Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fun Surprises

Today I'm suppose to be baking. Instead, I have to show you a fun gift I received from my buddy, Joyce, it was some goodies from Bake It Pretty. I was so tickled I almost screamed in the restaurant we were in. The vintage paisley liners are to-die-for, with the matching cupcake liners (oh...) and then the cupcake picks which are little men with chef hats on (I can't breathe) and the teapot and bee cookie cutter. The only stipulation was that I have to use them, not just lovingly admire them. That is so hard, cause when you use them, then they are gone. I know she is right (she always is!). So I said I'll have them ready to use for my Bible study group on Valentine's day. Can't wait to show you!

As if the day couldn't get any better, I opened my mailbox to discover these!!! I really had a moment. I'm saving them for after the baking today, but I did peek inside Fresh Vintage. Again, I couldn't breathe. There is a new quilt pattern, a Christmas tree skirt pattern and other wonderful goodies. You can sneak at peek at the new fabric line coming out. Oh I'm going to have fun. Tis' the season to be jolly!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cutest Yo-Yo's!

I can't believe that it's the Monday of the Christmas week. I still need to go and try to find a reasonably priced fly fishing rod for my son. He took up fishing last summer before heading off to college and just loves it. Even took his fishing pole to school with him. Now I love that! Something about him being in nature, close to God...okay, what on earth does that have to do with yo-yo ornaments. Nothing, but I am getting old, I lose track easily. SO, I was on Craftapalooza today and saw these adorable ornaments. I know that not too many of us are going to tackle this the week of Christmas, but I couldn't resist showing them to you. How cute is this? Keep smiling, be joyfilled!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Be Still...

This is the view out my front door. I so want to capture this stillness before we enter into this week of Christmas and all the festivities. I want to remember what's important, that Christ was born to save, to love. "Be still, and know that I am God..." Ps. 46:10

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Bit of Sewing



The snow is really coming down today. It's pretty, I have to admit. I thought I would do a bit of sewing. I made two table runners, one for my dear Mom-in-law and one for my Sis-in-law. It took about 4 hours from start to finish. The pattern came from Pleasant Home. I'm really pleased with the way they came out. I need to venture out into the snow, but don't want to interrupt the quiet stillness that is around me. I hope you are doing something you love today. Be joyfilled!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thoughtful Gifts

Today I met two of my girlfriends for lunch. We had a fun time catching up and exchanging gifts. I was so tickled with mine that I wanted to share them with you.

My friend, Sally, had her 83 yr. old Mom cross-stitch these precious ornaments for me. They are roses and snowflakes. I just love them! I so appreciate the handwork and time these took and will always be a very special gift.

I have alittle obsession/fascination with Holt Howard Pixieware from the late 1950's to early 1960's. My friend Diane found this little guy for me. They are so whimsical and childlike and they make me smile whenever I look at them. He will be added to a fun collection.

Diane also gave me the adorable aqua bowl and jade egg holder. I recently painted my kitchen yellow and have added touches of pink and aqua. Isn't the floral detail on the bowl precious?

She also found this wonderful example of vintage handwork, in that pale aqua I find so refreshing. I feel fortunate that God has blessed me with wonderful friends who share my love of Him, of everything old, of crafting and cooking and all in between. What a wonderful God we serve!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Make Something Merry

I can't believe that a week from now we will be getting ready for the Christmas Eve service at our church. I will have already celebrated Christmas with my husband's family and getting ready to go to my parents the next day. Where has the time gone? I'm really disappointed in myself this year. There is no excuse as to why I could not have made more presents. I'm often frustrated by my half finished projects and untouched kits, and today I'm irritated with myself. I happened to glance at this wreath that I made a few years ago from my Grandmother's ornaments and stood there wondering why I never made anymore. It wasn't that difficult and I so enjoyed the outcome, but that was the end of it. I think I'm formulating some new year's resolutions in my mind. I need to plan alittle Christmas crafting for each month of the year. So since I'm airing my frustrations today, how about you, are you frustrated?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sew Fun Tree

This little tree sits in my sewing room. It is a work in progress. The garland is made from some very old yo-yo's from my very first live auction down in Amish country. During the auction I inadvertently scratched my nose and bid on a rather expensive item. Fortunately, my friend Nancy, quickly showed me how to shake it off. So when this box of yo-yo's appeared, I was too frightened to move and had her bid on it. The talking is so fast, it's hard to understand anything, especially how much you just agreed to spend. The ornaments are vintage button cards with a ribbon through them. After Christmas, when I have some time, I plan on making some ornaments from some 100+ yr. old tiny blocks my sweet Mom-in-law gave me from her side of the family. I'm lost for an idea for a topper for this tree, and would welcome any suggestions. Have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Little Trees

I love little things, especially miniature children's things (but that's for another day). This little tree sits out on my three-season porch (a fancy way of saying it doesn't get heat). I love the colors and textures against the aqua side board I found this summer at a barn sale. If you are a fan of red and aqua, I encourage you to visit two sites, Simplify and Allsorts. Their use of color will just take you away. Have a joyfilled Monday, it's raining here today and the snow is melting...

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!!!

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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!