A site for my handmade cards, accompanied by my photos and written meanderings which are occasionally witty, often tongue-in-cheek, and rarely profound. Beginning in June 2013, you'll also see lots of NBUS, which is an acronym I coined for Never-Before-Used-Schtuff. Note: my Privacy Policy can be found at a tab below and you can find my NBUS Challenge online. I hope you'll join in the fun there! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

December 21, 2013

Inspiration Crew New Year's Card; CFC #124; CTS #58; NBUS #83; SSWC, and My New Baking Blog

Happy Saturday! 

Welcome to a prolix post.  (Great Scrabble word.)

I was asked some time ago to be a guest today of the esteemed group, The Inspiration Crew, for their scheduled New Year's Eve inspiration post!   
Welcome to the New Year’s Celebration Event brought to you by "The Inspiration Crew."  We’re just a group of crafty friends who love being creative. This time we're doing a one-day event to provide you with tons of inspiration to ring in the New Year!

Here is my Happy New Year's card:
I used SU! gold mirror and sparkly silver card.  The NBUS die is from Papertrey Ink.  The stickers are from Mrs. Grossman and the little festive photographic stars are from Kristie Goulet.  To make my scrumdidlyicious drink even more inviting, I traced the sticker onto scratch paper, cut it out, and then traced it with a Versamark pen onto acetate.  I then heat embossed it using SU! Hologram Highlights for lots of frosty blingy goodness.  Cheers!!
I am entering my card in the following challenges:
CAS(E) This Sketch.  Thank you, N@Ali for a wonderful sketch!
CAS-ual Fridays, where the theme is "Happy New Year!"  CFC is teaming up with 10-Minute Craft Dash, so you get a double chance at winning a prize if you can make your creation in less than ten minutes!  My card was quick and easy, but the acetate glass I made took me just over the limit.
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, where the theme is "Bling It On!"  It is a two-week challenge because of Christmas.
 Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog
I hope you get a chance to join in these fun challenges!  The links will provide the details about rules, sponsors, and prizes.
I'd like to take a minute to thank ALL the owners and Design Team members of the many, many delightful challenges that provide us with endless jumping-off suggestions for theme, color, and sketch, and then provide us with a multitude of creative inspiration!  I'd also like to thank the website Paper Playful for providing us with an updated and comprehensive list of weekly challenges and winners. 
Back to New Year's inspiration, I also made a wine bottle tag using a NBUS Avery Elle "Cheers" Die:
It was QACAS using that die.  The die set includes the label and the words "uncork" (which I love, no ambiguity there), "celebration," and "cheers!"  The papers used are unknown from my obscene collection.  I don't mean I have a collection of obscene papers, I mean I have an obscene quantity of pretty papers. 


Okay, so that's my New Year's inspiration for you for today.  Please do click over to the other very talented members of the Inspiration Crew who are participating in the hop!  Some of them are offering prizes!  Cheers!!

That's the end of card talk if you want to jump to the end to kindly leave a comment.  Thank you for coming by!

My New Baking Blog

Okay, so I have to share with you my hysterical baking day on Thursday.  But before I do, I have to show you a photo of the cookies my sister Diana made last week. 
Yikes!  My sisters Donna and Doris also had disasters, but I don't have any photos to share.  This just wasn't our year for Christmas baking!

So.  I finally finished off the last of my cards on Wednesday and with other holiday obligations, I left myself only one day to do any baking for neighbors, the Mister, the office, the Mister, friends, etc.
For the first gift idea, I decided to make one of those recipes-in-a-jar. You know where you put all the dry ingredients in a jar and attach a recipe tag?  I got the idea from an old Craft N Things magazine which I cut out in April 2008.  The recipe is for Lemon Coconut Cookies.    I can't find the recipe on the Craft N Things website, but the above link is the exact same recipe.  Well, I didn't want to just put the ingredients in the jar, type up the recipe, and give it away without actually trying the recipe myself to see if it stunk.
So I did.  I swear I followed the recipe prezackly.  Well, except for that part about placing the balls two inches apart on the cookie sheet.  Whoever does that?  I don't have all day!  It's never been a problem before, but for this recipe, your balls should be placed THREE inches apart or you get this new and space age ~ scientific even ~ dessert:
I called for the Mister to see.  He became quite delirious, knowing that by some magic this lot would become his, all his!  Also, being a science guy, he was very intrigued by the quadra, phrandal, hexa, whatever shape he called it.  I called it something else that I can't print here.  No question, these lemon cookies definitely gave me lemonade!
I was raised in Iowa.  In Iowa they wear boots for the snow and for slopping hogs.  They have a saying:  When things go bad, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move on.
I pulled up my bootstraps and moved on to brownies.  No one ever, in the history of brownies, has screwed them up.  Clever me to become famous for doing such a thing, but there you have it.
The recipe perpetration was without event.  I had even prepared my cake pan and preheated the oven.  Just as the last stirring was happening, I had a brain storm and remembered that I had these awesome silicon brownie BITE pans!  This would be even better for taking to the office!  Little brownie bites covered in powdered sugar that no one had to cut or bite into!  There would be no trails of chocolate crumbs down shirt fronts or hallways!  Brilliant!
I brought out the pans and found that if I used my fancy-smancy cookie scoop, it was just perfect for filling the bite holes without batter plops all over the place.  They cooked up smashingly, like little baby muffins.  Adorable.  I was haaa-pee as I powdered their little muffin tops with sugar.
Then I went to pop them out of their little silicon hidey-holes.  Um, no, not happening.  What happened instead was the little adorable muffin-top-like tops popped right off!  Hell-O.  They left their little cakey brownie bottoms firmly stuck to the hoity-toity silicon pans. 
I waited hours in between trying to remove them, hoping with time they might let go; that's why there are three missing.  But, yeah, no.
People, seriously, I thought the whole point of the flippin silicon material was that whatever you cooked just popped out without any need for greasing the skids.  Wrong!  So this is a public service announcement.  If you have a silicon bundt pan, or muffin pan, or brownie bite pan, or tart pan sitting in your board of cups that has never been used, ALWAYS grease it before you bake with it.  Always.
Did I throw them out?  Oh, slap yourself, no, I did not.  You know how I said I am now famous for screwing up brownies?  Well!  I am also going to become famous for the person who invented Brownie Tops.  They are a treat, lemme tell you! 
So the next time you go to the mall and you see a kiosk selling Brownie Tops, you make sure and let me know so I can get the royalties or sue for patent fringes or whatever one does. 
Look how cute they are:
They look kinda big in this photo, but they are just perfectly bite-sized. 
And the stuck brownie bottoms?  I scraped them out, one by one, into one big cakey blob, added a little chocolate syrup to moisten, and made Brownie Bottom Balls rolled in powdered sugar!  Squee!  They rock! 
(Shall I franchise these ideas?  I wish.  I'm sure Brownie Tops and Bottoms have prolly been invented before only I just never heard of them.)
At the end of my, ah, interesting baking day, Mister took me out to dinner.  I mean, it was the least he could do after I made him the world's largest sculptural lemon coconut cookie!
Sorry this is so long when you are so busy, but I just had to share!  I sincerely hope your holiday baking went off without a hitch.  Hitches are on wagons and back in Iowa ... oh, never mind!  I'll save that for another post!
Enjoy your day!  No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS!* 
As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to leave a comment and/or join as a follower!  Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor!  Here's a picture of my card, which I'm sure you've forgotten that I made!
Displaying Darnell Signature.png 

*Life Is Too Short!


Colleen said...

Oh Darnell, I love that you look always at the silver lining!! Your cookies do look smashing all powdered up and the remaining part of the brownie dolled up in the mini cupcake holders. You are so clever and innovative with both card design and cookie mishaps! Have a very Merry and blessed Christmas!

Kelly Griglione said...

Great choice of cardstock, Darnell! Gold is so very New Years. Love the olives you put on there. And I appreciate your determination in the kitchen! I'd be ecstatic with a baking sheet full of cookies (or cookie). Thanks for joining the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge!

Joni Andaya said...

Fabulous card Darnell! Love the gold :)

scrappymo! said...

Well you rescued most of them and the Mister is in cookie heaven...a good day all round! lol

Aileen said...

Darnell I loved both the card and the tags but your cooking time was brilliant. Its good to know we can all have 'one of those days' you crack me up :)

Lorraine A said...

Gorgeous card and tag Darnell :-) I love the die cut 'happy' and the sparkly cocktail ,,, fab :-)

lovely baking photo's too,,, feeling hungry now ! :-)

thanks for joining us on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge
Lols x x x

Sue said...

I love your New Year card and wonderful wine bottle tag.
Thank for sharing your baking, you did make me laugh! I must admit I have had similar experiences with silicon pans but I was not clever enough to save what I had made like you did!
hugs Sue xx

Redanne said...

Now I know why I don't try to bake! This would happen to me every time - pastry yes, baking no, in this house. I do like the look of the brownie tops and the squidgy bottom brownie truffles though....yes you should patent those.

Love the card, in all it's gold glory, perfect for a new year card - love it. Hope you had a lovely dinner out with Mister. Big festive hugs, Annie xx

Pat said...

I love the New Year card with the blingy glass and olives, and the great bottle tag. As for the baking - well you did manage to salvage the cookies in a very innovative way. x

Gerrina said...

Love your newyearscard! Wish you luck backing and a great weekend, Gerrina

Carol L said...

I'm so glad you always post the card at the bottom again, because by the time I've read through your adventures, I've usually forgotten all about the card! LOL Great card and I can identify with your baking disasters! I love that you managed to save those brownies and got very creative with the results! The coconut-lemon bomb is hysterical!! I've done a few of those myself :) LOL

Alanna said...

Your card is gorgeous with that gold. And I've never read anything quite so entertaining as your cookie and brownie incident. Thank you for this and I'm glad you were able to salvage.

Ardyth said...

Love this shiny, frosty card - very cool! And I'm so glad I'm not the only one to have mishaps in the baking area. I'll wait for your instalment where you tell us what you do to save burnt sugar cookies...

cm said...

Hahahahhahaha...oh Darnell, best post. EVER! Okay, all your posts fall under that category, but this one has me laughing out loud, tears streaming. LOVE everything about it! I'm looking forward to the Brownie Top and Bottom franchise coming to a location near me! And the lemon mondo-cookie - delicious (how I'd love to see a photo of Mister's eyes widen with delight!!). Cards and wine tag: perfect! You've started my day with a heaping helping of happy!

Tracey McNeely said...

Darnell I love your card and your tag and most of all your inspiring and upbeat take on things gone wrong in the kitchen!! Merry Merry Christmas my friend and a very Happy New Year! So very blessed to know you! <3

Paper Creations by Shirley said...

Oh my Darnell I have tears in my eyes from laughing so much. Thank you for making my day when we are 'iced in'. We cannot drive or walk there is thick ice over everything. And the best news is that we are getting MORE later today and it will be worse than yesterday. I can't wait and there is no thaw in the forecast. But I'm hopeful they are wrong and it will all melt.
Now on to your post, sorry I got sidetracked. Beautiful NY card, I like your take on the sketch. Your baking stories are hilarious! I really laughed at your comment about mister getting excited because he knew all those cookies on the one pan would be his (all men are the same I think) You'll have to add these stories to your book :) Season's Greetings !! Hugs, Shirleyxx

Brenda in IN said...

Yes, I had forgotten your lovely card because of the kitchen fiasco. I have to say the brownie tops look delicious as well as the bottoms. That's making lemonade! How delightful that you made your husband a treat that is just his thing! Your perseverance amazes me - good for you and thanks for the holiday cheer.

Bobby said...

It's hard to make a comment when everyone has said it all. Your shiny gold card is wonderful. I have that die but it is still NBUS. I make brownie bites all the time and put peppermint kisses on them, but have never used a silicon pan and after your post, I never will.

Ros Crawford said...

What a terrific post!! It so made me feel better when 2 lots of biscuits(cookies) I made this week went disastrously wrong! I still have no clue why ... I made the same ones a week before and they were perfect! I think the elves have something to do with it ...

Karen Petitt said...

Even though they are misshapen they look stunning huni, and now my mouth is watering and I am hungry lol! You made brownie cake pops - you could put them on skewers too!
Gorgeous card Darnell, very lush and rich looking. Have a good weekend xx

Bonnie said...

Brownie tops and bottoms look delish and you should patent the idea! I'm so glad you shared your baking escapades as they made me laugh out loud and we all know how good that it for our health! Oh, and I love the festive New Year's card. I don't think I've ever made a New Year's card. Hmmm....

Shannon J said...

Okay, first I LOVE that card!! The gold is awesome, and perfect for new years! My fave part: the olives jumping in (or jumping out!!) of the sparkly glass!! LOVE IT! And second, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! My cheeks hurt from laughing so hard over your baking episodes!!!!! (your sister's too!!!). Hilarious!!! THAT is exactly why I don't bake!! Thank you for reminding me!!! ha ha ha!! And thank you so much for all of your inspiration and making me laugh every time I come for a visit!!! SO happy to have "met" you, Darnell!!! Merry, merry Christmas to you and your family xoxoxxoxoxxo Shannon

Sheila H said...

Your card is fabulous! We've all had baking disasters - LOL! Thanks for sharing :)

Barb Ghig said...

Oh, Darnell...you always make my day with your posts! And today, was over the top!!! I was laughing so hard the hubs came in to see what was going on! Thank you for the big chuckle!

Love your card, too! Perfect for the sketch, and the gold is fab! My favorite is how the olives are falling into the glass...so fun!

Thank you again for yet another FUN post! I hope everyone at the office enjoys your Brownie Tops and Brownie Bottom Balls...they certainly look yummy, and their names speak volumes!!!

Vicki Dutcher said...

Bawahaha~~ You just crack me up! Hey, the ending brownies look quite tasty~ Good for you turning them into master pieces! :) The glob cookie on the other hand.... well hopefully DH loved it! LOL

Diane said...

Happy Holiday Darnell, wonderful New Years card, love all the baking pictures. I myself have had many baking disasters over the years one even set the smoke alarm off. That is always fun. Here is to a fun new year with lots of fun crafts and baking.

Hugs diane

Carole said...

Greetings Darnell First your card is simple,brilliant and sparkling.
And now you have taken your creativity to delicious mishaps...like the delightful way you play with words it's all GOOD!
Merry Christmas May you enjoy blessings of good health, well being and prosperity.
Christmas Carole ho ho ho!

Anonymous said...

Your card first, Darnell ... a glisteny, sparkley new year delight ... gorgeous! Next your baking adventures ... resourceful ... and very very yummy ... one day I too will bake like this ... when I get that functioning kitchen! Finally ... prolix ... I looked it up ... yep, really! It says 'extended to great, unnecessary, or tedious length; long and wordy' ... so I'm taking issue with you here!! I'm going with amusing, enjoyable, engaging, humourous and most definitely gladdening! Hugs Anita :)

Lorraine said...

your post about reality made me laugh..At first I read prolapse instead of prolix!!! love your baking..I cant bake large cakes but make little fairy cakes instead so can sympathise with your baking..love your art too

donna mikasa said...

Well heck with the cards, let's talk about your baking! Wowza! I'm especially intrigued with that gigantic blog of yumminess! Quadra-something or other....it's amazing!

Seriously, your CF card is quite spectacular with those little olives and it's a perfect take on the sketch! Yay, you!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays, Darnell! Hugs from Hawaii!

donna mikasa said...

BLOB, not BLOG!!!

Deb said...

Darnell, this card is striking!!! Love it!!!! Your baking post has me cracking up. I left the baking this year to my mil. The kids and I did the decorating and consuming. Have a very Merry Christmas!

OH Babs said...

Your card is gorgeous. Stay with the cooking blog you can be the next Irma Bombeck you funny lady from Iowa.

Susanne Vargas said...

Love your card, Darnell! I very much admire your ability to not sit down and cry about your baking adventures but create new delicacies that look really yummy! I will try to remember that next time I have an "accident" in the kitchen!
Thanks for always cheering me (and a billion other people) up with your posts!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Cathy said...

Gorgeous New Years card Darnell, and TFS your baking blips!! Hilarious, and so clever of you to re make them into something that looks delicious :) Hope you have a wonderful christmas with your family, hugs and kisses, Cathy x

Marie Bingaman said...

Bwahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa.......that is freaking hilarious, and ingenious at the same time! Only you, Darnell! Great card too! :)

Greta said...

My sides are aching & the tears are rolling down my cheeks--I can't stop laughing! I say you could get rich from the patents! Just stopped in to say I hope the birthday celebration was a success & I'm leaving with a smile. Thank you, my friend!

Greta said...

Oops--forgot to say I love your creative New Year's card--especially the glass!

Joyce said...

Happy new year to you, my blogging buddy. I always get a laugh and a smile when I come to see you, and today I got that and then some. I love to bake, and have had some colossal failures behind me as well, when working out a new recipe. Glad to see I am not alone, and the failures are often quite delicious, too. I will look for brownie tops and brownie bottoms at a store near me.

stampwithsandy said...

I got all excited when I thought you were starting a recipe blog, then almost cried when I saw your baking pics! We have all been there, but none as honest as you, Darnell! Brownie Bottom Balls? Love it!!! Thanks for making me smile today :)

Chris Dring said...

Your card and wine tags are so awesome Darnell, but really, your cookie/brownie capers are the star of this post for sure! OMG! You had me laughing out loud! Glad you were able to reinvent the brownies into something delicious!

~amy~ said...

gold, gold...I love gold.

Okay, I popped over here to find the link to your baking blog because, well, I just started baking. Did you hear me cracking up?! Oh my, you are hilarious.

Leigh Penner said...

Gorgeous card, Darnell -- great take on the sketch!
And I loved reading about your baking adventures-- they totally made me smile! I love your creativity in saving those brownies!

Kay Miller said...

Good Heavens Lady!!!! I laughed until I fell right off my stool sitting here!! That hexogonal shaped lemon cookie thing, is the funniest thing I've ever seen!! And that your husband was happy cause he'd get the whole thing was even funnier! And aren't you so clever in saving the brownies!! And I'll bet they were even more delicious than they would have been as real brownies! Well, I have no tips to offer, as I am no cook. I'd much rather spend my time making a card, then on food that someone's just going to eat! haha! Hope you have the most wonderful Christmas! ((Hugs))

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Do you know what Darnell, the brownies may not have turned out quite right but they still look scrummy and they are made with chocolate so they have got to be good lol! Merry Christmas Angela x

Jacquie Southas said...

I'm catching up on blogs between batches of brownies this morning - my genius idea this year was to bake them in a mini-muffin pan so I don't have to deal with cutting them later. LOVE your brownie tops & bottoms - great save! The card is bright & fun - perfect for New Year's Eve!

Kyla said...

Loved your card...then as I scrolled down your page and read about your cooking adventures I ended up laughing out loud!!! Sorry, but it really was funny-and YES you should copyright brownie tops!!!

Happy belated WOYWW and thanks for visiting my desk already

Julia Aston said...

Oh my gosh - WHAT??? I forget all the things I just read, screamed out loud about and laughed myself off my desk chair...... Ok - so your recipe disasters sure turned around and worked out ok! My DH would have said the same thing - YAY Now I get to eat them!!!!! he always looks for the weird shaped, broken, too big or slightly burned pieces and he knows they are for him...! Great New years card with the martini - I'm sure you made yourself one after your day in the kitchen!!! Wishing you a Blessed Christmas!

Laurie Unger said...

Hey, I'll take some of those brownie tops - I've been craving brownies for days!!! Great card and love your baking stories! Cracked me up! Happy Holidays!

Geri said...

Awesome post!

Great save turning the brownie mishap into a possible franchise opportunity! "Brown Bottoms" bakeries could be springing up everywhere! Hey, if they can do it with muffin tops, then heck yeah, Brown Bottoms will rock!

Fabulous card - love the sheen of the gold paper, love the cascading olives and LOVE the embossed acetate glass! I'm sure I heard the wee sploosh as the olive hit its mark!

Great idea for the quick & easy and oh-so-awesome wine bottle tags too!

Lisa Elton said...

Ooooh how shimmery and fun for the new year, great card Darnell!! I thought my sprinkles adventure was the pits, but holy smokes girlfriend you win the prize for baking fiascos! Great save though. You're not olny a card artist...you're a baking artist!! Wishing you and the Mister a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!!!

Claire Grantham said...

Darnell, I love this post..the honest truth behind Christmas baking :) I popped along to tell you how much I love your card, the olive jumping into the glass made me smile and want a dirty martini.

alexandra s.m. said...

Once again, you have me giggling all by myself in front of the computer ;)
Thank You for that and for sharing your beautiful take on the creative prompt!

Colleen Dietrich said...

I love reading your posts, Darnell! You are so full of life. :)

Your golden card with olives is so cool! Very New Year's Eve-sy.

And your baking adventures...whooo. We've all been there with the, well, misadventures. I would have thought the silicone pans don't need greasing. Don't own any. Now, I won't bother! Hee hee

Merry Christmas, my friend, and may your new year be filled with all sorts of wonderful things!

Iris said...

Cute New Year's card and wine tags and I loved your cookie saga. Very funny.
isoscia at aol dot com

Suzanne said...

I laughed and laughed reading this, Darnell! Brownie tops! Love it! Thank you for the gorgeous Christmas card - I hope that you had a great holiday today! Merry Christmas! xo

Sylvia Blum said...

I just love your New Year card with all the silver shine :)
The bottle tags are awesome, too!

Thank you so much for playing along with us at CAS-ual Fridays!
Sylvia xx

Jo Nevill said...

Fabulous card, love all your bling !

Thank you for joining us at Simon Says Wednesday Challenge !

Wishing you a very happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year !

Jo x

karen h said...

Fabulous card - love that you used the gold as the base!

Your baking story had me rolling! I really love how you made those brownies work for you!

maria f. said...

Hey there, hi there, ho there Ms. Brownie Bottom Balls. Loved the post. And this golden lovely may be my all-time fave of yours. Everything about it is poifect! Prosit to you and the Mister in 2014.

Anonymous said...

You are cracking me up, lovely lady!!!
Those misadventures are a hoot!!!!!
I love your stories!!

Fab New Year card, as well !!!
I've decided that I need to go back to my stories & anecdotes for 2014..!!
Hope nobody minds!! Xo

Betty said...

Love the gold on your card, Darnell. Great job. Thanks for playing along with us in the CAS(E) this sketch! challenge and hope to see you again.

Gayatri said...

Your gold card is just soooo gorgeous. I am a sucker for gold. Love your card, Darnell. Thanks for playing along CAS(E) this Sketch :)

Gayatri said...

Your gold card is just soooo gorgeous. I am a sucker for gold. Love your card, Darnell. Thanks for playing along CAS(E) this Sketch :)

Debbie said...

I have only just come across your blog but golly this had me chuckling for ages - and yes I forgot about the card because the baking info was so funny but your cards are lovely
Debbie (a cold and wet Scotland )