Saturday, December 27, 2014

Say hi to Judy…..

I bet you thought you wouldn't see another thing sewn by me this year, huh?  Well, fooled you!  Thanks to a marvelous daughter who kept at me for months and practically begged me to get off my reading kick and "make" her mother as a Christmas gift from her, or Lady #72 - or "JUDY" as she is better known, would never have been created.  I must say, she turned out wonderfully and I think really looks like the real Judy.  See for yourselves:

And Judy in the flesh:

So, there you have it!!  My original goal was to make 100 ladies, so if any of you are interested in seeing yourself in fabric, please contact me at the address on my sidebar and I'll give you the scoop on how to become one.  I promise, you will be smiling!

Of course, I couldn't forget my girlies this week and sent them books in the envelopes below:

And then, I even had time to read two books:

THE LADIES ROOM                        by                   Carolyn Brown
DECEIVED                                      by                   Irene Hannon

I enjoyed both immensely!  The first one was sort of funny and the last was a mystery.  I really like mixing up types of books in a week.  I can keep them straight that way too.  lol

So, that's it!  I'm in process of de-Christmasing my house and anxious to get everything packed away and back in order again..let the NEW YEAR begin!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The countdown is on…..

Yikes!  Can you believe that by this time next week all the festivities will be over?  Seems incredible that for all the hoopla, it goes by so quickly.  Tomorrow we will be celebrating Christmas with my extended family.  There will be 14 of us here for appetizers, drinks, fun and surprises.  This tradition has been going on for years.  We have Thanksgiving at my sisters and Christmas is at our house with our kids, grandkids, and spouses.  I love being with my sister and everyone!!  Family is so important!  I am down to the wire as far as preparations……Toby needs a grooming and then it's only last minute stuff.  Yeah!!  I wish you all the best of fun times with your celebrations too!!

Just because it's Christmas, the envelopes don't stop.  In fact, I try to find some holiday themed story books to send, if I can.  This year, both my sweeties are engrossed in the "Mr. Putter and Tabby" series and I MUST admit that I love them too!  Cynthia Rylant has been my favorite children's author forever, so I'm happy to supply her work to my honeys for their collections.  If you need some touching, funny, and "clean" books for any 4-8 year olds on your list, I suggest that you check them out!  Here are the envelopes for this week:

I read a few books too this week:

THE BOSTON GIRL                          by                    Anita Diamant
ANGELS IN THE FIRE (true story)     by                    Dann Stadler
FIVE DAYS LEFT (debut)                  by                    Julie Lawson Timmer

All were good (not great), but Angels in the Fire was the best.  The author lives about 20 minutes from me and I saw his picture and book posted by my hairdresser on Facebook, so I had to buy it!  It's an amazing true story of horror and endurance and faith.  Perfect for this time of year!

So, that's it, my friends.  I hope you have a blessed holiday with fun, peace, and good health!  Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I finished my craft project…..wait til you see it!

A few weeks ago, a blogger who I follow (and who is on my sidebar…..Lindsay Ostrom) showed some awesome plates that a friend of hers made and that she was going to copy.  Apparently, these have been on Pinterest many times (and I'm a goof for never seeing them!)  Since my sister is the baker in the family, and gives muffins, cookies, etc. to everyone she knows for whatever reason, I thought they would be a perfect gift for her for Christmas.  Anyway, I read about the process Linsay was going to use and checked out the internet as to various other methods and decided to go the best route, so ordered these pens from Amazon.  Since I was going to write on porcelain, they were reported to do the job the best!

Only one problem…..when I tried them out on paper (thank God), the fine tipped one, blobbed ink out all over!  Needless to say, I wasn't happy!  I took a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and Michaels, but neither had the same pens.  Thankfully, I read online that I could also use plain, ordinary Sharpies, but more care had to be taken to assure a good finished product.  Being the drawer of envelopes…..I had a bunch of Sharpies in all sorts of colors, so I went to town.

This was #3 (although the first 2 aren't bad), when I decided to get fancy and also use colored markers in addition to the black.  After finishing, I was to let it sit for 24 hours to make sure it was completely dry, then put in a cold oven, set the temp to 425 degrees, and bake it for 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let it cool down completely in the oven before taking it out.  Cool!

So when I took it out, the plate looked like this:

WHAT??……the red hearts turned yellow??  Actually, sort of yellow/brownish!  Yuck!  I was bummed!  Back to Target for more plates!  I wondered what would happen with bright pink….so I tried that.  Here it is before the baking process.  Note too that the writing with the finer Sharpie sets up lighter after baking.

Yeah…success!  Don't worry about the lines that you see on the next (baked plate) picture…..I took the photo in my dining room at night and the chandelier shadowed the plate…..BUT, check out the colors! The pink stayed pink!  Hurray!

So, that project is done and now my sister will have 5 Giving Plates the next time she "gifts" someone with yummies!  I didn't check out the dishwasher worthiness though, so if they fade, so be it!  I KNOW they are hand washable!

Then, per usual, I sent out a few envelopes with books to my sweeties!

And, I read one and 3/4 books this week.  Hopefully today, I will finish the last 1/4…..and it's good!

THE LOOK OF LOVE                      by                Sarah Jio
A PRISONER OF BIRTH                 by                Jeffrey Archer

So, there you have it!  Pretty much my week in a nutshell.  Always so much to do this time of year!  I hope you all are settling down to a routine.  Make time for yourself too!  It's important!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm doing a bit better this week!! Yeah for me!

Nothing like making lists to get you motivated, huh?  That's my plan!  I even have one made for most of next week already (including meals for the week)… do you like that???  Now, if I can stick to it, that'll be another story!!  It's amazing how friends invitations for lunch can screw up a whole day…..but what a fun diversion and at this time of year, fun is what you need!!!!!!  At least, it's what I need.  The older I get, the more I dread this time of year.  Too much work and too much drama….and that's all I'm saying!  I'm sure you all have your "issues" too.

I did send off envelopes with books this week, as usual.  Funny how when I pulled envelopes for each girl, they were both polar bears.  I have stacks of envelopes already finished with books enclosed, completely addressed, and stamped so that all I have to do is grab on Wednesdays and Saturdays when I send them off… this was strange.  Cool though!  And then, I did make two identical (the last one) for a pre-Christmas treat!  Last year it seemed that I made more Christmas envelopes…..but since I already have so many others, I thought two would be sufficient for this year.  You'll see the other one, next week.

I bought a few more books from Amazon……3 of them are children's books geared to the 8-12 old range.  Who knows why I was drawn to them since neither of my little ones are that age yet, but I read the reviews and didn't want to forget them, so bought them right away.  In fact, I already read two of them.  Duh!  (With so few pages I felt as though I accomplished something….so that's why.)

And here are the books I read this week:

THE PEPINS AND THEIR PROBLEMS (kids)        by          Marilyn Hafner
LIFE CODE                                                         by          Dr. Phil McGraw
A TANGLE OF KNOTS (kids)                               by          Lisa Graff
THE 13TH GIFT (a true story)                               by          Joanne Huist Smith

My favorite was the last one.  A touching real life story that I will long remember!  I highly recommend it!  And, I just started "The Look of Love", by Sarah Jio (one of my favorite authors this year), so I'll let you know how it was next week.

So, that's the news.  I have been procrastinating long enough…….time to clean my house!  Have a great day, my friends and enjoy a book!