A {Nuts About You} Ensemble...

Friday, June 15, 2012

I have lots of photos today!  I created this Father's Day ensemble using two ideas.  First, the main inspiration came from this project I saw on Pinterest.  For some reason you can't get to the actual post, so I just used that photo as inspiration. The inspiration for the cards came from this set created by my friend Simone Pursiful.  I originally came across her cards when I was searching for ideas for using A Guy Thing stamp set since that includes a Happy Father's Day stamp.  
So, all these gifts aren't for one person, they are for three.  The BIG jug of peanuts and one of the cards is for my hubby (from the kids) and will accompany another gift.  The other two cards and small bags of peanuts are for my Dad and my Father-In-Law, which will also go with another larger gift.  
Here's a closer look at the jug.  It was originally filled with pretzels.  I created a band around the middle using one piece of card stock cut down the middle.  I designed the oval panel on my Silhouette.  I adhered a piece of cork behind the letters.  The peanut is an image from the Silhouette store.  It comes in two pieces so you can layer them for a more realistic look.  
Here's a pic of Halle with the jug-o-nuts so you can get an idea of how big it is.  Unfortunately this will only last about two weeks in our house.  
Here's a look at the card up close up of the card.  The peanut is popped up on foam dots.  I totally forgot to snap a picture of the inside of the card, it just stamped "Happy Father's Day"
And if that wasn't enough, I have a card featured today on the Clear & Simple Stamps App!  Here's a sneak peek:

Have a great weekend!

{Nuts About You}
Stamps: A Guy Thing (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: Brown Leather Satchel, Glamazon Green, Kraft Like a Rockstar, A Blanc Check (CSS)
Ink: Perfect Little Black Dress (CSS)
Dies:  Tag Dies (CSS)
Accessories: Cork, Silhouette Personal Cutter, Fine Tip Black Pen & Ruler, Foam Dots, Sheer Ribbon, Peanuts, Clear Bags, Jug 


A {Happy Birthday, Fella} Card...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hello!  I hope you are all having a great summer, we've been keeping busy going to the water park, library, and just hanging at home doing some crafts and baking.

My brother's birthday is coming up and I needed to make him a card.  He's not really a tie wearing kind of guy, but if he did, I think this quirky tie would fit the bill.  
Lots of layers going on here.  I couldn't quite figure out how to line up the sentiment since they are three separate stamps, so I thought the off-kilter look suited the quirky tie.  

My next project will be some Father's Day cards for this weekend.  Hopefully I'll be posting those tomorrow!

Have a great day!

PS.  Thanks so much for those of you that read my really long post about being vegan for a year.  I really appreciate it and all the great feedback I received from blog reader, my friends, and my family.  If you left me a comment asking a question, you should have received an email back from me.
{Happy Birthday, Fella}
Stamps: A Guy Thing, Background Basics 1 (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: A Blanc Check, Dare to Be a Diva Red, Kraft Like a Rockstar, Trendsetter Blue (CSS)
Ink: Dare to Be a Diva Red, Dish All the Dirt Brown, Your Style Blue Me Away (CSS)
Accessories: Corner Rounder Punch, Foam Dots, Silver Brads, Stamping Sponge


CSS Group Project!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today is National Red Roses Day so it's appropriate we are using red flowers for out focal image for this month's Clear & Simple Stamps group project.
I used stamps from All Occasions 2 for my card.  I stamped the vase first and then the flowers using Green With Envy ink.  I stamped the flowers again on Dare to Be a Diva Red card stock using black ink and then I cut out each flower individually and paper pieced them onto the card.
Check out the curves along the bottom of the main panel.  I used the Party Favor 2 lid die to create the edged look.  It was a little tricky, but the one thing you need to remember is that the panel needs to be slightly narrower than the lid edge.  You will be left with a crease where the lid would fold, but I covered that up with a sentiment panel.  The sentiment panel bows, I just stacked two foam dots under it in the center and then just 1 on each side.

Be sure to check out all of the Rosie Red creations from the Design Team:

Have a great day!

{Thinking of You}
Stamps: All Occasions 2 (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: A Blanc Check, Dare to Be a Diva Red (CSS)
Ink: Perfect Little Black Dress, Brown Leather Satchel, Green With Envy (CSS)
Dies: Party Favor 2 (CSS) 
Accessories: Foam Dots, Corner Rounder Punch 


I've been VEGAN for 1 year!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

(I'm sorry this is so long, I just couldn't decide what to include and not include).

Mostly the people that know I'm vegan are my close friends and family.  If you don't know what vegan means, it's someone who doesn't eat meat/animals (vegetarian) as well as dairy and eggs (anything that animals produce). 

It all started on June 5th of last year.  My friend Jen, her mom, and I went to see a documentary called Forks Over Knives.  Jen had been vegan for a couple months already and had really piqued my interest and she couldn't wait for this documentary to come out so we could see it together (she actually saw it twice in one weekend).  The documentary is about preventing and reversing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and easing the symptoms of a whole spectrum of diseases (from arthritis to fibromyalgia to MS) and just feeling better in general and living a long, healthy life.  The documentary was great but I wasn't ready to go vegan (or in the documentary they call it a plant-based diet).  

At the time I didn't have any medical conditions, my blood pressure and cholesterol were normal, I wasn't at risk for diabetes, it was just my weight that bothered me.  Did it make sense for me to make this drastic change to my life?  Well, that night and the next day I couldnt' stop thinking about what I had learned.  The individuals featured in the documentary changed their diet only when they had a health scare (heart attack, diabetes, cancer).  I decided that if there is a way to avoid ever going through that, to live until I'm 100 without heart disease, obesity, arthritis, cancer, and feeling great until the day I die, it would totally be worth it.   

So, I decided to take the 28 day vegan challenge starting June 7, 2011 (two days after seeing the documentary).  During those first 28 days, the only people that knew I was doing it was Scott and my friend Jen.  I didn't want to tell anyone in case I failed or changed my mind.  During those 28 days I read a lot of books and watched a lot of documentaries, I wanted to make sure this wasn't just some fad diet and I wanted to do it for the right reasons.  I learned a lot about nutrition and the way food is produced in our country.  You can't go wrong eating real, whole food.

After about a week on my new vegan (plant based) diet I felt so much better.  I wasn't bloated after meals, no more indigestion, big meals didn't make me lethargic (quite the opposite).  After about two weeks, I started trying vegetables that I didn't like before and they just tasted different, better.  I didn't realize how bad I was feeling until I felt good.  

I have to say that Scott was a bit skeptical but very supportive.  As long as I kept cooking meat for him he didn't have a problem.  After the 28 days was up, I knew there was no going back to the way I used to eat.  I felt so much better and it was so much easier than I could have ever imagined.  I had detoxed from processed foods, didn't crave anything, had more energy, I was rarely hungry, and I was eating and trying a wider variety of foods than I ever was when I was eating meat and dairy.  The best part was that I was losing weight without counting calories and eating as much as I wanted.  

After the first 28 days I started to tell close friends and family about my new lifestyle since I knew it was going to stick.  They were all very supportive and asked great questions.  I knew that the word "vegan" sometimes has a negative connotation and is associated with PETA and crazy animal activists.  When I told people I was vegan I made sure that they knew I was doing it for health reasons and I wasn't going to be a crazy PETA person.  I was just the same old me.    

It's impossible to read/watch information about a vegan diet/lifestyle without coming across how a vegan diet means that you are no longer killing animals.  Since I didn't eat meat anymore, I was finally open to learning about how animals are raised and how they get to your plate.  It's something people don't want to think about and they don't want to think about it for a reason.  You don't know what you don't know.  I have to tell you, whatever you are thinking in your head happens, multiply it by 10.  I read the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran-Foer and there was no way meat would touch my lips for the rest of my life.  Not only are the animals mistreated, but the conditions are horrible and there's so much bacteria and fecal matter that get into the meat.  I had no idea what factory farming was and how it's negatively effecting the environment.  It was mind blowing.  

So, now when people ask me why I'm vegan, I give them these three main reasons: for my health, for the animals, and for the environment.       

After a few months I stopped cooking/buying meat at home (with the exception of a Christmas ham, since we hosted Christmas and I made Scott cook and slice it).  Surprisingly Scott has really enjoyed trying new things (he likes tofu) and hasn't missed the meat at home.  I don't give him a hard time when we go out to dinner and he orders a steak, after all being vegan is my choice, not his).  During my first nine months being vegan, Scott's cholesterol went from 205 down to 149 (under 200 is good, under 150 is optimal and puts you out of risk for heart disease).  He was just eating what I cooked at home for dinner and on weekends).  I discovered that I really like to cook!  

The kids are a different story.  They love hot dogs and chicken nuggets.  I want them to eat vegan, but I also want them to choose it for themselves.  I don't buy hot dogs, but they do eat them when they aren't at home (at a grill out, school, etc).  I always make sure we have a lot of fruit on hand.  They will most likely choose a handful of grapes over a handful of cheetos (given a choice, that is the key).  I try to explain how healthy choices will fuel their bodies and help them play longer, run faster, etc.  I've found many substitutes for foods they love (there are so many meatless options available, they love chick'n patties) and just yesterday we found an alternative to cow's milk that the kids actually like.  I also try to explain how their choices effect the world, but I like to watch them come to their own conclusions.

So, it's been one year!  I've slowly lost 13 pounds (Scott has lost 30 and I think his diet played a small part in that).  I rarely take naps, I have more energy, my face has really cleared up, I'm a lot more confident, my moods are a lot less up and down, I'm more compassionate, and my clothes fit a lot better.  I've survived being vegan on cruise ship, on vacation, in a steakhouse!  I've been really surprised by the support I've received and the interest people have taken and the great questions people ask me.  

If you are still reading this, THANK YOU, it really means a lot.

PS.  I own the DVD Forks Over Knives if anyone wants to borrow it.  

PSS.  A lot of people say to me, I really wish I could be vegetarian/vegan but I just don't think I can do it.  Here's the good new, being a vegan/vegetarian is not an all or nothing thing.  You can be a vegetarian that eats shrimp occasionally.  You can be a vegan that eats eggs.  Every choice you make helps your health, the animals and the planet.  

PSSS.  If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, watch this four minute video to solidify your decision.  Warning, it is very graphic but unfortunately it's true.   http://10billionlives.com/


CSS Release in Review

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hello!  Welcome to the Clear & Simple Stamps Release Review party!  I had so much fun making this little gardening ensemble.  My husband built me an 8' x 4' raised garden bed and guess what?  Plants are actually growing!  I thought for sure that I had black thumb since I kill pretty much everything I plant.

So, about my ensemble... I used Designer Lines to create a sort of "lattice" for my plants to grow up.  I attached a brown piece of card stock along the bottom as the flower bed.  It was so much fun building the scene with flowers and sentiments from All Occasions 2.

I carried the lattice element from the card over to the favor box.  The box was made using the Party Favor 3 die.  This time I wanted the flowers to look like they were climbing the lattice.
 The little tag says "open me" so you know I'm going to give you a peek inside.  It's seed packets!
I can't wait to see what the rest of the DT created, and I know you can't either!  Be sure to visit all the ladies:

Have a great day!

{Garden Party}
Stamps: All Occasions 2, Designer Lines (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: A Blanc Check, Brown Leather Satchel, Purplicious, VIP Purple (CSS)
Ink: Green With Envy, Glamazon Green, Purplicious, VIP Purple, Dish All the Dirt Brown
Dies: Party Favor 3 (CSS), Mini Tag (CSS)
Accessories: Foam Dots, Purple/White Twine (CSS), Tissue Paper, Seed Packets  


CSS Release Review--Day 3

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hey guys!  I'm here to review the Uppercase Dies that Clear & Simple Stamps released last month.  I am seriously obsessed with both the Uppercase & Lowercase dies.  They are so easy to customize and personalize any project.

I'm not sure where the idea for this card came from, but as soon as the idea popped in my head I just had to create it.  The idea is that the letter "fell" from their original position and now reflect the mirror image of the letters "THANKS".  I adhered them in place before I sewed along the tops of the letters.   
The chevron stripes from Designer Lines were stamped on a piece of white card stock that was adhered directly under the negative space of the letters.

There are a few fellow DT members showing off even more alpha creations.  Be sure to check them all out:

And that's not all, I have a card featured on the Clear & Simple Stamps App today!  It uses another set that I'm obsessed with!  Do you see a trend?
Have a great day!

Stamps: Designer Lines (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: A Blanc Check (CSS)
Ink: Dare to Be a Diva Red (CSS)
Dies: Uppercase Alpha (CSS) 
Accessories: Foam Dots, Sewing Machine & Red Thread 

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