Monday, November 30, 2009

Gypsy Spot Snow Challenge

This week's challenge at the Gyspy Spot was to use snow or snowmen in a Gyspy created and cut design.  I used my new Snow Friends cartridge along with Accent Essentials and Winter Woodlands to make a Let It Snow layout.

My layout features these two happy dancing snowpeople playing in the falling flakes.  The snowpeople are trimmed in white ink dots and mini pearls.  The blue sweater snowman is trimmed in white pearls, where as the pink and burgundy snow-woman is trimmed in pink mini pearls.  Even snow-women like to be pretty. And don't you just love the striped hat?

The layout title is LET IT SNOW, a cut from the Winter Woodlands cartridge.  The title is embellished with two small silver snowflakes. There are also larger snowflakes falling on the layout.  The largest snowflake was cut in navy cardstock and topped with winter blue cardstock.  The mid-sized snowflakes were cut with a silver metallic base, and a light blue Core'dinations White Washed topper.  The navy sections of the flakes were hand embellished with white pen.

Above is a close up of my snowman doing his winter storm happy dance!

Not to be out done, the snow-woman is doing an Irish Jig as her happy dance!

Sweet Melissa Sunday: Should be called Moist Almond Bread Drizzled in Brandy

Golden Almond Fruitcake picked by Karin of Sugar and Spice & Everything Nice shocked the stuffings out of me! I have only tried fruitcake once in my life and this beautiful, moist bread was not anything like the small boulder of hard, dry cake with candied whatever in it. I wanted to support Karin, albeit I am late once again, and what a treat! Karin picked this recipe because of the memories associated, which always brings a tear to my eye and warms my heart during this holiday season. My grandpa was my best friend in life and I miss him so much right now, which makes me think who doesn't have loved ones to whom warm, loving feelings sneak up on during the holidays (even from our childhood)?The ingredients took a little bit of time to assemble before starting. I love the idea of using marzipan in the recipe and freezing until time to mix the ingredient in batter.

My choice of dried fruit: Apples and Cherries.
Brandy: Yes; I used apple brandy.

Sifting onto a small piece of wax paper makes easy work out of adding the dry ingredients slowly and one less dish to clean. I am a huge fan of dirtying as few dishes as possible.

The batter came together nicely, loaded with delicious chunks of dried, moist fruit, frozen marzipan and chopped almonds.
Golden loaf of bread dotted throughout with wonderful, homey flavors. I ground fresh nutmeg and using cardamon is always a great choice.
Melissa was so right about calling this recipe something, anything other then fruitcake. So many people, including myself, are pre-set as to what all fruitcake tastes like . . . something we wouldn't wish on anyone (especially friends and family). I would happily share this recipe with anyone willing to be pleasantly surprised.
Karin, thank you for choosing this recipe. I absolutely LOVE the almond cake/bread/fruitcake. Delicious! For the recipe, please go to Karin's blog or, better yet, buy Sweet Melissa's baking book and enjoy pleasant surprises throughout all her recipes.


Last year, Matt got showshoes for me for Christmas and we finally got to go out yesterday. It was so lovely outside in the middle of the forest and surrounded by snow. Indy had such a wonderful time too. I think she felt right at home and we let her run around on her own for a little while. She is of course, much faster than we are in the snow. We were only holding her back:





Indy was very distracted and only wanted to go play.


Indy hears something...


"Must bury my face!"





"Must bury my face, again!"


"I see something!"


"I'm a happy dog!"


Whew! Tiring but so much fun... until next weekend!

Thanksgiving 2009

Just a few photos from Thanksgiving...


My sis got a gingerbread house kit and this is what is was supposed to look like.


Ours looked like this because we were impatient and didn't wait for the frosting to dry.


So sad...



Making faces...





Until next year!

Bitten By The Bug blog hop - phone challenge

Happy Monday and welcome to our monthly Bitten By The Bug Blog Hop! Now if you have made it here from the blog of the awesomely talented Krista, then you are on the right track! This week our challenge was issued by the fabulously talented Regina, and she asked us to use this cute phone cut from the From My Kitchen cartridge. As soon as I heard the challenge was this phone, the Christmas song "Santa Baby" came into my head, so that's what I decided on. I took the line "Santa Baby...forgot to mention one little thing...a ring....I don't mean on the phone. Santa Baby, hurry down the chimney tonight!" LOVE that song! LOL! I just used scrap paper for the card along with Bazzil cardstock. All the pieces were cut out with my Gypsy that I got from Hallmark Scrapbook. I'm telling you, it is sooooo awesome not to have to dig through cartridges and change them out! Talk about a time saver! And anything that saves me time is a HUGE friend of mine! The frame the phone is sitting on is cut from the Gypsy Wanderings cart that comes loaded on the Gypsy. The word bubble is from George. I also used a Martha Stewart border punch and some faux stitching.

Now for the fun stuff, the blog candy! I am giving away an assortment of stamped images, including some images from Magnolia-licious , Wags N Whiskers, High Hopes, Belles and Whistles, and even some from the highly sought after Hanglar and Stanglar! You will also receive an assortment of charms, and that's STILL not all! You will also receive a set of cut outs (your choice) from Peggy Loves Vintage! Talk about being able to knock out some fast Christmas cards! Just use the awesome Christmas images from Peggy Loves Vintage, and you'll be done before you know it! All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this post before Midnight Friday night, Dec 3rd. That should allow you to receive it in plenty time to make some Christmas cards with your goodies.

Ok, so that's it for me today. Now you're going to head to the most infamous Donna's blog, and check out her fabulous creation for today's hop! I'm telling you, I sure wish I could make my Design Studio and Cricut sing the way this girl can. She makes the most awesome creations ever!!! Don't forget, if you get lost along the way during the hop, just pop back over to Bitten By the Bug to get back on track. Thanks so much for stopping by to see me today, and hope to see you back again soon! HUGS!

Perfect Picks for HOLIDAY GIVING! PLUS a few GIVEAWAYS for YOU!

For those who love their jewels and accessories we have handpicked (and tested) many tiny treasures but we have only a few that made the cut.

Just dying to know what topped our list? Skinny, Pink Sanguaro, Big Girl Workshop & Stiruppz.

SKINNY: Chic, Simple & Modern (oh, and VERY budget friendly!)

From the pages of Lucky and Instyle to Rihanna - Skinny pieces are floating around everywhere. From simple to statement we just can't get enough of Skinny. Skinny will surely make heads turn. With a funky array of rings, bangles, earrings and necklaces, Skinny has a piece fit for every fashion sense. The collection's versatility and playful sense of chic makes it a must for day or night. Skinny is made with the same attention to detail and premium materials found in high quality jewels, however, the price points speak to all budgets. Swarovski crystals, rainbows of colorful glass beads and enamel are glittered throughout the collection. Jessica Elliot continues to deliver innovative styles coupled with luxe materials, making Skinny the finishing touch for a look that is both fun and polished.

*GIVEAWAY* Just in time for the holiday season we want to give you a little gift! Skinny wants you to have the Large Domed Ring (below) to wear for your holiday party! Just leave us a comment below telling us why you LOVE Skinny! In the meantime we will tell you our faves.

Nickel Square Solitaire Ring: White Opal $22

Simple, classic, and is perfect for anyone on your list.

"Candied" Enamaled bangles $30

Snatch them up in all colors so you can mix and match making a fun & colorful statement. They look ever so chic stacked and we def recommended stocking up!

PINK SANGUARO: Modern Twist to Vintage Jewelry and totally unique finds

We LOVE handmade & can't get enough of Etsy so we wanted to feature a designer who made oh so pretty things. We just can't stop wearing Pink Sanguaro's Big Love rings ($10.50) in winter colors.

They are a perfect gift and they come wrapped ever so sweet ready to give. Another great pick is the bangles. We adore the Ocean Bangle for only $12! It is a perfect little shop to find whatever you are looking for at super great prices.

BIG GIRL WORKSHOP: Delicate, Feminine, Whimsical, yet says something....

The ever most perfect silver sterling designs come from this creative little shop. Currently we are obsessed with the "Believe" Bracelet ($32) – an exclusive Big Girl Workshop design. Both sleek and sophisticated it reminds you everyday to "Believe in Your Dreams." The gleaming script is cut and polished to perfection, and centered on a delicate chain.

Another adoring piece is the darling Peace Sign Cluster Necklace ($32) with green accents. We love the moss green fresh water pearl, green teardrop quartz and sterling silver charms clustered together on a 16" chain. Another perfect gift for the jewelry lover on your list.

STIRUPPZ: Keep Your Style Secure! Perfect for your favorite fashionista!

Stiruppz help you achieve a chic look at a perfect price that doesn't take a lot of time. NO Time, Chic, Perfect Price – three MAJOR things we love in a product! Stiruppz are a great stocking stuffer and perfect for any fashionista. We suggest picking up a pair for yourself too! Made of elastic webbing, nylon and alligator clips – we had no damage to our clothing and were comfortable enough to wear all day long! We couldn't believe the difference with Stiruppz. We had no bulging jeans at the top of our boots. They are a serious MUST and perfect gift for only $25!

Personal Tip: Roll your jeans up much higher than your ankle to achieve the right tension. Doing this will help keep your jeans really smooth in your boots! You won't be disappointed and will achieve the perfect trendy look this season.

*GIVEAWAY* Since we have decided this is a BIG must have item for every fashionista we want YOU to have your own pair. Post a comment below telling us why you just can't live without Stiruppz!

*All comments must be received by Friday, December 4th, at 11:59 EST. The winner will be chosen randomly and emailed the following day. Open to U.S. residents only. Skinny ring is size 6 and has a retail value of $70. Stiruppz are one size fits all and has a retail value of $25.*


Cupcake Mag has just launched the highly demanded blog "Sprinkles: Fashionable Treats for Chic Moms and their Babes" that features must reads for the fashionista momma. From product reviews to must read celebrity interviews and all the little things we can't leave without in Mommywood! Make sure to take a peek at our most recent interview with one of our favorite chic mommas, Tori Spelling. Check back often as we are working on things all day, everyday!

Don't forget to head over and become a follower so you can stay up to date with everything a mommaista needs for their chic little babes!

As for Cupcake Mag - don't worry we are still here (just branching out) and getting ready to gear up for another season at New York Fashion Week too! Keep reading for all your latest fashion must haves, giveaways, and well, everything a fashionista needs!

Happy Monday!

Happy Post-Thanksgiving Monday!  Have you recovered from the turkey and stuffing feast?  I must tell you, with absolutely NO modesty, that I prepared the best turkey we have ever had!  Really.  I brined the turkey and stuffed it with lemons and oranges, onion and garlic, and finally fresh herbs.  It was THE BEST!  Next time I will use a bigger turkey... We ran out of meat far too soon.

As good as it was, and it WAS GOOD, the turkey was not the highlight of the holiday.  I had all three of my "children" home from their various locations.  Aaron, a teacher in another part of the state, was here for just two days due to a Basketball Tournament at his high school.  Bethany was in from the College of Charleston until Saturday night. And Ian went back to college in Atlanta on Sunday.  We also had our friends the Conrads and their new baby daughter Sophie over for Thanksgiving day.  Doug and I learned to play Catch Phrase and Apples to Apples.  We had so much fun that I purchased the lastest versions of both games at Target on Saturday.

Okay, so enough of my holiday.  The challenge cut at Bitten by the Bug this week is the telephone on the From My Kitchen cartridge.  I used various papers from the SEI Winter Song cardstock set to cut my telephone and accessories.  And WHO would I be calling at this time of year?  Hello, Santa?
I am hoping to put in my last minute orders with the big guy.

I added Prima poinsettias and leaves to my card, as well as Season's Greetings ribbons.  I also used my favorite black pen to add a few dots, as well as a copic red marker.  I used red metallic paper for a few of the embellishing cuts.  I also used the Mini Monograms cartridge to cut the scalloped circle tag. 

The good news about this card is IF Santa's line continues to be busy, the card will fit an A2 envelope so I can drop this cardin the post.  There is still plenty of time for a North Pole delivery before Santa's sleigh is packed..

One additional note, be sure to go by the Gypsy Spot.  Today is the last day to register for the Gypsy give-a-way!!  This is your chance to pick up a free Gypsy.  What a great pre-Christmas gift for yourself!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Bits at Black & Spiro

We've finally received our delivery of Megan Park cushions in at Black & Spiro along with some of our other lovely cushions {top image}. I thought I would take a couple of photos of some other bits which we just received in last week. The little Antique brass mirror is one of my favourite things in the shop at the moment and the colourful ginger jar lamp bases are divine!!

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