Tag Archives: fun

2014

It’s 2014!

We rang in the new year at home, with snacks and kitties. I put together a bright and cheery New Year’s mantel with some leftover Christmas decorations and some handmade numbers.

I’m keeping these lights on the mantel a little while longer. Along with the red berry garland, they look wintry enough to me to stay perhaps through February. I made the 2014 myself, just freehanded some numbers on cardboard, cut them out and then glued patterned paper to them. I used two 12×12 sheets per number, and each number stands about 18 inches tall. I had the white pinwheel left over from another project. Brian got me the small globe for Christmas, and I was so excited to add it to my ever-growing collection (I have four now!).

Happy New Year!

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That’s A Wrap

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been! So much awesomeness packed into such little time! I’ll just let the pictures tell the story. The many, many pictures. ;D

A new globe! We saw this one in an antique store and Ginger was so sweet and got it for me as an early Christmas present!

And as we neared the end of the month, just before Christmas, our family received the biggest blessing: Larry came home! My sweet sister, Ginger, met her prince charming more than 25 years ago, but due to difficult circumstances, they were unable to be together until now. Finally, he is home and they are able to truly start their happily ever after!

And we had the best family Christmas in *years*.

So much happiness, much-needed by all of us. 2013 was a very hard year in many ways. Looking to 2014 now. Onward we go!

2013 Christmas Decorations

It’s been looking like Christmas around our house for a few weeks now. I normally wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate, but this year, with Thanksgiving coming so late, I decorated an entire week *before* Thanksgiving. And I’ll tell you why.

We all tend to accumulate lots of Christmas decorations over the years. And Christmas only comes once a year. Why only enjoy that beautiful stuff for 3 or so weeks? It takes so much effort to haul all that stuff out of storage and decorate, and we usually all have lots of money tied up in things we’ve collected, so why not enjoy it a little longer? Get as much use and joy out of it as you can.
For Thanksgiving, we travel out of town to my parents’ house, and then we always bring home leftovers that last at least the whole weekend. Having the house already decorated gave us a much more peaceful and lazy long holiday weekend. It was awesome. And I will do it again next year. The turkey won’t mind. 🙂

Aside from that, since Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, we’re all really decorating and celebrating Christ’s birth **late** by the time we get to November and December, anyway. Jesus was born in the late summer, likely in September. And even that’s messed up, since many of our Christmas decor icons are originated in Pagan rituals and symbols, shouldn’t really be tied to Christ at all, and are even possibly condemned in the Bible. So, all that said, do what you want with your Christmas decorations. Do what makes it special and meaningful to *you*. And do it WHEN you want.

Now, for the decorations! This year, I was determined not to buy anything new. We’ve really been needing a new tree for a few years now, but haven’t bought one. Every year, I want to buy one, but then I come up with so many reasons not to. I love the challenge of making do and using what I have, and trying to use it in different ways each year. This year, I thought about our old tree, the one we bought for $20 at K-Mart when we first got married 16 years ago, and decided to dig it out of storage and see how it was doing after all these years. It is the old-school style, the kind where you put each individual branch into its little holder in the trunk and then you cuss and possibly punch the tree as those branches pop out a million times as you try to light the tree. Yes, I had to light this tree myself, by hand, painstakingly, with EIGHT strands of lights. But, once that was done, it looked awesome.

I even made the tree a cute little trunk using some woodgrain patterned scrapbook paper.

Here’s a wreath I thrifted for $1.99! It’s huge (and came with the berry garland already attached to it!). I hand-wrote the “merry” and then painted it and cut it out. I glued it to white posterboard for stability, and cut it out, leaving a small white border around the letters.

Here, I printed the “25” and cut it out and glued it to a doily. Then I framed it in a thrifted frame.

Got this cute Santa plate at the thrift store for $1. He goes great with my vintage Santa mugs that Mama passed down to me last year.

Here’s a 48-year-old ornament from Mama and Daddy’s first married Christmas.

A little Christmas house I made a few years ago.

Another very special, 48-year-old ornament that Mama and Daddy passed on to me. It had to have its own stand.

The dining room. Those gold tinsel trees were a new buy this year–$1 each at the dollar store.

And I made a coffee filter snowflake garland for over the dining room entryway.

Here’s a little vignette by the front door.

Some fun, shaped bokeh with the outside lights.

Merry Christmas!

Hello, September.

September is here and though the days are still hot and humid, we are excited for the transition into fall, which is Brian’s and my favorite season. We love to go out and explore and take lots of pictures once the weather is cool.

We had a pretty good week. Here’s the recap.

Sweet Lord Jesus, I laughed until I cried at this picture I found on Tumblr:

Some of the babies posed for pics for me:

Brian had a training class most of the week, so we were both ready to get out of the house for a bit and have an adventure. Yesterday, we decided on a whim to go exploring some local thrift stores. We found some great treasures!!

We got all this stuff for $28. $28!!!!

I was stoked to see the “Currier & Ives” on this $2 print!

Some cloth doilies for 25 cents each:

I bought 7 frames for less than $10! I intend to sand and paint/refinish them and frame some of my artwork to sell. I loved this one because it’s a large square, and those are rare.

When I turned it over, however, I was sad to see this on the back and to know that this picture was now for sale in a thrift shop. I hope that wherever they are, Paulette and Brenda are ok and are still forever friends. I am going to remove the artwork and the backing so I can reuse the frame, but I will save them in honor of this friendship. Something like this is very meaningful to me. Even if they aren’t friends anymore, this gift that Paulette gave to Brenda is a special marker in time. Even though Brenda had her reasons for donating this framed artwork to a thrift store, it’s a relic of sorts, a frozen moment when a friendship was special. This writing has a special, positive energy of love and it is now mine for safekeeping.

The frames I found, and some 25 cent twine.

And this super-large spool of thick white twine was only $3! I see many buntings being made with this!

In another store we went to, which was like an indoor flea market, we found an old jukebox with my name on it! Cool!

After shopping, we walked around downtown Forsyth a little and saw this old fire truck.

And steam engine.

We had such a fun day and can’t wait to go back! Planning another trip for the end of the month!

Sometimes The Little Things…

…really are the big things in life. The ones that mean the most.

Like shopping for clothes. Most people do this without a second thought. They walk into a store, see something they like, probably try it on and buy it, then take it home and enjoy wearing it. For someone with psoriasis, though, shopping for clothes can be torture. Especially during hot, summer months. For more than a decade, for me as a psoriatic with at least 80% coverage on my body, finding “summer” clothes meant finding as thin a long-sleeve t-shirt as I could find, usually on fall or winter clearance. It meant shopping online, mostly, because I’d be able to find something long-sleeved and in my size, more likely than in a store because all the season’s merchandise was picked-over.

Last August, I began a new treatment for my psoriasis, and to date, it has been the only thing to clear my skin. Other treatments (and I’ve tried everything) would make my skin calmer, and would make me more comfortable (not feeling like I was on fire or crippled), but wouldn’t actually clear me. Within just a few weeks, my skin started clearing and it has continued to improve ever since. This year, this is the first spring and summer that I could liberally wear short sleeves! No more red, flaky lesions on my arms. I hadn’t shopped for any new short-sleeved shirts, though, until now. (It was nearing fall as my skin started to clear last year, and I had a few short-sleeved shirts to get me through and didn’t buy any extras.) Except for buying a short-sleeved blouse in aqua to wear to my niece’s wedding in April, I have not shopped for anything, just for me, just for fun, just for the thrill of BUYING SHORT SLEEVES.

I had a gift card to Kohl’s that I hadn’t used, so I thought I’d look around in there. Brian and I went the other day, and it was kind of surreal. For one thing, I normally wouldn’t shop in a physical store, I would shop online as I said above, and that made it less painful and difficult, I guess, to not be bombarded with so many choices that I couldn’t make. So many shirts that I wouldn’t be able to wear because too much skin would show. Normally, I would just dismiss 90% of what was on the racks, and zero-in on that back corner, you know, the one little rack that might still have some winter clothes, things with long sleeves (and be thrilled and count myself LUCKY if I found something long-sleeved and thin, something that wasn’t a sweater and would be way too hot). I normally would ignore all the current seasonal clothes. But not this time. This time, my eyes just danced all around the clothes, the bright, spring and summer colors, the light, sheer fabrics and the short sleeves that surrounded me. I picked up several options right away to try on. I covered the whole area, looking at nearly every single rack of thin, sheer, short-sleeved awesomeness. On my way around, I did come upon that winter rack, the rack full of clearance sweaters and long-sleeves. I had a bit of a moment, I must be honest. To be able to quickly glance at it and then just walk away, to not have to stop and SCOUR that thing for any possible clothing option–it was so freeing and fabulous.

I ended up getting a couple really pretty blouses for summer. Light, sheer and pretty.

I normally hate summer, and my disdain for it has only grown during this last decade, and understandably so. Wearing long sleeves can certainly make for a more miserable time during Georgia summer. But this summer, I still may not like the extreme heat, but I will be lighter, I will be freer, and I will be joyful and grateful that my arms don’t have sleeves on them. Feeling like I can LIVE through a season and not just ENDURE it. It really is a BIG, big thing.

In other news, we stopped by Goodwill, where I found some priceless art that I had.to.have. They cost all of $6 for the pair and are now hanging in the bedroom. 😀

Little things, BIG smiles.