Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bugaboos and Kittyhawks

In honor of the new year, For Fun Challenges has challenged us to create projects with the theme of "something new"! Recently, a friend of mine adopted a new puppy, so I jumped at the chance to make her a card!
Our sponsor this week is one of our fabulous regulars, Bugaboo Stamps. They seriously have something for everybody. They have so many different stamps, I can't even pick just a single favorite. I adore these little rotties, though. Sure my friend's new dog is a lab, but who couldn't love this soft little guy with his floppy ears and too-big "dog suit". Big dog puppies always seem to go through that period where their skin is too big, then they're all knees and elbows, all feet, then their head is too big for the rest of them. They get knocked over by their own tails, and then they start all over again with the "dog suit" being too big...and through the whole list again till they're a year or two old. It almost makes all the chewed furniture and puddles worth it. Almost. I'll stick with adopting adult dogs, thanks, but I love *other* people's puppies!

 I've been itching to do a cut-out card, so as they say, two birds one stone. (Not that I advocate throwing anything at birds, let alone rocks. ;)) Below is a view of the inside:

 And here's a view of my card in action. I hope she likes it! Now, take a minute to stop by For Fun Challenges and enter your own card design. Don't miss your chance to win this one...the person randomly selected from all valid entries gets 7...yes seven! digitals stamps from the Bugaboo shop. That's pretty darn excellent!

And, while I'm talking dogs (like I ever stop. Wait, I guess I do sometimes, long enough to talk about cats, rats, gerbils, hamsters, degus, turtles, bison, crocodiles, turkeys, chickens, et al.) here's Revco test driving a "Kittyhawk" a bought for a friend's cat for xmas this year. I've been dying to share the pictures I took a couple weeks ago, but I didn't want to ruin the surprise for Jen, Teresa, Cassie and Mikey's kitties. I mean, how could I not go nuts for these and want every kitty I know to have one?
Does your kitty/dog need one? You bet they do! Check out the Etsy shop where I got them, hand made, custom made to your color specifications:

And a front view: 
How did I get so lucky to have a dog who puts up with this kind of thing from me? He's such a good sport.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No Snow Outside, But It's a Winter Wonderland in Here

I *should* be finishing up all the handmade presents that need to go out the door tomorrow, but nothing's more fun than goofing off, right? It almost doesn't matter what it is that you're doing to goof off, as long as you're supposed to be doing something else. Tonight, for example, to procrastinate when I should be crafting, I'm...crafting! Oh the naughy joy!

The first 12 days of this month, Digi My World had a daily giveaway on their Facebook page. Lucky me, I won this festive little postman carrying a suspiciously Santa-esque bag full of letters. Now, I'm an avid letter writer, both to old friends and pen pals, so seeing the mailman drive up is nearly as exciting for me as it is for the dogs. I love to text and email, but neither can hold a candle to a letter (which is a good thing, since paper is flammable and all.)
 Here he is, ready to be entered in this week's Winter Wonderland Challenge at Digi My World. The background paper is blue with white flecks to look like it's snowing out (one of my favorite lines by Heidi Grace that came out a few years ago) but it seemed too blank to just have the postal carrier standing in a snowdrift at the bottom, so I added ribbons. I love that one on the end with the embossed snowflakes. I've been hanging onto that one for a while waiting for the right project.
 Here's a closeup, so you can see how I pop dotted the image for some dimension and so he looks a little more like he's standing on top of the snowdrift, which is made of Polar White Flowersoft with some silver Flowersoft mixed in to mimic that magnificent glitter that fresh snow has.

And before I go, here's a cozy little kitty, hugging his teddy. The other day Toulouse decided that this somewhat dog-mangled bear is his new pal. He's been hugging it for several hours a day ever since. What a sweet kitty. He's been recovering from having one of his lower monster-sized fangs pulled, poor little guy. He was not fond of having to visit the vet, but I'm sure he feels much better without that nasty abcess. Poor little guy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Mad for MelJen's!

I love all kinds of stamps, from wood-mounted classic rubber to clear sticky ones to digital stamps. I have a collection that's what many would likely consider out of control, so when I say a stamp company is one of my top five favorites of all time, that company rules over an impressive number of really fabulous stamp companies. MelJen's is one of those top 5. Maybe it's that her style is hard to forget and definitively hers, or that she draws some of the most a-freaking-dorable animals ever. All I know is that I could own every last stamp she makes and still want more.

(Entering this card into MelJen's Challenge this week.)
So, lucky for us on the For Fun Challenges design team, and lucky for you, MelJen's Designs is our sponsor of the week! That means if you enter this week's challenge and you are chosen as the winner, you can win some of her stamps. Trust me, you want this prize!

Here's the card I made for the challenge which, for this week, is anything goes as long as it's got a Christmassy theme. I made this one for a friend of mine whose birthday is on Boxing Day, which is practically Christmas (you know, she's still the poor kid who doesn't get a real birthday because it all kind of blends in with the nearest holiday). I thought I'd give her an actual blended holiday card this year with this cute mousie jumping out of a peppermint Christmas cake. Again, this is one of those subjects that would be horrifying in real life, but is somehow awww-worthy when made into a stamp. I love the candy cane paper shown here, too, which I got at Alpha Stamps. Together I think the whole theme came together nicely.

One more thing before I send you off to's a huge hint if you want to win the For Fun Challenge: Follow the rules. I'm not pointing that out to sound snarky. It's genuinely going to put you way ahead of the majority of participants lately. It seems like we've had to disqualify so many participants lately, there's no reason to be intimidated if it appears that loads of people have signed up before you. There are probably only a handful who even count. It's a drag. The most common rule broken is people using *one* card to enter *like forty* different challenges, which seems kind of rude to me. Sure, it's okay to enter the same card in 3 or even 5 challenges you made it with in mind, but anything beyond that is edging on playing the system. Just my opinion. The rule for For Fun Challenges is no more than 10, and there are a lot of crafters who are entering their card in many more than that. If they want to do that, it's their choice, but please don't enter those cards into our challenge if that's the case.

Okay, I'm done being a drag. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you come up with this week. With the holidays upon us, all the best crafts are surfacing. Show me yours!

Before I forget, there's another opportunity to win stuff from one of my other favorite digi designers. Stop by and check out the blog candy at Digi My World by clicking here, or on the button to your right (scroll down a little). Good luck!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Really Reasonable Ribbons' Recipe Swap/Food Packaging Week

Since I love both crafting and baking, especially around the holidays, I jumped at the chance to participate in this event. I even pulled out a new recipe I've been wanting to try for a while.
When I was in kindergarten, my best friend's mom made these yummylicious butter mints. Granted hers were prettier than mine (yeah, I know, mine look a little like wads of used bubblegum, but they taste pretty fabulous.) I was excited to find this recipe last year, but never got around to making them. I tweaked the recipe, added mini chocolate chips and used peppermint oil instead of extract, and they came out perfectly! Yum! Here's a pic of them, in the box:

And, here's the box, all decorated up, including ribbons from the Really Reasonable Ribbons' Monthly Ribbon Club, some faux clear crystals, and a glittered dove that matches the glitter used in the paper.

So, here's the doesn't take long to make them at all and they're darn tasty.

Vegan "Butter" Mints

2 tbsp vegan margarine, softened
(I use Earth Balance since it's also free of trans-fats)
2 tbsp light corn syrup
4-5 drops peppermint oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups confectioners sugar
food coloring of choice
1/2 c vegan mini chocolate chips

In a stand mixer or by hand, combine margarine, corn syrup, peppermint oil, and salt. Gradually stir in confectioners sugar. Knead in the mixer or by hand, 1-2 minutes or until smooth and doughy. Add food coloring, if desired, and stir till colored throughout. Pull off small, nickel sized pieces and smush a few chocolate chips into the dough, then roll into a ball. Flatten and set aside. Do this with remaining dough. Bo up the mints and allow to sit until firm on the outside.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Glittery Enough For Ya?

This week at For Fun Challenges, we've got a sparkling new challenge for you--do what you like, but make it  Christmas and make it shine! The winner gets digital stamps from Di's Digi Downloads.
I used glitter, gems, some glittery embellishents I'm totally in love with, some more glitter, and some glitter in another color. Trust me, you cannot see all the sparkle on this card in the photo, and you can see quite a bit.
Plus, the recipient of this card gets to experience all of that shimmering by candlelight (I'm totally psyched about making these for xmas.) because there are votives in that dang card! Seriously, I'm in love with this design. I can't take credit for it, but it's really fun to make. There are schematics for it on various sites, if you want to try it, too.

And, because I just can't go without showing off one of my little guys, here's Usagi, modeling one of the necklaces for my Etsy shop. She's such a patient girl, especially considering she's not really into having her picture taken. She isn't into being picked up or hugged, either. Poor girl is cursed with cuteness!