Sunday, December 13, 2009

Party Shoes

Last night was an emotionally charged evening. My daughter had her first high school Christmas formal. I stood there looking at her so pretty in her dress and was taken back to that very first pair of dress-up shoes...I can hardly believe that time has passed that quickly. I am reminded, "Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:29-30. I'm in love with the godly woman she is becoming...and tears fill my eyes at the thought of the next shoes she'll fill. Have a joyfilled Sunday everyone!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Tree Challenge

Two years ago my friend Nancy challenged her friends to create a tree for her Christmas barn sale. We were then to offer our trees to sell. I had so much fun creating this tree that when I was done, I priced it ridiculously high so that I could keep it.

I photo copied Christmas sheet music and made it into garlands. For ornaments I used vintage jewelry, much of it my Grandmothers, as well as scrapbooking paper and other bits-n-baubles. I made the tree skirt out of a piece of lace my friend Karen gave me. It came from a trunk belonging to her husband's family, dating back to the civil war era. I enjoyed this challenge tremendously. I get sad putting it away every year and was wondering, do any of you keep trees up all year round? Please check out the giveaway on Where Women Create. Just click on the button to the right. So cool, you won't believe it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

To make or to buy?

I'm veering off the Christmas path for a moment to request your opinion. I found this beautiful shawl on Anthropologie's website. I just love it. Every time I see something I could buy or I could try to make, I start to wrestle with my thoughts which go something like this - "Just buy it, you don't have the time to make it and it will cost more to make than to buy, how many times have you passed something up because you said you could make it and then you don't?" And then - "Just make it, so what if it takes awhile, just think of the satisfaction of wearing something you've made..." The droning goes on in my head until I drive myself crazy. At times I call this "the creative curse". Often I take on another project when I'm not done with all the quilt/yarn kits I've collected. So help me, what do you think?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

25 Questions

Dawn, over at 4:53am has posted 25 questions today and has asked us if we'd like to do so as well. Let's give it a try, shall we?

1. Wrapping paper or gift tags? both

2. Real tree or artificial? currently artificial since our favorite tree place closed

3. When do you put up the tree? we have 7 trees, so we start the process right after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? after New Year's day

5. Do you like eggnog? No

6. Favorite gift received as a child? dollhouse

7. Hardest person to buy for? the adult men in the family

8. Easiest person to buy for? most women

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I have several, some my Mom made and some vintage as well as the playmobile one my kids got when they were little

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail

11. Worst Christmas gift ever received? a toy truck meant for another child

12. Favorite Christmas movie? The Muppet's Christmas Carol

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? try to pick up things all year long

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? yes

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? my Mom's standing rib roast

16. Lights on the tree? currently all white

17. Favorite Christmas song? What Child is This

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? it depends on whose house it is, this year traveling

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? pathetically no

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? morning (except for new pajamas)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? traffic

23. Favorite Christmas ornament? Mouse I got as a child

24. Do you make Christmas cookies? usually try to make my Mom's shortbread cookies

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? to enjoy quality family time

Your turn!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Glove Tree

Winter greetings from Michigan! We are getting blasted with a snow storm. My teenage daughter is already planning on not having school tomorrow. Of course, she'll still want me to take her to the mall... Thought I would share with you the tree in the dining room today. It is decorated with vintage gloves, small fancy hats and various red and black ornaments. The topper is a velvet hat with long gloves coming from it. It looks pretty with the toile wallpaper. I have alot of fun with this room, playing with color and texture. I'm a bit behind with my Christmas shopping. I did just order a pair of pink cowboy boots for my 2 yr. old niece, so much fun! How is your shopping coming along?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Child Size Fun

Today I'm showing another nativity set. This one has 1 1/2 inch figures and is made out of wood. I have it sitting on the top of a doll highchair seat. So cute and tiny. Can't believe all the pieces are still there, especially with our dog, Max, roaming around. I hope you are having a good day. I had my annual Christmas Bible Study brunch this morning. A wonderful time of fellowship and gift giving. God has blessed my life with some wonderful women and I am so thankful. What are you thankful for today?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vintage Nativity

I hope that your week got off to a good start today. We are settling in for some snow, it sure is pretty, but it's work. I'm sharing with you today some more decorations. Above is a picture of my mantel in the pretty room. I want you to see the nativity puzzle I have there.

I found this in an antique store a couple of years ago. The pieces come out like a puzzle and then they fit into little stands. Normally I have it set up, but the stands are becoming a bit fragile so I leave it as is. The colors are just so pretty. If you click on these pictures, you can get an up close look. Be blessed and be joyfilled!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vintage Images

A blessed Sunday to all of you. What a wonderful time of worship we had this morning. There's nothing like singing Christmas carols to make you feel like a child again. This beautiful vintage image is from Heidi at the Shabby Chic Papirskatter check out her blog for amazing photos for your artistic pursuits. She shared with me the snow that is now falling on the screen. Bloggers have such big hearts and all the ones I've come in contact with have been so helpful. Enjoy your evening!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vintage Cheer

I've been snapping photos of some of my favorite Christmas decorations. This is a shot of a plate rack in my dining room. I love the vintage Rudolph cups and plates and the little paper choir boy. He is one from a set, they are place cards. You can put a name on the book he is holding. I don't know what it is about vintage dishes, but they speak to me. They speak to me alittle too much because I have quite a few. I like the colors and the whimsical artwork. I hope you all had a fun Saturday. I went to a craft show with my buddy Joyce. Always fun to see the work of other people's hands. God bless you!

Friday, December 4, 2009

What's Your Favorite?

Good morning from frosty Michigan! We had our first snow fall last night. It certainly is "beginning to look a lot like Christmas". My friend T0ri over at I'm not in Kalamazoo anymore, posted her favorite Christmas ornaments yesterday. Check out her blog for a real treat! I want to share some of my own with you. I thought I would start by sharing the tree first.

My Mom made this ornament for me when I was little. It was one of those felt kits that were popular back then. I know they still make the kits but I don't think they are as cute as they were back then.

I just love Christmas mice! This is another one from my childhood. So glad that they have survived all the moves over the years.

I purchased this one for myself a couple of years ago. I just love that it's a poodle wearing a poodle skirt with a hula hoop to boot!

My favorite in this picture is actually the garland. My Mom made it for me. They are made out of scrapbooking paper. Men in top hats and ladies in long dresses, all dancing. This is a Martha Stewart pattern from one of her Christmas books.

This angel is actually relatively new. I bought it as a gift and then gifted myself! I would love to know what your favorites are. I will share more trees in the days to come. God bless you today and the work of your hands!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Fun Find

Last Saturday I ventured out to my friend, Nancy's, barn sale. She lives on a 150+ year old farm happily named, "Friendship Farm". She has a beautiful and festive Christmas sale going on for the next couple of weekends. I purchased this crocheted table cloth for a mere $35. It was quite an undertaking for someone. It fits my dining room table which measures 36x96. I soaked it and washed it, and it came out a beautiful white. I wish you could see the detail. The person that made it cut out those blue hexagons and crocheted right into the fabric. It's just gorgeous! I'm going to save it for January so I have something new on the table after Christmas. Be blessed and be joyfilled!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let's Remember

This morning I was trying to grab a bit of the news before the day took off and a commercial caught my eye. It was a fancy jewelry store advertising it's diamond rings. It said that the gift of one of these rings would be eternal, and now we had "beautiful knowledge" to make our purchase. I sat there for a few minutes playing that over in my head. Diamonds are not eternal and thinking so certainly doesn't give me any knowledge, beautiful or otherwise. I am again reminded of Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God is forever." and Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust in also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3. During this hectic time of Christmas preparations I pray that we will remember that Jesus is eternal and that is beautiful knowledge indeed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

One Special Christmas

I've been thinking alot since Thanksgiving about meaningful gifts. I've come to realize over the years that the most meaningful gifts are the ones that people have made themselves. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it's true. Whether it's something knitted, sewn, baked, or fashioned from craft supplies, it always tugs at the heart strings. The one thing that comes in second to that is when you receive a gift that encourages you to be creative. When I was a teenager in high school (about 150 years ago in dog years), I had a fascination with doll houses. My parents and my two brothers built this doll house for me, including the furniture. My Mom sewed the curtains, crocheted doilies, braided rugs and even used the awful 70's bedspread from my room to make the doll canopy and bedspread. I have purchased all kinds of items since then and a wee little family moved in a couple of years ago, but the most precious items are those that my family made by hand. The doll house currently sits in my dining room below a picture that my Mom cross-stitched for me of a little girl leaning against a table filled with items set for tea. This picture was another gift made by loving hands. My Mom said that the little girl reminded her of my daughter who was small at that time. I hope this Christmas I can give meaningful gifts that people will remember for years to come. What are some of the most meaningful gifts you have received for Christmas?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quilt Giveaway!!!


Happy Saturday to all of you! I want to share a fun giveaway from Marie-Madeline Studio. You can enter to win one of these quilts by clicking on their link located on my side bar. They will tell you how to enter to win. Aren't they beautiful? If you have not been on their blog or website before, you are in for a special treat. A wonderful family with fabulous patterns and fabrics. You will enjoy it whether you sew/quilt or not. They are truly an inspiring family. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am thankful this year for many things but I must take a moment to thank all the friends and family who have been so supportive of my adventure into the world of blogging. Thank you to other bloggers who have extended their kind words of support. I have enjoyed dipping my toe into these waters and look forward to what the future holds. A verse to help you celebrate this most blessed of holidays, "Come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song." Ps. 95:1&2

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bright and Cheery

I want to share with you the quilt that currently hangs in my kitchen. It was made with reproduction 1930's fabrics and Moda's reproduction children's hankies. I ventured away from my usual shabby soft fabrics and did a quilt much brighter. Funny thing is, the more I play with color, the brighter my quilts are getting. Much like cooking, the more I cook, the bolder my recipes are getting. It's all so fun, isn't it?

It began raining here late tonight. The forecast calls for a mixture of snow and rain tomorrow. Though the weather makes it easier to stay inside and bake for Thanksgiving, it will still be rather dreary. It will be nice to have this quilt nearby to keep things cheerful as I work. Be blessed today, be joyfilled!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What's Important to You?

Today marks the kick-off of the holiday season. We will no sooner finish the Thanksgiving meal and Christmas will be upon us. I managed to get the groceries bought today and am about to tackle the cleaning. My son comes home from college tomorrow and my daughter will begin her break from highschool as well.
I love this time of year, but it also brings up that feeling of being on a hampster wheel with no way to jump off until after the first of the year. I will take to heart the words of scripture that hang in my kitchen and then I will really, truly, try to slow this season down and spend more time doing the things that matter. Can any of us remember what we received for Christmas last year? I can't. But I can remember the people I saw and the special times we shared. I remember the Christmas concerts at church and how everyone looked so nice dressed in their holiday best. I bet that next year at this time we still won't remember what we recieved under the tree, but we will remember the son or daughter who returned from war, the last Christmas we spent with Grandma, the fun we had baking with our children and the way that the sanctuary at church looked with all those decorations. The one thing we must remember at Christmas, above all else, is that God became man and spent time here on earth so that He could show us how much He loves us by sacrificing His life for ours as a randsom for our sins and He came back to life so that we might have eternal life with Him. All we have to do is believe that He did this for us and confess all our sins and shortcomings to Him and He will take it all. All the fear, disappointment, pain, illness and give us His peace and a life with Him when ours is finished here on earth. What a gift, what a Savior. May I keep this in my mind and heart as this holiday season begins.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just Pondering

It's just past 6:30pm and it's pitch black outside, yet another reminder that winter is on it's way. A beautiful sunny day in the mid 50's. Wednesday's forecast is predicting snow. I'm wondering how this will affect our Thanksgiving travelers. The wind has just picked up outside, it's alittle erie to be honest. So much left to do to get ready for the feast. I haven't even gone to the grocery store yet, or cleaned my house. I really want to sew, but can't seem to decide what to do. I could read but that doesn't seem very productive either. I guess you could say I'm feeling alittle out of sorts today. My dear friend, Amy, and I call this "feeling outside ourselves." I did go to the baby shower today and the elephant was a huge success. I love giving gifts to people, especially things I'm able to make myself. I hope all of you stop to reflect on all the things that you are thankful for this week, amist all the preparations. After a wonderful service this morning, I'm going to start this moment being thankful to Jesus for my salvation. How about you?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What Makes Your Heart Sing?

Don't you just love pretty things? They make my heart sing! When I get a pretty stack of fabric or finish knitting one of these cupcakes, I like to leave them out and enjoy them as I walk through my kitchen. Even if the day is gloomy outside, I can get my heart singing inside. I hope that you can enjoy today doing something or looking at something that makes your heart sing. If you would like to know where I got the pattern for the cupcake, leave me a comment and I'll get back to you. Have a joyful Saturday!

Friday, November 20, 2009

An Elephant in the Room

A break from Pretty Room pictures to show you the sewing project I was working on this week. This elephant is for a baby shower that I am going to this weekend. The wonderful woman it's for is doing a jungle theme and has picked out many of these fabrics for the baby boy's room. I finished the quilt and then felt it needed more, so I made the carrier for the back and filled it with burp cloths and receiving blankets. There is a pocket on the other side that is not visible. It was fun to make. Today's verse "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127:3-5

Thursday, November 19, 2009

There's One More...

How is Thursday in your neck-of-the-woods? Oh my, it's cold and dreary in southwest Michigan. Makes you want to cook something comforting, drink something hot and caloric, and curl up with a good book (or a good stack of fabric!). I apologize for this picture turning out alittle dark. Believe it or not, I had a bunch of lights on, and it was even sunny when I took it, but our house sits in a direction where we don't get much sunlight inside. I'm surprised we don't have moss growing on the walls. Most of my house is yellow or a cheerful wallpaper, but alas, I went with MOSS green in the pretty room. Back to my door. I found this at the flea market that meets at a local fairground nearby. I just loved that someone put a shelf on top and painted in pink. The little angel holds a banner that says, "Dream". I do alot of dreaming in this room. Today seems like a good day for curling up and dreaming. Be blessed today, be thankful...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Pink Door

Happy Wednesday to everyone! Another pretty room post. I want to share with you a focal point of this room, my unusual coffee table. I found this pink door on an antiquing jaunt. It was an unusually small size and the shop owner thinks that it was a door located underneath stairs. I immediately pictured a coffee table out of it. We have a wonderful shop in our area called, "Another Man's Treasure" and I comissioned Sharon, the owner, to make a table for me. Sharon is a very talented artist who makes wonderful pieces from discarded furniture. Didn't she do a wonderful job? I asked her to leave the hardware intact and if you look closely you can see the handle on the right. You can also see Max, our golden, on the left who somehow manages to get into many a photo...
So my obession with doors continues. A verse to ponder today, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7&8 Have a joyfilled day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Pretty Room

I have a love of old, worn, pretty things. I like to think about where these things might have come from and the people that had these items. We have a room in our house called "The Pretty Room" it's really for us girls. The boys have their man-cave that reflects their love of baseball, and we have The Pretty Room. This week while I'm working on a new sewing project, and before I can show it to you, I thought I'd show you some fun things in this room. One of my favorite things is the verse on the beam it is Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withers and the flowers fade but the Word of our God stands forever." When I am in there, it reminds me of what's important in life. I love old screen doors. I wish we would still use them. We had a metal screen door when I was growing up. I can remember summers and the sound that door made when my brothers ran in and out to play. I like the sound the door made, a happy sound announcing the arrival of someone. I daydream about this screen door. Was it on a farm house? Or an old victorian with a wrap-around porch? Wherever it stood, I hope it made that happy sound for someone. I hope too, that they enjoyed Isaiah 40:8 as much as I do.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

...and my book addiction...

Okay, yesterday I showed you the fabric cabinet. Today I will come clean and share the book/pattern cabinet. I will not, however, open the doors. I will say that there is more ideas, patterns, books and supplies than I will ever be able to accomplish in my lifetime.

I really enjoy my sewing room and will share more pictures later. My friend, Diane, suggested that I move the dining room into the old formal living room and use the dining area for my sewing room. What a great idea! The dining room only gets used a handful of times each year so it was easy to switch. My sewing room has a slider in it so I get lots of natural light and I put up some pretty track lighting as well. This room is right off the kitchen and it's so easy to be working on a project while things are simmering away on the stove. I can also leave things out on my cutting board to return to later. I love it!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Fabric Addiction

Today was a beautiful fall day, sun was shining brightly and I thought a little field trip might be in order. So, Joyce and I decided to venture to Shipshewana, the Amish community about 45 minutes south of us. What a great drive, great conversation. We wanted to go look at fabric at two wonderful stores there. Well, as you can see from the picture, I NEED MORE FABRIC! What I think I need is addiction counseling. This is crazy! Does it look like I need anymore fabric? I bought a pattern book too...glad you can't see the book cabinet. Sad thing is, if I went through and looked, I might have the fabric I just purchased, it has happened before. So clearly I need to take a good look at my issues. We did enjoy ourselves, and we had a wonderful lunch at my favorite "Garden Gate Cafe" the only thing missing was my friend, Nancy, who owns the darling place. It's all about cupcakes there, from desserts to decor. She honestly makes the best cupcakes I've ever had. Cupcakes, fabric and friends, now that's a great day!