Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winter ATC's

My Scrapbooking Buddies do an ATC swap for each season. For the winter exchange I choose a valentine's theme. Of course I reached for my scraps of WP, Hollywood Vogue. Lots of fussy cutting and inking later my finished product looks like this.

I do an alphabet card theme for one side of my ATC's and a layered look for the other. This time I choose "C" for cage. The majority of WP papers used are 6x6. The stamps are Hampton Arts, Inkadinkado, Stampendous, and CTMH. I also used a CTMH punch and ink. The glitter glue is Ranger, the gems are Creative Charms and the medallion punch is EK Success. The birds are a McGill punch.

~charity becker~

Monday, January 30, 2012


I cut my crafting teeth on Valentine's cards. These beauties are the ultimate in every thing that is feminine. Layers of color and texture give way to sweet sentiments.
This year, I decided to try something a little more graphic. I didn't give up on the hearts all together, but I did use a LOT of squares!

you make my heart...
For this card I used Authentique Free Bird 6x6 papers, Blush and Delight. First I cut a variety of 1 inch and 1/2 inch squares. After inking the edges with CTMH, brown bag ink, I started layering. I added a CTMH heart stamp to the center of three of the squares and gold stickles to others. The sentiment stamp is also CTMH. The border punch is EK Success. For a final homemade, graphic touch I zig zag stitched the edge of the border punch with my machine.
I used the January Authentique challenge sketch for this card. Find that post here: http://blog.authentiquepaper.com/2012/01/january-sketch-challenge.html

~charity becker~

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Drama Queen

My oldest child has always had a flair for the dramatic. In every way she sees herself on a stage. To support her in this we put her into drama classes during the summer. She loves them! This picture was taken long before summer drama events. I think she's three in this one. She makes an adorable little lion, lazily waving her tail.
Drama Queen
The sketch for this page came from Practical Scrappers. I didn't move on in the Layout Contest, but I sure enjoyed using this sketch anyway. The papers are Me and My Big Ideas, MME, and Graphic 45. The trim is Webster's Pages, the twine Doodlebug Design, and the gems Recollections. The alpha is American Crafts and the tiny type is EK Success.

~charity becker~

Friday, January 27, 2012


I recently decided to take a walk on the wild side and get my (VERY) long hair dreaded. A super fun look, but definitely not the usual for my hair texture. It took 2 different appointments, 7 hours, and four people! I was SO grateful to the delightful instructor and students at Joseph's School of Hair Design that I put these cards together between appointments.

I used patterned paper from Me and My Big Ideas and Hobby Lobby. The cardstock and punch are CTMH. I used a Glitz Design stamp and CTMH ink for the face and Making Memories alphas.

The "hair" is yarn left over from a craft project. The brads are Spare Parts and the chain is from my stash.

My hair dresser(s) enjoyed the personal thanks and I LOVE my Dreads!!!

~charity becker~ 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MWM Garnet #5 Baby Bed

Still catching up on posting former MWM's. Find the sketch for Garnet #5 here:  http://scrapbooksteals.stealnetwork.com/wp/2012/01/11/pink-paislee-nantucket-mid-week-mojo/
In keeping with that old time tradition, two sweet babies sleep on Grandma's bed. Here my daughter and my cousin's daughter sleep side by side, much as my cousin and I used to at this age. Some things never change, and that's a good thing! 
Baby Bed

For this page I used a combination of CTMH cardstock, ink, and patterned paper. Kaiser craft 6x6 papers and stamp from the Le Chateau collection decorate the center of the page. The trim is Fancy Pants, the medallion punch EK Success,and the alpha is Echo Park.

~charity becker~

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Respect and Dignity

I attend a small community college on a small airbase in a small agrarian community in a small...you get the picture. With the true sense of community when one of us hurts, we all hurt. Recently the mother of one of our staff at the college passed away. He is a sweet man who exerts every effort to encourage us to succeed. I wanted to express my sympathy for his pain in a respectful, dignified way. My quandry? I had NEVER made a sympathy card before. After getting some experienced advice from Cyndee K. (see her work here: http://scrappydaylily.blogspot.com/2012/01/card-catchin-up.html ) and looking for a card sketch from Scrapbook Steals (here's the one I used: ( http://scrapbooksteals.stealnetwork.com/wp/2012/01/09/my-little-shoebox-mega-paper-pack-monday-card-madness-66/ )  I started out on this new adventure.

~ Many Prayers

As has become my habit, I reached for Authentique glowing. After a little fussy cutting, some stitching, a fab EK Success punch, CTMH pearls and ink, and a rubber stamp from Stampin Up I felt I had reached my goal. I used plain white cardstock for the inside of my card and a Scrappy Cat flourish stamp.

...for much comfort ~

May you never have to make a Sympathy card, but if you do, I hope you have the kind of support team I've collected. If not, come join us at Scrapbook Steals...there's always room for one more!

~charity becker~

Monday, January 23, 2012

Garnet 6: SISTERS forever

MWM time again!!! As always, that Rockstar, Krisy Lee provided her fans with a fabulous sketch. Look for it here http://scrapbooksteals.stealnetwork.com/wp/2012/01/18/my-minds-eye-good-day-sunshine-mid-week-mojo/.  I needed some time to think so I cut several squares of Glitz Design, Afternoon Muse and meticulously stitched them on to a sheet of Prima, Flight of Fancy. This is how it turned out:
~ SISTERS forever ~

I found a lovely tutorial on edge stamping by Larissa Albernaz on Webster's Pages blog. 
http://websterspages.typepad.com/webstershome/tiptechniques-tuesday/ It added just the touch I needed for my round element. Next I grabbed some border puches (all EK Success) and got busy with Drafter's Vellum. After Layering with DCWV, Luxury Stack I had the perfect photo mat. I used MME diecuts for the title and corner tab then finished up with Doodlebug Design Twine and a Cosmo Cricket tiny title. I used CTMH acrylic stamps as well as hollyhock and brown bag ink.

~charity becker~

Saturday, January 21, 2012

brand new SMILE

Crazy school schedule has kept me from participating in the monthly My Mind's Eye Layout challenge. This week, though, I found enough time to pull something together.

~ brand new SMILE ~

May of 2010 I took my two youngest on an Amtrak ride to the West Coast. We visited my family and fitted in lots of time with the cousins (13 in all). The highlight of the trip WAS the trip. The train ride was a big hit and they are anxiously waiting another chance, another visit, and another RIDE!

For this page I used Trim from Stella and Rose, Hattie and assorted papers from Lime Twist. I stitched around my circles and frame with a zigzag stitch to mimic train tracks.  I used two different sizes of stitching on the circles to add textural interest. Finally, I added a swirl of twine (also from the Lime Twist collection) from the train's smoke stack! The tiny type is MME and the alpha is American Crafts.

~charity becker~

Friday, January 20, 2012

Practical Scrappers Layout Contest

I've got a fun anouncement today. I entered a Layout contest at Practical Scrappers and was chosen as one of the 80 contestants!!! Drop by their blog today and vote for your favorite page. Here is a preview of the one I entered...I've featured it on my blog before:

Golden Afternoon
Here is the link for the Practical Scrappers contest:

~charity becker~

Thursday, January 19, 2012

MWM Garnet #2 Pouty Face

I am considerably behind on posting my MWM's from Scrapbooks Steals. But school is back in session and my pile of scrap projects is, AGAIN dwindling. Here's the MWM from December 21! (ouch...really really behind) The sketch and blog post can be found here: http://scrapbooksteals.stealnetwork.com/wp/2011/12/21/crate-paper-emmas-shoppe-mid-week-mojo/

Pouty Face

The journaling reads, "It's no secret, Lori HATES the camera. The sunshine turns to a cloudy day if the camera comes out!"
I have many envelopes full of pictures I haven't scrapped because everyone in the photo is having a great time, EXCEPT Lori. I could do a whole pouty face album!!!

Lots of Close To My Heart on this one. This is a kraft based paper collection called "Lucky". Lots of navy blues and kraft with olive and tangerine highlights. The alpha and camera die cuts are from Michael's and the staples are Making Memories.

~charity becker~

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two more cards...

Last week I shared the perfect card sketch with you. Kristy Lee (of scrapbook steals) encouraged us to think clean and simple, then offered a sketch that set my mind racing. Here are two cards I made with it. The other two can be seen here: http://www.menemenetekeluniversity.blogspot.com/2012/01/perfect-card-sketch.html

This card is made entirely from the scraps in my paper drawer so I have NO idea on their parentage. I do know the Alpha is Echo Park. (yeah me!)

This card is made on CTMH card stock. The punched medallions are WP with an EK Success Punch. The brads are Spare Parts while the twine is Jillibean Soup. The sentiment stamp is Clear Arts using CTMH pigment ink. The pearlescent 3D paint is Duncan Crafts.

Find the sketch here: http://scrapbooksteals.stealnetwork.com/wp/2012/01/02/lime-twist-mega-paper-pack-monday-card-madness-65/

~charity becker~

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rite of Passage

Every culture and family has it's own Rite of Passage. Here at our house the piercing of the ears signals a fabulous new stage in life. It happens when the child in question QUITS sucking her fingers or thumb. For my oldest that was when she was 8. The deal includes immediate access to fingernail polish and if the fingers stay dry for a year the ears will get pierced and several pairs of earrings will be purchased.
Finding the perfect papers to record this event took time, and then we moved mid progress, so that I didn't actually finish this LO till last week! While cleaning/organizing my scrap area and sewing nook I came across this layout and sat right down at the sewing machine to finish it up.
I used CTMH cardstock for the main paper and some unknown metallic green as an accent. The patterned paper is Prima and the cages and striped paper strip are Kaiser Craft. I fussy cut each of the cages and adhered them for a staggered look. I sewed those on the top of the LO so that they appear to be hanging from the top edge of the paper.
The edges of the card stock and patterned paper our inked with CTMH chocolate. The alpha is unknown after all this time. However, to give it definition I drew a line of stitching around each letter.

~charity becker~

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wide World

In October we took a family vacation to Mt. Rushmore. Late fall is usually quite cold in the Dakotas, but this time it was unseasonably warm. We were able to climb all around the National Park without a jacket, much less a heavy coat, mittens, scarf, ETC...  This made for excellent pictures and we took many!
These pictures show SUCH a bright blue sky that they set off the colors of Authentique, Gathering beautifully.
Wide World

 For the base paper I used Harmony and for the rows of fussy cut shapes I used Grow. The pictures are matted with Together, and the bracket shape is cut from a strip of Reminisce. I inked my papers with CTMH, chocolate and used Thickers, for the title. The twine across the title is Doodlebug, held down with Spare Parts brads. The journaling block is from Jouney, Tabloids and the tiny type is from the Gathering collection, both Authentique. My pleated orange trim is Coats and Clark seam binding.
I used the sketch from the Authentique sketch challenge found here http://www.authentiquepaper.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-sketch-challenge.html. If you'd like to participate also, you have until February 1st to post your project to the blog. Check out the details and put together a winner!!!

~charity becker~

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blossoms with a Punch

Over Christmas I grabbed a new punch by EK Success and I have been THRILLED with it!!! There are four different options for this punch and I chose the Carnation style. Here is a sample of blossoms made with this punch:

To make these flowers you'll need a few tools besides the punch. I used my paper piercer, a crochet hook, American Crafts dimensional adhesive, and hot glue. Any instant grab adhesive will do if you are uncomfortable with a glue gun.

First, punch one complete strip from a 12 x 12 sheet of paper using the EK Punch. For the sample I used DCWV Love Letters. Second, cut the petals apart into groups, with 3 petals in the first group, 5 in the second group, and 7 in the last.

Third, roll each set of petal so that the desired pattern shows. Use the point of a paper piercer to roll the group of 3 petals, the tail of the crochet hook to roll the group of 5 petals, and the tail of the paper piercer to roll the group of 7 petals.

Fourth, roll the group of 3 petals into a ring so that the first petal is between the second and third petal. Add a dot of instant adhesive to the end of the roll.

Adhere the group of 5 petals to the first ring with a dot of dimensional adhesive. Place the dot so that the first petal overlaps two other petals.

Roll the group of 5 into a ring around the group of 3 and secure with instant adhesive. Follow the same steps with the group of 7 petals. "Fluff" the petals so that they lay loosely against each other.

If you end up with a bare spot trim a single petal from the left over strand of petals, and adhere.

Your final product should look something like this.
For these flowers I used the DCWV Love Letters stack. These blossoms were used on this L/O:  http://menemenetekeluniversity.blogspot.com/2012/01/places-i-love.html
~charity becker~

Friday, January 13, 2012

Places I LOVE

The DCWV Stack-a-holics challenge is posted the beginning of each month. Erin chooses a sketch by Susan at Sketch Savvy (http://sketchsavvy.blogspot.com/) and as long as we use DCWV paper stacks the sky is the limit. The entries are so beautiful it is a joy to participate with these crafters. I picked up the new Love Letters stack the first week of January at my local Michael's. After a few minutes looking through it I KNEW my first page would feature my favorite places in Italy.

Places I LOVE:

The majority of this page is from the Love Letters stack, I did mat the flourishes, title, and one of the blocks of paper with a spring green from the Taj Mahal stack. I machine stitched the largest piece of patterned paper to my LO using bright red. To give the matted paper pieces more definition I drew stitches around the edges with my trusty black Sharpie. I placed a bit of white ribbon under the gold letters to high light the title.

My inspiration for this page came from the delightful buildings scattered throughout the stack. I fussy cut a city's worth of buildings and clustered them above my photos. I outlined them with burgundy Stickles and used dimensional adhesive to make them stand out.

I made the blossoms using an EK Success punch. Check back tomorrow for a tutorial.

Scoot on over to the DCWV blog and get the details on the Stack-a-holics challenge while there is still time!

~charity becker~

Thursday, January 12, 2012

another first

Celebrating all the special moments in life is like keeping a catalog of firsts. The photo I used for this layout was taken on the same park bench where my husband proposed. It seemed just the place for our first family photo with baby.
Not much for new techniques used on this LO. I chose colors that brought out the greens in the photo and added the nesting birds as a reference to the photos subject matter. I inked and distressed various edges. I also machine stitched the border/frame. I used a sketch from Scrapbook Steals as my inspiration. The blog post can be found here http://scrapbooksteals.stealnetwork.com/wp/2011/12/28/glitz-beautiful-dreamer-mid-week-mojo/.

This particular layout is a combination of MME, WP, and Dusty attic. I purchased the fence pieces at Altered Art and Scrap Playground in Rapid City, SD (http://scrapandplay.blogspot.com/). They seemed to fit with the theme of this LO in there unaltered state so I just adhered them as is. The trims and fussy cut images are WP and the background paper is MME, Lost and Found.

~charity becker~

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A perfect Card Sketch

Oh look! Sandwiched in between a morning of Babysitting, Algebra Tutoring, and an afternoon of 'Car @ the dealer' I found...2 whole hours of scrapbooking time!!! 'Course I ran right over to Scrapbook Steals blog to grab an MCM sketch by the Rock Star KRISTY LEE. Here's the first one for 2012.

Every time I looked at this sketch I saw a new design take shape.
First I saw a mouse:
Then I saw a monkey:

The ideas just kept flowing. What fun to create with such fabulous inspiration in my corner! These two cards are children's Valentines. The mouse is crafted with CTMH cardstock and punch. The cord is WP and the alpha is Basic Grey. The monkey is also crafted with CTMH cardstock and punch and WP cord. The sentiment is an Inkadinkado stamp with CTMH ink.

~charity becker~

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cranberry Scones

A few years back, when My Space was all the rage, my little girl had her own page. We called it Cooking With Annalys. We took lots of pictures while she learned to cook and posted them with each recipe. This scone recipe was her most popular post.
Cranberry Scones
2/3 cup Sugar
2 1/2cup Flour
2 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Butter
1 cup Cranberries
3/4 cup Butter Milk
Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix together first five ingredients, cut in butter (pastery blender works best). Stir in Butter Milk till dough is moistened. Add Cranberries. Turn onto foured surface and knead briefly. Shape into 1/2 inch thick round and cut into wedges. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. While scones are baking, make spread.
Orange Cranberry Spread
1/2 teaspoon Orange Zest
1/2 teaspoon Cardamon
2 tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Cranberries, minced
1 1/2 cup Butter, softened
Beat ingredients together. Store in Fridge.

Let scones sit 5 minutes after baking. Apply spread and enjoy with your favorite hot beverage. The smell of these scones baking has been known to wake a teenage boy and bring him to the table, eager for a plateful!

~charity becker~

Monday, January 9, 2012


Sketchy Thursdays Challenge has a color theme this week...blue and silver. Now honestly, is there an Authentique fan that hears that color theme and DOESN'T think Journey? Luckily I still have some Journey left. I pulled out Jaunt and Voyage and started cutting away. With the addition of Webster's Bloomers and Trim I put together this Sparkler of a page!
I used Girls Paperie tiny type as well as Making Memories alpha on Journey: Tabloids and Icons for the Title/Journaling. The jewels are Creative Charms. The ink and cardstock are CTMH, Pacifica.
Follow this link to participate in this weeks Sketchy Thursdays Challenge: http://www.sketchythursdays.blogspot.com/2012/01/15-sketch-challenge.html.

~charity becker~

Saturday, January 7, 2012

she did it Her Way

My second child always does things "her way." She finds our surprise at her methods curious but nothing to be concerned about. In this photo she is sitting in a friends tree while she jams on her electric guitar. Nice, Sweetie!

I've been wanting to fussy cut the back of "A Birds View" From WP Botanical Christmas. I love the blues and greens combined with the intricate details of this paper. Creative Scrappers Sketch # 189 seemed the perfect opportunity. Of course, one good turn deserves another, so I just let my scissors take over and then finished up with my craft knife.
I layered my fussy cut motifs on CTMH paper and added trim from various WP  paper packs. I strung MME twine over the title with Spare Parts brads. The medallion was punched using an EK Success medallion punch and is layered over a stamped image from House of Three with CTMH ink.

Find the link for the Creative Scrappers sketch here http://creativescrappers.blogspot.com/2012/01/sketch-189.html. You have till January 31 to post your project!

~charity becker~

Friday, January 6, 2012

Celebrate 2012

Here's to a new year full of fun ideas and useful tutorials!!! My 2012 has started out with a full energy bar. Just try to keep up! :)

Practical Scrappers is a fabulous place to pick up new ideas. Their design team has a variety of styles. This weeks Challenge Me Tuesday suggests several different techniques and a chance to be featured on the blog!
For this card I incorporated the following trends, misting, machine stitching, banners, and rainbows, with just the tiniest touch of twine. The Card Stock, Stamps, and Ink are Close To My Heart, the mist is Tattered Angels, and the twine is Jillibean Soup. The tiny type numbers are Making Memories. 

~charity becker~

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thanks for the Adventure

The Journey, Icons & Tabloids and Doodlebug Twine I picked up during our Christmas visit to Minnesota are perfectly matched partners. All those postage stamp diecuts were begging to be layered on the front of a greeting card. I pulled out my paper piercer and went to work. Once I had the die cuts strung in three rows I added buttons to my card and attached the diecuts. I used Hampton Arts mini-stampers with American Crafts, Charcoal pigment ink to add a sentiment that would tie the designs together.  I had a great deal of difficulty with the 'a' and had to restamp 'thanks' twice. But due to Authentiques double sided diecuts it was a simple fix.

thanks for the

~charity becker~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Envelope Album

What an exciting post I have today.
I was asked to guest design for Scrapbook Steals and had tons of fun creating with Crate Paper, Restorations for today's steal. The sketches and projects I made can be seen on the Steals Blog
The required page and sketch just weren't enough fun on their own so I decided to include a more involved project. I've been seeing delightful Envelope Albums on various blogs and decided to make the idea my own. Last month I posted instructions for tea staining paper envelopes to change a bright white finish to a vintage hue.
Here is the link if you are interested.
After my envelopes dried to a delightfully lumpy, sepia tone I began embellishing with CP, Restorations. I used the same sketch for the front of each page and a super simple idea for the backs.

I turned my Envelope Album into a photo and letter album for my daughters elderly pen-pal. Now she can adhere the photos they take each month to the envelopes and slip the letters she receives inside.

To hold the envelope flaps down I added buttons. The edge of the flap slips under the button and stays in place without extra tying or attaching for gnarled fingers. I adhered the buttons to the envelopes with twine or hot glue.

Besides fussy cutting various motifs from the Restorations paper pack I also used stamps to create embellishments. I used a mixture of Close To My Heart, Prima, Glitz Design, and Clear Art Stamps in combination with Close To My Heart Inks.

Although I couldn't stitch directly onto the envelopes I enjoyed embellishing the cover pages with bits of machine stitching. I also used Pebbles Inc. stencils to trace the flourishes on the second and third pages.

An assortment of brads, jewels and stickles completed the embellishing. To cover the 2 prong fasteners I used to bind the envelopes, I wrapped a ribbon through and around the punched holes and tied a simple bow.
My daughter's pen-pal was thrilled to receive a handcrafted album for Christmas and I was ecstatic to get the chance to make it for her. Scrapbook Steals, thanks so much for the chance to create with Crate Paper, Restorations as a guest designer!!!

~charity becker~

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chicken and Sausage Casserole

Sometimes it's the simplest foods that make the best meals. The following recipe only has a few ingredients, none of them exotic; and yet, the aroma from this dish is heavenly!!!
Chicken and Sausage Casserole

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 pound hot ground sausage
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup apple juice or balsamic vinegar
4 plum tomatoes chopped
1 Bay leaf
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil deep frying pan over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides, set aside. Add Sausage, onion, and garlic to chicken drippings, brown. Stir in the juice (or vinegar), tomatoes, bayleaf, parsley, and salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with Basmati rice.

~charity becker~