Christmas Gifts Reveal, Day 3

Thursday, December 31, 2009

There's nothing new and exciting going on around here.  We've just been busy cleaning house and getting the Christmas decorations put away.  I need a little help with the tree, though.  So, it'll have to wait until my hubbie gets home for lunch.

I've got the third and final day of my "Monogram Christmas" gifts to reveal to you today.  I think I had the most fun making these fun pillows for all my nieces and nephews.

I used material leftover from the quillows (blankets that tuck into a sewn-in pocket to make a pillow) I made for them a few Christmases ago.  All the shams are removable for easy washing and stuffed with super, soft, pillow forms.  I used my Mickey Font Cricut cartridge to cut the first letters of their names (Grant, Hunter, Deidra, Jenna, and Madison).  Yep!  Really!  Emilie Ahern, of The Scrap Review, has a super YouTube tutorial here.  Check it out!  It's pretty slick!  Although, Emilie says you don't need to, I did use my machine to zig-zag stitch all around the letters.  Then, for my nieces, I couldn't help adding little, matching, buttoned yo-yos.
Check out Heather Bailey's yo-yo tutorial here.  Oh, and I cannot mention Heather Bailey without showing you some of her fabulous scrapbooking supplies...

and these two patterns, that I cannot wait to get my hands on!  I hope BJ is reading this, since my birthday is in just a few weeks.  Wink!
Don't you just love, love, LOVE all those gorgeous, bright colors?!  Wanna get your hands on all Heather's fabulousities for yourself?  Check out her online store here.  Happy sigh...

Anyway, sorry about that little sidetrack.  I couldn't make pillows for my nieces and nephews without making them for my kiddos as well.  Here's a picture of Ezekiel's monogrammed pillow on the quillow I, also, made, for him, a few Christmases ago...
and because Adina hadn't even been conceived yet, when their quillows were made, I made her a little, pumpkin pillow, with leftover material, to match her bedroom set.
The pumpkin was cut out with my Speaking of Fall Cricut cartridge, just the same as the letters above; and it, too, was stitched on like an applique.  Here's a picture of my kiddos enjoying a Christmas movie, after they'd had their baths, on Christmas night, all comfy in their new bean bags and tucked in with their new, fluffy pillows and old, matching blankets.
I hope that you enjoyed all my "Monogram Christmas" gift reveals.  I'd love to see some of your monogrammed gifts!

Have a safe and memorable New Year's!  We'll be snuggled in our warm, little house, snacking and watching the ball drop in Times Square.

Christmas Gifts Reveal, Day 2

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This morning, we were greeted by more snow!  This time, however, it wasn't as windy; so, the trees, across the street, look absolutely gorgeous!

I have another day of homemade "Monogram Christmas" gifts to reveal.  Today, I'm going to show you all the card packs that we gave to my side of the family.  They, too, are blank inside; packaged, with envelopes, in clear, plastic bags; and secured with matching ribbons.  This first set, of five, was given to my parents.

My inspiration, for this card, came from my Mom's open kitchen and living room space.  The colors are nearly the same as her walls and accents.  I started by punching that gorgeous, deep red, patterned paper, from Stampin' Up, across the top edge, with Stampin' Up's Scallop punch and layering it across the bottom of the So Saffron, card base.  I, then, rounded the bottom corners with Stampin' Up's Corner punch; wrapped a So Saffron, grosgrain ribbon around the card face and over the patterned paper just below the scallop edge; and tied the ribbon in a bow to the right side of the card face.  The cardstock squares were cut from Ruby Red cardstock, and the outside ones were rounded, on their outside corners, with Stampin' Up's Corner punch.  I stamped the outer squares with butterfly wings, in Moonlight White, Brilliance, archival, pigment ink, and butterfly bodies and outlines in VersaMark ink.  I, then, glittered the butterflies before stamping the "G", for Green, in Moonlight White, Brilliance, archival, pigment ink on the inner square.  All the squares were adhered, to the So Saffron, card base, with dimensionals.

This second set was made for my brother.

The base of this card comes from another of K&Company's Amy Butler card kits.  I layered the black, polka dot, patterned paper, from sei's Grandpa's Attic line, across the bottom and trimmed it, across the top, with a black, grosgrain ribbon, adhered with mini glue dots.  The "J", for Jason, was stamped, in Jet Black, StazOn, solvent ink, on the card kit die-cut; framed by two, black brads from Stampin' Up; and adhered, in the center of the card, where the two patterned papers meet, and over the ribbon, with dimensionals.

I had so much fun with the colors of this third card set!  It was made for my younger sister and brother-in-law.

I started this card by edging that colorful, striped, patterned paper, from Basic Grey's Oh Baby! Boy collection, with a strip of white cardstock, punched, across the bottom edge, with Stampin' Up's Scallop punch.  I, then, machine stitched a hot-pink-threaded, straight stitch, above the scallop edge and below the patterned paper, before adhering the two to the Elegant Eggplant, card base.  The fun, silver trimmed, sheer, hot pink ribbon was wrapped around the card face and over the patterned paper and tied in a bow to the left side of the card face.  A "d", for Durham, stamped, on the card face, in the bottom, right corner, and polka dots, stamped across the top of the card face, complete the look.  Both were stamped in Moonlight White, Brilliance, archival, pigment ink.

This fourth and final set was made for my older sister and brother-in-law.

I started this card by edging that fabulous, rust-colored, floral, patterned paper, from Stampin' Up, with a strip of ivory cardstock, punched, across the bottom, with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch.  I, then, adhered the two to the top of the Chocolate Chip, card base and wrapped a sheer, striped, ivory ribbon around the card front and over the patterned paper and tied it in a bow to the left side of the card face.  That cute, little, pom-pom flower was made from ivory and deep brown, polka dot, patterned paper, from my stash, and adhered with mini glue dots.  I first saw these beauties on Dawn McVey's blog here, and she, graciously, linked her blog to the tutorial that taught her how to make them.  I've made tons of Wendy Smedley's pom-pom flowers since then!  They're pretty thick, so, I wouldn't make them for cards that are being mailed or even for scrapbook pages, but I just love them!  So, hopefully, they'll love them, too, and be able to hand deliver them.  Finally, I clear embossed the "A", for Angell, in the bottom center of the card face, just below the ivory cardstock, and grounded it, on either side, with two, Best Occasions gemstones.

All these card sets were paired with jars of our homemade apple butter and salsa, just like yesterday's gifts.

We didn't get to watch my family open their gifts, since this was BJ's family's year for Christmas; but I do have a few pictures of us opening gifts, at Mom and Dad's house, after everyone else had gone home.

Ezekiel got a soft, new robe...

a handsome coat...

and a fancy, fishing pole, amongst a heap of other things.

Adina couldn't take her hands off this new, toy train, for even a minute, to open the rest of her gifts!

Well, maybe, to make sure there wasn't anything tasty in her new cup...

and to play with the Christmas bows.

She did remember to sign and say THANK YOU, though.  Oh, and lookie what I got!

Isn't that new, dressy coat just gorgeous?!

I, also, couldn't help showing you my first four-generation picture (from right to left... my Grandpa, Ezekiel, me, Adina, and my Dad).

Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to come back tomorrow for the final day of my Christmas Gifts Reveal.

Christmas Gifts Reveal, Day 1

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I coined this Christmas a "Monogram Christmas" and made monogrammed gifts for everyone.  For the sake of time and boring you all to death, I'm going to reveal all of them to you over the next three days.  I'll start with the card packs I made for BJ's side of the family.  All the cards are blank on the inside; packaged, with envelopes, in clear, plastic bags; and secured with matching ribbons.  This first set, of five, went to his parents.

I started this card with Amy Butler's Belle Henna Paisley Lime card kit, from K&Company; layered on the coordinating, striped, patterned paper, from my stash; and joined the two with a light-aqua-threaded, zig-zag, machine stitch.  To pull out the light blue in the original, paisley, patterned card, I stamped a Bashful Blue "N", for Newlin, on the card kit frame and adhered it, to the card face, with dimensionals.  I, then, strung a Certainly Celery, grosgrain ribbon behind the frame and over the top of the card; cut a v-shape in the end of it; and gathered it, below the frame, with light aqua, embroidery floss, laced through a light aqua, Paper Studio button and tied in a bow.

This next set was made for BJ's sister.

I started this card by joining the light aqua and kraft-colored, polka dot, patterned papers, from K&Company, with another, light-aqua-threaded, zig-zag, machine stitch.  I, then, punched the bottom of the kraft-colored, patterned paper with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch.  After adhering the two to the Chocolate Chip, cardstock, card base, I wrapped a sheer, aqua, Hobby Lobby, ribbon purchase around it's center, just above the stitching, and tied it in a bow to the left side of the card face.  I, then, cut an "h", for Hannah, from Close to Cocoa cardstock, with my Mickey Font Cricut cartridge; glittered it with copper-colored glitter; and adhered it, with dimensionals, to the right side of the card face above the ribbon.

I had the idea for this next set rolling around in my head for weeks, before I got them made.  I'm, honestly, not sure if they'll be appreciated for all the time that went into them, but what can you expect when you're giving stationary to a guy?  This set was for BJ's youngest brother.

I started this set by joining, yet again, two, patterned papers (The bottom one is from Daisy D's Moda Fabrics, and the upper one is from my stash.) with a white-threaded, zig-zag, machine stitch.  I, then, adhered them to the left side of the Certainly Celery, cardstock, card face.  White string was wrapped around the top half of the card face and tied in a bow to the left side of the card.  The "P", for Philip, was stamped, in VersaMark ink, strategically, to appear as though it were being hauled by the truck and clear embossed.  The truck was stamped in Jet Black, StazOn, solvent ink, on white cardstock, and water colored in shades of Certainly Celery, Basic Black, and Bordering Blue.  It was, then, hand cut out and adhered, with dimensionals, below and over portions of the "P".  Finally, a little corner rounding, for the upper, right corner, gave it the perfect finishing touch.

The final card set, that I have for you today, was made for BJ's younger brother and our sister-in-law.  If you asked them, all of BJ's family members would say that green or blue was their favorite color, thus the similar color schemes above; but I decided to change it up a bit, with this last set, and lean more towards my sister-in-law's favorite colors, especially, since she'll most likely be the one using them.

This card was started by adhering a strip of white cardstock, punched, across the bottom, with Stampin' Up's Scallop punch, to a brown and pink, striped, patterned paper from my stash.  I, then, machine stitched a white-threaded, straight stitch around the edges of the patterned paper and adhered the two to the bottom half of the Chocolate Chip, cardstock, card face.  In the center of the card face, above the patterned paper, I clear embossed an "n", for Newlin, and framed it with a Best Occasions, chipboard frame, which I glued coordinating, patterned paper to; sanded the edges of; wrapped with a pink, silky ribbon, which, also, wound it's way around the card face and was tied in a knot; and secured with mini glue dots.

The above cards were each paired with a jar of our homemade apple butter, dressed just like the ones here, which were given to BJ's co-workers and our neighbors...

as well as, a jar of our homemade salsa.

We enjoyed getting to see the recipients faces and hear all the oo's and ah's, when they opened their gifts on Saturday.  Here's the whole, motley crew (from left to right on the couch and in front of it... BJ's dad, BJ's mom, BJ's brother Peter, BJ, BJ's youngest brother Philip, BJ's sister Hannah, our sister-in-law and Peter's wife Courtney, Ezekiel, me, and Adina)...

and a couple of my favorite pictures.

I just love this picture of Courtney and Peter...

and here's one of the ladies and Ezekiel just being silly.  I think too many cameras were being used at the same time, since everyone is looking in a different direction.  Hee!  Hee!

Hope to see you all back here tomorrow for my "Christmas Gifts Reveal, Day 2" post.

Christmas Memories

Monday, December 28, 2009

I hope that you all had a super, wonderful Christmas and are recovering, from all the activity, in the warmth of your home.  I got that white Christmas that I was hoping for.  This was our view, out my bedroom window, on Christmas morning...

and this is what our screened-in porch looked like.

We couldn't even see the floor!  It continued to snow all Christmas day and much of the next.  We got about three more inches, after these pictures were taken.  I know that it can be a pain for getting around, but it just makes Christmas that much more magical for me.  Ezekiel couldn't resist making a snow angel on Christmas afternoon...

but Christmas morning was all about family.

BJ read the Christmas story to two, eager kiddos.

Adina had to have a little snack to tide her over until all the gifts were opened.  Then, we prayed...

and dove into Christmas stockings.

Tradition, in our house, is to have three gifts, aside from stockings, for each kiddo, under the Christmas tree; because Jesus got three gifts for His birthday... gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Here are a couple of my favorite reactions.

Adina couldn't resist giving her new baby kisses, when we finally got her out of the box.

I couldn't even get Ezekiel to look at the camera, when he saw his little, desktop aquarium.  He just kept hugging it :).  He and BJ set it all up and are going to go have the water tested and, hopefully, pick out fish later this week.

They both loved their new bean bags, and don't they look cute in their new pj's?!  They, always, get to open new pj's on Christmas Eve.  Here's the picture we took Christmas Eve night, after they had their baths.

We had such a wonderful day just being together, celebrating our Savior's birth, reading, playing in the snow, decorating Christmas cookies...

and did I mention eating?!  For breakfast, we had Paula Deen's Broccoli Grits Souffle; turkey bacon, which was gobbled down too quickly, by my boys, to get in the picture; and Cinnamon Raisin Bread Custard (a yummy recipe from an old teacher friend of mine... Thanks, Ellen!  We still love it!). 

All afternoon, we snacked on fruit and dip...

Paula's Mediterranean Cheesecake (minus the olives... Yuck!) and crackers...

and sugar cookies.

Then, for dinner, we had a feast!

That's way too much food for just the four of us!  Thankfully, we saw lots of family this weekend and got to share.  We had turkey and gravy; mashed potatoes; green bean casserole; lettuce salad; homemade dinner rolls with homemade apple butter, of course; and Paula's Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter frosting for Jesus' birthday cake.  Yum!  Yum!
I, finally, get to share all the goodies that I've been making, for Christmas gifts, over the last month, but you'll have to come back tomorrow to see the start of them.  I won't bore you with all of them in the same day!  Today, I have Pencil Lines' Sketch 165 for you.
This sketch was provided by Pencil Lines' founder Anna Bowkis.  I just love the simplicity of it!  Here's what I came up with.

I started with that cute bird and polka dot, glitter, patterned paper from DCWV's Nana's Nursery line and layered on a wide strip of Certainly Celery cardstock, punched, across the top edge, with Stampin' Up's Scallop punch.  I trimmed its bottom edge with a strip of green, glitter, polka dot, patterned paper, from My Mind's Eye's Where the Heart Is collection, and a piece of green, pom-pom trimming leftover from Adina's crib skirt.  I, then, framed the 4" square pictures with Almost Amethyst cardstock and arranged them on the Certainly Celery cardstock.  The "sweet cheeks" title, as well as, the "Jan 09" date are foil adhesive transfers from K&Company's Brenda Walton.