Friday, December 28, 2012

A Look Back at 2012

A quick peek back at year 2012.

And a wish for a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Come To Bethlehem

"Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ the Lord, the newborn King."

Wishing a very happy Christmas to all of you.

(Shadow box nativity made by my Mama, in the late 60's or early 70s.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas All Through The House

Christmas is tucked into every corner of my home. 

Little Tomten (Swedish for elf) and his forest friends.
I made this little elf when I was a teen, to match one we found at a store. 
(See the store version down at  the other end of the piano.)

 Deer hide among the trees and family pictures.
(Many of the tree ornaments were given to us by my late MIL.)

Bright pixies frolic in a basket of wooden fruit.
(Those came from a fair trade store, where women from
underdeveloped nations sell their crafts to support their families.)

 Sequined felt trees.
(Made by my husband's Grandmother many years ago.)

More of Grandmother's trees.
(My mom found the smaller tree at a vintage shop.)

 A Gurley candle choir sings on the bookcase.

A candle nativity sits on a shelf.  
( This set belonged to my folks, and I played with it when I was a little girl.
It has seen better days, but I still love it.)

Wooly sheep safely graze inside the china cabinet.
(the cats can't get them there.)

The lamp post.
(We received 2-3 inches of heavy, wet snow last night.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snow Is On The Way!

We are supposed to receive our first snowfall late tonight and into tomorrow!


The  forecast is calling for snow on Christmas day!   YAY!!!
Thank you Mr Weatherman!
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

May Choirs of Angels Come To Greet You

 Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.
                                                    - Jan Struther

Click to play

This post is dedicated to the children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School
and the families and friends who mourn their loss.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas At The Little Blue House

Winter has arrived, 
but the residents of the Little Blue House are snug and warm.

Blue Bear and his family 
send you many good wishes for a Happy Christmas!

* * *
Look here to see previous posts about Blue Bear  (a much loved toy from my childhood)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Maple Leaf Teacup

A package arrived on my doorstep and inside was
 a lovely Canadian maple leaf teacup from my sister.
Isn't it pretty?
Such a meaningful gift, because 
we lived in Canada when we were little girls.

So I'm enjoying a nice hot cup of Earl Grey 
and Swedish ginger cookies.

Teacup:  Canada From Sea to Sea, Royal Albert (England)
Teapot:  Greystone, Denby (England)

Linking to
Teacup Tuesday with Terri and Martha
Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi
Friends Sharing Tea with Bernideen

Monday, December 10, 2012

How Lovely Are Thy Branches

"Oh Christmas tree,
How lovely are thy branches."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Red Flannel Union Suit

(Santa gift wrap, maker unknown)

The red flannel union suit is, by all appearances, Santa's undergarment of choice.
Have you ever worn a pair?

(Santa Gets Dressed fabric- Alexander Henry)

(Santa card- Peggy Jo Ackley, The Family Line, Inc.)

 (Santa gift wrap- Gordon Fraser)

(Santa gift wrap- maker unknown)

(More of my paperdoll collection can be found on my Paperdoll Page,
at the top of my blog, directly under the header.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Quick Christmas Gift Tags

Gluing together a few quick and easy tags for Christmas gifts.
Punch out simple shapes, add rhinestones for sparkle, 
personalize with initials, and tie with vintage ric-rac.

Fun and done in less than 30 minutes!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Easy Microwaved Apples

 For a quick and tasty holiday treat, cook an apple in the microwave.

Core and slice one apple. (I like to leave the skin on.)

Top with:
2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of sweet cream butter
chopped pecans
smidge of cloves
smidge of ginger
(You may substitute any of your favorite nuts and spices) 

Microwave for one minute.  Stir to coat the apples with the buttery sugar mixture. 
Microwave for one more minute (or until your apple reaches the desired softness.)

Top with a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.
Yum yum! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stocking Stuffers

Stockings are an important part of our Christmas morning tradition.
And the job of filling them is usually left to me Santa Claus.

Here are my ideas for stocking-stuffers for girls, boys, men and women of all ages:

crayons,  markers, watercolors, brushes, sidewalk chalk
finger puppets, small plush animals
matchbox cars, model train tracks
magnetic abc's
legos, small puzzles, kaleidoscope
stickers, stamps, ink, scrapbook paper
paper dolls
cloth diaper cover, amber teething necklace, bib, pacifier clip
jumprope, cat's cradle string
deck of cards, travel games
baseball cards
tennis balls, golf balls, golf tees 
bike safety lights, cable lock
guitar strings, drumsticks, woodwind reeds, brass valve oil
CD, earbuds
camera strap, travel tripod
scissors, pinking shears, rotary cutter
fat quarters, thread, floss, yarn, trim, beads, buttons
knitting needles, crochet hook
hot pad, dish towel, pot scrubbie
placemats, napkins, rings
whisk, vegetable peeler, zester,  wooden spoons, icecream scoop
measuring spoons, cookie cutters, cupcake liners, silpat  
pepper mill,  kitchen timer, turkey baster, garlic press, herb snips
 recipe cards
favorite family recipes
bottle opener, bottle stopper,  cocktail shaker, coasters, shot glasses, flask
BBQ tool set,  mitt, skewers, steak knives
tea, coffee, hot chocolate
nuts, candy, mints, gum
spices, mustard, jam
olive oil, hot sauce
apple, orange, pomegranate
essential oils
vintage brooch, earrings, necklace
 watch, money clip, wallet, keychain, purse hanger
magnifying glass, reading glasses, sunglasses
cell phone cover
scarf, mittens, socks, tie, belt
folding umbrella, mini flashlight
travel converter/adapter, map, rfid passport cover
wool hiking socks 
lipstick, nail polish, mascara, false eyelashes
toothbrush, comb, nail clippers, eyelash curler
makeup brushes
hand lotion, lip balm
soap, perfume, bath salts
gardening hand tools, rose clippers, seed packets, nozzle, rain gauge, soil tester
 work gloves, hammer, nails, wrench, pliers, folding ruler
windshield wipers, chamois, tire pressure gauge
fish hooks, insect repellent, sunscreen
hand warmers, thermos
masking tape, duct tape, washi tape
post -it's, pens, notecards
postage stamps
magazine, paperback book
small picture frame
Christmas tree ornament
gift certificate -to a favorite restaurant, store, salon or spa
tickets- to a game, movie or concert
membership- to local zoo or gym
money- folded origami style
your time- coupon for an extra long bedtime story, playdate or baking lesson
donate in their name to a cause- give a goat to an orphan or dig a well

I bet you can think of even more options to suit your family.

Be sure to take into account each person's likes and hobbies.
Go green by giving vintage, handmade and repurposed items.
Shop local.  Buy from small businesses in your community
And help your children learn to share generously with others.
 Visit Heifer International,  Outreach InternationalWorld Vision,
Catholic Relief Services, and other organizations
 to find creative ways to give this year.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Plaza Lights

With the flip of a switch, the Plaza lights are on!
And the Christmas season has been ushered in.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sweet Angel Ornament

I found a picture of a cute little angel ornament online 
and thought to myself... "I can make one like that."
So I did.

Here is how I made mine:

Draw up a pattern.

Assemble supplies:
scissors, needle, felt, seed beads, thread, button and metallic cord 

Cut out all the pieces:
1 apron,  body front and back, wing front and back

Sew beads on the apron.
Stitch the apron to the body-front using a beaded blanket stitch.
Use a plain blanket stitch to attach the body front and back. 
(Top and sides only.  Leave the bottom til later.)
Stitch wing-front  to wing-back using a beaded blanket stitch.
Tack the wings to the back of the angel.
Use a decorative beading stitch to create "lace" along the bottom edge.
Attach a pretty button for a halo  with the cord,  and tie your hanging loop.
Ta Da!

I love the way she turned out!
I'm making enough to share with the girls in my book club.

* * * * *
I have two boys arriving this evening (son and nephew)!
So, I'll see you in a couple of days.
Many wishes for a  HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my American blogging friends!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cat Attack

A vicious cat attack this evening left one mouse dead,
it's stuffing chewed right out of it and scattered upon the ground.

Authorities reached out to the community 
to see if anything would show up on area security cameras.

No use trying to plead "not guilty", Kitty. 
The whole thing was caught on tape.

The suspect has been identified as Katerina.

Memorial service for the dead mouse will be held later today.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dainty Serviettes

Someone asked about the pretty serviettes
that show up in the background of my tea time posts.

 I have a growing collection of little napkins.
Daintily embroidered blooms and butterflies, crocheted edges, lace corners,
all carefully stitched by hands unknown.

They shyly peek out from under china and silver, 
quietly adding a finishing touch to the table,
happily allowing the spotlight to remain on the teapot.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

366 Challenge Complete!

Get rid of the things you don't care about,
to make room for the things you do.

Keeping that saying in my head all year long
helped me to reach my 366 Challenge goal today!
I have cleared 366 items from my home,
one thing for every day of this leap year.

Not everything made it into these pictures, but you get the idea. 
Most of these items are being donated/recycled,
and a couple will be sent to someone I know who will enjoy them.

I left off at number 283,  so here goes:

284.  bag of hangers
285.  desk organizer
286-288.  tea towels (3)
289.  delft tile
290-293.  picture frames (4)
294.  boom box
295.  binder
296.  package of plastic cups
297. cups (2)
298.  firetruck
299.  trash bin
300-309.  books (10)
310.  small chest
311.  magnets
312-313.   ironing hams (2)
314.  swinging pendulum sculpture
315.   glass box full of seashell soaps
316-319.  Christmas sweaters (4)
320-321.  purses (2)
322.  crock pot
323.  markers
324.  floral decor
325. navy shorts
326.  socks
327.  teal polo shirt
328.  mattress cover
329.  calculator
330.  cleaning bottle
331- 343.  Halloween decor (13)
345-347.  pillows (3)
348-350.  plastic party serving trays (3)
351-354.  gift wrap bags (4)
355-356.  Americana bowls (2)
357-359.  grocery bags full of magazines to recycle (3)
360.  bag of shredded papers out of my files
361. set of dolly stamps
362. Fiskars edger
363.  brown sweatshirt
364. striped henley
365. framed photo of the Beatles
366. bottle of room spray

And there you have it!  366 things hauled out of here. Gone.
Are you close to reaching your goal?

I realize that I still have a LOT of things that could should must go,
so I will very likely continue with 365 things next year.
But with the holidays approaching I am glad to have this project finished!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nice Hot Cups Of Tea For My Friends To The East

It is said that a cup of tea helps make everything better.

So I'm pouring nice hot cups of tea for all my friends to the east 
who are cold, wet, muddy, without power and dealing with damaged property.

Sending hugs and hope as you assess the damage from Frankenstorm Sandy
and begin the massive clean-up.

*  *  *  *  *
teacup- Shelley "Dainty Blue", England
teapot, creamer and sugar- K&A Krautheim, Selb, Bavaria Germany (US Zone)
platter- Taylor Smith

Linking to:
 Tea Cup Tuesday with Terri and Martha.
Tea Time Tuesday with Sandy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October Sunflowers

What's making me smile today?

Wild October sunflowers.
Little rays of sunshine woven through the prairie grass.