Sunday, May 29, 2011

American Girl Doll Bed ala Fursdon House!!

Good Morning Everyone and Happy Sunday!

It's already way too warm for just 9:00 a.m. - at least as far as I'm concerned - although I know my daughters would totally disagree.  They love the HEAT (ugh!!).  They can have it as far as I'm concerned; give me the cooler climes any day!!

Yesterday was WONDERFUL!!!  Why?  Because I spent the entire day - literally- doing what I love most and that's working in my studio and creating!!  I'd been promising Isabel for ages that I'd complete her American Girl Doll Bed.  Well....yesterday was the day!!

She'd seen a bed in the American Girl Doll Magazine (which we get in the mail - unfortunately!!) and she was so keen on having it.  But the price tag of $120+ was just a little too much to swallow (okay, a LOT too much), even for a Grandma!!  Besides, I knew that not only could it be done for less, it could also be a one-of-a-kind Fursdon House Doll Bed!  See what you think......

I thought I'd taken a photo just of the original bed I ordered on Etsy.  This is the bed, but Nigel added the taller bed posts and the canopy because Isabel wanted a canopy just like the one in the magazine!!  And canopies do look lovely, don't they?  I love the look of them, but you have to have a HUGE room; otherwise, they just dwarf the space.
 Isabel and I went to - where else - Hobby Lobby - and finally decided on a fabric we both agreed on.  Yes, I had to have my say in this because I can't work on something I think is UGLY and some of the fabrics were really ...... hhmmmmm, shall I say....."out there"?  After the fabrics, came the bead section.  Oh boy!!!  What an adventure that was!! We probably spent upwards of an hour in that one place alone!  But finally we decided on these blue and pink glass swirl beads.  The "original" AG bed had plastic beads hanging down on each corner.  I did have a better idea - at least I thought it was better - and I went so far as to show Isabel an example yesterday.  But she didn't care for it so I let her choose this style instead.  Her words to me were, "Gummy! You said it was my doll bed and I don't want it looking like everyone else's, but I also want what I want, not what you want."  Hmmpphh!  That child has far too big a grasp on vocabulary!!

I do love this fabric.  By the way, Isabel sealed the wood first - all by herself!!  And yes, the original AG doll bed set had a heart pillow, so we couldn't be outdone!  Also like the original, the top of this fabric is backed with the blue, so it works as a duvet! 

And here the proud girl is herself - holding up her prized bed ala Fursdon House!!

That's it for now! Enjoy the weekend! Jan

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wacky Day at School!!

To celebrate the last week of school before summer break, Horizon Elementary (where my granddaughter Isabel attends) had special events each day.  Thursday was "Wacky Dress Day" and I wanted to show you just how WACKY we got!!

This kind of reminds me of a Batman film gone terribly wrong! like my taste in clothes, do you???

 How do you like my pink and black lace fingerless gloves?  Ms. Sherry helped convince Gummy into letting me get them last weekend in Murfreesboro!  Ms. Sherry said she didn't do any such thing, but Gummy didn't believe her one little bit!!

Isn't this neat writing on my legs? Gummy used eyebrow pencil on me!  I wish I could draw pictures on my legs all the time!  Maybe I'll get tattoos!!  At Easter, I got a Tinkerbell Tattoo!!  Until next year then.....

See!  Life with Isabel is always COLORFUL to say the least!!

Take care everyone, have a lovely and safe Memorial Day Weekend, and may God bless! Jan

Monday, May 23, 2011

Effects of Two Women and One Girl Shopping!!

One last post for tonight folks!  My "sister" Sherry (we've known each other since we were 13 years old!!), who lives about 2 hours from here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, came down for a visit and to see Isabel's Dance Recital (see previous post).  After the recital and lunch, we girls went out shopping. And you can just imagine the fun we had!!

It started out looking something like this!!

And ended up looking something like this!!  Trunk was too packed to fit it in there!!

Besides, doesn't everyone have a 5-foot tall, pagoda-shaped garden trellis in their car?

Well, maybe not.  But you gotta admit - we certainly had fun getting it in there!  Yes Laura, this is YOUR car! No, we didn't get one single scratch on the inside!!  As for the outside, well......he he he.....we'll talk later, shall we? 

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! More posts before too much longer!!
May God Bless, Jan

Isabel's Dance Recital!!!

Hi Everyone!  Here are photos from my granddaughter Isabel's 2nd Dance Recital.  They had a wonderful time and - as you can see from the pictures - Isabel thoroughly enjoyed herself.

Ta Da!!  Practicing before leaving for the recital - a preview of what's to come!!

This is my good side!!  AND .....I get to wear MAKE-UP, just like a grown-up!!!

Aren't I just the Cat's Meow??  And I look so much like my mommy, it's scary!!!!

Can I move now please? I don't like sitting up straight!!

Aaaahhhhhh!! Much better!!

With friend Becca.  Interest is momentarily captured.  Look at those long lashes!! And they're real!!

Is this too posed of a look Gummy?

What about this smile? Does it look posed?

Oh yummy!!!! Candy!!!!  May I have some please?

Thank you!  I needed more energy!!

Effects of more energy!!!

A beautiful ballerina pin from Mommy since she couldn't be here with me!!

Isn't it beautiful??

And flowers too!  How lucky can a girl get!!??

Gummy said I could act silly now, cause I'm getting B.O.R.E.D. with this posing stuff and being good!!

Another "fun" pose!!

Oh goody! I get to relax and take off that costume!! Yea!!

Just call me Sweetness Incorporated!!  But I'm getting that B.O.R.E.D. feeling again, so here's my L.A.S.T. pose!! Then it's out to lunch at Atlanta Bread Company!! Yea!!

Aaaarrrrrrggggggg!! I'm hungry!! Let's get outta here!!

Yes, life with Isabel is certainly interesting!!  Take care and may God bless! Jan

Blog Time at the O.K. Coral (AKA: Jan's Behind in Blogging!!)

Hi Everyone! Sorry to take so long to post any blogs.  Life has been wild lately, but also lots of fun too, so no complaints here.  To catch up, I'm just going to put out pictures I've been taking and comment on each one.  Sorry there's no rhyme or reason to them.  Can you handle it out there?  Now.....if only I can handle it! Ha Ha  Okay, so I'm a bit of a control freak!  Can't help it!  But here goes - flying into the Wild Blue Yonder!!

Dundee the Marmalade Cat - Being His Usual BUM Self!!  In other words, NAP like you MEAN it!!

Oh no!!! He had to move!!! Better not take any more photos.  It might traumatize him!! Gotta LUV cats!!

Isabel (my granddaughter) made this "flower" out of cut up magazines pages wrapped, then taped, around a stick. She then taped on real leaves.  She did this without telling me until after she'd completed it, and without any kind of instructions!! I'm impressed!!  I'm also a VERY PROUD grandmother, in case you hadn't realized that yet.  If not, then read on.  Here's another photo, with a little more detail of the flower itself.

Cool, huh?  My little darling!!! Okay...okay......I'll get to the other photos!!

Hearts are showing up everywhere!  Did you ever realize how many hearts God puts in our daily path?
Here are three I found that I wanted to share with you.

Nigel (my dearest husband) said he didn't really see a "heart shape".  Who asked him, anyway?!?!?!  All who see a heart shape, let me know!  We'll show him, won't we? Ha Ha

My last one for this post!  Sweet and small!  Poor Nigel - he's way too pragmatic!!

Now - on to a small "tutorial" of how to save candles that have been made "less than lovely" by having colored candles bleed onto them.  This is what I mean:

Ugly, yes?  And keep in mind, this will work for tapers or any other sized candles.

Here are the supplies you'll need - very low tech.  I even used paper scrap!  Any kind of paper will do, or you might try a fabric of your choice!  You could even use netting from bagged fruits.  Get creative!!

What do you think? 
Here's how you do it:
1.  Cut out a piece of decorative paper that fits the height of the candle, and overlaps slightly (1/2 inch) when wrapped around the candle.
2.  Cut with decorative scissors if you have them.  I have pinking shears which made a nice edge.
3.  Wrap the paper around the candle just tight enough to hold it, then tape it.  Magic tape works best if you're using tape.  It's less visible.  If you want to get "higher tech", you can glue the paper closed, although that takes longer cause it has to dry. This is just fast and easy and it works!
4.  Wrap coordinating ribbon of your choice around the paper and tie into a bow.

Place your candle in a larger container to display.  It would also look lovely placed on a decorative plate with other wrapped candles, or any other container of your choice!  When the candle burns down, just slide the paper down and either tuck underneath or trim off.  If necessary, remove the bow if it gets in the way! 

So.........what do you think?  

That's it for now! On to another post AFTER I check the laundry!  Having WAY too much fun for a Monday night! Take care and May God Bless.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

God's Miracles at Work

I received this photo today from a dear friend I work with, whose parents and aunt lost their homes to the tornadoes.  I believe she got the photo from the media because I believe I've seen this same photo in the newspaper.  And remember - this is only an extremely small portion of all the damage in this area, not to mention the remainder of Alabama.

If you look at the bottom center, my friend's parent's house is the second house from the bottom (above the house with the blue tarp on the roof).  Looks pretty good, but what you don't see is the destruction on the inside, underneath the roof, which is only being held up by a 2x4!!  It's basically only a shell standing and it was officially condemned this morning.  Now look on the bottom right and count up 3 houses; what looks like a white mound of rubble is my friend's aunt's house!!

Now - here's the miracle.  Everyone was at home when the tornadoes struck, and everyone got out alive, with only minor injuries!!

Here's another miracle.  Take a close look at the photo, including the white areas where houses once stood.  Not a single person was killed on these particular streets, yet people were in every one of the homes!  Many were trapped and dialed 911 to call for help, but none of them had serious injuries!  Now THAT is a miracle!!

Don't tell me God doesn't exist!  And yet I realize there are many who are asking questions like "Why could God ever allow this to happen in the first place?"  I don't have all the answers and I don't think it's something we can ever truly understand in this world.  But I heard something the other day on television that helped me put it into somewhat of a better perspective and I thought I'd share it with you.  I'll try my best to explain it and relate it as it was told.

Someone had made a comment to a minister, asking where God was in all this.  And the response was, as close as I can remember it, that God was in the very same place here as He was when His Son was being humiliated, tortured and murdered in a terrifyingly slow and horrific process more than 2,000 years ago.  He gave Man free will, to live in this world however we see fit.  But He will give us His promise of Eternal life if we so chose.

And here's where my own thoughts come in.  Yes, God gave us free will, and part of that free will set us up to live in this world, a world we know is full of contradictions:  ugliness and beauty, happiness and sadness, joy and sorrow, etc.  But if we honestly and truly believe that Jesus Christ is our personal savior, God will grant us Eternal Life in God's perfect kingdom.  As an aside, I've often wondered what would happen if this world were perfect. Think about it.  If it were, who would want to go to Heaven and be with our Creator?

I know this doesn't answer questions.  I admit to always having far more questions which, as I grow older, I realize may never be answered - at least in this life.  But perhaps it will help in some small way.  Regardless, I only share it with you out of love.

May God Bless, Jan

Monday, May 9, 2011

Devastation and Deliverance

It's taken me awhile to even want to blog again after the horrific damage left by the 8 tornadoes that tore through here and many other parts of Alabama last Wednesday week (27 April).  But life does go on, and time eventually does at least soothe wounds, if not heal them outright.

First of all, I have to thank God for deliverance from the paths of so many tornadoes in such a concentrated area.  The only thing any of our entire family lost was power/electricity for five days, which is so minute compared to what others lost.  The stories are mind boggling, and continue to filter out from the volunteers who are working so valiantly to restore some semblance of order to those less fortunate.

Volunteers poured in, outnumbering the requests for help!  And many refused to ask for help because they were concerned for others they believed were "worse off" than they were!  Amid the tears of sadness, one couldn't help but feel proud and humbled to be a part of such a wonderful community, and I'm told this scenario is playing out throughout the entire state!  Sweet Home Alabama!

Of course, life will never be the same for many.  One family lost five members from the nine who were huddled together in the "safe zone" of their home.  A mother had her baby ripped from her arms, only to be found later, dead.  Surely few things are more cruel, knowing your child is dead while you live, when you were both so close together at the end.

Amazingly enough though, despite the huge amount of destruction everywhere, relatively few were killed.  The media and local newspapers carry full page photos of entire communities that show only the concrete outlines of where houses stood. Where I work, a man who had turned in his retirement papers the day before and was planning on heading to Florida, lost everything save his most precious possession - his family.  They all survived!

As always in these types of events, it served to remind us once again how fragile life really is and how easily everything can be lost in the blink of an eye.  So please - go hug your child, your spouse, your loved ones....and tell them how much they mean to you.  You'll be glad you did.

May God Bless, Jan