Thursday, December 29, 2011

it's Dana's special day!

Happy 7th birthday today to our niece, Dana! She lives in Philadelphia, PA.

We wish you a FUN day full of SMILES, Dana! :-)

Aunt Susan, Uncle Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas McCheer

Tonight it was time to enjoy our little family holiday tradition ... the 4 of us go for a drive looking at Christmas lights, Florida style -- with the sunroof open (don't hate me, but yes it's in the 70s here!). Buddy & Aruba get so excited, and Sal and I look forward to this every year! We play our favorite holiday music ... Mannheim Steamroller, John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together ... while sipping on McD's holiday drinks that have too many calories, LOL. ;-)

Aruba "donned her gay apparel" ... an adorable jingle bell collar. I love to hear her jingling all around the house, it's so precious!

Hope you're enjoying all the holiday festivities this week ... happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Susie snowflake

I've had the Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting tool on my wishlist for a while ... and on Black Friday, I found a totally irresistible deal and now one has a home in my scrapbooking studio!
It's the latest & greatest version, enhanced with the capability to cut up to 12"-wide designs and to cut... FABRIC !!! :-)

I decided that my first Sil project would be for Sal. I programmed the Silhouette to cut an intricate, 3D snowflake that I thought would be perfect to hang in his office, especially for the holiday season. I'm still getting the hang of the blade depth settings, but it came out great I think! And of course, I coated it in glitter ... a snowflake must glisten!

I have a myriad of "white" glitters (LOL), so I let Sal choose the one he liked best ... he went with Martha Stewart crystal tinsel glitter. A perfect choice for the snowflake since the "tinsel" texture of the semi-opaque glitter mimics a frosty look. I added a festive red ribbon and it's ready for hanging ... enjoy, sweetheart !!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

bling on the holidays!

This year, I felt inspired to make some Christmas cards! I had fun cranking them out while listening to Mannheim Steamroller ... love their Christmas music!

I handmade only "some" because I just didn't have time to make enough for everyone on our holiday card list. Sorry if you didn't get one, but I sent handmade cards mainly to my sb'ing peeps.

And thank you for your compliments of my cards! I've gotten some questions about the supplies/techniques I used, so here's a summary of how I made them:

Cut 8.5x11" ivory, untextured cardstock sheets into four equal pieces (4.25"x5.5" each); these will be the "front" of the card, the main design. I chose ivory paper because I thought white was too bright. Also, cut 8.5x11" Bazzill "Candy Apple" red textured cardstock in half (across the 8.5" dimension) and fold these pieces in half to create the card "base", creasing with a bone folder:

Next comes the tedious step:
Ink the
Tim Holtz Season's Silhouettes words stamp with his distress inks (I used Peeled Paint for the green, and Festive Berries for the red):

[note: I didn't stamp the "25" because I glittered it (later step)]

At first, I was irritated that the colors would bleed together a little if I didn't apply the ink just right, but then I decided that it actually looks kinda cool: Align the stamped image in the coordinating embossing folder:

Note: as Tim has mentioned on his blog, I too found that to keep it aligned during the embossing process, the image needs to be shifted down a smidge (about 1/8") in the folder:

[I've since learned that it might be better to tape the stamped image to the embossing folder to keep it in place during embossing.]

Roll it through your embossing machine (I use a Cuttlebug): This creates a nice "raised" effect: Spray entire image with Marshmallow glimmer mist ... gotta have SPARKLE!

(note: the Marshmallow shade of glimmer mist has been discontinued, but is available a few places online --- grab some if you want it!)

I do my spraying in a box to protect the furniture, floor, etc from the mist:

And of course a Christmas card should have even more BLING! Apply Martha Stewart "white gold" glitter to the embossed "25" image. To do this, I used a small paint brush to precisely apply glue (I used Tombow Mono Multiple liquid glue; it goes on white but dries clear) to only the numbers: Remove stray glue with a toothpick. Liberally sprinkle glitter over the wet glue, shake off excess, and brush stray glitter away:

Adhere card design (front) to card base:


I've appreciated all the kind words about my holiday card design, thanks!

Monday, December 12, 2011

need a holiday gift idea?

How about adopting a manatee for that special someone?

It's a perfect gift for those who have "everything" ... for those who are difficult to shop for ... to introduce a child to animal welfare and environmental stewardship ... or for those who hate the clutter of physical gifts, LOL! And it's all for such a worthy cause ... helping support the welfare and habitat of these precious (and threatened) marine creatures. It costs only $25 and supports the wonderful work of the Save The Manatee Club (SMC). Your gift recipient will get an adoption certificate, color photo and biography of his/her manatee, and routine updates about the manatees. (Adopt at the $35 level and get a FREE 2012 manatee wall calendar too!)

My adopted manatee is Lily (that's her in the banner photo above). Sadly, most manatees are identified by their distinctive scars from gashes inflicted by boat propellers. I've been her adoptive "parent" for about 17 years! She spends winters here in Florida, at Blue Spring State Park. I feel a special bond with her ... my name Susan means "lily". You can choose from several manatees available for adoption, by name and location.

Sal and I have been longtime supporters of manatee protection. We're even featured on the SMC's website!! ... I was beyond thrilled when they contacted me a few years ago for my thoughts about, and a photo of, our day spent kayaking among the manatees (this eco-activity is not disruptive to manatees and is approved and sponsored by the SMC).

On behalf of Lily ... and all manatees, thank you!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

it's Ruth's special day!

Happy birthday today to our sister-in-law, Ruth! She lives in Philadelphia, PA.

We wish you a FUN & FABULOUS day, Ruth! :-)

Susan, Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Thursday, December 8, 2011


My "Salentine" and I already have {{romantic}} plans for Valentine's Day! awww....

Andrea Bocelli will be performing his mesmerizing Italian love songs RIGHT HERE in SoFla (of all places!) that night, and we've managed to score tickets! Our seats aren't exactly front-row (even the nosebleed tix are expen$ive, ouch!), but it'll still be such a special date night! Love you, Sal !!

I often have his Con Te Partiro cranked-up on my iPod. Good stuff!