Monday, December 29, 2014

Post Holiday Play



I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday week. Our week was busy with planned festivities as well as an unplanned--didn't see it coming, emergency, meet the ambulance, trip to the hospital. (with a family member, no worries, all ended well thankfully!) I got home Christmas Eve morning at about 3 am. Slept till 6. 

Santa surprised me Christmas morning by leaving a CRICUT EXPLORE under the Christmas tree with my name on it! I was very surprised! Not familiar with using a machine like this one little bit, I have been trying to find some time to play with it.



My particular model came with a tool kit. All of the tools you see in the photo above were included in the box. Apparently that isn't always the case. The tools fit perfectly in the little open space that you see here in the photo.

Also included with my machine was a 2 month digital subscription at Cricut.com and there are so many fun images--my mind began spinning as soon as I saw all that was available.

This machine cuts paper, cardstock, poster board, fabric, iron on fabric, vinyl etc. I see no limit to the fun I can have with this!


This sums it up nicely! Thank you Santa!

Speaking of "thank you" I need to write some thank you notes for gifts received so I thought I would begin by cutting some easy designs. I already have some kraft paper notecards.


These pieces were very easy to cut out. The brown oval had some tiny pieces that had to be punched out with one of the tools that came with the machine. 


Neither of these cards are glued. I am researching which glues work best. (If anyone has experience with glues please leave me the info in the comment section.) I have a list of things I will need to purchase at Michael's or Joanne's. 

The more I play, the more I want to play!!! Even my daughter is getting into the act. She is an RA (resident advisor) at school and she is required to make door decorations for each room on her floor every month. We cut out hearts in several shades of pink and red and she is making flamingos out of them. She found the idea on Pinterest and they are so cute. I will post a photo when she is done.


I saved the paper that our gift wrap was rolled on. It was a heavy kraft paper, maybe just a bit heavier than cardstock. I hated to throw it away so I saved it and used it to make some large gift tags. It worked very well. I made some nautical inspired tags....


and some tags with little heart cut outs.

This is so much fun. I almost regret not purchasing one of these machines years earlier. 
I think I can use it to embellish my angel ornaments among many other things!!!


Thankful.....Santa knows me all too well! This will entertain me for hours at a time and for days on end! Oh what fun!

........oh, and here is the photo I promised earlier in the post. These are pink flamingo Valentines found on Pinterest. One link on pinterest takes you to Craftsforkids.com. The instructions are actually located at nwf.org (National Wildlife Federation) I noticed on Pinterest that many blogs have featured this easy, peasy craft project.


These flamingos gave me a chuckle. She has 6 completed and 34 more to go. Since she is having her wisdom teeth removed tomorrow, this simple craft will give her something to do while she is recovering.


Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2015! I have some resolutions for the new year but will discuss them in a future post.

 I plan to do a post to recap my year of blogging. My blogger buddy Diane, who blogs at Lavender Dreams recently posted her "year in review". Click here to visit her blog and to see some highlights of 2014! She has taken some wonderful trips which included lots of hiking, sightseeing and shopping! She also stitched up the sweetest stuffed toys and dolls. Be sure to visit her and tell her I said hello!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Recycled CD Cases to Wrap Gift Cards


I am always dreaming up new ways to conceal gift cards!  I was preparing to wrap a pair of gift cards and I opened up a drawer and found these two empty CD cases. An idea was born!

I grabbed an old CD and traced it on Christmas scrap booking paper. I cut the circle out and folded a piece of scotch tape to attach the circle to the inside of the CD case.

Then I used another piece of tape and secured the gift card to the circle. I closed the case and it was ready to wrap.


Unless the recipients happen to read my blog or facebook page, they won't have a clue what is inside. An added bonus is that the gift cards are less likely to get lost or misplaced wrapped in a CD case.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wrapping Stocking Stuffers



In our household, stockings are a big deal! Generally speaking, everything in the stockings are wrapped--even the smallest items. I like to get a head start on wrapping stocking stuffers and try to wrap all of them as I buy them. Wrapping all stocking stuffers at the very last minute is not my favorite thing to do.



This year, rather than buy a lot of various printed gift wraps, I am trying to stick to using kraft paper tied up with colored twine, jute, rafia and ribbon. I like the way it looks under my Christmas tree. There is no limit on what can be found to match this color scheme including kraft paper doilies, paper bags etc. The craft stores as well as grocery stores can yield some interesting and coordinating gift wrap options.



At TJ Max for example, I found kraft colored tissue paper printed with sheet music and a roll of kraft paper printed in red sheet music. (see in above photo) LOVE! I have been looking for some for a very long time! I also found gift wrap mimicking the red ticking fabric that I absolutely love. TJ's also has a variety of beautiful jute ribbons, twines, lace and other trims on a roll. (see below)



These trims from TJ's are on nice, wooden spools which can be reused to wind the lace trims I often pick up at antique shops.



Twines can be picked up for a song at Ocean State Job Lots, Walmart, hardware and even grocery stores.



The little brown snack bag shown above with tissue was my latest find at the grocery store. They are small, sandwich sized bags and come 48 to a box. I am sure I will find many uses for these!

Today it is cold and damp, with occasional drizzles. I thought I would spend the afternoon gift wrapping and sipping some hot tea. All stocking stuffers bought to date are wrapped and ready to stuff!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lace, Flowers and Twine




Today was a good day! I set off early in the morning to accompany my friend as she looked at some property out of town. She picked me up at 7 am and asked me if I was ready for an adventure! ALWAYS!!! I am always open to an adventure!

I was bundled up because it was so cold and windy.We turned off the road and drove down a 1/4 mile driveway nestled in pines. We arrived at a large clearing and parked. We got out and proceeded to freeze (well I did). It did not stop us though from wandering. What a charming place!

We walked down to the lake which was incredibly pretty and incredibly cold and windy! The waterfront area was sprawling! There was a platform which we stood on at the water and the stairs that lead down to the water were stored on the platform. From where we were standing you could see a large portion of the lake. I could easily imagine waking up to this beautiful lake view every morning, and in the evenings, sitting in the nearby screen house watching the sunset over the lake. (you know how I love sunsets!)

We then walked around the houses and other buildings on the property. I saw potential in every nook and cranny! I know I am being vague here but it is not a completely done deal and I am keeping a confidence,

We left the beautiful woods and headed to a nearby town for lunch. We parked in front of an antique shop that my friend said we just had to go into. So we did. It did not disappoint! While examining an antique hutch I opened a drawer and it was full of vintage and antique lace AND the price was right! We will be going back there for sure!






I scooped up several of the rolls of cotton lace and brought them home with me. They will be perfect for making some more angels!

We had a lovely lunch at a little French pastry shop. I got a spinach/carmelized onion crepe with a light layer of goat cheese. It was delicious!

After lunch we did a little shopping and I picked up some natural and white twine and 3 large rolls of kraft wrapping paper.

When I got home, a package had arrived for me in the mail. I had ordered some little tiny vintage flowers from an ETSY shop called Ribbonsales. A friend had given me a small stash of these little flowers and I loved how they looked on my angel ornaments.  I did a search on ETSY and found some more of the burgundy roses and some additional pink roses that are a little bit larger but made from paper. They are so sweet! I asked a couple of questions prior to making my purchase and Ribbonsales responded to me within minutes of each question. She then set aside a special listing for me and once shipped that same day, they arrived very quickly.

It was a good day--.a day spent with a friend,  a little shopping, lunch, some good conversation, laughter--embellished with lace, flowers and twine! Simple pleasures!


Linking up with:


My Salvaged Treasures

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What Have I Been Up To?


What have I been up to? That question has been appearing a lot lately in emails from my bloggy and non-bloggy friends alike.  For the past couple of days I have been working on angels for the holiday. I created five of these red rose angels but a friend of mine snatched two out of the pile. After I get two more made, I will list them on my etsy shop. Hopefully I will finish them up tonight.

They are very sweet. She has a white, dotted swiss fabric ruffle at the bottom of her dress along with a lace ruffle. She has two layers of lace at the neckline.  Also, her wings are embellished with eyelet flowers that I cut out from wide eyelet lace and the centers are dotted with little white pearls. They are lightly stuffed with fiberfill to add just enough dimension. I guess I would say they are pleasingly plump!


The little roses and leaves were given to me by a friend. They were from her mother's vintage craft supply so I do not have very many of them. They are so nicely made compared to the ones that you find in the stores today.  I only had enough little red roses to make five angels. I still have many leaves left for future angels.


The dotted swiss fabric ruffle is easier to see in this photo. This angel has burlap and lace on her wings.


They are each packaged in their own little bags with some shredded kraft paper and then sprinkled with a few tiny little hand-punched paper stars--just heavenly!

Here is a custom angel done in gold and cream....


I found a few vintage gold roses in my stash. This is one of my favorite angels that I've ever made.

What else have I been up to?
I went to Joanne's Veteran's Day Sale and I purchased some sewing supplies, Christmas and tote bag fabrics, and have cut out bags out of two of the fabrics. (you will see soon!)

Other than that I have been busy with a few "life things"--you know, the things (little surprises) that come our way from time-to-time and steal the hours away.

Now, I am hoping to focus on making more holiday items for my ETSY shop, Christmas shopping and preparing food for the holidays. I love to cook!.....

........AND we have snow coming! Yes, that's exciting! I don't mind the snow.....it's the darn cold that I mind. Unfortunately, we can't have one without the other. No matter when it comes, the season's first snow is always exciting to me!

So, what have you been up to?



Saturday, November 8, 2014

Recycled Knee Socks

My Toasty Arm Warmers


While folding some laundry this afternoon, I decided to take a fairly new pair of knee socks out of circulation. Though the chunky knee socks were received as a gift only last Christmas, there were already two holes on the bottom of one sock and three holes on the other.


 My husband noticed me looking over the socks. He asked, "What are you doing?" I told him that I loved these socks but wondered why they wore out so fast. He replied, "Have you seen your feet? They are like industrial grade sand paper!"

 I'll spare you the rest of the conversation!

Anyhoo, I couldn't throw them away. So I recycled them into arm warmers and I have had them on ever since!

I cut the foot off the socks, straight across. In the photo above, you will note the cut. (at top)


I then turned the socks inside out and folded the cut side over 1/4 inch. I pinned all the way around.


I stretched it over my sewing machine and stitched all the way around with a zigzag stitch.


I turned them right side out. Note the cute ruffle effect as a result of being stretched a bit over my sewing machine.


You can see the ruffled effect better in this photo.


I had to try it on. It's pretty toasty warm!


 I was wearing a fleece top, but I placed some lace around it to see if I liked it.


Got a better idea placing it in a crocheted lace sweater sleeve. I like the lace and I love the ruffle! It is so dainty peeking out from a lacey sweater and it adds quite a bit of warmth too. The sock cuff holds them securely in place just under the elbow and they can be pulled down over the hand or pulled up closer to the wrist.


So with lace,


or without;  you can turn all those gently used socks into an accessory that is not only functional in terms of adding a layer of warmth but also fashionable as it peeks out under a sleeve.


I think I will go digging for some more socks!


Linking up with:


Life on Lakeshore Drive 


MinettesMaze's DIY Sunday Click Here to visit!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fabulous Fall!


I love fall, that's no secret! It is definitely my favorite season. I love the fiery colors of autumn leaves, pumpkins and mums. I love the smell outside! I love the flavors of the season! The only thing that I can think of that I don't care for, is that point when I look outside and the trees are bare. That's when I realize the fall that I love has come to an end.


This is one of my favorite places to go in the fall! It's in Westminister, Vermont. It's a short ride from where we live in New Hampshire. It's called Cafe Loco. Inside is a beautiful vegetable stand but there is the sweetest little cafe where you can get home baked pastries, muffins, desserts, as well as breakfast and lunch. We generally go for coffee and a pastry but recently I ordered breakfast and we sat outside. It was a beautiful, warm fall day. Breakfast was delicious and the coffee was outstanding and hot!


They have a wonderful supply of pumpkins! I like to carve pumpkins that are tall rather than round. There is more room for face carving.


They have a beautiful supply of mums too! While we were eating breakfast, we watched a truck load of mums being unloaded from a truck. That looked like a lot of work! Aren't they gorgeous!


Such a nice place to go on a weekend! As a matter of fact, we are heading that way on Saturday. My middle daughter is coming home for a couple of days. She has not been home since Christmas! So we are going to take a couple of short road trips while she is here and hopefully still see some pretty fall foliage! She loves to visit the Vermont Country Store too so that is also on our agenda!

The Vermont Country Store is another fun place to visit!!! There are samples of the many dips, crackers, pretzels, cheeses, beef sticks, cookies, dessert dips, etc. We always leave there with a couple of old fashioned pickles. Yep, you reach into the old fashioned crock and pick out a pickle!! You should check out their online catalog: Click here to visit their site. They carry many items that we (some of us) grew up with but now are difficult to find.

We have had some of the most beautiful fall weather! It has been warm and sunny and we have enjoyed it. This weekend, however, the cold temperatures are moving in and there is even a possibility of some s..n..o..w! But I don't want to think about that right now!


Happy Fall and Happy Halloween!



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Teacup Exchange #2



Stephanie's Teacup Exchange!! 

I took part in Stephanie's Teacup Exchange once again. She blogs over at The Enchanting Rose. I  somehow missed participating in the last one so I was diligently keeping my eyes peeled for the next one.

What is it exactly that makes these exchanges more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Well for starters, I love picking out special little surprises for people. You might think it a bit challenging to buy a gift for a complete stranger, but I assure you it is not. In my case, Stephanie emailed me with Celestina's name, address, and blog title. I visited her at Southern DayDreams where she blogs and took a quick tour. Since I immediately fell in love with her blog and her amazing photos, I knew we had similar interests and tastes.  

I went back to my favorite antique shop where I purchased a teacup for the first exchange. I found a pretty little teacup for Celestina that had blue forget-me-knots on it. I also found a dainty little vintage napkin. I enclosed an organic tea, some honey and a Harvest Angel that I made. 
It is also fun packaging the items and finally shipping it on its way. In my case, it was heading to Texas (from NH) so I wanted to make sure it was safely packaged. I wrote FRAGILE all over the outside of the box, took it to the post office where it got THROWN into a bin (not so gently) which made me cringe. Within 2 days I received messages from Celestina that she had received the package and the teacup arrived in one piece!

HERE IS CELESTINA'S blogpost about her teacup package that I sent her, Click Here!

I think the nicest part of the exchange is that you begin as strangers and end up as virtual friends. It's not quite the same as actually sitting down with new friends and enjoying a cup of tea together but who knows? Maybe we can all convince Stephanie to throw a tea party the next time!

After mailing off the teacup to Celestina, I found myself running to the mailbox every day anticipating the arrival of my teacup and meeting the sender. There was no mail on Columbus day, but it did arrive the very next day, all the way from South Dakota! Thank you very much Lynn! I was pleasantly surprised by all the treasures she was able to pack into my package.


Isn't she a beauty? This dainty, little bone china teacup with gold edging is just lovely! My package was full of special little surprises in addition to the teacup! It also came with some locally (South Dakota) manufactured popcorn. It is not pictured here because, well, I ate it! It was so delicious!


I loved the words on the little notecard!


I love the vintage look of typewritten text. 


These sweet little flowers were tucked inside the pink, hand painted envelope. 



Aren't these cute? I love the pastel colored yarn! These actually have multiple uses as mug pads, coasters, dish cloths, face cloths etc. 


I received several packages of vintage appliques!

....and my first ever roll of washi tape!


A handy little notebook and a ribbon flower!


....and last but not least, these little postcards which are reproductions of vintage postcards. I almost missed these as Lynn had packed so many treasures into the box. I felt totally spoiled!

In addition to receiving my package from Lynn, I also received a very nice thank you note from Celestina on the same day!


Very sweet!


.....and as I am writing this post, I am sipping some hot Chai tea (in my pretty teacup) and enjoying a slice of homemade cranberry cake! Now that's a perfect Saturday in my opinion!

Don't forget to check out the following blogs:

The Enchanting Rose by Stephanie. She is the hostess of this wonderful teacup exchange. I happen to love the particular piece of music that plays on her blog!!! 

Here is as link to all the teacups that were exchanged: Click Here!

Southern Daydreams by Celestina. She is the recipient of my teacup. 

The photos on both of these blogs are extraordinary!

I am not sure if Lynn has a blog but once I find out, I will update this post and include a link if she has one! Thank you again Lynn for such generous, thoughtful gifts and....

Thank you to all three of these gals for scattering some sunshine!


"Those that bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves." 
James M Barrie