Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Tree Show-Offs

I want to share my Christmas trees with you.  First is my "crystal and pearl" tree.  I started collecting antique chandilier prisms years ago... because I like shiny objects and am easily distracted by them! LOL. 





(can you tell I couldn't decide which one shot I liked best?)


See the rose tucked in the branches?  I keep that in the tree, up front, in memory of my father.

I have one other tree up and will post pictures later of the "Friendship Tree".   If you've posted pictures of your tree(s), I'd love to come by and visit and see them!    Sometime next week, I'll take you on a "holiday tour of my home and decorations.  Would you like to come back and visit?  I'd love to have you and would love to be invited to see yours.  We'll sip some (virtual) hot mulled cider and just gaze at the trees!  Fun, eh?


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fall Pics

First of all, I need to apologize... I totally forgot about Freezer Foods Friday!!!  In the excitement of announcing the winner of the giveaway, I just totally forgot!  Sorry about that if you tuned in and wanted some recipes.  I'll do better, I promise!  Forgiven?

Now, I thought I'd share a few pics from my anniversary trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN.
There were some adorable fall trees and decorations.  So cute, in fact that I had to snap some pics to share!



(that's me behind cutie pie doll)






Isn't this cute?   I know I've seen  other pics (different themes) and even instructions on the internet for these, but hadn't actually seen one "in person".  I like this!





We found this tea room while traveling the Crafter's community in Gatlinburg. But as you can see from the haziness..it wasn't the photographer's fault (LOL)  It was rather early in the morning and was still misty.  Hence, it was open.








     














and, as an added bonus, look what we saw!




Friday, November 27, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Ok, first I have to say I have been so excited about this...until now.  It's now that I realize that if there is one winner, that means there are multiple people I will disappoint.  I don't like doing that.  So that's why I took the names, put 'em in a box and asked my he-man hubby to draw the names!   "Sure, throw me under the bus", he says.  To which I reply, "but they don't know you.  I can't do that to my sweet friends" !  LOL.  So he drew the name...

But first - I have to tell you my surprise announcement!!!!   I've just been giddy with excitement and bursting at the seams to tell you and now I can!!!   I don't have one quilted wallhanging and totebag,  I HAVE TWO!!!
So that means there are two people to announce!!!  Yes, I bought two of these while on my trip to Tennessee!  So, hubby picked two names and are you ready?  

Oh wait, one more thing (no there isn't a third  LOL).  Even if you weren't chosen,  don't lose heart, and keep checking back, because I will tell you this... I bought another lovely quilted wall hanging that I'll be posting  pics in the coming weeks.  It's not a Christmas one, but pretty all the same.   I also bought one for later (after the holidays) that will get you in the mood for spring time!

There will be another Christmassy give-away coming soon too... So keep checking back!

Ok, ok,  I'll tell you the winners!
I have TWO!!!!!
Dot at Saving the World, One Cupcake at a Time
and
Pam at Country Mouse City Mouse

So Dot and Pam, please contact me with your mailing address so I can send this out to you first thing next week!

Congrats ladies - and don't forget to keep checking back for more giveaways my sweet friends!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giveaway ends tomorrow night!

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving!  Just popping in to remind everyone - if you entered the giveaway, don't forget to check back tomorrow night around 11:00 pm to see if you're the winner... and to hear my surprise announcement!!!  (giggling with excitement)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Give Away and other reminders



There are only 3 more days until the winner is announced on the Christmas quilted wallhanging and totebag giveaway!


Don't forget to check back here after 11:00 pm (est) on black friday to see if you're the winner...and also to hear about my surprise announcement!!! I can't wait to tell you!

And while I'm at it, don't forget about the Christmas Goodies Recipe Exchange! I'd love to see all my blog-friends sharing their favorite Christmas Goodies here. It's December 15th.
Hopefully we'll all have some really good recipes to try out after this. I'll have good old Mr. McLinkey set up for you to link up to your blog post with your recipe. Why don't you take the button below and put on your blog to spread the word. The more participating, the more treats we can try! I'm looking forward to it.

Right now I'm in the middle of decorating. I'm almost finished with the "Friendship Tree". Looked at the clock and couldn't believe I had spent over 2 hours on that tree! Also, I noticed that my garland I have overhead entering the living room (I call it the "old room") has fallen three times. So much for those adhesive hooks. I'm breaking out the "heavy artillary" when hubby gets home! LOL When it's all done, I'll post pictures and take you on a tour, how's that?

I want it all done before Thanksgiving (here's hoping!) because I need to get busy making the gift bags for favors for my annual ornament exchange this year. Plus our "gathering of friends" on December 23rd. My December is always booked, how about yours? If you're doing things for the season, I'd love to hear about it, and see pics if you post them. In the comments please leave me a link. I try to visit everyone who drops by for a visit to my blog home! Ok, back to work....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A different Christmas purse ornament

This one is by my new friend Carla on With Needle and Thread. It is different from the purse ornaments I shared with you previously here.
First, hers are tote bag ornaments and even better, they're functional! You can actually put a small gift in them! I like her style! Here's what I'm talking about.

(If you click on the picture, it'll take you to her tutorial!)

Wasn't it nice of her to share the how-to??? While there, check out the rest of her site. She has made some of the cutest "santa's reindeer" ! Her work is just the cutest, don't you think?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FREEZER FOODS FRIDAY

It's ~~~~~~ drum roll ~~~~Freezer Foods Friday!

I'm trying out Mr. McLinky and hopefully this will allow everyone to join in and submit any "freezer friendly" recipes. Wouldn't that be fun? (Besides that, it's giving me good practice for the Christmas Goodies Recipe Exchange coming upon the 15th of December linky event! )

And while I'm at it, what do you think about my Freezer Foods Friday button? Isn't it absolutely adorable? She's a perfect match to the whole blog feel, isn't she? Well, kudos goes to Mary of Blog Rock once again! She's the mastermind who did my blog makeover! Wasn't she just the best to do that for me? I love it. If you're considering a face-lift for your blog, I highly recommend her! No, this is not an info-mercial, but when I find a great deal, I like to blab it everywhere! She goes way above and beyond for you!
Her button is on my left sidebar.

Now a few instructions: Got a blog entry with a "make ahead" recipe or idea? Link up to that blog post. Now, it doesn't have to be a FREEZER meal, per se...maybe a seasoning mix, or something you do "in bulk" that would be considered a rescue for make ahead meals. And be sure to take my button for the Freezer Foods Friday and put on your blog so everybody can come here and be able to see other blogger's entries. (There's one a few buttons down on the right sidebar all decked out with a code!)

Here's my contribution (in honor of the holidays):

20 Pie Crusts for the Freezer

3 lb can Crisco vegetable shortening

5 lbs. flour

3 cups ice water

2 Tablespoons salt

Mix in a very large bowl or pan. Mix flour, salt and Crisco together with hands. Add ice water slowly and mix all together until bended. Make into 18-20 patties. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze in a large 2 gallon ziploc bag. When you want to make a pie crust, defrost desired number of crust "patties" on the counter 30 minutes or so, or in the fridge overnight. Roll between two sheets of waxed paper. These will keep for at least 1 year in the freezer!

There is something about freezing this dough that makes it so easy to roll out. Rolling them between sheets of waxed paper makes it so much easier!

These can be used not only for dessert pies, but quiches, pot pies, beef pasties, etc.

Your turn....


A DIY and a Give Away from a new friend

My new sweet friend, Dena at Sweet Pickles and Chocolate, was featured at It's So Very Cheri with her DIY, and guess what?!? She's giving it away! Why not pay her a visit and check it out. She's going to announce TWO winners this Sunday. It could be you!

Gotta love Thanksgiving...




the time of year when big thighs are a good thing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CHRISTMAS GOODIES Recipe Exchange



Announcing a Christmas Goodies recipe exchange! I'm all about goodies (LOL) so I thought we would do a link-up of your family's favorite "Goodies" recipe. Now, the sky's the limit here... cookies, desserts, savory, sweet, snack mixes, dips (oh I love a good dip!)...Even a great mac -n- cheese recipe...doesn't matter!  And even better yet...There will be prizes!  Cheri from It's So Very Cheri  has written four different e-books she is offering to four lucky participants!  She has filled these books with some recipes that have been her family favorites as well as step-by-step instructions for some of her favorite craft projects.  More on that as the day gets closer to the Recipe Exchange, but let me just tell you, you don't want to miss a chance to get one of her books.  The choice of books will be yours.

Now back to the recipe exchange.  I love to hear the stories behind the recipes too, if you have any, please don't forget to tell that!


Don't forget to take the button and link back here so we can all come visit your blog to see your dish you're so famous for! Tell everybody! The more the merrier and the more recipes we can try out on our families, and upcoming holiday parties!  If you link up, and see that your link isn't there, please check that you have linked to my blog up on your blog.  If you haven't, your link won't appear here, but if you have and you still don't see your link,  please re-enter!  We want everyone to be able to come to your blog to visit you!


So, don't forget!  December 15th!!!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SANTA COLLAR

Ok, show-n-tell time again. I pulled out this rag Santa collar that I have from "Christmas past" and thought I'd share a little how-to explanation. Somewhere tucked away (perhaps too well, because I can't find it!) is an apron done with the Santa face on front like this collar - so you can just let your imagination run wild.

The front and back are shaped the same...a triangle. You can make this as large or small as you wish depending on the size of the wearer. (adult, child, larger body, etc.) Use a plate or something to give you a ever-so-subtle curve for the neck. You want it to lay on the back nicely and not choke you in the front! I lined both front and back, but that's up to you. You could sew a hem around all edges instead.

Tear fabric strips (muslin) about 1 1/2 inch wide to 1 3/4 inches. Throw them in the wash and dry them to make 'em look "worn" - you can either do this before ripping the fabric strips or after but you'll get a better "worn" look if you do it after because it helps it to fray more. Now, you can either sew the strips on or hot glue. I hot glued because it's a collar and doesn't get that dirty. I think I sewed the apron one though. The choice is yours. Glue two flat pieces for each eyebrow. Paint on the eyes and use blush for the cheeks. I had a button plug for the nose but it came off. It's not necessary to give him a nose though. Knot 2-3 strips together in the middle and then hot glue (or sew) down at a time. Knotting several together gives you a good "bunched" or full look to the beard...and mustache, plus the knot is a good solid base to glue on. Just keep adding strips until you're satisfied with the look. Personally, I think I could add some more strips to mine...

Below are pics of the inside. See the white strip at the top of one open end? That's velcro (hook and loop tape) to connect it so you don't muss your festive hair up.
Did you notice the jingle bell I sewed on the tip of the back? Nice touch, don't you think?
And as an accent (and to cover up the velcro on the front) loop green, or what evern complimentary color you choose) back and forth, back and forth to make a shabby flowerette and hot glue (or sew) in place at the front open end of the collar and glue a button in the center. I chose green fabric and a red button but it's not very clear in the photo.
Enjoy - and if you make these, link me up and show me too! Have fun!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Victorian Purse Ornaments



I used made these years ago to sell in craft shows and when I needed to make something to send in an ornament exchange I thought of these. I was surfing and saw a "make it with what you have" blog carnival and thought I'd do just that with my "stash" of loose ends that I couldn't bear to toss. Granted, they're doing "big" items, and this is a little ol' ornament, but I used what I had - so that counts for something, right? Then I started thinking that maybe some of my blog buddies might like to make some...just in case you're a "bag lady" like me!

It's really simple, and you don't need any advanced sewing skills! LOL Pics probably aren't needed (especially after seeing what a photographer I am!) but here's a few anyway.


First, gather all your "loose ends" stash like lace, cording, hot glue gun and glue sticks, poly-fill stuffing, needle, thread, fabric. I used velvet for the purse body. You don't have to, but it just looks so elegant (it sheds though- Ugh!).


Make yourself a template out of cardstock, cardboard..whatever. It should measure 4 x 6 inches.



Trace the template onto your fabric (wrong side). Fold the 4 x 6 inch piece of fabric in half (making it 4 x 3 inches). Sew a scant 1/4 inch around three sides. You see in the picture on the left, the "bottom" of the purse has curved lines? You can eyeball it or find something to make that curve I used a half round template from my quilting rulers, but a cup or glass that would fit would be fine..just anything so your purse doesn't just look like a straight bag..unless that's what you're going for. Turn right sides out.



Stitch a running stitch, or gathering stitch, by hand all around the open end but don't close it off yet.
Now get out your stash and have fun! Eye it up on your purse and see what you like


Lightly stuff the purse body with poly-fill, or stuffing of choice. Remember lightly! Put just a dab of hot glue on the ends of the cording (I used gold because, again, it looks elegant) and put into the sides of the purse. Now you're going to pull the thread to gather (only slightly) the open end. To cover the ugly gathered ends, you will want to dig in the stash, you can use lace, those beaded do-hickies you buy sewn into ribbon (pardon the technical jargon), gimp, whatever. Run a line of hot glue around ugly ends and glue whatever you choose to cover it up. You'll notice I layered different things. The sky is the limit - just have fun. And don't forget to "finish" it off with a button ... kinda like a "snap" on a purse.


I hope I haven't totally confused you. But if I did don't hesitate to ask and I'll see if I can confuse you even more.



Friday, November 13, 2009

The new GIVE-AWAY in celebration of 100 followers!

Notice:  The giveaway is now closed.
Congrats to Pam and Dot!Ok, I finally (made the bed and) took the pictures of the giveaway! Remember the hints I dropped? It's a Christmas quilted Throw/wall hanging (50 x 60 inches) with a rod pocket on back for hanging if you like, PLUS a tote bag!
You can't really tell it, but the tote has one outside pocket and a bunch of pockets inside. I just noticed that! LOL I took several pics and because I couldn't decide which would give the best view, I decided to post 'em all. Here they are...




Now here's the rules... (do any or all)
1. Comment (Gets you one entry)
2. FOLLOW ME! Gets you 2 separate entries!
3. Take my link and put it on your blog. That'll get you 3 entries!
4. Link to this giveaway and blog about it. Gets you 2 entries!

If you already follow or have my link on your blog make sure I know that by commenting the designated amount of entries it earns so your name goes into the pot that many times.

I hope you like this giveaway! You can enter up until 10:00 pm on black friday (the day after Thanksgiving). I will announce the winner at 11:00 pm. and then another announcement about a surprise ! But I'm not tellin' yet!!! (giggle)
* to clarify: I didn't make these - I bought them on my trip to the mountains of Tennessee this past weekend *


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