Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lots to share . . . a GIFT for you!!! . . . and I'm a winner!

Phew!!! Boy, it's been an exhausting three days. With Thanksgiving dinner prep and the big event itself, the clean-up, I was pooped. I can say it was wonderful to be with family, but restful and relaxing - not so much. I hope you all had a real nice Thanksgiving with your families. Everyone's so busy these days, it's a blessing when we can all sit down at least for one day and catch up. Son No. 1 came home from college Wednesday, and it's been great having him here. I've really missed him these past three months. He leaves this evening :o( On the bright side, he'll be home in a little over two weeks for Christmas. YAY!!!

I wanted to share pics of my Thanksgiving table. Not so much the place settings or overall tablescape, but the centerpieces. I used Kathy's - Creative Home Expressions - great idea for creating elegant hurricane vases made from dollar store finds. She actually got her inspiration from Melissa at 320 Sycamore. Aren't creative people cool?!

Hey look! It's my Mom and SIL way in the background!

A cool thing I wanted to share, too, are these fun little Thanksgiving trivia cards I created and sat at each place and scattered extras on the table. It was a fun addition to the dinner conversation. Some of the questions/answers were quite informative!

Also, I want to let you all know, in case you haven't noticed over there in my sidebar, I'm participating in Tracey Buxton's of Notes from a Cottage Industry Holiday Home Tour this Tuesday, December 1. There will be tons of beautiful homes to see and great inspiration. I am so thrilled to be a part of her tour. I have followed Tracey's blog for years now. She was one of the first blogs I found, and I instantly fell in love! I hope I can get everything ready by then.

Now on to the GIFT for you all. I really want to share in all the funtastic giving that's been going on in Blogland lately, so I've decided to have my own little giveaway! Not to mention it's a great way to increase followers and readership. C'mon! I'm being honest! ;o)

Actually, the two books in this great giveaway are duplicates of what I have. So, might as well pass them along to some lucky person to enjoy as much as I have. Also included are two of my latest creations. A pair of "paper"skates adorned with glitter and sweet trim, and a Happy Holiday Cone.

So, you all know the drill. Leave a comment here, become a follower if you're not already, and put a little shout-out at your blog regarding my giveaway. Each of those actions will get your name in the drawing - a max of three times. Please make sure you leave a comment for each action.

Oh, the few of you that are personal friends that read . . . you enter too! Below are some
close-up pics of the items.

Vintage Christmas Crafts by Sara Toliver

Below is a Holiday Plans organizing binder from Hallmark. Might be too late to use this year, but would be great to fill in some info for full use next year. For some reason, I bought literally a bag of of these one year. Must have been an after C'mas clearance deal I couldn't pass up!

There's a fill-in calendar for 3-1/2 months. Subject indexes for sections devoted to C'mas Card list, Shopping List, Gifts Received, and Notes, along with pockets for stamps, receipts, etc.

Good luck to all of you! I'll be picking the winner Tuesday, December 1.

Oh, and I just have to share that I was the big winner of the $35 gift certificate to Paper Addicts that Kathy at Creative Home Expressions was sponsoring. I was so shocked! I am NOT a lucky person at all. And this "gift" is perfect for me. Thank you so very much, Kathy and especially Marisa of Paper Addicts!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'm off to decorate my trees . . .

Monday, November 23, 2009

ANOTHER great giveaway!

If you're into scrapbooking or paper crafting, DIY home decor, general crafting - anything along those lines! - then you must rush over to Kathy's blog, Creative Home Expressions.

She's teamed up with Paper Addict to give one lucky reader a $35 gift certificate to PA's HUGE online store. Can we ever have too many purdy sheets of paper??? I don't think so!

Leave a comment on this post at Kathy's blog to be entered into the drawing. Look around while you're there. She has a great blog with fabulous home decor ideas. Oh, and, good luck!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When's your creative time?

Hi all! Hope everyone's weekend was good. We did a bit of Christmas shopping, and took Son No. 3 to see A Christmas Carol at the Imax Theater. It was very, very good. I usually do not like 3D movies at all, but this one was fantastic.

I spent a good deal of the day being creative. I have such a hard time allotting time to my creative outlets. For me, I feel like I have to get done all the "have-to-do" things first - laundry, vacuuming, preparing meals, the treadmill, etc. I think I'm most creative in the morning to mid afternoon; however, most times when I'm not working, I tend to do those other, not-so-much-fun things first. When all the work's done, I'm worn out. I'm not really a night person, so late-night crafting/creating usually doesn't happen for me.

How do all you creative people squeeze in your "play time", and when? And at this time of year, for me, something usually gets pushed to the waayyy back burner - such as cooking dinner for the family, my workouts, cleaning my master bath! All those extra-curricular holiday-prep activities will monopolize good parts of my time not away from the house working.

Oh well, guess I need to manage my time better. Aren't the stars great! Angie did a nice tutorial on these stars over at her blog, Hopemore Studio. Love 'em!!! Super simple, too. (Oh . . . I have to explain . . . my hot glue gun was going berserk today - hence the unfortunate glue-gobs on some of the pieces. gggrrrrr)

I plan on pumping a lot of these treat cones, tussie mussies . . . whatever you want to call them. They're perfect for passing out at the end of a holiday gathering, or teacher's gifts, hairdresser, nail person, mailman you get the idea! filled with yummy treats - handmade or purchased . . . chocolate would probably be best! ;o)

Here's a little sneak peak at the mess I make when I'm crafting. Those of you that know me personally, know how this can drive me crazy! I'm kind of a neat freak. When I'm working on something, I have to stop ever so often to straighten up. It's like the mess makes it's way into my head and I can't work! All that mess for 3 little stars and a cone!

Have a restful, Sunday evening. I think I may do a little something special for all six of my readers! hehe Since we're entering the ultimate time of giving and blessings, I'm feeling a bit of generosity coming along. Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Jewelry Giveaway

Priscila at Little Miss Heirloms is holding a nice jewelry give away. The give away is a gorgeous piece of custom hand-stamped jewelry created by Shannon Barcic of Little Bits of Me.

I've been seeing this hand-stamped jewelry for quite a while now here and there on the net and in blogworld, and I'm starting to really fall for it! I may have to get me some! Winning a piece would be fantastical! But if I can't score myself a necklace or bracelet for free, guess I'm going to have to let loose those purse strings.

Hop on over to Priscila's place to enter the drawing. Maybe you could be the lucky winner of custom piece of jewelry! Don't forget to check out Shannon's blog as well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Scenes from The Big City

Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Our girl's day in THE City was a fun time, needless to say. I have absolutely the best group of girlfriends . . . ever! I've been planning a post in my head for weeks about girlfriends, and more specifically MY great sista-friends. I so cherish each and every one of them and their friendships . . . I'm digressing . . . more on the BFF's in a future entry.

On with the trip. But, first, a disclaimer. My picture-taking skills or lack thereof stink, as does the quality of my camera. And, I took my little camera that fits in my bag better. Oh, I wish I could take and post beautiful snaps like Heather or Vanessa or Camille, but I can't, so y'all have to just bear with my blurry, poorly lit, unattractively composed photographs.

Canal Street

Ann Marie trying to score some good jewelry buys.

Pam, our chauffeur (thanks Pam!), trying to outdo Ann Marie on the bargain hunting!

Our first stop was on Canal Street where we all really snatched up some bargains. We all bought a few . . . uhumm . . . handbags (if you know anything about Canal Street in NYC, you know exactly what I'm referring too!), and and Pashmina scarfs were big purchases for some of the group, too.

Costume jewelry - I snatched up a pretty believable knockoff Tiffany ring.

And another splurge find for me where these Coach shoes. I would never pay full price, cause I'm too thrifty - CHEAP! - not to mention my shoe size is extremely hard to find. Let's just say all through my childhood, growing up, my older brother would quite frequently refer to me as Sasquatch! Nice, huh?! Yes, I have big feet! I wear a size 11 - honestly, I wore a size 9 before I had kids - no lie! - which are hard to find a lot of times.

When I saw these shoes, I thought for sure the street vendor would not have my size. He did! When I tried them on, they were too small (probably the reason he's selling them - defective or mismarked). Oh well. My friend - thank you, Tracy! - asks if he has a bigger size, "oh yes, I have twelve". No way! OMG! Now, I'm exclaiming, OMG, because it looks like I'm getting a pair of Coach shoes, and OMG, I have to buy a 12!!! Don't tell anyone . . . Annndddd, we got him to come down in price from $45 to $35. It was meant to be. I'm sure they're an old style, or defective, or something, but I sure as heck don't care! I gotta bargain!

Enough show and tell. Here are some pics from our excursion.

Tinsel Trading was closed :0(. Talk about being disappointed! I did get to go into M&J Trimming, though. Rows and rows filled the walls from floor to ceiling with trims, tassels, cording. It was absolutely overwhelming!

M&J Trimming
M&J Trimming

We were two days too early to view most of the Christmas displays around the city. Macys had one side of their building adorned with a Christmas tree, but the Hearald Square side was not lit up. Nor was the huge Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. It was still covered in scaffolding.

Rockefellar Center. The tree's not in the pic - couldn't get a good shot in the low light.

Chelsea Market.

Oh!!! Anthropologie! Their store windows are unbelievably creative! And the shopping inside . . . wish I could have shopped longer, but we were pressing time to get to our dinner reservation.

Dinner was crazy! We ate in a little restaurant in the West Village called Lips. Here at the end of a lovely tree-lined street of stately old brownstones sits the most bizarre, crazy eatery employed solely of drag queens! It was different for sure. It was fun, a little disheartening, though, how a man can dress up in women's clothing, don a wig and stage makeup, and look better than us middle-aged housewives! It was a fun ending to a tiring day of shopping.

Me, Pam, Tracy, Ann Marie and Beth

That was our server, Devon, isn't "she" glamorous?

Me and the bartender, Chandy (short for Chandelier). "She" was a tall girl! You see, I'm 5'-10" (hence the big feet!) and I'm wearing about 2 inch heals in this picture. She's towering over me at 6'-8"!!!
I'm sure some of you might be wondering why we didn't dine at one of the many, many restaurants in NYC that are known for their fine cuisines and rich atmospheres. Well, after a day of schlepping around the city in our comfy shoes and jeans, none of us would have wanted to dine somewhere super-nice. So, we opted for crazy entertainment and something totally out of ordinary. Lips pretty much fit the bill!

Until next time . . .

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