To pin my projects to Pinterest, hover over the picture and a Pin-it Button will magically appear.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cocoa Warms the Heart and Sweet Saturday!

Happy Saturday, my sweet and sparkly friends! :o)

Amazingly, I have a card AND a teeny tiny treat to share today! When was the last time that happened on my beloved Sweet Saturday? I was supposed to have so many treats throughout the holidays, but things simply have not gone as planned due to time constraints and my unsparkly back. But I am one day closer to being all healed up! :)

I was determined to enter one of the challenges I've been longing to participate in, so that was my main focus for this card. I zipped over to Elisabeth Bell's World a couple days ago and panicked when I saw it was a sketch challenge. Those hurt my brain something crazy. I changed, altered, tweaked, shifted, and second-guessed a million times throughout the creative process. I had to force myself to just STOP and declare it finished. And so, here is my wintry white and blue card... with one of my very first (and favorite) stamps. Finally I got to color her!

"Cocoa Warms the Heart"
A bit of a different style for me, which is why I had so much trouble. I love layered looks and mixing different borders/trims/embellishments/etc... I often admire that on so many cards. But when I try to do it, it kind of looks like my crafty area exploded onto my card base. (Which explains why this is my first time posting one of this nature.) This was hard for me! A challenge indeed.

When I began my Copic adventure a few months ago,  Willow with Hot Chocolate was in my first stamp order. :o) I love this image. When the days are chilly and personal storms are raging, there's solace in a warm mug of hot cocoa. (Or even a glass of chocolate milk, really.) I love how she just seems peaceful. The snowy battle surrounding her no longer fazes her, because she's steady in divine love and chocolate. Is there any better combination? :o) I had some technical issues as I tried to work on my coloring, but I still love her to bits and pieces.

Tying it all together is this fabulous Whimsical Designs sentiment stamp, from the "Snow Much Fun" set. I love it! :o) I held off on coloring her when I saw this sentiment would be part of Stephanie's first release. I pop-dotted the sentiment and Willow for dimension. The sparkling snowflakes are at three different heights to make it seem more authentic, and each is nestled atop a sheer flower. I added some sparkle to Willow, including the designs on her pants. Since winter is so sparkly, I used my Core Couture paper for the doily lace trim, the picot edge circle, and the snowflakes.

Challenge entered:
 * Elisabeth Bell's World~ Sketch

Who's ready for a teeny tiny treat? This would have been a great time to post my hot chocolate recipe, but I wasn't able to make it. I'll be putting the recipe inside this card, however. Given my unplanned lack of baking, near the end of this post I'll be including a recap of my previously-posted favorites that are great for this lovely holiday season. :o)

This week's treat is one of those where you have mere minutes available. One reason I like making things myself is I know exactly what's going in them. And homemade always tastes better, right? That's why I jumped at the chance to make this when I saw a reliable recipe... do you love adding chocolate syrup to ice cream sundaes? Or making chocolate milk? Or adding a splash of chocolate to homemade mochas? Then you need to try this! With only five ingredients and a tad over ten minutes, you have Homemade Chocolate Syrup!
Rich and chocolatey, with no trace of artificial taste or scary ingredients. I made it last night and have so far enjoyed it with vanilla ice cream and this glass of chocolate milk. My straw is way too big for that glass, but it was one of those mornings where you just need to use a stripey straw. :o)

A few favorite recipes that are perfect for the holidays:
 * Cappuccino Fudge
 * Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie
 * Gingerbread Cookies
 * Pumpkin Muffins with Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling
 * Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
 * Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling
 * Tuxedo Cake

Thank you for visiting me today! You make me sparklier than the brightest Christmas tree. :o) Have a beautiful weekend, my dear friends!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

1¼ cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cocoa powder and whisk briefly to break up any clumps. Stir in the water and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Store in the refrigerator.

Source: Annie's Eats

Key Recipe Components (for card):
 * Cricut cartridges: Elegant Edges, Gypsy Wanderings
 * Cuttlebug embossing folder: Swiss Dots
 * Spellbinders Nestabilities: Labels Four, Picot Edge Circles
 * Sentiment stamp: Whimsical Designs~ Snow Much Fun
 * Image stamp: Elisabeth Bell~ Willow with Hot Chocolate
 * Copics: E000, E00 (skin); E25, E31, E50 (hair); R81, R83, R85 (socks, sweater); E31, E33, E57 (pants); BV0000, BV01 (mug)
 * Paper: Core'dinations, DCWV, K and Company
 * Lace ribbon: American Crafts
 * Border punch: Martha Stewart Doily Lace
 * Pearls: Recollections
 * Miscellaneous: Fiskars scallop punch, Prima Fabric Fancies (sheer flowers beneath snowflakes)



  1. First, your card is beautiful! I took your advice and the paper makes all the difference. Still working on the heavy hand.... This image is so pretty and your shading is fabulous. The different layers are so wonderful and that beautiful lace ties the whole card together.
    YAY Sweet Saturday!!!!! Our family LOVES chocolate syrup, so this is being made this weekend!! Thank you Karen once again for your inspiration and yummy treats! You are FABULOUS my friend!



    SQUEEE! I WANT SOME!!!!!!!!!! *races to freezer and scoops out a giant bowl of ice cream and hurries over to your house to pour syrup all over it before your family eats it all up* TEE HEE!

    Sunshine...honestly. What are you trying to do to your sis? I am dying over here thinking about how amazingly delish your syrup must be! OMJ! I want to try to make that!!! Can you help me? Yours will always be better. Tee hee!

    Do you know how gorgeous precious little Willow looks, sis? I am in LOVE with the colours you used for her! She looks so content with her mug of pure happiness. I can't help but be a little jealous. TEE HEE! Do you think she would share, sis?

    And I can't stop staring at the gorgeous background you created for this card, Sunshine! Look at those beautiful pastel blue shades and happy snowflakes and lacy accents too!!! AHHH!!! Sooooooooo stunning!

    *pours us both jumbo mugs of cocoa goodness to toast this most sparklie special and chocolatey festive Sweet Saturday*

    I LOVE YOU SUNSHINE!!!!!!!!!!
    *forever super squishies*
    ~~~Christina :)

  3. Oooooh, look at all those beautiful layers!!! And the lace, and the BLUE (blue is my favorite colour!)!!! Oh, I LOVE this!

    Your image is darling! Technical issues? No way. You've coloured her perfectly! She looks so relaxed, serene. In fact, she looks exactly like ME when I've treated myself to some delicious Starbucks concoction. I bet if I show this to my family, they'll say "MOM! That looks just like you did this morning, when you had your Peppermint Mocha!" And they'd be right! :) I love how you always create something I can completely relate to. :) :) :)

    And chocolate syrup!!!!! How perfect! I plan on making it and using it on my COFFEE. Hee hee! Oh, and my husband once again passes on his love. ;)

    Thanks for making me smile again today!


  4. Oh Karen, I am sorry to hear you are having back problems... I can so relate... But glad you are on your way to recovery... Your card is simply beautiful, I can't imagine you having trouble with your coloring... she is as beautiful as your spirit ... Hugs from Ukiah

  5. Karen,
    such an adorable card.
    Love the image you have used and the colouring.
    Thanks for join us at EBWorld challenge.

  6. Beautiful card Karen! I love all the layered mats and borders! Thanks for the yummy chocolate syrup recipe too!

  7. Oh my gosh, this is GORGEOUS, Karen!! I just love that image of Willow and her hot chocolate!! You did a perfect job coloring her! And wow, the layers are just fabulous! I love all the different border patterns you used together - simply stunning my sweet friend!! And yummy - chocolate syrup!! I would love to have some right now over some ice cream :) I hope your back is feeling much better and that you had a wonderful weekend :)

    Hugs, Lisa

  8. Beautiful card! Love all the borders! You picked such pretty colors for Willow too! :)


  9. Super sparkling love-packed hugglers for the Sunshine of my life tonight...

    "Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you...I will help you" Isaiah 41:10

    I LOVE YOU SIS!!!!!!!!!

    ~~~Christina :)

  10. Wow, just stunning Karen!! The blues look fabulous together and the girl is just precious! She is just so sweet and the pretty lace and other added details are just GORGEOUS!! Amazing card my friend:)
    Sherrie K

  11. Very sweet card, love all the blue! Thanks so much for joining in at Elizabeth Bell's World this month
    Hugs Julie P

  12. beautiful card karen i love that image and your color choices.. thanks for the recipes too :)

  13. Karen your card is perfect. I love the colors, and your coloring is fantastic. I totally understand how you feel about the mixing of different embellishments. I think you did great, and would not know this is a first for you! I LOVE that you try new things. Once again you have showcased my stamps wonderfully. Hugs!

  14. Karen, i haven't seen you posting in awhile and thought i would pop over and tell you that you are in my prayers... hope you are doing ok... i miss seeing your awesome creations and reading your posts... i pray you have a very very special Christmas... you are such a blessing.
    hugs from ukiah

  15. A very nice card. So beautiful.

    Thank you for joining us at EBWCB



  16. Very sweet card, Thanks so much for joining in at Elizabeth Bell's World this time
    Hugs Julie P

  17. Beautiful, Karen! Love all the frilly, lacy edges and that Whimsical Design stamps says it all! Praying your mom is feeling better.

  18. Totally gorgeous!! Thank's for joining us at EBW this month!

    Hugs&Happy Holidays!

  19. She is so beautiful Karen! I love your coloring (as always!) and the blues and white wintery colors are perfect. I love the layering you did too, so pretty my friend!

  20. Thanks for the fabulous recipe!! Love your card!! the colour is perfect!! Hugsxx

  21. What a awesome card you made ;o)
    Thank you for joning us at Elisabeth Bell World Challenge Blog.

    Janneke XO

  22. Very pretty! Love the blue.

    Thank You for joining us over at Elisabeth Bell World challenge blog!


  23. Hi Karen, I too love the look of many layers and embellishments but have a hard time making one. I think your card turned out really pretty though :) Thanks for joining the EBW challenge and Happy Holidays!

  24. Beautiful use of the sketch!
    Thanks for joining us at EBW challenge this month!!


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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips