I'm going to share a new way for coloring your artistic creations-PAN PASTELS. I have recently discovered them and cannot tell you how fun they are to use. They are a type of chalk (Pastel) that you apply with a sponge tipped applicator. The applicators have multiple sized/ shaped tips. They dry very fast and do not have to be sprayed to keep them from smearing or wiping away. Let get started with a quick tutorial, shall we?

Here is a look at the Pastels. They are very large and can be stacked or placed into this plastic tray. (They kinda remind me of  loose powder makeup containers.) You can see (kinda) the applicators in the black cup behind the pastels.

I wanted to make a moon as the center of this image so I punched a 2" circle out of scrap paper  and placed it in the center of my cut cardstock as a mask. I started with darker blue and  purple near the edge of the punched circle mask to start creating the night sky. I used the applicator and rubbed pastel colors in a circular pattern and blended as I went.

 When you achieve the look you want peel the circle up and place the reverse circle (the piece of scrap paper you punched your 2" circle from) over top to mask out the sky that you just chalked.

I used both a bright yellow and an orange yellow to chalk the details of the moon. Going darker (from outer edge) to lighter (inner edge).

Here is what it looks like when you are at this point.

Now you are ready to stamp. This technique works best with solid image stamps like this Stampin' Up! MIDNIGHT RAVEN #116529 single stamp. Use a bold dark color like Stampin' Up!'s BASIC BLACK CLASSIC INK #101179.
Here's what it looks like at this point.

I added some bats from Stampin Up!'s set WICKED COOL #120600 around the moon on both sides.I stamped some random tree branches.  I matted the image on navy and cajun cardstock. I added some retired Stampin' Up! buttons at the bottom.  




 I used a  movie theater- size MIKE & IKE to create this spooky candy wrapper/ gift. The box is approximately 7.25 x 3 inches. I wrapped the box of candy with Nite Owl paper.  I cut the small pieces for the sides of the box seperately. Used decorative edged scissors to cut the label and then added a skull label found on one of the sheets from this pack of  "spooky...ooky" paper.

 I added color and depth with the STAMPIN' PASTELS #120962 (all new colors in this kit). Ran some Cajun Craze cs through the machine to emboss with the new embossing texture folder SPPIDER WEB #120889. Attached chalked image to box front with Dimensionals #104430 so that ribbon would lay flat under the image.



We made these paper pumpkins last Saturday at my last Stamp Club meeting. (A similar but smaller pumpkin is shown on page 27 in the Idea Book and Catalog).  I used misc. fall themed papers, large paper connectors (brads), craft wire, tulle,  and paper leaf cut outs. Absolutely "NO STAMPING" on these. The really are simple to make, I made all these (pictured above) with the leftovers not used at the workshop (I cut way too many). Thicker paper and cardstock work better than one sided paper. You can stuff these with crumbled tissue paper to help keep its shape. Everyone individualized theirs with color choices, leaf choises, and tags.

Use 9-15 2x12 inch strips of cardstock and/ or designer papers. Lay the strips in design order (A-B-C pattern works great). Punch both ends 1/4 inch from ends and centered with CROPODILE #108362. Place brad in one end to hold pieces together. Flip strips over (white side or non dominant side face up). Take first strip on top and start turning into round shape, add brad. Move in sequence around, taking the next strip then the next until all up, and attached with brad. Fasten brad. take 6 inch piece of craft wire and wrap one time around brad head on top. Punch some leaves or tags and thread onto wire. Curl wire ends using stylus or dowel (curling the wire will hold your tags and leaves on but also add dimension and detail). Spread the strips out evenly and form to look like pumpkin. See pictures.
 Here are some close- up pictures of a couple pumpkins. You can see the leaf, wire, and tag details. The one on the left is using one (busy) pattern paper with a contemporary style- clean/ simple. The pumpkin on the right is more country/ shabby style. Scroll back to first picture and you will see a couple pumpkins done with non traditional fall colors. They are done with blue, green, brown, white. I also made a Halloween style- candy corn, white tulle and black ribbon and lace.



 I am going to share another quick technique with you today. This will work for anything you want to look defined or round like balls, pumkins, bear's bellies, balloons, etc... It is real simple and once you've tried it you just may do it every time you make something that has an accent that needs to look round.
 First you place your stamped, colored image onto a foam surface (thick craft foam) and moisten with small amount of water with use of a mini spritzer. Rub stylus over image on front (direction of image grain) many times to break up cardstock fibers. Flip image over and do the same thing on opposite side (same direction).
 It is  hard to see in this photo but, it makes the pumpkin look 3D (round). It pops up off the paper. You can place somthing behind it (Stampin dimensions, crumbled paper pieces) depending on how 3D you want it to look.
 Above are 2 samples I did using the GREETING CARD KIDS stamp set (#120633) and retired Halloween verse. Colored pencil and Gamsol blending solution. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great weekend.



Hello, if you live in NE Ohio, like me, then your weather has been damp, cold, dreary and gray. Fall is really here. The leaves are turning (quickly) and apples, pumpkins, and sqash are plentiful. I want to share a fantastic "warm you up" recipe with you today. My husband and I got this pan with roasting insert for our birthdays in June. This ceramic baking pan works on stove top, oven, or grill in heat up to 500 F.
A link to the pan is here:
I cannot find a link to the upright chicken roaster. I have seen them online and at Walmart (camping/ grilling section) any simple "beer can" chicken rack should work.

3-4 lb. whole chicken, cleaned and dried
1Tbs. Vegetable oil
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2Tbs. paprika
1tsp. dry mustard powder
1 tsp. chili powder
2Tbs. coarse sea salt or kosher salt
2tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 bottle of favorite ale
3 large sweet onions, sliced
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
Brush chicken all over with vegetable oil. Make the rub by combining brown sugar, paprika, mustard, chili, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, inside the cavity as well as all over the skin.  Preheat oven to 350 F. Place chicken roaster inside the pan and pour beer into the cup center of the chicken roaster dish. Place all remaining spices inside the beer. Place chicken ove rthe center of the chicken roaster. Season the onions with salt and pepper and place them all around the chicken. Roast until the internal temperature is 165 F. A 4 lb chicken should take around 75 minutes.
Allow chicken to rest/ cool 5 minutes. Carefully remove the chicken and serve with the carmelized onions. Pour drippings over chicken, potatoes and/ or vegetables.  
If you decide to make this recipe, let me know what you thought. I would love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.



Stamped some more Halloween things today. Dug out the set FROM THE CRYPT (#115460) Used the layout on page 25 from the Idea Book & Catalog as inspiration for my tag and card layouts. This picture is not very clear, scroll down to see some more up close.

Here is a close up of the tag. I used the MODERN LABEL PUNCH (XL #119849) and 1 3/8" CIRCLE PUNCH (# 119860)  to add detail behind the main image. I also used the 3/4" CIRCLE PUNCH (#119873) that I stamped BOO! onto. I hand cut the bat image and folded the wings to add dimension, like it is flying. COPPER MINI BRADS (retired) and COPPER EYELETS (#105319) to further embellish. I distressed the edges using the distress tool from the CUTTER KIT (#106958).
I used the Awesome TASTEFUL TRIM Bigz Die (#120893) to add further paper detail to the side of the card and to the botom of the tag. This die cut is awesome (like I said before). Ric Rac, baker's twine, and fabric are all the rage in the paper crafting world right now. I'm so glad SU! is up on the latest and greatest. They really make it fun to craft. 
Have I told you how Fantastic the new COLOR COACH (#121620) is? I cannot live without this sucker. It makes everything much easier. It takes the thinking out of planning and making projects of all kinds. I am using the Sweet Pea combination CAJUN CRAZE (#119684), ALWAYS ARTICHOKE (#105119), and PERFECT PLUM (#101889). I would have never used these exact colors on a Halloween project prior to owning this. It opens your eyes to a whole new colorful world. Well, enough rambling, I'm off to bed soon, I have a busy day planned tomorrow. I am attending the Adventures In Stamping convention tomorrow :) I need all the sleep I can get, it may get crazy...