Tuesday, December 29, 2009


My youngest sister came to visit during the Christmas holidays and, like last year, we ended up at a cemetery. Or three. But this year it was less of a sight-seeing adventure and more of a recconnaissance mission to locate my grandparents' plot at Greenwood Cemetery. Found it:

Our next mission would be to find a restaurant without an hour long wait. One that served gumbo. Mandina's-X. Liuzza's-Check! We were squished between the bar, the video poker booth and some unfortunate family with a table by the door, while we waited almost 30 minutes to be seated. Why did everyone in the world want to eat out on this random Tuesday, I'll never know. Thankfully, a party of 9 were a no show and we happily took their place, with the addition of an extra chair. Frosty mug sodas. Fried green tomatoes appetizer. Cream of shrimp and artichoke soup. Boiled shrimp po-boy. Yum!

Next stop-Fulton St., downtown New Orleans, where it snows every hour on the hour. (If you squint and use your imagination, those tiny soap bubble clusters can look as much like snow as anything else in this semi-tropical locale.)

Walking Through a Winter Wonderland!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve Rainbow

Towards the end of a dreary, rainy afternoon, this is what appeared, a beautiful double rainbow. It began over a neighbors house and ended over our garage. I wonder if we'll find a pot of gold inside!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cookies

Today is baking day and cookies for Santa is #1 on the list! Hmmm...what should we make? Peanut butter blossoms, sand tarts, or sugar cookies? Oooo...I know what I want to bake! And I know exactly where to find my collected recipes thanks to a little project I fashioned from an old Maya Road tin. The tin, with its clear window in the top was the perfect size for holding recipe cards featuring our family’s favorite Christmas cookies. The cards inside the tin can be rotated so that the recipe currently in use is viewable through the tin’s window, keeping the card free from drops and splatters and other kitchen mishaps while we're baking. For added durability, the painted and papered tin is finished with a coating of clear varnish. Here are photos of my tin and the recipes stored inside.

The recipe cards have a home-spun look, each decorated with a different design pieced from a variety of coordinating patterned papers. Holiday wrapping paper designs provided inspiration for several of the embellishments.

YUM...I think we'll bake old fashioned sugar cookies today!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mini ME Albums

I made a these little booklets a couple of years ago to give to my girls. It has pages to record their favorite things in life, people they admire, favorite songs, movies, TV shows, and places to shop, as well as dreams they have and places they'd like to visit. The pages are slipped into little name badge holders which act like tiny page protectors, then they are tied together with ribbons.

A fun little album!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And yet more...


This Junk Drawer Advent Calendar caught my eye just as the 12 Days of Tim's tags were ending! Whatdayathink? Can I stop at one or two? A few? Here's my first:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Candy Stash-->Candy House

It's almost that time again...time to raid the candy aisles for delicious little tidbits suitable for gingerbread house decor. M&Ms, SweetTarts, slivered almonds, miniature candy canes, gumdrops, chocolate chips and more are arranged in little plates on the table. Most years we use graham crackers for the house roof and walls, cemented together with canned frosting, but last year I cheated and bought an already baked ginergread house kit. Man was that easy! Whichever way we do it, it's always fun and one tradition that is sure to continue at this house.

Gift Tags

My friend Wendy made these tags a couple of years ago, and I have been planning to make some of my own. The corrugated cardboard base gives it such great texture! Then pair that with the pretty embellishments and a bit of sparkle and it couldn't be more special! Now to tear up some old priority boxes...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rudolph the Red Reindeer

Once I inked the heat embossed reindeer, I wasn't quite sure if I liked the color. But he's growing on me. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shiny and Bright

Oh my! I love this tag! Chipboard letters and shapes are covered with an artemboss metal sheet, embossed with a stylus, colored with alcohol ink, then distressed with steel wool and paint. The soft colors and blackened metal give it the look of a vintage mercury glass ornament.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For Crying Out Loud!

Although Tim Holtz provided all the images for his tag on his blog, I substituted my own photograph for the focal photo. This picture of Laura on Santa's lap always cracks me up. I'm not sure who is most terrified, my 1 year old daughter or Santa Claus himself. Laura clutches her bottle and screams bloody murder, while Santa has that deer in the headlight look! LOL!

(Another substitution. In place of the filmstrip ribbon, I printed a filmstrip image onto a transparency.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Playing With Plaids

Have you noticed? Plaid is everywhere! This traditional fall fashion trend is not just for lumberjacks. In fact, Day 3 of Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas features two tags, two plaids, created with alcohol ink! It is such a fun technique, that once you get started, you may not want to stop. I love the contrast of colors on this first tag. The black trees against the warm and colorful plaid is stunning.

The Santa tag with its green and red plaid background has a charm of its own.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Bigger, Better Tag

After a friend of mine sent me a dozen and some-odd of the #8 manila shipping tags (the size preferred by Tim Holtz for his tag project), I decided to try working with these larger tags. Oh yeah. More room to play is always a good thing. Here are three more tags:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Rains Came

It had been raining off and on for days, so the ground was thoroughly saturated when the rains came on Saturday afternoon and the water had no where to go. I always wanted lakefront property! :)

We parked the cars wherever we could. Laura's was backed up onto the lawn. Unfortunately, she didn't get it up in time. The carpets were a little damp already.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

12 Tags of Christmas

There's Christmas music on the radio, some of the neighbors have already put up their lights, and the shopping mall parking lots are full to bursting. And yet one more sign that Christmas is on its way...the start of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas. Beginning on December 1, the guru of grunge and artsy stamping presents us with 12 days of tags, each with full tutorial. I've ooohed and aaahed over his tags for two years, but this is the first year I am determined to actually DO them, albeit in my own way. Lacking many of the stamp sets and other supplies, I will have to make do with what I have in my stash and experiment with alternate methods to achieve the "look". Here's my take on Tim Holtz's first tag of the series.

Not having any real snowflake stamps, I inked chipboard snowflakes and stamped with them instead. My frosty fellow was cut from a piece of rogue chipboard and base coated with white paint. Stickles glitter glue gives everything, background and snowman, the shimmery appearance of snow!