Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mid-Week Peek at My Week

Overall - barring yesterday - it has been a GREAT week. Why? Because.......

IT IS FINISHED! (that's a good thing, trust me!)

I've worked on decorating our home for Christmas and I completed the task on Monday. It is a good feeling... and I love Love LOVE sitting on the sofa with only the Christmas lights on and watching them twinkle.

This year is minimal - by my normal standards - because I'm super excited that all of our kids (we only have 3) and the significant others (a.k.a. DS' girlfriend and DD's boyfriend) are coming!!! And with all those people in our little home, we'll need lots of space to maneuver... plus places to put down air mattresses. So... 8 trees it is.

The main tree includes ornaments that are special to our family - from way back when the kids were small... and even before. My most favorite ornament on the tree (and the last one I put on it, with a tear in my eye) is an ornament that was my Grandfather's. It always brings back happy memories from my childhood when I would go with him out in the field of their farm and find the "perfect" Christmas tree. He'd chop it down and we'd carry it to the house... where I'd get to help decorate it.

My father-in-law made the fence for me years ago.

Brittney's tree is filled with ornaments she has made me. Every year for Christmas (even now) I looked forward to seeing what ornament she would give me, knowing that she had designed it herself and made it herself. Of course when she was really young (I think she started this tradition when she was 5-6) she had to have some help with her dad in executing her design. I treasure these ornaments!

My international tree is one of my favorites! It has ornaments on it from various countries. Some I've obtained on my ten international mission trips. Some have been given to me by others who have traveled outside our country - or who live outside our country. Some I've purchased through the WMU World Crafts that sells items made by artisans from all over the world. This ministry keeps these women employed and therefore keeps them out of the sex trades of their countries. A win/win... I get a gorgeous ornament made in another country and help a young woman in the process. I haven't purchased any from World Crafts in a number of years and when I searched for the link, I've discovered that none of the ones I currently own are in the catalog anymore. However, I did find one that I really REALLY want. Hmmmm... I might need to buy myself a Christmas gift.

Isn't the sombrero great? My parents got it for me in Mexico.

The fourth 6' tall tree is Brock's tree - in his room. He loves putting the ornaments on it himself.

Brock learned to walk pushing that yellow taxi around 
when he was barely one.

Then there are four more trees - all 4' tall or smaller. Fun stuff!

In addition to Christmas trees we have a few nativity sets on display - after all that IS the reason for Christmas. There is a gorgeous one that my husband got for me on his first trip to Israel. There's one that my daughter made for me. An Eskimo one (I love it!). A Native American one. The one we were given during our early years - as a gift from a young couple in our church. And a couple of other smaller ones, too.

The Israel nativity set is stunning!

And.... there's the Hallmark ornament collection. I have an ornament from every year Hallmark has made them... and we've given an ornament to each of our children every year since they've been born (which I still have in my possession - I will give them to them some day, but for now I keep/display them). That's well over 100 ornaments total. They have never been on a Christmas tree. Instead, we suspend them from the ceiling in our hallway from tension rods.

The very last piece of the Christmas decorating this year was a nearly all-day project. Putting together Cloydville - the Christmas village that my oldest son has given me - building by building and the little pieces, too - every year for Christmas since he was seven. It includes 25 lit buildings, plus a lot of people, animals, and such. It is gorgeous! And... it takes up about 1/4 of our dining room.

The stockings are hung. Teddy bears and snowmen in place. A wreath or two on the doors. Yep, it definitely looks like Christmas at our house.

In addition to Christmas decorating, I managed to make a few cards (5), clean, cook, shop (oh did I shop! I did a lot of my online Christmas shopping during Black Friday - Cyber Monday), laundry, etc.

I don't want to talk about yesterday (which included heartbreaking news, a gas leak at our house that resulted in the city turning off the gas until it could be fixed (it is fixed now), broken ornaments, etc.).... do you ever have one of those days where everything seems to pile on you? Yesterday was THAT day for me. But......

today. is. a. new. day.

SCORE TIME: Would I give this week a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down”?

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Give Thanks for All You Have

I stamped up a stamp set I've owned for a while (but had never used before) to create this card. I'm not really sure why I've never used it before because I love the beautiful flower.

CTMH "Happy Autumn"

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Images/Sentiment: CTMH "Happy Autumn" 
Ink: A Muse Studio Cherry, Evergreen, Fern, and Pumpkin and Gina K Onyx Black
Cardstock: Recollections Black and 110# White and Stampin' UP! Really Rust
Designer Paper: from an unknown vendor
Embellishments: Stampin' UP! Pearls and Ribbon 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Are You on the List?

Santa's checking his list... I do hope you're on it! And I also hope you've asked for lots of fun crafting supplies!!!

Kelly sent this darling image to the members of Imke's Mystery Image card swap group this month. I love this image! In fact, I love it so much that I've had it on my personal wish list for months! (hmmmm... wonder if I've been good enough this year that Santa will bring me this stamp???)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Image: Wild Rose Studio "Santa and Rudolph" colored with Copic markers
Sentiment: Cosmo Cricket "Jolly Days"
Cardstock: Recollections Black and Stampin' UP! Garden Green
Designer Paper: Paper Studio Holiday Wonder Paper Pad
Embellishments: Michael's Rhinestones, Stickles Glitter Glue, and Ribbon from an unknown vendor

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Buttons & Bows

One Stitch at a Time has a new challenge...

Challenge #276
Theme: Anything Goes with Buttons and Bows
Sponsor: StitchyBear Digi Outlet 
Prize: $10 Gift Certificate good at StitchyBear Digi Outlet

I hope you'll participate!

For my card I used StitchyBear Digi Outlet's Snowflake Butterfly:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Image: StitchyBear Digi Outlet Snowflake Butterfly colored with Copic markers
Cardstock: Recollections Charcoal Grey and Stampin' UP! Green Galore
Designer Paper: from my scrap file
Embellishments: Foof-a-La Button, Michael's Ribbon, Stickles Glitter Glue, and Target Baker's Twine

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fun on Black Friday Weekend

NOTE: I have two blog posts today. If you are here to see the Sweet Stampin' Challenge information, please click HERE or keep scrolling... it's the next blog post. Thanks.

Have you had a good holiday? Eaten too much good food? Chatted with family/friends until you were ready for a nap? Shopped the Black Friday sales... and the online ones, too?

Well, if you're like me, you're ready to get to crafting and chill out. Soooooooo.... you're going to want to hear about what's happening at JessicaLynnOriginal.

It's Black Friday Weekend / Saturday Small Business time!

First, there's a BIG sale going on a JLO... so go QUICKLY to check it out.... HERE! She's having a 25% off of EVERYTHING in her store - including the clearance items that are already discounted... so you can get some of those items for 50-80% off. WOW. Be sure to use the code blackfriday to get the discount. The sale runs until midnight on Sunday.

Now that we have that enabling/shopping thing covered, let me tell you the rest of the story. Jessica has a BRAND NEW FREE image... and it is adorable!

See, that's another reason to head over to the JessicaLynnOriginal store!

Be sure to stop by the other design team members blogs to see what they've made with this adorable FREE image. You'll find the links to their blogs in my right sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Image: JLO Merry Christmas Snowman Penguin and Brentwood Owl colored with Copic markers
Cardstock: Recollections Black and Stampin' UP! Garden Green
Designer Paper: from my scrap file
Embellishments: Hobby Lobby Ribbon, Stickles Glitter Glue, and a snowflake brad from an unknown vendor

Got the Blues?

There's a new Sweet Stampin' Challenge...

November 26 - December 2
Theme: Got the Blues?
Sponsor: Live and Love Crafts

I hope you'll participate!

It's difficult to tell by my picture, but this card is monochromatic - all blue except for the ink I used on the image and the black cardstock I used for layering. (I've definitely got the blues... because I've tried for days to get a better picture and it's just way too dreary to get good lighting.)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Products Used
Image: Inkadinkado
Sentiment: Imaginations
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock: Recollections Black and Stampin' UP! Bashful Blue
Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug Snowflakes
Embellishments: Ribbon and Rhinestones from unknown vendors

Friday, November 25, 2016

PDE ABAC Challenge...

... you know what this means, right? I'm doing a Bible journaling entry.

Praise the Lord!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endues forever.
Psalm 106:1 (NLT)

I hope you'll participate in the ABAC Challenge at PDE Linky Party, too. I'll be watching to see what you create!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Products used:
Acrylic paints, Rubber Stampede Elegant Thank You stamp, and StazOn Black ink


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Merry Christmouse!

I know today is Thanksgiving... HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU! But it's looking more like Christmas at my house - with its 8 decorated Christmas trees and a multitude of nativity sets, snowmen, Santas, and more. So today's card seems appropriate from where I sit. ;)

Maggie was this month's hostess in the Creative Card Chicks group on SCS. She sent us a fun little bundle that included an adorable mouse image and great sentiments, papers, embellishments, and instructions to have fun!

So I did... have fun! THANKS for a GREAT kit, Maggie!!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

The items from Maggie's kit that I used on this card include: SU Merry Mice Image and Sentiments, SU Candy Cane Lane Designer Paper, Wild Orchid Crafts Flower, Michael's Grosgrain Ribbon, and a piece of Red Ribbon from her stash.

The only thing of my own that I used on the card was Recollections Black and Kraft Cardstock. I colored the image with my Copic Markers and added some Stickles Glitter Glue to the hat.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mid-Week Peek at My Week

My mid- week post this week is mostly about one thing - Christmas! While the rest of you are probably preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, I've been in the midst of putting up Christmas decorations.

I. love. Christmas.

Sooooo it's been a great week!

As is our custom, the first decorations put up is Brock's Christmas tree. I put it together and add the lights - and the tree topper. Then Brock adds all of his ornaments. He did a good job!

As the week progressed we now have up the main tree (in its picket fence), the International tree (with ornaments from MANY countries), Brittney's tree (with ornaments made by Brittney from when she was just a youngster clear to the present time), several nativity sets (including one that my husband brought me from Israel), a set of ornaments handmade by my sister (who scroll saws the most amazing designs), etc. I still have to put up the huge village (gifted to me piece by piece each year by our oldest son Jeremy) and our Hallmark ornament collection (that suspends from the ceiling).

Did I mention that I love Christmas???

I've only managed to make 8 cards this week, but that's okay.

One of the cards I made from his tag:

You probably saw the tag on my blog last Friday - for the PDE Linky Party "Tags" Challenge. Well.... I don't do tags; I don't use tags. But I had to make one... so I did.

I decided to re-cycle it onto a card:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I give this week TWO THUMBS UP!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Star-Studded Coffee

Who loves {PIN}Spirational Challenges? I know I do. And there's a new one beginning today!

Challenge #179
Sponsor: Sherri Baldy - THANK YOU!

I hope you'll participate in the challenge!

Here's the photo for this challenge's {PIN}spiration:

Here's my card:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Image: Stampin' UP! Perfect Blend stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored with Copic markers
Papers: Recollections Black and Stampin' UP Gray cardstock and scraps of designer paper from my scrap file
Embellishments: Studio G doily and ribbon and a star-shaped brad from an unknown vendor

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner

There's a new MelonHeadz Friends Challenge...

November 21 - December 4
Theme: Harvest Blessings

I hope you'll participate!

This being Thanksgiving week, I decided to make Thanksgiving dinner...

The table, mashed potatoes, gravy boat, and turkey are all part of the MelonHeadz Illustrating Lucy Doris Thanksgiving Dinner Bundle.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Images: MelonHeadz Illustrating Lucy Doris Thanksgiving Dinner Bundle colored with Copic markers
Sentiment: unknown vendor stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Cardstock: Recollection Black and White and Stampin' UP! Bashful Blue
Designer Paper: from my scrap file
Embellishments: Stampin' UP! ribbon and a brad from an unknown vendor

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Toot Your Horn

In case you don't know, I'm not very musical. No! That's not right.... I am a musical failure. I can't carry a tune at all. And no one - NO ONE - wants to hear me sing.

That being said, I do love to sing... and I do so - quite loudly - when I'm driving ALONE in my car with the windows rolled up. Yep, I sing back up for Elvis Presley. Anyone jealous about that?

Right now at home I'm enjoying Christmas music - played on Pandora - while I decorate our home for Christmas. So it's not surprising that I like the Christmas-music type of image that Melina chose for the Mystery Image swappers this round. THANK YOU, Melina!

Of course I just HAD to use some musical DP for my card as well as some music note brads.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Image: CTMH "Yuletide Greetings" colored with Copic markers
Sentiment (inside): Stampin' UP! "Fa La La" stamped with Gina K Black Onyx ink
Papers: Recollections Cardstock and Designer Paper from the Recollections Stocking Stuffer Paper Pad
Embellishments: Music Note Brads from an unknown vendor

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Birthday Celebration

Sweet Stampin' Challenges is 7 years old this week. Let's celebrate! 

I hope you'll participate in the Birthday Celebration challenge this week...

November 19 - 25
Theme: Birthdays
Sponsor: Crafts and Me

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Image: Bugaboo colored with Copic markers
Sentiment: MFT
Papers: Recollections and Stampin' UP! cardstock and DP scraps from my scrap file
Embellishments: Michael's rhinestones