Dashing through the snow

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What a fabulous way to celebrate the cold Christmas season—riding in a horse-drawn sleigh to the sound of jingling bells!

I joined my parents and some of their friends in a freezing, spirited evening ride in a two-horse open sleigh back in December 1992. It was such a thrill to be living out the scenes we sing about in Christmas carols. We kept as warm as we could with blankets and laughter, and then ended the evening with steaming mugs of hot chocolate. This is such a magical Christmas memory.

Product/technique notes

I used this nice sketch from Stuck?! Sketches and papers from Little Yellow Bicycle’s “Winter Twig” collection. The title and one-horse open sleigh die cuts are from the Silhouette store. Puffy stickers are from SEI.
StuckSketches12december12014

Vintage carolers Christmas card

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The images of Christmas carolers from Charles Dickens’ era are so romantic. With this Christmas card I tried to capture that charm.

Product/technique notes

I cut 1/4-inch strips of patterned paper from Crate Paper’s “Bundled Up” collection to create the background for this card. The vintage carolers are a Silhouette cut file. Easy peasy!

Wine bottle tag tutorial

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TisTheSeasonWineTags1_Daquila-Pardo

We have some Christmas parties to attend this weekend, so I thought I would try my hand at making some wine tags to adorn the bottles we took along. Here’s a tutorial based on what I learned while creating mine.

Tutorial

  1. Cut base paper (I used cardstock, but it would look quite nice with patterned paper as well) to 3 x 10 inches.
  2. Score base paper at 3 inches.
  3. Cut patterned paper to 2.75 x 9.75 inches.
  4. Don’t score the patterned paper yet; you want to wait until it’s lined up properly on the base paper so you know exactly where it needs to be folded. But I do recommend scoring a second time so that your project folds crisply. I’ll tell you when.
  5. Notch the bottom of the patterned paper into a banner shape.
  6. Lay the patterned paper on the base paper and cut the matching notch into the base paper.
  7. Flip the base paper over and find the center of the 3-inch section by lightly drawing an X from corner to corner. This will ensure that you punch your bottle neck opening in the right spot.
  8. At this point, because I use adhesive that isn’t hard to pull up, I adhered the two papers together so that I could punch them at the same time. Then I used a 1.25-inch circle punch to create the bottle neck opening.
  9. Carefully pull up the patterned paper from the base paper and line up a 1.5-inch circle punch around the original hole to create the double ring effect. Glue the two papers back together.
  10. Now put the project back on your scoring board and score again at 3 inches.
  11. Have fun embellishing your wine tags!
TisTheSeasonWineTags2_Daquila-Pardo

Closeup shot of the left tag

TisTheSeasonWineTags3_Daquila-Pardo

Closeup shot of the right tag

Product/technique notes

I created both of these tags using past years’ My Mind’s Eye Christmas collections—”Festive” on the left tag and “Be Merry” on the right one. I loved how they turned out! And I’m entering them in the MME December challenge to make small gifts/stocking stuffers.

You’ll shoot your eye out

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Does this photo make you think of Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” (1983)?

Yeah, me too.

Ralphie: I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!
Mrs. Parker: No, you’ll shoot your eye out.

This photo was taken on Christmas morning circa 1971. My husband, at about the age of four, is the one gloriously outfitted in his new cowboy gear from Santa Claus. I really don’t have a clue what his younger brother, Nate, is doing. LOL!

I dare ya not to hear this title in the sing-song voices of the characters from the movie. I double-DOG-dare ya.

Product/technique notes

I followed the Creative Scrappers sketch below for this page because I really liked the idea that my patterned paper areas would look a lot like presents. The papers are from Pink Paislee’s “Snow Village” 6×6 pad. The colors and vintage feel of this line matched so well with that photo! And the puffy stickers are from SEI. I designed the title and cut it on the Cameo, and the pine branches are part of a Silhouette cut file.
Creative Scrappers 283

Nailed it!

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Have you seen the hilarious images online that show a perfect Martha-Stewartesque project alongside someone else’s wonky attempt to recreate it, labeled with just the words “Nailed it?”

lambNailedIt

Today’s layout tells my own “nailed it” story.

It was the Thanksgiving of 1994—our first since moving to Chapel Hill, NC—and my 28th birthday. Mom and Dad were hosting the holiday, which included Aunt Mary Lou and Earl from Pennsylvania in addition to our family of four. Just days before turkey day Mom had the brilliant idea of holding a pie-baking contest between Phil and me, which was a clever way of getting out of baking the desserts herself. ;-)

The gauntlet had been thrown down. Tensions were high as the two of us went to work looking up recipes and making shopping lists for our entries in the contest. Phil decided to go with the always popular (and a bit too obvious, in my opinion) pumpkin pie, while I fearlessly chose to try a new-to-me recipe for peach chiffon pie. I felt confident but nervous.

Aunt Mary Lou and Earl arrived. Everyone was excitedly catching up and in the good spirits of the holiday. Phil had already baked his contest pie, and it was my turn.

Now, those of you who only know me online won’t really understand unless I tell you just how much I like to talk. I am a TALKER. So while I was putting together the all-important pie crust, Aunt Mary Lou parked herself just to the end of the counter where I was working, and we talked. A lot.

I suspect that chemists don’t chat while they’re mixing chemicals, but that’s just a hunch born of my experience on that fateful Thanksgiving Day. At the very least I can conclude that were I a chemist, I should keep my mouth shut while measuring ingredients for my experiments. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?

I put my crust in to bake and began the task of mixing the silky, sweet, peachy filling—which would be added to the crust and then baked again. At the appointed time I checked on my crust, but I was surprised to find that it hadn’t browned. At all. So I gave it a little more time. But extra time and high temperatures had no effect on the color of my crust. I finally shrugged off this bump in the road, took the pale crust out of the oven, added the filling and popped it back in for its second round of baking.

My confidence at taking home the blue ribbon remained unshaken at this point.

Fast forward to the end of the day’s feast. To a bit of fanfare Mom brought out the ballots and explained to the judges the categories upon which they should score the entries (appearance 10%, filling & crust 40% and overall flavor 50%). Phil and I were asked to cut and serve our pies after the judges had been given the opportunity to rate the appearance of each. Once everyone at the table had been served, the room quieted for the first bites.

My nerves did not allow me to take a taste right away; I was more interested in watching for the reactions of the judges. So I didn’t immediately understand why the room remained eerily quiet as they all chewed. Earl’s face reddened noticeably. Mom and Dad shot questioning glances at each other. Phil choked and spat out his mouthful. And Spenser the schnauzer hid under the couch after willingly taking the bit of crust Earl had offered him. But it was Aunt Mary Lou who finally broke the silence by blurting an expletive. And then pandemonium reigned. Everyone gagged and gasped and shouted over each other. They laughed. And laughed some more. I was crestfallen but finally took a tiny bite of my own pie. Oh myyy.

I had obviously switched the measurements for the salt with the sugar. The extra salt had kept the crust from browning on the first baking. And then it leached up into the peach chiffon filling during the second baking. What a fiasco—but a very funny one.

Of course, Phil won the contest. Whatever. He can have the blue ribbon. Because I have the honor of being the reason for one of the funniest family stories we have. To this day we still refer to that year as our Salt Pie Thanksgiving.

NAILED IT!

Product/technique notes

I followed sketch 281 from Creative Scrappers and mainly used products from October Afternoon’s “Apple Cider” line. I created my title using the Silhouette and used several stickers from the Carta Bella “Homemade with Love” kit.
Creative Scrappers 281