Monday, December 30, 2013

I Love Christmas

Many, many years ago, my mother told me that time goes by faster and faster the older you get.  I didn't understand what she meant at the time, but now…….it's almost scary how the years are flying by!  I just can not believe that we will be in 2014 in just two days.  I certainly hope that you had a wonderful Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate.  I have to admit that I did - along with eating way too many goodies - but that's another story.  I had planned to blog this while I was at my mother's over Christmas, but her internet went out….WHAT???!!! Who can function without it??

We started the holiday fun (we meaning the hubby and me) by going across state the weekend before Christmas to spend time with our son who is in grad school there.  We have a family Christmas  tradition of going to a very VERY nice restaurant, The Capital Grill, that is located at Somerset Mall in Troy, Michigan, and also finishing up any Christmas shopping while there.  I live in a really small town now, and when I get a chance to go to Somerset Mall, I usually go crazy!!  The shopping is just marvelous.  HOWEVER - at Christmas time, it's really a zoo.

      Santa's "Castle" next to the escalator - can you see all of the people?? 

This really cool fountain is outside of the restaruant.

So we had a delicious dinner, and headed back to the west side of the state the next morning.  There had been an ice storm during the night that hit across most of the state.  It caused power loss to thousands of people, some of whom are just getting it returned!  You can see ice on the limbs of this tree….it was so "other-worldly".        

Luckily we got home safe and sound, and found that the storm had not hit our area - what a blessing.  I had a couple of last minute gifts to finish for my sisters, so I had to get busy since we were heading out again the next afternoon to stay with my mother over Christmas.  My family loves Christmas music (actually any kind of music), and I had come across a random Christmas CD earlier in the season.  I enjoyed it so much, that I decided to get a couple more for my sisters.  Instead of just wrapping them, I made a CD holder and a matching envie.  

Supplies: Warmth & Wonder Hostess stamp set; Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler and Sahara Sand card stock; Winter Frost Specialty Designer Series Paper; Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding; Envelope Punch Board; and Simply Scored Scoring Tool  

So, we started all piling into mom's house, bringing our gifts, and like every year, we just cracked up when we looked at all the presents under the tree.  I must explain that not only do we have a really large family, but we love for people to have lots of stuff to open, so we make an effort to wrap any and every little thing possible.  It extends the festivities and celebration.

This was a bittersweet Christmas since we were missing Kelly (my daughter) and my dad, who both  passed away in the last two years.  But we are so blessed to have the family that we have, and are so grateful for our times together.  We truly enjoyed this year.

We couldn't tell if the tree was leaning, or if the angel was off kilter, 
but she is really beautiful and has been on mom's tree for a number of years.

I'm going to leave you with an idea for a gift for a guy.  My sister got this for my husband, and he LOVES it - but why not?  His favorite munchies that he can take into his "man cave" and chow on while he watches the games.  She picked up a set of canisters and just filled them with stuff he loves.  Then she put them all back in the original box and wrapped it.  I just think that is so clever.   

Have a safe and happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Will I Be Ready for Christmas?

Hi All -
I certainly thought I'd be back before now, but this past week has been a BLUR - I've been socializing and finishing up things for Christmas!  Besides working a couple of days at the hospital, I also went to a Christmas breakfast at Sofia's (which just happens to be the BEST restaurant ever for breakfast; a lovely dinner get-together with four of my best friends; participated in a potluck; made some gifts for some very special people, and made my son fudge. WHEW!!!  I think I could use a few more hours in each day.

I just love my doctor and her staff, so I decided to make something for all of them, just to let them know that they are appreciated.  I thought that since they are on their feet so much of the day, that a "foot soak" would be in order.  Once I started making them, I decided to make more to give to my friends and sisters.  Talk about EASY!!  Just mix (approximately) 20 drops of Pure Peppermint Extract into some Epsom Salts, then add a couple drops (or more) of food coloring and stir well.  There are no measurements, which makes it pretty foolproof.  You then just need to put it into a container.  I found a few different styles of mason jars that I liked, so that's what I used.  What do you think?  I think they turned out really cute, myself.  Also, it felt so good making gifts for people who are special to me.

Here is the first style of mason jar I used.

I used more food coloring in this one, so it's darker.

I also wanted to give gifts to another special group of ladies that I work with.  They are nurses, so work  very hard caring for others.  I decided to put together a "Spa in a Jar" for them (I've really gotten into mason jars, even though I've never canned a thing in my life - LOL).

It's hard to see, but inside are cotton balls, a bottle of polish in Christmas Red, a jar of homemade Peppermint Sugar Foot Scrub (yep, I made that too), a cute little ceramic spoon from Pier One (to get the scrub out of the jar), toe-spreader thingies, aloe infused footies and some Christmas candy!!!  I just put it all in a little cello bag from the Dollar Store, and tied it up with Stampin' Up! ribbon in Gumball Green (I tied a little ornament on the bow too).  I hope they like them.

Finally, I'll give you a look at the fudge I make at Christmas for my son (Jack).  He requests this EVERY year.  I first made it when he as a REALLY little guy.  He's an adult now - and definitely NOT little - but of course I'd still do anything for him….hee-hee.  Jack calls it my "double-decker fudge" because there is a bottom layer of chocolate fudge then a top layer of peanut butter fudge!  It really is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, if I do say so myself!

   This year, I doubled each of the layers……….ymmmmmmmm!!!!

I'm going to leave you with a beautiful Christmas card I received from my sister.  I thought it was so cool the way she sponged the silver Glimmer Paper from Stampin' Up! with Stampin' Up! inks, and was able to dye it different colors.

Enjoy your weekend.  I'm going to a very fancy place for dinner tonight with my hubs and son for our annual family Christmas dinner.  I'M SO EXCITED!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Do You Wrap Gift Cards?

I am so proud of myself for getting all but a couple Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to give out.  My hubby has been a tremendous help with this, and he even stated that he was going to wrap the many gift cards we've picked up (we've found that's the best gift for teens and young adults!).  Instead of just wrapping them though, I decided to make holders for them!  I've seen a lot of different gift card holders by other bloggers, so decided to try some.  So while I was busy this weekend putting them together, my hubby was making his "world famous", Oatmeal Scotchies.  He only makes them at Christmas, and he has totally perfected the recipe.

Ohhhhhh they are so yummy!!!

As I said, hubby was in the kitchen, and I was busy with card stock, adhesive and other very cool tools - including our Envelope Punch Board which you can check out here.  My up-up-line, Julie Davison showed this one on her blog, and even has a You-tube video on how she made it.  She is one talented lady!  I totally CASE'd (copied) it because I could'nt think of how to make it any better!  You can see how she made it here. 

Gift card fits inside perfectly!

Since, I was on a roll.  I made 4-6 of six other different styles; but I'll just show you one more.  I also copied Julie for this one……it was a lot easier than trying to invent something new, and I had a LOT of these babies to make!!  This one features the Petite Pockets die and the Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper.  The die and the paper are both retired, but still available on the Clearance Rack - check it out here.   Don't wait to pick up items during the Clearance Rack Blitz - things tend to go pretty quickly.

Aren't they just too cute?

Well, I still have a list of things to get done before Christmas……let's see how many I am able to complete.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Clearance Rack Blitz

Stampin' Up! just added more items to the Clearance Rack in my Online Store. Check it out here. Discontinued products are available up to 80% off the original price while supplies last. Shop now for the best selection.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Shabby Chic Christmas Card

Last year I was in a swap over the Christmas holiday, and this is the card I submitted.  It uses all Stampin' Up! products.  The corrugated paper actually came from a box I received from Stampin' Up! with a bunch of goodies in it.  I just split a piece of it in half (very carefully I must add) and used that in the design….I really loved the look it gave.  A main focus of the card is the Glimmer Paper that we sell at Stampin' Up!, and the Snow Flurry Bigz Die which recently retired, is still available on the Clearance Rack.  You can find it here.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Wonderland

I live in a lovely little town in Southwest Michigan.  Our summers are beautiful, and our winters are…winter.  In the last two months we've had two major snow storms that dumped about 10" each time.  It is really beautiful- and it gets me in the Christmas spirit!!

I love putting together accessories for our home.  This one was fun to do.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Let's Get Started

I'm very excited to have you come along with me on my stamping & crafting journey thru this blog.  Some of the things you will see & read include samples of cards, and other crafts using Stampin' Up products.  I'll provide tips and give some advise (I'm really good at that) related to many things that fall within the "crafting" realm - which actually is wide open for a right brain artist.  And most of all, I will share my love for creativity with you…….so……let's get started.