Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Guardian Angel

Let there be peace on earth


let it begin with me. . .

I have just returned from the hospital where my dear Mom was admitted for another intercranial bleed. It is heartbreaking to see her this way once again. I pray that God will watch over her and make her feel at peace. She is so confused and it is difficult to get her to understand what is happening. When we left her she was frightened.

Seven years ago on December 15th my Dad lost a long battle to cancer. That year I had purchased the angel in the first picture above. It was a most difficult task to tell my boys that their beloved Grandpa had gone to heaven. I gathered them up and the three of us laid on the couch together while I held them through their tears. The angel was there with us through it all. It was like a true guardian angel watching over us. I will be spending some time with her tonight and throughout the rest of the season. Somehow it is a comfort.

Warmest Christmas Blessings
to all of you,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Playing in the Snow Down South

Oh, ho ho . . . how I miss snow!

Well, maybe not for months on end, but definitely at Christmastime. I have been enjoying the snowy scenery on many of your blogs . Nothing looks quite so pretty and cozy at this time of year than a fresh fallen blanket of white, fluffy snow. When I was a kid in Michigan I spent many winter days outside all day until my feet were numb and my cheeks were nice and rosy. The first pair of ice skates I owned were blue (just like the ones in the picture above, only a bit larger). Some years my Dad would make an ice skating rink in the backyard and I would put several layers of socks under those blue skates and glide around that rink pretending I was Peggy Fleming.

We occasionally get a snowfall in this part of North Carolina - but the chances of a white Christmas are pretty darn slim. As a matter of fact, it has been almost balmy here for the last week or so. But, just because the weatherman won't cooperate doesn't mean we can't still have a little fun in the snow.

In the meadow we can build a snowman . . .

On the coffee table we can build a snowman too!!
And underneath him we can put a snowy quilt square - woo hoo!!

~ A snow family under glass ~

A snowy touch on a wee little chair . . .

With a sweet sentiment to share.

A couple of snowmen to hold the boy's stockings. I made these stockings when they were little guys. I used to cross stitch a lot back then.

This is another oil painting from the thrift shop. It is "snow" pretty in person as the snow has glitter in it and it is so sparkly.

I'm dreaming . . .

of a . . .

white Christmas ~
Just like the ones I used to know . . .

May your days be merry and bright!!

The big day is almost here. I hope you are all enjoying the season and finding some time to relax and enjoy it too.
What fun it has been to take a peek at all of your decorating, get a glimpse of the crafts you have made and the recipes you are making, the cards you are sending and the cookies you are baking.

Warm & Cozy Christmas Wishes to You,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Little Elf With a Big Secret

Pssst . . . hello there ladies. My name is Elvin and I was wondering if I could talk to you for a moment today?? I'm hoping that you can keep a secret. You see, Kim isn't home right now and I snuck onto the computer to make a plea for elves everywhere.

There is something going on in one house in North Carolina that is very unfair to we elves. To be more specific we are being held hostage in a box in the attic for 360 days a year. Do you have any idea how hot an attic is in the summer. Whew, I break out in a sweat just thinking of it. On those 5 lucky days that we come out of the attic, we sit in the foyer listening to "her" say how much she loves us and how adorable we are and how we remind her of when she was a little girl and used to decorate for Christmas with her Dad. But then we hear little stifled comments about how old we are and some people might find us (gulp) tacky. At this point we are usually carried back to the attic. Can you believe that? Talk about a fairweather friend. We smile constantly and do our best to look cute and irresistible. What are we doing wrong?? Why won't she bring us out of captivity and let us be part of the Christmas decor. She let's those angels and gingerbread men come out. Where have we gone wrong?

Now, since I think that you can keep a secret I am going to show you what I have been up to in "her" absence. I replaced the stockings she had hung by the chimney with care with a couple of my fellow hostages. I think they look pretty good there. What do you think? Don't get me wrong I know things have gotten pretty fancy and "matchy, matchy" since our heyday. Times were simpler back in the 50s and I guess we are a reflection of that, but I know a lot of you blog ladies like things from the good old days, don't you?

Do you have any idea of what I can do to make sure we don't go back to the attic when the 5 days are up? I would just love to see how it felt to be out of there until January. Man what we elves wouldn't give for a taste of freedom. How we would relish being in the background of some Christmas photos. If you have any thoughts on the matter, please tell me . . . I'm all ears. Oh and speaking of that, we elves do have pretty big and okay, pointy, ears. However, I don't think that is why "she" is embarrassed by us. After all she has that pointy eared dog and she doesn't have to be relegated to the attic.

Now, where was I . . . Oh, yes back to Christmas decorating Elvin-style. The pictures above are part of a little tree I put up while "she" was gone. Not bad, eh?

Here I stuck a few of the guys up there with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. That was quite a feat for a little guy like me because the Clauses are on top of a china cabinet. It took a lot out of me to climb way up there to do my decorating and I probably wouldn't have gone through the effort if this cause wasn't so very important to me. When I was up there an idea struck me. Why not tell dear old Santa about my plight. I think he would be on my side. Well, I was just about to bend his ear when I heard the sounds of the garage door creaking open. Oh no - "she's" home!! I ran through that house as fast as I could grabbing all of my elf friends as I went. We all jumped in the dreaded box, slammed the lid and here we sit on the foyer floor. Quick, before she comes in the door I am making one final plea to the dear ladies in blog land . . . if you love an elf or even if you don't love an elf but just have a tender heart . . . won't you please do what you can to help "her" come to "her" senses?? Maybe a subtle good word in the comments box about how her house looks nice, but a few elves would put it over the top????

If you can find it in your heart to come to the rescue of we dear, old, captive elves I will put in a good word for you when I finally do talk to Santa.

With Love & Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas,


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thrifty Christmas Fun

Have you ever gone shopping at the thrift store and not been able to find anything to buy. Not one single treasure catches your eye, but yet you are determined to not go home empty handed? So you might make another pass through the shop determined to find just one little thing to take home and "play" with?? Am I the only one who does this? I know I'm not because I see a lot of familiar faces when I go to the thrift shops (the regulars) and they are often going up and down the aisles over and over again.
Well . . . it was just such a scenario on the day I discovered this little oil painting. It was face down in a pile of pictures. Some days I don't have the patience to dig through a bunch of stuff, but this day I was determined not to go home empty handed . In this instance I think persistence paid off.

This little treasure found a new home on the top of this little cupboard I have hanging in my powder room. Soon it was joined by a happy community of Christmas folks who, by the way, came from the same thrift shop on a different day. A few Goodwill Christmas trees were added to the collection.

I added a little fake snow and ice I already had.

And, voila . . . a very economical touch of Christmas in the powder room. And oh so satisfying to my thrifting addiction.

This was another fun "thrifty" project. Thrift shop bell shaped jar filled with some vintagey thrift shop nativity figures and a few sprigs of greenery makes a sweet little addition to the top of my pie crust table.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Angels at Christmastime

I always love angels, but especially at Christmastime.

This is the time that my collection of old angels comes down from the attic. Most often they were "Made in Japan" in the 50s or 60s. These NOEL angels are also bells ~ well that is except the "N" angel. I think that somewhere along the line the girl "N" suffered a mishap and Mr. "N" being the gentlemen he is stepped in to fill her role because N-O-E-L has more meaning at Christmas than O - E - L.

She looks happy with her BIG candy cane waving a friendly hello.

And this little dear is having a thoughtful conversation with Santa .

Oh . . . look who Santa found hiding under his cap.

This one is called a "Candle Climber" for obvious reasons.

It was a happy day at the thrift shop when I found this church and 2 angels.

~Glory to the newborn king ~

Amen to that sentiment.

Our gifts are wrapped ~ now who should we give them to?

My most precious Christmas angel.
This one belonged to my parents and is a true reminder of the reason we celebrate this glorious season.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How to Trim a (Fake) Tree

For many years I swore I would never, ever have an artificial tree. Then, in 1999 we moved from Michigan to North Carolina. We moved two unhappy children along with my husband's business into a condo while our house was being built. The house was done in time for us to move in on December 23rd. Most of our belongings were in storage including the Christmas decor. My sister-in-law loaned us her artificial tree and we rounded up a few ornaments and called it Christmas. Well ever since that time we have had an artificial tree. Not only one, but two full sized and 2 small ones. Sure there are times that I miss a real tree ~ nothing like that heavenly fragrance. But, these fakies sure are convenient.

I have been spending my morning today decorating one of these trees. This one sits in the corner of the dining room. Please join me as I trim the tree.

In my book it is essential to have a steady stream of Christmas carols ringing through the house as I tackle this job. The louder the better.

And, since fake trees are definitely lacking in the scent department I like to create my own by burning a pine scented candle. This one is called Christmas Wreath, but it smells just like the real deal.

It's always fun to have a cute little helper. My boys have no interest in this job anymore so I recruited this little sweetie.

The tree I am decorating today is the one that holds all of the ornaments that are nearest & dearest. You know, the ones from childhood, the ones your children made, special gifts from special people and sometimes the ones that even bring a tear to your eye because they hold such powerful memories of loved ones who are no longer with us. On the other hand they sometimes cause a chuckle of a funny memory from the past. So many years of beautiful memories all come together on one tree. The Raggedy Ann & Andy above were given to me by my son when he was 15. He bought them at Cracker Barrel. I thought it was pretty special that a teenage boy even noticed his mom had a soft spot for Raggedy Ann & Andy. I even left the tags on them because he wrote on them and included the date.

This stove was put out by Hallmark one year. When I lived in Michigan my sister & I got together every year for huge cookie baking sessions. I miss that a lot, but this sweet ornament reminds me of those special days. The year it came out I bought one for her and sent it along with some of my homemade cookies.

Another year Hallmark put out this adorable refrigerator. It even has magnets on the door.

Santa taking a rest before the big day gets here. This little guy was from a thrift shop. I love when I find some of the vintage ornaments there.

This little house is extra special to me this year as I won it from a giveaway I entered here. This past year was when I decided to try my hand at blogging and I just love it. It is so much fun to read all of your blogs and see what you have been up to in your homes. I know I don't have to go on and on about this as I'm sure you already know what I'm talking about :-)

I find that when you are mixing a whole bunch of different kinds of ornaments it can look a bit haphazard if you're not careful. I like to add something to kind of "unify" the look a bit. I do that with icicles. I have all different kinds and am always on the lookout for them throughout the year at garage sales, thrift shops, etc.

Well gals, I am almost done with the decorating around here. It seems to be taking a little longer than it should. Hmmm . . . could that be because I am taking pictures as I go along and also checking in on your blogs every day???

Once I get it all done I hope to have lots more time for blogging. I absolutely adore everything about the Christmas season. I'm going to go finish up the dining room now.

I'll be back soon.
Until then Santa looks quite content to sit in the middle of these Shiny Brite ornaments. Ho ho!!