December 15?!!!!

I can't believe it is December 15th already.  It feels like it's still the first week of December.  I've been busy decorating, shopping, mailing parcels and cards (store bought - did I just admit that?!) and I'm just about done.  I still haven't finished the cards I am making, I was hoping to finish that yesterday.   I always plan to make all of my cards, and then the closer to Christmas, the list just keeps shrinking!  Are any of you like that?
This December is a lot different for me than last year.  It was a year on December 2nd, that my journey with breast cancer began and I spent the entire holiday, waiting for my results, which I never received until the first week of January.  In my heart, I knew that the results weren't going to be good, but I tried to keep positive.  It was really hard to enjoy the holidays, especially since I didn't tell anyone, except my husband and my sister Pat.  I am so grateful and happy that I am here, healthy and ready to appreciate life; the good and the bad, so I am enjoying all the little things that December brings too.  Even this blizzard we are having  today!  I know that sounds weird, but I love looking outside when I'm in my scrapbook room, or snuggled up with a good book or watching t.v.  Is there anyone else out there that likes this, or am I the only weird one?

My sister Pat, her daughter Kayla, and I enjoy going to the "Festival of Trees" every year to start off our holiday season.  We love looking at all the decorated trees.  I usually go home and want to buy more decorations!

Last Sunday night, my husband, son and his girlfriend, and I went to Devonian Garden's Luminaria.  It's on for two evenings in their Japanese Gardens.  They light all the pathways with candles in Luminary bags.  This is the first time we have gone, but I don't know if we would go again.  It was so packed with people, you couldn't really enjoy the beauty of being out in the garden with just the light of the candles.  They had carolers, but we heard them sing just one song, and we didn't see the wood sprites (lit up with twinkling lights) wandering around the garden.  There were bonfires going, but a lot of people were gathered around, trying to keep warm. I am glad we went though, I always wanted to check it out but never seemed to make the time to go.  That's the trouble, sometimes, when an event is so popular, it gets way too crowded.   I took my camera, but managed to get only one good photo.  Note to self:  preset the camera in the light, so you can see what you are doing!  It was so dark I couldn't see the settings!  Seems I wasn't the only one with that problem!  I did take my monopod(my son bought it for me last Christmas) instead of my tripod, which is so handy!  It's easy to carry and I just rest it against something to stabilize it.

This Friday is our staff Christmas Party, which we all look forward to.
It's just us girls from the store, no husbands!  I hate to admit it, but I think we all have a better time with just us girls.  Pat and Lori make the most amazing hors d'oeuvres and that's what we eat, all evening!
Speaking of Urban Scrapbook, check out their blog . They have been giving away prizes everyday!

Here are my projects for December's kit from "The Little Black Dress Kit Club".  This month's kit was full of bright and colorful papers and embellishments!

This is the first layout.  I used my Slice (again!) for the snowflakes, bell, stars and poinsettia.  We moved out to the small town of Gibbons, when we were starting our family.  Every Christmas Santa would arrive on the town's fire truck, and hand out candy to every house.  The kids loved this!

Did you know that when your kids grow up and leave home, you are reduced to dressing up the family pet so you can take christmas photos?  At least she will sit still and pose for the camera!  Actually she will do anything for a treat.  I cut out the poinsettias on this layout, using my Tim Holtz flower die.  On one of his 12 tags of Christmas, he showed how to cut apart the flower and make a poinsettia.  Great idea, so check this out and his other amazing techniques.  I cut out the corrugated paper with my Sizzix snowflake die and reversed the snowflakes to the backside, used some stickles to sparkle them and pop dotted them.  Love these mini letters from Glitz too.

Seeing as how some of the papers were Teresa Collins' birthday collection and the rest were so colorful, I decided to do a few birthday related projects.  This is my oldest son, Reece at his 2nd birthday party.
He was pretty excited after blowing out the candles on his Bert and Ernie cake.  Love all the vintage cards that were in this kit!

A birthday card.  I loved this orange trim from Making Memories that was in the kit.  I wish they made it in other colors!  I added in some crepe paper(it wasn't in the kit) gathered, stickled the edges with Tiara Glitz Stickles.  This color is my favorite, it's more sparkly and kind of vintage colored.  I cut out the "Happy Birthday" with my Slice.
Next, is a project that took me longer than I had planned, a birthday party hat gift box.  

I took a papermache round box (about 4 or 5 inches in diameter).  Cut out a cone shape out of brown paper or cardstock.  I found  this template on the internet and played around with the size.  The website is Creativepartyblog

I attached the cone to the top of the box, using strips from a brown paper bag and white glue.  This attaches the cone securely.  I then painted the rim and underside of the top, and the bottom and inside of the box with white paint.  Next cut out a cone with patterned paper.

This paper from the kit, was Teresa Collins.  Glue this onto the brown cone.  I've done the two layers to make it stronger, just like the box.
Next, cover the bottom with patterned or colored paper.  This green paper is from Glitz.

To make the ruffle, I cut three strips of paper, machine stitched a large gathering stitch down the center of each strip.  Next, wet the strips and dab with a paper towel.  This is the only way to gather your paper, take care not to tear it when gathering.  I find it's easier with the thicker paper, it doesn't tear as easy when it's wet.  Let the strips dry, then ink the edges.  I sewed a gathering stitch down the center of some crepe paper (the rolls found in party supplies) and gathered.
I dipped the edges of the ruffled crepe paper in white glue and then dipped in glitter.   Adhere the crepe paper ruffle to the rim of the boxtop, then the paper ruffle.  I then cut three strips (1/4" wide) pleated these strips, and adhered to the center of the ruffle.  You could also use thin ribbon, but there wasn't a long enough piece in this kit to do that, so I used paper.  I cut out a star and the matching shadow with my slice, and used the Glitz big rhinestones down the middle.  I used the tulle that was in the kit, for the top and a bit of ribbon.  For the banner that's inside the box,  I covered the Jenni Bowlin chipboard shapes with paper, and used the Glitz letter stickers to spell out Happy Birthday.  I punch two little holes on each banner and strung them on some embroidery floss.  And there you have a gift box.  If I'm giving a gift card or money as a gift, I try and make or find a cool box to give it in, so it feels more like a gift.
Those are my projects for this month's kit, hope you enjoyed the little tutorial.
This is a long post!  That's what happens when you haven't done it for awhile!  I better go work on those Christmas cards!  I have to get those done, before I work on my December Daily, which I'm falling behind!

Take care  and have a great day tomorrow!


It's December 1st and...

I've decided this is the year I'm actually going to do a December Daily.  I started preparing one for last December, but that's when I went for my mammogram and well, for those of you who know what I've been going through this year, you can understand why I really didn't feel like doing it.  For anyone who doesn't know what a December Daily is, just check out Ali Edwards, who started doing this every December.  I have so much to be grateful for and I really want to appreciate and enjoy the small things that this month brings. I think documenting something everyday will inspire me to enjoy each day. I used my 7Gypsies photoholder for this project.  I bought all the different pages for this and never got around to doing anything, so I thought this would be perfect for this project.  It's also a great way to use some of those Christmas embellishments and papers that I have been hoarding these past years!

I did this layout last night.  It was nice to just sit down and create something that wasn't "homework", as my husband calls my scrapbooking for the store or design team.  I used Basic Grey's Christmas "Jovial" papers and embellishments for this.  The letters are "Ruby Rocket Designs"and the deer were cut out using my Tim Holtz die and grunge paper.

Have a great evening!
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