2012: A Year in Review!

Every year, I say I'll post my year in review on January 1st and somehow it's March before I know it, ROFL! :p  

 With my recent blog hiccup, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of my cards from the past year!  I have to manually add them all back one by one from my pc hard-drive (eek!) so in at least I will have 10 of them in one place! *smile!*

Operation Write Home card donation :)

For my husband :) 

Crafters of Faith: Spring

Whipper Snapper swap card :)

My special Raggedy Ann doll card ~ Buggaboo digi :)

My son made his black belt in TaeKwanDo at the age 7!

Crafters of Faith:  End to Summer!

TAT card - mirror image (Try A new Technique!)

Olympics card: I chose Archery as my theme (dd16 is an archer!)

Zombie card for my dd17, who LOVES The Walking Dead!

Crafters of Faith: Christmas Carols

Ye old Merry Christmas from Riley and Company!

And that's just a quick 2013 Year In cards Review! :)
I know some are slightly out of order but with my blog crash,
I'm fining files all over the place!

Btw, the update on my blog hiccup!  A month or so ago, my phone hard-drive crashed and with it went my contacts, information and photos.  Apparently, at some point unbeknownest to me, the phone was connected to my blog - hence, anything stored on my phone when it crashed took the blog with it!
Although I have everything back up in our pc hard-drive (thousands upon thousands of pictures!) it will take a process of loading them ONE BY ONE,
each and every post.  The task is somewhat daunting, so I will reload them little by little in the next year.  So just a head's up - careful where your pictures are connected! I didn't even know my blog was on my phone!
Lesson learned the hard way :P


Winter Wonderland :-)

Happy New Year's Eve!!  

Wishing you an abundance of blessings for the New Year - 2013 is just hours away and I pray that the year ahead brings you many good things!

I have a two-fold card today - both the Calendar Girls and the Crafters of Faith cards were 'snow much fun' winter wonderland cards so I managed to fit both challenges into one card!  Yay me!
I found this gorgeous picture on the web and wish this was my backyard! 
 I asked the Calendar Girls to use this photo as their muse this month:

 and my card:

 and the inside of the card:

 and since the Crafters of Faith are to make a card using snow and glitter/glitz to bring in the New Year, I added lots of white shimmery glitter to the snow!
I used the SU! set Sleigh Bells Ring and kept the blue color through-out the card theme including with the ink (love that Marina Mist!) Of course I had to decorate my card inside and use some buttons to finish it up! :)

Please be sure to visit the Crafters of Faith AND the Calendar Girls and you can find them on my side-bar - they have been quite crafty this month and have "snow much" to share with you! 

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings and
Happy New Year!


Merriest of Holidays from Riley and Company!

Happy Holidays from our house to yours!
  I hope your Christmas day was all things blessed and wonderful!

I've been bed-bound and slowly recoverying from one of the worst cases of the flu ever starting on the 22nd.  I missed 3 crucial days of shopping, cooking and entertaining and dragged myself out of bed for the Christmas morn gift openings and watching the *babies* definitely has it's own healing qualities.  Whew, definitely a Christmas for the record books!

Not to mention I came back to see my blog has been basically wiped clean! :(  Every picture, every post and sidebar details are all gone and I have tried everything I know to retrieve it.  I spent over an hour rebuilding back the past week's posts and to do that for the past YEARS worth?  I'm out of energy, time, and strength to even give that another thought - so it looks like I know what one of my 2013 projects will be! :P

The new Riley and Company bi-weekly card challenge is up and running!
The challenge this week is Anything Goes.  Easy peasy!  
I ended up making a holiday card using non-traditional colors {love doing that!}
I used Riley and Percy Snow Dancing and the matching Winter Words Sentiment on the inside.  The papers are bright and festive and remind me of the colors of Miami, even in "Winter" :)

To add your card to a gallery, please use the keyword Riley2612 and of course,  play along with us at the Riley blog, too!  Please stop by the DT blogs to see what inspiration the Riley DT has for you to see this week.

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!


Book Review and GIVE-AWAY!!

Hi there!!  Oh friends, forgive my lack of visits/blogging/crafting - 'tis the  Season to be unbelievably busy!  But I have some exciting news!  In addition to a book review, I wanted to give you a chance to be able to get this for yourself! The author of "On a Quest For Christ" has sent me an additional copy of her book - SIGNED - as a give-away!  How wonderful is that!

On a Quest for Christ: tracing the footsteps of your spiritual journey is a simple yet comforting journal book.  It opens with the refreshing statement of what a quest is: “a journey towards a worthy goal, the seeking of a noble end.”  For each of us, that quest means a different journey ~ one that may be easy or hard, laden with guilt, burdens, fear or maybe one filled with hope and wonder or anywhere in between.  With a pencil in hand and an open mind and heart, this devotional sure gives you a beautiful opportunity to find where you are at!

This book is divided into 30 mini chapters which are short and do-able.  Each chapter contains 5 great components:

1. Relevant scripture
2. Opening thoughts, 
3. Lisa Are’ Wulf’s personal shared words
4. Your Story – a reflective journaling area with questions to inspire thought
5. Closing prayer

Lisa Are’ Wulf’s devotional book is pure delight.  It’s a light and refreshing read.  I enjoyed going outside the box and applying the questions to my own walk of faith.  As we walk in the journey of faith, we always hope that we are moving forward and with each step, gain more knowledge and life experience.  And guess what?  Jesus is right there all along to help you do just that!

To learn more about the author and her vast ministry work, you can visit her website at www.onewomansanctuary.com.

Thanks for stopping by and please ad your name to the comment area to put your name in the draw :)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book product to review.   I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.   The opinions I have expressed are my own.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.   I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!



Winter Travel ~ Dueling Darling style!

Peace be with you today as we sit and mourn the loss of the tiniest of victims in CT.  My heart aches for those parents and know that there are such few words to bring comfort ~ and I pray for the families of these most precious gifts of life lost in this senseless tragedy.  

Although by now I'm on the road heading to a field trip for the next 3 days, I sure hugged them all - my kids and those who call me 'mom' just because - a whole lot tighter.  Peace with you today!

Well, it's time for another friendly 'duel' between the Divas -vs- the Dazzlers! This month, our hostess with the mostess was Barb and WOW!  Did she send a kit to send us over the moon happy!  This is one of my favorite color schemes and the papers were rich in blue, brown and green! It's *snow* much fun to see all the papers, embellishments, cute image!  Starting out with a stamped image of Downhill snowman from Whipper Snapper, I colored it up with prismas and left it rather plain because I was having a blast with all the papers!  It was truly hard to chose one side over the other :)  

In addition to our cards, Barb asked us to include a story related to "Winter Travel."  When I was about 6, we had just moved to Germany and I met a bunch of new friends and we all went to the 'sledding hill' and would FLY down the hill.  At 6, I'm sure it looked like quite a mountain!  Yours truly here thought it would be cute to stand up on the sled (on ice, going downhill!)  Not only did  I fly off, writhing in pain from my broken arm, but my friends piled me back in the wagon and took me home.  As soon as it healed and the cast was to come off, I broke it weeks later - same wrist - ice skating.  Time for me to stay off the ice I reckon?  (I broke the other wrist, too .. feelin' jinxed! :)

Please be sure to stop in an see what the DT have created on this duel!  

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!


Riley: Say it in Song!

Good Morning!  Today a new Riley and Company challenge starts and it's brought to us by DT member, Jovita!  She has challenged us to create a Riley card using the theme: "Inspired by Song".  

For me, music is a big part of our lives and we have it playing all the time, including Christmas songs!   One of my all-time favorites is Noel ~ esp when song by Josh Groban  ::: swoon! :::  I was blessed to see him in concert a few years ago and he's a truly gifted and amazing performer.  But I digress! My card ..... I went with the song "Noel" :)  I paired up the brand new, clear stamp Carrying Tree Riley with a 4.25 x 5.5 cut-out card that I found here. I printed out the template and paper-pieced the letters with a 'top coat' of paper in country hearth tones of paper.  Our church has decorated this year using ferns and red gingham ribbons, raffia and real pine cones - such a heart and home-spun feel to it all and that's what I was channeling when dreaming up this card :)

We'd love to see what song inspired cards you come with, too!  Please link them to the Riley and Co blog and if you use a gallery, please use the keyword Riley2512.

Have a *musical* day! :)

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!


It's *Snow* Mystery!

Hi there!  Looooong weekend here and I'm about to drop from exhaustion.  Honestly, December is truly one of those months that is always in constant blur!  But we made it through and we're about ..... half way, almost?  

Just a quick post to show you the 'almost' card :)  As part of the mystery image swap, this month hostess by Jeanette, we received this darling image of Darcie's snowman to work with.  So I did!  Pretty much the week I received it - then lost the cards!  My crafting Cabana is that bad!  I know they will turn up ......... say ........... in May of next year! :x  Jeanette was kind enough to resend another set of images and this was what I came up with in my time crunch, utterly exhuasted, completely mojo-less, crafted out brain .... but isn't he the cutest snowman EVER!  Even though I'm not happy with the final result, it's all about the destination but the journey - right?!  He's so happy, it makes ME happy! :)

I have bible study first thing in the morning and haven't even CRACKED the book open (not *the* book - smile! The study guide!) so I'm keeping this short and wish you a multitude of snowy blessings!

 Big Hugs!
BIgger Blessings!


Just Dance!

Good afternoon!  Wow, I actually made a card! :)  Blogging/crafting at this time of year are next to impossible with our busy schedules but it's almost a busy birthday month for us - all 3 of our daughters :/

Today's card is one that I made for my daughter, Chrissy :)  I am so excited to ink this stamp up because I just received it in the mail from Kraftin' Kimmie as a stamp win from a challenge I entered (this card for my other daughter!)  Thank you, Kraftin' Kimmie, for your generosity and the unexpected blessing of receiving this fun stamp to ink up!  OMGosh, I adore Kraftin' Kimmie Moonlight Whisper stamps and this was absolutely perfect for my daughter!  She's a musical babe ... always singing, dancing, performing.  I thought this would be a perfect tribute card to her as she has been in so many shows, constantly trying out for dance numbers at school and audition after audition after audition ...... whew!  Through it all, she remains grounded and sweet as pie and just such a gentle, beautiful soul to all that get to know her :*) 

For my color palette, I followed the new color combo at SCS CC404 this week ~ a little out of my comfort zone, but that's exactly why I chose it!  Chrissy's favorite color is blue so I let that be the focal point of Holly Hip Hop! I added the coordinating sentiment to the inside where my dh and I will writer her a little note :)

Thanks for stopping by today! I know I am WAY behind in my visits and I hope you bear with me ... December is just crazy for us and I usually don't get to take a breathe til about January!  One birthday down ... 2 more to go!  (and did someone mention Christmas was this month? eeeek!) :x

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!


Crafters of Faith ~ Away in a Manger ...

    She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” 
    (Luke 2:7 NIV) 

Good Morning! 
 It's the end of the month which means the Crafters of Faith post our monthly card challenge :)  This month our hostess was the wonderfully sweet Maryrose and she gave us a joyous challenge to create:

Make a card based on one of your favorite Christmas songs or carols. (The Bible verse I chose is often associated with Handel's Messiah, another favorite!) Make sure your card has a little twinkle to represent the light of the world. Bonus points to anyone who includes kraft and gingham in their design (just because I LOVE kraft and gingham!)

We are a very musical family and there isn't much of a time when we aren't singing along with music!  Christmas, of course, is no exception and it's hard to narrow down a favorite Christmas carol!  So I chose one that I had on hand which had the verse already there and went with "Away in a Manger".  I was happy to use Inky Antics wooden holiday stamps which I just treasure ... I scored a 4 piece wooden IA stamp set for $5 on SCS a couple of years ago and so happy this one could see some ink this year!  

For the requirements, I went with a chocolate base but paired it with Crumb Cake since I don't have Kraft :)  Papers are a mish-mash from my stash and I used some gingham paper and ribbon in hues of yellows, kraft and browns! It's a very non-traditional Christmas card!  I'm really tickled with how this card came out - although I will have to rephotograph in the morning light as I'm just beat after the week I've had and just getting home at this very late hour!  

Please stop by and see my sistahs of faith and their beautiful Christmas Carol card creations! You can find them listed in my side-bar :)

Thank you, Maryrose, for your beautiful theme for creating our COF cards!  

Big Hugs,
Bigger Blessings~



Happy "I love to write!" Day! :)

Hello, friend!  Today I have a card to share with you for the Calendar Girl's monthly post and it's a funny one!  The theme, that is :)  This month, our hostess Jeanette (creator and founder of the Calendar Girls) challenged us to find a non-traditional bizarre, silly, crazy, unknown November holidays from a little site called Brownielocks (you should check this out - it's super fun!) 

As tempted as I was to use National Button Day *smile*, I went with November 15th ~ I love to Write Day!  My card was a challenge for me in many ways - I wanted to combine a few challenges that I've been meaning to play in and managed all but one (the sketch!) Without further adieu, here is my card using the color combo challenge #13 from Color Me Beautiful, an image from Dearie (it's absolutely free!) and my flower! I'm so proud of my little lilac!  See, the TAT challenge for the Stamp Addicts Blogging Group awhile back was to make a card with hand-made flowers and I have been waiting to use mine :)  I'm so very tickled with these flowers because I made them with love and lots of laughs with my daughter ~ we made a series of flowers in shapes and sizes and I confess, we had more glue and glitter in our hair, clothes and floor than anywhere else but what fun we had! :) 

This was colored with prismacolor markers and paired with DSP from SU!
from the Brocade Background, Kiwi Kiss and Thoroughly Modern colletions and all SU cardstock (but PTI white).  And that's my post for today!  I hope you get a chance to stop by and see what the other Calendar Girls posted today in the wonderful world of wacky holidays :)

Big hugs,

Bigger Blessings!


Entered into:  Color Me Beautiful - #13


Shhhh ... I hear Santa!

Shhhhh ... I think I see Santa! :)  

Hiya!!  I'm back today with another Riley and Company cutie -- 
Old World Riley in his jammies + nightcap
 tip-toeing past Santa!  

Today's card is for the new bi-weekly challenge that's hosted by ... me! :)
The challenge this week is to create a card using the color scheme Burgandy, Old Olive and Cream and as a bonus, create a card/project with a theme of gratitude and thanks!

For my card for you today, I used papers from my stash:  Bravo Burgandy, Old Olive and cream to create this charming Santa Riley card, added some ribbon and buttons *smile* and ta-da!  I'm really tickled with how this came out and might have a new contender for "the" 2012 card! :)  Be sure to enter your cards on the Riley Blog HERE!

Be sure to stop by the Riley and Company DT to see what they have created as well!  If you want to add your card to the gallery, please use the keyword Riley2412.

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!



Book Review: Prayer Never Fails, Especially During Trials

Good Morning!  I hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving and your weekend has been a splendid one!

Today's review is for the book by Berney K. Dorton entitled 
Prayer Never Fails: Especially During Trials. 

What drew me to the book initially was the title and right from the start, I realized it was so much more than that.  You know how we all have that one good friend – the one who invites you in for coffee when you need a shoulder and you feel the love and warmth right away?  That’s what kind of ‘read’ this book is – inviting, supportive, refreshing.

Prayer Never Fails opens with the scripture from Philippians 4:6-7 and I could just feel the strength of that verse from cover to cover.   It has beautiful stories appropriate to real-life crisis. It’s heavy in personal stories and gives you a glimpse into the author’s faith-filled heart.  She invites to ponder:  “When things go wrong – should we shake our fists in the air and shout about the unfairness in life?  Or cry out to God in prayer?”  This book not only answers that wonder, but invites you to put God in every trial and situation that has, or could, come your way.  I burst out laughing at her description of her friend calling her at 5 am, waking her up out of a deep slumber to say “Wake up, prayer partner – it’s time to pray!”  I’m not so sure I would have been quite so exalted!   I also caught tears coursing down my face at the heart-wrenching story of the loss of her nephew, Brian, in a tragic, senseless shooting.  Mrs. Dorton carries scripture through-out her writings and while this book is just chalk full of things to think about, one thing remains constant:  “We are forever grateful for the hand of God moving in our lives."

Five areas of prayer that are emphasized in the book are:

1. Prayers to confess and confront the sins in our lives.
2. Prayer to thank God for his blessings.
3. Prayer to develop intimacy with God.
4. Prayer for cleansing and restoration.
5. The righteous prayers that availeth much.

The only critique I had with the book is that at times I felt like I was reading more of an autobiographical thesis than a novel.  As mentioned,  it’s heavy with personal stories pertaining to her life but not so much that it’s overdone.  I think, perhaps, that’s just the author’s writing style.  It doesn’t take away from the beauty of the written work and the message is still loud and clear: “Prayer is ordained by God”, she explains, “honored by Christians, and relied upon when we are doubtful.”  

I invite you to learn more about the author at her personal website here:   http://berneykdorton.com/   Make sure to watch the moving book trailer as well!  

Big Hugs
Bigger Blessings!

I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.


*Riley and Co* New Stamp Release BLOG HOP!

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Thank you so much for spending your Thanksgiving Day with us!
Now that your turkey has been gobbled up, we have quite a smorgasboard of sweetness for you to see with this month's Riley and Company new stamp release Blog Hop :)  Be sure to start here at the Riley and Company blog so you won't miss any of the fun!

Are you ready for another awesome Riley Release??

We have something very very special for you this time! Riley & Co. stamps are now being released in CLEAR SETS! This release has six adorable new clear sets which include Riley and 3 - 5 matching phrases!

Special #1: Buy all six sets for only $50.00! (reg. $10 each). That's the same as buy 5, get one free! 

Special #2: You can also get a set of 3 FREE Funnybone stamps during this release by simply placing an order of $25 or more (before tax) in the first 24 hours of the release! (One per customer please.)

Special #3: But wait - there's more! As an added bonus, we are giving EVERYONE FREE SHIPPING from Thursday night at 9 pm CST until Sunday night at midnight CST! Just enter FREESHIP in the coupon code section!

I have two cards for you today.  Dog Walker Riley set ~ I literally *squealed* with delight when I saw this Riley - the cutest!! I'm also showcasing Surprise Cake Riley and both clear sets come with matching sentiments!
  I made this duo with a burgandy and pink winter combo to give it a fresh and festive feel.  

Surprise Cake Riley

Inside of the card with 1 of the 3 sentiments

Next up, Dog Walker Riley - so cute!!  I have one of the matching sentiments on the bottom of the easel card which says "from all of us!" :)
Dog Walker Riley

From here you'll hop on over to Laurie's blog and her amazing creations!
If you get lost along the way, start at the Riley blog here and be sure to visit each blog on the stop for your chance to win a stamp set from the release.

Thanks for stopping by!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!

Entered into: make it monday, anything goes
Flourishes - something that makes you happy
Paper playtime - anything goes


Sneak #4 ~ Dreaming of Snow :)

How I dream for a white Christmas every year!

  One of the fondest memories for me is the beauty of the real winter ~ ice skating, find the perfect Christmas tree, snow angels, sledding and beyond!  This new Riley and Company "Carrying Tree" clear stamp set sure makes me smile when I remember those moments!

In case your wondering about the stamp set wording ~ it's true!
Riley and Company's new stamp release will consist of clear stamps WITH coordinating sentiments!  Super fun!

For this card, I used two challenges from SCS.  First up, sketch challenge #SC411 and second, the beautiful color combo of CC401 - such a stunning color palette for holiday cards!

Here is the front of my card ...
And the inside with 1 of the matching sentiments!
 And here was the fun sketch:

And the color combo! Pretty, right!?! :)

One more sleep til the BIG HOP!!  I hope you are as excited as I am!

Riley and Company will be releasing 6 new Clear Stamp Sets including matching sentiments!

The Blog Hop is this Thursday, Nov. 22 at 10 PM starting at
There will be one lucky winner from each blog with one free release set of your choice so mark the date!  
Be sure to stop by the DT blogs for more sneak peeks! 

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings,