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Monday, January 27, 2014


I know it's almost February, but I didn't want to wait until next holiday season to share this recipe....cuz, these are really tasty.  Actually, you don't have to take my word for it, I've heard back from many of the people I gifted these to and they unanimously gave them two thumbs up!   I love a cookie that tastes good AND has great eye appeal and these hit both of those marks and then some.
I plan to try one modification in my next batch and that is to try baking them on parchment paper since I did get a bit of peppermint candy that oozed out in places, which made it difficult to remove some of them from the baking sheet and the clean-up took some effort.   Thanks to Taste of Home for the recipe.


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsps. peppermint extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candies


  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies


  • In a large bowl cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in extract.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir in peppermint candy.  Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until blended (dough will be stiff). 
  • Divide dough in half.  On an ungreased baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12-in x 2 1/2 in. rectangle.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 15 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board; cut diagonally with a sharp knife into 1/2-in. slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm. 
  • To frost, melt the chips and shortening using the microwave; drizzle chocolate over the cooled cookies-roll or sprinkle the crushed peppermint over the tops while the chocolate is still warm.  
You know...these could work for a sweet Valentine's treat with the red and white colors in them; wrap them in a fun box with some hearts and bows and you're set....or, just make a batch for yourself and call it good.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Crazy how some traditions last forever, some fade away and then there's the generation who is very much into combining the current trends with a sprinkling of "vintage/retro" touches from days gone by.

Wedding traditions are interesting to say the least, studying its history and how it may have evolved over time is fascinating to me.  My daughter did a lot of research prior to her wedding and I saw a very sentimental side of her come through in her planning; she especially wanted to bring personal keepsakes to her wedding from previous generations of our family; those who are still with us as well as those who had already passed. A sixpence in each shoe from the birth year of each Grandmother; brooches from my Mom's jewelry box in her bouquet; my original wedding ring (I upgraded at the 20 year mark) worn on her right hand; a picture of my folks on their wedding day on the guest book table to name just a few.

A question that I've been curious about....will the garter and bouquet toss live on with future generations, or will these traditions fade away and become a thing of the past?  I've already had many conversations with my daughter that began with "When we got married.....", I wonder if my daughter will be having those same conversations with her kids?
These pictures are from my daughter's wedding in 2012, she chose to include both the bouquet and garter toss at her reception.

I recently read  "a 2010 study by the Wedding Inbox suggested that the bouquet toss is as popular today as it was in the 1960's --23% of brides who married in the 60's said they did a bouquet toss, as did 24% of brides who married in the 2000's".   So, not too much has changed, other than the "toss" bouquet didn't exist back in the 60's, the bride's actual bouquet was tossed.

As a professional photographer, my daughter saw approximately 50% of the weddings she shot in 2013, included the garter and bouquet toss, while the other 50% did not.   It will be interesting to see what her 2014 weddings will show.
This collage of pictures above are just some of the garters I've made over the years (top right is my daughter's).  Over time, garters have become garter sets; one "keepsake" and one "toss", or "one to show and one to go"; personally, I think this was a nice enhancement  for the bride.  

I would suggest to a bride, specifically when it comes to her decision about a garter....if you don't want to have a garter toss at your reception, then absolutely don't!  But, I would also offer don't let that stop you from wearing a garter on your wedding day.  It's the one occasion in your life when you get to wear one why not?  I've never felt more beautiful, regal and pampered than on my wedding day; in large part due to what I wore and how I looked on my wedding day....the gown, shoes,  hair and makeup and yes, the garter which for me, seemed to make the ensemble complete. The day I had looked forward to from the time I was a little girl was everything I had dreamed of.  (Interesting bit of trivia and quirky coincidence that I'm posting this on my 31st wedding anniversary!)

So, wear a garter and make it your keepsake too!  You'll enjoy looking back on the pictures, and you can save the removal of the garter for a private moment between you and your groom!  .....and, if you'd like, hand it down to your daughter as a cherished memento of a very special day in your life.   I've seen brides wear their Grandmother's or Mother's veils, earrings, a necklace, or in my own case my Grandmother's watch.    It's your day, don't bend to what is expected, make your day something heartfelt, personal and memorable...and start a new tradition!

Monday, January 13, 2014


This project came about since I wanted a sign for my business.  I considered several ideas and landed on a wooden base with vinyl lettering.  The question became what to use for my wood base?  I literally stumbled upon a business here in Denver by the name of Bud's Warehouse,, they refer to themselves as a home improvement thrift store.    "Bud's Warehouse, Denver's Home Improvement Thrift Store, offers 20,000 square feet of doors, windows, cabinets and much more at 50% to 75% off retail."  My sign started to take shape when I saw the unfinished kitchen cabinet doors.
The size was perfect, the wood was was meant to be!
My signature color is a periwinkle blue...I found the craft paint in the perfect color at Hobby Lobby.  All the other paint colors I had on hand.  

My first step was to paint the inside portion of the door. Part of the reason I started with the inside is I was anxious to get started and using small paint brushes and crafting paint can definitely be accomplished in the house.

I was also able to cut my logo from vinyl using my silhouette machine while I waited for the weekend.  We were expecting warm weather that would allow me to work in the garage to finish up the project.  Yay!
I was going for a weathered look, so I wanted a base color of off-white....again, I had some paint left over from other projects around the house, so no out-of-pocket expense.  I actually diluted some of the white and used it to mute the periwinkle and accent colors, painting right over them to give it that weathered look; I also brushed some diluted light grey on top of the white.  I used a rag to rub the paint versus leaving brush strokes.

The finishing touch is the sanding: I removed some of the paint and create the distressed look similar to my distressed cabinet.project from a couple years ago.

After the sanding, I was able to add my vinyl logo lettering.  My business cards have a pair of vintage scissors next to my logo, which I really liked.  So, I found a template for a basic pair of scissors on the Silhouette store and then worked on adding some additional elements to give them a bit more of a vintage feel.

It took me several tries using cardstock to get the pattern just right; after that I cut it from vinyl.
A coat of matte finish Mod Podge over the entire sign and she's done!

I plan to hang it in my studio, but it is also easily transportable so I plan to also take it with me for a tabletop sign when I'm promoting my business in other settings.   Total cost - just under $15 .....Sweet!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I've been really looking forward to sharing this with you, but wanted to wait until after the photos were taken so I didn't spoil the surprise!

This was a complete fluke..........but I ran with it!    I was in Hobby Lobby (my home away from home) and saw these natural wood puzzle pieces hanging there and immediately thought of my daughter's photography business and how cute these would be for an engagement shoot.  I took a picture of them with my phone and sent it to her (she totally loved the idea -- in fact, if I'm not mistaken she called me a genius! WOW!)
As I wandered around the store for the crafts that I really went to find....I couldn't help but think about how I could finish the puzzle pieces to make them really special.   My mind was racing......
They come two to a package; I don't remember the exact price, but they were less than $10...and of course, I used my 40% off coupon from the Sunday paper!

I had so many ideas, but settled on just two.  This was the second project I made with my Silhouette Cameo and the first one I attempted using vinyl.  I learned a lot about the blade, the speed and the thickness.  I am so grateful for the many crafters who have blogs and other forums that I can read and learn from!

The first step on the "You/Me" side was to paint the pieces.  I just used standard crafting paint and varied the shading by adding either white or black to my base color....I wanted it to resemble a jigsaw puzzle that needs to fit together based upon the varying colors.   After I chose the fonts and played with the sizes, I used the Silhouette to cut them.  Once I secured them to the puzzle piece, I gave it a good coat of Mod Podge to finish and protect it and also help secure the vinyl.

For the side that says "LOVE", I knew I wanted to design something that needed to be joined to complete the message.  So, I chose to separate the word itself and then created the heart tying the two sides together.  On this side, I chose to paint the pieces an eggshell color.  The letters are vinyl; the heart I used a crafting paper and secured it to the puzzle with a glue stick. Once again, I coated the entire project with Mod Podge.
There are lots of possibilities for sure, not just for photos, but for fact, I could see these in a child's bedroom or playroom--bright, bold colors with alphabet letters, numbers, cartoon characters, or even a letter on each puzzle piece to spell out their name.... have fun!

For more pictures from the engagement shoot head over to:  KB Digital Designs Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I really struggled with this one......meaning, what to do.  I knew I wanted to give my daughter and her husband a variety of coffee flavors for their Keurig machine for Christmas, but I also wanted to get them something for storing the coffees.   The challenge is finding something that doesn't take up a lot of room in the kitchen....they don't have a ton of counter space, so I was sensitive to that.  I actually had bought the metal tray/drawer that the machine could sit on and decided to take it back; I still felt like it took up space and I wasn't totally sold on it.

So, I started looking at ideas from other DIYers/Pinterest, etc....and I combined a couple of ideas and came up with this magnetized basket for the side of their refrigerator.   I felt like it could be the perfect solution!

I purchased the basket at a local thrift store for $1.29.  It was a natural wicker color and I chose to spray paint it black to blend in with the side of their fridge (stainless steel doors/black sides) and to compliment their kitchen colors which are black/red.

I bought some adhesive cork letters for another project and thought they would look nice on the outside.  I opted to add some additional glue versus just relying on the adhesive.
The coffee cup....well, that's a story.  I couldn't find anything I could use; I tried the toy section of several stores, the doll house section in Hobby Lobby. Nothing.  So, I decided to make it.  I used gum paste (generally used for cake decorating, better yet, I had some in the cupboard) to craft it and then painted it and used Mod Podge to seal it.   I know....crazy, right?

I vacillated on whether I should add a liner to the basket; I thought if I did line the inside a bandana might be cute.  So, I cruised through the Hobby Lobby aisle with all the bandanas and I about squealed when I saw the bandana with coffee words on it!  What a perfect finishing touch----there's no way I could go without a liner was a sign!!

The very last thing was to glue magnets to the back of the basket.  Let me share a tip with sure your magnets are strong enough. Dopey me didn't realize that the outside of the packaging shows the strength of the  
magnet.  The first set I purchased wasn't strong enough; the basket wanted to slip right off the fridge.  Once I bought the right strength (6); it worked like a charm....even with the weight of K-cups inside it's golden.    So there you have it.

Makes me want a Keurig myself....I had fun picking out some different flavors too!  Chai Tea Latte, Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla Caramel.    The toughest part was keeping it a surprise and waiting for Christmas to give it to them!