"We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do." ~Mother Teresa

Thursday, January 12

Button, Button, Show Us Your Buttons at Cute Card Thursday!

Hello friends!
Swinging by today to share a new challenge with you over at
CUTE CARD THURSDAY
For this week's challenge, we'd like to see some BUTTONS!
We can't wait to see your creations with this theme!

The card I made for this challenge, I've decided to raid my crafty stash and use up some of those buttons that have been around for a while.
This was a very easy concept, but it was actually a little time consuming more than anything and I was happy to have used up some more of my old stash to put this together.  The colors are a bit more soft in person than what it shows in this photo as well as looking a bit more muted for a Vintage look.  I think my lamp was shining over the heart and it brightened it up in this photo a bit.

To start, I have taken a heart die cut and ran it through my die cutting machine, but without cutting out the heart.  I just used the impression of the heart to give me an idea as to where to shape my heart design with the buttons.  I then took out several buttons, pearls, rhinestones and clear pebble gems and glued them all over the inside of the heart shape outline.  I started with the largest buttons and even added some thread through the biggest ones and glued them in place.  I then went from the next size and so on until there were only tiny spots left and that's where I either glued in the tiny pearls or added some liquid pearls or rhinestones to each space.  I tried to make them all coordinate in color and I wanted it to be a soft Victorian "shabby chic" type design,

I stamped the sentiment underneath the heart with the Whimsy Stamps Handmade From Me stamp set.  There was a tiny heart in the set that I used to stamp over the hearts in the sentiment with pink ink.  It just happened to be the right size.  I also took some ink and sponged around the edges of the button heart panel and distressed it with a distressing tool.  I then wrapped the pink seam binding ribbon around the bottom portion and mounted it onto a text background paper and then mounted that onto a pink A2 top folding card base.

Here's a closer view of the heart:
I wanted to be sure that all of the "items" within the heart stayed in place, so I decided to use some multi-matte medium and brush over top of that.  I thought I had made a huge mistake because you can faintly see the brush strokes over some of the buttons.  Then after looking at it (better in person than in this photo), I thought it gave it a more realistic Vintage look with a soft romantic feel and decided that it would work out just fine anyway.

I think this would make a great card for someone special to deliver in person! :)
Please be sure to drop by the Cute Card Thursday challenge and see what the design team has over there to inspire you with and play along!

Thanks so much for dropping in today!
 Have a great day!

-----------------------------------
HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

CHALLENGES:
1.  Inky Chicks - Anything Goes

2.  Everybody Art - Anything Goes

3.  Little Red Wagon - 2017 Resolutions
(I hope to be giving out more handmade cards and using up more of my crafty stash that's neglected!)
I don't do well with resolutions per say, but this is something I always strive for.

Tuesday, January 10

Snow Much Thanks

Hello there friends!
Hope you are all doing well and finding some crafty time for yourself.
I have decided to change my blog design as I wanted to go back to the simple design I had before. I had spent quite a bit of time making my own banner and wanted to use it again and I'm glad I changed it.  I keep thinking I need to "change up" my blog, but I always seem to go back to this...maybe it's a sign telling me to leave things alone! LOL!

I would also like to note a couple of observations that I've found recently about this particular month.
The month of January includes "National Hobby Month" and the second week in January is also National "Letter Writing Week", so I thought it would be a great idea to make a thank you card with a personal note inside.  I have been playing again with another card kit:
I've pulled out the Simon Says Stamp January 2017 card kit to make a fun shaker card design!
I used this pretty pink card stock from the kit to make a card base as well as cut out a frame with the MFT Die-namics Stitched Rectangle Scallop Edge Frames to cut out a frame with the same card stock.  I've also used the blue tinted vellum (also from the kit) for the front panel of my shaker design.  Although a bit hard to tell in the photo, I've also used some of the decorative papers from the kit and used that as my background for the shaker.  You can see all of the shaker contents inside as well as on the outside of the card.

I stamped the snowflakes with the "Frozen Fractals" stamp set from the kit with the Delicata White Shimmer ink cube and then went over that with some white EP. before attaching it to the inside scallop frame that I cut out.

For the banner, I've stamped the sentiment from the stamp set over a piece of white card stock and cut out my own banner shape to attach to the inside of the scallop frame.  I then added the sequins on the outside and dotted the centers with some silver Nuvo Crystal Drops.

Here's a closer look at the design:
Here you can get a better look at the sparkle from the sequins as well as the shimmer that comes from the snowflakes.

Although a bit simple in design, I love the sparkly and shimmery snowflakes!
I thank you so much for stopping by today and I hope you've enjoyed my shaker card and got inspired in some way! :)  See you soon!

-----------------------------------
HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

CHALLENGES:
1.  Creative Knockouts - Anything Goes
2.  Moving Along with the Times - Something in the Air
3.  Make My Monday - A Winter's Walk
4.  Creative Corner - Anything Goes
5.  Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
6.  TIME OUT - Winter (optional twist is white on white)
7.  Simon Says Stamp Work it Wednesday - Something New with NEW product

Thursday, January 5

New Year- New GDT- New STAMPlorations CAS Card Challenge

Hello again friends!
(scroll down or CLICK HERE to see my post for Cute Card Thursday)

I'm VERY excited to be kicking off this year with my first official posting as a guest designer for the awesome STAMPlorations CAS card challenges!  I'm thrilled to be joining with them for the next 3 months!  I do hope you'll enjoy following along with me here too!

To start this year's challenge, here's a great one to get you going:
CAS Card Challenge #13 - Silver or Gray 
(Be sure to check out the blog for details on how to enter your creations.)

Since this is such a happy occasion and a great time to "celebrate" with the New Year and all things "new", I thought that this particular card would be a good one to start with:
I certainly feel like celebrating and I wanted to reflect that on my first CAS challenge card!  (I think this would also make for a great birthday style card too for a male or female!)
The STAMPlorations stencils are so much fun to work with, so I took the "bubbly" Retro Circles stencil and covered it with white embossing paste over some watercolor paper.

I waited for the paste to dry and then took my Gansi Tambi watercolors and brushed some blue and teal colors over top of the paste.  I even splattered a few drops over top.  After the watercolor was dried, I added some spray shimmer mist over top for some shimmer.  (It's hard to see in the photo above, but check out the photo below.)  I then mounted the watercolor panel onto a piece of silver foil card stock and mounted that onto an A2 sized side folding card base.

I then cut out the fun  Celebrate CUTplorations die from silver foil card stock and then used some liquid glue to attach it to the front of my card.  I decided to add some sparkly silver, clear and star sequins to finish it off with.  I then added some silver Nuvo glitter drops to the centers of each one.

Here's a closer look at the card:
Here you can better see the silver foil and how it shines.  You can also see a better look at the sparkly sequins with the glittery centers as well as some of the shimmer over the embossed and watercolor background on my design.

**I also have another bit of exciting news to share with all of my readers**:
Shery of STAMPlorations is very generous and kind to not only myself, but to all of my blog readers as well!  She is offering a special discount code to all of you!  Since I am a guest for the next 3 months with her, she is offering a 20% discount for anything in her store including sale items!  So when you go shopping, be sure to use this code at checkout:
STAMPGIRLVICKIP
(this is not case sensitive & remember it cannot be combined with other discount codes.)
I will leave this discount code underneath the STAMPlorations DT badge at the sidebar of my blog in case you forget and need to grab it real quick while you are shopping.  ENJOY!! :)

Hope you will be sure to stop by the CAS challenge to check it out and come play along!
I can't wait to see what you come up with!!

Hope you've enjoyed my creation today as well as celebrating with me too!
Thanks so much for stopping by!


-----------------------------------
HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

CHALLENGES:
1.  AAA Cards - Silver


2.  Less is More - Dimension


3.  Happy Little Stampers Watercolor Challenge - Anything Goes
with optional twist: stencil:


4.  Happy Little Stampers CAS challenge - stencil


5.  Crafting by Designs -  January Anything Goes

6.  Crafty Creations - Anything goes

7.  The Male Room - anything goes

So What's New? Cute Card Thursday Wants to Know!

Hello there friends!!
Welcome to 2017!!
I sure hope that you've had a wonderful Holiday Season and are ready and raring to go for the New Year by now! :)  I have been enjoying some extra time with my hubby while he had a couple of days off which actually felt pretty short to me, but I enjoyed it!  I also enjoyed spending time with family for food, fun and games.  It's always nice to make more memories with everyone.  I'm expecting that this year will have some great new ones to add as well! :)

I would also like to take a minute to thank ALL of my friends that took some time to make and send me a Christmas card.  I think I have thanked each one personally, but I wanted to add it here to make sure that I have.  I treasure them all so much and I'm so blessed to have such talented and giving friends.

So now I'd like to get on with the New Year by sharing with you a new challenge over at
CUTE CARD THURSDAY
This week we'd like to see "What's New?" on your creations!
(as always please interpret this challenge in your own way.)

Here's what I've made for this challenge:
Yay for NEW card kits!! :)  If you have seen my Christmas creations that I made with a card kit and what my experience was with one, then you know that I've gotten really hooked on card kits now! LOL!  I love the idea of the challenge of trying to use up as many pieces from the kit as possible to create several cards from one kit all with different looks too!  Although I've only started out with one card from this particular kit, I know I'll be going back again and finishing it out because I think this one is very versatile and fits many different occasions and seasons.

I have pulled out my *new* MFT Fancy Flowers card kit.  (I'm surprised that it's not sold out yet...it's usually sold out very quickly once available!)  I really fell in love with the design of the flowers and all of the options for using them on cards.  I also really liked that the dies came with it and the colors of the card stock in the kit were pretty cool too!

So I took a piece of white card stock from the kit and then pulled out my *new* MFT Die-namics Stitched Scallop Basic Edges to cut the bottom portion of an A2 sized top folding card base. I also took the "smile" die from the kit and lined that up above the edge die and cut that out as well.  I then took a piece of the purple card stock from the kit and stamped one of the flowers from the kit with the same color of ink and then attached it to the top portion of the die cut card base.  I've also taken the same flower and stamped the envelope shown underneath the card. (Envelopes come in the kit too!)

I stamped, colored with Copics and cut out the flowers with the coordinating dies from the kit, but when arranging them on my card, I decided to mask off the bottom portion of the card and took an ink blending tool and sponged on some MFT Summer Splash ink over the top white portion of the card base to add a bit of color.  I then arranged my flowers and attached them with liquid glue as well as foam tape for dimension on some.

I die cut the "smile" die one more time from some gold foil card stock and glued them to inlay inside the die cut letters from the white card base.  Lastly, I added some gold sequins to the design.

Here's a closer look at the details:
Here you can better see the shine of the gold foil card stock on the letters as well as the other small details that I've added.  I covered the flowers with some Wink of Stella clear glitter pen and used a gold gel pen for a few dots and then I've added some glossy accents to the centers of each flower.  I've also taken some gold Nuvo Crystal drops and added it to the center of the sequins.

Hope you've enjoyed my creation and got inspired to get creative for the New Year! :)
Be sure to hop on over to the Cute Card Thursday challenge blog to see what else is new with the other DT creations and link up your project to share with us too!  We love seeing what you make!

I will be back shortly with another special post to share with you...you won't want to miss it!!

-----------------------------------
HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

CHALLENGES:
1.  Crafty Friends - Anything Goes

2.  Allsorts - something new (new products)

3.  My Time to Craft - Something new (new stash!)

4.  A Bit More Time to Craft - Anything Goes

5.  Get Creative - Anything Goes

6.  Little Red Wagon - Something New (stash!)

7.  Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - New Something

Thursday, December 29

Anything Goes for Cute Card Thursday - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Hello friends!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We sure had a great time and I think the cookies were a great hit with everyone! LOL!  Got some gift cards and money to spend, so of course I'm looking forward to doing that too!

I'm swinging by today to share with you a new challenge over at
CUTE CARD THURSDAY
This week it's an easy ANYTHING GOES!  Just show us what you're working on!
(We can't wait to see your creations!)

Here's what I decided to make for the challenge:
I thought this would be a good time to pull out some My Favorite Things products for a fun New Year's shaker card.

I've used the Stitched Numbers Die-namics to cut the 2017 on the MFT Grout Gray card stock.  I used some acetate behind it and added some gold sequins and silver star sequins for inside as well as a few of them on the outside panel.  I've also die cut the MFT hello die with silver foil card stock and attached it above the numbers.  I used my white gel pen to make some stitch lines.

For the banner, I used the Jumbo Fishtail Banner die-namics and cut one out from MFT Peach Bellini card stock and attached that behind my shaker panel.

For the background, I've heat embossed the Transparent Triangles background stamp with clear EP over a piece of white card stock.  I then used the MFT Summer Splash and MFT Tropical Teal inks and used my ink blending tool to sponge in the colors over the heat embossed background.  All of this was layered onto an A2 sized white top folding card base.

Here's a closer look at the details:
I think the colors worked out really well for this design, so I'm glad that I decided to stick with it!
I've never used both silver and gold on a card before, but I think it works especially for an occasion like this one! :)  I've dotted the sequins with some Nuvo Crystal drops in silver and gold.

Be sure to stop by the Cute Card Thursday challenge blog to check out what the rest of the design team has come up with and enter your project! :)

*******************************************************************
If you follow along with me on Facebook, then you've probably already seen my exciting news, but if you haven't, I'm VERY excited to be joining the CAS STAMPlorations challenges as a guest designer in January 2017 for three months!!  I do hope that you will stop by and check them out if you aren't familiar with their products!  So please be sure to check back for my creations in January!

That's it for 2016 on this blog!!
I thank you so much for your wonderful time that you've spent with me here and I really look forward to much fun & creativity in the New Year!

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and productive 
New Year!

-----------------------------------
HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Thursday, December 22

Anything Goes at Cute Card Thursday - Blue Christmas

Hey friends!
I know you're all busy making preparations for your holidays, but I wanted to pop in here real quick to share a new challenge up over at
CUTE CARD THURSDAY
This week's challenge is an easy peasy Anything Goes!
(We can't wait to see your creations!)

Although we could make anything, I decided on making another Christmas card since I was already in the Christmas mood!  This will get me a head start for next year!

Here's what I came up with:
Yes, it's a penguin and it's also a LF card too! :)
The reason I made this particular card is because I saw that the Lawnscaping Challenge blog is now closing down.  This is their last challenge.  I was very sad to hear that because I usually looked forward to playing along in their challenges and I will really miss that.

Anyway, the the theme of the challenge is "Christmas/Holidays" and since I was sad about the news, I thought I would make it a BLUE Christmas theme.  LOL!

For my card, I started out with a piece of watercolor paper and then took the snowflake images from the LF Critters in the Snow stamp set and heat embossed them with clear EP all over the paper.  I then brushed some blue Gansi Tambi watercolor over the top of them.  Since they were embossed, the watercolor resisted the snowflakes.  I then took my brush loaded with a darker blue watercolor and made some splatters with it.  I then cut the piece out with he LF Stitched Rectangle die.

To make the snow hills, I took some silver glitter paper and white card stock to cut out a piece with the same stitched rectangle die that I used to cut out the background piece.  I then took the LF Stitched Hillside Border die to cut out both pieces where I wanted my snow banks.  I took the LF Winter Scripty Sayings and stamped it along the bottom of the white snow bank.

I stamped and colored the images from the stamp set and cut them out with the coordinating dies and attached them onto the snow banks.  I arranged the penguin between the white and silver hills.  The images were both colored with Copic markers.  I added some silver and snowflake sequins to the background and dotted each of them with some silver Nuvo Crystal drops.

Finished the card by layering the panel onto some craft foam and attaching that to an A2 sized white side folding card base.

Here's a closer look at some of the details:
You can now see all of the sparkle on this card.
I have covered the igloo with my Wink of Stella clear glitter pen.  You can also see the silver glitter in the centers of the sequins.

Hope you'll stop by and see what the rest of the DT has come up with for this challenge and that you'll link up your project too!

----------------------------------------------------------------
P.S.  For those of you who are interested in my Christmas baking adventures, I have FINALLY made my very last batch of cookies! Yay!  They're all sorted out and have already started to begin their deliveries to people now.  (To have a look at all of my other baked items, check out the post below this one...there is lots of it!)

The last batch of cookies was the Monster Cookies requested by my dad.  These are not for the "faint of heart" nibblers for sure!  LOL!  Like I mentioned in my last post, it takes 12 eggs, 1 lb. of butter, 3 lbs of peanut butter, 2 lbs of brown sugar,etc.  In order to mix the batter, I must use a large roasting pan to fit it all in.  Also, you need to use an ice cream scoop to put the cookies on the cookie sheets.  Obviously, they are Monster Cookies, so they're large and you can only get 4 cookies per sheet.  It takes quite a while to bake and the recipe makes SO many cookies...here's the results:
I have them spread out on an eight foot table in my dining room.  I think it made something like over 100 of them!  I think dad will have to freeze a big bag of them for later munching! LOL!
Here's a closer look at the cookies:
It's basically like an oatmeal type of cookie with peanut butter, M&Ms and chocolate chips.
I think one cookie could probably satisfy for a small meal! LOL!

I have a little project that I need to make for Christmas, so I may share that later if I have time before Christmas.

Thanks so much for dropping in today!

-----------------------------------
HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

CHALLENGES:
1.  Lawnscaping Challenge - Christmas
(last challenge :(  Sorry to see you go!)

2.  Crafty Friends - Sparkle

3.  Crafty Creations - Any Holiday

4.  Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Make it Sparkle

5.  Crafty Gals Corner - Anything Goes

Tuesday, December 20

Christmas Cards and Christmas Baking!

It's that time of year my friends!
It's the last full week before we get to Christmas day!  Are you ready?!
I have done the shopping with Mr Claus despite this cold weather, sent out my Christmas cards and have done lots and lots of baking!  I still have one more huge batch of special cookies to make, but hopefully I'll be getting that done in the next day so I can start relaxing and enjoy time with my family and the spirit of the season.  :)

*warning - photo heavy post!*

First, I'd like to share with you a special post with a HUGE lot of the majority of the Christmas cards that I sent out this year.

I would like to tell you first how this huge batch of cards came about.
I have never "really" worked completely and fully with a card kit.  I have many upon many card kits that I have purchased and have made a couple of cards from, but I have never truly sat down to make as many cards as I could possibly think of with just ONE kit.  (Do you buy any card kits?  Do you like to use them and if so, have you ever made as many as you possibly could from one card kit?  Would love to know your opinions!)

After I got out the Simon Says Stamp Merry & Bright December 2016 Card Kit, I started to get to work and decided that the bulk of everything that I was going to create was going to be strictly from this card kit.  Here's my results:
I have made a total of 12 Christmas cards plus a thank you card used with items mainly from this card kit.  One of them you have already seen in THIS POST. (Merry & Bright Rudolph card)

I still have a few things left over from the kit that I could probably squeeze out a few more cards with too.  I have pulled a few embellishments and some white card stock from my stash, but that's about it.

Here's a closer look at them.  Please forgive the blurry photos as I was taking photos assembly style before I mailed them out in a hurry! LOL!
I loved that mailbox sticker from the kit.  All papers and images and sentiments are from the card kit.

I loved the stamp set from the kit with these adorable images!  These are probably my two favorite cards created from the kit.

I used the set of strips decorative papers from the kit and then used the Bargello Technique (click on link for the tutorial) to put the background together.  I think it made for a nice quilt look.

Sorry this one got a bit blurry on me, but all papers and images are from the kit.  I just cut out some of the papers to make them the focal point on my cards.

I thought it would be fun to take some of the left over decorative papers and try to make a mailbox shape with them buried in the glittery snow.  I cut out a bird from some of the decorative papers to perch on top of the mail box.

I took several of the left over strips that I had and added some sparkly washi tape and snowflakes.  The main image is part of the decorative papers from the kit.

And since there were some "thank you" type sentiments in the decorative papers, I thought it would be a good idea to make a thank you card.

Like I said, I still have some more pieces left over that I could probably make another couple of cards with it which I will probably do when I have some extra time to finish it off.  I really enjoyed this challenge.  You could certainly make your Christmas cards from one kit depending upon how many you send out, but I think it's well worth the investment.  For Christmas most definitely!
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I'd like to share enter this post for the
Happy National Christmas Card Day Challenge over at Simon Says Stamp

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And now here are some photos of the baking that I've been doing in my kitchen.  (All of these photos were taken from my phone as I was doing them...so they're not quite sorted yet.)

First, I had to get my chocolate covered cherries going because they need to sit for 7 days or so in order for the cherry filling candy to liquefy inside:
I made this especially for hubby...hope he will enjoy them!

Next set of candy was the old-fashioned buckeyes:
I do love peanut butter and chocolate!

I skipped the peanut brittle this year and decided to make some caramel corn:
This is during the cooling process.  I broke it apart to store in containers.  I've added some freshly hand roasted peanuts to this and it turned out delicious!

Next was some Peppermint Pretzel Candy for a peppermint lover on my Christmas list:
Once the white chocolate cooled, I drizzled some dark chocolate over them.

Next up for candy was the chocolate covered pretzels:
I've already got the white chocolate pretzels bagged, but I have the peppermint chocolate ones are cooling with a red chocolate drizzle over top of them.  Once cooled, they were bagged.

And now for the cookies, I started out with a new to me recipe for Turtle Cookies:
These are very yummy!  I love the caramel centers with some extra chocolate drizzled on top!  This was just part of the batch as I had started to sort out the cookies in containers for gifts at this point.

Next up I made a common cookie request for Chocolate Crinkles:

The next batch of cookies was requested by my son which is Molasses Cookies:


And today, I plan on starting a cookie that was requested by my dad.  They are called "Monster Cookies"...and when I say "Monster"....they certainly are!  Let's just say you need a huge roasting pan to make the batter and very large amounts of ingredients like 3 lbs. of peanut butter, 2 lbs of brown sugar, a dozen eggs and like 18 cups of oatmeal!  LOL!  You also need an ice cream scoop to dip the batter onto cookie sheets...and because they are monstrous, you can only bake a few at a time!  So that will be my final cookie process and then I will be done.  :)

It's funny how everyone has their "favorite" and I sure enjoy making them for the loved ones on my Christmas list.


Hope you've enjoyed my Christmas making post today!
This is why I've been so busy and haven't had much time to sit at the computer.  :)
I hope you are all enjoying the Holiday Season and spending time with loved ones.

Thanks so much for dropping by today, I love hearing from you!
Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas friends!


-----------------------------------
HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

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