Saturday, October 3, 2015

Annual Ornament Swap

It is time for my annual Christmas ornament swap!  As always, this swap is for handcrafted ornaments.  Any medium is allowed!  You don't have to be an artist to join in I'm certainly not one.  

This year the theme is "Traditional"  
Think red, green and white.  Candy Canes, Santas, Snowmen, Little Trees, Jingle Bells....

We are doing a "5 for 5"  swap.
What this means is that you will be sending me 5 handmade ornaments and receiving a variety of 5 ornaments back. 
Once you join, I will send you the flickr info so you can upload photos of your finished ornaments.  You can also post on the swap blog.
You do not have to have a blog or webpage to join.
The deadline to sign up is Nov. 1st and I am restricting it to only 10 participants this year as I have several family obligations this holiday season. 

To sign up, send me an email at valpowery(at)yahoo(dot)com with your name and blog or flickr link/info.  

This will be a USA only swap due to shipping.

Please create something you would love to receive and be sure to package your ornaments in a nice, 

re-usable box so I can mail your new ornaments back to you in it. 
Try to keep your ornaments light in weight and please take care when wrapping to make sure they are cushioned, etc.  We want all our ornaments to arrive in pristine condition!

Shipping: Please send in $10.00 to cover the cost of sending ornaments back to you.  This will also cover tracking.   Please include a return address label already filled out.

Ship in time for me to receive them by Thanksgiving.  That way, I can get them in time to mail them out by the first week of December.  Sadly, I can't guarantee you getting an exchange box if your ornaments do not reach me in time.  (If that happens, I'll gladly return your own ornaments to you using the money you sent for shipping.)  
Shipping funds are important!  If you forget to include shipping, your ornaments can't be sent/returned until you have sent me the funds to send/return them to you.

If you finish your ornaments early, feel free to send them to me early so I can start organizing them.

If time gets away from you and you need to back out, no big deal, just drop me an email and I'll remove you from the list.  

Also, don't forget to grab the badge to put on your own blog to spread the word!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It's all about the gold!

I made some fun things for the gold theme craft along this month....I took some liberties and made everything LSU!

I love a pretty front door.  We don't have a beautiful door but it always looks pretty with the twinkle lights glowing...
This is last year's wreath but I bought an additional bag of raffia and floofed it up a bit more.  Love it.

Soon my Halloween wreath will take it's rightful place on the door but this sure is pretty....

Monday, September 28, 2015

Zombie Doll swap

I hosted my annual zombie doll swap.  This year, I sent my partner "Woodstock Wendy."

I got the idea off her blog...she is into peace signs, etc.  Thought a throwback to Woodstock would be funny.

Here is the other stuff.....toadstools, soup mix, yarn, a journal, some stickers and a flowery headband.

The tag on the soup mix:

I put her in a doll like plastic box and included this info sheet on her.  I wanted it to read like a doll insert you get.  You'll have to click on it to read it...

Then I made two pieces of paper, like you get when something with a toy you bought might have a missing piece.   I slipped one into the box with her and taped one to the outside.

I made her to be naked but at the last minute added a little dress.  Oh my gosh, this was a fun doll to make!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ushering in FALL....

So, we haven't had any cooler weather to speak of, but some things are right on time!

White Wednesday takes place during homecoming week.  

Our yard looked like a fairy tale land....if toilet paper is considered decoration!

While curlygirl was out rolling with her crew, another crew hit us.  This is a Slidell tradition during homecoming week.  Unknowing newcomers better not run out of toilet paper this week....the stores are always sold out.

As for our newest family member?  Osa failed the yard rolling test.  She was busy doing this....and it was only 8:30 pm!

Little stinker slept through the whole thing....

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A very good day

You ever have one of those days that is REALLY good but for little things?   No earth shattering amazingness....but little things that add up to SPECTACULAR?  

Yesterday was that day...

First of all, Dean called to give me a heads up to leave early and take a detour to work because of backup on the interstate.  Even though I don't take the interstate, the traffic was backed up onto the road I do take.

I left early because I wanted to go to Starbucks but because everyone ELSE had taken the detour, I didn't make it fast enough.  Instead of worrying, I went straight to work.  Since I got to work early, I ran in and got a couple little things done which started my day off nicely.

Then, mid morning, a student that gives me fits actually smiled...and HUGGED me.  
Believe me, there are some students you never reach no matter how hard you try.  This kid is a tough one.  I don't know what the circumstances are with him but I just keep forging ahead.   Then today, he not only smiled, but he hugged me.  A real hug.  A hug that meant he gets it.    For this kid, that is HUGE.  I'm serious.  
Will it last?  Will he do this next week?  Maybe not, but I am keeping him in my prayers and thinking positive thoughts that he will.  If I can reach just ONE kid this year, I want it to be him.  Because he really needs it.  I say that will all sincerity.  

At the end of the day,  I went in to see the principal for something and not only did he tell me I was doing a great job but a few minutes later he said I went above and beyond and he really appreciated it.  That may not seem like much to most people but my job isn't one of the regular positions so we don't get a lot of face to face time.    When we do talk, we tend to talk about problems and strategy.  

Then I ran some errands and on my way home, I popped in to a different Starbucks for my drink.  My all time favorite barista had moved to the new location.   She had moved to another location 6 months ago and just moved to this location last week.  Best part is that her partner in crime starts back next week!  He had also moved to a different one and then just got transferred again.  They are the best team and make the best Salted Hot Cocoa ever.  Plus, they are the kind of people who chat you up and get to know you.  Makes a difference.

I was on the way home and I had a call from our pest control guy.  He was at the house waiting on me.  I had totally forgotten the appointment!  
Before I could even start to apologize, HE apologized for arriving so early!  Yep, he was 20 minutes early.  I gave him the go ahead to start on the yard and then pulled in 10 minutes later.  He never knew that I had forgotten the appointment.  Truth be told, I would have been home if he hadn't been so early....but it was nice not to have to apologize.

The icing on the cake was a precious note written to me by my sweet daughter.  She had written it on our grocery pad about 20 pages in.   It was a beautiful and sweet note. 
I'm struggling with my children leaving.  I'm happy being a mom.  I love being a wife.  I am one of those people who really LOVE being a domestic goddess.  (except I'm no goddess.)  I miss Matt so much and dread the day Kaela heads off to college.  I know I can't hold them forever but I love them so much it hurts. 
The note made me proud and happy because it reminded me that my kids are awesome people who are going to be successful in ways I can only imagine.  And I love that.

Today reminded me that sometimes the little things can add up to become really BIG things....

Friday, September 18, 2015

catching back up

This is the second time in a row that the computer has behaved!  yay!   I'd better make it quick....

Last Friday, Dean and I had a date.  You know it was a long week when you don't take a photo together but instead take a photo of your drinks...

We took a day trip in to the aquarium.  It had been so long!   I took a ton of photos and then realized I'd taken the same ones over and over the past 8 years since moving back.  So....I deleted several but kept a few of my favorites...

The "look down" fish.   These used to be housed in a giant column-like aquarium but it was destroyed in Katrina.   Now it it a wall.  It is still nice but I always liked being able to walk around the original...

the seahorses...I adore these interesting creatures.

they have a nursery set up for daddies who are about to POP like this poor fella!  hahaha!  What a nasty little trick mother nature played on these boys.

Game time!  Had to make myself a cozy just for my main team.  

The other day Osa "pipped" her ball over the fence.  The people behind us have a maze of a veggie garden and don't speak English so I didn't even attempt to go get it.  Instead I went to the store and just bought her 2 more because they won't be in stock much longer.   
A week later, the blue ball appeared BACK on our side.  Needless to say, she is thrilled at having 3 balls to chase!

I've started my annual pet bed making for the local shelter.  Osa found them and rolled around in them like a big pig.  She was SO happy!

If you want to make some for your own shelter, I have a pattern on my sidebar.   Just click on free patterns and scroll through. 
I crochet small ones using a giant hook and 3 skeins of yarns.  I sew beds for large dogs.  One thing I do which saves time is to keep all old pillows and make over sized pillow cases.  The local shelter loves them and uses them for their really big or elderly dogs.
Please don't forget these babies this time of year.....concrete is tough anytime of year but very hard on old bones when cold.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

stumbling along....

I have been blogging infrequently for so long that it almost feels weird to sit down and post something!    Our computer is "sick!"    Dean works on it and we think all is well and then I come sit down to do a post and BAM!   It refuses to import or it stops working altogether.....ugh.

Anywhooooooo,  I've been busy hosting my annual zombie doll swap and working on Christmas projects and playing with Osa!

I knit this scarf up over the weekend for a gift but it will be hard to part with it.  I made it up!  My first homemade knit project.  I hate following patterns, don't you?  LOL

Anyway, I found some yummy yarn in a bargain bin....seriously, y' was 13 bucks a skein and I got it for 2 bucks a skein...THAT is a bargain!  I used some beautiful yarn from my stash as a secondary skein to tag along for color changing.  GORGEOUS.  At least, I think it is!

I cast on 15 
knit 4 rows 
knit another row and loop 2 extra on after each stitch
knit, drop two loops the next row
knit 5 rows.
Alternate until you have it long enough to loop once around your neck for a nice drop.

Easy peasy or clear as mud? Good thing I don't write patterns, eh?

I pulled out my Fall decorations.....cannot WAIT for October to add in my zombie dolls and such....cackle, cackle...

Oh! and I started this book.  AMAZING.  Let me tell you, if your brain NEVER SHUTS UP (and tells you bad stuff about yourself) you NEED this book!

One more thing before I go......can't put EVERYTHING in one post, right?  Amazing basil butter bread.  Oh yes, it is awesome for game day!  I harvested all my basil the other day and made 3 more pounds of it.  I also have something like 60 basil/olive oil cubes done.   My basil is still going strong so I should get one more small harvest before it stops producing.  If you want the recipe, check my sidebar.

Osa says "hi" and "bye"

so happy and silly...and cute with her ear squished up underneath her!
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