Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell 2011...Hello 2012...

 As I bid farewell to 2011 I am reminded of all that transpired this past year.  All in all it was a pretty good year for me.  I am grateful for my husband who supports me in all my endeavors even when I don't follow through like I thought I would do.  I am grateful for my daughter and granddaughters who always keep me on my toes as a mother and grandmother...a lifelong challenge I wouldn't trade.  I am thankful for discovering this blogging medium that I embrace and the wonderful friends I have made and for all they share so generously of their talents and handmade treasures.  Life is good and I am blessed.  Even the trials of this past year have been weathered.  Getting sick on vacation and for the holidays is not fun but I will get well.  Saying goodbye to my beloved Sasha BooBoo kitty after 18 years was the hardest and worst experience and I still miss her every moment, however I know she is in a better place and not suffering.
So in my reflecting over this past year and preparing for the new year to come in a few short hours I was thinking of how I will grow and experience all that is possible.  In 2010 I chose to have a word that helped me be a better person..."FOCUS". I still use that as a learning tool and it has definitely made me aware of so much more each day.  In 2011 I chose the word..."NOW".  As in don't put off til it now.  I can honestly say that this has really been extremely helpful to me this year.  Such a little word but so powerful!
Now as I enter into 2012 I wanted to select a word that would once again mean more to me and help me be that much better everyday.  Hmmm...
 Calm is one of the words I pondered.  I could really benefit from learning to remain calm in situations I cannot change.  Somehow this little word just wasn't what I was really looking for to guide me through an entire year. 
 Magic is a favorite word of mine.  I believe in all things (including Santa and such) and feel that if one has a touch of magic in their lives then they live with a sparkle of happiness over and above the normal.  After all I am a Disneyland child.
And then my word appeared...PLAY.  I am always so responsible and cautious and afraid of everything and mothering everyone to take care of them.  I need to give myself permission to PLAY.  When I looked in my dictionary...yes I still have a print dictionary that I refer to many new word has quite the coverage in the pages of words.  Well!  I like this word and feel it will serve me well through 2012.   
Do you still have a printed actual dictionary in your home?  I was thrilled for my 13th birthday when I received my gift and opened it to find a real Webster's dictionary.  I would read it for hours on end at night when I should have been sleeping.  You see my mother would play Scrabble with me and my sisters and of course she would always win...we were only 8-13 years old after all.  So you can see why I was so happy to get my own dictionary and study it to learn words I could PLAY on that Scrabble board. 
Hmmm...FOCUS - NOW - PLAY.  Sounds like a reward after two years of learning to improve myself.  Hello 2012 and all that you offer for me to experience and learn and achieve.
On a global note...I wish for world peace...why can't people just get along and be happy!  Oops...sounds like my Disneyland fairy tale world I love.
Healthy and Happy and Blissful and Creative New Year to each and everyone...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Year Ending Memories...

This is the week between Christmas and New Years and it has always been the week that brings these childhood memories back to my mind.  I have no vintage photos for this post however I am showing current time photos.  My laundry room as it looks right now, including me in the mirror taking this photo.  Lots of clothes to wash and then iron and fold and put away or hang in the closet.  Please note my new little rug that my girlfriend gave me for Christmas because it is so perfect for this room and it mimics my little hanging clothesline Mr. C put up.
 For the memories, my Grandma would never begin a new year with any laundry or ironing piled up.  So, every year before New Year's I make very certain that I have all of our clothes clean and ironed.  This little bottle stopper is actually from my mother who used it on a Coca Cola bottle to sprinkle the wrinkled clothes that she then would roll and place in the freezer to iron later.  When she did her ironing I remember her sitting on a chair in the closet door opening and ironing all the clothes on a mangle iron that sat in the closet.  I have never used one but I think it would be great for linens and flat things.  Fortunately I have always liked to iron.  Thank you Mom and Grandma for that. 
Looks like my supplies are all here and ready for my marathon week of laundry and ironing before New Years.  Midnight comes very quickly some years and I am still frantically ironing.  This year I hope to be finished and relaxing when midnight strikes bringing in 2012. 
Thank you Donna for hosting Memory Lane Mondays (which can last all week since I am late).
I am very thankful for this childhood memory.  I can only imagine how much would pile up and never get done if I didn't follow tradition and complete my laundry before the new year.
Gentle week to all...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dear Santa...

 Please define "good".  All year long good is what I thought I was being...doing...achieving...hmmm...
I have checked my lists, mailed my cards and worked ahead so Mr. C and I could take one week before Christmas as a well earned vacation.  Go someplace we had never gone.  Some place warm...
 Here we are.  Warm, tropical and a place to relax and let the year's pressures and exhaustion fade away.  A place to renew our spirits and strength...
 Lush tropical destination.  Oh yes!  Here we are in Maui.  We arrived in a rain storm with wind that never let up the entire week.  The rain did give way to sunshine.  Everyone said just take shorts and flip-flops.  Glad I packed for the North Pole as I was cold at all times.  Please turn off the wind machine. 
 Day two of our eight day tropical paradise vacation.  We had been told we would find our very own "special" place together.  Little did I dream it would be the Maui Urgent Care center.  Mr. C getting a breathing treatment.  He doesn't have Asthma but he does get Asthmatic Bronchitis and it is miserable.  We have been through this many times over our years together. 
Now we visit the local pharmacy to retrieve three prescriptions for Mr. C.  Did I mention it is the week before Christmas?  Even the pharmacy is in the spirit.  We certainly helped the local economy with our visits. 
One day later here I am on vacation in Maui.  I would end up at Urgent Care two more times for me.  Also visited the local pharmacy twice more for a total of 9 prescriptions.  Upper respiratory with ear and sinus infections.  Bronchitis that racks the body and leaves you gasping for a breath...any breath so you can continue to cough.  This is how my week in Maui continued.  Flying home was long and painful.  The doctor said, "No swimming"...good as I don't do water.  He also said, "No wind"...bad as it was some freak weather storm all week long with miserable wind everywhere.  Going outside was not good for me.  But to go to Maui and stay in bed was not the vacation I had envisioned!
We arrived in Maui with rain and then from our balcony we saw this rainbow which was beautiful.  I did enjoy watching the world pass along.  I did see at least a partial rainbow every afternoon. 
So Santa...please define, "good".   I need to do a better job beginning NOW! 
Who would have thought chocolate brown would look so elegant on a Christmas tree.  In person this was stunning.  Just green, gold and chocolate brown.  Delicious!  Merry Maui Christmas!!!
Mr. C and I are home.  We are both recuperating.  We are opening our mail and enjoying cards and letters from so many friends and family.  May you each have a wonderful holiday weekend...
Presents to wrap...friends to get together with...daily chores...oh yeah!  I am thankful to be on the road to recovery. 
Please take time to sip some tea, enjoy what you are doing and most of all stay healthy...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dashing December...

December is certainly dashing along...thankfully not in the snow.  This month has been very disconnected for me as Mr. C has been out of town helping a friend.  The last two weeks I was with him and staying in strange hotels, on the road and eating all the wrong foods in restaurants.  The very first week his computer battery charger died and that was bad as he needed it for the daytime and I was going to use it for the evenings to stay in touch with my blogging friends.  I am here to contest to the fact that Murphy's law has not been repealed!
Fortunately while sitting in my hotel room day after day after day I was able to prepare my Christmas cards and get them mailed.  Luckily I had begun in August and made my little gifties I was mailing.  The top photo is of some fabric I purchased and knew exactly what I would make with it.  Postcards.  I did add some red glitter bling before mailing them. 
This is one way that I like to send a gift.  Attached to a card and then wrapped in tissue for mailing.  I can show these now because I know the recipient received them and really likes the pink hearts. 
 I made a couple more Origami bags out of this fun girly fabric that jumped into my cart one day at the store. 
 I lined one with this fun zebra fabric.
The other one with the cheetah fabric.  Both turned out pretty with the red ribbon and button accents.  Filled with some little items and some moolah my granddaughters each liked them.  They are young adults but still girly after all.
I was feeling very disconnected while gone because I never seemed to accomplish anything...especially creative.  Even shopping can fill a void for only so long.  And believe me the shopping where I was...well let me just be polite and say it lacked a lot! 
No settling in by the fire for me.  Mr. C has come down with a bug and he is trying to share it with me.  There were tons of people sick everywhere we went and I really tried to stay on top of the sleep and pre-meds. 
I am doing my best to stay current with each of you and the beautiful things you are making and decorating your homes with.  I have lots of mail to get through and I feel so fortunate because I can see some really interesting envelopes addressed to me. 
Thank you to each and every one for your patience with me this December.  I can positively say that January 2012 will be a very good beginning to a wonderful new year. 
Jingle Bell Hugs to each and every fabulous friend in blogland...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


No internet...missing everyone! DRAT!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Friends Are Blessings...

 Some people are true angels here on earth.  After my beloved Sasha BooBoo kitty had to go to heaven the loviest lady got busy and made me some wonderful gifts that I shall treasure forever.  These gifts came all the way from AUSTRALIA from Judy of Fabrications blog. 
This adorable wall hanging is a kitty angel.  This is bringing me Joy Joy Joy. 
 Judy even backed it with kitty fabric.  And do you see the wire hanger shaped like a kitty head.  So very clever.
 Included is a wonderful fabric tray.  I can honestly say I am so making these for some upcoming gifts.
Do you see the cat card, cat charms, angel and heart buttons, bookmark, cat note pad, tiny cupcake tote and beautiful beaded flower?  Miss Judy was so very generous.  I am truly touched. 
 And included are some articles, patterns and a scone recipe.  Plus a birthday card. 
Judy is such a dear and she really helped me deal with my huge loss and sadness.  Thank you my dear friend.  You are a blessing indeed. 
Thank you to all my commenting followers.  You did a great job sharing your stories of shopping...or NOT!  I do enjoy each of your comments and always look forward to reading them. 
Nothing creative from me as I am spending my time handwriting my Christmas cards and hand addressing each and every one of them.  In this day of technology I just really enjoy the time and effort I spend on each holiday card I mail.  Do you still hand address your cards or letters?
Jingle Bell Joys...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Finding Nemo Silhouette...

 I am linking with Memory Lane Monday hosted by Donna of Brynwood Needleworks.  A few days ago Donna did a post regarding her husband's silhouette and how she was able to display it. 
I was remembering I had my silhouette done when I was a young girl and I should get it out to view.
As you can see, I found it.  Mine however is in terrible condition.  My mother's home burned down years ago and therefore it has lots of smoke and water damage.  I feel extremely fortunate to even have it after all those years. 
I remember when it was done.  Our family was at a state fair and one of the vendors was hand cutting silhouettes.  I don't have any idea how much it cost but I know my mother got one of each of three of us sisters. 
I was probably about nine or ten here as that is how my hair was at that age.  This photo is blurry but you can still see the incredible detail that exists in this silhouette.  I was so entranced with the man and his little scissors that I could hardly sit still for him.  I wanted to watch him cut that black paper.  When he was all done with the three of us girls I still wanted to watch him cut with his small scissors and his nimble hands.  So...
Just for me he took a very small piece of his special black paper and cut this tiny little bug.  To this day I am amazed at the details he achieved by just free-hand cutting with those ordinary looking small scissors.  I was over the moon when he generously gave me the little bug.  Ordinarily I would not want to be close to any bugs even if they are made of paper. 
Come to think of it...I have a passion for small scissors and cannot get enough pairs.  No...sadly I cannot cut paper into any silhouettes or bugs or anything else. 
It makes me happy to have my Silhouette by Nemo even in the sad condition it is in...frame and all.  You know that it is quite old as I am decades from nine or ten now. 
Thank you Donna for hosting Memory Lane Mondays.  I love reading stories that are shared from the heart. 
Happy Week of Productivity to all in this busy season.  Jingle Bell Joys...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Blogging Friends Mean So Much...

 Do you recognize this handsome fellow?  He is Taggart of Glencoe.  Corgi of Cuteness!  You can follow his antics Tuesdays with Tag.  I was very happy to retrieve my mail one day last week and find Tag had sent me his photo.  Now I can smile each and every time I see that adorable face.  Actually Tag didn't send me the package...his loving mum sent it to me.  Now I know you all follow this gifted lady...Donna of Brynwood Needleworks.  I am so happy to call her my friend here in Blogland. 
This lovely ATC is what Donna created and sent to me.  Thank you dear friend.  Donna makes the most elegant and graceful stitched things.  Her signature logo is acorns so every detail in this ATC has acorns.  The fabric she quilted so beautifully, the focal bubble with the acorn lad, ruched seam binding ending with a lovely silver acorn charm and the sentiment to Count Your Blessings.  This is such a beautiful work of art and I cherish it.  So much kindness and love all in the size of a playing card is truly amazing. I am so very grateful and I am counting my blessings to share Donna as my friend. 
Here in America we are full of or Thanksgiving feast yet I shall continue to be thankful for all that I am able to, friends and so much more.  
Are you a "Black Friday" shopper?  Do you wait in long lines for a special deal?  Are you a marathon shopper with a list of places and items?  Not me.  I prefer to shop when it is less crowded.  I also do my shopping and creating all year long for the gifts I give.  I like to put lots of thought and time into what I give and therefore enjoy it anytime of the year as I see and put together ideas for the people on my lists.  Yes, I do have those last minute things I must get but I still don't like crowds so I prefer to shop anytime (other than) to avoid "Black Friday".  "Shop til you drop" is not for me...
Lots of boutiques this weekend...I may try to attend some of my favorites. 
Stay warm and safe as you rush quickly into this busy hectic time of year...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Counting My Blessings...

This is the time of year that so many of us here in the US have much to be thankful for. 
We celebrate Thanksgiving with copious amounts of turkey, gravy, rolls, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry relishes, pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie and lots of whipped topping...just to name a few dishes. 
We spend time with family and friends around large tables and in front of televisions watching the Macy's Day Parade and yards of football.  Sometimes a nap is in order...too much food I'm sure.
This is a great time to reflect on all that we are thankful for.  My list is long and I am truly grateful for so much.  I will keep my thoughts to myself at this time and know that I am sincerely fortunate for so many things and people in my life. 
A very Happy Thanksgiving to all my US blogging friends...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Off to the Studio...

 Is this my studio?  Did I leave it in this condition?  I know I have been busy but who made this mess and where is my worktable surface?  Let me walk around to the other side...
 Well this is quite the crowded space.  Where ever shall I work?
Oh here is a small spot I can work in.  I need to wrap some gifts for mailing.  Wow...this table is over 4 feet by 8 feet large and here I am trying to work in about a 1 foot space.  Elves?  No, I see nothing accomplished by elves.  Well, let me work on another project that I might have enough space for...
Printing some business cards for an upcoming boutique sale.  I punched each card with a heart and tied some red ribbon so each card is uniquely mine and maybe the person taking it will remember me and need some gifts in the future. 
Maybe I should tackle the studio worktable and put things away and clear a larger space in which to work.  Hmmm...maybe later as I have much more pressing things on my list to work on and complete.  There is something about horizontal surfaces and me.  They never stay empty.  I always manage to fill them up and pile too much stuff on them.  Hmmm...maybe I will work on this in 2012.
Right now I am so thankful for having my spaces and being able to create gifts.  I am thankful for my family and I am thankful for each of blogging friends. 
Please take time to enjoy the moments and the joys of all we have during this busy season. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ATC Beauties Received...

 Do you enjoy ATCs?  I enjoy making them, giving them and receiving them.  Even better I love a little surprise Random Act of Kindness in my mail.  This lovely French themed card I recieved from the equally lovely and very talented Dorthe of Den Lille Lade.  The bits of lace and the wooden button really add such detail.  Thank you dear Dorthe.
These little gems came to me from Australia.  Judy of Judy's Fabrications is another lovely lady with lots of talents.  She created this adorable little fabric stocking ornament with beads sewn on.  I adore it and the card with the 3D candle and holly.  Thank you dear Judy.
 Look at this lovely pear.  This ATC is made with napkin applique and enhanced with some beautiful gold leafing which does not show up well in this photo.  Meet Daniella of Layers of Creativity.  I am certain we will be swapping ATCs on a regular basis as Daniella loves making these little works of art.
 This very Thanksgiving Autumn ATC is made by my friend Joy.  She does not have a blog...yet.  Joy is uber creative and has the most beautiful gardens surrounding her home.  I had sent her an ATC just because and that introduced her to this little bit of art and creativity.  Joy is now making beautiful ATCs and teaching her mother, Eva, to make them as well.  They are now looking to swap with others.  I am linking Joy to all the best people I know.  Under the little brown scalloped flap she has stamped swirls and written "Family and Friends" in the most fluid perfect cursive writing.  Thank you Joy...your little ATC brings me much "joy".
And here is Eva's (Joy's mother) gorgeous ATC that she also sent me last week.  I believe Eva fussy-cut the roses.  Remember years ago when we sat with tiny manicure scissors and fussy-cut tiny little scenes and then made framed 3 dimensional pictures?  I loved those.  That is when I learned to turn the paper not the scissors.  I am thrilled that our little creative world shares and allows us to spread all the happinesses that come from such wonderful talented artisans.  Thank you Eva for this little piece of art.  No link here as Eva has no blog, however she does want to swap ATCs with others.
I would be happy to pass along any swap info to Joy and Eva if you just let me know here in comments or via email. 
Blessings and peace as you enter this busy week of holiday preparations...Thanksgiving here in the US.
I am truly blessed and so grateful for the gift of blogging friends and gracious giving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gratitude and Peace...

Thank you for your wonderful heartfelt comments on the loss of my Sasha BooBoo kitty.  I am filled with gratitude for such caring and compassionate friends and family.  Mr. C is also comforted with the love of people who understand such a huge loss. 
 So today we are surrounding ourselves with peace and the little things.  Nature is amazing in all its wonder.  I have set out some of my favorite things from nature...moss, bark, rocks, twigs, sea glass.  Each gathered on a simple walk or from our property.  Moments of silence enjoyed with a smile. 
Here I set out some candles just to feel the cozy warmth of the flickering flame.
I am getting back to my daily routines...slowly.   My heart is still shattered and the void will not be filled.  Mr. C and I are closer than ever as we share in our traumotional state of being.
I am continuing to make my lists and check them twice.  I'll be in the studio today and hopefully make something with beads just because I can.   I will try to remember to take some photos to share with you as it may be a creative gift idea for this busy season.
Once again, thank you each for your loving comments and huge hugs of caring.  I am so very grateful. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Goodnight Sweet Sasha...

 It is with the heaviest of shattered hearts that Mr. C and I say Goodnight to our beloved fur-child Sasha BooBoo kitty.  After 18 years of being together there is a void larger than we ever expected to experience.
These beautiful flowers were sent from a very dear friend who understands loss.  Thank you Sandy.  We love you.
 I had time to say good-bye.  It is never easy or pleasant. 
 Mr. C spent lots of time bonding and absorbing her as well.  He coined a word to describe the state of being we are feeling..."Traumotional".  Yes, this is traumatic and very emotional.
Thank you dear Mr. C for all you have done for this little girl over the past 18 years.  She was very lucky to have you give her the very best home possible. 
 Her favorite little shelf in the island where she enjoyed her daily fresh shrimp...cut into tiny little pieces please.
Here she is sleeping peacefully on her winter heated blanket. 
I have no words and my tears are flowing.
I love this little girl with all my heart and soul. 
Goodnight Sweet Sasha.