Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas, One and All!

Here I am, early on the morning of Christmas Day (early, but not BRIGHT and early, as it is still dark ... and SNOWING outside!)!! I was so VERY slow in getting through with my Christmas cards this year that I wondered if I was EVER going to get to share them with you! BUT, I FINALLY got to the post office with them last Saturday, so I am hopeful that at least SOME of them made it to their destinations before today ...

I think the main reason it took me so long to make these is that I really had NO IDEA what I wanted to do. I ended up resizing and re-doing a card a did a few weeks back ... just changed some of the elements to make it into a 5.25" square card .... Cutting out all those ding-a-ling pinecones was a labor of love, I tell ya ... they were too cute NOT to cut them out, though!

Stamps: Ornamental Pine, Good Greetings
Paper: Baked Brown Sugar, Whisper White, Gold Glimmer DSP
Ink: Early Espresso, Old Olive Blendabilities, White Signo Gel Pen, Whisper White
Accessories: Oval Framelits, Whisper White Embossing Powder, Burlap Ribbon, Old Olive Taffeta Ribbon, Woodgrain Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Gold Sequin Trim, 1 1/4" Square Punch, Sponge, Impression Obsession Evergreen Trees Die

I LOVE having the ability to create the inside of my Christmas cards using MDS! My family indulges me when I want to drag them SOMEwhere to take a family photo ... and we couldn't get our doggie, Daisy, to look at the camera when everyone ELSE was. At least we got her in the picture!! (And I kinda hate my daughter because she looks GREAT in EVERY stinkin' hat that she EVER puts on her head ... as does Garrett ... and I just look, well, DUMB in them!!)

MDS Downloads:
Stamps: Bright Christmas II (Holly Jolly Christmas)
Paper: Gold Glimmer DSP, Christmas Jingle DSP
Embellishments: Natural Chevron Ribbon (Point), Celebrations (Label 2), Holly & Jolly Embellishments (trees),
Font: Island of Misfit Toys

And here's a quick little peek at the neighbor gifts we did this year ... Keebler Elf Sunday actually happened last Saturday ... and I didn't get any pictures of the fam making the nearly 1,000 cookies we produced. BUT, I DO like how the bags turned out. And, as is tradition here on my blog, here is the recipe I use for the cookies:

Lucky Pennies

2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. salt
3/4 C. (1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened)
1 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 large egg
granulated sugar (for coating cookies)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In a separate large bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and egg and mix until well blended. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate it for at least 1 to 2 hours or until firm enough to roll into balls.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use a teaspoon to scoop the dough out of the bowl, then roll it with your fingertips into balls that are about one-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar. Place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between the cookies. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes or until the cookies are crinkled and set.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the dough is used. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month and at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Special note: This is a recipe that does NOT double/triple very well. If you want to make LOTS of them, you should make a separate batch of dough each time.

Materials Used: Cricut, Cricut Very Merry Tags Cartridge, Cherry Cobbler Coredinations Cardstock, Gold Foil DSP, Silver Foil DSP, Gold-Striped Cello Bags, Gold Curling Ribbon

From Millan.Net
Have the Happiest of Holidays. Here's wishing you love, peace and good health for the upcoming year ... thank you for being part of my life. I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends!!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Friday, December 19, 2014

Occasionally Freaky!

So here we all are ... right smack-dab in the middle of the holiday hustle and bustle ... and a little bit of CRAZY. Time for a TIME OUT with the Control Freaks!! If you've been following the Tour all the way around, you should have just come from the ROCKIN' projects of Dawn Olchefske!! We are all creating with some sneaky-peeky preview stuff from the upcoming Occasions and Sale-a-Bration catalogs!! Let's get started!!

First off ... what is NOT to love about this LEMON??? OhMyGoodness!!! As soon as I saw this lovely lemon (which is part of a set called "A Happy Thing" that you can earn for FREE during Sale-a-Bration staring January 6!), I KNEW it WOULD be MINE!!! I have a thing for all things citrus-y ... could NOT resist this!! And isn't the DSP just DELISH????

Stamps: A Happy Thing (SAB)
Paper: Whisper White, Painted Blooms DSP
Ink: Daffodil Delight Blendabilties, Old Olive Blendabilities, Old Olive, Black Memento
Accessories: Circle Framelits, Decorative Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Project Life Corner Rounder Punch, White Jute Ribbon, Daffodil Delight Taffeta Ribbon

And of course y'all KNOW how I have a THING for BUTTERFLIES!!! OhMyGoodness (did I say that already???)!!! EEEEeeep!!! Wow!! DROOOL!!! There's a GORGEOUS new set of butterfly thinlits dies ... HappyDance! OdeToJoy!!! And those roses (the laser cut ones and the beautiful "ribbon-y" ones??? Yeah ... those are part of the Artisan Embellishment Kit that you can have for yourself from the Occasions Catalog). There is SO MUCH to LOVE coming your way, people!!! I'm DYING already!!!

Stamps: Painted Petals
Paper: Blushing Bride, Rose Red
Ink: Rose Red
Accessories: Artisan Embellishment Kit, Butterflies Thinlits Dies, White Jute Ribbon (MYNEWFAVE!)

Onward and upward to see what Julie Davison has to share ... you're gonna LOVE it!!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Thursday, December 18, 2014

MDS Blog Hop - What Am I Working On??? December 2014

To be honest, I am ACTUALLY working on Christmas cards!!! Which actually DO have MDS components to them ... which I am NOT quite ready to share with the world ... so I am sharing something I did a few weeks back ... for which MDS came GALLOPING to the rescue since I was asked to do this as a favor for someone the day before it as needed (isn't that ALWAYS how we do things???).

I changed all the names, as well as the addresses and phone numbers I used for this fun little baby shower invite (to protect the "innocent", right??). I was able to pull this together LICKETY SPLIT ... which is one of the reasons I absolutely LOVE MDS so VERY much!!! I had this printed two-to-a-page ...

Quick. Easy. Fun. HANDY!!!

MDS Downloads:
Paper: Convention 2012
Stamps: Splatters (Ink Splatter 3)
Punches: Lots of Tags (Shape 3)
Embellishments: Chevron Ribbon (Marina Mist - bow and straight)
Fonts: Sketch College, 2Peas Rickety

Next up??? The awesome Amber Meadows!! Click on the "next" button below to see what she has to share!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Monday Montage #34

Deck the Halls ... Ho-Ho-Ho ... Jingle-Jangle-Jingle and all that stuff!! We're in full-on Christmas mode at my house (and I have already had to replace lights on my Christmas tree - one bulb at a time - for an hour and a half!). Welcome to Monday Montage! I took a little break from working on my "official" Christmas cards to work on a little something to share with all y'all today ...

I am kind of addicted to Crumb Cake cardstock ... I use it more than pretty much ANY other color. I blow through that stuff in a HURRY!!! Not quite sure what my fixation with it is lately, but I am really liking it right now! This was a pretty quick and easy card for me ... just used my 1", 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" square punches to make the little packages .... easy peasy!

Stamps: Ornamental Pine (sentiment)
Paper:  Crumb Cake, Trim the Tree DSP
Ink:   Garden Green
Accessories: 1" Square Punch, 1 1/4" Square Punch, 1 3/8" Square Punch, Gold Ribbon, Gold Sequin Trim (my FAVORITE!), Chevron Textured Impressions Embossing Folder

Click "Back" to see what Melissa Stout has to share, and/or the "Next" button to see what Amy O'Neill has cooked up for everyone this week!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fab Friday #56

Happy Fantastic Fab Friday!! I am SO excited to share with you what I made for this week's color challenge ... and I am going to be HONEST with you ... this one quite nearly STUMPED me!!

This color combo looks SO very Christmas-y!! And I was STRUGGLING with the Old Olive component of this ... and I was ALSO trying to make a NON-Christmas-y card. So you guys can SEE why I was stumped, right??? All in all, though, I'm VERY happy with what I came up with!!

Stamps: A Dozen Thoughts
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Maritime DSP, Motley Monsters DSP,  Trim the Tree DSP
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: Woodgrain Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Venetian Crochet Trim, Essentials Wooden Elements, Gold Basic Metal Buttons, Star Framelits, Postage Stamp Punch, Linen Thread

See all the pretty colors???

I can't wait to see what all y'all come up with for this challenge!! It's also SO great to see what directions everyone goes with these challenges. I get SO inspired from what YOU guys come up with!

Here's a link to the Fab Friday Challenge Blog so you can play along:

Fab Friday Challenge Blog

Check out the Fab blogs of my fellow Fab Friends:

Mindy Backes
Cindy Beach
Brian King
Justin Krieger
Amanda Mertz
Brenda Myers
Pam Steckman
Jan Tinklenberg

I am in FURIOUSLY and CRAZY Christmas-card-making mode. I spent FOREVER trying to come up with something ... and now I have to make 85 of what I came up with! I need to be cloned ...

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Thursday, December 4, 2014

MDS Blog Hop - Welcome to December!

Hey, friends! Welcome to another fantastic hop with the MDS Blog Hoppers! This week we are actually SUPPOSED to be sharing some sort of Christmas Memory/Tradition project ... and I am going to admit right up front that I am cheating ... I worked my fingers to the bone last week working on a project that was challenging on so many levels, so I just wanted to share parts of it with you.

In my last blog post I mentioned what I had been working on ... the daughter/granddaughter of some dear family friends was tragically taken at the sweet and tender age of 12. I felt so honored, humbled and blessed to have been asked by the family to make a memorial book to share at the funeral. I received SO many photos from family and friends that I was able to use them to make a slideshow to be used at the viewing prior to the funeral as well (I used MDS images to make a label for the DVD's, too!).

I definitely know I had the help of some angels to do this project (most particularly sweet Addy!). I kept all of the pages quite simple ... I used the "chalkboard" DSP from the "My First Day" download, as well as the Bright Blooms and Sara's Sequins as accents to the photos ...

I was somehow able to complete 36 pages in one day!! And thanks to the help from the photo department at Costco, I was able to get them all printed into beautiful 12x12 photos in the same day (with the funeral being right after Thanksgiving, time was VERY short!).

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to do something for people who I love, care about and respect. When tragedy strikes it is often so easy to feel helpless ... I was glad to have had something I could DO to help (even if it was in a small way).

Next up??? The awesome Amber Meadows!! Click on the "next" button below to see what she has to share!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stamp Review Crew - Endless Wishes Edition

Hey, friends!!! Seasons have officially switched into full CHRISTMAS mode!! And the Stamp Review Crew is keeping step by showing off what they can do with Stampin' Up's Endless Wishes Photopolymer Set ...

There is a REASON this set COMPLETELY sold out last year when it first came out on a "limited run" availability ... and I'm SO very happy that it is now part of the "big catalog"! This set is FABULOUS!!

I have been gone ALL WEEK from blogging land. Our hearts are broken ... the daughter of a very good family friend was accidentally killed on November 23. She was only 12 years old ... beautiful and fun and vivacious and lovely ... I spent ALL last week doing a 36-page memory book for the funeral (which was on Saturday). Thank HEAVENS for MDS!!! And because I had received SO many photos from her friends/family, I also put together a slide show (which was shown at the viewing before the funeral). I feel SO incredibly blessed and humbled that the family asked me to help them out with this. And I KNOW that angels were on my shoulder helping me along (especially sweet little Addy!). NO WAY could I have EVER done a 36-page album in a day and a half withOUT her help!! MUCH love and support to the Robbins/Clinger family ...

Stamps: Endless Wishes
Paper: Coastal Cabana, Whisper White
Ink: Island Indigo, Coastal Cabana, Whisper White
Accessories: Ovals Framelits, On Point Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, 1 3/8" Square Punch, Silver 1/8" Ribbon, Whisper White Bakers Twine, Vintage Faceted Button, Rhinestone Basics, Whisper White Embossing Powder

SEE how LOVELY the images for this set are??? And the sentiments are WONDERFUL!!!

Clicking on the "previous blog" button below will take you back to the SUPERB Shana Gaff ... and the "next blog" button will take you to NIFTY Nancy Smith!! These ladies will blow your socks off!!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Monday Montage #33

What a GREAT way to start off our Thanksgiving week ... by sharing some creativity with the Monday Montage girls!! And while I am at it ... I am SO VERY GRATEFUL to be part of this group of amazingly-talented women. But more importantly, they are all kind, smart, funny and just lovely from the inside out. Blessed to have them in my life!!

Today I am sharing what I call a little "gratitude" tin. I made these with "my girls" (the youth group from church). What you CAN'T see is a bunch of ovals I punched out of just plain ol' printer paper (they are on the inside ... and NO I did NOT punch over 300 for every girl ... I did about 40 or so). The idea is to write down little things that you are grateful for ... or events that took place that make you happy ... on each of the ovals and place them back into the tin as the year goes by. (I just assumed that the girls would use up all the pieces I gave them and figure out something ELSE to write on as the year progresses.) At the end of the year (around next Thanksgiving), they can pull out all the little slips and read about how AMAZING their lives are. I also encouraged them to date each little slip of paper. They could write things as simple as "I love popcorn!" or "Went to the park with my family!" ... anything that made their day happy.

Stamps: Truly Grateful
Paper:  Cajun Craze, Hello Honey, Blackberry Bliss, Very Vanilla, Color Me Autumn DSP
Ink:   Baked Brown Sugar
Accessories: Bitty Banners Framelits, Circle Framelits, Autumn Accents Bigz Die, Baked Brown Sugar Ruffled Ribbon (retired), Autumn Wooden Elements, Linen Thread, Decorative Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Tea Tin

Here are all of the girls' tins lined up all pretty and fancy ...

We had a GREAT time together decorating our little tins ... these girls but a smile on my face and love in my heart. More blessing for which I am truly grateful ...

Click "Back" to see Melissa Stout's fantastic creation, and/or the "Next" button to see something else to be grateful for from Amy O'Neill!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fab Friday #55

Woot-WOOT!!! Not only is today FRIDAY ... it's FAB FRIDAY!!! I always LOVE what my fellow Fab friends have to share ... they come up with SO many creative ideas!

I seem to be addicted to the Burlap Ribbon ... and the Gold Sequin Trim ... but I was able to stop myself from using THAT on here as well (I wish that SU made ROLLS and ROLLS of different colors of sequin trim). I am thinking it is time for me to get busy and get my Christmas card figured out ... sigh ... the next month is gonna be BUSY!!

Stamps: Festival of Trees
Paper: Garden Green, Sahara Sand, Whisper White, Trim the Tree DSP, Red a Glimmer Paper, Champagne Glimmer Paper, Gold Foil DSP
Ink: Garden Green, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Tree Punch, On Point Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack (star punch), Bitty Banners Framelits, Burlap Ribbon, Gold 1/8" Ribbon, Real Red 3/8" Satin Woven Ribbon, Watercolor Wonder Washi Tape, Sewing Machine

Love me a good sketch ...

I also used this as my sample for today's Free for All Challenge over on SCS ... I called it "Grab and Go!". The idea was to take the most recent thing you have purchased with which to be crafty AND have NOT used ... and to throw it in the mix. I used the Trim the Tree DSP, which I just got in the mail last Wednesday. I also used my Festival of Trees stamp set and tree punch ... I've had those for a while, but hadn't used THOSE yet either (I guess I have too much stuff ... REALLY??? ... Nah .....)!

Here's a link to the Fab Friday Challenge Blog so you can play along:

Fab Friday Challenge Blog

Check out the Fab blogs of my fellow Fab Friends:

Mindy Backes
Cindy Beach
Brian King
Justin Krieger
Amanda Mertz
Brenda Myers
Marla Reed
Pam Steckman
Jan Tinklenberg

This has been one of THOSE weeks ... and I'm going to be running like a chicken with my head cut off for at least the next two days. Why are some weeks like this???? I'm TOTALLY gonna enjoy me a NAP on Sunday afternoon, that's for SURE!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MDS Blog Hop - What I'm Working On - November

It's MDS Blog Hoppin' Time! This time around we are all sharing a little glimpse into what we are working on ... and this week I was compelled to make a layout of a photo I took of my kids when we were all together a couple of weeks ago for the Weixler Family Apple Pressing Day event!!! Such an AWESOME family tradition that my husband and his brothers have been doing since their dad got them started back when they were boys ...

Even though my oldest is making his "I'm-a-dork-and-I'm-gonna-ruin-your-photo" face, this photo still makes my heart happy. I have NO idea where the time has gone since these three were babies ... it seems that I blinked and they all grow up ... sigh ...

MDS Downloads:
Paper: Number One, Hello Perfection
Embellishment: A to Z Wordpress, Chevron Ribbon (recolored to Cherry Cobbler), Seriously Teen Washi Tape, Season of Style Washi Tape, Keep This Memory (stamp frame), More Candid Frames (square 3)
Stamps: Epic Overlays (splatter 2), Enjoy Every Moment (dotted circle), School Days (apple)
Fonts: LDJ Left Hand Jam, 2Peas Busy Babs

Check out what Monika Davis is working on by clicking on the link below ... more amazingness, as usual!!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Freakin' Jingle All the Way

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells ... Jingle All the Freakin' WAY!!! Welcome to some joyful and triumphant fun with the Control Freaks!!! Did you SEE what my fabulous friend, Barb Mullikin, created??? She is WONDERFUL!

As you can see, we are doing our best to get our holiday on and going. To be honest, I have FINALLY started to feel a little more "in the mood" for some Christmas! These are actually the very FIRST things I have created to start the season ...

I feel like I am EXTREMELY late to the dance using this set! I have been seeing a LOT of lovely things created with it (Ornamental Pine). I was initially really STUMPED as to what I was going to do with it that was not been there/done that ... I was inspired by so many things that I have seen. Tried to put my own little twists on it - I loved using the Under the Tree Specialty DSP on this one.

Stamps: Ornamental Pine, Good Greetings
Paper: Baked Brown Sugar, Under the Tree Specialty DSP
Ink: Whisper White, Old Olive Blendabilities, Skin Tone Assortment Blendabilties
Accessories: Circle Framelits, Real Red Taffeta Ribbon, Gold Button, Linen Thread, 1 1/4" Square Punch, Burlap Ribbon

Round Two ... a little more of the same, but different. I wanted to try and mess with the color scheme on this one. Like I did with my first sample, I stamped the images in white, embossed them with white and then colored them with my lovely Blendabilities markers. Just today I got a pad of Trim the Tree DSP ... I'm going to have SO much fun playing with that!

Stamps: Ornamental Pine, Good Greetings
Paper: Night of Navy, Whisper White, Trim the Tree DSP
Ink: Whisper White, Night of Navy, Skin Tone Assortment Blendabilities
Accessories: Oval Framelits, 1 1/4" Square Punch, Chevron Neutral Ribbon

Up next??? The MARVELOUS Mindy Backes!!

 photo blogsignature_zps8e79d50b.png