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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Merry Christmas Plaque

 At Saturday's annual Make & Take Christmas party gift exchange game, I was so lucky to come home with this beautiful Merry Christmas Plaque.  It was handmade by the ever so talented Sally who I simply admire so much!
It is a 12" x 12" square piece of super heavy tile, and very nicely decorated with this Merry Christmas graphic.  I'm pretty sure she used her Cricut machine to make it.  I love it!!!

Vivian our very gracious "hostess-with-the-mostess" made this adorable Tomten...one for each of us.  She just recently returned from Germany, and she was so inspired by these little guys.  She says they were all over the place.

According to Scandinavian legend, the tomten is the protector of the farm through many generations. He is very small, usually dressed in grey or blue, has a long beard and wears a red cap. His only demand is a bowl of rice porridge on Christmas Eve. Ah, but if the farmer happens to forget, there will be trouble. Instead of protecting the farm & family, the tomten will play tricks on them. Tomten is the Swedish name. In Norway he is known as nissen, in Denmark as nissemanden and in Finland as tonttu.

I'm displaying my new Merry Christmas plaque and adorable Tomten on our bar cabinet for this season.

The following pictures are most of the handmade gifts exchanged at the party (I might be missing two...I think):
~from left to right~

Vivian holding her new "Some of my Best Friends are flakes" framed snowflake, & a gorgeous lighted snowman painted on reclaimed wood,... 


A Merry Star made from reclaimed wood by Vivian, and a painted snowman on a hurricane lamp,...



A State of Arizona nail string art frame, & a Christmas Tree using die cut leaves from card stock and beautiful decorated with snow and cardinals throughout the tree.  It actually sits on a piece of pretty stained wood and votive candles on each side.



The gorgeous Joy gift box contained very delicious homemade toffee and other delicious treats plus a candle.  The JOY wreath was so cute, too!  I have been meaning to make one myself...



A beautifully decorated lantern with a tree that lights inside, and Sheila sporting her new hand knit scarf & hat.



A huge mesh ribbon wreath, and my handmade lantern,...




The Lady on the left ended up with a handmade beautiful Christmas quilt table runner and an absolutely stunning Christmas glass dish...also handmade by Mardy.
One of the Ladies ended up winning the cutest hand painted Reindeer plate. 

This Lady won two hand painted pictures made by Sheila our resident artist, ...

...and Moi with my "cheesy smile" and beautiful Merry Christmas plaque.

Monday, December 11, 2017

DIY Christmas Lantern

Friday afternoon our Stamping Make & Take group celebrated our annual Christmas Party at Vivian's.
This will be my second year attending.  Unfortunately last year I was all set to go, but Hubbie ended up in the ER.  Thankfully he was okay and is doing fine.

For this party, it is a tradition that we are to make/bring a handmade gift for our Dirty Santa game.
This game can be intimidating due to the super talented and creative Ladies' creations!

Believe it or not, it's super easy to make.

While I was still in MN, I made one for practice.  I was so glad I did the "practice DIY Lantern" before I made my Christmas one.  It really helped me iron out the do's & don'ts in the making process.  For example: I didn't like the little tabs/brackets that held the glass in place.  So I removed them and used hot glue to adhered the glass to the frame.  Another thing I learned was to hide the hot glue better so I wouldn't see it so much from the outside...as you can see from this picture.

 This is the  back of the lantern.  Most of the decorations are from Michaels.  
For the bottom of the lantern, I used really sturdy poster or picture frame mat board, and then covered it with pretty Christmas-y scrapbook paper.

 I tried so hard to make a pretty ribbon bow using the polka-dotted ribbon streaming down the sides; but I'm hopeless at it!  That should be my next DIY tutorial to watch.

 It would have been perfect if the little red truck pick would have matched to the back of another one (mirror image like).  So to fix this, I added a little bird vignette decoration to the back of it.

To add a little sparkle to it all, I hung this pretty bright and shiny snowflake from the top of the lantern.
I think it would have looked much better with a battery operated candle.  I'll keep that in mind when I make another lantern for this home.

I'm happy to say that my handmade gift was a success.  It was stolen 3 times before the lucky final Lady stole it away...so that would actually be 4 times!!!
Tomorrow I'll show you the pretty Christmas handmade gift I came home with.

Cooking & Crafting with J & J #127

Friday, December 8, 2017

Happy to Be Back In Arizona

Keeping my fingers crossed!  Maybe this year Santa will be nice to me!

Well I'm back in Arizona and so happy to be out of the cold weather.
I left Minnesota on a very cold day and the roads had black ice and too many snowy issues for a Desert person like me!  It was a very long day for me and my two Chihuahuas with having to be super early at the airport due to weather conditions.  Our flight was scheduled for 6 pm.  We arrived at the airport at 2 pm.  Then we had a flight delay for more than an hour...then our plane had a mechanical problem where one of the engines was not working and could not be easily fixed.  Finally after maybe 2 hours we were rescheduled to leave on another plane.  
Thank God we made it home by 1:30 am the next day!!!
I'm still recouping and cranky.  I guess I can get away with being cranky now at my ripe old age of 55 years old!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Bachman's Ideas House Tour, Part II

Today I will show you some pictures I took from our tour of the Bachman's Holiday Ideas House.
The fireplace in the dining room was stunning!!!

This part of the house was turned into a bar area which is adjacent to the dining/living area.  I thought this is such a great idea; that way no one ends up in the kitchen.

The dining room tablescape was perfection.

The kitchen was so adorable and so full of whimsy...
The JOY & NOEL wood signs have inspired me to make my own!

Here's the tiny mud room right next to the WC.
Tiny closet but functional...
The downstairs WC.
Even though it's so tiny, I love how the big mirror/vintage metal screen and garlands makes it look so grand!

...and one of my favorite Christmas stocking display...and upcyled old sled!!!
This place never disappoints!!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Bachman's Ideas House Favorite Room, Part I

Almost three weeks ago, Jan, my sister-in-law, and I took a tour of the Bachman's Holiday Ideas House in Minneapolis.
This was my first time ever attending this holiday event, and was not disappointed!!!
Today I will show pictures of my favorite room in this house for the holidays:
~The Christmas Gift Room~
This would be my dream room year round.

I thought that this big Christmas shopping list banner was a great idea!  The VIPs in your life are not forgotten.

The table was my favorite...big enough to work on!  Plenty of room to wrap gifts.

All decorating supplies easily accessible, and well organized.

I was very impressed with this room.
It would be a dream to have in any home.  Neat & tidy...and you could always locked the door and nobody gets to sneak peek or see the mess!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Accomplished A Major Favor Gift for Family

I did it!!!
There were actually 19 magazine folded Christmas Trees for everyone in the Ohlson family...including 4 pets...not all trees are in this picture though.
Toppers for trees are from Michaels & Dollar Tree and one vintage star that belonged to my in-laws.  I ended up gluing all trees to a glass candle holder from Dollar Tree.  As a final touch I sprayed each tree with Krylon glittered spray.
The Glittered Book Page Wreath was won by Hubbie's oldest niece.
All of the work was absolutely worth it!

Now when I get back to AZ, I have to make several more for my family.
Family
is the best part of
Christmas.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Snowy Glass Jar Luminaries

This is how I decorated the downstairs' mantle for our family's post-Thanksgiving dinner get-together on the cheap!
I made snowy glass jar luminaries.
I apologize for not taking a picture when all of the luminaries and candles were lit...it did look so pretty and wintry festive...I was just too busy having a great time.  I have decided that from now on, a family member will be designated to take pictures at these type of gatherings.
We played games, talked, laughed and had a wonderful time together.

The glass jar luminaries were so easy to make and cheap, too.
I saved as many glass jars as possible over the summer...washed them and removed the labels (soaked jars in hot soapy water).  Each glass jar was brushed with a coat of Mod Podge, and then completely covered in Epsom Salts and left to dry for a while.
Now, the Epsom Salts I bought at Walgreen's which was my last stop in search for this item.  It was a major search in finding Epsom Salts like I used to remember from a while back--coarse granules.  I guess these type of salts are being made finer now.
I was thinking that maybe next time I make these luminaries, I could use coarse salt instead.
Anyways, I'm happy with the way they turned out.

Here's how the luminary looks with a lit tea light.  I filled the jar with some of the remaining Epsom Salts to sit the tea light or votive candle.

Family makes life MERRIER.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Farewell November

Good-Bye November...until next year!
Thank you for so many blessings in my life.

Picture taken at HyVee here in the Cities!