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Love is finding your stocking filled with the things you love and knowing that the person who filled it knows you like nobody else in the world.

My husband and I are pretty good at choosing gifts for each other. We never do the typical department store Christmas, but rather focus on unique and personal items. This past Christmas, we went shopping together, splitting up in the store, each with a shopping basket and an agreement that if we crossed paths, we’d close our eyes and not peek. Oh how we giggled and teased: you’ll never guess what I got you! What fun it was to fill our stockings for each other and wrap the presents.

On Christmas Eve, after our family had left and it was just us with the dogs, we let the dogs open their gifts (yeah, we’re kinda cheesy like that) and then opened ours. Unpacking stockings was such fun! I was so excited when my husband found his blue penguin pattern duct tape, book light, and Uno cards, and then opened his Boba Fett alarm clock and stormtrooper wallet (yup, still cheesy). My stocking held Moonstruck chocolate truffles, a Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar like the ones we ate on our honeymoon, ear muffs for our dog walks, and a sheep for my sheep collection. My wrapped gift arrived late (to be honest, I was surprised his Boba Fett and stormtrooper arrived on time, we both seem to be late so often), so I didn’t get it until around New Years. Luminara candles like we had seen at the Tollgate Inn gift shop we’d been to weeks before; he remembered. The candles are battery powered, no flame, but they flicker like real candles (check them out here). I don’t think anyone in the world knows me better, truly.

This Valentine’s Day, love-themed kits abound. Cheesy to sweet, pretty and even wild, love is in the air here in digiland, and at theStudio, literally! Snickerdoodle Designs and Let Me Scrapbook have teamed up for February’s featured designer spotlight and challenge, creating a fairytale style collection they’ve called Love is in the Air. The collection includes boy and girl cupids, hearts, flowers, chocolates, and even a frog prince, all in a whimsical cartoon-style that is perfect for layouts about love and happily ever after.

You can find the Love is in the Air kit in theStudio shop at 30% off now, along with stacked papers, embossed papers, matts and border edges, borders, word art, journal cards, clusters, an alpha set, and glitters, all 30% off as well. There is a mini kit addon (get it here free and participate in the featured designer challenge!), an addon collection (45% off now), a bundled collection (57 % off now), and a huge entire collection (61% off now).

I was in scrappy mode this weekend and created a layout for the featured designer challenge, all about my Christmas stocking and definition of love using the free mini kit addon. I look forward to seeing all of your layouts too! If you enter, you’ll have a chance to win this collab, but don’t let that stop you from buying it. If you do and win, you’ll get a gift certificate instead!

To get you started with this collection, I’ve put together a frame for you to download. Just click on the image below. Happy scrapping, and best of luck in the challenge!

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Have you ever seen those artists that dress up and pose as statues, you know, at amusement parks and such? I know some people think they’re funny, but they’re not my thing. I don’t like being spooked, and the pretending feels awkward to me. I will admit, though, there is one pretend statue that never seemed to bother me.

This statue wasn’t a statue at all really, but rather a scarecrow. Each fall, the scarecrow would dress up in blue jeans, a flannel shirt, boots, gloves, and a mask. He’d put on a hat and stuff hay up underneath it so as to look like a scarecrow. Then he’d pull a chair out and sit on the porch waiting for passersby.

Oh cool, look at the scarecrow, they’d say. And they’d poke and prod, giggle and laugh. At some point during the ruse (carefully timed by the scarecrow), the scarecrow would ever so slowly turn to look directly at them, and in the quickest blink of an eye….open its eyes. EEEK! It’s alive they’d shout, and run fast and far away down the sidewalk. It was all in good fun of course, and the neighborhood parents knew the game. Looking back, I think the kids probably knew too, but played along for the fun of it. To this day, whenever I see a scarecrow, I am reminded of that scarecrow long ago who liked to pretend with the neighbor kids. They all called him the scarecrow, I called him Dad.

I have lots of other nostalgic memories of fall too – from the Lombardi pumpkin patch my parents took us to every year, to the hay display my husband and I put up our first night in our new home (we didn’t even have furniture yet – we had just received the keys that day, Halloween). And then of course there are the smells – cinnamon and apple, pumpkin spice – and the food (oh how I love a harvest squash!). There are festivities and festive decor, cozy blankets and warm woolen sweaters, football spirit and neighborhood comraderie. I just absolutely love fall! If you love fall too, then I have the perfect kit to share with you today (complete with a not-so-spooky scarecrow).

New this week from Karen of Snickerdoodle Designs, a warm and cozy fall collection in the hues of autumn, Hay Day. You can find Hay Day here at theStudio – or just click on the preview below.

Karen is the Featured Designer at theStudio for October, and so Snickerdoodle Designs’ entire store will be on sale for 40% off from October 1-15, including the featured Hay Day collection (be sure to check out all of the extras, including glitters, scenic papers, stacked papers, clusters, and krafts).  As always, you will have the opportunity to download the Addon for Hay Day and enter your Hay Day layout for a chance to win the full kit. You can find the details of the Featured Designer challenge here in theStudio forum. Of course, if you choose to purchase the full kit (or collection!) prior to the end of the challenge, you will win a coupon for your choice of kit from Snickerdoodle Designs’ store instead. Can’t wait to see the Addon? Here’s a little peak:

Cute, right? I can’t wait to see your layouts! Good luck in the challenge! If you need a little inspiration to get you started, here are a couple of layouts from the SD creative team:

Beautiful! As always, I’ve made a freebie for you to download to get a feel for the kit (you didn’t think I’d forgotten, did you? lol). Just click on the preview below to download. Enjoy!



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