The little things that make me happy here on Bliss Road~~Emily Keaton

Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Alien + a WINNER!

Greetings, Earthlings--and a happy Thursday to you! I'm here with a quick post to share a card and a winner!

First, my card (I know--I'm prolonging the agony and anticipation!):

Yes, kind of goofy, I know. It's an alien wishing the birthday boy a happy birthday! I made this a while ago for the tweenaged son of a very dear friend. Goofy is good for a tween, don't you think? I patterned it after some little clay alien figurines that my kids made for fun last year, and then gave him a Sing-A-Majig kind of mouth made from punches (yes, that's a heart punch that I used for his tongue!). Nearly all of the stamps (including the flourish I used for his skin texture) come from various The Craft's Meow sets (Just Sayin', Season's Greetings, and Timeless Tags), except for the dotted circle around his eye, which comes from a Flourishes set, I believe. Just for kicks, I'm linking this up to the Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes challenge.

Now, I've promised you a winner for my washi tape giveaway earlier this week. I used to draw a winner from all the comments left on my giveaway post and came up with lucky number . . .

. . . 14--and that was Denise Bryant!!

Congratulations, Denise! I'm off to email you next so I can get your new roll of Green Graph Washi Tape from DeNami Design mailed out to you. :)

A huge thanks to everyone who played along in my giveaway! As always, I had a ton o' fun reading all of your comments :). Be sure to check out my next Ways With Washi feature in March--it will be on the 4th Monday of the month (that will be March 25). Giveaways are so much fun--let's do another one then!!

Thanks for checking out my little slice of bliss today!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

DeNami Design Product Spotlight Blog Hop

Thanks for stopping by today! The DeNami Design team is featuring a brand-new rubber stamp in our Product Spotlight today, the versatile Grass Border. And we're showing it off BLOG HOP STYLE!

Here's the card I made with this new stamp:

My card also features Easter Blessings, Elegant Oval Frame, Decorative Butterflies stamp set, and Solid Egg Border, plus some great inks from the DeNami store: cherry pink, sea breeze, and spring pansy. I colored the frame and grass border with markers.

You can purchase this grass border stamp for 10% off the regular price for the next week. You also have the chance to WIN this fabulous product in today's spotlight blog hop! All you need to do is hop along to each stop in the lineup, leaving comments along the way. Here is the blog hop lineup:

DeNami blog 
Lisa Petrella
Deb Wabbe
Wendy Elliot
Emily Keaton  <==== you are here!
Lisa Elton
Kanani Kawamura
Dana Seymour
Tammy Hobbs

One commenter will be selected at random to win this month's prize! Just check out the DeNami blog for all the details.

I hope you have a day filled with bliss!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ways With Washi: BACKGROUNDS + a Giveaway

Happy Monday, DeNami friends! I am so happy to be checking in with another edition of my monthly feature for the DeNami Design blog, Ways With Washi!

Today I’m sharing ideas on ways you can use washi tape to create BACKGROUNDS on cards or other papercrafted projects. I’ve created three samples for your viewing pleasure, so let’s get to them!

On my first card, I used not one, not two, but EIGHT different washi tapes (all available from the DeNami store) to create a rainbow-striped panel perfect for backing these sweet St. Patrick’s Day chickies. To create the panel, I simply trimmed a piece of white cardstock to the desired size and adhered strips of washi tape to it, side by side, wrapping the tape ends around to the back. I know that some folks prefer their washi tape to look neat, and this is an easy way to hide ragged, jagged ends.

DeNami Supplies: Shamrock Chickies, Leaf Green cardstock, Red Stripes washi tape, Red Graph washi tape, Orange Stripes washi tape, Yellow/White Dots washi tape, Green Graph washi tape, Lime/White Dots washi tape, Blue Stripes washi tape, Purple/White Dots washi tape, Confetti Twine 3-pack

On my second card, I took a more artsy approach to my washi background, letting those ragged, jagged tape ends all hang out. I created this background by adhering strips of washi tape directly to my card base and overlapping the edges slightly. Did you notice that I stamped the sentiment directly onto the washi-tape background? Jet Black Staz-On ink is your best bet for that.

DeNami Supplies: Small Heart Outline, Happy St Patricks Day, Iridescent Emerald Green cardstock, Jet Black Staz-On ink, Green Graph washi tape, White Boutique Buttons   

Finally, on my third card I’ve used three different washi tape patterns to create a unique, almost quilt-like background. I simply cut a 4” x 4” square of white cardstock and adhered strips of washi tape in a concentric square pattern. The overlapped tape ends at the corners create subtle squares in the design that add to its overall visual interest!

DeNami Supplies: Heartfelt Greetings stamp set, Elegant Floral stamp set, Garden Accents stamp set, Magenta cardstock, Black Curly Loops washi tape, Pink/White Dots washi tape, Black Stripes washi tape   

And there you have it—three different approaches to using washi tape to create your own custom backgrounds!


How would you like the chance to play around with some washi tape of your own? I have a brand-new roll of Green Graph Washi Tape from DeNami Design--the same tape that I used on my second project--that I'd love to give away to a reader of this post. Want to be in the running? Just leave me a comment on this post using the word "SHAMROCK." There's no need to be a follower of my blog to enter, but if you are a follower (or become a new follower!), you can have a second entry in the drawing--just leave me a second comment telling me that you are a follower and how you follow. :)

I'll leave commenting open until 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 27, 2013, and will draw one "SHAMROCK"-using commenter or follower at random. The winner will be announced right here on my blog on Thursday, Feb. 28, and if I'm able to find an email address, I'll be sure to contact the winner as well.

Thanks for popping in, and have a super day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pinspired at DeNami

Happy Wednesday, friends! One of the new features on the DeNami Design blog this year is a little something called Pinspired. Paulina, our DT leader, has scoured Pinterest for beautiful, inspirational photos. Twice each month, the DeNami team will then interpret a given inspirational photo into various cards and projects. Paulina split the team into two groups--the first group took their turn here--and today it is time for my group to take a turn.

Here is the inspirational photo that Paulina gave us to interpret:

And here is my creation inspired by it:

Even though I took a clean and simple approach to this card, there are still four different DeNami stamps in the design: Small Heart Outline, Teeny Heart Background, You're on My Heart, and Sparkles. Can you spot them all?

I also used some musical notes washi tape from the DeNami Design store.

Be sure to check out what the rest of my DT group made after being inspired by today's Pinspired photo!

Thanks for dropping by for a visit and slice of bliss today!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Presidents' Day

Today is Presidents' Day in the United States. It has a long and somewhat convoluted history (which you may read up on here, if you are so inclined), but ostensibly commemorates the birthday of George Washington, first president of the United States of America.

In memories of the Februaries of my youth, visions of arrow-pierced frilly hearts, paper busts of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington (both of whom were born in February), cupids, and cherry pies will be forever entwined. Yes, I included cherry pie in that list. Remember the myth that when George Washington chopped down a cherry tree as a youngster, he responsibly fessed up, "Father, I cannot tell a lie; I chopped down the cherry tree"? Over the years, February became the time for baking cherry pies to honor Washington's birthday--and it was no different in my house. My mom often baked a cherry pie (or two) in February to celebrate--whether it was Washington or the incomparable goodness of the tart red cherry we were celebrating, I'm not sure we knew. But cherries and February go together like a horse and carriage in my mind.

And somehow cherries migrated to an association with Valentine's Day for me, as well. I remember going to our town's Ben Franklin five-and-dime store in the 1970s and 1980s to buy cherry sours candy by the pound from the candy counter. They were only available in February, so that became a Valentine's Day treat. When I started to learn how to bake as a teen, I made my share of cherry cobblers (so much easier to master than pie!) as a special Valentine's Day dessert for my family--those February cherries always fit the "red" theme of the meal I planned for that night.

So now my Valentine/February cherries live on. Recently it has become my tradition to bake my sweet hubby a cherry pie for Valentine's Day. Conveniently, his favorite dessert is cherry pie, and since he is as sweet as cherry pie, it fits into my vision of a cherry-laced February--and all is right with the world. :) I took time last Thursday morning to bake his traditional cherry pie and couldn't have been more pleased with the results!! Probably the best cherry pie I've ever made, so I couldn't resist taking a few photos--just in case my pies never again turn our quite this perfect ;).

Presidents' Day doesn't seem to be such a big deal any more. Elementary schools (or at least my kids' schools) aren't decorated with a profusion of cupids and presidents' heads in February, and Presidents' Day seems to be more about big auto sales than cherry pies these days. But in case you'd like to revisit the Presidents' Day cherry pie tradition, I'm sharing my recipe here. And don't forget--there's no statute of limitations on cherry pies. You can make one any time it tickles your fancy!!

Tart Cherry Pie

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. corn starch

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 cans (14.5 oz. each) red tart cherries in water

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/3 Tbsp. butter

2 crusts for a 9-inch pie (I use Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts)

Red decorating sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain the cherries and reserve the juice from only one can. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Stir in reserved cherry juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Add the almond extract and gently stir in drained cherries, being careful not to mix in extra cherry juice--I recommend lifting the cherries from their drainer by the spoonful, rather than dumping in the entire mass at once. Pour filling (it may be slightly runny at this point, but will thicken perfectly while baking) into pastry-lined glass pie pan. Dot with butter. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut vent holes (four work perfectly!) in the top crust, place across top of pie, tuck excess top crust under the edges of the bottom crust, press together to form thick crust edge, and flute. Sprinkle pie with decorative red sugar. Bake 15 minutes, then cover edges with aluminum foil (or use a silicone pie crust shield like this one as I do), and return to oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cool pie for several hours to allow filling to thicken before slicing. Serves 8.


Now, remember how I said last week (in this post) that I wasn't exactly sure how much snow we had gotten here in the big Blizzard of 2013? Well, we got the official scoop in our hometown weekly newspaper last Thursday: we received a total of 28 inches!!! How about that?? I guess an awful lot of snow had been blown away from the areas I'd measured by the time I got outside to take my measurements. And here I'd been feeling cheated that our snowfall total hadn't fallen within the "advertised" totals of 24" to 30" in the weather advisories leading up to the storm. I guess I needn't have worried!! ;)

Sorry I don't have a papercrafted project to share today, but I'm hoping that a little cherry pie eye candy will make up for it. My kids are on vacation from school this week for February break, so I'm not sure how much I'll be around the ol' blog this week. But I hope to catch up with you all again soon!

Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing a little slice of {cherry pie} bliss with me today!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Moving on to St. Patrick's Day

I told you I would be back to play in Flourishes' February Release Week Challenge, the Pick 1 Challenge again! Now that Valentine's Day is over (here's hoping yours was a fabulous one!), I'm moving on to the next holiday. Here's today's creation:

Remember, we were to pick one of three sketches,

one of three color combinations,

and one of three embellishments.

This time around, I used sketch #2, color combo #3, and embellishments choice #2 – buttons.

I used the very awesome Irish Blessing stamp set from Flourishes.

Got any big plans for the weekend? My kids get all next week off from school for February vacation and my hubby has Monday off for President's Day. I think we will be getting in some awesome family time!!

See you again soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Good morning and happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day is filled with fun, love, and hopefully some delicious treats :-). Chocolate, anyone?

Today I thought you might like to see this little creation that I made for a very dear friend for Valentine's Day.

It was fun to make because it is a bit different from many of the cards I usually make. Everything, except for the stitching and pearls, is a digital element from the Affectionate digital collection by Carina Gardener. That rectangular panel is a ready-made digital journaling card. Pretty cute, huh? I just love how this turned out.

I am playing along with a few challenges:
Got any last-minute Valentine preparations? Later this morning I will be working on getting Valentine's Day treats ready for the loves of my life. Some yummy treat bags for the kids {plus a Lego surprise for each of them--shh! Don't tell!!}, and a homemade cherry pie for my honey. That is his favorite dessert!

Have a fun one! And thanks so much for dropping by for a Valentine's Day visit :-).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Floral Birthday

Just a quick post to share a card I made for Flourishes' February Release Week Challenge, the Pick 1 Challenge. We were to pick one of three sketches,

one of three color combinations,

and one of three embellishments.

For my creation, I used sketch #1, color combo #3, and embellishments choice #2 – buttons.

I used two different Flourishes stamps sets for this card: the image is from Bloomin' Aussie Florals and the sentiment is from Hollyhocks.

This was such a fun challenge! I just sailed right through it. It is kind of addictive, so don't be surprised if I trying to fit in another replay before the end of the week. :)

Thanks for dropping by!

Dotty for Birthdays

Howdy, folks! This morning I am sharing a polka-dotty birthday card for your viewing pleasure.

It features the latest DeNami Product Spotlight stamp, the cling-style Scallop Circle.

So sweet, right? I think you will find this to be an ultra versatile stamp. For more ideas on how to use it, be sure to visit the DeNami blog today where the entire design team is sharing some awesome scallop circle inspiration. This stamp is on sale in the DeNami store this week, too!!

To complete this card, I reached for DeNami's Birthday Celebration cling stamp set, Thoughtful Greetings stamp set, Iridescent aquamarine cardstock, and some baker's twine. The patterned paper is from an old 6 x 6 paper pad from My Minds Eye, and the red grosgrain ribbon was salvaged from a Christmas present.

I was inspired by my blog friend Jessi, who is on the design team for the Shopping Our Stash Challenge, to play along with the new SOS Challenge #89: They Say It's Your Birthday. This is my first time playing with Shopping Our Stash, although I've loved the concept ever since I first started seeing Jessi play over there! I dug deep into my stash for the patterned paper and aquamarine cardstock that I used for this creation, plus the bakers twine has been around for longer than I care to remember ;-).

Thanks for sharing a little slice of paper bliss with me today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

You stole my heart + a WINNER!

Happy Tuesday! I am sharing another Valentine card that I mailed out yesterday. This one is all about the stitching. The stamps are from Unity's Straight from the Heart set. To make this card, I used a twist on the regular stamp masking technique. I stamped a heart {mask} on a sticky note, trimmed it, and placed it on my design as a mask where I wanted to stitch around my "stolen" heart. After stitching, I simply removed {stole} my heart mask, resulting in an "empty" heart roughly the same size and shape as the two "filled" stitched hearts.

I am playing along with:
OK, so now on to some fun stuff! I had a little giveaway to celebrate my win in the Moxie Fab world last week. The comment period ended last night and I used to draw a winner this morning.

Lucky #10 means our winner is ERIN!!

Congratulations, Erin!! I've emailed you. :)

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to offer her congratulations on my Moxie Fab win! I was tickled to read your comments and had so much fun seeing how creative you were in fitting the word "blizzard" into your responses. :-) You guys are always so much fun!

The kids are back in school today after an unscheduled four-day weekend. They had Friday off for the blizzard, and Monday off to allow time for snow removal at their schools. Even though they had a super time playing in all of our snow, it's nice to be back into our routine again.

Thanks for dropping by to share a little slice of bliss with me. :-)

Monday, February 11, 2013

I'm Nuts for You

Hey there, everybody! We survived the blizzard :). It was hard to tell exactly how much snow we got in all, what with all the blowing and drifting. We tried to take some snow depth measurements and ended up taking an average. Our best guess is that we received about 18 inches of snow in our town. Boston, just 15 miles to our south, received 24.9 inches of snow. So, who knows? We'll get the official scoop in our hometown weekly newspaper on Thursday.

I took a whole stack of Valentines to be mailed at the post office today, and this was one of them. I made it for my aunt and uncle. My uncle had a long career as a shop teacher before he retired--I think they will get a kick out of this ;). Huge thanks to my sweet hubby for supplying me with some nuts from his garage stash! The letter stamps are from Alphabetically Adorable by Unity, and the patterned paper is a digital print from the Echo Park Paper Hybrid Note to Self collection. Those are some big letters, so this card measures 5" x 7".

I'm playing along with a few challenges:

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back tomorrow with the winner of my blog candy.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

DeNami Adorable Animals Blog Hop

Good morning, friends! I am so excited to be a part of today's DeNami Design blog hop! Today the DeNami Design team and DeNami Design customers are featuring some of the ultra adorable animals in the DeNami stamp lineup. Get ready to overload on cuteness!!

Hopefully, you've arrived here by way of Tina Milbourn's blog, A Timeless Treasure. If so, you are on the right track! If not, you'll want to head over to the DeNami blog to start the blog hop at the beginning. (And remember, if you get lost along the way, you can always head over to the DeNami blog to get pointed in the right direction.)

Don't forget, there are some amazing DeNami prizes to be won! Two lucky commenters will be drawn at random from among the comments left along the blog hop to win a $20 DeNami Design gift certificate! You have until Monday, February 11, 2013, 11:59 pm PST, to leave comments on all the blogs to be eligible for a prize.

OK, now if you have ever taken a gander at the collection of DeNami adorable animal stamps, you know there are a ton to choose from--177, to be exact. But the one that has captured my heart most recently is the brand-new Squirrel stamp. Cuteness personified! I needed two cards so I made a couple of variations on a theme. Here we go!

There are lots of DeNami Design goodies on these cards. I used Squirrel, Nuts About You set,  Small Scallop HeartHearts set, Teeny Heart Background, lavender cardstock, red stripes washi tape, and pink stripes washi tape, and a Crystal lacquer pearl pen.

I am still madly making Valentine cards to send out to friends and family. This afternoon I will be switching over from production mode to prepping for mailing mode! One of these cards will go to a dear close friend who now lives far away. She is totally batty for squirrels and her favorite color is purple. I am pretty sure she will get a kick out of this!

I used a few challenges to get the creative juices flowing for these cards.

That's it for me! Before you leave for more adorable animals inspiration, be sure to leave a comment to be eligible for the randomly drawn prizes and then you can be on your way to the next stop on the hop, the blog of the very sweet and talented Andrea Fisher, Five Pine Designs. 
Thanks so much for stopping by today! Enjoy the blog hop,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thank U, Moxie Fab World, + a GIVEAWAY!

Yesterday I was floating around on cloud nine all day. Yup, totally filled with blissful helium ;). And why is that, you ask? Well, I got some great news concerning this card:

You can read all about it here in this post.

I posted it here on my blog last month as my entry for the Use 10 Embellishments Challenge in the Moxie Fab World, in honor of the release of the new Paper Crafts special issue, 75 Creative Card Challenges. Well, the winners were posted yesterday and I was over the moon to find out that Cath Edvalson, Trends Editor for Paper Crafts magazine and host of its Moxie Fab World blog, thinks I am Moxie Fab!!

Lil' ol' me!? Color me happy :-)! My juggling card was one of two named as winners in this category from out of 104 entries. You can read all about it here. But that's not all. Cath went on to say this about my card: "This is one of the most clever approaches to this [10 embellishments] challenge I could ever hope to have seen. Indeed, it's one of the most clever approaches to any card challenge I have ever seen, hands down, bar none, period." Aw, shucks!! I'm totally blushing over here.

Now, I am usually not one to toot my own horn. But I've got to say that this one just had me so excited, I just had to share. And what better way to share good news than to spread around some happiness? So, let's celebrate with a GIVEAWAY! I have a brand-new clear stamp set from Flourishes, called Tiny Flowers and Tags, to share with one of my readers. I've been saving it for a special occasion, and I think this just may be it ;-). 

It's such a fun little stamp set, right?

Here in Massachusetts we are under a BLIZZARD WATCH (can you believe that?) for Friday into Saturday. Our part of the state is expected to get between 18 inches and 24 inches of snow. That is a lot of snow at once, people! It could get pretty exciting around here. {Just how much excitement can one gal take?} So, here's how we'll do my little giveaway: If you would like to be in the running for this Flourishes stamp set, leave me a comment on this blog post using the word "BLIZZARD" before 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday,  February 11, 2013. You can tell me how you would feel if a blizzard were bearing down on you right now, if you'd like ;-). I'll draw one "blizzard"-using commenter at random to win Tiny Flowers and Tags, then post the winner here on my blog on February 12. If I can find the winner's email address, I'll email her as well!

Now, there's no need to be a follower of my blog to enter the giveaway, but if you are a follower (or become a new follower!), you can have a second entry in the drawing--just leave me a second comment telling me that you are a follower and how you follow.

Well, here's hoping that we don't lose power during this snowstorm! I'm off to do my regular weekly grocery shopping next. It's unfortunate timing--I'm sure the shelves will already be stripped bare of essentials like milk and bread. But that's OK. I already stocked up on milk yesterday, so we'll make do with whatever is left!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a little slice of bliss with me today. It is always great to see you here!
Grinning from ear to ear,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Craft Dash Valentine Card

Hello there, friends! Today DeNami Design Rubber Stamps is sponsoring this week's 10 Minute Craft Dash  Challenge! Sweet Paulina invited the DeNami Design team to play along. Challenge #11 is all about hearts.

I must admit that the idea of creating a card in less than 10 minutes is a bit nerve-racking for me :-)!! But it was fun nonetheless, especially because I got to pull out some awesome Valentine stamps from Denami!! Here is what I created.

I desperately wanted to add some stitching (right along that strip of patterned paper!) but there was no time to do it ;-). See? I was cutting it close as it was.

Want to give this challenge a go? I think you ought to – there is an awesome prize at stake! Check it out:

If you don't already have any DeNami Design stamps, then this is a great way to start your collection with no risk ;-). And if you do? Then you have the chance to feed your addiction!

I played along with two challenges in the making of this card:

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have an awesome Wednesday!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Warm & Fuzzy Wishes

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Ours was pretty good, but went way too fast. My kids had an early release day on Friday, so at least we got to start the weekend early. They both brought friends home for lunch and to hang out for the afternoon. We squeezed in two family movie nights (so easy to do on these cold winter nights!)--Friday night we made more progress on our quest to see all of the Harry Potter movies in order, checking #3 (The Prisoner of Azkaban) off the list. Then on Saturday we rewarded ourselves with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island after a day of homework and chores.

It is a new week with a new to-do list. At the top of my list today is getting a birthday present and card ready to mail to my niece for her eighth birthday at the end of the week. This morning I worked on making her a birthday card. She is all about pink! I figured she would love this little furry creature.

And here is the message I stamped on the inside :-).

I used images and sentiments from the Party Posse stamp set by Paper Smooches and some pretty polka-dotted patterned papers from the Handmade collection from Lily Bee Design. Oh, and that polka dotty washi tape came from Target.

I am playing along with three challenges:

Well, it's time for me to grab some lunch, and then I must tackle some design team assignments. I hope you are having a terrific Monday! Thanks so much for dropping by for a visit today. I always love seeing you here :-).