Friday, December 31, 2010

A La Ann Rayner....with Minutes to Spare

Well I did it...I finished the Ann Rayner sampler...with minutes left in 2010!

And I really have to thank Mother Nature. Not only did she dump snow on us, which, combined with an abbreviated work day, allowed me to be home all day today, but she also made the wind blow. Which left the hubs and Jakester stranded out in Deadwood.

They've been out there since Wednesday for some snowboarding/snowmobiling fun, and had planned to come home today. But they couldn't. Soooo....lots of complete and totally uninterrupted stitching time was mine! And I used every minute of it to finish!

I changed a few things....because I'm not a fan at all of over one, and I would rather have completion than complete duplication. I have less sheep, more flowers in my pasture. And a different 'signature line'....I dubbed this one "A La Ann Rayner 1839".

I pulled my own conversion of Hand Dyed Fibers silks, and I tried to really capture the warm look of the original rather than the stitched reproduction.

I'm pleased! So pleased she is done! A final finish for 2010!

Bring on the new year!! Wooohooo!!

Stop back tomorrow to see what I'm starting for my New Year's Day quilt and my New Year's Day sampler!

Happy New Year!!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thrifty Thursday!

Happy Thursday! It's my last Thrifty Thursday of 2010! I still can't believe some are interested in the little things I find and bring home, but I'm glad you are!

This week...ten bucks gone....

and a few more things find there way home.

Isn't this great!

From 1942....I thought it would be great fun to pore over the recipes and try some from 'back in the day'. It's really in great condition for the age. Although I must say I was miffed that they chose to write $3.00 right on the cover! Grrrrr.

As you know from previous treasure hunts, I just love the birds on this Homer Laughlin pattern, so for $2.50 I brought home the gravy boat.

I love using these to hold make-up brushes or as a catch-all for necklaces and things that tend to accumulate on dresser tops.

Did you notice up there I've got the finds perched on top of a black box? It was a buck.

Rough...but I do love a handmade box!

And the four little Libby glass bowls. *sigh*

They're so small, surely they will be right at home on the top shelf with a multitude of other glass berry bowls that inhabit the cabinet. Surely the hubster won't even notice that there are four more little lovely bowls up there. Surely not.

And look!

A damp dishcloth wiped that $3.00 right off the cover! Nice!

I also picked up two black folding easels for .50 each! Nice for little samplers..plates and such! I'm sure you'll see them in future 'around the house' posts!

As always, happy to have you stop by! Enjoy your day and I hope you find some treasure of your own!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Yard Work

Not outside...inside...working in Ann Rayner's yard. I've got a week. And a full work week. But I'll give it my best shot for a 2010 finish!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Fun!

We had a bustling household Christmas Day!

Miss Avery arrived...our little Christmas ballerina!

She was happy as a lark and full of smiles.

When her little cousin, JJ, arrived, she was all over him. But mama Amber kept her at bay and we got this sweet pic!

I believe they will be fast friends and rambunctious little cousins!

Our little ballerina tuckered herself out...

spent. For a brief while anyway!

And JJ slept most of the day...but at the end of the day, I caught him awake...

and I believe he was saying "oh just wait, Grammy...just wait."

This is going to be fun!!


Friday, December 24, 2010

The Night Before Christmas

The tree is glowing...

and we're settled in for the evening. The traditional oyster stew will soon be simmering, accompanied by a gluttonous spread of goodies.

We plan to enjoy a lovely peaceful evening, as it should be.

The presents are wrapped...

and tomorrow the house will be filled with all the kids and their kids, the smell of roasting prime rib, the crunch of wrapping paper and the sounds of family.

I wish you all a wonderfully Merry Christmas, and I hope you're able to be with those you love this weekend!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thrifty Thursday!

Hello!! Happy Christmas Eve Eve! I stopped off yesterday evening in between last minute shopping and found a couple goodies!

I have plans for an arrangement of blue transferware plates on a wall. This one will fit in swimmingly!

It has one crack and lots of crazing...LOVE! And it was .99, which I thought was fair for a dinner plate size!

And then remember that one time when I shared with you that I found a Sid Dickens tile?

for cheap?

and turned around and sold it for almost $200 on ebay? Well...

this isn't one of them! ;o) It's a wannabe...but I loved it anyway. It's very well done and heavy! Looks like an old piece of architecture. $1.99

Nothing too awful exciting but still fun!

I hope you're having a fun week and not getting sucked in to the hectic holiday pace!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Busy Elf

What a great day! I feel like I've made progress on many fronts...a satisfying Sunday!

Last night I began the baking...

and baked gingersnaps.

This morning, the baking continued...

Mexican Wedding Cake cookies. Yum! And while these were baking, the dough was chilling for these...

Chocolate Crinkles...little bits of choco goodness!

The sweets spread is ready!

Then I pulled out the wrapping paper

and wrapped the gifts that were here in the house. So glad that's done! I don't like to get behind on the wrapping because then while everyone else is sleeping with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads on Christmas Eve, I'm up in to the wee hours wrapping. Not fun! So I'm trying to stay on top of that.

Then I had to pull out the hook...

and some blue yarn that I picked up yesterday. A hat for had to be done! I hope it fits!

And the rest of my evening was spent with Ann Rayner.

I don't know if I will have her all done by the time the clock strikes midnight on December 31, but I'm going to give it my best shot!

Yes indeed it was a fine Sunday! case you missed it...the Cowboys won! Wooohooo! It wasn't televised up here (boooo!) so I was at the mercy of my F5 button and online updates. But I still whooped and hollered with the updates. Nice!

And now this busy elf has become a somewhat tired elf...and the work week awaits. So off I go for some shut eye! Hope you had a great weekend!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Around The House

A few pics of some vignettes around the house....

with thrifty finds worked in.

The wood plaque letters spell out NOEL. I love them! They were a buck a piece!

The vintage vegetable dish from France.....sitting on a silverplate tray with bead garland all around.

And more silverplate. I love how the candlelight reflects off of it!

It's been a weird Christmas season so far and I haven't done as much decorating as I would have liked, but time is just getting away from me! Christmas will be here and gone before we know it, so I'm okay with the decorating this year.

Tonight...I'm baking!! Tis the season!!


Friday, December 17, 2010

My Goal This Christmas Season

Christmas is fast approaching and so I wanted to share with you my goal for this Christmas season.

I'd like to not shed a tear whenever I hear Silent Night.

This is easier said than done. See, seems like every year, sitting in a church pew hearing this song, it brings a tear to my eye. But now, rewind a few years back when I was with Dad for his last weeks with us.

If you knew my dad, you would know that he absolutely LOVED Christmas. Loved it. And he sang Christmas carols all year long. In public places even. Like at his office. And..well...frankly anywhere! And he didn't just sing softly under his breath. No sir...he sang with GUSTO...loud and clear for everyone to hear! And he smiled before, during and after his performance.

In his last days, there is one moment I will never forget. I was sitting with him on the couch. He had lost most of his vision...the cancer had spread to his brain. He didn't seem like Dad a lot of the time. But for one moment...there he was. Out of April...he began to belt out Silent Night. With a look of absolute glee and joy on his face, he smiled and sang as loud as he could. and he forgot some words, which was a sign, I knew, that his time was ending with us. But he sang and when he was done he smiled so big...waiting to see what impact his performance had on his attentive audience.

And we all smiled....and applauded his performance...and we laughed. and cried.

After his funeral, a friend of mine said she and another friend felt like standing up, during the sadness of it all, and belting out Jingle Bells. I wish they would have. He would have loved that. But we were all so sad and devastated, never did it cross our minds to sing Christmas celebrate him.

Of course now I sing and remember and smile. Most of the time. Except for Silent Night....gets me every time.

I miss my dad so much. But even more during the Christmas season. And so, my goal is to not shed a tear when I hear Silent Night. So far I haven't met my goal. But let's try again...shall we?


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thrifty Thursday!

Hello, Good Morning and Happy Thursday!!! First off thank you so much for the wonderful comments on the new addition to the family! Little JJ and his parents are home and doing well!

This week I was fortunate enough to hit up TWO of my fav' thrift haunts and came away with some goodies!

Quite the haul huh?

A unique little find for me was this eye wash cup! Fifty cents...

and the double handle open sugar bowl was seventy-five cents.

The color drew me in...

and the condition said 'take me home' for $2

Another spool to add to the basket of spools in the sewing room...

it was .49. I'm always thrilled when I find another one. I tell myself one day I will be so organized and I will actually USE the wooden spools to hold my quilt binding. Some day....maybe. ;o)

And look...

it's true. Another impeccable condition! With a liner.

The price..

and did I mention that I went on a TUESDAY to this particular store, and TUESDAYS everything is 25% off?'s true. So another Longaberger score. I came home and tossed the bag in the hubs' lap. When he saw the Longaberger, he just shook his head in disbelief. LOL

Another Paris street scene...

I will be darkening that frame up!

And this lovely creamy vase...

I thought it would fit right in with the creamy white creamers, pitchers and bowls I've been amassing.

And then don't ask me why....because I don't know why myself, but I couldn't leave someone's handwork behind...

crochet and tatted lace runners...

and colorful cottagey embroidery pieces too! *SIGH* Not really my decorating 'look' but I had to rescue them. Any ideas on good uses for these? Would love to hear ideas on use. These may find their way to my Etsy shop at some point, as will a lot of my other Thrifty Thursday finds over time. The plan for the new year is to continue the hunt....continue to gather....and continue to share the treasure via Etsy! So stay tuned as I build that endeavor in to the new year!

Last week, I offered the lovely pears print as a giveway and the winner is...


Terri said...

So jealous of your prints! I need to get out more! LOL


Terri....shoot me an email and let me know if you'd still like this to come home to you!

I just love sharing my thrifty finds with pictures and in giveaways! As always, thanks for the visit! Have a wonderful day!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Well Look Who's Here!

It was a LONG Blizzardy day on Saturday! Perfect day for a baby delivery...don't you think?'s true. He's here!

Johnny Justin Castillo, Jr....otherwise known as JJ....arrived on Saturday...during a blizzard! 7 lbs 5 oz...he was a couple weeks early, but we're ready for him anyway!

With a head full of red hair, he made his entrance! A very very very long day of labor proved futile for dear daughter (who is also a redhead btw), and they decided to take him by c-section after 5:30PM.

Our little trooper!!

Mommy, Daddy & Baby JJ are all doing fine!

The family grows.....


Saturday, December 11, 2010

What Time Is It In Argentina Anyway?

and do you think there's anyone up down there at this hour making this jar of decadence?

OH * MY * WORD! Yes...I'm up late, but for good reason! I made Dulce de Leche this evening and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to sleep, or if I do sleep, I'll be dreaming of all the ways to enjoy this bit of yumminess!!!

WHO KNEW!?!? Who knew you could do this....

simmer, with lid ajar, a couple of unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk, completely covered in water at least an inch over the cans, for a couple of hours (I let mine go for about 2 1/2 hours)

and end up with this.

SO easy...SO scrumptious. OH MY WORD. I think I stayed up for good reason. AND...dear daughter let me know a couple hours ago that she does indeed believe contractions have started and she is not feeling well! YIPPEEEE!! That means I could have my first little grandson! Later today. Hopefully after I get some sleep. I sit here and type this, the National Weather Service has just issued a Blizzard Warning...the buzzing TV says so.

It's gonna be quite the weekend!