Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Turkey and a Fat Cat = BFF

I finally got to play with my Chubby Chums set from Paper Smooches! The fat little animals are adorable, and I wanted to use them for this weeks SPARKS challenge at the Paper Smooches blog.


This was the inspiration photo:

I was inspired by the wood and orange colors, which remind me of Thanksgiving colors. I also liked the 'man' vibe, so I created two BFFs playing that are supposed to be little boys on a seesaw. I used Paper Smooches 'chubby chums' stamps and colored them with water color pencils. I drew, painted, and cut my own seesaw and lame clouds.

my little bff Be Thankful card

I will also be entering this card in this week's Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger, which uses this photo inspiration:

moxie trigger
Pretty similar inspirations, huh? Orange and browns, and woodgrain natural textures. I'm also entering in Simon Says Stamp challenge which is ANYTHING GOES!

i like his pilgrim hat :)

By the way it is SNOWING... A LOT... right now! How many of you are trapped inside? Being forced to craft the day away???

<3 Rachel w k
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Friday, October 28, 2011

CAS-ual Fridays with Lawn Fawn!

TGIF and a Happy Halloween weekend to everyone! Today's CAS-ual Friday challenge is a sketch, yay my fave! And the sponsor is Lawn Fawn! Double fave!!

Even though it's Halloween I woke up to the weather report telling me we could expect 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow... so my card is more wintery than autumn :)


the sketch for this week

I used Lawn Fawn stamps from "Critters in the Forest" and "Cozy Christmas" (the owl and the lights) and the little santa hat is from Paper Smooches. I just adore these colors together for Christmas! I think my house will be red and teal this winter :)

my CFC26 entry

Do you know how difficult it was for me to stop right here?! I wanted so badly to add something to the top, or even a little glitter Stickle dot somewhere.... I restrained myself. This is about being "clean-and-simple"... I just wanna bling the hell out it!
Have a fun Halloween weekend! Don't party too hard ;)

<3 Rachel w k
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Cards Galore and a DT Tryout!

I have a LOT of Halloween cards to share with you all! Last night I got my ass in gear and made about 12 cards to ship out to friends and family. I wanted to share my favorite ones :)  Scroll down to the bottom to see which card I am entering for the DT Call with My Creative Time stamps!!




The most exciting part about these cards.... I FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO PRINT-AND-CUT WITH  MY SILHOUETTE SD!!!!!!!!!!!! I spent hours figuring out the tricks and I am so glad I got it to work! Happy Dance! For the little devil and the slick owl I used graphics from Lettering Delights Costume Clubhouse Characters. If you wanna buy these, do it soon because you can get 25% off your order if you use the code "SWEETTREAT" at checkout!!  The bloody stamp and the 'autumn greetings' are from Inkadinkado. I heat embossed and glittered the blood :)




look at all that blood!

The DT Entry!!

Ahh! Real Monsters!! I love these guys, I am so happy I got Print-n-Cut to work cuz now I can use all these adorable graphics! There are way too many "cute" monsters, it was difficult to pick just a couple to use. All monsters are from Lettering Delights Monster-licious graphics set, and you can still use that coupon code "SweetTreat" for 25% off!  The bottom batty stuck hanging onto all that twine is probably my favorite of all the cards I made last night. He's just so so cute and nervous!!

I am entering this little upside batty card for My Creative Time design team call. I don't have any of the stamps, so I kept this one clean. I would love more phrases to add to the collection! I am keeping my fingers crossed for this one, guys!!!

Do you send out Halloween cards? Or just wait til the holiday season?? If I have the time, I try to send out cards for any given holiday!

<3 Rachel w k
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Monster Party

Happy Monday! Yesterday I spent the day in New York City with one of my dear friends, Rachel, and her lovely hubby J.B.... gorgeous day to walk around the city, even if we did get reallllly lost on the subway (ended up in Brooklyn).  I saw a part of the city that was brand new to me and we got to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge woohoo :) I hadn't seen her since her wedding last fall so it was a lot of fun to catch up in NYC of all places!

This morning there was a special Monday 90 Minute Scramble over at the Hero Arts flickr group. I also took the opportunity to make a card for the October Hero Arts month long challenge. So we had 90 minutes, I had my coffee, and I attempted to use a digital stamp for probably the first time ever (where I spent the majority of my 90 minutes).

The sketch I used...

hero arts card sketch for October
I used the digital stamp kit called 'Monster Party' that I won in a previous 90 minute scramble (woo!). One of the challenges is to create a Christmas card using non-holiday stamps. Monsters are not usually associated with Christmas, so these guys are all I used!



I printed out a few of each monster from the kit in black and white. I (quickly) colored them with colored pencils in traditional Christmas colors (shades of green, red, and gold) and then just punched them out with my 1" circle punch. Added a shit load of red and green twine and it's all finished!
Just a quickie for today. Have a lovely Monday. Please visit this Hero Arts page if you wanna play along in the contest as well!

<3 Rachel w k
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies... and my dumbest cooking mistake Ever!

I have a favorite book. It's called Martha Stewart's Cookies. I have never just sat down and browsed a cookbook before, but this book changes everything. Please please, for the sanity of your sweet tooth, buy this book if you don't have it already.

Today I made Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing, and also made the worst (worst!) and dumbest baking mistake I have ever ever made in my life. If I were blond, I could say it was 'a true blond moment' but I'm a brunette, so there is no excuse for my stupidity.

martha's picture perfect pumpkin cookies
  • For the Cookies

    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
    • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Icing

    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Overall its pretty simple. Add your flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger to a bowl and set aside.

dry stuff!
In your stand mixer, put your room temperature butter and the brown sugar together. Mix until it looks super creamy and fluffy like this...

mmmm sugary butter
Then add your can of pumpkin puree, vanilla, and the evaporated milk. I wasn't a fan of this part cuz it looks like gross baby food...

mmm baby pumpkin food mash
So the next step is where my brain completely was not working. I don't even know how I went so far in the process without realizing how dumb I was being. So, I thought I was done! Awesome I have all my ingredients, and Martha says to put the 'batter/dough' in a pastry bag, so I assumed it would be a little runny anyways. I made my makeshift ziplock pastry bag, put my 1.5inch circles on a cookie sheet and popped them in the oven!

Wait. Why does it smell like my house is burning after only 4 minutes? They don't look like they're supposed to, dammit! Is this another Martha recipe that just takes too much finesse for me to handle?

THIS IS NOT OK!
I frantically read through the ingredients. I added everything, and measured it all perfectly. Then I saw it. The very last sentence. "Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture." OH YA, THAT! See, when I put together my bowl of dry ingredients, I really did 'set aside' like it told me to. And I totally forgot about it. Out of site out of mind. Oh my gosh how could I forget to add the FLOUR to a COOKIE recipe?! Ya I felt pretty worthless at this moment... So add your flour mix first!

aaahhh muuuuuch betterrrr
That's more like it! Cakey yummy spice filled pumpkin cookies! Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. They really seem like they should be a cupcake/muffin recipe instead of cookies, but hey, they actually cooked this time so I was pleased.

Then I added the brown butter icing. There are no words. I think this cookie is what Heaven would taste like in the fall. Yummmmerssss


So good!
I couldn't wait til after dinner, they just smelled way too good!

So I've shared my dumbest baking moment in my adult life. What was your biggest 'oh duh!' cooking moment? This is definitely a mistake I will never forget!

<3 Rachel w k

I'll be linking up this post to BytheBookPaper's Pinterest Thursday

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trick or Treat? (Treat.... Duh)

**Simon Says Stamp GIVEAWAY at bottom of post!**  I've been putting together my Halloween cards for friends and family, and I just had to share this cute little sugar-craving skeleton with you all! Last night I bought a printable set called Costume Clubhouse Characters from Lettering Delights. This set is fab because you get 100 images in every file format you need (gif, pdf, png, svg, etc) and this guy is so cute...

mmmm caaandy

I really wanted to participate in my FiRsT eVeR Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge, which was lines! So my card has sleek and cool black and white pinstripes. Do you see the vertical stripes I scored into the card stock? I'm likin this look!

pinstripe skele-gansta
and added a cute Inkadinkado stamp to the inside...

stupid question

You waited so patiently to the end of this post, I'll let you in on a BIG give away! My amazingly talented crafty friend Kari is giving away $30 to the SimonSaysStamp.com superstore!!! Yeah, I didn't typo... THIRTY DOLLARS! Just visit her blog and leave a comment on this post with this link, it's a great prize and you would be ridiculous not to enter (and wish her a happy blog-o-versary!)


<3 Rachel w k
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Year Ago - Why am I Here?

One year ago today, my life as I knew it had shattered. My parents were backpacking in the Grand Canyon (not unusual) when my young, healthy mother had a stroke. My dad was able to get help from young campers nearby, and they ran out of the canyon to the nearest call station. A helicopter was sent to airlift my mom out from the bottom of the canyon. My dad had to hike out by himself and meet her at the nearest hospital. It took 4 hours for my mom to get rescued.

I went home to Phoenix 3 days later. My in laws picked me up from the airport, I dropped my luggage at home, and drove myself to Saint Joseph's hospital, at the Barrow Neurological Rehabilitation Center.  The first time I saw her is an image and an experience that I will never ever forget.  Seeing my vibrant mother lying helpless and confused in a hospital bed was heartbreaking. I burst into tears and squeezed my body onto her bed as much I could fit. She couldn't speak or make any noise. She kept touching my hair, touching my face, and playing with my jewelry.  I still don't know if she recognized who I was, or if she was just confused as to why or how I got to Phoenix.  I had brought only a carry-on bag with 4 days worth of clothes.  I ended up staying 4 weeks.

My mom spent a month living in the rehab center. I would visit her in time for breakfast and stay until we tucked her into bed at night.  I would watch her physical therapy appointments where she struggled so much to just get any limb on the right side of her body to move. I would stay for the occupational therapy sessions and watch as she tried to comb her hair with a toothbrush.  The worst part of the day was speech therapy, where I would sit behind her quietly crying as she was unable to tell the difference between a penny and a flashlight.  I helped her eat her food at every meal, where she didn't know the purpose of a spoon or fork.  She was paralyzed on the entire right side of her body, and had severe aphasia and severe apraxia.

This was the most emotional month of my life I have ever experienced.  The next 11 months were not much better. I had to leave my new graduate program (masters in mental health counseling) because I had missed too many classes.  I struggled between wanting so badly to help my mom in every way I possibly could home in Phoenix, and wanting so much to just be with my husband and animals back in Connecticut.

I started this blog simply for something to keep me busy. My days were long and lonely in Connecticut. This blog gave me something to look forward to, my etsy shop kept me busy, and it gave me a hobby to have interest in.  I know the title of the blog doesn't make sense to most people who visit.  'Prescription: Craft Often' was very fitting for the time it was created. I was attending therapy sessions twice a week.  Crafting was my medication. It kept me sane through insane periods in my life.  I needed it.

***************

Today my mom is doing so much better than any of the doctors ever expected.  Her and my dad just returned from a backpacking trip last night.  She was not expected to walk again, but she hikes miles in the mountains on a weekly basis.  She is very independent around the house and can take care of herself, clean, water the plants, and she still checks the stock market on the computer.  Her speech is the main concern, and probably always will be.  She is understanding others now, and can respond in simple one word answers. I know it is frustrating for her that she can't talk over the phone or join in a conversation at church.  But I do see progress (even when she does not) and I do have hope that she will at least be able to type me long emails someday like she used to.  I really really miss my mom.



my mom and i at a Cinco de Mayo party this year in PHX. :)

my mom and dad. We walked up hundreds of stairs to the top of Saratoga Monument

I need to thank all of you for all that you have (most likely) unknowingly done to help me through such a hard year in my life. Your comments, your posts, your inspirations have truly been the bright part of my days. I really love you all for embracing me into your paper blog world, I would not have gotten through this year without you.

Thank you. Much love-

<3 Rachel w k

For more information on the warning signs and effects of a stroke please go here
For more information on the neurological disorder Apraxia please visit here 
For more information on the extreme speech disorder Aphasia please visit here
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Paper Wreath Holidays

I'm getting ready to add a lot of new items to my Etsy shop (finnaalllyyy) and hopefully most items will be posted by the end of tonight.  I wanted to share one of the Christmas greeting cards I created.

I was inspired by a great card I found in the Holiday issue of Paper Crafts Magazine. It used a paper rosette as a wreath on the card. Y'all know I've been crushin on paper rosettes lately, so clearly this had to be made!


Aren't these so adorbable?? I especially love the ones with the foiled paper (DCWV/Recollections) and I just added a little red bow, a gold rhinestone to the middle, and some red glitter to look like little holly berries. The sentiment is from Lawn Fawn 'Cozy Christmas' set.



I really like how they turned out! And I can't believe I just made a set of Christmas cards... has Halloween even happened yet? I have to make special envelopes for these cards, and then I can put them in the shop :)

Happy Monday!

<3 Rachel w k
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Orange You Ready to Trick or Treat?

CAS-ual Fridays challenge this week is to make a Halloween card with NO orange! Not a single touch of orange is allowed. I got to it right away, and got to use my new Best Witches set from Lettering Delights yayayay!!

trick or treat!
The adorable banner and the little bats are from the Best Witches set, there are so many cute graphics in this set I will definitely use more of it before the autumn is out! I seriously scaled down the banner to it could be card-sized. So some of those letters are preeettttyyyy teeny tiny, but the Silhouette SD could handle it, duh :).  The Happy Halloween stamp is from Inkadinkado, and I glittered both of the H's with black stickles.



Cutest little batties I ever did see! Make sure you check out all of the Lettering Delights Halloween and autumn sets, they have sooo many new ones, I don't have enough time to try them all!

<3 Rachel w k
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Very Happy Mailbox

This week has been quite a fun mailbox week for me! As my husband put it "You're quite popular today" I'll take it :) So I would like to say thank you so much to the love ladies that made me smile today

from Donna :)
I won this fabulous paper punch from Donna's give away at her blog for World Card Making Day. I have never held a more serious punch in my hands, this baby is not joking around! I also looove her card she sent me, and the best part is that I recognize it from a previous sketch challenge :) it's  always great to get to see the cards in person, the photos never quite do them justice! Thank you so much, Donna!

from Virginia
Virginia sent me this gorgeous gorgeous card that she made for the last Hero Arts card scramble. I was drooling over it, to say the least, and I was so happy that she sent it to me! There was the sweetest note inside that put the biggest smile on my face. She even gave me a big handful of fab SRM stickers, I can't wait to use them! Thank you so much, Virginia!

from papercrafts!
I also won this magazine issue from Paper Crafts for World Card Making Day. I have never really browsed through a crafting magazine before, but this is addictive. There are so many amazing ideas in it, I have half the magazine 'ear marked' already for things to try :) Thank you!


What's been making your mailbox smile lately? I have received a lot of gorgeous cards and generous little gifts from the women I have met through blogging. I am so fortunate to know such amazing and talented people! Thank you all so much

<3 Rachel w k
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Travel the World Wednesday - New York City

Happy travels! I have been neglecting my travel responsibilities lately, so I thought I should start back up with one of the greatest cities in the world... NEW YORK CITY

I am fortunate that we now live just a $14 train ride away from Grand Central Station. It's made for some amazing day trips, great walks with friends, broadway shows, and most recently the US Open finals.  I don't think I can do NYC justice by describing it on my blog, but I will share some personal photos of mine today :)

But first... the NYC treasury. I LOVE how this looks, it was definitely worth the solid hour it took to put together. There are so many amazing pieces of art here, great jewelry, and faboosh stationary. I am loving this one a lot. Please click around and support your fellow etsians!



Now some personal photographs from the past year visiting New York City...



my BFFFFF Katie visited! At Rockefeller Plaza

my husband and I

Chrysler building

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Central Park

Have you been to NYC? What was your favorite thing about visiting?? I like the window shopping best :)

<3 Rachel w k
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How To Tuesday - Make Easy Paper Rosettes

Here it is, I promised a how-to on rosettes (or medallions) and I delivered! Now I know I'm kind of behind on the trendy train for these, but a lot of you said you still had never made them either, and they're still 'in' so here we go!... I made all of these for my first time to use in my Halloween Wreath, you can check it out here :)


Materials:
Bone folder
Score board
12inch x 1inch strip of paper
1inch circle 
Hot glue
gems, brads, buttons optional

Step 1:  Using your score board and bone folder, score at every 1/4inch mark on your strip of paper

I really need to invest in a Martha score board
Step 2:  Fold accordion style at each of your score marks. Try to make your folds pretty crisp (I just squeeze it all down nice n' tight every few folds or so)

Get yer fold on
Step 3:  Wrap the strip around so the two ends meet. Glue together by tucking in a valley fold in a mountain fold (shown in picture)

glue these folds together
Step 4: once your glue is dry, you just kind of push the circle down. It'll want to go in this direction anyways. You should have a flat crimped circle...

action shot! push the ends down til flat
Step 5: grab a scrap circular piece of paper and use hot glue gun to adhere the circle to the middle of your rosette (on the back side!) this will hold your rosette together

glue the circle scrap onto the back
Step 6: wait for your hot glue to dry, flip your rosette over, and you're finished! Now you can add gems and buttons or flowers to the middle if you would like to. Personally I liked the look of mine to be plain.



Have fun making lots of paper rosettes!!!
<3 Rachel w k
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