Christmas Eve … still need a gift?

Today is the day the big guy in the red suit comes to all the good little boys and girls’ houses to fill their stockings and tree skirts with presents and cheer. Are you ready?

Still need a gift? Want to add a little more to what you already have? How about a paper pumpkin?

Here’s December’s paper pumpkin kit! It’s a calendar to get you started off right in the new year.

And of course, as always, there’s great opportunity for alternative projects with each kit if you’d prefer that option.

Not a subscriber? It’s easy … just go to my LINK HERE and sign up for your monthly kit. Remember to sign up by January 10 in order to get the next kit in time. Setting up an subscriber account is quick and easy, you will be prompted to create your own personalized username and password giving you the ultimate power to skip a month or cancel if needed.

What comes in a kit?

All the paper supplies to create your project.
All the stamps for you to keep forever and ever.
Ink for use in this and future projects.
Embellishments to use on your project and in future projects.
Clear stamp mounting block (first-time subscribers only).

That’s a lot of stuff for just $19.95 a month!

Jingle bells, jingle bells …. Santa’s on his way!

The last pillar.

Our trip to NYC was a memorable one. We saw pretty much everything we wanted to visit, including the “ground zero” 9/11 World Trade Center memorial.

Since that horrific day, I felt indifferent to visiting a location where so many people perished. I wasn’t sure how I would feel or what I would think. However, I’m glad I went …

Upon arriving at the location, you are quickly reminded of the life lost. Two large pools encompass the spots where each building sat, names of the fallen engraved in the memorial walls. So very sad.

We entered into a memorial center, a museum (if you will) of our nation’s history describing the reality of the attack on U.S. soil. We watched a short video of our President [George W. Bush] at the time explaining how he was never expecting to be a “wartime” President.

The Mayor of New York shared his thoughts well, “It was a time of complete loss and pain, but from the ashes arose a spirit of unity from our nation. Helping each other, without thought to race, religion or differences … just wanting to mend.”

The museum was impressive in how they paid respect to the fallen. The “last pillar” seen in the picture above was the actual last structure standing. Loved ones decorated the pillar with pictures, flowers, letters and emergency unit numbers. The fallen emergency responders were memorialized in many areas, especially this structure.

Two rooms, representing each tower were full of pictures and stories of loved ones lost. It really took my breath away … to see how many people were on the walls. It was a never-ending list of young and old … not only from the two towers, but from the planes and Pentagon as well.

There is no arguing this was truly an overwhelming loss for the American people … still to this day. So many people, so many loved ones will be missed this holiday season. The strain continues with our service men and women who fight for our freedoms. We are lucky to be so fortunate to live in this land as so many in other countries suffer. I fear we are losing sight of our unity. Hate and fear is an awful thing … this picture above shows what it can do.

I encourage you to reach out to someone who is missing a loved one this holiday season (or anytime). Not everyone is in overwhelming happiness this time of year. I will always think about the words from the New York Mayor, “Helping each other, without thought to race, religion or differences … just wanting to mend.” Say a prayer for this nation.

People always seem to find a way to be uplifted in times of tragedy. This is the new tower, standing watch over the two memorial pools.

Hug your family and close friends.

Carlo’s, cubs and Charlie Brown !

The second full day of our NYC excursion consisted of many unique events! If you missed No. 1, then click HERE to get up to speed.

After a visit to the “ground zero” memorial (in which I will cover in a separate post since it is deserving of our full attention), we took to the streets of New York and found ourselves at the ever famous Macy’s. You know, the same Macy’s who hosts the Thanksgiving Day Parade! Yep, that one!

My sister, Hannah photobombing my mom. 🙂

It was pretty decked out in true Christmas form. Shoppers were bustling about, busily coming and going. We stopped at “Santa’s floor” after taking a rather old-type wooden escalator. I expected to see what I remember from movies, (most famously, The Christmas Story, except that was at Higbee’s Store) when we arrived at a long, long, long line full of kids and battered looking parents. Yep, if you’ve ever seen the above movie then you will be able to envision our view. Here’s a clip from the movie.

Ha Ha Ha! As we were spectating, there was a point in the line where this teenage boy dressed as an elf looked scared. I would have been, too! 😉

Speaking of kids … do you remember these guys? The Peanuts gang is celebrating 50 years of A Charlie Brown Christmas. How cool! 

Macy’s shopping bag with Peanuts characters.

I don’t want to ruin Christmas for my family so I won’t tell you what we bought … but I will show you some neat ornaments that I found on our stroll. Paper ornaments of course!

This Christmas tree was a pretty cute idea. I could see myself easily figuring out how to make this tree. Maybe I will add one like it to my ornaments for next year.

Another cute paper ornament I found was this wreath.

Adorned with cute mini roses, this wreath could be made out of any of our designers series papers!

We went to another show … a Broadway show! I’ve only ever seen one actual Broadway performance in NYC years ago on a high school trip with my choir. Hannah saw Disney’s The Lion King when she was visiting France and highly recommended we see the show. I was not disappointed! The costumes and amount of coordination it must have took to prepare this show was amazing.

After all the walking and seeing, we found ourselves with the munchies. Lucky for us, Carlo’s Bakery was only a block from our hotel. Yum!

Sound familiar? Well, if you’ve ever seen the TLC show Cake Boss then you will know that Carlo’s Bakery is actually a family-based shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, and grew into a larger scale bake shop after becoming popular from their sweet treats and the show.

Don’t think for a second that their quality dropped with their fame and expansion because what we ate (confession: we went back a second night) was delicious!

The shop is noted for their famous “lobster tails” and they are wonderful. HERE’S A CLIP with Carlo’s Master Baker “Buddy” making the pastry.

Well, we had a blast this day, too. Check in next post for a sincere “thank you” to our troops.

Thirty ladies dancing…

Have you guessed yet? I’m referring to a weekender in the Big Apple. My sis and I surprised my mom with a trip to New York City this Christmas. It’s always been on the bucket list to see the city lit up during the holidays.

Our mom has never been to see a show at Radio City Music Hall. The rockettes were the perfect entertainment for this time of year.
They performed many numbers flawlessly, but my favorite was the “wooden soldiers” routine.

A must see with surprises around every corner (literally)! 

Of course, no self-respecting rockett performance would be without their trademark eye-high kick line.
The rest of the day was filled with touristy activities. One being a visit to Rockefeller Center to check out the tree and ice rink. Here’s a picture of the tree.

Oops! How’d that get in there? Just kidding, that’s my second card design (kit) for the adopt a resident program. Just a reminder that everyone needs a little cheer this time of year, too!
Ok, back to NYC! 

Here’s the real tree! I bet it’s amazing at night. Our next stop was St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Such a pretty church … And large!

A stop at Grand Central Station ended our sightseeing for the day and we were off to catch another show.

Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance” was a request from mom. The famous “Riverdance” star was on Broadway completing his 20-plus years of performances with “Lord of the Dance” and only makes a final stage appearance at the end of the show. 
Of course, he watches his performers just like anyone who purchased a ticket, in the audience, slipping into the back row once the lights dim down. 
Well folks, we were in the back row and to our surprise, he himself and his wife sat right next to my mom! She about melted right there in her seat. 
It wouldn’t be any better if we had planned it ourselves! What’s more, he offered mom a drink and actually had a mini conversation about the show. 

Check! Another item on mom’s bucket list complete. You have no idea people, no idea! 
Whew, how are we going to top the next day?

It’s almost Christmas?

Can you believe it’s almost Christmastime? I have been so pumped about the decorating, family time and activities that I almost don’t want it to be here yet. Almost … 😉
I’ve been working away at the Adopt a Nursing Home Resident cards and have finished my Christmas cards this week. Here’s a little glimpse of the creativity.

I just adore this penguin and all of his gear. This is a card for my upline demonstrator, Shirley. She’s a big fan of ice cream so even though it’s winter, we can usually find an excuse for the delicious treat.

Peek! I plan on doing something else with this guy once the holidays are over. Anyone seen the movie Madagascar?

Anyway, do you notice what else I used? There’s a little bit of Project Life supplies on this card. I like to mix and mingle the cards since I don’t have all of the time in the world. Project Life products give me that opportunity to create something that’s fun and quick, too!
Speaking of quick, I just love all of the kits Stampin’ Up! has to offer us. I made some of these festive cards from a holiday kit they provided. 

It’s a “shaker” card … see the embellishments?
Well, that’s it for now folks. Be sure to check in again this weekend to see what I’m up to (or where, I should say). 😉

Occasions and Sale-a-bration product sneak peek!

Christmas came early for me at my house this year. My preorder products from the new Occasions and Sale-a-bration catalogs came Monday! What a great way to start off the week, right?!

As there is a little more time for non-demonstrators to wait until the catalogs go live on January 5th, I’ve designed a sneak peek video for you to check out some of the products. You’re welcome! 😉

These are just a few of the items in these catalogs … there’s much, much more!

Enjoy!

Don’t miss this week’s deals, too! 🙂

Apple, oranges and new stuff!

Today is the day !! 
My shipment of Occasions and Sale-a-bration items are scheduled to arrive … Yippie! I can’t wait to show you all what I ordered. I added a little extra than normal to count as my Christmas gift this year. (Thanks Hunny.) 😉
I plan to create a video showing you the new products, but until then … here’s a little sneak peek of one of the stamp sets I won in a prize patrol during OnStage in Baltimore. 
This is the 16-stamp photopolymer set called “Apple of My Eye” … so cute!
Screams summer, right? Well, it’s fitting because it was 70 degrees here on Sunday. Odd for the middle of December. I’m thinking that we won’t be seeing any of that “white stuff” for Christmas. However, you won’t hear me complain about that this year.
Another update I am able to share with you is that Stampin’ Up! is bringing back the Woodland Textured Impression Embossing folder to the Occasions catalog. It was so popular! 
I’m still asking for donations for my Adopt a Nursing Home Resident program. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. Read more about it HERE.
 

Year end SALE !!

Stampin’ Up! has more products on clearance for their Year-End Sale today, December 10, 2015-January 4, 2016! While supplies last, they’re offering discounts up to 60 percent on select products, so be sure to check the clearance rack for more details!

Don’t forget to also check out the weekly deals page for some additional super savings! 🙂

As always, the holiday catalog retired list is still in full swing. Don’t pass up that list either … you could make a cute card like the one I have below, too.

Cookies, cedar and deals.

It’s been proven in the holiday catalog and will stand true in the occasions catalog, too, that the Precision Base Plate will intricately punch out those “hard-to-cut” designs we love so much! With the occasions catalog debuting just around the corner, and the help from a small brush (you’ll learn more about that later), I would say if you liked those types of dies then the Precision Base Plate is for you! AND it’s on the weekly deals!!

http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/ItemList.aspx?categoryid=100100

http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/ItemList.aspx?categoryid=100100

Something a little more non-precise was accomplished by my crew this past weekend. My craft group made fresh holiday wreaths and swags. They turned out beautiful and there was enough cedar to go around, too! Here’s what I did with the remainder of it. It was all over the place .. haha!

My sister visited this weekend, too. We made cookies, cookies and more cookies … yum!

We had so many cookies made they were coming out of our ears. Don’t worry, I shared. 😉

Little man loves cookies. He was waiting patiently for them to bake. He even brought his stool out from the bathroom to sit in front of the oven.

Here he is again enjoying his “tookie” as he would say. Of course, in his own fashion, he’s sitting inside the cupboard keeping a close eye on the baking.

JOY! (and glitter … shudder!)

JOY!

What a word.

(noun. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.)

Love it !! I shared the fun we had choosing our Christmas tree in my last blog post. I also promised to show you the end result of our decorating, too. Here it is!

Little man even added a toy car to the base of the tree to make it more realistic, I guess … haha! 🙂

Look closely, do you see Stampin’ Up! products? I snagged a few things from the holiday catalog before it retires on January 4th.

Gold ribbon makes a sparkling addition to my tree. I found these clear glass ornaments from the craft store are added some cool things like this snazzy ribbon.

Don’t forget the designer series paper! Did you know it was on sale during the online extravaganza? Well, i took some of the holiday paper and rolled it to make them more chunky and slid them into the ornaments. I love how they settle to the bottom like snow so you can see the lights of the tree clearly.

I even watched some Christmas shows while doing this little project. So easy! The hubby was laughing at me as I placed scrap paper around the coffee table and couch to block off any glitter that may escape. I’m serious people … glitter and I do not get along.

 Of course, I despise glitter, but I broke that fear and used it on many of my ornaments … shudder! Using glitter on the INSIDE of the ornaments was perfect. You get it to adhere to the inside of the ornament by adding a few drops of mop glow (cleaning product) and swirling it around the inside of the glass to get full coverage and drain the excess. Then, using your paper scraps as a funnel, pour the glitter inside the ornament and swirl covering the whole inside. Pour out the remainder of the glitter into the container for use later. Bam … done!

Tree is beautiful.