Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you are all celebrating with family and friends today, and cherishing a beautiful occasion. I hope you all have a lovely break and find the time to scrap these wonderful moments! Here is a poem for you all to enjoy.

What Do We Love About Christmas?

What do we love about Christmas;
Does our delight reside in things?
Or are the feelings in our hearts
The real gift that Christmas brings.

It’s seeing those we love,
And sending Christmas cards, too,
Appreciating people who bring us joy
Special people just like you.

By Joanna Fuchs

Projects using the Darkroom Door kit available on Magstore!

Kit available on Magstore

The images that Darkroom Door produces are always so beautiful and can really enhance a layout on a certain theme. But where to start? Do you go with the cute, candy-pink girly images, some robot fun for the boys some elegant black and white travel shots or everything baby related? Well in this huge Darkroom Door Papercraft pack you get the lot! Including Montages, Photochips, Filmstrips and Wordstrips from the Music, Robot, Prague, Yuletide, Hello Baby and Sweet Treats collections, you’ll be scrapping for months! Plus some Alphastrips are thrown in too.

This pack is so versatile that we were able to create these three very different projects with just a tiny portion of the pack, so it’s worth every cent. At a price of $63, you will save more than 30% off the RRP. And if you order before Christmas Day, delivery is free! Head to magstore.com.au and check this bargain out right now!

Almost 2 by Cassie Bellemore

 

Princess Lacie

Princess Lacie by Cassie Bellemore

Christmas place cards by Cassie Bellemore

Scrapbooking Memories Masters goes on sale today!

Vol 15 No 4 – Masters Edition

The wait is over! The 2012 Scrapbooking Memories Masters have been announced, and it’s time to check out the magazine with all of their inspiring entries. There is even a separate magazine bundled with Vol 15 No 4 that highlights all the amazing honourable mentions. The issues hits news stands today, so grab your copy before they all run out!

12 Days of Christmas – Final day with Jane Clark!

Scrapbooking Memories 12 Days of Christmas

Our final day of our 12 Days of Christmas blog series is here! I hope you have all had fun reading what some famous scrappers get up to over the festive season! To finish off, we have the extremely talented Jane Clark from Cardmaking, Stamping and Papercraft magazine! Her work has been featured in many magazines, including ours! We love her work (and the magazine!) so we thought we’d save the final chat just for her!

Jane Clark

1. How do you spend Christmas day?

I start Christmas day by attending the midnight mass with my husband Richard, daughter Eliza 18, son Thomas 15. It never feels late as I’m usually still up wrapping presents and now that the kids are older we can sleep in a little on Christmas day. We have breakfast at Richard’s sister’s place with his parents; luckily they live only 10 mins away. We enjoy smoked salmon, croissants and fruit, and then the kids get stuck into their presents!! Its back home to getting lunch organised for my family, they all start arriving around midday, my three brothers, their partners, their children and their girlfriends turn up for a full traditional lunch, this year I have the in-laws and a friend joining us! Lunch sometimes doesn’t start till 2.30pm but no one ever complains as there is always food being passed around!! In the afternoon you will find the oldies having a nanna nap in the front lounge area and the younger generation still chatting, eating and drinking out the back!! At about 5pm we all congregate in the lounge area where we hand out presents, this takes hours as we unwrap them one by one so we can see what everyone gets. Left-over’s are served for dinner which is usually about 9pm, that’s if anyone is hungry! Everyone starts to go home at about 10pm and it’s all over for another year!!

  1. Does your family have any special traditions?

The kids still like to put out their Santa sacks along with my hubby’s who has had his since a child, presents are wrapped and place in them. We have the full traditional baked lunch regardless of the sweltering heat outside, my parents used to do it and I’m keeping it going, they had no air conditioning so I have it good! I cook a huge ham with marmalade then decorate it with pineapple rings and glazed cherries; gosh my mouth is watering already!! My hubby cooks the pork in our Weber BBQ and I have three fry pans all sizzling away with potatoes, pumpkin, onion, sweet potato etc. We have Christmas carols blaring away, we fight over the crackers and then proudly wear those wonderful paper hats, silly as it seems we all love it and wouldn’t change it for the world! It’s a huge job but I thoroughly enjoy it every year. Of course everyone helps out and they bring many other delightful delicacies’ to eat and I most certainly don’t do the washing up!

  1. How do you survive holiday shopping?

My list is long as I like to get something for everyone even just a little thing, I get told I’m mad for doing this but I love it!! Every year I have all the intentions of making gifts but reality sets in and I head off to the shops!! I get a few presents at a time and try not to stress, I go to the shops early in the morning and when I’ve had enough I’m out of there!! The great thing this year is that my daughter has a job in a book store, so guess what everyone is getting this year and I get a family discount!!

  1. How do you decorate your home?

We have a huge Christmas tree in our lounge area which the kids decorated and they always do an amazing job, I remember when they were 3 and 6 and only the bottom half of the tree would be decorated but that’s what it’s all about. I get lots of handmade Christmas cards from my crafty friends and I hang them up as they are mini masterpieces. We don’t do the Griswold’s lights outside anymore, the kids are older and our neighbours do a great job anyway, plus hubby doesn’t like heights!

  1. Any Christmas crafty tips you’d like to share?

I used to stress every year about making our Christmas cards, since I make cards for the magazine my friends and family expect a handmade card from me and not something simple either! Well I got over that, this year I came up with a great idea, I have heaps of background pieces that I had left over from demos at classes or I had used in my ‘The Classroom’ feature, I popped these on a folded A5 card, added a stamped image on top, a bow and viola!! Looks like I’ve taken hours to create them but in actual fact I’ve made ten in half an hour! So grab those half finished pieces or create some during the year and stock them up.

 

After reading all about Jane’s Christmas, why not view our other chats? Here is the complete round up!

Day 1 – Donna Salazar

Day 2 – Claudine Hellmuth

Day 3 – Teresa Collins

Day 4 – Amy Tan

Day 5 – Maggie Holmes

Day 6 – Diane Schultz

Day 7 – Natalie Kalbach

Day 8 – Sharon Laakkonen

Day 9 – Trisha Ladouceur

Day 10 – Becky Higgins

Day 11 – Anna Dabrowska

Bauble image: Mad Dog/www.shutterstock.com

12 Days of Christmas – Day 11 with Anna Dabrowska!

Scrapbooking Memories 12 Days of Christmas

It’s getting close to the finish! After today there is only one day left of our 12 Days of Christmas blog series and one week until Christmas! Check out our chat with the talented Anna Dabrowska.

Anna Dabrowska

How do you spend Christmas day?
Well, first I need to mention in Poland we start celebrating not on Christmas Day but the day before, on the Christmas Eve. The families traditionally meet in the afternoon and start Christmas Eve dinner when the first star appears on the sky. According to Polish tradition we are not allowed to eat any meat on this day – till midnight it is Lent. We sing carols, unpack our presents and some of us go to the Church at midnight – we’ve got a special midnight mass on this night called “Shepherds’ Mass” for remembering the first people who came to greet Jesus. Then on Christmas day we meet again – usually in the dinner time and celebrate – this time having a huge Christmas feast. We spent many hours together talking, singing and having a good time. Christmas is one of the most important family celebrations in the year. The next day we usually spend at home, trying to recover after having too much food on the days before… :) If the weather is nice and it is not too cold we go for a walk in the Old City. Children love to play outside in the snow :)

Does your family have any special traditions?
I think we share our traditions with many Polish families at least from our region – middle of Poland. One of the most important Christmas Eve traditions is to have a bunch of hay under the tablecloth during the Christmas Eve dinner, to share the holy wafer with your family and friends wishing them all the best for the coming year and to have 12 dishes on the Christmas Eve table, no more, no less! These dishes are traditionally based on fish, sauerkraut, peas, dried mushrooms and fruit and of course we’ve got really sweet poppy seed desserts. All these specialties are cooked just for Christmas and we need to wait till the next year to have them again :)

How do you survive holiday shopping?

Ha, that is a good question. I avoid it as much as I can, trying to reduce the shopping to minimum. We visit our families a lot, so our needs are limited and we make shopping lists to make sure we’ve got all the gifts and all the components we need. I try to buy as much in advance as possible too… To be honest – I hate big shopping and I buy most of the food in the small local shops and on the markets.

How do you decorate your home?

Christmas trees are obligatory – no exceptions here! We’ve got many decorations for them, and every year we add something more, something new. Christmas tree is the essence of Christmas. We live in a small apartment so we can’t have a really big one, but we try to have a real, green tree every year. I usually add some candles in the living room, some lights in the window…and basically – this is all, no space for more decorations! People who have houses and gardens use to decorate their homes and trees outside with lights – this is really spectacular view!

Any Christmas crafty tips you’d like to share?

I’m hopeless in Christmas crafting… I don’t make cards, or many handmade gifts – only for the closest friends and family. I like making tags though and I always do it last minute… which means I have to be super creative just before the first star appears on the sky! In this situation it is good to have some pre-made cards or tags waiting for quick altering… and the first ideas are usually the best ones too! Of course, I’d recommend planning everything in advance and preparing the gifts and packing them before Christmas…but it simply doesn’t work for me! Sorry!

Bauble image: Mad Dog/www.shutterstock.com

12 Days of Christmas – Day 10 with Becky Higgins!

As creator of Project Life, we’re so happy to have Becky Higgins take part in our 12 Days of Christmas!

How do you spend Christmas day?

It’s all about family and just being together and enjoying the spirit of Christmas and eating a yummy breakfast – and of course exchanging gifts at the foot of our Christmas tree. We are usually with extended family and this year we’ll have a house-full which we’re really looking forward to! Our children are still “little” but as they get a little older I would love to add something service-related to the actual day of Christmas where we go out and feed the homeless or something like that. 

Does your family have any special traditions?

We love “adopting” a family and anonymously leaving gifts at someone’s door who is unsuspecting during their time of need. We also love the “Elf on a Shelf” tradition that many families enjoy and my kids love looking for our elf each morning when they wake up.

How do you survive holiday shopping?

We do as much online as possible. And I keep track of everyone we are giving gifts to on a list so I’m not trying to remember so much in my head. That’s my greatest “survival” tip.

How do you decorate your home?

We bust out the same decorations year after year but I’ll admit that most years there’s a little turn-over (a few things go and a few things are new). My favorite thing this year is the collection of various trees on various candlesticks across the bar in our kitchen.

Any Christmas crafty tips you’d like to share?

 One creative gift idea that I think is fun for smaller gifts or “neighbour” gifts is a roll of Christmas wrapping paper!

 

Bauble image: Mad Dog/www.shutterstock.com

12 Days of Christmas – Day 9 with Trisha Ladouceur!

Scrapbooking Memories 12 Days of Christmas

Day 9 of our 12 Days of Christmas brings us to our chat with the wonderfully talented Trisha Ladouceur!

1.       How do you spend Christmas day?

Typically we have a pretty quiet day. More often than not, it will simply be my husband and two boys at home. Our day starts insanely early as the kids are anxious to tear into their gifts that have been left by Santa under the tree. Even though they are 12&14 they still “believe” or at least do a darn good job pretending as the rule in our house is that Santa only comes if you believe in the magic! There are of course other gifts but Santa brings the rocking ones!!! Because I love in Canada, our Christmases’ are always WHITE and with the white comes snow and cold of course. That means depending on just how cold it is we could end up just hanging out at home for the day. On milder days, we will try to take in Candy Cane Lane (which is a street in our city that goes all out with holiday decorations and lights on all the houses). Sometimes we will spend it ice skating or sledding too if we are really ambitious. I will cook a full out Christmas Turkey feast and occasionally we will have extended family join us. Most importantly, we enjoy the day as a family and it doesn’t matter what we do as long as we are together!

  1. Does your family have any special traditions?

We will often have a dollar store gift exchange with our extended family. It is a lot of fun and the one thing we all look forward too! The deal is that everyone buys 6 random gifts that cost only $1.00 and wrap them anonymously. Everyone draws a gift from the box 6 times until they are all gone. That is when the fun begins as everyone trades their gifts until they are happy with their stash. Often there is a coveted gift where a couple people want it and the is when they up they ante by perhaps having to sing a song, do a funny dance or draw a picture in order to get the gift. It can get quite competitive (in a good way of course) and always provides a lot of fun and laughter. Over the years it has become a challenge amongst ourselves to find the coolest Dollar gifts and often the hunt goes all year long. It’s a great tradition within our family that started when we were children and has carried on to our children… we all love it!

3.       How do you survive holiday shopping?

I always say I am going to be one of those people who gets their shopping finished by December 1. That has NEVER happened as of yet. That means I am one of the frantic people bustling around last minute trying to find the perfect gifts. I have occasionally headed out in the middle of the night as many of the big box stores now stay open 24 hours during the month of December. It works well seeing as I am an insomniac! I have however made a decision this year to try to shop local this year as much as possible and usually that means fewer crowds and I am supporting a small business. Maybe this will have to become a new tradition!

4.       How do you decorate your home?

We have a Christmas Tree of course and even though I have said for the past few years that I want a NEW tree with NEW decorations I cannot bear to not use all my sentimental decorations. This year I have set up the family tree in our living room in the basement so we can still have out Family” tree and with any luck I will get my “decorator” tree upstairs this weekend. I usually have lots of little decorations throughout the house but my favourite is probably the pink garland with white lights I hang outside my home. Being in Canada, we have a plethora of snow so this looks beautiful when lit up.

  1. Any Christmas crafty tips you’d like to share? 

Involve the kids and family… Christmas is about spending time together and locking yourself away in your craft room to complete a pile of cards defeats the purpose. Make it a family activity. Better yet, take sometime off of crafting and focus on making the memories so you can scrap them the rest of the year!

 

Bauble image: Mad Dog/www.shutterstock.com

12 Days of Christmas – Day 8 with Sharon Laakkonen!

Scrapbooking Memories 12 Days of Christmas

Here is our lovely festive chat with the super talented Sharon Laakkonen!

Sharon’s family

  1. How do you spend Christmas day? 

With a family of seven children we don’t get to sleep in since the younger ones pop in and wake us up as soon as they awaken! So we just go with it. We usually start off with a stocking gift and breakfast together-still in our PJs of course. Then we get dressed while we wait for everyone to arrive at our house. Since my three adult daughters are married/engaged/dating we have to wait a bit for everyone to pile in our house and enjoy the festivities together. My hubby, or oldest son, reads the Christmas story out of Luke and then we start opening gifts. I LOVE the time after gift-opening is done and the MESS is cleaned up. We all just hang out together, listen to Christmas music, and enjoy the memory making. This is what it is all about, right?

  1. Does your family have any special traditions?

We have been trying to establish a few traditions that we all enjoy as a family. Since we have moved a lot and we have children from ages 8 to 25 it can be difficult, but here are a few we try to do every year: making chocolate truffles/cookies together to send out to friends, making an ornament for the tree, doing a HUGE puzzle together, listening to Christmas music every night starting December 1st, watching the traditional Christmas movies together, going for a drive to look at Christmas lights and reading the Christmas Story out of the Bible. This year we started Elf on the Shelf too! Our younger boys love it…the older girls think it’s slightly creepy!

  1. How do you survive holiday shopping?

Our family keeps expanding as the older ones get engaged, married, have babies, etc., making Christmas gift buying a bigger & bigger challenge. I try to start in November and go chronologically from youngest to oldest. I also keep a list of gifts for each child on my iphone because I forget what I have/have not purchased! Ordering online has been a HUGE help as I don;t have to fight traffic and I can compare prices easily, I always think I am doing so well until about December 11th and then I start to panic!

  1. How do you decorate your home?

I try to keep things to a minimum as my home is usually filled with my boys (and granddaughter) running around! We always put up a tree together right after Thanksgiving, and we have a special nativity scene for our mantel. I make paper snowflakes with the younger children each year and date/name them and keep them n our ornament box. Each year when we put up the tree we pull them out and giggle at what the kids made when they were little! This year we also made salt-dough ornaments for our tree. It was super easy and all the kids enjoyed it. I will be posting pics of these on my blog soon!

  1. Any Christmas crafty tips you’d like to share?

Start early! I try to make a Christmas mini-album (pictured on my blog) every year in late October or early November. I get it all ready and, then, after Christmas I can just print out and put my Christmas photos/journaling in it! It always makes me feel like I am ahead of the game a bit. Also-when making a mini-album, ornament or a card it is almost no extra work to make two at the same time. You will have an extra gift for someone special. I save my Christmas papers & embellies in a special basket so every year I can pull them out and mix with newer items. It saves me time and helps me stay organized.

 

Bauble image: Mad Dog/www.shutterstock.com

12 Days of Christmas – Day 7 with Nathalie Kalbach!

 

 

How do you spend Christmas day?

 

In Germany we actually start celebrating on Christmas Eve. This means presents are given out on the 24th and then we have two Christmas days on the 25th and the 26th. As my husband is American, we alternate Christmas in Germany and the US. This year we will be celebrating in Germany and that means we will do an American Breakfast on the 25th and open the presents from our American family on that morning. After that we will make calls to our families in Germany and in the States. On the 26th we have a huge round of friends and my godchildren over for a Christmas Turkey – and some fun and games together!

 

Does your family have any special traditions?

 

On “Christmas Day 2″ my family usually goes outfor a walk after lunch – something we’ve done since I was a child. It is beautiful out there with all the lights and almost no one out on the streets. It has a nice calming effect and the exercise also gives us some more room for some hot coffee, tea and christmas cookies ;)

 

How do you survive holiday shopping?

 

I am actually almost never stressed out. I always write down ideas for my loved ones during the year and if I see something I know someone would love I just buy it. If I read a book that I love I always think about who would love it, if I hear music I love I know who would love it too. I also travel a lot and try to buy things from different places for my loved ones, so they also have a special story attached to it. I do love to buy or create gifts, but I do not exaggerate and keep it fun for me also. It should still be a joy to give something and not stressful and an obligation.

 

How do you decorate your home?

 

We do have a christmas tree decorated with the ornaments we collected over the years. I also usually create an advent wreath for the table. I put up christmas canvases and I love to spread some Amaryllis throughout the living room and some branches. I usually only decorate our living room, dining room, and kitchen area which is one big room. This is where we spend most of our time and this is what I want to look festive.

 

Any Christmas crafty tips you’d like to share?

 

Make your own crafty looking gift wrapping by using kraft packing paper or lunch bags, use some of your left over scraps for tags, and/or punch out from scrapbooking paper and maps and attach them to the bags and paper. I also often use some left over embellishments and layer them onto the gift wrap to make some fun, personalised packaging. Stamping on the kraft paper is also a fun option.

 

Bauble image: Mad Dog/www.shutterstock.com