Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rock on!

I knew I'd get good use out of these papers one day! They've lived deep down in my ever growing collection of design papers for a long time, just waiting for their day to shine. Fredrik gets the honour of recieving the first card made with these papers by EK Success and Harley Davidson. Yep, you heard right, these are Harley Davidson papers! :) How cool is that! It's really great stuff too, the bottom DP has a letterpressed look and the flame/tribal pattern is in some seriously shiny silver. The top DP has been slightly embossed to enhance the pattern.
I mounted them onto dark silver cardstock and added some brads and Panduro Punchinella. All the metallic silver shine from the punched metal foil and design papers gives the card great depth and excitement despite its limited colour scheme. Inspired by the wild doodeling on my previous card, I outlined the QK Studio letters with a black pen to help them stand out.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Torunn 30 years

I've been dying to try out some kraft paper lately, but have been patiently (ok, not so patiently, in fact I checked my mail box twice some days) on some supplies. This is what I made in the meantime, using the awesome JilliBean Soup papers. And by now it should have arrived at its destination. Congratulations Torunn!
Ok, I have to admit something. I'm absolutely awful at tying bows. Really. They look horrible, uneven and always tilted at an akward angle... My solution, as in this case, is to build a bow from separate elements. This one is made from three strands of ribbon folded and glued in strategic places. Doesn't look too bad, right? But quite time-consuming and I'm always afraid they'll fall apart. I need to get myself one of those bow-easy-template-thingies... Or make one! ;) This gorgeous ribbon from Stoff og Stil deserves a perfect presentation. I can't wait to use the blue one I bought. :)
With the bow in place, the only other embellishments that fit were some glass beads and a felt crown. And then I went to town with my white Sakura GellyRoll... What can I say, the card just needed that brightness and I didn't have the good sense to stop once I got started. Too late to hold back now! ;)

As a contrast to the very matte look of the kraft paper, and to create some depth, I sprayed the edges with some Perfect Pearls (Perfect Bronze) powder mixed with water in a Mini Mister. It turned out to be completely impossible to show the true depth effect when photographing it, but this picture gives at least a little hint.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New food addiction: homemade crispbread

My latest addiction in the cooking department is crispbread! Homemade, delicious, crunchy, healthy, addictive crispbread. ;) So easy to make, so good to eat. Since I got the recipe just after christmas, I've made them nearly ten times... They just don't last long in this house. ;) And since five people have already requested a copy of the recipe, I figured I might just make a blog post about them!
The recipe is incredibly easy to memorize, but requires a quite a few ingredients:
2 dl coarsely ground whole rye flour
2 dl oats
2 dl oat bran
2 dl wheat bran
2 dl sesame seeds
2 dl sunflower seeds
2 dl pumpkin seeds
1 dl flax seeds
7-8 dl water
It's a fairly flexible recipe - if you're short on something, just compensate with the other ingredients, or replace with other things, for example coarsely ground whole wheat flour, chopped pumpkin seeds or other suitable ingredients. Adjust to taste!
- Pat the mixture onto baking sheets using a spatula or even your hands. I strongly recommend using multi-use teflon baking sheets, they make everything so much easier! The recipe makes almost three pans of crisp bread. Score lightly with spatula to make it easier to break them apart later. You might see in the picture above that near the edge I haven't as much scored, as made a little gap - I've found that this prevents the edges of the crispbread from curling up too much.
Bake on 160 degrees Celcius for 30-40 minutes using your oven's hot air fan. The crisp breads are sensitive to temperature and moisture balance, so keep an eye on them and adjust baking time as needed. The last pans typically needs a few minutes less than the first, as some of the water has evaporated and been absorbed.
The crispbread keeps for a long time - not that it ever needs to. Mine disappears in a week or two. ;) I keep it in paper bags or just in a box without a lid, but for longer periods of time perhaps an air-tight container is better.
Enjoy as is, or with a little bit of good butter. Trust me, you'll love them!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Vintage lady

I had lots of text to cram into this card, and decided to print it all from my computer rather than do all that punching with my QK Squeeze... A vintage image found online, coupled with flowers from Papirloftet, papers from the DCVW Latte Stack, the MS doily lace border punch and a violin charm completes the card. I love these colours, as the observant reader may already know... ;)
And I can't help myself, I just have to do a bit of bragging: Tasha at the Charizma Cards Challenge chose my dad's card amongst her top three favourites! Whohoo! Thank you so much, I will display your banner with pride. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oda 4 years

My friend and colleague Linn came to me with a very spesific colour request for Oda's card, and, of course, I obliged. Purple and pink on a dark brown background. The lovely butterfly die has rested for a while and needed an airing! It's just perfect for cards like these. I kept the embellishments in groups of four. That's normally a no-no for me, but in this case I made an exception to the odd-number-rule.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

30th anniversary card

When organizing my picture folders for safety copying the other day, I found this file buried in a folder with other unrelated stuff. I had forgotten all about it - probably because the picture is a disaster. I'm sure I intended to take a better picture in daylight the following day and forgot about that too... But here it is, nontheless, flash burn and all. ;)

Monday, February 15, 2010

For Dad!

My dad just celebrated his birthday, and that meant I had to make one of the much dreaded male cards... But I was pleasantly surprised of how easily this one came together! Nothing like a looming deadline to give the creativity a kick, right? ;)
I stamped the black Prima Alphas with StazOn Ultramarine and wiped the excess ink off before it dried, giving them a nice blue glow. Some glue and 2 mm foam pads help the two raised letters stick to the card. The only other embellishments are three brown eyelets keeping the three paper circles together. Lots of distressing on this card, the design papers really made that nescessary, and it seems fairly masculine too.
I haven't entered a challenge in ages - I never won anything after my beginner's luck faded anyway. ;) Going for a lucky comeback strike today though, with these three challenges: Charisma Cardz (men's cards), Cupcake Craft Challenge (keep it simple), and if I'm not too late, Papertake Weekly (the sketch, interpreted a bit loosely, as I don't have an image on this card).
ETA: Whohoo! I made the Charisma Cardz Top three! :) :) Thank you so much! :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Exploding Magic Box

For my very dear friend Kristin, an exploding box! All she wanted for her big day was a card, sorry I didn't manage that Kristin, you're getting this instead. Hope you're not too disappointed sweetie? ;) Oh, and I should warn you all that this is another long post. I seem to be drawn to the bigger projects these days. Bear with me. :)
I've totally ripped off this idea from the amazing Magic Boxes blog by Elaine. Take a look, her creations are fantastic! She's written a tutorial on the basic construction of a small exploding box, but I just followed it loosely, using measurements I calculated on my own. My box is larger, it covers an entire piece of scrapbooking cardstock and measures 8,5x8,5 cm at its base, 11cm in height (plus lid). These colours aren't usually my first choice, but I find myself drawn to warm, yellow-orange colours these days... Breaking the winter blues I suppose! :)
Making the flowers was the most time consuming part of it all. Every flower is made from two punched-out Retro flowers sprayed with Glimmermist (Sunflower, Green Meadow, Tiger Lily), inked, curled, detailed with Stickles Star Dust and glued together, finished off with a stamen made from a cut, sprayed, glued, glittered, rolled-up paper strip. The whole thing is then mounted on springy acetate strips. Complicated? Well, yes. That's a lot of steps to complete, and counting in the drying time of all the Glimmermist and glue and the sheer number of flowers required, it all adds up to quite a task. But the result was good, and that's the important thing! :) :)
Elaine has just written a tutorial on how she makes her butterflies! It's very detailed and I used the same principles, but with different materials that had the right colours. My butterfly stamp has quite large black areas, so I was generous with the glitter, gems and Stickles to compensate. I chose to cut off the stamped antennae and replace them with antennae made from two slivers cut from folded black paper (again, a trick I found on Elaine's blog). Much stronger than the originals! I covered them (and the butterfly body) with Glossy Accents as a reinforcement.

The full effect of the exploding box cannot be demonstrated in pictures, so I made this super short video for you! Since this is my first attempt at this kind of project, there are things I'd like to change, things you just have to try out because no written tutorial can cover it. How flexible is your acetate for example? I'd like to have gotten some more movement out of the shorter acetate stems and could have made them much thinner. In fact, I've carefully trimmed the shorter ones with a craft knife - with my heart in my throat fearing the knife would slip and cut me (or worse - the project!). You never know these little details until you try it and see for yourself. Now I know, for next time.
Every bit of this box is hand made by yours truly. The panels are made from a pattern paper with a very subtle yellow organic pattern stamped with this great stamp and heat embossed in green. The Glimmermist has been put to good use again, the same three colours as used on the flowers. This paper was then mounted on a shimmering green pattern paper and the whole thing glued to thin cardboard for weight. The ugly sides were covered with silver heat embossing.
When I made the lid for this box I decided to try and get an illusion of the side panels continuing up onto the lid, unbroken. I didn't quite manage to match the colour intensity of the lid to the top of the side panels, but it's not too bad. On the inside of the box, the same panels appear, but this time on a pattern paper with a more visible design.
Elaine is very generous in sharing her techniques. In this post she explains how to make the stamens I've made here. This flower is made with the biggest Retro punch - for reference, the lid measures almost 9x9 cm. On the inside of the lid I've put another mat like this one with a little greeting for Kristin.
I hope you've enjoyed this project! I certainly enjoyed making this box, and although it was a lot of work I'd really like to make more. Thanks Elaine, for the great idea! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yellow baby card 3/3

The last of the three yellow baby cards commissioned by a colleague differs quite a bit from the other two. Not in a bad way, I hope. ;) Except from the baby bear charm there's not a lot in this card that screams new baby... But it should be fairly obvious when the card and gift is given anyway, and I quite like this understated version also. It's all in the details. Right? ;)
The bottom mat is hand made structured paper with yellow flower leaves embedded in the pulp. I've sprayed it with Glimmermist Sunflower and Tiger Lily in the center to get a richer feel. White and yellow paper flowers in layers finished with a yellow bling brad and baby bear charm is the center focal point. Again the Glimmermist enhances the colours, and lastly the whole thing has been lightly showered with Glimmermist Pearl. (Got enough glimmer now, Eva?) The top part looked a little bare after the run-on sentiments came on, and it seemed the perfect spot to put some really old sun-shaped eyelets from my stash!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vanilla extract recipe booklet

This little booklet is filled with a few recipes that requires vanilla extract. It went along with a huge bottle of my home made vanilla extract, that my mother got as her birthday gift last week. I wanted to show that vanilla extract is useful in a wide variety of recipes, so this collection is quite diverse. It includes frosting, cinnamon rolls, strawberry sauce, a classic crême brulée (of course) - and many more!
I simply printed the recipes on white Bazzill cardstock and adhered them onto dark silver cardstock that was run through the MS doily lace border punch, and tied three double strands of ribbon to secure the whole thing together. A title in QK Eliza and some ribbon on the front completed it. I'm working on a simpler one now, to go with the rest of the bottles.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Accordion album for Helle

Before you start reading this post ladies, I suggest you go and make a cup of tea and move yourself and your computer to a more comfortable chair. While you're at it, find a blanket and turn off your cell phones, because what I've got for you today is going to take a while to get through! ;)
Ok, you're all settled in? Good! Take a deep breath and let's get started with the basics. My good friend Helle turned 30 years old this January, and this is her (very delayed) gift. It's basically a store-bought accordion fold album that I've decorated. What I originally had in mind was something more like Elise's mini books (like this one). Full of scraps, little details, some pictures and a little text. But you know how it often goes - for whatever reason, a project morphs into something completely different.
One side of the album (above) has pictures of Helle, combined with a few sentiments and quotes. To create something of a recurring theme in all these different layouts, all pages have a light green background, and green is the dominating colour. I've used a pad of overlays from Making Memories (called Clear Creations: Doodles) extensively throughout the entire album. It seemed to have the right style, and came with sentiments, quotes, definitions, titles, photo overlays and tags. Great value!
In case she gets tired of watching her own face, I chose mainly nature pics for the other side, with more quotes, poems and sentiments. Again, the dominating colour is green, but this time on a light beige background. I organised the pictures in something of a yearly cycle to get the right flow.
The album can be displayed like in the picture, or partially folded for a smaller space. Below are shown every double page spread in the album. Click on any image to see it larger and read the quotes!
To start it off, I scanned a few old pictures from my photo albums and printed them at home. Funny pictures, these two. On the left, we're "fishing" for candy out the window, on the right she's wearing two pairs of glasses... :) You can see the MM overlays used here! Other materials include Bazzill die-cut borders, Scrapper's Choice Journaling Spots and DCVW Floral Prints paper stack.
Slightly newer photos. The one to the right is one of my favourites! I just love the light and her pose. Would have loved to do something about the background though. DCVW papers and Bazzill die-cuts again. I've also added a home made flower (lower left corner) made with this tutorial.
The quote on the left overlay fits the picture wonderfully: "Open your mind, open your heart, open your arms, take it all in. -Kobi Yamada" The picture on the right is framed by an overlay, with a definition of the word "friend" in the corner. Lots of papers scraps here, Scrapper's Choice Journaling Spots, Kreativ Hobby rub-on and some Panduro Punchinella (the green metallic perforated foil on the left side).
Now, on the other side of the accordion album! Take a breath ladies, we're more than half way through! ;) The green continues with some photos taken near my previous home. PB sentiment stamp, more MM overlays, BG embossing folder, Prima pearl centers.
Oops, these two turned out much more similar that what I'd prefer. I had them planned out differently, but moved things around as I worked and suddenly they were almost identical... Oh well. I like the splash of red that echoes the little bit of red found in each picture. Left side: an amazing August evening sky seen from our old cabin.
With the golden colours of fall dominating these pictures, I abandoned the green almost entirely for this double spread. More Punchinella, the always present MM overlays and also a sentiment stamp.
- Finishing the album in lots of green again! This poem is absolutely lovely, it's all about daring to be exactly who you are, and I felt it fitted Helle just perfectly. It's actually a stamp that I put on one of the SC Journaling Spots. I couldn't resist using this picture again, I already had it lying around and when used in black & white it didn't feel like just a copy of the other layout. Punchinella again, QK Moxie SM and some Prima chipboard digits.
All in all, I'm really pleased how this album turned out! It was quite a task to complete, but I have once again proven that the right amount of sleep deprivation does wonders for the creativity! I often do my most effective and creative work after my last night shift, when I usually stay up instead of sleeping anything. But I wonder if I've put the bar too high now? This year is filled with 30-year birthdays, and I'm not sure I'll manage to make any more of these... ;) Helle will just have to be the lucky one I suppose.
Thanks for making it to the end ladies, it was quite a journey. Well done. ;) I'm off to bake a little I think - my fingers are sore from all this typing and I have a serious craving for something with a little bit of chocolate in it. It is Saturday, after all! Have a happy weekend!

Candy alerts!

I've added a couple of blog candy links in my side bar the last few days. Have a look and sign up! There are some great blogs there - I've added a few new ones to my blog roll now! As if I didn't spend enough time blog surfing... ;)

Here are the links to the candies currently open! Check out my side bar for pictures and details.

Kristine's design paper candy - celebrating the papers she has just designed
All Pink Girl Inkadink candy - she's done a great tutorial on how to use them
Lene's celebratory candy - celebrating 12.000 hits - congratulations!
Jaque's mega candy - she's just been asked to join two new design teams
Elaine's Magic Box candy - absolutely amazing exploding boxes with a unique style!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vanilla extract - the finished project!

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that I started a long term project in November last year: making my own vanilla extract. Well, a little over two months later, it's time to reveal the finished result!
The clear vodka has taken on a lovely dark golden brown colour. The difference is dramatic, just look at the photos I snapped when I started this thing. And the smell, oh the smell, it's amazing! The sting of alcohol is all but gone, and a rich, strong vanilla odour is revealed when the bottle is opened. Fantastic. I've tried it in a couple of recipes already, and I swear it makes a real difference.
My mother got the big bottle for her birthday this week. The big bottle is, well, big. That one is going to last her until the house falls down, honestly I could have given her half that amount and she'd still have trouble finishing it off. But hey, the bottle was nice (it used to hold chocolate sauce) and I could put a whole vanilla pod in there for decoration (and taste, as the vodka will continue to draw flavour from it). Plus she's my mother, I just couldn't give her that tiny little one, right? ;)
The decoration on these bottles may be a little over the top... I saw this awesome project at the Prima blog and felt inspired, but adapted it a little to fit the materials I had lying around and the style preference of the recipient. A cleaner look, but still a little much perhaps.
I decanted about two thirds of the extract and still have about 200ml of that left. It will be distributed into bottles of the small size and given to friens and family. And myself of course! And crazy as I am, I used the remaining third of extract as base for another batch... :) If I can't give them all away I'll just sell them.
I made a little booklet of recipies and tips to go with it, but I'll have to show that later. Forgot to snap pictures before I wrapped it up, silly me. ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Yellow baby card 2/3

My favourite baby stamp! I just love that huge bucket and the bubbles floating around in the air. And it's so easy to colour that you wouldn't believe it. I've used my Prismacolors of course. Same pattern paper as last post, and I've used a little bit of sanded Core'dinations Whitewash. A flower and a sentiment and hey presto! Done. Easy peasy. :)