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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Feel the Love: Cards for our military

Happy Tuesday, my dear friends! :o)

As you know, a staple in my crafty routine is supporting the incredible I Feel the Love Project, hosted monthly by the sweet and talented Madison of Funky Cards. Each month she highlights a particular person, family, or organization in need of a burst of love... in turn, we have the privilege of using our hobby to make someone's life better. This month we were asked to honor those who serve our wonderful country. Our cards are going to members of the U.S. Navy who will soon be shipping out overseas. Before they deploy for their next mission, we get to send them some love. :o)

My plan was to make five cards and a sweet gift box for them this weekend. I was excited! Unfortunately, early on in the process I sliced my finger. :( I was unable to meet my goal, but I did the best I could under the circumstances. I hope these three cards deliver shiploads of love.

(Individual photos below!)
My inspiration was clearly to find a way to clothe these brave heroes with so much love that beautiful smiles appear upon receipt. :o) It's the least we can do, aside from praying for them daily. I wish I could include a hug, but hopefully these will somehow incite the same feelings. :o)

Because of finger pain when I type, I cannot say as much as I'd love to. However, I simply MUST share with you that on all three cards I used a brand new cartridge! I am thrilled to finally own the Art Philosophy cart, a gift from my sweetie! **happy dance** I've longed for this since it first came out and it is as exquisite as it appears. The timing was perfect because I can't think of a better way to break in a new cart than by using it to serve others.

And now, a few technical highlights of each. :o)
I wanted to make a whimsically fun patriotic card first, so I naturally turned to Create a Critter. I gave the sweet puppy a Peachy Keen Critter face, a flag to hold with pride, and nestled him atop my first Art Philosophy cut: the heart doily! Oh how I love this cut! Expect to see it often, my friends. ;) I used my new gorgeous My Craft Spot crinkle ribbon in Scarlet Red, ordered with a gift certificate I won from my sweet friend Nita. (Thank you again!) The sentiment is from one of the coordinating Close to My Heart stamp sets that come with the cart, which I attached with Peppermint Stick Trendy Twine. The sentiment has a double-purpose, as it's sending them my love and also signifies the heartfelt love our military feels for this great nation. The two little stars are from the Whimsical Designs Whimsical Fun~ Volume 1 stamp set.
For this one, I was able to use more new blessings. The banner is from the Spellbinders Lacy Pennants set, which I won from Sentimental Sundays. I am going to get a TON of use out of this set! I 'strung' them with more trendy twine and 'adhered' them with sparkles. (Even the military likes to sparkle! I'm sure of this.) Everything on the card is inked with Tim Holtz Faded Jeans Distress Ink. The stars are from Art Philosophy, which I stamped in Versamark Dazzle with the corresponding Close to My Heart stamp and heat embossed it with deep blue pearly embossing powder. I used Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Four for the Hero. USA and Hero are cut from Storybook. The bases are embossed with the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder for texture and all the cuts are attached with foam tape for dimension. The star paper is from Creative Imaginations. Thankfully I had *just* enough left over from last July!
Lastly, I wanted to make a fun star-shaped card. The gorgeous star is from Art Philosophy (I LOVE the flourish with it!), which I stitched around with my sewing machine. For the interior part of the star I cut the Reminisce patterned paper so it would be slightly angled like the rhinestone-accented flourish. I nestled three heart buttons at the base to signify being rooted and built up in God's love. When we do that, we are sure to flourish. :o) I topped it with more Scarlet Red crinkle ribbon and attached an Art Philosophy tag beneath it. The sentiment is from the Whimsical Designs Whimsical Fun~ Volume 1 stamp set. Whichever Navy member opens it is certainly a super star. :o)

Patriotic cards are the hardest for me, but I hope my heart shows above any design detail anyway... that's always my goal, especially with Madison's project. Thank you for visiting me today! I hope your day sparkles with love and blessings. :o)

Challenge entered:
 * Creative Cutter Room~ Shape cards
 * DL Art Thankful Thursday~ Anything Goes
 * Frosted Designs~ Shape it Up x 3 (Geometric shape used three times: Hero card!)

Key Recipe Components:
 * Most are listed above.. I need to rest my finger, so I will add them here soon!

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Green Blend Award! :)

Happy Sunday, my sparkling friends! :o)

I am truly honored to have received the Green Blend Award from four of my dearest and sweetest friends: Lisa of A Mermaid's Crafts, Sherrie of Sherrie Scraps with Passion, Sandy of Sandy from Ukiah, and Pam of Crafty Cards 4u2! I am happy dancing and ready to burst with sparkly joy. :o) I *heart* you all something crazy.

This is one of the sweetest awards I've ever seen, so I'm going to include the purpose with which it was created:

This is from Beckie of Just B Creative Crazy, who created the award:

"There are several blog awards that bounce around in blog land. To each award is a purpose and pride. I wanted to create an award for those who are co-bloggers and friends. I wanted to create an award that I could give to those who have helped me develop as a blogger, a crafter, and friend.

When I first began in the vast world of blogging, I had zero knowledge of what to do. What the heck is a gadget…and isn’t adding it supposed to help, not drive me nuts!?! 

There were a few people along the way that took me under their wing and helped me even after 5 emails of “I have no idea what you are talking about!!” haha

So to honor those whom I have befriended, I have created an award. My stupendous friend, Jessica, of Jessica’s Craft Shaque coined the term “Blend”. She says this is a friend and a co-blogger. I just love that word. 

I contacted Mrs Jessica and politely asked her to be co-creator of the award and for copyrights to use the term “Blend”. She graciously accepted to both requests.

The “Green” portion represents how we should be kind to one another and help one another…such as being “Green” and helping our environment. Reissue the kindness that someone once gave to you as an infant blogger. Recycle the ideas you have learned or invented to pass along to up and coming crafters. Reduce the frustrations of wanting to a blogger with magnitude."
 

Here are the terms under which this “Green Blend Award” are to be given:


1. This award is for any co-blogging friend who has helped you develop your blog in any and all ways.

2. This award is for any co-blogging friend who has cheered you along in your blog building, craft advancing career.

3. This award is for any co-blogging friend who always stops by and is kind to you. You can count on them to always be one of the great comments at the end of your post.

4. This award is to be given to 3 to 5 Blends whom you feel meet the listed requirements.

5. Create a post with the terms of use and publish your Blends of choice.

6. Blend of choice may copy the award from your blog and proudly post it on theirs.

7. Blend of choice may continue the kindness by issuing this award to keep the circle forever growing.

Seriously, how marvelous is this award? I am so grateful for the blendships I have made through this crafty journey. Far greater than any technique I've learned since starting this blog last May are the people who have become a steadfast presence in my life. Not just my blog, but my life. When one blend simply was running out of blogging time, she was sure to send me a text message as a reminder of how much she cares about me and my little blog. That's merely one example of the extraordinary blendships that I treasure dearly. (I treasure my blends reindeerly.)

I am passing along this perfectly sappy award to the following blends (I couldn't help but share the love with 6 well-deserving sweethearts):
 * Lisa of A Mermaid's Crafts
 * Nita of Nita Notes
 * Pam of Crafty Cards 4u2
 * Sabrina of Scrappin' with Sabrina
 * Sandy of Sandy from Ukiah

These ladies are spectacular in every facet of crafting and friendship. Thank you for the daily inspiration and for sparklifying my blog with your beautiful presence. :o) You are all such blessings and I will continue to stick by you like velcro!


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wall Hanging with Giant Flowers Cartridge :)

Happy Wednesday, my sparkly friends! I hope you're having a beautifully crafty week! :o)

I am so excited to share this little wall hanging that I made yesterday for a few challenges! (One may seem a bit out of place at first glance, but I explain it in the challenge list below!) I was extremely blessed to win the Giant Flowers cartridge from the amazingly talented (and sweet) Shelly of My Paper Love. (Thank you for the millionth time!) I wasted no time putting it to use. The hardest part was choosing which flower to make first! :o)

After much debate, I chose the lotus because of how it blossoms pure and radiant, flourishing through its muddy environment. I wrote a little passage to accompany it and to serve as a primary focal point... no need to squint, as I'll type it below! :o)
A closer view at the incredible flower:
A better look at the sentiment, which will be pretty big if you enlarge it:
Text:
Growing in faith, the love of the Lord blossoms within. Strengthened by grace, our hearts trust in the One and Only.

Amazingly, I forgot to take a side angle photograph of the flower because I was rushed this morning. :( It is exquisite! You can obviously cut these massive and larger than life, but I wanted to experiment and see how it would work on a bit of a smaller scale for this 8.5'' square wall hanging. I am thrilled with the results. Cut at 2 inches, the assembled flower measures roughly 4.25'' wide and 1.25'' high. In person, this flower is truly stunning. I inked all of the edges with Tim Holtz Victorian Velvet Distress Ink to soften the trim as well as bring more life to each petal. Most of the nine flowers include centers to cut, but the lotus does not. I chose a pretty Tim Holtz Fanciful Button that somewhat mimics its circular seeded center. Plus, the little filigree hearts work nicely with the sentiment.

Speaking of which, the sentiment was inspired by the love my sweetheart and I share. Our focus is the Lord and His perfect love, and as we grow in faith together, our love grows at the same time. It's truly a beautiful thing. :o) Desiring the passage to be a focal element, I used a Spellbinders Fleur de Lis square for the base with pearlescent, textural white paper. I inked the pink sentiment paper's edges with Victorian Velvet (as well as the main base layers), straight-stitched it to the square, and added Wild Orchid Crafts Guipure white lace as a decorative trim. Since pearls make everything better, I added a little graduating row and a few on the corners. I was going for elegant simplicity, which pearls innately achieve.

To put the sentiment and incredible flower in focus, I kept the rest of the wall hanging streamlined. I used a flourishy paper from the DCWV French Country stack to make a nice backdrop on its own. The flourishes are all sparkly, with several areas of delicate script. I added a Gypsy Wanderings flourish above the flower for a little added punch, but kept it tonal so as not to detract. I simply added a touch of Victorian Velvet Ink (I couldn't put it down!). I dolloped it with pearls because... well... I just love them. ;) I stitched around the entire base with a zig zag stitch for variety and added two filigree heart corners from Storybook. Matching Wild Orchid Crafts lace completes the bottom, which I dotted with pearls for a graceful touch. (Side Note: I love this white Guipure lace design even more than the larger, slightly different cream version I used on my last project. **swoon**)

For a pop of sunshiny warmth, I added three sparkling orange butterflies. I love how they stand out against the pink base. Two pink ones are also fluttering about, although their script bodies do not show in the pictures... they coordinate with the script on the base. The pink ones are dotted with a pearl, with one of them resting atop a pretty lotus petal. (I wouldn't be able to resist, either!) All of them are facing upward because their focus is always above... just like we strive so hard to keep our focus on the One above. I hope you like this as much as my sweetheart does... if it's not too girly, I'd love to give this to him for our anniversary since it was inspired by him and created with our anniversary in mind. He prefers when I make things with my favorite girly supplies, anyway. :o)

Challenges entered:
 * Fantabulous Cricut~ Fancy Trims
 * Go Fish Challenge Blog~ Photo Inspiration (creative use of typeset)
 * Love to Crop~ Pink, Orange, plus ONE other color (white)
 * My Sheri Crafts~ Warm Wishes! (They said we could use our imagination... to me, the ultimate warmth is heavenly love shared with my sweetheart and the thought of summery flowers. Nothing warms me better on this chilly day!)
 * Sentimental Sundays~ Let's get sentimental (focus on the sentiment)

Thank you for fluttering on by today! I wish you all a gorgeous day of blessings and smooshy hugs. :o)

Key Recipe Components:
 * Cricut cartridges: Giant Flowers, Gypsy Wanderings, Storybook
 * Spellbinders Nestabilities: Fleur de Lis Squares
 * Sentiment: Written by me
 * Paper: Bazzill, DCWV
 * Inking: Tim Holtz Victorian Velvet Distress Ink
 * Lace: Wild Orchid Crafts Guipure White
 * Button: Tim Holtz Fanciful Buttons
 * Butterfly Punch: Fiskars
 * Pearls: Recollections

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Be Unique, Be Unforgettable, Be You... and Sweet Saturday!

Happy Saturday, my sweet friends! :o) I had every intention of posting before today, but it was one of those stretches. You know what helps with a bit of a trying week? Hugs, making a girly card, and sharing a delicious treat. All those are wrapped up into today's post!

First up is a card I made for a few challenges. I used a new-to-me technique, which is always exciting. :o) My first Criss Cross card was so much fun to create.

"Be Unique, Be Unforgettable, Be You"
Not only was it pure joy making this, but I was finally able to use a few more new goodies that my sweetheart gave me. When I decided to use this marvelous Whimsical Designs sentiment from Stephanie's Whimsical Fun~ Volume 1 set, I knew the perfect image stamp to accompany it. Our creative spirits make us unique, enable us to make sweet projects that touch someone's life, and the journey helps us discover hidden parts of ourselves... tiny morsels that make us who we are. Making a heartfelt creation is truly a representation of who we are, with each style highlighting individual facets. It's one of the reasons I so enjoy visiting blogs. Every designer has their own beautiful creative spirit. :o)

This sweet stamp is an Elisabeth Bell digi stamp, titled Creative Genius. She is perfect! Just look at her crafting to her heart's content. I colored her with Copics and sprinkled in some extra treats: Her slipper is not only sparkly, but I cut off part of a pom-pom to make it fluffy, too. Her headband is dolloped with pearls, used for the flower centers. Star Dust covers her pencil, markers, paintbrushes, and the kitty's bow. One of my favorite parts is completely unseen because I neglected to get a close-up. :( She's drawing a picture of a flower and I colored it Buttercup and sparklified it... for a sappy reason. Because everything created from the heart sparkles like the most gorgeous ray of sunshine dancing upon an ocean. It's just how it works! :o)

The papers are from the Kaisercraft English Rose collection, which I continue to love more with each new pattern I use. The Wild Orchid Craft Guipure cream lace is new, a blessing from my sweetie pie. I LOVE this exquisite lace. The pretty flowers are also Wild Orchid Crafts, which are trimmed in Star Dust. I tucked a 2-tone baby pink Sweetheart Blossom into the mix because the cute creative genius is such a sweetheart. I sewed all of the layers and then pleated crinkle ribbon to make a girly, fluffy trim. And all of the inking is new! It's my first time dabbing into Tim Holtz and I am already in love. I used Victorian Velvet for all of the edges.

The image stamp base is cut from Elegant Edges, the tag from Gypsy Wanderings, and the interior butterfly is a fancy corner from Storybook. The butterfly's trail is sparkly (of course) and I dotted her wings with pearls. It felt so good to craft! :o)

Criss Cross Card Tutorial: Here!

Challenges entered:
 * Crafty Catz~ Favorite Things (Copics, flowers, lace, pearls, pink, ribbon)
 * Cute Card Thursday~ Flower Power!
 * My Craft Spot~ Girly Girl!
 * Paper Sundaes~ Sundae Bar! (I used cream and pearls)

Ready for a treat? Sweet Saturday is all about hugs and cookies. I was searching for a new cookie recipe to bake for my boyfriend and his coworkers... and you won't believe what I stumbled across. Cookies that have HUGS inside them. I waited all of two seconds before whipping up these Hugs Chocolate Cookies.
His coworkers love me. The rich chocolate cookie dough is embracing Hershey Hugs. The original recipe uses the seasonal Raspberry Hugs, but since we're not huge raspberry fans I used regular Hugs. Any flavor would be delicious! The surprise center of melted white and milk chocolate was perfect for Valentine's Day. (Or any day.) The tops are fancied up with a white chocolate drizzle to complement the centers. The cookie itself is rich, fudgy, and decadent... and as is always the case, a Hug makes everything better. If you try these, I hope you love them as much as we did. :o)

Thank you for visiting me! I hope your weekend sparkles with joy, crafting, and chocolate. :o)
***

Raspberry Hugs Chocolate Cookies
Yield: 3½ dozen cookies

Ingredients:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup dutch processed cocoa
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (10 ounce) bag Hershey's Raspberry Hugs candy (or any flavor you desire)
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix until flour disappears.

Unwrap the Hugs candies. Take a spoonful of cookie dough and wrap the dough around the Hug candy, making certain the entire Hug is covered. Place cookie onto prepared baking sheet. Continue wrapping cookies until the dough is gone. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. Do not over-bake. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Place white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt. Drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Let cookies sit until chocolate hardens, approximately 10 minutes.

***

Key Recipe Components (for card):
 * Cricut cartridges: Elegant Edges, Gypsy Wanderings, Storybook
 * Copics: E000, E00 (skin); E25, E31, E50 (hair); R81, R83 (shirt, headband, slipper, cup); B91, B95 (jeans, headband, tablecloth, chair); Y21, Y000 (tablecloth, chair); C3, C5 (kitty); B00 (water in glass with paintbrushes)
 * Paper: DCWV, Kaisercraft, Papertrey Ink
 * Ink: Tim Holtz Victorian Velvet
 * Wild Orchid Crafts: 35mm trellis rose, 20mm roses, sweetheart blossom; Guipure cream lace
 * Crinkle Ribbon: Prairie Bird Boutique
 * Miscellaneous: Pearls (Recollections); Stickles

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love Struck and Sweet Saturday!

Happy Saturday, my sweet friends! I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. :o)

I have a couple of treats to share today! Firstly, I was able to squeeze in a card for a few challenges I was determined to play in this week. Love is naturally the theme with Valentine's Day around the corner, so I chose to use one of my favorite stamps. It showcases the sweet side of love... and I'm pretty sure many of us can relate. ;)

"Love Struck"
This sweetheart from The Paper Shelter is titled Fairy of the Cookies and I am enamored with her. I instantly reached for my last sheet of this Kaisercraft paper because I thought the stars, flourishes, and dots worked well with a fairy theme. I colored her with Copics but had a doozy of a time with that huge cookie jar! I need practice. I used blue-violets and blue-greens for her clothing, plus an essential layer of Star Dust for her wings. The 'i' on the jar is dotted with a heart rhinestone because cookies make our hearts sparkle. The Elegant Edges background is pop-dotted and trimmed with tiny rhinestones to envelop her in a sweet and sparkly cookie-loving world.

I used sheer glitter ribbon for a path of sparkles, cinching it with a pearlescent heart slider/buckle. I Star Dusted the tips of the Wild Orchid Crafts flowers and inked all of the paper edges with Dew Drop Brilliance Lavender ink for extra touches of shimmer. The paper beneath the lace heart border is tiny dots, which looks cute in person but did not photograph well. (It was one of those mornings.) This card is drastically different from the magical version I originally planned, but a narrow time frame changed things. Our cookie fairy still has a nice little background to frolic in. :o) It's a fun way to declare love, even if the recipient might question if I truly love cookies or him. ;)

The Whimsical Designs sentiment was perfect for this card. She not only loves cookies, but she is completely love struck. It is from the With Love stamp set and completed the theme wonderfully.

Challenges entered:
 * Fantabulous Cricut~ Love Is In the Air (Include a heart)
 * Getting Cricky~ Fantasy Land
 * Wild Orchid Crafts Challenge~ Love Is

And now, at long last, Sweet Saturday! I am ecstatic to have returned to the kitchen after nearly three months away from baking. A few days ago I shared a fancy cupcake box I made while playing Cupcake Fairy for a loved ones' birthday. You know what goes nice with cupcakes? Cookies. Although everyone loves the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcakes, sometimes you need Oreos. Oreo Cupcakes with Oreo Whipped Cream Frosting, to be exact!
(And yes... my cupcake box cut at the recommended size was bigger than I had hoped! Lesson learned.)

These were a hit! The fluffy vanilla cake is packed with coarsely chopped Oreos, with some of them having a surprise half-Oreo at the bottom. The whipped cream frosting is infused with crushed Oreos, bringing additional chocolatey goodness to the confection. So basically, it's Oreo heaven. My family loved them, my boyfriend's coworkers loved them, and these will certainly be made again. :o)

Note: Including the half-Oreo at the bottom of the cupcake is certainly adaptable. My boyfriend (and everyone else) loved it. I personally preferred it without, only because I don't like crunchy bottoms on my cupcakes. I simply gave away the bottom part, which a certain someone didn't mind. ;)

Note 2: This frosting would make a heavenly filling, too!

Thank you for visiting me today! You make me sparkle brighter than a Christmas tree. :o) Have a lovely day, my friends! I wish I could give you a cupcake.
***

Oreo Cupcakes with Oreo Whipped Cream Frosting
Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⅔ cups sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

For the frosting:
1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Oreo cookie crumbes
24 Oreo cookie halves (to garnish, if desired)

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350º F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in in the bottom of each liner, cream side up.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together with a fork to blend and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in the cookie crumbs with a spatula.

Use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to frost the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with Oreo halves, if desired. (Garnish immediately before serving to avoid the Oreos softening.) Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Allow to sit at room temperature for approximately an hour prior to serving to remove the chill from the cakes.

Source: Cupcakes: Annie's Eats; Frosting: Annie's Eats
***

Key Recipe Components (for card):
 * Cricut cartridge: Elegant Edges
 * Sentiment stamp: Whimsical Designs~ With Love
 * Image stamp: The Paper Shelter; colored with Copics
 * Paper: DCWV, Kaisercraft
 * Flowers and ribbon slider: Wild Orchid Crafts
 * Border punch: Martha Stewart Lace Heart Edge Punch
 * Ribbon: Casa Collection Special Occasion (JoAnns)
 * Miscellaenous: Dew Drop Brilliance Ink, Heart rhinestone (Recollections); iRock; Stickles


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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Colors of Love: Whimsical Wednesday Challenge!

Happy Wednesday, my sweet friends! I hope your week is fluttering along beautifully! :o)

This week's Whimsical Wednesday challenge is all about the colors of love! Include the colors red, white, and a third color of your choice on your LO, card, or project to play along with us!

I decided to make a cupcake box this week! I hadn't made one in far too long and it was perfect timing to celebrate a loved one's birthday. :o)

"Sprinkled with love"
Cut from Sweet Tooth Boxes, I made a sweet little cupcake box swirling with love. The red flourish paper is from Echo Park (corrected from my original post date... not sure why I thought it was MME!) and I kept waiting for the perfect project to use it. Who doesn't love a swirly cupcake wrapper? Since this project is sprinkled with love, I used mini-hearts paper for the frosting. I pleated two layers of crinkle ribbon and attached them to the top of the base to fancy it up... plus, I like how it somewhat resembles fluffy frosting. :o)

The actual cut is topped with a cherry, with slits to make it 3D. I wanted to top mine with love, so I cut out two Gypsy Wanderings hearts instead and slid them together. (Sadly I didn't photograph this at the proper angle due to rushing. I meant to show the hearts more accurately.) The red heart layers are embossed and they're centered with a tonal-flourished pale yellow paper. Why yellow as my third color choice? Because the most beautiful hearts are bursting with sunshine. I surrounded them with Wild Orchid Crafts roses to replicate the pretty flowers on fancy celebratory cakes. (I honestly do not know why I couldn't properly photograph this project.)

For the tag, I wanted to incorporate additional embossed hearts... you can't have too much love, especially when a cupcake is involved. I cut out two more (the same as the topper) and layered them to be cascading love. I secured them with Peppermint Stick Trendy Twine and a sweet heart button. I had to force myself to refrain from adding more pretties throughout.. after all, this needed to be functional! While simple, it was very much loved by the one who inspired it. :o) The Sprinkled with love Whimsical Designs sentiment is one of my favorites, found in Stephanie's With Love stamp set. A must-have for all of my sappy creations. :o)

Regarding the contents of this box, after a couple of months away due to family situations, I am ecstatic that I finally returned to the kitchen! Sweet Saturday returns with a flourish, so check back this weekend if you'd like to see the delicious treat. Though not topped with red hearts, it's topped with a different form of love: Oreo whipped cream frosting. The family felt the love. ;)

The entire stamp set that I seem to grab with most every project of late:

I hope you'll join us this week by linking up your Colors of Love project to the Whimsical Wednesday challenge post, where you'll also find information on this week's prize. I am excited to see your work. :o) Be sure to flutter on over to the rest of the Whimsical Designers' blogs to see their inspiring projects!

Thank you for visiting me today! I wish you a day sparkling with love and cupcakes. :o)

Challenge entered:
 * My Craft Spot~ Valentine's! (Valentine's card or treat packaging)
 * My Sheri Crafts~ Love Is In the Air (At least two hearts)
 * Sentimental Sundays~ Feel the LOVE (Anything lovey!)

Key Recipe Components:
 * Cricut cartridges: Gypsy Wanderings, Sweet Tooth Boxes
 * Cuttlebug embossing folder: Swiss Dots
 * Sentiment stamp: Whimsical Designs~ With Love
 * Paper: Bazzill, Canvas Corp, Echo Park
 * Crinkle Ribbon: Prairie Bird Boutique
 * Twine: Peppermint Stick Trendy Twine
 * Flowers: Wild Orchid Crafts
 * Button: Dress it Up~ Love Potion

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Tiny package... big heart!

Happy Friday, my sparkly friends! I hope you have a fabulous weekend coming up. :o)

I have a quick post today! (No, really!) I simply needed to enter the Fantabulous Cricut challenge this week, which is to make a mini Valentiny card! It can only be 3x3... how sweet is that? It was a bit daunting for me at first. I love minis (and all of the DT ladies did amazing), but I have never made one. I wasn't sure I could make something cute in such a tiny package. So I decided to start with a tiny creature to deliver my message...

"Tiny package..."
"...big heart. Happy Valentine's Day."
A mini ocean scene is what transpired! I love the seahorse cut on Create a Critter and am so excited I finally used it. Oh how I wish the sparkle showed in these pictures! I used Core Couture cardstock for the sand and seaweed, so they're super sparkly with their silver flecks. The shells are also made with sparkling paper. I embossed the sand to make it look a little more sandy. The sweet seahorse has an itty bitty rhinestone for her eye because she's twinkling with love. I used Glossy Accents for the bubbles and foam tape for the seahorse and seashells for dimension. I attached the little tag with Blueberry Blue Trendy Twine and added a tiny heart rhinestone. Everything is inked with Dew Drop Brilliance ink (Sky Blue) for extra shimmer.

Inside, I thought it would be cute to nestle two seahorse sweethearts within a heart. Despite being silhouettes, I still added a touch of sparkle since they're radiating with love. I completed the computer-generated part of the sentiment and then added a  Whimsical Designs stamp! The Happy Valentine's Day is from Stephanie's With Love set. I use this fantastic set SO often. Here's the rest of it! It's such a perfect set for lovey-dovey creations. :o)
Challenge entered:
 * Fantabulous Cricut~ 3x3 Valentiny card

I wish you all a blessed and sparkly weekend! :o)

Key Recipe Components:
 * Cricut cartridge: Create a Critter, Elegant Edges
 * Cuttlebug embossing folder: Swiss Dots
 * Spellbinders Nestabilities: Labels Four
 * Sentiment stamp: Happy Valentine's Day from Whimsical Designs~ With Love set
 * Paper: Core'dinations, DCWV, Heidi Grace, Imaginisce
 * Twine: Trendy Twine Blueberry Twine
 * Heart punch: EK Success
 * Miscellaneous: Glossy Accents, Heart rhinestone (Recollections), Stickles

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bringing Out the Old: Whimsical Wednesday Challenge!

Happy Wednesday, my crafty friends! I hope your February is off to a fantastic start! :o)

This week's Whimsical Wednesday challenge is to incorporate something that you haven't used in a long time to create a scrapbook LO, card, or project. It can be anything crafty related, be it a tool, cartridge, paper, or embellishment. (Tell us what it is, too!) My pretty ribbon and lovely weathered-green base are my old items. :o)

I combined old and new goodies to create a card inspired by my parents' 49th wedding anniversary, celebrated last week. :o) I tried a new-to-me fancy fold card: the diamond fold! I opted for the inside-out variation which moves the diamond inside.

Before the card springs to life, our little sweetheart is planting love...
Faithfully cared for, the love blossoms into all things beautiful... "All because we fell in love"
Forty-nine years later, my parents still love each other so much. Thinking about love that endures the tough times (and even becomes stronger from them) made this card come to be. I used three coordinating sheets of romantic papers full of vintage-y charm for the main theme, with each individual section machine-sewn to its cream mat. Those new patterned papers are from the gorgeous Kaisercraft English Rose collection, while the entire design is built upon my old and neglected green paper. The base may not show well in the pictures, but it's weathered and has sporadically-placed script. It is from the DCWV French Country stack which I needed when I saw it, thinking I'd use it oodles since I had nothing like it... and then only used it once. The same can be said for the neglected sheer pink ribbon, which is so pretty. I don't know why I've kept them aside for so long. Combining old and new seemed ideal to honor a love that began in the 50s and still thrives with each new day. :o)

On the front, our sweet gardener is a precious Elisabeth Bell stamp: Planting Some Love. Isn't she adorable? I received her as a gift for my birthday and I love her to pieces. I was trying to wait for Spring, but I couldn't hold out any longer. Plus, she's perfect for a card about planting love. :o) I had to leave off part of the stamp due to spacial constraints, so I guess I'll have to color her again soon... woohoo! :o) I colored her up with Copics, used three shades of Flower Soft for the flowers on her hat, and couldn't resist sparklifying her patches and the hearts on her gloves. (Her gloves are yellow because she's also planting sunshine into the lives of all she meets. She's sappy like that.) I also carefully dabbed some Star Dust on the Flower Soft. I made her a background of sky and Create-a-Critter grass, sewed it, and then attached it to the pretty Fleur de Lis Spellbinders base. My new flowers are beautiful roses and hip rosebuds from Wild Orchid Crafts, accented with touches of Star Dust. I inked the white lace to make it more vintage-inspired, tucked a pearl-accented Cindy Loo flourish beneath it, and tied the card together with ribbon.

For the interior, pretty triangles surround the key to the entire story... the sweet Whimsical Designs stamp from the With Love set: All because we fell in love. The oodles of triangles, diamonds, and rectangles and their bases indeed took a while to cut and sew, but it was worth it. It makes it almost like patchwork, symbolizing woven memories in their love's tapestry. Despite every section having a pattern of some sort, most are journaling-friendly to jot down a special note or memory if desired. The Copic-colored pot of flowers is from the same Elisabeth Bell stamp, but I tucked it inside to signify love blossoming. :o)

The diamond-fold card tutorial I used can be found HERE.

The entire With Love set, which I simply cannot get enough of:
I hope you'll join us this week by linking up your creation to the Whimsical Wednesday challenge post, where you'll also find information on this week's prize. I'm excited to see what old items you incorporate. :o) Be sure to dance on over to the rest of the Whimsical Designers' blogs to see their marvelous projects!

Thank you for fluttering on by! I hope your day sparkles with love. :o)

Challenges entered:
 * Die Cuttin Divas~ Anything Goes
 * My Craft Spot~ Anything Goes
 * My Sheri Crafts~ New Things (Technique, papers, flowers)
 * Winter Wonderland~ Swirls and Pearls

Key Recipe Components:
 * Cricut cartridges: Cindy Loo, Create a Critter, Storybook (branches beneath Wild Orchid flowers)
 * Cuttlebug embossing folder: Swiss Dots (on branches)
 * Spellbinders Nestabilities: Fleur de Lis Squares
 * Sentiment stamp: Whimsical Designs~ With Love
 * Image stamp: Belles and Whistles/Elisabeth Bell: Planting Some Love; Colored with Copics
 * Paper: Basic Grey, DCWV, Kaisercraft, Papertrey Ink
 * Flowers: Wild Orchid Crafts
 * Lace: American Crafts
 * Ribbon: stash
 * Miscellaneous: Flower Soft, Pearls (Recollections), Stickles

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