Monday, August 29, 2011

My First Cricut Card

Well, I finally got to try out my new Cricut Create and made my first card. I think it turned out fairly nice, but needless to say, I need lots of practice. It took a very long time putting the glue on the words. Very tedious. I think I may try fonts in my computer and printing out the holiday phrases instead...if I can figure out how to do it that way! I know there has to be a way of doing this. I'm looking forward to making more Christmas cards and hopefully they will get better. Have a great week everybody!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Christmas Trivia

Do you know your Christmas Trivia?? You just have to "think" the answer before the correct answer is highlighted, but be quick about it!

Christmas Humor

Naughty naughty Timmy!

From website AfricanCrisis.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Countdown to Christmas on QVC

Source: via Dorothy on Pinterest

Above: Slatkin & Co. S/3 Dancing Tealight Holders with a set of 9 scented tealights. Also comes in gold, green and silver. You can find them Here.

Almost a month has gone by since the big QVC Christmas in July event. Now the countdown is on! Each month on the 25th QVC will have a one day event of nothing but Christmas items. Woohoo!! I love watching these shows! So many nice products! You can also get many ideas for decorating and it just gets me into the Christmas spirit! This is definitely my favorite shopping channel and you can do it all in the comfort of your home! You can find the program guide for this event Here.

Actually this Christmas event starts at 11:00 p.m. Wednesday night, the 24th. A big 25 hrs. of Christmas!

A favorite of mine, Jim Shore, and his Heartwood Creek Folk Art Collectibles, is scheduled to appear twice on this day. I've already set a reminder to watch.

In more recent years, I have collected a few of his pieces and I adore them. The ones I have are all polyresin figures. The detail in each piece is just perfect! Below is Rudolph on the Misfit Island.
Source: via Dorothy on Pinterest

Source: via Dorothy on Pinterest

Blown Glass Nativity Star

Jim Shore's inspiration comes from his Southern upbringing and his love for the designs of patchwork quilts.

Source: via Dorothy on Pinterest

Above, is The Real Meaning of Christmas. I love this piece.

Source: via Dorothy on Pinterest

Nativity Scene Star

I try to collect one new piece each year to add to my collection. I'm sure he will have new things for this year's show. So, if you're a QVC shopper, be sure not to miss the countdown to Christmas.

You can see my Jim Shore pieces Here.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Favourite Time of Year

I came across a new Christmas song on You Tube. I think it's a lovely song. There were 35 musicians involved in the making of this record.  The Florin Street Band has asked on You Tube to share this song with your I am...I love the Victorian themed background! On his website, he states that every download at stores such as iTunes, will help it reach the charts and then it has to be played on the radio.  You will need to pause the player on the left to listen. I'm linking this post to Natasha's Pinning and Singing on the Weekend Linky Party.

 Here is Florin Street Band's website,

Here is what they wrote:

Please share this Christmas video with your friends and help us make the charts by downloading the song from iTunes or Amazon in December 2011. This Victorian-themed Christmas song and video was produced without record company backing. After trying to gain record company support, British composer, Leigh Haggerwood, decided to make it happen himself so he gathered together his musician friends and wrote, produced and sung this song. The video features the skills of top director Nick Bartleet and Cinematographer John Perez (known for his work on Coldplay's Viva La Vida, Beyoncé and many other productions). You can help spread some Christmas magic so please visit our website and join us on Facebook. Thanks for your support!

My Favourite Time of Year
Words and music by Leigh Haggerwood

Verse 1

Lanterns lighting up the town,
Peace on earth is all around,
Everything is calm on Christmas Eve.
There's goodwill in the air tonight,
Angels sing by candle light,
Their voices carried on the wind.
When carol singers gather round,
When I hear that festive sound,
I wanna join with them and sing!


They sing a merry song and we all sing along,
A festive melody that tells us Christmas time is here.
See the stars tonight; they're shining bright,
'Cause it's Christmas time and it's my favourite time of year.

Verse 2

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Give me mistletoe; it's the season to be jolly,
Wrapping presents, writing cards, helping decorate the tree,
But there's one thing that makes it all for me.
When carol singers gather round,
Angel voices fill the town,
It's like the world is joining in!
(Noel, Noel, Noel)


They sing a merry song and we all sing along,
A festive melody that tells us Christmas time is here.
See the stars tonight; they're shining bright,
'Cause it's Christmas time and it's my favourite time of year.

Middle 8

Christmas Eve,
Still believe,
So excited,
Can't sleep,
When the morning comes,
Church bells ring,
And he's been!


They sing a merry song and we all sing along,
A festive melody that tells us Christmas time is here.
See the stars tonight; they're shining bright,
'Cause it's Christmas time and it's my favourite time of year.
And it's my favourite time of year
(Noel, Noel)

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Rudolph's Advantage

Taken from Scientific American Aug. 2011 edition.

Haveyou ever wondered why Santa had chosen reindeer as the animal to pull his sleigh? It actually turns out that reindeer can see better than other animals against that harsh winter landscape. A study from the university of Norway found that the reindeer is "not only resistant to eye damage from the intense UV rays but is also able to perceive UV light." This means that the reindeer has a distinct advantage over many other mammals, like humans, which cannot see UV light. They can use this adaptation to forage for food and watch for predators.

So, when Santa takes his team out on this Christmas eve you'll know that his team pulling the sleigh has a great skill. They can see in the dark!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933, the unofficial tradition began during the Depression era construction of the center when workers decorated a 20 ft. balsam fir tree with strings of cranberries, garlands of paper and even a few tin cans on Christmas Eve in 1931.

The tree stays lit until a week after New Year's Day, when it is removed and recycled for a variety of uses. In 2007, the tree went "green" using LED lights which are more energy efficient. After it was taken down, the tree was used to furnish lumber for Habitat for Humanity house construction. Trees used since 2003 range from 71 ft. to 100 ft. tall. That's quite a big jump from the 20 ft. tree that was first decorated.

Many of the trees were given to the Rockefeller Center by donors. The tree and decorations above were from 1949.

Once at the Rockefeller Center, the tree is supported by four guy-wires attached at its midpoint, and by a steel spike at its base. Scaffolding is put up around the tree to assist workers in putting up 30,000 lights attached to 5 miles of wiring. Now that's a whole lot of wiring!

The star that's topped the tree since 2004, is 9.5 ft. in diameter and weighs 550 lbs. This "Swarovski Star" was created by German artist Michael Hammers. That is just amazing! I never really thought about all of the hard work that went into erecting this tree year after year!

Dec. 1987, 75 ft. Norway Spruce, 18,000 lights.

The lighting of the tree in more recent years is broadcast live nationwide on NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center show.




 The trees are usually a Norway Spruce. A tree has been put up every year since 1931, with the exception of the year 1932.



In 1933, the first celebration included a 50ft. tree, and a week long series of events including choral presentations, trumpeters, and the national NBC radio broadcast of mass public Christmas caroling from the site, and it soon became a national tradition. It's come a long way since then.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Christmas Memories

Well, I thought I would post about our Christmas when we were children. I have a few pictures that were in a scrapbook that I made, so I just picked up my camera and took a picture of each Christmas page. My mom has the original pictures lost in her basement somewhere, so this is the best I could do!

My mother used to read Christmas stories to me with such expression!

 Little Golden Book collections. I loved looking at all the colorful pictures. I also loved watching all the Christmas shows. One in particular was the animated show "The Little Drummer Boy". I would get all fuzzy and warm when Aaron came to play his drums for baby Jesus because he had no gift to bring and I think that's why to this day I love the song Little Drummer Boy. I received a record player for Christmas one year and the single of Little Drummer Boy and I just thought that was the greatest thing! I listened to it over and over! Rum pa pum pum, me and my drum....

Me and my middle brother Mike.

When Rudolph the red-nose reindeer came out, that was my next favorite to watch. What a classic, even today! I have collected a Bobblehead Rudolph, Santa, the Abominable Snowman and Hermie the elf who wanted to be a dentist. The figures look exactly like the characters in the show. I also have a Jim Shore collectible of the Snowman and Rudolph. I've collected quite a bit of Christmas STUFF through the years. Now I just need another room to store everything. Every year I see something else I'd like to have! I think maybe it's a .....sickness....?

When we were kids, Christmas was always a happy time of the year. We were very fortunate. We always had all kinds of goodies to eat and lots of candy. I remember the colorful ribbon candy, so pretty to look at, but just didn't like it. Hershey's kisses....mmmmmmm....still my favorite! My parents would go to Amish country and buy different kinds of cheeses, pepperoni, crackers, etc. Lots to eat!

I would get so excited about decorating the Christmas tree and even to this day, I still love decorating my tree! I'm one of those early birds that some people think are a little ridiculous, but I'm the one doing all the decorating and need time to do it in, so I put my tree up the weekend before Thanksgiving every year, and Thanksgiving weekend we do the outside decorating.

My brother Mike, me, and in the far right bottom, my youngest brother Dan. Oh, we were having so much fun!

I remember my Dad and Mom would get our tree around the middle of December. We always had a fresh tree for many years. Ahhhh...the smell of fresh pine, nothing like it to remind you of Christmas. I couldn't wait to help with the tree, but my Dad would always let it sit out in the garage for a couple of days to let the branches drop before we did any of the decorating.

Then the fun began. My Dad would always do the icicles...those silver wrinkled ones that you could throw on in bunches, unlike the smooth looking ones they make today. But my Dad was very particular about how he put them on, so they always looked nice. And the bubble lights...oh how I loved those lights!

My brother and I, and my Dad and his brother.

Ornaments, candy canes, garland, and when it was finished, we would sit back in delight and enjoy the beauty of our Christmas tree! This is exactly what I do today. I love putting the tree up early and enjoy looking at it and the soft light that comes from it. It only comes once a year and it brings with it memories of Christmas magic from the past.

Christmas memories are something to cherish forever. My parents always made sure it was a magical time for us! I hope your Christmas memories were wonderful too!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Got the little bugger!

In an earlier post I mentioned that a beautiful Emperor butterfly was visiting our buddlia bush, but that I hadn't been able to get a decent picture of it. Well, the other day, it was there again and I managed to get a few photos. I did a bit of research on the net, and although it is called 'Kaisermantel' here in Austria, I looked up the latin description 'Argynnis paphia', in England it is called 'Silver Washed Fritillary'. Anyway here are the pics.

I also managed to get a few pics of a nice Red Admiral in the same session.

Hope you like them.

On the boardgaming front I have been able to play 'Tikal II' a couple of times now and will report on this soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Going, Going.....Almost Gone

What is almost gone, I hear you ask. Premier sporting events on terrestrial TV, that's what. So the BBC has lost half the F1 races next year to Sky, what a surprise. Soon the sports fan will have no option but to subscribe to Sky as well as pay a licence fee. Premiership football has gone, test match cricket has gone and now half the F1 races as well.

Here in Austria I don't know how that will affect us. At the moment F1 is shown on the number 1 austrian channel, ORF1. Two years ago we had german Bundesliga matches on german TV it's only available on german SKY. Last year we had Wimbledon tennis on Eurosport....this year only available on german SKY....see the pattern. Sky is gradually devouring all the major sporting events and the fans are very low on the priority list. Football clubs couldn't give a toss, as long as they can pay obscene wages to the foreign stars they employ, and apparently F1 teams don't give a toss either. I read that they didn't want TV coverage to go from terrestrial TV for fear from the sponsors....but hey, when the money hit the table they had a change of heart.

So the sports fan is expected to pay through the nose to follow the sport that they love. Soon the World Cup will be on Sky and every other major sporting event will be on Sky......sad, but true.

I pay a fee here in Austria for the TV, like a TV licence in the UK. I get umpteen channels, german, austrian, spanish, italian etc. I can't understand any of them because I can't speak the language well enough. We do get Sky News though, what a wonderful channel. We also get BBC World News, well that is what it says it is, news from around the world. But Sky, supposedly should cover news across the UK as well as the world. Apparently it's been voted 'News Channel of the Year' at some point. Sheesh, they are so obsessed with american politics, They seem to broadcast every speech President Obama makes live. Plus, when they get a story, boy, do they flog it to death....I'm fed up with phone hacking, day after day after day, bleeding phone hacking. Then there was Libya, a world story no doubt, but day after day after day after day.

Anyway, that is my rant for today......:)