Thursday, December 31, 2009

Skin It!

One of the gifts I bought for my husband, son and I this Christmas was a "skin" for our cell phones. The thing is, we all have the same phone, so in addition to being fun it was a way to tell our phones apart!

Here's mine:

This is a photo of a hang tag I made that is a favorite.

The reverse is a close up of some of my antique lace.

I created these by uploading photos on the website skinit.com. They have many designs to choose from, or you can make your own as I did. It was so easy: just choose your phone model, they bring up a template for it, you upload your photos and place them where you want them! Mine was $20.

I highly recommend it!

I Was Charmed

Just before Christmas, I was charmed to find an envelope from Germany in my mailbox, which I opened to see this beautiful collaged card...

The color and texture of the card are just amazing. Look closely to the lower left and you'll see a pendant as well; here's the reverse:

They were both gifts from Viola, who must have been able to hear me across the Atlantic as I squealed in delight! (You may remember when I blogged about Viola after I purchased one of her beautiful collages as a graduation gift to myself. It continues to inspire me!)

Thank you Viola for the sweet and generous Christmas surprise!

Monday, December 28, 2009

One World, One Heart 2010

One of the things I've been looking forward to all year is the beginning of the next One World, One Heart (OWOH) Blog Party and giveaway! I participated in it last year, and I credit the event for making this blog come alive with readers and with making some wonderful new friends! During OWOH, I made a point of bookmarking all my favorite participating blogs, and visiting them again as time allowed in the weeks following the event. That's how I met so many of YOU!

This year, OWOH has the theme of Magic Carpet Ride. The organizer, Lisa, aka A Whimsical Bohemian, is hosting the event on her blog this year. She recently sent out an informational email to those of us who participated last year, which included this bit of direction:

"One
thing I am asking this year is that whatever your giveaway or giveaways are that you find a clever way to present it on your blog when the event begins. Since this year we’re riding the Magic Carpet perhaps you can find some way to use that theme to photograph or present your giveaway. This gives everything a more festive look rather than a simple photo and a couple of lines. BE CREATIVE! Have fun with the theme this year, get people to stand up and notice you!!"

I'm thinking about just the right giveaway to offer! (Last year it was a handmade pillow.) I'm also beginning to think of how to present that giveaway in the way Lisa has suggested. Sign-ups begin on January 25, 2010! I hope you will all think about joining in the fun!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

End of the Year Business

As much as I love the holidays, I'm always happy for things to get back to "normal" afterwards, how about you?

I enjoy the week between Christmas and the new year as a "tying up loose ends" kind of time. This is when I typically delete unnecessary files and back up my computer files (both computers) onto CDs. I also try to organize and transfer all of my thousands of photographs onto CDs as well, and order prints of any that I might not already have printed through the year. It's so important to stay on top of that! I use Snapfish and get my photos by mail -- it's my favorite service, and I've tried a lot of them.

The photograph organizing isn't as daunting as it sounds because I use Google's Picasa application. It catalogs all of my photos on each computer, streamlining the process, and is especially helpful for emailing photos to friends.

And in the spirit of closing out the year, I am also going to highlight the Etsy Blogger of the Month for December: Calkat, and her blog Calkat the Jewelry Junkie! Just as her blog's name implies, she blogs on her very colorful site about jewelry and all things creative and beautiful! Be sure to visit - it's an eyeful!

She also has an Etsy store called Calkat, where she sells jewelry designs and beads, but you can also find her on Etsy at: Ametista.etsy.com, TheClayShoppe.etsy.com, and YogaFairies.etsy.com. This is one busy lady! Be sure to visit, as right now she's offering free worldwide shipping from her shops, through New Year's Eve.

***
So, what end of the year tasks or projects are you contemplating this coming week?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my friends the world over, who open their blogs and their hearts to me
and make this a wonderful place to hang out, all year long!

I hope you have warmth and happiness, and surprises under the tree tonight!

Love,


Laurie, Ben, and Dennis

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One Last Sprawl

This morning I took one last sprawl out on our sofa while I watched some of The Today Show. Any minute now, the furniture truck will bring us a new sofa, ottoman, and entertainment console. Dennis and I moved the old sofa out into the garage to await a friend's picking it up later today. It's been cleaned and had its insides examined for stray Lego pieces, change, and peanut shells. I hope that, despite our snow overnight, the friend will come to get it. We have nowhere to put the thing!

The new sofa is smaller, so it will fit much better in its allotted space. Because it doesn't have the reclining feature of the old sofa, I insisted on getting the matching ottoman. I'm short and need to put my feet up to be comfortable sitting for any length of time. Furniture just doesn't fit people my height!

The entertainment center is just lovely -- it's long (80") and will look great in the family room. But, for now it's going to live in the dining room. I'm of course going to be rearranging the whole family room after we take the Christmas tree down, in honor of the new furniture. I'm excited to be having a new look for the new year! The "old" (7 years young) entertainment unit and TV will go downstairs into our unfinished basement, and become the Gaming Center for my soon-to-be-teenaged son. There is already a smaller version of the sofa we're getting rid of down there!

All of this arranging and re-arranging is due to the fact that we've pooled the Christmas fund to buy ourselves a family gift this year: a flat screen, plasma TV that my husband and son have been longing for. Over the last couple of weeks we've learned more than we ever knew possible about the beast: LED vs. LCD vs. plasma screens, dp, dpi's, 1080, 760, etc., etc. If this is all Greek to you, it was to me a week ago. But I've learned.
Now we've settled on one we all want. But, we haven't bought it yet. Experience tells us these things tend to go on sale after Christmas. So we're going to wait and see if we can get a bargain!

It's complicated!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Speaking of Red and Blue Together...

I was thrilled to learn that I won the 14th Day of Christmas in The Twelve Days of Christmas from Where Women Create Contest!

Here's what I won:

This beautiful print "A Creative Woman" by artist Sandra Evertson!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let the Countdown Begin!

Only a few more days until we celebrate Christmas! I'm feeling happy (and, honestly, kind of smug -- shame on me!) as I've finished all the holiday prep, shopping, wrapping, etc. I had planned. All that's left is to go grocery shopping for Christmas dinner, which I plan to do today. Today we have sunshine and highs in the '50's, but the weatherman tells me it will be cold the next couple of days (slight chance of snow.)

When I make my grocery list in a little while I have to decide, once and for all, if I will be baking. My son wants to make fudge. Once upon a time I made dozens upon dozens of all varieties of Christmas cookies; we always made a gingerbread house, and decorated sugar cookies. This year, my heart is just not in it!

What kind of baking have you been doing?

I just had to show you these amazing vintage glass ornaments I found on Thursday at the thrift store:

They're incredibly thin and delicate!

These are the kinds of finds that make me want to go thrifting every day, sincerely.

Besides being Winter Solstice, today is my brother Jeffrey's birthday! He's 21 months older than me. Here's one of my favorite photos of us:

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

Have a wonderful Monday-before-Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Red and Marie Blue, Together

You may have noticed I'm really into combining red and teal-ish blue lately!

I did it here, in my Homage Box:

And here in my funeral card scrapbook:


The other day, Melissa blogged about this color combination and got me thinking about how much I love it! I think I first began noticing how well the two colors go together when I bought some Anna Griffin scrapbooking paper that had some pretty designs in those shades. From there, I went nuts.

Here is some more inspiration from Etsy Bloggers Street Team Members! Click on the name under each photo so go to the listing on Etsy.



FoxyGKnits

A Keeper's Jackpot


Winemakersister'sshop

What are your favorite color combinations these days?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Linens and Then Some

I took some photos before throwing these in the laundry this morning. These are the type of vintage Christmas linens that make my heart go pitter-pat:

A thrift store find large tablecloth...

I love the Yule Log design!

This was spotless -- I doubt it had ever been used!

Here's another - same store, same day. It's a bit busy for me...

But if you look at it one section at a time, the design is so quaint!

And (above) here is the detail of a tree skirt with great, kistchy red, green and white pom pom trim!

Then, I discovered this in the handkerchief section:

It is a silk hankie with the most incredible, watercolor-like design...

From an Expo in Brussels in 1935.

I love this so much! I'm thinking of making it part of a crazy quilt, someday.

Tomorrow begins my son's Christmas vacation from school. I'm very excited to have him home for two weeks. Then, it should really begin to feel like Christmas around here. We're having mild weather. I'm finished with all my shopping and wrapping and today I'm working on tidying up the house from the neglect and clutter of both of those activities!

What are you up to, this week before Christmas?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh, And...

take a look at the icon on the top of my left sidebar: it's advertising a contest over at Where Women Create. They're giving away 16 prizes, and you have until midnight on December 16 to enter all of them. Go see!

This and That

I'm escaping from wrapping Christmas gifts for a few moments to say H-E-L-L-O!

Here's a photo of a button tree I made with vintage buttons from my collection, some tiny silver beaded garland, and pins:

Also, I have to show you this print that I have been coveting from my favorite local antique store for more than two years. The last time I was there, the booth owner happened to be there working on her display, and I asked her to give me a deal on it. She was happy to sell it to me, she said, because I wanted it so much! It's a sample plate of monograms, from Germany.

Earlier this month we had my Aunt Delores visit for a few days; she was actually here for my husband's surprise birthday party. Here are the boys playing around with my husband after dinner; notice the empty cake plate in front of him! It took 2 cakes and a pie to feed the crowd of 12 that night!:

Aunt Delores was grieving the loss of her faithful beagle, Cricket, who she'd had to put to sleep last month. Our Snoopy was comforting her.

He always seems to know.

I'm just about ready for the holidays; I have decorated as much as I plan to, have mailed cards and gifts, and have just a couple more gifts to buy for my immediate family. I haven't actually done any baking this month, which is unusual. I have had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit as much as usual. How about you?

I feel like I haven't been around much; must be the physical therapy appointments and the extra time I need to take to doctor my poor achin' tendonitis in my tibia, and my heel spurs. I have exercises to do twice daily, and I'm supposed to ice my feet five times a day.

Yesterday I went to the podiatrist for a follow up visit and he was not pleased with my progress. Even though I feel a small improvement, he was looking for a big one. He gave me a night splint to wear and, holey moley, it's huge! It's not so easy to sleep in, either. He wants me to alternate feet with the splint, but I have to say I'd prefer to keep it on my right foot, which is the more sore and inflamed of the two, because (despite the lack of sleep) it made my foot feel so much better. But I'll do what he says, because I'm that kind of a gal.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

...And the Winner Is...

Thank you to all who entered my Blogaversary Giveaway, and welcome to the new followers!

I used the Random Number Generator, and the winner is:

SANDRA

Congratulations, Sandra, and please email me your home address so I can get this little guy in the mail for you!

I hope you all have a happy Saturday planned; I'm going to bet it will be VERY BUSY, so close to the holidays. I am taking the day "off" to enjoy another all-day crop and work on my scrapbook project about my parents. My husband and son will be bell-ringing for the Salvation Army and then going to play LaserTag for my son's best friend's birthday party. So, I don't feel bad about "abandoning" them on a Saturday!

I'll see you back here tomorrow! Congratulations again, Sandra!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fancy Feet and Vintage Christmas

Happy Blogaversary to me!

So, we've been having incredibly frigid, below zero temps that have kept me inside most of this week and I've been crafting. Here's a bit of what I've done:

I've been pulling apart those vintage corsages you sometimes find in thrift stores, saving the best pieces, and re-assembling them. This is one that I put on top of a cigar box I covered in scrapbooking paper.

Here's another that I paired with that snowman!

Just an idea of how you can use the snowman if you win my Blogaversary Giveaway!

A cute little Santa on a vintage glass ball...sitting atop a rusty bed spring!

And then...bottle brush trees! I am obsessed with them. I tried bleaching these -- from dark green and hot pink, respectively. Do you know, I have never been able to identify the odor at my local Dillard's Department store. Whenever I buy stuff there, it lingers in my car for days. Now, I know what it is: it's the smell of bleached bottle brush trees. I kid you not.

I decorated this one with antique and vintage bulbs and picks, plus some vintage tree light bulbs. I think I'm going to finish it off by painting its pot -- the brick red is too intense for the new, softer green.

I love how this one turned out, decorated with wedding picks in white and shiny crystal.

Here's another little arrangement of rescued vintage corsage pieces; I mounted it with a Shiny Brite deer onto a crocheted shade pull. I'm not sure what to do with it yet -- maybe make it into a pin?

I promised you Fancy Feet: my PT told me that I should never go barefoot around the house, and the best thing would be to wear high top sports shoes to keep my feet flexed. So, yesterday my husband and I went to the shoe store and bought me these Vans. They're skateboarders shoes, with loads of ankle support. They feel GREAT!

I bought the loudest, most unique pair I could find at a reasonable price, just to sort of keep my sense of humor about my foot pain.

I hope you're keeping warm as this storm blows across the country! Don't forget: today's the last day to sign up for my giveaway!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good News, Bad News

The bad news is, I didn't get chosen to be on Wheel of Fortune. (Booooo.)

The good news is, I spent Tuesday's "snow day" crafting, and finished another Artist's Class project! (Hey, you have to celebrate the little things!)

This time it was the "Pretty Fabric Covered Box." I started out with this vintage quilted box:

I covered the bottom, sides, inside, and the top with paper, vintage fabric, vintage ribbon and trims, and a few bits of newer trim.

This beautiful blue and green wired ribbon was a purchase from a specialty ribbon shop a few years ago when we vacationed in NM. I had been saving it for something special.

The same with the lovely fabric I used to line the inside: I bought it at an antique store a while back and was saving it. I bought the antique trim that's on the inside of the lid in Missouri.

The antique ribbon that covers the sides coordinates with the "Marie blue" theme, inspired by the antique print on the top of the box.

The paper on the inside of the lid and the bottom (not shown) is by Close To My Heart.

Remember, just one more day to enter my Blogaversary giveaway; details are here.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Fun All Over the WWW

I really hate it when I fall behind in reading all my favorite blogs, but I do like it when I spend a few hours catching up and come across a theme of sorts. This time, the theme I found was a bunch of wonderful tutorials, all winter themed, and all generously shared on the blogs of these talented ladies. I'm going to share the links with you, here:

A ruffled felt wreath, courtesy of Kristen at Domestifluff.

Really cute Advent Calendar idea from Ann at Keepin' Up With the Tatums.

Wonderful snowflakes from Karoline at Cherished*Vintage.

Thank you to all the bloggers who shared their talent and creativity! Don't you feel so blessed to be able to share in all this wonderful creative energy? I do!

If you decide to make any of these, please thank them, and be sure to link back here and show me what you made!

Don't forget, you have until 11:59 p.m. MT on December 11 to enter my Blogaversary giveaway here.