Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thank You Card Set

Do you remember the wedding card I made for my cousin? The card with the mustache and the lips? Well, I also decided to make a stack of thank you cards for her and her new hubby to send out. They were pretty easy to make too. The hardest task for me is deciding on a font. I *love* fonts and that can be a downfall for me when I am creating. I feel like I have to look at all of my 500+ fonts before I can make a decision instead of just going with the first or even the tenth one I think looks good. *sigh* Oh, woe is me. Ha! If that's the biggest problem I have in a day I think I'm doing alright.

Here's what I did for her cards:

1. I opened my photo editing software and played with different fonts and placements until I was happy. After finding a combo that I liked, I printed my card onto Whisper White Card Stock. As an aside, I have to say I do love the Whisper White Card Stock. I admit I have used other brands but there is just a superior quality to Stampin' Up!'s card stock.

2. Using my Simply Scored scoring board I put a crease down the center to make a nice, crisp fold. There you have it - a cute thank you card made in a matter of minutes.

3. Since I was sending this as a gift, I made an entire set for the new happy couple and I also included some envelopes for them. I tied up the set with a bow and chicken-voilĂ  a cute set of cards and a gift for the new bride and groom.

Happy Creating!

Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes

Last week I found out that my father had to have unexpected heart surgery - a triple bypass. He went in for a test and the hospital decided to keep him. All of that means last week was full of stress and worry. So what's a stressed-out, worried daughter to do? She cleans and she bakes!

I was looking through my Food Network Magazine (July/August 2012 p.168) and I came across some tasty looking treats. I wanted to make them all but decided on the Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes since I had all the ingredients.

They were pretty easy to make and came in handy as a ready-made, tasty breakfast all week. I have to note that the recipe says it will make 12 cakes but I only got 8 out of the recipe. I guess when they say use 2 tablespoons of batter per cake they mean scant tablespoons. Any way you look at it, they were pretty good.

Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes
Makes: 12 tea cakes

1/2 cup pistachios
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 to 24 medium cherries with stems

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Pulse the pistachios, flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor until finely ground.
3. Whisk the confectioners' sugar and eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in the pistachio mixture until just combined. Stir in the melted butter until just incorporated.
4. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into each muffin cup. Bake until slightly puffed and just beginning to set, about 8 minutes. Place 1 or 2 cherries in the center of each cake and continue baking until the cakes feel springy and the edges are lightly browned, 10 to 12 more minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

De-stress and Enjoy!

Mr & Mrs Wedding Card

Last weekend one of my favorite people got married. I, unfortunately, was unable to attend. It broke my heart not only because I adore my cousin so much but also because she was the only person in attendance at my wedding. I guess they call it irony that my husband and I were the only people not in attendance.

The reasons I love Megan so much are many - she is cute, hilarious, adventurous, among many other things. I wanted to make a "congratulations on your wedding/marriage" card that would capture her sense of whimsy. Not to toot my own horn (ok, yes it is) but I think her card came out very cute. And it was relatively easy to make.

Before I could start anything, I had to go to Stampin' Up! and purchase the Many Mustaches Stamp Brush Set digital download. Not a difficult thing to do since I loved this set anyway.

After downloading the file, I opened my digital design software and started playing around. Once I decided on the placement, size and font I printed them out on my ink jet printer onto 8 1/2" x 11" Whisper White Card Stock. In this case I made two cards on one piece of paper:

I then took my creation to my desk and cut the paper in half to give me two cards:

Next, I used my Simply Scored scoring board to give a nice, crisp crease down the center to make it easier (not to mention more professional looking) when folding the card. And just like that I had a super cute card!

Me being who I am I wanted to "step up" the card - give it that extra something so I took some of my other supplies - my Versamarker, some black embossing powder and some red glitter embossing powder - and gave a little life to my mustache and lips. Can you see the shine and the glitter? That's from heat embossing. It almost feels like a magic trick when you do it. Kinda cool.

After embossing I decided to take it one step further - I cut the card front down about 1/4 in. on each side, tied a ribbon around the card then mounted that card front onto a plain card base using my Stampin' Dimensionals - they are what help the top layer pop off the bottom layer.

I have to say I am really pleased with the way it turned out. And after playing around I have come up with a few other ideas on how to use this digital brush set. I'm totally lovin' it!

Happy Creating!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Personalized Stationery

I've got a My Digital Studio quickie for you today. I made a monogram for some personalized stationery.

I made the monogram using an old (I'm talking ancient) photo editing software program, saved the file as a .png file, imported it to a word processing document and printed it out using my ink jet printer. Easy peasy. If you'd like more detailed instructions, please email me and I'll be happy to explain in more detail or if you would like me to show you how to do it in person, email me for an appointment: lexandcompany@gmail.com

For this particular project I actually cut the paper down to 5" x 7" to make it small enough to include as a note with a congratulations card I sent out last week. I wanted to write something personal to my cousin who just got married and didn't necessarily want to write my message on the card itself. So that was my solution. I think the monogram turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself! :)

Of course the sky's the limit when it comes to digital designing. Besides personalized stationery you could make address labels, embellish envelopes, make digital scrapbook layouts, whatever you can imagine. I actually am testing a few other ways to use the digital design files from Stampin' Up! so stay tuned!

Digital Products Used
B - Noteworthy Alphabet (Hostess gift option)
ribbons - Little Additions flag (123135)

Happy Creating!

Dare to Dream

What is it that you dream? Do you just dream about getting through the day? Or do you have dreams of changing the world? Whatever your dreams, dare to dream them for "dreams are true while they last and do we not live in dreams?" - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Card Stock

Stamp Sets
Mixed Bunch (wood: 125535  clear: 125537)
Loving Thoughts (wood: 125843  clear: 125845)


Happy Dreaming,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's In a Name?

Lex & Co. - the reason behind the name is simple. Lex is for Alexis, my niece and the absolute love of my life. I honestly do not think I could love her more if she were my own kid. She is amazing, inspiring and insightful - all of this and so much more and she's only ten years old! A few years later we added Xander, my nephew, to the bunch. He is as firey as you would expect a red headed boy to be but he's never met a stranger. In August/September of this year I expect to add two more nieces to the mix - Allison and Megan. I wanted to incorporate all of them into the name not only because I adore them but also because many of the things I make are for them or inspired by them. Plus "company" lends itself to include any future kids who find their way into my life. So there you have it - named for all the beautiful, inspiring heart-melters who bless and enrich my life.

Hello & Welcome

Hello and welcome to Lex & Company (formerly GreatHands Designs). This is my personal blog where I will post pretty much whatever suits my fancy but I will most likely be focusing on craft projects of the paper and fabric variety. I am currently an independent demonstrator for Stampin' Up! and I will be showcasing projects I have made with their (totally addictive) products. I have always loved crafting and working with my hands and I hope you will, too. I thank you for stopping by to travel on this creative journey with me.

Let the crafting begin!