Friday, December 24

Other people's ideas--How I love them!

One of my favorite past times is to flip through magazines and cookbooks to get new ideas. I am amazed at how gifted people are when it comes to cooking, baking, and arts and crafts.

One day, I was sitting in my Doctor's office and, I picked up a Family Circle magazine. Inside, there was a fun idea for homemade gift wrap. I loved it, because you could customize it any way you wanted, so I decided to try it this year.

The idea was to use either brown or white butcher's paper to wrap the gift, and then to cut out pretty scrapbook paper to glue onto the paper. I also used rubber stamps to add more variety.

Then, I picked up a spool of thick red ribbon, because everything needs a little red- especially at Christmas!

The last step was to add a label. For this, I found little round tags from a card making shop with a string. I stamped "To and From" into the circle and wrote in the names.

The biggest challenge for me was to get the butcher to sell me paper. Maybe because he was into chopping meat, I don't think he saw the value of using his paper to make pretty parcels. I tried to describe my "vision" to him, but he clearly wasn't impressed. With other customers waiting in line, he didn't sell me the paper. He did show me some white freezer paper in the tin foil section, though, so I settled for that. Because the paper was so thin, I had to wrap things in several layers.

It was fun, and I think I will continue this tradition. The best part for me was that you could customize the paper to the people you are giving the gift to, thus adding meaning to the gift itself.

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Italy trip

I have been going through my pictures, and have enjoyed looking at this album of Italy. I was able to go over last year to attend a conference. This was the first time I have been back in twenty years. The pictures are made up mostly of places we lived as a family. My brother and I were able to go together, and we were graciously hosted by some friends of ours from language school in Perugia. I feel such a sense of nostalgia when I look at these pictures. I miss Italy so much. It was strange to go back as a tourist knowing I would be returning to the US after such a short time. Tonight I made cookies with Nutella in them, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the simple pleasures. Fortunately, you can find it here! Saturday, we are going up to my brother's house to celebrate a late Thanksgiving, only we will be making homemade tortellini instead of turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!