Here I Am!

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth, nor into a deep hole like you may have suspected.  This is the first time since my last post that I have actually had a moment free to write something.  The last two months have been extremely  busy.  It seems like that is always the case around the holidays.  The days are usually a whirlwind of activity just for the holidays to be over in a heartbeat.

At the end of October and into November, I held several Christmas Card Classes that were successful.  I enjoy making Christmas Cards the most, and I especially enjoy sharing them with my friends and customers.  Thanks to all of my customers, I promoted to Silver with Stampin’ Up! and was one of the top 10 sellers in my up line’s first level in November.  Yea me!  🙂

At the beginning of November, I made a trip to Denver to help my daughter begin moving  into her first apartment on her own.  It is a cute little one-room studio apartment about a 20 minute drive from the Anschutz Medical Campus/University of Colorado, Denver where she will be attending nursing school beginning this Monday, January 4th.  I am excited for her not only because she is beginning a new chapter in her life, but because she has her own place…something I always wanted for myself when I was her age.  I eventually did get my own place, but not until much later as a single mom.

The week before Thanksgiving, my husband was on his way to the grocery store for me when someone T-boned my car as he was crossing a major intersection in our city.   It happened less than a mile from our home.  I was the first major snow storm of our season, and I had promised him I would make oatmeal/raising cookies for him.  He was thrilled because I never bake.  He took my jeep because it was 4 wheel drive and did very well in the snow.  The person that hit him ran a red light when she hit him.  She  totaled my car and shoved my husband into another vehicle that was also totaled.  Fortunately for my husband, he was not hurt…just a few scratches.  It happened in front of a fire station, so the paramedics came running out  when they saw the accident.  AND, a police car was sitting at the intersection when it happened and they saw everything!   The person has since been charged with careless driving.  My husband has to go to court later in January for the trial.    So I got a new car (unplanned)  for Christmas.  Unfortunately, I am once again making car payments, so it isn’t like Santa brought a gift.

Four days after the accident, my husband and I traveled back to Struthers, Ohio to spend the  Thanksgiving holiday with my family and to attend my 40th high school reunion. We also traveled  to Lancaster, PA  to visit with Gary’s family.  We were gone for 14 days.  Traveling around the holidays was something I said I wouldn’t do again if I was hosting Christmas at home, but because of the reunion I made an exception.  It was fun to see a lot of the people who were in my graduating class.     Unfortunately many of my close friends from high school weren’t there.  Maybe next time!

After returning home from Ohio, it was a mad dash to get the place decorated and ready for Christmas.  I only had 3 weeks!  I regretted not getting started before Thanksgiving.  But all the decorating, and shopping, and wrapping, and writing of Christmas cards got done like it usually does.  I don’t know why I get so stressed out over all of it.  I know the holiday will arrive whether I do half of the stuff I do or not.  I even managed to bake four different kinds of cookies which is something I haven’t done since my kids were little.  I also prepared and froze a large pot of home-made chicken soup and chili, along with stuffed peppers and breaded chicken and vegetables for my daughter’s freezer.  The week before Christmas I made a second trip to Denver to spend the night with her and to stock her freezer for her first semester at school.  She was worried she might not have time to prepare meals for herself based on the information she got from the school, so like any mother would, I got busy.  All she has to do is defrost and warm or defrost and cook, and of course, save the plastic containers so I can refill them for second semester.  🙂

I thought it was funny when I arrived at her place.  My first reaction with her was, “Jenn, haven’t you done any unpacking?  You’ve been here a month!”  Her response was, “I’ve been waiting for you, Mom.  I don’t know where to put anything. I need help.”  I thought it was funny because had I tried telling her how to decorate or set up the furniture she wouldn’t have liked it, but she felt overwhelmed and it was Mom to the rescue.  I. LOVED. EVERY. MINUTE.!

Christmas Eve is usually the big celebration here.  I am Italian, and I try to have a traditional Christmas Eve dinner for my family.  My son arrived early on Christmas Eve, and we began cooking the various fishes at around 12:00.  We have calamari, smelts, and shrimp, (not nearly 7 fishes) and a special Christmas Eve soup made with chick peas and chestnuts.  Pasta is also on the menu.  Salad, dessert, vino…a lot of vino!  LOL!  My husband and I have been married for 15 years, and in the last 5 we have finally been able to have the type of Christmas Eve I always wanted.  It used to be me, him, my kids, and maybe some friends.  Now it is family…just family…although friends would be welcome.  We have my two children, his two, his (our) daughter-in-law, our 3 grandchildren, and…are you seated?  His ex-wife, and my ex-husband come for dinner as well.  I started shortly after my divorce to include my ex-husband in the holiday festivities because I realized then that he wanted to be with our children as much as I did.  And the kids wanted him to be included.  Gary’s ex was a different story.  I tried including her early on, but she was resistant for her reasons.  But in the last 5 years, things have changed so she comes to dinner as well.  I always joke that we are ONE-BIG-DYSFUNCTIONAL-FAMILY, just like the rest of the world.  Oh, I can’t forget to mention, that I got to meet my daughter’s new boyfriend and he was very nice.  I look forward to getting to know him better if I am given the  opportunity.  Christmas day was quieter for us.  It was just the two of us along with my son and his father.  My daughter went to her boyfriend’s Mom’s house for dinner.

We had friends over on New Year’s Eve and that brings us to today.  Since I haven’t posted many of my Christmas cards, that is exactly what I am going to do today.  I will also post a few photos of other things I have made recently.  So…here goes.

Hope you enjoyed your visit here today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!



Xmas 15 - 6

This card was CASED from the Annual Catalog.  It features the Dove of Peace stamp set,   Item #139800 and Winter Wonderland embellishments, item #139621.

Christmas 2015-5 - Copy

I CASED this card from someone on SplitCoast Stampers.  I used the Festival of Trees stamp set, item #135059.  I also used the Christmas Greetings Thinlits Dies, item # 139659, Season of Cheer DSP # 139590, and wooden Snowflake Elements, #139638

Christmas 2015-3 - Copy

I CASED this card from a friend, Cathy.  I used Embellished Ornaments stamp set #139756 and the Delicate Ornaments Thinlits Dies #139667.

Christmas 2015-2 - Copy

The sentiment for this card is from the Wonderous Wreath stamp set # 135047, and Winter Wonderland Designer Vellum Stack #139594

Xmas 15 -2

For this last card I used Jingle All The Way stamp set, item #139907, and Sleigh Ride Edgelits Die, #139670.

If you have any questions about paper or ink colors, please email me.  I would be happy to share any information I have relating to these cards with you.

These next two photos are of two wall hangings I made for my daughter.  She said she didn’t have anything to hang on her apartment walls.  I made these the week before Christmas with some retired Stampin’ Up! products and two shadow box frames I found at a local store.

Bird & Rosette Shadow Box


Jenn's Photo Shadow Box

Finally, this last phot is of a wine bottle lamp I made the other day.  I saw one in November when I was home for Thanksgiving.  It was at a winery and it cost $35.00.  I fell in love with it, but my sister said I could make it for less.  She was right!  It cost me less than half of that to recreate it.  Here it is.  🙂

Wine Bottle Lamp





































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