Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Ah the snow is back!  Last night it was pouring down rain when I went to bed.  I woke up to fur inches of snow.  It has been raining ever since!  Tomorrow will be a quiet sort of day, just the type to clean up my sewing room.  I have new ideas of how it should be organized.  I hope I muster the necessary hard nosed determination to de-clutter some "cute" things I have been hanging onto.  I have many things to look at that I can't seem to find a home for.  These things have me stuck in a cluttered mode that leads me to believe that perhaps if the object in question has no place to fit in I need to re-purpose it or let someone else re-purpose it!  Once I reorganize I can just pop into the room for a quick 10 minutes of sewing or a marathon of sewing a complete project.  That was the purpose of the room in the first place.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Buttons Buttons Whose Got the Buttons....

I like buttons...I have two containers full and an odd assortment of cards and tags with buttons from long forgotten and long donated clothes. My question you save buttons from your worn out clothing? you buy items from a thrift shop because of the buttons?   I have buttons of bone...buttons of brass...ivory buttons or pearl buttons! Tortoise shell buttons or silver buttons. How about rhinestone buttons? Covered buttons? Oh my but the options are unlimited and all lovely.
Here are just a few from my overflowing old fruitcake tin!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! What a splendid season this has been for me. I feel very blessed to have a wonderful family who gathered at our home last night for a fun celebration. The children were so excited but I wonder if I was even more excited! Games and food, lots of goodies but most of all the laughter and special smiles from loved ones.  Our tree (pictured left) makes a lovely centerpiece for the presents and games that followed. 

For the second year I named each grandchild with a reindeer name. All of their presents are labeled with their reindeer nickname. It is fun to see the big reveal when I hand them their Reindeer Name Tag! Next comes another fervent look at the presents and the guessing goes on. The excitement is really a big part of the party for me so for a child it is intensified. This year presents followed a delightful dinner of prime rib roast and roasted potatoes with rosemary. We had fresh green beans dressed in lemon zest and pine nuts, fresh cranberry sauce and wonderful whole grain artisan bread.  Plenty of cookies, candy, gingerbread boys and caramel corn.  Oh the visions of sugar plums danced vividly in my home as we gathered to celebrate.  

Thank you Lord for giving me such a wonderful family. You are the reason for the season and You were a welcome guest at my side.  Thank you too for showing me the way to keep things in perspective as I prepared myself for Christmas, one that was truly memorable.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas is

Christmas is many things to many people but to me it is a time of wishing for the perfect day full of love.  I am sentimental and cry during Christmas movies.  They seem to have a theme in general though and the rub is getting a new spin on the story so that people will watch for more than five minutes.  In the end, there is a redeeming factor, whether the guy gets the girl or the scrooge -ish man finds the world is wonderful after all.  I don't recall a sad ending for a Christmas movie and maybe that is why I usually get hooked easily into watching.   I wish everyone a happy ending to this year's Christmas Day, one that will be memorable and full of family.

Friday, December 10, 2010

In a miniature sleigh...

I wanted to do something special with my little papier mache Santa.  He is so small and cute with his elf-like qualities.  Often he can just get lost in the midst of such a collection.  So with wire cutters in hand I transformed a crystal cake platter with a large "bush" of greenery from JoAnn Fabrics.

I like the size of this plate and the effect of the pedestal. 

I like the reds, the greens and golds.  The table topper is one I made two years ago.

I love his sweet hat and his cute little eyes.  He is fun to look at.  I nearly put  him under glass...but I love seeing the sparkle of the sleigh and the softness of his cotton tuft of a beard.  It just wouldn't do to hide him under glass!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Santa Says....fill me with Christmas Cookies soon!

I forgot to bring up my Santa Cookie jar when I was bringing up all my Christmas treasures!  I soon remedied this and here is a peek at him sitting in his place of honor:

A quick look shows he is full of cheer waiting to put the logs on the fire.  A few moments of watching his sweet face and I reminded myself that my grandkids would be stopping by after school and poor Santa was empty!  Children are hungry after school.  Cookie Jars on tables, especially Santa Cookie Jars are inviting and woe is the disappointment in the heart of a child, especially a hungry child who opens a cookie jar to find it empty.

I have not started my cookie baking yet and hadn't decided what to make first so I quickly made a batch of good old fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The last pan came out of the oven just minutes before they arrived.

It was fun to see them take in the Santa and the cookies warm from the oven.  I was so happy to share their afternoon with them.  I added some white chips to the batter, hoping they didn't mind and they didn' grandson looked at me and said "You make the bestest cookies."  Oh that made all that scurrying in the kitchen so worthwhile, the appreciation of those special children!  These unplanned moments are the ones I treasure the most. 

Now to plan my baking schedule for Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nativity Parade

This is the Feast of St. Nicholas.  When I was a child, my family celebrated this old German tradition of receiving treats from the good saint, who eventually became Jolly old St. Nick!  The story held that children put their shoes out on the step and on the following morning, December 6th, they found treats in the shoes.  We didn't put all of our shoes out overnight though; imagine 10 pairs of shoes out at once!   In our home, one of the big kids went to the door while we ate breakfast and found" two huge bowls with candy, or nuts or was pretty exciting.  In my minds eye there never was such big bowls of treats! 

Today, I am enjoying my Nativity Scene.  My husband built this stable, finishing the outside with leftover grout from one of our tiling projects.  He made roof the roof from the bark of a tree he chopped down from the back yard.  The stable has a second story balcony inside, with a railing made from twigs left from the tree. 

I bought the little statues from a favorite long gone Department Store called The Crescent.  I believe they were on sale for $12.00 about 50% off.  At the time, 1977, that was spendy but they were just right.

Here are some close ups of some of the figures:

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

A New Born King

While Shepherds Kept Their Watch...

We Three Kings of Orient are....Bearing Gifts.....

I am joining the Nativity Parade with Char over over at Crap I've on her link in the side bar~

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thirty Day Challenge

This past month I focused on giving more of myself for the Thirty Day Challenge.  Money is not the only way to give to others and I found focusing on others to be rewarding  while learning more about people. 

Often times while driving I can lose my patience quickly if the traffic conditions or actions of others is not to my convenience.  I learned that this is just not always about me.  Others can be just as impatient.  Now and then I practice an exercise that I implemented regularly in November.  That little practice is a simple smile when I encounter other drivers.  Are they turning left in front of me?  Can I take time to let someone in my lane when the lane is blocked ahead?  I find that a smile, even across steering wheels goes a long way.  A quick smile back tells me that they are more relaxed....or a little more patient.

Taking time to think of things to do for others at home also has a positive result.  When I stop to think of how thoughtful my husband is it can be a challenge to anticipate something I can do for him.  The secret is in the small things like keeping up with routine household chores that are only noticed when they got missed for a day or two.  Clean socks, every day...dinner on time or providing a safe haven from stress are invaluable.  I can't go into each and every mundane thing but...they are important.  Little things that I take for granted are so appreciated by others and if it is a chore I don't especially like the more I know it was received with grace and a feeling of gratitude. 

I am going to continue working on this during the month of December; it is a rich way to live and the blessings are innumerable although I am not doing this for my own grattification, it rewards me too!