Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Is this tacky?

To celebrate the launch of emblem, a craftastic new event planning company, I bought the owner a couple of rubber stamps with her new logo on them.

I realize it would have been more crafty to make the stamps myself, but for things like company logos, I thought it should be a more precise copy. There is this great shop in Royal Oak, MI called Able Rubber Stamp & Engraving (sorry there's no link - they don't seem to have a web site) that will make you a rubber stamp out of absolutely anything for super cheap. I am not a big stamper, but I could see how this could be addictive.

So back to my tacky inquiry, I bought her a shiny new rubber stamp for her business, but then I decided to test it out on a card to accompany her present. Is it wrong to use her present before she gets it? Even if it's for her? (in my defense, they weren't entirely shiny and new - the people at Able test the stamps on your receipt before you take them home)

Well, it's too late now, I've already gone and done it. This is the card I made:

Her logo is orange, but I only had a black ink pad, so I used orange paper. Personally, I really like orange with sky blue and chocolate brown. Are you impressed by my swell overlapping blue stripes? That was an impromptu decision to hide an ink smudge I got on the orange block. oops.

Secondary tacky inquiry: Is it wrong to boast of my ink-smudge camouflaging & card-making prowess on my blog before the post office actually delivers her present? Too late. Hopefully she won't read this.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Check out the new designs available from s&em designs:

Happy Memorial Day everybody! Sarah & Emily will be back with crafting updates after the long weekend.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Not to be outdone...

I am a dog mom too...

First Post

Here it is...my first blog. After years of blog voyuerism I am jumping into the game. I am Sarah's sister Emily. My crafty passions involve parties or events. Mix an overly-sensitive Type-A personality with a need to please and you get ME! The only time I usually make single crafts is as a template for a group. I wouldn't make one card...I need to make 30, buy proper storage tubs for them and then catalog the inventory. Nuts I know! Perhaps a photo of my rubbermaid storage tote addiction can appear in another post.

So....I will try to keep you entertained with party ideas and crafty party projects. For others of you living Type-A...you know love is in the properly managed details!

A grapevine wreath is a great party canvas. Above it is decorated for an orange and hot pink 30th Birthday. But they have been decorated for showers and art parties and 4th of July. They go on sale for $1-$2 each...wrap with ribbon and stab in theme parts....paint brushes for an art party, faux shells & seaweed for an "under the sea" feel, flags and stars for patriotism, etc. Use minimal floral wire to keep from damaging the base wreath.

Budget doesn't mean boring! A tasteful and tasty doughnut display...the perfect dessert option for the police academy graduation. $2 a dozen after coupon...and so funny!

I'll track down some more photos. Party on crafters!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Clearing out the pantry beer bread

so... I haven't been to the grocery store in a while. I admit it. Last week it was because I was pretty swamped at work, now it's mostly because I am lazy.

This leads to everyone's favorite game: what the heck can I make for dinner?

Last night's answer was potato soup and garlic-cheddar beer bread. Admittedly, the potato soup was from a mix - Bear Creek, add water and stir - one of my favorite recipes.

But the bread was from scratch. And what makes this truly a spectacular recipe - made from scratch using ingredients I had on hand after two weeks without grocery shopping in about 10 minutes. Genius!

Clearing Out the Pantry Garlic-Cheddar Beer Bread

Ingredients (according to my Joy of Cooking starter recipe - I tend to eyeball most of the seasonings - so fudge accordingly):

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 12oz bottle beer (I like to use Labatt Blue because it comes in 11.5 oz bottles, so I feel obligated to open a second bottle and then drink the rest - but whatever is in the fridge will work)

Out of whole-wheat flour? Use all-purpose. Out of scallions? Skip 'em. Out of cheddar? Use a different cheese or leave it out. Out of salt? Seriously, go to the store.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. Dump all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour the beer on top and stir. Transfer to your loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.

See? Easy.

This was the finished product. Total comfort food. I had a salad for lunch, which made me feel a bit better about the carbohydrate overload.

Are you impressed that after two weeks without grocery shopping, I still have a garnish on my soup? Does anyone think I garnish soup when I'm not taking its picture?

Shrinky dink earrings

A few weeks ago, I made some earrings out of shrink plastic and beads. I tried to take pictures as I made them, but they didn't come out.

So, no tutorials of my invented beading techniques and improper use of needle nose pliers. Sorry. I bet if you really wanted to, you could figure it out. As far as I'm concerned, if the beads don't fall off, it was close enough.

But, I did borrow a digital camera from work so you could see the finished products. Voila!

I'm definitely still learning, but the shrinky dinks were enough fun to play with, that I will probably revisit this at some point.

Friday, May 19, 2006

My deepest crafting fear...

...is to end up on a site like this.

That said, the pictures of knitted crimes against fashion are hilarious (knitted bike shorts, anyone?). And I like to believe that what I may lack in knitting skill, I make up for in a strong sense of "wow, that didn't work, I'll just hide it in the back of the closet."

Things have been a bit hectic so I am behind on both my posting and my crafting. I'll try and get some pictures over the weekend so you can see what I have been up to. Just promise you won't turn me in to some sort of "what was she thinking" website.

Tote bags are back in stock!

About time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May need some photography lessons

The downside of not having a digital camera, is that it takes a week and a half to see what a bad photographer you are. Or maybe that's an upside?

Either way, I'm going to have to upgrade from the 35mm point and shoot model I'm sporting now. A while back, I took some photos of my efforts at creating shrink plastic earrings. The earrings are cute, but the pictures didn't come out at all. I'll try to borrow our office digital camera one of these days, so you guys can see what I'm talking about.

What is unfortunate is that the same roll of film included pictures of Madeline's First Birthday. Tough to go back and recreate that, so I'm posting the blurry pics.

This is Maddie's birthday cake. It is two homemade meat cookies with peanut butter as frosting.

So gross, but the little dog was all over it.

You can't really tell, but Maddie's Aunt Emily - who is an excellent photographer and insists that one of these days she will post to this blog - bought Maddie a special puppy cake plate. What you can tell, is that I am one of those people when it comes to my dog, so the fancy cake plate will probably make another appearance at future puppy holidays.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A little forward progress would be nice.

Seriously. I am not getting anywhere. This really ought to be a blog about not knitting.

Last night, I tore out the first inch or so of my basket weave afghan...


It seems that Sr. Ann Margaret was right and I really did need to learn my multiplication tables. For a knit 4, purl 4 pattern repeat, I needed to cast on stitches in a multiple of 8. I was never very good with multiplying eights. Took me four rows to figure out something wasn't right.

I started over - with the correct number of stitches - and got three rows done before I fell asleep. Maybe things will go a bit more smoothly tonight.

I don't have any progress to report on my other project either. I had company over the weekend, so all of my knitting had to get stashed away in a closet so that they would think I am one of those people whose house is always clean. (are there really any of those people out there or do they have a bunch of stuff stashed in their closets too?)

My little helper, Madeline, was feeling neglected during the pre-company housecleaning, so she was kind enough to help me sort my yarn.

Thanks, Mads.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Yay! Sales!

As the only thing better than new craft supplies are new craft supplies that you got on sale, Julie at Reflections Unlimited has a running list of scrapbooking sales and events scheduled for National Scrapbooking Day this weekend.

Check it out!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rainy Sunday

Nothing better than a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Sure, there was a big pile of laundry to be folded and put away, but it will still be there tomorrow. Knitting and detangling yarn that my little dog had jumbled seemed like a far better use of my time.

I also made a couple of pairs of earrings. I took photos of the earrings, but I need to get the film developed, because I live in the dark ages and don't have a digital camera yet. I'll post those pictures when I get them.

The earrings are pretty simply constructed out of shrink plastic and glass beads. I made the shrink plastic beads months ago, but only just got around to finishing the earrings.

As this was my first adventure with shrink plastic since a Shrinky Dink color-your-own Care Bears kit in elementary school, the design was pretty simple. I used Microsoft clip art to find some cool black and white botanical images. I used the shrink paper that you can run through an ink jet printer. It starts out translucent, but turns opaque white once you shrink it and dink it. My friend Liz also had some that you could draw or stamp on that stays translucent after it is shrinked and dinked. I'm not sure if that applies to all brands of shrink plastic, but it means that my beads came out black and white.

An image about the size of a half dollar seems to shrink down to a nice size for earrings. And a standard hole punch makes a nice hole for a jump ring.

Watching them shrink is still really fun, so I think I'll have more shrink plastic adventures in the future.