February 28, 2008

Masculine Gift Box

It's my Dad's birthday on March 1st, so I spent a little time this morning putting together this gift box for him to go with his present. It looks great when finished, but comes together really fast.

I started with a sheet of Creamy Caramel card stock, and printed a template from the Internet onto the card stock. This fry box template comes from a wonderful designer named Brenda Quintana, USA.

After cutting and scoring my box, I stamped all over it with the Linen background stamp in Creamy Caramel ink. Using the linen background with the same colour card and ink gives a gorgeous subtle result, and it really looks like you've used textured cardstock.

Next I sponged the edges of the box with Close to Cocoa ink. I used a stampin' sponge - these are great value, you get three in a pack and I cut each one into 8 wedges. I made sure to sponge a little inside also because the back of the box will show when put together.

One of my favourite things lately has been this "certified handmade" stamp from the Genuine Articles set. I stamped it on the back of my box in Chocolate Chip.

I wanted the box to have even more texture, but still wanted to keep it masculine. I used an image from the Stem Silhouettes set (Summer Mini Catalogue). Because I was going for a slightly distressed look, I inked my stamp with Close to Cocoa, then stamped once onto scrap paper before stamping on my box. This gives me a lighter image that blended better with the overall look of the box. I stamped the same image again right next to the first one, but this time stamped off twice before stamping my box.

After assembling my box using SNAIL adhesive, it was time to decorate!

I used an image from one of my favourite sets, Circle of Friendship. I stamped in Close to Cocoa on a scrap of Creamy Caramel cardstock, then punched out the image with my 1 1/4" circle punch. I created a mat for the image by punching some Close to Cocoa card with the 1 3/8" circle punch. Both circles were sponged with Close to Cocoa ink, then layered together using SNAIL.

I tied a piece of Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon around the box, then adhered my circle piece with mini glue dots. I love those little dots, they hold so strong! After that, it was just a matter of filling the box. I put in some pretzels, peanuts and chocolate covered raisins to make a little snack box for my Dad. I'm sure he'll love it!

Stampin' Supplies:
Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa and Chocolate Chip ink.
Creamy Caramel and Close to Cocoa cardstock.
Linen background stamp.
Stem Silhouettes, Genuine Article and Circle of Friendship stamp sets.
Stampin' sponges.
1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches.
Chocolate grosgrain ribbon.
SNAIL adhesive.
Mini glue dots.
Mini cello bags.
Gold cord.

All supplies by Stampin' Up!

February 21, 2008

Petal Prints Thank You

There's nothing I like more than seeing the bright red van of the courier pull into my driveway! I received an order yesterday, containing, among lots of other goodies, my colour coach and the Petal Prints stamp set. This is a gorgeous set, so I just had to try it out this afternoon.

I used the colour coach to choose my colour scheme, what a wonderful tool! I know with this I'll get the most out of Stampin' Up!'s exclusive colours.

Petal Prints is a two-step stamping set, so I inked the base image using markers from the Soft Subtles pack, then stamped it once onto scrap paper (to get a lighter base colour) then onto my Barely Banana cardstock. I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig Stamp Positioner to make sure I stamped the top image in the right place, and this time, I didn't stamp off before stamping as I wanted a full force image. Here you can see one image completed, and the other before the outline image is stamped.

I matted my image on Perfect Plum cardstock, stamped the Floral background in Perfect Plum and matted that on Ruby Red, finished up with some paper piercing, organdy ribbon, and an embellishment from the Hodgepodge Hardware.

The sentiment is from the Sincere Salutations set, I find myself reaching for that set so often, it covers such a wide variety of occasions.

So here's the finished card! I really like these colours together, they are vibrant without being too overwhelming. I can tell I'm going to be using the colour coach everytime I stamp!

Stampin' Supplies:
Petal Prints, Floral and Sincere Salutations stamp sets.
Perfect Plum, Barely Banana, Ruby Red & Very Vanilla cardstock.
Perfect Plum & Ruby Red Ink.
Soft Subtles Stampin' Write Markers.
Crafters Tool Kit.
Ivory Organdy Ribbon.
Hodgepodge Hardware - Antique Brass.
Stamp-a-ma-jig stamp positioner.
Colour Coach.

All supplies from Stampin' Up!

February 1, 2008


We all need a good supply of recipes...here's some of my favourites that I've mentioned on my site!

Baked Pasta with Meatballs
This is a recipe from a free cookbook I got while we were students in Dunedin - produced by Maggi, it's called Easy Meals for First Time Flatters. There's a surprisingly good variety of recipes in here!

Servings : 4-6
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time :about 45 minutes

200g Penne or Spiral Pasta

500g minced beef
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
2 tsp MAGGI Garlic Stock Powder
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pkt MAGGI French Onion Soup Mix (I always just use plain onion)
1 1/2 cups water
400g can tomatoes in juice, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp MAGGI Garlic Stock Powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese or mozzarella cheese

Step 1: Add the pasta to a large quantity of boiling salted water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain, then place the pasta in a greased 30cm x 20cm x 5cm ovenproof dish.

Step 2: While the pasta is cooking, prepare the meatballs. Combine all the ingredients, except the oil, and mix thoroughly. Shape into meatballs about 2cm in diameter.

Step 3: Heat I tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the meatballs and brown over a moderately high heat. Remove from the pan and add the meatballs to the pasta.Wipe out the pan. Preheat oven to 200°C.

Step 4: Prepare sauce. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in the pan. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Combine the soup mix and water, and add to the pan with the tomatoes.

Step 5: Pour the sauce over the meatballs and pasta, then top with the grated cheese.

Step 6: Cook in oven for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.

Jaffa Muffins
This recipe comes from one of those fundraising cookbooks from my youngest brother's school. I like these books - because the recipes are submitted by families they are usually tried and tested kiwi favs! This is a super fast sweet muffin recipe, takes about 20 mins from start to finish!

2 Cups Self Raising Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (I use dark)

1/4 Cup Oil
1 Cup Fanta (or other orange soda)
1 Egg

Preheat oven to 200°C. Mix dry ingredients together.

Whisk oil, fanta and egg together. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix lightly.

Place into greased muffin tins and bake at 200°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown.