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Happy Holidays

img_4079Every year we travel to see family and do the long drive to see everyone. We had a great time playing games at Ben’s (Yakima, WA), doing raffles at my moms’ (Othello, WA), secret santa at my partner’s moms’ (Stevenson, WA), and see the kids open their presents (Vancouver, WA).

This year I did lot of handmade projects for family and friends: stockings stuffer, baggies, screen print pillows, and more.  I also did lot of photo project to create a more personal gift: blanket, mugs, and magnets.

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Christmas Crafts

We made it all this year. My favorite month of the year… and I had an Elf to help me with my craziness. Max and I did it all. We decorated Christmas cookies, made a gingerbread house, picked up a potted tree from Silverton, made wooden ornaments from Micheal’s Craft Store, glued & sewed an ugly sweater, created an online New Year calendar and more. Happy Holidays Everyone!

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Christmas All Around

InstagramThe house is full of Christmas decorations and fun activities. The possibilities here are endless. There’s nothing better than the tradition of counting down the days with fun and crafty events.

Max and I both created calendars for each other. We frosted cookies, picked out a tree, visit Seattle, and wrapped presents.

I used recycled toilet paper rolls to make the tree, stamp numbers on tissue paper, used red ribbon to wrap the tissue paper and added a little bit of green paint. Punch the number for your activity message and find your gift to start the activity. Oh, I love Christmas!

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My Christmas Card!

 

Our Christmas wish for 2013!

Our Christmas wish for 2013!

This year I had one of those AH HA Moments when I was about half way done with my Christmas cards and so exhausted of coloring, cutting, stitching and melting embossing powder I couldn’t see straight.  Just a note … I make everything by hand which means that there are no Cricuits, Silhouettes, precut items … Each little piece I cut by hand.  It’s relaxing to me 🙂 It was only 2 weeks until Christmas and I hadn’t done one single “Christmas-y” type thing such as plays, music performances, visiting light shows … I had been making things for hours and hours straight.  I thought about giving up and not sending cards but then I realized (as the guilt overwhelmed me) that the very best part of Christmas for me is making the cards and sending them.  My little paper gift in an envelope with a handwritten letter … if there is time.  It means a great deal to many people.  They tell me all the time how they save every card I make and have a box full that they pull out each year to use as decorations.  It makes me feel good and warms my heart to think that they really do think of them as a little gift.  After all, I absolutely LOVE Christmas and the spirit that envelopes people during that time of year.   My mom, who used to make her cards in years past before I made them for her a few years, thinks I’m crazy.  130-150 after all is a LOT of cards and it does take about 1 to 2 hours for each card depending on how ornate they are that particular year.  BUT … when I don’t make them, people are so disappointed and ask me if they’ve seen the last one.  It makes me sad to think about not sending them so … around 2 a.m. that particular night/morning … I soldiered on and finished 115 of them.  By the time that many were done it was too late to make more and for the first time in 20 years – I actually … shhh…don’t say it out loud! … I bought some cards.  Just for those people who wouldn’t care anyway.  At least I thought they wouldn’t but that’s another story for the next post.

Snowman stamp:    Lily of the Valley Stamps

Colored with Copics and Prismacolor Pencils

Cardstock from Bazzil

Papers from Little Yellow Bicycle & Lasting Impressions

Metal tags from Lasting Impressions

Snowflakes from Jolee’s

Snow Writer

Stampendous Embossing Enamel

 

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Christmas Recap ???

There is a reason I haven’t been a blogger before now.  I really am not very good at it  🙂  Marilyn is so good at keeping up with everything (she’s still young) and even better at the electronic media world, but I am not.  She reminds me that I need to post my cards, creations and crafts but once I get home from a long day at work with my face buried in a computer, I’m not usually in the mood to sit and fight my way thru posting on our blog.  Besides, I’m busy making dinner, chasing my dogs, cleaning up after the dogs and then making the next craft that is going to be late if I don’t stay up half the night to finish it!  Most the time, I have written out my message and then save a draft and let Marilyn come in and work magic on the layout and photos.  She has shown me atleast a dozen times how to make the photos do a pretty slideshow or layout in tiles or any of many creative things, but every single time I go to post the next thing … I have to send it to Marilyn to fix it all nice and neat.  WELL … I feel so guilty at this point that I’ve been so lax in learning the art of posting a note along with how many wonderful things came out of my craft room for Christmas that I haven’t posted that I am bound and determined to make this work this time.  AND if it goes well – I am going to try very very hard to do it more often.  So for my sake and yours … please cross your fingers and maybe your toes and send me some electronic smarts that this will work out well.  It will be a major hurdle for me to have accomplished and maybe you will even enjoy some of the creations I’ve been busy making.

So with that … here’s a recap of Christmas and before!!

I work in a Skilled Nursing & Assisted Living facility.  We have 80 Assisted Living apartments and 50 Skilled nursing beds with anywhere from 110 to 130 residents at all times.  I LOVE my residents!  I love to talk to them, share with them and most of all make things for them.  You can only imagine though that making 130 items each holiday can be a bit much when I also have 40 close people I send cards to for holidays and 150 at Christmas.  To top that off … I usually wait much too long to get started on everything.  This year was no exception and with a week less time between Thanksgiving and Christmas I was really pushing to get it all done.

We hold special Christmas dinners for the residents & families during which we take photos with Santa.  Each resident gets a photo taken and then myself and possibly some of my coworkers put together some kind of little gift to show off that photo.  Now you should know that I am the facility photographer as well as the craft maker so this means a crazy busy time.  This year, I came up with an idea after seeing some little wooden snowmen my coworker Kim made after seeing a post on Pinterest.  I took her snowman and changed it to a Santa and from there everything snowballed.  THANK YOU to my dad and son for cutting the 6″ – 2X2 pieces of wood for me at Thanksgiving and to my daughter and son-in-law for sanding them all before Thanksgiving dinner.  From there I made little felt coats, curly beards, felt hats and fuzzy trim.  It took some thinking to decide how to attach the photo as there were no arms on my Santa but then it came to me one night … a little block of styrofoam to look like a snow/ice block and a direction sign to Santa’s workshop.  Put it all together and there was my finished product!  What do you think??

Each Santa was put at the resident’s place setting on Christmas Eve and if you could have heard their excitement to see their fun little photo holder!  Sorry I can’t show you one with a photo but for privacy reasons I can’t show a resident. 😦  AND even more so … sorry for the not so great photos … I should have used my camera instead of my phone but I always remembered to take a photo at the last minute!