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Monday, November 7, 2011

Scraptastic Monday Challenge: Thanksgiving Gift Box or Bag! (And Blog Candy Winner!)

Happy Monday, my sweet friends! I hope your weekend was crafty and beautiful. :o)

Today's post is packed with fun! Not only is it the very first challenge for Cindy's Scraptastic Designs, but after my project you'll find my blog candy winner from the blog hop AND a delicious treat! Whew! :o)

Challenge #1 is to decorate a Thanksgiving-themed gift bag or box, which must include a tag, stitching, and a button. It is NOT a requirement to use one of Cindy's images or any digital stamp to play along with us. Simply follow the theme by any means you desire. The more who join us, the merrier! :o)

For my project, I leapt at the chance to use the Sweet Tooth Boxes cartridge again! One of my favorite gifts to give for the holidays is baked goods. There's something innately special about that, don't you think? So I made a treat box for my sweet boyfriend. :o)

A couple close-ups before I show you the rest of the box! First, Cindy's digi stamp, Thanksgiving Friend:
Another new personal favorite of mine from Cindy's designs, Horn of Plenty:
There's a teeny tiny story going on here (I'll tell you in a sec), which made this extra fun. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this was the perfect chance to remind my sweetheart that I'm thankful for him. So I typed up a sentiment that was fitting for us and this particular project. 
He will feel honored being mentioned in the same breath as cookies! ;) I used beautiful quilted paper for all of the mats on this box for some added texture. The brown base is from Cloud 9, which I used for this because the design makes me think of chocolate or gingerbread snowflakes. (There really should be such a thing.) The box top is an ivory fall leaves design, reminiscent of a gently frosted landscape. :o) Just like Thanksgiving! The Chocolate Truffle Trendy Twine is one of my all-time favorites... in fact, I'll re-order it before I get dangerously close to running out. I love the two shades of brown with the white! :o) The Dark Chocolate swiss dots ribbon is my favorite from Papertrey Ink. (Funny how both favorites have 'chocolate' in their actual product name! A treat for the eyes.)

And now, the story. See this fabulous image of Cindy's? It's the gingerbread girl from the tag set Sweet Gingerbread Tags. I cut her out and nestled her within a snowflake tag. It's trimmed in Stardust, but the flash washed it out (the clouds came!):
This sweet gingerbread girl has broken INTO the treat box. She tried to cover her tracks by faux stitching around the snowflake window and scallop trim. I wrote "Cookie" on the tag surrounding her, which I love because her little arms make it look like she's pointing into the box where the treats reside. (What she left of them, anyway.) :o) Maybe the Liquid Pearls I used for the icing on her cute little body made her feel all powerful. I can't really blame her, though... a girl needs her cookies. ;)

*** Before I share a special treat, I want to announce the winner of my blog candy! ***
Thank you VERY much for participating this weekend and helping us celebrate the grand opening of Cindy's store! It was such fun! The winner of the My Craft Spot gift certificate is #11: KELL! Congratulations!!! Thank you for hopping along with us! Contact me through the email address listed on the Contact Me page and we'll set up your prize! Woohoo! :o) You have two weeks to claim your prize! (Monday, November 21st.)

A couple of weeks ago when I saw the challenge for today, I already knew I wouldn't be posting my Sweet Saturday feature the weekend prior due to blog hops. I asked Cindy if I could include the corresponding recipe for this project since it's a part of it. She is so sweet that she loved the idea! (How amazing is she?! Thank you, Cindy!) Therefore, here's a peek at the delicious treat I made to go in the box, along with the recipe. :o)
Gingerbread snowflakes! They DO exist! I love gingerbread treats and this is my very favorite recipe for gingerbread cookies. It was a favorite of my boyfriend's last year, so I was eager to make it again when November rolled around. No huge commentary on it because the focus today is Cindy's Design Team, but just know that these are delicious! Soft, chewy, thick, and bursting with seasonal spice. (Note: I will be attempting actual cookie decorating later this month! Royal icing, even. We'll see how it goes! Until then I will continue to make willy nilly designs and top it with Cake Sparkles.)

I hope you'll join us this week by linking up your Thanksgiving gift boxes or bags at the home of Scraptastic Mondays: Cindy's Scraptastic Designs. I would love to see your take on the challenge! :o) Be sure to dance on over to the rest of the Design Team's blogs to see their incredible projects. This is a wonderful team and I am honored to be a part of it. :o)

Thank you for visiting me today! Blessings and cookies for everyone! :o) (P.S. I'm still using my Sweet Saturday label, despite it being Monday. Shhh, don't tell.)

Gingerbread Cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 large egg

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the molasses and egg until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place the cookie shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Source: Annie's Eats

Key Recipe Components (for treat box):
 * Cricut cartridge: Gypsy Wanderings (for snowflake window), Sweet Tooth Boxes
 * Spellbinders Nestabilities: Labels Four
 * Paper: Cloud 9, Papertrey Ink, stash
 * Stamps: Horn of Plenty, Sweet Gingerbread Tags, Thanksgiving Friend (all from Cindy's Scraptastic Designs
 * Coloring medium: Copics
 * Ribbon: Papertrey Ink
 * Twine: Trendy Twine
 * Button: My Mind's Eye Tres Jolie
 * Miscellaneous: iRock, Stickles



  1. Beautiful Karen. I Love your Coloring. Thanks for the recipe.


  2. I love visiting you Karen as I always know you will have something amazing and precious.LOVE your box,beautiful colouring and gorgeous gingerbread snowflakes.
    Jayne x

  3. This is fantastic!!! What a lucky guy your bf is!!! This is so beautiful and I love the stories you always include with your projects! LOVE the coloring of Cindy's images...really beautiful as always!!! And thanks so much for the recipe!!!

  4. Hi Karen,Your Thanksgiving project is sooo Scraptastic!I LOVE the box and all the details and your coloring is AMAZING!Looks sooo Yummy,FANTASTIC job as always my friend!!:)

  5. Beautiful box Karen! I just love the indian girl and the way you personalized it for your hubby!

  6. OMJJJJJJJJJ!!! A gorgeous box, blog candy winner AND gingerbread cookies all in the same post?!?! NOOOOOOO WAYYYYYYYY!!!


    GASP! Sunshine! You are the BEST!!!!!!!! *hugglers you with the most giant Sweet Saturday hugglers of all time* YAY!!!

    You know how jealous I am that SBF is getting this box, right sis? TEE HEE! He better not eat all those yummies either! I want some too!!! *hides the box and it's irresistable before he can get his hands on it* WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    Know what I can't stop staring at sis? The sweet little gingerbread girl. OMJ! It SO looks like she is point to the yummies inside! SQUEEE! I love her SO much. Me thinks she snuck more than just a couple sis. I think I see traces of snowflake crumbs on her adorable little blushing cheeks! *squishers her forever*

    I am beyond in love with that ribbon, Sunshine. I soooooooo want a dress in that colour! And I swear I can actually smell those cookies all the way from here. *drools* Can I have some in my stocking this year for Christmas sis?

    *hugglers the happy punkie cause you know I can't resist him* He is my fav shade of orange too. Did you take him my backyard, sis? He sure looks a lot like my jack-o-lantern! *needs him cause mine is kinda soggy now* TEE HEE!

    And a HUGE congratulations to the lucky blog candy winner! And HUGE huggles to my Sunshine for making such a special event possible!

    *sends you all the love in the universe today*


    ~~~ Christina :)

  7. This is just gorgeous:) Sandra H

  8. Wow, you truly are amazing Karen! I am always so thrilled to see what you have up your sleeve for the next project! Your box is adorable and filled with amazing details. Cindy's digi's are perfect and you do such a GREAT job showcasing them. Wonderful proejct and so sweet to make your honey some yummy cookies. I will have to try this recipe as I LOVE gingerbread ccokies-one of my fav's. Thanks for such a FUN project today my friend!
    Sherrie K

  9. Karen, you are just the SWEETEST!! Your comment is the sweetest comment I've ever received, and I am SO glad that we're not blogging buddies! :) I really enjoy your creations, and LOVE how you think outside of the box! ;) I know!! The Jolly Holidays cartridge is a MUST have! If we still had it in stores in Canada, I'd definitely get it for you! It sold out SO fast when it was released last year!!

    But oh my goodness gracious!! I absolutely adore this treat box!!! Love the colouring of the festive Thanksgiving digis and the cookies look DELICIOUS! Looks like a tasty receipe indeed!!! :)


  10. WOW!...I am always so blown away by your coloring!! You make Cindy's images totally come alive! Tfs and have a great day.:)

  11. Once again Karen you did an incredible job with your creations. I love the box...I used the same one as you but decided not to use the scallop part and punched my own trim. I really love the one that comes with it now that I see it! Your story about the little gingerbread girl is adorable, and you are right she looks like she is pointing right down into the box. Great recipe too. Always inspired Karen. Hugs!

  12. Thank you so much for the link to the "Operation Write Home".. I am so hoping that I can get things organized so I can do this.. and your box is just FABULOUS.. love the little girl that has broken into the box.. sounds like you have a keeper for a are so blessed.
    hugs from ukiah

  13. Karen, my dear Karen, I come to your blog and most of the time I can't believe my eyes! Today is no exception :) This is just so amazing! The story is just adorable and your coloring with Cindy's images is SUPERB!
    So now on to those cookies...again I think I smell your baking! These are just beautiful and the recipe sounds yummy!
    Thank you for always putting a smile on my face and creative inspiration!

  14. Always a pleasure to come here and see your amazing work! It is just fantastic all of it. Every last little bit of paper. You can smell it from here that gingerbread! Yum! The way you used the stamps for the box is so special. Great work!

  15. Oh Karen, I can't tell you how much laughter you brought me with this one. :) From the cooking-stealing gingerbread girl to the sweet sentiment ("Ever thankful for you and cookies" - it's funny because it's TRUE!), I smiled and giggled through the entire post.

    Your gift box is perfect (yay for psychic connections!). I am always amazed at how much detail you put into your projects. And yet they never ever looked cluttered or over-done. You truly have a gift, my crafty friend. I bet Cindy was clapping her hands in delight when she saw how beautifully you showcased her digis. :)

    AND as I mentioned to you earlier this week, I have been SEARCHING for years for a good gingerbread recipe, so thanks so much for sharing yours. Every one of your recipes that I've tried has been DELICIOUS, so I have high hopes that my gingerbread search will be over. My Abi and Luke are super excited to fill the house with the smell of Christmas (ie, gingerbread) once again. :)

    Well done, my sweet friend. Thanks for the smiles. :)


  16. cute cute box karen i love your little stories you add with your posts :) all cindys digi images you used are just adorable :) have a lovely weekend :)

  17. Oh what a sweet gift for your sweetheart! He will love this goody treat box, it is absolutely adorable! I love all the digi images and the color of the box is good for a guy! The sentiment is so sweet too, how cute! Love it my friend!


Thank you for leaving some love! Have a beautifully blessed day. :o)

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