Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Elle's Studio December Exclusive Kit

Today is the reveal of the Elle's Studio December kit and this month's kit is packed with so many lovely tags! I'd like to share my layout with you about our Christmas last year.

I absolutely love this layout, and it turned out exactly as I had hoped it would. When I saw the large pie circle in the kit, it reminded me of a bauble on the tree, and that gave me the inspiration for the entire layout. Let me show you the product I used.

The colors in the kit this month are just beautiful- perfect for Christmas and non-Christmas projects. 

The digital Joy printables and cut files this month are also fantastic! I used the 'magic of the season' print circle on the large bauble on my layout.

Don't forget to pick up the Christmas ephemera pack to help you finish off your December album or add a special touch to a layout or card. I love the wood veneer in this mini kit.

Along with the exclusives this month, I also used the lovely Good Cheer collection pack and Good Cheer bits & pieces along with two stamp sets:

I stamped 'merry & bright' from the Merry & Bright stamp set on the date card and repeated 'love * joy' from the Warmest Wishes stamp set above my journaling. 

Thanks for stopping by! Go by the Elle's Studio shop to pick up this month's exclusives before they are all gone. Remember the exclusive kit is on sale for $9.99 today only, from the normal $11.99 price.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Shimelle collection sneaks & a giveaway!

I'm guest posting on today with 5 ideas on how to use the Shimelle collection metal dies. I'd love for you to hop on over and check out my post!

Also, the link to my watercolor tutorial video didn't get on the Shimelle post, so if you're interested in checking that out, please go here.

Once you've done that, come back here and leave a comment for a chance to win the beautiful gold glitter 12"x12" album from the Shimelle collection! (Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please, due to shipping costs overseas.)

Scraptastic This Life Noted November

I'm happy to say that I'm caught up all the way through August in my Project Life album and using the November This Life Noted kit from Scraptastic is making me love this process and especially my August spreads so much!

For my first spread, I used a predominately red color scheme, accented with teal, yellow and green. I love the little bits and pieces that came with the kit this month, and I also love the digital files! The 'our story' tag on the month card came from the Shake it Off digital files, and they really stretch your stash. I also stamped the 'love your smile' tag using the TLN stamp set this month

The opposite side included a bit less embellishment, but carried the same color scheme across.

My second spread is my favorite for August... possibly for the entire year. I love the muted teal, orange and green colors in the tags as well as the embellishments. Although it is sold out, I love, love, loved the Shake it Off stamp set this month and I used the 'this is what matters' phrase to fill in the tabs of the file folders at the top. The 'look how far we've come' card also couldn't have been more perfect next to the photo of Lizzy in therapy. She's come such a long way this year!

The opposite page has the awesome, 'I am very busy' card, and I love that I used it right next to the picture of Lizzy dusting. I embellished the beige card at the bottom left with stamps from the Shake it Off stamp set and also added the cute cutlery stamp from the Sentiments Series V.2 stamp to the 'goodness' card. 

Here's a look at my three favorite cards from my layouts this month. Nothing over the top, just some simple stamping and applying rub-ons and wood veneer. 

I just received my December This Life Noted kit and I know that September will be a fun month to document too, however, November's kit is still available, so if you're loving what you see in this post, be sure to grab one up before they're gone.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Scraptastic November Layouts

The November kit from Scraptastic, Shake it Off, is my favorite kit so far, and I loved working with it. The bright yellow, coral, muted teal and metallic gold color scheme, and pretty, feminine touches really suited my style. I'd like to share my projects with you using the kit (still available!) and add-on (sold out).
'My Heart is Full': The Shake it Off stamp set (sold out), helped me create this spotted background on this layout- which is my favorite from the month. I kept it very simple and used a black and white photo for lots of contrast.

'Read': The 'storyteller' themed paper and cards in this kit really inspired me to create this layout about Lizzy's love of books. I used the TimerCam app to get this photo back in January and I'm so glad I did. 

'Enjoy These Days Together': This layout records a moment during our trip to New Orleans in May- and my favorite photo from the trip in Audubon Park. I wanted to do something different on this layout & decided to create origami hearts from the patterned paper in the kit. I love the way it turned out- exactly as I had hoped it would. 

'And Then There Were Pumpkins': My last layout for the month utilized the strips of patterned paper leftover in my kit. I got a little 'artsy' on this layout with embossing paste (which I colored with ink spray) and used one of the Jillibean Soup Mini Placemats in the add-on kit (sold out) as a stencil. My favorite part of the layout is the title and journaling area, where I separated my title from my journaling by stamping sentiments using the Shake it Off stamp set (sold out). I also added a pumpkin banner at the bottom using the Free Fallin' stamp set, the other kit offered this month.

Thanks for stopping by. Stop by tomorrow, when I will be sharing my monthly layouts using the November This Life Noted kit

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Great British Baby Shower

With five of my friends expecting in our British mum's group, I thought it was necessary to throw a big baby shower brunch. Okay, I know what you're thinking. I'm not British, but I joined an ex-patriate group so that my husband could meet fellow Brits. Since he works, I'm the one who does most of the socializing, and they very nicely accepted me into their group. All of my local friends are British, and lovely, lovely people.

So, back to the baby shower. It seemed appropriate that I make the shower British in some way, so I decided to make it a Paddington Bear theme, however, with very little Paddington Bear decor available, it became a British/Paddington Bear shower. I couldn't have been happier with how the party turned out & I'd love to show you photos from the day.

When you walked in the front door, the entry table was decked out with a vintage Paddington Bear, borrowed from a dear friend for the day, Union Jack flags and bunting and a Paddington sign that I created and cut out with my Silhouette Cameo. The favors were also on this table, so that the girls could grab one on their way out. 

I had a local business, Carrie's Kitchen, create custom cookies for the favors. They were so lovely, I [almost] didn't want to eat one! 

In the kitchen and living area, we hung Union Jack bunting and cute British baby clothes on a clothesline, which also doubled as a memory game. 

I pulled globes out of Lizzy's room, and paired them with a Paddington book and teacups.

Over the kitchen island, I paired some Martha Stewart red pinwheels with handmade map-print pinwheels created from patterned paper. Behind them, I hung a large Union Jack scarf.

On the island, I raised Paddington Bear up on a borrowed Union Jack box and pulled decor from around the house, like a teacup, map print candles and a red and white plaque.

On the buffet, I served two breakfast stratas, a smoked salmon plate with bagels, a cheese plate, muffins and scones. For dessert, I made an orange and raspberry trifle, complete with a blueberry & raspberry Union Jack on top.

And what kind of British party would it have been without tea?

On the mantel and in the entryway, I hung bunting with alternating Paddington faces (cut from my Silhouette) and red tissue paper tassels. 

One of my favorite pieces of decor that I made the night before were these large Paddington tags that I hung from the ceiling fan, along with more Union Jack bunting. Each mum-to-be took their tag home as a keepsake from the day.

I love throwing a party, especially one that includes mimosas. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What We're Eating Wednesday: The Best Blueberry Scones EVER

I am a huge fan of scones. I love making them, I love eating them. Making them because, well, they're so simple and eating them because, let's face it, they're crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. In one word, delicious.

I make a few different scone recipes around here, but this one is my most loved. I made two batches for a baby shower brunch this weekend and they were the first item to disappear on the buffet. I love these so much that I want to share them with you today. Be sure to share the love and pass them on, too.

Blueberry & Lemon Scones (makes 8 scones) 
adapted from this recipe

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
5 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 c. fresh blueberries
1 c. heavy cream (approximately- see note below), plus more for brushing
Zest from 2 lemons
3 Tbsp. coarse demerara sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or a food processor to make it faster, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (this was about 20 pulses on my food processor- you want to still see some butter chunks in the mix to make them fluffy!) Place mixture back in a large bowl and mix in blueberries and lemon zest, being careful not to mash the blueberries. Make a hole in the center of the mix and pour in 1 c. of heavy cream. Using a spatula, fold the cream into the dough until it just sticks together when pressed. (I have found that I usually need a couple of more tablespoons of heavy cream to get it all incorporated here, which is why I wrote approximately above.)

Press the round ball of dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press lightly with your hands (minding the blueberries!) until the flattened round is about 1" in height. Cut the circle in quarters, then in eights. Place scones on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with demerara sugar, if using. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the scones are a beautiful golden brown.

They are wonderful if you just stop here, but to make them really amazing, be sure not to skip the lemon glaze.

Lemon glaze:
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Zest from one lemon

Mix the lemon juice with the confectioner's sugar and place over a pot of boiling water in a double-boiler until dissolved. Whisk in the butter and the lemon zest and continue to whisk for about a minute. When butter is melted, place glaze through a mesh strainer to take out the lumps and lemon zest. Drizzle or brush the glaze on top of the warm scones and serve.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Elle's Studio November Kit Reveal

It's the 10th again and the Elle's Studio November kit is live!

This kit is packed with Christmas themed tags perfect for your December Daily, Thanksgiving themed tags to document your turkey day and an assortment of general tags as well! The beautiful colors in the Christmas tags were calling for me to combine them with the Good Cheer collection and make my first Christmas layout of the year!

Elle's Studio Supplies: November 2014 kit, November cut file, Good Cheer paper collection, dark grey letters & numbers, Good Cheer bits & pieces, Good Cheer wood veneer, Warmest Wishes stamp set, Merry & Bright stamp set

Don't you just love the beautiful colors? This layout is very special to me, as it was a photo taken a few days after Lizzy got out of the PICU last December. It was a very scary time for us, and we were so thankful that we still had her in our lives. The tags in the kit this month, along with the Good Cheer products, really spoke the story behind my photo- one of gratitude and thanks. The 'I thank my lucky stars,' stamp and 'Enjoy Every Moment' wood veneer piece also couldn't have been more perfect.

Be sure to pick up the November digital cut files! I used the cut file 'Joy' on this layout, which I backed with patterned paper from the Good Cheer collection.

In addition to the November kit & cut files this month, there are so many exciting new products in the shop to check out:

Remember that the kit has a special price of $9.99 on the 10th only, and then goes up to $11.99 thereafter. You will love this kit! Happy crafting!