Sunday, December 30, 2012

Making Christmases Merry ~ One Christmas At A Time....

Some of you who have been with me a while, may recall a post I did shortly after Christmas last year.  (If not, and you're curious and/or bored, you can find it here.)

I struggled a bit last year to find my Christmas "joy" which, in other years, came so readily and un-beckoned.  Then, a very special package arrived that made my heart, like the Grinch's, grow three times in size.

That package came from my sweet friend Shirlee, a/k/a "The Easily Influenced Stitcher."  And while I could never have dreamed Shirlee could "outdo" last year's amazing "Christmas in a box," she did.

And, like last year, it took me back and made me truly ponder the wonder of a Christmas-filled heart.
After the bustle of Christmas Eve festivities were over, I sat alone with the Christmas music playing and the lights twinkling, and reveled in the blessings of a friend's amazing kindness.

Simple, unassuming packages...but oh the treasures within....
Five (yes, FIVE!! pinch, pinch!) gorgeous stitcheries....I would have reveled in the gift of one, but five had me hearing angels singing.

All are Country Rustic Primitives designs (one of my most favorite designers!!) and each is beautifully hand-stitched and creatively finished by the oh-so-talented (but oh-so-humble) Shirlee:

  (Winter 1839)

(Merry Christmas 1843)
(I LOVE reindeer!)

 (Noel 1867)
(Joy 1837) 
(Did I mention I LOVE reindeer??!)

  (Sleigh Bells)

 All are patterns I hoped some day to do (how did she know???)....but it would have taken me a month of Christmases or more.  To have them stitched for you by a friend is a gift like no other.  Shirlee's heart is surely filled with the spirit of the season and she has a way of filling others' hearts with the magic of the season as well.  She is single-handedly making Christmases merry, one Christmas at a time.
Thank you my sweet (and overly generous) friend!!


Since it is doubtful I'll get another post in before then (all that daily merriment posting almost posted me out), I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, happy, new year! May it be overflowing with joys and blessings, large and small......

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gifts of the Season....

To me, Christmas is not just a "day," but a season.
When I was a child, the whole end of December and into the new year was "holiday" time.  Time spent baking and preparing....enjoying and visiting....
Life was simpler....Not everyone had jobs outside of the home that they needed to return to, and so days were dedicated going from family home to family home, to spread the cheer and make merry.

I am saddened now when, the day after Christmas, the radio stations stop playing Christmas music, there are no more Christmas movies to be found, and people start taking down their decorations.
But, here in Nod, you will find the tree still lit, the music still playing, and me still in my Christmas socks (clean ones, of course...I do have more than one pair.)
It is, after all, a season.

One of the "old" traditions from when I was a child, was the "present viewings."  At some point, at each house we visited, we would all gather around their tree and the hostess would show us each gift the family members of that house had received and explain from whom each gift was received.
It was never considered bragging or boastful - just appreciation for blessings bestowed.

And, with that thought and tradition in mind, I'd like to share with you a few of the wonderful gifts I received this season.

First, this wonderful package of stitchy goodes from the dear and overly generous Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.  I mentioned previously her generous heart, and the fact that she was hostessing an amazing Christmas giveaway with a winner or more (sometimes as many as hundreds) each day from December 1st through December 25th.
I was a squealing-kind of merry when I found out I had won some of her amazing hand-dyed "champagne" linen....
But, in addition to the generous hunk of linen, Nancy sent me two skeins of the richest, most sumptuous, "best brick red" hand-dyed floss and a whole pocket full of little stitching charms.

Try as I might, I couldn't capture the richness and depth of gorgeous colors of either the linen or floss in a photo.  You just have to trust me....It's magical.  Can't wait to put a needle to that thread and fabric!!

Thank you, made my heart sing.


Several other sweet gifts that touched my heart came from the charming Misi of 1890 Gable House Musings.  I LOVE what this woman does!!! She has more talent in her little pinky than I could ever have in my entire body - feathers and all.

I absolutely ADORE these!!
Thank you so much Sweet, if only Santa would come through on that wish of mine to have a wee bit of your incredible talent and creativity!!


 And, from my sweet, funny, gal pal, Marie, a/k/a Olde Lady Morgan
this wonderful reindeer fella (For some reason, I am smitten with reindeer this year....):
....this too stinking-adorable snow fella in a ticking stocking (with his own star!)

And.....this sweet lil' snow fella in a ticking pocket.


Thank you so much, Girlfriend - your "random act of kindness" warmed my soul and made me smile from the inside out....


I have more to share, but this post has gotten lengthy enough me thinks....
So, I will share more of this season's joys another day.
I have been truly blessed by you, my friends....

Wishing you all a season of joys and blessings!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Merriment Chain ~ Day 25: God Rest Ye Merry....

Well, it it is here.  Day 25 ~ the last and final day ~ of The Merriment Chain.

It came with no ting-tinglers, ta-tinkers, who-whoopers, or gar-dinkins....
 Nor even any drum-dinkers, slew-slumpers or flung-foopers.

But here it is nonetheless.

As usual, I am late. 
I came late to the party, and am leaving it late as well.
The latter, partly because it is a bittersweet farewell.

It was a challenge keeping up with posting 25 days in a row....especially with all that is going in on my world right now.

But, what started out as a way to ensure that at least one decoration a day went up transformed into something so much more.
A bond of sorts was forged with those in the chain....much like a real chain, and we all became links dependent on, and strengthening, each other.

I have found much joy in this chain and I hope a little spilled on to all of you who took the time to visit.
For those who have, thank you.  You and your wonderful comments are a gift in and of themselves.

90% of my decorations are now up - yes, even the tree is decorated (and, hey! the lights work!!).  A few (well very few) holiday treats are made, and I burrowed out in time enough today to even do some shopping.
Much more to go, but I'm definitely on my way to "merry."

 As for our wonderful and gracious hostesses, Misi and Robyn, I don't quite know where to begin to thank you.  You've given us all a gift of much more than fun.  It truly has been a gift of "merriment" ~ of the very richest kind.

Wishing you all the gift and light of merriment.  May your hearts and homes be full this Christmas tide....


 God Rest Ye Merry.....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Merriment Chain ~ Day 24: Shhhh, Santa!

We are nearing the end of Misi and Robyn's Merriment Chain.

It's blizzarding outside....snow, wind, drifts, white-outs.

And I could swear I heard Santa whisper "You've got WHAT left to do yet???!"

Shhhhh, Santa.....I know!

Merry, merry, day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Merriment Chain ~ Day 23: O Christmas Tree....

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree.....

How dark and nekked are thy branches....

(And a quiet panic fell over the Land of Nod on Day 23 of The Merriment Chain....)


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Merriment Chain ~ Day 22: Baking Day....

Day 22 of The Merriment Chain is....
 baking day here in Nod!

 That is....if I can excavate my counter top first....  :o(
(And, no, I'm sooo not sharing photos of THAT!)

(Just let me say again that that Archaeology degree comes in handy....)

 (Wish me luck!!)

Merry, Merry!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Merriment Chain ~ Day 21: A Little Elfin Magic

I'm baaaack.....
(Hey, I warned you....)

It's Day 21 of The Merriment Chain....

That means Christmas is just around the corner of next week.

I'm dreaming of a little Christmas elf to come to my rescue....

I imagine he would wear little shoes like this one....


Wishing you all a little elfin magic.....

The Merriment Chain ~ Day 1: The Missing Post....

It hardly seems like it was 21 days ago already that The Merriment Chain, hostessed by Misi of 1890 Gable House Musings and Robyn of Primlish, began. (Well, maybe for those of you who are growing weary of my daily posts, it might seem even longer, hey???)

I joined the chain a day late....and never thought I'd keep up.  But so far, so good. (It is the ONLY way I'd have any decorations up this year.....)
But, Day 1 was always MIA....
For those of you wondering (anyone???) what happened on Day 1, well, I was rounding up pumpkins and herding black cats of course.....

 (This dapper fella is the winsome creation of Miss Mary Harris from Prairie Homeplace.)

While I did (seriously) toy with the idea of just fashioning little Santa hats for all my pumpkins, cats, and witches and calling it "good" this year, I decided to link up with the chain and that, of course, meant tucking away all the Halloween and fall until next spooking season. (Black cats aren't very easy to herd by the way....)
 So THAT is what happened to Day 1.....

And, in the rounding, herding, packing, and tucking, I neglected to thank Cyn from cynzplace for this wonderful little pumpkin tuck that I won in her fall giveaway....

 Cyn also sent the yummy little tart and a great handmade card (sorry, the card didn't make it into the photo shoot....) 

Thank you so much Cyn!!  The tuck is beautiful....and your stitches are so sweet!!!


So, that's the story of Day 1 of the Merriment Chain.....

I'll be back in a little while with Day 21.....(Don't say you weren't warned!)

Merry, Merry! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Merriment Chain ~ Day 19: Hanging The Stockings....

It is with a heavy and hesitant heart that I post a "merriment" post today in the wake of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook.
There is no understanding and no words that can possibly heal at this point.
But I do believe each of us needs to reach for some inner balance and peace.
For me, that involves turning inward, Upward, and reaching for "normalcy"....routines that comfort and dull the reality.
With that in mind, I am proceeding with this post....
The stockings have been hung (note to self:  you need to finish hooking those stockings you started half of forever ago.....)

Stockings for the furry family members (minus the Snow Dog's....his is too large to hang from the mantel....)

With this, the mantel is now dressed and ready for Christmas....

 (Close ups of the items on the mantel are shown in Day 16's post.....)


This season, this little chair of mine will remain empty, except for the simple prim dollies, no teddies, no holiday merriment.  Just a sobering remembrance of those little ones gone and the season their stockings would go unopened.



Friday, December 14, 2012

The Merriment Chain ~ Day 18: A Visit From Jack Frost

Jack Frost was in the garden;
I saw him there at dawn;
He was dancing round the bushes
And prancing on the lawn.
He had a cloak of silver,
A hat all shimm'ring white,
A wand of glittering star-dust,
And shoes of sunbeam light....
 (Poem by John P. Smeeton)



I leave most of my outdoor decorating to Jack....
Wishing you a merry, magical, kind of day!