Sunday, December 18, 2011

Packaging is Everything

Years ago I used to take a lot of time to create special Christmas paper (brown Kraft paper that I stamped and painted)  to wrap my presents in and make elaborate bows with decorations, but in the past few years it's been purchase the bag at the dollar store and stuff the gift in with some tissue paper. Well not this year. Since this is a handmade holiday, I figure the bag needs to be handmade also. I got the idea from a Pin on Pinterest to the Purl Bee's blog where they featured a tutorial for a 20 minute tote. If you want the instructions, which I pretty much followed, check them out Here. My handles are a couple inches shorter and the bag width is also a couple inches less.

Here is a picture of their totes, great fabric by the way.

Here is mine. I used left over holiday fabric. I didn't want to have to go out and buy fabric just for a gift bag so am using what I already have. These are great as they can be used over and over.

My next special thing besides the totes are the embellishments. I had painted tags a couple of months ago, see post here, to use and now I just needed a little decoration/ornament type thing. These are so super simple to make and can be worn as a pendant, charm or hung on your tree.

Soldered glass charms. I used microscope slides that someone had given me along with holiday card stock and some vintage images. I'm loving the ones that are the simple gold glitter embossed paper and am thinking I'll just have to keep this one for myself.

I think I'm almost finished making presents, but you never know what I'll dream up to make next. 

If you want to follow me on Pinterest, just click the button on the right. If you don't know what Pinterest is.... well you can go to their web site and ask for an invite or just leave me a message and I'll send you one. It's a great place to get really cool ideas for decorating, cooking, crafts, art, you name it, and it is probably there but it is also a place for you to bookmark all those things you find on the Internet that you want to remember or share which is called Pinning. It is quite fun and now quite addicting.

Well I have lots more to do tomorrow and this week to get ready but when I have a bag all filled and embellished, I'll post another final picture for your viewing pleasure. Until then, have a great week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Hum Drums

Has the stress started yet? I do know a few people in my family that haven't even started thinking about Christmas yet.... come on people it's only 2 weeks away. We hit the big warehouse store today and got a few things for our open house on Christmas Eve. I think DH said we spent more in this one trip than we did the entire month last month but I have a good start on the fix'ens. I even started looking through my gift pile to see what I still had to make before the big day. I still have a couple of hats and wrist warmers, dish cloths and a few hot pads. We'll see if I get to the dish towels.....maybe that will be a plan for next year.

So how are you doing? Have you made all your big plans, traveling or staying at home?

I do have a new item for Christmas this year, it is a notebook/journal with pictures by DH and myself from our travels. If you need a quick gift for someone, there it is. You can order it directly from Blurb and get it within about 5 to 7 days so there is still time.

I'm thinking next year of doing one of my paintings as a weekly calendar although I like the idea of the notebook as it isn't date specific and you can use it for just about anything. I do still have a recipe book of DH's moms favorite dishes in mind to do. I know the family would enjoy that one. Ideas?

It's been Christmas Party after party for the past week. Saturday we went to our gem and mineral club's annual party... lots of good food, awards, gift exchange and the new officer installation. It's always a fun time. We also have an ornament contest and unfortunately I didn't win again... :-( I made these great little bird nest ornaments with gemstones as the eggs. They were fun.

We have one more party this coming Wednesday which will be a little different as we haven't attended one from this group before. They have a white elephant auction for charity, so that should be a riot. I'll be sure to take a few pictures.

I'm currently trying to get my classes scheduled for next year at Shipwreck Beads and new classes written up. I've already submitted one new class which is the Falling Leaves Bracelet.... tutorial was posted last month. Other than that, I'll still offer my Standard Gem Tree, Pine Tree and Holiday Tree. New tree classes that I'll be writing up is the Crystal Willow and maybe the Lace Leaf Maple. I've had students interested in learning them so I guess I should get busy.

Stay sane and safe. If the stress gets too bad just have a glass of wine and watch a good holiday movie.

Monday, December 05, 2011


This is not my usual post, so if you don't want to be depressed, don't read it.

I was all geared up for writing this post and not caring who was offended but am thinking better of it....may change my mind as I go but I do want to talk about expectations and not just any, but those we impose on others.

Do we place unfair expectations on those we love? How do we communicate what those expectations are or do we just assume they know what they are? It's a dilemma. We want to do the right thing and think we are then bam!!! out of no where comes this accusation that we are bad. Most of the time I don't have a bad bone in my body and DH doesn't either, so where does it come from. Frustration? Past experience? It's not even about them, which is sad. I was fighting mad (crying actually) earlier and I don't get mad too often but now I just feel sorry for them and us. So, I sit here with tears, of not just frustration but of loss. How do we communicate what we want without being thought of as greedy, bold, heartless, aggressive or just plain rude? At this point, I would say that communication would have gotten you everywhere and I wouldn't be sitting here writing this crying and being frustrated.

There will be words. I'm sure more words then either of us want to hear and more tears.... mine of course because I don't think they cry.... I take that back (still a little mad), I'm sure they do, but why would they want to cause hurt. Of course, it comes back to that EXPECTATION, one that we don't know about. We would never say you are terrible or you are bad at (whatever you do) because we love you no matter what you do or say.

Now it appears that we have lost you, given up on a relationship and now that frustration and sadness has turned into sorrow, mine because DH has given up. We will never have that friendship, relationship, family love and support that we once had and not only is it because of expectations but now it due to lack of communication.

I do hope they have a Merry Christmas because I doubt we will see them. I do find that the holidays are always more stressful. Maybe that's all it is, but somehow I think it goes deeper than that and that's something none of us can fix.

So, if you have gotten to the bottom of this post, then the message must of meant something to you or you want to make sure we are okay... Well, we are okay and I'll be better tomorrow but today I will feel sorry for myself and those I love and for the loss of something we probably won't have in the future.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Pacific NW ArtFire Guild

Today I was a guest blogger on the Pacific NW ArtFire Guild blog. Check out my interview with Rhonda from Roban Studios.

If you look back one posting on that blog you will find my interview.

Here is a sneak peak at some of Rhonda's work from Roban Studio.

I hope everyone is having a great week. By the way if you are still purchasing Christmas gift my ArtFire studio will continue to offer FREE SHIPPING for the month of December. Go shopping. Shop Handmade and Shop USA.


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