Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Prepare to be Inspired!

I have had so much fun today looking through different craft blogs and websites! All of my searching was in hopes to inspire YOU to enter my Christmas Craft Challenge. Today I was looking at paper and fabric crafts... our K & Company scrapbooking materials and Jo-Ann fabrics would be a great place to start!

Visit any Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store to find Christmas and holiday fabrics - below are some of the ones we found at the new store in Charlotte.
My holiday scrapbooking collection, Glad Tidings, from K & Company can be found here! Below are some of the papers, cut-outs, and stickers that would be great to use for cards and other crafts.
Everyone loves a homemade Christmas card! Find inspiration at Keepsake Crafts.

This cute paper wreath can be found at Inspire Me Crafts - with instructions too!

These magnet boards from Organize Your Stuff Now are awesome - perfect for a recipe holder in the kitchen or a picture in the office! I think they would look great made with some Christmas papers!

Who wouldn't love a homemade advent calendar!? I also love the little envelopes with numbers for each day... each one could contain a note for your loved one with the day magnet - maybe a little treat too! Find these and other cute decor ideas at Katie Bee Creative.

The following fabric wreath and balls are from our very own Jo-Ann Craft and Fabric Stores Blog! Instructions included!!

Another fabric wreath idea from Sticky Genius over at Etsy!

Christmas stockings of course! Find a tutorial for these at All You.
And... I would love, love, LOVE to see a Christmas quilt! The one below with the little trees from Katie May Too is too cute!

Or a quilted pillow or advent calendar quilt like these from Fabric Shopper Online.

Well, I know that I feel inspired! So... get crafty and give a special gift from the heart this Christmas - and don't forget to enter my Christmas Craft Challenge!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rita's Pottery

Meet Rita! Our beloved studio friend and cleaning technician. She has always loved pottery and has now started making her own one of a kind pieces!

The other day she brought her latest creation to the studio for us to see - a beautiful birdhouse!

Her attention to detail in the little leaves and vines is extraordinary... I also love the beautiful colors and variations of the glaze. Wow, she is so talented!!

Thank you, Rita, for inspiring us with your craft!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mary's First Lesson

I had to share these cute pictures of Mary from last weekend... her first time on a horse!

Mary was so calm and happy around Ben, it is definitely in her blood!

She'll be riding on her own in no time! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011


How was your Thanksgiving weekend!? Whether spending time with family, dear friends or even new friends - I hope you found many things to be thankful for and had a wonderful turkey day!

Al and I spent Thanksgiving on the farm with family. It was a fabulous day!

My youngest son Sam and his girlfriend Lauren - it was wonderful having them both here with us!

My mother joined us too - here she is with my brother's four children.

My little brother David with his three beautiful girls.

Of course I had to include a picture of the food! We had quite a spread...

Let us come into his presence with Thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

So Very Thankful

Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I hope that you are all looking forward to (or have already started) the cooking and gathering with loved ones that this holiday brings!

This morning at the gym our workout instructor Donna lead us in a Thanksgiving devotional. It was a powerful message for me to hear as Donna challenged us to try and thank God for something new everyday - for something that we had never thanked God for in the past. So often I pray and thank God for my many blessings generically, or I find myself thanking God for the same things over and over again. While these are still meaningful prayers to me, this new challenge has already changed my outlook in just a couple of hours. This morning my mind has been filled with all of the other blessings in my life that I have overlooked or forgotten to acknowledge in the past. So, I am now passing this challenge on to you. Don't forget to look around this Thanksgiving for all of the many blessings in your own life - great and small!

I also wanted to share a few pictures from a recent farmer's market excursion... I am so very thankful for this year's harvest bounty!

I hope that you and yours will have a safe and happy gathering tomorrow! Also... don't forget that it's okay to have a little fun with your veggies this Thanksgiving too!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Pie for Thanksgiving

I love a pumpkin pie, I love a pecan pie... but around our house, the favorite pie at Thanksgiving is the vinegar pie!! It is a family tradition that came from our Aunt Sis who was Mr. Winget's sister. Give this recipe a try - you will not regret it!

Vinegar Pie
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell (see Never-Fail Pie Crust recipe below)
1 stick margarine
1 1/2 c sugar
2 T flour
2 T vinegar
3 eggs
1 T vanilla extract

Combine margarine, sugar, flour, vinegar, eggs and vanilla. Blend well. Pour into the 9 inch pie shell. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

Never-Fail Pie Crust
2 t salt
3 c flour
1 1/4 c vegetable shortening
1 T sugar
1 T vinegar
1 egg
1/2 c water

Mix flour, shortening, sugar and salt with a pastry blender. Beat egg, add water and vinegar and mix well.
Combine the two mixtures a little at a time until all dry ingredients are moist. Mold together with your hands and chill before rolling out.
This recipe makes one 9 inch pie shell.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To whom much is given...

... much is required. This is a quote you have most likely heard in a number of different contexts. JFK used this sentiment that originally comes from a parable in Luke 12:48.

As Thanksgiving day quickly approaches, I have been thinking about this quote. I love that we have a holiday set aside to gather with friends and family to reflect on the many blessings in our lives. (Not to mention the fried turkey and Mrs. Winget's sweet potato souffle - yum!!) But this year I am also feeling called to take this holiday's sentiment one step further. To pay it forward as they say. There are so many people in each of our communities that cannot afford basic necessities for their families. And a Thanksgiving meal? Sadly, that may simply be out of the question. I am giving myself a challenge this week - won't you join me? Find an organization that gives back to your community - donate, volunteer, serve.

This message of sharing has been put on my heart this week by an organization that is very near and dear to my heart - Crisis Assistance Ministry. It started in Charlotte in 1975 and continues today offering financial assistance, and "free stores" of clothing, furniture and other household items. Their goal is to compassionately serve those in need by restoring dignity to each of their clients. I was fortunate this week to have Carol Hardison and other CAM staff come to the studio for a luncheon. It was a wonderful blessing to have everyone there, see the video below to see what I mean!

Thank you to Carol and everyone who works and volunteers at Crisis Assistance Ministries. You are truly an inspiration for this season and all year long!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Costco Signing

Thank you to everyone that came to see us at Costco on Saturday! It was wonderful to see some familiar faces and to make some new friends as well!

I was so glad to have Stephanie, Jeannie and Mary Beth there from the studio to greet everyone.

I met Linda at the signing (in white above) and found out that we share the same birthday!

Don't YOU need a 2012 Calendar!??

The employees at Costco were so helpful and set up this beautiful display of calendars. I signed special edition 2012 calendars in the styles of Heart and Home, Nature's Grace, and Proud Rooster. Only Costco is carrying this version of the 2012 calendars, so visit soon before they run out!

Thank you again for stopping by, it was such a fun day for me. I hope you all enjoy the 2012 calendars as much as I enjoyed painting them!