Sunday, January 29, 2012

~The Snowflake Prayer~

Thank you God, for the gift of winter.

For the cold frosty snow and shimmering icicles,

For frozen lakes and rivers,

And most of all for snowflakes,

Ever so beautiful, so special, so one of a kind.

Let them remind me that I am like that in Your eyes...

So beautiful, so special, so one of a kind.

Thank you, God, for snowflakes,
Thank you, God, for me.

May you be reminded of how special you are in His eyes~

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Note:  All photos are courtesy of the internet

Thursday, January 26, 2012

~I Want One of These~

A while back, I did a post about my Farmhouse Cupboard Vignette about the different things that I have collected to create a farmhouse look in my kitchen.  Look down there on the lowest shelf.  See?  That is part of my collection of cookbooks.

As you can see, my cookbooks are just leaning against the 'wall' at one end of the shelf.  Nothing to hold them in place.  But I need something to hold them in place because one day, not long ago, they fell over when I grabbed one to use.  The domino effect started and of my milk bottles was the next target and badabing, badaboom went crashing to the floor breaking into pieces.  Yeah, I got that "oh man!" feeling in the pit of my stomach.  But what did I need?  Maybe a bookend of some type?  Maybe a cast iron figurine like a rooster or cow...something "farmish"?

Permission given by Buckets of Burlap                
Well, today I started following a new blog, Buckets of Burlap.  Becky has the cutest vintage creations and I was reading an older post she did about Where This Blogger Creates.  Isn't this the most adorable farmhouse style room?

So, I'm scrolling down looking at all the adorable little vignettes that she has created in her workroom and I came across this....

Permission given by Buckets of Burlap                
I love the chalkboard message board.  I've got to make me one of these!  But look further down.  See there on the dresser top holding the old books?  It's an old chicken feeder!!  How cute is that?

These cookbooks look so boring just standing there, I'm sorry to say.  But wouldn't they look better in an old chicken feeder?  What do you think?

Oh, and this goes to show that it pays to go back to read older posts in your favorite blogs.  No telling what interesting things you will find or learn.  Now, I need to go chicken feeder hunting!!

Hope your day is sunshine-y and warm where you are~

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

~An Early Sign of Spring?~

This morning while I was letting my dog out to do his business, I noticed a bunch of birds in the far part of the yard.  After watching them a bit, I thought...could those be robins??  So I put Banjo back in the house and grabbed my camera to get a closer look with my zoom lens.

While watching them, I started clicking away on my camera.  Sure enough, these fine-feathered friends were indeed robins.  We've had a fairly mild winter, but is Spring coming already?  Surely not.  I went back inside and went to my next best friend, next to my camera.  Google.  I started doing my research and found this article..."The Robin Is Not a Sign of Spring".  Surely they jest, I thought!

Excerpts from article went something like this... "I saw a bunch of robins in the middle of January's snowstorm.  It sure didn't look like Spring to me!"  "I saw a robin last week.  Spring must be coming!"

Robins are a sign of Spring, right?  Wrong!  (what??? thoughts)

Robins are not a sign of Spring any more than Punxsutawny Phil, that pampered Pennsylvania ground hog, is a predictor of weather. (darn!!)

So why do we cling to the old wives' tale that a robin is the sign of Spring?  Because, as we all know, all robins go south for the Winter and return in the early Spring.  Unfortunately, that is not true.

In part, we are just not paying attention.  Maybe, during a long winter, we are too housebound, or too bundled against teh cold to notice.  But if we strap on our snowshoes and wander the garden or roam the woods - or if we just walk to the corner store for a coffee or newspaper - we may hear the rattle of the robin on any day of the year - even a mid-winter day.

...perhaps, like the ancients of old, you want an omen from the skies, a bird sent from the gods with the message that "Indeed, Spring is on the way - Persephone returns to bring life and fecundity to the earth." (whatever that means)
Red-winged Blackbird                                      
If that is what you are looking for, then watch for the Red-winged Blackbird...with his "Conk-a-reeeee, Conk-a-reeee". (his mating call).

That is a sure sign that Spring is coming.  Other birds will be following along in quick succession....

Well, rats!  Not that I'm in any hurry for Spring to come because that means Summer is not far behind.  So, in the meantime, I'll enjoy the splash of color we get from our little feathered friends. 

Note:  The excerpts from this article were taken from the Tails of Birding blog.

May God bring you splashes of color on this winter day~

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

~Can't Leave a Comment, Not Getting Comments or Your Pages Are Freezing?~

I think this is a problem that many of us bloggers have been experiencing lately.  Yesterday, I found out what the problem was and fixed it but haven't had a chance to post about it yet.  Thankfully, Carol from The Polka Dot Closet, has created a post about it, why it was happening and how to fix it.  So I am reposting HER post about it.  (yes, she knows I am doing this).....

Here's the fix!

I thought you had all lost that loving feeling.  I wasn't getting many comments

If you are not getting many comments
If you can't leave a comment
If you are visiting a blog and the pages are freezing

Here's the problem and the fix

Blogger introduced a new feature for people who use the imbedded comment format (As opposed to those who have a pop up or full page comment boxes).  Everything got messed up and they have not yet been able to fix it.

Some people who comment with Internet Explorer (Not those using Safari or Firefox) on a post with imbedded format, are not able to comment.  If they search other pages in your blog the pages freeze

Here's the work around as they do not yet have a fix
Change your comments to "Pop up" or "Full Page".  Go to Dashboard>Settings>Comments> And change it

If you are unable to comment on a blog, let the blog owner know to change her settings to "Pop up" for comments.  I am sure many blogs have no idea this is going on as they are still receiving some comments from people that don't use Internet Explorer

Geez, it sure would have been nice of Blogger to let us know this was a problem!  I found it by searching forums

This public service announcement was brought to you by 

Thank you Carol!!!  Please take the time to stop by her blog and thank her for bringing this to our attention.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

~How to Preserve Your Sewing Patterns Tutorial~

The other day I shared with you how excited I was to get alot of new sewing patterns cheap, cheap, cheap.  They are so expensive and being able to use them often is the key to getting your money's worth.  Plus, the pattern pieces are printed on a somewhat delicate tissue paper, which causes the paper to tear easily.  It then dawned on me that I have a couple of methods I use to preserve my patterns enabling me to use them many times without them being torn to shreds.

Before trying either one, make sure that you iron each patterns to get out all the wrinkles.  The first method, one that I found a couple of years ago on someone's blog, is to trace your patterns onto a more durable paper before cutting into them.  The blogger recommended using freezer paper but I found it to be a bit stiff and hard to work with.  So I did some research and found a product called Swedish Tracing Paper.  It's pliable, strong and easy to see through.  It is often used for putting together a "trial" outfit for fitting purposes.  I purchased a couple of rolls and found it to be an extremely good product.

Whether laying out several pieces at a time or one at a time, lay your paper on top and use some type of weights to hold the pieces in place.  Since this is paper, you can lay them any which way to keep from wasting any and I use pattern weights.  Trace all the pattern information on each piece.  This method is great for when you have several sizes on each piece like this one.  I find my self using this method when it is the only pattern I have because it is very time consuming.  I love to use this paper when creating or tracing designs for other craft projects.

The second method is the one I really like.  It uses lightweight fusible interfacing.  Since starting my Etsy store and sewing for my grandchildren, I need patterns in all the available sizes.  I'd rather spend a couple of extra dollars (when patterns are on sale!) and use this method.  A whole lot easier and faster and well worth the expense.  You'll see.

Cut a piece of interfacing just slightly larger than the pattern you are working with.  Lay the adhesive side up.  If you are not familiar with fusible interfacing, it's the side that feels just a bit rough.  Place your pattern on top.  You will also need an iron on a medium setting.   Start  ironing in the middle working your way outward.  This is very important:  Make sure your iron does not go past the pattern onto the interfacing or you will get the plate all gunked up!!

After ironing the center area, cut or tear strips of paper (I use scrap copy paper) cover the edges of exposed interfacing.  Finish ironing your pattern.  The strips of paper will pick up the adhesive but that's okay.  Once that piece is completed, just cut along the cutting lines and the strips of paper will drop away.  No gunked up iron!!

Voila!  You have  perfectly preserved pattern pieces with all the markings, which are also visible on the back side for those times you need to flip the pattern over.  Either method creates a thicker, sturdier pattern that can be used time and time again.  I wouldn't recommend using pins but rather some type of pattern weight.

Obviously, it would be very hard to fold the patterns and put them back in the original envelope.  I like to use either  a Ziploc bag with the pattern envelope showing on the front OR use a manila envelope and then label it.  Easy peasy.
Note:  If your pattern piece is smaller than the iron plate, place a larger sheet of paper on top of it before ironing and then cut on the cutting line.

I hope this little tutorial has been helpful to you.  Do you use a similar method or is this idea totally new to you?  I'd love to know.

I pray you have a great day ~

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

~Blogger Question~

This is a quickie post.....Yesterday, I accidentally changed the template I was using and had to go back and customize everything again.  For the life of me, I can't remember how I got rid of the gray background around the page tabs. ??

If you customized your own blog and had to remove the gray tabs, can you tell me how you did it?  FYI...I used the Picture Window template to customize my blog, if that makes any difference. :)

I thank you in advance!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

~Looky What I Won!!~

I love to enter giveaways, don't you?  I love it that bloggers are so generous to offer wonderful celebrate a milestone on their blog, to promote their site, because a sponsor sent them an item to try out or maybe just because they're sweet and generous.  Whatever the reason, I love it!

I'm love to enter giveaways.  I always mark my calendar for the date to announce the winner, keeping my fingers crossed and, with baited breath, I check to see if my name was chosen.  Well, about two weeks ago, I got an email that I had been chosen for one....and then later in the week, I got another announcement,  Yes, ANOTHER announcement that my name had been picked.  Woohoo!! Twice in one week.  I could not believe it.  Pinch me.  Am I dreaming or what??  Nope, I was not dreaming!!

You wanna see what I won?  Are you waiting with baited breath like me?  No?  Oh.  You're curious though, aren't you?  Yes?  Okay good.  I'll share with you what I won.  Oh, what was funny was that I got both items in the mail the same day...hehe.  It almost felt like my birthday~  Okay, okay.  I'll show you what I got.  Sheesh.  ;)

See?  I told ya :)

This is the first item I won.  Jan, from Papercraft Pleasures, was having a giveaway for this CD full of vintage style graphics.  It comes from Craft Secrets.  If you create cards or tags, you may  be familiar with this.  For the life of me, I cannot remember whose blog I read about this giveaway!  Anyway, I hopped over there and entered on the very last day.

What caught my attention were the vintage style graphics.  I love them!  So many different ways to use them..on my blog, crafting, scrapbooking and maybe even card or tag making.  I've never done done this type of craft and I think they are so adorable.  But I've got too many crafting irons in the fire right now to take on another craft.  So, maybe not the card/tag making.

The other item I won was from the Shabby Fabrics blog.  I love the fabrics in Jen's store!!  Oh my gosh, I could go bankrupt in that place!  Anyway, Jen was having a giveaway for one of the books by a new designers, Brenda Riddle, and we had to choose which book we would like if we were chosen.

Aren't these patterns just adorable?    Not only quilt patterns because there's a pleated pillow pattern on the right page.  See it?

This little tablecloth pattern is so cute.  There is also a pattern to do a yo-yo garland, a wool applique runner and several fairly easy quilts.  I chose it because of the variety of items and the simplicity of them because of time issues. I love quilting but just don't have time for it.  In fact, I've got a quilt that I need to finish for my youngest!!

If you've not ever done quilting, the instructions are easy enough for a beginner to understand.

These are the instructions for that cute little red-checkered tablecloth up above.  A little bit of applique work, but it's not too hard.  I like the whimsical look of the flower. :)  This one shouldn't take too long to do.  But if I started it now, my daughter would kill me!!

So, there you've got it.  Two cute and entirely different giveaway prizes.  What do you think of them?  Do you  have giveaways on your blog?  Do you enter giveaways?  I'm planning my first real giveaway here in the next few weeks and I'm really excited about that.  I'm not ready for it yet, but I'll be sure to let you know when I am. ;)

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