Giant Raspberry for 2017 – the Year in Review

As 2017 draws to a close, I feel like giving it a giant raspberry…

LOL! (for my foreign readers, a raspberry can also mean and expression of disapproval by sticking out one’s tongue and blowing out air to make a vibrating sound) Last week was the week of giant berries:

Now, ‘them’s the berries!!”

Just look at those berries compared to the normal sized berries in the middle! Amazing! And they were sweet, too!! A foretaste of paradise!

So, yeah, as most of you know health-wise, this was a bad year – not to mention the hurricane. It culminated with a severe migraine that started November 30 and has yet to go away over 4 weeks later. Ugh! The longest I’ve ever had one was my very first one which lasted 6 weeks. I’m hoping that I’m NOT going for a record! Needless to say, I got much less crafting done this year. I’ve been putting this post together in stages for several days now in those brief moments of semi-lucidity. ; )

Despite everything that was going on, I was able to make 86 posts this year. This blog had 2612 visitors (including you 63 faithful followers) from 57 countries who left 832 kind comments. Thank you all for your support!!

I was thrilled to have the honor of being a guest designer for the CropStop blog a couple of times this year:

    

I was also delighted to be invited to be a guest designer for the MarkerPOP! challenge blog with this card:

It was exciting to see few of my cards received special recognition:

 

for this card:

for this card on Instagram:

and 

for this fun card:

These were the most visited blog posts this past year (in order and not necessarily posted this year – interesting!) – if you missed any of them, just click on the picture to be taken to the original post:

        

These were this year’s posts that elicited the most comments, in order (click on any picture if you want to go see the original post for more details):

       

Here are the top nine from Instagram (the ones that got the most ‘likes):

  

  

  

Thanks to the 210 followers and others who left over 3000 ‘likes’ on my 103 Instagram posts!

Let’s hope that 2018 is a better year for us all! I hope to catch up on several things that I didn’t get to post this year, including a DIY photo light box and some beaded tie chains. Plus, I have some craft storage ideas, including a DIY jewelry case. I’m hoping my health will let me be a little more regular in posting and in crafting wherever the whim takes me! Thanks for accompanying me on this journey!! See you next year.

~D.Ann

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Doctor Who Inspired Food, Fun and Snacks

Hello, hello! I know I usually focus on papercrafts, with a few other crafts here and there, but today the whim is taking me off to share with you some food ‘crafts’. Now, I’m not fond of scrolling through my Instagram feed and being subjected to pictures of what someone is having for lunch, so if you’re not a foodie, or a Dr. Who fan, I don’t mind if you skip this entry.

A while back I snagged a free Kindle copy of Dining with the Doctor. Besides fun recipe ideas, the author has a great sense of humor! A friend of mine who is a total Whovian just finished a round of chemo for a brain tumor, so to celebrate and cheer her up, I made several plates of Doctor Who inspired food, fun, and snacks to take over to her. If you’re a Dr. Who fan, you will recognize many of the references. Allons-y!

So I started off with a plate of fish fingers and custard (actually, honey mustard sauce) a a bow tie napkin because, well, ‘bow ties are cool!’ There’s Emilia Pond’s apple with the happy face, and a real felt fez filled with loose-leaf teas and a TARDIS infuser. Geronimo!

This one wasn’t from the Dining with the Doctor book. Cassandra is a flat bread pizza with plenty of cheese, black olive eyes and roasted bell pepper lips with and aluminum foil frame to stretch her out. Moisturize me!

Ahh… the Slitheen! My green pear turned yellow before I got to this, but you get the idea. I used date pieces for the eyes. Another item not found in the book: my take on the famous Indiana 15 bean soup my aunt makes. On the lid I called it ‘Slitheen soup’ and said ‘you’ll know why in the morning!’ lol! ALTHOUGH… this soup doesn’t seem to give off much gas. Perhaps because of how it’s made.

15 Bean Slitheen Soup:

Start with a bag of 15 bean soup dried beans (ours are actually from Indiana), plus 1/2 – 2/3 cup each of dried lima beans and dried pinto beans (just because those are family favorites). Bring a pot of 8 cups of water to boil, dump in the beans and let sit over night. Drain and repeat in the morning.

In another pot, bring to boil, then simmer 4 cups of water, 1 cube of vegetable bullion, one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, 1 clove of garlic minced, 1 onion sliced, 1/2 lb of baby carrots and 4 or 5 stalks of  celery chopped. When the veggies are tender, let cool, then put in the blender and blend until smooth.

After the second soaking of the beans, rinse and add them to the blended veggie mixture. If the mixture doesn’t cover the beans, add water to cover. Cut up 1/2 pound or less ham into small chunks and add. Bring to a boil, and let simmer about an hour. Just before serving, add the flavor packet included in the soup bean bag.

A Vashta Nerada detection kit with a fried chicken leg… Count the shadows!!

This one is a no-brainer. Strax and the others just happen look like potato heads! Add some walnut eyes, almond nose and roasted bell pepper mouth and they’re ready to be obliterated! Sontar-Ha!

Hello, Sweetie! River Song’s trademark hair looks great as angel hair pasta! There is no hallucinogenic lipstick on those roasted bell pepper lips, tho!

Pretzel buns with meatballs make nice little Dalek spaceships…. Exterminate!

Love you Oodles! Hummus, roasted bell peppers, string cheese and boiled eggs make a great Ood appetizer plate… just make sure the eyes don’t turn red!

Here we have the Doctor’s favorite disarming charm, the Master’s drums constantly beating, Souflle girl/Clara’s password… Run You Crazy Boy and Remember Me!

And, we finish off with dessert… Some fake Jammie Dodgers (Pepperidge Farms Apricot Raspberry thumbprint cookies), Cybermen (strawberries dipped in chocolate, decorated and sprayed in silver), the crack in the universe caused by the exploding TARDIS in a piece of pumpkin pie, and an exploding jello TARDIS.

Yeah, that was a clever cover-up… the jello wouldn’t come out of the mold and broke apart. To salvage it, I printed a copy of Van Gogh’s exploding TARDIS, covered it with plastic wrap and put the ‘ruined’ jello TARDIS on top.

My friend had a blast uncovering each plate and had several meals and snacks on hand afterward. I hope you enjoyed this little whimsical diversion, too!

Before I go, let me share with you a fruit that has an out-of-this-world quality to it that some of you may not have seen before…

What a GORGEOUS color!! This is what’s commonly called Dragon Fruit (Pitahaya)… It’s easy to see why!

It comes from a cactus…. here’s a picture of it a few weeks ago in my friend Mary’s garden:

When mature, you just wash it and slice it in half and scoop out the sweet, light flavored flesh inside. If you’ve ever had a kiwi, the edible part is a similar consistency, but the flesh of  the dragon fruit is much thicker and prettier.

I hope you enjoyed today’s break in the routine. I hope to be back next week at the latest for the winter Coffee Lovers Hop. See you soon!

Thanks for dropping by,

~D.Ann

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Spring Coffee Lovers Bloghop: Altenew Card & EDIBLE stamping on macaroons!

I’m excited to be back again as I think you’re going to enjoy this post!

(** NOTE: if you are looking for the post with details on my Guest Designing for CropStop, click HERE**)

Once again, the Spring Coffee Lovers Bloghop is on.

This time, I took my color inspiration from Altenew’s March 2017 Inspiration Challenge:

Let’s start with the exciting EDIBLE stamping! Once again, I gathered my supplies:

  • Store bought macaroons (yes, I’m too lazy to make my own! lol!)
  • Wilton gel food colors
  • Sunny Side Up Bakery gold luster dust
  • Wilton imitation almond extract
  • Wilton food safe brushes
  • Altenew Peony Bouquet and Oriental Orchid stamp sets

By now my head was too into the project to remember to take pictures along the way, sorry! One tip: I found it MUCH better to spread the gels thin onto aluminum foil and let them sit a while until sticky before pressing the stamp into them and then onto the macaroons. I think the thin and open designs worked better than the smaller, thicker lines and more closed designs on my previous project.

If you haven’t read my previous post, you might want to check out some of the tips (you’ll find it if you click HERE) I tried refrigerating them after stamping the outline, but touching the outline colors, especially the black, they still wanted to bleed. I found it best to thin out the gels with a drop of almond extract and keep the brush almost dry. The results were, in general, MUCH better this time:

This time I mixed the gold luster dust with some drops of almond extract and painted around the smaller orchids and highlighted the petals of the peonies for some fab shine!

 

Moving on to the card:

This fun DoCrafts, Xcut embossing folder makes a great window opening for the Altenew Dancing in the Rain window. Once embossed (it cuts and embossed in ONE pass! Woo-hoo!), I ran some Spectrum Noir Illustrator pens over the raised parts to add color. Layering one of the cutout butterflies on the window frame and having the 3d frame layered over the window stamp gives it so much extra dimension, don’t’cha think?!

The butterflies and one of the hearts are drenched in the  FABULOUS new Nuvo Glitter Accents in Fresh Snowfall by Tonic… it dries almost instantly for some great shine and dimension!

I mixed up the sentiments from Altenew’s Dancing in the Rain and Goals stamp sets for this fun sentiment for a rainy day. To make the view even drearier, I ran over the scene with a Spectrum Noir Metallic silver pencil.

Yep, as you sip your coffee and snack on some delightfully decorated macaroons on the rainy April Shower days that will soon be upon us, you can close the card and think of the May flowers that will be following close behind!

Supplies used for card:

  • Altenew Dancing in the Rain and Goals stamp sets
  • DoCrafts Xcut Cottage Window cut & emboss folder
  • DCWV yellow card
  • Core’dinations red cardstock (to back the cutouts)
  • Memento Tuxedo Black dye ink
  • Spectrum Noir Illusrator Basics: Bright Orange, Canary, Emerald and Flame Red
  • Spectrum Noir Metallic Pencil: Silver
  • Tonic Studios Nuvo Glitter Accents: Fresh Snowfall
  • iCraft Therm-o-Web Sticky Tape Runner – permanent adhesive

I’m playing along with the following challenges… click on any one of them for more information on how you can join the fun…

I’m so happy you could stop back by today! I always look forward to hearing your thoughts on my projects. I’ll have several posts up over the next few days, including some more non-card posts (not edible, tho, sorry!), so do plan on stopping back by. If you don’t want to miss any posts, feel free to subscribe! Thanks!!

~D.Ann

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Spring Coffee Lovers Bloghop – CDD First Sip Card and EDIBLE stamping

Hello and welcome back deer peeps!

(** NOTE: if you are looking for the post with details on my Guest Designing for CropStop, click HERE**)

It’s that time again — time for the Spring Coffee Lovers Bloghop! Woo-hoo!

 

You’ll want to click on the Bloghop logo above to go read about how you can join the fun and about all of the wonderful sponsors and prizes!

I’m starting off with an experiment. I wanted to try stamping on cookies…. yep! EDIBLE stamping!! I started my experiment with some inspiration from Craftin’ Desert Divas Monthly Mood Board:

   

I stopped by the store and picked up some yummy spring colored macaroons – those small, circular, light-as-a-feather French confections (not the divine coconut drops). Then I gathered some supplies:

  • Wilton gel food colors
  • Sunny Side Up Bakery gold luster dust
  • Wilton imitation almond extract
  • Wilton food safe brushes
  • Craftin’ Desert Divas Coffee Break and Peek-a-Boo Animals stamp sets

I tried spreading the gel food coloring mixed with a drop of almond extract real thin on aluminum foil and pressing the stamp into it, then onto the macaroon.

I wish I’d’ve had a food safe brayer. It was tough to get the right consistency and get good coverage. The black worked better – perhaps because I spread it thinner. (It worked even better after it had set out a while and gotten tacky.) Next came coloring. Any time I accidentally touched the black, the black color immediately bled into it. It was, indeed, a learning experience! The kids who ate these were way more pleased with them than I was!

A few more things I learned…

  • Don’t press too hard or the macaroons will crack. The surface isn’t flat, so you do have to ‘rock’ your stamp… try to do this only once to prevent a double image.
  • The gold luster dust makes for a TERRIFIC shine. put a little on the foil with a drop of almond extract, mix and pick up with your brush. When mixed with black on a stamped image, it makes a pretty  silvery-gold.
  • On the pink cookie, I tried wiping the gel around, then stamping, then filled in the teapot with gold dust. The wiped areas almost look like they were airbrushed.

 

I then went on to make a card with the same stamps (and color scheme), adding in the Simon Says Stamp challenges for multiple layers/dies/stamps.

Tip: If you have a Spellbinders die, like this one, that is too long for your card, you can find a place to cut it and shorten it like I did. Under the next layer, the cut lines are hardly noticeable:

I love how Flower Soft makes great pollen-y stamen centers for these sweet flowers!

Card Supplies used:

  • Craftin’ Desert Divas Coffee Break and Peek-a-Boo Animals stamp sets
  • Spellbinders Timeless Rectangles, Divine Eloquence, and Cinch & Go flower dies
  • Core’dinations Parisian Nights A2 pink card
  • Core’dinations cardstock – pink yellow and green
  • Memento dye inks: Rich Cocoa & Rose Bud
  • Aqua Blend pencils (by Spectrum Noir): Carrot, Ginger, Parakeet, Petunia, Strawberry
  • Spectrum Noir Metallic pencil: Pink
  • Spectrum Aqua pen: Rose Pink
  • Flower Soft – Daffodil
  • Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue
  • Recollections Faux Pearls

I’m playing along with the following challenges… click on any one of them for more information on how you can join the fun…

I’m happy you could stop by today! I’ll have several posts up over the next few days, including some FLOWER stamped macaroons that turned out MUCH better — so do plan on stopping back by. If you don’t want to miss any posts, please subscribe! Thanks!!

~D.Ann

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