Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eleven 2011 Intentions

Good round number, right? LOL And these are in no particular order.
 1. Take better care of my body – our new company gym is opening mid-January and I will HAVE NO MORE EXCUSES since I’m right there!
 2. Create something new every week – that’s 52 new creations and some of them are bound to be giveaways
 3. Shop at my local international farmer’s market at least twice a month – even though it’s a 45 minute drive – heck some people do that and more every day to work and back
 4. Do not watch a single bad rerun or even boring new show on TV just to be mindlessly watching something – my honey is just going to have to play more Scrabble
 5. Find eight fun things to do with my four older grandkids during the year so we can have a couple of outings a year with each of them individually – not an easy task with busy teenagers and one in her third year of college
 6. Be mindful of every penny I spend – is it a want or a need?
 7. Make all birthday, anniversary, and holiday cards during January and have them ready to send rather than paying $4.99 or more for a card that doesn’t really say what I want it to say
 8. Make one raised bed planter a month and fill it with good dirt. They may not all be done in time for spring planting but in 2012 I’ll have enough to plant a REALLY good garden. Use the compost in my compost pile and start another one (now that I know that you don’t need a four foot tall structure when you only have maybe a foot and a half of compost a year LOL)
 9. Appreciate that I have a loving honey to tell the same stories more than once or draw out a story until you want to squeeze it out of him without rolling my eyes or making a not-so-nice comment
 10. Spend at least 10 minutes with each of our two black Lab mixes in my lap each day – yep they’re heavy but they both think they are lap dogs. And spend equal time petting my old girl who doesn’t think she’s a lap dog but loves to be petted
 11. I’m usually always patient with people that I’m helping on the phone at my company. Try not to say ANYTHING not nice (whether muttering to myself or any colleagues around me) when I hang up – try to realize they are doing the best they can and be more patient

Happy 2011 everyone and may you be blessed with your own good intentions!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

For All The Pink Lovers Out There...

Finally after many months I've finished the hot pink wreath!  Originally it was going to have wool braiding around the outside and inside edge and be in a book but when my stepfather became ill earlier in the year - there just wasn't time to get it done by the deadline.  It languished out in my studio and finally I decided to finish it for a friend for Christmas.  It's hooked in hot pink wool with flowers that are proddied from all sorts of wools and yarns and fibers.  I also wired through the foundation into each flower and beaded the wire.  The back is lined with the same hot pink wool and mounted on a wire wreath frame.  I just happened to have some thin cotton cloth that made a perfect colored bow and that's also sewn on.  Sure hope my friend likes her gift!

Here's a little tablescape for you - we had to move the diningroom table into the livingroom and add a long folding table at the end.  Last night we had our family Christmas dinner and it was one of those really special occasions.  It's unusual when we can get more than a few gathered here at once.  My step-daughter and husband and our two grandchildren, our daughter and her husband, our granddaughter (who is a junior in college) and her boyfriend.  We had a great time and good food - not your usual Christmas fare - homemade chicken pot pie, bean salad, green salad, cranberry sauce, black olives, deviled eggs, brownies, pumpkin pie, and Greek cookies.  We sat talking about families and charities and natural gardening and world affairs for almost two hours afterwards.  Just a fabulous night.  At the last minute our son and one grandson weren't able to come but we'll be seeing them next weekend and will have our own little celebration then. 

I hope you will all be making wonderful Christmas memories this week with those you love and cherish.  And may you be blessed in the coming new year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Hallelujah Eggs

We're having a family Christmas dinner for twelve today.  Now everyone in the world may already have known this but I didn't so I went to to find out the best way to peel an egg.  I love deviled eggs but absolutely hate making them.  Most of the time my eggs don't peel easily (or they come out looking like egg salad) and half of them aren't even usable.  I know how to cook 'em, know to put 'em in cool water for awhile before peeling, even know you should 'crackle' them before trying to peel.  But the secret I didn't know was that after you crackle them, if you roll them in your hands like you're rolling a meatball for a few seconds, it will loosen the membrane under the shell and it will peel easily.  I JUST PEELED A DOZEN PERFECT EGGS!!!!!!!!!  Hallelujah!!!!!!!!  Let's eat!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One World One Heart 2011

Oh my gosh I'm so excited and can't believe it's that time of year already!  Thanks Georgina for reminding me about this.  One World One Heart will take place between January 30th and February 17th 2011 and this will be the fifth and final year for it.  Last year over 1,000 bloggers participated.   It's almost impossible to visit that many blogs but Lisa keeps the list out there for a year so you can always go back and visit later. 

It's so that bloggers can meet other bloggers (via their blogs) and it's so much fun and so inspiring.  I met the most incredible people last year and hope to meet even more this year. 

You can go here to read all about it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Un Quartetto Di Alberi

For some reason (could it be Christmas?) I've been on a create-a-tree spree!  These are made with cardboard spools, yarn, and whatever whimsies I could find.  Fast, cute, and perfect for giveaways or door prizes. 


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sparkly Christmas Tree Tutorial

I made a little sparkly Christmas tree today - although it's hard to see the sparkles in the pictures.  But medium cut German Glass glitter in clear was used and it really does sparkle in the light.  All you need is:

A spool and a dowel

If your dowel doesn't fit tightly into your spool,
you can tape a tiny nail to the bottom side of the dowel
Be sure to use a nail with no head
Then glue the dowel into the spool and it will fit tightly
Cover the sides of your spool with glue
and sprinkle heavily with the German glass glitter
Then let dry before you begin putting the coffee filters over the dowel

A few unbleached coffee filters
I think I ended up using about five or six
and my tree is eight inches high including the spool

Cut through the coffee filter to the center and then cut the center out
(I put several coffee filters together before cutting)

Wad the centers up into a ball, straighten them out,
then cut scallops around the edges
(these don't have to be perfect)

Cut the fluted coffee filter edge into pieces big enough
to cut a circle out of
Depending upon the size of your spool,
the coffee filter bottoms (that you scalloped)
should be big enough for the bottom of the tree
cut smaller circles as you go,
putting eight to ten of each size circle on the dowel
(again this will depend upon how tall you make your dowel)

fold the circle in half and snip the center
(so it will fit over the dowel)

Cut two stars out of the coffee filter centers to fit the top of your tree
Cut a tiny square from a little piece of white cloth or cardstock

Put dabs of glue around the edges of your circles
and dip them into German glass glitter
Shake them off and put them on your dowel
with the sparkly side up
starting with the larger circles at the bottom
and smaller circles going up the tree to the top
Leave a little room at the top of your dowel for the star

Put glue all over one side of the star and dip in German glass glitter
Glue one square of cloth or cardstock in the middle of 
the non-glitter side of your star
Place a dab of glue on the cloth/cardstock and glue to dowel
You'll have one star on each side of dowel
Then you can put a teeny dab of glue on each of the top three star points
and glue them together.

Add a ribbon to the spool if you wish
and even a sequin or 'jewel' to the middle of the star

And by the way, Diana at Splinters And Rags is where I've always bought my German glass glitter.  She's great to work with and has loads of colors and types as well as mica and other items.  Her store and email is here: and her Ebay store is here:

Christmas Gift Exchange

Tuesday night our rug hooking group has our annual Christmas party where we eat, laugh, and draw for gifts.  The gift has to be something to do with wool and hand-made.  Somehow I always manage to come up with something that ISN'T simple LOL  So this year I went with an appliqued wool box.  Chipboard pieces covered with wool and hand-stitched around the edges.  Then each is stitched to the other to make the box.  The button strings weight the lid closed.  And no, the tiny tree on top isn't hand-made but I need to figure out exactly how it was made because it's really cool.  I think teeny tiny ribbon was wound around wire and then made into a tree.  Or maybe the tree was made first and then they wrapped the ribbon.  No matter, THAT'S something for next year LOL    Oh and Santa baby, if you can find our chimney, I'd love a new camera for Christmas.  The side that has the Santa baby verse really is a fireplace with two tiny stockings hanging down.


And We Have A Giveaway Winner!

The random generator gave me number 20 so...
won the wool box giveaway!  Mya, if you'll email me with two of your favorite colors, I'll get started on your prize.  Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments on my blog. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa Baby, Hurry Down The Chimney Tonight...

Santa, I want a bone and a bag of dog treats and a dog bed and a blanket, oh and did I say a bone?  And a daily ride in the car and a daily walk, oh and did I say a bone?  Uh, Santa, maybe two bones?  Whadda ya mean I'm heavy?

Aw come ON Shadow - it's my turn, my turn, my turn - I want bones too.

And Santa wants a bigger chair!

Monday, November 29, 2010

FA LA LA LA LA and all that stuff!

Just a little tour of CHRISTMAS at my house. 

Uh Mom, what's in the stockings?  Bones, bones? maybe bones? Huh? Can I have it now? Drool drool pant pant.  Bones??

Uh, you disturbed my nap to take a picture of this?

I even got all my homemade gifts ready for giving - yea!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giveaway - Yeaaaaaaaaaaa!

I promised you a GIVEAWAY for my one year anniversary and over 100 followers, so here it is!  Well sorta here it is.  I don't have a picture because I want to personalize it for you in whatever color you like.  The prize?  A small wool box made from scratch, appliqued and beaded to within an inch of it's life! 

To enter the giveaway just leave a COMMENT on this post any time BEFORE midnight Eastern on Friday, December 4th.  I'll use the random generator to draw a winner on Saturday, December 5th.  Oh and if you are a follower, please leave a SECOND COMMENT letting me know and you'll get an extra chance to win.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Little Ho, Ho, Ho!

And so the holiday season begins.  I finally finished my beaded pewter Santas for a little ornament swap.  I don't think these Santas tummies will jiggle like a bowl full of jello but it's the thought that counts LOL 

And on a second note...I've finally passed 100 followers and am coming up on my one year blog anniversary.  I'll be posting a giveaway later this week.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mr. Poley and the Boxes

Finally I finished my creations from the Julie Haymaker workshop that we had here a few weeks ago.  Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!  The first is When You Come To The Edge.  Because I always have to be 'out of the box', and because I called it Take The Leap, my gal is sitting on a little swing I made rather than in the shadowbox itself.  The second is the box that we made in class when we learned how to 'rust'.  The third is Roley Poley and I just love this necklace.  Again, mine is a little out of the box and I used some found pieces that I had in some places on Mr. Poley - but I don't think he minds.

Enjoy!  And do take a class with Julie if you ever get the chance.  It's so much fun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Humane vs. Human???

On November 30th last year I started this blog with a story that you can find  HERE.  I’ve spoken with R. over this past year several times as he kept me up to date on what was going on with his family. To bring my readers up to date – he has found a few odd jobs over the last year but basically his family is in the same situation they were in at this time last year. Living in a very rural area with few or no jobs available, a bumpity old van that only works some of the time, and still without a well so having to haul water from the aunt’s house every day for the basic necessities. While the Washington, DC pundits may expound on the fact that the recession ended in late summer 2009, the thousands of people who are still struggling to exist just can’t see it – and neither can I.

Last week I got a call from R. asking if there was any way I could help again this year so that his kids would have some kind of Christmas. He told me that the week before he had been in the same spot with his Will Work For Food sign and a couple had pulled up to talk and pray with him. As they were standing there, a large pickup truck came by at a pretty high rate of speed and slowed down just long enough for someone to throw something out of the window at R. It was a full can of beer which came at him very quickly and hard; hit him square in one knee, sending him to the ground. The couple called 911 and he was taken to the local hospital where it was determined that a good bit of cartilage in that knee was torn. Of course the truck was going so fast that no one was able to get a license tag number. So now, in addition to the fact that any odd job he might find is probably going to involve manual labor, he won’t be able to stand or bend, etc. to do that job for awhile until the knee heals.

The first paragraph in my first blog entry went something like this: OK, I know what you’re thinking – oh just another panhandler – some of them are out there at the same spot every day. Give them any money and they’ll just buy booze with it. I have to admit that would normally be my first thought too.

Shame on me for having those kinds of thoughts. And shame on the supposed human-being who threw that can of beer out the window because I’m sure that was their thought too. What kind of legacy are we leaving for our children and grandchildren if we judge a person before we know their whole story? What has happened to being humane? Questions that as we begin this holiday season shouldn’t even have to be asked.

If you want to help R. provide Christmas for his three kids this year, please contact me. 

And thank you dear readers for sticking by me during this first year of blogging.  I'm almost to the one year point and almost to 100 followers - a giveaway is coming soon.  Blessings to all of you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Judy, Judy, Judy – Oh Wait, That’s Julie, Julie, Julie

Oh my gosh! If you ever have a chance to take a class from Julie Haymaker Thompson – you HAVE to do it! Julie is the most fun, giving, funny, spirited person I’ve ever met. She is totally supportive in class and breaks each step down so that everyone can accomplish leaving class with a finished creation. Be sure to visit her online store here Julie's Shop . All of the supplies you need and kits to make her creations are available.

Julie and Jill

On Thursday evening I picked up Julie and sweet Jan who came from Kansas City, at the airport. On Friday morning we drove to Stone Mountain to the Country Living Festival. Earth Angels was the first tent we hit and they had some fantastic creations. I was so busy looking at all of the booths that I forgot (as usual) to take many pictures. We walked into a huge open field with food tents at one end, Earth Angels in the middle, and some product tents (like Monsanto) on the right. From there we wandered on paths through the woods where all of the other tents were set up. It was a wonderful sunny fall day – breezy yet warm – perfect festival weather! I could have shopped till I dropped but contained myself and found a wonderful little prim bird as well as a great tatted piece of lace in the Earth Angels tent.

On Saturday we learned how to make When You Come To The Edge . It was so much fun – I think everyone finished except me – when you’re hosting a class there are some things that have to be done other than class. But mine is mostly done except for putting it all together so when it’s finished, I’ll post a picture. And of course me, being an “out of the box rebel”, I had to do something just a little different LOL

On Sunday it was on to Roley Poley and I was able to finish mine and wore it to work yesterday. Each person’s necklace turned out a little different – Ashley put a wee tiny monocle on her creation and it was so cute! Once again, the classes were so much fun that I mostly forgot to take pictures, but here are a few for you to enjoy.






Monday morning it was off to the airport – I really wish that Julie and Jan could have stayed all week! That would have been so much more fun than going back to work LOL

My friend, Beverly, who took both classes, brought her wonderful bracelets for show and sale.  I was so lucky that she gifted me with one.  They are beautiful and very comfortable to wear. 

She doesn’t have an Etsy shop – yet.  But if you are interested, just contact me through my email and I’ll be glad to have her contact you.