Planing for the

In our family, food goes hand in hand with celebrating occasions. When planing for the coming Christmas, I inevitably recall Christmases past. My mind quickly drifts to the different foods that we love, have tried and enjoyed and decide if we will add them to this coming festivities. There are the home-made classics that are particularly popular with the kids and then there are the new foods or recipes that cry out to be included. This year, there is a strong inclination to remember the kids' Oma who died just weeks ago. We are going to include a lot of her Dutch influence in our Christmas buffet this year.  

Boterkoek (a Dutch cross between a shortbread and a heavy butter cake),  

 Speculaas (a spicy biscuit, traditionally baked for consumption on St Nicholas' Eve),  

Croquettes (a sausage shape veal meat ball ) best served with mustard - my absolute favourite!

and Oliebollen (a fruity doughnut type dumpling) are just a few things that pop into mind.
Obviously there are other Dutch foods and likings. (Thankfully salted herring is not a favourite amongst my tribe!)

Now I am an Aussie who is fortunately married to a Dutchman and the only Dutch food I have actually made have been boterkoek and poffertjes (mini pancakes), so I need to expand my repertoire urgently.

So at this stage I have sent out a call to all my Dutch relatives & friends and hope to soon replace these stock photos with my own images. I know at a pinch I can buy in the croquettes and speculaas but it would be much more fun to make them myself or even better do it together with my kids when they come!.. Wish me luck!

So what foods do you & your loved ones celebrate Christmas with?

Less is More - Week 42

With everything going on in the last few weeks in our family, it has just been to hectic to make cards. Even today's card is one that I had made some time ago but it fits this theme beautifully.
This week's LIM challenge is silhouettes. Go take a look at the cards other participants have come up with here.

Once again I am inspired by other talents stampers, this time from Stacey O'Shea, Here is my interpretation that fits in with this theme.

I stamped the image (unknown original) however I used my sharpies to colour it in as a solid silhouette and then proceeded to sponge various blue dye inks around  a circle mask (cut from a circle nestablities). I use the same black sharpie pen to add some grass as a hillock. This card is available at my Zibbet shop

I hope you enjoyed this entry!

I am busy working on a custom order & Christmas gifts and wrappings, so come back soon.

It's been a sad few weeks

We lost my hubby's mother last week (9th November). She was 94. She rarely ever was sick and so to see her in hospital, even for just 9 short days, was so unreal. Just a few days before she went into hospital she was amazingly still driving and living independently, doing her own cooking etc.
It was very hard to let go, no matter how long they have lived for, it is never enough.

Groot Oma with one of  her Great Great grandchildren, Miriam
We are so thankful to God for her life in so many ways. Her love for the Lord was passed down the generations, with 2 grand daughters serving God as ministers and 2 son in laws  (not hubbys of the aforementioned girls) studying or serving God as ministers. She was not perfect and strived to improve herself daily. She was an extremely industrious person especially with her crafts. We have started to clear out her place (it must be vacated within a fortnight!) and are amazed at the volume of her variety & volume of crafts and the exquisite fine crocheting she was still accomplishing in her final months! She was a person who did not sit at home waiting for her visitors, which she dearly loved to have esp if it was of her family members! She was often unavailable between the hours of 9 and 3 or 4 most days as she went about her activities from visiting the 'oldies', who often were a decade or more younger than her, craft group, bible studies, fellowship, church, the Dutch Club and so forth.
Trapunto Cushion
Red cushion

It was hard to go through her things. It feels like such an invasion of her privacy and then on top of that we tended to feel mercenary as we decide who is having what of her things and what to discard! So many things speak of her life. I have been blessed to have known her and to be included in her family since I married my husband some 30 years ago.


She has been an inspiration to my own craft endeavours over the years. When she came over, I often ended up showing her a new paper craft technique, it was the only craft I could teach her, and she would go home with yet more papers and cards or stuff!

Come Christmas and birthdays, we all would receive some handmade or hand decorated items. I can look around my house in just about any room and find something that Mum has made whether it be fine crochet doilies, cross stitch hangings, crocheted edged face washers and hand towels, woven waste baskets.
Her creative genes were passed down with all 5 of her children and many of her 18 grandchildren, blessed with creativeness and industry. 
Through Mum I found what it is like to be a part of a loving extended family, so thanks Mum for the wonderful memories. Thank you brothers & sisters for letting me a part of your family too!

And most of all: Thank you God for bringing her into our lives.

The most amazing Christmas Explosion Box

Every once in a while, I surprise myself. This Christmas Box is one of those times. I just think this is one of my absolute favourite items. I know I shouldn't blow my own trumpet, but I am so happy with how it turned out, especially after a few hold ups along the way.

I started the box about 2 months ago. I made the box base and stamped & glittered the inside pages. It looked terrific. I loved this. I made some of the trims, such as the red contrast punched strips which I made into 'pockets' into which the photo or journaling could be  partially inserted on 4 of the pages. Another set of pages had red ribbons as anchors and corners. Then that was that! It just wouldn't come together any further for me. I guess most of us have this happen now and then.

None of my stamped images 'fitted' in cohesively. It just wouldn't gel. I left it for a bit. I went down to a scrapbooking store and finally found some card candy that I thought would suit. So I bought my first ever card candy! 

Great, I am off and running again! I made a tag & stuck the various candies over the pages. I stalled at trying to come up with the centre feature. I still couldn't finish the box...

I just didn't have a clue what I was going to do this time. So I left it again, this time for something like about 6 weeks as so much as happened in the meantime, such as a 3 week visit to the other side of the country to meet my new darling granddaughter & be reaquainted with her sister & parents.

Then home again to all sort of bits & pieces such as a mammogram and associated testings which was iffy for a bit. Then two funerals in one week. Now my MIL is in hospital and not expected to come home and my hubby has done his back in and can hardly walk but obviously wants to make an effort to see his mother as much as possible! So all in all it has been rather sad and hectic.

I was dying to get in and save my sanity with some crafting and just the other day the penny dropped on what  I could make for the centre. I thought of doing a 3D  Christmas tree! Yay! I can finish off the box. I hand drew and cut 3 Christmas trees out of Bazzil card. I folded them down the centre and glued just the centres to each other but ensuring that the halves were not glued closed giving the appearance of 6 'pages' of the tree making it very 3 dimensional. When it was dry, I added glue along the cut edges and applied white Flower Soft and sprinkled ultra fine Crystal glitter over the wet glue. I then cut off & glued mini baubles off a tinsel room decoration and re-purposed them for my tree. I even got to use my brand new Sizzix Star Burst Die which had only arrived yesterday! I had 5 acetate strips for the bouncy fluttering things that help make it 'explode' when it is opened. The tips of the strips had a wooden angel, a couple of 'spare' stars and some holly leaves attached to them.

 I didn't start on the lid until I had the rest of the box done so I could tie it all together. I stamped and embossed a greeting onto a white square card which I layered with a scalloped green card and added a gold a copper star burst die cut. more red border punched trim and a white bow ties off the lid beautifully. One more Christmas tree adorns one side of the box with it Flower Soft and glitter touches.

It is done at long, long last. I love it. I am sure you will too. I have had enough for today even though it is still only 8pm. I will list it in my shop first thing tomorrow. I am sure it will be snapped up soon. So if you like it, you had better be quick about it. I am off to vege in front of the tele.
Good night to all.