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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Mini Album-Nani ke Ola

Hi again y'all! Happy Friday!! Are you ready for the big day? I am getting there & am so excited!

While I love looking at all of the December Daily albums flooding Pinterest & blogs this time of year, I just couldn't make myself create one. I tried a few time several years in a row & was never able to complete the album. There is just entirely too much going on & I didn't want the stress of tackling another project. I did, however create a simple mini album to hold some favorite photos from this season. I have used mainly all products from Pretty Little Studio's Holiday Cheer collection.

I started with a naked chipboard album & covered the pages in an assortment of PLS patterned papers. I used my new favorite punch, the deer head from EK Success; silver foil numbers; wood veneer diamond shapes; the "Merry Christmas" die cut & a Santa flair from PLS to create my cover.

I "wrapped it up" with a pretty black bow and it's done!
The silver glitter paper, doily & chipboard snowman are from my stash, but everything else seen here is from Pretty Little Studio. I just adore this collection & found it so much fun to create with! I cut some triangles out of paper to mimic mountains & punched some snowflakes to create a winter scene.
Even the packaging of these products is fabulous! Here I used the insert from the flair buttons.
 

 
  I am relieved that I have at least a small album completed to place some holiday photos in! What about you-are you doing a December Daily this year? You can find the Holiday Cheer  collection, and so much more, in the Nani ke Ola store.
Thanks for stopping by! Make it a crafty day!!
~Stephanie
   
 
   

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Decorations & A winner!

Hey y'all! Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile, but we all know how busy & hectic this time of year can be!
I have finally finished decorating the house & the Christmas tree-whew!! That took much longer than I expected. I must be getting slower as I age!
I have pictures to share, but first, I recently realized that I never announced a winner from my "grateful" giveaway! I am so sorry for the delay! Lori is the lucky winner!! Yay! Please email me at dreweaken@comcast.net with your address so I can send out your prize.

How sweet of you to do a giveaway! I am already a follower and I am grateful for the chance to win!   
 
 
Now onto some Christmas décor photos!! I love this time of year!
 
 These plastic reindeer were in my home as a child & I so clearly remember playing with them once mom put them out. I cherish them for sure!
 
 
 
 
 
 

                                        Leah's Nutcracker collection grows every year!!
 
                                                              And lastly is  the tree!
I hope you all are ready for the big day!!
Take care & enjoy!
~Stephanie
 
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Merry & Bright-The Crafty Pickle

Hey y'all! So Christmas is in 10 days! I hope you are ready cause I'm sure not! I have quite a bit of shopping left to do; the tree isn't completely decorated yet; we haven't baked cookies or made gingerbread houses & I have Ty's class party on Thursday to prepare for!!
But, as hectic as it is, I love it all & try to embrace the magic of the season. I love looking back on pictures from Christmases past and my project today shares a photo of the kids with Santa in 2009. They were just babies!! And this is my favorite picture with Santa, ever!
I have used the Winter Sequins Mix from The Crafty pickle, along with their Merry & Bright flair button from the December set. These are the perfect compliment to any layout, be it Christmas-themed or not!

I punched the snowflakes with my Martha Stewart punch & the deer head is a new punch from EK Success. The black paper & the "Enjoy every day" journal card are from 7Dots Studio.

  I used one of my favorite date stamps from Dear Lizzy to stamp the "I Love This" sentiment. And the fun pink polka dot paper is from Elle's Studio.
Be sure to stop by The Crafty Pickle shop to browse all of the great products that are offered!!
Thanks for stopping by today! I am gearing up for a fun night of scrapping & celebrating Christmas with friends!
~Stephanie
 
     

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Magic-Stuck On U Sketches

Hey y'all! Today I am going to share my layout using the December 5 sketch from Stuck On U Sketches . They recently had some changes on the design team & did away with their Project Life challenge. This is my debut sketch layout for them!
Here is a reminder of the wonderful sketch created by Nanne!

What a great design! And here is my layout

I started with the "Deck the Halls" paper from Elle's Studio and added patterned paper layers, all of which are from Carta Bella. I distressed the edges of all my papers here.
I used die cut & vellum flowers and stars from Pink Paislee.
My doilies are from Martha Stewart. The date sticker & snowflake stickers that adorn some of the stars are from Echo Park. I love mixing & matching different manufacturers on a single project!
My die cut title is from Teresa Collins.
These photo were taken at a local hotel that goes all out on their Christmas decorations! We visit every year & take pictures. And yes, these are from 2009!!
 
We hope you find the time to play along! We love to see your creations. You have until December 18 to link up your layout.  
 
Thanks for stopping by! Make it a crafty weekend!!
~Stephanie

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Can't Believe She Is 12!!!

Today is Leah's 12th birthday! I can not wrap my head around this fact. All day I have been staring at her wondering where my "little" girl went! It seems like just yesterday that she was a sassy, head-strong three year-old that I never thought I would survive parenting! Fortunately, we all did survive those tumultuous years & she is one of the best things (next to her brother) that have ever happened in my life.
Yes, the road was extremely hard at times & yes, I was very guilty of praying  that the bad times would pass quickly, against the advice of elders who told me not to wish it away. It was all worth it though, for today, Leah is one of the most caring, tender-hearted people I know. She is smart, kind, empathetic, a good friend & an all-around great girl.
We took her & Ty out of school early, as we do every year, (even though she is now in middle school!) & went out to lunch. Then, as is our tradition, we went downtown to visit Santa. We came home & she opened her presents from us, her Mom-Mom & her best friend!
I'd say she had a good day & we are excited to see what she accomplishes in her 12th year!! She is so very loved!


Have a wonderful night, y'all!
~Stephanie
     

Monday, December 8, 2014

So This Is Christmas

I have found myself guilty of browsing social media & looking at others' posts about the fabulous crafts they do with their children; the gorgeous photos of everyone dressed in just the right outfit, wearing huge smiles & staring so fondly at the camera; or choosing the perfect Christmas tree on a beautiful day that looks Christmas card worthy; and I have found myself wondering "why can't we capture moments like that"?! The fact of the matter around here is, we don't usually have those "picture perfect" moments. Or if we do, we're too caught up in the moment to photograph it! It never fails, every time I set out to get good pictures, something inevitable comes between them & my vision- one child is in a terrible mood; someone spilled food all over their holiday outfit; so on & so forth.
Friday night was the Grand Illumination downtown & Leah had Cotillion's Holly Ball. Three of us were going to be dressed up & already downtown that night, so I tried to devise a plan to get Ty down there after the dance to take pictures of all of us in our Christmas attire (possibly to use as this year's Christmas cards)! Great idea in theory, not so great in real life. It was 8:30 p.m. by the  time we arrived and Ty had been with my sister, brother-in-law & nephew for four hours & he was thirsty & getting tired. I tried bribing him with a treat from Starbuck's if we could just get one good photo of us all. Well, you know how that goes-the smiles were nothing short of a flat out grimace & he complained every step of the way! We took some photos, but I left feeling less than satisfied. Ugh!
(Holly Ball dance)

 
Saturday we went to get our Christmas tree first thing in the morning. Drew came home from the gym & said he thought we should go then to try & beat the rain so we wouldn't have a soaked tree when we finally brought it in the house. We tried to get the kids motivated to get dressed & ready so we could quickly head out. 30 minutes later, after many threats & some shouting, we were out the door-and the rain started!! A woman in front of us turned down a tree showed to her & we gladly accepted it-the first one we saw & off we went! I think that was a first for us!! I wanted to ward off the whining that I knew would be in our near future if we stuck around! And pictures, I took only one on my phone.
Yesterday we went to meet a friend (who is also a professional photographer) to have family pictures taken. We haven't had ones taken since Leah was 3 (& Ty wasn't even born)! The day didn't start off too great-kids were complaining about what they had to wear & then, when we were about 5 minutes from her house (in an area we were unfamiliar with), we ran into a road closure! No detours were posted,so we tried to find our own way & ended up being 15 minutes late (I loathe lateness)!! I really thought that it wasn't going to work & good photos just weren't in the stars for us this year. It worked out though, as Dawn knew about the road closure & it actually pushed all her appointments back. The pictures are amazing & I am going to have such a hard time deciding on one for our Christmas card.
In the end, we were able to get some fun moments captured & I continue to tell myself, especially during this chaotic time of year, that I need to not stress & just enjoy all that there is to be grateful for. 
I hope you all are enjoying the everyday & special moments at this time of year also!
~Stephanie
             

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Tags-Nani ke Ola GDT

Hey y'all & happy Friday to you!
I am  here to share another project for my guest design spot over at Nani ke Ola. I was sent the oh-so adorable Holiday Cheer from Pretty Little Studio to work with this month. It is vintage and whimsical & great to play around with this time of year!
I always have many presents to wrap & give, so I thought I would start by making some cute and fun holiday tags!
I started with pre-made tags & cut the patterned papers to fit. I love that the papers in this collection aren't too Christmas themed & work great for all holidays & winter alike! 
I added a doily to each tag & then layered it with the name tags and word flags from the collection. 
I recently purchased the buck punch from EK Success and am loving using it on all my Christmas projects! 
A ribbon & some twine, a sparkly sequin & a silver bell help to make these gift tags feel so very festive and fun!!


Be sure to visit the Nani ke Ola store to purchase this fun collection and much, much more!!
Thanks for visiting today! Don't forget to enter the giveaway on my blog!  
Have a great, & crafty, day!
~Stephanie