Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Peaceful Quiet Christmas!

         I'm sure everyone has been as busy as I have preparing for this holiday. All of the shopping and wrapping and cooking.....then in the blink of an eye it is over! So I hope everyone is able to take tomorrow, and simply slow down and enjoy being together. Being with those we love that's what makes Christmas special.

Tonight I'm happy to say has been a quiet evening for my husband and I.  Having a glass of wine and remembering great times when we were young, and believed in the magic of Christmas. Time goes so fast, so each and every moment we can come together as a family, should be treasured.

I wanted to also share a wonderful blessing our family has received this season. My father who was diagnosed with lung cancer 3 years ago was told he only had a year to live. He had suffered through chemo several times and then a few months ago developed shingles. He grew weaker and weaker each year. Recently his doctors discovered he was able to start taking a new drug. A drug that some are calling the miracle pill. Two months ago his tumors were 4cm and growing. This week we learned that they are now only 1cm!!!!!!!
He looks better and feels better. I hope and pray this works and he can regain his life. Thank you gift could have been better!
Some of us were brave enough to wear our Christmas sweaters haha!!
My precious elves!

From my family to yours I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Insanity

           On Monday I finally mailed out my last order for Christmas! Whew where did December go?
So now I am trying to get everything finished in time for our family celebration which is on December 23rd. Since I am running out of time and energy I have hired a cleaning service to arrive on the morning of the 23rd. What a treat to myself that I am really excited about. This will allow me to prepare dinner and do last minute decorating for the evening. I may actually have a moment for a glass of wine and a new book I've been given by a sweet blog friend.
So today I have to finish my shopping and wrapping. But I must admit I may have to resort to giving something I truly dislike to give, gift cards and money. I love the line I heard on Monday night from the TV show Mike and Molly. Actor Reno Wilson who plays officer Carl McMillan says to Mike "you know what a gift card says? " "It says here you do it" haha!! That's how I feel, it doesn't have the same impact a gift someone spent the time to find and wrap does. But since time has never been my friend I may have to gift a few out to my family. I have to share what my Mother use to say to us when we would tell her what we wanted for Christmas as adults.....she didn't care!! She believed the joy was in shopping and selecting the gift you wanted to give,and we were always happy because it came from her heart.
I found some great ways to give money at a favorite web site called Under the Table and Dreaming.

I think these two ideas are just to cute. Stop by there if you too have run out of time and perhaps energy for several more ideas.
How about orange blogspot

I actually used this because while we were wrapping I did run out of tags. How About Orange is my go to web site for printable mailing labels and now gift tags too. She has the best site for tons of great printable items. I thought this was much easier and cheaper than buying any more.....well until the day after Christmas clearance sale that is! If you have a sticker machine it makes it easy peasy to then apply them to your packages.

Now for a last minute food gift idea check this out from Six in the Suburbs Blog. They have many many more ideas for just about anything you might need or want.

I am so sorry that I haven't been able to come up with an original thought or idea this year. But I haven't been this busy before and I must say thank you to all of my customers for making this a wonderful holiday season. I do plan to be back on before Christmas day to visit and to perhaps post a few family moments.

So now I'm off to the mall to finish up........I hope!!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Fun Twist On A Gingerbread House

         While I had a moment and was blog hopping I discovered a really great alternative to the traditional gingerbread house.This came from a sweet blog called Big Little Tales. This was actually from December 2010,but I thought it was so cute I just had to share it.
 A Swiss Cake Roll is the main part part of this this darling little cottage. I just love the little peanut butter cup planter to the side. This is a perfect project to make with my five year old grandson this week.
 Easy,yummy and simple....the best ingredients!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some Dreamy Craft Ideas

              I have been so busy filling orders ( I feel like Santa with no elves)and trying to squeeze in some time to enjoy the season with the kids that blogging has been terribly neglected........I am sorry.... tis the season to run out of time and money........falalalala! Recently while I was trying to catch up with friends and family on Facebook I noticed one of my favorite web sites had some more great holiday decor ideas.
I know I've told you all about my passion for paper crafts,so this lighted paper snowflake wreath really caught my eye. This can be found at a wonderful web site called Under The Table and Dreaming. Stephanie Lynn always has so many great craft and gift ideas. I love to go there and dream with her.
Since as usual I'm short on time I thought these would be a quick and easy craft to make. I love giving and receiving homemade gifts every year. They just seem to mean more since someone took the time to work on something just for me.
Most everyone loves snowglobes. I know I fell in love them years and years ago during a Shirley Temple movie. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think it was Heidi. Those movies were wonderful and always made me cry.
The simple idea of using an inexpensive snowy Christmas tree gives them so much charm.I always have tons of ideas each year of what I plan to make, and as usual I never have time to complete it all. This however I think I can, since I have all of the necessary items on hand. My husband and I for some silly reason save jars. Some jars have such unusal shapes that we find it difficult to toss in the garage bin.Yes we are pack rats!!
I think these would make great gifts for anyone on your list.Hummm I feel a late night craft session in my very near future.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


             I hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with family, friends and of course food! I have so much to be thankful for. I plan to spend this day thanking God for all the blessings he has given me and my family.
I am also so very thankful for all of my bloggy buddies who have taken moments out of their busy days to visit my humble blog home.
I hope everyone spends today with those they love. Have a great day together and remember the most important ingredient..........your camera!!! So you can share it all with the rest of us tomorrow =)
God Bless you all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Halloween Fun and Foolishness

           I wanted to share a few photo's from our annual Halloween party,before the season is too far in the past. Like all parties we had our fair share of the goofy,the gruesome and the comical to say the least.
Does anyone notice the crazy surgeon behind us?
My youngest son who loves most all holiday's gets especially excited about Halloween......he is worse than the kids in fact! He has always been our comedian and so a costume party really allows him to shine! It wouldn't be a party to the kiddos if Uncle JJ isn't there to entertain them. In past years he has come as Richard Simmons, a Gladiator, a knight, Kevin Federline, just to name a few. His wife is always the companion to whatever he is so it is always something we all look forward to.

This year he was Batman. He remained in complete character for most of the evening,only answering to the name,Batman. The kids loved it! He was a riot!! He had worked on this costume for weeks and weeks. He purchased it from a costume store who had a going out of business sale for a super low price. However it didn't have quite the look he wanted so he repainted the entire outfit,adding the silver here and there to give it a stronger look.
Notice in his left hand. He is holding what looks like a simple black box. No, No this was his theme music in fact which he played wherever he walked. His entrance was hysterical!! I honestly can't remember when we have all laughed this hard.....he as usual was the star of the show!
Of all the costumes they have and bought new this year this is what my two youngest grandson's decided to come as.First the little ninja warrior on the left was suppose to be Harry Potter,and the clown on the right was in fact a zombie I was corrected many times. He looked pitiful,like a sad homeless clown.
I asked him what on Earth happened to his new costume and why two different shoes. He reminded me that he had to mess it up because he was a zombie clown,and after all zombie clowns wouldn't have nice matching shoes! So now I feel a tad more educated on the correct appearance of zombie's. Really all the kids wanted to do was go and jump in the inflatable bungee basketball unit that we rented. So getting them to stop for photos was difficult.

Of course we had a zombie bride and groom, the place was over flowing with zombies. And a sweet and darling little exercise Barbie,who was freezing her multi colored leg warmers off haha!

Batman also brought his wife Super Girl, a rather mixed marriage of sorts. Sadly Batman kept upstaging Super Girl every chance he got. He nearly knocked her over on many occasions when he would expand his wings............ I guess what I'm saying is we have lots of photos of Batman.
 My oldest son and daughter in law came as a quack surgeon and his unfortunate patient. I personally don't like gruesome costumes I prefer funny or cute. The kids all love the whole scary, bloody,ghoulish part of Halloween,I just like to be more like a Disney cartoon,yes I am very "G" rated!!

A long time friend of the boys and who also works for us at the construction company came dressed as a knight and his lady in waiting. And since they aren't married yet I guess you could say she really is still waiting!

Batman's arch enemy arrived before too long,The Joker! The Joker later said he made a note to himself that makeup would have been much better than a sweaty mask. I for one hate to ever wear a mask of any kind,it's always something you regret about ten minutes into the party.

I thought when this fellow arrived that it was a monkey from the Planet of the Apes,but in fact I was so very wrong. He was our local bridge inspector,who had determined that our aging bridge has some serious problems, with a clip board to prove it. This probably won't be funny to all of you,but to us it was a huge laugh since we have a major bridge that has been closed. This has caused us two and three hour commutes to Louisville Ky,which usually only takes 30, 40 mins. So rush hour traffic and rode rage has been a lot of fun.
We never realized that Snow White was in fact married to the Joker, but it is true.....the Joker is her Prince Charming!
The scary quack surgeon couldn't resist trying to steal our photo moments. I work with him daily so I seem rather immune to his shenanigan's don't I? I must admit my kids are fun,and everyday that God allows me to be with them....which in fact is everyday, I am very blessed and very grateful!
A motley crew in deed!
We had a scary trail to walk through the woods once it got dark. Where most of the high school theater kids hid and jumped out to scare the littler ones. They would scream and holler and when it was over beg to do it again. They nearly wore out the teenagers which I didn't think was possible.
I couldn't tell at the time if this was a real person or not,but in the dark it scared the patooty out of me.
As the evening went on Batman Challenged Barbie to a game of Dance Central.
You know it's serious when Batman removes his mask for all to see...haha!
It was the true highlight of the evening. I have to say all of our family parties are centered around the kids,their friends are always included and many of them practically live there on the weekends. We all realize that these kids are only small for a very short time. So participating in activities that are fun for them makes for some very happy kids, who don't mind being at home with their parents and extended family.

In the end Barbie beat the wings off of Batman. So I predict that there will be another challenge in the near future,because Batman doesn't like to lose to any of his arch enemy's especially a Barbie in leg warmers!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What A Nice Surprise

                     Sorry I have been missing in action lately,but as you know we are now entering the busy season. Some days I feel as if all I do is run in circles.....and with scissors in my hand no less. Oh that reminds me of a funny story from a few years ago. No one can ever believe this when I tell it,but a few years ago I actually did poke myself in the eye with....drum roll please....nail scissors, ta dah!! Yes,yes I did. So when I was at the emergency room I casually said "well that will teach me to run with scissors" the doctor looked up at me and said "were you really running with scissors?" I laughed and said "no but doesn't that sound better than I had scissors in my hand and forgot and poked myself in the eye?" Sad but true story and believe me I got a million of them! Well I certainly have veered off the topic, so back to my surprise.

Yesterday Apartment Therapy under their children's section called featured a darling child's bedroom from Natchez Mississippi. I was so excited to actually see the final result of one of my customer's redecorating project. She mentioned to me that she wanted the campfire for a non-working fireplace in her 16 month old son's bedroom. I asked her to please send me some photos because I would love to see how it all turns out.

And boy did she! She notified me yesterday that my Campfire was included in a feature showing her son's bedroom. Oh what a fun moment,and what a darling bedroom! I love the phone booth door next to the cozy brick fireplace. She cleverly tied it all together with a multi colored ottoman and a black and white striped rug. Such a bright and cheery room I just love it!! Click on the above link to see more photos and read about the process. She really did a great job creating a room that any child (or adult for that matter)would love to live in,boy or girl.

Then I discovered that my customer Vickie also has a beautiful blog called All Through The Looking Glass. I always enjoy discovering new blogs,as I'm sure most of you do. Stop by and visit her blog when you have sometime.
Also the holiday's are just around the corner so if you are looking for some awesome, unique gifts then remember to shop Etsy. I know Etsy is where I go first,and I have never disappointed!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The One Day A Year We All Act Like Kids

         Our annual family Halloween party is this weekend. We don't usually do anything huge just a few family and friends. It's mostly for the kids.....which means everyone one of us becomes a kid on this day every year.

So I wanted to share a few more great finds that I plan to make. Six in the Suburbs has done it again. Here is what I think will be a great cocktail for the adults and I use that title loosely since I've heard what many of the adults will be wearing this year. It's called Witches Brew and it looks and sounds delish!!
But now I want it to look just like this with the smoke and all.....oh well that probably wouldn't be safe. Don't the spiders give it a great creepy touch......I truly hate spiders,but they are a great Halloween decor item. But we arachnophobia people don't even like the plastic pretend kind either!

  How About Orange always has tons of great ideas and I usually stop here first when I am blog hopping.This trash bag decorating idea just blew me away. I love cheap and I love easy....and well that sounds odd because I am not either.....well haha maybe I am after all. But I have to admit this idea looks great and I will give it a try for the party. We are going to set up a haunted path though a little wooded area for the little ones,so I may use white trash bags so they will show up. After all it really wouldn't be Halloween if we adults can't scare the kids a little bit.....I'm just kidding....or am I? Mooohahaha!!
Every party has to have bottle labels. I have already printed some and they are ready to place on the bottles for the kiddos. I love Halloween Labels they are easy and quick and the kids love them. Makes a common bottle of juice or pop so much more special. Rather scary actually when you think about how quick the kids come running for a bottle of spooky zombie potion!
I also wanted to share one of my easy,and cheap Halloween costume from a few years ago. A walking stick figure. It's the only time in my life that I've ever really felt thin! I teased for years that I needed to find a way to market my idea.....then dang gone it!!!! Someone beat me to it. Amy saw them at our local Target, not as cute as mine of course!! If anyone would like to make this to wear it's very easy, but takes a little time and patience.
First I used a black turtleneck and black knit pants.....for comfort as well as easy to stitch. Using black thread I simply top-stitched by hand over the glow sticks and added a teeny tiny dab of low heat glue to each end of the glow sticks. I actually waited until the glue was cooling a bit before laying the glow stick on it. I didn't want to see glow gunk running down my arms and legs. I made a circle for my head and held it on with hair clips on top of my head. Then a quick pair of glasses for eyes using the glow bracelets to complete the look.
I have to tell you everyone stopped me as we walked the kids around the neighborhood. I even did a quick dance for some who had their camera phones out. Who knows where those videos ended up!
It must have look really funny to see a stick figure walking toward them because we could hear people holler and scream with laughter as we approached each street.
I had a was my best costume ever!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What A Bunch Of Booootiful Ideas!

Last week I stumbled on a facebook and blog I just know you all will love as much as I do. As most of you know I am always looking for new ideas of things to make for each and every holiday. The blog is called Six In The Suburbs. It's a family blog with six fun and creative gals all contributing to the same amazing blog. Boy I sure could use 5 more people to help me keep my blog going as well as my shop,my house,my office.....well you all have heard me whine before about my lack of time!

Aren't these absolutely adorable!
 Here is another wonderful idea from this great blog! These Chocolate Peanutbutter Acorns treats look so delicious as well as pretty. I had to run out and get the items so I can make these for my adorable niece who is coming down for a short visit. She loves Nutter Butter cookies and I have a rather odd addiction to acorns,so it's a perfect snack to share.
I also discovered over at a Mickey Mouse Vampire treat box to print and fold for your little ghouls and goblins.We are a Disney crazy family so this will be a big hit with my grandson's. Head over there for all kinds of Halloween printables and party ideas.
Hp Creative Studio has a great place for craft ideas and printables too for every holiday and occasion.
They really have a ton of Halloween printables like signs,decorations,carving templates,banners,even Martha Stewart creations.
Ravens Blight is another great go to web site for free paper toys. They have so many to choose from. Like printable foldable stone mansions to make any party table look even more paper my all time favorite Pocket Monsters. I print these every year and just place them in a pocket of my denim shirts and go about my business. So much fun and everyone loves them!
Here's a place for free printable boxes for nearly every single occasion in the year. Don't Eat The Paste is a blog that is so much fun and is chocked full of fun items and ideas!This Eyeball Gift Box is an absolute hoot!!
Head over to this web site that I think I have mentioned before Canon Creative Park. I can't tell you how many times I have gone here for fun surprises to include in a gift. They can take some time to fold and put together but they are worth it! Pumpkins are everybodys favorite Halloween item so go and check out this fun interactive pumpkin to make and either share or give away.
Isn't this the greatest FREE paper toy ever!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Simple Pumpkin Containers

       I finally finished a few pumpkins containers to use as gifts for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. I also have a few new friends who have been so sweet to me this year, and I hope to surprise them. I wanted to share this simple project with you. I have been making these for so long that I have no idea where I first discovered the idea.
I do know one thing for sure it was in the age of B.I. Before Internet!Like my grandson and niece would explain, it was a time of great darkness......... when men and women had only books, magazines,and libraries. We often had to live through great suffering, like snail mail and land line phone calls. Before the light of the great and powerful internet fell across our lands.
Shoot it was even before cable TV and microwaves! You now know that I have been crafting for a very long time!!

Originally they were made much larger with coffee cans. That was the challenge for me because the coffee I buy comes in a bag, not a can. I could be mistaken but I don't think coffee cans are as easy to come by as they use to be.
I knew I wanted to make several so empty washed vegetable cans would have to work. You can make themas small or as large as you want,it is determined by the size of the can you choose.
Here are the items you will need: Clean empty can, cotton fabric, polyfil, felt, a plastic container lid, low temp glue gun,needle and thread.
  Each pumpkin needs two colors of contrasting fabric. One for the pumpkin and one for the top/lid. It can be any color and any design you want. A cotton calico works best but I have used wool and tweed from old coats before. The thinner the fabric the easier it is to gather up around the top and secure to the can.

Now at this point the size of the can you have chosen will determine the size of the circle to cut. You will have to lay it out and eye ball it. I have used a piece of old fabric before if you feel uncertain about this part. Just remember to allow plenty of room to add the polyfil stuffing to the inside of your circle.
I used a 12" dinner plate and then added a few more inches making it approximately a 15" circle.

Now take your needle and thread and make a gathering stitch around the edge of your fabric. You can either do this by hand or on a sewing machine.

Begin gathering the fabric up around the can and add the stuffing to fill the area inside between the can and the fabric.But do not add any to the bottom of the circle. You want your pumpkin container to be able to sit flat without tipping over.
Once you have your fabric gathered up evenly secure it around the outside edge of the can using a hot glue gun.

Now you want to take your felt and cut a approx. 2" or 3" strip to glue over the whole edge of the container. Be sure and glue it to the inside and outside of the pumpkin container.This protects you from any sharp edges of the can and gives the container a much smoother and more finished look.

Now you are ready to make the top to your pumpkin. I save left over containers so this was easy I just searched through my stash until I found a lid that is the size I want my top to be. I like a little over hang of the plastic lid to allow it to sit well on the top of the pumpkin. You can also use a firm piece of cardboard or a wooden circle for your lid. Improvise if necessary and use what you have for this step. It's going to be covered with fabric so as long as it's sturdy and won't bend most anything will work.
Under side of the container lid.

 Cut a circle from the contrasting fabric large enough to cover the top of the lid as well as the inside edge of the lid. This keeps any raw edges from showing.Be sure and glue the fabric down to the top of the lid, allowing the stem to be fastened down securely later. Since I am using a low temp glue gun it will not melt the plastic. Cut from your contrasting fabric 5 or 6 triangles to glue to the inside,allowing them to hang down over the container. The size of these triangles are completely up to you. It isn't necessary to add them at all, it's completely up to you. Add a circle of felt to the inside of the lid,either before or after you add the triangles.
Then to finish it off you will need a handle or stem for the top of the lid. I have used actual dried pumpkin or squash stems before. I have used small wooden thread spools. I have also used vintage wooden knobs before. Be as simple or as creative as you want at this point.

Since I am a felt artist I cut a simple 5" tapered shape and stitched the sides together. Then I added two more seams to the piece giving it more of a stem look. I stuffed the piece with polyfil and hand stitched a square of felt to the top to close it. I bent the stem over and stitched down to the side to give it a natural curved look. I added a few jagged cut pieces of felt and glued those down first before I glued the stem handle down.

Now at this point you can choose to line the inside of the can. I usually just add a plastic bag and fill it with some Halloween candy or nuts. You could put just about anything inside and present it as a gift. I have even added a felt jack-o-lantern face on the front before. Just be creative and have fun!

One container has made it to it's destination and two more are going in the mail tomorrow. Gifts for some very special ladies!!