Saturday, October 29, 2011

One More Down...

I cannot seem to take a good picture to save my life.

At any rate, the first picture (left) shows the wall with the Famous 70's Pecan Paneling removed and the sheetrock patched, except the bottom part where we tore a section out to be able to run some wires and the gasline for the fireplace.  The second picture (right) shows after I primed it with Kilz. Big difference.

Here's the wall painted a blue-grey color I've forgotten the official name of.  It looks much better in person. It'll look a whole lot better when it gets trim, but just painting was like a thousand percent improvement.

I did a little Halloween decorating on the fireplace top, but it didn't come together very well. Looks like I just sat some stuff around on a shelf or tabletop.

This black roses bunch started out as a regular, cheap bunch of red roses from the Dollar Tree and I just spray painted the whole thing black. I did several bunches of them for a larger arrangement some years previously, and didn't have a smaller vase (that I could readily locate) for a single bunch so I just latched them over the wine bottles.
I found the novelty bottle label stickers at the Dollar Tree, too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Book Whoreding

Happy Hump Day!

Today I'm reading "Never Enough", Book 4 of the Brown Siblings series by Lauren Dane.

I'm just starting the book, but the jist of it seems to be that brother Adrian, who is a famous Rock Star, has a son he never knew about. Gillian is the boy's Aunt, who adopted him after her sister, the boy's mother, didn't want him. Thirteen years later, the sister is dying and reveals who the boys father is.

The Brown Siblings series is a Contemporary Erotic Romance series set in Seattle, featuring Erin, Adrian, and their older brother, Brody, who raised them after their parents died.

Book 1: "Laid Bare" features sister Erin, a wild, tattoo'd rocker chick, and Todd, an uptight cop who thinks Erin isn't his type.
Ten years later, following an injury on the job and the end of his bad marriage, Todd returns and he and Erin, who has suffered a terrible tragedy, end up together.
But they both also end up falling in love with Todd's long time best friend, Ben, and it turns into a long-term romantic menage.

Book 2: "Coming Undone" is big brother Brody's story. Little sister is married (to two men) and is safe and happy, little brother is enjoying his rock stardom, all is good in Brody's world. Things get even better when single mom, Elise, and her little girl move in across the street.  Having come out of an abusive marriage, Elise is no more interested in a relationship than Brody is, but agrees that they can very nicely enjoy being friends-with-bennies.

Brody's also had a real long term friends-with-bennies deal with Raven, who doesn't want to give that up when Elise comes along.

This new(ish) song, "Someone Like You" by Adele reminded me alot of Raven when I first heard it:

Book 3: "Inside Out" is Ella and Cope's story. Ella is Erin's friend and works in her Cafe. Several years before, her husband tried to kill her and it's taken her awhile to get herself and her life back together.

Cope is Andrew Copeland, Ben's younger brother, who's generally known as a player and womanizer, but really has a deeper, more sensitive side. And he's loved Ella for a while.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Honestly, it really wasn't my fault that I started alot of projects and didn't get much done...everything I got started, I ended up having to stop and wait.

I started out trying out an idea for a Christmas tree Diorama ornament.

In my Stash-of-Stuff, I had these plastic ornament balls that open up for putting stuff inside, or decorating inside, I guess, since that's my plan. At first I thought I needed some metallic spray paint, but before I went and bought any I decided I'd try what I had on hand first, since I have a bottle of metallic red acrylic craft paint.

First, though, I painted the inside of one of the halves with black acrylic paint as a primer.

The black also seems to have a glittery/metallic sheen to it, I didn't know it had. I'm glad it came out looking like that, because - if it works out right - that is what the outside backside of the ornament is going to look like.

I have no idea what it's going to do, or look like, when I paint over the black paint inside with the red. Hopefully it will be bright and shiny and pretty!

But I won't know anything until it dries, so I wanted to let it sit overnight to make sure it dries very good.

I messed around some with my Stash-of-Stuff, looking for little miniature things to put inside the ornament to make some kind of scene.  No doubt anyone else could have put together five or ten different cute and creative scenes. Me? Not a thing.

Also, I did get the livingroom wall I'm working on Kilz'ed (primered) today. Also letting it cure overnight, and had big plans to paint the color tomorrow!
But now not until I have to go out and buy a paint roller thing; the pad part, that you paint the paint on with. I thought I could get one at the Dollar Tree, but they had everything for painting except that one thing!

They also had exactly NO Christmas miniature items. I don't know if it's just our store, being out here in the country, maybe they don't have as large a stock as other, more City stores, but I know I have bought little miniature ornaments and decor items at Dollar Tree before.
Of course they won't have any when I'm actually looking for them, rather than just on-the-spur shopping.

While I was google'ing around checking out Christmas ideas, dioramas and such, I came across another cute, neat idea! Play scale miniatures.  Play scale is 1:6 size, or the size of Barbie type dolls. Apparently now they make much nicer furniture and accessories for your Barbie's and Ken's and Joe's than the pink plastic stuff. People make some very nice dioramas with the dolls and stuff.
I saw one I especially liked, of a Christmas diorama with Ken and Barbie in the livingroom of their apartment the creator made for them using a shelving system from Ikea. What caught my attention was the 12" silver aluminum Christmas tree, which I have one of! (Which I got at Dollar Tree last year or the year before, and didn't see a single one there today.)

I love my little aluminum tree because it brings back memories of when I was a kid in the 70's and we had one of those trees.  I thought, well how neat to set it up this year with my old Barbie dolls sitting with it!

My poor Barbies :-(

I got married the first time when I was 17. Thought I was all grown up and ready for adult life.  I was so grown up, when I moved out of my parents house and in with my husband, my Barbie dolls went with me.
They've been with me every since; packed away in storage buildings and attics.
They were out in the storage building off the carport, where we piled a bunch of stuff when we moved here 12 years ago, and that's where they lived until, I think it was last summer, or the summer before, when I made a project of cleaning out the storage room, getting rid of ALOT of stuff I hadn't seen or used or needed in a dozen years.  Then I moved them in here, to the storage room upstairs, which, as I've mentioned, I just recently cleaned out. So they were upstairs stacked in the unused bedroom with a bunch of other stuff I've yet to figure out what I'm going to do with.

I don't think plastic was invented back then, but at any rate, cardboard boxes were free so I always used those for packing up stuff.  Boxes don't withstand much, and even less when a mouse or squirrel or whatever critter gets into it and takes up residence.  So some things were unfortuneately damaged, and everything was/is filthy. Whew! I was just glad there wasn't any dead animal bones left behind.

What's left of the Collection
I don't remember this set; outdoor adventure of some sort. There's also tent
in the bag that I didn't get out. 
The Baby
Plastic and inflatable furniture
Clothes. Has roller skates but no other shoes.
Barbies, and Ken. I didn't care much for boy dolls, so this is the only one I ever had.
More Barbies
Ken is an amputee, having lost his arm during his wilder, younger years.
One Saturday afternoon he jumped off the balcony and lost his arm. I don't know why
he jumped off the balcony - it was the 80's, he was probably high on Coke.
Dial-tone Princess phone, lol
So Amputee Ken picked a wife, and they went to the Spa and got cleaned up best
as they could, shampoo'ed and conditioner'ed.  They're hanging out tonight at the
nudie beach, drying out. 

I also checked at the Dollar Tree for some Barbie clothes. They had some doll clothes, nothing great, but at least they were clean so I grabbed a couple of outfits just to have for the meantime. Nothing for Ken, and no shoes for either one, though.

Guess while I'm out looking for a paint roller thing tomorrow I'll stop into the thrifts stores and see if I can find any cheap Barbie clothes and accessories.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


We got some needed rain overnight, then today was dark, grey, damp, windy, and very chilly. A real contrast to yesterday, when it was still nice and sunny and warm.

We finally got to the furnaces today. I was most concerned about the upstairs one, since the a/c went out, I wasn't sure how/if that would effect the furnace. Turned it on...nothing happened.
J went into the attic to check the unit, and said he remembered having unplugged a wire when the a/c was broken, so he plugged it back in and it worked.

Then we turned on the downstairs unit...and nothing happened. At all. No fan, no nothing. Which was really weird, because the a/c was on just not that long ago. So he went out back to check the unit, and found that the control board panel thing had burnt up. Literally, it was black and charred, like it had been on fire.
He went and bought another board and him and R got it installed, so we got heat tonight.

While they worked on that, I worked on sanding the sheetrock wall in the livingroom, and was able to get it finished, Yay! Hopefully I'll be able to get it Kilz'ed tomorrow, and painted in the next day or so.
The last two walls are mostly windows, so shouldn't be as difficult to knock out as these first two walls have been. I feel pretty good about getting it done by Christmas. Not as confidant about the ceiling and trim, but if I can even part of a ceiling I'll be happy.

I've also been working on another project: homemade frozen french fries.
I didn't know you could freeze potatoes. Everything I read about preserving/freezing veges, I don't recall seeing potatoes as freezable. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me that I buy frozen french fries, so obviously they can.

Then I saw this link someone posted, I can't remember where now, but it explained how to freeze your own fries. So the next time I found a good deal on potatoes at the grocery store ($2 per 5lbs), I bought extra.
Peel and wash potatoes

Cut into fries and boil until partially cooked.

Freeze on sprayed cookie sheet
Place in freezer bags and freeze

Did some cubes for Home Fries and Tater Salad cubes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Beautiful Fall Day

Although my back feels like a truck ran me over, I've managed to get a few things done today. Or, well, not done, but have at least made some good progess.
I've got four loads of laundry done, only one to go, and I made a good bit of progress on sanding the sheetrock wall in the livingroom. Hopefully, maybe, I might get back to that again today and who knows? maybe finish one wall? That would be so great. I also cut up some (5 lbs) potatoes to freeze some french fries.

Here's a picture my Dad sent me over the weekend of his driveway at their home up in the North Georgia Mountains:

So beautiful! I wish we were there!
I had wanted for us to go on a train ride they have up there, but wasn't sure for when to buy the tickets...if I planned to go too early, the leaves wouldn't be changed yet, but if I planned it for too late, then they would all be gone and the forests would just be ugly grey and yucky.  But once Daddy sent me this picture I figured it was getting to be a great time to go, so I checked the website for the train Schedule, and then our schedule, and - of course - not a date matched up.
Saturdays are out because R has First Responder class. K is out of school on the 24th, but J is at the FD that day, plus the only Sunday the train runs between now and Halloween. K is in school every other day.
Oh well, maybe next year.

Here's a picture of my oldest son in his costume for the Haunted House he's been working at:

The horns are new since we went, the night before Opening night; Friends and Family night. Before, he was just solid black, and in the dark tunnel they sent us through, you couldn't see him until you were right up at him and he RAWR'ed at you.
But it was funny because we were in a group of people and the others were hurrying along in front of us, so when D roar'ed at them I was like, Hey, I recognize that roar! lol.
He sent us through this really weird, inflatable tunnel. I'd never been through anything like it, it squeezes you all around. Then when you come out the other end of it, he's waiting there to scare you again. I wasn't expecting it, so he got me that time! haha.

Supposed to be a cold front coming sometime this week.  It was in the 40's this morning, I was like, that wasn't it?!?

I talked about yesterday wanting to check the furnaces while J was at home, in case anything went wrong. It wasn't a big deal when I turned the a/c on and one of the units was making a terrible grinding noise, so I just turned it back off. But furnaces involve gas, and fire, and if something goes wrong, it might not be as simple as just turning the thermostat back off.

R went on a Church fire on Saturday, and later found out the cause of it was, someone(s) was doing something with the furnace in the attic and white smoke started billowing out and this is the result:

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Man, I love Sundays. Especially ones like today. Today was absolutely perfect, you just couldn't get any better.
Morning started out cool; great for snuggling in my warm covers and sleeping in.
It warmed up pretty quick, but never did get really hot, and the sky was clear and blue, sun shining, no humidity, barely any wind; perfect day for working outside in the yard.

Although working outside in the yard was not my original intent. J was home today and I intended to take full advantage of that fact and getting some home repairs that's been needed doing done.
One thing that's been needed doing is changing the wax rings under the toilets. They both just started leaking for no apparent reason.
Also, there's supposed to be a cold front moving in this week and I wanted to test the furnaces and make sure they're in working order. Before we run them, though, I needed him to disconnect/close off a couple of upstairs vents so we aren't heating outdoors. They are in that front room that was originally a porch, that previous owners enclosed to make a bedroom, that I used as a storage room, until this summer I cleaned it out to open it back up as a porch (haven't got that done yet). Anyway, the ceiling is out of the room, so any heat blowing out there goes up into the attic and out the roof vents. Can't afford to heat the outdoors!

J was up there duck-taping closed the vent-ducts while I was putting some stew meat and brown gravy in the crock pot for supper, Steak Tips over Rice. First time we've had this, it was very good. And very cheap! I had gotten the stew meat on clearance for less than $2 bucks, and had gotten the envelope of brown gravy free with coupon at some point.
It was another Southern Plate recipe - my favorite recipe site!

Click Image for Recipe

Then I decided it was a perfect day outside to do some burning.
Not leaf burning. We used to rake up and burn leaves because that's how we were raised, it was the Fall sport, and to this day I love the smell of burning leaves in the neighborhood.  Now, though, J sucks up some leaves with the vac-system on his lawnmower and puts them in the compost pile, and then the last thing he does before putting the mower away for Winter, after the trees are empty, he drives over them and chops them up with mulching blades and leaves them to mulch the yard.

What we needed to burn was sticks and stumps.  We are *blessed* with lots of really old, really large trees in our yard.
(Ignore the building, it has walls and a roof now.)
The trees are gorgeous in the Spring/Summer, and the shade helps cut down on the cooling costs, but they are constantly shedding sticks and branches like a kitty sheds fur.
And, as will invariably happen here in the South, we get Spring storms that sometimes takes part of the trees out.  This past Spring seemed particularly bad for it.

Due to the damage, we ended up having to take four entire trees all the way down. J sawed up the large pieces and a friend of R's came and loaded it up for firewood (we don't have a fireplace), and then the limbs and branches we loaded up and carried to the convenience center. They have a truck that comes out every so often and grinds limbs and brush up into a pile of chips, then residents can go and get loads of free mulch. I love that idea.

So over the rest of the Summer the trees shed the usual amount of sticks and branches, and we pick them up and put them in a pile to burn later, after September 30th, when the Burn Ban is lifted. We usually relocate the pile to the garden area and burn it there because supposedly ash is good for garden areas. I haven't read about that myself, so don't know for sure. But this year we're trying to grow collards and cabbage in a Fall garden, so no burning in the garden.

Instead, we piled the brush around one of the stumps left from one of the trees we had to cut down. Burning out stumps is the way my great-grandpa used to do it, before the days of stump-grinding machines. After we burn them down to ground level, we chop and dig at the remaining stump to get it below ground level and cover it with dirt. Not a complete removal like yanking it completely out of the ground, but good enough. Maybe a tree will even grow back there one day, who knows.

Me and R started out out there doing the burning, then J ended up out there with us, and I kinda completely forgot the furnace and toilet projects.
I ended up raking the entire front yard, leaves and all, because there was just so many little twigs and sticks it was just easier to rake it all up than bend and pick, bend and pick. I was raking the stuff into piles, and J was - supposed to be - coming behind me and loading the piles into the wagon to carry to the fire.  But then his partner texted and asked if he wanted to go deerhunting, so I told him to go on.  He works three jobs, of course I'm not going to make him stay home and rake freaking leaves if he has a chance to go hunting, which he loves, loves, loves to do.

I got up the rest of the piles myself, so that task is done, but it's hard to be proud of the accomplishment when it wasn't a task that was planned or even really needed doing as much as the furnaces and toilets did.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Working Hard

...or hardly working? LOL

A little history: up until recently, our County had it's own EMS service, funded by the taxpayers. Then, a year or so ago, they decided to get out of the EMS biz and allow a private service to take over.  Or, sort of private; both services fighting over the area are affiliated with/owned by hospitals.

Anyway, one of the services won the county contract, and the other service got busy trying to steal all their business, doing a lot of PR in the area.
One of the things this other service did was offer a First Responder class to R's City volunteer fire dept.
Instructors came to their station on meeting nights (or maybe it was Saturdays? I may be getting that confused with MOD 1 or NPQ....) and taught them, and certified them.

So R's been a First Responder for a year or so, but now the county provider EMS service has decided to offer the County volunteer fire dept (which, in case you didn't know, R has also joined) a First Responder class.
The thing is, in this class they'll be doing  four (8) hour ride-alongs on an ambulance, plus when they finish (if they pass) they'll be having a catered ceremony, family invited to see them get their certificates and they'll get shirt patches, which the other class didn't give them, and they'll be given a medical jump-bag.

When R heard ambulance ride-along, he was all over that!  He said he don't mind taking the class again, he wants to ride on an ambulance! (He is planning to go to EMT school eventually, when he finishes his Computer Support/Networking degrees next year, hopefully.)

He told me when the instructor was handing out the forms for them to fill out this morning, she told (R's Captain, who's also retaking the class) that he might have to fill out waivers for the ones under 18.
R said they were like WTH? and she asked (Captain) if R and C, another firefighter from their station, were (Captain's) kids?

Talk about offended!  (Captain) was like, I'm not that old! and R and C were like, we're over 21!!
Tooo funny!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Cupcakes in A Jar

Here's another Food-in-a-Jar idea: Cupcakes in a jar.

It doesn't get any simpler than this!
The instructions come with a recipe, but for easy-peasy, mix up a cake mix and bake little cakes in a muffin tin.

Cut the muffin-cake-cupcakes in tops-from-bottom halves. Put bottom half into jar.
Squeeze cake frosting onto cake.
Put in top half of muffin-cake-cupcake, and squeeze more frosting onto top.
Put on lid, tie on plastic spoon.

If making these for a Shower or Wedding favor or Birthday, you can cut circles from a decorative napkin to cover the lid, tie with coordinating ribbon, and use color-coordinated spoons.

Click on the Image for Detailed Instructions
Original Idea from MyCakies.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Public Safety Appreciation Day

Tomorrow is the 3rd annual Public Safety & Family Appreciation Day!

"Paulding Public Safety Appreciation, Inc is a non-profit 501-c3 organization created to "Honor Those Who Protect Us" The goal of this organization is to help provide financial support to the protectors of our community during their time of need and the support we raise will go to public safety personnel residing and or working in Paulding County. The Annual Public Safety & Family Appreciation Day Festival is the largest Public Safety event and Public Safety fundraiser in West Georgia. Through this annual event, we hope to assist in the well being of those who have experienced life changing and or life threatening circumstances in the line of duty or an unexpected incident. We hope to also provide assistance to the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to insure our safety."

Check out this awesome video they made to advertise the event using pics from previous Festivals:

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Calendar Gift Card

I decided to stop into a local salvage store, thrift store, and the Dollar Tree to look for some Card ideas or stuff. Nothing really jumped out at me except for the 2012 Calendars at the Dollar Tree.

I looove calendars! I have to hang one up in the kitchen every year to be able to write things like Birthdays, Doctor and Dentist appointments, school events, and especially John's crazy work schedule on. I'm signed up for the Home Depot or Lowe's Garden Club (can't recall which), and they send me a free calendar in the mail every year!
I also tend to collect other Freebie calendars like from local banks and funeral homes that I don't write on, and just put away for Later. I do this because some years ago we were going through one of the old workshops John had inherited with the home place from his Grandfather, and I found an old local advertising calendar from the year John was born! That was a treasure find for me. So, maybe one day, when someone's going through all my old junk and stuff, they might find themselves such a treasure, too.

Anyway. One of my cousin's has a nearly-three year old, and is expecting twins in January. She'll be needing a calendar to keep up with everyone's everything, and this one was really cute.
Just guesstimating, I believe it's sized about 10x10, so I can make a 12x12 Card around it. Just need to figure out some design ideas. It's not really Christmas colored, so I don't know if the purple will clash with a traditional red and green card design. Maybe a purple sugar plum design...

While trolling for more ideas, I came across this site, Dollar Store Crafts. It features some really neat and nice crafts people have made using items found at the Dollar Store, and lots of other ideas, not just for Christmas.

Check out this neat idea from Childmade using glove fingers as a Snowman family!

Click on Image for Instructions!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Ornament Ball Card: Getting Started

Even though I had intended to trace a dinner plate for the ball part of the Ornament card, I wasn't feeling really comfortable with free-handing the hanging/hook part of it, so I thought maybe I'd see if I could cheat and just find a big, printable pattern to use instead.

I found this pretty large printable ornament ball pattern (click on image to open full size).

I printed it out in black and white so as to not waste all my color ink when I'm only planning to use it as a pattern.

It's big...but not big enough, I don't think. More of a saucer-sized plate than a dinner plate. Since I'm going for simple, I think it really needs to be bigger for more of a wow factor.

But, now that I'm holding it and looking at it and thinking about it, I'm thinking if I used PSP to make some more of these in different colors, they would make a cool looking swag/garland hanging decoration.
Or, maybe stack a few and glue one edge together to make a little book, say a photo album or recipe book, or glue lined/decorative pages in and make it a list keeper or journal, maybe a mini- Christmas scrapbook.

Anyway, back to the project at hand.  So I cut out the ornament ball pattern, and tucked it under my dinner plate and traced.

When I cut it out I had a lot bigger ornament ball.
I don't know of the hanging/hook part is porportionate to the size of the ball, but if I don't think it looks big enough when I'm decorating it then I'll exaggerate the size of it with my tinfoil or whatever I end up using on it.

Next I'll trace it onto a piece of cardboard, and then decorate.
Easier said than done. I'm not too good at that part.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Homemade Christmas Cards

Brrr!  We had a cold front move in on Friday, and it is chi-i-i-i-ly!   Typical North Georgia weather: Summer on Thursday, Autumn over the weekend, Winter this morning at a brisk 38*.

It will likely warm back up again before it really turns off Winterish, but this usual early-Fall chilly snap is good for kick-starting any Christmas projects one may have in mind to do. Hard to think about Christmas when it's warm out, so this freezing-my-tail off puts me more in a Holiday frame of mind.

Generally about this time I'd be starting to think about my Christmas shopping - and I still need to do that - but recently I was reading one of my romance novels (that had nothing to do with Christmas) and the H and h of the story exchanged cards/love notes they created where they added pictures torn from magazines, doodles they drew, a leaf one of them found (I forget what the story behind the leaf was)....Anyway, it gave me an idea.

For the past couple (ok, maybe more than a couple) of years, I have been an Epic Failure in sending out Christmas cards. No reason, just straight up sorri-ness. I have several boxes of Dollar Store cards, nothing to do but sign, seal, and mail, and I couldn't even do that much? Bah! Humbug on me. 

Then I read the above mentioned story, and thought: I will make special, homemade Christmas cards for my family this year. 

First, I need to make a List of Who I'm creating the cards for. That way I know how many cards to plan on making, and if I want to I can customize the card for the family I'm making it for. 
I went online and google'd Free Christmas Printables and found a site offering free decorative printable Christmas card lists:

Then, I needed ideas.
The original idea was real similar to the glitter-and-construction-paper cards we made back in elementary school.
There are lots of graphics, scanned vintage cards and postcards, poems, printables...a whole slew of stuff available on the web for printing out and using to make a card.

I google'd for some ideas and found some pretty good ones:
Disney's Family Fun site has some good ideas; I especially liked the Build-Your-Own-Snowman idea for the cards I'm sending to family with kids.

A reader submitted the idea of making name initials using pipe cleaners.
I can integrate these into a card decoration, but make them detachable to become Christmas tree ornaments.

I love this idea, using their inititals gives it a personalization that makes it a little more special.

Another site I ran across, was referred to from another site I had been looking at is Tater Tots and Jello. This post from the week before Christmas last year was a weekend wrap-up party, and 507 other bloggers posted ideas and links that I'm still wading through.

And that's just one blog post. I know that last year I looked at a couple other blogs that did the same Linky-party-thing and people posted mutlitudes of links and ideas.  It got me encouraged to create a Christmas Vignette on top of my Sweetheart cabinet.
So anyway, I'll be doing more google'ing for ideas.

As usual when I get something on my mind, it'll keep me awake at night thinking about it. Soon as I laid down, I had an idea, then another, then another. I had to get up and get my notebook and write the ideas down before they would leave me alone and let me go to sleep (I woke up just before 4am dreaming about making Christmas cards!).

One of the ideas is really simple: it's just a pretty large cardboard Christmas tree ball ornament.

I had seen some ideas for painting/personalizing Christmas tree ball ornaments, but they were the real balls, which wouldn't fit into a card, and would then become a Christmas tree ornament project, rather than a Christmas Card project, as intended.
I thought, I need to flatten the ball out.  Yeah, but a flat ball-ornament isn't unique or special.  Hmm, but a dinner-plate-sized ball-ornament would be unique. Covered in a shiny mylar wrapping, trimmed around the edge with silver, red, or green string-beading. I have some Christmas stencils to be able to make a design on the front and back with white glitter.
I need to figure out the hanging thing, and I'll probably have to make my own envelope out of 12x12 scrapbook cardstock.
But I think one of my loved ones will get a kick out of opening a BIG handmade, glittery Christmas card.

One of the other ideas involves using real cedar/evergreen to make a flat Christmas tree on cardboard/green cardstock, then trimming it in miniature garland and ornaments.
A spin-off from that one would be to get one of the miniature silver trees (they sell them at the Dollar Tree) and arrange it out flat on carboard/cardstock and trim it.

The first idea, which I'm still meditating on, but I wanted to create a Nativity scene for my Great Uncle and Aunt, and I thought, how neat would it be to use real twigs as the "log walls" of the manger.
Not sure if I want to just use a couple of twigs and make the roof and side walls, or if I want to make the manger scene inside, and make the front open-able.

I found this image posted somewhere on the 'net.  It's alot of red to print, so I think I'll upload it at Walmart and have it printed as like a 5x7 photo. I need to get some other prints made anyway, and it only costs a few cents.

Maybe I'll use twigs to build a manger around this image.

So, having some ideas down, it was time to go shopping.
Upstairs. Because, for the most part, if I don't already have it, I probably don't need it.  I have sooooo freakin much stuff!
Except spray adhesive. I think that was invented after I stopped crafting so I never got any.

First I dug into my scrapbooking cabinet and Christmas decor corner.

I have scrapbooking paper, stickers, die-cuts, stencils, gift bag tags, wrapping paper, ribbon, colored tape, Christmas cards from Christmas past, new Christmas cards still in the box that ought to have been sent out over the past several years, and...


This is Christmasy-recipe-ads torn from magazines, and free recipe cards/booklets that you can find all over the grocery stores starting sometime before Thanksgiving (maybe even now).

I have this obsession with magazine ads. Especially the colorful, full-page pictures of foods with recipes advertising a product.  I tear these out and stick them in a page protector in a three-ring notebook and collect them.
I get alot of free magazines, and end up with duplicates of some of the ads, but I hold on to them in case a project comes up I might can use them on. And when I'm at the store and find the little free Holiday recipe cards and booklets I pick up a couple extra, in case.

I haven't decided yet if I want to make a magazine-ad-recipe-book-card, or if I want to just incorporate one recipe into a card, or what.

Then I got into craft supply stash. (Sorry for blurry picture, I must have moved before it took.)

Here I have felt, foam, beads, pipe cleaners, mini ornaments, pompoms, googly eyes, wooden letters, ribbon, cord, slick-paint, glitter, "snow", holly confetti, silver string-bead, buttons, and lace from my Grannie's stash.

And lastly, for now, I scanned some old Christmas pictures that were in my Grannie's old photo albums.

I'd like to get a print made of this picture of my sister and me, and decorate it up with....  Like..... Well, I don't know. I'm stuck there.

On one hand I want to really do it up, kitschy and bright and festive as all get out. But on the other, I don't want to take focus away from the picture.

I am open to suggestions, ideas, links, etc!