Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting to be the time for a little Christmas Baking!

I found an adapted version of this Martha recipe on a blog the other day and was incredibly intrigued. Chocolate and caramel!? Oh GLORY! I love caramel, enjoy could I go wrong? The adapted recipe went for vegan ingredients, so I found the original, discovered the simplicity and ran with it! Yay for Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars!

So here's an easy little shortbread crust as it cools down:

Then we mix up the sugar & water until it turns amber (I think this is where I didn't cook long enough because mine's not nearly as glossy as Martha's) meanwhile making sure not to allow sugar crystals to form on the side:

Then I poured the sugar/water/cream/butter mixture on top of the chocolate:

Finally after 10 minutes of cooling, I poured the liquid overtop of the shortbread:

And let it cool to this:

And the final touch, some sea salt (or fleur de sel if you're really swanky - or happen to have it on hand, which I didn't):

I can't even begin to describe how much the salt adds to this chocolate & caramel goodness. If you haven't tried it, you really must! It's delicious AND a wonderful holiday treat for anyone who enjoys some Christmas baking.

Again, check HERE for the full recipe!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Can you believe it?

1. It's almost December
2. Christmas is just around the corner
3. It's my last Scrap N Stamp Guest Design team card
4. I'm posting a card!

LOL! Okay - so I'm exaggerating a little...but I'm pretty embarassed after I totally flaked last Friday on Shellie and completely forgot to submit a card. Yes - I think some time off is much needed. Speaking of time off - I'm off today for a bit of a long weekend. Yahoodles! I'm thinking some time with a good book, review some PW cookbook recipes, tv watching and maybe some baking while I wait for the ol' stove repairman.

You should check out the sketch and give it a try for yourself =) Scrap N Stamp

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An award for being lazy!?!

Well I'm not even sure why my wonderful friend Maureen nominated me since I've pretty much been in absentia the last week, recharging my batteries on the creative level (or at least that's what I keep hoping - until my PTI order arrives!) but I really do appreciate it!

Here are the rules:
Answer the following questions using single word answers. Then pass the award to 5 other people and let them know.

Your cell phone? replaceable
Your hair? undone
Your mother? shopper
Your father? donor
Your favorite food? lasagna
Your dream last night? unsure
Your favorite drink? cider
Your dream/goal? happiness
What room are you in? office
Your hobby? expensive
Your fear? failure
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Chris
Where were you last night? stable
Something that you aren't? unhappy
Muffins? blueberry
Wish list item? vacation
Where did you grow up? didn't
Last thing you did? emailed
What are you wearing? jeans
Your TV? large
Your Pets? Mystycka
Friends? grateful
Your life? blessed
Your mood? mellow
Missing someone? Grandparents
Vehicle? Mazda
Something you're not wearing? mittens
Your favorite store? Bay
Your favorite color? green
When was the last time you laughed? morning
Last time you cried? week
Your best friend? amazing
One place that you go to over and over? gym
Facebook? games
Favorite place to eat? Ox

The 5 super duper bloggers I would like to pass this award to are:


And now, time to adjust my strategy in dealing with The Christmas Light Miser (also known as The Lawn Miser, most commonly known as MrP). That guy is so anti-Christmas lights, it's actually comical. When we moved into our house four years ago, I suggested putting up Christmas lights for the holidays. That was about the time I learned that he thinks it's a waste of money to put up lights that only other people will see.

Now don't get me wrong, the practical side of me says "That makes sense" but the kid in me really wants Christmas lights! I'm sure once I saw what the bill was after a month of additional house-bling, I'd be all for turning them off, but the point is...well I have no point. I just like looking at how people decorate the outside of their homes and think I'd like to decorate ours. I say "I" but really, I wouldn't be getting up on a ladder, so maybe I should just stop whining =)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Remember this sweetie?

Bigsby the cute?
(okay - I added in the cute part, but he's my favorite kind of mouse....artistic!)

Well he's now available on Karen's Doodles, a new website launched today. Karen (Doodle Queen) is amazingly talented and you'll be sure to find lots of wonderful, whimsical doodles as she continues to add to the site.

The super talented Dawn (Doodle Princess) is managing the Doodle Diva website where you can find a ton of inspiration with Karen's adorable works of art.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Friends...

Well I thought I'd have a project from last night's crafting time with Chelsey, but truthfully, we did more visiting than crafting, which was wonderful. I'm so glad to have such a great friend who lets me vent, listens better than anyone and loves me no matter what. I'm even more blessed that I have a few friends this wonderful...guess I must have done something right =) Honestly, Chels - thank you!

After many weeks of stressing, I've decided to let go of some obligations in hopes of refocusing on my priorities and regaining some enjoyment out of the simple things. The word 'overwhelmed' seems to be in my complaints to MrP a lot lately. I started this blog for a stress release and lately, it's felt more like an obligation than an enjoyment, so I've decided to just post when I feel like it and have something to share and not stress because I don't have a daily post. I don't know how you daily posters do it - maybe you're just better able to keep things in perspective and for that, I give you heaps of credit!

In decluttering 'must do' items from my To Do list, I've also resigned as a Guest Sketch Challenge Designer for Scrap N Stamp, effective December 1st and given my notice to the ladies at Digital-Ink Co. When the joy of crafting has returned, I hope to participate in some challenges, but in a true participant sense (and with a chance, like anyone else, of winning!) I understand if the lack of daily inspiration changes your mind about being a follower, so please don't feel like you have to leave me on your list. I will continue to check out other blogs that inspire me and will post when the mojo blesses me with something worthy =)

Thanks so much for allowing me to vent. I thank you for keeping me inspired with your amazing work!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Viva La Christmas!


Stamps: Verve Ornamental Christmas
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Blue Bajou, Baja Breeze, Christmas DSP
Ink: Blue Bajou
Accessories: Blue Bayou Ribbon, Snow Flurries

The Viva La Verve Sketch last Friday was a fabulous one – and as always, a challenge. I think it was the paper that inspired the rediscovery of these fun felt Snow Flurries, which have been sorely neglected for a year or so, not even used last season that I recall.  I mounted the entire panel on pink pirouette cardstock and pulled it into the main image with the use of some bling.

What do you think? I think I love the Baja & Bajou together….and I adore this darn patterned paper!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sketch it!


Today’s challenge over at the Digital-Ink Co challenge blog is another awesome sketch! I think sketch challenges are my favorite because they’re such a wonderful starting point for so many great cards.

For my card, I used one of Angela from Sewn Together's awesome Morty images. He’s such an adorable moose and can be found in her December Value Pack, which is a wicked deal at 30% off – just $3.50!

So here’s the sketch:


Now check out the rest of the design team’s awesome creations & then head to the Digital-Ink Co to get started on your own.

and our fabulous guest designers,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Check 'em Out!

Well Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3D wasn't playing at the theatre when we arrived. That's right....a sign saying "Sorry...the paper lied.....blah, blah, blah" so J had to pick another movie. Of course, he went for the other one in 3D, A Christmas Carol. Oh Jim Carey, you make me chuckle.

Later, A Chorus Line was quite entertaining, although I have to remember not to go to a show that starts after 7pm. LOL! I'm such a weiner when it comes to sleep (and 9:30 seems to start the exhaustion lately). But it was fabulous and I'm glad I went! If you get a chance, check them out - very talented people.

I'm hoping to get to some craft room cleaning today, so bear with me....because it's half way through November and I'm still in denial!

Mojo? Hello?

Having just received my Roots & Wings add on set from Renaissance By Design, I inked up my newest stamps in hopes of getting some semblance of a stamping mojo. I used Mercy's Tuesday Sketch Challenge #47 as a starting place and two colors that I've never combined in recent memory - Close to Cocoa and Ruby Red.

Can you believe I've had four days off and have only stamped twice?! I'm seriously lacking in the creativity department, so today, I'm off to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D with my friend's son. His Mom is in NYC right now, so while I'm sure his Dad's enjoying his company, I'm hoping J will enjoy hanging out with me for a bit.

Tonight, A Chorus Line with friends at the Jubilee Auditorium. I can't wait! Hopefully that means tomorrow I'll actually be inspired to stamp and clean up the disaster known as my craft area since Chelsey's here on Tuesday for our craft night!

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Wassail...and Filigree!

Over at Scrap N Stamp, there's another sketch challenge today! My card used another image from that wonderful Inkadinkado set that I used for my snowman card last week and another sheet of Wassail paper (one page, both sides used). I used some Galaxy Gold pigment ink and sponged it directly from the dew drop onto my nestie-cut label. A few clear Peggy's Pretties and I was done. Easy peasy!

Today I've got lunch plans with my bestie =) Yay!
(And gym plans with my fave gorilla...not so yay according to him)

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Full Peak

So my new release for the Digital-Ink Co Release was a digi by Reece's Designs!

Isn't she the cutest? Head over to the Digital-Ink Co Challenge blog to check out what the rest of the ladies are showcasing! =)

Life is just a bowl of Cherries!

This sketch is last week's Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge #90. With my October Key Ingredients set, I ordered this awesome Berries & Cherries set, which I've been eyeing up for quite a while, and with my 10% off for being a KI subscriber, I finally couldn't resist.

Stamps: TE Berries & Cherries
Paper: White, Always Artichoke DSP, Real Red Textured, More Mustard, Always Artichoke
Ink: Real Red, More Mustard, Always Artichoke, Really Rust, Bordering Blue
Accessories: Nestabilities, Dimensionals, Stampamajig

Today I've got lots to do, so I'm off to hopefully be Ms. Productive! Hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Stamp: Jules Junk @ Digital-Ink Co

Today's card is a repeat...a poppy in honour of Remembrance Day
(or Veteran's Day if you're in the US)

In honour of all the service men and women...THANK YOU!

If you are in the US and are looking for a great freebie to honour a military person, check out Angela at Sew Many Cards' Bald Eagle overlaying Flag Freebie.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Perfect Example

My aunt is a perfect example of the person I'd like to become. She called today to thank me for looking into some puppies for her and her beloved dog who needs a brother (although my uncle doesn't quite seem to agree) She's beautiful inside and out, a wonderful aunt, a great daughter and the best wife. She's also a bit of a clean freak and the most generous soul I know.

Stamps: Verve Just for You
Paper: Blue Bayou, Blue Bayou DSP, White, Groovy Guava
Ink: Blue Bayou, Groovy Guava
Accessories: Blue Bayou Stitched Ribbon, Button, Nestabilities, Sponge, Label Punch

She has always been a huge supporter (and I believe, the instigator) of my equestrian fun and I feel truly blessed to have her as such a great friend and family member. Despite my best efforts at telling her no thank you gift was necessary (and since we did NOTHING), I'm certain there's something headed our I created this card with the Mojo 112 sketch to send her way just to let her know what she means to me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sneak a Peek...

Here's a little sneak peek of an upcoming Digital-Ink Co release....

Quotable Quotes

Another Monday means another challenge at the Digital Ink Co Challenge Blog! The challenge this week? Use a quote. That's right...any quote. I loved this quote and instantly it came to mind when I saw this playful pup! I used the Weekend Sketch Challenge 105 for this layout.

Stamps: Playful Dog, Verve Beautiful Life
Paper: White, More Mustard, Close to Cocoa DSP, Always Artichoke DSP, Always Artichoke 
Ink: Always Artichoke
Accessories: Dimensionals, Nestabilities

The super sweet Playful Dog was by Sue at Beary Dust Stamps & Clip Art which, as always, can be found at the Digital-Ink Co store. Boni, Darlene, Diane, Jackie, Micki, Raquel, Teri, Kim and Linda have all worked up great projects this week and our November Guest Designers Terri and Lisa have got fantastic works highlighting some of the store's greatest images.

Close up of Playful Dog

Head on over to the Challenge Blog and get your themed entry in for your chance to win this week. Remember to use DIC010 if you're uploading to SCS or another online gallery and be sure to use Mr. Linky so we can check out your creations - and you've got a chance to win! While you're there, check out the great deal going on for November. 30% off Sewn Together images, which includes the adorable Jaden Licking Cupcake that I used on my tasty Anything But a Card challenge!

There's a new release coming up at Digital-Ink Co and I've got a sneak peek of a cute design that I'm eager to show you...but not just yet...check back late...r.... =)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sweet Sunday!

Tomorrow is my mother in law's birthday, so I had a choice...I could use a ready made card from my collection OR I could make one with Karen's Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 43 (which is what I chose to do).

So here's the sketch:

And here's my take on it:

Stamps: Verve Just For You
Paper: Bordering Blue, Rose Red, Tempting Turquoise, White
Ink: Bordering Blue, Rose Red, Tempting Turquoise, Versamark
Accessories: Dimensionals, White Ribbon, Nestabilities, Scallop Cutter

MrP will give it to his Mom tomorrow when they take her for birthday lunch. She's kept every card I've ever made for her (despite my best efforts to get her to recycle them!) and I hope she likes it.

I just realized that Wednesday is a Holiday and Friday was my regular scheduled day off, so I took Thursday off, as well....five whole days off! Hope that means I'll actually get something done around the house =)

Friday, November 6, 2009

SNS Sketch features Filigree

This is my card for the Sketch challenge over at Scrap N Stamp...go give it a try! This sweet snowman is the Filigree Snowman by Inkadinkado and I think he's just adorable. Love those filigree stamps, though =)

Hope your Friday is Fabulous...because it's the weekend. And in my books, a weekend that includes friends, fine food and fantastic wine is a great one to be celebrated!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I can't wait any longer

I know this features the same stamp and sponging of a nestie that yesterday's had, but too darn bad for you. Go somewhere else if you want "new & fabulous" =) This card used the Mojo Monday 111 Sketch  and Color Combination 241 - Always Bravo Cameo.

Stamps: Beautiful Life
Paper: Very Vanilla, Cameo Coral, Bravo Burgundy, Always Artichoke
Ink: Bravo Burgundy
Accessories: Artichoke Ribbon, Dimensionals, Nestabilities, Silver Brads

R&B should have their card today or tomorrow and I'm hoping in the meantime she doesn't check it out on here...because I spent the evening at the gym, then at an Epicure tasting party with my friend's adorable three year old. I've decided she's a hazard to my baby-free lifestyle. The kid is freaking ADORABLE and when I went to put on my coat, she begged me "Stay at mommy's house?" When I went to leave, she ran over "I wanna hug....wanna hug!" and then proceeded with a big hug and cheeky her. So needless to say, I didn't get any stamping done last night and I was tired when I got home, so a little reading & off to bed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Love-filled Wednesday

I created this card for Chelsey & K-Dawg's Anniversary, which was yesterday. And since I'm a terrible friend, I'm posting today, even though she doesn't have it yet. LOL!

Stamps: Beautiful Life
Paper: Sahara Sand, Purely Pomegranate, Blue Bayou, Blue Bayou DSP
Ink: Blue Bayou, Purely Pomegranate
Accessories: Blue Bayou Ribbon, Half Pearls, Dimensionals, Nestabilities

This card used Mercy's Sketch 46 and a sentiment from Beautiful Life, which I've used on another anniversary card this week that I'm just waiting to arrive at it's destination. *Hey, RB*

Hope you have a fabulous Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Viva La Simple Christmas

I can hardly believe it's getting into November. What happened to the year? It sure seems to have flown by for me. How about you?

Stamps: Verve Ornamental Christmas
Paper: Very Vanilla, Riding Hood Red, Basic Black
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Basic Black
Accessories: Riding Hood Red Ribbon, Nestabilities

I created this card for the Viva La Verve Nov01 Sketch with a Twist, which was a 1-2-3 twist. One embellishment (buttons or eyelets or ribbon, etc), two colors of cardstock (plus a neutral) and three stamps. I do feel a little like this was cheating since it's three stamps, but creates one image. Oh well - I love these awesome Ornamental Christmas stamps from Verve

And a very happy anniversary to Chelsey and K-Dawg!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Digital-Ink Meets my Mojo friend =)

This week's challenge was more my speed - a color combination. I was even able to make it work with the Mojo Monday Sketch 110. The ladies over at the Digital-Ink Co Challenge Blog have got a new shedule for challenges so we can highlight more of the designers each week!

This color combo of green, pink, light blue & fuschia worked with the adorable Teddy for Paige by Whimsy Design Studio, which can be found at the Digital-Ink Co store.Boni, Darlene, Diane, Jackie, Micki, Raquel, Teri & Kim and of course, our November Guest Designers, Terri & Linda.

Be sure to check out what the rest of the design teams has done:

Head on over to the Challenge Blog and get your color perfect entry in for your chance to win this week. Remember to use DIC009 if you're uploading to SCS or another online gallery and be sure to use Mr. Linky so we can check out your creations - and you've got a chance to win!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What the heck?!

Well, can you guess how much stamping I got done yesterday? If you said NONE, you'd be right. Can you believe it? Yet I was busy all day. What a day! We hosted MrP's mom and her boyfriend for a supper of sweet & sour ribs and handed out candy, visited with them and lost in crib =)

MrP did get his pumpkin carved, though....while I cleaned the house. Fair deal? I think not! But since it's his Movember pumpkin, I won't complain too much.

Can you believe it's November 1st?! I sure can't!