Thursday, January 22, 2015

Once a Hero, Now an Angel


I'm a very lucky girl. Since I was about eight years old, I had two dads, and both of them are truly amazing and I love them both so much. Today I lost one of them after a difficult battle. As you may have noticed, I have not been posting much the past few months. Since we found out that my dad was terminal, my main focus was to spend as much time with him as I could and everything else will be there later.

The handsome man you see in the pictures was an incredible individual. He was a WWII veteran and his plane was shot down. Fortunately he was saved, hidden, and nursed back to health by the underground French. After returning home he joined the Gary Fire Department where he once again, spent his life as a true hero, saving countless lives. 

He married my mom when I was about ten. He never treated us as stepdaughters. He raised us as if we were his own blood. He was an amazing man who was loved by everyone who crossed his path, and he will be missed so much.

I promise to catch back up with all my blogging friends soon. While you are waiting for my return, please let all your loved ones know how much you love them. Tell them, hug them, and be there for them. When it's all said and done, there is nothing more important than the people you love.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What a Week!


Sometimes it can be tough to create a balance in life, and I'm still trying to find it. This week was one of those crazy weeks where we got a little bit of everything. 

Resident Fox: Notice what looks like dog prints in the snow. Well, they aren't dog prints, they are fox prints. Yes, we have a fox in the yard now. I noticed him about four or five nights ago when I saw something moving in the snow. I knew it looked too small to be a deer or the coyote, so I ran to the window and there was a really cute fox walking around in the yard. This morning when I took Bubba out, I noticed more of his little prints coming out from under the pool deck, down Bubba's potty path, and into the neighbors yard. Poor Bubba, we have to be so careful taking him out.

The BEST Part of the Week: Of course the highlight of the week was having Baby Paige overnight while mom and dad had a date night. She was so much fun and as usual, she was an angel for us. She loves her Grandpa Brian! She follows him all over the house and when he was on the floor cleaning out the pantry, she decided that cleaning time was not important because it was Paige time so she plopped down in his lap and started pulling bags out of the pantry one by one. She's so darn cute!

Florida Sunshine in a Blizzard: While I was out visiting my mom it started snowing so I decided to head home before it got bad. I decided to take back roads because I refuse to drive on the expressway in snowstorms. After two hours (should only have been one) I finally arrived home and found a box that was sent from my dad and bonus mom. I opened it up and it was full of grapefruits picked fresh! They know how much I love that grapefruit!

Busy in the Studio: A lot of time was spent in the studio this week as well. I was able to get some Valentine mug rugs finished and listed, as well as these bathing suit and burlesque style. Definitely ready to think about summer!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Project 365 - Week 52


Project 365 - I did it! I took one photo a day for a year! It was a fun project, and was the second time I did it.

Day 358 - My favorite photo from Christmas Eve. Santa filled Paige's stocking at Nana's house!

Day 359 - Paige and her cousins on Christmas Day. They certainly do make Christmas special. 

Day 360 - My studio is back to working order. It was a comfy place for Elyse to sleep while she was here.

Day 361 - Goodbye tree and decorations. See you next year.

Day 362 - Punkie misses Elyse. 

Day 363 - I got this really cute calendar for Christmas. Pictures of Paige all year long!

Day 364 - One of my favorite Christmas presents from last year. Brian made it for me and since I love candles so much, he added a glass shelf that holds a votive.

Day 365 - Our annual New Year's Eve dinner with my sis and her husband. Olive Garden this year, yum!

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Project 365 - Week 51


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 352 - Elyse and I picked up a few things on the way home the other day. As we were unpacking we realized that our choices were so unhealthy!

Day 353 - Remember my sewing table? With Elyse in town, it has become her jewelry making table! 

Day 354 - My son talked me into playing this game with him. Perhaps it's because he has been beating my butt, and he knew it would happen?

Day 355 - Cheating this year. All my gifts are in bags.

Day 356 - My favorite dinner of all!

Day 357 - Christmas shopping with the peanut! She's all about playing peek-a-boo now.

Day 358 - Baking up some Christmas yummies!

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Project 365 - Week 50


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 345 - There's nothing like a Lifetime Christmas movie while kicking back with a glass of wine and a few holiday scented candles burning. The simple joys in life.

Day 346 - To you this looks like a clean desk with a laptop. Yes, exactly! Just a couple hours before it was cluttered with papers, receipts, recipes, and a bunch of other stuff. All items filed, trashed, or put away. 

Day 347 - Baby Paige was all smiles and hugs for Nana today. Those bright blue eyes melt my heart!

Day 348 - Elyse arrived in town to spend time with her Papa who is now under hospice care at home. I love it when she comes home, but I wish it were under better circumstances. Her, the hubster, and I kicked back after our busy day with a bottle of our favorite wine, Vouvrey.

Day 349 - Grandma's Christmas tree. Most of the ornaments were white. You will see a couple odd ones that belong to the grandchildren.

Day 350 - Baby Paige and grandpa looking for some building plans on the Internet. Can you imagine the technology she is going to see?

Day 351 - Did a little Christmas shopping. Who do you think Elmo is for? Yep, Baby Paige!

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Challenge: What is it?


Took this picture yesterday. Does anyone know what it is?

Hint: I was out and about...

Scroll down for the answer
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Inside the car wash!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tutorial - Decorative Jar Candles


Do you need a last minute hostess gift or just feel you need a few more decorations? Decorative jar candles are wonderful! Not only are they super decorative, but you probably already have things at home to fill them. You can make them to fit any decor, and if you don't have any mason jars sitting around, save your spaghetti sauce jars. I actually like them better because the glass is smooth. They aren't just for Christmas either. You can fill them with fun things for any occasion. I have a few that I keep for everyday that I fill with small beach rocks and others filled with shells. If you don't have anything laying around, run to the dollar store and grab a bag of potpourri or colorful candies. Seriously, anything can be a candle!

The only thing you might have to buy are clear candle cups that slip over the mouth of the jar. They should be tapered so that the top of the cup sits on the top of the jar while the candle part drops below the opening. I found them really cheap too. Some I bought from Hobby Lobby for 50 cents, the others I bought at WalMart for 75 cents. As long as you have some of those laying around along with some jars (not wide mouth), and tea light candles, you can create some fun candles that will suit any decorative style or occasion. If you can't find the tapered candle cups, you have two other options. You can use the little candle cups that are shaped like flower pots, or you can use any plain, clear candle cup that will fit inside the jar. But for these you need to make sure that the candle cup is securely seated and doesn't slide down or tip, because you will have a lit candle.

As you can see, I found all kinds of things for my jars. Search your house and your Christmas boxes and I'm sure you'll find all kinds of fun things to slip inside the jars.

My jars are filled with the following (from left to right):

Potpourri
Sparkly garland
Ribbon candy
Snowman ornament on cotton balls
Small decorative balls 
Soft peppermint candies, unwrapped
Floral pics

Use your imagination, these jars can be filled with all kinds of things for any occasion!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Project 365 - Week 49


This week has been a very trying time for my family. We had to put my step-dad into hospice care. My sister and I have always thought of him as a second dad rather than a step-dad. He's been in our lives since we were tiny tots. A lot of my photos for this week are of special moments with family, so I want to keep them to myself for now.

I chose the above photo to share with you because I feel that it's the best photo to represent this week. When he arrived at the hospice center they were so thrilled to have a WWII veteran. They treat their veterans like VIP's. They came into the room, sang to him, and presented him with a certificate thanking him for his service, along with this beautiful afghan that was handmade by one of the local ladies. They even tied red, white, and blue ribbons around the outside posts in the entry way, and United States flags in all the flowerpots so that everyone knew there was a veteran in the building. He felt so special and enjoyed the whole experience! It really lifted his spirits. At the present time he's resting comfortably at home under his new afghan.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tutorial - Snowman & Gingerbread Christmas Candles



Hand painted glassware is all the rage right now. I've come up with this super simple, quick, easy and cute craft. I'm so blessed to have a grand baby in my life so I use baby food jars. If you don't know anyone with a baby, any small jars will do. You can even purchase small, plain, votive candle cups very inexpensively at your local craft, sewing, or superstores. They make great gifts for family, friends, teachers, hostesses, or yourself as well!

Supplies:
Baby food jars, plain candle cups, or any small jar
ENAMEL paints, usually sold by the acrylic paints
~white, tan, black, red, green, orange
Ribbon, twine, or raffia for the rim
Paint brushes
Palette, plastic lid, or paper plate
Alcohol
A couple (soft) paper napkins
Cookie sheet to hold jars while baking
Oven
Tea light candles or flameless candles

Glue (optional for gluing ribbon at upper edge)

NOTE: If you need to buy paint for this project, don't buy pink for the cheeks, you can easily add a tiny amount of red to the white.

IMPORTANT - READ FIRST:
Always start with a squeaky clean glass and keep it that way. Before you begin painting an area, be sure to wipe it down with alcohol and if you accidentally touch that area during painting, wipe that spot again with the alcohol. The oils from your hands can actually prevent your paint from permanently sticking to the glass. Sometimes it's easiest to hold the glass with your hands or fingers on the inside. At some places you may find that you want to add a second coat. It’s also very important to allow paint to completely dry between coats and color changes. Be sure to wash and dry your brushes thoroughly after each color or between coats.




Note: If you are recycling a glass food jar, if you soak the jar in hot soapy water, the label should peel right off. If you find that glue is left behind, the best thing to use is GooGone which can be purchased about anywhere. If you don't have any, or don't want to buy any, you can use a paste made up of cooking oil, baking soda, and salt. The GooGone is just so much easier and quicker.


INSTRUCTIONS:
1.  Now that your jar is squeaky clean and free from fingerprints, you can paint your first coat using the enamel paint. I find that it's best to place and hold the jar from the inside with my non painting hand. This way fingers stay off the glass. Paint first coat as follows:

Snowman: white
Gingerbread people: tan

Hint #1 - For painting the entire jar for the base color, I liked the look of dabbing rather than painting with a brush. The paintbrush leaves a streaky look and this leaves a more textured look. Plus, I like the way it looks when the lit candle is inside.

Hint #2 - If you aren't happy with your painting at any point in the painting process, just wash the jar and the paint will come right off, then start all over again. This will only work when the paint is fresh, once the jars are cured or baked, this will not work.



2.  After the first coat is dry you can paint the details, which are very simple if using the faces that I chose. If you want to add a second coat to the first coat you can do that, but I chose not to because I like to see more of the candle glow.

If you don't like my faces, search the Internet and find some you like. The ones I chose are so simple and I'm not the best painter, so I like simple details. It's just very important to let the coats completely dry before painting too close or on other colors.



3.  Once the glasses are completely dry, you will have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for on the bottle of the paint brand you are using for finishing. For example, for the brand of paint I used, I was to allow my paint to dry for 48 hours. After that, I set them in a cool oven, I set the temperature to 325 degrees, bake 30 minutes, turn oven off, let them cool down in the oven before removing.


4.  After they have cooled off, you can add your ribbon, raffia, or twine to the rim. As you can see, I liked the look of just putting the ribbon at the upper edge without a bow. I feel it's safer this way because of the candle flame. Be sure to use a glue that can withstand the heat from the candle. A glue gun type of glue will probably melt and your ribbon will keep falling off. I do worry about a bow that could catch fire, so you can use thinner ribbon or twine, and keep the bow below the upper edge.

Pop in a candle and enjoy!

After they are baked, they can be washed. The bottle of paint I used said they are top shelf dishwasher safe, but I would still wash by hand.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Project 365 - Week 48


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 323 - While preparing the pie in this photo for Thanksgiving dinner, I got a phone call that they were taking my dad (step-dad, I have two dads) to the hospital due to a fall. Ingredients went back into the fridge so I could drive out there, and I ended up baking it at 3:00 in the morning.

Day 324 - The kids sure were the great distraction that we all needed this Thanksgiving. After dinner, we packed up a couple plates, stuffed ourselves into two cars, and all of us went to the hospital to take mom and dad a real dinner. We really packed that hospital room! 

Day 325 - With so much going on this year I actually didn't want to squeeze in decorating the house. Grandpa however insisted that Paige will want Nana and grandpa's house to be pretty.

Day 326 - Will be relocating my parents so we were looking at places.

Day 327 - Baby Paige loves to play with her dog but sometimes her dog gets a little excited because she's still a puppy.

Day 328 - The tree has been completed. With a little time here, and a little time there, the house took a few days to actually become decorated.

Day 329 - Baby Paige was all smiles and giggles today!

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE
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