Monday, December 29, 2008

Year in Review

Cindy at My Romantic Home is having a Year in Review party. I chose some of my favorite photos from the past year to share. If you want to see more year in review head over to Cindy's blog and check out the links. Lots and lots of eye candy to end the year. (Click on the picture for a better look!)

Just a note to all of you who may have your own cottage industry through etsy or other venues. I was at Kroger today and all their USPS shipping supplies were marked 75% off! I stocked up on tape and things last year at Kroger right after Christmas too, so it might be worth your while to give the supplies a look next time you are there. I am all for keeping my shipping costs as low as possible and passing the savings on to my customers. Also, a big thank you to everyone who has ordered from me this year. Your kindness is so appreciated:>) There are still a few sale items left in etsy, take a look and get them while you can!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Clean Sweep

We had a wonderful Christmas, but, dare I say it? I'm ready for a new year. Glad to see the old one go and ready to start new. I have already begun packing away the Christmas decor. Slowly. I don't want it to feel like a chore so I think a little tweak each day where I take down some Christmas and leave a cleaner feel will be just fine. I am also ready to start new in my etsy shop. New year, new projects, so until January 1, everything in the shop will be up to 50% off. I am marking it all down so get it while you can because after January 1, it won't be seen again!

I am excited about what the new year may bring. I have a surprise to announce the beginning of February, and we keep hoping that a new year will bring a change for the better in the economy and job opportunities. What about you? What are you looking forward to? Do you have any dreams for the coming new year? I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder~

I will be visiting blogs over the next few days , but I wanted to say Merry Christmas to each of you. You are a never failing source of kindness, encouragement and inspiration to me. You are all Christmas gifts that give all year:>) I wish you all God's peace, joy and love and the happiest Christmas imaginable!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fourth Sunday, Love~ The Angels Candle

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pheasant Soup

Earls Uncle Arthur is quite the hunter. This week he brought us 2 pheasants for a dinner party we had on Thursday. I had never had pheasant before. Earl roasted it and it was good. We had some leftovers and made this soup. It is supposed to be pheasant and wild rice soup but we were out of wild rice and substituted plain white rice instead. The recipe calls for mushrooms and we had some dried morel mushrooms from this spring (Thanks again to Uncle Art!) so we threw some in.
All I can say is this is why God made pheasants. Oh yeah. This creamy filling soup was one of the best things I have ever eaten. You can find the recipe here. We also substituted a little white wine for the Sherry and half and half for the cream. Just so you know. Hot soup is perfect on a snowy, blustery day. We got 12 inches yesterday. It is still snowing now and I think we are having the rest of this with fresh crescent rolls for dinner:>) YuM!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Tree

Here it is in all it's glory. We didn't even use half the ornaments this year and I still love it.
One of my favorite ornaments came last year from Alice at Inspired Tokens. She sent me the most wonderful box of beautiful things. The box itself is gorgeous with toile and glitter and stars and all kinds of lovely things. I use it to store my grandmothers nativity set and then I set it out just to enjoy.:>) This beautiful bell was one of the ornaments she sent me.
Lauren made this pretzel ornament in first grade. Can you believe it is still in one piece? The blue beaded star was a craft we did one year. The ballerina is from Lauren's collection when she was little.
Birds nests, peppermint twist balls, snowflakes, and Earls grandfathers baby picture, one of the first in a series of family ornaments we have made. The really old snowman ball belonged to Grandpa and we got it when he died. It reminds us of him as do some of his other ornaments that we inherited. They are very special.
This year, I scanned old photos of our family and printed them out to use as gift tags. Some are from Christmas past and some are just cute, but I like the fun spin they give the packages:>)
I got my snow day today (Yay!) we must have a foot of snow outside and I have been busy cleaning things up and finishing projects that needed just the last bit of work. I am done. Mostly ready for Christmas (maybe just a teeny bit more shopping) I hope that the girls and I can bake some Christmas cookies tonight or tomorrow. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with last minute preparations for a beautiful Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Am I a little late to the game? Have you seen enough Christmas decorating to make your head spin? Ah well, I have made this a fairly short post so I hope you will bear with me. I didn't do much this year, but I did enough to give the house a little Christmas sparkle and that is all I needed to make me feel better. I am so blown away by some of your decorating collections and the beautiful things you do. It will certainly make me map out a better strategy next year for my decorating!
I found this little cottage ornament at Marshalls the other day and I loved it. It goes well in my little cottage:>) The poinsettias were actually free when we purchased our Christmas tree! The man we paid gave us three coupons to take to a local nursery and the freebies were just beautiful. They have really brightened some corners of the house. God has been so good to us this season with deals like this. With Earl off work we havent had much budget for frills. This little side table is in the dining room.

I had some new silver candles from last years clearance sales and the big red mercury glas ball is an old favorite. The lace runner came in a package of beautiful lace from Earl's aunt when she visited. She knows I love that kind of thing and brought me a bag of the most fantastic old things!

Some sparkly silver trees and my favorite sheep that I purchased last year from Mary at Merci Notes . Love their sparkly little hides! You might not be able to tell but they are covered in glitter!
In the living room bookshelves I just added a few things to my new and growing collection of blue and white plates. On this shelf my favorite glass block star candle holders. They hold tea lights and I love them. Wish I could find more.

I added some silk poinsettias to the top of the bookshelves with some red ribbon and lights. It looks so pretty with the old folk art church that Earl's great grandfather made. Tomorrow I will show you the tree. Tonight we are dining on pheasant that Uncle Arthur brought over and having a dinner party with our dear cousins and our godson. I can't wait to squeeze him to pieces:>)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A baptism and a tour

Earl and I had the privilege of attending a little country church this Sunday for the baptism of our Godson Nicholas. Isn't he a sweet dumpling? His mom and dad can not put him down and when they even think about it the whole family is waiting to take him in their arms and give him a cuddle so I don't know if the poor child will ever learn to walk. Really.
The church they attend is a little country church that is just amazingly beautiful. Built in the late 1800's it has the heavy woodwork and tiny old pews that you just don't see anymore. Decorated for Christmas with bright red poinsettias on the altar and the sun streaming through the stained glass windows, it will take your breath away. I thought I would show a few pictures. I wish I had thought to take my camera, but I had to rely on my daughters which isn't as good. A lot of the pics did not come out but here is what did. This beautiful nativity scene was the centerpiece of the altar, surrounded by bright red poinsettias it was perfect. This congregation has a group of quilters who make prayer quilts for people who are ill or who are going through a rough time. This one is for a pregnant woman that someone asked for prayer for and the people of the congregation come forward after church is over to tie some of the strings on the quilt as they say a prayer for the person it will go to. They did this for Earls mother when she was going through treatment for cancer and it is such a treasure to her. this was draped over the organ at the front of the church and it will be there until it is finished and given to the person it was made for. Isn't that beautiful?

These Stained glass windows were actually made by the congregation for the church fairly recently. The windows are original but only had plain squares of colored glass at the top in a patchwork effect. The congregation made these intricate windows for the lower panes and the effect is breathtaking. I am such a pushover for these beautiful pieces of art. I have always wanted to make some windows like these for our church. Maybe some day. The brilliant colors of these windows along with the Christmas decorations was just amazing! Is anyone else in love with these old gothic chairs? Is it wrong to covet something in a church? No doubt, but these old chairs make my heart go pitty pat. God knows that it was only a momentary temptation to put this into the back of the van after everyone else left. Really. As long as you don't yield to it temptation isn't a sin.

Isn't this a beautiful family? Congratulations Rick and Marie and baby Nicky. We love you! It was a beautiful morning:>)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Advent Joy

The third week of Advent represents joy. Each morning this week we should light a third inner candle. Three candles, going from expectation, to longing, to joy. They represent our inner preparation, or inner perspective. We begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy. Perhaps we can pause, breathe deeply and say,
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my savior."
Adapted from Creighteon University third week of advent web page

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I am keeping decorations simple this year. A candy stripe ribbon tied around a frilly milk glass vase full of candy canes, a red and white snowman toile bow on the urn of ivy. I surprise myself a little, pulling out the same old decorations and yet using them all differently.The house is brightening up with red and white, but with a cleaner, more spare look. I like it.
My new banner is made by Isabellas Closet. Thank you Isabella, I love it!
Last night we picked Victoria up from college and this morning we will get the tree. We have a very full day planned and a lot of catching up to do. I hope your weekend is spent with those you love too:>)
A special treat for you! All items in my shop are 30% off until Dec. 22. Shipping still applies and the percentage off will be refunded after payment:>) There is still plenty of time to get your order before Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many... Charles Dickens
I am going to tell you a little secret. I wasn't into Christmas this year. I have always been the big Christmas cheerleader around here. I decorate, I bake, I light the candles and the tree and relax reflecting on how great life is. But recently I have had some things happen that didn't feel all that great. It happens to everyone, I have been blessed that those things have rarely happened to me. Until now. Just to reassure everyone, Earl and I are fine, the kids are fine, it's just...stuff. This year I couldn't wait for the season to be over. There, I said it. But with Victoria coming home this weekend I decided to put on my big girl panties and deal with it. Just get those boxes of decorations out of the attic. Maybe I wouldn't put as many up as I usually do, but I would, by golly, decorate if it killed me. So Earl got the boxes down and I started digging, and funny thing, I started feeling a little tickle in my heart. I added some Christmas music. I lit all the candles in the house. The tickle grew. I am quite certain I am growing a little Christmas spirit here girls. Yes, I am feeling a little better about things. The house is taking on that Christmas glow and as I sit with my coffee in my candle lit living room tonight (we are getting the tree this weekend), I plan to reflect on my present blessings. Of which I have many.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


It's a good thing that I comitted to posting every day in November and not this month. I have been missing in action as I tried to get some holiday aprons finished for the etsy shop before Victoria gets back from college friday. I have a very few more to finish up and post this week , but you can find these.....
Holiday aprons.....
here, in my etsy shop now. Christmasy little numbers that I hope you will love to wear as you bake your Christmas cookies and all the good things you make for your holiday feasts. A couple of these even have matching childrens aprons (I'll be putting those in etsy tomorrow afternoon).
Mmmmm, I can almost smell the cookies baking right now:>)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pretty dresses

Today Good Morning America had a piece on what Michelle Obama would wear for the inauguration. My husband turned to me and said, "Why would anyone care what dress someone is going to wear?"

I told him every woman in America cares. It's all about the pretty dresses! When my girls were little, family night was an old movie snuggled on the sofa. I remember taking them to the video store to find the classic movie we would watch. The question was always, "Are there lots of pretty dresses in it mommy?" Yes, we picked our movies for the longest time based on how many pretty dresses might be starring in it. Don't we all wish we had more places to wear pretty dresses?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Happy Birthday to the sweetest guy in the world:>) This man is notoriously hard to capture on film so this pic is a couple years old, but he still looks just the same. He is everything to me.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Sunday of Advent~Hope

The first Sunday of Advent represents Prophecy, or Hope, to remember the hope we have in Jesus.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope. Isaiah 42: 1-4
Photo courtesy of

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A busy day with the family. A birthday party for a precious one year old cousin, a special dinner with the kids and a movie while we snuggled by candle light on the sofa. Tomorrow youngest daughter goes back to school for 2 weeks. It has been great to have her home:>) I'll just leave you with a pretty dining room all decked out for the most wonderful season of all. Have a good night. Photo courtesy of

Friday, November 28, 2008

Seems appropriate for today...

I don't know if you have seen this, but it is a great reminder of what the season is really about:>) I love the message and the music!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The centerpiece...

I save my holiday magazines. You do too right? Always something to be gleaned from a holiday decorating mag. When they get really outdated I throw them out. So I pick up last years Midwest living while I am "freshening up" my natural red hair color this morning and I see this pretty centerpiece.
Well I have all that great stuff! I knew Earl had some small antlers stashed somewhere, we have plenty of those fluffy pine boughs and I have a pretty silver bowl! So, tonight I run outside (in the dark), snip some pine and some Rue that is still green in the garden and put it all in my bowl. I try to give it that casual but elegant look in the photo above. I stick in Earls antlers and some clementines, (I'm out of pears drat it all!) and step back. I'm not feeling the love. too much pine? Too much Rue? Not enough pears or pinecones? I can run outside in the daylight tomorrow and try to do better. Or...I can say what the heck, I usually have to move the centerpiece off the table because we have so much food anyway. I think candlelight will be fine:>) Happy Thanksgiving, and don't sweat the small stuff ok?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Portable Studio

I found this pretty box at a garage sale for $1. Filled with goodies to embellish and use on my creations, it has lots of good storage and it came already prettied up. I just moved all my fabrics and sewing, (well, ok, not all of it. Some of it is still stored elsewhere) from Victorias room to ours so we can go get her today and bring her home. Her room must look like her room when she is here.
Some day....*sigh* I will have a whole (large) room for my painting, sewing, creating. No more mess everywhere. Right now though, I would rather have my girl in her room than my sewing:>)
To see more portable studios...go here. Phyllis thought this up and it will be fun to see everyones pretty creative materials don't you think?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Busy, busy...

Well, so much for that posting every day thing. I missed two days. Sorry. But I have a really good excuse. I'm up to my knees in special orders to finish (thanks:>) and Thanksgiving is here so I have cleaning and fluffing and the sweet Victoria to get from school tomorrow (can't wait!) and so many things to do to get ready for the holiday.
I won a giveaway for this sweet pincushion from Sherry at Esprit d'Art, you can never have too many pincushions when you sew! Thanks Sherry!
As for the every day posting, only six more days and I will post something each day. I have really enjoyed it, to tell the truth. It's kind of a creative challenge. Tomorrow is Phyllis's portable studio craft challenge. Until then I have some packaging and shipping to do, some shopping, cleaning, and sewing, and that's all tonight! Whew! Our first soft snow of the season is falling and I need to put some Christmas music on and get busy. I'll see you all tomorrow:>)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome to the Christmas Fair!

Gladys Pearl would like to welcome you to the Christmas fair.

She and her friends just flew in for the party and they're looking for new homes to bless this Christmas season. Gladys is a teeny bit nearsighted and almost didn't make it, but her friends helped her find her way.
That's what friends are for right? A little encouragement and gentle advice when we need it.
And love. Everyone needs a little love:>)
Stop by Karen's place for more links to Christmas fairs all over blogland! And find this heavenly group here:>)