Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

FREE - DIY Owl Calendar Printable

LOVE! Love! LOVE! Love this!!!
I'm going to print about 4 different versions.  :-)


Ch-ch-ch-check it out!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I just watched the final Oprah episode. I've been saving it - in denial...

I loved the Oprah show! Loved watching a marathon on tivo with Chicken Little when Joe was traveling.

Without Oprah, who is going to talk to all those people I want to talk to? Who is going to start the conversations (within ourselves, within our families, within our society)that need to be started?

Why are women in media literally becoming smaller and smaller?? Physically smaller and much less interesting. Have you ever noticed how many sports channels there are versus 'women's interest' channels? What is women's interest anyway?? Hmmmm...

Oprah's BIG (that is not a weight comment) daily presence will be missed!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

She Art - 2011

This year I took the She Art 1 and She Art 2 Workshops by Christy Tomlinson.  I also took her She Had Three Hearts Workshop.  They are all online, and the videos and instruction are wonderful.  She has such a great, comfortable style.  I have learned so, so, so much!  She makes it all look so easy.  I already posted two of the projects I completed this summer:

Here's one more of the girls that I did this year, that I thought I would share. 

I put her on an 8 x 10 canvas.

I love the dimensional aspects of it - the modeling paste stenciled design in the corner, and the wooden heart that kind of come off the surface and add texture.

This isn't a commercial, because neither of them know that I'm saying this, but I believe that Brave Girls Club and Christy have given me back my creativity.  I feel like I lost it for several years, and since I found those two sites, I have been bitten by the bug again - so grateful!!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Poor Lola, her older sister just torments her so much.  She just lays there begging for attention (and food!), and Chicken Little just ignores  her...

Or makes fun of her...

So, so sad.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wrappin' Up Christmas

One more day, are you ready??

I'm done!  I've done all the damage I can do - all the shopping and wrapping and baking and crafting - it's all done!  Woooo hooo!

This year's wrapping colors are red, gold, orange and purple.  Yummy!

I did throw a bit of silver in here and there, too.

I love that HUGE bow in the front!  That ribbon made really, really good bows - it was really easy to work with, but that bow was the last of the roll. 

These little ones I put on a tray that sits on a side table so they wouldn't get lost under the tree. 

I love it when I'm finished with all the prep and can sit back and enjoy the day! 

I probably won't be posting for a few days, so I wish everyone the happiest of holidays, and I hope that 2012 brings you everything you're wishing for and more!

25 Days of Christmas

24.  Do you leave cookies and milk for Santa?

We did when Chicken Little was younger, but now, Santa is on a perpetual diet!

25.  What's your favorite Christmas memory?

I don't think I have a favorite, but I always remember Christmas Eve at my Granny's house and how much I loved the tree, and the treats, and Santa, and the presents, and the excitement, and family being together.  That was my favorite!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Craftin - Part 4 - More Bracelets

was cleaning out my tivo a couple of days ago and during a Martha marathon, I saw this wonderful craft.  Check it out on The Craft Department blog.  I L.O.V.E. these, and decided that I needed to make some asap!

I've made several - in several lengths:  7 inches just wraps once, 14 inches wraps twice, and 21 inches wraps three times.  I wouldn't go much longer than that because they start to get tight as they go further up your arm. 

Anyway, the tutorial on the Martha site is great, so I'm not going to do that here.  I will give you a couple of lessons learned...

1.  Old belts won't work - the leather is too stiff and too thick. After trying it on several different belts, I eventually went to Michael's and got a 1 pound bag of leather scraps ($5.99 before my 40% off coupon), and that worked perfectly!

2. Waxed linen thread or silk thread works best because they fit through most of the holes on the beads. Anything thicker and you won't be able to string the beads. Also, it's critical that it be waxed or else it will not be stiff enough or strong enough.

3.    Make sure you cut the thread several inches longer than the bracelet.  I was being a bit stingy with it at first, and ended up having to restring a couple because I ran out of thread before I ran out of bracelet. (The instructions say this, but I learned the hard way that the meant it!)

Once I got the hang of it, they were quick and easy to whip out.  I did it assembly line style - cut the strips, measured and punched holes, then strung the beads.  LOVE it and soooo cute!! 

Linking up here, here and here. 

25 Days of Christmas

I missed yesterday, so I'm catching up...

22.  What's the most important thing you must do each Christmas season?
I think the most important thing is being able to spend the holiday with my family.  All the rest of it is just icing on the cake. 

23.  Do you bake Christmas cookies?

Oh yeah...  There have been years when I made 6 or 7 different kinds, but this year I cut back.  I only made peanut butter cookies (I posted the recipe here) and oatmeal scotchies (I use the recipe on the butterscotch chips pkg - but I double the cinnamon - YUM!).  I guess I also made the date nut balls, but those are candy, so they don't count.  :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

25 Days of Christmas

21.  Do you have a family get-together during the holidays with extended family?

Yes, this is pretty much the only time we see our extended family.  So, on Christmas Eve we gather with my mother's family, and then on Christmas Day with my dad's.  Every other year, we try to get to Ohio to visit Joe's family also.  Occasionally, we decide we want to spend time at home so we'll host a brunch on Christmas morning and invite everyone over to our house.  It's kind of crazy sometimes - like that movie Four Christmases!  :-)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chicken Little's Christmas Tree

Chicken Little has had a Christmas tree in her room since she was very young.  For years, she had a pitiful, old pre-lit tree that didn't light up.  She would have to add lights to it every year, and each year it was a bit more ragged.  Finally, last year we finally just threw it away. 
This Fall she got busy on ebay looking for a replacement.  Here's what showed up mid-November...

It's really cute!  She was so excited because I let her use my Granny's old tree skirt.  I figured they were probably the same vintage.

Every year, I've given her a couple of ornaments for Christmas, so she has amassed quite the collection of fancies. 

Do your kids decorate their rooms for the holidays? 

25 Days of Christmas

20.  Do you remember a favorite gift?

Oh my, I've been lucky to have sooooo many wonderful gifts.  Of course, there are all of the handmade gifts from my artsy CL.  But, after those, most recently, I have to say that last year I got a pair of Ugg boots.  I've always thought they were really, really ugly, and never would have asked for them.  They were truly a gift that I didn't know I wanted.  But now, I wear them almost EVERY day.  My feet are always cold, and they keep me all snug and toasty.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Craftin' - Part 3 - Brave Girl Charming

This summer I had Brave Girl "mini-camps" where several of my friends/family came over and we worked on our Soul Restoration 1 projects.  I did a couple of posts about it in April.  Here's one of the first ones

I was also lucky enough this summer to go back to the real Brave Girl Camp as part of the staff. Going back to serve a new group of girls was an amazing blessing.  I learned so much more and made so many new friends!  It was awesome!

Look at how sparkly they all are in this picture!!  That is exactly how this July camp felt - wonderful to spend time with all these bright, shiny, amazing women!

Anyway, over the last couple of months, I've been gathering vintage beads and charms, and I've managed to cobble together enough to create several "Brave Girl" charm bracelets for a few of these special girls.

As you can tell, they are all different metal tones, and beads with lots of color. That means they go with EVERYTHING, right?!

Every bracelet is different, but they all have several of the Brave Girl symbols: soul houses, truth tellers, brave girl boots and hats, and lots of heart(s)!

I've never made jewelry before, so this was a bit intimidating, but after the first one, I got the hang of it, and I was able to put all these together over just a couple of evenings.    

Of course, I made one for myself, too!  It will be fun to wear when I need a little bravery!

Linking up here, here and here.

25 Days of Christmas

19.  Snow? Love it? Dread it? Tolerate it?

In Texas, we get it so rarely that I like it.  When we get it, the city shuts down (so I get to "work from home"), but then it's gone within 2 - 3 days.  Also, it makes everything look so clean and pretty.  All that being said, I think that if I had to live with it and drive in it and actually continue normal activity in it for months at a time, I would probably be leaning more towards the DREAD end of the spectrum.  Since I'm off to Wisconsin in a few weeks, we will see pretty soon how I like it.  :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Craftin' - Part 2 - Art Journals

I'm letting the cat out of the bag a bit early because I'm giving these away as gifts this year.  I've been binding art journals.

I don't know why I decided that I knew how to bind a book, but I did, and I'm hoping they stay bound. 

I've used covers from old books that I got at the thrift store.  I cut out the guts so that I could replace them with 140 lb. watercolor/mixed media paper.  I've also thrown in a few various bits and pieces of other papers, bags and envelopes just to make things interesting. 

Once that's done, I stitch and glue it all together and WA - LA! 

Oh yeah, I add either sticky back canvas or this product called fabRips to the outside of the spine to reinforce it.  One a few of them, I also added a button and a ribbon so that they could be secured closed. 

After the first few experiments, I really tried to find some hard back books with pretty covers.  I have to say that it will be really hard to give these away.  LOVE!

Linking up here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

25 Days of Christmas

18.  How do you decorate your tree? 

I should have read all of these questions in advance and rearranged them to go with the appropriate posts because I keep repeating myself!  So, for the answer to this one, check out this post from last week!  And, I'm STILL lovin' my tree!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Catchin' Up - Baltimore & Irene

I've been meaning to write this post for months!  Finally, I'm catching up and getting it out there. Just to warn you - there are tons of pictures in this one...

At the end of August, Chicken Little and I flew into the storm, literally. The weekend before she was supposed to start school, Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast. I was concerned that our flights would be cancelled, so instead of being delayed, I was able to reschedule to leave a day early... Yes, you read that right.

We arrived on Friday night and the hurricane hit on Saturday night. I know that a lot of people were flooded and without power.  For us, thank goodness, the storm was inconvenient, but not too bad.

(This is the view from CL's window.)

Saturday it was a bit drizzly during the day, but we had tons to do. We had to move her into her new apartment - which meant painting, buying her a mattress and hitting the thrift stores to find a headboard. All started well: mattress - check, paint - check, Salvation Army....closing early because of the storm?!? It was 1:00, and it wasn't even raining yet! So we improvised. But first a trip to unload the van and check out her new digs.

This is her building - promising, but no parking.  (I ended up with a $75 parking ticket - grrr! - was NOT happy about that!)

But wait - a flight of stairs just to get into the building - a little of the luster wore off...

After unloading, we made a 4-hour detour through southern Pennsylvania! Oh. My. Goodness! That was some of the best thrifting - EVER!  We ended up finding an old wall-mounted magazine rack to use as a headboard ($25), a bench with storage (critical feature!) ($20), and a CUTE school desk and chair ($8!!) that she is using a night stand.  We also found several old suitcases (that I HAD TO HAVE), but that's for another post.

Finally, we made the trek back to her apartment and unloaded the van (in the rain).  Since the storm was really starting to come in, we decided to head straight to the hotel for the night.  BIG MISTAKE - all of the power at the hotel was out - ALL. NIGHT. LONG!  The apartment never lost power - hmmmm...

Relatively minor damage in her neighborhood, but they did lose one big tree which blocked the road. 

Back to the salt mines - painting, assembling and unpacking.  And a trip to the grocery store and Home Depot before I headed back to Texas. 

Lots of work to do!

Seriously - that's her closet!  Don't you just love old buildings with character?!  Needless to say, we had to go to Wally World and get her one of those self-contained closet thingys (see below) so she would have a place to hang her clothes.

I also noticed that there were a couple of spots on her ceiling that appeared to be darker  than the rest.  Apparently, the landlord still hasn't fixed this problem.  Hopefully, it was just because the storm was so strong, and it's not something that leaks every time it rains because the spot happens to be right over Chicken Little's bed.  The sky really could be falling - HA! HA! HA!!! Now, that would be a rude awakening!  (I crack myself up!)

On a positive note - look at those wood floors!  GORGEOUS!

CL's smiling because we've finished the painting and have started to assemble things, and she doesn't have anything else to carry up those darn stairs!  She's standing in front of a cute little mantel (no fireplace) in her room. 

OMG!  It was a loooooonnnnggg day of work. The only people third floor walk-up apartments are good for are college students who don't know any better!  EGAD!

So, we hadn't finished unpacking when I had to leave, but we had made a TON of progress.  Here's the almost finished room.

Magazine rack/headboard hung on the wall with about a gazillion screws (still, I told her not to weight it down too much).  Notice a pattern here?  It's perilous for the child to go to sleep!

She has a white matelasse spread on the bed because it will go with everything, and she has a couple of colorful quilts that she throws on top. 

Also, there's the desk as nightstand, and that ugly but practical closet thing. The cute light we bought this summer is one of a pair.  The other one is hanging on the other side of the room over her real work desk.

Her it is with her pink desk (a painted garage sale find from last year), and the dresser that she inherited from the previous tenant.  We painted the dresser and the magazine rack the same gray (found in the ooops! section at Wally World).  We also spray painted the shiny brass hardware a hammered nickel(?).

And we hung the sheers - I tried to convince her to get heavier curtains - but this is what she wanted.  They are pretty, but I hope she's not too cold in the winter - sleeping right there by the windows. 
The visitor on the bed belongs to one of her roommates.  His name is Christopher Robin - he made himself quite comfortable right away.
The rest of the apartment is cute, too.  It was already furnished because she has two roommates who have been there for a couple of years.  I'm sure we really disrupted their weekend.  Oh well - all in all, I think it was a successful trip.  We got her mostly settled and we didn't get washed away.  I did, however, have to take to my bed for two days afterwards just to recover!!

25 Days of Christmas

17.  Do you take neighbor gifts/treats to anyone, everyone, a select few?

Most years, we take cookies to the neighbors we talk to on a regular basis.  But since I've decided that I'm only baking a couple of batches, we will probably be a little Scroogey with them this year.