Monday, December 22, 2008

More Homemade Christmas Gifts

Only three days left to get everything done and of course I am frantically multi-tasking. It's a good thing I am pretty good at that!

I got this milk crate idea from Becky Roberts' blog--Inking Idaho. Her version is smaller so I had to resize everything to make mine a little bit bigger. I am going to fill one carton with homemade hot cocoa mix, one with mini marshmallows, one with some Hershey's kisses and the last with mini candy canes. Then I think I will take a chocolate dipped spoon and tie it on the with the bow for added goodness!   =)   Thanks, Becky, for this awesome idea.

Stampin Up sells this Sizzix die that I absolutely fell in love with called the Top Notch Die. It is exclusive to Stampin Up and it is to use with the Big Shot die cutting system. I seriously did not want to buy a Big Shot just to get that one die especially since I am a Wishblade technician so I imported the jpeg of the die into Create & Cut and redrew it. Now I have it as a Create & Cut file. The best thing of all is that unlike the Sizzix die, I can resize this file to any size I wish. I really love this shape! This is a note card set that I made for a gift using that shape as the polka dot background.  I used the Wishblade for every piece of this card.  I saved money by not having to buy an oval punch or a scalloped oval punch.  YAY!  The box was a tutorial from the Splitcoast Stampers site---love that place! Again, this gift is 100% homemade. Not too shabby. (and saving money, dad!)

I love to make beef jerky this time of year to give out to friends and neighbors. Everyone loves beef jerky and it is pretty tasty, I might add. I quickly stamped a few images and colored them with my new Copic Markers to make a a top to the ziploc bag so it is not so plain.  These are clear acrylic Doodlebug stamps and I used liquid applique on Santa's hat and beard. If you haven't tried using Copics yet, you are missing out on some serious fun.

Peace on Earth!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kansas Homemade Christmas

There is this Christmas song that I love by Kenny Rogers called "Kentucky Homemade Christmas". It always makes me think of my mom. My mother was the biggest Kenny Rogers fan and her Christmas music consisted of a lot of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. I find myself listening to that same music at Christmas today. Of course, I had to find the music on CD's because mom's old cassette tapes weren't up to my modern technology. Google the song and listen to it. It has a snappy tune but pay close attention to the lyrics. I have always enjoyed it but it means so much more to me this year than it has in the past. With so many people losing their jobs and the country falling deeper into a recession, the message strikes all too close to home.

I miss you, mom. I owe my creative side all to you!

In the spirit of Kenny's homemade Christmas, we hand made the teacher's entire present this year right down to the Bazzill Basics Paper bow! Everything about this gift is now homemade with the exception of the two pieces of tissue paper. I think it's great and even though it's homemade, it's still a nice gift.

By the way, I used my new Copic markers on the tag and everyone is correct....I FREAKING LOVE THEM! Dad, please do not research how much I spent on each marker. Yes, I spent money that I should have been holding on to during a recession but I won't comment about your daily trips to Hardees and the auto parts store if you leave me alone about my Copics. =) I still love you for caring about me so much! <3 (That's a heart in teenager Facebook talk)

For all you amateur artists like myself, the Copics are well worth the price. I don't need a boyfriend when I have obsessions like these!

Only 8 days 'til Christmas--Get your festive on!

Cookie Time!

I warned everyone how hard it was going to be for me to keep up with this blogging thing.  In all my defense, though, I couldn't have picked a worse time of the year to start doing this.  We have spent the last week or so making goodies, as we do every year.  We live in a neighborhood that consists of mostly retired folks (except for the new young single man next door-haven't met him yet) and I love to take them homemade goodies at Christmastime.  Sugar cookies are a favorite for the girls because I let them do it all and then I get to clean up the mess.  

The funny thing about our Christmas cookies is that the girls do not stick to the Christmas theme of red and green sprinkles and "jimmies".  We have a bazillion different sprinkles from the bulk food store.  They range from black cows to pink pigs. We also have Valentines, Halloween and even some dinosaurs and fishy ones.   I believe we ended up with some stocking shaped cookies sprinkled with ghosts. Miranda's traditional cookie is a bell shaped one sprinkled with cows to make a......."Cowbell"    =)

I also popped popcorn in a huge pot with oil for the first time in my adult life.  I made caramel popcorn the good way like my mom used to.  When I was a kid, that was the only way that my mother would pop popcorn because we didn't have an air popper.  When microwave popcorn came out, it just made things way too easy.  Needless to say, it was  pretty fun and a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I think I am finally growing up.  My mama would be proud!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What to do for the teachers?????

So this year, I decided to make all of Morgan's teachers gifts.  She's in the fifth grade and she has several teachers.  When I was in the fifth grade I had my classroom teacher, music teacher and PE teacher.  She has those three plus a computer lab teacher, title 1 reading teacher, math teacher and probably a para or two that I am forgetting about.  Are kids just more misbehaved these days that there needs to be that many people watching over them or is this turning out more educated children?  I have yet to figure that out.  I guess it is a good thing because they all seem to love the kids and that's what's important.  I came up with these card books thinking I was going to use up a lot of paper that I have but in reality, it really only used up three pieces of cards tock and three pieces of coordinating patterned paper.  Needless to say, I did not make a dent or even a dimple in my enormous stash of patterned paper.  I used the Wishblade and created the A2 sized envelope to cut out.  Most of the rest was done by hand.  It is a variety of cards such as Happy Birthday, Get Well Soon, Thinking of You, Congrats and a few blank ones for a total of eight cards.  Off to mass produce these for the army of educators!

Keep Smiling!  =)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Photo Time!

I spent the better part of today catching up on missed sleep from this week.  How pathetic is that?  We did manage to get the Christmas photos done today and I have spent some major time editing in Photoshop while watching the Big 12 Championship football game.  Hope everyone had a productive Saturday unlike myself.  

Stay warm!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside....

...and I'm staying inside!  Probably not going to be any new creations today.  I have to finish up some vinyl window decals for the athletic booster club.  

Had to share this photo of the girls' school lunches.  Morgan prefers that I rubber stamp her plain ol' brown paper bag every morning for added character.  She tends to be crafty like her mother.  Miranda would sooner die than take a "blinged"  lunch sack to high school.   =)

Hunter, Jimmy's boy, got his kill already this morning bright and early.  Deer season just opened Wednesday and he already had a carcus trophy.   At least that's one less on the road for me to hit with my car.  I really think this would make a great Christmas card!

I'm off to the high school basketball game.  Here's wishing everyone a fun and creative weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blogging day 2

So far so good. I'm still attempting to organize this blog, work Xyron Technical Support, create projects and run my household all at the same time. IT"S ALL GOOD!

Sadly time is slipping away from me and I thought I had plenty of time to get my Christmas cards made and photograph the girls, when really, I don't.  Good thing I did something out of my norm and made a few cards before Thanksgiving!  Not like me at all to think ahead!  

Today's project is yet another one for the shipment of QVC stuff going back to Xyron.  Again used the Personal Cutting System on most of it.  I also used the Design Runner when I could.  I am still ooooo'ing and ahhhhhh'ing over my etched jar from yesterday.  I am so happy with that that I may just end up etching everything in the house!  It so unbelievably easy!  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First Blog Post-Yay!

After much consideration and much urging from my peers (are they still called peers at 35?), I have finally taken the plunge into blogging.  I am not afraid to admit my faults and I really think that I am not disciplined enough to keep up with the blog.  I have no reason not to.  I work on this computer all day long from my home.  It should be very easy to pop over and make a quick post.  This is all part of a "making my life more productive plan".  Kind of like starting the New Year's resolutions a little early.  It took me two days just to figure out how to create a header and I am not all that happy with it.  I had to use two different Adobe programs then upload it to a web photo hosting site before I could even get it to load onto this blog.  What a pain.  I'm tired and I almost gave up but persevered.  It will all get better with time.

So for my first project posting, I thought I would just post what I have been working on this week.  Xyron will be on QVC later this month again with Lisa Bearnson so I am busy making projects to showcase the Xyron Personal Cutting System.  So far I have created a jewelery box (as you can see in the above picture) that I cut by hand from a pattern that I saw on another blog (and I wish I remember which one). I decorated it using the "A Gift of Love" paper line from BoBunny.  I cut the white fancy square and all the heart using the XPCS.  The heart on the top is actually four hearts stacked to together to give it dimension then I added Doodlebug flocking.  The inside white heart is also flocked but it is hard to tell from the pics.  On the candy jar, I cut the heart file on vinyl using the PCS.  I then used etching cream and etched it on to the jar.  I am very happy with the way it turned out. Need to finish a couple other projects for QVC and then I will post pics of those as I go.

Happy Wednesday!