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 337 - 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 338 - 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 339 - Baby Paige was all smiles and hugs for Nana today. Those bright blue eyes melt my heart!

Day 340 - 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 341 - Grandma's Christmas tree. Most of the ornaments were white. You will see a couple odd ones that belong to the grandchildren.

Day 342 - Baby Paige and grandpa looking for some building plans on the Internet. Can you imagine the technology she is going to see?

Day 343 - 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
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):

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!

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
A couple (soft) paper napkins
Cookie sheet to hold jars while baking
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.

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.

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

Friday, November 28, 2014

Project 365 - Week 47

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

Day 316 -This was obviously a day that I couldn't think of anything at all to photograph.

Day 317 - Baby Paige with Bubba. He wasn't very nice to her. 

Day 318 - Tried to get the sign of the restaurant we had dinner at but it didn't turn out very well. Dinner was excellent though at our favorite spot Galveston Steak House.

Day 319 - Another painting party! This time it was hosted by my sister. So much fun!

Day 320 - With a dog and cat, this is a great little machine to have on hand.

Day 321 - I saw these on Pinterest and had to make them. I got started on them during our painting party but had to finish them at home because I had to wait for paint to dry between coats.

Day 322 - Another exciting photo. Bubba and Punkie's favorite treats!

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bon Voyage Little Monsters!

These little guys are all packed up and on their way to Colorado where they will be joined by lots of other little monsters. From there they will all go to their new homes where there is a child who will be so excited to love and snuggle them.

I'm so excited to be contributing to this wonderful cause where we make up these cute monsters then send them off so they can go to a special child. As of the writing of this post (11-26-14) there is still plenty of time left if you want to make a monster or two, then you can feel good to know that you are bringing joy this holiday season to a child who needs it.

For more information and the download to your free monster pattern, stop by Craftsy for more information:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Black Friday - The Way I Remember It

When I look at Black Friday today, it is so different than back in the day when I participated. I did my first Black Friday outing when I was in my late teens. After my kids were born, we made it a rule that no kids under sixteen were allowed to go because it was Mom's day out! 

All the women that were able to go would meet at my mom's house. We would all pile into a car (or two) and head to the Chicago area malls. We would be there when they opened, which back then was around eight. We'd have our lists in hand, and our plan of attack. Sometimes we'd split up into groups of two, sometimes not. We'd always choose a lunch spot and have a fabulous lunch. We would shop all day long. By the time we were finished, the trunk would be so full that sometimes we'd have to bring bags in the car and hold them on our laps. I would actually get about 90% of my shopping done on that day.

Back then, there was no midnight shopping and there were very few big box stores because it was all about the malls. Oh how things have changed! 

It's been a very long time since we practiced that annual ritual. Mainly because of jobs, plus my parents age, etc. Unfortunately some of the lady family members have also passed. Now I spend Black Friday shopping at my computer, and decorating my house. But I look back on those days and I sure do miss them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Project 365 - Week 46

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

Day 309 - Our first really cold day. It was 28 degrees, and it's been even colder than that! I just noticed that the thermostats reads, "STATUS - heat on."

Day 310 - Yes, it was baby Paige day! She loves her dog so much.

Day 311 - Does it look like someone is trying to tell me something? Like...Let's get sewing!

Day 312 - A cute little creek and walking trail close to our house. It's much prettier in the summer, but still a nice place to walk.

Day 313 -Does anyone else watch The Walking Dead? We are hooked on that show and now we have to watch The Talking Dead that follows.

Day 314 - Monday night candle ceremony for our pets who have passed away. I also like to light the candle when a pet I know is missing. Hoping it will "light the way" for it's safe return. In the past week I know of two pets that were missing, and they both were found! If you want to know more about the pet loss ceremony, click HERE. If you want to make your own candle, click HERE.

Day 315 - I had a tooth pulled this day so I thought it was fitting to have a Frosty for dinner. Agree?

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE
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