I love this time of year! Wow, what a weekend! I cannot remember having this much going on in one weekend before – but all GOOD stuff, not just schmack-tivities (my shorthand for scheduled activities). Speaking of time…this is the time of year when my idea of an alarm clock for the kidoodles is turning on the bells on the stairwell. ding ding ding dong dong. 🙂
First a HUGE thank you to Lori and Laura, who respectively hosted the kids on Friday night so that Neil and I could go do a marathon shopping trip. I wrapped up a digital layout for Club Scrap Digital's CSJr Kit (being released today) and then we were out the door. We had a very successful evening, not only a serendipitious moment of finding two boxes of Bakugan character thingies just sitting there on the shelf at ToysRUs (Moms of little boys know what I'm talking 'bout here), and also got to grab dinner together. It was nice. I'd say we are all but done with the kids' shopping.
So on Saturday, we picked out our tree at Jones' Tree Farm in Shelton. The rainy week accompanied by a light dusting of snow that morning made it a bit sloggy walking through the fields, but the kids found all manner of 'treasures'.
Cameron held onto that tall 'stick' and led the parade down the hill. Courtney was beating on a drum (tree stump) with a stick and Brianna had the bits of branches and ferns to scatter along our path. Good lord, what will I do when they outgrow my silliness? They come up with all of this stuff on their own and I keep getting nostalgic about how much they are growing up. I want to freeze time.
That afternoon, Neil took Cameron to his basketball game with the girls in tow, while I stole out to get one last gift. It almost didn't fit into the car – but I got it, and snuck it home.
Sunday was busy, but blissful. I hosted the coffee hour at church, with Neil's help of course. I thought we had over bought and over-baked, but there was NOTHING left. Bye bye to all of those gingerbread cookies!
Later in the day, Cameron finished his addition to my favorite idea of a Christmas village display with these adorable little houses from Maya Road. I snagged them for half price at a Black Friday sale at Express Yourself in Bethel and the kids went to town decorating them.
They've made a bunch of spoon angels too, after Brianna showed the twins how to make them - but those are drying after Mommy helped to spray some Glimmer Mist on their wings.
Then we went to church for a Gingerbread Christmas Craft Celebration. Rae and Melanie put this together. It was fabulous. I made a double batch of royal icing - which hopefully made it's way mostly onto the houses. The children were very creative.
Now I know I'm not supposed to have a favorite gingerbread house – but I've got to give it to my little man for detail-oriented design.
On this side, look closely and you will see Santa's sleigh (of pretzels), with his bag (large marshmallow), stuffed with M&M presents and Chocolate Santa himself on the sleigh as well as the Christmas tree and several small Quaker Oats decorated presents. But Cameron didn't stop there.
On the other side of his Gingerbread house, he made a tiny manger, with baby green M&M Jesus with his gumdrop blanket on an Andes Mint bed. Cameron told me Jesus is attached for safety with lots of frosting. And to his credit, Cameron's creation actually did make it home in one piece.
Do you think I have enough inspiration growing up around me? Just when you think that your heart couldn't hold any more love, it is about to burst like the big hug Cameron gave me when he was done.
And so we brought the creativity home to show Daddy. The kids had dinner and we lit the fire and watched the Sound of Music together. About half of it. We'll watch the rest tonight.
I spent the remainder of the evening, once the short people were off to bed, watching The Colbert Report with Neil and making something for the tooth fairy to give to Courtney. She lost TWO front teeth this weekend. Which makes the word GROCERIES, which typically comes out 'gwowth-sure- wreath' anyways – all the more unbearably cute. Here is how her $2.00 bill was packaged:
This is a vintage brass business card holder that I purchased from Renaissance Art Stamps. I adhered the ladies (from Crafty Secrets) with Matte Gel Medium, and brushed more across the top to protect the surface. When it was dry, I attached a wing to one of my 'fairies' and sprayed a light coating of Glimmer Mist in Walnut Gold over the entire piece.
Final touches included edging with Stickles in Patina and touching the jewels on their outfits with a Copic Spica marker in Clear. See how the jewels sparkle on her dress and wrist?
And of course sprayed the $2.00 bill with Glimmer Mist as well before inserting it and the card into the holder. I think we are officially out of $2.00 bills now.
I've spent the rest of the evening (or should I say morning) and well into this afternoon organizing my craft area. And I've got to say – this is the best thing I could have assembled on my birthday. If you didn't see that post, I got the Original Scrapbox Minibox in November. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
With all the holiday shopping you are doing for others, this is something you should get for yourself. And they've got free shipping to boot! That's huge people! Click on the image and type FREESHIP1025 when you place your order for either of the Scrapboxes.
Personally, I have the MINIbox – and I absolutely adore it. I close it up and my office actually looks NEAT, which is quite an accomplishment! LOL! Open it up and you've got a craft CAVERN inside. It holds so much stuff!
For example, the paper trays. We all know what they are capable of, but did you know that they are deep enough to handle the 'cut strip' as well? Many paper trays can hold 12×12 cardstock, but don't take that extra bit into account. And a LOT of manufacturers of patterned cardstock and transparencies have that cut strips on there, for the bar code, item # etc. I can think of one manufacturer that even uses one side as a decorative edge! So this is necessary in a paper tray.
The other narrower drawers have so many uses too. They may be narrower than 12" – but they are just as long.
And the narrowest drawers are once again, 12" long inside. You can use them with the provided dividers, for say, putting your flowers into color sets, and also remove all the dividers and it is the perfect storage for 12" long embellishments such as these adhesive Voila felt ribbon borders.
But here is perhaps my FAVORITE thing about the MiniBox. I attached some magnetic tool holders to the inside panels. These are blank, and only on the MINIBOX is there room to do this. The full-size Workbox needs this room to store the table surface.
And this is where I store my low-profile metal dies. The Spellbinders Nestabilities are shown here. (ok, well three of them are blurred out – but you are just going to have to wait for CHA to see those!). But do you see the possibilities? Unused space becomes a functional dream!!!
And with the 'nesting' design of these dies, you get the whole set in the space of the largest piece.
Isn't that great?
Ok, I'm back to sorting flowers for the moment, which is why I wanted to bring this up. Organization is such a blessing.
So whatever you do for the holidays, I hope that you will treat yourself to some time, to create, to organize, to PLAY.
I've got some deadlines coming up and (oh yes, one that is past due!) as we wind up the year and head into CHA next month. So if you have made it this far, thank you for staying with me! And I hope your days are just as merry and colorful.