Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

To my friends near and far..
To my family, dear to my heart...
Wishes for a Happy New Year filled with 
Peace and Contentment
Blessings and Joys
Good things in 2014

(from Pinterest, unknown source)

Are you choosing
One Little Word for 2014?

I'll be back with mine...


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas at Home...Marjolein Bastin and The Skaters

Did that post title catch your eye?
It's about collections or fragments of collections.
There are certain things that we love to collect, or at least pin their images on Pinterest.
Sometimes they remind us of childhood times, or things we wish we could do or beautiful interpretations of nature. 
As you've learned, for me, one of those collections is trucks, 
especially trucks  (or cars) with trees atop them. (A childhood memory I suspect)
Another love of mine is Marjolein Bastin. For over 20 years I have collected bits and pieces of Ms Bastin's work. Her drawings and figures of flowers and birds and animals found in nature have always filled me with awe. 

It started with greeting cards and calendars and then went to plates, coffee mugs and Christmas ornaments.Hallmark stopped offering annual ornaments 2 years ago and while I don't have every one, I have a lovely grouping on my kitchen window sill.
Her attention to detail is wonderful!

One year, I even happened to find a limited edition lamp on eBay.

It's in my kitchen on a small chest by the deck sliders...
love to see the bunny and chipmunks on the base. 

Even one of my snowmen in the dining room is a Marjolein music box.

Another small collection I have has to do with figures depicting ice skating. My family, and friends who know me well, know that I have an ice skating fantasy which I will not go into here (my dear husband even preached a Christmas Eve sermon about it).It's enough that my family snickers at me without bringing all of my blog friends in on it, too.
Anyway, I haven't skated since I was a teenager growing up in the Chicago area where there is lots of ice to be found in the Winter, but I love the "thought" of skating.

This was a Marjolein ornament one year and it is my favorite! It features a squirrel, a cardinal and a pair of skates draped on the back of a chair.

Last year I was lucky to find this Mary Engelbreit skater on a great sale after Christmas. She is perfect on our kitchen table and goes perfectly with the little Swedish mug holding my Truvia.

My skaters on the mirror "ice" are new this year..all glittery and frosty..perfect for the trees and little candle-lit house.

Finally, a little girl, drifting off to dreamland, after a day swishing around on the ice. She sits in the glow of light from a glass block made by my friend Janet. 

I've shown you the dining room and the kitchen so there is only the entry and family room to share...next time. I think I'll go and listen to a little Mannheim Steamroller and skate!


Can't forget the suede cardinals hanging from the kitchen chandelier!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas at Home...the Dining Room

Christmas was very different for the Gleasons this year.
David was very present at home which was really nice.
For the first time in 3 years, we wrote and sent Christmas cards. 
(for those awaiting a handmade card...I have until January 6th remember)
We Both decorated this year and even did a bit of entertaining. Our sweet neighbors, who always take in our mail when we travel, came for dinner. We wanted them to come on a work night for them (both teachers), so they could enjoy a meal without having to cook. We had lots of fun with them and their 2 little ones. Gleason Family Meatloaf and the Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese were served.
The placemats are over 20 years old...they are coated, heavy paper, and are holding up well with careful handling. The mitten flatware holders are from the $1 aisle at Joann's this year.

Before the decorations  come down (after the 6th of course) I thought I would share pictures of our home. Some things are the same but many are different.
In the dining room this year, I decorated with snowmen and snow-related items instead of my usual silver and white.
Last year, after Christmas, I sorted through my Santa Claus and Snowman collections and pared down, giving many to friends,  and I think I'll repeat that again this year. We really are trying to downsize. For now, I enjoyed seeing the snowmen smiling all around us while we ate in the dining room.

On December 13, my tree trimmers came!

We set up the small, pre-lit, table top tree and a basket of felt ornaments. The boys very carefully hung all of the ornaments by their yarn or thin thread loops. They did a great job!

Note: The fat bird ornaments are from Crate & Barrel but all of the other felt ornaments were made by my niece, Wendi, of Enchanted Forest Crafts...her Etsy shoppe is here.
She is super talented and makes all of her felt creations and quilts entirely by hand. She hasn't made the stars and holly ornaments for a while, maybe I could talk her into including them again. She does fashion beautiful birds and woodland creatures, (see the cardinal) all in felt.
Here is the completed tree...

and the design team...

Thanks guys! I have not touched or moved anything.
There are a few more things to show you from the dining room but I'll do that later..
For now, have an enjoyable Friday!
We are going to the movies to see Saving Mr. Banks.

Till next time...


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

~Merry Christmas~

Infant holy, infant lowly
for His bed a cattle stall.
Oxen lowing, little knowing
Christ the child is Lord of all.
Swiftly winging, angels singing,
bells are ringing, tidings bringing,
Christ the child is Lord of all!
Christ the child is Lord of all!

Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping,
vigil till the morn is new.
Saw the story, heard the glory
tidings of a Gospel true.
Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow
praised voicing greet the morrow.
Christ the child was born for you!
Christ the child was born for you!

Wishing you the JOY that the Christ child brings!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Trucks!....and cars, too!

If you follow me on Pinterest, (or Pin Interest, as my friend Billy calls it), you know I have been pinning pictures with Christmas trees on roofs of cars or in the backs of pick-up trucks for over a year. I have a Pinterest board titled "Trucks!". I don't know where this fascination came from but I have delighted in looking at those types of pictures. You remember that I wrote about finally finding a vintage toy truck on eBay back in August in this post. I have continued to look for vintage cars and trucks but they are hard to find. I decided to look elsewhere for suitable new cars and trucks. . First I looked through the toy bins at our house and Viola! I found a red VW Beetle.When we were in New Jersey at Thanksgiving, I stumbled on a display in a CVS Pharmacy with wonderful cars...I snapped up a few of them. I really like the way they look in my display...

I love the little cars with the doors and hoods that open. It meant tying on the tree was much easier. Can you see that I trim the back of the tree away, allowing it to lie flat on the roof?

Last week, a box was delivered here.

I was so excited...

Hobby Lobby! They had a 50% Off sale...

This also came in red but I kind of liked the black....it's much bigger than my other vehicles. $12.50.

(It's kind of hard to photograph a black truck without flash)

She can handle the delivery of the bigger trees just fine

Funny parting line of 6 year old Charlie...

Bam (that's me): Charlie, did you see my cars and trucks with the trees on top?
Charlie (kind of sadly): Yeah, we used to be able to play with the red bug car

Do I have a truck and car problem? If I do, it's a fun problem to have.

I'll be back soon with a bunch of Christmas projects I've been working on. Hope the sun is shining where you are...it's warm but dismal here in Pittsburgh.
Tomorrow I'm going to church then out to breakfast and on to the Nutcracker with my friends Nancy and Maggie! I can't wait!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Swap For All Seasons...December...from Lorraine,and a surprise package from my friend Mary, of Primitive Seasons

So much beauty has arrived on my doorstep this past week!
The theme for A Swap for All Seasons this month, as I mentioned in my last post was Happy Holidays and the color for the month was green. One card, one tag and some green destash!
My "green" package came this week from Lorraine of Over the Rainebeau (so clever).
I didn't know Lorraine before this swap but now I'm stalking following her blog.
You really need to hop over (click on her blog name) and see her beautiful work...her free images...and her Etsy Shoppe. 
So...the card that Lorraine made...
(click to enlarge pictures)
Beautiful image, ribbon, snowflakes and twine.

The Tag...

The layers are all fantastic and the glittery snowflake at the bottom is perfect!

Th Goodies..

Sparkly embellishments, die cuts and images galore. So much fun stuff to play with!
I use the wire bird cage in the dining room to display all of the handmade cards I receive.

Thank you Lorraine, I am so glad you were my "donor". Your talent dazzles me!
Our next swap is "Thinking of You" and the color for the month is blue.

Now, you can see a third card on the bird cage. That was part of the surprise package I received this week from my blogging friend, Mary, of Primitive Seasons....another extremely talented paper artist! Mary is the type of artist who sees a new crafting tool and likes it...buys it...and uses it right away to create beautiful things, unlike me, who buys something and then lets it sit for a long time to allow it to get used to being in my craft room before I take the steps to learn what to do with it! I've been following Mary's blog for several years and she always wows me with her stuff. In the last month or so, Mary showed some slippers she made using beautiful Graphic 45 scrapbook papers and embellishments. I wrote to tell her (probably with drool on the computer screen) how much I admired the slippers.
This week, a box came from Mary and inside...

Are these not stunning?! Look at the detail...

Look at the lace and trim, pearls and satin ribbon, rosette and leaves...and you did notice the paper used as the innersole...fairies?

AND, as if the slippers were not enough of a Random Act of Kindness...
A heart, with a handmade rose, gorgeous layered butterfly and a stamped quote from a Beatles song titled The End. Mary didn't even know I was a Beatles fan.

Enclosed with all of this wonderfulness was this card...(with a gracious hand-written message)

The detail on this card is hard to convey in a photograph. The layering, embossing, glittery embellishing, all of it gorgeous. Almost every element on this card is raised with spacers making it very dimensional!

This is the most glamorous owl I have ever seen!!

How lucky am I? Two delightful packages, tied up with string, holding what has become some of my favorite things!

Thank you Mary...I am so happy with your generosity and talent!

And now, back to decorating....



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