Monday, December 21, 2015

The Trouble with Tribbles - Folded Book Edition

It's December and you know what that's time for the annual supper club progressive dinner.

There is nothing better than a hayride through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights punctuated by some out-of-this-world food. Highlights this year were the marinated cheese at Vicki's house and the Churro Chex Mix at Babette's (seriously) ...and the decorations at Barb's house, of course.

Check out the white and silver sparkly buffet in her dining room! It was was her French Market Bean Soup.

And speaking of is Barb's tree out standing in her living room. It's about 12 foot of spectacular! Covered in ornaments from top to bottom...

...including some made by yours truly. Remember this one from 2012?

For the Christmas 2016 supper club ornament, I headed out to Office Depot to get some books cut down like this...

..and turned them into these.

I have been making them for the past several months while sitting on conference calls, and watching TV, and waiting for water to boil, and sitting at stoplights. They are addictive

I started out just making a few different shapes.

And then I made some bigger ones. 

And then some big and little ones

And pretty soon...ACK! I started to feel like Capt Kirk in a pile of tribbles!

I blame my friend, Jan Agnello, for being my enabler on this one. Jan has this very cool antique business, Storyology Decor, deep in the heart of Georgia where she's been featuring Reading With Scissors books for several years. 

This year she asked me if I could make her some ornaments. After a little experimenting, I figured out how to make them. If you check out the Storyology Decor Facebook page, you can see how cool they look on Jan's fuzzy Christmas tree. She decorated her ornaments with vintage chandelier crystals and paper flowers.

My supper clubbers got beads and tassels. 

And as old school as beads and tassels are, they still add a very merry pop to a mid-century mod aluminum tree.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

On the 24th Day of Christmas My Phanie Gave to Me

It's the middle of December. Where did the time go? 

I've been buying, and wrapping, and baking, and cutting, and folding and...


Thank goodness that I finished some things before the season got into full swing.

Case in point. This advent calendar I made for QuarterPounder.

And yes, I made more flat boxes! I am a pro at them now. These just don't have roofs on them.

But they do have sparkly snowflakes and and fuzzy presents--and book pages, of course.

Oh, and the numbers are covered in GLITTER! 

QuarterPounder wasn't really sure what he thought of the whole thing.

But he seemed to think the finger puppets inside were pretty grand.

And the bib and the Rudolph book were a hit, too!

Side note: Here is my goal for next year.
Learn how to take a picture of a rectangle that isn't skewed. This one kinda makes me dizzy when I look at it for very long.

Speaking of dizzy. I gotta go. The pecan pie in the oven is dinging and Amazon just left another package at the door.


But if you've got extra time on your hands, check out all the cool ways to decorate a Silhouette Advent Calendar on this Pinterest page!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Little boxes made of ticky tacky--and GLITTER!

Captain America is always teasing me about having too much book sense and not enough common sense. This mainly happens when we are comparing old report cards. He has no other defense. But it's true that back in the day I got good grades, which I mostly attribute to being a good test taker. I managed to pass the tests that my teachers gave me. I scored really well on the ACT and did just fine, thank you, on the SAT.

But over the years there were three tests I notably did not do well on, and by "did not do well" I mean they ate my lunch.

The first was an eye test when I was in third grade. OK, I know an eye test is not the same thing as a math test, but tell that to an overachieving 9-year-old. They came to my class, made me peer into a dark box with a light on the far side, and asked me how many trees I saw. Trees? What trees? There are trees? Soon after I got my first pair of glasses.

Then there was the driver's test that I flunked. That is a story for another day, but let me just say that there is nothing more embarrassing than coming back to school after flunking the driver's test. If hell is reliving your most embarrassing moment, that may be it. Hills? There are hills? No one ever taught me how to park on a hill and what the heck does it matter when there are no hills to park on anyway??

And then there was that Army test they gave us in high school. I can't remember the name of it, but I remember the lasting hit it did to my ego. I was a senior and feeling overly confident about my test taking ability, until I started reading those questions about gears (If Gear A is turning in a clockwise direction, which direction is Gear D turning?) and questions about flat boxes. You know, questions like this one? For the life of me I couldn't put those boxes together in my head. It bothered me that I could not figure those out. Bothered me so much that I'm still talking about it  some 30 years...wait, I mean 15 years later, of course.

Side note: This is why I love Captain America - because he can do gears and flat boxes in his head. And he takes out the trash. And kills bugs. When he is not on the other side of the world.

Anyway, all my life I've said I do not do flat boxes....until I saw this post about Putz houses last year on my favorite blog, All Things Paper. I don't know what it was about all those little white houses that caught my eye, but I knew this Christmas I was going to conquer my fear and make a whole bunch of them.

And last week I finally did it.  Look!

Aren't they the cutest things?!?

The patterns are part of the tea light village set from the website. They worked perfectly with my fancy-dancy Silhouette machine.

I love the variety of all the buildings.

And the extras included in the kit are grand, too. Check out that fence and all the trees--it's all part of the kit. Such a deal!

So I finally figured out how to get over my fear of putting flat boxes together. The keys are:
A. Buy a kit with great instructions and lots of pictures.
B. Reward yourself with

I just happened to have an empty Graze box sitting on my countertop and it soon became my glitter station. (I have a glitter station!!)

Check out all that sparkly goodness!

This is as close to snow as we'll probably see in Houston this year, so this is my white Christmas.

The whole scene is as pretty as a picture sitting on my shelf.

And look what happens when you turn on the tea lights at night (and turn your Disklavier piano radio to the Holiday station).

I mean seriously, why didn't someone tell me how fun flat boxes could be a long time ago? More importantly, why didn't someone tell me I could have my own glitter station??

Let the holidays begin!