Pile o’ Christmas Cheer

It always starts with someone in mind. A person may need cheering up or wishing birthday greetings. This time, I had my senior living communities to design for. What would I gift them for a little Christmas cheer when I visit in December?

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The package needs to be easily opened and can be reusable. I let people know they can enjoy the treat inside, refill it and re-gift it. It needs to be festive and fun and easy to assemble since I have many to make.

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So I started gathering piles of supplies I had on hand, designed the favor and then ordered the supplies needed to make about 300. Each resident and staff will receive one. They were a big hit with the first communities I visited yesterday.

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If we cross paths in December, I’ll gift you one too. In case we don’t, here is a Youtube video showing how to assemble plus a few other ideas at the end of the video.

 

Happy Holidays!

Super Awesome Party Favor Maker Shirley

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Stack o’ Christmas Cheer

That’s me and my Stack o’ Christmas Cheer! I thought it would be fun to show the kits I have prepared to share at senior living communities in December. 747 is the count! I have a spreadsheet to help me keep track so that is how I know the number.

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What you don’t see is that I propped my gingerbread decorated window on the other side to keep the stack from toppling.The cards I snail mail are excluded from the stack. I have yet to start them.

I certainly help to keep the US Postal Service in business!

Super Awesome kit maker Shirley

Free Shipping Right Now!

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Large or small, your order qualifies for free shipping today, November 27th, until 11:59pm mountain time! For easier service, please order at my online store here. Your order will ship directly to you if you use my online store. Otherwise it will ship to me and you will need to pick it up from me.

Please use the December host code V6VPJFWU when placing your online order if it is under $150. If it is over $150, do not use the code so you can keep all the host rewards. All online orders over $50 (before shipping and tax) qualify for my Online Shopper Rewards. Details for OSR can be found on my blog under that section.

Enjoy a little holiday inspiration below. One of these may land in your mailbox or at your December stamping party. Fun!

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My front step provides the perfect scene for photos. Newly decorated with finds from Gap Hill and around our house. One detail that will not be added is my stick snowpeeps. That will wait until we get the first snow and then it is usually stuck in the snowbank. It blows in with the snow, haha!

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Back to the regularly scheduled programming. The free shipping is offered today only! My online store is a click away so happy shoppin’ and stampin’!

Super Awesome Stamper Shirley

 

Toil and Trouble, Boil and Bubble

Jim’s sister Sue created this pin worthy tablescape. It screams Something Wicked This Way Comes. Notice the test tubes? These are left overs from her Something Good to Eat Paper Pumpkin kit from last year. Full kits, refill kits and test tubes are available through my online store here.

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She created her own labels that say spider venom, unicorn fur, toad pee, raven’s blood and zombie blood. Fun!

The wide angle shot…Scary!IMG_3390

I’ll be handing out candy tonight. I plan to create some owloween treat bags like I shared in this post for my stamping neighbors. So unmask yourself so I can give you the chocolate!

Happy Halloween!

Super Awesome Shirley in the Halloween pajama pants

Cattail Retreat – Epilogue

This should really have been the prologue but I missed taking a photo of my pillow gifts at retreat. So I recreated what I gifted when I was back at my house. This photo is a similar design to what I shared for pillow gifts. I used the pumpkins in place of the “owleween” image and spooky moon paper.

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Dawn also presented us with a purple and wine themed bowl warmer while we were settling in. She said it can be placed in the microwave with the bowl while heating so that fingers are protected from the hot bowl. The purple is on the opposite side of the print side.

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I think it is too nice (partly because it is purple!) to use in the kitchen. I will instead use it as a bow bowl. I pre-tie bows so I’ll use the bowl to corral them before I place them on glue dot strips. Stampers pull a bow from the strip and attach it to their card. In between bow tying sessions, I will use it to corral my snippets of wool while I rug hook similar to how Dawn and Pam were using their bowls, to corral snippets of fabric while making straight edges. Thank you Dawn for the thoughtful and multi-purpose gift.

This concludes my posts about our weekend retreat at Cattail Retreats. I hope you enjoyed reading along. I enjoyed my time at retreat and sharing it with you.

Can you picture yourself on retreat with us next time? Remember that the focus of the weekend is working on your own projects. You can make as little or as large of a dent on your list as you would like to. Breakfast is on your own. The rest of the meals are split up so we are only preparing and cleaning up one meal per stay. If you would like to join us next time, use the Contact Me button above for more details and dates. I have weekends reserved for February, August and October.

Have a nice rest of your weekend!

Super Awesome Weekend Retreater Shirley

P.S.  I almost forget to share the visit to Nancy’s Notions in Beaver Dam. Pam’s trip is complete!

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Scene 3 Completed Tasks

This was my pile of work for day 2 at the retreat. I shiver when I use loose glitter but I can tolerate our glimmer sheets because most of the glitter stays on the sheet. I have kept my previous paper trimmer to only cut the glimmer sheets so that I keep my Stampin’ Up! trimmer glitter free. I cut 5 sheets of 12×12 silver glimmer to use them for senior living session card kits. The seniors love the glitter! I had all the kits in one stack before I realized I forgot a photo for the blog so my pile of glimmer strips will have to do!

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Dawn’s pile of hats and scarves was a project she got done early in the weekend too. Each of her students receives a pair with their name on a label. It is a gift that is memorable and also functional with our Wisconsin winter. Dawn’s says that what they treasure most is their name on the items and that she took the time to make one for each of them.IMG_7649

I had packed a make-n-take but was undecided I would share it since they were so busy with their projects. I decided to share it as we closed out the weekend because I had picked a project that had triangles on it! Dawn and Pam could also color the triangles as they pleased. These kits are from Paper Pumpkin and a box that was designed by our CEO and co-founder’s daughter, Sara.

It was interesting that triangles wove us together, first with Pam and Dawn and quilt triangles. Then, the three of us creating with the paper crafting make-n-take. I had lots of non-triangle options for a make-n-take but for some reason, I packed this one. These were the last 3 of this card design I had left too.

I’ll have an epilogue to share this weekend so check back for that.

Super Awesome Stamper Shirley

Scene 2 A Journey Starts…with triangles!

The ladies I retreated with are quilters. One made the journey to Wisconsin a few years ago for work. The other made the journey to Wisconsin for the weekend to visit her friend from their home state of South Dakota. Pam wins the award for the most miles traveled to get to a retreat!

I noticed this quilt square and asked about the story because my Mom loves to be on the lookout for barn quilts. She and my sister have even made their own barn quilt. So I know Mom would want the story behind this barn quilt square. Notice the barn quilt has tiny, tiny triangles.

This quilt square commemorates a shop hop trip Dawn and Pam made with a few others to Minnesota. Each shop hopper made their own square and then shared the square with the others. The idea is that they would each get the same square to sew together to make a quilt of their own. Pam recalled her square has planes on it, partly because she would rather take a plane, than drive if I am recalling the reason correctly. Dawn said she incorporated the words “joy ride” because she was the driver and joy is her favorite word. This barn quilt square made the journey back to South Dakota with Pam.

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Pam sent a box of supplies ahead of her trip so she could work on this pattern. She had a few squares done prior to the weekend but most she assembled during our retreat. Her goal is to enjoy the process and not measure how much she has finished. I watched while she assembled one square because piecing together all those triangles seemed a little crazy to me. Although there were a few triangles, it was mostly strips that she pieced together. So she got a few points off the crazy scale for using strips!IMG_7659

Dawn was the other quilter at retreat and worked on many projects over the weekend. This was one of those projects. The tree and words were already printed on the panel. She added the piano key border first. I heard them talking about piano keys so I think that is what the rectangles are called along the left. Then the similar border along the other sides. Last is the detail in the bottom right. No triangles on this quilt.

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Dawn’s quilting journey started with thinking quilters are crazy (just like me) for cutting up perfectly good fabric into triangles and then piecing it back together. It sounds like it took a few years for Dawn to realize that quilting is not all about triangles. There are other methods to quilting including fabric books which she sewed over the weekend as well.

I did not tell them that I have always thought I would reserve quilting for when I retire. For now, rug hooking fills the time when I am not paper crafting. It was neat to watch Pam assemble a square and listen to their lingo throughout the weekend. They also were pretty focused on their math skills because just as in paper crafts, we know the instant we cut wrong the second the cutting is complete. In paper crafts, I have to redesign if I cut wrong. My guess is that incorrectly cut fabric may result in triangles being pieced together! 🙂

The triangles appear in our story again before the weekend is done. Catch that in Scene 3 along with my silver glimmer paper pile!

Super Awesome Math Skills Person Shirley

Your Invitation to Weekend Craft Retreat

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You are invited to a Weekend Craft Retreat where your paper crafting supplies, knitting or sewing supplies can stay out on your own 6×3 foot table the entire weekend! Finish projects or get started on new ones.

Take a break when you need to in the separate living area or on the grounds outside.

Food is coordinated potluck so you will be providing a meal with another person. That is all the cooking for the entire weekend!

Sleeps 8 across 3 bedrooms. Looking to book one group per bedroom so ask your friends to join us! Towels, bed linens are provided. Kitchen has dishes, cookware and silverware.

Our retreat starts in 5 sleeps on Friday, October 20th, arrive after 10am. We depart by 3pm on Sunday, October 22nd.

Cost is $120 per person. Includes lodging, tax on lodging and paper crafting make-n-takes.

The retreat website is here: http://cattailretreat.com/

Use the Contact button above for full details and to RSVP. Thanks!

See you at the retreat!

Super Awesome Shirley

 

Madison Moms Blog Mom’s Night Out

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Would you like to join the Madison Moms Blog for a fun night without the kids on Thursday, October 19th? They have lots of pampering and activities planned with more details on their Facebook event here.

I’ll be sharing a hand stamped greeting card or 3-D using the supplies below.  I am going to keep the designs a secret until after the event. I’ll be bringing Paper Pumpkin too. Guests can sign up for a chance to win a free Paper Pumpkin Party when they visit me during the event.

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See you at the Spooktacular Halloween Party!

Super Awesome Stamper Shirley

and Done!

The is the last post about the progress of my Halloween themed rug that I have been working on since October 2014 (or maybe earlier than that but I can’t remember exactly). I do remember that I took the rug with me on my first volunteer retreat for Breast Cancer Recovery Infininate Boundaries Retreats. I worked on the pumpkins in the back seat of BCR van while Gail drove and Cheryl sat in the front seat on our way to Egg Harbor in Door County. This was in October 2014.

The following year in October 2015, my Mom hopped a ride with Jeanette to zoom down the interstate for a weekend retreat at Woodridge Lodge. The lodge owner, Chris Savoy, is a rug hooker and designed the Halloween pattern below which we had purchased a few retreats earlier.

Mom had been admiring several other patterns since we started getting away at the lodge a few years earlier. This was the weekend she decided to purchase a few more patterns and declare ourselves hookers! I am the only daughter that is a hooker with her:)

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I added our beagle angel Spencer peeking out from the pumpkin patch as he would do in his own backyard patch. The cat is Mr. Kitty, my Mom and Dad’s cat and was in the pattern originally. I stuck pretty close to the pattern but I know those stars were tricky so I may have hooked over a few for a blacker halloweenie night.

People ask if I will put my rugs on the floor. Since this is my first rug that took at least 3 years to complete, I can safely say that it will remain on the back of the couch during Halloween season. I need to add a label to the back and then I can say that this rug is Done!

Stay tuned for progress reports on the snowpeeps themed rug I started while I was searching for the orange binding yarn for the Halloween rug. I hope the snowpeeps progress is faster than 3 years!

Super Awesome Rug Hooker Shirley