Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gifts From The Heart

My blog isn't a "share-type" blog for hints and tips for all. Maybe recipes for my own family. I may list  a few projects I've been working on, or even fun ways to make hard stuff easier, or just laugh at the hard times made silly.

I did something odd recently. I had pretty-much had given-up the crafty stuff I've done all my life. That activity started as a toddler with a paint brush... painting my mother's walls brown just after she had the whole inside of her new home finished. I managed to continue my painting skills and did a fairly great job  putting together a very intricate (and real) training wagon for a horse. I even did all sanding and shaping of the new shafts and applying linseed oil to the old wood and putting Naval Jelly to all the metal, then repainting by hand every inch and crack in cherry red paint and missing the new-looking metal hub and wheel rounds. I was so proud of the job that I had done and it was something no one expected of me. I was a little girl, and only eleven.

This year at Christmas my family was spurred-on by fun projects that could be done easily by themselves and better than store-bought. Imagine that! I think Pinterest was the inspiration. It's a site devoted to a lot of DIY projects started to encourage all of our family to do more birthday, Christmas gifts, and decorations by hand. It turned-out that so many of our gifts to each other, had been made by our family's own hands. So much love, care, and a huge amount of time is put into these dear projects and are treasures coming from each one and we know that all is done with love and "that love" is sent to the one gifted.

I'd been burnt-out of doing so much to prepare for Christmas from years past. Steve and I made hand-made toys from necessity. Then it seemed suddenly our children were too grown for toys, but we still made toys to sell to be able to buy our older children the things we couldn't make, like a suit for our son's mission, a carburetor, or even plain sneakers. I wish in the 80's we had Pinterest because I could've made all those crazy leg-warmers I had to buy. Pinterest has patterns for cabled, home-made legwarmers for boots. I love that.

My Grand daughter Hannah:

Hannah "Ducky Kisses"

Today, I finished and gave my grand daughter, Hannah, a charm with little charms from her own mother's old watch from high school. I used an "O-ring Necklace" from "Pick Your Plum" company that sells crafting supplies. The charm was attached with a "jump-ring" and "claw" to hook the hearts together. Hannah can change-out the charms and she loves the tarnished-look of all the silvery jewelry.

From Pick Your Plum.The Tarnished Silver and Gold-look

 I admit my desire to make gifts has been rekindled by my dear daughter's and even my crafty firefighter son. He became creative because of necessity and makes decals for the fire departments, all around. No one was doing the job with reflective lettering that was durable and heavy enough to last yearly. The departments need all heavy basic lettering and numbers for everything, but now can't afford to label all their equipment. He even now has a screen printer to identify clothing. I can't think how many times we lose apparel because it doesn't have "Lazenby" plastered all over it. In addition to work Dustin has four children he's raising ... and he's making-up cute decals for their beach school, shirt logos, and personalized decals for skateboards and beachy surf ideas. He encouraged his daughter to make a school logo and the decal made from her design sold as fund-raiser to the school. Here's a copy he did for his girls which is the idea from his sister Bree.  They are Pinterest card and Bree did one for her older daughter and Dustin did for his little girls! Whatta' guy. Thank you Bree!

Here's My Bree's Card for Her Daughter, Jane

I can't make too much for teenage boys. It boggles my mind that Hannah and Tanner can go to dances now. The teenagers are so tall. Maybe I can crochet the boys...Nah, it would turn into a French beret and Tanner wouldn't go for that AT ALL. I'll let my husband find electronics, a car-part, or frozen yogurt gift cards for them.

I really want to remember these sweet Christmas gifts. 
All  my gifts were so special and all made with love. My multicolored
 crocheted hat is AWOL somewhere and I need it, my head is cold. I found it!

My Kiely even put bumped-out shell stitches around the
 bottom-half for added texture. It's original, cute, and fun to wear. 

 I took some pictures of my grown children's talents. 
All so different and all done with love.

Hannah Birthday Present From Aunt Larin

The fake cupcake was for me and the frosting is the clip for my grand daughter's hair and is going to her for her birthday. All the fake candy, confections, and cakes are made by my daughter, Larin. Okay this is amazing, she has her own Esty site and selling her handmade creations. It all started with a beautiful fake-cake. The big "fake-cake" was made out of necessity, summer before last, when Kiely and Matt were married and it was too hot to keep a cake in July, in the car from Salina to Payson, and while we were in the Temple in between. Here's Larin's Esty site: The Fake Cup Cakery

Kiely's an artist!

I'm so undeserving of the stained glass picture that is on my kitchen top window. My mother used to do stained glass as a profession and my daughter Kiely watched at a little wee child. Little did I know that she would follow and love to make pictures with glass. My mother says she's hooked when she sees everything beautiful in stained glass. My Kiely LOVES cattle and she gave me what she loved and wanted on her window.

The purse below is for my Tablet or IPad, so perfect, so padded and made to represent my favorite Primary Song, "Little Purple Pansies". My daughter Bree knew I loved the song and with love made me a remembrance of her knowlege that this would be a treasure to me. Bree's an artist!

Below is my "Camo" headband and I love that Kiely sat on the sofa and just whipped-it our in just a short time knowing that I love greens. I just said I thought that her sweet headband was so cute! So she made it and handed it to me. Love.

My dear little newest grand daughter,
 Susan with one of Aunt Larin's headband's.
 How sweet, and sugary on one kissy, little bundle of joy and love.

There are great blessings that come from gifts truly given with love. Those that are thought-out and even loved and wanted by those who make them, and then, give them away. My daughter Marnie made Susan a beautiful, beautiful quilt for her recent blessing in January here in Santa Paula. Marnie's an artist! How do my children sew? And not that they just sew--they sew beautiful things!

I thought I had only one of my children as an artist. Tressa taught art at a local school and is now back in school herself advancing her career. She still keeps her blog online, but it's just waiting for new students to come into her life. Mosaics, puppets, photography, graphic art, all are my Tressa. The site is: Art You Great
Tressa's Own Painting.. Overlooking Fillmore, CA
  I'm grateful that I thought of making and not so much buying when I thought of Hannah's birthday. Giving her  something she loves, but can change and still keep the little hearts that covered her mother's watch from so many years ago.  I'm thankful for my children and I'm so blessed and my children are saying to themselves, as they read this, "Mom is playing the GLAD-GAME!" Yes, I am.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Note To Self

My last post I emphasized how I will never need a prompt to write anything in my blog/journal. I write crazy stuff and probably quite-a-bit of crazy inappropriate ramblings for anyone to see and read. I figure that it's my blog, and those who visit.. can just move on. Today, I changed my mind on prompts, because I need this. I don't want to set New Year's resolutions, but I'm all for changing in a good way no matter what time of year it is. This is a "Note To Self." I love this because today I actually thought I had to remember making mental notes of quite a few things, as I sat by the side of the road and calling my husband. I never thought of writing it down today.

I went to my usual "swimming class" for exercise, stress-reducer, psychoanalysis, and deep-breathing exercises that our Tai Chi and aerobics provide for me... my classes were canceled! My Steve.. who watches me from the fire station with Google maps go off to swimming about 10 miles away, wondered why I parked outside the facilities. The pool was closed. It happens sometimes and unfortunately our class didn't get the email until we had come to participate. I was going to get a new birdy-friend for my canary so I had my cage. I loaded eggs from our hens to share with everyone, and I'm sure I had egg cartons set-aside for me. Others bring really lovely treats- like fresh fruits. We even bring extra water to share with each other during swimming exercises. It's become part of  fun experiences of close friends. I was disappointed. My "note to self" is that I want to remember this is all so good for me. I don't want to find myself not only out-of-shape, but I love my dear, dear friends.

I can do this because it's already a habit, but if something happens that I can't go for awhile, I want to remind myself to go back!

I have to remember as a "note to self" to paint my outdoor furniture in the Spring. I've always waited until just before Fair, which has always been first part of August. I took a lot of my furniture and decorations to enhance our animal stalls.  I very ardently fix-up and paint all our metal tables, wooden tables, and benches and even our flower cart, and garden arches at the same time. We don't do Fair anymore and last year I didn't paint because we didn't have another wedding reception. There wasn't the motivation this last year, but this year I want lots of out-door firesides and fresh paint. I want to include the repainting of my porches and our long old-fashioned donkey wagon. Honestly, sounds like work... but I'm really, really getting excited to paint for us at home for our family to gather, use, and not only have great memories, but our pictures will be lovely. We could have our large movie theater from the big projector and lie on the grass and giggle. I might just hang-up all our outside lights. Living outside in the summer is just normal for Southern California when the house becomes hotter than outside. We are those that do without air-conditioning. The redecorating of our outside space gives us more rooms; under a whole ceiling of stars.

I read this prompt on Facebook and wanted to just do something very productive today. My pet-peeve was my Rolodex File with all my passwords, addresses, and phone numbers. I needed to redo all of those so I just began without even writing all this in my blog. I'm almost half done and I'm entering everything and even cross-referencing in an real, retro 1960's address book. Feels good to get that accomplished. Why did I keep that empty, unused, silly address book? The "A-ha Moment" it's for now and I need it. No more flipped file cards ALL over my house.

I want to remember how absolutely grand my life is for me and be sure to thank everyone for making my life beautiful. My attitude and conversation needs to be more optimistic and uplifting. I want to be grateful and appreciate all that I'm so greatly blessed with each day. I want to really "mean it" when I am thankful in my prayers. I also want everyone that blesses me in any little way to know how thankful I am for them. I need more stamps for sure.

Lastly, as a "note to self" I want all my family and dearest friends to know how much I love them and what a great blessing they are, not just to me but to their own family, their friends, and how beautiful they are to everyone. Sometimes I just take model pictures of each one of my grandchildren (snap, snap, snap and flip your hair) and then we sit and I talk about how beautiful  they are just between us and how important their lives are here on earth. I NEED to do that MORE! And say that they're beautiful in front of everyone, all the time. My children and grandchildren have so much to give, so much to learn, they're great examples to others, and so there's much to love about each of their lives. I know my picture looks like a Valentine Card, but that's another holiday we need to extend to year-round.

"Note To Self" I need to taste toasted marshmallows tonight and scrub my kitchen floor before my husband gets home. I just dropped a plate of hot dogs for our puppies. That will be a "fine fragrance" for our early morning breakfast! Thank you Cutest Blog On the Block--Great blog post idea, for me.

**Added Feb. 7th 2012:
I have an appointment today and I lifted my purse. "Woe Is Me..." I HAVE to clean my purse. There's a FEW....? "Notes To Self" battling for attention and priority in there. Yes, it's completely heavy and full of sticky notes that jump on my hand saying, "Me, first!"   
**10:00 AM:
I'm @ the doctor's office and OMGsh! My purse weighs 9 pounds!
Diagnosis: Purse is suffering from edema, remove 2 bottles of water & don't call me in the morning.