Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Year...and a giveaway...





Hello...I do hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas!!!  We had a beautiful Christmas with the warmth of family and the knowledge that we are truly blessed!  I can not say thank you enough to all of you who left me such kind comments about praying for my husband and our family during this first Christmas without my father-in-law...my heart swells with gratitude and love for your kindness...thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I have been a little absent from blogging lately...with the bustle of Christmas and all, as I'm sure many of you have been as well.  This week my husband is taking the week off from work...for a little relaxation and family time...and, much to his dismay, to get a few projects checked off of the "Tracey to do list"  :) :) :)  So I will probably be somewhat absent from blogging again this week...

But, because I like you girls soooooo much...and to ring in the new year with a little extra happiness...I'm hosting a giveaway!!!

Leave me a comment on this post, by Sunday, January 3rd at midnight...and you will be entered to win one pair of gorgeous linen curtains from my SHOP...your choice of either the "Vantorre" curtains, or the "Aliment" curtains...after all, who couldn't use a little French goodness to start out the new year??!




I'd love to hear about your favorite Christmas gift...mine was the set of vintage hat pins that my mom presented to me in a lovely little box...they were my great, great grandmother's!!!  Isn't that so cool??!  I guess I have become quite nostalgic over the years...and I am in love with these pins...




...the one with the large champagne colord pearl is my favorite...



Hopefully I'll be back next week with a few projects to share...until then, have a safe, fun, and blessed New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




{image 1and 2: Jeanne d' Arc, image 3and 4: me!}


Note:  the next issue of the Jeanne d' Arc Living magazine will be up on my website for pre-order on January 1st, and in stock by the 15th of January.


Tracey

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Noel...




{impressionen.de}


Happy winter my friends!!  I went around my little town on Saturday and took a few wintery scene pictures, as we had just received a fresh dusting of snow and everything looked so pretty...all ready for Christmas...










I am busily trying to finish up my Christmas preparations, as I'm sure you are too...and still tweaking and adding to some of my Christmas/winter decorations.   I changed out the look of the window that hangs on the wall in my first floor hallway, so I thought I would share some pictures of it with you.  There is a lot of light in this hallway and so there is always a glare...this doesn't make for great pictures, but I did the best I could...






I took vintage French flash cards with words I felt were related to Christmas and added a little glitter to the edges, and then strung them up on some beaded garland...I also added some white buttons and candles to the sconces (I know it's a bit difficult to see, sorry).  It makes for a festive French look...







I probably won't be posting again this week, so I want to take this opportunity to send all of you my most heartfelt Christmas greetings!!!  Your friendship and support are a true gift to me...

May faith guide your way,
and love light each day,
at Christmas
and in the year to come


Merry Christmas!


Tracey

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gifts...





Christmas greetings my friends!  I've finally started wrapping a few of my gifts...I haven't gotten very far yet, but I thought I would share with you a few that I have done.  I like to keep my wrapping fairly simple, with an emphasis on natural...and I like to use what I already have on hand from around the house and from my craft supply "stash."  I also like to place some of my wrapped gifts around the house and include them in my Christmas decor...just to make things a little more festive!

...the picture above is of a corner in my dining room...




this one I made by simply stamping an image (in silver) onto a doily and gluing it to the top of the gift...





this next one didn't photograph nearly as pretty as it looked in person, but I've included it anyway...yep that's an empty grape container {you know I like to reuse/recycle :) }...I liked being able to see the mercury glass ornaments through the clear top...





I sometimes like to use mini clothespins to hold the tag onto the gift, instead of just tying it on...these I made with a swipe of white paint and a dash of "Glamour Dust" while the paint was still wet...






I'd like to leave you with a poem that my husband received...those of you who have been reading my blog from the beginning know that my father-in-law passed away in August...he was loved and cherished completely, and the pain of his loss is still deep.  I know some of my dear blog friends have lost a loved one this year as well...

Although this poem brought me to tears, I found it to be of comfort...and hope some of you will too...


I'm Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year


I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below;
With the tiny lights, like Heaven's stars
Reflecting on the snow.


The sight is so spectacular,
Please wipe away that tear;
Because I'm spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.


I hear the many Christmas songs
That people hold so dear;
But the sounds of any music can't compare
With the Christmas choir up here.


I have no words to tell you
The joy their voices bring;
It is beyond description
To hear the angels sing.


I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart;
But it's only for a while
That we will be apart.


I'll ask Him to light your spirit
As I tell Him of your love;
So please pray for one another
As you lift eyes above.


I can't tell you of the splendor
Or the peace here in this place.
Can you imagine Christmas
With our Saviour...face to face?


Please let your hearts be joyful
And let your spirit sing;
I'm spending Christmas in Heaven
And I am walking with the King.






Tracey

Monday, December 14, 2009

Trader Joe bags...not just for groceries...






I don't intend for this to turn into a  "crafting blog,"  it's just that, well, we've been doing a lot of crafting lately...and having a lot of fun too I might add...seems we always dive into the craft projects with full force at this time of year.  My 5 year old son is enjoying it so much though...I think we might be doing crafts on a more regular basis from here on out :)  Don't worry though, we'll get back to regularly scheduled decorating talk soon...





Our latest project was turning the brown bags you get at Trader Joes (or any grocery store) into gift tags.  All I did was cut the tags out using an existing tag I had as a template, and then stamp onto it using a little white paint that I applied to the stamp.  Braden used his white crayon to draw pictures on his tags (apparently I'm not allowed to show his artwork on my blog...5 year olds can be funny that way...)


I embellished my tags with some petite vintage stencils I picked up at a local antique store a few weeks ago...











Even the backs of the tags are cute thanks to the holiday themed printing on the TJ bags right now...










Now I need to get using all of these tags we've been making...and get wrapping!  I'm closing in on finishing my Christmas shopping, so it's time to turn my attention to wrapping my gifts...this part is fun for me, so I don't like to leave it until the last minute when I am rushed...what can I say, I love all aspects of Christmas!!!  Be back soon with some gift wrapping ideas...


What Christmasy goodness were all of you up to this weekend???  Now on to the bustle of a new week...


Happy new week my friends!




Tracey

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tight on time...






Hello there! It has been such a crazy, busy week for me...there just doesn't seem to be enough time to get everything done lately!! And I think I have been pushing myself to hard lately and was feeling the effects this week...at the beginning of the week I was dragging so bad and feeling very tired...so I had to take a step back and slow down a bit...can you believe I went to bed at 7:30 on Tuesday night??! Yikes, it helped though, and I am feeling a bit better. I don't want this beautiful season to be over and not have even gotten the chance to enjoy it!



I have a mish mash of things to talk about today, so I'm just going to get started and dive right in...

This is the Noel banner that I made a few weeks ago, out of burlap and extra bits of fabric and such that I had. I used some paper stencils that I already had and regular acrylic paint...It hangs over the bay window in the dining room, but I took it down to photograph it because the glare from the window was ruining my shot (oh, and you know I don't sew, so I should tell you that I used hot glue and "liquid stitch" for everything)...




As promised, here are the gift tags I made...simple, simple, simple...I used more of the photo copies of my vintage prayer cards and attached them to plain note cards...punched a hole in the top and then used my fancy scissors to scallop the edge. Next I added a vellum overlay, and then stamped on to the vellum using the Christmas stamps I got out of the $1 bin at Michaels...



Over the weekend, our neighbor made an appearance at his house as Santa. He sat in the sleigh he built over the summer...yep, you heard that right...you see he spends all year preparing for the "display" he puts on at Christmastime! The kids loved it!! So I took a couple of the pictures and played around with them in picnik...I "winterized" them! It was kind of fun to do it too...I just need to get in there and play around a little more...I was tight on time (as always)...










Sheesh! Are you still with me? This is a long one I guess!!


I have some bad news on the Jeanne d' Arc Living front...they have decided that they are no longer going to be shipping to the United States! Yep, not until they have found a US distributor who can help them work through all of their Custom's issues and better serve their customers here. So what's left in the shop, is all there will be for, probably, at least 6 months! Thank goodness I bought as much as I did! (Don't worry, I'm scouting for new suppliers). This was hard news for me to take, trust me! But I will stay positive that everything will work out and we will again have access to all of the amazing JDL merchandise...






So that brings me to the magazine...these images are all from the upcoming issues due out in mid January...


Take a peek...









Jeanne d' Arc has agreed to continue supplying us with the magazine that we have grown to love and anticipate...but at an increased price...gulp! The new price, with shipping, will be closer to $32 a magazine, instead of $24. I know, that's a lot for a magazine! My dilemma is how many to purchase. I would really appreciate some feedback from all of you...please let me know if you would or wouldn't buy the magazine at the new higher price...so I can gauge how many I should buy. I hate being out of stock on the magazine when there are people still wanting to purchase it, but I realize that $32 is a luxury to spend for a magazine...any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!




This last picture I just had to add in...it's the sweet alyssum in my garden, that despite all of the snow we have been getting, refuses to die! It is one of my absolute favorites in the garden :)





Phew! You made it to the end! Thanks for sticking with me :) I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!!


I almost completely forgot to mention a sweet giveaway that my adorable friend Martha is having in honor of her 100th post!!! Please go and visit her wonderful blog...she is giving away a gift certificate to my shop along with 2 other fabulous shops!!! Happy 100th Martha! Hurry though, the giveaway ends tonight (Thursday) at midnight...





Blessings!




Tracey

Monday, December 7, 2009

More projects...









Is it Monday already?! Boy did the weekend fly by!! I woke up this morning to a beautiful dusting of snow on the ground...our first real snow fall of the season...check back with me in February and I will be cursing the snow, but for now, I love it, and I always hope for a white Christmas.



The highlight of my busy weekend was attending my friend Kasey's An Inspired Evening event. I met so many truly lovely women, and just want to give a shout out and a big hello to any of them who might be reading this...and say...I had such a wonderful and amazing time with all of you...I do hope we get the chance to do it again!!!






This weekend I worked on projects using some of the vintage prayer cards that I own and cherish. I made copies of them onto photo paper and then turned them into gift tags for my Christmas presents (which I'll show you in a later post) as well as created this project using old bottles...



You may have seen various versions of this project before, it's not original to me, I just put my own spin on it using prayer cards. I found it too difficult to get the pictures positioned just right by putting them on the inside of the bottle, so I used a little Mod Podge instead and, in most cases, just attached the pictures to the back of the bottles...so you would see the them through the bottle...




I took most of these photos later in the day so that you could see the effect of placing a candle behind the bottle...I just love the warmth and glow of candlelight in the wintertime, and especially at Christmas! You can even add a little fake snow inside a few of the bottles and then finish things off with some greenery...













I set my bottles up on the tall desk that is by my front door....so that everyone who comes in could see them...and so that they would be high enough to keep sticky fingers (aka my 2 yr old) from being able to reach them...









What projects have you been working on???







Tracey





Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting crafty...








It doesn't happen very often, but every now and again, I tackle a craft project...don't get me wrong, I love doing craft projects...it's just that I'm not necessarily good at crafting, nor do I really have the time to devote to it...I think of myself as a "crafter wanna be!"



At any rate, my 5 year old son and I decided to make some little houses out of empty milk/cream containers. We used vintage wallpaper and scrapbook paper to cover the containers (I cut, he glued), and then we (mostly me) embellished them a bit...Aren't they cute??!




I found this idea in one of my Christmas books. You can make the houses look more like bird houses and hang them from your tree or you can make them into more of a little village. We {kind of} had fun setting our village up with my bird candles and some fake snow and buttons (love those white buttons!)...to quote my son:

"It's kind of like playing with my Thomas engines...just not as much fun..."

Hmmm...










If you look closely, you will see my son's handiwork amongst the snow and buttons...little bird punch outs...I bought a Martha Stewart craft punch recently (see crafter wanna be) and my son has taken a real liking to it...actually so have I...I can't help it, it's just so much fun to make perfect little birds from the pages of old books! It's embarrassing to say, but we actually fight over who gets to use it!! Santa, if you're listening, we need another craft punch please!






Thanks for putting up with our little craft project...dare I say it, but I do have more projects to show you...but I'll save those for another day :)







And the winner of my giveaway is Annie from Firefly Hill Designs!!! Email me your address Annie and I will get your goodies right out to you! A big thank you to everyone for participating in my giveaway!! You girls are simply the best!!!




If you would like a chance to win some beautiful jewelry and a craft book, head on over to my friend Jamie's giveaway over at Simply Me Art...but hurry, today (Thursday) is the last day to enter!







Enjoy your weekend!!!







Tracey

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In the spirit of giving...





Well December is here! Can you believe it?! To celebrate this season of giving, I would like to give away a copy of the current Christmas issue of Jeanne d' Arc Living magazine. It's just my way of giving a little gift to one of you...







There is page upon page of beautiful homes and Christmas inspiration in this issue...











And to get you started with some of your decorating, I will be including 5 assorted ornaments from the vintage inspired ones that I carry in my shop...









All you have to do is leave me a comment. This is just a quick kick off for December, so contest ends tomorrow (Wednesday, December 2) night at midnight and I will draw the winner first thing Thursday morning...so we can get your inspiration out the door to you!!!




Happy December my friends!







{images: 1 - Country Home, 2-5 Jeanne d' Arc}







Tracey