Friday, December 19, 2014

Only stars...the most simple Christmas ever

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing....no children coming home, hubby working Christmas day, not buying presents for our children. On one hand it is so very nice to be out of the Christmas race & rush! On the other hand I feel a bit forlorn at the absence of Christmas trappings. This is the first time EVER since we became parents 30 years ago that Christmas day will be totally devoid of children.
I really shouldn't be whining, we do get to spend 3 glorious days in Dallas with our little Crossley grandchildren before Christmas!
I have enjoyed limited shopping time since we are only buying for the grandchildren (don't feel sorry for my kids, we took them on a cruise!) The long lines, the frustrated shoppers, and the pressure to find just the right gift have been happily lacking in my Christmas preparations. My decorating has been minimalistic, something I think I really like! No trips up the stairs, over the attic boardwalk and back down again with the 20 boxes of decorations...hubby is the most happy about that:)

I bought a $29 tree at Walmart, added 2 strands of white lights, and made burlap stars for tree number one.

The smell of a real tree no matter how small brings back the nostalgic feelings
of my childhood Christmas memories:)
I failed at cutting burlap on my cricut :(
 Hence the hand cut stars.
Every time I walk past my tree I think of the phrase "Follow the star"


I found a white wrought iron tree which I LOVE! at Tuesday Morning and made metallic card stock stars with twine for tree number 2.
Christmas decorating done.

The metallic stack by DCMV is one of my favorite card stock stacks ever!

I plan to keep this tree all year with new decorations for each holiday,
 only cricut cut for simplicity.

Twine serves as an embellishment and ornament hanger-simple!
As the original embellishing, decorating junkie this has been an exercise in moderation:) I am most excited about the the days of take down I will be missing...however don't be wholly impressed by my reformed minimalism...next year the whole attic of Christmas will be unloaded because the kids will all be home:) I have decided that every other year of department store type decor will be enough for my decorating little self.
On a more serious note, I have found that the minimalism has made it easier to turn my thoughts the real reason we have Christmas instead of being caught in the commercial trap of holiday stress and guilt. And that is a reason to celebrate!


Friday, December 5, 2014

A flourish of joy!

I have had my new Cricut Explorer for a few months. It sat in the entry way in the box for a month. I moved it to my room, unpacked it and it has been in "display only" mode. Today I FINALLY had the chance to set it up online....yep...been playing for a few hours now:) I love everything about the new system! 
I NEEDED a creative project. My daughter Brittany has the cutest apartment with grey & bright coral so I made a Christmas display layout for her kitchen window with my upgraded computer & cricut skills;) It is my personal opinion that Christmas decorating is more fun with non-traditional colors!


Here's the layout specifics...
Striped Paper - Glitz Design 
Joy - Kate's ABCs cartridge 
Ornament - Celebrate with a Flourish cartridge 
Recollections holiday shimmer cardstock in coral red became joy & the top layer of the ornament. The ornament base was Bazzill light grey. I mounted the layout on a piece of cardboard & then sprayed the finished layout with Mod Podge acrylic spray. 
The whole project was pure joy!

         


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Texas is Home

I embraced my braggy Texan side a long time ago:) and am spreading that mantra with Christmas cheer and these "Texas Home" boards!

        




                            

I am now working on my second dozen! We have piles of scrap wood from our Nellie's expansion which I have saved several times from the burn pile..hubby isn't a crafty hoarder:).   These boards are cedar fence pickets about 19" long. The chipboard Texas came from Heart of Texas studio, a scrapbooking company. The cardstock is from Glitz Design. The letters are vinyl. I made these for our staff at Heart of Texas clinic...how fitting:) We had our Christmas party at Nellie's Cottage of course! Can you believe I forgot to take pictures at the party! Me, of all people!
                                                   
 

Tips for putting these together:
*Use loads of glue, putting it on chipboard instead of the paper.


*Spray the Texas with an acrylic sealer.
*Put photo hanger on back before hot gluing Texas.


*Recruit the family at crunch time!


*Leave the kitchen a mess till in the morning...it will still be there:)


*Give with joy:)


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I am thankful for....a simple DIY table

Today Brittany & I created a simple table setting for creative & thankful people. She needed an activity for the young women at church and I had a few opinions:) The thought was simple, fast & inexpensive. 
We began with 12x12 kraft paper, turning the edges up and inking for some dimension. A handwritten "I am thankful for" and a few lines invite the person to list a few of life's blessings. 


Mason jars make a fun alternative to a glass. brittany added wash tape, twine, and a sticker tag for initials.

We have always had a family tradition of Thanksgiving trees of one kind or another. Last year I created 3 printable versions. We chose to copy in black & white for this table setting. The link to these trees is below. Download the image to print. Make sure it is on the "fit to page" setting in preview. They will be 8x81/4".


Choose, print for each guest and enjoy counting your blessings!

A paper napkin was rolled inside the tree. Brittany wrote her name in lower case on a manilla tag and then inked the edges. Twine tied the 3 elements together.



I rounded up a placemat, charger and plate and viola...a blessings place setting was born:)



"I am thankful for"....is a profound question. 

Grateful turns what we have into enough...
and that makes us happy:)

A couple of years ago I wrote 30 thank you notes in November...it changed me.

Thankful for me...a child's perspective

Printable Thanksgiving trees

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kissing frogs...Annabelle's princess party

One of the most fun things I have made this year is a kissing frog game for my grandaughter Annabelle's 4th birthday. The theme was a princess party (of course...she is 4!) Since we like to believe that a frog can sometimes become a prince it seemed like the perfect party game:)

I used the Create A Critter cartridge for the frog.


Three frogs were laminated and mounted on blue pond (project board),
then lips were cut from the Tie the Knot cartridge. They were quite large
so little people would have a fair shot of placement:) 


The little girls loved this game as you can see by the lips!


I have gotten ahead of myself in the birthday story....before you can kiss a frog you must first become a princess with all the trimmings for your kingdom!

Castles were cut from the Paper Dolls cartridge

After her castle was built Annabelle donned her finest party gown with dress up gloves (that she kept on only for a minute!)



 The birthday princess was joined by a real Princess India for the party. Princess Annabelle was the only one that wouldn't talk to her....classic:)


 The party began with princess bracelet making...

One of the 3 prince's in attendance participated...:)
 A lovely lunch was followed by a jewelry hunt, trampoline jumping...yes in their dresses...and a game of "Count the Witch...which was the very favorite activity at the party.
We did have some reluctant princes who found themselves surrounded by more girls than they could handle...haha!




Annabelle had been very adamant that the wicked witch would come with an apple for the girls to eat...Brittany couldn't get that arranged so the "Count the Witch" game sufficed.

A beautiful princess dress cake was made by the queen mother Brittany and all the guests enjoyed ice-cream and cupcakes. The princess also opened her presents.



Baby sister Scarlett tried to intimidate the most shy guest by poking him with a pink fork.
We shall try and work on her party manners:)

At the party's end Princess Annabelle reluctantly agreed for a photo with Princess India, after a bribe of pink lip gloss:)

After the last guest had gone Princess Annabelle danced dreamily to her heart's content...


Grammie waited until the party princess had come down from her throne to give her gifts. Princess Annabelle loved the new clothes for school and had definite opinions about which one she loved best!




Hail Princess Annabelle...may the world do your bidding...within reason:)