Hello friends....so we all survived the chaotic eating fest that we call Thanksgiving..
We didn't lose anyone to turkey overdose did we??
I hope your Thanksgiving was as great as ours.
I had both my boys at the table and that always makes me smile.
Now on to Christmas!
Just before the holiday, I took a trip to visit my high school friend
Roberta, in Pennsylvania.
Roberta took me to the annual
in Bethlehem, Pa.
Christkindlmarket is a lovely holiday market that runs for 5 weeks during Nov. and Dec.
This year it was held at the location of the former Bethlehem Steel works .
Look at the massiveness of this place!
It reminds me of a giant futuristic space ship or
maybe a lost city rising from the earth.
Wouldn't you love to go exploring?
These look like old relics of the past..right?
Well look whats on the other side!
A fabulous modern Performing Arts Center,
Now that's preserving history in a wonderful way!
Ok...now let's go holiday shopping
I put up a bird tree every year and I spotted a few very pretty ones in this shop.
I thought of Amy from Maison Decor blog when I spied this purple beauty.
Amy has a vast collection of purple transfer ware and I think this little guy would fit right in.
German blown glass ornaments anyone??
One booth had a huge array of delightful advent calendars of all sizes.
This little guy came home with me.
As much as we enjoyed browsing this part of the market, I really was disappointed that there were not any handmade decorations.
Well turns out there were two separate markets
One was imported business's and one was independent artists.
What do we have here...
I do believe it is a real breathing artist working at her craft.
Now that's what I'm talking about!
These stunning stars were made by the 93 year old mother of the woman above.
I brought home a large star and one of the smaller ones.
I hope I am still creating when i'm 93.
Her daughter makes the most beautiful decorations from straw.
Isn't this cross lovely?
I loved meeting This lady, Katherine Fox-Haney of Nazareth, Pa.
Katherine makes the most wonderful Santas.
I was immediately drawn to the feed sack Santa. So unique.
I talked with Katherine awhile and she told me she uses her dear father's face
on all her Santas
Their stories are her father's stories.
How special is that??
Katherine's Santas are some of the prettiest I have ever seen
I love and the simpleness of them...not overdone at all.
Say hello to Lucille Gruppo, another wonderful doll maker.
Lucille's mother Josephine, was an expert crocheter, but when she suffered a stroke, it
left her unable to hold her crochet hook.
Determined to help her Mom regain her yarn skills, Lucille asked her Mom if she could just crochet a length of chain stitches.
Her Mom did manage that and would go through balls of yarn crocheting simple chain stitches.
Unbeknownst to Josephine, Lucille started incorporating these lengths of chains into her dolls.
The strands became hair, mini headbands and garment trim on the dolls.
Knowing this brought a smile to her Mom's face.
Sadly Josephine passed away in 1992,
but Lucille keeps her Mom's memory alive
by sewing a tiny shell onto a cheek of each doll.
The shells come from a necklace once owned by her Mom.
I think Josephine would approve.
How about a handmade beehive candle made from beeswax
Or maybe a pine or cinnamon scented beeswax dipped pinecone.
I brought one of these home too.
Any hat wearers out there?
These knitted and felted hats were so beautifully made.
Unfortunately I am not a hat wearer, but love seeing other women in them.
As we were strolling down the aisle,
I noticed a print that looked familiar.
I bought this print back in the 90's at the International Quilt Festival
when I lived in Houston.
Meet the artist
Diane Phelan paints scenes of Americana and quilts and she has also started having her
art printed on fabric.
All in all, Roberta and I had a great time and ended up with some
Another reason I was in Pennsylvania was to show off my Annie Sloan chalk paint.
Roberta bought this reproduction dough box at an auction.
She follows my blog and decided her box needed some ASCP TLC.
After looking at a few colors we decided a neutral tone would work best.
Versailles was perfect...neutral with just a soft hint of green to it.
Roberta loved how it distressed so smoothly.
She especially loved how her vintage Stangl looks right at home
on her new dough box.
Just look at that lovely wax sheen.
On the drive back to Virginia, I came upon these adorable creatures.
Pay no attention to the crazy lady who comes to a screeching halt
for a good photo-opportunity.
Just smile and drive on.
Now for a real treat...
This past holiday weekend the morning and evening skies were perfect for the most
stunning sunrises and sunsets ever.
Between Mr. Secret Agent and myself, we managed to capture
most of them....
Sunrise over my home
I don't know about you, but I never tire of
Sunrises or Sunsets
Don't forget...if you are anywhere near Warrenton, Va.
be sure to stop in and say hello at
Around noon I will be doing a ASCP demo on a lovely 2 tired accent table and will be giving it away at the end of the day.
I will also be doing an Antique Sheet Music Ornament/Wreath demo.
So come say Hello and enjoy some Holiday refreshments and maybe get some gift shopping done.
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.