Thursday, December 18, 2014

Snowy Noel

I seem to have suddenly gotten all caught up with shopping, wrapping and baking - and was happy to have some time to make a card for some challenges!
A little clean and simple number -  I used snow flakes from the WMS set Flurries - and the beautiful sentiment is from Tis the Season set also by Waltzingmouse.  I stamped them in Archival Cornflower Blue ink and simply added clear rhinestones to the center of each snowflake.

I'm linking my card to the following challenges:

Less is More Challenge - One Layer focus SNOW

and Merry Monday - create a winter themed Christmas card

How are your preparations for Christmas going?  Are you able to relax and enjoy the season yet??!!

Stamps:  Flurries, Tis the Season - Waltzingmouse
Paper:  White - PTI
Ink: Archival Cornflower Blue
Accessories:  clear rhinestones - Michaels.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Celebrating Hanukkah

Today I'm wishing all those who celebrate - a most happy first night of the 8 days of Hanukkah!
 I work for 3 surgeons who celebrate  - so every year I make each of them a gift basket of some sort.  Here is what I filled their baskets with this year.
 I'm always on the lookout for blue containers to put their treats in.  I found these lovely baskets this past summer at The Christmas Tree Shop.  I always make the sweet little Pecan Rum Cakes for them -  their families tell me how much they love them every year!  I also made some homemade fudge and Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans (see the recipe for the coffee beans on this post)
I made the tags using a Waltzingmouse tag die,  the silver star around the hole at the top of the die is from another Waltzingmouse tag die, a sentiment strip die from MFT, and the Star of David die is from PTI.  The little star and dreidle stamps are from Casual Fridays Stamps.
 I found this Hanukkah information on the Web

Hanukkah Traditions

Hanukkah is the story of a great victory of the Jews over the Syrian-Greeks. In 165 BCE, led by the Hasmonean family of Mattathias the High Priest and his youngest son, Judah, the Jews succeeded in evicting the Syrian-Greeks from Israel and restored the Temple.

According to the Talmud, after the Temple had been cleaned and the Priests were ready to light the Temple menorah, they could find only one jug of oil that was fit to use. This was only enough for one day, but it lasted for eight. This is why Hanukkah is eight days long. For eight days beginning on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev we light the menorah to celebrate the victory and the miracle of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word "Khanu" meaning 'and they rested,' and from the Hebrew date Kaf Hey which equals 25. That is why we celebrate Hanukkah beginning on the 25th of the month of Kislev.

You will find other Hanukkah projects I've posted over the years here.

In case you are interested - here is the recipe for the Pecan Rum Cakes - I found it in a magazine many years ago!  They are SO easy to make - and SO delicious!  (they taste best if heated a bit in the microwave before eating!)

Bert's Rum Cake
Makes 1 large bundt cake or 12 Bundtlette cakes 
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup light rum
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup light rum
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 12 cup bundt pan or 2 - six bundtlette pans with cooking oil spray with flour.  Sprinkle chopped pecans over bottom.  Stir cake mix and pudding together in large mixing bowl.  Add rum,  water, oil and eggs.  Beat for 2 minutes with an electric mixer.  Pour cake batter over nuts and bake for 45-50 minutes.  If you are making the smaller cakes, spoon batter evenly into each mold (about 2/3 cup each) and bake for 20 minutes.
5 minutes before cake is done, prepare the glaze.  Place sugar, butter, 1/4 cup rum and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Remove cake(s) from oven and slowly drizzle the glaze over the top while cake is still hot.  It will take several applications to use all the glaze.  Cool cake in pan for 30 minutes before unmolding.  Finish cooling on a wire rack.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Waltzingmouse December Pajama Party!

Tonight I'm happy to be attending the WMS Pajama Party - are you coming as well??  Around the 1st of each month, Claire posts the challenges for the party so we have lots of time to get creating and bring our offerings to the PJ Party on the 14th of every month.
Here are Claire's challenges for us for December (you have 24 hours to link up your projects!)

1. Put up the Tree  - Make a 3D paper tree.
 Here's what I started out with - I stamped the Vintage Christmas Background twice - to cover  a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of white card stock using Wild Wasabi ink,  die cut circles with my Nesties and sponged all the edges with Iced Spruce Distress ink
I folded each circle in half 4 times scoring each fold with my bone folder, and punched a hole in the center with my Cropadile.  Then I layered the circles from smallest to largest on a wooden skewer adhering each piece underneath with my glue gun.
 I layered my pieces closer together and didn't crease them as tightly as Martha so my tree is wider than hers.  I stamped Merry Christmas from Alpine Christmas on a banner die from Good Egg Dies - and die cut a Nestie star from gold paper for the top.  I attached my tree to a Sizzix die cut Block/Cube by Eileen Hull  and adhered patterned paper to the sides.
I'm linking my Tree box to Eileen Hull's Art With Heart December Challenge - Holiday Traditions.

 2. Deck the Halls - create tree ornaments
 For my ornament I used a clear glass ornament from Michaels filling it about 1/3rd full with metallic shred.  I used my Fine Feathers dies and stamp set to cut feathers and gold emboss them on vellum.  I curled each one a little bit using my bone folder and dropped them into the ornament. I gold embossed the sentiment from Fine Feathers on vellum and fussy cut around it.
 I moved the feathers around a little bit using a tooth pick so you could see them through the ornament - the basket shred helps hold them in place - like a little nest!

I punched holes in the sentiment and two of the smaller feathers - looped a gold cord through them and tied the cord around the top of the ornament.  I LOVE how this came out!  I never would have made this if it wasn't for this challenge!  so Thank You Claire!  I love this verse from Psalm 91 - this ornament could be displayed all year round!
I'm linking my golden feathers ornament to the Inkspirational Color challenge - Anything goes with Gold

 and the Simon Says Stamp Wed Challenge - Bling it on.

3. Old Pajamas -  Make a project using any of your older Waltzingmouse Christmas sets - 
Claire asked the  Design Team coming to the party to dig out our Country Labels 4 set.  I also, once again, used one of my fav WMS background stamps - Vintage Christmas Backgrounder.
4. Bedtime Story Sketch  
I thought I wasn't going to get to the sketch - but I found a little free time this afternoon and got it done!  Here's the lovely sketch.
And here's my card - I did it all up gold and silver! 
All the stampings are gold embossed -  Art Deco Background, trees from Frosty in the Pines and the sentiment from Flurries.  The silver panel is die cut with Pretty Panels #2 , the snow flake is Snowflake 2 die.  

I'm going to send this to a friend who has a birthday in February -
so I'm linking this card to Crazy4Challenges - Winter Themed Birthday card

PJ Party Schedule:
The PJ party post and all challenge links will go live at 11:45pm (6:45 pm EST) on the 14th Dec.
The PJ party winner will be announced at 11.45pm (6:45 pm EST)  on the 15th Dec.
Prizes:  There will be one overall winner chosen at random from the 4 challenges. The prize winner will receive £30GBP store credit for Waltzingmouse Stamps.


You will find all the Pajama Party details and Mr. Linky over on the WMS blog here.  
I hope to see you at the party !! 

Stamps:  Vintage Christmas Backgrounder and Alpine Christmas - Waltzingmouse
Paper:  White - PTI, Brushed Gold - SU, DP Christmas Home - Teresa Collins, Little Sizzles black double sided mat board.
Ink:  Wild Wasabi - SU, Ranger Distress Iced Spruce
Accessories:  Sizzix Die - Blocks/Cubes 3D, wood skewer, glue gun, Nestability Circles and Stars, Banner Die from Good Egg Die Set - Waltzingmouse, foam tape 

Feather Ornament
Stamps:  Fine Feathers - Waltzingmouse
Paper:  Vellum - PTI
Ink:  Versamark
Accessories:  Fine Feathers Dies - Waltzingmouse, gold embossing powder, Metallic Shred Basket Fill - Michaels, 3.26" glass ornament - Michaels, gold cord - from stash.

Happiness is Home Made
Stamps:  Country Labels 4 and Vintage Christmas backgrounder - Waltzingmouse.
Paper:  White and Blueberry Sky - PTI
Ink:  Marina Mist, Soft Suede and Calypso Coral - SU
Accessories:  Glue N Seal - Ranger, Enamel Dots - Home made from Perler Beads, Dies - Labels 4 and Mega Rectangles - Nestabilities,  

Sketch card - Winter Wishes
Stamps:  Frosty in the Pines, Art Deco Background, Flurries - Waltzingmouse
Paper:  White - PTI, Brushed Silver and Brushed Gold - SU
Ink:  Versamark
Accessories:  Dies - Snowflake #2, Pretty Panels #2 - Waltzingmouse,  Sentiment Strips - MFT, Gold Embossing Powder, Gold pearls - Michaels, foam tape.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Vintage Journey - Secret Santa Reveal

The Creative Guides of A Vintage Journey decided to do a "Secret Santa" this year.  We were each sent a name to be kept secret until our creation arrived when it would be revealed as the receiver opened their package!  How fun!!

Well today is our big reveal - we've all sent and received our surprise creations - you will find a post of all the creations over at A Vintage Journey.  Brenda is having Christmas Giveaway and to be eligible for the draw - readers have to leave a comment on all of our blogs and link to the post over at AVJ 
See all the details at the bottom of my post.

I was Secret Santa to the awesomely talented Astrid who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland - a place I visited about 20 years ago and loved (seeing the Military Tattoo in the Edinburgh Castle being one of the highlights!) so I can envision her surroundings a bit.   I decided to decorate a small muslin bag and slip a tag/card inside it.    
So - here's how I stamped, stenciled and decorated one side.
and here's how I stamped, stenciled and decorated the other side.
Here's how the little 3"x5" bag started out.  I inserted a piece of card stock inside the bag so if any of the ink soaked through it wouldn't bleed onto the other side!
First I stenciled both sides using Wendy Vecchi's Check Mate stencil with Archival Cornflower Blue Ink
On one side I then stenciled trees with Wendy Vecchi'sHappy Holidays stencil with Archival Leaf Green ink.
I inked two Idea-ology Mirrored Stars with Archival Dandelion ink and adhered them to the top of the trees and stamped a sentiment from For the Arts by Wendy Vecchi with Archival Jet Black ink..

To finish off this side -  I used a Trinket Pin to secure a Heart Charm in the top corner and slipped a piece of Tinsel Twine through the loop.
On the other side I inked part of Tim's Festive stencil using Archival Leaf Green, Red Geranium and Potting Soil
I added enamel dots for the holly berries, adhering them with Glue N Seal.
I pinned a Snowflake Adornment that I inked with Archival Cornflower Blue Ink, slipping a little piece of Tinsel Twine through the loop for a touch of glitter!
I stamped a sentiment from Tim's Mini Holiday 5 set with Archival Jet Black in the bottom corner.
To make the little tag/card -  I die cut a piece of Rustic White cardstock using the Alterations Artful Dwelling die.  First I sprayed the tag with water using my Mini Mister.  Then I sprayed the tag with both Tea Dye and Iced Spruce Distress Spray Stains and dried the tag with my heat tool.  I stamped the caroler and sentiment from Tim's Mini Holidays 5 set with Archival Jet Black Ink.
And finally -  I sprayed the tag with Brushed Pewter Distress Spray Stain - doesn't it look like a snowy sky?!
I had the perfect stamps for the back of my Secret Santa tag -  they are from Waltzingmouse - Santa was Here set and Compliments of the Season.  I knotted a piece of black Jute String and Tinsel Twine through the hole in the tag.
And here is the lovely creation I received from MY Secret Santa Alison!  I hope you don't mind but I have to show you all of these photos of her gift so you can appreciate how beautiful the tag/card Alison made is -with all the texture, the die cuts, the embossing, pastes and inks. 
Here's the front

The inside
The backs of the tags
the beautiful misty forest you see when the tags are removed.

and the back!
I am thrilled and honored to be the recipient of this wonderful creation Alison - thank you SO much!

This was such a wonderful event for us - the Creative Guides - making a secret surprise to send and receiving a secret surprise in the mail - thanks so much Brenda for organizing this for us!

 A Vintage Journey wants to thank all those who travel on their creative journey with us, with a chance to win your own present! -  here are all the details from Brenda.
We would like to give each and every one of you who enter our challenges and who read our blog posts a Christmas gift and the nearest we could think of doing this is to offer our Christmas Give-Away.
This is a lovely present to one lucky person.
Now just to be friendly we would like you to -
1. Visit all the blogs of the Creative Guides and leave them a comment.
2. Come back the the AVJ blog and leave a link-up on the Linky to a post on your blog where you have mentioned our Give-Away and linked it back at AVJ - this might be a new post just with the Give-Away info in it or you could include it in a post you are writing for something else - just like you would if you were entering a challenge.
If we have more than 30 links there will be a second Give-away added and if we get more than 50 links there will be a third..
Make sure you have linked by 23:55 on Sunday the 21st of December which is when the Linky closes. The winner will be chosen by Random Org and announced on our following challenge post which will be on the 26th December.

Good luck everyone, enjoy the hop and thank you in advance for taking part.
You will find the list of all the Creative Guides as well as the link over at A Vintage Journey

Muslin Bag
Stamps:  For the Arts - Wendy Vecchi/Stampers Anonymous, Mini Holidays 5 - Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous
Ink:  Archival Jet Black, Wendy Vecchi Archival Leaf Green, Cornflower Blue, Fern Green, Potting Soil, Dandelion, Forget Me Not
Accessories:  Stencils - Wendy Vecchi Check Mate, Happy Holidays; Festive - Tim Holtz; jump ring, Glue N Seal, Idea-ology - Mirrored Stars, Heart Charms, Adornments - Snow flake, Trinket Pins; home made enamel dots from Perler Beads, 3" x 5" Muslin/cotton bag -

Stamps:  Mini Holidays 5 - Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous, Santa Was Here and Compliments of the Season - Waltzingmouse
Paper:  Rustic White, Smokey Shadow - PTI
Ink:  Archival Jet Black
Accessories:  Distress Spray Stains- Tea Dye, Iced Spruce, Brushed Pewter, Idea-ology - Jute String, Tinsel Twine, Mini Mister - Ranger, Artful Dwellings Die - Alterations/Tim Holtz

Friday, December 12, 2014

WMS Team Talk Post - Sending Thanks

It's my turn to post over at the Waltzingmouse Team Talk Blog
I've posted 3 Thank You notes to help with our post holiday needs!
I'd love if you'd take a peek over there!

Stamps:  Simple Sprig and Say It Loud - Waltzingmouse
Paper:  white, vintage cream, Blueberry Sky - PTI
Ink:  Royal Velvet - PTI
Accessories:  Simple Sprig Die Set - Waltzingmouse, foam dots

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Vintage Journey #21 - Let's Celebrate

Another two weeks have sped by - getting ever closer to Christmas (!) and it's time for another  A Vintage Journey Challenge -  this week Nikki is our host and here is her challenge:
#21 Nikki - Let's Celebrate - You can make something to celebrate Christmas if you wish but lets not forget about those December birthdays, anniversaries, Hanukkah and New Years. It may be fun to focus on celebrations other than Christmas, it's up to you.
Well, I decided to make a Christmas decoration using the boxes that come inside Tim's Configuration Box.  I used the box for my last AVJ project but not the little boxes inside.
Here's how I put this together.  First, I gathered some supplies that I thought I would use on my project.

I embossed the Letterpress letters using Wendy Vecchi Archival Fern Green ink and embossing powder.  After they cooled - I stamped them with Wendy's Spatter stamp using Snow Cap Ink.  Wendy has shown this technique on her blog.

First I painted the boxes with Fired Brick Distress Paint and then embossed them using Wendy's Red Geranium ink and embossing powder. I cut pieces of Merriment paper to line the inside of the boxes but you really can't see much of it after I filled the boxes!

I altered  a Woodland Tree by spraying it with Mowed Lawn Distress Stain and a Woodland Wreath sprayed with Iced Spruce. Then I dabbed  Wendy Vecchi white embossing paste all over to look like snow. using Tim's techniques so you can read about it there!   I can't reveal it as I'm also joining in on the CC3C with this project.

I painted the skates with Picket Fence Distress Paint, sanded them a bit when dry - and rubbed some Latte Alcohol Ink over them.  I died a piece of Crinkle Ribbon with Picked Raspberry Distress Spray Stain to make a bow to hang the skates on with an Jump ring.

I cut the village using Tim's Townscape Die from a piece of Merriment paper layered to white card stock to give it strength.  I layered some orange paper behind the windows to look like lights inside the houses. Then I sponged the edges with Ranger Distress Walnut Stain Ink.   I sponged the Mirrored Stars with Dandelion Archival Ink and added them to the box edges and the tree.

I adhered a Plaquette to the center of the wreath and tied a bow using Natural Red/Cream Trimmings.  I added red rhinestones and some 'snow'

Here you can see how I stamped Wendy's Spatter stamp on the sides of the boxes - but then I pretty much covered them up so you don't see much of it! 

I was going to adhere the boxes to each other but then decided I might want to keep changing the configuration so I left them unattached.

And here it is - sitting on a side table in my living room - saying "Let's Celebrate!"
What will you create to illustrate "Let's Celebrate"??  I can't wait to see what you link up!

Our challenge sponsor is Country View Crafts.  They are offering one winner, chosen by the Creative Guides, a £10 voucher to spend in their on-line shop.  

 I hope you will be inspired to play along with us -  you have 2 weeks - you will find all the details at the A Vintage Journey Blog - along with some wonderful "Let's Celebrate" inspiration by several of my very talented fellow Creative Guides!
I'm linking my creation to the Compendium of Curiosities 3 Challenge #17 - Woodlands and Tinsel Twine. Tim shows us some techniques on  Page 60 of his Compendium of Curiosities IIIInspiration Emporium is sponsoring this CC3C challenge.

I'm also linking my creation to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge
I  covered 2 lines:   Star/Patterned Paper/Ribbon and Die/Stamps/Ribbon

Stamps:  Spatter Background - Wendy Vecchi/Stampers Anonymous.
Paper:  Summer Sunrise - PTI, DP - Merriment Paper Stash - Tim Holtz.
Ink:  Wendy Vecchi Archival - Fern Green, Red Geranium, Potting Sol and Dandelion; Ranger Distress Walnut Stain; Adirondack Snowcap.
Accessories:  Wendy Vecchi White Embossing Paste, inside boxes from Configuration Box - Ranger, Idea-ology - Letter Press, Woodlands, Plaquettes, Mirrored Stars, Adornments/Skates, Trimmings/Natural Red/Cream, Jump Ring, Crinkle Ribbon, Thick Zotts, Ranger Distress Spray Stains - Iced Spruce, Mowed Lawn and Picked Raspberry, Ranger Distress Paint - Fired Bricked and Picket Fence, Wendy Vecchi Embossing Powders - Fern Green and Red Geranium, Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, Townscape Die - Alterations, Adirondack Alcohol Ink - Latte. 
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