Joy of Giving ~ The Sound of Music

Poinsettia/White Pine Pinecone & Bough Music Box

For me, Christmas carols are one of the best parts of the holidays.  In fact, I’m listening to them on the radio now as I write this post; they have been playing for over two weeks before Thanksgiving!  Several years ago, I came across a company that makes “music box” components and surprisingly, they have excellent tone quality.  I’ve made several music boxes with my 3-dimensional flowers on them and I thought that this project would be a personal one I could give away.

The music box plays Deck the Halls, a Welsh melody that dates back to the sixteenth century.  It’s a traditional yuletide carol and one I can remember singing in the choir when I was younger.  To win this keepsake plus the Garden Notes Poinsettia and White Pine Pinecone & Bough dies, make a comment about your favorite carol and why it’s a memory.  The winner will be chosen randomly at the end of the week.

Getting Started…

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Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, lecturer, wrote this:

Give Thanks

for each new morning

with its light

for rest and shelter

of the night

for health and food

for friends and love

For Everything

thy goodness sends.

Thanksgiving began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest. Here, in the United States, it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, when in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it a national holiday. However, most of us remember growing up learning the history of this day as being a celebration by the Pilgrims, after coming to the New World in 1621, the year after their first harvest. In other words, it’s a major holiday and together with Christmas is a part of the broader holiday season!

In honor of this day and keeping the tradition of my family values, I will not be posting this week so all of you can enjoy your family – the most important part of this holiday. I will resume next week and have the fourth giveaway up on Tuesday, December 1st.

In the meantime, enjoy some photos I took at my favorite nursery this past weekend, giving you inspiration for creating beautiful poinsettias. Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!







3rd Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the 3rd giveaway winner! MaryAnne H has won Graphic 45’s collection – ‘A Christmas Carol’, a sheet of Calendar Months (from Rosie’s Roadshow), a package of Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Soft Finish Cardstock (PSF102), my CountryScapes – Build a Snowman (1081) and CountryScapes – Clouds & Grass (1094) dies.





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Ombre Poinsettia

The term ombre is used to describe the gradual blending of one color hue to another. For this card I chose shades of pinks, which I created using Ken Oliver Crafts’ Color Burst “Alizarin Crimson.” I began by die cutting my Garden Notes – Poinsettia (#1090) on Elizabeth Craft Designs Watercolor Paper and then started painting, deepening the hue of the color with each new flower.



The ombre technique has been used a long time in fabric printing, hair and nail coloring, and most recently in baking. I’ve made ombre cakes for special occasions, so it was only natural to try this technique with my paper flowers.

Let’s get started…

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Joy of Giving – 3rd Giveaway for November

A Shining Memory

December is just a few weeks away and I knew it was time to do the calendar page to finish off the 2015 with some sparkle.  Aluminum trees were a fad in the 60s and I remember my mother wanting to change out our usual evergreen for one.  Money my grandfather had given her for Christmas was spent on this trend that would bring her years of pleasure.

Since Christmas was my mother’s favorite holiday, I wanted to honor her memory and create my own version of an aluminum tree with the help of Silver Metallic Shimmer Sheets (SS0211) and my Holiday Evergreen (#1093) die.  I couldn’t replicate the “color wheel” that illuminated the colors on the branches, cut I could do the next best thing and trim them with Sticker Dots (#7018) in my favorite Red.  A few presents, pots of Poinsettias and a bough of evergreens completes this cozy scene.

For the third week of “Joy of Giving,” the giveaway will include: Graphic 45’s collection~”A Christmas Carol,” a sheet of 2016 Calendar Months (from Rosie’s Roadshow), a package of Elizabeth Craft Designs  Soft Finish 100lb cardstock (PSF102), my CountryScapes – Build A Snowman (1081) and CountryScapes – Clouds & Grass (1094) dies. Next month, we can start the new year with January’s calendar together.


To enter the giveaway…

  1. Comment on this post: What is your favorite Christmas/holiday memory?

The winner will be announced on Saturday, November 21st.

Let’s get started…

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Thankful for Friends…

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, Thanksgiving started at the crack of dawn in the kitchen with my mother (a wonderful cook). While preparing the dinner for our large family, we had plenty of time to reflect on all of the things we were thankful for. Today, I still use this time to reflect – especially now that the holidays are quickly approaching.

No matter where we have lived in the US, friends have always been important to me. And so, it was with friendship in mind that I created a card to honor them today. We tend to rush by Thanksgiving to prepare for Christmas, but I encourage you to take time and count your blessings. Let friends know you are thinking of them.

Let’s get started…

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Joy of Giving – 2nd Giveaway for November

Take Time…

Take time to do what makes your Soul happy.

My daughters and I loved doing ‘Spa Day’ – a day full of manicures, pedicures, facials, and neck massages. It was a special bonding time when we could talk about fashion and gossip, and most of all, laugh (especially when we had mud masks on!)

When Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer, Spa Day became even more special. Her skin was showing the reactions to the powerful chemo drugs; both her sister and I longed to make her feel good about her appearance. After she passed, I learned of other friends diagnosed with this horrible diagnosis. In order to uphold my daughters’ and my tradition, I came up with “Spa in a Jar” to send them. I also sent the jars to my older daughter, sister, and a close friend; I wanted them to know I was thinking of them.


Keeping with my gift giving theme this month (and knowing how stressful the holidays are), I’d like to send this ‘Spa Jar’ to you. It’s filled with hand and foot creams, facial masks, therapy soak, etc. – a Spa in a Jar! I added a special tag, adorned with a Chrysanthemum and stamped with my ‘Seeds of Thought’ stamps. Both the Chrysanthemum die (1087) and stamp (RS008) will be included with this week’s giveaway. Simply follow the entry instructions below and you could be the winner!


Click here for a helpful video on Susan’s Garden Club – Garden Notes – Chrysanthemum

To enter the 2nd giveaway…

  1. Like my Facebook Page: Click here to go to my Facebook page, then ‘like’ the page.
  2. Share the Facebook post about this week’s giveaway: Click here to go to the post, and then share the post.

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“O Christmas Tree” – One Die, Five Cards

The custom of the Christmas tree began in Germany and was traditionally decorated with such things as apples, nuts, or other foods. In the 18th century, candles were added to illuminate the tree. Candles were eventually replaced by Christmas lights with the discovery of electricity.

When we lived in Connecticut, I heard the story that the first Christmas tree in America was in Windsor Locks in 1777, where a Hessian soldier put up a tree while imprisoned at the Noden-Reed House. There were also tales of the first German settlers to Pennsylvania erecting a tree in 1816. I’m sure there are even other cities that claim fame to this tradition to celebrate the season.

We put our tree up about a week before Christmas, although with the addition of three kittens (dropped in our neighborhood) we didn’t have one up last year. I’m hopeful they will settle down this year so  I can once again decorate with my favorite ornaments.

So, it’s no surprise that today I did five cards with my CountryScapes – Woods 4 Holiday Evergreen & Trimmings (1093). One die created five looks to this simple die. If you’re stressed, like I am, realizing there are just 50 days until Christmas (eek!) then quick cards are the answer.

Let’s get started…

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