Wednesday, December 31, 2008

into the New

grace and peace to you my friends,
may the New Year bring you the gift of both, along with love and joy in abundance!
See you in 2009!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy 24


Happy birthday littlest sis! Hope 24 isn't a bore!!
(Judea my little sis, with Jeanetta my craft sis on Thanksgiving)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12 Days

Today is technically the 4th Day of Christmas ( you can visit HERE for more info on the history The 12 Days and see why and where it falls on the calendar) and for those of you who don't know, I have a confession to make. I am slightly obsessed with The 12 Days of Christmas. This is an obsession that has been growing for over a year, and I feel that by next Christmas it will be at full tilt. I think part of the reason is that these 12 days - the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany - are my favorite part of the whole holiday season. I love the decorations still being up, the cookies filling the tins, and the quiet calm that comes after the gifts have been bought or made and given at last, the parties have come and gone and all the planning is done. There is a sweet stillness that comes to our home during this time, and I love it more and more each year.
To have a daily theme to go along with this special time is just an added bonus really, icing on the sugar cookie.

This year I did not get to make any of the 12 Day themed crafts or decorations that have been ruminating inside me since last Christmas, but sometimes with creativity that is how it is - an idea has to build and wane several times over before you can really give birth to it - so I am not discouraged, instead I am even more excited and inspired than ever, and partially because of some of the adorable items already out in the marketplace and that I have marked in my "idea" folder.

So, I thought that I would share them with you too - in case you weren't quite through celebrating either, and would like to enjoy some festive eye candy with me.
Here are the best of the 12 Days of Christmas Items that I could find :


Tags from One Bright Spot on Etsy



Book from Rust is Vogue on Etsy



And the Pièce de résistance: 12 Days Dinnerware available at Rosanna, Inc.
I would love, love to have the 12 piece appetizer set and then maybe 12 dinner plates as just added bonus. I think all the plates are amazing and are the perfect marriage of color, style, shape, content and whimsy.

Just looking at all of this I can hardly wait till next year to get started on my own 12 Days ideas... I may just have to start on them now...or at least start writing them down and sketching! Heaven knows I will probably forget between now and then if I don't!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Crafty Christmas

This Christmas I had intended on being a little more crafty. I had grand hopes of making softies for everyone out of gloves and socks. I was going to make my mother and sisters cute little sock dolls that looked like them, and had little stories to accompany them... But alas that did not happen. I read the book, I made notes and then... well and then life happened. And ice happened, and sick kids happened, and it was just not meant to be. So instead I stuck to what I know best - paper. Here are few pictures of the one crafty thing I did manage to pull together for several family members and friends: A Quotable Candle/Matchbox Set...
Everyone got a different color set, best matching their home or decor or personalities, but everyone got the same 2 quotes - one for the candle, one for the box of matches.
I also used vintage buttons as accents on the candles...


And tore the edges of the quotes and some of the papers on the candles for a unique look.


All in all I was please with how each pair came out, especially considering how fast it all came together.
I think I am going to make some kits for these to go in my Lollishop for Valentines Day and Birthdays. Now that Christmas is over I need to get over there and get something fresh happening...
But not quite yet. I am still reveling in the post-Christmas calm that descends around my house after the big day. ..



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas dear friends.
May your days be merry and bright, and may your heart be filled with light!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Here are a few pics from my room... Our room is a work in progress, with so many projects undone or waiting in the wings.


Still I did manage to finally get a few sweet decorations up on Sunday night while watching This Christmas and A Christmas Carol.


Our room at Christmas has by far my most pink and airy decor in the whole house, but then all that pink and white is also the most restful color scheme, which is why it is perfect for my room.

I love nothing more than going to sleep by the glow of my fairy tree.

There is still much making and baking to be done, and 2 more gatherings to host, but work and decorating and most of the cleaning are all done, and all there is left to do is be with people I love, make and bake yummy treats I love to make and bake, and enjoy this holiday fully...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blog Buddies are the Best

Just in case you haven't heard I would like to introduce you to my newest blog buddy, and fairly new kid to the Blog Block...
Eddie Ross!

(here with my other TD fav Andrea)

Eddie (of Top Design and Martha Stewart fame) has only been blogging for a few months, but he hit the ground running with some fab craft projects, design tips and lots of flea marketing adventures! Over in his interview at All the Best he names "tag sales, flea markets and thrift stores" as his favorite places to shop, which should be a hint as to why I find him and his blog so much fun!

Since visiting Eddie's blog I have found him to be an incredibly sweet and lovely blog bud and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next - on his blog and through his new business with partner Jaithan Kochar...

For now here are some of my favorite pics & projects from his blog I thought I'd share...



So cute huh?
So over the holiday break, after the gifts have been unwrapped and all the goodies eaten, put your feet up and drop in on Eddie for some blog fun to kick off your new year!

Till then however I am off for some making and baking...the fun has only just begun, no resting yet!!

(All photo's © 2008 Eddie Ross
All Rights Reserved)

To Market To Market

Here are some pictures from the last hurrah of the Christmas selling season...



On Wednesday night I set up my little table for a Holiday Market that accompanies a Women's Christmas Banquet at a Fellowship North. The event had been rescheduled twice due to nasty ice storms, but it finally came together and boy was I glad!


I began joking that I was going to have to host a sale in my living room in order to get rid of some of these lovely goodies before Christmas...



I tried to focus a little more on stocking stuffers and gift wrapping then on holiday decor, figuring that this close to Christmas most people were done decorating or at least buying it.


The planning paid off and I had a good night - especially considering the economy, rescheduling and late date. My little bundles of tea-stained vintage (looking) candy canes were a hit, as were the little vintage (actual) match books.



These party pockets also sold well - great for putting gift cards, candy and small items in.

Perhaps my favorite new creation were my "Sweet Tweats."
These little glittered birds were a hit and I wish I had taken more pictures of them before the event... I will defiantly be adding them to my Birthday and Easter collections as well as Christmas!
But even more than having fun creating and selling for this event, was the chance to get to see so many friendly faces again! My time at FN was very sweet and special and even though I know I am right where I am supposed to be now, I still miss getting to visit with so many gals over there, and hug their necks. It was great to see and be seen, and to be tackled by Berit, who may win my Hugger of the Year Award!
Thanks for taking a little tour of my Market table with me. Tomorrow I am going to share some very FAB news from the Blog world so stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ice Day

Today we are iced in, and have lots of cookie making, crafting and laundry on the agenda.
The whole family is home and even though it is bleak and cold outside, it is warm and cozy in here with coffee perkin' and muffins bakin'.

Here are a few more pictures from around my house as I get Christmas up...


I am not one to go in for every stuffed Santa or snowman that I see, but I fell in love with this Polar Express Santa from Hallmark a few years ago. He is very very soft and I adore his suit.


This is a bottle brush wreath I found this year at Big Lots. I could not pass it up. I used some aqua satin ribbon and some burlap garland to hang it and the empty frame up. I do not know what the burlap garland is really called, but I buy it at Micheal's in the floral department. I love this stuff and have grand plans for many more uses for it.


Part of my china hutch. This is where I display 90% of my vintage treasures. It is sort of out of the way from the kids main path of activity and rowdiness and I love putting everything on display with white twinkle lights lining every shelf.


The coffee bar, also in the dinning room. Most days I just use my fab one cup coffee maker, so that is what stays on the kitchen counter, but I needed a spot for the full size maker for when we have people over for parties, dinner or just because. This little chest in the dining room became the perfect place and now serves as our coffee bar. I try to keep the little apothecary jars filled with fun seasonal treats. Right now we have marshmallows and candy canes filing them.
The book pages wreath I made last year, and I added the small bottle brush wreath to the center of it this year.

Part of the dining room in soft glow. Playing with Picnik has been so much fun, and sometimes with you use the "soften" feature on a photo you realize why aging stars might prefer being shown in soft focus. It gives such a glowing effect that you almost forget the small imperfections, like the trashcan in the back of this photo.

OK, I better to get going if I am going to make the most of this "free day."

Cheers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Merry Giveaway


One of my recent experiments is to become an Artella Affiliate. It is a free program and a cool way to earn a little extra pocket change while promoting a very cool artsy web site. One of the neat things about joining is that not only do you get a bunch of free eBooks, but you get to pass them on to your pals for free as well...

Here is one that I thought might be timely for those of you still doing some last minute holiday crafting:
Download a FREE copy of the Artella eBook, Stunning and Simple Seasonal Salutations, an eBook featuring 10 beautiful handmade cards, complete with photos and descriptive "how-to" instructions, showcasing a variety of techniques such as rubber stamping, collage, and innovative paper and mixed media arts.Download your copy here!

Want more info on how you can become an affiliate to?
Click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the link to apply!

Merry Crafting!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Mantle

It is finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas around my house...


The mantle is done


and the stockings are hung...


and we all BELIEVE.

The newest addition to the mantle this year is my ribbon chain garland. I am absolutely in love with it and I plan on saving all my scraps this next year to make lots more for every doorway and for the tree...


Because I am not an everyday seamstress my technique leaves something to be desired I know, but it felt so good to sit on the couch with my little sewing box beside me and sew these little bits of ribbon together, ring after ring. Simple and lovely. Just as Christmas should be.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sweetly Singing







These are pictures from St. Marys Cathedral in Memphis where I spent most of last Friday and Saturday. If you have the chance you should read about this church and it's history - it is fascinating and amazing.
While we were in Memphis we had to sneak in some shopping and I grabbed this new Christmas album by Sara Groves. It has been my constant soundtrack ever since, running through my head and my heart as I go about my day, and playing all through my house as I decorate for Christmas. It will also live on forever I am sure as my memories soundtrack to this past weekend, which is perfect because I don't know that I could put into words all that my mind and heart took in and felt over those 2 days, but for as long as I live I will be able to remember it every time I hear Sara's version of Angels We Have Heard On High.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Joy

My heart is full even though my body is tired.

My little boy had a stomach bug last night and spent every half hour throwing up.

Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.

But today he is better and his sweet Daddoe is taking good care of him so that I can go away for the weekend and join in a conference that I have been anxiously awaiting.

I think my friend Kim summed up most of my feelings about it in her recent post found here.

But the absolute rich delicious icing on this little cupcake is that I get to go with one of my very bestest friends in the universe Amy.

We are getting away from it all and I shall not take a stitch of glitter or work with me.

I am going to absorb and pray and listen and discuss and sit and be.
I can think of no better way to enter a week of Joy.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Brush With Martha

Yes, that Martha.


Did I ever tell you that Martha called?

Well she did.
Well, technically an associate producer did.

And it was an email, not a phone call.
But still.
I had sort of forgotten (as much as one can forget about this sort of thing) about all this until I was unpacking some of my Christmas decorations last night and I came across the items I had sent Martha Stewart (via her producer) last year.



So here is how it all went:
Last November I got an email through Etsy from a member of Martha's production staff asking for me to submit one of my Merry Christmas in Whimsy Banners (and anything else I wanted) to their show for consideration.


When I got the email I first seriously wondered if it was a fake. So I googled the producer and the contact info she gave me and determined, that she was in fact the real deal. This was no scam. That is when my stomach did flips and my heart just about beat out of my chest and I called my husband and my mom as proud as I could be. Martha had called me.

After I got over the shock I got to work.

These are the photo's of the pieces I sent.



I took my inspiration for this little collection from the movie "White Christmas".






The colors, the jingle bells, the vintage sheet music... It all came from that movie.




Remember the red dresses the two girls wear at the end? That is what this red paper reminded me of.

I was pretty proud of my little collection (banner, crown, tussie mussie,) I must say.

One of the other things the show asked for was a list of all the tools I used and to write instructions for each of my items.

To help do this I took pictures of all the various supplies & tools that I had used.






I divided my items up into groups - Embellishments, Glues and Cutting, took the pictures and and printed them out on cardstock with a typed detailed list of what I had used.

When I was all done I packed everything up carefully - wrapped each item in brown tissue paper and nestled it all down in brown shredded paper and sent it on it's way to NYC.

Fingers and toes crossed.

Well, I am sure you can guess what happened, because you are only now hearing about all this.

Yes, I was rejected by Martha. Or her staff. I guess I will never know how far my little goodies made it up the production chain. But I would like to sort of think that is was Martha herself.

What I do know is about 2 weeks later I got a very nice email that basically said "Thanks, your items are cute and if we ever need you we will call. We have your info on file." And then my little package came back.

I guess as far as rejections go this was a nice one.

And after all how many people can say they were rejected by THE Martha?

Whenever times get hard around here, or I am having a bad day, I have to admit that it has become a sweet little comfort that my family gives me, when they say "yes dear, but you are on file with Martha."




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