Friday, August 30, 2013

CAS-ual Fridays #113 - Krafty Text

I channeled my inner Donna Mikasa for the latest CAS-ual Fridays Challenge to use type and kraft paper, and went for neon on kraft. I've been dying to try it, she always makes it look so. darn. good.

For the background I was also excited to emboss with the spray mist templates. I still can't get over how fun this is! I would seriously buy this design as an embossing folder. I like how it gives more energy for the "screaming and shouting" but still keeps the card kinda clean (I know I am not always the best at being on the clean side of CAS).

Fonts are Ariel and Impact, cut on the Silhouette. Ampersand is from PTI Block die set.

(side note, lest you think "well that's not a very involved card, she just typed it and cut it out" let me tell you that was not the case! Wrestling with an old cutting mat which needs washi tape to sufficiently hold the paper down, which needs MANY pieces of tape, a dull cutting blade, an even duller back-up blade, figuring out that's what was wrong with my machine, going to M's for a new blade, and starting all over again definitely took the better part of the afternoon and evening.)

Please go check out the others in the CAS-ual Fridays gallery, and say a fond farewell to Pamela and AJ who are leaving this term. It was wonderful to work with both of you talented ladies!! The winner will receive a wonderful prize from our sponsor CAS-ual Fridays Stamps!


Since I made a double set of the and Britney Spears song lyrics in case of any mistakes (does anyone else do that?) I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally play in a challenge again. This may be the first challenge I've done all summer!

How can you pass this ombre beauty up at Moxie Fab's Tuesday Trigger?

This one's a little more clean. I started with a white base, but after putting the letters on charcoal and seeing how they popped so much more, I changed directions. The grey and white stripe on the side is directly from Maria's wonderfully CAS glittery peace card.

A note of caution for those who haven't made a card featuring song lyrics before, make sure to pick a song you really love. You really can't piece the text on to your card without the song going through your head on an endless loop. Double caution if the card takes way longer than expected. And guess what? You also sing it while writing your blog post!

Thanks so much for looking!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fusion #16 + Get More From Your Tools!

Can't wait to show you what I ran through the embossing machine this week! Last week I ran burlap through and was quite excited at the resulting texture. This time I ran the plastic mister templates through ...

 Folks, that works too! This is the Studio Calico Chevron Mister Huey Mask, meant for masking with the mist sprays. But, it works WONDERFULLY as an embossing tool. I put a few shims through to make the impression a little deeper. You just have to play with it.

For this card, I used the Studio Calico Circle Graph Mister Huey Mask.

It's inspired by the luscious summer colors in the Fusion Card Challenge photo.

I ran the Studio Calico Circle Graph template through the Big Shot and came up with these wonderful impressions. Oh the possibilities! I cut out random sections of the circle graph and put them together on the main card.

I wanted it to go with the saying. All the days (the bars) adding up to the knowledge you acquire over a year (the circle).  
Woah, getting a little deep here! : )

Anyway, I was excited with how this one turned out, and can see playing with this technique more in the future. Please stop by the rest of the fabulous Fusion designers, and hope to see you in the gallery!

Thanks for looking!

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps: Some Fun Ones!

It's my day at CAS-ual Fridays Stamps to have a little fun with some cards!

(eta: you might notice that these cards look NOTHING LIKE the actual cards on the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps blog ... sorry about that!)

This one may not look like much, but MAN did I spend a lot of time on it. The red/white/blue background was the really tough part. I lined up 7 of the Big Thanks sentiments on an acrylic block and stamped/embossed them down a strip of red paper. Did the same thing on white and blue paper.

Now comes the part where you tear your hair out and stamp 20 more strips of paper until you get it right (OK, that's an exaggeration, but it took a LOT of tries). I sliced them each in thirds and then put them back together again so the words would read across.

The trouble spots here are making sure you stamp the words in the exact same spot (vertically AND horizontally) all the way down the strip, and making sure you cut the strip exactly in thirds.

Not sure how quickly I'll be doing this technique again.

This one uses a background from Zigs & Zags as the focus. A mask is used for the shading on the bottom. For the top row, I flipped the border stamp upside down to make the diamonds, and colored in the resulting tiny squares.

The sentiments are from Truth Is and Frankly.

This one, quite honestly, is one of my favs. It was submitted for a publication call for sympathy cards without using a sympathy sentiment. Can you guess what material the flowers are from?

They're felt, only heat embossed. You really need to try this if you haven't already! Heating the felt makes it shrink up and bubble a little, which is the perfect shape for dimension on a flower. The density also makes for a sturdier embellishment, so it would be good on its own, like for a tag, ornament, etc.

The flowers are from Loving Thoughts and the sentiment is one of the many frequently-used phrases from Calm & Gentle. The border is a white gel pen.

Thanks so much for looking!

Friday, August 16, 2013

CFC 112 - Aqua, Green and Orange + A Story

It's a color challenge this time at CAS-ual Fridays! Feel free to use whatever shade of these three colors you'd like. There are so many possibilities! 

Today's sponsor is Simon Says Stamp, who will kindly have a gift certificate waiting for the winner of this challenge.

I've been wanting to use some of the sentiments from Stampin' Up's Word Play set, and the one with the world is perfect for aqua and green. Glossy Accents on the world gives it a little needed interest since this is a really simple card. The orange is from a mat stack die that I cut the rounded tops and bottoms off.

Then I decided it was a little too simple, so I added some more stuff on the bottom of the card. I prefer it this way, I think.

 Be sure to stop by CAS-ual Fridays to check out the Design Team inspiration, and to link up your vision of Aqua/Green/Orange!


Recently I was contacted by a young mother who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. As a girl, she loved to wear her dad's coat. Unfortunately, her dad was a construction worker who unknowingly came home covered in asbestos every day. I know, heartbreaking, right?!

If you have a few minutes, I would love for you to hear her story. Her goal in reaching out is to help raise awareness, and provide a sense of hope to others. Thank you!


Thanks for looking!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Promise to Save You $16 ...

... if you're like me and went wild over the new Papertrey Ink burlap impression plate that goes on sale today.

I NEED that. I'm dying for more choices of subtle backgrounds. 

But then I thought...

Wait a minute, don't I have burlap? Wouldn't that be just as good as a piece of metal trying to be like burlap?

Folks, it turns out that it is!

I cut a piece of scrap burlap the same size as my foam pad, and ran that through my Big Shot.

I can't believe how well it works! 

Now maybe you all already know this and I've just been on the slow boat all year, but you would not believe how excited I got in my craft room today. Then I started thinking about all other textures.

screen mesh

aida cloth



(eta: turns out misting masks work just as well too, see post here!)

You can bet there will be some experimenting going on when school starts up and I have more time for crafting/blogging. Even the burlaps I tried were different. One is pretty even and has lots of holes, one is more random with thin and thick strands that don't run straight. I love it!

In the meantime, I thought I'd share my excitement with you and perhaps save the $16 for that impression plate for some other awesome Papertrey goodies that you can't duplicate at home. 

Thanks for looking!

A Wnner + Adventure Pics

Thanks so much for all the sweet comments from the Holiday Cards & More Blog Hop! It sure was fun to see all the packaging ideas AND recipes.

We have a winner for a free issue from Paper Crafts! 

Commenter #75 is ....

Isha!! Please email me your address and we'll get your copy in the mail!


If you're interested, I also have some adventure pictures to share from last week. 

This trip wasn't to explore new areas, but just to have fun hanging out at Millennium Park with friends. It's been awhile since they've all gotten together, as you can see!

The train was part of the experience. It's quicker, easier and cheaper to just drive down, but it's fun once in awhile to relax and take the train.

On our way to Millennium Park. The kids are not deterred by any office workers who may be sitting on the benches. I see several reaching for their devices and papers as they realize the swarm of kids will be upon them soon.

At the Bean in Millennium Park, we moms reflect on how it's like they've never seen a mirror before!

Love the plantings around the park.

The Target Tent always has something going on for the kids. Live music, crafts, games, etc. The kids make box kites from paper bags.

We get lucky and try a new place for lunch. It's not a chain, they have outdoor seating, and kids meals are only $5. Score! And it's across from one of my favorite buildings in Chicago ... the Carbide & Carbon Building (left side). The polished black granite exterior is just stunning, with bronze Art Deco accents. Were we not pressed for time, I would have loved to check out the lobby again.

The kids have so much fun together. A piece of yarn from the kite craft entertains them through most of lunch.

A classic "toursity" shot ... with the Chicago Theater sign (although now that I'm looking at the picture, I don't know when the "Chase" sponsorship landed on the sign). Kevin James (King of Queens) is coming here in September.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps: It's All About the Pants x 3

(for the Holiday Cards & More Blog Hop, please click here or scroll down)

a little Q & A to start things off for pants-related cards featured on the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps blog...

Q. What do you get when you have active boys who like to wear jeans in the summer so their knees won't get hurt when they dive for soccer balls and roll around on the ground?

A. Lots of holey jeans.

Q. What do you get when you also have a card-blogger Mom who hates throwing things out?

A. Denim cards, of course!

Here's a feminine card with a non-holey part of the jeans. With some sewing, lace, bling, polka dots, and a pinked edge, it's ready to be sent to a new teenage girl on her 13th birthday. I was pleasantly surprised with how stamping directly on the denim worked out.

CAS-ual Fridays Stamp sets used include Exclamations (asterisks), Rad (sweet), and Zigs & Zags (zig zag border)

Here's a masculine card with the holey part of the jeans. Fashionable? Sure! I like the character it gives. To highlight the hole, I backed it with red paper. The sentiment is actually embossed on the denim. Again, I was shocked that it really works.

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps include Rad for the sentiment.

The small houndstooth stamp just screams "pants" to me, and why not Smarty Pants? To make the Smarty Pants, I thought about just stamping a bunch of houndstooth rows and cutting out the pants. But then the straight-lined pattern wouldn't look right. So I bent the top part of the houndstooth border stamp, stamped it, bent it the other direction, stamped it again, then cut out the pants (take another look at the picture if you're as confused as I am at this point, it will make sense then.) Definitely look more like pants this way. The floor planks are large pink houndstooth, generationally stamped.

There's a silver belt wrapped around the pants, with a buckle made from two punches. It didn't look right at first, and then I realized what was missing. From the pants leftovers I made some tiny belt loops. Better! Then used an impression plate on the pants to make them look like fabric. 

Thanks so much for looking!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fusion #15

(for the Holiday Cards & More post, please scroll down or click here)

Hi folks, it's time for another fusion challenge! As a reminder, you're free to be inspired by the photo, the sketch, or a fusion of both. It's always fun to see what everyone comes up with, and how different the cards are. Don't forget to vote for your favorites, too!

 I went with the photo for inspiration this time. Still loving the chalkboard effect, but I tend to prefer the "cleaner" look and not as much chalk dust : ) So I just emboss with white.

I wanted to do something a little different, so I split the Papertrey Stylish Sentiments into three parts. Patterned paper is mounted between the sentiments, and a Memory Box branch below. I was pleased with how this turned out, and it really couldn't have been easier! If I wasn't fiddling around with things, it would be a 5 minute card. 

Thanks so much for looking!

Paper Crafts Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 8 Blog Hop

Who's up for some Holiday festivities already? Yes? Fantastic! Because Paper Crafts is putting on a super-fun blog hop to celebrate their newest special issue, Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 8. This issue is packed full of home decor, wraps, tags, cards, and even a whole section on photo cards! There's also a ton of creative ways for food-giving, which is the theme of this hop.

I'm happy to offer a giveaway for this issue, compliments of Paper Crafts. Just leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, August 13th for a chance to win (each stop in the hop will be giving away a copy, so be sure to visit them all)!

 Today I'm sharing my all-time favorite Christmas cookie - white chocolate cherry shortbread. In years past I'd branch out and try different recipes, but now I just go for the gold and make this recipe for everything. Cookie exchanges, family parties, gift-giving, they all look the same!

For this hop, I wanted to make something pretty to put them in.

My go-to idea for packaging is to use glass containers that I save throughout the year (pickles, jelly, sauce, salsa, you name it). They're free, and I feel good about recycling.

Just spray the top with whatever paint you have on hand, and you're half way there!

The band is a piece of wrapping paper, and the tie is from a skein of looped yarn.

Love how the yarn makes a pretty rosette just by tying it in a knot!

Fill it with cookies and you've got an incredibly affordable (practically FREE, aside from the stamps and dies) and fancy present for anyone on your list.

If you're interested, I've copied the recipe for the cookies at the end of this post. This one is taken from Taste of Home, but it's also one of the Better Homes and Gardens All Time Favorite Christmas Cookies.

 Thanks so much for stopping by! Please continue on the hop to see what these incredibly talented ladies have made for you. Your next stop is Vera Wirianta Yates, who always has something amazing to share. Don't forget to comment at each blog for a chance to win your own copy of  Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 8! Also check out the enormous collection of Christmas products that you can comment-to-win back at Paper Crafts Connection!

Kelly Griglione <-- you are here

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, patted dry
  • 12 ounces white baking chocolate, finely chopped, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • Coarse sugar and red edible glitter


  • In a large bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Knead in the cherries, 2/3 cup white chocolate and extract until dough forms a ball.
  • Shape into 3/4-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with a glass dipped in remaining sugar. Bake at 325° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a microwave, melt shortening and remaining white chocolate; stir until smooth.
  • Dip half of each cookie into chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; sprinkle with coarse sugar and edible glitter. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 4 dozen.