Sunday, October 31, 2010

Digi-Design Card Challenge

Well, it's Sunday evening and I'm gearing up for another work week. I was fortunate enough to take a couple of vacation days last Thursday & Friday, so I've enjoyed a 4-day weekend!

I decided to try my hand at using a digi-design to create a card this afternoon. I discovered on my blogger friend, Stacie's site,  that there's a challenge going on over at Glitterbabe's, so I downloaded some of their free digi-art to give it a try.  I printed 3 flowers and sponged ink over each of the images. I then cut the flowers out, adding bling to the top flower, and then layered the flowers using 3-D dots to add extra dimension. The leaves are cut out free-hand and sponged with ink. The vines are skinny strips of cardstock that I wrapped tightly around a toothpick and then slid off, attaching with Gluedots under the edge of the flower. The background paper is from the CTMH "Bella" collection. I used black cardstock and a Martha Stewart border punch to create the edge, and then attached a strip of black polka dot organza ribbon to the bottom. Here's the card I created using their free flower design...the rules of the challenge were that I had to use one of their designs and something sparkly on the project, so I added bling to my flower image:

The vines on my flower got a little squished in the scanner - oops! Anyway, if you'd like to check out the freebies on Glitterbabe's blog, click HERE...cute stuff!

Thanks for looking and have a TERRIFIC week!!!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Justin's B-day Photos and the Recipe of the Week...Becky B.'s Baked Beans

Just a quick post, as promised, to share a few photos of the cookout we had at our home on Saturday to celebrate Justin's 21st birthday. Even though it rained and we had to bring the party inside, we had such a fun time getting together with family and friends! Mike did an outstanding job cooking burgers, hot dogs and hot links on the grill! At the bottom of this post is the recipe for my baked beans...Justin said that I shouldn't give the recipe away because the beans are so good that I could sell the recipe and we'd be millionaires...ha! ha! ha! What a funny guy! I'm gonna take my chances and share the recipe with you anyway!
Now, on to the party photos:

Here's one of Justin holding his birthday cake, which represents the mule deer hunting trip that he's booked to go on in December. It's a guided hunt and he'll be staying on a 60,000 acre ranch in mountains of N.W. New Mexico for a week. He's always been a TOTAL outdoorsman and is sooooo excited about the trip!!!

Here's one of Justin and some of his buddies...they're such a good bunch of guys! From left to right are:
Grant Dickinson, Brian McGuire, David Norwood and Justin.

Here's one of Justin with my folks, aka Bubba and Nana:

Not all of the "Brown Clan" could make it, due to other commitments, but here are the one's that could come:
From left to right: Logan, Justin, LeaAnn - holding Kayle Ann, John, Royce, Don, Megan, JT, Ian and Sandy

The photo I took of Beth Ann and Nathan, two of Justin's cousins, didn't turn out due to bad lighting - dang it! -so I couldn't post it...sorry kiddos!

Lastly, here's one of just the three of us: Justin, Me and Mike

Now here's the recipe for my Baked Beans...sorry, Justin, but I've just gotta share!!

  • 6 cans Pork-n-Beans
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray's brand barbeque sauce...we like the spicy flavor of it)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
In large, covered skillet cook bacon, onion and green pepper until onion is clear. Place into large crockpot. Add all of the other ingredients and stir well. Cook on low for 12 to 14 hours, stirring a couple of times throughout the cooking process. This recipe feeds a large crowd, but it can be halved if needed. I like to make a big batch, though, because we rarely have leftovers since most everyone goes back for second and third helpings!

Hope you have a GREAT week!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Distressed Mini Halloween Treat Tin Tutorial

I'm up bright and early this morning to put the final touches on everything for Justin's birthday party this afternoon, so as promised in last Sunday's blog post, I thought I'd take a minute to go ahead and post a mini tutorial explaining how I created the adorable distressed mini treat tin for Halloween:

Start off by giving your tin two thin coats of rusty orange paint, allowing the paint to dry between coats. (I used Americana brand acrylic paint in Burnt Orange, which I purchased at Hobby Lobby). Once both coats of paint have thoroughly dried, use a small piece of fine grit sandpaper and lightly scuff up paint on the tin. Using a sponge dipped in black and brown ink, sponge over the entire tin and lid to give a worn/aged look to it. (The tin will now look like something that came right out of your grandpa's barn, which is exactly the look you're going for!)

Cut a length of black and white checked ribbon to go around the center of the tin, and tie a simple knot in one end of the ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the tin, securing with glue dots above, but don't attach the knotted tail yet as you'll want it to rest on top of your stamped image as shown in the top photo above. Cut various, staggered lengths of black and white checked ribbon and tie onto the handle of the tin.

Stamp your favorite Halloween images in black on coordinating colored cardstock. (I used CTMH Desert Sand and Terracotta cardstock and the "Beware" stamp set from CTMH as well). Cut out your stamped images and add bitty sparkles from CTMH to the bats to create eyes. Attach images using 3-D dots to add dimension. Using a glue dot, attach the knotted tail of the ribbon that you've wrapped around the tin to the image that you've placed on the front.

Tie a piece of hemp through a green button and fray the ends of the hemp. Attach to the image on the front of the tin using a glue dot or two.  Viola...your cute litte treat tin is now ready to fill with candies, (or a gift card!), to give to your favorite ghost or goblin!

NOTE: Any shape/style of tin could be used for this project...I used a band-aid style tin that I purchased at a while back. Other great online sources for tins are and

Have a fun and safe weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recipe of the Week...A "Two-fer!": Mexi-Corn Dip and Mexi-Corn Soup

My friend, Carolyn Hodges, shared this recipe with me 10 years ago when we both worked in the office at Arrowhead Elementary. (Thanks, Carolyn!) It's a delicious dish to share with a crowd since it makes about 4 cups of dip! I like to serve it with "Toppers" crackers, but it can be served with tortilla chips too. Here's the recipe:

  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 pound of Velveeta, cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can Mexi-Corn, drained
  • 8 oz. light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup light mayo
  • Toppers crackers
Combine chopped onion, milk and cheeses in sauce pan and melt cheeses over low heat, stirring continually. In large bowl, combine the other ingredients. Add melted cheese and onion mixture and stir until completely blended. Set in refrigerator overnight before serving with Toppers crackers. YUM!

I served this to the ladies at my scrapbooking workshop last Saturday and they loved it! I had some leftover though, so I decided to use it to create a "Mexi-Corn" soup, which I served for dinner on Monday night...and the guys loved it! Here's a photo and the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups Mexi-Corn dip
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Serve with tortilla chips if desired. DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today is Justin's 21st Birthday!

How on earth can it even be possible that we are celebrating Justin's 21st birthday today? It seems like just yesterday that he was running around the house in feetie pajamas! Mike and I blinked our eyes and somehow he grew from an adorable baby, to a sweet little boy, to a fun teenager, to a wonderful young man! To celebrate this milestone birthday, (and because I'm a sappy kind of mom - ha! ha!), I'm sharing 21 "through-the-years" photos of Justin with you...

 We're so grateful and blessed to be his parents...Justin is our heart and our joy! We'll be officially celebrating his birthday with a BIG family and friends cookout at our house this Saturday...I'll share pictures of the celebration later!

Happy Birthday to YOU, Justin!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Altered Clipboard Message Center Tutorial

This week our office building is hosting a silent auction of crafts, baked goods, etc. with the proceeds going to the United Way. I made the altered clipboard shown in the photo above to donate for the auction. It's a really easy project, and I thought you might like to make one too, so here's a step-by-step tutorial on how I created this cutie:

Start with a standard clipboard that you can find at any office supply store...I found mine at the local grocery store, of all places!

Cut a piece of decorative paper 1" shorter than length of the clipboard. Leave a slight overage of paper on the sides of the clipboard, as you'll sand and ink the edges to give your clipboard a distressed look:

Measure the height and width of the clip and draw that measurement on the back of the paper:

Cut out the area for the clip and set the scrap of paper aside as you'll use it later for the coordinating ink pen:
Next, cover your clipboard completely with a glue will probably use about all of the glue stick for this. (NOTE: I prefer using a glue stick for this, rather than another type of adhesive, because the glue stick allows me a little "play" to slide the paper around and make adjustments when I'm adhering the paper to the clipboard.
Adhere the paper to the clipboard, smoothing out any air bubbles as you go:

Cut a piece of coordinating paper about 1 1/2" high and just a little wider than the clipboard. (Remember, later you'll be sanding and inking the edges of the clipboard to distress it). Using a little more glue stick, adhere the strip of paper, slightly overlapping over the paper that you've already adhered to the clipboard.

Set the clipboard aside to allow the glue to thoroughly dry. In the meantime, stamp the flower images that you'll be using to make decorative push pins and a clip. I used the CTMH "Cottage Floral" stamp set, which will be retired at the end of the year.

I stamped double images of the yellow flowers since I will be layering them to add dimension. Using a paper piercing tool, punch a hole through the center of each flower and then cut all of the flowers out using micro-tipped scissors.

Using your fingers, curl the flower petals to add dimension. Layer the 3 flowers as shown in the photo below and place a brad through the center of each to secure.

Stamp a flower and leaf motif on each page of a 3" x 3" Post-It note pad.

Place Terrifically Tacky Tape on the back of the Post-It pad as shown:

Cut two pieces of coordinating cardstock, (I used green and purple), on the clipboard. The green cardstock is cut 4 1/2" tall x 4" wide and the purple cardstock is cut 3 1/2" tall x 3 1/2" wide. 
Adhere the purple cardstock on top of the green cardstock and adhere. (NOTE: There will be a taller green border at the top because that will go under the clip).
Attach the Post-It pad to the purple cardstock

Apply Terrifically Tacky Tape to the top and bottom on the backside of the green cardstock and set aside.
Using a sanding block, sand all of the edges of the paper you've adhered to the clipboard, then rub a chocolate brown ink pad around the edges to distress it even further.
Attach the cardstock with the Post-It pad under the clip:
Cut a piece of cork sheeting, (which I purchased at our local hardware store), 5" x 6" and stamp with desired image. (I used the CTMH "Playful Flourishes" stamp set, which will also be retired at the end of the year). Apply a generous amount of Liquid Glass to the back of the stamped cork and adhere to the lower section of the clipboard as shown .

Set several veggie cans on top of the cork for about 15 minutes to ensure that it is securely attached to the clipboard:

While you're waiting for the cork to dry, apply Liquid Glass to two thumb tacks and adhere a flower to each one. Set aside to dry for about 30 minutes.

Cut a small strip of coordinating paper and attach to the top of a clothespin using a glue stick. When dry, sand edges to distress.

Apply Liquid Glass to the back and attach to the clipboard, to the right of the Post-It pad.

Apply Liquid Glass to the back of the third flower and attach to the top of the clothespin. Let this dry throughly before using clip.

To create the coordinating ink pen, remove the ink cartridge from the pen casing. (I used a Pentel gel pen).

Tie an 8" piece of ribbon to the pen clip on the lid. Trim the scrap piece of paper, (which is the remnant leftover from when you cut out the area for the clipboard clip), to fit the length inside the pen casing.

Tightly roll the paper around the ink casing:

Slide the paper wrapped ink cartridge back into the pen casing and screw the end cap back on to complete your coordinating pen.

Tie multiple types/textures/colors of ribbon to the clip, attaching the tail of the ribbon holding the pen on the left side of the clip:

Here's a close-up of the ribbon tied clip:

Attach your push pins to the cork and your altered clipboard is complete!

I hope that you've enjoyed this tutorial. I'd LOVE to see the clipboards that you make, so please send me an email with photos of your artwork!

Happy Scrappin'!!