Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good-Bye 2015...

As I say good-bye to 2015 I am reflecting on my journey of this soon to be over year.  It was a busy year for Mr. C and I.  We had our highs and lows just like so many others. 
I am extremely grateful for all that I am able to enjoy in my life.  I am very thankful for my family and friends and followers here in blogland.  It is amazing to me that like-minded souls across this world can share creative joy and inspiration. 
In 2016 I shall continue to pursue the simple life that keeps me grounded.  I do not embrace all of technology that keeps us connected 24/7/365.  I feel it is part of why the world seems to be spinning faster and faster.  I wish to slow down and savor my days.  I wish to be present in the happenings of my life.  I do not rush the future.  I stop and smell the flowers.  I talk to the moon.  I speak to animals.  I try to do Random Acts of Kindness every day.  I pray for Peace across our World. 

Mr. C's pond during the summer when no snow or ice or extremely cold temperatures freeze everything.  I have spent many hours at this pond.  Taking care of it and nurturing it's plants.  Spending time reflecting on life.  There is great Peace and Joy at this pond. 
May everyone find Peace and Joy and All Good Blessings in this New Year of 2016...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tissue Paper Collector...

My name is Sherry and I am a hoarder collector of tissue paper.  I have not met a tissue paper I didn't like.  In my quest to eliminate cut down on clutter, I am sorting and purging stuff...including tissue paper.

Here is another view of my collection.  Unfortunately I am not able to show you my Christmas themed collection or my vintage collection or my all year usable collection due to packing boxes in the way of getting to them.  So for now I shall merely show you what is in my constant easy reach.

This is a desk drawer that measures approximately 20" x 24" x 2" deep.  All the paper you see in the top two photos was crammed residing in this drawer which is at my studio island worktable.  Since I am admitting my addiction I will also admit that this drawer gave up being able to be closed at least two or three years ago.  I didn't mind it being half opened all the time.  It makes me happy to see my wonderful tissue collection.
However, in my quest to purge and have less clutter I decided it is time to sort through and organize this drawer so it can close.

Here is my newly organized and thinned out collection of tissue paper.  And...the drawer closes without any help from me having to push down the pile.  Oh if only I could thin down this easily.  I may be eating too many cookies and too much fudge but that is something I shall work on later.
I am trying to throw out (which also means donate) at least five things each day until the New Year.  To many of you this won't sound like a lot.  To me who "collects" hoards this is not easy.
Staying home and not shopping will be what I prefer this lovely after Christmas time of year.  I am hoping to begin 2016 with less stuff and clutter and a newfound Creative Bliss.
What are you doing to prepare for a fresh New Year?
Peace and Love to All...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas...

This is Mr. C's beautiful Nativity set.  It is hand carved out of Olive Wood.  He purchased it decades ago in Bethlehem during his many world travels.  It is something that we cherish together now. 

This is "baby" Jesus.  The wood carvers don't know how to do a baby so they merely carve a grown man's face.  We don't mind.

This is my tiny little Nativity set.  It is ceramic and I purchased it decades ago.  It is so old the price tag on it reflects I paid $4.99 at a dime store. 

I love this little set and it brings me comfort.  There is a calm to it.
Merry Christmas to you my family and friends.  Today will be one of JOY as we spend time together reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas and not just the presents and food and libations.
Blessings to All...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Enjoying Christmas Calm...

From that very first time of walking in the front door of this home before we even considered buying it I envisioned a Christmas tree right in this circular area.  This is the first time in 18 years my vision has come to be.  Thank you Mr. C for this beautiful gift.
The amazing quilt was created and handcrafted by a dear friend years ago and it and she are very special treasures.

The Angel topper I have had for decades and I am so happy she fits her new tree.

This is a very special and very old Santa ornament.   Mr. C has had this since his childhood.  Now that is quite the feat as he is not sentimental and doesn't save anything.  For a man who claims not to enjoy Christmas it is a miracle that this very old and delicate Santa has survived.

I read and savor every Christmas card and letter we receive.  Now this shelf is overflowing with love and care.

Here are more cards and letters surrounding a Santa/Wizard I hand crafted a couple of years ago.  He is greeting guests as they arrive.  I am surprisingly managing to enjoy Christmas Calm.  Just Mr. C and I and some friends getting together during the days leading to Christmas.  Then it will be a quiet day of JOY and LOVE.  Mr. C and I have decided to bake and ice cookies on Christmas Day.  That is what he wants and that is what we shall do.  Until then I am eating all the fudge Mr. C made.  Maybe he will make another batch and this time we will share it with neighbors and friends...I hope.
May you be making wonderful memories this year.  Merry Christmas to All...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Yes, More House Mouses...

Here we are on Monday morning of Christmas week.  It is still dark outside and it is pouring rain.  We are getting lots of rain and the ski resorts are getting lots of snow.  Just the way it should be and we thank you Mother Nature! 
I will try to NOT post any further photos this year of my ever expanding mouse collection.  I do love each and every one I have.  I enjoy clearing the Cherry Wood shelves in the Great Room to make way for Christmas themed mice.    I think by this photo and the previous post you can see how Mr. C is overrun with the little cuties which he does not have any fondness for.

This is a lifetime of collecting and as you can see my tastes vary.

And through the years I have actually edited and passed along some of my mice.  After all I don't want to seem greedy.

Here we have some interlopers of Angels and Santas.  I do love them also.  My Grandma made the stitched plastic canvas Angel which is second from the left.  I really cherish this handmade Angel.

And these little cuties just joined me this year.  They were sent by a very good friend who moved away and she hasn't forgotten my love of mice.  Thank you dear. 
Yesterday I was able to spend some precious time with my sister and we exchanged our Christmas gifts.  We know one another so well and it is easy to please us with our thoughtful gifts.  The best gift of all is spending quality time together. 
No shopping for me this week unless I need something special at the local market.  This will be a week to enjoy friends and small get-togethers.  Family time will be via telephone this year. 
I have managed to enjoy Christmas Calm so far and I see no reason why it can't continue.  What is done is done and the rest is not critical.  I am enjoying all the wonderful cards and letters that are arriving daily and I truly appreciate the time spent to write and mail them.  Thank you everyone.
I have a lot of clean up and organizing to do in my studio.  I am also gathering a truckload of donations for our local charities.  There always seems to be far more supplies than I could ever possibly use so I like to share with others.  Warm coats, gloves and umbrellas will be very welcomed by the shelters this rainy Winter.  Be Kind To Others and your spirits will soar.  Blessings to all...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Is There a Mouse in the House?

It has been told that I collect mice.  Since I was a little girl.  I even named our little house we lived in "The Mouse House".  I love tiny and small and cute and mice are just that to me.  So...when decorating for Christmas all the special Christmas mice come out for Joyful Sentimental Times.
Each one has special meaning for me.  For Mr. C they are just...well let's not tell that!

There were times when I had little money for living expenses however I managed to acquire a new mouse each year during after Christmas Sales.

Through the years I have quite a collection.  Each one unique and each one makes me smile with happiness.

And then there are the very special mice that have been gifted to me from family and special friends.  This Mr. and Mrs. Santa Mice are extra special because a dear blogging friend whom I was lucky enough to meet in person actually created these for me.  You might know her and her blog.  She is Jillayne of A Fine Seam and her blog is Quilting Fabrications.  I adore her and her magic she creates with fabrics and thread and needle.  Thank you Jillayne.  I am eternally grateful.
I don't usually post gifts I receive from blogging friends.  I feel it may be uncomfortable for others who either don't get a gift or may not be able to give a gift.  I am beyond thankful for each and every card and gift my blog friends share with me.  I hope you know how special you are!  Thank You.
As the days are checking off I am accomplishing enough to not get all stressed out this year.  I hope you are able to enjoy this wonderful time of celebrations and merriment.  I realize it is not easy for some.  Mr. C is in this group and I try to respect his feelings.  The other day he requested home baked cookies with icing and sprinkles.  I was so surprised and felt badly because that is not my area.  So this weekend it is my task to shop for supplies and then hopefully bake and decorate cookies for him.  After all it is such a simple request from such a caring and loving man who is living with hundreds of Mouses in his House.  Let us all keep the true meaning of Christmas and enJOY this magical time...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ornament Swap 2015...

This year I participated in an ornament swap hostessed by Madamm Samm of Sew We Stitch.  It was very easy and no stress.  This is the ornament I received from Wendy in Tennessee of Why Knot Kwilt.  Thank you Wendy for the Christmas Warmth.

If you visit Sew We Stitch you will see links to lots of the swapped ornaments.  Unfortunately I cannot show what I sent because I was so excited to send off my package I forgot to take any photos.  This was a fun swap. 
I do have lots more to show you all however time is limited right now so I am off to check my lists and get some things made and wrapped and mailed.  Yes, I am running very late this year but that is okay for it is the thought that counts.  Right?
Merry Making and Joyful Sharing...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Village Calm...

I am overjoyed to have my little Christmas Village set up this year.  Mr. C actually took time to wire all the lights into the little houses and shops.  Then we set it up on his hand crafted table in the Great Room.  This is not an expensive Studio 56 village however I feel so fortunate to be able to share it with my home.  It belonged to my mother and when my sisters didn't want it I was thrilled to bring it home.  Through the years I have added trees of all shapes and types.  Many have very sentimental the variegated green yarn trees my Grandmother crocheted so many years ago.  Since I live in the forest I realize all types of trees can coexist.    The tiny little white and crystal tree has a little gold mouse on it which of course I love.

Here is the other half of the village.  If you see Santa you might agree with Mr. C that Santa is way too big for this village.  I believe Santa is larger than life and adds to the wonder of every child who doesn't quite understand how Santa can fit in the chimney.  After all Santa is magical!

These photos do not do justice to the village at night when it is all lit up.  Each night when the timer comes on I actually get a warm feeling of calm over my Christmas Village.

I don't try to add figurines or homes or shops to my village for I am content with it just the way it is.

Do you have a favorite Christmas decoration that speaks to you each year?  This little Christmas Village proves that simple and affordable do have Happiness powers.
I am enjoying hand writing and mailing my Christmas cards each day.  I feel connected to the recipient when I spend the time to hand address and personalize each card.
As I type this post it is very dark and cold and raining along with hail.  We are getting a really good soaking in this storm.  May you be cozy and warm and enjoying your December.  Peace and JOY...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Owl Pincushions...

Sometimes when you are reading blogs do you ever just find something that makes you smile and stays with you until you give in and make one?  It happened to me earlier this summer.  I was reading Heather's blog "Seriously Crazy 4 Craft" and her little Owl Pincushions adopted me.  I only needed to make one for someone special I had in mind.  Thank you Heather for sharing so generously.

Oops as you see here making just one was not an option.  They are so easy to create I found myself cutting every scrap of fabric into these little owls.  I believe I ended up making a baker's dozen.  I found them to be super cute in non-traditional colors and fabrics.  After all they are for fun.

I stuffed mine with a bit of fiber fill and a lot of crushed walnut shells.  The shells help keep pins and needles nice and sharp.  With all the use I get out of my pins and needles they need to be sharp.  These three Wise Owls are sporting a beaded decorative pin also.  Visit Heather's blog link to get her pattern and complete tutorial.  Did I mention it is free?  Now that fits into my budget nicely.
Mr. C and I took a drive this week to visit some Christmas lights and do a little shopping amidst the hustle and bustle.  We both truly enjoyed our day as we took our time and did things we hadn't done before.  It was quite nice to spend time together and enjoy some Christmas Cheer.  Now I am back to sorting out Christmas decorations from years and years of collecting.  I have decided I can share some of my things with others that don't have much.  To Mr. C's dismay I do have a constant Christmas theme through my entire life.  Mice!  They are the predominant d├ęcor I have.  From tiny to large and from silly to serious.  Nope!  Not giving up any of my mice.  I have collected mice since I was a very little girl and I am enchanted with them...especially when they are not real and living in my garage.  Designer Cheese?  Did anyone say, "Free Designer Cheese"?  At least they have a really good Last Supper.
May your lists be short and your Joy be long...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

As November Ends...

Last week is now a blur as November comes quickly to a close.  On Tuesday we had an inch of rain.  On Wednesday we got an inch of snow.  With the four year drastic drought we have been having here in California this was a huge blessing just in time for Thanksgiving.  We are predicted to have the most measurable El Nino in history this coming year.  I have now lived here in Northern California for 18 years after living my entire life before that in Southern California.  I never have embraced "Seasons" or Winter and especially snow...until now.  Experiencing living semi rural and on our own well has taught me a lot about the need for snowpack and water table levels.  I shall be much more tolerant than in past years.  It is also a lot less scary to experience ice and snow now that I am not working and having to drive in it.  So...Mother Nature I am embracing Winter this year!

Here is an adorable snowman that I embroidered.  It is part of my Jenny of elefantz stitchery club.  I don't always stitch each pattern each month but I definitely save them for times when needle and thread call to me.  Thank you Jenny for your inspiration. 
This year I am going to also embrace "Christmas Calm"!  This will be quite the challenge for me as I am a champion worrier and stressor.  After all the sleep I have lost and knowing I cannot change a thing by worrying or stressing this will be my gift to myself...and Mr. C this December.  My lists are made and I know I can adapt or change them as needed.  Not everything for everyone must be done.  My health and sanity are far more least to me and my family.  May you also find your "Christmas Calm" in this hectic time of year.  With Continued Creative Bliss...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fabric Snowflake...

This is such a simple, yet spectacular, project that I really must share it with you.  And in time for you to make some for yourself or gifts.  My friend and fellow blogger, Robbie of Robbie's Paw Prints shared she had made some and I was smitten.  Thankfully Robbie shared the link with me and I am sharing it with you.  This is a NO sew project using fabric and a few other simple steps.

If you would like to make some merely go to this link on YouTube for the complete easy instructions.  Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics will walk you through the entire process.  I am sew excited with the outcome of this one that I am planning a few others for my family gift list.  If I need to mail one I will put it in a clean pizza box and that should get it safely to its destination.
I do hope you share photos if you make any snowflakes.  Thank you Robbie for introducing me.  Thank you Jennifer of Shabby Fabrics for sharing your amazing talents with us.
It is pouring rain here today.  Actually only this morning through lunchtime.  Now it is chilling right down for the predicted snow we are supposed to get here.  It has been snowing in the mountain ski resorts all day.  You won't hear me complaining due to our four year drought and this rain and snow is exactly what we need.  Lots of it!
For all of my stateside friends we are preparing for Thanksgiving and our many Blessings we are so very grateful for.  For anyone in our entire world, may you stay safe and be thankful for all we are so lucky to enjoy.  Health and Happiness mixed with Creative Bliss my friends...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Needle and Pin Books...

May I first begin by saying, "I am not me!".  I feel like Alice who fell down the rabbit hole and drank from the bottle.  Do you ever watch a pharmaceutical commercial for a prescription drug and say, "Good Grief, I would rather have the illness than all those side effects!"?  Well I have now experienced this for myself and I feel like I have lost an entire month of my life.  Suffice to say I am now weaning off the horrid drug and hopefully will be back to myself in time to enjoy the holidays.
Mr. C always says, "it is the PRACTICE of medicine and doctors are not experts".  Thank you for indulging me dear followers.
At least in my fog I was able to create some little Needle/Pin Books.  I wanted to hand embroider each one however time ran out and I am pleased with my results.  I hand stitched the butterflies with couched sparkle yarn to embellish each one. 

A nice wool felt for the pages and a sweet butterfly pin completes these little books.

Here I have done the same couched sparkle yarn treatment to a couple of cute doggy appliques.

Some red felt for the pages completes these books.  No fun little pin here.  I think these will make a sweet little gift for someone.
The holiday season is upon us and I see lots of activity happening on your blogs.  If I haven't visited yet please bear with me while I get back to being myself.  I am inspired by all the Creative Bliss you all are sharing.  Thank you very much. 
I also thank you for the thoughts and prayers for my Granddaughter's boyfriend.  He is home from hospital and recovering.  It will be a long slow road but thankfully he has survived a real scare.  Sepsis is a blood infection and very scary.  This Thanksgiving will be extra special with Grateful Appreciation for life and all of our many blessings.  I am still in shock over Paris and Pray for Peace!
May you and your entire family and friends be ever so grateful this season...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Calendar Gift Pockets...

 I know I have shared this idea before however I feel it is very appropriate to share it here and now once again.  If you want to add just that extra special smile to your gift giving then this is for you and it takes just a wee bit of time and only pennies from your gift giving fund.  Who can resist this?

Each monthly calendar page has a wonderful Norman Rockwell image and a coordinating quote.  I simply tear out each page.  I don't even trim off my torn edges as I like the resulting look however you could cut them with a clean edge. 

Next I simply fold the page so that the image is front and the quote is on the back with just a bit of overlap to seal the pocket.  Your calendar page might be a different fold than mine.  I have had them with a center fold down the back.  It merely depends on your picture you are showing.

Now that my page is folded and I know what I am showcasing I can put my adhesive on for sealing.  I like to use a tape runner roll that is two sided adhesive.  I lay down the tape and then peel off when I am ready to seal my folded pocket together.  Just a note:  I have used glue sticks only to have them unseal after a short time.  I think the gloss of the paper doesn't allow for proper adhesion.   After you try a few of these I am certain you will get a style of your own.  You can also use magazine pages.

Here is the December calendar page with a very jolly Santa image.  I now have a great gift pocket ready to add my ornament or gift inside and either seal with tape or tie with ribbon after punching a couple of holes at the top of the pocket.  I do wrap my gift in tissue paper just to add that extra layer of suspense as to what is inside.  So with very little time and very easy to obtain supplies you have a great gift ready for giving.  Will you be making any gift pockets?  I hope you share your photos.
I am so happy to report we have just had two days and nights of wonderful rain!  Yes!!  We have had rain and it is definitely measurable.  We got about 2 inches right here.  The ski resorts higher up got a really good base of snow and with the cold temperatures are able to add man made snow.   A couple of resorts were able to open for business and the smiles of happy clients and owners are seen far and wide.  It has been four years of drought and no business so this is a very happy occasion for all. 
I am making my lists and getting organized for the quickly upcoming holiday season.  Every year I try to pare down my list however I am just not good at doing so.  At least I am making a list!!!
For now I am extra Thankful for so much this November.  My granddaughter's boyfriend is still in the hospital however he is now in recovery fight mode and being moved out of ICU.  It was touch and go for a very long week.  My family stayed strong and helped one another with love and being there for each other.  I am so blessed to have such a brave family.  Prayers are Powerful!
Creative Bliss to each of you and may you find JOY in making and giving..

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"She Who Sews"...

I cannot express how happy I am with my latest projects and the time I spent accomplishing them.  Quite some time ago Madamm Samm of Sew we Stitch held a blog hop for projects using this amazing fabric titled "She Who Sews" by Janet Wecker Frisch.   I am unable to link to the actual post of the blog hop however I have linked to Madamm Samm and a Google search of this fabric.
Now of course I wish I had purchased bolts of this as I love it sew very much.  I had wanted to make dust covers for my sewing and serger machines.  Finally I have finished and I am ecstatic with the results.  Thank you Madamm Samm and Janet Wecker Frisch for all the inspiration.

This is my disgusting Quilter's Cut 'n Press and I needed to make a new cover for it as I had ruined it to the point of even having yellow embossing ink that I accidently ironed onto it from a paper project. Long ago Jill of The Quilt Rat blog made a cover for hers and shared it.  I knew I needed to make one but then it just sat.

Now it is covered and clean and fits right in with my sewing room dust covers.  Thank you Jill.  My cover is nothing more than a simple slip on sleeve of fabric.

Here I am beginning my Pfaff cover.  I didn't use a pattern.  I merely used my own measurements and trial and error.  I found it best to use quilted fabric under the decorative fabric to give it more stability.  And, I put large pockets on each end for holding a pattern or such.

As a crafter I love items that make any job easier and I knew I needed these Clover Wonder Clips, so a while back when I saw them on super sale I bought them.  Thankfully I bought 100 and not just 10 because it takes a lot to hold what I needed.  I made binding and hand sewed it to the bottom to give the cover just the best drape possible.

Here is my completed cover.  As you can see in the first photo I made a cover for my Pfaff, my old Singer that I use to sew paper, like cards and tags, and my Vintage Baby Loc Serger.  I love how they all turned out and I am sew pleased with how they look and work.  Finally a project for me is finished and checked off my want/to do list.  Do you always put yourself last? 
We had two glorious days and nights of soft rain.  It did snow at the higher level ski resorts so a small base is down.  The temperatures are very cold so I feel Winter is near.  Yesterday mid-morning I was cold.  Really cold!  Inside my own home.  I had lots of warm clothes on but I was shivering to the bone (truthfully it doesn't take much to make me cold!).  Mr. C checked the thermostat and saw it was 60 degrees F inside upstairs.  Thankfully he turned on the heater. It was the first time in many months we have used the heater.  Last Winter was so mild we hardly used it or the fireplace much.
The days are evaporating so quickly I really do need to begin making lists to get me through this holiday season and into the new year.  I am not good at list making however I know they help so very much.  Now that November is here we are all feeling extra grateful.  Are you doing anything special to record your daily things that you are grateful for?  Last year I made a small tag book and recorded one very special item each day.  This year I am keeping all of my grateful things close to me and I am electing not to record them in any special way.  Less Stress is what I am focusing on this year! 
May you each have a November of many grateful moments/things/items etcetera.
I am off to work on some projects and enjoy Creative Bliss...