Saturday, December 25, 2010

On Christmas Day at Half Past Three

On Christmas Day
At half past three
Have yourself a cuppa tea.
I'll think of you,
You'll think of me,
Sitting beside the
Christmas Tree!
author unknown

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

Well, I guess you could say I've been scarce for a couple of weeks--mostly running from here to there, finishing Christmas Cards, attending Christmas programs & parties, and the usual wrapping, boxing, and sending it all via the post office...after a lengthy wait in a line of "I don't have time to wait" anxious patrons.  I've even had to post-pone some of the projects I had planned for Christmas prezzies...just ran out of time.  I still haven't gotten the hang of juggling my blogging with crafting, and picture taking, and posting--yet.  But I've got some ideas for the post-Christmas season that I'm looking forward to soon sharing, that will help with the organization of it all, and I'm pretty excited about it. 

For this Christmas Eve day, I thought I'd play a little catch up and post a few photos of the fun busy-ness I've been up to.  Enjoy!

more card making

once opened -- becomes a card with a hanger

Liquid Applique technique (coming soon)

Cody & pups -- and my DH red bull in front of the Christmas Tree.
yes...there is a story there somewhere.



Poor Man's Turtles!  -- pretzel w/Rollo on top, bake 4 min. @ 350F, top with pecan halves while warm.  We made these for Cody's high school teachers this year -- they loved them!

I love "dressing" my table for the holidays!

The cardinals are so pretty this time of year against the winter white -- can you see it?

winter snows a' blowin'

The snowflakes on the ceiling look like a winter wonderland especially
when we're coming down the steps...I love our snowflakes!

Wishing you all a Cozy Christmas -- remembering Jesus is the reason we celebrate the season!

A Very Merry Christmas to You!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snowman Buttons

When I went off to college, many years ago, my Mom used to send me seasonal pins to wear for the various holidays, I still have most of them.  When I got older and had kids, I carried on the tradition by buying them pins to wear during the holiday seasons.  One year I saw these snowman button pins in a Family Fun magazine--which incidentally is a GREAT magazine if you have young kids and like finding a variety of ways to spend quality time together.  I started making these snowmen with my kids, and my Sunday School students.  They would always make one for themselves, and the others would be gifts for a parent, teacher, and even for friends.  They're great boxed up, or even as a gift and a card in one.  They're easy to make and quick too (only need a bit of drying time for the glue) -- and repurposing old buttons is a bonus!

LoveLee Recipe:  2 white buttons (w/2 thread holes), 1 piece of stiff black felt for hat, 1 piece of stiff black or white felt for backing, 1 piece of red felt, ribbon, or torn material for scarf, and pin backing. 

1. Take the two white buttons--glue one button into position as the head, with the thread holes horizontal for the eyes, onto a scrap piece of black or white felt (black felt makes the eyes & body buttons look like coal, while the white makes them blend in like snow).
2. Glue the second button into position beneath the head, with the thread holes vertical for the body buttons.  Cut off excess felt around the buttons, leaving a bit on either side of the neck area for stability. 
3. Cut a portion of red felt, or other material, for snowman's scarf -- wrap around neck & glue in place--this will hide the extra felt showing around neck area. 
4. Cut black felt to resemble a hat and glue on head (top button) with a bit of a tilt.
5. Finally, glue pin backing onto back of felted buttons and let dry completely.

A couple other fun ideas, in case you don't want it as a pin -- add another layer of felt to back of snowman holding a pencil in between layers, and only glue top and sides of felt.  Remove pencil & let dry--makes a cute pencil topper.  Use it on a card as decoration only.  Attach a ribbon hanger inbetween a second layer of felt to make it into an ornament.  And, quickly dress up a plain gift tag.  Most of all...just have fun with it.

---"it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas."

Merry Christmas crafting--Lisa

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paper Folded Christmas Trees

The two trees on left were made w/the same double-sided cardstock, & they are shown using a different side for each card.  The tree on the right was made using a lighter weight paper--not quite as dimensional, and lays flat.  Ornament shown hanging above, top right.
 I love Close to My Heart (CTMH) stamps!  I'm not strictly a stamper girl, in fact, I just enjoy dabbling in a lot of different mediums--so you won't always see stamping in my projects.  But I'm a romantic at heart, and actually it was the name of the company that first caught my eye several years ago.  Since we're a military family I had never had the desire to stock up on a lot of wood blocked stamps--their bulkiness & weight is something I have to consider each time we relocate to another place. But when I found these CTMH acrylic stamps I loved that they were prepackaged in envelopes that solved the easy & lightweight storage issue.  In saying that, I am not a consultant so this isn't really a sales pitch but just a preface to this post really--

I started going to Hostess Club meetings for CTMH a few years ago with some friends and this paper folding technique is something I learned from the consultant, Johanna.  It's an easy process and you can recycle scraps of paper to make it!  You'll need four squares of decorative paper (I like mine two-sided) in varied sizes:  (squared) 3", 2 1/2", 2", and 1 1/2".  You can use any sizes as long as they vary by 1/2" each--these sizes fit perfectly on an standard A2 card (1/2 sheet of 8 1/2" x 11", folded in half--or 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" card). 

You'll fold each square as indicated in the picture above following the steps making sure to firmly press each fold line: 1. pick which side you want to show and fold in half diagonally, 2. open it up and fold it again on the opposite diagonal. 3. open it up, flip to other side, and fold in half -- straight edges together. 4. with opposite side facing up and in a tent-like position, press down on center with finger and you should be able to fold into a flattened triangle on the previous fold lines. 5. with it laying flat in front of you (straight edge on bottom), take the top section, right straight edge of the triangle and fold it, on front, the right edge to the center of the triangle--do this to the left side as well, folding it over so the left edge of the triangle is even with the right edge, in the CENTER of the triangle--press down firmly.  Do this with each of the four squares.  6. Nest the folded triangle together (large on bottom, to smallest on top). Put a glue dot, or dab of glue on the back top of the three largest triangles to secure. 

I used brown scraps for the tree trunk and mounted the tree to an oval cutout before mounting it to my card.  I also made it into an ornament by putting two completed trees together, sandwiching a metallic cord hanger between the two trees.  In retrospect, I think I would've liked the ornament even better with three sides as opposed to the two--but you can play around with it for different options.  I added some miniature tree lights and stickles to the ornament, and stickles & a bauble tree topper for the trees on the cards.  Just a note:  If you use scrapbook paper instead of cardstock, it will lay lighter & flatter for mailing out...if you use cardstock it will be more dimensional and will pop out of you card a bit more.  And I found the cardstock worked better for the ornament, and they even look great on banners as well.

If you have any problems with this technique, please let me know.  I'm hoping to start posting videos after the first of the new year--that should be interesting.  =)

Happy Crafting,

Counting Down with Bottle Caps

 Several years ago my son and I put together this simple Countdown Calendar after watching Michael Strong (author of "Don't Throw That Away") on the Carol Duvall Show. For being made of recycled materials it's held up rather well. Anyway, I know it's already into December but I thought I'd still share it. =)

The base is a panel cut out of a cardboard box and covered with wrapping paper--we used gift wrap ribbon for the hanger (stapled on), wrapped the cardboard like a package, and taped it down.  The bottle caps were saved from water bottles & 2 liter bottles of pop/soda--we used double stick tape to stick them down in the shape of a tree (other shapes could be a star or a wreath).  I used two sizes of a circle punch to cut the "lids"-- 2 1/2" circles of white cardstock were cut for the base, and 2 1/4" circles were cut out of Christmas magazines for the decorative tops.  My son especially loved picking out the pictures we used.  We used glue sticks to stick the two circles together.  I filled each bottle cap with different items--the circumference fits a quarter perfectly--some items that fit well are:  spare change, fruit snacks, m&m's, Christmas pins, earrings, stickers, charms, jingle bells, candy, handwritten notes, thoughts for the day, even crafting suppies such as ribbons, brads, etc, all fit great.  To close off the tops until ready to open we ran a glue stick around the top edge of each bottle cap, then place each decorative punched circle on top and let dry/cure a few hours before you hang it up.  You could number each of the toppers, but Cody wanted to choose which one to open each day himself, so we decided not to (we used 25 individual caps). 

Each day the decorative circle is removed from the bottle cap, then pressed to the backing board.  The glue stick retains enough dry stickiness that it easily adheres to the wrapping paper (note: we used a slicker type paper, which made it easy for the toppers to come off the backing board later).  I want to say we probably made this in 2006, and last year was the first year we added more glue to the caps.  The toppers adhered to the plastic caps each year without needing additional glue--pretty cool. 

This project is a fun & easy project for kids to do, and it can be adapted for parties and such any time of the year--just choose a shape such as a smiley face, etc, and you can use it as a game for the kids to find the hidden item, or for countdown to Easter, or what about a countdown to their birthday?!  Oooo...I wish I had that when I was growing up.  LOL  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this quick project.  Thanks for stopping by--and keep recycling!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mastering the Busy Season

Thanksgiving was wonderful time, but that weekend I wasn't feeling too well and into the next week.  By that time, I was so behind on my "to-do" list that today is the first day I've really had a moment to spend some time online--but this has been a very full week indeed.  First I have to REJOICE in that my hubby has finally been able to finish his Master's Degree -- MBA with focuses in Human Resources & Strategic Management!  WOO HOO--way to go honey!!  I'm so proud of him -- he stuck it out while working a full time job filled mostly with overtime, including a deployment to Iraq, and amongst other adversites.  I keep telling him he's going to be bored, and won't know what to do with his extra time.  However, I'm sure I'll be able to help him out with some sort of a nifty, even crafty, "Honey-do" list.  In the meantime, I put him to work this morning helping me take a load of boxes to the post office to mail out--then shopping at the grocery, and even a bit of house-maintenance.  =) 

I spent the last few days finishing up the last bit of my Christmas shopping, Christmas wrapping, and as I mentioned previously, mailing out all our boxes to family & friends.  All I have left to do is finish the rest of my cards, address them, and mail them out!  And last, but not least--Tim Holtz is continuing his tradition of the 12 Tags of Christmas this year!  He's doing the full tutorials for each of his tags, and if you leave a comment on his blog your name could be drawn for some great prizes!  You really oughta check out his blog.  This is the first year I just might be able to sit down and try out his tags as well.  If I do, I'll be sure to post them.  In the meantime, check out his 12 Tags of Christmas/Day 1--they're totally awesome!  =)

Apple Pie, Pumpkin Rolls, & Pink Stuff --  Thanksgiving Yummies!!