Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yo... Winners! I need your addresses!!!

Booty shaker picked the lucky number six as the winner of my 100 post contest! Congrats to Natalie!! Please send me your address and I'll get that package out ASAP. My email is lori (dot) vanwagoner (at) gmail (dot) com. Congrats!
And Valerie was not only #10, but #9 and #11 also. Thanks for helping me hit the double digits. Man... we set a record ladies (unless anonymous is a man... sorry) for my blog. Yahoo. Please comment when you stop by. It is nice to know there are more that 5 of you out there!!

I don't know if I'll post again before Christmas. I'm busy getting last minute stuff. If I do not, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. I am going to share my resolution list with all of you this year to help me feel a little more accountable for things.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

100 Posts and Going Strong

Well, I made it. It only took about 3 years, but I made it to the hundred mark. I really like blogging. I enjoy reading blogs that others create more than writing my own, but I still really enjoy writing. I've always been a journal writer and I used to write for a living. I find blogging a creative outlet with my writing. I'm not very eloquent, but I am honest and that is what matters.

I've picked up a few followers, but my blog is still very lost in blogland... and that is fine. I don't know if I could handle the stress of posting a comment about giving something away and then receiving 600+ comments. Yikes! However, I get really excited when the comments displays double digits.

So, there are possibly two winners in this contest. The first one will be totally random, most likely drawn by the resident booty shaker, aka Cohen, and the second one will be the lucky #10. If I get 10 comments that is... tell your friends you really want to be #10 and get them to say something before you. Pass the word along. That is how this blog community grows!

I've been making stuffed trees (pictured above) using a tutorial I found on this blog long ago (sorry, I can't find the direct link). I've been making button wreaths that I saw on Craftster which led me to Martha's instructions. These have kept Cohen and I busy for hours! So, in the winners package, I'll include a small stuffed tree, a button ornament and special surprise. I will draw a winner on Wednesday evening. I apologize for getting this post up so late, but I'll get the package sent via priority mail by Thursday morning as soon as the post office opens. When you leave a comment, be sure to leave a link to your site or your email address so I can let you know ASAP that I need your address.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

8 Months Later

Remember this little thing? I finally finished it. I put it away for so long and then as my MIL's birthday approached I pulled it back out. I didn't do much embellishing. I added beads to some of the trees, star buttons, and brads for doorknobs. I also added some Christmas light charms around the roof and some iridescent beads to the snow for sparkle. I framed it and now it is hanging in my MIL's front room.

I really love appliqué. I think it is so awesome and I love sitting on the couch and crafting. LOVE IT!! I want to make the same project with more whimsy fabrics for myself. I'm also going to start a family tree appliqué for my mother for Christmas. I don't think I'll finish it. :D

So this is post #99. I started this blog over 3 years ago but didn't really start writing much until last year. In fact, I erased the first 10 posts and started over. Blogging gives a different light to my life. I look around at the little things we do each day and try to make them a little more special, or blog worthy. I have SO MANY pictures and am ready for an external hard drive... just in case... knock on wood.

I'll save the sappy for next post. Keep posted. I've got my goodies made and they are ready to be sent to the lucky person who gets randomly drawn, and who posts on the magic number that is already in my head. So... check back soon!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Festival Favorites

You've heard me talk enough about Festival of Trees, but I wanted to share pictures of a few of my favorite things I saw there.

This table was so cute & hand crafted and wonderful. Someday when I have space, I'll put this great little craft table on my wish list. That quilt in the background was fabulous, too!

This is the centerpiece Mike's mom decorated. Great Grandma owns a little shop and donated the little elf. It was really cute and made quite a profit...I peaked. :S

I'd like to make this snowman wreath sometime. I'll skip the boots, but I thought the rest of it was so clever and so darling.

Of course the Hot Wheels themed car was surrounded by about 200 boys under the age 12. It was so cute to see them so excited about all of it. I could not believe what was being donated with this tree. A bed, a huge collectors set of cars, a big track, and tons and tons of cars. It was awesome.

Darth Vadar was also a hit and was one of the big sellers. The ornaments on the tree are mostly new action figures, but you should have seen the vintage boxed collection that was also being donated. Plus a television, a bunch of lego sets, and the boxed set of the movies. Pretty cool.

I like the stuff sticking out of this wreath, which is why I took a picture for my idea book. The elves are creepy.

Cohen got this felt car from the "Small Fry" section. This section makes SO MUCH money for Primary Children's Hospital. Each person of all of the committees makes 10-20 small somethings like this car. Our group made penguins. There are wands, and bottles of soda decorated like reindeer, etc. Everything is stuffed with treats and sold for $2.00. It is amazing to see the little ones flock to that table to pick out their special gift from Festival.

I'm glad I've been able to help with Festival and donate items for the past two years. I hope I can continue to do it, even if it is stressful, because it is totally worth it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

One more random thing and an awesome gift.

I started writing a post about my friend Julie Jones, but decided I needed more pictures from the past to document the story. So, once I locate that pesky scanner cable, I'll post more about her, and all of the awesomeness she brings with her. She is one of the people in my life that has "touched my life for good." Last week she came to town with her beautiful family. Her husband was applying for his residency. Utah isn't his first choice and I'm praying (for my sake) that his first option falls through. I'd love to have them near. Anyway, she brought me the beautiful jar pictured above. She made it on a pottery wheel. When I took a pottery class, I was NO GOOD at the wheel. It is the new house for my olive oil and sits proudly on my stove. Thanks, Julie. You are so awesome! Your package is in the works!

And... last night as I was watching Deal, or No Deal (read: I honestly don't watch this much. The two times I've watched it in the last 4 months, it has sparked a blog post), I thought of another random thing about me. I cannot watch game shows where men who resemble Wilford Brimley are the contestant. You see... my dad looks SO MUCH like him, and when I see the chubby guys with mustaches and glasses lose on camera, I get so sad. It is weird, I know, but I just wouldn't want my dad to lose if he was playing. Totally random.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

7 Things

(Pomegranates in Grandpa's backyard in St. George)

I love reading these "random things" posts. My favorites are in the 5-10 category. However, I recently read 100 Random Things about a random person on their blog and I found it pretty interesting. So, here it goes...

1. I will not touch raw meat or eat any meat if it has a bone in it. It is hard enough to touch raw meat without bones. I spend $4.99 a pound on chicken at the meat counter if it has "Hand Trimmed" on the package rather than $10 on 5 lbs in the frozen section just so the touching time is minimal. If meat has to be de-boned or tenderized or fat trimmed, I make Mike do it. Heaven forbid I might get meat juice on myself. I'd have to take a shower right away.

2. I check my email first thing every morning. I guess it is a habit from when I was working full-time at the computer. This has helped Cohen develop bad habits because he gets on the other computer and plays on or for about an hour while I get my email/blog reading/ fix.

3. I love bird images but I think the real things are rather gross. Loss feathers on the ground carry bird flu, I'm pretty sure about it. I will never have a bird for a pet... or anything for a pet for that matter.

4. I have to take a shower every day. It doesn't matter how late I am to an engagement, I'll still take a shower and then arrive at the destination with wet hair. If I've been inside cleaning all day, or just lounging around and it is midnight and time for bed, I'll take a shower. Then I'll take another one in the morning before I go out and about.

5. The taste of peanut butter and chocolate is pretty gaggy to me. When I was young, I got the flu and all I could taste (while throwing up for a week) was some peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate that my grandma made. I had eaten a few before I got sick. For this same reason, I will not eat cottage cheese either.

6. My nose is like a super sonic radar and I could have a second job on the K-9 Unit with the police... yes... I would be the K-9. I can smell anything and remember any smell. I will not got somewhere again if it is stinky (except that stinky bird house at the zoo because Cohen loves the Meercats. I just hold my breath the entire time). I can always smell the garbage or what we had for dinner the night before. It is a curse and makes being pregnant (I have such sensitive gag reflexes) a nightmare.

7. If money was not an option, I'd go out to eat every day. I love it. I wish I didn't, but I do. It has been hard to "budget" eating out. It is down to 1 or 2 times a month and it feels like a huge sacrifice. Aren't I spoiled?

PS. This is post #96. Only 4 posts until my 100 post give away. Tell your friends... because I want to give 2 things away. 1 present will go to a random person drawn and the other will go to a certain person that does a certain something without knowing it. Hmmmm....

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Start of Advent

I'm getting sick. I can feel the aches and cold sweats happening. YUCK! My calendar is finally clear and ready for the holiday festivities to begin and I'm feeling yucky. Booooooooooo!

Cohen and I moved our star to day 3. I can't believe December is underway. Our advent calendar is not the cutest thing, but it works. I made the above advent calendar for one of my swap partners. It is just a chipboard box. I painted it and covered it with glitter. Imagine that!

Inside I covered 24 little match boxes and put a small piece of chocolate in each one. My lucky recipient. All poor Cohen does is move the star to the next pocket. Next year I'll get a little more creative.
*Off to find some Tylenol and hot apple cider*

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tree Trimmings

I'm still on my all-things-glitter kick. In fact, yesterday I spent the day with my dear friend Lindsey adding sparkle to all sorts of stuff. I haven't taken pics, but they'll be up here soon. Two years ago, I headed to K-Mart to look at Martha's Everyday Christmas collection the day after Christmas. I fell in love with these green balls. Unfortunately, with such a great 75% off price, nothing was left but these big green balls. I bought the last pack of 18. They were lovely, and went in my box for the following year.

Imagine my delight in 2006 when I found the smaller versions the week before Christmas at 50% off. Yahoo! I bought 4 boxes right away because I wasn't willing to risk losing the beloved glittered balls for a measly $2.50. (Yes - a box of 12 is the full price of $9.99). And... I went back again this year and they have them again. OH BOY! I think I will add the red ones to the tree next year. I hope I don't hate glitter by then!

My big dilemma is that I love so many styles for Christmas and I embrace them all. It is like the North Pole threw up in my tiny apartment living room (and it's leaking into the tiny kitchen) after an all you can eat Christmas decor buffet. I've come up with a (read: sort of) solution. I can have my glitter-ball-only tree, along with my really random assortment of favorites, and my every growing vintage collection in the same room in separate places. We have a weird coat closet directly opposite of our front door, so I hung garland around it and added the collected ornaments, like this fabulous gourd from Jeni Gochnour pictured above. I have a few variations of these.

Also hanging among the gourds is my dear sweet Charlie Brown with this sorry little tree. My brother sent me this while I was on my mission because I can recite the entire movie from memory... so can he! I'm not the only dork in the family.

Also on the garland are the many ornaments collected from family vacations, friends, and other random places. The above bird is the newest ornament added to my collect that was sent to my by my friend Ris, who lives in Canada.

Then on my vase of twigs, I've hung the beginnings of what I know will become a fabulous vintage glass ball ornament collection. (Mike made that 4'x4' painting in the background - great, huh?) Sad story; my mom found a fabulous box last year at Savers for $0.50. YEAH! 12 awesome glass ornaments. I put something on the box and smashed them all. Boooooo! But, this year at Thrift Town, I found a huge bag of great ornaments, 1/2 of which were sweet Ragedy Andy and Ann participating in various winter activities with that silly little dog. You can see more here.

This painted lady is one of my favorite thrift finds. I love the blue and red and this ornament actually inspired the stocking hanger I made last week.This little bird isn't vintage, just a replica. But, she matches the the twig tree better than the door garland, so here she sits.

So anyway, my apartment is decorated and feels all cozy and warm (well... kind of warm. These old single paned windows sure are drafty when the temps drop below 50 degrees). It has been snowing all day. Mike and I made the trek down south to Provo to the Beehive Bazaar. The room was pretty picked over but it sure was a cute overload and the organizers added right to it in their hand stitched shirts and stripey socks. Good work ladies. How can I sign up to be as cool as you?? Now, I am going to make stockings to hang on my new stocking hanger and forget about the mess that I call my living room until later.
Site Meter