Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Make It Personal

Handmade items at Christmas are always extra special, and cards are no exception. Two years ago I decided to try my hand at making my own Christmas cards and found I thoroughly enjoyed it. I admit I didn't have time to make them for everyone on my list, so I concentrated on family members and my closest friends. I had so much fun that I did it again last year.

I love to paint, so I did original paintings, took a picture and made the necessary adjustments. Then I simply ordered the number of prints I needed online using Walmart's Photo Section. It was quick, easy, and best of all...it didn't cost much.


Craft stores have an abundant supply of cards and envelopes in every color, size, and quantity you could want. I used white because it just seemed to look better, and attached the photographs to the front of the card with double sticky tape. This enables the recipient to keep the picture if they wish. Because I used original artwork, I did sign, title, and date the back of the picture, and also made a note inside.

I then wrote a Christmas wish and printed out the number I needed on white copy paper using the computer, cut them to size, and glued them to the inside of the card. I then signed each one personally, of course. No shortcuts on that.

                                                                                            Seeded Paper


If drawing and painting isn't your thing, you can use pictures of your family, stamps, Christmas decorations, a child's drawing, and even something different like attaching another little flat card with seeds that can be planted. If you like to sew or do needlework, make a little ornament and attach it to the front. Have fun with it, the possibilities are endless!


Monday, November 29, 2010

My Latest Obesession.....On the Computer

JigSaw Puzzles!

I have done Evening Sky....





and CELLO  

 so farbut I have only just begun!

Here is a link to a page full of possibilities for you

Have fun!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Test Your Knowledge!

Oh Boy!  A pop quiz...

Can you match the jingle/slogan with the product?  Let's just see!  Answers are below in case you get stuck!

1.  Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz
2.  Please Don't Squeeze The ________
3.  A Little Dab Will Do Ya
4.  You'll Wonder Where the Yellow Went
5.  Brusha, Brusha (hint:  Bucky Beaver was the mascot)
6.  Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Don't
7.  See the U.S.A In Your __________
8.  Stronger Than Dirt
9.  ___ ______ Gets You So Clean, Even Your Mother Won't Know You.
10.  Where's the Beef?
11.  Away Go Troubles Down the Drain
12.  I'd like to teach the world to sing (in perfect harmony)
ɐloɔ-ɐɔoɔ  ˙21   ɹǝʇooɹ-oʇoɹ  ˙11   s,ʎpuǝʍ  ˙01   ǝlqqnq ˙ɹɯ  ˙9   xɐɾɐ  ˙8   ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ  ˙7   spunoɯ/ʎoɾ puoɯlɐ  ˙6   ǝʇsɐdɥʇooʇ ɐuɐdı  ˙5   ʇuǝposdǝd  ˙4   ɯǝǝɹɔlʎɹq  ˙3  ,uıɯɹɐɥɔ  ˙2  ɹǝzʇlǝs-ɐʞlɐ  ˙1

So, how did you do?  Hope you don't get mad at me when you walk around all day humming a certain jingle!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sharing Thanksgiving Memories and Traditions

Howdy friends, and happy Friday.  I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  There are so many family traditions around the holidays that I thought I would take today and give you an opportunity to comment on something you and yours did on your Thanksgiving Day. 

As for me, my family has scattered over the years and so the holidays have been bringing new traditions.  This year, I met with my sister and her oldest son and we invaded “Hometown Buffet”.  Now, the fun part was I had never been there before.  No cooking (though I missed the smells of turkey and pumpkin pie in the oven), no clean up, wide variety of foods to choose from.  And after lunch, we went to my nephews for dessert and coffee.  It was a very relaxing day.  I must say, my pup was very happy to see me though, when I got back home.  What more could I ask for! 

I would love to hear from you.  What did you do this Thanksgiving?   


On a side note, this is “Black” Friday.  I thought this was such a strange name for the day right after Thanksgiving, so I just had to go looking for an explanation of how this tradition began.  Here is just a brief look at one version of the story, and you can click in the paragraph to read more if you’re interested.

Wow, swarm is right!  I myself have never ventured out on this particular shopping day, but I know some people that are very dedicated to braving the crowds every year.  I’m not sure if it’s the great bargains, the thrill of the hunt (for that perfect gift), or just the excitement of the official beginning of Christmas shopping.  As for this writer, I’ll stay home!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Comments by ZingerBug.com

Happy Thanksgiving from the crew at ACollectiveJournal!  We are taking the day off to spend time with our friends and family, we will return tomorrow.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to remember the things in your life that you are thankful for!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Did you know....?

Did you know that half of the 110 Pilgrims who had left England in 1620 survived that first year in the New World? In their second year, however, the Pilgrims flourished with plentiful food sources, thanks in large part to the friendship and guidance of an Abnaki Indian named Squanto.

Did you know that the first Thanksgiving feast was celebrated during the Pilgrim's second year in the New World? During the first year, the Pilgrims were nearly decimated by the brutally cold winter.

Did you know that Thanksgiving didn't become an official national holiday until more than 200 years later, when in 1863 President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November a national day of thanksgiving?
Did you know that US Presidents issue an annual Thanksgiving Proclamation declaring the 4th Thursday of November as Thanksgiving? While President George Washington was the first US President to issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation, not all following Presidents followed the custom. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November. In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and in 1941 the US Congress passed a law officially establishing the celebration of Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November.

 Did you know that it is tradition for US Presidents to issue a pardon to the White House Thanksgiving Turkeys? Since about 1947 the National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with one (and in recent years - two) live turkey(s) in a ceremony known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. The live turkeys are pardoned and live out the rest of their days on a farm or, since 2005, sent to either Disneyland in California or Walt Disney World in Florida, where they serve as the honorary grand marshals of Disney's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While it is commonly believed that this pardoning tradition began with President Harry Truman in 1947, the Truman Library has been unable to find any evidence for this. The earliest Thanksgiving Presidential Pardon on record is with President George H. W. Bush in 1989.       
Did you know that there is no historical evidence that the first Thanksgiving included turkey, which is, of course, the centerpiece of today's Thanksgiving meal? There was, however, mention of wild turkeys in a book written by Pilgrim Governor Bradford.

Did you know that the most popular Thanksgiving dinner includes a menu of turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie? Then it's only fitting that Americans raise over 256 million turkeys. The biggest producer of turkeys is Minnesota, followed by North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri and California.
Did you know that Americans raise 649 million pounds of cranberries, 1.6 billion pounds of sweet potatoes, and 998 million pounds of pumpkin?

This  information in this post came from;

Wishing you all a wonderful and joyful Thanksgiving day, however you and yours celebrate it .


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Tribute to Etsy Turkeys

A simple "Turkey Gallery" to honor Thanksgiving and the creativity and talent of Etsy sellers. And, hopefully, give you a smile in the middle of what is a very hectic week for many of us.








I hope you've enjoyed this little turkey gallery. Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and God bless.  We have so much to thank the Lord for.


Monday, November 22, 2010

So My Teenage Granddaughter has decided.....

On the design for the quilt I promised to make her...

This may seem like a simple thing, however the discussion about the "theme" of the quilt started 8 years ago....we have gone through several ideas...including a quilt featuring strawberries ( I have several strawberry fabrics in my stash now)....a quilt featuring cooking (which she does quite well) but finally, now that she has a newly decorated room and considers herself to be more mature, the decision has been finalized.....the quilt will be  black and white and feature a music theme....WooHoo!

First item on my quilt "to do list" was go through my stash for possible fabrics and then shop for others...her Mother and I took her to a fabric store.....that was....an interesting experience!  Teenagers have strong opinions about fabric too :)

Next I found a quilt pattern I had purchased that had a music theme...which meant music symbols that I could copy for the applique portion of the quilt...

We knew we wanted  basic 12" square blocks..... some of them a nine patch quilt block of black squares alternating with black and white print squares....

I needed 125 5" squares like the ones above......to create 25 blocks that look like this.....

They are finished....so happy about that!

I also needed 24 of the white blocks that will end up as 12" appliqued squares....I have some of them finished.....

There will be 10 of these with the appliqued music symbols (I now realize that these symbols are backwards, but every quilt needs a mistake they say!) and 14 with a hand quilted design of the music symbols....I am going to use black quilting thread so the design will pop!

I will also hand quilt around each of the appliques (which are machine sewn on with a very tiny satin stitch),  do some hand quilting around the small squares which make up the larger square....these will also be "tied" in the center with a black yarn.

For now I have 2 applique blocks to finish, next I will lay all the blocks out until I find a grouping that I like, then I start sewing them together to form the quilt top.....if life goes as I plan (haha) the quilt top should be complete this coming week!

Check back in a couple of weeks for the next phase in the saga of the quilt!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stitching with Waste Canvas

What is waste canvas? 

Waste canvas is a  canvas with grids,  held together with a water soluble glue. When basted on non-evenweave fabric, waste canvas assists in stitch placement. Use waste canvas to turn almost any material into a Cross Stitch fabric.

For this lesson, I'm using a very basis, simple pattern.  You can use any pattern as long as it fits on the garment and waste canvas.
Gather what you need!  I'll be using a T-shirt for this project.
Cut the waste canvas to the size you need (I'm using 14 count waste canvas), leaving plenty of canvas around the pattern you'll be stitching.  I use safety pins and attach the waste canvas to the garment.  Some people use a long running stitch to attach the canvas to the garment.  Also, you can use interfacing on the back, if you want to.
Find the center of your pattern and center it on the waste canvas.  Use a hoop just as you would if you were stitching on Aida cloth etc.
Start your stitching according to your pattern.  You will stitch over two threads or in other words, skip one hole in the canvas.
These patterns can be easy or more detailed, I've done them both and the results are always wonderful!
This is the finished project as far as the stitching goes.  Now you will remove the waste canvas!

I cut the waste canvas down being very careful not to cut the garment.  Leave enough waste canvas around the edges to easily grip the threads.  Tweezers are often necessary for this and makes it easier.  If you have an area with a lot of stitches, it might be a little more difficult to pull out the threads, you can dampen the waste canvas with water, I use a spray bottle.  This will make the threads very soft and easier to remove.  Since I don't have a lot of stitches in this project, it wasn't necessary to wet the waste canvas.
Now add the buttons to each stem and you are finished!
I'm all ready for Spring!
You can make some awesome baby gifts using the waste canvas.  Onsies, hooded bath towels, bibs all make great items for this.
My favorite items to do are Winter sweatshirts!  I've done so many Christmas ones, here is a great source for books:  A1 Craft Patterns Cross Stitch Waste Canvas Patterns Take note of Holiday Lineups, the Christmas one is great!  Another fun one is Ye Olde Santas, I've done all of them in that book! 

I've done socks, the little roll down white kids socks with lace around the cuffs are great for this.  You can do a little duck, butterfly or any small pattern.  Dress up vests, sweaters, blue jeans, denim shirts and anything else you want to add a little something extra.

BTW, want to know the cost of this project?  I purchased the T-shirt on sale at the local craft shop, cost $2.50.  One color floss for .35 cents.  Waste canvas I found at a thrift shop for only .47 cents (usually around $2.50 in shops) and the buttons I had laying around the house.  Total cost for mine:  $3.32!!!!!  Watch those sales for great prices on T-shirts and sweatshirts.  The booklet was one I had laying around too but they usually run about $4.00 and I search for ones that have a lot of patterns I like so I can use the book for many projects.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"A Day In The Life With Cassie"

Okay, I remember the first time I heard about this shop.  And I was amazed at what she did.  I mean, I saw her products and thought “how on earth do you do that?”  I had to do a little research, wondering if I could attempt such a thing.  After seeing her work and reading about the process, I decided I would just leave this to pros like her.  Making paper is just way out of my league.  And then, making paper and turning that paper into fun items?  Well, you be the judge.  I just love my weekly journeys and today, the road takes us to …

A Day in the Life of Cassie, owner of
Click here to enter shop

Duude:  Hey Cassie, how long have you been making handmade paper?

Cassie:  I have been creating with paper (making cards, scrap booking, gift tags, etc) for many years, but have only been making paper for a little less than a year. 

Mini Cards and Envelopes
Duude:  What inspired you get into this area of crafting?                

Cassie:  I have always loved the look and feel of handmade paper.   I liked the idea that I could be recycling “trash” paper and all the little ends of cardstock from all of my other paper creating projects into “new” fresh happy items.  It seemed like a great way to take my card making up another notch.  It was another form of paper to play with.  I truly am a paper addict! 

Duude:  Tell us a little bit about your process for making paper.  How do you decide what kinds of paper go into your handmade paper?   

Gift Tags Infusedwith Flowers and Leaves
Cassie:  Well, first I start by saving all our paper scraps – cardstock ends, office paper, mail that needs to be shredded, yup tons of paper all over my house!  Then it all gets shredded in the blender with some water.  Depending on what I am making – sheets, tags, formed paper items, I will use different papers as my base, even using cereal boxes at times.  I just use paper, water, some garden items (including seeds for plantable paper) and occasionally some glitter.  I don’t add any dyes to my paper, all the color comes from cardstock.   It’s always neat to see the way each sheet of paper turns out differently even thought I used the same paper pulp base.

Duude:  Where do you typically get your supplies? (handmade, online, craft shops, etc.

Christmas Tree Gift Tags
Cassie:  My basic supplies are found in house – household recycled paper, cardstock scraps and flowers from my garden.  We recently moved into my grandmother’s home, I love the idea that all of her flowers get to be shared with others in the form of my paper items.  I tend to make most of my molds from basic household and craft materials. 

Duude:  Ha, I guess I should have known that one huh!   Okay, next.  Where do you get your ideas for your items?  

Cassie:  I get ideas from anywhere and everywhere.  My kids are always laughing at me when I say, did I tell you my idea about this project or how would this look these colors.

Duude:  Where do you sell your items?

Journal with handmade paper pages
Cassie:  At the moment I am selling primarily on Etsy,  thanks to my crazy, encouraging friend (Hi Jane!) but have sold at some indie craft shows.  Next year, I intend to sell at more local shows.

Duude:  Do you have a blog or any other sites that you are involved in that you would like to share with us?

Cassie:  I like to have a variety of projects going on at one time, so I also have a fabric based shop on Etsy – PoshFabrications.  This shop focuses on upcycling and recycling fabric items into new creations – t-shirt rugs, bowls, purses (still have to list them!), jean trivets and rugs.   

Stay tuned for a new jewelry Etsy shop  – mostly upcycled and recycled items that my daughter creates;  lots of techniques, colors, styles:  something for everyone!

One final note, I had to steal this from Cassie’s profile because I just thought it was too fun not too.

Hi, my name is Cassie and I am a paper addict. You should see my stash. I have even had well-meaning (but non-understanding) friends try to talk me into letting some go! I thought I might have to go down that path (something about taking over my house with paper), but then I found Etsy. Now my stash can stay, and dare I say it, grow  : )

Cassie, thanks for sharing with us.  
Keep up the creative work so you can make room for more paper!  
Now go check out her shop and see the other cool paper items she has.  
See ya next time!
Duuude - over and out

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is YOUR Thanksgiving Tradition?

For some reason I keep thinking of that song "Traditionnnnn Tradition.... TRADITION!"  Of course those are the only words I know and I am not sure what song that is from, but Fiddler on the Roof sticks in my head.

A week from today many of you will be honoring Thanksgiving and spending time with friends and family.You'll be spending time eating, talking, laughing, playing games, eating again, laying around, watching TV, taking walks or whatever your tradition has always been. New traditions can begin at any time and old ones shift over the years, but all of us have some remembered fondly.

With our family, dinner is always at my parents house and once we became "adults" we all pitch in and bring a dish so the load isn't just on mom.  I'm the one in the family who does not like to cook so I always was responsible for bringing the rolls or ice cream, but I have slowly graduated to bringing the green bean casserole. :)  Of course I also do clean up duty so I feel that that more than sufficiently makes up for my lack of culinary skills.  I enjoy doing the dishes because for one, I don't like to sit around after stuffing my face, and secondly, it's a great time to talk with my nieces and sisters who drift into the kitchen to lend a hand.

We all arrive at my parents earlier to drink and hang out before dinner. Some who enjoy cooking like to piddle in the kitchen while the kids and I come in and out asking "When are we going to eat?"  I like to hang out with my nieces and nephews catching up on their lives and freely giving out sage advice or a good smack in the head if needed.  If it's nice out the little kids will be outside running around, picking up sticks, wading in the creek or doing sidewalk chalk on the driveway.

The majority of my family lives near here so it's a full house with all the younger ones and the older kids who are home from college. This year there should be about 31 of us gathering.  Before dinner my dad gathers us in the kitchen to say grace and we each say what we are thankful for.  There is always a tear in the eye and a lump in the throats to see my dad choke up when he says how happy and proud he is of our family and the fact that we can all still be together is a huge blessing.

It really is what it's all about. Being thankful for the family and friends that we have who love us and we love back.  Despite our spats and disagreements we all love each other dearly and I thank God for each of them. It doesn't matter if it's a huge get together or just a couple of people, it's what is in your heart.

 Was I too sappy? Did I talk too much? I could go on you know.... :-)
What sort of traditions do you have?

Peggy ~ Goodgosh ~ GG ~ MSS


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Partridge and a Pear Tree

Yup, I am jumping the gun a little bit here. It seems that they are pushing holiday decorations and things earlier and earlier every year. The store I work in has been putting Holiday items out since before Halloween. So one way or another we are forced to face the fact that the holiday season is upon us. *sigh*
 I did a little searching on Etsy and decided to just look for the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Here are just few of the wonderful handmade items I found.
by  iamfish


Here is a link that has pictures that you can print to color either for you or for children;

This gives you some information about the song and the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas;

This one is chock full of all kinds of Holiday traditions, pictures and facts. There are some interesting things on here and I need to give it a more in depth look.

Have fun looking and getting into the Holiday spirit.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

We can still have a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving.  Rockwell has left us a legacy in his paintings of what Thanksgiving and being an American are all about.  Depicted in a simple, straight-forward way, they show our strengths, love of family and country,  dedication to our values and work ethics, our ability to keep moving forward and to accomplish great things. His paintings remind us that we have been through difficult times before and we have overcome a great deal. We are a great nation with a lot to be thankful for.

I firmly believe that Thanksgiving should be given proper attention in November. We live in a wonderful country that has been blessed so richly, and to not take time to give thanks is sad.

In spite of the fact that our economy is not what we would like and many people are in a bad situation, our standard of living is still far above that of many other countries. The purpose of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for what we do have and not dwell on what we don't have. The meals may not be as big, family may not be able to travel for the holidays, some people may be celebrating in shelters or motel rooms, but we can still be thankful that we have food, family, friends, a roof over our heads, and the freedoms we enjoy.

If you are one of the blessed ones, then you have been given the opportunity to help those who are in need. It's hard to be thankful when life knocks you down, but if someone reaches out and shares with you, it's much easier to say "Thank you".

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving..and God bless.


Monday, November 15, 2010


The Arts & Crafts Movement (1890 - 1929) started in Britain and within a few years found its way to the United States.
While the American Arts and Crafts Movement did share the philosophy of the reform movement and encouraged originality, simplicity of form, local natural materials, and the visibility of handicraft, it also  accepted the use of factory work in the production of items which made  it possible for middle income families to purchase and enjoy simple but elegant items.
The terms "Arts and Crafts", "Craftsman" and "Mission Style" have come to be used interchangeably, but there are differences.  
I would love to share some artisans of today who create in the Style of the Arts and Crafts or Craftsman traditions :)








I am adding some links for anyone interested in learning more about the Arts and Crafts style and period.

I hope you enjoy seeing the amazing work of these talented artisans!  Enjoy...