Thursday, November 29, 2012

My letter to Santa

Did you know that Silhouette America is having a Letter to Santa Contest?  The grand prize is fabulous, and includes a Silhouette Cameo!  Here's my letter:

And for those of you in Utah, you may be interested to know that the annual American Crafts Warehouse sale is going on right now.  They are in a different location this year which isn't quite as convenient for me as the American Fork location last year, but that may be a good thing....

Disregard the Provo location though - for some reason they weren't able to secure the lease there.  So you can find them in West Jordan - and find them you should.  They have some FANTASTIC sales.

And for good measure, there is also a DCWV sale going on right now at the Holiday Gift Show at University Mall in the old Nordstrom location, in Orem, UT.   You can find out more information about this sale here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Need a little Christmas?

I am involved with a ladies' organization at my church and I am in charge of our monthly meetings.  The theme for last night's meeting was "A Meaningful Christmas".  It's so easy for this time of year to be stressful and hectic, instead of time of joy and hope.  I wanted to create an atmosphere that was warm and cozy, and I invited people to share ideas for activities and traditions that would help them have a Christ-centered, low-stress Christmas.  At the front of the room I set up a rocking chair, a lamp, and my pretend fireplace/heater.  I had LED pillar candles and lights all over the room, and I brought my Wallflowers (plug-ins) that were Christmasy scented.  This would mean so much more if I had taken a picture!  Christmas music was playing softly in the background as people arrived, and we had a table full of everyone's favorite Christmas treats and recipes to share.

By the glow of the (fake) fire, we started the evening with an inspirational story which was a heart warming reminder of the joy of giving - there wasn't a dry eye in the place!  The rest of the evening was full of wonderful traditions and activities that we can share with our families.  It was a good night, and I came away with some new ideas for inexpensive, meaningful Christmas gifts for my family.

I didn't take a picture of my set-up at the church, but I do have a picture of the wreath that was part of the decorations.

I've been wanting to make this wreath for a while now, but I had a little extra incentive a couple of weeks ago when DCWV put out a call for Utah-based designers.  I live about half an hour from their corporate offices, so I thought why not?  This was one of the projects that I submitted.  The base is a foam wreath that I picked up at Joann, and the rest is paper from DCWV:  from the Recollections Warm Wishes stack, and the DCWV Holiday Collection stack.  Oh, and two cuts with my Silhouette:  the gingerbread man, and the bow.  The rest of the wreath is made of paper accordion flowers, or pinwheels, or whatever you want to call them.

Oh, and I made the team.  Yay!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hybrid Crafts

I really need to work on this blogging once a month thing!  With the upcoming Christmas season you will most likely be seeing more and more of me.  This is going to be a very handmade Christmas - at least, it will be if I get everything done that I have planned.  I guess that's the catch, isn't it?  I've always had great intentions to get started with my handmade gifts a few months before Christmas, but it never happens.  This year I finally figured out why.  It's all the canning and preserving I do!  From about the middle of July until the end of October there is always something I am either bottling, juicing, drying, making salsa out of, or turning into jam.  I guess that's not so bad, especially since I use a lot of the jams and salsas as gifts.  Now that I am done with the preserving, it's on to crafting, sewing, and soap and lotion making.  I'll be posting pics of these various projects soon.

So, what do I mean by hybrid crafts do you wonder?  I have been crafting for about 20 years now, and with living in Utah I am pretty well acquainted with most forms of craftiness.  And I have been doing this long enough to see different handicrafts fall in and out of fashion.  Toll painting was HUGE 20 years ago around here.  But then it kind of disappeared.  Have you noticed though, that wood crafts have made a resurgence in popularity?  This has been going on for a few years now - I'm actually a little late to this party.  What is new and different about it, compared to the toll painting of 20 years ago, is a lot of these projects have combined the absolutely beautiful paper that is available on the market today with the wood.  There are a few businesses that have popped up that have absolutely adorable wood & paper projects.  Here are the two that I know of:

and the project below came from:

I painted the sides of the wood blocks brown, and then traced the letters onto various fun papers, which were then distressed, and then mod-podged onto the wood.  The papers were primarily from the Apple Cider line from American Crafts, and some are DCWV.  Then I finished it all off with a finishing spray, and some raffia and buttons.  Funny side note:  I think the raffia that I have is older than my children!  Do you remember when for a while raffia was everywhere?  I bought a package of it about 15 years ago, probably the last time I was toll painting.  Low and behold, I was able find it and dig it out of my bin o' odds and ends.

So there you have it - my first successful creation made from wood and paper.  And I got it done just in time to have to start getting the Christmas decorations out...  ;-)
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