Thursday, November 29, 2012

This Christmas Season...

 I think I've always been guilty. Rushing around always in a hurry to get things at a certain level of my idea of perfection, weekly tablescapes, handmade ornaments, fully decorated for the Christmas season, sometimes starting on Thanksgiving day, I'm embarrassed to admit....but this year, this year is different. It will be different, it's the 29th of November and I'm still looking at my fall mantle and not wanting to take it down.  I'm wanting to cling to the hands of time and beg them to stop. And I'm not talking about the business side of things, Lord, I started making Christmas wreaths in October....I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about what is in my head and heart that I want things to go slower.
Is it because I'm sick? That I don't want to rush around anymore? Because I've gotten older? I'm not that little girl in the picture above sitting beside her sister in her underwear...with her whole life ahead of her. I don't know how much time I have left, I know none of us do...but sometimes the realization of it overwhelms me. 
 I'm taking this season deliberately slow and gradual... I am going to look around a little more, enjoy a little more, pray a little more. I am going to do the things that my body allows me to do and not worry about the rest. It's just not that important. So, if you don't see me around here as much, just know that I am taking it one day at a time. I'm not taking hiatus or anything, I mean, the tree will eventually get up and I definitely want to share that with you and I've got lots of ideas and crafts to accomplish ....I think you know what I mean.
The new chemo regimen is not as bad as the first one, I mean I had chemo on Monday and it's Thursday and I'm not in's practically a walk in the park! Kidding.
I just want to encourage you and inspire you to take the season in stride, to really enjoy what is important to you in {your} be a girl with pigtails in your underwear. :)  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Coercing Paper Whites

 There are just some phrases in the English language that rub me wrong. The phrase 'forcing bulbs' is one I just don't care for (maybe my inner pacifist?). I know I'm strange, so I have decided to call it 'bulb coercing'...which to me is much friendlier.
 I don't have much luck with indoor plants so hopefully, this project will turn out. I know I'm late doing this, it should have been done a couple of weeks ago, but inspiration just hit me, so while recovering from chemo, I decided this was a project I could complete without too much effort.
I found the bulbs at Home Depot, along with the marble chips from the lawn and garden area.The bulbs had already started growing a little, so I wanted to get this project going right away and hopefully they will bloom by Christmas. I prepared the bulbs by removing the 'onion skins', just to keep things tidy. The research I did revealed it was just fine to do this, it doesn't hurt the growing process at all.
 Select containers. I selected some milk glass containers out of my collection, but gosh, you can do this in any container you wish, whatever style...
 Place the marble chips in the bowl/container. I suppose you can use any sort of pebbles, rocks, marbles, or even gems for this...but I like the look of the marble and the hint of grey. Also, it was very inexpensive for a large bag (I rinsed the chips first too).
 Place the bulb, roots down, in the marble's easy to tell which end is up in this case because they've already started I didn't mess that up....I won't say who, but somebody has planted bulbs upside down before...she may or may not be writing this post. I put a few more rocks around the bulbs for stability.

 Next, fill the container with water just up to the bottom of the bulbs.

 Now you could leave it like this, it certainly looks pretty....but I wanted to add a little color and texture while the bulbs are I used some of my green moss. I just loosely filled in around the bulbs. I love the bright green.

 Right now, the bowls are sitting on my counter, and I've got one in the window sill. However, it will probably change...I haven't even began to decorate for Christmas yet, so I foresee these in a different location soon.
 Hopefully, they will  start growing even more very soon.
 I will keep you updated on their growth.

Have you ever coerced bulbs before? How did it turn out?
Joining  Kim

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Little Christmas At The Booth

I've been working on my booth space a lot lately and I had big plans to show you everything last week, but I kept forgetting my camera. Then the waterfall buffet sold and now it looks completely different. Shucks. I know it's not good when you feel sad when furniture was such a crucial piece for this look...I'll be ok, it will just force me to be more creative! If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this music sheet wreath...I am on such a sheet music kick right now!
 Chemo really put a kink in my shopping this summer for the booth and as a result, I have hardly any vintage what's a girl to do? Make. Make. Make. I made everything to sell...Altered bottles, waterless snow globes, sheet music ornaments....the lamp is even transformed...I found this lamp with a chunk of wood missing. I repaired the chip, white washed it, and added a shade with braided jute twine. Here is the before:
This look was originally on the waterfall buffet, but it looks pretty good on the walnut buffet.

 Natural bottle brush trees in all sizes, I love these. I have some made into snow globes too.
 This owl figure was awful, so I decided to glitter it. It took about 3 pounds of glitter. Just kidding...but it took a lot. I didn't take a before shot, just imagine ugly.

 I used a pretty green glass vase to put pine and branches in, just like I do here at home.
 Sheet music ornaments with vintage buttons. I made these for each family member last year and made some to sell this year.
 I made a couple of wreaths yesterday too. This one is a little different, not really screaming Christmas. I love this grey ticking ribbon. This one to me, represents one of the 12 Days of Christmas...and a partridge in a pear treeeeee
 Pears and Pine

A nice traditional one with a little glitz. You guys know how much I love plaid, I know I don't have to say that anymore! :)

 Plaid and Pine

I would show you more of the booth, but really it is not any more photo ready than this. I've got a desk to move in and some more fluffing to do. I will be sure to remember my camera next time. 
Have a GREAT Thanksgiving everyone!!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Altered Bottles (A Tutorial)

 I have a neat tutorial to share with you that can really be expounded upon in so many different ways, your creativity can go rampant. We all know about my urge to save glass bottles and jars and have gone as far as enlisting family members to do the same. So when inspiration strikes, bottles of all sorts are available.
Here's a list of what I used for this project: Glass bottle, sheet music, glitter, Mod Podge, jute twine, snowflake ornament, jingle bells. 

 I was given several of these schnapps bottles, that have really taken me a while to come up with a use for. They are tall and flat and can't really be used for my Waterless Snow globes...but finally inspiration hit in the form of 'Altered Bottle' which is fancy for saying decorating the bottle to serve some sort of purpose beyond it's intended use.  SO I washed up the bottle, removed the label with handy dandy Goo-Gone (thank goodness for that stuff!!) and a pretty bottle is what you have. It no long looks like a schnapps bottle...but in my mind looks like a 'message in a bottle' type of bottle...cue The Police Just a castaway
An island lost at sea, oh
.. I didn't use the lids and used wire cutters to cut off the little ring left around the neck.
 I have been lucky enough to find some old sheet music and believe me when I say this book is happy to be given a second chance at life in the form of art...the pages were so weakened with age and just couldn't be used anymore. In fact, when I tried to use my paper cutter, it just shredded the paper, so I ended up just scoring and tearing. The idea is to use the music paper to create a label of sorts around the bottle, so I tore the paper to fit the center of the bottle, leaving a little glass on the bottom and the neck of the bottle still exposed. Slather the back of the page with Mod Podge:
 Eye-ball it on the center of the bottle:
 Do the same for the back so you have something that looks like this:
Be sure to smooth it on well.  Next, to soften the edges of the 'label' and for a little glitz, use Mod Podge and glitter around the edge ( I used a paint brush and spooned on the glitter). This a messier way to do it, if you want, you can use glitter glue or something similar. Once dry, use a soft dry brush to remove excess glitter.
 Next, wrap twine around the center of the bottle, leaving two ends for tying. I used about three yards of jute twine. If twine isn't your thing, ribbon would also look good.
 I needed a focal point and found it by way of snowflakes. I found this package of small glittered snowflakes at Hobby Lobby...but you can use several different things....if you crochet, crochet a snowflake...stiffened doily....just something in proportion and creates a focal point.
 Tie the twine through the snowflake:
 String jingle bells on the twine (I just love the sound of jingle bells!)
 Tie a shoestring bow, tightening the bells up and giving the snowflake a finished look. Like I said though, you can get really creative...see what you can come up with!
 I think these would make great gifts, bud vases, candle holders....
 ...or how about writing  a message rolling it up and putting in there for a loved one to read. Wouldn't it be fun to write your yearly Family Letter and put it in there and share with your extended family. Write hope and dreams and put in there. Lots of different things can be done.....or really, it's just pretty to look at.
 Whatever you do, the bottle has been given a second life and been made into something beautiful.

 What bottles do you have that can be altered?

It is almost Thanksgiving and I really cannot believe it! I know I haven't been around much this past week, but I sure do appreciate you for being here. If I don't talk to you before then I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving spending it with the people you love and cherish. Give your kids an extra hug and your husband an extra kiss, that is what I will be doing....and hopefully eating pumpkin pie! Love to all of you!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Snapfish Holiday Cards

 Well, I've done something I've never done before and wanted to do a little 'toot-toot' for first of all...the thing I've never done before is ordered cards online using our family pictures. This might sound like a sponsored post, but it is not, I am just so pleased with how the Thanksgiving and Christmas cards turned out, I'd simply recommend them. I order a lot of regular prints from Snapfish, because I like the convenience of uploading pictures and having them shipped to me, easy peasy...part of the beauty of living in this digital age... but I piddled around with the card making section and selected a Thanksgiving one:
 This is the 5X5 size. I used pictures from this year and last year. Some with hair, some without and some with my wig on.

   The flat style allows you to have the pictures on the front and the   message on the back (and on this style, another little picture).

 And a Christmas one. I haven't sent the Christmas ones out yet, but will soon after Thanksgiving. (which is 10 days away, ahhhh!!!) I liked this one even better! Pictures of the boys and Logan holding up the snowflake is so cute...I think he was 3 in that picture.

 I'm just loving the whole flat card thing (this one is the 5x7) and on card stock....but there are tons of styles to choose from.
This is the back:

Have you ever used an online card company before? If so, which one do you like?


Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Christmas Wreaths

 I had a good hand day! As you know, the chemo is causing me to have neuropathy in my hands (and feet) and it's been very difficult to do anything with my hands...especially designing. I've been taking the neurontin that the doctor prescribed and I noticed some relief, so off to my studio I went! Now, the neurontin makes me extremely dizzy and I nearly fell down a couple of times (I stand while designing)....but I was able to get some work done! Which makes me very happy. Here are the results of a good hand day :) 

 Sold already

 The grapevine version of the one above, mixed pine and plaid on grapevine

sold already

I'm getting ready to set my booth for Christmas next week, so I will be sharing that next week. Talk to you then. Have a great weekend!