Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Eve 2007

Zachary, Me, Greg, David
Zach's holding his ever-present sketch pad and David's got his C++ textbook that he's working through ~ facinating reading, I'm sure.

Irene, my lovely mother-in-law wearing the "Christmas Cook" hat I bought for her. She's actually holding a salad that I made. There's a funny story about cooking Christmas Eve dinner. My husband, Greg volunteered us to cook supper at the in-laws place so that his mom wouldn't be all tired and worn out. She said that we could do that. Of course, when we arrived, the turkey was in the oven, all the veggies were cooking. The desserts were laid out in all their calorie-ridden glory. The only thing left for us to do was make a salad and the gravy. Greg did do all the dishes and pots and pans after the meal which was a great help, but it just cracked me up that he thought that his Ukrainian mother would allow her English daughter-in-law to actually prepare the Christmas meal. Funny guy.

L to R Katie, Hannah, Stacey (Greg's brother), Brittany

David with his new Hemsky poster

Every year, Granny makes Zach his very own Ukrainian bread. Lucky guy eh?!

Monday, December 24, 2007

12th Day of Christmas is WOW!

It's Day 12 already. All good things must come to an end. And what a wonderful ending ...

The first thing I noticed was the too-cool wrapping the 12th Day gift arrived in. The ever clever Kelly Snelling created her own paper. But the wrapping was only a forshadowing of the incredible artwork tucked inside the box. The necklace that Kelly created for the 12th day is amazing! I am in awe of the workmanship that was put into this piece. For a full "technical" explanation of this necklace, check out the 12 Days of Christmas Swap site.
Thank you Kelly for sharing so generously to wrap up this incredible swap. Thank you Lelainia for heading up this swap for the second year in a row. And thank you everyone else who gave me these wonderfully artsy gifts. I shall cherish them (and show them off!).

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pretty Paper for the 11th Day of Christmas

I've been curious all through the swap as to what was in the package that arrived from Norway. It was wrapped in red & white striped paper complete with a wooden red moose attached (which is now living on my tree, by the way). The very talented Erika Tysse crafted two sets of stationery. One set reads "art saves lives" (above) The other set has the initial "D" on it. I love unusual, artsy stationery and will be very happy to use these beauties in the days ahead.

P.S. I really love your beautiful gift Erika. Thank you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Extra! Extra!

My friend, Arlene Travnik was in the 12 Days of Christmas swap this year too. Last year she saw the gifties I received in the swap and drooled over them. This year we decided, since we were placed in different groups, we would make one extra gift for each other. I made an extra Altered Button Card for her and this is what she made for me. You can see how it was wrapped in the photo to the above. Below, you can see that it's an adorable mini hand bound book. The overlay is made of tulle. Arlene tucked in the lace, buttons and beads in little pockets so they float. There is also a clear stone that says "Love". What an incredible treasure from a special friend. Think I'll fill the book with some of my favourite quotes. It's too nice just to carry around in my purse and write up grocery lists in.

I am very happy to have such a talented art buddy and I am truly blessed to have such a kind and considerate friend. Thank you, Ar!

10th Day of Christmas, New Zealand style

The very talented illustrator, Caren McNee from New Zealand crochetted the tiny bag to hold one of her beautiful illustrations for Day 10. This time she folded the drawing accordian-style. I think she's gotta illustrate a children's book ~ wouldn't you agree? Her work is so well done! Thank you Caren, I cherish each piece of art you've given me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

On the 9th Day ... Penelope gave to me

Because the gifts I made are being opened today, I got to open Penelope Harris'#13 gift. And, since not everyone has opened her gift yet, we're not supposed to show any photos of it. However, Photo 1 gives you a sneeky peek. Penelope's gift is amazing and must have taken a lot of time and care to create. Thank you Penelope!

And Photo 2 is of the giftie I made (looking rather red by the light of my Christmas tree) for the other artists in the 12 Days of Christmas swap. It's an Altered Button Card. I had a lot of joy putting these babies together ~ with collage, and individualizing them by adding Scrabble tiles initials on them, antique keys and ribbon. Hopefully everyone will enjoy them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On the 8th day ...

... a lovely beaded tassel necklace made by Deb Lewis is the giftie I found in my 12 Days of Christmas basket bright and early this morning. How did Deb know I wear a lot of blue?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Collaged Bookmark for 7th Day

This pretty little bookmark was collaged by Ruth O'Connor. Funny thing is that I was thinking of making a bookmark for the swap before deciding on making what I did (which I can't talk about until after Day 9).
Anyway, Ruth, the artsy bookmark is delightful and it'll find a home in a book very soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 6 gift is out of the bag!

This morning I opened a bag containing a cute little treasure for Day 6 from Linda Koch. It's a teeny shopping bag (made out of matt board, maybe) with old text, gold paint and an antique photo.

Linda stuffed the inside with some old German text and the words and music to "It is Well with my Soul" ~ one of my favourite hymns.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Things coming together on the 5th day of Christmas

Maija created this little magnetic board for the 5th day ... "coming together" ... magnetic ... get it? Anyway this little retro-inspired number is not only charming, it's kenetic art too. I love the buttons Maija ~ thank you!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Funky Fourth Day of Christmas

Look at the copper necklace Melissa made for me to celebrate the 4th day of Christmas!
I hung the necklace on my tree to take the photo (right) and thought it actually looked kinda cool as an ornament. Talk about versatile, eh?

Cookie Exchange

Lisa arrived a little late, but she brought her freshly baked colourful Sugar Cookies ~ a must every Christmas season.

The bakers and their taste testers, enjoying each others' company, indulging in some (more!)cookies and playing a game of Personal Preference.

After all that sweet stuff we needed to give our palettes a rest with. Pickles, cheese and oranges were the perfect solution. Thanks to my friends for making this such a warm December afternoon.
Yesterday some of my favourite people joined me at my house for a cookie exchange ... here are some photos of the yummies and the people who were at the party. Look at the spread! There are lots of sweets, hot apple cider and tea ready to be devoured and divvied up.

Arlene seemed to have coffee in mind when she prepared Walnut Biscotti (left) and Coffee Shortbread Cookies (right)

Gloria prepared some melt-in-your-mouth Pecan Crescents.

My Crispie Apricot-Chocolate Balls are hiding in the reused Tim Horton's coffee cans which I gussied up with ribbons, bows and old Christmas cards.

Thina's All Occasion Cookies (Carrot Cake and Butter Pecan variations)
Thina was unfortunately unable to attend, but here cookies arrived the night before. Arlene was kind enough to take Thina's exchange cookies to her. Thanks Ar.

I've been having some uploading problems, so I'll do this post in two sections ...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Black & White Surprise for Day 3

It's Saturday morning, so I slept in until 7 o'clock. Oh the luxury of weekends, eh?
Anyhoo ... the first thing I did when I got up was to go to my 12 Days of Christmas basket to see what was in store for Day #3. Amy Huff made a cute miniature domino soldered necklace.
In other news, I am hosting a cookie exchange this afternoon. I'll try to get some photos on here of the goodies later on today.

Friday, December 14, 2007

2nd Day ...Two Ear-r-ings

Jennifer Rowland made these cool earrings for the 2nd Day of Christmas. They have LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST them. Are they real dimes? Not sure, but I'll be wearing these lovelies tomorrow at my Christmas Cookie Exchange. Thanks Jennifer.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On the First Day of Christmas

... Edina gave to me ...

a really quaint Shabby Chic Banner with my initial on it. I love it! Isn't it gorgeous?

It is a little brighter than in the photo shown here (facing out of my livingroom window), but as we get to the shortest day of the year, things are pretty much dark by 4 p.m.

Thankfully we have Christmas and the 12 Days of Christmas swap to brighten these dreary December days, eh?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

13 Days until Christmas ...

... can only mean one thing. Tomorrow, us participants of the 12 Days of Christmas swap finally, finally get to start opening the gifts which have been ever tempting all of us since they arrived one by one via snail mail. Yippee!
It's snowing like crazy outside today. A perfect day to stay indoors. So the natural thing to do was to take my basket of goodies to photograph them outside in the snow to show ya'll.
In other news, I'm currently reading David's novel that he wrote for NaNoWriMo. He proof read mine and now I am returning the favour. Many times as he read my book, Scrabble Secrets, I heard him laugh hysterically. I was certain that it was the witty dialogue and the unrelenting humour throughout. Sadly, for the most part, he was mocking me for my too-numerous to mention grammar faux pas, the "gratuitous advertisements for the Pointy Hat ART Posse", and intermittent song lyrics. Cruel son I've raised!
Oh ya, and his novel, Modern Kind .... It's good, very good. Drat! The boy is making his Ma look bad. Sigh!