Thursday, December 30, 2010

Have a Happy New Year


Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a Happy New Year ...

I have been taking a little blog-break while enjoying the Holidays with the family.

Can't wait to catch up in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Pony for Christmas

Well....Lily would REALLY like a pony of her very own...but we can't buy a pony!

So, what is a girl to do....

Make your own Pony!

Yes, yes.... that is a trash can, a trash can turned into a rockin' cowgirl Pony!

I love a resourceful girl!!



And, I love this girl more than anything!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dressing for the Holidays

All I want for Christmas are these two dresses....




Please Santa!!!!!
Talk about Vintage Deliciousness!!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A few Christmas Crafties and a Paycheck....

Hello my friends!
I am having some fun experimenting with a few Christmas crafts...I spent Monday "Multi-Crafting"...I like that word...I will be using it a LOT more in the future..seems to be the way I work anyway. Glue something while spray paint is drying on something else...then off to sew something or cut something while both of those are drying...

Any-hoo....
Here are a few pictures of my projects on Monday....all completed before I headed off to earn my very own Paycheck!






As mentioned above...I had to join the rest of the world and get a J.O.B. I would love to make a living off of glitter and cupcakes but the truth is...I never get my Etsy shop filled with my little creations and I am always all over the place with my crafting...I haven't found my niche yet. The life of a Crafter with ADD...No worries...I actually love my new job. I was SO SORE though that I could barely raise my arms on Sunday! How is that for being out of shape??? WhoooHoo

So, where you might be asking????
Trader Joe's is my new home away from home...
I am a produce girl....
I need flannel panties....seriously!
I LOVE it....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One World One Heart Blog event



I am excited to say that I am going to participate in this fun event!! I have some ideas already for my door prizes ~ giveaways!!

Click the picture above to read all about it! And if that doesn't take you to it...Click HERE

Lisa @ A Whimsical Bohemian seems like an amazing woman and I have enjoyed reading back through her blog a bit...can't wait to meet new woman through this blogging adventure!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A few Christmas wishes

We all have them...that little wish list...or maybe not so little??


 
You'll notice that my lists are all over the place...obviously some are things I will never really get...just fun to think about!

I love this artist...and I love these prints. Check her etsy shop out!



And since this is Wish List....I would LOVE to have this under the tree!! But...I am not sure I have anywhere to where it....

I am a lover of Anthropologie - but can never bring myself to buy much more than tiny things....I would love ~ love to have any of these beauties...but they are NOT practical for my daily life so I know that they would not end up under my tree...again it is a WISH list!





These I could see getting some use out of...and I love the sock/skirt/shoe combo....

NOW....I may get these under the tree! I need a few replacements...all my little bowls took a beating this year and my mug got chipped recently. I love pretty coffee mugs - go figure - and always enjoy a new one. I am also a sucker for Monograms!



Another favorite....Ruche. Such cute clothes and much more affordable! How cute is this green sweater?? Under $45 too...might have to be removed from the wish list to the MINE list....

 This jacket is adorable! I love the entire collection that it is paired with in the catalog...check it out. Click on the jacket and it will take you right to it.

And for the Whimsical side of me....
How cute are these little candy canes...handmade and super cute!
5 Custom Artisan Candy Canes, Skinny size, Your choice of color and flavor (all one color and flavor)

This would be so fun behind my couch!

or this...
Vinyl Wall Decal Sticker Art - Merry Christmas - Holiday Decorations

How about some Eye Candy...fancy shimmering shades for our eyeballs!
HOLIDAY SALE - Holiday Glam Collection - 7 Limited Edition Eye Candy Shadows and Deluxe Starry Eyes Serum


Friday, December 10, 2010

Brave Girl give-away

Jeanne over at A Bushel and a Peck is giving away one spot into Soul Restoration Online Workshop offered by Brave Girls. I REALLY want the opportunity to take this class - I would really love to go to the actual Brave Girl camp but that is not in my future right now.  I would love to do the mother ~ daughter one some day. That would be a dreamy!

I could list MANY, many reason why I need to go to this retreat....can't we all????

I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I win!!! 

Jeanne writes one of my favorite blogs...I visit her every day!
Visit is such a nicer word than Stalk...isn't it??

A Few of my Favorites

Sharing a few of my favorite little spots in the house right now. Usually I do different - but coordinating - themes all through the house. This year I went with a few favorites instead....and decided that I had a problem with buying Christmas decorations! I put away 7 HUGE boxes of decorations without even touching them.

My mantel at night (before putting my nativity scene up)...these tall "candles" are from an auction we went to last year. Lily spotted them and had to have them. We got them for $5!!! I love them!! I switched out the bulbs and put all white in, I love their golden glow they give off.
They had colored bulbs in at first and they looked magical to her... She wanted them in her room year round... 
The hall holds the Advent calendar and this is Lily's favorite spot in the entire house because every morning the Christmas Fairy has left her a little treat in there.
The Dining room has one of my vintage houses and a sparkly silver and white vignette.
 I have more of these little houses but they live upstairs in my craft room (year round)....
I love the little pink sparkly houses and trees!
 
The dining room also has a tree...Lily's tree. NOBODY is allowed to put anything on Lily's tree unless Lily approves it....I think I have a problem with this little person.... But her love of glitter, big blue eyes and genuine Cuteness saves her! How many little four year olds do you know that want vintage hankies folded up and stuffed in their tree????

I can't show you a picture of our tree yet....realized after taking pictures that I needed to make a few adjustments.
But..I will show you something I found on my tree! My mother and I have a little bit of a running joke/dialogue about how she is little by little unloading her house into my house (which is much smaller than hers!!)

I was sitting there last night and almost choked when I saw it...how would you like to see this staring at you from your Christmas tree???
Freaks me out a bit...
There is a funny story behind these clown ornaments...I will share later.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dinner, Decorating and Family fun

This weekend was filled with all of the above. Dinner out with my hubby for his birthday, then hanging out with some of our friends...always fun!

On Saturday we went as a family to the dreaded Mall...I know...can you believe it?? We didn't actually buy anything, we just wandered. Not exactly the best time to wander when there are hundreds of people in that frenzied state of mind for holiday buying. But we had fun...

We puttered and decorated around the house all day Sunday, it was fun to have nothing to do but hang out together. I will have a few pictures to share with you tomorrow.

For now, it is off to the store to try to get some meals cooked for the week. Don't forget to pop over to Hayden's Hungry for a few Festive or Cozy recipes. On this weeks Menu ~ Hearty Chili, Cozy Chicken pot pie, and Russian Tea Cookies

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby....

Happy Birthday to my beloved..

You work HARD for us - very HARD, every day....we don't say it enough...but we appreciate it and we love you for it!

I love this picture of you....it reminds me of you when we first got married!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Answers...

I had a few emails/questions that I wanted to clarify regarding our Handmade Christmas.

1. No, my kids don't feel deprived
2. No, my kids do not spoil "Santa" for anyone else
3. We do "buy" gifts...
4. YES, I do shop at chain stores when I need to....geesh!
5. We try to give at least 1 handmade gift to everyone that is on our list, and we sometimes include a handmade item with a purchased item.

We support as many local businesses and Artisans as possible!

Our point was to cut down on all the "Stuff" that is given at Christmas. To remember what the "Meaning" of  Christmas is and get to the meat and potatoes of what they really wanted. 

Also, I would rather my kids give a gift from their heart, made from their hands and their imaginations than go buy some "thing" from a store.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Work in Progress

I have several little projects going on right now. I need to figure out "exactly" what I will be making this year for everyone and who everyone is...sometimes I forget who all needs to be on our list. That is never good!

I took a page from Karla Nathan about bleaching Christmas trees from the craft store. I have a growing collection of bottle brush tree's and my collections growing even bigger now!! I have so many plans for these little trees! I can tell you right now that "place cards" for Lily's Snow Princess Tea party is one of the plans....this is not the best picture, but you get the point!

I also worked on an Art Journal...I thought it would be fun to participate in one of Jessica Spragues online classes. This was a free one and I thought it would get me motivated on the rest of my Christmas projects. I love having a notebook or sketch book  handy to write down all my ideas/thoughts...there is always one in my purse.
The first 2 days were The Cover and a Dedication page

The best part about Jessica's online class is she did all the work for everyone....everyone except me that is because I am a "Digi-moron" when it came to getting the pages she made to scale down. I decided to just work with what I know best...paper, and embellishments! I had all the paper and embellishments on hand so this is a $$ free project for me. She recommends a bigger journal, but I like the 5X8 size so I can throw it in my bag. 
Let's see....what else have I been working on???

Tearing my house apart trying to decorate....
Posting some yummy recipes on Hayden's blog....
Thrifting and Treasure hunting! Man did I score some goodies this week!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Handmade Holiday - How our journey began

Post Edit...I have made a few explanations throughout this post to answer some emails...
As I mentioned yesterday, this is our 3rd year doing Handmade holiday. We are still evolving with this event and so far, I really like where it is going. Let me give you a bit of the background on how we got to where we are today.... This is a long Christmas story.....


I LOVE Christmas...I mean, I REALLY LOVE Christmas....like decorate my little house (approx. 3000 sq. ft)  with at least 5 Christmas trees...change all the dishes in the kitchen over to holiday decorations...etc.

I DESPISE commercialized Christmas....I hadn't been to the mall or to the big box stores during Christmas for over 1 1/2 years until last year. When my older 3 children were little we went over the top every year with their gifts ~ and I always felt awful about it. I always felt like it was too much..and it was!..Yes, I am aware that it was my choice to buy those gifts....

My husband and I have always taught our Children (based on his Ukrainian heritage and my German/Irish heritage) about the story of St. Nicholas, the Magic of Christmas, the Christmas Spirit, and the gift of Giving.

As the years progressed with the older 3, we began to alter our gift giving strategy because we didn't like the excess and the 5 foot Christmas list (literally...) of toys that they didn't really need or want, but had seen commercials that made them crazy for that toy! We began to explain to them, that they could make their list as long as they wanted, but to really highlight the TOP 3 because ~ St. Nicholas brought children 1 present and it was always a handmade toy...and Jesus only received 3 gifts from the Wisemen....so, they would only be receiving 3 "toy" gifts from Santa and the rest will be Mommy/Daddy presents.

Fast forward to 3 years ago when we were fast approaching Christmas and all commercial toys were looking the same to me and my babies (Lily was just over 1 at the time) toys were all being recalled! Ta Da ~ handmade Christmas emerged into our lives...I had been reading in blogland about this concept and I adopted it and adapted it to our family.

We have tweaked it each year and thrown in a few challenges here and there...like NO big box store purchases last year....that was fun, and it didn't work because two kids wanted electronic items that we were forced to purchase at a major retailer!
Part 2 of our Story...The Gig is Up~Santa
As I mentioned earlier in this post, we have always taught our children about the real meaning of Christmas, and tried not to just focus on the Big Guy in a red suit! Last year I read a book called The Glass Castle, which is a true story and very moving. It brought a deep dark fear/belief of mine to a head for me no~my fear is NOT that I am crazy!....the mother who was TRULY crazy in this story had what I believed to be, a moment of brilliance, when she explained to her children that just because "Santa" didn't bring them tons of toys or ANY toys, it wasn't because they were less deserving or bad kids.  She popped the Santa bubble for them because they were VERY poor and couldn't provide for their children what other children were being given. BUT she wanted her children to know without doubt, that they were worthy of the best in life. I give this woman credit for nothing more than the explanation of Santa For me...It brought to light the fact that I didn't want my children to think they were less worthy or bad because they didn't get TONS of presents from "Santa". I didn't want to go into debt to keep up with the Jones...I saw that at times we bought for our kids because we wanted them to have what "other kids" were getting - to be equal - to not feel like they were not as worthy. Our financial situation is obviously much better than the family in the book, but I don't like the way people put themselves into debt to give to their children, and I refuse to do so.... The recession brought a new twist to many families and for our growing family, with a small business in a small town, this was no different.

My older kids had already started to not believe, based on school and their age...So...I sat my three older children down and we talked about Christmas and Santa.... I never came out and said that Santa didn't exist, but we talked about whether or not we believed that Santa was a big guy in a red suit who came down the chimney? Did Santa bring their friends BIGGER gifts (say a pinball machine) because they were a better kid? ...Or was it just luck of the draw? ....Or was it because their parent had more means than we did? In the end we came to the conclusion that The Spirit of Christmas is where the real magic is, and spending countless hours as a family, making crafts and foods together ~ to share ~ is truly the beauty of Christmas.I recently mentioned in conversation that our older kids know the "truth" about Santa and one of the women I was talking to had the saddest look on her face and said "Awww..." but honestly, the truth has been quite wonderful. To me, to see my kids really embrace the spirit of Christmas and make it magical for the ones that they love ~ especially their little sister has been quite wonderful.

So we focus on Handmade, we give 3 Santa gifts, Mom and Dad give gifts that they may want and may need....no one is missing out! Etsy has been a wonderful treat for handmade shopping! Sometimes Santa and his little elves have to visit the box stores to produce one of their gifts - but Santa really loves the Internet so much better than the actual store!

PLUS...this is the reaction you get when you are really committed to your Christmas list!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Handmade Holiday 2010 - Yr. 3

We will once again be doing Handmade Holidays at our house...this is our third year. Christmas has evolved over the years in our house and I really like where it is going. Please read tomorrow for a further explanation about how this holiday has become what it is today in our house....


No Crazy Black Friday shopping for us! We just had our first installment of Handmade Holiday this weekend! My in-laws come for Thanksgiving and we also did Birthdays and Christmas all at the same time...it is a Mega Holiday weekend. A bit stressful bringing it all together, but it works out great! We introduced our in-laws to Handmade Holiday this year..it was fun. My older nephew was not really on board, but my younger nephew loved it! The best part is that they participated in it fully!

Here are the Guidelines for our family...just in case your wondering...
1. You must make and give a gift to receive a gift.
2. If your an adult male who is unable to "craft" or "make" anything, you can purchase a handmade item.
3. Santa only brings 3 gifts to each child. (I will explain this in a later post)
Maybe I should have reversed the order of those guidelines...

For my In-laws we changed the rules a bit...
1. You must make a gift to receive a gift
2. Each individual had to make something...rule #1 had to be clarified a bit..
3. We will exchange one "family" gift that could be purchased.
**AND...we added a bit of fun to our event by having a "Tacky Sweater" contest with our gift exchange...**

We also like to throw a hitch or challenge in at our house..we like to attempt to make all gifts from items on hand - recycle or upcycle whenever possible. I have a competitive bunch here...lol.

We had a really good time! It was great to see everyone bring their creativity to the table. My sister-in-law broke the rules a bit by purchasing more than just ONE family gift. She purchased everyONE an individual gift. ...I did NOT.

our projects...hence why my camera got glued to the table. That darn *cancer glue* ate a hole in itself and leaked out onto the table where one of the kids had put my camera down "near" the glue. NOT a happy mama!!

Here are some of the pretties that my family has made! Pictures of all gifts made by each child...

Breeanna made a picture collage for her Grandparents, Duct tape wallets for her cousins, a bird feeder for her uncle and a picture holder for her aunt.

 Lily drew pictures for her uncle and one cousin (the big envelopes hold the pictures), she hand rolled Fimo to make beads and then strung them into bracelets for her aunt and grandmother, and the CD envelope has a few "supplies" for her other cousin who likes to "make stuff" too...
 Jacob made a bud vase for his aunt, a snake sculpture for his one cousin, a turtle paper weight for the other cousin and a jewelry tray for his grandmother. NOT PICTURED is a bird house for his uncle made from a barn we had on our farm.
 My submission the event...Felted sweaters made into hats. These pictures are really bad because they were done at 2:30 in the morning....I used the body of one sweater for both of these hats, and an arm of another sweater for the one below. NOT pictured...two neckwarmers that I crocheted,  one for my sisternlaw and for my mothernlaw

I AM VERY UPSET WITH MYSELF because in our rush to get everything wrapped and given out, I did not get pictures of the boxes that Hayden made for everyone. Using Cigar boxes he made a box to hold his cousins Xbox controller's, a treasure box for his other cousin. A jewelry box for his grandmother and a trinket box for his aunt, and a box to hold keys and change for his uncle. He did an excellent job on each of them.

Our family gift was a basket filled with food from Trader Joe's (they don't have one in NY where my in-laws live) and a cookbook of family favorite recipes with a subscription to Food Network magazine.

Our gifts in return were fleece pillows for the kids (the hand tied style) and a playing card holder for each kid made out of a jeans pocket. (The kids and their NY family love to play card games whenever they are together and apparently there is never a full deck of cards here.....no pun intended!) And homemade cookies and chocolates. Very yummy.... our family gift was "Just Dance 2" for the Wii....HOLY COW! That is funny!!!

FUN and laughter were had by all, I was a proud mama watching my children hand out their handmade wares and the joy that was on the faces of those receiving them made me even more proud!

Hayden won the Tacky Christmas sweater contest - and I won the Tackiest sweater of the night! Good times!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Indeed


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! May your day be filled with Blessings!!!

~ Heather

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks - Silver Bella Edition

I am a little behind on my Thank You's from Silver Bella and since I am offering a bit of Thanks every day this week....I thought I would include these wonderful women in my gratitude!!


I would LOVE to show you all the pictures that I have taken...but...my Big camera wont connect to the computer...so I used my little camera! Well... *somehow* my little camera got glued to the table....check back on Friday and you'll understand why! So I turned to my phone...took all the pictures AGAIN and the darn thing ATE the pictures! I can't find them ANYWHERE!!

Since, I am just so thankful for the Women and all the cute little things they gifted to me, I am going on with the post anyway! Here goes...


To my two lovely travel partners...
Pam ~ You have truly inspired me in many ways...many ways...
Sue ~ Thank you for taking me under your wing! It was a warm and cozy wing indeed!!


To my beautiful and gracious roommates....
Jen ~ thank you for all the wonderful little goodies you gave me ~ and thank you for not letting me put those cute little "lip glosses" on my lips! They are for painting, really??


Kathi ~ thank you for the lovely necklace! I have worn it several times so far...really appreciate it!


Terri! ~ Oh Terri...how I LOVE my cute little hat! I might even where it on Thanksgiving??? Just never know....and the goodies that were included with the fabulous hat....THANK YOU! I am a lover of Bingo cards and hankies!! Thank you for your help with the swap as well!


Kana ~ thank you for the box of toffee....it was DELICIOUS..thank goodness I was able to have a few pieces before my kids ate EVERY last bit!!
Kana and I on Vendor night...photo from her blog



Kim ~ Thank you for the lovely soap...I love lavender!! MMMM....thank you!


Shawn ~ Thank you for the yummy lavender sachet!


Jill G. ~ Thank you for the adorable milk container filled with chocolate! That was ADORABLE!! It will take a place in the holiday decor!

To my Swap partner Jill.....NO WORDS...JUST NO WORDS to express my incredible gratitude for my beautiful box filled with amazing goodies!! It literally brought tears to my eyes!
To my swap partner Susan ~ Thank you for the adorable vintage bag and tussy and all the other goodies!! So many to play with - thank you!


Michelle ~ Thank you for letting us have a sneak peak at your vendor goodies...I love you for that! :) And...my cute little key is still in my change pouch!

Suz ~ thank you for the little trinket you passed on to me in our Tea Cup Fairy Class

HOPE~thank you for getting me through our soldering class....I really couldn't have made it without you...literally...I enjoyed all our conversations and look forward to spending time with you again!

Jennifer ~ Thank you for my trinket in our Gilded Fairy Class!

JULIE B. ~ The Chocolate....MMMMMM....the chocolate! So yummy!!! Thank you for everything, I LOVED spending time with you!

Swiped this picture of Julie and Jennifer and I from Michelle's blog...thank you!

Roxie & Robin ~ Thanks for the laughs!!!


And to all the other Silver Bella Ladies....Thank you for making my first year a wonderful year! If you didn't see your name here ~ it doesn't mean I didn't LOVE YA!!

I did a little photo swiping to show you some of these ladies...so glad SOMEONE has pictures!