Winter Coffee Lovers Blog Hop

Friday, December 8, 2017

Morning, y'all!  I'm super excited to get to participate with the Paper Sweeties Design Team in the Winter Coffee Lover's Blog Hop today!  Here's how I was inspired.
I started this card by stamping the "Christmas blessings" sentiment, from Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, in Jet Black ink, in the top center of a 5" x 3-3/4" piece of vellum.
I then ran that vellum through my Big Shot to achieve the textured polka dots before machine-stitching it, with red-threaded, straight stitches, over a 5-1/4" x 4" piece of aqua, medallion print, to the white cardstock, card face.
The little table was created by die-cutting two of the Sweet Borders Sweet Cuts dies from white cardstock and a gingham print.
I then topped it with a stamped and watercolored, in Pumice Stone Distress Ink, mug, which I dressed up with a stick of peppermint and white-embossed snowflake and puff of steam, as well as a stamped, in Antique Linen Distress Ink, and watercolored cupcake.  All images were stamped and/or embossed on watercolor paper die cuts and popped up with foam tape.  A couple of red sequin berries; length of Baker's Twine, tied in a bow; and white, Gelly Roll pen details complete the look.
Link up your winter-themed coffee, tea, and/or cocoa projects at the Coffee Loving Cardmakers blog for your chance to win a heap of fabulous prizes.  Paper Sweeties is offering a stamp and die set of the flash prize winner's choice...
 
AND a super sponsor prize of $25 to spend in the Paper Sweeties shop.  Woohoo!
 
Thanks so much for humbling me with a visit!  Be sure to stop by my talented teammies' blogs; and have a wonderfully blessed winter, friends!

Debbie Marcinkiewicz
Karen Letchworth 
Nancy Salkeld
Maria Patrick
Jinny Newlin (You're here!)
Kathy Schweinfurth
Lisa Bzibziak
Larissa Heskett
Lori Turner 

{Supplies & Tools} 
Stamps: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Snow Friends, & Homemade with Love (Paper Sweeties) Paper: white & vellum (Paper Studio); watercolor (Canson Studio); gingham (SU!); aqua medallion (Echo Park) Ink: Antique Linen, Pumice Stone, & Barn Door Distress Inks (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark); Jet Black (StazOn) Other: red thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); watercolors (Kuretake); polka dot embossing folder & embossing gun (SU!); Big Shot (Sizzix); white embossing powder (Zing!); white Gelly Roll pen (Sakura); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); sequins & Homemade with Love & Sweet Borders Sweet Cuts dies (Paper Sweeties)

For the Love of Books: Christmas

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hey, y'all!  I'm just stopping in with this month's For the Love of Books pick a little earlier than usual; as I also wanted to share the fantastic list of children's Christmas books that grace our own library shelves, just in case you've still got a little shopping to do.  But before I get to that, I've got a favorite, seasonal treasure for you all.  It is written for children ages two to eight and comes from the bestselling creators of The Bear Books.
 
Mortimer's Christmas Manger, written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman, tells the tale of a little mouse, named Mortimer, who ditches his cold, cramped, creepy hole for a cozy house just his size.  The house even has a little, wooden bed perfect for Mortimer.  Unfortunately, it is filled with statues that Mortimer has to drag back out every time he leaves to go exploring.  One day, Mortimer hears a man tell the story of the first Christmas and realizes that he made Jesus' manger his home each night.  Reverently, he places all of the statues back where they belong before saying a prayer asking for Jesus to bring him a new home.  Just as quickly as the prayer leaves his lips, he spies something new, something wonderful, something that makes him sigh with delight.

Now, on to that list.  The last four have been added since last year.
  1. A Christmas ABC by Alice Gold
  2. My First Treasury: The First Christmas by Leslie Lindecker
  3. Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
  4. The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs (LOVE all of Liz's parable stories!)
  5. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (a favorite of mine)
  6. The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola (another favorite of mine... It never fails to bring tears to my eyes, though.)
  7. Santa's Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki (yet another favorite of mine)
  8. The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree by Jan and Mike Berenstain
  9. Clifford Celebrates the Year: Clifford’s Christmas by Norman Bridwell
  10. Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
  11. God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
  12. Winnie the Pooh: The Merry Christmas Mystery by Betty Birney
  13. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston (another one for which you'll need the Kleenex box)
  14. Dream Snow by Eric Carle
  15. Snow Happy to be Here: The Slightly Silly Story of the Snowblatt Family by Cheryl Hawkinson
  16. You Can Do It, Sam by Amy Hest
  17. The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas by Anne Muecke (super fun music CD with it) 
  18. The Twelve Days of Christmas by Anne Geddes
  19. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (This one will always be a classic.)
  20. The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg (still another favorite of mine)
  21. The Snow Must Go On: A Way, Way Off-Broadway Adventure by Molly Wigand
  22. The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Rick Osborne (great history here)
  23. Merry Christmas, Curious George by Cathy Hapka
  24. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
  25. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney (great rhyme)
  26. It's Christmas, David! by David Shannon
  27. The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
  28. On This Special Night by Claire Freedman
  29. My First Read and Learn Countdown to Christmas by Mary Manz Simon
  30. Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson
  31. Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson (Adina's favorite)
  32. The Christmas Star by Marcus Pfister
  33. Charlie and the Christmas Kitty by Ree Drummond (Kaden's favorite)
  34. The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck (Ezekiel's favorite)
  35. Little Golden Book: Christmas Favorites
  36. A Very Marley Christmas by John Grogan (So glad we have a good dog ;)!)
  37. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May
  38. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell! by Lucille Colandro
  39. Grace at Christmas by Mary Hoffman (Christmas is changed forever for a little girl reluctant to welcome strangers into her celebrations.)
  40. Tacky's Christmas by Helen Lester (Gotta love that Tacky!)
  41. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz
  42. The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans
  43. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
  44. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (This is a Hallmark recordable storybook read by Ezekiel to Adina.  It was his gift to her for Christmas 2013.)
  45. Tallulah's Nutcracker by Marilyn Singer (such a tender lesson in humility)
  46. Home for Christmas by Jan Brett
  47. Disney's Mickey's Christmas Carol
  48. The Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas by Justine Korman (a Little Golden Book)
  49. The Animals' Santa by Jan Brett
  50. Santa is Coming to Kansas by Steve Smallman
  51. Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
  52. The Legend of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall
  53. The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan and Mike Berenstain
  54. The Nutcracker from the story by E.T.A. Hoffman
  55. Christmas Is Here illustrated by Lauren Castillo (words from the King James Bible)
  56. Goodnight, Manger by Laura Sassi
Thanks so much for reading!  I hope you found something here to give or add to your own bookcases this year.  We've already got a great start on our mission to, once again, get through every one of our titles before Christmas.  Wish us luck!  And have a truly blessed, Christmas season!  Hugs!

The Studio Sketch Challenge

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Happy Sunday, y'all!  Just popping in to share our first December challenge over in The Studio.  Anna has cooked up a sketch to inspire your creative appetites and start the month out right.  Here's how I was inspired.
I started this page by applying a thin layer of gesso to the woodgrain, patterned paper base page.  Once it was dry, I added teal and blue watercolor puddles and splattered it with those same colors of watercolor, as well as orange watercolor and Pure Black and Titanium White acrylic paints.  I then layered a number of prints, one of which was torn down its right end, vertically, near the top of the page, anchoring some of them with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching.  They were topped with a trio of photos which were matted with white cardstock and embellished with a gold foil, "ONE FOR THE BOOKS" tab...
and "my favorite" die cut, popped up with foam tape.  I also wrapped the base of the far right photo with a length of white string, tied in a bow.
The "BIRTHDAY Cheer" title was created from gold foil chipboard Thickers to spell "BIRTHDAY" and a foam glitter "Cheer"; topped with a "loving" die cut, popped up with foam tape...
and grounded with a "LIFE IS BETTER WHEN YOU'RE laughing" die cut.  A "FUN" die cut, popped up with foam tape...
leads the way to my journaling, which reads, Celebrating your 38th with new BBQ goodies & a carrot cake, your favorite.  June 10, 2016.  A trio of patterned prints, two of which were torn across their top edges and one of which was secured with more gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching, ground the entire page...
where one final photo, matted with white cardstock and embellished with a cork heart, topped with a gold foil, arrow die cut and backed with a combination of leaf and flower die cuts, as well as a tangle of gold thread, can be found.  A scattering of aqua enamel dots completes the look.
Here's your December Sketch Challenge to get you off and creating in the right direction.
 
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what my talented teammies have cooked up just for your viewing pleasure.  Then, you have until Sunday, January 14, 2018, to link up your takes in the right-hand column of The Studio blog.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a blessed week, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Paper: white (Paper Studio); blue diamonds (Elle's Studio); teal leafy (Shimelle); orange floral & yellow triangles (Citrus Twist); aqua triangles (1 Canoe 2); woodgrain (Cocoa Vanilla) Ink: Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); gesso (O'Leary Paints); watercolors (Kuretake); Pure Black & Titanium White acrylic paints (FolkArt); enamel dots (Simple Stories); white string (Hobby Lobby); "ONE FOR THE BOOKS" tab, "my favorite" label, & "loving" & leafy die cuts (Citrus Twist); Sparkle foam glitter & Swing gold foil chipboard Thickers (American Crafts); "LIFE IS BETTER WHEN YOU'RE laughing", blue flower, & gold leafy die cuts (Pinkfresh); gold arrow & "FUN" die cuts (Bella Blvd.); cork heart (Pink Paislee)

Visions of Sugarplums

Morning, y'all!  I'm so excited to be participating, as part of the Paper Sweeties Design Team, in the Visions of Sugarplums blog hop today.  I decided to put together a quartet of Christmas cards, for some of my nieces and nephews, just for the occasion.  Enjoy!
I started these cards by stamping the Snow Friends snowmen, in Jet Black ink, just right of horizontal center, on 3-3/4" x 5" pieces of watercolor paper.
 
I then masked the snowmen before stamping the Sent From My Heart mailboxes, in Jet Black ink, just left of horizontal center.  The entire pieces were then watercolored.  Before splattering everything with blue watercolor and Titanium White acrylic paint, I paper-pieced the snowmen's hats and scarfs on watercolor paper die cuts and adhered them in their respective locations.
 
 
 
Once they were dry and a little glitter had been added to the snowmen's hats, I white-embossed a trio of Snow Friends snowflakes across the top of the prepped pieces and black-embossed the "Sending holiday hugs and kisses" sentiments, from You Better Not Pout, in their bottom centers.
Each prepped piece was then framed with colored cardstock, including Perfect Plum, Pink Pirouette, Apricot Appeal, and Pool Party, to coordinate with their chosen hat and scarf prints, as well as silver-threaded, straight, machine stitches.
Their top halves were wrapped, three times, horizontally, with lengths of white string, tied in bows near their left sides, and embellished with snippets of white lace as well as color-coordinating seam binding ribbon, double bows, including Robin Egg, Creamsicle, Cotton Candy, and Grape from the Paper Sweeties shop, each studded with a single, white pearl.  They were all then secured, with foam tape, to the front of white cardstock, card faces to complete the look.
 
 
 
That covers things from me, folks; but there is a heap of inspiration still to come in the blog links below.  Be sure to leave lots of love as you visit, as the more comments you leave, the more opportunities you have to win some perfectly glorious prizes, including a $25 gift certificate from Paper Sweeties.
 
You can also join in the Visions of Sugarplums Christmas/Winter Challenge for the chance to win a $20 gift certificate from Mama Elephant.  Woot!  Woot!  You have through Saturday, December 9, 2017, to join in the fun.  Prize winners will be announced the following Sunday.  Debbie is also offering 30% off all Paper Sweeties holiday products not already on sale, with coupon code sugarplum, for today onlyThanks so much for stopping by, friends!  Now, get hopping!  XOXO 

Lori
Jinny (You're here!) 
Kathy
Mackie 

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: You Better Not Pout, Sent From My Heart, & Snow Friends (Paper Sweeties) Paper: white (Paper Studio); Perfect Plum, Pink Pirouette, Apricot Appeal, & Pool Party (SU!); watercolor (Canson Studio); plum polka dot (Jillibean Soup); pink plaid (K&Company); apricot gingham (Creative Memories); aqua floral (Studio Calico) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark) Other: silver thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); white string (Hobby Lobby); lace (JoAnn Fabrics); pearls (Paper Studio); watercolors (Kuretake); Titanium White acrylic paint (FolkArt); white embossing powder (Zing!); black embossing powder, embossing gun, & Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); Big Shot (Sizzix); Snow Friends Sweet Cuts die & Grape, Cotton Candy, Creamsicle, & Robin Egg seam binding ribbons (Paper Sweeties)

Paper Sweeties December Inspiration Challenge #62

Thursday, November 30, 2017

December will be upon us before most of you ever read this; and that means a fabulous, new, inspiration challenge is up over at Paper Sweeties.  This month's challenge inspired me to create stocking tags to dress up jars of my homemade apple butter.  My hubby will actually be delivering thirteen of these to his coworkers and employees for Christmas; however, for the sake of time, I've selected three to share, with you all, today.  The remainder are some combination of the following anyhow.
I started these tags by die-cutting the stockings from patterned prints and their scallop trim, which I also glittered, from white cardstock with my Cameo.
 
I then white-embossed the "homemade for the holidays" sentiments, from Handmade for You, on vellum, Sweet Borders banner die-cuts.  Both the banners and stockings were punched in their top left corners to allow lengths of Baker's Twine, which were first wrapped around the jar, to be laced through and tied in bows.
 
 
Their top edges were then embellished with felt, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe holly die cuts, dressed up with pink and red buttons, which I hand-stitched in place, as well as Cotton Candy, Green Apple, and Frosting seam binding ribbon bows, all studded with lone, white pearls, respectively.
 
 
Here's this month's Inspiration Challenge #62 graphic to get you off and creating in the right direction.
 
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to get all your challenge details as well as the designer's blogs to see how they've been inspired.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a blessed, holiday season, friends!

Debbie Marcinkiewicz – Paper Sweeties
Jinny Newlin  * December Guest Designer *

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Handmade for You (Paper Sweeties) Paper: white & vellum (Paper Sweeties); polka dot & stripe (MME); star (October Afternoon) Ink: watermark (VersaMark) Other: white embossing powder (Zing!); Christmas Stocking cut file (Images by Heather M.); Cameo (Silhouette); Dazzling Diamonds, embossing gun, & 3/16" Handheld Circle punch (SU!); buttons (Buttons Galore & More); white string (Coats & Clark); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); pearls & felt (Paper Studio); Big Shot (Sizzix); Meet Me Under the Mistletoe & Sweet Borders Sweet Cuts dies & Cotton Candy, Frosting, & Green Apple seam binding ribbons (Paper Sweeties)

Adina Needs Your Vote!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Adina needs your vote for the Soft Toy Competition at IKEA!  There are over 9,000 entries!  To narrow things down... (1) click VOTING, (2) choose IKEA Merriam for the STORE LOCATION, and (3) choose 9-12 for the AGE RANGE.  She's at the bottom of the page.  You can also sort by DRAWING ID 823878.
 
Thanks so much in advance!  Blessings!

Friday Faves

Friday, November 24, 2017

Hey, y'all!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Ours was absolutely perfect; super relaxing; and full of fun, delicious food, and family.  I'm so sad to see it come to an end; but super excited, too, about changing gears for a new, holiday season.  So, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite, festive finds for this edition of my Friday Faves.  Funny enough, I ended up with an entire post of stamp sets again.  Y'all think I might like stamping or something?  Let's kick things off with Sunny Studio's Festive Greetings.  I LOVE to combine block and cursive fonts for sentiments and scrapbook titles, and the combination of such is exactly what drew me to this stamp set.  Swoon!
The happy-go-lucky penguins steal the show in Brring on the Joy from Avery Elle.  All the festive, scene-setting builders are just the icing on the cake.
I needed to refill a few basic supplies over at Stampin' Up and couldn't resist taking a peek at a some of their new sets.  It's been so long since I've been to their website, that I didn't even know they had photopolymer stamp sets.  What?!  Can anyone vouch for their durability or stain-resisting ability, because Colorful Seasons has this nature-loving girl's name all over it?
And although they don't fit the season upon us, Bella & Friends Clear Mount...
and A Little Wild Clear Mount Bundle get points for their versatility all year round.  Do you see how those jungle animals stamp back and front for darling, little tags?  Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?!
That does it, for this month, folks.  As always, I hope you found something here to love, too.  And if you're still doing some Black Friday shopping, Pretty Little Studio is offering 15% off your entire order, with code black2017, through Monday, November 27, 2017, at midnight.  Woot!  Woot!  Happy shopping, friends!  Be blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Over the last few weeks, each of the members of my family secretly wrote, on little strips of paper, all the things for which they are thankful and tossed them into a sweet, paper bag turkey Kaden made in our Sunday school class.  We read through them at breakfast this am, and I thought today would be the perfect time to share those entries here on my blog.  Please keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list, and see if you can guess who might have written what.  In no particular order, we are thankful for...
  1. Awana
  2. sunshine
  3. United States of America
  4. family
  5. airplanes
  6. birthdays
  7. pumpkins
  8. Mrs. Acuff, Adina's homeschool video teacher
  9. Mom's homemade anything
  10. Adina
  11. sleepovers
  12. Bible
  13. Shirley, our neighbor and my kiddos' second grandma
  14. Kansas City Zoo
  15. our pet fish
  16. holidays
  17. autumn
  18. love
  19. animals
  20. art supplies
  21. books
  22. summer
  23. family vacations
  24. music
  25. our home
  26. my animal notebook, Adina's first big school project
  27. a Bible-teaching church
  28. online shopping
  29. a teenager to help mow the yard
  30. missionaries
  31. Casas por Cristo
  32. hot cocoa
  33. trees
  34. penguins
  35. air
  36. papercrafts
  37. technology
  38. coffee (That's totally me!!!)
  39. friends
  40. the pool
  41. ice-cream cones
  42. sports
  43. bunkbeds
  44. baseball
  45. being home with family
  46. pizza
  47. life
  48. mixed nuts on the kitchen table
  49. my creative space
  50. popcorn
  51. my gardens
  52. Saturday morning pancakes
  53. prayer
  54. Spanish (...so my hubby and I can have conversations without our kiddos understanding.)
  55. aquariums
  56. Christ's death and resurrection
  57. Christmas lights
  58. nature
  59. siblings
  60. art
  61. family game night
  62. religious freedom
  63. Ezekiel
  64. family movie night
  65. clothes
  66. my wife
  67. Charlie, Kaden's favorite stuffed dog
  68. Legos
  69. employment
  70. God's faithful provision
  71. cupcakes
  72. Thanksgiving Day
  73. Grandpa and Grandma
  74. homeschool
  75. colors
  76. a family that knows the Lord
  77. Gummy Bears
  78. grocery stores
  79. good food
  80. the spinner Dad got me in Philadelphia
  81. toys
  82. traditions
  83. my husband
  84. stuffed animals
  85. God
  86. Mom
  87. parades
  88. neighbors 
  89. tooth fairy (Adina just had a stubborn, baby tooth pulled last week!)
  90. horses
  91. cleaning supplies (This was NOT me!  I must be doing something right ;).)
  92. our Sunday school class of three-year-olds
  93. Kaden
  94. favorite television shows
  95. a comfy bed
  96. Snowflake, our bunny
  97. Summer, our dog
  98. slippers
  99. children
  100. blog friends (That's YOU!)
    From my family to yours, have a truly blessed Thanksgiving!  And to all those who don't live in the United States, have an absolutely fantastic day!  Hugs! 

    For the Love of Books

    Tuesday, November 21, 2017

    Morning, y'all!  With Thanksgiving being in just a couple of short days here in the United States, I thought I'd get in the spirit of things, with this month's For the Love of Books post, by sharing one of our favorite books about the history of the holiday.  It is illustrated with super cute, pencil and watercolor images, some even right out of the 1620's, and simply stated enough to keep my busy toddler's attention.  So, I give the targeted age range, of three years and older, a big thumbs up.
     
    In What Is Thanksgiving Day?, written by Margot Parker and illustrated by Matt Bates, Amy explains the origins of Thanksgiving Day to Ben, while she's baking cookies like the ones the Indians brought to the first Thanksgiving dinner.

    I know that's a super simple explanation, but most of us already know the history behind Thursday's holiday.  This one stands out to me for its superior job of explaining all the specifics without failing to remember that the Pilgrims' thanks was to their Heavenly Father for all He had given them, especially their ability to worship Him in their own way, in the New World.  Thanks so much for reading, friends!  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!