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The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest ~ Sir Thomas Moore ~

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve ...

 
Even as an adult
I find it difficult to sleep on
Christmas Eve.
Yuletide excitement
is a potent caffeine,
no matter your age.
~Terri Guillemets~
***
 
Wishing you a Blessed and Joyful Christmas
From my HOME to YOURS ♥
XO D
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thankful {things I love} Thursday ...

Some Christmas corners around my home ♥
 
May you have
the
 GLADNESS of Christmas
which is
HOPE;
the
 SPIRIT of Christmas
which is
PEACE;
the
HEART of Christmas
which is
LOVE
~Ada V Hendricks~
 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weaving a spell of Nostalgia...

From my {Christmas}  kitchen ...
Christmas ~
that magic blanket
that wraps itself about us,
that something
so intangible
that it is like a fragrance.
It may
weave a spell of nostalgia.
Christmas
may be a day
of feasting,
or of prayer,
but always
it will be
a day of
remembrance ~
a day
in which we think of
everything
we
have
ever
loved.
~Augusta E Rundel~
 
For me,
nothing has ever taken precedence
over being a mother
and having a family
and a home
~Jessica Lange~
***
Every year, since my children were little, we have baked and decorated a Gingerbread house.
This year, we made 3!  One with my grand baby ... which we hung outside in the birds/squirrel Christmas tree, one for the kitchen, and one for the dining room table.
I found a gingerbread house cookie cutter set this year at The Christmas Tree Shop which worked beautifully (finally, a house with straight walls) :-)
Jars are filled with homemade peppermint popcorn and "Cookies for Santa" mixes just waiting on the counter to be placed in wicker baskets and wrapped in cellophane ...
Handmade tags tied with red & white twine have special Christmas messages inside ...
I have wanted to make a Pepparkaksgranar {Gingerbread Tree}  for years but could never find star cookie cutters in enough sizes to make one tall enough!
A few weeks ago, I found a set.
Each star is joined with a drop of boiled sugar/lemon juice which acts as a glue, and finished with a tap of  icing sugar from high like fallen snow.  aah snow ... now wouldn't that be nice ♥
***
Gifts of time and love
are surely the basic ingredient
of a truly
Merry Christmas
~Peg Bracken~
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12*12*12 ...

 
One kind word
can warm three
Winter months
~Japanese Proverb~
***
Happy 12*12*12
Hope your day is wonderful and filled with joy as we celebrate this Once in a lifetime date this century ♥

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

To be rooted ...

Over wintering Geranium ...
 
 
One morning, in early November, I took a few stem cuttings from the Geranium growing in a big clay pot in our garden.  I placed the cuttings in a vase of water and gave it a nice sunny spot on the window ledge.  Apart from changing the water every few days, I literally forgot about it.
Now, I have a vase filled with lovely strong roots and the sweetest little red blooms :-)
***
To be rooted
is perhaps the most important
and least recognized need
of the human soul
~Simone Weil~

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Serenity...

2nd Advent ...
 
 
 
As we light the 2nd candle of Advent...
we reflect.

 
Sometimes,
just looking up
and seeing the light
is enough.
~Terri Guillemets~

Sunday, December 2, 2012

1st Advent ...

Each years Advent tray is a little different.
I've used candles of all shapes and sizes .
I usually stamp 1,2,3,4, out on small, hand made tags and attach with twine to each candle.
Fill the tray with fresh sprigs of pine and place pine cones around the candles.
This year, I found these stamped pillars to use.
We made pine cone fire starters by dipping the bottoms of the pine cones in hot wax, carefully placing the wick to one side as they set.
Each Sunday, we will place one in the fire ♥
As we light the 1st candle of Advent,
we will reflect.
 Faith
is like the bird
that feels the light
when dawn
is still dark
~Rabindranath Tagore~
***
Sending Love, Peace & Light this Sunday
xo D

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweet as Chocolate ...

This Christmas I have fallen in love with the colour Brown!
An unusual choice for Christmas, but mixed with fresh greens from Nature, copper accents  and splashes of red ~ calm & festive.
I think it started early in the Fall, collecting pine cones and acorns with my sweet little grand baby.
We pointed to the big pines that lined our path, their branches hanging from the weight of the cones, showing where they came from, watching precious little hands picking up the fallen cones.
"Mummy will be so surprised when she sees the wreath you are making her" we said.
We came home from our outings and placed our found treasures on the table ~
***
I am probably one of the very few who does not care for chocolate.

  The one thing I do want from the chocolate box is the little brown covering that protects the chocolates!
I have some little presents that are on their way to friends and needed some soft packaging material & this was perfect.
Simply fold in half, punch a hole on either side, do the same to a little stamped tag,  and thread through both  with a  pretty ribbon.

It's not how much we give
but how much love
we put into giving
~Mother Teresa~

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful {things I love} Thursday ...

There are so many gorgeous wrapping papers on the market ...
and ribbons
and bows
and tags ...
but I still love the simplicity of
plain brown wrapping paper
bakers twine
and treasures from nature.
topped with a special
tea/coffee stained
hand stamped tag ...
sometimes a few candy canes...
I found the red and white tape at Ikea and I've been using it on everything :-)
wrapped up
with love ♥
Anything simple
always interests me
~David Hockley~
***
A heartfelt THANK YOU  for your lovely comments & sweet e-mails on my last post.
I appreciate each and every one so very much xo

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gifts, in all shapes and sizes ...

Yesterday was a day of gifts.
A day of surprises and Thankfulness.


Two of my mixed media pieces are in the Winter 2013 Artist Spotlight pages of Somerset Studio Gallery.
I Heart this Earthly Life has been on my blog side panel for a while,  Fox Sparrow singing to my soul ♥
I've picked up many discarded books over the years, the majority have pages torn out and are scribbled in making them perfect for Art Journals.
One day, an idea for a painting came to me, but I had no canvas available.  Suddenly, I realized that the covers from these books made for an instant canvas!
You can paint directly on the paper. Depending on how old your book is, the paper may be thin, in which case you will not want to add a lot of water to your paints.  If you'd prefer, you can glue on a piece of watercolour paper.
Birds, especially Sparrows hold a special spot in my heart.

Also in Somerset Studio Gallery are some of my Dear Friend Mini Bags.
Our little picket fence enclosed country cottage front garden was created with the birds, butterflies and bugs in mind, is completely chemical free, and almost maintenance free, left to it's own doing.  Even the spent flowers look lovely to us, and we leave them as long as possible for the Yellow Finch to have one last feast on the Cosmos.
Since I love to send friends home with gifts (from the kitchen and garden) I make up little mini bags to hold the seeds.  Super easy, recycling brown paper shopping bags and adding a little watercolour painting and garden themed quote.
In the Winter 2013 issue of Sew Somerset, is my Power of Words Offerings Pouch.

Following a serious car accident, I turned to my books of quotes often, finding myself gravitating to the positive messages.  I began writing out favourite affirmation quotes and carrying them with me.  They found their way in my purse, my pocket, I had them tucked in the corners of mirrors around my home, and placed them on the dashboard of my car, reminding me to live life in the present.

I truly believe in the power of the written word which is where my idea for a little "offerings" pocket came about.  An expression of my belief that a few kind words speak volumes.
Made from a recycled pocket from jeans and 2 of the waist band loops, slip through a belt and fill with inspirational water coloured cards.
Share your cards freely ~ you never know who may need to read an uplifting message xo

Thank you so much to all those at Stampington who help make Artists dreams come true
***
Keep your hands open
and all the sands of the desert
can pass through them.
Close them
and all you can feel
is a bit of grit.
~Taisen Deshimary~

Friday, November 23, 2012

And then, it snowed ...

The first snowfall
is always so
magical ♥
 
 
I am younger each year
at the first snow,
when I see it, suddenly, in the air,
little and white and moving;
then I am in love again
and very young
and I believe
everything!
~Anne Sexton~
 

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm Dreaming of A Vintage Christmas...

I get into "Christmas mode" as soon as Halloween is over.
And if I wasn't already excited about Winter and the Holiday Season approaching, I definitely am now, especially after spending a few lovely, relaxing (and inspirational) days in New York.
 
Visiting some of my favourite stores like Pottery Barn and Anthropologie & the fabulous Christmas Tree Shop and I couldn't wait to get home and display my new finds.
The weather has been gorgeous and hopefully will continue so we can start some outside decorating this weekend.  I'm looking forward to seeing the house all lit up with twinkle lights.
Each Christmas I try to make something special to let each person on my list know how special they are to me & create a little package that is a gift in itself.  A few packages are leaving the country, and a few won't leave the house :-)
Dawn @ The Feathered Nest is always so generous with sharing her gorgeous vintage images & she posted a few that I fell in love with & they became the focal point in the gift wrapping.  I like to make little tea/coffee stained tags , stamp a special message & attach the tiniest of bells with a little twine.
A walk with Archer always has me coming home with pine cones and leaves and twigs, and these nature finds are being incorporated in my artwork.
I'm Dreaming of A Vintage Christmas

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hello November...

When the trees
their Summer splender change
to raiment red and gold
When the Summer moon turns mellow,
and the nights are getting cold;
When the squirrels hide their acorns,
and the woodchucks disappear;
Then we know
that it is Autumn,
loveliest season
of the year
~Carol L Riser~
Autumn
 
♥Have a wonderful weekend♥
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thankful Living: Autumnal Blessing #6...

 
 Ah, October ...
I look forward to this Season the most.
I love everything about it!
Archer has been pretty happy too.
A few weeks ago, my Daughter & I were at a Church book sale.
We found some wonderful books ~ some to keep for ourselves, a few we found to give to friends who had mentioned wanting to read a particular title, and a few to turn into Art Journals.
I squealed with joy when I came across a Tasha Tudor book ... "Old Fashioned Gifts" ♥
& the title of this book "Lines to Live By" filled with page after page of lovely quotes and sweet black and white sketches.
I've been using the Maple Leaves that have fallen from our tree as book marks :-)
 
our lives are spent
gathering what we love...
we call that place
home ♥
Perfect safe keeping spots to press them.
 
Had just enough bran left over to make a batch of Every Morning Bran Muffins to take on our hike with Archer.  They are crisp and chewy on the outside & lovely and soft on the inside.
I like to sprinkle an assortment of pecans, raisins, sunflower and in Celebration of October ... pumpkin seeds on the top.
I love the look of European style parchment paper muffin liners (much more than bought muffin cups).  They are easy to create ... pull out about 5" from parchment paper roll and cut.  The length and width of the paper will give you 3 good size muffin liners.  I dampen the parchment slightly which makes it easier to press into the muffin tins.
EVERY MORNING BRAN MUFFINS
 
1 cup bran
1 cup raisins or chopped dates
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
***
Mix the bran, raisins, milk, salt & sugar and let stand for about 30 minutes to absorb. Sift dry ingredients together into wet mixture and stir to just moisten. Spoon batter into muffin liners & sprinkle asst of fruit and nuts on top.  Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
~Enjoy~
 
I'm so glad that I live in a world
where there are
Octobers
~Anne of Green Gables~




Friday, October 12, 2012

Thankful Living: Autumnal Blessings #5...

Leaves ... Leaves... & more  Leaves
falling from our Maple tree
& Gathered on our walks
make for pretty, colourful bouquets ♥
 
 
I'm going to make
everything around me
beautiful ~
that
will be
my life
~Elsie de Wolfe~
***
 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thankful Living: Autumnal Blessings #4...


~A Girlfriends Autumn Tea~
A pot of tea, some finger sandwiches & tray of sweets and you have the perfect
Girlfriends Autumn Tea ♥
I cover my table with a pretty cloth,  use fallen leaves from our Canadian Maple scattering them all over the table and write each guests name on a little chalkboard slate.
At each place setting I like to have something my friends can take home with them.
A small clay pot with a plant or herb, a seed package with seeds from my garden, a wrapped posy...
 This year, I decided to make tiny pumpkins.
These little teeny jack be little pumpkins are made using up scraps of chenille upholstery fabric, a fallen branch and real pressed leaf.
They are so small they can fit in the palm of your hand.  Stuff firmly so they can stand on their own.  Perfect for sitting on your desk, kitchen table, mantle or windowsill all Autumn long.
 
They are super quick and easy to create ~ this is how I made mine ...
JACK BE LITTLE PUMPKINS
Cut fabric of your choice 4"W X 3"L.
Fold right sides together and sew down length of fabric.
With needle & thread, baste along bottom seam - pull tightly and stitch in place.
Turn fabric right side out. You will already see your pumpkin taking shape :-)
Add a small amount of fiberfill.
Run a basting stitch along the top - pull tightly and stitch in place.  Using your finger, tuck gathered fabric down into the pumpkin.
Add a small drop of hot glue and push a small piece of fallen branch into the hole.
Add a tiny pressed leaf.
 
 For a small cutlery pouch, I used some fabric remnants I had.  Like the pumpkins, these are fast and easy to create in no time.  Perfect last minute crafts.
GATHER CUTLERY POUCH
Cut fabric 8 1/2" W  x 10 1/2"L.
Pin a strip of ribbon the width of the fabric and sew into place.
On a small piece of muslin, stamp the word GATHER and stitch in place half way down pouch.
Create two rosettes by ripping muslin strips 3/4" W x 15"L.  I like to start my rosettes by creating a knot at the end of the fabric.  This will not only give you a sturdy place to hold on to as you start twisting the fabric, but will give some depth to the look of the rosette. Then just simply twist and add a few dots of hot glue to hold as you go around.
Attach the rosettes above the word GATHER.
Fold right sides together and sew down length of fabric. Sew along bottom seam.
Turn right side out.
 Add a few beautiful leaves and tuck in a little "I am THANKFUL for you because ..." note before you add the knife, fork and spoon to the pouch.
Saturday mornings are spent going to garage sales with my daughter, and one of my "can't pass up" things are old Scrabble games. Because of this, I have a big container of scrabble pieces which I like to use in creative ways.  For my Autumnal tea , I chose words & phrases  like THANKFUL, BLESSINGS, AUTUMN & FALL IN LOVE for each place setting. 
***
The heroine enjoys her life
by rearranging it
according to her needs...
She knows that right here is where things happen,
not somewhere else...
that the world for her
is a place
where things are engendered
and brought to life
~Henry Miller~