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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Some Bunny Loves You!

Hello, my dear friends! I pray you have a beautiful weekend celebrating our Savior's Resurrection! :o)

It's been a whirlwind of a week, but I miraculously squeezed in one more card for sweet Claire, the 4-year-old recipient of this month's I Feel the Love Project. She is battling bone cancer. I had it on my heart to make her a little Easter card since she'll be receiving our contributions not too long after the holiday. :o)

Some Bunny Loves You!
The inspiration began with wanting to make her a sweet little flower made of twine. :o) The Grape Fizz Trendy Twine is from My Craft Spot.
I centered the flower with a bright purple button from Michael's and made its stem from a Cheery Lynn Designs Mini Fanciful Flourish. I couldn't resist using this adorable bunny, which is SVG Cutting Files' Sweet Baby Bunny. She's pearlescent white and trimmed in Victorian Velvet because she's glowing with love for sweet Claire. :o) I hid the face and drew on a Peachy Keen Teddy Bear face. (I forgot to add a delicate blush on her cheeks, which bums me out a bit.)

The sparkling Core Couture grass is embossed with the Baby's Breath folder and each flower is centered with a light green rhinestone. She's hopping along a sparkling trail straight into Claire's precious hands! The Magnolia butterfly paper is a favorite (as you all know by now), and I chose the golden yellow version because she has sunny days ahead. :o)

The card base is made from a free scalloped Easter egg set from SVG Cuts. The card is finished off with my computer-generated sentiment, which is cut out with My Craft Spot's Tiny Tag Metal Dies and secured with a button and twine to match the flower. It's lightly inked with Mustard Seed for a soft, sunshiny glow. I hope this card brings a smile to her beautiful face. :o)
Thank you for fluttering on by! Happy Easter, my friends. God loves you so much... and so do I! :o)

Challenges entered:
 *Cameo Creations~ Happy Easter
 *Craft Your Passion~ Make it CUTE!
 *Crafty Sentiments~ Easter
 *Created With Love~ Easter: All Things That Glitter
 *DL.Art~ Thankful Thursday Linky Party
 *Delightful Challenges~ Hippity Hoppity
 *Frosted Designs~ Scallops
 *Little Scrap Pieces~ Fun Friday: Here Comes Peter Cottontail
 *My Craft Spot~ Strings and Things
 *Simon Says Stamp~ Anything Goes

Monday, March 25, 2013

He Is Risen Easter Card!

Hello, my sweet friends! I hope you're having a blessed start to the week! (Somehow) Easter is quickly approaching, so I made some crafty time to create a card for my sweetheart. :o)

To celebrate Resurrection Day... "He Is Risen!"
It was challenging for me not to add more things, like sparkle and pearls and all things girly... but I felt this was best served on the simpler side. :o) I hope he likes it as much as I think he will.

A closer view of the center focal point:
This card's inspiration began with this cross from the Silhouette Online Store. I knew I wanted his card to have a 'wooden' cross, so I used a paper with a wooden design and heavily inked it with Walnut Stain distress ink. The golden background My Mind's Eye paper is such a lovely representation of what my heart envisioned.... sunshiny love pouring down upon us, engulfing us every moment of our lives. Heavenly radiance.

A Cheery Lynn Designs Mini Fanciful Flourish grows upon the cross, to which I added two Wild Orchid Crafts lilies. Perched upon the wonderful cross is a popped-up dove, also from the Silhouette Store. The scene is set upon a Spellbinders Floral Oval in a deep brown, which I had to triple layer in foam tape to clear the thick ribbon. I do love the dimension it brings!

The base pattern is also My Mind's Eye paper, chosen because it is reminiscent of Scripture scrolling across the design. All of the papers throughout are inked in Walnut Stain. The center panel is embossed with the Swiss Dots folder, edged in velvety brown ribbon and the gorgeous Anastasia border from Cheery Lynn Designs. The computer-generated sentiment is cut from coordinating polka dot paper, layered with My Craft Spot's Tiny Tag Metal Dies, and secured with a bow of Chocolate Truffle Trendy Twine (also from My Craft Spot).

A peek inside, which is lined with the same dot paper as the sentiment:
Hopefully my sweetie pie won't peek at my blog before I give this to him tomorrow. :o) I pray he sees the Lord's beauty the moment I hand it to him. :o)

Thank you for fluttering on by! I hope you have a beautiful, sunshiny week. :o)

Challenges entered:
 *Charisma Cardz~ Die Cuts
 *Cheery Lynn Designs~ Celebrate
 *Craftin' Desert Divas~ Craft it Up and Link it Up Linky Part
 *Crafty Ribbons~ One for the Boys (This is for my sweetheart!)
 *Creative Creations~ The Letter B (bow, blooms, border die, brown)
 *DL.Art~ Thankful Thursday Linky Party
 *Little Miss Muffet~ Happy Easter
 *Make It Monday~ Anything Goes
 *Simon Says Stamp~ Easter/Spring

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sweet Saturday: Fluffy Snickerdoodles

Happy Saturday, my dear friends! I hope you're having a lovely weekend. :o)

I was feeling Snickerdoodly a few days ago, which isn't exactly rare. I've long adored Snickerdoodle cookies, but had never made them myself because I hadn't found a recipe that I felt compelled to try. Most require shortening, which I will not use. Any that didn't were often on the thin and crispy side. That's why I've had to satisfy my homemade Snickerdoodle love via Snickerdoodle Cupcakes and Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake. (Both of those recipes are fantastic, by the way.)

Somehow, one recipe slipped through the cracks during my searches. When I recently stumbled upon it, my cinnamon-loving heart leapt. I'm not a crispy cookie girl so when I saw these were the exact opposite... it was a moment of pure bliss. ;)

Chubby, fluffy Snickerdoodle cookies... that tasted even better than I had hoped.
And they're sparkly. :o)
My mom's all-time favorite cookie is Snickerdoodle and when she ate her first of this batch, her face grew positively luminous! This recipe delivered on flavor, texture, and the essence that is this special cookie. They are slightly crisp on the outside from the generous cinnamon-sugar coating, which gives way to a perfectly chewy center. The warmth of cinnamon should never be reserved for the holidays. :o)

The only change I made from the original recipe was to substitute half of the sugar quantity with brown sugar. I love using brown sugar in cookie recipes, as it aids in creating a super moist cookie and adds an extra depth of flavor. I loved the result! If you love fluffy cookies, you simply must try this recipe. It was met with rave reviews by my family and there was tangible sadness when the last cookie was gone. There's a decent chance I'll bake up another batch this weekend while my niece is staying over. ;)

Thank you for fluttering on by! I hope you have a gorgeous day! :o)

Fluffy Snickerdoodles
Yield: 16-20 cookies

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
¼ cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon for rolling

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and 1½ teaspoons cinnamon. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium-high speed until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until well-combined, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing until dough comes together. Add in milk. If dough is still crumbly, add extra milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Shortly before removing dough from the refrigerator, preheat oven to 375º F.

In a bowl, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll into big 1½-inch balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on baking sheet. Lightly press down on dough to slightly flatten it. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, being careful not to overbake.

Source: Lightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dream BIG!

Hello, my sweet and crafty friends! I hope you're having a wonderful day. :o)

I had some fun crafty time yesterday, so I made another card for this month's I Feel the Love Project recipient. We are creating for 4-year-old Claire, a precious little one who was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. Completely heartbreaking, but I am ever thankful for the opportunity to bless people in need each month via this crafty passion of mine.

This time I am encouraging her to Dream BIG! :o)
The swirls that didn't photograph well surrounding the image are heat-embossed flourishes. (Emphasized since it's hard to see and are required for two challenges.) They're so pretty in person, as they were embossed with holographic powder for extra sparkle. 

An angled view to see the sparkling brilliance and the shimmering rainbow butterflies awaiting her inside:
This sweetheart is Lili of the Valley's Wish Upon a Star. She's dancing her way into Claire's fighting heart, delivering endless hopes, dreams, and prayers. :o) I colored her with Copics, adding a layer of Star Dust to her costume. Her wand extends beyond the base because I want her to forever reach beyond every apparent boundary. Bursting forth from her wand (and my heart) is an explosion of sparkling love, courtesy of Recollections flourishes that I pieced together to fit the space. (I would have loved at least ten more feet of sparkle...) ;)

The decorative frame for my stamp is a cut file from Bird's Cards, which is accented with rhinestones, Snow White crinkle ribbon from My Craft Spot, and a sweet Wild Orchid Crafts rose. The computer-generated sentiment is stamped upon a Spellbinders Labels Four base, which is decorated with more flowers because you're never too young to receive a beautiful bouquet of roses. :o) They are trimmed in Star Dust and sprinkled with rhinestones.

The papers are from Kaisercraft's Magic Happens collection, which I adore for its whimsy and gorgeous blues and purples. The foiled stars on the middle layer are purple, which is hard to see in my photos. All of the papers (and the sentiment) are inked with Dusty Concord distress ink. 

Admittedly, this one was emotional for me. Not unusual for my IFTL contributions, but I had to step away for a bit. I pray this beautiful child's heart is filled with joy and hope when she sees this card... every single rhinestone is the smooshiest hug imaginable. I pray that she expects to be victorious, just as I expect nothing less than a healthy and blessed life for her. She will overcome this disease and be a testimony to the healing power of God's perfect love. :o) 

There's still time to create for her, so I hope you'll join us!
Thank you for pirouetting on by today! I wish you a week of sparkling love and blessings. :o)

Challenges entered:
 *Charisma Cardz~ Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
 *Craft Your Passion~ Ribbon or Lace
 *Creative Creations~ The Letter B (blue, bling, blooms)
 *DL.Art~ Linky Party!
 *Love to Create~ Anything Goes
 *Love to Scrap!~ Emboss It (Heat-embossed flourishes alongside the stamped cutie)
 *Make It Monday~ Anything Goes
 *My Craft Spot~ Embossing or Glossy Accents (Heat-embossed flourishes alongside the stamped sweetie)
 *Really Reasonable Ribbon~ Flowers and Ribbon
 *Stampin for the Weekend~ Child's Play

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sweet Saturday: Cupcake Muddy Buddies

Happy Saturday, my dear friends! At long last, a sweetened Saturday. :o) I miss baking a lot and am happy to get back to it soon. Just being in the kitchen makes my heart dance! Today's sprightly treat is actually from January, but it was never posted due to busy bee weeks and then being sick. Here's hoping for a nice long string of Sweet Saturdays! :o)

Muddy Buddies... also known as Puppy Chow and Chex Mix. Puppy Chow is my favorite name, but I opted against using it for the subject to play it safe. This is NOT for puppies! ;) I had never previously strayed beyond the normal puppy chow flavor of melted white chocolate with cereal, M&Ms, etc. But this... this, my friends, is puppy chow that tastes like cupcakes. 

Not only that, but it's loaded with my beloved sprinkles. Instant joy. :o)
In only 15 minutes, this funfetti cupcake-flavored treat is complete. Many recipes for this flavor of puppy chow call for cake mix, which always steers me away. But a sweet, sprinkle-loving genius named Sally nailed the flavor without requiring the cake mix. I wanted to hug her.

Is this treat insanely sweet? Yes! And your kitchen will smell like you're baking cupcakes, which is never a bad thing. This is easy to whip up and whimsically delightful to serve to loved ones. :o) (And I couldn't stop munching on it.)

I wish you a beautiful, sprinkle-filled weekend! :o)

 *Do NOT omit the required extracts! They are essential to creating the cupcake flavor.
 *The mixture will be very thick. Do not question it or think you messed up, as that is how it should be. :o)
 *The puppy chow will not be as crunchy on day two (which personally was fine with me). If you prefer it to remain crunchy, simply leave out the butter and melt the white chocolate or almond bark according to package instructions before adding the extracts/emulsions.
 *Although the recipe says NOT to use white chocolate chips, that's what I used since I had them on hand. It worked perfectly.

Cupcake Puppy Chow
Yield: 4.5 cups

4.5 cups Rice Chex cereal (do not use Crispex, as it's not sturdy enough)
¼ cup salted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream (no substitutions)
10 ounces white chocolate candy melts or almond bark (not white chocolate chips)
2 teaspoons almond emulsion or extract (please see note below)
1 teaspoon butter emulsion or extract (please see note below)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional (I used it and loved it)
⅔ cup assorted sprinkles
1½ cups confectioners' sugar

Pour the cereal into a large bowl; set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, cream, and white chocolate. Stir constantly until the white chocolate is fully melted. The mixture will be very thick and buttery. Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract, butter extract, and vanilla extract (if using).

Pour warm white chocolate mixture over cereal. Stir it together gently, being careful not to break the cereal. Wait about 3-4 minutes (no longer) and gently fold in the sprinkles- you don't want the sprinkles to lose their color.

In a large zipped-top bag or covered container, add the confectioners' sugar. Pour the white chocolate covered cereal into the large bag or container. Seal the bag or container and shake until all the cereal is coated with the powdered mixture.

Discard excess powder and enjoy. Store at room temperature up to 2 weeks- please see note above about the "crunch" factor.

** You can always make the puppy chow without emulsions/extracts and still maintain a funfetti look and basic flavor.

Source: Sally's Baking Addiction

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just For You Friendship Card

Hello, my dear friends! I hope you're having a beautiful week. :o) I'm not yet physically up to my sparkly par, but was able to get through a Spring-inspired friendship card. :o)

Just For You:
Slightly angled to better show the sparkling details throughout her hair, shirt, and cherries:
I couldn't wait another moment to break out my Copics and color up one of my new rubber stamps. :o) This sweet stamp is Spring Pick by Elisabeth Bell and I adore it something fierce! I loved coloring up this sweetheart. The bunny looks so precious giving her those extra special flowers... it just makes my heart poofer out completely. His tail is fluffy with Polar White Flower Soft, which looks fun in person. I used Tumbled Glass distress ink and a cloud template for the sky and added a polka-dot butterfly. Spring Pick sits atop a Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Square, which is accented with Wild Orchid Crafts roses, rosebuds, and sweetheart blossoms. The heart stick pin is from Little Yellow Bicycle.

The little bunny in the corner is from SVG Cutting Files, called Sweet Baby Bunny. I thought she'd look cute with this stamp. I gave her a Peachy Keen Teddy Bear face as I've seen a few people do, which is just an irresistible combination. I don't have the set so I had to draw it on. The sweet bunny is nestled behind the Spring Border Memory Box die. I colored the flowers on it with my Copics, using the deepest blue and pink that I used in the stamp and coated it with Star Dust. 

The pretty My Mind's Eye papers are from The Sweetest Thing~ Lavender collection, which I paired with Victorian Velvet Core'dinations backing paper. I stitched around the card and added a layer of American Crafts ribbon lace for extra texture. The sentiment tucked within the flowers is from My Craft Spot's Tiny Tags 2 and the coordinating metal dies.

Short (for me) and sweet tonight, as I'm still a bit woozy! I'm not even sure how I colored. :o) Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a blessed and twinkly night. :o)

Challenges entered:
 *Card Mania~ Lots of layers
 *Craftin Desert Divas~ Craft It Up Linky Party
 *Crafty Catz~ All Stitched Up (stitched around card)
 *Cupcake Inspirations~ Photo Inspiration
 *Cute Card Thursday~ Spring Fever
 *Docerela Creations~ Friendship
 *Fab 'n' Funky~ Cute and Cuddly
 *Fussy and Fancy~ Flowers
 *Love to Scrap!~ Anything Goes
 *Make It Monday~ Anything Goes
 *Stamp and Create~ Include an animal with fur or feathers
 *Stamptacular Sunday~ Use dies (Spellbinders and Memory Box)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Little Princess Card :)

Hello, my crafty friends! I pray you're all enjoying a beautiful week! :o)

I've switched back to kid mode to create a card for sweet 4-year-old Claire, March's recipient of the I Feel the Love Project. Just after Christmas she was diagnosed with bone cancer, so our mission this month is to bless her battling heart.

Claire's website is called The Warrior Princess Foundation and I spotted some princessy pictures there, so I chose to make her a princess card. :o)

Little Princess (as the tag says, but is a bit washed out in the picture unless you enlarge it):
A wee bit of a closer look at the princess and her carriage:

The sparkling princess is a cut file from Miss Kate Cuttables, titled Fairytale Princess in Yellow. I hid her face from the cut to use a Peachy Keen Princess face, which I drew on since I lack that stamp set. She's dressed in glittery Core Couture purple, adorned with rhinestones because she's sparkling with so much love for Claire. The adorable horse (which I am seriously enamored with) is a cut file from Little Scraps of Heaven Designs, titled Princess Horse and Carriage. She's equally sparkly in purple and silver. :o) For some definition I used my C1 Copic around the edges of the pearlescent white layers. She is the sweetest horsie cut file I've ever seen and I instantly had to buy it for Claire's card. :o)

Instead of using the carriage from that set, I used this one from the Silhouette Online Store. How beautifully it cut those tiny filigree accents! I used Kaisercraft Magic Happens paper for it, as I love the purples and blues and the pretty flourishes. I added a few rhinestones for decoration, including two heart-shaped gems for the wheels. (The wheels are actually from the other carriage.. I played it safe since I was cutting it smaller.)

The "Little Princess" tag is from that same paper stack, which I affixed with a bow of Sky Blue twine, purchased at My Craft Spot. I dotted the 'i' in princess with a rhinestone because princesses need as much sparkle as possible. ;) The butterfly paper is from DCWV, chosen for its whimsical nature. I wanted to send Claire a sky filled with fun butterflies. :o) The shimmering green grass is more Core Couture paper, which I embossed with the Swiss Dots folder for texture. The princess, horse, and tag are popped up with foam tape for dimension. As sweet Claire battles each day toward victory (yes, VICTORY!), I hope this little bit of magic brings a smile to her heart. :o)
Challenges entered:
 *2 Sisters~ Fairy Tales/Fantasy
 *Card Crafter's Circle~ It's Only Make-Believe
 *Craftin Desert Divas~ Linky Party
 *Created With Love~ Anything Goes
 *Cutie Pie Challenge~ Magical
 *Make It Monday~ Anything Goes
 *Papertake Weekly~ Anything Goes
 *Simon Says Stamp~ A Bit O'Green (butterflies and grass)
 *The Ribbon Girl~ Add Ribbon or Twine

Thank you for visiting me! I wish you a beautifully blessed day. :o)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cupcake Card

Hello, my cherished friends! After a week away from crafting due to a nasty bug, I'm so happy to be back! I celebrated non-dizziness by making a card and playing with lace. :o)

My first day back to my sparkly self coincided perfectly with March 1st... the day we hear about the new monthly recipient for the I Feel the Love Project. Each month the marvelous Madison of Funky Cards highlights a particular person, family, or organization in need of extra love and sunshine. In turn, we have the honor of creating for them by using our passion for a far higher purpose. :o) You all know my dedication and love for this cause. I couldn't wait to get started.

This month we are crafting for a 4-year-old sweetheart named Claire who was diagnosed with bone cancer just after Christmas. Before I get started on fun kiddo creations for her, I had it on my heart to do something else...

I wanted to bless her parents, Sheila and Patrick, so I made a fancy cupcake card to send them sweet wishes and prayers. :o)
An angled view to show the layers of ruffles and pop-dotted elements:
I created the shaped card base with the Silhouette software, welding together two cupcakes from a Silhouette cut file. The pretty papers are from Echo Park's Be Mine collection, which I paired with black sparkly Core Couture paper. My photos don't capture that glittery paper very well.. the flourish sparkles, as does the layer beneath the black lace. Twinkles of joy shimmer so much more beautifully in person.

I wanted the frosting to be fancy and textural. :o) I layered three rows of black lace (which is a whipped deep, dark chocolate ganache), topped it with two layers of white American Crafts lacy ribbon (a generous dollop of whipped cream), and finished it off with a sweet pink strawberry. The lovely strawberry is a free cut file I found from Custom Creations by Tamara Bennett, which I accented with a Wild Orchid Crafts blossom. Sporadically placed pearls, in graduating sizes, are nestled within the frosting swirls because their sweet treat needed sprinkles. :o)

The sentiment is from My Craft Spot's Tiny Tags 2 stamp set, which I stamped upon Kimberly's coordinating metal dies. I always have such fun with these! :o) I affixed the tag to some Blossom twine, also purchased at My Craft Spot, and wound it around the cupcake wrapper base. The flourish whimsically dancing across the cupcake is the Fancy Flourish die from My Favorite Things, which I adorned with black pearls.

The Echo Park papers (inside and out) are inked with Victorian Velvet for extra definition. If I could, I would bake Sheila and Patrick a confection from my heart and encourage them with words of faith. Since I can't, I opted to make a cupcake card which will be filled with loving promises from our dear Lord. I pray they like it. :o)

Challenges entered:
 *Craft Us Crazy~ Anything Goes
 *Crafty Ribbons~ Anything Goes with Ribbon
 *Cupcake Craft Challenge~ Shaped Cards
 *Delightful Challenges~ 3's a Charm (3 layers of black lace)
 *Divas by Design~ Anything Goes
 *Flourishes~ All that Glitters (Glitter and Shine)
 *Fussy and Fancy~ Pink and Black
 *Make It Monday~ Anything Goes
 *My Craft Spot~ Pop It Up! (Pop-dots for the berry and layered the lace to make it naturally pop)
 *Simon Says Stamp~ Anything Goes

Thank you for visiting me today! I wish you a weekend of sparkling cupcakes and joy unspeakable. :o)

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