Archive for the ‘Christmas gifts’ Category

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas wherever you are!

(template by Ali Edwards)


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Last year my sweet husband took it upon himself to start the tradition with the kids of building a gingerbread house using graham crackers. Last year at this time I was taking three graduate classes while working full time so I appreciated him taking this on.
This year I was so happy to not have any homework that I took this project on. The key is a hot glue gun. Which worried the kiddies 😀

So first, hot glue the main structure. Including a large block in the center for added stability. (photo by Clara)

Next, cover in frosting. (photo by Clara)

Third, find all the Halloween, and Valentines candy you’ve hidden from the kids and turn them loose.

Make little trees, add clothespin reindeers, a dried up rice crispy treat found in step 3 as a present. And here’s what you end up with.

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1. Take a cheap black frame (or one you painted).
2. Choose a stamp that will look good even if the image is a bit smudged. Make sense? I used the Stampin Up Charming set
3. Stamp image with versamark ink in lower corner a few times (or upper corner)
4. Sprinkle silver embossing powder, try not to make a mess
5. Apply heat gun.


Pretty neat huh? I admit that this has probably been done but I was so thrilled it worked on this very cheapo frame! Guess what my family members are getting for Christmas gifts?
By the way, I took this picture (arm outstretched method sitting on top of the swing set) and played with the color a bit in iphoto.

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I take a lot of pictures of my kids, my family, stuff around me, and all over our house. I scrap a lot of them but I’m not real great about putting new pictures up for display on a regular basis. I don’t want to frame all of my favorite photos because my walls would be covered, instead I like to put up my recent favorites and rotate those often. I’ve been looking for cute ways to display photos that are also easy to switch out. What I have created is the clipboard photo holder. Disclaimer: this is not a new idea, it’s been done by lots of people but this is my twist to it. This clipboard could sit on a small stand (like for a plate or picture) or you could add magnets to the back and have it for your fridge or cubicle. I kept the design simple to keep it from overwhelming my photos. Of course now that I look at it I think it could use a bit of ribbon and lace to the top 🙂 but that’s just me.

For this project I used the damask stamp from the Friends 24-7 stamp set, black Stayz-on ink, clear window sheets, and an Onboard Clipboard I painted with ivory craft paint. Took a bit of time and patience so I didn’t smear the damask stamp. But it’s done and I really like how it turned out. I can see this being one of my Christmas gifts this year. Wouldn’t my parents, grandparents, and girlfriends love to have something like this?

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So, got my 8 calendars done. I always end by saying never again, but in October of the next year it will seem like a good idea. Plus it’s such a hit with the family that I have to do it. Tried to keep the layouts simple and use what I had on hand!
Here’s a couple of the pages.

From Christmas 08
From Christmas 08

I made 4 mini albums out of some cute albums I’d picked up a year ago. I made a few decorations, but kept it pretty simple. Tried to do the photo a day for a mini book like Ali but it got to be a hassle and I decided to let it go. There were other things I wanted to make that I just didn’t get to and that’s okay. With working a lot of nights and weekends I really didn’t have a lot of extra time so I made the choice to let a few things go, not put as many decorations out, and not feel guilty for my choices. The kids did get non-handmade items and that’s okay. I got an iphone for my hubby which I shouldn’t have let him do but I love it so I’m keeping it. He had a med. size box as the starting point of my scavenger hunt to find what my real gift was.

From Christmas 08

He saw the tags I’d cut out w/the cricut and asked for a dozen of them. Then he asked me to show him my stamp stuff so he could make a few cards. He was seriously adorable trying out the inks and stamps, and punches. He made a card for each of the twins and one for me. So very sweet. No wonder I love him!
The tags he used as clues on my hunt. They took me all over the house, upstairs and downstairs.

From Christmas 08

And ended at his desk in our shared office where my iphone sat. It was so sweet that I cried. This was even better than jewelry!

In the end we had a pretty good Christmas, the twins could have had one gift each and been happy. I know I’m incredibly blessed with the sweet family I’ve been given!

From Christmas 08

Should post a few pics soon. Am finishing a few mini albums for gifts and that’s about it. Time got away from me and other things took priority. As for my twins? It’s not really handmade, it’s more like china made. I caved, got some things for them, but tried to restrain myself a bit. The Disney princess collection might be over the top, but I’m sticking with it!

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I’ve been working like a crazy lady emphasis on the crazy part! I’m working p/t at Target at nights, not a bad gig considering there’s no stress, no papers to grade, no lessons to prep, and no daycare costs. Plus I work with a fun group of people, many who are younger than I and single. Granted there’s not that big of an age gap but they are in a different part of life than I am. I have a card class I’m prepping for and I am also working on my Christmas gifts. That’s right, I’m doing handmade gifts with a few exceptions thrown in like a gift card or two–in a cute handmade holder! I wish I could say my desk is only this messy when I’ve got lots going on, but actually it’s normally a little worse!

From Christmas 08

My gifts:
-8 photo calendars
-ornaments (not sure what these are yet 🙂
-a few mini albums (about 5)
-a couple of journals/sketch books
-rice heat packs-with lavender harvested from my garden
-cute little emergency card kit, more details later
-? that may be it…..

I have some great layouts for the calenders all ready, using the stamps, wheels and paper I mostly have on hand. Using the Stampin Up 8.5 x 11 calenders. These are big enough to decorate but also there’s enough room to actually use on the calender! Since this is such a big project I’ve been doing it in steps a little each day and now that I have things prepped I just need to assemble and I’ll be done by next week! Seriously sweet! Last year it was the week before Christmas and I wasn’t close to be done!

But in the meantime I made a cute little sushi card for my friend, Lori “Stamper” (as my hubby calls her). Her and I like to get together and have some california rolls and craft so I thought this was a fun card. I should note that Lori is like a super stamper, card maker. So giving her a card I always have a little inferiority complex. But my cards are a little funky and different from hers so I think she likes them!

From Christmas 08

So there’s my little sushi card complete with chopsticks and my horrible attempt at calligraphy!

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