Saturday, December 17, 2011

Have A Cup of Cheer!

While still working every minute I can these days on cookbook mini albums, I decided to break away from the papers and glues for just a couple of nights recently to bring out my hooks and yarns instead!  I turned on my Christmas tree lights, and popped in a movie, and those couple of nights were the most relaxing, peaceful nights I've had in a while!...   So, here's what I made!

I found the perfect shaped coffee mugs I was looking for at The Christmas Tree Shoppe!  In fact, I'd like to go get more!...  But I think these crocheted coffee mug cozies would be really cute Valentines Day gifts too, with the right goodies tucked inside, ya think so?!!

The pattern I followed, with minor adjustments to fit the particular-sized mugs I bought, was from Micah, at Micah Makes.  This is a great pattern, very easy to follow, and quick to whip up!...   Thank you Micah!  With the exception of ONE, which will be MINE-ALL-MINE...

...the other four cups will be Christmas gifts!!  (I just still have to get the marshmallows!)

Meanwhile, during the past month or so, I participated in a couple of Christmas Tag Swaps!  Now that all the tags have been sent and received, I can finally share them with you here!  For the first round of swaps, via Mini Album Scraps, I received this group of gorgeous tags...

...and honestly, the talent shown in these just amazes me!   

The next round of Christmas Tags came via a swap held by Gloria, at YouTube channel craftergm.

Aren't they beautiful?!!  Photos could never do them justice!  Every little detail just fascinates me, every time I look at each individual work of art!  Every one of all ten tags are hanging on display in my home right now, and I know my visitors will LOVE seeing them all!  

Oh!  I almost forgot to show my own tag!  I made the same tag for both swaps, so here it is.  This is the front...

You see the flower center of the fabric flower I sewed myself?  It almost looks as pretty as cranberry glass, doesn't it?!  Would you believe it was made out of a plastic soda bottle, and a red sharpie pen?...   Well, it WAS!!

*Update:  Look for how to make Pop Bottle Flowers HERE!
...And look for the fabric flower how-to HERE!

Next is the back of the tag, where I pocketed a second tag!  I used the Sizzix die Key & Keyhole. Then, on the back of this tag I added a little poem about leaving the key out for Santa, just in case he needs it!  (The smallest tag you see, the little red-patterned hand, just included my personal info for the recipients in the swaps.)

So, I guess that just about wraps things up today.  As for my "Sally List" so far?..  I may need to run to the bank for some rolls of pennies!!  Ha! Ha!..  Oh, just kidding!!  Hopefully I won't need to use them all!  I am full of the Christmas Spirit today, and plan to do some Christmas cookie baking!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, 
and I hope this finds you and yours 
enjoying the weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Snowman Assembled

...and reporting for Journal Duty, Sir!

Just recently, I saw a really cute little snowman, over at Audrey Pettit's Weblog, and I thought he was so darn cute, I didn't waste a minute, scampering around my house, gathering up my materials to make one for myself!  Originally, I was going to make one to decorate a basket or shelf somewhere, but then as I was making it, I remembered I hadn't yet made a cover for my Winter Junque/Art Journal.  I loved the way Audrey did her scarf with ribbon and a pleated rosette, but I decided I wanted an element of crochet on my snowman, and so I proceed to crochet him a scarf!

The first page of my journal has pockets to store various images, papers, etc, that I think I may want to work with...

and much like my other two journals,  the right side of this layout will be my introductory page of sorts.  Isn't the paper beautiful?  It's from an Elizabeth Brownd, K&Company line of Christmas paper.  I won it in a giveaway, and I am having so much fun with it.  I'm sure I'll have plenty to still use next year too!  (Thank you so much Sue!)

The next two pages, ready for journaling and photos, are inspired by two individual sources.

First my colors are inspired by an "artful color play" prompt at Whimspirations: Artful Musings By Joanne Sharpe.  Here she suggested making a journal background page using just the colors blue, green, and purple.  Of course, can I follow directions?  Not really thinking, I threw in some WHITE snowflakes, but I'm happy with it still!  My second inspiration for the layout of the two pages comes from Sketchy Thursdays.  The entire layout is done using acrylic paints, chunky stamps, a Crafter's Workshop stencil, dark and light purple colored papers, lace, index cards for journaling or photo placement, and a couple of plastic snowflake embellies.

Next, I want to show a couple of ATC cards...  Little works of art/craft, made for trading, much like trading baseball cards!  I was recently in a swap, hosted by Creations By Tee- The Altered Paper Crafts.  I received a package from my swap partner yesterday, and here's what Kelly, from Dreaming of Vintage, sent me!

Here's the very pretty Christmas ATC she made, 
and then the little pocket she sent it in!

She sent me various other scrappy little goodies along with it, and I loved it all; so thank you again Kelly!

Here's the card I then sent to my swap partner, Mercedes...  I'm hoping she got it by now, having sent it out on the 5th!!

I hope she likes her ATC, along with the goodies I sent with it!  I thought the little girl in the image was so sweet, and I just loved the colors!

Next, I wanted to share why you shouldn't throw away that makeup catalog quite so quickly.  I made myself a Christmas tree with mine!

Then my daughter saw it, and wanted me to make her one too!  Done easily in front of the t.v. some night, all you have to do when you're done is maybe add some glitter, or maybe a star for the top.  I haven't gotten around to that part yet, but I just think it's really cute recycling project that anyone can do!  If you'd like, HERE'S a great source that shows you how to make one!

Finally, you might remember from my previous post that I made some cinnamon ornaments?  Well, I couldn't stop there, could I?!!

Measuring at about 13" across, I made this gingerbread man wreath, and I just LOVE it!  Perfect for decorating my country Christmas kitchen!  Here I have the glue holding the bow onto it still drying; but this was very easy to do, and you can find how to make one yourself RIGHT HERE!

So much to still do, so I'm off and running!  
Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

'Tis The Season 2B Busy!

La..     La.....     La...........   Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Yes, that about sums it up for me, around here, lately!  Every day flies by in a blur, and when my head hits that pillow at the end of the day, I am OUT FOR THE COUNT, in no time flat!...  But aside from the usual hustle and bustle, I am determined to make time and room for all the decorating, baking, traditions and good cheer that comes with the Christmas season!

Of course, just to catch up here, first I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Ours was very nice!  I just thought I'd share this photo of our cat, Tuffy....

 who, when every time I opened the door, was VERY 
interested in that "pretty bird" sitting in my refrigerator!!!

Well, we had our dinner around 4:00, or so, and the turkey cooked up beautifully this year!  I was so proud of myself, my daughter is still laughing about it!  We sat ourselves down, ready to eat, truly blessed and grateful for a table, full of so many delicious goodies of all sorts!  We said grace, and filled our plates, warm dishes, and salt-n-peppers, being passed this way and that.  Everything seemed perfect, like straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting...

It just might have been nice if I had remembered to make one of the most traditional staples on a Thanksgiving table...  the STUFFING!!

Halfway through the meal, I realized I never even made the stuffing!  Oh well...   Nobody left the table hungry by any means, right?

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I made bacon and eggs, but I forgot the hashbrowns for our big breakfast that morning too!

(Sigh)  I really worry myself sometimes; but perhaps everything that had to be done was just a little overwhelming, you think?  Maybe I didn't have enough coffee?  Hmmm...  Let me think.  Maybe I should've remembered to take my vitamins??   Maybe I should have made a to-do list the full size of my refrigerator door, so I couldn't miss it?!  Maybe we should have ate out???...

Oh, NO WAY!  Who cares about hash browns, or one little ol' bowl of stuffing?!!  Home cookin' will always be the best, right?!...  And NOT because of the ingredients you put in, but because of the LOVE you put in, and who you're sharing it WITH!  Yes, I like that!  THAT sounds right to me!

So-oooo, we put our tree up on that following Saturday, the 26th!  Both kids were here to help, and I couldn't have enjoyed myself more!  In fact, the kids made note that I even strung up the lights without saying so much as one naughty word!

"Are you kidding?!", you ask?..  No, it's the truth!!  The lights are my LEAST favorite job to do, when putting up the tree; but I'm happy to say, not one penny was placed in the cuss jar for this event!  Not this year!  And our tree looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  My Christmas spirit is fast on the rise!

Little by little, I'm decorating the rest of the house.  A couple weeks ago, I made some snowflakes.  I want to glitter them up a bit, maybe just 'round the centers, and then I can decide where to hang them.  I'm thinking I might make more, but then I start feeling like Buddy, the Elf, who strings them all over the store, and the apartment!  So funny, but still very Christmas-sy!!!  It might be fun!

These snowflakes are made with empty, painted kitchen paper towel rolls, some pipe cleaners (or "chenille stems"...  whichever you want to call them)...  and some pony beads!   I know it's not in the cards yet, but I'm thinking this could be a very fun project to make with the grandbabies I'm dreaming of someday!!

Next, just yesterday, I whipped up a batch of cinnamon ornaments!  They're so fast and easy to do.  Even Dear Son stepped in and made a few!  He really missed not being able to lick the bowl, though!  Not with the smidgeon of GLUE in this recipe, he'd better not!

The recipe(s) for these kind of ornaments can be found all over the internet, but I'm not sure I've found one I'm commited to by any means.  Just google it, and you'll find a good number of variations.  Which is the best way, I'm not sure yet, but I think these came out nice enough!  They'll be pretty with some red and green ribbons, I think...  maybe some little buttons or jingle bells...   And my kitchen smells SO-ooooo GOOD right now!

I plan on making more cookies each weekend...  Edible ones, of course, for Christmas cookie assortments, I hope to share!..  But my biggest project going right now, is a group of recipe books I'm making.  One is for myself (and then Dear Son can have it someday), one is a gift for Dear Daughter (who requested one in the first place, and I was so happy to oblige!)...  and then one is for a friend of mine!  These will be a LOT of work, but I'm encouraged that I have the basic structure of each one put together already!  I think I will probably move on to filling the pages, before I go attaching the covers on just yet.

I'm just gathering up all my materials, tools, recipes, images, and favorite quotes, hoping I have enough of everything, and I can move ahead, at least a little bit at a time, on each of them, each night!  Let's just REALLY hope they're done BEFORE Christmas Eve, right?!!...   I can do this!

Well, that's it for today.  I hope this finds everybody enjoying the holiday season!  I can't believe the unseasonably warm weather we're having here, but I'm still dreaming of a white Christmas; if not outside the house, then IN the house, right?!..  Lots and lots of paper snowflakes!  (Here's where I'm smiling!  "Smiling's my favorite"!!)  

Thanks so much for stopping by,
and enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let the Games Begin!

I LOVE the holidays!!..  But the days before?  Well, it's just non-stop busy, between cooking, cleaning, and setting things up to be just right.  So, after my morning cup of coffee, and a quick bowl of cereal, I just roll up my sleeves and say "Let the games begin!"

I baked some spice cookies a couple of days ahead.  Dear Son loves these, and it's a good thing I've put some aside in the freezer for both Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Yesterday afternoon, I did some extra cleaning 'round the house.  I even planned ahead, and pulled out all my "bigger pants", because let's face it.  There's just no denying, I'm gonna need them for at least the full week ahead, because I don't plan on counting calories tomorrow!  NOPE!  No way!...

Well, then, last night, as I finally kicked my feet up, and watched a little t.v., I finished putting together the basic form of a Thanksgiving mini album.

I'll fill it with photos and embellies after the holiday, of course, but I had fun putting it together, such as it is for the moment!

As for today, so far, I've cooked up my eggs, for deviled eggs, I've made a lemon meringue pie, and now have to run a quick errand...  to the store, of course!  I have two more pies I want to make, and then I may even try to whip up a couple of casserole-type side dishes ahead, either later this afternoon, or this evening, we'll see...   A busy, busy, busy day this is, but it's a very NICE kinda busy!!

So I just wanted to take this small break to say how thankful I am for every friend that stops by my little blog, to see what's going on, maybe find inspiration in something I've made, or just to say "hi"...   And I am definitely inspired by all your crafting, crocheting, baking, home decorating projects, etc., etc., etc.!!!  Blogland continues to be a pleasant escape, and a wonderful blessing to me, and I'm grateful to know you all!

 Wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!   

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I know I'm a day late, and I should be saying Happy November..  or something like that;  but I had absolutely NO time to post yesterday, so...   well, here I am today!

First, I just want to share a couple of pictures.  

Here's one of our pumpkin!

He's a little more lopsided than I thought, we we first purchased him, but we had lots of fun carving a face for our jack-o-lantern, nonetheless!  When all lit up, he definitely added to the spirit of the holiday!

Next....   Well, every year, I make a bunny cake for Easter, right?..  I thought this year, I'll make a black cat cake for Halloween!!  (You can too, right HERE!)

He's not very scary looking, by any means...  But I think he came out cute!  What do you think?  Should I make this a new tradition, and make another, when next Halloween rolls around?!

Finally, I wanted to share the Halloween TP mini album,
that I made for 2011.  There's just no easier way to 
show it, than by way of video...  so here goes!

We really had a great Halloween, altogther, this year!  The day before, Dear Daughter came over, and we made our traditional Great Pumpkin Cookies, and we watched a Halloween movie together!!  During the actual holiday, on the 31st, we took the dog for a walk, and got to see several trick-or-treaters already out and about, so CUTE, and the weather was perfect!!

That night, Dear Son and I lit up our pumpkin, set out all our own candy and goodies, ready for when Monday Night Football came on!  Perfect!...   Yum-yum-yum-yum-yum!!!  (Calories?.. I'm NOT gonna think about'em!  Nope!  No way!)

Thanks for stopping by today, and hope 
you all had a fun-filled, very Happy Halloween! 


Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet My Cousin It!

Here's a little somethin' I put together 
for a swap I was in at Blissful ATC Swap.  

October's theme was Halloween monsters.  

I had a little difficulty deciding what monster I wanted to go with, at first, but then I thought out of the box, just a little, realizing my monster doesn't have to be scary, right? 

My swap partner, Victoria, has received her card, so now I'd like to post this in conjunction with a new Wednesday event...

I'm afraid the technique I resorted to felt a little unethical...   totally out of character for me...  I mean, to do something like this to a doll...

You all know how much I love my dolls!  Honest!..  I felt really bad about it, but I needed her hair for my ATC card!

I decided I wanted to make Cousin It for my movie monster.  Surely everyone knows him from the t.v. showmovies, even cartoon, all based on The Addams Family!

Here you see the back of my card, where you find Margaret Alford, played by Dana Ivey, dancing with Cousin It, at a celebration held in honor of Uncle Fester. 

The hand has my "handmade" information on the back, but I thought it was especially fitting for this card also because of the character "Thing" in the movie!  It's made using a Crafter's Workshop "Henna Hands" 6x6 template, designed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.

So, yeah!....  I'm very happy with how my ATC card turned out.  It was really fun to put together! 

Oh, but my poor doll, right?  It wasn't much fun for her, was it?  Well, don't you worry about her.  I did my best to make amends, and she seems to have forgiven me...

I made her a new funky-punky little Halloween outfit, and I think she looks better now, than when I pulled her out the dollar-store cellophane bag in the first place!

I crocheted her newsboy-styled hat (brim flipped up in 1st photo, and brim positioned back down in second photo)...   AND I crocheted her skirt.  Her top is made of black grosgrain ribbon.  Her shoes were originally royal blue, but I "sharpie-d" them black.  I used black and orange permanent ink pens to make her striped arm warmers, then I just "goth-ed" up her face a bit! (No piercings.. I just couldn't do it to her!)

So-oooo...  What else have I been up to?  
Well, I've been very busy with home-schooling, but Dear Son and I like to take the dog for walks, while we can, while the weather is still kind enough to allow such a privilege.  One night we came across this sweet little find, sitting roadside, abandoned, just tossed atop of a garbage can... (Gasp!)

Apparently the house was for sale, and not opting to hold a garage sale, the family was just cleaning up and throwing out!..  Well, I grabbed it, and heavy as it was, I walked it ALL THE WAY HOME!

Dear Son helped carry the painting, titled "Before The Mirror", for me.  Later I, of course, had to rearrange my entire bedroom to FIT my new-found treasures, but I love them both!

Inside my new Crosley record player was an album, The Best of The Ink Spots, already in place and ready to play!

Oh, and with it also came two collections of Glen Miller.  Yes, our arms were full on the walk home, and yes, Glen's a little before my time, but I have many moods and tastes for music, and I can appreciate Glen Miller, just as much as any of the current stuff there is!  I love ALL kinds of music!...   Just look at these jackets on the two collections!

  Like hardcover books!  You don't see them like this anymore!

Anyways, THAT turned out to be a fun "walk"!!...  One other fun thing we did recently was to go apple picking!  The weather was perfect, like Indian Summer!..   A few days later, Dear Daughter asked me to show her how to make Apple Crisp... we had fun whipping up a couple batches together!  (Actually, these are gone already, and I'm hoping to make MORE!)

Special thanks to Wendy, at Blissful ATC Swap, and to Jenn, at Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge Blog, and to Vanessa, at A Fanciful Twist

for hosting her 2011 Halloween Party (for which I am a little late showing up for, and I hope she'll forgive me)...   Thanks to all for hosting these fun events!  I hope you'll check them all out!..   And then, big thanks and hugs to all my visitors for stopping by to see me!!  Have a great day!