Thursday, December 30, 2010

There's nothing like a clean craft room to start off the New Year

Hello blogland!  It's been almost a week since Christmas and my craft room is finally no longer overflowing with bags and gifts and packages and boxes and wrapping paper.  Yipee!  I spent the past two days cleaning, sorting,  purging, and reorganizing my little space so I can start the New Year with an uncluttered space. 

Are you ready for New Years?  When my kids were little, we started the tradition of staying home and having a pajama party with them.  I would make little finger foods and we would watch videos or play games, and we would drink sparkly juice from grown up glasses.  As they got older and started having their own plans on NYE, they continued a silly tradition that I've had for many years:  my brothers and I race to see who could call our parents first at midnight and wish them a Happy New Year.  I've won most years, and now my kids do the same thing - they race to see who can call home first.  Silly, but sweet and we look forward to it.  So, tomorrow night my husband and I will be having our annual pajama party, watching a few movies, having a few snacks, sipping something bubbly and hopefully staying awake until midnight when our phone will ring, and I race to call my Mom. 

Have a safe and healthy, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

That's it, I don't like snow anymore...

Hello blogland - like so many others, I'm snowed in with at least 3 feet of snow and 6 foot drifts.  Not kidding - the snow drifts are easily 6 foot high!  I no longer like snow (she said with a sarcastic grin), at least not this much of it.  After a while there's no place to put it!  Just as we manage to dig out the driveway entrance, here comes another plow to push it right back in.  The 50 mph winds are causing white outs and bigger drifts and the sound is deafening at times.  Here's a few pictures from earlier today:

That's my husband making a good attempt at a path up the driveway. It's tough to tell, but the drift right in front of him next to the car is taller than him.  Then right in front of the "welcome" flag you can see grass.  Crazy!

This is a look at the backyard.  The drifts are almost to the top of the arbor in my flower garden, about 5 feet high, as well as the top of the window on the side of the garage.  Crazy!  I hope you're safe and warm and cozy and crafting where ever you are.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A blizzard is on it's way to New Jersey...

Hello blogland!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the day with your family.  I had a great day, lots of laughs, lots of food, lots of fun.  I thought I was going to relax today, but it seems that a blizzard is heading to New Jersey with 15 to 18 inches of snow and 50 mph winds.  The only word that comes to mind (that I can type here) is yuk!  I've already run to the store for extra milk, have a pot of chicken tortilla soup simmering on the stove for lunch and a pork loin in the crock pot for dinner. 

The snowflakes started about half an hour ago and the wind is picking up, so I guess we're in for a nasty day.  The boots are out, the extra gloves are paired up, the shovels are out of the garage and the flashlights have extra batteries.  I'm ready for a nap!  I hope the weather is better where you are and if not, stay safe, stay warm, stay inside!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Delicious desserts

Hello blogland and happy Wednesday! Oh-my-sweet very best friend in the world sent my family and I a few special treats, and my sweet tooth can't wait to try them.  I LOVE chocolate, but it gives me a migraine (sad, right?), but I know who will be having a migraine tonight because, well just look at these delectable chocolate covered strawberries and mini cheesecakes!

'Nuff said?  They won't be making it to Christmas day, that's for sure.....I hope you're all caught up with your "to-do list" and are enjoying the holiday season!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A forgotten snowman

Hello blogland!  I have a soft spot for snowmen - the inside kind.  As I sit in my living room writing this, I can count 22 snowmen in front of me.  You would think that was enough, right?  Not for me it seems....I couldn't find a new comer to my collection that I painted last year and spent quite a bit of time looking for him.  Did you ever put something someplace "safe" so you would know where it was then couldn't find it?  Yep, that was me today.  And he was right in front of me all along peeking out of the china cabinet.  Take a look at this cute little guy:

He's now sitting on a shelf in my kitchen where I can keep an eye on him this winter.  Hopefully he and his indoor snowmen friends are the only snowmen I see this winter.  I can dream, right?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Hello blogland!  Today is day 2 of my Christmas cookie baking marathon - I finished one batch of butter cookies, made the dough for chocolate peanut butter cookies and just took one batch of chocolate pistachio biscotti out of the oven.  I love cookies, I really do, but they're like potato chips for me- I can't eat just one.  One turns into two which turns into four and before you know it a dozen are gone with a glass of milk. Bad girl, bad girl... I have a large collection of cookie recipes and some that I only make during the Christmas season, but I decided I had to cut the "must make" list way down.  The chocolate pistachio biscotti is a new one that I've wanted to try for a while.  They were easy pesy to make and I think they are going to be added to the annual "must make" list.

They have dried cranberries as well as chopped pistachio nuts and I added a mix of peanut butter and milk chocolate chips also.  The only problem - chocolate gives me a headache!  Not just a headache, but a migraine. This will be quite a test of will power not to eat them, or will I give in and have a migraine....we'll see how long I last.  Well, back to the kitchen! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making a list, checking it twice

Gift shopping - check.  Tree decorated - check.  Cards made, addressed, stamped, mailed - check. Gingerbread house decorated - check.  Cookies made - ah, nuts.....that's what's not done yet.  Tonight I'm making a list and checking it twice, a grocery list that is, so I can start baking cookies tomorrow.  How are you doing with your to-do list?  And while I'm doing that, here's a peak at my nativity.  The manger and angel were my grandparents and are about 100 years old.  They remind me of the reason for the season.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last set of Christmas cards

Hello blogland!  Today I played with a few new Unity Stamps and embossing powders from Lindy's Stamp Gang and had a blast.  I'm really lovin' the combination of the two - what do you think?

I used some DCWV cardstock with Garden Green and Real Red Stampin' Up inks with a Unity Stamp for this card. For the background I used one little Unity snowflake stamp with some Silver Moon Sapphire embossing powder from Lindy's Stamp Gang.  I couldn't get a good picture of the shine and shimmer, but I'm really lovin' that embossing powder :)

For this little card I used some DCWV cardstock, two more Unity Stamps for the angel and snowflakes and the Silver Moon Sapphire embossing powder.

That's it for today - I'm off to check some blogs and see what everyone else was up to today :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Memories of St. Nicholas

Today is St. Nicholas day and when my daughters were growing up, it was a special day for them.  They belonged to a Ukrainian childrens group and every year they put on a little program which ended with all the children singing a special song that asked St. Nicholas to come and leave them small treats.

This picture is from 1993 and was very special because their Uncle made an appearance as St. Nicholas that year (and they didn't recognize him).  He asked the children if they've been good and helped their Mama and Tato's then gave them a small present.  They couldn't have been more excited if the real Santa Claus was there!  It's one family tradition that we remember fondly and can't wait to share it with their children some day.  Another is hiding the Christmas pickle ornament on the Christmas tree, and the person who found it first had bragging rights to that all year.  My daughter Amy already spotted it hidden in the tree last night :)  Maybe later I can get her to sing the St. Nicholas song...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I thought I was done making Christmas cards, but...

Hello blogland!  Can you believe it's December 5th already?  Wasn't it just Thanksgiving?  I was ahead of schedule, or so I thought, until this week when I didn't feel well and didn't get too much done.  I was just about done making my holiday cards when I stumbled upon a fabulous card idea here and just had to try it myself.  But instead of a wreath, I decided to try making a tree using the Martha Stewart branch punch.  I forgot I had this punch until I stumbled upon Lorraine's beautiful card.

I used some DCWV cardstock for the base of the card and the tree. I used a Sizzix die to cut the tree then used a darker green DCWV paper to punch out the tree branches, and a Martha Stewart snowflake border punch for the bottom of the red card base.  I think I'll make one more and run the red cardstock with the Sizzix snowflake embossing folder and see how that looks.  And I'd like to try a wreath card like Lorraine's original design too.

Next, as I was putting away some stamps I ran across this Unity stamp and made a few of these:

I love this stamp! I forgot I had it because it didn't get stored with my other Christmas stamps but saw a picture of it last week on the Unity website and went looking for it.  I used some Stampin' Up Old Olive ink for the stamp and layered it on some DCWV cardstock and added a Prima pointsettia and brad.  Too cute!  Now I have only a few more cards to make and I'm done.....until I see another lovely card on another great blog that I want to try :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A blog award? Who me?

Hello blogland! I can't believe it - my little blog was given an award by the very talented Mindy at Grammie's Craft Room!  I'm so honored that she tought of me!  Be sure to stop by her blog and check out her very fabulous creations!

This is a pay-it-forward style award. Here are the rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this
2. Share 8 things about yourself
3. Pay it forward to 8 bloggers that you have recently discovered
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their awards.

Here are 8 things about myself:
1.  I've got a serious paper addiction
2.  I love being organized
3.  I collect to cookbooks
4.  I love to cook and bake, and try recipes in the cookbooks I collect
5.  I love coffee but prefer tea
6.  Chocolate gives me a headache.  Sad, huh...
7.  I can count to 10 in Ukrainian which impresses no one but me
8.  I am so behind in my scrapbooking because I discovered card making

There's no way I can pick only 8 blogs to pass this to out of the 300+ I follow! So if you're reading this, (I probably follow your blog too) feel free to accept this award for your blog and follow the rules above.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My little Tough Mudder

Hello blogland!
Last week I told you about my daughter participating in her second Tough Mudder event that raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  It's was a 12+ mile course that involved water, mud, more water, more mud, running through fire, more mud and live electric wires.  This is her before picture when she was pumped up and all set to go:

And this is my little Tough Mudder after 5 hours of walking, running, swimming, climbing, carrying and crawling...and lots of mud!

She was determined to finish, and I'm so proud of her!  And I hope she's learned her lesson about playing in the mud - it's more fun in the spring when it's 70 degrees outside then in the fall when it's 50 degrees :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Embossing Christmas Cards

Hello blogland!  Thanksgiving is over, the leftovers are eaten, and it's time to get ready for CHRISTMAS!  Oh my...less than a month away.  So today I spent a little time playing with some new embossing powders from Lindy's Stamp Gang and oh-what-fun! I bought the "Snowdrift" set and the colors are very soft and shimmery.

For this little card, I used DCWV cardstock for the background, a prima pointsettia and a Flourish stamp for this card and the Angel Wings Ruby embossing power from Lindy's Stamp Gang. Bad picture, but cute card.

I used another Flourish stamp for this card along with some DCWV paper, Stampin' Up ribbon and Silver Moon Sapphire embossing powder for this little card.

I wanted to try something different with this card - I embossed the white cardstock with a Sizzix snowflake embossing folder, white Zing embossing powder and another Flourishes stamp on black cardstock, mounted on some DCWV Christmas paper and finished off with some red and silver ribbon.

Don't forget to check out the sale going on this weekend at Lindy's Stamp Gang

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh so thankful...

Hello blogland -
I'm thankful, are you? In no particular order,
I'm thankful that I'll have my family around me tomorrow. 
I'm thankful my mother is doing all the cooking tomorrow (tried to talk her out of her, but that's what makes her happy)
I'm thankful we'll have a table full of food (and more food, and more food).
I'm thankful the apple pies I just took out of the oven look just like the ones in the cookbook.
I'm thankful I have a roof over my head.  And heat.  And lights. 
I'm thankful my husband still has a job after 39 years.
I'm thankful my children still have 3 grandparents to share their lives with.
I'm thankful they have many years of happy memories of their Pop-Pop.
I'm thankful I have a craft room full of gadgets and gizmos and stamps and paper (oh yeah...)
I'm thankful my daughters are healthy, happy and finding their way in life (and that their orthodonture and college loans are paid off)
I love my husband and he loves me, and I'm thankful for that.
There aren't enough pages to write all that I'm thankful for, but this will have to do for now.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh yeah, I'm thankful I get to watch "March of the Wooden Soldiers" tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One last valentine card

Hello blog land! I hope you enjoyed the Be My Valentine blog hop on Saturday -  I'm glad so many new visitors stopped by and left some love. 

As I was boxing up all the valentine cards I made to send off to one of the OWH shippers, I found a few more scraps left on my desk, so I made just one more.

The images were cut from a piece of EK Success cardstock and popped up for dimension; the base cardstock is from the DCWV Christmas stack.  Easy peasy.

Now to finish getting my list together for Thanksgiving baking.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Be My Valentine Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to my little spot in the blog hop!  If you've come here as part of the Be My Valentine blog hop from Operation Write Home, you're in the right spot.  You should have arrived here Lee’s blog. If you get lost along the way or hit a bad link, remember you can always go back to the start page at OWH where the participating blogs are linked in a neat list.

Have you voted in the Craft for a Cause 2010 contest sponsored by Jo-Ann's yet today?  If not, please go HERE and vote for Operation Write Home.

For the past few weeks as I've been working on Valentine's cards, I've been thinking how my father would have loved to be able to send cards like these home to his family when he was in the Army in 1940s.  He was the youngest child of Hungarian immigrants who had four of their sons in the Army and Navy at the same time, and they often wrote home to their parents, but I'm sure they never had cards like these available! 

So it was with my sweet Dad and Uncles in mind that I made these cards.  I cranked up a few of my Rod Stewart 'Great American Songbook' CDs to keep me in a lovey dovey mood and went to town.....

I used a Greeting Farm digital image for this card, colored it with some Copic markers, layered it with some DCWV cardstock and embellished it with a Stampin' Up button and twine.  I hope it makes someone's sweetheart smile :)

I cut the silhoutette images and sentiment from my Tie the Knot Cricut cartridge, and the border was made from an EK Success punch.  I wanted to keep the card as simple as I could so there was as much writing space as possible.

For this card, I let the paper be the entire design - I used cardstock from a DCWV stack and mulberry flowers painted with Magical Mica powder from Lindy's Stamp Gang.  

I love this little digi image - I colored it with some Copics, used some non-traditional Valentine colors of DCWV cardstock and added some sheer white ribbon and purple bling. 

For these last two little cards, I used the Tie the Knot Cricut cartridge again for the kisses and hugs and more DCWV cardstock.

I made plenty more, but you've got to visit more blogs on the hop!  Please consider making some cards for our troops - the Christmas card deadline has passed, but you have until January 7th to make and send Valentine's Day cards.  But if you can make and send them before December 1, Archway Cookies will donate cases and cases of cookies for the troops!  Go HERE for all the details on Operation Write Home. 

Thanks for stopping by! Click here to go to your next stop on the hop -  the very talented

Friday, November 12, 2010

Can't wait for Be My Valentine blog hop tomorrow!

Hello blog land and happy Friday!  I had a great day today - it was in the 60s in NJ today and I took advantage of it by doing a little yard work then making some homemade applesauce....yum!  When that was done I did a little stamping and coloring. 

This is the cutest little bear digi - just colored with some Copics and layered on some DCWV cardstock.

And this little bear - just colored with Copics, layered a DCWV cardstock and the daisys were punched with an EK Success border punch.  Plain and simple.

I'm really looking forward to the Operation Write Home Be My Valentine blog hop tomorrow - there are over 100 very talented bloggers set to participate and I'm right in the middle of the pack.  Be sure to join us - HERE's where you start.  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring all who served..we can never thank them enough

Love your freedom?  Thank a veteran.....honor all who served and those that serve them.  'Nuff said. 

My Dad

Daughter #3 - American Legion Marching Band Post #263

Daughter #2 after finishing a 7+ mile Tough Mudder event to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Scrap cards

Hello blog I've been working on finishing up my cards for Operation Write Home's Be My Valentine blog hop this Saturday November 13, and it was time to clean up the mess on my desk.  I save my scraps and I love making scrap cards, so while I was waiting for my last load of laundry to finish up, I made a few cards to share today:

I cut these little cupids from my Tie the Knot Cricut cartridge and popped him up on some DCWV paper from the Garden Party stack and added two Stampin' UP buttons tied on twine.

I used some Stampin' Up Really Red cardstock for the base, layered with a scrap of K&Co. paper which was trimmed with an EK Success scallop border punch, and a Unity stamp which has a spot for someone's initials, a Making Memories brad and some twine finished up this card. 

This card has some DCWV cardstock from the Old World stack for the bottom layers along with two digital images colored with some Copic markers.

Well, there are a few stray cupids left on my desk, but otherwise it's pretty clean.  Tomorrow is back to finishing up my own Christmas cards and tags.  I am determined to be finished before Thanksgiving this year....said she once again :)  Be sure to stop back on Saturday to see my finished Valentine cards.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Operation Write Home needs everyone's help!

Operation Write Home made it in the top three in Joanns contest Craft for a Cause and now they need everyone's help. O.W.H is up against two wonderful organizations - the American Cancer Society and Project Linus who do such great work....but OWH needs to win this one for our heroes! Please go HERE to vote everyday until December 4th.

Now that voting's underway, here is more about how it seems to be working:

  • It's effectively one vote per household; they're blocking IP addresses from voting more than once to prevent fraud. That means all your home computers count for ONE vote, since they all log onto the internet through the same IP address. Send your hubby to work with the url, and your cardmaking child can use their phone if it's not using the home's internet connection. Just make sure everyone's voting just once.
  • Wait a full 24 hours before voting again. Even if trying from your work computer, you'll be blocked from voting if it hasn't been a full 24 hours. That means vote at the same time each day to maximize the number of votes you can cast all month long!
About Operation Write Home

Operation Write Home began in 2007 with just a few cards made by friends on a message board; what began as an outlet for a hobby has become a much larger mission to help heroes keep in touch with home - and the effort has been joined by thousands of cardmakers!

OWH receives handmade cards donated by crafters across America (and beyond!). Cardmakers range in age, location, and level of skill; cards are provided by individuals and groups, schools and scouts, companies and churches. All have one primary thing in common: a desire to serve those who defend our nation!

Cards are mailed to one of our volunteer shippers in quanities both small and large. The shippers process, sort, repair, and document each donation, and then pack and ship boxes of over 300 cards each to our contacts. Our heroes request cards (families may also request on their behalf; we serve all branches in all deployed locations.

Please support this great organization by VOTING for Operation Write Home every day.  Thank You!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

'I Am Roses' and 'Lindy's Stamp Gang' - perfect together :)

Hello blogland - even though I should have been working on more Valentine cards for the Operation Write Home "Be My Valentine" blog hop next weekend, I wanted to play with some products I just bought from  from Lindy's Stamp Gang  and I Am Roses .  Holy cow.... I'm in big trouble..... I'm hooked!  From Lindy's Stamp Gang I bought a set of Starburst Stains and a set of Magical Micas that I wanted to use to color some mulberry flowers from I Am Roses

These two products work GREAT together!  There have been lots of videos on YouTube on how to do this and I wanted to try making some of my own.

The Magical Micas were so easy to use - only a water brush and a paper towel needed.  When the flowers are dry they have a pretty glimmer to them, not a glitter.  I'll post a picture of the finished flowers tomorrow...I can't believe I just deleted the one I took earlier today and I'm just too pooped to go back down to my craftroom and take another.  But if you're looking for a good source of mulberry flowers, go check out I Am Roses - the quality is excellent, the shipping is fast (all the way from Thailand to NJ took only one week), and the selection of colors and sizes and styles are endless.  The flowers are so similar to Prima but the prices are so much lower.  Now I'm heading back to Lindy's Stamp Gang to place another order.  This is going to be trouble.....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Valentine's everywhere!

I'm so confused.....for the past few days I've been working on my cards for the Operation Write Home "Be My Valentine" Blog Hop so I had to break out my Valentine's papers and stamps.  But last week I was working on my own Christmas cards.  Yesterday I was taking down and putting away the Halloween decorations and taking out the Thanksgiving stuff.  What season is it???  Here's a quick picture of my scrap desk today - red hearts  and cupids everywhere!

I had fun cutting hearts and cupids from several Cricut cartridges and hunted through a ton of digital images to color tomorrow.  Check out the Operation Write Home link above and join the blog hop on November 13th.  Well, back to my desk..enjoy the rest of your day!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My daughter is one Tough Mudder

Hello blogland! Here's a little something different for 'ya today...this past May, my daughter Amy participated in the first Tough Mudder event which raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  She had never done anything like this before, and I gave her a lot of credit for wanting to participate in this 7+ mile obstacle course with 5,000 participants at a ski resort in PA. Not only did she finish, she did it in 3 hours and 25 minutes.

She had mud in places that mud wasn't meant to go! It took 2 showers, 3 baths, and a whole bottle of shower gel to get her clean again.  She walked a little funny for a few days, but she didn't mind - she finished, had fun and raised some money for a very worthy cause.

Well, my kid didn't learn her lesson the first time about playing in the mud and will be doing another Tough Mudder on November 20 - but this time she's got a team of friends doing it with her.  This course is approximately 12 miles long with 20,000 participants - it will be wetter, muddier and it will be November.  'Nuff said?  She's been training so hard for this and I'm supporting her all the way......but I'm still not sure if I'm tough enough to watch it this time.

For more information please see the links above, or if you'd like to make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, please visit Amy's donation page here.  She's nursing a bad cold today, so I'm headed back to the kitchen to finish up a big pot of chicken soup for my little mud player.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Be my Valentine

Valentines?  In November?  You read that right - it's time for a blog hop at Operation Write Home.  Mark your calendars for November 13 and come hop along with us.  We've finished making Christmas and holiday cards that will be sent to deployed troops and now it's time to get their Valentine's cards ready. 

Go here for information on how to be part of this fun blog hop.  Now I'm off to put away the Christmas trees and take out the hearts.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy card, sad card

Hello blog land!  Today I needed an anniversary card for my Aunt and Uncle who will be married for 62 years this weekend, but I also needed a sympathy card for the family of a wonderful man who passed yesterday.  Here's what I came up with:

For the anniversary card I used cardstock from the Garden Party stack from DCWV and trimmed it with a Martha Stewart punch, then added some ribbon from Papertrey Ink and finished it with a stamp from The Stamps of Life.

I wanted to keep this sympathy card simple - I used the same DCWV paper stack and ribbon as the card above, but this time used a Stampin' Up stamp from an old set.  I like the different shades of browns and cremes.

Yesterday someone left a comment that they liked scrapbook layouts more than cards and that reminded me that I really need to get back to work on my youngest daughter's scrapbook.  I love making cards, but I really love scrapbooking. When my two oldest daughters graduated from high school, I  made them scrapbooks of their life up to that point.  I had 5 years between kid #2 and #3 to get started on the last scrapbook, and somehow I've gotten side tracked a bit.  Not only is she out of high school, she's out 2 years already.  How'd that happen?  I have only 4 pages of her book done......shame on me!  So my first goal for 2011 is to get back to Sara's scrapbook and have it done by.....soon.  Definately before I have to start making scrapbooks for my grandkids someday:)