Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Christmas Cooking Class!



Parker House Herb Loaves


Corn & Crab Bisque


Garlic Prime Rib


Country Bacon & Carrots

Potato Shiitake Gratin


Christmas Lava Cakes


Old Virginia Orange Wassail


Christmas nursing home visit!

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”- Matthew 25:40, NIV

Jennifer came over on Monday and brought all the items we were going to fill our bags with for the nursing home. We had put wash clothes, hand warmers and some snuggley socks in each bag for the elderly. We learned from our mistake last year, we had given them bags with pens, paper and Christmas cards. We noticed that a couple of them were trying to eat my Christmas cards! Our items in the bags were safer this year. Elsa joined in and helped stuff the bags with us. We stappled the toppers we had made with Megumi and Kumie to the top of the filled bags. They looked so cute! We must have put together over 120 bags. They gave them out today to the precious people at our Iwakuni community nursing home. One of our chaplains played the ukelele as they all sang Christmas songs! I heard they all had a wonderful time visiting again , holding hands and Connecting with our elderly Japanese friends. Last year it was an absolutely beautiful experience for me - quite possibly one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had in Japan. We visited two nursing homes last year. I sat, held hands, talked and looked into the eyes of every person I could. Some communicated with speaking some English but most didn't have to say a word. It was a squeeze of my hand, a tear from there eye, a lingering look, a hug that lasted longer than expected. It was a shared "feeling." I felt my entire body/heart just feel the presence/love of Christ - it was amazing. Far from being a “downer” experience, you come away with so much more than you came there with. It makes you want to continue to do all you can to help those that need it most in any way you can. I want to continue to show love to those who are in darkness, those who suffer, those who are lonely, etc.- just as Christ showed His love for me by bearing the sin of the world on the Cross. ><>

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Elsa's Last Cooking Class-Theme "Autumn"

Onion twist bread
Stuffed Flank Steak
Mixed Vegetables
Parsley Gnocchi
Cheese Cake
Ginger Punch

Friday, December 7, 2007

Santa Class!

Directions on making bows:

3" x 6" piece Double Sided Patterned Paper
Paper Cutter
Pop-Up Glue Dots
1/16" Circle Punch

Step By Step:

Step 1.Cut 8 strips of 1/2" x 3", 4 strips of 1/2" x 2 1/2", and 1 strip of 1/2" x 2". It's important to cut the 1/2" x 2" strip before cutting the 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips.

Step 2.Take 4 - 1/2" x 3" strips with pattern "A" face up and put adhesive on one end of each strip.Take the other 4 - 1/2" x 3" strips with pattern "B" face up and put adhesive on one end of each strip. Take the 4 - 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips with pattern "A" face up and put adhesive on one end of each strip. Take the 1/2" x 2" strip with pattern side "B" face up and put adhesive on one end.

Step 3. Wrap the 1/2" x 3" strips and the 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips.

Step 4. Wrap the 1/2" x 2" strip.

Step 5.Use the 1/16" circle punch to punch a whole at the bottom of each "cone".

Step 6.Use a brad and attach the "cone" together.

Step 7.Place a Pop-Dot in the center of each layer.

Step 8.Stack each layer by alternating patterns.

Your Turn!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"Christmas Wishes" Meander Book!

We made our "Christmas Wishes" meander books today! I was a little worried about the way the book is cut but everyone did it perfectly. The little book is made from ONE 12x12 piece of double sided patterned paper on the inside! The way it is cut and folded makes little pockets to put tags into. My books had the words Wish on one and Santa on the other. I wrote down some other ideas for words to put on the front and they liked them better. As you can see Noel was used and we had Peace on a couple. My book will be used for my families wish lists. I will put each member of my families picture on each page with all their "Christmas wishes" on the tags that are in the pockets. Try it!
Directions for Meander Book:

One 12" x 12" sheet of double sided patterned paper
Two 3 1/4" squares of patterned paper
Two 3 1/4" squares of cardboard
Cardstock to decorate and make tags
1 3/8 Circle punch for pockets
Paper cutter
Paper scoring tool
2-way glue pen
Doublesided tape
Binding tool and spiral wire
small stapler
Stamps, Ink and Embellishments

Step 1
Score 12" x 12" paper at 3", 6" and 9".

Step 2
Turn paper 90 degrees and score again at 3", 6" and 9".

Step 3
Fold and unfold all score lines.

Step 4
Use scissors to cut paper as follows:
On the first vertical score at 3", cut from 3" all the way to 12".One the second vertical score at 6", cut from the bottom to 9".One the third score at 9", cut from 3" all the way to 12".Cut the first and last square off and discard.

Step 5
Start folding paper up from one of the sides with a missing square. Fold it up accordion style, stopping at the end of row.

Step 6
Tuck the accordian pages of the first row under the second row.

Step 7
Fold the second row accordion style like the first one.

Step 8
Tuck your accordion pages under the next row.

Step 9
Fold the third row accordion style.

Step 10
Fold pages under the last row.

Step 11
Now fold up the last row accordian style.

Step 12
For pocket pages, start by punching a half circle on the top of the middle page. Punch half circles on all pages to make pockets.
Punch holes in the side of the book pages for binding. I used a Carla Craft binding system punch.
Step 14
Add 2-way glue to the pages to make a pocket. Stay close to the edge with your glue. Glue pages together.You won't need glue on the side. It will be held together with the binding later.
Step 15
Stamp pages if needed.
Step 16
Tape 3 1/4" patterned paper to cardboard squares. Punch binding holes in the side of both of the covered cardboard squares.

Step 17
Stack front, back and pages the following way: Front cover face up, page pockets, back cover face down. Insert the spiral wire through the holes and bend ends.

Step 18
Cut tags for pockets. These were cut to 2 5/8" x 2 3/4" . Decorate the inside pages. Staple ribbon to top of pocket tags.

Step 19
Decorate front cover.

Step 20
Add ribbon ties to binding spiral wire.

Your Turn!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Directions to Envelope Book



  • 12x12 package of Simply Scrapin “Secret Garden” kit.

  • 12x12 inch Cardboard

  • 7 -10 matching envelopes (my envelopes measured 6 5/16 x 4 7/16)

  • Brads

  • Wild Wasabi Ribbon

  • Journal Pen

  • Sticky Strip adhesive

  • paper cutter or scissors

  • bone folder

  • Dimensionals

  • Patterned paper

Cut your cardboard in half to measure 2- 6x12 pieces. Score both of the cardboard pieces at 55/8 and 63/8 to make the spines of your book. Bend at score lines.

Cut one sheet of 12x12 Always Artichoke textured card stock from the kit in half to measure 2-6x12 pieces. Tape card stock to cardboard bending card stock as you tape to cardboard. Repeat for second piece of cardboard and card stock. Lay both pieces on your table and overlap the pieces, place your envelope in the center and close the card stock around envelope to see where you will need to tape the cardboard pieces together. My book's center back measured 6 7/16. Use your sticky strip tape and tape together. Cut 2 pieces of patterned paper 5 9/16 x 6 for the inside 1st page and last page. Cut a piece of textured Groovy Guava card stock 6 3/8 x 6 for middle page. Cut a piece of Old Olive textured card stock to measure 12x5 for your inside 1st page journal. Score the old olive piece at 3 15/16 and again at 8. Fold on score lines.

(In the process of writing the directions...I will be taking step by step pictures also.)
My other Envelope book-

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Donna, Uriah & Grace's visit!

Donna, Uriah and Grace came to stay with us for five days before Thanksgiving! We were all so excited to visit with them. I couldn't wait to see my friend and just sit and talk and have coffee together! The boys had a great time with Uriah and Tiffany with Grace. We are all looking forward to their return in December. These are some of the pictures I had taken at Asilomar beach while they were here. When the water was at low tide it left all the rocks exposed. On the rocks lived all sorts of diiferent sea creatures like the beautiful pink star fish above. The Aggragating anemones were the most fun for the kids! They were even brave enough to touch them. I thought it would sting us but it didn't. The top picture is when they are out of the water and the bottom picture is when they are under the water.

Grace was telling me how when you push on the anemoes they squirt water at you!

Thousands of muscles clustered on rocks.

Friends:o)AustinGraceThe sunset while we were there at Asilomar beach We had found this great little Japanese Sushi Restaurant called "Jugem." They had traditional and speciality sushi and sashimi! We were surprised to see they sold tempura, yakiniku and udon also. The boys have been missing their udon! I ordered the rainbow sushi and Donna had the salmon sushi. YUM!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Next Class-ABC Class!

Next ABC class will be on Tuesday the 4th of December. We will be making a "Christmas Wishes Meander Book!"See you soon!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kono Elementary School Festival!

We were invited to go to the Kono Elementary School Festival on the 18Th of November, by my friend Eiko-San. Elsa and Lilly also went with their families. Eiko had told me that they had 8 Kimonos for the American women to try on. I couldn't wait, I hadn't tried one on in the whole two and a half years I have been living here. They let us wear them the whole time we were there. They chose a very beautiful light green Kimono for me. Even Shelby got to dress up! There are a lot of layers to the Kimono and it is very involved to put on. The Japanese ladies that dressed us were very experienced and fast and knew which ones would look best on us. They chose the perfect colors for each one of us. The Obi (sash) they wrap round your waist is my favorite part of the kimono. They can tie it to make many different designs like bows or drums.

The video is just a small part of the play the kids put on. They practice for this festival all year. Their costumes were very beautiful. I wish I had video taped the entire play! They were wonderful!!! After the play they had food for sale (udon noodle, rice ball, soda, coffee), crafts, and plants. To see more pictures of that day look at the side bar of my blog.

Stampin'Up! Specials and Promotions

Details: Orders may be placed on customer, demonstrator, and workshop orders. This offer includes a variety of products designed to help simplify preparation for holiday gift giving with a number of timely offers.

These are:Item Number Description Price

112409 Holiday Tag Bundle $4.95

110380 Tags for All Stamp Set* (20% off) $24.76

110264 Designer Gift cards* (30% off) $4.55

109862 Chocolate Chip satin ribbon* Buy 1, get 1 free!**

109863 Purely Pomegranate satin ribbon* Buy 1, get 1 free!**

112410 Tin 3-Pack $9.95 110147 Celebration wrapping paper* $17.95

110228 Hand Selected Accents & Elements (25% off) $8.21 *This item is from the current Holiday Mini Collection. Only this and other items indicated will be extended through the campaign period while supplies last. All other Holiday Mini items will be available until November 30.**There is no limit to the number of items a customer may purchase, but Holiday Mini items are available only while supplies last. The Holiday Tag Bundle includes 30 of each of the following pieces:-Whisper White card stock-Real Red textured card stock-Soft Sky Prints Designer Series Paper (Dotted Diamond pattern)-Real Red twill tapeThe pieces for this bundle make 15 cellophane bag toppers that are perfect for neighbor or teacher gifts. These pieces are from the Holiday Glitz card kit and will come shrink-wrapped individually (for example, all 15 pieces of Real Red twill tape will be shrink-wrapped as one package), but not as a bundle, so hostesses will need to refer to the packing list as they assemble the orders of their guests. Instructions are not included in the bundle, but you can provide instructions (available in the right column) for your customers who wish to make the projects shown in the flyer.The satin ribbon offer (buy one, get one free) is good on both the Purely Pomegranate and Chocolate Chip ribbon. Customers may select any combination of ribbon for their free ribbon. For example, a customer can buy one Chocolate Chip and choose a second Chocolate Chip or a Purely Pomegranate ribbon for the free ribbon. The Tin 3-Pack contains three empty Accents & Elements tins. These tins have never been available for purchase separately.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our ABC Class!

I held a "Christmas gifts" ABC class today. The first project on our list was a Sugar jar filled with "Peppermint Cocoa" with a mini whisk attached to the bow. I went to the Daiso which is the Japanese dollar store and found these cute little sugar jars and the whisks. We put 3/4 cup of Swiss Miss cocoa mix in them and layered mini marshmallows and unwrapped peppermint candies on top. The captions on the back of the jar were Snowman Soup and the directions. Here is what it says: "Was told you've been good this year, Always glad to hear it! With freezing weather drawing near, you'll need to warm the spirit. So here's a little Snowman Soup, Complete with a Peppermint. Add hot water, sip it slow, It's sure to do the trick! Place 2 rounded tablespoons of cocoa mix into a cup. Gradually add 6 0z. of hot water into mix. Add a peppermint and Marshmallows and you are done!"

The second gift was a peppermint candy bag with topper. Very simple project but always looks so cute. Remember to look at your candy wrappers or what ever you put in your bags and pull colors from them to use on the topper. Everything will match and you will look like a PRO!

The third gift was a coffee slide card that has a coffee stencil attached to it's pull string. Inside I used a packet of Godiva coffee. I tied a wooden coffee/cappachino stencil to the top (For stenciling powder sugar, cinnamon or cocoa on top of coffee) In Japan they have a chain of stores called "Daiso." They are Japan's dollar store. Some have 5 floors! They beat our dollar stores by far! I find the cutest things for my classes. I found the tie-on's for the slide card, the cute little glass sugar jar and the mini whisk at the one closest to me. I will really miss them when we leave! I used the Espress yourself retired stamp set for this project. The caption for the card says: We've shared a coffee and a laugh, as friends so often do. So when you brew this pot of Godiva, imagine I'm there with you! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I just finished a job for a lady on base that is having "Twins!" She needed 70 baby shower invitations. Her colors were to be white and silver and she chose a christening gown as the background. I used the brushed silver paper and the gowns were stamped on shimering white, then cuttlebugged.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Aged Christmas

My card is a 5 3/8x5 3/8 square. The dimensions, starting with the background paper, are5 1/4x4 1/4 cranberry crisp and 4x5 Fruitcake Holly berries. Moving clockwise, the tree box dimensions are: 2 3/4x3 3/4 Old Olive, 2 5/8x3 5/8 Fruitcake cherry and 2 1/2x3 1/2 fruitcake Holly Berries. The flowery box: 4x2 1/4 Old Olive, 3 7/8x 2 1/8 cranberry crisp, 3 3/4x 2 Fruitcake Tidings. The plaid box: 2 3/8x3 cranberry crisp and 2 1/4x 2 7/8 Fruitcake plaid.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Next Class- ABC Class

Our next ABC class is on Tuesday the 20th of November. See you soon!

Our 2nd "Crazy about Christmas" card class

Our second "Crazy for Christmas" card class was today. I found this ribbon at our PX and wanted so badly to use it on our cards. It is made by Hallmark. I used the perfect presentation "North Pole December 25Th" circle stamp. The Sweet Holidays stamp set was our main stamp set that we used. I have never used the gingerbread house before. We colored it and Versa marked it, then poured iridescent ice all over the image. We heat embossed it then added the liquid applique and heated that up, also. It is so cute and fun to decorate! Also, the candy cane came from the Holiday Tag Team set. The box that we made was just a 2x4x6x8 box. I cut a large 12x12 Whisper White paper into 81/2 x 12. Then I cut that into 71/2x 81/2 and kept the left over for the top of the box. I made them 51/2 inches tall.
I thought this turned out so cute I may use this for my Christmas cards this year. Kiriko's class did a wonderful job on their cards today and did a better job at coloring our little houses than I did!

Monday, November 12, 2007

2nd "Crazy about Christmas" Card Class!

'Tis the season to be stamping! We will be making a Christmas set. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Crazy about Christmas" Class!

We had our "Crazy for Christmas Cards" class today! I wanted to have them make a Christmas card and a matching Christmas box. Both the box and card have pieces of fresh Cyprus on them. I love to use natural elements in my cards. It smells so good when you take the cards out of the envelopes! We used liquid applique right on the branch as to look like snow. The snowman came from the "Thanks snow much" retired set. I believe that was my first stamp set ever! I love the color combination with this card. I used Purely pomegranate, Old olive, Whisper white and River rock. Also, Dashing Christmas paper.

Hiroko is concentrating :o)My Beautiful friends! Thank you so much for all the food for our lunch today! It was so good! I especially loved the Chinese meatfilled buns. YUM!

Two of the finished cards. Great job!

Make your Stamping Wishes come true!

Wish Lists for Santa

Scroll to the bottom of the page to enter all your Stamping Wishes! It's easy to create a list of the stamps you're hoping for with my NEW Holiday Wish List! Make a list on-line and I will send it to your friends and family. Voila! You are simple to shop for, you get what you want..

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Next Class-"Crazy about Christmas!"

'Tis the season to be stamping! We will be making Christmas cards tomorrow! See you all then!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We had our Halloween Party!

Wow! What a day! We had met everyone at the gate and brought them to my house. Lilly and her husband were patiently waiting for us to get there. We set up our finger foods outside on three tables and moved the fireplace to the front yard. Everyone changed over into their costumes and started eating. As we were standing outside talking and having our party, trick or treaters were a little confused, they thought we had set up the party for them! They were trying to get a bite of our food! Thank you to the husbands who kept them away!Everyone looked so good in their costumes! The adults wore costumes as well as the kids. We had lots of little witches at our party. Kumie borrowed a witches hat and she was a pink and black witch, Migumi was a pirate like me! Elsa was Cruella Deville, Lilly wore a feathered mask, Eiko was a blonde she devil, Toshiko borrowed a green wig and looked soooo cute, and Kyoko was a cute little witch, too. Kyoko went off with Shelby to go trick or treating with the teenagers in the neighborhood. I am glad they got to spend some time with each other. Tomoko and Toshe were beautiful witches, also! Takumi was the handsomest Shrek and Diana was a very cute baseball player! We had around 40 people combined with Regina's group. The picture only shows some of our group. We headed out for Trick or Treating and came back to have smores in the fireplace. Everyone was having so much fun which made me very happy! Some of the adults had never dressed up before so they were able to experience something NEW, which is always exciting! Happy Halloween memories everyone!