Thursday, December 31, 2009

Old and New

The recent snow we had reminded me of the Old Year/New Year that is coming up so quickly! We might look back on the old year and see the things we wish we could change or do better. but once the new year comes it can make even the old year look a little better with a fresh new look...wishing all of you a very happy and safe New Years Eve!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Year of Mornings

I happened to run across this book at the Library. The 2 women were bloggers who lived 3191 miles away from each other and every morning they would post a picture taken before noon. Eventually they began to have such a following that it became a blog of its own! Fascinating to anyone interested in photography or everyday life.

Check out their blog at

The pics above are examples of a few of my mornings in the past month! Isn't it interesting to see how much beauty there is in the everyday hours?

So That Was Christmas!

Was it about JESUS?
Was it spent in the circle of FAMILY in a home filled with love?

Was there frost or SNOW?
Did the decorations have a SPECIAL meaning to you?

Was each family member showered with LOVE?

Was there BEAUTY in the sights and sounds?

Was there JOY in the small things?

Then THAT was Christmas....and that was MY Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Christmas!

To ALL my friends and fellow Bloggers, I want to wish you the Happiest Christmas filled with the best of everything you love and to pass on something I learned this season...When we wish someone "Merry Christmas" what we are really saying in the original languages is ready? Joyful Anointed Sacrifice! So thats what Christmas means to me and I pass it on to you with a full heart of Praise. Love you much!
Thanks to my friend Julie Rokala for that translation and to "Sharla Stenersen Photography" for the family pic and to Tristi at" 3 princess paperie" for the card layout!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

White Chocolate Cinnamon Caramel Corn

Here is the recipe for the most delicious and addicting snack you ever tasted!

6 Quarts popped white popcorn
1 C. butter
2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. light or dark corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
8 0z white chocolate

Coat bottom and sides of a large roasting pan with non-stick coating. Place popped corn in pan.

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to boiling; stiring constantly. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove mixture from heat. Stir in Baking soda, vanilla and cinnamon.

Gradually pour the caramel over the popcorn and mix well. Bake in 300 degree oven for 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan.

Break apart. Melt white chocolate and pour over the baked caramel corn. Stir slightly. Chill in refrigerator, break into clusters. Store, covered.

All Wrapped Up

I couldn't put off this part of the season any longer, so I put on a mellow Christmas CD, brewed a cup of herbal tea, grabbed a handful of White Chocolate Cinnamon Caramel Corn and started wrapping the gifts!
Shhh...this is a surprise! Something I put together for someone in the family:)

I ended up using white and plain brown paper bags and brown wrapping paper with snowmen. It kind of seemed to fit the less is more decor I did this year.

I used up my scraps of leftover ribbon from this and that, some brown yarn and made some tags out of scrapbook paper and stamps. Once I get started on the wrapping I always enjoy it and end up wishing there was more to wrap:) I'm so glad that my man, shortly after we were married, taught me exactly how to make a wrapped gift box look professional! I've used that skill hundreds of times. Beats me where he learned it because once I knew how he never wrapped another gift! Hmmmmm...maybe there was a hidden agenda in that long ago tutorial!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

City Christmas

Portland, Oregon @ Christmas time...notice the firplace is made out of stacked wooden yard sticks! Thats Anthropologie for you.
First Congregational Church circa 1895 where we enjoyed a "Celtic Yuletide" performance

Decor at Nordstroms

Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things!

A Tuba band played in Pioneer Square

A Peppermint Mocha at Borders and a Lot of Interesting books to browse
Macys decked out for Christmas, but not like Meier and Frank used to do their window displays!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keeping it Simple

I was inspired by the ideas in Pottery Barn and decided to keep my Christmas decor simple this year. The main focus is just evergreen branches, berries and silver stars.
I used a silver star tree topper as an accent piece on my entry table.

And just filled jars with pinecones and accented them with a silver star ornament. The simpler decor feels peaceful to me and not too overdone which is not really my thing any time of the year! I feel like the hustle and bustle thats out in the shooping arena fades away as soon as I walk in the door...

Learning Experience

The Artisan Fair is over and done! After all the work and time...was it worth it? Well I learned a lot! I sold almost everything:)...
But didn't make much profit:( Thats okay, I got the experience and I can learn from that. I hope all the other vendors did better at the profit margins! Glad its over...ready to just focus on Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, My Lovely

My little granddaughter had her First Birthday yesterday! The pic above is when she was just brand new,
This is the cupcake tower I made. It was actually not too hard to do, and turned out really cute. The top is one big cupcake that she got to dig into with the help of her 3 little boy cousins.

The cupcakes are topped with buttercream frosting and fondant flowers.

Here's the little one year old on her first set of wheels! She has been such a joy to me this year, and I thank God every day for the privilege of being her Grandma. Love you Sweetie!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ladder chandelier idea

Here is a great idea for all you decorating divas! This was in the Pottery Barn store down on 23rd. They have so many great ideas for Christmas Decor it can be dangerous to go in there!
This one looked fairly cost effective though to any one who has an old ladder, greens and large silver balls etc. (I did see some large silver balls at the Dollar Store!) It is an old wooden ladder, with fishing twine hanging down with either a topiary ball or silver ornament, and greens around the ladder. I'd love to see someone try it...Whispering Creek House?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas at the Pittock Mansion

It was "Moms Day Out" today so I took a drive up into the hills above Portland to the...
Pittock Mansion which is decorated for Christmas every year with a different theme. The Theme this year was Christmas Traditions. The Mansion was built in the 1800s by the original owner of the Oregonian. It is beautiful to tour any time of year, but I love it best at this Season.

Here is the Mansion done in gingerbread....

Each main room and bedroom has its own fireplace with special decorations to go with the rooms theme and at least one tree. The music room had three trees this year! A pianist was playing carols and I stood for a moment listening to the sounds and seeing the beauty and was swept over with a wave of Joy.
There are plenty of interesting toys and dolls so its a great place to take well behaved children :)

In several of the rooms outfits of that era are displayed, so you can imagine what the family wore during the holidays and the types of events they enjoyed.

My favorite room this year was the guest bedroom, with its vintage teddy bears, shoes, hats, gloves and feeling of peace in a changing world.

I highly recommend a tour if you have time this year. The house is open 11-4 every day until Christmas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pilgrim Kitchen Duty

I wonder what the Pilgrim women thought that first Thanksgiving when the men came in to say "Oh, by the way we invited 50 Native Americans to celebrate with us and they brought a few deer along so could you just throw those on the fire too?" ! My first thought would've been "Oh, so I'm one of 6 women who survived a year in this God-forsaken place and now I have to cook for a bunch of smelly natives?! Thanks...ALOT!"

Just kidding (maybe) but I did just spend all day in the kitchen making pies and desserts, and its the day before the FEAST. More cooking tomorrow and I'm not even having the darn thing at my house...hmmm...I think this was another holiday that started as a day to Praise the Lord and ended up as kitchen duty. BUT I'm thankful I have such an abundance of ingredients to cook with and health to work hard all day, eyes to see, nose to smell the good things and taste buds to savor each bite. Have a wonderful day tomorrow and if any extra guests get invited over at the last never know you may be entertaining angels unaware!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thinking ahead!

I've been thinking ahead to the New Year and what direction I'd like my blog to take. At a recent scrapbook retreat I attended, some of the girls had a book that they use to challenge each other every month to do a certain idea or procedure in their scrapbooks. Do any of you know if there is anything like that for Blogging? Also have any of you seen the magazine called "Artful Blogging"? I saw it at the craft store and was really excited by some of the ideas and blog sites. These have been some of the most enjoyable hours I have spent these last months and I'm so glad Stephanie at the Whispering Creek House introduced me to the "Blogging World"! My son asked me (he's 14 :) "Why do you like blogging so much? Is it like scrapbooking or what?" That really struck a chord in me and I've thought about that a love for art, scrapbooking, writing, journaling, and getting to know people from the's all part of Blogging and Yes, thats why I like it so much! May each of you who have become a part of my life in this way be blessed for all the joy you have given me! Love you all!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Find Me In the River

Find me in the river Find me on my knees I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please
We've longed to see the roses

But never felt their thorns And bought our pretty crowns But never paid the price
Find me in the river Find me there
Find me on my knees with my soul laid bare

Even though you're gone and I'm cracked and dry find me in the river I'm waiting here

We didn't count on suffering We didn't count on pain
But if the blessings in the valley then in the river I will wait.

Find me in the river Find me there Find me on my knees with my soul laid bare...
I'm waiting here....for You.
By Delirious
written by Martin Smith

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Frou Frous

My very last project for the Artisan Fair is done...I found a site on line that tells you "how to..." do just about anything and thats where I found out how to make Tulle Skirts, so easy and fun and they always turn out so CUTE!
These are a few samples, but I have teal and blue, pink and fushia, creme etc. As I look around the room filled with stacks of pretty skirts, shirts, pants, flowers and tulle, I'm so glad I decided to spend the last month and some working on the Fair. Its been a good learning experience, I've made a lot of progress in sewing techniques, and grown in confidence. Those are things that can only be learned by trial and error!