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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Craftiness

Less than a week now! 
Just wanted to share some of the creative fun going on at our house.

MyGirl decorated these brownies and gave them to friends. She also shared them last Sunday after Sunday dinner. They were a big hit everywhere.

 While you can't tell from this photo we limited the ornaments we put on this year.
The criteria were hearts, representing me and Mike, stars, representing our children, and nativities. Plus a couple my mom made through the years which are part of our heritage. 
My goal for when the six of us are all together for Christmas are that we will enjoy the simple things, be Christ-centered, and have family-filled-fun!
 These are the cards we sent out. When I got my photos back from Costco, I realized they weren't going to fit into the cards I had already planned, had all the pieces for, and just needed to assemble. This was back in November. Sooooo, I designed this simple greeting to go on the left of the photos, and on the back I had printed our greeting. And I put them all together while watching a Christmas movie on TV one evening. Fortunately, the dimensional star fit the post office's criteria for small enough, and they were off.  I like this collage because it shows something each member of my family thinks is fun
Littlebuddy - being outside and on vacation
BigBuddy - eating the fish he caught
Cowgirl- holding onto her puppy and coming to visit
MyGirl - going to work
Mike and I  - just hanging out together.
 I bought this pattern from one of my favorite quilt companies, Sweetwater, and several of the kits to make them. So far I've given away two for gifts, and have mine to still make and another for my friend who has a winter birthday, so she's getting hers after Christmas. Its only 11 x 14, and when I gave the last one away, it came with a plate of goodies too. I love that the snowman is looking at the star above, and you must know by now that my favorite symbol of Christmas is the star.
 These sugar cookies with peppermint kisses were inspired by the photo above. I made Kulaches, Magic Cookie bars, cut out sugar cookies, caramel brownies, and these kiss cookies or frosted peppermint sugar cookies (for the leftover dough when I ran out of kisses) all in 24 hours, and delivered them too. Its fun to do one day a year, and then I'm done. Fortunately there are enough leftovers when the big kids come home to have them feel like Christmas is here.
 Another project I made for others, and am enjoying myself is bright Christmas ruffled dishtowels. Here is the one in my kitchen, with those leftover cookies to the right.
 I made each of them a little different. Mine has 4 ruffles, and is somewhat heavy. So, the rest I made have only two rows of ruffles and different colored ribbons. I also have some red towels which I got on sale at Williams Sonoma. I made these in the summer, and just had to finish the ribbon in December, so that was a fun, crafty project also. 
In whatever stage of Christmas preparations you are at, I hope it will be simple, fun, and Christ-centered for you also. I'm singing and playing the piano Sunday in our church program and am grateful for the beautiful Christmas music that helps me feel the true spirit of Christmas. 
As my son mentioned last night as we were out delivering treats, its when we give we feel the closest to the Savior, but I was reminded by a friend, that the true joy of Christmas is what we receive - the infinite and eternal love and blessings from our Savior, who was born that Holy Night. He is the Great Gift of Christmas that we can all receive!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

2105 Scrapbook Pages

In all the busyness of getting ready to Christmas, this is a project I started in November. I finally finished it last week, when I needed a break from Christmas cards, sewing, wrapping, etc. Remember to double click if you want to see any more details. As usual, I set rules for myself. It makes it a lot easier to get a large project like this done, and they were:

1)use up brads - yes they're old school, but I have a lot that need to be used

2) Stick with one paper packet from CTMH if possible. (Since I'm retired from that company and won't be buying it like I used to, I wanted to remember how great their products are. Most are retired paper packs. Only 4 are still orderable.)

3) Use a CTMH stamp 

4) Use the month-of-the-year circles I got from Archiver's closing out sale.

5) Use CTMH chipboard - I have a lot that needs to be used up. Some I colored with ink, some was left plain or stamped on

6) Use only neutral backgrounds - whites, shades of brown, greys, black

7) Use at least one button

January
Snowhaven Paper Pack
Neutral:  Whisper Grey


 February: 
Heart Strings Paper Pack
White Daisy neutral

 March
Skylark Paper Pack
Neutral: Kraft
Used rub-ons instead of stamps here


 April
Balloon Ride
Neutral: Cashmere
 May
Ivy Lane Paper Pack
Neutral: Colonial White

 June
Jubilee Paper Pack
Neutral: Kraft

 July
Timberline Paper Pack
Neutral: Bamboo

 August
Seaside Paper Pack 
Houndstooth Fundamentals: CTMH Paper Fundamentals Basic
Complements are from Chalkboard Line
Neutral: Colonial White

 September
Scholastic and Baby Cakes Paper Packs
Neutral: Slate Grey

 October
Moonlight Paper Pack
Orange (a retired special)
Neutral: Black

 November
Ariana Paper Pack
Neutral: White Daisy

 December
Yuletide Paper Pack
Neutral: Champagne



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Chuhily at Night

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. One of the highlights of the long weekend was a visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens. They were hosting some glass art by Dale Chuhily, which was all lit up at night, and required special tickets to get in. Although this exhibit started in June I ordered our tickets in October, and it was sold out a couple of days later for the whole rest of the year, so I'm grateful I acted when I did. We missed seeing his museum when we were in Seatlle earlier this year, so I was so happy to get to go now. The weather was lovely, for being Colorado in late November, and the glass sculptures - AMAZING! Here are a few photos to share the variety of color and texture. Many of these are very tall also. It really was so creatively inspiring. We loved it!




 This one below is a good example of how stunning they were when they were in the middle of a pond. Just stunning!

 I had a really hard time capturing a good photo of this one for some reason, but it was one of my favorites.





Just makes me want to create something unique and shiny! :-) Happy December!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Cards

Happy Thanksgiving where you may be spending your holiday this year!
We have a tradition to share the three things we're most thankful for each year. These are mine. Probably for the end of time, but they continue to mean so much to me, even more so, with each passing year.
1) Jesus Christ
2) My Family
3) My Health




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sky Full of Stars

That Halloween quilt was finished last week. I've officially named it, "Sky Full of Stars." Yes, after the Coldplay song, but that title just seems to fit how it looks - the black sky filled with stars of many colors. I learned in Astronomy 101 long ago that there are several colors of stars, and while no red ones here, there are some black ones :-)  It was so cold here like it was in much of the country, so having this over my lap while I sewed on the binding kept me nice and snuggly. I am just so happy with how this all turned out. I shall enjoy it for years to come.

I think you can see on this picture, that after I hand quilted the inside of the stars, I used my walking foot and machine quilted in between the sashing in black, just enough to keep it all together, and hopefully not fall apart after its first washing. Its hanging on the railing until I set up for Christmas. 

Just last night, I woke up around 1:30a.m. and saw a large shooting star fall in the sky. It was spectacular to see, and reminded me the universe is dealing with much bigger things than I do every day. 
And makes me grateful to be able to trust a Heavenly Father to manage it all and keep things going as they do without my even casual regard for it most of the time. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Card Design

This is a very basic card but points out a design principle that works.
When you take three colors plus a neutral there is a balance that feels right visually.
Here the pinks and oranges aren't all the exact same, but because they're in the same color family they feel harmonious. Adding the blue, which is a contrasting color to the orange, and is a brighter hue, also tends to balance the oranges and pinks which are side by side on the color wheel.
Think of it like a stool - three keeps it in balance. The touch of off-white could have been much larger. I could have used that for the paler pink background, but instead I kept the neutral as a small part. Using neutrals is a matter of preference but because they don't compete with the colors, they also feel in balance.
Just something to think about when you're making cards.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Updates on Barn Quilts

Finally remembered to take some pictures. Below is the October barn.

 This quilt is all about the details and its only half finished when you see my embroidery. My mom adds the ribbon embroidery and then it really comes alive even more. Like on the barn below, the roof that doesn't have a black outline in thread will be bigger and more substantive in black silk ribbon. The pumpkins will have green silk leaves on top. . . details.
 Here is November's quilt before all the embroidery is done, but it gives you a good idea of how it will look.
 Love that airplane. Looks even better now that its outlined, as well as the moon, in brown embroidery thread. But I really love the white circles coming out from the moon. I think this is one of my favorite skies. Whoever designed this, I can tell, had fun, because its fun to recreate it all. Happy Creating! Now I need to get serious about Christmas creating!!!