Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I know it wouldn't be Halloween without two more fun ideas for you...

This one came from my good friend, Jennifer Bueck. They are paper mache letters that I altered and gave to one of my daughter's teachers today. I made three sets of "eek" words this year, and the others were much larger. Thanks, Jen!And we made these beauties at one of the parties today. Take a rubber glove, put candy corn in each fingertip to resemble a rotting fingernail (especially if you use the candy corn that is brown--not yellow), fill the glove with popcorn, and tie at the top. Add a spider ring, and there you have it! Too fun!
Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback and ideas. I hope to keep offering more of this to you, and if you have a great idea you'd like to share, please feel free to email me at! I'd love to hear from you!

And my goodies arrived today (so look for sneaks of the December kits real soon!)...

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Yes, it's true...

Margie Romney-Aslett is going to be a guest designer for Work In Progress for the month of December! Can't wait to see what delish designs she comes up with! And just as she requested, it will most certainly contain the new Making Memories Noteworthy collection for which she designs! I'll have some sneaky peekies later on this week for you guys...

And there are still 3 openings for the 40 Notecards class at my house next Sunday if you are interested! Please email me at if you are interested in coming (along with the names of 4 people for which you'll be creating cards...) Sorry guys, no kits on this class (way too many pieces parts to go around on this one and it would be too confusing.) I'll also be posting new crop dates sometime this week, once I get the dates confirmed!

Happy Monday to you!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Cookies & Random Stuff...

I saw this idea in a magazine and made them yesterday. They're simple sugar cookies that I tinted orange, and then I dunked the tips in white and milk chocolate to make them look like candy corn. Easy--and the kids helped...
Marlene wanted to know how I stored my mini books. (Some of them in there aren't so "mini"). I got this idea off Ali's blog, and it is now on my sofa table. I can't tell you how often people look through them when they're out in the open. I love that.
And Lisa wanted to know what the garland was hanging on. This gem was bought at Target a while back, but I believe they still carry them. The bottom lifts up (and I hide Christmas gifts there year round!). It is in our foyer, and this view is from my scrapbook room...

And last but not least, here is Diane's recipe that we spoke of last week at the crop. I have no photos yet, but trust me, this is surely going in my "tried & true" book...

Cake Mix Cookies

1 Package Cake Mix (Spice, Pumpkin & Lemon are our favs)
8oz. Cool Whip
1 egg

Mix together. Batter will be sticky. Take a spoonful and coat in a bowl of powdered sugar, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. These are DELISH! Thanks, Diane!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Recipes & ATC Update

I have had several emails requesting kits from this past weekend's 7Gypsies ATC holder class. I'm sorry--I am officially sold out at this time. For those of you interested, I do make kits for classes I teach locally and ship (and thanks to Ali, those are a pretty hot commodity right now!)

Thanks to all the lovely gals who came out to take classes and crop on Saturday. I haven't laughed that hard in quite some time--and I loved seeing all your fun projects in progress as well! Good to see you all--and I'll be scheduling more classes and posting them on the website soon...

Molly, this one's for you!One of the great things about doing a blog is that I get to share all these lovely good tidbits with you guys. And this is just what I'm talking about...

I have amazing crafty friends. I do not come up with all these ideas on my own--and I surround myself with great people, so it looks like I'm Martha (but if you saw the condition of my house right now, you'd understand...).

Last year around this time, my dear friend Jen Bueck created a masterpiece in the kitchen. Dinner in a pumpkin. Now, before you wonder--it is like a stuffed pepper (meat is cooked before it enters the vessel) and it is the most amazing thing ever! Not only does it smell heavenly, it tastes divine. And the presentation is amazing! Be sure to pick a pumpkin with a short stalk so it can enter the oven...

Or, do what Shelly did, and give each person their own individual pumpkin and serve it at a dinner party!
Dinner in a Pumpkin


  • 1 small sugar pumpkin
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (20 ounce) bottle ketchup
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 2 cups cooked white rice


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 Degrees C). Cut off top of pumpkin, scrape out seeds and pith.
  2. In a large deep skillet, saute vegetables in 1/4 cup shortening until soft. Add beef; cook and crumble until evenly brown. Add the pepper, ketchup, garlic, salt, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Simmer 15-20 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the beef mixture, soy sauce, mushrooms, brown sugar, soup and rice. Mix well, pour into pumpkin and replace lid. Cover and freeze remaining beef mixture.
  4. Place filled pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake for one hour or until pumpkin is tender. As you serve dinner, be sure to scoop out a little of the cooked pumpkin too.

And this one was a total hit as well! I'm making this for a big bash we're throwing this weekend--and I can't wait to share it! (Sorry you have to eat it again this coming weekend, Jen!)

Swiss Vegetable Medley
2 packages of frozen broccoli/carrots/cauliflower (California Blend) veggies
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 C. sour cream
2 C. swiss cheese, divided
1 large container french fried onions, divided

Mix all ingredients except 1 C. cheese and half the onions. Put into a large greased 13x9 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Add the remaining cheese & onions on top, and bake for an additional 15 minutes more.

(And for you folks who purchased the recipe book, these are not in there, so feel free to print these out and add them to your collection!)

Happy Friday!

Fall Garland

I keep this ribbon garland in our foyer and change the photos up throughout the season for kicks. Making Memories did a kit like this last year, and I took the concept and made my own! It did use up a TON of ribbon, but I just tied knots all down a length of twine, and added clips where I wanted photos to hang. Try it out! I also did a really cute one for my son's room who has a vintage cowboy theme and used rope and torn fabric...totally cute! I also did a huge one for my Christmas tree as well. Try it out!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oh, how I love the November Kit! :)

It just makes me smile smile smile! :) Here are a few things that I have done using the kit so far!

Thankful Card (this is using the Sketch This Cards sketch from the amazing Janelle Richmond and is featured on the Sketch This Cards Blog):
This is a layout I did of Paul and Alex. Alex, who is my middle child, is missing his daddy something fierce right now. Paul is currently in Maine, while we are living in Hawaii, and will most likely not be with us till February. Alex tells me everyday that he misses his daddy, so when I saw these photos of the two of them together, saw how well they matched with the November kit (even though these photos were taken in June, on Father's day, it just goes to show that you can use this kit with any season!), I knew that I had to use it! :) I also used Janelle Richmond's Sketch for this, featured on her Sketch This Blog this week. :) So here is the layout, title, Daddy, Come Home Soon, He Misses You (the only thing that I used on here not from the kit was the puffy paint and regular paint and the American Crafts little letter stickers): I so hope that everyone is enjoying their wonderful fall weather! Here, in Hawaii, it is 77 and, um, we really don't have a fall. :( It is the one thing, right now, besides my best friend and Paul, oh and my Nanny, that I am missing. Fall is my favorite season, but don't you worry, I will find a way to find fall here in Hawaii! So, Happy Fall, Ya'll!

Cute Gift Idea...

This one came from Tina, who wrote the poem and made this treasure for a loved one! I'm totally making this for my uncle's upcoming birthday...

Thanks, Tina!!!

This is your day! TAKE 5 because you need no REISEN

To celebrate and turning 40 is nothing to SNICKER about.

In fact, this is when you have BUTTERFINGERS

And your mind starts playing TWIX on you.

You’re WHATCHAMACALLIT isn’t working properly,

You’ll do things NOW & LATER

And forget them both.

You’ll even begin to swear on PAYDAYS that

You made 100 GRAND when in fact

It was only SKITTLES.

So when looking back on the days of your life,

Remembering all the SMARTIES and NERDS

And those AIRHEADS on 5th AVENUE.

Think of the fun shared with your friends

And all the CHUCKLES you shared with your


Because whether at the SNO CAPS or a SYMPHONY

You’ve been a LIFESAVER to so many.

Hope your birthday leaves you with

Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Yummy Treat. And yet another mummy...

I know it looks like plain ole popcorn, right?

It is actually popcorn covered in white chocolate, with festive holiday m&m's thrown in for color. I got these cute bags at Michael's on clearance (Martha Stewart) and they were $2.00 for 15--and they came with the ribbon and orange insert. I warn you--this stuff is completely addictive! I had these at the crop this weekend, and they were a hit! You could also jazz them up and really personalize them, which I love.And I know it seems like I have a thing for mummies (okay, maybe I do...) but here is one more for you...

Here is what you'll need: Cheesecloth, double sided tape, small googlie eyes and wooden stick figures ( or if you're in Ohio, you can get them at Catan's).
Simply cut strips of 1" cheesecloth and start wrapping. I did secure it with the tape to get started, so it held tight and didn't tend to unravel. When it was complete, I added the eyes. I plan on sticking them into little decorative paint cans that are filled with goodies to give to special neighbors for Halloween. I'll show you a finished project later. (And they'd also be great in cupcakes for a classroom treat too!)
Sorry--not the best finished photo--but you get the idea!

Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Another fun project...

Just wanted to share this inexpensive and fun project with my fellow blogger buds! Get the wood frame from Michael's for $1.00. Paint the edges black,use mod podge to cover with decorative paper, and add ribbon and a tag for the frame. I also embellished mine with mini spider stickers--but embellish yours however you'd like! Instead of adding a photo, cut strips of white paper (I inked my edges) and googlie eyes--easy & fun! This idea was a combination of something I saw in a magazine and something I saw on a website--and it didn't turn out too bad...

And a little side note...Just wanted to say a very special thank you to all the people who came out to take classes and crop yesterday here in Ohio. I truly appreciate your business, and enjoyed your company. As promised, I'll post photos of the crop and recipes soon--they are worth sharing! I'm not sure I can remember the last time I felt so relaxed and at ease with a group of fun-loving gals. My cheeks still hurt from laughing--and I can't wait to do it again! I will also post upcoming events soon on the website, I promise!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Adorable layout!

I wanted to thank Janelle Richmond for sharing this adorable layout with us today! She runs the "Sketch This" blog to the right, and submitted this layout using the November WIP Kit...And I look forward to spending the entire day with my gal pals at a crop and two classes here in NE Ohio! For those of you who ordered kits for the class, they will be shipped out on Monday! I'll also share pictures soon...

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cauldron Crunch

Here's the poem you put on a little card, on a bag of this yummy goodness!

Cauldron Crunch
Here's a frightful treat for you
A spooky, scary, witches' brew;
Made with ghost noses and bones from a bat,
And blended with claws from a black cat.

It's doused with ants as dark as night,
Sprinkled with blood to add a real fright;
Then cast with a spell that can't be seen,
To wish you a very happy,
Happy Halloween!

(And if you didn't happen to get the recipe kit, here it is!)

Snack Mix

1 bag of Chex mix
1 bag of Ritz crackers
1 bag of Doritos
1 bag of Cheetos
1 bag of Cheez itos
1 can of mixed nuts
Any bag of anything crunchy
2 sticks of melted butter
Lowery Season salt
1/4 C. Worchestershire sauce

Throw all of the snacks into a garbage bag. Pour the butter into the bag. Add the sauce and salt. Toss in bag until all the snack mix is saturated. You may need to add more butter and salt if needed. The mix will turn orange in color. Place onto trays in the oven at 250 for several hours. Store in Ziplocs for 6-8 WEEKS! Enjoy!


Just a quick update to say that the November main kit is now sold out! Thanks so much for your support!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Monday!

Well, it is October 15th, and for those of you who purchased the recipe kit, I emailed the newsletter last night before including these gems...and since they're SO CUTE, I'll be sending out an addendum showing you all of the wonderfully talented Janelle Richmond's creations with the kit!

Not only did Janelle make sketches for the pages, but she also created a bang-up book that pops with color. Now, I have to tell you, I've made about 5-6 of these albums before, and never once did it ever occur to me that you could overlap the recipe on the photo! I love her take on things, and you will too. And if you haven't been over to Janelle's sketches blog, click on over to the right and you'll see the other wonderful creations she has over there. Thanks for all your hard work on this special edition project, Janelle! Look for more of her stuff coming soon...

Check these out!

I still have a few of these kits left if you are interested! As you can see from the photos, the possibilities are endless...

And for you other interested folks, I uploaded the Design Team's creations on the website yesterday. They did a great job with the November kit, and got really creative with the fabric and the felt. I love the range of talent on the design team, and I'm really excited every time one of them sends me an email with their work. Their take on things inspires me, and I know it will do the same for you!

BTW, the newsletter for the November kit will be sent out a bit early (because yes, I am ahead of schedule for once!) and I hope you'll love what I came up with too. And believe it or not, I actually topped my own record for pages created with one kit on this one. So far, I'm up to TWELVE layouts!

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Work in Progress is NKOTB at Willow Traders!!!

I have to say that I'm completely overwhelmed here. I just finished reading the review from Christina Gill (scrapper extrordinaire herself) and I have to made me cry! I'm a sentimental gal, (as many of us scrappers are!) and her take on everything to do with WIP is so flattering--I'm truly touched. She checked out the website, the blog, reviewed the November main kit, the add-on and the recipe kit, too! Man--from the bottom of my heart--THANK YOU CHRISINA!

And for all of the customers --I sincerely appreciate your business. You have taken a leap of faith with me, and I am forever grateful! I'll do my very best to keep up the level of creativity you so deserve. I love getting your feedback, and your business has helped me become better at what I do. Thank you!!

I also want to acknowledge the best design team in the entire scrappy universe! I absolutely think the world of this bunch of gals, and I can't wait to get their input every time I get an idea. They are amazingly talented gals, and they keep me going. They're also good for a laugh...and I love that, too...

And on a special note--I want to publicly thank my family (Chris and our kiddos--but also my mom too!) and close friends (especially Jen, Val and Kristin) who keep me focused and grounded on the very best and the very worst of days. This review is as much yours as it is mine, and I want to thank you for your support and patience. I love you guys!

Okay, enough gushing for now. Take a peek at the review here...

(We're going out for an ice cream to celebrate!!!)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A little peek at Novemeber...

Make sure to get yours soon. You DO NOT want to miss this one, believe me!! You can get it here!!!

Have a great weekend and scrap!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Been quite busy creating things for two big upcoming classes next weekend and a fun all-day crop to boot! For those of you coming, you will just LOVE the 7Gypsies ATC holders!! I have big plans on making at least 2 more for Christmas gifts, and they're completely addictive (fair warning!)

Here is a sneak of a layout I did last night using the November WIP kit. These layered flowers are so fun, and with the fabric and wool, I'm having a BLAST! Wait til you see the stuff the design team has put together--prepare to have your mind blown! Seriously--way more creative than even I got! Love those girls!And this is one more little Halloween goodie we gave to the bus driver yesterday. These mini jars are found at Michael's for a dollar--and the 7Gypsies 97% Complete stickers fit the jars perfectly. Add a bow and a tag, and you're set!
Off to an annual hayride this evening with a huge group of friends. I hope you're enjoying the season as well!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A sneak peek at the Recipe Kit...

This is what I've been working on for the past 2 evenings. And I have to say, it has been such a mindless task--and I LOVE that! Simple strips and blocks of paper, with recipes and photographs, and that is it. Now, I may go back and add flowers and brads and personalize it a bit, but for the most part, it is pretty complete.The Step Up album is from Target, and it cost $12.99. Right away, I knew the green would work--and it also coordinated perfectly with the colors I used in the kit. And you know what I love about it? There is enough space to expand and add more recipes! There are several pages that are blank so I can add as I find more favorites...
It took a long time to make all these dishes, photograph them and then match up the corresponding recipes to the photos, but I've done this as a class so many times, I know several of the recipes by heart! These are what I say they are--my tried and true favorites.

And as some of you who live nearby know, you have had many of these at my past crops or classes. Some of you have been kind enough to share yours with me as well--and I appreciate that too!

There are still a few of these kits available, and they come with 40 photographs and recipes, along with the paper used in these samples. Also not pictured are the 6 divider pages, separating the categories for the book (they will be in the newsletter for the kit which is set to be emailed to customers on October 15th.) And as a bonus, the lovely and talented Janelle Richmond is also going to be a guest designer for this kit! Can't wait to show you what she has come up with using this one!

These kits are currently shipping, so if you would like to order one, please email me at, or order directly on the site itself.

Have a great night!

Inspirational Fall Quotes...

I did a mini book of fall quotes along with mini photos of the season last year, and I thought I'd share some of my favorites to inspire you today...


A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long. --e.e. cummings.

And leaf subsides to leaf,
As Eden sank to grief,
And dawn turns into day,
Nothing gold can stay.
--robert frost

Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
falling from the autumn tree.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
with summers best of weather
and autumn's best of cheer.
--helen hunt jackson

The greatest oak was once a little nut that simply held its ground.

No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.
--samuel johnson

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
--albert camus

It is the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the spring, who reaps a harvest in the autumn.
b.c. forbes

Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.
--robert browning

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fall Card Ideas

Just a little inspiration for those of you who love to make cards and tags...I went through my idea file and pulled these out from my stash. So I thought I'd share in hopes to jog your mind with ideas this season!

The above tags and cards were either make & takes I attended or taught. My favorite is using Versamark ink and chalk with a dauber (the leaf card at the lower right of the picture.) Simple and quick!
Why not take a photograph and use them on cards? It is a fun way to incorporate your love of photography into play as well. Pumpkins, gourds, haystacks and cornstalks are among my favorites to photograph for good general season shots.
Don't forget about your handy dandy die cut machines. Try folding elements of the images for dimension, like the above bat.
The next two photos are of cards that were made entirely with punches or Quickutz. A bit of time is involved (along with a good glue and a pair of tweezers!), but if you have these on hand, why not make one for that special person in your life.
And this one opens from the middle--like a box you're folding. Fun!
Don't forget to use your rubber stamp stash either. Those are always fun to play with--especially if you get the kids involved!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Clean Little Treat...

I made up a bunch of these last night and I thought I'd share!

Go to your local grocery store and buy white or clear handsoap in the pump container. Be sure the label can be removed easily and that the plastic isn't embossed, but has a smooth front. Peel the front label off when you get home (and if some remains, clean the container with goo-gone). Use a holiday rub on for the front, and embellish with a simple ribbon and a tag with a small embellie on it. I love having these around during the holidays--and at Christmas it is fun to make extras for the people who stop by.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Candy Containers

Okay, these are the easiest and most adorable candy containers! I'll show you step by step how to make these little "sour cream containers" filled with your favorite candy for the holiday...

First, take a decorative 12x12 sheet of paper and cut six 4x6 rectangles like so:Next, glue the short ends, to model a toilet paper roll. Use wet glue, but not too much so the paper doesn't warp. Let it dry.
Next, pinch one end and glue with wet glue together. I always put the seem in the middle.
Now, crimp the ends just 3-4 crimps, and then back out of it and release.
It should look like this:
Fill the container with candy (m&m's or candy corn is my favorite!) Do not overfill the containers--they'll bust open.
The container will naturally fold the opposite way of the bottom. Don't force it--it is supposed to work this way.
Now, pinch the top together and glue the inside just like the bottom.
Crimp the top just like the bottom.
And there you have it! I always punch a hole and add ribbon and a tag at the top for just a little something extra. The kids love them. Note: Don't use heavy cardstock or double sided paper--you want a lighter weight. They are great for any holiday--just use seasonal paper. Same thing holds true for showers as well.
Now get moving!