Saturday, October 31, 2015

2015 Christmas Project Series Day 5: Snow much love!

Welcome! Today's project is a shaker card done two ways, featuring products available at Laura's Loft.  Here's a list of my supplies:
  • Strathmore 140 lb Coldpress Watercolor paper
  • Neenah Solar White 110 lb cardstock
  • Crafter's Companion Spectrum Noir cardstock
  • DCWV silver and ice blue glitter paper
  • Impression Obsession large circle shaker pouch
  • Momento Tuxedo Black ink
  • Spectrum Noir Markers: BP 1 ,2, 6; OR 1; LG 3, 4; IG 1, 2, 4
  • Newtons Nook stamp set: Frozen Friends
  • Doodlebug sequins
  • Snowflake sequins
  • Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle, Stitched Circle, Scripty Joy and Scalloped Circle dies
  • Stick- It Adhesive sheets
  • White fun foam
  • 1/2 inch Scor-tape
  • Simon Says Stamp Falling Snow stencil
  • Simon Says Stamp Cotton Candy Cardstock
  • Aleene's Glitter Snow embossing paste
  • Newtons Nook Holiday Wishes and Frozen Friends stamp sets
  • Stampin Up Sheltering Tree stamp set
  • Inkadinkadoo Masking Paper
  • Stampin' Up White glitter paper
  • DCWV green glitter paper
  • Spectrum Noir Markers: IG 1, 2; PL 1, 2; LG 3, 4; CG 4

For the blue card: the background piece was cut using the largest of the Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle die set from a larger piece of watercolor paper that I colored with spray inks;  I've linked that technique post here.  It was cut down to 4.25 by 5.5 inches, a standard A2 card size.
 For the focal image, I used Crafters Companion SN cardstock because it's made to work with alcohol markers.  I stamped my snow couple image from Newtons Nook Frozen Friends in Momento Tuxedo Black ink.  When working with alcohol markers, it's important to use a dye based ink for your stamped images so that it doesn't bleed or smudge when you color.  I used IG 1, 2 and 4 for the shadows on my snow people and the ground underneath them, OR 1 on their carrot noses, LG 3 and 4 on the green scarf and BP 1, 2 and 6 on the pink scarf with just a touch of BP 1 for the blush.  For the focal image background, I used TB 1, 2, 4 and 5.  I had to color the background in layers and take my time blending so that I achieved a smooth transition from light to dark.  I stamped the snowflakes last.
 Using the second largest of the scalloped circle dies, I cut out the focal image as it closely matched the size of the shaker pouch, roughly 3.5 inches.  I added my shaker bits, sequins and larger glitter, to the middle of the focal image.  The shaker pouches are self-adhesive, so I peeled off about an inch of the liner and stuck it down to the edge of my die cut focal piece to make sure I had it properly placed, then removed the rest and pressed along the edges to seal.  The silver glitter paper layer was die cut using the largest of the stitched circle dies, about 4 inches.  The joy was cut from ice blue glitter paper and adhered last.

Assembly: On a white Neenah card base (4.25 by 11 and scored at 5.5 inches to make a top folding card base), I adhered the blue water-colored piece using Scor-tape.  I attached the shaker piece to the silver circle with Scor-tape as well, then mounted the shaker to the blue topped card-base.  Lastly, I adhered the joy die cut with liquid adhesive and added a matching blue gem for the dot over the j.

The pink card has masking and less coloring.  We also get to have fun with embossing paste.  My cardbase is SSS Cotton Candy cardstock cut 4.25 by 11 inches and scored at 5.5 inches to make a top folding card.  Using the SSS Falling Snow stencil, I laid it down with the largest snow dots at the top.  I taped down my stencil with post-it tape; you'll want to use a tape that won't tear the paper.  Using a palette knife and Aleenes Glitter Snow embossing paste, I smoothed the paste over the stencil, making sure I had an even layer and removing any excess.  Remove and wash the stencil and knife immediately or it will ruin both as it wont come off if it dries on there.  I set my cardbase aside to dry while I worked on my focal image.
  I did three layers of stamping and masking here.  The first image to stamp is the one you want in front.  I started with my snow people from NN Frozen Friends, stamping them with Momento Tuxedo Black ink on my cardstock and again on the white side of the masking paper.  Cut out the snow people mask and placed it carefully over the image.  Using the hanging stocking image from NN Holiday Wishes, I stamped it so that it would look like it was hanging from the trees over their heads and stamped it again on masking paper.  I cut out the stockings and applied the mask over the stamped stocking image.  The third image I stamped was the tree from Stampin Up's Sheltering Tree set, also in Momento Tuxedo Black ink.  With the mask over the snow people still in place, I stamped a few presents from the Holiday Wishes set so that the presents would be behind the couple.  Then I was ready to remove all my masks and color in the shadows: IG 1 and 2, noses: OR 1, scarves: LG 3,4 and PL 1, and 2, stockings and presents, both of which were the same pinks and greens on the scarves.
  The shaker and rest of card were assembled the same way as the blue card with the exception of the joy die cut.  On the pink card, I die cut the joy out of white fun foam and green glitter paper.  I cut out a 2 by 3 inch piece of white fun foam and added a layer of Stick-It adhesive to each side so that I would have a foam sticker.  I removed the liner one letter at a time and carefully added the joy die cut over the foam.  Then I removed the back liner and attached it to the assembled card.  Done!

If you don't have Aleene's paste, just use a white paste and add glitter to it before you apply it or apply it and sprinkle glitter over it before it dries.  Mixing the glitter into the paste ensures it wont fall off, but either way works.

I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something new! Thanks for hanging out with me and be sure to stop by Laura's shop for more inspiration and tempting crafty goodness!  Feel free to ask any questions and let me know what you think.  See you later!

Much love!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

2015 Christmas project series Day 4: Bright and Sunny Snowflakes

Hi! Welcome to day 4 of my 2015 Christmas project series.  I absolutely love the colors in this because they're warm, bright, sunny and completely unexpected.  It's also fairly simple as well as versatile.  By changing the die cut, it can easily be a birthday or thinking of you card. 
 I started with Distress Watercolor Cardstock and used 3 colors of spray inks: Picked Raspberry and Carved Pumpkin and Dylusions Lemon Zest.  I sprayed the ink and let it set for a couple minutes, then added water to get the colors blending and blotted any dark puddles.  I wanted to keep this piece bright and letting it sit for a minute before adding the water allows for some hard edges.  I have another blog post that goes into this technique in detail, linked here.

The snowflakes are from Endless Wishes by Stampin' Up, embossed with Detail Fine Gold embossing powder by Ranger.  The simplest way to do the stamping is starting with the largest snowflake, stamp them in VersaMark, making sure they don't overlap.  I like to stamp off the edges.  Sprinkle the powder over your piece.  Now you can see where your flakes are. Repeat the process with the middle sized flake and fill in any empty spots with the small flake and you are ready to heat.  Let your heat gun warm up for 60 to 90 seconds before applying to your project.  It should melt almost immediately when you heat it if your gun is hot enough.  The powder will turn from dull and powdery looking to shiny and bright.  As soon as your powder melts move to an unmelted section. 

To finish the card, trim 1/8 inch off each long side and mount in the middle of a 4.25 by 5.5 inch top folding card; I use Neenah Solar White 110 lb cardstock.  I like to use Scor-tape because it's very strong and holds thicker papers, like watercolor paper.  The finishing touches are the love die cut and a sprinkling of sequins.  The love is "Scripty Love" die by Lawn Fawn and cut from White glitter paper by Stampin' Up.  The sequins are from doodlebug and attached with Dina Wakely multi medium matte.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you learned something new and try it out for yourself.  Happy crafting.

Much love!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2015 Christmas project series Day 3 Serene Scene

Welcome to Day 3 of the 2015 Christmas project series.  I have really been into non-traditional colors for Christmas this year and I LOVE this one.  The natural imagery is simple, yet impactful and the soft colors add a bit of whimsy. The background is a piece of Distress Watercolor Cardstock, which comes cut to 4.25x5.5 inches, a standard A2 size card.  I used Distress Spray Stain in Picked Raspberry, Shaded Lilac and Cracked Pistachio, then spritzed with water to blend.  This link goes to a blog post for the technique.

The stamp set I used is Winter Wonderland by Wplus9 and the ink is Momento Tuxedo Black.  When working with watercolor paper, it's important to consider what you want to do with it.  Distress cardstock has a textured side and a smoother side.  Stamping on the textured side can be challenging, especially when using solid area images.  What was fortunate (for me) about this set is that I could color in any blank spots in the deer and bunny with a black marker and the trees are designed in such a way that missing spots aren't noticeable when stamped.  I used a Faber Castell PITT marker size B (bold; it has a brush tip).  I stamped the deer first, then made a mask from Inkadinkadoo Masking Paper.  I applied the mask, stamped the bunny, and finished with the trees.  When you remove the mask, you see that the deer is in front of the tree.

The next step is the snow, created by using the Falling Snow Stencil by Simon Says Stamp, Texture Paste by Teresa Collins, Cool Highlight superfine glitter by Glitter Ritz, and a palette knife.  I like to adhere the base to my work surface using tape runner.  Start by scooping about a teaspoon of paste onto your work surface.  Add some glitter to the paste and mix together using the palette knife.  Tape the stencil down over the watercolor piece with low-tack tape; I'm using blue painters tape from 3M.

Smooth the glittered paste evenly over the stencil.  Carefully peel off the tape and remove the stencil by carefully pulling up from the bottom.  Lift the piece off the work surface and set aside to dry.  It should take about an hour or so to dry.  Do not be tempted to use a heat tool.  It will essentially cook the paste, making it bubble up and distort the shape.  I've even seen it turn brown.  Let it air dry.

To add snow to the bottom edge, I used two products.  I did one layer of the same texture paste (without the glitter), but wasn't satisfied with it because it dried translucent in areas, rather than opaque.  I added a layer of Aleene's Glitter Snow. 
I like to leave it uneven, like you would see it outside after one of our famous Michigan blizzards.  I didn't add a sentiment because I didn't think it needed one.  And leaving it without a sentiment makes it flexible.  It's suitable for a birthday, Christmas, sympathy or thinking of you. 
To finish it off, I mounted it on a Neenah Solar White 110 lb card base, cut 4.25 by 11 inches and scored at 5.5 inches.  I added half inch Scor-tape along all four edges and the card is complete.

Thanks for hanging out with me today! I hope you enjoyed and learned something new.  Be sure to let me know what you think and if you have any questions.

Much love!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

2015 Christmas project series Day 2: Woodsy Santa tag

Hello! I will start off by warning that this may be a longer post than usual, only because I have added more photos to show a step by step process of how I make these tags.  I show two in the photo above because I wanted to convey that there are no two of these tags that are the same.  I did both of these with the same colors and same process.  They're similar, but not the same.  So bear that in mind when you try this technique for yourself.  It's intended to be fun and creative, not stressful :)

 Step 1.)  Using either Distress Stain or the ink pad, swipe some ink onto your work surface.  I use a Ranger Craft Sheet.  The colors I have used are Mermaid Lagoon, Tarnished Brass and Cracked Pistachio.  Spritz with a bit of water, but be careful.  If you add too much, you won't get any color saturation.  You want to add just enough to get things blending.
 Step 2.)  Using a #8 Manilla tag, lay it down over your ink; press it in and move it around a bit.  If you move it too much, the colors will blend completely and you'll lose the variation in your colors.  See how some areas are darker and others lighter? There's a distinct area of the Tarnished Brass right in the middle.  After your first dip in the pool, heat dry your tag.  It will curl up and then flatten out as it dries.  Dip again into the pools of color left on the work surface.  This will give you more variation and texture.  Dry again.  If you move onto stamping and your tag is wet or damp, the images will lose their shape and blur out.  (Especially with Distress products: they are designed to react with water, but it's a risk with any dye based ink.)

 Step 3.)  Using the tree stamp from the Reindeer Flight stamp set by Tim Holtz, stamp it to the right side, just slightly off the edge in Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink.  That set is a red rubber cling set, so you'll need acrylic blocks, a stamp press (I'm using my Fiskars one) or a MISTI.  My stamp press is well loved, as you can see.
 Step 4.)  With the mini blending tool and foam, I used Ground Espresso around the bottom edge, blending inward, darkening the edges.  I concentrated the ink along the bottom edge.  I used Chipped Sapphire along the top and sides.  To get an even application and avoid any lines or prints from the round tool, I use a light pressure and keep the tool at an angle so that the front edge of the tool is off the surface of the tag.  To darken an area, add layers of ink.  You always want to start light when ink blending.  It's easy to add, but not so easy to take away.

 Step 5.)  Stamp the sentiment in Momento Tuxedo Black.  I have had this stamp for years and there's nothing on the block to say the designer or company :(  Sorry. 
 Step 6.)  I used a rather large script stamp, "Old Letter Writing" by Hero Arts and inked it lightly across the middle of the stamp with Walnut Stain.  I dabbed here and there with Tarnished Brass Distress Stain.  The stain is much more fluid than the ink, so you'll want to be careful with it and use it sparingly so that it doesn't end up as a weird blob on your project.  (Ask me how I know!)  I wanted a light impression so that it looked faded and vintage, so I inked it lightly and stamped it quick, without much pressure.  To keep the sentiment clean, I laid a piece of scrap paper over the area to make sure I didn't get any stamping there I didn't want.
 Step 7.)  Santa!  (I know him!)  I inked him up with Ground Espresso Distress Ink so that he would stand out.  This is a fine lined stamp, so it looks nice with dark ink.  Another reason not to bring the darker ink blending down too far; you want to keep the area fairly light so that you can see Santa.  When stamping any face images, light is important.
Step 8.)  Make sure your ink along the top edge is dry.  Distress inks stay wet longer than any other dye ink.  That property is what allows it to blend so easily.  Because we are stamping over it with the intention of heat embossing, it needs to be dry so that the embossing powder only sticks to the image we stamp.  I used clear glitter embossing powder in this project, so the impact would not have been that significant.  If you want to make your snowflakes gold or silver instead, it will matter quite a bit.  This project is pretty friendly to heat, so heat drying it for a few minutes with a heat tool will do the trick.  If it feels cool to the touch, it's not dry.  You can also test it before stamping the snowflakes by pouring a bit of powder over the area you want to stamp on.  If it sticks, brush it off with a paintbrush and heat dry it.

Step 9.)  After you've stamped the snowflakes in Chipped Sapphire, pour your embossing powder over the snowflakes, tap off the excess and heat until melted.  The snowflakes are also from Reindeer Flight.

Tip for heat embossing: let your heat gun warm up for a minute or so before applying to your project.  If your gun is hot enough, the powder will melt almost immediately.  It will turn from powdery to shiny.  As it melts, keep moving your gun to unmelted areas.  If you heat it for too long, the powder will just melt into the paper; it will look oily and you'll lose the raised texture.

Congratulations, you've just finished your tag!  Thanks for spending some time with me today! I hope you have fun and learned something new.  Feel free to ask any questions and let me know what you think!

Much love!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Card 1 of the 2015 Christmas Card Series: Colorbursting with Joy!

Welcome! I'm so excited to kick off my first ever series at my absolute favorite time of year, Christmas!  This card design has 4 layers altogether, which gives it a lot of depth and dimension.  The wooden stars add a natural element which brings the whimsy and outdoors together perfectly.

Let's start with the background.  On a piece of Distress Watercolor card stock, stamp the snowflakes randomly in VersaMark, starting with the largest.  It can be hard to see where you've stamped when using VersaMark because it's clear, so coat with embossing powder as you go.  I used WOW embossing powder in Silent Night, which is a gorgeous sparkly dark silver.  Fill in the empty spaces between the largest snowflakes with the medium snowflake and then repeat the process, finishing with the small snowflake.

The next step is to add violet Colorburst powder sparingly on the snowflake covered paper.  This is why we started with watercolor paper; Colorburst is a powdered watercolor pigment and the paper is designed to work with water and accept saturation without falling apart.
Start with a little powder, spritz with water and see what you get.  You can add color, but it's harder to take it away.  As you can see in the photo, it will buckle a bit when its wet, but it dries back flat.  This is one of my favorite techniques.  If it's too dark, blot it with paper towel or add more water.  Keep in mind that it will dry back to be a few shades lighter.

I love the variations in color as well as the blue and pink spots.  I don't recommend heat drying watercolor when you've heat embossed images on your base; it's difficult to control hot spots which can ruin any embossing and can lead to warping.  I always let my watercolor pieces air dry overnight.  It prevents warping and flat paper is easier to adhere to your card base.  If it feels cool to the touch, it's not completely dry.  When my piece was dry, I added Dreamweavers Pearlescent embossing paste over the Falling Snow stencil by Simon Says Stamp and let dry.  I love the look of falling snow in a dusky sky.  Mount the dry piece on a standard 4.25x 5.5 inch card base with strong adhesive; I used half inch Scor-tape.

The deer is from the Party Animals stamp and die set and the rest of the images are from the Joy to the Woods stamp and die set. All the images were stamped in Momento Tuxedo Black and colored with Spectrum Noir markers as follows: Deer: TN 3,4,5, PP1, EB8, BT5, and PL 1,2; Cardinal: DR5 and OR1; Holly: DR5 and JG6; Birdhouse: TN 3,4,5; Trees: BG 1,2,4 and IG 1,2,3.

The snowdrifts are made with Neenah Solar White 110 lb cardstock and Stitched Hillside border die by Lawn Fawn.  I cut three and layered them with the trees.  I started with a single tree adhered with tape runner, followed by a snow drift and so on.  I placed the trees so that they leaned the way they would look if you were outside.  I popped up the birdhouse, cardinal,and deer on black foam squares by 3M.  For the wood stars, I placed them without attaching first and masked off the areas I didn't want any ink, then stamped the string for the stars to hang from.  Using Golden Sparkle Twine from Lawn Fawn, I cut a 3 inch piece and coated it in matte medium to make it stiff.  After it was dry, I attached it with Zots bling glue dots and frayed the ends a bit.  The letters are die cut using Quinns ABC's from White Sugar-Coated glitter cardstock by Doodlebug and attached with foam squares. 
You can simplify the design by using fewer trees and/or fewer snowbank layers.  Give it a try and don't be afraid to give it your own spin.  Thanks for spending some time with me. Please let me know what you think and I'll do my best to answer any questions!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Whoo's your feather?

Hey everyone! Today I have something a bit different in that it involves no stamping.  This style is a great way to use up scraps of paper, especially from paper packs or collections.  I cannot claim the invention of this idea; I saw it on a YouTube video ages ago, so of course I couldn't find it again when I hunted for it.

I just love the colors and patterns in these papers which are the Friendly Forest collection by Doodlebug in the 6x6 size.

Lets start with the papers.  Make sure you have strips long enough to cover the size of your card front.  You'll need to have varying widths of your strips and make sure you vary how you lay them down so that there isn't a pattern.  I added in a few strips of glitter paper in colors that complimented the colors in the rest of my papers.
1. Start by applying adhesive all across the entire card front.  I use tape runner.
2. Starting the the middle of the card, apply the longest strip, paying attention to the pattern so that things are right side up if necessary.
3. In my card, I used a die to finish the edges and give the stitched detail.  I trimmed off any long ends of the paper strips and ran it through my big shot using the second largest in Lawn Fawn's stitched rectangle die set.
4.  Mount the piece on a standard top folding card base.  I use Neenah Solar White 110 lb card stock.
5.  I added a strip of gold glitter paper across the lower third of the card for visual interest and to give the owl somewhere to sit.
6.  Using Lawn Fawn's Scripty Thanks die, I ran it through my big shot on a scrap of purple cardstock.  I adhered the thanks die cut over the glitter strip to make it stand out.
7.  Using foam dots, I added my owl, which is also from Doodlebug.
8.  For a finishing touch, added a few Doodlebug enamel dots.

I hope you try this technique out as it's a quick and easy way to make cute cards while using up scraps and making the most out of your supplies.

Come back soon as I'll be starting a Christmas card series on Saturday 10-25-15!  Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to let me know what you think and feel free to ask any questions.

Much love!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pretty Peony

The pictures just can't do justice to the shimmer of this card.  It's so lovely.  The background was done with Distress Ink Spray Stain in Salty Ocean and  Shaded Lilac.  I spritzed Perfect Pearls spray over the top to get the ink moving and blending.
The peony was done using the gorgeous Cover Plate Peony die by Papertrey Ink.  It's a full size die that the cuts the size of a standard card, 4.25 by 5.5 inches.  I cut it out of Blackberry Bliss cardstock by Stampin' Up and attached it with Tombow Mono Multi liquid glue.
I set the panel aside to dry with a few acrylic blocks on top for weight and let it sit overnight.  The cardbase is Neenah Solar White 110 lb cardstock and I mounted the panel on the base with 1/2 inch scor-tape.  To finish it, I stamped the sentiment on a piece of Vellum, also from Stampin' Up.  I like SU's vellum because it's thicker than other brands I've tried, so it doesn't warp as easily when heat embossing like I did with my sentiment.  I stamped the sentiment in Versafine black pigment ink and used WOW Rainbow Black embossing powder.  I then heat set it and cut the banner ends with scissors.  The gems are by Recollections and come on an adhesive roll.  Think roll of tape with gems.  I really like them because I can cut out the gems in a certain number or shape and they are self adhesive.  I have made 6 different versions of this card because it's really simple construction with such a pretty die cut card front.  There are endless options with this design.

This angle shows a bit of the shimmer on the background and the rainbow reflection of the embosssing powder on the sentiment.    I hope you found some inspiration and thank you for stopping by!
Much love!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

journeywithjasmine: Laura's Loft Blog Hop

journeywithjasmine: Laura's Loft Blog Hop: Happy Halloween! I made this kitty into a shaker for a fun twist on a not so scary Halloween tag for the Trick-or-Treat blog hop w...

Laura's Loft Blog Hop

Welcome! If you missed the previous stop click the previous button to go to Robbie's blog.

Happy Halloween! I made this kitty into a shaker for a fun twist on a not so scary Halloween tag for the Trick-or-Treat blog hop with Laura over at Laura's Loft online shop.  Laura also has a giveaway for you to enter, so keep an eye out for that at the end.  She has a total of 10 creative ladies in the hop this month with 2 guest designers, myself and LeeAnn McKinney.

Two products used in the making of this tag that are featured in Laura's shop are the Impression Obsession large square shaker pouch and Altenew Wood Pallet Background stamp.

I started with a #8 black tag and stamped the wood pallet background using VersaMark.  I used two shades of purple Perfect Pearls powder, Perfect Violet and Grape Fizz, working it over the ink with a fluffy paintbrush.  After brushing the excess off, I misted over the tag very lightly with water to set the powder and set it aside to dry while I worked on the other components of the tag.

For the shaker piece,  I stamped the cat from Simon Says Stamp Trick or Treat stamp and die set on some Spectrum Noir paper using Momento Tuxedo Black ink and colored him with SN markers as follows: fur IG 1, 2, 4, and 6; ears and nose: PP3 and 5; cape and mask: PL 1, 2, and 4.  I gave his cloak and mask a coat of Wink of Stella glitter pen in Clear for some sparkle.  After coloring, I die cut him out.  For the background behind the cat, I stamped the cat and spiders, then placed my die on the cardstock and traced the inside corners with a pencil so that I'd know what was going to show and where to stamp.   I applied Distress Inks with a mini blending tool starting about 1/4 of the way up from the bottom going from light to dark as follows: Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Salty Ocean and Blueprint Sketch.  To ground my image I used Pumice Stone and Hickory Smoke at the bottom.  Using a stitched square die from Lawn Fawn, I die cut the background piece to give it some finishing detail as it would be visible and the die was perfectly sized for the shaker pouch.  I attached my die cut cat over the stamped image with a tape runner.  I added purple and green sequins from Doodlebug and gold micro-beads from my stash on the cat so that I could add the pouch and seal everything in.  The pouches have adhesive on the rim, so I removed the backing and carefully placed it evenly.  I attached the shaker piece to the tag using tape runner.  I stamped the sentiment in VersaMark and embossed it using fine detail gold embossing powder.  I die cut it using the matching die and added a little Shaded Lilac and Dusty Concord distress inks to the edges and popped it up with foam squares.  The Halloween die cut, which is also from the SSS Trick or Treat set, was cut from DCWV glitter cardstock and adhered with liquid glue.  The little words are Tim Holtz Seasonal Chit Chat stickers that I added a little Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn ink to and adhered with liquid glue.  The gems are from Doodlebug and the black flourish is from Prima. on the next button for the next stop on the hop!  Cindy's blog is where I know she has another delightful project to share with you.  Don't forget to comment each blog hop stop in order to be entered into the giveaway!  Thank you so much for stopping by and come back soon!

1. Follow Laura's Loft on IG @InLaurasLoft, like the IG Hop/Giveaway post and tag a friend. as many as you like but one tag per comment, please.
2. Follow Laura's Loft store page on facebook
3. Leave a comment at each stop on the blog hop.

Hop blogs are listed below in case you get off track or want to visit one of us again:
1. Laura's Loft-
2. Deana Benson-
3. Robbie Rubala-
4. Jasmine Burgess-You're here!
5. Cindy Dooley -
6. Emma Hall-

7.  Joy Hadden -
8. Lisa Bedigian -
9. LeeAnn McKinney -

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pumpkin Protein Snack Bars

 A new challenge I'm facing is going gluten free.  Since I love to bake, it's going to be interesting adapting my recipes and fun trying new ones.  The original recipe for these bars is at, but as usual, I've switched it up a bit.  By changing a few ingredients, I've added protein and improved the texture and flavor while keeping them low in sugar and gluten free.  
I cut the bars into 18 so they are smaller, but still satisfying.  You can cut them into any size or quantity you want, just be aware that the calculations for their nutrition changes the bigger they are.
For 18 servings:     For 12 Servings
152 Calories           228 Calories
8 gr fat                    12 gr fat
9 gr sugar               14 gr sugar
7 gr protein            10 gr protein

Homemade protein bars wont last as long as the commercially processed ones, but you know exactly what you are putting in your body when you make them at home.   Fats, salt and sugar are not bad for the body; they are necessary for it to function properly.  It's the quality and quantity that we have to be aware of. 

*I used 1/3 cup of the Splenda Brown Sugar.  I wanted to make sure I noted that as the packaging says to use half of what the recipe calls for.  If you want to make these with regular brown sugar, use 2/3 cup.
*To toast any nut, bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Let cool and chop.  I like to use my mini food processor to chop nuts; it's quick, easy and contained.  You can use raw nuts for this recipe, but be careful when using a food processor; it can turn into nut butter easily.  Toasting the nuts and adding 1 teaspoon sugar helps to guard against nut butter. If you chop them by hand, it takes longer but you'll completely avoid butter that way. 

Pumpkin Protein Bars
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unflavored whey protein powder
  • 1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice , plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the protein powder and spice into the mixture, along with the quick oats, salt and ½ cup almonds; stir until well combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Sprinkle with remaining almonds and drizzle with 2 tbsp. maple syrup.
  5. Bake for 33-35 minutes.  Center will be set and edges will pull away from the edges of the pan when done.  Let cool completely.  Cut into 18 bars and store in the fridge.
18 servings: 152 cal, 8 gr fat, 9 gr sugar, 7 gr protein
12 servings: 228 cal, 12 gr fat, 14 gr sugar, 10 gr protein

I like these bars because they are moist without being sticky, not overly sweet, but with a good flavor and nice texture between the oats, cake and almonds.  They are also easy to eat on the go.  Give them a try and don't be afraid to make your own tweaks.  Maybe dried fruit or different nuts or seeds.  
Thanks for stopping by and spending a little time with me today!

Much love!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A man card that wont take his man card!

Hello!  Todays card started out as an experiment, just playing with Tim Holtz's first four new colors of 2015 in the re-inkers.  Cracked Pistacio, Abandoned Coral, Mermaid Lagoon and Fossilized Amber were dripped randomly around a peice of Distress watercolor cardstock, then spritzed with water to get things moving and blending.  I tried not to get a mix between the coral and pistacio to avoid getting a muddy brown, so I sopped up any ugly puddles.  Once it was dry I had a bit of a hard time figuring out what to do with it, but I thought it had a masculine feel to it so I went with robots.  I added gears and keys, also in the blueprint style, to bring it together.  I used Pumice Stone distress ink so it was visible, but in the background.  I thought it would make a great birthday card for a boy.  Or my husband; he loves robots and legos!

The robot is from Tim's Stampers Anonymous Robot Blueprints stamp set and the sentiment is from Tim's Stuff To Say stamp set.

I stamped the robot and sentiment in Black Versafine pigment ink and clear heat embossed it to make sure it stood up against the colorful background.  The watercolor piece was mounted on a layer of black cardstock, then on a white card base.

The design is easy to customize by using the recipients favorite colors and images, so I hope you try this one out and have fun playing!  Thanks for stopping by!

Much love!

Handmade Christmas Series 2018: Day 1 Watercolors and EH Mondo Holly 2 ways

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