Merry Christmas from our family to yours. May you enjoy time spent with family and friends making many wonderful memories. I think this is one of the only years that we have not hosted Christmas. I think that's a good thing this year as I am way behind. Everything is done that needs to be done, but I was not as on top of things as normal, so thank you to my sister for hosting tonight and to our nephew and his family for hosting tomorrow. As much as I love to have family at our house, I am thankful that this year we get to travel.
I just love sharing, especially artwork. Our Post Prom Committee at school had asked me to create the table decorations for our little dinner theater one night. Well, of course, I was up to the challenge. I created about a dozen of these little votive candle holders. When you put one of those little battery operated votive candles inside, they glow and look beautiful.
After the dinner theater, I had some of these left and happened to send one to my friend Lynn. She is always sharing her artwork with me so I thought it would be nice to just share a little with her, too.
Well, look what arrived in my mailbox a couple of days ago...she took my idea and made it into a winter snowman votive candle holder. She said she made a bunch of these for a craft fair and they went like hotcakes.
See why I love to share?? We get so many wonderful ideas from each other, copy them, make them our own, and look at all the beautiful artwork we end up with. I love this Close To My Heart business. I think it is the best in the world!
Here are a few pictures of our Christmas tree this year. We finally got it put up last weekend, which is very late for us, but couldn't be helped this year. Usually we have it up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but with me taking that last minute vacation, it didn't happen. Oh well, it's up now and we are enjoying it. One of the pictures even has our cat 'Punkin' laying under the tree. He loves to hang out under there (at least it's better than climbing up into the tree like he did when he was a kitten :)
All of the ornaments on our tree have special meaning to them. They are all either old (from our childhood), handcrafted, gifts, or purchased because of special meaning. Even the angel on the top of the tree was handmade by my Mother-in-law.
My Mom has a tradition of getting a dated ornament for each of the grandkids every year for Christmas until they turn 18. Wow, what a collection they will have by the time they are on their own!
Here is my Mom and Rhonda with this year's ornament. I always get a few pictures of them together because I have made an ongoing scrapbook for Rhonda that tells about each of her ornaments...who or where they were from and the story behind them. It really helps as the years go by to remember all the little stories that otherwise may have been forgotten.
Every time we go someplace new on vacation, we get a Christmas ornament. This is one of the new ornaments from my most recent trip. A pink flamingo from Key West, Florida. I think I could almost do an entire tree just with the ornaments from our trips :) I love it!
Well good COLD morning to you all. My thermometer read -10 degrees this morning, but the wind chill is -35 degrees. I do not want to go outside at all, but will have to this afternoon to go to work. I think I better head down to my scrap room to create some Christmas cards...no I am not done with them yet, but I WILL have them out before Christmas! I promise!
Yesterday my Club girls created these Christmas-y Santa and Mrs. Clause pages (with thanks for the designs to my friends Lynn and Liz). They were very simple to create and actually had no stamping involved. Then I showed the girls how to make these fun little gift boxes out of cardstock. I provided the gift to them for inside, but they made the boxes so they would know how it was done. Credit for this box goes to my Great, Great Grandma Upline, Tina.I just love that everyone on our team is so creative and generously shares their artwork. I feel it is absolutely fine to scrap-lift ideas, as long as credit is given to the original creator.
After club yesterday, we went to a family Christmas gathering on my Mom's side. It is so much fun to get together with everyone and see them (some of them it's the only time of the year that we see each other). Here is a picture of Rhonda with Santa and the scarf she got from him. We look forward to Santa's yearly appearance at our family get together. A special thanks goes out to Aunt Elaine and Uncle Larry for hosting this year.
I hope it is warmer where you are at than it is here, the high for today is only supposed to be about 4 degrees. I want to go back on vacation someplace warm!!
You are PAPER! You are an all natural basic person who likes to act as a foundation to others. You are willing to take a backseat in most of your relationships and let others take the spotlight, while you show your support and help them shine! Underneath it all, you are the one who makes it all happen. You are the focus and stability in any group, even if you are not the leader. Others look to you to set the pace and provide ideas for ways to get things done. But Paper Beware - sometimes you get a little edgy with the people who look to you for support and can give them some papercut remarks that can hurt their feelings. Remember to watch what you say, because you are best when leading by example.
My mailman and my UPS man sure know where my house is. They are always delivering packages here and I LOVE it!
When I returned home from my trip, I had 7 boxes waiting for me ~ and 6 of those were Close To My Heart related! Whoo Hoo! I received my new Spring 2009 Idea Books (I will show you a sneak peak in a few days, you are just going to have to wait :), I received swap items from a Stamp of the Month swap I am in, and I also received another gift from my Secret Sister! I couldn't wait to open all my great packages. Here is what my wonderful Secret Sister sent me this time...
I got this HOME wordbloom album done up with one of my all-time favorite paper packs, It's a Guy Thing. Now I just need to put some pictures on it!
Look what else I received - some cute cards all packaged neatly in a cute card holder. My Secret Sister is so creative and I am so spoiled! I love it!
Close To My Heart has a fabulous Heart of Winter special that starts next week. I will be posting some pictures of that, too. Just wait, you won't want to miss it!
I am home from my wonderful vacation in the Caribbean. Wow, it was a whirlwind of activity and fun, but also very relaxing. I had such a great time, I think now I need to take a vacation to rest up LOL! On November 30th I boarded the Carnival Freedom ship with my friend Sandy and a couple of her friends (no, that is not my husband, but it sure looks a lot like him). I have to say, it was the most interesting cruise I have ever taken. We really had excitement after we left port in Grand Cayman as we were headed to Jamaica. There was a report of "Man Overboard" so the ship had to make a figure 8 in the ocean. I have never done that maneuver before. If you ever had, you would know it. There were a lot of things falling off shelves, food off counters in the kitchens, items crashed to the floor all over the ship. Even the water came out of the pool and into the dining room. It was really something. The Coast Guard was notified and helicopters were overhead. It turned out that it wasn't a person after all, but a very large, fully dressed inflatable monkey (named Julius) that fell overboard. Even so, our ship stayed in the same location until every person, guests and crew, were accounted for. 3 1/2 hours later we were on our way. It was a pretty rough night on the ship. Not only were the waters rough, but the captain had to speed up for us to make it to our next port on time. I think my favorite port was Jamaica. We had a ton of fun and the weather was gorgeous!
I had better spend some time this morning in my scrapping room as I have a bunch of swaps to get done. I will post pictures of them as I get them done.
Here is the wonderful family that I am so grateful for. My husband and my daughter, they make me smile all the time. How can I not be thankful for them?? Now tonight I get to kiss them goodbye for a week...I am going on vacation-without them. I will miss them terribly, but will have a lot of fun. Let me explain...
A girlfriend of ours called up about a week and a half ago with an offer that I just could not refuse. She was going on a cruise (tomorrow) and her cabin mate had to back out. She offered me the chance to go with her. How could I refuse? Who needs time to plan and pack?? I am flying to Florida very early in the morning and getting on the boat on Sunday. We are sailing to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. I may or may not be able to post while I am gone, but rest assured, I will show you pictures when I get back.
I must be ill because I am seriously thinking about bringing some scrapping supplies with me. I really do think about it all the time! I will have some catching up to do when I get home.
Even through all the tragedy that has struck our family recently, I truly do have a lot to be thankful for, starting with my wonderful family and network of friends. I hope they know how very important they are to me!
My friend Connie at work shared this recipe with me and now I am sharing it with you. Simple and delicious...
2 3 oz. boxes of Raspberry Jello 1 20 oz. can Crushed Pineapple 1 16 oz. can Whole Cranberry Jellied Sauce 1 apple, cored and diced
Drain pineapple, saving the juice and adding enough water to equal 2 1/2 cups. Boil then add Jello, stirring until completely dissolved. Add can of cranberries. Stir until dissolved then add pineapple and apple. Refrigerate.
Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones, Tammy
I bet you thought I forgot about you out there in Blog-land. I didn't, I have just been extremely busy lately...
Work is always there (gotta do what you've gotta do), and then comes the "fun" work that I do with Close To My Heart. I did a 2 day expo last Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday I went on our annual shopping trip with my Mom, Sister, daughter, and nieces. We had a great time and I think I am even almost done Christmas shopping. Then my club girls came over last night to do a little creating. Here is the page that we made last night using our Aspen paper pack and the November Stamp of the Month, All Decked Out...I also did a little more creating, I altered a picture frame and added one of our Voice Recorders to it. It was a very tough one to make-many tears along the way-but it turned out great. A photo of our son and his voice is recorded on the Voice Recorder.
If you have children or grandchildren, I encourage you to get their voices onto one of these, they are very precious to have.Well, it is off to bed for me. I have to get rested up for Thanksgiving tomorrow.
These fabulous textured cardstock die-cuts will give your artwork and layouts the attention they desire. Each combo pack includes 12-12x12 textured cardstock Dazzling Die-Cuts sheets (2 each of 6 colors), plus a 6x9 sheet of fun adhesive-backed Dimensional Elements. They are available in 6 different color combos. This one is the Winter Cozy Combo Pack.
When you place an order of $50 or more, you can purchase up to six Dazzling Die-Cuts combo packs for an incredible price of only $6 each. Each combo pack features one of our color palettes and comes with stars, hearts, flowers, alphabet letters, and more.
This offer is only good through November 30 or while supplies last so visit my website to see more or to place your order.
Here is a little Scrapbook in a Purse that I taught at one of our last team meetings. From the buzz I am hearing, there are several of the consultants that are making these for their Secret Sister gifts. I would be happy to teach you how to make one of these little babies, just contact me to find out how (firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website www.tammyhellstern.myctmh.com)
This one uses our Close To My Heart "Notebook" paper. Enjoy and Happy Scrappin'
Here are the "Roomie gifts" that I received in San Antonio. Let me explain...when us Close To My Heart girls go on a trip together, we all make little gifty items to exchange with each of our roommates. What fun it is to receive such fabulous ideas from everyone.
Here is an altered comp book, pen, and paper clip from Celeste R. using our Aspen paper.
Danni T. did up a 9x9 My Creations Memory Showcase Album using the Sarsaparilla paper. Just look at the insides of it, too. Didn't she do a great job? Another altered comp book from Donna W also using the Aspen paper.
Rachel S. used the Evensong paper pack to come up with this fabulous 2 page 12x12 layout. She also included a couple of cards. I can't wait to use these.
Sheri J. made Prayer Buckets for us using the Silhouette paper pack and filled them with all sorts of candy, gum, and goodies.
Donna B. made these adorable little mini albums using the Evensong paper pack and the cutest little elves from the Merry Pursuits stamp set.She even made little tags for all the inside pages!
Aren't these just the best roomie gifts. Did I already tell you how much I LOVE getting gifts?? Well, I do :)
I'm home from the gorgeous city of San Antonio. Wow, it is much colder here than it was down there. Home it is 18 degrees and frosty, down south we had beautiful 70-80 degree days! I want to go back. I could have stayed in that city much, much longer. There is so much to see and do.
Our hotel was located right on the RiverWalk. How fun was that? We got to ride the water taxis down the river every evening when we went out to eat (they were much slower than a regular taxi, but that was not the point-we loved the experience and the scenery).
We tried a different restaurant every time we went out and of course, we had to sample the Margaritas! Yum, yum!! We were all flattered when we stopped at the Cafe Ole and got carded when we ordered our drinks LOL!
There is so much to see and do, I definitely need to go back with my family sometime.
Remember the Alamo? Well, of course we had to go see that while we were there. It was fascinating, and so many Texas Rangers, Whew!
Later on, I will take some pictures of my Roomie gifts and share them with you. I love getting gifts, and these were great.
My name is Tammy. I have a full time job, but it is my "job on the side" that I truly love. I am an Independent Consultant with Close To My Heart, a fabulous company that makes scrapbooking and stamping Faster, Simpler, and Easier. You can shop online (even in your jammies) at my website tammyhellstern.ctmh.com . See you there :)
Want to earn extra money? You, too, can become a CTMH consultant!
Want a fabulous discount on your stamping/scrapbooking supplies? This could be the perfect opportunity for you. Click on the "Easy Button" to learn how. I would love to have you as part of my Hearts of the North Team!