Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Decorating

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for taking time out from your busy holiday schedule to stop by!  We've been busy over here getting the Christmas tree up and decorated.   Dear Hubs always puts the tree up (it's a live one) and we string the lights together, after that it is all mine to decorate. Now I admit that it's an ordeal to get everything out and un-packing the ornaments and decorations is a big TO DO and takes me most of the week to accomplish the task but this year I had a very special helper. I asked Dear Hubs to hang the balls on the tree (first time EVER), and he did such a great job (who knew?) I enlisted his help to hang ornaments! Now folks, this is a BIG deal for me since I was raised by my Mama who liked to do everything JUST SO. Yes, sorry Mama but it is true that each strand of tinsel had to be hung individually AND perfectly on each branch.  I don't put tinsel on my tree for that very reason. Any how, decorating went fairly fast and the tree looks wonderful and DH is very proud. I think he has a new job <wink,wink> in the future!
My sister and I were on Skype the other day and we were talking about ornaments and decorations. I gave her a little tour of some crafty Pinterest inspired  Check it out here.

 Pinterest inspired cone trees wrapped in tinsel and vintage buttons, covered in vintage dictionary pages.
                                                  Vintage buttons and tinsel trees.

 
Last year's Christmas ball project (also Pinterest inspired HERE) with the sequins hang on the chandelier with snowflakes and Pier 1 collectible ornaments.

Little Sunshine and Lollipops have been busy too! Here's some of their latest ornaments inspired by Pinterest.  Click on the red HERE to see the links.


Popsicle snowflake ornaments HERE. Instead of buttons we used sequins because these girls love bling! We added a bit of glitter too just for sparkle. They looks so pretty on the Christmas tree.


Pom-pom Christmas wreaths made from recycled cardboard. They painted the wreaths and glued pom-poms, each with their own personality shining through!

 The girls made snowmen and each added their own flair.  Above is Lollipops design. She added "snowshoes" for her snowman and snowflakes and scarf and hat she hand drew.
Little Sunshine: I can't draw a no-man Mimi! Mimi: you can use a circle punch! Sunshine; ok! Let's Do It!  SS: I can't drawn his nose Mimi, I don't know how! Mimi: yes you can, it is a triangle upside down.  SS: ohhhh.   SS: B has arms on her no-man!  Mimi: you can have some too, draw them. SS: I don't know how to draw them!  Mimi: make a line out to the side of each side of the snowman! SS: ohhh I DID IT MIMI!!!

Oh what fun it is to craft with these little ones!

Hope you week is going well and you are having fun crafting up a storm!

Bee Creative!
Suzy

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A LITTLE OF THIS AND A LITTLE OF THAT....CATCHING UP!

Hello there!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, bet it does at your house too! The temperatures have cooled down some and there is less humidity here, an occasional day where we must wear shoes other than flip flops.

Sunshine and Lollipop were happy to see little Calvin Houdini in October when he visited with Mommy and Daddy from Michigan.


 Calvin drove his Uncle Chris's boat  and played on an island in the river with his cousins Sunshine and Lollipop!
What a fun time and we attended a beautiful wedding in downtown Miami to celebrate the marriage of our friend's daughter while they were here. Hubs and I just celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary too.

And now the Christmas season is upon us.  A wonderful time of the year for those who celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The miracle of God coming to Earth in the form of a child, for us. (I love that song: Mary Did You Know?).   Our church hosts a celebration for three nights each year with a Live Nativity. People love to walk through the Living Nativity and see  the story of Christ's birth come to life! It seems each year it draws more people to hear about His birth and I feel privileged to be a part of this event in the Angel choir. Now don't laugh. It's the only time I'm allowed to wear a halo <wink>.  This year I'm going to try to remember to take some photos.

The Grands are so excited this year about decorating.....their house looks like an explosion of Santa's workshop! There are decorations everywhere but the most special decorations are those they make themselves.  Precious little hands making ornaments for the tree, they delight in making them as glittery and sparkling as possible!  I love watching them color and draw and make stuff, it is the highlight of my week.It is challenging too as you know if you have little ones, there are hands going in so many directions and glitter flying through the air, glue everywhere....I wouldn't change it for a moment. SPARKLE ON!

If you have little people in your house you might like to click on Pinterest for ideas to keep them busy.  Check out my Christmas Kiddie board and also Kiddie Crafts.  There's lots of entertaining ideas and such fun to be had by little ones and big ones as well.  I'm happiest when there is paint, glitter and glue involved in any project.

Have a great week!

Glitter on!
Suzy


Monday, December 8, 2014

Hello There! Happy December!

Hello Everyone!

Happy December!!! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods! We are all doing well here in our little slice of paradise, enjoying nice sunny days and warm weather, still wearing our flip flops most days.  

I'll be posting a catch up letter soon.  Meanwhile I thought I'd share a some of the Thanksgiving Kiddie Art with you.  My little darlings, Sunshine and Lollipop are busy drawing their little hearts out and making decorations. 

We trust that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are enjoying your preparations for the Christmas season.  We are working on some snowmen and Christmas tree ornaments we will be sharing with you soon. 

Meanwhile my friends.....

Bee Creative!
Suzy

Saturday, October 25, 2014

PUMPKIN TIME

Hi Everyone!

What time is it?  PUMPKIN TIME!   It is officially here, the weather has taken a tiny dip in temperature and that means it's pumpkin time in my world. I love Autumn, even here in South Florida there are subtle changes, but mostly it is a state of mind. 

Pumpkin Patches, Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies.....who doesn't like pumpkins? No, don't answer that. 

 I have a small collection of pumpkins, decorative of course, they live in the kitchen on the Baker's Rack.  They remind me of wonderful autumn days
and the delight of going to the pumpkin patch. I thought I'd share a few with you.





This year I added a few mini pumpkins to the collection. I found the little jewel box pumpkin at the thrift store and that started the mini pumpkin collection. There's also a new metal owl to keep the big green ceramic owl company.  I bought the green owl as a gift for my mother <wink> when I was 15.   




Couldn't resist the little Jack O Lantern with the wire handle! Isn't he just so cute?


                          A few faux pumpkins from the Dollar store.



I wanted a bunch of these white pumpkins but one is all I could afford. And you can see the turkeys got in on the action....they are from Mama's collection. 



A lacy looking pumpkin works well with the retro style pottery.


A reminder of Thanksgiving....... which is coming soon.....my favorite pumpkin is in this Harvest scene Daddy painted on old barn wood in 1979 (today would have been his 85th birthday).  It's a lovely reminder of the season and of that special person that painted it.  

Pumpkin Time is a wonderful time of the year! I hope you are outside enjoying the weather and perhaps finding a few pumpkins to display in your home.  

Happy Hunting!

Suzy  




Friday, September 19, 2014

The Valley of The Shadow

Hi Everyone!

Gosh it seems each time I have such good intentions of posting on a regular basis and then something happens and time continues to drift away..... another life changing event and here I am posting again. It's not my intention to write when things are not going smoothly and emotion is running high because so much can be said that can be taken out of context and words are not easily taken back. I like to give myself time to be able to look at situations with some distance between the actual and the factual and the full picture before putting it out there for everybody to read. With that said...

Life is what happens each and every day, the little mundane, often seemingly unimportant stuff of day to day living and every now and again you're throw a curve ball (or two) and you have to decide if you are going to make the play or let it drop. The last several months have been curve balls of sickness and death, one was fielded and the other hit squarely between the eyes.  Those of you that have experienced death of a loved one know exactly what I am talking about, and if you have not experienced this, trust me it is like being hit by a Mack truck. HARD.

 Daddy passed away last weekend, he was surrounded by family and he went peacefully.  I am grateful for the Hospice nurses and his team of Doctors and Nurses at Mayo.  They were gentle, compassionate and caring.

And now comes the hard part for those left behind to pick up the broken pieces of their lives. It isn't easy for anyone, but I imagine it is much harder for those who do not know Jesus to understand death and to walk through the grief and sorrow alone.

Psalms 23 comes to mind "and ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me...."   I am truly grateful that I do not walk this path alone and that the Lord Jesus walks with me and comforts me and brings me peace.

Suzy






Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eating an Elephant

Hi Everyone!

Have you heard that joke about How do you eat an Elephant?

Click to viewAnswer: One bite at a time.



 Well I am eating my elephant  er, quilting my quilt, one bite stitch at a time.  It does seem like an elephant, it is an enormous quilt!  It's been years since I have attempted to hand quilt anything and now I find myself with needle and thread in hand. It is so ridiculous to even THINK about this gigantic task before me, hence the elephant joke.  I hope you don't think that is in poor taste. 



Do you have a few spare minutes? I'll tell you the story of the gigantic quilt.  It all started about 19 years ago <cringe> on Labor Day weekend when my BFF came down for her first visit to our new home in south FL.  We had just moved here in June and I was SO excited to have my friend come for the long weekend and to start this new quilt project (back then we were both into quilting BIG time). We cut and we sewed and we put together blocks all weekend, and almost had the queen-sized top completed.  Eventually she went home and I continued to work to finish the blocks needed to finish the project.  

Fast forward another eight years.....My daughter has bought her very first home and I'm thinking I'll make her a quilt as a housewarming present when I stumble across the quilt in the closet and asked her if she might like it.  She loves the colors and we measure her bed, I add more blocks to increase the size. Then she gets a new bed and it is higher and the quilt needs borders and she asks if could I incorporate some brown into it??  LOL!   Oh sure, I add the borders (and brown fabric as requested) and then.......

Fast forward another two years.....daughter is in Texas now and tells me she would really like her quilt. It's become the "housewarming" joke between us. Meanwhile I get the quilt layered to be quilted and it is gigantic and there's NO WAY it is going to fit in my sewing machine to be quilted.  So, I think it went back into the closet while I tried to think of a way to afford to have it professionally quilted. 

Fast forward three years......daughter is married, has a baby and lives in Michigan.  Okay, time to get serious about that quilt, because it is FREEZING cold in Michigan and she is a FLORIDA girl.  Finally, I get the bright idea to ask two ladies from the quilter's group at church if they might like to take on the project of machine quilting it.  They were willing and took the quilt to see if they could find a quilting machine that they could quilt it on. That was 6 months ago. Just the other day they told me the quilt was TOO BIG to go on their friends machine.  Back to square one and time to eat humble pie......

That brings me to the needle in hand and the realization that it's been 20 years since I've quilted by hand and I'm sorely out of practice!

I'd forgotten how to tie a quilter's knot and my stitches look more like Morse Code, (dot, dot, dash). 


Rather than the 12 stitches to an inch I used to quilt, it is more like 6 stitches to an inch (being generous) and they are rather wobbly like a drunkards path. It is a humbling experience (one deserved) after all these years. 


 But I'm getting the hang of hand quilting again and trying not to think too much about how gigantic a project this really is. 

She's waited this long......what's another 6 months to a year?  

You'll have to excuse me now......I have an elephant I need to eat.    

Say, where did I put my fork???


Bee Creative!

Suzy





Friday, August 15, 2014

INSPIRATION LEADS TO REORGANIZATION OF STUDIO

Hi Everyone!

A steaming hot cuppa coffee in my hand and the mouse in the other, scanning down the page, clicking on this and that, pinning a few, that's how I started my day off !  Don't judge me....it IS my day off from work.  Yes there are a zillion things I need to do today...that blasted phone keeps whistling to remind me of the TO DO list that awaits. 
 You know what I'm talking about too. <wink> It's easy to fall down the (Pinterest) rabbit hole, so limiting my time is important while taking time to be inspired.
My Spring Door Wreath inspired by Pinterest

Spending time being inspired by others adds to my creativeness and that leads to thinking about my work area, better known as the studio.  Cleaning and rearranging the work areas in my studio (AGAIN) helps me realize what my current interests are and where I need to focus my creative attention. That might not be your situation but for me, it is a huge problem.  I have many interest and find it hard to concentrate on one at a time.  So I find what works for me is having specific areas or zones that concentrate on one or two crafts. 


 For instance my sewing area has long been neglected, mending piling up and several (back burner) projects need attention. I take a hard look at each area, make note of unfinished projects and then schedule in some time each day to work on them. Each area or zone has its own projects to be completed. 

 After several weeks of devoting time to the mending project, I'm happy to say the mending is finished! Mending you say? Who exactly mends these days?!? I do, especially if it is a favorite piece of clothing I enjoy wearing.  The mending gives it character and individuality and extends the life of  the garment.  It's an old fashioned idea, but one learned from my Granny and my Mom who were thrifty sewers.  Next on the list and a long time coming is a slipcover for a foot stool. Stay tuned for that!


My little desk wasn't functioning as previously envisioned for sewing so I switched it out for a larger/longer work surface which also doubles as a crafting surface when Little Misses Sunshine and Lollipop come over. The larger work surface seems to be working well with plenty of room for sewing, painting and craft projects for both the little ones and for myself as well. And the smaller desk is conveniently located to allow both girls their own space if needed <wink> or for me to supervise the activities. 



After setting up the sewing/craft area the little desk now doubles as a beading and stamping area. This area/zone is where I will spend hours making beaded jewelry and working on my journals and stamping projects.  The drawers conveniently hold the on-going beaded projects and houses the stamps and journals so the area can be easily converted for Misses S & L to use if necessary.


                                                             

                                                     It's a happy area!





 I continue to purchase beads (but on a more discriminating basis) to add to the collection.



                                       Several new designs are in the works.

One of the beading projects involves these shiny pink faux crystal buttons pictured above.  But you'll have to stay tuned for that one, I'm not giving up the details yet.

Over at the art table where I confess to spend most of my leisure time, I've been working in one of my art journals and there will be lots to share with you soon!  Yes, it looks messy but that's how I roll! No matter how big the surface area it seems I only use a very small area to work within. 



Happily the summer is rolling along and we are enjoying it.  What are you doing this summer?  I hope you are finding time to......

Be Creative!
Suzy