Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Day

The long shadows of the past year are almost erased
Only to be memories.
A bright new set of 365 lies ahead.
A prayer in the making.
Epiphany's star awaits
to lead us to the One who matters.
He lights our lives brighter and more focused
than any bokeh,
more beautiful than any rich color.
Love in human form
from manger to cross to tomb to new life.
Love in action.
Bright morning star.

Jesus says, "I am the root and the descendant of David,
the bright morning star." Revelation 22:16

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Second Day of Christmas

It was such a sweet surprise to receive this handmade, stamped Merry Christmas card in the mail from papercrafter Diane!
How did she know that I love RED and cardinals?

It was also such a surprise to wake up to a white deck and yard--
it was a white Christmas after all!

Hey, friends ... Did you know ...

Today is called the "Second Day of Christmas"--a traditional German holiday. It always falls on December 26th. In the British Isles today is called "Boxing Day" since people go from house to house with their gifts to give.

Today is also called "St. Stephen's Day."  Stephen was one of the early disciples of Jesus who joined the early Christian church in Jerusalem during its infancy. He was the first Christian martyr and was convicted of blasphemy against Moses and God, as well as for speaking against the Temple and Law. Stephen was stoned to death shortly after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection (around A.D. 34--36).
Some people attend a special church service on St. Stephen's Day. For others, the Second Day of Christmas is an opportunity to:
Spend time with family and friends. (Yes!)

Enjoy MORE seasonal treats. (No more sugar for me...)

Watch TV. (Maybe one new DVD...)

Play board games. (Better yet, Bananagrams!)

Spend some time outdoors. (Need those ear muffins today!)

December 26th is a quiet day to recover from the Christmas celebrations and prepare for the winter sales. (For me it's also a day to download photos from the past week and share them with family and friends, clean the kitchen, and re-read Christmas cards and letters.)

In Germany, from where our ancestors came, some friends and families prepare a communal meal that may be cooked at the table, such as pancakes, fondue, or meat and cheese cooked on a small grill or hot stone. Others eat the remains of the large meals served on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Many families spend the day with grandparents or godparents. Children may find that Father Christmas, Santa Claus or the Christ Child left them presents at their relatives' homes. Such FUN!

Today is also called "The Feast of St. Stephen." "Good King Wenceslas" is a popular Christmas carol about a king who goes out to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen. During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by the heat miraculously emanating from the king's footprints in the snow. The legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (907–935), known in the Czech language as Svatý Václav. The lyrics are by English hymnwriter John Mason Neale, and the tune is Scandinavian, from Piae Cantiones.

Until the 1400s, the period around Christmas and the New Year was a long celebration. This period included aspects of the Christian feast days marked in modern German and pre-Christian rituals. The Second Day of Christmas, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and Epiphany are the remains of this long festival.

Happy Second Day of Christmas!

BTW, I added a few new photos of our family taken on Christmas Day to the previous post's slideshow. Enjoy!

Happy birthday, dear Jesus! Let's always keep Christmas focused on why God sent Jesus to be born--because we needed Him as our Savior.

We call the day after our birthdays "pinching day." We could say that we can pinch ourselves in grateful thanksgiving that God sent His Son to earth to be our Savior and King!

Glory to God in the highest!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to You!

Here's a little peek into our merry little Christmas at home and some favorite tree ornaments and decor. The Christmas CDs are constantly playing day and night.

We worship on Christmas Eve at a candlelight service, then have a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Day followed by a family luncheon and gift giving. It will be especially fun this year with TWO little granddaughters!

Our Christmas wish for you:

That your eyes are focused on God's Son, Jesus our Savior,
and that your hearts are filled with His love!

Happy birthday, dear Jesus!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Heart-Filled Evensong Card

Hearts ... Love ... Valentine's Day?


The story of Christmas is filled with God's love.
It's the best Valentine's Day of all.

I just keep going back to this beautiful Evensong paper packet!

All card materials are Close To My Heart:
papers, sheer ribbon, dimensional hearts,
sparkle, liquid glass, inks & stamps

Happy new week to all my blog visitors!

Pecan Praline Crunch

This is one of our family's favorite holiday season snacks--
Pecan Praline Crunch

Stir together 8 cups Chex cereal (I use corn, wheat, and rice)
and 2 cups halved pecans in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
(Sometimes I also add small pretzels, peanuts, and almonds to the mix.)

Melt 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar,
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and
1/2 cup Southern Praline Mix.

Heat until boiling; gently cook for 2 minutes.
Pour over cereal and nuts.
Stir to coat well.
Bake at 250 degrees for one hour.
Stir mixture once during baking.
Spread onto cookie sheet to cool.

 Southern Praline Mix is a flavorful liquid from the Old South,
made and distributed by
The Savannah Cinnamon Company
of Savannah, Georgia.

One of our nearby speciality stores
has carried the various bottles of flavoring
for quite a few years--
raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, and so many more.
But the Southern Praline flavoring is our favorite!
It goes GREAT with the Missouri pecans.

The fragrance in your home is just plain yummy
when this is baking!

Watch for these delicious flavorings
in a speciality store near you!
With each bottle, the company includes
a really great little recipe book
to make speciality drinks, snacks, desserts,
sauces, and so much more.

An update since Leslie left her comment:
Check out their website and click the"Where to Buy" tab --
You'll notice that they've updated their labels
since I bought some bottles last year.
Same great flavors though!

Wishing you a sweet & yummy Christmas season!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The FINAL Final

A celebration is in order! Our DD Bethany took her FINAL final exam in graduate school, and is so glad to be finished with classes. We're all so happy for her, and so glad she's entering her professional life as a doctor of chiropractic with only one more semester of clinicals and then a Spring 2010 graduation.

I'm especially thankful she's willing to adjust me and keep my skeletal and muscular system fine tuned!

This is the "dream" card I sent to her. The Unforgettable papers match the Memory Keeper Box and Album I gave her last year for her birthday. Unforgettable is an appropriate theme for her last four years of hard work, patience, acquiring patients, and showing strong commitment to accomplishing her goal.

Here's Bethany at 19 months old, looking through my huge sunglasses--we had wonderful hopes and dreams for her then, as we continue to have. (Like that Clydesdale tee?!)

And here's Bethany now, a beautiful young woman with so much to give. She's an awesome daughter, sister, aunt to two cute little girls, granddaughter, niece, and wonderful friend to many. And so much more!

We pray God blesses her richly as she uses her RN and DC skills, shows her nurturing, caring self to others, and provides healing care to those in need.

Dr. Bethany!
Continue to DREAM.

Her thanks-filled mama,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two Days Left of the Heyday Clearance Sale!

Close To My Heart's Heyday Clearance Sale continues today and tomorrow until midnight!

If you need gifts for crafting and scrapbooking family and friends, go to myctmh site and order online. Your items will be delivered right to your door in time for wrapping and stuffing those stockings.

Who would pass up savings of 50-80% off original prices? I got some great products for friends and family -- this makes shopping fun and economical too!

Click here to order online!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Cactus Card

The Close To My Heart "Perfect Day" papers are perfect
to complement my photos of the Christmas cactus
that bloomed its little heart out at Thanksgiving.
So I decided to use my photos for some of our Christmas cards.
The inside sentiments are stamped in Juniper and Sorbet.
Lucious colors--just love 'em!

Glad you stopped by to visit!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Jingle-ing Again

with the Close To My Heart "Jingle" paper packet tonight.

It's been quite a while since I've taken any time to create with paper crafting supplies, and it's so good to get back to the studio. Tonight's projects have been super simple. I'm still experiencing severe dry eyes and am not able to use them for extended time periods. In between doing things, I use my RX eye drops and just close them and listen to uplifting Christmas CDs. It's called ENJOY.

This evening I made more cards with dimensional snowflakes, glitter, Sparkles, spiral clips, and Juniper ribbon ... here are some of the cards:

I love these Jingle papers, full of snowflakes, Christmas trees, decorated gifts, polka dots, and more.
I'm reminded that God our Father created every snowflake and evergreen tree unique and different, to be part of His beautiful creation
for us to enjoy and share with others.
God is so good!
When He sent His Son Jesus to be born
and to grow up to be our Savior from sin,
He gave us His best gift He could ever give!
He "made our spirits bright"
with the Light of Jesus' love.
That's the message I love in this Jingle paper!
Let's keep CHRIST in Christmas
and focus on Him during this season.

I random stamped the cards inside with Tulip 
and added the Juniper sentiment:

and then I made a set of 10 thank-you notes
for a stocking stuffer ...

(Each of these was quick and easy, using mostly scraps--
that's such a rewarding feeling--
no wasting this gorgeous paper!)

Last, I decorated quite a few paper gift bags I had purchased
at the dollar store ... handy for giving homemade treats to friends!

Happy new week, everyone, and thanks for looking!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

St Lucia Day--December 13

... or St Lucy's Day ... or the Feast of St Lucy ... is celebrated December 13th in Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, Malta, Italy, Bosnia, Iceland, Bavaria and Croatia. In the United States, people in areas of Minnesota and other states with Scandinavian roots, continue to celebrate the holiday, often centered around church events. (It is one of the few saint days observed in Scandinavia.)

St Lucia Day is a festival of light that marks the beginning of the Christmas season for people from Scandinavian countries. The legend is that St. Lucia comes to make the darkness disappear. Lucia means Light.

In traditional celebrations, Saint Lucy comes as a young woman with lights and sweets. To celebrate, a young woman playing the role of St Lucia wears a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles. She wakes the family at dawn and serves them breakfast.

Before the reform of the Gregorian calendar in the 16th century, St Lucy's Day fell close to the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. In Scandinavia this was also the date in the Gregorian calendar earlier celebrated by the heathen population that was afraid of Lucifer, a celebration that still somewhat lives today through the tradition of Lucevaka – to stay awake on the night between 12th till 13th and guard oneself against being taken by Lucifer, lord of darkness, by having an all night party. This is still carried out today mostly by the younger population having great parties. When the light then arrives with the morning, you are safe again.

Last weekend as part of our church's family event, "Christmas Around the World," one of the teen girls portrayed St Lucia in the processional.

In the Scandinavian countries, St Lucia would be surrounded by many young women holding lighted candles. Usually a church procession is led by one girl wearing a crown of candles (or lights), while others in the procession each hold a single candle.

I'm not of Scandinavian descent, but wanted to share this bit of history and culture with you! We've been invited to a Saint Lucia dinner this evening and I'm anxious to see what foods and festivities will be included.

Jesus is the Light of the World--let's celebrate His coming as a baby on the first Christmas, and anticipate His second coming when He will take all believers to live with Him in heaven. JOY in Jesus!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Family Foto Afternoon

Last week we had some glorious "Indian Summer" days and I met this dear family at a nearby park for their photo shoot. They've given me permission to share a few photos here.

What fun it was to capture their sweet personalities and fun dispositions! It's been great watching these two precious girls grow up, and I look forward to taking more family photos for them in the future.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Sampling of My Custom Photo Floral Cards

... for a recent special order.

I so enjoy photographing florals and landscapes, as much as I do people! It's a lot simpler taking photos of florals and trees that aren't likely to have major wiggles or peanut butter faces. Now and then I'm happily surprised to see an ant or a bee or a butterfly flit or wiggle itself into the picture.

Some cards have special stamped sentiments inside such as "Happy Birthday!", "Get Well Soon!", "I'm thinking of you", "I'm praying for you", and more, depending on the customer's wishes. Some cards are blank for the sender to include his or her personal note.

I accent some cards with sheer, solid, patterned, crocheted, or striped ribbon. Others are pretty without the added embellishment.

Most all the ribbons and papers I use are Close To My Heart products.

This is just a sampling...
Back to fun work now!

I take special orders. Simply email me at janehaaspaperart[at]gmail[dot]com
I'm now working on Easter cards.
It's wonderful thinking of Spring and warming weather,
even though we haven't had winter yet.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

10 a.m. CT Today! Holiday Heyday from Close To My Heart

Get ready for a HOLIDAY HEYDAY with Close To My Heart's online clearance sale! Many items are 50% off, with some discounted as much as 80% off regular retail prices. The selection is incredible too!

You'll find scrapbooking and cardmaking items that would make fantastic gifts and stocking stuffers for the crafting people in your family and friends group--and for YOU too!

Shopping begins Wednesday, December 2, at 9 a.m. (MDT) (10 a.m. Central Time; 11 a.m. Eastern Time) and continues through Thursday, December 17, 11:59 p.m. (MDT), or while supplies last. Go to my CTMH website and click on 'shop online' in the left column. Then look for the link for the Holiday Heyday Clearance Sale.


*Sale has quantities restricted to FIVE per product item to provide a smooth shopping experience for all customers.

*You'll want to get in on the amazing deals like My Acrylix stamp sets from $2 - $8, and My Reflections paper packets from $5. But that's not all! We have grab bags for $30 each, filled with over $100 in retail products. Plus great shipping deals on orders over $100. Orders of $100+ have a flat rate shipping of $5.

*Here are a few of the items that will be available:

15+ Level One Kits (favorites like Vintage Travel, Laid Back, Free Spirit and more). $5 (regularly $9.95)

10+ Level Two Paper Packs (Caprice, School Zone, Expedition). $6.50 (regularly $12.95). Stickease $4 (regularly $8.95)

35+ Stamp Sets from $2-$8 (Let Us Adore Him, Let's Play Ball, Precious Alphabet, Card Sentiments, and other greats)

Embellishments like brads ($3), ribbon rounds ($4), chipboard ($3).

*Note that clearance items may not be combined with regular-priced items in a single shopping cart.

Questions? Need help? Email me & I'll be glad to help you through the ordering process. Remember, delivery is straight to YOUR door!

Happy shopping!

With a thankful heart,

Paper Art from StudioJane

Samples of my created paper art ...

Clear Acrylic Cards

Greeting Cards

Mix 'n' Mingle Album

Gift Albums

Memory Keeper Boxes

Art Keeper Boxes

Thank You Note Cards

Custom Gifts

Christmas Greeting Cards

Pregnancy Journals--Display Albums

For Baby

Floral Photo Note Cards