Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Spicing it Up Club Scrap Style!

Howdy Blog Hoppers and Welcome to the November Club Scrap Blog Hop featuring the Moroccan Spice Kit!   You've probably hopped over from Marya's Blog and if you need to find any more of the excellent projects for this month just hop on over to Club Scrap's Blog.

Things have been a little crazy lately as I am trying to sort of clean up and clean out my multiple crafting areas so when I set out to make something this month before my Thanksgiving trip out of town I was at a bit of a loss.  Heck, I couldn't even find my kit (oops).

I did find a cat in a box.
Nope that's not the kit!

I finally found my kit, grabbed my POPs, the extra awesome stencil that was a special order this month and I went to find a place to create.

Hmmmm obviously not there.  To the kitchen I headed with the following supplies:

-2 card bases from an older mixed paper pack, 2 mattes cut from Moroccan Spice POPs, some painter's masking tape, and some white acrylic paint.

Next I masked off my mattes on some scratch paper.  Note a grid ruler is helpful.

Next I painted carefully within the area remaining.

I left them for about 15 mins and then peeled off the tape.  Be very careful, some of the paper might want to stick to the tape (that's why we made 2 right?)

So here are your mattes now.  So once they are totally dry grab your stencil and some corrdinating ink colors.

Ink up inside the white area with the coordinating color you like.   If you get some on the edge like this...

It's really ok, I just rubbed some extra ink on the ends of the papers to make it blend in.

Here are your finished panels.  Now all you have to do is let them dry, stamp out some sentiments and pop them on your card bases!

Ta-da!!!  Not too shabby?   I hope you enjoyed my super easy tutorial, now back to cleaning! 

MaryAnne wishes all of you a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!  Until next time Hop on along to Donna's Blog!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

These Cards "Rock"

Howdy "Blog Hoppers" and welcome to the Club Scrap September Blog Hop featuring the stunning, and I mean really awesome Transformations Kit!
At any point you'd like to check out all the stops on this month's blog hop (and you totally should) feel free to "hop" on back to The Club Scrap Blog to check out all the other "rockin" projects this month.

So from the time I saw the spoilers at the end of last month this kit reminded me of our yard.  I know that sounds a little goofy but here...let me show you...

(By the way don't tell LVP that I posted photos of the yard without him blowing the leaves off the grass first.)  But see how we use the river rock as a drainage solution?  It reminds me very much of the rock images in the kit!  So I decided to focus on the rocks...and ended up with these!!

So to keep things easy I'll break this down into steps!

Step One-Get out in nature and take a picture of some rocks!  (Or in my case, go to your front yard and take pictures of your rocks.  Note: If the mailman or UPS man happen to drive by while you are doing this you might get some odd stares.  If you luck out like me and they BOTH drive by in a span of 2 minutes you'll feel like a real dummy.)

Step Two-Print the photos.  You can print them on your own photo printer, have them printed or just be like me who was running way short on time and just print them out on your work color copier.  (Trust me, your boss won't mind.)

Step Three-Gather materials.  I used 2 ea. 8 1/2" by 11" brown pieces for 4 ea. card bases and 1 ea. cream sheet for the 4 ea. inside mattes.  Then all I needed was the trusty Transformations HPOP!
Step Four-Cut and score your brown sheets, trim your "rockin" rock mattes, and find some appropriate "rockin" stamps to embelllish your cards.

(Note this step is "Cat Optional" but I really think AJ adds flair to the cards.)

Step Five-Stick everything down and call yourself a winner!

I created 4 cards-the first two were very similar and used the Transformations stacked rock stamp and the "Hope Your Birthday Rocks" stamp.
Next I dug deep into the stash for the Fizz UM Font stamps for this card.
And finally even deeper for the (I think) Reaching Out special release (post Hurricane Katrina) Wood Mounted Stamp for this great quote about stones.
So there you have it, a "Rockin" card set with a little taste of my front yard!  I hope you enjoyed my quick cards this month and "hop along" to the next blog on the list Artfully Balanced with Anne Marie!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Splashy Margarita Card

Howdy Blog Hoppers and Welcome to the Cantina Blog Hop!  

I'm a HUGE fan of the kit this month (I feel like I have been waiting for it for about two years-I think I have!)  I hope you hopped on over from Deb's Blog or if you would like to catch up on all of today's action just hop back to The Club Scrap Blog Page.

So I was really geeking out from the moment I heard the name of this kit, all the way to spoiler time and then even more when it hit my door step!  I knew exactly what I wanted to do-

Make a card with an actual margarita in it!!
Ok now that I've already spoiled the entire post with the finished product I'll show you how I dreamed up this bad boy (and yes I actually had a dream about it before I started!)
It all starts with a vacuum food saver.  
Now I know what you are thinking..."but Janet, I don't have one of those things!"  Well then you can't make the totally awesome card!!  Ok well you might be able to get away with using a small snack zip bag or even a smaller bag-like the kind you might use to carry medications when you travel?  But for sure the best way to make a perfectly sealed tiny pouch of margarita is to use this puppy!

(*Disclaimer #1-I did not fill the pouch with actual margarita because that would be a waste of a perfectly good drink.  Food coloring and water works just fine!)

 And there you have it, a perfect tiny pouch!

Now I recommend you make your pouch and then size your card because making the pouch to an exact size is tricky.  So my next step was to trace the margarita stencil on a scrap piece of paper and then blow it up with a copy machine to match the size of my pouch!
"But Janet I don't have a copy machine!"  Really?  You don't have access somewhere to a copy machine?  Ok...if not you could also free hand the margarita glass...I suppose.

Next up grab the supplies you need to make your card.  (Cat is not required to complete project.)

I used my copied margarita glass template to choose my envelope size and then I made the card slightly smaller than the envelope since it was going to be kind of "puffy."  The card size ended up being about 5 1/2 by 7 but again yours might vary based on the size of the pocket of liquid.

Use your margarita glass template to trace and then cut out your glass shape.  I outlined mine with black marker to help it stand out.
Now you are ready to assemble. 
Since this isn't a shaker card with loose items you don't really need to worry about sealing all four sides of the card panel.  I just used some foam tape at the top and bottom and actually attached the sides with regular double sided tape for strength.  (It would be nice if I had a photo of this step but I don't.)

So with your pouch in place, add it to your card base and then decorate as you wish.  When you are done you end up with something like this...

A little stickles glue for the salted rim worked perfectly.

(*Disclaimer #2-Don't mail this card.  Really ya'll the postal service will hate you.  That whole "does this have anything liquid, fragile, perishable thing?"  They are pretty serious about that.  Plus it would probably bust in the mail system and make a huge mess and ruin the card you just spent hours making?  Just use it as a nice card to hand to someone at a birthday party or something?  Don't mail the card!)

Ok now that we covered that...I hope you enjoyed a little peak into my dream world today and I'm waiting to find the very perfect person to give this card to (in person, not in the mail!)

TTFN-(ta ta for now!)  Hop on over to Anne Marie's Blog for your next stop on the hop! 


Monday, June 29, 2015

The Great Meal Delivery Experiment

Howdy Ya'll!  I know a few of you have been anxiously awaiting the results of my 3 weeks of experimentation with 3 different meal delivery services.  So here is my take on all three companies (btw I was not compensated for any of my reviews but some of the companies offer discounts off your first week and some offer discounts for referrals, check each website for details.)

Blue Apron--(cost $59.94 for 3 meals for 2 people)

Shipping and Packing-The smallest box and probably the most carefully shipped.  But I had two ingredients missing (some capers and some white wine) and one pack of cilantro that was way past its prime.  Would have been a frustrating trip to the store at the last minute if I hadn't checked for all items right away.

Customer Service-They credited me $12 towards a future order when I emailed about the missing ingredients.  (Which was fine with me since I had wine and cilantro and only had to buy the capers.)  Very quick response.

Meals-Salmon Burgers with Potato Salad, Arepas de Carne Molida and Chicken Piccata.  (photos of the Arepas and Chicken Piccata)  Both the Arepas and the Salmon Burgers were something totally new to us and though skeptical both were great!  The food overall was tasty but the portions were the smallest of all three companies.  I added some black beans on the side of the Arepas and a salad to the Chicken to round it out. 
Other Info-The recipe cards included were bright, easy to follow and they had the best Facebook support page as far as tips from other buyers who had made the same recipes.  I enjoyed looking over each one before I made it for extra tips and tricks.  Blue Apron only offers 3 ea. meals with meat or 3  vegetarian meals each week.  You can sub a veg meal for one of the meat meals if something doesn't strike your fancy but I thought it was the most limited of all of the companies as far as choice each week.  It is easy to try for a week and then suspend delivery though so if a week didn't look great to you you could just skip it.

Plated--(cost $72 a week for 3 meals for 2 people-but this was the only plan where you could order less or more meals based on choices for the week-the cost would go up or down accordingly.)

Shipping and Packing-By far the worst packing of the bunch and it showed (see photo of box on my porch.)  Box was way too big and the food got crushed in process by the ice packs inside.   I had a head of lettuce that was half brown and a broken small plastic bottle of wine that had spilled in the box.  I did go online and found that many people had the same problem that week and most said this was not-usual for the company.
Customer Service-After an email about the box and few damaged items they also credited my account with the cost of one meal.  Quick response.

Meals-Chicken Under a Brick with Roasted Veggies, Sambal and Miso Roasted Fish with Coconut Noodle Salad, and Caesar Steak Lettuce Cups with Lemon Potatoes (photos of all three.)  Portion size was good.  I didn't need to add anything and we were full (mostly-see next statements.)  The Chicken cooking technique was a first for me and it was fantastic and I'd try it again for sure.  The Fish with the cold noodle salad was just...odd.  The fish had good flavor but just didn't seem to go with the cold noodles to us.  We ate it but I wouldn't fix it again (cold noodles and fish???.)  The Caesar steak cups were inherently flawed.  The concept was good but the little tub of anchovy paste for the dressing (which I poured all over the cups) was WAY too strong.  I love Caesar salad and I even like anchovies fine but this overpowered the dish.  I ate most of mine but DBF gave up after one lettuce cup and said it tasted like rotten fish (it really did.)  A shame really.


Other Info-Again the recipe cards were pretty and helpful.  I didn't find as much online support as far as other users go but plenty of company/website support.  Most flexible as far as number of meals ordered per week and number of choices of meals but they charge shipping if you buy less than $50 worth in one week.  Again easy to stop and start when you would like.  They also offer dessert for $4 per portion and they also offer fancier dishes each week (like filet mignon for an upcharge.)


Hello Fresh--(cost $64.50 for 3 meals for 2 people)

Shipping and Packing-The best of the bunch.  Perfectly sized, well packaged box.  Nothing was damaged.  Food lasted well for the 4-5 days until I fixed all meals.

Customer Service-Ironically for the box that had the best packing of the food I was sent the recipe cards for the vegetarian meals instead of the carnivore meals.  A quick email and literally in less than 5 mins I had downloadable links for all the cards.

Meals-Chipolte Rubbed Chicken Salad with Pico and Avacado, Warm Farro and Shrimp Bowl, and Serrano Steak with Mango Slaw and Cilantro Rice (Chicken Salad and Flank Steak meal pictured.)  I thought all of these meals were very good with pretty large portions.  I had leftover farro salad and leftover mango slaw and rice.

Other Info-Easy to follow and possibly the simplest meals to prepare in the bunch.  Again helpful Facebook page with user reviews and tips.  Pretty recipe cards and they included the nutritional information in great detail.  You got to choose three meals out of 5 for the week (1 option was vegetarian.)  Easy to stop and start.

Link-  use referral code CMRZ33 for $40 off your first box (which is a pretty darn good for trying it out.)

Some overall thoughts about this whole process...

I think this is a great idea for busy couples and families.  It would also be very helpful for new moms or inexperienced cooks new to the kitchen who want to learn.  One thing that was off-putting to me though was the amount of waste from the boxes, ice packs and packaging.  I tried to think of how much waste I would have if I had purchased the items from the store though and I guess it wasn't bad.  The ice packs can be re-used at home (or sometimes donated to your local meals on wheels.)  The boxes collapse into the recycling and most of the inner packaging was recyclable.

The pricing is more than I would probably spend on our normal meals at home but less obviously than going out.  Each plan had good and bad points.  I missed leftovers yet at the same time didn't miss the leftovers from cooking for two (if that makes sense to you guys-cooking for two is hard for me.)

The cooking times for me varied, it did take me longer than the time listed on the recipe card but I had each meal on the table in less than an hour. 

Final disclaimer-If you have a picky eater in your household this probably isn't for you.  Leslie did fine for some meals but by meal #8 (the Farro salad with the shimp) he just flat out didn't eat anything but the shrimp and I just skipped serving him the steak with mango slaw all together (he has a thing about meat and fruit).  He was just burned out on trying new things and it was becoming a dinnertime battle.  I personally love trying things and I'm not very picky so for me it was great.  But if you have a picky one or a meat and potatoes person this just isn't going to work for you.

I think if you are interested in the process though you should try one of the companies at least one time and see how you like it.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions and I plan on trying each of the companies at least one more time (after I give Leslie some time to eat some meat and potatoes!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's "Hawt" Out There!

Howdy Blog Hoppers and welcome to the June Club Scrap National Parks Blog Hop...
If you want to be sure you checked out all of the great projects this month just hop on back to the Club Scrap Blog!

So I don't know about ya'll but here in the Northern Metro Atlanta area it's HOT!  I know summers in the South are usually pretty warm but for the time of the year it's been downright HOT for the last couple weeks.  Highs in the mid 90's with high humidity.  My poor Mom in Phoenix is facing temps of 114 for the next few days!!  So I made up a new word for this unbearable sticky hotness.  For those times when your undergarments are stuck to your sweaty body and sweat is running into your eyes...that's called being "HAWT".

HAWWWWWWWWWWWWWT.  You have to say it in a southern drawn out kind of whiny tone to get the full effect.  So you might be wondering what this has to do with the Blog Hop today...Well my craft room is here...
That my friends is a loft space.  Do you know the number one issue with loft spaces?  They are HAWT!  So when I need to whip up a crafty project it needs to be done with great haste!  So I grabbed some materials and set out to create.

(AJ helped to pick out today project.)

So today we are making a copy cat (ha I just said cat) of the Altered Composition Notebook from Retreat 2013.  The full directions can be found at the Club Scrap site here along with a handy video!

I gathered my notebook, 4 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and a length of ribbon from a grab bag pack and I was ready to go.

I used a piece of the National Parks 8 1/2" by 11" for the front cover and then coordinating grab bag papers for the other three sheets (I mean of course did you expect me to use all my new papers?)  All you need is a little bookbinding glue and a craft knife and you can cover your book in a jiff!

After gluing and burnishing you can flip the book over to cut carefully around the cover to remove the excess paper.

After doing this to all four sides (front and back, inside and out) I added a pocket to the inside back cover.
(This may or may not be exactly how you were supposed to make the pocket but it worked so...)

After just about 20 minutes and a little decorating you end up with this!!  Adorableness! 

(We are headed to an eco-resort on the Georgia Coast at the end of July and I plan to take it along to do a little journaling.) 

So this month I'm offering a random prize to someone who replies to my blog.  Club Scrap accidentally sent me someone elses GHM order in my box this month and said I could keep it so I'm going to turn around and give it to one of you lucky readers.  It includes 1 Irresistible Stencil, 2 Blues Lite Suede Papers, 1 Blues Treble Clef Pins, 1 Double Sided Stamp Scrubber, and 1 pack of ink applicators.  Pretty nifty huh?  I'll have the cats draw a random number to pick a winner.  All replies entered before Sunday June 28th at 8pm will be entered to win.

Finally here is a little farewell from MaryAnne who lays in this position because she's HAAAWWWT! (She's cooling her lady parts)
Stay cool my crafty friends and hop across the pond to Hetty's Blog!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bold Botanicals

Howdy Blog Hoppers, welcome to the April Club Scrap Blog Hop featuring the Botanicals kit!
You've just hopped from Hetty's Blog and if you want to check out all the project this month be sure to stop by The Club Scrap Blog.  Now that we have that out of the way we can skip right to my finished project this month...
I know right???  Super cool!  So let's learn a little about this card and the process.

First we are going to have a little lesson in German (this is a bonus today, you had no idea you would be learning German did you?)  The art of cutting paper is called Scherenschnitte.  It translates loosely from German as "scissor cuts".  I started playing with this 16th century art a few years ago when I was decorating my kitchen and I created these...
I was struck by the QDDLs that Ron posted in his blog post here.  I loved the black and white of the flowers and how well it popped.

To create this card first grab your stamp, some embossing ink, black embossing powder and some thick glossy paper.  I used some from the Retreat 2008 Life's A Stage kit.  Thick is best for cutting and the glossy I think embosses best.
Stamp and emboss your image (do it a couple times if you are kind of stamping and embossing challenged.)

Pick the one that ended up the best.  If you have a small light spot it can easily be fixed later with a permanent marker.  Just grab your craft knife and start cutting...
I found as I went that it was a little better to cut out the smaller areas first.  Leave the image as large as possible until you are finished.  About 30 minutes and some sore fingers later you have this...

(Yes that is actual Earth and Herbs Club Scrap paper from 2002.)  Mount your artwork with black pop dots on the printed paper and then I used a sheet of Textiles and Notions purple.

I was pretty pleased with the end result and don't tell anyone but I think it would make a great Mother's Day card for my mom!

Thanks for hopping by today and hop along to Debby's Blog.

Oh and before I forget...
AJ is very excited about next months' kit The Blues!  Can't you tell?