Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
We went to Mass this morning and then spent a very quiet Christmas day at home. Which is way better than spending it in the hospital, as far as Kat's concerned! She was determined to get home on Christmas Eve! Praise be to God she made it and her surgery was a success. I'm utterly exhausted... 60 hours with very little sleep and almost no eating wears a person out.
Kat's sleeping now, so I've finally got a free (well, okay, stolen!) moment to update my blog so here are a few of the projects that we've been working on. These are gifts and cello bag toppers that we made for our friends and family. They were a lot of fun!
The hot cocoa gift boxes are tall 2-4-6-8 acetate boxes filled with 3 packets of hot cocoa mix (in 3 little zip lock bags), 3 mini candy canes, and a whole bunch of Hershey's kisses.
The snowman on each topper was assembled piece by piece using the Cold Play stamp set from Stampin' Up! -- I love that set! The sentiment and snowflakes are from Stampin' Up!'s Polar Pals stamp set.
The penguins on the last cello topper are also from the Polar Pals set. I think that penguin stamp is just too cute!
I hope you all had a very blessed and merry Christmas day with your loved ones. Today begins the Christmas season which, for us Roman Catholics, ends with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 11th -- I learned at Mass this morning that Epiphany as the end of the Christmas season is rooted in the Eastern Orthodox church. Well, in either case, the celebration has only just begun! Woohoo!! Merry Christmas to everyone and a very blessed New Year!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Yes, we got our tree! And it's a REAL one this year! We walked onto the tree lot, and Kat picked the first one she saw. I asked her if she was sure (she said absolutely), we checked to see if it was a healthy tree (it was) and had no holes in the branches (it didn't), and grabbed it right up! I'll share a few pictures next post.
We had pouring rain and freezing cold a few days this past week... nothing like the weather back east, but a definite change for us SoCal residents that's for sure! Kat had to walk the shelter dogs in the downpour (well, they gotta go to the bathroom even in the rain!), and I did some Christmas shopping while she was working. I do have to say, it was a really nice relief from the blistering heat that we'd had in the last few weeks. Now it's sunny and brisk. Nice December weather!
I am officially on vacation as of today! Woohoo!! We're taking Bo to the park and then coming back to make some more little gifts for the people in our Folk Song Circle 'cause we've got a music meetup tonight. We haven't been since June (wow, that's a LONG time) due to illness (mine) and we've missed it so much. Tomorrow, we head over to the pub (where Kat sings occasionally) for Family Night. Haven't been to that in a while either, due to my work schedule. It will be good to see our friends again!
Still working on Christmas cards. We had some photos all picked out, but then Ricky said he's coming down so we decided to include him in the most current shot (by the Christmas tree, of course). Which means our cards will not get sent out until just before New Year, but that's okay! Christmas season doesn't end until Epiphany (January 6th)... you know, the 12 days of Christmas... so we've got time. :)
Well, gotta head off now. I'll post some pictures of our latest projects either today or tomorrow. Have a great weekend!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
But first, the good news... my son called to tell me that he and his girlfriend are coming down to visit for Christmas! Woohoo!!! They'll be here the day after Christmas, and they'll stay in the area until New Year so he says they'll spend a couple of those days with us! What an AWESOME Christmas gift!
Kat and I spent several hours working and here's what we came up with for my teacher/volunteer/co-worker gifts. As you can see, we are totally loving that curly label punch and its coordinating (sold separately) stamp set! The tall skinny items contain individual packets of Cafe Mocha (I've posted a photo of the included packet for you).
We made some more 2-4-6-8 pouch boxes, this time containing an assortment of mini holiday chocolates (3 per pouch). We used a bunch of scrapbooking paper and ribbon that we had stashed away, which is why these are not traditional Christmas colors. I kind of like the variety!
The little square boxes are those way cool peppermint patty boxes (directions found on Rochelle's blog). I don't have my square punch anymore (a story for another time!), so I used the curly label punch for the window instead. No scallop circle punch either, so I used a big snowflake from one of Stampin' Up!'s retired sets and cut it out. Worked okay, I think. But I much preferred putting four little Hershey kisses (candy cane, cherry cordial, mint truffle, pretty much every kind of kiss you could get) in there instead. They fit quite nicely, and I stuck them to the bottom of the box so they wouldn't float around inside.
Next, though we actually started our crafting session with these, are the Ghirardelli chocolate holders. Directions can be found here. So quick and easy! And yes, we had to sample the chocolates since we'd never actually bought these before... Yummy!!
Here's that little box from a previous post, decorated at last.
The next series of shots shows everything put together into little gift sets. Just one sample of each color set so you get the idea. We have LOTS of these!
Lastly, we have a modified gift card holder. The gift certificates that had to go into it are a little longer than gift cards, so I changed the pattern a little to accommodate them. The directions for the original gift card holder can be found here. I packaged the gift certificate holder with two of the Ghirardelli packets behind it (it's a husband and wife team) into a cello bag and added a topper.
Okay, that's it for now! Getting back to the crafting so as to be ready to give these gifts at this weekend's parties!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Anyway, today begins the Christmas crafting in earnest. I've got a couple of Christmas parties at work (it's part of my job to do holy-day celebrations, yay!) and teacher gifts to make, as well as gifts for my fellow staff members. The parties are this weekend. Have I begun prepping...? Of course not! They'd revoke my Procrastinators Club membership card if I started more than two or three days ahead, ha ha! I do have all the supplies, so "all" I have to do is put everything together. Thank God for my creative crafting daughter, Kat. She and I will be busy little bees over the next couple of days!
Hope you're all enjoying your Advent season and Christmas preparations. Peace be with you.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The white 2-4-6-8 boxes are a couple from a batch we whipped up for the ladies in our rosary-making group. Kat had the genius idea of leaving the green ribbon loose so that the gift tag can be used by the recipient on another gift! We filled the boxes with mini Three Musketeers bars.
The treat boxes were just a fun experiment with my brand spankin' new curly label punch! Woohoo!! Just HAD to play with it the day it arrived! I didn't have any acetate lying around for the birthday box, so I used a lollipop bag instead (to make the window). It worked like a charm! I got a few sheets of transparency paper a couple of days ago, so I used a sheet of that for the plain-jane box on the right. Not done decorating it yet.
That's all we've got for now. Still working on the house and my stamp area so we can be more free to get some crafting done. We get to pick up our tree next week, so we're soooo excited!
Have a great day,
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Oh, I'm so excited! I've ordered the Curly Punch Bundle from Stampin' Up!'s Holiday Extravaganza!! It's a splurge for me, and an early Christmas present. I can hardly wait 'til it gets here... Just got notification that it shipped yesterday morning. Yay! Splurged a bit for Kat, too, getting her a little webcam. She's quite the entertainer, so I hope to see some fun video blogging from her in the weeks to come!
I've been pulling out my stamp-and-scrapbook supplies, trying to get a creative space set up in my room so I can soon begin the pre-Christmas crafting frenzy. That's my biggest project right now. It's hard, because I keep wanting to stop and play with my stuff! But I'm holding that out as a carrot at the end of my nose so I'll get done sooner. So far, it's not exactly working, ha ha... I've stopped to stamp a cute little mini pizza box for a friend of mine already. Photos to come soon -- I know the camera works! For now, here are a few photos of projects from my not-so-distant past. And please forgive the hodgepodge look of this entry... I'm still trying to figure out how to put photos exactly where I want them!
Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving with your families and friends. My Kat and I spent the holiday quietly at home, relaxing with Bo and watching a few DVDs. Such a nice change from all of the running around we've been doing lately, between her new internship at the humane society and my crazy busy work schedule! I can't tell you how much we've been enjoying sleeping in... at least as late as Bo will let us... :)
So tomorrow begins the Advent season, the weeks in which we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ and look toward His second coming. Wow, the year has simply flown by! We'll be pulling out our Christmas decorations today and then looking for a tree in a couple of weeks. We get a real one this year! Time to start on those Christmas cards and gifts, too. I love this holy season!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday brought us some crisp Fall weather (FINALLY!), so we celebrated by taking Bo to the park. While the day started out grey and chilly, it was only about an hour before it got sunny and hot again. Gotta love Southern California weather! Still, Kat and Bo had a good romp in the coolness and very much enjoyed themselves.
Bo is such a silly guy; he's huge (just under 90 lbs) and fierce looking (well, okay, maybe not in these pictures!) so he tends to scare people when we're out walking him, especially at night. But once we introduce you as a friend and he gets to know you ... he's a real lovebug and so playful! He leaps and bounds like a deer when he's excited and rubs up against us like a cat when he's happy. He's the perfect guard dog and companion for Kat: giant teddy bear most of the time and a valiant protector when needed.
I made a little 6" x 6" layout yesterday, so as soon as I can figure out how to get my scanner working again I'll post it. It's really a very simple 2-page spread ('cause I had a lot of pictures to put in there!) but I think it turned out nice. Will post as soon as I can!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It's coming up on the Advent season (wow, end of this week... time flies!) and I'm beginning to look toward Christmas so I thought I'd do this Christmas meme:
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper with pretty ribbon and cool gift tags!
2. Real tree or artificial? We had an artificial tree for years (much more convenient), but this year we're going real (love the fragrance!)
3. When do you put up the tree? Around the 2nd week of Advent. No particular reason, just happens that way.
4. When do you take the tree down? Epiphany!
(Where'd 5 go...?)
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A Winnie the Pooh stuffed doll. I still have him... he sits on my bed. :)7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Oh yes, a few. My daughter has her own, we have a family set that we've had for about 20 years, and I inherited my grandmother's set when she passed away in 2005.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My brother. He's got everything already!
9. Easiest person to buy for? My eldest daughter. She loves anything with Sleeping Beauty on it! Did I mention she's 22 and in the Navy?
10. Worst Christmas Gift you ever received? No such thing, as it's the thought that means a lot to me.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Snail mail, definitely.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? This year, it's The Christmas Shoes (a Hallmark movie).
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Around Thanksgiving time is when I start really thinking about buying things, but mostly we make our gifts so that's an Advent project.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I honestly can't remember!
15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Honeybaked Ham, Yams, Mashed Potatoes, Turkey with Gravy... pretty much the traditional stuff
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Depends on the year.
17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Depends on the year and our budget. All our family lives several hours away, so sometimes we make the trek but we've been known to stay home for a quiet Christmas as well.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolf... did I get them all? Had to sing the song in my head!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Mother Mary cradling Baby Jesus in her arms.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning (I don't know why I can't "unbold" this answer....)
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People getting pushy and irritated at the stores. Gosh, that's not what the season's about.
23. What is the “silliest” family tradition you do, or miss doing? Taking the kids' Christmas pictures by the tree: after they did the "posed" shots, I let them pose themselves and the result was always a series of hilarious, fun photos that we used in our cards! Three are grown and moved out now, sigh...
24. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented? Don't know.
25. Which looks best, theme trees or homey trees? I like both, though my tree is always decorated with the Christmas ornaments that my kids made and collected as they were growing up.
26. Gingerbread or sugar cookies? Sugar cookies all the way!
27. Do you like Fruitcake? Not particularly.
Well, that's it!Big thanks to Corinna for this meme! You can check out her way cool blog here: Corinna's blog
Have an awesome day!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So this card has pull outs that have little things I love about her. I think it turned out cute! I used the "Just Delightful" Simply Scrappin' set from STAMPIN' UP!, Delight in Life stamp set (also from SU!), some Prima flowers, ribbons, and brads. Inside the card it says, "When I grow up... I want to be like you!" from a retired SU! set.
Kathi is so courageous and willing to be silly and ready to love everyone and very compassionate and caring. I hope she never loses that. I really do want to be like her!
Nicknames? Very cool! How'd they get those? What's the story behind them?
Pictured here are just a couple of the name frames I've made for people. My daughter Kathi made the "Neveah" frame for her cousin's birthday. She did a really nice job, yes? I wish I'd taken pictures of the others. And I still need to make some for my kids.