Saturday, November 28, 2009

One butterfly, Two cards!

I wanted to make something with the butterflies from the Hero Arts Cling stamps. Once I started to color them, I couldn't I made these for two chellenges. First, it  is for Caardvarks Challenge (color It). Take Two!

The background of the butterflies was embossed in clear and then distressed with TH Broken China. The butterflies was embossed in white on grey paper and then colored with copic markers. I used Glossy Accent to give the butterflies the shine after coloring.
S4878 Old Letter Writing, CG130 Butterflies, CL140 Thinking of you, CL288 Scallop Border                   

And here's one I made for EtsyInspired Challenge #64. All you need to do is shop at Barefoot Weaver and look for images that inspires....Here's the image for my inspiration:

I made this card by mimicking the colors and texture...I happen to have the ribbons that look just a bit like the fabric. Instead of buttons, I used brads for the similar look. I also used the glitter for the butterfly, but I didn't like it as much.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tuesday's Triggers and COOKIES!

My "attempt" at Tuesday's Triggers (either I posted too late or entered it in the wrong category!!) at Moxie Fab World. Here's the image of Scrap Buster Fall Pillow that inspired me....

I dug out the Scroll Tree and just played with it. It wasn't what I set out to make, but this is the result.

So then this reminds me of something.... Have you ever had the time that you set your heart out to do your project/card/page/cooking/whatever and then they turn out not quite what you had expected...?! Well, I have many moments of those! Almost all the time I would be frustrated, mad...or even ashamed, especially when I posted a crappy FINE card and cringed and prayed that nobody complained: "Oh....what is Virginia thinking?". After all that process, THEN I would laugh at the boo-boos beautiful mistakes and move on... I think that's what made us GOOD (or" improve", which is the right word grammatically)!

 I'm parting with this FUN image for you. These cookies are the masterpiece of my ULTRA talented friend Kathy Racoosin (see The Daily Marker here). With Kathy's permission and my honor of her copyright, I  share these cookies with you! Kathy was SO absorbed in her digital projects for Two Peas in a Bucket that she got mixed up with the timing for the cookies! This photo always brings me a smile :) A bit of "Schadenfreude", huh?  I feel sorry for the bottom middle cookie (LOL)! We simply can't be good at everything every time, right?
Let's hope we can turn them to these ones! I have lots of practice now :)

Have a Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Twin Birthday Cards!

My sister-in-law Florence was the one that got me all excited about cooking. SHE is the Julia Child to me! When I was still dating Dr. John back in the mid-80s, I was invited to her house for Christmas in West Chester, Penn. For my first meal there, we had a "casual" Chinese dinner, yet she made these "yummy-licious" home-style dishes and then she would say: "Aw... it was nothing....” Every Christmas Florence would host a carol-singing party for her church group and the house would be filled with music and completed with delectable appetizers and decadent desserts. We once counted the dishes she offered, over 30 varieties of sweets and salty morsels made ALL from scratch, not even the store-bought crusts or any mix!! Over the years, she bestows with me priceless cooking tips, gadgets, Kitchen Aide mixer (!!) and years of Bon App├ętit subscriptions. I think she just re-new mine for another year (Yipee)! 

So when Florence asked me to make cards for her nephew's twin daughters, I was happy to say YES! My mission was to make two cards for each twin. The cards can be somewhat similar but different (like all twins). Florence also told me that the twins have hair styles just like the Holiday Dolls after checking my HA Flickr photo stream. Since the birthday is at the end of December, it can't be a Christmas-themed...and so THIS is what I came up with! 
I took the hats off holiday dolls and turn them into birthday girls! I used a little clip to conceal their own twin sis! But it shows only the intended birthday girl on the outside. 
1.2..3...4...Open the door!

Since these cards do require some coloring, I guess I'm entering it for the Caardvarks challege (wouldn't hurt, right?)
I kept the colors and layout simple. After all, they are for 4-year olds!!
Since I "tempted" you so much about Florence's food, I thought I'd share the foodie blogs that Florence recommends. She can make some "killer Parisian macaroons" by the way!
Now I'm not going to follow the recipes from these blogs! But even just by looking at these "eye candy",  I know I will definitely get inspired...whether in card-making or just my dinner on the plate! Have a PLEASANT day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Carrdvarks Challenge ( Color It )

I am intimidated about coloring. I think I didn't color enough when I was a child. Since I acquired a few copic markers through Kathy (who handpicked the colors for me), everything changed! I LOVE coloring now! When I saw the Carrdvarks challenge (see here), I knew I had to get my markers out to play. Thanks to the lesson from Kathy and advice from Donna, I can only get better :)

Stamps: HA Dancing Mouse, Raindrop Background, Months (Hero Arts FREE Digital Kit see here), brad (snowflake),copic markers,white Gel pen (American craft), MS glitter, Stickles, Glossy Accent (Ranger)

This is what I wrote in the Hero Arts Blog today: "I’m thankful for my supportive family and friends. They are the joys of my life and my source of inspiration .This past year I made so many wonderful friends through Hero Arts Flickr group. My family and I even got to meet some of these talented friends! It’s life-changing for me personally!! So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, Hero Arts!"


Dec, 2, 09 Update!! I am very thankful that this card received a shout out/HM at carrdvarks see Color It (winner).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Card Patterns #42 and EtsyInspired #63

I love using sketch from Card Patterns. When I saw this sketch, I knew I have to have a go
Here's what I come up with. The bird cage image was stamped during our October Scrap retreat. What a fun time I had with Kathy, Tracey, Sarah and Karen. I stamped Kathy's bird cage stamp over the old Hero Arts thank-you text . I am happy to say that I also used the Stripe Circle for the background. I don't use it enough!

Here's another card I made for EtsyInspired challenge # 63 (see here)
I got my inspiration from Sleepless Imagination

I digged out my under-used HA Scattered Leaves, then I stamped and embossed in white and distressed it with Broken China, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick. I frame the image with Basic Grey paper.

Add the buttons and ribbons. Love those clear buttons!!These are such fun cards to make. Thank you for stopping by. I will announce my blog candy giveaway on Tuesday. Thanks so much for your sweet comments and support!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dating 101

I know I'm not supposed to blog about it, but I can't help sharing the pure joy of being a Mom! Stephanie finally said YES to a boy who got up the courage to ask her out!! This is the 3rd one this year....Some of you may remember another boy who showed up at our door on Valentine's Day with his hand-made Origami paper flowers all beautifully tucked in the vase...Stephanie said no. I was as crushed as the boy! As I look back at my kids' photos and see how they have grown, it really amaze me in every way.

Here are the tips we have for Stephanie's night out on a dinner date.We called it "Dating 101". We thought LONG and hard over our dinner out last night. I hope these tips will come in handy.
~order the most expensive item and take just one bite
~slurp the soup as loudly as possible since you want him to know that you really enjoy the special meal together
~try to order food that requires dexterity to show off your table manners. Lobsters, pasta, crabs, oysters, chicken with bones are excellent choices.
~bring a bib (David's idea), a CUTE one, of course. After all, you don’t want the food to be wasted.
~put all the drinks in front of you and then “accidentally” tip them over...test his patience and tactfulness
~order all the desserts and take one bite on every item, then order one of your very favorite to enjoy
~make sure you have the next date set...nothing beats FREE food good company :)

Have fun, Stephanie!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Embellish Challenge-Calling All Brads!

When I found out about the Embellish challenge (see here), I thought I should get the brads out to play
I had SO many of them and they have been sitting in my craft box for the longest time. I love the ease of embellishing a card/page with brads! You poke a hole, stick it in and voila! This is my happy card! I think I can use one any time of the year...It reminds me of childhood-fun and fancy free.

I used 8 brads in this card....that's the most that I have ever used in one card :)

Stamps : Hero Arts Stripe Circle, Raindop Background
Others: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Making Memory brads, Stickles, CB (scallop circles, inverted scallop circle)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Etsy Inspired Challenge # 62

Since I started blogging in late September, I have been doing a lot more blog-hops! You never know what blogs will come your way and it truly is a surprise every corner you turn (or should we say...every click you make?). I came upon this EtsyInspired challenge (see here) the other day and I was immediately loving the site!

 So here's the rule: To play along with the challenge, all you have to do is go to the Quiltish by Allisa Jacobs shop (see here ) and pick an item to be inspired by. Create any item that you'd like and post a link to your creation on the EtsyInspired 62 post on the EtsyInspired Challenge blog. The deadline for the entries is Friday, Nov 20 by noon Pacific time. A winner will be chosen by random drawing and posted on the EtsyInspired blog that same day. This sounds like FUN. So I started looking through Allisa Jacobs shop and this Baby Bib Set- Green Apple Harvest gave me the inspiration....

I made a simple apple card. This gives me a good chance to practice my copic-marker coloring. I also used Prisma pencils for the light-colored apples.

When I made this card, I thought of my daughter Stephanie. Her first word was "A-pple JU" (that's all she said when she was two)! She loves all things apples and she wore MANY bibs like this one here when she was a toddler. I just love these images! Hope you enjoy the wholesome-looking APPLES bib and card!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MORE cookies, please!

I know I had to bake some cookies when Stephanie came home for the weekend. Apparently her friends were disappointed that she returned to school without bringing ANY cookies last time !! I'm glad that my cookies were missed. So this time I offered to make TWO kinds of cookies. I made a batch of Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Martha Stewart Cookie book which I received as a birthday present last year. I know this will satisfy any craving as it is rich and substantial...See recipe here

I then chose to make Rosemary Butter Cookies as the taste is a little more sophisticated.

 It has this rich and fragrant buttery flavor, thanks to the fresh herb! Here is Rosemary Butter Cookies  recipe, see here.
 I also accept the Me Me award from sweet Kiara. So I will reveal 7 secrets about me....( I think you know me so well by now)
1. I enjoy watching Masterpiece Theatre, Mystery...all British dramas. I can't get enough of Jane Austen's novels/TV movies!
2. I took up coffee habit after my 2nd child David was born. Thanks to him, I realized that I definitely need a coffee break while he was in pre-school!
3. When I was in junior high school through university, I entertained my classmates by impersonating teachers, singers, actresses...even political figures!
4. The first dish I ever cooked for myself was scrambled eggs and hot dog (yes, together!)! Let's just say....I didn't know any better.
5.My first date movie with Dr. John was "The Return of the Jedi".
6. I can be careless in my driving, yesterday I just bumped the side view mirror into the garage door...luckily the car is 15-years old. I don't feel so bad!
7. When I was little, it was my dream to become a TV news anchorwoman.
If you are still reading about me, I congratulate you for not falling asleep :)

(Photo credit to Stephanie who ate the cookies ...)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Card Patterns # 41

Here's a sketch from Card Patterns #41.

I happened to have a few scraplings left from other cards and came up with this.

Hero Arts Stamps: CL151 Share Laughter, CG130 Butterflies
Others: HA note card,Bo Bunny paper, Cuttlebug, pearls, ribbons, Glossy Accent
Thanks so much, my friends, for taking the time to give me feedback. They mean a lot to me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Call me "lazy"...or Plum Crazy!

This is my last-minute dash to join the fun at Moxie Fab World's Plum Crazy! I was so impressed with all the entries and felt intimidated to play. Finally I got enough courage and time to make a plum-ish card today!

The deadline is mid-night tonight! I almost feel like Cinderella.... trying to catch the pumpkin coach--wish me luck !!

Friday, November 13, 2009

My blog candy giveaway....

Has it been one year already? I remember how excited and scared I was after uploading my first card for the Hero Arts Challenge on Nov. 24, 2008. I was welcomed, loved and encouraged time after time, no matter how good or not-so-good my cards/pages were. I had learned so much from all of my friends in HA blog. I had also received blog candy from Chris Miller, Kiara, Jane and Kelly. It is time that I give back a little.

Please let me know if my cards, pages and comments have made you smile or encouraged (or enraged!!!) you in any way during this past year. I'd love to hear from you. I will draw a lucky winner from all the comments (one entry per person). All the entered names will be hand -written in paper and Dr. John will draw the winner.

I will announce the winner on Nov. 24, 12:00 noon  (Eastern time). Thanks so much by stopping by!

We did the draw the old-fashioned way. Dr. John picked the winner and it's Scrappin Bari (Linda W). Congrats, Linda! Please Flickr mail me your address, so I can send all the goodies to you.

Dr. John also used his hand gesture from Spock "Live Long and Prosper" to say hi.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The LU Cookies!!

A very glittery card I made for the Hero Arts glittery challenge.

How cool is it to have your favorite product with YOUR own last name on it!!! This is it for me :)
I love the Lu cookies! No, I don't own the comapny ( how I wish!!). This French company (see here)call their LU cookies the Chic Little Biscuit. Gotta love that! The story behind the cookie company is that it all began in 1850, two young French bakers fell in love, married, and began creating exquisite biscuits together, which they proudly imprinted with their two initials, LU. Their passion for fine ingredients and distinctive, original biscuits inspires every LU we bake today. In the official website, they even teach you "how to speak Lu".  Love that tutorial!!
My family and I had a week-long trip to Paris in May,2008. It was a trip of a life time! We spent half a day shopping in the most ritzy Galeries Lafayette. Isn't it GRAND?

While we went to the lower floor for some gourmet food, there they were- a wall of LU cookies! I just had to take a picture!!

From there, I also saw these...

It was close to Mother's Day at the time, so here's a cake for Mom!!
Love the cakes with the fresh strawberries.....does that give you some inspiration for yummy cards??

Aren't they amazing!? I can't go back to Paris in a cinch, but I know if I crave something sweet and French, the LU Cookies from my supermarket will always satisfy me...well almost!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday's Trigger

I entered this card too LATE in Moxie Fab World's  Tuesday's Trigger. But I decide to post it anyway. See the picture of the green pumpkin?

It inspired me to make this card...
Stamps : Hero Arts LP116 Kaleidoscope Flower, CL 173 Simple Message, CG 122 Branch Background
Others: Martha Stewart lace punch, gems, vellum paper, ribbons, gel pens
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Comfort Food

I know it's too early to start thinking about comfort food. After living in Canada for 25 years now, I think I have learned the ropes to keeping warm in the cold Canadian weather. According to the definition from Wikipedia, comfort foods are "familiar, simple foods that are usually home-cooked or eaten at informal restaurants. They are foods that are often emotionally significant to a person or group of people and are sometimes related to pleasant associations of childhood". Congee has always been my comfort food. It's made of boiled rice and little seasoning. To keep it simple, spicy or flavored meat or vegetable from cans or jars were often added. It is versatile and it serves as my go-to food when my stomach needs a little comforting...

In the colder months, I utilize my crock pot so much that I don't bother to put it away in the pantry any more. It was my early (cheap) smart purchase when we first got married. I never did use it much until the last few years. First, it was because it's EASY! When my mind is pre-occupied with my card-making, cooking becomes my 2nd job. As long as I can feed the hungry ones in my household, my goal is complete! The following dishes are the kind of food that reminds me of what a happy meal was when I was a child...

All I did was to throw the chicken thighs into the crock pot along with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, salt, pepper, five spice powder and hot water (just enought to cover the chicken). Afer two hours, you have a yummy entree! I love the sugar snap peas, carrots, boiled eggs and buckwheat noodles in them.
Another classic in my kitchen is Won-Ton Noodle.

I loved to help my mom wrap these when I was a child, the act itself makes me feel grown-up. Now I realize that we often associate food with some kind of longing. I often laughed at the comments in Iron Chef America, one of the judges always says (in English with the fake Japanese accent) :".....hmmmm, this brings back my childhood memories..ah.. so.. happy, so.. delightful...this is what a good dish is about!!". Well, I now can relate to those comments.
I like to buy fresh ground pork and use the ready-made wrappers. I wrapped them up ahead of time as they freeze so well. When hunger strikes, all you need to do is boil them and add vegetable and noodles. Another happy meal! 
Now you can't have all that without any yummy desserts...

Apple Pie was foreign to me until my twenties. I grew to love it and call it comfort food. It is a wonderful feeling to know how much my family loves this simple dessert that I can make in a pinch. No, I never get the store-bought /ready-made crust. It comes from my heart and own creation.
I no longer need the recipe for the pie as I make the Apple Pies WAY too many times. Now that is a plus when you are busy and are in need of some comfort food. What's your comfort food?