Thursday, November 29, 2012

S'more Love s'more kit

A few weeks ago, my family and I spent a beautiful autumn week in the mountains of North Carolina.  We built a bonfire almost every day and we roasted marshmallows, and hamburgers, and we tromped through the woods pretty much the entire time.  This project is very much inspired by our trip!  If we were fortunate enough to have a great yard with a fire pit at home (rather than a townhouse with a shared yard and strict neighborhood rules,)  I know we would be starting fires ALL the time, and inviting friends and family over to enjoy the weather around the fire.  This s'more kit would be perfect to hand out at an outdoor party when celebrating around a bonfire. 
In addition to basic tools, these are the supplies needed to complete this project:
*brown twine, jute, or string (like Tim Holtz Solid Paper String)
*s'more supplies (chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows, long skewers)
*clear bags (these 4x6 zip top bags would work!)

To begin, I filled a bag with the goodies necessary to create two smores (because REALLY, who can eat just ONE!?) Another option would be to create a "family-style" s'more kit, using a gallon-sized bag and the supplies to create a LOT of s'mores.  It could be a fun goodie to take on a camping trip! The bag I used was a tall glassine bag that was 5 inches across.  I trimmed the top off a bit to make it more manageable.
s'more kits by Laura Williams, for
Next, I trimmed a 5x6 block of patterned paper, folded it in half and tucked the top of my treat bag inside.
s'more kit by Laura Williams, for
I stapled the bag topper to the bag, a little more than half an inch from the bottom.  (This is so the staples can be hidden once we add the next layer!)
smore kit by Laura Williams, for
Next, I got some stamping done. I stamped the marshmallow and the chocolate bar on cardstock and patterned paper, and trimmed them.  The Cosmo Cricket stamps are terrific to use, because they cling to acrylic blocks, but they have the image imprinted on the back, so you can see exactly what (and more importantly, where) you are stamping.  This was the first time I had used their stamps, and I like them a lot!
smore kit by Laura Williams, created for
Remember that second layer I mentioned? Here it is.  I trimmed a 5x2.5 block of patterned paper, and adhered it along my bag topper, leaving those cute little stripes showing at the bottom.  And now, the staples are completely hidden.  I stamped the marshmallow man onto the brown paper, and adhered the trimmed one with foam tape. (That way, you don't have to try and cut around his little arms and legs.) I added the sentiment, tied some string around it, and it was DONE.
s'more kit by Laura Williams, created for
Because I had so many cute stamps to chose from to create this project, I knew I would make another variation.  That's where the chocolate bar, that I already stamped and trimmed, comes in. Simply repeat everything already done, but for this top layer I used the aqua paper.
s'more kit by Laura Williams, for
There's my chocolate man. (Again, I stamped it directly on the paper, and then adhered the chocolate part with foam tape. Then I stamped the sentiment, and attached it to the bag and striped bag-topper base.
Now, as one more finishing touch, I thought it would be fun to embellish the marshmallow skewers just a bit. Personalize them so that everyone know's whose is whose. You could create the embellishments to all be different colors, or patterns. Or you could make them large enough to write a first initial on each one.
s'more kit by Laura Williams, for
To create a little flag, I trimmed a diamond shape from patterned paper, folded it, and glued it around the end of a skewer.  Then I added some matching string and tied a bow. 
smore kit and skewer by Laura Williams, for
I hope you'll be able to use these ideas to create some great fall treats before the weather gets too cold to be outside to play.  Then again. . .that's what the fire is for! So no matter the weather, brave the cold and go out for some festive fun!
smore kit by Laura Williams, for
smore kit by Laura Williams, created for

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A sweet and sassy farewell

Today brings my last post for Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, as November's guest designer.  If you haven't been over to the SNSS blog today, head over there next and see one more card I created! 

And if you're coming HERE from THERE, here, as promised, is my final bonus project! 
Sometimes a card layout just HITS me.  I see something, and all the sudden the card just pops into my head.  I'm not even sure what I saw that gave me the idea for this card. . . but I had to go sketch it down RIGHT AWAY before I forgot.  And later on, when I had a few minutes, I whipped this up.  

The patterned paper is from Cosmo Cricket's S'more Love collection, and the colors are so warm and bright and just perfect for how I feel about fall.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was beautiful and warm and just perfect.  

(card goodies: stamps - Leaf Silhouettes by Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, patterned paper - Cosmo Cricket S'More Love, cardstock - Bazzill Prismatics, from Discount Cardstock, ink - Stephanie Barnard Collection by Clearsnap)

Saturday, November 24, 2012


ello, ello!
i hope your Thanksgiving, and the day AFTER Thanksgiving were absolutely perfect!
we had a great day watching the parade, eating delicious food, and spending time with family.  yesterday we got our christmas tree, braved a few stores, and my husband tinkered with the Christmas lights for part of the afternoon. 

this card makes me SAD to share. . .sad because I created it for a publishing opportunity, and right about the time it was accepted, EAD Designs, who made the cute stickers, closed up shop.  SO we were unable to use it for publishing. . . .although it means i can share it with YOU! 

i attached the two end stickers to cardstock, trimmed, and adhered with foam tape for some fun depth.  and I adhered a white strip of cardstock with foam tape to my white card base for a subtle but striking detail.  I just love the way it turned out.

i hope the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend is terrific! thanks for stopping by!

(card goodies: cardstock - Discount Cardstock, stickers - EAD Designs)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sweet n Sassy blessings

It's my day! I'm on the Sweet 'n Sassy blog today, with my third project. Will you join me???? 
(I'll tell you all about some of my favorite products that I used on this card!)

Wishing YOU a season of blessings as you prepare (if you live in the US) to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

Can you BEEElieve it?

Can you BEElieve I haven't shared these cute stamps from The {Stamps} of Life yet? These are some of the November stamps at TSOL and they are DARLING!!!! The bees are precious, and so easy to paper-piece, stamp, and/or color. But the beehive is the ICING on the cake - adorable! 
I've been using a LOT of autumn colors lately, but I pulled out my faithful love of BRIGHT colors for these cards!

Can we talk about this honeycomb background stamp for a minute!? (Also one of the new stamps this month.)  Not only is it a perfect complement for the bee stamps, but Stephanie's hexagon stamps ALSO fit in it. Hello, BRILLIANT! (That girl never stops blowing my mind!)

See? In this last card I paired it with some of the hexagon stamps, and then trimmed it into a border. LOVE.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!!! And thanks to everyone who came visiting for the Gina K Designs hop . . .it's always fun to have new friends drop by! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gina K Designs Show Me The Stamps Holiday Hop

Welcome to the Show Me The Stamps Holiday kick off with the Clean and Simple Crew! Several of the Gina K Designs Illustrators have brought together their design teams and guests for a lineup of fun and exciting things to share using their stamps. 

For this month’s hop the Gina K Designs Illustrators will be giving away a $50 gift certificate to the Gina K Designs store!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on each Illustrator’s blog.

Want an extra entry?
Become a blog follower of any of the illustrators and leave a comment letting them know you did. That’s up to 10 chances to win if you become a follower of each illustrator and leave a comment!!

You can find the complete list of Gina K Design Illustrators participating on Tami Mayberry’s blog.

I created a warm and cozy project with Tami's Simple Snowflakes stamp set.  A card, and matching tube of cocoa is a perfect little gift to leave on a neighbor's doorstep, or in the mailbox for your postal worker. These little cocoa tubes would even be great party favors for a winter get-together.
I used a funnel to pour cocoa powder into the craft tube, and then topped it with some crumbled candy cane bits. (It would be adorable with a candy cane attached to the outside too!)  To create the circle tag, I folded a bit of cardstock and circle-punched it, leaving the folded edge un-punched. (Is that a word?)
Then I stamped the snowflake on another scrap, punched it out and adhered it to the folded card. Easy peasy way to make a circle tag!

And while you're shopping, be sure and check out all of the links from The Clean and Simple Crew too!  Why? Because Tami will personally be sending out a surprise gift to someone who comments on our blogs as well.

Clean and Simple Crew designers:
Jamie Cripps
Jennifer Ingle
Kelley Eubanks
Laura Williams
Laurie Willison

Guest designer: Sean Fetterman, StampTV Moderator

Seems to me you have some HOPPING to do. . .ENJOY! Thanks so much for stopping by!

(Project Goodies: stamps - Gina K Designs, ink - Clearsnap, cardstock - Discount Cardstock, jewels - Close To My Heart, twine - The Twinery, craft tubes - A Cherry On Top)

Deadline to enter for the gift certificate drawing is 5pm Central time on Thursday. November 15, 2012—release party day! AND just in time for someone to do some exciting release party shopping when the new stamps become available at 7pm!

 (It's a double post day! Please scroll down to see my Sweet 'n Sassy post!)

autumn for winter! (Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps)

It's Tuesday which means that I'm chillin' at the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps blog today.  Just a little sneak peek of my project today! I got tricky on you and used an autumn stamp set to create a Christmas card. Impressive, eh? ;)

Come on over and see what I've been up to!

And in case you're coming from there, and you've already SEEN what I've been up to, how about I share something else, just so you aren't bored to tears. . .

a recipe perhaps?

We've made this sweet potato chili a few times lately.  I can't decide how I feel about it. I LIKE it - but I can't decide if it's better as a side dish, along with some grilled chicken, or quesadillas. . .or on it's own as a main dish.  Either way, it's pretty tasty, super easy, and I generally have all the ingredients in the house.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili, from

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile, (see Note)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and potato and cook, stirring often, until the onion is slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water, bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro.
  2. (I left out the cilantro and chipotle chile. And once I left out the lime juice too. And it was still good!)

Okay, there you have it. . . craftiness, and food. I leave you now in good conscience! Have a terrific day! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dec 25th (Close To My Heart)

A few days ago I shared some cards using the Perfect Fit - Holidays stamp set from Close To My Heart.  I have been using this set like crazy (along with the Perfect Fit Halloween stamps, that I shared a few weeks ago.)

I can't get enough of the Perfect Fit stamps.  They fit perfectly with basic circle punches, and they are so much fun to use. (Awesome for cards, but also think cupcake toppers, and gift tags!)

I stole my own layout, from a card I created a few weeks ago.  This was the perfect layout for the stamps, and I tried out a fun cool color combo, using Close To My Heart cardstock and ink in Pear and Sky. LOVE it with the white. 

And then, with my scraps I whipped up another version of it, on a smaller 4x4 card base.  There are lots of ways you could take this same idea and twist it, turn it, change it up, and make it your own.   

Have a fabulous day! Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cardstock Crafts for Kids (part 2): Mini Coloring Books

this is the second project in my series, Cardstock Crafts for Kids, on the Discount Cardstock blog.

Mini Coloring Book
 By Laura Williams
Discount Cardstock supplies:
Scored Card Variety Pack  
1.  I think I’ve made about 10 of these this week, because my 7-year-old and my 3-year-old keep asking for more! My oldest son likes to write stories in them and my youngest likes to color and draw in them. The pre-scored cardsin the DCS store are a quick start to this project. I found through my experience, that my stapler fits best if I trim 1/4 inch off the side of my folded card.
2.  Next, trim white paper to fit inside the book. Line up the paper with your book cover, and staple it in the center.
3.  My youngest son likes to use these as mini coloring books, so sometimes I create coloring book pages for him using stamps.
More ideas for mini books:
a.) Customize the cover with a child’s name
b.) Present some mini books as a gift, with a new box of crayons and stickers
c.) Instead of white paper, use lined notebook paper, colored paper, or both!
These projects would be fun stocking stuffers for the children in your life, or even great little goodies from grandma!

This tutorial, and all others I have created can be found easily, by clicking on the Tutorials tab at the top of my blog!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Feelin' Sweet 'n Sassy in November!

I am so happy to be designing with Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps this month.  I have a project up on their blog today, and I'd love for you to stop by and visit me there!  Here's a little sneaky peek of it! It features a fabulous stamp set, Leaf Silhouettes.  And if you are stopping by, from the SNSS blog - welcome! I hope you'll hang out here with me often!
Have a fabulous day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

home sweet home

Home from a beautiful week in the mountains. . . . in the past week I have seen more friends and family that I haven't seen in far too long, than I've seen in AGES.  It's been a BEAUTIFUL week. Just a few pictures from the mountains. . .I'll be back later in the week once I catch up!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Winter cards featuring Close To My Heart

Now that Halloween is officially behind us, I can start thinking about winter. Not to worry, I don't get so far ahead of myself that I forget about Thanksgiving - because I LOVE Thanksgiving. But let's be reasonable. Making holiday cards takes time, so you better start thinking about it! These cards feature the Close To My Heart stamp set called Perfect Fit - Holidays stamp set.  (You might remember some Halloween cards I created using another version of this stamp set!) There are so many options with these sets! I love the simple little sentiments and the birdies are oh-so-sweet.  On this first card, I colored them in with Touch Twin markers, and tucked them behind a snowy hill (popped up on foam tape.)

I paired the stamps on this second card, with patterned paper from the Close To My Heart Avonlea Paper Pack.  The colors are so pretty, and I think they can definitely work for winter cards!

So there you go - don't forget about good old Thanksgiving. But get started on your holiday cards in the meantime! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sweet and Sassy news!

It's November, which means I have FUN NEWS to share! This month I am a guest designer at Sweet 'N Sassy Stamps!  These are two cards I created a few months ago using one of my favorite SNSS sets, called You & Me.  Throughout the month I will have some great new projects to share with you, featuring some of the newest stamp sets from Sweet 'N Sassy! Visit with me on the SNSS blog every Tuesday this month! Wooohooo!