Friday, April 29, 2011

E is for mE… or sprEEEEng…. or ….

I made this cute little E a while back for the wall/window of E’s in my studio.  I’m really enjoying altering things with Mod Podge and paper.  The past couple of weeks I have Mod Podged fabric, ribbons, paper, wood, fabric over paper, ruffles, chipboard, all sorts of interesting things.  And did you know??  You can Mod Podge carefully over rhinestone bling and it still SPARKLES! (I found this out on accident.. tee hee!)

So anyway.. here’s my E.  It’s made from a way old wooden E from Robert’s Craft. I covered it in black paint and then traced it face down onto some BG Urban Prairie paper which I cut out with scissors and Mod Podged (matte sheen) to the E and then trimmed up with my craft knife.


The flower is made using a silk flower which I glued on to the E and piled a ton of multi colored seed beds into the center of and then covered with Liquid Glass/Diamond Glaze and let dry over night.   You can see how I did the butterfly with this Faux Stained Glass technique. Instead of embossing the image I used a black StazOn ink.


This altered E  is a fun little addition to my studio. I love how the sunlight shines through the butterfly and leaves color on the wall/photobox behind it and is just perfect for sprEEEEEng … if it ever gets here! (We’re due for snow tomorrow… )


EEEEEnky Smiles!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Sunshine….

I love my husband. He is my best friend and he brightens each and every one of my days.  He also just celebrated a birthday… which meant I needed to make him a card. 

I always struggle with masculine cards so I went with something super simple but to the point.  I gathered up some miscellaneous buttons and pulled out some my scrap paper bin and searched through the patterned paper for something fun and a little funky. I kinda had an idea rolling around in my brain and just needed to get it out of my head. 

And I like how it turned out. :)



I knew did not want to stamp on this card so I pulled out some fun little alpha stickers and trimmed them up to fit the sentiment “mat”.


When I had it mostly assembled (dry fit) I decided it needed a little something else so I threaded Bernie and did some machine stitching for a little texture.   I tore some strips of scrap paper and “stitch bunched” a ribbon onto the strip as well.


I think he liked it, too!


Inky Smiles!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bargain Basement – A New Addition


Hey inky friends!  I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been making some changes on the blog.. I’m cleaning up a few things and created a new navigation menu along the top of the blog, just under the header.  (A lot of you read blog posts in your reader or other rss feeds so I wanted to let you know of some updates.)

For a long time I've talked about doing an Inky Smiles Yard Sale but I just haven't ever gotten around to it.   I've sold off a lot of my stamps and goodies to local friends but still have more goodies to sort through and find new homes for.  One of the pages I’ve added to the blog is the “Bargain Basement” where I’ll be selling gently used stamps and other art supplies for nicely discounted prices.   Hope you’ll stop by and check out the goodies!

Inky Smiles!

Edited:  PS - I'm not quitting paper crafting, just getting rid of items I either don't like anymore or just don't use anymore. :) I still have tons of stamps and paper crafting goodies to play with!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Little Breadmaker!

Lately I’ve felt the need to learn a different set of “skillz”.  I’ve never really been able to make bread and I hear my friends talk about their “breadmaking days” and I’ve always felt a little bad cuz I haven’t been able to make a decent loaf of bread.  {Brent usually makes the bread and pizza dough in our home. He’s pretty good at it, too!}  Don’t get me wrong.. I like to cook and like to think I am pretty good at it… but bread baking, that’s a whole other story. 

Until now…

Well… last week, anyway.

Last week my sister was raving about some delicimous rolls that a friend of hers made… so of course I begged the recipe from her so I could try it out. *buwahaha* The recipe was super duper easy and for the first time EVER I did not kill the yeast.

I usually kill the yeast. Dead-O.

Even the instant dummy proof kind.

Here are a couple of snap shots of the rolls I made.  They smelled so delicious I barely let them cool before snitching one and eating it. *grin*

{We usually only eat wheat bread, but I took my wheat flour out of the fridge and it smelled like fridge and since flour usually tastes like it smells I opted for a white version.}




And then on Monday of this week I used the same roll recipe to make regular loaves of bread.  I just kneaded it longer and let it raise once , then punched it down and formed into loaves and let it raise in the pans on the counter.   I was reading in a bread baking book that it helps to form a nice crust if you bake it at 400 for the first 10 mins and then turn it down to 375 for the remaining 20-25 mins.  I let mine go a little long at 400 (oops!) and so the crust cooked just a little darker than I’d planned, BUT it still tasted DIVINE.. especially with some butter on it. Nom, nom…  Eventually I will figure out the right amount of dough to get equal size and well proportioned bread. Until then the big loaf will look like a runaway from the Hickory Kist deli… (they make some major huge loaves!)

I am so excited about this! Usually I kill the yeast and get a partial rise from the bread… or I do something else wrong and get a huge hollow section under the top crust… or it just tastes gross or is all dry and crumbly.  This bread has 3 eggs which gives it a nice moist and dense (but still light) texture. It’s YUMMMMY!

These were made without the use of an automatic breadmaker, too!  {I used to own one but it made crappy bread so I tossed it. Ok, call me picky. :P}  I used my Kitchen Aid Pro mixer to knead the dough {you should’ve heard the heavens open up and my wrists rejoicing} and let them rise at room temp.. nice and slow.





Hope your mouth is watering like mine.. I think I’ll go slice off a piece for lunch!  Back soon with some papercraft goodness!

Inky Smiles!

Updated 4/21/2011:  PS.  I did call my sister again and ask her if I could share the recipe… but I received a no answer… it’s a “top secret” family recipe from someone who won some awards with it.  I did find a recipe online that was very close.  Please see the comments in this post for the information.

Monday, April 18, 2011


A few weeks ago I went to the Gem Faire show/exhibit/bead buying heaven with some friends in the Salt Lake area.  We had a blast perusing and purchasing fun beads and trinkets.  

I went with a small budget (since I have tons from the last gem faire that I haven’t touched yet) and didn’t buy tons, but I DID find some fabulous-out-of-this-world-must-have-them red coral CHUNKY beads. 


I’ve wanted to make a Wilma necklace for a while now


but hadn’t found the “just right” beads until this trip.  I am in serious love with these red coral beads.  They look like carved stones and are very heavy.  The beads are a lot deeper red and less “pinky” than they appear.  I’ve had a doozy of a time getting color and lighting right lately. :(


I strung them onto three strands of tiger wire and capped the ends with an antique silver bead cap and created a chain from silver jump rings.  I wanted to do a special clasp since I have very short hair on my neck and didn’t want a lobster or traditional toggle type clasp.  I had one extra bead left and wrapped it in bead caps and decided to use it for the “toggle” for the clasp. I LOVE how it turned out and it’s become a conversation started. I’ve been stopped a couple of times in stores when people have asked about the clasp. LOL!



Thanks for popping by!  Inky Smiles!

PS.. I do have some fun paper crafts to share in the near future… I haven’t completely stopped paper crafting… lol!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why I Won’t….

Dear friends,

I generally try to keep religion and politics and other discussions that can cause contention and get tempers riled up off of my blog. I am a “Mormon”, a Latter Day Saint, and I am often asked which #wife I am.  Well, I’m wife #1andonly.  (Please know that polygamy was discontinued and banned over 100 years ago by the LDS church.  Those who practice this are excommunicated.) Over the years I have taken and can continue to take criticism about my choice of religious beliefs but today I feel that there is something that I need to speak out about. It truly bothers me and hurts my heart.  I understand if you don’t agree and even if you don’t like my religion, but if I don’t stand up for what I believe in, then really, who am I?

There are many things that I do not agree with. There are lifestyles and religions and political beliefs that I can not understand the importance of to some people. HOWEVER, comma, but… I would NEVER mock them or make fun of them.  It is their choice how they choose to live.  This is one of the beauties of our country.  One of our many, many, blessings.  Freedom to worship as individuals wish.

Freedom of speech and expression are also a couple of our many blessings and rights in this country.  But sometimes we go too far.  

Recently I read about a play on Broadway called “The Book of Mormon”, written by the creators of South Park.  I guess just by knowing who wrote it tells you what kind of filth, lies, and indecency is in the production.  What I read made me upset.   It floors me that  some people will poke at one’s religion because they see the differing views as "peculiar” or they just don’t agree.  The Book of Mormon Broadway musical mocks all that is sacred to me.  I will NOT see it.

There was an excellent article in the Washington Post by Michael Otterson entitled “Why I Won’t Be Seeing The Book of Mormon Musical”.  I agree wholeheartedly.  You can read the article here.  

My friend, Jaime D., said (on FB), “A very well-stated article. I haven't even really followed this, but parodies, while funny, really do have a deeper quest, and that is to mock and ridicule things that others hold sacred, and to destroy all the GOOD that is done, in the effort to get a laugh and make a buck.” 

Says one of Jamie’s FB friends, Beth H.,  “There seems to be a trend that callousness in the name of "stating one's opinion" is more valid than respect and good taste...”

Very true. 

Parodies have a deeper quest, to mock and ridicule.

I think that’s the problem with today’s world.  There’s a constant battering of other people’s beliefs.  It is now socially acceptable to mock and ridicule sacred things publicly.

If you do choose to see this production think about these things when you, dressed in your haute couture, stand up to applaud. 

* Are you more couth now that you have attended this type of performance?

* Why is it “ok” to attack that which others hold sacred?

*  If this was attacking/mocking your religious views how would you feel?

* Why does it matter what religion one practices when they are not causing harm to others? Why mock those who are following Christ and trying to be a Christ-like people?

* Does it give you pleasure in attacking something that is good?


Just something to think about and why I will not be seeing this production.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lime Twist Necklace

So my sister, Elizabeth, called me this weekend and asked me to make a necklace for her sister in law’s wedding… which is in two weeks… yikes!  Cara’s (the bride) colors are lime green, teal, and the bridesmaids are wearing black dresses.

These are the shoes and the dress Liz gets to wear.  They are SOOOOOOO darling! I wish I could wear heels like this without falling over and breaking my ankle.. or leg… or hip… hehe!

                         BridesmaidDress     Forever21shoes  

Liz wanted a lime green necklace to go with the outfit so I went shopping and picked up a ton of beads and sat down to play… I had a lot of fun and ended up making a fun twist style necklace.

Here’s what I came up with…


I restrung all the seed beads and tube beads on to tiger wire and connected them all to one jump ring to create a “twist”/wrap effect.  I reallly love how it shimmers in real life.  There are a few mixed in teal seed beads and they are awesome.   Today I went back to the store and picked up more beads to make this necklace for myself.. lol!


The clasp is my favorite part. I love that you will be able to see the clasp because she has short hair.. not as short as mine, but short.


I’ve got to  pop this in the mail for here tomorrow am. I hope she loves it!

Inky Smiles!

PS… sometimes you have to go through a few clasps … ergh..


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Woman vs. Mod Podge: A How To

I’m starting an online class today called Soul Restoration (part 1).  Many of you are already familiar with the Brave Girls Club and their wonderful community.  Some day my goal is to GO TO Brave Girls CAMP, but until then online Soul Restoration will do… I am excited to do a little “soul cleansing” through art.  There’s nothing terribly wrong or anything, but thought that this would be a good way to get a jump start on finding the “old pre infertility nightmare crapola” me.    And you can’t go wrong with doing something that involves healing through ART :) SO for the next 8 or so weeks I may be MIA from time to time, but don’t worry, I do have some fun artsy things to share with you.  {I may not be sharing my art for Soul Restoration due to the personal nature of it.  I will, however, share some techniques that I am learning or exploring and creating with and some other fun goodies I’ve been working on.}

Some of you may also know that Melody Ross (one of the creative geniuses behind Brave Girls Club) is also the Queen of Mod Podge. HA. Yes, that wonderful white gluey goo that adheres, protects, and encases mixed media art.

I want to be a Mod Podge Queen someday.

Today I am a Mod Podge Princess & Monster Conqueror

I conquered the Mod Podge Glued On Lid monster.

And you can, too!

Even if you  really want to get a jump start on your journal cover but don’t have a pair of strong masculine hands available at the exact moment you feel the desire to permanently adhere something.

You, too, can be a Mod Podge Monster conqueror. Here’s How:

Step 1:
Attempt to pry open the lid with your hands and fail miserably.  Say something naughty to the Mod Podge bottle in hopes that breaking its self esteem down will do the trick.  Realize that doesn’t work, so bang the lid on your desk hoping to free up the glue that is holding the lid to the bottle.

Step 2:
Get on facebook and mention your predicament to your 87,896,543,321 friends and hope that someONE, preferably a crafter friend, has a quick n’ easy solution.  Get a suggestion from your male non crafty buddy instead.  Head out to the workshop {in your wooly socks} for some vise grips or channel lock pliers.


Step 3:
Realize the mouth is not big enough for the lid.  Think of something else… (I’d already started step 4, so the glue was dripping down the side. Shush… just keep reading. :P)

Step 4:
Decide that you have run out of patience and just want to get your craft on and move forward.  Race off to the food storage room for an empty mason jar.  Grab your favorite Fiskars Fingertip Craft Knife from your “sharp things” bucket that hangs underneath your beautiful custom pink InkStak and decide it’s time for the Mod Podge to find a new home.

Carefully insert craft knife into Mod Podge bottle. (Pause to snap a photo because you don’t really have an extra hand.) The plastic bottle should be easy to cut, smooth, like buttah.   Realize that you’ve spilled a glob of glue on your desk and reposition the Mod Podge bottle over the top of the mason jar.  Carefully rotate the bottle while cutting… the Mod Podge goo will pour into the bottle as you cut.

IMG_4123webStep 5:
Squeal (or whatever) with happiness because you finally have access to your Mod Podge!

Step 6:
Pour the rest of the Mod Podge into the jar and use a variety of tools to scrape out as much of this golden glue as you can.  Be sure to leave behind the evil crustiness that stuck the lid to the bottle.  Realize you’ve made a royal mess of your tools and hope you didn’t get Mod Podge on your camera.  Hurry off to a sink to wash your tools.  Unscrew your craft knife and toss the blade… you’re probably going to need a new one anyway.  Take the craft knife apart and wash with hot water.

IMG_4126web Step 7:
Use a baby wipe or wet rag to wash the mason jar lid.  We don’t want a repeat of this method using glass… Top with a lid and call it good.  Get excited again to start on your Soul Journal cover.

IMG_4132web IMG_4127web Rejoice!  You have conquered the Mod Podge Glued On Lid monster.  You are now a Mod Podge Princess & Monster Conqueror.  So go glue something!

Inky & Gluey Smiles!

Disclaimer: No art supplies {with the exception of the Mod Podge Bottle and Craft Knife blade} were harmed during the making of this tutorial.  Information is for entertainment purposes only. Should you need to open your Mod Podge bottle with a craft knife, the risk is yours.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Madness.. Signs of Spring

I’ve lived in Utah for almost 17 years now and you would think that by now I would be used to the weather. Nope… every year I am “shocked” at Mama Nature’s “bipolar“ disorder in this wonderful state.  One minute it’s beautiful and sunny and we’re workin in the yard and getting sunburned… and the next, well, here, I’ll show you. 

{I missed the deadline for Wendy Tunison’s photography challenge so I’m sharing my photos for this week’s “Signs of Spring” theme in this post, too.}

Yesterday we were doing some yard work… pulling out bushes that were struggling and just not right for the place we planted them 10 years ago.  We were also revamping the front flowerbed profile {removing the old sunken concrete curbing and replacing with some fabulous new steel edging} and doing some general yard clean up & spring fertilizing.  We didn’t get as much done as we wanted, but we made a nice start.

Yesterday I perused our yard, checking out the traditional signs of spring… birds in the yard, Sadie shedding like a wooly mammoth and rolling in the grass, buds on the trees, neighbors out chit chatting after the long cold winter, and the crocuses popping up out of my weed filled tree rings….




And you know it’s spring when the flip flops are donned on grubby, yet newly pedicured toes in a nice sparkley spring pink…. It was nearly 70 degrees… of course I’m wearing flip flops in the yard!


Here’s my favorite view of the day…   See that man and his cute bum? He’s all mine. I lub him.  I can’t help myself.  {Oh and, uhm, bye bye Japanese Spreader Yews… the hottie hubby is kickin’ ya to the curb.}

IMG_4077web  IMG_4086web


We didn’t get as much done as we wanted to because it started to get chilly and windy, rain was imminent, and we both had places we needed to be in the evening. {I went to see “Hop” with a girlfriend and her family and Brent went to the priesthood session of General Conference.}

Hold on.. keep reading… Mama Nature DID pull a prank on us… you’ll see….

So this morning I’m laying in my bed and Brent comes in and says to me, “Hey baby, we got 6-8 inches of snow outside”…. I’m thinking, “yah right, we turned the AC on last night for an hour to cool the house back down so we could sleep… no way”….

Yes way.

I covered the bed head hair with a hat and went out to measure.

Yes, I made the hat. It’s making its debut… in April.



Yes, Virginia… 6.75” of fresh, fluffy, beautiful white snow.

The crocuses are completely buried again.

I love this photo of Sadie.. She came running back from the west side of the yard and promptly sat down in the snow.  The look on her face is something like, “Really? are you kidding me? I just found Poo Corner again and now you’ve covered it up AGAIN. Where am I going to ‘go’ now?”  She has since changed her mind and has spent some fun time running back and forth tunneling through the snow.  


IMG_4102web IMG_4101web




Thank you, Mama Nature, but you’re just a couple days too late for April Fools… or waaay early for next year…