Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013

Well, I watched the last Steeler game of the season today.  They won't be going to the play offs this year - the first time in a long time!  Hopefully, they will do some major rebuilding during the off season and come back stronger than ever next year.  It always amazes me how fast football season goes - seems like it just got started.  Since the game was a "no-count" game today, it was not on tv here so Ashley & I went to Buffalo Wild Wings and watched it there.  The past two Sundays, Ashley and I have been on our own watching the Steelers since Sonny went shooting with our brother-in-law.  After the game, she and I visited Michael's, Kohl's, Bed & Bath, and the mall (which was crazy!!) to do some returns and also to check out the After Christmas Sales.  We got some good deals today and yesterday when we went over to her base and picked up a few things at the PX. 

Last night we went over to Ashley's friends house, Lisa & Danny for dinner.  Danny is the cook in the family and he cooked us a delicious meal.  After dinner and visiting with them for a bit, we headed off to a local club, Martini's which was a popular hang out for Ashley and her friends in medical school.  Ashley had told some of her friends about the place recently and they wanted to check it out so we met them there.   We always enjoyed going to Martini's when we visited Ashley and listening to the owner, Wayne, perform.   He puts on an amazing show doing a Vegas style act and covers songs by Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson, the Beach Boys, all the greats.  His voice imitates these singers remarkedly.  He has a full band backing him up and he often switches instruments from guitar, banjo, saxophone, and trumpet.   If you ever visit San Antonio, you need to check this place out!  Their martinis aren't bad either (just a tad expensive)!!

Hope you have big plans for New Year's.  What will you be doing to welcome in 2013?  Sonny and I are going to a movie while Ashley goes out with her girlfriends.  Be safe and have a wonderful New Year!!

I made this card using MDS2 but it would be super easy to recreate using paper and stamps.

Supplies Used with MDS2:

Oh What Fun Overlays\Oh What Fun Overlays - new year
    _Designer Kits\Happy Hour\Happy Hour - glass 3
    _Designer Kits\Happy Hour\Happy Hour - glass 4
    _Designer Kits\Happy Hour\Happy Hour - glass 1
    _Designer Kits\Happy Hour\Happy Hour - olive
    _Designer Kits\Happy Hour\Happy Hour - umbrella
    _Designer Kits\Happy Hour\Happy Hour - orange

Paper:
Black Cardstock, Designer Series Paper \Glimmer - gold
    Card Stock\Whisper White

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gone but not Forgotten

Can you believe Christmas has already come and gone?!  I hope it was one to tuck away in your memory box.  I hope yours was a wonderful one!  Ours was definitely a very peaceful one here in Texas.  We stayed in our comfy "lounging" clothes all day!  We had our traditional sausage casserole for breakfast and then spent time hoping our gifts.  Everyone was quite pleased with all that they got I think .... I know I was!!  Since we had our big meal last night, we just picked during the day on ham, pickles, mushrooms, sausage balls, cookies, chocolate, cheese, crackers ..... the list goes on and on!!  Guess I'll be going on a diet when I return home!   During the afternoon, we watched back to back Christmas movies on Hallmark.  What a fun and relaxing day!

It is time for another sketch for the Paper Craft Crew.  This week we are also doing a color challenge along with the sketch - using Crumb Cake, More Mustard and Bravo Burgundy - a very different color combo!  But here is my take on the sketch and colors:



I think these colors worked out great - not what I would have chosen but I like it!!  What do you think?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from me to you!

This is the card I mailed to my son and his family who are Disney addicts!!


A warm Christmas here in San Antonio - supposed to be almost 70 degrees today with a cold front moving in later - tomorrow's high is supposed to be only 50! 

We had our Christmas dinner last night and invited some of Ashley's friends over to celebrate with us.  Looking forward to a family day today just enjoying each other's company and watching a few Christmas shows on tv along with opening our gifts.  No shopping!!!

I hope your Christmas is wonderful!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snowflake Mittens

Yesterday was Ashley's birthday. I got her age right this year (37) of which she was glad.  She and Sonny went out early to finish up their Christmas shopping.  When they got back home, Ashley and I went out to finish up the loose ends in our Christmas shopping and baking.  We met Sonny for lunch at Purple Garlic (yummy meatball sandwich!!).  Sonny and Ashley did their annual baking of sausage balls while I made some chocolate pretzels and marinated mushrooms.  We went out for dinner at Josephine's for steaks.  So it was a pretty quiet day but we squeezed a lot into it!

Our cats are still taking a wide berth but they are tolerating each other at least and we are not having to keep them shut up and separated any more.  Here is a video I took today of them that is really cute!

video


And a little more Christmas trivia for you .....

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? 

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember. 
  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ. 
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  • The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  • The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
 So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol...so pass it on if you wish.

OK - now for a card I made: 
I love the Perfectly Preserved set and how versatile it is!  Here is a Christmas card I made using the set.  I stamped the jar with Bashful Blue ink on vellum and stamped a snowflake in the center with White craft ink and embossed in white.  The mittens are cut out with a die that I have had for several years (Spell-binders I think) but SU has a mitten punch that could be used also.  I stamped and embossed the snowflake onto the mittens as well. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

This Snowman is for you!

Enjoy - Click HERE

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rudolph

The True Story of  Rudolph

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob's wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined to make one - a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May

created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn't end there either.

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and DinahShore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas."

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.







Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joyous Celebration

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY


Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell

The wreaths on the graves -- some 5,000 -- are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine . The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He's done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one of the poorest parts of the state.


Here is a Christmas card I made.  I used the embossing plate on a piece of DSP and sanded it slightly. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

One week from today and Christmas will be over!  The time is running out and I still need to shop!!  Hopefully I can get a little done today and a lot done when Ashley and I go out later in the week when she is off work. 

We have arrived in San Antonio no worse for wear.   The trip has been interesting so far and with the cats in the picture, I know the next couple of weeks will be the same!  We arrived in Dallas last Thursday afternoon.  Margaret and Graham came by and picked me up and I went with them to their daughter's house.  I had never met Samantha's twins, Jake and Morgan and they are already 5!!  Such cuties!  After a quick visit, we met Sonny for BBQ back in Grapevine.  On Friday we met our good friends, Don and Sharon for a long lunch (Mexican, of course) and a  nice visit.  Then on Saturday, I had a 3 1/2 hour lunch with some of my girlfriends that I used to work with and my bunco-playing buddies!  It was so great to catch up with each other.  Sunday we headed over to "Jerry Jones land" aka, Cowboys Stadium.  All I have to say about that is .... it was an exciting game.  Just wish the outcome had been in the Steelers favor.   The Steelers fans outnumbered the Cowboys fans in the stadium and we saw a lot of Terrible Towels waving in the wind!  It was a beautiful sight!  Our seats were great - we were about 15 rows up from the field in the corner of the end field.  I have the best daughter in the world - she got us good seats .... if she could only have assured us a win!!

After a visit with our financial planner Monday morning and another quick visit with one of Jeff's old high school friends (who still calls me Mama!), we hit the road to San Antonio.  Sammy traveled most of the trip great but she was pretty restless on the final leg.  I finally got in the back seat with her and she settled down.  We stopped off in Austin to see our friend, Heidi and her 11 week old baby, Reed.  Awww - so adorable!  She is doing good with him and it is amazing to see her as a mom! 

We arrived at Ashley's house and after unpacking let the two cats meet each other .... not good!  Ashley's cat, Bogart does not meow - she is a mute cat but she has her claws.  Sammie does not have claws but she can definitely hiss and bite.  They just do not get along!  So at night, they sleep with their respectable owners and we shut our doors.  During the day and evening, we take turns letting one of them have the run of the house.  Although Sammi is pretty scared to even come out of our bedroom.  She spends most of the day curled up on the bed.  I really don't know what to do about it and hope they work out their differences and at least tolerate being in the same room.  Last night while we were watching tv, Sammie came out into the den.  Bogart was on the couch with Ashley & Sonny so Sammie came and sat in my lap.  Ashley had to hold on to Bogart to make him stay there.  Sammie didn't have any interest in going over to see Bogart.  And just now, Sammie & Sonny were still asleep when Bogart pushed his way into the room.  All I heard out here was hissing!  Sammie had crawled in her carrier and Bogart was trying to get her to come out and play.  Poor Sammie - she has never been around other cats so she is really scared.  Guess we'll just have to keep them separated while I'm here letting them take turns wandering around the house.  Anyone else have any experience with this? 

Ok - how about a little Christmas trivia on Christmas Cards!  I finally got mine in the mail this week - I was mailing them along the way as I finished them.

The first commercial Christmas card produced was in London in 1843. John Callcott Horsley produced them for Sir Henry Cole. The scene depicted both adults and children, sipping wine and having a spirited time. It was a bit controversial but proved to be a lucrative endeavor. The cards, a total of 2,050, sold for a shilling each. One of these cards sold in a 2001 public auction for about $36,062.80 in American dollars!
The early Christmas cards rarely depicted snow or religious scenes. They leaned more towards flowers, fairies, and other fanciful designs depicting the oncoming of spring. Again following the earlier traditions of Winter Solstice! Humorous and sentimental images of children and animals became popular as well as elaborate designs, shapes and decorations.

Louis Prang produced the first American Christmas card in 1875 in Boston, MA. Sometimes he is referred to as the “Father of the American Christmas card.” For graphic designers, you should know who this man was. He produced many beautiful lithographs for various items … books, postcards, cards, maps, etc. Actually he started in wood and steel engravings and then went to lithography. At first this was a very lucrative business for him but then printers came out with cheaper reproductions, ending this aspect of his business. He is also known for his endeavors to improve art education in the US, publishing instructional books, and creating a foundation to train art teachers.

Towards the end of the Victorian period, postcards became very popular. But by the 1920’s, cards and envelopes returned as the popular preference. During World Wars I and II, many cards were produced with a patriotic theme. During the 1950’s more humorous and risqué cards hit the market. The only prevailing type of card that has remained popular are the home-made, or hand-made, cards. Producing the cards was a family tradition right along with decorating the tree, exchanging gifts, singing carols, etc. Many often accepted the card to be the gift as it was made, not produced, from the heart and carried a high sentimental meaning. Consensus was hand-made cards started due to economic reasons. Now many produce these for artistic reasons or to avoid the commercialization of Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stylin' Snowfolks Treat Box

One popular tradition of Christmas is singing Christmas carols. These traditions have their origins in the past well before the terminology “Christmas Carols” was actualized. Most of the popular carols were written in the 19th century and were sung from house to house near the Christmas season. The Church adopted this tradition in the 1820’s, giving these songs a greater sense of reverence. Hence the term “Christmas Carols” was born.
 
Popular Christmas Carols, their author, and the year they were written –
  • Away in the Manger – James Murray – 1885
  • Deck the Hall’s – John Perry Ddall – 1784
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – author unknown – most likely written in the 1700’s
  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Felix Mendelssohn – 1840
  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – Henry Longfellow – 1863
  • It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Edmund Sears – 1849
  • Jingle Bells – James Pierpont – 1857
  • Joy to the World – Isaac Watts – 1719
  • Messiah – George Frideric Handel - 1741
  • O Christmas Tree – Ernst Anschutz – 1824
  • O Come All Ye Faithful – John Wade et al – 1200’s
  • O Come, O Come Emanuel – John Mason Neale – mid 1800’s
  • O Holy Night – Adolphe Adam – 1847
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem – Phillips Brooks – 1865
  • Silent Night – Joseph Mohr – 1816
  • The First Noel – Davies Gilbert – 1700’s
  • Twelve Days of Christmas – author unknown – 1500’s
  • We Wish you a Merry Christmas – author unknown – 1500’s
  

 
 

STYLIN’ SNOWFOLKS BOX
  1. Cut two Scallop Envelopes from Pool Party card stock
  2. Cut two additional pieces of Pool Party card stock 3 1/4 x 8 1/4".  Score both pieces with long side along top of Simply Scored Tool at 2 3/8".
  3. Adhere the envelope tabs together with Sticky Strip side by side alternately with long pieces to form the sides of the box (line up the score lines across the bottom).
  4. Before adhering the last tab, stamp the small snowflake in Stylin' Snowfolks randomly over the sides with ink.
  5. Punch the holes at the top of long pieces with Extra Large Oval Punch.
  6. Adhere final tab to form box and fold flaps up on bottom to form box base.
  7. Decorate the sides with Designer Paper…add the stamped Stylin' Snowfolk snowman and Tags Til Christmas greeting to the front with the Scallop Square Punch.
  8. Add a Silver Glimmer snowflake from the Snow Flurry Die to the top of the box front.
  9. Tie a pretty bow to hold the box top closed.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Cracker

The first Christmas Tree lit with electrical lights was in 1882. Edward H Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison, was Vice-President of the Edison Electric Light Company, which is now known as Con Edison. Johnson had bulbs the size of walnuts, hand wired, in red, blue and white specially made for him. They were initially called Christmas Tree Lamps! The tree was in his private home on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Most newspapers ignored this phenomenon considering it a marketing ploy. The story was published in a Detroit newspaper which dubbed him as the “Father of Electric Christmas Lights.” By 1900, businesses started stringing lights in their windows. For the average person, this was still an expensive decoration. Up until 1930, candles were still used in most homes, and then lights started becoming the majority replacement in most homes.

In 1895, President Grover Cleveland proudly displayed the first electrically lit tree in the White House. It was a huge tree featuring more than 100 multicolored lights. The first commercially manufactured Christmas tree lamps were produced by General Electric Co of Harrison, NJ. They were strings of multiples 8 sockets and each socket took a miniature two-candela carbon-filament lamp. From that point on electrically illuminated Christmas trees, but only indoors, grew with mounting enthusiasm in the United States and elsewhere.
Thanks to Andrea Walford for this Christmas Cracker project.

  1. Using tissue paper: Put the tissue paper in front of you with the shortest side facing you. Fold it up in half to find the half way point and then open it back up again.  Take the bottom end and fold it up to the center line you just created. Then rotate the paper around so you have the other end in front of you and do the same thing (fold up to the center).   So at this point, each side has been folded up to the center.  Now, take the side you have and fold it up to the center again, then rotate it and fold the other side up to the center as well.  Be sure to smooth out all sides each time to you do it.  Then, fold the paper in half one final time. 

  2. Cut along the bottom (non-folded side) of the folded piece of tissue paper, using paper snips or Fringe scissors. Repeat with the second folded piece of tissue paper.

  3. Wrap the first piece of tissue paper around one end of the toilet paper roll, sticking it to the roll as you wrap, using Tombow multi-purpose liquid glue. Trim off any excess tissue paper, using paper snips. Allow time to dry.

  4. . Gather the tissue paper fringes and tie a 6” piece of baker’s twine around the tissue paper. Trim the ends of the baker’s twine.

  5. Fill the toilet paper roll with small candy or small toys. Stuff a coffee filter or a tissue in the end, to keep the candy/toys from falling out.

  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other side of the Christmas cracker. (You can remove the coffee filter or tissue from the toilet paper roll just before you wrap the 6” piece of baker’s twine around the tissue paper.)

  7. Sticka3 ¾” x 6” piece of  DSP to the toilet paper roll, using  liquid glue.

  8. Stick a 6 ½” piece of  ribbon around the Christmas cracker, covering the seam between the DSP and the tissue paper using sticky strip. Repeat on the second side, using the second 6 ½” piece of  ribbon.

  9. Wrap a 12” piece of  ribbon around one end of the gathered tissue paper and tie it into a bow. Trim the ends. Repeat on the second side with the second 12” piece of ribbon.

  10. Stamp the greeting onto a scrap piece of Whisper White CS.

  11. Align the greeting in the window of the Extra Large Oval punch and punch it out.

  12. Punch out a label from a scrap piece of cardstock, using the Designer Label punch.

  13. Center and stick the punched out greeting onto the label, using Tombow multi-purpose liquid glue. 

  14. Stick the matted greeting on the Christmas label, using sticky strip. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Clearance!!

Stampin' Up cleared out their warehouse and put them on the Clearance list.  Lots of new CLEARANCE items have just been added.  Click HERE to see all the new goodies added to Stampin' Up!
Ribbon – Punches – Stamp Sets – Embellishments, Big Shot Dies, etc! and while you are in there, add your last minute favorites from the Holiday Mini Catalog, as it ends soon.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tea Lights Box and Flower Holder

We've arrived .... in Dallas that is.  We spent last night in Shreveport, LA which used to be one of our favorite hang-outs when we lived in Texas.  We liked to spend a weekend there at the casinos - back before the economy went south and we had money.  It only took us about 1 1/2 hours at the blackjack table to lose a couple hundred dollars!  I was done but Sonny went to another casino after dinner and won a little bit of our money back!

Sammie is getting used to the traveling I think!  I've been worried about her because she hasn't eaten or drank anything since we left NC.  But tonight when we got in the room and she had checked the place out, she drank some water and ate a little bit.  

Here is one of my favorite things to make at Christmas time.  They are great to give as small gifts.


E-Z TEA LIGHTS CANDLE BOX
·        For the box bottom - cut a 3-3/4x8-1/4" piece.
·        Your longest score lines are at 1/2", 1-1/8", 2-5/8", & 3-1/4"
·        Your short score lines are at 1/2", 1-1/8", 7-1/8", & 7-3/4"
·        Cut out the shaded areas and on the cut line to make flaps.
·        Decorate box as desired.
·        Crease all folds well with bone folder.
·        Apply sticky strip to the 4 outer most sections and assemble to box.
·        For the box cover – cut a 5x6" piece of card stock. 
·        Score lines will be 6" long side -  5/8", 2-1/4", 2-7/8", & 4-1/2".  (see picture below)
·        Crease folds well with bone folder and put sticky strip on one edge flap.
·        Decorate inside if desired. 
·        Peel the sticky strip and wrap cover around box, adhere flaps together. 


The box opened
EMBOSSED FLOWER CANDLE HOLDER

 The Fun Flower Sizzix die is used to make the holder using hardware flashing material.  Cut out with the die & Big Shot and emboss.  Put a "glob" of glue in the center to hold all together.


 


CANDLES:

·        Fold a piece of tissue paper into 4 layers, and sandwich between 2 layers of copy paper (to make it easy to punch – you don’t need the copy paper when you are done.) Punch out 1-3/8" circles.  Leave it between the copy paper layers and punch 3 times in the center with the 1/16" punch to make a hole big enough for the wick to fit thru.
·        Stamp tissue paper with desired images and color with markers.
·        Slide tissue paper over the wick onto top of the tealight.
·        Put tealight down!  Do not hold for this step.  Heat top of tea light  with heat gun until the tissue  paper melts into the wax.  All done! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Paper Craft Sketch #20

We made it to Tuscaloosa yesterday with no problems.  Sammie did quite well in the car all that time.  Our complaint was that she wanted to sit in Sonny's lap or look out his window while he was driving!  Sammie has never sat in his lap or had too much to do with him so that was rather odd!  But most of the time she sat either in my lap or on the console between us.  And each time we stopped for gas, to eat, etc.  she got in her carrier without any trouble.  I snuck (?) her in the hotel last night and she had fun exploring it.

Today is 12/12/12. A significant date to be sure … a sequential date like this will not be seen again until 989 years!!!! That would be 01/01/01 or January 1, 3001.  Don't think we will see it!  Wonder what the world will be like then - any guesses?

Back to holiday trivia/news:   Did you know … holly wreaths are universal symbols? Ancient Druids and Pagan cultures believed holly had magical properties because they stayed green all year long. They would often wear sprigs and berries for this reason. Later on when Christianity took hold, holly wreaths became popular. It is said the sharp leaves and round shape represent the Crown of Thorns and the red berries represent the blood of Christ. Either way, holly and berries have been a holiday tradition longer than there’s been a Christmas!

Here is my sketch for the Paper Craft Crew #20!  It is a great sketch this week and we also did a color challenge - Crumb Cake, Bashful Blue and Red for the holidays.  I did a card that is supposed to be a stamper's wish list!!  What is on your list?



Here is the link to the other cards created by the Crew - check them out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We are packed and ready to go - hitting the road later and turning our SUV south headed to Texas.  Keep your fingers crossed that Sammie enjoys being in the car for 2 days!  If not, we will be "batty" by the time we reach Dallas!

Here are a few Christmas fun facts for you:

1.       Frosty the Snowman’s nose is actually a button, not a carrot!
2.       Here Comes Santa Claus was written by Gene Autry after he participated in a parade where onlookers were chanting, “Here comes Santa!” Oakley Haldeman set the words to music.
3.       What Christmas plant is “viscum” labeled? European mistletoe
4.       What Christmas food is made from “marsh-whorts?” Marsh-whorts, really??? Cranberry Sauce
5.        The #1 Christmas song of all time? It appears for the “older” songs the #1 song is Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.  For more modern music, it appears the #1 song is John Lennon’s Happy Christmas: The War is Over takes the top billing. (not so sure about that!)
6.       The #1 Christmas movie of all time? It’s a Wonderful Life.
7.        In the Philippines Christmas songs are played everywhere beginning September 1st!  The Filipino Christmas is the longest in the world … lasting 1/3 of every year. Their holiday celebration is referred to as “Ber Months.”









Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Some interesting facts about Rudolph – The Red Nosed Reindeer:

1.       The poem was written by Robert L May, an advertising executive for Montgomery-Ward, in 1939. It was incorporated into a coloring book the store handed out to children. 
2.       In 1949 Robert’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, put music to the poem and Gene Autry recorded it; making it to the #1 spot on Billboard’s pop singles chart the week of Christmas. (I still have a CD of Gene Autry singing it!)
3.       Gene Autry’s recording sold 2.5 million copies the first year and up until 1980’s, it was the second best selling record of all time reaching 25 million copies!  Michael Jackson’s Thriller and The Eagles Greatest Hits bumped it completely off the list.
4.       Rudolph has had two brothers – Ralph (Ralph, the Infra-Red Nosed Reindeer) and Rusty (Holidaze: The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen), a cousin Leroy (Leroy the Redneck Reindeer), and two different sets of parents – Donner and a tan doe with long eyelashes and then later with Blitzen and Mitzi.

Here are a couple of quick little Christmas projects for you today.  This time of year, we all need quick!!

This first one is just a quick little tag that holds a Hershey Nugget.

side view
SANTA TAG 

Punch 2 tags w/tag punch out of Real Red
Cut red cardstock @ 1 3/8” x 2” for bottom; Score @ ½” & 1 ½”
White cardstock – cut @ 1 5/8” x 5/8”
Black cardstock – cut @ 1 ½” x ¼” (belt)
Glitter paper – square ½” x ¼” (buckle)

I wrapped the chocolate with some Designer Paper so it would be a little more festive.

Santa Tag Nugget Holder


This is a cute little note pad made from a bar coaster.  Just adhere some DSP to the coaster with glue.  (I find a glue stick works best for this project.)  Cut some note paper from computer paper and adhere to the coaster with a cute little clip from your local office supply store.  Tie a bow onto the clip and make a tag to hand off of it.  You can also put a magnet on the back and put it on your refrigerator.


Coaster Note Pad

 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas trees and tags

Let's learn about Christmas Trees!

Pagans and Druids believed the evergreen boughs would ward off evil spirits, witches, ghosts and illness. In the Northern Hemisphere, many ancient people believed the sun was a god and believed when winter came, this god became sick and weak. The shortest day and longest night  of the year, better known as the Winter Solstice, falls on December 21st or December 22nd, depending on the Gregorian calendar and leap years.  No matter what the group of people were or whence they came, they celebrated this day with great joy because it meant the sun god would begin to get well again. The Pagans used evergreen boughs to decorate their homes because they reminded them of all the green plants which would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return. Ancient Egyptians would fill their homes with green palm rushes, symbolizing life over death. The Druids decorated their temples with boughs  as a symbol of everlasting life.

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Trees were decorated with fruits and nuts. Martin Luther, a 16th century Protestant, is believed to be the first to add lights to a tree. While walking home one night, he was astounded by the brilliance of the star lights twinkling amongst the trees. In trying to recapture what he saw to his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired candles to the boughs.

Most 19th century Americans found trees an oddity. Although the German settlers in PA had community trees as early as 1747, the first recorded Christmas tree was in 1830 by the same people. Even as late as the 1840’s most Americans still considered the trees as Pagan symbols and not accepted.
In 1846, the popular royals Queen Victoria, her German Prince Albert and their family, were sketched in the London News standing around a Christmas tree. Being very popular with her subjects, what was done in court immediately became fashionable. Not only in Britain but also fashion conscious East Coast American Society! 

Typically Europeans liked their trees to be about 4 feet tall whereas American liked theirs from floor to ceiling. (Americans always want bigger and better!)  By the 1890’s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany but most American’s preferred decorating their trees with fruit, popcorn laced with berries and nuts and homemade ornaments. When electricity was introduced, that is when the big change in how American’s decorated their trees. Throughout the years we’ve seen trees in various colors, lights ranging from a color wheel to strings of icicles, and an array of ornaments. But the tall, live fir tree remains to be the popular tree for most people.

So there you have it - have you learned something today?

Here are the tags that I offered to my group this week.

These were cut using the Apothecary die and the Big Shot.  I stamped them with the Watercolor Winter stamp set.

 These large Santa tags:


  • ·        Die cut 1 large Scallop Circle
  • ·        Die cut 1 (or 2) large round Circle(s) – use it whole or cut in half.
  • ·        Layer circles onto Scallop Circle.
  • ·        Stamp Santa.  Color hat & cut him out.
  •       Use Tab Punch for top of tag.  Option:  emboss tab. 
 

This ornament is made using the Ornament stamp set and dies.  

 This cute little Santa tag is made so you can write underneath his beard.


  • ·        one 2 3/8” Scallop Circle  in White
  • ·        one 1 ¾” Scallop Circle in White
  • ·        one 1-3/4" circle in Blush Blossom (pink)
  • ·        One ¾” circle in white
  • ·        I punched a long strip (white) using the Scallop Border Punch and just cut it as needed for the hat trim.
  • ·        The hat is a 1-3/4" x 3" rectangle, cut at a diagonal and folded over.
  • ·        I did the eyes with a black pen - you could use Pearls or googly eyes instead.


Enjoy!!