Monday, December 31, 2012

Card Making At McCall's

A few years ago I took stuff for my groups at McCalls to make cards for Easter. They really loved it and I asked back in Novemeber if they wanted to make some Christmas cards. Everyone of them seemed excited about the prospect of being able to give someone a card they had made themselves.

I knew I would have to do card kits as we only have an hour for group and I have 6 in each group. I also scheduled two hours for group that week so we would have plenty of time to get the cards done.

I think their favorite thing to do was to use the Cuttlebug and they used it on all 3 of the cards each of them made. I had one lady quickly become an expert and she helped the others get the "sandwich" right for embossing the paper. It was truly a wonderful thing having her be able to help so I could help the others get adhesive on the other pieces. Even all the guys liked using the Cuttlebug.

I had the stamps picked out for the sentiments and I showed them how to do the stamping on the cards. I did allow them to do their own stamping after I showed them. I had some extra pieces with me in case anyone messed up. I am terrible about dropping my stamp on my paper sometimes and messing it up so I wanted to be prepared. They did a wonderful job and not one of them dropped the stamp...showoff's!

These were the first two cards they made. They used the Swiss Dots folder on the pink square behind the snowflake. The snowflake was also Cuttlebug but I did those in advance to save on time. On the background behind the glitter trees the piece was embossed using the Snowflake embossing folder. The trees were some foam stickers I have had for quite a while and never used. They really liked those.

The last card we made took a little more time. I did add the Liquid Pearls to the word "Joy" beforehand because it would have taken too long to dry and I didn't want anyone being disappointed with a smears on their cards. This card was the favorite of all. I think it was the color combination they really liked. I know they embossed the paper on these but I can't remember what they used but I am thinking Dvine Swirls and Swiss Dots.

They were eager to let me take pictures of their cards and while they were making them and were a little disappointed when I told them I couldn't photograph their faces for confidentiality reasons and one even said "I'll sign one of those papers if you want to take a picture of my face". The paper they were talking about is the release of confidential information *okie laughs thinking about how smart these folks are and how many people in the open community just don't give them a chance*.

They are all excited now because I told them that since they did such a wonderful job we could do some cards for Valentine's day. They also want to do some birthday cards so they can have them on hand and we will probably do those more closer to summer time. They all worked so well together and helped each other out.

I know a lot of folks would probably say this activity was not therapeutic but I would disagree. Each individual worked on skills of following instructions, helping others, self-esteem, coping with frustration and discussed how by giving the cards to people in their support group will help them show appreciation. I try to be as creative with my therapy methods as I am with my crafting. It keeps my clients from getting bored and if it is something fun they are more likely to use the skills in the future.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Candy Recipe Tins

A few years back Stampin Up had some little metal tins in their clearance section and my friend Linda and I were so excited because we thought we could use them as tins for greeting cards. What we didn't realize was the corners were rounded and that made it impossible for A2 size cards to fit in their and we were stuck with the tins. I have used a few for different projects but this year I used 6 to make these nice little candy recipe tins as prizes for the party.

Supplies Used:
Stampin Up Metal Tins
Ranger Alcohol Inks
Various Cardstock
Cricut Expression
Various Cricut Cartridges
Make The Cut Software (MTC)
Design Studio
Various Embellishments

Alcohol Inks were used to color the metal tin. Only the top of the tin lid was decorated with paper. The title on the tin was cut with MTC and I was glad I was able to easily add more than one shadow layer. The candies were images from the internet that I did a pixel trace on and cut with MTC. I cut the candies out of Mica and Bazzil Bling papers to give them a richer look which might not show up well in the picture.

Each tin had a total of 12 candy recipes, all of which I have tried and are my favorites. I did choose the easiest of recipes that I use since I  know some folks aren't candy makers and like to keep things simple.

I know folks are always worried about messing up recipe cards so I included a little plastic sleeve in each tin so the receiver can put the card they are using in the sleeve for protection. I am terrible about making a mess when I am cooking so I know I would appreciate such a gesture. Of course I would appreciate a gesture of never having to cook again a day in my life HA HA HA.

I tried to decorate each recipe according to the theme of the candy, some of them were kinda hard to do such as the Butterscotch Haystacks and Coconut Bonbons. The candy canes were from a cricut cartridge, at least I think they were and the bow on them actually was a bow from a present cut on one of the cartridges. I am quite sure the swirly snowflake border was from a Cricut cartridge. It took quite some time to get all the little snowflakes colored. I cut them all out of white mica and colored with my ProMarkers so I didn't have to cut them all out of different colors of paper.

I did find that just adding some ribbon was a great embellishment and helped hurry up the process of getting cards done. Another HUGE help was my daughter! She put the majority of these together for me while I was at work. At the time she didn't have job and was more than glad to help. She did a wonderful job and has no idea how much appreciated her helping me. She even went through some of my supplies and added Glimmer Mist and other nice little touches she thought of all on her own.

I used quite a few cuts from Lacy Labels for the mats on the cards and did have to do a little manipulating of them to make them fit the area I was wanting. I tried to mix them up and not use all the same mats but a few were repeated.

The biggest problem was making sure I had enough paper to complete a full set of 6 recipe sets that included 12 cards each! Somehow I was able to find enough paper in my stash to complete the task.

I think all the recipients of the candy tins really liked them. Carmen ended up with two somehow but she was nice enough to trade one with someone else. I am not sure what kinda of recipe things I might make for next year but it seems my guests do like those type of items for prizes so I guess I will have to come up with something!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pen Charm, Personalized For Each Guest!

Sorry about the late post! I forgot to get it posted earlier.

This was a last minute idea and what seemed so simple took a lot longer than I thought to make...I know that happens to ya'll too so don't even try to pretend!

Two of the games at the party was going to require each guest use a pen. I had them do a Christmas Word Scramble and Holiday Movie Trivia. I picked up some gel pens at General Dollar and then when I got home with them I thought it would be nice to personalize the pens a little and add to their Swag Bags. I have never done any "dangles" as my friend Carmen calls them and when I was making them I tried to call her for help and she didn't answer so I know my little Pen Charm Dangles didn't turn out as nice as what Carmen makes, and she wasn't overly thrilled with my attempt but for a disposable pen I think it was fine.

The snowflake charms are ones I got off of eBay back in the summer. I planned on using them for cards and layouts and I think they worked well for the dangles. The beads were some I already and since the pens are disposable I didn't want to waste a bunch of money on something fancy. I wasn't sure what material to use so I just used some wire I had laying around *okie wonders if everyone has wire just laying around*. I left enough wire at the end so I could just use it to attach the dangle to the clip of the pen cap.

I used Make The Cut and my Cricut to cut the names. I can't remember the font I used but after getting the names all lined out I added a small circle with a hole in the middle and welded it to each name so I would have a way to add it to the dangle. You can see the size difference from the ones I cut and then after they were shrunk. I used the shrinky dink film that turns out white and then used my ProMarkers to go around the edges of the name so it would stand out a little better.

Everyone seemed to like their personalized pens and if I decide to do them again I will do a better job of researching the supplies I would need to make it a little classier.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My First Real Christmas Dinner

One thing I have never understood was why anyone would want to slave in the kitchen for a long period of time cooking away only to have the food consumed quickly and then everything be over. My mother always seemed to enjoy preparing the Thanksgiving feast and relished at the idea. My Aunt Betty to this day...and I swear it is true...gets giddy when she invites all the family to her house for any kind of holiday or dinner. I have pretty much chalked it up to their generational characteristics.

This year's desserts.
Over the years I have never really had to fix a real Christmas dinner. My daughter and I were content with going to eat Chinese and to a movie. Evidently the family who owns the Chinese restaurant here in town I like don't make Christmas dinner either...but then again they have a whole buffet. Hmm, maybe I need to ask them about that as I am always curious about people's rituals, traditions, beliefs, etc. But, again...I digress. One year I did fix a small dinner for my daughter, her father and myself. We got a bit of a blizzard that year and couldn't go anywhere for dinner but it was nothing big or fancy. I have always been good at fixing desserts. I use to do a lot of the baking when I was growing up.

This year I had told Shiane and Chuck "we can go eat Chinese" and they were okay with it but later my daughter says "I want a Christmas dinner".  I told her I would fix something if that is what she wanted. Then later she informs me "Oh I invited Alicia and Meech over to eat with us. They can't make it home to their families for dinner". My reply was something like "well crap! Now I can't sit around in my pajama's". In the meantime, and much to my relief, Aunt Betty had asked me on Facebook if we were coming up for dinner at her house. I informed her that I had picked up two orphans for Christmas and I know my Aunt Betty's policy is the more the merrier so I didn't think it would be a problem. The problem was the forecast kept calling for ice and snow...each day waning away at the relief I felt and putting a little feeling of panic in my head of "oh crap...I gotta cook a real full Christmas dinner".

Meech, Alicia, Chuck, Jamie and Shiane
As the hours ticked away closer to Christmas day and the forecast not changing I figured out what all to cook for the dinner and had a menu of Ham, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, broccoli rice and cheese and rolls. Getting everything cooked and ready was nearly as hard as I thought it would be and knew I would have enough food for us. My daughter asked several times if she could help and I told her I had it all under control. She came in later and said "Mom, Jamie is at home by herself today. Her parents are both working". While Shiane was growing up Jamie was a staple in this house since she only lives a block and a half from us. I told Shiane "OMG! Call her and tell her to come on over here".

I had also decided that if I was going to all that trouble to cook a big dinner then by golly we were going to sit at the table like civilized folks! The kids even sat around the table and visited after they finished their meal which was really nice. I thought they would take off to play video games or watch movies.

I made sure to have someone snap a picture of my daughter and I at the table as well so I could have something with myself in it to scrapbook. I always seem to leave myself out most of the time but then again I do the scrapbooks for my daughter to have and remember our lives so having it be more about her makes sense.

Some new recipes were tried, all the food was enjoyed and appreciated. I had to smile to myself as I looked at each person at the table and was thankful they were at my house where they could have a nice Christmas dinner. As I sat there visiting with the kids, listening to their stories and laughter I suddenly understood why my Momma and my Aunt Betty always seemed so thrilled about holiday dinners. It's not the work of the cooking or the cleaning up afterwards that gets remembered. Instead, it's the warm feeling of love and joy you have from knowing you have spent time with the ones you love.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stampin Up Notepad Case

My friend Linda found these handy dandy things on the internet a few years back and made a few and I just loved them. I ordered cases to make some but then never got around to making any, until this year and I thought they would make great prizes for the party.

Supplies Used:
Stampin Up Stamp Caseas
Various Cricut Cartridges
Make The Cut Software
Clipart from Internet
Border Punches
Stampin Up Patterned Paper
Making Memories Breast Cancer Paper

The paper for this one is from Stampin Up and was a collection by the name of Rockabilly they had a few years ago when I first got into Stampin Up. I got the crown and wand from the internet and imported it into MTC for cutting. I used a font from my computer for the lettering and I believe it might be Blackletter, or something of that nature.

I thought Kimmy was going to spaz out when she saw others open these prizes as she kept telling us she is "the queen". At one point I told her "uh, no you're not" and she told me "I am the queen of my school and the queen of *okie can't remember the name* (some beach resort)" to which I responded "uh well you ain't the queen of my house". I know someone did trade prizes with Kimmy so she could have one of these notepad cases, which was very sweet of them.

I used ribbon to make a loop at the top to hold the mini gel pen, which can be found at Staples, and then just used ATG tape to attach it to the stamp case.

Double sided paper works wonderful on these cases so there is a pattern to show on the inside of the case. I accented the notepad with a strip of the paper I used to make a little pocket.

The paper for this notepad case is from Stampin UP as well and I can't remember the name of the collection off hand. I used the new Stampin Up butterfly punch and one of the coordinating stamp sets for the butterfly. The scallop circle is a SU punch as well.

I finally used the Daisy punch I have had forever and hadn't used to make a strip to divide the patterns of the paper. The word Believe is from either the Cricut cartridge Home Decor or Home Accents. I used MTC to make a double shadow on the word to make it pop a little more.

Since the notepads have to be cut down a little to fit in the case I made sure each case had an extra notepad. Staples will gladly cut them down for you. I think it was like a dollar or something to have them cut 12 pads and they only had to cut a little off the bottom.

Linda and I were at Tuesday Morning a few years ago and they had a ton of Breast Cancer paper and I got several packages and I think this was the first time I had used it. I had a couple of guests who do the walks every year and one friend who is a survivor so I knew someone would appreciate these.

The words, labels and strip are stickers that came with the paper and although I generally don't like stickers I did like them for this occasion. There isn't a lot of dimension that can be used on the cases due to the nature of the case so flat embellishments work great. I did use a punch for the loopy border.

One of the packs of paper I got was specialty paper and I used one of the scallop sheets to embellish the inside of these notepad cases.

The double sided paper really shows well on this one with the breast cancer ribbon being on the inside.

To attach the notepads to the inside of the case I used my ATG tape. I have a couple of rolls where the centers fell out and while I can't use it in my ATG gun I didn't want to throw them out and I am glad I didn't. I use them most often for ribbon but they came in handy for preparing the extra notepads for later use. I just added strips to the back of the notepad and the user can just remove the strips and replace the empty one.

These were a lot of fun to make and all the guests really seemed to like them. I think I might have to make some more of these to have on hand for last moment little gifts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Special Order Card

My friend Bonnie needed a very special card for her father for Christmas. Evidently he really likes the western artist Bill Jaxon and for Christmas they were getting him a signed print but wanted him to think all they could get him was a post card with a personal note from the artist. Bonnie's mom asked Bonnie if she could do something special to present the postcard to Bonnie's dad and Bonnied told me "I told her...hmmm, I probably can't but I know someone who can!". And that is how I got commissioned to do the card.

I generally decline special orders, or any orders for that matter *okie doesn't like to think of papercrafting as orders because then it is a job and no fun* because I am always afraid it won't be like the person wants and they will complain or not like it and all my hard work will be for not. I really need to remember that the majority of my friends and family are NOT papercrafters so anything I do is awesome to sure would help alleviate stress!

I scanned the front of the post card and printed it off on cardstock. I used a frame from the Cricut Fancy Frames cartridge and then the trees are from Christmas Noel. I was careful in choosing colors that would keep the picture as the focal point of the card. I think the darker paper contrasted well with the white frame and trees and gave it the look I wanted. I added brads to the corners to dress it up a little.

You guys know how I love my dimensional effects so of course I had to add some mounting foam to make the frame and trees pop off the card. The snow along the bottom of the trees is felt paper. The trees were side by side when I cut them on the Cricut so I did do a little hand cutting to layer them together on the card.

Since they wanted the back of the post card to be part of the card as well I did a little photo magic and moved the personal message from the artist onto the scan of the postcard back so it looks as if he signed the postcard. Bonnie told me the sentiment she wanted inside the card and to leave enough room for everyone to sign the card.

When I gave Bonnie the card she was quite pleased and as a thank you she had made me one of her famous bundt cakes that I love so much. Of course I can't show you a photo of that because Chuck and I ate the cake! LOL

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas To All!!

Every year I always share my Christmas story about my daughter and while I think some of you might get tired of hearing it I never tire of telling it because it just showed what a wonderful giving child I had, and to be honest I finally have again! This story is the one think that kept me having faith in her over the terrible experience we had with her being on the Depo-Provera shot and not knowing the side effects were changing her personality. I am so thankful to God that she was able to recover after stopping the medication and once again become the appreciative and loving child I knew she was!

But first I want to share a little Merry Christmas video!

Now for the Christmas story....

When my daughter turned 8 years old she had gotten birthday money from relatives, she had a total of about $40. We went to Wal-Mart so she could spend her birthday money. I had decided we would go to McDonalds to get a bite to eat first. There was an Angel Tree in front of the McDonalds there in Walmart.

My daughter asked what it was and I explained to her that it was for children whose parents couldn't afford to buy them Christmas gifts. I told her let's go eat and she continued to look at the names on the tree.

She grabbed my hand and said "Mom look, this little girl only wants some clothes and a barbie doll". I think she thought it impossible that a child would want mostly clothes.

I looked and noticed the only toy on there was a Barbie, I think the child's age was about 5.

My daughter looked up at me with pleading eyes and said "Moma would it be okay if I spent my birthday money on this angel?"

I couldn't speak as a piercing warmth shot through my heart. I was fighting tears, as I am now remembering this moment. My daughter and said "I won't Moma if you are gonna be upset". I told her "hang on a minute" while I continued to fight back the tears and choked to find the words I wanted to say. I knew I would just bust out crying if I said much more. After a few moments and a couple of deep breaths I composed myself I told her "baby if you want to spend your birthday money on this little angel then I will match you dollar for dollar".

We went to eat and my daughter kept looking over the list of items from the angel she had pulled off the tree. After we got done she was so excited to go and buy for this little girl. I did as I promised and matched dollar for dollar, plus another $20 because daughter thought the little girl needed some things to go with her barbie doll that she picked out for the little girl. My daughter even said "you don't have to buy me anymore gifts Mom, just spend it on her. Santa will bring me stuff anyway".

We got the shopping done and took it to Customer Service where my daughter informed the lady to "make sure it is wrapped pretty". My daughter spent every last dime of her birthday money that day on someone else.

I can honestly say that on that day I had never been more proud of my child and still am to this day for her unselfish act of giving up her birthday money to make sure some little girl got her Christmas wishes.

Monday, December 24, 2012

8th Annual Girlfriend Christmas Party - Part 5

After hitting some refreshments the guests were ready to once again start the games. The next game was Siamese Gift Wrap. There were 6 teams, with 2 people on each team. The teams were given the exactly amount of supplies so there could be no talk of cheating or unfairness! Each person hand to keep one hand behind their back during this process.

My poor sister and her teammate Kimmy were disqualified because I had to keep telling them to use only one hand. As you see here my sister is getting ready to put her hand on the box and Kimmy kept slipping and using her "arm", which was still disqualification due to not having her hand behind her back.

Linda and Karen did a great job of only using one hand and they worked rather well together. Linda was not amused with having to sit in the floor and made some comment about her age or something. I of course, do not go for that kinda crap because after all...she is only a few years older than me *okie laughs at the unusual knack she has of answering the question of "oh how old is so and so" and always answering with "oh they are my age" or "uh, just a few years older than me" and really believing these statements*.

Nancy and Wendi communicated quietly and efficiently during their wrapping process and had wonderful taping of their gift. I think they were the ones that constantly maintained the rule of "one hand behind your back".

Robyn had the unfair advantage of having my daughter on her team. I was glad I was not the judge because I would have chosen their gift simply for the sharp clean edges and nicely tucked corners. My daughter has been an excellent gift wrapper since a very young age. Chuck did the judging and to be honest I don't remember which one he chose.

Our last game before Dirty Santa and the auction was Christmas Pictionary, which was more than amusing!

Notice the look on some of the faces in this picture and image those looks throughout the whole game. It was hilarious to see some of the drawings. I can't remember what was said when this picture was taken but evidently Nancy and Helen were amused while my sister Cheryl and daughter Shiane were rather shocked.

The next big shock came when it was this teams turn to draw and guess. They choose Linda to draw which got the response for me "REALLY? LINDA IS YOUR CHOICE?" and that sent me into fits of laughter. Linda often tells me "I can't even draw a decent stick person" so of course that choice would amuse me! However, Linda was not amused with my comment *okie giggles about getting a good little jab in on Linda, who is always such a good sport*. Well once I said that Linda promptly took of her necklace (guests were not allowed to say cuss words) handed it to Carmen as she said "F*CK YOU SHIRLEY!" I am so glad I had the camera ready at just that right moment to catch this on film!

I didn't get a picture of Karen drawing but I did get a picture of her finished product! One of her phrases was "Little Drummer Boy". She drew a stick person with appendage in a particular place to show it was a boy and then next to it was a drum. I think we all laughed until we cried on that one! Then she had to add "I draud that!" as she explained to everyone about us playing Quiddler and me trying to use the word draud, which by the way is not a word but when you have had enough margaritas it sounds like it should be!

Dirty Santa was the last game before the auction, and is one game I look forward to since it is the only one I get to play.

The best picture I have from that game is when Helen stole a purse from Andrea, who had stole it from Robyn and Helen knew it was locked down and her evil little laugh just cracked us all up. I was so thrilled that Helen was able to make the party this year and hope she gets make more of them. I talk and text with her and we had met in person about 4 years ago when I was in Arizona for a few days and we had such a good time that one day we got spend together. She is talking about maybe coming for a week this summer which would be awesome. If she does I think Karen and Carmen might try to come in that same week as well! Now that would be a great week for sure!

After Dirty Santa it was time for the auction, which somehow I didn't get any pictures of. It is often very hard to be the hostess and photographer at the same time. Shiane did a great job trying to snap pictures here and there and got many shots that will be scrapbooked later. I try to keep the auction even as I made sure that there were 3 prizes per person. There were 3 prizes extra since I had a guest cancel. I asked who all had 3 prizes and then tried to take only bids from those who had 2 prizes to keep things even. I had one guest get perturbed because I wouldn't take her bid and even went outside later on and complained to someone about it.

To end the night I go a few hostess gifts. I wasn't able to get pictures of all of them, too many refreshments effects one's ability to remember to photograph wonderful things, but my daughter did get a snapshot of this most beautiful light up glass block that Robyn made for me. I haven't found the perfect place for it yet but I am thinking on the shelf under my TV in the craftroom so I can always see it!

So now I finally come to the end of the Christmas Party posts. I hope you guys can all understand the fun we have and how much I enjoy putting this party on for my friends. I have already started planning 2013's party so I can get it out of the way because in 2014 it will be the 10th annual party and it will have to be bigger and better than anything I have ever done to commemorate such a monumental event!

Oh I will be posting pictures of the auction prizes over the next few days. I have those in draft mode so it won't take me as long to write up posts.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

8th Annual Girlfriend Christmas Party - Part 4

Have been so busy with work and getting Christmas stuff done I haven't had time to get the posts done about the party. Now where were we?

Oh was time for the games!

I always start with a few worksheet games to test my guests Christmas knowledge. This year we did Christmas Movie Trivia and a Holiday Word Scramble. Some guests did excellent and some...well evidently they dont' know a thing about Christmas! HA HA HA

Carmen and Helen look so studious as they work on one of the games. You can also see their swag bags in this picture. I think everyone really liked the bags this year since they were personalized and they were big enough for them to put their prizes in as well. This way they didn't get them mixed up with the belongings of others and were easy to carry home.

On the left is my friend Linda that I talk about all the time. Linda has been attending the parties I think for 4 years. She also gives me some great ideas for prizes and then sometimes I tell her "well you make the shit then" and we just laugh.

Kimmy is the other lady in the picture. She was new this year and I contacted her about filling in for another guest who was not able to make it due to family medical issues. Kimmy drove up all the way from Austin Texas for the party. She quite frequently said "I'll go Texas on your ass" and none of us were quite sure what that meant but it is a phrase we will never forget since we heard it all night.

After the word games we decided we better get a group photo before we have too many refreshments and forgot *okie thinks that punch was rather refreshing and knows if she had any more refreshments that night she likely would have not remembered the night*.
Back row: Linda, Cheryl, Helen, Carmen, Andrea, Karen, Carrie, Robyn. 
Front row: Me, Wendi, Kimmy and Nancy.

Our next game was the Gift Stacking Game. There were 3 people to a team, two sitting back to back and one standing and placing the boxes. the one that was facing the standing person described how the boxes were stacked and the person facing the other direction had to stack the boxes according to the verbal directions that were given. This team consisted of Andrea, Nancy and Wendi.

I just had to share this picture of my BFF Karen and if you are thinking she was thinking "WTF!" you are wrong..she was actually saying "WHAT THE F$UCK". Carrie was giving her directions and we were all laughing because the directions were rather vague, such as "okay now grab the square box".  I am quite sure that this team was the one that got the most laughs due to the instructions given and Karen's fabulous facial expressions throughout the whole ordeal.

I have to brag a little bit with this team. My daughter stood in on the games since I had a guest cancel at the last minute due to some unforseen circumstances and she did a wonderful job. This team that consisted of my daughter, Helen and Kimmy. Shiane gave wonderful directions and their penalties were the lowest but their time was the highest.

After such a tedious game the guests decided they needed a refreshment break before continuing to the next....which will be tomorrow's post!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Sorry guys I had a ton of things to do last night and didn't get a post written up for today so the party posts are on hold for a few days. I did however get 32 card kits ready to take to the ICF/MR where I do groups! I promised them that we could make Christmas cards this week in group and they are all super excited! They all remembered the Easter cards we did a few years ago. I have enough for each person to make 3 different cards. Luckily we will be having group twice this week so we will have plenty of time to get the cards done.

Tonight is family night and the kids and I are going to a movie so I might not be able to get a post ready for Wednesday either.

Monday, December 17, 2012

8th Annual Girlfriend Christmas Party - Part 3

Saturday was the party and we were able to relax a bit and not have to rush rush rush this year. That morning and day I was doing some last minute cleaning and setting up the living room for the guests while my house guests were busting around in the kitchen getting their appetizers for the party all made.

I got the punch area set up and I think I came up with a rather ingenious set up this year. I have this little fridge that was my daughters when she lived in the dorm, we refer to it as the beer fridge, and a little cabinet that were along that area in the dining room. I used a long piece of tempered glass to put across the top of them and added a tablecloth and WALAH! I had a great punch area!

I found the cups and plates at the bargain store last month and that gave me plenty of time to personalize a cup for each guest. Even though the cups were disposable I thought it was a great way for people not to get their cups mixed up. I used white and silver vinyl to do the names.

I am really big on personalize things for the party and that is one reason I am a little strict about the guest list and if people show up or not. This year for the "swag bag" I ordered some reusable shopping bags from One Bag at a Time and personalized them with iron on vinyl. I called the company when I found them on the internet to make sure they were legit and thankfully they were! Everywhere else I looked wanted me to order like at least 100 bags, I only needed 12. I actually ordered 13 and it's a good thing I did since I didn't think about my iron needing to be on a lower setting for these bags...the first bag got beyond scorched! Everyone loved their personalized bag! Each bag contained a personalized ornament, a small bottle of Bath and Body Works lotion, a personalized pen and their Santa bucks. They were great for the guests to keep their prizes together and to carry home.

Helen claimed her chair, I would like to say early on in the party but it was actually as soon as she walked through my front door I do believe! What she didn't realize is that the chair is Lucy's recliner and who ever sits there must share the chair with Lucy. I don't think Helen minded too much though.

Lucy gets so spoiled when I have guests in for the party and she ends up driving me NUTS wanting me to pet her all the time for about a week or two after the party. I think I am going to have set some strict rules about petting time in the future so I don't have to go through this with Lucy every year!

Someone snapped a picture of me and the kids before the party got started. This is actually the first picture we have of all 3 of us, at least I think it is. Shiane and Chuck were a great help during the party. I did have one guest who had to cancel at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances and Shiane had to take her spot in the games. Chuck was busy with refreshing everyone's drinks and did the judging in some of the games and was also a time keeper on the games, those pictures will come later!

Another traditional picture is of me and Carmen. We make sure we get one every year. I think this year's picture might be my favorite. We look like some hot sexy mama's in our red blouses and sparkling jewelry!

All the guests had arrived by 7pm, even though the party was set to start at 6pm. Wendi was running late because she was in Tulsa during the day at the Nutcracker Ballet, which she was not happy about having to go. She texted several times to let me know she was on the way. I think she was scared if she didn't she might be marked off the list. However, she not need to fear that. Wendi and I have become great friends since we met a few years ago when she bought my first Expressions from me. Some of you might remember the name as she was the one that went on the Cricut Cruise with Karen and I.

Okay sorry this post is so short but I am running short on time and must get some other things done. The next posts will be showing the games we played and a few stories to go along with those!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

8th Annual Girlfriend Christmas Party - Part Deux!

With five ladies getting ready for a busy day of running around and shopping I was amazed we were out the door before 11am! There is an unofficial tradition of going to Walls Bargain Store as it is the store I am speaking of when I say "my local bargain store". I haven't found a person yet that doesn't like the store, well at least out of my friends I take there. If you see something you like you better get it then because it might be gone the next time and they likely won't be getting anymore in!

I would really like to tell you more about what else we did but to be honest it is all a bit of a blur at this moment. My sister arrived Friday afternoon, standing with tradition of course *okie thinks to herself that her life is nothing if not traditional and then laughs about even thinking that big of fluff*, and we decided it was time to go to Walmart for our grocery shopping.

For once I had actually gotten most of the items for the party ready ahead of time so the traditional last minute shopping was not near as frantic as in past years. We all had our lists of items we needed to get to make our appetizers for the party and when once at Walmart we all split up and made haste to fill our buggies and get out of the hectic shopping pace that happens every Christmas season. We had one more stop before we could call it quits at shopping....THE LIQUOR STORE!

Every year I make Hurricane Punch for the punch bowl and guests are always encouraged to bring anything they would like to drink in case their palettes are not adjusted to such a delectable drink. I needed to get a few liters of rum *okie smiles remembering she still has some punch in her fridge right now and wonders how long it will keep* while others opted for some Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, Tequila and I think maybe something else but not quite sure.

Once we made it home we decided to break out the Ninja Blender and make a few Margarita's. However, in the rush of the day I forgot to get ice. Karen and I went to the ice house, actually called Twice The Ice, to purchase two large bags of ice. Karen had never been to the ice house and was quite impressed and has decided she needs to set up a few in Florida. I love ice from there since it is what we call  "slushy ice" and also you get a HUGE 16lb bag for $2, whereas at the grocery store or convinvence store you only get an 8lb bag for $1.50 or more. I had to teach Karen that you push the "bag" button if you don't have a cooler, otherwise your ice will come shooting out on the ground.

After a successful trip to the ice house we made some margarita's and visited. Carmen had brought a game called Quiddler. It is a card game where you spell words. I think I won the first hand rather quickly. Carmen argued that it wasn't a word while others gasped at the word I spelled. I had partaken a few margarita's by this point so I was quite impressed with not only my spelling ability but also with the quickness of find a word with the first 5 cards I was given. I had to discard one so it worked out quite nicely! They challenged my word but Carmen did find it on some online dictionary with her Ipad so they accepted it. My next word was "draud" and Karen challenged it. That word however did not stand up, although Karen was able to use it in a sentence by stating "she draud a pretty picture on her paper" so I think it should have been accepted. By this time we were a little tipsy and decided to go to the casino for a bit.

We didn't stay long at the casino...we had plenty of liquor at the house and it was free, and soon returned home. My daughter's friend Alisha came over and somewhere they had gotten some things called Suck And Blow, which are some type of jello shot in a tube that is made, well it requires two people. Shiane and Alicia demonstrated the technique and Carmen agreed to try this rather unusual method of partaking alcohol laced jello. I will say it was a bit of a hilarious riot watching Carmen and Shiane and there are video's to prove it did happen. Unfortunately, I have been threatened with bodily harm if I ever post said video on my Facebook page, website or YouTube channel. I will say that Carmen officially SUCKS at the suck and blow technique. You can make up what stories you want from that statement.

After visiting some more and setting the sleeping arrangements for the night we were all bushed and decided to try and get a good night's sleep before the busy day ahead of us and the fun filled evening that was planned. 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

8th Annual Girlfriend Christmas Party - Part 1

Since there is so much that goes on at the parties I have decided to break it down into a few posts so ya'll don't get bored reading one horribly long post!

My guests started arriving on Wednesday December 5th. Karen came in from Florida that evening and after picking her up at the airport we went to my sisters where we would stay the night. My sister had made a nice pot of Fully Loaded Baked Potato soup which we so appreciated since we were both hungry and it was a rather chilly evening. Karen or I had not gotten our gifts for the Dirty Santa Game so we decided to do a little shopping. We hit Hobby Lobby and Khols to look for appropriate gifts for the party. Karen found a really nice Yankee Candle Christmas Tree candle burner at Khols but I was unable to find something I wanted for my gift. I had decided that I could make something before the party.  I did however find a great pair of shoes on clearance that were 80% off and were only$12! Karen has some kinda Khols coupon for 20% off her total purchase so she paid for the shoes and when I went to pay her for the shoes she said "they were like free!" because she also got some Khols cash. I think I really scored good there!

On Thursday morning Carmen came in from Houston and we had about 5 hours to kill before Helen was coming in from Tucson so of course that meant shopping! Oh and a wonderful lunch at Olive Garden. I think that has become a tradition since it seems we always have a meal at Olive Garden when we are doing airport shuttles.

I am quite sure Hobby Lobby is also a tradition since we went again! This time I found a nice tin Santa for my Dirty Santa gift that I really did want to win, but didn't. Carmen and I went into Ross Dress for Less while Karen took a nap in the van. Upon our return Karen said "well I'm glad I'm not a dog because someone would have called ASPCA on you guys for leaving me out here this long!". We weren't really gone that long, Karen is just a hard sleeper and it seemed like a long time to her! Carmen and I had to tell her about the woman in line at Ross Dress For Less. We were in line and Carmen said "oh we have to go around this area and get in line". We started going through the maze and this woman ran to cut in line in front of us. We were standing in line and Carmen and I were chit chatting then the woman pushed my buggy back into me and said "DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE HITTING MY LEG WITH YOUR BUGGY?". I looked at her calmly and with a very deadpan look on my face said "No I'm not. I haven't moved my buggy". She got huffy and yelled "YES YOU ARE!". Carmen then told her that we haven't moved the buggy and Carmen and the woman had a few words. By this time people were gawking a bit and I heard some people say "what's her problem", talking about that angry woman, not us. The woman threw her stuff in my buggy and left flustered. She also got a bit tangled in the straps for the line trying to make a beeline for the door. Karen was glad she didn't make the trip into Ross with us after all.

After the trip into Ross there was only about a hour before it was time to get Helen at the airport and I saw a PetSmart store and asked if they wanted to go in...oh wait, I gotta tell ya the conversation!
 ME: Lucy needs a new collar, y'all wanna go in PetSmart?
CARMEN: They have a really good snack bar I like.
ME & KAREN: *odd look on our faces* Really?
CARMEN: Yeah it's really good.
ME & KAREN: Uhhhh...*giving each other sideways glances*

KAREN: Why the hell did we eat at Olive Garden when we could have eaten at PetSmart!
CARMEN: I guess I should have said they have a really good snack bar my dogs like.

Now let me tell ya, Carmen thought Karen and I were weird for thinking she ate at PetSmart but Karen and I were thinking Carmen was weird saying they had a snackbar she really liked. I mean if someone says that it in that manner wouldn't you think they ate there?? After finding a pretty pink snowflake collar for Lucy and checking out the birds, rats and snakes in the store it was about time to head off to the airport.

After parking and going into the airport and then deciding we could just pick Helen up at the arrivals area we went back to the van. My feet were hurting from the new shoes I got at Khols and I ended up walking back barefooted. I did get some odd looks from a group of business men but I told Karen and Carmen "well it is Oklahoma so it's not an uncommon thing to see an Indian running around barefooted" and they agreed and that the businessmen would be quite sure of what state they were in at the time.

We circled around the airport 3 times and Carmen finally jumping out of the van to find Helen and bring her to the van. We got Helen loaded in the van and were ready to head back to Ada. But first, we had to stop at Tuesday Morning! There really wasn't much there, I did grab a pack of paper that was pink with white polka dots and Helen got a few Tim Holtz items and Karen and Carmen left empty handed. We drove across the street for a quick run in at Joann's. By this time I think we were all tired and we didn't look around a whole lot. Helen grabbed a few things and off we went for my house.

Upon arriving at my house we found Kimmy waiting patiently for us to show up. Luckily Shiane and Chuck were at home and they were able to keep Kimmy entertained. Shiane and Kimmy actually went to Walmart while waiting for us to get home. Since lunch was long gone and we were all a little hungry we went to Applebee's for a bite to eat. For some odd reason Kimmy felt it necessary to try and sit in my lap, something I am not quite accustom to, nor do I like very well to be honest, but I smiled just the same as a nice young man offered to take our picture.

The rest of the night was spent visiting and getting to know each other and discussing what all we needed to do the next day.

STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT PARTY POST! *okie wonders if everyone who has read this long azz post understands why the posts need to be broken down into parts*.