Thursday, January 28, 2010

Valentine Swap Peeks

Paper, ribbons, buttons and lace have been flying around my studio. I am finishing up my projects for two Valentine Swaps I'm in. I love Valentine's Day and the whole Valentine theme so these swaps have been a lot of fun to work on. I can't post pictures of the completed projects until my two partners receive their packages (wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, right?) but I can share some peeks with you.
A Swap for All Seasons asked us to include a Vintage Valentine, a handmade item and something sweet in our package. My partner is my blogging friend, Linda Smith. Linda is also the mastermind behind all of the Swap for All Seasons swaps. She is extremely organized and has this swap partner thing perfected...I've never been matched up with someone that I didn't have a heap of fun with. If you are ever tempted to participate in a swap...this would be the one to do. Some time this week she will be announcing the next Swap so you can read about it here. OK-here is a little sneek peek for Linda...

The other swap is being hosted by Cathy Scalise and it is the first swap she has organized. It is the Amour Valentine Swap and I think over 60 people joined in. (The link is on my sidebar) I will show you a peek for my swap partner Lisa, but we can't reveal all of our projects until Valentine's Day so you'll just have to come back then to see the rest of the things I sent. We were to decorate a box, heart-shaped or not, with a Valentine theme and then fill it with goodies for our partner. This is the first time I've met Lisa so I hope she like the things I've made and gathered for her. Here is Lisa's peek...

I'm sorry to be so mysterious but that's the nature of the swap business.
This Saturday, a friend is coming for lunch and I thought having her come over
would be the incentive to reorganize and clean up the studio.....
I think I'm in trouble....what do you think?

Until next time friends.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine images found!!!!

I was just saying to Elizabeth the other day that I didn't have many Valentine images and today while I was weeding out a box of vintage cards...I found some. Please feel free to enjoy them!

It is rainy and gloomy in Pittsburgh today. It's a perfect day to stay inside and work on some Valentine projects while endless football is on the TV. This week I hope to have a lot to show you.
For now, I hope you enjoy these images

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Wrapping" up my Birthday!

Good Morning!
I only have a few minutes to write because I need to get to the Post Office before it closes to mail Deb's package. I just wanted to tell you that this has been a week long celebration for me. I didn't mention this before but my darling David's birthday was yesterday so between the two of us, we partied all week. Look at all the wonderfulness in this photo!

On Tuesday, at work, we had cupcakes and this surprise....

Now who wouldn't like a topiary made with Hershey's kisses? (Thanks Holly!)
Mimi and Michele took me to lunch on Wednesday to one of my favorite places, Panera, where I had this yumminess! (talk about carb-loading! Do you think I should have hidden the butter at least?)

Mimi treated us to iced shortbread cookies for dessert...
(I forgot about taking a picture until I had already eaten a few bites! Where are pictures of the 3 of us you ask? We were too busy talking and having fun that after we had eaten, I never took my camera out again!)
There were handmade gifts from friends...

Thanks Mimi and Michele!
Handmade cards....

Thanks Bev, Laurie, Elizabeth, Mimi!
A new Boyd's bear from my sweet grandson, Charlie...

(Note: the Allsorts (from Mimi) were photographed after the bag was half eaten..
I had to do some fluffing up for this picture-LOL!)
More gifts and cards.....

Thanks Pam!
David surprised me with a gift certificate from my favorite on-line stamp company, PAPERTREYink...

What a great week! Thank you for sending your comments, your friendship and your blogging love!
I've had a lot of fun this week and I can only conclude that...

I hope the sun is shining where you are (it is surprisingly pleasant in Pittsburgh today!)
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Without Further Delay.....

The judges got together...

and picked the winner of my Birthday giveaway....

 YAY Deb!
Please email me your mailing address and I will get your Birthday prizes to you this week!
(The rest of you should go right over to Deb's blog and say hi...and look around while you're at it!)

To all of you; It has been so much fun this week,  reading all of your comments about your favorite age.
 As for me, all of the ages I've been have had their joys and their sorrows. I loved being a kid growing up in the 50's. I know this is going to make me sound old fashioned but times really were simplier back then. (No, I didn't walk uphill to school both ways!) I loved being the age I was when my children were born. ( I had a lot of evergy back then.)  I loved age 40 because it was a big turning point in my life in terms of who I was. I became a Grandmother at 59 and that was a wonderful age, too.
I have been blessed by God for all of the 61 years I've been on this earth and I hope he'll grant me many years to come. Thank you friends...old and new...for stopping here on your journey. I hope you'll come back again and say hello before I become this age...

In honor and gratitude for all of you, I will be sending a check to the Lutheran World Relief Fund for the people of Haiti. We will continue to pray for the safe recovery of as many people as possible and for care and comfort for all who have suffered because of this tragedy.
Have a wonderful rest of the week...I'll be back soon to show you some goodies I received for my Birthday!
Love, Joyce

Today is the Day!

Today is my Birthday....I made it! Yay!
Don't forget to leave a comment on my previous post for a chance to win!
Don't forget to leave your email address if you don't have a blog I can link to!
I love this-it's my Birthday but you're getting the presents!
I'm going to have as much fun as possible today and then tonight, I will pick a name for the Blog Candy!
I'll talk to you later...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blog Candy Giveaway-Happy Birthday to Me....almost!

I had really intended to have a Blog Candy Giveaway for my 2 year blog anniversary....but it was in the thick of getting ready for craft fairs. Then I thought I would do one for my 100th, that was too close to Christmas and there wasn't enough time to plan it. Now remember that my word for this year is MANAGE ,so I must not put it off any longer!!!!!
Next week, Wednesday, January 20th, is my 61st Birthday!!!! I love birthdays. I think every day that you open your eyes and can swing your legs over the side of the bed and get up is a really good day! Sure, some days I feel like I'm 80...aches and pains that come with aging but for the most part I feel no where near my age! The majority of my friends are younger than me, not by design but they do keep me alert...LOL! So, in celebration of my Birthday, I'm giving away some things that I LOVE and I hope you will like them, too. If you would like a chance to win, all you need to do is leave a comment telling me what has been your favorite age so far and why! Please enter just one time to make it fair for everyone. If you follow my blog but have never commented, I hope you'll pop in and say hi. If you're visiting for the first time...Welcome in! If you are already a blog friend...please know how much I appreciate your visits and your comments...I love you all!
OK....first I want you to see what you could win....

Are you familiar with The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond? Her blog is filled with mouth watering recipes and funny, funny, stories about life on the ranch. She recently came out with this cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and you will devour it. I ordered 2 copies. One for myself and one for this giveaway!

Anyone who knows me...even my husband, knows how much I love punches. I have lots and lots of them and use them all of the time in paper crafting so I've included this
Martha Stewart border punch as part of the package...

I love Valentine's Day so as a nod to that special day, a cute tea towel and a small ceramic heart dish....hmmmm, maybe I should get some holiday M&M's to go along with that!
There is also a cute rubber stamp that says dream....

I have loved the art of Mary Engelbreit since the early 80's. Her cards, her stationary, her books and calendars...I have collected for years. I have every issue of her beloved Home Companion Magazine and cried (no, really...I cried) when it went out of publication. Michael's has been carrying lines of Mary's items in their $1 section for a few years. The new things out for Spring are the very cutest I've seen! I wanted to include this little grouping because of the quote...She who laughs...lasts! My philosophy exactly!
There are also 2 little packages of chipboard embellishments to use in your crafting!

Cath Kidston is another artist/designer I've admired for some time. She creates tote bags, home linens and stationary in the dreamiest prints and colors. Most of her things are not available in the US and it's very pricey to have things shipped from the UK but I did manage to find us some notecards and the most darling envelopes. I dare you to actually use these and not just sit and gaze at them...

Bath & Body Works Cherry Blossom is one of my favorite scents so I'm including a few items from that line

Lastly, If you've been reading this little blog for any length of time, you know how much I love dressforms. I have a collection of dressform-themed rubber stamps which I wrote about here
 and I have several wire forms as well.
This dressform is actually a pin cushion but you could use her for holding your vintage pin collection or dressing her up with jewelry for display. Have fun with it!

Now this Birthday Giveaway is intended to be fun for you and me both but
there is one other issue that I want to address.

In the past three days, the news has been filled with sad details of the disaster in Haiti. Many thousands of lives have been lost and homes have been destroyed. I can not begin to imagine the devastation and horror for the people in this country. Haiti is the size of the state of Maryland, and tonight I heard that there could be as many as 140,000 who have perished!. We are hearing of many groups who have come out in support of the relief effort and I would like to do my part also. This is what I promise to do...
For everyone who leaves a comment on this post for my Birthday drawing, I will contribute $1 to
Lutheran World Relief for Haiti. 100% of the money donated to this organization goes directly to the cause. I am so grateful for the blessings that God provides for me in my life and I am happy to make this commitment I will do this in honor of all of you.
This giveaway will run until Wednesday evening, January 20th. I will randomly choose
 a winner after I've had my cake and ice cream.
Don't forget to include your email address so I know how to contact you if you don't have a blog...
Thanks sweet friends!

(What do you think about my new header and background? The background is from Smitten Blog Designs here and the header is one I pieced together. Thanks, Mimi, for walking me through this!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

A New Week

It's a new week....
Our houseguests have gone....

Most of the Christmas is packed away. I have rearranged the trees and the is Winter after all.

The mantel has been redecorated with white candles and Swarovski crystal snowflakes...which are apparently hard to photograph...or maybe it's the photographer!

I cleaned out and reorganized my spice cabinet.

Some out of date spices were tossed but the bottles were washed and will be used for some swaps .....they are great for buttons, glitter and doodads!

My Marjolein Bastin winter ornaments have taken their place on the windowsill in the kitchen. I like the realism in her pieces...

I love African violets blooming in the Winter...

Tomorrow I go to's a new week.
I'm gathering lots of inspirational ideas and provisions for the two Valentine swaps I'm involved in. I will start working on them this weekend.
GOOD NEWS HERE! We just found out that this guy is coming to see us for Valentine's Day! YAY!

Stay warm my friends.....

Monday, January 4, 2010

One Little Word, 2 Valentine Swaps, 3 New Treats

One Little Word
I have been a follower of Ali Edwards for a long time She is a premier scrapbooker, photographer and writer. Her resume is impressive and you can read about her yourself here. Every year she issues a challange to her readers, One Little Word.

 Choose one word that will be an inspiration for you in the upcoming year....something to motivate you perhaps or keep you on track. The first two years she proposed this exercise, I just read and followed along. Last year I finally chose a word; FOCUS; and tried to remember to do that. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, but it did make me aware of the areas I needed to work on. This year I am again choosing a word and I invite you to join me. There are no requirements; you don't have to tell anyone what the word is; this is for YOU!  My word this year is MANAGE. I need to learn to manage my time better, manage my health better and manage my priorities better. I've often said that I really believe that I have undiagnosed adult A.D.D. I am easily distracted and can fritter away time better than most. This year I need to take back my life and my time and MANAGE both in a healthier way. OK now-I've put myself out there. I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing!
Valentine Swaps
I am participating in two Valentine Swaps. (I love Valentine's Day!) The first one is with the group that I swap with every season...A Swap For All Seasons, Vintage Valentine Swap.  I love this group and I'm very excited that my swap partner is none other than the hostess premier...Linda Smith!
The second swap, Cathy's Amour Valentine Swap, is with Cathy Scalise of Treasured Heirlooms. She is an extremely talented woman as you can see by her boutique here, and this is her first time hostessing a swap. Looking at the names of some of the other participants fills me with excitement and anxiety both...but I'm really looking forward to filling a "box of love" for whoever my partner happens to be. I think there may be time to sign up for this one! (Cathy said if you can't find a heart shaped box, you can use a box of a different shape) (Am I managing OK?'s only 2 swaps this month)
3 Packages in the Mail
These things did not all come in the same week but they are all very special and I thought I'd share them.
Do you remember me telling you about winning a $75 gift certificate to Amazon from PJ's blog (Seens From the Back of My Eyelids)? I debated about what to use it for and finally decided I would get a "Cricut Create "die cutting machine.

I am super excited to have this little beauty and hopefully, will get it out of the box and try it in the next week or so. (My sister and BIL are coming this Wednesday for a few days so it might not be until next week) I know I've linked to PJ's blog before but hop over if you get a chance...she is a wonderful writer and a hoot to boot! With all of the post-Christmas sales, I have been able to get a pick up a few cartridges for the Cricut, too.(Thanks again PJ-this is the biggest contest I've ever won!)
The second treat came from the Joli Paquet blog.

They had a give- away in December and I was so lucky to win this gorgeous piece made by Brandy Faulkner of Brandywine Design. Don't you love the antique look of it with the vintage glitter and beautiful tag? Thanks Brandy-I love it!
The third item  is wonderful and I knew my friend Mary Lou would want to see the newest additon to my Larkspur Lane angel collection.

Her name is Legna Harmony and she goes around silently sprinkling Peace over all. Did you notice her minty green Mary Jane's? Here are some others I left at the store...

and this cute bear...I think he is called "bearly there"...

The cardboard box has eye holes and goes over his head! It was a hard decision to make but I ended up with just the angel. Now the awesome part of this was that they were all 50% off. The shop is Posies By Patti and this is Patti...

my friend for many years and the owner of the shop where magic happens! My dear friend Pam and I went to visit Patti last week and we had such a fun time I didn't take many pictures of us but did get some of the remaining Christmas decorations. (You can click on any of the pictures to make them larger...such detail!)

Patti has a flair for decorating and arranging flowers. It was a treat to watch her work and see all of the beautiful things in her shop. We also were able to kidnap her for a bit and take her to Joyce's Cafe (no relation...but I did have to laugh about that) for lunch... the three of us had a wonderful afternoon!
OK-I'm off to manage the rest of my day! Lots of tidying up to do before guests come.
My trees are still up (thank heavens for faux!) and will probably remain up until
next week some time, which suits me fine. I never tire of the lights.
I hope you are warm wherever you are!


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