Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowmen on My Mind...

                                                            (Image from Girls at Heart--thanks for sharing!)

Happy Saturday, everyone!  Hope this last Saturday before Christmas finds you all happy, healthy...and not TOO crazy! 

We're having a fairly quiet day here...the girls had some friends over last's still here...just some movies, games, and lots of cookies!  Also made some yummy maple/oat/white chocolate chip pancakes this morning that were pretty tasty!

I haven't posted much this week--sorry!  It's been pretty busy here...I know we're ALL busy right now, so it's okay!  Family comes first, right?!  My daughter came home from college on Wednesday, and we've just been having fun ever since!  Here's a photo I shot of her at Buco de Beppo's where we stopped for a delicious Italian lunch after the airport on Wednesday:

Isn't she beautiful?  I just love this girl of mine!

I have just a couple of things to share with you today--I'm woefully behind on my Splitcoast challenges, but got caught up somehow yesterday!  Here's my first--the challenge was simply to do a tag--don't know why it took me so long!  Darlene was the host of this challenge--thanks, Darlene!  Here's what I came up with:

The image is from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes booklet--I just LOVE this snowman!  Added some twinkly stars and the "Make a Wish" sentiment from their  "Lucky Wishes" stamp set.  Love those retro stars!

Some red pom-pom trim, Martha Stewart "White Gold" glitter...I used Rangers' Distressed Vintage Photo, Fired Brick and Peeled Paint ink...and that's it!

Next, the challenge this week on the Craft Secrets' Forum at Splitcoast is hosted by Pammyjo--to use mostly white on our cards.  This was a toughie for me--I like lots of color, so I fudged it a bit--sorry, Pammyjo! 

I used PTI White cardstock for my base, and Crafty Secrets printed paper from the "Classics" pack (I think!), which I punched with a Martha Stewart punch along the edge...a paper doily, some white lace, Kraft satin ribbon (SU!)...

...the adorable snowman image is from CS' "Christmas" Creative Scraps, and the chipboard frame is from their "Sweetchips Mini Frames & More" set...some thick, chunky, snowy glitter, diamond glitter and MS "White Gold" glitter, "Antique Linen" distress ink, and some old pearly white buttons, and we're all done!

Oh!  Almost forgot my new toy!  Tim Holz' fabulous clear "Crackle Paint"--what fun to use!  It has a brush built-in to the lid, which makes application SO easy!  I used this on the snowman image...I used my heat gun to speed up the drying & crackling process, so no waiting needed!  Can't wait to get some of the colored "Crackle Paint" and have some more fun!

A big thank-you to Elizabeth of Creative Breathing for the giveaway prize I just received yesterday!  Oh, my!  What a gorgeous creation!  She made this wonderful Christmas Countdown calendar--mostly of felt--embeliished so beautifully, and all done by hand--here are a couple of photos--these were from her blog--my photos didn't turn out quite as well!

Just look at the beautiful detail...!

Thank-you, Elizabeth!  I hung it up in my kitchen so fast!  My girls just love it--me, too!  Please visit Elizabeth and see all the other beautiful things she has to share on her lovely blog!

Just to close out the day, I found a couple of silly little photos from my Christmas past...

...not MY best photo, obviously!  But, I do think it's rather hard to make a busy toddler hold still on Christmas morning, don't you think?!  I love the tree, however...the sweet gifts, but especially my beautiful, young parents--what a perfect image!  I still have that sweater my mom is holding--was made for me by my great-grandmother...

Here's me a couple of years later in line to meet Santa--remember those little mesh stockings with goodies inside?  This was at a church Christmas party, and they'd done a little play with all the children being different toys in Santa's workshop, I believe.  I was a little German the smirk on the sweet little "Indian" girl next to me!

Well, off to make some new Christmas memories with my family!  We're still busily addressing Christmas cards, making cookies...have a pile of games on the table my girls want to play all together--oh, my!  It IS the most wonderful time of the year!!!

Have a beautiful Christmas weekend with your families--don't miss a moment!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Play Date Cafe' Challenge #9...Heavenly Angels

Good evening, all!  It's time once again for a new challenge from The Play Date Cafe'!  Hope you're getting all your preparations done for Christmas and can take some time to play with us this week!  (a little creative time is good for the sanity!)

Here are the colors for this week's challenge:

I'm hosting this week's challenge and was able to choose the colors--always so fun to do! Since this challenge would be taking us right up to Christmas Eve, I wanted to choose colors that would be Christmas-like, but that were colors that we hadn't used for a while.

I decided on blue, gold and cream--more of a heavenly/angelic Christmas color scheme!  Since it reminded me of angels, that's just what I used for my inspiration!

The image I used for my card came from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Vintage Postcard these angelic beauties!

I surrounded the image with gold German glass glitter--really sparkles!  I covered the bottom, cloudy part of the image with gorgeous mica flakes--wish their beauty showed up better in this photo--oh, well!   

I found the textured gold metallic paper at Michaels' a couple of years ago, but don't know who made it--can't find it anymore...a little lace and some beautiful vintage-looking metallic trim, and that's about it!

Hope you enjoy using these beautiful colors in your creations this week...and...

                              Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Flowery Bouquets, Browned Butter & Rosemary Shortbread...and a Sweet Gift

Good evening, all!  Hope this mid-December day has been beautiful and bright--and productive!  We're getting VERY near Christmas, aren't we?! 

A few things to share with you today...the first two are not very Christmas-y, but sometimes it's refreshing to have a little change!  I felt very flowery today!  Here are a couple of projects I made with Crafty Secrets' Vintage Postcard Kits:

This image is from the "Best Buds" kit--six beautiful floral images, ready to embellish to your heart's content!    Love the glittery bauble I found a while back...just hanging from the bottom.  Real silver shavings glitter all around and a couple of crystal rhinestones for just a BIT more shimmer!

A bit of a closer view...

This one comes from the "Family" kit--love this one!

Just look at those fat & fabulous roses!  Glittered them all up a bit, too!

...more silver glitter along the edge...

"Families Bloom with Love"...yes, they do!!!

Speaking of families, my sister Becky--who loves cooking & baking as much as I do!--sent me this delicious recipe yesterday...had to bake it today, it looked so tempting!

Browned Butter & Rosemary Shortbread

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (pull the leaves off the stems)
1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

In a small saucepan, heat the butter until it melts, foams and then starts to turn brown and smell nutty.  Pour into a mixing bowl, scraping out any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and set aside.

Meanwhile, put the sugar, rosemary and honey or maple syrup into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well mulched; the mixture will look like wet sand.  Add to the browned butter and mix well.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir just until well blended.

Chill the dough for half an hour or so to make it workable, then roll into walnut-sized balls, palce them on a baking sheet and press down on them with the bottom of a glass or a cookie stamp, or divide the dough in half and press each into the bottom of a 9" cake pan, and press around the edges with the tines of a fork.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes (for cookies) or 255 minutes (for wedges), or until pale golden around the edges.  If you used cake pans, cut into wedges while still warm.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen shortbread cookies.

Oh, my!  These are SOOOO delicious--I can't even describe the flavor to you--very sweet, savory and nutty--the rosemary is just scrumptious in them! 

I went with the brown sugar/maple syrup combination--turned out just beautifully!  Topped them with some raw sugar--love the way it looks!  Hope you like these--thanks, Becky!!!

Another dear blogging friend surprised me with a lovely gift yesterday...Hanne of Limogglitter is an amazing artist!  The first time I visited her blog, I just fell in love with her style!  You feel like you know her as soon as you see her beautiful profile photo--her personality just shines through!  I was so stunned when I opened her package and found these treasures:

Just look at this beautiful card! This would have been such an exquisite gift all on it's own! She does beautifully painted backgrounds on a board...I need to learn how she does this--it's simply luminous!

I was just stunned when I saw this sweet beauty!  What a lovely framed piece!  Hanne--you have such a beautiful style!

...and look at this beautiful lace! Beautiful wooden bobbins wound in string...I didn't even ask her if she made the lace herself...wouldn't surprise me!

Hanne,thank-you for these beautiful, generous have certainly touched my life...thank-you!  Please stop by and see her lovely creations for yourselves!

In closing...I've been thinking so much about how fast time's flying by...about my husband and myself...hard to believe how quickly it all goes!  I found this sweet Christmas picture of my daughters from 2000--almost 10 years ago already!

Chelsea, my oldest, comes home from college tomorrow--we just can't wait to get her! I think I'll  take a similar photo of them this year...just to see! They are much taller, so much more gorgeous, their teeth are much straighter...but the twinkle in each of their eyes is EXACTLY the same!

Hope you have a wonderful night with your families...Sweet Dreams!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tasha Tudor's "Take Joy!", A Snowy Card...and SO Many Thanks!

Good evening, everyone!  Hope this weekend has been a festive one for you all, and that this Sunday has been quiet and feels like such a cozy, nappy day today!  Got the fire going, everyone's just snacking on delicious food left over from our party last night...Momma doesn't have to cook today--yes!!!

I wanted to share something with you tonight that's been special to me since I was a young girl...first printed in 1966, Tasha Tudor's beautiful Christmas book, "Take Joy!"

My Mom got this book sometime in the early '70's, I believe, and it held a treasured spot in our family's Christmas celebrations....stories and poems were read from it...

...carols sung from it, piano played with it's beautifully illustrated music to inspire me, and recipes many memories!

This beloved book is out of print now, but there are quite a few to be found on Amazon (I checked!) for various prices, of course! But, if you're looking for something special...something wonderful, warm and beautiful to help your family celebrate the holidays, this is the just thing!

My Mom has no wish to part from her old copy of this book--nor would I wish her to! When the cover on her book fell apart from too many loving little hands, she even made it a tapestry book cover--now that's love!

When I had my own family, I really wanted this to be a part of our family Christmas as well...searched and searched...was finally able to get one used through Amazon...didn't even have ANY available for quite a while!

I made a card today using a sweet little image from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes booklet...kind of reminded me of something Tasha Tudor would do...

So many fabulous images in these Crafty Secrets booklets...from Victoriana vintage to '40's & '50's kitschy classics--so much fun to use!

A close-up of my snowflakes and snowy accents I added to the image using "Icicle" Stickles...nice and easy! 

The beautiful green satin ribbon I used was left behind at our party last night...we had a White Elephant gift exchange, and while cleaning up afterwards, I was so excited to find this lovely piece of ribbon...didn't waste any time, did I?! 

And now for my thanks...I feel like the luckiest, winningest (is that a word?) girl on the planet lately!  Last week, I received this beautiful Pink Paislee stamp set from Samantha Sibbet's giveaway on her blog, More Paper Please...

Isn't that a fabulous set?  Thanks so much, Samantha!

Marie of A Year From Oak Cottage, (who I just love!) picked my number for her give away last month, and I just received the package yesterday...lucky me!

Look at all that lovely stuff!  The best of it all, though, is her beautiful artwork!  Isn't she adorable!  My daughters were so smitten with her work...couldn't believe it wasn't a stamp she'd used and just watercolored!  She has such a lovely style, and I will be introducing you to more of her beautiful pieces very soon!  Thanks so much, Marie!

Lastly, I just found out last night that I won Elizabeth's giveaway at Creative Breathing...a beautiful, handmade Christmas countdown calendar--I just loved it when I saw it on her post, and can't believe I actually won!  Thanks so much, Elizabeth!  I can't wait to see it and show you all how beautiful it is!

Trust me--I don't win very often in real life...this has been a charmed blog month for me, I guess!  Thanks to all you wonderful, creative women!  I hope you all go and visit them, if you don't already--you're in for a treat with all three!

Well, off for some more family time, then we're all heading to a Christmas musical program at the church, so more Christmas spirit to share with good friends...I just love this beautiful season, don't you?!

Hope you have a wonderful night with your families....see you soon!