Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Family Traditions

This year, my husband and I decided to give ourselves the best gift of all.  We flew our kids here to celebrate Christmas together.  Over the years, we have developed several traditions, without which Christmas is not Christmas.

One of them is my deep-dish apple pie.  I make the pie and my daughter cuts the top crust into something amazing.  Here's this year's edition based off of a CTMH stamp:

The second tradition is cookie decorating.  We are hard-core around here, with cake decorating tips, tweezers to make sure the silver balls end up exactly where you want them, and enough cookie cutter shapes to almost not have to repeat.  At first, we all tried to make cookies which were decorated as the shape suggested.  Then my daughter got really, really good at it.  With competitive men in the family, they finally gave up and created a new tradition...decorate it in any way EXCEPT what was indicated by the shape.

Here's this year's batch:

If you look closely, you will see Mr. Bill, a gargoyle, an exploding gun muzzle, and an angry bird.  Though, you might notice the angry bird looks just a little more "professional" than the other variations.  That's because Lyndell made it.  I'm a little surprised the guys let her steal their thunder that way, but each year brings new twists on this tradition.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Here's wishing you a blessed New Year.

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Anniversary Bliss

I know I said I wouldn't be posting, but something a little special happened and I wanted to share the bliss.

First, though, I need to share my great joy.  Today marks my 27th Anniversary.  And this year we aren't traveling or separated by half a world.

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Next, I need to tell you a little story.  I have been blessed to make friends with an amazing woman, Kimberley Woodhouse, who not only writes great books but is one of those cooks you love to hate.  She can taste test something and figure out how to reproduce it.  I had the distinct honor of introducing her to Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks. 

Introducing her?  Yep...introducing her. 

Because her daughter has a rare nerve disorder, her family is not able to get out of the house much.  In fact, Extreme Makeover Home Edition came and built them a house especially so Kayla could thrive.  Which she has!  In fact, Kayla became the youngest full-length novelist to be contracted by a royalty paying publisher when she signed at 12 years old.  Kim and Kayla are co-authors of "No Safe Haven" and "Race Against Time" published by B&H.

However, today I am more excited to share with you her knockoff of the Cranberry Bliss Bars.  They are posted on her blog at kimandkaylawoodhouse.com.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Graduation

Our niece graduated from college a couple days ago.  Now I know California doesn't get cold, but I could not resist making her a snowman graduation card.  Some people call these "melted snowman" cards, but I call him CUTE!

All supplies are CTMH.  The snowman is from All Decked Out, the cap and scroll from a set I no longer know the name of, but it says CTMH on the side.  Colors are Heavenly Blue, Dutch Blue, Autumn Terracotta (nose), Black, and Grey Flannel.  I sponged the edges of each circle to give it a little shading.  Some of the cards I've seen use another layer of cardstock in a light blue or grey instead.  I raised each layer of the snowman with foam tape, added extra foam tape under the ear muffs and scroll.  The scarf is glued directly to the middle circle to make it slide under the snowman's chin.  (Do snowmen have chins???)

My "kids" arrive within the next few days.  I shouldn't call them kids since they are 25 and 23, but they are still my babies.  Well...except for the son-in-law who came into the family at 21, but I still count him as mine.  All that to say, this is the last post for awhile so I can enjoy our precious time together.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

OWH Valentine's Day Secret

Shhh...don't tell anyone because, if this ever gets back to my mother, I'll be dead meat. 

DH and I took a trip up to WA to see friends and family back in early November.  My mother, being the planner that she is, decided to give us our Christmas checks and a donation to Operation Write Home.  (She wanted to do something for the troops but didn't know what.  I told her about OWH's mission and she was thrilled to contribute.)  Naturally, I put them in a safe place.


Searched for WEEKS.  Every pocket. Every suitcase. Every box, bag, container, or other potential hiding place. Nothing.  I finally had my Bible study gals pray about it.  They didn't quite get what a big deal this was, but they prayed just the same. 

Well...I found them.  They were in a pocket of the suitcase I swear to you I had checked at least three or four times. At least!  When I told my sister, she said, "And for a % of those checks, Mom will never hear it from me."  Now there's a woman who understands.

So what do I plan to tell my mother if she asks why a check she wrote on November 4 still hasn't been cashed?  I was busy getting my Christmas cards done and then needed to get OWH Valentines done.  I sat down last night with CTMH's stamp set Soul Mates and cranked out a bunch of CAS style cards.

To get the multicolored hearts, I used CTMH's spray pens with Vineyard Berry, Hollyhock, and Cranberry reinkers.  I used a pretty high concentration (about 1 part water to 1 part reinker), sprayed them in random splotches across a full sheet of glossy paper, and then (after it dried) selected where to place my heart stamp based on the best overlap of colors.

Other than Soul Mates, I also used Say it in Style, Building Block Alphabet and The Giving Hand (Gray Flannel background rectangle on last card). The hearts in the fifth card were stamped in Hollyhock.

Sometimes I get so excited about embellishments, I forget how classic clean and simple style cards can look.

I am taking the month off from writing, so I plan to get a few more Valentines/Love cards out to OWH before the December 31 deadline...and in plenty of time for them to cash my mother's check before the end of the fiscal year.


Until next time,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cards are DONE

Yeah!  My Christmas cards are done.  I finished them up this morning.  Now to lick, stick and mail.  Here is a sample of the different cards I've made.  For the first time in years, I have not done one, mass card.  I couldn't decide on one style.

All stamps, inks and papers are CTMH.

 Stamps: Wonderland, Snowflakes, and December Word Puzzle. Colors: Cranberry and Cocoa.  Snowflakes and Square Lattice (on mittens) embossing folders.  Scalloped circles cut with Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.
 Stamps: Holiday Wishes, Love Life.  Colors: Cranberry, Key Lime. Ribbon is OLD from CTMH.  I sponged the edges of the tree (cut with Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge) before embossing in white.
My husband's favorite.  Stamps: Share the Magic, Oh Christmas Tree. Colors: Clover Meadow, Holiday Red, Outdoor Denim, Honey, and Pacifica.  Reindeer colored with Copics.
 Stamps: Share the Magic , Oh Christmas Tree, Wonderland (border). Colors: Black, Kraft, Cranberry.  Snowflakes embossing folder. Snowman colored with Copics
 Stamp: Oh Christmas Tree.  Snowflake cut with Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.  Colors: Cranberry, Black.  White detail embossing powder from Stampin' UP!
 Stamps: Remarkable Wreath, Oh Christmas Tree, December Word Puzzle.  Colors: Cocoa, Crystal Blue. Prisma glitter on wreath and snowman. Blue sparkles from Jolee.
Stamps: Pair-A-Phrase, December Word Puzzle. Colors: Ocean, Breeze, Cocoa, Petal, Bamboo. (B&T is old CTMH.  Snowman colored with Copics. Prisma glitter snow.

Well, there you have it.  My cards for the year.  And now maybe you see why I was so far behind that I needed the card from yesterday's post to finish out my list.  And since Heart 2 Heart decided to make this week's challenge a virtual Christmas card exchange, tell me which one is your favorite and I'll get one out to you right away...in a virtual sort of way.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.  May the season be filled with light, peace, joy, and love which are all gifts the Christ child brought from heaven to earth with him.

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Joy Defined

I am so far behind on my Christmas cards!  However, I found a great way to make a ton of hand-stamped cards in no time flat. 

I am entering this in the Less Is More: Green Challenge.  Stamps are CTMH State of Mind and Building Block Alphabet. Ink pad colors are Pear and Ponderosa Pine.  The score lines were done on the Martha Stewart Score Board.

I have set aside tomorrow morning to get my cards done.  With something this easy, I think I can finish the 40 more I have to go. JOY!

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Big Bow Thanks

There is nothing like a nice, big bow to dress up a card quickly and easily.  I needed a thank you card this morning, and this one came together in a snap.

The ribbon was tied using "Bow Easy" to make a double bow.  I wrapped a plain band of ribbon around the panel, cinched it with some waxy flax, then used liquid glass to hold the bow onto the band.  Sortof.  I was in a hurry and didn't have time for the liquid glass to set, so I just tied another piece of sheer ribbon around the bow and band then stuck some pins in it to hold everything tight.  Who says necessity can't be pretty?
The sentiment is from Stampin' Up! but I'm not sure what set.  Several years ago, I went through all my sets and pulled the sentiments out so all my "Thank You" ones were in the same place.  Color is CTMH Cranberry.  The ribbon came from Hobby Lobby.

Sometimes, with all the embellishment options available, simple is the most beautiful.

Until next time,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jingle Joy

Snow day today, so I've been crafting away.  This card is entered in Heart 2 Heart: Inspiration Challenge.  I can't figure out how to load the inspiration picture, so if you didn't come here through the H2H blog, be sure to head over there and sneak a peek.  It's quite something.

Stamps are CTMH Remarkable Wreath and Doodle Alphabet. I stamped the wreath multiple times, shifting it a bit and doing some second generation stamping, to give it more weight and depth.  The bells and ribbon were colored with Copic markers.  I wasn't sold on Copics until I learned how versatile they were for coloring more than paper. Colors used were Clover Meadow and Cranberry.
I have started a Splitcoast Stamper's gallery, and I'm not doing well with taking pictures that have a small enough pixel count without the photos getting grainy. Anyone have a suggestion?

With all the little bits and baubles on this, I will not be mailing it. But I know who will be getting this hand delivered to her. Hopefully, it will make her smile as much as it does me.

Until next time,

Snowflake Mojo

I have been making snowflakes like there is no tomorrow.  Correction...my Cricut has been making snowflakes.  I think it worked for almost 4 hours cutting and cutting and cutting.  I'll show you why in a bit, but first my card for Mojo Monday #218.

Sentiment is from CTMH Snowflakes. The snowflakes were cut using CTMH's Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge. Embossing folder from Stampin' Up! And I used my red Copic marker to color a silver sparkle.  Ribbon was purchased from Michaels because, as you know, I NEED more ribbon. LOL!
To create the snowflake background. I used a direct to paper technique through the piece leftover once I had cut all the red snowflakes.
Just to show you what I spent all day Saturday working on, here's the box heading to my ladies Bible study to decorate a table for a teacher appreciation luncheon tomorrow.  See the baggies of snowflake confetti?  What was I thinking???

I am particularly proud of myself for coming up with this idea for the napkins.  The ribbon and snowflake are attached with waxy flax. I curled the leftovers around my scissors.  Not sure where that idea came from, but it certainly wasn't mine originally.

And this is what my carpet looks like.  Yes...LOOKS.  My vacuum cleaner is very heavy, so I'm waiting for my DH to bring it down the stairs for me.  Yeah...that's as good an excuse as any!  (Update: My DH came home early from work, and while I got him medication for his cold and made him an eggnog latte, he not only brought the vacuum cleaner downstairs, he ran it.  Love that man!)
Once the luncheon is over, I plan to use the snowflakes to finish up my personal Christmas cards.  Has anyone else already received some from people who are WAY too organized?

Until next time,

P.S.  OWH Challenge on December 7 was to make your own background paper.  I think this qualifies!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cup of Inspiration

Hello, my name is Becca and I'm a CASE'er.  It's been two minutes since my last CASE from Scrap My Heart Out.  Saw her over sized cup and thought, "I can 'copy and steal' that idea."

All stamps are CTMH, although the bear has been retired for a long time. The cup is from Sip.

I colored the bear with Copics, embossed the cup on Cranberry and then (because I smooshed my embossing on the top so I had to cut it w/o the little edge of color) ran my red Copic across the top to give it an edge.  I just used my scissors to cut the bears arm so I could fit the handle under it. Then, for that final, foamy touch, used liquid applique.

Colors used are Cranberry, Hollyhock and Chocolate.

No challenges this time, but I am trying to build up a little bit of a Valentine/Love stash to mail off to Operation Write Home by Tuesday.

Until next time,

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sentimental Sketch

Quick post today because I am BURIED under crafty projects.  However, I decided to take time out for me and do the Heart 2 Heart: Sketch Challenge and the OWH: Get Sentimental Challenge. 

For any of you interested in supporting our troops, please go to the OWH site and enter a card in their challenge. If you are like me, you are also buried with Christmas stuff, but they need lots and lots and lots of love themed cards. (Note: Valentine's Day cards are useful, but not nearly so much as more general "love you" themed cards.  Due date for all Valentines is Dec. 31, but if you can get them in by Dec. 10, Archway will donate cookies to be sent in addition to the boxes.)

Okay...here's my card.

Stamps are CTMH Soul Mates and Love Quotes. Paper is also CTMH.  The black pearl was done by coloring a white one with my black Copic marker.

The medium white heart was stamped with a larger heart from the Soul Mates set and then sponged with black ink around the edges. Being able to use larger images on smaller shapes makes every stamp set that much more versatile...and why I have no qualms cutting a full sheet of standard shapes on my Cricut.

The decorative pins were created using regular pearl headed pins and adding small glass beads.  Since we can't use glitter on our OWH cards, I am always looking for ways to add a little bling without the flaky, sparkly stuff.

And as much as I lament my ribbon hoarding, I could not pass up this beautiful scalloped edged ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby. This, THIS, is why I continue to gravitate over to that section of the store despite my overflowing bins.

Off to do other things for other people.

Until next time,