A Brief Hello

I used to get together with my sisters, sister in law, and Mom for a "baking day", but the numbers are growing and life is changing as so it was just me and my girls this year. (My five girls and two granddaughters.  My son stayed at college to study for finals.)  We got quite a bit accomplished...

especially if you consider pinching and kissing cheeks something to be accomplished!  Oh my. 

I committed myself to make decisions the other night for all the meal planning that needs to be done and sat down at the computer to look for ideas and recipes. Big mistake. Too many choices.  Too much time to make most of them. And, way too much time spent clicking and looking! Today, I'm going back to my cook books with no pictures and no links!!

Some around here seem to think we're all "ready for Christmas" as the common phrase goes.  Oh gosh, they have so much fun playing the Nancy Drew computer games together!

On with the countdown!

Hand-Painted Ornaments

I saw some people posting pictures of hand-painted ornaments on Instagram and I was so eager to try it.  Especially, because I had clear ornaments on hand that I had purchased quite a few years ago to alter in some way.  

It was time to use those ornaments!  

I gave them all one to two coats of white paint first.

I just used craft paint that I had on hand.  

I chose colors that matched some favorite vintage fabrics I had so I could make a "paper" chain from the fabrics for the tree.  I kept to four colors so all the ornaments would coordinate. After they were dry I gave them a coat of satin finishing spray.

I have to say that enjoyed painting these as much as I enjoyed making my junk ornaments for my "Junk Tree".

I watched this YouTube video before making the fabric chain.  What I took away from her instructions was that you could use two layers of the heat and bond.  I probably would have used just one layer on my own.  I'm assuming that the two layers will give it strength and durability. 

I made my strips 1/2" x 6" and used a drop of glue from a low temperature glue gun to hold the loops closed.  I didn't want a thick and chunky chain, but a more delicate one for my branch tree I was going to use.

I thought these ornaments would look best on a white tree.  Since a new white tree wasn't in the Christmas budget, I cut two branches (from sumac bushes) and spray painted them a light coat of white.  I brushed on a little more white paint after I stuck them in foam in my galvanized pail.

It really worked well.  I'm planning on using these same branches for another Valentine's tree for Valentine's Day now after Christmas.  

A picture from above.

I had two more... I tend to be clumsy....I stepped back into the sewing room to shut off a light and turned too quickly with all the ornaments mounted in a box drying and they spilled out.  After I pouted, I realized that I needed to be grateful because six had fallen out, but only two broke.

As we were pulling out decorations this year, I discovered that I have more clear ornaments!  I should probably paint some more in the same color palette so I have back ups, ha!

"Deck" the Halls!

I've been wanting to use some of my large stash of old decks of playing cards for a project. When I decided to do a form of lacing cards with them with my 4h club, I asked my kids to help me come up with a pun.

A couple of seconds later, my son came up with "deck the halls" and I loved it!

So, paint and decks of cards and yarn... (that package is cut from another Christmas designed deck of cards)

The 4h kids did most of the painting, then I punched all the cards for them to stitch.  (The santa hat and candy cane are cut from another card and glued on)

   I try to have our projects include practicing some skill instead of just cutting and pasting.  Much is too hard for many of the kids, but then their parents help them.  It's a challenge to pick projects that challenge the older kids in the club, but still allow the younger ones to be part of it.

We then punched 2 1/2" circles from the cards and spiral cut them adding a sparkly pom pom on top.

To make little "trees" or "spiral thingies" ha!

One Mom brought her die cut machine and we cut letters.

Which reminded me that our Public Library has a die cut machine...so I went down later and cut more letters!

We even strung together the cards that were punched out.

Of course we needed an angel.

One quick shot of it up.

My youngest and myself by the tree. (More members were there to decorate, but I didn't think to ask for parental permission.) Our community has a parade of trees and our club has participated for a lot of years.  The tree is only up for one day, but I think it's worth the effort for the kids to make and learn something!

And, I have more letters punched out of cards for use here at home. :)

I would love to do some mixed media collage work on playing cards for a tree here at home...maybe next year?!

I'm linking this post up with Linda at Coastal Charm's Show and Share post.

Advent:Joy in The Stirring

Like many of you we began decorating for Christmas this past weekend.  The carols were playing on Pandora and it was festive. :) The rest of the story includes a little...ahem...discussion about what decorations get put up this year and where...kids with opinions, sheesh!

Of course we needed a hot chocolate break!

One of the Christmas mugs that I've had for 25 plus years!

The stirring in of the marshmallows. :)

Although I enjoy the finished product of a craft, a project, a decorated house...for me, I'm always drawn to the process.  And, that includes the stirring.  Isn't that just a lovely shot?  Nora stirring...spilling...the steam from the hot water... probably why I never have everything done or everything clean. 

And, no the decorations aren't finished.

And, many won't go out just to keep life moving along and not getting hung up on getting it all done.

If you follow along on Instagram, you know I've made a few new decorations.  So of course time spent "making" means time not spent with other things like cleaning! I will hopefully share some pictures this next week and also of our 4h tree project this year.

My prayer this past week led to a meditation of  "Who are you decorating for?"
It was a beautiful and fruitful meditation and the question comes back when needed and my perspective is restored.  Praise God. 

Maybe that same question will help you through this Advent? Or maybe for you, "Who are you baking for?" "Who are you buying for?" Fill in the blank for however you prepare for Christmas. 

 And, I hope you find joy in the stirring!

Auction Buys Part 2

A few of the other buys from Sunday's auction:  *This great work table/bench.

 *Holy Family picture. (hard to pass on these!)

*Jesus, the Good Shepherd. :)

*Old school paper cutter.

I've wanted a paper cutter for a long time...but this one was finally the right size and price!

*From the "Ideal School Supply Co." 

*Fabulous stools! 

 Our barn will have no shortage of great seating.  The chalkboard easel will be for my girls to play with and to eventually use for signage if I start selling at shows again.

I like this picture taken in the late afternoon sun on Sunday...wonderful long shadows and the feeling of expectation.  The chairs are waiting for someone to come and sit and enjoy them. 

 Much better than how they are now...stacked waiting for someone to come and clean them up!

Time to Organize! Auction Buy Part 1

Goodness!  I had NO plans of organizing our garage anytime before Christmas or probably not even at all this winter and then yesterday came along.

And, yesterday brought these.  Well, actually we brought them home this morning, ha! But we bought them yesterday at an auction.

The bins were used to store bolts and parts in the old Pontiac Dealership here in our town.  The building most recently was home to an auction company and is where I would often get to go to auctions.  The auctioneer has retired and yesterday was his last auction.  I'm happy I could go, not only for the pieces I picked up, but to be there one last time. I had a lot of fun at auctions down there.

There a few other purchases which I'll share tomorrow.  Now I need to get these in the garage properly.  Easier said than done!!

Happy Monday to you!

Below you can see two posts from Instagram of my husband moving these old parts bins in to our garage. 

Some Projects Don't Work So Well....

Macrame Chair Trial from Jill Ruskamp on Vimeo.

My daughter made this macrame chair for 4h this year and I thought it would be so fun for her to hang out in!  We never had her actually sit in in before she entered it in the fair on the off chance it would break because she had put so much time into it.

Well, trying it out got put on the back burner. We finally took down our porch swing to give her chair a go yesterday.  If it was wonderful, we would look for a tree branch to hang it from. I decided to video tape it because she was so cautious to sit in it. I'm not sure why we were both so afraid of hitting our bottoms on the porch, but we were!

She found the instructions here.   We didn't use heavy enough cord for the rope holding it up nor did she tie the knots big enough. I think it could be quite a bit wider too...changes that could be made if someone were to try it again.  It's discouraging, but we did laugh a lot when we were trying to get it to hold!

(I've been wanting to learn how to edit videos and thus the video posted today. So much to learn!
I've uploaded this to vimeo now and it is of much better quality if watched from the vimeo site instead of here in blogger.)

DIY Cork and Fabric Mouse Pad

A while back I saw this tutorial on Going Home to Roost and knew that it would be a great use of some of my vintage fabric.  Plus my mouse pad was ready to be replaced.

Yesterday, I decided to make it happen.  And, basically 15 minutes later it was done.  It is that easy if you have the supplies on hand.

Isn't that fabulous fabric? I think it was a feed sack, but I'm not positive.

The thing I did differently from the tutorial, is that I used a spray adhesive on the chip board to adhere it to the fabric instead of an iron on fusible web on the fabric.  So, spray your chip board, mat board, or a couple pieces of a cereal box.  Adhere to your fabric.  Adhere the self adhesive cork board, then trim it to your desired size and shape.  I used my old rotary cutter to cut the sides and a scissors to trim the corners round like Bonnie did in her tutorial.

I haven't put the fray check on it as she suggested and probably won't.  I'll experiment with this one and see if it frays or not. 

Funny how something as simple as a mouse pad can make you happy!

Goats, Chickens, Pigs, and Goats!

While we were up visiting my Mom yesterday, she suggested we head to the farm so the girls could see the animals and look for eggs.  My brother and sister in law have some animals out there and it's always fun to see what they've added.  There was another goat and two new pigs this time. You'd have to look close but there are goats, pigs, chickens, and ducks all in the same space here.
Old school and it's great!

So we went looking for eggs and Mom said they are often up in the lay loft.  Yes, the girls were scared to get up there, but did make it to the top of the ladder. :)

My husband and I used our phones for flashlights to look for the eggs.  Old school meets new school.

This nest of three were all we found. (It was dark up there.)

No eggs in the nesting boxes.  Mostly you see these used as cubby storage in people's homes.  They are still used as intended some places!

This "new" barn was added since the last time we were there.  My brother, I assume, traded something for it.  And, I'm not gonna lie...I was jealous!  Of course it's missing most of the two walls on the other two sides, but it was still wonderful!!

The loft would sure make a great space for so many things!

This wasn't as high as the other loft so the girls were more brave.

This is the old house that my Dad used as a shop.  Before long it will be gone so I take pictures of it every time I'm there.

My Grandpa lived in it for awhile and I'm told it was run down even then so it's been around for a long time. I love it.  Love it.


Oh, I almost forgot this picture of two of the goats.  That one in back, sounds just like an old man in pain when he bleats, crazy weird sounding!

I hope your week is off to a great start!

And, after I posted on Saturday, my daughter just kept feeling better, so after my husband got home I was able to go join up for pizza with my old classmates.  Still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that we are all 51 now! 

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