Saturday, December 31, 2011

~My New Year's Prayer for You~

About six months ago, I started this blog; my very first.  Little did I know how much joy I would receive from writing and sharing ideas about my family, the things that I love and the projects that I take on.  More importantly, the joy I would receive from the people who have stopped by to read what I have shared.  From the four corners of this nation and beyond.  People who have taken a little time out of their busy day to share their thoughts; kind words of encouragement in all areas of what I write about or share pictures of; give kind compliments about my family and the things that I may cook or create; and offering prayers on my behalf when I have had a bad day.  People who care enough that they desire to become my friends...dear friends.  Dear friends whom I have never met face to face.

In turn, I receive great joy as I look forward to reading your posts where I receive much inspiration with your creativity in areas I may or may not be familiar with, or what you do in the kitchen, or the hobbies you enjoy.  I find such kinship with those of you who share the same interests, the love of family and home, and knowing that we are sisters in Christ.

As we enter this new year, my desire is that we may continue to be an inspiration and encouragement to one another as we share our interests, our hearts and our friendships.  I am truly grateful and blessed.  With that, I want to share this New Year's prayer with you....

May you always enjoy the love of family and friends, 

May you be blessed with health and happiness,

May you continue to enjoy new experiences with God,

And may your walk with the Lord be closer than ever.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, " plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Have a joyous first day of the New Year ~

Thursday, December 29, 2011

~A Christmas Project or Two~

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was busy working on some doll clothes for one of my granddaughters for Christmas.  I finally got them done, well, all but one anyway. :/  And I said that I would share with you what I've been up to....
Little Monkey got an American Girl type doll for Christmas and mama wanted me to make some outfits for her.  Monkey takes ballet and we thought that she would love for her doll to practice ballet with her.

A little tutu skirt made with several layers of fine tulle and a glittery tulle type fabric on top.

She has to have a little shirt to go with the tutu skirt, so I made this onesy type shirt in a pretty pale pink t-shirt fabric.

 Elastic trim at the neck and then a matching flower trim to make it a bit more feminine looking.

There are four little snaps in the back to close it up and some more elastic trim in the leg openings.

No little practice outfit is complete without a matching tutu-style hair clip to top it all off.  If you look real hard, you can see a pink button in the center of the hair clip.

Now she needs are some ballet slippers and maybe some tights.

Monkey goes to a school where she is required to wear a uniform.  When we were thumbing through the variety of patterns, we came across the uniform one and knew this would be perfect.  Mama had an extra uniform and so she sent it to me to use.

The bodice is just a bit different than Monkey's uniform and now that I know how these doll patterns work, I can revise it easily.  Little pleats go all the way around the skirt.

The straps are permanently attached in the back and there is a Velcro strip closure.  Makes dressing the doll so much easier.

The little cotton blouse is so cute!  Four little buttons down the front are decorative only as there is a Velcro strip for opening and closing the blouse.

The peter pan collar is trimmed with a cute little lace trim.

And a nice little pleat in the back completes the look.

I made another matching hair clip with some leftover fabric by creating a little bow.

I think Monkey is going to be so tickled for her doll to have a uniform just like hers.  I had so much fun making the outfit and am seriously considering making doll uniforms to sell in my Etsy shop.   The hardest part would be finding fabric that matched but I think I've found a source.  What do you think?  If you had a little girl or granddaughter who had to wear a school uniform, would you buy a matching doll's uniform?  I'd really like your input on this.  Heck, I may even make other doll dresses if there was enough interest! :)  Seriously, I'd really like to know what you think.

These are just a couple of the doll outfits that I made.  I made some baby doll jammies and doll diapers, too.  In the next few days, I'm going to do a tutorial on my version of the doll diaper, which I found to be much easier.

Hope you are continuing to enjoy your Christmas holiday ~

Participating in these blog parties:

                         Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
                         We Did it Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado
                         Sunday Blog Love @ Cherished Treasures
                         Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home

Saturday, December 24, 2011

~The Magic of Christmas~

I am so glad that you have taken time to stop and read my post this Christmas Eve day.  I've been busy, like the rest of you, but I wanted to share with you some more of the Christmas decorations around the house....

Years ago, my children and I tried our hand at making gingerbread houses; even a log home made out of large pretzel sticks..  But no one, including myself, cared for gingerbread so we stopped making them.  Several years ago, I decided to started collecting gingerbread items.  They are so cute and I use them to decorate my kitchen.

This year, I started a new collection of red, white and silver ornaments.  Here is my beautiful tree in all its glory minus the top section...the lights keep going out and I have to have it replaced.

 Two-year-old Bubba is still learning about the magic of Christmas.  Not really sure if he has met Santa this year.

Three-year-old Tater Tot is all about Santa and she is learning about the birth of Jesus as well.  In fact, she's been singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and wants to know if Santa is going to bring Him presents, too.  The innocence of children and how they believe.  I love it!!

 The elf on the shelf, better known as Senior McGomez (family joke), started showing up at five-year-old Monkey's house last year.  She swears that his eyes move and follow her around the house!  He even followed her to my house this year at Thanksgiving further cementing the belief in Santa.

Eight-year-old Rascal has classmates who don't believe any longer but he's still holding on.  He asks them who eats the cookies on Christmas Eve?  Santa, of course!!  I pray that he believes for a couple of more years.

 Thirteen-year-old J.W. is, of course, very wise and no longer believes.  He has been threatened within an inch of his life if he spills the beans!  So good.  I keep telling him that, at my house, he has to believe in order to receive. ;)

I got my little Christmas trees either at Michael's or Hobby Lobby; I can't remember.  Santa came from a craft mall, probably about 10 years ago, as well as the little pull horse and teddy bear.  I don't remember where I found the little ornaments that are now part of this vignette.

I love this Christmas arrangement with the grapevine star.  It all sits inside a suitcase.  I got it on sale at Michael's a few years ago.
I started collecting a variety of angels to create a vignette on my fireplace mantel.
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God...
  I loved my angels but it needed something else.  And then I found this....

 All the lights, decorations, collections, vignettes, goodies and gifts are delightful things through the eyes of children and those who are children at heart.  It all makes Christmas magical, doesn't it?

But I pray that we also center our focus on the true meaning of what Christmas is all about.  Like my three-year-old granddaughter who sings Happy Birthday to the baby who becomes our Savior.  My greatest prayer is that you know the Savior like I know the Savior; the One who died for our sins.

From my family to yours, we wish you a very blessed, joyous and 
Merry Christmas

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ~
 Luke 2:14"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

~Cranberry Supreme Salad~

I love cranberries!  Especially during the holiday season.  For years, I would try different cranberry salads, relishes and even just straight out of the can cranberry sauce for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, but my family didn't care for any of them.  Well, this last Thanksgiving, I decided to try a new recipe; one that has been in my collection for years.  And wouldn't you know it?  My family loved it and claimed that it was a keeper and, in fact, wanted it again for our family Christmas dinner!!  In the past, I always passed it by because I didn't think they would like some of the ingredients in it.  Go figure. :/

Since it was such a big hit with the family, I thought maybe you and your family would like it as well.  At the end of the recipe, there is a printable version so that you may add it to your own collection of recipes.

This beautiful salad photo came with the recipe.  Mine never looks this good!
Cranberry Supreme Salad
1 pkg. (3 oz) raspberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water, divided
1 can (16 oz) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 pkg (3 oz) lemon gelatin
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 can (8-1/2 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Dissolve the raspberry gelatin in one cup of boiling water; stir in the cranberry sauce.  Pour into an oiled 1-1/2  quart round mold.  Chill until partially set.  Dissolve the lemon gelatin in the remaining boiling water; set aside.  Mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise together blending well; gradually add the lemon gelatin.  Stir in the undrained pineapple.  Chill until partially set.  Whip the cream until thickened; fold into the lemon mixture.  Stir in the marshmallows.  Spread this on top of the cranberry layer.  Chill until set.

When ready to serve, carefully work a knife around the edge of the mold to loosen the gelatin mixture.  Place your serving platter on top.  Holding the platter and mold securely, flip the whole thing over.
Yield:  12 servings
** If the gelatin does not drop from the mold completely, place a hot, damp towel on top for 15 to 30 seconds to soften it enough to loosen it from your mold.

Click the phrase, Cranberry Supreme Salad, to obtain the printable version of this recipe.  Enjoy!!

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas ~

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

~A Tiny Christmas Village~

This little elf has been chin deep in fabric, patterns and projects for the last week or so trying to get everything made for her little grandbabies!!  I feel like I've been glued to my chair as I cut fabric and sew away, but the things I've been making are so doggone cute so it's worth it in the long run.  Later on, I'll show you what I've made. I am taking a breather here as I wanted to share with you some of the Christmas decorating that takes place in my house.  Besides, I haven't posted in a while and I didn't want you to think I had dropped off the end of the earth!

Years ago, I wanted a little Christmas village to display and started buying the little buildings one by one.  All but one comes from Wal-Mart.  I use a card table for my display and I so enjoy setting it up.  It resides in a corner of my living room and, so far, no one has caused any kind of mishap until recently.

Join me as we go on a tour of the Christmas village.  This is the school house.  The bell steeple got knocked off in a bad storm during the summer.  The plan is to replace it come summer.  (If you look real close in the first picture, you can see that it is missing. I accidentally clipped the bell steeple and knocked that baby right off!!  I think I can glue it back least I hope I can. :/ )   )

 You can see that the school is also a boarding school.  Years ago, two children died in a snowstorm on their way home from school.  So when the new school was built, a second story was added to house children who live far out of town.  They are allowed to board in the school during the winter months.

A tire swing hangs from one of the trees that shades the side of the school building.  There's also a stone walkway.  This is a fun place for the children to play.  Around the side of the building, you can see a bicycle leaning against the building.  It belongs to the school teacher.

Next door to the school is this house.  Mrs. Kellison lives here.  She has the steps and one corner of the porch decorated with poinsettias.  Oops, she left her watering can on the porch!  Look in the bottom corner of the house and you can see that the basement lights were left on.  She's awfully forgetful.  She must be busy with all her Christmas projects, too.

The children so enjoy decorating for Christmas that they have decided to start decorating the tree out in front of this house.  Junior is busy bringing in some more firewood before it gets too dark.

 Look inside and you can see the lady of house talking to her husband who is getting a hug from their daughter.  Looks like he just got home from work as he still has his winter coat on.  It may be hard to see in the window, but it looks toasty and warm with the fire blazing in the fireplace.  Look closer and you might be able to see the candelabra and clock on the mantel.  There's also a teddy bear on the far end.

The bed and breakfast sits on a hill just on the edge of town.  (Our home was a bed and breakfast for several years and I just had to add this to my collection.  It came from Bell''s).  Don't you think it looks quite festive with all the garland and red bows?

We got here in time to see the Christmas carolers.  I think these are people from church.  In case you were wondering, there is no church building in town yet so services are held in the school.  Town members are hoping to have enough money to start building next spring.

Some of the carolers have been invited inside for hot chocolate and cookies.  They take turns so that the singing continues.  They do this so that they don't linger too long at any one house and get through town before it get's too late.

Farther out of town is Layne's Farm, which is the largest farm in the district. Mr. Layne loves the beautiful barn that houses his beloved horses and even has it decorated for the holidays.

He had errands to run in town today and chose to ride one of his prize horses.  He is currying him down before putting him in the barn for the night.  Isn't that one horse, looking out the window, a beauty?  Take a deep breath...can you smell the hay?  I love the smell of hay.  It reminds me of the days we used to romp in my grandmother's hay barn.

On the far side of town is the gristmill.  It sits near the creek where water is needed to power the water wheel.  The owner was so glad to have his mill close to town.  If you look in the far corner of the picture, you can see the covered bridge that takes you on the main road leading out of town.

You can see the mill owner carrying in some wheat stalks that got spilled on the ground.  The children have been out sledding on the big hill behind the dairy barn.  They leave their sleds alongside the fence so they don't have to haul them back and forth from home.

This is the Cross Creek Farm.  Mr. Cross was one of the first to settle in this area.  The creek was first named as Cross Creek and then when the town began to grow, it was also named Cross Creek.  Mr. Cross is now gone but his sons still run the large dairy.

They are working late this evening as the lights are still on in the barn.  One of the calves must have gotten loose from his pen.  He seems to be awfully curious of the strange looking contraption coming by.

Far behind the school is Een's Farm.  Mr. Een is quite proud of his farm where he grows wheat and corn.  In fact, he is so proud that he built a very fancy barn to show off his wealth.  (I forgot to take pictures around the sides of the barn with the fancy entryways.)  Mr. Een spends alot of time in his barn, so he put in a wood burning stove and has a stone chimney!  The townfolk are praying that he doesn't burn the town down.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of the little village of Cross Creek.  It's such a quaint little place.  The folks are quite friendly here.

Every year I put up my Christmas village and I never tire of watching the grandchildren as they get up close to look at all the details.  They are in such awe, I wonder what goes through their minds.  They know the strict rules of "look but don't touch", which they abide by very well.  I don't know who gets more joy out of the Christmas or them!

I hope your day is full of Christmas joy ~


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