Thursday, December 31, 2009

There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found......

Good day! First, I wanted to share the fabulous Snowman & Woman that my family built with my boys on Christmas Day. The snow started on Christmas Eve morning and my parents, sister and brother-in-law were due to fly in at about 6:30 pm. As the snow got heavier, I must admit I was a little concerned that they may end up stranded at the airport in Toronto. Apparently though, they were meant to come this year as they got here safe & sound (and only about half an hour late) and we had a wonderful snowy white Christmas together for the first time in our home here in the great white North! It was very snowy, the snow just kept coming, but it was okay with us as we had nowhere we had to go - that just makes snow so much more fun!
So, after an early start on Christmas morning - a bit of breakfast and caffeine, opening stockings, then gifts, a few of the crew dozed off for a few zzz's before heading outside to shovel and build some snowpeople and a snowfort while I prepared the Christmas meal. That meant a quiet house and no children underfoot as I worked in the kitchen, a welcome peace. :) When I peeked outside the window to see how things were going (they must have been out there for going on 2 hours!) this is what greeted me! Made me think of the line in "Frosty the Snowman"- when they sing "he'll say are ya married, we'll say no man, so you can do the job when you're in town". It was like we had a Snowman Wedding on the front lawn!

As for my card, I figured it was high time to show you something Un-Christmasy...

So, here is the card I made for my baby brother as he and his fiance moved into their 1st house in the middle of December. I wanted to get it done to send home with my Mom along with a little basket of gifties, and this is what I came up with. I must admit I had so much fun making this one! I used my previously un-inked "Around the Block" which was CTMH's stamp of the month for November. Originally, I had thought to myself, ooh that just looks like a lot of work because it's the kind of set you use to "build your own". However, I am so happy with the outcome, I think I'll be reaching for it more often. The sentiments that go along with it are great too, though I opted not to use them in favor of showing off the paper and focusing on the house with their house number added beside the door. I used this fabulous line from Love Elsie for the card. I had purchased this line two years ago while at Scrapfest and have been hoarding to do layouts with pictures from when we purchased our home in October 2007, but figured I could spare a little to make a great card. I did a little coloring with my copics, paper pieced some trees and added a couple of Kaiser pearls and voila. So fun!

Well, I think I've been long-winded enough for today! Have a wonderful evening celebrating the coming of 2010 and please drive safely wherever you are going!


Shanna :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Favorite Holiday Tunes

Good morning!

Today I would like to share the latest layout that I made for my family Christmas Memories Album. Once completed, this was color copied onto good paper and trimmed to fit the 8x8 pages. Each of my siblings and my parents recieved a copy for their albums. If you are interested in seeing the original post which explains the project and how it came to be, you can find it here in an earlier post.

I had hoped to complete two 2 pages spreads this year to include everyone's fave tunes, but ran out of time. Oh well, next year! Once again, the paper was from my recently acquired DCWV stack that I love so much for it's vintagey feel. I apologize for the photos, I do have a difficult time photographing layouts.

I had better go get myself organized. Danderella is going to be here in an hour or two to scrap with me! Woo hoo, my boys are at daycare and I don't have to go to work, it's going to be a great afternoon of crafting, coloring and gabbing! (And, I plan to learn some great copic coloring techniques from Danderella too!)
Have a great day!
Shanna :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate....mmmmmmmmmmm....

Good morning!
I am so happy to share an altered item with you - I saved tons of different containers of all shapes and sizes with great intentions of someday altering them.... Well, I finally got around to "repurposing" this container that my hubby got peanuts in last Christmas. Truthfully, I didn't get it made until after Christmas, but that's okay because it is for someone we haven't seen yet.
I used some DCWV paper from a big stack I have as well as a super cute Snag Em stamp from Imaginisce. It felt so good to color with my copics, I think I've been having withdrawl....not having time to do much coloring the last while. The stamp used on the lid is from a SU set. I used cranberry ribbon on the first version and a different chocoloate colored one on the second. I prefer the chocolate myself. Of course, I had to add some stickles here and there. I thought they looked especially nice on the heart on the mug. :)
***I wanted to add a Thank You to Laurel from Laurel's Place, for prompting me to enter this in Get Sketchy's Trash to Treasure Challenge. Thanks Laurel! I really should pay more attention to challenges!***
I photographed this with the insides out - the hot chocolate in the cello bag fits in side the tin. If you are interested in the recipe, it is as follows:
Cinnamon Hot Chocolate:
2 cups non-fat dry milk powder
3/4 cup white sugar (I added about 1/4 cup of icing sugar as well)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsps. cinnamon (generous tsps.)
mini marshmallows as desired
On the tag, attach the following instructions:
Add 3 or 4 tbsps mix to a mug of boiling water. Stir and enjoy!
I made the recipe, then tested it with my boys to get feedback. Adjust to your taste. The original recipe asked for only 1/2 cup of cocoa, but we thought it needed more. We also added the cinnamon from a suggestion I had seen elsewhere. For me, it was what made it perfect. I added two heaping teaspoons. I like this enough, I think I will make a big batch to share for Valentine's Day - it has cinnamon in it after all - and where I live, we are still in the coldest part of winter in mid-February! p.s. We also like whipped cream on ours - why not, we don't drink it everyday...
Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Stars

Good morning!
I wanted to share with you the acrylic beaded ornaments that my son has learned to make. I first learned how to make these about eight years ago from a good friend and co-worker who is very crafty. Once you have everything you need, they can be made in about half an hour and make great gifts! My son saw me making one to add to the cookie in a jar gifts that I was making for his teacher and wanted to know if he coud make one, so I showed him, and he made two! The top one is the first one he did, then he decided to get more adventurous with his colors and made the second one - everyone agrees that the second one is our favorite!
Hope you are having a great day and enjoying the festivities. I will be back with an altered gift item soon....
Take care,
Shanna :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lighting the way...

Good evening!

I sure hope you are all having a wonderful holiday! I had hoped to post on Christmas Eve to send Christmas Greetings to you all, but just plain ran out of time! It has been a few super busy, but super fun days, with some of my family arriving on Christmas Eve around 7:30 pm. We celebrated on Christmas Eve with a meal of Tourtiere and Rice Pudding. There was much excitment as my boys knew that their Nanny & Papa were coming, but we "neglected" to mention that their Auntie (my sister) and her husband were also flying in with them! We decided to really try to surprise them by "wrapping" Auntie & Uncle Adam up in a giant box. Well, we managed to pull it off and the first photo shows the boys "opening" the giant gift that I "found" when I went out to the garage to check on something! Wow, what a great surprise it was!!!
The other photos I added are of the ice lanterns we have been making the last few years. I love how they look lit up at night, which I don't yet have a photo of them at night. I like to have four or five of them burning when company comes over. We don't often get much company at Christmas since we are not originally from this area, but I make them mostly for the occasion of our Christmas Open House which we have had each year for the past three. We find it a great opportunity to visit a little with some people who we may not have seen much over the last year.
I have some more photos to share, but it will have to wait for the next post, I don't want to make it too long. I still intend to share my son's fabulous ornament with you, perhaps tomorrow....
Cheers for now,
Shanna :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Horsey Season's Greetings!

Good evening everyone!

Thank you so much for your comments on my last post - I sure do love my wild and crazy tree, it reminds me of my Nan each time I look at it. :)
As there are many "horsey" people in my family, I am always trying to think of ways to incorporate horses into Christmas cards for them. This is the one I made for my brother and his fiance this year. Iwanted to make a "personalized" card for them especially since they are getting married next year and they just moved into their first home! I decided to make this same one for my Mom & Dad. Since I didn't design this one in time to send it to all of the other horse lovers on my list, I am going to make a few extras for next year.
I used the horse's head from SU's "Bareback" and the Wreath from SU's new Christmas set "Yuletide Christmas". I just love this new set and can't wait to get some more use out of it. The idea of the wreath around the horse's neck has been "living in my mind" for quite awhile now and I'm so happy I finally made it "happen". I'm sure many of you can appreciate exactly what I mean - some ideas just never leave, they "float" around in there screaming for me to have time to "let them out." As it turns out, this paper from Basic Grey's Eskimo Kisses made for the perfect background. A simple card, surely, but special in it's uniqueness for the horse lovers on my list.
Oh well, best go tuck the boys in and tackle today's list.....I hope to be back tomorrow to show you the fabulous ornament that my eldest son made....
Shanna :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree....

Good morning!

I managed to put together a card for Sparkle's Christmas card challenge this week. This one looks a little like the last card I posted - I guess because I had a bunch of scraps and images hanging around my work area (even the scalloped piece) and so I was able to throw this together very quickly at about midnight! I even got to use my new Prima Poinsettias!
I was lucky to have some great light for this shot, though when trying to photograph the tree, there was a little too much - oh well! Yes, I know, my tree is a little WILD looking, but that's how I like it. I think it is because my Nana always had a tree from the "back 40" - one that had never ever seen pruning shears, and she always made them look so fabulous, there is just something so natural & homey about them that way, and something so unnatural about the pruned ones from tree lots. My Nan loved Christmas so much, I'm sure that is in part why my Mom and the rest of my family are all such "Christmas freaks!"
Because some of my family is going to be here on Christmas Eve (for the first time!) I have also made my Nana's Christmas Pudding! I LOVE it - I know you either love it or hate it right - well, for me it brings me right back to Nana's old fashioned kitchen and my seat at the long and very full dining table. Now I just have to figure out how to make the sauce the way she did it, a little tricky since she's been gone for more than ten years.... It may take a few tries, but I'll figure it out. I'll share a photo and the recipe later on. Better go tackle more of that list that seems to be growing rather than shrinking ....
Shanna :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry & Bright

Good Saturday Evening,

Today's card is another version of a card I posted way back in Sept or Oct. This time, I used CTMH's Heartfelt Christmas and DCWV's Holiday Collection - The Christmas Stack - I love the vintage feel of all these papers. If I recall correctly, I used cranberry ink for the reindeer and cocoa for the sentiment. Sorry, I cannot remember what set the sentiment is from.

I hope you are all having a great weekend! My week was so busy, I've been wound up like a top - last day of school, last day of gymnastics, last day of daycare - gifts for teachers, bus drivers, daycare providers, gym coaches.... Fun, but very busy! Looking forward to some down time.... I must say I am very fortunate to have most of the next two weeks off - I have to work on Tuesday, but other than that it will be family time and time to celebrate - baking, crafts, gift wrapping and just hanging out with my boys! We have very special house guests arriving on Christmas Eve, flying in from Southern ON - fingers crossed for good flying weather - and they will stay until early on the 29th. My boys are so excited! Nanny and Papa have never been here before for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - always before or after, but never on the actual day. I must admit, I'm just giddy. My favorite time of year is Christmas, likewise fror my Mom - and this just makes it all that much more special this year. Also, it looks like I may sneak in a bit of scrapping between Christmas and New Year's with Danderella up the street. It has been so long since we've been able to scrap together! So, all in all, I have a great deal to be thankful for and now that it's Saturday night, most of the agenda items have been taken care of and I can hope to start to relax - maybe a little bit. How is everyone else doing?

Shanna :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Good evening!
Here is a quick card I had put together awhile back knowing that if I fell short this close to Christmas, I could whip a bunch up quick like! Whew, thank goodness for those quick, yet nice designs...I still need to make a few more!
I used CTMH's Holiday Trinkets (the snowflake) and Holiday Commentary in Twilight ink. I just had to add some Kaiser pearls - fair warning though, adding them requires extra postage if mailing. Oh well...
I apologize, this isn't the greatest photo, I was trying to add a bit of fun in the background/foreground, but it didn't come out quite as I imagined.
Hope you are all having a great week - I hope to be back in a day or two with some of the gifts I've been making.
Shanna :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Proud Mama and a yummy gift....

Today was my eldest son's first piano recital. He started playing last January. He was nervous when he heard there was to be a recital, but seemed excited too. Well, today was the day - he played three Christmas songs - Up on the Housetop, Rudolph and Jolly Old St. Nicholas. He was #17 on the list, so had to wait a fair bit for his turn, but he played so beautifully I almost cried. My favorite is Jolly Old St. Nicholas. It is one thing to hear him play everyday in my kitchen (okay, so somedays I almost cry there too...), but quite another to see my 7 year old decked out in dress pants, shirt & tie, get up there in front of all those people and play so beautifully! We are so proud of him! He brought an entourage with him too - our good friends and neighbours - you might know Danderella -came out to watch as well as another close friend of the family - it was so nice of them to come out and show their support. We also videotaped it so that Nanny & Papa can see it later.

Today was also the day of our Christmas Open House - so we forgot to take a photo beside the piano when we returned home as I was in a hurry to try to get all the food ready to go for 6 pm. (We got home from the recital just after 4). However, I did have this shot of our piano all decked out for the holidays, so thought I'd put it up anyhow.

I decided to make a "cookie in a jar" recipe for the piano teacher's gift. I rec'd this same Cookie Mix from a friend a few years back and the cookies were so yummy that I asked her for the recipe for what was in the jar so that I could make some for giving. I am sorry, I had a hard time photographing these, I was in a hurry and lacked proper lighting to boot...

Here is what is printed on the tag:

Chocolate Coconut Toffee Delights Mix

1 jar of mix
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets w/parchment paper. Place chips from bag in a lg. microwavable bowl - mic on HIGH 1 min, stir. Mic 30-60 secs. or until chips are melted. Stir well.

2) Add butter to chocolate - stir until melted. Beat in the eggs & vanilla. Add remaining mix to chocolate mixture; stir until well blended.

3) Drop in heaping 1/3 cupfulls approx. 3" apart onto cookie sheets. Flatten into 31/2 " rounds. BAKE approx. 15 mins. or until edges are just firm to touch. Let cookies stand on sheets mins. Makes 1 dozen 5" cookies. Enjoy!
Now, if you would like to try making these yourself, this is what you need:
1 pkg. semisweet chocolate chips -divided
1 & 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup toffee baking pieces (skor bits)
3/4 cup pkd. light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Place 1 cup chipits in baggie. Layer all remaining ingredients in any order into a 1 & 1/2 quart canning jar. Pack ingredients down as you go. Use chipits in baggie as the final ingredient. When I made mine, the chipits in the baggie wouldn't fit, so I just tied them to the jar with an extra piece of ribbon.
Hope you are all having a great weekend!
Shanna :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hi all,

I rec'd two Kreativ Blogger awards (the same one) a few days back, and am finally getting around to posting them. Whew, once December hits, things get crazy! It's okay though, cuz I love this time of year...

Thank you Danielle and laterg8ter for nominating me.

7 things you might find interesting about me:

1) I LOVE Christmastime - I am a Christmas freak
2) I love to bake, but don't do it very often since my hubby is diabetic
3) I work with children who are blind and visually impaired -I travel for work and cover an area roughly the size of France

4) I LOVE to read.
5) My hubby is the owner/instructor/operator of our family business - a driving school

6) I ALWAYS back my vehicle in - lest I should get caught by said driving instructor - he insists we must practice what we preach - It's true though, it is much safer to back in than to back out

7) I will only go barefoot on freshly cleaned floors - otherwise, I must wear slippers or at least socks - Danielle, I didn't know that about you!

I am nominating the following fellow bloggers for this award:








Here is what you need to do when you receive this award:1. thank the person who nominated you. 2. copy the logo and place it on your blog. 3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. 4. name 7 things abut yourself that people might find interesting 5. nominate 7 kreativ bloggers 6. post links to the 7 blogs you nominate 7. leave a comment on each of the blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
Have a great day!
Shanna :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Stitchmas...

Good morning everyone!

Well, I finally got around to playing with my Bazzill Basics Stiching templates! I am so happy that I made a point of doing it because I love how it turned out and it really is easy. I would say it took me less time to stitch the images than it would have to color one with my copics! And, if you didn't already notice, I just had to do one more easel card. These are so fun!
I used Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses for my PP and Kraft, Barn Red & New England Ivy CS. Sentiment inside and buttons are CTMH, except the wooden one which I picked up at a quilt shop. I had some fun distressing the edges of all the papers on this one.
I must apologize, I was sent two awards over the past few days, but have not yet had a chance to post them. We have been busy tree hunting, decorating and beginning the baking in preparation for our Christmas Open House this weekend. Hopefully I'll be back later tonight with those awards.
Oh yes, I am also entering this in Sparkle's Christmas card challenge for this week. She encouraged us to us Santa on our card, but when I went to check, I hardly have any Santas - I think maybe that is a "good" excuse to go shopping! In any case, it is a Christmas card, so it works for that.
Have a great day!
Shanna :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Ella!

Hello again,

I've been mia due to a work trip this week, so am just doing a quick post for tonight and hope to go visiting tomorrow. My son went to a birthday party last Saturday evening for a girl named Ella and this is the easel card I put together for her. Actually, it was a double birthday card, but luckily I had an appropriate card in my stash already, so I only had to make one - good thing as I literally got this done just in time!
The patterned paper is thanks to Krista, but I cannot recall what company it came from. Ribbon is Bo Bunny and the big glittery monogram letter is from chipboard alphabet set I won at "Yap N Scrap" a couple of weeks ago. A prima flower with a rhinestone centre and a sentiment from Stampin Up finished it off. Like I said, it was a quick one, but I like how it turned out. It was fun to work with "all that glitters".
p.s. I realize the second photo isn't that great, but I just had to post it because it actually shows the glitter!