Thank You’s for Christmas Presents

Good morning!  We had a wonderfully relaxing 4 day-type of weekend, enjoying our last days of Christmas vacation. I rang in the New Year in my PJ’s on the couch, enjoying the peace and quiet of a sleeping baby.  My teenagers were out very late (one babysitting, one celebrating) and I had to stay up half the night to make sure they were home safely.  NOT because I was ringing in the New Year in style……..oh, the things we do for our children! 

I did find a wee bit of time in the craft room.  MAINLY, I had to clean up the craft room!  It had been very neglected the past few weeks and I had not returned things to their rightful place.  Shame on me!  I have been SO SO lazy the past 2 weeks, and really slacked.  But then I decided that it was time to figure out some cute, quick little thank you’s that I need to send to very special people who blessed me with very special gifts. 

In the process of cleaning up my office, I came across some 1/2 finished cards.  They had the snowflake stamped section and the ribbon.  Nothing else.  Wonder how long ago I made these?  Two or three years…….because this is Soft Sky paper and ribbon……and we haven’t had that color in a long, long time.  Not sure about the darker blue, it doesn’t come to my mind.

So, I decided to jazz them up some (why waste these perfectly good cards when half the work is done?) and I added a little snowman from the Cute Christmas stamp set. I must admit, I loved this stamp set, but didn’t use it much.  I had lots of intentions, but…..well, you know how it goes.  There’s another Christmas coming in 357 days, right?  And this stamp set will still be on my shelf.   I colored the snowman with Blender Pens using Cherry Cobbler, Basic Gray, and Baha Breeze inks.  The words are from “A Word For You”. 

On New Year’s Eve (during the day), I went to my local quilt shop and sewed all day long!  6 hours of non-stop sewing.  I was so excited that Charles let me go — and kept Josiah happy all day long!  Well, I guess he was happy.  He got into alot of trouble and broke 2 things.  He has NEVER broken anything, and now 2 things in one day.  There were alot of football games on that day, and I have a feeling that the “primary care-giver” that day was a little distracted.  Guess I’m glad he didn’t find the stairs or the toilets…..

So, back to the sewing.  I was focused on getting caught up on “Hannah’s Sampler”.  This is a Block of the Month program where they mailed me one block each month since last February.  I was only on Block 4.  I was WAY behind.  So, I got 4 more done that day, and then did 3 more on New Year’s Day during Josiah’s naptimes.  Charles was gone painting most of the day with his dad, and my girls were sleeping all day (remember the late night they had???) and I stayed in my jammies and sewed every second that I could. 

So, now I have 11 blocks done and Block 12 will be coming in the mail this month along with the material to finish it up!  I am so excited!  This is a real beauty made with 30’s Reproduction Fabrics.  The pieces were quite tiny and required alot of patience.  But, the end result is gorgeous! The colors are brighter than this photo shows — pinks, oranges, purples, yellows, blues, greens!  They are soft, but vivid, too.  I look forward to working on the sashing (the part that connects them all together) and showing you more progress in the months to come.  Yes, I said months, not days 🙂


Christmas Gifts for the Teachers and Frosty Trash Recipe

I managed to get all of the teacher gifts (and office staff) packaged up and sent off!  I’m excited to share the cute packaging idea with you, and also the yummy recipe (at the bottom).   The recipe makes a pretty large batch, and each box held about a 1 1/2 cups.  I put the mix into plastic bags (the cute printed ones!) and used a twist tie to keep them air tight.  These are the “men” boxes.  The ribbon is from Michaels but I purchased it last year.   I really thought it was unique to find brown snowflakes, and knew that it would be perfect for a “manly” look, so I bought alot of it last year.  

I used Chocolate Chip and Handsome Hunter (retired) markers to color the tags, and then punched them out with the Decorative Label Punch.  I backed it with a piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock.  These were quick and easy, despite the coloring.  It really made the boxes look great, and the kids were very happy with them!

This is how the “lady” gifts looked.  I put the Pot Pinchers (from yesterday) and some recipe cards in each of these boxes.  It was a tight fit, but it worked.  The tag is one of 10 tags that I made from the Simply Scrappin’ kit from last year.  I designed a kit using 1/2 of the kit SU sells and it made 10 cards and 10 tags.  I have ONE KIT LEFT if anyone wants it.  I will e-mail you the PDF so you can copy them.  If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you will see all of the samples.  They are very easy and all dimensions are given.  You will only need one Christmas stamp to complete all tags and cards. 

You will notice a little “bling” on each tag….I decided at the last minute to add some of our adhesive rhinestone jewels to each of the lady’s gifts.  I love it!

This last photo shows all of the cards and tags.  If you need something last minute, this is it!  I have one more kit and it is $10.  I will even mail it to you today if you will let me know you want it.  Or if you live locally, you can give me a call and it is yours!



5 c. Cheerios

5 c. Corn Chex

2 c. peanuts

1 lb. M&M’s

5 c. pretzels (I use sticks)

2 lb. white chocolate chips

Melt the chocolate chips with 2 T. oil in the microwave.  Pour over mixture (use a very large bowl) and stir gentle until covered.  Coat thoroughly.  Pour onto wax paper and let cool. 

I would like to add that it works just fine to use Almond Bark instead of the white chocolate chips.  I use one WHOLE brick of the Almond Bark for each batch. 

Christmas Photo Ornament

Well, another weekend has come and gone — and I’m sad to say that it was another busy weekend with NO TIME TO STAMP!  But I did manage to squeeze in a little bit of time to work on finishing some potholders — and threw the timing out on my sewing machine in the process!  Not sure what happened — and I have never done that in 25 years of sewing.  My wonderful “fix-it-all” husband did quite a bit of online research, and thought he had discovered how to fix her up……..only to have it happen 3 times again yesterday afternoon!  So…..guess there’s a little more to it that he thought.  I’m pretty bummed, but I do have a back-up that workds fairly well.  At least good enough to finish the last little bit of my Christmas gifts.  I’m going to drop it off to be repaired after I finish subbing today and we will see what happens…….I have a feeling I might be getting a pretty big bill for this one.  Merry Christmas to me! 

So, I was looking for a cute idea for the babies in my Sunday School class.  I work in the nursery and wanted to make them something (well, actually for their parents) and I saw this idea.  I took this photo at Convention last summer and I really like it.  And I especially like the striped ribbon.  Why am I such a sucker for ribbon? 

I have not idea who created this, but I think I will try to make some of these!  The photo isn’t the best — sorry!  But good enough to get you started on another fun project, huh?

Have a great day…….hope your week will be off to a fun start.  I’m hoping that today will be my last day to substitute.  I want to finish the teacher gifts on Tuesday and get them sent to school by Wednesday, at the latest!

It’s that time of year!

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas…….but it is taking every bit of energy I can muster up!  I refused to get out the Christmas Tree (more on that in a minute)………but this little one is on my kitchen counter.  I am not thinking this picture does it justice, but it is really cute!  I tied some of our Stampin’ Up! fabric on it to give it a homespun feel, and bought new ornaments this year, too.  I cut the strips at about 3/4″ but if you look closely, I also used teeny tiny 1/8″ strips to hang the ornaments. 

But back to the big tree, the “real” Christmas tree……..I am pretty bummed about it, to tell you the truth.  I was planning on replacing the tree this year and I waited too long.  I got too distracted back in October and November, and I guess I was in denial about Christmas quickly approaching.  All of the stores are sold out, and even the online resources didn’t work out either.  I waited too long to make my decision.  Our “old” tree is 20 years old, and has really been a gorgeous tree.  We bought it the day after Christmas when we first got married, and it is a beauty……..well, it WAS a beauty.  It  is getting really sad, as it has shed MANY of its pine needles.  I feel sure that I have also had to buy 2 new vacuums during our marriage simply from dealing with this tree and its shedding!  It is rediculous.  But, my husband (who is the most frugal thing ever) has even agreed that this will most definitely be the very last year for the tree.  It will be gorgeous once we get all the ornaments on it, but that’s the story!  That’s why I had been dreading the tree, and in fact did not touch it at all.  I let Charles do it all………every last bit of the assembly, the vacuuming, and the lights.  Now I will try to help with the ornaments and hopefully get some help from the girls.  It’s kinda sad that they aren’t super duper excited about putting up the tree any more.  Just another part of growing up that I really don’t like! 

I’m sorry that I don’t have any new projects to show you.  But I did get a package of new SU products in the mail today — new things from the Occasions Mini Catalog that I could pre-order.  AND….my very first EVER digital album came in the mail today!  I am so excited and very pleased with it.  Although my dear husband did point out a typo, and it really bummed me.  I can’t tell you how many times we read and read and re-read the text.  It is “the” instead of “they”, so spell-check did not come to my rescue on that one!  Oh, well, things happen……..I will have to get over it.  But the album is gorgeous and I can’t wait to show it to you. I know there  is a way to put it on my blog, I just need to figure that one out.  Ummmmm, after I get some sleep, that is!

Have a great weekend, and I’ll post more goodies asap!  I’m mostly working on teacher gifts this weekend and finishing up a few family gifts, as well.  I will take photos and share as many as I can.  But I’ll have to hold off on some of them until after Dec. 25th to prevent ruining some surprises.   I love keeping good surprises!!!!

December Club Project #2 and Family Updates

Deck the Halls fabric and Deck the Halls Paper have coordinated to make a perfect little gift card holder.  I fell in love with this idea when I saw it on a blog.  It really caught my attention with that fabric, and I liked the ease of using the 2 Tags Die and punches, also.  You make this little “pocket” by using 2 of the tags.  You will cut off the scalloped edge of one of them.  Then glue it on top of the second tag. I cut 1″ strips of our Deck the Halls fabric instead of using ribbon.  You can wrap the fabric around the card and tie it in a knot (the snowman tag) or you can tie it in a bow and attach it with glue dots.  My strips weren’t long enough to wrap it around AND tie in a bow.  But if you cut your fabric differently, I’m sure you’d have enough length.  I just happened to have cut mine all out on the “short” end of the fabric. 

Another little thing to note, I sponged the edges with Early Espresso ink for an added dimension and using Very Vanilla ribbon at the top for the ties.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days.  I’ve been just a wee bit busy, to say the least.  And I’ve been subbing alot, too.  Seems like the teachers have been affected alot with sickness, jury duty, etc.  Guess it is that time of year………and I am going to enjoy having the extra money for my Christmas shopping.  🙂

On Friday, we met with my mom’s oncologists, so I was gone all day to Ft. Worth.  Her cancer is Follicular Lymphoma and it has spread significantly throughout her body.  However, for this type of cancer (small cell, slow growing) the recommendation is to NOT proceed with treatment at this time.  I know it sounds crazy, and I had my doubts, believe me!  But I have done some reading and we have talked with 2 oncologists, and this is truly the recommendation that they give for her specific case.  She will have a CT scan and more bloodwork done every 3 months to watch and see what happens.  We are thrilled that we don’t have to enter into chemo at this time, and she may be able to avoid that for many years.  It is truly and wait and see approach.  We will continue to pray for many more years of having mom around in our lives.  Only God knows the plan, but we are trusting and praying.  God’s word in Romans tells me that “God works together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose”.  We are claiming God’s word that He has a purpose for all our lives, and that we will continue to live life to its fullest.   It is of great comfort to me right now that God is working in our lives, despite the fact that the medical diagnosis is not favorable.  Things could be SO MUCH WORSE, and we are reminding ourselves of that each and every day.  May God continue to teach us lessons through this challenging circumstance.

On another note, we were able to safely travel to/from Pasadena on Saturday for a gorgeous wedding of a dear, dear friend.  Ronda has been a special friend and used to babysit the girls for us, especially when we went on long trips.  She has been waiting a very long time to find God’s chosen person for her, and we are so blessed to have seen God’s hand at work in her life.  It has been a great lesson for my girls to watch, as several men have come and gone over the years.   I’m thankful that she was patient and that my girls were able to see God’s prvision in her life. 

We had our Adult Choir Christmas Concert last night at church, so we were at church most of the day rehearsing and performing.  It was a gorgous evening of praise and worship.  But, as always, I’m a little tired from the busy weekend.  And there is no time to slow down at all!  So, better stop typing and move on to the next thing on the agenda!  Club Class is meeting tonight, and I look forward to seeing more stampin’ friends!

December Club Project #1 “JOY” Boxes

Tonight is the first gathering for my December Club Classes.  I’m so excited to share the gorgeous Christmas projects that I have prepared for them.  I have CASE’d them from several wonderful blogs, and I’m thrilled that someone has a little more time to be creative and design these things!  THANK YOU!

So, here is the first blog that I discovered, and I really like it.  Robin’s Blog is called Trinity Design Studio and her projects are phenomenal.  Go check it out sometime!  This link will take you to the JOY Boxes

I didn’t change much of anything………but I did take off the “handle” that Robin tied to the ends of hers.  I suppose you could tie it on the tree as an ornament, or hang it from a knob or hook.  I really enjoyed all of the different supplies that went in to making this project!  And I really liked that my Sizzix Big Shot did about 75% of the work for me!

If you have any questions about this project, please contact me or visit Robin’s blog.  Have a great day!!!!