Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And, a Very Happy New Year to YOU!!

 A quiet night is in store for me on this New Year's Eve.  And, that's alright by me.  I did want to wish you all a wonderful celebration on this night.....and 365 wonderful nights to come!  Naturally, I am thinking of the New Year and what it will bring.  Well, we don't know, do we?  So, let me just wish you all the very best tonight and in the days ahead.  I appreciate you all visiting me this year....your visits have "made my day' many, many times and you are greatly appreciated.  I couldn't think of a thing to post about except to send you good wishes....but since I've been thinking about our New Year and those pesky resolutions I don't like to's what I think I can try to do:

 In this new year....I think what I'd like to do is my very best."  To be the best person I possibly can. To be kind and generous, remembering that I am not the only person.  To be a busy person and to enjoy whatever I am busy doing.  To share what I have.  To create pretty things and share the enjoyment of the making of them.  I want to giveaway more this year.  I've said that a lot recently.  I want to write to a blog reader...from time to hand, the time consuming way.  Really, the most precious thing I have is my time.....I want to make the best of it, with friends, family and YOU!   With that in mind, I decided this evening, to share some pretty things I have made. I want to make this a habit!  I'm saying this to start the New Year off right and to let you know that this kind of 'work' is what I want to do more of, along with the sharing, so this is a taste of what you might see if you visit me in 2015:

 Handwriting on fabric, silk ribbon embroidery, some beading.  This pincushion is 6 inches square.

 Some applique, roses, some trees, and more beads.

 This is one of my favorite things I've created....

 As you can see, a lot of work for something four inches square.

 Tiny little applique house.  Not perfect, but dear.  The main part of the house is about an inch wide.

 Back stitch wording.  Fun.  Beading....also FUN!

 Home Sweet Home....Indeed!

 A little Crazy Quilt pincushion.  Also four inches square.  Loved making it!

 One of my very favorite things....HEARTS!    This teeny embroidered one is 1/4 inch wide.  I've always loved making these and stitch them on all kinds of creations.  I've been asked before, but never did do a tutorial on them.  Look for one in February!!  It will be my gift to you.

 Oh, yes, these would have to be a trademark of mine.  I want my New Year filled with these tiny stitched hearts!!  Giveaways?  Stay tuned!  Stay safe, warm and cozy this New Years Eve!!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas at My Daughter's Home

MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone!!  Tonight, this Christmas Eve 2014,  I am here at home, posting the photos I took over at my favorite daughter's home last week.  (Yes, she is my favorite, as she is my only daughter!)  I will be spending Christmas Day over there in just a few hours, as time goes flying by.  I will apologize ahead of time as these photos turned out darker than I had hoped, but you will get the idea anyway.  (If we'd had the shades open, there would have been too much light!) I have said, often, that she and I are proof that the Apple CAN fall very far from the when you see these photos, you will see she and I do not share the same taste.  I must have ruined her when she was little, as she is a minimalist - most especially compared to her mother.  This is her home.  She and her husband, Rick, built it eight years ago and it suits them to a "T."

Everyone thinks it is a two story home, but it is not.  The upper row of windows is the high ceiling in their living will see and it's decked out for Christmas!

 So, welcome into Kelly and Rick's home.  It's a fun place!

 While I was snapping photos...she was working on an art project on the kitchen island. The kitchen really is the heart of their home.

 Here is the dining table.....overhead, her crazy, fabulous pendant light.  There is a better photo to come.  And, a four x four foot abstract painting Kelly made with her very sweet and good friend, Micah.

 And, here is the Christmas tree.  It's huge, has twelve hundred lights on it and is very colorful!  Beautiful too!  The blue one here on the left looks really nice beside that abstract painting.  There is a red one in the game room just like it.  We'll see that room some other time,  it is a cool place too.

 I love the lights on the steel beams.  In fact, I love tiny white lights just about any place you put them, but they really suit this room!

 This is the entry way into the living room.  Kelly rescued these sofas from the country club when they were remodeling.  They have various parties and such in their home and need lots of seating at times.  But, you never know, furniture may be moved for standing crowds or...dancing!

 Here you can get a better idea of the size of the tree and also the height of the ceiling....although you can't see the ceiling at this point.  You might wonder about the #8.  Kelly and Rick got married on 8-8-98.

 Yes, 1200 lights!  (OR, more! She said, but I don't exactly remember at this point.)  It's much more spectacular than this photo allows.  Oh...and they have polished concrete floors.  They are really reflecting the light here.

 Another view.  The living room and kitchen are one 

 This is the view from the left side of the living room over to the kitchen. 

Here is the view looking out on the patio....the most used place other than the kitchen.  Sorry it is so dark. 


 Among the decorations....this. 


 Kelly spent many hours this year making garland out of silver pipe cleaners.  I think she bought all there was around here....and a lot in Little Rock also.  You can see it in all it's glory in these photos. It really turned out pretty too!  A reward for all that hard work!

Very colorful, isn't it?

In 'real life' the tree looks like colored balls are bursting through the top!

 Here is more of the color that always appears in this house.  That painting against the wall is really two paintings hung side by side.  These were purchased from an Arkansas artist from another city. I failed to get the name from Kelly.  They are really nice.

 I think together they are eight feet wide.  Under them sits a beautiful long chest with many drawers.  I wish the photo wasn't so dark as I love it.  Maybe I'll get another photo of it one day soon...

 Now, here is a close-up of the pendant light over the dining table.  Here the dimmer is being used and it is easier to see.  We can't sit at the table when the light is on high.  It will blind you.  Many thick round pieces of glass form the flower like uneven circles.

 Brighter here....

And, now we are looking from the kitchen across the room....the same guy that made the chest under that painting, made this long table.  They are made from old barn wood I believe.


 Something tells me that at Christmas, Kelly is learning to put aside her minimalistic tendencies!
Maybe the apple didn't fall all that far away from the tree after all! 

 A tiny tree on the kitchen counter, looking out the window.  One of Kelly's art pieces shown here.

 And, here she is at work.....See the twigs in that white vase in the center of the island.  Came from the same batch as mine on my fireplace mantle.  You'll notice she painted hers while.  And, from these hang beautiful silver ornaments. 


 So, there you are...a tour, though not the best tour, of this great home...lots of fun is had in this place.  They planned to build a 'fun' house, and they did!  So I know tomorrow we will have a lovely Christmas Day here and we will remember other Christmases as well.  Imagine the art project gone and lots of food in its place, you'll get the idea!

One of the most fun areas of the house is the patio.  This fireplace is directly behind the one in the house.  We sit out here in the heat of summer and the cold of matter the is a well-used spot.  And, tomorrow will be no exception.  Imagine me there...wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!! 

Until next time....♥♥♥

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Little Christmas at My House

And, yes, this IS a little Christmas at my house.  Tiny, but more than I've done in several years.  It's difficult to want to decorate for Christmas, even now, a year later.  I told myself it was an effort I needed to make.  Just for the making...for putting my mind somewhere else...somewhere it hadn't been in quite a while.  So, I made the effort, I guess you'd say, to make things a tiny bit Merry and Bright.  I'm not good at it, but I made it anyway.  I made myself find things in the attic.....things so recently moved into the attic...and now, out of it. 

I thought I'd go find a four foot tree at Walmart, but, lo, the shopping locusts had invaded and left with every small tree in the store.  That turned out to be a good thing, because the base of a four foot tree would never have fit in my 'so very cute' little red wagon, which I was intent on using to hold whatever tree I could get my hands on. So I took this thin 'slice' of a tree from that attic and brought it downstairs.  My friend, Jim, had given me that red wagon years's held lots of things in it's time in my home and I wanted it to hold this year's little tree, in THIS home.  Determination.  I have that if nothing else.

Everything here except a couple of Walmart ornaments has been with me for a long time.  The Santa, the bottle brush trees, the ornaments I made, the basket the tree is in, the crocheted and Battenburg lace, all from other years.  The two little houses, were given to me by my friend, Bibi.  She decorated the large one several years ago, and made the small one from paper after that.  It's delicate.  There's more about that further on in this post.   Turns out all these things made an 'ok' little arrangement on the living room table.  I call it the living room table, because I do have a dining room...I just wasn't going to get rid of this table when I moved.  I figured I'd need it for my little monthly group meeting and once a table is gone...well, that's when you will need it moved in with me.

Here's a closer look....Oh, Bibi made that little Snowman up there by the basket too!  She's really good at making tiny things! He is actually a box that holds another tree.

Here's old St. Nick.  I bought this one years ago when my grandson was small.  He leans a little, but, hey, so do I.


 You might recognize this ornament from my recent Christmas Giveaway, although this is not the same image as the one I gave away.    There are several here on this post.  Just for you to of the things you can do with old Christmas cards and some fabric.  If you didn't read that post...this image was printed onto fabric using an old Christmas card and a printer, then embroidered and made into a tiny version of a 'quilt.'

 And here's another.

And another.

 Like I said, more on these houses further down.....


I found this stocking at the flea market last week for $3.  It made me laugh, as I knew the old navy man would think it was funny.  It says:  "Fill-er Up."

There's really not much that says "Merry Christmas" on my mantle.  Mostly stuff I had there already, just rearranged with a couple of extra things.  (Oh, and these candles aren't yellow, they just look that way in a couple of photos....weird.)

 So...yes, the canvas...does say "Merry Christmas."  So, there is at least the ONE thing!

 And, an old Christmas Card....

 Can you call two Cardinal Salt Shakers 'Christmasey?"

Prior to putting that little skinny tree on my table, this glass vase of rocks and twigs was on the table.  I couldn't bear to get rid of it, so it became part of the mantle decor.  So, here is the list of twigs in it....some Rosemary, Crepe Myrtle branches complete with the seed pods, dried stems from some irises which are growing on my back patio, and some tree branches from the old house.  I love them!
My friend, Bibi and I, both love twigs and we gather them whenever possible.  I won't have any at this place, except for the Crepe Myrtles, so, when I moved, I brought with me many twigs I gathered from the my old house.  I have extras in the garage.  And, my daughter has some in her house too...only hers look lots different.  I'll be showing you her house in my next post.  (Talk about will wonder about us when you see her house!)

 I love this print.  It's larger than it looks and wonderful.  There are tiny Cardinals on the twigs by the fence, cows way off in the distance, a barn, another outbuilding, and a very ancient old house.  I am inspired by it...thinking of embroidery, applique and such.  And, it's a great Winter scene!

 Two more of my Santas!  Well, actually, four...another riding a toy horse, and one of my favorites, given to me by my friend, Susan.  She bought it for me in Germany.  It's old-fashioned looking and you can put it in lots of places as the hands are magnetized and will grip around a post or on a stocking, anywhere.  So cute!! See,  right there by the bear's head.  I made that bear a few years ago.  Also a great sequin covered box with a few beaded cherries on top.  Then, there is also that vintage high chair.  I had it on the porch at the other house, brought it in here for Christmas.  More on this a couple of photos down.

Yes, I can hear my friend, Sherry, asking about this mantel banner of crocheted doillies.  I found it in Texas when I went there for my birthday.  It fit this mantel just perfectly!  I'm very, very fond of it!
Then, there are the birds flying across the wall.  Eddie, a quiltmaker in my guild, sent them to me a couple or so years ago.  They flew in my kitchen at the other house.  I asked my grandson to hang them, as these ceilings are eleven feet tall and I have been forbidden to climb ladders, since I fell and broke my tailbone in January.  So, he put them just as I wanted them without me even saying - just perfect!

So, there you are...a peek at the grand total of my decorations.    It's a cozy place, which is all that matters to me.

 Remember, I said there would be more about the Santas and the Bear.  While up in the attic, I remembered I had this beautiful framed calligraphy of "The Night Before Christmas," so I brought it down also.  It was made especially for the old navy man and me by Calligrapher, Mary Lackey.  It's quite special.  There is really nowhere to hang it right now, so I just sat it by the Santas.    Next year, I will find a better way to see it.

It's inscribed with our names and the date, 1994.

 One more photo of the mantle..........

I said there was an addition to the story of Bibi's little paper houses.  She came over today and brought me another one....right there in the foreground...look at that cute tiny little house!  Adorable.


And, then there were three!

Look how big it looks up close to the camera.... and see, she even made a tiny little Snowman!

So, here is the front porch.  Just brought out more stuff I already had.

 I will probably put these Nests on that porch in every possible scenario I can dream up.  The bird in the nest is from Bibi, the two other nests from Jim.  Apparently, everyone knows I like nests!!  Aren't they sweet though!


My little porch blackboard, one of my birdhouses made by a local guy long ago, one of my 'kid' chairs, the Santa that has sat on my porch at Christmas for a very long time, and a wire bin of rocks holding up the blackboard...the rocks gathered long ago by my late mother-in-law.  

 And, now the end....another of my old birdhouses, a nest (not real, of course) and a little Christmas tree.  

This is what I managed to do, simple as it is....and I have to say...I do feel better having done it.

Christmas is coming....stay warm, Merry and Bright!!

Until then, ♥  pat

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.