Merry Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2015

...from Kansas City, home of the 2015 World Series Champs!  And may you always remember the true reason for the season.  Blessings!
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.  So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there the days were completed for her to be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you:  You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." 

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" 

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. - Luke 2:1-20

Bundle of Joy

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve, friends!  I know that you all are as busy as I am.  So, I won't keep you for long, but I wanted to pop in to share a sweet, baby card.  I have several of these needing made all of a sudden.  So, I didn't waste any time getting started.

I started this card by splattering a piece of aqua, polka dot, patterned paper, which had its bottom corners rounded, with Pure Black and Titanium White acrylic paints.  I then stamped it, in Jet Black ink, with the "Congratulations" sentiment, as well as a couple of different sizes of hearts, before anchoring it to the White, cardstock, card face, which also had its bottom corners rounded, with white-threaded, straight, machine stitches.
I then die-cut all the cute, little, patterned, paper squares and adhered them to a White, cardstock, pinking square die cut, which was secured, to the card face, just above the sentiment, with foam tape.  It was topped with the stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White, cardstock, onesie, which was, in turn, stamped, in Jet Black ink, with the "bundle of joy" sentiment; backed with a tangle of white thread; and popped off the "quilt" with foam tape.  A stamped in Pool Party ink and glittered, cardstock, bow die cut and sprinkling of pearl sequins complete the look.
Further inspiration for this card came from Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: Make It Sparkle and Wplus9 Design's Throwback Thursday Challenge #10.
It may be a bit quiet around here next week, as I'll be working on a number of home improvement projects, while we're on break from school.  But don't you worry.  I'll be back, after the first of the year, with lots of new and inspired projects to share.  Thanks so much for humbling me with a visit today and for making 2015 so great!  May each and every one of you have a very merry Christmas and blessed New Year!  XOXO

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Heartfelt Holiday & Onesie-Twosie (Wplus9); Side by Side (The Craft's Meow) Paper: White (Wplus9); aqua polka dot & multicolored floral (Webster's Pages); gingham (Jillibean Soup); aqua floral (Heidi Swapp); pink floral (Elle's Studio); pink polka dot (Crate Paper); yellow stitched (SU!); pink stripe (MME); pink/yellow plaid (American Craft's) Ink: Pool Party (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger) Other: white thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Heartfelt Holiday, Onesie Twosie, Quilt Cuts 2, & Clear Cut Stackers: Pinking Squares dies (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); pearl sequins (The Ribbon Reel); Pure Black & Titanium White acrylic paints (FolkArt); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers)

Homemade Just for You

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Morning, y'all, and merry Christmas Eve eve!  I've frantically been working away at all the projects and baking that still need accomplished before Christmas arrives.  I know.  I'm running out of time!  But I wanted to pop in to share a couple of the dressed-up treats I've made over the last couple of weeks.  The first ones were for my hubby's group of kiddos at Awana Club.  So, I kept them simple, knowing they may not even arrive home.  I'm sharing one of them today, but I whipped up six of these cuties and stuffed them all with sweet treats.
I started this project by using my Cameo to cut all the bits and pieces from Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Basic Black, and Real Red cardstocks.  After piecing them together, I covered the reindeer's nose with a healthy dose of fine, red glitter and her eyes with Glossy Accents.
With the exception of one boy, the remainder of my hubby's charges are girls.  So, little, gingham bows finished theirs off.
And remember those 37 pints of apple butter I slaved away making back here?  Well, they all received this fancy treatment for gifting to my hubby's coworkers and employees, as well as our neighbors, family members, mailman, trash men... the list goes on and on.
I purchased Avery Elle's Homemade stamp set with just such a project in mind.  However, I wasn't thinking about the massive number of spoons and bows I'd need to be cutting out, when I chose not to order the coordinating die set.  So, I made quick work of my Silhouette to create cut files for them and Cameo-cut everything from Whisper White cardstock.  The spoons themselves were then silver embossed; stamped, in Jet Black ink, with the "HOMEMADE just for YOU" sentiment; and dressed up with the bows, which were embossed in gold.
The hearts were Cameo-cut from Whisper White cardstock and a gold, stripe vellum; formed into a pocket with silver-threaded, straight, machine stitches; stuffed with gold and silver, sequin stars, as well as silver seed beads, before they were sealed off; and backed with another Whisper White, cardstock heart to conceal the stitching and hold a stamped, in Real Red ink, "Christmas blessings" sentiment.  I then hand-wrote "from the Newlins" below that.  I totally forgot to take a picture of the back for you all, but you get the idea.  I then punched a hole through both the spoon and the confetti heart and laced them with a length of Baker's Twine.  Lots of white, seam binding ribbon; a bit of sheer, red ribbon; and a button, laced with Baker's Twine, complete the look.
Further inspiration for this second project came from Avery Elle's Challenge #31: Metallics.
And I just couldn't resist leaving you with this pic of my cuties helping to make Christmas sugar cookies.  I'm ever so thankful for all the help!
Okay, I'd better run.  I've got baking and cleaning still to get done.  My boys have haircuts this afternoon.  That is, IF I'm brave enough to go through with my little bear getting his first.  Sigh.  Gosh, I hope you don't lose all those curls, sweet boy.  Somebody better come hold my hand!  AND we've got church tonight, as we'll be off to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas Eve celebrations tomorrow.  Breathe, Jinny.  It'll be so nice to be back home, with nothing on the agenda but good food and quality time, for Christmas day.  Thanks so much for stopping by, friends!  Be blessed!
{Supplies & Tools}
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Basic Black, Real Red, & Crumb Cake (SU!) Other: Reindeer Bag cut file & Cameo (Silhouette); red glitter (K&Company); Glossy Accents (Ranger); red gingham ribbon (Hobby Lobby)
{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Homemade (Avery Elle); Little Angels (The Craft's Meow) Paper: Whisper White & gold stripe vellum (SU!) Ink: Real Red (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark) Other: silver thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); silver embossing powder & 3/16" Handheld punch (SU!); gold embossing powder (Ranger); button & red sheer ribbon (The Ribbon Reel); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); white seam binding ribbon (Zipper Stop); silver star sequins & silver seed beads (Hobby Lobby); gold star sequins (Pretty Pink Posh); Today Was Good cut file (Kim Watson); Cameo (Silhouette)

The Studio Gifts and Giving Challenge

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Morning, y'all!  Just popping in to share my take on the newest challenge from The Studio.  Today's challenge is all about gifts and giving.  You can use the words themselves on your project, or you can take a little different approach, as I have done, and use them more as inspiration.  One Saturday before Christmas, my family and I had the opportunity to help make 141,000 meal packages through a hunger relief organization known as Numana.  This was hands-down the most memorable gift I got to give that Christmas.  I added lots of little packages, even a stamped/watercolored truck filled with gifts, to connect with the theme.  Enjoy!
I started this page by smudging Patina and Pink Bubblegum Glimmer Mists, as well as Sky Mr. Huey's, across both textured, white, cardstock, base pages.  I then smudged Broken China Distress Ink through a star stencil and stamped snowflakes, in Jet Black ink, strategically throughout the design.  A quartet of patterned papers, as well as a strip of glitter tape, span both pages as well.  I then sprinkled everything with Titanium White and Pure Black acrylic paints and anchored my patterned papers with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitches; before I matted by photos with Whisper White cardstock, adhered them in their respective positions, and turned my attention to the left side of the page.
One of the photos here was wrapped with a length of Baker's twine and tied in a bow.  That same photo's bottom left corner was dressed up with a deer and trio of gifts die cuts, all of which were backed with a tangle of gold thread and finished off with a gold, foam, glitter, star sticker.
The photos were topped with a couple of phrase die cuts and the words "december" and "magic", which were Cameo-cut from Pink Pirouette cardstock and glittered.
My "SHARE the JOY" title was created from puffy alphas; a Cameo-cut, from Whisper White cardstock, "the"; and another Cameo-cut, but this time from Real Red cardstock, "JOY".  I then topped the phrase with a Cameo-cut, from Real Red cardstock, "Be" to make it a "Be the JOY" dual title.
The bottom of the page was used to journal, We spent the Saturday before Christmas (12-17-11) putting together meal pkgs., for Kenyans, through the hunger relief organization known as Numana.  Adina helped BJ behind the scenes; & Ezekiel & I helped put together pkgs. containing a spice envelope, veggie protein, red beans, & rice.  They feed approx. 6 people, & 1,100 Heartlanders packaged 141,000 of them...
before turning my attention to the right side of the page.
The bottom right corner of this page was grounded with a trio of gift die cuts, backed with a Cameo-cut, from Pink Pirouette cardstock, "JOY" tab and topped with a black-embossed on watercolor paper and watercolored truck.
Let's get a closer look at that cute, little truck, which was hand-cut out, backed with another tangle of gold thread, and grounded with a Cameo-cut from Pink Pirouette cardstock and glittered "memories".
A gold, foam, glitter, "together" sticker anchors the design...

and "JOY TO THE WORLD" and dove die cuts, backed with yet another tangle of gold thread, top it.
A sprinkling of aqua and gold, enamel dots; trio of puffy, star stickers; bunch of die-cut, Whisper White, cardstock snowflakes; and bit more Baker's Twine, tied in a bow, complete the look.
Further inspiration for this page came from ScrapMuch?'s Sketchy Friday November 27th Challenge (for December)...
and Hip Kit Club's November 2015 Mood Board.  I was all over this palette and couldn't resist adding triangles, snowflakes, and lots of gold bits throughout; but when I saw that red truck, I knew I had to pull out my old, Loads of Love, stamp set from Stampin' Up.  It couldn't have been more perfect!
Now, it's your turn!  I can't wait to see what you all come up with!  You have until Sunday, January 3, 2016, to link up your takes, on this Gifts and Giving Challenge and/or our Sketch Challenge, in the right-hand column of The Studio Blog.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful week and truly blessed Christmas!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Rustic Greetings (The Craft's Meow); Loads of Love & Loads of Love Accessories (SU!) Paper: textured white (Bazzill); Whisper White, Pink Pirouette, & Real Red (SU!); multicolored triangle, aqua triangles, bright pink polka dot, & pink star (Hip Kit Club); watercolor (Canson Studio) Ink: Jet Black & Broken China (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Seasonal Sentiments die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Misc DD Shapes cut file (Nicole Nowosad); Be Joyful & Be the Change cut files & Cameo (Silhouette); Dazzling Diamonds & black embossing powder (SU!); die cut shapes & puffy alpha & star stickers (Pinkfresh); enamel dots (MME); Baker's twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); foam glitter Thickers & glitter tape (American Crafts); watercolors (Kuretake); stencil (Jenni Bowlin); Pink Bubblegum & Patina Glimmer Mists (Tattered Angels); Sky Mr. Huey's (Studio Calico); Pure Black & Titanium White acrylic paints (FolkArt)

Friday Faves

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hey, friends!  It's been super crazy around my place... so much going on and even more to get ready for Christmas.  I apologize for my lack of visits.  I don't know how you all are keeping up with the season and still finding time to create, but please know that I will be around just as soon as I possibly can.  So, with my usual Friday Faves post falling on Christmas day itself, I decided that it would be better to post a week earlier this month, and that means today!  So, let's get started with Avery Elle's Hogs & Kisses stamp set.  I was pretty smitten with their latest release and wanted to share literally everything here with you all.  Don't panic.  I overcame my desire and picked my top three stamp sets instead.  Anyway, these barnyard animals are just as cute as can be and the plethora of sentiment-building possibilities endless.
Adina adores Pixie Dust, but what little (or big) girl wouldn't?  Such precious, petite images, and the play on words is too fun!
Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to share Whale Hello.  I think it might just help lift my malaise toward making guy cards.  Plus, those little smiles are simply irresistible!  You really should stop by the Avery Elle Blog to see this release in its entirety.
In visiting my friend Helen's blog, I came across this darling Animal Greetings Operation Smile stamp set from Close to My Heart.  Such cute, little critters and playful puns and all for a great cause.  Operation Smile is an organization that provides surgeries for children with cleft lips and palates.  A portion of the proceeds from the purchase of this stamp set goes to this particular charity.
Papercrafters all over blogland are doing amazing things with Simon Says Stamp's Falling Snow Stencil, so you, no doubt, have already met this beauty.  But I couldn't resist adding her to the lineup.  Oh, the possibilities!
Because my little guy is officially potty trained, I'd really like to ditch the large shoulder bag I've been carrying for this Waterproof Bag with Birds from ikabags.  The print is perfectly scrumptious, and I desperately need a cross-body design again, as keeping up with my littlest can often have me on the run and reaching with both hands.  I also love that this one would still be big enough to tuck my camera away.
And, finally, I adore Society 6's Love Grows Best Throw Pillow Cover!  It's just a little something simple with a big message for all of us with little houses.  But if a pillow isn't your cup of tea, you can find this same sentiment on linens, art prints, shower curtains, wall tapestries, and more.
Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful last weekend before Christmas, y'all!  Hugs!

Reverse Confetti: Brewin' Up Birthday Wishes

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Morning, y'all!  Just popping in, as promised, in yesterday's Family Update post, to share my final assignment as a 'Fetti Friend for Reverse Confetti.  I had this happy mix of patterned papers just sitting on my desk from a past scrapbook kit and wanted to put them to good use for a guy card.  I never seem to have these when I need them, and I'm determined to stay on top of them come 2016 in an attempt to ease the stress of last-minute creating a bit.
I started this card by anchoring a trio of patterned papers, one of which was trimmed in the shape of a pennant, to the Basic Gray, cardstock, card face, with silver-threaded, straight, machine stitches.
I then trimmed the left edge of a White, cardstock, Gift Card Holder Tag Confetti Cuts die cut with a colorful strip of triangle, patterned paper; secured it with a couple rows of silver-threaded, straight, machine stitches; and although it's difficult to tell in the photographs, embossed the center with the rounded rectangle die.  I just love how that draws the eye straight into the focal point.
Just before stamping the bottom right corner of the tag, in Jet Black ink, with the "BREWIN' UP BIRTHDAY WISHES JUST FOR YOU" sentiment, from Be a Barista, I adhered it, with foam tape, atop a bit of vellum for softness, in the center of the card face.  The space above the sentiment was then filled in with a stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a hand-cut, from White cardstock, base and paper-pieced mug, which was filled in with the festive, stamped, in Baked Brown Sugar ink, filler and backed with a tangled of silver thread.
A sprinkling of silver and star sequins, as well as a length of waxed chord for the top of the tag, completes the look.
Further inspiration for this card came from the Winter/Holiday Coffee Lovers Blog Hop.
Before I run, I wanted to send out a HUGE thanks to Jen, Amy, and the entire Reverse Confetti team for having me over the last couple of months!  I've had such fun!  And thanks so much, to you all, for all the treasured comments and visits!  I've truly enjoyed getting to meet so many new faces.  Be blessed!
Stamps: Be a Barista (Reverse Confetti) Paper: Basic Gray (SU!); White (Wplus9); yellow woodgrain (Simple Stories); multicolored triangle, mint polka dot, and gray polka dot (Amy Tangerine); gray triangle (Dear Lizzy); navy polka dot (Jillibean Soup) Ink: Baked Brown Sugar (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger) Other: silver thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Gift Card Holder Tag Confetti Cuts die (Reverse Confetti); Big Shot (Sizzix); white chord & silver & star sequins (Hobby Lobby); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives)

Family Update

Monday, December 14, 2015

Well, hello there, and welcome to the work week!  It's been awhile since I've done a family update.  I was all geared up to do so, and then, my tough Thanksgiving kind of brought me down.  I didn't even take a single picture of my favorite holiday!  Sigh.  Anyway, I thought I'd take today to share a small handful of some of the things we've been up to over the last month and a half, beginning with celebrating our Royals' World Series win.  Kansas City is known as the "City of Fountains" and is said to have more fountains than the city of Rome.  During their postseason games, most, if not all, of those fountains were turned blue in their honor.  So, I couldn't help but use one, that we drive by all the time, as a backdrop for a little photo shoot.  Unfortunately, my littlest wasn't cooperating at the time.  Imagine that?!  But I did get a few good ones that will help us remember this magical time in Kansas City.
And while we would've loved to go to the parade/rally that Kansas City threw in their honor, the thought of doing so, with three kids in tow, overwhelmed me beyond words.
So, we watched the over 800,000 fans celebrate a long overdue win from the comfort of our living room.
Ezekiel had his end of semester band concert a couple of weekends back.  This was a harder semester for him, as he's right in between beginning and upper level band classes and seems to be stuck.  He didn't enjoy the material he had to play this semester, either, which makes it more difficult to want to practice.  I get that.  I really struggled with some of the piano music that was chosen for me back when I was growing up, too.  He still enjoys going to class, though, and wants to continue to play.  So, as long as it makes him happy, we'll keep cheering him on.
We finally got our Christmas tree picked out and decorated.  Yay!  And now, it not only looks like Christmas, but smells like Christmas, too, around our place.
Snowflake approves.
These scrumptious Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies go a long way to helping with the smell of Christmas, too.  So good!
And while my kiddos were helping my hubby clean up the last of the leaves in the backyard, I got to update the wreath for our front door.  I've been wanting to do this for some time.  I still like our old wreath, but it was much too large for the space between the wood and screen doors and was always getting knocked off.  So, I'm ever so thankful for the hour of peace I had to whip this one up with just a foam wreath, yarn, ribbon, and artificial poinsettias.
We had planned to attend my extended family Christmas this weekend.  It's usually the same day and time as Ezekiel's band concert, so we haven't been able to attend for several years.  I was so excited to find out that this year's celebrations would be the weekend after his concert, that until it was just days away, we had unrealistically planned to attend, despite the six hours we'd spend on the road to make it happen.  Kaden doesn't do well with car trips.  He can't even seem to work with us when we plan them at a time when he should be sleeping in hopes that we'll all arrive sane.  So, tearfully, we made the decision to stay home again this year.  We did end up getting a lot done, though.  We even got the frame for Adina and Kaden's bunk beds set up, which gets us one step closer to reclaiming our master bedroom back for ourselves.  Now, we've just got to save up enough for the mattresses.  Tee hee!  Oh!  I got our Christmas cards addressed, stamped, AND mailed, too.  Woohoo!
Anyway, to offset the disappointment of not getting to celebrate with everyone, we made a little trip to Longview Lake to see the light display and stopped by Vince & Associates, on the way home, to watch the lights dance in synchronization to the Christmas music on 96.9 FM radio.  So fun!
And I couldn't resist leaving you with a sweet pic of my boys enjoying some holiday cartoons.  Kaden has only recently begun to even care what is on television, but he doesn't watch for more than a few seconds, maybe minutes, at a time.  So, I made quick work of getting this shot for the scrapbooks.
Both Adina and Ezekiel have also been back to the practice courts in preparation for basketball games early next year.  I'll keep you posted with pics of such just as soon as all the action happens.  It's kept us busier than usual, as Ezekiel is old enough to do so with a different organization this year.  So, we're looking forward to a little downtime over the holidays.  Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow to share my last project for my short time as a 'Fetti Friend for Reverse Confetti.  Until then, thanks so much for checking in on us, and may your holiday preparations be blessed!  Hugs!