Thursday, December 31, 2009

Garland Of Delights

With Christmas over, it is a sad sight when all the decorations come down and go back to the attic or garage until next year. I always think that it looks so drab and boring right after the undoing, but this year I plan to leave it up a little longer and to replace some of it with handmade festive garlands. I made a "happy birthday" one last July which we take out every time a family member has a b-day, but I am very inspired by the crocheted ones as well since that is my main occupation! I think I would like to make one to festoon each window in my living room, and maybe some for the dining room as well. I have thought of making a paper pennant one that says "Oh Happy Day" as a reminder that each day is special and made by God to be rejoiced in!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sweet Christmas even without Noccalula :)

daughter Christina and husband Suj!
me and Stina

Nana, daughter Jenny and Rachel

me and Kavi!!

Stina,Me,Jenny,and Rachel

Grampy (Ray) and Kavi

Well, tomorrow, my sweet family from Florida (Stina, Suj and Kavi)leave to go back home with a hitch-hiker in the!!!! Because our friends across the street are also going to visit family in Florida, I can get a ride back home with them to Alabama in a week! I am very happy about that, but sad that Ray can't join me:(
Christmas was lovely, but little Kavi was sick with a little fever and cold and didn't sleep too well or feel very good :( So... we had to forgo our plans to attend Noccalula Falls Christmas on the Mountain which is a nigh time train ride through the park which is decorated with thousands of pretty lights!
We still managed to eat at a few favorite spots with them which includes Asahi Sushi house in Rainbow City and my favorite restaurant of all, Taj Curry House in Birmingham. Kavi was however pretty pooped out after those times so we stayed at home and enjoyed his sweetness!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Almost Here!!!

Well, today is only 3 days till Christmas, AND only ONE MORE DAY until my daughter Christina and her husband Suj AND sweet little grandson Kavi will be here!!!
Last night we "Buddy the Elfed" the house with Christmas things from last year that were in the attic! Christmas stockings, garland , snowflakes and a small tree that we bought last year at Hobby Lobby for 2.00 in their after Christmas sale! Our main tree was only 15.00 , originally 180.00 and it is the finest fake tree we ever had! I also made a rustic little tree using branches for 99 cents from hobby lobby , a 59 cent wooden dowel and 2.50 Styrofoam block. I already had the moss and the basket it was in, and last night picked up some 99 cent decorations for it! I LOVE Hobby Lobby!
We are excited to have Kavi here and we wanted him to have the bestest eye candy we could give him!
So, today I have to finish shopping for holiday food, cook some homemade sauce, (we do Italian for Christmas) homemade meatballs, lasagna, veggie lasagna, greek spinach pie and greek salad for Christmas Eve, cookies, and clean my bathroom and bedroom! I just have a few last minute things to wrap and a few to buy and hopefully will be all done by the time everyone arrives here on Wednesday evening!
Have a joyful cozy Christmas this year!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wooden It Be Nice....

Lately I have been thinking about wooden Christmas trees! I know that real trees are of course technically wooden, but I mean one that is built from cut wood all primitive and rustic looking. It all started when I did the "Bottletree" craft bazaar this month, and thought that a bottletree would be the best way to display my hats and headbands at a craft fair. Then I remembered that one Christmas, my favorite restaurant of all time, (Whole Note Acres in Florida) had a wooden tree made of dowels connected to a wooden trunk which had the cutest decorations hanging from each branch! I think that my husband Ray could build one for me but he hasn't offered! Will have to hint more loudly!
I found these pictures of these unusual trees and I would love to be the proud owner of any one of them. I do still think that the bottletree would be the most useful for me! Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Have a Cozy Christmas This Year!!!!

I love the word "cozy", it evokes images of curling up at a fireside with a hot coffee, tea or cocoa and feeling at peace and content! Let it snow and storm outside, I am warm and comfortable all snug by the fire! When I was a little girl living with my Grandpa in Little Meadows, Pennsylvania it snowed all winter long, sometimes just flurries, sometimes more like a blizzard, but it was always warm inside thanks to a huge wood burning stove in the kitchen and a pot belly coal stove in the living room. They were the only heat sources in the old house but a good supply of wood and coal kept things comfortable all winter!
There is nothing quite like the feeling of warmth and safety you can feel inside even when the outside world is cold and bitter and I have found that I can have that same wonderful feeling whenever I think about our Savior being born! Ever since I was little, I always loved the Christmas carols like Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World and so many more. Even though I didn't grow up going to church, I still felt the same cozy feeling inside when I heard those songs and thought about the magical night when Christ was born and the angels parted the curtains of heaven to rejoice! When I was 18 years old I decided that I would believe in Jesus Christ and learn what that meant by reading the bible and going to church and it has been the most wonderful thing that I have done! He loves me and everyone in the world for that matter and He is the true meaning of Christmas!
May you all be blessed this year with peace, joy and comfort and enjoy family and friends like never before!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Martha Stewart and the Giant Knitting Needles!

When watching Martha a few days ago, she had a segment where she showed the annual craft fair that her employees put on and there was a part where a lady was knitting with these huge needles and selling scarves that she had made with them. I loved the texture of the stitches and the way the scarves looked, so I dug out a pair of size 19 needles that I had never used ( I crochet and had preferred it over knitting) and they were half the size of the ones on the show, but I began knitting with them and some chunky yarn that I had and made a cute skinny scarf! And then another, in like NO time! I think I am hooked now! (no pun intended!) So...last night I found some size 50 needles and snatched them babies up along with some chunky yarn and also crafted a skinny scarf!
I found the picture of the girl knitting on Phototbucket and shared it here so you could see how crazy big size 50 was!
I have been inspired by the Martha show before, when a few years ago I saw Emily of "The Black Apple" on etsy, demonstrate her fabric dolls and learned about the magical world of etsy, opening my own shop soon after! Martha is way over my head most of the time, but her show is the best for craft demonstration and hands on learning!

P.S. the first picture is two of the skinny scarves I knitted, the plum in size 19, the green with size 50!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A++++++++++++++Weekend Part 2

Ok, so this was my very first selling event that wasn't on etsy or in my living room with friends and I was pretty nervous about it. Thankfully, my daughter Jenny said she would help me and she was the one responsible for the setup arrangement which I thought was real cute. Then Rachel wanted to come and help and my husband Ray wanted to come along too! We live about an hour from Birmingham and really enjoy making trips to the big city!
After the picturesque ride we arrived at our destination in the Avondale area of Birmingham and was greeted by a great girl named Katy who collected our fee and ordered our lunches, took our payment AND delivered it to our tables! There was coffee, doughnuts and bottled water availlable for the vendors all day too.
I picked a spot to set up in and it must have been Divine guidance because we were in between some of the nicest people I have ever met! On one side was Emily whose husband James was helping her get set up and she was so sweet and friendly and sold the cutest necklaces, hair clips, earrings and knit scarves. I immediately starting eying them up with plans to buy some of them babies, and actually made some great trades to get them! Her business is called "Chubby Bird" which is a name that I just love!
On the other side of us were two girls' Jessika and Mellissa, who made quite a stir with their recycled tee shirt scarves, delicious egg nog fudge, jewelry, lamp shades and hot chocolate on a stick! Also, some of the nicest folks I have ever met! We also made some great trades and enjoyed each others company and sense of humor!
To their left was a great guy named Paul who sold embellished mirrors and boxes that were also high on my "gotta get" list! I bought some and traded my things to acquire these unique mirrors. Paul and his wife and kids had only just moved to Birmingham about a month ago from Atlanta and it was his first craft event , so everything was new to him too. A really pleasant and friendly guy that Ray enjoyed talking to too.
All the things for sale at this event were so beautiful, I ended up spending my profits on Christmas shopping and got some one of a kind things for my Christmas list!
At the end of the second day, I had left Ray in charge of the table as I went with Jenny and Rachel to check out a bazaar location about 6 blocks away in the Bottletree Cafe. We were gone for about half an hour because we had found some things to buy there and I when we got back my husband informed me that as soon as I walked out, the table was swamped with customers and that he had sold several hats, cowls and scarves for me. Mellissa and Jessika told us how funny Ray was at selling the things and that he actually modeled a cowl for a customer who didn't understand how it worked, which was very humorous! Thankfully Emily bailed him out by showing the lady how it worked!
Well, I sold out most of my inventory which is why my etsy shop is so sparse now, and made some fantastic buys, but the greatest thing was the people! We were all so sad to say goodbye because it had been so nice spending the time with our crafty neighbors, but got contact information and hugged each other good bye! I am spoiled rotten from my first adventure and can't imagine anything else living up to it! Thank you Bottlletree for hosting this Bazaaar and thank you Allison who hooked me up with these people to begin with!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A+++++++++++Weekend!!!!!!! Part ONE

I am so exited to post about this past weekend! My first craft bazaar in real life, ( I have only sold on etsy and to friends at my house) and the beautiful ride down to Birmingham the first morning of the event!
We (me, my husband Ray, daughter Jenny and Rachel) got up bright and early to drive an hour to the site and it was a pretty cold morning. The weathermen had predicted snow flurries sometime during the night, but there was no sign of it as we left the house or for the first part of the ride. Well, magically, about twenty minutes down 59South we began to notice that the hills were frosty looking which resulted in cries of happiness which shortly turned to gleeful "oh my stinkin' gosh"es when the trees and grass surrounding the highway started looking like someone had sifted powdered sugar over them! At that point I was so happy, I said that I didn't even care if I sold one thing at the bazaar, cause the picture postcard ride was worth getting up for! Ray pulled over on the side of the road twice so we could hop out of the car and take pictures and of course he had to make a few snowballs and throw them at the road signs! When we arrived at our craft site he even impressed some neighborhood kids with his perfectly round snowball making ability! Alabama doesn't get much snow, but Ray grew up in Philadelphia where he obviously had mastered the art many years ago! Nice to know that after 25 years of living in Florida, he's still got it!
By afternoon the snow was all gone but not the joy in my heart! I can still see it if I close my eyes and dream!!
My next post will be about the craft fair which gave me the same good feelings inside!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Festive Holiday Weekend!

Wow, this weekend starting tonight and going through Monday night is Christmas, Christmas, Christmas all the way!
Tonight is First Friday in Gadsden and the downtown area will be filled with antique cars, choirs, lighting of the Christmas tree, music, music,music and food! A friend of our girls is having a concert in his garage with his band "Lieutenant Snakebeard" (originally to perform on the street at First Friday, but they thought they would be too "hard" for the First Friday crowd)
Tomorrow morning, bright and early my household is heading to the Bottletree Craft Bazaar where I have a space. I am grateful for their help, since I am bringing a real wood table instead of a card table to set my stuff on! It is supposed to be a high of 41 tomorrow, brrrr, but I think I am in some sort of inside space, but who knows if there will be heat! The same thing on Sunday morning, but will get to sleep a little later since the bazaar starts at noon!
Then to wrap it all up, the Gadsden Christmas Parade is Monday night! Last year it lasted for a few hours and was festive and just a little boring (sorry). Numerous folks riding convertibles and waving at the crowd was a yawner for me, but everyone was in a festive mood and the bitter cold and Christmas music (especially from the school marching bands!)seemed to be a good match!
So.....time to suck it up, bundle up and drink up ! (hot cocoa that is!)
Hope your weekend is fun! I have posted some pictures of my practice bazaar set up! (remember I only had four feet!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My First Craft Bazaar!!!!!

This Saturday and Sunday I will be selling my goods at a craft bazaar in downtown Birmingham Alabama!! A friend of my girls, highly recommended that I try to sell at this bazaar since she had been to it before and really loved it. She tipped me off to another craft show , "Moss Rock Festival" that was in Hoover, Alabama in a gorgeous setting and it was the first craft fair I had ever been to that wasn't an old lady craft event! (you know, crocheted toilet paper covers!) There were all kinds of people and ages that attended it, and it was a lovely fall day and I wanted to buy so many things there.
So, I am a little nervous since it is my first and I am trying to make more hats and things before the weekend, AND I only have FOUR FEET to work in! I plan on doing a practice set up and hope that I can feature my things without it being cluttered! I will post pictures of my practice run through and of course take a zillion pictures at the event

Bottletree is a cafe and a venue for shows featuring local bands.