Monday, December 31, 2012

The secret to HAPPINESS is...

Wishing you a Happy New Year

As this year comes to an end, we look back at what we have accomplished and we start looking ahead to what we want to accomplish in the New Year.

I can't help but think of all the "New Year Resolutions"being made this year...  All the T.V. commercials showing all the exercise equipment to get us into shape through exercise and Weight loss companies, the car companies are telling us we need to purchase the newest models of their vehicles, the Make up and Hair companies telling us we can look like their models if we only use their products.  Now that's not to say that being healthy isn't important, it is.  That's not to say, we don't care about what we look like, or how we present ourselves to others, it is.  That's not to say, we don't want to better ourselves and our families, and the things we buy, own, drive or the homes we live in, it is... 

But I think there is a secret to all that!  Once you know that secret the rest just falls into place.  Do you want to know what the secret is???

The only secret to happiness is... happy!  It's very simple... JUST BE HAPPY!  

All the rest just falls into place... be happy with what we have, be happy with who we are, be happy with who we are with, be happy with our families, be happy with the things we own...  just be happy.  That's not to say we don't want to better ourselves, our families, our health and the things we own, drive or the homes we live in...we do.  We should look forward to bettering ourselves, we should never stop growing...but first we should be happy, right now in this moment!

So this year the only "New Year's Resolution" I am going to make is...
to be happy!  
And let the rest fall into place!

                                                    Peace and Hugs,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays

From Our Home...
                       To Yours!

                                           Peace & Love,

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Few Quiet Moments...

As we get ready to spend time with our love ones, eat lots of delicious food, have a few to many drinks, exchange gifts and just share in the happiness and joy of this wonderful season, I just want to take a few quiet moments and count my blessings.  We have a beautiful new home to share, we have all we need and our health to enjoy it.  We will celebrate our 37th year of Marriage this year, our children are grown, and our Grandchildren are an absolute joy to us.  With the exception of maybe Peace on Earth, we could not ask for any more.  We are truly blessed!

I finished the last of my gifts today, cutting it just a little too close for comfort.  Thanks Karen from The Graphic Fairy for the perfect image to put on a pillow for my Sister, Annie, who is a master knitter and who we just re-did a room in her home...the Yarn Room of course!

This is the pillow from the front...I just adore that BIG fat sheep in all her wooly glory!

The pillow above the Sheep Pillow is a pillow I made for myself, (hey I've been a good girl this year too).  The back of her pillow looks just like this one.  I didn't put an image on my back side as the pillow that will be behind it will be much larger and will have another GORGEOUS image from The Graphic Fairy...of course.  I used beautiful antique buttons on both pillows...I just adore Mother of Pearl buttons!

 And some towels made from Flour Sacks...My Mother In-Law is the Queen of Dish Sets and putting together the most beautiful tablescapes ever, so it seemed appropriate to make her a couple of towels with dishes on them.  My Sister was in dire need of knives so I purchased her a set and made a kitchen towel for her with more cute graphics again from... The Graphic Fairy!  I purchased Transfer Artist Paper to do these transfers onto the towels and the very first one was the Bon Apetit towel...and I kind of burned it.  Oh well, it just adds to the aged look...right???  But after that I caught on and I highly recommend this stuff, it's great!

The baking is just about done...I just have to make Swedish Kringler and get the Cocktail sauce cooked for the meatballs and Lil Smokies for our family get together Christmas Eve.  But I'll be back at it getting things ready for Christmas morning breakfast.  We always bring breakfast to our Daughters on Christmas morning and see all the presents Santa brought to our Grandchildren and to exchange gifts with them then, in a more intimate setting.

Here's a little sneak peek of my new craft's still a work in progress, but it's coming along.  After the Holidays, I'll share a little more with you.  I finally got cable hooked up in there this week and Mr. P. knew my Stereo wasn't playing CD's anymore, who can craft without music??  So he gave me an early Christmas present...a new stereo!  Yup, after 36 years of marriage... I think he is a keeper!

Here's my next big push for the house after the TO DO Pile!

Me and Hannah are all pooped out and ready to kick back and enjoy all our hard work and our loved ones for the next few days... we hope you are all going to do the same!

Happy Holidays... from our Home to Yours!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Over the Hill, to Grandma's we go...

I hope you are able to sit back and enjoy this Holiday Season, feel the joy this wondrous time brings, eat lots of tasty goodies, snuggle with family, enjoy a good movie or cuddle in front of a warm fire and make toasts with good friends.  It is the time memories are made of, love is shared and our hearts are open.  Our presents are wrapped (some of us anyway), our baking is done (some of us anyway) and we are getting ready to cross over the hills to Grandma's (or wherever you may go)!

I have so enjoyed the last few weeks, taking in all the lovely decorations as everyone has opened their homes for us to view.  So many talented and creative ladies, decorating, making, baking and wrapping with new ideas, tips and tricks to share.  Thank you all so much, it has almost felt a little like opening a present every morning as I opened my laptop and saw all the emails, meaning I had wonderful blogs and posts to review.   I have a few more photos to share with you today...and as this is a work in progress, I will have lots more to share after the Holiday's.  Buying and decorating an older home, has been hair pulling and rewarding.  But that's another story, so here is more of my "Home" for the Holidays!

My Kitchen has come a very, very long way and still the journey is not complete...
                                         Here is where is started:
The blue cooler was a plug in cooler and was our refrigerator for 2 months, check out this floor.
 We removed the wallpaper, painted walls and inside cupboards and I put in a new floor.  We purchased a new stove, refrigerator and a vented microwave above the stove.
I love the new more orange, yellow and green stones!  Still can't decide what color to paint the cabinets??

The cabinets to the left were all made by my wonderfully talented Father. 

 Here's the cabinets (made by my Father) all decorated for the Holidays.  My In-laws lived and worked in the Cayman Island for years and while there my Father In-law gave me some very beautiful pieces.  The saucers and cups are a set that came from Austria, and the Ruby Red dishes are a gift from my sweet Mother she can set a table.  She has the most beautiful dishes and can set a magical and different table scape every time you visit!

After the Holidays I plan on covering foam board with toile fabric on the middle cabinet background.  I think it will beautifully match the dining room chairs and the tone I am going for in the kitchen.  French Cottage Farmhouse.

                                          And baking in progress:
My Christmas present to myself after the Holidays is a new sink and faucet...getting rid of the GREEN sink you can see here!  The orange, yellow and green floor is gone, the green refrig is gone, the green stove is gone!!  OH YEAH!
My dining room is still a work in progress, I got this room re-carpeted, painted and new curtains hung. I re-covered the chair cushion in the foreground and I am working on some pillows, I'll share with you later. The long oak table on the right is from the library at the Grade School I about an antique!  The clock back by the patio door is a clock my Father made me and he had it engraved on a gold plate, so very special!  The shelf is an antique, my Mother thought was the top to an organ, it is so beautiful!  The small dresser to the left is actually a dry sink, I took the drying bar off the back to use in this room.

Here's a view from the living room of the before Christmas photo:

Here's a view from the kitchen to the dining room
          And here is my Christmas decor:
The suspender's on the chair are a pair my Father wore every year for they adorn my dining room chair which is ironic, because he loved to eat with a passion and we still make many of his favorite dishes!

This table was an antique dining room table my Mother had for a very long time.  One day she asked my Father to cut it down to coffee table height...he was NOT to happy, but he always wanted to make her happy and it turned out GREAT!   Needless to say this table was much used at their lake house, where we spent many happy summers living around this table.

My Mother got me into quilting and we often worked on quilts together.  The same exact patterns, sometimes with the same fabrics but most often not, and you cannot believe how different they could be.  It was almost like they each had personalities of their own.  This little snowman quilt was one of my favorites and I displayed it on our Living Room table, where we live most of our time. 

So today I am leaving you with this sweet little quilt to say...  
Happy Holidays, may you find peace, joy and love, and maybe a little snow this holiday season!

                                                                Holiday Hugs,

Monday, December 17, 2012

A "Home" for the Holidays

It's our first year in our new home...A "Home" for the Holidays!  

I haven't even finished putting up the regular decor and down it came to put up a little Holiday Cheer.  I've been busy painting, putting in new floors, shelves, pictures, curtains and lots and lots of clocks  (some might say I have an obsession, but that's for another day)!   I have only put up a few of my Christmas treasures this year, hard to pick what to use and what to put away for another year.  So I chose to put out some pieces that represent those most important to family.  Pieces that came from these very special people, they don't match each other, they aren't the same color scheme, some are old, some are new.  But what they have in common is LOVE, and that's what makes a house a home! 

I didn't put up a big tree this year.  Being in a smaller townhome for 5 years, I gave my BIG tree (which I loved to pieces) to my daughter and her family... this is them at Thanksgiving.

I love them to pieces too!!
So I put up 3 smaller trees in a big basket and used some more of my left over Toile fabric for the base of the tree.  I haven't seen my ornaments in over 5 was a little like seeing old friends!  See my cute snowman magazine holder on the floor...another great piece my father made me, it is a birdhouse and has spanish moss in the bird holes, above the sweet little perches!  I used to put up an entire porcelain village that my dad would stare at for hours on end.  It ran the length of our fireplace, which ran the length of the living room and would take me days to set up.  This year I chose to put up a few pieces and under the tree I put the Stone Gate and some bottle brush trees.

Many years ago my Mother got me into Gallery Glass, you could either do it directly onto windows (I did EVERY window in that house) as modules (like window clings) or directly onto specialty plastics, which came in pieces you painted and then glued together with what looks like the soldering of stained glass.  We purchased these pieces for a village.  There is a Church, an Old Mill, a Toy Store and a Bakery.  Now that my Mother has passed these are even more a treasure of mine and I had to put them out in the new house.

My birdhouse tree table is a very special table to me in that my Father made me a set of trees (they are a set of 3) that are wrapped with grapevine from our backyard at the time and fairy lights and are topped with a beautiful gold wood star (my Mom did all the painting on them).  I have put red cardinals on the table as they were my Father's favorite birds.  This is the anniversary of my Father's passing... it is hard to believe it has been 5 years.

My sofa table is also very special as my Father also made me this table, he LOVED to put heart cut-outs on everything he did.  I took some muslin and tore into a strip and tied around the basket holding a candle.  Underneath I have placed some velvet boxes from my sweet MIL and pine cones and some of my bottle brush trees...still tweaking and I will be until I take it down.  Am I the only one that does that???  I bet not!  The sled holds my winter dressed teddy bears from my Sister, she is a MASTER knitter.  And the fireplace holds some of my snowman collection along with some wood trees my Father also cut for me years ago.

And the last photo I'll leave you with this evening is the top of my Living Room Amoire.  The Cherub is a Flameless candle that my Sister gave me after our Mother passed away, a rose from her Memorial Service sits in her lap.  I used to have quite the Angel collection, passing most of it along to others now.  It is again a special piece to me now.  The picture is the last photo taken with My Mom and Dad and 2 Sisters.  The poinsettia is one I purchased from my youngest Grandaughter...selling them to raise funds to go to New York after the New Year with her Color Guard unit in High School, they are going to be on Good Morning America (Go Hailey)!  I painted the pot with crackle medium, tied on a muslin strip and a pin I made with a doily, some special buttons and bling.  Everything looks better in bling!

We look forward to many happy holidays and everyday moments, and together making many loving memories through the years, here in our new home! 

Holiday Hugs,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Dog And Her Man

It started snowing here in Minnesota on late Friday night and didn't stop until Sunday morning...we had at least 15" of snow!  It was so beautiful, the kind of wet snow that clings to the branches in the trees, that makes the best snowballs, not to mention snowmen!   But then it was time to dig out...that's Mr. P's job!

Hannah's little head barely showed above the snow, and she kept digging down looking for the she knew it was just there yesterday, where'd it go...  that's her little butt in the air there!

 I forgot to put her coat on her, she says Mama embarrases her when she puts it on her anyway!  She looked like a BIG snowball when she came in, it was almost comical, but she didn't see the humor in it!! 

(It's hard to take pictures in the "pouring" that right??)

She likes to do perimeter checks every night walking around the entire backyard, but it was just too high, so Mr. P. walked around the entire yard to give her a path.  What a sweet man, there isn't anything he wouldn't do for that dog...a dog and her man!!!

I'll be back with some photo's of the Holiday decor in the new house, I just had to share our "snow day" with you.

Crafty Hugs,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Card Swap

I recently did a Holiday Card Swap through Bazzill Basics using their new Timeless and Believe Holiday Collection.  Here's the cards I made.

 We were to make 10 identical cards using their product, it's amazing all the gorgeous cards these ladies made.  Check them out...

I was totally blown away by these talented ladies and their cards...I feel like a real amateur in comparison. 

It's amazing that we all used the same papers but no 2 cards even resembled one another.  They are so unique and I will be proud to send them to my friends and family this year...which I probably better do soon!

Thanks to Bazzill Basics and all the creative and talented ladies for these beautiful Christmas cards to share this season!

 Be back soon with some of my Holiday decor in the new house!

Crafty Hugs,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My First Christmas Card Swap

I finally got to make some Christmas cards in between painting, sewing and putting up curtain hardware...  I did a card swap with Bazzill Basics Paper after winning the beautiful Timeless and Believe Holiday Paper Packages from Mariana at: .  Check out her site and all her beautiful cards...thanks Mariana, I probably wouldn't have made any cards this year if it wasn't for you, funny how that worked out!

I have been busy sewing with my favorite Toile fabric from Waverly so I decided to add some into my cards this year and use up some of my not to waste any!  I used the Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals Die and it worked great for cutting the fabric.  I used pop up dots under the petals to give some dimension.  

 I was to make 10 identical cards and mail them in, about 2 weeks later I received my package in the mail (after stalking my mailman...I think I scared him a bit) with 10 GORGEOUS cards from the other ladies who also participated in the Swap.  I'll share those cards in the next post...gotta get dinner going for Mr. P.

And just before I go I have to share with you photos of Hannah in her new winter coat...

She was just to the Groomers and it was the first night we went below freezing, the poor thing was shaking she was so COLD.   The next day it was off to some building store for me and Mr. P.(a normal weekend ritual) and we saw this adorable coat and just had to try it.  She pranced around in it like she wore clothes everyday...who knew she's a model too!

Crafty Hugs,