Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 11 and Day 12

Wishing you the blessings of friends and family this holiday and love and joy in the new year!

I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 10

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, let it...sigh, unfortunately the only snowflakes we will be seeing are the ones on my card.   Our Friends and family north of us have a bit, but there is nothing in the forecast for us.  It's a balmy 53 degrees on the thermometer on the back porch.  I ran errands today in just a long sleeved shirt and vest.

I made a quick card to add to the top of a treat package.  Thinking of snow and sleigh rides with jingle bells.

The big button in the middle of the rosette is from my stash of vintage buttons from Grandad's traveling salesman days.  It was the perfect fit for the rosette and the two little jingle bells tied to it just right.  Once upon a time it was a bright white but now it has aged to a lovely creamy color sitting prettily on some vintage music paper.

I have to think grandad would never have imagined I'd use these old buttons in projects like this, but I'm sure he would like it.  I miss him this time of year, it was his favorite, he couldn't wait to hug us all in that big bear hug of his, with the pocket protector filled with pens, squished up against our cheeks, hugging us until we were breathless.  The memory makes me smile and tear up and the same time.

I hope you are taking time out of the hustle and bustle of the season to make sweet memories with your loved ones.  Have a wonderful evening and for a little more snowy jingle bell magic head over to the Shabby Tea Room for some inspiration.

I'll talk to you again soon.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 7, Day 8 and Day 9

Cookies, candy, and packaging! Oh my. The last three days have been filled with finishing up the week at school and baking and candy making.  Here are some of the goodies waiting to packaged up in containers to take to our volunteers. 

From the bottom of the picture up there are chocolate crinkle cookies, salted carmel chews, traditional chocolate chip cookies, fool proof fudge, and Grandma Cowan's peanut brittle.  She made it every year that I can remember.  She didn't use a written down recipe, so one year I watched her and wrote down what she did.  Now I make it just about every year.  I panicked for a few minutes this year when I couldn't find my hand written note in my recipe files but a third time through I found it.  Mr. Darling says I should scan it into the computer "just in case" I really do lose it.  It's a good idea, we'll see if I remember to do that.

Well I'm off to finsh tags for the treat containers, only 3 more days. I can't believe it, it has come so quickly this year.

Have a great day and I'll talk to you again soon.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 6

Gift tags with a little merry and bright added to them.  Of course I found the snowmen tea lights on Pintrest they are all over the place.  Such a fun way to dress up an simple little item. 

I've made several for the top of little gifts for the office folks.  The snowman ornaments are lightly attached to the tag so it can be removed to hang on the tree.
I'm linking this bit of Christmas cheer on the Shabby Tearoom site. Head over to see more cheerfulness!

Candy and cookie making is happening too.  I hope to post pictures tomorrow.

I'll talk to you again soon.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 5

One of the best things about playing around with art is being able to make a gift for a friend. I have a dear friend who loves birds and birdcages as much as I do.

This summer we traveled to the International Folk Art Festival in Santa Fe to take photographs.  Whenever we have a chance to visit "the city different" we make a special effort to go to our favorite little shop on Canyon Road, the name of the shop is Curiosa.  It is always full of fascinating little things. This trip we saw a bird cage in the little shop and I just knew I could make something like it.

First I had to figure out how to assemble the cage.  I had a round paper mache box in my stash so I used the top of it as the base for my cage.

I covered the wires with florist tape and then covered them and base with more of my vintage music paper.   Once it dried I did a light white wash over the whole thing.  My next problem was finding a bird the right size.  I looked all over for one, but wound up making my own with good old paper mache.

The little bird was the perfect size to perch on the outside of the cage, I painted him and then glued him to a small clothes pin.  I found a stick to glue inside as a perch and used some creamy silk roses to finish everything off.  The banner on the inside says "Peace".  The best part was when she opened her gift.  She recognized the cage and thought I had gone back to the little shop and bought the one we had seen.  She was so tickled that I had made it instead.

I was so happy she liked it.

Have a great day and I'll talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 4

The baking and treat making has begun.  I'm trying my hand at French Macaroons again this year.  The first batch turned out pretty good, they were cute and tasty.

Sitting on a plate ready to be boxed up and given away.

How cute are these!  Almond macaroons with almond buttercream filling in their specially made treat box.

Still need to make the peanut brittle, caramel corn, sandies, sugar cookies... yikes! I better go get busy!

I hope you have some fun treats to eat and share this holiday season.

I'll talk to you again soon.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 3

Making gifts and wrapping them up is one of my favorite things to do.  This year for our bible study group we made subway art.  Mr. Darling and I collaborated on the project and we were happily surprised with how they turned out.

Brown wrapping paper and a sparkly little ornament and they were ready to go.

The packages made me think of that line in a song:  Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things.  Now that song will be playing in my head all day, how about you?

To make the project we used 12 x 12 canvas' painted black.  I cut a stencil with my Cricut, used temporary adhesive to hold it on to the canvas and then painted it with an airbrush. (I'm terrible with spray paint I usually get more of it on me than on the project.) But, the airbrush worked like a champ. Off to wrap more packages!

Have a great day and I'll talk to you again soon.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 2

One day I would love to decorate the outside of our house for the holidays.  But, for now, I'll have to be satisfied with taking pictures of some that I like.

Have a great day and slow down a little to look at the lovely sights this time of year.  I'm thankful for my family and friends and the chance to spend time with them during the holidays.

I'll talk to you again soon.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Twelve days of Christmas

Only 12 more days to go...

Day 1

Decking the Halls... no bows of holly, but I did make some ornaments to give away.

A little vintage, a little modern, lots of glitter, tee hee.

I've always wanted to make those dimensional stars so I looked up making dimensional 5-pointed stars, or some people call them barn stars, and found several great tutorials on the internet. But, below is a quick picture tutorial of my version.

Here's what you will need to make the stars. You can click on each picture to enlarge your view.

 I used some pieces of left over poster board, traced the stars (you could totally use a die cut machine but this way it was portable and I could take it with me to work on) cut them out, you will need two star cut outs for each star.  One for the top of the star and one as the base.

I'm planning on making LOTS of stars so I cut out a stack!

I am drawn to red and turquoise at Christmas. Retro and fresh at the same time. I hope you decide to make a few bright glittery stars for your holidays.  Check out this link to the Shabby Tea Room for more holiday inspiration!

I'll talk to you soon.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why Blog?

I’ve asked myself that question many times lately.  My posting has been rather hit and miss, mostly miss over the last several months.  I initially started this little spot in the blogsphere as a way to share ideas and information with my stamping and scrapbooking friends and customers.  But, as my circumstances and focus changed my intentions shifted, I found that I was just floating along with no real direction.  Was I still creating? Yes.  Did anyone care? I’m not sure. 

As I sent my thoughts and ideas adrift over the cyber waves I would continue to ask myself the question, why am I doing this?  Slowly (it took some time) my thoughts began to settle into a small stream of consciousness that eventually wound its way into my brain and heart.  I came to realize, as so many others have shared in their own blogging experiences, that I am doing “this” to fulfill a personal need to share information and see my art/work from a different perspective.  This awareness  brought with it the understanding that I also blog to get a response.  Did something I create make someone smile? Or did it inspire someone to try their own creative venture?  I’m a teacher at heart after all.  Just like in the classroom I need a little spark from my students, am I getting through to them? Are they catching a glimpse of the possibilities, are they inspired to take a step, to believe, to feel passionate about something – anything?

So, my decision made, my vision clearer, I will continue on, because, well… I must.  Somewhere out there some one may need that little push, a nudge, some coaxing, to try; maybe I can help.

My promise to myself – to be a little more “hit” than “miss” this coming year.  We’ll see what happens.

Join me, won’t you?

I’ll talk to you again soon.