Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Thinking of You Card

Hi Everyone! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and made lots of memories! We had a very busy couple days which led to pure exhaustion, but the memories and the smiles were worth it. I will take some photos of my favorite presents and share them later.

Today  I am sharing a thinking of you card I made a few weeks ago. It was made for a friend and coworker that has recently been diagnosed with Colon cancer. ugh. Such a sweet sweet girl with a wonderful family and such horrible news right in time for the holiday season.

I used the owl frame on page 34 of the Storybook Cricut cartridge. The inside sentiment is from Fiskars "Laugh With Me Quotes"

As I was looking for a cut to use, I learned there are lots of neat cuts on this cartridge. :) I will be looking into it further.  Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great rest of the week! I am linking up here:

hugs ~Jen

Thursday, December 22, 2011

a Merry Chrismukkah card

So much to share, so few hours in a day right now. We will get back to regular posting after the first of year!

A friend of ours asked if I would make her a Chrismukkah card for a friend of hers. I, of course, agreed. The only thing she told she wanted was for it to say "Merry Chrismukkah." So often we would be thankful for the opportunity to have so much wiggle room when doing a project for someone else. I thought and thought and Google searched and searched. There aren't very many images out there to help light a little creative fire. Off to the handbooks for my Cricut cartridges I went. I finally decided on bird 3 on page 61 of the Winter Woodland cartridge.

This card had I think 4 different designs before the final one came to be. I should have taken pictures of each stage so you could see the transformation, but I didn't. :(

The blue was Jim's idea and I think it was a great idea! He's usually really good at coming up with a suggestion when I just don't know where to go next because I have been looking at it trying too hard for too long. :) Here it is.

I cut out two birds at two different sizes.  I used Stickles to make them sparkly (like the snow we don't have). The ornate white background paper was something that I've had for awhile. I've always thought it was cool and I've tried to use it on multiple projects and have never been happy with it. It finally stayed on a project. I used pop dots or dimensionals (whichever you choose to call them) between the card and the bottom bird and also between the birds.

Here's the inside. I don't have a stamp for this occasion so I went "old school" and used Word and my printer!  The font is Old English Text MT.

One more look.

I hope our friend likes it and I hope her friend likes it too! I hope you will let me know what you think. We hope you will enjoy whichever holiday(s) it is you will be celebrating!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!!! Linking up here:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree (s)

Well, the snow is FINALLY falling from the sky. December 17th and this is only the 2nd time snow has turned the ground white.  Rather crazy! Here is what it looked like out the back door earlier today.

Now that it is beginning to look like Christmas outside...Here is a little more Christmas inside - The Christmas tree(s)

Jynx decided she wanted to be part of the photo session!

You didn't really think there would be an angel or a star on top our tree did you? *I saw a really cool elf at TJ Maxx earlier and actually left her in the store /gulp* Anyway. The elf is holding a felt ornament made by {my Grandma.} the other ornament is a White House ornament given to us by a special friend that lives in D.C.

The tree in the living room isn't the only tree though. There is one in the kitchen.

I like how Santa is overseeing the confectionery ingredients!!! 

I LOVE the shadows of the elves. This elf has a much cuter shadow when it is a little darker and the kitchen lights are on. I giggle every night.

We have wooden Christmas trees made by my Grandma 

We can't forget the tree on the front porch. You can read more about this tree here!

There are a couple porcelain trees that light up and not nearly enough bottle brush trees throughout the house.

I also thought I would share a few things that are on our tree...

{Bubble lights}

An ornament from Jerusalem! I am pretty sure this is my most favorite thing that Barb gave me before she moved. 

This elephant has been on my Christmas tree for, well, ever!!!!

a spinner ornament. it is hung above one of the bubble lights. the spinner spins with the heat from the white lights, but it REALLY spins with the heat from the bubble lights

I do have some other things to share with you but they have to wait until after Christmas. Christmas cards and gifts can't be revealed yet.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I am on my way back to the kitchen to make more cookies and feed the sweet little Jynx.

Hugs and Best Christmas wishes!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our version of a PB cubby shelf

One thing I have learned since digging into the realms of the blog world is that most people like to make knock offs of items in the "expensive catalogs." One of the things that I have noticed on every few blogs is the blog owners version of a PB cubby shelf.
I had to Google it to see what the original PB product looks like. Here are a couple I found using a Google Image search

and this one

Now, I do have to admit when I saw what these cubby shelves were and blog owners everywhere were having their other halves recreate them, I chuckled. I chuckled because we already have something hanging on the wall in the living room. We didn't recreate them or pay high end prices for either one.  Ours are rustic, rusty, and quirky....which makes them PERFECT!!!!

An old soda bottle crate we picked up at a sale a couple years ago...

This little cubby thing was one of my Christmas presents last year. Don't know what it is, but I l.o.v.e it.
When the house isn't Christmas-ed the cubbies house little things that remind us of people and/or places.
The center cubby has a fishing bobber, a marble sized ball and I think there is something else in there.  We have found all those things while out geocaching. The bobber was found on a very rainy day of caching. :)

I am not saying the PB ones aren't nice. I just like ours because they have character and a story.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you will leave a comment so I know you were here!!!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Memories in the making!

I have been very busy during my absence from blogland! We have a couple kinds of cookies in the freezer, some spiced almonds, chocolate covered pretzels and some pecan bark.  Our Christmas cards are in the process of being finished. I have been using a couple Stampin Up sets to make our Christmas cards ( I will share pictures sooner or later!)

Today is about Christmas memories and traditions. The tradition in question here is hard tack candy. Christmas hard tack candy is something that I can remember to fairly early childhood days. When I was a kid we had a covered back porch off the kitchen and that is where Mom would set the candy for it to cool. Today, the candy cools on our front porch.

I am sure if I looked hard enough I could come up with a picture of candy making from my childhood, but who has the kind of time on December 12? More candy, cookies, and Christmas cards to be made (oh and presents too--that will be a post for another day--after Christmas).

Every now and then I have been home at the "right" time and been able to make hard tack with my Grandma. (100 miles separates myself and most of my family)  2007 was one of those 'right times.' We had a lovely day together and Grandma's candy got made and she didn't have to make it by herself.  We were both tuckered by days end, but...the candy was made with love.

The tools of the day all set out on Grandma's counter.

The recipe sitting on Grandma's counter

The flavors for 2007

My {Grandma} waiting for the candy to cool

The "old fashioned way" of making hard tack. 

Our bowl of candy at the end of the day.

It is one of my favorite memories.

Fast forward one year. 2008

2008 was the first together for Jim and I. The only pictures I have of the candy making process from 2008 are a couple we took of the candy in the bowl.  We thought they would make a great puzzle! There are memories though! This was the first year Jim had seen hard tack made. It can be a chore but it is definitely more fun with two. {heart}

Fast forward another year...2009. No pictures of candy making. You see, we were a little busy with a project of a different sort. These pictures were taken December, 7 2009.

YEP YEP YEP!!!!! That is was our kitchen. I was only moderately flipping out because we had a house warming/Christmas party scheduled for, oh say, December 12. (5 DAYS!!!!!!!!) There are memories here too. Plenty of them really. I honestly don't remember much about cookies and candy for this year. I am guessing there had to have been at least a little sugary goodness coming out of that kitchen (ok not the one you see above, but....) because my, which is now our, gift every year to most of my family is lots of sugary goodness made with the love. I vaguely remember making peanut butter blossoms, but who knows. No pictures to prove it. I am sure I didn't go home empty handed though. I am happy to report that the kitchen did NOT look like this for the Christmas party.  The floor was not completed, but it was part way done and the place was as ready as it was going to be for company. (perhaps the story of this party should be a post for another day.) Just in case you haven't been here before and seen the pictures of what the kitchen looks like today, here is a glimpse at what it looked like in December 2009.

Fast forward another year. 2010. What a difference a year makes!
(part of) The sugary goodness ingredients all lined up...

The 2010 bowl of candy with powdered sugar added.

We gifted the candy in empty frap bottles. There may or may not be quite the collection of these bottles taking place in the canning cellar. We added some fabric and ribbon before gifting.

2010 was the last year for the "old fashioned way" of candy making. Jim was certain there was an easier way to make the candy. We would be on the search for molds for 2011.

2011. It sounds as though I will be gifting some of this year's candy to my Grandma. She has been sick since Thanksgiving and she told me the other day she hasn't made any candy. Don't worry Grandma, we made plenty!!!!!!!!!! and quite possibly the most I have ever made.

...we found molds made for hard tack...

 The 2011 fruit flavors

The 2011 'spice' flavors

 Production getting ready to take place. Jim was the one that decided it was candy time. I was letting him go and he was going to be in charge of however much of it he wanted to be....right after I butted in and moved things around for a picture or two... the same recipe from 2007 on our counter. As I sit here and type I realize I have had this recipe for awhile. It was most likely gotten from my Mom or my Grandma my senior year of college. That is when I had recipe cards like that. That also means this recipe is a traveled recipe and went to South Carolina with me for the couple years I lived there. I am most certain there aren't any pictures of the recipe out on the South Carolina counter, but that would have been cool. Anywho, pictures taken and out of Jim's way....

I like the bubbly stage. I need to get out of the way though before it comes up to temperature. As I was taking these pictures he asked if I was going to be blogging about candy making.  {heart}

The candy in one of the molds.  I called my Grandma the day we started making candy. We weren't together but it was something we could talk about so I called her up. I told her we bought molds this year and she says to me "I've never used those. I've always just done it my old fashioned way." I felt a little sad that we weren't doing it "the old fashioned way", but when I look at how many flavors we made and how nice the little candy gems look, I moved on. There is definitely something different about the molds compared to doing the whole process by hand.  Either way, still handmade and still made from the heart!!!!

The 2011 bowl of candy gems!

The 2011 flavor list. The list is something we started last year. I apologize for the picture quality but it was taken with my phone.

This years candy will be gifted in jars and the jars will be made festive. I am sure I will post about that once it happens.  One more picture before I go. A picture of my Grandma and I in 2007. Not the day we made candy, but I believe this was the day we had Christmas dinner at my Dad's.  This is one of my favorite pictures.

Hugs and kisses to my Mom, My Grandma and Jim for the candy making memories. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. How is your holiday prep coming? Are you ready or do you feel like you are behind?
I am partying in here:


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