Thursday, January 28, 2010

Anthony... Anthony...

Remember the woman hanging out her window from a North End city apartment in Boston, calling her son home for dinner? No?.. Some of you don't? Why, they say the famous run that this young 12 year old boy made, to get home for dinner, should be about as well-known as Rocky's run through the streets of Philadelphia! Don't you think it's about time you DID see it?! It's a classic, so watch right here! It won't take long...

Well, typically Wednesday would be Prince Spaghetti Day, but for Quick Project Thursday purposes, we're going to have to have our spaghetti today! Jana hosts this event each week at Collected Treasures!

For today, I took two 16 ounce empty spaghetti jars from our Wednesday night dinners-past, and recycled them into pretty Valentine's Day jars that I will now use for flower vases.

I chose tissue paper from my gift-wrapping supplies, some Mod Podge, an old, small paint brush, and a little bit of ribbon or fancy trim. Then I grabbed my jars, washed out and dried, of course, and was ready to begin my project! You can add stickers, magazine cutouts, or any printed graphics you'd like as well. I added the cut out hearts from the cards I used for the previously posted ornaments, and some heart stickers from the Valentine's Day stickers I used for the pink Barbie basket I made!

So, to start, I just tore bits and pieces of tissue paper, by hand, not by scissors, and decoupaged them onto the jars. I let one layer dry, then proceeded to overlap, as you would when making a collage, to make a second layer, then a third layer, now adding stickers and my heart cut-outs, till I was happy with the finished look. To finish it off, I chose to add some decorative trim for around the top/neck of the jar. You can from here, use a shellac, or spray sealant of some sort, but since the "big bad move", I have not yet been able to FIND mine! (She says smiling, trying to remember her blessings, and remain a good sport about it all!)

Now, you can use your finished jars for whatever you want. I like mine for vases, but you can use yours for candy jars, or for gift giving, using any of those canning jar gift recipes I often see 'round Blogland! HERE'S a nice place where you can find one! You might maybe use them for candle holders, never unattended, of course!.. Anyways, below, you see some pink carnations in mine, as I did not have any pretty red or pink roses and baby's breath, like I would have preferred; but I just have to make due with what I have on hand for the moment...

A very special thanks to Melani, at Oh Where Does The Time Go?.. for editing my photo so that it could look as pretty as this now! Yes!.. THIS is what it's SUPPOSED to look like! I can see PINK! Just look at that PINK! Thank you, Mel! After all my frustrations with my new camera, I really do appreciate this!

Well, so there you have it! Quick and easy enough, ya think? I don't do a great deal of work with decoupage, but when I do, I really do have fun with it! I am already working on another quick decoupage project, but I will be posting that another day. (next Barbie Wednesday, but Shhhhh... Don't tell anyone yet!)

By the way, I hate saying this, but did you know that it's been 40 years since Anthony made his famous run for spaghetti dinner?! Read this very interesting article about it HERE!

I hope you enjoyed your visit here today! Please be sure to visit with Jana and the others who have posted their quick projects for the day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trees, Snowflakes, and an Angel!

I had hoped to have these posted yesterday, but other matters screamed for my attention, and I simply was not able to finish them till last night. The original idea was to have these ready for this PAST Christmas, but "the big bad move" made sure to get in the way of THAT good intention! So, as I set my sights this year to make at least one gift a month towards Christmas 2010, AND despite my excitement to jump into some Valentine projects with pinks and reds, I decided that now was still a good time to keep my green yarn out, and get these Granny Square Christmas Trees done!

I found this pattern, at Hook, Yarn, and Pattern, to be very easy to follow, and was obviously enough fun for me to crochet THREE of them!

The pattern suggests adding pom-poms as decorations, but I didn't have 24 red pom-poms on hand. So I proceeded to play with buttons and beads, and I just didn't like any of it.. I'm thinking perhaps I prefer them just the way they are!

The finished size of each tree is approximately 21" from top to bottom, which is a nice size, I think, to decorate any wall or door. One of these trees will be packed away for myself, but the others will be gifts each my sister, and sister in law for Christmas, 2010!.. I hope they'll like them as much as I do!

Thinking back, having to move to a new home this past year was anything but fun. We never did get to really decorate, or even celebrate Halloween at all.

The move was hard, physically and emotionally. Things were broken, lost, misplaced.. Often conditions demanded I get rid of some things, when I really didn't want to, because there simply wasn't room for them now. Still, we got through it. I just had to be tough about it, as best as anyone can, and move on from there!

Christmas was much nicer, as it at least helped to make the place feel a little more like "HOME". But as I was getting the Christmas tree set up, and unpacking the ornaments, I discovered that not all the ornaments were here. Some were missing! I thanked God that all the kids' ornaments were here and accounted for!.. but mine were gone. It's so hard to even write this, as some of these ornaments were mine from since I was a child! Some were Hallmark collectibles, some were handmade, some were given to me from friends and family. You can just imagine the sentiment I felt about most of these ornaments... I looked frantically for them, but I never found them. I'll never really know, but I'm still only guessing they must have been misplaced, or mismarked, in the rush and pressure we were under to get out and moved according to schedule. As a result, my ornaments were probably thrown out with the trash. It broke my heart. What more could this "big-bad move" do to me?!!

Well, of course, we still decorated our tree, and yes, plenty of wonderful, even the best of memories still adorned our beautiful tree! My kids have all their ornaments from since they were babies, including photos, etc... However, it wasn't long after, I found someone was having a giveaway on her blog, called Suzie Button Creations. Suzie had made some very pretty beaded snowflakes, so I signed up to enter, and just hoped maybe Lady Luck was shining on me! I really didn't think I'd win... Well, in reality I would call it far more than just Lady Luck shining on me, when Suzie wrote me to say I had won the giveaway!

For today, I thought I'd join in with Claudia, from Dipity Road, to participate in "Finding Beauty Friday", because this is one of the most beautiful things that has happened to me most recently!...

Now to continue, the original deal for the giveaway I speak of, was to pick out 3 snowflakes out of the eight she had made. But I was so thrilled to have won these beautiful snowflakes, because to me, it was as if God had stepped in for me, showing me in a way, how one door seemed closed/lost, but another one opened. I told Suzie about the terrible loss I felt losing my ornaments this year, and that her beautiful snowflakes helped to not only fill the gaps on my Christmas tree, but filled my heart even more! Well, next thing I know, Suzie writes me back and tells me she will be sending me ALL EIGHT of her beautiful snowflakes!! Here they are, in the photo below. I only wish my photo could better show their true color, shine, and sparkle!

This was truly a beautiful gift to me... a beautiful kindness and act of generosity, that I just had to share today! Thank you so much Suzie! This may have started out as just a "luck of the draw" bloggy giveaway; but in the timing of how things played out this past year, to me, you really were a kind and generous friend.. An angel, with a truly beautiful heart, sent from God! May God always help me to remember to pay such kindness forward!


Friday, January 8, 2010

If I Can Dream

Had Elvis Aaron Presley been still alive today, he would have been 75, so in a small but heartfelt tribute to his memory, I wanted to show a just a few things I've collected. Here you see an old paperback biography, an Elvis valentine tin (Russel Stover, dated 2000), and my Elvis "It's Christmas Time" CD.

But you KNOW that my favorite, most treasured item here, is this 12", poseable, specially numbered, collectible Elvis Doll, made by Hasbro, Inc., in 1993. Elvis Presley's "'68 Special" commemorates his first appearance before a live audience, since a period of seven years. It was an important event, as stakes were high for both Elvis, and the t.v. station NBC. It aired on December 3rd, 1968, at 9:00 p.m. EST. Ratings soared, making it the number-one televised event of the season, and scored NBC its biggest ratings for the entire year. Viewers and critics alike LOVED the show, and it resulted in becoming one of Elvis' most shining moments!

Here is a clip of the song he sang for the finale of this highly celebrated come-back performance. It seems clear to see how tired he is, but one would could never have questioned why! Elvis looked and sounded better than ever, delivering powerfully intense performances full of energy and excitement.

Even under the physical and emotional strain he was feeling by the end of this production, he delivers an awsome performance, as only he could have done it! As we begin this new year, I thought this was a beautiful song to post today!... "If I Can Dream", I hope we all remember to never lose hope, and to keep on dreaming! If I can dream, I wish that all your dreams for 2010 come true!

"But as long as a man has the strength to dream, he can redeem his soul and fly."


Sunday, January 3, 2010

My first pattern for 2010!

Oh my goodness, if you are a fellow resident of the Great Northeast, then you know as well as I do how brutal the temperatures are feeling right now! Baby, it's COLD outside! With wind gusts possibly as high as 50 mph, and wind chills feeling as low as 10-below, one has to bundle up in layers, complete with all necessary accessories!

I remember one day, while shopping just before Christmas, a woman coming up to me in the store, with an expression of what looked like amazement at the time, and I wondered whatever for! It turns out that she loved my HAT! I don't know how many women can relate, but I often wear my longer hair in a ponytail in the winter time, because of the static electricity. The fly-away hair that results from the season's low humidity, then gets in my face, my eyes, my lip gloss.. You get the picture! AT it's worst, it can really bother the dickens out of me! So I have a couple of ponytail hats I've made; because that bumpy look, from wearing any other kind of hat, I think, just looks AWFUL!.. Anyways, "I LOVE your hat!" this woman in the store said. "My gosh, you should SELL those!" Oh, how often do I get told THAT?! Well, I was very flattered, and I did thank her for her kindness. I remember leaving that store purchasing very little, but I was feeling like a million bucks!

Now recently, I did see (HERE) a very pretty ponytail type of hat on another person's blog; but I have done another version of a ponytail hat, my own way, for years now, and this has raised yet another blogger's curiosity as to how I make mine. Feeling the weather conditions as they are right now, and then still wanting to make a hat to match a new pocketbook I got for Christmas.. THEN, all the while, having been missing my yarns and crochet hooks ever since the big-bad move!!.. Well... NOW just seems the perfect time to share my way to make a ponytail hat for this cold winter season!.. So, I'm happy to now share with you my first crochet pattern for 2010! Here you can see a couple of views of the one I just finished, made to match "Mama's new bag"!

I have made myself a few of these hats in different colors. For the hat shown, I used Red Heart Super Saver acrylic yarn, in color 0406, Med Thyme. It doesn't take terribly long to make one, and the rolled-up cuff is nice for keeping your ears extra warm!

My Pretty Ponytail Hat:

(c) Pattern designed by (TLS) Beansieleigh; then written and posted on January 4, 2010, at

Materials needed:
4-ply acrylic yarn, such as Red Heart Super Saver (approx. 3 to 4 oz., as I had plenty left over from a 7 oz. skein)
1 ponytail elastic (preferably with no metal, but in whatever color you choose)
Crochet hook size G
Yarn needle for weaving in yarn ends

Level of Experience: Some experience may be helpful on this project, perhaps; but for the most part, this should be fairly easy enough even for a beginner!

Gauge: Every two rows = approximately 1/2".

Abbreviations used:
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
sl st = slit stitch
BLO = back loops only
sc dec = single crochet decrease (How to HERE)


*Note: It is always a good idea to read the directions, in their entirety, before beginning your project.

Chain 39.

Row 1: Sc in second chain from hook, and in each chain across. (38 sc) Chain 1, turn.

Rows 2-82: In BLO, sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.

After completing Row 82, and turning, keep hook in place and bring bottom row up behind the row you are at, so that you can now crochet the two edges together, to form a tube. To make a nice, neat seam as you go, make sure you go through both loops on the front edge closest to you, while going through the one loop from the back (Row 1) edge. Through all 3 loops, sl st across, to the ends of the rows. (38 sl st) Do NOT finish off.

*Note: Now is the time to try this onto your head to check for size. You may want to add/decrease stitches per row, for length.. OR, you may want to add/decrease rows, whichever may be necessary for circumference around the head. Remember, you will be folding a cuff up, so you should decide on preference and any changes for this too. (I made the folded cuff on my hat approx. 2 and 1/2".) If all is well and fitted at this point, then you may proceed with pattern.

Turn piece, keeping your hook and work in place, so that inside is now the proper outside of your hat. Now, grasping your hair elastic in place, where you left off, sc dec around the elastic and into the middle stitches of the end of every two rows, till you meet back at the beginning. Sl st to connect this round. (This may sound complicated, but you are merely trying to sc around, while decreasing stitches to end up with a proper-sized opening for a ponytail.) You should end up with approx. 21 sc in all, around and now covering your hair elastic.)

*Note: You now have the opening for your ponytail! If you have thin hair, or are making this hat for a child, you may want to weave your yarn through and around the opening, then tighten this yarn before fastening off, so to make the opening even smaller. As I have baby-fine hair, it is necessary for me to do so on my OWN hat. From here, weave in any yarn ends, then just turn the opposite side of your hat to form a folded cuff.

You are now finished! You may of course choose to style or embellish this hat in a number of ways. You can add decorative edging around the cuff, and/or at the ponytail opening. You may want to add ear flaps, and/or ties! I have used variegated colors for hats that came out very pretty! Have fun, enjoy, and may you always wear this in good health!