also noticed that without intending to, I have quite a few Paris pieces. That isn't surprising since it is the first major International city the Hubs and I went to together.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Creative Day

Yesterday I went to my bestie's house and spent a day creating. I have to admit that it was a struggle to get there, not because I didn't want to go, but honestly because I am so overwhelmed with the scrapbook supplies in my studio that I felt guilty about going to play and not staying home to clean. I did overcome this guilt and made a small altered project and a layout while there with my BFF and her puppies.