Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

First, I want to talk about my most favorite event at Christmas time. That would be the candle light service at Church. At my old church we did it on Christmas Eve. There were so many times when I was not able to go. I hated missing it. It was so beautiful to all stand in a circle and light each others candle. The glow of the candles and the music always, always, make me cry. I was soooo happy when we went to church on Sunday and they were passing out the candles as we went into the Sanctuary. I knew at that moment that we were doing the candlelight service. Then on top of that, we were also taking the Lords Supper. I do not think I ever remember taking the Lords Supper on the Sunday before Christmas. I was so excited cause I have not taken it in a while. Seems I was always missing when it was done. Such a awesome service. Beautiful songs and a song special. Made my heart so joyful. Then when he said everyone find a place on the outside and in a circle, I thought I was going to cry. This is exactly the way we did the candlelight service at my old church. Even though I hardly know a person at this church, it felt just as special. I am very, very thankful to have found a new place to worship. My cup runnith over!!!

Now as I promised, pictures of the Barbie Doll House. My husband built this for my dear little girl for Christmas. I thought the child was going to cry when she saw this. Since we know that Santa is who Santa is, we opened our gifts tonight. I thought it would give everyone more time to play. Our Christmas mornings are such a mess from trying to cook, to getting dressed and leaving to go to my parents house for lunch. So by opening tonight, we all get to sit around and play with our stuff. Anyways, back to the doll house. He started this the first of December and got it finished last night. Talk about cutting it close. He did such a excellent job. You will not find a house so well built. Maybe even better built than the house we actually live in. LOL!!! It took him and my son to move it into the house and both of them sliding it down the hallway to her room. This house will not be moved for a very long time. He has been planning to build this house for at least a year. So while he was planning, I was collecting furniture from the thrift stores. Its really the best place to purchase this sort of thing. There is still much to buy for it and many little add on's, like lights, shelves, hooks ect... we just did not have enough time to get it all done. So here are the pictures of my Barbie Dream house!!! oops I mean my little girls Barbie Dream house. (wink, wink)

The roof lifts for storage of clothes, shoes, ect....



As you can see, there are lots of pets. I think there was a pet for every room. Even in Barbie world, my baby girl has lots of pets.
A Barbie Girl World!!! and a very Happy one too!!! Anyone want to come over and play??

I want to wish EVERYONE a very MERRY CHRISTMAS. Hope you day is filled with Peace and Good Will!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Pear Tree

You say 2 post in one day!! Well I was so pleased with my light box, that I decided to let it have its very own post.

So besides making my light box yesterday, I also made a card for my Senior friend. I was inspired to make this card by a story I read a few days ago. Here's the story!!
The Pear Tree
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life.
He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, the fulfillment of your fall.
Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later.

This story really hit close to home for me for many reasons past and present. I do believe that one of my biggest issues that I have with myself, is that I always take peoples behavior or things they say personal, without thinking about the fact that what is happening with them could possibly not be about "ME" at all. It could just be a bad season for that person. How I get so angry at myself, for letting past mistakes, cause insecurities with my present friend relationships. Its always so amazing at how God chooses to reveal little messages to us. I normally never read these kinds of things on the Internet, but there are times when I do and usually when I do, I can see the message in it for me and know its from God. I know one day, I will completely heal, get back my confidence and trust, get rid of my insecurites, and be a whole person again. I know this, cause I have God in my heart, and he is not done with me yet. I look forward to each of his messages of healing and love that he has for me.

Since the story made me think of friendship, I was then inspired to make this card. Ok, first I did not have a Pear stamp. So I went online and googled a coloring book image of a Pear. This is the one I decided to use http://familycrafts.about.com/library/color/blcolpears.htm

So then with my paint program, I made it smaller to fit my card front. I got out my pencils and mineral spirits and began to color. Once I got it colored, I then wanted to cut it in a circle. So I dusted off my sizzix machine, got out my nestabilities. I new I had to layer it using some sort of rubber, so I put down my nestabilities rubber and a piece of shelf liner to give it the thickness it needed to emboss as it cut. Was I ever shocked when I took off the shelf liner and saw the little squares on my imageMy first thought was bummer. But then as I took longer to look at it, I decided I liked the checker board look to my image. So I then took my inside card piece and did the same thing to it. Totally cool look!!!

Ok, so now I have all my pieces cut, printed, and colored, now all I needed was a idea. I had really thought I had my own idea, but then made the mistake of blogging all my regular blogs and lost my thought. Just when I was starting to feel a little frustrated, I ran across Mary's blog. This lady is awesome. You have to go and check out her projects. I really do not think there is a card on her blog that I disliked. In fact, I just wanted to make them all. I finally ran across one of her cards that really resembled my once original thought, that I lost. With her help, I was able to create this card. I was again very pleased with the end result. Oh and she was also the one who put the thought in my head that I needed to create a photo box for my cards. Here is her Picture Perfect Tutorial where she explains the need for a light box. Thank you Mary for inspiring me to make this card and my photo box. I have learned so much from your blog. Blogs are truely the best thing that has hit the internet. I would be totally bored and clueless without them.
I think I will send my Senior her card and put a copy of the "Pear Story"inside. That way she will know where the idea of a Pear card came from.

Photo Light Box part 2

Here we are again day 2 of finishing up my light box. Let me start by saying that this has been a very fun project, that has given me much pleasure. The pictures I took of my cards turned out great. So before I show you my cards, I will first finish up my instructions on completing the light box.

I ended my post last night with the idea that I might paint the inside to cover my seams. Well, that was a lame idea. The paint just fell into the groves. I would have needed to caulk it first. LOL!!! I do believe caulk would have been a bit heavy for my box, so with a little brain power, I decided to just run the same strips of paper on the inside as I did on the outside. I cut my paper 2x12 and then scored it at 1". This made it easier to fold in half. I then placed a strip of paper on all sides, top and bottom. It worked perfectly. No more seams and it seemed to make it more sturdier. Then I added my pattern paper on the outside with more strips of paper on each side. That's it!!! Project completed and now I have this fabulous box to use for my blog pictures. Ok, so now to show you the difference in using a box like this and not. Earlier this week I posted a Christmas card I had made. Here is the card I posted. I took this picture on my dining room table.
Now here is the same card with the picture taken in my light box
What a difference. You can see way more detail on the card taken in the light box. I just took my little Ott light and put it as close to my box as possible and then turned it towards the inside of my box. It was so bright, that my flash did not even come on. Awesome!!! Now I can see why photographers get so excited about this sort of stuff. I am very pleased with my results. It took a little time to make, but I do believe it was well worth it. Now I just need to practice taking my pictures at different angles so that I get the best view. Hope you enjoyed my project and are encourgaged to make your own box.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photo Light Box

Ok, so I got a little creative today. Its a big change, considering that the last few days all I did was sit in my recliner, and blog for inspiration. In this post, I want to show you my box I made, so that I could take better pictures of my projects for my blog. I did not have a pattern for this box, but just an idea in my head that came together bit by bit. I still need to decorate the outside, but I will show it to you before I do that, so you can see how I made it.
Ok, first you need 5 sheets of 12x12 chipboard. I save all the backs of my paper packs for these kinds of needs. You also need 5 sheets of 12x12 white cardstock.
You then glue your 5 sheets of cardstock to your 5 sheets of chipboard.
Then you cut about 32 1x2 pieces of chipboard. These will be your connectors.
I folded each piece in half. Then I put adhesive on each side.
I then started out connecting each of my 12x12 pieces. I put 4 connectors down each side.
Once I got all the pieces connected. I cut about 12 strips of paper 2x12. I folded the paper in half and then put adhesive all the way down both sides
I placed each strip of paper over the connectors. This was to help seal the cracks and make the box more sturdy.
Then I had my DH put masking tape on all sides for extra sturdiness. Now all I need to do is maybe spray paint the inside seams so that everything is white. I will also put a pretty cover on each side to cover my masking tape. I think I will do all that tomorrow. I will post pictures of my completed box, along with my new card I created today. I cannot wait to see how well my box works.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stamping and Shopping!!

Another great weekend!! Friday night I met some of my lady friends for some more wonderful scrapbook time at our local L.S.S. store. I am really, really loving getting back to doing this on a regular basis. Maybe if I keep it up, I will actually get some things done. I was inspired by a beautiful card I saw on Danielle's blog, and since I too have this cute little stamp set from SU, I decided I had to make this card. Here is my version using the same idea and the same little tree from the stamp set called "Wishing you Cheer" I also used my new SU punch set Curly Label, Cuttlebug Swiss Dots A2 embossing folder, Basic Grey's new "Wassel" paper line, ribbon, some jeweled brads, glitter pen, and stickles. I just totally love this paper. It is sooooo pretty!!! I am very pleased with my card. Its always fun to make cards. Visit Danielle's blog for some really great inspiration. She has so many beautiful cards.Very talented lady!!!

Saturday I went with my one of my girlfriends to a fabulous craft show, a wonderful garage sale, my favorite antique store, and did some much needed Christmas shopping all in one day. What a fun time we had together. I think the best part was eating lunch at "Babe's Chicken". Oh my gosh that place is sooooo good. I totally recommend it if you have never gone. I think my best purchase of the day was at the garage sale. I bought 2 matching Lane rocking recliners and a beautiful couch. With delivery fee and all, I paid 40.00 for all of it. It was just my lucky day I guess. The people were clearing out their storage units, and they just really needed to get rid of some stuff. I was very happy to take it off their hands. Here are some photos of my treasures
This room is almost finish. All I need now is my husband to build my entertainment shelf and some new blinds for my windows. I can then say it is complete and can move on to the next projects on my list!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hot Chocolate Time!!

Its that time of year!! Hot Chocolate, Marshmallows, and Whip Cream. YUM!!! YUM!!! Its just something about it being cold outside that makes it taste all the better. Here are some Hot Chocolate recipes that I found while surfing the net. I have not had a chance to try them yet, but do plan on it this month. Thought I would share.

From the White House and Mrs. Bush's Kitchen
…Hot Chocolate
Ingredients:

6 T. Unsweetened cocoa
6 T. Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 1/2 cup Milk
2 1/2 cup Light Cream
1/2 t. Vanilla (or more)
Pinch of Cinnamon Powder (optional)
Whipped Cream
Orange Zest
Directions:

Mix cocoa, salt, and sugar.
Add milk. Heat to dissolve.
Add light cream, cinnamon, vanilla. Heat to just under boiling.
Mix very well and pour into warm mug.
Top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, and fine orange zest.

Caramel Swirl Hot Chocolate
5 cups water
5 (3 ounce) bars milk chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 cup chilled whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
3 tablespoons prepared caramel sauce
Bring 5 cups water and chocolate to simmer in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve chocolate. Mix in 1/4 cup cream. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer, stirring frequently, before continuing.)Whip 1 cup cream and powdered sugar in medium bowl until peaks form. Drizzle caramel over and swirl together, forming streaks (do not over-mix).Divide hot chocolate among 6 mugs. Top with generous amount of caramel whipped cream and serve. Makes 6 servings.

M&M'S Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup M&M's plain chocolate candies
2 cups hot milk
Place candy in blender. Add hot milk. Whir until smooth. Pour into mugs.
Serves 2.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
4 cups milk
5 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
3 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cook and stir milk, chocolate and cinnamon sticks just until the chocolate melts. Remove cinnamon sticks and add vanilla extract. Beat until frothy.Serve in mugs.
Serves 4.

White Hot Chocolate
3 cups half-and-half, divided (1/4 cup and 2 3/4 cups)
2/3 cup vanilla baking chips
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Ground cinnamon for garnishing
Place 1/4 cup cream, vanilla chips, cinnamon stick and nutmeg in saucepan. Stir over low heat until chips are melted Discard cinnamon stick. Add remaining cream. Stir until thoroughly heated. Remove from the heat, Add vanilla and almond extracts.Pour into 4 cups. Garnish with ground cinnamon.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My Santa Baby!!



This little Santa hat has been in the family for a long time. It once belonged to my MIL, whom wore it every Christmas that I can remember. Now that she has become a Angel, my sweet girl is now our official Santa Baby!!!

Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa baby, a '54 convertible too, light blue
I'll wait up for you dear Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you'd check off my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo
Santa baby, I wanna yacht and really that's
Not a lot
Been an angel all year
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa honey, one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa cutie and fill my stocking with a duplex, and checks
Sign your 'X' on the line
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo
Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring
I don't mean on a phone
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry ... tonight