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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Where did 2011 go???

I can hardly believe that another year is coming to a close!

2011 has it's ups & downs ... but I'm happy to say MORE UPS then DOWNS!!

One of the UPs is that Mark remains cancer-free (almost 3 years) and if all goes well with his last Pet Scan on Jan. 3rd, he will be retiring and we can hopefully do some traveling and enjoy our 'golden' years together.

One of the DOWNs was the loss of family members and friends.  
Nephew - Danny Moyer
Aunt - Glory Ostanoski
Mother-in Law - Claire Pavlick
Mother of friend Joan Fricker - Ruby Salyer



It was the thank-you note card I received from Joan Fricker (Joan's Gardens) for attending her Mom's funeral that prompted my card making today.  Joan & I have become wonderful friends through stamping and although she is a 5 hour drive away, I try to attend all her workshops and stay a few extra days to visit with her & family. 
   
The front of the notecard was a Thomas Kinkade scene and I thought it was so pretty I didn't want to throw it away ... so why not turn it into ANOTHER card creation ... and that's exactly what I've done here.
I distressed the edges, matted it in black and added an organza black ribbon.  Since I have a few TK stamps I thought it would be nice to use one on the inside as a backdrop to the sentiment.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog and leaving me such kind words!
I can't express to you how much it means to me!!

WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST IN 2012!!!
GOD BLESS YOU!
Dar

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shelly's Images Challenge

Morning Everyone!
It's hard to believe that Christmas is over and a New Year is about to begin!  WOW!  Where is the time going?  I want to THANK each and everyone one of you who stops by my blog ... it truly puts a smile on my face every time you visit!  Thanks for all your support!

NOW ... on to today's challenge at Shelly's Images!

With the New Year upon us, Shelly has created this wonderful digi image called 
SPECIAL TOAST SET and it is available at a reduced price . . . TODAY ONLY!
 

Isn't it fabulous ... this digi could be used for so many occasions!! 

AND ... Today's Challenge is:

COLORS - BLACK, SILVER & ONE OTHER COLOR + BLING

I must admit, in my haste I missed the fact that we were doing a COLOR CHALLENGE and didn't use the appropriate colors scheme ... BUT ... I did use this set in two different ways and would like to share that inspiration with you!
 Here I've created a New Years card to send to my friends in Toledo, Ohio.

 
And here I've created an Anniversary card to add to my 'Stash'.

I hope you'll come join us at SHELLY'S IMAGES for another fun challenge.
See You There!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Hugs,
Darlene

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Sisterhood of Crafters Challenge

It's the LAST challenge for the year at The Sisterhood of Crafters and we'd love to have you come join in our fun!  Today's challenge is an easy one ...

BLACK / WHITE + one other color

I got very ambitious and made not just one sample card, but THREE ... using three different accent colors.


The background paper for these two creations is the Black & White Pack from GinaK.

The images on these two creations are from Nicecrane Designs.

I hope you'll come join us for this fun challenge.

Hugs,
Darlene

Monday, December 26, 2011

WOW What a FABULOUS Christmas!

Happy Day After Christmas Everyone!
I hope your Christmas was as blessed as ours was!

It started early with a drive to the kids house (1 hour away) for breakfast and gift exchange.  Although the grandkids are getting older (19 & 14) ... Christmas morning is still a LOT OF FUN!  Daughter, Carolyn always makes sure the house smells good with something yummy in the oven, Son-in-Law, Frank always has a nice cozy fire going in the fireplace and even though he wasn't feeling very well this year ... he was a real trooper and helped make Christmas morning a memorable one!

Would you like to see some of the 'highlights'?

 Morgan got lots of PINK (and black) clothes as well as her BIG gift which was a wireless printer (which will help with her college school work) from her parents.  The little doggie on her lap is something I bought her ... it reminded her of their family dog, Josie, whom they lost a couple of years ago and miss terribly!

Frank is in the process (as finances allow) of building a big garage so he can do his mechanic work for himself out of his own garage.  Mark built this 'garage' out of Home Depot gift cards to help in the project.

 As I have shared before, Mark is an EXCELLENT cook and his old Better Homes & Gardens (his favorite) cookbook is in PIECES so the kids thought it was time for a new one!

 This was one of my gifts to Mark.  NO HE'S NOT REAL!
I am not an animal lover but Mark is and this way we can have the best of both worlds.
He's called the "Perfect Pet" ... yep, no fuss no muss!
 
 How great is this!  Carolyn's BIG gift was this new kayak & all the necessary equipment to go with it.  Her family really surprised her with this beauty!!  Now she can go kayaking in style with her friend, Theresa! 
 
 Jonathan's BIG gift was this dirt bike!  Good thing they gave it to him LAST ...
He couldn't move fast enough to get his shoes & coat on and take it for a spin around the back yard!



 CJ (Mo's boyfriend) bought all the guys Helicopters!  What fun!  They were all flying them around the livingroom at the same time ... I think it would have been safer to take them OUTDOORS!!  LOL!

And, last by not least, here are a few of MY goodies.
Mark got me the Vagabond I've been talking about all year and the kids got me a Cricut storage box and a couple new Cricut cartridges.  I love new crafting toys and I can't wait to start using these little goodies!!

What did Santa bring you??
Leave me a comment with a link to your blog post 
and I'll pop right over to see & comment!

The little girls from next door are coming over this evening!  They are age 7 & 9 and always so excited about their Christmas adventures.  I can't wait to hear what they've been up to!  I know they had tickets to the 'Polar Express' (real train) in Cleveland and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Happy Day Everyone!
HUGS
Darlene

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shelly's Images Challenge

Time is running out ... 
Are you ready?

I think I'm all ready for Christmas morning!  I sure hope so!  And ... if you are ready too then you're probably looking for something to do that is fun!  How about come join in our challenge at Shelly's Images.  
Today's challenge is:

CELEBRATE!
Show us any celebration project.

Today we are featuring Shelly's CHRISTMAS GARLAND digi image.  Remember, you can get this image TODAY ONLY at a reduced price.


Here is what I've created using this wonderful holiday image . . .


I have used non-traditional colors for my card but I LOVE how it turned out!  If you'd like to see more inspiration ... be sure to pop over to our Shelly's Images Challenge Blog and see what my team mates have created.  You'll LOVE THEM!!

Please come join in the fun!
I'll be looking for you!!!

Hugs,
Darlene

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenges

This will be my last creation as a DT member for Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenges.  I will be stepping down from this fabulous team at the end of the year in preparation of hubby's retirement in 2012.  I've been with this challenge blog for a long time and have been VERY HAPPY with the leadership and team support!  Thanks to Courtney & the gang for all their kindness and I wish them the best of success in future!

With that being said, here is my creation using an image from our wonderful sponsor today ...DIGI DARLA.


She has some adorable images to create with ...  so be sure to pop on over and check it out!

I hope you'll come join in the fun at Penny's Paper Crafty Challenge and if you need inspiration for our "HOLIDAY GIFTS" challenge going on now, you need not go any further that the amazing creations by the design team a the blog.

Hope to see you there!!  Happy Holiday's!

Hugs,
Dar

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Concert

Happy Monday Everyone!
Last week before Christmas . . . do you have your shopping done?


Yesterday afternoon I was pleased to be able to attend my grandson, Jonathan's Leetonia High School Christmas Concert.  Jon plays the French Horn in the concert band and the mellaphone in the marching band.  You would be amazed at how well these kids play ... even the 7th & 8th grader were awesome!  Mr. Rodek, the band director, really has a way with these kids and I have enjoyed every concert I have attended at this school.  Morgan is graduated and in college now, but she too was in the band and LOVED every minute of it!!


After the concert, I treated everyone to dinner at the Stone Bridge.  Then we each went our separate ways. Frank & Carolyn went back home ... Morgan & CJ sent Christmas shopping at the mall  ...  Jon & I headed back to my house.  Jon wanted to come visit for a few days and I'm so thrilled he is!

Frank, Carolyn and Jonathan

Morgan and boyfriend, CJ


The Gang (aka my kids)

Well ... we have more shopping and crafting to do so I'd better get off the computer and get busy!!
Happy Day to you all!
HUGS,
Darlene

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quick & Easy Money Cards

My mother called this afternoon and said she needed some "money cards" ... you know, the ones you put 'green' money in ... NOT plastic money!  (She already has the last of my gift card holders LOL).  After talking to her for a few minutes I knew what she was looking for and that there were needed for ADULTS ... not children this time so to keep them more TRADITIONAL vs CUTE.

Here's what I came up with and thought I'd share the info with you ... JUST IN CASE you get that last minute call or even find a need for them yourself.  Mom needed FIVE total and I made them all in less than an hour!

Paper size:  81/2 x 6 3/4" ...  Scored at 3" and 6"

You'll need TWO pieces of designer paper for the outside & inside flaps.
One - 6 3/4" x 3"
One - 6 3/4" x 2 1/2"

Decorate the front as you wish.
I have used some adorable K&Co. Stickers

Using a 1" punch ... punch a slot to be able to get ahold of the money inside.
1/8" Scor-tape was used on the sides to make the money flap.

A scrap piece was also adhered to the inside flap for added character.
Here are a few more samples for you. 







Thanks so much for stopping by at this busy time of the year! 
Hope you enjoyed this little 'money holder' idea!
Happy Holidays!
Darlene

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Joan's Gardens Challenge

I missed last week's challenge at Joan's Gardens so I wanted to take the time and get in on this week's fun ... especially since it's the last challenge she'll be having for 2011!  Joan's being really EASY on us this week ... not like we're busy or anything!  LOL

So ... today's challenge is to make a 

QUCK CHRISTMAS CARD  ... 
Anything Goes!

This card is about as Easy-Peasy as you can get!!

I have used red cardstock for my base card.  A white cardstock panel has been embossed using the Cuttlebug Snowflake EF and the wreath is a die set by Cheery Lynn Designs (DL143) which I purchased at Joan's on my last visit.

I used green cardstock for the wreath and red cardstock for the bow then sponged both elements using Delicata Golden Glitz pigment ink which I also purchased from Joan.

The sentiment stamp is from the SU 'A Cardinal Christmas' set and I've used Versafine black ink.

I'm so happy with the outcome of this creation and it was the QUICKEST card I've made all season!  You know me ... LOVE THOSE LAYERS ... but they take time and a lot of thinking!  No need for that today!  

I hope you'll come join in the fun at JOAN'S GARDENS and check out all the amazing products she has to offer in her store!  AND ... if you need inspiration, by all means pop on over to Joan's designer SELMA STEVENSON'S blog ... her work is AMAZING!!! 

Happy Day Everyone!
Darlene

Shelly's Images Challenge

WOW!  
Did you get in on some of the fun over at Shelly's Images 
during the 12 Days of Christmas?  I sure hope so ... what a great time!!


We have a new challenge for you today ...Easy/Peasy for this time of the year ...

SHOW US WHAT YOU'VE GOT
(Anything Goes)

Our featured digi image (offered at a reduced price TODAY ONLY) is

SANTA'S OLD FAITHFUL

Isn't this digi PRECIOUS!!  Here is the card I created using this fun image . . .




Recipe for this card:
Paper:  Lost & Found Christmas 6x6 designer paper, black cardstock
Stamp:  Our Lady of Rubber
Ink:  Versafine Black
Accessories:  Prismacolor markers, the Paper Studio sticker embellishments, Liquid Applique

We would love to have you come join in our fun at the challenges offered at Shelly's Images.  Remember, to stop by on Tuesday's also, when we'll have a new tutorial to share with you!!

Hope to see you at Shelly's!!

Other Challenges:

4 Crafty Chicks - Christmas
Crafty Ribbons Challenge - Traditional Colors for Christmas
Delightful Challenges - Anything Goes
ABC Christmas Challenge - Y is for YIPEE
Crafts and Me - Christmas
Creative Belli Blog - Winter/Christmas
Divas by design - Christmas

Hugs,
Darlene

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WOW ... I'm SO Late ...

Today is the LAST day for entries in the 8th Round of the CDAC Progressive Challenge!  And, even though these images have been colored for over a week, I only today found the time to turn them into cards.



This first card uses an image from McMahon Five Designs.  Isn't it cute!  
I've used bubble paper from Joann's, die cut the circle using the Spellbinder Classic Circle Die, sponged with Tim Holtz "Iced Spruce" distress ink and colored my image using Whispers Strokes markers.  SU Crystal Effects was used on the fish body and the bubbles coming from her mouth.



my second card utilizes an image from Just Some Lines.
It appears Fido has retired his master's Christmas morning paper ... GOOD DOG!
The designer paper is DCWV ... Christmas tree was die cut using Spellbinder and decorated with MS glitter markers.  Prismacolor markers were used to color the pooch.

I have a couple more of the images colored and hope to get them turned into cards before the deadline!  
Guess I'd better get back to work!  Time is flying!

Hugs,
Darlene

Sisterhood of Crafters Challenge

HAPPY WEDNESDAY EVERYONE!
It's time for another challenge over at The Sisterhood of Crafters!  Today's challenge is:

CHRISTMAS
Celebrate The Holidays

Here are a few samples I have to share and hopefully inspire you to come join in our fun at The Sisterhood.  This is the last challenge before Christmas and we will have one more before the end of the year.






I believe all of these images are from collections found over at Nicecrane Designs.  Be sure to pop over and see what Ignacio is offering today.  He's been CRAZY BUSY and has had a lot of amazing sales going on that you don't want to miss.  If you get lost ... simply scroll down and on the left side is a tab for 'New Products' ... click there to find the images used on my latest creations.

I must go for now.  Hubby is coming home early from his business trip and there's a few things I need to do before he arrives.  Hope you have a wonderful day and are close to having your holiday shopping completed!  As for me ... not done yet!  YIKES ... I'm running out of time and ideas!!

HUGS,
Darlene

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Neighborhood Holiday Party


Well, I'm happy to report that our Neighborhood Holiday Party was another wonderful success!  

Great Fun!
Great Food!
Great Friends!

Over the years, we've tried to have a Get Together around the holidays for our neighbors.  It seems that everyone is so busy all summer long with their kids sports & vacations, that no one has time to just sit and chat!   And it's come to be a time we all look forward to.  Of course, I LOVE to entertain (I'm a huge PEOPLE PERSON) and Mark (though he won't admit it) loves visiting with everyone too!  He's always great at helping me prepare the menu and doing the cooking.  I really think he should have been a chef!


I didn't think to have everyone get together for a Group Photo like I did last year, but I did grab the camera and snap a few shots here & there.  This year our menu consisted of Swedish Meatballs, Fried Chicken & JoJos, Spinach Dip in Pumpernickel Bread Bowl, Shrimp Cocktail, Cheese & Meat tray, Mushroom Salad (recipe at bottom of post),  Fruit  and my wonderful Jordanian neighbor Hala brought homemade Hummus and Spinach/Cheese Pie.

Within a few hours, there were 25 people throughout my house and the chit-chat was buzzing!  A little later in the evening the men were in the livingroom watching the football game and the ladies were chatting around the kitchen table.  What a wonderful relaxing evening!!  It's so fabulous to have good neighbors who you can also call your friends!!


Here's that MUSHROOM SALAD RECIPE I promised you!

4 - 7.3 oz. cans/jars of Button Mushrooms
1 - 14 oz. can of Hearts of Palm (cut in pieces if whole)
2 - cans of Artichoke Hearts (halved or quartered)
1 cup small black olives (pitted)
1 bunch green onions chopped
6 cloves garlic (minces)

Cubed Pepperoni
Cubed Mozzarella Cheese

DRESSING:
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tblsp. Italian Seasoning

Mix all  ingredients (except pepperoni & cheese) together, place in large zip lock bag ... add dressing and let marinade in refrigerator at least 2 hours.  Shortly before serving, add pepperoni & cheese to mixture.  Pour into serving bowl & top with a little shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional).

Mmmmm ... so good!!

Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope you've been enjoying some of the recipes I've been sharing with you through out the past week or so.  Now to get some crafting done!  Why is it I just can't seem to get caught up?  Too much partying I suppose!  LOL!!

Happy Day Everyone!!
Hugs,
Darlene