It's time for FUN!!! It's time for VALENTINE BLOG CANDY!!!! (I think this is even better than chocolate!!)

    Blog candy is now closed! Thanks for playing!

    It's been a LONG time since I've given away blog candy, and I just feel the need. *smile* I think you're gonna like this one, so hold onto your bootstraps!! I have fallen so much in love with these Tilda stamps, that I feel the need to get someone else as hooked on them as I am. So here's what I'm going to do.....

    On February 14th, Valentines Day, I'm going to show my blogging friends a little love by giving some lucky winner TWO Tilda stamps. Here is what someone is going to win!

    Ice Princess/Balet Tilda

    Fence with summer background. Perfect for the sitting Tildas!!

    Now, here's what you have to do.

    1. Leave a post here and on Feb 14th, I will use to choose the number of the lucky winner.
    2. Post a link to the blog candy on your blog. If you don't have a blog, that's ok, you can still win.

    3. Blog candy is open to anyone, no matter where they live. So please be sure and enter.

    4. One post per person please. We'll try and make it as fair as possible.

    5. Watch my blog for the winner! I will post the name and you have until 11:59 PM on Feb 17th to claim your prize. If you don't send me your information by then, I will pull another winner.

    So....Best of luck to all my blogging friends! Thank you so much for coming by to visit me today, and I hope to see you back again real soon!! HUGS!!

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The Lovebug

    When I was little, one of my very first loves was my adored stuffed animal collection. It started with three- a dog, a lamb, and a bunny- each of which received a lot of love at an early age. The group changed over the years, sometimes losing animals, but more often gaining.

    By the time I graduated high school, I would guess I had somewhere between 10 to 15 stuffed animals. Some sat on bookshelves, some above windows, and a select few had the privilege of residing on my bed.

    There was only one stuffed animal, however, that made the transition from infant to child to teenager with me and was always greeted with the exact same amount of love and adoration.

    Her name was Le Mutt, creatively because that is what her tag had said, and she wore thick, lavender yarn ribbons at the place where her head met her soft, floppy ears. She was an oatmeal color with nubby fur, yellow-brown eyes and a brown thread nose. Her size was perfect for holding tightly while I slept; yes, not only was she a privileged resident of my bed, but she was the one with whom I chose to cuddle every night.

    The years were not kind to Le Mutt, but she aged with much dignity as one would expect from a lovely French lady. She developed mange as areas of her fur were rubbed bare from my loving hands. Repeatedly being hugged and carried by her neck led to a migration of stuffing, both further down into her abdomen area and out of a teeny hole that developed in the place a trach would go.

    Her neck grew thin and could no longer support the weight of her head, so she then remained in a permanent slump. Le Mutt even developed cataracts in later years, as her brown eyes glazed over with a hint of a whitish-grey.

    By the time she left for college with me, Le Mutt was not in the best shape of her life, yet she accepted our move with the greatest of ease. I was especially thankful for her during my first few nights in my freshman dorm, as I tried to adjust to my new and strange surroundings. When I got sick for the first time that year and felt at a loss without my parents, Le Mutt was a strong and comforting reminder of home .

    Le Mutt watched me grow from an infant to a young girl and then from a young girl to a young woman. She absorbed her fair share of tears over the years as in that time she saw three major moves, friends come and go, crushes come and go, and witnessed my heartbreak a few times. Le Mutt also read with me, studied with me, and kept me company under the covers on nights when when I was scared.

    Le Mutt now lives safely on a shelf in my room at my parent's home, out of reach of a pup who one day discovered her and tried to claim Le Mutt for her own. She watches over things for me, and I hope that someday another child will find love and solace in her arms.

    Do you have a Le Mutt in your life? Was it an animal, a blanket, something else? Is your loved object still a part of your life, stored away somewhere for safe keeping, or now only a memory?

    To see more sweet lovebugs and larger versions of these photos, head here to the blog of the always amazing husband-and-wife team, Our Labor of Love.Source URL:
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Ritz Camera - 20% all Scrapbooking Including Spellbinders Wizard!!

    Ritz Camera is not a retailer I would normally think of as a scrapbook supplier, but lately they have been great. Dh (I mean Santa) purchased my Making Memories Embellishment Center from Ritz back at Christmas, due to the lowest price + free shipping.

    Right now they are having a 20% off all scrapbooking products and this includes the Spellbinders Wizard, all NESTABILITIES, shapebilities, etc. If you are a nestabilities user, it will be worth your time to look at Ritz Camera... And did I mention the free shipping??? URL:
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Love Actually

Happy Birthday JJ!! Mater card using the Cricut Cars Cartridge

    My oldest grandson JJ turns a big five years old today (Friday)! He loves the movie Cars, so how could I not make a card like this for him! This is a total lift from my friend Nancy who is one of the most amazing crafters EVER! I told her as soon as I saw her card that I was going to have to lift it!
    I cut Mater with my Cricut Expression and Cars cartridge that I bought at Hallmark Scrapbook! You should go check them out! They are having an AMAZING cartridge sale right now! Most cartridges are selling from 29.99 to 39.99 except for the newest ones. I used Doodlecharms for the trees, and New Arrival for the banner.

    Pattern paper is Basic Grey and cardstock is Bazzill. I used lots of Cat's Eye chalk ink around the edges of the cuts. And the last and most prevalant thing that I used for this card was a tremendous amount of my love.
    Thanks for stopping by to see me today, and I sure hope to see you back again soon for more crafting fun! Hugs!!

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Season of Love

    Love and hearts. Hearts and love. Yesterday's post was just the beginning.

    nataliej's flickr

    Even though the years I have celebrated Valentine's Day with a special someone are far outnumbered by the ones I've celebrated without, I have always adored the holiday.

    Yes, it is a Hallmark holiday. Yes, it is over-commercialized. Yes, it is often marked with some horribly cheesy gifts. Yes, yes, yes.

    Yet it is a holiday that ultimately celebrates love, and, I believe that is something we can always celebrate. Our love for our families. Our love for our friends. Maybe even our love for a special someone.

    Sure, we don't, or shouldn't, need a holiday to tell us to do this. But a day that is put aside solely for celebrating love? Perfect. For there is no such thing as having too much love, nor can we acknowledge our loves too much.Source URL:
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    Just wanted to post a quick pic of my adorable Grandson JJ! He turns a big five years old on Friday. My, how time flies. They just moved to KY this year and was smack dab in the middle of that nasty storm that swept the country. But JJ sure didn't seem to mind!! LOL! He was having a blast! Sorry I don't have a card to share with you tonight, but I think he's cuter anyway! See this big grin plastered on my face? Thanks for stopping by to say hi today! Hope you're having a great week and hope to see you back again soon! HUGS!!
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Words of Love

    Perhaps it's because I am a doodler by nature, but I completely fell for these wedding programs featured last week on Once Wed.

    The bride, Courtney of Flush Designs, made these covers with copies of some of the love notes she and her husband had exchanged during their 10 years of dating. How very very sweet and so very personal. Had I been a guest at their wedding, this is a memento I would've been certain to save!

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Curtain Call

    A few years ago, a slight obsession started brewing. It happened gradually, so much so, it took me a while to realize that it always lingered in the back of my mind as I dreamed of redecorating E's and my bedroom.

    It started when this space was featured in Domino...

    Then this one came along...

    As I glanced at this photo and thought on the other, I began to entertain the idea of curtaining off our bed.

    There was something so appealing about imagining the curtains drawn, enclosing us in a cloth cocoon where we could shut out the world and escape the daily stresses of life.

    Envisioning the cocoon almost felt like picturing a grown-up version of a fort, a thing we've made a time or two on lazy Saturday afternoons- sheets strung above our bed- transforming the space into a secret hideaway perfect for napping, laughing and feeling a bit like kids.

    I could also picture the curtains pulled back, exposing the bed to the rest of the room, yet still creating a cozy nook where evening reading and breakfast in bed would be equally welcomed.

    Open. Closed.

    Cozy nook. Secret fort.

    I decided that whenever I next revamped our bedroom, perhaps even when we moved to another house, this idea was one I would keep at the forefront of my mind.

    And, with that, a small obsession was born.

    My collection of images has grown slowly, gradually, and, over the past few months, as I've contemplated a new and future home for E and I, a good number of images have joined the collection.

    The images I've saved aren't all exactly like the ones that first ignited my infatuation.

    Some are looser interpretations, cordoning off an entire section of the room, and others envelop the bed even more with the addition of canopies above.

    While the collection differs in style, some suiting us more than others, the images are all saved to serve as my reminder.

    Undoubtedly like many of you, what I fancy in design waxes and wanes at whim. Sometimes it changes with the seasons, sometimes it changes only as earth completes an orbit of the sun, and sometimes what I fancy lingers much longer.

    When the time comes for me to finally decorate a new space for us, where will my interest lie?

    Will I turn to these images for inspiration or will I find my final inspiration somewhere else?

    Tom Scheerer

    That question will surely not be answered until a new space is actually tangible in our lives...

    And, until then, I am quite content with secret forts built on lazy Saturday afternoons.
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Heart shaped Valentine card

    YAY! We made it through Monday! I have had soooo much fun making Valentine cards!! This heart shaped card is from a set of shaped cards from The Cutting Cafe' that you can either cut with your cutting machine (I used my Pazzle) or you can just print it off and cut it out manually. Either way, these cards are FUN!!

    I cut out the base image, but I wanted it to stand up, so I just made a strip of cardstock and glued the front and back of the card to the front and back of the cardstock. Works like a charm! I also wanted a scalloped edge, so I just made that using my Pazzle. Yep....I know....I just used this Tilda not that long ago. But seriously now....can you blame me??? LOL! She's so cute that I couldn't resist!! I colored her up with my Copic markers.

    Most of this card is just Bazzill cardstock. That little strip on the front base is a piece of Basic Grey scrap paper I had. the little hearts on the white....well.....those are the leftover little hearts that come from the punched out portion of the MSBP. Nothing like using scraps, huh? LOL! That circle stamp is from another set of Valentine stamps from The Cutting Cafe'!

    I used some Prima flowers with a Basic Grey brad, and that pretty pink ribbon is from I {heart} Papers. That's about it! Thanks again for stopping by to see me today, and I sure hope to see you here again soon!!

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Some overdue thank you's!!

    I've been issued some awards, and it's about time I said THANK YOU to the fabulously talented ladies that have awarded them to me! There is nothing better than having friends come visit me and take a peek at the work I've been doing. That, in itself, is a HUGE reward to me every day! So on to do what I came here to do! *smile*
    The first award is the Marie Antoinette award.

    I received this award from Jeannie. Jeannie, you are the true meaning of a sweetheart! What a loving, giving person with a beautiful soul. I am blessed to know you. Thank you for this award!

    I also received this award from Norine. Norine is a new talented blogging friend who I'm looking forward to getting to know better! Thank you very much for this award, Norine!

    I also received this award the sweet and talented Tammy! Tammy I truly love your work and you are such a sweetie! Thank you so much! I'm so humbled that you gave it to me!

    And I also received this award from Justine! Justine is also an extremely talented new blogging friend of which I'm looking forward to getting to know better! Thank you Justine! I am honored to receive this award from you!

    I also received this wonderful award. To be told that my blog has heart is a true treasure to me, and I have to thank my friend craftNmommy (Lisa). Thank you so much Lisa! I'm so honored that you thought of me for this!

    Please do yourself a favor and visit the blogs of these talented ladies! They are all extremely talented artists!!!

    Again, I thank all of my blogging friends that come by to visit me all the time. Whether you take the time to say hi, or just stop by and peek at my work. I love the fact that you visit, and you are the reason I keep posting. So please, accept these awards from me as gratitude to you. I sure hope you've had a wonderful weekend, and I hope to see you back again very soon!!! Big hugs!!

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A Rose by any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

    The challenge for the week over at the Bitten by the Bug blog is to use the ROSE from Indie Art in a design of our choosing. Being me, I went with yet another Valentine's card.

    This card was cut with a modified version of Jen's doily edge cricut cut file (I made adjustments and turned her edge work into a card), pretty pink papers, pink ribbons and rick-rack, and of course a tag from the Cutting Cafe's printable stamps (have you checked out the cutting cafe yet? Click the link in the name and go see for yourself how wonderful printed stamps can be.... GO!).

    I topped off the design with a BasicGray valentine rub-on. I love the long narrow shape of this card, and I hope my mom will too. Shhhh! Don't tell her.

    And finally a note to William - thank you for providing me a title for this week's project. Your body of work could provide me with a life time of titles. Go Shakespeare!!!
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Milk Chocolate Layer Cake

    My son's (10!) birthday was yesterday. He LOVES milk chocolate, so when we saw this recipe for Milk-Chocolate-Frosted Layer Cake in Food & Wine magazine, we knew this had to be his birthday cake this year!
    I would normally be nervous making a cake for the first time for a birthday, but Food & Wine has yet to steer me wrong!
    OK...I was not thrilled with the way the cake pulled away from the pan, but it ended up just fine. If I make this again, I might just go with round pans.

    Chocolate curls...not my strong suit!

    Our white counter tops make the cake look like it's floating! :)
    The birthday boy and the cake!

    The frosting was really rich and creamy. I'd say that was everyone's favorite part. We liked the cake, too, but it was not chocolaty at all. It had a "spongy" texture...more like a muffin, but it was good! Birthday boy was happy; Mom was happy! :)
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Old School Romance

    This afternoon I found time to play with another image from Clearly Vintage . This was originally an advertisement. I cut my base card on the cricut E, trimmed the edges of my vintage ad, and thought about romance. This couple looks like they are attending a 1940's summer party on Long Island - which gave me the title, Old School Romance. I also used one of the adorable printable stamps from The Cutting Cafe, "Dear Sweetheart". The card was topped with rub-ons from BasicGrey (For Toby)!

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