Let’s talk paper

Thanks for joining me. I hope everyone is safe and well. Just as we thought 2020 couldn’t get anymore challenging, we are faced with sad circumstances. On a positive note, it is great that we can still still come together to witness the revolution of space exploration. I grew up during a time that NASA was embraced and it’s exciting to see that become a reality again.

I’m not here to create a forum about our differences but here to create a place where we can share our creativity and gather inspiration. So, on that note……LET’S TALK PAPER!

We all create things differently and have different design tastes, but we still use the staples, like paper! I am a big paper crafter and have realized that not all paper is created equal. We see some retailers or influencers tell us that the paper doesn’t matter but the other products do, and we have some tell us only the paper matters. So which is it? We kind of have to figure that our on our own. I am here to share my experience with you and hope it helps guide you the next time you are walking the craft store isles.

FIRST, let’s talk watercolor paper. In my experience, this DOES matter. Water generally breaks down paper and eventually rips it. The thicker the watercolor paper, the better. There are different textures, hot or cold pressed. I’m not a scientist so I will share that Strathmore watercolor paper cold pressed 300 series is my favorite. It is thick enough to take on a lot of water and allow the colors to remain as vibrant as you want them. I am a stamping water-colorist because my free hand skills aren’t great. This paper can handle it all and remain intact. Water coloring on regular card stock, no matter how thick can be a mess. This is my best recommendation. The price point is a bit higher but so is the quality (get your coupons out!)

NEXT up let’s discuss mixed media paper. There is a world of mixed media paper to be discovered. I don’t just watercolor, so mixed media papers are my go to. Especially when Michael’s has BOGO! I’ve experimented in this area a lot. My work horse has been Canson XL mixed media paper 98 lb. I can watercolor without the paper pilling as long as I do not stay in the same area for too long (it’s not Strathmore but it’s versatile). I can use my prismacolor pencils and gamsol on this paper and I can use my alcohol markers without a problem. The price point is great too, that’s why it’s my most used.

Another mixed media paper I have tried is also a Strathmore, but mixed media (98lb) I got this at Target. Now that Target has spruced up their craft section I always have to look. This price point is a little more than the Canson XL and the quality does NOT hold up. I was very disappointed. The paper pills with very little water and it smears other mediums. I do not know if the quality was subpar because it was sold at Target or if it is just that paper. Either way, there are plenty of other products to spend your money on. Let’s talk about those!

As we keep moving along, lets address marker paper. I’m specifically referring to alcohol markers when discussing this paper but the marker world is large, so please share your experiences with me in the comments below. Ok, We’ve rounded back to Strathmore again. I LOVE their marker paper 400 series 50 lb. It is smooth, spreads the color beautifully and does not soak it in. Your projects remain vibrant and clear. Again, another great Micheal’s BOGO opportunity! This price point is comparable to that of Canson XL, so even without a sale, you get your money’s worth. On a side note, I have used Crafter’s Companion alochol marker paper and really enjoy that too. It is harder to find in retail but is sold online and HSN. I feel the better deal is the Strathmore because Hey, I make mistakes and throw things out sometimes. I don’t feel like I’m loosing with the Strathmore when that happens.

OK, those are a few of my favorite papers. I hope this helps you. The options can be overwhelming. Please share with me your favorite papers in the comments below. Don’t forget to checkout my Instagram/Facebook: @sewmuchglitter for the projects I have completed with these papers. And tag me #sewmuchglitter in the projects you have used or tried because of my recommendations. I realize this was long-winded but chats can be that way.

If there’s a project you’d love to see, tell me in the comments below. I’ll be back very soon! Checkout Instagram for sneak peeks.

Sunday Dinner

Hello and happy Sunday! I hope everyone finds themselves well. With a light at the end of a tunnel there is still a ways to go. If you are like me, you are sick of cooking and cleaning up during this time at home. I miss a few favorite resturants, and we also find odd things in our pantry or the fridge after stocking up. Let’s get creative! I love soup and I could eat it for any meal. My favorite soup when dining out comes from the Olive Garden but my family does not feel the same way. This prompts me to get creative. I enjoy using my crock pot or insta pot for this reciepe, there is less clean up, those odd foods find a purpose and it satisfies my taste for the Olive Garden.

Minestrone soup is my favorite soup and has many variations. Please enjoy this recipe and substitute aspects as you like. The basics of minestrone soup are tomatoes, vegetables and pasta or a variation of. Here are the ingredients I use for my soup:

  1. Ground Turkey 1-2 lbs
  2. Onion, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Italian seasonings and Bay leaf
  3. Chicken stock 2-4 Cups (broth, bullion or water will work but season accordingly)
  4. Red Kidney beans drained
  5. Can diced tomatoes ( I choose seasoned)
  6. Vegetables! 1/2C-1C as desired: chopped celery, sliced carrots, chopped zucchini, chopped frozen spinach
  7. Pasta: elbow macaroni, tortellini and shells are all great options. We are ready to get cooking!

Whatever cooking method you choose, remember that you want the flavors to marry so it has that home cooked (I’ve been cooking all day) kind of taste. I use my crock pot and simmer on low for about six hours. I have a ninja crock pot that also has a stove top function.

  1. chop the onion and garlic toss it in the pot to let sweat on low. Add the ground turkey and brown. Start adding the seasonings (I start with 1 teaspoon of each) Stir together but don’t add the bay leaf until the end.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables followed by the tomatoes (not drained) kidney beans and stir.
  3. I now add my chicken stock, stir and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. I turn my crock pot to low (remember I was on low stove top function) and add the pasta, stir and top off with 1 bay leaf. If you desire, add more seasonings. Set a timer for 4-6 hours and walk away!

This is a perfect Sunday dinner or midweek pick me up meal. It’s great to serve with garlic toast and/or salad. We love Parmesan cheese so we top our bowls off with shredded Parmesan. The leftovers are a hit and I mix up my ingredients so it feels like a new recipe when my love of soup isn’t shared. Some great substitutions are frozen vegetables, no meat, pancetta, cheese stuffed tortellini or rainbow rotini.

Don’t foget to check me out on Facebook/Instagram for other projects. Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite easy recipe is. If you try this delicious minestrone soup, show me (tag me @sewmuchglitter) I can’t wait to see yours!

HAVE A GREAT DAY AND STAY WELL!

Carrie F.

sewmuchglitter

2020 Graduates

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone had a good week and things near you are opening. It has started here in Southern California, in phases and slowly. The positive side is not everyone rushes out at the same time and we are beginning to feel less trapped. I hope this is the case all across America in the coming days.

I wanted to share a project idea that can double as an act of kindness. I have a graduating senior this year, who is feeling discouraged about missing out on all she has accomplished. She is also feeling overwhelmed regarding the college selection process and her upcoming journey. I know that my 2020 graduate is not alone and I wanted us to be able to support those special graduates in our lives. I have been busy during this quarantine making cards for seniors and other organizations that donates cards to those in need. I hope we can all show acts of kindness to our 2020 graduates by sending encouraging cards regarding their accomplishments.

This can be a home made gesture or a card that celebrates their accomplishment. The 2020 graduate doesn’t have to be a high school senior either. A kindergarten, middle school or college graduate is just as important and they are all missing out on important milestones. Leave a comment with the graduate you are celebrating and your address, if you are comfortable. If not leave an email address or find me on Facebook/Instagram: sewmuchglitter and we can private message. This will be done via the postal service because our graduates need some happy mail. There are several groups on social media doing similar things and I think it is important to show acts of kindness during this time. We are in this together! This can be a group effort and we can all share handmade kindness, so don’t forget to leave a comment on how we can contact you.

I look forward everyone’s response and don’t forget to check out my Facebook/Instagram: sewmuchglitter for card making ideas. I previously shared a fun and simple card making idea on my previous blog post that would be perfect!

See you soon! and HAVE A WONDERFUL MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND!

Boredom Busters

Happy Saturday! As this situation progresses, more of us are finding extra time at home. Sometimes it isn’t always quality time. We just have to remember that we are all in this situation together. We can help and inspire each other. Be kind in the grocery store or pharmacy. I would love to hear what everyone is doing to bust through the boredom. As I know I have promised a glittery project, I have been having trouble finding all of my supplies in the stores or online but……My friend did reach out to me and has some of those supplies on hand. I tend to use up my “pretty” supplies first. Just know that is still coming.

MY BOREDOM BUSTERS. I have found during this time that keeping a daily schedule helps with productivity. Spring is coming and now is the perfect time to start our gardens. For those kiddos stuck at home driving you crazy, home made play dough or a nature hunt are fun ways to occupy their time and minds. I remember the days of struggling to keep them entertained (and that was when we were allowed to roam free). The internet is a perfect educational tool as well. There are a lot of museums and zoos offering free looks into their worlds via webcams. My daughter and I have checked a few out and it is worth a look. I love baking, so now is the perfect time to experiment with my recipes. Spring cleaning is always a good option too, especially with the kids. They like to feel productive too. I had to make a game out of it or the kids weren’t going to help me clean.

On the crafty side, I am still making cards for seniors who are alone during this time. My last blog post highlighted some great organizations who accept card donations for just this occasion. Take a look and let me know what organization you like the best. The daily marker 30 day challenge is still happening through the end of the month, kids can partake as well. Check out my Instagram (sewmuchglitter) for some great ideas and how you can hop into the fun. Check out some new crafting techniques on Youtube, I like to watch Melody Lane, Jennifer McGuire, Scrapbook.com, or May May made it to name a few. Tim Holtz is even doing some fun Facebook lives. It’s great to learn new things and keep entertained at the same time. Let me know if you enjoy YouTube or interacting on Facebook during this time.

KEEP HEALTHY! As part of my daily routine, I have been exercising and continuing my daily vitamins. This helps with positive attitude and feeling better. Plus don’t forget the hand washing ritual, 20 seconds never felt so long but Alexa is there to count down to keep things interesting. Or good old fashioned counting or singing. Anything to get to 20 seconds. Check me out on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with my boredom busters and let me know in the comments what you have been doing.

AS PROMISED. My next blog project is coming very soon. I just need to grab the supplies from my friend’s front porch (social distancing). SEE YOU SOON!

Sweet Treats

Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then and sometimes hand made gifts are most appreciated. These candy bouquets are the perfect option! The best part is that they can be for any occasion and you can personalize them to everyone’s liking. Please find my tips and tricks below then go check out other gifting options @sewmuchglitter on Instagram or Facebook.

SUPPLIES NEEDED: All project supplies can be found at the dollar tree. Floral foam (or glass jar), wooden skewers, ribbon, candy (I found buying in multiples produces a fuller bouquet), hot glue, confetti filling, washi tape (if desired). **TIP** Next time I will wrap the floral foam with coordinating wrapping paper as the foam sheds.

STEP 1: Hot glue the boxed candy to all four sides of the foam (it makes the affect of a vase or flower pot). While this is setting up cut your skewers to your desired length and wrap them in washi tape as desired.

STEP 2: Begin hot gluing the candy to the top of the skewers. If using chocolate, don’t press too hard as it may melt the chocolate creating a uneven package. Once they are cooled and adhered, you may want to tie ribbon to the skewer or top of the candy and curl the ribbon. **Don’t forget to glue the candy to the flat end of the skewer **

STEP 3: Now is the fun part, arranging the bouquet. Arrange the larger items toward the center by poking them into the floral foam. With the different lengths, the candy arrangement should have depth. Once you are happy with the arrangement you can either glue candy on the foam around the bottoms of the skewers to cover up the foam or glue paper confetti. This gives the arrangement a fuller look.

VARIATION: IF you choose a vase or jar, you will want the paper confetti as the skewers will sit securely inside. For a color variation, I added candy to my jar as well. As a fun filler, you can also add artificial flowers. The beautiful paper flowers from my previous tutorial would also be perfect in these bouquets too!

I hope you have as much fun as I do personalizing this gift. I would love to see what occasions and themes you create. You can tag me #sewmuchglitter or #craftingwithcarrie

Please let me know in a comment below what you think of my new blog format. I am excited to show you what’s next, in the meantime visit me on other social media @sewmuchglitter (Instagram and Facebook).

Hello

I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Carrie as you may have already guessed based on the blog name. My passion is creating and has been since I was young when I would hand sew pillows with my grandma and aunt, as well as partially finish latch hook designs. Yes, I’m an 80s baby and 90s girl (I couldn’t resist saying it)

I’ve always had a desire to learn new things because the process is rewarding but not always easy. I am new to the blogging world and decided to dive in because friends, family and beyond are frequently asking me why I find joy in my crafting and “how did you make that?” I am hoping this platform can help others on their creative journeys as well as give some sort of positive inspiration, because I feel we lack that in today’s world.

I have two children, two grandchildren and a husband of 19 years. We are partial empty nesters. I am originally from Washington State and relocated to Southern California 21 years ago. While California has been great to us, we are looking to relocate to a more affordable option sometime in the near future. I am in between careers right now due to an injury a few years back. As I said above, I have always had a passion for creating but as life got busy, I didn’t always set time aside for myself. This time has allowed me to rediscover what I love to do and has taught me more about myself. I look forward in getting to know you and sharing my creations as well as my creative process.

Leave a comment below introducing yourself and I will be back soon to share a few of my favorite crafty things. In the meantime please find me on Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest: @sewmuchglitter

Have a great week!

Crafting with Carrie