Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

*To all my friends in blogland! Hope you have a delicious Christmas*

xoxo, Michelle

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Like Smiling, Smiling's My Favorite

Brrr.....It's getting pretty cold around here.

Are you done Christmas shopping yet? Ahem. Me neither.....

I have a very fun weekend celebrating the b-day and working on my long Christmas to-do list. To get me thru, I watched a few of my favorite Christmas programs. Thought it would be fun to share my favorites and hear what you like to watch each year. Leave me a comment so I can expand my collection:

1. Elf. A Classic with Will Ferrell. So many quotable lines:
"I like smiling, smiling's my favorite."
"Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color!" - said while answering his father's office phone


2. A Very Muppet Christmas. Seriously I have to watch this every year, yet no one I know has even seen it once. Whoopi Goldberg plays God, David Arquette plays an angel named Danny-El, and Pepe the Shrimp begins a sordid affair with Joan Cusak.

Do yourself a favor, watch it tonight. So Funny!


3. A Charlie Brown Christmas. I remember watching this every year as a kid, I know I am not the only one. Actually more than one person commented that this year it was pre-empted by the president. Shows you that even now, it speaks to people.

(No to mention that every time I put up my sad little tree, I think Charlie would love him, so should I. ha.)


4. Home Alone. Back when Macauley Caulkin was cute and innocent. Seriously I laugh my butt off every time I watch it. Those robbers are so gullible!

(Google images. Sorry, couldn't find a good clip on YouTube)
5. SNL Christmas Special. This is a compilation DVD that features two of my favorite Saturday Night Live actors ever- Cheri O'Teri and Chris Farley. Farley plays a 'motivational Santa' who lives 'At the North Pole in a van, down by the river!".

Snicker.



OK, there's my must watch list, but there are a few more I am sneaking in this year: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Rudolph.

What's in your DVD player this time of year? Do tell.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Have Yourself a Crafty Little Christmas

One of the BEST parts of Christmas are all the fun ideas out there for crafting. I love making most of my gifts, and I hope that the people who receive them enjoying getting them. I thought I would share a few fun crafty ideas out there for you to try.

Now, I know what you are going to say-I am way to busy this time of year, I don't scrapbook, when would I have time to learn how to do this stuff?? Never fear. Most of these ideas take little or no craft knowledge, and the ones that do-you can take a little time to learn! Not only that, but you can adapt alot of these ideas to include your kids, make them bigger or smaller, or just do one tiny part.

I am a big believer in the 'no-pressure' approach to the holidays. People waste way too much time stressing over what they 'should do'. I do what I want for the holidays, and I enjoy the process. My presents aren't perfect or expensive, I don't get to every activity I want. Whatever I do is ok with me.

Check them out. Let me know if you do any of them!

{12 Tags of Christmas}
Tim Holtz is a well known paper crafter and every year he comes up with 12 AMAZING tag designs and shares them on his blog. Each little tag starts with a standard manila office tag and finishs as a mini piece of art. Leave a comment on his blog and he picks 12 winners everyday. He has a cool, grungy style. Trust me, you will enjoy watching him build his tag collection.

TimHoltz.com
* Warning: the tags are pretty advanced and labor intensive. They are way more involved than any tags I ever make. I look at the tags, pick up a new technique or two, then make my own creation.
* Make take his series and do your own 12 tags. Challenge yourself to make 12 custom gift tags for your presents this year. Make each a little different, but use the same products.
* Use his ideas and make some New Years cards (wouldn't it be fun to give your friends ONE MORE card to open after Christmas?

(DECEMBER DAILY}
Ali Edwards is another well known paper artist who came up with a really clever idea a few years ago. She makes a journal with bits and pieces of her everyday life throughout the month of December. She makes her scrapbook ahead of time, then fills it in everyday. She mixes pages that are just a photo, with pages that are just journalling, to pages with both. She emphasizes making it simple so you enjoy the process of documenting your life during the holiday season.




Ali Edwards Blog

Eva runs an etsy shop called Evalicious and she does something similar. She sells a kit with all the pages you need here.



* The real lesson behind these beautiful projects is to DOCUMENT your family life during the holidays. You could just buy a pretty journal and let each of your kids write in it each night. You could write in a journal and paste in a picture or two. You could take a picture a day of everyday stuff, then print them and put them in their own special album. There are lots way to accomplish the same goal. Don't stress about making the perfect scrapbook or making a big production out of this, just do it the way you think will be fun and easy.
* Get your family involved in this. Let your kids takes pictures, collect bits and pieces of wrapping paper, and write in the journal.
* Include memories about when you were a kid. For example, I plan to do a page this year about my favorite ornaments that I own now from when I was a kid.

See more examples
here
here
here

{BECOME AN ORNAMENT FACTORY}
This is something I do every year, and I use the ornaments to decorate my gifts. I love it. Torrie and I spend an afternoon as an ornament factory in my apartment. Most of the creations are funny, last years was more traditional.

If you need ideas for ornaments,

go here
here
here
Ideas range from elaborate to simple, photos, yarn, glitter, foam, or paint. So many oprtions and you can make as many or as few as you want!

{PAINT A POTTERY PIECE}
We have all heard about those paint your own pottery places, and, yes, they may seem like cheesy-wedding-gifts-stuff-you-make-your-grandma.....but I disagree. What if this year you and your BF (boyfriend) went and made a plate together and hten you used it to serve dessert during the holidays? Or you take your kids and stamp their handprint onto a platter that you use and show your family? Or you make a slightly innappropriate coffee mug for your BFF (best friend forever)? Or you make something to give at the family white elephant gift exchange (ceramic leg lamp anyone?). The point is, think outside of the box.
a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_YeWn7EmY3Pc/Sx55p3SmHxI/AAAAAAAABzk/HdDrQIEA9Ls/s1600-h/MRTMUG.jpg">



These places can be a great activity and a way to knock out a gift on your list. There are two places in Louisville, I am sure you can find one in your area:

The Artist In You
The Paint Spot

Well, there you go. Just a few ideas I hope will inspire you to add a new tradition to your holidays. Or not. No pressure ;)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dancing Wheels

I had a whole post filled with things I plan to do this holiday season. Then I turned on my Sunday staple- CBS Sunday Morning. I saw the most interesting story about Greg Mozzgala, an actor who was born with Cerebal Palsy. He was discovered by Tamar Rogoff, a professional choreographer and recruited for her ballet company. The story shows how he used an intense regimen of stretches, massage, and exercises to retrain his body and recover some movements he lost due to his CP. In particular, he was able to get the heel of his foot to touch the ground when he walked. Anyone who has CP knows this is a very common problem, and the change in his gait is remarkable. A really cool story that I wanted to pass on.

photo by Harvey Wang

Watch the video here.

Read more about Mozzgala here.

Many little girls I know (myself included) wanted to be a beautiful ballerina. Growing up there were no inclusive programs for me to join and so I never got the dance recital experience I wanted. Now there are a few great program around the country who work with 'sit down' and 'stand up' dancers. Some are actually professional, meaning that people with disabilities can get paid to be professional dancers. Very cool.

I wanted to tell you about the Miracle Dancers, a Louisville group, while not professional, does amazing work. I have known several young ladies (and one young man) who have gone through there program. They all love it.

Check them out:

For more information, contact the Diane Moore Dance Academy

Lastly, Dance Wheels is a leader in the field of integrated dance. They actually employ dancers with disabilities. They also do clinics and classes that teach people all over the country.

Look at this video

And check out their website.

Makes me hopeful, that one day, a little girl who uses a wheelchair could just join their local school production of The Nutcracker or a Christmas Carol. Just another little kid honing their skills and conquering their stage fright along with their neighbors.

Wouldn't that be cool?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Free Fun Friday

Hello friends! I am knee deep in holiday fun. I have almost all my gifts bought or started, and my plans are made. Still trying to find some trouble to get into for my upcoming birthday, but that's a fun problem to have, right?

Holidays for me always include some kind of community service. I have always tried to give something back to my community while buying presents for my loved ones. This week I wanted to share a few unique ways for every one to give back. Sure, they may cost a little bit of money, but the fun feeling you will get from doing it is a FREE bonus!

I have included a little summary from each website, plus links to take you to more info.

{SEND A CARD TO A WOUNDED SOLIDI ER}
This information was in an email from a friend. You can read the press release here. Please note, they ask that cards are postmarked by December 7th.

When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it
to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card,think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get. Such an easy way to make someones holiday. When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456


{ANNIE'S ANGELS}
Annie's Angels is a Christmas elder angel tree program run by local store Annie's Attic, which meets the needs of those in Louisville nursing homes. We've got 2200 angels this year and need whatever goods, money and help you can offer.

What to donate:

Examples of what is needed: shampoo and conditioner, lotion, warm socks, sweaters or sweatshirts, comfy pillows, blankets/afghans, deodorant, chapstick, etc., large print books, luxuries like costume jewelry or athletic apparel (U of L & UK).

Ways to donate:

- Stop by and take an angel from the tree at Annie's Attic in the Kroger Shopping Center in Middletown, 12695 Shelbyville Road
- Call Annie's and get an angel: 244-0303 and 244-2303
- Shop for whatever you want to give and just drop it off
- Drop by or send in a monetary donation - whatever amount - they'll do the buying

{WDJX BREAKFAST BUNCO}
COME OUT *DECEMBER 11TH FROM 6 TO 9AM* TO THE HILTON GARDEN INN ON
CRITTENDEN FOR BEN AND KELLY’S 5TH ANNUAL BREAKFAST BUNCO FOR ST JOE! A DONATION FOR THE KIDS AT ST. JOSEPH CHILDREN’S HOME GETS YOU IN! FREE
BREAKFAST FROM *CALISTOGA,* AND PRIZES RANGING FROM TRIPS, TO IPOD’S AND MUCH MORE!

I have attended this for the past four years, and it is WAY more fun than you should have at 6 a.m.. I went the first with no idea how to even play bunco, and had a ball. The fact that you can contribute to such a great cause is even more fun. Anyone who knows St. Joe's knows what a great home they are. A snapshot of myself, my friend Torrie, and the DJ's from WDJX:

Check out the WDJX website (keyword: BUNCO)to sign up your team!

{CARDSFORKIDS DRIVE}

A group of cardmakers have joined together to collect cards for a group of kids with special medical needs. These kids are in the middle some very rough fights and I am sure that receiving a few happy cards int he mail would do WONDERS for their spirits. I read about this about six months ago and I had the kids over at OWL make a set of cards for the McRae family. It was fun crafting the cards and the kids learned a great lesson to boot.

You can also see more info on Jennifer McGuire's blog.


That's all for now. Hope I inspired you! Have a great Friday!
hohoho!
Michelle