Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post An Angel At Your Door

KC Willis is once again sharing a little of herself by giving away this very cool Guardian Angel Collage to EVERYONE who mentions and links to Collage Camp on their blog or Yahoo group etc. On the back she has handwritten the words. . ."Post an angel at your door. Fear the darkness nevermore."

I am officially showing my friends and blog followers this opportunity to own a gorgeous piece of artwork by KC Willis. And, for signing up during the next week Collage Camp is only $75 instead of the regular $98. Once you have blogged and linked, just drop her an e-mail at lipstickranch@yahoo.com and send her the link to your blog, as well as your mailing address.

Early this spring, I attended camp with KC, bought her DVD, and my collage art took a new turn in such exciting ways. Collecting buttons, altering fabrics, and "treasure" hunting is even more fun! Oh, KC, thanks again for the lovely collage. I will just treasure it!

Visit KC Willis Collage Camp at: http://collagecamp.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last-Minute Wishes

This precious pink sweater will be given to my dear granddaughter, Lauren, for Christmas this year. It took me a few months to complete, with a bit of anxiety near the end. I feel an "Ooh La La" Parisian moment with these colors. I am hoping she will like it, and enjoy wearing it. Little girls sometime surprise me with their preferences even at the age of two!

When Christmas comes calling,
may your home glow bright
with good times and laughter
and love's warming light.

Merry Christmas from My Home to Yours

And, what an eventful year this has been! Who would ever have guessed that some of our most "secure" American institutions would succumb to such devastation? I truly hope that you are able to put the "junk" aside and just enjoy a few moments of peace this holiday season.

There are, of course, many difficult scenarios connected with where all of us find ourselves this glorious time of year. Our real estate and mortgage business has really taken an devastating economic hit. I am having my best artistic years ever though. I love having joined the exciting blogging world, creating artwork to share with you all, and of course, my knitting. I can't imagine doing anything better. My only wish would be that I could spend more time with my grandchildren.

All in all, I have laughed more than I've cried, hugged, learned, and given thanks perhaps a bit more than in other years. But, we're together, strong, happy and incredibly grateful for the miracles we witness each day. I sincerely hope that you, too, have had more joy than sadness, and that the love that surrounds you will let the glorious light of Christmas bring gladness to your heart all year.

Merry Christmas,
and take care of yourself
and those whom you love.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hand Knitted Socks

The wondrous world of knitting began when my Mom sat down with my girlfriend and I at the age of ten. It was one of those lazy summer days when we were bored, tired of riding our bikes, and we wanted to "do something." Marion (my pal and girlfriend at the time), sat eagerly for my Mom to teach us how to knit and purl for the very first time.

I remember trying to push my needle into those tight stitches, thinking how hard this was. It seemed so awkward at the time. I kept thinking that I would never learn as I would forget to remove the stitch, or drop another when I wasn't supposed to. Marion, my life-long friend from Tennessee, still knits. A few years back, she even thanked my Mom for being so patient with us and was so glad that she learned how to knit so many years ago.

Today, I am posting a picture of my very first pair of hand knitted socks. There are some mistakes, I think. One sock seems a little bit larger, and the yarn is a little heavier than the yarn I would probably use the next time. But, at least, I actually finished a pair!

They are for someone who keeps asking me if I know how to knit socks. I keep telling this person, I don't know how to knit them. But this Christmas, his wish will come true. I am so proud of myself for conquering the heel turn, decreasing the foreboding gusset, and ending my toe with the famous Kitchener stitch. I finally did it! My first, and hopefully not my last, pair of hand-knitted socks!

Post Update: Thursday, December 17th, 2009

These hand knitted socks were given to my young friend, Tyler. I think he was going to cry when I presented him my gift! His Grandma used to make socks when he was a kid, but now suffers from Alzheimer's. I could read in his eyes that my socks brought back sweet memories of his Grandma knitting for him and his brother. Tyler was so thrilled that he wore them to bed the first night, and again the whole next day! It sure was worth the dedication when someone appreciates all your effort. Besides, I got a great big hug!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
2 cups granulated sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped walnuts
24 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 8-oz. Hershey bar, grated
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies. This recipe may be halved.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Christmas Log Recipe

About a month ago, I received a request from one of my "commentors" named Pauline. She was born in Michigan, but her parents brought her to Malta in 1964. It is such a small world sometimes! She still has only one living uncle who lives in Livonia. In fact, she spoke to him a couple of weeks ago asking him questions about the squirrels in the trees.

She went on to say how she missed seeing the squirrels scampering on the branches with the lovely autumn leaves, which they don't get to see in Malta. Well, she made a humble request of me at that time.

In exchange for a small piece of embroidery from her, she asked if I would make an altered recipe card written in her language, Maltese. Now, that was a little bit of challenge!

Here is the card I created for her of the yuletide recipe called the "Christmas Log." "It will be given to her daughter, since it is the only recipe her daughter can make," Pauline said with a chuckle. I am sure her daughter will be surprised. It will be sent off to Malta the beginning of the week.

Of course, I have once again used the images from one of Becky Loyall's collage sheets. I just love her artwork (as if you couldn't tell LOL).

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dog Gone Christmas Gift Tags

Coming up with ideas for posts can sometimes be daunting. At times I can't find the words, so I get out my camera and capture some of the fun things I do in my art room. As the holiday season draws near, it has become a personal tradition of mine to create my own Christmas gift tags. Celebrating with the ordinary can just make life just plain easy and fun. And heck, you may find some inspiration to make your own tags this year.

I just wanted to do a very simple theme, and what could be more enjoyable than making tags of my favorite canine friends. These sweet little pup collage images can be found at Whymsical Musings Etsy shop.

The tags themselves were made by Paper Magic Group, Inc. There were 75 deluxe holiday gift tags in the box, and these adorable dog images were mounted on thin cardboard, trimmed, edges lightly sanded and stamped with a Color Box Chalk "Creamy Brown" inkpad. I may have to add a little bit of glitter. All gift tags need just a little bit of sparkle!

Thanks again, Becky, for sharing your "Doggone Wonderful Christmas Collage Sheet!"