Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Good To Be Back

So long since I last posted, I will just briefly explain that I had some very minor surgery than ran into some minor complication, which then resulted in a slow recovery.  No sooner was I feeling better, for maybe a day or two, then I came down with a real whopper of a cold; the worst, I'd say, I've had in years!  So, I'm just gonna knock on wood, and thank my lucky stars that, having fully recovered, all seems well again, and I can finally, whole-heartedly enjoy all the joy and magic that only Christmas can bring!

First, I'll begin by joining in on today's Wednesday Hodgepodge, hosted by Joyce, at From This Side of the Pond.  A list of questions are provided, and my own list of answers are as follows...

1)  Do you believe in miracles?

Answer:  Yes.  I couldn't say for sure that I've personally experienced one, but I might classify my two beautiful children as miracles, yes?..   And there was one time, where my mother and I were in the car, crossing through an intersection at the same exact time that another car was crossing that same intersection. We both just held tight, and closed our eyes, not knowing what the next second or two would bring; and yet just a fleeting moment after, we were absolutely puzzled and shocked to realize the two cars never hit.  We had actually made it through that intersection without a dent or a scratch!  We immediately pulled over, while the other car just sped away, and we both just sat there, wondering how it was possible?..  how we survived it?!  It definitely FELT like a miracle to us!

2)  What's a recent fad you admit to trying?

Answer:  When I think of fads, my minds visualizes two things.  Fashion fads, and then toy/collectible types of fads.  In the way of fashion fads, the first thing that came to mind is really an old fad.  I have long hair, so I often wear it up, depending on whatever task at hand, or environment at the time, and/or any particular special occasion...  While it may now be considered a major fashion faux-pas, you'll still catch me wearing a scrunchie every now and then.  I like them.  I make them..  And I don't live in Manahattan, so I'm still gonna wear them!

Another fad that came to mind was a toy...  Well, a doll.  I collect dolls, so when I first heard about the big Monster High doll craze, I checked them out, and absolutely loved them.  I had to have one!

So I found the one I liked most, I purchased her, and I still think she's just the cutest!  Honestly, I'd like another one, but I forgot to ask Santa!  (wink, wink!)

3)  Peppermint:  Are you a fan?  If so, what's your favorite peppermint food or beverage?

Answer:  I really like both Junior Mints and York Peppermint Patties!  Yum!  I hope Santa fills my Christmas stocking with BOTH!!

4)  Break the ice, on thin ice, or cold as ice (emotionally, not literally)..  Which phrase have you run into most recently?

Answer:  My dog recently broke a milk glass vase of mine, so I would have to say he was walking on very thin ice at the moment!..   Funny thing is, he just sits there like it's no big deal, while the cat goes running in fear of what's next!  (Here you see all is forgiven, and we're out a short walk..  that is, BEFORE all the snow most recently arrived!)

5)  Have you ever broken or spilled something in someone else's home?..  Are you still friends?

Answer:  I'm sure I have, but I can't remember a specific incident.  Guess that means it was no big deal, and forgiveness is divine, because I don't remember losing any friendships over it!

6)  'Tis the week before Christmas!  Are you feeling more like Buddy The Elf, or like The Grinch before his
heart grew?

Answer:  Despite the typical stress that tight schedules and finances bring this time of year, I think I'm definitely feeling more like Buddy The Elf!  "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"

7)  Share a favorite quote relating to Christmas...

Answer:  "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."...    "God bless us, every one."  ~Charles Dickens

8)  Insert random thought?...

Answer:  Well, the weather 'round here is frightful!  Just over the weekend we recieved a whopping 12" of snow, but we managed to make it to church, after which members of all ages were invited to make gingerbread houses!  This was so much fun, and I took lots of pictures, but here's just one..

We had a dentist appointment to go to yesterday; and as four inches of snow was falling on an already-fallen 12 inches of snow, the roads were a nightmare!!!  But we survived them, and are safely back enjoying the comforts of home again, I'm very happy to say!  In my spare time, I am baking, still decorating, and of course Christmas crafting.  While watching my favorite Christmas movies at night, I set myself up with my newest favorite holiday cup of tea...

And then I work on crocheting several pairs of slippers, intended for Christmas gifts...

I found the pattern for Crocodile Stitch Boots a little difficult at first, but came to understand the pattern better in time.  Above are the pairs I'm working on so far.  I think they're coming out cute, and I hope everyone likes them.  Once they're all finished, I'll add the buttons, wrap them up, and put them under the tree!

Thanks to Joyce for hosting Wednesday Hodgepode!

And thanks to YOU for stopping by today!  
Here's hoping you're bursting with Christmas spirit, 
and that you're truly enjoying this 
most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge, Please!

Hello!  Looks like it's time for another round of Wednesday Hodgepodge, hosted by Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.  Each week a set of questions are posted, and participants post their answers accordingly.   So, here goes...

1)  When it comes to good manners, what two top your list as most important?

Answer:  Well, for one, I wish I'd hear more of two simple words, "Excuse me".  I never liked crowds, and most probably because it's a perfect example of the notion "Every man for himself".  If you cut in front of someone, or you accidentally bump into someone, then say "I'm sorry", or "Excuse me".  It's just a little pet-peeve of mine, I suppose; but I mean...   Is it really that difficult?!..  Really?!!

Second,  I think the polite and very simple act of saying "Hello", with a smile, is becoming almost obsolete!..  While I'm sure most people don't mean to be rude, indifferent, or selfish, and I guess some people consider it as just "minding one's own business", in my opinion, it sure does make one a appear to be just a big ol' grouch..  or shall we even say snob!!..

It's both funny and sad to me, that I find an older person tends to look surprised that anyone thinks to be so courteous anymore, while the younger generation seems to look at you like, "Who the bleep are you?!  Do I know you?"...  These days, I just think that perhaps while parents are teaching their kids self confidence, and "Don't speak to strangers", they should still teach their children good manners.

"The hardest job kids face today
is learning good manners without seeing any."
~Fred Astaire

No, I didn't teach my kids to walk up to a stranger's car if they offered them a piece of candy...  And no, I didn't leave it up to my public education system to teach it FOR me...  Street smarts are still very important, but here's a little something that says it well...

"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.  
If you have that awareness, you have good manners, 
no matter which fork you use."   ~Emily Post

If you see an old man on the street, walking his dog, then just maybe consider the possibility that this dog might be the ONLY friend he HAS!  Say "Hello", and maybe, if you can manage a smile to go with it, even muster up a "How are you today?"  While it might not seem like much to you, it may mean the world to him!..  We all feel lonely once in a while, for one reason or another, and we're all gonna grow old someday.  "Love thy neighbor".  You don't have to send roses...  Just say "Hello"..  Offer to help him rake his leaves..   Make a batch of muffins, and bring him over a few; or if you're making a coffee cake, then make TWO, and send one over to him/her!
 (Country Apple Coffee Cake..  See recipe HERE)

Wouldn't something like that make YOUR day, if someone was to do that for YOU?...  If even something so nice hasn't happened to YOU, then rise above it, and set an EXAMPLE!   I seem to remember something (ahem) somebody once said...

"So whatever you wish that men would do to you, 
do so to them.."   ~The Holy Bible, Matthew 7:12

Well, so there!..  THAT was a long answer!!!  
Are you sorry you asked?!
Onto the next question!

2)  Let's open a proverbial can of worms..  COMMON CORE.  Are you familiar with the term?  (talking education reform in the USA)...   If so, share your thoughts.

Answer:  I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the term "common core";  but as for my opinion on the education system in general?..   I'm afraid y'all lost me back in 2001, when George Bush, and Congress introduced The (supposed) No Child Left Behind Act.  Call me stupid, or maybe naive, if you like, but I see a LOT of kids getting "left behind".  Someone?..  Anyone of our elected officials want to explain this to me?????  (I think I hear crickets chirping, do you?)

3)Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire, and why...

Answer:  Sarah Jessica Parker once said...   "Although I appreciate beautiful clothes, I'm not into fashion as people expect me to be."....   I think Sarah Jessica Parker takes more than a fair share of ribbing, and downright bullying sometimes, as she may not fit everyone's critical, narrow-minded vision/definition of "pretty", or "beautiful"...  But I think she IS beautiful, inside and out, and she rises above it all!..  A wonderful actress (We all loved Carrie, didn't we?!)...   She appears to be a devoted wife, and a loving mother of three..  And as for her sense of fashion? I think, no matter how dressed up or dressed down, she ALWAYS looks great!  Her perfume, Lovely, is one of my favorites..  And I hear she has a new line of shoes...  (not that I can afford them...  Honestly, I really miss when she had her own line of clothing, named Bitten, at Steve and Barry's!  I wish she'd come back with another beautiful and affordable line like that someday.)

4)  How affected are you by the changing seasons?

Answer:  Well, most noticeably,  my allergies will act up...  I'll cough, sneeze, have itchy eyes.  You get the gist!  But I think, considering the heat and humidity of Summer, and then the severe Winter cold of the "Great Northeast", being conditions I tolerate the least, my favorite seasons are now Spring and Fall!

5)  Scariest book I've ever read?

I think that would have to be Gerald's Game, by Stephen King.  I started reading this book, some years ago, and tried to stay with it, into...  oh, I don't know..  maybe 4 or 5 chapters or so?  But I just couldn't stomach the whole story line!  Too creepy..  Too scary..  I put the book down, and soon thereafter, happily sent it on its way, in a bag full of other things, bound for the Salvation Army box!

6)  What time of day are you most hungry?  What's your go-to snack?

Answer:  I sometimes have a tendency to skip either breakfast or lunch..  one or the other.  So, I seem to be most eager for DINNER!..    As for my go-to snack?  That's a tough question, which could be answered in as many words as I used for question #1!!!!  Ha! Ha!..   But o.k..   I'll spare you that...   I guess I could narrow my list of favorite snacks down to cake, baked custard, sliced apples and dip, Oreo cookies, and ice cream!

7)  Do you lean towards being too needy or being too independent?  Which do you find harder to deal with in others?

Answer:  I readily admit how complicated I can be, and I'm sure I'm a little (or a lot?) of BOTH!  But isn't everybody in need, of one thing or another, to some degree?...  As for others?  I think that because I am "needy", shall we say, in one way or another, (I really don't like that word).. that it bothers me that others won't come to me for help to THEM.  I may not be able to help someone in one way, but I can be of help in so many other ways, and I just wish that any friend or family member in need would just remember that I'm here for them, and that I'd like to help in whatever way I can.

8)  Insert random thought...   

I ran across a quote this week, by Reba McEntire; and along with the spirit of Halloween, I was inspired to paint this art-journal page...

I also crocheted a little somethin' "sweet" for my cell phone! 

Well, there you have it, and that's it for today!
While remembering my manners,
I want to thank Joyce for hosting 
Wednesday Hodgepodge!..
And I "THANK YOU" for stopping by today!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Face the Challenge

Inspiration Avenue posted a challenge based on the theme, Faces.  All were invited to present a face in any way or medium one was artistically inclined to...   So here is the face that I painted in my art journal.

I've seen faces done this way with hair done in flowers, but not yet in Autumn leaves, so I was inspired to give it a try!  At first I thought I would use a leaves type of stencil for the hair, but I changed my mind and went with foam stamps instead.  I really had my doubts that this would come out nice at ALL, but actually, I feel pleasantly surprised!  I'm very happy with this!

for the inspiration this week...

and thank YOU for stopping by today!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Making Cards

Today is 

There are a LOT of birthdays on my calendar this month, and having heard about this card-making event from Audrey Pettit's Weblog, I thought it was a good time to work on some myself!  

I started by making my own card backgrounds simply by using a basic splattering technique I saw on a YouTube video, HERE.  It was fun actually, feeling like a kid at play, just throwing and splashing paint around, like not a care in the world as to where it landed!  (Of course, I had my surroundings completely covered in newspaper.  I don't remember getting any on my clothes.)...   So having finished that step, and all the cards are dry now, I just did a little stamping and fussy-cutting, and now I'm pulling out all my buttons, ribbons, washi tapes, and bling to embellish them...  I'm really having FUN with these!

Thanks for stopping by, 
and I hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge 144

I thought I'd join in for this round of Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Hosted by Joyce, at From This Side of the Pond, seven questions (with room for a random thought) are presented, and participants post their answers in response.  Here are this weeks round of questions, followed by my answers, such as they are...

1)  What's one thing you learned in September?

Answer:  How precious time is, when spent with family, and how we should never take that time for granted.
2)  Acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, zucchini squash..  or "Bleck!  Hold the squash!"...  What's your favorite squash, and how do you prepare it?

Answer:  I used to HATE squash when I was a kid.  I'd absolutely gag on it!..  But now I really like it!  I like acorn or butternut squash cooked and mashed, like potatoes;  but my favorite is simply yellow or zucchini squash sliced up and fried in butter, with salt and pepper!  Yum!..  I also love baking my own homemade zucchini bread!

3)  The older I get, the ___________.

Answer:  I think that the older I get, the older I see my parents get, and the more precious time seems to be.  Just this past month, I have noticed, for the first time, my father slowing down some.  Below is a picture of my Dad being a good sport for me, posing in the picture with Dear Son and me, at the farm where we just recently went apple picking.

While I'm aware how life works..  how we all get older, and how time marches on...  I guess I just didn't know WHEN to expect time would start taking its toll on my own parents.   I'm reminded how I haven't always seen things eye to eye with my father, throughout the years; but I still love him, and I now find myself feeling a little worried.   Seeing things in a different light, I am far more appreciative of any time I get to spend with him now.

4)  What's your favorite television theme song ever?

Answer:  Well, now, you can't pin me down to just one, any more than you can pin me down to a favorite color!..  The ones that come to mind, just to name a few, are as follows:  the theme from Friends, I'll Be There For You;  BOTH the theme songs from Happy Days; the theme song from the show The Monkees; and the theme song for The Big Bang Theory...

But I think my all-time, very favorite theme songs were actually closing songs to two different t.v. shows, both from back in my early teen years.  One was the closing song for the Carol Burnett Show, I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together..  But most definitely, my very FAVORITE closing song was I Got You Babe, from the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, a popular variety type of t.v. show, running from 1971 to 1974.  I still LOVE that song!  It reminds me of who I love, what I have, and what's most important to me!

5)  What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?

Answer:   Just about 5 years ago, I was focused on quitting smoking!  I succeeded in kicking the habit, and sure can't find any regrets about that!

6)  What item do you most need (or want) to add to your Fall wardrobe?

Answer:  I think some new dress boots would be nice, and then maybe a few more lightweight-dressy scarves, just for fun, to throw on with Fall jackets and blazers!

7)  On October 2nd, 1950, the Peanuts cartoon was introduced to the world.  What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?

Answer:  For as far back as I can remember, I was drawing the Peanuts characters all the time!  In fact, I won an award for runner-up, when I was in 5th grade, for painting Snoopy to look like a dentist in a dental health poster contest! (and still have the certificate!).. So the Peanuts were always my favorite cartoons, and still are!  To the left, is a book that I just picked up at a thrift sale, held at a local fair.  It's a good-sized paper back, measuring 10 x 12", with 255 pages packed full of both black-and-white and color comic strips, stories, and information!..  But as for what I can remember of Saturday morning cartoons from when I was a kid?..  I most remember liking Casper The Friendly Ghost, and Bugs Bunny cartoons the best.  I remember also liking the Jackson 5 and Osmond Brothers cartoons too, and loving the songs they included in every episode!

8)  Insert random thought here:

Well...  Would you like to have a cup of tea with me before our visit is done here?  I've got this new tea pot, and cup and saucer, that I picked up at the same sale I got my Peanuts book at!

Love the Fall colors of both, and I got them for next to nothing, as part of a $2.00 bag sale!!  YAY!!!  The name at the bottom of the tea pot says SADLER, made in Staffordshire England..  So pretty I thought it was, I was very excited to bring it home!...   Alongside, is a tag and miniature book I made for a swap I'm in.  The book is just a teeny little thing,  1" by 1 1/2", following the tutorial for making one HERE.  The tag consists of various layers of papers, vintage trims, and embellishments.  The stamp I used , a young girl reading a book, is an Alesa Baker Design, from Impression Obsession.

Thanks to Joyce for hosting Wednesday Hodgepodge!
And thank YOU for stopping by today!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Life's Like a Movie

..Write your own ending.  
Keep believing.  Keep pretending.

In memory of Jim Henson 

(from google images)

I've always been a fan; from the time I was just a little kid watching Sesame Street, all the way to now, where just recently, I was walking through a grocery store, and when, quite suddenly, something catches my eye... 

(Gasp!)  Oh my gosh, my heart begins to race, and in no time at all I am seizing the three Pez candy dispensers, all made in the likeness of The Muppets, and all which were hanging on a display at the end of the aisle..

Yes, these were mine-all-mine now, and into the cart they went, to be brought home and added to my Muppet collection...   my own personal homage to Jim Henson, and all the Muppet characters I still love so very much.

Since then, I found some Muppet stickers for sale online.  I was sure I could put them to good use... hand-written cards or letters, in my art journal, or right in my personal planner.

I love how this week looks!..  And that's largely what Jim Henson was all about!  His hope was to "leave the world a bit better than when I got here".  He was an optimist.  

"I've always tried to present a positive view of 
the world in my work.  It's so much easier to be 
negative and cynical and predict doom for the 
world, than it is to try and figure out how to make 
things better.  We have an obligation to do the latter."

Jim was so right about that!  We are blessed to be given every single day we live and breathe.  Why then be miserable?  In gratitude alone, we should put on a smile as soon as our feet hit the floor in the morning!..  Well, o.k...  as soon as we've had our first cup of coffee!  Smell the aroma, savor the taste..  Live in the moment!  And as for me, a prayer can be as short and simple as six words...  Thank you, God, for this day. 

And thank you, Jim Henson, 
for all the smiles you continue to give to me..
forever just a big kid at heart!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn is Here!

Happy First Day of Fall! 

Recently I've seen various projects done with puzzle pieces, and I've been trying my hand at a couple of them so far..

But here's just one for today.  I found the inspiration to just play in my art journal from That Artist Woman, Gail!

I found some odd lot puzzle games and pieces at local yard and rummage sales, and picked them up for next to nothing really.  But what a great way to recycle old puzzles with missing pieces!  No need to throw them out!  How much nicer it is to create beautiful new things with them, if you can!  

I started off by painting a background in my art journal, and then I painted my tree, using acrylic paints and brown marker.  Next, I painted the puzzle pieces in various fall colors, again, in acrylic paints.  Then I simply glued them to my pages; some on the tree, and some fallen to the ground.

(quote by Ilan Shamir, Advice From A Tree)

This was a very quick and easy project to do one night, with a glass of wine, and just while just watching some t.v...  But the pages held more meaning to me as I added the quote, and I was now very happy with the whole spread!  

For those of you who babysit, or have kids or grandkids of your own..  What a fun project this would be to do with them, wouldn't it?!

Thanks so much to Gail, That Artist Woman, for 
sharing the inspiration and tutorials that she does!...
And thank YOU for stopping by today!  
Hope you all are enjoying a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's Rednesday!..

And I am happy to be joining Melody, over at Brown Gingham Creations, for this event!  You may remember that this event was once hostessed by Sue, over at It's A Very Cherry World; but she decided to pass the honor of this position on, and Melody has graciously accepted this exciting and new opportunity!

Congrats and Best Wishes to you, Melody!  Wednesdays have been nice, but they sure look a whole lot better now, all dressed in red, and I look forward to participating as often as I can! 

Well, events, such as they've come and gone in the past couple of weeks, have provided me with a good number of red things to share today, I think; so lets get started, shall we?!...  First up are a couple of things I picked up at a big neighborhood garage sale I went to on the weekend of September 7th.  Here you can see where I marked the day, in my weekly Franklin Covey planner/diary, decorated this week with red apples...

We had beautiful weather that day, and I came home with a good number of treasures..  (ahem)..  All of which I NEEDED, of course!  (she says with a grin!)   First up, I got this beautiful pair of  red cardinals, a salt -n- pepper set!

As soon as I saw them, I couldn't grab them up quick enough!  These will be so pretty on my dining room table, all winter long!  (gasp!..  Oh, but PLEASE!  Let's not talk about THAT kind of weather just yet!  I'm just so happy to welcome Fall!  It will be here, officially, very soon now!)

My next red item, which I found this same day, was this record album!  I'm dating myself here, but does anyone else remember this musical comedy team, The Smothers Brothers?...  (See the red balloon, the red wagon, the red door, the red scooter?..  "See Dick's red shirt?")

I love to pick up old albums, every now and then, most especially if they bring back fond memories, and I do remember sitting in front of the t.v., seeing The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, giggling and laughing, before Mom sent us kids on our way to bed for the night.  Just looking at the title of this album, I knew I had to have it!..  I played it one night, recently, and I really liked it!  It was a fun combination of both music and comedy!

Oh, but moving on, I'm afraid, to a  more serious topic...  September 11, 2013 marked the 12th anniversary of a very sad day in our nation's history.  We all have our memories of where we were and how we felt at the time;  but in memory of the events that happened that day, I put together this collaged red, white, and blue art journal spread... 

My heart and prayers go out to all the surviving family and friends of those whose lives were lost that day.  We will never forget.

Well, chin back up...  Nothing like a good wine-tasting festival to perk our spirits back up a little!

We went to the annual Wine and Apple Fest this year, after having such a great time last year!  We had so much fun, going from table to table, vendor to vendor, tasting all the wonderful wines and cheese that were to be found there!  We enjoyed seeing all the other sites and exhibits at the fest as well, such as a circus exhibit, a quilt show, a car show, farm animals (I got to feed the baby goats!), live music, etc., etc.!   Even in the crowds, such as they were, we were pleasantly surprised to run into family and friends too!  Here you see me standing in the middle, wearing (ahem) green, but Dear Friend, and Dear Daughter, are both wearing some red for the event; and we all are holding this year's official wine glasses given to each of us upon presenting our tickets (or bracelets, actually!) at the entrance!...   Well, after all was said and done that day, my favorite wine this year was this one... 

This is the bottle I brought home; a red, blackberry-flavored wine, not too sweet, called Bobsled Red, made by Glenora Wine Cellars.  Dear Daughter liked this one too!..  And how appropriate it now is to share with you today!  Here..  Give me your glass.  I'll pour you some!.. 

(Your ARE 21, right?!  Just checking!)

And now, for my last red item of the day, I just recently finished crocheting this Hello Kitty hat!

In white, with red accents, I had fun making this one; and after making minion hats for everyone else lately, this one's mine all mine!  This was a nice, easy pattern to follow, but I admit I had to rip mine out a couple of times.  I just couldn't stand the very obvious line left by joining rows on this one, and so I chose to crochet in rounds, using markers as I went along...

If you like this, and think you might want to try making one yourself, you can find the pattern right HERE, posted by Liz, at Crochet In Color.

And thus concludes my collection of reds for the week!
Thanks to Melody for hosting this event;
And thanks to YOU for stopping by today!
Happy Rednesday everyone!