Christmas Pines/Floral Phrases Christmas card & Gift Box

Hey Stampers!

I have another video tutorial for you today.  You can tell that I am still getting over a cold that I got last week.    I spent three days on the couch last week and even took a nap on my bed one day.  I never do that!  Fortunately, I am feeling a lot better but there is still a little congestion.

I got the inspiration for this card and box on Pintrist.  I have to admit that I would have never thought of using the Floral Phrases Thinlits and the Botanical Builders Framelits dies for Christmas cards.  But I REALLY like the way these turned out.  As I mention in the video, the card is decorated exactly as you would the box.  So I only go over creating and decorating the box in this video.

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I hope to have another Christmas gift video for you in the near future.

Before I forget, check the very bottom of this post to see this month’s special offer from Stampin’ Up!   Ooooooo…you are gonna love it!

Hope you enjoy!

Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2

 

 

 

Printable PDF tutorial is here.

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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!

Josie2

 

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

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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

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

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

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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

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Reasons Men Don’t Ask for Directions

I was surfing the internet the other day, just reading whatever I came across when something made me look for anything out there that would help me understand why men, my husband in particular, have such a difficult time asking for help namely in the form of directions when we are in unfamiliar territory. I came across this one titled Why Men Don’t Ask for Directions on a blog called PsychCentral. After reading it, I began thinking…

It is hard to believe that in a few weeks it will have been a year since we visited Cancun. Today’s brisk morning chill made me think of it. We sometimes like visiting the beaches in Mexico during our frigid Colorado winters. It gives us a nice reprieve from the sometimes-freezing weather. We hit it just right this past November, as the temperature in Colorado Springs was quite chilly while we were gone.

We found the resort for our trip through Resort Condominiums International (RCI). You know… the vacation club or whatever you might want to call it. Yes, we are timeshare owners, which is a story in itself. If you have ever been to one of the tourist resorts in Mexico, you know that timeshare sales representatives approach you to listen to a sales pitch as soon as you leave airport customs. The sales reps form a line and wait with baited breath. A glance in their direction no matter how fleeting is to them their invitation to pounce. It was awhile since we visited Mexico, so I forgot about this. I don’t know how I could have, but I did. Transportation to and from the resort was included in our fee, and the email said to look for the man in the tan pants and white shirt. He would direct us to the waiting car. There were several men dressed this way, so I approached the first in line asking, “Excuse me, please. We are the Cauler’s and we are in need of our transportation to our hotel. Do you know where we are to meet the car?” This was mistake number one. It did not take me long to realize I had opened us up to the “join the club” timeshare pitch. Annoyed with myself for falling for their ploy yet once again, I walked away without giving the sales man the opportunity to finish his answer.  We eventually found our ride and made it to our hotel.

On our first full day in Mexico, my husband suffered an unfortunate mishap. Physically handicapped, my husband wears a foot brace to assist him with walking. On this day, he tripped over a bump in the road (literally), and his plastic brace broke into two pieces. Although he can walk without it, he moves very slowly when he is not wearing it. I should say very very slowly. I mean… extremely slowly…Better yet, without exaggeration…he moves at a snail’s pace. This is at times frustrating to me as I am used to approaching everything at near rocket velocity. I guess you could say I am high strung. It is painful for me to walk slowly. I know my husband cannot help it. It is even more frustrating for him. I never said I was perfect. It is one of my biggest faults that I am sometimes impatient with him over this issue

So his brace is broken, and I am thinking…”OooooMmmmmGeeee! We aren’t going to get to do anything this week other than hang out at the resort.” That wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I am not one for sitting around on the beach or poolside for seven days in a row. I told you I am high strung! We both like to site-see while on vacation. We decided duct tape might hold the thing together, so we hopped on a city bus and headed into town in search of a Wal-Mart.

I should add somewhere my husband is fluent in Spanish. When we boarded the bus, he asked for minimal directions from the driver. We found seats and sat. We rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, and rode. Leaving the resorts and the shore behind us, I began to sweat…figuratively and literally. It was very humid, and I was getting nervous. I whispered to my husband,

“Are you sure you understood what he told you? I am starting to wonder if we are ever going to get off this bus. Maybe you should ask the bus driver again”

“We’re fine! Forget about it!” he snapped, but I could tell by the look on his face that he was beginning to get concerned too; however, he would never admit it. Men do not ask for directions for reason number one; men want to be strong. This was my husband’s chance to show me exactly how strong he is. Visions of being carted off into the jungle and held for ransom flashed through my head.

Finally! We arrived at Wal-Mart,

As we walked into the store, the time-share salesmen were waiting in the entrance. Yes, they hang out at Wal-Mart too.

“Excuse me, Senora. Are you in Cancun on vacation?”

“Why no,” I thought. “I came all this way to visit Wal-Mart.” I walked right past him without answering.

I’ve already mentioned my husband is fluent in Spanish, and something he enjoys doing is practicing his language skills while in Mexico. But, I didn’t expect him to practice with the time-share salesmen. As I walked in, he stopped to chat. “Are you serious?” I thought.

I said to my husband, “Let’s go to customer service and you can ask them where we would find the duct tape.”

“Why? We’ll find it. How hard could it be?” he responded. Men don’t ask for directions for reason number two; men prefer to learn by doing, not by being told what to do especially if it is the wife who is doing the telling. Okay. Maybe I lied. Maybe I did fly all the way to Cancun to walk around Wal-Mart.

Up to a certain point, all Wal-Mart stores are similar…even the one’s in Mexico. One of the major differences is the signs.   In Mexico, all of the signs are…wait for it…in Spanish! Duh!

My husband can say pretty much anything in Spanish except for a few words…”duct tape.” Whoever needed to before?   So, we walked and walked and walked around the store looking for duct tape. I was beginning to think we HAD come to Cancun to shop at Wal-Mart. The third reason why men don’t ask for directions is; men want to win. I finally convinced him we should ask for help. I heard him say words like “fuerta, cinta de plata.” “Strong silver tape.”

I can sometimes understand Spanish.

We learned that day that we were looking for “cinta de embalar”…duct tape! Who knew? Let the vacation begin! That’s a win.  🙂

Okay…here is my card for today.

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I used the starburst technique on this card, and I think it turned out pretty neat!  If you aren’t familiar with that technique there are numerous tutorial on youtube explaining how to do it.

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

Happy Stamping!

Josie2

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Jingle All The Way

Hello Friends!  I am back this week feeling better than I have in a little while.  I am still recovering from my procedure last Monday, buy I sure do feel a heck of a lot better than I did last week at this time. Last Thursday, I managed to get out for a ride through the mountains with my husband to see all of the fall colors.  We went out for lunch on Saturday with friends, and today I managed to run a few errands.  Now I am a little tired, so I thought I’d spend a little time sitting.  Sometimes I have trouble just sitting, so I am trying to be a little productive while I do it.

These are a few of the many photos I took with my cell phone. The are  of the leaves turning colors in the mountains here in Colorado.  We get mostly gold and some red and dark green.  It isn’t like the leaves on the East Coast which turn all the other colors.  However, I think autumn  is beautiful in both parts of the country.

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I’m back this week with two more Christmas cards that I have created.  I  love the simplicity of this stamp set and edgelits die.  They make it look like I’ve spent hours creating these.

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I think I like the one above better than the one below.  I used a punch that is retire again.  😦  I hope you don’t hold it against me.

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I promise that next time I will have something a little more interesting to read.  I’ve hit a dry spell as far as what to write about is concerned.  Hope you enjoyed your stop here today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2