Awana Christmas Treats for the leaders

So many chose to participate in the Awana Club program at our church.  It is a blessing to work with children and teach them to serve Christ.  It is not for everyone because it is hard work.  It takes time and effort for the leaders and those who help to substitute.  This year we have nearly 30 adults leaders functioning in a variety of roles to make our program work smoothly.  Jim is the Awana Commander again this year.  I decided we should give the leaders some small notes of encouragement or treats through the year.  We gave them each a candy bar with a note in October.  So I thought it was a good time to do it again.

I stamped a quote from Charles Dickens on glassine bags.  I love using glassine bags in projects.  I know that I am not the only one as I look around blog land.  We put some candy coated and some plain pretzels in the bags. 

I sewed the top of the bags shut.  I stamped some tags from my office with PTI Daily Design Sentiments to say "Thanks" on one side and "Joy to the world" on the other side with CTMH inks (holiday red and black).  I attached the tags with my Tim Holtz tiny attacher. 
Jim will give each leader one of these bags and thank them for their efforts in our Awana Club program.

I would encourage you to take time out and thank some of the workers in your church for their dedication.  We are the arms of Christ when we reach out to them.  You don't need to give them anything but your handshake and a positive word of affirmation and appreciation.

<^..^> Lori


Christmas Dessert Theatre 2011

Such a wonderful presentation!  E and A are so talented!  They wrote the entire drama and all of the music for our Christmas Dessert Theatre again this year.

One of my jobs is table settings.  Here are some pictures of this year's tables, some of the delicious desserts, and some other shots of areas in the church. 

I don't want to put up pictures of people as I don't know if they would like you to see them on my blog. 

Guests had a choice of Reese's PB cheesecake, turtle cheesecake, triple chocolate cake, carrot cake, or Italian creme cake.  Children who didn't like those desserts could have a white cupcake with lots of icing and fun toppings. 

<^..^> Lori

Ladies Annual Christmas Gathering

The first Saturday in December we had our annual Ladies Christmas Gathering at GHBC.  This year I chose to offer a soup, salad, and breadstick luncheon at the church starting at 11:30 am.  We also had an optional cookie exchange at the end of the meal for anyone that wanted to participate.
Ladies who wanted to be in the cookie exchange were asked to bring 3 dozen cookies or candies.  We used 1 dozen of the treats as our dessert after the meal and the other 2 dozen were set out for the exchange.  It was really pretty to have all of those festive cookies and candies lined up on a long table.  It took two 8 foot tables to hold them all.  We had snowmen plastic trays laid out to hold the cookies.  I did not bring my camera that morning.  I wish I could make that more of a habit so I would be able to share the pictures here.  I am not going to beat myself up over it though...time in this world is too short to spend on that task.

Each table had a small tree wrapped in red bead garland.  We put 12 gift tags on each tree as ornaments but each lady present was able to take one home with her to use.  I found these gorgeous ornaments at Sam's this year.  60 tags in a box with 20 designs.  More than enough to decorate the 5 tables we set up.  We had 7 chairs at each table.  About 27 ladies signed up ahead of the gathering but we like to have extra place settings for last minute attendees. 

I chose Solo Christmas paper products this year for the cups, plates, and napkins.  They were in bright red, green, and white.  It looked festive!  
Ladies in the church signed up to bring soups so we had a nice variety of corn chowder, loaded bake potatoe, tortellini, and chicken noodle.  The salad bar was wonderful.  L and I had a variety of toppings.  They were all so yummy!  And we had homemade breadsticks.  G and E helped me make them the day before the gathering.  My first batch ended up in the garbage as they were ugly and hard and believe it or not covered with glitter.  LOL!  I had moved some items that morning that had gold glitter on them.  I washed my hands before starting the bread but it was obvious that I had not gotten all of the glitter off.  It was funny and embarrassing.

One not so good thing happened at this event.  One of the ladies tripped and fell.  She landed on a wrist that had been broken in her past.  She said it was hurting and later went for X-rays.  They told her it was not broken then called back a day later when another person read the tests and said it was broken and then they changed it again to say it was not broken.  Wow!  What a roller coaster ride for R!  She wore a sling for a day or two then the doctor told her to resume her normal routine.  I hope the Lord will continue to heal her wrist so she is back at 100%.   

<^..^> Lori

Some fall cards that I sent out

That last one is not my original idea.  I cased it from something I saw on Wendy Nasmith's blog earlier this year. 

<^..^> Lori


Fall glassine treat bags

Another fun way to dress up glassine bags to give treats.  I inserted a Godiva chocolate bar in each bag to give the pastors in my families life.  Michael's has Godiva chocolate bars for $2.99.  Don't forget your coupons!  I used a 10% off my entire order coupon to get mine.

The paper is DCWV Indian Summer Fall Stack 8 x8 pad,  I got it from
JoAnn's last fall. 

I picked coordinating papers and sewed them on to the glassine bag.  I put a couple of pieces of Ranger's Washi tape over the paper so the word Chocolate would peek out from the tag. 

I painted a manilla mailing tag with Twinkling H2O's in greens, yellow, and reds, and even some silver.  I tried to blend them without turning it to a muddy color.  I need more practice!

I cut the tags to fit my treat bags.  I edged them with CTMH chocolate and juniper ink.  I stamped 'Absolutely Fabulous' using PTI Mixed Messages on the bottom right corner of the tag.  I attached a K&Co bird cage sticker I got from Michael's. 

Those gorgeous pumpkins are Sticko dimensional stickers.  I got those on sale at Michael's at 40% off and used a coupon for additional 10% off my entire order.  They are really pretty in person with shine and lovely patterns on each pumpkin. 

I made them while watching one of my favorite DVD series, The Road to Avonlea.  I just love looking at the houses and props they used to make this period piece.  So fascinating to see the actors using the machinery and household appliances.  The show is a good family value view too!

<^..^> Lori


Awana fall treats and a invitation for a friend

Each year the Ladies Missionary Fellowship makes a treat to give the Awana kids the Wednesday before Halloween.  This year we gave the kids two treats, one for them and one to give a friend to invite them to come the following Wednesday.  We used 2 Hershey milk chocolate candy bars.  We made a pumpkin cover for one of the candy bars with the invitation on the back side.  We packaged them together in a glassine bag.

Want to know how we made them?  I was inspired by a Martha Stewart on the candy wrapper.  I used her Punch Around.  I could orange solid and pattern papers into 5x5 squares.

I used the punch to center the pumpkin face in the paper.

Next punch out a 1 3/4 inch circle out of black cardstock or paper.  Tape it to the back over the pumpkin face.  This just makes the face stand out against the candy bar when it is wrapped.

Next wrap a Hershey chocolate bar and secure with a piece of tape.

Look at those happy faces!  Pattern paper makes for fun variation. 

For our purposes we printed an invitation on plain paper and cut them out to fit the back of the Hershey bar.  We taped them.

We encouraged the kids to sign them and to give one to a friend and bring them to Awana the following week.

<^..^> Lori

Fall pillow box gift card

I picked up some clearanced pillow boxes at Michael's last month.  I decided to use them as gift card holders.  I put in a couple of restaurant gift cards and folded the flaps closed.
The boxes were in a pack of 20 reduced to $1.99.  I liked the pattern so I decided having some on hand would be okay.  Yes, I know that I could have cut the pillow boxes with my Cricut but sometimes having a few on hand makes me more inclined to do a project or at least it spurs me on to try. 
I used Stampin UP! chocolate chip ribbon to secure the flaps.  I tied them with a chocolate baker's twine. 

I looked through my fall related embellishments.  I found a bag of Holiday Dazzlers by Petaloo.  Those are the glittery foam leaf stickers.  They shimmer so nicely.  Being a sticker they also help keep the ribbon in place. 

I used a Stampin UP! round metal tag and painted it with Ginger Peach Twinkling H2O for more shimmer.  I let the tag dry then stamped it using CTMH chocolate ink and a PTI Mega Mixed Messages stamp "Just Because".  I attached it with chocolate bakers twine.

Once I had decided on the decorations, they were easy to reproduce as I needed 6 of them.

<^..^> Lori

October is pastor appreciation month

Be sure to give a card or note to your pastor to thank him and his family for their service and dedication to the Lord.

I made a few treats to give the pastors in our families life.  I will share photos of some of them.

<^..^> Lori


Sweet as can BEE Adalynn

J had another baby and we celebrate babies at our church.  This was J's 3rd so we had a diapers and wipes shower for her.  You can never have too many diapers and wipes when you have your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, baby...you know what I mean?!  Anyway, E and C and I were the hostesses.  E  came up with a couple of idea for the theme.  One was "Sweet as can Bee" the other was " A new Little Honey in Town".  I liked them both so we used elements that fit both themes, Pooh, honey pots, bees, honey combs.

I really didn't think I would have trouble finding bees to hang from the ceiling but it turned out to be.  I ended up making bees from papermache egg shapes.  I painted them yellow then put the face and a couple of stripes on with a permanent market.  I had Hannah and Jim color the bee bums while I used black chenelle to wrap the bee bellys to make another stripe and a way to hang the bees.  Jim tied fishing line ot the chenelle.

I make honey pots by cutting brown paper with my Expression and the shape from the Disney Pooh and Friends Font cartridge.  I sized it to cut 4 pots from a 12x12 sheet of heavy card stock.  I stacked 3 honey pots and sewed straight down the center.  I left the thread long on the top so we could hang them from the ceiling with the bees.  Well, I didn't hang them.  My darling Jim did it for me.  He is such a good egg!  I stacked 3 of them together so I could fan them out and give the honey pots more dimension. 

E and C did the food for the shower.  I don't have pictures of the food but I will get some from P.  I wasn't able to attend the shower.  Bummer.  I had to work that night but I did have fun setting up for the shower!  I know they made a yummy yellow colored fizzy punch, cupcakes that looked like bee hives, and did a fun treat with marshmallows and yellow colored sugar. 

Today I worked in the nursery at church and I got to hold little Adalynn.  She is a sweetie.  I can so see her older sister in her face.  So cute! 

Well, here are some pictures from the setup of the shower.

I used yellow tipped quilt pins to put up the banner.  I was hoping the pins reminded everyone of bees.

I stamped the yellow napkins with black CTMH ink using PTI stamps from Honey Bees and Honey Bees Sentiments

The Pooh and characters are mine.  They used to belong to my kids but they outgrew them.  Now they are mine...LOL!  I will always love Pooh.

I went with pretty unconventional baby shower colors, black and yellow, but it really made the bees POP. 

I made candy center pieces that were used as a prize for one of the games.  I cut the hexagons and stamped them and then stickled them for sparkle.  We arranged them on the tables to make you think of honeycombs.  The wooden bees on the table came from Michaels.  They were painted on one side and had black felt stripes.

I saw the candy jar idea at one of the County Market Food stores that I have been working in lately.  I started by taping a chunk of a pool noodle in an ivy jar.  I glued candy to the noodle with my hot glue gun.  I glued the paper wrapper end to the noodle not the whole candy bar.  I alternated yellow colored wrappers and then black colored wrappers to give it a bee striped look...well, I thought so anyway.

Lastly, I wanted to show you the diapers and wipes that I gave J.  I used my expression to cut "Adalynn" four times out of yellow 12x12 sheet of card stock and again out of a black sheet.  I sewed them end to end using black thread to make a long banner.  I wrapped the diapers and wipes with that banner.  Unique!

<^..^> Lori


God honoring ceremony

I know that I shared about the table favors for Amber and Andy's wedding.  But I forgot to mention the most important part of the wedding...it was God honoring.  From the programs that shared their testimony, to the songs, to the message from the Pastor, to the vows.  A good testimony to the sanctity of marriage and the fact that God ordained it for a man and a woman.  I loved their ceremony for those reasons.

<^..^> Lori


Wedding favors for Amber and Andy

Some friends got married this month.  I had the priviledge of helping make the wedding favors and table center pieces.  Amber's wedding colors were orange and pink.  I had her pick out some scrapbook paper in those colors and we used them to cover plastic pillow boxes.  Then we decorated them all uniquely with embellishments....flowers, bling, beads, etc.  Amber and Andy filled them with candies for the table. 

The center pieces were Ivy bowls with glass beads in them.  We cut up bouquets of silk flowers to put them in them.  Amber picked out some coordinating ribbon.  I cut the ribbon in 2 foot lengths.  I sewed the edge to make a circle so the ribbon wouldn't fray.  Then I basted along one edge of the ribbon circle with brown thread.  We pull the thread to gather the ribbon around the Ivy bowl just below the fluted edge.  We set about 25 tables.  It was simple and cute!

<^..^> Lori


Cricut CraftRoom helps me to finish my card

I was given permission to get into the new Cricut CraftRoom.  It's exciting to me!  That is a good thing.  It has only worked once for me.  That is a bad thing.  Hmm...they did say it was a beta deal.  Guess it needs more work done.  The first time I got into the CraftRoom, it said I needed to update my Imagine and the software for the CraftRoom on my laptop.  It took about 2 hours to get through all of it.  I don't mind as I was crafting and watching a movie while it worked away.  But now I cannot get the software to open again.  It says the unexpected error.  The Cricut Bridge application has unexpectedly quit. Cricut CraftRoom must close down now.
You may try and re-launch Cricut CraftRoom.
If this problem persists, please contact customer support."

I used it to create this card.  I have a Cricut Imagine and I must admit I was a little intimidated by it.  It seems to need updating every time I try to use it.  Plus I am used to using Cricut Design Studio with my Cricut Expression.  I am used to the full PC screen which the Imagine certainly doesn't have.  My old eyes need a large screen, ok!?  So the Cricut CraftRoom was going to bring that feature to me for the Imagine.  Cool! 

I made this card. 

It's a gate card made from Bo Bunny green double dot paper that I bought at Scrapadoodle.  I love their paper.  I made a nice edge with EK border punch.  Wouldn't it be nice if they put the name of the punches on them.  Sorry, I think it is called treading water. I inked the edges white with CTMH White Daisy.  I knew I wanted some word on the front but couldn't decide.

Here is the inside of the card.

I printed the Crow from the Imagine More cartridge.  I kept thinking I would print "Something to Crow About" on the front but it didn't work out, too long.  Whatever I was going to print for the front, I wanted to use the Imagine and didn't want to waste paper printing just one or a few copies on a 12x12 inch piece of paper.  Here is where the Cricut CraftRoom helped me out.  I was able to choose a word, celebrate from Beyond Birthdays cartridge, and flood it will a colorful print from Hopscotch cartridge.  I could use the CraftRoom cartridge to fully fill the 12x12 page, so no wasted paper.  Yeah! 

Then I had to figure out how to attach the 'celebrate' word.  It was fragile.  I decided to glue it to a piece of acetate.  It was probably a scrap from some stamp packaging.  Anyway it turned out well.  I used a small piece of velcro to hold the card shut.  I like it.

<^..^> Lori


Reach 4 the Sky Grad Garland and table decorations

More graduation decorations for church.  Last post I showed the Grad Cap Pops that I made.  These are the room decorations.

I was inspired by this collection that I saw at Michaels in the $1 bins.  They had coordinating bags, stamps, and cards.  The bag really was what caught my eye.  So bright and cheery and just said GRADUATION dreams to me.

I knew that I had orange tissue paper left from one of my crazy projects in 2009.  Long story but I ended up with lots of orange and kraft brown.  I just keep using it.  One day either I will run out or Hannah will inherit it.

I stuffed one sheet of orange tissue paper in each bag along with a rock for weight.  I put a sheet of orange tissue paper on each table and the stuffed bag on top of that.  I put out some other assorted graduation decorations on the orange tissue.  Graduation items that we have collected over the years and use each year.  Like black plastic grad cap shaped cups.  Not too much stuff...just enough to make the grad theme come out.

I bought the paper lanterns from The Party Store in blue, green, and yellow.

Then I decided to make paper garlands to brighten up the room.  Okay...you can say it...that looks like a lot of work.  It was and it wasn't.  I have seen some really cute garlands on Etsy sites.  I decided to make one for myself.  Now I know why they charge what they charge for them.  I had all the paper I needed to cut the squares of cardstock.  I wasn't exact but mostly I cut them at 2 x 2 inches.  The white ones were cut at 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inch because it fit the $1 stamp I got at Michaels which says "Reach 4 the Sky".

I cut and cut until I thought that I had enough to make 18 good sized (about 9 feet) garlands.  I winged it.  Then I just used my sewing machine and sewed the squares together.  I left about 1/2 inch between each square.  I ended up sewing 27 garlands. 

Of course when I use the word I, it rarely means just me.  Hannah sorted the stacks of paper, I sewed them, Jim and Johnson cut cardboard out, Jim and Hannah and I wound the garland around the cardboard to transport it without tangles.  The cardboard worked, too!  No tangles. 

We used Command hooks to attach fishing line in the church fellowship hall in X patterns on the ceiling between the lights.  We attached one paper lantern at the center of each X and then 2 of the garlands along the arms of the X.  Did I take a picture...NO...I am so mad at myself.  It was really cool, too.  So the pictures I have above were taken on my kitchen table tonight.  I told my sister that I am tempted to ask Jim to put one section X back up just so I can take a picture.  We left the fishing line up to help with decorating for VBS at church so...maybe.  I have got to learn to take pictures of projects.

Pastor N gave a brief talk to all of the grads, a new Bible was given to each HS grad, and they each told us their plans for the upcoming year.  The 8th grade and college grads were recognized as well. 

We served cake and ice cream and the grad cap pops.  Everyone enjoyed the celebration.

<^..^> Lori


Grad Cap Pops inspired by Bakerella

I saw this post at Bakerella and was inspired to make my own version.  I used Nestle Milk Choc chips, Keebler Deluxe Grahams, mini Reeses PB cups, Wilton Lolly Pop Sticks (tried the popsicle sticks she mentioned in her blog but they kept splitting the pb cups), and Air Heads Xtreme Sweetly Sour Belts.  I did not make them alone.  As usual, I dragged DH, DD, and DS into it!  They were very helpful.  Jim had to make an emergency run to the store as I miscalculated the quantities needed.  In the end, we made over 100 of these delicious treats for the graduation celebration at church. 

We melted the chocolate in my Wilton chocolate melter.  It melts the chips quickly, turn it to warm and they stay melted and ready to use as our glue.  Great tool!  Hannah cut up the Sweetly Sour Belts for the tassles.  More people asked how we made the tassles than most anything else.

It was time consuming to make them since it was our first time.  I could do it more quickly now that we have done it once.  We developed an assembly line.  I certainly would calculate my quantities better.  LOL!  Only used less than 1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips.  Jim bought 4 bags.  Needed many more cookies.  Keebler has about 19-20 cookies in a package.  I only had one package to start and ended up using 3 more packages.  Only needed 1 package of Air Heads to make 120+ tassles.  I had bought 3.  Johnson volunteered to eat all of the extra ones.  I would make room in the refrigerator and freezer ahead of time so we would not have to scramble for space.  Lastly I would now have enough Styrofoam to poke in the finished products so DH wouldn't have to make a late run to the store.     

Many commented on how cute and delicious they were so I consider it a good use of our time to make them.  The point was to help make the kids celebrating their graduation feel special...loved by all of us at church.  I hope it did a little...they are great kids.   



I received my free Cricut cartridge from the Michael's offer

I sent in my paperwork and proof of purchase last month.  I think it took about 3 weeks total.  It was the first offer that required me to cut up the box to get proof of purchase.  I would rather not cut up the boxes.  But I did want to get a freebie, minus postage and handling fees.  They sent me my first choice too, the Ornamental Iron cartridge.  Lots of lovely scroll work on it.  Yeah!
<^..^> Lori


B3G1F Cricut Cartridges from Michaels and ProvoCraft

If you are living in the U.S. Michaels and Provo Craft are offering a great promotion to you, too. Buy any three cartridges from Michaels and get one free from Provo Craft.  Follow this link to the rebate form and more details.  They are charging $9.00 US shipping and handling.  



Funny Fast Food Video I saw linked from Fabulously Artsy

This is really funny to me.  Hope you like it too!  

<^..^> Lori