A Very Merry Christmas to All

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Day of Remembering

Today is a special day. Not like any other day in my life. This is the day that my Dad was taken from me much too soon. 30 years have passed and it is like it all happened yesterday. I remember every word, every feeling, every tear. This is the day my Dad started his new journey and my journey with him ended.
I guess you might say I started my own journey too. My life changed forever. There would be no more laughter over that morning cup of coffee, I lived close to my parents and every morning Dad would walk around the corner for a visit (and to see what kind of treat I made him). For a very long time after he passed, I'd look out that window in my kitchen, hoping to see him, wishing it was all a cruel joke. There would be no more stories. Oh could my Dad tell me stuff, it was like he could remember every day of his life. He'd tell me what it was like growing up dirt poor, about his time as a Marine fighting in Japan. He taught me how to do electrical work and how to work on cars. I was like his shadow.
I can't recall a time when I would say "Daddy lets go fishing, or water skiing, or skating (He taught me both ice and roller)" that he wouldn't drop everything and pack the car. He enjoyed watching me enjoy life and I am so very thankful that I had so much quality time with my father.
He was so happy to see me married to a wonderful man, so happy to watch my children growing into good people. He taught me how to sing "old Shep" and he loved me to sing it to him...One day I told him I had learned a new song and it began " he isn't much in the eyes of the world, he'll never make history, NO he isn't much in the eyes of the world, but he is the world to me...My Dad now here is a man to me he is everything strong , no he can't do wrong my Dad...." That's as far as I got before he started sobbing . I told him I would never sing it again because it made him cry. He told me they were happy tears and he hoped I would always sing it...I still do sing it and I remember my Dad proudly. He never had a harsh word for anyone, he had no enemies and he would do anything for any one. He was a fantastic son, a wonderful husband and a loving Father...it just doesn't get any better then him.
So today I take time to remember a man who touched the heart of everyone he ever met. A special man who lives on in the happy memories of his family and friends. Christmas was my Dads holiday...he loved it...there had to be a ton of gifts under the tree or he wasn't happy. He had the most beautiful smile and it glowed on Christmas Day....
I will always have a tree at Christmas. It symbolizes the glow and the beauty of who my Dad was...Christmas is a Happy time of year and I know he'd love my tree. He used to love the themes I'd pick.
So it is not with sadness that I take this day to remember, but with joy at remembering a special love that was brighter and warmer then the sun. Tomorrow I will be with my children celebrating Christmas and then looking forward to January and all the swaps that are due LOL but for today, like every Dec 27th for the past 30 years..I will remember one very special man...I miss you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another Christmas Story

We all have special moments in our lives. Moments that reach deep within our hearts and touch us with a very special feeling.
A while back I was chatting with a friend and in conversation told her about a spicific kind of jewelry I collect. That collection is displayed on a quilted Christmas tree. I do not buy the pieces in my collection, it is made up of the love of friends who find the pieces at garage sales, family jewel boxes etc. I told her to keep a look out. I while later she sent me pictures of some pieces she had found, while they all fit the bill one just stood up and screamed at me. When I told her which one, she laughed and said her daughters had already looked it up and it was selling on EBAY for $125. Holy cow!! I'm not collecting for that reason and had no idea of the worth. I told her to keep looking..LOL
So yesterday I get a package in the mail. I assumed it was the "Artful Bag" I've been waiting for in a swap. It wasn't...It was a beautiful little stocking from my friend..adorned with an ornament and gift tag. Inside was a tiny package also adorned with small peppermint ornaments... You know where I'm going with this don't you?

It takes a special kind of person , especially in todays times, to look beyond the monitary value of something and think of a friend. To say to themselves that the friends happiness is worth far more...Yes indeed, it takes a special person and I'm so blessed to have her as a friend.
Ironically, I didn't display the quilted tree this year...too much stress and pressure for some reason...But thats okay because I plan to wear that pin all season anyway...I just LOVE it. It is truly a gift from the heart...Isn't that what it's all about? Merry Christmas to all!!!

Christmas Eve

The only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy my company...Oh and cook LOL I'm going to bake some cookies this morning, since I haven't done that yet...just some Snowballs and Hooty Creeks. Not my usual but it will have to do. I have crab cakes and shrimp to start, followed by a garden salad with the works, followed by baked ham, coconut creamed spinach, hubbard squash with cranberries and dilled carrots.
Then the ladies will sit in the living room and exchange gifts, followed by desserts...
We were told there would be no snow this Christmas..."No snow/"  I said. I live in the mountains, how can we NOT have a white Christmas? My Angels simply will not allow that...I woke up to it snowing...Looks like the Angels came through again <big grin>

So this is what I finished up yesterday...a gourd Snowman and my recycled boxes (cereal, Goldfish etc.) made into gift bags....

Friday, December 23, 2011

The HOme stretch

Whew! I think everyone is down to the wire this year. I'm always way ahead but not this year. While I would like to make more and do more, I am just plum wore out. Stick a fork in me cause I'm done!
I'm finishing up a large gourd snow person and then it is onto swaps...I started to think of what I have to do, or actually finish over the next few days and I got tired LOL
I've got my mannequin which thank goodness was done but now that I have extra time I think I'll add to it.
I've got my altered book...that threw me for a loop for a while but I think I've got it. Tin Lizzie is waiting for her do dads and I have a flip flip card that I actually made but after I flipped and flopped it a few times it really flopped, as in  'fell apart'...evidently I scored to deep LOL
I think once this Christmas Eve gathering is over, I will be a lot calmer. Right now I'm in food prep mode. What to have...well aside from the Ham and several sides...it's going to be a buffet, this way everyone gets hot food...
My recycled goldfish boxes worked out well as gift bags. The peacocks love those little snack fish and the boxes are so sturdy I hate to throw them out, so I make them into gift bags...I'll have to take a picture after I finish this snow person. Everyone laughs at me for saving trash...well who's laughing now? LOL They are spending money on gift bags and I'm recycling old boxes and Christmas cards....
If you are reading this and getting ready to start running for the day...remember to stay hydrated. If you'll be in a store there is no reason to wear heavy clothes, you'll just sweat and then get sick. So stay healthy and be happy...the crazies are almost over :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another Happy Mail Day!!!

What a fun day I've had...I did the usual...animals, cleaning , laundry <yawn> then I got to play in my studio. I've got so much half completed I figured I better at least finish something. Of course I went right to my Steampunk doll. Oh have I told you? I'm in a swap and the Theme is Steampunk. Since it's mostly a paper group (mixed media) I don't have any idea of even how to approach a paper doll and make it look good so I'm falling back on fabric. originally it was going to be made from a gourd...but then I ordered a pattern from Susan at Frowning Francis and it inspired me to go back to fabric. I had to make my own pattern but what I saw in Steampunk Buddies certainly inspired me. I just Love Susan's patterns..although I usually do alter them to make them my own.
Anyway I had to fore go "Tin Lizzie" the name my Steampunk doll picked...because other projects were shouting. Since they are Christmas they have to come first.
As I was finishing up my snowman ornament for a friend Rich brought me Happy Mail...Look what I got from TG, the owner of Artforthecreativemind ...
is that a pack of
paper or what? I could see cards, postcards and ATC's dancing in my head..Mind you , I'm just starting with paper...What a beautiful assortment, I was just thrilled.
Then I opened a box from Sherry Goshen. If you don't know who Sherry is, Google her name. Sherry is not only a fabulous doll artist, pattern  maker and teacher. She is also one of the sweetest people on the planet.
Check her out. I've wanted a "Sherry" doll, in fact I think I mentioned her when I told you all about Kandy Korn. Look at what was in the box...along with one of her fabulous patterns...
How cool are those dolls? She has tons of patterns for sale, so make sure you stop by her Blog. Doll Makers Journey also sells her patterns.
Now my little project pales in comparison but he is cute and I think the person receiving him will love him.

With his little fleece hat and scarf he is all ready to present a poinsettia to his new owner. But she better watch out because he has some pre-made snowballs just waiting to surprise someone.
Living in an enchanted forest on the top of a mountain where animals and fairies abide is a dream come true. I wish everyone could be as happy as I am......

Monday, December 19, 2011

Introducing Peppermint Pat

LOL or maybe Candace Cane? All I know is I had a ball making her...made several for some friends.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you what she is made out of. Gee maybe Pepperpot Patty would have worked better LOL I always think making these kinds of things will be easy...as opposed to sewing...but then I start and realize there is a lot more painting then I thought. It was a great diversion from all the sewing I've been doing. next in line as far as Christmas goes are two purses. Dare I try for a lap quilt? and then it is on to group swaps ...Shhhh don't tell but I'm already working on one...a little dictator I have yet to name..
Stay tuned....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Christmas Miracle

I want to introduce you to my inspiration. The reason I am able to face even the hardest of days with a smile.
Do I have better pictures..Oh yes, without a doubt, but none that means more to me then this one.
Yesterday we celebrated Matt's 57th BD. That number may not be special to you, but it means the world to me. It is a Birthday Matt was never supposed to celebrate. We were told he would not live past 40 and that would be a gift .
The fact that Matt was born with diabetes plays a roll in how his life played out. There wasn't a great deal known about diabetes back then. I can remember boiling his glass needles, checking the actual needle for burr's..Having to mix NPH insulin with regular in order to maintain him throughout the day. Yes, we had a Mom, but at the age of 9 I had read everything I could find and educated the family.
I will shorten this story as best I can, but I think it bears an important lesson. Insulin takes an terrible toll on the body and Matt's kidneys eventually succumbed to the disease . He was put on dialysis, needed a quadruple by -pass or they wouldn't put him on the transplant list. He had the by-pass  and was put on the transplant list , his by-pass failed, he was removed from the transplant list and sent home to die...Why? Because No Doctor would touch him  and perform another  by -pass. It was much too risky. By now he was the father of twins (a miracle in itself) . I made up hundreds of little angels and attached them to a card. I called them Matthews Angel and on the card I asked that people keep him in their prayers. I found it odd, that out of all the strangers I handed that card to, not one person refused it.Through all of this Matt never lost his sense of humor or his hope for the future which I found admirable. A fabulous Doctor in Columbia Presbyterian finally took the chance at another by-pass. It was at that time he was told his wife was leaving him for another man. Matt's response? He didn't blame her, "it was difficult being married to a sick man". He eventually had a double transplant (kidney and pancreas) but the pancreas was short lived. They had nicked it in surgery and after two days in excruciating pain, they removed it, mean while his job shut down, this was a large company where he had worked for over 20 years. Now he was left with no medical insurance. Which under normal conditions would be terrible, but for my brother ,he now faced $2,500 worth of drugs each month with no insurance to pay for them. Medicare does not cover anti rejection drugs. But still he found reason to smile, after all, he was still alive. In due time he did get another pancreas.
People who are faced with the death of a loved one, that can raise above their grief to help another are the unsung hero's of the human race. Not a day goes by that I do not remember my brothers donors in a prayer.
After 10 years, Matt's kidney finally failed and he has been back on dialysis for several years now, while on dialysis he contracted Hepatitis B and until he can get a doctor to pass him, he is off the transplant list once again. The drugs rotted his teeth, so last year we made sure he got new ones...I missed that smile...now he also needs a note from his heart doctor saying he is strong enough to face another transplant. And we all think we have such BIG problems. This is a man who, from the time he was born, has managed to smile at every bit of adversity thrown his way. I am not sure I could have faced all that he has and kept smiling. Could you? Don't get me wrong, he isn't perfect, sometimes he drives me crazy, sometimes I just want to scream, but he will always be my inspiration to face each day with a smile.
There are people in this world that hold a grudge to the extreme, that continue to whine about the silliest of things and cry because there life is so hard or because they are faced with illness. Then there are those like Matt, who at times can't even afford food because he needs expensive drugs to stay alive. People who in spite of ALL the hardships thrown their way still manage to smile and find a reason to be happy.
For Matt it was getting a silly little Christmas Tree (I just had to know he had a tree in his apartment) and celebrating a Birthday that was never suppose to happen.
He is not a sweet eater so his BD "cake" was a brownie. The glass of ice you see, is because he can't drink a lot. His fluid is measured on dialysis, so instead of drinking, he sucks on crushed ice to quench his thirst. And still he smiles...

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Primitive Hutch: Something To Crow About Giveaway!!!

The Primitive Hutch: Something To Crow About Giveaway!!!

A New Day and a Busy day

And what a wonderful new day it was. I took a walk up to my pond (the day was mind considering it's Dec.)
I meditated as I watched the ducks in the water and the deer staring back at me. It was easy to dismiss the negative energy recently brought into my life, especially when faced with all this beauty. Surprisingly enough I was able to organize my thoughts of what I'd hoped to accomplish. I'm happy to report I did exactly what I hoped to do. I finished one free standing yarn bag (for a Dear friend who crochettes) her name is Lydia. I have another almost completed one for another friend who knits..

In between sewing I worked on another candy bouquet (this one was ordered) and also this thing...
Oh go ahead and take a guess. It will be finished today (please note that positive expression LOL) Unless something more important comes along. I'm also trying to get my Christmas cards together. I knew I wasn't going to have much time this year (I normally like making them) So instead I did the next best thing and ordered from the Humane Society.
This house is starting to look like Santa's workshop...so I put on my Santa Hat...it's like magic and certainly puts me in the mood...Wishing  you all a very Happy day...Hope you'll stop back and see what that thing up there turns into. maybe you guessed correctly...maybe not...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lost Day

I didn't get as far as I'd hoped to yesterday so there are no pictures. But hopefully by the end of the day I will have something...maybe two things to show you :-)
I did start two projects yesterday but most of my day was wasted on trying to calm some angry sea's.
It seems the owner of a group I belonged to, took offense at something I wrote (which wasn't meant to be offensive at all) She demanded (rather strongly I might add) that I remove the slanderous remarks from my Blog. At first I had no idea what she was referring to...When I finally "got it" I still didn't "get it" or maybe I just didn't get her and her hostility. She obviously has issues and she obviously does not like thinking that she is being told she "dropped the ball". That's kind of tough , isn't it ? I spent a great portion of my day, and those of you who know me, know I don't waste my time on the computer, trying to help her understand.
I must say, at first I felt bad for this person, I tried to talk to her and explain things , I almost saw a beak through but by the end of the day she was back to accusing and denied any wrong doing. Refusing to accept responsibility for her actions. It was very sad indeed...I have never deliberately hurt another human being...heck I pick up spiders and put them outside rather then squish them... But when a person goes out of her way to assault my character I am left with no other choice then to fight back....She has preached to her group to "keep things private" "do not use her group as a forum to BASH someone" Yet, yesterday she did exactly that...to me. Not only was it not a nice thing to do...She did it once before to the very person she tried to assure me was lying.She posted this persons private e-mails. Nice behavior huh?...There are some people who will always remain childish, never willing to accept responsibility for the hurt they cause others. She is such a person, living in denial of course, and projecting her frustration onto others. Some of you may think you know who I am referring to, some of you may know for sure...Tread lightly is my advice to you.
A friend of mine that knows me well, and knows I've got a lot going on, told me not to waste anymore time on her. She's right...I gave her a day of my life, she hurt me with her misguided anger and I'm done.
This Blog has always been my happy place, I'd like it to be a happy place for anyone that comes here... I would never write anything disparaging about ANYONE, so please..if something I say offends you...don't get angry and send me hate mail...Just write to me and we will take care of it together....I don't do DRAMA.
Now about those pictures....stay tuned :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Crazies

Do they ever end...I told you I'd post some stuff I've done these past two days (like everyone is just sitting there waiting LOL) Oh come on you know you were.....
I belong to several art groups. One I was in had a swap, I wasn't in it but one lady that was, never got her TP tags. . So I offered to make some for her and then Cherie jumped on board and then Linda and then Sue so Mary will get more then she bargained for LOL but that's a good thing. We all work very hard on our swaps and I don't think it's being childish to ask what happened when you never get them...Some people seem to think "It's no big deal"...Yes things do get lost in the mail..I had it just happen with something I sent to a dear friend and it's true, there isn't much that can be done ...but at least try and make up for it...Do something...maybe I'm just too much of a softy. Actually I enjoyed making these for Mary..The theme was Black, Red or Cream..I hope she likes them:
Then, as if I don't have enough I'm making, DH ask if I can make "A little something for the staff at the doctors office and maybe for the hairdresser" WE give the hairdresser money but he thinks an added little gift is nice.... So I made up a Christmas floral arrangement and filled it with goodies...probably should have thrown some fruit in...maybe next year:

Last but not least...My favorite dessert is chocolate Mousse...Whats yours? I don't get it often because I don't make it and there are only two places that make it the way it should be made....This is the way I make mine


Decorations almost done

The tree is finally done, can you tell the difference?
Well I can LOL
We did manage to get the large spruce decorated and my deck off my studio decorated. Now just some finishing touches inside the house and I'll call it done. I'm usually way done by now. Shoot, I'm still making gifts...What's wrong with THAT picture?
I'm finishing up two things right now so I'll post some pic's later.
I hope everyone will check out the group I've been most active on...It's along my side bar and its Art for the creative mind...great group...the owner runs a tight ship when it comes to swapping, but is very free spirited as far as what you do. there is  quite a variety of crafts and what you don't know how to do, they find tutorials for you LOL It's really a fun, but extremely busy group. Check it out....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sharing the tree

WOW!! So much is happening at Celebrating Christmas all year around, Ravenwood Whimzie, Jingles,Creativity Has No Limits etc.... I just need to set a day aside and catch up on blogs. Just because I don't post doesn't mean I don't check. I just need more time in my day.
Today was originally set aside for decorating...The phone started at 7 am and never stopped. The group Christmas party is tomorrow night and all last minute stuff had to be talked about, picked up, delivered...whatever...it just turned into a very busy day. I was able to get  some ornaments on the tree and the beads...it isn't hung properly yet and the top isn't done...or would that be the bottom? Well the bottom is on top and that's the part that isn't finished ROLFL Last year we did a 12 foot tree and the year before an 8 ft one...this one is 6 foot but it's upside down...so I guess it may look smaller. I just needed to do that tree this year...It used to be such a tradition. I do like the "Normal" tree's, but they are so ...well NORMAL...I used to have some gorgeous crystal beads that really looked beautiful. I'm thinking they are buried in the cubby in my studio. Maybe next year :-)
All my swaps and the dolly sleeping bag have been mailed (thanks Mary and Linda for your kind remarks...It always amazes me that people actually check this Blog, considering all the wonderful ones available) I'm hoping after the Holidays to restructure it and perhaps make it more interesting) But I digress...Things are mailed so now I can really concentrate on Christmas...making gifts and baking and getting everything wrapped. Hopefully by Wed. I will have the tree finished...try not to judge it too harshly, it isn't done yet.

strange huh?
I also sent out my PC today with a little poem.:
Time for furbabies, Family and friends
Time in my studio that never ends.
Things to create, parties to host,
Of all the things that Matter
Time Matters Most.

Another thing I did was make a few give away ornaments. They are captured Butterflies and look really cool when the light hits them. What do you think?
The butterflies are inside (one is outside) a flatish round ball..Making more ornaments this week...So stay tuned :-)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Side tracked

Oh stop laughing. All artist get side tracked now and then. I think the trouble with most of us is...We have a passion but we are always opened to new suggestions. Always opened to learning new things. One of the girls in Art for  the Creative Mind has a tutorial on hmmm I guess it would be altered paper? Anyway, it's done with glue and Perfect pearls and a heat gun. Very interesting , so I just tried it and love the technique...You'll see it posted here very soon.
Mean while my DDIL called to ask if I'd have the time to make an American Girl Sleeping bag, seems there is one little gal that doesn't have one LOL (I love when my Grand daughter visits , I don't just make for her but for her friends as well. Shows me she has a giving heart). I don't have an AG doll but I do have one to use as a model for what I make.
How comfy does that doll look? She even has a built in pillow...The color is actually a pretty lavender. Hope the little one likes it.
So I mentioned that ornament hanger. I'm making tags for Family and friends gifts. I decided to use a vintage Christmas card for one side and then make the wire Tree for the other side. This way it's a tag, but if they like they can remove the tree and use it as an ornament hanger...So what do you think?

Hey run on over to Ravenwood Whimzies, Wendy has a lot to share. While your at it visit some of my other followers, I'm sure you'd enjoy every one of them and I know they'd like the company....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Staying Busy

Yup! It's that time of year when it's super busy. I'm not alone, that's for sure. Most crafty people are busy making things, designing things and trying to fit Holiday shopping for food and gifts into the mix. Oh and lets not forget decorating.
Many,many years ago when I hung my first tree upside down..I expected to be made fun of. Instead everyone that saw it wanted to know if I intended to patent it. I didn't of course and now I'm sorry...although I still could I'm guessing, because the upside down tree's I've seen are nothing like mine...The one on the stand is hideous IMHO...
So today I'm looking at some things that I made back in the day and I come across some ornament hangers.
But in looking at them, I had another thought...So instead of doing what I was supposed to be doing. I was experimenting. What's wrong with me ?
I did make my little bag for an exchange I'm in. I was going to do a lot to the outside, but sometimes less is more...I think it would look so cute hanging on a draw handle of someones desk, or on a tree, or on a door knob...perhaps holding a secret surprise :-) So I decided to fill it with some little surprises of my own. I do hope my partner likes it.

and what is that lurking in the shadows? Something you will only find in a magical forest. Of course we don't mount REAL heads around here (we leave that to the testosterone crowd) we just use the live things as models.... You'll have to check back, because this is only the beginning...

I really do have to stop getting side tracked. It's not like I don't have a million things to do...and then of course there's Christmas LOL Don't you just LOVE this time of year...
Oh and did I mention I joined Zumba...Talk about fun! I joined Aqua Zumba but I'm going to give a try and floor Zumba as well...Well that's me catching you all up on the past couple of days...Thanks for stopping by...