Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse and Gift Giving...

What better thing to do while you are trying to stay awake while waiting for a Lunar Eclipse?  Make gift boxes!  Of course!  First of all, check out this awesome shot I got of the eclipse by holding my camera up to a pair of binoculars:
Pretty awesome, isn't it?  My hands were shaking so hard in the cold that it was difficult to hold the camera steady.  But, it was very beautiful.  Now, on to crafting....

Using the Martha Stewart Score Board you can make some really cute gift boxes.  It's super easy too!  All the dimensions and where to score is included in her handy-dandy guide located inside the score tool storage area.  I used 2 sheets of 12x12 paper to make this box for a co-worker Secret Santa gift.  I then added a few embellishments to deck it out.  It's a great alternative to something different than a standard gift bag or christmas wrap.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Caramel Treat Bags

It's the last Saturday before Christmas and here I am finally making my cards and treats.  I am typically more prepared than this, but it's been a crazy month.  I am fairly well pleased with the little toppers I made for my treats for co-workers this year though.  I used the Doodlebugs Cricut cart to cut out the trees and embellished them with a little glam-rock and ran through my Embossing Boutique using the Swiss Dots folder.  The ribbon was from Michaels and the stamp was from DOT's.  The caramels are of course from ME.  Recipe to follow:

I also made a few cards to send out that followed the same simple theme.  Simple was the key word for me this year!
Microwave Caramels

1 Cube Butter
½ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Light Brown Sugar
½ Cup Light Corn Syrup
2/3 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
In a glass bowl, melt butter. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Microwave for 7 minutes (Stir after 3 minutes). Pour into buttered, 9x9 pan. Cool to room temperature. Chill, cut and wrap in wax paper or wax coated candy wrappers.
You may want to microwave 15 seconds less or 15 seconds longer to get the consistency you like. It may take a batch or two to determine which time works best in your microwave. For chewier caramels, microwave longer.
For a fun variation, add nuts before pouring into pan.
They were easy to make...the hardest part was wrapping them all!  But the best part is eating them!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I thought I would take a moment to announce the winner of the "It's a Small World Blog Hop".  Using random generator it selected:

Melissa said...
What a gorgeous tag and thank you for sharing the history of St. Lucia!

December 12, 2010 2:48 AM

Melissa, please send me an email with your physical address and I will send the prize right out to you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's A Small World Blog Hop....Sweden's St Lucia Day

Happy Saturday everyone!  I am pleased to be included in the, "It's a Small World" Blog Hop hosted by our wonderful Jess over at KinderstampO.  If you have just joined us you can start all the way back at her blog, or you may have arrived here from Christine's Blog.  My little stop in holiday traditions is from the wonderful country of Sweden.  I have a special place in my heart for this country and am thankful to have visited there a couple times in the past.  One of their very special December traditions is the celebration of St. Lucia Day.  Here is a little history about this holiday:
Around Christmas time in Sweden, one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia's Day (or St. Lucy's Day) on December 13th. The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden.
St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. Lucy means 'light' so this is a very appropriate name.
December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, in the old 'Julian' Calendar and a pagan festival of lights in Sweden was turned into St. Lucia's Day.
St. Lucia's Day is now celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. (Normally electric candles are used for safety!) The crown is made of Lingonberry branches which are evergreen and symbolise new life in winter. Schools normally have their own St. Lucias and some town and villages also choose a girl to play St. Lucia in a procession where carols are sung.

A national Lucia is also chosen. Lucias also visit hospitals and old people's homes singing a song about St Lucia and handing out 'Pepparkakor', ginger snap biscuits.
I thought long and hard about how I would convey something and have it translate into something we could appreciate if we weren't from Sweden.  After following the Tim Holtz blog the last week and his 12 Days of Christmas Tags I decided I would make a special tag.  I definately improvised, because I don't begin to have a fraction of the supplies he uses or have the techniques figured out that he uses, but I somehow thought the vintage feel of tag would go along perfectly with what I had in mind.

I made the tag by simply cutting up a craftpaper folder with my regular paper cutter.  Sure, you could use a fancy die-cut or buy a tag, but hard is it to cut a strip, angle the corners and punch a hole in the top!  I distressed the edges and used distress inks in "Tea Dye" and "Old Paper" to make it look vintage.  I also sprayed it fairly heavily with Tsukineko Sheer Shimmer Spritz and then zapped it with my heat gun to dry it quickly.  My St. Lucia was my very own stamp from Shelley Bean Stamps "Wish Upon a Star".  I added some very light color using my Copic Markers and I framed the stamped image with Shabby Shutters Distress Stickles.  I went and snipped a piece off the garland over my fireplace for the crown and used 3 birthday candles (cut down) with a touch of gold stickles for the flame.  It's all about improvisation!!  I used some beads and charms to attach to the ribbon and blinged out the bottom edge a little bit and added a holiday verse to finish off my tag. 

And now, before I send you off to the next stop along this wonderful hop, I wanted to share a free give-away!  I am going to randomly choose a winner from the comments left here now through Sunday.  The prize is my Wish Upon A Star stamp that I used to make this tag.  Simply leave a comment.  I would also love it if you became a follower of my blog and my stamp blog.  But, I won't make it a requirement this time.  I also have a friend page over at facebook that I would love to have you come visit and "like".  I often do give-aways there as well.  "God Jul" everyone!

And now it's time to hop along to Vickie's Blog!  If you lose your way along the hop, here is a listing of all the wonderful blogs participating today.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Cute Little Critter Card

Where have I been?  It sure hasn't been in here posting fun projects like I should be!  I made this card about a week ago and took a quick picture before my team at work gave it to our trainer at work.  She flew back and forth between Bismarck and Boise during an 8 week period to get us all trained up and last week was her last week with us, so we wanted to honor her with a goodbye card.  Of course, your's truly had to make the card!  :)  She has a love of rat-terriers and so I thought what better than getting out my Create a Critter cartridge and firing up the cricut.  I pretty much had to dust the poor thing off because it has been sorely neglected as of late.

I made the verse with my computer and the rest pretty much speaks for itself. Happy Crafting!

Stay tuned because tomorrow night at 11pm mountain standard time, I will post my craft for the big "It's a Small World" Holiday Blog Hop.  Please come back by and say hello.  There will (of course) be a giveaway!