31 December 2012

MCT 22nd Edition Release Blog Hop: Happy First 29th Birthday!

by Veronica

Well, hello there and Happy New Year (almost)! Welcome to the My Creative Time 22nd Edition Release Blog Hop! If you've arrived here from Tracy's blog, you're headed in the right direction. If not, head on over the Emma's blog to start this Hop from the very beginning.

My BFF, Stephanie, will be celebrating a BIG birthday in January. No, she's not turning 30 - she's turning ALMOST 30!!! I've decided that instead of her EVER turning 30, we'll just celebrate the anniversary of her 29th birthday every year. So this year will be her first ever 29th birthday.

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This cute little card is 4" square and uses very simple layering to achieve a bold effect. Here's a quick little cheat sheet on the stamps I used:

Happy, "TH", and banner die: Chocolate Greetings (the "TH" was masked using the "BIRTHDAY" stamp)
FIRST: Label Font
29: Circle Font
BIRTHDAY: Vintage Sentiments

Most of the layers were popped up, and I hand-cut the candle and flame. I used my white gel pen to make the stripes on the candle and my Copics to color in the flame. I then glittered the flame with Star Dust Stickles.


***BLOG HOP GIVEWAY ALERT***

For our Blog Hop giveaway, there will be 2 winners chosen from ALL the comments combined!  This FIRST winner will have a "GUEST DESIGN SPOT" for our next release & the SECOND winner will win a $25 Gift Card to the My Creative Time Store!  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 us to contact you!  Emma will use random.org to pick the lucky winners! Just leave a comment on all blogs in this hop for more chances to win! The deadline is Sunday, January 6th at midnight! Emma will announce winners on her blog on Tuesday, January 8th!  EASY PEASY!!! GOOD LUCK!

This Just In: Emma has done it again! She's taken something awesome (this release) and made it even BETTER by adding a SALE!!! Starting right now through Sunday, January 6th at 11:59 pm, you can save 20% off your ENTIRE purchase at My Creative Time with the coupon code: NEWYEAR.

There's still more fun to come in this Hop! Click on over to our Guest Designer, Courtney's blog to she what she has in store!

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

28 December 2012

MCT 22nd Edition Sneak Peek: Devoted To You

by Veronica

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! It seems like it comes and goes so quickly. The tree isn't even down and the leftovers aren't finished - but by golly, we're moving on to Valentine's Day! *giggle*

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For today's sneak peek, I'm showcasing two new stamp sets that will be released on December 31st by My Creative Time. The Love Collage stamp is a great background stamp that covers the front of an entire A2 (4.25" x 5.5") card. On my card, I used a little leftover Christmas magic to create the sweet little plastic tag that hangs from the bow.

Confession: My Christmas Magic is really just a Shrinky Dink. First, I cut my Shrinky Dink paper with my Tag Dies set. Then I stamped my Love Collage stamp onto the rough side of the tag and heated it up with my heat tool. Be sure to have a tweezers or bone folder nearby to help guide the Shrinky Dink to NOT fold in on itself and stick together. 

The pink heart on the tag was cut using the smallest of the new Stitched Heart Layering Dies. I stamped "Devoted to you" from Lots of Love (due to release on the 31st). The basic layout and color scheme was kept simple to show off the tag and adorable patterned paper from the Echo Park Love Story 6x6 Paper Pad.

Thanks so much for dropping by today. I'll see you back here again on Monday for the Release Blog Hop!

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

P.S. Did you notice how clear and pretty my photo came out today? The Hubs bought a new fancy dancy camera for us to take on our cruise a couple of weeks ago and I'm LOVING it for taking pictures of my projects. Thanks, Honey!

08 December 2012

MCT 12 Days of Christmas - Day 8: Hey, That's MY Stocking!

by Veronica

Welcome to Day 8 of the My Creative Time 12 Days of Christmas!

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Looking around at all of the Christmas decorations I have up in my home, I noticed something was missing: our stockings didn't have any names on them! Of course, Santa knows which stocking belongs to each of us. But how will we know on Christmas morning which one is ours?

I suppose I could just look inside to see which one has coal in it. That would be The Hubs' stocking. *giggle*

Since my handwriting is not very pretty and the style of our stockings doesn't really lend itself to glitter glue letters, I made these sweet little tags (in our Christmas colors, of course) to hang on our Christmas socks.

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The tag base is made with MCT's XL Label Die and new Stitched XL Label Die. I also used the Curly Label and Stitched Curly Label Dies for some added dimension. After die cutting our names with the Lowercase Fun Dies (Speaking of FUN, here's a fun fact: I actually go by "Ronnie" in real life), I popped them up onto the banner die from Vintage Stitched Label Dies and popped that up on my tag. Of course, it just wasn't sparkly enough as-is, so I dotted the letters with my Star Dust Stickles.

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For a more polished look, I added jumbo eyelets to the tags before threading my ribbon through to tie to the stockings.


HUGE GIVEAWAY ALERT!
Okay, since it's Christmas, Emma decided to give away TWELVE of her FAVORITE things to ONE LUCKY person! She will announce one of the prizes for each day in her video! So by the 12th day, you will see ALL 12 items that ONE lucky person will be receiving! All you have to do is leave your comments each day! It's that simple!

**VERY IMPORTANT** 
Please leave your contact information so we can contact you IF YOU are the lucky winner!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

04 December 2012

MCT 12 Days of Christmas - Day 4: Gift Card Package

by Veronica

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!

Today is Day 4 of My Creative Time's 12 Days of Christmas. So far ALL of the projects have been fabulous, right?

This Christmas, The Hubs and I are giving several gift cards as presents. I just love gift cards! They say, I have no idea what you really want, but I'm pretty sure I know where you want it from. But then I have to figure out how to wrap the gift card. Of course, the MCT Embossed Gift Card Holder Die is a great option! But with so many gift cards to give, I like to have variety.

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Today's project is a gift card holder made out of a cassette tape case.

Note to anyone under the age of 21 reading: Cassette tapes are like .mp3s on strips of really thin brown plastic-y ribbon. If you ever try to use one, I recommend having a pencil nearby. *giggle*

My Mom has a whole box of these plastic cases and gave me two last week to figure out what we could use them for. Hey, Mom! Check this out! *giggle*

First I cut my patterned paper to fit and adhered it inside the case. I used a double-sided patterned paper so it would look pretty when shut and opened.

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The belly band was made out of a strip of green card stock. I then used several MCT dies (listed below) to create the label. The sentiment was stamped from It's a Magical Season and the bell (colored with my Copics) is in the From Our Family To Yours stamp set. All layers were popped up (surprise!) and the bell was glittered with my Star Dust Stickles.


HUGE GIVEAWAY ALERT!
Okay, since it's Christmas, Emma decided to give away TWELVE of her FAVORITE things to ONE LUCKY person! She will announce one of the prizes for each day in her video! So by the 12th day, you will see ALL 12 items that ONE lucky person will be receiving! All you have to do is leave your comments each day! It's that simple!

**VERY IMPORTANT** 
Please leave your contact information so we can contact you IF YOU are the lucky winner!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I'll see you again on Day 8!

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

Dies used for label: Vintage Stitched Label Die (and banner die from same set), Curly Label Die (cut twice, placed two together to create a 'taller' shape), Stitched Circle Die.

23 November 2012

MCT Black Friday Blog Hop: Christmas List

by Veronica

Happy Delicious Leftovers Day! Well, that's what day it is around here, anyway. I'll be meeting family at my in-laws' house today for a yummy lunch filled with all of the Turkey Day trimmings! Mmm..mmm...

With Thanksgiving over, the Christmas Season has officially begun! Now that we've spent time being thankful for everything we have, we can start shopping for more! *giggle*

Thanks for joining the MCT Design Team for today's Black Friday Blog Hop. Hopefully, this little Hop gives you a break from the hustle and bustle (aka trampling and biting) that's taking place in malls around the country. I've you've come here from Tracy's blog, you're headed in the right direction. If not, take a trip over to Emma's blog to start this Hop from the beginning.

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To keep my Christmas budget on track and my gift-giving organized, I created this handy Christmas List that I can keep in my purse to know exactly who is getting what and how much I've spent. Won't The Hubs be so proud of me?

This little organizer features the brand new Stitched XL Label Die on the front cover (layered on top of the original XL Label Die).

The year was stamped using the Circle Font stamp set that was just released last week. After stamping the year, I punched it out with a 3/4" Circle Punch and layered it on top of a 1" circle. The whole year is then popped up onto the banner die that came in last week's new die set: Vintage Stitched Label Dies

I stamped "Christmas" from Warm Holiday Fun (I isolated the word "Christmas" by covering the rest of the sentiment on my stamp with a post-it, inking it up, removing the post-it, and stamping onto my die). "LIST" was stamped using the new Label Font stamp set.

I also used Warm Holiday Fun to stamp my scroll (shaded with Copics), scroll sentiment, and white sparkly stars in the background (which were embossed in white). After adhering my ribbon to the front and back of the organizer, I popped up and layered my pieces onto the front.

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The inside of my organizer has two pockets: one for my gift list (which I created in Photoshop and printed myself) and one for gift receipts. I've added a little diagram below on how I created the folder for this simple organizer.

And now a word from Emma:
Thank you for joining us for our very FIRST "MCT Black Friday Blog Hop"! Okay, not only are we having a SALE, but we are ALSO releasing 2 new stitched dies that YOU ALL have been requesting for a LOOOONG time! IF you own the "Curly Label Die" & the "XL Label Die", we now have Stitched dies that will layer on top of those! Are you as excited as we all are??? 

click on diagram for larger view
Wait, we are NOT stopping there, I have ALSO had several requests to sell my "Teeny Tag Dies" by themselves (for mass producing purposes) GUESS WHAT???? We now have them selling in my store by themselves! Sit back & please enjoy this hop as we all showcase the BRAND NEW "Stitched Curly Label Die" & the "Stitched XL Label Die" along with many other MCT products!

Please use the code: BLACKFRI (all caps) to get a 20% discount off your purchase! Sale will end Sunday, Nov 25th @ Midnight!

**GIVE AWAY ALERT**
Well, this wouldn't be a party with out a giveaway.....right??? Well, we are keeping this simple! Just leave your comments along with a way to contact you, should you win! Random.org will be picking TWO lucky winners to win $25 worth of MCT product of YOUR choice! GOOD LUCK!

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Thanks so much for stopping by for today's Black Friday Hop. I'm your last stop.

Have a great weekend! I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica


16 November 2012

MCT 21st Edition Release Blog Hop

by Veronica

Welcome to Day 2 of My Creative Time's two-day Release Blog Hop. I've you e arrived here from Tracy's blog, you're on the rich track. If not, shoot on over to Emma's blog to start today's Hop from the beginning.

Today, I'm showcasing the brand new stamp set, Label Font. I've created a very simple, masculine card for my brother, Dan, who is getting "pinned" in December (like a graduation for Nursing School). I am so proud of him for making the decision to go back to school in his mid-twenties and sticking it out. He's going to make an awesome RN!

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For this 5.5" square card, I used a very simple technique: layering. Adding layers gives your project dimension and depth without a lot of work.

On the card base layer, I stamped the argyle pattern from the Coffee Break stamp set in a coordinating ink to my paper.

On the off-white layer, I stamped "Congrats" using Label Font and "you did it!" from the Teeny Tag Greetings stamp set.

I paper pierced above the sentiment for a little added interest and wound twine from Liz's Paper Loft Boutique around the top layer and secured it with a little knot.

It's easy to forget sometimes that less can be more. (I know I have a habit of believing that "more" only comes with MORE!!!) *giggle*


***BLOG HOP GIVEWAY ALERT***

For our Blog hop giveaway, there will be 2 winners chosen from ALL the comments combined!  You have a chance to win a "SURPRISE GIFT BAG FULL OF GOODIES"! All you have to do is leave a comment here along with the rest of the design team member's blogs AND also leave a way for us to contact you!  Emma will use random.org to pick the lucky winners!  All you have to do is leave a comment on all blogs in this hop for more chances to win! The deadline is Sunday, November 18th at midnight! EASY PEASY!!! GOOD LUCK!

Label Font Stamp Set
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Thanks for stopping by today. I'm your last stop on today's Hop.

I hope you were inspired.

- Veronica

13 November 2012

MCT 21st Edition Sneak Peek: Gift Tag

by Veronica

I'm a terrible wrapper.

You might be surprised to know that I'm not that bad of a rapper. But wrapping presents is not my 'gift'. *giggle*

My Mom on the other hand...

Holy. Smokes. Now, that woman can WRAP! She's quick, she's efficient, and I'll be darned if all of her presents don't turn out like gift-ual masterpieces.

Alas, I didn't inherit the wrapping gene from her.

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To camouflage my awful wrapping talent, I like to dress up my packages with pretty ribbons & bows and gift tags! I trick the gift recipient into 'oooohhhing' and 'aaaahhhing' over the details that she completely MISSES the crooked corners, missing paper on the bottom (does this happen to anyone ELSE?), and gobs of tape I use to keep the darn thing shut.

This gift is for a not-so-discerning recipient: my soon-to-be-6-year-old niece, Evelyn (Evy, for short). After wrapping her gift in kraft wrapping paper (one of my faves), I tied a pretty polka dot ribbon around the package and added my bow and tag.

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The pink bow was made using a 12 x 12 piece of patterned paper and this tutorial. So easy. I cut the gift tag using MCT's Tag Dies. After cutting the tag out in the patterned paper, I layered it onto a kraft tag (for re-enforcement). Then, I cut the tag again in pink. I used the brand spankin' new MCT Lowercase Fun Dies to cut Evy's name out of the pink layer (using the 'negative' of the name left on the pink layer, not the die cuts themselves). The pink layer was then popped up onto the patterned layer for a little added dimension.

The rosette was handmade by cutting two 1.5" x 12" strips and accordion-folding them (1/2" folds). I glued the ends together and adhered a kraft circle to the front and back with my glue gun. I also added the little flag from the Echo Park This & That Accessories Pack.

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Sneak Peek Giveaway Time!
With all of our Sneak Peek weeks, Emma likes to do some FUN giveaways!

 ***All you have to do is leave comments on our blogs! You do NOT have to comment on every blog, BUT if you do, you will just have more chances to win!

 ***SPREAD THE WORD TO THE WORLD ON FACEBOOK about this release & whatever connections you may have! Let us know on My Creative Time's Facebook page that you did so! OR you can just tag Emma in your post!

 Emma will randomly pick & announce all winners on Thursday, November 15th during the release happening @ 8:00am PST in her video! GOOD LUCK!

 Log onto to your Facebook now & let start spreading word!

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Thanks for stopping by to see my Sneak Peek today! I'll see you again later this week for more MCT goodies!

Be sure to head over to Emma's blog to see what the other designer's have in store for you using this die set today.

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

08 November 2012

MCT Designer Challenge: Ugly Sweater Party

by Veronica



Now that Halloween is over, I'm in full-blown Holiday Mode. This time of year is my absolute favorite! I've even started listening to Christmas music! *giggle*

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It can be difficult getting the whole family together around the holidays. It's easy to forget that relatives have in-laws and other family to visit with during Christmas along with church obligations and other schedule conflicts. To make things easier on everyone, three years ago, my family decided to stretch Christmas one more day and celebrate together at my house on December 23rd - Christmas Eve Eve.

This year, we've decided to spice things up a bit and have an Ugly Sweater Christmas Eve Eve Celebration.

For my Designer Challenge invitation, I used several patterned papers to get the 'feel' of the occasion. The sweater was cut using the Everyday Paper Dolls Cricut Cartridge. Since the sweater cut doesn't have layers, I just cut it out in two patterns, snipped the edges of one pattern and glued it to the other.

Each of the invitations has a different saying for the sweater. The "98% Nice, 2% Naughty" sentiment is from MCT's Warm Holiday Fun stamp set. The scallop cut is from the Elegant Edges Cricut Cartridge.

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Since today's challenge (brought to us by Rosy) is to have fabric and stitching on our projects, I paper pierced around the edges of the card base and drew dot-to-dot to make it look like stitching. I also added a piece of felt behind the scallop for some sweater texture.

I stamped the invitation sentiment using the From Our Family To Yours stamp set. I cut that into a flag and popped it up on my card.

The inside of my invitation was designed by yours truly in Photoshop.

Thanks for stopping by today! Be sure to check out Emma's blog to see what the other designers came up with for today's challenge!

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica



31 October 2012

MCT 3D Wednesday: Baby Clouds

by Veronica




Happy Halloween!!! Hopefully, the weather isn't too bad where you are so that you and your kids can go our Trick or Treating tonight!

Speaking of treats...

Emma at My Creative Time came up with a TREAT of an idea for the Design Team to share today. In an unexpected twist, today's 3D Wednesday challenge was to create a 3D card!

I LOVE pop-up cards - and they're so easy to make - so naturally, that was my go-to 3D card creation.

This weekend I had the baby shower of a dear friend to go to, and I was in a bit of a hurry. So I checked out Pinterest for some baby shower card ideas and came across this gem. I really loved how simple and classy it was. Of course, when I say I was in a 'bit of a hurry', I mean that I had absolutely no time to make this awesome card and had to pull a random card from my 'stash' that wasn't totally off the subject of baby showers. Yep, I was late.

I still had that card in my head, so I decided to step it up a notch and turn it into a pop-up card!

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I used a simple, white card stock base, corner-rounded the bottom edges and paper pierced around the front. The clouds were cut using MCT's Fly Away With Me Dies. I used the Anyday Bingo & Crossword stamp set to stamp my clouds in various pastel colors. The sentiment was stamped from All Star Baby and cut out and matted onto a flag shape. I added a rhinestone for some pizzazz.

On the inside, I added several more clouds (varying their depth with pop dots). Pop-ups are super easy to make! You can view my template on how I make my pop up cards here.

After adding the inside sentiment from All Star Baby, my quick and easy pop-up card was complete. It's clean. It's simple. But it packs a punch! Maybe I'll be ready for the next baby shower, eh?

Be sure to stop by Emma's blog today to see what the other designers have to share with you!

I hope you were inspired!

-Veronica

22 October 2012

Scrappy Monday: Smashing Sisters

by Veronica


Have you ever "smashed"? This is my first time.

In fact - I admit that I actually had to Google "Smashbook" to really get a handle on what this new (to me) trend actually is. After watching the fun little video, I realized that it is just what it claims to be. A book that is smashed together.

But is it really that easy? Yes and no.

Yes: You really just have to slap a bunch of stuff on a page. There's no rhyme or reason. It doesn't have to match. The stuff doesn't really have to have anything to do with each other. That's the beauty of it.

No: When K&Company 'smashes' stuff on a page, it looks trendy and artsy. When I slap stuff on a page, it looks messy and cluttered. Or does it?

After creating my page, I brought it to my husband and asked, "Does this look 'smashed' together...but still not embarassing?" We are our own worst critics, I guess.

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My page is 8.5" x 11" and features photos of the "McCollum" Girls. There's me on the left (about 50 lbs heavier); my sister-in-law, Christina; my sister-in-law, Kim; and my sister, Stacey. When we all get together, a good time is guaranteed!

On my page, I used My Creative Time's Cherish This Moment ("A day to remember...", hands and journaling lines) and Just Simply Live ("Treasure this!", arrows, Polaroid & sentiment die). I also used the Rolled Flower Die on top of a couple pink fabric flowers and embellished with a fun brad from Echo Park's This & That embellishment pack.

The pink rhinestones (Debbie's Dollar find) point your attention to the 'labels' I gave each of the girls. I also added a few extra flowers, some zebra ribbon and tiny mirrors for some added flair.

To be honest, I'm really not quite sure how I feel about Smashbooking. I'm more of a 'stay between the lines' kinda gal. But it was fun to play with!

Thanks for stopping by today. Please check out Emma's blog to see what the other designer's created for today's Scrapping the Little Things.

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica


19 October 2012

MCT Halloween Blog Hop: Trick or Treat

by Veronica

Boo!

Did I scare ya? *giggle*

Halloween is coming up QUICK, so Emma at My Creative Time has enlisted the Design Team to show you some AWESOME Halloween projects today (and yesterday, too!). If you've hopped here from Tracy's blog, you're on the right scary path. If not, mosey on over to Emma's blog to start the Hop from the very beginning.

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Today I have an EASY PEASY project for you that would be PERFECT for school parties or extra little treats for your kids and their friends besides candy. They'll get enough of that, won't they?

This Trick Tac Toe uses bottle caps as pieces and a simple piece of card stock for a board (laminating the board wouldn't be a bad idea). For the pieces, I stamped and colored the candy from Treats for my Sweet, and stamped the web (green) and spider (black) from the same set onto white card stock. After punch them out with my 1" Circle Punch, I adhered them to the inside of the bottle caps with pop dots. They were then glittered with Star Dust Stickles. Pieces: done.

I created the board in Photoshop and printed it out. I then stamped the bats and kitty from Treats for my Sweet to add some spookiness.

What's that? You love the board? Fabulous! You can download it (absolutely FREE) right here.

Now here comes the fun stuff...

You could win ALL of this!

***GIVEAWAY***

This wouldn't be a party without a FANTASTIC prize .... right? Random.org will pick ONE winner from each day of this Blog Hop (yesterday and today) to win ALL OF THIS! All you have to do is leave your comments for a chance to win everything pictured here! DON'T FORGET to leave us your contact information in your comment just in case YOU are one of the LUCKY winners! You have until Sunday, October 21st at midnight to leave your comments! GOOD LUCK!



**SALE INFO**
We are ALSO having a sale going on RIGHT NOW that will end on Sunday, Oct 21st @ midnight!  Use the code SPOOKY save 20% on your order! Click here to start shopping now!

Thanks for hopping by today. I'm your last stop.

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

17 October 2012

MCT 3D Wednesday: Altered Run Box

by Veronica



For today's 3D Wednesday at My Creative Time, Emma challenged the Design Team to alter something for our project. I know that I alter a LOT of frames here on VK Create, so I decided I should use something else.

After looking in my stash, I found a pretty pink box that I've saved for a few years - just waiting for the right time to make it fabulous. The box originally held a beautiful, pink Victoria's Secret planner that my in-laws bought me for Christmas in 2009. I knew that one day that sweet little box would be PERFECT for something. And now it is.

Here comes the non-crafty, personal section. If you're here only for crafts, feel free to skip...
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If you've followed by blog for a little while, you might have come across some of my more personal posts. Namely, about my journey towards a healthy lifestyle. When I made the decision on December 31st, 2011 that 2012 would be MY YEAR to get healthy, I had no idea that would involve running. RUNNING?!?! Only if something was chasing me, I thought. I figured I'd be a Zumba fanatic. Maybe branch out to Yoga. But running was out of the question.

That was until March 1st when I got the guts to sign up for my first 5k race. I had never run a mile in my life. Never. But I was determined to finish the race - running more than walking. And you know what? I ran the whole thing. Of course, I burst into tears as soon as I crossed the finish line. And though most of the race I was asking myself, "why in the WORLD am I doing this?", after catching my breath at the finish, I asked my husband, "When's the next one?".

I completed FIVE 5k races and one 1 "Firecracker Mile" this year so far. And I'm currently training for my first 10k that I'll be running Thanksgiving morning. Do I love running? Not yet. But I LOVE the way I feel when I cross the finish line, or reach home after a morning run. Knowing that I did it. I did what I honestly thought was impossible for me to do.

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Back to the crafty stuff...

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I altered this box to store the race 'bibs' (numbers) I've earned this year (and one Top 50 Women medal!). The size is perfect!

I used the Jubilee Cricut Cartridge to cut out the "run while you can" title. The orange layer (with the zebra ribbon) is actually a 'belly band' that keeps the box closed. I stamped the journaling lines from MCT's Cherish This Moment and wrote, "There will be a day when I can no longer do this. Today is not that day." I then cut the funky shape out by hand, matted it on aqua, and cut the shape again - around the white.

In the bottom right corner, I added "Dedication + Motivation = Success" from the Sports Sentiments stamp set. The flag shape was also hand cut and matted. As you can see, my color palette was inspired by my beloved running shoes.

Personal stuff again...
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If you're wondering how my journey for a healthy life is coming along - it's awesome! I've lost 51 pounds so far and I feel amazing. My energy has skyrocketed and my confidence is building. While I haven't reached my 'goal weight' quite yet, there is a bright, shining light at the end of my tunnel. I'm in the best shape of my life right now. Shopping is fun again (maybe a bit too much fun *giggle*). And when I look in the mirror, I see me. It's been a long time since I could say that.

The photo on the left shows me at 186 lbs.
Photo on the right is me now - a healthy 135!
The down side? I don't really have any recent photos of myself that look like me now. All of my beautiful wedding photos look like someone else. Luckily, the Hubs (who's lost 30lbs, too, I must add) and I are having a photo session this weekend! I can't wait to get some new photos in the house!
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Thank you so much for stopping by today. If you haven't already, I encourage you to head over to Emma's blog to see what she and the other designers have up their sleeves for today's 3D Wednesday.

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

16 October 2012

MCT Show Me Your Technique: Masking

by Veronica


Using stamps together to make your own unique scenes is a great way to make your project stand out from the pack. It's also a great way to extend the 'shelf life' of your stamps - making them more versatile for you and therefore, helping you not to get bored with the stamps in your collection.

One way to make your stamps go farther is to use the 'Masking' Technique. With this technique, you create little covers for your images (masks) to allow other images to be stamped around them - giving them a look of belonging together in the scene.

Steps to Masking. Please forgive photo quality - I took pictures of each step with my phone while at a crop.

Steps to Masking

  1. Stamp and cut out the masks of the images that need covers. I recommend using a Post-It Note for this step and stamping on the upper/adhesive section. This way, the mask can be lightly adhered to the stamped image and will remain in place as you stamp on top of it.
  2. Stamp your first image. The trick here is to start from the front. The image that is in the foreground of the scene should be stamped first.
  3. Place your mask directly over your image (this is where the adhesive on the back of the Post-It Note comes in handy.
  4. Stamp the second image (this should be the image that is directly 'behind' the first image in the scene).
  5. This isn't a step you must complete. I've just shown you in the image that after removing the mask from the small pumpkin, you can now see that the large pumpkin is 'behind' the small one.
  6. Apply the mask to the second image (notice that I re-applied the mask to the first here, as well).
  7. Stamp the third image.
  8. Remove all masks and admire handiwork.
Of course, if you have more than three images, you might need to repeat steps 3-7 again (as many times as necessary).

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After successfully stamping and masking my scene (created using MCT's Piles of Smiles), I colored it with my Copics. The oval it's stamped on was cut using the Elegant Edges Cricut Cartridge (I used the 'negative' of the scallop oval frame). The green scallop oval was cut using the same cartridge.

All of the layers on the card are popped up and I paper pierced the edges of the small dotted patterned paper layer. The flower was created after being inspired by the flowers I made in this project. I hand-set the green rhinestones into a little flourish shape and cut the flag-shaped sentiment layer after stamping "Autumn Wishes" from Piles of Smiles.

Thank you for stopping by today. Feel free to leave any questions you may have on Masking in the comments below. Be sure to stop by the other blogs in this mini hop to see what fabulous techniques they have up their sleeves!

Cathryn
Cassandra

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

11 October 2012

MCT Designer Challenge: Fancy Flowers

by Veronica


It's time for another Designer Challenge over at My Creative Time! Today's Challenge host is the very talented Shar from Scrapendipity. She has challenged us to create a card or layout that includes at least three handmade flowers (incorporating gems or buttons) and follows this beautiful color palette she picked out.

Now I'm no stranger to Sky Blue and Chocolate Brown! Most of my house is decorated with those colors. But throwing the yellow in there really took me by surprise. It's such a modern combination.

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This card is the standard A2 size (4.25" x 5.5"), but it folds at the top. After paper piercing my blue layer, I popped it on top of my brown card base. The yellow layer was dry embossed using the Chevron Embossing Folder by Stampin' Up! The label-shaped frame was cut using the Labels One Nestabilities set by Spellbinders. First, I cut out the white label using the larger die. I distressed the edges of that layer with my Walnut Stain Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Tim Holtz Distress Tool. I then used the same die to cut out a piece of brown. I ran that diecut back through my Big Shot with the next smaller die on it to create the frame.

The flowers are made up of a combination of MCT's Flower Petal Dies, paper flowers by Kaiserscrapbook, and adhesive flowers by K & Company. The Petal Die flowers are cut out of Papertrey Ink felt. Once my flowers were glued/pop dotted together, I adhered small rhinestones to the K & Company flowers for a little sparkle.

I stamped the "Thinking of you" sentiment from MCT's Floral Sentiments onto a piece of white card stock and notched the right edge with my scissors. Of course, a LOT of pop dots were used to complete this project!

Please join me and the other designers in this fabulous challenge by heading over to Emma's blog and entering your project at the end of today's post there! Can't wait to see what you create!

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

03 October 2012

MCT 3D Wednesday: Button, Button

by Veronica

Halloween is quickly approaching and I've been hard at work decorating inside and outside to prepare for the holiday. Last year was my first time really decorating for Halloween and my decor supply is pretty low. To add to last year's decorations, I've been traveling to my local dollar stores and Salvation Army to find cheap items I can use to spook up the house.

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For today's 3D Wednesday, the My Creative Time Design Team was asked to create a 3D project incorporating buttons. Not long ago, I pinned a beautiful letter frame on Pinterest - knowing it would come in handy one day. And it did!

I purchased this frame from Salvation Army for $3. It was a brassy gold. But I knew that with a little black spray paint, this baby would be PERFECT! What is great about this frame is that the 'photo' sits far back in the frame while the glass is pressed against the front. Similar to a shadowbox. I knew that this configuration would allow me to use buttons and STILL have the glass in the frame.

After laying out my buttons on my card stock for a 'dry run', I glued them into place. Of course, I used an "H" for "Halloween", but you could use any letter or even spell out a word (...wouldn't "Boo" be perfect?).

I added the black shadow around the card stock with my Tim Holtz Distressing Tool and some black ink. I also stamped the bats and spider from MCT's Treats For My Sweet.

This colorful frame looks great on our foyer table along with some other Halloween decorations!

Be sure to swing by the My Creative Time blog to see what Emma and the other designers have up their sleeves for today.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

28 September 2012

MCT Beary Special Blog Hop: Boo Bear

by Veronica

Hello there! Thanks for joining the My Creative Time Design team on this Beary Special Blog Hop! If you've traveled here from Tracy's blog, you're on the right track! If not, head on over to Emma's blog to start the hop from the "beary" beginning! *giggle*

Even though it's not quite Halloween, Emma has decided to give you all a "Beary Special Treat"! This treat doesn't cause weight gain, but will cause CUTENESS OVERLOAD! Included in this hop, you will see a "Beary Special" stamp set that was designed by Emma for this special hop!  Also, as an added bonus, we have five VERY TALENTED Guest Designers joining us for this hop.

Speaking of Halloween...

I've always LOVED getting dressed up for Halloween! When I was little, I insisted on being a kitty cat every year. Every. Year.

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For today's project, I wanted my little teddy bear to feel the same pride and adorability (okay, so I totally just made that word up) that I did whenever I was dressed in the feline persuasion.

First, I stamped my teddy bear (MCT's newest stamp set: Beary Special Thoughts) onto white card stock. After adding his costume with a black pen, I colored him with my Copics. To give the illusion that he is sitting on the "Boo", I 'masked' him with a post-it and then stamped the "Boo" (MCT's Treats For My Sweet). I colored the polka dots and spider with my Copics, and glittered the polka dots with Star Dust Stickles.

To get the 'shadow' effect on the edges, I used my Tim Holtz Distressing Tool in black ink and rubbed in circles over the edges.

I also stamped the spider web from Treats For My Sweet in the corner and drew a string of web to the spider and outlined him with my black pen.

After stamping and coloring the jack-o-lantern and ghost (Treats For My Sweet), I cut them out and popped them up onto the bear/boo layer. The sentiment was hand cut from a piece of scrap white card stock.

I used my Scor-Pal to make the diamonds on the card base layer and Stampin' Up!'s Scallop Trim Border & Corner Punches on the purple layer.


**GIVEAWAY ALERT**

Emma has a few GREAT giveaways to give to THREE LUCKY readers!

1st GRAND prize ~ "Teddy Bear Parade" Cricut cartridge AND this newest stamp set "Beary Special Thoughts"
2nd prize ~ "Create a Critter 2" cartridge "Beary Special Thoughts"
3rd prize ~ this newest set "Beary Special Thoughts"

How FUN is this? All you have to do is leave your comments on each designer's blog! The more blogs you comment on, the BETTER your chances are at winning! Random.org will pick all the winners on Tuesday! So you have until Sunday, Sept 30th by midnight to get all of your comments in! AND PLEASE don't forget to include a way for us to contact you just in case YOU are one of the lucky winners! Good Luck!

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What was I thinking? Halloween 1997
So you might be asking yourself: Veronica, do you STILL dress up as a kitty every Halloween? And the answer is no.

Once I saw this yearbook 'action shot' of me at my 6th grade Halloween 'dance', I knew my kitty days were over. What was I thinking? What was I WEARING?!?! I've never in my life, seen a cat with so much makeup on. *giggle* Ahhh...memories...

Nowadays, The Hubs and I like to coordinate for Halloween. In the past we've been Diddy & Candy Kong and BP oil spill workers. Last year was my favorite: I went as a trophy wife and he was my "Hugh Hefner". We've got something really fun planned for this year's costume! Can't wait to reveal!

Thanks for stopping by today. I'm your last stop on the Beary Special Blog Hop.

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica


26 September 2012

MCT 3D Wednesday: Flower Girl Frame

by Veronica

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Personalized frames are a great way to dress up your tables and walls without a large expense or solid commitment. Personally, I get bored with my decor. I'll add a new knick-knack here and there to spruce things up, just to move it or take it down a few weeks later. And let me tell you - the Hubs just LOVES it when I change things around! *giggle*  For me, easy-to-change-out decor is a must.

For today's 3D Wednesday, I'm showcasing a new frame I made for our front foyer table. I purchased this frame from my local Salvation Army for $1.99!!! It even came with the sleek cream-colored matting.

I used a few patterned papers for my background and cut out my picture slots with the My Creative Time XL Label Die. By cutting photo slots instead of die cutting the photos themselves, I'm able to easily change out the photos I use in the frame. Currently, I'm showcasing our three beautiful flower girls from our wedding (our sweet nieces).

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I stamped the typed background from Script Type Backgrounds in Versamark several times across the bottom blue patterned paper and embossed it with clear embossing powder. It's a very subtle accent, but looks great in person (you can click on the closeup photo to get a better glimpse).

I wanted to keep the frame simple to really let the photos pop, so I only added a small piece if ribbon and a poofy flower. (By keeping the glass out of the frame,you're able to really appreciate the 'poof' *giggle*)

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

I hope you were inspired.

- Veronica


21 September 2012

MCT 20th Edition Mini Release Blog Hop: Bachelorette Bag & Tag

by Veronica

Welcome to the My Creative Time 20th Edition Mini Release Blog Hop. If you've hopped here from Tracy's blog, you're on the right track! If not, I suggest starting at Emma's blog so you don't miss out on any of the fun!

I have two words for you: Girls' Weekend!

As you read this, I am heading up state to enjoy a weekend away with nine awesome girls to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a dear friend of mine. On the schedule: mani/pedi, massage, winery tours, snazzy restaurants, and good old fashion GIRL TIME!

Of course, I'll miss the Hubs while I'm away. But to be sure that he doesn't miss me too much, I'm leaving him with a list of things I'd like done by the time I get home on Sunday. *giggle*

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Today I'd like to share with you the gift packaging I created for the Bachelorette's sassy gift. I started with a pink gift bag...

Frugal Tip: SAVE the totally cute bags you get at your favorite stores to use as future gift bags. My project today uses a bag from Bare Escentuals. Other favorites of mine: Coach, Victoria's Secret. Not only are you BEING green by recycling, but you're SAVING green, too!

I covered the "Bare Escentuals" logo with a strip of black card stock that I embossed the little wine glasses from MCT's Keepin' It Classy. I kept the gift tag super simple by stamping one of the adorable ladies from the same set in pink and a lighter pink drink in her hand (which I Stickled). The tags and "To:" & "From:" are from the newest set out today: Just Tags. These tags are so easy to use and quick to put together!

Just Tags
I tied my gift tag onto my bag using some zebra striped ribbon I scored at my local Debbie's Dollar Store. The pink tissue is re-used from past Victoria Secret purchases.


***BLOG HOP GIVEWAY ALERT***

For our Blog hop giveaway, there will be 2 winners chosen from ALL the comments combined!  You will win a "SURPRISE GIFT BAG FULL OF GOODIES"! All you have to do is leave a comment here along wit the rest of the design team's blogs AND also leave a way for us to contact you!  Emma will use random.org to pick the lucky winners!  All you have to do is leave a comment on all blogs in this hop for more chances to win! The deadline is Sunday, September 23rd at midnight! EASY PEASY!!! GOOD LUCK!

Thanks for joining us today on the Blog Hop! I'm your final stop.

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

19 September 2012

MCT 20th Edition Sneak Peek: Cookie Exchange

by Veronica

It's time to talk Cookies.

The Hubs and I have our differences of opinion on many things:

  • He believes that vegetables are nothing but 'rabbit food', while I enjoy a fresh Caesar salad. 
  • He believes that a televised sporting event can only be enjoyed to it fullest potential if I'm not talking. And well... I talk.
  • He believes ONLY in real Christmas trees. I'm coming around to that one...
But if there's ONE thing we can definitely, without-a-doubt agree on it's this:

There is truly only one kind of cookie: Chocolate Chip.

Of course, I love my Girl Scout Thin Mints. And he's a big fan of Tagalongs. But when it really comes down to it - Chocolate Chip is the way to go for us.

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Today's project would be PERFECT for a Christmas Cookie Exchange with friends and family. Perhaps such an exchange would broaden our 'cookie horizons'... *giggle*

I put six cookies into a 4"x9" treat bag (made by Darice - found at my local Debbie's Dollar Store). The topper base is a 4.25" x 3" piece of kraft card stock that I scored and folded in half. After random stamping the cute chocolate cookie stamp (from MCT's newest set, All Around Goodies - due out on Friday), I paper pierced the top and bottom edges of the front of the base.

The lighter brown strip was stamped with the argyle stamp from MCT's Coffee Break stamp set in dark brown. I cut the edge of a white strip of card stock into a flag and stamped "A Little Chocolate" using only part of one of the sentiment stamps from Do the Cocoa Motion.

After cutting out a white circle and brown scalloped circle (Scallop & Stitched Circle Dies), I stamped the "Cookie Exchange" sentiment from the new All Around Goodies set onto the white stitched circle. The cookie was then stamped on a separate piece of white card stock, colored with my Copics and then punched out with a 3/4" circle punch. I popped it up inside the circle sentiment.

After securing my bag closed (topper in place) with staples, I adhered the circles to the topper base with pop dots.

So the only remaining question is...

Which one of us will open the cookies first?

Sneak Peek Giveaway Time!

With all of our Sneak Peek weeks, Emma likes to do some FUN giveaways!

 ***All you have to do is leave comments on our blogs! You do NOT have to comment on every blog, BUT if you do, you will just have more chances to win!

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

Emma will randomly pick & announce all winners on Friday, September 21st during the blog hop release happening @ 12:01am PST in her video! GOOD LUCK!

 Log onto to your Facebook now and let's start spreading word!
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Thanks for stopping by today to preview the 20th Edition of My Creative Time stamps.

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica


10 September 2012

MCT Scrappy Monday: Engagement Layout

by Veronica



When my (now) husband proposed to me in December 2010, I couldn't WAIT to get started on our Engagement photos! Having a photographer for a brother, I've always loved having him come over to do a photo shoot for nothing more than a free meal. *giggle*


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As a graphic designer myself, I was thrilled to be able to create my own Save the Dates using the photos my brother took of us in our home. (Even better is that my Father-in-Law is a printer - so all of our stationery was printed 'on the house'.)

For my Engagement Layout, I started with a white 12 x 12 piece of card stock for the base. Most of the scrapbook pages I create have one or two photos on them and a LOT of embellishment. With this page, I decided to make the photos the star.

The 'word' layer is a full 12 x 12 piece of laser cut card stock. I cut the word "ENGAGEMENT" out of one sheet and popped it up onto the same word on this layer.

I used the Elegant Edges Cricut Cartridge to cut the pretty shape behind the Save the Date and hand set all of the rhinestones into a fun pattern. The fabric flowers (local Debbie's Dollar find) were topped with a brad from the This & That embellishment pack by Echo Park.

Underneath the "ENGAGEMENT" title, I popped up the banner and sentiment from MCT's My One and Only. To finish off the project, I added mini mirrors to the bottom of the page.

Be sure to head on over to Emma's blog to see what she and the rest of the designers created for today's Scrappy Monday.

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

06 September 2012

MCT Designer Challenge: Recycle It!

by Veronica

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - the three "R"s. "Being green" is important - but that doesn't mean it can't be cute! For today's MCT Designer Challenge, I'm challenging you to create a fabulous project using at least one recycled item.

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Your recycled item doesn't have to be something that was bound for the trash bin. It just has to be something that you're re-using. Perhaps you re-use part of an old project for a new one. Or maybe use the cellophane from packaging on your project! The possibilities are endless!My recycle project is a birthday card I made for my mother-in-law. I had found this adorable cupcake gift bag at my local Debbie's Dollar store and LOVED the colors and style of the cupcakes. Originally, the plan was to use the MCT Celebrate Good Times cupcake die for the front of the card, but then I noticed that the gift bag had a matching cupcake gift tag hanging on the handle. After un-knotting the ribbon handle, I slide the gift tag off and re-attached the ribbon to the bag.

In my card stock stash, I found a piece of purple card stock that had already been scored and folded into a gate-style card. Perfect! I cut all of my layering pieces from left-over scrap card stock (more recycling!) and adhered/pop-dotted them to the card panels. The top white layers were stamped with the sprinkle stamp from Celebrate Good Times in several fun colors.
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After cutting the large banner from Fly Away With Me Sentiments, I stamped the sentiment using two stamps from Celebrate Good Times ("Birthday", "wishes!"). Since I wanted the layered effect, but the sentiment I was using was too big to stamp onto the smaller banner from that set, I simply cut another large banner in pink and moved it down a tad behind the white banner. You can see that I stamped the "Birthday" sentiment again on the pink layer so that the tail of the "y" wasn't cut off too much.

The sentiment banner was then popped up onto the cupcake tag (along with the cherry cut using the die from Celebrate Good Times). I glittered the candies on the cupcake using Star Dust Stickles (my fave) and popped the cupcake onto the left panel of the card. Hint: Be sure to adhere your focal point to only ONE side of the gate-fold card so it will still open! *giggle*

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On the inside of the card, I used the "Enjoy your special day!" and "XOXO" sentiments from Celebrate Good Times.

This card was a BIG HIT with my mother-in-law!

Want to play along with the MCT Designer Challenge? Head on over to My Creative Time and link up to this post. Deadline for entry is Tuesday, September 18th @ midnight!

Thanks for stopping by today - I can't wait to see what recycled project you come up with for this challenge!

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

29 August 2012

MCT 3-D Wednesday: Birthday Banner Cake

by Veronica

As the resident baker of my friends and family, I love to try fun new ways to 'dress up' my sweet creations. I usually stick to cupcakes: they're quick to bake, easy to frost and yummy to eat! But sometimes, I feel fancy and decide to bake an actual cake.

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This cake was baked with so much love for my best friend, should-a-been-sister, former manager, college lunch mate, maid of honor, Stephanie. She turned the big 2-8 this year and we celebrated in style!

As you've probably noticed, banners are a HUGE trend nowadays. You can find them everywhere - even on baked goods! As I was baking this cake, I knew I'd put a banner on it - there was no question.

After baking and stacking my cake...

Confession time: I use boxed cake. Pretty much always. Ms. Crocker and Mr. Hines have come a long way since I was little. Their cakes are not only delicious, but save me time. I'd rather spend my time decorating than measuring ingredients. I give major kudos to you 'from-scratch' bakers, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I stand behind my boxed-creations. Can I get an 'amen'?

...so, after I baked and stacked my cake, I started frosting. I do make my own frosting, but it's so easy to make that it almost doesn't count as being 'from-scratch' (find recipe below). I knew I didn't want my frosting to be smooth. I wanted more of a homemade/vintage look to the cake. (I also didn't want to end up in tears because I couldn't smooth the frosting well enough - it's happened. *giggle*) Once my cake was frosted and the edges of the cake board were piped, I moved on to making the banner.

The banner flags were cut using My Creative Time's Build A Banner Kit. I stamped the HAPPY letters from Anyday Bingo & Crossword and used pop dots to adhere the banner pieces together. I then stamped "birthday" from the "Happy Happy Birthday" sentiment in Wow So Many Candles and hand-cut it into a trapezoid shape. The top of that shape is adhered to the bottom of the last banner flag.

I used an anywhere hole punch to poke through the top of each banner flag twice and strung linen thread through each hole. The thread is then stuck into slits in the skewers to hold the banner above the cake.

This sweet little banner made a HUGE impact on the cake and Stephanie absolutely loved it!

Pro tip: Be sure to insert your candles in front of the banner so that you don't accidentally end up with a much larger flame than anticipated. You do NOT want to light your banner ablaze!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Be sure to stop by Emma's blog to be directed to ALL the fabulous projects for today's 3D Wednesday!

I hope you were inspired!

- Veronica

As promised... the homemade frosting recipe (you'll never use another frosting again!).

Easy Vanilla Buttercream

Makes enough frosting for 2 dozen cupcakes
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.

...want chocolate frosting? Add some cocoa to the mix! *wink*