Hello from England!

Welcome to my blog!
We are a christian family living in the Sunshine state (before that we spent four years in England and two years in Turkey).

My posts are of everyday life and my love of crafting. I hope to inspire you in some way to share your talents too.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave a comment.
Cheers and God's blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's birthday time!

As you can see from my last blog post, I know several people who have birthdays in January (this includes my 6 yr old nephew on Dec 31st).  

He won't get his card in time for his birthday, so I'm posting it here.  And tomorrow I'll post my sister's birthday card (again, who won't receive it on time since it takes about 2 weeks to make it across the pond to the states).  

But they know I'm thinking of them and sending wonderful birthday wishes!!  Love you Ethan!!!!  Happy birthday little man!!

The idea for the card came from a craft book...after making his card, I made another one.  (Always handy when the kids come home from school and say "My friend is having a party tomorrow, can I go?")




Monday, December 30, 2013

Post Christmas

Yesterday we packed up Christmas.  Just like that.  It's come and gone.  I listened to Christmas music while I sorted, organized, and bubble wrapped.  The music didn't feel as powerful as it had a week before.  

This is our last Christmas in England.  This time next year (if all goes according to plan) we'll be stateside after living overseas 6 years.  I had to do an especially good job in packing up my rubbermaid tubs.  I even forced myself to eliminate one box.  {downsize...downsize...}  I know it's just "stuff", but it's also bittersweet.

Here's a pic of the Christmas card I mailed out this year.  It was a from a retired stamp set from Stampin' Up last year.  I wanted to go for more complex but I tried to keep it simple.



There's a famous breakfast around here called the "Scottish Egg."   I ordered one from my home grocery delivery.  It was huge!  It's crunchy on the outside, and is a sausage ball wrapped around a hard boiled egg.  It was good...but in a weird way.  I'm still on the fence about it.  Maybe it would have been better fresh from the oven rather than fresh from the microwave??


With Christmas 2013 past us, it's time to continue focusing on blessings.  I (as mentioned in previous posts) am a firm believer in snail mail...and especially a firm believer in sending thank you cards.  Here are some that family will receive.  I finally used my label card thinlits die.  It was so much easier to use since I received the magnetic platform from my sister as a Christmas gift (thanks sis!):




Check back often...My nephew's birthday is tomorrow, my sister's birthday is Wednesday (as is New Year's Day), my father-in-law's birthday is on the 7th, and my father's birthday is on the 11th.  Phew!  CHECK - their cards are all DONE!  I've been a busy bee!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Constantly learning...

I'm continually learning things here in England...in my produce delivery box were the normal appearing fruits and vegetables.

Olivia came to me the other day and said, "Mom, there's something wrong with this orange."  I studied it (it looked like a normal orange from the outside), smelled it, and finally ate some of it.  Tasted like an orange!  I researched it and found out it is a "blood orange."  Below is a photo.  I've now seen yellow carrots, purple carrots, and red oranges.  Wait, what??
Yes, they are normal on the outside and red on the inside.  I guess they're best for juicing.  But, regardless, taste just as good!  Below is a photo:


I wanted to brag on my friends a bit...below is a tasty treat from an appetizer potluck after church last Sunday.  Penny and her family made these cute little mice...almost too cute to eat!


Annette popped a Christmas card in the mail that I found wonderful (and the photo doesn't do it justice):



And here's a tasty treat from my british neighbor.  She dropped it off to Isaac while the rest of us were taking Zeus out for a walk.  I don't know what it's officially called.  It's some sort of a raspberry kiwi meringue.  It has a crunch bottom and edge, with a gently-sweet cream in the middle topped with seedless raspberry and kiwis.  Yummy!! Too bad I'll have to return the beautiful plate, hahaha!


Monday, December 23, 2013

A Season of Goodies

I think Christmas is a season filled with goodies:  chocolate, candy, fudge, cookies, etc.  Here are some goodies I made this month and gave away:



 I also delivered a thank you card.  Below is a new embossing folder I received from JoAnn fabric store stateside.  I liked it by itself (photo #1 below)...but thought I'd try to add a bit more (photo #2 below).  Photo #3 is the inside.  

Christmas blessings!




Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's almost here!

Happy 4th Sunday of Advent!  The best day of the year is fast approaching.  It's a compilation of family time and love, that extra showing of kindness, and most importantly...God's gift to us!  JESUS' birth is a true miracle in itself.

I wanted to show you the creations of my talented friends.  Here are two cards:


Here is a tic-tac candy holder (compliments of Kristy) and the black card holds a packet of hot chocolate (by Annette).




I loved the details on the tic tac holder, and zoomed in for you.  Isn't it cute?

Speaking of cute - here's my hubby.  We joined up with 2 other couples and went to dinner for Christmas.  The Ravenwood Hall made a lovely place and it was only a few villages away.  How blessed we are with not only the chance to live overseas where we can eat out, but that Jesus was born!  Christmas blessings to you and your family!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Personal Preference

It's the season of gifts!  Presents by way of food, careful consideration and gift cards.  

I think gift cards are one of the most popular presents given these days.  Some people think they are impersonal and refuse to buy them.  Others prefer to receive them because they have more flexibility to get what they really/actually want from the card retailer.  It's a matter of personal preference.  I am indifferent.  I don't mind receiving them.  I also purchase them for others.  They are especially convenient for us as a military family since shipping gifts back stateside can really add up, and gift cards can truly be a blessing.

I made some snickerdoodles recently.  The recipe is below (a photo, because I am too lazy to retype it or google it, lol).  They were a bit different since they were chocolate.  But oh --- SO good!  The cinnamon with the chocolate really was delicious.  It *almost* reminded me of my mother's chocolate sheet cake (that uses cinnamon). What I wouldn't give right now for a piece of that!!!!  




Below is how I packaged some of them for gifts to (teachers, hairdresser, co-workers, etc.)  It was fun crafting.  So much crafting, so little time to get all the ideas done in my head!
Thanks for stopping by!  Check back soon for more Christmas fun!  I'm exhausted and it's not yet Friday...(sigh).





Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday F-U-N

Here is one of the projects that I made at card club this week.  Thanks to Annette for a great idea.  It's a stand up yearly calendar.  It folds nicely into an envelope for a gift as well.  Cute!


I find more and more often that people prefer not to wrap gifts.  Maybe because they're not confident in it, or they just don't want to take the time (we all get that way).  Regardless, sometimes it's just easier to grab a gift bag or even a decorated box.  

Below is a trick I learned last year and wanted to share the tip this year with my own photos.  Ever had a present that isn't large enough for pre-decorated boxes?  And you stuff it with extra tissue paper but feel like it doesn't help much?

Well, try this out next time you need a smaller box.  Take 1/2 of the decorated box (top or bottom).  Turn it over and fold each side in towards the flattened border inside edge.  Crease well:




Next, open up the box and grab a pair of scissors.  You'll make "4 snips" on the inside creases only (not the outside decorated part):


Pop up the flattened corners and fold over...Voila!  Now you have a smaller box - better yet, you are up-cycling and you have 2 boxes from your original 1 box.  Have fun!  Thanks for stopping by and check back soon for more holiday fun!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fun in the snow...sort of!

Firstly, we do not have snow on the ground.  Not sure when that will occur, but I have been having fun with snowflakes!

Here is my card from card club that I entered for the "pop up competition."  What fun this was!  I think I got a little carried away, but c'est la vie! 

This is called a "bendi card" and instructions can be found here for the layout.




Thanks for stopping by!  Oh, btw, I finally won the competition!
:)

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like...

I realized when getting out my holiday decorations and started crafting more, that I forgot to post the cards from our swap from last month's card club.  Here are the other ladies' wonderful creations:




The tree is up, some presents are wrapped, and there is garland on our upstairs railing (compliments of Olivia).
I finally found time to assemble and display my goodies from Birmingham:


This is my #2 little German goodie.  I purchased my first one in Heidelberg when I went with my friend, Teri, while we were stationed in Turkey.  This one also has a nativity scene.  The blades at the top turn when the candles are lit (the heat causes them to move.)  I love it!

Below is my little "toymaker."  On the inside you put a cone-shaped incense burner, and the smoke comes out of his mouth!  FUN!


I'm off to card club for December soon.  The swap theme is "Christmas" and the competition card is "pop up."  Can't wait!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Organic

Olivia's scout troop met up at a small lake (probably man-made) on base.  They are working on a digital photography badge.  The girls heard tips, suggestions, asked questions, and were able to practice taking their own photos.

Below are a couple of photos that Olivia took.  I thought they turned out good and wanted to share them:




A friend of mine recently passed along a coupon for a FREE box of organic food that is home delivery.  Hello?!  I'd be stupid not to jump on that bandwagon.  There is no further commitment.  Of course, I had to try it out.  Below are a couple of photos of my yum yums:



There was SO much food!  The more I thought about it, the more I decided to take the bait, and I signed up for a weekly delivery (only 99pence to deliver!).  The food is SO good!  Why didn't I sign up before?  

I even received a free "mini minced pie."  Isn't it cute?  It's about 3"x3".  This whole concept will be SO handy with winter season setting in.  The prices aren't that much more and I have the assurance it's pesticide free, no animal hormones, no icky-ness.  Yeah!  And it forces us to EAT HEALTHY.  


We had a quiet Thanksgiving at home, and then ventured out to the Birmingham Christmas market.  That was fun!  It's German style and I'll post photos another day of my purchases. We enjoyed Gluwein, bratwursts, beer, and schnitzels!