Friday, June 28, 2013

Tiny stitches everywhere

In addition to the embroidery I've been learning and loving, I've been getting back to my tiny knitting again. It had been a few months since I'd sat down with any of my mini knits and I've had a great time picking it back up. For some people, winter = knitting. Which, based on yarn and wool and temperatures, makes a lot of sense. But I've always loved summer knitting. Right now I'm trying to get lots of fuzzy little rainbow sweaters knit up to have ready for BlytheCon UK in Glasgow in October. Right now that seems a long way off, but I know it'll sneak up on me!

Tomorrow The Scot and I are hopping on plane and heading to Wisconsin for a 9ish days. I'm really looking forward to it. My tiny stiches (of various kinds) will be coming with me. Bonus: the only yarn shop that I know I can get the great rainbow yarn I'm using for these sweaters is located where we'll be for most of the week. It'll be great!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Getting started with Find Your Voice

As I've written about a couple times already, I'm a contributor to Rukristin's Find Your Voice workshop that kicked off on Monday. I'm super excited that I'll be a featured contributor for week 2, but this week I thought I'd share how I'm starting off here on my own blog!

Since I didn't want to include Find Your Voice in my regular, annual scrapbooks (as the workshop doesn't really merge and meld with the way that I put pages and stories into my books just now) and I didn't want to include it as part of my Project Life (as I use that as a family-based project), I decided to do a little book. However, I'm not a mini-book person. After a bunch of searching, buying things I didn't really want (and returning them!), I found my ideal: an Amy Tangerine daybook! (Bonus: I found it for $3.99 at TJ Maxx. I love that place). Right now, the cover is plain, but as I see what direction this project is taking me, I plan to add a bit more to it.

Just inside, I added a little title with some letter stickers and a coordinating label (that I cut to fit in between the binding). I really love that the daybook has a mishmash of page types and shapes as I hope this will be conducive to creative approaches to the weekly prompts. Some weeks I'll be doing the writing prompt, some weeks the photo, and some the creative - and they might get mixed together as well!

I'm excited about this project and can't wait to see what everyone else is doing for their approach. Are you taking part? How are you approaching it?

June sponsor roundup!

Here we are at the end of June and I've had some great sponsors here on the blog this month. 3 new faces and 3 familiar ones. I'm glad for all of them at hope you'll check out all their sites!


First up is Emily from Mrs. Crafty Adams. We've just recently becoming online acquainted and I'm so glad she chose to connect with my readers!

From Emily: I'm a thirty-something pharmacist by day and crafter by night. I've been married for 2 years and we love to travel. I've been a crafter since I was a little girl - my mom taught me! I currently scrapbook, knit, and crochet.

About her blog: Mrs Crafty Adams is always seeking fun, new ways to document her memories. She loves trying new ideas and different mediums to tell her story. She tries to push herself out of her comfort zone and wishes she could craft all day, every day.

Mostly I post smashbook pages, crafts, Project Life, DIY, Instagrams, and things going on in my life.


Other new sponsors are:

*Sarah from Sarah Boirin - we've known each other through the Blythe world for a few years and Sarah is just getting in Project Life scrapbooking!

*Jess from JessVartanian.etsy.com, a cute illustration shop.


Returning sponsors are:

*Denise from Every Hour Here who would like to offer Laura Kate Is Crafty readers a 15% discount using code "CRAFTY JULY" from her adorable Etsy shop, Bitte Shoen. Thanks, Denise!

*Rachel from Pointless Pretty Things who has some really lovely stuff on the blog of late.

*Lauren from Tastes Like Love who has been busy with her beautiful new baby.


Thanks again to all my wonderful sponsors! If you're interested in becoming a sponsor here, please don't hesitate to FIND OUT MORE. It's easy and affordable and I'd love to connect with more people!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Project Life: Week 24

Week 24 was a bit of a whopper. Lots of stuff going on at home (mostly visa-application related) and lots of social stuff going on as The Scot's company has been having lots of people over from the London office. Visiting friends/colleagues = nights out. Nights out = fun = tired! Friday night in particular was a long and fun one. While I still ended up with 8 photos, that was after doing a LOT of pruning. But I don't mind having an insert again.

For this week, I mostly kept to the goldenrod color of the Seafoam kit as my main accent color, with a bit of black for contrast. The insert was a cut down BH Design C (6-up 4x6) sealed with washi tape (just like I did 2 weeks ago).

Supplies for the week were pretty simple. BH Seafoam + a couple grid cards, Martha Stewart labels, and assorted washi tape. Above the photo with the Empire State Building you may notice a little tab. That's some pull out journaling about the excellent Friday night out - using a pull out card meant I could get one more small photo in the insert page!

I'd planned to use some letter stickers for a couple things, but in the end, I ended up adding some titles to photos in Photoshop and like it just as well. I want to get the last 2 weeks of June into this album and things are getting tight. So any space saved is a good thing!

Looking at these pictures makes me appreciate the life we've got happening here in NJ & NYC, even as we're hoping to leave soon. I may think of myself as a homebody, but we really have been getting out quite a lot of late!

Pics by me: 18
Pics by The Scot: 7

Tuesday = link up day over at The Mom Creative.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sponsor Laura Kate Is Crafty in July!

June is coming to a close and July is going to be an exciting month here at Laura Kate Is Crafty. If you're interested in getting some exposure for your blog, shop, or site, I'd love if you'd consider sponsoring here. Sponsorship is incredibly affordable with 3 ad sizes available and I even offer a 100% free option for small ad swaps!

Laura Kate Is Crafty is growing as a blog and my scrapbook card designs are increasingly popular as well! As a crafter, I'm becoming more involved in various projects around the web and real world and all this is bringing traffic to the blog. 2013 pageviews are about 100-200 a day, with a monthly view of 3,000 - 5,000+ and my social media numbers continue to rise (you can check those links out to the right of this post). In addition to posts as-they-happen, each Tuesday I share Project Life pages, most Sundays I share a recipe, and my scrapbooking freebies are updated on about twice a month!

Later this week, I'll be sharing a bit about my lovely new and recurring June sponsors and I hope you'll consider becoming one in July! Check out all the details ---> here.

Find Your Voice bloghop

Today I'm taking part in the bloghop for the Find Your Voice workshop (to which I am a contributor). Take a peek at the blogs of the other contributors and check out the great giveaway that Kristin has put together!!

* * * * *

The Find Your Voice Summer Storytelling Workshop kicked off today and to celebrate we're having a blog hop with lots of giveaways! We're going to have a blast this summer and we really hope you play along!

This workshop is about finding your storytelling voice. You are an awesome person with amazing stories, so this summer we're going to work together to find the most genuine and authentic way for you to tell those stories.

This workshop is for everyone! You definitely don't need to be a scrapbooker or paper-crafter to play along. We'll be telling stories through pictures, photographs, social media, prose, and more. The only thing you need is a willingness to become the author of your own story and the courage to step outside of your comfort zone.

Click Here to learn more about Find Your Voice
Download lesson one here
Join the facebook group
Sign up for lessons delivered straight to your email

What Find Your Voice Means to Me:

As I wrote on Friday I'm excited about the workshop as a contributor because I'd like to work on developing my own storytelling style within my Project Life pages as well as my "regular" 12x12 scrapbooking. My feelings about journaling as opposed to merely telling the story through photos has gone back and forth over the years, but these days I'm really appreciating the power of words. I want to work with that.

Join us this summer as we work together to find the most genuine and authentic way for you to tell your stories the way you want them to be told. We’ll be telling stories through pictures, photographs, social media, prose, and more. The only thing you need is a willingness to become the author of your own story and the courage to step outside of your comfort zone.

Meet the contributors!

rukristin papercrafts: rukristin.com/

Jessica Bree: jessicabree.squarespace.com

Emily Dismukes: emilymayhem.blogspot.com

Molly Porter: mollyfrances.typepad.com

Emily Hathcock: www.elephantgrace.com

Lisa Wilkinson: www.createfor7.blogspot.com

Veronica Milan: blog.chictags.com

Michelle Wear:  table-for-five.com

->>> (You are here!) Laura Kate Is Crafty: laurakateiscrafty.blogspot.com

Jen Ritchie: www.jenritchie.com

Allie: www.alexandraraedesign.com

Katie Stories: katie-stories.blogspot.com

Shay Tibbs: sbookinshay29.blogspot.com

DeeDee Catron: umwowstudio.blogspot.com

Megan Anderson: www.thenerdnest.com

Nirupama Kumar: avinashhecker.blogspot.com

Eden Hensley: www.theroadtothegoodlife.com

Margrethe Aas Johnsen: http://onelifedocumented.com

Giveaway Time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eat Something Sunday: Dark & Sweet Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week's Eat Something Sunday post is a little different. I'd decided not to take process photos for this one due to the fact that a) it's cookies and there's nothing particularly thrilling in the process and b) it was quite dark. But then I forgot to take an ingredient shot as well. So you're stuck with merely the final product to look at. But I have faith, dear readers, that you'll get on.

From the outside these may look like a semi-ordinary chocolate chip cookie, but one bite and you'll realize they're a little more grown-up than that childhood favorite (though I will not fault a good old fashioned CCC any day). Dark, bittersweet chocolate paired with tart dried cherries is a bit fancy and a lot tasty.

Dark & Sweet Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes ~36 large cookies

Preheat oven to 375°F

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups softened butter
1 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
10 oz. (1 small bag) bittersweet chocolate chips (I like the Ghirardelli 60% cacao large chips)
8 oz. dried sour/tart cherries (I like the Whole Foods 365 brand)

1 - Sift together dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt) and set aside

2 - Cream butter and sugars.

3 - Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated - don't overmix.

4 - Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well incorporated.

5 - By hand, stir in the chocolate chips and the dried cherries.

6 - OPTIONAL - Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. This will help the cookies from spreading so much. It's not necessary, but it does help (especially in the warm summer months) to achieve slightly poufier and less flat cookies.

7 - Spoon cookies by large tablespoonfuls on to cookie sheets lined with parchment (or plain ungreased sheets if you prefer). I use 2 soup spoons to make a rounded shape - but if you have a cookie scooper, have at it.

8 - Bake at 375°F for 7-10 minutes, rotating halfway. Cool on rack or paper.

These are delightful paired with the classic glass of milk. Nom nom nom.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Find Your Voice - join in!

Starting this coming Monday, I'll be a contributor the Find Your Voice workshop over at Rukristin Papercrafts. If you're a scrapbooker, blogger, or general crafty type, check it out and join in! It's 100% free and I'm quite looking forward to the weekly prompts and challenges!

Here's what Kristin, the creator/host has to say about the workshop:

Find Your Voice is about embracing, finding and practicing with your storytelling voice. You can participate in almost any way – photography, digital images, social media, prose, scrapbooking and paper crafting. It is eight weeks long, including an introduction and a wrap up. Each week subscribers and participants will get a prompt, a lesson and a worksheet.

There are a number of scrapbookers/crafters/bloggers who will be part of the creative team and lots of people are already geared up for Monday's start date over at the Facebook group. I'm quite interested to work on developing my own storytelling style within my Project Life and my 12x12 scrapbook pages over the course of the workshop. You can find out more at Kristin's blog. I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Neon and new!

Admittedly, I'm not the trendiest gal. Be it clothing or crafts, I'm not a big bandwagon-jumper. But then there's neon. It started creeping in last year. In the Spring of 2012 I got a manicure in a bright, neon-hued, orange. I loved it. But I took that as a one-off sort of thing. Then, a year later, the fluorescent shades started showing up in clothes, in accessories, and even a touch in craft products. And right now, I'm kinda loving it. I've been doing neon embroidery, I have a few ridiculously bright pairs of shorts for both exercising and daily wearing, and my neon nail polish collection has expanded a bit. So when I was thinking about what ideas to design next in scrapbooking cards, neon was a no-brainer.

In my shop there are 2 new sets. Both featuring 6 neon shades: Neon Basics and Neon Splatters. Each set has 12 3x4 printable cards that are perfect for Project Life or any scrapbooking or paper craft project.

As a side note, I'd noticed that my shop had slowed down a bit and then a couple weeks ago a very kind customer sent a message to let me know that my shipping (which on digital items should be free, of course) had somehow reset to be $4+! Not cool, Robert Frost. Something clearly went wrong at Storenvy, but it's been fixed since then and I've been once again enjoying sharing designs. I hope you'll check the shop out. New designs are in the works and I plan to add a few more throughout the Summer!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Project Life: Week 23

Well, then. I'd like to tell you that I have both weeks 23 & 24 to share with you. But that would be a lie. Week 24 is still being tweaked. Partly due to life being a bit hectic around here (see any of my recent posts!) and also due to wanting to include some particular products. So I'm joining the crew of many who post one-week-off PL shares. Which is cool. I know that during our upcoming vacation and then later when (knock on wood) we move, things won't stay so nice and neatly lined up. It's life. And that is a ok.

My page photos this week aren't really amazing. I waited until this afternoon to snap them and it is dark and rainy and I had to use artificial light - and we all know that isn't ideal. But anyhow. Week 23:

A simple insert of a halved 6-up 4x6 page was used. The first few days of the week were the end of my in-laws' visit, and we did a bit more touristing as well as a night in. The rightmost page is almost entirely dedicated to an epic BBQ we attended. I had to work really hard to pare down the photos from that night. There will definitely be a layout in my 12x12 2013 album with some of the others. The skyline across the top is a panoramic shot that I edited to print onto 2 4x6 photos to fit. I quite like it.

This week I used almost entirely the BH Seafoam kit & papers. A few of my favorite Martha Stewart labels made their way in, as well as some BH grid cards (cut down for captioning). Did I have a particular color scheme? Nope. Since I was already feeling "behind", and because my craft table is an absolute mess, and purely because I'm quite cool with variation, I just kept it super super simple this week and, for the most part, let the photos do the talking.

Pics by The Scot: 3
Pics by me: 12


Lots of fun things will be happening here on my blog in the coming days & weeks. I'm a contributor to the Find Your Voice workshop from Rukristin Papercrafts and will be sharing more about that soon. Additionally, keep an eye out for some new products in my scrapbooking shop very soon. Summer is here for sure, and I think it's going to be a great one!

As I do each week, I'm linking up at Project Life Tuesday on The Mom Creative.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tunes of my youth

Oh the choices

This morning I was up ridiculously early. I used the time to put together a little playlist that I've been wanting to share for a while: songs of my youth. Because sometimes the comfort of a flannel shirt is just a good thing. A few of these were favorites of my mid-90s cover band. We opened for (the band that opened for) Cheap Trick one time. The height of my glory, to be sure.

Where's my flannel shirt? by LK on Grooveshark

Long live the 90s.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Instalife: Craft On

Life is moving around here. If you follow me on social media, you'll know that my life of late has been rather immersed in preparing my visa application (to move back to London with The Scot). All the forms are finally finished, supporting evidence all collected & collated, I've attended the necessary appointment, and the big lot of papery things gets sent off via FedEx on Monday morning. Whew. Now we just have The Wait and hope that everything is properly in order (as it seems to be).

In my free moments, I've been enjoying learning to embroider. Mollie over at Wild Olive has the most adorable little embroidery-meet-quilting project happening right now: Summer Stitching Club. It was cheap as chips and I'm having fun making the tiny designs (and some others). I highly encourage you to check it out! I've also been doing a bit of tiny dolly knitting this week. The scrapbooks are sitting quietly knowing I haven't forgotten them. It's equal-opportunity for crafts around here.

Things have been pretty stressful, but I've done my best to just keep positive and enjoy the sunshine when it's here. (It's the little things, right?) Life's actually going pretty well. I'll be back to more regular blogging now :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Father's Day freebie

Here we are on a Tuesday, and for the 1st time in 2013 I don't have a Project Life post to share. Amid the hecticness of a few epically long visa application sessions (prepping files and evidence and documents, etc. etc.) I used up all my photo paper. So I need to get more and/or send my photos to CVS this week. It's all planned out, and I will indeed share when it's done. But for now I do have something else that I intended to share today: some Father's Day printables.

download them > > > here < < <

Whether you're celebrating your father, your husband, your grandfather, or just a great father-figure in your life this upcoming Sunday, I'm hoping you'll enjoy these cards about dads. I'm pretty fond of my own dad, and I even inherited a great in-law as well!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Eat Something Sunday: Candy Popcorn

A few installments of Eat Something Sunday back, I shared my recipe for Magic Popcorn, which is a bit like a glammed-up and deconstructed popcorn ball. Popcorn in all its varieties has been a favorite snack of mine for as far back as I can remember. The recipe I'm sharing today comes from a superbly awesome 1970s promo recipe book from Orville Redenbacher and Wesson. Over the years, I've made it for parties, for backstage nibbles at stage productions, and sometimes just when I'm craving something a little different.

Candy Popcorn
adapted from Orville Redenbacher's "The Popping Corn Book", 1975

Preheat oven to 200°F

4 quarts popped popcorn (that's about 16 cups. Basically, pop a big bowl full)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
4 Tbsp. any flavor powdered gelatin* (not sugar free)
1 tsp. baking soda

You will also need:
a non-stick saucepan
a large cake pan or roasting pan
a candy thermometer
a non-metal spoon

*a small package of Jell-o is a touch over 4 Tbsp. and I just use the whole thing.

1 - Pop your popcorn. I find airpopped is crunchier and works best for this purpose, but stove popped is tasty too! Just don't use microwave. It's got too much salt and flavoring already to work well. Pour the popcorn into your cake pan, being sure to remove any old maids, and place in the 200°F oven to keep warm.

2 - Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar, & salt in the saucepan. Bring these to a boil, stirring constantly.

3 - Once to a boil, using your candy thermometer as a guide, allow the mixture to reach 250°F (hard ball stage) without stirring.

4 - Mix in the gelatin powder quickly and thenallow to rise in temperature to 260°F (it will take about 1 minute) - while this is happening, pull your popcorn out of the oven and set nearby.

5 - Stir the baking soda into the candy mixture as quick as you can. It will foam up.

6 - Pour over the popcorn in the pan.

Mix, mix, mix!

7 - Place the coated popcorn back into the 200°F oven for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break into small pieces. You may like to spread it on some parchment paper to speed this along. If you're not going to gobble it up right then, store it in an airtight container.

For this post, I just made cherry popcorn, but my favorite thing to do is make a few batches with flavors that blend well together and then mix them up into a big bowl like a fruit punch of candy popcorn!

Some great combos are cherry/lime, orange/lemon/lime, pineapple/watermelon/mango, peach/black cherry - the possibilities are endless! Color coordinate it for holidays or to the theme of your next party.

And thank Orville. He truly was The Popcorn King.