Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let It Snow ... please

I love Winter, and I love snow.  Brown Christmas's are very rare in Minnesota.  The week before Christmas I was sad because we had no snow...none.  It makes it difficult for me to even feel like it's Christmas without a blanket of snow on the ground.  This is really going to sound weird, but I resorted to shutting the blinds in our house so that I could at least pretend that it was cloudy and snowing.  It's like I have "Seasonal Depression", only my depression comes from bright, sunny days in the Winter (I also like cloudy, rainy days in the Summer).  Strange...I know.

My sweet husband (Gregg) and I have gotten pretty lazy when it comes to gift-giving.  We will just tell each other what we want for Christmas, or sometimes just buy it for ourselves.  It's usually something functional. Sometimes we even skip getting gifts for each other because we already spent a chunk of $ on something for the house.  OK...I am going somewhere with this story and the gift thing does tie into the snow thing - here it is... While feeling kinda sad for the lack of snow last week, Gregg gave me an early gift that he said "would make me feel better".  It did.  I received the prettiest little necklace!

Yup, that's a snowflake!  It was one of the most meaningful gifts anyone has ever given to me.  His thoughtfulness was just what I needed to get me out of my slump.  I had forgotten what it felt like to be surprised and delighted by a thoughtful (and non-functional) gift from the man I love.  I didn't think it mattered anymore, but I was wrong.  I am definitely going to be putting more thought into the future gifts that I give to Gregg, and I hope that I can make him feel as special as he made me feel with my beautiful snowflake necklace. 

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face...  Proverbs 15:13

Jane <><

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Another Christmas has come and gone.  I sometimes can get kind of down on myself after Christmas for getting so caught up in the gift-making, card-sending, decorating, shopping, baking, etc. instead of focusing on the amazing birth of our Lord.  To be completely honest, I find that I'm even less focused on Christ at this time of year than I am the rest of the year.  Does this happen to anyone else?  I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with all of the "stuff" that we do during December, but I wish I could have more of a balance.  Every year I start out with such good intentions to make Christmas more simple so that I can focus more on the true meaning of the season.  I could buy all of my gifts instead of making them.  I could buy my Christmas cards instead of making them (or maybe not send cards at all).  I could cut way back on my decorating.  I wouldn't have to bake any cookies or make any sweets.  I could use only gift bags instead of wrapping paper and ribbon.  I could say "no" to family and friend get-togethers. Yup...all of these ideas would greatly simplify my Christmas.

However...I love to make gifts and cards, and I love to decorate, and I love to wrap gifts and make sweet and tasty goodies too!  And I especially love to get together with friends and family!  So, maybe simple isn't always best for everyone.  Maybe taking time to enjoy the season and make it more meaningful is found in the very things that make me so busy this time of year.  Maybe I need to focus on Christ by being more grateful to Him for having a home to decorate, having food to eat, having the means and creativity to give personal gifts, and most importantly, having family and friends to love. 

Our Christmas card for 2011

The inside of our card

Blessings to all,
Jane  <><

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fun Decorating Idea

I love to decorate for Christmas!  This year I bought a cute vintage toy typewriter on Etsy.  On my computer, I picked out a pretty font, and then I printed out a Merry Christmas message on parchment colored paper (to keep with the vintage look).  I then put it into the typewriter to make it look like I used the typewriter to type the message (even though the message is printed much bigger than a typewriter could do it).  It sits on display on top of an old suitcase in my living room. 

I change the "typed" message for different occasions, and put a personal welcome in it for when guests come to visit.  You could also put scripture in it, or how about a love note for someone special!  Any old typewriter will do, and the great part is, it doesn't even have to work to use it!

This was the message I put in it when my daughter and her family came for Thanksgiving.  I used a font on my computer called 'old Typewriter'


" shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."   Mark 12:30

Friday, December 9, 2011

Crafting With Friends

Last week I had some friends over for dinner and crafting.  It was so much fun getting together with friends who love the Lord, and enjoy creating - I wish I could do it more often!  We made scripture cards and holders.  The holders can also be used for photos, personal notes, a recipe card, or greeting cards.  These would also make great gifts!

Here’s what you need to make your own...

     12 to 18 gauge wire (I used 12 g. jewelry wire for most of them)
     24 gauge wire or jump rings for attaching charms
     pretty little glass bottles or jars
     a wire cutter and pointed nose pliers
     ribbon and embellishments

There’s not an exact science to this since each bottle is a little different.  Basically, what you want to do is wrap the wire around the top of the bottle a couple of times.  Measure out about 6 to 8 inches of wire from
the bottle and cut it with your wire cutter.  You then want to get it nice and tight by taking the pliers and twisting the wire together at the base.  Then with the pliers, grab the tip of the wire ‘tail’ and start to twist it into a curly Q.  Keep twisting and shaping it until it’s the size and length that you want.

If you want to add a little embellishment charm, you can attach it with a jump ring (or a little piece of 24 gauge wire) to the main wire before or after you wrap it.  The ribbon goes on last.  You don’t have to use the ribbon, but it’s nice if you want to cover the wire that goes around the bottle.

To make the scripture cards, you can put them in your own handwriting, or print them on cardstock from your computer in your favorite font.  We had fun doing watercolor washes and writing on top of it (when it was dry).  Use watercolor paper for the best results.

Here are some of the scripture holders that I made.  I started getting creative using other items too.  The possibilities are can use pretty much anything that you can wrap a wire around!  If you have any more ideas for things to use as a holder, let me know...I would love to hear from you!
A stone and a pretty little vase (with a yo-yo)
An old Coke bottle

A candle holder and a spool of thread

A pretty jar and a pinecone

A book

Old Cameras

Ok...I might have taken it a bit too far :)

Thank you to my wonderful friends...Laurieann, Pauline, Bethany and Brock for spending a great evening
with me doing what I love to do most - honoring God with fellowship and creating.  To Him be all the glory!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

My First Blog Post!

I know that writing my first blog post shouldn't be so hard for me, but it is. Ironically, my fear of doing this is one of the reasons why I'm starting a blog. This thought gave me inspiration for my first post. So, here it is, the top 3 reasons that I am starting to blog...

1. I have a brain that seldom shuts down when it comes to creativity. Sometimes I feel like my brain might explode. I'm hoping that by sharing my ideas on a blog, it will give me the outlet that I need, and give my brain some much needed rest.

2. I Strive to honor God in everything I do. This blog will give me a place to share my love for Christ, and to acknowledge the many ways He has blessed all of us.

3. I'm a bit of an introvert. I am hoping that by blogging, it will help to bring me out of my "shell", and maybe I will even make some new friends - I often find myself longing for relationships with women who share my love for Jesus and creating :)

So, there it is. Oh, and I can't sign off on my first post until I give a big "thank you" to my wonderful and talented daughter, Mary. She has been pushing me to start a blog for months now. She also took the time to teach me how to navigate through small feat given my lack of computer skills! Most likely, Mary will be my only follower for awhile :) ...and I'm OK with that.

                               Here are a few samples of my artwork...

Here are a couple samples of my photography...

This is my first time putting pictures on...they might not be quite right (wrong size or pixelly).  I'll work on this.

If for some reason, you made it to this blog, thank you for stopping by!

Blessings,  Jane  <><