Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas is a Time of Giving...

...but what 'cha get, what 'cha get, what 'cha get???

LOL...I sound like a greedy child but I am interested in knowing what people received for Christmas.  I was really happy with some gifts I gave...like a really pretty scarf made out of tied fibers that I gave to my daughter, the little pink and brown hat I crocheted for my granddaughter, a huge bag of pistachios for my son, a really pretty wine stopper and ring to stop drippage to my son in law. It is always fun to find gifts you know that people will love and appreciate.

Tomorrow we will be visiting my kid's grandmother and I just know she is going to like what I got for her.  I'm not going to post that here though...just in case she reads my blog!

One thing that I received for Christmas that I am just crazy about is the Scrap'n Easel which is shown here:
I have mine put aside right now as I have put the sticky tabs on it and it needs 24 hours to cure.  I want it cured well so I am resisting touching it! :)
I love this scrapping/paper crafting tool.  I am so short and often stand up so I can see my layouts better...this will provide a raised view and is more ergonomic so as not cause neck strain.  I like that idea.  Plus you can invert it for displays or photographing of the art work that has been completed.  It is magnetic and comes with some nice strong magnets and folds up pretty thin so will be portable for cropping outside the home.  It is two sided with 2 12 inch mats/grids which are helpful for placement of your photos and embellishments.  I can't wait to use it!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Somewhat Back to Normal...

...but not totally, of course, as New Year's is just a few days away.  We will be getting together with friends for a New Year's Eve Celebration and then we plan to have our kids and grandkids over on New Year's Day for a southern traditional meal of ham, black eyed peas, greens, and corned bread. 

I had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Day with my family.  We had Christmas Eve at my daughter's and had our big family meal of standing rib roast then.  I did that cooking and it was fun enjoying the meal in their new home as they celebrated their first Christmas there.  I got to put AG to bed on Christmas Eve after we read 124 books including several Christmas ones and told him how Santa was looking in his window to see if he was in his bed asleep so that Santa could bring toys.  That didn't work great but finally did get him to bed.  These are a few pictures I took with the two grandkids in front of the tree on Christmas Eve:

So much for photos.  LOL!  I took about 125 photos yesterday but doubt I got any really good ones!  Oh well....it is what it is!
Here is one I got of our cute little elf on Christmas morning:
Hard to believe she will be 7 months in just a few days...

Here's David playing with his little Home Depot work bench that Santa brought him.
 He really liked it!
 Taylor wasn't impressed with much except for wrapping paper and ribbons or whatever David didn't want her to have (of course!).  Here she is in a pink and brown hat that Omie made for her.  I love the way it turned out.
I got a few scrapping related gifts that I'll post about later...

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas to All!

The next couple of days will pass in a whirlwind!  I'm sitting here drinking coffee and watching the Today show but know I need to get moving.

I wanted to share my Christmas card for this year.  I used to handmade paper cards and still do a few of those each year but several years back I started doing photo cards.  I design my own on a blank 6 x 7 1/2 inch canvas and then upload the jpeg file to Costco to get them printed out.  I love getting cards with photos (and loving how my friend's families change over the years) so like doing the same. 

This year I used an idea I had seen on Pinterest (as I've said....the GREATEST source for recipes, craft ideas, paper crafting ideas, crochet, DIY home projects, style, etc....).  Anyway, I loved the idea of the highlights of the year instead of a lengthy Christmas letter (let's face it...those letters with every detail in one's life have become er, uh...dull....although maybe you disagree).  Now, my friend Donna does a booklet with tons of pictures of her family (it's 8 pages and stapled like a booklet) and has dozens of pictures of her family with funny little captions and I LOVE it and look forward to it each year...although perhaps the most fun part about it is hearing her complain about doing it each year! (HAHA, Donna!)  Most of the time...this is awful...but when I get the big Christmas letter I visually scan it and then put it in a pile with the others with the intention of rereading it at some point...and often never get around to it! :)  I'm bad...

Don't get me wrong...I do enjoy getting the letters...but I don't always READ them closely if they are page after page after page...  What about you?

So here is my card:
You may not be able to read the highlights but basically it is a Top Ten list ala' Letterman style...ending with #1 which was the birth of our granddaughter, Taylor.  #2 on the list was the graduation of my son, Jeremy, from college this year! 
I liked the idea of the highlights and my make this my annual card from now on...with just minor changes in design. 

I actually came across the card I did last year so will throw that one in here for good measure...

But with last year's I included the 12 page letter!!! :)  Be happy I went to the highlights card this year!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

It's time to finish up those last minute details and make my list for our big meal....

And lastly...Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Coupla Tags...and a Few Light Photos!

Here are a couple of tags I made at Archiver's but forgot to post.  the top one was made with some Tim Holtz tissue paper that was just secured to some cardstock.  I think you could use any printed tissue paper...we also used that button maker thingy...embossed a teensy snowflake and then put it in the little charm and adhered a clear cover to it.  The bottom tag was done with a little embossing, Corner chompers, a scalloped punch, some Signo pen inkwork, a little heat embossing and some stickers.  Cute, huh?

Last night we took the kids (my grandkids, of course) to Stone Mountain Park which is a big park here in metro Atlanta.  Perhaps you've heard of it?  It's a huge chunk of granite (the Stone Mountain part) and a really huge and fabulous park with all kinds of activities.  At Christmas it is decorated with thousands and thousands of lights.  I love lights. 
Here are a few photos I took of the lights.  I love my little point and shoot for night photography...there is actually a setting for night time hand held photographing where it takes 3 photos successively and then merges them into one good photo.  Doesn't work well on people of course because of movement but it does work nicely for lighted things. 
 Adorable Grandson, New Baby Girl and their daddy waiting for the parade:

 Watching the parade:

 The Snow Queen:

 Santa and Mrs. Claus:
 Lights, lights and more lights!

 Here you can see the outline of Stone Mountain with a lighted Christmas tree on top:

Well, off to the grocery store and also will be wrapping "pweshents" today!  David likes "pweshents" so you know his Omie will have a few for him! 

Happy Crafting!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rush, Rush, Breathe, Rush!

This is the time of the year where everything gets crazy!  It doesn't matter how much you preplan or do...there are always last minute things that must be done...like present wrapping, grocery shopping for the big meal, last minute gift purchases...
And I am always guilty of panic buying...you know...where you've bought everything you need to get but then think you need to buy more!  I just spent a tad more at Barnes and Noble...but HEY, I got free expedited shipping! HAHA!
My friend, Nancy, will be a first time grandmother probably near the end of next month.  I made a couple of little gifts and then bought a couple of little things and put them all in an embellished gift bag.  I love to buy these plain white gift bags and dress them up.  This was an easy and quick fix to a bag...I used the Nursery Rhymes cartridge (darn!  I though this might count in my challenge to use each Cricut cartridge I have but I've already used this one! :))  to cut out the stork as well as the phrase and then added a little bling and some paper strips toward the bottom of the bag.  And yes, we are awaiting the arrival of a baby girl...
Pretty simple, pretty easy and cuter in person than the photo showed.  :) 

Hope your last week isn't too crazy....and that you take time to enjoy the wonderment around you.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Crafting!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gift Card Holders

Gift card holders are very popular to make right now because EVERYONE GIVES GIFT CARDS!  Gift cards are the greatest thing since sliced bread in my opinion.  I even bought one for myself at Archiver's for Christmas because they had a "Buy a $25 gift card, get $5 free".  I thought that would be a great present for me to give to me!  You know...they say you are supposed to love yourself first.  HAHA!

Anyway, I love gift cards...I like getting them and I like giving them.  They are especially wonderful for giving when you feel you need to give a little something but you have NOOOO idea what that person would like.  AND...with the rising cost of postage...well, mailing packages just has gotten so expensive...a gift card can be mailed for the price of one stamp (which is another story in itself...what is with the cost of postage these days???).

I bought a Card Keeper Stamp set by Art Imaginations the other day.  It came with 4 rubber cling stamps that stamp beautifully.  You can see the assortment of Card Keepers HERE.  I bought the one that includes a Happy Birthday stamp but this gift card stamp set could be used for any occasion with the right papers!  I made 2 and timed myself.  They took me less than 15 minutes to make...and I was not racing.  My desk was a bit messy so probably 7 minutes and 12 seconds were spent looking for my scissors! HAHA!  Seriously...they do look work up quickly. 

They are supposed to look like little gift bags.  Isn't that cute?

Here they are made with Bo Bunny papers (love that little mini stack of snowy papers!):

Here's another one made with the same line of papers with the gift card in it:

I basically cut the Kraft base to 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 to fit an A2 envelope.  And before Sunshine Honeybee emails me for exact measurements (!)....just funnin' ya, Sunshine.....(we go a long ways back, we do!) I just eyeballed the layers.  The top layer is stamped and then cut around, holes punched out, and I put some twine loosely through to make it look like a gift bag handle.  I used some tissue paper affixed behind the top layer and sort of ruffled it to give the "gift bag with tissue" look.  The stamp set came with the little tag stamp so I just stamped it, punched a hole in it and cut it out.  Edges were inked a bit because this paper already has the look of some edges inked and once you cut off part of it...well it looks naked!   And in the layer above that says "Snowfall" I cut a slit just slightly larger than the gift card.  So actually the gift card slides behind that layer.  I pop dotted the gift bag layer on top of it to give it a little more dimension and pop.

Easy peasy as they say (well, I say it a lot...it really was easy and I think they are so cute).  The stamp set was a little pricey at $20.99 but I had a 30% off coupon which softened the blow and I really think this is one set I will use over and over again. 

Now I need to make one for my own gift card! :)

Oh, and lastly...when I looked back at my post from the other day on my hand crafted bag/boxes I realized the photo was straight on and you couldn't see the sides.  So here's another one I made which shows the side:

This is 3 inches deep...if you scored at 2 inches all the way around your bag/box would be bigger but narrower, of course. 

Happy Crafting!!!

BTW, those quilted placemats?  My mother made those for me about 25 years ago.  Old, faded...but I still put them out EVERY year on my kitchen table.  They may be dated but I love them!!! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gift Bags!

I've written before about packaging...sometimes it isn't what's inside...it's the packaging that is so fabulous.  I bought a scarf once that came in a bamboo tube.  Awesome packaging.  I love body washes and shampoos that come in clear bottles.  I've always thought the way Pringles were packaged was way better than how they tasted.  I love things that come in zip lock bags...ok, those may not look so wonderful but it is such a cool packaging!  I could go on and on...

I like to spruce packages up a bit...I've cut out names before with my Cricut, added rosettes to gift tops, made paper ribbons, etc.  I also like to make bags and boxes...and what could be better than a gift bag which also has a boxy look to it???

So here are two very simple little gift bag/boxes I made with two sheets of 12x12 paper:
I bought this Kraft backed paper stack from Recollections at Michael's the other day when the Christmas stacks were a whopping 60% off.    The paper is really cute...country and whimsical and I love that it is printed on Kraft paper.

How do you make these bags?  Well, it is really difficult and complicated.  NOT!

So simple and particularly easy if you have a scoring board.

Score at 2 inches (shown above with the purple line), turn the paper a 1/4 turn and score at 3 inches (shown by the green line above), turn it twice more scoring again at the 3 inch mark (shown here with red and bluish purple).

Then cut on the the side scorelines up the horizontal 3 inch scoreline (the red line).  So in other words you would make a 3 inch cut of the bluish purple line (just to the red line) and do the same for the green line.

If you paper is face up fold the top section down (giving you a 2 inch fold).  On one of these I did a border punch before folding.  This will be the top of your bag/box.  Turn you paper over and fold the sides inward and the bottom pieces on the scorelines.  And then fold.  And you will end up with one half of a box!  Take your other sheet of 12x12 and duplicate and then slide one half inside the other.  It sounds complicated but it is oh so simple...

You'll see....

I punched a few holes in top and secured some ribbon to make handles.  Very easy...very easy...and they turned out really cute!

Happy Crafting!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cutest Ornament!

David had his Mother's Morning Out Christmas Party today and the children gave their parents ornaments they made.  I could not get a good picture of the ornament which was a small glass ball but I'm telling you it was the cutest thing ever!


It's hard to see in the picture but what the teachers did was put ink on the child's palm and then "stamped" the handprint onto the ornament.  Then the made each finger into a snowman.  Soooo cute!  And attached was this poem:
I just think that is such a cute little special thing that I know my daughter will treasure forever. 

So, I had no part in creating  this but wanted to share the idea in case any of you need a cute idea!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Like Penguins!

I've been quite busy lately doing all kinds of different projects.  Unfortunately, since some are Christmas gifts...well, I just can't share them here yet! 
But I did make this little card tonight.  I love penguins and when Paper Trey Ink came out with this little penguin die and stamp set I knew I wanted it!  I just think he's so darned cute!  I love Paper Trey Ink products but some of my favorite things are the dies and coordinating stamps...they are usually pretty reasonably priced and I just love the neat cut of a die!  I think that's why I was so excited to see the Hero Arts dies and stamp sets that have been released recently! 
So many things to buy...  HAHA!
Anyway, here's the little card:
All products except for the gems are Paper Trey Ink.  The printed paper is the new line that was released in November and is really gorgeous.  The penguin die comes with a couple of small snowflakes (you can see them in the bottom right corner of the card)...I ran them through my Cuttlebug but found I needed a few passes to get them to cut correctly...maybe it's because my plates are warped...guess it's about time to get some new ones!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Expression Through Food

I love food.  Who doesn't?   I love just about any food...I'm not a picky eater at all.  I used to say I didn't like beets or tomatoes....still not too fond of a raw tomato but at least I can eat it now without gagging! HAHA!
I do like beets pretty well now.  I need to remember to get some to put in my salad.  I like them in salad...especially those pickled one.

Anyway, I went to a party last night and made this cheeseboard Christmas tree.  And no it wasn't my idea...I saw it on Pinterest (the BEST source for just about any kind of idea you can think of!) and decided to make my own version.  Pretty festive looking, isn't it?

Happy Crafting (and eating!)!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Merry Christmas to Me!

Since I've been such a good girl this year Santa told me to go to Archiver's today and stock up on some of the brand new Hero Arts stamps which were released today.  I just couldn't resist and justified my ridiculous purchase on Christmas.  My husband who is the most giving and generous person is terrible at gift giving so I always buy what I like, wrap it up and put it from him under our tree.  At least one of us is surprised.  HAHA!

So here is my little haul...
I picked up that cool chevron background stamp...and you know what...I'm a little intimidated by background stamps so I am going to make it a goal in the New Year to be more comfortable stamping with them.  I bought some cursive sentiments...some gems and pearls, a set of round stamps which have different themes on them (thank you, birthday, etc.) but the really novel new items are these stamp and Sizzix dies packages.  Hero Arts has come out with some great cling stamps and Sizzix has created open dies to coordinate with them.  Archviver's put out a video by Jennifer McGuire (my favorite stamper) showing how to use them and if you haven't seen it and would like to it's HERE.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Card #2

Don't you just love when you see an idea and think it's cute but know you can improve on it? 
I went to Archiver's last weekend for the make and take and we stamped on a sheet of Hambly acetate (snowflake design), punched out a tree and slapped it all on.  It was fast and easy and sort of cute...I decided since I already had that punch...yep, bought it last year and NEVER used it.  Anyway, I decided to emboss the tree with a little bridal embossing powder to sort of give it the look that snow was on it.  I used an embossing pen and just sort of "drew" on the branches.  I think it sort of spiffed up an otherwise plain tree.  I also double matted the tree for a little something extra.  Easy to do and it just set the tree off from the red paper better than when it was just a white square...in my most humble opinion!  Uh...not so humble.  It DOES look better than when the white was directly on the acetate...trust me.

Here's the card:
The red cardstock is from Paper Trey Ink (Pure Poppy) and the green cardstock is Bazzil....I stamped Merry Christmas with Clearly Wordsworth stamps with Staz-On ink.  The snowflake paper is acetate and I attached it with the Tim Holtz mini attacher (love that thing!). Easy and fast....I like! :)

OK...so here are a few more ornaments on my little tree:
The first one is a favorite I got a year or two ago from my friend, Holly.  I love it....so cute and is a reminder how we like a nice drink once in a while!  (Since I became Irish...haha... when I went to Ireland a month or two ago I'm into anything with Irish Whiskey these days...a good ol' Irish coffee sure hits the spot on cold days!)
You wouldn't drink Irish coffee in that type glass though, of course!

This ornament makes me laugh...this is AG's "school" photo (he's going to Mother's Morning Out two mornings a week.  And he was not impressed with the whole photo taking session.  But I love it because he DOES make that face often and it is soooo him!
This ornament also makes me laugh....not because it looks funny but because of the story behind it.
Many years ago I was in a stamp shop and there was this really cool stamp there in the shape of this ornament.  You stamped it on cardstock but embossed the edges and then meticulously cut it out.  You did it over and over to get the several layers.  I carefully cut out the center of one layer so I could use it as a frame for my son's school picture.  I probably spend about $18 on that stamp and just KNEW I was going to make a ton of them to give away.  I made ONE! It was so much work!!!  I ended up selling that stamp at a consignment sale...
I would say this ornament is about 10 years old.  Now that I look back at it I think...well, it's only 3 layers and I wish I still had that stamp! HAHA!

Oh, and Becky...if you have read this far...all of these photos were taken with the camera I picked up for you the other day.  The Canon SX 230.  Costco has it for $199 and I am loving this camera.  It is a point and shoot but does have manual controls...I bumped the ISO on it up to 3200 and I can't remember what the shutter speed was but I took all of these photos here with this little point and shoot and it's a great, great little camera.  The price is so great I'm thinking about picking up a spare!  Not really but I did think about it!
If you are in need of a point and shoot (something small to keep in your purse) I'd recommend this one.  I'm a big Canon fan and this is a goodie.  It has a 14x zoom which is unheard of in point and shoots and does really well in low light situations.  There is also a setting for handheld photos at night. It takes 3 shots and merges them.  Here's one I took last night:

That's AG in the driver's seat of the fire engine!
My friend, Theo, does a huge Christmas display every year and I always try to get by to see it.  Here is her house and part of the front:

This is just a small part of the front.  It really is amazing....

Happy Crafting!