Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, it comes round once a year and it's unavoidable, lol. But if you ask me a week before Christmas isn't the best time of year, but you don't always plan these sort of things. Today was the day I turned 38. Not that I mind, it's only a number and considering I'm a mother of 3 you don't expect me to be 19 anymore, right. So, it feels good to be where I am at the moment and I'm thankful for who I am, who surrounds me and what I've got.

Last night was a bit of a restless night, as Renee is down with a bad cold and was restless all night. It turned out today that she's actually got an ear infection, and we're meant to be on a flight in less then 48 hours.

I've got a cold myself and as I spent most of the night trying to make Renee feel comfortable (even having a shower at 3 a.m. to open up her airways), David let me sleep in this morning. Ruben and Rebecca came to sing (whisper, as Renee as still asleep next to me) Happy Birthday (Lang zal ze leven) in Dutch to me and give me their cards and presents. I'll tell you I got truly spoilt. I got this, this, this and this. The above picture was taken with my new lens.

And I truly have some competition in the card making business. Here are the cards that David, Rebecca and Ruben made for me. They are simply divine. Renee wasn't able to make one, as she's been ill since Saturday.

This morning David treated me to the biggest latte I've ever seen at our local patisserie.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Christmas Card Swap

Today I finished all the 'thank you' cards and also transformed one design into a Christmas card, as I forgot to make a card for our babysitter.

Materials used: Bazzill cardstock, Hero Arts 'merry christmas' stamp and snowflake background stamp, Ranger Embossing tinsel, psychedelic embossing powder StampWorld, ribbon ?, clear snowflake Heidi Swapp.

Yesterday I received my Christmas card from Karen, which was through the card swap organised by Julie Love. I sent this card to Lisa (who, by what I could find does not have a blog).

Last Monday David's niece gave birth to a baby boy. I made this card for him, which is a total lift from here. I even used the same PP.

Materials used: Bazzill Kraft Cardstock, Scenic Route PP, ribbon ?, hands and feet unknown, Bazzill brad, glitter Powderz, letter cut with Silhouette, diamond glaze, buttons Autumn Leaves, circle punch, 'baby' stamp Stampin'Up.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

In prepartion

In preparation of your trip to England and Holland, which is now just over one week away, I'm making some 'thank you' cards that I can write while we're there as the kids inevitably will receive presents from nanny, aunts & uncles, etc. This will save me from having to do it when we come back from our trip. I'm planning to make 12. Right now I have made two different designs and I'm planning to just make 6 of each, which should be okay as far as supplies go.

Materials used: cardstock Bazzill, clear stamp Fancy Pants & Hero Arts, red embossing powder Ranger and psychedelic embossing powder StampWorld, white ribbon, rub-on letters American Crafts, watermark ink Versamark, clear snowflake Heidi Swapp, corner rounder, circle punches.

Materials used: cardstock Bazzill, PPs MME, font: SusanneQuillSH downloaded from internet and cut with Silhouette, snowflake downloaded from Quickutz blog and cut with Silhouette, psychedelic embossing powder Stampworld, polka dot ribbon American Craft, decorative edge scissors Fiskars, Quickutz scallop die, corner rounder.

For the last card I had a little play with the Silhouette. I have discovered that 150pt is the smallest size for this particular font to have a decent cut. Anything smaller will tear on the narrow spots. But must say that I'm quite pleased with the results, even though it is quite a noisy machine, which means I'm only cutting during the day time.

I'm still working on my 31 days of December, but I just haven't taken the time to take pictures of the pages.

Yesterday, I also worked on a little project to give as a gift to the teachers. It's a paper ornament using a Sizzix diecut. PPs are from KIMemories. The idea comes from the Australian Christmas edition of Better Homes and Gardens. The kids quite liked them, so let's just hope the teachers like them too. The beads I bought from Spotlight.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Seven Today

Today is my little niece's birthday. Fleur is turning seven today. She will be fast asleep right now as it's 2.30 a.m. in Holland, but I already wanted to wish her a very Happy Birthday with lots of fun. I might be able to congratulate her in person later today through Skype. This is the card I made for her:

Materials used: PPs Cosmo Cricket, Prima Flowers, Buttons ?, Autumn Leaves stamp, Stampin'Up 'birthday' stamp, tag from local newsagent, Sizzix dies 'Happy'.

When I was making this card, my Big Shot machine broke. The actual metal that's inside snapped. So, I had to fork out to buy an new one, otherwise all my dies would serve no more purpose. And I still like using it from time to time. Also, last week I received a Silhouette for Christmas. Unfortunately it was a day late to be included in our early celebration last week, but nonetheless I'm thrilled with it. I hooked up both my Mac and laptop as the software is not compatible on the Mac. The advantage however on the Mac is that you use Adobe Illustrator, which makes it a doodle to weld text. In case I want to print any of the designs that come with the Quickutz software I hook it up to the laptop. By the way, for those who own one, Quickutz now has it's own blog here and from time to time offer free downloadable designs.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Button Tree

Yesterday afternoon I went to Spotlight to buy some (a lot) buttons and pins. Unfortunately I could only buy multi-coloured pins, whereas I was looking for just silver ones. Anywho... Since late yesterday afternoon, I've been sticking pins in a styrofoam cone to create this little button tree. As I ended up with multi-coloured pins, I painted some red, other I embossed with silver and red tinsel to make a unified look. This little project was inspired by this. I've got two more smaller size cones, but I've almost run out of pins already, so I might put those on hold until next year, lol!

Monday, 10 December 2007

31 Days...Catch-up

Over the weekend we've been busy playing Monopoly and Mexican (dice game) and clearing out the under-the-stair-cupboard, which meant that my mini album was put on hold. This morning I had some time to get caught up. I also need to think ahead how I'm going to continue doing this when we're on the road. I'd like to take it with me, but obviously keeping the necessary supplies to a minimum.

By the way my Christmas cards have all been posted and some have already been received too.

Friday, 7 December 2007


As promised here's the LO I created yesterday. I left it quite simple, which meant I could finish it quickly.

Materials used: Bazzill cardstock, Scenic Route PPs, Technique Tuesday acrylic stamps, American Crafts chipboard letters, Doodlebug paper frills, Creative Imaginations rub-on, KI Memories epoxy sticker, Fancy Pants pin, button, DMC floss, circle punches in 4 sizes, Staz'On black ink, brush printed in Photoshop.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

31 Days...December 6th

Today was somewhat a big day, especially for the children and both Sinterklaas and Santa Claus were delivering their presents to our house today. Neither of them had to plough through a thick pack of snow as it was 33 degrees (Celsius) today. It all went according to plan and the children were very happy with their gifts. Phew, I can breathe normally again. Just those Christmas cards. I set my deadline for tomorrow, so I know what I'll be doing tomorrow afternoon, as I'll be working out in the morning.

We're already on day 6 of my 31 Days of December mini album, which I'm still enjoying putting together. It will be a great keepsake for the children when they grow up.

Today we celebrated Sinterklaas and Xmas in one. The children were very pleased with their presents. There were: DVDs, monopoly, RC Tyco Car, Globe, Play-Doh, sidewalk chalk, Be.Bratz, K'Nex and books.

Admits all the preparations and trying to catch up with the housework I mentally escaped for a little while and created a LO this afternoon using Loveland papers from Scenic Route. I will post the LO tomorrow when I can take a picture in daylight.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

31 Days...December 5th

Today is the official day that St. Nick (Sinterklaas in Dutch), who celebrates his birthday on December 6th, gives all the children presents. This is still traditionally the day in Holland that most people celebrate the event. However, I needed that extra day to get organised, as this will be our Christmas celebration for at home too. During Christmas we will be 10k Miles across the oceans and we cannot possibly take all the presents with us. But we did it, we explained why St. Nick is a day late (in a traditional poem) and we've hidden the presents which will coincidentally be discovered tomorrow afternoon when David comes home. They will already receive one present with a chocolate letter and pepernoten (both traditional sweets for this time of year) in the morning in their shoe, which they left by the chimney tonight. Let's see what their reaction will be in the morning.

Journaling on picture is in Dutch and reads:
Vol verwachting klopt ons hart, which is a line from a traditional Sinterklaas song and means 'in anticipation our heart beats'.

In anticipation of tomorrow's event, I've put the last hand on getting everything ready. I know a big weight will be lifted off my shoulders. The children finished their collages today and they look great. The children put their shoes by the chimney tonight.

Here's a close-up of the reindeer collage. The design comes from this book. The original design is with fabric, but I just used cardstock. Also, we didn't sew the stitches for the eyes, spots or tree trunks, we used pens. I enlarged the drawing with the reindeer pieces at 300% which made it the perfect size. The children enjoyed putting them together too. For the background and Rudolph's nose I used glitter embossing powder.

31 Days...December 4th

Last night was quite a busy night at Santa's workshop, which meant I didn't get to do my daily entry for my mini album until late. As little Elves need to sleep as well, I'm posting it now.

Journaling around picture:
Although we're not home for Christmas, I really enjoyed making this collage, and will enjoy it for years to come.

Journaling other page:
Today normal daily routing took over. I have not been able to write any more Christmas cards. I did put the finishing touches on my Christmas collage and am very pleased with the end result. The children seemed to be too tired to engage in any Christmas activities this afternoon, but we did manage to start on a lovely reindeer collage, more to follow...

Here are a few close-up pictures of that collage that I made, which was totally inspired by the one Ali Edwards created.

Monday, 3 December 2007

31 Days...December 3rd

After having an extremely hot weekend, today was cooler and very, very wet. My friend called it a deluge, which was my new word for today. With it being wet outside, it was all the more reason to get working on writing those much beloved Christmas cards. I've written 15 today, only about 65 more to go. Here's my entry for today. I'll post the journaling at the bottom, but I've added some more text to the last page after I took the picture.

Renee had her Christmas concert at Kinder this evening. The children were all beautifully dressed up and they sang 4 songs: 'At Santa's Xmas Workshop', '123 Little Reindeer', I'm a special Xmas tree' and 'Jingle Bells'.

Our first Christmas cards arrived in the post today from Nanny and Paul & Lisa Ann. I've started wrapping presents and posted our first batch of Christmas cards. I'm planning to have them all done by the end of the week. With all our family across 10k Miles we need to get them sent a little bit earlier.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

31 Days..December 2nd

Here's my jounal for today:

Today the spirit of Christmas was around for everyone. Ruben went to a Christmas Fair with a friend and got an early Chirstmas present. I listened to some good old Christmas songs. We did a family shoot in the front garden and we watched the movie 'Elf'. Rebecca wrote a letter to Sinterklass in Dutch with her wishes. Since we're not going to be at home at Christmas we are celebrating our Christmas on December 6th, which is St. Nicholas' Birthday.

Yesterday morning I was blog hopping and came across this one. She makes some amazing stuff. One of the things I really liked was the origami box. I had a go at it last night, and this is how it turned out.

Materials used: PPs KI Memories, ribbon Vandoros.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

31 Days... December 1st

I managed to already write my journaling and print my pictures for today this afternoon. The journaling will be hard to read, but this is what it says:

'Well, it's the first day of December. It was no surprise seeing Ruben sleeping with his Santa hat on. To make the Holiday season longer lasting and more enjoyable we are going to do something Christmassy everyday. Today we baked cookies. Yum!'

31 Days of December

This is what I'll be working on the next 31 days.

This lovely project is from an online class with Melodee Langworthy. I signed up for it a the start of November, but I only received my goodies on Thursday. I'm so glad it turned up in time, because I'm really looking forward documenting our month of December. The holiday season is always a tough one for me, as there are a lot of negative emotions involved from the past. On top of that my birthday is a week before Christmas. Normally I would be very pleased that it's Boxing Day and it's all over for another year. Hopefully with this project I'll be able to give it a more positive spin. I said to my DH and kids I want to do something Christmassy every day. Even though yesterday was not December yet, I bought the Santa hats so I could take a picture for the front of the chipboard album. Time permitting, I'll update on this daily. Tomorrow I will start with December 1st.