Thursday, December 26, 2013

Still hungry?

Are you out and about with after-Christmas returns and sales? If so, here's something else you might want to shop for. This time of the year, I like to buy restaurant gift cards for places that I frequent because they often offer a bonus card with a purchase. Note that the bonus cards usually have restrictions or time limits. Here's a few deals that are still available:

Carls Jr. Expires 12/31/13. Buy a $20 gift card, receive a Six Dollar Thickburger
Daphnes Greek Cafe Expires 12/29/13. Buy a $30 gift card, receive a $10 bonus card valid 1/1/14 - 2/9/14
El Torito Expires 12/31/13. Buy a $25 gift card, receive a $5 bonus card valid 1/1/14 - 3/30/14
Red Buy a $25 gift card, receive a $10 bonus card valid 1/1/14 - 2/28/14
Rubios Buy a $50, receive a $5 bonus

If you have a favorite restaurant, you can easily do a quick search online to see to they are still offering gift card deals. Some deals expired on 12/24. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Oh Christmas Trees

We made a couple of Christmas trees to contribute to Christmas eve and Christmas day dinners. Of course, these were inspired by Pinterest. The trees are an easy way to present a small appetizer. My platter is around 10x12 inches. I used about 4 oz of pepper jack cheese, 6 oz of sharp cheddar, and less than a pint of tomatoes for each tree.
The trees I saw used grapes, but I liked the idea of a more traditional red and used cherry tomatoes instead. The tree trunk and fronds were leftover from a fennel dish we made for Christmas eve. Dill or another herb would also be a nice touch, or leave off the fronds all together. The stars were cut from lemons.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I'm dreaming of a blue Christmas

Here's the second decoration I made for my office. It is made from a old projector manual. A few years ago, our admin was determined to clear out the filing cabinets. It pained me to see all that hard work (and paper) being tossed so I "saved" as much as I could. The tree turned out to be so popular, I gave a "lunch and learn" last week and also, I gave away the tree to a lucky winner. After all, I can make another one next year.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Season's Greetings

I'm old fashioned and enjoy sending snail mail. And did I ever tell you I like matching my stamps to the season?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Jingle all the way

I decided to decorate my office, cubicle actually, for the holidays. This was the first thing I made:

I used a glass block and bells that I purchased from Hobby Lobby and ribbon that I custom printed with an Epson LabelWorks printer.

The hardest part was adding the bells to the glass block in the office. It was a little embarrassing to "jingle" as I walked in with my supplies and more embarrassing to really jingle as I poured the bells into the block. Oh well, better than me singing Christmas carols!

Sunday, December 08, 2013


Three cents more than last week, but less than this summer. Hope gas prices don't continue to rise through the holidays.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

One sketch, five ways

Interested in a fun cardmaking class? Then join me for, "One sketch, five ways" at Perfect Day Scrapbooking in Huntington Beach. We'll start with a simple sketch and then make five fabulous cards, each one a different variation of the sketch.

The class is only $18 and will be held Saturday, December 14, from 10-12. Be sure to call the store at (714) 369-2862 to sign up. Bring a basic tool kit (trimmer, scissors, adhesive (wet, tape, pop dots or glue dots) and I'll supply the rest! You can also bring your favorite sentiment stamps, ink, and border punches to personalize your cards.

For more info on Perfect Day Scrapbooking, my favorite scrapbook store, check out their blog or Facebook page. They're having daily deals this month!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Welcome little one card

I was tasked with making a baby card over the weekend for a coworker (other duties as assigned? lol). This necessitated a visit to my LSS (because I couldn’t find any of my baby paper/embellishments at home), but inspiration was hindered by not knowing if the baby is a boy or girl (mom-to-be isn't telling). Still, I was able to find some non-baby paper and ribbon that sparked my creativity and came up with cute, gender-neutral card. I’m very happy with the result and hope the mom-to-be enjoys it.

Since this card was being handed to the recipient and not being mailed, I decided to go bulky and try using one of the trendy embellishments (straws, does anyone have any advice on cutting them without crushing them?). Plus, I pop-dotted the cloud and of course, the buttons add some bulk. Note that if this card was being mailed, it would have to be shipped at package rates in a padded envelope.

Supplies: Cloud paper: Bella Blvd (Flying High from the Sand and Surf collection); ribbon: May Arts,;cardstock: Bazzill, Neenah, Paper Reflections; straws, buttons, thread: unknown; Tools: Quickutz Frankie Skinni Mini, Fiskars scallop border punch

On a funny note, one coworker said, “Oh wow, you even used dental floss.” So much for being impressed with the silk thread I used to hang the buttons, lol.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Yay! The only good thing about the end of summer is that gas prices go down a bit.

Monday, August 12, 2013

And the battle continues...

The war against the tomato marauder continues. So far, we've tried chicken wire, chicken wire+bird netting, and black pepper. I think that just caused the creature to look for some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to add to his salad. We tried chicken wire on the bottom and bird netting on top in case it was a raccoon or a large opossum.
We tried bird netting around the chicken wire, in case it was something small (and disgusting) like a rat. The hope was it would get tangled in the bird netting. That didn't work either.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

July card swap

Yes, I'm a little late in posting. Heck, I'll admit I'm a little late in getting the cards done. Once again, I forgot to take a picture of the kit so I stole this photo from Susan's blog. Laurie sent this kit and included a great Thank You stamp and some fun card bases, along with the other goodies you see here.

I has a little trouble with the black and white papers so I made just one card with those papers. The Happy Birthday stamp is from Unity.

I love how the colors came together in this card. The card base and blue paper is from the kit. The ribbon is from Peggy's May card kit. The dotted circles are Inkadinkado, ink is Versamark, and I used a Prisma pencil to color in the "Thank you."

Wendy posted her cards and I took a peek at them before I finished my cards and um, borrowed one of her ideas, which was to emboss the card front. I love how it looks. I broke out a new Cuttlebug folder for this one. The stamps are Studio G and the ink is Colorbox Mixed Media Ink By Donna Salazar, one of my new favorite inks.

Actually, what I like is the Colorbox ink, but I dislike the packaging. It has a round rubber base and the lid doesn't really seal; it just sits loosely on the rim. I suppose the rubber base allows for flexibility when inking up mixed media goodies, but I don't see that I'll be able to travel with these inks unless I tape them closed.

Please visit the rest of the cardmakers and leave them some comment love. They all did a much better job of mixing the black and white patterned papers with the bright colored papers/embellishments:





We're taking a break for August so you'll see the next card kit in September.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Tomatoes, round two

So, the bird netting didn't work. I knew it was some sort of nocturnal creature, but I was hoping the netting would annoy and deter them. No such luck. The next attempt was to put netting around the tomatoes. This was the result:
Something is very persistent. I think I've thrown out over a dozen tomatoes so far. I'm a bit discouraged.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sweet potato chips

I tried once again to make sweet potato chips. And once again, it was an epic fail. The chips go from raw to burnt in seconds. Unfortunately, I'm not one to watch the oven that closely. I'm more of the turn-the-timer-on-and-wait-for-the-ding kind of gal. And this is the result.
I'm not sure if I should bake at a low temp so the chips are more like dehydrated chips or if I should bake at a high temp, sort of like frying. Any one have any tips?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Enjoying the first tomatoes of the year

I got a late start to my tomatoes this year. Actually, none of the seeds I planted sprouted so I ended up buying plants. I put in Early Girl and Better Boy and also a Japanese eggplant. So much easier than planting and replanting seedsa Around the first of the month, a few started ripening. Yay, fresh tomatoes from the garden!

Unfortunately, I waited too long to pick them and this is what I found in the morning:
In case you can't tell, that bit of red on the plant is what's left of my first ripe tomato. All the red bits on the dirt are the skin.

And this:

Obviously, something has discovered the bounty of garden. I'm not interested in staying up all night to catch the culprit so we're trying this:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Today's harvest

I'm getting two a day, if I'm lucky. At this rate, I might have enough for a meal in a week, lol.


(yes, I'm posting old prices so if you're viewing this in a reader, the date is correct even though you're seeing it now.)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Card swap, round 2, month 5

This month, we received this awesome, but challenging kit from Wendy. At least it was challenging for me because is full of ephemeral and embellishments outside of my comfort zone. But that's the good thing about this swap, helping us create outside of our comfort zones. I was scared when I saw all this goodness: an almanac page, journaling cards, lace, pearl sprays, sequins. All stuff I never use. But I was determined to do it justice.

I made just three cards, but have enough supplies to make several more. Here's the first. Wendy sent the punched hearts and the stamp and I thought they went together nicely with the journaling card. I added the base, brads, button, and twine from my stash.

For this next card, everything but the circle brads came from the kit. I usually don't like lumpy, bumpy on my cards (extra postage, ya know), but I thought the pearl spray added the perfect finishing touch.

This last card is sooooo out of my comfort zone. Stamping? sequins? ephemeral? Simple, but I loved how all the pieces came together.

All the sentiments are from Unity so I'm linking this up to their Friends with Flair.

Please visit the rest of the cardmakers and leave them some comment love:






Friday, June 21, 2013

Be the change...

I am waaaay too easily influenced by my scrappy friends. My friend Miwa is addicted to Unity Stamps and now I think I am too. I am having a hard time resisting their latest birthday stamps, but since I didn't make a killing at the the last LSS sale and I haven't used half the stamps in my stash, I really can't justify buying any more (not that that usually stops me).

So here's to using my stash. I even broke out a new stamp pad. I love this quote set and finally took the plunge and bought it a couple weeks ago. I wanted to highlight the quote so the card is very simple.
I'm linking this up to Unity's Friends with Flair.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Card Swap, round 2, month 4

Happy June! Obviously, I'm behind on posting my May cards. Peggy sent an awesome kit and it inspired me to break out a bunch of my tools. I didn't remember to take a picture so I stole this one from Susan's blog.

There are a lot of firsts in these cards. If you've been following my blog, you've already seen this first card. I linked it up with Unity Stamps Friends with Flair (for the first time). That means I finally used a Unity Stamp set. Plus I broke out my new hexagon punch (more on that later).

For this next card, I broke out a Stamps of Life set I bought from the last LSS garage sale. The tag goes in the bag, obviously, but I left it out so you could see it.

I broke out a Tim Holtz die that I've had for a couple of years, plus a TCP stamp set I got on clearance from JoAnn (only 99 cents!). This card is going to a friend who loves gardening.

Obviously, I was really inspired by this kit. I was also inspired by a new scrapping space I'm carving out in one corner of the house. If it works out, I'll give more details later. If not, forget I said anything about it.

Thanks Peggy for a great kit. I already received Wendy's kit for June and I tell you, it is taking me out of my crafty comfort zone. But that's a good thing! If I keep up with this swap and cardmaking, maybe I can justify all my crafty purchases.

Please visit the rest of the cardmakers and leave them some comment love:






Friday, June 07, 2013

Unity Stamps: Friends with Flair

I've been slowly collecting Unity Stamps and finally, thanks to encouragement from my friend Miwa, I'm participating in my first Friends with Flair Friday. I used the Dragon Fly of Beauty set, which is one of their Stamps of the Week sets, and my new hexagon punch. Thanks for stopping by!
Supplies: Bazzill cardstock, MME patterned paper, Unity stamps, Colorbok catseye ink

Monday, June 03, 2013

Take a guess

Hmmm, what could that be? An ice cube, a big bubble, modern art sculpture in the park? Try again. No really, just guess. 
Hint: it isn't animal or vegetable.
Hint: it was to do with scrapbooking.
I didn't realize the cap on my adhesive wasn't secure and almost half the bottle leaked out. Good thing I kept it in a plastic bag. Bummed that a couple dollars got wasted, but thankful for plastic bags. Otherwise, a whole lotta supplies would have been ruined.

Saturday, June 01, 2013


We took a few days off to travel to Texas for our nephew's wedding. Mr. Fix-it asked if I was going to make their wedding card (of course dear!), but he was getting a bit anxious since I didn't finish it until two days before we left.

I envisioned something slightly different, but when I got my dies out, I saw that a redesign was in order because of the size of the die. Guess that's part of the creative process, right? It was a country wedding so I didn't want to go glittery or too bright. I'm really happy with how it turned out and hope the bride and groom like the card.
supplies: Quickutz die, Club Scrap textured paper, Coordinations pearl paper, vellum, Papertrey Ink stamp, Martha Stewart pearls.

What day is it?

How did it get to be June? I've spent the past few weeks being terribly confused as to what day it was. When I put my out-of-office notice up last month, I put one day return day on the auto e-mail reply, another day on my voice mail, and yet another day on the paper taped to my monitor...and they were all different. Think I needed a vacation? Luckily, the department calendar was correct if anyone cared to look it up, one out of three was correct and I was able to correct my e-mail from home. I had actually told people I would be gone longer than I was actually out, so hopefully, they were pleasantly surprised when I was back in the office.

I need to get my act together and get ready for another LSS garage sale, post some stuff for sale on FB/Craig's list/ebay, and just generally declutter. I think I'll start another get rid of 100 things in 100 days. Anyone care to join me?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Get ready to Stamp Out Hunger!

This year's food drive by the National Association of Letter Carriers is this Saturday, May 11th. It is easy! Just place a box or bag of non-perishable groceries (no glass please) by your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick it up to be donated to a local food pantry or service organization. Many food banks are running low this time of year because of the influx of food from the holidays is gone.

If your pantry looks like mine, it shouldn't be difficult to find a few things to donate.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Today's harvest

I picked another batch of Swiss chard (1.7 pounds!). The red Swiss chard will be cooked with some spinach, the heavy stems baked with parmesan cheese, and the rest will be washed and placed in Tupperware for later in the week.

And I picked the last of the sugar snap peas. It was tough going this year. I planted seeds three times and the first two times, the snails took out everything. I finally resorted to snail bait, which I hate to do. No organic garden this year, but I was desperate.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Card swap, month 3

Katie was this month's hostess and she sent out a lovely selection of papers and card bases as usual. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the kit before I dug into it. Hopefully, someone else did and I can steal their photo. I made three cards, as usual. I had hopes for more, but I got too busy (my usual excuse).

I loved the foiled butterfly paper in this first card. I had only this small piece so I left it as is (I debated fussy cutting the largest butterfly). I also wanted to keep the card simple to highlight the paper. Everything except the butterfly paper came from my stash.

Katie always sends us neat card bases and this base had the label cut out. I cut the base down a little so I could run it through my Cuttlebug to emboss it. I had to run it through twice and unfortunately, I couldn't get the top part to emboss as deeply. Ah well, maybe Mom won't notice. The patterned paper and butterfly sticker are from the kit. The pink ribbon at the bottom, flower, and button are from Susan's kit from last month, and the Happy Mother's Day ribbon I printed with a printer I borrowed from work.

I also loved this scalloped card base and I hope I did it justice. Katie also sent us some die cut butterflies. I used one as is and punched the smaller two out of another one. The large butterfly is attached with an "action wobble," which a plastic spring with adhesive, so it "flutters." The patterned paper is from the kit and the metal tag is an old Making Memories tag.

I am sooo enjoying having a selection of cards on hand. If you're interested in joining us in the future, let me know.

Here are the rest of the cardmakers. Visit them and leave them some comment love.






Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bacon makes everything better

I had some leftover bacon in the fridge with no plans for it so I was going to freeze it for later. I usually freeze bacon in two strip batches, which is just enough to fry up for a bit of flavor and fat for a wok full of greens (currently Swiss Chard from the garden). Then I remembered the bacon wrapped tofu mentioned on somewhere on the web.
It made a yummy snack. See Just Hungry for cooking instructions, though if you can fry bacon, you can make this. I didn't make bite-pieces, though that probably would have worked better. I just cut the tofu brick into five pieces because that's how many pieces I had. The larger pieces were a little difficult to turn. You can see the piece in front that broke. Be sure to overlap the edges. I think that helps keep the tofu together.


It has been over a year for that low of a price for gas.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Oil pulling, days 3 to 10

Back in February, I started oil pulling, just as an experiment. I did it ten times in a two week period. It was too difficult to do every day, especially days when I left for work early, but I tried to do it for the full 20 minutes when I did do it.

A few thoughts. I thought my teeth and mouth were cleaner, but how could they not be with an extra long teeth brushing session every morning? Better than that, I thought my plaque build up after eating was decreased. I did not notice any health improvements, but I assume I didn't do it long enough.

I found it was easier to just sit and do nothing while swishing the oil around. It was kind of meditative. Sitting in front of the computer was okay, but there was the day I had to sneeze and didn't make it to the bathroom sink in time. That was a mess.

It is a Swiss invasion

Swiss chard, that is. Here is an example of "it pays to be lazy." Last fall, I was too lazy to pull out all the Swiss chard after it bolted so all the seeds fell into the bed. This is what has come up in just one corner of the bed. I've harvested several batches already and have two containers washed and ready for later in the week.

Call me crazy, but I just ordered some yellow Swiss chard seeds (just adding more color to our dinner plate) so I know what we'll be eating all spring and summer. Share your favorite recipes please!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Card Swap, month 2

This month's hostess was Susan and she put together an awesome kit. Now, if I were smart, I would have put together my cards when we got together for a scrapping weekend, but nooooo, I had to wait, as usual.

This kit was full of beautiful Basic Grey. I can't believe it was a collection I didn't buy. I probably have a couple hundred sheets still. I used to love Basic Grey until I figured out I didn't know how to use the paper. But maybe I just need to use the paper for cards? The kit was also full of yummy embellishments like Lasting Impressions buttons (which I now covet), all kinds of die cuts and chipboard, an assortment of American crafts goodies, card bases, and much more. Although we're not supposed to buy anything for the kits (the supplies are supposed to come from our stash), Susan was a rebel and bought the lovely MFT stamps from an Operation Write Home fundraiser. Here's a photo of the kit after I made my cards. You can see that I could make half a dozen more cards with what's left.

My first card is a variation of my standard design of a rectangle with border. This time, I added some flowers from the kit. I got the "love" ribbon from an LSS giveaway and I love how it matches the papers. I used some Making Memories paint on the chipboard and some LI brads from my stash.

Of course, I had to use the bunny. I couldn't think of how to use the sentiments from the stamp set, so I decided to break out a Quickutz die. The journaling circle is Jillibean Soup, the stamp is Papertrey Ink, the ribbon is a scrap I had sitting around, and the brads are from Joanns. I hope a service person will enjoy sending this to a loved one.

For my last card, I broke out a Paper Shapers punch. I bought it last year at an LSS sale and am so happy I have it in my tool bin. I curled the petals around a pen and also used foam adhesive to help keep the petals poofed up. The stamp is from 3bugsinarug.

Thanks for an awesome kit! And thanks for the card bases. I need to get some of that good cardstock.

Here are the rest of the cardmakers. Visit them and leave them some comment love.

Susan's cards:





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Can you say addicted?

Sigh, I just can't resist Quickutz dies and fonts. Even though I think the quality has gone down and there are dozens of competitors now, I keep going back to the familiar.

Whenever I cropped with friends, I found myself always borrowing the same fonts so I thought I better add them to my collection. I got a smokin' ebay deal on this baby, only $8.50 with free shipping. I felt bad for the seller, but happy for me.
Now, if only I could find the same deal for Moxie in the classic size. I really need to catalog all of my dies and fonts. I did have a list, but lost it when my computer sort of died last year. I better do it soon before I start buying duplicates.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

(Obviously, I'm a little behind on my posts.)

On Valentine's Day, I had the early shift with my carpooler (I carpool with different people and we meet at different times; luckily, my boss is flexible). That meant getting up at O'dark thirty and trying to get ready in dark without waking up Mr. Fix-it. When I stumbled downstairs, I found this lovely Valentine's card and gift. It was an extra thoughtful gift because I had lost my Clipa a few weeks ago. I didn't want to spend the $ for new one and thought I could get by without it, but as it turns out, I did miss having it. He even bought a different color, just in case I found mine.

Here's what I gave him...I already warned him I didn't buy him nor make him one. He said mine was economical. I think he's a keeper.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Card swap month 1

We started another round of the card swap and I again hosted the first month. We have some players from the last round, plus a few new friends so I'm really looking forward to the next few months of cardmaking. Since we have six instead of four players, I found it a little more difficult to put the kits together, even with my extensive stash. For example, when I include ribbon, I usually include 12-inch lengths, but had trouble finding 2 yards of matching ribbon. Next time, I'll have to remind myself that a six-inch sample is long enough for a card.

Here's what was included in the kit:

Patterned paper from A to Z and Basic Grey.
DCWV glitter card bases
Bazzill cardstock
Kaisercraft journaling tags
AC black buttons
Pearlized green brads
Velvet grey ribbon (from LM!), black and white checked ribbon, pearl daisy trim, teal ribbon, washi tape. The ribbons and washi are in 12-18 inch sections.
Yellow tickets

At the last minute, I decided to throw in the ginko paper. I have no idea who made it. The paper on the left is really silver, not gold. The paper is really shiny and difficult to photograph.

As you can see, there are multiple themes going on. Obviously, I couldn't decide what to include so I just kept adding stuff. I've got the classic black and white, bling, Asian, French (the journaling tags are from the Bonjour line), and fun with the yellow tickets.

This first card is just a simple card. I still need to add white liner so it is usable. And I'm not very good at adding sentiments so this one may go to Operation Write Home as a blank card. All the patterned paper and embellishments are from the card is from the kit. I had to add the card base since I didn't include any in the kit. I also used my favorite border punch. (It is a Martha Stewart punch, in case you need one for yourself.)

I couldn't decide if I should add ribbon or not to this next card, but then I thought that ribbon would make it too feminine. (I was trying for a masculine card.) Next time, I'll think about adding some baker's twine. The sentiment is a sticker from DCWV and again, the black cardstock and use of a die are the only additions.

I really like this next card. I tried to get all "artsy" with the overlapping words, but that didn't turn out as well as I liked. The wedding dress was inspired by this tutorial. The rubons are Making Memories and the pearls are from a previous card kit.

Here's are links to everyone else's cards (or blogs if the cards aren't posted yet). Go visit them and leave them some comment love. It is really fun to see how everyone came up with different designs from the same supplies.
Susan's cards
Katie's blog
Peggy's cards
Wendy's blog
Laurie's blog