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Dec 28, 2019

Year in Review 2019

At the end of every year I like to take a look back at all the cards I made during the year and pick my favorites to share in my "year in review" post. To make it easier I choose a favorite from each month, but there were a couple of months where I couldn't decide and picked 2.

I've linked the original post above each creation, if you'd like to find out more about each card, simply click that link. 


Sweet Wishes using Penny Black Loads of Love as the focal point.

I used a Cowboy Trio Stamp by Magenta (no longer available)


I used Mo Manning Siku and Shiya and Penny Black Berry Bevy for the focal point.

I used  Hero Arts My Monthly Hero February Kit as the focal point.


I used Mo Manning Baby Fairy Bee as the focal point.


I used Stampin Up Butterfly Basics - retired but available HERE on eBay.



Only the girl card was made in June, the boy card made in April.


I used Penny Black Snowy as the focal point and  Holiday Snippets for all the little sentiments.



I used this retired stamp by PSX as the focal point. 


I used Hero Arts September 2018 Stamp Kit as the focal point.


I used Penny Black Caroling Trio as the focal point. 


I used Penny Black Nose to Nose and Penny Black Tall Trees to create this scene.

So which one of my favorites is your favorite? 

You can definitely tell that I didn't do well with my 2019 crafty New Year's resolution ... it was to use up more of my pattern papers. I did well in the beginning, but it didn't take me long to neglect my pattern papers again! Maybe I'll try again in the new year but I enjoy the process of creating my own papers and backgrounds so much more!

The cute Penny Black stamps are still some of my favorites, and I definitely enjoyed working with distress inks a lot this year (inking and coloring). I also enjoyed getting out some oldies and some of my favorites were done with stamp kit subscriptions. I am sad that non of my Lavinia stamp cards made the top picks, but I didn't use them as much. I made several different card styles for sure, but if I were to make the same style of cards I would get bored easily. 

Did you create a "Year in Review" type post on your blog? If so then please let me know in the comments so I can come to take a look! It doesn't have to be cards, I'd love to see what your favorite posts of the year were.

As always thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to visit my blog. 

Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy New Year!

Linking up here:
Create with Joy  // Not Dressed as a Lamb
Inspire Me MondayNot Dressed As Lamb #iwillwearwhatilike link up

This post includes some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

Dec 21, 2019

Allsorts Challenge 521/522 - Anything Goes

It's time already for a new theme at Allsorts challenge. This time the challenge runs for 2 weeks to cover the holiday season and Lynn is making it easy for you with the theme of Anything Goes.

I made a masculine card using products from this Hero Arts My Monthly Hero kit (the car & matching die, stencil and golden paper) along with an old sentiment from Stampin Up and an old Star Die set from Whimsy Stamps. I love this star die set as an alternative and it's on my wish list.  

The car and sentiment were heat embossed. I used the matching die to cut out the car. Distress inks were used to color the car and I added subtle sparkles with a Wink of Stella clear glitter brush. The pattern papers are from my stash. 

This fun Art Deco inspired Hero Arts kit is still available HERE if you're interested.

Thanks so much for visiting! This is my last new post for this year. I am planning on sharing my yearly "Year in Review" post at the end of the year, hope you'll check back then!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!

Related Products: 
This post includes some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

Dec 18, 2019

More Flowers All Over for Penny Black and More!

This post includes some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

Did you get a chance yet to join this month Penny Black and More challenge? If not then there is still some time to play along for a chance to win some great prizes! Our theme is Flowers All Over, you can make anything you want featuring hand stamped flowers.

A quick and easy card today, I already had the background inked up from a previous project using a variety of green Distress inks and oxides. Then I stamped the flower sprig from the Penny Black set Sprigs in Versafine Clair Nocturne ink and sentiment from the same set over the inked paper. The card base was stamped using the same flower stamp this time with Bundled Sage Distress ink. I finished off the card with some white "candy dots" that I think were part of a Stampin Up stamp kit I purchased a few years go. 

Thanks so much for visiting!

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Dec 16, 2019

Fashion Over Forty: What To Wear To The Nutcracker Ballet

This post includes some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

Hello and thanks for stopping by! I'm sharing this week's Fashion Over Forty post on Monday instead of Friday, as it's a busy time of the year and this will also be my last outfit post during the next couple of weeks as I won't be doing much blogging during that time. I do have a couple more handmade cards to share but I've prepared those posts ahead of time.

I wanted to take a few outfit pictures while I decide on what to wear to my daughter's Nutcracker ballet performance. Unfortunately indoor pictures never turn out great for me, plus my house is small and not at all blog worthy but I did manage to find a few to share by the Christmas tree.

One thing I know for sure is that I will wear these velvet pants.  By the way, these pants are currently marked at 60% off with code JINGLE.

The performance is this Friday so I still have a little time to decide on a top, but I am leaning towards pairing the pants with this gold boatneck sweater I purchased from JC Penney (by Worthington) several years ago after my blogging friend Amy shared it on her blog. This sweater is so pretty, I wish I could link to it ... I can't even find anything comparable to it.  But you can pair velvet pants with any gold toned top for a pretty holiday look. I did find this exact sweater at Poshmark but there is only one available in a size medium, as Poshmark is a platform where people resell clothes they no longer need or want. I did see this sweater at LOFT and think it would be a nice option to pair with black velvet pants, and the sweater is 50% off using the code above.

        >>>>Sale Alert: Almost everything is up to 60% off at LOFT. Use Code JINGLE.

I'm also sharing a glimpse at my Christmas tree :-) This summer I purchased a new area rug (I linked to the exact rug) and new curtains (I got them from Kohl's but don't remember exactly which ones I purchased), and my first thought was to have a silver and blue Christmas tree. But everyone else wanted a colorful tree, so we compromised by adding our favorite ornaments but golden lights instead of colored lights. I have to admit, there is always something so special about digging through all the Christmas ornaments we've collected over the years. In fact some of these we've had since my first Christmas in the America, and those are more than 20 years old.

I tried on some other tops with these velvet pants....

This navy top embellished with irridescent sequins is another top I've had for years. The sequins are not this colorful in real life. It's funny I never noticed that this top was see through. Had I known I would  have worn my navy tank underneath, but I'm wearing an orange tank top instead. I've worn this sweater a few times before and hopefully I've worn a dark colored top under it....

I don't like the picture above, but I wanted to show you what I originally had hoped to wear this year to the Nutcracker. This top was a recent purchase from Kohl's, and it was included in my favorite picks from Kohl's post. I was drawn to the plaid pattern and liked the colors and button details on the sleeves. But it was not available in my size XS and I decided to order the size Small instead. I'm sure you can tell that it doesn't fit me well and I will be returning it. It is still available in most sizes (besides XS) if you're interested and it does have great reviews.

I've already shown you these velvet pants styled with a silver top in a  previous post. You can take a look here if you missed it.

As mentioned above this is probably my last outfit post until the New Year. I still didn't get to bake Christmas cookies (at this point I may wait until the kids are on winter break) and this week is also my husband's birthday week so I will be making a cake for him. Then most presents still need wrapped and I need to get stocking stuffers, something I somehow always manage to wait until the last minute to do so I can stress myself out! Plus I don't like to spend too much time on the computer when the kids are home during their Winter break, and as most of you know, blogging is time consuming. 

Have a great week and thanks so much for stopping by!

Linking up with these great blogs.

Dec 14, 2019

Allsorts Challenge 550: Inspired By A Song

It's time already for a new theme at Allsorts challenge ... this week it's my turn to host and I chose the theme of ..............Inspired By A Song. Hope to see you joining us. You can choose any type of song you like, just be sure to tell us in your blog post what song inspired your card.

The inspiration for this card came from the song "I love the Winter Weather", one of my husband's favorites during Christmas time. I really wanted to use this cute stamp but didn't need another Christmas card so I made a love themed card with a winter sky. 

The image stamp is Penny Black's Nose to Nose.

The sky was done with Distress inks and Oxides - Antique Linen, Victorian Velvet, Seedless Preserves, Blueprint Sketch and Chipped Sapphire. (I mix and match distress inks and oxides as I have some colors in oxides and some in regular distress inks.) Before inking, I added a circle mask for the moon and flicked some masking fluid onto the card stock for a snow or starry effect. While I was waiting for the masking fluid to dry, I heat embossed the image and added a little bit of color with distress inks, then fussy cut.

Related Products:

The snowy hill was die cut using an old Whimsy Stamps die I received when I was on the Whimsy design team years ago. The die cut trees were done with the Penny Black die set Tall Trees. Sentiment is from the Penny Black set "So Very Much", heat embossed after removing the moon mask. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Linking up with these challenges:
Alphabet Challenge - S for Snow // Art Impressions Stamp Challenge - Animals // Aud Sentiments Challenge - Winter // Fab n Funky - Winter Clothing (Scarf) // Mod Squad - Snowy or Starry Night // Crafting Happiness Challenges - Winter // Addicted to Stamp - Cold and Frosty // Stamping Sensations - Anything Goes // Die Cut Divas - Winter // Sweet Stampers  - Anything Goes // Penny Black Saturday Challenge - Sparkle and Shine
Always Anything Goes:
A Bit More Time to Craft  // A Perfect Time To Craft // Crafts Galore Encore // DL.Art Linky Challenge //  Not Just Cards (F) // Lemon Shortbread // Through The Craft Room Door // Pammie's Inky Pinkies Challenges // Lil Patch of Crafty Friends // The Corrosive Challenges // Creative Fingers // QKR Stampede // Crafting With An Attitude // Brown Sugar (?)
 Inspire Me Monday

Below I've linked toAmazon for those of you interested. These and some of the above links are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links, at no cost to you. 

Dec 13, 2019

Fashion Over Forty: A Fair Isle Sweater I Will Wear All Winter

This post includes some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

When I saw this snowflake fair isle sweater at the Nordstrom site I fell in love with these colors and the pattern, I simply had to have it!  But at the cost I wasn't sure I could justify the purchase. Then I had a bright idea :-) You might remember a green boatneck sweater post I shared in a post several weeks ago, where I mentioned I had also purchased it in white and navy, and couldn't decide which one of those two to keep. Well, both sweaters were still in my closet never worn and tags attached, so guess what! I decided to send them both back. I did love them but they were on the thin side, not really meant for our winters and did I really need it in all 3 colors??!! Luckily Nordstrom has a fantastic return policy and even though the sweaters were purchased almost 6 months ago, I was able to return for a full credit as they were never worn.

Here is when I first tried it on right after my hair appointment when it arrived in the mail. I wanted to see how it looked on me before actually wearing it out in public and making the decision of keeping or sending back.

I've since worn it on three different occasions... an area Christmas market, shopping downtown and a school function. I've worn it pretty much the same way each time, so no separate pictures besides the try-on above. 

While it's perfect for those occasions, I think this snowflake print and the colors will work well throughout winter when we have to deal with coldest months of the year. The sweater is sooooo warm and soft! 

I'm wearing my AG skinny jeans I found on eBay for a great price. If you don't like shopping for pre-owned jeans, you can find this brand at Nordstrom Rack at a discounted price, otherwise for $$$ at Nordstrom. Bloomingdales also carries these jeans. And right now until Dec. 16th you'll save 25% for their Friends and Family event - AG Jeans included. No coupon code is needed, the prices will adjust in the cart. 

                      >>>>>Sale Alert at Bloomingdales! SAVE 25% OFF A LARGE SELECTION OF ITEMS, Plus Get FREE SHIPPING on Everything. No Code Needed - Ends 12/16

My fur lined winter boots are by Bare Traps, purchased a couple of winters ago from DSW. While DSW no longer sells this style, they are available from Amazon. These boots are so comfortable with the leather upper and moulded sole, and the shearling lining keeps my feet warm. They run true to size. 

I did add a black puffer vest on two of the three days I've worn this sweater and it was all I needed  to stay warm. (On the third day earlier this week I had to wear my winter coat as it was very cold on that day.) 

This vest is by Aeropostale, borrowed from my daughter as it's a little thicker than my black Old Navy vest. I'm wearing XS but a Small would have been a  better fit for me from this brand as they have Junior sizing (I think). This specific vest is from last year so I can't link to it, but Aeropostale does have several puffer vests in stock and most are currently marked at under $15 with free shipping on orders of $25 or more. 

My Chaps bag is old and  no longer available. This black crossbody bag would be a similar option. 

While this sweater is still plenty available in the green/pink combo, the color I chose seems to be very popular as it's almost sold out. But you might be lucky. I've noticed an occasional restock as well, so if your size isn't currently available, be sure to check back throughout the day. 

I've linked to a few other favorites below. Remember these and some of links above are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links, but as always at no cost to you. 


Loft & Gap
3. How about a cozy Fair Isle Cardigan?

(currently marked at Buy one Get One 60% off and Shipping to Store is Free)

1. Oatmeal Combo Sweater (also avail. in plus sizes)

So what do you think of the Fair Isle sweater trend? Would it be a style you'd wear for the rest of the winter or just during the holidays? I definitely plan on wearing mine until the end of February. I may receive some funny looks, but whatever ... as long as it keeps me warm I don't really care!

And that would be it for today. I have a busier (for me) than usual day ahead of me...Christmas cards still haven't been sent and most of them are going overseas so I need to get them out today. I also want/need to start making cutout Christmas cookies and then I have to take my daughter shopping for a gift after school. Busy times for sure! Hope you're having a fun weekend with some time to relax!

As always thanks so much for visiting! 

Linking up with these great blogs.

Dec 7, 2019

Allsorts Challenge 549: Snowflakes and/or Snowmen

This post includes affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links, at no cost to you! Thank you so much for your support!

It's time already for a new theme at Allsorts challenge, Kath is hosting this week she picked the fun theme of Snowmen and/or Snowflakes. Hope you'll join us for a chance to win. This week our prize is comes from Clever Cut Stamps and you can win a beautiful stamp set.

Of course Penny Black's Snowy had to come out for this occasion, he's been stamped and  heat embossed on Bristol Vellum paper, then fussy cut. By the way, there is matching die set available for this stamp, I don't have it as I don't mind fussy cutting. 

I added some color to his scarf with Fired Brick Distress ink and used the mini tile stencil from TCW to add design to the scarf, using the same ink. The snowy sky was done the same way I've done this recent card and this recent card using Winsor & Newton Masking Fluid  along with Tumbled GlassBlueprint Sketch and Chipped Sapphire Distress Oxide inks. The hills were die cut with a retired die, this die set would be a similar option. 

Sentiment is from the Penny Black set Holiday Snippets. This set comes with a bunch of tiny sentiments but does include two larger sentiments and some snowflakes. The snowflakes were die cut using a die set I won from Dare 2 B Artzy. It's no longer on their site but I'm sure most of you  have a snowflake die or punch, if not, then there are plenty of options available

Sharing with these challenges:
Alphabet Challenge - S for Snow // Colour Crazy Challenge - Coloring // Winter Wonderland - Christmas // Aud Sentiments Challenge - Christmas or Winter Sentiment // Cardz 4 Galz - Cute Christmas // Cute Card Thursday - Anything Goes this week // DL ART Thankful Thursday Challenge - Christmas // Through the Purple Haze - Let it Snow // TIME OUT Challenges - Merry and Cheerful // Crafting By Designs - Anything Goes // Creative Moments - Anything Goes // The Paper Funday - Christmas // Creatalicious Challenges - Winter // Daisy Chain Challenges - Winter // Die Cut Divas - Winter // Always Fun Challenges - Snowman //Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Sparkle // Penny Black Saturday Challenge - Penny Black Stamps
Always Anything Goes:

Thanks so much for visiting!!

I've added Amazon shopping links below.Remember, these are affiliate links meaning that I might earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links but as always at no cost to you. 

Dec 6, 2019

Fashion Over Forty: Pink V-Neck Sweater and a Light Gray Puffer Coat

This post includes some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links, at no cost to you! Thank you so much for your support!

The day these pictures were taken I had a hair appointment and my hair stylist decided to straighten my hair. I do like it this way but I don't want to expose my hair to this much heat on a regular basis (my hair takes forever to straighten and I've had ruined it in the past!) so I am back to my stubborn natural wavy hair. I didn't plan on taking pictures on this day, but my husband was on vacation and the pictures were his idea.

Everything I'm wearing in today's post is older so no direct links, but I did try to find similar options for those of you interested.

I purchased this sweater by Leith from Nordstrom at the beginning of this year so it's no longer available. It's the prettiest shade of pink and soooo soft! While this specific sweater is no longer available, I did spot this beautiful sweater at Nordstrom, although not a V-neck but loving those pretty details on the sleeves! It does run large so you might want to size down if you decide to order it. I've added a couple more options below. 

This light (almost white) warm-gray puffer coat is my go-to winter coat. It's by Calvin Klein, purchased a couple seasons ago. Wish I could link to it because this coat is so perfect for our cold midwestern winters! I did find several other puffer coats by Calvin Klein at Macy's  but not this exact one.  I do like this coat currently available at Nordstrom and it comes in a light gray tone (see color named Frost). If this light color isn't for you, it also comes in several other colors. I'm thinking about getting the black coat ... but I really don't need another coat and my closet space is limited. (I really want to replace an old dark brown coat I've had for years and no longer wear but keep hanging on to!)

TJMaxx also has a great variety of coats, and they currently ship orders of $30 or more for FREE (use code: SHIP30). And don't forget about Nordstrom Rack when looking for coats, I found the perfect winter coat for my son there last year. 

These skinny jeans are from Banana Republic. Mine are a couple of years old but I imagine their current skinny jeans aren't much different. They do come in Tall and Petite sizes in addition to their regular lengths. PS: Currently you can take 40% off your order at Banana Republic no code needed (ends 12/9 11:59pm)

My boots are a hand me down from my dear daughter (how funny is that and how lucky am I!! I get  to keep stuff from my sister AND my daughter 😄) I got these for her from Kohl's last year (SO brand) and she outgrew them before she could wear them more than a few times. I was going to donate them because they look somewhat similar to my Miz Mooz leather booties, but I decided to keep them for now because they are a little different after all and they fit me well. Of course they are no longer listed on their site and I could not find any similar boots. But while I was looking, I did see these hiking boots  and really like them and they'd be perfect for winter weather!

This blanket scarf by David & Young was a recommended add-on at Nordstrom when I purchased my Miz Mooz booties a while ago, and as you can see their sales tactic works as it made its way into my shopping cart :-) I thought the colors and hounds tooth print were a perfect match for my outfit and since I am STILL  having issues with my voice/cough from when I was sick at the end of October (mosty when I talk), I need to wear something warm around my neck. I did end up taking it off for the pictures because it's a huge scarf. Unfortunately I could not find anything similar, but did add few options at the end of this post that I liked. 

My crossbody bag was a "like new" Goodwill find, you've seen it before if you've been following along. My necklace is an inexpensive double layer silver toned necklace. I purchased it a few weeks ago but don't remember where.

Below are a few similar items I've found for those of you interested. Remember, the links are affiliate links meaning I may earn a small commission if you buy something through the links but as always at no cost to you. 

1. Funnel Neck Sweater from Kohl's (runs large - sizing down recommended)
2. Sleeve Detail Sweater from Nordstrom (runs large - sizing down recommended)
3. Cowl Neck Sweater from Loft

1. Blue Plaid Scarf from Nordstrom
2. Neutral Plaid Scarf from Target
3. Oversizes Scarf from Banana Republic
4. Lightweight Plaid Scarf from Banana Republic
(Note: Save 40% off your purchase at Banana Republic - no code needed, ends Dec. 9th)

1. Faux Fur Trim Coat from Nordstrom
3. Cream Faux Fur Trim Coat from Nordstrom Rack

Also See Coat Options at Macy's - you can save 30% with code: FRIEND (ends Dec. 9th)

1. Leather Ankle Boots from DSW
2. Hiking Boots from Kohl's Online 

As always thanks so much for visiting! Hope you're  having a fabulous weekend! 

Linking up with these great blogs.