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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays!!

Have a wonderful, safe and healthy Christmas....and a very Happy New Year!

I won't be posting for a few days, as I'm heading down to my folk's in Florida. My mom is having some health issues and my dad is feeling all alone. So, I'm all packed (taking along the remnants of my holiday cards....which still are NOT done!), and heading down. Leaving behind the hubby and, it's going to be a different kind of Christmas than I had planned this year.

As this year comes to a close, I want to thank all of you who visit for stopping by! Hopefully, you'll pop in from time to time, and enjoy your time here. Watch for lots of great things in the new year....remember, the new catalog is only a few days away!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Still More Gifts......

Found these tins at Specialty Bottle as well.....AND these are filled with more of my home-made Christmas Toffee*. (It really isn't Christmas Toffee.....but it's the only time of the year that I make it!!) These tins are a bit larger than the small square tins. They will be given to friends and neighbors.
These treat cans feature last year's designer paper (and YES, I still have more!!), Burgundy Organdy Ribbon (also retired), and the Sweet Sampler set.....all items are from SU!
*See recipe below.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Gift

Do you have a Christmas Tree Shop near you? It is just the BEST place to find wonderful treasures!! Everything is so reasonable.....I can't seem to come out of that store without spending at least $75, but for that, I come out with a few bags full of stuff! (They don't have just Christmas things.)

So, that is where this little set came from. For just $3.99, I purchased this stationery set: a fabric covered box with 16 notecards and envelopes inside. Sadly, the batch was well picked over and I was only able to buy 2 of these sets.....all the ones I left behind were marked in some way.
Photo #1 is the "before" picture.
Photo #2 is the outside of the "after," or "transformed" photo. (The color changed in the photo for some reason....still closely matches Mellow Moss.)
Photo #3 is the a photo of the altered notecards and inside of the stationery box.
The finished gift set features the 2 different sets of notecards. One set was simply stamped with the bird from Touch of Nature in Mellow Moss; and the second set was covered with Brocade Background Designer Paper* and stamped with Baroque Motifs in Whisper White Craft Ink. The beautiful Chocolate Chip Satin Ribbon** wraps the lid and a little charm from my stash was added.

So, what do you think? Doesn't look like I purchased it for $3.99, does it?!!

*Background Designer Paper will retire with the new catalog due out on January 1, 2008
**Chocolate Chip Satin Ribbon is still available through the Wrap It Up Promotion going on now, through December 31.

More Christmas Gifts

Just finished these up last night! I was "snowed" in.....we're getting a Nor'easter. Not a lot of snow, mostly ice and rain. Ugly, messy, YUK! My northern friends are getting all the snow, I think! Anyway, since we stayed in last night, I had the opportunity to finish these up.

I purchased these cute little tins from Specialty Bottle, but Nicole Heady also sells them on her site. These are just 4 of the 12 that I wrapped in last year's designer paper and ribbon. There are 4 different paper designs and I made 3 of each for my co-workers. The tags are CASED from TexasGrammy. (Thanks, Bev!) I'm really very happy with the way they all came out. Gee, I miss Cranberry Crisp and Taken with Thyme....last year's "In Colors." They were just perfect for Christmas!

Each tin was filled with my world famous, homemade Toffee. OK! Maybe it isn't "world famous," but it's something that I make every year and give away as gifts. AND each year, I have those same people looking for it again and again. (See recipe below.)
NOTE: The Toffee was placed into SU Medium-sized Cello Bags and then placed inside the tin.
To make the Toffee, you'll need a non-stick saucepan, a jelly-roll pan, and a candy thermometer.
1 cup butter (do NOT substitute)
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
3/4 cup sliced almonds
6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
Crushed walnuts
Place the 2 sticks of butter in your saucepan and melt. Stir in sugar and boil. Add water and corn syrup and stirring constantly cook over medium-high heat to 290 degrees (F). When you get close to the 290, the mixture will thicken slightly and darken in color.
Remove from heat and stir in almonds. Spread immediately onto a lightly greased* jelly roll pan. (Mixture will NOT completely cover the surface.) Sprinkle with Chocolate Chips** and let sit for a few minutes so that chips can soften. Spread melted chips over toffee base and sprinkle with crushed walnuts.
Refrigerate at least until chocolate has hardened. Twist pan slightly to release and break into pieces. Keep in refrigerator until you are ready to use/serve.
HINT: I use the wrappers from the sticks of butter to grease the jelly-roll pan. It's just enough without getting too greasy.
NOTE: This recipe was given to me by a neighbor. I do not know where it came from originally.

Thank You, Janet Dowell!

At least a month ago, Janet Dowell sent me a stamped image and challenged me to create a card with it. I'm sure by now she thinks I've completely forgotten!! Obviously, I haven't....I just needed to work down the pile of projects and there was the image.

Janet stamped the image in black ink and colored in each of the scaves with markers. The image is wider than the typical 4.25x5.50 card that I ordinarily make, so I needed to trim it down some. Then I highlighted all the black lines of each snowman and portions of each scarf with my Quickie Glue Pen (LOVE that little pen!!....a definite MUST HAVE for every stamper!!) and, of course, some Dazzling Diamonds Glitter. With all the bright colors on the image, it was difficult to choose a color combo for the background.....but the image is layered onto a bit of Real Red CS and then a background of Green Galore. The Green Galore, was "embossed" with the snowflake embossing folder and my Cuttlebug.

So, what do you think, Janet? Not your traditional Christmas colors....but it is a very simple, easy, and basic layout. Fun! Thanks for the "challenge!"

Stamps: Snowman-unknown source, Lifetime of Happiness (SU)
Inks: Whisper White Craft, Basic Black
CS: Whisper White, Green Galore, Real Red
Misc: Various Markers-unknown source, Quickie Glue Pen*, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Word Window Punch, White Taffeta Ribbon, Mini Glue Dots, Cuttlebug Snowflakes Embossing Folder*

Note: Snowflakes are confetti that I had purchased years ago from a party supply store.
*Non SU

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More Gift Card Holders

What do you give YOUR parents for Christmas? My folks are in their 70s and really don't need anything.....they are just so difficult to buy for! Usually, I purchase a gift certificate for a very nice restaurant in their area.....but, so does one of my brothers. So, this year I decided to do something just a bit different. Some of our local supermarkets have a kiosk with various gift certificates, so that's what I purchased. Now they'll have Walmart dollars as well as a gift certificates for a few casual dinners at restaurants in their area. BUT, how to package them up?

While looking around online for a unique and different idea, I came upon these. Easy and uses just one sheet of background/designer paper. So, this is what I made for the gift certificates for my Mom & Dad, my Mother-in-Law, and my nephew. Remember, it's the presentation that counts!

The above packets feature Designer Paper from last winter......I loved it so much, I bought 3 packages! (What was I thinking?!!) Each packet has a card and the gift certificates in the pockets.

Christmas Gifts

Isn't this just the BESTEST time of the year?!! Everything is so festive......and there are just sooooo many more opportunities to create! Of course, it is probably one of the BUSIEST times as well. But don't you think it is so much better than being board? (OK, we can do without the "crazed" atmosphere.....but it really is a wonderful time of year!)

These little "purses" were created with a brown paper lunch bag and filled with 3x3 cards. Each bag is for one of the team leaders at work. Each of us on the panel wrote our own message inside of each little card. And the last card contains a gift certificate. I shared a "purse" a few months back......arent' these just the cutest?!! The PERFECT way to give a small gift.....of as in this case, a gift certificate!

As you can see, the purse-bags feature the wonderful Blizzard wrapping paper from the Holiday Mini (no longer available). Boy, I wish I had purchased more of is just so pretty!

I'm not going to give you a recipe, because such a variety of sets were used on the mini cards. If you have any questions, let me know. You can contact me, or leave a comment.

Watch for more gift ideas coming soon.

Challenges!'s a CHALLENGE just trying to keep up with the Blog Challenges these days! Sorry, that I didn't post last week's actually has been done for over a week. I simply didn't have time to scan and post! Life has gotten in the way as it often does.....I've been shopping (almost done with my holiday shopping), wrapping (almost done with this as well), decorating (finally done!), packaging up those extra gifts, baking, finally finished up 75 custom Thank You cards (see this post below), and this is all in addition to all the normal stuff that needs to be done on a daily know, working (2 P-T jobs), cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. Whew! I'm exhausted!! BUT, finally I have lots to share!!!!

For starters, I have last week's and this week's Challenges.......

Last week's Challenge was Watercoloring. This simple card features a layout that I've never used before. Fun! Simple and very easy, really. (Sorry, I can't find the source for the layout.) This card features a double background (Canvas with Print Pattern stamped over top) and the fabulous Mega Square Scallop Punch by Marvy (NOT SU!). This little tree is just the cutest, it almost looks like it's dancing! Lot of sparkle has been added.
Stamps: Print Pattern, Canvas, Jolliest Time of Year
Inks: Jet Black StazOn, Garden Green
CS: Very Vanilla, Real Red, Garden Green
Misc: Wide Real Red Grosgrain, 2-Way Glue, Dazzling Diamonds, Mega Square Scallop Punch, Sparkly Stick-ons by Stampendous, Aqua Brush, Watercolor Crayons

And now on a more somber note, the Challenge this week was to design a Sympathy card. Unfortunately, most of us need this type of card at one time or another and they are always difficult to make and to send. So, maybe having a couple on hand for when the need arises isn't such a bad idea! This is what I've come up with.....

My new Sweet Sampler set was sitting out on my desk top since I've been busy packinging things up, and thought, "well, why not?!!" The motif in the background of the greeting works perfectly! The Cuttlebug was also pulled out for this one.....I used the Textile Texture Embossing Folder and then gently whiped my Whisper White Craft pad directly over the raised surfaces. The greeting is from a retired set, Warmest Regards.....just can't part with it!

Stamps: Sweet Sampler, Warmest Regards
Inks: Whisper White Craft, Almost Amethyst, Basic Gray
CS: Very Vanilla, Basic Gray, Elegant Eggplant
Misc: Basic Gray Taffeta Ribbon, 1" Circle Punch

Thanks for stopping by and visiting. For now, I'm going to take a bit of a break from these Challenges....until after the holidays. Although I love participating in them and sharing with all of you, there simply isn't enough time in the day to keep up with everything right now! BUT, hopefully, you will check back as I will share some of the gift projects that I've made! In the meantime, please stop by and visit the other Bloggers who participate. You KNOW they always have the most awsome projects posted!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Retired List and more.......

December brings lots of fun things happening at Stampin'Up! First, there is the much-anticipated Retirement List. The list isn't too, too long, but there are quite a few suprises on there! Be sure to check it out because there is a limited to purchase these sets.

Then there's the Five Fantastic Gifts for under $25. Great suggestions! These would look so great under your Christmas tree, or would be fabulous as part of your gift-giving.....OR, they would be wonderful to give to a favorite stamping buddy! (Why not order something for you and something for someone else?!!) But time is limited, for holiday giving. Order your favorite today.

The Wrapping Up The Holidays promo is in full swing. These items will make your gift giving a snap! Be sure to stock up on some of these great products.....remember, it's "not just about the presents, it's about the presentation!" Be sure to contact me to order your favorites today...while supplies last.
NOTE: This sale has been extended! Now, you have until December 31 to order your favorites...don't miss out!!!!

And last, but not least, there's still time to take advantage of the "Holiday Glitz" promotion. It's not too late to order your holiday card supplies or to take advantage of the reduced price of some of our favorite holiday stamp sets. Here's how you can order.


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