Thursday, December 24, 2009

O Holy Night!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Wishing you and yours a most blessed Christmas ~

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Little Red Wagon Challenge #8

The challenge this week at Little Red Wagon was to create a 'man' card. I have to admit that I don't normally make up cards that are suitable for guys so I had fun doing this challenge.

I worked with a stamp from stamping Bella that I have been wanting to use for a while - it is soooo adorable and perfect for a little boy! I paired it up with papers from We R Memory Keepers and used Copic markers to match the paper.

Thanks for a fun challenge Regan! Now let's see what you can do with this week's challenge!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A New Recipe

I love casseroles - one-dish, hearty meals that require little preparation and offer delicious goodness! Chicken pot pie is one of my favorites and I recently came across a recipe for one in the Taste of Home - Best Ever Casseroles publication so I thought I would give it a try.

It was really easy to put together and I was very happy with how it turned out! There is no bottom crust but the recipe called for a top crust. Instead of making up a pie crust, and to make it really easy, I bought some Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, cut strips from the dough and laid them over the filling. They browned up nicely while the filling cooked and the combination tasted wonderful.

Here is the recipe if you would like to give it a try :)

Chicken Vegetable Pot Pie

4 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 cups water
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups cubed chicken
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
Pastry for single-crust pie

1. In a saucepan, cook the carrots, potato, onion and celery in water for 10 minutes or until tender; drain. Stir in the peas, chicken and soup.

2. Pour into a greased baking dish. Roll out pastry to fit top of dish; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tag Swap

I was invited to my first craft swap this past week! Rosanne hosted a Christmas Tag Swap and it was so much fun! There were 9 of us attending the swap, so each of us had to create 9 tags - 8 to give away and 1 to keep for ourselves.

I had lots of fun deciding what my tags should look like and then I got busy creating them. I started with a Stamping Bella Stamp and then used my Copic markers to color the scarf and gift. I did add a bit of warm gray to the bear, although it doesn't show up too well in my photos.

Then I added some Glamour Dust to the snowflakes and ground. I also added some Glossy Accents to the bear's nose. I layered the finished image on a large snowflake, a circle of MME paper and a scalloped white cardstock circle. Last, but not least, I tied some ribbon to the top.

When we gathered at Rosanne's, we enjoyed lots of laughs, great food, hot apple cider, egg nog and wine, and our tag swap. Everyone did such a great job on their tags and I enjoyed seeing the creativity and wide variety of ideas. I am going to have a hard time using these tags on my gifts! I might just have to keep them for myself :)

Rosanne has promised to host another swap next Christmas and I am looking forward to it already! Thanks Rosanne!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Tea

I think I was born a century too early! While I like the comforts of our modern world, like cell phones, computers and indoor plumbing, (and not necessarily in that order), I love the beauty of times past. I love traditional decor, the thought of a simpler lifestyle, and afternoon tea and I am sure I would have been best friends with Elizabeth Bennet or the March sisters had I known them!

This past weekend I fulfilled a long time desire of mine to attend Afternoon Tea at Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario. My initial thought was to host a Christmas Tea for my sisters and nieces, but the scheduling did not work out and only my sister Mary and her daughter, Sarah, were able to make it in for a visit. When I realized it would just be the three of us, I decided to make reservations for Christmas Tea at Langdon Hall. It turned out to be a wonderful experience!

We arrived at 2:00 pm and when we drove down the drive and saw Langdon Hall for the first time, it was breathtaking. I was sure I was going back in time!

The estate is absolutely gorgeous and it was completely decorated for the Christmas season. Every room had a real Christmas tree in it, plus real pine wreaths and boughs. I kept taking in deep breaths of the wonderful smell of the greenery and it brought peace to my soul.

We took our tea in the Conservatory, a wonderful room with windows all around. We were seated right next to the fire place and a warm fire crackled and burned while we relaxed in the beauty of our surroundings.

The finest linens, silver and china were placed before us and we each chose our tea.

We were served Orange Blossom & Traditional Scones with St. Jacob’s Style Apple Butter, Preserves & Heavy Cream. Delicious!

We were also given a variety of savories and sweets that were a treat for our taste buds!

It was an unhurried afternoon of pure delight and we promised we would do it again sometime.

Thank you Mary and Sarah for joining me. It was a wonderful time and a memory I will always treasure.

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." ~Henry James

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Little Red Wagon Challenge #7

Our challenge this week at Little Red Wagon was posted by Avril and she chose sewing! You could use machine sewing, hand sewing or faux stitching. I love the look of sewing on cards and layouts so I was very happy to pull out my sewing machine for this week's challenge!

I did some straight and zig-zag sewing and I just love how much it adds to the card! I used some bits and pieces of MME paper that I had, a stamp from Stamping Bella, Copic markers, and ribbon, button, twine and decorative pin from my stash. The cardstock is Prism and Bazzill. Thanks for a great challenge Avril!

Now ladies, dust off your sewing machine or pull out your needle and thread and get stitching. Create something gorgeous - I know you can - and then post it over at Little Red Wagon. We would love to have you play along!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pink Glove Dance

I am not normally one that likes to post YouTube videos on my blog, but when I saw this one I decided to share it. When I first saw it, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I found myself smiling and crying at the same time. I thought of all my close friends and relatives that have fought breast cancer, especially my Aunt Ilene who is currently undergoing treatment, and my heart was touched. I applaud the millions of medical personnel who tirelessly care for our loved ones and those who diligently search for a cure.

Let's never give up hope of finding a cure!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Red Wagon Challenge #6

This week's challenge at Little Red Wagon was issued by Carolyn. She posted this photo as inspiration for our creation.

I loved the colors but I have to admit, it took me a while before I came up with an idea.

Based on the swirls and colors in the photo, I decided to make a swirl tree using my Cricut. Then I picked up on the blue by using this gorgeous paper from MME for my background. I added the ornaments by printing words on my computer and backed them using a new punch by Martha Stewart. Then I added a border across the bottom and for a finishing touch, I added some gold bling.

Thanks for a great challenge Carolyn!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our Guest Room

I love when my family comes for a visit. Since they all live out of town, it always involves an overnight stay. Sometimes I envy people who live in the same area as their family, where visits don't involve the planning and traveling that it takes when you live far apart. On the other hand, it is wonderful to anticipate seeing each other after a length of time, and once you are together, you can enjoy each others company well into the night if you wish, without the worry of having to drive home.

My sister and nieces will be arriving on Friday for the weekend and I am really looking forward to seeing them. In anticipation of their arrival, I have been preparing our guest room. It is not a large or fancy room, but it has some special touches that make it warm and comfortable.

The colors are a soft blue and taupe with just a hint of pink. A nice soothing combination.

I have also added a couple of special pieces that I just love. This little iron bird bath is one of my favorites! Purchased in St. Jacobs, it sits atop an antique secretary desk - the first piece of furniture I bought on my own when I was still living at home before I got married.

Another favorite is my little painted chair. It was originally owned by my husband's parents and it used to be painted brown. One summer, I decided that a nice coat of white paint would look perfect on it. It has worn a little as it often spends time on our front porch, but in the winter months, I love to bring it inside. It now has a special place in our guest room.

I am really looking forward to visiting with Mary and her girls. I am looking forward to some girl time, late night talks, shopping at the Mercantile, trying a new recipe for dinner, renting a good movie, and sharing a Christmas Tea. Safe travels Mary, the door is open...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

With Christmas all around us, it is the perfect time to create a Christmas themed page. Karan posted a beautiful sketch on the Forum at Two Scrapbook Friends and I decided to use it to design a page for my album.

'Twas the night before Christmas was created using my favorite seasonal line this year, My Minds Eye. I adore the rich colors and I especially love the plaid!

I combined it with chipboard from My Little Yellow Bicycle (gorgeous!), some twine and brads from my stash. I also used my Tiny Attacher from Tim Holtz to hold my paper ruffle and title in place. It is such a cool tool!

My finishing touch was lots of Vintage Photo Distress Ink! It felt good to create a page (I haven't done one for a while) and I just love how it turned out. If you want to give the sketch a try, just go to the Forum and you will find the sketch under Design Team Challenges. I would love to see your finished page!

Thanks for looking

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Tyler

Happy 22nd birthday Tyler!

I still remember my adorable, blond little boy that loved to cuddle up with me to read his favorite books, or watch a TV show, or for special prayers at bedtime, like it was just yesterday. And now he is a grown man living on his own, successfully completing a University education, with a good heart, a beautiful smile and a gentle and considerate personality. 22 years ago today my heart was filled with a whole new understanding of love...

Tyler, may God bless you and keep you today and always ~
Mom xo

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Am On The Team!

I am pleased to say that I have made the Design Team at Sketchabilities! This is a great blog, owned by Karan Gerber, that offers layout sketches for your scrapbook pages.

Design Team BLINKIE

I have received my first sketch and I love it! I can't wait to get started on creating my first design which will be posted on January 15th. If you are looking for some inspiration for your scrapbook pages, check out Sketchabilities. The sketches are amazing!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Little Red Wagon Challenge #5

It was my turn to post the challenge at Little Red Wagon this week and I chose Heavy Metal! I know that it may seem a bit out of character for me, but I recently purchased some fabulous metal embellishments by Tim Holtz that totally inspired me for this week’s challenge!

I also had this adorable stamp from Stamping Bella that I have been dying to use, so I combined the two and this is my card...

I used a metal word charm, mini safety pin and a metal clip, all from Tim Holtz. Then I added a couple of brads from my stash. I also used some Cosmo Cricket paper scraps I had, Copic markers, a Jenni Bowlin journal card and ribbon from my stash.

OK girlfriends, start digging into your wagon and take up the challenge to create something using metal embellishments. Then post your creation at Little Red Wagon - I know you will create something amazing!

Hugs :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stop And Smell The Roses

Life is a blur sometimes. One day blends into the next, days into weeks and weeks into months and you begin to wonder where the time has gone.

Today is my day off and I have decided to sit and recollect my thoughts a bit.

I can look back and say that we had a wonderful summer. I enjoyed some traveling, visited with family and our store kept very busy. Then came Fall.

We hosted a huge, successful Fall Retreat, I was away for a scrapbooking weekend with my BFF, I visited my family twice, celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary, attended a couple of courses for work, became part of a new challenge blog and enjoyed our Canadian and American Thanksgivings. It was an extremely good but busy time and seems to have come and gone with barely a walk through the leaves or a cup of warm apple cider to relax and remember it by.

Now it is December 1st, we had an actual snowfall last night and Christmas is on it's way. I am not looking forward to the busy season ahead, but I have promised myself that I will try to enjoy each and every day as we prepare for this blessed holiday. I actually envy people who say that this is their favorite time of year; I have come to dread the decorating, the pressures of gift buying, trying to coordinate schedules with family for a time to get together, the thought of traveling in bad weather and even Christmas baking. I just find it way too busy and stressful and then it is gone before you know it.

To help me have a more positive outlook on the upcoming Christmas season, I have started listening to Christmas music, I am slowly putting up the decorations and I am planning a Christmas Tea with my sisters and nieces. Life is good, very good. But I need to somehow slow down and smell the roses (or poinsettias!). I need to really focus on what Christmas is all about.

I hope and pray that as each day passes and we come closer to December 25th, I will be one step closer to the manger where Jesus was born and to appreciating the precious gift that He is to us. Let's keep each other in prayer as we journey towards Bethlehem these next few weeks. I for one don't want to miss out on the beauty and graces of this special season.

Have a blessed day.
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