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

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Waiting for the New Year to Come?

Hello friends!
A BIG HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!

I have a little something to share with you while you might be waiting for the New Year's ball to drop down tonight.  Of course new stamps are always on my wish list, but it's even better if there is a chance to win them too!  If you are interested in this, then there is a special "party themed" blog hop going on today over at

THE ALLEY WAY STAMPS

They are giving away the entire newly released (soon to be released) stamp sets!

I also didn't realize that next month starting with tomorrow, they're celebrating their 3rd year!
So if you participate in the blog hop, be sure to check back again tomorrow not only to see if you've won, but to check out the celebrations going on all month long in January!
(Meaning more prizes, freebies and discounts!  Yay!)

I don't know about you, but it sounds like fun to me! :)

Wishing all the best for an amazing 2014!  I will see you again soon!


HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Friday, December 27, 2013

Inspired by Christmas

Hello friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!
So are you taking down your tree or still got some celebrating to do?  We will probably go ahead and take our tree down this weekend, but we still have some family Christmas gatherings to celebrate...so while I'm waiting for those, I'm still being inspired by some Christmas stamping! :)
I thought that I would be sick of Christmas by now, but I had actually forgotten that I needed to send out one more special Christmas card for someone asking for them.  (You can read about it HERE.)
So who knows...I might just get ready for next year already! LOL!

So while I was doing some laundry, I thought it would be nice to play with a fun Christmas stamp set that I had gotten not too long ago and never had much of a chance to really play with it, so this is something fun and retro that I came up with inspired by some challenges:
The fun pink Christmas tree with presents along with the tiny heart and spot on the background of the card came from The Alley Way Stamps stamp set called Jolly Holiday.  It has so many fun "baubles" to play with that go so great together!  For the sentiment, I used the Holiday Sparkles stamp set.
If you check out the photo below, I was inspired to create this design and use these colors together based on the photo.  It has such a contemporary retro feel to it and I wanted to mimic as many items as I could with it.  I even used some tinsel trimming like in the photo!  I embossed the strip that it's on with my wood-grain embossing folder to mimic the wooden floor...or the shelf the stockings are hanging on...however you want to interpret that part of it.  I made the tree pink like the photo and even used a couple of prezzies in the set to go around the tree.  It's hard to see in the photo, but I've used some shimmery Smooch to go over top of the ornaments on the tree along with the pink dot in the background and ribbons on the presents.
So I hope this is a fun and sparkly Christmas wish to make someone smile! :)

Here are the challenges I'd like to enter this for:
The Alley Way Stamps - BE Inspired #44
(New challenge blog coming soon!)


Mojo Monday - Sketch 325

Alphabet Challenge - 'W' for "Whatever You Wish"
Pile it On  (PIO48)- "P" is for:  Presents & Pink
Crafting From the Heart - anything goes
The Pink Elephant (TPE231) - anything goes
Top Tip Tuesday - Christmas
Creative Card Crew - anything goes
Cute Card Thursday - anything goes

Thanks so much for checking in with me today!  I hope you've enjoyed my design and I'm not sure if I'll be creating anything to post before New Year or not, but in case I don't...hope you all have a great one!

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sending You All Best Wishes...

...for a Merry Christmas and a very happy up-coming New Year in 2014!
I will be seeing you again after the New Year!  :)

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Saturday, December 21, 2013

In the Meadow We Can Build a Snowman...

Hello again friends!  Yes, I've still got another card to share with you before Christmas, but this time it is more of a wintry type of card!
I wanted to send a Christmas card to someone out of the country, but I realize that it probably won't get there in time, so I thought if I made it a wintry New Year wishes type of card, it would be OK.  I also think it's a fun card to send because where she lives, they get no snow! :)

I know that this is one of the older Magnolia stamps, but I've always wanted this image and just got it a few months back and just now got around to getting it out to color!  I think it's adorable!
The colors on this look a bit different in the photograph, but I really love how it turned out.  I've used some Lawn Fawn paper for the background and the sentiment comes from Whimsy Stamps.
I just love this shinny silver ribbon from Stampin' Up!  So easy to work with!
All that was left was to add a doily and some sparkle and bling to complete it.
I'm glad that I got this out too because I almost forgot to enter some challenges that I wanted to get in on before the time ran out!

Here's the challenges I'd like to enter this for:
Magnolia-licious - Holiday Blog Hop (Christmas or Winter)
Magnolia-licious - Doilies
CRAFT Challenge - Sketch
The ABC Challenge - "B" for Blue, Bows, & Bling
Simon Says - bling it on!
The Crafter's Cafe - Make it Sparkle
Charisma Cardz - anything goes
Crafty Little Fairies - anything goes
Creative Knockouts - Winter Wonderland
Stamp & Create with Magnolia - Winter Snowflakes

I'm not sure if I'll be back again with another Christmas card before Christmas or not, but I do have a few Christmas style images already colored and ready to be put on a card.  Although it would probably be smart to save them for next year's Christmas cards! LOL!!  As always, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and say hello!  Enjoy your weekend! :)

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Friday, December 20, 2013

Weiner Wishes for Christmas!

Hello friends!  It's the beginning of the very last weekend before Christmas day!
Are you ready yet?  Nope?  Neither am I! LOL!  I have pretty much finished up all of my cards except this one and another one last one that I wanted to send out.  I've also got half of my baking done and hope to be doing lots more of it today along with some more shopping.
Late nights and hopefully I can rest and sleep in next week! LOL!

Anyway, today I have this special card that I'd like to send to my doxie vet care-givers.  They are really great with her when we bring her in and have helped eased our worries with her so much.  If you follow along with me on Facebook, then you can see on my timeline that I shared a photo of her and my hubby at the vet.  They featured her on their Facebook page this week!  She's such a "Diva" as they all refer to her, so this is probably fitting! LOL!
Here's the card I made for them:
I've had this really CUTE image and sentiment for quite a while and I like to get them out and use them every once in a while.  They are from Cowtown Stamps.  The snowflake images are from a Lawn Fawn set that I had recently purchased. 
I embossed the sentiment with gold embossing powder and the snowflakes are just stamped with the Crumb Cake color. (Same as card base.)  I even added a little holly and popped it out over the Christmas stocking that the doxies are tugging on.  The holly paper and felt holly accent are from Stampin' Up! (retired).  Since I'm getting pressured for time, I didn't make this too fussy or anything.  I found a sketch to follow along with which made it easier to figure out what to do with the image.

Here's the challenges I'd like to enter:
Try Stampin' on Tuesday - Sketch + twist: add a snowflake(s)..turned sketch upsidedown
Sweet Stampin' - Last Minute Christmas
Kaboodle Doodles - Christmas colors
The Squirrel and The Fox - Christmas or Hanukkah
Addicted to Stamps & More - anything goes
Aud Sentiments - Christmas
Crafty Creations - anything goes

Hope you've enjoyed my Christmas design today and I'll be back again with another one or two more Christmas creations before we get to next week. :)  Thanks so much for popping in!

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Non-Christmas Today...

Hello friends!  Yes, I know I've been a bad blogging buddy and have not left any love for you all lately, and I do apologize for that.  I've just been really busy with Christmas and other personal issues going on right now in my life.  It seems the worst possible time something could happen, it usually does! LOL!!  It will be fine and I'll get back on track here shortly.

It's off to send Christmas cards in the mail hopefully this afternoon after I do another "count".  I am also spending most of my day in the kitchen today, so I hope to have my laptop with me and I can bake and spend some time with a little blog surfing while I'm at it! :)

I have a special creation to share with you all this morning that's not really Christmas related.
My hair stylist is retiring at the end of this month and this morning is my very last haircut with her.  I'm so sad!  She did such a wonderful job with my hair and she was fabulous to talk with because we had lots of crafting talk in common! LOL! I will miss her!  Here's a card I made for her:
This CUTE little image is from Bugaboo Stamps.  She is called Sunbonnet Hairdresser of course!  I actually found it really hard to find a cute hair dresser stamp anywhere!  This is the only one that I found that I liked.  The sentiment comes from the Stampin' Up! Teeny Tiny Wishes set.  I've colored her with my Copic markers and for the blades of the scissors, I've used my silver gel pen to color it in.  It's very shimmery IRL, but as always so hard to photograph.
I gave her a little bit of "country feel" to her because she lives out in the country and I think she had told me at one time that she likes the color red.  Hopefully I'm right! :)

Here are a couple of challenges I can enter:
Penny's Paper Crafty - Feminine with a sentiment
CRAFT - inspired by the movie "Steel Magnolias" (love that movie!)
Crafty Catz - anything goes
Everybody Art (EAC258) - NO Christmas card

So hope you've enjoyed my short break from Christmas, but I'll be right back again soon I'm sure with another one, two, three or four designs...at least one that I know for sure! LOL!!  This post should be up about the time I'm getting my haircut too!  I'm so glad you stopped in and I will be around to visit you soon!!


HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Monday, December 16, 2013

Another Holiday Hurry...

Hello friends!  I'm back again with another quick card to share with you!
Got my mail this afternoon and some special stamps came that I couldn't wait to get my hands on! :)
It was perfect timing as there are a few challenges that are supposed to end within literally hours that I wanted to play in!

So here's what I've been playing with the last few minutes...
I have grown really fond lately of The Alley Way Stamps and had placed an order with them recently and was anxiously awaiting them so that I could play along with the current challenge.
The sets that I've played with here are Holiday Sparkles and the dot/small circle from Jolly Holiday set...it was that perfect little small element that I wanted to complete my card!

I've used some challenges below to help complete my CAS style design today:
The Alley Way Challenge - BE Inspired #43
http://thealleywaystamps.blogspot.com/2013/12/re-be-inspired-43.html

Freshly Made Sketches - sketch below
http://freshlymadesketches.blogspot.com/2013/12/freshly-made-sketches-116-sketch-by.html
CAS-ual Fridays (CFC123) - Let it Snow
http://cas-ualfridays.blogspot.com/2013/12/cfc123.html

Addicted to CAS - Snow
http://addictedtocas.blogspot.com/2013/12/challenge-28-snowflakes.html

So now that I've had my share of fun playing today, I think I'll get back to my baking now! LOL!
Thanks so much for stopping in!!  Hope you've enjoyed my creation!!

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Christmas Ants are Stirring...

Hello friends!  It's getting closer to Christmas...are you ready?!
It's OK, I'm not either! LOL!  I heard several of you are in the same boat as I am for Christmas, so it's nice to know that it's not just me having a hard time keeping up with it all!

I do now have almost all of my Christmas cards gathered together, made (ALMOST!) and now just need to make some envelopes for them and get them popped in the mail now!
I also have a couple of presents under the tree and have bought my baking groceries, so now it's back and forth with baking, wrapping, shopping and finishing it all up.

I like to send little note cards with my containers of cookies, but since I don't have much time to start much from scratch as I need enough for about 8-10 containers, so I thought nothing could be more simple than a printable card kit from The Doodle Pantry!  Here's what I made:
Sorry about the wonky background!  I just had to grab some Christmas wrap for my background as it was a bit longer to photograph with my normal white backdrop. :)
These are all 4x4 note cards that I have made envelopes for with my Stampin' Up! envelope maker...(LOVE that thing!)  These darling ants are from the Holiday Ants Card Kit.  I made some adjustments in the layouts to make them fit with what I wanted to do with them.  I do love how the papers and card design are already pretty much there for you.  Just print it out, die cut them out or whatever.  They even come with tags that I've also punched out to go with the cookie containers!
As you can see, I've added a few snowflakes on a couple along with some sparkle and ribbon in places as well.  I love adding sparkle to Christmas!

Here are some challenges that I'd like to add these creations to:
The Doodle Pantry Blog Challenge (DPDC41) - any digital stamp
Cards and More - 10 minute cards
Divas by Design - anything goes
Cute Card Thursday - Christmas Catch Up! (I'm doing it! LOL!)

So I do know that I still want to make a few more cards so I know I'll have enough.  It always seems every year that I forget someone or they end up sending me a card and I need to send one back right away! LOL!  I also sometimes loose my addresses, so I'm glad when someone does send me a card so that I have their address.  If you send out your cards, please add your return address on your envelopes for people like me that need it!  :)

I know that I will be back again soon with another Christmas card for you!  I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to leave any comment!  Have a lovely day!

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Friday, December 13, 2013

Season Greetings from a Penguin Gal Pal!

Well hello there! :)  Yes, I wish I COULD say that I've been madly working on my Christmas list of things to do including finishing up my Christmas cards, baking and even a few presents wrapped under the tree, but am I even mildly close to that yet?!!  Oh no!!  So right now I'm starting to feel a little "Christmas stress"!
I just need to remember to relax a bit, enjoy the process and know that it will all be over within a few weeks.

Is there anyone else out there having the same issues as me?...or I'm just wildly unprepared?!
So, I do have another tag to share with you and had so much fun putting it together actually!  With the really weird day that I had today, I'm surprised I even got to finish it!! LOL!!
I pulled out this REALLY cute Lawn Fawn stamp set that I had gotten to play with for the first time.  I really love these cute stamps!  The sets have some really fun things that go together how you want them to which makes it easier to create what you want.  The penguin, igloo and snowflake image came from the "Critters in the Snow" stamp set.  I've also used the "Bannerific" stamp set along with the matching die.

The purpose for this tag is for the "Ellen Houston's 12 tags of Christmas with a feminine twist" where we are to pick a tag made from one of the design team member's that we were inspired by and create our own tag based on it.  Of course I was really inspired by Kelly Alvarez's darling Yeti tag! (It as the Day 5 tag).  I changed up the colors just a bit, but followed most of the same design theme.  I even put eyelashes on my penguin for a feminine look! :)

Here's another closer look at the penguin details...
The metallic silver twine and background paper with the trees are also from Lawn Fawn as well.
To glitter up the the background card stock strips and white heart at the top, I've used some Iridescent Ice embossing powder to make it sparkle.  I've also used a snowflake from the "Critters in the Snow" stamp set and embossed it in white on the background paper.  The sentiment in the banner is from another Christmas set I had.  Penguin colored with Copics of course. :0)

Here are some challenges I'd like to enter this for:
Ellen Houston (The CLASSroom blog) - 12 tags of Christmas with a feminine twist (tag 5)
Craft Your Passion - Let it Snow
Crafting from the Heart - anything goes
Created with Love (CWLC70) - anything goes
Loves Rubber Stamps (LRSBC82) - anything goes Christmas
Papertake Weekly - Christmas Creatures
Simon Says - Let it Snow
Crafting for All Seasons - anything Christmas except a card
Aud Sentiments - Christmas tag + sentiment
Moving Along with the Times - Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I know that there are TONS and TONS of Christmas/winter/snow, etc related challenges, but I think I'm going to stop with it right there as I know some have restrictions on how many other challenges you can enter...so hopefully I have "followed the rules" with the challenges here! :)  I know I have LOTS and LOTS more Christmas crafting to do, so I know I'll be back with more to enter other challenges! whew!

OK, so now I'm going to try to work my through to Christmas ONE thing at a time!
Wish me luck and thanks for stopping in my friend!!

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let's Get Started for Christmas!

Hello friends!  I see so many of you have already got your Christmas cards done and are starting up for next year...well...I like to keep things under high pressure, so I've got about 10 Christmas cards and probably need several more to get through Christmas this year!!  So be pre-pared to see LOTS more Christmas from me until it's all over! :)

I thought I'd start with a nice tag.  I like to make tags because I can choose to either use them as what the purpose is intended for OR I can mount them on a card that I need to get sent out...so we'll just see how that goes for me! LOL!!
I saw on the Ellen Houston blog, (The CLASSroom),that they are having a special 12 tags of Christmas with a feminine twist challenge.  They want you to make a tag from one of the tutorials by the design team that inspired your design.  I knew when I saw the video tutorial by Julie Ebersole that I wanted to re-create something like hers.  So this is an inspired design from Day 2 tag.

I didn't have all of the cool items that she used on her tag, so I improvised by taking a star image and embossing it with gold embossing powder for my background.  I also didn't have a rectangle die except with the scallops on it.  I used a different die cut for my "snowy hill houses" instead of the buildings that she used.  I also changed the backdrop to a Navy color and used a matching ribbon at the top of my tag.  I did emboss in gold the vellum banner the same as she did and added a sprinkling of sequins as well.  I used some gold line stickers from my stash instead of the gold glitter strips that she used on her tag.

Here is another closer view of my tag:
The star image and gold Dazzle line sticker is from Paper Wishes, the sentiment is from Whimsy Stamps and the die cut snowy hill houses is by Memory Box.  Sequins from Lawn Fawn.

So here are the challenges I'd like to enter:
Ellen Houston (The CLASSroom) - 12 tags of Christmas with feminine twist
Divas by Design - Feeling Festive
Simon Says - Make your own background
Aud Sentiments - Tags for Christmas + sentiment
Alphabet Challenge - *V* is for Vellum
Less is More - Metallic + one other color (gold & navy)

Tuesday Throwdown - "What Christmas Means to You"...it means a time for reflection on what really matters, what's in your heart and who is close to you.  It's a time for peace to all and a reflection of the beauty that surrounds us...even in the very cold nights..LOVE those bright stars on a cold winter night and the sparkly snow...so peaceful.

So I hope you've enjoyed my little tag creation today and I will be back again tomorrow as I need to be getting on a roll and buckle down to get my cards done, sent out and start up my baking!  I've only shopped for a couple of gifts too....so here I go again with another push it to the limit at Christmas time! LOL!!  Hope all of your Christmas plans are going smoothly and I appreciate you stopping by my friends!!

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Addicted to Stamps with a Sketch!

Hello friends!  I hope that you have been enjoying your weekend!
I've been busy trying to catch up on my long list of "festive" things!  Hoping to check off a few!

Today I wanted to share the new challenge up over at
Addicted to Stamps
Today they have a very fun sketch for you to try out!  So please hop on over to the challenge blog and have a look at it along with all of the beautiful inspiration from the rest of the design team!  I just know you will not be disappointed at all as they are such a talented group of crafters! :)

So here's my take on the lovely sketch:
I have chosen to use this darling Elisabeth Bell stamp from The Elphine House.  I can't help but sing the "Jingle Bells" song every time I use it!!  I've really glittered up this one with the liquid pearls, the faux snow, the glitter on the image and the silver gel pen on the bells in the image too!  I've also added the metallic silver ribbon and some rhinestones in the middle of the snowflake dies!  It's so shinny and glittery in person!
The circular sentiment hanging down is from Whimsy Stamps.  I've used some papers from Stampin' Up! and added a metallic silver layer behind them.  I had some tiny jingle bells in my stash and tied them up with my ribbon and made a bow along the side.
Of course you can see that I've used only blue tone colors on my design for a monochromatic theme...and blue with this image gives it a feel of winter for sure! :)

OK, so here are some other challenges I'd like to enter this for:
The Elphine House - "Autumn Leaves" or "Let it Snow"
Elisabeth Bell's World - Monochromatic
The Pink Elephant (TPE228) - Winter
The Squirrel & The Fox - Summer or Winter
Everybody Art - Winter
Crafty Catz- 2 or more dies
Shopping Our Stash - Holiday/Winter

Now, I hope you will join along with us and play with our sketch!  You can make anything you want with it!  I can't wait to see what you come up with using it!  Thanks so much for dropping in today and I hope you were inspired by my creation!  Have a good one!

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Thursday, December 5, 2013

You've Been Frosted!

Hello friends!  Yes, I am still around! :)  Just got many things going on here at home to take care of and not finding much time to get into my stamp room lately.  As it is with the Holiday Season, it seems that everything happens all at once for some reason! LOL!

I am still trying to follow along with what's been going on around blog land and I saw that
The Paper Shelter is having a special 3rd birthday blog hop and challenge.  I did get a couple of images a while back, so I thought I'd print one out and play along with the fun today!
I think this image is so fun with her purple hair and frosting dripping everywhere!  It looks like me baking in the kitchen making my Christmas cookies!  LOL!  Well, not AS cute as this one though!! :)
I think in this photo that the colors look a bit wonky than it does in real life.  The sentiment is from Stampin' Up! and cut out with a banner die cut.  I also added some coloring and rhinestones to it before popping it out over the oval at the bottom.  The layout of the papers and the image itself was printed out in color from my computer as this is how the digital files come from The Paper Shelter.  (This one is called License to Frost.)  You can also choose to print out the outline image and color yourself, but I liked the colors on her.  All I did was add an outline around the image with my Copics and added some glitter to her wings.  I cut her out in an oval frame and matted her before I put her over the printed out digital papers.  Very easy and fast!
Glad I got this one out to play, I'll have to play around with my other images sometime too! :)

Here's some challenges I'd like to enter this for:
The Paper Shelter - "Special" birthday
2 Sisters - anything goes
Loves Rubber Stamps (LRSBC81) - anything goes
Crafty Creations - anything except Christmas
Fab 'n' Funky - A Touch of Frost (frosting!...yum!)
Flutterby Wednesday - Any Winged Creature
Penny's Paper Crafty - Bingo/Tic Tac Toe (Ribbon, Glitter, Flowers)
Pile it On (PIO48) - "P" is for...(purple/pink, polka dots, pointy ears, piles of frosting, petals)

I hope you've enjoyed my frosty fun creation today!  Probably not what you were expecting, but that's why you hang out with me, right?!  Never know what I'm going to do!! :)
I hope that you enjoy your week and are able to get crafty!  I'll be back again soon with another something fun to share with you!!  Thanks for stopping in!!

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*

Monday, December 2, 2013

Nontraditional Christmas Colors

Hello friends!  Welcome to December and Cyber Monday!
I do love me a good "cyber deal"! LOL!  Although I don't usually start shopping until a couple of weeks before Christmas, I do tend to buy those on-line gifts a bit earlier.
How about you?  Have you all got your shopping done?  I have decorated our house with lights inside and out and put up the tree...so at least I got that far! :)

I have been eye-balling these darling stamps over at The Alley Way Stamps (TAWS) and was lucky enough to have joined in their last challenge with a freebie and won a stamp set!  I can't wait for it to get here!  I couldn't help it, I had to get a couple more sets! :)
For their current challenge, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it because it looked more like Fall and I'm definitely ready for Christmas creating, so I grabbed one of their freebies and thought it worked out great...
I thought the freebie TAWS ornament with the design in the middle actually fit nicely with the inspirational photo.  (See photo below)  I picked up the colors from the photo as well as the brown table runner and the orange chevron (rick rack) design.  There is also a light green fabric tied around the jar that I mimicked with the ribbon on the ornament.  I've also took my gold Stickles to add sparkle to the ornament and a few gold dots in the corner.  Not my normal color combo for Christmas, but I think it turned out pretty cool!

So here are the challenges that I'd like to enter this card for:
TAWS Be Inspired - photo 42
http://www.thealleywaystamps.blogspot.com/2013/11/re-be-inspired-42.html
 
http://freshlymadesketches.blogspot.com/2013/11/freshly-made-sketches-114-sketch-by.html
 
Creative Craft - non-traditional Christmas Colors
Crafts 4 Eternity - Non-traditional Christmas
 
So now it's back to more Christmas thoughts with making cards, baking and shopping!  Hope you are enjoying this festive time of year!  Thanks so much for popping in today!
Be back soon! ;)

HUGS & SMILES
*Vicki*
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