Sunday, November 29, 2009

Virtual Holiday Tour of Homes

My friends from Magical Holiday Home and I have decided to have a virtual tour of homes again this year. Last year, on the eve of the tour, my computer, with my pictures safely tucked inside, shut down and would not come back on. Since I had prepared the tour with links and scheduled it to post automatically, the tour went on, but without me! That's just the kind of thing that happens to me! Hopefully that won't happen this year. For one thing, I'm going to leave my photos on my camera memory card until AFTER the tour date. That way, if something does happen to the Toshiba, I can use another computer and still share my pictures!
If you'd like to join us, feel free. You don't have to be a member of MHH to join in-but if you're a Christmas crazy, you owe it to yourself to skip over there and check it out. We have an active message board with lots of interesting discussions on a variety of topics. I'll have a Mcklinky thing-a-ma-jig up and running at 12:00 am on December 12. Be sure to link to the actual tour post, not your blog in general. That way, if someone doesn't get around to viewing your blog for a few days, they will be able to find your tour post easily.
This is going to be fun! I'm also planning on participating on another tour this week, if I can get my pictures taken in time. Tracey at Notes from a Cottage Industry is hosting a fabulous blog tour on Tuesday. I hope I'm ready!! You totally owe it to yourself to see this. Tracey is wonderful and has a gorgeous blog and lots of followers. It'll be worth your while!
Looking forward to counting down the holidays with you!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Holidays!! Counting down the Days

It's the holiday season, and I couldn't be happier! I'm a holiday kind of girl, in case you haven't figured that out yet! I love, love, love the holidays. It's busy at the Hamlet this time of year, as you might well imagine. This is the big decorating weekend-I restrain from decorating for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over, but after Turkey Day, it's katie bar the door!

Today we put up a huge, 9' tree in our tiny little living room. It's a bit crowded, but it's so pretty! We used gold, red and purple on it..with white lights. It's really nice, and I'll be sharing pictures of it and the rest of our decor on December 13, during the virtual Holiday Tour of Homes with my friends from Magical Holiday Home. We will be sharing photos of our holiday homes with you on that date. Even if you're not a member of MHH, please feel free to join us. I'll have a linking system in place and you can just link right up! By the way, the picture above is from last year.

Jonah starts basketball practice on Monday, the local Christmas parade is Tuesday, church is Wednesday, and Jonah's 3rd grade program is Thursday. I told you it's busy at the Hamlet!

With only 27 days left until Christmas, I'm guessing it's busy at your house, as well! Leave me a message and tell me what you're up to!

Have a great rest of the holiday weekend!



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Almost Thanksgiving...let the holidays begin!

I am so happy it's almost Thanksgiving! I love's my favorite holiday! How can you not love a holiday that focuses on all the right things-Thankfulness, food, family, food, fellowship, food, football and a little food?

I hope you have a bountiful, peaceful and productive holiday!

I'll be taking the holiday to do this:

And then I'll be back for Christmas!! I'll have a couple of announcements about upcoming events, some pictures of early decor, and a summary of my Black Friday adventures!
Happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget to thank God for the blessings in your life!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Glittered paper cones! A Met Monday post!

I'm participating this week in Susan's Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. If you've never visited her fabulous blog, you are missing a treat and need to hustle over there and check out all the eye candy. I know Susan personally...ok, I don't, but she did very kindly respond to several e-mails from me when we were working on our back porch. She is so sweet and very patiently answered all my goofy questions. I emailed her so many times that now I affectionately refer to myself as her "favorite stalker"..which I'm sure she wondered a few times if I was a stalker! But she answered each question and encouraged me to ask any others I came up with. I feel like I know her personally!

So, here's my before, during and after. I am always trying to think of something cute and inexpensive to use for Christmas decorations. I am also totally hooked on crafting with paper, and you know I love to glitter things. I have a white tree that I put in the kitchen and have done a lot of different things with it. But this year I wanted something really cute and vintagy and different..with no budget to work with.
But I did have a stash of Mod Podge, decorative scissors, glitter, tinsel, pipe cleaners..and a brand new Gooseberry Patch catalog. Hmmm...

I leafed through the catalog and tore out some pages that had images I really liked on them, then used a salad plate as a pattern to cut out some circles, some with regular scissors, some with decorative scissors...

Then I got out the Mod Podge and my handy dandy foam brush and coated both sides of the circles with the glue and formed them into cones. I crumpled up some aluminum foil to make "stands" to put the wet cones on to dry...

I coated them three times with Mod Podge, letting them dry between coats. This not only makes them sturdier, it gives them a nice shine.
Then I took the dried cones to the back porch and coated them one more time with the glue and glittered them with clear glitter. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this step. Then, I took sparkly pipe cleaners and made handles for all of them by hot gluing the ends onto the sides of the cones. Then I used silver tinsel and tiny little silver ornaments to embellish each cone. Each one is totally unique...

Here's a couple of close ups...

The Gooseberry Patch catalogs are just the perfect weight to make these cones. And, the hand drawn illustrations are just the right amount of vintage charm that I was looking for...and the price was certainly right! By the way, if you're not familar with this charming catalog, click on the link above and check it out. I love their cookbooks and have the entire collection of Christmas books, except for this year's. I'll be ordering it soon, no doubt!
By the way, each one of the cones started out the same size, but ended up shaped just a little bit differently..something about the way I folded them, I guess.
I also made some cones for the same tree that are a little less sparkly..but cute as button anyway. I used newspaper for these cones.

I love this's my favorite. I cut a circle of lightweight card stock to study up the newspaper cones..they seemed a little flimsy, so I just glued the newspaper circle to the cardstock circle, then made the cone.

I am going to fill these cones with peppermints for the tree...cute, yes?

Only 47 days until Christmas! At least ONE of my trees will be ready!! Stick around...more paper cuties to come!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Out of the blue-counting my blessings!

Because I am finding myself in a big, fat blue funk today, I've decided to move my central operations (that means my computer, cell phone and coffee cup) to the back porch, trying to let the chilly autumn breeze blow away the cobwebs and nastiness that is residing in my brain. I have so much to be thankful for. First, of course, is the motley crew boys!! Thank You, God!

Our screened in back porch, which 11 years ago we only dreamed of having. It's not finished, still needs to be painted and of course you KNOW I'll be redecorating and fluffing it some more, but it's sittable..workable..comfortable..and it's ours! Thank You, God!

For a teenager, Jacob is such a good boy-he's very easy to get along with, agreeable to most things and has surrendered his life to serving God in the ministry. How much better than that could a 16 year old boy be?? Thank You, God!

Benjie and Jonah are good kids, too, despite the mud they insist on tracking into the house. And, they are best friends with their cousins, Makayla and Conner. Conner was not here when this picture was taken, but I'll find one of him and post it soon. I am so happy that my boys have first cousins two houses down the street-how cool is that?? Thank You, God!

And we have food to eat! Every thing on this plate came from Lynn's garden-tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and peppers! Thank You, God!

And we have a warm, comfortable house to live in. It's not very big, and it's not at all fancy, but it sits on family land that is not mortgaged, the house payment itself is manageable most months and it keeps us warm and dry in the winter, sheltered all year round and cool in the summer. And, we have an outdoor firepit! I've always wanted one of those!! Thank You, God!
I feel better already!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Going to Do Better...

...or at least I'm going to try to. I've neglected my blog horribly lately, and I'm really trying to do better. I did a couple of posts over at Haunted Hamlet with some Halloween pictures, and then a couple over at Scarecrow Soup with some pictures...the links are in the sidebar.

But I'm really wanting to get back to regular blogging on my good old everyday blog. I'm really, really going to try.

Right now, at 9:02 p.m. on Monday night, I'm watching the World Series. Our hometown boy, Cliff Lee is pitching a whale of a game for the Philadelphia Phillies. He grew up in our neighborhood and his parents and grandparents still live here. My hometown pride is large tonight. It's so weird watching someone you know personally pitching in the World Series.

And AJ Burnett, the Yankee's starting pitcher, is from Little Rock. How cool is that. Love that!!

So..I'll be back..I'm working on some Christmas crafts and gifts...maybe I'll get industrious enough to take some pictures and show you what I'm working on!!

Until next time...