December 30, 2011

making the cut...

Once again the time has come to decide on what my 'one little word' will be for 2012. If you haven't heard of this before, it's the concept of finding(or letting one find you) one word to live by and keep close to you as you go through the upcoming year. Something to focus on in daily life. Something that speaks to you. Something to help enrich your life.

Over at CCCB this week the challenge is "make the cut",  and as I decided to play along this week it got me thinking about what words would make the cut for 2012. So many words have come to me over the last little while; less, more, grow, learn, do, live...

Hand cut banners out of scraps is pure love for me...
Great, meaningful words. For me they are all intertwined. I want to simplify in the new year. Less time and effort on the less important things in life; more time spent wisely; grow as a person, a sister, a daughter, a friend... Do more. No more saying 'one day' or "I'll get to whatever tomorrow." Live in the moment.

So, after some thought and mulling it over in my head my one little word for 2012 is: 'LEARN'
Fussy cut eggs decorated with half pearls remind me of batik eggs.
In so many aspects of my life this makes sense. This sums up what i want for 2012.  This is what I can apply to everyday:

...something everyday. spend less time doing the things that I find clutter up my time.
(This goes hand in hand with 'more'. Which is why it made the list of OLW's. Spending more time doing what I love, or spending time with the ones I love.)
... to love more deeply. 
... to speak more kindly.
... to manage time wisely.
... to accept what I cannot change.
... to let go.
... to live simply.
... to enjoy the moment.

I welcome 2012 with open arms. I can't wait to see what it brings and where it takes me. I want to come back to this spot next year and see how I've grown. What I've learned.
Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
It's going to be magical...

December 25, 2011

the stockings were hung... the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Well neither stockings nor chimney have I, but the tree lights gleam and bounce off the bright round ornaments.. The house is quiet as I watch the sun rise. I'm most often the first one up on Christmas day. I love the quiet and calm of the house and the world before the festivities begin. I love being the first one up to start making pancakes while everyone is still snug in bed. One of my most favourite traditions.
 This year is no exception. I'm the first one up. The pets are roaming around. My guy is sleeping soundly, only just come home from work a few short hours ago. The house is cozy and warm as I wait on my dough to rise.
Just thought I'd pop in with one last Christmas card. Perhaps one of my favourite ones this year. Loving the rusty style jingle bells and all the red and white. I'm hoping to re create this next year and shabby it up.
I hope that your Christmas day is full of good times spent with family and that you create wonderful memories!
Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2011

letters to santa...

Some of my fondest memories as a child around Christmas time was the yearly letter to Santa. I remember eagerly anticipating my mom bringing home the special papers to write our letters on. See, when I was a kid Santa would read our letters on t.v. I don't remember him ever reading my letter or my sisters, but it was fun to sit in front of the t.v. at 4:30 and listen to Santa in hopes he would get to our letters.
He would sit by the window at the North Pole in a big old chair, with oodles of presents around him and the snow falling outside the window. He was big and jolly; as Santa should be, and would read the letters out of a sack by his feet. Its funny how all these years later I can still see him clearly in that scene. His twinkling eyes and red cheeks, big full beard and his glasses perched upon his nose... good memories.
Of course back then it was all about material things, I love that I can look back and remember that. What new toy everyone wanted, asking Santa for it in hopes it would appear under the tree. Now years later I couldn't care less what's under the tree, but who's sitting around it with me. I think we were too little to actually grasp the concept, but I do remember being surrounded by grandparents and cousins, aunts and uncles eating good food and having a good time. Appreciating what we had and realizing there were others out there not so fortunate.

These cards are a tribute to those letters to Santa all those years ago. That feeling of wonderment and believing. I remember the year I found out there wasn't a Santa, courtesy of an older sibling of a friend.. I think it was too soon, now that I think about it. Such a shame that a part of the magical feeling of Christmas was gone. I hope one day when I have children of my own to keep that belief alive as long as possible.. there's few things in life that hold such a magical feeling as Santa and Christmas did back then.

Wishing all of you and yours a very Merry and Magical Christmas!

December 23, 2011

snowflakes falling...

...on my head. I'm of course singing it to the tune of 'Raindrops falling on my head'. I love when it snows. I could watch it for hours just falling. Silent and peaceful. I'm hoping for a snowy Christmas.
 Snowflakes are one of my go-to stamps for cards at Christmas time, and I'm popping in today to show a few I did for very special customers this year.
I wanted to capture the feeling of looking out the window as the snowflakes fall. I spritzed Glimmer Mist over the card.. it had a wonderful shimmer in real life. My heat gun got a workout recently with all the heat embossing I did.
 Kept these cards clean and simple..Once again I turned to kraft and white, loving the pop of dark green ribbon.. some of the prettiest cards are the simplest. I upcycled an old card from Christmas' past to cut out the mat stack(PTI). It had a wonderful embossed image on it that I just couldn't pass up.
Are you all ready for Christmas? 2 days left. I can't wait :)
Be back soon!

December 18, 2011

star bright...

Star light,

Star bright,

The first star I see tonight.

I wish I may,

I wish I might,

Have the wish I wish tonight.
 I remember saying that little rhyme many nights as a child. I remember lying on the grass in the late evening, scanning the skies for the first star to make an appearance. It was a game to see who could spot the first star.

Just a couple of door hangers I made for my house this year. I love each and everyone.. they had to be different, and contain bits and bobs of things I love. Star button(I have a penchant for stars!) golden sea shells reminiscent of my past. I just had to add a bit to remind me of my beautiful homeland; often we would walk down to the beach or spend Christmas day out on the water in our boat.. I love the big brass button with its woven texture..rusty jingle bells and bows made out of scraps.. and the best part?
Up-cycling! Yep, these babies are made from cereal boxes! Hooray for being green:)
One of my guy's co-workers saw my pictures and ordered 4 larger ones for her family. Needless to say I've been busy whipping those up. I'll have pics of them soon too.
Just a quick visit today, more posts coming soon with many, many cards!
See you soon!
Happy Holidays,

December 11, 2011

bake and create...

If you stop and think about it, card making is a lot like baking. You begin with something tried and true..a recipe perhaps.. start by using  the staples;flour, sugar and butter. Combine it all and add some additions; chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla..  Adding flavours and interest layer by layer. Or, in my case; card stock, patterned papers and great stamps. Topped with embellies and ribbons, buttons and tags. Yum!

Thankfully this time of year both of my favourite past times go hand in hand. Card making and baking. I'm about to embark on my holiday baking. It's becoming more and more of a ritual. I look forward to it every year. Of course I prefer to be at home and enjoying it with everyone. We have our annual Christmas cookie decorating party.. lasts for hours.. all of us gathered around the kitchen island, passing back and forth pastry bags filled with coloured icing..eating the embellishments; m+m's, chocolate chips, nonpareils-whatever we have scrounged together.. chatting and laughing..drinking tea or what not. It's such a great part of the holidays.

This year we are doing it long distance.. thank goodness for technology..keeping the traditions alive. Of course my sister always out does us with her confection reflections of all of us.. she does such an awesome job of creating sugar cookie decorated people. They are always too pretty to eat.. we usually leave them til last.. every year they get more elaborate. I love my cookie doppelganger.

Once again this year I am baking up a frenzy.. putting together goodie boxes for my guy's co-workers. I have a feeling this year some of them won't be making it into the boxes, since I'm staying put this year. A girl's gotta have some goodies in the house over the holidays.
 Here's a card I made up for the show awhile back. I got the idea from seeing one of Cherry's cards..
I love the design so much(and had fun making the mini envies) I did them in another colour scheme.
 Thanks for popping by, I'll be back with more cards soon!

December 5, 2011

home for the holidays...

I'm dreamin' tonight of a place I love
Even more than I usually do,
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you...

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me.
Please have snow and mistletoe,
And presents under the tree.

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams.
I'll be home for Christmas-
If only in my dreams.

If only in my dreams...This year I'm not going home for Christmas.. I'm making up my home for Christmas this year. It will be such a different from what I'm used to. Just my guy and me and the fur babies. I'm sure the days will be speckled with visitors and friends also not heading home for the holidays. In this career family we make our own, welcoming any 'orphans' in with open arms. Creating new traditions...

This week I'm guest designing over at City Crafter Challenge Blog. The theme is 'Home for the Holidays' and the challenge is to have a home(house) on your project or to make a holiday home decor item. Since I've been making Christmas cards left and right these last few days I thought I'd show you two that I've made up
One traditional holiday colours, one a bit off kilter. If you can't tell in head-over-heels-in love with 'Love Lives Here' dies. They are scattered throughout my projects lately. My first card with its trio of little houses; topped off with some corrugated, painted love, to imitate snow topped roofs...hand painted smoke hearts. I used a little artistic flair and added some snow drifts..that's as far as I go.. I'll leave the true art to my sister...The darling little houses on the patterned paper is a few years old...Basic Grey-the name escapes me now..
That sentiment truly speaks to my heart.. It is essentially how I view Christmas and how I feel. The house should be filled to the rafters with love and good people, good times and in creating wonderful memories.. It's not about the 'stuff' that comes with Christmas for me; I do appreciate and cherish each hand picked gift; but what I remember the most is the feelings, the great times and just relaxing with family. It's not so often we all are in the same room, at the same time for an extended period. I love the holidays.
How will you be spending your holidays? Why not head over to CCCB and join us in all of the fun? Hope to see you there!

December 3, 2011

show and tell...

Hi there,
Just popping in with some pictures from a trade show I did. I spent the better part of 2 weeks busily creating cards...
I am so glad it is over, although I'm still up to my ears in card making.. taking orders at the show, taking requests from my aunt, from the blog-o..I've yet to start my own Christmas cards.. I better get a move on.
I'll admit that the set up and display was a bit of a last minute decision.. I knew I wanted to use my large frame, but aside from that I had no idea. I decided to combine my love of reading with crafting and voila! A display I was pretty proud of.
Some crates from my craft room helped to add some height and interest.. I loved the touch the painted frames added.. next time I hope to have more time and do up more cards.. You think you have enough til you see them on the table..

My guy snapped a pic of me with the display just before the door opened. He was so good to stay with me the whole time, helping take payments, packaging cards, basically keeping me company and minding the table when I went out and mingled with the other vendors. It was such a good turnout. So thankful I was asked to do the show. I learned alot of what to do and what not to do for next time.
Thanks for stopping by, 
I'll be popping in again soon with a bunch of cards!

November 20, 2011

miles to go...

Who's woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
-Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

It sure seems like I have miles to go before I sleep. So much to do, so little time. I'm popping in today with the birthday card that I made for my aunt- the aunt who always brings such great goodies with her; for my mom and me. Just a short post today, sharing another of my favourite poems as a child. I haven't been around lately due to being asked to do a trade show about 13 days ago. It is this weekend and I've been scrambling to make some stock. I am excited..nervous.. skeptical that I will sell anything. It is for a good cause(the animal rescue group out here) and I was tickled that my guys co-worker asked me to do this(Hi Kristy!). I will have lots of pics to show you once its all said and done. So this might be my only post until after the weekend. SO looking forward to decorating the house for the holidays and getting holiday shopping over and done with.
Have a great week!