Monthly Archives: December 2010

Wedding Wishes

Good morning 🙂

Any fun plans for New Year’s Eve? We’ll be getting together with some family friends to ring in the new year! Have you thought about your word for 2011? I’ve done a lot of thinking about this one and will share on Jan 1st!

Here’s a card in the meantime 😉 I used some yummy Hambly rub-ons and paper on this card! I just love the look of paper pieced rub-on images. That delicious button is a Tim Holtz button I’ve been hoarding.

Materials: Hambly Studios Wings paper, Hambly Studios Apothecary Jars rub-ons, Tim Holtz Accoutrements buttons, Neenah cardstock, Little Yellow Bicycle pin, antique seam binding, Fiskars border punch, May Arts natural twine, Lawn Fawn Stamps (Sophie’s Sentiments), white EP


Teri’s Birthday

Teri’s Birthday was Christmas Eve! To celebrate her Birthday, the gals in the Technique Tuesday forum on Splitcoaststampers decided to CASE one of Teri’s creations! I case THIS CARD by Teri! I switched up the colors and used other stamp sets, but everything is pretty much the way Teri intended it to be 😉

If you’d like to play along, check out the challenge HERE!

Teri, I hope to give you your card in person come CHA time 🙂

Happy Happy Happy Birthday, my friend!

Materials: Technique Tuesday Stamps (Verbose & No Day Like Today), PTI, CTMH, Bazzill Swiss Dots, and Neenah cardstock, October Afternoon ticket stickers, CTMH, Versamark, & Memento Ink, Pazzles Inspiration Butterfly image, Hero Arts Clothespin

A look at fall

Good Morning! Did you have an awesome Christmas weekend? We did!

Here is a layout I designed using a cute picture I took of the boys this past fall. I also used some yummy Hambly Studios products to accentuate my hybrid layout.

Materials: Hambly Studios Chicken Coop overlay, Hambly Studios Pen & Ink paper, Hambly Studios Doilies stickers, Hambly Studios Labels kraft stickers, Hambly Studios Urban Frames kraft stickers, Studio Calico alphabet stickers, Clear and Simple Stamps buttons, CTMH cardstock, CTMH sanding block, machine stitching, DMC floss, Maya Mist (orange), Faber Castell journaling pen

I used my Pazzles Inspiration to cut various sizes of a maple leaf image, sprayed them with orange Maya Mist, and then added a stitch to them with DMC floss!


I even put one in CJ’s hand!


Hybrid: I added the letters for “FALL” in PSE 9, then the stickers, and button on top.


I added a simple caption on this sticker, lopped off the right side, AND….

used the lopped off side as an accent in the left corner of the layout!

Enjoy your day! It snowed here a little overnight, so I’m getting ready to enjoy a hot cup of coffee!

Thanks for dropping by…

Everything 30% off at Torendi!

EVERYTHING is 30% off at Torendi!

I hope your holiday dinner was as festive as this Bento Box!
Just incase Santa forgot to bring you those perfect crafting supplies…..
Torendi is having a 30% off sale until 2011
COUPON CODE: holiday2010

That means the new Pink Paislee lines, the washi tapes, EVERYTHING!!!

Just click on the picture above to shop!


Merry Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas Blogosphere!

I hope your Holiday Season is filled with peace, love, and joy!

~The Johnsons

My card for Clear and Simple Stamps is being featured on the iPhone App today! Yippee!

Deck the table: Making the most of your stickers!

Merry Christmas Eve!

If you’re anything like me right now, you’ve prepped Christmas Eve dinner and are now in full gear chopping and mixing, basting and boiling!

I have quick & fun tutorial over on the Hambly blog today! This time, learn how to decorate those tables by making the most of your stickers!

Click on the image above to check it out for yourself…

The {heart} of making lumpia: A Short Story

The {heart} of making lumpia

Sunday Evening I asked my husband, Chris, what kind of Christmas Eve dinner he’d like to have with our dinner guests. His answer was, “something yummy”. That was my husband- the more vague, the more safe. He could avoid further questioning, leave the ball in my court, and win an argument with these vague answers of his. He knew me to be assertive and highly opinionated. All in all, he knew I would come up with a better answer anyway! I envisioned a herbes de provence turkey dressed in cornbread stuffing along side vanilla bean panna cotta. We’ve been married 6 years and I’ve always pretty much made the same thing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Something foodie, something french, something outside my ordinary, and nine times out of ten something I found on or the latest issue of Real Simple. Then it struck me! I would make a Christmas Eve dinner fit for the islands. I’d make foods I’d eaten all my life! My kids were rarely subject to the Chamorro foods of my past because I grew tired of them over the years and didn’t see any reason to make them. I considered myself American and anything on Top Chef was good in my book. And let’s face it, there aren’t any Chamorro foods being represented on the Bravo hit television show.

On Tuesday, I headed out to the local grocery store to purchase the items I needed for my Chamorro mise en place. Coconut milk- check. Rice- check. I make checks in front of each item on my grocery list as I filled my cart. Then, I came to the Asian/Oriental food aisle. There were 4 different types of rice noodles. Should I buy frozen or thawed wrappers? What is Chinese sausage?! I felt more comfortable navigating the Italian ethnic food aisle than I did my own aisle. Sigh.

I quickly dialed my mom’s phone number from my phone and prayed she’d answer. Throughout the years I’ve phoned my mom for the most random things. Once in college, my beater of a toyota corolla broke down along side the highway on a three hour drive to see my college boyfriend in Gainesville. I walked I-75 South until I reached the nearest truck stop and called my mother immediately awaking her from what was most likely a night of blissful sleep only to tell her that her stupid daughter made a forbidden trip only to have her car break down. And there I was stuck at a grimy truck stop avoiding any and all human contact for fear I might end up in the trunk of some lonesome couple’s sedan.

One time, while my husband was in Korea, the weeds in the backyard had grown too tall. It was time to mow the lawn. Well, I had never mown or weedeated anything in my entire life. Growing up, we lived in apartments or townhomes with lawn services. My Dad wasn’t what you’d call the lawn mowing type either. He has soft hands and can cook the hell out of a piece of pork, fix any computer problem, and shares the same reading tastes as me. So, I called my Mom. She walked me through everything as tears streamed down my face. Boy, was I sight to see. My neighbors probably thought I was having a nervous breakdown and I was.

The phone line was ringing and I anxiously stood in the Asian food aisle trying to look as Chamorro as possible. My mom picked up the phone and I asked her,”what kind of meat to you use for your lumpia? What kind of wrappers do you buy? Do you use the clear noodles or the yellow noodles for the pansit? Do I use Adobo or garlic powder?” I could just picture my mom as I asked her this onslaught of questions. I pictured her tickled pink. She was probably thinking “my snooty-too good for Chamorro food-college learned daughter wants to know what noodle to use? HAHAHAHA!” I pictured her laughing out loud while pressing the mute button on her cell phone.

After an agonizing 15 minutes on the phone with my mom and asking the nearest Filipino lady what kind of noodle she used for her pansit, I made my way home with my collection Asian ingredients. As I put all of these familiar ingredients away on their own shelf, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride.

The day before the big dinner, I began to prepare my mise en place for the lumpia and pansit. I had to go back and forth between my kitchen and office to pull up the recipe over and over again. How is that I could remember how to make a 6 course meal I had only eaten 6 years of my life and I didn’t know the basic ingredients and proportions of the food of my childhood!? My Dad always called me a coconut and now I completely understood why. As I prepared the filling of the lumpia in the wok, the familiar fragrant pungent aroma of ground pork, garlic, onions, and cabbage filled my house (with the IKEA furniture). I could remember this very same smell every morning around the holidays or before every big event in my life. It was the smell of my mother standing over the stove tending to the same mixture I had before me. I imagined my mother thought about her mother and about my Nana (naw-nuh) as she prepared her own filling.

After the mixture cooled, I took out the defrosted lumpia wrappers and began to pull them apart. The dough was thin like the filo dough I used to make baklava and the pastry I used to create apple turnovers. “You can do this” I told myself. After ripping about 10 or more wrappers (more or less), I placed the filling on top and started to roll it up into a tight cigar-like shape. I sealed the little lumpia up with water like I’d seen my mother do so many times. Before I knew it, I had the whole routine down flat.

  1. Carefully, yet swiftly remove the wrapper.
  2. Arrange filling in a small row onto the wrapper.
  3. Roll up wrapper, folding the ends in.
  4. Seal with water.

Then, I remembered one Thanksgiving or Christmas when we were staying with my Grandpa. My mom and my Auntie Terrie sat at the breakfast table rolling what seemed like hundreds of these little things. They talked about everything from their kids, to the pets, the weather, the upcoming weather, to the family gossip. My mom let me take a turn in the rolling once and my unimpressive cigar made it to the sheet pan. The memory instantly linked me to the many women before me that had done the very same thing with their sisters, aunts, mothers, and Nanas. In that very moment, I felt connected to my heritage as a Chamorro woman. Like making lumpia was apart of some coveted hazing ritual. I could see how a row of 5 lumpias could instantly become a sheet pan of 100 in just a few stories. Oh how I longed to sit around talking story with my mom and grandma. I imagined young women in Mexico stuffing cornhusks for tamales and exotic Italian maidens giggling while they pounded out their falt-bread. Quite vividly, I could even see a group of African woman singing while grinding the flour for their stew. I believe every culture has a dish similar to the Chamorro Lumpia. Something that all the women gather around the table for. I believe making Lumpia will forever have a special place in my heart and something I’ll take up every holiday, every big event, and special occasion. My only hope is that my family will know all the love that went into that yummy morsel of a thing they’ll eat on Christmas Eve.

Holiday Cracker Tutorial!

I’m on the Hambly Blog!! Please check out my cool tutorial on how to make a Holiday Cracker (that jingles) and leave me some love!


Just click on the photo and it’ll take you to the Hambly Blog!


We finished up our Christmas shopping, wrapping, and all we have left to do it ship it priority mail!


Now about my card… I painted a grungeboard Christmas tree with white paint from an adirondack sponge dabber, then while it was still wet, I added the diamond dust (snow). I used 2 different widths o scor-tape for the border on the card base. And, I used a round sponge to blend the dark blue ink onto baby blue cardstock. The stamps are from Technique Tuesday’s Holiday Happenings Stamp Set.


We’re definitely feeling this song right now:


Materials: Technique Tuesday Stamps (Holiday Happenings), PTI and CSS cardstock, Twinklings Diamond Dust, Scor-tape, Adirondack white paint dabber, CTMH ink, round sponge, versamark, white ep


Thanks for dropping by!

Ornament Tags

So did you finish up your Christmas shopping? I haven’t…sigh* Today I had my nose in a book (just finished up The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie Literary Society) and my hands in some ink 😉 Tomorrow I plan on finishing the last bit of my Christmas Shopping which includes the gift card end cap of Wal-mart because at this point I lack all creativity! I’ll be affixing the gifts I do have with these tags I made.

Here are two tags I made from 2 Technique Tuesday Tiles, which are like naked coasters or chipboard. I used three different shades of red of distress inks to create the sponged background and finished it off with antique linen ink for cool look. Then I stamped the sentiment in staz-on timber brown ink and stamped the script in versamark on top and then heat embossing it with clear embossing powder.

This is one of my projects as a Guest Designer for Technique Tuesday! You have to check out the newest challenge HERE on Splitcoaststampers!

Materials: Technique Tuesday Stamps (Signed, Sealed, Delivered AND Verbose), Technique Tuesday Tiles, Distress and Versamark Inks, Clear EP, PTI ribbon, Prima Rhinestones, Big Bite

Thanks for dropping by everyone!