Monday, December 31, 2007

Project Room

I have been working on organizing and cleaning my project room for the past couple days. I am much more creative when my room is neat and tidy. The room can be viewed by anyone standing at my kitchen sink so I really wanted to get it into shape by the beginning of the new year. On December 21 I showed a photo of that room in all its gift wrapping mess (I'm sure there is a way to link to that photo, but I can't figure it out). Today is the “after” photo. Not only did I take care of surface stuff, but I cleaned out a couple cupboards and filled a bag to take to the dump I tend to keep way to much “stuff” and have a hard time getting rid of anything… Now, on to the kitchen to begin the undecorating process!


It snowed tonight and I took a photo outside my sunroom door when I let the dogs out. I didn't actually venture out myself but I couldn’t resist a photo with the snow hanging on the trees and everything covered in white. I’m not sure how long this all will last but it was very pretty tonight and I took a few minutes and watched it come down and enjoyed the peacefulness of it all! I love snow!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Day to Lounge!

When I was in my 20's I worked at a university and it always closed between Christmas and New Year's Day. I looked forward to and loved that week off. A lot of my friends were home that week and we often stayed up late and caught up on life. I am a night person and loved that time to stay up late and sleep-in as long as I wanted. I could just lounge around without a care in the world. Just the way my daughter spends her vacation time, doing whatever she wants without a thought to anything else going on around her.

How I long for a couple of days with no responsibilities to read blogs and drink tea or do what ever I want while i finish up the leftover Christmas goodies in anticipation of the New Year. So today I made a cup of tea and relaxed a few minutes. Instead of grabbing a mug from the cupboard, I got out one of my tea cups and made an event of it. Instead of a few minutes I'd really like a few days of nothingness.... guess I'll keep dreaming!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Brunch

I have become an avid blog reader during the past few weeks. I just love seeing the beautiful homes and I have really enjoyed seeing how they have been decorated for Christmas. I read blogs of decorators (shabby cottage style), and crazy quilters mostly. I think it would be so cool to have the talent of the various artists that I read about.

I am going to be working on my blogging skills and most importantly my photography skills this coming year. The light in my home is mostly wrong and when I use a flash I seem to burn the photograph! I have a problem seeing with my eyes. I wanted to take a photo of my table before our brunch on Christmas Day so I put everything on the table and grabbed my camera thinking I was ready to photograph a pretty table. As you can see my daughter has already removed her frozen fruit slush and put two pieces of toast on her plate. Apparently she used the paper towel that is also on the table to carry the toast in because the paper towel was not part of the tablescape. I used the green overlay as a last minute attempt to add some color to the white dishes and off white table cloth, but I neglected to iron it, hmmmm. Of course I never noticed any of that until today when I downloaded pictures onto my computer.

So, as I think of New Year’s Resolutions this year one of them will be to improve my “eye” for taking photos! Anyone else making New Year’s Resolutions?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Festivities

We had a lot of fun on Christmas this year. My sister Lindy was here from Connecticut and her daughter Megan is staying here during her semester break so I had a Christmas brunch with just the 5 of us. Then we went to Al’s mother’s to visit in the afternoon and came back here and put lasagna in the oven for the Kline family later Christmas night.

My niece took some family photos of us but didn’t realize that you have to press the shutter slowly so that it focuses…so I can’t show those… since I was cooking and trying to get everything out on the table for the buffet dinner I forgot to take photos. Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me? I am a scrapbooker so you would think that I would remember to take photos! Here is one after everyone had eaten and I remembered the camera! My nephew Jason and another nephew's wife, Emily are on this photo. I served the food buffet style and I had tables set up in the dining room as well as the sun room and living room.

Meg invited a friend over later that evening and we played Cranium which was also fun.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Two more Days!!!

I made a trip today to the grocery store for what I thought would be the last time before Christmas…then I found out that I would be having 4 more for dinner, and I noticed that Molly ate some of my lettuce tonight for her supper… uh that was for a salad on Christmas, oh and I forgot the meat for the lasagna so…one more trip to the grocery store and I should be done.

I did a lot of gift wrapping today and actually finished that job so now I can go to Al’s family Christmas party tomorrow and not worry about what has to be done at home. Here is a photo of what I ended up doing with my cookies. I put them in a clear plastic box and added some Hershey’s Kisses and a tag. I wish I would have had some of those silver balls to decorate the cookies with, I’ll plan ahead next year!

This afternoon I was thinking about my Christmas table. Here is a photo….notice the centerpiece in the background. I needed something small because the table is not very wide and it fills up quickly with food. I like something low so it is easy to see around for conversation. I think this will work for me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Feeling the Stress

Ok, well I'm starting to feel the stress of the upcoming holidays. I have to much to do and to little time. Gift wrapping looms large on the list! Here is a photo of my gift wrapping area. This is where I do most of my creative work. I put the papers and fibers away and got out the wrapping paper. I've got quite a few bags full of stuff yet to wrap. I really hope to put a dent in it tonight. I took a nap this afteroon so that I can stay up late and get started on the cooking with an occasional break to wrap something. Well that sounds pretty ambitious.. . Here is my list for tonight:

make pickled eggs

bag up the granola

wrap 10 gifts

bake sticky buns for Molly's boyfriend's family

design and print some gift cards

Anyone else reading blogs instead of working? I'd rather get lost in the decorating blogs than get to the reality of Christmas dinner!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Cookies

The Christmas cookie baking was a success! I am not big on baking cookies but I stumbled upon a web site ( with what seemed like easy directions for royal icing and step by step directions on how to do it. When I saw the beautiful cookies, I decided that I need some of those to tie on gifts. And upon further investigation I see that they have some really cool cookie cutters and my wheels are already turning… I can see some really cute cookies for Molly’s sorority sister’s for Valentine’s Day…

So... Friday night I baked cookies and Saturday night I iced them and today I am feeling pretty good about the end results! I wish I would have had some of those silver balls to put on my cookies when I was decorating. Next time I bake sugar cookies I will plan ahead. Anyone who needs some encouragement to bake and ice these cool cookies, don’t hesitate to drop me a note because if I can do this, anyone can! Truly, all it takes is patience.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Estate Sale Purchases

I went to an estate sale today…. It was for the parent’s of my best childhood friend, Barbie Gross. I really wanted a remembrance from her home, the only problem is that the sale was in Pennsylvania and it was about 30 degrees there today! So, I dressed in my warmest clothes (and since I am not an outdoor person, I really don’t have warm clothes) and sat at a sale for about 4 hours. I did learn a few things today. #1 We will not be having my parents estate sale in December, January, February, or March…April and November are very questionable as well! #2 A warm pair of boots is a definite “must have”… I am going to get a pair with Christmas money! #3 The dogs can not be trusted to be home alone. Stewart must be crated when I am not home!

So this is what I bought for my $33.50….I think they only sold one piece of ironstone all day and luckily no one else wanted it, an ironstone oval veggie dish. I love most all Bavarian plates and found one. My sister wanted me to get her a piece of flow blue. She wanted a serving piece or a plate to hang on the wall but most of the flow blue had chips or were otherwise damaged so I was not really successful. She will have to settle for a cup and saucer. I also have a stack of "junk" still in my car that will be going directly to the dump but I did pick out two Christmas pieces in some of the "extras" that were with the stuff I actually wanted; a clear dish with a Christmas scene on it and a white plate with a tree could be filled with cookies and "regifted". It says not dishwasher or microwave safe....gee doesn't sound like a dish for my house! Oh and there is a silver plated nut dish that I can surely figure out something creative to do with.
So, I am just about thawed out and ready to tackle another project.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Gifts

I'm feeling a bit less stressed as far as the Christmas gift giving goes. Yesterday Al and I did our annual trek to the stores. I don't know about your husbands when it comes to shopping but mine is about worthless at a mall....unless of course he brings his credit card, which he did yesterday. So it was not a wasted trip!

Does anyone make Christmas gifts? For those people who have everything, I like to give something from the heart...something that says I went to some trouble of more than picking up a gift card or putting a check in an envelope. This year I more or less didn't get it together as far as making anything. However, there is one person on my list who sends cards and so I made some "thank you" notes for him.

And on the homemade note, I have been inspired lately by some beautiful sugar cookies I have seen on some blogs and I'd sure love to make some really nice cookies to package individually and tie onto some presents. I am in the process of baking right now and have 4 beautifully baked cookies.... After Grey's Anatomy I will bake a few more....the real test comes tomorrow night when Molly and I try to transform ourselves into Martha Stewart! I may or may not post about my cookies! I am not very good at baking....I used to do a layered cake from scratch every year for Molly's birthday, after a few years of being embarrassed about those efforts I found it a whole lot easier to just take a family vacation on her birthday and let Ruby Tuesday or Red Lobster do the baking! But I'm older and wiser now....I think I can decorate a cookie!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sunroom decorations!

I have been decorating today, I'm working in my dining room but took photos of my sunroom. This is the room that I just painted pink this summer, last year it was dark sage green and very country looking...I don't have many decorations in here yet, I usually purchase a few things every year. This first photo is part of a large shelf unit. The shelf unit is about 4 feet wide and about 6 feet tall.
Here are two photos of my quilt rack and small dresser below it with an arrangenment in an old basket. I found this magnolia in my travels a couple weeks ago and bought a couple of them to use in this room. I collect children's tea sets and have drug them out and used them here and there during the holiday season.

I'll be posting the rest of my photos as I finish decorating and get pictures taken. I am tiring of the whole process...I just put up some garland with lights in it and plugged it in and it doesn't work so I have to replace the lights. That takes the joy out of decorating real quick!

Hoping for renewed enthusiasm tomorrow!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Interesting Discovery

Today I made an interesting discovery. I was shopping in downtown Selinsgrove trying hard to stick to my Christmas list.... wanting to get a few names ticked off the list when I glanced up and read a sign "quilting and yarn shop". Well, even though I don't have any quilters on my Christmas list I couldn't pass that up. I decided to check it out and was very pleasantly surprised to see a small shop jammed full of inventory for quilters, knitters and wanna-be's. The fun part was that the lady who owns the shop, gee, I wish I could remember the name of the place, was so sweet and pleasant and eager to show me around. Tonight is "First Friday" where the downtown merchants have artist's in their shops and they are open till 10. The woman in her store tonight is a spinner..... (Kristin, you should have see the beautiful alpaca wool she spins!!! you'd be dusting your spinning wheel off in nothing flat!) The owner of the shop had all kinds of projects with blue ribbons hanging on them and she encourages people to come in and knit with her, she teaches informal classes. She also does wool felting and had all kinds of supplies for that. So.... after Christmas I think I need to plan a field trip there and learn something!

I found a few things that I thought I can use in my crazy quilting and all this stuff only cost me $3.50. So for my $3.50 I had a pretty fun half hour of shopping. Then on to the mall and the reality of an ever growing Christmas list.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Saturday's Stash

On Friday night I decided that it was imperative that I have bugle beads! I had a couple colors but not the colors I was sure I needed. Saturday morning the feeling did not go away, I still needed them and getting them became more important than decorating the house. Oh wait....I might need some white poinsettias for the mantle as well as the bugle beads.... Yep, so I called a couple people to see if anyone wanted to go along with me but was not successful so I enjoyed my own company on the hour trip to AC Moore (craft store) and this is some of what I brought home. I did manage to find some white poinsettias as well as a rubber stamp that I will use to make some cards and some scrap booking and card making supplies. I had a very enjoyable morning. I came home and did nothing the rest of the day....Sunday I decorated and tonight I'm going to put my bugle beads to use on a crazy quilt block I am working on for the Encrusted Class I am taking.

I really should put that down and make a few Christmas gifts....time is running out. I am feeling a bit like Kristin with her knitting, so much to do, so little time!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The decorating begins!!!

I've started my Christmas decorating project this week. The sunroom, kitchen and living room are finished. Well I do need a tree in the living room yet and I have the dining room to do as well, but I am on my way.
My husband thinks decorating for Christmas is a matter of pushing the furniture into one corner of the room to make room for the tree and then adding a few other things that I keep in boxes all year long... when what I actually do in every room is rearrange furniture, move some stuff out of the room and bring other pieces into the room. I also clean well as I am decorating and do all all that deep cleaning that only gets done a few times a year. Today one of the things that was moved out of the living room was a huge fern that had some dead leaves in it so I took that outside and shook it well before finding a corner for it in the dining room. Each year I decorate differently so it just seems to take forever. I will take photos later this week when the light is good. Right now, I just have a photo of my mantle to show for my efforts.

PS. One of the candles on the mantle does not match the rest but since I took the photo I found the candle that I knew I had somewhere and replaced it so that now all three candles are the same!