Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Did you bake cookies this Christmas? We did. See the little bears in the lower left of the photo? Those were my favorites. I used to read a book to my girls when they were little called, "The Gingerbear's First Christmas". I think I bought the book from the Current catalog. It was a cute little story about a family who had many things on their list and they were so tired from all the extra activities that had to be done for the holidays. The mom fell asleep in a chair. The little bears did all her baking, did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. You can tell the book was fiction as no one except moms do the dishes and clean the kitchen!!! lol Well, I made my gingerbread cookies to look like the Gingerbears with little cinnamon red hot hearts.

Mrs. Claus (my sister) invited me to her house to bake lots of cookies.

I took two days of vacation before Christmas, loaded my cookie cutters, cookie sheets, parchment paper rolls, recipes, rolling pins, etc., etc. and headed out at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday the pouring California rain! I think you might've heard a little something about our crazy weather. I'm not used to getting up that early but my hubby thought even though it was raining, I wouldn't hit as much traffic as if I left later. It was a good idea but I had to have a little cat nap when I got to my sister's house while my sis got her shower and got ready. Once I rested, we baked all day. We started with all the batches of dough that had to be refrigerated. By early afternoon we had some cookies rolled out and ready to frost. I stayed the night and headed out the next day with cookie tins in tow. It was a much nicer drive home.

I came home to some pretty homemade Christmas cards from my stampin' buddies. I'll share those in my next post. And this adorable potholder from my buddy Carolyn. It's so cute, I think I'll give up cooking so I don't risk ever getting it dirty. LOL

Do you take your Christmas decorations down right after Christmas? I don't. I love, Love, LOVE Christmas and even though I'm ready for my house to be back to normal, I'll wait until New Years weekend to take down all of the decorations.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to you!

To all my bloggy friends and family, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. I am off to get some veggies ready and put some munchies together for my kids and my SIL/BIL tonight. Enjoy your holiday and I hope Santa brings you something crafty this Christmas. May God bless us all at this wonderful time of year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Disneyland at Christmas

My friend Susan invited me to Disneyland with a free pass. It was beeeeeautiful! Here are just a few pictures to let you know I'm alive. I'm at my sister's house baking Christmas cookies so I'll be back soon, hopefully before Christmas to say hello again!

The tree on Main Street (looking up from the base).
It's a Small World all done up in sparkly lights. So pretty.

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tis the Season.....

....for giving and love and twinkling lights. And a little exhaustion. :o) I finished my decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving and got my cards done at my card party but I was four short. I cut four more out last night and finished addressing all the store-bought cards. Got the postage and labels on and mailed them off today.
With all of the activities going on, and trying to squeeze in some shopping here and there, it is also my turn to hostess Bunco. Needless to say, there is no sewing going on at my house. :o( So I've got Bunco tomorrow night and our family Christmas party on Sunday. I thought I better post something so you knew I was alive. hehe
I bought this wire basket last year at an antique mall. I got two packages of ornaments from the after-Christmas sale at Target and this year, I have a pretty centerpiece. The tablecloth was an after-Christmas item too, from Gooseberry Patch when they still sold giftables and not just cookbooks. (The day I got that email that they were no longer selling gift and kitchen items.....I was SO SAD!!)

Here is my Christmas tree....... Using "The Clapper". "Flash on"...
"Flash off!" I can never quite capture a perfect picture of my tree with my little Sony camera. My husband says I don't need a new one because this one works just fine. Somehow, I don't think my reasoning of it taking bad pictures for my blog a good enough reason to get a new one. LOL

This is the first ornament I painted back in the old "tole painting days". I made it in 1987. I got a scroll saw for Christmas the year before so I could cut out my own stuff. That saw is collecting rust now but I sure got my use out of that puppy!

This was another painted ornament. A little heart upside down to look like a cute chubby Santa.

A few years ago, I 'paid' someone to cut these out for me and I painted them up for an ornament exchange at a retreat with quilty friends. I didn't realize it was blurry until I posted it. Darn it.

I'll be missing again for a few days but will try to check in soon. Until then, I hope you are able to check things off your list and get all of your "to-do's" done. Try to grab a cup of warm tea or cocoa and sit by the fire and take in the wonder of the season. Even as crazy busy as I have been, I am trying to take little breaks in my house with the lights turned down low while I catch a classic Christmas movie!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas cards....check!

I had some of my girlfriends over on Saturday for a Card-making get-together. There were six of us sharing my little house. We did it potluck style so that I could play and make cards too. I made turkey pot pie and pumpkin dump cake. Michelle, from one of my Yahoo group sites and her two little girls brought Chinese chicken salad with the most delicious dressing. Yum!! Two of my daughters came over. Kelley made meatballs in spaghetti sauce. They were delish!! Stephanie came from work so she brought sodas. My buddies Susan and Neena came too. Susan brought a 7 layer dip and chips and Neena spent an hour looking for a grocery store in my neighborhood. (They're hiding!) She finally gave up and came and joined us and gobbled down the more-than-enough food that was already there.
Michelle, Stephanie, Susan, Kelley

Most of us made Christmas cards but Michelle worked on projects for her daughters school like little decorative match boxes for classroom gifts and packaging items that would be sold at the school Christmas boutique.

This is the card I made with last years Stampin' Up! Christmas paper. Gotta use it up so I can use this years paper next year! LOL I copied this card from one I had seen online but theirs had a bow on it. I decided not to add a bow and just use the flat ribbon because of the cost of postage already. I didn't want to make add another 17 cents a card for a little bow. Whatta cheapskate, eh? ;o)

This adorable card is one of Neena's. It is even more adorable in person and can't believe Neena cut out all of those gingerbread people!!! She made six of this card. That's 24 gingerbread people! (She's a show-0ff!) lol
This is Kelley's prototype for her cards. (She already changed the drawing.) She has drawn her and her boyfriend Jason for the last few years so she thought she would keep up the tradition again this year. She used bakers twine and some little brads she found at the dollar spot at Target. Cute, yes? (I know, I'm biased!)

This is Stephanie's card. She only got one done because she was putting all of her new stamp sets together. I love the colors. I think the stamp and cardstock was SU sky blue. You might have to click it to see the details.

So now, I need to make some labels and get mine addressed and in the mail. So, it's not quite a "check" off the list but it's getting closer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I can't believe it's been over a week since I last wrote a post. Time has a way of flying by this time of year. I suppose I don't have to tell any of you that though, right?
Let me think....what have I been doing? I went to Joann's on Black Friday but I wasn't crazy enough to go at 6:00 a.m. It was more like 6:00 p.m.! :o) I got a few notions and gifts. Saturday my hubby and I got the bins of Christmas decorations down and I decorated the house all weekend. Ahhhhh, I love those twinkling lights!
Last night I finally made it into my sewing room after many, many days of not playing in there at all. I finished my Christmas stocking that I cut out a few weeks ago.

I bought enough of this focus fabric to make me and my girls a stocking and the guys stockings out of a Christmas stripe. My girls put the brakes on my idea saying their stockings that they've had since pre-school are just fine and leave them alone. (You can see a little of Kelley's stocking to the right of mine in the picture.) I had to laugh. I bought them at a craft bazaar the school was putting on as a fund-raiser and they are made from store bought pre-quilted fabric. I put their names on them with slick paints. Remember those?? The paint yellowed and cracked over the years so I peeled it off and rewrote their names. I guess I should be happy they cherish their hokey little stockings. When I showed my hubby my stocking, he said I could make him one out of hot rod fabric. Gee, I guess I should find a project for all that striped fabric I bought. LOL
Do you have any turkey leftover? My buddy Carolyn shared her Chicken Pot Pie recipe with me a year or two ago. It's the easiest recipe and so easy.

It was delicious! I used leftover turkey and didn't have cream of potato soup so used cream of chicken. Still delicious! And I had the rolled pie crust instead of the deep dish frozen ones. Instead of cutting off the extra, I just rolled it up and crimped it. Not pretty but guess what? Still delicious. LOL Have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I am thankful for so many things, it's nice to reflect on that today. I hope you are all surrounded by people you love and that there are no mishaps during your meal turkeys jumping off the table onto the floor or putting salt in your pumpkin pie instead of sugar, etc., etc. ;o)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things I have seen and haven't seen...

Over the last few days, I have seen a lot of this...

but not much of this... :o(

Holidays are wonderful but they do require some work and for me, that usually means some tidying up. So I've been busy, cleaning and shopping for our Thanksgiving meal. Tonight I have my pumpkin pies in the oven but I have a pumpkin-pie-eating monster so I'll be surprised if I have one left on Thursday. Good thing my niece is bringing one and my daughter is baking another dessert.

Before I am gone off the blog for a few days, I thought I would share a few crafty pics. Last week on craft night, I made this big mess making some of the little acorn favor boxes for Thanksgiving shown here from my daughter's Stampin' Up! party. I guess that fix will have to hold me over for a little while since I'll be in the kitchen for the next few days.

My sister asked me to post a picture of a card I helped my friend Nora make on craft night. The card was very simple, using white cardstock in a 'gatefold' style and embossed with dots by running it through the Bit Shot machine. We added a band of decorative cardstock around the card and then a stamped image. Very quick card, especially using just two colors. Here is a great tutorial on gatefold cards if you'd like to try one. I have a paper cutter with scorelines marked for the gatefold which makes it easy to do without the measuring.

And now back to reality and cleaning. I bought groceries yesterday and had to move the old cans forward, fresh stuff in the back. I ended up cleaning the entire pantry. My youngest daughter says I do that every year but she must be wrong because I threw away four trash bags full of expired food, some as old as 2008!! Grrrr, that made me mad until I looked inside the clean pantry. (I use the term "pantry" loosely as this is tiny in comparison to some but at least I have one.) :o)

Someday I'll change that old fruity shelf liner...... Off to go clean up the kitchen from making my pumpkin pies. I hope I have some playtime tomorrow after I get my veggies cut up fo rmy stuffing and another dessert made. I miss my sewing room and Christmas is just around the corner. Ack!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Snowmen and a merry "Mary" quilt

My little sister, Virginia, and her friend Rachel came over on Saturday from San Diego. My friend Nora came over too so we had a fun crafting time and sleepover. That was fun stuff but boy, did it wear me out.
You might remember these little Hershey covered snowmen from last year. Here is a link to the blog post with a link for the download. My sister works at a credit union and wanted to make these for her Christmas party.

I got the fleece at Joann's while she was driving over. And man was I jealous when I found this one because it's waaaay cuter than the fleece I bought last year for my snowmen. Go figure!

Virgie also brought over these little 'men' for a little color. She wants to use them for pinning up her Christmas cards but they were just plain wood with little faces. My oldest daughter Kelley grabbed a couple of Stampin' Up! markers instead of paint and did one up. Virgie loved it but Kelley left for the night so Nora ended up coloring them for Virgie. I guess she didn't get the coloring gene. :o)

I need to stop over at Michael's to see if they have any more of these. Too dang cute. if all of that crafting wasn't enough, my sister and her friend left and my middle daughter came over to work on a signature quilt she is making (I use that term loosely!!!) for a manager who is leaving the hospital where she works. She "borrowed" some Mary Englebriet fabric from my stash and figured out the layout. Then, "Because you sew so much faster mom", I sewed the rows together and borders on while she pressed and pinned.

It came out pretty cute and they still have several people to sign it. We started it on Sunday at around four o'clock and were dead tired at 7:30 but we had a finished top.
At first, all you saw was the red and white top but we kept playing with the border fabric and finally got this one. It's amazing how now, you don't even notice there isn't any yellow in the blocks.

I did a tiny folded solid red border and it really made a difference.

One of the siggy blocks.

I barely made it to work today. On top of all that fun crafting, I laid down in bed and it started.... This hormonal can't go to sleep thing. I'm gonna have to resort to some type of drug, I think because being sleep deprived isn't working for me. Yawwwwwn..........

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday card workshop

My daughter Kelley borrowed my house on Saturday for a Stampin' Up! card workshop. You know, we love to play with our stamps and make fun goodies. Neena, our friend and demonstrator, did not disappoint us again with the projects she set us up with! The first was a Fall favor box with the cutest little acorn made from the ornament punch. We used the Big Shot machine to cut out the box, an oval punch to make the little beret and smile and some other stamps, brads and punches to complete the cutie pie. Very creative. Neena got the ideas from blogland. We love blogs for all of the links and ideas!

The second project was this adorable little gift card holder. We colored on watercolor paper and used glitter to add some sparkle. I love this stamp set!!

Here's the card opened with a gift card in it.

Still haven't stitched a thing since that retreat. Gotta get on it though. I have UFO's, Christmas stockings to make, etc., etc.............

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Beach house retreat

I went to a retreat with my sister, some of her friends from Quilt Ventura, her local quilt shop and some other ladies who wanted to sew the days away. It was tough to do when this was the view outside the window!

We had a little friend stop and visit the beach in front of the house so I went down to take a picture of him. He was basking in the sunlight until I got down there and then it seemed as though he posed for me. How accommodating, huh? :o)

These quilts were just a few from show-n-tell. Melanie's scrappy pineapple...
My sister Isabel's block of the month quilt she uses on her bed. We slept under it and it was so warm and cozy.

This is what I worked on while there. The nine patches were from a swap and are done in 30's fabrics. This quilt will be put away for s-o-m-e-d-a-y when I have a grandbaby!! I hope the fabric doesn't disintegrate by then. LOL It still needs borders.

And as the sunset, it was time to go. (We actually had to check out by 1:00 p.m. but this was much more dramatic. lol)

Off to go unpack my bags.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Living up to my name....Busy Liz

Monday night I was going through some UFO's and bags of blocks, looking for a project or two to take to my retreat this coming weekend. One thing lead to another and I had this charm pack in my hands and then up on the design wall and then under the needle of my machine. :o) How does that happen? I pulled some cream on cream fabric from my stash (it was perfect) for the setting triangles and a small border. Then I went to a drawer I don't visit often, full of old Robyn Pandolph fabrics from about five years ago and I might be able to use a couple of them for borders or backing. The big rose border seems a little off so I might not use it. It'll just be a little throw for the couch for the holidays. The charm packs were small so I had bought two of them but could've used a few more fabrics to make this a bit bigger. The line is called Fancy Hill Farm by Robyn Pandolph. We'll do some shopping at the shop that is hosting the retreat so maybe I'll find something there for the outer border. I'm loving this "use it up" from the stash!

But I can't jump to Christmas just yet. I saw these adorable little mummy Halloween cookies on this website. I HAD to make some so off to Calico Cake Shop I went after work. I got all the supplies I needed. I might've been able to get some supplies from Michael's but I knew they wouldn't have the "eyes" and the cake shop has DELICIOUS white chocolate!! :o)

While I waited for my daughter Kelley to come over after work, I used my double boiler and melted the chocolate.
Got the sucker sticks ready...

And got my cookies ready. I bought both regular and vanilla Oreo cookies. You heard me, vanilla Oreos!!!! Who knew? I could take or leave regular Oreos but these were really good, kind of like Vienna Fingers but crispier. Yum! Anyway, according to the directions, you're supposed to open the cookie, dip the stick in the white chocolate, put it between the cookie layers and let it set. Well, my chocolate Oreos kept breaking. Every single one. And there were a lot of them broken in the package. So frustrating when you're trying to do a project. Oh well, what are you going to do? While watching the little video on the website, I heard the girl say to use 'double stuff' Oreos. Roh-Rroh-Relroy!! For some reason the vanilla cookies were a little sturdier so I made more of those than the chocolate ones.

Once they were set, they got dipped in the white chocolate and got their eyes on. hehe

The cake store only had two packages of big eyes so I bought some small ones too. Kelley and I liked the smaller ones after the cookies were done. She put her eyes farther apart than I did mine and I liked the look better. Her little guys really looked like crazy little monsters. :o) We wrapped the cookies in cello bags for giving away. I'm taking mine to the retreat as a little 'favor'. Kelley used some tags I had punched out and tied them on her suckers. She's going to give one to her little sis (they work together) and will give some to co-workers. I saved a few for my middle daughter too. We did Nutter Butter cookies too. They looked like little ghosties. We didn't cut them off like they had them on the website.

The little box in the photo (above) is a free download from the HowDoesShe website so sign up. They've got some cute free printables.

They were fun and even though the ones on the website were cuter, they were fun to make and had I gotten those double stuff Oreos, it probably would've been fine so it's all good. I think I've gotten my fix for this Halloween. (If I stay off the internet!!!) lol