Sunday, November 29, 2009

LET THE DECORATING BEGIN

My goal this weekend was to get a jump on the decorating.  After five years, I finally got a vision for my front door.  I still have some tweaking to do--how I wish that I could get things done during round one, but . . .
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I'm loving the IKEA star hung from the second floor railing.  So not loving the scaffolding in the background.  Hopefully, the ceiling reveal will take place soon!
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The ornaments are not on the tree yet, but a few presents are wrapped--before December 1!  Amazing!
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MckLinky Blog Hop

FUNKY JUNK PARTY POST

My daughter brought this box home from a warehouse that my husband was hired to empty.  Wasn't that sweet of her?
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I added some handles and filled it with *stuff* (which is plentiful at our house).  I know, not much of a redo this week, but it's all I need to get into the party at Funky Junk.  *grin*
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I bet you would have felt more special had I actually put a tablecloth on the table before I took the pictures.  At least I lit the candles!
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And because I'm in a partying mood, I'm going to share one more quick project.  I bought some metal stars at the Dollar Tree last year and sprayed them gold.  This year I added some glitter.  No telling what next year might bring.
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Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

CHRISTMAS: THE WAY IT'S DONE IN THE NORTH

I know, I know, people in the south do not like it when people from the north say anything about the way it is done up there.  I understand, and it can bug me, too, now that I've been down south a while.  However, with all due respect to my southern friends, there is just nothing like the way Christmas is done there--nothing. 
Kelly and her family had the opportunity to visit Macy's in Maine yesterday; and as happy as I am for her, I was way jealous when I saw the photos!  It brought back such fond memories of city sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style--and of cold and snow and slush and oh . . . the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful . . . Just be glad you can't hear me sing my way through this post.
Kenzie dropping her letter to Santa in the cool mailbox at Macy's.


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Kenzie telling Santa about her first loose tooth.
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You can see even more fun photos over on Kelly's blog.  I just stole a few.
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I also stole this photo of Saks Fifth Avenue in 2006 from someone else's blog.
Don't you just love it?
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In 2005, we visited NYC the day after Thanksgiving--I wouldn't advise picking that day if you have a choice.  Anyway, even though the wind chill was 11 degrees and I tripped and broke my foot, that day was the best!  We were all together, which will probably never happen again, and we did things with the kids for the very last first time.
We rode the train while eating donuts.
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We visited the  American Girl Store.
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We walked the streets.
We smelled the smells.
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And we oo-ed and ah-ed.
And we smiled until our cheeks hurt--or were they just frozen in place?
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And we rode the huge ferris wheel in Toys R Us.
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And we studied the store windows.
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And we squeezed--I mean SQUEEZED into a CROWDED elevator in Macy's.
And then we stood in a long line to see Santa.
And it was worth it--well, maybe not to Kenzie.
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And we saw the coolest gringerbread store!
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And I do believe that we made memories that will last a lifetime.
Tomorrow, I will take Tessa to see the Rockettes in Knoxville.
I have high hopes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cornerstone Craft Club - Week Two

The boss had a creative moment the other day and suggested that our craft club be called C cubed.  I would type it here in math-ese if I knew how.  So just imagine what it looks like until I do.  Anyway, Friday night was once again filled with women overdosing on creativity.  The tables and countertops were a bit in the over-stimulating category with supplies that seemed to grow exponentially throughout the night.  Enjoy!
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I think everyone is trying to figure out where to start.  It was a bit overwhelming when you saw all the supplies.
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Of course, the math teacher had a plan.  And she stuck to it, by golly.
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And there was the one who stuck to bird making.
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I am very curious to find out who actually completes this project.  Most completed six to eight magnets.  Daughter Kelly and I are proud--in a good way--to say that ours are done before the first of December.  Amazing since I haven't finished reading the Advent book that I started with the children last year.

Mine (below) is on a cookie sheet painted with chalk board paint.  I will probably draw (with chalk) a loose grid on the tray to begin, knowing that it will be impossible to keep my designs in the squares.  And I probably will redo a few when I actually unpack my Christmas decorations and uncover some sentimental ornaments.

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Kelly will do her countdown on her kitchen cabinet door.  Since she resides in the part of the house with the original kitchen, she has the real vintage theme going on.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

DECOUPAGED STAIRS REVISTED

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Once again, I'm arriving at the party fashionably late.  I say fashionably because I'm wearing a coordinating sweat suit!  I'm a pretty big fan of decoupage, so I pretty regularly do a project that calls for it. In my  previous abode, I decoupaged old postcards onto a distressed, crackle-finished vanity in the bathroom.  I really should dig out a bd photo (before digital) to scan and post.  My stair project actually earned me a mention on A Soft Place to Land during Blissdom last February.  Needless to say, I was quite surprised at the hits I got that day, and it made me postively giddy.  I wish I had a new project to post, but the *biggie*  reveal is not quite ready.  I do love to party with y'all so, I am sending you to the original post here.  And for those who want the details, it's pretty simple.
Supplies:  wrapping paper and decoupage glue (I love Collage Pauge, Gloss)
Directions:  just do it!
Cost:  under $5
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

GATHERING SUPPLIES

Getting ready for the Cornerstone Craft Club this Friday night!  We are making cookie sheet Advent calendars, and I do believe this group has made far too many trips to Hobby Lobby.  Check back to see what we accomplish!
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CAKE PLATE - CHEAP, VERY CHEAP

I absolutely adore cake plates.  I mean, I am crazy about them.  I don't really know why since I rarely make cake.  I suppose I like having the different levels when I'm displaying seasonal decorations, candles, plants,  and yes, occasionally, food.  I think I've started collecting them, but I can't be sure since I don't know what the official number is to constitute a collection.  I only have five.  It's not because I don't want more. I'm just too cheap.  And cheap is not so bad if you're clever.  I am clever, and I'm here to share my clever cake plate. 
Materials Needed:  glass and plate from The Dollar Store, E600, misc. junk
I want to mention that the plate's groove fits exactly around the glass.  How neat is that?
Cost of Project:  $2
Instructions:  self-explanatory
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Fill with pom-poms to make a fun birthday cake plate.
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Fill with fall leaves for those pumpkin muffins.
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Fill with potpourri because you happen to have it.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

HE'S IN THE ARMY NOW

Ryan has four more weeks before graduation, but was allowed a weekend off the base at this, the ten-week mark. We had to be at Fort Benning for the family briefing at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
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Before entering the room for the briefing, we were able to peek into the mess hall. Not really sure why Tessa's reflection showed up in this photo, but I did think it was kind of neat looking. Ryan told us that they get five minutes to eat. His typical breakfast consists of scrambled eggs with biscuits and gravy on top, pancakes, breakfast bar, etc. He takes everything that is offered, and he somehow woofs it down. Interestingly enough, he has never eaten an egg before boot camp.
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We met all of the drill sergeants during the briefing. We also got to see a video of everything our "soldier" accomplished or had been exposed to during the last nine weeks. Contrary to what Ryan has said, I did not see one thing that looked like fun. And the soldiers coming out of the gas chamber was absolutely disturbing. They could have skipped videoing that particular scene. I am very proud of Ryan's determination and his positive attitude about it all.
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After the briefing, we went outside where the soldiers were lined up. It looked very official. Notice that even their hands are held a certain way.
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This young man just couldn't stop smiling. I wasn't sure what the drill sergeant was going to do. I hoped that he would not start screaming in his face. As it turned out, this particular drill sergeant has a sense of humor.
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He brought one guy out and started scanning the crowd for "Jenna Baby." It was hilarious. When Jenna did not come forward after much coaxing--who could blame her?--another fellow was chosen. This one had a mom in the crowd who was more than happy to wave and carry on. The drill sergeants played it up big. The whole scene was totally unexpected after the video, briefing, and seeing all the men in formation. It lightened the mood and just brought smiles to our faces.
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Ryan told me that the young men not in dress uniform, like the one in the photo above, did not pass the physical training requirements. I felt so sorry for them. They had a family pass as well, but had to stay on the base. You may also notice the lovely glasses that all soldiers are required to wear during basic. I remember when Michael had to wear these out in public after his graduation from Air Force basic. It was quite embarrassing.

Not sure who designed the hat, but I'm not really digging it. I will admit that most soldiers looked better with it on than with it off though. Not everyone can pull off bald.
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These brothers are very, very different. And that's all I'm going to say on that.
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Even in the family photo shoot, Ryan's hands remain in *the position*! I had no idea I was that short. I don't know how tall I thought I looked, but this is not it.
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We did enjoy Ryan's stories during lunch and dinner. One thing that he said that was interesting to me was that he was glad that he did not have any vices. He did not feel like he had to give up anything--especially cold turkey--like most. He doesn't even drink soda--which seems to be something that many have missed. He was pretty sure that most of his friends were going to return to the base feeling pretty sick after eating and drinking everything they missed.
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Yep, like I said, maybe that hat is not such a bad thing.
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