Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ice candles for a moment

No, you really don't need to live in the frozen north to enjoy an ice candle.
If you don't have an extra freezer, it might prove a bit challenging.
I've typically made ice candles much larger,
but my freezer didn't have room for gallon size ice cream buckets this time around.
This year it was a mix of Cool Whip containers and the like.
Still pretty enough to enjoy for one evening.
I'm quite serious.
One. Evening.
This was the view on Christmas morning.

To be perfectly honest, it is still the view as we approach New Years.
I haven't cleaned up anything yet.

Monday, December 29, 2014

52.52 motivational monday

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
-Mark Twain

Over the Christmas holiday we also snuck in an afternoon of graduation photos.
Many possibilities flitted through my mind as I considered this last quote of the year.
Tia, our youngest, graduates high school this year and will soon
start sailing on the trade winds as she casts off the bowlines tying her to us.
She will begin exploring and discovering.
In all likelihood, those trade winds will provide some great swells.
I can't wait to see how she chooses to ride them.

Thank you to all of you who have visited our circle of blogs over the past two years.
My creativity has been challenged.
My energy has ben challenged.
Above all, I have been able to share this journey with some fabulous folks.
Seeing what their take on quotes has been this year has been really fun.

Next up is Gloria ...

may your New Year be blessed!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

rosette tree

I have some craft drawers and totes of fabric and garments waiting to be repurposed.
For this particular tree, I wanted just whites and creams.

I started by tear and cutting fabrics into strips.
Then one strand of loose thread was sewn about 1/2 inch in from the edge.
(I was especially fond of this skirt at one time.)

The stitching was gathered and pulled tight enough to form the strip of fabric into a rosette.

To keep the rosettes together, I started by simply stapling the centers with one staple.

Until the stapler decided it had lived long enough and gave up completely.

Then I moved on to simply doing a zig zag stitch in the center of each rosette,
leaving long threads dangling.

Using a styrofoam base, I started pinning rosettes in place to determine where I wanted them.

At a point where I figured I had almost enough of them, I started attaching them to
the cone using my million mile tiny glue gun, always pulling the strings away so
they would hang loosely down the "tree".
As the rosettes wouldn't necessarily equally reach the bottom of the cone in the same place,
I added several rows of a tan ribbon to the bottom of the cone.
I had some trouble photographing this ...
it really looks better in live living color.

One more tree for the collection!
It might just be my favorite.

I just realized that Christmas is in a few days and I'm not done sharing Christmas crafting with you!

I'm not done baking either.
Or shopping.
Or wrapping.
Or cleaning.

I. Am. On. Vacation.

Monday, December 22, 2014

51.52 motivational monday

Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.
-Dalai Lama

We are a game playing family.
We certainly have favorites and we change the game rules occasionally.
Like lately the robber doesn't even make the game.
We leave him off somewhere in the distance and 7's don't count in our games.
When we do use him ... dear hubby is known to plunk him on an unoccupied space.
For those of you who don't play this game,
that means that no one gets hurt.
So even in a game such as this ...
kindness is possible.

The countdown is on.
One more week to go.

Check out what Gloria has to share with us on this second to the last hop of the year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy 18th Birthday Tia

My baby.
My littlest one.
My last one to reach adulthood.
Celebrating a golden birthday for this special one.
I'm not thinking about what that means for her parents.
For her, I hope it means all kinds of good things.
New challenges.
New excitement.
New hopes.
New dreams.

I'm a day late in this post (several days if you're not in my time zone).
We had a party.
Her requests for food included: karjalan piirakas, deviled eggs, artichoke jalapeno dip and salsa (with chips of course) and red velvet cake.
So that is what we had!

I had to procure the piirakas because I've never made them myself. Yum!

Games. Always. Frans even learned to play Ligretto last night.

The cake.
This probably isn't fair, but it sure is fun.
Kind of like playing Twister without the dial thing.
Surprise your next birthday someone with adding some of the candles to the side of the cake.
I've done it to coworkers ....
why not my own?!

Today in the beauty of sunshine.

Happy life my dear!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

snow globe trees

A few years back I found some snow globes in a magazine somewhere.
I really wanted to make them but, alas, never managed.
Those ones had liquid in them like the kind you would pick up in a store somewhere.
These snow globes are dry.
And beyond easy to make.
First you need some mason type jars.
Next some trees.
Incidentally, I finally found these at Michaels. One bag of smaller trees and one solo larger tree.
Take the lids off the jars and attach the tree to the inside of the lid with some good glue.
(These trees came with the little wood base on them.)
Allow them to dry completely before moving them.
At this point I stopped taking pictures.
Tip your jars upright and drop some store bought (Michaels again!) snow inside them.
Place the lid with the tree upside down on top of the jar and secure with the ring.
Shake until the snow is where you want it.
Too much? Open and dump some out.
Too little? Add some more.
Winter wonderland in no time at all!

A person could add all kinds of things to the scene.
Sleds, reindeer, Santa ... whatever a heart desires.
I was having problems finding such things and ...
I like the simplicity of the globes the way they are.
Loving this tree theme this year!

Monday, December 15, 2014

50.52 motivational monday

We are not rich by what we possess but rather by what we can do without.
-Immanuel Kent
There they are!
How do I get them up to my mouth?
Oh well.
Maybe another day.
They put me in this awkward position that ain't good for nuthin'!

Not today. 

This is so much fun!

The countdown is on to the end of this project!
Several more weeks to go.
Enjoy a trip to visit Gloria.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

pallet tree

I have some incredibly dear daughters.
They send me links to things that are selling on swip swap sites ...
and have me running across town for a deal.
They send me fun crafty ideas ... and have me running out for supplies.

And is it fun!

This one is made from a pallet and some dollar store treasures. This link will take you to more detailed instructions should you need them. I sort of forgot to take pictures while we were creating.

I had several pallets sitting in the backyard. One that is much more put together and sturdy ... and then there was this one. Perfect for tree building.

Alyx and I took some paint to one side of the pallet. It was kind of a mess because I couldn't find a paint brush. Between a sponge and a rag ... and some watered down paint ... we got it roughly whitened.

A trip to the dollar store yielded all the decorating materials except for the lights. I did end up using two boxes of lights but I don't remember how long the strands were.

The original picture and post used half of a log attached to the pallet for the trunk of the tree. All that kind of stuff from around here recently went to the sand dunes for a bonfire, so I just put a little piece of beaten up looking wood for the tree trunk. Use whatever ya got hangin' around.

Isn't it just the cutest?!
To be truthful ... I wouldn't mind hanging it on a wall inside the house and skipping the dripping green needles this year.
I'm afraid that isn't going to happen, but I really wouldn't mind.

Then again .. I still don't have a tree in the living room and there is one more pallet out in the backyard!

And I've seen some other really cute ideas out there ....

Thursday, December 11, 2014

trees .... trees ..... and more trees

I'm doing something different this Christmas season.
I've left nearly all of the Christmas stuff in the storage boxes.
I've decided to do trees this year.
Almost nothing but trees.
It might not look like the typical Christmas around here,
but I'm enjoying it.
This would be called something like decorating from the bottom of the closet.
Scrounge around and see what you can find creativity.
My. Kind.
A knockoff of another Pinterest find is my little stick tree.
First I took a few sticks and glued them together. I didn't bother tying the sticks, but that might look kind of neat. Nah. I just glued 3 twigs onto a longer twig and, when dry, stood them up in a silver coffee creamer filled with sand.
Then I found some little sparklies thing that were hanging around in a drawer. The little things are sold in a bunch in the wedding section at Hobby Lobby. Who knows what my original idea was with these things! I took the bunch apart and wrapped them around the trunk of the tree.
Next I added little doodads. Using whatever I could find, I started adding things to the tree.
Little pieces of home made jewelry were added hither and yon.

 I seriously hate throwing things away.
You just never know when it it will come in handy for another project.
 I might have just inherited that trait.

I looked at it for a few days and then decided it needed more of something.
So (the other part of this coming later) I added a little hoar frost in the form of glass beads to the sticks ... and some pearls ... just for fun.
My picture of it sort of stinks tho'.
You'll have to use your imagination.
More trees coming soon!

Monday, December 8, 2014

49.52 motivational monday

Your own problems disappear when you devote your attention
 to the problems of others.
- Unknown


Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Tuesday evening and I'm sitting down.
In a quick gander through Facebook today, while on lunch break at work, I saw these awesome pictures of sunrise in and around Phoenix this morning.
I was at work long before sunrise.
I never noticed the changing of the days of light to dark as much as I do now.
Like the first day it is lighter out in the spring when you're driving to work and you wonder if you overslept.

I was up early enough this morning (4:13 a.m.) to hit the internet for a quick minute before I went to work.
One of those middle of the night thoughts must have stayed with me into the minutes of wakefulness.
I've spent some time on Shutterfly lately, and last night (after a long internal battle with myself) finally caved and spent some time making a Christmas card.
Shutterfly was obviously bogging ... it took forever!
Maybe a few others had the same idea as I did.
I figured I'd just pare down my list a bit and order less than usual.
I hit the purchase button and was sort of relived that the decision was made.

Back to this morning.
In my waking moments, I realized that some of my other orders last night should have been shipped directly to other addresses rather than paying for postage twice.
So I went online to see if I could somehow change the shipping address.
If there is some easy way to do that, I didn't find it.
What I did find was a declined card payment on my Christmas card order.
Apparently my bank didn't mind me hitting purchase over and over for the same item.
It did mind me all of a sudden upping the anty with a larger one.
Maybe they think I stole the card or something.
Really. It. Was. Just. Me.

In that moment of realization I found justification.
I sort of figured it was a sign.
I'm skipping Christmas cards this year.

I am going to have a serious case of guilt whenever I open the mailboxes and collect another greeting of the season.
I know I am.
I am going to second guess this decision of mine until January ... but at least that is only 29 days away.
I think I can handle it.

What am I going to do instead?
Perhaps I'll spend some of that postage money on enjoying a beautiful Christmas program and dinner with my hubby.
Maybe I'll pick up an angel off a tree to bring joy to a needy child.
Or I'll spend moments sharing a cup of Christmas tea with someone.
Perhaps I'll rent some ice skates (eek!!) and go enjoy an ice rink and a cup of hot cocoa with my children.

I'll think of you.
I'll share Christmas greetings ... along with the photos I had selected for my card ... with you.
And perhaps next year ... I'll put some cards in the mail.
For this year.
Guilt. Be. Gone.

Monday, December 1, 2014

48.52 motivational monday

It is not length of life, but depth of life.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

So where does one go with this one?!
And why does someone wait until the last minute to try and go there?

Is the depth of life so many things?
Do we at different times in our lives seem to be skimming the surface of living
and other times diving right in?

Is the depth of life held together with the emotional ties we have with friends and loved ones?
Or do they define the depth of life?

The Thanksgiving holiday we just celebrated was full of the depth of life.
We no longer have all of our immediate loved ones at the same table anymore,
but across the miles we can share moments of that special day with them.
And for those who we share with other loved ones in town ... we get them for special moments.

Today, I'd have to say that this smile defines the depth of life. A life full of new adventure with a new bride. Not skimming the surface, but diving right in. They were sitting outside a coffee shop grabbing some wifi so they could skype with both of their families before they headed home to cook their first Thanksgiving dinner .... complete with turkey and pies.

Is there even a way to define the depth of life? We can live a short one that is incredibly shallow, or we can live one that is as deep as the deepest sea ... filled with vibrant color. I use to say a cacophony of color and symphony of sound. Oh, yes. We don't need to live long lives in order to live like that. 

We just need to really live it. 
With a depth that says we have lived.