Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring is almost here…

Spring is almost here… trust me … my allergies are going haywire! So, I though it best to do a winter re-cap to post what I’ve stayed busy with the last few months… and get ready for the garden planting!

First, was the Ladies Tea at church. The last few years I’ve helped my friend and neighbor with her table… this year I wanted to give her a chance to just relax and enjoy herself… so I offered to take care of the decorations for her table. She is a elementary school teacher and has enough on her plate herding little ones all day!
So, I hit Hobby Lobby the day after Thanksgiving for inspiration… and with my love of snowflakes … it didn’t take to long to find the perfect start!Photo Dec 03, 12 48 34 PM

This little ornament caught my eye… and they had just enough… TEN… So I put them in my buggy and headed out to find the rest of the table… I found bows in the gift wrap section to set the ornaments on (so they wouldn’t roll around the table!) Next, I needed a center piece that was festive, provided some light and wasn’t so big that we couldn’t talk to the ladies on the other side of the table…

Photo Dec 03, 12 49 26 PMI came across an end cap of pillar candles and thought they would be great… now what to put them in… I KNOW! My Pampered Chef trifle dish… I had been combing Pintrest for inspiration and saw where someone had pulled off a flower arrangement in hers… I thought… WHY NOT!  So I snapped up a few candles and headed over to the berry garland aisle to look for something to cover the base of the trifle dish… SCORE!
I had already picked up enough of the wrapping bows to add a little filler to the base. Just had to find something to use as filler for the trifle bowl… what to use, what to use… Hobby Lobby had some nice tiny snowballs made out of Styrofoam… I got a back of those, but latter decided that a burning candle and Styrofoam might not be the best combo for the ladies tea… at Church! So, I opted for fresh cranberries… I think it turned out great!

Photo Dec 03, 12 49 06 PM
I finished the table off with red plates with snowflakes and little white boxes with peppermints in them. I tied them up with red ribbons and tags with snowflakes on them!

The table looked great and the ladies seemed to like it. It went together quickly and I didn’t have to spend the day setting it up… or half the night taking it down after the tea… Photo Dec 03, 12 49 44 PM 







Photo Dec 03, 6 00 08 PM






Here’s a photo of our table (after I got back to the venue and put it back together … another post for another day) with the salad and desserts…




Photo Dec 15, 2 53 46 PM
Next was my goody bags for the guys in my husbands unit… I think they turned out cute and I hear the payday candy bars were a huge hit with the guys!
I titled them “the 2013 Police Survival Kit” and used post cards I printed to put the poem on the bags. I got the idea from a post on Pintrest (yes… I know) I got the items together and made each of the guys a bag…

The poem goes like this:

Life Saver:
To remind you of the many times you’ve been one.
For that burst of energy you’ll need.

Photo Dec 15, 2 54 00 PM

Because you’re not doing it for the money.
Paper Clip:
To help hold it all together.
Hershey Kisses:

Because you deserve them from all.
To help your unit to stick together.
Tootsie Roll:
To help you roll with the punches.
Peppermint Patty:
To help you keep your cool.
To remind you to keep your sense of humor.
For the “mounds” of courage you need.



Crafty-ness was happening, albeit slowly… but I did manage to make a few cards…  Photo Feb 07, 4 01 42 PM Photo Feb 07, 4 01 49 PM







Photo Jan 07, 8 39 58 PMPhoto Jan 07, 8 40 22 PM








I have found wasabi tape… and I really like it! Both of these cards are made with it and they turned out great!



Photo Feb 13, 7 56 13 AMWE HAD SNOW!! … and lots of it! We celebrated my birthday by playing in the snow with the neighbors… it was SO MUCH fun! It didn’t seem to bother the birds at all.Photo Feb 13, 9 27 33 AM 








… the bamboo in the back yard however had issues with the snow!


Photo Feb 13, 9 28 39 AM

I am glad that we got snow this winter, made the cold weather seem worth it somehow… but now I’m ready for spring, allergies and all! I’m ready to play in the garden after work and ride my bike before dark, I’m ready to rock in my chair on the front porch in shorts! Bring on SPRING!Photo Jan 29, 6 06 27 PM

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cricut magic

Photo Oct 14, 7 56 12 PM I am really enjoying my Cricut. This year I’ve made all kinds of cool things with it, cards, banners, tags, stencils, snowflakes… But my favorite thing so far has to be a gift I made for my sister for Christmas this year!

My sister is quite the baker and takes her treats all over town, to others to enjoy, whether its the girls meeting or a family dinner, she likes to share her confections with everyone. I had come across a Pin that showed the etched bottom of a glass 9x13 pan and thought that would be cute to make for her… But the more I thought about it the more I talked myself out of making it. The 9x13 would limit her to using it for brownies or dump cakes (which she does bake these) but I wanted to do something special for her cakes and cupcakes …

Photo Oct 14, 7 59 32 PMThen, Inspiration hit while enjoying a leisurely stroll through my local Michael's Craft store… I came across a display of Wilton cake carriers and then it hit me… why not use the Cricut to personalize it with Beth’s name using the black vinyl. But why stop at ‘just’ her name… I needed to get some cool creative juices going…. so I was tinkering around on the Cricut Craftroom program on night and found a really nice ‘B’ that I thought would be nice to use a focal point on the carrier…

Photo Oct 14, 7 56 07 PMAfter I placed the ‘B’ on the layout the rest just came to me! so, “look what Beth brought” was born! And it looked GREAT! (I know, I’m partial!)  I used the B for both her name and the word brought…

I played with the size to make sure it would look nice on the carrier and sent it to the Cricut to cut it out of the black vinyl. After cleaning up the extra pieces of vinyl I used the transfer tape to move the vinyl letters to the side of the cake carrier.Photo Oct 14, 8 15 53 PM






Photo Oct 14, 8 15 46 PM

It took some wiggling and finesse to get the B to lay flat and the rest to behave… I got lucky and didn’t have any air bubbles to fuss with!

I did give her a few cautionary instructions… Like not to wash it in the dishwasher, or scrub on the vinyl like it was a dirty rag… it will need a damp cloth wipe down when it’s a dirty… I sent it down to her for Christmas and she sent a note back saying that she loved it and was looking forward to using it!  Makes me happy to know that she will enjoy it!

Photo Oct 14, 8 16 42 PM














Photo Oct 14, 8 16 53 PM

Photo Oct 15, 8 46 38 AM

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Construction of A Russ Christmas Tree


Photo Dec 01, 4 51 43 PMThe traditional Russ Christmas tree takes me days to put up. (In my defense, when I was younger I could decorate the whole house for the holidays in one day… not it takes at least a week!) We have a 9.5’ tree that is more than a few years old, I’m in search of a taller, slim tree for the house we currently live in… We got the Christmas boxes out of the shop out back in under an hour, it was a huge help to have Mike help with that task this year! Once all the boxes make it to the correct rooms (yes ROOMS… they are all labeled!) I start by ‘fluffing’ the tree. I’m allergic to evergreens for we have a artificial tree… or as some folks have started calling them ‘forever trees’ (what a hoot!) Now, fluffing a tree can take a couple of hours… and for some reason always seems to produce a pile of fake needles on the floor! (not so forever after all!)

Photo Dec 01, 7 38 19 PM

Then I add the white lights to the interior of the tree. I read somewhere years ago that it was supposed to make your small tree look bigger… I’m not sure if that’s the case with our tree, but I’ve done it for a few years now and really like the effect!

You might have noticed the random piece of carpet flipped over under the tree stand in this picture. I do that to protect the hardwood floors from the metal tree stand… I bet you are saying ‘but it will slide around to easy’ … I just but a rubber jar opener between the carpet and the hardwood floor and PRESTO… no more sliding tree! And once you put the tree skirt around the bottom of the tree you can’t see the carpet, only the kitties know it’s there!

Photo Dec 01, 8 43 38 PM

I finish the tree off with colored lights. (I’m totally against blinking lights… I bet it has something to do with my OCD’s…)
Our 9.5’ tree has 24 strings of 100 lights (each string), I like a bright and cheery Christmas Tree. This year I managed to get the tree up, fluffed, and lights on it in about 4 and half hours. After that I was wiped out! Mike helped with the ornaments the next day!Photo Dec 02, 9 48 31 PMPhoto Dec 01, 9 28 25 PM

In the mean time I was able to get the tree in the large guest room up. It’s what we lovingly call Charlie Brown’s Tree, it’s my grandmothers last tree she had. It goes up super fast… I remember that tree as a kid, placing icicles on it ONE by ONE … that’s a whole other post! I put it upstairs in the front windows and open the curtain to the outside and let the lights shine at night to add to the ‘outdoor’ decorations. I do place red, white and blue glass balls and red bead garland on it… it’s my patriotic tree!

(The picture is a little dark… but trust me if the room lights where on, you’d know why we say it would make Charlie Brown proud!)


Photo Dec 01, 9 56 45 PM

We have a small 4 foot tree that I put up in our bedroom. It has all of Mike’s police ornaments on it and a star that is WAY to big! I’m in the market for a smaller one that will fit the tree better! This tree has white and blue lights on it… it’s a pre-lit tree, it came with white lights, I added the blue lights! I use silver beaded garland and glass icicles.Photo Dec 01, 9 59 42 PM

Photo Dec 02, 7 46 28 AM

and lastly, here’s my office tree. This little guy is great! Every year I just take it out of the bag and plug it in! I’ve had him for years, each year when I get little gifts from reps or co-workers I ad the ribbon/bow to the tree. 



From our tree to yours… Merry Christmas to everyone!