Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 2011 is More Than HALF Over!!!!!

Okay, so am I the ONLY one's who's freaking out over the fact this first month is well on it's way to Bye Bye Land?  Oh.....okay, just checking!  Here are some recent photos I've taken! Hope you enjoy them!

Birthday Cat!  I turned 51 on 4 January and while I received many great cards, I just had to share this one with you!  It's from my dear friend Rita and on the inside, it reads....."If the tiara fits, wear it!"  Rita knows me SO WELL!!!  I just love this cat!!  MEOW!!!

Isn't he adorable?  There's a story behind him, naturally (And do NOT ask me why I think it's a "him".  Just work with me here!)  With all the snow we've had lately, Isabel wanted to build a snowman.  So I very wisely sent her to Grandpa (who was also off work) to see if he would help her.  Being the wonderful Grandpa that he is, he agreed and off they went (while I (the wise one) enjoyed a lovely hot cup of tea)!  However, not terribly long afterward, Isabel comes back into the house with a very long, very sad face (she's mastered this art, by the way).  "Gummy," she says, as she curls up her wet cold self into my previously dry warm self.  "Grandpa isn't helping me make a snowman.  He's only telling me what to do! Can I go play next door?"  Poor little lamb!!  Much to her dismay, she figured out that building a snowman - at least one of any large stature - entails hard, wet, cold work!  So the next day, she comes to me again and asks if she can play in the snow.  First thing I did was make sure she didn't expect ME to help, then I said she could.  And this (above) is the little darling she produced!!  As a matter of fact, as soon as she showed him to me, she asked if I would put it on my blog!  So here he is, preserved for posterity!!

I still find it hard to believe the Koi fish are still alive under here!  But they are! 

This is the upper pond.  Fortunately, the ice keeps a heron from showing up and eating our fish!  Yes, I said heron!  He's HUGE, with a lovely wing span.  Had the neighbors not also seen it, I wouldn't have trusted my own eyes!  He scopes out the pond early in the morning and late in the afternoon/early evening!  Yum! Yum!  Fish sticks!!  I hate to think how many we've lost, but fortunately the little fishies reproduce quite extensively!

Isn't she lovely?  Mom bought her for me last year when we spotted it in an antique store and I was drooling all over her! I place her all over the garden, depending on what season it is. 

What do you do when you have LOTS of tangerines and fruit loops that are stale and shriveling faster than you can eat them?  Don't throw them away! Give them to the birds!  They need food, especially this time of year when the snow is covering the ground.  Even without snow, the ground is cold and hard, which makes it difficult for the birds to get at those pesky little pests we want them to eat.  So now's the time to fill your bird feeders and put out strings of fruit, cereals, etc.  This was so easy that Isabel did it herself!  All I had was the garden variety floral wire that comes on a plastic spool (24 gauge).  I threaded it onto a very large headed needle and once through the eye of the needle, I twisted the end around and anchored it.  I didn't know how much wire I would need so I didn't cut it off the spool until Isabel had all the fruit and cereal threaded on.  She did a half of a tangerine, then 10 fruit loops, and repeated this until she was through. Once done, I pulled off enough wire to use as a hanger.  Isabel and I then went outside in search of a suitable spot to hang our lovely fruit garland (i.e., some place where we hope the cats won't bother them too much). 

Ta Da!!!!  A fruit and cereal garland for our lovely winged friends!!

That's it for now! Hope everyone is enjoying our lovely (wacky) weather!!
Love and Blessings to All!  Jan

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Heart From the Heart Swap!!

Hi Everybody! 

With the two snow days off from work that I spoke of earlier, I managed to complete my heart for a swap I'm in.  It's called Heart from a Heart Swap.  Check it out on Debbie Hembree's blog, http://www.mosaicmagpie.blogspot.com/!  It's not too late to join!!  Here's my heart:

Front View
Back View

You have until 7 February to complete your own heart, but you can't win a heart if you don't sign up!  So go check out Debbie's blog (www.mosaicmagpie.blogspot.com)!  You might find yourself the recipient of someone's heart - from their own heart!  Happy Early Valentine's Day!!  Love and Blessings, Jan

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Updates to my Etsy Shop!!

I just renewed several listings in my etsy shop (http://www.fursdonhouse.etsy.com/)!  Check them out!

A banner or pennant made from embellished blue jeans pockets!

A candy striped tea cozy!

A favorite of mine - crazy quilted silk tea cozy!

The first of two available pieces - This is a framed collage of patches, decorated with vintage and new embellishments (ribbons, beads, buttons, crochet).  

The second available piece - framed patches embellished with beads, buttons, silk and crochet.

Have a great day!  Love and Blessings, Jan

Caught Up At Last?

Hi Everyone and Happy 12th of January 2011! 
We've had two snow days off from work and today I'm on leave!  Which leaves me in the highly unusual position of actually being caught up for a little while with everything I want to do (I'm never caught up with what I "should do" so don't even go there)!  As I said, this is very unusual, so I'm just going to enjoy it as much as I can, knowing that at any given moment I'll be right back in the rear again!

One of the things I've managed to complete is a blue toile apron for my youngest daughter, to match the tea cozy I made for her about 2 years ago.  Apparently I promised her back then that I'd make the apron for her!  Unfortunately, I forgot all about it and when she was visiting this Christmas she had a great time teasing me about it!  So, to help even things out, I also made her three rather plain book marks!  Neither of my daughters care in the least for all the embellishing I LOVE to give things, so it was with quite an effort that I left these p l a i n.   Here they are.  What do you think?

It's almost impossible to photograph aprons without the use of a model (not available) or a mannequin (also not available, as mine are buried outside in the studio somewhere).  So flat on the floor it went!
Told you they were plain.  Effective yes, but they could definitely use some more ZING!!  Oh well......

In addition to these items, I finally got all the Christmas decorations inside the house put away!!  Notice I said, "inside" the house.  I still have to un-decorate the screened-in back porch, but that's another day - when it's a lot warmer than the current temp!  Besides, I don't have to look at it so it's a simple case of "out of sight; out of mind"! YEA!!!!

Let's see.  What's next?  Valentine's Day!  I swear if I see another piece of chocolate, I'll.......well, never mind.  I may have to eat those words, so I'll just leave it at that!  Maybe I can convince Nigel NOT to buy any Valentine's chocolate and then, more importantly, NOT get upset at him when he listens to me and doesn't buy any!!  Poor man!

Will I decorate, you ask?  Hardly any at all.  I have one small silver tinsel tree, about 2 1/2 feet tall, with little red heart ornaments on it.  And that's ALL!!  Of course, Isabel may bring home some items she's created at school and I'll HAVE to hang those up, but otherwise it's fairly simple.  I'll have to remember to include a photo of the tree in the next post or so.

Now Easter is a very different story!  I tend to go a little crazy then too, though not nearly as much as I do at Christmas!  I started decorating for Easter while we were stationed in Germany in the 1980's, when the girls were little and Nigel was in the Army.  The Germans decorate willow branches with tin-foil wrapped candies, small wooden painted eggs, and so on.  They're lovely and of course it didn't take much for me to completely fall for it all!  You could say it was the Army's fault, or the German's fault.  Oh well, I guess it's MY fault.  I can't help it!  I love to decorate!!  Last year I was lazy though and didn't get the tree out.  Needless to say, Isabel was NOT amused!!  She reminded me about two months ago that I MUST put up the Easter tree this year or she would be "very upset!"  Gotta LUV that kid! 

Well, that's it for now.  Hope you're all well and happy, and enjoying the snow!  Love and Blessings to All! Jan

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Amazing Snow Storm in Alabama for the 2nd Time!!!!

This is amazing! We're having our 2nd snow storm here in Madison, Alabama in two weeks!  We're already up to about 4 inches, and it's only just started.  But the really astonishing thing is that we just had a huge flash of lightning, followed by a long deep roll of thunder!  I've NEVER seen lightning and thunder during snow, nor has Mom (just got off the phone with her)!  Apparently that means it could get really intense and some reports are saying we could get as much as 12-15 inches!!  All I know is that it's coming down really fast and it looks absolutely beautiful.  The pictures below do NOT do it justice!  But I just HAD to get outside with my camera!

My front yard, with Welsh, my stone rabbit!

Front yard; the bench has over 3 inches on top of it!

They're now reporting on the news that this could be the biggest snow fall since the early 1960's!  Looks like a certain 8-year-old granddaughter will be making snowmen and snow angels tomorrow!!

Love and Blessings to All! Jan