Sunday, December 27, 2009

Where Does It Go?

I am thinking tonight of how fast Christmas comes and goes. All of the weeks of preparation, shopping, wrapping, baking....searching for that perfect present...and then, in a matter of minutes...POOF, it is all over! I always feel a bit of post Christmas let down, but this year, I didn't! Perhaps because it was the oddest Christmas that I can remember....due in part to a LARGE snowstorm we had Christmas week.

Our area was hit with about 10-16 inches of heavy, wet snow and a week of power outages! Fortunately, my home did not lose power, but my Dad and sister did for 6 days! My Dad, due to health issues, stayed for a couple of nights at my house. My brother's family didn't make it in to celebrate with us this year due to the storm, so it was an odd....kinda "off" holiday for us. Still, we were all safe, fairly healthy and blessed.

Even with all of the problems that the storm brought with it....the snow was was so quiet and still.....and outages made everyone slow down and really take stock of what is important. I have decided that all of our future Christmases will be simpler. My goal is that somehow...someway we will concentrate on the REAL meaning of the season and celebrate that. So as I put away the pretty paper and bows, take down the greenery and the wreaths, I am thankful for another Christmas spent with those I love (at least some of them :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Altered Frames

I have been busy this week....all of the Christmas preparations....candy making and cookie baking....last minute shopping, wrapping, still tweaking my decorations, along with working. Shew....I am tired but pleasantly so.

I have been altering a few picture frames for gifts this week...and altering anything is one of my fave projects to do. I love taking something that is intended for one use and creating something totally different. Below, I made a set of Christmas frames using my favorite Christmas Bible verse..."For unto us a child is born..." and on the other, simply "Believe."

I then found a "four picture" frame and love what it became! I used my favorite sheet of Christmas Paper to cover the front, a coordinating sheet on the inside and embellished with Walmart Holiday Time stickers. The red reindeer and poinsetta set off the cream and gold ribbon. I had a wooden easel which matched perfectly. Viola, a gift for my friend for Christmas.

This is what my dining table looks like tonight.....any guesses?

My Dad was born in 1929, right in time to grow up in The Great Depression. Christmas at his house was nothing like it is for us and our children. They lived on a working farm, and believe me, they all worked! He was taken to the fields at 5 years old and taught to hoe with his parents and older brothers and sisters. Not much time for "childish" things when your entire family literally "works" to live. My Dad turned 80 years old this year, and he can only recall getting a toy for Christmas ONE time! Usually, they were given a "sock" (their version of a stocking) filled with fruit and nuts. THAT was their gifts...and like most things in those days, it was all food which they had harvested in the Fall. When our children were small, he began fixing all of his grandchildren a "treat bag" filled with fruit and candy, reminiscent of his childhood holidays. This year, we are all getting one, children and grandchildren alike. In a world so consumed with materialistic visions and goals, this may seem simple and silly. To us, it is a sweet reminder of where we come from and how deeply our "country" roots grow. Faith, family and food....much of our southern culture revolves around these three things. And although we do have gifts all wrapped in their pretty paper to exchange, my 22 year old son looked at me tonight and said, "you know, now that I'm not a little kid, this treat bag is my favorite part to Christmas at Papaw's. The fruit and candy taste so good when he gives it to us." Due to age and frail health, I had the privilege of shopping for and putting the bags together this year for my Dad. I thought of who he is and who he has taught us to be...and I said a little prayer of thanks for this strong, sweet man of faith who has given us everything that he has to give.
Aren't traditions wonderful....they anchor us...they comfort us....they tie to together from one generation to the next. If you haven't, why don't you start one this year with your family? It doesn't have to be elaborate....just heartfelt. Until next time...God bless you and those you love.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Trees and Puppy Dogs....

Good Saturday blogger friends and is a cold day here in my neck of the woods. Hubby and I have been out to lunch and finished a bit of shopping. We stopped by our local Tractor Supply store where the ASPCA was having an adoption day and we saw so many beautiful dogs needing a good home. If you have never thought about adopting a dog or cat, please consider doing so instead of buying one. There are soooo many that need a home and someone to care for them. Contact your local shelter or for details. Owners were also bringing their pets to have a picture taken with Santa today as well! It was adorable. The sweetest was a HUGE solid black Great Dane who walked up to Santa and sniffed him all over, then gently lay down at his feet! It was a priceless "pet moment" and made me just itch for my own camera.

Speaking of cameras, Hubby was a good sport today and let me try out my self timer settings on my NEW camera!(I'm still SQUEALING!) This pic is for all of the family members who visit our blog....a glimpse of us this holiday season ;)

Below are a few of my Christmas Card Creations this year. I absolutely LOVED making them. I used the Martha Stewart pine branch punch and built my little branch at a time! It was similar to putting together an artificial tree....and the finished product was so cute. I love the imperfection of the shapes and branches...just like a real one, I tell ya. And then...I got to decorate each one. No two are alike and I loved each and every theme. The punching did get a bit tiresome, I even had a few of the girls in my office punch a know...just to try out the punch ;) I am secretly winning them over to scrapping and card making. They just don't know it yet.

My last little card is a puppy card for Christmas. He is not a die cut or a chipboard, he fell off one of my gift bags and I just HAD to find him a new home, viola, he is now a "card dog" and loving every minute of it, I am sure ;)

We have two Christmas Parties to attend this evening, so I am off to hair and makeup ( bathroom mirror). Hope that you all have a wonderful day...and happy scrapping.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Glimpse of Christmas Cheer

Hello to all of my blogging buddies. Although I have been busy in the craft room, I decided today to just post a glimpse of what Christmas looks like at our house...I have been tweaking the decorations for the past week or so, and since I had today off...I added a few touches and had time to take a few photos.

This lighted garland lines the snack bar which separates my kitchen and dining area. Red, Gold, Brown and a splash here and there of white are my colors of choice this holiday season.

Little Packer Puppy is all geared up to celebrate his second Christmas. He has, so far, "killed" two bird ornaments and knocked a few apples and balls from the tree. (they are nonbreakable....I had a feeling :) When we came in the door from church last weekend, he met us at the door and was sooooo excited. He quickly ran from us to the tree and back proudly showing us that he had taken care of at least 2 of those pesky birds that had somehow found their way into the branches of this tree that had suddenly sprung up in our living room. Really, I wonder what his little puppy mind is thinking? What in the world are they doing, planting a tree in the house? And what's with all of these twinkling light things...and boxes with pretty bows? How can a puppy resist. (hehe...okay, maybe he isn't thinking all of that...but the looks he gives me....sometimes, I wonder.)

We have had some really cold days, so this week, when we get home from work in the evenings, we have lit a fire....mmmmmm....I love it, the look, the feel. Nothing says "cozy" like a nice blazing log in the fireplace. And it adds to the Holiday Spirit of things ;)

Here are a couple of "close ups" of the theme of my tree this year. I am calling it my "recession tree" because I did not spend more than $1 for any ornament on it! I am the frugal shopper and I looovvve a bargain. Most of the ornaments were bought last year on clearance in January and put aside for "whenever." The others I have picked up at random shops this year. Although I have a storage closet FULL of decorations and ornaments collected over the past 26 years, hubby wasn't too keen on getting it all out, so when I mentioned a "woodland theme" with birds and pinecones, apples and all things glittery that I already had OUT of storage, he was immediately on board! LOL. Sometimes, change is good. Don't you love the clarity of these close up shots? Have you ever seen colors so vibrant? red?

Aren't these pics so clear, so bright, so PERFECT? Well, (and I am truly SQUEALING here) They were taken with my NEW CAMERA which my wonderful, sweet, thoughtful hubby got me for Christmas and gifted me with it this week so that I would be able to study up on it and take good pics at Christmas! (Squealing again!!!!) Take a look...

Yep, he got a me a new CANON and I am LOVING it! Those of you who truly love to take pictures will understand last camera, although still fairly new, was a DUD! Have you ever done that....wanted the NEWER, Better model and then been so disappointed? Well that was my case with my last Fugi. I had the previous model, you know, the new one's older brother, and it was a great camera. When the new one came out, boucing new baby camera, I thought, if the old one was good, this one will be great! Not so...and I spoke with a camera professional the other day and he informed me that I was not alone. That almost everyone who bought the updated version of my last camera, returned it...for the same reasons that I never liked it. So....long story short...(or maybe not so short :) Thank you dear hubby for taking my photo woes seriously and getting me something that I ADORE! And for all of my blogbuddies...that means MORE photos to post! Maybe next time, I will not bore you with my ramblings :)
Thanks for stopping by...until next time...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Yesterday morning we awoke to 3 inches of beautiful snow. It was a heavy, wet snow and coated every tree branch, fence post and bird feeder in sight. Beautiful! Our lawn was a perfect sea of white, UNTIL the neighborhood dogs ran through it a few hundred times...then....not so pretty! LOL. Still, it did put me in the Christmas spirit.

Last night, hubby and I went to a Christmas Party....sometimes, getting all dressed up is fun!

Still working on my Christmas cards.....probably will not have them finished in time for this year :) Slow but Steady, that's my motto. Hope that you all have a great day.