Monday, November 21, 2011

Special Day

Madeline & Michael Arendt Bridal Party 11/21/70
A bittersweet day - so many things going through my head today.  I want to celebrate this day that is most meaningful to me - Our Anniversary!  Forty-one years ago today Mike and I took vows to love one another ... "in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, till death we do part".  It also happens to be the date of when I had to say my final good-bye to him that morning before he was placed to rest ... just one month ago.

There had been many tears shed this past week and have a feeling there may be several more days ahead that will be the same. I'm trying to find ways to cope with the sadness, the loneliness, but mostly the loss of his physical presence.  I find when I look through photos and see Mike's smile or the looks that only I can read on his face, it brings a smile to my own face, and I get a sense of him and all the wonderful things he possessed.
Everything I see, touch, watch, hear or think seems to all relate back to Mike or to our life together.  I had hoped that we would have had the chance to make more memories together but we must be satisfied with those we have from all our years together.  (Mike and I met in 1965, while we were in high school. - he a Senior at St. Patrick's and myself a Junior at Alvernia.) Others have not been as fortunate as us, so I will be grateful for our time.
Just love those "crossed-eyes"
I have wanted to write a post about this special day, even though Mike had to leave us,  and wanted to make it meaningful yet not sad.

Listening to songs that speak of what we shared are difficult. So many songs spoke my mix of feelings, but I wanted to try to be uplifting and smile about all our years together.  So Sweetheart, with every heartbeat,  this one is for you.

I miss spending this special day with you, leaving those cards for each other, and having a "dinner date".  I know that when I need you ... and I will - there you'll be!

Always & Forever

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's Coming!

It's that time again!  Everywhere I look I'm seeing lights, greenery, red & green and lots of sparkly stuff.  I know we just finished with the spooky stuff and we are all preparing to get stuffed next week.  It always seems that the Christmas holiday is so very far away but it then it is here and gone again before we even realize.

I want to enjoy the season no matter how crazy and hectic it seems to always get.  The big basket of holiday magazines came out yesterday.  I keep a very large basket with old issues of Country Living, Living and various others at hand to browse through.  Picked up one old one this morning and already found three ideas.

There are several holiday magazine available already.  I want to share a few that I have either looked at already or purchased.  For ideas for your house take a look at Holiday with Matthew Mead.  Always one with so many details and ideas for festive decorating.

For anyone wanting handmade ideas, there are two that are worth the purchase.  Stitch Craft Create is a new one and I like it.

Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts is another worthy purchase.

For wonderful ideas for edible gifts take a peek at Better Homes & Gardens Food Gifts.

It's OK to start getting in the holiday spirit.  Pull out those holiday movies and music and start with one a night.  No need to go crazy with decorations, gifts or entertaining.  The season is about giving and you give in any way you choose or can.  Make a gift for someone you know is alone, take a plate of cookies (homemade or bought) to a neighbor who has no family around.  Giving in big or little ways are what make the season bright.
Don't be a humbug!

ADDED NOTE:  The Designer Craft Connection is doing another blog hop starting today.  I was not able to take part in this one because of timing but please take some time to click on the "blinkie" at the top right of this post and take a peek at a neat product and of course, creative ideas!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Easy Banner Decoration

This banner was made a couple of months ago but I never was able to share the idea with readers.  So much had been going on here for months that has kept me from writing and sharing posts.  I had committed to designs for a "challenge" from Westcott® Cutting Tools and a "hop" with Sizzix Fresh Vintage dies, by Eileen Hull, the past two posts.

Life happens and it took a very serious and difficult turn for me a few weeks ago.  I will try to address this situation in a few weeks.  I hope that sharing thoughts and emotions will be helpful in some manner.

BUT ... here we are into the second week of November and the "crazy season" is almost upon us!

I will quickly share an idea, were once again I turned to my Sizzix dies, to make a simple holiday banner for the mantle.  All materials used were scraps of burlap, felt, papers and fabrics that have been around for some time.

I cut the burlap into rectangles and fringed three of the edges.  Brown felt leaves were die-cut from scraps, with Original Leaf #1, Large.  A green leaf was cut from a fabric backed paper using Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Leaves die.  Sizzilits "Twang" alphabet dies were used to spell out "AUTUMN WELCOME" from two colored papers.

Use glue of choice to layer the letters, shadowing them slightly, onto the green leaf.  Apply them to the brown felt leaf, then place each completed set onto the burlap rectangle.

Rub the edges of the burlap with Distress Stains of your color choice.  Once the stain is dry, I simply brushed on some Opal glitter glue around the edges for some sparkle. I found some glue-on acorns to add for extra embellishment.

Cut a length of jute cording to length needed.  Turn over the top edge of the burlap pieces about 1/2" and clip to hold with tiny wooden clothes pins.  Tear pieces of fabric into strips and tie on to cording in between the burlap banners.

Easy and simple but attractive holiday decoration ... easy enough that my 10 year old granddaughter, cut everything out herself to make a similar one for her house.  I'm thankful for quick projects!