Friday, December 31, 2010

RIng in the New

Before I dance the night away,
 I'd like to wish all of my blog friends best wishes for a very Happy New Year!

Put on Your Dancing Shoes and Come Along

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reuse-Recycle...the Creative Way

I haven't had much time to put into being creative lately, but I have made and mailed a few mail art pieces. This was a advertising postcard that came in the mail last month.  I especially loved the 50% off font on the original piece, so I decided to repurpose the card. 

 front

I cut and pasted and added a bunch of images.

back

Not much remained of the original card when I was done. (the 50% image is the only visible part of the original)

What are some creative ways you try to reuse everyday advertising or packaging?

Monday, December 27, 2010

After Hours

It may be a holiday, but there is still work to be done. 







I wandered around taking pictures while he got ready for business for the day after Christmas. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon

Snow on Christmas in Alabama is so rare.....so rare that today was the first white Christmas for me ever.

My youngest son and I have gone north to Madison, Alabama to spend the night on Christmas Eve with my oldest son and his family for the last 4 or 5 years.  All seven of us trek up there after spending Christmas Eve evening at my parent's home, along with my 2 siblings, their husbands and children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, all the cousins, and assorted girlfriends and boyfriends....I woke this morning to find a sight I've never seen....snow covering the ground and more pouring down.

TJ left home with no coat, not even a jacket, but that didn't stop him from helping get Frosty on his feet.



I hope everyone had a merry and memorable Christmas 2010!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry and Bright



Recently, while talking with an old friend, I laughed about something he said. Instantly, he told me how good it was to hear me laughing and how he'd missed the sound (we haven't talked in a long time). His statement took me by surprise because I had no idea I'd ever made anyone feel that way, but I know just what he meant.

I used to listen to a certain person on the radio hoping that person would laugh, because his laugh was so infectious it could make me happy for hours remembering the sound of it.  I eagerly anticipate hearing the laughter of my grandchildren as soon as I know they are coming for a visit.  Giggling babies make sleepless nights and the constant devotion they demand worth it all. When surfing the TV in search of something to watch, I'm always happy to stop and listen to Comedy Central for a while. Giggling, guffawing, chuckling, side-splitting laughter...I'll take it wherever I can find it.


You can bet I told my friend "thank you...I think that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me." And I meant it.  So, be sure to add a big dose of laughter to your holiday festivities this Christmas. It will do you a world of good.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Southern Christmas Tradition

One of the ways the Magic City celebrates Christmas is by offering an open house each year at Arlington, the only antebellum home located in the city. The Greek Revival home was build between the years of 1845 and 1850 by Judge William S. Mudd.  It changed hands a number of times, but the home was privately owned until 1953 when it was acquired by the Jefferson County Historical Association.

During the Civil War, the mansion was occupied by Union General James H. Wilson.  He used the location while he planned a raid  to destroy Confederate factories and munitions in Selma, Alabama. Fortunately, the home survived the war intact.

 my mother and sister-in-law 

a bevy of pretty beauties greet us at the front door

The mansion is decorated for the season with greenery, fruit and treats. Downstairs there is a formal parlor, dining room and a smaller sitting room. 

                           
One of my favorite bedrooms is the children's room with its canopied baby bed.

 
There is also a grandmother's room...how thoughtful and so cozy!

The kitchen is detached from the main home....so there is less danger of the home burning down.

 There was a roaring fire in the hearth. The table was set. Gingerbread cookies were on the menu.

Everything was cozy and nice.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thar's a Snake in my Boot!

Reach for the sky Cowboy!

Oh no Sheriff Woody...Watch out!

You're my favorite deputy.

 
Sergeant, establish a recon post downstairs. Code Red. You know what to do. 

 
Oh-ho! O-okay, ooh, well, so you wanna do it the hard way, huh? 

What chance does a toy like me have against a Buzz Lightyear action figure? 

video 

Sunday at my house...it was a day for cousins and cowboys.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lucky Me!

Recently, artist Lynne Perrella was a guest host on Art Propelled. Take a minute and check out her interesting post on Russian Icons over there. 

As part of her post she sponsored a generous giveaway....which I was over the moon to find out that I won! When the package arrived I tore into it right away.


Just like Lynne's art pieces, the contents of the box had to be dissected layer by layer.  First I pulled out two tissue paper hound's tooth wrapped gifts tied with black ribbon.





And a hand stamped manila envelope, which I immediately decided I had to frame because it was so beautiful.

There was a set of Lynne's limited edition icon inspired rubber stamps for me to use to make my own wonderful art pieces.....which I've been twitching to use!  Darn the necessity of first getting my Christmas shopping done.


Next I opened the package containing A History of Icon Painting  The book is packed with information about the topic and has lots of colored plates of artwork.


And last, but certainly not least, there was a matted piece of Lynne's own artwork. By the time I discovered it, I was jumping for joy! I could not have received a better Christmas gift.  


Thank you Lynne Perrella and thank you Robin Gordon of Art Propelled.  
Please check out both of their websites.

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Changing the topic....I've been meaning to show you this photo of Rachel and her two chickies.  Emma was two weeks at the time. Tuesday she'll be one month old.

 Happy Birthday little sister!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Freebies for Christmas


Check out this free 2011 downloadable calendar giveaway. You can chose a different owl image for each month of the year.




Get free paper tags and recipe card downloads for a cookie exchange here.



Before you run out and purchase gift tags for your presents this year check out these sweet freebies from Eat Drink Chic.

Just follow the directions to download to your own computer. Print out on cardstock. Punch a hole and add ribbon. You're good to go.

ps....be patient. The download time on this one is a little slow. (the Noel one is really stubborn...try the other two first)








Here are some more gift tags from A Fanciful Twist; a whimsical set and a set just for those of you who are busily making handmade presents.








And finally, please pop over to Inspire Co. and check out the December issue of Inspired Ideas. This is an online magazine that is packed full of crafty ideas and beautiful images that will be sure to get you into the holiday spirit if you aren't already.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More boring vacation photos......

It was great to get away from home,  if for no other reason than having new stuff to take pictures of.

So, let me show you a few more photos from my Tennessee trip and then I promise, I'll move on to other subject matter.....really, I will.

Cades Cove in the early morning fog.

We saw over 30 deer including 3 bucks, one of which had a 10 point rack. 

Beautiful reflections. 

The fog beginning to lift. 
 
 

Pixie with attitude. 

The posse. 

Headrick Chapel est. 1902  in Wears Valley, a site I returned to three times to try and get the perfect photo. 
The view from the front of the chapel was impossible to photograph. The church hugs the side of the road in a downhill turn. You can see the front of the church and the graveyard for a long way coming. It would make a 
wonderful picture...if there was just somewhere to pull off the road to take the shot.

click to enlarge

The tiny chapel, the sweeping branches of the tree, graves dotting the knoll...it spoke to me.


Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five Things I Hate...no Six/Seven


1. socks (because they make my feet hot and because you have to wear them in the winter or look like trailer trash....my apologies if you live in a trailer....I just can't think of a good analogy)
2. theft proof packaging (because I can't get my purchase out of it)
3. big box stores (because they make me sweat...winter and summer!)
4. my bum knee (because it hinders my life and because it hurts)
5. my neighbor's leaves that blow into my yard and fill my driveway (yeah...the ones you never rake, Jeff!)

***********************************************************************************

 I wrote this post a few days ago and left it for later/today....#6 is my current hate

6. the one strand of lights on my Christmas tree that won't work  (oh the frustration! I do not want to get dressed to go buy one string of lights)

wait, wait...I'm getting a phone call....

now I have a  #7....

7.  the UAB Dental Lab who can't seem to get the crown for my implant done!

Please people, I need a tooth!  My appointment was just re-set for the 3rd time to accommodate their SLOW speed of work. If it isn't in my dentist's hand by Friday I will have to wait until January when school is back in session after the holidays.

.......deep breaths....inhaling and exhaling slowly.......

Is it okay to act like I haven't noticed the black hole on my tree where there are NO shining lights? 

I think I'm going back to reading my library book and ignoring the way the house is falling down around me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How Do You See, What Do You See

Do you see the world as a series of details or do you see the world as a series of grand themes?

One of the goals on my recent trip to the mountains was to find interesting bits and pieces of nature.  This goal lead me to ponder why I rarely spot these bits on my own. And this rumination lead me to realized that I overlook pretty pine cones and heart shaped rocks because I rarely look down, unless it's to make sure I don't trip over some obstacle.  I look up and out.  I notice the sky, the shape of clouds, the play of light and dark, the horizon.....but not the ground under my feet.


I'm a big picture person.  I like to see the whole and draw my conclusions from that.  Details are collected and used to understand the big picture more clearly. Detail for the sake of detail is just not part of my genetic make-up.


I realized all of this when I enlisted the help of my grandchildren to help me find tiny stuff.

 The kids and their other grandmother kept bringing me bits and pieces that I had completely missed.

But, I didn't miss seeing the incredible way the sunlight exposed the shape of this old cabin and the cedar tree growing beside it.  

I saw the way the sunlight backlit tree branches and made them look almost white against the eggplant of the dark mountain behind them.  I noticed the drifting mists rising up from the ground and off steamy wooden rooftops. I counted the colors of green-gray to blue to purple of the mountain tops as they faded into the horizon.

And occasionally I saw some details too.

Like the flecks of paint on this wagon wheel.


And I even found one of these!