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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friendship Card and Sweet Saturday

Happy Saturday, my treasured friends! :o)

Against all odds, I have some goodies to share with you today! In a sparkly nutshell, the last 24 hours have been the type where the simplest things turn monumentally challenging. Thankfully this afternoon I was able to finish up my card and salvage my dessert (taste-wise, anyway). Miracles do happen! ;)

First up is a friendship card for one of my dearest pals. We first crossed paths about four years ago and she quickly became a steadfast presence. She colors my life with such joy. I wasn't able to do any challenges last week, so I was eager to use a few as my base inspiration for this one. :o) It tells a bit of a story, explained below. (Forgive the blurry pics and the one that makes you feel like you're on a rollercoaster! My picture-taking skills are on vacation.)
One more to show some of the dimension:

The story here is that this butterfly is fluttering along on her sparkling path. Approaching a curve in the road, representing a new creative journey, she has two options. To the left, she finds black and white... beautiful and full of promise with its sparkly rhinestones and pearlescent butterflies, but still merely black and white. To the right is the path taken amidst the bond of a gorgeous friendship. Friendship colors your world with an explosion of sparkling love. The rhinestone path has changed from crystalline to a rainbow, while the base is a burst of bright pink swirled with stardust glitter. Naturally this environment brings out your own inner sparkle, evidenced by the brightly colored, ultra glittery butterflies. I certainly know which path I'd choose... and thankfully our main fluttery friend here, edged with a tiny bit of black and white doodling, is slightly angled to the right. Her shadow is bright yellow as opposed to black because she's frolicking on a ray of sunshine that keeps all darkness away. Just like my friend who blesses me so richly and strives to defy any dark clouds that come my way.

The ribbon flower is one of my favorite parts! (Shocking, right?) It's super simple, but I think it's lovely. I followed a fabulous tutorial, but instead of keeping it a single flower, I coiled it up to create a double dose of polka-dotted love. I lined an edge of the ribbon with Glossy Accents and coated it in bright pink glitter before stitching it into the flower. It seemed to be the best way to get every millimeter of trim sparkly, as opposed to sparklifying it once already coiled.
Tutorial: Dawn's Stamping Studio

The interior needed to be colorful as well, so I decorated it a bit instead of solely holding the sentiment. This is my first time using Scrappy Moms stamps, and I love them! I won them at FCCB and was so excited that I *needed* to use one immediately. I added a Stardust-covered butterfly to the bottom because it just seemed like there should be one inside. :o)
(I don't really think it's possible to have used 'sparkly' or its variations any more than I did in this card explanation.) :o)

A first for me, I'm entering this into the My Pink Stamper blog hop challenge. The requirement is to use your style making your favorite thing... be it a favorite color combo, technique, cartridge, etc! I struggled at first because style-wise, sometimes it seems like I'm all over the place. Then I figured it out. My style is from the heart. I can't really classify it as anything else.. because no matter what project I do, regardless of outward appearance, it must be from the heart and must have a story (whether obvious or subtle). Upon that realization, I'm playing along! My favorite things are ribbon and sparkle, which my crafty friends are very familiar with by now. ;) Hehe.

Challenges entered:
 * Fantabulous Cricut~ Let's Get Buggy
 * My Craft Spot~ Use hot, bright colors
 * My Pink Stamper~ Use your style making your favorite thing!
 * Wacky Wednesday~ Friendship

Who's hungry? It's Sweet Saturday time! My favorite baking season is rapidly approaching, but there are still a few weeks left to celebrate the fruity goodness of summer. I love adding summer fruits to heavier desserts because it seems to lighten them up a bit in a most refreshing way. For example... Lime Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce.
Oh the journey of this dessert, made late last night. It was going so well! Then I made a ridiculous error that altered everything, and also made it look as crazy as it does. I was a few seconds away from trashing the whole thing when I was encouraged to just wait it out while it chilled to see what would happen. I'm so thankful I did because miraculously, this tastes delicious. I can only imagine how incredible it would have been had I not made such a silly mistake. I knew this recipe would be amazing, which is why I've been longing all summer to make it. The fact that it still tastes rich, creamy, and wonderfully limey despite NOT scraping the bowl during mixing is a true testament to the success of this recipe. I was mortified when I dumped the mixture over the crust, only to see a HUGE layer of cream cheese that was not mixed into everything else. Probably at least three-quarters of a cream cheese brick. It was too late to incorporate it because it would have been overmixed, so I went with what I had. I'm still in shock that this tastes so good! I wanted to pretty it up, but I was plum exhausted so I kept it simple. But, I beg you... for the love of cheesecake, scrape the bowl at least once during mixing!

Note: The source of this recipe doesn't bother bringing the ingredients to room temperature before beginning, but when it comes to cheesecake I'm a bit of a stickler... so I made sure the cream cheese was softened and the eggs weren't the least bit cold. Apparently it works fine either way, but I just couldn't get myself to use them cold. ;)

Lime Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce
Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake or 6 4-inch cheesecakes

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 2 limes

For the blackberry sauce:
6 ounces blackberries, rinsed and drained (plus extra for garnishing, if desired)
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
1½ teaspoons cold water

To make the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 325ยบ F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a medium bowl. Stir together until well combined and moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (or 6 4-inch mini springforms). In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth. Gradually mix in the sugar. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lime juice and lime zest until well combined. Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust.

To minimize cracking, place a shallow pan half full of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven during baking. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the center is set (25-33 minutes for mini springforms). Turn off the oven and prop open the door about 4 inches. Let the cheesecake stand 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove the sides of the pan and let cool to room temperature on the rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before slicing and serving.

To make the blackberry sauce, combine the blackberries and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release some of their juices and the mixture is simmering. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the blackberries and mix well. Reduce the heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a low boil and slightly thickens. Remove from the heat and press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. The sauce will slightly thicken as it cools.

Drizzle the blackberry sauce over the cheesecake before serving.

Source: Annie's Eats

Thank you for visiting me today! Your mere presence makes me smile. :o) Have a gorgeous rest of the weekend, friends!

Key Recipe Components (for card):
 * Cricut cartridge: Storybook
 * Cuttlebug embossing folders: Polka Dots, D'vine Swirls
 * Paper: Core'dinations, DCWV, Papertrey Ink
 * Ribbon: Papertrey Ink
 * Stamp: Scrappy Moms Quirky Quotes
 * Punches: Martha Stewart monarch; Fiskars heart border (interior of card)
 * Miscellaneous: Glossy Accents, iRock, Martha Stewart glitter, Stickles



  1. Took another break today and there it was: SWEET SATURDAY. *smiles* This is fast becoming my favorite day of the week.

    What can I say about your sparkly, heart-filled card? It's gorgeous, it's personal, and it's beautiful. I love, love, LOVE the story it tells. What friend wouldn't love a card that is all about her? You are definately inspiring me to try some ribbon flowers too (and I will, as soon as my craft supplies are found and unpacked!).

    Your dessert: I said the NAME of it to my husband and his response was "I want that." He didn't look at the picture (which is scrumptious), or listen to the recipe (which is also scrumptious). Just the NAME made him drool. And as for your "mistake", all you did is make it lighter and more guilt-free. How fabulous. :)

    As always, my crafty, sparkly friend, you have made my Saturday super sweet. :)

    Hugs, Nita

  2. This card is so pretty, the ribbon is gorgeous & the dimension looks great!

  3. Wow, your card is so beautiful! I love the pretty butterflies, gorgeous ribbon and bling. The embossing adds such a great touch. So pretty:)

    That desert looks pretty delish! Yum! Thanks for the recipe~will have to try it!
    Sherrie K

  4. Beautiful card! I love the embossing and the bling. The pink next to the black looks awesome! I absolutely love the inside of the card too! I've never seen that heart border punch before, now it's at the top of my wish list! :)


  5. Great card!! I love the contrast of the black and pink. Thanks for linking up this week at My Craft Spot.

    Scrapping Mommy

  6. Ohh, so much yummy goodness here…embossing, butterflies, polka dots, but your ribbon flower is amazing!

  7. Love the butterfly and the color combo!! Your flower is adorable !! Thanks for playing along with us this week, at My Craft Spot !

  8. I love, love, love this card, Sweets! As you already know, pink is one of my fabsolute (typo, but I'm leaving it because it's awesome) favorite colors and the brightness with the crisp black and white is just wow! My favorite part is also the ribbon flower. So love!

  9. *flutters over to you along the sparkile rainbow path and squishers you sooooooo tight*



    *celebrates with you by devouring every last nibble of your heavenly dessert* GASP! I NEED to have some right this very second sis! Your family didn't devour it all already, did they?!?! *invades your fridge to go see* TEE HEE! Soooooooooooooooooooooooo purdy and yummy. MUST HAVE SOME NOWWWWWWW!!! WHEEE!

    And you already know how much I squeed when I first saw this card, right sis? I can't stop smiling. I think the story that goes with this one Sunshine is equally as stunning as the details on the card. *showers you in endless flutter-by hugglers* This card is just bursting with love from corner to corner, sis. Someone is going to be doing the super happy dance soon when they open your most gorgeous gift!

    P.S. I need you to teach me how to make happy poofy ribbon flowers like that and sparklie flutter-bys, Sunshine! I have never seen anything more beautiful!

    I LOVE YOU SIS!!! *squishers you madly*

  10. I so love Sweet makes the whole weekend sparkle!! What a fabulous card, Karen, and not just how gorgeous it is but for the beautiful sentiment it represents. You are so amazing at making a card meaningful, putting thought and love behind every single design element. You have a rare gift to transform a beautiful card into a masterpiece! I just want to yell, "take the rainbow path" to the sweet butterfly! What a gorgeous card to celebrate a special friendship!! And oh my gosh, the dessert looks so yummy! I think I gain ten pounds every Sweet Saturday just looking at the amazing treats!! I hope you have a great week my fabulous friend :)


  11. Hi Karen, amazing projects and it. FABULOUS all around. ~Shen

  12. What a beautiful card! The embossing looks super and the ribbon flower is gorgeous! That dessert looks AMAZING too! I have a real weakness for cheesecake!
    Thanks so much for playing along at My Craft Spot and Fantabulous Cricut!
    Small Bits of Paper

  13. Hi Karen, I love your card. Back when I was 16 yrs old I got a my first tattoo which is butterfly hihih, so when I saw your card you took me back 15 years ago when I was sitting on the tattoo place and having my first tattoo experience... lol thks for sharing your card and thks for reminding me of my first tattoo adventure. :)

    Have a great week

    Catarina aka docerela

  14. Incredibly Sweet!! Cute card!! Love the flower!!
    Thanks for Playing with us @ FCCB!!
    TFS!! Take Care!!
    Jennie @

  15. Gorgeous card! Love the ribbon flower. Thanks for getting buggy with us at FCCB!!

  16. What a beautiful card! Very pretty colors, embossing, and flowers. You have put together my favorite dessert of all times..cheese cake. Thank you for sharing your lovely creations with us.

  17. Beautiful card, love all the embossing. Love me some cheesecake too. =) Thank you for joining us at FCCB!

    Happy Craftin'!

  18. So pretty Karen! I LOVE pink and the pink and black together are stunning. And of course, butterflies are one of my favorites too! The embossing is so pretty and I LOVE the story you told us. You are right, your style is always from your heart with a wonderful story behind it and I love that about you Karen! xo

  19. New to your blog and I love it:-)

  20. what a beautiful card i love the story behind it - you and your friend are lucky to have found each other - that;s what true friendship is about! also the cheesecake looks fab yum yum! glad it turned out so well after a near disaster!


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