Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Cards

It's been a couple of years since I made our Christmas cards. In fact, it's been a long time since I've done any card making, period. I am thrilled that my creative juices have started flowing again, and my desire to make cards has returned.

I wanted to use my Cuttlebug for the cards, and chose two embossing folders for the background. The one shown here is Textile Texture, and the other one I chose is D'vine Swirl. Unfortunately, I sent all the cards with that background, so I don't have one to show you.
The die cuts are Sizzix dies. The bird is part of the Sizzix Bigz Die Bird w/Vine; I cut off the vine part. I'm not entirely happy with the birds - I had wanted them to appear more dove or cardinal like, but I ran out of energy.
The tag, which I did in two different sizes, is from this Sizzix die.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My "Happy New Year" post was supposed to be published just after midnight on the 1st. But somewhere in the scheduling of the post, I entered 1/1/2008, not 2009! You could say I'm a bit early, or very late. In any case, the sentiment is the same.

Christmas 2008 Memories, Part Two

Remember the storm I posted about here? Several days later, we had another one! The cold and snow we had was so unusual for December. This storm was followed by high winds, which caused drifting across our driveway. Between this storm and the last one, we were plowed out four times, plus we had to shovel.
This is the house across the street.
Our driveway. Again.
After all this, it rained on Christmas Eve, and most of the snow melted, although we had enough left to qualify us for a white Christmas. On the 27th, the temperature soared to over 60 degrees, melting what remained of the snow, and resulting in a terribly soggy lawn. We were actually able to finish some outdoor shores that didn't get done in the fall! Within 24 hours, however, temps will fall some 30 degrees. Such crazy weather.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008 Memories, Part One

The memories we make each day are so precious to our family. I try to remember to pull out the camera to capture those I can on film, and then blog about them so I can share them with my family and you, my blogging friends. This will be the first in a series of posts about our Christmas memories from this year.

There were several baking sessions this year. Sarah made Chex Mix, as she has for several years.
Yum! Phil and I found garlic and whole wheat bagel chips (these are hard to come by); they turned out to be good choices.

Sarah made the most delicious cookies, filled with strawberry jam.
While we were cleaning out the freezer, we found several bags of sweet bread, which had already been sliced. We ate some, but turned most of the rest into bread pudding.
I don't have pictures of the other cookies we made. Phil helped me with Peanut Blossoms and Keebler N0-Bake Cookies. The Keebler cookies are a recipe from my grandmother. They didn't turn out as well as we'd hoped - the layers wouldn't stay together - but they are delicious. We also baked up some cookie dough that we got from a fundraiser, and some sugar cookies. I'd still like to make Cherry Delights (a plain dough that you roll into balls, then into beaten egg white and nuts; when they come out of the oven, you press a marischino cherry half into them) and Toffee Cookies (another recipe from Grandma.) Maybe Monday.

Happy eating!

Sarah's Birthday Card

No birthday celebration would be complete without a card. This is the card I made for Sarah.

I started with the Happy Birthday embossing folder for my Cuttlebug.
I used the Sizzix Sizzlits Die - Gift, Polka Dot - for the package. I cut it three times - once out of purple cardstock, once out of purple decorative paper, and once out of yellow decorative paper. I then layered these together to create the look I wanted. I used glitter glue on the bow and polka dots.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Our firstborn, Sarah Elinor, turns 22 today. Where have the years gone? Sarah, you are a joy to our family. Your dad and and I appreciate your garden produce, your pizza sauce, and your frugality. Most importantly, we are thrilled that you are following and serving the Lord. Happy birthday, Sarah!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blessed Christmas

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him,
and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life,
and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
He was in the world,
and the world was made through him,
yet the world did not know him.
He came to his own,
and his own people did not receive him.
But to all who did receive him,
who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God,
who were born,
not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man,
but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.

~ John 1: 1 - 5, 9 - 14, ESV

May the true meaning of Christmas - the birth, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ - be real to you this year. If you have never entered into a personal relationship with Him, may today be the day you start your new life.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory

Elsie Elinor Loibl Uebel
November 26, 1914 - December 17, 2008

Beloved Grandmother & Great-Grandmother

You will always be in our hearts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our Tree & The Weather Outside Is Frightful

We finally decorated our tree tonight! It seems that every year it gets set up and decorated later and later. Having adult children (is that an oxymoron?) with busy lives makes finding times when all four of us can be together very difficult.

It took some searching, but we finally located the pearls for the tree. We haven't used them in many years, mostly because one of our cats, who will remain nameless, likes to bite them! They didn't quite reach to the bottom of the tree, so we'll see what happens this year. The cat in question was given a stern talking to tonight and told to stay away from the tree, and her white cohort too. We'll see if it did any good.
Here are some pictures of what it's doing outside now:
We're expecting 2" - 5" overnight, with the storm ending around 9:00 am. Then Friday we're slated to get snow and ice, with possible "significant accumulations"; Saturday we get a bit more snow and the temps will be around 27. Finally on Sunday and Monday, there will be even more snow, again with possible "significant accumulation." It's also supposed to be very cold Monday - around 19. I know some of my readers in other parts of the U.S. are experiencing even colder temperatures, so I suppose we don't have anything to complain about.

Ah, the joys of winter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Christmas Decorating

We still haven't decorated our tree, but I hung my ornament by Ursula Michael Designs (JCS Ornaments, 2007) on it anyway.
On a whim, I decided to wrap some (fake) pine roping around the light fixture in our dining area. I think it came out pretty good! (Try to ignore the pots and pans in the background.)
I found this wonderful welcome swag at JoAnn's. It was marked down 60%, making it affordable. With the hearts on it, I thought I could leave it up through at least Valentine's Day. It's hanging in an empty space in the great room from one of my favorite hooks - a Command hook.
Happy crafting!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Decorating

As someone who tires of decorating for holidays in the same way year after year, I found some new ways to use my familiar decorations this season.
The blocks I use all year long, rearranging them to say various things such as "country cottage" or "fall blessings." They used to sit on top of one of the electronic components in our entertainment center, but we had to do some rearranging, so I decided to put them on the shelf by the front door. The candle lamp I purchased from Home Interiors many years ago. The wooden ornament we found (I think) in the gift shop at a local Christmas tree farm.
This lovely decoration, which hangs on the interior of the front door, was made by my sister-in-law many years ago. She did a wonderful job!
Our entry way is an inverted "T", and on the right side of the "T" is a pie safe that Phil and I stained. None of the things I put on it ever go with the decor of the entry way, but I enjoy putting a variety of items on it.
The picture frame was made by Grace, and I've always intended to put a picture in it, but never have. I thought I'd find one of a snowman, but now I'm thinking a nice winter nature shot would be good.
We opted not to put a fireplace in our house; we have so much furniture that had to go in our great room that we wouldn't have been able to include the fireplace. So instead, I clear off this large shelf, which hangs over one of our couches, and it becomes our substitute mantel.
This little tree is perched on a small corner shelf at the edge of our dining area. It has lights on it, and some mini ornaments that I found at various stores, plus a bunch of gold and white snowflakes that I embroidered.

We finally put up the tree tonight, and I hope Phil and I can work on stringing the lights later today. If Grace is home on Tuesday night, perhaps we can put the ornaments on. Otherwise, we'll have to wait until Friday. It's rare that both of our girls are home on the same nights these days!

It's freezing here. Tonight's predicted low is 10 degrees F! We usually don't see temps like that until January or February. Our temperatures have been up and down, and although we haven't seen enough snow for our driveway to be plowed (must be 3" or more), we do get a coating now and then. Sure is strange weather.


Look who fell asleep together on the couch? Kelly (the dog) and Klaus (female cat, despite the male name). Too bad Callie (cat) didn't decide to join them, but she was too busy growling at me from the top of the recliner. I guess she was remembering the nail clipping Grace and I gave her earlier in the day.

Christmas Cross Stitch

This is Joyeux Noel by Cat's Whiskers. It's from the JCS 2007 Ornament Issue. The fabric is 28 count Irish linen by Charles Craft in the color "tea", and I'm using DMC floss. I did make one color change. You can see the white stitches on the right side of the tree; the pattern called for a grey color, but in the photo they are definitely white, so I made the change. I did put in some grey stitches at the bottom of the piece, but I'll be pulling them out since the grey doesn't show up on the fabric.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Crafting

No pictures - but it seems like forever since I've posted, so I thought it was time! I had a stomach bug for about 10 days, no fun! Slowly, though, I've been working on various crafts including:

~ Christmas cards. I'm using my Cuttlebug, and I'm hooked!

~ Ornaments. I finished one cross stitch ornament and completed it as a hanging pillow. I also started another ornament; we'll see if I get it done before Christmas! (Or maybe I should say, before we take down our tree.)

~ I finally added the name and date to the First Christmas ornament on Thursday night. I'll finish it into a heart shape; I need to find one the right size. At WalMart, I found some Christmas edging.

~ The final finishing for Country Garden is underway. I found a great backing fabric, and have created a ruffle to go around the edge. I am going to make a doorknob pillow.

~ Secret Christmas gift. I can't even tell you the genre!