Saturday, December 24, 2011

One night, One gift, One reason

This is a quiet Christmas at our home this year. Our youngest daughter is our only child home at the moment, the others will be here next week. It has given me much time to reflect upon the season.

We have a long standing tradition in our family of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. Some years these are gifts from mom & dad and sometimes they are our family gift exchange gifts. This year with only one child opening a gift this night, I am struck by the symbolism of the one.

As we read the Christmas story again I was reminded of the following truths. 
There was only one baby born in a manger that would change the world.
There was only one who lived a perfect, sinless life.
There was only one who gave his life that we might live again.
There is only one who paid the price that we might have eternal life if we follow him.

I didn't realize the significance of the gift I chose for Danielle to open tonight.
 It was simply on the top of the pile in my closet and easy to wrap.

She is leaving for Jerusalem in a few days for a semester abroad. 
She will be going to the BYU Jerusalem center for near Eastern studies.

We ordered some comfortable hiking shoes for all the field trips she will take as part of her study in the Holy Land. 
These shoes will take her to places where Jesus performed miracles. 
These shoes will help understand her Savior better. 
These shoes will be a part of a life changing experience.

It makes me think of the shoes I wear.
Where do they take me?
I think of the one gift I can give this Christmas...
to more closely follow the Holy One of Israel.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Beautifully decorated...until the grandbaby comes:)

I remember looking longingly at perfectly decorated homes in magazines when I was a young mother. I couldn't imagine being able to decorate my home and have anything stay where I placed it! Now I have that luxury...until the grandbaby shows up and then I am back to "Decorating 101" again!
I love the beauty of the Christmas season decor, but will happily take it all down when Annabelle arrives next week!

I wanted to share my pre-grandbaby Christmas decorating, so here is 
Christmas at the Crossleys!

The Tree:

Our girls play the violin so I use them in my Christmas decorating.

Display your Christmas stories, take time to relax and be inspired during this season!

Pictures of "Christmas past" on display...instant conversation starters!

My golden nut tree!

Once a year my dining table is set and I wonder why I don't do this more often!

My white porcelain nativity is many years old, a favorite,
and definitely being put away before the baby gets here!

I am a fan of mini trees. A few years ago I went on a mission to simplify my decorating so I literally hot glued the ornaments into the trees. They stay completely decorated year to year. I simply walk them to the attic until next year!

My daughter's tree matches her bedroom:)
Another idea for cutting down on decorating time is to simply add holiday bling to your regular home adding glittery poinsettias to existing arrangements, and ornaments to an urn with decorative balls.

The porch:

My "trees" are tomato cages spray painted white and wrapped in white lights. The are left over from my daughter's Christmas time wedding in 2008. We wrapped them in tulle and lights for a winter wonderland effect at the reception.
It is so easy to pull them out of the attic and set them up on the porch. 
Classic pre-lit garland placed around the columns.... and I am done!

I love decorating, I love having my house stay decorated, however, I love my grandbaby more!
And so Christmas will remain for years to come "beautifully decorated.....until the grandbabies come:)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas tree of golden nuts

I love my golden nut tree!
It has survived several Christmas decoration purges. 
It adds a bit of class to my holiday decor.

This is a simple project. You just need a styrofoam cone, mixed nuts, glue gun, & gold spray paint.
Just randomly glue the nuts on the very generous with the glue. Spray paint the whole tree with at least 2 coats of paint. 
Admire your creation!

Do not store this in the attic or garage!
Heat & humidity "eat" the hot glue and you will find yourself re-gluing some of your nuts every year...
not that I know this from experience or anything:)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Caroling optional:)

I still remember this night from 1972 when we went Christmas caroling! My brother Todd was smiling in the picture but spent most of the night grumpily trying to get Mom to let him take off that bow:) He still hates caroling!

Kimberly almost 9, Todd- 6,  Mitzi- 3, Mark- 20months

Caroling is a wonderful tradition we tried to keep in our family. Some years were more successful than others...depending on how many disgruntled singers we had in tow:) Just for the record I never even tried the crepe paper bow idea with my children!
I think caroling is a wonderful personal expression of holiday cheer, of course I love to sing which I will admit is a plus. I love the way I feel when I sing Joy to the World. I love spreading Christmas cheer, and I love the surprised smiles by the recipients, which in retrospect may come from the goodies presented rather than the songs we sing!  So put on your crepe bows and spread some Christmas cheer!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Christmas Dress

I just recently finished my first handmade garment in many years. My mother taught me to sew when I was twelve. I made most of my own clothes all the way through school. Aunt Betty would always give me a stack of fabric every time I cleaned her house so I had quite a stash of fabric. I made beautiful dresses for my girls but it eventually became easier to buy them clothes....any mother of teenagers knows this!

Now with grandchildren joining the family my suppresses sewing desire is re-surfacing! 
I found this adorable pattern called Lollipop Lola at the quilt show. (link to that blog below)

I love the endless possibilities of fabric combinations possible with this pattern.
I have had this particular bow motif fabric for years. I bought several yards so I will be able to make matching dresses for future granddaughters, like Savannah who is due at New years!

I love starting with a stack of supplies and ending with a boutique style dress.
Creating is starting with beautiful materials and putting them
together in a unique way to make something fabulous!
I mostly love the way Annabelle looks in my creation:)

I think that is a bit of a mischievous look on Annabelle's face:)

I enjoyed making this dress so much I actually broke down and bought a new sewing machine after 25 years. I got the Brother 420 Project Runway machine. It had great reviews online and was reasonably priced. Amazon was the best price as usual. I plan to fire it up after the holidays and hopefully go on a sewing spree! I can see the dresses lined up for all the holidays...beautiful blues with snowflakes for a "winter" dress. I see reds, pinks and hearts for Valentine's Day, and so on.....

I love giant rick-rack. It was cute alone but I added
shiny green ribbon to make it a bit more dressy

The pattern doesn't add a bow but I think all little girl's dresses need a bow!

My children at a local festival of trees. Festive!

 This pattern the Lollipop Lola can be found at

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Sweet Spirit of Christmas

I believe in up-cycing:) I love the thrill of taking something old and making it new again.
I also love the challenge of being thrifty when it comes to decorating:)
This is mantra used in creating ornaments for my Nellie's Cottage Christmas tree. 
Yarn, as it turns out, can be add excitement to plain white Christmas ornaments we used at my daughters wedding! I simply added some funky red yard in a messy bow at the top. 

The tree was wrapped in antique lace from the enormous stash I inherited from my Aunt Betty and handmade ornaments were purchased from a local artist/crafter. I added a handmade quilt my Aunt Helen made my grandmother Nellie. 
Viola! Thrifty and creative and meaningful...nailed it:)

Angels were the perfect decorating theme because they remind me of my angel grandmother Nellie!

Nellie Geldard 1905-1990

Nellie lived the sweet spirit of Christmas every day. She was sweet and kind to everyone. She spent her life serving her family. She always sent her guests home with something, canned jam, homemade cake, vegetables from the garden, or a plant she had rooted. 
She was an angel to me. I wish I could tell her about her cottage and the wonderful women that visit and create in her home. I wish I could tell her how much she meant to me. I hope that when I am gone my grandchildren will feel the same about me...that I tried to live the sweet spirit of Christmas every single day.

                               Merry Christmas MaMa, I love you

Monday, November 28, 2011

Button monogram, S is for Savannah

My sweet daughter in law and "mother to be" Janene 
has been browsing Pinterest...who hasn't?!!!! 
She found a beautiful button monogram idea that was $100 to order-yikes!

I quickly informed her that no self respecting crafter would consider paying so much for something that could be created at home:) So we happily went shopping for supplies and embarked on our new project. S is for Savannah!
Apparently I was almost a Janna Anna Mahana...thankfully my mother intervened and convinced my dad that that was not a good idea and so I became Kimberly. I am always quick to tell men that they do not have an equal say in naming their children:) Anyway...Annabelle and Savannah are lovely southern names for my granddaughters of which I heartily approve:)

Here is our project:
Begin with a canvas. We purchased two 11x14 in a pack for  5.99 at Hobby Lobby.
We covered the canvas in white burlap, using hot glue. This is easier with 2 sets of hands.

I cut a S from the Songbird cricut cartridge. I cut 3 before we had the perfect size.
It is a good idea to cut an image out on cheap paper first!
We tried 2 different positions for the S on the canvas.

We bought this multi colored trim in the fabric section at Hobby Lobby .
These Prima flowers were perfect!

Trace your letter onto the canvas, preferable with pencil.

Lay the buttons all out BEFORE you glue them down!
Some of these buttons have been around in my button box for 30 years!

After the button S was complete, we added the trim and flowers.
Lay out your design BEFORE you glue! 

This can be hung on the wall or put on a small easel.