Sun Dancer

This month the CAS Mix Up Challenge is Layered Embossing Powders, and just WOW.  All the lovely cards floating around inspired me to make shiny things too.

Very shiny.

I was trying to capture the image of a woman on the beach dancing at dawn with the waves glittering around her feet.  And/or playing with all my gold supplies, take your pick.

The sun is Brea Reese gold modeling paste through a hand cut stencil.  The dancer started as a flamenco dancer svg to which I added patterns in her skirt.  I used my Brother Scan-n-Cut to draw her with a gold Pentel metallic sunburst gel pen on black cardstock and then to cut her out.

I dragged my electric frying pan out of the appliances closet, set the pan to “warm,” and laid down a piece of parchment paper with my dancer on top.  My first layer was clear EP; then I added a little Ranger Princess Gold and sprinkled on some random dollar store gold glitter.  I set her aside and put down a new sheet of parchment and heaped on Princess Gold, Liquid Platinum, and leftover bits and bobs of the clear from embossing the dancer to make the “water”.  Once my little piles were melting I sprinkled in small beads for texture and movement.  I framed the white cardstock with a black textured cardstock and glued down the dancer, then placed the “water” over dancer + frame and put the whole thing back on the electric frying pan to melt it all to each other.

I used my MISTI to stamp celebrate in the corner (because past experience says stamping on textured cardstock means stamping the same spot several times), but even with 4 stampings the Galaxy Gold brilliance ink was just too pale, so I heat embossed it in Ranger Vintage Pearl using my heat gun.

I’m failing at photography at the moment, the background is actually a bright optic white.

(I’m assuming other people like to hear how cards are made too?)



GF Pecan Bars

(Ok, so I forgot to press publish back in December)

Every single person in the house has wandered by my desk today to ask “What is that wonderful thing in the fridge?”   What can I say, my family knows how to butter me up.


My sister’s kids are gluten intolerant, so I have spent the last few years finding/creating/despairing over GF recipes, especially ones for the holidays.  I really don’t like taking regular baking recipes and trying to desperately torture them into submission, but Christmas simply requires sugar cookies.  Today I made pecan bars.  I started with my pecan pie recipe and a Food Network pecan bar recipe, and tweaked and merged until I was happy.

Gluten Free Pecan Bars

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Start by prepping a 9×13 pan.  I like to fully butter the pan, then press in a piece of parchment paper covering the bottom and 2 sides with 2 inches sticking up on either side. (The 2 inches form handles for easily getting the bar cookies out of the pan)  People less lazy than me may also choose to cut extra parchment and paper the short sides.  Now butter on top of the paper too.  Pecan pie filling really likes to stick.

  • 3 cups crumbs from ground GF animal crackers
  • 1/4 c white (or brown) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks melted salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the vanilla and melted butter, then the sugar, then the crumbs.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the 9×13 pan with the back of your measuring cup.  Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.  Let cool unless you are like me and running short on time. (Don’t be me.)

  • 1/2 c light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick melted salted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (Vanilla Bean Paste is the best!)
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon

Whisk together the filling and pour over the crust.

  • 2.5ish cups pecans (chopped or whole as your heart desires)

Top the filling with pecans.  Use enough to cover the surface nicely.  Chopped pecans will cut better at the end; whole pecan halves are prettier.  Bake until the edges are set and almost too cooked, the center will still be jiggly.  28-30 minutes. Let cool, then throw it in the fridge until it sets. (1-2 hours)

Once chilled, gently run a knife around the edges, and use the long parchment bits to lift the cookies out of the pan and on to a cutting board.  Cut into squares and serve up.  Or eat them all and deny ever having made pecan bars.

*I picked up the parchment trick from Joy the Baker, check it out for a picture and a really good lemon bar recipe.

**LIGHTLY pre toasting the pecans in a frying pan for 3-4 minutes amps up the flavor.  Don’t go for a full toast though, they still have to bake in the oven.


Not at all wintery blues

Hmmm… I seem to have made a blog specifically for my sporadic entries into Shopping Our Stash challenges.  I should actually post other things. lol

Today’s pretty is a birthday card for my sister.  The SOS challenge is “Blue, but not winter.”


I’ve been in love with this card since forever, so I cased it.

The butterfly is iridescent vellum embossed in black and colored from the back in 2 shades of blue, then fussy cut and popped up on foam dots.  I added a couple shades of blue and clear jewels, plus silver glitter glue and pewter glimmer mist to make the trail.

I embossed the sentiment in black.  The Happy and Birthday are two different sets, and I fail at life so I have no idea which two.  Some day I will label things before throwing the packaging away.  Really.  I mean it.

cards · Christmas

Strip Piecing

‘Tis the season for gifts and merrymaking.  And cards.  Lots and lots of cards.  And even more cards.

bargello-tree-enhancedThis week I was inspired by the Bargello challenge over at Shopping Our Stash.  I like them because they want you to use what you have in your stash for the challenge.  I’m so very guilty of needing new art supplies all the time.  Right now I really desperately need both Brushos and Inca Gold because my water color pans, tubes of water color, water color crayons, water color pencils, distress inks, and various washable crayons and gelatos simply aren’t good enough now that I’ve seen new variations!  So, yeah, being forced to use what I own is good for me.

Bargello is not actually my favorite strip piecing technique, but I thought I would give it a try.  Once I had a sheet pieced up… it was too busy for me.  Luckily I had picked up a Christmas tree die at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago for reasons.  Word to the wise – Do not piece your bargello with multiple layers of gloss gel medium if you intend to cut it with a manual die cutter.  There may have been loud colorful language.  And then multiple layers were too thick to nicely nest in a single sheet of cardstock, so I ran around screaming in panic ran a sheet of fun foam through my machine to back the cardstock, which gave me just enough depth to drop it in.

Heat embossed sentiments using versamark ink and a mix of red and black Zing embossing powder.

black-on-black-tree This card is from an additional front – the red was just a little too bright compared to the red in the tree.  I really like the effect of the green foam underlayer peeking through.  I can’t decide if this one needs a little extra something to make it pop, or if it is a ninja card and I will spoil it if I add anything.

In all honesty, I think I already spoiled it by adding the glimmering mist, but I do love shiny.



Hello, World!

Welcome to Berry’s Bramble.  I am here to amaze, educate, and entertain you!  Or to ramble pointlessly about things that interest me.  Take your pick.

I like to make things.  Sometimes awesome things, sometimes things that look about on par with a 5 yr old’s refrigerator gallery display.  Practice is important, trying out new ideas is important, failure is just a step on the road to success.  Etc etc  🙂  I’ll be posting cooking recipes, cards, sewing projects, random home decor, book reviews, and rants about video games.

My art desk is never clean.block-printing-with-string