Last CSS…

One more week until Christmas!!! We have most of our packages in and this week the girls and I are hoping to do a lot of baking. I am hoping the oven will do the cookies justice. The gas oven thing isn’t working out well for us although a friend of mine thinks it’s just busted. My friend said that even if the gas is in the back the heat is suppose to circulate but ours doesn’t. Although it’s ok to use for cooking, baking is a whole different story!

I am getting my projects done too. I want a relaxing holiday week with the family with no DT work, no teaching stuff, no side gigs, etc. to do. It’s not often we all get to hang around at home, esp. with hubby’s busy schedule so I want to make sure that we get our family time in!

Speaking of the hubs… I have here a manly card that I created using Clear and Simple Stamp’s Icons Extra and Icons 1 set. It’s got a bit of pattern but for the most part it’s pretty simple. This is my last card as a Clear and Simple Stamps DT. My three month’s up and I decided to not renew due to my 2011 work schedule. It’s been super fun and I’ll miss getting and working with their products! M about had a heart attack when I told her I’ll be working again but then she calmed down after I told her I’ll be working from home. I’ll have almost 40 students so Savitri’s going to be busy busy on the classes’ message boards and grading assignments!! I also hope to book some photo sessions too — hoping for a very productive 2011!!

I’ll make this sweet and short. I’ll post another one Saturday morning for the Waltzingmouse sketch challenge. It’s the last one for this year so you all better participate!!! Ciao!

Happy BDay Sinterklaas!

In some countries today is celebrated as Santa’s birthday!

I wasn’t close to my grandma. She was quiet and aloof, not the warm and fuzzy kind of grandma. I remember always feeling awkward when I was around here and never knowing what to say or do. But when I think of my Christmas childhood days in Indonesia, after returning from the US, she’s what I remember. It was during her time that Christmas was celebrated in my dad’s side of the family — after she passed away Christmas died with her. She introduced me to Sinterklaas and would always sing this song, Sinterklaas Kapoentje to us:

She’d always have lots of Speculaas, and told me that if I wasn’t good Zwarte Piet will come and put me in a bag and take me away to who knows where. She’d take us to see Sinterklaas and Piet at a shop and on our outing she’d also take us to a Dutch bakery to pick out little pastry treats. But grandma’s Christmas didn’t involve presents.

While living in the US (I think I was almost 6 and we left before I turned 10) I did get Christmas presents but I’ve questioned Santa’s existence from the get go because Santa only stopped by twice and he never got me what was on my list while my friends did. Exchanging presents or getting presents from Santa wasn’t an Indonesian thing either so for a while I thought that I was always a bad girl.

This is why I always try to get M whatever’s on her Santa’s list so that she can have the magical feel of Christmas and Santa Clause for as long as possible. It ALWAYS makes me happy when I see her on Christmas morning (and when she preps cookies for him the night before), excited about Santa’s visit and all the goodies he left her.

Here’s a little Christmas gift giving money tip: Save a few bucks each month and put it in a separate account. This way when Christmas comes along it won’t be to tough on the budget. You can expand on this concept for birthday (parties), vacations, or go a bit buck wild like us and have a wedding fund. Yes, we’ve been putting $30/mo into a mutual fund since M was born… weddings can get expensive!!!

Card Info:

Today’s card is brought to you by American Crafts and Clear and Simple Stamps: Icon Extras. I’ve had these ribbons for a little bit now. Although hubby would usually get me big crafty tools for birthdays/Christmas now and then he’d get me little things like ribbons, stamps, etc. for stocking stuffers. I don’t usually use AC ribbons for card making but since I have a few rolls of them now I figured I need to try and work them into a project. So here it is. I love the sentiment from CSS, it’s the perfect size and the font’s really fun too!

Ok, I hope you have a great one… 2.5 weeks until Christmas!!!

Tip: Stickies Off

Very glad we’re not in Missouri because if we were I’d be sleeping outside. Hubby would have kicked me out because I’d keep asking: “Is it tornadic? Is it tornadic? Is it tornadic?” each time I hear the wind blow while he’s fast asleep. He’d be extra annoyed if it’s on a weekday because he has to be up by 5:30 a.m. while I won’t come to bed until 11p/midnight. It’s been very windy in our part of the world and I am not freaking out! Due to the wind, our area’s been like the card above, created using Clear and Simple’s Happy Fall. Every morning there seems to be fresh spread of leaves on the ground waiting to be raked.

Today I also want to share a little tip. A few weeks, or might be a month, back Ashley from Embellish Magazine asked how to remove adhesive from scissors. If you use your scissors to cut dimensionals for example you know what I’m talking about. Goop of dried adhesive stuck to the scissors which make the scissors practically useless for anything else. In the past I’ve used Goo Gone or the sort because we always had some and they remove everything it seems. But, when we moved the movers wouldn’t pack our Goo and now I’m Goo-less. When Ash asked that question I remembered that I had a pair of scissors that needed cleaning and so I went searching and found something near by that did the job as well: Stamp cleaners!

I have two. One is a Stampin’ Up! Mist one and the other is a Clear and Simple one. They both work as well and the glue comes off quite easily. I just sprayed some one, let it sit for a minute, and I just used a paper towel or my fingers. Then there’s something on the spray that’d make the scissors a bit silky and it’ll help the adhesive not stick to the scissors – at least for a day or two. Give it a try. If you’re a stamper you’re most likely to have a stamp cleaner!

Have a great one. By the time this post I am hoping to be en-route to IKEA! Laters!!

Dunster Castle

Can you believe it? It’s NOVEMBER!! I really thought that life at home will just drag but my goodness was I wrong! With a new month comes a new Clear and Simple stamp set: Happy Fall and new CSS colors: a Clean Slate. I am liking the serene scene above. Reminds me of our lovely little vacation last week. Let me share a few more pictures with you!!

Oh, before the pictures, I want to say “thank you” for all the comments on M’s first digital page. She didn’t know I posted it and when I showed her the post the first thing she asked was: “Did anybody commented?” Thankfully there were some and she read them all. The comments have really encouraged her learn Photoshop more. She’s halfway through one and she can’t wait to finish it!!

On to pictures… The first place we visited after getting to the cottage was Dunster Castle. Some posts ago I mentioned joining the Royal Oak Foundation which support the UK National Trust. Well with the membership comes free entries to all of the NT’s many properties and Dunster is one of them. We loved visiting this castle and also the garden. After visiting Germany a few years back our family has been exposed to a few castles but this was the first one where we could roam around freely and where the castle has full furnishing. It was fun imagining how it would be like living there some hundred years back. Emma was even entertained because there was a scavenger hunt type of activity for her to do. The garden was lovely. There was a river flowing through it and many nice paths to follow. Except for inside the castle dogs were very welcomed.

Here are some pictures:

M ringing the dinner bell. This was another neat thing, children could touch a few things… some did get carried away with this gong although most only rang it once.

Ringing the Gong

This is the family room. The literature said it’s supposed to be more informal but to me, it just felt so grand still.

It’s not quite my style but if I were living in a castle back in the days I’d happily take this room {::SMILES}.

Master Bedroom, Dunster Castle

This would have been M’s bedroom and speaking of, I just noticed that you can see her on the mirror! The room is bigger than what I photographed. There’s a fireplace across from the bed, a balcony, wardrobe and a good size dressing table.

My favorite part of the whole castle. Can you imagine a scrapbook table right there where that little table is? HA!!! The view to the outside is gorgeous!!!

Conservatory, Dunster Castle

Alright, that’s it for now. I hope you all had a great Halloween!!

Halloween Gifty

Pirate Emma

The above was my little inspiration for the below project. M had pirate day at school some weeks ago and we gathered stuff for that event. After putting on the head pieces she ran out and hid and I followed with the camera and captured this photo. This was also the reason why she decided that she’ll dress up too for Halloween. I think she’ll be the cutest pirate around! {::SMILES}.

Halloween Gift Bag

So, I dunno, after making a few Halloween stuff this year I’m kind of liking Halloween a bit more. I guess I’ve always just thought of it as another (over) commercialized…. plus cavities… day. Granted M rarely eats her trick-or-treat candies I do like the box above, stamped using the Beware set from Clear and Simple Stamps, and I plan on putting some yummy dark chocolate in there for her. Yup, she’s dark chocolate!

Short and sweet again today. I have a few things to take care of this week (a few projects to finish, blog post scheduling, mail, house sitter, etc.) because we’ll be leaving in a few days for a whole week. We’ll be in the Somerset area in a quaint little cottage with no Internet. I know, I rented a place, for 7 days, with no Internet. It’ll be great fun though and we’re all looking forward to it. I had been wanting to go to Paris but with the current travel alert and strikes I’ve been (unhappily) persuaded to change plans. See ya!