Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Easter greetings to everyone. The day speaks to us in different ways.  For me it says - renew, new hope, new life, rejoice.  However you participate in this day and this new season, I hope it will bring hope and awakening to all that is good.

The best part of this day will be sharing it with my family and enjoying the awakening of this season of renewal that is surrounding me.   Peace!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Be Kind To Our Earth Today and Everyday

Do something, anything today (and everyday), to celebrate this planet we live on.  I refuse to abuse this place that we call home.  If you cannot do something to help in a "BIG" way, work at doing small things to show some care.  The first and easiest thing any of us can do is to recycle.  We now have cut our trash to only one bag per week, in most cases, but never more than two on occasion.  Our recycled items have tripled.

I'm a happy "Green Bagger"!  It takes a plan to get in the habit of reusing bags, but it can be done.  I smile every time I shop and see more getting into the habit. Plastic bags are only good for deposing of "pet litter".

Take time to think about our environment. Why are so many more people today having respiratory problems, cancers, allergies?  Come on people ... it's not all hereditary.  What we breath, eat and how we live does have an affect ... and sorry it cannot be denied!

Some sites I enjoy visiting for information follows:
   Mother Earth News - great archives, lots of info on various subjects
   Environmental Protection Agency - information galore
   EcoGreen Crafts - ideas for the "green crafter"
   Earth Safe Finishes - a "green" company for creative people with safety in mind.
   Green Thing - how to live a greener life
   The Green Guide - handy information about living green from National Geographic
   Reusables - shopping for clever reusable items

Take some time to check these out.  There are many, many more that you can find, just "google", and many facebook pages that you can "like" and find what others are doing to be kind to our earth.

Earth Day network

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Green Grass Grows...

Only six days till Easter Sunday.  Now that the decorations have been made and are on display throughout the house, it is time to think about the dinner menu and final plans for the day.

Much of the food shopping is complete. Tomorrow I will begin setting the table.  If something is needed, there will still be time to complete the setting.  Also, tomorrow night I hope to get some baking started.
In two previous posts I mentioned one of our favorite decorations for Easter and I thought I would now share a photo of it. This is something I have been doing since our kids were little and always enjoyed by all who see it.
Sprouting the grass seed
I will again give you the link that is found on Martha Stewart's site, which is exactly the way we have always created this decoration.  The grass looks like it might need a little "haircut", but I just may let it grow.
Two days later
On Wednesday, I plan to dye eggs with Tess, since she and Zoe will be here. They will go into the basket on Sunday along with some small pots of flowers.

Another link that I did not share from the last post, are the directions on how to fold napkins to form the bunny for the table setting.  This was found last year on the Martha Stewart site.  I will be using those small, invisible hair bands to hold the bunny shape before adding the punched, decorative trim around the neck.
If you haven't already read the last post or seen the projects I made, here is the link to that post.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Time Decor Around The House

"Spring is when life's alive in everything."  --- Christina Rossetti
It is always fun to decorate for the holidays.  We all know the biggest is Christmas with Halloween following close behind.  Like I mentioned in a previous post - being "empty nesters" and moving into a new house, much of what we had around, was either given away or thrown away.  Creating new decorations for the house, to share with the readers of the blog, was truly enjoyable 

Let me start with an idea to fill a variety of containers with seasonal flowers or holiday related items.  Baskets are one of my favorites to use around the house and I have all types: willow, metal, wire and wicker.  I have used several different artificial flowers around the house.  As it gets closer to the Easter holiday, I will include some fresh flowers   here and there.  I also used some other interesting containers to hold things like natural looking eggs in other places.
With banners being popular right now, I created two different type.  One is simply rabbit shaped chipboard, that was easily coated with glue and then covered with a variety of Martha Stewart's colored glitters.  They are tied onto a strip of torn cotton fabric, with matching bows adorning each end of the garland.

A second banner was made using egg shaped cut-outs from Michael's creatlogy™ line of creative shapes.  The eggs were covered with fabric.  Using Therm-o-web Heat-n-Bond, I could iron the fabrics to the front and back of the eggs.  The fabrics were trimmed and a strip of constrasting, torn cotton fabric was wrapped around each shape.  The edges were finished by glueing on a cotton lace and pearl bead trim.  I enlarged Sizzix Round-a-bout letters to spell "HAPPY EASTER".  The letters were traced onto yellow fabric that was also backed with Heat-n-Bond, then ironed onto the eggs.  To finish the decorations on the eggs, I added a crystal glitter to the letters for some sparkle, plus Sizzix die-cut butterflies, 3-D flowers and leaves.  Each of the eggs were tied onto a length of white tulle, then added large tulle bows on each end.

Larger butterflies were cut from five different papers using another Sizzix die and then painted with colored glitter glues.  They are adorning a pair of old shutters that frame the opening above the fireplace.

What would Easter be without bunnies or chicks?  Here are my needle-felted version of both.  The bodies are two Styrofoam balls ( 2 1/2" and 3"), they are covered with wool roving from National Nonwovens. (NOTE: the chick was first covered with a light yellow roving, but I added a variegated roving that I had purchased at a quilt show.  I like the color variation it give the chick.)

One Easter decoration I remember as a child were decorated eggs made of sugar with an Easter scene inside.  When I found a large egg at Hobby Lobby, similar to "Funkin" pumpkins, I knew I had to make my version of this childhood egg.  I cut an opening in the egg using an X-acto knife.  The egg was aqua blue, so it needed to be painted.  It was given three coats of an eggshell white acrylic paint.  The final coat was an iridescent glitter glue.  The inside was sponge painted with sky blue and white paint.  A platform for the inside was made from two cut pieces of styrofoam.  A green artificial spray was glued to the base as a tree.  The base was glued into the bottom of the egg and left to dry for several hours.  Moss was glued to the the platform to cover, then a fuzzy chick, a glittered egg, some ribbon flowers and a little frog was added to the inside.  A length of tiny lace edging was glued around the opening and the egg was finished with a decorative ribbon and bow.

The family will be coming for Easter dinner and that means some added decorations for the table.  The place settings will consist of a placemat made from a colored paper with the edges punched using a Martha Stewart's Punch Around the Page set.  Napkins are folded into a rabbit shape and adorned with a band punched with another decorative border punch.  A little basket will be placed at each setting and tagged with a name.  They are cut from Sizzix Scoreboard Box with lid die and then covered with a strip of paper ribbon with a natural wood covering.  Each will be filled with paper grass and Lindt chocolate carrots and bunnies.

My favorite Easter decoration is a large basket with real grass growing inside.  It will hold a cute muslin bunny and dyed eggs and maybe some tiny pots of primroses or violets.

Hope my ideas inspire you!  Feel free to contact me for any information concerning the projects.  Please continue to hop along through the other blogs for more inspiration.  You can see them all by clicking forward or back from the blue web ring button that you will find just to the right of this post.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Time To Bloom

What a thrill to finally see more and more blooms and buds!  Just with  a couple of days of warmer temperatures, along with the sun shining after some spring showers - life is blooming all around.  The buds on the trees all around us are swelling with new life.  The bright yellow blooms on the forsythia shrubs and daffodils just seem to shout "spring is here"!

We have been celebrating family birthday's for several weeks now.  Joseph and Amy began the "family birthday marathon".  Mike's was last week and this past week-end Kevin and Tess celebrated their special days.  Just before Easter Sunday we'll celebrate with Matthew before we take a break till the next set of special birthday's.
Tess turns three
On Wednesday, my post for the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop will be published.  I'm looking forward to sharing the decorations I made with you.  I have enjoyed creating these projects to share with you and to help give our house a "touch of spring"!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Take A Peep ... I Mean Peek

Here we are on April 4th - later this month will bring us Easter, Passover and Eastern Orthodox Easter.  Our group will be sharing ideas for holiday and Spring decorations.  I already have some of them up around our house.  I'm thinking of sharing them in at least two posts or just give you some peeks till the posting day of April 14th.
We are celebrating Easter this year at our house, so that gave me even greater incentive to come up with decorations with the theme - Spring/Easter.  In the past I always made a point of having some type of decorations for this season, especially when the kids were home.  After becoming "empty nesters" the reasons for decorations became less and less.  When grandkids arrived things changed again.  The fact that Easter is quite late this year helped with the time to create some lasting decorations that now can be reused.
You can go to Julie McGuffee's blog - "Life in the Craft Lane" for information about next "giveaway" for hopping through the "Connection" blogs.  You will find instructions on what to find and what to do to win this giveaway.