Friday, January 31, 2020

A Great Stamp Set for Teens, Boys, Men ... Pasta La Vista, Baby!

Hi Folks! My friend Lesley designs the cutest stamp sets for her company Heffy Doodle, including this adorable Pasta La Vista set full of punny pasta. These are great candidates for teens, boys, and the most difficult of all categories ... teen boy cards!

This card isn't really a teen boy card, but I REALLY wanted to turn one of the macaroni noodles into a rainbow. It's just too darn perfect!! The shape and the stripes are just begging to be rainbowed. And the sentiment is perfect as well ... "anything is pastable" ... including a rainbow noodle!

Kindergarten, grade school, or middle school graduates would love a card like this featuring one of their favorite foods.

If you do need a teen boy card, you could totally do a noodle in camo colors, school colors, or even just "boy" colors. Anything other than yellow would support the sentiment. In between the noodle pattern I stamped portions of the star cluster from the Wonky Backdrops Essentials by Ellen set.

In addition to filling the "teen boy" category, the Pasta La Vista set is also great for another challenging category ... masculine valentines! So many of us can relate to macaroni and cheese. This set also comes with anthropomorphic details like arms, legs and faces so you can animate your pasta. I don't know about you, but this just makes me giggle!

Mr. Mac and Ms. Cheese are featured in the Essentials by Ellen Instant Photo Frame Dies (the arrow strip of paper is from this die set too). The backgrounds are from the EBE Winterscapes Set and the EBE Wonky Backdrops. Did you notice the pattern on the charcoal heart?! It's the cavatappi noodle!!

I was only planning to make two cards, but as I was cleaning my desk I didn't feel right throwing the other pair of Mr. Mac and Ms. Cheese away, so I took an extra 10 minutes and turned it into another card. Why not? It's not the greatest card, but I'm sure someone will get a kick out of it. I also had a spare "you are the" on the black arrow so I saved that from the garbage as well. Instead of a white card base, the yellow cavatappi noodle fills the space without being distracting.

Honestly, is this not the cutest set? I also like the "holy macaroni, you're how old?" sentiment, and have thoughts of adding angel wings to one of the pastas ...

I also have THE BEST macaroni and cheese 🧀  recipe to share with you!!⁣⁣⁣
It's an instapot recipe. Do you have an instapot? Has it been sitting in the box because you’re afraid of it (that's me ... I made everyone get out of the kitchen the first time because I was sure it was going to explode!!)? Do you use yours all the time? Have you tried it with potatoes (game-changer)?⁣⁣⁣
We make this at least once a week, usually for lunch on Saturday or Sunday when all four of us are here. ⁣⁣⁣
My friend who gave me the recipe said the leftovers heat up really well. I can’t speak to that ... with two teenage boys we’ve NEVER EVER had leftovers. Here it is!⁣⁣⁣
Best Ever Mac N Cheese:⁣⁣⁣
16 oz macaroni (uncooked)⁣⁣⁣
4 cups chicken broth (if I’m out I’ll just do 4 cups of water with a chicken bullion cube)⁣⁣⁣
1t Red hot sauce (it won’t be spicy)⁣⁣⁣
1t garlic powder⁣⁣⁣
1/2t fresh ground pepper ⁣⁣⁣
1/2t salt⁣⁣⁣
Add these to the Instapot, seal, set to 5 minutes with high pressure. Quick release when done. ⁣⁣⁣
2T butter⁣⁣⁣
2C shredded sharp cheddar cheese⁣⁣⁣
1C shredded mozzarella cheese⁣⁣⁣
Mix these into the instapot. You can add some milk (1/2 cup) if you want thinner sauce. Enjoy!!⁣⁣⁣
Let me know if you end up making it. But just know that once you do, it will be hard to go back!! ⁣⁣⁣
I even made this for my family Christmas party this year!⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣Thanks so much for noodling by!

Supplies used (including affiliate links, thanks so much for your support!!)

Pasta La Vista, Heffy Doodle Clear Stamps

Instant Photo Frames by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies

Wonky Backdrops By Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps

Winterscapes by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps

Sea Glass, The Stamp Market Ink Pad

Tropic Teal, The Stamp Market Ink Pad

Melon, The Stamp Market Ink Pad

Uni-ball Impact Gel Pen, White

Friday, January 24, 2020

Altenew January 2020 Stamp/Die/Stencil Release Blog Hop + Giveaway

Hi Friends! Welcome to the first Altenew stamp/die release of the decade! There are some awesome products being debuted today, including my new favorite background builder stamp (you'll know which one this is by the time you've gone thru my post!)

You may have come from the blog of Ashlea Cornell, but if not, feel free to start at the beginning with the Altenew Card Blog.

1) Bold Floral Drape Stamp and Die Set

Oh goodness, this set is so modern, cool AND effortless! The background (gray portion) is all one big stamp, so once you stamp that it's just a matter of filling in the three different flowers. And, as you can see, it's designed to have asymmetrical white space, so if you're not that great at lining things up, no one will ever know!

Furthermore, if your inks don't give you good coverage, that's fine too. The second card I made in the top right corner was just a practice card so I could see how this set worked (to be honest, I was just too darn excited to see what it would look like that I didn't take the time of putting it in my misti and/or doing a really good job inking the stamp up ... I just had to stamp it right away!!) It's very unevenly inked, but when I was cleaning up my desk afterwards, I took a look at it again and realized this version looked really good too. So I made it into a card.

You just can't go wrong with this set. The sentiment is part of this set, the report label is one of the smaller Nesting Labels Dies, and the ticking stripe down the spine is from the Tartan builder coming up later in this post.

2) Watercolor Halftone Stamp and Die Set                                     

The Watercolor Halftone stamp set is just perfect for no-line coloring, and because it's halftone you get the added bonus of having different sections be shaded and textured more than others. I just did some minimal watercoloring on this card and in no time I had a beautiful selection of florals. 

Both the scripted "hugs" sentiment and all the smaller secondary sentiments are from another new set, the Hello and Hugs stamp set. As soon as I saw this set I knew I had to have it. It's just like my favorite Sentiment Strips set, only you get a large scripted Hugs and Hello as well. So useful!

This is the background set I am so anxious to share with you!! Eeep! Do you believe this started out as white paper?! The Tartan Stamp Set will have you making cozy tartan patterns in no time. It's seriously So. Darn. Fun. And easy!

This is the first card I made and just picked three random colors for the squares. So impressed with how it turned out! Do you notice there are tiny diagonal lines stamped in each square? That's to give your tartan texture, and to make it look like it could be a piece of fabric Super smart addition to the set!

The "hello" is from the Handwritten Hello Die set, and all three of the secondary sentiments are from the new Hello and Hugs stamp set.

There are several different combinations you can make with this Tartan Stamp Set ... you're only limited by the hours in the day. Even if you don't have a lot of different ink colors, you can vary the pattern by stamping in different squares, picking a different color for the main grid, picking different colors for the lines that go across the middle of the squares, picking different colors to stamp the diagonal lines with, etc. 

This combination might be my favorite!! The corner squares on the bottom started out as gray, but when I stamped pink diagonal lines on top of the gray, it suddenly was in a similar color family as the other two pinks. This is another great advantage of stamping the diagonal lines ... not only does it give you fabric texture, but it can also magically tie in all your colors!

To match the fabric texture of the tartan, I used actual fabric for a heart in the middle of the card. The XO XO is die cut from the Tall Alpha Die set and the secondary sentiment is again from the new Hello and Hugs stamp set.

Just writing this post makes me want to head back to the craft room and try out more color combinations! If you're thinking of ordering the Tartan Stamp Set so you can play as well, here are the steps:
  1. stamp the stitched grid;
  2. stamp a square of solid color inside each of the grid lines;
  3. stamp the diagonal lines on top of each square; and
  4. stamp the ticking lines through the middle of each row and column.  

Perhaps the best testimonial comes from my Aunt Cindy, who just learned to stamp. Here's her text to me after the New Year's stamping party I had for my cousins: 
 "Thanks for nudging me to even try the tartan plaid. I thought it was way too complicated and difficult and you made it see so easy, and then it turned out to be really fun to try different colors." 
 She totally rocked it, and had a blast!

Here's a picture of everyone holding their favorite projects from the day ... I was shocked at how well they did! Aunt Cindy's daughter Beth, middle back, is also holding a beautiful tartan she made with the Mega Happy die on top.   
It gets better ... not only can you make tartan backgrounds, this also makes the best ...

Buffalo check!! Didn't you see this everywhere for the holidays this year? Lots of pictures of families wearing buffalo check PJ bottoms, wrapping paper, even the ribbon I used for my homemade ornaments looked like this!

To get this look, stamp the two black squares, and stamp the rest of the squares red. Then stamp black diagonals over half the red squares. That's it. Skip the stitched lines going thru the middle of the squares. 

The sentiments are once again from the new Hello and Hugs Stamp and Die set.

If you're gonna make a red buffalo check, you have to make the white buffalo check, amiright?! It's crazy thinking this whole background was only made with one ink, and it's just black! But anyway, let's stop to admire the beautiful potted palm featured on the front.

This die set gives you six different palm dies (background, foreground, and to the side; left and right facing). All you do is pick a few greens, cut them out, and "plant" them in the pot. You might be able to see here how I have two pots cut from chipboard, and then I put the palm stems in between.

Can't get easier than that! I would totally give this to someone who's into home decor ... the big plant with the buffalo check is a great combo! 

And for the final time, the sentiment is from ...

Hello and Hugs Stamp! I'm telling you, it's a staple already!

There you have it, the first stamp release of the 2020's, and it's amazing!

To celebrate this release, Altenew is giving away a $50 gift certificate to 6 lucky winners! Please leave a comment on the Altenew Card Blog and/or Altenew Scrapbook Blog by 1/30/2020 for a chance to win.

We’ll also draw a winner to receive a $20 gift certificate from the comments left on each designer’s blog on the blog hop list below. All winners will be announced on the Altenew blogs on 2/2/2020.

It's my pleasure to send you to the blog of the lovely Maryam Perez who has something beautiful to share with you!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Supplies used (affiliate links provided, thanks so much for your support!)

January 2020 Full Release Bundle
Tartan Stamp Set
Bold Floral Drape Die Set
Bold Floral Drape Die Set
Bold Floral Drape Stamp Set
Handwritten Hello Die Set
Hello and Hugs Die Set
Hello and Hugs Stamp Set
Nesting Labels Die Set
Parlor Palm Die Set
Sentiment Strips Stamp Set
Tall Alpha Die Set
Watercolor Halftone Die Set
Watercolor Halftone Stamp Set

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Altenew Paint-A-Flower: Poppy Release Blog Hop + Giveaway

Hello! I'm so excited to help introduce a brand new product line to Altenew ... a monthly Paint-a-Flower stamp set! Each set features an outline image of a gorgeous floral arrangement, which is perfect for trying out new painting techniques, or for coloring with your favorite medium. Unlike the monthly Build-A-Flower sets where there are several layers, these sets are designed to stamp once and then color.

You may have come from the blog of Jen Schow, but if not feel free to start at the beginning with the Altenew Card Blog.

For these poppies, since I needed a lot of them, and their shape was fairly easy to cut out by hand, I decided to color them by ink smooshing. This method involves inking up a surface, misting it with water, and then placing your thick white paper in the pool of ink repeatedly. It's always fun to see what you end up with!

Once the smooshed ink was dry, I stamped the poppy on top of all the ink. Even though this technique has a lot of randomness attached to it, I did make sure to allow the front petals of the poppy to be mostly white. 

I planned out where I wanted the three flowers to be, and then I stamped the entire floral scene accordingly. Here's a peek at how messy it really is behind the florals,

But of course once you put the colored flowers on top, they hide it all. I couldn't wait to see how this one was going to turn out.

For the next two cards I went with the same coloring technique, just brighter versions of the colors.

This flower is stamped as a single poppy directly onto patterned paper. I chose a really light background paper so the leaves will show up after being colored, and more importantly, the flower remains the star!

I'm happy to report that this adorable sentiment, and all the sentiments in this post, came from this Poppy set.

It's also nice that the floral image is large enough that I only need to stamp it once on a card base. It looks perfectly fine as the only flower on the card. 

Finally, this card uses the three flowers like the first card does. Love all the concentration of colors with them grouped tightly together like this.

Unlike the first card, however, I left off the leaves and stem so I could use a different set of leaves that had a more modern style. Totally changes the look of the card!

After embossing the leaves in gold, the card didn't look right to me. I stared at it for awhile (do you ever do this too?!) And then I figured out what was wrong ... I need to repeat the gold somewhere else on the card. Using an embossing marker, I colored in the middles of each flower and then embossed them in gold. Much better!

And here they all are again! I really do love how they turned out!

There is a monthly subscription plan for the Paint-A-Flower. When signed up, you are guaranteed a spot in our monthly Paint-A-Flower releases and will receive a set each month - at a specially discounted price! ($15.99 →$12.99)

To celebrate this release, Altenew is giving away a $30 gift certificate to 6 lucky winners! Please leave a comment on the Altenew Card Blog and/or Altenew Scrapbook Blog by 1/28/2020 for a chance to win.

We’ll also draw a winner to receive a $15 gift certificate from the comments left on each designer’s blog on the blog hop list below. All winners will be announced on the Altenew Card Blog on 1/30/2020.

Next Stop:
The next stop on this hop is one of my dear friends Virginia Lu, and I bet she's got something fabulous to share with you!

Thanks so much!

Supplies used (affiliate links included; thanks so much for your support!)
PAF Poppy