Category Archives: {Christmas Time}

Jingle bells…jingle bells….

Need a Gift?

Etsy has this very spiffy gift finding tool. {Even more spiffy since Valentine’s Day is around the corner!}

First, go here.

Then, select a Facebook friend from the link provided or click “Preview Gift Ideas” and they will bring up a list of “personalities” that your friend or family member may have.

Note from Etsy: "What happens when you connect to Facebook?"

Don’t worry, we’ll be cool.

  • Your personal Etsy data will never be shared with Facebook.
  • We will not post to your Facebook Wall unless you ask us to.
  • We will not attempt to contact your friends on Facebook.
  • You can disconnect from Facebook any time.

After you select a facebook friend or “personality,” Etsy will pull up gift ideas based on their facebook profile.

Tada! Super easy! 🙂 Have fun gift shopping!

Shopping on Etsy

Shopping on Etsy

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Filed under Valentine's Day, {Christmas Time}, {Holiday Fun}

3 Nifty Ideas from 1 Card

This card reminds me of my college days years ago when I gave my family this unique Christmas card.

I remember walking 2 miles to downtown Oak Park in the bitter cold to purchase card making supplies. {On a college budget where each credit hour was about $300 each, spending moola on card making supplies  and a Starbucks on the way was perhaps not wise.  However, my rationalization was that if I work hard (I juggled multiple jobs, carried 15+ credit hours per semester and later graduated magna cum laude), then I should play hard.} On my way downtown, I stopped by a Starbucks to warm my hands and satisfy my yearning for quality espresso and vanilla.  Finally arriving at my beloved Paper Source, I was once again amazed at the store front. The employees at this special store always put together fabulous window displays. Their talent for manipulating paper into something majestic never ceased to amaze me.  After some browsing and dawdling,  I picked up some spiffy blank note cards, envelopes and classy paper. There was a spring in my step as I wallowed through the snow and neighborhoods back to my dormitory. Sitting on the floor in my dorm room amid scattered piles of colorful paper,  I combined my new Paper Source finds, a piece of mulch and paint chips leftover from a resident assistant project.

There are a few nifty ideas that can be gathered from this one card:

Paint chips. These are usually free at your local hardware store (or wherever paint is sold).  The tree was made by using paint chips and I’m thinking about using paint chips in a triangle form {as illustrated in this card} but turning it upside down to be an ice cream cone. Hmm…a monochromatic cone and pink ice cream…little paper dots for sprinkles! Aha! There’s a new card series idea! Anywho…sorry for the tangent…. What was I talking about? Oh yeah…coordinate…

Coordinate the front page’s background to the inside space. The yellow and white polka dot paper was carried from the front page as the focal point’s backdrop into the inside of the card behind the personalized note. This personalization adds just a bit more extra oomph to the card’s personality.

Use the real thing. The trunk for the Christmas tree was found in the landscaping at my college. Just a perfect sized piece of mulch. Glue to attach. Pretty easy!

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Filed under {Christmas Time}, {Inspiration and Creations}

The Christmas Story

As a little girl, I remember sitting on the red cushioned pews in church for the Christmas Eve service. The sanctuary’s decorations were beautiful! Evergreen garlands, red candles, the smell of pine, sparkly white and silver ornaments on the taaaalllll Christmas tree, the excitement of tomorrow morning’s gifts…and the church service’s children’s message. There was rarely a children’s message at church, only sermons and I suppose that’s another reason why Christmas Eve services were extra special to me {and you got to hold a lit candle in the dark while singing “Silent Night”;-)}. The message for children was personable, in fact the young children left their seats and sat near the altar for the pastor’s special devotion and sat at his feet with open ears. Through these personal and special messages is one of the places in which I learned that the Lord knows each of us personally. He knows our weaknesses, emptiness, burdens, secrets, mistakes…our “unwholeness.” We are born with a void. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are made whole, given hope and assurance, forgiveness and fullness, blessed with justification and grace. Jesus fills that void. Just as He has made me whole, He can make you whole.

Luke 2: 1-20

The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Matthew 1:21, 23

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

John 3:16,17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

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Filed under {Christmas Time}

Glamorously Gorgeous {Christmas Party Style}

To me, Christmas is much more than sending cards to loved ones {although I LOVE making cards, as you can see by my Etsy shop: piecefuljoy.etsy.com}. Christmas is about the Reason for the season {stay tuned for upcoming blog post but for a preview, check out Luke 2:11} as well as spending face to face time with friends and family  {and no, I don’t mean face to face time as in facebook time. ;-)} Gathering together and celebrating Christmas during this special holiday season is where many fond memories begin.

Speaking of gathering together, many of us will be spending time with parents’ friends, significant other’s coworkers, meet the brother’s girlfriend for the first time, etc around this time of year. Will you be attending or hosting any Christmas parties in the near future?

“Whatever shall I wear?!”

No fear, dear friends! Take a peek at this Etsy treasury with me……I’m trying to decide what I shall wear for a Christmas party tomorrow night! Here’s how the thoughts run through my head (if you care to join my whirlwind of decision making): denim trousers (or classy black straight leg dress pants?) with black flats (or the black heels that have the silver accent? If I decide to wear the heels, then I’d need to wear the long denim trousers or the black dress pants) with a sleeveless silky ruffled collar blouse topped off with a drapy black cardigan (or maybe the silk light green one with mother of pearl buttons) accented with tear drop diamond necklace. I would wear the matching earrings, but I lost one of them somehow in between the trip of home and traveling to visit family (My wedding jewelry, no less. Great job, Sarah).
Anyway, please click and take a look at this fabulous collection of items gathered along the theme of a classy Christmas party. You may find some inspiration….I know I did!:

http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4cedb8aa4ad68eef5f062d2d/glamorously-gorgeous-christmas-party?index=9

{By the way…if you fall in love with any of these items – they’re for sale by Etsy sellers! But be fast, because some of these items are one of a kind! :-)}

Black Ruffly Maxi Dress

Black Ruffly Maxi Dress

Damask Clutch

Damask Clutch

Vintage Hair Clip

Vintage Hair Clip

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Filed under {Christmas Time}, {Holiday Fun}, {Inspiration and Creations}

Eye-Popping Polka Dot Themed Christmas Gift Wrapping

Gift wrapping is one of my favorite things to do. Christmas wrapping is especially fun and I like to make all of my gifts’ wrapping coordinate.

This year’s recipe for themed gift wrapping is as follows:

  • brown paper (inside out grocery bags). Strips of this paper was used as ribbon, paper punched on the edges.
  • pages from a vintage dictionary (cut with an exacto knife)
  • inexpensive white wrapping paper
  • ribbon leftover from my Christmas wreath (see Pieceful Joy’s facebook page for pics)
  • homemade heart shaped gingerbread tags (painted with red and white acrylic paint).{ See Christmas recipe post for this easy recipe!}

For Dad

For Dad

Under the Tree

Under the Tree

For Mom

For Mom

For Mom

For Mom

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Filed under {Christmas Time}, {Holiday Fun}, {Inspiration and Creations}

Christmas Recipes

Many gingerbread ornament recipes call for  molasses or a bunch or cinnamon. I found this inexpensive {and easy!!} gingerbread recipe! Using a heart cookie cutter, I painted and personalized the gingerbread into tags for some of this year’s Christmas gifts. {http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/christmasfun/kids.htm}

Salt Dough Ornaments

2 C. flour
1 C. salt
1 C. water

Mix salt and flour. Add in half the water, then gradually add the remaining water. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes.

For flat dough ornaments roll out the dough on baking paper. You can also be creative and make odd shapes and wreaths (takes longer to bake.) Use cookie cutters, cut-out templates, or just use your hands.

Dust dough with flour and begin to add details to the ornaments with a toothpick, popsicle stick, and knife.

Don’t forget to use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament.

Baking: Time varies based on thickness of ornament
Temperature: 325°F.
Time: 1 1/2 hours – or until dry

Let cool before you begin. Paint with acrylic paints. Glue on beads, buttons, or any fun accessory. Coat with acrylic varnish when everything is dry.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Recently I discovered a fabulous new way to do hot chocolate {and oh my goodness! It rivals Starbucks’ hot chocolate!}.  Place stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk in freezer for 10-15 minutes. In a saucepan, heat milk. Add hot cocoa mix {easy, huh?}.  Take mixing bowl from freezer and pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 2 tablespoons sugar into the mixing bowl. Whip until the mixture peaks. Pour hot chocolate into mug. Top with generous dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon or crushed peppermint {like from a peppermint or candy cane}.

 

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Filed under {Christmas Time}, {Holiday Fun}

Creative Gift Wrapping

Decoupage, as mentioned in the previous blog post, is an easy {and inexpensive} way to jazz up a gift box!

Take a look at the before photo…a flowery box. The after photo is the flowery box decoupaged with pages from a vintage dictionary.


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Filed under {Christmas Time}, {Holiday Fun}