Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell 2014...

As we bid farewell to 2014 Mr. C and I are also sorting through and shredding many years of tax records.  We had boxes back to 1991 for his company that we decided was time to eliminate from long term storage.  Many many hours of sorting and recycling and shredding our space feels lighter now.  You can only imagine in this world of "identity theft" threats we had to honestly read every piece of paper to be certain there was nothing easily found like social security numbers for us and former employees.  Our eyes were crossed as we plowed through box after box after box. Whew!
Now we can begin a brand new year fresh and clean.  It feels good.
2014 was an interesting year and we were able to fulfil our travel desires.  I still have yet to share parts of our amazing trip we took.  We were able to enjoy family and friends throughout the year too.
As 2015 quickly approaches I am looking forward to somehow slowing down the daily weekly monthly frantic pace and enjoying more of the daily journey we are on.  However, our calendar is already pretty full for each month and I am hoping to keep some blank spaces just for watching the clouds overhead or the leaves sprouting green on bare branches or ...well you know what I am saying. I truly hope each and every one of you wonderful blog friends have a safe and perfect celebration to ring in the New Year.  I am so grateful for all of you and this blog community we share that I know I will continue my blog and hope to share inspiration as well as Creative Bliss.  I will be reassessing what I wish to accomplish this 2015.  My annual word has not found me as of yet however I feel like one word might not be appropriate for me this new year.  I feel like my journey might require a compilation of my previous words in order for me to actually get on track with what makes me the most satisfied and happiest.  I shall be pondering this for another while.
Blessings with Peace and Joy and Love and Health for all of 2015...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter Card Collage...

Do you save your annual Christmas cards?  I do.  I always save mine in two assorted stacks.  The cards with wonderful winter scenes vs the other cards for crafting.  It is my dream to create a Winter Card Collage like this one in the photo.
My Dear Grandma created this many years ago.  I think it was in the 1970's by looking at the avocado green frame she used.  I have always loved this "picture".  I remember watching her cut and tear and piece the bits of cards together to create this Winter Wonderland scene.  I was entranced by how she could make it look dimensional with the aspect ratio of close and far.  How she could create a stream that flowed into a pond where skaters were enjoying fun was magical.  I keep this hanging in my studio all year right where I can see it and get inspiration from how creative Grandma truly was.  This just might be the year I sit down with those saved cards and create one for myself.  It would be fun to pass it along with Grandma's to my daughter in the future.
Our weather has been delightful.  Crisp and clear with no rain for a few days.  The ground is being able to really soak in all the moisture it has gotten recently.  Our pond is frozen over from the low 20's nighttime temperatures.
May you be enjoying these last few days of 2014.  Looking forward to a fresh beginning as 2015 arrives.  Creative Bliss will continue to be my compass.  Blessings to all and to all a good night...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Reviewing 2014 Notes...

This image is courtesy of Vintage Dragonfly whose blog is this link.  Thank you.
I am busy reviewing my notebook of this and that jotted down for various reasons throughout 2014.  I am finding so many bits of wisdom and would like to share a few.  I can only give credit to FaceBook with no name as I do not know who posted this...

"Its Impossible", said Pride.  
"Its Risky", said Experience.  
"Its Pointless", said Reason.  
"Give it a try", whispered the Heart.

Here is another bit of wisdom I noted in my little steno book...

Before you Assume, Judge the Facts.
Before you Judge, Understand Why.
Before you Hurt someone, Feel.
Before you Speak, Think.

This is the last tidbit I want to share today...

Wisdom is knowing the Right Path to take;
Integrity is taking it.

Simple little words of wisdom that I know I can do better to follow.
With 2015 approaching quickly I am truly thinking of how I want to spend my precious time every day.  Usually I choose one word to focus on for the year, however this year I am not hearing my inner voice tell me what my word might be.  Each word that comes to mind is one I have already chosen in prior years.  Hmmm...maybe I need to re-visit those and really believe I am doing my very best.  
Our weather is very chilly.  We had rain and hail but no snow Christmas Eve day.  Christmas day was sunny and very cold.  I stayed indoors except for a brisk walk down to the mail box.  
I am very grateful for each of you, my blog friends, that I have come to admire and be inspired by. Thank you very much and may we all finish out 2014 with Blessings and Creative Bliss...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blessed Joyful Celebrations...

As Christmas approaches I am truly savoring the magic of it all.  I adore this vintage image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.  Thank you Graphics Fairy for always sharing so generously.

This year Mr. C and I are not actively participating in Christmas decorations and events.  This photo is of last year at my daughter's home.  Mr. C was quite the trooper and he earned this year "off".  I am so thankful for being able to celebrate with my family.  This year I mailed and it is just not the same.

I was so happy to wear my Christmas apron sewn and gifted to me from my older sister.  Peeling potatoes for dinner is always something I enjoy.  My daughter at the stove behind me puts on an epic meal that leaves no one hungry.  She opens her home to family and friends and those that have no where else to be.  I am so proud of her!

Here the gang is getting ready to attack the meal.  Of course no one should be hungry for all the snacks and appetizers and treats available all day long.

This was surreal to spend Christmas morning in the sunshine filled desert before going to my daughter's also in Southern California where the sunshine continued.  This year we are home here in Northern California with very grey skies and lots of rain we desperately need.

Being the car "lover" that I am I think Santa would be styling in this awesome red sleigh.
I know this post is rather random.  I am trying my very best to celebrate this Christmas season with Joy.  May you and yours be gathering together to make memories and spend quality time celebrating all the magic that surrounds us all.  I thank each of you for sharing your beautiful decor and creations. I am very grateful for blogging and the link to friends and traditions across this great world we live in.  Today I ventured out to run some errands.  I was so thankful when I was able to return home unscathed from all the crowds and traffic.  What was I thinking?!!  Stay safe and well my friends.
Merry Christmas Blessings with Peace and Health and Joy for all of 2015...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas "Crush" Time...

Photo heavy post so I shall keep the words to a minimum...hopefully.  Short of time and needing more gifts I got out some of my favorite supplies...beads!

In a few hours I had made several pairs of earrings and some zipper clasps.  I love these sweet angels.

I needed to sew on my very old "cheapo" Singer which I use only for paper and crafty stuff.  What? It felt "Frozen" and wouldn't sew.  Mr. C the engineer to the rescue.  At first I panicked when he asked for a screwdriver and began "shredding" my machine.  I needed to sew a ribbon RIGHT THEN!!!

Very thourough is Mr. C and I just could not be in a rush.  

Still researching the problem and me searching for the manual.  Does this machine even have a manual?

Back together and sewing just fine.  Thank you very much Mr. C.  You have saved my day again!

 Meanwhile I hand stitched this piece of ribbon and I like it even better for my gift giving.

Here is a pair of Angel earrings on their presentation card ready for gifting.

Here is how I presented the gifts to my recipients.  Sweet, simple and unique...just the way I like!

This is a pair of "post" earrings and I am mailing these so to protect the posts I stuck little foam beads on the sharp metal.  Much safer for all now.

Ready for mailing and gifting.  I really like how my impromptu packaging turned out.  Scraps of ribbon and some needle and crochet thread.  You could also use some thin 1/8" ribbon.
Now as I review my year end I came across this little acronym that fits me perfectly...
S.A.B.L.E.  Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy.  I am sorry I cannot give credit as I have no idea where I saw it but scribbled it down in my notebook clear back in June 2013.  As Mr. C once again referred to me as a "hoarder" I merely told him I am surrounded by sable.  Sable sounds so much better to me!
Life is busy and even though I got my flu shot ths year I just spent two days having a nasty tummy bug. Thankfully it was only two days.
We are continuing to have rain every day and I am very thankful as we need it so desperately.  I would truly prefer some bright yellow sunshine to intersperse with all the rain however I shall merely turn on my Ott light and be happy.
Off to catch up and check off my many lists.  How are each of you doing this season?  I see you are busy decorating, baking, creating and even enjoying some wonderful holiday get-togethers.  May you truly be blessed with the Magic of Christmas...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Creating Christmas Chaos...

This is my room I like to call my studio.  I love this room which houses lots of my crafting supplies. Right now there is barely enough room to step around all the chaos.  I seem to have "stuff" all over every surface. I am busy creating lots of little Christmas gifties and I like to have supplies close at hand.  One minute I am cutting paper or fabric and another minute I am gluing or glittering.  This really makes me happy.

Here is one of two large containers I have which fit nicely under the storage shelves.  This one holds some bits of Christmas wrapping, bags, ribbons, bows and tags.  This year I am promising myself that it is time to use the "good stuff". I am also resigned to sorting through all that is jammed in so tight the lid barely fits.  I do love to savor my treasures.

I know I have shown you my very large island many times.  It is about 5' x 9' and it is almost always full.  Right now I am wrapping things and finding lots of inspiration for some future cards and tags.

These very simple tags I have cut from holiday cards received in the past.  I only cut up cards that are mass produced and not handmade.   I kept these very simple and merely tied colored string to the tops.  With a hand-written note on the back they will adorn packages.

These tags I had fun doing some extra hand-stitching along the edges.  I like the added dimension. It is easy to have lots of tags cut and then while sitting I can stitch them with a large crewel needle and some crochet thread.  No need to prepunch as the needle goes through the card stock fairly easily.

Here I am using some shipping tags that I got from purchasing items at a friend's yard sale a while back.  Black scribbled prices were on the tags so I gessoed them.  Mr. C came along and asked what are you doing?  When I told him he said to just throw them out and buy new ones.  What!  Tags are expensive and this way I can use them for something creative.  Silly Mr. C!  This allows my Creative Christmas Chaos to be more interesting while I think of how I wish to use these tags.
My studio will probably look like this until I hopefully clean and organize it just before the New Year arrives.  I do want to begin fresh with an organized space.  Do you work better in neat and organized space or are you happy to work in Creative Chaos like I have going on?
Our weather is very wet with rain and wind continuing.  We have had rain or sprinkles or drizzle every day and no sunshine. In the past I would be miserable for the lack of sunshine, however with the drought and our dry-well issues we had this summer I am so happy to have all the moisture we are getting.  It is cold yet thankfully it is not snowing on our property or town...yet.
Thank you for your blog friendship and wonderful sharing of creative inspirations.  I feel very blessed to be part of blogging.  Many are moving on to other forms of social media however I am still enjoying blogging.  I do admit to being lured by Pinterest.  I am such an online hoarder with Pinterest.  What am I saving it all for?  Will I ever have enough time?  What is enough time?
May each of you be safely accomplishing your lists of much to do.  I have done very well with making and checking off my lists.  That is new for me to even make the lists and keep up with them.
Blessings, Bliss, Peace, Joy and Love to all...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gift Wrapping Fun...

I am so happy that my sister and I like fun and eclectic.  This is her gift basket I put together and we exchanged last weekend when we got together for a day of shopping and lunching and visiting.

This basket is from our new Dollar Tree store and it did in fact cost only $1.00, so a bargain.  My sister carries lots of cleaning supplies in her vehicle as she cleans homes for elderly folks so I knew she could use the basket.  I also got out lots of holiday know the ones you can't throw away and absolutely must save.  Well now my sister can do some saving because she likes ribbons as much as I do.

I merely wove the ribbons in and out of the holes in the basket.  I tied random lengths to add interest around the basket.

Filled it with some wrapped gifts and called it done.

Oh yes...I also tied a little folk bird ornament to one of the handles.  I can honestly say it was raining glitter all over me and my room while I was weaving ribbons.  There is a red snowflake ribbon that was the champion glitter fest.
Sister loved her basket and goodies inside.  We had a much needed non-rushed visit and I am truly grateful for the time we get to spend together.

Here are some cards I prepared and mailed last week.  I did a baker's dozen cards...thirteen.  Just after dropping all of them into the mail slot I got a feeling that something was not right.  I should have Googled Snopes to confirm before I mailed these.  According to Snopes and a local news channel's report these will never be delivered.  I feel sad that my time could have been spent doing something that would have made a difference.  Please be cautious of any requests or offers and always check their reliability first.
Our weather is pure rain and rushing winds.  Snow is falling in the mountains and our water table is getting a good soaking.  We are finally having much needed rain storms and hopefully our drought will be drenched.  Praying for all in bad weather to stay safe and warm.  We have our generator ready if the power goes out.  I also bought some fresh batteries for a lantern I like to keep handy.
I must get back to my elf workshop for there are many things to keep me busy...paper, glitter, fabric, beads...just a few of my favorite things.  I see that each of you are busy with decorating and baking and making wonderful handmade gifts for giving.  Sharing Blessings, Bliss, Peace, Joy...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Creating Holiday Tags...

It has been said of me that I do not have focus and therefore do too many things instead of getting really important things done.  Hmmm...  Well I am probably guilty of this but I wouldn't change me. During this overly busy and hectic season with lists of too many things to do I find I keep adding to my lists and not checking off many items.  Every year I say I am going to "cut back" and then I totally overdo it all.  So I decided I needed to make some tags. Hmmm...  What???

Out came lots of supplies I already had and I just lost myself in creating some tags for gifting.  It was so much fun and I really don't think it kept me from doing anything else except adding more to my lists of too many things to do.

Here are a few of the completed tags.  Simple, Sweet and Handmade.  My very favorite kind.

Here are a few more I completed.  Of course now I feel I need lots more however I really must get back to checking some things off my lists.  Do you keep making gifts right up to the dash of reindeer on the roof?  I know I do.  I was paying for a purchase the other day and the young lady at the register asked if I do a stocking at Christmas.  I said, "Of course I do for I still believe in the magic of it all!" She then shared that the family next door to her have young children and therefore she will be putting out carrots.  I so love that and left smiling with wonder of the magic of the season.  Santa's reindeer love fresh carrots and they need lots of fuel for their long night of flight.  Of course Santa still loves his cookies and milk.  Sharing Magic and Wonder...
I am happy to report we are still having some rain.  There have been a few hours of dry but overall we have had rain every day.  Thankfully our ground is soaking it in very well.  We have gotten over 8 inches right here at our property.  Our pond is full and that is good news.  I am overlooking the huge mess of leaves and pine needles that are covering everything from gutters to grounds.  There will be time to clean it all up when the weather is drier.  What is keeping you busy and bustling?  Are you able to enjoy as well as accomplish what you need to get done?  Christmas tree lots are doing a very brisk business.  This year the trees are extra gorgeous as they are nice and fresh and not dry.  We truly have so much to be thankful for.  I wish for each of you Blessings and Bliss...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lace Cuffs...

Lace Cuffs are rather popular and come in all colors and styles.  I needed two in red and black for an upcoming event so off to the sewing room I went.

Here are my supplies.  I pulled out some red wool felt for the backing.  Some really pretty laces in red and black are my feature materials.

Here are the backs of my completed cuffs.  I finished them with a large black snap for fastening.

Here is one with a vintage black button that is very sparkly.  I do hope the recipient likes this.

Here is the other lace cuff with a vintage button that has rhinestone bling on it.  Another gift all finished and ready for giving.  These were quick and simple to create.
The holiday season is in full swing.  I am trying to enjoy all the aspects of everything that needs to get done.  I managed to avoid all the shopping crush and yet still accomplish some gift acquisitions. I merely put on my giant patience smile and let the days unfold.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon at the Chamber helping out.  Did I have the spare few hours?  Not really but I am so glad I made time since I enjoy my "volunteer work" there so very much.
We are having lots of rain.  Maybe too much rain in some parts of California however we have such a desperate need for the watertable I am thankful for any rain.  Prayers for all those in burn areas experiencing flooding and landslides.
May each of you be enjoying the magic of this wonderful holiday season.  I am enjoying your blog posts and seeing everything fabulous in decorations and gifts you are creating.  Sharing Joy and Jingles...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Brocade BowTies...

Thank you to my wonderful followers who sent me links for making BowTies.  This is my result.  I was able to make two.  One is an inch longer than the other.   This Brocade fabric is beautiful. However it is not friendly to cut or sew.

Here is my template pattern ready to cut out of the brocade which has been fused with Pellon.  Only one side of the self-faced tie.

Here is my template pattern ready to cut out of the brocade which is not fused with Pellon.  My first attempts were very difficult and problematic.  This fabric shreds so easily that if you merely touch it the silky threads are all you have left of your edges you wish to seam together.  Sew...I purchased a very expensive pinking edge rotary blade and that helped but was very dangerous to use freehand cutting.  I spent days and days just trying to get one good bowtie sewn and ready for approval by the wedding couple.

Here are the two bowties I was able to complete as prototypes.  Am I proud of them?  Yes and No! This is not the finest work I can do.  This fabric has been such a troublesome lot that I don't believe the result is stunning.  Mr. C and I have tried to actually tie this around his neck and it just does not cooperate.  The fabric is stiff yet not crisp.  The bow looks okay but the knot is not laying well.

The end result is not very nice.  I have spoken with the bride-to-be and she already has Plan B in action.  No suspenders now as the groom-to-be is entertaining vests to be worn.  The online ordered vests will not go with this brocade so my job is done.  I will not be sewing any more Brocade BowTies for the upcoming wedding to be held in late February in Minneapolis in Winter weather.  I was so worried and stressed over this entire project and now I can merely get on with December and Christmas gift making and giving.
Our weather is just what you would expect for the Autumn to Winter season's changing.  With the shorter daylight hours making me feel like I should go to bed right after dinner is over.  My sunshine is not here to give me energy and allow me to accomplish as much as I do in the warmer longer daylight days of Summer.  I do read more in the evenings and that is enjoyable.  I am also getting some much needed hand-sewing done on gifts.  Nothing fancy and nothing fun...yet.
I shall continue to be grateful for all of my blessings.  One day is just not enough time.  The Holiday Crush is upon us.  I don't like to count down the days as they already pass too quickly.  My focus will be to make a list and check it twice.  Complete what I am able to and let the rest fall by the wayside. My goal is to enjoy every day and not get caught up in the stress of trying to do it all and then some. My wish is for each of you to also find balance and enjoy your days.  Sharing Joy and Peace...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings and Gratitude...

As quickly as the hours are turning from morning to night and back again to morning I feel I need to post my Thanksgiving photos and savor them for a few days.  I don't normally go for trendy pieces but this Jim Shore Pumpkin really spoke to me several years ago at an after holiday sale.  It is my focal piece and reminds us to "Count Your Blessings".

I am not big on decorating for holidays so this is my only vignette.  One simple sofa-back table with some of my very favorite pumpkins displayed.  Most of these have been gifted to my by special friends over the years.  Now if you happen to spot Mr. Frankenstein...well...he is just having some leftover fun from halloween.  He insisted on coming home with me one day from a church thrift store.  Now how could I resist his charm?!!

This painted gourd is one of my favorites and I have shared it before.  The little mouse peeking at me from the side is my favorite.  I am grateful for the many memories these pieces all have.

A couple of years ago I was very fortunate to be gifted by Mr. C this lovely "Harvest Nest" created by the very special Vicki of Two Bags Full blog.  I look forward to displaying this each Fall/Autumn.

May all who celebrate Thanksgiving share blessings and gratitude with family and friends.  Mr. C and I will be home enjoying a small intimate celebration.  No crazy crowded shopping for us.
Our weather is clear but we do have some rain in the upcoming weekend plans.  Unfortunately we must travel by car on Saturday and Sunday.  We will hold prayers for our safety.
May everyone all over this world stay safe and be grateful for every day of life.
Now to find precious time to create and enjoy all the wonder of this holiday season.  Sharing Joy and Peace...