Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Toy

I spent the day yesterday playing around with the new camera my DH gave me for Christmas. (Remember my old camera was prone to taking blurred close-up shots.) Lots of new settings to learn about and play with. Above is our grand-dog, Shooter who was visiting for the day. And below is our cat, Midnight who isn't exactly thrilled to have Shooter invading his space.

Friday, December 28, 2007

WInter Storm Warning

Our white Christmas was a little delayed here in our area. Today we woke up to falling snow and it has continued to snow all day. The tree branches are heavy with the wet snow. . .perfect for snowball fights and building snowmen. I ventured out to the bank and grocery store and although it looks pretty, driving in this weather is a quite challenge.
After finally making it back home, I decided to stay there and catch up on some reading. I've been anxious to read this issue of Somerset Studios because so many of my favorite artists featured like Sally Jean, Pam Garrison, Lori Oles, Corey Moortgat, Melissa McCobb Hubbell, Leslie Riley, Anahata, Roben-Marie Smith, and Tricia Scott. So I made myself a cup of hot cocoa and curl up by the lighted Christmas tree for a moment of relaxation and inspiration. Hope you can find time to do the same now that the hustle-bustle of Christmas is over.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

May you and your family enjoy a glorious Christmas!

On The Twelfth Day of Christmas

This is the final day of our 12 Days to Christmas Swap and though I will miss the fun routine of opening a present each day, I have so many exquisite gifts to treasure for years to come from a group of the most talented ladies around. Each person gave of their time and creativity to create such a wonderful memory.

Today's gift is from Kari, otherwise known in blogland as Artsymama. The paper she used to wrap her gift looks vintage to me. And inside that pretty wrapping was more vintage goodness. This lovely wallhanging is made from what appears to be a page from a vintage photo album. The color is the most heavenly shade of blue and it coordinates quite nicely with the brown tones of the vintage photo and the snowflake, button and ribbon accents Kari used. It really is gorgeous! Thank you Kari! And thank you again to the rest of the 12 Days gals ~ Cerri, Holly, Karin, Tia, Marilyn, Martha, Donna, Shosh, Tammy and last but not least Heather, who arranged this entire fun event! BIG HUGS and Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!

Monday, December 24, 2007

On The Tenth & Eleventh Day of Christmas

Sorry I didn't get around to posting yesterday, but I had something disturbing happen to me Saturday night while out having dinner with friends. My wallet was stolen out of my purse at a crowded popular restaurant. I found out it was missing when I got home and there were already two calls on my answering machine about suspicious charges on my credit cards. Anyway, someone had a fun little shopping spree at my expense with charges and debit card purchases totaling over $7000, with attempts to charge another $6200, which were fortunately denied. So I have spent the past day and a half on the phone with credit card companies, credit bureaus, the police, and bank trying to get all of this reported. All while I am trying to get things together around here to have family get-togethers at our house both tonight and tomorrow night. I figure if I can survive this mess, then I can survive anything.

The bright spot to all of this cruddy stuff is my 12 Days of Christmas Swap gifts. They have really kept me focused on the good part of Christmas as opposed to the ugly part. So without further adieu, I bring you Day 10's present:

Isn't the packaging lovely? This is from Marilyn over at Outside the Lines. She used a page from a vintage (German?) book to wrap her little box. I was ever so careful when opening it hoping I would not tear the paper so I could reuse it. And these beautiful handmade earrings were inside! I knew that Marilyn was having fun making earrings for her etsy shop, so what better gift for her to give us! They are very pretty ~ but of course everything Marilyn creates is pretty. Thank you Marilyn!

Day Eleven brings us a gift from Martha of Destination Unknown. And again, the packaging is a creation all its own! She made this beautiful fabric pouch to hold her gift.
And can you guess what's inside?
A bookmark perhaps?
No, it is a fabric wrist cuff! Please excuse the model's hand though. I am posing at a weird angle for some reason. I guess any hopes for moonlighting as one of those hand models is out of the question! But isn't Martha's workmanship beautiful? It's so lovely and the colors are great for me too. Thanks Martha!Well, I've got to get going on some last minute preparations now. I'm sure everyone is way too busy to read all of this anyway! Have fun tonight!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

On The Ninth Day Of Christmas

It's my turn today to give my gifts. I hope everyone likes them. I am always so indecisive about these kind of things and of course this time was no different.
I made this shadowbox ornament using vintage ledger paper as the background and then covered it with glitter, tiny glass beads and a few pearls. Then I attached a reproduction of a vintage postcard on top. I covered the shadowbox with a sheet of acrylic (can't see it in this photo) and then trimmed the whole thing with tinsely garland.
This was my first idea for the swap. I made small soldered charm/ornaments of everyone's blog or etsy shop banners and added an initial charm too.
On the back of the charm I used Heather's blog banner image from the 12 Days to Christmas blog to commemorate our fun little swap. I couldn't decide which gift I liked best, so I sent them both!

Friday, December 21, 2007

On The Eighth Day Of Christmas

We are already on Day 8 and I am starting to get a little sad that this fun swap will soon be over. But when I think of all the wonderful gifts I have received from all these talented ladies, it is hard to stay sad for very long. Today's gift is from our swap organizer Heather of Bluhm Studios.
Look what Heather made each of us. . .A fabulous collaged apron! What a fun idea this is! I'm loving the colors and the workmanship. What a labor of love. I was going to model myself wearing it in the kitchen, but no one was up yet to take my picture when I opened it.
Here's a close up of the detail. I told Heather I think I want to try making some of these for gifts for friends and family next year. I'd better start on them right after the first of the year though if I want to finish by Christmas. Thank you Heather!

Well, I'm off to pick up a few last minute presents ~ there is always some thing that I forget to buy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On THe Seventh Day of Christmas

It's day 7 and that means there are only 5 days left until Christmas. . .YIKES! I am totally not ready yet. Still have tons to do around here. Every year I say I will be more organized and every year I end up further behind! What's up with that?

Well, today I got to open this lovely present which is from Donna of Under The Red Roof . I love the paper she used (probably because I used the same paper to wrap my day 9 gift in).
And just lookie what I found inside! Isn't it pretty? Isn't it sparkley? Isn't it joyous? I love the colors as they are perfect for my studio. Donna used her special "all time favorite" vintage wallpaper for this piece. I know how hard that is to part with. I can see why it is her favorite too ~ it's gorgeous!And this is the back of her plaque. It's just as pretty as the front! Thank you so much Donna!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On The Sixth Day of Christmas

Now who do you suppose this pink box of goodness is from? Well, it's from none other than Cerri of Little Pink Studio. She nestled her gift inside this bright pink bakery box with a sparkley initial "J" for me!
Can you believe it? It's my very own princess bird that Cerri is famous for making! I really couldn't believe my eyes when I opened the box and discovered this sweet little miss. I have admired these princess birds for practically forever and now I have one sitting in my house to enjoy admire up close!
And she's every bit as glorious as I imagined she would be. The colors are so beautiful and Cerri tells me that everything is vintage, so that just adds to how special she is. Thank you Cerri! :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On The FIfth Day Of Christmas

Today's gift is from the talented Tammy of Tammy Gilley Studios. I love that tag and the neat leaf vine that she tied the ends of the package with. Where does everyone find this cool stuff?
Inside the pink wrapping was this darling vessel of magic! Isn't it wonderful? The little tinsel wire inside is shaped like a spring, so when you shake the tube, it goes up and down along with all the sparkley goodies inside.
Here's a close up of it. As I told Tammy, who couldn't use a little magic in their day, right? Love it! Thanks Tammy!

Monday, December 17, 2007

On The Fourth Day of Christmas. . .

This little pretty is from Holly of Holly Doodle Designs. Inside the plastic envelope was this fabulous vintage wallpaper ~ big sheets of it too! Woo-hoo!!!
After going ga-ga over the wallpaper, I unwrapped this little scrumptious wall hanging! Oh the colors are just perfect for my house, but I am going to hang it in my studio. . .I think. Love the vintage flowers and wallpaper, and you can't tell in this photo but the outside border sparkles!
The inner rectangle is made so you can insert a picture (or a vintage postcard as pictured below) into the seam binding corners. Isn't that clever? Oh Holly, you are so smart. . .and creative!! Hugs to you Holly! I love it!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

On The Third Day of Christmas. . .

It's day number three...sorry this is so late, but my internet provider was giving me grief all day long. Today's gift is from Shosh. Just look at her fabulous wrapping! The card stock is flocked and I hear that it made a terrible mess in her kitchen, but it really turned out sharp looking. This picture really doesn't do it justice.
And this is what was inside. . . It is a teeny-tiny spoon backed with vintage paper and a German glass acorn all embedded in resin. Again it is difficult to see the detail of the acorn in this photo, but take it from me, it is quite amazing. Most of us have hung it on our tree, but I thought it would make a darling pendant after the holidays are over. Thanks Shosh!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On The Second Day of Christmas. . .

It's day two here and I awoke to more snow. Hmmm, I didn't even know that snow was predicted. But being that this is the midwest, snow is to be expected at this time of the year. But what a perfect setting to open my 2nd Day of Christmas gift from Karin of Creative Chaos. Earlier this week I received a package of darling gift tags which I had won in a giveaway on Karin's blog, so I am very anxious to see what sort of lovely is inside of this package.
And yes, indeed it truly IS a lovely. . .Oh Karin, this is a beautiful journal. The vintage wallpaper and glittered initial and the rose. . .I am speechless! I adore journals and this is the prettiest one I have seen!
Thank you so much Karin. . .I love it!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Time ~ Day One

It's time! It's time! Time to start opening my 12 Days to Christmas gifts. I woke up late with a head full of congestion, but at least I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep. I can breathe for the moment so I tore open the shipping box and scattered all the gifts on the floor.
Today's gift (gift number 1) is from Tia over at Miz Smoochie Lips . Her packaging is so clever - don't you love that vintage sheep music?
Ta-Da! Here it is! Isn't it the cutest little thing? Love the sparkley bird and those tiny jingle bells hanging from the wire. The birdie is nesting on a darling little glittered baby shoe (or perhaps it's a St. Nick shoe) and I placed the whole thing on top of a little nest I have. Don't you just love it? Thanks Tia!!! And thanks again to Heather for organizing this swap. These next few days are going to be so much fun!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tomorrow Is The Day!

Some Flickr Favorites. Click here for a list of sources.

Many thanks to Karla for arranging the "What I Love About My Holiday Home" party yesterday. If you missed it, you can see my post here and links to all the other party-goers on Karla's post here. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom half of her post for the links. And you might want to grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate because she has ALOT of links.

Tomorrow is the day! For what you may be asking? For opening the first present in the 12 Days of Christmas gift exchange.

Sweet Heather organized this fun little game and we all have been having a ball creating our presents and sending email updates about our progress. The anticipation is at the MAX ~ well except for those who may have already opened their gifts (tsk-tsk) to sneak a peek and rewrapped them so they can act surprised. Mine are still sitting in the original box they were shipped in, in order to avoid the temptation to rip them all open! (I think I hear them calling out to me saying, "open me!") So, starting tomorrow and for the next 12 days right up to Christmas, we will all be posting photos of our gifties on our blogs. I can't wait to see what all these talented artists have created.

I am hoping that by tomorrow I will feel a little better so I can fully enjoy the festivities. This YUK that I contracted is bothersome. Icky stuff still coming out of my nose and an annoying cough is dragging me down. I feel like I am doing everything in s-l-o-w motion. No wonder not much is getting accomplished!!! I hope this isn't the same bug like the one I had last year when it took 3 rounds of antibiotics to purge it from my system. UGH!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"What Do You Love About Your Holiday Home" Party

Today's the day that Karla of Karla's Cottage is hosting a virtual party on her blog. Yay! I love a party, don't you? The theme of the party is, What Do You Love About Your Holiday Home. Karla will have links to everyone's home pictures listed on her blog here. So pour yourself some eggnog and enjoy the tour of my home.

I would have to say the things I like best about my home during the holidays are the wonderful scents of vanilla, cinnamon, and evergreen that fill the air. Cookies baking in the oven and spiced wines simmering on the stove also add to the Christmas mood. Then there are the lights - be it candlelight or tiny white lights - I have them all throughout the house and they give everything such a warm glow.

Unwrapping all the ornaments that have been packed away and only show their faces around the house once a year is another favorite part of Christmas. We decorate several trees throughout our home. After being married for so long, one tends to accumulate quite a few ornaments. This is the main tree in the livingroom and it is filled with nothing but snowman and snowflake ornaments. Sorry that these close-up pics aren't the sharpest. The bright white lights and the lousy zoom on my camera are too blame. But I think you can get the idea.
Yet another section of the tree.

The ornament below is one of my favorites because my daughter made it in school when she was little. I even have some ornaments that I made when I was young. Love those!

This is my grey flannel snowman that I keep on the diningroom table well into January. That is what I like about collecting snowmen ~ you can keep them out to enjoy a little longer than other Christmas decorations.
In the kitchen I have a white feather tree which holds all my gingerbread ornaments. I probably could use a bigger tree here, but my kitchen is quite tiny so this one will have to do.
Another gingerbread vinette on top of the refrigerator.
This tree sits in my front hall and is the larger version of the kitchen tree. I keep this tree up through Easter and change the ornaments from Christmas, to Valentine Hearts, to tiny Easter Baskets filled with jelly beans. Right now it is decorated with pale sage green and white ornments that I have collected over the years.
Here is a closer look at some of the ornaments.
I do so love this vintage old santa. He used to sit in my potting shed, but we haven't decorated that space in the past few years because there isn't any heat out there. Besides I barely have enough time to decorate inside the house before it's time to take it all down again. I love the white altered book and made by a friend.
This last pic is not of my home. It is from my friend's home. I just love this sweet electrified angel of hers. My friend said she got it as a gift so doesn't know it's source. Has anyone ever seen these anywhere? Let me know if you know where I can get one. Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my Holiday House. These are only some of the favorite decorations that fill up our home. But the ornaments and decorations take a back seat to the feeling of love and family that warm our home at Christmastime. Now I'm off to attend some of the other incredible parties that are taking place today.
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