Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!!!

It's a new year, and I thought it was appropriate to pick up this blog again.  I have really missed posting last year.  The only post I made was on the very first day of the new year, just like I'm doing now.  However, I will post more frequently and perhaps you'll like to follow along with me through 2014!

I am actually very excited today.  It's January 1st.  A brand new year.  A brand new, clean slate.  I have lots of goals, big and small.  I have even written them down and encouraged my family to do a list for themselves, too.  And they did!

One of my BIG goals for the new year.....buy a new house.  We have outgrown this house...years ago!  And while I love how close I think our family is, I know we all would like our own space.  I know that I have felt a world of difference getting my own room last year and not sleeping on the sofa bed.  I'm a light sleeper and I would hear every creak of the floor, every sound of someone moving around in the kitchen, the cars going by outside!  I was a grumpier mommy before my family arranged that I have a room to sleep in and escape to when needed.  I had a very smooth year emotionally last year. :)

And one of my small goals is to simply Smile More!  I think we could all stand to do that.  No matter what our circumstances are. :)

So this is my 1st post of 2014.  I look forward to making MANY more!  So be sure to come visit with me here every once in awhile.  I look forward to seeing you!

Have an AWESOME New Year 2014!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!

It's been a long day for the first day of 2013.  I wonder how many times I'm going to mis-write the year this first month of 2013...

I have few New Year's resolutions this year.  They're "few" but they can encompass a lot.  For instance, my number 1 New Year's resolution is to "Take better care of myself".  That means a lot of things.  No, "dieting" is not one of them.  "Diets"are short term fixes that I believe do long term harm more often than not.  "Eating healthier" is more of what my resolution encompasses.  Take better care of my skin and hair is another part of the resolution to take better care of myself.  I'm also taking more time to make my room a sanctuary for me.  It's a place I can take a "time out" and relax and rejuvenate so that I can be a better mommy, wife, and person.

In an effort to improve my sanctuary, I am crocheting an afghan for my bed.  It will be gray and white and be done in 12" squares primarily.  I mean, who knows, I might change it up as I go along, but 12" squares is the theme at the moment.  Here is the first square.


It is made in Phentex brand "Angorel", color #40 Porcelaine.  I only have 5 - 50 gram skeins and it takes 1-1/2 skeins just to make one 12" square.  I'd like to make more than 3 gray squares, but unless I can find more of this older yarn, this color will be limited in my afghan.

Over at Crochetville, I have joined a CAL of sorts.  It's called "15 projects in 15 days CAL".   The basic rule is to begin on Jan 1st and work on one different WIP, or start a new one, every day for the first 15 days... and then repeat.  Now I'm not sure I can put down this first project on the second day to begin something else, but perhaps I'll tweak the idea a bit.  I could continue my WIP on the 2nd day but pick up a different one, maybe a small project, to work on also.  Who knows, I might want to continue the new project for the entire free time I have on that particular day.

My project for Day 1 is a ripple afghan for my second daughter Jessica.  I crocheted an afghan a few years ago for my first daughter Kelley, so Jessica has been wanting one for awhile.  She and I picked some colors from my stash (yay for stash busting!)...



 and I began her afghan last night.  Here it is so far!

 
Jessica is very anxious for me to finish it, so I'm thinking there won't be much time to start a different project every day for 15 days for the CAL.  At least not while she's watching...


BTW, I am using the Easy Ripple Afghan pattern if you are interested in the pattern whereabouts.  It's a free pattern!



Sunday, December 30, 2012

CHRISTMAS, NEW YEAR'S AND VALENTINE'S DAY!

Here we are on the precipice of a new year.  2013!  I am looking forward to it and anticipating lots of good things.  One has to be positive, after all.

Our Christmas was spent here at home, just hubby and I and the children.  I would have loved to have spent it with my parents or brother and sister-in-law and their family, but didn't hear what everyone's plans were.  We must PLAN something for next year.  But overall we had a good Christmas just the six of us. :)

And now I'm looking forward to the next holiday - Valentine's Day!  I love Valentine's Day....the colors of pinks and reds, the chocolate, the flowers, the symbolic LOVE of the holiday.  I saw this tin of chocolate when I was out and about today, and I loved (pun intended) the unique twist of this heart.



Most Valentine's Day boxes of chocolate are the typical and symmetrical heart shape, so something different tends to catch my eye.  I also love the boxes of chocolate that are covered in fabric or some other texture...I'm a tactile kind of girl.  But about this box of chocolate, I loved that it was tin, it was a "different" heart shape, and it wasn't a lot of money.  So I bought it!  And now the chocolates are gone.  Oh, I shared them with the family.  I think I got one out of the box.  Don't feel sorry for me because, to be honest, I like the tin better than the chocolate.  ;)  All I can see is craftiness in this!

For example, the tin itself has a raised relief that reminds me of my love of zendoodling.  There's a tag on the ribbon that can be used as a template to make new tags or little heart cards, and of course, it mimics the unique heart shape of the tin.  And look at the inside of this tin!  While I'm not sure how to re-use the plastic insert with heart-shaped bowls that held the chocolates, I am sure I'll find a use.  Any ideas?  Look what else is in the tin...when a chocolate is removed, a little sentiment is discovered underneath!  What a sweet surprise!  The sentiments are actually on a separate cardstock-type of paper under the plastic bowls and can be removed.  I'm thinking of cutting the sentiments apart and using them in other crafts.  Yes, this was a really crafty tin.

I love Valentine's Day!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

TINSEL TREE SURPRISE!

Yesterday I was viewing GeorgiaPeachez's beautiful holiday decor pictured on her blog, and I LOVED the silver tinsel tree she had pictured.  Strangely, when I was young, I liked nothing silver.  Nothing!  In jewelry, it had to be gold - I thought silver jewelry was boring.  No gray clothing.  No gray paint.  Nothing!  Yet now, at age 44 years, I love silver anything!  Silver/gray paint, silver jewelry, and silver Christmas trees!  So seeing GeorgiaPeachez's tree I just melted inside.  Soooo beautiful!  I wished I had a silver tree....

And then today I was looking through totes of Christmas decor I had packed up from last year, and in the bottom of a box I found a 2' fiber optic tinsel tree...in SILVER!  Wheeeeee!  I only VAGUELY remember getting this tree last year.  Or did someone give it to me...I can't remember.  But I don't remember even using it last year!  It is supposed to have an adapter, since it is a fiber optic tree, but it was not in the box.  So I'm not sure if someone gave this to me or I bought it at the thrift store after Christmas...Regardless of how I obtained it, imagine how THRILLED I was today to discover that I - *I* - had a SILVER tree!  Ah, simple joys.

I'll get a picture uploaded soon to share with you.   Here's that picture I promised!

 
I didn't decorate it this year, but maybe next year I will have some vintage ornaments to add.  I'd like to find some pink or turquoise or lime green ornaments.  Did they make those colors "back then"?  Whenever THAT was.

CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!

It is Sunday morning, 12:04 am, and I'm finally getting a moment to sit down with my thoughts.  The children are all in bed after much excitement at seeing me finally bring out some Christmas presents that I've been hiding and being very secretive about.  I prefer to wait to the last minute to put presents under the tree as the children have been known to shake and even PEEK at them!  Yep, that old "untape the end of the present and peek inside the wrapping and then tape it back up" trick!  I have nipped that a bit this year by putting their present in a plain brown box before wrapping.  Try to peek in that!  Last year, I wrapped their gift and then put it inside another box and wrapped that box, too!  These children are smart - let them handle and shake their presents and they seem to figure out what they're getting!  Hopefully not this year.  Let the excitement and anticipation linger a little while...

We could not get a full-sized tree this year.  I was a little disappointed about that as our local nursery had some beautiful trees.  Instead I bought a fake, yeah - FAKE, 4' tree this year.  Actually it is a fiber-optic tree and it looks quite beautiful still even if it is fake and only 4' tall.  The children like it, and it covers the few presents under it quite nicely.  It is a good table-top tree, and I will still use it future Christmases even when we have a full-sized tree to adorn.

Jessica has already been asking me if we can open presents on Christmas Eve like we normally do.  She is so excited about what she could possibly be getting.  It makes me smile to see her excitement.  And yes, we'll probably open them Christmas Eve.  Or we might make it to Christmas Day....at 12:01 am Tuesday, December 25, 2012!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

FREE 5x7 PHOTO AT WALGREENS!

I just took advantage of a free photo offer at Walgreens and wanted to share it with you.  It is only for today, December 22nd.  Upload a photo.  At checkout use the code FREE5X7, and the $1.99 price for a 5x7 will be waived.  Then either select to have your photo picked up at your local Walgreens or pay $1.06 to have the 5x7 shipped to your home.  I opted to have it shipped to my home as my Walgreens is 30 minutes away.  I figured I'd use the $1.06 or more in gas just to go get the free photo and return home.  But if you coordinate picking your photo up during a time you're driving by your Walgreens or doing shopping, then it's a great deal to just pick it up in the store.  :)

Also, if you do not have a Walgreens in your area...I don't know if it's only here in the south (Georgia)...you may still be able to take advantage of the offer.  You'd just pay for the shipping. :)

Enjoy!

(And sorry if that whole post just sounded like an advertisement!  LOL!  I really just intended to share something FREE with you all!)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

BRRRRRRRR......!!!!

It is 3:25 Sunday morning, and it is literally BELOW FREEZING outside at 31 degrees F!  If I had any doubts before, I think Autumn's temperatures have definitely arrived here.  Or more likely Winter!  Brrrrr....

Friday, November 23, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2012!

I hope everyone in the USA had a nice Thanksgiving Day!  This year, I spent it at home with my hubby and 4 children and we had the traditional roast turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, roasted red potatoes and rolls.  I've never been a big fan of cranberry sauce so I don't serve it.  But of course if anyone in my family expressed an interest in it, I would serve it. :)  I also served Key Lime Pie, Sweet Potato Pie and Apple Pie a la mode (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream).  It was all delicious!  Surprisingly noone fell asleep afterwards!

I called my parents to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.  It appears they were taking it easy this Thanksgiving, too, but were invited by some of their neighbors to dinner in town.  I think it's great that restaurants are open on Thanksgiving Day to serve a turkey dinner.  Many places close on Thanksgiving Day.

This year our town hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner in the Park.  We live in a small town, but what a nice gesture to have dinner in the park!  I think this may have been the first year that our town has done that as I don't recall it occurring last year.  So yeah, it was a great Thanksgiving Day.

Now on to the downhill slide towards Christmas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SWAP-BOT FUN!

"Swap-bot" has been my answer to the question "What have you been up to lately?"  I mostly enjoy swapping postcards, but occasionally I will branch out and do an ATC or a crochet swap.  I would really like to try a "Smash Book" or a "Junk Journal".  Have you SEEN those?  Search for it on YouTube.  It's pretty cool in my opinion.  A perfect craft for a paper junky who loves to save all sorts of papers, tags, envelopes, etc.

Here are some pictures of what has been coming in and going out of my mailbox in the last week.

These are postcards I sent for the swap "November - 11th Month - 11 Postcards - USA".  I loved sharing them.


These are postcards I received Monday this week for various swaps.

 
This is a postcard I sent for the swap "One Word to Describe Your Day - Postcard - USA".  Do you know what that word means?  I didn't want to use a simple word.  Anyone can describe their day with a common word.  I wanted to make it more interesting.  Plus I learned a new word!
 
 
 
This is an ATC I did for the "Trees ATC" swap.  Thinking a little outside the box, I sorta Zentangled  it.
 
 
 
And this is the envelope in which I sent it.
 





So that is a little of what I've been doing the past week.  It feels great to get out a little creativity.

Now I want to crochet something.... I'm thinking maybe Christmas ornaments. :)  Here are just a few ideas....  But since I'm leaning towards snowflakes, check out these boards!  Can you sing "Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!"?!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

SWAP-BOT SWAPS (an old post from 2006!)

I found this "draft" of a post from 2006...I don't know why I didn't post it at the time.  But it looks like an interesting post so I post it 6 years later!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following are pictures of swaps I've received through Swap-bot. I've thumbnailed all the pictures in the interest of space, but if you click on them, you'll get a larger image.

~~Wise Words Postcard Swap~~


This is the first postcard I received for this swap and it came from Amylyn in California. Besides handmaking her card, she wrote these "wise words" by Confucius:

"The man of wisdom is never of two minds;
the man of benevolence never worries;
the man of courage is never afraid."

Now I'm not sure that the man of courage is never afraid. There is certainly room for fear in a courageous man. A courageous man simply doesn't let fear rule him, but rather his determination. Lovely quote, however.


This postcard of Porto, Portugal was sent by Marlene C. in Portugal. The "wise words" she quoted were by Bertramd Russell:

"The trouble of the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

I got a chuckle out of this one. Perhaps because I saw some truth in it.



This postcard of the Cherry St. Bridge, Showing Draw Open, in Toledo, Ohio was from Ashley, also from California. She quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Cards were at first for benefits designed, sent to amuse, not to enslave the mind."

Although the context of this quote was most likely referring to card games, Ashley thought it was fun to think about this quote in the context of our postCARD swap. And I have to agree. These postcards should amuse our minds, but I fear the collecting of them, and desire for more of them, might indicate rather an enslavement.


~~"Postcard Addicts" Swap~~

In this swap, we were required to send two postcards to five partners.




These two cards were from Amy in Wisconsin.





These two were from Marie in Missouri.





These two were from Heather in Florida.

MOSTLY POSTCARDS...

Today my 3 year old daughter and I were watching the Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel.  During their commercial they asked the children what day it was.  After a sufficient pause, they answered "Sunday!"  I looked at Gracie and told her excitedly that it was Sunday!  She looked out the window at our overcast, rainy skies, brow furrowed in confusion, and exclaimed "No!  It not Sunday!  The sun not sunshine!" (meaning the sun was not shining)  Ahh, how easily I forget the simplicity of a child's understanding.  I wish everything was so simple.

So I've missed blogging.  I figured the only way to get back into it is to just jump in and post. What have I been doing lately?

We enjoyed our time in Panama City Beach, Florida this past Summer during Kelley's dance competition/impromptu vacation.  Her group dances placed 1st in several dances!  But now, after dancing since she was 2 years old, with a missed year in there somewhere, she has decided not to dance anymore.  It has been fun watching her these past 12 years.  I will miss that part of her.  But she's been more interested in writing this past year, so I think she wants to devote more time to it.  She has quite a talent for writing so I hope that she can polish her skills and enjoy becoming a published author.

I would like to get back to my love of crocheting and have some beautiful projects completed so that I can picture them here.  I always enjoy looking back on this blog and seeing my past projects.  And seeing how little my children were!  I'm yearning to begin an afghan, especially as the temperatures drop here in southeast Georgia.  It's always such a cozy feeling to have a developing afghan drapped across my legs as my hands make the yarn and hook dance.

What I have been doing in the past month is pick up my love of postcards and begin Postcrossing again.  How wonderful to find a postcard sent from a random place in the world in my mailbox again.  I've also gotten back on one of my favorite swapping sites, Swap-bot.  This is another wonderful place to go to join in postcard swaps.  My mailbox has been happy these past 6 weeks as it has been receiving postcards almost daily!  Here are some of the beautiful postcards that have been traveling the world to land in my mailbox.

This postcard is via Postcrossing and came from Weronica in Sweden.

This cutie came via Postcrossing from Germany.

This lovely butterfly fluttered to my home via Swap-bot's "Postcard Lovers #13" swap.
It was sent from Stephanie aka smadionia.

This awesome skyline view of Philadelphia came via Swap-bot's "Quotecard PC #64" swap.
Thank you, KaliTracer!
 
This also came via Swap-bot's "Quotecard PC #64" swap. Who remembers these characters?
Thank you, Doppelganger!

And this postcard came via Postcrossing from Russia.

Look at the beautiful stamps on the Russian postcard!
I just adore postage stamps.

And now I leave you with my two youngest children.  My baby just turned 3 years old!  Ah, how time flies.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA!

The family is enjoying a week long vacation in Panama City Beach, Florida.  Our daughter Kelley is here competing in the Nationals with her dance class.  We arrived on Monday, but she doesn't have to perform until tomorrow morning, so we've had almost 3 whole days to do whatever we wanted.  They've been to the pool often but I'm hoping to make it down to the beach before the week is over.  Their dad did walk them down to the beach Tuesday night, but our son TJ was scared of the sound of the ocean and our daughter Jessica didn't like the feel of the sand under her feet.  She said it was too "hard".  But I'm looking forward to getting down there maybe tonight or tomorrow.