Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Restitutions, hum... no? Revolutions, nope that's not it....... Oh yeah......

Resolutions!
Yes, I write them every year
I mean to keep them, too.
Lose 10 pounds, Get in shape
Eat correctly - I really mean to do.

Decluttering my closets, Cleaning my grout,
Scrubbing, Dusting, and Sweeping,
In general, do a better job
as I go about housekeeping.

Organize my stash and pattern collection,
Sort through my thread, ribbon, and lace,
Always clean after every project
& put everything in its place.

But - if I do all of these things
When will I ever be done?
When will I ever sleep?
When will I ever have fun?

Resolutions that I'll keep
are the ones I'll make this time.
To sew, read, draw, and paint,
& occasionally make a rhyme.

To keep posting on my blog
& stay in touch with friends.
I'll learn to Skype with my grands
& emails I promise to send.

The most important goal I'll make
Is the one that's easiest to keep.
I'll love my family with every breath
& in my heart's every beat.

Happy 2010!!! To All!!!!

Julia
I hope to get started sewing again next week!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in the desert!!!

Whew what a whirlwind of activities in December for my husband and me!! After Thanksgiving with our youngest daughter, her husband, and Little Man, we had a couple of weeks to get ready for the rest of our holidays.
Our oldest daughter and her family came in so my son-in-law could go for a business trip to Atlanta. We then went to our niece's wedding in Nashville for the weekend before Christmas. Luckily, our daughter's family was able to be there, too. We celebrated Christmas with them and with my husband's family in Middle TN. We were home one day before we flew to our other daughter's home in AZ. We've never been away from home on Christmas Day before. We felt a little guilty for being away from our parents, but they were happy we could go. We hadn't seen little Emory since August. They change so quickly when they are 2!!!
The first picture is of Emory and me decorating the cupcakes for Jesus's birthday party that we celebrated with friends of our daughter, son-in-law, and Emory's.

Here are Emory and her little friends in their party hats!!

Emory flying in her new fairy costume that her aunt and uncle sent to her!!!

On Sunday we went to Sedona!!! What beautiful scenery!!! I'm so glad we went on this little excursion. This is a photo of the Holy Chapel that we visited on our tour. It is built into the red rocks of this gorgeous place. We got to go into the chapel, as well.

Here is the view from inside the chapel!!!

I told you I would post the other two silhouettes, along with the one I've already posted earlier, that I made for my daughters and their husbands of their children for Christmas.
This is Emory in her Little Orphan Annie dress amongst some of her favorite things (she has the word giggle in wooden letters in her playroom window).

Next is Little Man underneath our forsythia bushes when he was here at Thanksgiving. He had fun exploring out in our back yard and the field beyond.

And, for those of you who haven't seen this one, it is of my other three grands, showing off a cake they had just made.

I am wishing all of you the happiest, healthiest, safest, 2010 ever!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Words to Ponder!


This is a photo of one of the poinsettias with which I decorate my tree.
More Why You Say It stories behind the things we say, by Webb Garrison.
I chose poinsettia because, as you know, we identify them with the Christmas season. I know my church decorates with them during this time. My niece decorated for her Christmas time wedding with this beautiful plant.
Poinsettia - In the early 19th century, Joel R. Poinsett of Charleston, SC, became our first minister to Mexico.
In Mexico City he was impressed by a native plant that turned red in December. Natives called it "flower of the blessed night" because it was often at its peak on December 25. Poinsett sent cuttings to the Smithsonian Institute and to Carolina friends. In honor of the diplomat, they called the imported flower the poinsettia.
The man who gave his name to a plant went on to become U.S. Secretary of War during the Van Buren administration. No one, least of all the central figure of the story, anticipated that the poinsettia would become the Christmas flower -- annually bringing him honor throughout the world.

This is an example of some of the purchasing that we did this year.
I think it is obvious why I chose the word "purchase" at this time of the year. I think that the original meaning sometimes still holds true. I'll never forget the year of the Cabbage Patch Kid Dolls when finding one was nearly impossible and the year my grand daughter wanted a Dora the Explorer house and we had lots of trouble finding one!
Purchase - Until modern times, there were no stores as we know them. Merchants occupied small booths that had no show windows or display counters. There was nothing resembling newspaper or TV advertising. consequently a person wanting a specific commodity had to get out and hunt for it.
Every successful shopping expedition was a major or minor triumph. So many difficulties were involved that the process of searching became linked with actual buying. From and Old French term meaning "seeking ardently," it was called purchasing.
So many persons chased so much merchandise so fervently that the label stuck in speech. No longer signifying an act of searching zealously, it now implies that money will pass from the hands of the purchaser to the hands of the seller -- unless both agree to use a plastic card.


This is a very fuzzy photo of one of last year's silhouettes.
I chose this word because I have been making silhouettes. I don't understand why they were sold so cheaply, except I guess it was less expensive and quicker to do than painting a portrait.
Silhouette - Any time you see a silhouette, the stark appearance of the black outline can serve as a reminder that its name was bestowed in mockery of a penny-pincher.
Etienne de Silhouette became controller-general of France in 1759. Selected because he was considered capable of solving the nation's financial troubles, he went to work with zeal. All of his money-saving proposals were unpopular, but his suggestion that government pensioners receive reduced allowances created a national uproar.
For generations, street artists had offered outline portraits at low prices. Since these represented an extreme example of economy in art, ridicule of the financier caused his name to become attached to them.

This is a photo of last year's children's Christmas play at church. These are the same kids as this year. The story was about finding a light for the star at the top of the town's Christmas tree.
And then there's the word, "holiday" which sadly has taken a very different meaning for lots of people from the original. There is so much "purchasing" going on that we sometimes tend to forget the reason for the holidays. However, traveling to visit family at this time of the year is a wonderful way to worship in my opinion. It is a way to thank God for the family with which we have been blessed.
Holiday - In medieval England, a holy day was designed primarily for worship and no ordinary tasks were performed. enforced leisure made it inevitable that festivals and amusements should begin to flourish at such a time. Now marked by fun and worship, old verbal elements combined and the period of observance came to be known as a holiday.
Some religious groups still emphasize a holy day at intervals, and many nations observe legal holidays on which official business is not conducted.
Hold-overs from the past remain influential. Yet the holiday notion is now strongly linked with taking a trip. Persons for whom a holy day once meant freedom from work in order to worship would be hard put to comprehend the modern holiday on wheels or in the air.

Merry Christmas
and
Best Wishes
for a
Wonderful 2010
!
to all of my blogger buddies and readers!
Julia

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A great weekend!

This is one of the silhouettes that I did for my daughter and her husband of their children this year. I can show it to you now because she has seen it. My other girls haven't seen the ones I did of their kids yet. The three girls had made a small cake with a new cake making toy that Jenna got for her birthday. They were happily displaying it in the photo that I based this on. I played with the photo on my iphoto first and then added their legs, etc... and this is what I came up with in the end. As you see it is reversed.



We were surprised that our daughter who has the three girls and her family were able to come this past week. We celebrated all sorts of things, including a wedding (our niece), Riley's birthday, and Christmas.
Here are the reactions to some gifts. Jenna had told her mom that the only thing she wanted this year was this special doctor's kit. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

Riley has an American Girl Bitty Baby. We gave her a stroller for her doll. This was her reaction when she opened it.

And Kellen, our little artist, received an artist's easel which she was very excited about. I didn't get her reaction on film however. This photo is actually her reaction to a gift that we gave Riley for her birthday. Such a sweet big sister to be so happy for little sis!

We're all back to our respective homes now, with dirty laundry to do and put away. The wedding was beautiful!!! This is our second niece to get married in Nashville recently. One in October and the other this past Saturday. Our niece was absolutely giddy with excitement. She was a beautiful bride. Our little girls had so much fun dancing at the reception!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This little lad and lass!


This little lad and this little lass
Throughout the years were in the same class
They started first grade together in '58
It was nearly 12 years later when they had their first date

Their senior year of high school is when the flirting did start
From that time on they were rarely apart
They went on their first date in '69 the 17th of December
Then on to college and fun times to remember

It was three years later on December 16th of '72
They walked down the aisle and said their "I dos."
So now do the math and you will see
That this is their 37th anniversary!!
JR

Yep, that's us when we were about 3 years old. Let's see that makes those pictures @#$%& years old! Lol. Actually that would be about 54 years ago.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Christmas card that would have been and my beautiful Christmas bowl!

Another card possibility that I'm not going to have time to get printed or in the mail. Anyone who I normally send a card to can look at this and know that Merry Christmas and a Happy 2010 Wish is sent your way. This will be the first Christmas in all our years of marriage that I haven't sent cards. I may have to do a New Year Card instead. This is done by cutting the image into black paper and gluing it to yellow and a little messing around with my iphoto program.

I took this fruit salad to a breakfast that one of my husband's coworkers hosted this morning. The bowl is one that my daughter and her 3 girls made for me last year. If you were reading my post then, you may remember it. The girls' hand prints and fingerprints make the holly design on the outside. My daughter painted the plaid on the inside. I love it and keep it out all year.



It received lots of OOOs and Ahhhs this morning!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Silhouettes, a Jumper, and Stuff to Keep My Babies Warm!

These two silhouettes are of my daughter's friend's daughters. I've done some really special ones of my grands, but I don't want my daughters to see them yet, so I'll post them later.

I made Riley a jumper for her birthday, which was yesterday, but we're celebrating with her later. I went ahead and sent her yellow princess dress.

As you can see, this jumper is reversible. One side is a homespun cotton plaid in red, green, and black. The other is a fine welt corduroy. As you see, I made bias tape from the plaid. This is very simple and quick to do.

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter, Little Man's mom, called and told me that he needed a couple of blankets to take to day care. She had seen one with a built in pillow. "Could you make him some?" "Of course!" "Don't make them too babyish." "Okay."
I hope these are what she envisioned for him.
The yellow one has monkeys playing around all over it. My daughter loves monkeys so I thought this was appropriate. It is lined with solid brown fleece. The blue one has bears. My daughter had a bear collection as a child and she says her totem is a bear. (Mine is s dolphin.) Also, my son-in-law is a forester and is always out in the woods where there are bears roaming around. So, I thought this would work, too.

As you can see I attached the pillow to one side.

If you flip it up you find a Velcro opening so the pillow can come out for when the blanket needs to be washed.

I made toboggans for all of the grands. I used left over pieces of fleece that I had in my stash. Well, I used the left overs from one of Little Man's blankets for his. I even made little Emory, who lives in the desert one. Hers is the solid pink, so it's not lined. It gets a little bit cool out there in the West. The pink and green is for Riley. The turquoise and pink is for Jenna, and the green with the stripes is for Kellen.

Now, I'll be ready if the things I've ordered online come in the next couple of days so I can get them wrapped and under the tree. Oh yeah, there's stocking stuff to buy along with a few other things. I'm getting there slowly but surely. I said on facebook the other day that I feel like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to Riley and Merry Christmas Pictures!

This pictures depicts the fun, loving, beautiful, feisty, little girl that encompasses our little Riley!! Today is her 4th birthday!!

This is the Christmas card that my husband and I are sending out this year if I can ever get around to getting it printed, signed, addressed, and in the mail!!!

Below is the one we sent last year. It is an illustration from a book that I am working on. Well, actually I just finished the last illustration and got it printed. So far, I've only had it made into copies for my family at Staples. I am checking into a publisher. The story is
T'was the Night Before the FIRST Christmas and begins:
T'was the night before the first Christmas when Jesus was born.
All the creatures were stirring all over the barn.
They knocked down the cobwebs and swept up the hay,
In hopes that a King was coming their way.

The next bunch of photos are some of my favorite ornaments:
Some that my children made when they were little. They are 27, 30, and 33 now, so these have been used for lots of years. The one in the center is one that a friend gave to my husband and me as a wedding gift since we got married just before Christmas!!

Next, is one that my mom bought at the China pavilion at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville. That summer is when my third daughter was born. One of the times I went to the fair, I was with my mom and sister. For some reason we parked in a place that was far from the entrance, so we climbed over a fence to get in! Yep, my mother, my sister, and I at 8 1/2 months pregnant, climbed a fence. That must have been quite a site to see!!

This little angel and bell were part of the decorations on gifts that we got for our wedding.


These bring special memories from my childhood. My aunt made the one on the left. She was one very talented artist, musician, and comedian!!! She was the mom of my cousins with whom I am very close!! (BTW my cousin who had the surgery on Monday is doing very well!) The star and icicle were on our tree every year when I was a child.

The Cat in The Hat represents my language arts teaching years. This is made from a light bulb!

One year I got into the angel making mood. I made bunches and bunches. This is the only one I kept for myself. She graces the top of our tree. I couldn't get a good photo because my tree is too tall. (Refer to my poem a few posts back.)

When I was teaching, I coordinated a bike-a-thon for St. Jude's Hospital every year. They sent me these ornaments as thank yous a couple of years. Most years they sent a plaque.

Another reminder of my teaching years. I always had my kids read The Wizard of Oz. It had all kinds of opportunities for teaching reading skills that are required. Also, it proved to the kids that they couldn't watch the movie rather than read the book and then do a book report, etc.... There are way too many differences. The book is so good, if you haven't read it, you should!

The next ornament really doesn't require any explanation to you blogger friends, since you know my passion for sewing. My cousin, who also sews, gave this to me.

My husband and his dad always had a red truck. My fil still does. My husband had to get a SUV when he started selling real estate, though. My mil gave this to my husband. I love it!

Here's the whole tree.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dress-up Clothes for a Fashionista!

This little fashionista's mom is my friend. She asked me to make a set of dress-up clothes for her daughter to help Santa out this year.
She wanted a "rocker" dress and belt,

another "rocker" dress, or long skirt sans the belt,

shaw,

fur scarf,

Grecian goddess dress,

a princess dress with the addition of the skirt,

a ballerina costume,

a wedding gown and veil.


I got a little carried away with the wedding dress, but it sure was fun!! I'll deliver this in the morning while little fashionista is at school.
I bought a plastic tub and painted her name on the top and copies of the outfits around the sides. My camera battery died just as I finished taking the pictures of the clothes, so I can't get one of it.
Now, it's on to blankets for my grandson.
And, finally decorating that monstrosity of a tree that I put up the other day. I did get the lights on it and a few decorations. But, my front door still has a turkey wreath!!! Shame on me!!!

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