Archive for December, 2011

a blank slate.

I’m so excited…I got my new calendar book for 2012!

my new year

Is it old-fashioned that I still write everything down? From birthdays and anniversarys to my weekly goals to the chores I need to get done on the weekend…it all goes into my calendar book, handwritten in purple ink.

I don’t care if it’s old-fashioned. I simply love the act of putting pen to paper and forming letters. Plus I have a thing for notebooks. And pens.

I suppose it would be easier to use technology to keep my life organized. For one thing I wouldn’t have to write down all the birthdays and anniversarys every year. Then again, I might not remember them otherwise.

I also love writing lists, and scratching items off of my to-do list. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I love my new calendar book. It’s so pretty. I can’t wait to see what the pages become filled with. Probably nothing very exciting. But there’s always the possibility….


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Bring your torches
Bring your torches
With every candle raised
With every lantern flame
Light after light
In every village
Welcoming home
Every friend
Christ is born
O come behold Him
Mary calls us to adore Him
hush, hush
Such a lovely mother
hush, hush
Such a lovely Son
Bring your torches
Bring your torches,
Jeanette, Isabella.

-Jeanette, Isabella

Merry Christmas!


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I’ve been busy making sure all of my required Christmas movies and shows are recorded on our DVR. I probably should just buy them. Somehow I never get around to it though.

Here is my list of necessary holiday viewing:

1. Elf – this movie has, quite deservedly, become a classic. It’s wonderful, and Will Farrell is perfect as Buddy the Elf.

2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – I love Clark’s never-ending quest to give his family the perfect traditional, old-fashioned, Christmas. The mix of silliness and sweetness is perfect.

3. It’s a Wonderful Life – this is what I watch on Christmas Eve, after everyone has gone home from our annual Christmas Eve get-together. I do find it to be a bit long and tedious. But the ending is totally worth it, and Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are so great together.

4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – only the original will do, from when I was little. The story of a reindeer and an elf who simply want to be accepted for themselves. Pure classic.

5. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town – ditto.

6. Peanuts Christmas – what’s a holiday without Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and the rest of the gang?

7. A Christmas Story – simply the best. It just is not Christmas without this movie. It’s such a lovely, heartwarming story, and it’s set in the 40s so I love all the vintage stuff. And the ending…it doesn’t get any better.

Christmastime is here.

No matter what holiday you celebrate at this time of year, I hope it’s a joyous one.


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As I mentioned previously I’ve been so busy with Christmas preparations that I haven’t had much time for creating. But…somehow I always manage to fit in at least a little tiny bit. I just can’t go for very long without indulging my creative urges.

So I’ve been making bows from old magazines. I have probably well over 100 magazines – almost every issue of Bead & Button, plus all of my Stampington magazines. I’ve realized that I simply can’t keep them all. One idea I found to use up old magazines is creating bows. It’s so easy! The most tedious part is cutting all the strips of paper. But once that’s done, you can make a bow in just a few minutes.

I use four different lengths of paper, and a brad to hold it together.

ooh la la

Isn’t it cute? So far I’ve made three. Not very many, but it’s a start.

If you want to make your own, here’s how:

I use strips in four different sizes – 3&7/8″, 3&1/2″, 2&7/8″, and 2&1/4″, approximately 3/4″ wide. Once I have those cut out, I gently bend each strip in half and use a 1/8″ hole punch to make a hole close to the ends. When that is done, take a brad (you’ll need a larger size to fit all the paper strips on) and bend each strip in half and insert the brad through the hole. Start with the smallest size. I string 6 to 10 strips of paper, depending on the length of the paper (I string 6 of the smallest size and 8 to 10 of the largest). When you are satisfied with your bow, fold over the prongs of the brad and voila! A unique and pretty bow.

Have a lovely day!


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I just love Christmas. The older I get, the more I enjoy it. Sure, it’s great when you’re a kid – waking up to a pile of presents, tearing them open, and swimming in a sea of gift wrap.

But as I get older, I appreciate the ideals that Christmas celebrates more and more. Choosing and giving gifts, spending time with loved ones, spreading a little cheer and kindness. And of course I love the decorations, the tree, wrapping gifts, and baking.

To me it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

I also love love love Christmas songs. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, Christmas music makes me feel so happy. It’s all I listen to from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

These are 10 of my favorite songs, in no particular order:
1. Christmastime is Here – Vince Guaraldi
2. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon (I like Sarah McLachlan’s version also)
3. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
4. Happy Holidays – Andy Williams (it’s not Christmas until I hear some Andy Williams)
5. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
6. A Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney
7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee (best version!)
8. Silver and Gold – Burl Ives
9. that song without words from the Peanuts
10. O Holy Night – Josh Groban (so beautiful – gives me chills)

I’m also listening to Midwinter Graces by Tori Amos. It’s a great seasonal album, with a wide range of songs and musical styles.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!


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The current issue of Somerset Studio has this fantastic article by Kate Crane called “Journal Your Year”.

journal your year

I love this so much – after doing my Halloween inchies, the little squares that she used for her journaling are very appealing! I want to do this.

journal your year

I just love Ms Crane’s artwork – the colors are beautiful. I already bought a watercolor pad to use. I think this project would be a great way to experiment and play. I’m not sure if I can do it everyday, but I sure as heck want to try!

journal your year

She made the pages ahead of time, so all she had to do was the daily journaling. The squares are 1.5″, so there’s only room for a sentence, which is good for me! That probably will be all I have time for. I like how she drew pictures in her squares too. It makes it more interesting.

I have to wait until after Christmas though before I can prepare my January page. I have no time right now for anything other than holiday preparation. The only creative things I’ve been doing is making some bows and some decorative bags for gift-giving.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Last Thursday, December 1st, we went to see Tori at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia (and I’m only just now having a minute to post about it). It was amazing!

She came out in a long, flowing, pink satin gown, metallic pink leggings, and glittery silver high heels.

I very much enjoyed the string quartet, Apollon Musagete – they brought so much energy and it was fascinating to watch them play. They sounded great with Tori.

She played several of my favorite songs from Night of HuntersShattering Sea, Nautical Twilight, Fearlessness, Carry, and – Star Whisperer! You may remember from a previous post that I have claimed Star Whisperer as my song. I did not expect her to play it, because it is rather long (almost 10 minutes). She did speed up the first part a bit, but she played the whole thing, and it was wonderful.

She played with such energy and passion, and it was a great concert. Standouts for me: Velvet Revolution – I always loved this little song, and she played it with such passion. Hey Jupiter – I didn’t recognize this song until she started singing; I loved the new arrangement, and the quartet was great. Cruel – absolutely incredible; the quartet – I didn’t know strings could make sounds like that!

And, she played one of my most favorite songs – Cloud on My Tongue. The quartet played with her, and it was wonderful.

She also covered Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You; and really, all of the songs were done beautifully.

The time just flew by. It was a fabulous evening. I think Tori is simply amazing and brilliant!

Thanks for stopping by!


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