Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year and Free Vintage Image

Happy New Year Everyone!
Are you the type to do Resolutions for the New Year? Usually I don't. Primarily because I have a tendency not to complete or meet them. I feel it's kind of like setting myself up for failure - not a very positive attitude huh! lol But this year, I'm going to try and set two goals and see how I fair. Of course, I'm going to try and keep my attitude up and positive.

So what goals am I going to set? First, I'm going to try and improve my writing skills. You see for 30 years I was in a field that required very technical writing. This meant that everything had to be to the point, very straight forward and absolutely, positively no emotion. This type of writing has been burned into my sub-conscious and I struggle to eliminate that requirement when I'm writing my blog or commenting on others. Sometimes it can take me a really long time to complete a new blog entry because of this struggle. So the plan is to practice, practice, practice....and maybe I'll get better at it. So, expect to see a lot more posting from me this year and maybe you all can be my critiques and let me know how I'm doing. Encouraging comments would be greatly appreciated!

Second on my list is to become a little more thick skinned when it comes to criticism's relating to my product line. I love sharing my images and I spend countless hours collecting and cleaning them so that I can share them with you. It is a true labor of love and not intended to be a path to millionaire status. Sorry, I'm digressing and need to back to the point. Anyway, every once in a while I'll encounter a truly nasty person. Someone who just can't be pleased no matter how hard you try. They often like to be abusive and love to throw in a threat or two. I know that it's not my fault that these individuals are that way and I need to just brush it away but it just drives me bonkers! I sit and worry and stew for hours over it. So this year, I'm going to work on letting it go, thickening my skin so to speak and not worrying about it so much. I know there are wonderful people out there who truly appreciate my images and I'm going force myself to appreciate the positives and put less importance on the negatives.

So what do you think? Pretty lofty goals if you ask me but I think I can do it! At least I'm going to actively work toward reaching them and I hope you'll help me out. Your words of encouragement are greatly appreciated and I look forward to hearing from you.

Now to lighten up a little, New Year's is a time for celebration right? Are you doing anything special? We're going to try and get an early dinner, beating the crowd's hopefully, and then maybe go out to my daughter's house for a while or catch a movie. Kind of low key, but we like it. We've never really been the bar hopping types. I guess we're kind of boring but it suits us.

I know a lot of you like to get out there in the hustle and bustle of the crowds and do a little dancing and drinking. So that brings me to the image I'd like to share. This image is from the Janie folder and is circa 1924. As always make sure you click on the image to get it in a larger size.

Have a safe and Happy New Year! I hope it's plumb full of smiles!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Projects and Free Vintage Image

Hi Everyone!

Today I'm being totally I'm just sitting around reflecting on all the Christmas activities and being thankful that's it's over and yet still basking in all the joy and warmth that occurred during the busy days.

This whole month has been totally crazy with so many unexpected happenings that it truly seemed like everything was going amiss and I was beginning to wonder if Christmas this year was meant to be.

It all started with Hubby's Dad getting sick which was a major blow to all of us. Then the stomach flu started spreading throughout the family with Kaiden being the first lucky recipient. And how lucky am I? He was spending the night at Grandma's when the ugly beast reared his head! lol Then Dad's car completely broke down, with one of the front wheels pointing to the left and the other pointing to the right - makes it kind of hard to drive. lol. Next, Jordan caught a cold and developed Pink eye. Then on Christmas Eve our main toilet thought it might like a vacation. We decided that couldn't be the case and it just had to be fixed. Then Christmas morning, we awoke to the water heater having issues and going on a strike. Oh my gosh, I thought we were never going to make it through the holiday! It has been quite exciting and taxing! But you know what, it still could have been a lot worse!

Even with all this going on, we did manage to get the shopping done, the presents wrapped, a few crafts plus some cookies and chocolate pretzels made, and two major dinners prepared for the family. Whew! What an accomplishment for first 3 weeks of December!

So now that the holiday is over I can share with you some of the crafts that we completed this month.

Every year one of my objectives for November/December is to make ornaments to add to my tree and to share with my loved ones. This year for some reason, it was really difficult for me to decide on what kind of ornament to make. It was really a struggle until I saw this on Julie's blog. The idea hit me that if I expanded on her design and put the wreath on the front and back it would make an awfully pretty Christmas ornament. So I followed Julie's advise and visited here to watch the tutorial. The tutorial was wonderful and after just a few practice ones I had it down pat and was braiding away. lol I think I wound up making about 50 of them but once I got it down pat they went pretty fast. Here's just a few of the creations.

I made a sheet of about 2" medallions and printed it twice. I then cut them out and added some glue to back of one and a hanging ribbon and then I sandwiched the two images together. Being careful to match, as close to possible, the placing of the hanging ribbon on both sides. Then once the braid was complete, I attached it with glue to both sides of the medallions. I added a little bow and some embellies and they were done. On the little kid's ornaments, I used alpha beads to spell out their names and for the older ones I just embellished with things I had on hand. I thought they turned out nice. I really loved the Madonna with the blue ribbon and the deer with the brown ribbon.

A couple of months ago I purchased these from a well known company that sells candles at home parties. I bought a set of 3 different sizes and they were very expensive.

Once I received them, I thought I could basically create the same thing but in a smaller size for a lot less money. So as I was doing my shopping, I kept an eye out for something that I could use to recreate it. I found a vase at the local dollar store that I felt would fit the bill. I then started running across blogs that discussed glass etching. I've always wanted to give that a try so I started investigating the various ways that patterns were transferred to the glass. Most of the samples were using vinyls that were cut using the various cutting machines. But I'm not lucky enough to have one, so I settled with using one of those little pink stencil sets that you find everywhere. I picked a snowflake pattern and then cut the stencil apart for the different snowflakes. I used good old Elmers Spray Adhesive to attach the stencils to the glass and then filled in the stencil with the Amour Etch solution. I waited 5 to 10 minutes, then rinsed it off and washed it really well. After a few uses, the stencils were a little gummy from the glue but they continued to work just fine.

After all of that, I filled them with the scented pine cones and potpourri and sparkly ribbon and this is the completed project.

It's kind of hard to see the snowflakes but they're there if you look really close. I ran out of time and didn't find the votive candle holders that should rest on top, but maybe next year, I'll include that in their Christmas packages. lol But all in all, I was really happy with the finished project and hope to do more etching in the future.

Now sadly, my last project, I didn't get a picture of before it went into the mail. For this project I purchased some flour sack kitchen towels and using fabric transfer sheets, I added some cute borders along the width's edge. In order to get the border to go all the way across I had to have 3 rows on the 11" side of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of fabric transfer paper. So I made sure I picked a patten that had a break that I could easily match up. I picked an image that lent itself well to repeats and I also mirrored image it so that there was more variety in the image. I had planned on adding some cross stitch X's on top and below the image but alas, that was another project that I didn't get to really finish. But I thought they turned out pretty cute even without the cross stitching. So to share, here's one of the images that I used for my pattern on the towels. Make sure you click on it so you get the full image size.

Take care and I hope you have a week plumb full of smiles!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cheer and a Free Vintage Image

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Are you ready? I'm not, but I am getting closer! It's been a very busy week with trying to get ready for Christmas and trying to help my DFIL and DMIL.

My DFIL is out of the hospital now but he has a huge climb ahead of him. And truthfully, at 82 years of age, I'm really worried about it. We haven't found a specialist yet but we're working on it. One place told us that they won't take his case because he's on Medicare and they already have a waiting list! Now how sad is that? It breaks my heart to think that there are others out there like dad and they're being denied treatment because they're Medicare patients. What's wrong with this picture? We're trying to get him into another place but they want all the documentation first before they'll agree to accept his case. I guess this place is "picky" about what they will and won't treat. In the mean time the clock is ticking away. Dad may only have 7 months to live if the cancer is not brought under control.

I'm really afraid his age is going to put a huge damper on who'll accept him. Even though this man is 82, he is strong as an ox and very active. A lot of his family has survived well into their 90's and we're so hoping the same for him. He does have terrible back problems but once he gets a hold of you, forget it, you're caught and you're not going to get away. A favorite story we like to tell to new friends is how he paid for his beer in the old days. Times being what they were, entertainment money was on the short supply. But dad didn't usually have a problem. He'd meet someone at a bar and would sucker them into betting that he couldn't bend a quarter using only his fingers. Well for most, this would be a winning bet. There sure aren't many people that can bend a quarter using only their fingers. But dad sure could, and of course he'd win every time! I can just imagine the looks on their faces when they watched him bend that quarter! I bet they were pretty amazed and I'm sure there were some pretty dramatic reactions.

So how's your stress level? Is it really up there because of all the things that must be accomplished before Christmas? Mine is way out there, but as I check things off my list, I feeling much better. So I thought maybe I'd try something fun. My SIL and I spent quite a bit of time together while we were taking our turns with dad at the hospital. Of course the conversations sometimes drifted to discussing our partners and the things that drive us crazy about them. This gave us a good laugh because no matter how much you love someone, there are just certain things that just drive you nuts! So I'd love to hear what things your partner does that just drives you absolutely crazy!

I'll start....The things that really drive me crazy deal with my kitchen. I'm 5' 4.75" inches tall, which isn't very tall but it's not really short either. We've been in this house for almost 30 years, and the kitchen has been organized pretty much the same for all those years. The plates have been in one spot, the serving dishes in one spot, the canned goods in one spot, etc. etc. with the items which are used the most on the lower shelves so that I can easily reach them without having to find a step stool. You'd think that hubby dear would eventually recognize this and would know where a can of beans belongs or where to put that bowl or plate. But alas, he can't seem to get this concept into his brain. Once in a while, he'll try to help out by emptying the dish washer. Oh my goodness, I spend a week in disarray because stuff hasn't been put where it belongs. I hate spending 20 minutes looking for an item because it's not where it belongs. And it's not like logic is used on where he wants to move the item to! For example a serving bowl may be put in with the pots and pans. This drives me absolutely bonkers! Over the 36 years we've been married, I've tried to develop what I call Larry logic. When something is missing I switch to "where would Larry put it" mode and look in the most unlogical places. I also throw in a little "put it in a high place so Peggy has to use the step stool" mode and low and behold I usually find that missing item! But it can sometimes take me a while to locate it.

The second most maddening thing also deals with the kitchen. Every once in a while, he'll decide to help with the dishes and I always think how sweet! Here's his recipe for doing the dishes. Partially rinse the plates, making sure there are a few bits of green beans left on them, stack one plate on top of another without draining all the water, set on top of the dishwasher... oh but make sure the top plate is completely empty of water. Stack the glasses one on top of the other, making sure to leave a little tea or milk in the bottom of the glass and set on top of the dishwasher... oh but make sure the top glass is completely empty of any liquid. Gather together the silverware, making sure not to rinse and set them on top of the plate stack on top of the dishwasher. Now take care of the pots and pans, make sure all specs of food are removed but just use water to rinse, do not use soap and stack them on the stove, so one can't determine whether they've really been washed or just rinsed. Dry your hands and leave the kitchen, dishes are done - everything is nicely stacked on top of the dishwasher, even though it is completely empty and ready for a new load. We've had several discussions over his recipe for doing dishes but it just doesn't seem to get through. One time I decided I'd leave his nicely stacked dishes for him to finish. They sat there for 3 days before I gave up and finally finished the task! After a few baths with dirty water from the plates and smelly sour milk, I've learned to take the stack back to the sink and start all over! God bless this sweet man!

So now what's your story? Does your significant other have a trait that just completely drives you mad? Surely SIL and I are not alone and there are others out there who have similar stories. I'd love to hear them!

So in honor of my dear sweet hubby and his wonderful kitchen skills, I thought I'd offer this sweet image for your use. Be sure and click on it so you can save it at maximum size.

I hope with all my heart that you have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas! I truly appreciate all my followers, old and new, and hope that you have a Christmas that's just plumb full of smiles!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Free Vintage Christmas Images - Tags

Hi Everyone,
Just a short post today, sorry I've been away for a while. My DFIL has been hospitalized for over a week now. His gallbladder had burst and he had a pretty nasty infection. While dealing with the gallbladder, it was found that he also has bile duct cancer. He has been diagnosed with Klastin's tumors. This particular type of cancer is pretty rare with only 2,000 to 4,000 cases found a year. So it looks like there are many new challenges coming in our future. So anyway, postings on the blog may be spaced out a little farther, but I'll do my best.

I did have this image all ready to share with you before dad was hospitalized. I hope I'm not too late with it and that there are a few of you out there still working on your Christmas cards and projects. :) This image is all set to print on an 8.5 x 11 sheet and I thought it might be good for tags. As always, make sure you click on the image so you can get it at a larger size.

Have a great week plumb full of smiles!