I am blessed to have the most creative and kind friends. These ladies are a part of my Stamped With Aloha Group and last week we gathered together to have our annual Christmas Party.
I love getting together with these creative ladies and this years party was such a treat! Teresa wins the prize for arriving in the most festive and fun outfit of the day!
At our party we eat, play games, swap cards and have a hand stamped gift exchange. In the past, sometimes I have catered this party. This year however our theme was "Christmas Around the World" so I decided to make it a pot luck with an optional recipe exchange.
The food was amazing! Many people brought something that represented their ethnic background or a favorite family recipe.
Although I don't eat a lot of sugar anymore, one of my favorite holiday treats to share is my Aunt Chila's Apple dip. Warning.... it has a HUGE amount of sugar in it, so not something you want to eat on a daily basis. However, if you are craving something sweet, this one is really good. This Holiday treat that has a memory attached to it for me. I remember being at my Aunt's house when I was younger and she served this delicious dip.
My Aunt is very special, someone who always made me smile when she was around. I miss her very much and every time I make this recipe I think of her.
Most people look at this dip and think it has peanut butter in it! However it doesn't and it really tastes amazing, especially when served with tart green apples.
I didn't have an apple image I could use to decorate my card so I improvised with the stamp set Always and Forever. With some of our new Stampin' Blends I tried to make the heart in the center of the tree stump look like a heart shaped apple!
It was fun to collect everyone's decorated recipe cards and even better to be able to sample many of these fantastic recipes at the party.
Our hand stamped gift exchange is always a highlight. This year I received this adorable purse created by Michelle. It had accordion sides and it was filled with a bunch of hand stamped cards.
For my hand made gift I created a Gingerbread House stocking holder.
I bought this little "house" stocking holder at Target. The cost was $9.99 which is perfect since our budget for the gift exchange is around $10. I then took scraps of paper and covered the little wooden house to make it look festive. The peppermint siding comes from The Little Things stamp set. The Gingerbread man came from Cookie Cutter Christmas. The Wreath and Gum Drops were made out of punches. The roof was made out of Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper that I had punched with a retired scallop punch.
Isn't this adorable? Do you want to know what the best part is?
It has a light inside! It was really fun making this project and even better to see Leigh's reaction when she opened it up. I am glad she liked it as much as she did.
Olivia made a bouquet of hand made flowers. Her hand made flower making is something she is known for. There is so much detail put into these, this gift was truly a labor of love.
Shelly created her gift with some retired Stampin' Up! fabric. I knew Shelly was a talented scrapbooker but I had no idea how talented she was as a quilter! Just look at the amazing gifts she made with fabric! Wanda was the happy recipient.
Norine made this cute desk calendar that pops open and you can easily spin it to see the cute hand stamped designs she made to represent each month and season!
Zeny's gift was really creative too. She made a washi tape holder out of a canvas square she had purchased at walmart. Her gift included a few rolls of washi too.
We decided that next year we are going to have people write their names inside the gifts. That way we will know who made what. After we open gifts we go around the room with our cameras to take photos. You keep hearing people say, "who made this one"??? In fact I took photos of these two cute projects and I don't know who the artist was.
We played some fun games. My favorite was an ice breaker where we got to learn some fun new facts about each other. I always love learning new things about each other that bond us closer together.
A second game involved creating a card stock Christmas tree. I divided the group into teams of three. One person took a green card stock and placed it behind their back. When I said "go", they began to rip the paper into the shape of a tree. After 45 seconds they passed the tree to the next person who had a strip of ornaments on glue dots, they attached them and then passed the tree to the final person who added the star and the trunk. It was fun to see the outcome. I selected judges who voted and selected three award winning trees.
In case you are wondering the bottom middle tree DID win a prize!
Finally, a tradition I've had for years is that I decorate a tree filled with hand made snowman ornaments. Everyone gets to take one home as a party favor. This years ornament was a mini cappuccino cup snowman that had a sentiment added that read, "Love is brewing". Since both of my children have recently gotten engaged and one of their weddings will happen this month, love certainly IS in the air this Holiday Season!
I used spray paint to cover the lids. I love how shiny it made them.
Well, that was some of the highlights from our Holiday Party this year. I hope you were inspired to see some ideas that might spark your creativity for your own gift creating this month. Christmas is just 24 days away so there is till plenty of time to use your favorite Stampin' Up! products to make something personalized and special. In fact there is a huge Year End Sales Event happening now, so be sure to check out my online store to see if there is anything you need to use for your projects or to give as gifts.
Happy December 1st, everyone! I pray this Holiday Season will be filled with peace, joy, love and lots of inspiration and creativity!