Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Standing triumphant!

There are some pictures that I love because they show personality and spirit. These are 2 of my favorite for that reason! My granddaughter Savannah was about 4 months old, (2012) and as you can see already had a sense of what she wants! She definitely did not want to be strapped in that bouncer. She much prefered to be vertical with her little legs standing strong, her head held high, and a determined "I am big" air about her tiny little self! I have looked at these photos over and over again, smiling & marveling at the spirit of determination all the babies in my life have exhibited from almost the moment they came to earth:) 

What is it and where does it go?...this drive to progress, stand tall, and move forward. Life has a way of beating us up a bit or sometimes a great deal. Pictures like these give me hope, held me stand a little taller, extend my can do attitude, and bring a renewed sense  of purpose to my life. This little baby "got it" and she didn't even know what she got!  A healthy dose of energetic "I am important and will make a difference in the world" is what she gives me every time I look at her face! I hope she will have many moments when her heart truly does believe she can fly! 
Tiny little people are hard work but they are great teachers, great examples, showing us the way back from the weary trudging of life. If we pay attention the joy of the lesson helps us to stand triumphant once again!

This layout was super fun to create. I began with a pale blue cardstock (a favorite) which I added borders created with a Martha Stewart border punch. Transparent wash tape went on top of the border to tame it down a bit.

A varied collection of flowers from Prima, Maya Road, etc. were grouped together around the pictures.

Inking the edges of a journaling card adds a bit of flair.

This bright pink cardboard came from a Juicy Couture perfume box...it was so cute I couldn't throw it away:) I used blue letters from my sticker stash and outlined them with black.


I have a constant and welcome stream of text pictures sent my way of the grandchildren. 
The Canon Selphy printer is perfect for printing a couple of pictures on the spot for a layout. 


Today after creating this layout I feel a bit taller, happier, and more "ready to go"...thanks Savannah for showing me the way:)
p.s. I also keep singing "I believe I can fly......":) Notice the heart with wings in the top right corner!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

And the retreat winner is....



Lisa Burns! When I called Lisa to congratulate her she was super surprised & so gracious! It's always a "pay it forward feeling" when I do these giveaways:) My grandmother Nellie would be happy!
Thanks to all of you for stopping by, visiting, enjoying the yummy maple snickerdoodles! I gave away 185! 


Thanks to all of those who liked our Nellie's Cottage Facebook page. Check there tonight for a giveaway for 5 of my new likes:)

Also see the video of my retreat giveaway!
I have a new Nellie's Cottage you tube tube channel:)
https://youtu.be/oeKKymL5lIs

I am in the best business in the world:) just saying!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

CKC Scrapbook convention, we are here!

Nellies Cottage has set up camp with burlap banners, metal watercans, metallic painted mason jars, a colorful rooster &  my favorite pink vintage chair! 

Now this took packing my suburban to the hilt & recruiting my hubby for the tall people tasks:) This is where we started...





Hubby Michael provides moral support, water, lunch & chocolate!


I had a rocking day visiting with ladies about the charms of Nellie's Cottage:) It helps to have maple snickerdoodles on hand:)

It also helps to be giving away free retreat accommodations for 8! 

I will be drawing at conventions end, just before 5pm! 
Good luck ladies:)



Sunday, August 16, 2015

A letter to my granddaughters

Sunday morning normally finds me in church. This Sunday I am keeping 3 week old Madeline while her mommy takes the other two munchkins. I am not sure how much a break that will be, two year old Scarlett usually manages at least one escape under the pews:)...and daddy is out of town on business.
As I am holding this precious new life my eyes are filling with tears of gratitude. 


My heart is overflowing with love for her as she responds to my voice. My mind is full of thoughts about her and my other granddaughters Annabelle, Scarlett, Savannah and Charlotte. 



Dear granddaughters,
You cannot know how loved you are. It is something you will not understand until you have little ones of your own. I am your Grammie! Of all the titles and names I have ever been called, this is the one that brings the most easy joy:) I see your innocence and purity and long to be so. The genuine smiles and unfettered happiness you express is a breath of fresh air to my soul. Your delight in the sunshine, wind, doodle bugs, and puppies makes my weary self excited again! This morning I am holding Madeline, but each of you are in my thoughts as I write this letter.


How extraordinarily fortunate you are to have been born in the most privileged, blessed and prosperous nation on the earth! Girls are not so well loved and treasured in many countries. Here in this land we rejoice with the birth of a baby girl. Here you will have the chance to be educated to the highest degree you desire. Doctor, teacher, engineer, business owner...these hold no bars for you as a girl, something many women fought for in years past. Be excellent, be intelligent, be moral, and for heaven's sake have common sense!

Here you can walk freely in your community with your bright smile inspiring others with love, not hidden behind walls of prejudice or the belief that girls are of a lesser worth. The saying that children are to seen and not heard is long banished from our society. Use this liberty with caution and kindness:)

You all have father's fiercely in love with you, dedicated to your protection, care and happiness. This is a blessing cannot be measured. The full time attention of your mother's is an advantage. You won't comprehend her sacrifice for many years. Be kind to her:) Many children have mother's who dream of staying home but circumstances do not allow such a luxury.

My hope and dreams for you are just as real as they were for your parents who I love unquestionably. Love is a miracle, it expands and grows with each one that joins our family by marriage, or by birth. I am convinced that the greatest joy I will ever have is within our family. 

Life will not easy. My daddy used to say "Kimberly, life is not fair"...oh how I hated that! It is however, true. Life is mostly what you choose to make of it thrown in with things beyond your control. I promise it will be okay:) 

So my darlings, what will you be? 
The answer is anything you want to do and be is within your scope of life, privilege and love of those who will care for you. This is a blessing of your birthright. In this family we believe in God and in his son Jesus Christ. We believe Christ paid the price for our sins, lived the perfect example and led the way.  So you see, in all ways your path is made as clear, and easy as possible. 

I promise to do my part by loving you unreservedly and unconditionally with lots of treats in my "Grammie jar"! You will never want for pretty dress, babies, glitter crafts, or slumber parties at my house. For me the chance to love you helps me make up for all times I wasn't capable of loving your parents the way I should have, free from distractions...things I thought were more important. I was always there and did my best at the time, but now my best is a bit better:)

Darling girls you are so very loved by so many people. Take that love, expand that love and share it with everyone, doing much good in the world around you. This is my wish for you. I love you with all of my always growing, learning and softening heart.                               
                                                                                                             Grammie







Monday, August 10, 2015

My lovely scrap space

I have a confession. I actually have a craft room upstairs.
So why do I have my scrapbooking space in my bedroom?
 Simple, because I love my bedroom!
I love the chocolate brown walls.
I love my cream and taupe embroidered draperies.
I love my metallic pillows.
I love the vintage gold trim on my lampshades.
I love the morning light streaming through my windows.
I love hearing the sound of the pool fountain just outside my windows.
That is why my scrapbook space is in my bedroom! I am a decorator at heart, partially through an interior design degree soooooooo my scrapbook space NEEDED to blend into the decor of my bedroom!

The next few pictures are a sweep of my space from left to right.


We lived in our house about 8 years before I decided on curtains! These were a black Friday find from JC Penny. The rocker was a mother's day gift from the hubby when I became a Grammie:)

I confiscated this desk from the hubby's study:) It has good drawer space and I even have a stash hidden under the desk! it was a second hand furniture find many years ago. p.s. hubby has another desk!

The tall dark stained shelves came from my mom, short ones were part of our first ever purchased furniture after school. Originally the 90's colonial brown I painted them to match the tall ones.
The baskets came from here and there collected over time. When I decided to do this I scoured my house for baskets, most of which were spray painted dark brown. The idea was to blend into the background rather than be a focal point in my room.


This bed was a steal at auction in Houston many, many years ago. It is from the Philippines.

Decorating is always about the details....

Reclaimed shelf painted metallic gold, favorite stamps on the shelf, pearl metal monogram and handmade tags hanging on twine.


Old brown dresser inherited from my mom....have plans for painting:)

Glass cake plate taken out of hiding in the tallest kitchen cabinet now on display with washi tape,  and zipper & glitter ribbon...all in colors matching the decor:)

Metal bins from Walmart wrapped with wash tape & vintage gold trim with 
flowers added as a final touch.


Metal & wood suitcases make stylish storage.

Found this cute cabinet at Marshalls but the fatal flaw-too small for anything 12x12...should have measured before I brought it home! I don't think glittery bows are just for Christmas:)


Mercury glass is the perfect accent to contrast all the chocolate brown walls, furniture, and baskets.
Ross and Marshalls are the best places to pick up inexpensive pieces.

An embellished craft cart and chest re-do add more storage for my scrapping stash.
Blog post links on these 2 furniture make-overs!


Craft Cart
http://nelliescottageretreat.blogspot.com/2015/04/washi-craft-cart.html


Chest Re-do
http://nelliescottageretreat.blogspot.com/2015/05/just-add-legsa-scrapbook-furniture-re-do.html


And there you have it... my lovely & long awaited scrap space!





Sunday, August 9, 2015

Chocolate dipped strawberry pie

Many years ago, 28 to be exact, this recipe was printed in our local newspaper. My husband, the ultimate chocoholic thought it looked delectable… and so it is :-) This was quite the extravagant expense for our tiny budget so we didn't make one for us, we made one for my OB/GYN and family friend as a thank you for the safe delivery of our second son. 


Through the years I've made it occasionally as a special thank you for someone or as a sweet surprise for Michael. I had actually forgotten about this recipe until this week when we wanted to make something delicious for one of our clinic staff. Michael had not forgotten.  He & Danielle were the co- creators of this beautiful pie. He loves doing the chocolate leaves and dipping the strawberries. 



I provided the recipe the lazy way:) crop and upload, repeat.
Enjoy!




Saturday, August 8, 2015

Nellie's magical biscuit bowl

You could say we are a biscuit family. I don't mean the kind that come in a roll from the store, rather the kind where you make a great floury mess all over your kitchen:) The siblings and I each think that we are the premier biscuit maker in the family and beyond. One of these days we are going to have a biscuit bake off and settle this once and for all! I must admit my daughter Brittany is going to be tough to beat with her "melt in the mouth" biscuits she makes for our Nellie's Cottage retreats.


There is an art to making biscuits. They are best made with a love of all things southern and of feeding the people you love. My grandmother Nellie cooked three meals a day her whole life... I cannot even imagine having quite that much love for my family...hahaha:)

One of the treasured items I have from her is a biscuit bowl.


I have thought about the "things" we treasure knowing that they are just things. Truly it is the connection we have to the people that possessed the "things" that really matters. This bowl is heavy and bulky. I have been terrified to use it for fear I may drop it on my tile. One day I saw it there collecting dust in my cabinet. It looked forlorn and stripped of purpose. I could almost see Nellie in her kitchen, apron covered with flour, turning the biscuit dough with her time worn hands. With this image I pulled the bowl out and proceeded to make my pie dough in that very bowl.



A smile crossed my face as I imagined her delight at my perfectly formed dough ball in her bowl.
We connected across the space of time and just for a second I could feel what it was like to be with her.

So "things" you say? This bowl is not replaceable, they don't make them like this anymore. Even if I could find one... it wouldn't be Nellie's.


 The bowl is now back in service with every biscuit, roll, and pie dough I make...it feels like going grandma's house every time:)


Cowboy biscuits


Who knew a bowl could make a difference? It is as if Nellie's magical baking abilities embedded in the bowl sprinkle just the right amount of baking fairy dust to create taste bud heaven in our home:)
And that my friends cannot be replaced, only handed down from Nellie to me, to my daughter, and then a granddaughter and generations to come. With the bowl comes the love Nellie had for her family...and that IS the magical source of the biscuit bowl:)




p.s. This biscuit recipe below is a family favorite:)
http://nelliescottageretreat.blogspot.com/2015/01/san-jacinto-biscuits.html