Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Countdown: Week 3 Nov. 16-23

Holiday Countdown Week 3
November 16-23

Sorry for the late posting this week. Shhh, I was super busy getting an 8x8 gift album done for my daughter and time slipped by as I submerged myself in that project. I can't share pics cause she might read this but suffice it to say it turned out super and I will share pics of it and other holiday gifts later on this week if I can.

Week 3 is BAKING WEEK!!

I inadvertently fulfilled that part of my holiday list today. My friend Deb asked me to come and bake cookies with her to freeze for the holiday. We made about 6 dozen assorted cookies for each of us in about 4 and a half hours. Her house smelled fabulous with the aromas of coconut-chocolate drizzle macaroons, molasses-gingerbread men, pecan turtles, classic sugar cookies, and adorable oreo snowmen. We sure had fun and talked and talked while we worked. :)

Here are our recipes from today's baking adventure.

Coconut Chocolate Macaroons:
You can dip them half way as shown here or you can also drizzle the chocolate over the cookie and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Molasses Gingerbread Men

Pretzel Turtles

Classic Sugar Cookies

Oreo snowmen--decorated white oreos idea copied from here
or tinyurl

Good luck and get some of your baking done ahead for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. Remember any cookie you love for Christmas is welcome as treats at Thanksgiving too. Make some for this week and freeze some for December.

Let's get a jump on baking up those tasty morsels!

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Week #2 "Gather your Supplies and start Making Gifts Week" Nov 8-15th

After inventorying supplies on hand, purchase canned goods for holiday baking. Get any supplies needed for gift making. Don't forget the film, batteries, gift wrapping, and Christmas cards. After gathering all your Christmas gift wrap into one place, do you really need more? A friend of mine did this recently and found she didn't need to buy cards again for over ten years if she stuck to using her stash!! Wow.

Gift wrap organizer ideas

Focus your energies on completing simple, useful gifts to be made, setting aside gifts that aren't coming together, and writing your holiday letter. Find family photos suitable for inclusion with holiday has 9 cent prints right onw if you have them sent to your home by mail. Make sure you allow enough time for duplication of photos during this busy season.

Outline or write entirely the holiday letter. Start now. Here are some lovely free holiday stationary papers to print yourself.

Assorted Christmas holiday papers



Pretty Assorted holiday stationary


Make sure your advent calendar or religious items are in good shape for the season. Clean or repair as needed.

Printable Advent Calendar

Be sure to create a gift giving list and a TO DO list by week so you don't have to remember everything off the top of your head.

Free Printable Pocket planner sized lists

Print out a cute DEAR SANTA list for smaller children and have them make their wish lists. Don't forget a talk about charitable giving and a giving spirit during the holidays. It's not all about getting--it's about faith and love in it's purest forms regardless of your faith denomination. More on that next week too. :)

Dear Santa Printable freebie

Let's work ahead now to insure that we don't get bottle necked in December. If you need handmade gift giving ideas, check out the wonderful paper art and handmade galleries at sites. I plan to make mini chipboard albums, decorated lunchboxes, decoupaged big wood letters, office sets, and greeting card sets. Some great ideas can be seen at places like TwoPeasinabucket, Scrapjazz, and

Browse around for inspiration. Starting now with your planning, purchasing and gift-making will insure a more relaxed December. Have fun. :)


Friday, November 07, 2008


It is time for another giveaway!

Comment on any post in the last ten blog posts and you are automatically entered! :) One winner picked at random on Nov 15th. I will ship the book by postal mail to the winner after Nov 15th.

Here is the prize: Scrapbooking with Memory Makers (book not magazine)

Good luck!
Comment away! I love to hear what is on your mind. Plus I love to give out freebies! :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the Sewing Bug is bittin!

Look at these awesome patterns!

Ohhh no. The sewing bug is bittin' me and I am trying to IGNORE it. I love sewing as much as scrapbooking and usually I quilt. But my other love within sewing is sewing for vintage Barbie. ohh yes, Barbie doll vogue chic. And last night I found out that I had missed out on a 2001 Vogue treasure trove!! How can this be? How could I have not known these were in existance until too late? This is what I'm talkin' about. Barbie clothing like I used to love as a girl.

11 patterns (Not all shown here) ranging from 1920-1960 eras (click on any pic for closeup)

Four of the patterns I couldn't even find pictures for --but I do know they exist. Dang. And of course I could splurge and buy them all on Ebay for up to $35 a pattern but I won't. I might buy them over time one at a time. But really I am going to just oogle for a while and put my vintage Barbie 'sewing bug' on hold until after the holidays. Reality is that I have several more scrapbook and paper art gifts to make for Christmas. And yes Sharon, some quilted potholders. :)

So the totally frivolous Barbie Vogues will have to wait. Sigh... :)
Aren't they total glam fun?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Make Do ...or Do Without...

I love when someone prominent in any field (especially scrapbooking) is a proponent of the same ideals that I hold. It's like saying, "YES! Someone else gets it!" This week I love Heidi Swapp's blog posts on gratitude and on reusing material items that are already around us.

Here is Heidi's blog

and here is the post I love today.

It highlights an old saying from the great depression era:
"Fix it Up
Wear it Out
Make Do or
Do Without"

My great-grandmother Francis Meyer Gramlich was often known to say these four lines. I am so glad to hear they are resonating with a new generation in a new era. Americans do take up a very large footprint on the world of material goods. Perhaps we can minimize that impact --one home at a time. Let's use those Seven R's: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Refurbish. Redo. Repurpose and Renovate.

I love it. If you need a reminder to print and post in your home, Heidi has designed a lovely one! See the Make it Do sign it here:

Get creative! As Tim Gunn says, "Make it Work!" ;)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Gift in a Jar: Brownies

Brownies In A Jar


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1 cup REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips or HERSHEY'S Premier White Chips
  • 1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate

1. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

2. Layer the ingredients in a clean 1-quart glass canister or jar in the following order (from bottom to top): sugar, cocoa, flour mixture, peanut butter chips and small chocolate chips. Tap jar gently on the counter to settle each layer before adding the next one.

3. Cover jar and attach baking directions (see below). Makes 1 gift jar.

Baking Directions: Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour an 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Combine 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted and cooled butter and 2 slightly beaten eggs in a large bowl. Gently stir in jar contents. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into bars. Makes 16 bars.

As excerpted from Hershey's Celebrates Each Season


Of all the gift in a jar recipes, I think this one is my absolite fave crowd pleaser. No one turns down brownies! From old to young, its a great gift.

You can also print out a great gift tag with the recipe on it from here


YEH!! We have a winner!

In October we ran a challenge for all of us with messy, messy closets called the CLOSET MONSTER UNLEASHED. (See below post) As promised I picked a winner on HALLOWEEN. ('Cause it was a MONSTER contest -get it? ) :) We had a couple of great entries over the course of the month. There were a few funny stories too. But I can only pick ONE winner to win the book "The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Closet with Style" It's a great book and should be so helpful to our winner. Great prize!

And the winner of our CLUTTER MONSTER UNLEASEHED contest is......... (drumroll please!)

Jean Bullard at

Jean mentioned that she has TWO children happily playing and buried under her closet clothing here in this pic. Can you find the one that is showing? Well, Jean, it is time to dig out those kids and sit down with a great book together (and then enlist them in hanging and sorting that closet!) You are the winner!

Enjoy! And congrats again for being brave enough to tackle this problem area AND send in pics for the contest. I have a feeling there are lots of messy closets out there, but only a few were brave enough to share! LOL

Clear those closets and enjoy the results. :)



Do you have a messy clothing closet? Would you like to learn how to tame it?

How BAD is it? :) Send me your ONE photo of your clothing closet as a messy-mess. Send it to me at

with CLOSET MONSTER UNLEASHED contest in the subject line.

ONE lucky person will win the following book:

Some of the closet pics will be posted here without names.

I will RANDOMLY pick the winner on the scary holiday (because those closets are scary too!) on October 31st, 2008. So pass this on to your friends if you don't mind the competition. :)

Unleash that Closet Monster in your wardrobe area and win a truly helpful book on Halloween!

Remember--just ONE pic so make it good.

Good luck