Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Stroll down Christmas Memories Lane...

As I look around, decorating every corner of our home, I stopped to think about the things that I remember most of the things that shaped my happy thoughts of the Christmas season. We all groan at how much earlier we see things go up in the stores, and how quickly we see commercials on TV, but, all in all, so many of us want to decorate weeks before the turkey is cooked for Thanksgiving. It isn't about the commercialism of the season for so many of us. It is the reason for the season that we love to be reminded of, with all of our halls decked out to celebrate Christ's birth. Oh yes, we love our favorite snowmen displays, and our collection of Santa's, but it is the sweet reminder of a new born babe in a manger that has us fascinated. To know that God sent his only Son to die for us on the cross, that this lil babe in the manger loved us so much to do so, is just simply wonderful! For me, it is the ease in which I believe it. No question about it, no thoughts of, oh there is just no way. He is the way, the Light and the Truth, and I do not question that. I just remember playing with the manger scene as a child. Just as I look at it now, set up on my hutch. It makes me smile.

Another thought occurred to me yesterday. (every once in a while, my thoughts run deep!) Who are the artists that bring out the happy memories, the minute you hear them sing the carols? I remember Burl Ives, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis and Bing Crosby the most. Probably because I can picture in my mind, changing out the records on the player, and looking at the album covers. It isn't the holiday season til I hear them sing! I also remember getting so antsy to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. This was back in the days when it was going to be on once that year, so you better not miss it. Now of course, you can let you kids overdose on it, with the DVD in your collection. It was the once a year showing of those movies that made it special.

Ahh, now there is the collectibles. I know I have seen, those brass, or fake brass angels with propellers and candles that fascinated me for hours on end back in the old days. You can find them at the dollar store now, and it brings a smile to my face. We had those holiday candles that were about 4 inches tall, in angels, snowmen, Santa's etc. Playing with them, and making a Christmas parade with them was a fun time. Mom also had this plastic Santa sleigh with the reindeer. I wonder if I will ever see one of those again. It was no more than 12 inches long, and you could pop the reindeer off the "harness". It was kind of like playing with my farm set that I loved to do so much. Now, I know your thinking, those are collectibles? They would be if my Mom still had them! Long banished to the trash can. Oh well, that is why we hold our memories so dear. I also remember the "retro" items we had, which are so hot now. I saw a few things in a catalog the other day, that even if I am not into retro, I would like to have, as a reminder. It was a tablecloth with Santa faces on it. I may not use it in a display, but it would be a treasured reminder of my childhood.

Ok, who doesn't remember this?? Waiting with anticipation for the Sears Christmas wish list catalog to arrive? Did you fight over it with your siblings? What fun! (the shopping, not the sibling fights!) How long a list could get very quickly from that catalog. It must have been the dreaded arrival of every parent! And, to keep us occupied as the days went by like a snail, being handed the crayons and Christmas coloring books? Remember? I loved that so much! I could color those scenes for hours. Kids now? Hmph.... I think some parents are lucky they can get the kids to go out and build a snowman or go sledding nowadays!

Another memory was that of making up a big pot of oatmeal, apple carrot mash for my horse. She needed that warmth in her tummy! When your water bucket freezes at Christmas time in NH, I am betting that tasted yummy and warmed her up. A special treat, when combined with her carrots in her stocking, that were brought by Santa the night before.

Then there is, of course, the holiday baking. Christmas sugar cookies! Oh my!!! That is on the top of my list of favorite memories. In the kitchen with Grammie and Mom, waiting on the cookies to be rolled out and cutting them, and sprinkling them with the colored sugars. The cookies were great, but it is the memory of baking with Grammie and Mom that I hold dear.

I hope this trip down my memory lane makes you sit and think of some things that may have been forgotten, but now are brought back to you, and puts a smile on your face. I will be getting my decorating down today, and will take photos to post tomorrow. While you wait though, please post your favorite Christmas memory. You can, as always, also email it to me instead. I will be sending a free pattern to one lucky winner!

Now, go break out that tree and get to decorating! I would love to post your pics too!

Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Christmas Ornie Tutorial

Good afternoon my dear friends! I am here to show you a quick tutorial for making a fabric Christmas ornie, using clip art!

First, let me let you know, I am clip art challenged, so I will not go as far as to tell you how to do the setting up for the printing of these. It would be lame at best and I am still learning! The clip art is from Primsy Doodle Designs!

Here is step one:

When you have set up your clip art in whatever program that works for you, print them out on muslin fabric. Iron muslin with a piece of freezer paper attached to the back, and make sure it is cut to a standard sheet of paper size. Make sure there are no lose threads to catch inside your printer. Set your printer on iron on transfer paper. Print it out. I made 4 on one sheet of fabric. Cut using a big enough edge for seam allowances.

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art

Next cut a piece of ribbon to sew in to the ornie, as shown, so when you turn it right side out, it will be on top, as a hanger.

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art,Graphics ornies tutorial

Pin the back to the graphics on the inside, with the ribbon situated as you would like.

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art,Graphics ornies tutorial

Sew leaving an opening at the bottom for turning and stuffing. Turn RSO, and stuff, not tight, just enough to make a pillow. Sew up the bottom, and woolah, you have an ornie ready for the tree, and also, a quick ornie to make for craft shows as well as gifts!

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art,Graphics ornies tutorial

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art,Graphics ornies tutorial

I will admit, my picture taking leaves a lot to be desired today! I will get better ones to show, as soon as I get all of mine made up!

Blessings, Sue

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Day of Reflections....

As I have been sick, sometimes I slow down, and stop to see the roses. (Hard to smell them with a plugged nose!) They are still blooming, as are the mums, and gourd plants. No frost or freezes yet, to kill them off. As some of the weeds fall way to a slow death, I see the things that have been hidden all too long. This one weed is horrible and it grows up in the bayou before you realize it, and it grows 12-15 feet tall. I spray to kill it at the first sight of them, then still miss get back out there to do them all in. The cypress trees that are babies are still there, growing a bit since I saw them last!

The songs birds that are a familiar site since spring have given way to the snow birds flying in. We counted 14 bluebirds a few weeks back, while hubby and I were sitting on the porch. It has been raining, so I am not sure if they have flown south yet or not. Hopefully they might just winter here. The swallows were here about a month ago, and just as we needed them for mosquito control, they left us high and dry! We honestly never have the mosquitoes here, for anyone that might wonder, with us being in Louisiana and all. The bayou out front brings them in, but it also brings in the birdies and bats that love dining on them. This was the worst I have had them here since we moved in. Darn bites!

The days getting shorter is not my favorite sign of fall. Probably the only sign I don't care to see. I always remind myself though, to brighten it up, that 4 days before Christmas, the shortest day of the year has ended, and the longer days start! Hooray! Just one more thing to look forward to at Christmas time! Hubby possibly not being home for Christmas this year is not one of these things though! He left for Tobago, for work, and may not be home for 4 months or so. We can only be glad he has a job, in this day of dreary news for so many. We do pray for y'all!

The neighborhood is changing! Two houses being built and one more moved in, have our little lane all filled up. Good to know there is no room for any others, unless we were to sell our property. Fat chance on that though! We are off on our own little world here as the last home of the lane. I don't mind neighbors, they are all pretty far off still. A new baby arrived on the lane, and a married couple to be. Younger kids moving in from what I understand too! I might have to have trick or treat things out next year. We have never had trick or treaters, so, maybe I will have to get my act together. Next year of course. :)

I hope y'all have a great day today!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Autumn in the air!

Finally, we have had some cool days, and cooler nights. It is nice to see that the mowing does not need it so often now. It is still green however, so it looks great. I have been cleaning out the zinnia bed. Just straggly remnants are left of the beautiful blooms. I do have babies shooting up in there though, some with blossoms, so I will not mow it down yet. The cukes and zukes have decided to make a new appearance too! New plants with blossoms and all, so I won't mow that yet either. I am sure we will get a freeze before that, but, who knows? I might get a zuke or two for holiday baking. I did tell hubby that it will be a raised bed garden or no veggies again. Just flowers and herbs. (I think I have said this before, like last year?)

Harvest time is here for the pecans. It is a great way to make some money, if you actually want to work! That is what I tell the boys every year. We will see if it kicks in. Brody is always saying he is broke! I might jump out there before the squirrels eat them all up. We have a ton of trees, so I don't think that is possible. I did pick some up last year, just to have some for baking. I did find out that it will be best to go pay to have them cracked, rather than fighting doing them myself. What a pain! (remember, I am not a southerner by birth, so some things are trial and error, and completely new to me, even after 10 years!) I do love the long season of summer that we have. But..... I do get worn out by July, seeing as we can work from February/March on. I can't get used to seeing the wild daffodils at Christmas time, or January, depending on the weather!

I have been really good at crafting this past month or so. 3 patterns out, and more ideas to come. That is when the bout of heat that catches up to me gets me inside, getting things done. It is now time to crank up the Christmas music, and get to making items for the booth in town. Within 2 weeks, I plan on having it all Christmas. I have purchased a lot of graphics to make goodies with. One site, Lisa of http://www.primsydoodledesigns.com/ has some yummy sets, as does Trina Clark of http://digiscrapkits.com/digiscraps/. I bought some of Lisa's over at Trina's site. She does carry other designers goodies! I also hit up Deena of http://www.ewenmeprintables.com/, with the already made up printable goodies. Now to sit down with the clip art, and see if I can make some things. I am clip art illiterate, really. Or, maybe it is just printable illiterate. I have not sat down to make things like that in years, so I do buy ready mades to help me fill in gaps of product. I do have an idea for the clip art, to make some fun and easy ornies. If they work out, I will show you what I made and how I did it. If they don't, well, umm, you know. I won't be around, cuz I threw my computer out the window, along with my printer.

Now, for the fun part, for those who like to win things! Post a comment on how much you would like to win sumpin! I have a prize in mind, but will not post what it is, until we are down, and have a weiner!

Autumn blessings! Sue

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In deep mourning.....

Some where along the way, the past few years, I have lost my babies. It kind of makes me resentful. Maybe I am not the only Mom to have said this? I feel like it. You know? Then of course the guilt creeps in. UGH...

Where did those little boys go? Those baby laughs, soft baby hair that is oh so kissable. Those chubby legs and cheeks? Those precious little toes and feet that you just have to kiss, and make them laugh. I miss that! It is all replaced by grouchy, cynical, crackly voiced, hairy men like creatures. I can't get used to Brody's man voice. Chance's feet being bigger than mine, and Brody's feet are bigger than Pa's. And the icing on the cake. Chance is taller than I am. I know it does not take much, me being 5'3", but still!! It just ain't fair.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am in no way, shape or form wanting to procreate again, I just would like a time capsule to look in, just a bit, to have those moments back. Not a video, no, a touch, smell, or kissing those cheeks kind of moment. Time speeds by all too quickly. Brody asked last night, to my dismay. "OK, I am going to be 16 next month Mom, do I get to date?" Umm, well, I guess that is what we always said. I told hubby. He said, "no, he has to wait til he's 18." Oh, now that will sit just right, with that cynical young man. "You tell him.", I said.

Nor does this has nothing to do with the fact that I am menopausal, so get that out of your mind. RIGHT NOW! You just realize it, all of a sudden like. Bam, they are gone. Those moments are gone. Time is fleeting. Next thing I know, I will be blogging about empty nest syndrome. But, for now, I will just keep moaning about driving lessons, "Mom, can I borrow the car?", and all that other drivel, for which teens are all about. Can you order 10 cheeseburgers for me, please? I'm starving! Gulp, help? Anyone?

So, for all of my pain and anguish, I am giving away a pattern. My latest one. Place in the comment box, just when you realized your babies were gone. No kids? Well, I dunno what to tell you. Just leaving your condolences will be nice. And a donation perhaps, to my empty nest syndrome, gotta re decorate fund.

Love y'all!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Autumn, sorta??

Happy Friday to everyone! I hope this weekend brings you all sorts of fun things to do! Here in Central Louisiana, we are trying very hard to have fall, but it is just not happening too much yet! It was 102 yesterday with the heat index, and tomorrow it is supposed to be 69. What a difference, but it will be nice to have that cooler weather. I love trying to get the windows thrown open for a few days a year. It is hard to catch nice cooler days that aren't too humid or damp outside to do so. The AC is still blaring this morning, working hard to cool us off, as it is about to come a big rain, barreling towards us from TX. After that hits, it will be cooler than it is now!

I actually started fall cleaning yesterday, officially. The upstairs is done. Well, except for Chance's room. That is a scary challenge, and I need his help. What I consider garbage might be goodies for making something, as in science projects. He might need that scrap of paper. Gosh, where does he get this from? My hubby of course! I would never save scraps of anything, hoping to use it later on!

Congratulations to Niki for winning a pattern from my contest the other day! She will be receiving my latest pattern to be released soon! I have been so busy designing, and crafting for the antique mall booth. Yes, I am trying a booth, and mixing in antiques with the crafted items. Most collectors love handmade items, so I thought I would give it a whirl, atleast through the holidays. There are no craft malls of course, and no country stores out here. I would love to put up a little shop here on the property. We went to a great one in Missouri last year, on someones property. It was a cute little shop that the proprietress set up in one of those little shed buildings that you can buy most anywhere these days. It looked so small from the outside, but she packed a ton of things into this building. Very cute set up. I don't know how people find her to be honest! We just happened to drive by the road and see a little sign heading up to her home, when we had left an Amish town who's name is escaping me at the moment. Was it Jamesport? Yes, that was it!

We are very discouraged with our trees this year. This spring we lost a lemon tree, but I noticed yesterday another one of them is bursting forth with fragrant blossoms! I might have to go snip a branch to bring in to the house. We lost a curly willow tree, for no apparent reason at all. I was so excited too, as it had put on 10 feet since a year ago spring. Half of it died on one branch off, and I thought, ok, we will still have the other half, that was fine. Then it died about a month later. I will never know what happened. The big crepe myrtle tree we "saved" from demolition at a bank never bloomed, or sprouted leaves. Not til the past month when some suckers shot up from the bottom of the tree. The whole thing is coming out. We put so much money in to saving it too, and planting it in to very nice soil. I guess maybe it would have preferred the hard red clay we had removed from the hole.
OK, I took the crazy gourd video the other day, and it is posted on You tube. You can see if from the video bar.
Well, happy weekend, that is about over I guess. Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!
Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Grammie.......

Sitting here after posting, and showering, then painting up a new pattern, and I looked at the calender and remembered my Grammie. She would have turned 100 years old today. We lost her 7 years ago. She was the best. I know we all think that, of course, but she was the best Grammie for me.
When I was 7, my sister was born and 2 months later, Grandpa died, and Grammie came to live with us. Mom had to work, so it was always Grammie that was there to watch over us girls. She taught me so many things, and the thing that she taught me that has been the most important thing that changed my life is her love of making things. She always bought us coloring books and crayons with my Mom. Especially Christmas coloring books. I do remember paint by number paint sets too. I also remember her knitting, and crocheting when I was younger. I was always busy riding my horse with my friends, but eventually I gave crafting a whirl. Of course that knitting and crocheting never caught on, but other things did. When I was 13, we moved to California, she stayed in NH. I would go visit her for a few weeks in the summer time, and she taught me how to craft with that plastic stuff. You know, those sheets with squares in them that look like graph paper. What were they called? I forget. So that Christmas I had those ornies on our tree to remember her by, as she saw snowflakes fall in NH and we did not in CA. My Mom still has those ornies.
I moved on to different crafting thought processes, like quilting, but never forgot those summers. That same summer as plastic crafts, she went and bought 6 lobsters and had 3 a piece. Who could ever forget that? Yummy! She taught me how to make corn beef hash with an old fashioned grinder. Yummy too! Baking cookies, cakes and pies were something else I learned from her.
She always helped me out with things. Before we left NH, I had a paper route, and I delivered newspapers on horse back. If it was raining I would never want to deliver by foot, as houses were spread out in the country! She would always drive me. I remember her taking me to her friends houses when we travled to my home town, and learning about garage saleing. Junking too, although, not my kind of junking now though! I do not think she would dumpster dive with me, but who knows? The time she took me to one of my cousins houses and on the drive home, we were on the new bigger freeways, and as we came around a corner, cars were coming at us, and we realized it was a one way. Scared the bejeepers out of us, but it went to show us that horse and buggy days, with one lane like they used to be for her, were best!
I have reminders of her all over the house. The table that her Daddy made for her, a lot of little knick knack items that her Daddy and Mom had, like kitchen stuff, sewing things, like the sock darner that Great Grammie used. That lovely yellow ware bowl that seems to multiply in numbers because I need to have that whole line of sizes in that pattern. Their old Boston Baked beans pot. Too many things to list, but they are my most treasured things, right after my family. She also left me with stories to treasure, of her family. It helped me work oin my family tree. I could live without the whiskers on my chin that are hers, and her sweet tooth, but, as I pluck, and stuff a cookie in my mouth, I think of her.
She taught me how to be a good person, and while I do tend to slack in that area at times, she seems to tap on my shoulder to remind me. She always told me that if I find a white feather, to remember it is hers, watching over me, and that she dropped it. Some times they seem to show up where you least expect a white feather.
There is not a moment that something reminds me of her. I will always treasure those memories. I love you Grammie, and miss you so much.
Love, your grand daughter Susie