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Dec 30, 2020

Year in Review 2020 - My Favorite Handmade Cards

At the end of each 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. I usually choose a favorite of the month to make it easier. I did have a tie in February but that's the only month where I couldn't decide.

I've linked to the original post above each creation, if you'd like to find out more about each card, simply click that link. This year I also noted why I picked each particular card 😀


Click here or original post.

I love the earthy tones of this card and the way the background turned out.


Can't help but smile when I see this image and I love the red and black color combo and the way the papers compliment each other.


Using PSX Stamp K2883

I love the vintage feel of this card and think the lace is the perfect embellishment here.  


Using Lavinia Stamps

I love how these colors compliment each other and the random way the ink turned out on the background.


I remember struggling with this card and love how it turned out with the stenciled background and strip of patterned paper at the bottom.


Using Lavinia Stamps

I often struggle creating pretty backgrounds and scenes for my Lavinia fairies (or I don't know where to begin) which is why I don't reach for them more, but absolutely love how this one turned out.


I love the way the harlequin patterned paper compliments the collage style image and ink splatters.


This card just makes me smile! Loved mixing "cute" and "brushstroke" on this card. And I think the yellow is so fun and cheerful!


Using Penny Black  Painter's Vase and Blooming Sentiments

Love the inky background on this and the color blue is one of my favorites.


I love how this cute garden scene turned out mixing up "cute" and "floral" stamps. 


Snowy seems to make my "favorite" list often. I just love how the paper piecing coordinates with the border. And it's a favorite stamp because my husband picked him out for me many years ago :-)


I love how the dotted paper frames the watercolor style image panel.


Once again I love the way I used a brushstroke stamp with a cute stamp to create the card. And of course this cutie and sentiment combo just makes me smile.

As you can see I still love my "cute" stamps but have been enjoying playing with inks just the same and I am sure that will continue in the new year. In last years year in review post I mentioned that I didn't do so well with my New Years Resolution of using up more of my patterned papers. I had the same resolution for 2020 and I did a little bit better, since I've cut most of my papers down to 6x6 and now keep them within reach next to my desk. 

For 2021 I'm setting a few crafty resolutions:
  • Try some new (to me) techniques or re-discover old ones
  • Organize a box of bare rubber stamps so I can actually see what they are
  • Continue incorporating patterned papers
  • Add some missing Distress Inks to my collection
If you have done a year in review post on your blog, please do let me know in the comments so I can come take a look at what you've been up to in 2020. 

Thanks so much for visiting!!

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!

I'm linking up here:

Sunday Showcase with Ada and Mirelle // Inspire Me Monday // Hello Monday // Random-osity Good, Random, Fun // You're The Star Blog Hop Link Party @Stonecottage Adventures // Anything Goes with Your Hosts @ My Random Musings // Little Cottage Linkup // Love your Creativity Link Party // Hearth and Soul (starts Monday night) // Shelbee On the Edge Spread the Kindness // Jenerally Informed Happy Now Blog Link // Tuesday with a Twist @Stonecottage Adventures // Tuesday Turn About // Effortlessly Sophisticated // Wonderful Wednesday // Classy Flamingos // Welcome Wednesdays // What's Up Wednesday? // Little Things Thursday // Thursday Favorite Things // Traffic Jam Weekend //@Being a Wordsmith Slices of Life (Encouraging Hearts and Home) // A Morning Cup of Joe // Fridays at the Fire Station // Shelbee on the Edge // A Little Bit of Everything // Dare to Share /

Dec 19, 2020

Winter Wonderland and Some Sparkle and Shine

Hello and welcome! This is a 3 in 1 post, so it's a bit longer but I wanted to share the last of my Christmas cards as this will be my last post before Christmas.

This month I am guest designing at Penny Black Saturday challenge and today it's time to share some mid -month inspiration. 

It's also the start of a new theme at Allsorts challenge and two of the cards I'm sharing are made for Allsorts. Hope you will join us for a chance to win a fabulous prize from Stamp Addictsa £15 voucher to their shop. We would love for you to join in! You'll have some extra time this time around as this challenge runs for 2 weeks to cover the holidays.

Please note: Some affiliate links are used in this post, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always this is at no  cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting this blog.

First up I'm sharing my card for Penny Black Saturday challenge. The theme this month is 

"Winter Wonderland" 

or "Anything Goes".

I used Penny Black stamps for a recent release along with an older brushstroke stamp. 

Stamps used: Scarved SweetiesDear Santa and Cone and Berries

These are also available on Amazon:

The background was done with masking fluid (to make it snowy) and inked with Distress Oxide Tumbled Glass and very tiny bit of Blueprint Sketch after the masking fluid was dry. The snowy hill was done with a stitched border die - similar options. Pine cone was inked and stamped using distress markers and with the help of a stamp platform, and the cute hedgehog with Memento Tuxedo ink so I could use my Copic markers for coloring. 

Related Products:

At Allsorts challenge, it's our last one of the year and I hope you will join in! This challenge runs for two weeks to cover the holidays so you have some extra time too. Our theme, chosen by Kath is..........

 "Sparkle and Shine".

Our fabulous prize comes  from Stamp AddictsAs always, you may use any brand of stamps, digis or dies so hope to see you there!

I used an old stamp from Whimsy Stamps. I think this set was called "Christmas Tree in Words" but it's long retired and no longer available.

I stamped with Versamark ink and then heat embossed with Gold Embossing Powder. The brushed gold card stock was dry embossed using an old Cuttlebug embossing folder. I don't use embossing folders often but they do add so much interest to a card! I don't know the name of this exact folder but there are many options on Amazon,, A Cherry on Top, and just about any other craft store.  

A die cut star (retired - options) has been adhered with foam tape. I couldn't find any red ribbon (seems like I'm missing a whole box of ribbons since re-arranging my craft room!!) so I used a strip of red cardstock instead. 

Related Products:

Below is the second card I made for Allsorts challenge, I actually made a few versions of this one using a few other stamps but did not photograph them all. It's a simple sketch with some patterned paper so it's easy to re-create.

I used an old wood mounted Penny Black stamp "Listening to Stars" stamped with Versafine Onyx ink and I used my Zig Clean Color brush pens for coloring . 

Wink of Stella clear glitter has been brushed over the star and "snow" to make them sparkle.

The large sentiment is part of Penny Black's set Season's Gifts and the small sentiment comes from the set Holiday Snippets also by Penny Black. The patterned paper is from my stash.

Thanks so much for visiting!

This is also going to be my last post before Christmas, but I will be back before the New Year with my Favorites of 2020. Hope you'll stop by then!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Linking up here:

Card No. 1
Alphabet Challenge - S is for Snow // Colour Crazy Challenge - Coloring // Crafty Catz - Something New // Cute Card Thursday - Anything Goes// ABC Christmas - Favorite Things (cute stamps) // Paper Shelter - Anything Goes // Simon Says Stamp - Christmas Critters // Sisterhood of Crafters - Winter // The Card Concept - Christmas Cards // Christmas Crafts All Year Round - Gifts // Crafty Animals - Animals // Die Cut Divas - Use Dies // Dies R Us Challenge - Winter Wonderland // Let's Craft & Create Challenge - Anything Goes // Everybody-Art-Challenge - Animals // Double Trouble Challenges - Favorite Cutting Tool (Big Shot) // Stamps & Fun = Creativity - Winter

Card No. 2:
Winter Wonderland - Anything Christmas // Art Impressions Stamp Challenge - Reason for the Season // DL ART Thankful Thursday Challenge - Winter Holidays // Crafty Gals Corner - Tis the Season // Classic Design  Challenge - Anything Goes // Crafts Galore Encore - Anything Goes // Creatalicious Challenges - Christmas // Love to Craft - Anything Goes // Merry Little Christmas Challenge Blog  - Christmas // Lemon Shortbread  - Anything Goes // Through The Craft Room Door - Anything Goes // Make My Monday - Christmas Cards

Card No. 3:
Pattie's Creations - Winter Fun // C.R.A.F.T. - Christmas // Creative Moments - Anything Goes // The Paper Funday - Holidays // 2 Crafty Critter Crazies - Critters // A Bit More Time to Craft - Anything Goes // Country View Crafts' Challenge - Christmas // Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper - Patterned Papers // Sweet Stampers - Anything Goes // Crafty Sentiment Designs - Anything Goes // Christmas with the Cuties - Cute Christmas // Incy Wincy Designs - Christmas // 

Dec 18, 2020

Fashion Over Forty: Eggplant Sweater Dress and Some Favorite Christmas Tree Ornaments

Happy Friday! It's hard to believe Christmas is next week! Hope you are ready! Somehow I always wait until the last minute to wrap presents, still didn't start and I want to bake another batch of cookies as well. Yesterday was my husband's birthday and I made a mint chocolate cream cake. It turned out delicious! Tomorrow my daughter has an informal end of the year ballet Christmas performance. They were supposed to do the Nutcracker but of course it was cancelled and they are just doing a recording at the dance studio with no live audience as our local theater where they always perform has been closed since March. She's just happy dance wasn't cancelled completely and even though some weeks they had to take lessons over zoom they were still able to train.

Speaking of ballet, if you'd like to watch a Nutcracker performance, you can download Marquee TV for a free 14 day trial. We very much enjoyed the Royal Ballet's Nutcracker and Bolshoi's Copellia. I was going to cancel the subscription after the 14 days but forgot, so we're keeping it for another 30 days now since I already paid the fee of $8.99. By the way, there isn't only ballet available on Marquee TV - you can also watch several Shakespeare plays, operas and other recorded live entertainment.

Below is a peek at our Christmas tree (and I'm sharing a few closeups of some of our favorite ornaments at the end of this post). This year's Christmas tree shopping didn't go too good. We went to purchase a tree the first week of December and were surprised/shocked that they only had a few poorly looking trees left in town and all tree farms had already closed for the season. Apparently most people in the US started very early with tree shopping this year. We never had a problem before finding what we were looking for in December. So this year we decided to bring our fake tree up and use this year (we really didn't have a choice). I don't mind it really but find there are too many lights on the tree and I prefer a more dim/ romantic light. So we're not using the pre-attached lights and put up a different light strand instead. Originally colored lights were planned but the kids changed their mind and wanted white, so white it is. 

We put up way too many ornaments, honestly my body was aching by the time we were done, but I decided to get out my collection of Hallmark ornaments and then of course we always like to add some glass ornaments as well. So far so good and my cats haven't broken anything yet, they just like to sleep under the tree but did catch them once trying to mess with the beads.

Please note: Some affiliate links are used in this post, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always this is at no  cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting this blog.

I'm actually wearing a dress for today's post. I very rarely wear dresses and this sweater dress has been in my closet for several years but I've only worn it a few times before. The brand is Cloud Chaser and it's from the Juniors department. Usually when purchasing from Juniors I have to go up one size, and this is a size Small (when I usually wear XS or Small in Petite)

Sweater Dress Options Here:

I have no idea if this clothing brand is still made, as the department store where it was purchased is no longer in business. I love this color and the A- line shape. The sleeves are 3/4 lengths and I do wish they were a full lengths as I only wear it in the colder months. But normally I'd wear a coat over it anyway when outside, so it's not a big deal.

As you can see the dress is on the shorter side and I always wear opaque tights with it.


I accessorized with a long necklace which is part of a multi strand necklace by Lucky Brand (options) and also added a beaded bracelet which has coordinating colors but I don't have a closeup photo so it's hard to see.

The boots are old (by Matisse) picked up at an end of season sale from DSW. They are no longer available but DSW does carry many tall boots. I think they pair so well with knit dresses, and they keep my legs warm in winter along with opaque tights

I'm sharing a few of my favorite tree ornaments below. Most of these we've had for many years.

This beautiful swan was purchased  on my first visit to Chicago in 1999 from what used to be Marshall Fields on State Street, now Macy's. I'm so happy it's still intact as it's so fragile and I always take extra care when putting it away.

This beautiful ballerina is made of porcelain, from Hallmark.

I've always loved all kinds of Hallmark ornaments (but I no longer buy them). The Disney line has been my personal favorite. Love all things Mickey, Donald, etc.

This beautiful hummingbird ornament was purchased at a local garden shop when all decorated for the holidays. Unfortunately the shop is no longer in business :(

One of my husband's favorites. We've had a set of these soldiers for over 20 years. 

More Mickey Mouse. This is part of Hallmark's Mickey's Christmas Carol line and the last line of Hallmark ornaments I purchased. 

This gorgeous old fashioned Santa came from Hobby Lobby.

This cute Snoopy Hallmark ornament my mother-in-law sent to my husband when he was stationed in the Army in Germany 23 or so years ago. It's been on our tree ever single year even when the other Hallmark ornaments stayed in their boxes. It reminds me of our first Christmas together :) 

Also loving the brown glass ornament, it's one of my newer ones but such a unique color!

This beautiful angel was purchased from Hobby Lobby. It almost has a wooden feel to it but it's made of clay. The glass pinecones are over 20 years old as well and another favorite set that come out every year.

If you look closely you might find  one of our four-legged critters under the tree :)

Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit! 

I'm linking up here:

Saturday: Dare to Share

Sunday: Style Splash linkup // Sunday Showcase (first Sunday) //  You're the Star Blog Hop Link Up @ Stonecottage Adventures