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Sunday, November 27, 2011

A New Card Caravan Challenge with Bling!

Today starts a new 2 week Card Caravan Challenge at The Hybrid Chick.  In this challenge we ask that you use glitter. How fun is that?  And simple too!  You can make any design you'd like, just use some glitter. Then link up your creation at the Card Caravan Linky party here.
I used the Wish List Letter to Santa kit and Word Art by Etc. by Danyale for my card.

  The snowflake on my card is coated with shimmery crystal white glitter.  I love that pop of bling!

I love the little peeking Santa in the kit so I just had to include him in my design.  

Thanks for looking at my card. Hope you can share one of your own at our challenge!

Digi Kit: Etc. by Danyale
Paper: Red River
Glitter: Glitterex
Ink: Colorbox
Ribbon Michaels
Adhesive: Glue Arts, Xyron

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful for Dirty Dishes

The day after Thanksgiving. I cannot even believe it!  Time is flying by this year.  While lots of people are out and about shopping on Black Friday, I was reflecting on all my blessings.  I really am thankful for dirty dishes!

All those dishes that needed to be washed after the feast yesterday represent so much. We would not have had the dishes with out having family and friends that gathered to enjoy time and a delicious meal together. We would not have had the food for the feast without the job to have the money to buy the food, or the store and the workers there to get the food from the shelves.  The food would not have been at the store with out the farms, farmers, and companies that prepare and package all the foods. We would not have had the freedom to celebrate without our troops fighting to protect our freedoms.  A heartfelt thank you from me to all involved in helping my family and friends be able to have the blessing of a wonderful Thanksgiving gathering!

Here's a little bit from the preparation of the feast at my house. Of course there was the bird.  All ready to go into the oven.  After 24 hours of soaking in an aromatic brine, this beauty was all washed and rubbed and ready for roasting.   Despite careful calculation of roasting time, the turkey managed to be done nearly 2 hours in advance of the predicted finish time!  And I was not the only one to have that situation. It happened to my brother and sister-in-law as well!  I think there was a turkey conspiracy.  Perhaps it was started by the beef industry!  Lucky for us, the meat was still super moist and delicious!

My kids are always sating that there is never enough stuffing. So this year I doubled my grandmother's recipe for stuffing.  Needless to say, we have quite a bit for leftovers!

For dessert, my sister made one of her scrumptious pecan cheesecake pies!!!  Oh yummy!!  I made some Pumpkin Spiced Latte Cupcakes.  Here I am brushing them with some coffee.  My son has nicknamed these "Pumcakes". It's what rolls of the tongue when you try to say Pumpkin and Cupcakes all at once!  Never did get a photo of the completed iced cupcakes!

Speaking of my son, One the most special dirty dishes that I am thankful for this year is this cute bowl that he created.  Can you tell he loves the Pittsburgh Steeler's??  I really appreciate his creativity, enthusiasm and team spirit.

Shame I never did get any photos of the finished goodies. But that's how things go in our house, mayhem and chaos settled in.  Time to capture the "after" photos went out the window!  Maybe next year!

I hope you've had a chance to be grateful for your blessings. If you ventured out to do some shopping, I hope you got some great deals. Hopefully you've had a wonderful time enjoying family and friends. And as I reflect on my blessings, I give thanks to all of you that follow along on my creative journey. Thanks for sharing your time and talents with me!

I've got to get back to washing those dirty dishes.  Until next time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Organizer/Planner

It's time. Or maybe it's past time. Time to get organized for the holidays. Each year I try really hard to be more organized than the previous year. I try. In reality, I do get a little better at it each year. There is just so much that happens in the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that you can't do it all. And that is OK!

To help me stay organized on the things I need to get done for the holidays, I keep a planner. I used to just do this by jotting notes on a pad of paper. Then a few years ago, I discovered this most awesome web site called Organized Christmas. Then I started printing out the organizer pages and keeping them in a binder. If you haven't been to this site, you really should visit. Oh my! They have all sorts of ideas to keep you on track and on budget for your holiday planning. Whether you just need a little help keeping your shopping in order, or if you want to go full tilt on sprucing your home, planning your meal, tracking your cards, gift purchases and staying within a budget, you can find the right help at Organized Christmas! And the best part......... it's FREE! Yep, it's all there to help you! You can find some of the planners here.

Last year I bumped up my organization another notch when I switched from just the printed out organizer sheets, to actually decorating my organizer!  I used digital scrapbook kits to design my cover and inside pages.  I didn't get all fancy with my materials. I used a 1" 3-ring binder with a clear pocket for the cover. This made it easy to design am 8.5" x 11" page for the cover and just slip it into the pocket.

Inside the binder I covered some plastic notebook dividers with pockets with matching papers.  This gives me a great place to store notes, receipts, gifts tags, a pen and other things. I don't need to make my organizer any fancier, it's not really going to be seen by anyone. Especially since I keep my gift buying plans in it!

I have 3 sections to my binder. Calendars, Cards and Gifts.  The Organized Christmas website has card trackers you can print out. I keep track of my cards, complete with addresses that I can mail merge to labels, in an Excel spreadsheet. So I keep a printed copy of that in this section. It allows me a place to make on-the-fly adjustments to addresses and such. I can then use that to update my spreadsheet when I have time.

In my calendars section, I keep monthly calendars for the months surrounding the holidays. This way, any special things I want to jot down, and don't want included on our family calendar, I have a separate location to keep them.  I set deadlines and reminders here for myself too. Like when I need to start thawing the bird!

The gifts section is the most active section for me.  I keep several of the printable planner pages here. This really helps to keep me on target with my gift planning, purchases and budget.

  It also helps me track and plan  for gifts I am making.

I love this planner page. I can keep track of all my orders in one location. I do a lot of Internet shopping. I print out the receipt, keep it in one of the binder pockets, and track the deliver of the item on this page.

This page is hands-down, my absolute favorite!!!!!  As I buy gifts, I stash them away. In crevices and hiding places.  Sometimes I forget where I've hidden them!  So this page is a HUGE help!  I use one of the columns as my location, to remind me where I've hidden the treasure!

Last, but certainly not least, I keep track of the little stocking stuffers, and housewarming gifts on this planner page.  No more Christmas mornings of forgetting about filling the stockings!  Yes, yes, that really did happen in my house once!  Never again!!

Reduce the stress in your holidays. Head on over to Organized Christmas get some great ideas, print out the planners that will help you most and put your mind at ease!

Here is to a happy and stress-reduced, holiday season!

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Being Thankful

It's nearly Thanksgiving!  Oh my!  I'm still not ready for the summer to have ended. We've already had our first snow fall too.  You would think I'm into the season by now.

This is one of my favorite times of year. I love the feeling that flows at the holidays. Woven in with the hustle and bustle is a wonderful feeling of compassion, faith and spirit.  It renews my belief and trust in the world.

As we get ready to enjoy Thanksgiving and the the build up to Christmas, we decorate the house with special items. This centerpiece is one that I made for our table.  It is made with recycled cardboard, some digital papers that I printed and cut, hand made paper flowers and some pre-made embellishments.

Our house always smells so much better at the holidays too with all the baking we do. And of course the yummy scented candles!

Another one of our Thanksgiving traditions is the wall hanging that I made several years ago. I really should get  a better photo of it!  There is a pocket on it for us to write the things we are thankful for.  The clip on the right keeps scraps of paper handy.  Then on Thanksgiving we read all of the things we have written.  I can then use these as journal strips on scrapbook pages.

Over at Paper Issues our theme is Thankful for Fall.  Won't you come link up some projects you have created?

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New Card Caravan Challenge and a Seam Binding Tutorial!

This is the card I made for our new Card Caravan challenge over at The Hybrid Chick.  The challenge is to do something birthday. I used the digital kit Every Day of the Year by Sugarplum Paperie.

Come join in on the fun at our challenge at The Hybrid Chick!

I didn't have a ribbon to match, so I died some seam binding using Glimmer Mist.  Such an easy technique.  Here's how:

Supplies you'll need:
Neutral colored seam binding or ribbon
small plastic zip closure bag
ink spray

1. Using a neutral colored seam binding (or ribbon), cut it to size.
2. Spritz some of your ink spray into the plastic bag

3. Add your seam binding and close the bag

4. Knead between your fingers until the color is absorbed by the fabric

5. Remove the seam binding from the bag and allow to dry before using on your project.

Simple, easy. And now you have a ribbon in the color of your choice. And the seam binding is crinkled to boot!

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Creative Team Call!!!

Are you a Digi Scrapper or Hybird Artist?  Interested in joining one of the most fun teams for a fantastic designer?  Then don't miss this call.  Wendy has some of the amazing, fun, wonderful designs and she is great to work with!  Being on this team rocks!

So if you have what it takes, get your email sent to Wendy at wmsquared.ctcall@gmail.com now!  you have until 11-23-11 to apply!

Looking forward to meeting the lucky people that get to join the team!  Good luck!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stirring Things Up!

When I saw the little stand mixer in this digital kit, I got all giddy!  I'm anxious to work on pages for my album of  favorite recipes and that mixer is going to look so cute on them!  But the word art in the kit got my mojo going in a completely different direction.  I ended up making this sweet card!  Sometimes, you've just got to follow the creativity. Never know where it might lead you!

The kit is called "Stir it Up" and is part of the Digital Scrapbook Day Grab Bag by WM Squared Designs.   It is available (and on sale now!) at Scrap Orchard. Hurry, you don't want to miss this sale!  The grab bag is packed full of great items, the kit, word art, journaling bits (which are going to make some great recipe cards!), templates, alphas and date stamps!!!

Digital Kit: WM Squared Designs
Ribbon: Michaels
Ink: Colorbox
Dies: Spellbinders 

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