Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Glorious New Year!

Our celebration will be quiet this year.  It usually is.  We are having the Sewing Bee over and we'll watch movies and have - my favorite thing about New Year's from my childhood - appetizers for dinner.

As I tell my students at the end of the day, especially if they've had a bad one, "Tomorrow's another day. We'll start all over then."  Every day is a new chance, a new opportunity and the same goes for a brand new year.  Do I make crazy resolutions?  Sometimes, but what I like is the chance to dream and hope and plan for the new year as I reflect on the old.  Will I be able to accomplish everything I dream of?  Probably not, but it's the potential that keeps me going.

So what do I have up my sleeve for the new year????  Well, I'm just going to have to be coy and say you'll see, you'll see, but I can say I'm pretty sure it's sayonara to the cherry wallpaper in the kitchen.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll come by to visit often in the New Year!

Thank you Graphics Fairy for the lovely picture!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Could She Be Any More Organized? OH YES SHE COULD! But...

....this helps!

What is it about the start of the New Year?  I always feel this uncontrollable urge to get things organized.  Maybe it's the three weeks off and no place to go that makes me feel like I can tackle some of these big projects.  So, this is one of them....

I am a cookbook collector and I'm always trying new things, but I really want to keep my cooking and menu planning organized.  I made a database for several of my cookbooks listing the recipe name, the name of the cookbook, the page number, the dish category and what some of the main ingredients are.  Otherwise I might spend hours just looking through my cookbooks for a certain type of dish.  I'll keep the database on my computer, but I'll also print one out for additional reference.  I can sort the list by ingredients, type of dish, and its name.

I also use a weekly menu planning form and a grocery list sorted by category that I created a couple years ago.

Once school is back in session in a couple weeks I won't have time for this project but I hope it will help me cook simple and healthy meals.

I just wish the weather would stay dry for a couple days so I could get some painting done.  It's just been too damp, rainy, and foggy here.  I shouldn't complain because we really need the rain so I'll cross my fingers for some dry weekends in January and February!

So glad you popped in for a visit!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cherries, Rednesday, and Amy the Artist

Just a couple little red pretties to share with you today....

This is another cute, whimsical and charming painting from Amy Jo Studios.  I found Amy here on ebay.  She also sells her adorable paintings here on etsy.  You can click on the picture to make it bigger.

This is just a cute little knickknack.  It's Mary Engelbreit and I've had it for several years.  It's always lived in my kitchen and it now sits on the windowsill above my sink.

Wouldn't it make you smile while you did the dishes?

Okay, it takes more than some cute little cherries to make me smile while I do the dishes, but the thought is nice right?

Be sure to stop by Sue's at It's a Very Cherry World to see what others are sharing for Rednesday!

Thanks for stopping by!

Welcome to My Classroom

Yes, I'm here working in my class today, but I thought I would take a few minutes here to show you some of my home away from home.

Fabulous Phyllis sewed this seat cushion for me.  Do you see the Mary E. fabric welting?

I painted this lamp black and then covered a lampshade with some different Mary E. fabric.  I LOVE the giant black ric rac on the edge of the shade.

Do you see a Mary Engelbreit theme going on here?  I teach my students many things over the year but one of the most memorable is who Mary Engelbreit is.  I have students who are now in their twenties who still remember how much I love Mary E.

The Sewing Bee made this valance.  I made the little banner.  I used some cherry ribbon I had to string the letters on.

Sewing Bee made these pillows too.  I choose different students every day to use the pillows when I read to them.

Do you think I have enough Mary E. magnets?

I really want my students to love to read.  Do you think they get the message?  I hope so!

I have some plans for painting some of the furniture in here too.  Yes, we teachers sometimes spend our own money on furniture for our classrooms, especially if we want it to be comfortable and cozy.

How would you decorate your work space?

Thank you for stopping by!  Once I get some of those projects done, I'll share them with you.  Of course, they might not happen until the summer!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Night Before Christmas.....

At Candy Cane Sweet Bee Cottage...

the stockings have been hung with care...

the cookies and milk are ready for Santa....

the reindeer treats are set out...

May your Christmas be magical and joyous!

God bless!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Look Who Stopped by Last Year...

Hope he comes to your house this year!

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tea for Five

Yesterday the Sewing Bee (my mom), the Reader Bee (my niece), the Cutter Bee (my other niece), Baby Bee (my daughter), and I went for a Christmas tea at Victoria Rose Cottage in Old Town Clovis.  We had such a wonderful time.

The girls all had the Young Royal Tea,

The Sewing Bee had Cornish Pasties,

And I had the Cottage Tea.

The food was delicious but the atmosphere and decor made it a truly wonderful time.  We always feel so pampered when we visit Victoria Rose Cottage.

It is very dark and cozy in there so many of my pictures did not turn out well.

After eating and drinking our tea, we did a little browsing in their gift shop.

Unfortunately Counting Bee (my sister-in-law) wasn't able to come with us for our Christmas Tea, so we vowed to come back in the early summer for another tea.  We are also talking about having our own Mother/Daughter Tea at my house near Mother's Day.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  Maybe we can convince Worker Bee and Wood Bee to wait tables for us?

Have you ever planned a tea party?
How did it turn out?
Do you have any suggestions?
I'd love to hear them!

Thank you for stopping by during this busy time of year.  I appreciate you taking a little time for a quick visit.  Maybe I'll have a pot of tea on for the next time you drop in.  Do you prefer one lump or two?

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Few Little Crafts for Christmas

I find blogging to be so inspirational.  I've gotten so many ideas from all the wonderful blogs out there and I wanted to share a couple little things I made this year as gifts.

First, I always make something for ALL the staff at my school - from teachers to cafeteria workers to nurses to psychologists to -  I could go on and on with all the people who help make a school run.  I've made everything from coffee mixes to chocolate spoons to mini bundt cakes to what I made this year.  You might have seen it earlier this month.

I gave clothespins decorated with Christmas paper.  When you work around paper you can always use another little doodad to keep them together.  I cut out a little scalloped circle with the glorious Cricut and wrote a quick message to all.

Now I have to apologize for the quality of the pictures here.  I forgot to give them their proper close-up before wrapping them to give to my friends the Singing Nun and the More Creative Friend.

You need a little history for these....

The More Creative Friend used to always make candied orange peel for our Christmas Bake-a-thons.  For many years she always brought the orange peel almost done and she'd finish it up with us.  It was always so delicious and then we'd dip it in chocolate and it would be more delicious.  To honor this tradition of getting together for 20 years I painted this frame red, then rubbed a candle on it in a few spots and then painted white over the top.  Then the white paint rubbed off for that distressed look.  I couldn't leave well enough alone so I had to glitter the frame too.  I typed up the recipe for the orange peel in a pretty font and then put it on a piece of scrapbook paper and ...voila....a personalized little gift for the More Creative Friend.

Don't worry the Singing Nun got one too, only her recipe was for Rice Krispie Treats which she has a tradition of making.  Again, sorry the quality of the picture isn't better but I hope you can get the idea.

Simple ideas and fun to make!

Thank you so much for stopping by for a little visit.  Hope to see you again soon!

Monday, December 21, 2009

All I Want for Christmas Is...One Quiet Night!

We have been super busy!

On Friday, my school's Christmas Party was at our house.  I missed getting pictures of that.

On Saturday, the 20th Annual Christmas Bake-a-thon was at our Candy Cane Sweet Bee Cottage.

On Sunday, the Sewing Bee came over and we hand dipped peanut brittle in dark chocolate.  Oooooo! Yummy!  Then we watched White Christmas for the first time.  I thought we'd seen it many years ago, but I think I'm thinking of Holiday Inn.

Today the Reader Bee, Cutter Bee, and Baby Bee made gingerbread Christmas trees.  I used kits I got last year at half price. These kits keep just fine and who cares if they're stale?  We're definitely not going to eat them!

Reader Bee

Baby Bee

Cutter Bee

Tomorrow Baby Bee and I are are going to tea with Sewing Bee, Reader Bee, and Cutter Bee at a delightful little tea shop in Old Town Clovis.  Last year we went for the first time and it's become a tradition apparently.  Isn't it funny how with children you do something once and it's a tradition?  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures tomorrow to share with you.

We also had our winner of the giveaway!  Congratulations to .............

Her package will be on its way tomorrow morning!

Thank you for stopping by!  I still have more to share for Christmas!

I'll be keeping the hot chocolate warm for your next visit.  Do you want marshmallows on that next time?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What? More Ribbon and Candle Ideas? When Will the Insanity End?

I bought these glass votives for another craft idea but when I took them out of their box they were tapered and that wasn't going to work for the project I had in mind.  So...I had out all my Christmas craft supplies and saw these stickers.  I thought to myself, "Self - these would be cute if I stuck these on the votive."  So I tried it - didn't look so good.  I thought some more and came up with this idea...

First I cut the ribbon and then I plugged in the trusty glue gun.

Then I popped on the sticker.  These stickers are MS from Michael's.

I made several of them.

They are just perfect for this little ledge behind our woodstove in our sunroom.

For another candle and ribbon idea take a look here.

Please don't forget to enter my Christmas giveaway by commenting on this post or any of my posts until Saturday, December 19.

Your visit here and comments are always a special treat.  Thanks for stopping by!

I'm also linking up for a little Show and Tell at My Romantic Home hosted by the delightful Cindy. Be sure to stop by and see what others are sharing.