Saturday, December 20, 2014

The One with the Ali Edwards THE BEST and ALL DAY EVERY DAY Layouts

Here are my latest Ali Edwards Digital Creative Team layouts:
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THE BEST by Paige Evans

Description: I was so excited to turn the Ali Edwards Story Bubbles into cut files! I was inspired by the image of the brushes and made my layout with a similar vibe.

Journaling says: I just love snuggling my two babies. You're my greatest treasure. I love you!

How to: Turn the STORY BUBBLES digital brush into cut files and cut the bubbles from white cardstock using a Silhouette CAMEO. Back each of the bubbles with patterned papers from the On My Desk collection by Gossamer Blue using dimensional adhesive. Watercolor over the bubbles with a color that's similar to the paper it's backed with. Trim a photo into a word bubble then adhere the photo and cardstock bubbles over a blue polka dot paper layout base. Embellish with details from the On My Desk collection. Journal with a black pen between some of the word bubbles.

Supplies: STORY BUBBLES digital brush: Ali Edwards; Cardstock, adhesive, pen: American Crafts; Patterned paper, wood veneer, puffy stickers, badges, die cuts: Gossamer Blue; Watercolors: Mr. Huey's by Studio Calico; Die cut machine: Silhouette CAMEO
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ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. by Paige Evans

Description: This time I used the THESE DAYS ARE FOR digital brushes and turned the days of the week into cut files. 
Journaling says: Jane watches Fox's every move and does what he does, says what he says, eats what he eats, etc. Always!

How to: Turn the THESE DAYS ARE FOR digital brushes into cut files and cut the days of the week two times each with a Silhouette CAMEO from the Solstice collection by Pink Paislee. Stitch the words across a light blue cardstock background. Flick white paint all over the layout and let it dry. Add glitter alpha stickers at the bottom for the title and journal with a black pen below. Embellish around the photo with stickers and die cuts.

Supplies: THESE DAYS ARE FOR digital brushes: Ali Edwards; Cardstockadhesivepen: American Crafts; Patterned paper, stickers, die cuts: Pink Paislee; Paint: FolkArt; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark; Die cut machine: Silhouette CAMEO
As always, thanks for lookin' :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

The One with Erzgebirgische Volkskunst / a Christmas Shop in Muggendorf

Yesterday morning a few of the ladies headed an hour away to the town of Muggendorf to a Christmas shop called Erzgebirgische Volkskunst - specializing in handmade crafts from the Ore Mountains (Erzebirge) of Germany.
We kind of live in a little bubble in our town because it's US-government owned so it feels a bit like we're in America. But drive 5 minutes away and I'm instantly transported back into the wonderland that is Deutschland. Half-timbered buildings and charm to boot!
Inside we were immediately drawn to all of the hundreds, no, thousands, maybe even millions!, of adorable trinkets and knick knacks. A screenshot of some of the things they have available in their cute shop, half in German, half in English :)
Where to start?!

Schwibbögen | Candle Arches
Some info about Schwibbögen/Smokers - they are decorative candle-holders from the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) region of Saxony, Germany. The first metal Schwibbögen was made in 1740 in Johanngeorgenstadt. The early candle arches always consisted of black ore. They were made out of one single forged piece and could be painted. The number of candles varies with the size of the arc. The original one featured 11. The most famous design was created by Paula Jordan in 1937 for a show in Schwarzenberg. It depicted the 3 main sources of income of the people in the region in the 18th and 19th century. Thus the Schwibbögen showed apart from some traditional symbols; 2 miners, 1 wood carver, a bobbin lace maker, a Christmas Tree, 2 miner's hammers, 2 crossed swords, and an angel. It holds 7 candles. Contrary to popular belief the candle holder was always associated with Christmas. The light symbolizes the longing of the miners who didn't see the daylight in winter for weeks sometimes due to their long working hours below the surface. Over time the designs changed. Especially in the last few decades after the World War II the Schwibbögen has reached not only a new popularity, but has changed a lot in its looks. Now it is typically made out of wood which depicts historical or religious scenes. But there are even landscapes, skylines, advertisements - there is almost no limit to the possibilities. What remains is the link to Christmas traditions. Especially in the Ore Mountains the windows of the houses in villages and towns feature a lit candle arch - usually with the traditional designs or at least local scenes.

Santas | Weihnachtsmann & Nutcrackers | Nussknackers
These tiny matchbox-sized little holiday scenes are too adorable.
Oh my 'Lanta. I NEEEED a Christmas pyramid | Weihnachtspyramide! 
A bit about pyramids: A Christmas pyramid | Weihnachtspyramide is a Christmas decoration that has its roots in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) of Germany but has become popular throughout the country. It is suggested that the Christmas pyramid is a predecessor of the Christmas tree. These pyramids are not limited to Christmas: in the Erzgebirge there was a custom of dancing around the "St. John's Tree", a pyramid decked with garlands and flowers at the summer solstice. Not actually pyramid-shaped, the Christmas pyramid is a kind of carousel with several levels, some depicting Christian motifs such as angels or manger scenes and others with more secular motifs such as mountain-folk, forests, and other scenes from the everyday life of people in the Erzgebirge. The spinning motion of the pyramids is traditionally achieved with the help of candles whose rising heat spins a propeller above. Christmas pyramids serve a mainly decorative purpose today, filling children and adults alike with holiday cheer. Generally Christmas pyramids are made of wood and based on four-to eight-sided platforms with a long pole in the middle serving as the axle to which the entire apparatus tapers above and which supports any further platforms. Inside in a glass or ceramic support is a driveshaft on to which at least one platform is attached. The figures, which stand on the platforms are also traditionally made of wood. Christmas pyramids take various forms from intricately carved miniature houses with pitched roofs, to large multi-level structures that simply serve as a display for the carved figures. In many cities in the Ore Mountains there are large Christmas pyramids on the Market Square at the Christmas Market or in other locations associated with Christmas hustle and bustle. Most of the pyramids demonstrate nativity scenes. They include the story of the Christ child being born, of shepherds and wise men visiting the child, and of angels rejoicing in heaven. The nativity scene often is placed on the longest shelf at the bottom of the pyramid, while a pine cone or a star would crown the top. FASCINATING STUFF!

Beautiful ornaments. I wanted one of each.
Don't look at these Allie cuz it's what I got you (and myself :) for Christmas! They're wooden ornaments with paintings of famous Bavarian and other big German cities. Love love love them. To always remember our time here in Germany.
More traditional German items are these Räuchermann | smokers: 
And some background about these interesting things - the Räuchermann, erzgebirgisch Raachermannel is an "incense smoker", the invention of toy makers in the Ore Mountains and used to burn down cone incense, known as Räucherkerzchen. The Räuchermann was first mentioned in 1850 and is nowadays a common component in the Ore Mountain Christmas tradition. For this a cone incense is set on first,then put on the lower part of the bifid wood figurine. The upper part is hollowed out and put on top of the first part. The cone incense burns down inside of the hollow figurine, the smoke leaving the mouth hole of the Räuchermann. Before the Räuchermann was invented cone incense was displayed and burnt down in the open. During Christmas time Räuchermänner are displayed together with Schwibbogen candle arches, miners' figurines, angels and Christmas pyramids. Several kinds of figurines exist, traditionally displaying craftsmen of the region, such as foresters, peddlers, miners, and soldiers.

Picking and choosing.
Little wintery scenes.
Reminds me of Department 56.
Zodiac ornaments.
Cute li'l nook.
Collage of all-things Christmas!
Sister Gordon and her daughter finding gifts for family and friends.
Love this Pyramid.
Lots and lots of wooden gifts and shelves and ceilings.
After maybe an hour we all found what we wanted and needed and headed back outside.
This blue half-timbered building was across the way and I ran over to take a picture of it cuz it's so gosh-dern cute.
It was a rainy kind of day, but still so beautiful.
Then we drove into town to get some lunch.
Vines and painted window shutters - oh my!
Snapshots from Muggendorf. 
We ate at the Hotel Goldner Stern.
I sat right next to this Christmas tree and oh my goodness it smelled SOOOOO GOOD!
Such a darling restaurant.
I got, as Jami calls it, "Mac and cheese on crack." Delicious beyond all get-out.
As we were walking back to the car I spotted this green ivy-covered house and immediately wanted to move in.
Pastel houses with red roofs.
The painted shutters again.
And the green house again :)
Such a fun morning exploring this part of the world we live in and getting more and more into the Christmas spirit!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The One with the Studio Calico PARK AVE Layout Video

I have a start-to-finish how to video up on the Studio Calico blog today featuring supplies from the PARK AVE scrapbook kits (PARK AVE, RITZ, HELMSELY, and WALDORF - all of them are still available, woohoo!), a snowflake cut file, and a wintery theme!
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MOMENTS by Paige Evans

DESCRIPTION: For this layout I wanted show how these bright and colorful kits can be used for a winter-themed layout. I know traditionally when you think of winter you think white and blue and subtle tones, but goodness knows I love a punch of color! All with the help of my Silhouette CAMEO using a cute snowflake die cut!





 JOURNALING SAYS: I didn't even ask you guys to sit in front of the tree; this is you guys legitimately enchanted by all things Christmas! Holidays are so much more fun through you!

HOW TO: Enlarge the snowflake from the Park Ave cut files by In a Creative Bubble for Studio Calico to use as the background:

Die cut the snowflake from light pink cardstock then trace the inner edge with a thick black marker. Tear small pieces of patterned papers, a couple hundred pieces or so, I should have counted! Trace the snowflake onto white cardstock then cover the traced snowflake with super sticky double-sided adhesive. Cover the adhesive with the torn patterned paper bits. Glue the pink cardstock snowflake over the patterned papers. Add a photo slightly off-center then embellish with a printable days-of-the-week journaling card and printable label, wood veneer sentiment banner, "2014" mini number stickers, "December" badge, and chipboard diamonds (PARK AVE kit), "moments" die cut (HELMSLEY kit), house paper clip and pink sequins (RITZ kit), and cork snowflakes and chipboard stars (WALDORF kit). Journal with a .01 black pen below the photos.

VIDEO: Here is the video to watch how this layout was made from start-to-finish:

SUPPLIES: Scrapbook kits: PARK AVERITZHELMSELY, and WALDORF by Studio CalicoCardstockadhesivepens: American Crafts; Snowflake cut file: Park Ave Cut Files by In a Creative Bubble for Studio Calico; Printable label: Hello Forever for Studio Calico; Printable Days-of-the-Week Journaling Card: Hello Forever for Studio Calico; Die cut machine: Silhouette CAMEO
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Thanks for looking and maybe leaving a little love :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The One with the Ward Christmas Party 2014

The primary presidency was in charge of planning the ward Christmas party this year and since I'm a primary teacher I tried to help out as much as I could. I knew when I saw the primary president, Bekah, busting out a measuring tape to get the size of the rooms we were in for a real treat. She put on the most amazing Christmas party I've ever been to. The theme was "A Night in Bethlehem" and nearly every square inch of the church was decked to the nines to look like ancient Bethlehem. From the food to the music and smells, to people's costumes and attire - it was wonderful and really helped bring in the spirit.

Thank you to Tasha for picking some of the photos I took and putting them in order on her blog - saved me a lot time :)

The front entrance with a decree calling everyone to be taxed.
Signing the census.
The guards.
As you entered you were stopped at the treasury and/or money lenders. 
Then you either donated a toy and received a bag of "money" (15 clay coins) or... could fill out a "Promissory note" and dedicate your time/services in exchange for a bag of dinero. With the coins you could "buy" food, pay to get your picture taken, give a coin or two to play a game, or do an activity, etc. So clever!
Welcome welcome!
This was taken at the beginning of the evening - by the end of the night the table was absolutely filled to the brim and doubled over with donations.
Forgot to dress up in ancient clothes? Don't worry, you could rent your garb.
Ornament and Coloring.
Before the party officially began I took a bunch of pictures. This was the main room with booths set up with various kinds of food.
Everyone pitched in their antique knick knacks and flea market finds to add to the feeling of Bethlehem.
Mad decorating skillz.
Photobooth backdrop.
A well filled with (bottled) water.
Too legit to quit!
Upstairs in the primary room Bekah built a nativity with her own two hands. She is amazing. This piece is now sitting on her front lawn.
This was one of the pieces I contributed: a "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD" cardboard banner. I actually didn't know where it was going to hang so I made it super long with the intention that it could be cut apart and strung in rows. It must have been divine intervention that it fit this spot to perfection :)
Keeping the kiddos entertained.
Our lovely ward members.
  The missionaries!
Tera took wonderful family photos.
Love these families.
Chris and the kids didn't come - they weren't feel too hot so they stayed home. But hopefully through these pictures they can feel like they were there :)

It's the most wonderful time of the year - "CHRIST"mas!