Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Joyful Season for a Stamp Class

I find it odd that this is my first Christmas truly empty-nesting, and I am quite enjoying it. But that may be because I have more time to do the things I love about the season- spending time with family, buying gifts for them, and doing crafty stuff! So instead of cooking and cleaning for the kids all the time, we can just get together and have fun :)
Speaking of crafty stuff, this is one of the projects we are making at the December stamp class!

Christmas and cardinals really do seem to go together perfectly, and this stamp set is so lovely!

Inside of the card is a berry-filled branch of Joy :)

And for those that would like to do some gift card giving, here is a version of the card in that form.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving recap,and a Thankful Wine Tag from the Desk Clean Up Treasures!

It is a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I am hanging in the living room with my hubby while he plays Star Wars Battlefront on the XBox. Yes, that is his favorite activity :) When I say he is as excited for the next Star Wars movie as a 10 year old boy, I am not exaggerating! We have already checked to see if I work that day (I do not), and he has thought about pre-purchasing tickets for the movie on opening night. We live in Bemidji, people. I really don't think there is going to be a huge problem getting in to see the show... lines yes, maybe having to wait until the next showing, but I think it will be ok, lol! Now, if he decides we have to dress up as Princess Leia and Chewbacca, that might be a problem. I mean, I definitely have the hair for it (it is winter after all), but can you see Jamie in a dress?! ;) 

We had an absolutely lovely day on Thanksgiving as all of our kids, all of their significant others, my grandson, and my mom and her husband were all able to make it for at least the afternoon. This is a rarity! Our daughter lives 4 hours away and does not own a car, and hates to fly- plus it is expensive and requires planning to rent a car or fly in to the local airport. Our oldest son and his family live
 hours away, he works at a nursing home, and is going to school for nursing, so his work and school schedule make things a bit challenging.

We ate a wonderful, completely homemade dinner, played Scrabble with my mom (Nick kicked all of our butts), and took family photos. I was so excited to get that done!! I love to have pictures of everybody together!

Here is the whole gang! The camera must have shifted to one side a bit, unfortunately. Cameron was patting me on the back in this photo, busy little guy! And doesn't my mom look great?! She has lost about 50 pounds since starting a new diet plan about 10 months ago! She has not been this weight since I was a toddler!! She had already lost about 80 pounds after having a stroke about 9 years ago, but had remained a steady weight for the next several years and was having increased health and mobility problems, so she decided to try this "physician guided" diet plan in her town. She has done such a great job and I am very proud of her!

Here we are! I was quite disappointed to find that these photos all turned out pretty grainy. They might still be in our Christmas cards though.... And you may wonder how we got Cameron to hold still for these. Well, I would set the 12 second timer on my camera, dash over tot he couch to get into position, and then Cameron would be squirming to get away, even though his parent had just picked him up. Well, Jamie came up with the brilliant plan to get a cartoon playing on his cell phone and propped it up on the back of Geoffrey's neck. It worked long enough for us to get this shot, lol! We only got 2 others, because by this time we were all reasy to be done. None of us hold still very well :)
And the names, from left to right-(our kids bolded)
Back Row: Charlene and Nick, Dakota, Carrie
Middle Row: Me and Jamie, David and Cameron
Front Row: Amanda and Geoffrey

I have said it before, and I will say it again, lighting sucks in my house. We have to take the next family photo outside. I got a few rapid fire shots of just my kids too. I wish I had thought to have their partners in the pictures too.

Here is the obligatory rabbit ears and cheesy David grin shot.

Followed by the "He did it" and gusted sister face shot.

And the "are we done yet" shot!
 I am sure there is a great shot of them all together, but I haven't spent enough time pouring over the photos yet.

I do have a project to share with you. It is another project from the pile of treasures I found on my desk a few weeks ago. It is so fun to quickly throw together a project from the leftovers, don't you think? And totally appropriate for this weekend, one of the biggest leftovers weekends of the year!

The leaves were stamped on watercolor paper and die cut, then I used an Aqua-Painter to move the ink around and fill the color in more in places. I wasn't happy with the result for the original project, but this is cute. The wine tag was just me checking the fit of that die on a piece of scrap from a pile of scrap that is all the same size. I can get about 50 wine tags from that stack, lol! I don't think I need that many.... The burlap ribbon is scrap from another project, and the sentiment is a trial of a color combo from a card we made in Stamp Class in October. I think it would have looked better with a different colored wine tag, but this is cute enough, right?

Share your thoughts! I would love to hear about your Thanksgiving!

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving: The Story of a Floral Arrangement

I was recently introduced to BloomNation.com. If you haven't heard of them before they are a flower delivery service that supports local florists through their online marketplace. I was intrigued by the the lovely arrangements and decided to give it a try myself. It is always a good thing to stretch ourselves! I found a cute container, gathered pine cones, and had a plan! Then I just needed time, good lighting, and to "find" my kitchen table! You know I mean, lol!
Well, the day before Thanksgiving snuck up on me really fast, and Charlene and Nick (my daughter and her fiance) came to visit. I told them I needed to get this done and they jumped right in to helping with the photo shoot!

Charlene is a great photographer, and works as a server in Minneapolis, and Nick is a sushi chef and is used to plating food. Soooo, let the collaborative begin! My kitchen is in a walk-in basement, so the lighting is a challenge, to say the least. And our home is "unfinished", and has some cosmetic challenges, lol! And I had been baking pies ALL morning! So, we are trying to get the lighting right, and adding little details to complete the setting, and then one of my sons calls... chaos, this is my life.

Jamie had to put his contribution to the project in.... he is pretty :)

 More fiddling and adjusting... I normally take about 2 minutes with my photo shoots. I have a good system in place for photos of my papercrafts, but this turned into something else entirely, and it was a great time!! No photos of Nick here though, not sure how that happened.

 Here is what we ended up with. That is a lovely cloth napkin I found at Hobby Lobby providing the foundation. Then there is the birch slice I found in a box of firewood at a local park while at Geoffrey's graduation party this spring. The pine cones are from my front yard. The candle holder was handcrafted by a friend and given to us for Christmas several years ago. My salad bowl filled with oranges and fresh cranberries for dinner tomorrow. The floral container was also found on clearance at Hobby Lobby. And the beautiful flowers and greenery were from the floral section at Lueken's Village Foods in Bemidji. They have gorgeous fresh flowers and arrangements there all the time! I used the wet floral foam for the first time and I guess my arrangement isn't too bad for a first timer, lol!

I was trying to lay the green mums artistically on the greenery when Nick just quickly made them look perfect. Then I popped in the pinecones and cranberries. I love it! For dinner we will move the flower container, bowl, and candle off the table so we can see each other, but this is so lovely it will stay on my table for a while!

One more close up of the flower arrangement. So, what do you think? We had a great time doing this! And I may start indulging in fresh flowers, just for me :)


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