Monday, December 30, 2013

My tree and decorations are still up and I'm not sure when I'll take them down.  After putting so much effort into decorating and enjoying them around my home, I'm not quite ready to take them down.  I've given myself permission to stop worrying to much about being on a decorating time table and am just enjoying them this year.

I have gone through my Christmas 2013 folder to make sure I have all my shopping receipts, card and present lists.  I updated all my new additions to my card spreadsheet so I know that I'm all ready for next year.

I'm also jotting down a few ideas for gifts next year.  Sometimes when I give a gift I think of something that would go well with it, or something along the same theme that I would like to do next year.  If I don't write it down now, it will be long forgotten by February, much less next Christmas.

We are off to see more friends tonight!  Hope all of you are relaxing and enjoying time together as we head into the new year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Photo: Home is not just a place with walls and paint. It's the place where you live and laugh with those you love. Each home you live in can hold a special place in your heart. I was honored to paint this house portrait that was given as a special gift. To me, home portraits can bring as much emotion and as many memories as traditional portraits of loved ones. I really enjoyed painting this home!

This is one of the projects that I painted and delivered right before Christmas.  This was a very special, surprise gift that I was commissioned to paint.  I love being a small part of those special moments in others' lives and making items that will stay with them.

I am also trying to get motivated to clean up from Christmas 2013.  I'm planning to update my address sheet for my Christmas cards and get my receipts together.  Hopefully I will get motivated soon!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and is getting ready for a wonderful New Year!!!

I have new painting info. to share, crafts to make all year round and ways to help you get organized for next year. 

Thanks for checking in with me during the Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I hope that you are enjoying the lights of Christmas, the warmth of hearth and hugs, the smells and tastes of wonderful food, and that your hearts are filled with the joy of Christmas.

We are continuing our family and friends rounds.  We are blessed to get to spend time with so many this year.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thanks to my daughter my presents are mostly wrapped and under the tree, the last of the Christmas cards have finally gone out and I'm making the last of the homemade presents.  I have to go Monday to get the rest of the gift cards, but I might just be approaching the finish line.  I better be, since we're running out of time.  I will post finished project pictures of my snowflake ornaments as soon as they finish drying. 

Hope everyone is doing well and isn't feeling too overwhelmed!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Even with all the best planning and trying, I still feel behind.  Maybe it's because Thanksgiving fell so late this year, so it seems like I was just eating turkey and am now supposed to have my shopping finished.  Maybe it's because we've had a lot of new activities and events to attend than usual.

Either way, I am not quite finished with Christmas cards or buying presents.  Most everything is done, but gift cards have to be purchased, gifts have to be wrapped and the last set of cards addressed and mailed.  Somehow it will all get done.

I am thankful that I tried to be more organized this year, because I would never have gotten this much done if I hadn't been prepared.  Hopefully I've learned even more lessons for next year.

So be kind to yourself, don't compare yourself to others who seem to have it all together, because in reality they really don't.

A week to go, and we will get it done. And what doesn't get done will wait....  :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Our Christmas party this past weekend went very well.  The weather refused to cooperate (cold, rainy, etc.) which caused us to alter our plans, but we managed rather well.  We had planned a large campfire with smores and reindeer games for the kids, but had to snuggle up the kids in the living room with movies, homemade cocoa and snacks.  They were not upset with the change. :)

We planned our get together for mid afternoon so that everyone could do Christmas shopping, basketball, or other activities in the morning and still get to their other Christmas parties that night.  We billed it as a "stress free" stop along the way.  Everyone of all ages had a great time.

We did a few "reindeer games", which included in the carrot nose on the snowman and Christmas tree ring toss and a dance party for the kids.  Lots of friendship and laughter.  It's stressful getting everything together, but always fun when everyone gets here.

I have tons of candles and ornaments flying out the door, so I must go paint again. :)

Hope everyone is gearing up for Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thanksgiving was two weeks ago and Christmas is less than 2 weeks away.  It's a mad sprint to the finish!

Here are some of the Christmas and winter candles I've been working on:

It's that busy time of the year, but it's also my favorite time of the year!

We are getting ready for our Christmas party this weekend too.  I love to cook, but had to realize that there's just not time for everything right now so we are keeping the menu super simple.  I'm blessed with other friends who are great cooks, so we are doing the main dish and everyone else is bringing the sides and helping with desserts.  No one minds as long as one person doesn't have to do all the work.  I will share more pictures soon!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

There's a lot to catch up on!  I was out of town this past weekend, so my blogging is behind. 

First of all, let me pass along that making lists by store and putting them on my phone has been a lifesaver.  If you're like me, you don't have a large chunk of time to do all your shopping.  I have to break it up into quick trips here and there.  Knowing that I have 30-40 minutes to run into a store and already have my list with me has been very helpful this week.  I've been trying to work, shop, plan for our Christmas party, and take care of all my commission work so anything that saves time is awesome.

Almost all the shopping is done.  Having all my lists in one place (the awesome Christmas folder) made a world of difference. 

Next week I will make all the edible Christmas presents and my daughter and I will deliver them.  Recipes and info. will come next week!

And finally, here are lots of pictures of my glass painted ornaments on my tree.  I think most of them are sold, but I will probably keep whatever is left and enjoy them on my tree (or make more for myself!)  :)

Hope all your plans and preparations are coming together.  It's hard to believe Christmas is 2 weeks away.  I still have to work on my Christmas cards, but hopefully that will get done soon!

Friday, December 6, 2013

We're getting closer, can you feel it?  That mixture of how will it all get done mingled with the glory and wonder of it all and the smiles and laughter of little ones who just can't wait. 

I will post more updates, suggestions, and photos very soon.  But tonight I'm going to turn off all the lights except for the Christmas lights and sit and enjoy the wonder of it all.  I hope you'll take a few minutes between now and Christmas and do the same....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

If you're like me, you make a ton of lists this time of year.  I've been doing that and keeping them in my Christmas folder (see earlier posts) and that has helped tremendously. 

However, I still have a lot of shopping to do, so I took the gift list and decided where I plan to purchase them.  Then, I made separate lists on my phone by store of everything I need.  Now when I have a few minutes and need to run do a little shopping, I know exactly what I need to get at each store.  I'm excited about trying this - I will let you know soon how it works!

Monday, December 2, 2013

23 Days

Our house is not a huge place by any standards, but I have always had a "Christmas closet" designated just for special occasion items, Christmas tins, breakables and other goodies.  I always keep extra generic gifts in this closet too.  Even with the best laid plans I will forget a little something for someone, or will have an unexpected visitor bringing gifts.  I stash up on candles, hand towels, candy dishes, etc. when they are on sale and keep them available (with extra bags to quickly put them in) and very handy.

If you have a small nook, part of closet or shelf to keep a few extra last minute gifts, I highly suggest doing it.  It makes life so much easier this time of year and makes up for forgetfulness!  Just don't forget to restock it once you use up your gifts.

23 days to go.....

Sunday, December 1, 2013

24 days

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We ate too much and enjoyed time with family and friends.  We are very blessed.

This year I am extra fortunate to have my daughter decide to jump in and take over some ofthe decorating duties. She was ready to decorate the whole house and did a spectular job. Of course I did help a little... :-)

Tomorrow I will share more about my Christmas closet and how much it helps every year.

24 days to go......