Thursday, December 29, 2011

My thoughts on a Thursday afternoon....

Hello my dear friends, I hope this finds you well.

I have always proclaimed this little space of mine as 'my happy place'; a place where I come to get away from the reality of life.  It is here, where my creativity blooms in hopes that what I do will inspire someone to create and feel the freedom that comes with creativity. 

And yet as I try to get away from the 'reality of life' and come up with a 'Top 10 of 2011', my heart will not allow me.  As it is also here where I pour my heart through written words and reality finds me.

This week has been yet another trying week for our little family as we come closer to seeing the ugly face of cancer and its destructiveness.  But my intentions on writing this is not to put a damper on what is probably a happy time for many of you as you come together and celebrate the holidays.  But my words are those of encouragement to

 Love deeper....

I watch in admiration the love and dedication of my husband and his sister towards their father as they try to make him as comfortable as they can.  Showing him love and tenderness such as the one he once showed them as children.  Even though their father was not always physically present during the latter part of their childhood, they faithfully sit at his bedside, painfully watching him fade away.  And yet amongst all the pain I am learning a beautiful lesson, a lesson in compassion, forgiveness and faithfulness.   

It is easy to lose sight of all the blessings that surround us when the pain is so strong.  But they are still there; in the love for each other that grows even deeper and brings you so much closer, in the family and friends who offer their love and support, in the need to have my kids all sleep in my room because I need their comforting presence, in the realization that material wealth is truly meaningless, in the need to draw closer to God...

As this year comes to an end and we look towards the future in hopes of more beautiful sunrises and brighter horizons, I want to encourage you to stop and be grateful and appreciative for the people in your life. 

Today is the day that was made to hug a little tighter and love a little deeperYou can never say too many I love yous.  We hear this all the time, and yet many times words are left unsaid until it's too late to say them....

Monday, December 26, 2011

Deleted scenes of 2011...The 'unbloomed' Craftberries

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, filled with love, laughter and new memories. 

It's hard to believe that after weeks of preparing for Christmas it is now in the past.  We will soon be ringing in the new year and I thought it would be fun to share some of the posts that did not make the final cut.  Either due to time, failed attempts or me thinking it was not blog 'worthy'.  Most recently - the little felt birdie pictured above.  I think he is so adorable and so he will sit in the 'draft' file until next year...:)

This ornament wrapped with doilies did not make the cut either as I was not completely satisfied with the results.

I had a great time helping a friend decorate for the holidays, making several of these wreathes using mostly dollar store items...

I love the non-traditional colours she chose, inspired by peacock feathers I found at the dollar store.  She has a beautiful home and I would love to give you a tour, but maybe next time....

The kiddies and I always love the time we spend decorating the gingerbread house.  I love how the hard candies we used as bricks make the house look like a quilted Candyland house.  So fun..

I know you recognize the bark from this post, but along with the bark tutorial, this felt mushroom tutorial did not make it either.

In the fall, I made pumpkin pancakes for the kiddies, but some one else posted the idea before I did, so I decided not to post it...

 This one was just for fun, which made
it to my FB page, but not to the blog....

I made these for our son's birthday
in June...they were a hit...:)

...and my sister and I made these Elmo pops.
These were our very first ones ever.

Bella and I tried to make colourful rock candy, which was a bit of a fail, but they still looked pretty.  We'll try it again next year...

This one was a favourite in the neighbourhood, as we had many of the neighbourhood kids line up to try.  I made them an "Angry Bird" launcher out of exercise resistance tubes. We even painted an old volleyball.  The target was several boxes and water balloons with pig faces drawn on them with Sharpie markers. So fun!

When I was contacted by the producers of the Martha Stewart show to potentially showcase my soda bottle penguins on the show (I speak about it here), I was also asked to send other items to showcase.  I made this faux cupcake, which several people mistakingly took for real, and tried to eat. 

This mug was inspired by Anthropology and painted using glass markers the folks at DecoArt graciously sent to me to sample.

And finally, this Spring I made these tulip popcakes for my cousin's baby shower (the tutorial also sits in the draft folder...).

So there you have it, some of the craftberries that for some reason or another did not fully bloom. 

I am looking forward to the new year as I attempt to give this little blog a makeover.  It is my wish that you will be a major part of the changes as I ask for suggestions and advice.
I'm still a  novice when it comes to HTML codes and blog design so any advice you might have is welcomed with open arms.  

Once again, thank you for a wonderful year.  I can't wait to share yet another one with you, but for now, I'm off to see what you guys are up to.  See you soon! 

much love,


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas my sweet friends...

 6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.                              

                                                                               Isaiah 9:6

Dear Lord,
I think of the precious gift of Jesus and I am in awe of your love. Thank you for your perfect love. God, you know my heart and you know how dear the people who visit this little place are to me.  Please bless them as they come together with their families to celebrate the birth of your son Jesus.  Pour your love over them, so your peace and joy is felt in their hearts.
Thank you Father in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours...xo

much love,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

OK folks, it's a wrap!

Well my dear friends, this is likely to be my last idea post before Christmas, so I hope you approve...

I haven't had great lighting of late, so with the sun's rare appearance today, I took a lot of pictures (perhaps too many?).

Today I wanted to show you what I hope you'll find to be a very pretty way to present some of your delicious baking goods in an unexpected little container we tend to just throw away....

But before I continue, I wanted to let you know that all of the paper used on this post was a generous gift from Canvas Corp. I am so thankful because this came at the perfect time. 

I'm not sure if you can tell, but this is a mandarin orange wooden box, covered in book pages and some more of the beautiful paper I received.  I have been saving those crates trying to think of what to use them for and I think this is just right...

I adore this black and white stripe cardstock paper, which I used to make this little box to put some store bought shortbread cookies inside (I speak about this here).  If you would like a tutorial of this box, I will gladly do one, but it's just a simple 12"X12" cube.  The waxed cotton cord was also in my package from Canvas Corp...I am so grateful.

 This beautiful recipe card is also
from Canvas Corp...isn't it darling?

I love how the cookies look inside their little box and the sprigs of cedar add just the right Christmas touch...

This bag was a simple brown craft bag from the dollar store and I used the same technique I speak about here to make it into a pretty cookie bag....

I think this paper is perfect for this idea. I am just smitten with it.  Do you like it?  Well let me see what I can do, as there might just be a giveaway coming up....

So my friends, this is it from me for now.  I hope you enjoyed this little idea and that I have inspired you to think outside the 'wooden box' (sorry, I just had to). 

Oh, but before I go, I have one more.  This one my kids don't appreciate because they think I'm lying to Santa....ha! 

I'm fairly certain he
has a sense of humour....

Instructions on how to use
these pens can be found here

Thank you for spending your precious time with me...

much love,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fake bake, not the Snooki type...

As Christmas nears and the excitement in our children's eyes increases, so too does my elevating blood pressure as I contemplate all of the things that still need to be done.  Yet at the same time, I rejoice in their happiness and the beauty of their little world.

I have been admiring your beautiful blogs filled with yummy cookies and delicious looking Christmas sweets and was inspired to make my own....

But my oven is not working.  Well, that's only the partial truth.  The absolute truth is that I'm not a baker.  I have tried, I really have...but to no avail....

But what I can do is show you how to make your own cookie bag, so all your hard work looks even more beautiful ...

1. Dollar store gift bag
2. Cut just below handles
3. Choose your favourite scrapbooking frame and outline the inside of the frame
4. Cut out outline
5. Glue frame on top of cut out
6. Tape or glue some cellophane in the inside above the cut out (hard to see from the picture but it's there)
This one is my favourite and it was done the same way using a doily.  Isn't it so pretty?  The tags you see on all of the packages are from Canvas Corp, more on that on the next post...:)

I spray painted several of these cedar sprigs to adorn other gifts, but it works well with the reds.

I love how simple this one is and of course I can't get enough of the colour combo....are you tired of it yet?

The idea of wrapping store bought cookies and re-wrapping or' fake baking' if you will, would never work with my family as everyone knows my lack of baking abilities (but my neighbours don't ;)

I'll see you soon with some other yummy ideas.....thank you for your sweet company...have a great day! 

much love,

ps. does it count that the shortbread cookies are homemade, just not by me...?

I will be sharing at Cookiepalloza...thank you Kate!

 also linking here, thank you for taking the time to host...xo

Home Stories from A to Z

Sunday, December 18, 2011

An unexpected treat....

Good Monday to you.  I would like to once again thank you for your words of encouragement as I am always humbled and amazed at the love of the blogging community.  It makes the sadness a little lighter when you know you have someone's prayer behind you and even though my Father in Law is not a believer, I know through our prayers God can send comfort to not only his physical body but his soul.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts...

In an earlier post, I mentioned I would reveal what is inside this mug....

Well, here it is.  It's the popular hot cocoa
mug gift, but Craftberry Bush style...

Not in a jar, in an ornament...

And depending how much you like the person you are gifting, you can take the time to build a mini edible is how...

1. Stick a toothpick into a Cocoa Puff 
2. Dip in melted white chocolate (they look like tini, wini little cakepops...awww) 
3. Allow chocolate to harden and use additional melted chocolate to 'glue' together. The orange nose is an orange candy sprinkle and the eyes were dotted with a toothpick using black food coloring.
4. Using the same technique used here, cover surface with sugar and roll gumdrop
5. Make a little hat or scarf or even mittens if desired.

Do not remove the toothpick as this will help keep the snowman in place when you insert it into the bulb.  As you 'build' the snowman, keep measuring the snowman against the opening of the bulb ensuring its size will fit the opening.  I had to give my snowman rhynoplasty surgery...ha! 

Using a paper funnel, pour favourite hot cocoa recipe into bulb and slowly insert snowman into the ornament using tweezers.  

See the little 'snow balls' in the globe? they are little clumps of icing sugar I sifted just for extra brownie points.  I stamped and attached a little note to the top and also placed a bag of mini marshmallows at the bottom of the mug.

  I'm in love with the idea because it's whimsical and unexpected. 

On a side those of you who I give one of these to, the measure of my love for you will be whether or not you get a snowman or not...;) 

Have a great Monday!

much love,

ps. this is my cocoa jar from last year; please click on the picture to go to the original post....

Linking at 

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