Saturday, December 31, 2011

Welcoming the New Year!

I was talking to my daughter about New Year's resolution--an inevitable topic at this time of the year. Do you have one? Or a few? Stephanie suggested to me to exercise more. She even said that in order to make her happy and worry less for me ( for the long run) is to keep MYSELF healthy. I think this applies to anyone in any stage of life. It was suggested to me that I exercise 30. min. a. day. The key is just 30. min. a. dayThis video called What is the Best Single Thing We Can Do For Our Health? is excellent and I think Dr. John wholeheartedly agrees! Preventive medicine is the key! I am going to work on that in the New Year and I will update you if I am even successful for a month! I can also break up the routine into 10 min. and do them three times if I have to. That sounds do-able!  

 Well, it's New Year's Eve and I am having company over for dinner party to count down to the New Year. I have nothing prepared yet (gasp!). I 'd better get cracking! SO.....this is my LAST post of 2011. I want to wish you a Happy and Healthy 2012!
Happy New Year  
This card was featured in CREATE Blog. For more information, please click on the photo for supplies and details.
I also want to take this chance to share my top 10 favorite cards of 2011. (not in any particular order). These cards "earned" their right to be my favorites as they are most FUN to make. They may not be the most successful ones (such as winning challenges or getting published-except the last one ), but I learn something special along the way.

  You Rock
 thanks so much, you rock!
 happy birthday
 Happy Birthday


Merry and Bright
Merry and Bright!
celebrate life
celebrate life
oh me, oh my
oh me, oh MY!

thank you
thank you

it's time to...celebrate!
It's time ...to celebrate

just missing you
just missing you
Merci
 Merci
live, love, laugh

live,love,laugh
I hope you like them as much as I do! This past year, I have achieved my personal goals, namely, fulfilling my design team work, winning a few challenges, doing guest designs and even getting published!! I do not have any specific card-making "goals" for 2012, but I definitely want to continue to learn, share and create. 
Thank you SO much for following up on my blog and give me your feedback tirelessly.
Wish you all the best in 2012!  

updated at 6pm: for those who are wondering how my dinner plan is going. Things are under control! I have Salmon Dip, Smoked Salmon, Manhattan Style Clam Chowder, Fish and Chip ( instead of chips, we have Chinese sticky rice!), Vegetable/Fruit Salad, Lemon Squares (that David made)! My friend Linda is bringing her famous Chocolate Cake! We are ready to ring in the New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Food Memories from Philly!

As you may know, I was in Philadelphia for this past Christmas! Well, the visit to my brother-in-law's place was absolutely fabulous! It was all about food and food and more food. Lucky for us, my sister-in law (a true foodie herself) worked tirelessly and prepared us scrumptious meals. Without further ado, I will share some yummy photos with you. Caution: this may cause severe drooling!

When in Philly, you have to have ...."Philly Cheese Steaks" (our lunch)!
 Hoagie! (I actually learned something about this submarine sandwich from the Wikipedia). It was so yummy!
 The Christmas Eve feast is Seven Fishes . My sister-in-law Florence decided to follow the Italian tradition and modified it to 7 seafood--lucky us!!
First course--Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
 Custard with Crab Meat
 This was the preparation of the Lobster Bisque.
The Lobster Bisque
Mixed Greens with Smoked Salmon
A large rind that's made with scallops and cream
Lobster Ravioli. My sister-in-law even made the pasta, cooked, cleaned the lobster herself. There is no short cut in this feast!  
 Baked Salt Fish
The fish was amazingly tender with all that salt covered 
 the last course
 And just when you think you are FULL, there are desserts! Florence is famous for her Macarons! The cone-shaped cookies are called Krumkake (which David and I helped making with the Krumkake machine). They were filled with chocolate Mousse!
 The Chocolate Molten Cake--divine!
This conclude the Christmas Eve dinner! There will be more scrumptious posts about food and a lovely visit to Longwood Gardens in the next few weeks! Hope you are "satisfied" for now :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

True Friend

Dear all. Just taking a "break" from the aftermath of traveling during the holiday and popping in to say hi with a card. I hope you are not tired of this set that I used so often from this post (here and here).
True friend
Again, I embossed the image with ZING! (Mustard Seed) and then distressed it with Fire Brick, Barn door and Frayed Burlap (for edges). I finished the card with a ribbon (kindly made and sent to me by Donna M.). I love how the bow compliments the design. And then I added some subtle stamping, sentiment and pearls. That's it! 

What's your New Year's Eve plan? My family have a tradition of getting together with our close friends. This year is MY turn to host. I got to think of the menu for the New Year's Eve Feast--FAST! Ciao!

Monday, December 26, 2011

LOVE Layout

How was your Christmas? Mine is going swell as I am celebrating the holiday season with my family. I hope you find love and happiness in the new year. Today I am sharing a LOVE layout!  We are truly blessed to have found each other from the other side of the world. (I am from Taiwan, and he was born and raised in Canada)

I used the non-traditional valentine colors for the layout with Fancy Sentiment (love)
Quick Cards- Love
We've Got Your Stickers- Forever

A close-up

Please stop by at SRM Stickers for more inspiration. Enjoy the special time with your love ones!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas....(and Thank You!)

Merry Christmas! 
Ellen Hutson LLC Hero Arts Wood Take 'n Make
Besides spending time with family, I will have lots to catch up. Thanks to your wonderful mails, I have received a huge pile of birthday cards. Each one of them is created with such loveliness! If I haven't dropped by your blogs, you know that I am buried in the mails :)

This year I had witnessed miracles working in my own family and life.
Big thanks to: 
(in the order of dates of receiving)
Sarah M., Barb E., Cathy A.,Simone N., Piali B., Rachel K.,Cindy C.,Annette A., Brenda U.,Lin B.,Dawn T., Kerry L.,Lai-Yoke, Lynn M.,Trinh A.,Sharon D., Elizabeth E.,Barb M.,Alexandra S. M.,Tina B.,Amie H.,Donna B., Erin T.,Yvonne S., Dana C., Martha V.,Leni deu O., Clare P.,Nicky L., Kathy W., Alice W.,Anita R., Linda W., Anette H., Janet R., Savannah O., Marcy K.!! 

Each one of you and your mails touched my heart deeply. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I wish I could give you all a BIG hug and a stamp or two...but this will have to do--for now.
HUGS to all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

CAS-ual Fridays Challenge # 33

Hello there! Welcome to this year's LAST CAS-ual Fridays challenge! This is a TWO-week challenge as this will allow us to enjoy the Christmas holiday with friends and family.

For this week's theme, we ask you to create a CAS project using kraft and twine
Our Sponsor is Market Street Stamps
 Unfortunately the new stamp set generously provided by Market Street Stamps did not arrive in time for this post. thankfully they sent some of the DT a digie kit to work with. Here is my take.
THANKS
 I colored the flowers with red glitter gel pen and cut out the extra flowers for the dimension. This little card will come in handy as I have lots of thank-you cards to write. The twine and buttons just provide the lovely touches to this image. The yellow center was from Liquid Pearl Dimensional Glue (Buttercup). I am addicted to that stuff :)

I am looking forward to visiting my brother-in-law's place and spending time with family. I will be checking on your CAS projects from time to time. Please link up your work to CAS-ual Fridays  by Jan 4, Wednesday 2012 Midnight Eastern time.
Lastly I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I will be  back next with a layout after Christmas! Till then!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Projects!

Just sharing my altered Christmas project (using SRM's We've Got You Sticker-Merry)
Our Canadian government has sent us way too many government tax envelopes.... (we pay on line now!!). But sure, I love FREE envelopes!
I turned them into pockets for treats and gift card holders.
The entire set
Christmas Card Set using We've Got Your Sticker Plus-Christmas
I had received numerous cards from my birthday. Here is the list of friends that took the time to mail me in this busy time of the year. It really makes my birthday all that much more special!
THANK YOU!!
(in the order of dates of receiving)
Sarah M., Barb E., Cathy A.,Simone N., Erin T.  Piali B., Rachel K.,Cindy C.,Annette A., Brenda U.,Lin B.,Dawn T., Kerry L.,Lai-Yoke, Lynn M.,Trinh A.,Sharon D., Elizabeth E.,Barb M.,Alexandra S. M.,Tina B.,Amie H.,Donna B., Yvonne S., Dana C., Martha V.,Leni deu O., Clare P.,Nicky L., Kathy W., Alice W.,Anita R., Linda W., Anette H., Janet R., Savannah O.Marcy K.!! 

 Thank you everyone for all the lovely comments yesterday about my Hero Arts Secret Mission. Do come back later for the latest CAS-ual Fridays challenge!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Did You Know....

......that I was involved in the Hero Arts 2012 Stamps promotion in stores all over the world? Last night I saw a photo of a stamp store in Singapore and it has THIS very card on the store board!
 My family called it the Hero Arts Secret Mission! Check this  Hero Arts Video and stop the video at 0:43 and you'll see a romance card...cards that I made-all 170 of them! I could have made 200 (which is the ideal target), but the layering paper supplies ran out! It's a huge task that I will always remember and proud to be part of! This stamp called Friend-You're the Best
is  the stamp that I worked with.
The design came from the uber talented Jennifer McGuire herself. It was a LOT of work to make the EXACT copy! It is very ornate and detailed. It's amazing that these stamped images can give you the instant print--so perfect and lasting!

Now you may ask...how did I get involved in all this? Well, it all started with a private invite e-mail from the one and only Jennifer McGuire! It was a bit of a shock, to say the least. Jennifer asked me along with some amazing and talented card-makers to make store board cards from the Hero Arts 2012 stamps. Now......can you say "no"? NOOOO, right? The thing is...you have to make lots and lots of them (target number-150 minimum). So that is the challenge. However, I persevered.
 I made them in front of the TV for some part of them. The distressing part was somewhat fun. But the bows...oh. the bows! They were most pain in the painstaking! And then, there are a few rejects...the images were not stamped perfectly (oops!!)!
 I adore this card's design, but it does require a lot cutting and layering. After seeing me feeling a little flustered and worried about the deadline, Dr. John quipped: "Would you consider outsourcing from China?" (grrrr...)
I worked in various stages....just chomping all the corners took me 3 hours! Good thing Sunday's evening shows were on, so it's not too bad at all :)
Now you know Glossy Accent works wonder as adhesive. But can you hold 5 of the bows down to dry in one sitting? No!! I pulled out my handy dandy wooden cloth pins! That was my brilliant ah-ha moment :) Finally it was coming along...
 There were a few small glitches and hiccups...such as the time when I found out the Grenadine layering paper were missing from the supplies (Hero Arts sent them to me in 2 days!!).
 .....the bows in lightest shade were a few short. So I improvised and made a few from the darker shade (see below)
 Finally after less than a week (from receiving the supplies to sending them off ), the mission is complete!
I like to thank my family for eating the same bland food and being super understanding during that week. I pretty much wore my PJ 24/7 and kept up with the sweat shop worker's appearance. They know that I was on an important mission!
Would I do it all over again? Absolutely! Just don't ask my family :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NEW Stamp!

 I have this new 2012 Hero Arts stamp set called Friends-You Are The Best. It is likely the most detailed and ornate stamp that I have ever seen. When you stamp the image, you instantly feel like you have created a MASTERPIECE! That is, to me, is the magic of stamping! 
 Not sure if you know...that I was involved in making cards with the newly released 2012 stamps for Hero Arts store boards. My next post is all about that "secret mission" (as my family dubs it). "Did you know...." feature is up next. 

But first, I will share the card that I made with this lovely image with the two classic male and female figures dressed in haute cultur in the 16-17 Century.  They are very ornate, detailed and elaborate. I must admit that it is somewhat a challenge to work with such a fancy stamp. BUT to make the stamp fit into that time period, I found that Mustard Yellow and dark brown make the perfect compliment for that design. 
DSC_0015
So....do you like it? If you are intrigued by this stamp design, then you MUST come back for more....just saying :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Get Inspired by Home Decor

 I am taking the last minute plunge into the challenge for Get Inspired by Home Decor
from Moxie Fab World. In our family room, we also have a globe that is much like this one in the photo (we only have one earth, right?). It IS rather challenging  to make a card from this inspiration, but if you know me, I always like a challenge. To me, card-making challenges are like little brain exercises and they are vital for my mental well-being. Well, enough said....
DSC_0002
I used my all time favorite set Travel Journal and the sentiment from SRM Sticker.
I finally got a hard copy of the Jan/Feb 2012 Paper Crafts.  I can't help jumping up and down when I saw the pages (p. 27 & p. 87) of my cards!!  My son David thought I was a little cuckoo (LOL). Later Dr. John remarked after looking through the entire magazine: "...you know something? Paper Crafts likes simple cards. Absolutely no clutter". He is a wise man, isn't he?