Happy Holidays

Hello everyone, I hope you had a lovely Christmas!  The Bitten By The Bug 2 design team is on holiday break this week so instead of a project, I am going to bore you with my mediocre family Christmas photos!  Above and below are photos of our tree BEFORE the the paper-apocalypse of gift opening.

Below is John in a semi food coma following dinner.

Bethany was still feeling perky at this point (unlike her husband above) so she paused to pose with her granny!  Bethany is looking VERY pregnant as the baby is due in less than three weeks (YES, I am EXCITED)!

Duncan received the first gift this year - a new blue and magenta adorable dragon.  Duncan loves him!

The passing out of the gifts with John making a move to open a large box first.

Granny selecting her first package to open.

I an reacting to a gift from one of his siblings.

Doug liking his new Apple Mac Book Pro.

The mess - the pile of wrapping paper AFTER being crushed down twice.  Yes that is me sitting on the ottoman enjoying the show.

Before gifts, after dinner, we took time to have our annual crazy cookie decorating event. This was John's first year doing crazy cookies with us and he REALLY enjoyed himself.

Aaron, Crissie, and I are working hard on our cookies!  Doug was the photographer, drink filler, and all around "footman" as he did not want to decorate cookies.  Though in the end he did decorate three cookies.  My favorite was his angle which became a Ninja Turtle.

Ian, Bethany, and John hard at work creating cookie masterpieces!

Crissie and Susan's cookies.

Ian's cookies.

We had a wonderful celebration and hope that all of you enjoyed time with those you care about also.

I will be back with projects to share later this week.

On Being a Mom and Being a Friend

I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday about the pressure we as women put on ourselves to create the perfect holiday for our families.  This friend is having one of the most stress-filled holiday seasons ever, and yet due to the love and kindness of her family members, she experienced the perfect Christmas day with her family.  Perfect in that they were there for one another and had a lovely day together.

The photo above is an example of me going over the top in an attempt to make the holidays a bit more perfect for my family.  I found the pattern for this lovely wine gift box at SVGcuts.com.  I love their projects and I truly liked the wine box a member of their design team created for the holidays.  So I decided at 11:30 pm on Dec 23rd that I should make the box RIGHT THEN for Bethany's stocking stuffer.

Bethany and John became engaged at Biltmore Estate in December of 2013.  It was a lovely setting for John to ask Bethany to spend the rest of their lives together. While at Biltmore they also toured the Biltmore Winery, where they discovered a wonderful light white wine that they loved.  I decided to purchase a bottle of the wine for them to celebrate their "engaged-iversary" at a later date after the baby comes. So I worked on this box for an hour and a half until, at 1:00 am, I gave up on getting the lid to the box to work correctly and I went to bed.  

We opened gifts on the 24th because we are now sharing holidays with the in-laws.  Last year we had Christmas day, so this year we had Christmas Eve.  When I gave Bethany her bottle of wine she was excited, but assured me that I did not have to make a gift box for her!!  I had made the box so that the gift would be better than "just a bottle of your favorite wine".  Silly me.

Oh, and before you ask, the reason I was so late starting the wine box is because I was baking, cooking, and cleaning the kitchen before I moved on to the wine box.  

Christmas Eve I started baking again as soon as I got up.  The plan was for our family to decorate their crazy Christmas cookies, have party appetizers, and then to open gifts together.  I did not plan on Aaron being ill and Ian feeling poorly also.  So, even with all of my planning and over management of details, it was not the day I planned.  It WAS a fun day with so many fabulous surprises and memorable moments, but it did not go exactly as I planned.  So the lesson of Christmas 2014 for me is that I need to relax and stop over planning everything, and just learn to live in the moment.

Back to my friend Peggy and our conversation - Peggy's daughter and son-in-law are expecting their second child (due Feb 1).  On Monday, December 15 Megan's water broke while she was at the Elementary school where she teaches.  To make a long story a bit shorter, Megan has been in the hospital since the 15th.  The first week of that time, Peggy had to take time off of her job and stay with Megan.  Peggy was needed at the hospital because Megan's 2 year old came down with the flu and his daddy had to stay with him.   Dad and the baby were, of course, banned from the hospital until the flu was gone.

The doctors managed to stop Megan's labor.  They gave her the meds to mature the baby's lungs and they gave her antibiotics to keep her from getting an infection.  They were hoping to keep the baby from arriving before the 27th, when he would have far fewer preemie issues.  But through it all, Megan stayed in the hospital, isolated from her little family for the first week, but with the constant support of her mother.

With all of this going on, Peggy still needed to complete her own Christmas shopping.  But when your child has something so serious going on in her life, you drop EVERYTHING and go into full-on Mom mode!  Peggy decided that everyone would understand if she and her husband gave mostly gift cards as gifts this year.  I volunteered to pick up the gift cards, but she thought between them that she and her husband had that covered.

Knowing that Peggy is a paper crafter, a very organized woman, and a bit of a perfectionist, I volunteered to make gift card holders for her so that she could feel better about her gift card giving.  She took me up on my offer and I went to work.

In the past I ran a program called "sharing the gift of Christmas".  It has been several years since we were involved with the program, but it was not until I spent 9 hours making gift card holders for Peggy that I remembered how good it feels to put everything in your life aside to do something for someone else!  Making 13 gift card holders was my Christmas labor of love - which was truly not a labor at all.  I wanted Peggy's gift cards to come in festive packages, personalized for the recipients.

The photos in this post are quick photos (read not the best photos) that I took of the 13 gift card holders.  

There were five different styles of boxes/holders used.  I cut all of the elements with my Cricut Explore.  

After I took the photos I went back and added additional doodles to the boxes as well as to/from labels and tags.

I know that the gift card holders were a small thing, but I truly enjoyed contributing to Peggy's family's Christmas.

One last note - Megan is having the baby TODAY.  Sometime mid-morning her sweet son will be delivered.  Please say a prayer that both Megan and baby are well.  The baby is a bit bigger than the doctors thought, so I am hopeful that all will go well today.

UPDATE:  Baby Braden was born this morning weighing 5 lb 6 oz and he was 17.75 inches.  Mom and baby are doing well.  Braden was born exercising his lungs loudly!

If you made it through this long post, you deserve an award! 

Thanks for dropping by today.  

Are any of you like me and sad that it will be months and months until you once again craft Christmas projects?

Merry Christmas Festive Box Card

Happy Christmas Week!   I hope today finds you ready for Christmas with no last minute rush to finish your preparations.  I am just doing a bit of baking this week, but otherwise everything is ready for the BIG DAY!

My very talented Design Team member, Mayra, selected this week's Bitten By The Bug 2 challenge - Anything Christmas!  What a perfect challenge for this week.  If you manage to squeeze in some Christmas paper crafting, be sure to link up with us at BBTB2 and share your creativity with us!

I enjoyed making my Thanksgiving Box Card so much that I decided to make a Christmas box card for this week's challenge!  I used the same SVG box cut from SVGcuts.com.  I used three Cricut Cartridges to complete the card decorations:  Winter Woodland, Teresa Collins Dec 25, and A Quilted Christmas.    

The fireplace was cut using A Quilted Christmas.  I used scissors and snipped away the Santa that was coming down the chimney and added three stockings from the Teresa Collins Dec 25 cartridge.  The Christmas tree is from the Winter Woodlands cartridge.  I love this tree and just keep finding opportunities to use it.  The Merry Christmas phrase is also from the Winter Woodlands cartridge.  I love the shape and multi layers in this festive cut.

I finished my box by adding stickles to the candles and gems to the tree, stockings, and holly cuts.

I hope that you find some time this week to craft something Christmasy and to share that with us at BBTB2.  I will be back later this week to share some gift card holders and to wish you a merry Christmas!

It's Back! It's Back! It's BACK!

Hello friends.  Just a quick note to let you know that the FABULOUS ROLLING TOTE is BACK IN STOCK!!  Don't wait... It WILL sell out again!

Order Here

Woodsy Christmas Ornaments Card

Hello everyone.  With less than two weeks until Christmas, the Bitten By The Bug 2 Design Team is offering you some last minute Christmas ornament crafting inspiration this week.  Our wonderful DT sister, Maureeen, challenged the DT to use a Cricut Christmas ornament (bauble for your Brits), or to use Cricut Cuts to make an ornament!  

I have been spending time with my Cricut Explore lately so I created a Christmas card using two Cricut cartridges and an SVG cut.  I used Cricut's Winter Frolic for the tree limb, Cricut's The First Few Years cartridge for the labels, and Miss Kate's Cutables for the ornaments (Ornaments with Flourish). 

I wanted my card to have a festive yet woodsy feel to it.  I used green prints, herringbone prints and dark greens and browns to achieve the woodsy feel.  And for the festive element, I used bright solids to create my ornaments.  I finished the card with doodles and a Close To My Heart sentiment stamp.  

I know this is a busy time of year, but try to take a bit of time and join our Cricut Challenge this week.  Drop by Bitten By The Bug 2 where Maureen introduces this week's challenge.  Check the rules on our sidebar, then join us in this week's challenge by linking your project under this week's post.  

I know the Close To My Heart Rolling Tote sold out quickly last week.  We are expecting another shipment this week so do check my CTMH on-line store daily this week!

Thanks for dropping by today!!

Christmas Stocking Gift Card Holder 2

Hello everyone, I am back today with another gift card holder.   Actually this stocking is going to be a "ticket" holder.  My younger son asked for concert tickets as part of his Christmas.  We ordered the tickets through Ticketmaster and they arrived this week.  I wanted to something other than just stick them in his stocking and that's when I came up with idea to use the "gift card holder".

This card holder was made exactly the same as the one two days ago (See this post).  The holders are super easy to make and very cute under the tree!

What is the most practical and stylish way to transport your crafting supplies to all of your crops?  

I told you yesterday that supplies are limited - this week's supply has SOLD OUT!  We do hope to have more in stock next week - as our initial order of totes are delivered.

The upright tote measures 25½" × 16" ×17½".  It coordinates with our full line of CTMH Storage boxes (large  organizermedium organizer,and small organizer)
The front unzips to reveal 12" x 12" paper storage, and the sides also unzip to reveal even more storage space! 

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE:  the partner Shoulder TOTE!

The tote also has a coordinating partner, the Close To My Heart Should Tote.  The shoulder tote is a wonder for all of those extras you need at a crop.  It also holds our 12 x 12 paper.

One last thing - the tote is available on a "while supplies last" basis.  Be sure to ask Santa to bring your new tote!!

Holy Rolling Tote, Batman!

UPDATE:  Half of the current stock of CTMH's NEW ROLLING TOTEs have already sold out!

Hello everyone.  I am so excited to tell you about the all new Close To My Heart Rolling Tote!  I have known about this new product for months and I almost could not stand not being able to tell you about it until today!!  This new tote is so nice and includes so many amazing features, not the least of which is it's fabulous SIZE!  For the last ten years I have been using another brand's XXL rolling tote and I can promise you that it is now history!  This CTMH Rolling Tote is going to make my life so much easier when I go to weekends away or even single day crops!!  The size and features of the CTMH tote make it superior in every way!

The upright tote measures 25½" × 16" ×17½".  It coordinates with our full line of CTMH Storage boxes (large organizer, medium organizer, and small organizer).  

The front unzips to reveal 12" x 12" paper storage, and the sides also unzip to reveal even more storage space!

If you are like me, space is always an issue in your craft space.  Great news: this totes breaks down to store flat!  It arrives in the flattened state so that you will not have a box large enough to hold a large dog!

The tote also has a coordinating partner, the Close To My Heart Should Tote.  The shoulder tote is a wonder for all of those extras you need at a crop.  It also holds our 12 x 12 paper.

 I know you are going to love our new Rolling Tote.  For more details feel free to watch the video below.  I absolutely LOVE this rolling tote!

One last thing - the tote is available on a "while supplies last" basis.  Be sure to ask Santa to bring your new tote!!

If you love this tote, please shop with me.  All highlighted links above will take you to my CTMH on-line store.  Or you can click the link below.

Susan's CTMH on-line store!

Christmas Stocking Gift Card Holder

Hello everyone.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my house.  The tree is up, the Santas and Nutcrackers are out, and the festive lights are hung.  I am to the point of wrapping gifts, which brings me to this week's Bitten By The Bug 2 post - A Christmas Stocking Gift Card Holder!

It is my week to select the Cricut challenge cut at BBTB2 and I chose a Christmas Stocking.  I asked the Design Team to use a stocking on any type of project, and you are invited to join us in this challenge.  

I used two cartridges in Cricut Design Space to create my Gift Card Holder stocking, Christmas Kitsch for the Snowman and the sentiment, and Teresa Collins Dec 25 for the stocking.  I cut the stocking elements twice, once in mirror view, so that I could glue the two stockings together back to back to create an open area in the middle in which to insert my gift card.

I crafted a "present" shaped gift card holder where the card is held with a glue dot between the two layers.  The gift card then slides into the top of the stocking.  

I wanted to give you a close up view of the snowman and some of the stocking details in the photo below.  I am was really please with how this holder came out!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Don't forget to go by the Bitten By The Bug 2 blog and check out all of the inspiration the Design Team has for you.  Then read the challenge rules on our sidebar and link your stocking project to the post for a chance to win the Project of the Week button for your blog!