Hi there.
This is me...a happy wife, mom to three awesome boys, teacher to two of the aforementioned boys (we homeschool), chauffeur to karate, archery and all sorts of other activities, former scrapbooker and founder of the 
Good Grief Blog.
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A gift for you...

Wow. Anyone else feel like November's just flown by? I can't believe next week's Thanksgiving already! Yikes!

Well, in the interest of trying to stay sane this holiday season, I've been making plenty of lists and attempting heartily to cross most items off my list before December so that I can really just enjoy the month with the boys and with the family members we have coming to visit. I'm so thrilled to have crossed a bunch of things off my list last Saturday at the all day crop I went to at my local scrapbook store, the ultra-awesome Treasure Box. :)

Among the projects I finished were these gift card holders for the boys' teachers (both at Options and for piano) this year:

I decided rather than making my own fun envelopes, not doing any envelopes at all or buying those cute gift card holders, I'd use empty CD cases. I just cut some of the flocked Doodlebug paper (very elegant and fun at the same time) to size, added some velvet ribbon (sorry, can't remember who makes it) and a satin reindeer (off of a ribbon roll from here) and slipped it all into the case (that has handy tab things to hold a cover built right in). Yes, I just stapled that reindeer right on there...used some brownish/gold staples I had for some reason. Anyhow, that's the cover. Inside:

Inside is a quick little bookmark from a Hambly transparency (used my Crop-A-Dile to attach that ribbon...yay, me!). I also stamped some cute lines on a piece of Prism cardstock so that the boys can write individual notes to the teacher the gift is for (haven't done that part yet, obviously). Love the stamp...it's by Cornish Heritage Farms and I can tell I'll be using it much more in the future. :) Oh, incidentally, the gift cards are to a fabulous local independent bookstore I'm trying to support, hence the bookmarks. I'll drop the gift cards in once the notes are finished. Then, on the back, I just stamped a couple quick stamps where I'll write the recipient's name, probably in red pen:

Stamps are by 7Gypsies (brackets) and Hero Arts. Yup, so proud of myself...made 9 of these. :) Really trying to focus on the little details this year, as they always make me happy and I feel badly when I get so behind that I neglect the packaging.

Speaking of details, I also made these cute little advent countdown books. All the folks at the crop I was at loved them (thanks, guys!) so I thought I'd share. :) The story behind these is that I have, for unknown reasons, two advent countdown calendars where you open a little door and pull out a wooden ornament and hang it on the tree or calendar thing each day. They're different but good. But. I have three boys. Not two. Hence the problem. :)

So, I made these simple little countdown books for each of the boys...this one, obviously, is for Asher (apart from the letter, they all look the same)...

Each day, they'll get to color a different little picture and know how many more days till Christmas. I used some free dingbat fonts and a couple from ScrapNFonts.com to make the pages, then just printed them out and cut each 8.5x11 sheet into the 8 pages. Thanks to my handy-dandy Bind It All (which, I think, counts as Tuesday's Tool being as I haven't used it but once or twice before and that was more than half a year ago), I bound all the pages and two chipboard covers I cut out (just used some paper pack backing) into these little books that will stand on their own. I added some 7Gypsies metal edging (so cool) and a quick monogram from the vinyl letters we used on the Halloween costumes...voila!

I'm really kinda excited to do these this year and already envision doing more in years to come. I think it'll be a fun little record of the boys' coloring skills as the years progress. I might even add having them write a daily note on the back of each page or something.

And, because I'm so happy to be checking things off my list...and because I love you...here's the file for the pages I made: countdown book pages. Please, just do me the huge favor of keeping it all for personal use only...no selling them or anything, okay? :)

(If you don't have a Bind It All, a simple binder ring or two would work...as would hanging them individually around a room...or clipping them to the tree with clothespins each day...or any number of other ideas.)

Now, one last thing. At the crop on Saturday, I truly found inspiration in a single new stamp that caught my eye. I think everyone should have one. :) Because Saturday, for me, was the crop of the rooster stamp, LOL. I used it about 40 times overall during the day. Silly, yes. But I'll take the inspiration where I can find it. ;)

Oh, and one other last thing. If, like me, you may be thinking that you want to make some cute gift tags this year...and, if, like me, you also happen to be one of those scrappers who keeps all the tag sheets that come with various patterned paper collections but rarely use them...I had an ah-ha moment this weekend when I realized that works well together, eh? So excited to be using them up! (Right now I have a little pile of about 50 Basic Grey tags that I'll be using this year as I wrap gifts.)

Well, happy holiday projects to all!! Comment here with what you're up to...I always love hearing what everyone else is making!

Reader Comments (6)

Holy Cow, that rooster is amazing! I can see why it was inspiring to you! I heard you had a great time with Debbie and the others! I so wish I could have been there...I mean really, what's 2500 miles or so between scrapbookers? LOL! I love your gift ideas! I need to put my BIA to use this holiday!

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJingle

Your advent calendar is so cute. Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Amanda. I've never made one so I really appreciate the head start. And I love your gift card holders.
Hope your holidays are filled with the warm glow of love.


(Pattie's passion)

I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!!! (AMR)

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatti M

Hi Amanda. Nice to see you at AMR again. Love the idea of using ALL of the Basic Grey tags for Christmas tags...fabulous idea! Your advent calendar is so cute, thanks for the file and the money holders are perfect. You really have been busy...and yes that rooster stamp is adorable! Thanks and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. HUGS!

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSandy tx-nana-scraps

Wow, you've been BUSY!! I need to get moving on some projects of my own. I love the advent calendar, and think I might just use the pages you've so kindly shared with us. THANKS!

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHos

Love both of your projects. I'm also planning teacher gifts. I might have to use your idea as I really like it. The countdown for the boys is terrific. I might have to lift that, too.
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatti

Love the advent calendar idea. I've already saved it to my computer and will be working on that today after I drop off my kiddos. No BIA here but I'll use binder rings. That way I can just give the 2 year old one page at a time to color. Otherwise the whole thing would be colored in one day.

LouAnn aka scrapalicious mama (CKMB)

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLouAnn

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