Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

First, let me say to you all, I sincerely hope you had a Merry Christmas! It is never too late. The season is still for giving, even through the new year.

Whew! It's been a whirlwind couple of days. Christmas Eve and Christmas went over fairly well, not without its drama, but thank goodness that was fairly minimal. Thank you everyone!

I've been staying away from the computer... yes... I have! lol! I still have last minute (procrastination time again) cards to send out, so they are coming... sorry it's taken so long. I have just been getting super overwhelmed and trying my best to handle it all.

Sales! OMGosh! Ok... Walmart and Target are still only down 50%, but somethings are worth it. I'm so waiting for them to go down a little more! Michaels Christmas items are mostly down to 70%. Great deals, folks! I got cut-outs and things to paint for next year. I only went out (briefly) on Friday, and not the doorbusters. They haven't exactly been worth it this year (including Black Friday) unless you are purchasing the big ticket items...

Juan took us all to the movies on Friday night. We saw Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler (all with passes we got for Christmas - thanks Josh & Vic and Santa!) This movie was absolutely adorable. Marissa (age 3) loved it! Afterwards, we ate at Wendy's then went and caught another movie, this time it was Marley and Me. Awesome movie, too sad... take some tissue (you'll need it!).

Yesterday was spent "putting away" presents. In other words, I had to purge things to make room for the new. It wasn't too bad. The house actually looks so much better now. Of course, I still have a lot of decluttering to do. Who doesn't? So... I'll be hitting Flylady today and getting my game plan on.

Next week will be hectic as well. The girls will be volunteering Monday at the church. Then Tuesday, I'm meeting up with online friends in Pasadena (hello Chuck E. Cheese!) for lunch, Mom's for dinner, and maybe (maybe) Griffith Park for the lights. Then run home, pack things for Wednesday, leave early Wednesday and camp out for the Rose Parade (back to Pasadena!). It is going to be a chiller, but... I'll be using the air pot I got for Christmas to keep me warm.

I'll post pics and crafty things a little later today. I seriously need to get some things done. Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Cards for Christmas

So... procrastination is hitting me head on... and I'm getting them done, as I need to. I really can't be anywhere ahead at the moment (lol!). Try as I might, maybe I'll be better off (procrastination-wise) this time next year.

I just love the card feature on lots of the Cricut cartridges! It is so fun to make window cards. The possibilities are endless!!!

Here are two cards (made today). I didn't do close-ups of the details, as I was rather in a hurry... I did these, and ran to my destination - where they were needed. Ugh! I've got to get better at this (anti-procrastination)!
The gingerbread card is made using Stretch Your Imagination. I just love this little guy, and thought he would be great for a kid's card. Of course, I used Stickles... how could I not - at Christmas? If you see mess-ups, that's because there are some! Seriously... this was a hurried effort. I used my heat gun to dry the Stickles, which bubbled, while the cardstock buckled a little.
The cup of ? is from Joys of the Season, as well as the sentiment. I chalked the cup, Stickled the steam, and put candy cane stripes behind to make it more festive. I also discovered that if you accidentally smear or dot the Stickles before they dry... QUICKLY take a makeup sponge and sponge it all over - it gives the effect of glittered paper... not too much and just enough. You can't tell in this pic, but the "Merry Christmas" is done in mirrored cardstock to give a frosty and crisp feel to the card.
Then, while perusing the web (and the Cricut messageboard...), I discovered the most fabulous site! A wonderful card maker... so wonderful, she could very well be a professional. She is certainly an artist. Please visit Lillie, aka "Um Buggin". I will definitely keep her as a regular visit in my travels. I could only aspire to be like her.
Anyway, I have more to do! Remember those packages I was sending out today? Uh... well... they didn't make it. So I'm working on it right now. As well as filling requests for food for the next couple of days. Anyone want some Albondigas? I'm about to start making them now! Gotta run... Toodles for now! lisa

Procrastination - at it's best! Just in Time for Christmas...

Howdy there! I actually did something creative and semi-scrappy! Here are some pics of the cards I made (only yesterday!), yes!!! It is procrastination, up until the last minute of the season. I will probably still be doing some of that last minute stuff even too late... lol!All three of these cards were made with the Cricut and Joys of the Season cartridge. Of course, most of you know I love Stickles, so the glittery stuff is just that.

The fuzzy looking stuff is Fun Flock, and it is fuzzy and velvety (if that's even a word).

The cards were cut using the "card" feature, and are 5.5"... just big enough to put into a note-size envelope. Inside, an artistic version of "Merry Christmas" was embossed in gold with an acrylic stamp I picked up at Walmart.

I backed the cut image with a "starry night holiday joy" themed paper. Don't know what it is actually called, or who made it, but loved it and the effect. I do know that I bought it at Joann's.

Then... I glued a star to each of them, gold of course!, to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem.

I hope you like them... I've still got lots more to do.

A couple of packages are supposed to go out today, and I don't have much more time, so I'm going to get off here and boogy... Toodles for now! lisa

Much Ado about the Season

There's nothing like the holiday season to keep yourself busy or learn to master the wonderful (and anxious) art of procrastination. As hectic as our lives seem to be, they do get filled by even more business during all of the holiday joy. Here are just a few things we've done (this weekend alone) recently...
Saturday night, we went to the Newport Harbor Boat Parade. They were celebrating 100 years! OMGosh! That's a whole heck of a lot. We almost left... we were getting burnt out and freezing, too. The parade was supposed to start at 6:30p.m., and at 8:10... we were still sitting there, watching the water and "normal" boats passing to and fro... Then, miraculously, around 8:20, just when we were pondering the thoughts that it just might not happen (other people had already left), we saw the Harbor Police's blue lights and their announcement gliding our way. Woohoo! And the party lights were on! It was wonderful, it was spectacular! This is just a pic of a boat (pre-parade) gliding along the water in the dark (I loved the reflection on the water...).
Who says palm trees and snow don't mix? Only in Southern California can you behold these two wonderful sights at the same time... It was a little colder (and much rainier) last week. Our local mountains got approximately 1-2 feet of snow. Even where I live (much lower to sea level), we had a slight dusting in our hills. We finally turned on the heater, as we had ice when we woke up in the morning... Oh! my poor garden!
And this was yesterday, on the way to my mom's house! Someone kidnapped Santa and stuffed him in a trunk! Poor Stacy! I am always handing her the camera while I drive, so she can snap pics of things I just find totally amazing (or something I think is worth it to hang onto the memory)...

On Friday, we went to get pics with Santa. Jr figured out that he would be taking pics until he was 35, because I said he had to get pics with Santa until Marissa (age 3 1/2) is 18!!! lol! Then we were at a band banquet (can't seem to upload the pics... so SORRY!) and enjoyed good food, Jr was dj-ing, Renee was dancing (Marissa was "shaking her boot-tay"), and they did a gift exchange.
I took sloppy joes and my butter rolls (formed into slider-type rolls) for a main dish. Thanks to a wonderful friend (Thanks again, Jenn!), I was able to keep my hot meal hot for 7 hours, from the drive at our house, out to Los Angeles, then waiting for the party to start. Let's just say... the plug converters in a cigarette lighter and a crock pot are AWESOME things!

Going back to procrastination... I did take some pics of some cards I made... but following that line of thinking, I'll put it in another post... a little later... Toodles for now! lisa

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Too Cute Not to Share (especially with Yahoo having its problems!)


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Blog Candy Alert!!!

This one is sponsored by Rica's Haven. She has a lot of cute stuff, so go visit her blog, too! Make a comment while you're there... comments are welcome on anybody's blog, so say, "HI!" while you visit. We all love seeing that people like our stuff... Toodles for now! lisa

Monday, December 8, 2008

Penguin Bell Project

I love Christmas and the holiday season. Characters abound, big and small... which brings me to this cute inexpensive project from The Tall Mouse. This is one of my fave craft stores. (They even carry Stickles!)

"Someone" in my family adores penguins in particular, so I thought I would share this, today. Penguins can be kept for the entire Winter season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not! Do different sizes and make a whole family of penguins, changing the facial expressions to your liking and making each of them unique to you.
Featured blog of the day? (I know it's been more than a few days since I did this... lol!), but I really would like to feature a Santa Theme today and give kudos to Wanda and her Creative Corner Blog. How many ways can you say "Santa?" Well, Wanda shows us lots of different ways to incorporate Santa into various different crafts and gifts. (She has LOTS of other great stuff, too!) It's time to get busy! And a big THANK YOU! to Megan (from Scrapbook Bingo!) for showing me this site. I am definitely subscribing!!!
Yesterday was cold, even though I was in Newport Beach. The sun peeked out for about an hour. Oh! Ok... maybe not "cold" to all of you, but definitely cold to some of us flatlander Southern Californians! It was breezy and around 62... With me getting wet from the constant splashing of the pool, that equals COLD! But I am now ok and semi-thawed out... lol! It wasn't that bad, and I had wonderful people to work with during the swim meet.
Afterwards, we celebrated John's birthday (Happy Birthday, John!!!) at my mom's (yummy fried shrimp!) and decorated her tree. Marissa (age 3) actually went on the potty chair through-out the day (without me of course!), but at least she is FINALLY getting the hang of it... now if only I could talk her into quitting diapers and wearing panties!!! Gotta run... Toodles for now! lisa

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another Project! Bath Snowballs via Martha Stewart

As I sit here, surrounded by swirling Christmas lights, a sparkling tree, and Alvin & the Chipmunks in the background, I am reminded that Christmas is only 19 days away! YIKES!!!!

There are even less days available for those packages that need to be mailed... And yes, I have (once again) procrastinated in that area. Although, I did start my shopping last year and began making things, too. Only... I got a little burnt out, and I'm now behind again. But... I will catch up, and with the help of Martha Stewart Living, I'm going to do it!

These easy bath balls (made from Epsom salts) should make an easy task (and fun) for gifts. I think I will keep them in salt form for some and layer the salts in a clear glass (or plastic) jar and tie it with a pretty bow... perhaps a little greenery...
Easy and inexpensive enough, the recipe and instructions can be found here. Just remember... even a beginner can do this!
Be prepared, though, as they do take a couple of days for drying.
Anyway, it should give me some more time to watch and enjoy my tree, the seasonal movies, the lights, the fire, etc... Maybe I'll even take a bath with the salts myself... Take me away... Toodles for now! lisa

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ping-Pong Ball Ornaments

Ok... another excerpt from My Christmas Craft Book for Kids... This one, I'm seriously going to do after Christmas this year. I am tired of this icky garland I have. It is a combination of a nice full-size garland and this wanna-be 99-cent Store kind of stuff. It is wrapped in lights with ornaments hot-glued to it... No biggie, but the ornaments keep breaking in storage, being put up, taken down, etc. So... my thoughts? (If affordable)... To purchase the really cool wired branch-style garland in the after Christmas sales and attach these customized ornaments to them! I'll tell you my other thoughts after the instructions...
No one would guess these stunning ornaments are made from Ping-Pong balls. You can use paint, glitter, and a few trimmings to make bright and colorful patterns, and ornaments that will make any Christmas tree shine.

Darning needle
Ping-Pong balls
Wooden skewers
Poster Paint (I used acrylic paint); paintbrushes and sponges
Braid and trimmings
All-Purpose glue
Matching Thread

1. Use the darning needle to make a hole through the top and bottom of each Ping-Pong ball. Ask an adult to help you do this. Push a wooden skewer through the holes – this will stop the ball from moving while you are decorating it.
2. Paint the Ping-Pong balls in bright colors. Leave to dry. If the first coat of paint looks a little patchy, add another coat. Leave the paint to dry completely.
3. Wrap braid around the center of the ball, or from the top to the bottom. Secure the ends with glue. To add glitter, dab glue on the ball and sprinkle with glitter. Leave to dry.
4. When the ornament is decorated, carefully remove the wooden skewer. Thread the needle with fairly thick thread and push it through the holes from bottom to top and then back down again to make a hanging loop. Knot the ends of the thread to finish.
and Voila! Pretty cool, huh? Ok... so my take? I am probably going to attach pics of the kids each year to various different balls, and Modge-Podge them to seal and protect. I was also thinking along the lines of beads, wire... you know... fun stuff! And! I was thinking that I could totally use my heat gun to set the glue faster and/or add embossing to them. The possibilities are endless!
Yes, you could probably use styrofoam, but... since mine would be permanently attached to my garland, I didn't want them to get crushed, so the Ping-Pong balls are perfect (and light!).
Anyway, gotta finish my organizational project for the day... Toodles for now! lisa

Santa Pop-Up Card

In keeping with the spirit of the season, I'm sharing the activities we are doing... I have a great paper-backed book called My Christmas Craft Book for Kids by Anna Murray & Lynda Watts. I used it when my older girls were little and am using it again... but this time with an adult (or more "knowledgeable") flair. After all, our techniques have advanced quite a bit since 1993...

Cards that have a pop-up section are expensive to buy, but not that hard to make. Try making several cards, so that you can give one to each friend. Make sure you use construction paper that is firm, not floppy.

Blue poster board *
Tracing paper and pencil
Scissors and ruler
Red, green, white, brown, and pink construction
paper *
All-purpose glue *
Black felt-tip pen *

1. On the blue poster board, draw a rectangle 11 inches by 7 inches. Draw a line down the center to divide it in two. Cut out the card and fold it in half.
2. Trace the patterns on page 55 (attached). Turn the tracings over and lay the body pattern on red paper, the beard on white paper, the sack on brown paper, and the chimney on green. Rub over the outlines with a pencil. The images will appear on the construction paper. Cut out the patterns and the slot in the chimney.
3. Using the body pattern as a guide, cut 2 cuffs and a pompom from white paper and a face from pink paper. Glue all the shapes on the body shape. Draw on the eyes with a black felt-tip pen and add a red nose cut from construction paper.
4. To make the roof, draw a rectangle 5½ inches by 7 inches on green paper and cut it out. Stick it to one half of the inside of the card. Cut some extra white paper to look like snow, and glue one piece to the front of the chimney and one to the edge of the green roof.
5. Fold the chimney into shape (at the flat line of the “snow”), and slip the Santa into the slot. Fold a little of Santa’s body down and stick it to the inside of the chimney.
6. Position the chimney and Santa inside the card, as seen in picture. This is how it will look when the card is open. Dab glue on the chimney tabs, then stick in place.
*Notes: I used googly eyes for my Santa's eyes. I also used cardstock and patterned paper for the pieces. My ATG gun was used for adhesive.
If you would like the patterns, please e-mail me and I will forward them to you. Or! If you are interested in the book, please click on the book's link and it will send you to
I will post another item a little later...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The e-mail that is going around re: gift cards and stores closing

Do you remember that e-mail...? Most of us received it via a forward from friends, family, etc. Well... I didn't give it a question mark, as the economy is kinda out of it... Now, I'm definitely giving it a second thought.

I receive a news bulletin through a "crafty" site, and yesterday's article alerted me to the actual article regarding this e-mail . It's really too bad people feel the need to overexaggerate the situation and make today's economy worse than it already is.

I just thought reading this might help some of you throughout the holidays, as I know some folks are hard to shop for. Good luck to you all, and have a happy holiday season! Toodles for now! lisa