ready for snow LO!

hi all!

yay friday!  i have really been making an effort to start taking weekends off to spend with my family and hubby is off today too!

i escaped for a lunch date with my buddy suzanne (love her to pieces and don’t see her nearly enough!)  i am plotting and scheming so i can be her driving buddy next weekend when she goes to ohio to teach.

as i was driving to lunch i noticed the first hints of fall color on the tops of the trees.  i am ALWAYS excited about that.  where i grew up (south louisiana) we did not have the whole fall color explosion – it was only something i heard about and thought didn’t really exist!  the first time i saw it when i moved to missouri i was AMAZED and it still amazes me now.  virginia is not quite the explosion of color missouri was but it is still quite beautiful.  if we ever plant trees in our yard  that is one of the main characteristics i will be looking for!  perhaps one of these days we will trek up north for fall foliage in the new england states…

i was anxious to get to work in my newly re-organized studio so i decided to make a scrapbook layout.  i am trying to re-focus and get away from cards (i don’t need another one) and get back to what i love to do and feel is more useful and that is layouts.  i had some snow themed card candy laying on my table and decided i wanted to use it finally.  i made it TWO years ago and you can see the post HERE – i had the blue and white snow flurry one out.  so i made a two page layout in preparation for the snowfall i am HOPING we get:

so i set to work – first obstacle – i did not have any patterned paper i wanted to use.  no problem!  i will just make my own the way i did back in the day before i got over involved in my color-a-stamp-make-a-card rut.  i decide i will mix up some Perfect Pearls shimmer mists and whip out some masks with my cricut and get spraying.  and this is where my crafty serenity ended.

cut masks with my cricut from the plastic mat covers – easy peasy – done it a million times.  however my cricuts have been somewhat neglected as well and are not as second nature to me as they used to be – especially since i just started using the E2.  BUT i am happy because i can use the Cricut Imagine Snow Angel cart in my E2 and use the snowflakes on it for my masks.  This cartridge is my fave of all the cricut cartridges ever released EVER.  EVER EVER EVER.  but i got it AFTER winter last year and have not used it yet.  so i set to work and here is what i ended up with:

SOOOOO much wasted space and notice at the bottom – it spread things out onto 2 pages! ok.  i kno whow to fix this.  i will get out of the cricut dark ages and lay it out in cricut craft room and cut.  i have not used CCR yet.  yes i know – something else that has fallen by the wayside that i intend to correct.  so i lay it all out and……..can’t cut.  i have to do updates.  ok.  so i get those done and………can’t cut.  need to install drivers.  ok so i get that done (after searching the cricut message board to figure out how) and………….can’t cut.  i spend the rest of the day plus a good bit of the next morning trying to figure out what the problem is.  i never do get it resolved.  instead i give up and go back to the 2 page layout and tweak it a little so i can get it on one page.  ok time to cut and…………my neglected mat is not sticky enough so it is a disaster.  ok – pull out my trusty painters tape, stick away spray and stick and spray and set to work fixing my mats back up to useable condition.  FINALLY i have some useable masks made – good GRIEF.

SO i set about making my paper – which WAS serenity thank goodness!  i am a mixed media girl.  it’s what makes me happy.  i mixed three shades of blue perfect pearl mist – light, medium and dark – using water, perfect pearl powder and reinker in mini misters.  then i just laid my masks on my white paper and misted away!  i started with a couple of the largest ones and my lightest mist.  then medium ones and medium mist (overlap is good) and finally smaller masks and the darkest mist.  then let it dry.  i did not put any sort of adhesive on the masks – it isn’t really necessary – just mist from a distance so you don’t move your mask and mist LIGHTLY so you don’t saturate your paper.

next i dug up some snowflake stamps – i am seriously lacking on snowflake stamps BTW.  not sure how that’s possible…..i also pulled out the stampendous frantage embossing enamels i am so enamored with lately.  i stamped a few random flakes and used shabby blue and aged silver.  then i added some of both to my corners and edges in a few spots and then sprinkled in some Art Institute Gala Glitz in white and teal along with some chunky silver glitter.  if you don’t have any Gala Glitz you NEED some – love the stuff!  it is a delicious mix of glitters, vintage glass shard glitters, & microbeads in different sizes:

yummy i say!  once i got everything in my pile i heated from BENEATH so i didn’t blow it all off.

Once my paper was done i set about creating my layout.  and serenity left again.  WOW am i out of practice.  i can make a card in my sleep but i really struggled over this lo.  luckily my most fave partner in crime and sister from another mister Cat was on hand on google talk for some moral support!  now you may notice i did not use my card candy pieces.  well that’s because when i was looking at the Snow Angel images while making my masks i just HAD to use some of the images and they did not quite match the color of the card candy – OH WELL!  this cartridge may very well be the one i use for all of my Christmas cards too!  here are some close ups for ya ending with one of my sweet baby kitten, Bubba:

Page 1

some of the handmade patterned paper and adorable cuts from Snow Angel.

the sparkly border is Best Creations glitter paper and a Martha Stewart deep edge border punch.

more cuts, more glitter paper – the white paper represents the picture and will be replaced.  also added a few snowflake skittles.

Page 2

i love my little snowman face skittles on the fabric yoyos – easy to make with a clover yoyo maker!

Pulled out my Studio G stamps for some mini stamping – i still LOVE them but i don’t like the newer ones as much as the older styles.

AND my little Bubba trying to stuff himself into one of Pezza’s puzzle boxes – look at that gorgeous Maine Coon tail!!!!

well that’s it from me!  i am looking forward to a fun family weekend!

do YOU love heat embossing or is it a dieing art so to speak?  are you like me and just mesmerized by the process of watching the powder melt like magic? wish you knew hot to do it but aren’t quite sure? anyone else excited about fall arriving?  do your leaves change color?  let me know what you’re thinking!



christmas…yep, christmas card!

hello everyone!

i hope you are all having a wonderful morning – I am enjoying the ever crisper fall-ish morning we have been having here in northern VA.  oh winter how i love you!  ever since pezza broke my body thermometer during pregnancy i have struggled with always being way too hot.  which is funny because before that i always struggled with being way to cold…

Pezza is still doing well in school and even doing better at home – growing up perhaps?

I spent the afternoon in my newly designed studio playing yesterday – HEAVEN!  and yes i am SO lucky to have a designated spot so large all to myself!  i began by playing with some Pardo Polymer Clay and came up with some adorable little pumpkins for a swap I am in – check them out on Dotted Daisy.

i also did some coloring of course!

i just love the sweet little Fall Flora Fairies in the SCACD shop and i have Friendship Rose done up for Christmas today using the current sketch from my friend Melissa over on Tuesday Morning sketches.  I am also entering it in the following challenges:

Paperplay – Punches & Dies
Frosted Designs – Punches
Card Makin Mamas – Punches

Love that rose dress she is wearing!  I used some gorgeous glittery paper from Best Creations Merry Christmas collection (susana has them in the 6×6 size for us of course!)  I added one of my hand crocheted flowers on a layer of felt from Felt on the Fly with a glittered skittle in the center.  the top also has a few of my Holly printed skittles (i still sell the printed skittles in my store).  I also added my own pearl and glitter flourishes using Liquid Pearls Opal and Stickles Stardust.

I colored my image with Polycolor Colored Pencils.  I wanted to give her wings a bit of shimmer so i got a little Pearl Perfect Pearls and mixed it with water to create a thin paint which I painted on.  That is the thing i love about perfect pearls – it is so incredibly versatile AND has the binder built right in!

my baby Bubba Cat is ALWAYS where ever I am and when I finished work this morning here is where I found him:

REALLY!?!?!?  at first he was laying ON the card but i got it out from under him!  just LOOK at that incredible tail!  it is getting fluffier and fluffier.  Maine Coons don’t tend to be born looking as fluffy as they end up being as adults.  but my little man is fluffing up QUITE nicely!  Maine Coons are one of the greatest breeds of cat you could ever own – I am SO glad we got our little Bubba!

Susana is loading up the store with new goodies all the time – be sure to check back often!  The new Crafts Too folders are incredible!  the new 6×6 christmas pads are JUST the thing for all of those cards you’ll be making and there are new Kraftin’ Kimmies in stock too!

craft room makeover!

hi all!

sorry i did not get a chance to post the craft room re-do pics.  i was going to take it easy yesterday after all the work i did saturday but hubby had other plans for me.  so now i have a finished craft room AND a clean deck, weeded garden beds and a blue kitchen!  can you say exhaustion?!?!?!?!  then today was errands all morning – nothing fun 😦

anyway here it is in all it’s functional glory!  this is not a dream room makeover like you usually see on these kinds of posts.  it is more in terms budget friendly and functionality.  it also makes do with what i already had.

when i walk in i have pez’s craft table on the right and a file cabinet and shelves on the left.  the filing cabinet is probably the most expensive thing in the room and boy was it worth it!  it holds all of my 8.5×11 paper  PLUS all of my scrap paper (i sorted through over 2.5 years worth!) by color – simplified by only sorting in red, yellow, green, etc.  next to that a shelf with my 12×12 papers in cropper hoppers – easy access – important.  it also holds my bins of stamps – i hope to get these sorted out into the 12×12 shallow drawers like on one of the shelves in the pic.  i think shallow drawers are better for most things – less digging.  my studio Gs are in binders in trading card page protectors.  i do still have some stamp sorting to do.  just past the shelving is a simple photo set up area.  i just draped some white fabric down the wall and onto a table top.  i have two ott lights for lighting.

this is pezza’s area which also required some serious cleaning and organization.  she got some additional drawers as well.

from the shelving the tables sort of spiral around the room along 3 walls and then my desk sticks out into the middle – it is important to me to be able face out of the room so i can see the tv and what is going on out in the rest of the basement.  i have 2 8′ tables, 1 6′ table and a 4′ drafting table.  beneath them i have plastic storage drawers – as many as i can fit.  ideally i would have cabinets and countertops but those are costly and this setup works equally well.  the bookshelf in the corner is all of my art books, crafting books and my cricut cartridges.

i priced my dream cabinets at lowe’s.  lowest priced brand, lowest priced finish and no countertops came to $5000.  the Martha Stewart set up was $4200.  For this makeover i spent about $500 – of course that was mostly because i already had 1 of the shelves, 2 of the tables and about half of the drawers.

i already had the wall cabinets, the spice rack holders and about half of the drawers.  a big part of this was deciding on an overall organization as opposed to the gradual piecing together as i go.  so once hubby helped me decide on a table arrangement i got to work putting things where i wanted them.  my inkpads are all together now and right nearby, my pencils are too.  next my punches and then right behind me my cuttlebug/embossing folders and cricuts.  the smaller drawers on the tabletop are for embellishments.  i thought about dividing by color and type and putting them in cute little jars to set out but then i thought no – too time consuming 😛

the only part i haven’t done is the ribbon.  i would love to have the ribbon storage shelf nichole heady’s hubby built her but that is not very likely

how sweet would that be?!?!?!  you can get the instructions for making one on her blog.

and now i am off to pick up Pezza from school – so far it is going pretty well!  y’all keep your fingers crossed for me!

Twisted Thursday time!

hi all!

i have spent most of this week on my craft room re-organization.  WOW am i exhausted but it is really really nice!  not from a house beautiful perspective but from a functionality perspective – which is really what’s important and it is also a whole lot cheaper!  of course now i will have to get used to where i have put everything.  that usually takes me awhile 😛

i DID clear off a space to make a quick card in the middle of the mess for this week’s Twisted Thursday Challenge on The Outlawz challenge site.  This week is “fave technique” and i have so many it was tough to pick one.  BUT while cleaning up i came across a box i created awhile ago and knew what i wanted to do:

yes the card is super simple but with that background it still rocks!  i got it from the magazine Crafts ‘n Things – LOVE LOVE LOVE that mag!  and it is very simple to do.  simply smoosh your versamark pad onto your cardstock in a few random spots, cover with embossing powder and heat.  next, smoosh it a few more times in different spots and repeat with a different powder.  finally do it one more time in other areas with a third powder.  be sure to leave some of your cardstock uncovered.

i used powders from Stampendous’ Frantage collection which i recently reviewed for Craft Critique – these powders ROCK!  very unique!  i added a couple layers of felt from Felt On the Fly and a fall yoyo on some raffia and finished it off with a glittered skittle in the middle.  i will have a piece on the Clover yoyo makers and kanzashi flower makers on craft critique soon!

i hope you all have a fabulous weekend!


i must have lost my mind…

hi all!

well i am a day late but we have a winner of the lauderdale basic grey collection!  Susan B. send me your address!

{someone asked about cooking the lasagna rolls – you can either bake them 350 for 45 minutes OR just pop them in the microwave on medium for 2 minutes and then high for 2 minutes.}


hubby told me to go ahead and get my craft room done over so i can consolidate my crafty-ness into one place.  wow…what i mess i am in the middle of!

of course i started with a dream picture of a gorgeous craft room outfitted with full cabinets and countertops…..then i considered the Martha Stewart Craft room furniture – but it is not all the same height so not very mix and matchable…next i checked out the very basic cabinets at Lowe’s.  and the reality is – all of those options cost big bucks.  which is not in the budget for my craft room re-do.  so as i was surveying my room it occurred to me – i already have alot down there to work with i just need to get a few additional items and then rearrange/organize and make it work.

**push me down some stairs now**

i am so incredibly blessed with all i have now i just couldn’t see spending that kind of money on cabinets, etc.  the fact that i have a room all my own at all is a dream come true.

we started with a clean out of the storage room so i could move some of my stuff out of the craft room and into the storage room.  wow did we throw out a lot of stuff!  i am used to moving every year or two.  i have now been in this house for almost 7 years!  stuff stacks up!

then i moved on to my craft room. o. m. g.  but i am slowly making progress.  i have a 4 drawer file cabinet and a third 8′ table arriving today.  i already have alot of those clear plastic drawer things so i am going to make an island with 2 of the tables and put all of the drawers underneath – ta da – kitchen counter and cabinets yes?  here is where i am at so far:

from the other side:

and the basement area pre-trash haul out:

that will all get cleaned today and the trash hauled out for the trash men tomorrow.

i am WORN OUT!!!!

but before i go – some cute kitty pics:

trev and bubba

bubba absolutely loves his Big Cat, Tiger.  i don’t know if the feeling is mutual but at least she doesn’t hate his guts like our other cat.  they love to wrestle and play chase.  he tries to always be where she is and sometimes she gives him a little bath.  so cute!

and now back to the clean out!

have a great day!

a saturday yummy post…take 2

yikes!  my blog post disappeared!  how fabulous is that? NOT!

it is STILL raining here in northern VA and according to that is not likely to change for another week. EGADS! i have been SO busy over the last week and a half – this is the first day in awhile i have been able to breathe!

so what do i have planned?  hubby has finally given in (and given up) and told me to start working on some sort of craft room re-do plan so i can get my sewing projects off his pool table, my dollhouse workshop off our formal dining room table and get all of my mess up and out of sight.  i do have a craft room but i have very little storage.  i started off considering the line of Martha Stewart craft furniture BUT it is not all the same height so i can’t mix and match the pieces *sniff* otherwise that would probably be my pick.  ideally i would like to do it in kitchen cabinets and countertops but this might be cost prohibitive – that is what i am going to investigate today.  then there are always jetmax cubes but i am not sure about those.  i have never really checked them out in real life and am unsure how sturdy they are.  i don’t want another temporary or make-shift set up….

before i go i wanted to share an awesome recipe i came across.  i am part of a group called Dinner Divas.  it is a bunch of moms who get together once a month for meal exchange.  each person makes ONE recipe but makes enough for however many families are doing the exchange that month.  then we get together and hand out all our meals and get a whole bunch of ready-made freezer meals that are all different in return.  can i just say this has been fantastic!  anyway, last month i made individual lasagnas – not only are they ready and easy but they work for those nights when everyone is going different directions and you need a single meal.

YUMMY!  Pezza proclaimed it her favorite meal ever!  i got the idea from but modified the actual recipe.


before starting your sauce get your water boiling for your lasagna noodles.  brown ground meat and seasoning vegies (onions, celery, bell pepper & garlic).  Next i added a giant can of ready made spaghetti sauce and regular can of stewed tomatoes along with the usual spices – thyme, basil, oregano and bay leaves.  let this simmer while you make your filling


shredded mozarella, shredded 4 cheese italian blend, ricotta cheese and thawed frozen spinach (squeeze out the water.)  mix these all together – vary the amounts of each ingredient to suit your tastes.


Now just take a cooked noodle, lay it on a plate, put a scoop of filling on and spread it across the noodle leaving the bottom empty (i did this quickly with my hand – not a long involved process.)  Roll it up and place it on a cookie sheet.  once the cookie sheet is full cover it and put it in the freezer.  put the sauce in large ziplocks and freeze it in a thin layer so you can easily break some off for each individual lasagna.

this actually took less time than when i make regular lasagna!!!

do you have a favorite freezer recipe???  something quick & easy i could use for future Dinner Divas exchanges?  if you email it to me at marti {at} pezadoodle {dot} com you will be entered to win the 12x 12 Lauderdale collection from Basic Grey!  Includes 18 sheets of 12″x12″ papers, one sheet coordinating alphabet stickers and one sheet coordinating element stickers.  OR you can leave a comment here and tell me about jetmax storage cubes (like are they flimsy) or using kitchen cabinets or whatever helpful advice you have for re-doing my craft room!

aren’t those colors gorgeous?!  I will pick a winner on Monday!


a saturday yummy post…