28 October 2008

Found at the pumpkin place....

Yesterday, Daughter, boyfriend, and I took a quick trip to the local pumpkin place. Guess what we found in addition to pumpkins! A boyfriend kitty for Lily!

This is Itty Bitty! He is so sweet, and he looks a lot like Lily, except in the face. His face is sort of elongated, as you can see here. I know his name because I asked the store owner if I could take him home with me. :-) He told me NO! Itty Bitty guards the pumpkins and must stay there.

But oops -- Itty Bitty ALMOST accidentally came home with us anyway! I'm not above cat stealing, you know. Especially for such a sweetie. Wouldn't he be cute with Lily? They would make a purrrrrfect couple!


If you missed my post yesterday, I'm still looking for input on the article I'm writing. If you have thoughts on the questions listed in yesterday's post, I'd love to hear them. Thanks in advance!

26 October 2008

An exciting day

I don't post much about our daughter's activities, but this one is too exciting to pass up!

Yesterday she was selected as one of twelve high school percussionists state-wide for our all-state band. To be chosen on any instrument is a huge honor, but to make the percussion section is quite a feat because of the extensive requirements and small number of students selected. This was her third year of going through the audition process.

To audition, percussionists have to perform a variety of etudes, solos, and rudiments on snare, marimba, and timpani. If they make it to the second round of competition, they have to repeat everything they played in the first round, plus demonstrate a variety of skills on crash cymbals and tambourine. The audition process, which took the entire day, had me on pins and needles while I waited for news. But she's cool under pressure and obviously fared just fine!

Our daughter was actually one of two students in our high school who had qualified to audition for either the all-state band or the all-state choir. Because she plans to eventually become a band director, she chose to audition for the band this year. But she still prepared all of the vocal audition material, in addition to the percussion requirements, so it has been a busy summer and fall. Next year, she plans to audition for the all-state choir.

The all-state band and choir will perform in concert at the end of November. We're very proud of her and excited that she will have this experience during her high school years!

24 October 2008

Feline Friday Gone Bad

Sometimes on Thursday evening, I realize that the next day is Feline Friday and I have no blog material. NONE. The kitties have done nothing spectacular all week. Nothing has been broken. Nothing unusual has been eaten.

It's on those Thursday evenings that I say to Lily and Tinsel, "Do something cute. NOW."

Sometimes they respond and do something cute, but more often they just look at me and yawn.

It's on these Thursday evenings that I find myself frantically digging through boxes of Daughter's old baby clothes, looking for something that will fit Lily.

BECAUSE IF ALL ELSE FAILS, DRESS YOUR CAT. (This is actually good advice for any troubles that beset you in life.)

Last Thursday was one of those times. In a desperate attempt to dress Lily for a Feline Friday photo shoot, I shut both of us in the bathroom with the camera.

(click on the collage to bigify!)

As it turned out, Lily did not like the cute top I selected for her. Not even one little bit. She growled and tried to use her claws. She even tried to bite. Truth be told, the top was a little bit big and tended to fall off her shoulders.

It really wasn't attractive on her anyway.

But it was good enough for a Feline Friday. :-)

23 October 2008

Low-tech...That's Me!

When it comes to scrapbooking I'm very low-tech. I'm even somewhat (actually, VERY) tool-impaired. Sure, I can operate a pair of scissors, but Tweezer-Bee reverse-grip tweezers are beyond me. :-) And the Making Memories tag crimper-thingy? I mangle tag after tag. I'm even Bind-it-All impaired. I can make holes with my BIA, but do you think I can get the wire to work without flattening it?

None of these things bother me, because I'm a very simple scrapbooker. Give me some cardstock, adhesive, and photos, and I'm good. I don't need anything fancy.

With one exception: My Canon wide-format printer. I'm not tool impaired when it comes to that. It's my all-time favorite scrapbooking tool. I use it all the time to print directly on my background paper.

Because I love my printer so much, I have never invested in a fancy die-cutting system. For many years now, I have been using my QuicKutz Squeeze...quite happily, I might add.

Until this week, that is. After considerable thought and research, I decided to purchase the Sizzix Big Shot, a decidedly low-tech tool! I'm pretty excited, because now I can use wider dies from QuicKutz and other manufacturers. And I CAN turn a handle! This tool is within my skill level!

I figure with this new little machine, I'm pretty much set for life.

22 October 2008

Planning classes

I'll be spending the next few days getting ready for a class this weekend and planning classes for first quarter of next year. Hard to believe that we have to plan that far in advance, but it's true! Our newsletter will be published in December, and it will include all of our class information for the first part of 2008.

Planning classes is generally a very fun process because the possibilities are almost unlimited! Of course, that makes it challenging, too. Once I figure out the kinds of classes I would like to teach, the next step is to design the sample projects and order the necessary product. We have to allow several weeks' lead time to ensure that we receive the product when it is needed. As soon as the sample project is complete, I write detailed instructions. While this is a tedious part of the process, I actually enjoy it. A good set of instructions makes it much easier for me to create class kits, and it allows customers who don't attend class to make the project at home.

If all goes as planned, you can look for some samples of class projects in the next few weeks!

21 October 2008

Tabby Tuesday

Tabby Truth #17: A large tabby body can fit into even the smallest box when it is time for a nap.

20 October 2008

Marching band performance

For your listening and viewing pleasure, here is our marching band performing Music from the Lion King. If you can find the snare drums, Daughter is the shortest one in the middle. :-)


19 October 2008

End of the season

Our marching band competed in another invitational last night and won! This was our third invitational win this fall, making this our most successful season ever. But more important than the trophy was the fact that the kids had been working to achieve higher point scores from the judges at each performance, and yesterday they beat their own goal!

But with all the excitement comes some sadness. This was the final performance of our marching band for the season, and the end of marching band for 31 members of the senior class. No more Friday night football games hanging out in the end zone. No more early morning breakfasts before competition. No more early morning practices in the freezing cold.

Now we move on to warmer (inside) activities, like jazz band, concert band, and show choir. All of those are great fun, but nothing can replace the magic of marching band season. There is nothing like it.

18 October 2008

7 Facts

I was tagged by blogging buddy, Sarah C.


  • Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My facts:

1) I can’t stand Kleenex with lotion. They make the inside of my nose feel slick!

2) When I sleep on my side, I always have to have a bit blanket or comforter between my knees. One knee cannot directly touch the other one!

3) I have NPR playing on the radio ALL NIGHT LONG. I never turn it off because if it’s quiet, I can’t sleep. Poor Spouse. I tell him that it's making him more intelligent while he sleeps.

4) Certain scents make me sick, notably hot apple cider, beer, and sometimes yeast. All of these scents involve something fermented.

5) My toenails are always polished, regardless of the season.

6) I frequently sleep with socks on.

7) I have perfect pitch, although it seems to be diminishing as I get older (which, I understand, is common). This simply means that if I hear a note on the piano, I can tell you what it is.

I'm tagging Cheri, Kristina, Fonda, Sue, Benita, Heather, and Toni. Have fun!

Special note: Those are NOT my socks in the picture, although I wish they were! The image is from Sock Club KAL.

17 October 2008

Feline Friday: Kitty Love

She swings from the chandelier, she paws my peanut butter, and she knocks over my drink in the most unfortunate places in the house - but I still love her like crazy.

It's like a hairball in my heart.

~Audra Foveo-Alba~

16 October 2008

Design Your Life color inspiration project

We're starting the third week of the Design You Life class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. Hard to imagine a person could have so much fun taking a class with 1700 people!

This simple project features the inspiration colors of pink, orange, and brown. I mounted the 8x8 pages on 12x12 cardstock. Again, I would not normally do this but I'm not mixing sizes in the albums I have underway right now. When I switch to 3-ring binders (hopefully soon!) I definitely plan to mix page sizes.

click to bigify so you can read the journaling!

The poem on the left is one I wrote awhile back and posted on my blog here. When I started my blog a couple of years ago, I had hoped to use a lot of my posts on layouts, and I really like it when I can actually do that.

Notice the very old product on this layout -- hoarded Scrapworks paper and Heidi Swapp patterned tape! It's great to use up some of this stuff.

15 October 2008

6 Random Things

I’ve been tagged by fellow blogger, Judy, to share 6 random things. This is a tough one, because have a hard time being random! So here are a few random, yet not-so-random, things about me that you may not know:

1) Against all common sense, I sometimes drink coffee in the late evening. I must have built up a tolerance to caffeine, because it doesn’t keep me awake at night.

2) When I was growing up, I had a box turtle. This turtle was about the size of a grapefruit and lived in a TV box in the basement. My cat, Mittens, used to sleep curled up around the turtle. One day, Mittens must have slept too long because the turtle was smothered! I discovered it when my parents had company and went screaming through the house carrying the smothered turtle.

3) I am directionally challenged. I get lost regularly, in many cities and in other countries. One of the worst times was when I was living in Paris in college and had a job babysitting two young girls after school. I was supposed to pick them up after school and walk them home, but I had been out sightseeing somewhere else in the city and got lost trying to find my way back. Luckily I made it in time, but just barely!

4) I have a lot of trouble remembering people’s names. I can almost always remember faces, but sometimes I can’t remember how I know someone either. I’ve always been this way and it is really embarrassing.

5) In college, I worked a summer job at a window factory. My job was to make mini-blinds, the kind with metal slats. It was actually a very difficult task to learn, because you had to hold an entire stack of slats and thread them through two or more hanging “ladders” of string loops. But I caught on quickly and actually became pretty skilled at making them. Being the "Type A" person that I am, I kept challenging myself to make more and more blinds each day. One day, one of the regular workers pulled me aside and told me to slow down since I was making everyone else’s numbers look bad!

6) I enjoy reading non-fiction books much more than fiction. I almost never read fiction.

I think many of my blogging friends have done this challenge, but if you’re reading this and have not, consider yourself tagged!

14 October 2008

Design Your Life class

I'm managing to keep up with the Design Your Life online class I'm taking over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. Although I've taken a class from Cathy Zielske and read her books, I'm picking up quite a few things here and there from Cathy and the other 1700 students! Of course, the best way to really learn about design is to practice it.

(click on the layout to bigify)

This week's layouts feature asymmetrical design. I will admit that this one took a long time to complete because of the funky photo sizes, but the overall design is obviously a simple one. (I even used hoarded Chatterbox paper!) I cannot take credit for most of the photos...they were taken by our local newspaper and posted online, so of course I snagged them. :-) Since Daughter plays percussion and is positioned at the back of the concert band, I usually only get to see the top of her head. I'm lucky to have the closeup on the left page!

12 October 2008

Proud band mommy!

Today I'm taking just a moment to say congratulations to our awesome marching band! On Saturday, we took first place at a big marching band invitational. This was a competition featuring the best bands from around the Midwest, so it's a really big deal for us to win. Needless to say, our kids are very excited, and so are the band parents (most of whom are former band geeks themselves, now living vicariously through their kids)! :-)

Our show this year is music from The Lion King. It's a real crowd pleaser everywhere we play, even at Friday night football games.

The collage (click on it to bigify) includes a couple of shots from the band's performance plus our drumline, which is made up of a fun group of kids. Daughter plays snare and as section leader, she has done a great job this year keeping things on track. Spouse coaches the drumline, which means that at our house, we do marching band 24/7!

This first place finish was actually our second invitational win of the season. We have one more big competition weekend to go, then marching band will be over for another year.

We are so excited to have been part of the best season in our marching band's history!

11 October 2008

Two Things

Today I'm going to share a couple of things I really love right now, and they both start with the letter P:

Pandora-- Pandora is an internet radio service created by the Music Genome Project. You set up your own "radio station" which plays only music you like. The really interesting thing about this service is that it "learns" from your choices and selects music based upon the attributes of songs to which you've given a "thumbs up".

Picasa 3 -- I've written about Picasa in the past (read my past post here), and I now love it even more. Google has recently launched Picasa 3 (still in beta but fully functional) with a host of new features, many of which are PERFECT for scrapbookers, especially scrapbookers without Photoshop (yep, that would be me)! Best of all, Picasa is a free but powerful organization/editing tool for digital photos. Here are my two of my favorite new features:

* the ability to put text directly onto a JPEG format photo, using any font on your computer (there are couple of formatting limitations which I hope get worked out through testing)

* many new collage options, including my beloved grids, which allow for much more creative control. They've also added several options for creating "gatherings" of different-sized photos, plus the ability to print collages in a variety of sizes.

If you're not familiar with Pandora or Picasa, check them out!

10 October 2008

Feline Friday: Bad Influence?

Early one morning this week, I went downstairs in the dark to make a pot of coffee.

"CRUNCH-CRUNCH-CRUNCH" I heard as I rounded the corner to the kitchen. It was clearly the sound of a kitty eating, but which kitty, and what was she crunching? Lily was shut in the basement (for bad behavior, as usual), and Tinsel hadn't yet been fed.

I flipped on the light and there was Tinsel, up on the counter and muzzle-deep in Lily's food container. She had removed the lid and was helping herself to a bountiful breakfast.

Now such behavior would not be
at all unusual for Lily, but Tinsel has NEVER done anything as bold as this. It would never even occur to Tinsel to try to remove the lid from a food container. But she has obviously watched Lily do it, and now she can do it, too.
In fact, since I snapped this picture, Daughter has actually seen Tinsel remove the lid by repeatedly pulling it upward with her paw.

Lily has obviously been a bad influence on Tinsel, but I do admit it that it's pretty cute. :-) And it's proof that you can (or Lily can) teach an "older" cat new tricks!

09 October 2008

Six Secrets

I was tagged by Linda to share six secrets. This was a fun exercise and really made me stop and think. Some of these secrets may surprise you; others not so much!

1 Unlike Sarah C :-), I make my bed every day. If I happen to miss a day and it is time to go to sleep, I still make my bed and then immediately unmake it. I could not get into a bed that hasn’t been made. I am not sure what might happen. lol

2 When I was little, our family meals consisted of meat, potatoes, and a vegetable. For a variety of reasons (my own finickiness included), we never had casseroles or soups or anything with more than one ingredient. Once in 6th grade, I went to a sleepover and they were serving a strange food – pizza! I had never seen it before and wasn’t sure what it was, so I called home to be sure it was OK to eat! lol

3 Like Sarah C, I also have a soap opera secret. Spouse and I have been watching "As the World Turns" since we were little kids. We went to the same college, and we even watched it there every day over lunch with a group of friends. We still tape it and watch it at night. It’s kind embarrassing, actually. I’m not sure why I’m even sharing this! lol

4 When eating a meal, I have to eat all of one food before I move on to the next. I could never eat a bite of one thing and then a bite of another. I’m not sure what might happen if I were to do that. I think food might get all mixed up in my stomach, instead of going down in nice layers. :-)

5 As a result of some bad experiences with swimming lessons when I was a child, I am pretty much deathly afraid of water, except for wading in the ocean. I would love to live near a body of water, as long as I didn't have to submerge myself in it.

6 When I was little, my friend Loreen and I played some tricks on younger girls in the neighborhood. The worst one involved an outhouse in Loreen’s back yard. We were small enough that we could lower our legs into the outhouse hole by bracing our elbows on either side of the hole – our legs were too short for our feet to touch any of the nasty stuff below. Well, one day we told the younger neighbor girl that there was a Secret World down below the outhouse hole. We showed her how to lower herself down and...you guessed it...she slipped through the hole and landed with a sickening "PLOP".

I’ll never forget how they had to tip the outhouse on its side to get her out. There she sat screaming and crying in a pile of nasty stuff, toilet paper sticking out wildly all over her body. I'm sure it's taken years of therapy for her to get past this incident.

To make matters even worse, I lied about my involvement in this little plot. Of course, that didn’t go so well for me. :-)

Now I'm tagging fellow blogger Lily! :-)

08 October 2008

Design Your Life color inspiration project

(Click to bigify)

Here's another project from Cathy Z's online Design Your Life class. She provided an 8.5x11 sketch and the journaling template. The challenge with this project was to use your own handwriting and be inspired by a particular color combination (her suggestion was blue and orange).

I created the LO on 8.5x11 and then mounted it on a 12x12 base. (I love the idea of mixing sizes in my albums, but I didn't feel like dealing with that today!) Because I expanded the size, I placed a title outside the parameters of the 8.5x11 and extended the patterned paper strip all the way down the page. The sketch also called for just one photo, but I added two additional small ones to illustrate the story. (Sorry about the crookedness at the top of the layout...it is NOT that way in real life!)

We'll see if I can keep up with the pace of this class. Because we're talking about Cathy Z's layouts, they are all very simple and relatively unembellished, so they don't take much time to complete. I'm happy to report that it has been just the push I needed to do some LONG overdue personal scrapbooking.

07 October 2008

Design Your Life class

After thinking a LOT about it, I finally decided to sign up for Cathy Zielske's online class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. She's my all-time favorite scrapbooker, and I've taken a class from her at CKU and just think she's the best. The class is "Design Your Life", and it's a 12-week course in design. There will be at least three projects each week to accompany the discussion topic. I decided that instead of making the sample binder that is suggested, I'm going to incorporate the completed layouts into my existing scrapbooks. This way, I'll be applying design concepts and getting my own scrapbooking done at the same time! (Less guilt that way, too!)

Since I signed up so late and the class started last Thursday, I missed doing the pre-work and jumped in with the first assignment. This one was a bit of a departure for me since I'm usually too cheap to print enlargements of this size, but now that I've done it, I will definitely do it again. (I actually printed this one at home, so I convinced myself it was free! LOL) I think this simple symmetrical design will work really well for the thousands of band layouts I need to create (well, not thousands, but a LOT) because I usually have only one or two decent shots and lots of smaller distance shots.

And just like I wouldn't mind wearing the same comfortable clothes every day, no one will care if I make the same layout again and again, right? :-)

05 October 2008

Our cat show days are over

Okay, it's only taken three cat shows to convince me that cat shows aren't really Lily's thing. I had held out hope that her behavior would improve and the judges would see what a sweet, adorable kitty she really is.

At the cat show yesterday, Lily instead went from bad to worse (if that is even possible), morphing into a vicious (and pretty much dangerous) ball of claws and teeth.

And I, of course, felt terribly guilty about putting her through the stress. So guilty that I bought her a lovely new cat basket. :-)

(Click on the collage to bigify. Note the expression of the kitty next to Lily in the lower right-hand corner photo!)

This was a national cat show, with 160+ cats from all over the Midwest and as far away as Florida. Nearly all of the participants were cat breeders, and there were some absolutely beautiful cats there, many of which I'd only seen in magazines. I quickly figured out that the breeders were also the ones showing the 35+ household pets, which are their cats that don't meet breed standards. So poor Lily was at a real disadvantage, since all of the cats (and their owners) were much more experienced than us.

All kitties were evaluated by four judges in four different rings, meaning Lily had to be taken out of her Double-Wide (properly referred to as a benching cage) and put into the judging ring cage four times. The first judge (see the middle picture on the left) was the only one who could handle her. She lunged dangerously at all the other judges. She even lunged at me, to the horror of everyone watching. I've never seen anything quite like it, and I felt badly that Lily was so upset.

A nice exhibitor from Minnesota told me that it was probably the high ceilings and the bright mercury lights causing Lily's stress. That was nice to hear, but I knew better. :-)

Household cats are separated into short-hair and long-hair, then again by spay/neuter and by coat color/markings. I learned that Lily is actually a "blue McTabby" -- a tabby with mackerel markings (vertical lines that extend around her body like ribs) as opposed to classic tabby markings (which look like a bullseye on the kitty's side). Since she was the only blue female spay McTabby, she was the only one in her class and got two blue ribbons. She also got two red-white-and-blue ribbons, which I assume mean the same thing.

Lily's behavior was so bad that we took the ribbon and ran from the ring each time. She actually had a third blue ribbon for a brief moment, until the ring clerk came to her Double-Wide and took it away, replacing it with a red-white-and-blue ribbon. "We're almost out of the blue ribbons," he said nicely. Right.

So what did I learn?

* No more cat shows for Lily. Mommy gets it now. :-)

* I MIGHT do another cat show with a future kitty, but we must start when the kitty is six months old. Starting early seems to be the key.

* We were WAY out of our league in this show, but that was okay. I learned a few things and got to see some amazing kitties, some with four-inch fur and some with no fur at all.

* Cat people are generally very nice.

* Crazy cat ladies really do exist. I met a few of them yesterday. :-)

* There are some beautiful and exotic cats in the world, but none could be more loved than our Lily and Tinsel.

Holiday Project: Covered Tins

Cat show update: Today I'm off to the cat show. Maybe I should leave the cat home, huh? :-) I have sprayed her carrier with "Herbal Calming Spray" (I'm thinking of spraying her, too) and I'm seriously considering drugging her (or me) with a tiny bit of leftover Prozac. (Daughter says this is improper use of drugs and constitutes DOPING, but I say that desperate times call for desperate measures!)

Look for an update tomorrow, or later today if we are asked to leave the show early! Thanks for all the well-wishes!


I've been busy this week making projects for a holiday open house. I hope that some of these ideas inspire crafters to make handmade gifts this holiday season!

I created a few samples of decorated tins. These 3x3 tins have clear lids which make them perfect to use as candy tins or even little gift boxes. The really neat thing is that they can be decorated using a very small amount of product...making them perfect for using up your scraps. If you started with a full sheet of paper, you could decorate a LOT of tins!

On this tin, I used a bit of Basic Grey's Figgy Pudding line...not a new line, but it's still one of my favorites. For the lid, I cut out three poinsettias of different dimensions and layered them with foam dots. I added a bit of loopy ribbon and Stickles around the edge of the lid.

On this tin, I used a bit of Bo Bunny snowflake paper and a few snowflake rub-ons from Me and My Big Ideas. This tin took no time at all to make!

04 October 2008

Holiday Project: Cards

I've been busy making projects for the holiday open house at Memory Bound. As I was checking out the new Christmas lines, I noticed the new Be Merry line by My Mind's Eye. It includes a great sheet of die-cuts and several small-scale patterns which are perfect for cards. In no time at all, I made these eight sample cards, and I still had materials left over to make several more.

I'm not normally a fan of pastels, but I love the soft colors and whimsical designs included in this line. The colors remind me of Christmas candy (which, of course, I DO like!).

And this reminds me...I'd better start making my own cards if I hope to get them mailed before Valentine's Day!

03 October 2008

Lights Across the Web

Sarah C was the recipient of this blog award earlier this week and graciously passed it on to me. Thank you, Sarah! If you haven't visited her blog, check it out! Sarah's scrapbooking, sewing, and home improvement projects are always inspirational! And Sarah is the one who introduced me to Daisy the Curly Cat's blog. Even though I've never met Daisy, I feel like she is a member of our family!

Today I'm passing this award on to Maureen, whose blog never fails to bring a smile. Whatever the topic -- bird droppings, Star Wars, cats, or the misadventures of daily life -- Maureen has a way with words! She definitely lights up the web!

Feline Friday: Lily practices for the cat show

02 October 2008

Holiday Project: Tag Tin

Oh, my goodness: From the looks of my craft space, Christmas must be fast approaching! And given that October is already here, I guess that really is the case. This week, I've been working on a series of projects for a holiday open house at Memory Bound. Today I finished a tag tin.

For this project, I used a small metal "lunch box" tin. These have been on the market for at least a couple of years now, and I still think they're a great value for the creative possibilities they offer. I chose to use the new Happy Holidays paper line by Fancy Pants. The great thing about this line is that it includes a sheet of 12 journaling cards that are easy to transform into tags. The double-sided paper in this line has non-traditional colors paired with whimsical designs.

I used just a little bit of the paper and ribbon to decorate the outside of the tin plus a snowflake punch to add a few designs to the lid. Diamond Stickles added just a bit of sparkle. Using leftover bits of paper, I made a few little tags to hang from the handle.

To make the 12 large tags, I cut apart the sheet of journaling cards to create 12 pieces. I backed each in a slightly larger piece of paper or cardstock, rounded the corners, and inked. I tied or stapled ribbon to the top of each and embellished as needed, although not much was necessary since the journaling cards already feature great designs.

Here's the completed project. While there are lots of pieces, the entire project was quick and easy to create! You could give this tin as a gift, or use it to store your own gift tags for the holiday season.

01 October 2008

Holiday Project: Photo Cube Tree

I've been working on projects for the holiday open house at the store where I teach. This one was very fun and quick to complete! I started with a set of six cardboard photo cubes. I played around with them and decided to make them into a Christmas tree.

I used a line of double-sided Christmas paper by Scrapworks to cover five surfaces of each cube, with a black and white photo on the sixth side. The boxes can be stacked in almost any order. You can put all the photos on one side or mix them up as I did here.

I tied ribbons around three boxes and added a few Flair Adhesive Badges by American Crafts as trim. I used a die-cut chipboard star for the top box. To make it stand up, I poked holes in the top of the box for the two star tips, then I ran a thin line of Glossy Accents around each tip/hole to provide additional stability.

This little project would be a fun and easy Christmas gift or holiday decoration!