Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sad news

Sorry I haven't posted for a week. Kev's dad passed away unexpectedly earlier this week and we packed our bags immediately and headed to NY that night.

I'll be back with updates when I can but please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.


Sunday, March 22, 2009


Last night Kev and I went to Flemming's steakhouse to celebrate his birthday. The steak was delicious but even more so, the cosmos were FABULOUS... Sigh, like candy, sweet delicious alcoholic candy. All through college, I never liked beer, and I'm really not a big fan of wine. For me, the more ghetto the "wine" the better I like it. Seriously, serve me up some Arbor Mist or even some Boone's Farm. I do like a nice, cold, sparkly glass of Lambrusco as well. A few years ago, I found my niche. I like liquor, vodka in particular. I don't need to add a lot of mixer, it doesn't have to be a frou frou drink, but a nice martini with a nice vodka, perfect..

Well, last night I kinda filled up on my first cosmo before the steak arrived. Then I debated and succumbed to a second martini. We finish dinner and the chocolate lava cake dessert and head home. At which time I promptly fell asleep on the couch for 2.5 hours. So Kevin woke me up to go to bed and I couldn't sleep instead I went to the craft room. I haven't been there yet this morning to see what I "created" I'm a little concerned about what I might find.

Instead, how about I post something I made when I hasn't imbibed of many tasty beverages?

We made this at stamp club last week using the "A Good Egg" set from Stampin' Up! We also used the designer paper and ribbon from the Salabration catalog. We colored it with So Saffron ink and blender pens. Super cute and super easy!

Enjoy! ~ Lara

Friday, March 20, 2009

Baby Epidemic

Babies are cropping up everywhere. I still have 3 pregnant friends and 2 of them are having double baby shower tomorrow. 2 boy babies and a whole bunch of KD alumnae. Could it get any cooler? Grin.
So, I was recruited to make"something sweet" for the party. Not a problem, since I am a FAR better baker than a cook. So, I scoured all over the Internet today looking for ideas. I really wanted to keep with the theme and make "baby" something. Like baby carrot cakes or baby ruth cookies. Unfortunately I could not find a baby pun/recipe site. (If you ask me, that's an untapped market.) I called my mom and some friends looking for ideas. Nothing. I asked them to give me a example of an awesome desert that they'd eaten at a past shower. Everyone said, 'We always had cake." Mmmm.... O didn't want a plain bakery cake.

I decided on baby birds in nest cupcakes that I found on Martha Stewart's website. I must have been crazy to try and attempt a Martha creation... So, I headed to the store to get coconut and more butter. After I got home I checked the evite and realized that my recipe didn't make enough cupcakes to feed all of the people coming. I had enough ingredients to double the recipe except I needed a tiny bit more milk, Close, but I could make due... until I spilled it all over the counter. I did not cry, but I did curse rather loudly. Back to the store I went...
I finally got everything mixed together and I even made the cupcakes from scratch as well as the butter cream icing. It was my first attempt at butter cream icing and it was actually pretty successful. It is ridiculously good. I can't even describe how tasty it turned out. I will not talk about the amount of butter I used today, let's just say that they call it butter cream for a reason..

I'll have to get a picture of them tomorrow and show the difference between Martha's version and mine. (Did you know that she and I BOTH have an undergrad degree in Art History) Yep, I {heart} Martha.
Anywho, I did make a card for both of the mothers-to-be. I actually made the same card twice. Again, the card was so nice, I made it twice. Heh Heh... I used Damask designs from Papertrey Ink. Love love LOVE the set. SO versatile and perfect for SO many occasions.

I used Baja Breeze and chocolate chip cardstock and some Parisian Breeze paper, all from SU! I LOVE how the damask looks and it's even OK that my stamping isn't perfect, it kinda goes with that whole shabby feel of the distressed DP.

I decided on the Celebrate sentiment since that's what you do when babies arrive, celebrate.

Today is Kev's birthday be he had to draft his fantasy baseball team tonight. It's OK though, we have reservations tomorrow evening. I was really full from my Herby Turkey sandwich that I had for lunch and the dinner would have been wasted on me. Instead I can save up my hungry for dinner tomorrow. I felt a little bad that he didn't have anything to open today. His present arrived early and got here yesterday. I even paid extra for it to get here Friday. I guess it's better to be early than late, but Kev intercepted it from the porch. It would have been fine if it wasn't for the giant "Bacon Freak" sticker on the box. Yep, I got him a subscription to the Bacon of the month club. It also came with a t-shirt proclaiming that "Bacon is Meat Candy". Kev agrees.

Good night!! ~ Lara

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A sketch so nice I made it twice

Wow, a post AND a rhyme. Who'd a thunk it??? I wanted to get in a quick post while I'm laying here on the couch. I haven't felt well today. Someone had a crock pot of BBQ meatballs at work and it stunk up the office all day. Yuck. I'm trying to lay here and the cats keep getting in the cabinet under the sink. Grrr... I've chased Godiva out twice and Titus once.

So, I really liked AmyR's sketch (Scroll down 2 posts) so I decided to use it again for this card. The chicken is TCP's Beans, Bunnies and Peeps, Oh My! and the sentiment from TCP as well.
I loved the slightly startled look on the chicken's face. It also reminded me of a chicken door stop my Grandma had while I was growing up. It was a fat patchwork chicken and was there as long as I could remember. Her name was Henrietta. I called my mom to ask her what happened to the chicken and she said that the fabric wore out and Henrietta was thrown away. Then mom said the chicken's name was Robin. I disagree. First of all, why would you name a chicken Robin?! Henrietta is a MUCH better name. So, she called grandma this morning who also said that the chicken's name was Robin. I think they are starting to get forgetful, since I couldn't POSSIBLY be wrong. I told her to ask my brother when he gets home from work. He too remembers things like that...

Anywho, I used Basic Grey's - Offbeat paper, SU!'s Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate chip and that odd Coral / Mango color who's name I still don't remember. Today I shall call it Persnickety Peach.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When I grow up....

I get so much inspiration by perusing various craft blogs and sites. I get awesome ideas from the posts and design team projects. I am often inspired by Dawn McVey's creations. I felt the urge to make something simple but with a bold colorful pop.

What do you think? I used So Saffron as the base and Raspberry Fizz from PTI. Then I found 2 SU! sets that I sadly hadn't inked. Yeesh... So, I stamped the flowers and cut them out with either a circle punch or with my handy scissors. Then a sentiment from MFT and that's it. Pretty simple but I really like the colors.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Birthday card and Amy R sketch

I am running behind on sending out birthday cards. Well, technically I mailed it on time but it definitely won't get there before the birthday. Does that count? Is it still late if you mail it before the actual birthday? Even if you know it won't get there in time?

Yes, I was late sending out my niece's birthday card... and birthday present. Sorry. At least she knows it's on the way. I had a lovely time at Limited Too yesterday looking at little girl clothes. I love to buy little girl clothes. Sigh, I can't imaging how bad I'd be if I actually had a kid. (Everything would match!) I digress....

I was told that she prefers turquoise to pink, so I had to make her a turquoise card. Since her birthday is St. Patrick's Day, I decided to make Kiki the kitty (From Pink Cat Studio) green with a blue cupcake. (Hey, if you can't have a green cat / blue cupcake card when you're 9, when can you?)

So, I colored Kiki with my copics and cut out varying sizes of circles and scallops with my Nestabilities. I layered some Spring Moss card stock from PTI with some random turquoise paper and Basic Grey's Urban Prairie. I also ran a strip of green through the cuttlebug with the Swiss dots folder. Add a little ribbon from Michaels and some newly discovered flowers and there you have it. Oooo, and the sentiment is from MFT. I used Amy R's sketch for this week. She's celebrating 1 year of card sketches, so go check it out!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Things that amuse (and sometimes frighten me) part 2

When I was visiting the parents in Pittsburgh I asked mom if we could go to Pat Catan's. Pat Catan's is a local discount craft store chain. Everything there is like 40% off every day. Seriously, EVERYTHING is on sale. (Yes, that included Nestabilities! I think they were 25% off.) So happy... Well, on some of the end caps there were some really cute embellishments for a dollar.

I rarely use flowers or buttons on my cards. Why? For one, I really don't have any and 2, I don't know what to do with them. (Side note, I got some buttons on sale the other day at Michael's. Could I perhaps be branching out???) K, I got this little pack of felt flowers for a dollar. I saw from the front of the box that they had little felt circles in the center. Cute, huh?

Well, I was looking through the pack and noticed that some of the flowers had little X's on them instead of little circles. OK, I can deal with that.
Then I turned some of them over and saw this.....!

AH!!! scary dead eye flower faces!!! What the heck?!!! How am I supposed to put that on my cards??? Geeze, why don't I use them on baby cards or cards to send sick kids in the hospital. "Yeah, look, grandma, what a lovely home made card and... OMG the flowers want to steal my soul!!"

These 2 are especially spooky and a little evil in my opinion. The flowers could at least have a smile on their faces. They're flowers for goodness sake, how bad could their lives be??!!!
Peaceful dreams!

Easter card #2 on my quest to be proactive....

Lookit how far ahead I am!! 2, yep 2 Easter cards down! Of course you may notice that in my quest I've completely ignored St. Patrick's day, and I haven't started a card for my niece's birthday, which also happens to be on the 17th. That one I have to get to work on. 9 year olds don't care that Aunt Lara is ahead of curve with her Easter cards if the birthday card and present are late...

So, perhaps you may have noticed that I don't use many flowers or buttons on my cards. I'm sure it has been a topic of conversation on many message boards, I know that my 10 faithful readers have thought, "Wow, if only Lara would throw on a flower or button, that card would be complete." I know you have, don't fib..

Well, I noticed it too. The thing is, I don't really have any flowers or buttons... until yesterday. Yep, I went to Michaels and got me a few packs of flowers, some buttons, really cool chipboard button thingies in the $1 section and packs of designer paper for $1 as well.

Isn't that black and green paper ADORABLE???? I love it! I took some green and white cardstock, both PTI, and then I used my rectangle nestabilities. I stamped the bunny and colored him with copics. This is another stamp from the Beans, Bunnies and Peeps set from TCP. I used a chipboard flower (also from the $1 pack at Michaels), I would like to point out that this is the FIRST time I have EVER used chipboard on a card. Sniff, sniff, I'm no longer pure...

I think I like chipboard! The verdict is still out on the buttons but I could get there. I did start a button jar yesterday. It seems like something people should do when the economy is bad. I do draw the line at using old catalogs for tp though.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Something that amuses the heck out of me

Last Halloween Target had that little, furry, pointy teeth dude, Domo. I don't know what it is, but every time I see him, it makes me chuckle. Imagine my amusement when I saw a brand new Domo for spring!

Heh, heh, heh....
Of course I had to put him in a basket of candy. Perhaps his pointy teeth and seemingly aggressive stance will keep the 3rd shift people from seeking into my office to steal my candy.

Ha ha... Do you see the package of Sarris Candy pretzel rods. YUM!!! OMG, I hadn't had them in SO long and wow were they good. Sarris is an awesome candy company in Western Pennsylvania. When you're in grade school and have to sell candy as a fundraiser, Sarris is a popular choice. OR when you are the Treasurer for your sorority and have to choose a company for a fundraiser. THEN you go with Sarris and when they deliver your candy, they give you a GIANT bag of broken chocolate covered pretzels. GIANT I tell you!! I might need to hold a fundraiser for something...


Thursday, March 12, 2009

NY pix part 2

Sunday Kev and the girls performed at a church in Huntington Village on Long Island. We had to be up kinda early that day to get on the bus and travel from the city to Long Island. Remember that I was still super sleepy from my long Saturday the day before.

Thankfully the church had coffee and butter cookies while the choir was singing. Can I just tell you about a phenomena I noticed last week? Coffee is hotter in the north! Seriously, New York coffee is about 20 degrees hotter than it is in North Carolina. Mind you, I am NOT complaining, not a bit. I really think that the water heaters are set to cooler temperatures down here. It's a conspiracy I tell you! Just like the tuna fish conspiracy! (have you noticed that cans of tuna are getting smaller??? ALL brands...) Again, I digress.

I took this picture with a cup of nuclear coffee happily in my hand...
After that, Kev was hungry and we needed to head into town for breakfast/brunch. We walked around in the windy cold for a while until we were directed to Mundays. I ordered a real NY bagel (YUM!), bacon and coffee. Kev ordered a bunch of breakfast and 1 blueberry pancake.

They delivered this...

I was very amused...
Then I needed a picture of the happy boy and his mousey pancake. He He....

After breakfast, back to the church to rehearse while I studied the weather reports on my blackberry. They were calling for 14 inches of snow on Monday which would severely effect my ability to fly to Pittsburgh...

I decided to be proactive and change my flight to Tuesday and make the return flight for Saturday. (Mad smarts huh?!)

To be continued...

Easter Card

How about another crafty endeavor?
I am being proactive! Yep! I'm getting a head start on my Easter cards. Now, how far the head start extends is another question...

I used the Beans & Bunnies and Peeps set from TCP. I paired it with some Basic Grey paper and some assorted card stock from SU! I know one is Kraft and the other is some in color from last season? I'm not a demonstrator, so I have NO idea what it was called. Cheerful Coral? Peachy Perfection? Perhaps I'll make up my own name for it.

I colored the chickies with my copics and went to trim it on the cutter. The I trimmed it too close to the edge and it wasn't big enough to fit in the Nestability! Argh!!! I didn't want to re-color it so I had a smart moment and decided to cut out the chicks and pop them up with some dimentionals. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased with myself.

I used the ticket punch on the edges and added some Bella baubles.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

TCP Tuesday 49?

Wow, it's TCP Tuesday again! Well, yesterday it was Tuesday. I made the card yesterday, does that count for anything? I think it does. Yeah...

The challenge this week was to use pink, yellow, blue and brown if necessary. WELL... I love yellow, blue and brown together. My color choices are actually seasonal. Every Spring I have an urge to buy and wear yellow and blue clothing. Most often it involves stripes. One year it was so bad my friends forbade me to purchase anything else in those colors. I digress...

I used TCP's new Hearts and Flowers set. Yea, I went with the Kitty Kat pack. I colored my snail with Copic Markers (including pink! see, I used pink.) The cardstock is from PTI and SU! as is the designer paper. A little felt flower and some SU! ribbon and there you have it!


NY pictures!

I'm back!!! Have you missed me? I know you have. Grin.. I thought I'd post some pictures from my trip.
I landed in JFK and then ha to wait for the Super Shuttle. Seriously, waiting for the shuttle and it dropping me at the hotel in Times Square took longer than the flight from Durham to NY. Since I'd woken up at 4:30 that morning I was a little cranky by the time I met Kevin. To appease me and alleviate some of the cranky, he took me to the diamond district.

Sigh, the light posts are shaped like diamonds...
Yes, I did come home with something sparkly. We got my engagement ring there and were never able to find a wedding band to match. I'd been wearing faux diamond band for the past 2.5 years while we looked for something to match. I guess I just had to make a trip back to the city!

So, we walked around all day Saturday, took some of Kev's students to Canal St. and showed them how to get in the back rooms for knock off handbags. We also taught them how to negotiate and never take the first price. Grin..

Then off to dinner with friends and a show!

OMG, the show almost made me p my pants. If you aren't familiar with the show, imagine a raunchy Sesame Street complete with puppets. I knew the music, but was SO much better in person. Let me tell you, that was a LONG day. 430am to 1030p. complete with walking, flying, busing, eating, show... so sleepy in the end..


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Leaving on a Jet plane

My journey is almost over... I'm sitting here at my parent's house waiting until 3pm when they'll take me to the airport. Then it's off to Baltimore with a 2 hour lay over and finally to Durham. Both Jet Blue flights were direct but I wasn't as lucky with Southwest. The good thing about Southwest is that you can have 2 checked bags for free. Let me tell you, I am pretty excited about that policy, especially since I had to get a duffel bag at Target yesterday to cart all my stuff back to NC.

I'm going to blame Ikea for the extra bag. It's kinda hard to stuff organizational pieces in your suitcase along with all of the other stuff I brought for a 7 day trip... Did I also mention that the temperatures have ranged from 15 degrees in NY to 72 here in Pittsburgh? How's a girl supposed to pack for that kind of weather?!?!

For the crafters that read my blog, I also scored some Nestabilities at Pat Catan's for $14.99 a pack. The selection was pretty picked over but I still managed to get some of the sets I was looking for. Joy...

It's been a pretty crazy week. NC to NYC, Broadway shows, diamond district, dinner, 12 inches of snow, rescheduled flights, Pittsburgh, parents, old friends, shopping and no baby arrival...

Phew! I'm ready to get home and see Kev (who got in yesterday) and the kitties. I do have a few pix to share once I get back! In the mean time, enjoy the lovely weather and think of me stuck in airports all day!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Hoppy Easter!

As you read this I'll be chillin in Pittsburgh with my parents. After I land at the airport mom is picking me up and we're headed to Pat Catan's. For those of you who haven't been, it's a local craft store primarily in PA and Ohio. The have KILLER deals and I heard that they have Nestabilities on sale. I also have designs on a bag of Sarris chocolate covered pretzels.

Here's a card for grandma's box. I know they aren't "traditional" colors, but I was inspired by the designer paper. The stamp is Hoppy Easter from My Favorite Things.

Colored with copics and the rest of the cardstock is from PTI.

Edit - Not in Pittsburgh, stuck here in Plainview NY while I wait for the snow to clear. I was thinking about bringing some stamped images and doing some coloring while I was away But I didn't think I'd have any free time... I was wrong. Grrr... Almost finished with book number 3 of the 3 I brought. Sigh....

Starving Artistamps blog candy!

Hello from snowy Long Island New York!!
I am here for an extra day while the ginormous snow storm blows through. I was supposed to leave from JFK this morning and head to Pittsburgh. Yea, that wasn't happening... Instead, I was uber smart yesterday and changed my flight to Tuesday at 2:55pm. Get into Pittsburgh at 4:30ish and mom picks me up. (Mom said that she has a coupon for Red Lobster and a fish fest may be in my future. eh?) Then I'll be in da 'burgh until Saturday which gives Kristin a few extra days to go into labor and me take her to the hospital... ha ha....

Any who, I have a card set to post later today but in the mean time, I wanted to let you know about some fabo blog candy from Starving Artist stamps. You know I love their stuff and 2 of my most recent cards are using stamps from their Tropics collection. Well, they have Easter stamps ready to be shipped and they are offering up a full set of rubber! Here are the details! Now, you can go forth and tell your friends! (not too many of them though, cause I NEED the rubber!!)