Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Don't Ignore It

Ever pass by a room and be annoyed by an element in it? If it's a window or a door, that's a problem, but if it can be solved by moving furniture about or shifting a decorative piece from here to there...well, then, the problem is easily solved and will relieve that minor irritation. (We could probably apply this to many things in life.)

The beginnings of this post were planted by my two Terris. Yes, they belong to me! => Terri of Lakewood Manor did two posts about her bedroom *here* and *here*. You can see the before and after pictures of all that she was able to accomplish in just one weekend. It inspired me!

Terri of Windlost did a post on Vincent Wolf Tablescapes (see January 9). Though I can't possibly aspire to Wolf's level, it did make me think that I could do something that I'm about to show you. When you ask. Now!

So it all began with this photo...

The plant stand is much too small for its location, but the Christmas cactus must remain there for the light...what to do...what to do...

Use this tiered table located on the opposite wall? But I really like something there by the built-in bookcases.

Okay, the picnic basket (still loving it, Suzanne!) works just fine there.

And the tiered table is better scale, holds the plant, and provides a place to set a cup of tea!

But, and this is where Vincent Wolf comes in, does that plant stand look okay on top of the coffee table? (The Carpenter is unimpressed.)

Both Fioré and I agree that it does. What do you think?

So here we are back where I started with the tiered table instead of the plant stand. Better?

Last week when I was stripping down the Christmas decorations and came to my dining area light, I could not remove it all. I really like the little embellishments and will probably always keep something there year round.

That's it for today...thanks for the inspirations, dear Terris!

P.S. Did you happen to notice the little cloth ball? No? Neither did the grands for whom it was made. I'll share more on that later, if anyone is interested.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Love is in the Air

Brrrr...it's been mighty cold lately. As I recently told Linds, even the cat has taken a lover.

Now I knew that The Cat in the Hat meant t.r.o.u.b.l.e., but this is ridiculous!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On another note entirely, I just wanted to mention the wonderful posts that LaTeaDah has been doing at Gracious Hospitality about all things tea, but most especially I have enjoyed reading about the history of tea and the health benefits of tea. Perhaps I've discovered a secret that I've long sought...see her January 10th post. You'll also note that there is a button linking to a sweet give-away right there in my sidebar. Don't miss it!

Do stay warm out there...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Esther's Insights

What a blessing to find this blog via Trish a contributor at Mennonite Gals Can Cook. Trish's sister Gwen inherited their mother's collection of a lifetime of saved poems, thoughts, notes, journals, Bible studies, etc. One cannot begin to imagine the wealth of material there. It's been a delight for me to visit each day to find something new from *Esther's Insights*. What a labor of love for Gwen to go through it all and type up something new each day. Check it out! I'm sure that you will find treasure, too.

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

~Selected verses from Proverbs 31

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photo Meme

These photo memes can be so much fun and now I've been tagged by Leah at South Breeze Farm to do one.

This one is about the sixth picture in the sixth folder. Lemme see, ah yes...that folder will work for me and the topic is the first grandson...then 11 months old and soon to be three years old. The date was December 2, 2006.

So this is the sixth picture as he's being removed from his jacket...

But you didn't think that I could post only that one, did you? I mean the camera/s have been smoking ever since that child's birthdate nearly three years ago. This nonni has hundreds of pictures and if you're a grandmother, too, you are nodding right now. I took 29 pics that day and here is the 29th one...I was getting better at it by then...

Here's a little organizing tip from a photographer that may help some with maintaining photo files. He suggested to name files according to the date first. For example, this one is labeled 2006-12-02 with the year first, the month, then the date. From there you can go on to name it more specifically, but this way all files will come up in a logical progression of order. Now I see that I must get 2006, 2007, and 2008 copied to disks. Ackkkk!!!

I'm supposed to tag six bloggers, but you may play along if you wish. Just let me know so that I can visit and see what you discovered.

Have a happy Saturday and a relaxing weekend!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Little Ideas

Made with My Cool Signs.Net

In a file brilliantly labeled "Ideas," I found a few things gathered that I'd like to share such as this sweet idea for a bit of lace. (Sadly, my file does not say where I have gleaned these photos...much searching has not worked. If anyone knows, I'd welcome knowing. (ETA: And I'm using them anyway. Bite me.)

These shelf brackets are neat if I can get past The Carpenter's misgivings.

Manuela of The Pleasures of Homemaking has a whole bunch of ideas in yesterday's post. I'm working on one this morning and I promise to tack it on to the end of this post before day's end. She's participating in a blog party, but I'm just being a slacker. I adore before and after pictures, but don't have anything exciting to share...yet. ;>

ETA: I'll probably revisit this project in the days to come...
You can see that my recipe notebook was simply lovely; I mean, it even included an obituary. Not exactly the best item for decorating a cookbook! LOL!

Edited to Add Again: Couldn't take that last cover so did something else again. I like it better, but perhaps it'll be revisited or perhaps I'll just accept my imperfection and move on...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

That Mary!

Everything is back to some semblance of normal...perhaps.

I did keep out some Christmas things, but I'm now calling them "winter" things. After all, I decorate for every other season, why not winter?

Oh my! It was soooo hard staying away from visiting, too. I've only allowed myself to visit two blogs...they were especially intriguing based solely on the thumbnail pictures showing last night. The first was Judy at My Front Porch because she finally found a skillet to do some rustic baking with...and how! You'll want to check out those Savory Cheddar Scones she whipped up.

Do I need to explain why I rushed off to Mary's? Did you do the same when you saw this thumbprint? I just couldn't make it out...thought I was seeing things...worried about my state of mental health...wondered all sorts of things... You can visit Mary at Little Red House and see what it really is. I roared! Silly, silly me.

I have a postscript to my post about LeapBlog just this past Tuesday. Debbie from Mermaids of the Lake sent me the following email explaining more about the site:

Hi Vee,

Let me introduce myself.... My name is Debbie and I am one of the publishers of Mermaids of the Lake, an inspiring, creative, e-zine for women... We Mermaids are in the process of setting up a blog. It is a whole new world for us, but we should be blogging in the next two weeks. We love any venue to inspire and promote creativity.

Thank you for your inspiration.

Debbie Nania
Mermaids of the Lake

Thanks, Debbie, for allowing me to post this email with all the information. Best wishes to you and the girls on your new endeavor of blogging. I'll be eagerly watching for your debut.

Have a happy Thursday, Dear Ones!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's Time


This room looks so cozy to me that I had to share...my favorite color is featured prominently and that fire warms me just to look at it. I don't have a fireplace, but I'd certainly love to. Maybe. Those who have them sometimes tell me how messy, how awful, how cold. I don't know. They just look so inviting. I want to sit here and chat with you all for hours, but I'm busy taking down the tree, laundering Christmas linens, and packing Christmas away.

Thank you for indulging me as I share one last 2008-2009 Christmas tree picture here. This was how it looked last night as evening descended. I truly have enjoyed sitting by it reading my Christmas novel from Angie and sipping tea with John every evening. The book was finished last night; Epiphany has come and gone; I must face the cold hard facts that it's time. Time. TIME.

Enjoy your day...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Illustrating a Point

LeapBlog: A game (I created) where one leaps off to a blog listed on her own sidebar and then jumps to a blog unknown to her continuing for 10x. Then, on that tenth blog, the blogger must find her own blog listed in that tenth blog's sidebar in order to win. Winning isn't everything! I rarely win LeapBlog in this way, but I do find a lot of new and wonderful blogs.

1. I begin with the first blog showing on my blogroll, which at this moment happens to be Warm Pie, Happy Home (loaded with inspirations)

2. to Backyard Candle (where you can find some great initial mugs to purchase)

3. to Bushel and a Peck (super post on silhouettes 12/29/08)

4. to The Farm Chicks (cheerful, colorful, bright)

5. to Mermaids of the Lake (interesting, but a dead end for leap blog so must back up)[ETA: Debbie from Mermaids of the Lake describes the site this way: My name is Debbie and I am one of the publishers of Mermaids of the Lake, an inspiring, creative, e-zine for women... We Mermaids are in the process of setting up a blog. It is a whole new world for us, but we should be blogging in the next two weeks. We love any venue to inspire and promote creativity. So now we know! I'm going back to check this site out more carefully soon.]

5. to Simply This That and the Other where I discover a Vintage Valentine Swap♥ was going on at Foxgloves, Fabric, and Folly. Sign-up ended last Saturday, though...shoot! Since FFF has not yet been added to STTATO so I must back up again and leap from the sidebar

6. to Jane's Apron where I found what sounds like a fantastic (and easy) brownie recipe on December 14 and December 17, 2008.

7. Now on to visit Itty Bitty Birdy (great family friendly blog with lots of fun pics)

8. to Creative Breathing where I find sweet ideas and now, realizing that I need to find my own blog on the tenth leap to win, I carefully look at her blogroll and, crossing my fingers, I select

9. Lallee's Cottage a delicious blog where Scotties are prominently featured.

10. Yay! Today, I win for Lallee has Kari and Kijsa on her blogroll and I am on theirs, I think. :D

And you know, whether I win or lose, I feel great. What a great bouquet of blogs I've discovered for today!

Now, if you find a moment to spare, go play LeapBlog.

ETA: No, I don't usually leave a comment. Oh-oh-oh, I forgot to mention the wonderful story of a marriage on the rocks after 30 years right back there at Creative Breathing...don't worry, very happy ending... Check out January 3, 2009 for the story.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wax Paper Tip

Today I am sharing a little technique that I've not seen anywhere else, but probably does exist since there's nothing new under the sun. This was a journal created for my darling daughter. (Thanks to Dawn's wonderful tutorial on journal making, I created a number of journals as Christmas gifts.)

First of all, I found this great source of material for the inside covers of the journals. Here's the one that I wanted to use for my daughter's.

I know that I have shared this with a few of you because it was so funny at the time. Especially funny was the look on John's face as he swallowed hard trying to hide his shock. My daughter was visiting discussing some challenges she was facing at the office when she said, "I don't suffer fools like you, Mom." Now the thing is that she didn't say "fools." Substitute your own word, but suffice it to say that it deserved John's expression. Course I knew that it was a grammatical nightmare so didn't respond with anything more than laughter.

Anyway, that's just the background for wanting to use that song title. But, that lady on the cover...saucy? Really?

Using wax paper, I traced around the original picture and, using that tracing, cut the appropriate replacement over one of my daughter's baby pictures... one where she was looking particularly impertinent. :D

I see that I need to be more careful with my gluing since the paper is puckered. Perhaps it'll come with practice. (Yup, still in love with alliteration.)

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More Praise Music

(Imagine a pristine winter forest after a snowfall.)

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:25–27

This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. Hebrews 10:16

Becky at Hospitality Lane has a great playlist...Hope that you'll enjoy it as much as I have this past week. Allow me to especially commend "I Can Trust Jesus" by The Collingsworth Family.

I Can Trust Jesus
Gerald Crabb/Christian Taylor

God picked up a sparrow that could no longer fly
He brushed off its wounds and then watched it soar into the sky
If He’s mindful of creation, on this I can depend
I am His child and I can place all my trust in Him

I can trust Jesus, I can trust Jesus
He never once has failed to meet my needs
He is my strong tower, the strength in my weakest hour
I can trust Jesus, He takes care of me

I have prayed some prayers and felt they never were heard
But I held to God’s hand and kept right on trusting in His word
My wants and God’s desires don’t always agree
But I lean on His will for He always knows what’s best for me.

Source: Name That Hymn

Enjoy this first Sunday of 2009; only 51 more!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Little Projects List

This is an alphabetical list (incomplete) of projects that have appeared on my blog. It's an easy way for me to link to them without slowing down the sidebar or creating yet another blog. One last thing, many of these projects would not have been possible without the inspiration gleaned from other far more creative bloggers than I. Hopefully, I have always given credit where credit is due.

A Bird, A Star, and a Calendar
A Gathering of Spring Wreath Ideas
Altered Placemat Wall Hanging
Birthday Apron
Cabinet Painting
Easy Decorated Lamp Shade
Expressions Wall Hangings/Decorations
Gingerbread Student
Interview with a Glove Rabbit
Last Minute Ideas for Gift Wrapping
Little Ideas
Mail Caddy Makeover
Mirror Makeover
My Favorite Bulletin Board
Old Photos
Perfect Pumpkin/Street Address and more...
Pot Holder
Sewing Experiments
Scrabble Fun
Tea Cozy
Valentine Mobile
Wax Paper Tip
Window Project Mosaic

31 Days of Simple Pleasures

Just following others' good examples of popping this into the "permanent" record for future review. Thanks to Teresa at Plumwater Cottage for giving me the opportunity to continue with my gratitudes from Thanksgiving.

31. Finding an old friend
30. Organized closet
29. Vivid sunny days
28. Foggy mornings
27. Company
26. Quiet evenings
25. Hassocks
24. Sweet carols
23. Tim Horton's English Toffee Cappuccino
22. Fresh air...very
21. Quiet times
20. A project completed
19. The smell of gingerbread
18. Ham pizza
17. Morning devotions by the tree
16. A leisurely breakfast
15. Listening to a shopper hum along with Silent Night
14. Cozy fleece blankets
13. A Christmas card
12. New baby news
11. Cranberry English muffins
10. A drive to see the lights
9. Blog hopping
8. Outdoor fun
7. Time alone
6. Time with a grand
5. That certain slant of light
4. A well-constructed box with a lid
3. Sharp scissors
2. A thrift store find
1. Waking to fresh snow

You may notice that I've been tidying up in here, changing pictures about, shaking the dust off, but not the snow. No, I'm keeping the "snow effect" for a while since it's part of our story here and often into April. As proof, check the date on this post.

So I've been cleaning here because Christmas decorations remain with me until January 7, January 6 being Epiphany and all. John is still shaking his head and has begun saying at every turn, "Oh, I know what we'll do...take down the tree." Boy, he is in for a surpriiiiise. :D Of course, I am a huge believer in Christmas being a state of the heart and not a date. I find myself saying "Welcome Him" a lot these days.

Did you have a good New Year's Day? We decided to go to Portland to spend a gift certificate at Borders that it turned out we didn't have in the first place. It was so crowded that I didn't last long. John took my hand and led me out of there in the nick of time. (I tend to have serious troubles coping with a lot of people in crowded conditions. Anyone else deal with this?)

Have a fine Friday and an even better weekend. May it be a restful weekend with much time for relaxing and regrouping.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Prayer for a New Year

A Morning Wish

The sun is just rising on the morning of another day, the first day of the new year. What can I wish that this day, that this year, may bring to me?

Nothing that shall make the world of others poorer, nothing at the expense of others; but just those few things which in their coming do not stop with me but touch me rather, as they pass and gather strength:

* A few friends who understand me, and yet remain my friends.

* A work to do which has real value without which the world would feel the poorer.

* A return for such work small enough not to tax unduly anyone who pays.

* A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed.

* An understanding heart.

* A sight of the eternal hills and unresting sea, and of something beautiful the individual hand has made.

* A sense of humor and the power to laugh.

* A little leisure with nothing to do.

* A few moments of quiet, silent meditation. The sense of the presence of God.

* And the patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to know them when they come.

~ W.R. Hunt


Wednesday, December 31, 2008


When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not. ~ Mark Twain

Twain, what a pistol he is even after he's been gone for nearly a hundred years. He reminds me of a pastor friend who often says, "I've already told you more than I know." Sometimes I feel this way blogging.

Today, I am reflecting back over this past year. Those who have been reading Haven, and I thank you, know that two eventful things happened to me in 2008. The first was that my sister married in January. This is made more pertinent in that we had shared a home for seven years. Even now we co-own a home, this very haven where I am now living. 2007 was a year filled with anxiety as I did not know how I would cope with all the changes; 2008 began in anxiety as these same fears continued. I was trusting God on the one hand, but still feeling nervous. Here I was, just like the disciples in the boat with Jesus, yet scared silly when a storm blew up.

The second eventful thing was that I married in July. I'll not retell the story, though you can find it here, if you are unfamiliar with it. What a blessing to marry a friend! I highly recommend it.

Still, there are concerns. The economy struggles on and this has affected us a lot. (I know that this is true for many of you as well.) I find myself wondering what 2009 holds and what challenges we will face. Grateful I am that God does not reveal everything in advance. Even as I am asking (begging?) for answers, I don't want to know e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Enough light for today — enough grace, enough mercy, enough love, enough wisdom, enough with some to spare.

And there are also many joys: A new family to get to know better, grands growing up like weeds, children who delight. And John will become a great-grandfather twice in the new year! (Let's not mention what that will make me as I'm just now used to being a grandmother. :D)

Thank you, Dear Ones, for being a part of my journey here at A Haven and for being the supportive souls that you are. I appreciate and love you more than I can possibly express. I look forward to sharing your journeys in the new year, too.

May your reflections on 2008 be sweet and may 2009 be the best year evah!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:12–14

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Am an Award Snob

The horrible truth is out. Sigh. Wonderful bloggers present me with beautiful awards and I leave them on the table. I do believe that the last one was a gift from The Voice of Melody...a delightful blog, though I am not sure if the blogger's name is Melody. Perhaps she can enlighten me...anyway, my way of handling these has been less than satisfactory all the way around. I save the award in a special folder and I usually save its name and the person who gave it. Sadly, I am equally as likely NOT to do so. Sometimes, I send the information to myself in an email, but now that my email is wildly out of control...ackkk!

So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to rejoin FlyLady and start receiving her daily reminders again until I get a grip on this organization thing again. Three Four of my blogging buddies are in the throes of moving to new homes...Melissa at The Inspired Room, Sue at Thistle Patch Hill, Jenny at Things From My House, and HappyOne at Life is Good. (How could I have forgotten this one? I mean, I've been watching her beautiful townhouse go up for several months now and the time for moving is next week!) Perhaps I can take some clues from them and pretend that I'm moving.

Last up today...Mystery Playlist...rich and beautiful...even classic. This playlist is from one of our dear friends in Blogdom who must fly under the radar for a while. It's too good not to share.

Monday, December 29, 2008

An Assortment of Christmas Leftovers

Saturday's post brought my third and final win of the week. What incredible good fun it was to look forward to the mail. (That's one of my favorite things about the Christmas season...actually looking forward to the day's post.)

This was my win from Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage. It's a Christmas Cookie Recipe Book for me to write in my favorite recipes.

Don't you just know that that sweet little Merry Christmas tag was recycled for Saturday evening's party.

Thank you, Miss Sandy! Your craftmanship is unequaled and I treasure this highly. Now I'll have to work on my penmanship for jotting in the recipes I especially want to save. Let's revisit this in a year, shall we?

Now for some of my favorite photos of Christmas Day at my parents' and here Saturday evening...most will speak for themselves.

Do all of you look that intently at your laptops? ;D

The boy has toys, but he's inspecting coasters.

Rocket Launching

I wish that John would stop fighting with the dog!

Do you remember all the references to sewing and aprons? Here are my aprons all in a row...

Though I tried to capture each recipient's response, I only managed to capture one good one...my niece's who looks quite pleased with her apron.

There was an apron for every woman in my family, including my grandmother. She's particularly pleased to have an apron made with one of John's old shirts...a purple one at that!

Thanks for looking at my pictures...have a fantastic Monday!