Wednesday, December 14, 2011

THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS!

I received this story through an email several years ago and always re-read it each and every Christmas. I do not know the original author; wish I did. It touches my heart. I hope you feel the same. Enjoy.


"I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!" My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted.... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go." "Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together, we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were. ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95. May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care.And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!"

ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY!

Do you feel like you are heading into sensory overload? With all the breathtaking decorations and images during this time of year, my mind has difficulty staying focused. I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to forget anything. I want to make every cookie recipe I see. And I get lost for hours perusing through the mouthwatering holiday recipes and adorable crafts/decorations on Pinterest. I’m a giddy, tingly, emotional holiday mess.

I recently came across these sweet free printables by Miriam Bos on Pinterest the other night and I had to share with you.


Click HERE for the PDF's and more adorable freebies! These designs are oozing too-cute-for-words charm. Check them out and happy crafting.

I have made a serious effort to remove any pressure from myself on any new projects for my Etsy shop this month. If I finish a few new pieces….great. If I don’t….that is OK too. This year, it is important to spend time with my family and create when the mood strikes me and the time allows. This will be my first Christmas without my Dad, and making sure my daughter feels the true meaning of Christmas is all that is important right now. I have made some fun pieces for friends, and have a couple of WIP’s waiting for completion that are turning out nicely. As they finish, I will post some pictures and add to my Etsy shop. Maybe a give-away before the end of the month?!

Ornament in memory of my Dad, who was a retired Firefighter and forever the family Santa!

We finally got our tree completed over the weekend. My daughter picked out a cute Fraser Fir…….on the short side, but full of love width-wise. It fits in well with the family! I used to be so particular about my tree, but ever since my daughter and husband did the tree decorating last year while I was sick, I have been OK with giving up the reigns. My job now is making sure the lights are on. After that, Julia and I share the decorating duties.
Don’t get me wrong. There are moments when I feel my skin start to crawl when she hangs one of my family heirlooms in a not-so-perfect spot, but I start the silent chant in my head, “It is just a tree. It is just a tree. It is just a tree.”; secretly hoping that she falls asleep early so I can move it later in the night. Truth be told, I haven’t moved a thing. She notices everything! She will call me out on it right away.

Her friends did come over the other day and broke one of my antique ornaments. As Alex’s hand reached out to touch the teardrop indent ornament, I said, “Be careful with the tree. All the ornaments are glass.” To which she stuck her thumb right through it. I jumped over to see if she was cut, and as I held the broken pieces, I could hear my own heart cry. I guess I will be hitting Ebay for a replacement.

Thank goodness for Ebay!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

My vintage Santa Mugs

There are so many fun events this time of the year. So much so that if you blink, you may miss half of it. As a mom, I am forever feeling the pressure to "make - the - memories - happen". Women put so much pressure on themselves to do it all, and I too struggle at times with trying to be too much.....
be the perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect business woman, perfect mentor, perfect friend, perfect...perfect...perfect. Good golly, we are so unfair to ourselves. And the holidays just seem to bring it all to a head.
I have learned of the years to "let it go". How? Not sure, really. Maybe it comes with age. No words of wisdom, no "aha" moment for me. More a steady conscious decision to do what I can, as best I can, and if it goes wrong.....so what!
As an artist, I found early on that sometimes my biggest "mistakes" came with breathtakingly beautiful outcomes. My best work, in both art and life, humbly began as one big f-up. LOL
So let it go, and enjoy the season everyone. Memories are made from the feelings you create in others. Let that be your only goal.
Gift Shop display at the Methuen Festival of Trees

Last week, the family spent time hitting some of the local Christmas attraction. It is outings like these that help those warm feelings grow and give you a sense of connection with your neighbors and friends. The annual tree lighting in town, although very cold, was a fun night of lights, hot chocolate, cookies and Santa. Side note: don't you love it when Santa shows up and he has a REAL beard! Yeah!
We also spent a few hours at the Methuen Festival of Trees. If you live in Massachusetts and have never attending a Festival of Trees, please find out if your local town has one in your area. They can't be beat. Methuen, if I am not mistaken, was the only town to have a Festival, but I have noticed that a few more have branched out (no pun intended) to others areas.
The trees are all donated and decorated by local merchants or residents. And each tree is raffled off at the end of the event.
My camera was not kind to me that day .... but as I said before .... just let it go! There were so many gorgeous trees, but these were all I could find that were in focus - LOL
Below are some of the not so blurry pictures of a few trees and the lovely Gift Shop they set up during the event.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

HOW LUCKY AM I ! My new ornament from Tamara Dozier

It is that wonderful...exciting...heart-warming...nostalgic...totally hectic & draining time of the year! I love every minute.
Driving by all the decorated homes in the neighborhood, you can't help but feel the splendor of the season. Not to mention the beautiful holiday pins on Pinterest. So much inspiration. If only I had the time (and money) to make my home dream decor come to life.
I have embellished ever nook and cranny of the house with glistening Christmas charm. My vintage Santas wink and smile. Everything seems better at Christmas time.
Next weekend, we will drive to our favorite tree stand and pick out one special fern that "speaks" to us. Then, an afternoon of unwrapping the many ornaments, lights, icicles, garland, and what-nots. I can't wait.
This year, I have a new and special ornament to add to my collection.

The incredibly talented Tamara Dozier at Tilted Asylum had a blog give-away a few weeks ago and, whoo hoo, I won! I nearly jump a foot when I got her email. I am so thrilled to have this snowman and will find the perfect branch for him to hang in honor. Thank you so much for letting me play, Tamara! Check out her blog everyone. She even has a tutorial on how to make these festive ornaments!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

HALLOWEEN IN NOVEMBER

Tonight, we finally got to hit the neighborhood and Trick or Treat, after the snowstorm a few days ago postponed the festivities in our town. It was a great night, and there were hundreds of kids roaming the streets. What fun!
Julia was a Asian Princess, or at least that is what the package from Target called it. I think it is a Geisha Girl, but I guess that isn't politically correct any longer. So Asian Princess it is.
She looked beautiful, even with the layers of cloths underneath to keep her warm. Believe me, she let me know that it ruined the "look".
My husband Jeff stayed home and passed out candy while I went out with Julia. Not to miss out on the fun, he played along as well. He is such a kid at heart.

For blocks, houses were decorated and passing out candy. This neighborhood loves to celebrate the holidays. And in a few weeks, it will become a Santa's village. Can't wait.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

A SNOW-FILLED HALLOWEEN WEEKEND


JOL Snowmen are popping up everywhere in the neighbor-hood this morning! A snowy, cold, and treacherous night lead way to a sunny winter wonderland morning.
Our first snow creature was made! I can't remember the last time it snowed before Halloween. Unfortunately, because the snow was wet and heavy, many families are without power and Trick or Treating has been postponed till Wednesday November 2nd. As long as there is candy involved, Julia should be fine with that :) To celebrate the snowy spooktacular holiday, I used my hubby's skelly gloves for shoveling. Happy Halloween everyone!




Monday, October 17, 2011

DOTD BUNNY


It's just a few weeks away until the big Halloween night. Julia wants to be a Geisha Girl. She saw this adorable costume at Target weeks ago and she had to have. Of course, Mommy decided to wait till it was closer to Halloween before she bought it; knowing full well that she would change her mind at least 2 or 3 times before the big day. Well, go figure.....she didn't! And, as expected, Target doesn't have her size! No fears. I ordered it on-line and it should be here by the end of the week. Thank goodness or I would be sewing a last minute costume to make up for my procrastination. Hurray for the internet!

I finished up this cute little Dead of the Dead / Halloween Bunny Gift Box tonight and took a few quick pics to share. Tomorrow I will take "cleaner" photos in the daylight so I can get this listed on my Etsy site. Hope you like her.


Till later,
Cyndi

Sunday, October 9, 2011

SNEAK PEEK AT A NEW HALLOWEEN MEDALLION




Hi everyone,
Most of the shakers are now listed on Etsy. I have a couple still yet to finish.

I was also able to finish up a new large medallion to hang on the wall or hook on a door knob. It is large. The center wooden piece is hand painted and aged and about 6 1/2 wide. I added a hand ruffled orange crepe paper. All in all, it is about 11" wide.

There is an orange pom pom cord for hanging.

This design was inspired from a vintage Halloween image I ran across on Flickr. There is a hint of black sparkle and tons of charm. Hope you like it :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

AND THE WINNER IS.....

The winner of the Halloween shaker has been pulled.
Congratulations to NINA.
I will email you shortly for your mailing information. Your shaker will be mailed out this week.

And thank you to all of you for playing with me!

Till later,
Cyndi

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Halloween Give-Away - YES, IT IS FINALLY STARTING!


Yes, I have FINALLY been able to upload my post. Whew!
I wanted to do something fun this time and add a video. Holy Cow! This was not as easy as I anticipated. Had to go through YouTube to post it because, for some crazy reason, Blogger had issues, but where there is a will, there is a way! Part of the video appears on Blogger cut off on the right, but if you watch it through YouTube you will see the whole frame.
Since the post would not work as planned on Saturday, I am going to let the give-away run an extra day. I will not post a winner till SUNDAY, October 2nd.
How to win?
Leave me a comment saying you want to win one my blog (not on YouTube), and also include the number of the shaker you want to recieve. On Sunday, I will randomly pick a winner from your comments, and announce the winner. Easy Peasy!
Sorry the pics are so blurry - but you get the idea :)

Number 1 below:

Number 2 below:

Number 3 below:

Number 4 below:

Number 5 below:

Number 6 below:

Thank for being patient and THANKS FOR PLAYING - Good luck!
Cyndi


Halloween Give-Away

Hi Everyone,
I had issues posting pics and videos all day yesterday on blogger so I was unable to get the give-away info out to you. I am working again on it this morning and hope to have it resolved today.
Stay tuned!

Cyndi

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FAMILY FUN AND A SNEAK PEEK AT AN UPCOMING GIVE-AWAY!

The weekend proved to be the perfect beginning to some lovely fall-like weather. Our church had a wonderful picnic for the parishioners with lots of yummy homemade food and sweets. There were pony rides, a bouncy house, and lots of games to keep the kids entertained. The day couldn't have been better.


Julia doing her best at the sack race!


My hubby decided to refurbish his drums over the weekend as well. He has always dreamed of owning a green sparkle Ludwig set. So, he tore up the old finish and re-wrapped them. Sounds easy, huh? Not so much!!! But they look great. Nice job babe.

The beginning.....


The end....


Oh, and yes, you did read correctly. I am planning a new Halloween Give-Away!
I am just about finished with some new shakers. They need some minor finishing touches such as ribbons and what not.
Here is a peek at some "almost" completed pieces. There are some old favorites and a couple of new vintage-inspired styles.
I will start the give-away this Saturday afternoon, Sept. 24th. I should have good picture by then for you. One of them could be yours, so please stop by and say HI. I will have more details on how you can win.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

REMEMBERING OUR FALLEN HEROS


Words seem meaningless today.
Let us all make the effort to remember all the brave men and women of 9/11 in our own unique ways.
Blessings,
Cyndi

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

WHEW! WHAT A WEEK.

Goodness, it has been an eventful week since Hurricane Irene hit. Luckily, Irene was more bark than bite; at least that was the case in my area. Many had it much worse and my heart go out to anyone who saw the storm at its peak.
We waiting for something "big", but it was not to be. The only downfall of the storm - no power! The electricity went out on Sunday morning at around 10:30 and it didn't return till Tuesday night. I consider myself a lucky lady, though. Some surrounding areas had no power for over a week.
We occupied our time with paper, glue and paint, games, and even a trip to Target. Yep, you heard right! The storm was fairly mild, and many local businesses still had power, so what do you do when you are bored? Hit Target and look for bargains!
Julia and I were hoping to find some cool Halloween items, but they were still in "Back-to-School" mode, so nothing interesting was had. My hubby stayed home and doodled. The things that fill that man's head! I wonder sometimes! LOL


Wednesday was the first day of school! My husband (who works from home) was doing the "happy-dance" all the way to the bus stop! Don't get me wrong, he adores spending time with Julia. But having her under feet during the summer is a complete distraction and he is looking forward to actually "working" the entire day.
Jessica, on the left, is her BFF. (Sorry about the blurry pics!) Jess lives next door and they are both in the same class. This is a good and bad thing as they tend to "chat" a little too much during school. She promises they will be better this year. Only time will tell.




Creatively, I have been working on Halloween items this week. As usual, I am making some shakers. These are just the beginning stages but I have a couple of old shakers in the background to help inspire me.


I have owls on the brain right now so hopefully I will have some OOAK pieces to share in the next week.
I have been working on a Halloween Swap with some girls at work. I will share those as well with you all.
Here is a sneak peek at one of my Christmas pieces that I just finished over the weekend. I should be posting this on my Etsy site this week.


The best news this week was the addition of a lovely new baby girl into the world. Summer was born on Friday to my dear friends, Julie and Jed. I have worked with Julie for over 15 years. She was a silly, young girl who loved to party when I first met her. She would hide out at my desk in the art room when she was hung over and needed some quite time. Now, she is all grown up, has changed departments and works for me, and is a smart, funny, lovely young woman who married a great guy and now has this adorable little bundle. Welcome to the world sweet pea!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

GETTING READY FOR IRENE

Today has been a quiet Saturday, considering hurricane Irene is due to hit Massachusetts tomorrow. It was overcast and miserably humid during the afternoon, which gave way to drizzly rain and a bit cooler temps. Jeff, Julia and I are tucked in safe, ready for what Irene may toss our way. At 9:50, the rain is heavier now which always makes me sleepy. I'm hoping we don't lose power; the bad weather will make for a perfect day of crafting and creating :)
For all my friends living in the path of the storm, may you stay safe and dry!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

PLAYING CATCH-UP

It has been a few weeks since I have been able to spend some time with you all. Though my father's death was not unexpected, it still leaves you "disoriented". It was hard to focus at times.
The family is just beginning to get back to a routine. Thank goodness for children. My daughter knows just the right time to make me laugh. I am off work (day job) for a few days next week. Much needed vacation time. We hit the lake yesterday and enjoyed a leisurely afternoon in the sand. Today is cloudy, and the skies looks like rain is on it's way. But, Julia once again saved the day by deciding to have a "party". No reason really. She just wanted to decorate the house with balloons and make "ants-on-a-log" snacks, punch, and play pin the tail on the donkey and Candy Land. It turned out to be a fabulous idea! Our party was a success, even if it was just Jeff, Julia, and myself acting silly.
I have been "creating" here and there. I am in the middle of making new Halloween shakers. And I have completed my own version of a vintage paper pulp Santa for the Christmas season.


He is already on Etsy, and I have more fun Halloween and Christmas items in various stages of completion.
I did have to share one photo of my husbands "doodle"! Yes, he calls this a doodle.


Julia and Jeff were drawing on the coffee table this morning and I came in to find this. Of course, my reaction is always, "Did you just do that?" and he always looks surprised because, to him, this is a throw away sketch. How can I convince him that his "doodles" are sometimes his best work!? Thought I would let you have a peek into my crazy husbands mind.
Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. I promise to bring you lots more Halloween and Christmas fun soon :) It will be here before you know it.
Till later,
Cyndi