Thursday, December 31, 2009
Anyway, I just realized that I never shared a picture of my 2009 Christmas card, so here it is:
Very simple design this time around since I'm working and taking classes and I make about 60 Christmas cards each year. I used shimmery white cardstock for the main image panel and the inside of the card, so it does have a little something extra without any extra work on my part. Since I was totally enamored with bright colors for most of 2009, I used Green Galore and Melon Mambo, not your typical Christmas colors but I think they work for a subtropical island Christmas card. Here's the inside:
So yep, pretty simple design since I had to make them all very quickly. I already have an idea what I want to do for 2010's Christmas cards, and maybe this year I actually *will* start making them early. Maybe that should be my new year's resolution.
Anyway, I promised kokeshi doll pictures, so here they are!
This was a Christmas present from Lee (who ignored the rule that we don't buy gifts for each other, we just pick out something we both want). The picture doesn't do her justice; she's got kind of a shiny lacquer-type finish and is way prettier than this picture implies.
The two on the left were gifts from Jamie; they are Spring and Autumn from a set of four seasons dolls. The one on the right was a present from Missy, she's a Christmas ornament! She's a bit too large for our tiny tree so she'll just have to wait until next year. I love her little pigtails!
This one was a gift from Amber and was made in the year I was born (which does NOT make her an antique, Amber!!) Amber gave me some information on this doll, including the artist's name but I left it downstairs so it shall have to remain a mystery for now. Heh.
Pretty sure I've already shared a picture of the doll on the right, but I got the one on the left last month and she kind of coordinates with the other doll. Not the best picture in the world though so I may have to go take another one...and you can get a tiny glimpse of the mess that is my craft room right now. Organizing my craft room is high up on my list of things to do, right after "write research paper" although last night I was trying to convince Lee that I needed to do LOTS of things before I write that darned paper, hehe! Last one...
Is she not darling? Your eyes do not deceive you, she leans. I just love her expression and her cute lil pigtails (hmm, I said that about the ornament one, too). And she was only about $12, proof that cute doesn't have to cost a lot when it comes to kokeshi dolls.
So now that Lee is awake, we're going to start the new year off right...we're heading out to the gym, 'cause I would like to start 2011 smaller than I did 2010.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Like I told my mom, he did a good job...but you can tell it was decorated by a guy *giggle* He didn't put the lights on it, but Mom sent enough ornaments to decorate three trees this size, so I don't think it matters that it's missing Christmas lights. You can't see because of the presents, but Mom also made a blue and white tree skirt for it. Yes, my mom is THAT cool.
This year, Sadie and Vader got into the gift-giving spirit (this must have been before I forced them through the indignity of wearing elf hats and reindeer antlers)--according to the tags on the boxes, they were responsible for giving us this...
We *finally* got a pair of shishi dogs! And these ones don't shed loads of dog hair, either. They're probably at least 18 inches tall...I took a few other pictures of them but none turned out really well other than this next one. They are very cool, so now we just need to clean off the bookshelves in the living room so that they'll have their own place to live.
Lee's trying to think up ways we could put lights on the inside so their eyes (and, I suppose, their noses and mouths) will glow. I think that would be funny.
Speaking of funny...
My dad emailed me this image with the crafty ninjas a while back, and I said that should be on a t-shirt. So here's my crafty ninja t-shirt, is that not the coolest thing? Oh, one more cool thing:
This was made by Jim Shore; you may have seen his work in your local Hallmark store (not that I have a local Hallmark store here on Okinawa, but you know what I mean). He does a lot of angels, Christmas things like Santa Claus and nativity sets, and Disney characters. I have five different Jim Shore Tinker Bell figurines and one of these days I'll get his Maleficent (evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty) because she is *awesome*. So anyway, back to this particular angel, check out the bottom:
Yes, it's SIGNED! By Jim Shore! The artist who created it! He visited my mom's local Hallmark store (because she DOES have a local Hallmark store) so she got to meet him and had a couple of things signed by him. She also had her picture taken with him, and lemme tell you, Mr. Shore has a serious mustache goin' on. I didn't scan in that picture though because we got a new printer/scanner (Mac-compatible) and I haven't bothered to figure out how to scan on it yet.
We got some other fun stuff too, this is just what I took pictures of. Next time I'll have to share some kokeshi doll pictures since I've added several to my collection since the last time I posted any on here ;) Happy New Year to everyone out there in blogland, hope your New Year's celebration is fun and safe. Lee and I will be going to a party tonight but I doubt either of us will drink at all. Maybe we'll take incriminating photographs of the people who do overindulge. Heh. But anyway, for now I need to get working on my research paper. So far all I've done is read some research, I have yet to actually write anything. And I wanna hurry up and get this done, so that's my project for the next four days that I have off work. TTFN!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
First up are pictures that my awesome mom sent me. This year I cross stitched presents for my good buddy Liz and my sister-in-law Adrienne, and then I sent them to my mom and she had them framed. These were my two "mystery projects" for this year that I couldn't tell what I was stitching since they were gifts; I stitched Liz's present this summer and started Adrienne's when we were back in Texas for Lee's eye surgery. So here they are, starting with the one for Liz:
Liz looooooooooooves all things fall. My mom sent me this cross stitch pattern a while back with the note that she got it because she thought Liz would like it; I'd had the fabric and thread to make it for a long time but didn't get to it until this year. Mom says the picture doesn't do it justice but I'll have to take her word for it since I didn't get to see it after it was framed. This is my first finished project on linen which will mean nothing to you if you're not a stitcher, but let's just say I generally work on aida so this was a learning experience. The fabric is actually a mossy green color, I don't think it photographed too well.
Here is Adrienne's gift:
Adrienne loves gingerbread houses for Christmas decorations, so this seemed perfect (can't do anything with Santa Claus on it because my brother is afraid of the Man in Red. Seriously.) This pattern was out of one of the British cross stitch magazines; I have to say I like their stuff better than the American ones anymore--the one I get most often is Cross Stitch Gold, and they have a lot bigger and more intricate patterns than the American magazines. This one wasn't intricate at all, it was just a good-size project (about 10 inches square). You can't hardly tell in the photo but the fabric is pale blue and has silver thread woven into it. I only finished this one just before Thanksgiving so I was glad that it got framed in time for Christmas.
I spent most of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day watching movies and stitching so I guess you could say I had a merry stitch-mas :) I'm now working on a project for myself, an orange crate label that is a lot more involved than either of these two projects were. I'll probably start posting status pictures of it after the new year; this is going to be a BIG project but I've gotten a good start on it already. Which is probably why I haven't written my paper yet :p
How about some fun dog pictures? Woohoo!
Jamie, I want you to know that it was a big argument to get even this picture of Raven in an elf hat. For one, the hat is a little too small for his noggin, and for another, he really didn't want to cooperate. You can *forget* trying to get a picture of him with Sadie and Vader in their Christmas finery, that so was not going to happen. I love how Sadie is in the background of this picture laughing at Raven. Just wait, little girl, your time is coming.
See? Bwahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! She's looking at Lee like, "Please help me!" Hey, I didn't get nearly enough funny Halloween pictures this year, so that's why she got stuck modeling an elf hat for Christmas. That and I'm evil. Bwahahahaaa! Oh wait, I said that already.
Vader is generally much more cooperative about these kinds of things than Sadie is. I think once we edit out the white eyes due to the flash, this should go in our Christmas cards next year :) I love it!!
We took one without the flash so you can actually see they're not devil dogs, but it came out pretty grainy. Maybe we'll try this again when it's daylight outside and see if we can get a really good picture for our cards next year :)
I've got a few more Christmas pictures but those will have to wait for another time. Right now, I still have a research paper to write and a bunch of swaps to make, so I'd best hop to it. Happy howlidays!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
She MADE this for me, it's all cross stitch. Is this not totally awesome?! I've been meaning to make Christmas stockings for Lee and me since we got married and never did find any patterns that I just loved, so I never made any. I was so overwhelmed when we unpacked these that I just totally started crying, much to Lee's consternation. All I could tell him was "I miss my mommy!" So check out Lee's, which may be even more awesome than mine...
As I said, totally awesome! I've spent quite a while staring at them both because they're so beautiful. My mommy is just THAT cool, aren't you jealous? She also sent us a green and red afghan that she crocheted for us and it's gorgeous. It's so pretty that I couldn't stand to only have it out for Christmas time so it's just gonna have to stay out year-round :)
So here's what else we've added to our household in the recent past...
Yep, we joined the Dark Side and got a Mac, which means we had to get a new printer because our old one (which I still really like) isn't Mac-compatible. Annoying. That is a 27-inch monitor, which is how big our first tv was. I'm sure Lee could give you all the specs on what we got but all I know is that it's a Mac, iTunes runs a lot faster, and it's got this cool feature where you can check out movie previews. I'll have to learn how to use it better. For now both the PC and the Mac are hooked up on our computer desk, although they've swapped spots since this picture was taken. I like to imagine that they play Battleship while we're at work during the day.
Seems like I've been working nonstop for about the last month, putting in extra hours after work just trying to catch up, *and* I've been trying to read for my class, *and* Lee's parents were here for a week and I didn't want to ignore them in favor of work or class (although I did have to go in to work a few times and I skipped out on going to the aquarium one day so I could read for class). I had my last in-class session for this term today, so now all I need to do is write my research paper (yeah, that's *all*, snort!). But our instructor has worked it so that we should turn it in as soon as possible, but theoretically we have until the next term ends (like, in March) because we all have incompletes until we turn in the paper. I'm still going to try to knock mine out as fast as I can so it's not hanging over my head since I'm taking next term off from school and I want to enjoy myself :)
Here's a few more pictures because Liz requested them...we went to a holiday party last night for Lee's work. Lee did a picture slideshow and I provided the music (or at least, my iPod did). So here's a couple photos from the par-tay:
Jamie and Margaret, hey for once you get to see their beautiful faces rather than their toes :) They're part of the regular group that goes to Cocok's with the silent k together. Here's the shot that would be going in my Christmas cards, if I hadn't already sent them out:
Hm. I've got kind of a funny look on my face in this one. Wait a minute, maybe it was *this* one I was going to send out...
Haha, the patented Ree and Christy self-portrait strikes again!
Part of the annual Christmas party involves a fundraiser wherein several people have to dress up in costumes. I'm not so sure what the rules are, but I want to say that the person with the most money and the person with the least money in the fundraiser both have to dress up as different things, but somehow they end up with three people in costume so like I said, the rules are fuzzy. So here's this year's lucky three:
Santa's lost weight. Wonder what his workout regimen is like.
We also had a Christmas fairy! She was a really good sport about this, she even sprinkled pixie dust on everyone as she walked around in her fairy costume. The angle on this photograph isn't the best though, it looks like she's wearing that entire chandelier on her head.
And here's Lee's boss. Now you can see what it would look like if Peter Pan *did* grow up. Last year, the winner (loser?) who wore the fairy costume was this big hulking DUDE, so he looked really great with the fairy wings and antennae. This fundraiser netted about a grand, so not too shabby, huh?
Ok peeps, gotta go. We're late for a dinner date. Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I was worried I wouldn't have time to make a new card for the blog hop, but I managed! This is the first stamping I've done (other than Christmas cards) for what feels like a very, very long time, I miss it! Wish I'd had time to do a few more cards with some of the other fabulous lines that Stamping Bella carries, but I decided to stick with the original Bella:
This is Balloonabella. I paper-pieced her dress using Eskimo Kisses paper from Basic Grey, and the layout is a Mojo Monday sketch from a while back. I colored in her skin, hair & accessories with Prismacolor pencils. Pretty simple and straightforward. I wish I'd been able to take a picture of her when it was light outside but I didn't finish putting the card together until after sunset...it may be morning in the States, but where I am it's Saturday night!
There's mooooooooooooore! To celebrate Stamping Bella's third birthday, Da Queen Bella herself Miss Emily is giving away *three* gift certificates of $100 EACH at the Stamping Bella store! We don't know where the gift certificates are hidden, so be sure to leave comments along the way as you hop so you have a shot at one of those fabulous prezzies...I know I will be hopping and commenting, I'd love to have $100 free to spend on Bella stamps! The winners will be announced on Monday, December 7th, so good luck!
Thanks for stopping by, your next stop is Arlene's blog!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
She said they were supposed to have red on them, or at least the picture on the book did. I think they look really cool, but I just can't do black or white on my toes--I like COLOR!
So I got bright red. This is the first time I've gotten red toes at Cocok's; with the white flowers, I figured they're festive but not necessarily Christmas-y so if I wanted to, I could get this design any time of the year (or at least, any time of the year that I wanted red toes). But so far I have not gotten the same design twice :)
I love that she has flip flop tan lines on her feet, don't you? ;) It's a purple background with white snowflakes, and then they painted clear glitter all over the top so it sparkles a lot in real life.
Missy also went for the Christmas toes:
It's a little hard to tell in the photo, but it's a red background with holly. I think I should have gotten a little bit closer to take the picture, but my friends probably think I'm a teensy bit odd taking pictures of their toes anyway, snort!
Here's Nancy, her very first Cocok's experience:
She *almost* got this one pattern of Santa and his reindeer (Santa on one toe, a reindeer on each of the other toes) but then she decided to go for this one instead, kind of fern leaves.
Ok, so my illicit computer time is over...I stayed home today while Lee took his parents up to the aquarium so I could read for my class. My goal is to finish at least 100 pages today, which would mean finishing the book I've been working on for a while...if I'm lucky, maybe I can start the next book too. We'll see, but I'd better get crackin'!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Movie Jacob is waaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy hotter than Movie Edward, who looks like he's wearing lipstick most of the time. Mom, Amber says she definitely doesn't think you're crazy for having a crush on Jacob. Whoops, I just outed you to the entire Internet!!! Good thing for you that I only have three readers, bwahahahahahaaaaaa!
All hail the return of the SteadyCam. I mean really. That whole hurky-jerky shaking the camera thing? SO last season. Ok, really I never liked it at all and found the shaking thing totally irritating on Twilight, so I was super happy that New Moon did not make me seasick.
We wondered if the tweens were going to be super loud and obnoxious, but we think it's the guys who were hooting and hollering the most. At one point we weren't sure if they were wolf whistling (haha, get it?) Sam Uley or Harry Clearwater. The funny part was when the movie was just about to start, half the theater started shushing the other half. And then people talked anyway, me and Amber included. We're wondering if we need new t-shirts...I did see several girls wearing shirts that said Team Edward on the front, and then "but dang, Jacob is sexy!" on the back. Maybe Amber and I should get some of those shirts...
Ok, so it's like past midnight and I'm starting to go 'round the bend with fatigue, so I'm going to cut it off here. G'night everybody!!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Jamie and Amber, who were helping me set everything up on the table. The collaborated on the ham; Amber was too chicken to make a ham, so she bought it and Jamie cooked it. Turned out great and it looked fabulous too! We bought a turkey dinner that came with a bunch of side dishes, and then made a few things to supplement it. And then I did the desserts, including apple streusel cheesecake bars, berry cobbler, Mississippi Mud, and the famous pumpkin cookies. The dinner we bought came with a pumpkin pie, but alas, Ree didn't notice you're supposed to thaw it in the fridge overnight, so we didn't eat that. Anyway, here's my favorite photo of the day :)
Miss J again. That apron is actually mine, my mom made me that several years ago when we did a big Thanksgiving to-do at our house in North Carolina. So Jamie WAS the autumn decoration, hehe! I had on my blue and white SuperChristy apron but never got a photo of me in it. Whoops.
And here's our group, digging in to the feast. That's Scott, Larry (aka Lee's dad), Billy (aka Amber's hubby), Dean (aka Jamie's hubby), Nancy (aka Lee's mom), and Lee's arm.
Here's all us girls! Wish the picture was a little bit clearer but this is what we got. Here's Amber, Jamie, me, and Tiana with baby Emma, who is about four months old.
And of course, the aftermath of any big food-related event...the clean-up.
Yeah, I should probably be downstairs right now working my way through the dishes (and I took this picture after I'd already run a load through the dishwasher!). Maybe I'll get some of them done before Nancy and I head off to Cocok's with the silent k. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So in honor of Turkey Day, how 'bout a card?
I kinda copied the idea out of the SU catalog, although I changed up all the colors and the stamp used and their card wasn't related to Thanksgiving and they didn't use patterned paper and ok, so I guess the only thing that's the same is the basic layout but I like it ok? I actually managed to get a bunch of these sent out ON TIME to my peeps back in the States!
And look what I got in the mail earlier this week!
It's a totally GOJUS and PURPLE Thanksgiving card from Vicki, isn't it fabulous? I love it, Miss Vicki! Darn, I may have to get that patterned paper now, hehehe!
So Happy Thanksgiving wherever you may be, and have a safe and happy holiday weekend. I've got 30 seconds till the next batch of cookies is ready to come out of the oven, so TTFN!
P.S. If anyone sees my parents, tell 'em I've been looking for them. My mom hasn't even commented on here in, like, forever. *sob* I miss my mommy! And Dad too. Really!
Monday, November 23, 2009
I admit, Stamping Bella is my primary (non-SU) stamp obsession :) I just loooooove Bella's stuff, and if you do too, you are in LUCK my friend! The Queen Bella herself, Emily, is giving away tons of Bellariffic prizes!! So since I'm going to be late to work if I don't hurry up and get out of here, I'm just going to copy what Em has to say on her blog. (Things are still super-busy at work and we pick up Lee's parents at the airport tonight! Lots to do and not near enough time to do it in!)
Read on for the deets for Bella's totally fantabulous Birthday Bash!
BIRTHDAY BASH CONTEST
We’re looking for the most delish creation in Bellaland!! Let your creativity guide you to create a project that celebrates Bella’s 3rd birthday! You must use ONLY STAMPING BELLA STAMPS in your creation and you can choose to use any of the lines that Stamping Bella offers!
Upload your project to Splitcoast using KEYWORD “BELLABDAY3″ before the deadline of 10:00 PM EST on SATURDAY DECEMBER 5th. The bella babes will scour the gallery for the most deeeeelish project in Bellaland. Only projects that are uploaded to the splitcoast gallery before the deadline using the keyword will be considered for the grand prize!
Would you like to know what the grand prize is???: The WINNAH will receive the ENTIRE NEW RELEASE FROM STAMPING BELLA, a value of LOTS OF MOOLAH (LOL) The winner will also be featured as a GUEST BELLARIFIC BABE on BLOGGABELLA DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on BLOGABELLA on DECEMBER 7th.
BIRTHDAY BASH BLOG HOP
You’re invited to join the BIRTHDAY BASH BLOG HOP on SATURDAY DECEMBER 5th. Please use any STAMPING BELLA IMAGES and sentiment for your blog hop post. We’re celebrating all the adorable lines that we have to offer! your post should go LIVE at 10:00 AM EST on Saturday December 5th
DID SOMEONE SAY PRIZES? But of course!! THREE gift certificates for $100 in BELLA BUCKS GIFT CERTIFICATES will be hidden along the hop.. but we’re NOT telling you where so be sure to leave some love as you hop!!
BUT WAIT… THERE’S MORE! There will be another $100 in BELLA BUCKS given to ONE RANDOM BLOG HOP PARTICIPANT so be sure to sign up for the blog hop on THIS THREAD in the STAMPING BELLA forum on SPLITCOAST. Get all your friends to sign up too because we know they’d love a chance to win a STAMPING BELLA SHOPPING SPREE! Let’s make this THE BIGGEST BELLA BLOG HOP EVAH!! The winners will be announced on BLOGGABELLA on MONDAY DEC. 7th.
BIRTHDAY BASH RELEASE
I have an AWESOME release planned for the STAMPING BELLA BIRTHDAY on DECEMBER 7th featuring a little bit from most of the artists so be sure to pop onto BLOGABELLA on DEC 7th to see all the new RUBBAH goodness along with the winners of the Birthday Bash blog hop and contest.
BIRTHDAY BASH BLOG PHOTO
Feel free to add the top photo to the sidebar on your blog to let everyone know you’re coming to the Bella birthday bash! Please link the photo back to the BIRTHDAY BASH THREAD on Splitcoast for all the Birthday details!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This is an obi, which is the sashy thing that goes around a kimono, and here in Japan it is possible to buy obi that have been folded in a decorative fashion. They have ones meant to sit on a table, ones to hang on the wall (like mine), and some that are meant to hang on a curtain rod kind of like a valance. I think I mean a valance. Anyway, this one is all miiiiiiiiiiine. Look what's on it:
GOLD SHISHI DOGS!!! Bwahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Ok, so this obi didn't jump out at me and scream BUY ME quite as much as the one I got last year for my mom (hers was a beautiful plum color brocade with roses, and I knew it was *perfect* for her the minute I saw it) but I figured that two weeks from now, I'd be kicking myself if I didn't get this one. So I got it. It's already hanging up in our dining room, and the longer I've had it, the more I like it. It's got some bubble wrap in the rosette that's to keep it from getting squished in transport and some little plastic things on the end of the tassels to keep them from fraying; I haven't taken all that stuff off yet. Wonder if I should just leave it on there for now, after all we'll be moving in a year.
Anyway, I was technically trying to do Christmas shopping, not Christy shopping, but look what else came home with me...
Doesn't she just have the sweetest face? I love her. She's sitting on my kitchen counter right now along with two friends and every time I get a new doll, the need for a curio cabinet grows. Sooner or later we will get one to display my kokeshi doll collection. I did do some Christmas shopping, but I think you can understand if I don't post pictures of all *that* stuff on here, lol!
Speaking of sweet, I spent most of Sunday making cookies. Check this out:
Sunday morning I opened up my pantry to take stock of my baking supplies since I will be making a few things for Thanksgiving, and this is what I found--no fewer than TEN bags of assorted flavors of chocolate chips. And this is what I keep on hand when I'm not planning to bake anything in particular. So yes, it is distinctly possible that I am slightly batty (I would have said nutty, but I don't keep *that* many nuts on hand for baking). So like I said before, I made cookies.
Three batches of cookies. I *finally* got some canned pumpkin after searching for it for several months, but I could only find gigundor cans of it and since there's been a shortage, I figured I'd better make one can really count. So I got three batches of cookies out of it. There's a good reason for why I hoard chocolate chips, our store sometimes runs out of random things so if I keep all those on hand, then whenever I get a craving for something in particular I don't have to worry about whether or not I can get the ingredients right then. See, I can rationalize anything that has to do with chocolate and consuming mass quantities of chocolate. Especially in cookie form. Or brownie form. I have been known to eat brownie sundaes for breakfast. But I digress. Want to see a closeup of the yummy cookies?
These are my famous white chip macadamia nut pumpkin cookies (you see why I just call 'em pumpkin cookies?) A lot of people think it sounds weird at first, but once they try the cookies, they love 'em. Even Lee, who is not a big sweets person, loves these--I think he grabbed at least a half a dozen of them while I was baking. I sent some to a friend who's birthday is coming up, and then the rest went to a fundraiser where Lee works.
So like I mentioned yesterday, Lee and I have both been working some crazy hours. I worked two hours over today and boy howdy, were my dogs glad to see me when I came home. Poor little kidlets. It's 8:00 right now and Lee's not home yet, although he should be soon; he's been working on a paper for his class after everyone else leaves work. I had an event to go to last night so I didn't even see Lee until after 8:30, but I wanted to let him know that I was thinking about him so...
Nothing says "I love you" like Taco Bell hot sauce. I brought home all these sauce packets because this is the only hot sauce Lee likes.
Yes, I realize I am a ginormous goober for writing messages with hot sauce packets, and even more so for photographing it. But maybe that's why Lee loves me :p And I think exhaustion is making me even goofier than normal. Ever been so tired that you just can't sleep? Story of my life this week. And I have so many new DVDs that I haven't gotten to watch yet because I've been so busy at work (haven't even gotten to do any schoolwork, which is baaaaaaaad). By hook or by crook, I am SO watching Star Trek this weekend!