Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!!!!!

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Most people agree that as you get older the years pass much more quickly. I blinked and almost 20 years have passed since my daughter was born. I’m so proud of her, happy she’s doing well in school and has grown up to be a mature, kind-hearted young woman with a bright future. As each year end passes, I think back over the previous year and wonder where it went. This past year I gave my daughter a trip to Paris for her birthday gift; I can’t believe we landed at Charles de Gaulle airport 7 months ago, on May 31!! Seems like just last week.. I hate that time is marching on so quickly that Paris is quickly becoming a distant memory (of course I plan to go back within the next few years!.. lol).

I wish you all a very Happy New Year! For those who had a difficult 2009 I wish for you a peaceful, more content 2010. For those of you who are going this journey alone (no spouse, and/or no children), I wish for you the love you may be looking for (me included.. where is my Mr. Right Forever anyway? ), or continued happiness in your life. Finally, I, like billions of others on this planet, wish for world peace. I don’t understand inflicting pain and terror on others, whether it’s another human being or an animal… we all share this rock, we deserve to feel safe!

Thanks to all my followers, it feels wonderful to have 49 after only 2 months of blogging. I value your support and comments, so please keep them coming!

Monday, December 28, 2009

It’s over.. what now???

So.. I’ve been reading one of my favourite blogs (and yours too, I know).. Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick. Click on over, Sarah is already taking down her Christmas decorations!! *GASP*!!!

I just don’t think I’m quite ready for it yet. I’m also not ready for the carcasses of Christmas past that lay broken and unloved in the stores till mid-January either!! However, the alternative of all the Valentine’s Day crap is not a happy thought either. Now you know how I feel.. what about you? LOL.

So in answer to Sarah’s question of when we take down the Christmas decorations, I usually start New Year’s Eve.. I’m such a partier!!! Break out the big-girl glass of Diet Coke, maybe some Baked Lay’s, and the leftover candy canes, surround me with my new, smaller, clear plastic organizing bins (I had giganto-sized bins that I couldn’t see into.. or carry up from the storage room without getting a hernia for that matter... I’ve now gotten over my fear aversion to seeing all that crap inside the bins and got me some fancy see-through kinds that I can actually carry safely)… and my evening is all set!!

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Woohoooo.. jealous??? Yeah I know, right? :P I still haven’t decided if I’ll put everything away starting New Year’s Eve and continuing New Year’s Day or not. We’ll see!

In my quest to make Christmas decorating a bit easier, I decided to “plant” my fake trees in buckets of drywall compound this year.

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My thinking was.. decorate the tree this year, wrap it in bubble wrap or tissue and a clear plastic bag - fully decorated - put them in the aforementioned storage room for about 11 months.. and just bring ‘em up next year, unwrap, fluff and voila!!! Easy peasy, right? Uhhhh… maybe not. Problem.. two of my trees have revolted.. the lights are now out.. I mean.. COME ON!!!! They are clearly from the era before the “one bulb burns out the rest stay lit” light strands…. *snooooooooooort*.. like those really work! So at least two of my trees will have to be stripped down, ornies packed up, lights replaced and we’ll try it again next year. Sigh….

Speaking of Christmas, I’m not usually one to go buy a bunch of decorations afterwards. I usually find some cool stuff ahead and if I wait, they’ll be gone so I buy what I want when I see it (well, if the price is right of course!) Today I went to pick up my daughter and on the way home, we drove through Stratford. Anyone who lives in Canada and most likely the northern States probably knows about Stratford. As the name suggests, this small city is dedicated to Shakespeare’s legacy of plays.

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People come from miles around to see a play at the theatres of Stratford. Famous Canadian and American actors frequently perform in one of the dozens of plays put on every year. One actor who has appeared this past season is the legendary Christopher Plummer… Google it, I dare ya!! :) Stratford is a charming little city worth exploring. As we drove down the main street, we pulled into a parking spot.. omg.. I actually parallel parked with very little fanfare!!! Snaps for me!!! LOL. We walked along both sides of the street and popped into a few shops. Most had some kind of sale going on. At the British store I found these funky shiny ornies.. they’re sort of a bronze colour and I’m picturing them on a chocolate brown tree next year.. if I don’t find one already done I’ll make one next year.. stay tuned!!! Three of them are made of a bottle-brush, tacky garland- type of material then covered in grommets. The other two are made of some sort of glittery twine.. well look for yourselves ladies.. a picture is worth a thousand words! ;D

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Close-up.. what do they call this shape.. onion?.. ewwww! Not sure but it was a bit more interesting than the matching round ones. Original price was only $2 each.. really quite a deal at that.. the sale price was only 20% off, but I still think I got a good deal. Even though they’re not prim, they do have a funky vintage quality to them, don’tcha think?? I like a bit of sparkle and shine on my trees, regardless of what theme I’m going for. This was a good find!

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I also found these very cool Spode plates. I think they’re part of a collection, one has 2006 on the back, the other 2007. The 2006 plate was marked at $1.00, the other $5.00 and the sign said $5.00 for each plate. At the cash, they charged me the prices marked on the plates, because some did come in at $1. So I thought that was just a super deal for a nice smooth china plate made in England! I’ll be packing them up with the other Christmas decorations and decide how to use them next year :)

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Finally… I thought this little tartan moose would make a cute ornie on my full-size or my “red” tree. I think the tartan is the Mackintosh; my mother’s ancestors were septs of the Mackintosh clan so in essence, it’s my tartan… and the moose is a symbol of Canada.. oh my, how patriotic of me! LOL….

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Well.. back to work tomorrow.. UGH.. have a great week all :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Over already!!

Hi all!!

Wow.. as someone said, weeks of preparation and it's all over! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas day with family or friends and created wonderful memories! My daughter and I broke tradition and opened all gifts on Christmas Eve. She already knew about her "big" gift.. a trip to Cozumel with mom during her week off from university in Feb.. and.. my birthday is that week so I'll be lounging on a beach!! I bought her a few other items to put under the tree and she got me a new carry-on piece of luggage.. (planes seem to be getting tinier and my carry-on was too big on my last trip.. so it's a great gift to get!) and it was all good.. we had a nice night. Yesterday we drove about 90 miles from home to meet up with some family that she's just getting to know (long story, skipping that).. they live much further away and I felt it only fair to share the driving. She's now at their house till tomorrow or Monday. I was just a bit lonely yesterday but it's all right.. kids grow up and move on and when you're a single mom, you know you'll be alone when they go. I would never stop her from spreading her wings, so I have to learn to live without her here all the time.

No pics this time, just my wishes to everyone for a safe and fun holiday. I think I'll work on posting more travel pics.. whatcha think about that? ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Almost Christmas…

Hi All..

I know I’ve been slacking on my blog posts.. what can I say? As with all of you, time is racing away from me!

Here’s a sweet pic of Daisy sitting under the tree.. isn’t she adorable?!?

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Proof that I can cook (some things anyway!). My daughter is going away for a few days early on Christmas day so I thought I’d cook a turkey this past Sunday.. doesn’t it look great? It’s also cooked all the way through! I took a pic of it to prove that it’s cooked. :D

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We had a very basic dinner, just a turkey, crock pot stuffing and sweet potatoes.. here’s a pic of my plate, I wasn’t hungry by this time so I only ate about half!

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Simple decorations on my front porch.. white chair I got for $1 at a yard sale this summer, topped with an enamel bowl, filled with greens trimmed from the Christmas tree and some twig balls; an enamel pitcher with greens and some rough-cut ornies.. and a birdhouse on top of my old milk can. Simple but kind of rustic too. To date we’ve had barely any snow and that’s okay with me!

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Sorry it’s a short post.. I baked over 11 dozen cookies Saturday night and brought in 8 doz. to work.. brought home the rest today (3!). Had to leave work early yesterday, not feeling well, went to the doctor, some kind of ear infection so wasn’t up to posting.. lol.. oh the excuses are just rolling in now!

Merry Christmas all!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More trees and a lovely gift!

I’m finally getting around to posting pics of my real tree.. we bought it last Saturday at a place that sells them as a fundraiser, we’ve been going to this lot for many years and although it’s halfway across the city, we still end up there. I’m glad the money goes to a worthy cause and the trees are nice.

We’ve had the tree decorated for a week now so I’ve been procrastinating on posting. I’ve actually tweaked it a bit, moved a couple of ornies around and added some.. so I’d say it’s complete now! I also finished my “red” tree as I call it. This was done a week ago as well, until my blown glass Raggedy Ann fell off and shattered! I was so upset I was almost in tears. I have been collecting these ornies for a few years and I just love them, and Ann is one of my favourites. My daughter hopped online, found one in stock in Arizona and I had it shipped to my cousin’s in Michigan.

My real tree pics:

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Closeups of some ornies; a blown glass Eiffel Tower (bought last year before I had any idea I’d see the real one this year!); :

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Felt mitten ornie handmade by my coworker (the one I did the craft show with), she custom-made this one of my dog

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An old favourite that I bought at a craft show many years ago.. a wooden reindeer with twig antlers

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Blown glass piper to honour my Scottish heritage; handmade ornies that I purchased from my co-workers (the stocking and the mitten were part of a set of 6); the snowman face fabric bulb and the snowman light bulb on the far left were made by another crafty co-worker.. I love handmade ornies!

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Yes, there’s actually an ornie on this tree that I made.. my warm & natural ice skate.. you can’t really see the runner very well, but it’s on there :)

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Blown glass character from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie, I forget his name!! Also fabric Santa’s long johns, wooden snowflakes and a penny (bought a mat from my co-worker and cut the pennies apart to make ornies); you can also see my cinnamon muslin candy canes that I got from my swap partner Sandy.. there are 6 on the tree :D

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Another character.. I know this one – The Abominable Snowman! You can also see a bit of my NYC taxi ornie

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More painted lightbulbs from my co-worker, I bought 6 in total, 3 snowman faces and these 3 coloured ones. These are antique small lightbulbs that her SO had from his days working for the hydro company (if I remember correctly!).. aren’t they awesome??

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Blown glass suitcase ornie

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Blown glass globe next to a fabric angel with rusty wings (yes, handmade by my co-worker :D! ).. I like the contrast of handmade and the blown glass

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Blown glass airplane.. we have a bit of a travel theme going on here :D

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As mentioned, I did tweak the tree a bit.. moved a stocking to make room for my new, very prim Raggedy Ann on my tree.. this was a lovely, thoughtful, surprise gift from Lex over at NorthwindStar Primitives. It was tucked in with my order from her Etsy shop (I went to Michigan yesterday to pick it up along with the blown glass Annie).. go to her blog and there is a link.. I love her handmade items!! I ordered a set of her cardinal bowl fillers, but they are currently nestled on branches of my tree.. this is my favourite bird so they needed a place of honour for Christmas.. they are so gorgeous and well-made and will find a home for sure after Christmas, no hiding these sweet birds!! Thanks so much Lex for the wonderful Annie.. I know you don’t make a lot of dolls anymore so it means an awful lot to me that you’d make her just for me… I love her.. and she also is NOT going to be packed away after Christmas!!!

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Isn’t this cute?? It’s Cinderella’s coach, just picked it up yesterday 50% off at Hobby Lobby!

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I thought I took more pics of my “red” tree.. but here it is from a distance, sitting on my Hoosier

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Close-up of my new Raggedy Ann along with Andy… this tree has a tartan ribbon on it, a fabric sock monkey, some small soft teddies (dollar store, believe it or not and they’re cute!), a fire engine, fire hydrant, some paper mache stars, a Winnie the Pooh, some glitter Mickey Mouse ears and many other things. It’s a fun tree!

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Arrangement on the top of my Hoosier; I found the framed stitchery at Winners (Canadian TJ Maxx) a couple of years back and it stays up there all year. The woodland Santa was bought a few months ago at a rummage sale, seemed to be unused, I paid $3 and the price tag was $27.99.. good deal!

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A snowlady sitting in a mini chair.. bought at Winter Wheat .. along with one of the 3 trees that came with my order of cardinals from Lex

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My decorated sled…

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My country bin in my kitchen.. Gingy was also made by Lex.. how cute!! I’ve also added one of her trees. The cubbies are holding a lot of candy canes, some gingerbread ornies that I made, some greenery, cinnamon sticks, wooden snowflakes etc

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Bowl of greenery, gingers, a rusted metal star, faux snowballs; Mason jar with a candle holder insert, cranberries covering the bottom.. and a plant.. all sitting on one of my Earth Rug trivets.

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Well, that’s all for now, hope you enjoyed it all!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A giveaway at Bittersweet Prims!!!

Just wanted everyone to know about a giveaway. Since I don't know how to put a button on the side of my blog I'll just do a post.. any tips for the button?? :S

Anyway.. Jenn, my lovely friend near Buffalo (she's about 3 hours and one border from me) is having another giveway.. Jenn's stuff is awesome and you have to check her blog, you'll see pics of her booth at a crafter's market (Jenn.. correct me if I'm wrong.. lol).. gorgeous display and I do want to go see it for myself but time is flying by! So.. go on over to Bittersweet Prims @ http://bittersweetfixinsnprimitives.blogspot.com/2009/12/im-having-another-giveaway.html and enter Jenn's Christmas giveaway. Or not.. then I'll win!! Haha!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Craft show & a tree…

Hi all!

Well, this weekend my friend and I went into a craft show. She’s done many over the years and her work is beautiful, she’s very talented… I’ve bought a lot of things over the last few years from her. I had a few things I’ve been making up so I said I’d rent 1/2 of one of her tables. The show was at an elementary school on Saturday and sadly it was a bust… where are all the parents and teachers who are supposed to be supporting their school? Was it the wrong day, wrong location, not enough awareness? We’re not sure, but she said it was the worst craft show she’s ever been in. She did sell a lot more than I did but nowhere near what she’s used to. I sold enough to cover my 1/2 table rental and pay for the raffle tickets I bought there.. even with hardly any attendees, I still didn’t win! LOL.

Here are the two tables all loaded up..this first pic is my friend’s stuff.. see the snowmen front right? These are awesome mats for mugs or candles with touque-covered pennies all around. Love these, I have one!

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My stuff is on the right half of this table, the basket and enamel bowl on the floor and we shared the tree. The display in the back is my friend's.. great stuff eh??

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The tree... mine are the candy canes, the prim tags (I didn’t make those!), mini plush snowmen and primmed icicles.

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Close-up of the basket holding faux snowballs.. these are just styrofoam covered in fake snow.. cute as bowl fillers. The enamel bowl is holding brown corded light strings.

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Close-up of my mittens that I “whipped up” on Friday night! I think they turned out so cute.. but that's my opinion.. lol. Basically, I found the mittens plain on clearance last year and primmed them up with coffee stain. They’ve been sitting in a bin all year then I came up with this idea.. probably saw something similar on a blog so if I did, sorry, not sure who to give credit to. I did some with gingerbread (simple cinnamon/apple sauce recipe) and others with little felt birds plus greenery, easy-peasy candy canes, a single berry and jingle bells tied on with string.

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Wax tarts packaged in threes; bowl filler made of dried cranberries, with cinnamon sticks, gingerbread men and faux mini snowballs. These smell great as I added a bit of oil.. mmmmmmm.

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Primmed wooden spoons, grungy soap bowl filler (thanks for the idea Sandy :D), candle cappers, primmed light switch covers and prim star tissue paper.

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Antiques signs, shutter angels and several of my wooden painted bowls, better view of the tissue paper.. lol. So as you can see I had a very small space to work with but managed to get a lot of stuff in it... too bad sales were so poor :(

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Oh well, I did sell one string of lights, 3 sets of wax tarts, and 2 mittens.. not much but I'm happy that some people have my things in their homes. You have to start somewhere right??

Saturday afternoon my daughter and I went shopping and to pick out our real Christmas tree. Every year it seems the prices go higher.. but I guess that's the way it is. We've been going to the same place because the trees are a bit cheaper, just as nice and it's a fund-raiser... I think for a local troop of Scouts. We used to live much closer to the place where we get our tree but we are now on the other side of the city and I can't seem to find a good deal in my end of the city. I could go to Home Depot, I think the trees are cheaper but I like that I'm helping support a worthy cause.. so off we go to the Scout fundraiser instead. We ran into the son of a former coworker, haven't seen him in years so that was cool, he was very helpful and patient.. lol.. it's hard to find "the" tree, isn't it?? I did get it mostly decorated last night but plan on making some new ornies for it.. will probably post pics anyway, hopefully tomorrow.

Have a good one all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Olde Fashioned Christmas Swap, Part Deux!!

Ok all y’all (sorry, that’s for my Southern readers.. lol :D) .. so here are the rest of my pics of the prim pretties that I received from Sandy!! Woohoooo.. uh-oh, that might mean that Jazy will speak to me now! LOL.. well that is the chance I have to take (sorry Jazy, you know I love ya, but I just couldn’t let that one slide.. hahaha).. sooooo… Let’s get started shall we? I left you last post with an open box and a peek at the treasures inside. Now, before you scroll down, I’d like to suggest you get something to drink, maybe a snack and go to the bathroom! There’s a LOT to see (please ignore my kitchen in the background :)

Oh.. I just have to say that everything was packaged up so adorably! Love this cute brown paper bag done up with a great prim tag and tied with jute.. it had an awesome pantry cake inside.. my first!!! Love it.. and that sweet mustard paddle (wooden item) beside it is now holding my new pantry cake.. perfect size for it! Don’t you love that Christmas card??

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Ok.. so I had to give up taking pics layer by layer.. LOL.. Sandy was soooooooo generous!!! So I pulled everything out and set the box aside. You can now see my pantry cake on the left (pic below), and behind it is a sweet painting (wooden item #2) of a saltbox house and a sheep and some trees.. done by a lady that Sandy knows.. she told me that she’s bought a lot of things from this artist.. love it! I also have several packages of wax tarts (smell good item).. they smell yummy!! There’s a package of prim nutmeg icicles, some handmade tags, a bottle of room spray (also smell good item :).. smells great, like pound cake! The next pic shows the items on the right a bit better.

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So now you can see those lovely tin sconces (wild card item!).. I just love these, have wanted something like them for a long time, just couldn’t figure out what I wanted.. so thank you so much Sandy for these!! I also got some electric candles (lighted item), all primmed up so nicely.. these are great tucked on a shelf and they come complete with silicone bulbs.. oh my! Resting on one of the sconces are wax bowl filler balls.. these are so cute!! I would never have thought to make these, I’m not sure I’ve seen them around here.. in front of those are 6 candy cane ornies (ornie item).. cute in cinnamon-covered muslin.. they will go so nicely on my real tree! In front you can see my mini battery-operated tealights (more lighted items :).. all primmed with spices!! I have everything resting on my new, HUGE tree skirt (textile item)!! I love the stars sewn on and the mini rusted bells.. this is awesome!

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Here are some close-ups: pantry cake, tealights, icicles and room spray.. mmmmmmmmmmm!

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Close-up of one of the sconces! Oh I just love these.. I’m not sure where I’ll be putting these, but I will have fun trying different spots! I have battery-operated candles that I primmed that fit perfectly so they’ll be going in these once I find a home for them.

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Close-up of the pantry cake paddle.. cute!!

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Have you seen this many wax tarts outside a store???? lol.. Love the scents and the chunky ones in the front are chocolate and they look good enough to eat :) .. and the wax balls are on the left.. they look like rum balls don’t they? Okay, rum balls might be a tad smaller but I like the look! Here are my electric candles!!

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Close-up of the painting… I just love that saltbox, it’s one of my new favourite things! This is a beautiful classic scene.. so peaceful :)

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Handmade tags.. these are great, I can use them on the tree or a package.. love them!! They feature vintage Christmas scenes and are covered in glimmery flakes.. pretty!

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Here are my cinnamon-covered candy cane ornies!! I just LOVE candy canes, it’s my newest ornie “thing”! These are going to go so well with all of my ornaments, I’ve got a nice collection of country/prim now! I love the jingle bells, they add a little something extra. One more thing.. I figured out how to rotate the pic on Live Writer!! Woohoo.. it’s like a Christmas miracle! lol.. :P

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Ok, last pic but not least! This tree skirt is quite large, I think it’s about 3’ in diameter (my island is 4’ long).. I’ve been wanting a new skirt for my real tree and I think this will fit. I haven’t bought the tree yet so this has been carefully folded up, awaiting the tree.. this weekend most likely! Will post it when it’s up and decorated. I love these little jingle bells and the stars are white.. so it’s really a Canadian tree skirt now isn’t it?? lol..

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I really want to thank Sandy, she went above and beyond, everything is wonderful and smells great, not only did you cover the rules, you threw in so many bonus items, I don't even know what to say except a humble thank-you!!! Her daughters also helped with some items and helped her pack up the box.. thanks to Tabitha and Abby.. you girls are awesome!!

Best of all, most everything was handmade and you can’t beat that! I have learned over the past couple of years to appreciate and love what goes into making something by hand and then to have someone enjoy that hard work. It’s a great feeling for all involved.. so thanks again to Sandy, the time you put into all of this means a lot to me.

Well I’m sure by now everyone needs a bathroom break (but lucky me for being able to write a nice long post and have lots of pics to share!!!)… so I think I’ll send this to post and let you all drool over my box of treasures.. oh yeah, be jealous! lol.. thanks for hanging in with me. Oh.. and Jazy.. you will leave a comment, I just know you won’t be able to resist.. hahaha!

Have a fabulous day all and see.. you didn’t have to wait all that long!!!

:D