Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ahhh...Holiday Traditions are Alive

It just wouldn't be Christmas at our house without the traditional gingerbread men cookies.  I used to make these with my two daugthers when they were young.  They are grown now and make cookies on their own. Luckily, my 8 year granddaughter Bianca loves to come over and make the gingerbread men cookies with me now.

Yesterday we had a wonderful time singing Christmas Carols and baking and decorating these yummy treats! traditions are alive and well at our house !
Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Brrrrr.....time for hot chocolate and a Christmas movie too !

The air seems a little chilly tonight.  DH and I decided that some hot chocolate would help warm us as we watch one of our favorite Christmas movies, A Bishops Wife.  It has Cary Grant as an Angel sent to help David Niven who is a Bishop trying to build a new catherdral. It is a truly charming movie.

Hope you are taking time this busy holiday season to stop and enjoy your favorites too.
Yummy Cocoa with Cinnamon Graham Crackers too !

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let the Cookie Baking Begin !

It's just not the holidays without the smell of holiday cookies wafting through the house. I got in the mood to begin my holiday baking today and made four kinds of cookies to kick things off.



Have you started your holiday baking yet?  It's getting to be time for holiday guest to arrive.  Have fun.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Shopping and Wrapping Time !

My Christmas shopping is well in hand and now it is time to start the wrapping !  I love the wrapping part....I know that sounds crazy since most people don't enjoy that part.  This year I decided that each family member will receive a gift in a handmade gift bag.  I spent last night making about 18 bags.  It was so easy since I used my Cricut to cut out embellishments with Gingerbread seasonal cart and Lacy Labels and Winter Frolics for the tags.  I used wonderful Christmas patterned paper from Provo Craft which is Holiday Slab 5.

I won't bore you with all 18 bags but here are a few of my favorites I made. Hope it inspires you to take a moment to make your gift giving a little extra special for those you love.

  Ho Ho Ho....Merry Christmas to all !

Monday, December 13, 2010

And now she is 8 !

Busy busy weekend at our house.  We celebrated Bianca's 8th Birthday!  We can hardly believe she is getting so grown up.  8 is a fun age...she is really into girlie fun stuff...stuffed animals, clothes, jewelry, flavored lip gloss, bath stuff, purses, boots, etc.  You know...all the fun stuff to shop for ! Her favorite colors right now (this changes every few weeks) are Teal and Pink.  What lovely colors they are on her too.

But her absolute OBSESSIVE PASSION right now is PANDAS.  She loves anything with a Panda on it.  So of course she received a Panda calendar, a Panda shirt, and a Panda DS game, a Panda Pillow Pet,  among a bunch of other things fun things too.  But she went absolutely crazy over this...

The homemade Panda cake I made for her.  It took baking three cakes and a ton of icing and about 3 hours to do this but it was so worth the look of joy on her face when she saw it at her birthday party.
Happy 8th Birthday Sweet Bianca...We love you and hope this is the best year ever for you !

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And the Holiday Wishes Blog Hop Winner is...

Thanks for all the kind comments about my blog hop project!  Glad everyone could find some holiday  inspiration  for your own projects.

The Winner of the Gingerbread Seasonal Cricut Cartridge is by Comment 20 from ....

Jan said...

Love the bag and candle decorations. I really like that ribbon you used. Its really fun.

Thanks for the inspiration and the chance to win. I do not have the Gingerbread cartridge.

Congrats Jan !  I will be sending you an email to ask you for your mailing address so I can get your Gingerbread cartridge to you soon.

Happy Holidays to each of you !  Please come back to my blog soon for more inspiration another day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Welcome to Holiday Wishes Blog Hop


Kathryn aka Wamfamily over on the Cricut Circle Message board had a wonderful idea to host a Christmas inspired Blog Hop. So 13 of us will be posting pictures of holiday projects today that we have made to share and hopefully inspire you.

If you haven't done a blog hop before, no worries.  Just start at the top blog listed and jump to the next one on the list until you have visited all 13 blogs.  Some of the hop hostesses are even offering blog candy (giveaway) so be sure and follow any directions they have provided to submit your entry.

Here is a list to help you on your Holiday Wishes Blog Hopping today:
1) Wamfamily -  - HOSTESS and START of BLOG HOP
2) Scrappin Nanapuddin -
3) Mandy -
4) JenniferHawkins2 -
5) CraftyScentiments -
6) TheScrapbookGirl -
7) Lechristina3 -
8) ABrooks86 -
9) LisaKnight -
10) Makeupgirl217 -
11) Greengirl -
12) ScrapHappyDeb - - YOU ARE HERE
13) Bling Queen -

I made a holiday wrapper to go around a delicious smelling Christmas jar candle and a cute matching gift bag to give as gifts this year to friends.   Who doesn't love the sweet smell of Christmas throughout the holiday? This is my entry in the monthly Cricut Circle challenge.  We were supposed to make a gift project using a  tag, use 2 cricut cuts or more, a sentiment, the color red and some ribbon. 




Products Used: Medium Kraft Gift Bag, Provo Craft Holiday Slab 5 for pattern paper, Bazzill Card Stock and American Crafts Foil Cardstock, Martha Stewart SNOW glitter and glue. Cricut Carts used: Gingerbread Seasonal for the Snowman, Christmas Cheer for the snowflakes and Tags, Bags, Boxes and More for the Tag and Lacy Labels for the for the candle label, Winter Frolic for the Happy Holidays saying.

I just love the Gingerbread Seasonal Cartridge I used to make the Snowman so I am giving one away to a lucky winner. 

To win my blog candy do the following: 1) Become a follower of my blog if you are not already AND 
2) leave me a comment about my Blog Hop Projectby 5 pm CST on Sunday, December 12th.   Be sure and leave how to contact you on your comment.  Winner will be announced by 9 pm on December 12th.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays to you all....You should be hopping over to the last but not least wonderful blog of Bling Queen -

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Cards are on their way !

This year I decided to hand make all my Christmas cards...all 60 of them !  What was I thinking?  It took me several days to get them all made but I am happy with how they turned out.  They are in the mail and heading to their intended destinations so I hope the recipients like them.

I made 4 different cards using some Tim Holtz holiday stamps.  This is the first time I have ever hand colored stamped images before using my Copic markers and Ranger distress inks.  It was a lot of work doing this many but I think I have it mastered now :)
For background papers I used some lovely My Minds Eye holiday papers and Bazzill cardstock.  Not sure if in the pictures if you can see all the pretty glitter and embossed texture of the patterned papers but they helped make the cards festive.  I also added Stickles to Santas beards and on some snowflakes with the Reindeer card.

 I used a cute custom made stamp on the back of each card too to personalize it.
Hope everyone likes the cards.  I just might start working on my cards for next year in July ! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

Well Decorate-A-Palooza at the O'Neal house has finally been completed...Thank Goodness ! After three days of decorating every room in the house, and putting up the lights outside, it is finally looking like Christmas at our house.  And with well over 500 Santas ... yes, I said 500...about 300 on the tree and a couple hundred around the house in every room it is quite the endeavor as I NEVER put things in the same place each year to change things up.

Now don't get me wrong...there are still a few holiday projects to finish and presents to wrap to put under the tree but all in all...we are looking pretty festive around here.

Here is the evidence of my handy work thus far....

Well, you get the picture...Santas everywhere!  I just love them !! 

I will post some pics of our ALL Santa Tree in a separate post later. It is a definite must see too with all the santa ornaments I have collected from our travels and been given by friends and family.  So special !

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Thanksgiving Time ... Are you Ready?

It's almost time to roast that bird, mash those potatoes, make cornbread dressing and gravy plus a pie or two !

We LOVE Thanksgiving in our family.  It is traditionally the time we all get together and just enjoy a great communal meal and each other's company. To catch  up on what we have all been doing.  To share and laugh.  There is a lot of talking and laughing when we all get together that is for sure !!!!

We have 26 people gathering together this year from my hubby's side of the family.  We can hardly wait to see everyone!  It's been a while since we were all together.

Part of Thanksgiving is also about giving Thanks for all that we have been given.  We are reminded of the hardships and sharing by the pilgrims and indians on that first Thanksgiving in America. And of our own hardships and sharings since.

Our holiday table decorations always reflect those pilgrims and indians.

This year I made some candle decorations for 4 of the tables with inspirational words.
I used the Cricut Lacy Labels and Thanksgiving carts. 

My granddaughter and I also made boy and girl pilgrim napkin ring holders for everyone.
She even wrote "Give Thanks" on each one.   So adorable !

And last year I had made a "Give THANKS" Banner which we used on the
 Fireplace Mantle in the family room this year.

I will be doing a lot of cooking and cleaning in preparation for everyone's arrival later this week and may not blog more until next week, so let me take this chance to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and to enjoy those you gather around your table.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank You...

A simple Thank You sometimes doesn't seem enough, does it? How about a card to go along with it.

This week the challenge on the Cricut Circle Blog was to make a thank you card using an unusal color combination of magenta, apricot, deep olive and golden yellow. These colors are lovely together but hard to photograph..even in my photo light box I had trouble.

I used my cuttlebug and swiss dot embossing folder to give additional texture to the coordinations yellow cardstock and then I sanded the dots to expose the slight white underneath.  The felt hearts were cut with my cuttlebug as well.  I had an adorable stick pin with just the right color of magenta bird that fit in perfectly.  The pretty font for "Thank You" came from the Thanksgiving Seasonal Cricut Cartridge.

So without further ado....thank you blog readers for following me.  I have a lot of projects I am finishing up for the holidays and will be posting those for inspiration soon. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Flat Stanley's Adventure with the O'Neal Family

We had a house guest the month of October.  He wasn't your typical house guest...he came folded up in an envelop and didn't take up much room.  The good news was he enjoyed whatever we were doing and was very neat.  Yes, you guessed it.  We played host to Flat Stanley...a beloved character in the children's books.  In the story, Flat Stanley had a bullentin board fall on him and flattens him.  He mails himself around the world to have adventures that are documented in the books. How fun is that?!!

One of my MB friends' has a daughter who teaches the Second Grade. The kids in their class sent a Flat Stanley they had colored to a family to host for the month of October.  We were responsible for taking Flat Stanley around our city or wherever we were going.  We needed to send a few post cards to the child, a souvenir or two and some pictures of Flat Stanley when we returned him.  Well you know since I am a scrapbooker, of course I made a scrapbook of Flat Stanley's adventurers with us for the child to enjoy.

Since Bianca is also in the Second Grade knew exactly who Flat Stanley was and was very happy to help me host Flat Stanley in Houston.  We were also able to take Flat Stanley on our recent trip to Boston.  I thought it was a great opportunity to show Flat Stanley is such an important historical city about our country.

Here are a few pictures of the book I made for the child of Flat Stanley's trip with us. The book has a lot of pockets, tags and flip up pages for added fun.

In Houston we took Flat Stanley to our Zoo and to lunch for burgers.

Flat Stanley made it here in time for us to take him to Boston for vacation.
There are so many transportation options in Boston area, we captured a lot of those.
And of course, in Boston you have to do the Freedom Trail

We saw all the historical sites on the Freedom Trail
And we really enjoyed the cooler fall weather and the gorgeous fall colors.
They have an amazing Aquarium in Boston that we visited.
The Giant Sea Turtle and all the Penguins were our favorites.

As you can see, we had a great time in Boston with Flat Stanley
We got back to Houston in time for Flat Stanley to Trick or Treat with Bianca and friends.  
I even made him a Ghost Costume to wear.
 At the Old State House I bought this children's book about the
American Revolution to send to the class along with the scrapbook.
Plus of course I sent a few other goodies we gathered on our travel to Boston.

We will miss Flat Stanley at our house.  I almost feel like we are going through the empty nest syndrome again :)   

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Fall Ya'll

Well, even though it is still in the mid 70's here this week, they say we will finally get some cooler weather later in the week.  Keeping fingers crossed for that.  Would love to get a fire going in the fire pit in the backyard and make Smores over the weekend!  Doesn't that sound good?

Last week DH and I were in Boston on vacation.  All I can say is WOW....Boston is an awesome city!  We even spent 1 day in Salem too during Halloween week.  I need to get all the the photos organized before posting but I wanted to post some pictures I took in the Public Gardens (oldest public park in the USA).  The fall colors of the trees were breath taking, particularly for us Houstonians who don't get to enjoy fall leaves too much .

Oh Fall, what a gorgeous display you put on for us all !


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