Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of 2011—Extended Family Time

We celebrated my extended family Christmas with my mother and siblings/spouses. It’s always fun to get together to celebrate the birth of Christ. An important family tradition to all of us is that we read the Christmas Story from Luke 2 and intersperse the carols in relevant places throughout the story. (In fact, we observe this same tradition with OUR own children, and they with theirs.) We have been doing this for at least 50 years. Daddy always read the story, before he passed away in 1988. Since then, my brother reads it. The special touch this year was that he read it from Daddy’s Bible (now appropriately in my brother’s possession).

Keith read the story from Daddy's KJV BibleIMG_0835 cropped   IMG_0823 cropped portrait Keith and Michele                  My brother Keith and wife Michele

IMG_0827 cropped portrait Janene and David

  My sister Janene and husband David (who is my husband’s brother)

IMG_0831 cropped portrait Barbara and Russell 

My Honey and Me


IMG_0829 cropped portraitSibs with Mother 

Great way to end 2011! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Heritage of Bird Hunting (Scrapbook Page)

Having completed the 12 Tags of Christmas as my introduction to the Tim Holtz technique, I was determined to implement some of the vintage techniques into my scrapbook pages, as this is the primary “crafting” that I do.

I used the Tattered Leaves die and alcohol inks on kraft glassine for the leaves. When I saw Tim's idea of printing a photo on the glassine paper, I knew how I wanted to bring that element into this scrapbook page, as my old photo of Daddy with Pooch came to mind. The photo was very faded, so first I edited it to make it a more intense black and white photo. Obviously, due to the nature of the kraft glassine paper, the photo does not show up as well as it does in person. I am pleased with the effect and love the whole vintage idea of displaying a photo of my dad with his bird dog as an embellishment to the modern-day picture of my son with his bird dog.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas at Our House

What a wonderful time of being together to celebrate Christ’s birth. Here are a few pics of our time together.

 IMG_0673 IMG_0674 


IMG_0686 IMG_0687 tORYIMG_0690 IMG_0692

Son Mark and his wife Kristy, Tory & Conner


Daughter Sharida and her husband James, Alyssa and Dawson

IMG_0713 edited more plus Picasa IMG_0736 edited

Sharida and Mark singing while Mom plays—like old times!


..add in the grandkids—musically mega-talented, all—a perfect mix!


Head of the Home reads the Christmas Story, before we share the gifts, a symbol of our love for one another.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holly Wreaths

Part of our family traditions include special snacks and meals. I always try to make recipes that I know are “favorites” of each of our children (I know which ones, because years ago, when they were still at home, we voted on what snacks to make every Christmas season). Our daughter’s favorite sweet snack has always been “Holly Wreaths.” I made them this morning. I first made them in 1977, for Sharida to take to serve to her kindergarten class, for her December birthday!

Holly Wreaths for Sharida picnik December 2011

Sharida KG Holly Wreaths

December 1977

Holly Wreaths Recipe

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ready for Christmas



Christmas is coming to our house—tomorrow! Kids and grandkids expected tomorrow evening. We will all be together until mid-afternoon on Saturday. Can’t wait!!

12 Tags of Christmas – Day 10

Day 10 - Barbara FordWhew! I did it! When I first started with the 12 Tags, I really did not intend to do all 12. The more I did, the more I wanted to do, until I finally realized it was imperative that I finish the task. It has been very challenging but fun, and I have learned so much, and have a new appreciation for the vintage technique, as it appeals to the “feel” I have always had for relishing the wonderful things of times past.

I “winged it” on the embellishments at the bottom, as I am also learning to find things around the house that I can use to enhance a tag.

The facet ornaments that I created using suggestions from Tim did not turn out as vibrant as his, and it could be because I “made do” with heavy duty aluminum foil rather than purchasing the metal tape. Still, they are fine.

Next year, I need to get the tags done within the 12 days. Finishing up this last one has been a challenge, as our Christmas is tomorrow evening and Saturday, and things are a-flurry here with last-minute wrapping, baking and cooking.

I think there is something fundamental here, in my joy in creating these tags—it has been fun to do something with my hands, to actually create something enjoyable and lasting (I hope), as I think about the real reason why I love this season so much—the celebration of the birth of Christ, He who is the reason for the joy in my heart—in this season, and all the year round.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas – Day 11

Day 11 - Barbara Ford

I used glossy card stock on all the parts of this tag. Alcohol inks provided the colors for the holly leaves/berries/branch (Meadow, Lettuce, Red Pepper). I inked the edges with Walnut Stain. The branch was especially fun, because I didn’t have a brown alcohol ink, so I used the Butterscotch and after it dried, I inked over it with Walnut Stain. The tag itself is a combination of several of the blue distress pads. The snowflakes on the blue background were created with water splatters. The ribbon was white; I stained it with the Festive Berries distress ink pad.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Star Musical Performances—Shameless Braggings of a Mamo

Last week we attended two concerts. On Thursday evening our grandson Conner performed in his high school’s Winter Concert. He is a sophomore and in the top audition choir at his school (A Capella Choir) as well as the select ensemble group from out of that choir (Up Tempo).

  IMG_0432 picnik Tenor Section of Up Tempo

IMG_0434IMG_0433Up Tempo  IMG_0444 A Capella Choir

IMG_0448 picnikIMG_0447

Kristy – Conner – Tory – Mark (our son)

IMG_0451 IMG_0449 with Grandad and Mamo

On Friday evening we attended the Christmas Madrigal Celebration at Alyssa’s high school. The production included five choirs. Alyssa, a senior, is in three of them (all audition choirs): Women’s Choir, Chorale, and Varsity Singers. It was a huge production, with 25 musical pieces. Alyssa sang on 20 of them, so my camera (with telephoto lens) was very busy!


Alyssa wore a head mic during the first half of the production, as she had two solos and a drama part.

IMG_0503 IMG_0536 IMG_0553 IMG_0570 IMG_0575  IMG_0609 James – Dawson – Alyssa – Sharida (our daughter)


with Mamo and Dawson and Grandad

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas – Day 8

Day 8 - Barbara FordWell, this was an interesting challenge for me. I waited to do this one until I could get my hands on some of the supplies needed. I wanted to follow Tim’s suggestions as closely as I could for Tag 8, because I was intrigued by the “steampunk” theme. It evokes good feelings about a bygone era. In fact, I am finding that the  entire “vintage” technique is right down my alley.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas – Day 12

Day 12 - Barbara Ford 

Starting with a blank manila #8 tag, I stamped some Merry Christmas sentiments, and in the spaces around the stamps, I wrote some passages from Luke 2. After “whitewashing” the tag with Picket Fence stain, I then glued tissue wrap (symphony) over the entire tag and then covered it all with Rock Candy Stickles.

I followed Tim’s instructions for the tissue wrap flower, and I was surprised it was so easy!

I cut an angel on the Cricut, from the Christmas cartridge, on grunge paper. I painted the blackout piece with Silver (dabber paint) and the overlay of the angel with Snowcap (dabber paint). The letters for “Hark” were cut on the Cricut from the Storybook cartridge (using American Crafts glitter card stock). I inked all edges with Black Soot Distress Stain, and added some tinsel and “ribbon.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mmmm—Chocolate & Peppermint!

Peppermint Cupcakes 2

When making cupcakes, I give myself permission to NOT make everything from scratch, because, sometimes the boxed mixes are just good! The Duncan Hines moist devil’s food chocolate cake mix just can’t be improved upon. So, I made the cupcakes and put them in Martha Stewart red snowflake liners (snowflake on the bottom). They did not maintain their bright red color with the chocolate cake inside—disappointing. The frosting IS from scratch--I love the Buttercream Frosting recipe that is on the back of the C&H Powdered Sugar bag. On top of the frosting, I sprinkled crushed peppermint candy. I will serve them with Oberweiss Peppermint Ice Cream (and coffee, OF COURSE)!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Visit From Elias the Eagle

Elias the Eagle4
This morning while we were eating breakfast, I mentioned that this is the time of year we usually see eagles. They like to fly along the creek that runs through the back of our property. About thirty minutes later, while I was wrapping Christmas presents, facing the doors out to the deck, something white caught my eye. Sure enough, a beautiful eagle was regally perched in one of our trees. I grabbed the camera. I used my telephoto lens and then cropped the photo for an even closer view.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

12 Days of Christmas – Day 9

Day 9 - Barbara FordTim’s tag for Day 9 used a combination of red and green (Festive Berries and Evergreen Bough) distress ink. I wanted to do something a little different, color-wise. Using the double embossing technique he demonstrated, I first stamped the tag with a Hero Arts stamp (not the one Tim used) with a white pigment ink and heat embossed it with clear powder. Then I stamped over the dry image with Evergreen Bough distress ink. I loved the way it looked as I applied this color. This is my new favorite color! Then I put clear embossing powder over all and heated again. This tag gave me the opportunity to use the charming little lamppost! Love it! For the soft glow in the lamp, I painted a little square of a kraft tag with the gold dabber paint. Applying a thick layer of Glossy Accents gave it the look of glass. For the “snow” I used Picket Fence Stickles.

So far, this one is my husband’s favorite!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

12 Tags of Christmas – Day 7

Day 7 - Barbara FordMy first opportunity to work with glassine paper, it will not be my last! I really enjoyed staining it with alcohol inks and then wadding it up several times to create the “crushed look” before cutting the holly leaves. That was my favorite part of this project. Using alcohol ink (cranberry) to color the pearls for the holly berries was fun. Interestingly, the silver tinsel in the lights of the Christmas tree make it appear that there is red also on the tinsel—it’s just a reflection of the red berries.

I also enjoyed a new technique (for me) of “ghost stamping” on the background of the card. I also particularly enjoyed using black embossing powder—very dramatic!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Baby Girl

Taking a break from the 12 Tags of Christmas postings to wish a Happy Birthday to my little girl. She turned 40 today. My goodness, how could time have possibly flown by so quickly. Here are a few random photos that I have scanned from earlier years, not intended to tell her life story, but just shared as a representation of the passing of time!

She’s such a special person, with a sweet heart and a beautiful personality. Happy Birthday, Sharida Sunshine!

Sharida 6 weeks

           First trip to church, 12 days oldSharida Feb 1974

Sharida September 1975

Mark and Sharida Dec 1 1982

Sharida with John Ashcroft 1990

State Speech Award

Sharida HS Valedictorian May 1990 Valedictorian

1993 Mar at Sharida's wedding

Mrs. James Havens (with brother/wife and mom/dad)


James Sharida Alyssa Dawson