May Your Cup Be Full....

...of Christmas Cheer!!!!

thanks to my daughter for the photo from instagram

Christmas on the Mantel

Inspired by a picture that Simply Bungalow posted, I decided on a whim to do our mantel in old bottles and vintage ornaments.

There are a few odds and ends of dishes thrown in too because I discovered that I had sold most of my bottles.  A little tinsel here and there is nice too.

And some candle holders.....

 I think some vintage mirrors and windows leaning up along the wall in the back would be a perfect addition.

But, this was on a whim and I was out of time and oomph.

If you had some really special ornaments, this would be a great way to display them. Just a few as a small grouping on a shelf or as your table centerpiece would be nice. 

Blog posts may be a bit scant for a couple of weeks, making merry and all.  But, I have to say that I've been detached from the "busy" in a really good way and am enjoying the season.  I pray the same for you. 

I also hope I maintain that attitude and detachment at the end of this week, ha!

A Little Tree Surprise

When I came across this free pattern at Lark Crafts for a sand bag Christmas tree, I pinned it.

Unlike my other "pins", this one got done!  The pattern comes from the book Flip Dolls & Toys That Zip, Stack, Hide, Grab & Go by Laura Wilson.
I may need to buy this book.

I used vintage fabric scraps that I had on hand and filled the pieces with non toxic plastic toy filler (not sure what it's called) because I had a bag of it from a garage sale.  Otherwise, I would have used rice.

It's already been received by a special someone....

Who last I heard was playing "fetch" with them with her Daddy.

My daughter did not realize that they were supposed to be a "tree".  Hmmm...maybe I should have used all green fabric!!

How are your Christmas preparations going?  My youngest informed me that it was 12 days until Christmas this morning. "WHAT?!?! " She laughed at me and went to the calendar to show me.  She's right!

Madonna of the Kitchen Comes Home

On April 7th, 2011, I posted about my Madonna of The Kitchen Holy Water Font that had broken.  You can read about it here and see the sad pictures. 

Early in November someone commented that they had one for sale on Ebay.
I was thrilled.

Well, look what came in the mail!

Now, I'm not sure if I'm going to hang it in the same spot or not for fear of it breaking again.  Also, I'm afraid to put the holy water in it without some kind of liner or it may crack again too.  Details I'll need to figure out.  I'm just so happy to have another intact one!

Thank you Ebay seller jademani!!

Today is day 12 of Rebecca's 12 days of Mary.  I'm very happy I found this link up party. :)

A Living Rosary

In September, the LIHM Sisters in our town hosted a "Living Rosary" to honor our Blessed Mother on her birthday.

I had never been to such an event and did not know what to expect.

I grabbed my camera on our way out the door 'just in case' I may want to take a picture.

Well, I took a lot of pictures.  They had balloons and as we prayed, they handed out the balloons to some people and they formed a circle with one sister tying them together.  I thought, 'Well that's neat, the balloons will be let go and represent our prayers.'

It wan't until they floated up, that I saw that they all hung together just like a rosary!!  I'm a little slow I know!!  But, what was I moved to photograph??  The rosaries hanging from the hands of those praying.  All before I knew what was going on.  Not a coincidence.

If you would like to watch a slide show to the song of Hail Mary that I made of this event you can click here.

The slide shows shows all ages and our diverse community coming together for the love of our Blessed Mother.

I'm joining Rebecca for day 11 of her Twelve Days of Mary series.

There Is A Cure For Hunger

Today is the beginning of a campaign to end world hunger.  Pope Francis is asking everyone to begin at noon today to fast and pray for an end to hunger.

I just heard about this on Sunday at Mass and honestly had trouble wading through some sites looking for details, but then realized, who needs details?  My prayers, your prayers will matter even if not prayed at a certain time.

There is a cure to hunger.  Feed the hungry person.  There is enough food.  Each of our roles in this will vary and we don't want to trip up on the "how".   Pray.  Fast.  Donate. However you are led to do.

And, when you "remember that you forgot" to do something.  Don't kick yourself.  Don't think it's too late.  Try again.  Utter a little prayer.  And, then when you forget again...okay, enough, ha!

And, do you know that you can ask God to give you reminders to pray?  

I'm linking up again with Rebecca on her 10th day of Mary.

And, with Kim for Texture Tuesday.  My ebony Mary photo was textured with two layers of "Wisdom".  Seemed a fitting texture to choose today. :)  This Mary sits on a shelf in our den.  

A thought that came to mind as I was thinking about this post....  We know there is a cure to hunger.  As we administer the cure so to speak, I imagine that we will indeed be curing or feeding what we hunger for in our own lives.  Hope for despair, Peace for anxiety, Love for animosity.
A wonderful way to spend Advent and to prepare our hearts.

Mondays With Mary

Friday, I went down to our small town flower shop and bought some greenery and a few red carnations.

Then my second daughter and I filled my collection of Mary vases.

We like to pretend we know what we are doing...we had to arrange and rearrange many times! 

I swapped out the white candles with red in my coffee cup/saucer turned candle holders.

Yesterday was the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception and marked 11 years since my husband and I met which was also when the 8th of December fell on a Sunday. So this feast day is extra special to us.

Today, I am linking up with Rebecca at Recuarda Mi Corazon (translates: Remember My Heart) for

I hope this Advent time is full of joy for you!

Repurposed Embroidery Hoop Christmas Tree

This little project took far more time in the thinking department than in the creating department!

While sorting and regrouping my stash...I discovered that I had almost 100 embroider hoops.  :)  Most wood.  Then I found my stash of metal ones..20ish...of them.  I have plans of using the hoops for framing fabric and collages.

But, I've also always thought they could be stacked into a tree.  Well, I tried a few things and none of them worked very well until I thought of a two dimensional tree.

I made jump rings out of baling wire to hold the hoops together.  Then I found a few vintage balls in my very small stash of vintage ornaments and hung them with wire ornament hangers.

A command strip hanger on the glass....and it's done!
It would hang easily from the wall with a small nail but I had no light where I had wall space...funny how decisions are made...

You could do the same with the wood ones...maybe paint them?  wrap fabric around them?  Make some more somwhat flat ornaments to hang inside?  LOTS of possibilities!  But, for now, I like the rustic and aged look of this one!

I'm linking up with Christmas Junkers Unite and Laurel at Chipping with Charm.

George Is Going to Travel the World

There are lots of good things going on around here, all of which seem to keep me from posting here.  It's a Wonderful Life...  I know so corny, but so true!

My instagram photos show a bit of what we've been up to.

I took this picture last year on Christmas Eve.  One of our traditions is to watch It's a Wonderful Life after Christmas Eve dinner.

How about you and your family?  Do you have many Christmas traditions?  
I really enjoy our traditions, but I also don't feel bound to them. 

I'm linking with Kim Klassen again and Texture Tuesday.  I used "postale" on the above image which tweaked the color perfectly!

Stained Glass Look Paper Ornaments. Homemade Dimensional Paint Tutorial

Every year my 4-H club makes ornaments to decorate a tree for the parade of trees in our community.  This year we made paper ornaments that have the look of stained glass.  It's a challenge to come up with a project that small hands can make along with  a few older kids.  Plus we have to make enough to cover a tree with the addition of glass balls in a couple of hours time.  Challenge for sure!

First I found some Christmas ornament shapes online, printed them out and made some templates.

Then traced them onto watercolor paper.  I can't believe what a difference the paper makes!

Now, here's the great part!!  Add a bit of black paint to a partial bottle of white school glue and shake to mix well.  This will be your "leading"! Homemade dimensional paint for pennies! It works great! I'm sorry I can't find the link to where I saw this idea.

Then you just "pipe" the "leading" on like you were decorating a cake.
I didn't take a picture of the inside piping, but now you add some divisions any way you want so it will look like pieces of glass fused together.

I put the sheets in a low oven to speed the drying process.  This was harder than it looks for me as I don't have a super steady hand.  The kids could have done it, but we didn't have time for them to do this and get them dried and painted.  So I prepped all the pieces ahead of our meeting.

Then I chose some 4 and 5 letter words from this free AWESOME typeface, called South Rose. Thanks to Jessica from How About Orange for blogging about South Rose!
I resized the words and used carbon paper to transfer the word to the watercolor paper.

The words had to be big because the glue is not a fine line.  Some detail had to be left out.

I think if you used actual dimensional paint you could make your self a neat poster with this font on watercolor paper because you could have smaller words. 

Then after following the lines for soooooo long, I just wanted to squirt out paint/glue where ever I wanted!
So, I made myself a little Christmas tree.

And painted it too!  I even found a frame for it from my stash of frames. :)

Now, if all goes as planned, we will have a wood tree made out of lathe to hang these from....we'll see!

The kids really enjoyed making these!  It was neat to see how even in filling in with water colors, each kid had their own style especially noted in the intensity of the colors.

I think there is a LOT of potential for making your own dimensional paint on the fly at home.  Valentines with red added comes to mind first!

With gratitude this Thanksgiving Eve for you all who come by and read my blog....
I wish you a Blessed day tomorrow!!

Throw Paint!

Isn't this a great quote?!

"Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it."

I took a picture of my paint brush after I painted the cupboard in the basement and this is what it led to.

This could be a great life motto.

Yesterday, for me, the day was full of all the icky worries and heaviness of the world.  I'm not sure why, but this is what I'm keeping in mind today, throwing paint!  And, it just makes me smile.

How about all of you?  Do you need to throw paint at your life?  

I'm linking up today with Kim and Texture Tuesday.  The above image was textured with Kim's "oceanside" texture.

Saturday Digest

►I've never watched Downton Abbey, but I hear it's a great show.  Knowing that it inspired this line of fabric from Kathy Hall, makes me want to watch it.  The above print is called The Dowager's Paisley in Ebony.  The entire collection can be viewed here at Hawthorne Threads.

You may enjoy the collages of the fabric collections here at The Fabric Depot blog.

►Now this looks like fun!  Printing using polystyrene.

►And, from the same site, Total Art Soul,  bird seed ornaments.  I'd like to make these with the kids.

►I made these Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes this week.  Big thumbs up to them.  Recipe makes about 16 cupcakes.

►I never could do a decent cartwheel.  Found out last night that I still can't.
Thank goodness I didn't break anything. :)

Have a great weekend!

An Awesome Purse: A Small Photographer: The Magic Wand Tool

My Friday finds this week are so fun!  First of all I recently purchased this awesome bag from Robelyn of Redneck Chic!

I wanted to post about it and on a whim, asked my 8 year old to hold the camera "like this" and "push here".
She giggled when she was done and said, "I just kept clicking every time you moved!"
It was neat having her help me and her getting such a kick out of it!


Then I messed around learning how to use the quick selection tool and the magic wand tool in Photoshop.  I still need a lot of practice, but I'm getting there.

Robelyn's bags are top of the line quality and all so unique!  (I have more than one...)  I thought they deserved a unique "Thank You"!

And, thanks again to Kim for getting me started learning Photoshop!! Her tutorials and classes are top of the line quality too!

Kim Klassen dot Com
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