Friday, December 18, 2009

Finally... I found Christmas!


Hello you might already know from my last few posts, I have been searching for evidence of Christmas around my home. I have been so behind in everything that I took a break from my Etsy shop so I could take the time to enjoy the holiday season. Well I have been very, very busy looking for Christmas and I think I have  made some progress. I have to warn you..this is a longer post than usual, so you might want to get yourself a cup of coffee and put your cell phone on mute, while you come along with me and let's see if we can find Christmas.

Hello there...come on in.........

Beautiful old sled I found at an antique shop..very cheap too ;-)

Well let's begin our search in the kitchen..cute metal bucket I picked up at an after Christmas sale that I filled with snow covered greens and a cute little snowman. Gives me something to smile at while I wash dishes.

Of course I have to have some red and green in my kitchen windows. All cute so far, but not really what I am looking for. Let's keep searching...


My friends will all get my special little Cream Cheese pound cakes and cookies!

Pretty metal snowflakes hang in the dinette.. Let's look in the living room..maybe Christmas is hiding in there...

I keep my mantel simple with just snowy pine swags, berries, more snowflakes and little icicle lights.

Most of the Santas have been painted by me over the years. I love Santa, but he is still not the real thing I am searching for...

I love these pinecone lights and of course more snowflakes.....

My stuffed Santa doll and a tall wooden santa stands vigil at the fireplace...made by me.

I love painting Santas..My Blue santa is my favorite, he is painted on tin. I am also a fan of bottlebrush vintage looking....still not what we are looking for....on to the sitting room..

This little snowman is just styrofoam balls glued together and covered with Snowtex and German glass glitter..too cute and easy! Paint a tin can with white spray paint, add features and checks and add glitter and you have an adorable candycane holder! You can also collect fallen tree branches, strip the loose bark and paint for really cute Santas. As much as I love creating my holiday pieces, it is still not what I am searching for...

This is my lovely bird you may have figured out already, I am a huge bird lover. This tree is my homage to all the beautiful birds who make me smile on a daily basis....Well I am running out of places to look...

I don't know what it is about Christmas trees that make my heart just sing with real joy...I truly believe that their is no such thing as an ugly Christmas tree, as long as it is decorated with love and sincerity.
Most of my ornaments have been made by me throughout the years. There is the replica of my hubby's first Houston Police Badge (top half in red & green felt) , the glass ball Santa that is so old and transparent and bedraggled  that he is now referred to as 'the Nightmare B4 Christmas Santa' and the painted tin star Santas (bottom left, in red) Many were made by my son's when they were little guys and they are my favorite. My tree is the last thing I gaze at before I say goodnight, but something is still Charlie Brown said.." Doesn't anybody know the true meaning of Christmas!"

YES........this is what I was looking for! My mother made this lovely Nativity scene for me many years ago and I cherish it for it's simplicity and beauty..I love you Mom ....Merry Christmas everyone and I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Look Who I Found In My Garage!

Hello friends, just a quick post while I take a little coffee break from my house decorating marathon, which I will be unveiling shortly. The other morning I was sitting at my computer, reading all your wonderful blog posts, when I heard this chirping noise that sounded quite close. After listening very carefully, I realized the sound was coming from the garage. I opened my Laundry room door, which leads to my garage and low and behold, there was the cutest little Carolina Wren trying to get out and chirping like a mad bird.

This is a photo of my Carolina Wren, who is the South Carolina state bird I might add.

This is a photo of one of the babies from a nest on our front porch a few years back. Because I would check on them everyday, they got used to seeing me and when they left the nest, they let me hold them. They were not afraid at was such a thrill.

Ok...back to my story.  I opened the garage door and out she flew. That night Mr. M was puttering around in the garage and found what looked like a little bed area on a shelve, in a pair of old swim trunks. An hour later, around dusk, we noticed a little tail sticking out of the bed area. We got a flashlight and to our delight, a little wren was all tucked in for the night and did not seem to mind our prying eyes. So now every night I leave the door open just an inch or so so she can get in. Once I know she is in her bed, I close the door. In the morning she sings for me to let her that cute or what! If you have never heard a Wren sing, it is like a little piece of heaven. I love knowing a sweet Carolina Wren is warm and cozy in my garage at night..and protected from predators. I Googled ( yes..I Google alot!) and found others who have experienced the same thing. Apparently Wrens do not handle extreme cold very well, so I am happy to help. I just found a recipe for Wren suet and I think I will give it a go. Not many bugs around in the winter.
Ok...back to tree trimming..until next time, be kind and stay creative.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Follow the Leader??

 I have only one Question.......Who decides who is going to be the lead bird? These are European Starlings and they can be quite numerous and very noisy. On Thanksgiving day my sons and I stood at my back door and watched a huge flock do a fly by that took all of four whole minutes. Their must have been thousands of was  incredible and rather Alfred Hitchcockish. They absolutely fascinate me! If you have never seen them in a large group, you are missing a real treat.

          This is what one European Starling looks like...cute, huh?

This is what thousands look like! I took this from my front lawn and just happen to catch them in a beautiful tight grouping. They always seem to be following a lead bird, which leads me back to my original question......who decides which bird is the boss????? Food for thought...
Until next time, be kind and stay creative.
PS...My holiday decorating is coming along nicely and I will post photos when I finish. Hooray, I bought a tree yesterday and I did sweet talk a friend with a truck to delivery it to my home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Losing Christmas....

  Hello friends..I just got back from South Carolina, where I was attending a family wedding. We were also going to take a side trip to Charleston, which I was really looking forward to. Well the weather was not cooperating and Charleston is no fun in the cold and rain. The wedding however was lovely and the bride was just like a princess.

The bride Nicole and her new father-in-law, my wonderful brother Bobby.

The happy bride and groom..Mr. & Mrs. Tyler Gilroy..Congratulations you two!!
 A wonderful time was had by all, only the whole occasion reminded me of how much I needed to do when I got home. The church had a large Christmas tree on the alter...I don't have one yet. The reception hall had a few lovely Christmas trees...I don't have one yet. My brother Bobby has a beautiful tree in his home and.....yes, you guessed it, I don't have one yet. In fact I don't have a stitch of holiday decorations around my home yet. I take that back...I do have a little table top decorated tree on my bedside table....that has been there since last December. less thing to do, right? I knew there was a good reason I left it there last year ;-)

   I have seriously thought about this and came to the decision to take a break from my Etsy shop until after New Years, to give me some family time. I am going to spend this time shopping, baking, decorating and enjoying my family and friends. After all..isn't that what the season is all about? I was starting to loose sight of what was really important, but I am back on track now. First order of business is to buy a tree and sweet talk some guy with a pickup to deliver it to my house. Don't think it will fit in my Beemer's trunk ;-) Second thing on my list is to buy lots of flour, sugar and butter and go on a baking binge! While my cookies are baking, all my decorations will be put in place. I am hoping to get all this done at least by January 3rd ;-)
Until next kind and stay creative.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The 'Apronologist' is at it Again

Just a quick post to give you a peek at some custom aprons I just finished. A girlfriend asked me to create an apron for each of her sisters. Something with a ruffle and flowers..yet still try to make each one original. I really love how they turned out and will have a hard time turning them over to her...I want to keep them!
I guess in order to make money, I need to sell a few things. Man...I hate that part of the retail business. I would be doing fine if I didn't have to worry about that little thing called SALES. Oh..the woes of an artist..he..he.

I gave them all a little top pocket for lip balm..keys..cell phone or whatever.

They all have two very large pockets for all their scrapbooking and gardening needs

I think they will be very happy with their new aprons and I hope my client likes them also. They were so much fun to fashion. I love hunting through my fabric stash and mixing and matching patterns. It makes me happy. Until next kind and stay creative.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

*******First Snowfall*******

Well today it happened.....Warrenton, Virginia got it's very first snowfall. What a wonderful way to start a Saturday. It began to fall around 7 am and did not stop until 8pm this evening.

What is it about snow that captivates us so?  Scientifically snow is formed when water vapor is deposited in the upper atmosphere where temps are below zero degrees and then it drops to the ground in the form of snowflakes. Those flakes get their symmetrical and hexagonal shaping while falling through the clouds. The photo below is of an actual snowflake...amazing!

 This is all proven scientific fact.  What no scholarly person  has yet to explain to me is how those frozen ice crystals have come to represent something much greater than water, vapor and upper atmospheric happenings. We do not think of that when we watch the beautiful flakes fall. Instead, we see snowmen, holiday greetings from loved ones, Christmas trees and lots of twinkling holiday lights. Why does all that white stuff, which has no odor, invoke in us the aroma of gingerbread cookies, roast turkey, pine trees and cinnamon? So maybe a good snowfall is not such a strictly scientific occurrence after all, but a purely magical one with just a tiny bit of science sprinkled in to keep it legit. For me...I'll take the magic.  Until next kind and stay creative.
PS...I tucked a little magic in my freezer for all of you ;-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sisters Saturday...Keeping a Promise

Hello friends!  I just returned from another quick trip up to New York. My three sisters and I have a relatively new tradition of getting together the Saturday after Thanksgiving. A few years ago the four Gilroy girls... myself, Mary Sue, Maddy and Joanne met up in Poughkeepsie, NY to attend a Holiday Craft  show and afterwards we visited the quaint village of Rhinebeck to have lunch and shop. We had so much fun that day...we shopped, laughed, ate and laughed even more. Soon after that date our sister Mary Sue was rushed to the ER and told that she was in stage 4 of cervical cancer.

              This is one of my favorite photo's of Mary Sue...I love those eyes!

 That was the beginning of a long and very hard journey for Mary and all of us who loved her dearly. During the time we cared for Mary Sue, she made me promise that we three would continue to meet on that Saturday after Thanksgiving and do our 'sister' thing. Well Mar...we are keeping our promise to you and honoring your memory and your love of laughter. I promise you that we laughed ALOT! We talk of you often on that day and it really does help us to cope with our heartache.  This year after the craft show we drove across the Hudson River to the cute little town of Saugerties. We had lunch in a small old fashioned village restaurant and after lunch we spotted a shop across the street called "The Willow Tree". We figured with a name like that it had to be great and believe was wonderful! Snowmen galore and lot's of whimsy in every corner. We had a blast shopping and I wish I had a dollar for everytime we used the word  'cute'



One of the highlights of my afternoon was this little coffee shop called Lucy's Place. She was using vintage aprons for her window treatments! Now you know I loved that ;-)


Came upon this lovely stone and wrought iron entry to a secretive little courtyard. You know I had to peek inside..........

Isn't this fountain beautiful? It was such a serene setting. I bet this fountain has witnessed it's share of marriage proposals. Mary Sue would have liked this. I look forward to keeping this yearly get together on my calendar and I have already started my research into the next little town to visit.
Enough for now....I am feeling a bit nostalgic and missing my little sis. Until next kind and stay creative.