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!