Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from snowy Oregon

Merry Christmas from Snowy Oregon

The snow is falling in curtains, the deicing trucks are moving on the roads and of course it’s cold….so what better time for cocoa and Christmas carols to warm the heart, the spirit and the body!

Luckily I put together some cocoa packets, candy canes and treats to share with neighbors and of course…I had one left over to put under my own tree.  Yep…that’s what my late husband (who was a boy scout) would call planning ahead and being prepared.  {grin}

Here’s a peek in case you want to make your own.  They’re quick, easy and the perfect warm up to share with others.  All you need is some paper, an envelope punch board and the treats.  Of course if you want to glam it up then you’ll want a few other bits too!

Envelope Punch Board Cocoa Treat Packets

Envelope Punch Board Hot Chocolate Pouches - Jean Fitch

Supplies:

Stamps: Jingle all the Way, White Christmas, Cozy Christmas

Ink: Mossy Meadow

Paper: Mossy Meadow Cardstock, Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper, Red Foil

Other: Envelope Punch Board,  Itty Bitty Accents (star) punch pack, Big Shot, Seasonal Frame Thinlit dies (Holiday Catalog and now sale priced), Christmas Greetings Thinlits,  Fine Tip Glue Pen, Tear and Tape, Cocoa Packets, candy canes and Pearson’s Peppermint Patties.

Hot Chocolate Envelope – Envelope Punch Board Pouch
Paper: Designer Series Paper – 6-3/4” x 6-3/4” Start Score and Punch at 3-3/4”

Measure, score and punch once at 3-3/4” then rotate and line up previous score with guide then punch and score again all the way around. Fold on score lines and trim off upper flap. Score lightly so as not to tear DSP.

I CASE’d the idea from one of my favorite stampers Nicole Tugrul.  You can see her original creation here.

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It’s Christmas Eve here as I’m writing this and unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to Midnight Mass this year.  But YouTube and the Internet make so many things available – Carols, Christmas programs, broadcast Mass from around the world and of course I have my cocoa.   How about you?   Are you warm and safe and feeling the joy of the season?   I hope so.

Peace and joy be yours on this very special night.

Jean Fitch in pink

Here’s one more share.

A picture I came across that melds perfectly with one of my favorite songs for this night.

merry-christmas-baby-jesus-sign

Before the first day of the new year slips away…..

Before the first day of the new year slips away let me wish you….

…..   from the country!

One of the many things in my In Box today was a post from my favorite online rabbi.   She reintroduced me to a man whose work I had read and enjoyed in college and I thought I’d share his prayer in a basic MDS page.  My plan for the new year is to print this and post it where I can see and pray it often and add it to the front of a new album for the year ahead.

Here’s the original post with a very cool story added to the prayer – http://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/2012/01/a-blessing-for-the-new-year-from-reverend-howard-thurman.html

Here’s my page:

Here’s a Word doc with the text of the prayer in case you’d like to do some creating of your own:

Prayer – Through the Coming Year – Howard Thurman

Oops…forgot to mention that this page makes use of the new Sale-a-Bration CD-Rom that will be available January 24th as a freebie when you buy $50 worth of Stampin’ Up product.  That disk is amazing!  It contains all the unique SAB images and papers, ribbons and brads in digital form.  Even includes the Decor Element piece as a brush image!   What a wonderful way to be able to use all the lovely SAB products.   Granted the physical paper Everyday Enchantment that I used digitally is even more fun to work with since I can die cut and punch with it.   In an upcoming blog hop later this week you’ll see more samples of it.  I love the use it makes of our many In Colors.  This page also uses the digital version of All Scallops brush image (the stamp set itself is retired)  and the coordinating In Colors Pool Party and Calypso Coral. 

Hugs and Blessings and may you find joy in the  new year ahead!   – Jean

 

 

And lest you forget…the Holiday Mini and the Clearance Rack Blitz are also about to slip away.     Holiday Mini order period ends January 3rd and the Blitz ends January 5th.    A few items from the Holiday Mini have carried over and you can find those here:

Holiday Mini Carryover Flyer

Christmas Blessings

 

 

Christmas Blessings to one and all!

 

Inspiration comes from many places and fills our heart and soul until we must join in the creativity….

Today is one such time for me and for many throughout the world today.  

May you be blessed today and everyday and find your creativity rekindled anew within each special moment that you live.

 

 

From the hand and from the heart….

Christmas hugs & blessings from myself and Miss Wicketcat. – Jean

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you be blessed,

And be a blessing

 at this time of Thanksgiving….

 

Thanksgiving, a time of year to pause and reflect and remember the blessings of the year.   This year I’ll be sharing time and a meal with a friend and her family and thanking God for the gift of friendship and so much more.  

Another friend passed along this video of the song ThankfulSeemed appropriate today.

 

 

Here’s the lyrics in case you’d like to sing along:

“Thankful”

 

Somedays we forget
To look around us
Somedays we can’t see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see.
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves
There’s so much sorrow
It’s way too late to say
I’ll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It’s so long overdue

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Even with our differences
There is a place we’re all connected
Each of us can find each other’s light

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more

There’s so much to be thankful for

 

Hugs and blessings today and always – Jean

A Memorial Day Sunday Montage of images and thoughts

 A  Memorial Day Montage

While we visit sales and fire up the BBQ and attend parades or just veg in front of the electronic babysitter here are a few other images to consider on this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

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Memorial Day Severe Weather Threat…..If only that was the only threat to freedom…..and to the memory of those who paid a price.

 

 Something to remember…

the Price continues to be paid and the Cost to be counted

 

In the everyday pressure of battle…

Men give their lives less for freedom than for each other.  

In that lies the glory.

 

Some live only in memory and have no marker to remind us as they await the day of resurrection.

 

They were the candle that held freedom’s beacon in their lives and death…

we are now the mirror that reflects and holds the meaning of that light in trust.

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 Whatever our politics or our religion, we are united in being Americans blessed with freedom on this day of memory.  My grateful thanks to all who sacrificed to make it so.

Hugs and Blessings to you all – Jean

Passover

For my friends celebrating this final night of Passover

 

Chag Sameach

 

Wishing all of you a wonderous Pesach!

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And of course it wouldn’t be my blog without sharing a link right?

Here’s a loving and thoughtful passover letter I came across – http://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/2011/04/a-passover-letter-to-my-son.html  and a very intriguing blogger.  Take a look at some of her other materials while you are there.    Whether your traditions are Jewish or not its a fascinating peek into another’s mind and soul.

 

 

Blessings to you all – Jean

Easter Blessings!

 

Wishing you a joyful and blessed Easter!

  

      The Lamb                        The Lily                           The Cross

 

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       And of Course we can’t forget…                                                                                                                 …the PEEPS!

 

May your heart and soul find refreshment and new life in the Resuurection and may your baskets be filled with more CHOCOLATE than hard boiled eggs!

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Hugs and Easter Blessings – Jean

Happy Earth Day everyone!

 

Happy Earth Day!

 

Hi All,

Don’t you love that Earth Day this year falls on Frugal Friday…well Frugal in my blogging world anyway!

Thought I would share a few of my favorite images, some tips and a fun stamp set  I’ve come across and a flyer I created sometime back to share with people the ways in which Stampin’ Up works to protect the Earth and her resources.  BTW…as women…don’t you love that the Earth is generally referred to with the feminine pronoun!   Women have so many opportunities to take the lead in recycling, reusing and…of course…reducing…LOL.    Actually I was thinking of the reducing of what goes into the waste stream since women are the main shoppers for the household.  Though of course reducing our own weight as well as our carbon footprint is probably good for the planet too!

As stampers we have those opportunities as well.  Choosing our products wisely, supporting companies that take their carbon footprint seriously and of course reusing, altering and stamping everything in sight including what comes in your Stampin’ Up boxes!  😀

Awhile back Stampin’ Up ran a contest for new demo’s to encourage them to use whatever came in their starter kit.   Here’s one of my favorites shared on our SU Demo Showcase.  Elisha Johnson literally used the box and on another card she used an order form in place of DSP!  I’ve reused the brown paper and other packing materials but can’t say I ever considered the box itself!

Elisha Johnson's Starter Kit Card Contest Entry

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To see what Stampin’ Up is up to in the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle department check out this flyer –

 
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My favorite “Chia Earth” in Stampin’ Up’s Pear Pizzazz!

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Reusable card tip:  When I send out cards to customers and other demo friends I put my own message on a post it note inside the card then they have the option to keep it all together or reuse the card for their own purposes.

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While I didn’t get a card made to share with you today an SU  friend and fellow demo Rainy (Susan Roberts)  in her post here had a brilliant project that showcases Stampin’ Up’s So Green Stamp set (catalog pg. 146).  Ideal for Earth day everyday type cards and more – And oh so frugally priced!  –   http://rainy.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/2011/04/17/stampin-up-so-green-blog-candy/ 

So Green – order #118728 $14.95 Wood, $11.95 Clear Mount

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On a personal note: 

Earth day has always been a special day for me for a number of reasons.  As a kid I loved to repurpose boxes into imaginary space ships, race cars and of course my very own first apartments for the truly large boxes – so getting permission to do so and be ecologically sound later as an adult just added to the fun.  That and having a good excuse to walk beaches (cleaning up), roadsides (cleaning up) as well as grabbing things to use for my crafts just seemed all that much better too.    

Then later I discovered April 22 was the day my late husband was born so that alone made it a pretty special date.   He was always convinced that date for Earth Day was specially chosen with him in mind…hee,hee,hee.  Well he was an early conservationist, Boy Scout and neat freak who prided himself on  being a minimalist (until his computer phase that is!).    Even before we were officially dating we did things together on that day to celebrate the earth and make it a better place – of course in my on head… time spent with a cute guy doing good was fun in itself.  Later after we were married we set up neighborhood recycling stations in our garage and had neighborhood block parties with the funds received which improved the relations throughout the neighborhood as people got to know and care about each other.    Eventually curbside recycling came along but the parties still continued.      And of course we  integrated green living principles as much as possible into our daily lives…most in such small ways it was barely noticeable and rarely uncomfortable.   Choosing recyclable packaging, natural biodegradable fibers and materials, combining errands into a single trip and so on.   

 Making the earth more comfortable can make you comfortable too and save you money into the bargain.  Adding the right green indoor plants can improve your home and office air quality and reduce your medical bills as well as lengthen the time on your various furnace and other filters.  Reducing spending for non essentials can allow you to redirect those dollars into charities, fun time with family, better quality more efficient goods, more stamps of course (those are essential right?) and on and on.    

Stephen may be on to greener Heavenly pastures but the lessons we learned together still improve my life and home, neighborhood and hopefully the planet in some small way.

Lastly I thought I’d share the following I came across when trolling the net.

A fun crossword puzzle I came across to celebrate today –  to download it to print just right-click and save as a picture image then print using any graphics program or insert into a Word document:

Hugs, blessings and have a happy Earth Day.   Oh and even though Earth Day is officially April 22nd….feel free to make everyday….Earth Day!

I you and I the Earth! – Jean

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 
 
Hi All,
 
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all from myself and Wicketcat. 
 
May your hearts be merry and filled with love and joy and wrapped in hugs and ribbon and may your mouth find its way to some chocolate and kisses (both varieties if possible!).
 
And hoping you have opportunities to love and be loved and also to find some time to stamp!  LOL!  
 
Interesting don’t you think that Sale-a-Bration and Valentine’s always seem to happen in the same month?   Guess Stampin’ Up wants to make the gift situation for our significant others easy…and wants to show how much they love us all!   Either way…I’m grateful!  Come back later this week to see some wonderful links to inspiring projects using our SAB sets.   Frugal Friday is about to start up once again……
 
Hugs and blessings – Jean
 
 
It is possible
to give without loving
but it is impossible
to love without giving.
 
Hm…I think Stampin’ Up! learned that early on!

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving my friends. 

Finally a chance to share a moment with you all after a lovely day of friends, fellowship, food and of course stamping!   After a fabulous dinner prepared by many loving hands my friend and sister Demo, Linda & I got a chance to practice a project with  her guests that we’ll be sharing at our next stamp camp.  A lovely folder and set of gift tags.   I’ll have to share the photos later as I ended up giving mine away to another guest.   It was a CASE of this terrific project you can see here.   With what we learned we’ll be making more tweaks and making a few alterations to get it in under budget and in a more timely manner appropriate to a group doing 4 other projects. 

While food is so often the first thing we think about come Thanksgiving I’m trying hard to remember the Thankfulness aspect as well.  So many things to be thankful for this year….good and loving friends who make my life a joy.  My little furfaced companion Wicket.  Life, health, and meals on the table the rest of the year and so much more.  I’m so glad SU remembers that aspect and creates sets that focus on the Thanks in Thanksgiving and not just turkey and pumpkin pie images.  After leafing through the catalog and Holiday mini’s pages (such an appropriate activity for Fall don’t you think…leafing…..LOL!) I realized just how many sets we do have to express our Thanks in general and our Thanksgiving sentiments in particular.  No excuse really to forget the day’s focus now is there? 

For now let me share with you a few Images and Songs that caught my eye and ear recently perfect to reflect on at this time…….

 

We thank you, God,
for the harvest
of blessings.
 
Something about Simple Gifts always has me thinking of Thanksgiving, shared Abundance and blessings.  Perhaps its a  reflection of those early Pilgrims seeking freedom and the freedom to worship as they were led.   A call to be as they were created, in the way and shape to which they were called.  It’s also one of the first songs I learned to play on the violin and to sing in a childhood chorus so through the years has stuck with me and is forever new in meaning.
 
 
 Did you know that Lord of the Dance uses the same tune as Simple Gifts.  Probably why I have a hard time singing one without the other and creating my own medley!   From the shores of America to Ireland’s green coast and back again (a journey more than a few of us are familiar with – LOL!).
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Let us reflect
on our reasons
to be thankful.
 
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And growing up as I did on Peter, Paul and Mary, Judy Collins and Pete Seegar I couldn’t resist sharing another song that always gets me thinking and reflecting on the turns in my own life and the lives of my fellow citizens.
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This year a few new fav’s have been added – found on friends blogs – that had me smiling at the end of a long and lovely day.
For the Young at Heart (especially those who love to giggle).
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And Lastly for the hipsters among us…
 Turkeys doing MC Hamer
Or as I subtitled it….
After the Presidential Pardon.
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My prayers this night include all of you.  That you will be blessed with health and joy and happiness and all the good things life can bring as you  celebrate a feast of whatever type with your family and friends…or even just your fur faced companion (not sure how your pet parakeets might feel about…Turkey day!).   The pilgrims for whom each day was one of Thanksgiving as they found a place to worship and live as they thought best are rarely remembered these days for their struggles but instead for a day of feasting…I hope you will take a minute out to remember today that even for yourself it is the sum total of your experiences that you bring to the table  and that provides the reason and the need for thankful remembrances.  Good and bad, happy and sad…your life wouldn’t be the same without everything that’s come before.  I treasure each of you and all you’ve added to my life this year.  Thank you my friends for being you and being there.

With love and gratitude for each one of you.  

Hugs and Blessings – Jean

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