Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I don't know about the rest of you but I've had way too much of this....

and this...

and, oh good Lordy, this....(white chocolate peppermint popcorn!)

It's pretty clear what my New Years resolution is going to be.  Salad. 
But first we have a party to go to tonight, I've got to try to be good, smart, listen to my body instead of my tongue.  And then one more family party this Saturday.  We are taking non junk food to both. I'll let you in on what we are taking and the recipe tomorrow. It's good, let me tell you, but only in moderation of course:>)  In response to everyone who has been concerned about my health, I am much better. I should be feeling great by next Monday when I head back to work. *sigh* Isn't that just the way it goes? But don't worry about me, I'm well enough for a little party here and there so how bad can I really be? 
  I see changes ahead for me, but one thing won't change, and that is how much I appreciate each of you who takes the time to visit and comment. It's a treat and a day lifter and  when days go bad I can always find a friendly and loving comment right here. Thank you.  I will be working on a give-away in the next week or two to show my appreciation, so stay tuned. I think you'll like it:>) Lets start the new year right!
Happy New Year everyone!
Photos taken by my wonderful daughter Victoria with my new camera! She is a fantastic photographer no?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I hope everyone's Christmas was happy. Ours was wonderful. We dragged our gift opening out as long as possible and then we just ate, visited grandma and watched movies. Perfect.
Of course, just like many of you, we still have some family parties to attend. Tomorrow is our party with Earl's family and it is one of my favorite events. Earl and I always host Thanksgiving and his sis usually takes Christmas.  Since there are so many of us, we have let each other off the hook for the most part on gifts. I made a few things for the nieces and I put together these cute mittens for a sweet step-niece and her family.  FIlled with dipped pretzels and candy they are just a little token that says we love them.  I got to use my new sewing machine to embellish the edges;>) Yay! My upper respiratory thing is just hanging on so I am napping, and watching movies in between little projects.  I plan on doing very little in the next few days and hoping I can get better. Why can't I be sick when I'm not off work, that's what sick days are for right? lol. I'm off to do a little more playing and a lot more napping. I hope you all do the same. Christmas isn't over you know!  There are still lots of good things to enjoy:>) I hope you are enjoying them all. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mosaic Monday

I'm linking up with Mary's Mosaic Monday to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I will be taking the rest of the week off, so no Handmade Holidays post tomorrow. I seem to have managed to catch an upper respiratory infection so I'll be taking things easy and just trying to enjoy this week without passing this on to anyone else! I hope you all enjoy this coming week. Don't sweat the small stuff, and have a merry time with all your friends and family! God bless us, every one:>)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fourth Sunday of Advent- Love

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

Is love one of the attributes people think of when they think of you?

Friday, December 18, 2009

I can't believe how quickly this season is flying past. It seems this one got away from me. I still have shopping to do, I have called it quits on decorating more than the minimum this year. I have lots of lights and candles up, but little else. The Christmas tree is finally decorated thanks to my dear daughters getting together this morning while I was at work and hanging the ornaments. Thank you girls! I haven't baked one cookie (I don't want to eat them!) but I have had so many cookies baked by other sweet hands that I couldn't hold one more, (In other words, I ate them anyway!) My baby brother picked up my youngest earlier this week and brought her home . He stayed for a little Christmas cheer and I can hear him snoring on the sofa in the next room.  Victoria is wrapping gifts at the table and Earl is cleaning up the kitchen (oh happy day!) I just got home from my last day of work for two whole weeks. 

In spite of the minimal decorating and the rush of the season all is well. My family is home and healthy, God has provided for all our needs and even some of our wants, which are surprisingly few.  It is time to relax, quit fluffing the decor, stop worrying about making everything perfect and just enjoy this coming week. Some things are more important than one more bauble right?

I hope that if you are feeling rushed, you can stop, grab a hot cup of something good, put your feet up, and consider what is the most important thing you can do this week?  Who do you want to spend it with? What do you want to do with your time that will make a sweet memory that will last so much longer than the excitement of one more gift from the store that will not be remembered at all in a few years?  Think about the precious gift that we have been given already. This time with each other. This joyous time we share.  Some gifts are meant to be opened slowly, maybe all week long :>) I wish you all one of those gifts, spent with the ones you love.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Handmade Holidays

A big thank you to everyone who has shared their Christmas projects each week on my little list. It's been fun and I have met some new people:>) I have a teeny little project finished this week, since every waking moment has been dedicated to my big project for Christmas. I made a few tags. Old sheet music, stamped words and micro glitter. Seriously, could we HAVE Christmas without glitter? I think not.  Christmas is clearly the season of Jesus, love, joy and glitter. I love how these tags sparkle with the Christmas tree lights and they are practically free to make and have so much more charm than the packaged stickers at the store.

I am finally getting my decorating done. The dining room table was returned to the dining room Sunday and things are slowly getting rearranged and decorated.  We got the tree last night and I will wait until Victoria gets home from University Thursday to decorate it with my girls. I don't think I have ever waited this long to put up the tree before. My take down date is New Years! I probably won't even take all the ornaments out.  I will, however, be baking and lighting and cuddling and wrapping. Christmas is just so much more Christmas when the kids are home:>) So, Share the latest handmade fun you are having. Whether it be baking, glittering, thrifting or making I want to see and hear all about it! Don't forget, thrifted decor counts too! For even more crafty fun check out A Soft Place to Land and Todays Creative Blog.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Third week of Advent-Joy

And the angel said unto them fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11

Monday, December 7, 2009

Handmade Holidays

If you are one of my children look away now. I mean it......ok. I made good progress today and I am counting it toward my Handmade post because, well, it's handmade.  I had taken a personal day from work to be here for the plasterer and decided to really cram on getting these finished, or as close to finished as I could get.  I was so focused that I completely forgot that tonight was our Christmas dinner party at work until one of my co-workers called to remind me that we were car pooling.  At first I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. Car pooling?  Oh yeah! dinner tonight, and I needed a shower and had just enought time to get ready.  Casting one last longing look at my project, because I was really into it you know? I showered and got ready, slipped some shoes on and ran out the door.  And now you are about to learn something about me that you didn't know.  When I am focused on something... I mean really focused, I don't pay attention to anything else.   I mean, sometimes I can't hear when people speak to me when my attention is elsewhere.

Which explains how I could get to the restaurant, and not notice that I was wearing two completely different shoes until I went to the ladies room and happened to look down at my feet.  Yeah. you would think I would notice one closed toe shoe and one open toe. At least they were the same color.  Kind of.

Sometimes I'm a little absent minded.  Sheesh. 
Take my mind off this please. Share your handmade or thrifted holiday gift or decoration below.  And check your shoes, I've found it comes in handy sometimes.
In spite of an early start getting the Christmas decorations down from the attic, the unfortunate insertion of Earls foot through the dining room ceiling has kept me from doing anything really significant about decorating.  For one thing we had to completely empty the dining room so the plasterer could come and fix the hole. He is here today and he's Irish. Golly, I could listen to that accent all day (and actually I will be).  I'm baking fresh bread to thank the workers for speaking in my presence fixing the hole and working frantically on the quilts that I am making for the girls Christmas. Yes, three weeks before Christmas and I am still piecing the tops and praying that I can find someone with a long arm quilting machine who can get them quilted in time for Christmas morning! My goal is to have the tops finished end of the week at latest. All other projects, plans, and any invitations are on hold until they are finished. Earl is here with me to deal with the workmen so aside from baking bread, which is really just a few minutes mixing and baking, I am chained to the sewing machine today.  Wish me luck. Once the dining room ceiling is fixed we can get our Christmas tree and I can do a little decorating, but the season is rushing up on me and if I have to scale back on the decor to have a peaceful season I will.  In the meantime, I  need to get back to sewing and I hope you will join me tomorrow for Handmade Holidays.  Have a great Monday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Second Sunday of Advent - Peace

 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!’
  Luke 2:13-14
My prayer for this country and the world.  Peace.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Handmade Holidays

Time for another post of Handmade Holidays and I have to admit, I didn't do a lot of hand made anything this week! Between Thanksgiving and having my youngest daughter home from college for the first time in three months I decided to kick back and just enjoy the week without any real agenda at all except to enjoy my family.  Of course that family came through for me in the form of my sister (in-law but she's really just my sis) finding some adorable little skates at Goodwill for me for the paltry sum of $2.99 and bringing them over this weekend.  I added some ribbon and some holiday greens and hung them in the back entry.  It doesn't get any easier than that! Remember, along with showing some of the things we make by hand to give and to decorate with, you can show thrifted decorations or gifts for HH too! So show us your deals and your projects:>) and a big thank you for everyone who has participated so far. I appreciate your linking up to the party! I am also linking up to Get Your Craft on at Creative Blogs and Kimbas DIY party. Great ideas to be had at both places:>)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent - Hope

“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  A time to anticipate and celebrate the coming of Christ. A time of reflection and a time to prepare our hearts for the joy of Christmas.  In these times of uncertainty and hard times, my prayer for you is that you find hope through the birth of Jesus, and that you find his joy and peace filling your hearts in the days ahead:>)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

The dishes are done, the turkey bones are simmering to make broth, and the leftovers are in the fridge.  The last two slices of punpkin chocolate swirl cheesecake have been sent home with my sister so I don't eat them myself. It was a day filled with laughter and fun and hugs and catching up with the neices and nephew. Love that.  I hope all of your Thanksgiving's were as warm and happy and blessed as ours:>)
Black friday? nah.  I don't need anything badly enough to stand in line with 4000 other people for two hours. Not fun. I'll just be home tomorrow, listening to Christmas carols, hanging with the kiddo and maybe decorating a little for Christmas.  Sounds perfect to me.  I know I won't have to cook for a few days. Oh what joy:>) Whether you decide to brave the crowds or just stay home yourself, Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Handmade Holidays

More fun with Handmade Holidays! Remember, we would love to see anything handmade or thrifted that could be used as decor or gifts for the upcoming holidays! The creativity is unlimited and I am so inspired by the beautiful gifts and decorations I have seen:>)
 I made this quilted throw for a dear friend who has helped us in so many ways.  The fabric was given to me by a co-worker, and although it is a little too country for me, it is just the thing for my friend!  I made simple 6" squares and put them together in a pleasing way and machine quilted along either side of the seams. Easy, but pleasing. I may add some home made cocoa mix and a pretty mug so she can curl up with her quilt and a warm drink:>)

Next, my new favorite earrings. Made from vintage glass pearlized buttons of all things!  I found a sweater with these little beauties at the thrift store and I just knew they would be perfect for something pretty. I added sterling wires and now they dangle delicately below my ears.  I'll add some to my etsy in case you need them!

And last, I know I showed you this swag made from evergreen cuttings from the yard and some old floral picks and toile ribbon. Nothing new but I think it looks festive on my door, and I didn't spend a dime.

I'm also linking up with Today's Creative Blog for

and  A Soft Place To Land for DIY day and Reinvented for Trash to Treasure day
 So go ahead, show us your awesome handmade gifts and decorations and those thrifted goodies that make great holidays affordable.  Mr. Linky is below.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Entering the Gate














So here we are, Entering the gate of the happiest time of the year.  A season set apart by the happiness and joy of the birth of Jesus. A season of Thanksgiving, and it all starts this week.  I see us all scurrying to decorate our homes and make everything beautiful, and that is one of the joys of this season.  But I would like to take a moment and make sure that not just my house, but my heart and attitude are in order.  In the past I have found myself being so caught up in everything being “perfect” and “beautiful” that I have sometimes snapped at my family.  Why did they leave that mess there?  Why don’t you help me with this?  Don’t you know we have guests coming and everything doesn’t look as it should?  Feeling, can I say it? a little overwhelmed and overbooked 

Yup. I have been that woman.

I am sitting myself down with a nice cup of tea right now and getting my priorities in order. 

Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

It isn’t about the gift or, heaven forbid, the cost of the gift. It’s about time, and love and kindness. 

The decorations and crafts are wonderful, but not if they leave me feeling rushed. 

It’s about the memories.  What memories will my kids have some day?  Cranky mom wanting to make everything perfect at the expense of everyone's sanity and peace?  Or a mom and wife who always had time for fun and cuddles and long walks in falling snow?

It’s about worship. Remembering the greatest gift any of us could have gotten. The birth of a Savior of our souls. 

Right now, before the rush and whirlwind and parties begin, decide what is really important about this season and remember it when things get frantic. 

Enjoy a cup of Christmas tea and add a bit of thankfulness and good cheer to sweeten it.

And have a wonderful holiday season :>)

(And don’t forget Handmade Holidays Mr. Linky on Tuesday!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Skylight Project

Let us begin with the pretty pictures shall we? I was noodling around last night with this cool tool box sweet husband made as a kid for his mom. It weighs eleventy-hundred pounds empty so it never got used, but I thought it made a great place to play around with a holiday display. So I pulled out the bag 'o trees I bought after Christmas last year on clearance, and along with some glittery snow, candles and tiny pinecones I picked up on a walk, I put together this cute little forest.

Sweet hubby was noodling around too and I lovingly said, "honey, when you get a chance will you bring some of the Christmas decorations down from the attic?"  Being the great guy he is, he agreed to do that toot sweet and headed up the stairs.  Now ladies, we have an unfinished attic and there is a reason I don't like to go up there.  No floor. Just some boards nailed in a path to the shelves that hold the decorations.  Just one little mis-step and I am sure I would come right through the dining room ceiling. I think you know where I am going with this......
Check out our new skylight.

He is fine. He managed not to fall through completely and truth be told I was far more worried about him than I was the ceiling.  He just banged up his ankle and ribs but nothing that even bruised, I am so thankful!  But we are hosting Thanksgiving next week and golly this is going to mess up my decorating scheme! You can't believe how much dust and blown in insulation came down. It was everywhere!  It filled a huge trash can (don't act like you never keep chicken wire in your dining room, I know you do!.... Right?)

You might think I would be upset. I'm not. This was an old plaster ceiling and it had cracks that were driving me crazy. I get a new ceiling ladies and crown moulding to boot:>) Always look at the silver lining. The family won't care a bit that there is a hole in the ceiling, we just like to be together and I know we will all have a good laugh about it.  I think I'll call the insurance and see what they can do, but we have a big deductible so we may end up fixing this ourselves. Now I need to take everything out of the dining room that is glass, breakable or decorative because whether we do it ourselves or have it fixed by someone else, everything will have to be moved.  It might be a good thing to start fresh anyway. Never a dull moment...*sigh*

Monday, November 16, 2009

Handmade Holidays

Time for another Handmade Holidays linky!  I have a few projects to show you but I didn't get all my photos taken before I ran out of light  (darn short days!)  Here is one idea, remember all that silverplate I got on ebay?  It came with several of these adorable spreaders. A $5 set of metal stamps at Harbor Freight and a little practice on scrap metal and this is what you get. I ♥ love it ♥ !  It wasn't that hard and can you imagine how cute this would be in a basket with home made jam and bread?  And if you are afraid you couldn't do this, this spreader will be in my etsy shop, 'cause I've got more and I'm willing to share:>)

This cute wreath is another easy project.  I had the foam form in the basement in my craft stash and I wanted to wrap it in ribbon but I didn't have enough of the color I wanted to use.  I didn't want to spend any money so I grabbed some white fabric in a  tiny white leaf print and ripped some strips to wrap around the wreath form.  Next came yo-yo's rosettes and vintage button centers. I couldn't find my glue gun (!) so I used straight pins to attach the yo-yo's and buttons. A shiny red satin ribbon makes a pretty hanger.  I think I'll make two of these for the living room windows.

And that's it! Easy and cheap and festive. I'll be trying some more butter spreaders for the etsy shop later this week, so if you were hankering for one keep your eyes peeled. Now it's your turn! I would love it if you left your ideas on the McLinkly below:>) 
I am also participating in DIY day at A Soft Place to Land and Get Your Craft on at Todays Creative Blog. More great ideas, have fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Sunrise, Some Pillows and Porch Love ♥

Excuse the blurriness of this photo and focus (haha) on the colors of this mornings sunrise.  I always thought the old saying was "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning" meaning bad weather right? But it has been a glorious sunny warm day. I happened to see this out my kitchen window this morning while pouring that first cup of coffee and I had to run out and try to capture it. I didn't do a very good job but goodness it was beautiful!

So today, I decided to get some outdoor work done while it is still indian summer.  I cleaned off the front porch, mopped the muddy steps, and ran out in the woods to clip some evergreen branches for a swag for the front door.  I checked my extensive stash of Christmas ribbon and found the last piece of this Christmas toile to tie around the branches then added some of last years pics.  Not bad for free if I do say so myself. I think I'll look for some sparkly branch pics that I know I have, it needs a little something glittery:>)

I took the chair out of the front garden where it had been holding a potted flower all summer. It was white but I wanted to use some bright red tartan on the porch this year so I grabbed my spray paint and gave it a quick once over in black.  I found the flannel tartan remnant for a song at JoAnnes, stapled it to the removable seat and I love it! Festive and cute!

Want to know what else is festive & cute? These pillows that went on etsy this morning. More in the works so I hope to list them this week as they are finished, then I will have to call it quits for the season so I can concentrate on gifts for the family.  I hope weather where you are is as fine as it is here. I'm heading back outside while I can to enjoy the day:>)  Enjoy yours too!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Earring Tutorial

A big thanks to everyone who contributed to my Handmade Holidays post! There were lots of different ideas shared and a little something for everyone. I will be putting up Mr. Linky again next Tuesday, so if you missed sharing this week, just come back next Tuesday:>) 
I promised you a tutorial on making vintage clip on earrings into pierced. It is soooo easy you will be kicking yourself for passing up all those sparklers you saw this summer at the yard sales!
The items below are all you need for this project. As I said before, you can get nice sterling french hooks at any craft store. In addition, you will need some small silver o rings, a pair of needle nose wire cutters and some beautiful sparkly vintage screw back earrings.

I removed the clip part from the earrings with the pliers. It's really easy, just pry them off gently, they are only hinged with holes over little prongs, so just open them up and pry them off.

Next, I clipped the bottom part of the backing off. Leave enough to make a loop with your pliers later. I really just removed the hinged prong that made it hard to get the o ring on.

Slip the little o ring on now. Mine is so small that it is a solid ring, it won't open so you need to put it on now.

Now take your pliers and grasp the part of the backing that curves.

And gently close the loop against the back.

You can see that the o ring is at the top of the wire and the wire itself is closed all the way so it is touching the back of the earring. You need to make sure it is closed so the ring doesn't fall off. I use a ring because when you put the earring on the ear wire, the ring holds the earring in the correct position facing forward, not to the side.

A close up of the  back

Now open the loop on the bottom of the ear wires to the side, not by pulling it open and down. If you pull it open rather than open it to the side it weakens the wire and it may break.

Put the hook through the o ring on the earring, making sure the earring is facing forward, and then close the loop on the earrings with the pliers.

And that's it! Super easy, fast, cheap, pretty, and a great way to get more use out of some really beautiful earrings.

I think these make a beautiful gift for any age. My daughters love theirs and so do the adults I have sold them to. They are one of a kind and the older rhinestones have a much nicer look and sparkle than the newer ones.  Enjoy!  I would love to see if you do this project:>)  Will you send me a photo if you do?

I have been finishing up some pillows and I will be listing them by the weekend.  Just a heads up, I have quite a few in the works but after this batch I have other gifts to make so I probably won't be making more pillows until after Christmas:>)  It's sunny and warm here today so I may take a walk and pick up some pinecones and fun things to decorate with. Have a great day!