Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Look Back

As the holidays come to an end and we settle into cold January I always think that we are going to stay home and hibernate.  We actually had a really nice January with a little bit of visiting and a little bit of relaxing. ( Unfortunately for me a little bit of the stomach flu too)

We celebrated our grandson turning 5.......

The kids got to go skiing with their cousins........

 we got to visit with dear friends......

and Neil and I joined our church. Looking forward to an equally enjoyable February.  Can't believe it's here already!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Year Vintage Postcards

I love vintage postcards and wanted to share some with you that celebrate New Years.

This one reads "My dear Eva, My best wishes for your success and happiness for 1912. 
With Love, Mary"

( I love birds on old postcards)

This one is postmarked 1909 and reads " Come out some night as I haven't hardly had time to come and see you lately though I will soon. Wishing you a Happy New Year. Your Friend, Bev" The recipient was Clara.

We complain about how hard it is to find time to see our friends with all we have to do today. Can you imagine how difficult it was for friends to get together 100 years ago? Laundry alone must have taken forever! 

What I love about both of these cards is that one girlfriend was sending it to another to keep in touch.  They are the original facebook! Women need their mothers, sisters, and girlfriends to connect with.  That's how it was 100 years ago and I have no doubt it will be the same in the next 100!  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chicken Soup

Being that January is National Soup Month, I thought that I would share with you a soup that is popular at our house.  I found it years ago on Allrecipes.  I know many people tweak recipes but I am not that creative in the kitchen.  I always make this recipe the same way the recipe calls for.  We all love it.  It is hearty and comforting.  You can find the recipe here. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Prayer of Susanna Wesley

I thank thee because, when I have been sometimes interrupted in my work 
and my thoughts of Thee have been diverted, 
I have found how pleasing it is to my mind to feel the motions of Thy Spirit
quickening me and exciting me to return. 

 My husband and I will be officially joining the United Methodist Church next weekend.  In preparing to do so we have been reading about John Wesley, one of the founders of the Methodist movement.  When I was looking through writings/prayers that belonged to my grandmother I found this prayer by Susanna Wesley.  Recognizing the last name I looked her up in Wikipedia.  It turns out that she was John Wesley's mother. The funny thing was, when I looked her up I discovered that she was born on this day 344 years ago! How weird is that! I guess it was meant to be that I found this prayer in my grandmother's belongings and am sharing it today. You can read about her here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stone Chip Bracelet

I have made this style bracelet before with pearls and crystals but I decided to use stone chips this time because it is for someone I work with who likes earthy tones. This bracelet is fun to make and works up quickly.

One of the greatest things about this project is that there are not a lot of supplies.

6 silver bead tips
#6 silk thread
1 multi strand clasp
stone chips ( I used about 110 chips)

First, tie a knot onto the end of your silk thread and string your bead tip up close to the knot. The little hook of the bead tip should be facing the end of the thread.  Make one more knot onto the other side of the bead tip to secure it. Next, string enough stone chips onto the thread to make a five inch length. ( I went with five inches because the person I was making it for has very small wrists.  My clasp added on two inches, not including the extender chain. ) Knot your thread at the end of the strand and add your second bead tip. Knot to secure.

Repeat this process two more times, giving you three completed strands.  Hook each strand onto the three strand clasp and then attach to the other coordinating side. Enjoy your new bracelet!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

To Whom Our Praise is Due

Praise the Lord for sunshine,
Praise the Lord for rain,
Praise the Lord for pleasure,
Praise the Lord for pain,
Praise the Lord for lessons learned
through every joy and sorrow,
Praise the Lord for days gone by,
And for each tomorrow!
--Alice Joyce Davidson

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Nook

I just finished reading the most WONDERFUL book, Adriana Trigiani's The Shoemaker's Wife.
It is a beautiful love story set in the early 1900's. Enza and Ciro first meet in the Italian Alps.  Their story continues in America as they both struggle to establish themselves in this new country.

What I love most about this book is Trigiani's writing.  She has an incredibly beautiful and poetic way of describing things.  Here is an excerpt:

"The only sound was the soft, rhythmic sweep of her footsteps, like hands dusting flour across an old wooden cutting board."

Don't you automatically know that feeling of your hands dusting flour on a cutting board? Her sentences are so descriptive.  They make you FEEL! She does this over and over again.

I have read several of Adriana Trigiani's books which I have truly enjoyed: Brava Valentine, Very Valentine, Big Stone Gap, Lucia name a few.  I have loved this one the best.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ribbon and Pearl Bracelet

 I think ribbon and pearls are the perfect combination of femininity and strength. This bracelet is a beautiful way to put the two together. It's very comfortable to wear and kind of "rolls" on your wrist.


2 silver bead tips
2 silver jump rings
silver toggle clasp
23 6mm pearls ( I like Swarovski crystal pearls)
ribbon 1/4 inch wide ( I've only used 100% polyester ribbon but you can experiment with others)
beading glue
100% satin thread ( I like #6)

The silk thread comes with a beading needle already attached.  I start by putting a knot on the end of the thread, leaving about an inch tail. Add a bead tip and knot the thread right up close to the bead tip. Make sure the little hook of the bead tip is facing the end of the string. This is where you attach your jump ring at the end. Next, hold a lighter to the end of the ribbon, just enough to melt it so it doesn't fray.  You don't need to actually touch the ribbon with the lighter. It just needs to be close enough to melt. ( please use caution). Fold the end of the ribbon over about a 1/4 inch. Thread the needle of the silk thread through the two layers of ribbon. The folded over end of the ribbon should be on the inside where the first pearl will go. Now you are ready to start adding pearls. Thread on a pearl and then thread the silk through the center of the ribbon at the end of the pearl.  I kind of eye ball this part. Alternate back and forth. Ribbon Pearl Ribbon Pearl. Sometimes  It should look something like this while you are working.....

I completed about 6 inches of ribbon and pearls because my toggle clasp gave me an additional inch and a half. Adjust the length of ribbon and pearls according to how much length your clasp will add and how large your wrist is.  When you have it long, enough cut the ribbon from the spool, leaving enough to double it over. End the bracelet by repeating the same procedure you did at the beginning.  Melt the end of the ribbon, fold it over toward the last pearl, and thread the silk through the two layers of ribbon. Make a knot up tight against the the ribbon.  Add your second bead tip with the hook facing away from the bracelet. (Note the photo above). Make a knot. Add a bit of bead glue to each knot inside the bead tip. Cut when dry. Add your jump rings and clasp. Enjoy :))

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, 
joy, peace, patience, kindness, 
goodness, faithfulness, 
gentleness and self-control. 
Against such things there is no 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Card Recycle

I love the tradition of sending and receiving Christmas cards each year.  When the season is over I find it such a shame to just throw them out.  This year I decided to recycle the cards I received in a couple of different ways.

First I made Christmas tags for next year.  I hate paying full price for wrapping supplies.  This year when I went to wrap presents I didn't have any tags so I had to run out and pay full price. So annoying! So I prepared some tags for next year by cutting the fronts of the Christmas cards to approximately 2 x3, punching a hole in the top and adding some ribbon. Now I'm all ready for next year and I won't have to run out to CVS!

The next thing I did with some of the cards that we had received was something that I had read about in our local newspaper: Project CARD ONE. This project sends holiday cards to our servicemen overseas. They accept new and used holiday cards. If sending used cards, tear off the decorative front to create a postcard, then either write a personal message to a service member or leave blank. Cards may be mailed to Project CARD ONE, MLO P.O. Box 68, Greenwood Lake 10925.

Do you do anything special with the cards you receive?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Happy New Beginnings! As we embark on 2013 let's think about all of the potential a new year brings. I especially want to think about all of the good we can bring to others through positive energy. Do you work with someone who is always miserable? Do you see people in the grocery store who look like they hate every moment of that chore? How does it make you feel to be around those people? I know it makes me feel down and cranky. I could be in a great mood but being around a Negative Nellie can take the wind right out of my sails.

Of course everyone has a bad day. Of course everyone tends to feel down, especially during these grey winter months. It's natural. But do we need to share this with the whole world? Confide in a dear friend, your mother, your sister.....then smile.....and be thankful that you have someone to talk to.

I don't want to be the person who brings everyone down. I know that when I come home from work in a bad mood and start yelling it affects the whole household.

So in this new year let's remember to be a positive force, not the Negative Nellie. 

Oh....and remember to SMILE!