Holiday Party Highlights

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.

 SWA Christmas Party 2017

SWA Christmas Party 2017

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!

 Teresa at our SWA Party

Teresa at our SWA Party

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.

 Food at our Holiday Party

Food at our Holiday Party

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. 

 Apple Dip Recipe - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Apple Dip Recipe - www.stampedwithaloha.com

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.

 Cindy and Michelle

Cindy and Michelle

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.  

 Gingerbread House Stocking Holder - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Gingerbread House Stocking Holder - www.stampedwithaloha.com

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.  

 Gingerbread House Stocking Holder - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Gingerbread House Stocking Holder - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Isn't this adorable?  Do you want to know what the best part is?

 Gingerbread House Stocking Holder - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Gingerbread House Stocking Holder - www.stampedwithaloha.com

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.

 Leigh and Cindy

Leigh and Cindy

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.

 Olivia and her gift

Olivia and her gift

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.

 Shelly and Wanda

Shelly and Wanda

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!

 Norine and Verilyn

Norine and Verilyn

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.

 Zeny's Washi Tape Holder

Zeny's Washi Tape Holder

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.

 Hand Stamped Desk Set

Hand Stamped Desk Set

 Hand Stamped Dry Erase Board

Hand Stamped Dry Erase Board

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.

 Christmas Tree Game - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Christmas Tree Game - www.stampedwithaloha.com

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.

 Cappucino Snowmen - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cappucino Snowmen - www.stampedwithaloha.com

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!

Stamped Blessings,

Cindy