Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving and Tom Hanks..............

Well I had no idea what to blog today, and Julie recommended that I say the things I'm thankful for. Instead of doing a list, I decided to write it in poem form.

Here's your Thanksgiving Eve Poem:
Thanksgiving is coming
is the shopping all done?
Or in the morning,
Will you be making.........
another store run?

And did you remember to invite
your priest and your nun

Scratch that last line,
It might not make it much fun

I love Thanksgiving, it's a time to
give thanks
I'm thankful for Family, Friends,
and also Tom Hanks!

Tom Hanks you might ask?
What's does that mean?
You remember "Castaway"
He had nothing to live off
You may recall that movie, that scene?

He was alone and a mess,
really, not very clean

We have hot water and food,
people who care about us
We have planes, trains, and automobiles,
not to mention the bus.

We should remember these things,
When we put up a fuss.

We have Hi-Def TV
With 300 channels or more
Instead of sand on an island
We have hard-wooden floors

Do I need to go on?,
Do I need to say more?

Our Cell phones, our Wii's
our Computers with Ram
Our IPODS, Our Blackberries,
Our Digital Cams

Our Potatoes with gravy
not to mention our...........
Thanksgiving Day Yams

We are blessed in our lives,
by everyday things
The flowers that grow,
that sing,

People that smile,
Even bee's that may sting

For pictures and memories
of times that have past
The days that we have
and the years that go fast

And those pains we experience
are temporary, they will fade
and not last

Tom Hanks, well he had
that the waters did send
A beat up old Volleyball,
His only true friend

Do you see what I'm saying,
Are you seeing a trend?

We have so much to appreciate
We are blessed everyday
I know we have trials,
They surely won't stay,

Let us all be thankful
On Thanksgiving day!

All of us at Cosmo Cricket sincerely wish each of you the great things in life and a very happy Thanksgiving! You are our friends and mean so much to us. We love reading the funny things you say, the experiences you have, even learning about your crazy relatives.

God Bless!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Update on the Lindsay Giveaway

I saw some of you ask if Lindsay was handy around the house. Well, I can tell you that this is not his strength. The only power tool I've known him to use is a lawn mower.

However, others asked if Lindsay does dishes. I can tell you that he does. In fact once, he and his wife were watching my kids for me. I was later getting home than I thought I would be so Lindsay brought the kids over to my house for bedtime. He got them to clean up their rooms (he always has bribes) while he cleaned up the rest of my house (humiliating to be sure, but nice at the same time). Then he put them all to bed.

So, I guess I really can't give him away. My kids would be devastated. They think he is cooler than Superman, funnier than bodily noises and nicer than grandma. Besides that, I can't find a shipping company that will transport him. Something about it being inhumane?!?!?

Anyway, he is definitely the craziest family member, albeit adopted in, that I will spend time with this holiday season. And, he will post the winners for yesterdays contest this afternoon.

I'm kind of feeling like Cousin Eddie from National Lampoon's Vacation

First, I need to thank everyone for sharing their Thanksgiving memories!

I must say, I have been astonished by everyone that has posted concerning the giveaway that Eric and Julie posted early today.

I will try to respond:

Ria, I'm not handy at all, but Lulu I do do (oops) dishes.

Jennie, please no pet rats.

JJ, what do you mean by "can we draw for Jon the Warehouse Guy?"

Colleen, I don't think your husband would be jealous. i can see he and I enjoying a football game, stuffing our faces, and falling asleep on the couch!

Jean, Nebraska? I hear the wind blows there? Is that true?

Patti B., sorry basements, Lindsay's, and Mice, well that isn't my idea of a really good time.

Carol, you guys are never going to let me live the mouse thing down. Do they have therapists that can help me?

BishopsMommie, my wife would say "no trade backs."

Donna, how did you know that I like trivia?

Christine, I am certifiable crazy! Have you seen "The Shining?" Am I scaring you?

And last Beverly....... If you won my weight in Cosmo goodies, it would fill up a U-Haul. Well almost.

And speaking of winning, Colette, AmyR., and Carolyn King, no you're not going to Disney World, but you have won fabulous Cosmo Cricket products selected just for you!

All you have to do is email you're address and then start stalking the UPS man!

Have a great day!

A New Lindsay Giveaway!

Today, I think I'd like to be the one to give away a really big prize. How about Lindsay? To be entered into the drawing for this one, leave a comment about a crazy family member you'll be spending time with this holiday season.

PS: Winner will have to pay shipping and handling....... The handling charge could be a little steep since I think I'll have to higher two large men to stuff him in the box.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Julie's Gig............

But she asked if I would "Guest Host" the blog this week! I have super powers, but I will admit, when it comes to blogging, Julie's far outweigh mine.

I feel kind of like, maybe how a warm-up band might feel. Or maybe, how you might feel when you turn on the Today Show, and find out that Lester Holt is next to Meredith Vierra, instead of Matt Lauer.

Where's Julie you ask? She's a busy, busy girl. Being mom, wife, designer, owner of a company, church go-er, world traveler, has it demands, and sometimes, some of those things that needed "fixin" or paint'n" get neglected. This week she's doing a little of both.

This week is Thanksgiving. Those who know me, know that I have an affinity for memories and I'm pathetically nostalgic.
Being with family, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Dallas and Detroit playing football every year, Turkey, mashed potatoes, little smokies, and all of the Christmas movies that they start playing. Does it get any better than that?

I have a challenge for you. And what would a challenge be without prizes.
Simple-Post and let me know you're favorite Thanksgiving when you were a child. Pretty simple stuff!

Everyone who posts will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win, 2 paper crafting kits of their choice, and like the Turkey at Thanksgiving, we will throw in all of the "trimmings."

Did I mention that we will draw three winners?

Remember I love nostalgia!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Paper Tree Tutorial

Remember that darling paper tree sent to us by Sarah the other day? Well, some of you asked me how it was made and I said that I would look for instructions. I didn't find any. But, after looking closely at Sarah's tree, I thought I'd give it a go. Mine did turn out a bit differently. I think these are not only great for decorating, but also for holding a gift for a friend.

PS: I apologize for the dark photos. I did this last night by the light of a lamp. Not great for photography!

Here's what you'll need:
1. Two sheets of green cardstock. I used "Wrapping Paper" from our Oh Joy Collection.
2. Brown cardstock for the trunk. Mine is 4x6", but depending on your cylinder, you might need to adjust the measurements.
3. A cylinder. I would have used a tube from a roll of paper towels, but I didn't have one. Funny, but I'm more likely to have a cylindrical Hot Chocolate container than a paper roll tube.
4. Something cute for the top. I used a star from the Oh Joy die cut sheet and matched it up with the chipboard star from our Buck Naked Ornaments.

Here's what to do:
1. Cover lower section of tube to make the trunk of the tree.

2. Cut a bunch of long triangles for the tree. Mine start out 2" wide at the top, tapering to a point and they are 4" long. It looks to me like Sarah's are skinnier than mine. I cut them smaller as I went up the tree. By the time I was up to the top of the tree, the triangles were 1" wide at the top, still 4" long and still tapering to a point.

3. Use a paintbrush or smooth pencil to curl the ends of the triangles and adhere to the tube.

4. Go all the way around the tube, one layer at a time.

5. Continue all the way up the tree, using smaller triangles as you get towards the top.

6. Now for the tricky part! Make a cone for the top of the tree. To do this, I took my second piece of cardstock, flipped it to the backside and measuring from one of the corners, I made a mark 6" down from the corner. Then, I made a mark 6" across the top from the same corner. Continue measuring from that corner down, in between the first two marks until you have enough points to help you draw a smooth curve. Cut out along this curve. Run double stick adhesive down the first edge and roll into a cone. It helps to cut the corner off the top of the cone. It also helps to fold up the edge of the cone with the adhesive on it (before the adhesive is on it) about 1/4" in from the edge. I used the end of a paintbrush inside of the cone to put counter pressure against my hand as I pressed the seam down tight.

7. After the cone part is made, cut the lower edge into a pointed fringe so that you can curl it up and mimmick the layers on the rest of the tree. I cut as far as 2" up from the bottom edge. (I neglected to get photos of the cone as I made it, but you can do it! Give it a try, you'll see.)

Fill your cylindar with goodies to give as a gift, or just place it out as a cute accent piece in your home. If using a paper towel tube, you can make a bottom for it out of cardstock if you want to fill it with treats.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Winner and Something Funny!

Congratulations Liz @ 2:36. You are lucky today! Send us your email and we'll send you your prize.

Now for some fun. Lindsay sent me the following idea in an email this morning. It doesn't actually use any Cosmo Cricket products, but with the economy being so tight I thought it was worth sharing. I know many of you, like me, enjoy making home-made gifts. Well, every year I purchase pajamas and slippers for members of my family. This year, though, I think I can save the expense of purchased slippers and make them instead with items I'm sure most of us gals have on hand.

WARNING: This is not meant to be taken seriously. Do not read any further if you are among the faint of heart!

What you'll need:
•Four pairs of maxi pads per pair of slippers. Depending on the size of foot, choose light, regular or night protection.
•Some cute embellishments for the toe area.

What you'll do:
1. Take two of the pads (one for each foot) and lay them out flat.
2. Take the other two pads and wrap them around the toe area to form the top. (refer to photo below)
3. Tape or glue each side of the top pieces to the bottom of the foot part. It's best not to expose the adhesive strip since that will make the whole thing sticky, not just the part you want sticky.
4. Decorate the tops with whatever you desire, silk flowers (this is most aesthetically appealing), etc.

These slippers are:
* Soft and Hygienic
* Non-slip grip strips on the soles
* Built in deodorant feature keeps feet smelling fresh
* No more bending over to mop up spills
* Disposable and biodegradable
* Environmentally safe

Seriously though, wouldn't that be the most hilarious joke gift ever?

One more funny email from Lindsay. I think after a weigh in day, we can all appreciate this one!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weigh in Wednesday!

Hi ladies,

First I would like to point out that nobody gave me a heads up yesterday as we discussed last week. I am remembering this Weigh in Wednesday all on my own! As has been the case for quite some time now, I did not lose or gain. But, since it's only been a few days since my last weigh in, I'm not surprised. How did you do? Or, is it too early to ask?

Most of you know the game, but if you're new leave a comment today and you can be entered to win our prize. What will we give away this week. HMmmmmm. How about a Be Good Paper crafting kit to make this fun project sent to us by Sarah Hodgkinson. Be Good was last years Christmas line, but it's still super cute! Then, I think the winner will also need Buck Naked Alphabuttons and Ornaments and something new to get excited about. I think maybe a Chemistry Paper Crafting kit would do the trick!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Cogsmo Christmas

OK, here is the project I told you about yesterday. I have been dreaming about this idea for months! And, have just been waiting until it was closer to Christmas to give it a try. It worked even better than I'd imagined, and looks even better in real life. I think a little Christmas tree, in Jack's room, decorated in robots and gears is sure to have him on his best behavior while awaiting the big day!

If you would like to make these cog ornaments, here's what to do.
1. Get some Cogsmo Blackboard.
2. Coat one section at a time in glue and then glitter.
3. Assemble cogs. I didn't even use glue! If you look closely at the circles within the cogs, you'll notice that they aren't perfect; they are squished. So, what you want to do is create pressure to hold them in place. I started from the outside in. Take the outermost section of the cog. Look at the hole in the center of it to determine where that hole is the narrowest. Then take the next section of cog and determine where it is widest across. Now, wedge the widest section of the inside cog into the narrowest section of the outer cog.
4. Repeat with each cog section.
5. String with thread and you're done!

You can get 2 large cogs, 3 different robots and one dogbot from one set of Cogsmo Blackboard. There are also lots of little cogs that are cute on smaller Christmas trees.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And the Lucky Girl Is.....

Julie at 7:00 AM! Congratulations Julie!!! On your weight loss and on winning our prize. Send us your address and we'll send it out to you.

I have been working on a fun project this weekend. If I get a chance I will post it later today.... if not, tomorrow morning. Be sure to check back...... especially if you'll have little boys around at Christmas time!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Farewell Forever Fat Friday!

Did you think I forgot?

I didn't, it's just been a crazy morning. Anyway, I didn't get to say farewell to anymore fat. It's like a guest that has overstayed it's visit. I really want it to leave, but I think I've made the accommodations to comfortable! Or maybe it's just my charming personality. I think it might be lonely without me. Although, I did draw the line at letting any of its friends come crash our party. In other words, I didn't gain any and I didn't lose any either.

How did you do? Up or down. Happy or sad. Let us know and you could win a Gretel Collection with the Buck Naked Alphabuttons to make Krista's cute project below. Along with a Jack's World set, just for the fun of it.

PS: You don't have to post your weight, weight loss or gain, just give us some encouragement and you can be entered to win the prize too!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Give Thanks!

Before we talk about this fun project and what we're thankful for. Let me just say, that you know you are in over your head when you don't realize it's Wednesday..... the entire day. And then, when you realize it's Thursday, it still doesn't register that you missed Weigh in Wednesday. I think that from now on, someone needs to post a comment on Tuesday reminding me that the next day is Wednesday. I guess my mom was right all those times she told me that I'd forget my head if it weren't attached!!

Maybe I'll just pretend that these slip ups are intentional to keep you on your toes. You know, so you don't just show up on Wednesday hoping to win a prize. Maybe if Weigh in Wednesday was on some random day of the week you'd visit even more. HMMmmmm, I might have to think about that:)

Anyway, I'll make it up to you. Visit the blog tomorrow for Farewell Forever Fat Friday. We'll play the same game as usual.

OK, so today I am thankful for Krista! Krista works in our office and helps me with everything. Just a side note here, that all our employees are fabulous, not just Krista! But, today Krista is helping me with the blog and she doesn't even know it. Last week she sent me photos of this cute project she made for her home. I thought I'd share it with you! She used all products from our Gretel collection with Mr. Campy ribbon and our Buck Naked Alpha-buttons.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paper Flowers

OK, I know that many, if not all, of you have already made these super-cute flowers. I see them on layouts and cards all over. But, until last night, I had never made one myself. These little cuties don't take up much time or paper at all. In fact, you probably have scraps big enough for these and too little for much else....... what a great way to use them!

Here are my first three attempts. To start, I used a circle punch (around 2") and cut all the circles for each flower. You could use even less paper by cutting each circle with nesting punches, or if you're really good, hand cutting diminishing sizes. I am not really good, so I started with four-five 2" circles. I picked the pattern I wanted to be the largest. Then, holding all three-four of the remaining circles, I hand trimmed them all one size smaller. I choose the next largest and repeated. Does that make sense? Doing it this way made it easiest for me to get the sizes of each circle right. Anyway, in a nutshell, you need to get 4-5 circles each smaller than the one before.

After you have your circles, you can try some different techniques. I only had time to try three, but have some other ideas in mind I'd like to try later.

For my first flower, I cut the circles and then sprayed them with a water bottle. When they were wet, I tore the edges and crumpled them up. I flattened them slightly and let them air dry.

For my next flower, I cut the circles and then fringed the edges. I think next time I might spray and crumple these too. And, I think a larger brad or maybe a button would work better in the center here. I'll have to see what I can find.

My final flower was simply cut with decorative edge scissors. Then I inked the edges and used a cute button for the center. It seemed to be the homey-est of all the flowers and so I picked it for the one on my house warming card. Now, to bake up a plate of cookies and welcome the new neighbors!

Update 2:39PM-- I thought I would let you know what I used on my card just in case you wanted to replicate it. The base is Prism cream colored cardstock (I don't know the color, sorry). Then, I used a journaling card from Chemistry for the background. The flower was cut from Flirt cardstock and the brown border from Forget Me Not (both Chemistry). I added a random button from my jar. The stitching is all done with embroidery floss, using all six strands. The tag was made with Flirt and Prism cardstock with a rub-on from Jack's World. I used Making Memories red string to tie on the tag. The crochet trim was just something I happen to have an entire bolt of. I found it at a tag sale years ago...... almost evey article of clothing I have ever sewn for my girls features it and I still have tons!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Japanese Friends & Class Instructions

Here are some of the friends we met in Japan. There were many others including Rei who gave us a lovely gift and Yoko who made this album using photos and entries from our blog.

Sorry about the poor photos. It's very overcast today, and I don't have enough light to shoot these. But, don't you just love this album! I will treasure it. So many great memories! I especially love that she took stills from the videos and placed them in as film strips.

On another note, here are the instructions for the classes I taught in Japan. I wasn't sure how to save these for the blog. Hopefully they work for you (click on them for the full size sheet). If they don't, email us and we'll send them to you. You are free to use these for yourself or for classes or anything else you have in mind. We just ask that you credit Cosmo Cricket. Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Kids are Turning Japanese.... I Really Think So!

I just had to share this because I think it is pretty cute and I think our friends in Japan will get a giggle out of it!

Of course, I brought back little prizes for my kids. For the girls I got hair clips and fans (I got them Kimonos too, but I'm saving these for Christmas, shhhhhhhh). My daughter, Kate, was particularly curious about the Japanese culture. I showed her the photos from our trip, answered lots of questions and tried to explain things on her level.

This afternoon Kate and Abby developed a new game of pretend. Kate is now going by the name Yoko and Abby is going by Naomi. As they walked through my kitchen this afternoon, hair in clips, hands waving fans, I overheard Kate say to Abby, "Naomi, lets walk through the village to get some sushi."

A little later they had set up a pretend picnic on my bed and Kate was saying, "Naomi, would you like some yoshana?" I asked her what "yoshana" was. She replied that they thought it sounded like a good Japanese dessert. She is inventing other "Japanese" terms and soon should have her own language! I think we'll call it Katenese.

Photos From Japan!

We're back! We had a spectacular time in Japan. Becky and all my kids survived too!
The Japanese people are so kind and polite. We would love to go back sometime!

Day Number One: Seeing the sights around Shibuya!

Eric loved the modern art. We found a MOMA store and he got to sit in his favorite chair.... the Eames molded plastic chair. We found the city to be a lot like New York, except much cleaner, safer and full of smaller people.

Eric in the Eames chair.

Julie at Starbucks. It is just as good in Japan, only a little more difficult to order.

After walking around the shopping areas, we went to Meiji Jingu Shrine. This was amazingly beautiful! Here are some photos from inside.

After a fun day of seeing the sites, it was Shibuya at night. I think it's even busier than Time Square.

OK, now for the part you are all waiting for....... Giant Eric in Japan!

This is Eric on the subway. Notice the top of the door is almost below his ear.

Eric in the shower.

Eric in the bathroom doorway.

Eric in bed.

Eric walking down a service hallway. Even I had to duck in some parts.

Being in a place where they not only speak a foreign language, but you can't read the symbols either, you really appreciate anything in English. And we love the icons they used all around town..... I wish we thought to take more photos of them!

These are the instructions for our hotel bathroom toilet. I had to ask a Japanese woman to show me how to flush the toilet in the mall. She was very kind, although I wonder what she must have thought!

We did actually teach some scrapbooking while we were there, too!

Eric taught some hand lettering techniques..... although this photo makes it look like it was me :)

The Japanese were very brave and their hand lettering turned out AWESOME!

On the last day of our trip, we took the subway (by ourselves..... a little scary!) to Asakusa. This is a fun little tourist spot.

Us on the subway.

Did you know, Eric's arms are long enough to take photos of the two of us.

Are you hungry?

There were a lot of options in the seafood category.

This is a pancake doll maker. It makes little treats that look like, well, pancake dolls.