Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Dirty Laundry Series, Cycles

We are already on our 5th instalment of the Dirty Laundry Series.  Welcome!

We've been going in order.  From methods to gathering laundry.  Then to your laundry area and what should be in there. To stain treatment and preparing your wash for the machine.  The last entry was about machines and we hooked up our readers on what the best machines were (in America) as well as the economical and environmental best choices over all.

Now, we're getting into what cycles to use.

Speed, agitation and spin are the key elements in a cycle and of course, the kind of clothes you are washing.  That's why it's important to wash similar clothes in the same cycle.  Alike in colour, fabric sort and weight.  Doing this will get you the best result.

Agitation, detergent and temperature is what your laundry needs to get clean.

Regular and Normal cycles, typically use a fast/fast combination and is best used for soiled, sweaty cottons, linens, jeans, towels and bedding do best in this cycle.  The cycle is usually long and uses a warm or hot temperature. This cycle will get your laundry the cleanest.

Towels, sheets, diapers, rigid clothes like t-shirts and underwear as well as heavily soiled, greasy clothes are best washed in a hot temperature.

The Permanent Press cycle is for your synthetic clothes like rayon, knit and polyester.  These clothes often carry the stink to a maximum level so they need a longer wash, but a slow spin so as not to wrinkle, limit wear and tear as well as pilling.  The cycle is fast/slow and has a warm temperature.

Then you've got your Delicate cycle.  It's a slow/slow cycle and that's great for clothes like lingerie, sequins, lose knits and iron on's or other applications.  Your laundry may not get as clean, but the wear and tear will be minimal.  These items along with clothes that might bleed are best washed on a cold or cool cycle.  Keep in mind, this is the least clean cycle.

Economically and environmentally, hot temperatures are the worst cycle you could use.  I rarely use a hot cycle, but our clothes do not demand it.  It may be different in your household.  Also keep staining in mind.  Some stains actually get worse in hot water and the other way around.

I have fast cycles where I can choose my temperature.  I use this in a cold cycle a lot!  Especially, for clothes that are lightly soiled and rigid, like cotton.

If you're not sure, go cold and slow!  Hehehe...  A little lost with all of this information?  This might help you out.

Thanks for checking us out!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Father's Day Hybrid With Free Template

Welcome to another fabulously scrappy edition of The Cherry On Top.

We've got dad in the spotlight.  Right where he should be.  This hybrid or paper project can be wrestled up in a snap and it won't cost you a penny.  You may even have the kids help out.

A tutorial with all of the crucial steps are drawn out as well as links to the free template are all provided for you.

You may have already seen this fun template before.  The first time we used it, we were thinking of mom and turned it into a lovely kitchen apron and included recipe cards for the pockt.  This time, we are using it as a card for dad and supplying a sweet picture of his boys to show off in the office.  Upon his request.  Hehehe...

Here's a look at what we did the first time with our template.  You can find the tutorial and the free template, by clicking on the image.

 free download

This is what we are doing for our Father's Day card.  I've got a screen shot for you, of the updated template with new title, clipped in papers (with a texture) and some hot BBQ accessories from my digital stash.  This project is all digital with the exception of the binding, but you can use the templates in a traditional fashion and scrap it up that way, too.

Here's a shot of the back side of the card.  I used the spatulas to form a frame, two washers at the top, added some journaling and a fabulous picture of the boys or at least JJ. Liam couldn't stop eating his chips.  I was just so thrilled that JJ was willing to take a picture, I wasn't even looking at Liam.  Hehehe...

I adhered the two aprons at the very top with a small strip of Zots and tied this craft ribbon for the strap.  This way dad can choose to hang it up or set it up on his desk. This card is put together in just a few minutes.  I suggest either using rigid card stock or laminating regular weight paper.  I used a heavy weight, plain white paper that had a touch of gloss.  My image came out a lot clearer than on mat paper.

How easy was that?!  A super, personalised gift idea for pop.  I used this very same template to make a mini album for my dad and instead of a BBQ theme, I used tools.  My dad is definitely a fix it guy.  I'll get another blog going with step by step instructions for that project.  I mixed it up a bit with hybrid and pixels than added a bit of dimension by cutting out some of the tools and applying them to the cover.

We hope you enjoyed this project and would love to see what you make, too.  

Remember, all of our goodies are free.  Please, do not resell them or claim them as your own.  Share the links for our blog and comment to show your appreciation.  Thanks!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Free Templates, Votes Are In

Welcome to The Cherry On Top.


The votes are in and it's a tie!  I guess that means that you get two, free templates. Naaah!  You can have all three!  Get two here and one on our Facebook Page.  Thanks to all of you lovelies who participated.  xx  The templates are all zipped up in psd and tif formats in one file.  Grab them right here.  Head over to our Facebook Page for the Geometric template and consider giving us a Like!
We're changing it up, today.  This blog could use a little lov'n in our comment area.  So, we're showing off three different templates and we want you to put in the comments which template you would like to have and the one with the most comments by Thursday, May 28th will be made available for our fans on Friday so you can get scrappy in the weekend.

This template was designed for PattyB Scraps' kit, Bust'n Out. Such a beautiful colour palette.  I just had to snag it! (See if the free quick page is still available at the link provided.)

 free downlload

This layout was inspired by Paty Greif's gorgeous kit, Geometric World.  How fun are these fabulous black and white doodles?!

 Free Template on FB!

That's me and my youngest, JJ.  I just 'wuv that big pumpkin head! Let your photo be the statement!

This template is definitely one of my all time favourites.  It was inspired by A-Manda Creations kit, Hello Spring.  Ooh, La La!

 free download

OK, ready for it?  This is my husband's, cousin's daughter.  Isn't she an absolute beauty?!  This kit has amazing colours and awesome elements.

So you choose!  Either 1, 2 or three.  We love to hear from our fans so don't be a stranger to our comments section at the bottom of the blog.

We'll be back at the end of the week with the free template.  We've got plenty more free templates through out the blog.  Do a search in the field at the top of the blog and find all of them!

If you're into paper projects, we got a great one releasing very soon.  It's especially geared for those special father's in your life and the big day coming up. 

Thank you so much for participating and checking out the Cherry!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Part IV of the Dirty Laundry Series, The Machines

Welcome to another edition of the Dirty Laundry series.

We are going in order of the washing cycle from start to finish.  Touching on each and going into a bit more depth for some topics, too.  Here is what we covered so far.  If you want to go back and take a peek.

Here we covered ways to gather your wash, fun, creative and conventional.

Here we gave ideas and tips on what all laundry areas should have in them from lighting to organisation ideas.

Here: we hooked up our readers with some links and recipes for stain removers and provided tips for getting your laundry ready for the machine.

For this installation, we are talking about machines.  There are plenty of sites out there, providing valuable information on which machines are the best, why they rank high and you can also find sites that compare machines and provide you with the best prices. 

We research like crazy before we make any kind of larger purchases.  Wash machines were tough for me, but after a couple of weeks of reading and comparing prices, we ended up with a front loading Miele.  (We live in Europe.)  Front loaders out number top loading 10 to 1.  I never knew why until today!

My Miele has a much better selections of cycles and some nifty features as well.

Here's what they said at Consumer Reports: "Front-loaders use less water than top-loaders but typically have longer wash cycles—some take 90 minutes or more. That's not the end of the world, but it may be the beginning of laundry pile-up. Since front-loaders use less water, the detergent is more concentrated and the machine's tumbling action can also help boost cleaning."


So you can see why this type of washer is taking over the market.  The only beef I have with them is sometimes my wash falls right out on to the floor when I open the door and when I'm trying to stuff it full, wash falls out before I have it loaded.  It's instrumental to keep that floor clean! With the way my machines are now, side by side like pictured above, but my doors open the same way and we can't change it.  It makes it a real pain in the butt to get my wash from the washer to the dryer.  The best way to do it, if you also face this problem, is stacking the machines, if it is an option, or putting all of the clothes from the washer, into an empty basket, sliding the basket over to your dryer and putting it in that way.

My new machine has a couple of killer features.  A light!  Definitely my favourite feature and a feature, when the cycle is finished, it keeps the laundry tumbling and emits steam to keep the wash from excessive wrinkling which is fantastic because I always forget my wash!

This image is hooked up to Consumer Reports best wash machine and dryer for 2015.

 Consumer Reports

There are machines out there that can operate remotely.  I could use that for the dryer more than for the wash machine, but if it works for you, consider that amongst water saving and energy technology.  Think about how long your wash needs to run and just how dirty your wash is, too.  Baby and toddler clothes are typically very heavily soiled as are the clothes of a family member who may work outside or with construction, etc. Then you may need some heavy duty cycles. How much laundry you want in there is also important when buying a machine. 

This image is hooked up to Good House Keeping, where they inform you on what you should consider before buying a wash machine.

 Good House Keeping

That's it for today's edition of the Dirty Laundry series.  The next time we'll talk about the dryer, air drying, what should and shouldn't go in the dryer as well as detergents, softeners, dryer sheets and softener alternatives.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Freebies Galore From The Cherry On Top

Welcome to a scrappy edition of The Cherry On Top.

There is so much going on right now, I can hardly keep my head straight!  Hehehe...So I figured I'll blow off some steam by offering our lovely fans some fabulous freebies using my designers super, gorgeous goodies.

We'll be looking at designs from Paty Greif Digital Designer, LouCee Creations and PattyB Scraps as well as my layout inspiration and some freebies I've made using some beautiful kits.  I've also got a few other freebie links for you.

Grab a cup of jo or whatever you like to sip on and take a look at all of these wonderful, creative projects.

Here's my doggie, Bichon.  He can look like a bear when his fur grows out.  So, darn cute!  I used Paty Greif's absolutely terrific kit, Let's Play Doctor.  The colours are so warm and inviting and they have a very textural and luxurious feel, too.  I layered like crazy for this layout and added a lot of depth with those heart shaped balloons.  (This will be a free template in the near future.)

 PGDD Pinterest

Here's a closer look at the collection.  It's a big one.  The bears are so adorable.



Here is a paper stacker I designed for you, using Let's Play Doctor.  I've linked the image up to Photo Booth.  Look to the right, when you get there, for the download button.

This is no longer free. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date and so you don't miss any free stuff.

 free download

Here's a look at a fabulously fresh kit from PattyB Scraps.  Summer Fun was full of so many beautiful colours and I zoomed in those pinks, purples and blues.  Wow!  Talk about impact.

 PBS Pinterest

Summer Fun is also offered in a collection.  Get a closer look at all of the parts by clicking on the image preview to get to the Digital Scrapbooking Studio.  Check out the many challenges at the Studio and play along with us there.  It's really fun!


I turned my layout into a nice, paper stacker for you.  Those papers are just so gorgeous.  I couldn't leave them out.

 free download

Next, I've got a really pretty kit from LouCee Creations, En Pointe.  Magically mastered and super sweet.  I had to steal my friend's beautiful ballerina for this page.  The flowers and bling are so scrumptiously fabulous.

 Pinterest LCC

I took out my favourite embellishment cluster from this layout and present it to you.  The image s linked up. Oh!  The bling and beauty is just a knock out!  Enjoy it!

This is no longer free. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date and so you don't miss any free stuff.

 free download

This collection is a must have!
The bests part it's only $1 per pack!


Here's a layout I made using all free stuff.  A free template from Mscraps challenge as well as Mscraps' newsletter freebie.  My silly boy and his camera face.  Hehehe...

For even more freebies, check out previous blogs, our Facebook Page and our Pinterest.  We Pin and post, freebies daily.

Ok, my sweet cherry blossoms, you are totally set with some deliciousness to get scrappy this weekend.

Have a super, super scrappy day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Delicious, Rich and Ready in 10 Minutes

Welcome to a Foodie Edition of The Cherry On Top.

Have you got picky eaters in the house?  I've got two!  My oldest is so picky.  His list of foods he likes is tiny and it makes meal time a real challenge.

Lately, he is on a bacon kick.  It was towards the end of the week.  Ingredients were low and I had to use whatever was left in the fridge to come up with something the family would like.  Here are the ingredients for this creamy bacon pasta recipe.  This meal is seriously ready in under 10 minutes and it's fresh!

fresh pasta 
diced scallion (tiny)
dice garlic (one clove)
bacon (full pack)
cream cheese (one pack)
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
milk or cream

Tip:  Puree those veggies if the kids don't like them.  If peas are acceptable add those.

As your water is boiling for your fresh pasta, prep the sauce.  Use a touch of oil or butter just to coat your pan a bit and add the onion and garlic.  Don't let them brown.  (If they start to brown, check to see you have a low fire and just go ahead and add your bacon.) Let them cook for just a minute and add your bacon and some pepper.  Check your water and add the fresh pasta.  Tip:  If you are making dry pasta it will take double the amount of time or more.  Don't start your sauce until your pasta is already in the boiling water.

When the bacon is cooked to your liking, add the cream cheese.  

Once it is all melted through, add your cheese and if it is too thick, add milk one tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency.  You can use sour cream or cream as well.  Empty out that fridge!

There we go!  Much better.

Add a bit of dry parsley if you like.  Take a taste and see if it could use another dash of pepper.

Strain your pasta and serve!  Liam absolutely loved this meal and told me I needed to make it again.  Try it and see if your picky eater feels the same.

Here's your recipe card.

If you need some more meal inspiration check out these tips for picky eaters and check here and here for lunch ideas.

Thanks for checking out The Cherry!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fabulous Paper Top Hat Tutorial and Free Template

Welcome to a crafty edition of The Cherry On Top.

I've got that top hat I promised and this one was designed totally in a traditional scrap fashion.  I'm providing you with a step by step tutorial, a hit up of the hybrid hat and the free template so you can make one yourself.

Let's take a look at the materials you will need.

rigid paper
glue/glue dots
double sided tape

Cut out your template as shown below.  There are a couple methods of applying the top of the hat. If you want to just use the circle, then you don't have to cut out all of the squares around it.  The same goes for the bottom of the hat, but using the teeth for the bottom/brim will add stability and strength.

Here's one of the methods to apply the top of the hat to the middle of the hat.  I had difficulty doing it this way when it came to adding it to the bottom of the hat.  I couldn't always get it just right.

I traced around my templates on to my paper.

 Then cut them out.

Put the teeth in place by popping them up then fit the middle of the hat so it lines up nicely with the teeth.  I used tape on the inside to hold it in place where it fit.

Then used double sided tape on the seem to close it up.

If you are going to use rigid paper, then you might want to consider using tiny glue dots on your teeth, like shown below.  Glue is more forgiving, but it takes a while to dry and you might find your teeth popping off the inside of the hat.

I used a scissors to get in there and apply each tooth.  It isn't a huge deal if a few teeth don't stick.  I found the glue dots to work really well and I didn't have to go back and keep applying the teeth to the inside of the hat.  However, if you are using regular, light weight paper, I would consider glue.  It works easier and there is more room for mistakes.  Otherwise, you might tear your paper.

Some of the time, my teeth on the top of the hat just didn't fit right.  If you are using riding paper and you fin that you also can't get the fit just right, simply use the inside circle of the hat.  I used glue around the outside edge of the inside of the top of the hat and dropped it on the middle of the hat.

Then I placed this very light ribbon spool on the top until the glue dried.

The top was just a tad bit too big so I snipped around the edges slowly and carefully with small, precise scissors.

Choose a band for your hat.  I went with the antique looking gold and inked around the edges in black. Take a look at your band and make sure none of the white around the edges is showing from where you cut.  I didn't do that!  Apply the band with double sided tape, glue gun or glue if yu are working with light weight paper.

I had this awesome embellishing from Webster's Moments, but it was a bit too long, so I snipped off a bit at the tips.

To fix my problem with the white exposed around the edge of my band, I used some black eyeshadow.  The effect was even better than the ink!

I used a really narrow glue edge type of double sided tape to adhere my ribbon.  That way I didn't have to wait for the glue to try.  I get so darn impatient with this part.  Hehehe...I just want to decorate it and make it pretty, ASAP!  Hehehe...

To cover up the line going down the back of the hat, I used these tiny gold dots with tiny glue dots on the back to adhere.  It adds a nice touch to your look.

Add a couple of flowers, greenery, beads, pearls, pins whatever you choose.  I used this beaded pin and three paper flowers, twirled the green wire into this shape.  That's it!  This is the back of the hat.  I left the front plain.  With the band and the ribbon it looked great. I do display it this way, though.

Here's another paper hat I made.  I used a cereal box for some serous rigidity and papered over it with Graphic 45 lovelies.  I pimped this sucker way up!  Hehehe...Click on the image to see more about this project.

 G45 Top Hat

If you are more into hybrid crafts.  I've got a hybrid version of this top hat, too.  Click on the image to get to the blog and to grab the free template for both styles of crafting.

 top hat tutorial/hybrid top hat tutorial

I've got other free templates for you, too.  Here are a few recent ones.  A diamond inspired, digital template for your digital scrapbooking projects and our really popular, paper apron template!

 free template free template

Thank you for hanging out with The Cherries!  Enjoy all of the free goodies we have.  Please, do not claim them as your own nor resell any of the templates.  Sharing our links for the blog is a great way to say thanks and we love your nice comments, too. 

Happy crafting!