Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentine Love Bug Themed Mini Blog Hop - FREEBIES & Inspiration

Yay!  Today’s the day for our mini blog hop

Its time for another one of our fun blog hops and this time round our theme is L♥VE.

There are four of us in today’s blog hop, Debbie from Paper Pulse and I who have created some .studio and SVG  fun cutting designs (and I also included PNG files which are suitable for digital scrapbooking templates) and then we are fortunate enough to have two talented crafters, Helen from Pinky Paper Craft and my sister Nina from Notes by Nina who’ve helped us showcase our designs by making them into some beautiful things!

Here’s the design I whipped up for you - a sweet little lady/love bug!


I’ve used scraps of paper I had hanging about so unfortunately I can't identify this Designer Paper, however both stamps sets used are Studio G. 


Isn’t this bug just the most cutest?

I embossed its wings with clear embossing powder which created a “shellac”, and the little legs are long enough that if you wanted you could possibly get this sweet little critter to stand up.  I think it would be delightful to stick it on top of someone’s computer monitor or on a patio sliding glass window using a glue dot.

This design is for your own personal use.  If you would like to sell items made with my design you need to ask me permission by emailing me at lalalime(at)hotmail{dot}com


personal use


Next, you must hop hop HOP on over to Debbie’s blog to see her sweet design.  I believe she has 2 for you today - both fabulous!  I chose to make the following card using Debbie’s Scalloped Lace Heart Edge Card cut:



I am always so impressed with the intricate, exotic cuts Debbie creates and this one is take-your-breath-away gorgeous.  Her cut includes the little heart pocket on the front.  I don’t show it in these photos but I lined the inside of the card (writing area) with a patterned rose print paper on the right hand side, for 1 inch which complements the color of the front through the lattice pattern.

Designer Paper  by my dear friend Kristin Cronin Barrow from her BOHO Chic collection.  This paper is a “gloss” design on very thick paper which made it ideal for this sort of a project. 

  • So now hop on over to Debbie’s over at Paper Pulse to pick up this delightful design! 
  • Then, hop over to Helen’s at Pinky Paper Craft to see how she used our designs -
  • And finally HOP over to Nina’s at Notes by Nina to see what she cooked up! 

NOTE: some of us ladies are on different time zones so if one of our blogs is not “live” when you are here, PLEASE check back in a day.  Its so hard to co-ordinate!  Thanks for your patience.

And since its a L♥VE theme won’t you take a moment out of your super busy day to leave each of my talented friends (and sis-tur) some comment love to make their day?


Love  bears  all   things,

Believes  all  things,

Hopes  all  things,

Endures  all  things.

1 Corinthians 13:7

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Moroccan Nights Fundraiser Review and Mini Blog Hop Announcement!

My Mr. and I were fortunate enough to win tickets via a contest on  EZRock  to a local GALA fundraiser event held this past Saturday at the beautiful Watermark Beach Resort here in Osoyoos


1-moroccan 26-01-2013 6-15-00 PM 640x480

I freely admit that this is the biggest “formal” event we have attended in a couple of years and it sent both my Mr. and I scrambling to find out what “appropriate” wear would be expected and to discover if we had such attire amongst our closet.  We did and we did, though it was somewhat cobbled together.  Ha - what am I saying, my Mr would look fantastic wearing a paper bag - he was the handsomest man there! 

As you can see, the decor was so exotic and truly transformed the atmosphere into an exotic world away!


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I apologise for the blurry photos.  My Mr begged me not to take my good camera along as he preferred us to simply enjoy our experience but I made sure to take a few iphone photos. 

The food was fabulous.  It was prepared by a group of chefs coming together from Natasha Schooten of Terrafina, Justin Paakkunainen of Walnut Beach Resort, Jonas Stadtländer of Watermark Beach Resort, Jeff Van Geest of Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek and Liam McNulty of Nk’Mip Cellars.

All the food was along a Moroccan theme and was VERY good.  Two items we were a bit reluctant to try but wound up fully appreciating were a “squid and cucumber salad” and the spiced lamb.  The squid was beautiful - delicate, succulent.  The lamb (pictured toward the back, left) was DIVINE!  The portions were quite large, but we dove in for “seconds” on these items.  We have had “bad lamb” experiences in the past, but this was over the top tasty and we have great respect for it now!


3-moroccan 26-01-2013 9-42-44 PM 480x640


Ohhh lala, I drool just looking at this Mousse Cake!  It was the perfect finale to the evening.  That is something like 6 inches of the creamiest, dreamiest silken chocolate deliciousness I’ve eaten in forever.  SO appreciative of our local gourmet restaurants - I think they are as good as any big city in our province. 

There were other fun activities at the event, a silent auction to which MANY local businesses donated and also a draw for $1000 which was won by Tracy Doucette  - a friend and local realtor.  Tracy generously donated the cash back to the Desert Sun Counselling Center!  All the monies raised help with the many community services the Counselling Center provides.  A great cause. 

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to attend this event.  It is heart warming to realize the true generous spirit of our community.


STAY TUNED here for a Mini Blog Hop coming in the next days!  I’m happy to announce a fun Mini Blog Hop which is slated for Wednesday, January 30th.  It will include some FREE original cutting file and template designs from myself and my dear friend Debby from Paper Pulse as well as posts using our designs by my sister Nina who is a very talented card maker and also Helen from Pinky Paper Craft - who has a “way with paper” which is lavish and extravagant!   We are still ironing out the last minute details and exact times as Helen lives “across the miles” but for sure the post will be live on Wednesday, January 30th - so please facebook, tweet etc this upcoming event. 

Blogger Labels: Moroccan,Fundraiser,Review,Mini,Blog,Announcement,EZRock,GALA,event,Watermark,Beach,Resort,Osoyoos,attire,paper,decor,atmosphere,world,food,Natasha,Schooten,Terrafina,Justin,Paakkunainen,Walnut,Jonas,Stadtländer,Jeff,Geest,Miradoro,Tinhorn,Creek,Liam,theme,VERY,items,lamb,DIVINE,dove,Ohhh,Mousse,Cake,finale,chocolate,gourmet,province,activities,auction,MANY,Tracy,Doucette,friend,cash,Desert,Center,monies,services,heart,STAY,January,FREE,template,Debby,Pulse,Nina,card,maker,Helen,Pinky,Craft,times,tickets,photos,Cellars,portions,restaurants,squid

Friday, January 25, 2013

I WON! - getting ready for a “SPICY” night on the town!

I totally WON tickets to this wonderful fundraising event here in Osoyoos

It is sponsored by the Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Center and I’m soooooo excited - for the food as much as anything (like DUH, the chance to win $1000!)  Thank you so much to Desert Sun and  EZRock our local radio station for the opportunity to win this.  I near fell off my chair when I heard my name announced.  I’ll post-post after this fun event too.  In the meantime its date night at my house and I’m transforming our own little “restaurant” into a magical eatery! 

Blogger Labels: SPICY,event,Osoyoos,Desert,Resource,Center,food,Thank,EZRock,radio,meantime,restaurant,eatery,tickets

Monday, January 21, 2013

CELEBRATE - 100th challenge from PPC & tasty visits with friends!

I could not resist taking a crack at this card for Playing in Paradise seeing as they are celebrating the big “One - Oh - Oh”!  The theme is:

Yep, CELEBRATE!  I included a challenge to myself to use some sweet little stamps I bought over the holidays.


Using a character on my cards is pretty unique for me but I loved the look of this one.  I figured that an ice cream is a perfect celebration food for a human but I’m thinking the frog would ruther have the tasty flies than that cupcake!

Supplies: paper - Basic Grey Stamps - Basic Grey, Fiskars  Ink - Versamark Paint - Kiji Pearlescent


We had a pretty busy weekend, fitting in two visits in one day on Sunday.  We had our friends Rachel and Toby and our another friend Richelle come for lunch.  Our time together flew by - we whipped up bread (loaves and a foccacia)  made biscuits and created a small craft together.  Since my friend Janice gave me a sweet apron for Christmas and I have several others that have been gifted to me, we all donned them for our baking adventures.  Richelle put this pic together which pretty much captures our fun:

Fun Day with 2 Rs_Barb Derksen

Left: Rachel, Me and Richelle

I love these ladies - they are both so warm and open and easy to be with.  If you were to visit the the British Columbia Visitor’s Center here in Osoyoos (there are only 6 of these centers in all of British Columbia) you might see Rachel there as she is the manager!  Alternately, if you go to our local Tim Horton’s (like we ALL go to Tim’s - DUH!) then you’re going to see Rachel’s smiling face - she’s manager there.   We are all women of the Osoyoos Christian Centre and you’ll be hearing more about us coming up in the future because we are officially announcing another fun Music Event on Saturday, February 16th.  It will be an event with a “♥♥♥” theme.  Us ladies (along with more of our family)  will be figuring out the sweetest bestest desserts which will be part of this event.  Stay posted! 


photo (3)

And then, if we had not already packed in some good socializing, our friends Janice and Joseph invited us over for pizza and a movie.  I showed Joseph the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipe a few years ago, he has now evolved it into his own version of a healthy whole wheat “thin” crust for pizza.  It has a great flavor.  I learned the way he and Janice make it is to roll the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper, then carefully slide the parchment directly onto an oven rack to bake.   I like how this recipe keeps going off in all directions and how others use it.   I mentor Janice each Wednesday (you can catch up on all our adventures from her standpoint you can visit her blog!) and so we will have many more recipes and ideas to share over the coming weeks. 

Blogger Labels: CELEBRATE,friends,card,Paradise,theme,celebration,food,human,Supplies,paper,Basic,Grey,Fiskars,Versamark,Paint,Kiji,Pearlescent,Rachel,Toby,friend,Richelle,bread,Janice,Christmas,Left,British,Columbia,Visitor,Center,Osoyoos,manager,Horton,Christian,Centre,Music,Event,February,Stay,Joseph,movie,Artisan,Five,Minutes,recipe,version,crust,dough,sheet,oven,rack,mentor,standpoint,ideas,recipes,adventures,ladies,pizza

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

FREE Heart and Wings .studio Cutting File & a LOVELY ABC 12 Card

I’m on a roll it seems, with the cards almost making themselves Winking smile  I decided to take a “new to me” card challenge and found the ABC Challenge and something about the photo and site appealed and I dove right in.  My Sister in Law Judy is joining me in this one too - it will be interesting to see what she comes up with as well. 

ABC Challenge 12  - An Inspiration Challenge

The theme of this challenge was to gain inspiration from the following photo:


The white and red struck me so I came up with this:


I am using a cut I designed - a simple heart and a pair of wings which I cut using my Silhouette Cameo.  I embossed the background with my Cuttlebug.


I used my trusty old Value Village manual typewriter for the sentiment and then stamped the SOAR using some Hampton Art letter stamps.  thats it - simple pimple.  I’m sharing the cutting files with you - unfortunately I designed them only in .studio format (sorry for the rest of you who don’t have a Silhouette machine, that is)  Click on the following link to download the zipped files for your personal use:



Have you ever heard of Teff? 


I’d not until recently when I saw some in a health food store and on a whim purchased it.  I put the bag on the counter so I would be inspired to try it.  We had guests over recently (ah, yes - people think I’m brave trying new things out on guests) and I made it a goal to include this ingredient.  The way I figured it is if the meal was a fail at least it would have been interesting! 

Here’s a few facts about Teff:

It is native to Ethiopia.

At 1/32 of an inch it is one of the smallest grains in the world.

3000 grains of Teff make one gram.

1 lb of Teff can produce up to one ton of grain in as little as 12 weeks!

You can learn much more about Teff by reading this article by Charlotte Bradley by visiting HERE.


Well thankfully dinner was a success.  The Teff cooks up to a consistency not unlike cream of wheat and I was not sure exactly what I was going to do with it.  I had also soaked and cooked black beans so I fluffed the Teff up a bit and then tossed it with some of the black beans, added some of my own homemade taco seasoning.  Next I heated the two and just before our guests arrived I added in lots of teeny tiny chopped fresh vegetables - cauliflower, tomato, peppers, cilantro and parsley.  It was wonderful!

There was quite a bit left over so the next night I made the dish you see in this photo - patties!  I used a masher and squished it around pretty good, added a few rolled oats and then rolled them in crushed cornflake crumbs.  Next I sautéed them in a bit of melted butter and olive oil.  My husband especially liked these.  I froze a dozen or so for future meals.

Have you ever cooked something first time to spring on guests?  Or are you a “tried and true” person?


I read a poem which is how I like to thing I live out my faith daily to those around me - perhaps it will inspire you too:


Lord,  let  me  do  the  little  things

Which  may  fall   to   my  lot;

Those  little  inconspicuous  ones

By  others  oft  forgot.


If,  like  the  Master,  I  can  give

Myself  for  those  I  love,

Rich  joy  and  peace  shall  come  to  me,

Sweet  rest  in  heaven  above.


I  know  not  when  the  day  shall  close;

But  when  life’s  curfew  rings,

I  want  my Lord  to  find  me then

Still  doing  little  things.



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Monday, January 14, 2013

“Priceless” card for Fab Friday Challenge

I got a bit of time to (virtually) hang out with my sister Nina over the weekend and we decided to take in a new challenge. 

Fab Friday Challenge #09

Ah - so simple and straightforward.  ♥ it. 

Here’s my take:

Fab Friday 09_Barb Derksen

Oh Dear! - I wish I could tell you which designer paper this is, but there are absolutely no identifying marks on it.  I used a combo of Versafine, Stampin’ Up and Studio G inks for the sentiments and pattern on the vertical strip.   The pattern stamp is by Studio G and the hand and price tag is from Clear Art Stamps “Price Tags” 

Guess I’ve got to begin thinking Valentines, what? 

I suffered a “crafting related injury” this past week.  Seriously - I was rushing (there’s our culprit!)  I needed to tie a ribbon bow onto a project at the very last minute and I’d left my very very sharp indeedy Fiskars craft scissors on the floor with a roll of ribbon (my ribbon cupboard is underneath my work space so I have to go down to get into it)  and, then when I got up to get my project and then at the speed of light knelt back down I drove the point of the scissors right into my leg just underneath the knee.  Thank goodness its going to heal now even though it looked like it could have used a stitch or two and it bled like the dickens causing me to have to change out bandaids several times before leaving home.  Have YOU ever sustained a craft related injury? 

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

When Life (a friend) Gives You Lemons…

My friend Melanie grows lemons.  No, she does not live in Florida.  She lives right here in the sunny (totally NOT sunny here for the last week but today might look promising) Okanagan Valley.  In fact, she lives about a 15 minute drive away from me here in Osoyoos where we are known for our fabulous tree-fruits.  During the summer

Melanie has an orange and lemon tree in her house!  It amazes me the little harvest coming off her plants.  And she’s like a little sister to me as you can get - and the other day she gave me the sweetest - or should I really say sourest gift ever, three of her lemons.  Two babies and a big one too. 

We decided that was a huge wealth of them and after we talked we decided to give one of the babies to a dear friend.  I assured Melanie that nobody else for sure would be giving our friend a local grown fruit, it would be a great conversation piece. 

Here’s what happened to the big lemon:

1-1-photo (2)

That’s right, LEMONADE.  Sure, it’s not exactly lemonade weather seeing as the sky has been gray and we’ve had snow snow snow - but I’m sure this will be great mixed up with boiling water too - kind of like a homemade neo-citran. 

Its funny how things unfold.  I just happened to visit my friend Sandy just before Christmas - one of those totally impromptu visits that turns out so fun and she served me a glass of this oh-so-tasty lemonade.  I was hooked from the first sip.  In the brief time we spent together we caught up on our lives (good thing my Mr was not present for he definately  would have done the roll the eyes thing) and I taught her how to make the pizza dough and she gave me this recipe.  I had called and asked her permission to publish and share - she assured me it was no big family secret and that she is sure it is a very very OLD recipe from way back! 




If you would like to make this recipe you will need:

6 lemons

4 lb sugar

2 oz Citric Acid

2 Litres boiling water (aprox a kettle full)


1.  Zest the lemons into a BIG glass heat proof bowl (you made need two)  Add 2 oz of Citric Acid - approximately the size of a pill bottle.  You can find Citric Acid either at the drug store or a wine shop.  Add the sugar, stir.  Add the kettle of boiled water, stir.  Allow to sit for 24 hours

2.  Add the juice of the lemons to this mixture. Let this cool and cover with plastic wrap to protect the liquid and allow it to sit for unrefrigerated for another whole day.  



3.  Pour into jars and refrigerate (I froze some too, leaving a good amount of head space in the jars)

To Serve:

Mix up to taste - I find a few tablespoons for each glass is just nice! 

The third little baby lemon will be going to Sandy today along with the following thank you card I created to say thanks. 


I was delighted to see this sketch posted on my sister Nina’s blog for the

Tuesday Morning Sketches #180


Want to join in?  My sister in law Judy is taking this challenge along with me as well turning this into a family thing.  The more the merrier I say!  This is a perfect sketch for me to join in the challenge and also create the card I wanted to make to say THANK YOU to Sandy (along with the other baby lemon) for sharing her recipe.  Here’s what I made:




I’ve been dying to use some of this gorgeous paper which my friend Kristin Cronin Barrow designed (boy I have talented interesting and generous friends!)  The paper is from her Boho Chic Collection.  ♥ these double sided papers and some of them actually feature “gloss” designs which are cool to feel, almost 3d!

And because I created this lemon for the card I am going to bless it to YOU too.  These files are provided in PNG, SVG and .studio formats for your personal use.  Enjoy!  Click the following link for the ZIPPED file:


PS - I’d ♥ to see how you use my lemons - why not send me a jpg of your completed project for me to feature here? 

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Thats one FOWL Card! and “Don’t fear that expired food”!


I just kicked my stool out from under myself so I can’t sit while I work on the computer.  Its a way I guarantee myself not to get “computer bum”  My theory is to be more like a hummingbird than one of those birds that just sits at the feeder and gets fat.  I want to merely “alight” at my computer and be able to flitter off to do other tasks, factoring it in to the fitness factor of my day” 

My sister and I have the same new Cricut Cuttlebug “Chicken Wire” folder and so she challenged we to do a card using it (a nice thing to do with the snow falling here in Osoyoos!) There is just enough of an ice base on the roads that the snow just hides that it is wise to stay in if one can.  If you’re reading this - PLEASE SEND SUN!

You can see Nina’s card HERE - we think alike and yet so different from each other, complementing one another which is refreshing!  I’ve learned a ton from her.




Cricut Cuttlebug “Chicken Wire” embossing folder (comes with the cool sideways mini strip!)

Meadowlark “Dawn” Circles Paper by My Mind’s Eye

Prima Marketing Inc “Flirty Little Secret” “Ringlets” Paper

Embossing Powder

Studio G Alphabet Stamp Set

Rooster - Graphics Fairy (she has MANY lovely Rooster and Chicken graphics)


I embossed the background layer and then brushed over the raised areas with first a charcoal ink and then a silver to make the chicken wire pattern stand out. 

I typed the sentiment out on a bit of cardstock using a vintage typewriter I picked up from Value Village last year.  ♥ that thing!  I left space so I could stamp in the CROW part of the sentiment.  I also covet my Studio G alphabet letter sets - I have at least 6 sets.  At a dollar a piece I find them invaluable for those projects you need to plug in a custom word. 


YehYeh, this is a short post for me.  I tend to write “books”  But before I leave I’m giving you both a bit of inspiration and a link to make you think.

If you follow your bliss,

you put yourself on a kind of track,

which has been there all the while waiting for you,

and the life that you ought to be living

is the one you are living!

Joseph Campbell


I say this because I know the plans that I have for you.

” This message is from the Lord. “

I have good plans for you.

I don’t plan to hurt you.

I plan to give you hope and a good future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)


And on a completely different tack, I listened to this link which should cause you to think.  I am not going to reveal my feelings on this subject in this post, but the next so I can see how you feel about it.  This is a radio article I listened to on NPR recently.  Its all about EXPIRED food.  Just click HERE to listen (or read)

  PS: I found that looking through all the hundreds of comments as interesting and informative as the actual article!

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Saturday, January 05, 2013

1st Card Challenge of 2013 - Word Art Wednesday!

Making a card is a treat to myself for all the organizing I’ve done in this first week of the year. 

I began this year by making myself tend to my creative area - much overdue.  I’d be too shy to show a “before” photo of how everything had piled up, it happens so gradually that you don’t really notice until its reached epic proportions.  After collecting supplies for the last year - and having people generously save for me (ribbon, jewellery bits etc) it had all begun to be in danger of looking like a jumble sale.  I woke one morning and opened a cupboard and took every single thing out so there would be no turning back.  I thought it would take me two hours.  It took me two days.  But its worth it, today I was able to enjoy a newly cleaned and organized space and it feels like the happiest place on the planet to be. 

Its hard not to feel guilty while devoting this time to cleaning up after myself.  As one friend put it “I find it easier to clean someone else’s place than my own” - and why is this?  I had to battle a nagging thought in my mind I should be “doing this” (visiting people, going to meetings, creating things, helping someone else clean up)"  Anything, it seems, other than dealing with the disarray I’d built up. 

I often take experiences I go through in my daily life and lay it on the blueprint of my Christian faith to make sense of it all.  As I search scripture I’m drawn to the passages of Proverbs 31 (click the link to read The Message version of this passage)  I believe it clearly states we are to look after our homes and families.  Yes, we do need to reach out to the community, but what good is this if we neglect duties in our own lives to a point that should something happen that puts us out of commission we would have to rely on someone else to come in and pick up what we failed to do?  Now I am not saying we keep a spotless existence in our homes but there definitely is a healthy balance. 

There is a saying:

“Every possession possesses you”

This makes sense - the more you have the more it needs taking care of.  We must take responsibility to, as much as we are able, provide a clean and inviting living space, look after our families first and then I believe the Lord will give us plenty of opportunity to go forth and bless others.  I know, personally, that when I maintain my living space to a certain level its much easier to manage and takes far less time than when I let it build up and it continues to be a repetitive cycle of clean/purge several times a year.  Like a Proverbs 31 woman I desire to find a pattern that works for me for managing my life. 


Last year I found a tremendous resource through Midday Connection - this podcast  (audio) featuring Marcia Ramsland who is an organizing pro.  She made it simple for me to get back on track.  If you find yourself with some time today (while you clean, or do dishes for example) why not listen to the podcast?  I shared Marcia’s resource with several friends and I personally think this is the key to the success of this challenge - doing it with others (even via a chat or IM program) so you don’t feel so alone, and also to be accountable to one another, to feel like we are not the only ones who let things “pile up” (watch the junk drawers and messy cupboards etc pop open to each other Winking smile ) and to inspire and encourage each other.  Anyone want to join me (via email and blog) to tackle other areas of our houses? Just leave a comment and we can connect!

I do think there is a time and a place to help others do this too - if there is someone who is ill or elderly and cannot do it for themselves.  I am not in any way advocating putting your own needs before real needs in the community - I am not saying we should say no to helping someone who you could be blessing when the Lord impresses this on your heart or to not help others only after your house is so clean you could lick off the floors.  I AM suggesting you lay out a plan you can do in manageable increments to get your own space up to a level which makes it easy to be able to drop everything at home to free yourself up easier.  As I’ve done this in the past I find it actually works out nicely that when you suddenly invite people in, with a little fore-thought, your house is ready to go!

But if you’re a Mom who always does this for your child instead of instructing them how to do this for themselves as they grow up (because lets face it - its far easier and quicker to do it yourself than oversee the painful and onerous task of making your kids do it)  you are setting them up for failure later as this is a necessary life skill set.  So you need to set the EXAMPLE but not do it for them. 

Do YOU have some tips and advice of value here that might be a help to me - especially in the area of crafting?

At any rate, I’m blogging you from my refreshing creative space and I’ll just stop now and share the card I made:

Word Art Wednesday #61 - Trust/Anything Goes!

This week’s challenge is based on:

Psalm 118:8

It is better to trust in the LORD

than to put confidence in man

You can download the printable word art to your computer to use in your project if you choose to join in this challenge - there are some fabulous prizes!  Click HERE to read the rules.

Here is the card I made:


This paper is from the Take Note collection from Studio Calico. 

Thanks for visiting me,


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Friday, January 04, 2013

FREE Bow Tie - celebrating 2013!

Happy New Year to YOU.  I always wait so long in between posts (life gets in the way) that I could write a book here haha) but won’t - bet you’re breathing a sigh of relief already.  Here’s how I feel right now, summed up in this quote:

I wish I could stand on a busy corner,

hat in hand

and beg people throw me all their wasted hours.

~ Bernard Berenson

Oh what I could do with those hours!  I could not wish for one thing in my life right now other than more time to do all the things I want to do.  Its always a balance isn’t it. 

We had the best Christmas ever, surrounded by family and friends.  Mom’s home was filled with festive decorations, sumptuous food (she’s a terrific and traditional cook) and the time went by in a blink.  She goes totally overboard with Christmas-ness and I ♥ every second of being in her home because her love for us is evident in all the effort she lavishes on her home for us to enjoy.  She even made Norwegian Fatiman which is always a hit.  Over the holidays we cherished time with our daughters and enjoyed moments with my sister in law and nieces too. 

A highlight of our time with relatives was establishing a new tradition.  I introduced (my slightly modified version of) the basic Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe to my family as a base for a Pizza Party. 


I supplied all the ingredients for the dough and had issued an invitation to others to bring along whatever they chose from a list of possible toppings.  There wound up being a range of ingredients from fresh fruit and vegetables and all the way to capers and specialty sausages from a local market.


My Father in Law made his specialty tomato sauce and our Aunt and Uncle welcomed everyone into their spacious and beautiful home for the event. 

I rotated everyone out to create each pair of the six in total pizzas so everyone had a turn at being Master Chef.  Groups of two and three swapped out to put their personal touches to these delectable pies. 


And once they were oven ready they were shoo-ed into the oven to bake to golden deliciousness.  The dough rose beautifully and I baked them on a convection setting and they turned out exceptional!   It was such a great time together we are already planning for next year.


Honestly can say these are the BEST pizza’s ever - could it be the convection oven?  Have YOU ever used one? 


I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I was prompted in my heart to spend the first week of the year at home.  My Mr does not begin regular work hours until this coming week so our days, since we arrived home just before New Years, have been like a small honeymoon away from the world.  During the days we have tackled tasks which needed tending to.  For me in particular this meant tending to my creative space.  I’ve been collecting supplies (and been blessed by some folks saving bits here and there for me) that I needed to make some sense of it all. 

Because I made most of our gifts, this took up a tremendous amount of my time and energy so I confess to turning a blind eye to how things were piling up.  I had quite the time getting started - and tasks I thought might take a few hours have stretched into marathon days. 

But come 4:30 each day was cut off for everything and it was switch into “date” mode!  My husband is a great cook and has treated me to several of his fantastic meals and a few nights we’ve worked together on some.  I have treasured and savoured every single second of our time together.  I made myself stop feeling guilty for taking this time out when there are so many needs “out there”.  All too soon there will be no choice but to get back into things.  My faith and then my marriage are priority - like the feature gems on a beautiful necklace, strung on each side with people dear to me - family and friends and so they come the very next - and that's probably where YOU factor in.  Which means I’ll be trying to visit some blogs and catch up over the coming week.  No internet at the folk over the holidays so blog visiting piles up too.  Thank you to all of you who have visited and left some ♥ in my absence. 


I think Bow Ties are going to be BIG this year in designing and otherwise - like moustaches were last year.  I must admit I’m moustached out now.  So, I created this Bow Tie card using a cut I created for your personal use projects!




I cut the bow from a specialty paper I purchased last year from Paper Nation - I cut two of the bow parts so it had a bit of lift.  I glued the middle bit on using black foam tape squares.  The stamp is a Studio G.  This cutting set is available in PNG, SVG and .STUDIO file formats.   Click on the link below to get these files and… Enjoy!


Note:  I’ve received comments some of you are having confusion or don’t understand how to download my files?  Firstly, you click the word DOWNLOAD to go to Ge.tt where the file is hosted.  Then in case you don’t know, my files are zipped into a folder.  If you don’t understand what this means or how to access them, please leave me a comment with your email or blog so I can get back to you and assist you in getting these.  

Thanks for visiting me today


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