Forgive me,I'm up visiting with the the newest member of the family, so computer access is a bit sporadic. I did take minute and shared a little post over at the HomeGoods site, so check it out! (I'll be sharing more later!)
Forgive me,I'm up visiting with the the newest member of the family, so computer access is a bit sporadic. I did take minute and shared a little post over at the HomeGoods site, so check it out! (I'll be sharing more later!)
I'm counting the minutes until Monday when I will be going to Stars Hollow Camas to see and hold Mr. Peanut! Until then...
You've seen Mr. Peanut's nursery. Now, it's time for a peek into Miss Izzy's little pink palace! The mama and daddy-to-be painted the sweet little chocolate colored circles with her name in them. How cute is that?
I'm in love with the bassinet that they chose. It has hidden storage beneath it, and it's just so cute! I'll have to share more pictures now that the room is completely finished. A couple more weeks of waiting, and little Miss Isabelle should be here!
Mmm hmm, we've got a white Christmas going on..and yes, those are my Adirondack chairs in the front yard at the cottage, but the biggest little city hasn't gotten near the snowfall to date as our neighbors (and my family!) up north.
If you don't live in the pacific northwest, or know anyone that does (or haven't managed to see the news lately) you might not realize that the folks up there are still in the midst of a record breaking snowstorm (dubbed the "Arctic Blast" according to PTown's news stations...) which has literally frozen the communities in those parts.
The airport has been closed and then, when open, lots of delays, roads are closed or barely manageable, and there have been power outages to thousands of residents. This has been all the talk in my family for the past week or so, due to the fact that we have all been anticipating Mr. Peanut's arrival....and the talk focused most specifically on exactly how the parents-to-be were going to actually get to the hospital when the time arrived.
Well, in the end, they did make it, and after many, many hours, our beautiful, perfect, little Christmas baby boy arrived. And, on Christmas eve, no less. He and his mama and daddy are doing just fine.
Aah, God is so good.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Yes, yes. The Christmas tour. (a bit smaller than you might expect)
The truth be told, I am having a bit of a hard time with Christmas decorating this year, so there aren't nearly so many pictures as I am sure you had hoped to see.Also, I tried to share photos of new vignettes that are different from last year.
My life for the past couple of months has reminded me very much of a hamster on one of those little wheel-y things, or a juggler with one too many balls in the air. I never seemed to have nearly enough hours in a day, or a week for that matter.
So....here's a lil' peek at some of the details going on at my sweet cottage...
The tiny hand painted urn (a precious gift from the other Tracey!) is just perfect for holding a miniature bottle brush tree...
...lots of silver and soft robin's eggs blue in the livingroom...
...and snowmen...I have a day off from work today, so I'll be sure and share more pictures later!
Okay, I know I promised that I would show pictures of my own Christmas decor this year. I have been a little slow this year at getting my decorating act together, but I am ready at last to share some fresh new little decorating ideas with you all!
I was so happy with my J O Y letters that I decided to do a little table setting with it. The Sewing Queen gave me these sweet, sweet little clip on bottle brush trees for my birthday and I decided to use them to hold place cards!(She had the girls get them at Monticello in my beloved PTown, from Jean at Burlap and Bling!) I made some simple place cards to coordinate and now I am ready for a sweet lil' meal with a friend. After all, I am a firm believer in living a charmed life (on a shoestring) and making all of the everyday moments as special as any holiday. (You should too!)
Next post...a Christmas time tour of my merry little cottage.
**disclaimer** my ankles and calves are not actually as large as they appear in the photo above...(anyway I don't think they are...are they?! No... No. I am certain it's the camera angle...I think.)
It might not have come up before, but I am not the most graceful nor the most athletic gal on the block. Oh,no, not by a loooong shot. Last Thursday I stubbed my baby (pinkie? Whatever..)toe on a dumbbell laying on the floor in my bedroom..um...ya...No, please don't ask.
Anyway, here I am, a full week later, just now finally now back to wearing my favorite high heeled boots to my Teller training classes.
I managed to hobble around TJ Maxx the Tuesday night with the other Tracey and I found a fabulous deal that makes my life oh, so much more comfy.(Check out my post on the HomeGoods Blog!)
We're all ready to start the 2008 Virtual Cookie Exchange!!! First, let's pop on over and look at the delightful goodies Sonya has to share with us!(Did she send us an incredible photo, or what?!) Then, Jackie is baking up a batch of something amazing over in her kitchen....And, then on to Cindy's sweet cottage. Of course, Cindy has done up some delightfully pastel snowflake cookies for all of us to enjoy!(This is so my kind of winter-y cookies!)
Next, it's Catherine's home for some Ginger Crunch Slices!
Alicia's kitchen will be our next stop...Mmmmmm, how yummy do these look?
Finally, we're here at my home for some snowball cookies. I had to use a picture from last year, because I forgot to charge my camera battery! (I may get time tonight to update the post with a fresh photo)
These are so easy, and they are great because you can make them way ahead and freeze them, and whether bagged up as a favor, or all decked out in a martini glass, these little cookies fill the bill.
1 cup softened butter (room temp)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 chopped nuts if desired
extra powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients with mixer, roll into little balls. Bake at 400' for 10-13 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while hot, and again when cool.
Second option: roll in powdered sugar while hot, then in sparkle sugar when cool for a more elegant effect.
Well, that's the end of the tour, and I don't know about you, but I am completely in the baking mood now!
Life is busy. Chaotic. Hurried. I don't know about you, but I need 29 hours in each day, not 24.(See? I was even to busy to get a photo for this blog post)
This morning, at o-dark thirty, I woke up and took a deep breath. So much has been going on in my not so ordinary life, and I am sure you are all just as busy. (There's always so much more going on in my life than I am able to share in a blog post, you know?) I thought I'd share some of the more "behind the scenes" stuff, since I will be starting on a brand new adventure today...
In the last four weeks:
I had surgery on my finger- (out patient) Mmm hmmm, a small fibroid tumor I had removed 26 years ago had slowly but surely returned (or so I thought) and I decided back in September it was taking on a life of it's own and should probably be removed before I became know as "that lady with the finger" so I went to the doctor. I had out patient surgery in mid November and found out it was a vascular tumor this time (totally benign, but a surprise to me and the doctor all the same) and the healing process from the incision is coming along, although much more slowly than I remember last time. It's on my right hand so that has been a bit of pain when blow drying my hair and painting furniture!
I found out I was being laid off- and hit the pavement looking for any kind of job with benefits on my lunch hours and whenever I possibly could. (Heck, at my age, those bennies are worth a hefty little sum.)I realized that losing my job of six years wasn't half as scary as it might seem, or maybe I was more open to change this go-around, or maybe it's just that I have grown a bit in the past couple of years and recognize that things really do work out okay in the end and life is a journey for us all. ( I just seem to be missing my road map sometimes) Some things in life are just way too complicated for me to understand and it's best if I not question things so much, but look for signs and go with my gut, remembering that I'm not in charge anyway.(and that's a comforting thing to know, after all.)
I landed a new job- Yes! This past week I got the final call for a job at a bank and I will start there for training today. (Yes..today!) It's entry level, which is going to affect my wallet in a pretty big way after six years at my last employer, but I am grateful for the paycheck (and the benefits) and the opportunity to start over anywhere in this economy. Can you see me as a bank teller? (I hope so, 'coz, by this time next week, that's what I will be!) Hopefully I will also have a bit more free time (not sure how much more free time, but hopefully a bit more) with this job to devote to my booth space at Junkee and to my cupcake business!
I combined my antiques booth- with the other Tracey's booth to form the twice-as-big-and-oh-so-cute Tumbleweed Cotillion booth and so far, it is going fabulous! It is wonderful to see how out things coordinate and work together, and it's so much fun to bounce ideas off of each other! (I am betting Lisa and Isabel feel somewhat the same about sharing the Tickled Pink booth at Monticello in PTown!)
I celebrated my fifty second birthday- and I was thrilled to receive a web-cam so that I will be able to see both of the new grand babies all of the time, even if Mr. Peanut will be living all the way up in Stars Hollow Camas, and I will be here in the biggest little city. (Think about it. The two cousins can visit online as well!)
I am gearing up for the virtual Cookie Exchange- this Wednesday.Oh! So much to do and so very little time.....
Well, I am off to shower and get ready for day one of my newest adventure! I'll share more later....
I am interrupting this Christmas season to share some beyond fabulous news!(And we all could use some fabulous news with all that is in the paper and on the news these days) My son, the youngest of my three babies, has been honored with the prestigious award of Airman of the year for the entire state of Nevada. I am so proud I could bust, but I am not in any way surprised. He's always been the kind of person who could accomplish anything he put his mind to. (I'm not saying this just because I'm his Mom...really. He's always been like this, driven and determined, even when he was quite young.)
He's currently on active duty with the Nevada Air Guard, working with the Intelligence team and just found out he got the award last weekend. Next month he will be honored by the Governor. (Did I say I was a proud Mom?!)
Today he is celebrating his twenty fifth birthday. (Where did the time go?!) He has a beautiful wife that is as crazy about him as he is about her, a brand new precious baby girl on the way in January, (Oh! You know I can't wait!)and now, to be honored for the excellent things he has accomplished and done is icing on the cake.
I don't think life gets any better than that.
Happy birthday and congrats Sugarman. I love you.
Not sure if it's the cold weather or the holiday season (or maybe the fact that Moose is so intuitive that he realizes Mr. Bear is now in his twilight years, and he kind of worries about him and feels the need to look after him a bit) that has sparked Moose to want to be closer to Bear, literally, but he has taken to squeezing himself into bed with Bear the past few weeks. Now, for those of you who are not "dog people", let me just explain...little dogs will share beds. All the time. They like to do that. Big dogs..notsomuch. They are big after all, and it's just not as easy. Or comfortable.
My big boys each have their own beds, on either side of my bed and when the lights go out, they both are in their respective beds, snoring peacefully, dreaming of Cesar Millan...That is, until about three weeks ago.
That's when I noticed one morning as I was getting ready for my grown up girl job, that he had managed to join Bear in his bed for a little after-breakfast-but-before-we-have-to-go-outside-for-the-day nap. I thought it looked so uncomfortable,(and he changed positions repeatedly, just trying to get comfortable, each time waking Bear) and yet it was so sweet to see (well, as sweet as any two 100 pound dogs can look, squished into a single dog bed) how he clearly loves ol' Bear and wanted to be near him. Or maybe he was just trying to warm his toes on an exceptionally cold morning.
Either way, it was sweet.
To me at least.
Isn't this little fellow just the cutest thing you've ever seen? He's at Jackie's home, and we're going to take a peek at the rest of her decorations also!! (Now, remember, all you need to do is click on the colored links to go tour the homes!)
I am truly amazed at all of the wonderful decorating going on around the country (the world!) that we got to look at yesterday, and today we have even more spots to visit. Let's go to Andrea's home next....
and then we'll be off to Julie's charming little piece of heaven! How fun is this?
I am beyond inspired, I tell you! We'll go to Nancy's home for tea next, and take a look at her fabulous tree!
Once we finish there, Jeanette will be waiting for us at her cottage!
All things vintage, and wonderfully charming!
Brenda wants us to stop by as well, and then...
it's on to Judy's, and we'll wrap up our tour right there.
Thanks everyone, for joining in the fun and festivities. This has been terrific!I will be sharing my home shortly...
...and don't forget that next Wednesday is the Virtual Cookie Exchange! Send me your links and pictures for that!!!!!
Oh, the weather outside may be frightful, but we'll be having a delightful time touring some of the most amazing homes today! We will begin the tour at Barb's cottage!(that's her oh-so-charming photo above!)
Second stop...Leigh's fabulous home. Of course, a stop by Sher's home is a must. Look at her tree!
Simply magnificent, don't you think? After that, let's make sure we go to Lorrie's home. She'll have candles burning and it will be fabulous.
So many wonderful ideas and homes to see....I think we need a little blue in our holiday tour (and we all know how I love blue!!) so we simply must pop over to the most romantic home on the tour..yup, Cindy's charming cottage!
Oh. My. Ga. That was spectacular, wasn't it. I am in a holly jolly mood for sure now. Let's head on over to Debra's for some cider and a look at her beautiful decor next....
Wonderful!Wonderful! Yvette has invited us to come by her snowy cottage too, so let's go there next..don't you just love her snow banner, with the snowflakes and pompoms?!
This is so fun. Alicia's house is just up the way, and we can stop in for some tea there...
Oh my goodness gracious, it's fabulous too! Now we must get on the road to Donna's decorated house!
It appears that Mr. Beau will be on hand to greet us there! From Donna's we will go to Jill's home to take a peek!
Then, Sonia has invited us to stop by and look at all of her Christmas decor!
This is just so fun!
Jen has got the cutest garland, don't you think?
I just love it! Let's go see what else she has!
Okay, just indulge me here for a minute of Christmas-time silliness. (After all, we're all under a fair amount of stress with this economy stuff, and could use a lightheartedness right about now...and you know how I love my pups...and my grand-pups!)
My girls obviously had a little too much time on their hands last week when they got together to decorate for the holidays. Mona Fleasa became the littlest angel in a photo shoot to rival the Victoria's Secret Angels, modeling an angel wing Christmas ornament.
You must admit, they look pretty darned natural on her!
Lucky me! This adorable basket crammed full of treasures was given to me yesterday..for my birthday!Check out the details on my HomeGoods post. Here's the link...leave me a comment over there if you feel like it!
So true! Imagine my excitemnt, when, after I thought I was done with the ice skates and did a blog post on them, I discovered some faux fur in my workroom that I had scored a while back! (and forgot all about, since I am rather...um...disorderly) They are now complete, at last.
Of course, in the beginning, they were just an ordinary pair of old children's ice skates.(Have you got some of these laying around?) You can see the well worn spots, and they appear to have been quite loved. I changed out the old shoelaces for vintage seam tape and added some pearlecent glitter here and there ...and a pink glitter star.
Mmmmm, too sweet for words.
My daughter bought an entire bag of assorted 3D cardboard letters at the GW (Remember? I told you that's what the "regulars" call GoodWill...)several months ago. (Yes, she's got the gift of spotting a diamond in the rough, and I'd like to think she got that gift from my side of the gene pool, thankyouverymuch) You can find these at places like Hobby lobby or Ben Franklin's Crafts, if you're not lucky enough to stumble upon them at the GW.(Other supplies include scrapbook paper or sheet music or old book pages, a glue stick, some ribbon, jute or twine, and some odds and ends from around your home)
As I said, it was an..um..assorted collection of letters in the bag, so there were only certain letters. (I am now thinking I will do up some of the individual letters as monograms for sale in the Junkees Tumbleweed Cotillion booth) I wanted to spell a word that I could use at Christmastime and after some digging, I found the letters to spell JOY and I was set to begin a little Christmas Craft project! I took some old sheet music that I have had for a year or more (thrifted of course) and tore it into small pieces.(you can do this with old book pages, or scrapbook paper...whatever you like) I then glued it to the letters (all over them, not only the fronts of the letters) with a simple glue stick.
At this point you'll want to wander around your home in search of old bits and pieces of craft items...Christmas bells, little trees, angles, whatever you like. Also, you might like to make a cute tag to attach to one of the letters like I did.
I made my tag by printing a favorite bible verse on a paper and then cutting it out to be a tag. (Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Psalm 98:4) I still may go back tomorrow and add a verathane glaze and antique the letters just a bit...maybe, we'll see. (if I do, I'll be sharing my update!)
*sigh* I just love making little things out of bits and pieces of what I already have, don't you?
Okay, so this year apparently I am all about living virtually....first the holiday home tour and now a cookie exchange. (What can I say? It keeps me off the streets) I am looking for new recipes and ideas for holiday baking this year, and I know you people have the best ideas on the entire planet.
I thought it would be a great idea to swap a favorite recipe...share a baking tip...a cute packaging idea for baked goods...whatever you'd like to do, related to holiday baking. It will work exactly like the holiday home tour, except we'll be sharing baking stuff on our blog post for that day.(With a yummy picture!) I thought we could do it on Wednesday, December 17th, exactly one week after the holiday home tour...still far enough away from Christmas to try out some of these ideas and recipes, but not too close to the last tour...does that make sense? I hope so.
Here is some food (sort of) for thought, to get you thinking of what you might like to share on the 17th: Here is one of the ideas that I do pretty much every year (actually, I shared this idea in my cupcakes and cookies DVD kit)...
Yes, they are exactly what they look like. Mmm hmm. MIlk-bones. But, not just Milk-bones. Milk-bones tied with a ribbon (Milk-bone logo inward, so they look more "homemade") to coordinate with all of the other baked goods in your gift basket for friends and neighbors. (Now, I ask you, how cute and thoughtful is that?!) I usually hang a tag with the friend's pup's name on it for an added nice touch (and so the people don't attempt to eat them...)
Don't forget man's best friend when giving out your holiday baked goods!
Okay, that idea should have started you thinking..I'll be sharing something special this year as well...I'll give you a clue...I'm planning on sharing some snow themed baked goodies on the bake swap...how 'bout you?
*Email me a photo (if you have one) and a link for the 2008 bake swap and add the logo to your blog! **
(In case baking isn't your thing, consider taking part in an online MBA program. Ha!)
For the first time in..my life (I think) I am speechless.
When I asked for your favorite posts, I was thinking I might be able to see a pattern of what you people liked reading the most, so I could write more on that single topic. That didn't happen. What did happen was that you wrote such heartfelt, wonderful, sweet comments about all of it that I went through an entire box of Kleenex trying to choose a winner. My heart overflowed. Truly.
The card designer was at a complete loss as well. She tried narrowing it down to the people that only named specific posts, but that was still a long list. I then called the other Tracey and read a random comment to her. She cried with me over the phone at the kind words.
Finally the card designer and I had to do something so we took the top entries and I drew a name out of a hat. I know it's not the most showy, glamorous way to choose, but it's the truth. In the end, Barbra won. (She had picked the toastmaster speech one) By the way, Barbra is such a phenominal writer herself that she should seriously consider having a blog all her own. (hint, hint Barbra!)
I so wish I could send everyone a fabulous thank you gift. I don't really know if anyone can understand what this little blog with 12,000+ comments has done for my sanity and my life these past couple of years, because I cannot seem to put it into words big enough to describe it. All I can say, over and over, is thank you all so much for reading, for commenting, for emailing.
We are all kindred spirits if there ever were some.
For real. Uh huh. That's the number of comments that have been made on my blog as of yesterday afternoon. (Do you people like to talk, or what?!) Amazing. Incredible. Pure awesomeness. You must really like me. Or maybe you just really like to type. A lot.
I'd say that is worth celebrating, wouldn't you?! I'd say it even calls for a GIVE AWAY!
I thought and thought and thought about what kind of give away would be best suited for such a grand internet moment (um...a twelve grand moment..)...and while I'd love to give away twelve thousand of something....(cupcakes?) it would be a little challenging, not mention cost prohibitive with my suddenly-single-soon-to-be-unemployed budget. I'm not Oprah, you know.
I finally settled on this Vintage Christmas Crafting Book and these two darling handcrafted angels (aren't they cute?) 'coz nothing says thanks for the twelve thousand comments like a book and two handcrafted angels, right? Well, maybe not, but it's all I've got presently.(...and hey, it's pretty darned good vintage Christmas Crafts book and cute handcrafted angels, as I have stated repeatedly, and it's all easy to ship.)
So, here's the deal. Talk to me some more, folks. Tell me what your favorite blog post from my blog has been since it all began back in April of 2006 and the person with the most intriguing comment will win the book and angels. I've asked the card designer to help out by reading through your comments with me. (she's so good at this kind of stuff...she's thoughtful and grounded and level headed and what-not) She'll give give me her vote and we'll then choose and announce a winner on Thursday morning...sound good?
Come on. Talk to me, people. I'm all ears.
Remember the fun we had last December, touring each others homes and trading decorating ideas? I am getting my Christmas decorations out, ready to share some of my new ideas, and I'd love to tour your homes as well!
With the economy as it is (now that they've finally decided to admit we're officially in a recession...) we need a little Christmas, right this very minute more than ever before, and what better way than a free home tour of some of the most charming abodes on the face of the earth?
If you want to participate, simply email me your blog link (and one photo if you'd like me to post it on my blog) between now and next Tuesday. Then, copy the Holiday Tour logo onto your blog so readers know you're participating. Then, on Wednesday, December 10th the tour will begin...sound fun?
I'm going to have to get busy if I want to be ready for the tour!
Talk about eye candy. Oh ya, baby. I was in Portland and Camas for the holiday and we made sure to take a trip to Monticello.
Inspiration and goodies from all of my favorite Portland area folks....Lisa and Isabel at Tickled Pink, Colby Cottage, Aleta...
Oh! Such fun. I swear I could stay there all day, shopping and taking it all in...along with one or two trips to Camas Antiques!
Now I am completely inspired to revamp the Tumbleweed Cotillion booth at Junkees, which was pretty much demolished this past weekend. (and that's a good thing!)