Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking Forward to Love in 2013

Christmas was a blur for our family this year. During the week we normally decorate, I was busy making items for a spur-of-the-moment Christmas Market. During the month my guys usually wash down the outside of the house, well, it just seemed to slip by, and that was October. The season that I enjoy the most of the whole year was short-lived at The White House of the deep south. Sadness and a sigh---even though we did have some signs of Christmas around the house, I did not go "all out" as we say. Not a single thing happened outside, because being the stubborn woman that I am, I refused to hang wreaths or garlands on nasty windows. I did manage to assemble a wintry display on my buffet, but it was never fully complete with the greenery that I usually gather from my yard each year. I had planned to have some lady friends over for a tea, but that did not happen either!
However, we did manage to adorn our house and the homes of our loved ones with delicious holiday treats and dishes fit for kings and queens. These are just a few of the "foodie" scenes of Christmas we enjoyed with our families. After all, family is what Christmas is all about. Those we have chosen to love are our families and we are blessed to have such a large group to love!
Stu's Sunday Salad
Hand-cut REAL French Fries
Charbroiled Oysters on the grill-Drago's Recipe

Johnny's rendition of my mother-in-law's fudge recipe
Mickey's divinity, simply divine
Toasted Butter Pecan Cake, made for my mom

So, I am now looking forward to 2013 and planning for a wonderfully blessed year. A year where things that have been dreams in my heart that no one knows will come to fruition. Men are silly to think that we tell them everything. We just tell them everything they can understand and handle at the moment. As wonderful as they are, they simply do not think like us. They cannot, for our Heavenly Father made them different. Yes, they were made first, and we are the improved product. (Just kidding!) 
The photo below was a gift to my husband and me from a very sweet family member. It was taken while we were on a trip this past July to Boston. We were unaware we had been photographed. When I received this on Christmas morning, it became something to cherish, because it shows we still love each other, after 34 years and counting. This year we came to realize how precious that time is, for my husband discovered in April that he had Prostate Cancer. It was a real shock, as we are only 56, and consider ourselves young and healthy. We weighed out many options and found a wonderful doctor in Birmingham, Alabama. The people at St. Vincent's Hospital could not have been any better to us than if they were our family. Stu's recovery has been gradual, but he is in full swing again. He has run a 5k and a 10k since August and works out almost every day. He is continuing his love of cooking, as you can see, and we are more aware of how blessed we are with each and every day. I am looking forward to more LOVE in 2013. 
 Blessings to you and yours for the best year of your life! Enjoy the sunshine on these cold winter days, for spring will be here soon and then it will get hot again in the land of this Mississippi Sunshine Girl.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Creating and Re-creating!

Lord have mercy! It has been almost two months since I last posted. This will be short, but just wanted to share what is new with me. Over the past months I have read many blogs and looked at an innumerable amount of fascinating adventures that others have undertaken to make something out of nothing, and in some cases, something beautiful out of something UGLY!

Anyway, instead of just looking I finally started doing. Below you will see a few things I have done. I have to mention Katie's Rose Cottage and give credit where it is due on the Flea Market Totes. She was my inspiration. I have made a bunch of these cuties (so many my eyes are crossed) to sell at a Christmas Market at our church. It is the second year we have done the market where vendors set up for FREE and the only requirement is to donate a $20 door prize to be given away. Plus the ladies of the church provide chocolate treats to enjoy while you shop. Can't beat that! I figured since it won't cost anything to set up, why not try this and see how I like it? It was a lot of fun last year as a shopper, and the chocolate desserts were over the top.

I have been toying with some ideas for a while about what to do when I retire, and it has to be something I love. Making things with my hands gives me an indescribeable amount of joy, so that has to be in there somewhere. These are just a few of the things I have finished and have many more works in progress. I hate I forgot to take before photos before spraying a million frames today. Most of the frames I have used are being recycled. I am using up some of the old books I have stored for years, and making some pallet projects as well. What fun!



 Sorry these photos aren't the best. It is late and I need to get in the bed so I can finish what projects I can tomorrow. Sunday is church and next week it's back to work, with the market on Friday night, so I will be sleepless in Hurley next week. We will see how it goes. Wishing you a remembrance of all God's blessings on your life and a happy, peaceful Christmas season. Keep Jesus in the center of your life and everything else will fall into place. 
P.S. And don't just sit there. Create and re-create!



Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Comes in All Colors

What a long time since I have written a post! My life has taken some sharp turns over the past few months and my faith has been challenged, but strenthened. As a family we are beginning to feel our rhythm again. We are traveling our own paths as God sees fit to lay them out before us. Paths to a new beginning, new experiences, new friends, a new vision for our future; these can all describe what we are feeling. And the seasons, "they are a-changin' ".

Autumn is officially here, yet in south Mississippi, the days can still be hot and humid. This weekend has been dreary and gray, and my task has been to tackle mountains of laundry, not my favorite way to create memories. My favorite things to do are garden, read, and create. One part of my life is to have a vision for my future when I retire. I don't know how much longer I will work at my present job, but I do know I have big plans for when I am free to do as I please. So big, in fact, I am praying for the Lord to give me a vision for what exactly to do so that I can enjoy my life more fully and find new ways to live in His presence and bring joy to others. Change is sometimes EXACTLY what we need! This past week I found time after school to begin to change out some seasonal color in my garden. Love this kind of change...take a peek!

The vinca planted this spring have come to maturity and will fade with the cool weather, if it ever gets here.
              Dianthus will take their place and enjoy the cool weather and say Hello, there, autumn... look forward to getting these in the ground soon!

Whether it's the beauty of a flower planted by my own hands, or

one planted by nature, they both bring joy and wonder by their diversity of shape, color, and design.

And, with the changing of the seasons comes the changing of the mantel. There are so many beautiful displays of varying colors on favorite blogs that I view, not to mention, Pinterest, but since I have imposed upon myself a monetary budget (yuk and ouch!), I decided to use things that I had and not spend any money. So I pulled out some old books, which I love by the way, some tin cans I had upcycled to use in my craft space, an old mirror my Daddy gave me, some lamps I 've had for years but haven't quite figured out what to do with, (am thinking they would look great painted white and distressed) and some little pumpkins I had on hand that are now akin to Casper the Friendly Ghost (I know I am showing my age here, as some of you have no idea who Casper is...) thanks to a quick coat of our favorite change medium. 

All the brown and burnt tones say fall to me and the white is just enough to keep it from looking sad. The little stone bird reminds me of my Mama because she loves them so and is quite the bird expert. When I have one appear in my yard that I don't recognize, I call her, give a quick description, and sure enough, she knows the name. I love  still being able to call my Mama and yes I know I am blessed!

I like what it says on this tag: "Always dream in vivid color." I like that because it reminds me that I am never going to be too old to dream dreams and if I work hard and stay focused, those dreams can and will come true. Yes, I did watch Cinderella when I was a little girl, and  yes, I believe in glass slippers.

Well, it is time to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer one more time! As we enter the fall of the year, I pray that you will find just what you need from the giver of life for this season in your life.  Never give up on your dreams because your break-through may be just around the corner! Here's wishing you peace, love, and joy in all you do and blessings from this Mississippi Sunshine Girl to you.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Art of Giving: Vintage Clipboards

There is absolutely nothing that lifts the soul more than the art of giving. Especially when the gift is unexpected. And for me, especially if the gift is something that I made. It has been a very long time since my last post and a very long time since I have had a day to myself. I won't go into it today, but our family has been through a struggle over the last 3 months. But God is faithful and we are getting better day by day. Our Heavenly Father is faithful even in the little things. For example, last Sunday we had a family dinner. There were 25 people. I only had seating for 24, so of course I thought, now if I could just bring over that little folding table I have in my hobby shop, it would be perfect. But I was too tired to unload all the many crafting items, so we just made do.

Five days later, on the Friday after our Sunday dinner, I went on facebook before I went to bed. One of my friends had just posted a picture of a desk she was giving away to the first person who messaged her. Guess who got the desk? ME! It is actually a computer desk, but very nice with several open shelves. It has a glass top so I can see all my items stored below the glass top on what is really the keyboard shelf. So, my youngest son picked the desk up for me and last night I unloaded the little folding table that I can now have available for overflow guests, and I reorganized all of my crafting items onto my new desk.

Looks like I already need to reorganize! Sorry for all the junky containers. See the work in progress on the left? Recycling cans for making my craft items really cute in tin and burlap!
Today after breakfast and then a much needed middle of the day nap, I couldn't decide what project to do first. As I sat at my new desk, I started thinking about my friend Carla, who gave it away. She is a very kind, Christian woman who is also an awesome photographer. (Visit her Facebook page at Carla Carter Photography). I started thinking about some of the graphics I had printed from The Graphics Fairy and some other great blogs, and remembered I had some that looked like vintage photograph advertisements. I also had a couple of old clipboards that I have saved in all my pack ratting, so my wheels started turning.

I could make a gift for Carla as a THANK YOU for the FREE desk. So I spent most of the afternoon designing and creating her vintage clipboard. Carla and I also go to the same church, so I plan on giving her the clipboard tomorrow. I think she will appreciate the time it took to make something special that is personalized just for her. But she won't like it any more that I will love giving it to her. I can't wait to see her smile!

I chose images I thought Carla would like.

The ribbon makes it so feminine. Just like my friend.

Love these old looking graphics. Find these and hundreds more at . I learned a lot about using Mod Podge today. When a tutorial tells you the bubbles will disappear if you have smoothed them out really well, believe it. Mine had some awfully big ones, but they are flat and smooth now that it is completey dry.

I decided the back had to look cute, too.

I used some distressing ink to age the edges of this card and other cut outs.

The old earring that has lost it shine is perfect on the old rusty clip.

I like the religious photos as well.

Added her name as a last minute decision. Yep, I think she's gonna like it!

I surely hope my friend likes her little surprise. That is the way God does us. Just when we need something, and just when we do not expect it, BOOM. Gifts from above. But then, should we expect anything less? After all, He gave the greatest gift of all. Blessings to you and yours. May the Son shine on you and warm your heart so that you will be able to give of yourself as a sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.



This week I am linking to Funky Junk Interiors. Come take a look at all the beautiful ideas posted on her blog!

Funky Junk Interiors

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summertime Fun

Independence Day has come and gone. We spent the day preparing to leave for a short visit to Boston, but made time to eat some delicious grilled meats and all the trimmings with some family. I will go back to work in 3 days until next summer when I will have a few weeks off. Don't feel too sorry for me, because I do have holidays when the students are not in school, so it makes for a great job.

We spent hours walking all over Boston. Up and down streets, stairs, escalators, traveled by car, plane, bus, taxi, subway train, and ferry in 3 short days. We saw so much beautiful architecture, shopped, admired the gardens of Boston, visited churches, historical sites, and it all climaxed with a classic baseball game at Fenway Park between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees. We took our youngest son, Connor, and his girlfriend, Lea Anna. Enjoy the photos to see what our summer memories look like.
                 This patriotic scene was taken at the Boston Public Library. It is a beautiful structure inside and out.

The ceiling on the second floor hallway is a work of art in itself.

What a perfect example of what a library should be like-lots of natural light and lots of books!

Mahi Mahi Spicy Tacoes from SkipJack's were so deliciously fresh and the mango salsa-yum!

The Charlton from Mike and Patty's-made fresh to order: cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and collards.
Just right for a Southern girl eating breakfast in south Boston!


The Boston Public Gardens have been giving Swan Boat rides for over 100 years. This was fun...and CHEAP!

Trinity Church is amazingly kept.

On the Long Wharf Ferry in some very windy weather...great fun seeing the harbor close up.

Getting to see historical sights that are over 200 years old makes us appreciate our country even more.
We visited the USS Constitution at the Charlestown Naval Yard.

Red Sox vs. Yankees
The saga continues...

A perfect ending to a great long week-end...Red Sox win over the Yankees 9-6!

We made it back home to Mississippi safely, which is quite a blessing. The sun was not shining when we arrived in Mobile at the airport, and it was only 80 degrees, but the humidity was in full force. I have enjoyed the past few days basking in the sunshine of the northeast. We may have different accents, and different ideas, but we are all Americans, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. My prayer is that this never changes. Blessings to you and yours.


I have linked to Funky Junk's SNS Pretty Scenery. Check it out!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Change Is Good!

Some of my friends at work gave me a birthday happy and I went straight to a couple of antique places that I like and burned it up quick and in a hurry. My office at work is in dire need of a change. I moved furniture, dusted, cleaned out desk drawers, filed or chunked piles of paper that have accumulated, and lots of things that I don't know why they were even in my office (mostly under my desk!). Anyway, it is still a work in progress, but now I have a wall that is 9 feet high and 15 feet wide that is completely empty. The first thing I am working on is kind of like an inspiration board, but it is really just a fancy bulletin board so I can place things that inspire me and make me happy in one location to enjoy. And, it will also be a conversation piece, as people are in and out of my office, I am sure.
This is a 20 x 28 frame and it was only $18. It is very heavy and in good condition.
I picked up some empty frames that I liked and added a little color, since the walls in my school office are a boring beige and cannot be changed. This one was beautiful the way it was, but I like the way these colors look on the high points. Then I covered a piece of foam board with some nicely woven fabric, inserted it into the frame, and it is ready to looking forward to filling it with fun cards, photos, and other memories throughout the year.

The other frame I am working on is not finished yet. I want to use it to display some decorative hang tags that have a certain theme. I am thinking about doing one on family, since that is the most important thing in my life aside from my faith in Jesus Christ. When it is finished and everything is hung, I will do another post. 

                                The smaller frame was pretty beat up, but I loved the style and it was only $5.

With some paint and a wipe-down, the cracks and chips just make this little frame all the more lovable.
The other project I am working on it to repurpose some small canvas paintings that have outlived their glory. The photo below I even hate to post. Honestly, the three did look good at the time I bought them. Like I said, change is GOOD.
Step 1 was to spray with some black paint because I did not want the vivid colors showing through the burlap.

              Step 2 was to cut some burlap the same size as the canvas and apply. The Mod Podge is not dry, but you get the idea. Boy, do I need to work on my photography!
So far, so good. I still feel like I need a third element at the top, but nothing I tried looked right, so I will leave it alone for now and come back to it later. I have two more of these to do and they will be hung as a group, so I need some more ideas. Of course, I had some ideas, but you can't spell W-I-S-H without an "s" and you can't spell H-O-P-E without an "e".
Hobby Lobby, here I come.

Well, it is time to go to bed so we can maybe get to church on time in the morning. Try to stay cool if you live in the south. Our Mississippi sunshine is pouring down the beams. Blessings to you all.