Tag Archives: holiday


Cousin Christmas 2012 is tonight!! I can't remember how long this has been going on, but some years back my cousin Jill, my sister Natalie & I instituted a holiday tradition we call Cousin Christmas. We exchange small gifts (shopping primarily from each other's Amazon Wish Lists), eat our favorite snacks, and drink our favorite beverages. Oh, and wear our Christmas pajamas as you can see in the photo above from Cousin Christmas 2010.  That year I decided makeup was not necessary.  Then my cousin decided to take a bazillion photos and I regretted that decision.

I hear she got a new camera as an early Christmas present.  This year I will be wearing makeup.

After some group-text-planning, we decided to have chips & salsa from Chili's restaurant, hummus and we are going to try a special  holiday cocktail called Winter Wonderland (above). The recipe comes from singlemindedwomen.com and it is a lovely concoction of vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao and coconut.  It sounds like a warm snowball in a glass... or something less cheesy. Anyway, I'm looking forward to trying it, I don't see how it can't be yummy.

Of course, if that doesn't work out I can always have my standard mug-full of marshmallows.

Cousin Christmas is the official kickoff of my holiday celebrating and I'm so excited to eat good food, share time with my loved ones, and remember the greatest gift of all: a tiny babe who came to us one holy night.

...A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices

O night divine, O night when Christ was born...

I'm so thankful for your support, kind words and friendship this past year.  I hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends!

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canvas all

I loved this project, transferring a photo onto a canvas but in all the craziness, I didn’t take a final picture of this project so I’ll have to show you an example from one of the tutorials I referred to:



I used a picture of my Grandma when she was a toddler and her father, my Great Grandfather, and transferred it onto an 8x10 canvas using gel medium and water. It is a really easy project, you can read the general directions here, but I will tell you from experience that 1) an inkjet photo will work just as well as a laser jet photo, 2) you can use Mod Podge or some other decoupage medium, you don’t have to use gel medium. 


The process is fairly simple, the hardest part is waiting for it to dry.  First you put down a thin but even layer of gel medium or Mod Podge.


Next you lightly spritz the photo (on regular paper, not photo paper) with water.  You don’t want it soaking, just barely enough water to soften it a bit.


This is the most important step: first lay your picture face down onto the canvas and then carefully scrape the back with a piece of plastic (old Starbucks cards are perfect for this) to make sure that it lays down smoothly and that all the bubbles and excess gel medium are squeezed out the sides.  You must be patient when doing this.  Start from the center and gently scrape out towards the edges.  Wipe up any excess gel medium that squirts out the edges.  Now let it dry.  I think it’s best to let it dry overnight but if it’s a small project sometimes you can hurry it along with a blow dryer.


After it dries completely, your picture will be visible through the paper backing, having been transferred to the canvas.  All you have left to do is spritz again with water, and begin scraping back the paper backing.  This takes some time, I find using my fingernail is the most productive but you can use your plastic card again to help.  The more you scrape, the more distressed your photo will become.  Keep spritzing with water and scraping until all the paper is gone.  After it dries I use some light sandpaper to further rough up the edges and make sure all the bits of paper have come off. 

The final step is to apply a thin layer of matte Mod Podge or other decoupage medium to seal your canvas. 

I made two canvases, the one of my grandmother and also one of Santa.


I used them in our family gift exchange and as I knew would happen, there was little bit of good natured bartering over them, nostalgia being a hot commodity in our family.  My grandma was shocked to see herself on a canvas!  I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but I need to make another one for my sister so I’ll be sure to photograph that one.

All in all, it’s a cheap project.  Michael’s runs deals on their canvases all the time, you just have to keep your eyes open and wait for a sale.  Or use their mobile app to get coupons, there is as new one almost every week.  I always have Mod Podge on hand and printing the photo onto plain paper from my inkjet printer was practically free. Another under $10 project that was a big hit!


Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you haven't found some holiday decorating inspiration yet you can start right here. Several generous bloggers have provided free printables for Thanksgiving, I will pass on a few  (just click the photo and you will be taken to Pinterest, then click the photo again and you will be taken to the website where you can download):





That should keep you busy!

Remembering our heroes, both past and present.


Framed He”Art” | my creative departure.

If you haven't done any Valentine's Day decorating or gift-planning yet, here's an easy and inexpensive project to "put a little love in your heart"- That was for you Janna.  Janna knows I hate that song.  It's a long story, something to do with a telethon, swaying to the music with strangers and singing on television.  <Shudder>

Back to Valentine's Day... I stumbled on this little project from My Creative Departure and I think it's cute and thrifty and would even be a fun project to do with kids. 

And keep your eyes peeled next week for another Valentine's Day project that will prove to you just how lazy I can be :)

Happy Holidays!

via on Pinterest

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...because "short" is all I have time for. Here it is:

Christmas shopping is now done.
Christmas wrapping has begun!

Building Cookie Cottages: Peppermint Place - Martha Stewart Recipes.

Here's another little holiday project (from Martha Stewart) I want to do this year, make a gingerbread house.   I just don't know when I can fit it but I'm going to try!

This is a different take on the classic gingerbread house, you make it out of graham crackers!  It looks so easy, especially because you don't have to go to all the trouble of making the gingerbread panels yourself but its way cheaper than buying one of those pre-made kits.  So cute!!