Monday, December 28, 2009

Please Meet Listener

Please meet Listener, a special elf created by my mum for my daughter as a Christmas present.

She's a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted doll constructed from cotton, satin, and fibers.

She's a bit homely, as she's part woodland troll on her father's side and part elf and autumn fairy on her mum's, but she's a good friend.

Her job is to listen to Shannon's stories, while Shannon writes them down in this journal...

which has its very own pouch.

Listener has beautiful freehand-embroidered and hand-painted wings, but I am quite sure that she'll never fly away.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All the Trimmings

I'm hosting the challenge this week on the Crafty Secrets forum over at Splitcoast Stampers. The theme is "All the Trimmings," and I'm challenging everyone to use ribbon, rick-rack, scallops (the paper kind), pompoms, even jingle bells, etc. on their projects. Here is the sample card I made:

This card is for a elderly lady from our church. Her birthday is Christmas Eve, and she's laid up at home with a fractured disk in her back, so we're throwing her a card shower. I hope it brings a smile to her face.

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Snowbunnies (snowflakes)
Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Christmas Images & Journal Notes
Cardstock - Bazzill
Patterned Paper - DCWV - Crafty Stack
Ink - Stampin' Up! - River Rock
Accessories - glitter glue - Stickles; mica flakes - Martha Stewart; snap - Making Memories; rick-rack - The Little Pink Studio; tag - Anna Griffin

For the past week, my daughter and I have been whipping up little crafty gifts for her teachers and Brownie leaders. Here are a couple of the things we've made:

Lip balm holders

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Snowbunnies
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Soot Black
Cardstock - Papertrey Ink
Patterned Paper - K&Company - Recycled
Markers - Copic Sketch

A wool felt star ornament

Free pattern from Allsorts
Wool felt from The Silver Penny
DMC floss
Gingham ribbon - Offray
Vintage button

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas - with all the trimmings!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Crafting

This weekend has been a flurry of Christmas crafting at the Talbert house. Here is just a sampling of the creations that were made:

This year's Talbert family Christmas card.

A mother-daughter project - Shannon's secret Santa stocking for her Brownie Troop Christmas party. We made the stocking out of felt. I punched holes around the edges, and Shannon "stitched" it with ribbon. The little card is a lip balm holder.

The official Talbert family Christmas cookie: Date Balls! YUM!

Here's the recipe:
1 - 8 oz package chopped dates
1 - stick of butter
1 - cup of sugar
1 - beaten egg
3 - cups of Rice Krispies
shredded coconut

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, melt together the first four ingredients. (To prevent the egg from scrambling, I temper the egg with a little of the warm mixture before adding it to the rest.) Stirring constantly to prevent scorching, cook for approximately 6 minutes until syrupy. Remove from heat, and pour mixture over Rice Krispies in a large bowl and mix until cereal is well coated. While still warm, roll mixture into balls and then in coconut. We butter our hands to help keep them from getting sticky. CAUTION: the mixture can retain a lot of heat, so please be careful when handling (and sampling!) it.

I have more to share with you, but I think I'm going to get the kids ready for bed and head for the couch to read a bit. It's been a busy weekend, and it's bound to be a busy week as well.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Out of Finals and Into the Fire

Rich is finally (Get it? Finally?) done with finals for this semester. He says that PhD stands for "Pile it Higher and Deeper" - no kidding! What a rough past couple of weeks! I think I should get an honorary degree just for being married to a PhD candidate!

So now we're out of finals and into the fire, or should I say whirlwind, of Christmas activities. There are concerts (Rich plays drums with an orchestral and choral group), Christmas programs (school, church, acrobats), Christmas parties (school, church, Brownies, friends). Sometimes it's hard to remember to relax and breathe, to remember the birth and sacrifice of our Savior, and not get tripped up in the trappings of the season.

That's when I like to stare at the lights and think about the Light of the World.

Praying that you'll have time for some reflection during this busy, blessed season.

Love to you all!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Merry Christmas Fairy

Lori Lynn, over on the Crafty Secrets member forum, challenged us to create a project using our favorite CS products. I used two of my favorite stamps, the fairy and mushroom, from Crafty Secrets' Fairyland set. I've dressed up this sweet fairy for St. Patrick's Day and for autumn and thought I'd get her ready for Christmas too!

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Fairyland; Anna Griffin - sentiment
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Vintage Photo
Patterned Paper - Basic Grey & Provocraft
Cardstock - Neenah Paper
Accessories - die cut - Sizzix; markers - Copic Sketch; gold leaf pen - Krylon; gold embossing powder; glitter glue - Stickles; clear glitter pen - Atyou Spica; half pearls

Monday, November 30, 2009

Salt Dough Animals

Over the long weekend, I made up a batch of salt dough, and the kids and I spent some time creating an array of critters.

We used this book from the library for inspiration, and I used this simple recipe for the dough:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1/2 water, then I added water & kneaded until I got the right consistency.

I think the owls are our favorites. I used sharp micro-tip scissors (Cutterbees are great because the dough doesn't stick to the blades) to cut the triangle shaped feathers into the dough.

The hedgehog is cute too! He's formed around a ball of aluminum foil, so the dough dries consistently in the oven. The prickles are formed the same way as the feathers on the owl; I just let them stick out a little more.

We're going to start painting our animals this afternoon. I kind of like 'em "nekkid" though.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sing, Sing a Song!

This week it's my turn to host the Crafty Secrets challenge over on Splitcoast Stampers. I challenged my fellow players to make a music-inspired project. Here's the challenge:

This week our projects are going to sing!

Make a project with a musical theme, or be inspired by your favorite song lyrics, hymn, or Christmas carol - use the lyrics as background paper or a line from a song or the name of a song for a sentiment. This is a theme challenge, so interpret it however the spirit moves you and make it your own! You could even alter a CD or a record (if you have any laying around!)

Here's the card I made:

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Altered Art set
Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Christmas Images and Journal Notes booklet
Patterned Paper - DCWV - Rustic Stack (background paper); Provocraft - Christmas Slab (music paper)
Cardstock - DCWV (cranberry); Neenah paper (natural)
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Brushed Corduroy; SU! - Cranberry Crisp
Accessories - vintage button; embroidery floss - DMC; glitter glue - Stickles; cardstock sticker sentiment - Cosmo Cricket

Thank you so much for visiting today!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Basket Cards

Every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, our church makes up boxes of goodies to take to people in our community who could use a little something extra during the holiday. Everybody in the congregation brings something different to contribute to the boxes.

During Children's Church, the kids pack the boxes, and we talk a little about taking care of our neighbors, the importance of being aware of other people's needs, and that everybody can help out. This year, like every one previous, the boxes were overflowing with all kinds of wonderful things: pumpkin bread, fresh fruit, crackers, homemade cookies, candies, homemade jellies, chips, pudding, etc. I bring homemade muffins and make the cards that go along with the boxes. Below are some samples of the cards I made:

Here's a close up of one of the cards:

I used one of the sketches from Splitcoast Stampers' weekly sketch challenges, SC229. The main stamped image (colored with Copic Sketch markers) and the sentiment are the same on all of the cards; they are from Crafty Secrets' Thanksgiving set. Then I varied the cardstock and patterned paper depending on the scraps I had available.

Hope you are having a relaxing Sunday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Wreath & a Turkey Shirt

We're starting to make plans for Thanksgiving at our house. With all of the preparations and merry making craft projects that have already begun for Christmas, I don't want to skip over Thanksgiving. It's always been one of my favorite holidays - a time to gather with loved ones and reflect on all of the many blessings in our lives, a stillness of the heart and a measured breath of gratitude before the rush and bustle of December festivities.

Here is a wreath that I picked up at Michaels and embellished yesterday, inspired by the glittery work of my brilliant & talented blogging and Crafty Secrets friend, Julie.

The beads and leaves were already on it. I made the Happy Thanksgiving plaque in the middle and hung it with ribbon.

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Thanksgiving set
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Vintage Photo; Stazon - Mustard
Patterned Paper - K&Company - collection
Cardstock - Neenah Paper
Accessories - markers - Copic Sketch; ribbon - Michaels; copper glitter glue - Stickles; natural sponge - Darice; cardboard; copper eyelets - Making Memories

And here's a turkey shirt I made for Shannon last year, using wool felt and DMC floss on a long-sleeved, cotton tee. I'm so glad she is able to wear it again this year. (Ah, I can't believe how much younger she looks in this picture! It was only a year ago. Time certainly does fly!)

Giving thanks for you and your friendship today!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hello Kitty Birthday Thank Yous

Today I wanted to share with you a couple of the thank you cards that I made for Shannon's birthday. I love that she loves Hello Kitty! HK is just so sweet, innocent, and...age appropriate! for a 7-year-old girl.

I paired up the Hello Kitty Sizzix die cuts with patterned paper from K&Company's Berry Sweet collection. It has that great, cheerful, 80's retro look to it that is so perfect with Hello Kitty. I made the heart into a strawberry by adding "seeds" with a black Sakura glaze pen, which has a raised finish (like heat embossing).

Stamps - Papertrey Ink - Punny Valentine
Ink - Stazon - Blazing Red
Die cut - Sizzix - Hello Kitty
Patterned Paper - K&Company - Berry Sweet
Cardstock - DCWV & Bazzill
Accessories - seam tape ribbon - Rebecca Sower Designs; black glaze pen - Sakura; border punch - Martha Stewart

Thank you for stopping by today! Hope you all have a fun, relaxing weekend ahead!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Uncle Jason Makes a Card

I just have to share this card with you that my big brother, Jason, made for Shannon for her birthday! Thanks to Boomerang, Shannon and Jason share a love of the Pink Panther. He just cracks them up. So Jason decided to make her a Pink Panther card...himself...with no help from his papercrafting wife.

He borrowed some stamps, ink, and pink paper from Aunt Megan. Then he went online in search of an image, he found the perfect one, then remembered a photo they had taken of Shannon at a pajama party at their house. Could he have found a better match? :)

I love that there are streaks of ink and letters stamped backwards on it. The "Huh!? What!?" sentiment on the front is a funny saying that Jason and Shannon have shared practically since Shannon could talk, and it always is accompanied by the silly pose in the card. Shannon adores it, and it has a place of honor on the cork board above her bed.

It just goes to show that making a "perfect" card isn't about how technically perfect it is; it's about how perfect it is for the person getting it! :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Photos

Every fall, Rich and I do a photo shoot in the park with the kids - a tradition we started when Shannon was just a year old. Unfortunately, I had to bow out this year as I hurt my heel pretty badly yesterday and had to stay off my feet today. Rich still got some great pics, though. Bless him and his never-ending patience!

I spent the day on the couch reading, knitting, and watching TV, so I don't have any crafty goodness to show you (the knitting projects are Christmas gifts - hush, hush, you know!) Hopefully, these cute pictures of my adorable kids will help make up for my lack of craftiness this weekend. ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Good Morning with a Giggle

Oops! Sorry to eat in front of you, but this oatmeal is just sooo good! When Mum and I were in Ireland a few years ago, we had the most delicious breakfasts every morning. Even the oatmeal was scrumptious; we ate it everyday! This is the closest I've come to replicating what we had there.

Here's what I did: 1 cup of rolled oats (not the quick cook kind) & 1 3/4 cup milk - bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add a generous amount of golden raisins and about a 1/4 cup or so of light brown sugar. Cook to desired consistency and enjoy!

Crafty Secrets has these Domestic Goddess Creative Scraps that have some really funny sentiments on them. I made these cards for a couple of friends who could use a giggle lately.

The Perfect Man Details:
Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Domestic Goddess Creative Scraps
Patterned Paper - Foofala
Cardstock - Bazzill
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Vintage Photo
Accessories - brads - Making Memories and Oriental Trading; embossing folder - Cuttlebug; felt ric-rac - Offray; marker - Sharpie

The sentiment on this one is a bit hard to read in the photo. It says, "I hate housework. You make the beds, wash the dishes, and 6 months later you have to do it all over again." - Joan Rivers

Here are the details:
Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Domestic Goddess Creative Scraps
Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Kitchen Classics Set
Patterned paper - Paper Pizazz - Flea Market Fabrics
Cardstock - Bazzill
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Vintage Photo
Accessories - Seam Tape Ribbon - Rebecca Sower Designs

Hope you all have a good day, and make someone smile today!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Festivities

Shannon's been hitting the first-grade fall festivities circuit pretty hard this month. This kid's social calendar could rival Miss Hilton's. :)

Here's a Halloween card I made for a classmate's mum, who hosted a party at her house for Shannon's class:
Stamped sentiment - SU! Noteworthy
Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Halloween Images & Journal Notes Booklet
Smaller Image - Crafty Secrets - Calendar Creative Scraps
DP - Karen Foster
Cardstock - Bazzill
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Black Soot
Accessories - ribbon - Offray; glitter glue - Stickles; pearlescent chalk - Pebbles Inc.; natural sponge - Darice
Shannon, dressed as a jaguar with Meow-Meow, at her all-troop Girl Scout costume party.

Shannon, at her classmate's party, decorating her pumpkin like a jaguar to match her costume.

Excited about going on a hayride with her Brownie troop!

The perfect pumpkin found!

Getting a kick out of hiding from me in the hay maze, then popping up through a hole like a prairie dog. Yep, we love fall!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shannon's Seven!

We celebrated Shannon's seventh birthday on Friday with a yummy family dinner, lots of gifts, and a two-layer Hello Kitty cake. :)

Here is the card I made for her:

It's very pink, very girly, and very sparkly - oh so very Shannon!

Main image - Hello Kitty Die Cut - Sizzix
Cardstock - Bazzill & DCWV
Accessories - border punch & mica flake glitter - Martha Stewart

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who Can Resist the Cheese?

This week on the Crafty Secrets forum challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers, Darlene challenged us to use resisting techniques on our projects. I guess you could say I've been resisting resisting because I've never done this before.

Happily it was easier than I thought. I stamped the cheese image with Ranger resist ink (Versamark would have worked too) on yellow paper. Then I heat embossed the images using clear embossing powder. Finally I sponged on Tea Dye Ranger Distress Ink. The embossed cheese images resist the ink, and the yellow shows through. Such a fun technique and great for making background paper. Just in time for my dear mother-in-law's birthday too!

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Mouse Party
Patterned Paper - K&Company - Wild Saffron
Cardstock - Neenah (natural); Bazzill (yellow & brown)
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Tea Dye & Vintage Photo; Ranger Resist Ink
Accessories - markers - Copic Sketch; clear embossing powder; seam tape ribbon - Rebecca Sower Designs; eyelets - Making Memories

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Happy Hi!

You may have noticed that I am not all that into flowery images for my creations. I tend to prefer images with animals or people. I like images that seem to tell a story, that are more like picture book illustrations. Like the image on this card I made for our neighbors' little girl who turned six last week. You can see the "movement" in the image; it has energy - very much like our daughter who spends a lot of time riding up and down our sidewalk on her own pink and purple scooter. :)Details:
Stamps: Stampin' Up! - A Happy Hi
Cardstock: Neenah (white); Papertrey Ink (lavender moon); DCWV - light purple
Ink: Ranger Distress Ink - Soot Black
Markers: Copic Sketch
Accessories: rhinestone gems - Miss Elizabeth's; swiss dots embossing folder - Cuttlebug; ribbon - Pebbles Inc.; scalloped circle punch - Martha Stewart; clear glitter pen - Atyou Spica Glitter Pen

Wishing you all a happy day too!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Signs of the Season

These are the signs of the season cropping up around our house. Halloween decorations in our foyer complete with vintage trick or treat candy boxes from my (rather large - thanks Dad!) candy box collection and a pumpkin decorated by Shannon at FallFest yesterday.
On the Crafty Secrets forum at Splitcoast Stampers this week, Lori challenged us to make our projects shine. I made my owl shine by heat embossing the black ink with clear embossing powder and added a little more shine to the moon with Pebbles Inc. pearlescent chalk.
More Details:
Stamps: Crafty Secrets - Clear Art Stamps - Book Lovers; SU! - What a Hoot; See D's - Halloween Flourish
Main Image: Crafty Secrets - Heartwarming Vintage - Halloween Images and Journal Notes Booklet
Patterned Paper: Provocraft
Cardstock: Neenah Paper (natural); Core'dinations (Yellow)
Ink: Ranger Distress Ink - Tea Dye & Black Soot; Stazon - Mustard
Accessories: Ribbon - Offray; glitter glue - Stickles; pearlescent chalk - Pebbles Inc.; clear embossing powder
We also have creatures like this guy, whose name is Sermon btw, showing up at the house. Shannon made him out of GloBonz.
And then there's this...Shannon's Monster World, which she has spent hours creating over the past week. It all fits into this tiny toy suitcase, and there's a monster family, a monster bee, a monster dog, and even a monster worm. They're are the teeniest, tiniest things - so detailed, all individually colored and cut out. I put a dime next to the worm, so you can get an idea of the scale. The picture really doesn't do it justice.

Hope you all are having a wonderful, relaxing weekend!