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Monday, August 29, 2011

Featured Freebies for the Week of August 29th


Hello and Happy Monday to Everyone!

My original post has gotten lost in blogger space, so this is coming out to you late. There are only a small handful again this week, but here are this week’s fabulous digital stamp and image freebies found on website and blogs or sent to us from friends and followers:


Broken Box Stock shares cats with cream digital image

Not Just Mom (aka Steady On!) shares a knot cross,  flower vine, shell, and a purse


Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Friday, August 26, 2011

Recipe Friday: Slow Cooker Sausage Breakfast Casserole

As soon as the cooler weather hits the Midwest, my crockpot comes out of the pantry and back into its familiar spot of my counter.  When I saw this recipe on the Jimmy Dean website, I knew it would be great for a large family gathering (such as Christmas morning), breakfast for a sleep over party, or a weekend scrapbooking retreat.

Slow Cooker Sausage Breakfast Casserole



Ingredients:
1 pkg. (26 ounces) frozen shredding hash brown potatoes
1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Hearty Original Sausage Crumbles
1 cup (4 ounces) shredding mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredding parmesan cheese
1/2 cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
6 green onions, sliced
12 eggs
1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 ground black pepper
  

Directions:
1. Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom of slow cooker. 
2. Top with half of the sausage, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes and green onion. Repeat layering.
3. Beat eggs, milk and pepper in large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. 
4. Pour evenly over potato-sausage mixture.
5. Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or on high setting for 3-4 hours or until eggs are set. 

Yield:
12 servings (about 1 cup each)

Mmm.. now that is good eats!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Monday, August 22, 2011

Featured Freebies for the Week of August 22nd


Hello and Happy Monday to Everyone!

Only a small handful again this week, but here are this week’s fabulous digital stamp and image freebies found on website and blogs or sent to us from friends and followers:





Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to School Ideas


This week the kids in Illinios are going back to school and I can say there are a lot of moms rejoicing. I thought I would share a few back to school ideas that I have found all over the web and have bookmarked to try to make myself this year.

Personalized sanitizer bottle wraps by Less than Perfect Life of Bliss


Back to School Magnets by Kerry’s Craft Blog


Ruler Wreath by the Polkadot Chair


Crayon Wreath by Simply Made with Love


Teacher Oreo Pops by Shindig Parties to Go


Zippered Pencil Pouch by Sew4Home


Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe Friday: Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff


School is starting which means many moms are busier more than ever shuttling the kids to practice and other activities. Who wants to spend time in the kitchen, when there are other things to do? Instead, get out that slow cooker/crockpot and let it do the work for you.

Betty Crocker has done it again with a yummy slow cooker beef stroganoff dish that is easy to make (just dump the ingredients and leave it for 8 hours) with very little time to prepare.


Ingredients:
2 lbs beef stew meat
1 cup chopped onion
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of onion soup
1 can or jar (6 ounces) sliced mushrooms (I love mushrooms so I add 2 cans)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese cubed
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups cooked noodles

Directions:
  •  In a 3 ½ - 4 1/2 quart crockpot, mix beef, onion, condensed soups, mushrooms and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours, or until beef is tender.
  • Stir cream cheese into beef mixture and stir until melted.
  • Add sour cream and mix well.
  • Serve hot over noodles.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Recipe Friday: Taco Pie


I could not pass up on sharing this yummy recipe from Skip to My Lou. She calls it an interactive dinner as the taco pie is placed in the center of the table and everyone gets to make their own nachos, tacos, or burritos with chips, shells, and tortillas.

Taco Pie


Main Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 - 12 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 7 oz can diced green chilies
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder

Sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Toppings:
3 cups chopped lettuce
2 or more cups chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (or Mexican Blend)
small can of chopped or sliced olives

Directions:
  • In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until beef is cooked.
  • Drain off fat.
  • Add beans, green chilies, garlic powder, cumin and chili powder and heat through.
  • Spread meat mixture over a large platter.
  • Combine sour cream, cumin and chili powder and spread over meat.
  • Top with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and olives.
  • Serve with tortilla chips, taco shells and or flour tortillas and salsa.
Ole! Pass me the Margaritas!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BESTeam Weekly Feature - UpcycleRecycleReuse


This week’s BESTeam featured Etsy shop is UpcycleRecylceReuse.

UpcycleRecylceReuse is “where old products are given more value not less”. The goal of the shop is to “prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones”.  This reduces the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products.

Reducing the use of new raw materials can result in a reduction of energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions. The UpscycleRecysleReuse shop embraces reuse and upcycling converting waste materials into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

Here are a few items in the collection:



This Classic Cat Journal or Notebook is a Hand Sewn upcycled gem. The Journal consists of 76 pages and has an ivory ribbon to tie it closed. (4.5" x 6")



These Purple Floral handmade gift tags are perfect for gifts, favor bags, or use as mini invitations, decor or scrapbook embellishments.



These red, orange, & gold stars are hand punched out of paperboard from post-consumer waste. 
These are just a few of the wonderful items in the collection. Come see the rest of the UpcycleRecycleReuse Etsy shop and don’t forget to check out the Upcycle, Recyle, Reuse blog.

The Creativity Bugs love the opportunity to promote other artisans including the fellow Estians but especially the BESTeam group. These friendly, talented, and very hardworking individuals work together to promote their shops and help others with marketing, advertising, and tips and tricks for running an online business. If you are a seller on Etsy, have a blog, and either FB or twitter, then you might be interested in joinging the BESTeam. You can find information about the team, as well as apply for membership HERE!

Happy Shopping!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue  

Mexican Rice Skillet

I was doing a bit of blog hopping today and stopped by one of my favorites Skip to My Lou. If you aren’t a follower of this blog, then you really have to check it out! She makes posts about crafty goodness, recipes, tutorials, handmade gift ideas, free downloads,  and so much more.

Earlier in the week she mention how it was too hot to use the oven and whipped up a dinner using her skillet called Mexican Rice Skillet. It looked so yummy that I had to pull out my skillet to make it for dinner and boy was I impressed!

So, straight from Skip to My Lou and onto the Creativity Bug blog is this week’s recipe for Mexican Rice Skillet.


Ingredients:
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 cup onion (about 1 medium onion), chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups cooked brown rice ( 1 1/2 cups dry uncooked rice)
1 can (16 oz. size) pinto beans, drained
1 can (about 7 ounce size) diced green chiles
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 medium tomato, chopped
fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
grated cheddar cheese for garnish

Directions:
  • Cook meat and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat until brown, stirring to crumble; drain.
  • Return meat to skillet. Add chili powder, cumin and salt.
  • Stir in rice, canned tomatoes, corn, pinto beans and green chiles; thoroughly heat.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh tomato, cilantro and cheddar cheese. Serve immediately.

Delicious!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Desk Bag: What a neat idea!


I finally took the time today to read through my Google Reader which is filled with blogs I follow. As I am scrolling through, I did a double take when I saw Sandra from Sugar Cubes and Spice Cake post on back to school desk bags.


I don’t have any kids, but one look at the bag gave me an “ah ha” moment. Wouldn’t these make great take alongs to cropping events?  I know that I personally don’t seem to have enough space for all my table top items, roller carts, and other stuff. Couldn’t you just picture making one of these to slip over your chair to hold extra pens, a ruler (which I always lose), craft magazine, etc.

Here are some of the other bags that Sandra has created:




You can find the tutorial here to create a bag of your very own.

If you decide to make a bag, please post a comment on this post along with a link. We would love to see your completed masterpiece.

Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Monday, August 15, 2011

Featured Freebies for the Week of August 15th


Hello and Happy Monday to Everyone!

Only a small handful this week, but here are this week’s fabulous digital stamp and image freebies found on website and blogs or sent to us from friends and followers:

May Brit’s hobby blog shares party bear in a box, sleeping baby, and girl with kitten digital images



Foxycrafts shares dragonflies digital images

Altered Scrap shares a flower fairy digital stamp

Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Arts and Crafts Examiner: Weekly Wrap-up for August 14, 2011


This week at the Arlington Heights Arts and Crafts Examiner, I focused on upcoming classes at local stores, a back to school project, organizing on a budget, and festivals in the neighborhood.













I hope you enjoy this week’s articles. If you have any suggestions for future Examiner articles, please feel free to post a comment or send an email to me at creativebugs2-blog@yahoo.com

Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Friday, August 12, 2011

Whimsie Doodles Design Team Call


Whimsie Doodles is looking for some new creative team members to start designing with them beginning September 1st to February 28, 2012.

You don't have to have any experience with working with printable (digital) stamps....but you do need to have a printer.

Here is what Whimie Doodle is looking for:
  • A few Team members that will create 3 projects* a month (1 per week) plus a release day project.*Projects include but not limited to cards and or any other type of craft related item using digital stamps from Whimsie Doodles.
  • One Tutorial/Video team member that will create 3 tutorials per month, they can be photo tutorials or YouTube videos. This person is responsible for uploading the projects and posting them on the Whimsie Doodles blog. These projects can be any craft related type of project.
  • A few Scrapbook artists to create 3 layouts per month using Whimsie Doodles images.

To be considered you will need to have an active blog to upload your projects to and post to another online gallery of your choice...

Compensation:
  
  • You will have access to all of the items that Whimsie Doodles sells as well as receive all new releases.
  • $$ for cards/projects using Whimsie Doodles digital stamps that are published in print magazines.
Send your application to:

Whimsiedoodles@eastlink.ca (put in the subject line design team call) and include 3-4 samples that you feel are typical of your work along with a link to your blog and gallery.

Call closes Aug 25,2011, acceptance email will be sent by Aug 29,2011.

Good Luck!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Scrapbook News and Reviews Crafting Calls


Scrapbook News and Reviews just posted their crafting calls for September and there might just be something you are interested in applying for.


Deadline: August 28, 2011 – submit and fill out application form here

Scrapbooking Calls:

Strut Your Stuff: In each issue of Scrapbook News and Review Magazine, we spotlight scrapbook pages of any style and genre. We're currently looking for pages in traditional paper scrapbooking that feature a clearly defined style such as Clean and Simple, Dark and Industrial, Eclectic and Freestyle, Romance and Pretty Chic, Whimsical or Fantasy, and others just ripe for the picking. 

Bits & Pieces – Macro Pictures: Ten little fingers, ten tiny toes, the sweetest of smiles, and a cute little nose. It’s an often used quote that sums up this call perfectly. We’re looking for layouts that feature close-up shots of “bits and pieces.” Of course, those bits and pieces can be of anything and not just sweet little baby parts!

Childhood Memories: No matter if they’re sweet, bittersweet or even fun and funky odd, childhood memories share so much about the lives we led and the things we did and the moments that make up who we are...and how we got to be the fabulous people we are! Share your pages that are chock full of flashbacks of the ordinary and the not-so-ordinary moments of childhood.

Color of the Month – Pink/Rose: Ah, the sweet color of pink. It can be soft, frilly and romantic or it could be loud, proud and in your face. How will you use pink on your pages? Projects can be of any theme or subject but you must use at least 80% of the “Color of the Month,” so think monochromatic color scheme with a couple other colors to balance it out.

High School Dance/Homecoming/Prom: What rite of passage could be more ripe for a scrapbook layout call than high school dances and homecoming celebrations and the quintessential dance of them all – prom.

I Was...High School Personality: For this call, we’re looking for pages that describe the YOU that you were in high school. What title did you wear? What was your yearbook caption? What were you most known to do? What did they predict you would do in 20 years?

One Word Title – Now: Please note that this is a ONE-WORD-TITLE. This means that the title can only be one word and it must be the word of the month.

Scrap Your Stash - Bottle Caps: You probably have a few of them hanging out in your stash and we challenge you to use them in cool and creative ways! For this call, please only submit layouts that feature bottle caps on them – nothing else will be accepted for publication.

Special Technique: Hand Sewing and/or Machine Stitching: Show off your mad sewing skills to be considered pub worthy for this call. In small doses or as the major focus of your page, we want to see all kinds of sewing techniques and style ideas.

Sports & Action Shots: Fast-forward, in-motion and kicking up the adrenaline a few notches make for the best photos, even the blurry ones! We’re looking for pages that feature sports and action shots and action shots can be interpreted in a variety of ways – if the subject is moving and doing something cool, it’s an action shot!

Card Calls:

Barnyard and/or Woodland Animals: They’re cute and cuddly and these little critters make such fun and fabulous accents on our cards.

Fall: The splendor of fall is almost magical and for this call, we’re looking for cards that honor the age old traditions of fall colors but we’re also looking for cards that step outside the box and show us new version of autumn, in all its glory.

Letters and/or Numbers: One or the other or even both, we want to see cards just dripping with letters and/or numbers. Even more, we want to see letters and/or numbers used in cool, creative ways – really mix them up and make them stand out as the visual stars they can be.

Special Technique: Hand Sewing and/or Machine Stitching: Show off your mad sewing skills to be considered pub worthy for this call. In small doses or as the major focus of your card, we want to see all kinds of sewing techniques and style ideas.

Sympathy/Thoughts & Prayers: There’s nothing more comforting than receiving a handmade card meant to cheer and console our aching hearts, and we’re looking for cards in a variety of styles. After all, such cards don’t need to be somber or elegant, they can be lighthearted and whimsical as well.

Stamping Calls:

Please note that the following calls MUST use stamps. You can’t use patterned paper or embellishments for the following spotlight items, but you can use patterned paper or embellishments elsewhere on your card.Stamping calls are not limited to just cards. You can submit stamped projects of any type.

Fairies: Flighty, flirty and fun, fairies just have a way of adding a dash of excitement to any project. Don’t forget, stamped projects aren’t just limited to cards. You can stamp fairies onto anything that strikes your fancy!

Hearts & Romance: With the days getting colder, let’s create a little heat with a little love and romance. Projects must feature stamped hearts as well as other romantic-inspired images.

Vintage: It’s a broad subject but one we love oh-so-very much! Images must be vintage-inspired but can be used in any style from clean and simple to super distressed.

Mixed Media:

Arches – My Special Place: What do those three little words bring to mind for you? What special place tugs at your heart and just begs you to share it on an ATC. Interpret however you like – we can’t wait to see yours!
Artist Trading Cards – Using Photos WITH a Quote or a Sentiment: Please note that submitted ATCs must have photos as well as a quote/sentiment on them.
Artist Trading Cards – Strut Your Stuff: Grab your 15 minutes of fame and can send in ATCs featuring any theme, style or color scheme.
Inchies – Painted Backgrounds: The possibilities are endless when you’re using paint as your background. For this call, you can construct inchies with a painted background in any fashion and with any theme or color scheme, but your inchies must be ON a painted base.
Mini Albums – Strut Your Stuff: The rules are the same as with the Artist Trading Cards call – anything goes!
Please Note: All mixed media calls are for artists of all styles and categories including traditional paper, hybrid or digital.

Good Luck!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

BESTeam Weekly Feature - ChickyDs


This week’s BESTeam featured Etsy shop is ChickyDs Accessories and Gifts.

Shop owner Danielle is from Peru, Illinios (hello fellow Illionian) and creates accessories and gifts for little fashionistas!  Her collection includes hair bows, clippies, hats, totes, and even some wood panel paintings.

Here are some of the items that caught our eye:



Adorable cotton canvas military style child's hat has a touch of uniqueness with three coordinating yo-yo accents. 2 small and 1 extra-small yo-yo give this hat a real sense of style. The hat is child sized and non-adjustable with elastic in the back to allow for extra room. 



A delightful rainbow of blue, green, pink and purple spikes will brighten up any day. 4" of bright saddle stitched ribbons finished off with a pink and blue felt flower topped with a bit of bling. 



What better way for your litle one to carry their ballet slippers than in their own canvas tote? This khaki tote features three, small brightly colored buttons, 2 polka dot yo-yos and a matching polka dot ribbon. This small tote would also be good for the busy Mom to carry snacks on vacation or to soccer practice!

Polka Dot Korker Boutique Headband on Removable Alligator Clip


 

This versatile korker headband can be worn as shown or the korker bow can be removed from the headband and worn with the alligator clip. Made of 3/8 inch ribbon with fray checked ends to prevent fraying. The bow is attached to a partially lined alligator clip with an added no-slip grip.

These are just a few of the wonderful items in the collection. Come see the rest of the ChickyDs Etsy shop and don’t forget to check out the Danizabeth blog.

The Creativity Bugs love the opportunity to promote other artisans including the fellow Estians but especially the BESTeam group. These friendly, talented, and very hardworking individuals work together to promote their shops and help others with marketing, advertising, and tips and tricks for running an online business. If you are a seller on Etsy, have a blog, and either FB or twitter, then you might be interested in joinging the BESTeam. You can find information about the team, as well as apply for membership HERE!

Happy Shopping!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue