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Mmmmm . . . chocolate!

WOW!  I *sooooooo* have Christmas on the brain still that it is extremely difficult for me to think beyond that!  I’m afraid I am horridly linear sequential . . . (sad)  That, and I so busy livin’ the "now", that it’s always a struggle for me to leap very far–OK, even a LITTLE far– ahead! chuckle!   Good thing my husband is the financial advisor for this family!  He’s always planning for the kids’ college years, and retirement, etc. and me??? . . . Well, I’m still scratchin’ my head and trying to figure out what I’ll slap on the table for dinner tonight . . . (rolling eyeballs) pppppppffffffffffttttttttttt!!!

All images, note card, Micro Dot Twinkle Stickers, by A Muse Art Stamps; Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink in Dark Brown and Warm Red; Chocolate Chip Craft Ink by SU!; Clear Embossing Powder; Ribbon by May Arts; Scallop Oval Punch by Family Treasures; 1 3/8" Circle Punch by EK Success

Fellow A Muse Instructor Mary Bieber is responsible for the original development of this great layout, which features a window punched out of the card front, including the polka dotted band running across it, and, it popped into my head when I was trying to highlight this fun new truffle image by A Muse.  Gee, do ya’ get the impression I like truffles?????? (wink!)  ROTFLMAO!

A piece of chocolate card stock is mounted to the inside of the card to give the scallop oval and truffle more prominence in the window.  The truffle was clear/dark brown embossed onto a scrap of vanilla card stock, and then colored in with a pink marker, and trimmed out.  After layering it 3D fashion with a foam mounting dot to the scallop oval, this was all positioned within the window.

I could NOT resist securing a few red Micro Dot Twinkle Stickers to the truffle for a little added bling!  Folks seem to struggle with working with bling, so here’s a tip:

Use a craft knife to cut through and separate the glue lines that hold the bling to the carrier sheet.  You need that glue to make the sticker hold to your project, so don’t try removing the sticker from it.  Instead, slide the point of your knife down under the glue, to lift and transfer it to your project.  Then, carefully press it down firmly into place with your other finger–have a care, though, that you don’t cut your finger with the knife!

And, there y’a have it:  something sweet for the sweetie in your life!

Be sure to accompany the card with the real McKoy, as well. (wink!)

Other notes of the week:

Hayley’s knee is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday afternoon.  But, the consult with the ortho surgeon and his interpretation of the results of that scan won’t occur until Dec. 26th.  While this is frustrating, all Hayley can do at this point anyway, is to continue to rest the knee.  She is walking, slowly, with a brace on it, and without crutches now, but the issue of her ACL is still unknown, until the doc fills us in on the 26th.  We are still hopeful that it was only the ligaments along the outside of her right knee that were torn/injured, and not her ACL (which will require surgery, if it is damaged).

Debris from our recent windstorm is still evident everywhere, and crews continue working on the power lines; the south end of the island is still experiencing some issues in that regard.  I hope it gets resolved quickly for them, as it *very* cold last night . . .  On Sunday, we ventured off-island to do some holiday shopping (I am behind, naturally), and we could see all the trees the DOT had to saw through and get moved off to the side so traffic could resume.  Nasty baaaaaad!!!  In Oak Harbor, one of the bus-stop shelters had broken free of its mounts and was tossed on its back side . . .

Mother Nature sure can wreak havoc when she gets her dander up–we saw on the news some homes in the Seattle area where a tree ploughed right through the house and, miraculously, the two teenage children whose bedrooms it landed in, escaped what probably would have been a fatality.  The son was able to roll out of the way as the tree literally crashed right onto his bed, and his sister had just gone to the bathroom seconds prior to this . . .

Another gentleman escaped with some minor injuries when a tree actually impaled his car, coming right though the shield.  I still cannot believe this man survived it!  Incredible!

Well, package wrapping and shipping are the order of the next day or so, in hopes of getting my gifts to family in time for Christmas, so I best get m’ holiday gift wrappin’ game face on!

Christmas Ephemera

Reproduction Vintage Ephemera by Crafty Secrets, Seasonal Booklet

I have always loved ephemera and vintage "scrap", and collected quite a bit of it for a while.  The nostalgia of it just tugs at my heart.  I would haunt antique shoppes, looking for little things I could use to decorate our tiny house, and, because we didn’t have a lot of money, about the only treasures I could afford were postcards, delicately embroidered hankies, table linens, tea cups, chenille beadspreads and other smallish things.  I’m laughing now, because this was over 20 years ago, and prior to when "shabby chic" became all the rage in home decor; I was doing it because all we could afford were second hand furnishings and whatnot.

When the girls (Mona Lisa and EllenH) and I stumbled across the Crafty Secrets booth at CKC in Bellevue back in early November, I just kinda stood there with my mouth hanging open at their displays, awash in a sea of memories.  To this day, I still have the vintage postcards I had framed or tucked into mirror frames I had white washed and decoupaged . . . and I still pull out the 1930′s/1940′s table cloths in the summer time, although they’ve become pretty well worn along the edges over the years and quite faded . . .

I’m waxing on a bit,  I realize, but I really couldn’t help myself.  In as much as I love contemporary chic things and retro things, I also love vintage things simply for the sheer nostalgia of them–simpler times, and all that . . . (smiling, and sighing)

"Happy Winter" and "Snowflake Trio" by A Muse Art Stamps; Palette Hybrid Ink in Burnt Umber; Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink in Alabaster; Inkjet Transparency by HammerMill; Kraft Card Stock by Stampin’ Up!; Brown Gingham by May Arts; Antique Copper Mini Brads by Creative Impressions; Tiny Tags Sizzlit Die by Sizzix; Jump Ring (for securing tag to ribbon)

My kids didn’t like this li’l snow guy, but I think he’s kinda cute!  I thought it would be fun to cut some transparency in a larger panel, and DTP the chalk ink to the edges of the "toothy" side, and then overstamp with the snowflakes.  Flipping it over protects the stamping quite well, and enables the shiny side to be faced out.  I didn’t want to spend too much time thinking about how to secure the transparency in some fancy way, so I just did it with mini brads, which I liked for their warm coppery look.  I sponged the edges of the card with more chalk ink–a technique I picked up from good buddy, and very talented stamper, Pinefeather!


Tiny Star hand-held punch by McGill; Hodge Podge Hardware buckle by Stampin’ Up!; Fabriano Mediovalis Reply Card from StarLitStudio; Real Red Card Stock by Stampin’ Up!;  Bright Gold Brushed Metallic Card stock by Cardenon StarDreams (?) from Paper Zone; Velvet Ribbon by May Arts from StarLitStudio

I adore vintage Santa images.  I have vintage Santa stamps, postcards, reproduction postcards, etc.  They just make me happy!  No stamps were used on this card design, but I will probably stamp a sentiment on the inside.  I thought this one turned out so sophisticated and  "boutique" and it made me bounce!


"Peace" from Everyday Flexible Phrases stamp set by Stampin’ Up!; Metallic Mini Star Confetti from party store; 2" square Antique Copper Memory Frame, and 2" square glass pieces by Ranker Ink; Rayon Variegated Ribbon* by 7 Gypsies.

I love rayon seam binding ribbon–Martha Stewart uses it quite often in her crafty projects.  It’s just so nice, and, best of all, it’s actually very easy to stamp on! I love it for that!  The above ribbon was a gift given me a long time ago, and at the time made by 7 Gypsies, but I don’t see it any more on their web site.  I would bet there are some places online where you can get similar ribbon, so do a "google" and see what turns up.  I buy scads of it, whenever I stumble across it when out shopping because I just love it so much.

Ellen had given me some of these Memory Frames to play with, so I decided to try an ornament with this sweet little reproduction image of an angel.  She’s so tenderly holding the little birds and their nest in her hands . . . The other side features an image of Santa, with a crown of holly, and a little girl with her arms about him–very joyous!  I must get more of these Memory Frames–they are too easy and fun to work with!

I’ve made similar pieces with 1 x 3" microscope slides for years–jewelry pieces, actually, and a local shoppe asked if I would consider selling them . . . I’ve thought about it, but, until I learn to solder properly, like my buddy Cindy, I don’t think I’m quite ready for that . . .

Even if vintage isn’t YOUR style, I hope you’ll find a smidge of inspiration, or have learned something new, somehow among these creations I’ve shared today.  I had a ball creating them, and walkin’ down memory lane as I played . . . (grin!) 

Joy, Love, Peace

All images, note card, patterned papers, Creative Candy Clear Scallop Square sticker by A Muse Art Stamps; Versamagic Ink in Tea Leaves and Spanish Olive; Ribbon by May Arts; Silver Mini Brad by SU!;  Folk Star Paper Shaper by EK Success; 1 1/4" Square Punch by SU!

A piece of patterned paper cut into a tall triangle makes the perfect contemporary tree shape! Because the printed pattern is in a subtle color, I was able to over-stamp the circle/dot images.  A star punched from a scrap of brushed silver metallic card stock makes the perfect topper, and the sentiment was stamped onto a contrasting pattern of paper, and then punched out.

After layering the sticker over the sentiment, I decided I wanted to embellish it with ribbon, so I punched a hole through the whole thing, and secured the ribbon snippet with a mini brad.

Mmmm.  Nice n’ easy!  (grin!)

A few folks have asked how I enjoyed the play the other day, with my daughter’s class.   The Seattle Rep was putting on The Great Gatsby and I’d never read the book. If you get an opportunity, it’s a fabulous production, with a talented cast, very intriguing set design, and some theatrical effects that really make for a wonderful show!

On the bus ride home, another mom chaperoning commented on how sweet it was that my 17 yr. old daughter still likes to hold my hand, even in front of her friends and classmates.   It was a very lovely, lovely day for me!

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