Monday, December 29, 2008

Gifts from the Heart

I thought I'd share some gifts hubby made for Christmas...

Here's a copper necklace that hubby totally surprised me with! I am so thrilled to have something he's made! I saw him making part of it, but though it was part of the train he was making for one of our sons and had no clue it was a part of a necklace for me!

Here you can see that the copper cover swings open to reveal a polished piece of stainless steel. He had originally planned to stamp with tiny metal stamps Beautiful at the base of the mirror but even with the tiny stamps he had it was too big to fit the word.

Here's a money train he made for one of our sons who collects trains....each of the nickles have been threaded and will roll along the train track.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cherished Moments

One of my most cherished pictures
of my boys is the picture above taken in 1993.

Here they are in 2008 opening matching
plaid PJs I got them as a joke of sorts
though secretly I really did want
another picture of them wearing them!

Here they are doing the
Captain Morgan stance
while modeling them LOL

They sure were good
sports about it for me :-)

(click the images to enlarge them)

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Crafter Blogger Blubs!

Happy Boxing day, Happy Kwanzaa and the day after Christmas! Hope those of you who celebrated Christmas had a nice memorable time with your loved ones. Mine was very nice and drama free with lots of great memories!
Hope you enjoy this week's Crafty Blogger Blurb Links!

The Impatient Crafter Join Madge for her final free holiday craft project, an idea you can store away for next year!

Layers Upon Layers Cyndi shares the steps to creating a simple quilt using a vacation photo!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery Check out a GIANT Christmas tree made from the GIANT Spider web, one made from shopping carts and a fun inside peek and interview with Rosemary Hill, author of Elements of Style: Knit + Crochet Jewelry with Wire, Fiber, Felt + Beads.

About Family Crafts Here are 50, simple winter related activities for you to try - everything from simple arts and crafts projects to tasty snacks.

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world This week at Craftside there is a fun list about Quilt Enthusiasts, a sneak peek into the soon to be released Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell and multiple tutorials on how to attach lace.

Crafty Princess Diaries The Crafty Princess is excited about the fact that crochet is becoming more and more popular these days, catching up to knitting finally!

Cross Stitch at Stitch Connie's Cross Stitch Tile Patterns individually, repeat motifs to create a border or bookmark, or collect several charts and create your own sampler.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Years!

prezels upclose

Here's a PERFECT recipe for Christmas and New Years! My measurements are not exact I'll tell ya this right off. I have always gone from memory and I hadn't made these in a few years so the memory is even worse with my worsening CRS (Can't Remember Sh**) affliction! If you love the mix of salty and sweet this is a to die for recipe for you!

Pretzel Perfects

  • 1 12 oz Bag of Melt 'n Mold White Chocolate (there are lots of brands so just look for the one that is for mold making)
  • 2-4 Cups of Chopped Pretzels
  • 2 C. of Rice Krispy Cereal

I first melt the chocolate according to the brand directions in the microwave in a glass bowl. While the chocolate is still melted I begin stirring in the pretzels and the rice Krispy want to add just enough so that it sticks together. Spoon out piles onto foil or wax paper and allow to harden. Doesn't take long and they pop right off the foil and you can put them on a plate. Boy are they good and simple!

Merry Christmas


Happy New Years

Blog Buddies!

Below is a coupon for Outside The Margins as my gift to you. Free shipping on orders of $20.00 or more until Jan 2nd! (Click the coupon below to enlarge image to see the code) click HERE to visit OTM!

*Not valid on International Orders*


Email me if you encounter any problems.

A Christmas Story

One of our Christmas traditions is to watch various Christmas movies we love. A favorite of ours is A Christmas Story . Last year I discovered that there are still people out there that haven't watched it for whatever reason, so here I am to help spread the weirdness word! Check your TV listings TBS starts running it today on TV.

The Plot: Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the '40's, dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince the world this is the perfect gift. But along the way, he runs into opposition from his parents, his teacher, and even good 'ol Santa Claus himself.

Here's one of my favorite scenes:

Check out Ralphie's house it's been restored, if you live near Ohio you can go visit it out yourself HERE
And for those of you familiar with the movie here is a You Tube with some great quotes from the movie our family tends to use them year round.
And for my Jewish friends here's a fun video by Brandon Walker that I was introduced to last year.

In honor of Hanukkah (Hebrew: חנוכה‎, IPA: ['χanuka], alt. Chanukah) which began on December 21st. If your like me and like to learn more about other cultures and religions click HERE.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Bathroom Renovation Revival

Here's a little slide show of our bathroom remodel...remember that whole ordeal way back in October or was it Sept (I lost count!). Remodeling a 100 year old house is never simple and never-ending, but boy do you appreciate it in the end. I wished I had thought to take more pictures before hand of our surprise bathroom remodel, but sadly I didn't until it was well into the project. There are still a few things here and there yet to be finished due to waiting on things to be delivered, but you can see the gist of it.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

A few more Christmas Cards

Here's a couple more Christmas cards for your viewing pleasure, one quickie and one that wasn't so quick. I had to muse over this one a bit before I put the final touches on it.

christmascrd drummercrd

Click HERE to view all Christmas Cards and Tags.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays Blog Buddies!
Here's a new digi piece I created. I used one of my past freebie images.
We're off to pick up the middle son from College not that its all that far, but he's been calling since last night eager to get response was "Patience grasshopper!" LOL

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Crafty Blogger Blurbs

Cross Stitch at Use the free back stitch motifs for quick ornaments or stitch several together for a larger project.

Layers Upon Layers There are lots of projects that can be done in time for the holidays, even at this late date!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery The fastest festive reindeer necklace ever! Perfect for holiday party crafting.

The Impatient Crafter Madge shares another simply stunning ornament idea you can whip up in a flash!

About Family Crafts Using these free printables, you can make your own cards, party invitations, favors bags, place cards, napkin rings, gift tags, and much more to help celebrate Christmas!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world The 15 days of Holiday Goodness Giveaways continues at Craftside. Just answer questions and you are entered to win free books! And while you're there check out a tiny embroidered necklace, a decoupage reindeer necklace, a fun centerpiece, a floral barrette tutorial, a winter memory photo ornament project and a couple of invitation ideas!

Crafty Princess Diaries Holiday Guerrilla Marketing Tip for Crafty Princesses - Don't forget that so important and handy business card this holiday season.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cookies and Freebie Images what more can you ask for!

I manage to get a double batch of my Christmas cut-out cookies made and frosted (click HERE to see recipe). That's about as artsy as I've had time for. I use a simple frosting taught to me by my mom. It's just powdered sugar, vanilla (or flavored extract) and a tablespoon or two of warm water. There are no measurements its just adding warm water and mixing with the powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want. I like mine to be thin enough that it self levels yet not too runny! I mix up a large bowl of white and then spoon some of it into smaller bowls and add food coloring to the smaller bowls. To me its the least messy of cookie frostings (except when frosting LOL) it doesn't stay gooey and hardens enough that you can stack them.


Here's the first couple of batches, mmmm!


Yes, I admit it I'm a messy baker!

cookies3 cookies4

Mmmmm! Good enough to eat!

Now that you've had a few cookies, how about some freebie images for you to go make some art with!


CLICK HERE to download and save.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

These are a few of my favorite things at Christmas...


Wood Carved Santa my son carved and painted for me when he was 10 or 11 (he's now 16). He also made me a couple of smaller wood Santas as well and they are some of my favorite decorations at Christmas time.

sun1 sun2

My sun ornament is one of my most treasured ornaments. I received it the same Christmas my mother passed away and it always reminds me of the last time I spent with her.


The Tools of Christmas!

Another favorite is my drawer full of cookie cutters! I love making cut out sugar cookies for the holidays. Its a tradition I've had with my kids since they were toddlers. I have the best recipe for sugar cookies, one you can mix and make right away no waiting to refrigerate them.

No Refrigerate Sugar Cookies

  • 1 Cup of Butter (Room Temp)
  • 1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tsp of Orange Extract
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 3 Cups of Flour

Cream to together the first 5 ingredients. Mix the Baking powder with the Flour thoughly. Slowly add the flour to the creamed butter and sugar mixture (I use an electric hand mixer). Squeeze together a ball of dough, sprinkle out some flour on a smooth surface and roll out the dough and cut out with cookie cutters. Bake at 325 to 350 for about 8 min's.

My family loves these cookies and I usually end up making a double batch.

I was going to make a batch today but as luck would have it I was out of eggs so I'm hoping to make some tomorrow.


PS: You can click HERE to view my baked and frosted cookie post.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Unique Spin on The 12 Days of Christmas!

Looking for a wow factor in Christmas cards check out this video showcasing the 12 days of Christmas created using the art of Kirigami. Kirigami is a variation of origami where the artist is allowed to make small cuts in the paper (from Japanese "kiru" = to cut, "kami" = paper). In origami, papercutting is frowned upon by the majority of modern folders, as techniques have advanced enough to make cutting unnecessary for a skilled folder.

Here's a few links to free Kirigami patterns:
Look for the Free Pattern Button at the link below:

<==check the archives to view previous posts

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quicky Christmas Cards


Here's a few more quicky Christmas cards I made. The one above was made from part of a Christmas card and the bird originally was fuchsia colored foil that I changed by coloring it with a gold leafing pen then sprinkling it with extra fine glitter while the paint was still wet (the cool thing I love about this particular glitter is that its so extra fine it's designed to stick to any wet surface without having to use adhesives). I also pumped some gold leafing paint into a puddle on some acetate and pounced with a make-up sponge over star shaped punchinella to create some star accents.

crd1 crd3

The other two cards above were made from a bits and pieces that came in box of Christmas goodies I purchased last year after Christmas. All three cards I used card stock from a stack of K and Company Christmas themed card stock. Of course no card would be Christmas without some glitter! I used my very favorite extra fine crystal glitter after painting some 3D crystal lacquer along the torn paper edges and dotting (with the end of the paint brush) 3D crystal lacquer on the centers of the snowflakes and other areas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Digi

I almost forgot to post this I finished it the other day. I used PSP once again to create it.

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12 Days of Christmas Swap-Day 12

Sadly, this is the final 12 days giftee to open, it's been such fun to open a new gift each day :-)
Last but certainly not least is
That is sure to inspire my muse into
action at a wave of the wand!

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Crafty Blogger Blurb Friday!

About Family Crafts With just a little bit of time and a few simple supplies, you can give everyone on your shopping list a home-made, personalized calendar.

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner Alexa shares how to create a custom mat frame from journal pages...a perfectly sentimental gift everyone will love!

Cathie Filian Got wine lovers on your holiday gift list? Cathie Filian has some easy DIY ideas for quick gifts worthy of Napa Valley.

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world Over at Craftside there is a lace trim Christmas tree and New Year's Eve party hat, 4 of the cards from the new book-1000 Handmade Greetings, a holiday memory photo ring tutorial and a free crochet Santa pencil topper pattern.

Crafty Princess Diaries Read the Fine Print When Crafting for Charity - Make what they want and give what they need.

Cross Stitch at Try your hand at a traditional embroidery style with this free Candlewicking ornament.

Layers Upon Layers It's not too late to make pretty fabric hearts for your tree...or for everyon on your gift list!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery See how easy it is to alter custom game pieces that will have players fighting over them.

The Impatient Crafter™ Commemorate this historical election year with an easy to make festive Obamornament!

<==check the archives to view previous posts

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Move Over Martha Stewart!

I'm not what you would call a gourmet cook, my family likes simple things so I gave up on cooking fancy dishes long ago! I do consider myself a good utility cook (I can pull together a meal out of bits and pieces and cook in large portions). Recently I stumbled literally upon this great cooking site and I am definitely not a cooking site person at all, but I have to admit I LOVE this site! Not only are the recipes simple, the pictures are great quality and the humor is wonderful! It actually made me want to cook...something I'm not normally thrilled about doing anymore LOL
Last night I made a recipe called Crash Hot Potatoes and they were so good my family said it was the best meal they've ever had...Yes, of course I served them more then just potatoes. I won't mention the fact that they were starving, since I think that taints their view on how tasty something is LOL
Anywho this was so easy to make I highly recommend them. I made a couple of changes to them I added ground garlic and sea salt and sprinkled them lightly with parmasan cheese.

If your looking for something different for Christmas dinner or perhaps in need of some new holiday recipes check out The Pioneer Woman site. Below is the link to the recipe I mentioned

Move over Martha Stewart
The Pioneer Woman has ya beat!

If you have any favorite recipes please feel free to share them here I'd love to see them.

<==check the archives to view previous posts

12 Days of Christmas Swap-Day 11

Day 11 giftee was made by Sue.
Not the best picture I know, but hopefully you can tell that it's a little crystal beaded spider. Accompanying it was a scroll with the following legend printed on it:
The Legend of the Christmas Spider

Once upon a time, long ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year.... The day on which the Christ child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner in the ceiling to avoid the housewife's busy cleaning. They finally fled to the farthest corner of the attic.

T'was the Christmas eve at last! The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it. But the poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the Christ child's visit. But the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could peep through the crack in the door to see him. Silently they crept out of their attic, down the stairs, and across the floor to wait in the crack in the threshold. Suddenly, the door opened a wee bit and quickly the spiders scurried into the room. They must see the tree closely, since their eyes weren't accustomed to the brightness of the room... so the crept all over the tree, up and down, over every branch and twig and saw every one of the pretty things. At last they satisfied themselves completely of the Christmas tree beauty.

But alas!! Everywhere they went they had left their webs, and when the little Christ child came to bless the house he was dismayed. He loved the little spiders, for they were God's creatures too, but he knew the mother, who had trimmed the tree for the little children, wouldn't feel the same, so He touched the webs and they all turned to sparkling, shimmering, silver and gold!
Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on our Christmas trees, and according to the legend, it has been a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.
It's a cool legend I had never heard of, and thought perhaps some of you may not have as well.

<==check the archives to view previous posts

Homemade Christmas Gifts Part 2

I thought I'd share my finished tag added to the bottle of Mead (see previous post). I added a bit of history on one side and on the other side I added how to drink mead. Nothing too fancy just a bit of info for the novice mead drinker ;-)
I had a few people ask me what I used for the labels. I bought some gum backed labels that are made for bottling. Most brewing companies sell labels, just google it. I then printed them out with my handy dandy HP ink jet printer and then sealed them with what else but PYM II they are now waterproof! At first I was going to use full size sticker paper labels found at the office supply store, but I'm glad I didn't because I could just see my labels being all catty wampus and with the gum backed labels you can just slide them around until you get them nice and straight.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Are the best, aren't they!
It's not always easy, but we try to make some homemade Christmas gifts each year for friends and family. Since hubby likes to brew his own Ale and Beer, he decided to try his hand at making a batch of honey Mead for us to give as gifts this season, and boy did it turn out tasty!
(Click HERE to read more about Mead).

Now that it's bottled I needed to make
a label for the bottles and some tags
(I'm still working on the tags).
Here's the finished label, which I will also be
entering in the fair, along with hubby's
mead, this summer.
Don't the bottles look pretty with their
labels? All that's left is to add their tags
and ribbon and they'll be good to go!
Does anyone know of a good
snack recipe to go with the Mead?

Here's the original label I made and then decided to remake it. I'm really happy I did, I love the finished one much better!

If you haven't tasted mead and like the flavor of honey I highly recommend checking online or with your local liquor store and trying some, it's quite yummy!

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12 Days of Christmas Swap

Time to catch-up on my 12 days of Christmas swap giftees.
What beautiful treasures I've received! :-)
Day 10 By Karan Simoni

Day 9 By Lori Gentile

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Kreativ Blogger Award

My blog buddie Diane has gifted me with the Kreativ Blogger Award (Thanks!). I'm a bit late on this but better late then never, eh :-)
The rules of this award are that I have to name 7 things that I love and then pass on the award to 7 deserving bloggers. Instead of naming 7 blogs I'd like to give this award to all my creative friends!
  1. I love to create backgrounds for art.
  2. I love tangerines!
  3. I love the colors Pink and Fushia!
  4. I love the smell of coffee!
  5. I love rainy days!
  6. I love my house!
  7. I love the smell of vanilla!

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Monday, December 08, 2008

More 12 Days of Christmas Giftees!!

Time to catch up on my 12 Days of Christmas giftees I'm so fortunate to have received! Each one is such a treasure, its such fun to open a gift a day and see what beautiful treasure awaits inside :-)
Day 8 By Lori Hutchinson

Day 7 By Joanne Huffman

Day 6 By Vicki Sun

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Altered Christmas Tags

Who doesn't have extra Christmas cards and gift tags each year? Not to mention all those "freebies" they send you for a donation! What the heck are you suppose to do with them all?!? This season I'm all about trying to create things with stuff I already have, so my altered Christmas tags fall right in with going green for Christmas!


Here's what the Christmas tags started out looking like, and below are my finished tags after I altered them:

I started out with an old Christmas card and traced around a shipping tag and then cut it out. Next I painted on some some 3D Crystal lacquer and then sprinkled on some extra fine iridescent glitter.
Once dry I ran the tag through my Xyron and adhered it to some red glitter card stock and cut out around the tag.
The Dove as you can see I cut out from the tag and used red chalk ink around the edges of it and the tag itself. Digging through my Christmas box I found the velvet top hat and added that onto the dove with a foam sticky dot. I finished it off by adding some festive ribbon.


Here are 2 more finished tags. The monogram tag I cut out around the wreath on the tag and then mounted it onto some decorative paper and used a gold leafing pen to outline around the tag then added a card board initial with some pop dots and some ribbon.The snow man I used a square punch to cut out a square and inserted the snowman tag beneath so that it shows through like a window then added card stock on the back.

Again I traced around a shipping tag placed over a Christmas card and was able to cut two tags out from one card. I also used the shipping tag as a template to punch the hole near the top.
I painted on 3D Crystal Lacquer with a cheapy plastic brush I could throw away after. I also used the pointed end of the brush to put dots of CL to the tag to look like stars.
Next I sprinkled extra fine iridescent glitter over the wet CL and set them aside to dry.
Before I added ribbon I ran both tags through my xyron and added some navy blue glitter cardstock to the back of the tags and then re punched the holes.
Now get out your extra cards and lets see your altered tags and cards, post a link here to share with everyone :-)