22 December 2011

Christmas Leftovers - Giveaway!

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
~Burton Hillis


Hop on over to Art Bead Scene today where I have a post up about what to do with Christmas Leftovers... of the beading kind!


I need a bit of a blog break to take care of making the holidays merry and bright around here.

We have my  husband's family on Christmas Eve, complete with a "red & green" theme this year (I was lobbying for dressing as the "12 Pains of Christmas" but I didn't win - next year I am pushing harder for that - "rigging up these lights!" Ahhahahaha!), Aunt Mary's chicken noodle soup that is all noodles and no soup and the famous White Elephant gift exchange. I think I will use the Left-Right-Center game to kick that off and get the presents moving.

I have just started wrapping gifts last night (special thanks to my husband who stayed up hours past his bedtime to wrap only the ones that with square corners!). A few have gone MIA and I hope to find them in time to give. Or they will be tucked away for a birthday or a random Tuesday. I also decided on Tuesday night that I needed to create something for the book lovers in the family so I came up with a clever design for a book mark and everyone is getting one personalized with one of those cute little intials pendants you see above. Maybe they will make the debut in the New Year on Etsy.

I will be hosting my family on Christmas Day after church. I am the 'Christmas Angel.' Every year with all the masses that are celebrated at our parish that are well attended (like the 6pm children's mass and the main 9pm one on Christmas Eve), there is not a cantor available who can take Christmas day. But since my husband's revelries last into the night, that is the only time we can go. So I end up being the Christmas Angel each year. I have a new pair of earrings I bought from Brandi Hussey before she closed down her shop that I am wearing on Christmas Day. I always love this celebration with the trees and the poinsettias and the creche. I even love the "Chreasters"... those that only come to church on Christmas or Easter (where I am the 'Easter Angel' as well). The carols are ones we will be familiar with but my favorite song I will sing is "Wood of the Cradle" (this is not me singing it, but a sweet girl named Emily with the voice of an angel.)

This afternoon and tomorrow (in between having all the carpets and tile cleaned in the house) I need to start baking and cooking. I made some of these Santa hat brownies a few weeks back and they were gobbled up. And I plan to jazz up my banana bread with this. Other goodies will be box mixed or those really cute and tasty corn flake wreaths, but I will make them shine by "dukesing" them up as my Bousha always said. We ordered a fancy deli meat and cheese tray from Ski's Meat Market and fresh baked bread from the Main Grain bakery. I will make my refreshing white wine sangria. My dad is bringing is famous Wild Rice Soup. It is laden with butter and cream with meaty hunks of ham bobbing up and down. It is a feast. And it is only brought out once a year (and believe me, that once a year is plenty!). There will be much oohing and ahhing all night long as we take the time to open one gift at a time. Slays the kids but exaggerates the fun for the rest of us!

It never really feels like Christmas to me until we attend the Christmas concert. My daughter's concert on Tuesday was so lovely. She had a solo in the performance and I am just blown away by her singing. (If I have time later i will see if I can post the song.) She wore the prettiest red dress, had her hair all curled up and sparkly and I made her a pair of dangly earrings to match. She is growing up so beautiful. Someday she will likely eclipse me as the Christmas Angel at mass. ;-)

I want to make someone's New Year bright. I would like to give away one of the bracelets above that I write about in the Art Bead Scene Post today. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and be sure to have a way for me to contact you (either turn your email on in your preferences or leave your email in the comments). You can comment about anything... but if you need some prompting...

What is the one gift that you are giving this Christmas that is the most special?

Winner will receive either the JOY or LOVE bracelet shown above. Winner will be chosen by random from all comments received through December 26th. I will announce the winner on December 27th.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. My husband just sent this to me: 11 Christmas Songs We Hope to Never Hear Again. I could have written this. EXACTLY what I have been harping on for YEARS! # 7 really gets my goat. And my kids think that my reaction to the line "Tonight, thank God it's them, instead of yooooouuuuu!" is hilarious. But seriously, people. It is horrendous.
But I think they missed out on adding in "The Christmas Shoes" song. Blech. Make it merry and bright!

47 comments:

TeriB said...

Erin, I was tired just READING through all that you have done/will be doing! I do really like the bracelets--what a great idea! The red LOVE is my fav----great for Valentine's too!
Teri

peacockfairy said...

So nice to hear about your holiday traditions. It is a very busy time of year, but we wouldn't have it any other way, right? I am so looking forward to starting new traditions as Richard grows up! You already know I love these bracelets! I really like the filigree settings you found for your simple truths!

moonlitfantaseas said...

Hi Erin!
I think the most special gift I gave this year was to my daughters Ex, (we still feel like family) I nice big tin fum of all the holiday goodies I have been baking......He always loved my cooking...so it was a no brainer, and a well recieved one!

Marie Cramp said...

What a lovely way to spend the holidays! You have some lovely traditions :) I am looking forward to a nice break, it's been so crazy, but yes, we need to do more baking first! I wish we could do a cookie swap! That would be so fun! <3
Merry Christmas sweet Erin!!

The Crazier Sister said...

HOW do you have the Energy!? I was a bit tired this morning and you just wore me out!!! I already read the guest post you did on these bracelets and loved it. I'm a bit of a messy beader, too, and they all remain on my table until used or I finally can't take it any more (can you say "blue moon?") so I loved the idea of making a bracelet from leftovers. That's so great! And, yes, I'd just LOVE to win one of these bracelets!

Cynthia said...

Merry Christmas Erin!! Your holiday sounds perfectly wonderful. And your holiday bracelets are beautiful.
The gifts I'm most excited about giving this year are to my Mom and a friend. I took some Lipstick Ranch cross pendants, wrapped them in wire and beads, and made necklaces. I really hope the recipients love them as much as I do!!

Janet Bocciardi said...

Merry Christmas Erin. Beautiful bracelets... well deserved time off I'd say!

I'm giving my hubby 2 cashmere sweaters! They're one of the few clothing items that he actually gets excited about when he wears them. Most of the time he doesn't care what he has on. : )

Alice said...

Goodness, you've got a lot going on. Even so, I know the holiday celebrations will be fabulous--because you take the time to make them special. I love your idea of the handmade bookmarks.

I'd love to win one of those pretty bracelets!

Pixiloo said...

Your holiday traditions sound just wonderful. I loved our family traditions as I was growing up and hope to create new ones with the kiddo. Those bracelets are just spectacular. Your initial pendants are stunning. I would love to see some in your shop.

Sherri said...

Erin, those bracelets are jut beautiful!! Count me in for the giveaway!! You and your family have a Very Merry Christmas!!

cmcdermitt1@carolina.rr.com

vettedoe said...

Your bracelets are beautiful! The best Christmas present I am giving this year is the gift of being in our own home (as opposed to traveling across the state to see family) on Christmas morning. It is the first time since my husband and I got married 12 years ago.

Rosalynn said...

Love your work always and the bracelets as well. The one gift that I am giving that I hope will remain very special in her life is a soft and cuddly stuffed dog for my darling 11-month-old granddaughter to take with her to bed. It is to remind her of how much her grandma loves her.

I hope your holidays are filled with blessings.

Melissa said...

Hmm, I spend a lot of time putting together the right present for people. I think the ones I have worried about the most are the handmade jewellery ones -- I'm pretty new at this jewellery-making gig! My favourite so far has been the necklace I made with the "Take time to love" pendant I ordered from you a few weeks back, Erin, I combined it with vintage brass, rhyolite and czech crystal for a friend who has had a tough year, and she loves it (so thank you for your beautiful pendant!)
I've still got a couple of things to put together tonight, eek!
(my email address is melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com)

debb said...

You wore me out just posting all you are doing! I love that you have so many Christmas traditions! I am still in get ready mode also but I am ambling along. The best gift I gave? Seems really simple and silly but we donated three used tvs to a children's rehab center. We learned of a need thru facebook, knew we had some extra tvs sitting in the basement (the kids used them in college) and thought this was the perfect use for them. seems silly but my husband got great joy in this and said "this is what it is about". he is struggling with work right now and it is consuming him so for him to get the Christmas spirit thru this minimal gesture on our part, thrills me. We certainly got much more than we gave.

Cabby Crafter said...

Looks like a very hectic and fun Christmas for you and your family. We will be having folks at home too and we expect a lot of eating and by the New Year, we a few pounds heavier. For the ladies, I made charms with the words: Blessed, Love and Peace. Merry Christmas, Erin!

Cindi said...

Would love to own some of your work. Great giveaway. Merry Christmas Erin.

Patti P. said...

Merry Christmas to you! These bracelets are so pretty and I love that you are using all the Leftovers for them. I love reading your blog and get so inspired by what you create or post about. You certainly put alot into your work and it's beautiful! pparks111@gmail.com

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Merry Christmas,Erin - your bracelets are beautiful. Esp. love the red one! Thanks for the chance to win.

indigo heart said...

erin, merry christmas. sounds like you've got your plate full, but fulfilled! i love your bracelets, my favorite is 'love'. my most special gift i'm giving this year is the framed photo and paw print of our beloved gidget to my mom, whose cat gidget was. with everything digital now, we get very few prints, and so mama had no photos of gidget, so this is extra special. on a slightly snarky note, i absolutely hate that stupid 'christmas shoes' song. urgh. yes, people are struggling, but goodness, it's hard enough during the holidays for a lot of people. i just don't like songs that manipulate me. anyway. shake it off. have a great break!

Regina said...

Merry Christmas Erin, what a lovely post. Good to hear about all the good stuff you and your family will be doing together this weekend. Love the Santa hat brownies and the PB banana bread. Would love to hear your daughter sing, I hope you will post the video.

My husband has got his Christmas gift already, I agreed to a third dog in the house! Baxter is a joy and a great addition to our family.

Have a joyful Christmas!

Jenny said...

They are beautiful! Hope I hear my name called!

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Oh Erin, you keep on inspiring me. I have barely made it to Mass at all this year, shameful, it really is. I'll have to ask you sometime, your tips for keeping little ones in a good mood during, we have three and they are all little and so energetic... My goal for next year is to get us to Mass on a regular basis, I miss it so!

The gift I'm giving away this Christmas that means the most, isn't even finished yet. But it is a special necklace for a very dear friend, one who has seen me through a lot of hard times, even though we've only ever met once in person! She and I have been writing together for almost four years and this will be inspired by a character of hers.
I am so grateful for all my new friends this year, of which I consider you one, Merry Christmas! I hope you and your family have wonderful holidays and an incredible New Year!

Davinia said...

It will be a strange Christmas for us this year as one of our children has left home and will be starting her own Christmas traditions with her partner. So Christmas morning will seem a little different. But I'll "face time" her bright and early (she'll love that....not) and then catch up during the day.
The best gifts I'm giving are some handmade polymer clay brooches from a very talented Spanish artist.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe, happy and healthy New Year Erin.

MaryL said...

Wow!! Sounds like a fantastic family Christmas...your Dad's soup; "I can taste it from here" yum!! This post makes me think of all the wonderful Christmas gatherings of the past... this one is not that great this year due to difficult situations loaded with stress (Not even a decoration)...but I still managed at the last minute to do some baking and have a few gifts to give so it wasn't a total bust :)
Your bracelets are fantastic!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

rosebud101 said...

Sounds like you are going to have a very busy but fun Christmas! Merry Christmas, Erin!

cw said...

Hi Erin,
'sounds like you are going to have a wonderful Christmas, lots of traditions, good memories for your children, and nothing beats that!
My "most special gift" this year has to be the jewelry I made for my daughter. She means the world to me. She is married and lives 5 hours away. They'll be at our house this year for Christmas. It doesn't get any better than that.
Merry Christmas to all!
Chris
dzeyenr@verizon.net

Nancy Markosky said...

Loved reading about your Christmas- so many fun things to do. My favorite Christmas present that I am giving...I have all of my grandma's old buttons. She died in 1991 at the age of 87 so I have been holding onto these buttons for a long time. I am feverishly making button bracelets for my sisters and my mom, using grandma's buttons. I know they will love them but they are a lot of work!

Sabine said...

I am giving a batch of my mother-in-law's shortbread with the pan and the recipe to my 2 nieces. She stopped making it years ago due to arthritis and has since died. Hopefully, they will add this to their recipe library and their memories of their grandmother.

Ann
http://mycriticaleye.com
annrishell@gmail.com

Bead Lola Bead said...

Those bracelets are all kinds of joyful awesomeness! I love your talent and your style!

Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas!

Cindy said...

Erin, what a jam-packed weekend. I feel like I can relate to your posts - we are so much alike, making the most of every hour of every day. :-) We don't have a huge family dinner to prepare for though - my that is a lot of work before, during, and after! My brother and his family were just in from FL and after our gift exchange, we decided to add on a White Elephant exchange next year. At my husband's company party last year, a Snuggie was the hot item! :-)
I had to smile about your husband wrapping gifts...I save the easy, boxed gifts for my husband too!...remember those Nutcrackers I mentioned? He'll be wrapping those tomorrow.
Your charm bracelets are beautiful - thank you for the give away opportunity. I think the initial charms are such a perfect way to personalize bookmarks.
Have a Merry Christmas! :-)

Kim Stevens said...

The gift that is most special? That would be the gift of my time - we are on a very tight budget and one of the things my husband asked for is a walking buddy for 60 days. So the kids and I are going to split it three ways! ; )

Those bracelets are just gorgeous - Have a very Merry Christmas Miss Erin!

substitutionqueen said...

You are a wonder! The bracelets are all beautiful and I'd be happy to own any of them. The best gift I'm giving is a set of vintage stemmed glasses that my husband has been searching for for years that we came across while holiday browsing, and I secretly bought them. He is going to be blown away.

Kristen said...

The merriest of Christmas to you my sweet friend/angel! I hope it is filled with love, smiles and peace. Thank you again for all you do for you give us throughout the year. Of course I would love one of your creations to ring in the new year.

SueBeads said...

What a wonderful post, Erin! Sounds like you have wonderful holiday traditions! The soup sounds really really good! I'm sure he won't see this so I can tell you, the special gift I am giving this year is to my boyfriend. It's a lamp from his Alma Mater. His ex-wife smashed his up one time in one of her temper tantrum rages and it really hurt him. It's his big present this year and I hope he loves it!

Linda Landig said...

These bracelets are lovely. I didn't know you were a singer. I always wished I could sing, but alas...

My husband is a gardener and I am giving him a handmade garden decoration of wrought iron and etched glass.

ArtZhodgepodge said...

What wonderful celebrations you have going on. For us this year its pretty low key our son is deployed currently. My most exciting gift giving was two packages I created. one for a young family and the other was for a deployed soldier (not my son). Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..

Your bracelets are fabuous.

Hadar said...

Happy Holidays. :-)

I was wondering though if you'd consider making a hanukkah themed necklace? Love your style and I'm always in the market for something hand-made and interesting. :-) *shrug* just checking. Have a great weekend!

Heather

TorqueStory said...

These are delightful bracelets, but what I loved most was your confession on the Art Bead Scene post that you rarely clean up after projects and have lots of bowls full of unsorted leftovers. At last--a kindred spirit!

I LOVE color! said...

Erin the Christmas angel,
love this post makes me wish I could be a fly on the wall and watch as you and your family celebrate Christmas
Be blessed to be a blessing
lookatthecolors@sbcglobal.net

stregajewellry said...

Love both bracelets, but that green one just makes me feel happy! My favorite gift I am giving this year is not one I made but something I bought with money I had saved for "supplies". When I heard about this charity (Snuggled Up Inc.), I had to donate enough to buy one of these kids a place to sleep. This is in my own neighborhood and though I will never know which child got the bed kit, I WILL know that one child will not be sleeping on a cold floor for Christmas. Way better than new beads and findings!

P.S. Your dad's Wild Rice soup sounds great!

JeannieK said...

I know you never sleep so you can pull all this off. Erin, I love your blog and I'm looking forward to spending 2012 with you and your journey.

If by some chance I win, please bestow to another cherished reader.

Merry Christmas my Christmas Angel.

CreatingCures said...

My special gift this year is a pair of mittens I made for my son. I didn't knit them but made them from an old sweater vest I've had for years that I LOVE and couldn't part with. Saw a DIY for shrinking the sweater in the wash, cutting out mittens and then sewing the edges with yarn. They came out a little handmade wonky but he get's my wonkiness and I think he'll like them as much as I do.

Merry Christmas wishes to you and your family Erin. ~~T

Christine Hansen said...

Erin - wishing you and your family the merriest of holidays! Regarding the most special gift we're giving this year - our family has a little tradition of making up a small care package or two, and giving them to people who have no homes. This year, we were thrilled to be able to give out four little care packages. We want our friends who live on the streets to know there are people who care about them, and want them to be OK, warm, safe, and fed.

Shaiha said...

A good friend of mine has recently brought one of his neighbors into our circle who is recovering from an abusive marriage. So when I was making jewelry for Yule gifts I made her a pair of earrings. Just watching her face light up when I gave them to her made it all worthwhile.

Here Bead Dragons said...

What a nice blog about Christmas and making it have meaning. Those are beautiful bracelets that you have crafted. The red one has such deep wonderful color that I find I really like it best of the two. Anyway, hope your Christmas with family was great.
~cryssT

Rosemarie said...

So mucn love has been put into the planning of your holiday I can't imagine it was anything but spectacular for you and your lucky family. How lucky yoy all are tu have each other! Merry Christmas!

swopemelmel said...

I love Christmas so much Erin that it breaks my heart when it's over. It's just such a loving and special time of year. Maybe that's why we love it so much, because it comes only once a year. Much love and joy to you and yours. Miss Melanie (swopemelmel@aol.com)

P.s. I recieved my Nutcracker pendanats and they are PERFECT!!!

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