Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Holidays!

Isn't this polar bear adorable? Ho! Ho! Ho! I added stickles to his cute nose, his hat and to the ribbon. The image is by Whipper Snapper Designs. "Happy Holidays" is from the Stampin Up Happy Everything set. I colored him with COPIC markers. You can't see it on this photograph, but I did hit parts of the bear with a shade of ice-blue (just to give his fur a little dimension.)

I've had a FABULOUS week!

So, it may look like I've neglected my blog. Well, I have, Sort of. I've neglected my blog and made some valuable time for myself. In this past week, I've hit the gym FOUR times! Yes, Sirree!! I've had a great cardio workout, between 60 - 70 minutes each time I went to the gym. Today, I decided not to go the gym, because the weather outside is just gorgeous. Instead, I walked around my neighborhood. They don't call my neighborhood Hickory Hills for nothing. LOL! I walked a mile-and-a-half, and 75% of it was uphill. No snow. I'm lucky. hehehhehe. When I got home, I got in the bathtub and soaked my sore legs until the water turned cold. Are you wondering whey I say this has been a fabulous week? Because, all-in-all, I've lost SIX POUNDS in this past week, ALONE! Can you believe it?????? No diet pills. No diet, really. I've reduced my fat and caloric intake, is all. No deprivation, either. I've had some chocolate this week. I can't believe how well my body has responded to the exercise. So, my goal is to do two consecutive days of vigorous cardio; rest on the third day; and then start again (two days of exercise, one day of rest). After I've built up some stamina, I'm going to incorporate strength training into my weekly routine. I'm hoping that I'll hit my goal weight by next summer. I'm being generous. I don't want to lose the weight too quickly, have all flab and no muscle. Slow and steady is how I want to do this. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rodney the Reindeer

This is one of my most favorite Christmas stamps. I believe it's called Rodney Reindeer, and it's made by Whipper Snapper Designs. Coloring the image can take up some time because of all of the different colored light bulbs; but I love to play with this image, just the same. I colored Rodney with COPIC markers and added Diamond Glaze to play up the light bulbs and his nose. I found this awesome tree-lights paper by American Crafts. It goes perfectly with the stamped image.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

***Puppy Chow***

I craved Puppy Chow this afternoon. No, not the kind you feed your dog. The kind that's made with chex cereal, chocolate, butter, powdered sugar..... I'll share the recipe in just one second. This recipe yields 9 cups. It can fill four treat bags. I made the reindeer tag using my oval nestabilities, Martha Stewart branch punch, googly eyes, and a few circle punches. I also added some stars (Stampin Up punch) and a star eyelet.

Recipe for Puppy Chow

* 9 cups of Chex Cereal (I used most of one regular size box of Rice Chex)
* 6 oz (1 cup) of semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
* 1/4 cup of margarine or butter (DO NOT USE SPREAD)
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

(Other: You'll need a cookie sheet, lined with wax paper; and a one-gallon size plastic bag.)

1) Measure cereal into a very large bowl; set aside.
2) Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and margarine or butter in a medium-size bowl, uncovered, on High for one minute. You may need to microwave for an additional 30 seconds until it is easy to stir the butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips.
3) Stir in vanilla.
4) Pour chocolate mixture over the cereal in the large bowl. Gently stir until all of the cereal is completedly coated.
5) Pour chex into the gallon-size bag. Pour powdered sugar over.
6) Seal and shake gently until the chex is coated completely.
7) Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Non-labor-intensive Christmas Card

I've been playing around with a few ideas for Christmas cards to give to family and my male co-workers. I don't know about you, but I save the really labor-intensive cards for people who I know will appreciate the work that went into it. My immediate family members, including my brothers, mom and dad, and my in-laws know that I put a lot of hard work into creating some of my cards. But, for other relatives, and even my male co-workers (well, you know men) who don't really understand that making cards is a labor of love..... well..... I'd rather not make some of my Christmas cards that labor intensive (you know what I mean?)
So, when I went to Archiver's today, and saw this really cute Quickutz die, I had an "Aha!" moment. This is the answer for my oh-so-sophisticated relatives in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Doesn't a set of martini glasses seem like the appropriate gift with this card? Hmmm......maybe I'll get that for my sister-in-law who loves a good martini.) I've always wanted to make them a handmade card, but I know they just won't appreciate liquid applique on snow, or bling, or stickles or brads. To make the assembly go even faster, I went ahead and created the "Merry Christmas" on my computer. "Easy-peasy!" as Jamie Oliver would say. Now, I just have to make 50 of these, and I'll be good to go! A crafter's job is never finished!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One down.....49 more to go!

I was inclined to get started on making Christmas cards, today. My husband received a phone call at eleven o'clock last night, telling him he had to be at work at 7 AM, this Sunday morning. So, I am taking advantage of this by working on Christmas cards, doing chores around the house, and aftewards, reading a good book (Deception Point by Dan Brown). In a sense, this is a "me" day. My son is in his room, reading a book. If my husband comes home at lunch-time, we'll probably step out for dim-sum. But, for now, I want to make Christmas cards and enjoy this beautiful Sunday morning.
The image and sentiment are by Whipper Snapper Designs. I bought these stamps in 2004, and to this day, I have so much fun creating with these Jolly Snowmen! What I loved most about making this card is the ability to use tools which were not available to me in 2004. Diamond Glaze, for example, was something I had discovered a year later. I used it on the snowmen's tongues and noses. I was introduced to Liquid Applique also just three years ago; and the bling, brads and Sizzix die just last year. I colored these cuties with COPIC markers, which is something that I had just discovered this year. It's terrific that an older image can be renewed year after year, as new ideas and new products come out in the market.
Are you planning on making a lot of Holiday cards this year? I hope that you enjoy the time creating them as much as I do!