Monday, April 21, 2014

A Very Happy Day Indeed!

It's gonna be another amazing year bloggers! I've just discovered I made the Graphic 45 Design Team again. It was a rough, tense morning waiting for the announcement. I thought our internet was acting up because I couldn't log on to certain websites, namely Graphic 45's blog. At precisely 8:00 a.m., they were to announce the final team members, but I couldn't get ANYthing! I waited, I tried everything I could think of. I even called a few people, but no one was around.

So Suki and I jumped in the car with my iPhone and raced to the nearest Wi-Fi hot spot (McDonalds) and I tried again. Nope. Not working. Ergh!! However, Facebook WAS working and that's how I found out. Fellow 2014 team member Susan Lui congratulated us (thanks again Susan). Then I discovered from Graphic 45 on Facebook that their Typepad host was down. Thankfully, they attached a link to their newsletter and that's when it was officially confirmed for me.

(In the car in McDonald's parking lot. Suki's back there somewhere.) Such a dork, I know.

You can check out everyone's final audition videos on the Graphic 45 blog (which is now up and running just fine) to get to know the new designers and their styles. What fun!

I'm thrilled and honored to be serving another year and can't wait to get my hands on the new products coming out. Have you seen the two new Spring releases yet? Well, it's time to check them out this week on Graphic 45's blog. Today, below the DT list, they are sharing sneak peeks of the papers from the new "An Eerie Tale" collection and later this week, a second new collection that I know you'll LOVE.

Now that I've shared my exciting news with you, I thought I'd pop up some pictures from our Easter brunch yesterday. It was such a nice day with family. The food was great, we sipped Mimosas, and talked for hours. I don't blog much about it, but my second passion to paper crafting is cooking & entertaining. I look forward to cooking dinner every night (a foreign concept to many of you, I know) and trying new recipes; always striving for as healthy as possible while maintaining great flavor. I've been an avid Cooking Light Magazine subscriber for over 10 years and I can't wait to get each issue and try things out on my family.

Getting the table ready for brunch. All the pretties I made for Easter with Graphic 45's Sweet Sentiments collection adorn my table. The cake pops are sitting in each little treat holder at everyone's seat. The napkin rings are on the napkins and the egg blossom centerpiece is perched atop a vintage mini cake stand I found recently at an antique store.

The banner is hanging over the table.

I don't like to fill up the dining table with lots of trays and dishes of food, so when I entertain I prefer buffet style. It also looks prettier this way. You can use pretty plates, cake stands, and such to elevate things for a nicer presentation.

Everyone just grabs their plates and moves down the line.

Ham and cheese Palmiers (in puff pastry), extra cake pops and Mushroom, Gruyere and Spinach Quiche. (Cooking Light, April issue) (I'm eating leftovers of the quiche as I'm typing this. Yum!)

I tried a new deviled egg recipe this year and it was a HUGE hit. Herb & Crumb Deviled Eggs (also Cooking Light, April.) The two key ingredients that made all the difference: chopped fresh tarragon in the egg mixture and toasted panko crumbs sprinkled on top. Gosh, they were to DIE for!

Oven-roasted fingerlings with lots of shallots, rosemary and thyme.  

Pan-charred Asparagus with toasted walnuts and shavings of parmesan. There's a little tarragon in here too, plus balsamic vinegar and a splash of soy sauce instead of salt. (Cooking Light, April) 

Banana Nut Bread. I like to grate a bit of lemon rind into the batter and I use pecans instead of walnuts. Makes such a difference.

Fresh fruit bowl with "healthy" whipped cream. Another idea from Cooking Light. Just mix some plain, low-fat Greek yogurt and use less heavy whipping cream than usual and it tastes even better than the full-fat version!

I had some fun going around the room taking selfies with everyone. I realized as I was working on a Father's Day project the other day that I have hardly any photos of my father and me together. I'm usually the photographer getting everyone else's pics, so I made sure to get myself with everyone in the family this time, including Suki.

After dinner, the guys had to go check out my Dad's new Honda Accord. It was a big deal that he got a Honda since he's always been a Ford/Chevy kind of guy. Paul and I have owned several Hondas over the past 20 years. We love them!

It was really a great day. I hope you had a lovely Easter Sunday as well. It's always nice to make time for family, no matter what the occasion.

Thanks for stopping in today! Have a fabulous Monday!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Time to Get Curious Again...

Hello and happy Easter weekend, all!  It's early Saturday morning and I had to pop out of bed and share some news with you right away.

Are you curious like me? Do you thrive on trying new things, using new products, testing new techniques? Well, this is going to be exciting news for you indeed. You see, Tim Holtz has come out with yet another volume of his ever-popular Compendium of Curiosities books; Vol. III to be exact and like the previous volumes, it's packed with inspiring artwork, techniques and tips in the mysterious world of Distress. And what makes this one even more fun is the Curiosity Crew!

But first, let's back up. The lovely Linda Ledbetter (and I do mean lovely. if you've ever met this gal, you know what I mean) has once again announced she'll be hosting a Compendium of Curiosities Challenge 3 (#CCC3) over on her website and Tim & Mario are on board with a boat-load of goodies to give-away, in addition to two wonderful sponsors: Inspiration Emporium and The Funkie Junkie Boutique. (which means even MORE give-aways!) Every two weeks a new challenge will go up. Linda will randomly select a technique from the CC3 book to get your creative juices flowing, inspiring you to try out the technique yourself, create something cool, upload it to your blog, then link to it over on Linda's site to enter the fun.

It all begins next Saturday, April 26th!

So what is the Curiosity Crew? Or should we say WHO are they? A group of super crafty, talented ladies who I've grown to know through my creative journey who will serve as an inspiration team on Linda's site for the challenges. I first met Linda on Tim's final creative cruise a few years ago; Marjie Kemper, I met last year at Ranger University, and most of the rest of the crew I met recently at CHA this past January. To see the whole gang, check out our clever photos and links to our blogs here. I'm thrilled and honored to be part of this wonderful group and am looking forward to a creative journey with you through the challenges.

Read all about A Compendium of Curiosities Challenge 3 right here. I hope you'll join in the creative fun!

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Abundance of DIY Springtime Decor Ideas

Good morning all! Easter is this Sunday and I'm hosting a small family brunch, so I got busy with my Graphic 45 Sweet Sentiments papers (perfect for the season) and made a pretty centerpiece, egg blossoms, treat holders, napkin rings and a festive banner for the table. Whew!

You can check everything out on the Graphic 45 blog today. You'll find a video tutorial, two Snapguides for my projects AND pdf templates to make your own! You'll also see a beautiful card by Arlene and a wonderful little Easter basket and egg tag set by Maiko.

Meanwhile, here's a little peek at my projects...

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Have you jumped on the Snapguide bandwagon yet?

I am officially hooked. Snapguide is the best. I have to admit, as much as I enjoy YouTube, I get SO very frustrated with long, drawn-out how-to videos. For me, it's got to be concise and to the point and under 15 minutes or I just won't watch it.

That's why I am loving Snapguide so much. Quick, to-the-point how-to's that I can easily refer back to again and again. And it's super easy to use, from a guide-maker's point of view.

Graphic 45 is featuring a handful of Snapguides on their blog today for their sponsored contest/give-away under the category of "Upcycling." Giving new life to something one might normally discard. I love the idea of repurposing something rather than simply throwing it away.

Fellow design team members are in on the action. Miranda Edney shares how to upcycle little plant pots into pretty Easter decorations. Susan Lui shows us her beautiful altered envelopes, and Maria Cole upcycles some salt & pepper shakers. You'll also learn how to create some pretty cool wall art from cereal boxes, and how to make a coffee table from an old door.

So what are you waiting for? Download the Snapguide app on your mobile device (it's free!) or visit

Meanwhile, hop over to Graphic 45's blog today and check out the guides I mentioned above. You can view them all in one spot.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a happy hump day!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shabby-style Thank-You card Snapguide Tutorial

I'm always in need of Thank-You cards, aren't you? Seems to be so many kind people doing nice things these days. Over the weekend I needed a Thank You card for someone special yet in all my card stash, however, I couldn't find a single one. Egad!! So I grabbed some pretty paper and got to work.

Here's my card and the step-by-step tutorial, all on the wonderful Snapguide...

Check out How to Create a Pretty, Shabby-Style Thank You Card by Annette Green on Snapguide.

Thanks for checking it out. You can make this card with any pretty paper and stamps you have on hand. I hope it inspires you. I enjoyed using up some older paper I'd been hoarding for a while.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Final Round Audition Video for Graphic 45 Design Team 2014/2015

Okay, let me just say in advance. I'm a dork. I know I am. I'm a Mom-dork. A lady too old to be acting cute, but can't help myself. Because when I'm doing my thing, I'm still that crazy teenager in my head. So if you watch my videos or see pictures I post of myself, just know that in my head I'm still young and silly. My 16-year-old daughter is mortified by my behavior, but hey, I am what I am right?

With that said, I've finished my tutorial project for my audition video for the Graphic 45 Design Team final round. No matter what the outcome, I had a great time creating this fun beach-themed centerpiece and video and have had an amazingly fabulous year being on the Design Team! I'm happy with however things turn out. The final decision after reviewing all the finalists' videos will be announced on the Graphic 45 blog on April 21st. So be sure to go there and find out along with me. They'll ll also be posting all the final team members' audition videos, so that should be fun too.

Meanwhile, feel free to take a look at my project and video and let me know what you think. I'd love to know! Thank you in advance. Your comments mean a lot to me!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Let's talk Snapguide!

Hello and happy Monday! My weekend turned out to be pretty busy and I never got the chance to blog about Snapguide as I had promised.

If you're clueless what Snapguide is, I'll give you an idea. Think Pinterest meets YouTube. However it's mostly like a slide show rather than a video. Here's the deal. You go to or download the Snapguide App (even better) and you have access to all sorts of "how to's" in lots of different categories. Once you find one you like, you swipe your finger across the screen of your mobile device to flip through the photos and the steps. Usually "guides" are concise, so it's very efficient, as opposed to having to sit through a 30-minute video. If you can't get the App, you can use your computer. Just go to and check it out.

Besides tons of Arts & Crafts How-To's, you can learn how to make fancy sweet popcorn, how to jump start a car, or how to grow hydrangeas from cuttings. And it's all in one place! Like Pinterest and YouTube, you can follow your favorite Snapguiders, you can "like" projects, and you can leave comments or ask questions.

I've just gotten an account and uploaded my first guide! It was SO easy to do. I did it all on my iPhone, but you can post guides from your computer by uploading photos from your camera too.

Graphic 45 is partnering with Snapguide and the design team has been having fun uploading guides for Snapguide's recent contest: Upcycled Projects. You can view all the guides in this category and get some great ideas for using or altering items you might normally throw away. Graphic 45 has donated a prize pack for this upcycled contest, so if you have something to share make sure you sign up for a Snapguide account and post your project. You might win big!

Meanwhile, here's my upcycled Frappucino box. I gave it new life by creating a beach-themed picnic caddy. Let me know what you think. I'd love it if you followed me, too.

Check out How to Create a Beach-Themed Picnic Caddy From Frapp Box by Annette Green on Snapguide.