Saturday, December 31, 2011

Storytelling Sunday 1/1/2012

Happy (almost) New Year!

Last year, lots of the bloggers I follow participated in Sian's "Storytelling Sunday" series.  I read lots of your stories, but I never shared one of my own! So, in the spirit of trying something new in the New Year, here goes!

New Year’s Eve, 2001

In 2001, P. and I were newly dating, and he was living in Manhattan, just a few blocks from Times Square. Neither of us had ever seen the ball drop in person before, so we thought we would check it out. Being a spur of the moment decision, we headed out about 7 pm, thinking we could just walk into the crowd! Silly us! When we got to the end of the block (46th St), we were faced with barricades and police officers who kindly told us we didn’t have a chance in h@#$ of actually seeing the ball drop…we’d have to walk uptown 10+ blocks to even get into the area. We both looked at each other, and knew this was more than we were up for!  We made the quick decision to head back to his apartment, change into sweats, and watch the festivities going on from the comfort of his sofa! I think we were both somewhat relieved, as 9-11 was still fresh in our minds, and everyone was a bit fearful of what might happen in such a large public gathering. I don’t remember if we toasted with a glass of champagne (more likely a bottle of beer!), but the photographic evidence shows we did enjoy some crackers given to us from our friend Rutger! 

Clearly the pre-digital era, as this one most definitely would have been deleted if I could have seen it in advance!

A lot of things have changed in 10 years (we got married, left Manhattan for Queens, then Connecticut), but we still tend to celebrate New Years in the same home, just the two of us!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ten on the 10th: Christmas Cookies

I love a good cookie recipe!

Every year, I bake lots and lots of Christmas Cookies to bring to parties and give as gifts. In honor of Shimelle's 10 on the 10th, here are 10 Christmas Cookies I am baking this year.

  1. Cranberry Orange Shortbread
  2. Mocha Slice
  3. Cream Cheese Walnut (my husband's favorite!)
  4. Sugar Cookie Cutouts 
  5. Black Forest Cookies
  6. Cherry Vanilla Snowdrops
  7. Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps
  8. Lime Meltaways
  9. Buttered Rum Meltaways
  10. Crackled Crescents

Last year's Buttered Rum Meltaways...yum!
As you can see, I'm partial to Martha Stewart! With the exception of the lime meltaways, these are all my tried and true recipes I make year after year.  I'll let you know how the lime ones turn out!

My assembly line!
Right now the dough for five of these is in the freezer, waiting to be baked next weekend.  I'll probably make a few more batches of dough this weekend too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Journal Your Christmas Days 1-4

Holy moley, I'm actually on track with my December Daily/Journal Your Christmas album! I realize it's only December 5, but this is a good sign!

For the album, I am using an American Crafts 6x6 d-ring album. I covered it with Little Yellow Bicycle papers and ribbon tape, and made the title piece using an old QuickKutz ornament die.

I printed the manifesto on white cardstock and mounted it on Basic Grey patterned paper. I will probably adhere this to the inside cover once I'm finished with all the pages.

I'm using the "intentions" printable for the first page. Once again, using Basic Grey paper from a 6x6 pad.

This page has the journaling for Day 2.  I  may add a photo and make it a two page spread, assuming I can make it back downtown to snap some pictures! This paper came from deep, deep in my stash!

Journaling for Day 3. Drat, just caught a typo! Again, may add photos on a second page. 
Finally, some photos for Day 4! Basic Grey paper, Fancy Pants journaling spots.

Thanks for stopping by! If you're doing a December Daily or Journal Your Christmas album, I'd love to see links to your pages!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Daily/Journal Your Christmas

Like many of you, I am attempting to create a December Daily album this year.  I made one last year for the first time. I enjoyed the finished product, but I must admit it didn't get complete until July! You can see some of my posts about last year's album here, here, and here.

Last year I followed Ali's templates pretty closely.  I used her 6x8 overlays and layered templates for most pages, and included the transparency layers in between.  It looks great, but I found it a bit overwhelming. I also felt a bit guilty when I didn't have anything to include on a particular day, since I had already printed out the pages. Those empty pages were taunting me! This year, I'm doing a few things to simplify the process:

  • I'm not going to attempt to document every single day. Some days I may not have anything to say, and that's okay! I have not created any number tags yet, since I don't know which days I'll actually make a page for.
  • I'm applying Noell Hyman's 6x6 minibook technique (if you're a paperclipping member, check out video #162 over at  I've pre-cut a bunch of Christmas papers to 6x6, and they are currently sitting on my desk along with a bunch of random Christmas embellishments. My plan is to make a 2-page spread for most days, with journaling on one side, photo on the other.  If I have a lot to say, I can add a 3x6 journaling page in between. 
  • I'm combining December Daily along with Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class. I've never done Shimelle's class before, but I am hoping her prompts will inspire me to write about something even on days where I don't initially feel I have a story to tell. Today she encouraged us to think about why we are making this type of album/journal and shared her "manifesto" with us. For now, I'm going with her manifesto and embracing the concept of "keeping it simple"!

Are you taking part in any of these holiday projects? Have you done anything to simplify the process? I'd love any tips you might have!