Saturday, February 2, 2019

Carter's Fourth Birthday!



Happy Birthday to Carter!  I can hardly believe my grandson is already four years old.  Time certainly flies!

Carter loves all things Disney (and Paw Patrol and dinosaurs and trucks and...) so  it is relatively easy to come up with an idea for him. And there is no one who does Disney better than Ducky's Designs (thank you Ellen for this GREAT file!)  It cut beautifully and was fun to play with different ideas to make this card even more fun.  I hope he liked it. (we had to leave the party early so I missed the opening of the presents...)

It is hard to capture all of the detail in the card, but the background is foiled in a  blue and gold foil.  I added Glossy Accents to the frosting to make it shine and also added it to the eyes with extra glitter for fun!  This card makes me  happy.



I used Nuvo glitter drops on the candle flames to make them sparkle.


Spectrum Noir sparkle pen in black gave the Mickey head a great glimmer.
And check out his name.  That was done with the pen tool on the Silver Bullet Platinum.
I don't know why I don't use the pen tool more often - I love the results!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR CARTER....



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Sunday, January 13, 2019

2019 - A New Year of Hope and Promise

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, full of family and friends and love and all of the magic that makes the Christmas season so memorable.  And I hope you had children in some of your seasonal activities, because they truly and honestly exemplify the true magic and meaning of Christmas with their innocent delight and joy.  I hope you found many reasons to smile and appreciate every moment.

As you can seem this is starting out a little reflective, but it's how I get (usually) the beginning of a new year.  I have given up on resolutions (whats the point?!?) but I do try to set some goals for myself in a more meaningful way.  I want to do better and be better in my daily life and interactions with family and friends.  I want to handle challenges with strength and determination and not buckle under the weight of them, at times.  I want to be present in all that I do and more focused.  I am working on that with my new planner - building in tasks that I can complete and being careful not to set myself up for failure.  I am looking ahead to each month and picking one task that I can complete (like deep cleaning i.e. purging excess in one room each month).  If I look at it monthly, it's not so overwhelming and it doesn't stop me before I get started.  I am learning.

And I realize, even at the age of 65, I am still a work in progress and I hope I will always be as that keeps me going.  And the older I get, the more I want time with family and friends.  I want to cherish every moment and take it all in.  I want to be the best me that I can.  Staying focused will help with that.

 I am as committed as ever to card making, cooking, baking and learning new things.  I love the challenges and gently pushing myself out of my comfort zone.  So I hope to share more that will motivate you to venture out of your comfort zone too as that can be so scary and so exciting and fulfilling at the same time!

Enough about me and my thoughts...........as this post is also about beginning anew.  A year ago Friday, my daughter in law lost her beautiful, strong and vibrant sister, Darcy, to that awful disease - cancer.  It has been a tough year, but she and Scott have managed to embrace the present and move into the future with renewed hope and love (and with baby #2 on the way, that helps).

I knew Friday was going to be a difficult day,  so I wanted to send her a special card to convey how much I love her and am thinking of her.

Megan loves lilies so I wanted to incorporate them in the card.  This embossing folder seemed the perfect solution.  I gently went over the image in several colors of embossing mouse (gilding wax might have been better but I was temporarily without it) so I did the next best thing.


 I foiled the sentiment on vellum and love how that came out.



And I added one little embellishment - see the tiny gold ladybug on the lily?  Before Darcy passed, she told Megan to share with her daughter and Carter, that whenever they saw a ladybug, that was Darcy looking over them.  So I wanted to add a special ladybug to this card as a special tribute to Darcy.


So hard to believe a whole year has gone by.


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Monday, December 17, 2018

Heart Cards for those Close to my Heart...

The time is flying by and I am still playing catch up. I am not even going to apologize - because that is getting old for me and for you!  I am just going to keep plugging along and sharing as best I can.

These cards were for my DEAR daughter in law  and son on their anniversary and for her birthday, about 5 days apart.   I love making cards for them because they are so appreciative of the love I put into their cards.  It's a win win for me :)

Megan's card was using a wildflower design from Crafty Vectors. Dominic has long been one of my favorite designers and I have used his floral framed designs in the past many times.  They are interspersed all over my blog! 




So for this card I cut out the design on a white card stock and then I sprinkled it with Nuvo Shimmer Powders and lightly spritzed with water to get the colors to explode. I just love the effect!



And for their anniversary card, I chose a beautiful image from Power Poppy - Follow Your Heart (I am clearly on a heart theme here!!).  I printed it on the mono laser and foiled the heart in red and silver.



I am going to try to keep these posts short so I can catch get more of these "older projects" up there to share and hopefully inspire you to be creative too!

And remember, it may be the holiday season, but it is so important to take time for yourself and do the things that make you happy and fill up your heart and soul.  xo




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Monday, November 26, 2018

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muffins - gluten free and no processed sugar!


These are so good and so moist and made even better because they have no processed sugar.  I have made these several times and they are delicious every single time.  There is nothing like the combination of raspberries and chocolate -  YUM!




Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muffins
adapted from Easy Flourless Muffins, Bars and Cookies by Amanda Drozdz

1 c. almond flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. ground golden flaxseed
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 eggs, large
1/4 c. (72 g) unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. almond butter (I like the Bare brand with no additives)
6 T. raw honey
1 T. vanilla extract (if you have Mexican vanilla, it enhances the flavor of the chocolate)
1 c. raspberries, fresh if you have them, but frozen works as well
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with parchment liners.  Set aside.

Mix the almond flour, cocoa powder, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a blender and pulse a few times until all of the ingredients are mixed well.

Pour this mixture into a medium bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients except the chocolate and raspberries.  Blend with a hand mixer on medium speed for about 39 seconds or until creamy and smooth.  Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to be sure all of the ingredients are well blended.

Fold in the raspberries and chopped chocolate or chocolate chips just until mixed.  Using an ice cream scoop, fill the lined muffin cups with one scoop of batter. They should be about 3/4 full each.



Bake for 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean.  Let the muffins cook in the pan for 10 minutes, and the place on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.



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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Up, Up and Away -




My neighbor celebrated his 65 birthday in quite a memorable way. One of his sons is training to become a commercial pilot up in Alaska, and he flew down for the day to take his Dad (and each member of the family) up in his plane for a short flight over the city.  What fun it was for all of them and what a great way to celebrate a landmark birthday!

I love this stained glass image.    The pattern was traced and cut with the Silver Bullet Platinum.  With the new two tool capability, I was able to "write" the greeting and cut out the label around it without having to change anything. What used to be a painstaking task to switch out the pen for the cutting blade all while trying not to move the image, became effortless with the two tools in place at the same time.  And it was quick too - I loved it and plan to do a lot more!


Acetate was used around the picture to add to the look of stained glass.
It was fun to pick out a variety of papers to fill in the sections of the 
hot air balloon picture and give it interest (and it was a great way to use up
some of those accumulated paper scraps!!)
I added white sparkle Flower Soft to the vellum clouds to give them
added interest and texture.  This was a really fun card to make
and it was totally appreciated by the recipient!







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Monday, November 5, 2018

More Cards for Difficult Times....

It's been one of those difficult periods of time when it seems that too many wonderful people in my life are passing away.  I am grateful that I have the faith to believe that they are now in a better place, but I still with that those who loved them most could have more time with them. I suppose that is the very human side of grief and loss, right?

So these two cards were to remember a very loved and loving wife who brightened the community of Oceanside, and a very dear and loving husband of a special cousin who passed so suddenly and unexpectedly.  Nothing makes the loss easier I am convinced, no matter what the circumstances.


I kept both of these cards very simple with just a little embellishment.
It's no secret that I love using flowers when making cards, 
especially when I need them to make a statement.  
These images were artfully created by Dominic  
and are beautiful in their simplicity..


I hope these cards brought comfort and love to those left behind......... Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins - gluten free and delicious for all!

I am still totally committed to the idea that anything with fruit or a veggie in it can be called healthy - or at least "healthier"!  These zucchini muffins have added "good for you" qualities because they incorporate oat flour, honey (no refined sugar), and pure almond butter.  And the chocolate used is dark chocolate so even that is good!  with the dark chocolate and honey, they are just sweet enough and are also wonderfully moist.  You will want to make these again... and again....




ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

adapted from Easy Flourless Muffins, Bars and Cookies

1 1/2 c. rolled oats
3 T. ground golden flaxseed
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t.salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 c. whole milk
6 T. almond butter  (I like the BARE brand)
6 T. raw clover honey
1 T. Mexican vanilla extract (Mexican vanilla highlights the chocolate)
1 c. shredded zucchini (squeezed in paper towels to remove excess moisture)
1/2-3/4 c. dark chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips or a combination


Preheat oven to 350.  Line a muffin pan with parchment liners and set aside.

In a high speed blender, place the oats, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Blend on high for about 20 second or until the oats are broken down into a flour.

In a separate bowl, mix all of the remaining ingredients except the zucchini and chocolate chips.  Add the blended flour ingredients and mix again just until blended - about 20 seconds on the medium speed of a mixer.  Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips with a spatula.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each lined muffin cup with the batter (the ice cream scoop gives the perfect amount for 12 muffins).  They should be about 3/4 full.



Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes clean.  Remove from the oven and let sit in the tin for 10 minutes. Then remove from the tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.



These keep very well and also freeze well, if they last that long!




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Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Trio of Birthday Cards - Power Poppy inspired!



I seem to be totally hooked on Power Poppy images of late.  These three cards are all thanks to the artistic talent of Marcella Hawley who is the genius behind Power Poppy.  I think I have every one of her images and I am eager to enjoy all of them in time!  These three images were all print and cuts using the SCAL Pro 5 software and the Silver Bullet Platinum that features an awesome camera for doing print and cuts.  It makes what used to be a tedious endeavor a quick and fun project with instant results!

The first card spotlights the "Wildflower Mini" image.  I used Spectrum Noir alcohol markers to color this cute image.  It went to one of my very special friends (I am so blessed to have such amazing and wonderful friends in my life).


The background image is "Branching Out" clear toner sheets
from Deco Foil.  The stamped greeting is from Pretty Pink Posh.
Sequins from 28 Lilac Lane accent the background. And
the jar is covered with Glossy Accents to give it that "wet" look.



The second birthday card features Power Poppy's "Tea Cake with Strawberries" image.  I printed it on watercolor paper and used the Spectrum Noir aqua markers and FineTec watercolors to add color.  I am such a novice at this but I try to improve with each card....


A real paper doily accents this luscious looking cake pedestal.
The greeting is a Gina K Foil Mate and cut with one of her dies and foiled.
The image is embellished with Spectrum Noir shimmer pens and 
a black glitter gel pen.  The berries are coated with
Nuvo Clear Gloss.  The sequins are from 28 Lilac Lane.



And the last card uses Spectrum Noir colour blend pencils to highlight the image of "Irresistible Peonies".  This was for a very special friend who helped me when I first moved back to CA from Arizona and spent a lot of time with me after I lost my father back in 2004.  She was a special angel in my life then, and remains one now.  I love her dearly and am forever grateful for all she did for me.



The background paper is from First Edition and the card base is
Paper Temptress Leather.  The greeting is printed on Brother Label Tape
and the card is adorned with sequins from 28 Lilac Lane.  








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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Cards for Difficult Times



These two cards were meant to bring some love and care to the lives of two very special people.  One friend was facing a cancer diagnosis (caught early but still life changing in so many ways) and another had just lost her older daughter - totally unexpected. 


This "thinking of you" card was for my friend courageously fighting cancer.  She is doing well and we are all so grateful.  The beautiful flower is a digi image from Power Poppy called Dahlia.  I love how easy it was to foil it and it looks so beautiful with just a few extra touches.



The background is a Deco Foil clear transfer sheet foiled with glitter green foil 
and is held in place with simple rhinestones that hide the glue!  
I think it makes such a lovely card and so 
versatile for any number of occasions.


I love using the hummingbird and flower for special remembrance cards because it is so beautiful.  


I wish I could remember where I got this beautiful svg file, 
but I have used it many times.  It is one of my favorites 
because it is so detailed and elegant.  
It is cut out of Paper Temptress incandescent.   
I added sequins from 28 Lilac Lane and stamped a greeting
from Paper Smooches for the finishing touches.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Baby Cards - Celebrating a girl and a boy!



I love making baby cards and I don't get to do them often. So what fun to actually have one of each to create in the same month.  I had a great time trying to make them as special as I could.

The baby girl card was for the precious little granddaughter of my neignbors who have become such dear friends and welcomed me into their family. How lucky am I?  This is their second grandchild and first girl. Their first is her brother, Merritt, who I have spoken of here and who I love almost as much as my own grandson.  He has stolen my heart and so has his precious sister. They came over here when she was only a week old and I got to hold her while Mom and Dad took a break.  Good thing the grandparents were gone for the evening or I would not have had that much time with her!  It was so special.  I am not sure what it is about holding a baby, but it is truly the most wonderful feeling in the world.  I am so grateful to have been able to share in their joy and their lives.

 The cutting file for this card is from Birds Cards.  Her designs are detailed and cut beautifully.  I use the Silver Bullet Platinum to easily cut the detail out of card stock from the Paper Temptress White Diamond and Pop Tones.  The background paper is from Echo Park (I hit my neglected stash box!) and I love how it all came together.


Tried to capture the dimension of this card. The greeting and the 
baby buggy are sitting atop foam squares.  I used some adhesive lace to
border the buggy and make it more feminine.  I really love it!

I was in a bit of a rush to make the card for the baby boy so I only  have one photo - but it captures the spirit of celebration.  This is for someone special who serves on the board of Oceanside Boys & Girls Club with me and he runs a local Buffalo Wings.  He and his wife are expecting their first child, a precious little boy. We are all so very excited for them.

The design is from two separate designs from Miss Kate's Cuttables and her designs never disappoint.  The papers are from Paper Temptress and the patterned background is from my stash. :) (can you tell I am trying to utilize what I have??   Making a concerted effort...)




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About Me

My photo

I am a mother to three and Grammy to two beautiful granddaughters and one very handsome little grandson.  Was born and raised in southern California and am happy to call it home.  I fill my days with volunteer work, paper crafting, needlework of all kinds and cooking and baking.   I am blessed with wonderful family and friends who fill my heart on a daily basis.