Friday, November 30, 2007

Deck the Halls

My tree is up. Ha! No for real, it is. I put it up the Friday after Thanksgiving every year like clock work. I usually put up two trees but the blue and silver porch tree hasn't made it out of the boxes yet. Part of me wants to skip it. That's sad considering how much I love to decorate for Christmas. I can't explain it but I'm just not as festive this year. But I'm trying to get in the mood and seeing all the fun things out there in blog land is sure helping!

So how about I share some of my decorations? First I must show you this:

Don't you just love him?? He was made by The Polka Dot Pixie herself! Jen was kind enough to make me three of these guys in exchange for the set of cherry plates I sent her earlier this year. I have already given the others to my Mom and Sister. I just adore Jen's stuff and was late to the rodeo this year so I missed all her goodies in her Etsy shop so I am very glad she sent me these early!

These two are from Target. They are my only purchase from there so far (other than some glittery snowflakes and a house ornament) and I had to have them! I love the colors and they are my very first nut crackers.

I've seen lots of pictures of Martha's Christmas stuff at Kmart but I never get to go there (it's only in Manhattan and they are the grossest stores) but I did make my way to Macy's when all of their ornaments were 40% off (plus my coupon for an additional 10%!) and picked up this:

She has a few others like this one with houses inside and one with snowmen. I might need them, too. I also picked up a paper dove which I think was from her collection but I'm not sure. In the same area as the dove I found this awesome sign!

I think it looks fabulous on my hutch and I'm sure this will become a yearly favorite. And speaking of favorites, this is in the center of my table:

Now here is some Thrifty Goodness for you. The tinsel tree (there is also one the other side) was $2.99, the silver crackle ornaments were bought after Christmas 2 years ago for $1 a piece, the cake plate was $3 at the thrift and that wonder paper house? It's from Costco and is FULL of gingerbread men. For only $15 you too can own your very own "House Full of Cookies." (seriously, that is what the tag said!) Oh and the cookies are good, too. :) I'm going to save this bad boy. The cookies are sealed in bags so it's perfect inside.

I also put up the little tree I got last year for my Russian ornaments.

This year I added some pink balls I thrifted. Not vintage but a lovely color and I think it looks better than this picture, don't you?!

Just writing this post has put me more in a Christmas state of mind and maybe a quick stop at Macy's on my way home will seal the day. Tomorrow I'm off to rummage with the one and only Vax Girl aka Catherine! We went last year and I wonder if I'll do even better this year? Wish me luck!!

ciao bellas

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Who doesn't love a good garland? I know I do! Could be the reason Sweet Lucy and I made sure the November portion of the Holiday Sister Swap included one and why I also signed up for the Ga Ga for Garlands swap. :) So, what did I get??

From my amazing Holiday Swap Sister Breanna for the "swags & tags" November swap:

She is too good to me! In addition to the swag and tags, she included a fabulous box of my favorite candy (thank you 20 questions!), a sweet glittered leaf ornament and ANOTHER copy of Etude sheet music magazine from 1921! In our October Swap she gave me an issue with Beethoven on the cover to use in my paper arts but I told her that is was way too pretty to slice and dice so she sent me this one in hopes that I'll use it. We'll see, Bree, we'll see. It's mighty pretty, too. ;)

So now for a close up of the swag:

Isn't it marvelous? It says "Live, Laugh, Love" and I plan to hang it on my porch once I've cleared it of tubs 'o' Christmas crap.

And the tags?

Paper cards with the cutest matryoshka fabric! I love them!

And it's like she read my mind because I'm a little obsessed with matryoska lately. I'll get into that in another post. :)

So thank you sweet swap sister, I love everything!


I was paired with the equally talented Tini for the Ga Ga for Garlands swap. How lucky am I? If you're a paper junkie like me then you covet German trimmings and art images especially around the holidays.

Isn't it darling? And I left it in the tree and it's perfect! (Boy, for having a lot of ornaments that sure looks like a bare spot . . . Macys, here I come!)

Each part is adorable but the angels may be my favorite. :)

And look at all the OTHER goodies she sent!

Oh boy, CANDY. I love candy. And that heart on the left there is a totally cute ornament.

Thank you, Tini dear, I am thrilled with the goodies you send me!


So I've been a bit of a mad poster this week! There are big doin's around the office tomorrow and Friday so I may not be able to post again until next week but I'll try to sneak over.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The January List

I've mentioned before how I work well with a list. I've started all my holiday lists: what I want to bake, gifts to craft, cards to send, shopping and party needs. But I also started another list that is helping me more than the others combined. The January List. This is where I am putting all those things that pop into my brain now but don't really need to be attended to until AFTER the holidays.


1 - Do tutorials/patterns on blog

2 - Work on cross stitch projects

3 - Finish shell stitch afghan

4 - Work on embroidery skills

5 - Knit hat for Sweet Louie (aka the husband)

6 - Overhaul & reorganize craft room

7 - Get new curtains for the bedroom and the porch

It's made me feel better to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper which allows me to concentrate on those other lists. I've attached the list to my side bar and plan to update it as ideas come to me. I expect it to be a mile long come January but at least I'll have a place to go for inspiration! Anyone else out there have some sort of January List?


I've received two fabulous swap packages this week! Lucky girl! One from my Holiday Swap Sister Breanna and one from my Ga Ga for Garlands swap, Tini! I'll share them tomorrow as it's a bit too dreary lately to take any decent pictures and you all know I need all the help I can get.

Here is a shot of the garland I sent to Tini. I LOVE how this turned out and I'm going to make one in baby blue and silver for myself. I am going to attempt to create a tutorial as I make it since it's fun and easy and someone out there might want to make their own banner. And if I do I will already have a jump on that January list.

What's on tonight's to do list? I'd like to whip up a few of these beauties from last year. :)


Monday, November 26, 2007

It's that time of year . . .

When I start pulling my hair out and cursing like a sailor. How did Christmas sneak up on me? Yes I know it's not even December yet but STILL. I am feeling very unprepared. Mostly in the holiday shopping realm. I have picked up a few things here and there but I still need a few perfect gifts for the men in my life. Why are men so difficult to shop for? Ugh.

Anyway, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was nice and relatively uneventful (other than a small microwave fire). I had a house guest for a few days, my dear friend Nina. Since you know I have loads to share with you (and loads of catching up to do on your blogs) today I'll just share a little bit about our trip into Manhattan on the Wednesday before turkey day.

In Rockefeller Center there is a darling chocolate shop, Teuscher. The chocolates are amazing and very pricey. The have an entire line of what they call "Fantasy Packaging" and it is incredibly charming!

I love the angels on the top left and the blue fellas two shelves below them are magi!

And how cute are those Pilgrims?? It's a lovely store and maybe I'll splurge on a few sweets before the end of the year.

We of course had to walk through Rock Center.

I love the big statues around the outside the best. They are lovely! The tree wasn't lit yet, they will do that this week, but it was there getting ready for it's big debut.

Nina and I took a long walk through central park and made a visit to the Met. The special exhibit was Egyptian treasures and that is right up my alley! I wish I could share some lovely photos with you but as you are not allowed to use a flash in the museum all I have are some grainy shots of the statues of Sekhmet just outside the exhibit doors. She is one of my favorites of the Egyptian Pantheon and it was wonderful to see such well preserved statuary.

No visit to NYC during the holidays is complete without a trip to Herald Square.

They were setting up for the big parade and people were out in droves! I snagged a few Martha ornaments that I'll share later in the week. Boy that woman is everywhere!

We rounded off our day with the best mug of hot chocolate I've ever tasted.

I splurged on some hot chocolate and hand made marshmallows from Williams Sonoma and boy was it worth it!

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday and I look forward to getting back into the blogging mode! Send me some good holiday jou-jou so I can get in the seasonal spirit!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Sweet Goodness Swap Challenge

Lucy has posted our November swap question for all you Holiday Sister Swappers here. Basically we've asked that you share a favorite quote and how it relates to a holiday past. This subject came up because my swap partner Breanna asked me for a favorite quote. I used to be full of quotes though I couldn't think of a single one to tell her. I decided on "Live. Laugh. Love" because it's a mantra I like to try to live by. (If you want to see the November goodies I sent Breanna she has some lovely pictures here. I'll share how I did the glittered letters after the holiday!)

So what's my quote? Hmmm. Well "Such is Life" really comes to mind! LOL. Other than that nothing is really popping out for me.

So instead I just thought I'd give you a quote made by myself and I'm sure many others. "Don't forget to look up!" Strange you say? Let me explain. As many of you know, I live in New York City. We have over 8 MILLION residents. And that doesn't include the people who commute in for work from Long Island and the Tri-State area, tourists or our millions of illegal residents. The next city closest in population to us in the U.S. is Los Angeles and they only have just under 4 million residents. Oh and L.A. is 7 times larger space-wise. You do the math. Needless to say it's crowded here. I don't love it. I love my house and know how fortunate we are to live in such a large space when so many others reside in sardine cans but this is not my "forever home." I complain about it A LOT. Especially when I'm sitting on the 7 train with 400 other people and it's not moving. Oy.

So what does this have to do with "Don't forget to look up?"

*Sorry for the blurry photo! It's the best I could do while walking a crowded sidewalk.*

I get on the train at the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue every day. Something drew my attention to look up the other night and there it was. The Empire State Building all decked out for Christmas. I mean I KNOW it's there. It's always there. I just sometimes don't see it. But the other night I did and it was lovely. And it's large enough to be seen by 8 million plus people every night.

God bless New York.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, I'll be off with friends next week and will be back to posting the week of the 26th.

Cheers! Rebecca

Thursday, November 15, 2007

For the Love of Cotton

As you know, I'm both a knitter and crocheter. When I first learned I was buying up every yarn I could find. In the last few years I've refined my tastes and come to realize that I love to knit with cotton. I love the feel of it, the versatility, the way it accentuates a stitch pattern . . . I love everything about it. I love that it is steeped in history, too. There is evidence of cotton fibers in Mexican caves from over 7,000 years ago! John Mandeville in 1350 described cotton plants as "a wonderful tree which bore tiny lambs on the endes of its branches."

When I went to the craft store over the weekend ALL the yarn was on sale. All of it. Man I hate it when that happens. You know I had to buy some, right? So I went around picking up my goodies and when I dumped them all in the basket guess what? They were ALL cotton. I honestly hadn't noticed. I had Bernat Cotton Tots, Patons Grace and the incredible Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton. I only just discovered this yarn and I already love it. It's incredibly soft and a joy to work with. I started this afghan with for a friend:

This picture doesn't do it justice. You have to feel it to really appreciate it. This will be very hard to give away! The colors are macadamia (lighter shade) and pecan. It's a standard chevron stitch pattern and goes quickly.

I also started this hat as a gift as well:

It's a stocking cap shape and it's still waiting for ear flaps and a few pom-poms. :) It's a pattern from the winter 2006 issue of Vogue Knitting. I used a combination of Bernat Cotton Tots and TLC Cotton Plus which is a cotton acrylic blend. The two yarns work well together. I need to work on making my stranded knitting a bit looser as the hat seems to tighten around the snowflake motif but I'm still pretty happy with it. I hope to fashion some mittens to match.

So I'm rolling with my hand made gifts! Once Thanksgiving is over I plan to really kick it into gear. I've made a list of potential gifts to make and it grows every day! Have you seen these too cute monogrammed towels over at Mama and Jack? I've never done applique but Sarah promises it's easy so I think I'll be giving these a try. They will make great gifts!

And before I sign off, here is a sneak peek for my Ga-Ga for Garlands swap partner Tini:

Winging it's way to Germany right now! I'll reveal the whole thing soon. It was so easy to make and I'm sure to make one for myself! I had a serious "ah ha" moment concenrning those crepe paper pin wheels.

Have a fab day!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Same Old . . .

I find myself following a pattern at the thrift. I know I'm not alone, I often read of people cutting the same path through the thrift making their first stop in their favorite section. But I'm also realizing that lately I'm picking up a lot of similar things. This is good! It means I'm not buying up everything I see which I've been known to do. :)

So what have I thrifted recently that is similar to past thrifts?

Vera table cloth and set of 4 napkins: this set is perfect! Not a spot on them and perfectly pressed as if never used. I've found quite a lot of fun Vera stuff lately. Like these napkins and these scarves. Lucky me! I'll admit I've either sold or given away most of the Vera items I've found but I think this set is a keeper.

Here is a set of 6 Mikasa tea cups. I'm sure you remember all the Mikasa china I bought in September, right? Well these cups really "mismatch" it perfectly, if you know what I mean. :) Also in this photo you'll see a small glass egg on the bottom right. There were 5 of these in a box for 99 cents. Too cute to pass up. And the blue cloth is a linen table cloth with scalloped edging that actually FITS my gargantuan table! Amazing, I know. It will also be amazing if I ever iron this monster. ;)

Another fun find is this handmade Raggedy Ann doll. I might love her. I am drawn to dolls and stuffed animals and usually I can resist the urge but I had to have her. How anyone could just give away a doll that someone made for them is crazy. But at least she gets to live in my house now.

We all thrift in patterns I suppose, I'm just feeling luckier than usual. :) On a trip to the thrift yesterday I scored three Waverly pillows:

I found two of the large red one's in the back and the striped one is a smaller toss pillow with the same red pattern on the other side. (The large ones are also striped on their other side.) I'm not sure of the fabric name so if any one knows, please hollar! The cushion in the front is Vintage Rose or Norfolk Rose, I've heard both, and it was thrifted a few years ago. I have an entire set of table cloths, seat cushions, curtains, napkins, etc. in this fabric thanks my Mom. I also recently thrifted a sheet in this fabric that I figure I'll use somewhere in my house someday. Needless to say, I love Waverly and can spot it across the thrift store.

My guess is someone got rid of an entire Waverly collection because I was also lucky enough to snag a set of 4 place mats and 4 napkins in the Waverly Gold Floral pattern with the tags still on them. I have a table cloth in that pattern as well. There were two other Waverly pillows in a different pattern but I didn't want to go overboard, I already had FOUR pillows in my cart. The three red Waverly and this guy:

I think he goes with the Waverly quite nicely and even my husband said "he's cute." So there you go. Luis likes thrifting. ;) A girl can dream . . .

It's good to back! I did some crafting this weekend that I hope to share and I hope that I continue to be productive in the weeks leading up to New Years. Wish me luck!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Calgon Take Me Away

I'm back. The wedding was awesome! (as I knew it would be) But I have a nasty cold that will not go away. Blech. So now I need a vacation from my vacation LOL.

I will have more pictures soon but do have this gem to share:

My beautiful sister Mandi and my handsome Dad on their way down the aisle. It was a tear jerker for me.

So I think I'll be on hiatus post wise until next week. I want to get caught up on all of your blogs and get myself organized at home. I have a swap to work on and should probably get my holiday crafting in order as well.

As for my 200th post winners, I put numbers in a coffee cup and drew out two:

Comment Number 23 was from Christy and Comment Number 26 was from Raesha! So girls lookout, there's some Goodness coming your way next week. I probably have your mailing addresses but please email them to me anyway. :)

Bug germ-free hugs,


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