A Reasonable New Year's Resolution

I do not like New Year Resolutions because I consistently fail at keeping them.  The older I get, the more I realize how ridiculous it is to make bold statements about how I am going to start doing this or quit doing that because by the first of February it's always back to the same old same old.

Plus, I am surrounded by people who just love to remind me of the errors of my ways.

Meet my sisters:

Cindy (above) and Rhonda (below)

(faces changed to protect the guilty)

I think these pictures duly capture the very essence of my slightly-short-of-sainthood siblings who presented me with a Christmas gift (in front of God and everyone) that is the basis for my New Year's Resolution:


It all started in September when the family was gathered around Dad in the hospital.  We've all been there, right?  Not knowing exactly what's wrong - waiting for test results - praying everything will be okay.  You know how easy it is be become a bit distracted when there's so much to think about.

In the process of waiting and wondering, I tried to lighten things up a bit with "true confessions" after a quick trip to the bathroom.

"Don't ever try to use one of these to dry your hands because they aren't very absorbent," said I.

"You don't know the difference between toilet seat covers and paper towels?????" they howled!

"Of course I know the difference between toilet seat covers and paper towels, I'm just telling you, don't 'accidently' grab one of them instead of a paper towel because they aren't very absorbent."

They found that little comment hilarious too.  I thought they were going to get us kicked out of the hospital the way they were laughing and carrying on.

In my defense, I truthfully told them the bathroom was very small, the seat covers were in close proximity to the sink, and the paper towels were on a side wall. I just logically grabbed the nearest paper product to dry my hands.

They just wouldn't let it go.

Seriously, on the way home from the hospital I sneezed in the car and Rhonda (a little too quickly) said, "Oh!  Oh!  Here's a tissue!"  

She darn near went off the road trying to fish a toilet seat cover out from under her seat. 

She was mainical!

Okay, so it was a good thing she grabbed a few because those two about peed their pants laughing about their forward thinking and ability to wait for an opportune moment to rub it in!

Fast forward to Christmas and the "surprise" that was hauled up from the basement.

A Christmas wreath made from toilet seat covers.
And yes, they had to repeat the whole sordid tale to EVERYONE.

So, what's your reasonable New Year's Resolution?


Joyous Noel

An old fashioned Christmas wish from our house to yours.

A long time in the making 

finding things here and there 

to give our home a primitive Christmas sort of flair.

Refurbishing wreaths and creating things from
things I've used before.

Hauling things up from the basement 

and framing a thought from my heart.

Thinking of Christmas time of long ago
and pulling it all together so
everyone will know

and how fortunate we are that

God sent us a Savior

If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Savior.

Author Unknown

A very Merry Christmas
from our house to yours.


Inside Jobs

We were promised snow and strong winds for Saturday.  By the time Saturday morning arrived they'd changed their minds and told us to stay home because we were in for a blizzard with a lot more snow than anticipated.  They weren't wrong.

On a clear day we can see forever out here.  This was the view outside, so we obviously spent the day inside where it was quite cozy.

The wind was blowing so hard it created drifts inside the garage!

I took the opportunity to make some ditty bags for the grands.  Fortunately I was up early Saturday.  The blizzard was scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m. and the garage was still relatively warm from Friday when the temperature hit 50 degrees.  I needed to spray the cloth with a sealer before printing so I backed out the buggy, sprayed my cloth and put it back in the garage before the blizzard arrived. 

(Here's the full tute for making the ditty bags - they make great gifts!)

Talk about cabin fever.  Golly, as the day progressed, we weren't able to see much of what was going on outside.

Can you see my beloved washing machine through the snow?

Definitely mitten weather in Iowa, wouldn't you say?

I had baked these mittens a few days ago and found a way to display them in an antique mirror frame ( I just love whatever the heck veneer finish is on that frame )  A Christmas pick gave it a nice wintry Effect.

Since I didn't attach anything to the frame, I figure I can use this all year long, just change out the mittens for something seasonal. 

I also prettied up this awesome antique candle holder I found at  Streck Sales (my favorite little store!)  It sure brightens up our little kitchen dining area.  (What do you think Joleen??)

That fairly well sums up how I spent my blizzard day.  How was your weekend? 


Baked Snowmen and Fresh Flakes

Christmas at our house this year definitely has an old fashioned country flair.  I went a bit wild with the antiquing of my sewing projects, but I left a couple of things "un-antiqued" and they just didn't look right!

This happy little couple sits in a lovely antique cheese box I picked up at my favorite little store, Streck Sales, in Denison (Hi Joleen!).  I had fun dressing them up for Christmas with bits and pieces of things like old socks (the Mister's stocking cap) an old star ornament, buttons, scrap material and falling apart evergreen garland.

The same is true for the son who appears to be happy living on his own, huh?  His stocking cap is another old sock... his scarf came from old kitchen curtains.  Look at that little nose of his - that's the way he came out of the oven!

The tutorial for making antique snowmen - or anything else made of cloth for that matter - can be found here.

I did make some fresh snow too:

The sewing angels were really looking out for me one day.  I was at this store and for some reason, thermal blankets caught my eye.  Probably because the big price banner said $2.  Two dollars?  for a KING size thermal blanket?  I took it to the cashier and said I didn't want it if it wasn't $2.  For me it was $2 - but they promptly changed the price banners to read $12.  What a steal of a deal!

Anyway, this was one of those really stiff thermal blankets.  I had read somewhere how people use them for quilts instead of paying for batting.  Hmmmm.  Perfect!  I'm not a quilter (yet) but that thermal blanket worked just perfect for my snowflakes!

I sandwiched a double layer of  thermal blanket between two pieces of muslin fabric after I used my disappearing ink to trace around a couple of different snowflake designs I found on Print Shop.  I sewed around the outline and then cut them out.  Simple, simple, simple!  Then they were sprinkled with glitter and adorned with old buttons (thanks Mom!) and hand sewn glass beads.

Nice, thick Iowa snowflakes  : )

And speaking of snow... we're in for a blizzard today.  Joy, joy.  Hopefully we won't lose power because I want to get back to my sewing machine and make some more ditty bags for Christmas and some stockings for the fireplace. 

Have a great day!


Keeping My Fingers Busy

I've been away from the computer for awhile... on purpose.  I HAD to stay away because after 35 years of huffing and puffing, I realized I'd never be able to blow the house down if I didn't quit smoking.  Since smoking at the computer was as natural for me as a cat purring when it's happy, I decided to treat my computer like a lover spurned lest I give in to the nasty habit.  I'm not out of the woods yet, but I think I can behave long enough for at least one little post : )

So, while everyone else was having visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year, I was having visions of lugging an oxygen tank around for the remainder of my years and decided to busy myself with creating new Christmas decor.  It's been a wonderful new livelihood and my fingers have been very productive.

Probably the craziest thing I came up with was eternally incorporating burlap with Christmas lights.  Just one string of lights, but I had enough burlap to make at least three more sets.

This piece of burlap was given to me a long time ago and it must have been 15 feet long!   I washed it (what a MESS!) but it made it soft and pliable and just perfect for Christmas lights because the little bulbs can either poke through the burlap - or hide inside:

I opted for alternating the bulbs in AND out.  Then it was a simple matter of pinning the burlap and sewing the longest seam I have ever sewn - 10 feet!  Just leave the ends open, of course so you can plug the lights into your power source.

I wrapped it up in some evergreen garland and used it on the mantle.

It nestled nicely among some of the other crazy little things I made : )

Okay then.  That's enough for now.  Old habits die hard and I need to get outta here for now.  Maybe tomorrow I'll show you my baked snowmen : )