Thursday, December 31, 2009

My 12 Tags of Christmas - Tim Holtz Challenge!

Tim's 12 2009 Tags of Christmas
Did you follow Tim's Blog, like I did?
Did you have a great time and follow along???
To see Tim's Tags, go to his blog
Or, click on the Graphic, link on my sidebar, on the left!


My Tags - 1 Thru 4
(Click to Enlarge)
** I did not have all the supplies so I improvised where I could **

Here are a few highlights of how my tags were different!

Tag #1. My Snowman stamp is from Inkadinkadoo and the snow flakes are Hero Arts.
I did cut stamp my snowman on Grungeboard and cut him out.

Tag #2: My metal rose is made from a big metal flower that I chopped and folded!
The stamps are all Hero Arts.

Tag #3: I loved the Alcohol Ink Plaids! I made several!
My snowflakes and deer are all Stampin' Up stamps.
Metal is Making Memories

Tag #4: My stamps are all Cornish Heritage Farms
Various fun metal pieces
And the entire ornament can be hung on a tree.



My Tags: 5 thru 8
(Click on image to enlarge)

Tag 5: Stamps are Cornish Heritage Farms and Hero Arts
Rubon is Stampin' Up
My ornament 'metal tops' are good ol' kitchen aluminum foil!

Tag #6: Stamps are Kim Hughes, for Cornish Heritage Farms
I made my fluffy stuff from tissue paper, and added glue and glitter!
Background paper is My Minds Eye
'25' is from Making Memories

Tag 7: Skater & big snowflake are Stampin' Up
Background stamp and little snowflakes are Cornish Heritage Farms
Sentiment is Hero Arts
(The skaters turned out 'cookie cutter' due to too much interior white space)
I loved the 'mask on acetate' idea! Gonna use that one again!!

Tag #8: My light pole and holly are grungeboard diecuts, not a stamp.
The key is also grungeboard.
Music background stamp is Cornish Heritage Farms
Background flourish stamp is Hero Arts
Metal: unknown!


My Tags: 9 thru 12
(click on image to enlarge)
Tag #9: My favorite!
Those photos are of my sisters, nephew and I!
I am the girl in the bigger picture.. oh, about 25 years ago!

I actually made my filmstrip in PSE.
I found a template online and had a blast trying to figure it out
(don't ask me what I did... it somehow worked!)
Stamps: Stampin Up and Hero Arts
I love the postmark and didn't want to cover it up!
Metal: unknown

Tag #10: My secret? Aluminum foil again for my metal!
And I colored the foil with copics.. Yep.. Copics!
I made this one more of a Valentine's theme..

Tag #11: I did not make my own brads, but used some K&CO fabric ones.
I love the rock candy on the flowers!!!!
My flowers are from Making Memories.
My stag stamp is from Stampin' Up, I stamped it on grungeboard and cut it out,
and over stamped with a Hero Arts Flourish Stamp, the same one that is my background.
Rubon: Stampin' Up

Tag #12: I do not have grungepaper, so made this baby out of watercolor paper!
(My first flower was made out of grungeboard - oh so blocky!!!)
Gems are Hero Arts.
Adore Tag is Teresa Collins
Music Sheet is Cornish Heritage Farms stamped on vellumn
Other background stamps are Hero Arts
Metal clip Stampin' Up

I love my paper rose!



Here are all of My 12 Tags
In One PSE File -That I sent to Tim!!!

Friends!

It is with great delight, excitement, and a big ol' "I Did It!!!!" that I present to you my 12 Tags of Christmas! Oh it was a long long journey to get these babies done, but I did it! There were early mornings, before everyone woke, and a sneak here and there to get parts done... I was working three jobs up until Dec. 23rd, so time was very very sparce! But I did it!

The deadline is tonight, midnight, and I am early!!!! I sent the file to Tim before lunch! Yippee!

It feels so good to get these done. I have loved watching Tim's demo's and tutorials each of the three past years, and I usually make 3 or 4 tags.. This year I promised myself I would get them done!

Why? Because of Tim. He puts so much time into making his tags, and photographing them, and giving us all the details, and then each and every day, he gives away a ton of goodies!

I wanted to do this, to Thank him for what he gives us. I wanted to share the whole experience.

And let me tell you.. I have such a greater appreciation for what he did! These little tags take a long time to make! Details! Details! Details!

But oh so Fun!

Thank You Tim!

And thank you to any of you that are sharing this project with me!


Happy New Year's Eve!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Recap (2009)

Christmas Eve- Games After Dinner
We hosted dinner at our place.
Our friends/neighbors came over.
Two families for a total of 8.
Perfect.
Recognize that big guy on the left?
That's our favorite babysitter, Jarrod.
He's the one who supervised the 'gingerbread condos' last year!


Notice the Home Made Egg Nog and Wine?
That's Robbie, her dad Alan, and my husband, The Dickster.
Robbie now goes to school in Pendleton.
She agrees with me about Hamley's - the place I bought the hat.
We both want to 'hang' there...
Just need gobs and gobs of money...
Back to the drinks...
Makes for an 'interesting' next morning.
Which came way too fast.
Especially when your son shines a flashlight in your face at 4am!!!!!
Oh blessed be the children.

Up to the Last Moment Decor
The Star getting put on the Tree - On Dec. 24th
Sami and Dick finishing the tree.
That's my desk.
I look over the world from my lair.
Two big huge windows are across from me and I see the great outdoors.
Below?
Mayhem.
Pure Mayhem.


Christmas Eve Gingerbread Scene - Western Style
The three wise kids
(Jarrod, our favorite babysitter, and my two, his apprentices)
attempted to make a gingerbread house.
But, thinking they were super smart, they put it outside to get the frosting
to set. As in 'outside' - in the great outdoors - not in the garage.
Um.. We live on a ranch, remember???
Kids? What were you thinking? Critters?
One of the critters (dog? cat? Skunk? A band of mice?)
found it within 10 minutes and destroyed it.
So.. Western Scenes were created instead.

And, the three wise kids also made a manger and baby Jesus out of Gingerbread.
It was beautiful.
And kind.
And reminded us all why we were gathering.



Christmas Day
Jake's Favorite Gift - A remote control helicopter
See how itty bitty that thing is?
It's adorable!!!!
Thanks Grandma Pat!
That little thing has flown everywhere... up up high, 20 feet high, indoors.
It's crashed into all sorts of things - the woodstove, the head mounts, my desk,
and people...
Good thing it came with it's own repair kit.
I think we need 'bets' on how long that baby is gonna last.


Sami's Big Present - 2 Snaredrums
Ya know.. They aren't as bad as I thought!
I just got done taking out my frustrations on them.
(I'm really mad at the piano man right now)
Very very very liberating...
Think I'm gonna like having access to these babies..

Jake's Big Gift - A New Guitar
Nice!
It has vinyl strings - not metal.
It's gorgeous.


My Gift? This Hat
Not the fancy digital camera I had hoped for.
Nor the new winter red or white wool pea coat.
Definitely not the ipod shuffle or any MP3 player.
Apparently, I'm easy.
(Do I hear snickering in the audience?)
This hat, in truth, was also on my list.
You likey???
I think it will go very well with my new very sexy knee length black 'leatha' boots!
Holy crud. They are wicked.
Oh my... Thanks Grandma Pat!
I need to do a million leg lifts to 'pull them off' JUST right!


Our New Family Game - Cranium Dice
Many rounds were played Christmas Eve.
I have photos of Pam, the mom of Jarrod and Robbie,
balancing dice on her nose.
I'm saving it for a special occasion!
This game is a hit, folks. Trust me.
You will laugh out loud.
lots.
And, it was played again on Christmas Day,
prior to lunch.. which included Tamales!
Yum...

******



*************
So.. I started this post on Christmas Day.. But I was too darn tired and emotional and beat to send it. I do believe I had the Christmas Blues... that big crash after all the rush... Oh my..

Then, I edited it again, yesterday, about the time the Piano Man called, came, and left. Then I was mad, and did not want to send it. Stinkin' Piano Man!

And, here I am, once again...today was such a better day! I did not get out of bed until 6:30 am. Noticed I did not say I woke at 6:30am? I woke way too darn early. But stayed in bed. Wow. And, I actually got to spend the entire day in my jammies.. It's been awhile since I did that. It's my favorite Sunday activity. And, I finally feel 'like me' again... KWIM?

And, I got inky. Love that! It's my therapy... I am now on Tag 7 of Tim's 12 Christmas Tags... I'm hoping to get them all done by the 31st... and then I will share them!

Oh! I also worked on a few of my Christmas Cards today! Yep... They should get out sometime this week! Just doing a batch at a time...

Peace...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yes, I'm Insane...And I have Company... Proof...

To continue from where I left off yesterday...

Last night, after doing the grocery run, I came home from my 'Elf' job (Copy/Ship/Mail) - Dead tired.. Holy.. What insane people ship their packages on the Monday before Christmas???? Answer: The majority of people shipping presents... I wrapped, I packed, I shipped, I took three loads of US Mail to the local post office and got rained on.. By the time I came home - I did NOT want to see any wrapping paper, tape, or boxes... besides.. there was too much excitement waiting for me when I arrived...

Disclaimer: I have not shipped mine yet... HA! I rank in a totally different category - for the elite...

The Situation
Anyway, I came home to another family 'situation' - and might I say.. My husband was home the entire time????? (and, Insane or Clueless or just another kid - I'm still debating what words best describe him at this point!)...

The woodstove apparently decided to get plugged.

No one noticed all the smoke in the house until the 'flu fire' was well underway.

By the time I got home, the windows were all open, the scent of burnt stuff through-out, and rain coming down hard. Thank God for the rain... Who knows what the heck was going outside that chimney pipe! (Our house actually caught fire in 1999, and again, last year we put out a fire on the 'wood shingle' roof...sigh)...

Oh yes. Rain... I have neglected to share our 'funky' weather patterns.

The Crazy Weather
Three Weeks Ago - below zero.

Last Week - Snow - 1 foot.
Day After: In the 40's.. Big Snow Melt. Slush. Ice.

Now: Last Night - 40's and Rain.. This morning... 20 degrees.

Which means this morning it is a sheet of ice out there....

Misery Loves Company - We are Both Insane!
Right now, my husband is taking 5 steers down the interstate to Boise... right now...in the bloody dark - pulling a livestock trailer - on Ice (Insane!!!) Say a prayer...and he woke at 4:30 am. He is NOT an early morning person...

Um... A Little Heat, Please?
And, it's going to be very very cold the next few days...NOW would be a good time to have a working woodstove!!!!! My husband has promised he will fix it... We shall see... I am sitting Indian Style at my desk while I type this.. With my toes tucked under my legs to keep them warm.. brrrrr...


Back to me...My Personal Insanity

This Morning .. I woke at 3am.. with a surge of energy...

Energy or adrenaline...or fear.

First, let me say, I am a morning person... I typically get up at 4, 4:30 or 5... So 3 is really no great stretch for me ... However, my husband does think I am insane...When he came stumbling out, at 4:30, the first words out of his mouth were 'I hope you are furiously wrapping presents up there!'... I told him I was.. Hmmm... I guess the lights going off and on in our bedroom, and my repeated shuffling back and forth with large noisy bags drove him over the edge...


But, I have my reasons.. You see.. I had all the presents hidden in our room...and I can only pack in the mornings since I am a tired pup in the evenings... and this way everyone is still sleeping (if I haven't woken them up:)

And, the kids decided to make our room 'the headquarters' for sleepfests during this holiday vacation break .. They are snug on the rug in their sleeping bags..

So.. at 3am I moved all the presents upstairs, out of the bedroom, to my 'crafty lair' for WrapFest 2009.

I am actually pretty darn proud of myself!

I have FOUR gift bags ready to go!!!!!

Today is Ship Day #1!

Watch out Missouri, Seattle, California, and Denver!!!!!!!

Fa la la la la!

I am feeling better now...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Star Log - Monday, December 21st... (Coming Up for Air)

Early December - My Date
Sami had a sleepover one Saturday - the first weekend of December
So Jake and I snuck in a date.
In between errands, etc.
We love our Chinese Food!

Peaking in a Store Window
Back in November!

Sami Made us a Christmas Tree
The weekend I was working and asked
Dick to take the kids to get a tree.
This was the result.
I was a bit nervous when I got a cell phone call from her,
'momma, where's the glue gun?'.


The Teacher Gifts
At 7am last Thursday, the last day of school before break,
my daughter asked about the teacher gifts.
Oops. I knew I forgot something!
The result? A furious wrap and adrenaline rush.
The bus comes at 7:15am.
I did not make the deadline.

These babies got delivered to the school at 9am.
I drove on black ice.
That was a bad ice day on the interstate.
I saw an abandoned boat, and trailer.
Ice, Ice baby.
The irony?
I wrote on the tag to the bus driver that I was thankful for her keeping our kids safe!
That night I learned the bus slid off the road into a side ditch
and another bus came around the corner, locked up it's brakes
and came within inches of hitting it!
(and there are only 2 buses)
Angels. I swear we have angels that watch over my kids.


Last Monday, A Tree Was Delivered
From our neighbors. I came home from job #2 and found
it laying on the living room floor.
Chop Chop people!
It was up in no time.
Each day it leaned a little bit more to the left.
So, come Thursday, I tied the top to the 2nd floor railing
with fishing line.

The lights didn't get put on until this last Saturday,
at 5am, before I left for Boise.
Sami assured me the tree could not get decorated unless I put the lights on first.
I guess I missunderstood her.
The tree is still not decorated!


Sami's Work!
However, Sami took control of the stockings.
Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.
Otherwise, we would have no decor!
And no our family did not grow!
The last 4 stockings are for critters.

.Some of our Ornaments
For the most part, the majority are still in the box!
Four days 'til Christmas.
There just aren't enough hours in my day.
Two kids are on vacation, and my husband is home working.
I think they can deal with it.

They are having fun playing with the ornaments!
That cute little gal is from my Sister Avis.
The cowboys? From last years gingerbread house making party.
Dusty Duplos?
Priceless.

Drive to Boise on Saturday

Yucky. Snowy. White Knuckles.
For the first 2 hours of the drive.
But 'nirvana' was at the other end.
Sushi at the downtown Albertson's!

Total miles logged: 300
I left at 8am and got home about 4pm.
My husband left on Friday to Portland.
The kids were home alone the whole day.
Did the tree get decorated?
No.
But the house was still standing.
Sometimes you gotta keep it in perspective.

And Then there was Pendleton, Yesterday
First, it was snowing. Big Fat Flakes - over Lad Canyon.
Then there was rain. Somewhere. I forget.
Then Fog. In Pendleton.
Total miles logged: 180

After the Pendleton Drop -A Trip to Hamley's
How about that bronze???

Mr. Sexton's Christmas List included a new felt hat.
Here are the specs:
Stetson.
Not Wool.
Beaver.
Silver Belly
XXXXXX
That would be 6x.

He warned me 'they are expensive'. $250 for a good one.
It's been a while since he hat shopped!

Hamley's was once famed as a saddle maker.
They've gone Hollywood.
They take up an entire block in Pendleton and are really a 'destination'
tourist spot.
Pendleton Round-Up and all.
They are sporting a steakhouse, a coffee house, and the store.
Not sure if they are still making saddles.
But oh my.. The store is gorgeous!
Yummy stuff!
I want to live there.

So.. I had a lesson in types of hats, types of felt
(wool, rabbit, buffalo, beaver)
who is still making hats in America
(Stetson has outsourced to China!)
Resistol is still American Made.
I was a very 'smart' shopper.
I scored.
I came home with a beaver hat,
with a 4 inch rim.
leather interior band,
Silver Belly
6X.
(The newer ones of equal quality are 20x).
Steamed, cleaned, and formed 'Ranch Style'.
The hat man took pitty on me.
He found an older hat that had been in the basement
and revived it for me - with a discount.

And I'm keeping the hat box!
Way cool graphics.
I'll share it after Christmas.




It's only 4 days away and my Christmas Cards are still in their original box (photo cards), and all the gifts that need to be shipped are still in my room...unwrapped. Naked. Don't ask about my annual Calendar.. Not done. Not ordered. Maybe in January. And not one cookie has been made.

However, our little family is taken care of.

I logged 480 miles this weekend doing ranch deliveries. Saturday was to Boise (just over 300 miles) and Sunday to Pendleton (just over 180 miles)... The weather was horrid, but the people and the sales were awesome... and I finished my Christmas Purchases!

We will have guests coming for dinner Christmas Eve. And the kids will get to make custom gingerbread houses again.

Dick and the kids have been practicing their Christmas Songs on the guitars.

Even though I've been working each day, and running crazy, I still have a peaceful feeling about Christmas. I'm looking forward to the magic that will begin, the songs we will sing, the stillness, the peace, the gift of Christ.

Peace be with all of you...

And of course, a Very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Daily - Day 8 Tuesday

Woke to MINUS 5 degrees...today on the 8th. Tuesday.

(Woke to 3 degrees yesterday.. Dang, yesterday was warm!)...

My early am chores:

1. First, got the woodstove going... toasty warm in the house!

2. Went to get 1/2 and 1/2 for my first cup of joe.. Noticed a 'leak' in the kitchen fridge...bottom shelf. Meat not sealed correctly...juice leaked under glass above the veggie drawers. Got to clean the fridge at 5:30am... before that first cup!! Something is not right in the world...

3. Made french toast for kids.

4. Lots of water to be hauled. Filled buckets filled in laundry room, then hauled outside to chickens, dogs. Spilled some on the steps from laundry room to garage... Cheese...

5. Filled 'backup' bunny water bottles so darling daughter has less to do. Save a step? She normally brings in the cold ones, and defrosts them then fills them and goes back out... Tick. Tock.

6. Bunny cages covered with blankets. In the barn. Their water was frozen.. They must be too!

7. A cat got in the house (thanks small son) and got on top of the kitchen window sill and helped herself to scraps (doggy compost) - she made a mess. Greasy yucky mess... Had to break out the windex, clean clean clean. Sigh...

8. Husband hit the road at 7am, won't be back until late...real late. He is taking meat to the sausage man in Mackie, Idaho. Six hour drive one way. Someone has to do his chores!

9. Laundry room smells like diesel. Husband drenched himself in Diesel yesterday (ranch accident) - nearly killed himself - he was under the diesel ranch tank, and unplugged it to drain it... was only to be the 'sludge' at the bottom. The Diesel people had filled the tank, without permission, so gallons of fuel covered him - while he was trying to plug it again with bare hands... Cold fuel. Bare hands... layers of clothing. In one eye, too. His hands hurt from the temperature, and no doubt toxic stuff. The diesel people will be hearing from me today... the washing machine has been going and going - trying to get two loads of fuel covered clothes de-stinked.

10. Scheduled a conference call for next week. Second job stuff... Or, was it third job?

11. Dinner plans changed - scratching the slow cooked meal of lamb shanks for pizza.

12. It's only 8:45 am... but needed 'someone' to talk to!!!!

Please Lord... I'm exhausted... My cup is already full! Or is it 'fuel'?

Off to the elf job I go...

Thanks for listening... Or is it 'tanks'?

(running on 'empty' over here! Just a little punchy - lack of sleep and got fumes!!!)

The good news? The sun is shining... My little piece of heaven...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Daily - Day 5 09- Bad Cats!

The week before Thanksgiving we got 100 new chicks
Barred Rock (excuse the dirty box!)

Our Summer Kitten Crop
You know where this is going, don't you???


See that guy looking right at you?
That's Tommy
You want to remember that little scoundrel


So, if I did a December Daily Album.. this is the type of stuff I would have to write...

(Here, Let's pretend it's a daily journal..I'll share the entire day with you!)

December Daily - Day 5

Morning Temp: 20 degrees! Yeah! 15 degrees warmer than yesterday! But the outside faucets are still frozen.. rats... It's also breezy.. which makes it really minus 5. Brrrrrr...

Jake and I had a date today.. Jake being my 10 year old son. What type of date, you ask? Well, he helped me run to town and go to the Livestock Supply Store to get - lacerators... Uh huh.. The things to make bull calves into he/she calves - or steers.

Then, we did meat inventory... It was VERY cold in the deep freeze! I had to come out about 3 times to warm up my frozen fingers... and yes I was wearing insulated gloves! Good ones!

Then, the date really began! We went to our favorite bookstore, followed by Chinese Food for lunch, then grocery shopping... The bookstore was the best part. We love it there. We know the owner - and Jake said he wanted to stay all day! She said he could!! It was cute... she told me if I wanted to go grocery shopping alone Jake could stay.. but I made him come anyway...


But.. before all that...
We had one of those 'what on earth can happen next' mornings...

You see.. our sweet kitty Pumpkin gave birth to 6 sweet kittens over the summer... Adorable little buggers.. and it was planned... yes, planned kittens - only on a ranch! We need barn cats. They 'disappear' due to predator owls, coyotes, who knows...

So, now we have 6. One was given to our hired hand, Ramon, to keep mice away at his house. And, the kids informed me that that kitty, Boots, ran a way. Humf. Perhaps Boots wasn't getting food/love/attention? Crazy...

Then, 2 other kitties are to go to our Hay Barn down at the headquarters, and two are to go to a neighbor who has the same problem - keeping kitties...

Which, leaves 1 or 2 kittens... I count 1. The kids for some reason thought we would be keeping two kitties... We have to work on some math figures..

So, recently the kitties learned to hunt. Oh they are good little mousers! I could see them from my big windows. They go out in the fields - pouncing. Super good little carnivores.

We don't want to move them to the barns until they are big enough to fend for themselves. Be bigger kitties.

Well, apparently, that day is today. It's the 'so you think you're a big kitty' move day...

Why?

Well this morning when Dick went out to the Brown Shed to do his chores... where the bunnies, kitties, chicks and chickens have been living in harmony - the harmonious living arrangements had come to an end.

Dick found feathers in each Chick Box! These are big boxes... With about 25 or so chicks each.. We HAD 125 chicks....

And he found one of the kittens - a favorite -Tommy - with feathers in his mouth - in one of the boxes.

AND, apparently one of the kittens had decided the boxes also made great um - potty rooms...

Math: We are now missing 9 chicks.

I cant help but visualize one of the Sylvester and Tweety cartoon episodes where that darn cat has the chick in his mouth and a puff of feathers is in the air - before Granny whops him on his putty tat head.

Not sure what Dick did, but I do know that Tommy is going to the barn.

MATH: Started with 6 kittens - Ramons - Tommy = 4

MATH: 2 more are leaving tomorrow - to our neighbors.

Hmm.. That does leave 2 kittens!

Sigh... This new math really gets to me...

And there you have it. Just another day in ranch land - and math 101.