Thursday, September 25, 2008


I've been putting this project off for wayyyy too long. I made up a variety of 'cellos at the beginning of the summer. Of course the idea was to have them on hand for holiday gifts and such. Unfortunately, the Mello Cello has not survived the summer. It was just much too delicious! I made it just like a basic batch of limoncello, but I added 2 split vanilla beans. It's wonderfully smooth and, well, mellow!

These tags are just basic shipping tags from Office Max. The orange and strawberry are from the Stampin' UP! Tart & Tangy set. The lemon is from Stampin' UP! Sun Ripened II. The berry and orange are colored with markers, and the lemon was done with watercolor crayons. They were all "aged" with various Distress Inks and a bit of little "sprinkle" stamping.

Everyone has been asking for my recipe for the Mello Cello, and I have to admit that I "wing it" much like most of my other cooking. Here's the basic jist...

12 lemons, scrubbed to remove any shellac
2 vanilla beans Mexican are fine for this
1 liter bottle of Everclear. Have DH to cross state lines to get it if necessary.
1 empty 4 liter bottle from cheap jug wine

Thoroughly clean wine jug. Peel lemons as thinly as possible, and drop peels into jug. You don't want any white parts, just the colored outer skin. Split vanilla beans and drop into jug. Dump bottle of Everclear into wine jug, cap, and put it in a basement or other cool dark spot for at least a week. When your alcohol is a lovely yellow color, it's ready.

Strain peels, vanilla, and discard. Prepare a simple syrup. I use about 8 cups of sugar and 8 cups of water. When cool, add to your jug. Mix well and you're done! If you like a thicker, more syrupy drink, go heavier on the sugar water. If you like the more traditional "warming" drink, you may want less.

We like to drink our Mello Cello in small rocks glasses over chipped ice.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cruisin project from Club Scrap

I've been carrying around this magazine about mini books for about two months now. It's been to the park, cheerleading practice, and a doctor's appointment, among other places. Unfortunately, it hasn't been in the craft room. I was inspired, though, when my August Club Scrap kit arrived, and it included a mini book kit.

I made up the Cruisin' project for the most part with the materials in the kit, and leftovers from the August scrapbook pages. I think the only "outside" item I added were the Philips head brads on the page with my son helping to build the shed.

My only regret is that I didn't trace off a template before I made the project. I may just go back for more in order to be able to easily recreate the flip folio.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Handcrafted assignment book

Yet another fantastic project from Club Scrap! I seriously love the colors of this month's Cyprus kit, and the bookbinding project is awesome! This book measures about 5x7 and houses an assignment tablet inside as well as a pen holder and pocket.

What you can't see is my salvage effort on the front cover. I tried to apply a rub on quote from a company who shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, in spite of rubbing so hard I was denting the chipboard underneath, the darned thing refused to release. As I pulled the carrier sheet back, it actually tore up the paper! Thank goodness I get the extra "Pound of Paper" in my Club Scrap kit. This gave me some extra scraps on which to rubber stamp an appropriate quote and cover the damage. Ahh, as they say in papercrafting, there are no mistakes, only opportunities for embellishment! Nearly everything on this project was in the kit, I only added a couple of stamps, a tag, and two little bits of fiber.

I know I'm gushing, but I can't get over the value of the Club Scrap kits. What would you pay for this project at a craft store, $20 or more? Or if you take it as a class, $35? Then consider that on top of this project you get an entire scrapbooking kit for 13 pages, right down to fibers, titles and tags, brads, beads, embellishments, a stencil AND complete instructions for making those pages. When I add in my extra pound of paper and the shipping charge, I'm spending $41 and change. Seriously, I feel like I'm stealing!