December 30, 2015

Stampin' Up Artisan Blog Hop: From Holiday to Occasions

Hello friends, and welcome back to the Stampin' Up Artisan Design Team Blog Hop!  We are so excited for another trip around the world today - make sure to visit all 20 Artisans, and don't hesitate to use the "Translate" button on your browser so you can see what's up with everyone!

The week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day is my favourite week of the entire year.  It is so calm and peaceful, without all of the holiday chaos, but there's still that wonderful magic in the air.  The evenings are so calm and quiet, there's nothing on the to-do list, family is gathered... it's so special!

It's also one of my favourite times of the year for Stampin' Up!  We are in the transition period where the Holiday Catalog is ending and the Occasions Catalog is beginning!  I decided to use this transition as my inspiration; today, I want to show you how you can bring your Holiday products into the year ahead!

I chose this picture of my son for a scrapbook page layout; it pretty much summarizes summer to me, and it's the last place you'd think to use Holiday products.  Right?  But this page uses some of the Wonderland suite as well as the Project Life Seasonal Snapshot 2015 card and accessory collections from our Holiday 2015 catalog.  But since we're welcoming Occasions 2016, I've also used two of our brand new stamp sets, "Picture Perfect" and "Timeless Textures," and our brand new "Love Blossoms" Designer Series Paper Stack.  Don't feel like you need to put your holiday favourites away just because January is here; just repurpose them into your current projects!

This page captures a really fun moment and a very special family trick that is becoming a tradition.  When my brother and I were kids, my dad would start every beach vacation with a trip to the gift shop to buy a basket of shells.  He would bury those shells in the sand and drop them into the shallow water for my brother and I to find; we have the most amazing memories of finding so many beautiful shells on these trips.  The ocean always washed up the best treasures just for us!  I didn't know that my dad was behind it all until I was in my 20s.

My dad is a grandpa now, and this past summer, our visit to his home on Lake Erie meant that this tradition has now carried into another generation.  My son was blown away by the awesome shells he kept finding on Grandpa and Bapka's backyard beach!

Thank you so much for dropping by today and reading about this little piece of my family story; I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope this helps you get more mileage out of your Stampin' Up stash!  

Next up - check out the amazing Steffi Helmschrott and see what she's got up her sleeve!  

Have a very happy new year, my friends, and I'll see you again in 2016!


December 24, 2015

Wonderland Cookie Packaging

I can hardly believe that the big day is almost here and this will be my last christmas post for 2015!  It's crazy how times flies, isn't it?

I'm sure you're up to your eyeballs in prep, but just in case you've got a few minutes to sit down and put your feet up, I wanted to share a little something on the blog today.

Our Petite Cafe Bags are perfect for wrapping up cookies to send home with your dinner guests, or pre-loading with cookies to bring as a host gift!  They're a decent size - not too big but not too small - they're lined with food-grade wax so they don't bleed, and they have an easy twist closure.  But unfortunately, what they have in function, they lack in style.  But that's no problem when you're crafty!

This bag is packed full of my famous cinnamon shortbread - they're pretty much the stuff dreams are made of, and each year, I get asked for more... this year I made 28 dozen of them and there are only a handful left in the freezer for dessert tomorrow!

The beauty of dressing up these bags with a folded tag like this is that you can make the tag WELL in advance - I mean, kind of late notice to tell you this now, but I had good intentions!  Once you're ready to go, you can just pack up the bag and staple the tag over the top.  So easy and so pretty!

But about those shortbread... I can't leave you hanging without sharing the recipe!

Cinnamon Shortbread: 

1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon extract
1/2 cup corn starch
1 1/4 cup flour

Beat butter and icing sugar until fluffy.  In separate bowl, stir together corn starch and flour until mixed, then gradually add to the butter mixture.  Beat until consistent dough forms. 

Roll into 1" balls and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon extract
Cinnamon hearts

Beat all frosting ingredients until smooth, creamy consistency is reached.  Spread or pipe onto cooled cookies.  Top with a cinnamon heart.

Trust me; you'll want to add these to your baking list in the future!  They are totally to die for.

I hope you have a beautiful Christmas Eve tonight and a fabulous Christmas Day tomorrow, filled with good food and good company!


December 20, 2015

Gift Bag Punch Board - Way To Go!

Today's project is another quick-and-easy bit of packing - perfect if you're wrapping up little goodies at the last minute this week!

I love taking a really simple gift and putting it into a fun package; it makes everything so much more special!  This stand-up bag came together in a flash with the use of the Gift Bag Punch Board.  Thank goodness for YouTube - just follow along with the steps and you'll be ready to go in no time!  

From there, give that plain white bag a splash of colour - literally! - with some reinker and a smidge of water in a Stampin' Spritzer.  I do this part over the scene and then make sure to clean up the blood bath evidence before it has a chance to dry.  A few embellishments on top of that and you're good to go.  That silver cording is retiring in less than two weeks; I'm going to mourn it, honestly!  It's one of my all-time favourite embellishments.

Thanks for stopping in today!  I'll see you again soon!


December 18, 2015

TGIFC34 - Holly Jolly

Happy Friday!  This has been a long and stressful week and I am SO happy to see the weekend!  I kind of goofed this challenge in a big way, but it worked out in my favour.

See, here's the problem.  This week's challenge is... Holly Jolly!  

So cute, right?  Well apparently I got a little excited last month and I mixed up White Christmas with Holly Jolly Christmas... so this card was ready WAY in advance.  What can I say?  I love a little Holly Jolly! 

Holly Jolly to me is bright, fun, festive and cheerful and that's exactly what I wanted to accomplish with this card.  I hope you love it!

You know what *I* would love?  If you joined us this week at TGIF Challenges!  This is such a fun challenge and I'd love to see you play along with!  Check out the site for more inspiration and get to work, dude - Christmas is a'coming!