12 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

My, oh my! We've made it to day twelve on our "12 Days of Christmas" blog hop with My Creative Time. If you've come here from Trell's blog, you're headed in the right direction. If not, swing by Emma's blog so you don't miss ANY of the awesome projects featured today! Oh, and while you're there, check out her awesome new blog design (created by yours truly).

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You've probably seen a lot of "Subway Art" around lately. It's very trendy right now and is SO FUN! There are lots of tutorials on the web on how to create your own Subway Art if you feel inclined to do so. But as I see it, there's no need to re-invent the wheel.

I went 'a-Googling' to look for a fun, vibrant Subway Art print for Christmas and found quite a few really nice ones. But one definitely stood out for me! (free download for this print here) It was almost perfect! I re-colored the sage-y green letters to a more lime(ish) green and re-sized it to 8x10. The red frame was a Salvation Army find ($2). It was originally a dreadful brassy gold color, but I knew just how to change that! Enter: spray paint!

After spraying my frame with a couple coats of red spray paint, I adhered my freshly printed art onto my aqua striped background paper, slid it in the frame and called it done.

That was until I looked at it a bit longer.

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It was cute. I liked it. But it was missing something. What was that something? A big ol' floofy bow and accent piece! I stamped the sentiment and snowman (MCT All Around Christmas), colored it with my Copics and punched it out with my 1-3/8" circle punch. I popped that up onto my red card stock (cut with the Stitched Circle Die) and popped that up again onto my scallop circle (Scallop Circle Die). After threading my new 'medallion' with linen thread, I tied it into my big bow. The bow is hot-glued onto the frame. Easy peasy focal point for my foyer table!

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thank you so much for stopping by for our "12 Days of Christmas". I know I can speak for the entire MCT Design Team when I say that we are SO happy you joined us for this hop and can't wait to share more fabulous projects with you! There's ONE MORE stop on this fabulous hop - Miss Kelley!

I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica


11 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Eleventh Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Hello and welcome again to another installment of My Creative Time's "12 Days of Christmas"! If you've come here from Trell's blog, you're on the right track! If not, check back at Emma's blog to start from the very beginning.

We've got a bit of snow here in Michigan. Not too much - just a dusting over our yard - nothing sticking in the roads (yet). I'm not much of an outdoor gal. I like to stay inside where it's comfortable and warm. Even as a little girl, I wasn't too fond of playing in the snow. It's cold! But there was ONE thing that got me to go outside to play: my big brother, Dan.

I'm blessed to be the youngest of four kids. My oldest brother, Donal, is 14 years older than me. My sister, Stacey, is 11 years older. And Dan is just 3 and a half years older than me. When I was 6 or 7, I had a beautiful pink wooden playhouse in our backyard. During the summer, it was a fun spot to play with my friends when the family was barbecuing. But in the winter... it turned into a safe house where I would wait - alone in the 'woods' - for my big brother, Dan, to come and rescue me. We'd play for hours in that little pink house - coming in only for bathroom breaks and hot chocolate refills.

When we weren't playing "Rescue", Dan and I would have snowball fights. Since we only had one proper 'fort' (my pink playhouse), we had to decide who was the lucky snowball fighter to use it as his or her battle station. Naturally, age before beauty prevailed in this discussion and I was stuck hiding behind a mound of snow for safety. As Dan started whipping snowballs at me, I was feverishly packing snow to make little bullets of my own (And they sure were little! Tiny hands = tiny snowballs). Once I'd start throwing my little hand fulls of snow, Dan called a 'time out' in the action. He told me that he wanted to be sure that I didn't accidentally throw snowballs that had ice in them, so I should throw the snowballs at the fort itself, and not directly at him. If the snowballs proved to be safe, I could then throw them at him. It took quite a while for my little brain to figure out that if I threw these so-called "Snowballs of Doom" at the fort first, I'd NEVER be able to throw them at him - they weren't snowballs anymore! Of course, Dan continued slinging snowballs at me without any concern for MY safety regarding the 'iceballs'. What are big brothers for, right?

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In honor of my snowball fights with my big brother, I've created these (totally safe, non-icy) Snowball Pops! They were so easy to make and are YUM-MY! To add a bit of pizzazz, I wrapped them up in clear treat baggies and tied them shut with silver twist ties. Hanging on the twist ties are my cute little tags that I cut out with one of the dies from MCT's Build a Banner Kit and stamped with Mixed Holiday Sentiments. I punched a hole in the point of the tag with the small hole punch of my Crop-a-Dile and slid it on the twist tie before I tied them closed. These delicious treats would be perfect for sending over to neighbors to spread some Christmas cheer or could be put out at your Christmas celebration as a dessert for your guests!

I discovered a great winter decorating tip this year, and just HAVE to share! It's difficult to see in the picture (click the picture for a larger view), but the Snowball Pops are sitting in a bed of 'snow' in the dish. You might be able to get a better view of the 'snow' in the ornament-filled vase in the background of the photo. How did I bring the outdoors in (where it's nice and warm)? Epsom salt! It makes for a GREAT accent to your winter decor and really looks like snow! The best part? It's cheap! I purchased a quart of Epsom salt at my local dollar store!

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thanks so much for joining us on our hop today - I'm your last stop! Drop by again tomorrow for our LAST day of the "12 Days of Christmas" hop. I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

10 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Tenth Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Wow! I can't believe we're already on Day 10 of our "12 Days of Christmas" with My Creative Time! If you've come here from Trell's blog, you're on the right track! If not, mosey on over to Emma's blog to start this hop from the beginning!

For the last eight years, I've sent out handmade Christmas cards to my friends and family. Every year, I start the design process with the intention of making a simple card with a bit of pizzazz! And every year, I'm glued to my craft room table for DAYS as I painstakingly hand-glitter hundreds of paper circles (2009) or meticulously color a kitty wrapped in hand-drawn Christmas lights (2010). Sometimes my creativity gets away from me.

But this year, I opted to order my Christmas cards. *pause for gasp* After creating my photo guest book for our June wedding, I had credits left over with Picaboo and needed to use them ASAP after the wedding (they expired at the beginning of July). With no real idea of what I wanted to do with my leftover credits, I bit the bullet and designed/ordered printed Christmas cards with one of our wedding photos. They've been sitting in my craft room closet for months now - waiting to be addressed.

But here's my dilemma: what WILL our friends and family think when they open up our card to find that it's been... PRINTED?!?!?! I can only imagine the SHOCK they will feel and all the dirty looks I'll get at our Christmas gatherings! *giggle* Of course, I'm just teasing. But I really got to thinking about how I could spice up our printed cards and give them a handmade flair...

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Adding a few embellishments to our Christmas card was just what it needed for some extra personality! I set two silver jumbo eyelets to string my red satin ribbon through. Linen thread ties the sentiment (Mixed Holiday Sentiments, MCT) and felt heart (Heart Die included in the 100% Sweetness stamp set, White Felt from Papertrey Ink) to the bow. The sentiment was cut out using MCT's Curly Label Die and I hand-cut the green layer behind it. I added a couple of blue rhinestones to the heart to finish it off.

It looks like this year I've finally followed through with my plan to NOT spend the entire holiday season working on our Christmas cards. But with my added embellishments, I can rest easy knowing that our friends and family will receive a hand-crafted Christmas card from us - a tradition they've come to know and love.

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thanks for stopping by on our hop today. I'm your last stop. Come back again tomorrow for more fun Christmas ideas! I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica



09 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Ninth Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by for another day of My Creative Time's "12 Days of Christmas"! If you came here from Trell's blog, you're headed in the right direction! If not, take a swing by Emma's blog to start this party from the beginning!

This year, we're adding a few 'newbies' to our Christmas Eve Eve Celebration. Two of the newcomers are our oldest nephews' girlfriends. I know what you're thinking: Why, Veronica - you look MUCH too young to have nephews with girlfriends!!! Thank you. I appreciate that.

Truth is, I'm the baby of my family and became an Aunt at the young age of eight. Fun fact: My 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Avoledo, is the one who first told me when my first nephew, Mitchell, was born (my Mom called the school to have me notified). Eight years later, Mitchell had Mr. Avoledo as his 3rd grade teacher! Pretty neat, huh?

Our oldest nephews (Mitch, 17 and Chris, 14) have now been 'dating' their girlfriends for about a year. They come to family functions at my oldest brother's house (Mitch and Chris' Dad) and are really sweet girls. The Hubs and I talked about it and decided that they should definitely be invited to our Christmas Eve Eve Celebration! But we can't invite them without having something special for them to open!

To be honest, I'm not quite sure exactly what we're going to give them as a gift. I figure a gift card or perhaps a cute jewelry piece (have you heard of Charming Charlie? LOVE). Nothing too extravagant that would make them feel awkward (or make us feel broke! *giggle*). Just something to let them know that we thought of them. Whatever we get them, it has to be fairly small now that I've made these ADORABLE boxes!!!
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These gift boxes are made using 4x4 coasters as the top and bottom bases. I made a simple card stock box that is adhered between the bases and will hold whatever (small) item we buy for the girls. I used card stock and patterned paper that coordinates with our Christmas decor (can you say Matchy, Matchy?) and tied them each with a big bow! The bow is only on the top base, so you can open and shut the box without destroying it. I just LOVE a big floofy bow! If you get a chance, check out this great video that shows you how to get the high-end looking bows without the big ol' knot on the back of the package.

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I used Keepin' It Classy by My Creative Time for the girly silhouettes. The "For You" sentiment is from the Small Talk (MCT) stamp set and the "To:" is from XL Label Borders. I stamped a red heart from Anyday Bingo & Crossword for the "Love". I cut the tags out using my MCT Curly Label Die and hand-cut the green and blue borders around them. The present and Christmas Tree are both from my Stretch Your Imagination Cricut cartridge. As always, I Stickled and pop-dotted to my heart's content. *giggle*

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thanks for swinging by for today's hop! I'm your last stop. Come by again tomorrow for more awesome ideas by the My Creative Time Design Team! I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

08 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Eighth Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Hello and welcome again to another FABULOUS day of the "12 Days of Christmas" with the My Creative Time Design Team! I'm sure you've hopped here from Trell's blog, but if you haven't - take a detour over to Emma's blog to make sure that you don't miss a thing!

Christmas is quickly drawing near and I am SO excited for my family's Christmas Eve Eve celebration! Even as a little girl, I remember dreaming of one day hosting my family's Christmas party. I envisioned all the beautiful decorations I would put up, all the wonderful desserts I would make and all the laughter my family would be sharing. Christmas is such a magical time of year for me! This year, my family has decided to focus on the children at Christmas (my nieces and nephews - no kids for us yet!). Instead of swapping presents with my parents and siblings, we'll spend our attention (and our money) on the kids.

But who doesn't love to open SOMETHING for Christmas, right? To make sure that NO ONE goes without a special surprise this year, I've whipped up these fun Christmas Crackers! They'll be set at each place setting (duel purpose: adorable table decor + fun surprise!) and our guests will get to *crack* them open to reveal the treat inside.

Inside each cracker are Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses, Hershey's Mint Chocolate Kisses (Yeah... they make those! Yum!), some ribbon for added flair and a corny Christmas joke. I can't help myself - corny jokes are just kind of my thing! They're fun to tell and appropriate for everyone!

Here's one for ya: What's Godzilla's son's name? Ponder that for a bit and see the answer at the end of this post.

These crackers are VERY easy to create! All you need to make them are tissue paper, ribbon, fillers, paper/embellishments to decorate the outside and... toilet paper rolls! Fabulous, right? Hint: Ask your relatives to save their toilet paper rolls for you. I can't BELIEVE how many I've been able to score!
This is NOT my original idea! I saw this project done my Ms. Jinger Adams of Provocraft. There's even a video you can watch which will walk you through the steps!

To make my crackers EXTRA cute, I used My Creative Time's All Around Christmas stamp set for the embellishment in the center (colored with my Copics). I punched the stamped center out with my 1-3/8" circle punch and layered it onto coordinating card stock cut with MCT's Stitched Circle Die.

I can't wait to see the looks on my guests' faces when they see their surprise crackers! If you're interested in trying this project out or just LOVE corny jokes, you can download a file for the Christmas Jokes here. (These jokes are not original to me. I found them on various websites and compiled a .PDF to print for my crackers. I used the font "Mountains of Christmas" for the jokes.)

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thanks again for stopping by on our hop today - I'm your last stop. Come by again tomorrow for more fun Christmas ideas!

I hope you were inspired!

Oh, and Godzilla's son's name? JESUS-zilla!

I know... HILARIOUS, right? That one gets me every time! Share it with your friends!


-Veronica

07 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Seventh Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Welcome to another installment of "12 Days of Christmas" with the My Creative Time Design Team! If you've come here from Tracy's blog, you are headed in the right direction! If not, mosey on over to Emma's blog to enjoy the full experience of this awesome Christmas hop!

If there is one thing I could change about our house it would be to add a fireplace to our living room. Sadly, we don't have a mantle to hang our stockings on at Christmastime. Even worse, how is Santa supposed to get in to deliver all of my our presents? Enter: the Santa Key.

Now there's no need to worry about how Ol' Jolly Saint Nick will get inside! And even better yet - now the puppy I'm hoping for this year won't have soot all over him from the ride down the chimney! Phew!

This little key ornament is so magical-looking, isn't it? I purchased it from Walmart a couple of years ago. I printed the poem (a Veronica original - thank you very much) on my computer (font: Mountains of Christmas), stamped a row of tiny Christmas trees across the middle (MCT's Anyday Bingo & Crossword) in green and layered it onto my red and teal card stock. After stamping and coloring the Santa suit (All Around Accessories, Copics), I glittered the 'fluffy' part (Star Dust Stickles) and DOUBLE popped it up on my poem. That's right - pop dots...times two.

I used my Crop-a-Dile to punch the hole for and set my silver jumbo eyelet, added my ribbon and tied the tag to my magical key. All I have to do is add the key to the door and Santa will take care of the rest!

Here is what the poem says:

We do not have a chimney
down which you can slide.
But we wanted to make sure that
you could still get inside.

This very special key
works just for you alone.
Just sprinkle with your magic
to enter our humble home.

And in the spirit of giving, I have a FREE download of this original poem for you right here. Just download the .PDF, add your own image between the 'stanzas' (thanks, Mrs. Linden, for teaching me all about stanzas in English class!), and VOILA!

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thank you for hopping along with us today - I'm your last stop! Come on by tomorrow for more fun Christmas ideas!

I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

06 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Sixth Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Wow! We are half way through our "12 Days of Christmas Hop" with the My Creative Time Design Team! Time sure does fly fast! If you've arrived here from Trell's blog, you've come the right way! If not, take a moment to stop by Emma's blog and start the hop from the beginning! I say a 'moment', but truth is - with all the wonderful projects you'll see on today's hop - you'll be awhile! Why don't you grab a cup of (insert favorite drink here) before sitting down?

It's no secret around 'these parts' that I'm a bit of a snacker. Chocolate is definitely a weakness of mine. I've been known to devour a bag of Reese's Pieces in one sitting. Oh, no. Not the single serve bag. Not even the "share-able"-size bag. I mean...the BAG. I have absolutely no will power. If it's there - it's mine. Many a tummy ache have been had due to my little 'problem'.

Today's treat is PERFECT for someone like me! Sometimes, you really only need a little taste of the chocolaty goodness, but you know that once you open that bag - there's just no turning back! This treat gives you the yumminess you require WITH the satisfaction of polishing off the WHOLE bag - sans tummy ache!

These "Chocolate Reindeer Noses" are perfect for an office/classroom treat and give you just the right amount of sweet without all of the guilt! With every reindeer accounted for, kids young and old are sure to love receiving this goodie bag! (No reindeer were hurt in the creation of this delicious treat.)

You could use any brown and red candies for this project: Whoppers, Red Hots, M&Ms, etc. If you plan on making several treats, I'd recommend you get more bang for your 'buck' by purchasing Hershey's Special Dark Pieces (as I've used here). The only colors included in the bag are light brown, dark brown and red. Perfect for reindeer noses!

The base of the treat topper was cut using My Creative Time's XL Label Die. I cut my adorable little reindeer with my Cricut using the Create a Critter cartridge. The postage stamp-like layer was stamped using MCT's My Journaling and I printed the title with my computer (fonts: Wendy Medium, Pharmacy).

Tip: To 'punch out' the notched edges of the 'postage stamp', use the small hole punch of your Crop-a-dile or any small circle hole punch you have on hand.

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

I'm so glad you were able to hop with us today! I'm your last stop. Hop with us again tomorrow as we share more fabulous Christmas projects with you. I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

05 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Fifth Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Welcome to the FIFTH day of Christmas in our "12 Days" Hop! If you're arriving here from Trell's blog, you're on the right track! If not, take a swing by Emma's blog to start the hop from the beginning.

'Tis better to give than receive. That's a given. But after you've given: 'tis better to receive a gift with adorable packaging - am I right? Okay... so it's the thought that counts and you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, and all that jazz. But really: cute packaging is a lot of fun to receive! It shows that extra bit of effort.

I like to think of myself as a crafty girl. I'm no stranger to ribbon, paper, glitter and the like. But gift wrapping is not my forte. My Mom is a tremendous gift wrapper! Not only does she create beautiful, crisp packages, but she does it in no time flat! I did not inherit the 'wrapping gene' from her.

To hide the fact that my 'wrap-jobs' are less than perfect (much, MUCH less), I like to dress my gifts with big bows and fun little extras for some added oomph. This year, I've created adorable gift tags in our Christmas colors to attach to the presents under the tree.

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I plan on keeping the wrapping paper patterns pretty simple - red/white polka dots, lime(ish) green/white swirlies - to let the gift tags and ribbon SHINE!

The bases of the gift tags were cut out using MCT's XL Label Die (my fave) and then stamped using the coordinating XL Label Borders stamp set (also used for the "To:" and red heart). I used two different Cuttlebug folders: Wood Grain for the kraft colored bases and Bricked for the red bases. It doesn't really matter if you emboss or cut your shapes first, but I prefer to emboss them after they've been cut out.

The cutie-patootie gingerbread man is from Peachy Keen's Winter Peekers and Phrases (I used all three 'peekers' on my tags, but only am showing a select few tag designs here today). The Santa suit and snowman are from MCT's All Around Accessories. All of the images were colored using my Copics. I used the Build a Banner Kit for the shapes on the '25th' and 'Joy' tags. The "25th" number comes from All Around Birthday Time and the "JOY" letters are from Anyday Bingo & Crossword. Of course, pop dots were used on these tags as though the world would crumble around me if I didn't use enough of them. I LOVE pop dots!

Here's a tip to add some flair to your projects: Consider hand cutting strips for sentiments like I've done here for the "To:" and "heart" strips. The uneven angles add a fun and interesting element to projects and really give a handmade feel.

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thanks so much for joining us on this 5th day of Christmas - we're all so happy to came hopping along. I'm the last stop, but be sure to come back tomorrow for another round of AMAZING projects by the My Creative Time Design Team. I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

04 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
Come check out these Reindeer Cake Pops that I'm fixin'!
They're just so YUMMY and best of all...
They're easy to make! In love you will fall.

Welcome, welcome to the fourth day of My Creative Time's 12 Days of Christmas! These twelve days are flying by so fast, Christmas will be here before you know it! If you've landed here from Trell's blog, you're on the right path! If not, take a trip to Emma's blog to start the hop from the very beginning.

Cake Pops seem to be the latest craze in baking and I just had to jump on the bandwagon! First of all, they're absolutely adorable. And second... umm... they're DELISH!

Imagine with me...Cake...mixed with frosting...dipped in chocolate. Are you KIDDING me?

Now, I'm a cupcake kind of girl. They're cute, they're yummy, and they're a small canvas to decorate. You can't really go wrong with squirting some frosting on top of a cupcake and calling it a day. But when you go to eat that cupcake... it can be difficult. It's hard to get the perfect bite that has the right cake/frosting ratio, isn't it? And what a mess! The only way for me to eat a cupcake without getting crumbs all over my shirt and frosting all over my face is to shove it in my mouth whole. And that's not very becoming for a lady, is it? With Cake Pops - problem solved!

I wanted to make some Reindeer Cake Pops to send in to my husband's work (gotta keep those Developers happy!). While browsing Pinterest, I found this adorable reindeer. PERFECT! I gathered my supplies and got to work!

One Betty Crocker French Vanilla boxed cake made 40 cake pops. I sent 25 into work with the Hubs and they were a big hit! The VP of his company even asked for the recipe so he could make them with his kids (insructions at the end of this post)! We kept 6 reindeer to share with friends (yum!) and brought 9 to our next door neighbors (a full team of reindeer, if you will. Each one was accounted for - including Rudolph!).

To dress up the treats for next door, I put them in a tissue paper lined basket, wrapped it in cellophane and added a simple, but festive tag. The base of the tag was cut out using MCT's XL Label Die (hmm...where did I get so many red XL Label Dies from? I LOVE recycling!). I stamped the snowflake border (MCT's XL Label Borders) in Versamark and embossed it in white. After adhering the blue striped paper to the base, I popped up my green Stitched Circle and added the Fancy Frame on top of that (also popped up). The sentiment is from You Had Me At Chocolate and was so fitting for this gift of goodies! I added a silver eyelet to the tag and tied it to the package using my favorite green ribbon (which I am now completely out of) and linen thread.

When I dropped off the basket of Cake Pops, their youngest son took the basket right out of his Mom's hands - ready to enjoy a Pop! But his Mom said he'd have to wait: chocolate cookies had just come out of the oven. Guess who got to bring some home? This girl! The Hubs was very happy to accept a fresh, warm cookie when I walked back in the house. Oh the joy of having awesome neighbors!


***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Reindeer Cake Pop Recipe

What You'll Need
  • One boxed cake and all the ingredients needed to prepare/bake it
  • Frosting - homemade or packaged
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • Candy Melts
  • Red/Brown Candies for noses hint: the Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate "Pieces" have only light brown, dark brown, and red - more bang for your buck than a pack of M&Ms!
  • White Sugar Pearls (for eyes)
  • Brown "Chenille Stems" (for antlers)
  • Clear Candy/Treat Bags
  • Foam Brick (to stick drying cake pops in)
  • Optional: Tweezers and Toothpicks
Directions
  1. Bake cake according to package (use directions for 13 x 9 cake). Let cool.
  2. Crumble cooled cake into large bowl.
  3. Mix in enough frosting to make a cookie dough-type consistency. (if using packaged frosting, one can should be more than enough)
  4. Roll cake/frosting mixture into 1 inch cake balls. Place on waxed-lined cookie sheets.
  5. Place cake balls in freezer for 15 minutes. You DO NOT want them to freeze! After the 15 minutes, you can move them to the refrigerator to keep chilled while you're melting the chocolate candy melts.
  6. Melt candy melts according to directions on package. (I used the Microwave Method)
  7. Stick lollipop stick about 1/2" deep into melted chocolate.
  8. Insert lollipop stick about half way into a cake ball.
  9. Submerge cake ball into melted chocolate. DO NOT stir the cake ball in the chocolate. You may tilt the stick and/or bowl to cover the entire cake ball, but moving the cake ball too much in the chocolate may cause excess chocolate to 'adhere' to the ball and cause a mess.
  10. Lift lollipop stick straight up and out of chocolate. You now have a 'cake pop'! Allow excess chocolate to drip from cake pop (turning cake pop in your hand for an even drip). Tap stick LIGHTLY on side of bowl if necessary.
  11. Decorate cake pop as needed (adding 'eyes' and 'nose'). Tweezers make adding tiny eyes much easier. I dipped a toothpick into the chocolate and 'dotted' the eyes for pupils.
  12. Stick cake pop into foam brick to dry.
  13. Once completely dry, put cake pop in treat bag.
  14. Cut chenille stems in half and twist two halves together (leaving ends un-twisted for the antlers). Twist around treat bags to secure them shut.
I'm so glad you joined us for today's hop! Be sure to come back tomorrow for more Christmas ideas! I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

03 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Third Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Welcome to the third day of My Creative Time's 12 Days of Christmas! We're moving right along in our hop of awesome projects! What's that? You haven't been hopping? If you didn't arrive here from Trell's blog, skip on over to Emma's blog to start at the top! Go ahead... I'll wait.

Today I'm sharing a card I made for a Christmas Card Shoe Box Swap I participated in. For those that don't know, a 'shoe box swap' is an event where card makers bring a project along with all of the 'ingredients' to make that project for everyone. Many put their projects/ingredients in shoe boxes. Then, we all swap boxes and make each other's projects!

For my card, I used MCT's Small Talk and the Penguin Doll die from Cottage Cutz (which come with those sweet Peachy Keen faces). Since my card has such a simple layout, I really jazzed it up with lots of colorful layers and texture. Of course, I popped up just about anything that wasn't already glued to the floor! *giggle*

The fancy icicles (covered in - you guessed it: Star Dust Stickles) were created using the Fiskars Grass Border Punch I won at Scrap Camp back in November. Right side up: grass. Upside down: icicles. Easy Peasy.

Sometimes I want to add ribbon to my cards for some extra flair, but don't want a bow or knot. A super simple and quick way to add a touch of ribbon is to fold a small piece in half and adhere it behind a layer - just enough to stick out. You heard it here first, Folks!


***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

I'm so glad you came along for this totally creative hop! I'm the last stop for today. Join us again tomorrow for more fun projects! I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica



02 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the Second Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Hello and welcome to the 2nd installment of "Oh My Goodness - Christmas Is Already Here!" 12 Days of Christmas with the My Creative Time Design Team! If you've arrived here from Trell's blog - you're doing great! If not - you're probably still doing well, but I'd recommend you take a trip to Emma's blog to start this awesome Blog Hop from the very beginning ("...a very good place to start" - or so I've been told *giggle*).

For my project today, I used MCT's Stitched Lollipop Holder to create a fun package for a gift for one of my nephews. Don't let the name "Lollipop Holder" confuse you - it's so MUCH more than that! Today - it's a gift card holder! Here's how it breaks down:

Stitched Lollipop Holder + Gift Card + Ribbon + Magic = Quick & Easy Gift Card Holder


Along with the Lollipop Holder, I used the MCT Stitched Oval Die and stamped "To" and "From" (XL Label Borders) in black ink. Instead of leaving the oval 'hanging off' the lollipop holder, I wrapped it around and secured it with my adhesive. You might notice that you don't see the scalloped circle top of the lollipop holder that you have come to know and love here on my project. To spruce up this gift card holder, I added a fun red shape that I cut using the XL Label Die (it's a 'leftover' from yesterday's window card - Yep - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!) and stamped with XL Label Borders in metallic silver ink. The super cute 'polar bear' is just a plain ol' regular bear from the Create a Critter cartridge that I cut out in white. The present is also from Create a Critter.

Add some Stickles (Star Dust - of course!), a big hunk of ribbon and POOF! It's ready to go under the tree!


***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thanks so much for joining us on our 2nd Day of Christmas! I'm the last stop on this Creative Train! I'll see you back here tomorrow with more Christmas cheer! I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

01 December 2011

MCT 12 Days of Christmas: On the First Day of Christmas...

by Veronica

Ho Ho Ho! Oh boy am I excited for Christmas! It's officially December and I am now allowed to get as crazy about Christmas as I want without my husband looking at me funny!

The house has been OVERHAULED with Christmas cheer over the last few days and I can't wait to get our tree! I grew up with a 'faux' tree, but the Hubs is a 'realist'. Oh well. You win some, you lose some. I may have lost the Real vs. Fake battle, but I won the "Oh yes we DO need Christmas cheer in the bathroom" battle! *giggle*

Today kicks off My Creative Time's 12 Days of Christmas! If you've arrived here from Trell's blog - you're on the right track! If not, you can go to the beginning of the hop at Emma's blog so you don't miss out on any amazing projects!!! Today I'd like to share my Kietzman Christmas invitation with you. This is the third time we are hosting my family's Christmas celebration in our home, but it's the FIRST time we're hosting as a married couple. A phone call or text just won't do this year - I'm sending out invitations! *que the Christmas music*

My husband and I like the aqua & teal color combination - a lot. We use it throughout our home and also had it for our wedding colors. For the last two years, we've had a very elegant aqua/teal/silver/white Christmas color combo - but this year, we're spicing it up! I didn't want to get rid of the ornaments and decorations we already have, so we're just adding red and lime(ish) green to our current decor. Let me tell you - it looks FAB!

Since I'm a matchy-matchy kind of gal, I created our Kietzman Christmas invitations to coordinate with our new festive color scheme. Our invitations are a basic A2 sized card (portrait orientation with a bottom opening). To get the 'window' effect, I used MCT's XL Label Die to 'punch out' the opening in my red card stock and then popped it up on my card base and first layer. The snowflake (MCT's Anyday Bingo & Crossword) was stamped in Versamark and metallic silver.

To make sure that the card was an invitation and not just a greeting card, I decided not to use a Christmas sentiment, but to use the date of the party instead. December 23rd. Christmas Eve Eve, as we call it. With my brothers and sister all married with lots of other family to visit, we decided a few years ago that the 23rd was the PERFECT day for us all to get together. No running off to another party or getting home early for Santa - we have plenty of time on the 23rd to enjoy EACH OTHER.

The "December" stamp is from MCT's Whimsical Calendar Days and "23rd" is from All Around Birthday Time. I stamped the date on my white Stitched Oval, added some silver eyelets and popped it up on the red card stock. Of course, the adorable snowman hails from All Around Accessories and I colored him with my Copics. Stickles (Star Dust - my favorite) help to finish the card with a little snowy shimmer.

***12 Days of Christmas Give Away Alert***

To qualify for ALL the AMAZING giveaways for the next 12 days, you must comment on every blog in this hop! You will have until Tuesday, December 13th @ midnight to have all of your comments in! VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE LEAVE A WAY FOR US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE WINNERS! There are some AMAZING giveaways for this special 12 day event and some SURPRISES to help celebrate My Creative Time's One Year Anniversary! Yep, Emma released her FIRST set of stamps one year ago! So make sure you are tuned in because this is ONE hop you do NOT want to miss!

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I'm the last stop on the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop today. Join the hop again tomorrow (and for the next 11 days!) as the MCT Design Team whips up more fabulous Christmas cheer for you!

I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

22 November 2011

In the Running...

by Veronica

I used Random.org to choose the LUCKY commentor from Friday's Release Blog Hop who's IN THE RUNNING to win an E2 on Emma's blog! Congratulations #41 - Pat (MeMe)!




41 MeMe said...
This is so cute!! Love it.
Pat


Check Emma's blog on Wednesday to see which one of the 19 'finalists' will receive the coveted E2 (chosen by Random.org)!

Thanks for stopping by!

-Veronica

18 November 2011

MCT's November Stamp Release BLOG HOP

by Veronica

Welcome, "Hoppers"! If you've come here from Trell's blog, you're on the right track! If not, I HIGHLY recommend you start from the very beginning at Emma's blog so you can enjoy the FULL experience of today's fantastic hop!

It's release day at My Creative Time and have we got some DELICIOUS goodies for you! Speaking of deliciousness, can you believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner?!?! Oh, I can't wait! My husband and I spend our Turkey Day with his family and they always have a feast! Beef tips, ham, mashed potatoes, turkey... Wait, did someone say, "turkey"?

For today's hop, I'm showcasing MCT's brand spankin' new Stitched Lollipop Holder Die. This die is amazing! It coordinates PERFECTLY with the Scallop and Stitched Circle Dies and also coordinates with MCT's "All Around" stamp sets. When I first saw the idea for this die (I design the MCT packaging, so I'm lucky enough to be one of the FIRST to see new product), I immediately thought:

That would make a perfect turkey!

So please meet Henry. He goes by Hank for short. Hank Skiving. *giggle* This little guy is not only darling, but a hard worker, too! You could give him several jobs: place card, classroom/office treat, table decorations - so many possibilities!

Hank was cut from Create a Critter at 3". I used Peachy Keen's Critter Faces Set A Medium for his adorable face. To get my Copic colors to show up so bright on his Kraft colored face, I first colored in the areas with my white gel pen, let it dry and then colored with my Copics on top.

Hank's snazzy tie and buttons are from the Cottage Cutz Penguin Doll Die. The middle set of red 'feathers' and multi-colored 'feathers' are cut using MCT's Scallop Circle Die. I used Small Talk (MCT) for the sentiment.

Of course, the Stitched Lollipop Holder holds lollipops and suckers. It also holds cello bags filled with candy and cake pops! Really, it'll hold just about anything that fits and can be tied in with a piece of ribbon or in my case, a twist tie. Here, Hank is holding a travel size anti-bacterial gel. This would be PERFECT to give as little treats at the office (we all know how easy it is to pass on a bug at work and clean hands really help to cut down on germs!).

A note from Emma:

***HUGE GIVEWAY ALERT***

For our giveway today, we are  giving ONE LUCKY winner an E2! If you have always wanted an E2, here is your BIG chance to win one! OR if you have one already, just think if you did win, you would make someone SUPER HAPPY by giving it to them as a gift since Christmas is right around the corner!  All you have to do is leave a comment here along with the rest of the design team's blogs AND also leave a way for me to contact you! Each designer will be picking a winner, then Emma will use random.org to pick the lucky winner out of those 19 names! So remember you  have 19 chances to win! All you have to do is leave a comment on ALL blogs in this hop! The deadline is Sunday night at midnight! EASY PEASY!!! GOOD LUCK!!!

Thanks for stopping by to see my latest creation today! I hope you've been inspired. Your next stop is our VERY talented Guest Designer this month, Kelley. And be sure to stop by My Creative Time's shop. I hear there's something very 'SPECIAL' for you early-bird holiday shoppers!!!

-Veronica

16 November 2011

MCT November Release Sneak #3

by Veronica

I have another fabulous sneak peek for you today from My Creative Time's November Release. Today I'm featuring two new stamp sets due out this Friday: Keepin' it Classy & Classy & Fabulous (coordinating sentiment set to Keepin' it Classy). These sets are so much fun to play with and offer LOTS of uses. Keepin' it Classy features gorgeous silhouettes of ladies on the go (illustrated by Emma's brother, Mark Villar). And though the fancy silhouettes will drawn you into the set - the accessories will keep you there!

Madison Op Art Maggie in Rose
My best friend, Stephanie, is a Coach fanatic. Her closet beautifully adorned with Coach handbags, clutches, wallets and wristlets. She has so many that her boyfriend had to install shelving to house them all. Who's jealous? *this girl* But my bestie is nothing if not generous and she bought me my first ever Coach bag for my 24th birthday (shown left). It's beautiful, of course and I definitely cherish it.

Another bag, a couple wristlets and clutches later: I'm hooked. Stephanie and I visit our local Coach store often (never buying anything without a coupon!!!) and we chat with our salesgirl, Joy (she knows us by name and even called the week of my wedding to see how everything was going. She's amazing). Last year, we bought each other Coach Christmas presents a month early and exchanged gifts right in the store! Coach is our 'thing'. It's our go-to gift shop for Christmas and birthdays.

This year, we're not buying each other extravagant gifts for Christmas or our birthdays. We're keeping it simple and on a budget! This is a good thing for both of us. *wink* But I had to make sure that Stephanie's birthday (January) was still celebrated in style.

Today's card uses handbags from MCT's new Keepin' it Classy and a sentiment from Classy & Fabulous. After stamping the row of bags in Stampin' Up!'s Going Gray (second generation), I stamped the large bag in SU!'s Elegant Eggplant, popped it up and glittered it with Stickles. I added rhinestones to the buckles for more glamour.

Using my white gel pen, I drew straight lines around the Basic Gray card stock (SU!) and popped it up on Whisper White card stock which was layered on the Elegant Eggplant card base. The rhinestones in the top left corner are set by hand.

I used MCT's XL Label Die for the shape in the middle (Pale Plum card stock - SU!) and embossed the stitched border stamp (XL Label Borders) in white. The white embossed "Coach" piece is directly from the store. You know the little tester strips you get to try out perfume? That's what it is! Coach's tester strips are adorable and I usually grab a couple when I go in. FREEBIES! I matted it with Elegant Eggplant card stock and used my SU! Ticket Corner Punch to match the corners on the tester card.

The big purple organza bow gives this card such a girly flair (as if the purple wasn't girly enough). And I must be honest... I've considered keeping this card (it coordinates so well with the bag she bought me)! But I think I'll admire it for the next couple of months and part with it on Stephanie's birthday. I'm sure she'll love it. It's not as nice as a real Coach, but I'm sure she'll appreciate the idea.

Sneaky Peek Giveaway Time!

Listen up "My Creative Time" friends! We are giving all of you an opportunity to win the BEST PRIZES during Sneak Peek Week with a total of 6 winners to be announced during Friday's Stamp Release! All you have to do is leave a comment HERE along with the rest of the design team members' blogs for a chance! There are some AWESOME prizes with this release!

1. SPREAD THE WORD TO THE WORLD ON FACEBOOK about this release & whatever connections you may have! Let us know on "My Creative Time's" FB page here that you did so! OR you can just tag me in your post!  and.............

2. Just comment on ALL of the designers' blogs EVERY DAY during Sneaky Peek Week!  THAT's ALL you have to do to qualify for the BEST giveaways EVER!;)

All winners will be "randomly" chosen and Emma will announce all six winners on Friday, November 18th @ 12:01am PST in her video during the release of this AMAZING new stamp collection & maybe a new die!

GOOD LUCK! Log onto to your Facebook now & let's start spreading the word!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you've been inspired. Come back again soon for more Sneak Peeks!!!

-Veronica

15 November 2011

Harvest Decor: DIY Plaster & Pine Cone Garland

by Veronica

I've been flitting around my home decorating table tops and doors for Fall, but so many areas seem to go untouched. One of these areas: my windows. We have 3 large windows in our living room that let in lots of light (when we actually get light at this time of year) but they're kept pretty simple: white curtains and brown roman shades. This year, I decided to spruce them up for Fall!

I found a great idea on one of my favorite DIY blogs for plastering silk leaves and creating a garland. I'd never used plaster before, but it looked easy enough, so I bought a bucket and got to work. Boy, oh boy. Turns out - I'm not made for plaster. To be quite honest, the process wasn't quite as seamless as I had anticipated and I only completed 8 leaves before the plaster completely dried up on me. I thought the project was a failure and I was ready to throw in the towel. I took a deep breath, walked away from my project and did what any defeated DIY-er would do - I went on Pinterest!

While surfing Pinterest for more amazing ideas I could try, I came across this post. Pine cone garland, eh? I took a look at my 'failed' plaster leaves and decided they didn't look as awful as I originally thought. And maybe adding pine cones between each leaf would help to dress it up and take away from the not-so-perfect looking leaves.

I screwed small eyes screws (from a picture hanging kit I had on hand) into the pine cones (purchased from Michaels, but you could certainly collect your own) and hung them on the dollar store twine I was using for the garland. I tied the stems of each leaf in the garland (eye-balling the spacing) and voila!

The garland looks great hanging on the large windows in the living room and helps bring the decor off the table and into 'the light'.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

14 November 2011

MCT November Release Sneak #1

by Veronica

The November Release from My Creative Time is here! This month, Emma is releasing eight (count 'em, EIGHT) new stamps sets (one includes a coordinating die) and one awesome, versatile die. You will LOVE THESE!!

Today I'm showcasing one of the three 'mini' sets: Touchdown. This set has some great stamps in it! It would be perfect for a "Football Mom" or to use for birthday invitations - even a Superbowl Party invitation! I have to admit - I was a bit stumped at first with how this stamp set would work for me. I started to think outside of the box and knew just what to do with it!

Whenever my husband travels for work, I always stick a little card in his suitcase for him to find when he gets to his hotel. It's just a nice way to let him know that I'm thinking of him and can't wait for him to come home. Being a proud graduate of the University of Michigan, he is a die-hard Wolverine's fan (Go Blue!)! I made this card to make sure that he knows that even though Denard Robinson is a great quarterback, HE is my MVP!

I kept the foundation of this card pretty simple to make the white heart really POP. I stamped words from the new sets Touchdown ("Touchdown", "Offense", "Defense") and Sports Sentiments ("Football") in Versamark ink to make the watermarked background.

After stamping the words on the background, I cut the heart out of the center of the card stock using the new die included with another FABULOUS stamp set being released this week (100% Sweetness). I also cut out a white heart using the same die to layer behind the cutout.

The "MVP" sentiment is from MCT's new Sports Sentiments set and I used two separate stamps from You Had Me at Chocolate (just mask the words that you don't want to stamp with a post-it note or printer paper) for the "you are my".

I popped the background paper up from the card base (there's also another layer of blue card stock under the background paper that you can't see in the photos) and 'sunk' the white heart into the card to get the dimension.

Sneaky Peek Giveaway Time!

Listen up "My Creative Time" friends! We are giving all of you an opportunity to win the BEST PRIZES during Sneak Peek Week with a total of 6 winners to be announced during Friday's Stamp Release! All you have to do is leave a comment HERE along with the rest of the design team members' blogs for a chance! There are some AWESOME prizes with this release!

1. SPREAD THE WORD TO THE WORLD ON FACEBOOK about this release & whatever connections you may have! Let us know on "My Creative Time's" FB page here that you did so! OR you can just tag me in your post!  and.............

2. Just comment on ALL of the designers' blogs EVERY DAY during Sneaky Peek Week!  THAT's ALL you have to do to qualify for the BEST giveaways EVER!;)

All winners will be "randomly" chosen and Emma will announce all six winners on Friday, November 18th @ 12:01am PST in her video during the release of this AMAZING new stamp collection & maybe a new die!

GOOD LUCK! Log onto to your Facebook now & let's start spreading the word!

Thank you so much for stopping by today! Come back tomorrow for a great DIY Fall Decor project!

I hope you've been inspired!

-Veronica

10 November 2011

Harvest Decor: Open Back Clothespin Frame

by Veronica

Original Frame found on Pinterest
Have you checked out Pinterest? It's a fabulous website FULL of awesome, creative ideas shared by people just like you! Not only can you find ideas on there, but you can also 'pin' ideas to your very own pinboard to save for later use. It's like a virtual inspiration board right on your computer! I've been LOVING it since I signed up.

 It's so easy to 'pin' this and that, but sometimes it can be a challenge to actually get around to making something that I've pinned. *giggle* Well... I did it! I actually made something I pinned on Pinterest!

I was so inspired by this open back frame when I saw it. The twine "clotheslines" and clothespins give this frame a cozy, well-loved look without going too far in the rustic direction. I was originally going to make this into a Christmas card holder, but it really doesn't flow well with my other Christmas decor.

My version of the Pinterest Frame
Though I didn't have an exact purpose for the project yet, I purchased a similar frame from (non-other than) the Salvation Army for $4 (what a steal). To get the same look as the original, I drilled some small screws into the sides of the frame and wound some twine (from the Dollar Store) around them. The clothespins I had on hand weren't weathered enough, so I distressed them with some Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

After letting my bare frame sit in my Creative Studio for a couple of weeks, it came to me: This frame would be PERFECT in my foyer with my Harvest Decor! I hot glued some glittery flourishes to the top corner, added a big, floppy Autumn bow and I was almost finished!

I have to admit, it was a bit difficult deciding what to hand from the clothespins. I didn't want the frame to be too cluttered. I printed "...And be thankful" off my computer (font: Nelly Script Flourish) and hung it on the top row. But what could I put on the other rows?

I really love the idea of having a bowl of "I am thankful for ___________" slips of paper in front of the frame and have guests fill them out and hang them up when they come over. But to be honest, we don't get too many visitors. Finally, I decided to keep it simple and hang some Autumn leaves from the clothespins and let them drape around the adorable pumpkin I purchased from Michaels (which sits atop a pedestal I purchased from the Salvation Army with the frame).

This project turned out to be a great 'first impression' when you walk into our home. It's welcoming and festive and is a great reminder for what this season is all about.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today. If you're interested in seeing all the other fun projects I've pinned on Pinterest, you can follow me here. I hope you've been inspired!

-Veronica

09 November 2011

Garden of Eden Wedding Card

by Veronica

Ever had trouble finding the perfect sentiment for a card you're making? Sometimes, I can rifle through all of my stamps and find some that will work, but just aren't exactly what I'm looking for. When that happens, look no further than your trusty computer!

I LOVE mixing and matching 'straight' fonts with fancy, cursive fonts. It really gives my sentiments a polished, well-thought-out look. I've found that keeping most of the sentiment in a 'straight' font and picking special words to stand out in a cursive font works best for me. On this wedding card, I used Copperplate Gothic Light (found on most computers) and Blackjack.

There have been MANY times that I just don't know what sentiment to use on a card. On this wedding card I created for a friend in my Bible Study group, a simple "Congratulations" just didn't fit the bill. I often find fabulous verses from the Bible to use as my sentiments. But don't feel like you have to use an entire verse. Sometimes just small snippets of verses will do the trick! For this card, I chose Mark 10:8-9. It's definitely a non-traditional sentiment for a wedding card and I loved that it would stand out from the other "Congratulations on your Special Day" cards. I added the "Mr. & Mrs." from Stampin' Up!'s Tiny Tags embossed on the Jewelry Tag Punch and hung with linen thread. I use that little tag punch on a lot of cards. It really adds a little extra whimsy!

For the image on this card, I used Stampin' Up!'s Lovely as a Tree. I kept the tree simple by stamping it in a dark brown and not coloring it. I gave a "Garden of Eden" feel to it by adding rhinestones to the branches in place of apples. I used layered card stock, pop dots and paper piercing to give the card lots of dimension. The kraft card stock is stamped with Papertrey Ink's Background Basics: Woodgrain stamp set (one of my favorites) and really adds texture to the card.

Next time you're searching your stash for the perfect sentiment and don't find one, consider printing it directly from your computer. You probably already have TONS of fonts to choose from and the color possibilities are ENDLESS! If you're looking for more font choices to add to your collection, I suggest checking out these sites for free fonts (they're my favorite):


Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you've been inspired!

-Veronica

08 November 2011

Perfect for Fall: Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins

by Veronica

With Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly approaching (eek, I can't wait!), it's time to start thinking about delicious goodies to bring to your family get-togethers! Cupcakes and muffins are quick to bake, easy to frost and fun to eat! I combined three separate (and simple) recipes to create these Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins - a absolute FAVORITE in my family!

I was originally going to bake the cupcakes found here, but my husband mentioned cinnamon doughnuts and I was on a mission! I found a Cinnamon Doughnut Muffin recipe here and modified it by filling it with the apple pie filling listed in the original recipe. There was no question when it came to the topping! I discovered the perfect buttercream frosting recipe over the summer and haven't turned back!

I've listed the recipes below as I've modified them for you to bake these DELICIOUS muffins at home.

Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins
Source: Noble Pig

Ingredients
1-3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk

For topping
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon; whisk to combine.

Combine sugar, oil, egg and milk in another bowl.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moistened.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups about two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.

For topping: Place melted butter into a small bowl. Combine sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. As soon as muffins are not too hot to handle, dip the tops in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.


Apple Pie Muffin Filling
Makes enough filling for 1 dozen muffins
Source: Annie's Eats

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 large Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored and diced

Directions
Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute - until mixture begins to bubble. Lower heat to medium and stir in apples - mix well. Cook until apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

To fill muffins with apple pie filling, cut out a 'cone' shape from the muffins (same method you'd use to cut the top off of a pumpkin). Make sure to leave a rim around the muffin! Fill holes with cooled apple pie filling. Use a large round decorating tip (or any large decorating tip of your choice) to pipe the vanilla buttercream frosting (recipe below) on top of the apple pie filling.


Easy Vanilla Buttercream
Makes enough frosting for 2 dozen cupcakes (frosted completely - this is way more than you need for just 1 dozen Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins!!!)
Source: Annie's Eats

Ingredients
20 tablespoons (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/8 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions
Beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl. Add vanilla and heavy cream and beat at medium speed until fully incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high until light and fluffy.

Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins are always a hit at parties! But you don't have to save them for special occasions! Bake them as mini muffins (leaving out the apple pie filling and frosting) and they make great, on-the-go breakfast muffins!

I hope you've been inspired!

-Veronica