We interrupt this program…

Not only is it Amelia’s first Christmas, but, my sweet husband is whisking me away for a 2nd honeymoon on the 27th to (ironically enough) Amelia island off the coast of Florida. This trumps our cheap date challenge for this week, however, we will pick back up again in 2011. I promised Clark I would give him my undivided attention while we are away. That means no crafting, blogging, or Etsy perusing. So, I am officially signing off for 2010.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! See you in 2011!!!

Mistletoe Mojito

Nothing puts the FUN in “dysFUNctional” quite like Christmas. Inevitably, there will be that relative at this year’s festivities who knows just how to push your buttons. I recently made a reference to spiking your eggnog in my Wonder’ Wall post. ‘Twas all in jest… however… just incase you find yourself in a desperate spot, here are a few holiday beverage ideas to try:

Mistletoe Mojito

Pumpkin Egg Noggy

And, for those of you going with an international theme this Christmas…

Spanish Reindeer

Jamaican Reindeer

Russian Nog

 

Cheers to All!

P.S. My sister sent me these recipes. Do you think perhaps she’s trying to tell me something?

Elf Yourself

My 2-year-old is terrified of elves. Every time we watch the movie Elf his bottom lip starts to quiver and buries his head in my lap. So when a friend of ours created a JibJab sendable of Clark’s face superimposed on a dancing Elf’s body, I thought it would give him nightmares for weeks! But I had to share it with you.

The Elf in the middle belongs to me. Believe it or not, this is the image we used for our church Christmas card. Nothing says “come to Jesus” like dancing elf pastors.

Elf Yourself or someone you love this holiday!

La Vie En Rosettes

I was simply admiring a friend’s necklace a few weeks ago, when suddenly I was struck by the endless possibilities of fabric rosettes. I tried my hand at a few at last Saturday’s Unfinished Projects Party. Here is some of the inspiration I’ve been enjoying.

Scientific Seamstress’ blog posted this beautiful Frayed Rosette Bib Necklace Tutorial.

Contributing author, Sis Boom Fabrics offeres free downloadable patters.  I downloaded their rosette tutorial to make these beautiful frayed rosettes.

Some more inspiration…

Girls Night Out Rosette Bib Necklace by BejeweledBespoke’s Etsy shop

These images are from Little Birdie Secrets blog fabric rosette tutorial. I’m using a blend of her technique with the Sis Boom Fabrics method to make my own. You should see my craft room! It is covered with strips of fabric from anything I could get my hands on. My husband is lucky I didn’t start fraying his pjs in his sleep!

Weekend Getaway Fabric Flower Rosette Bib Necklace

Miss Priss Customizable Fabric Flower Rosette Headband Hair Clip

Sweet Grapes Fabric Flower Rosettes Headband

These rosette-inspired accessories called Happy Little Lovelies come from Sweet Apple 30’s Etsy shop. Necklaces, headbands, rings…. I’m experimenting with dressing up some old slip-ons and tote bags too! The possibilities are endless with these rosettes. And, she lives right here in Charlotte! Oh, please lets be friends!

Its a race to the finish with Christmas being only…. gulp…. four days away! I like going the handmade route on special occasions, but cutting it this close, I’m burning the midnight oil to get it all done. I will post some pictures of the finished products when I’m through.

Have you made anything special this holiday? Send me your project ideas. I’d love to see what you’ve been up to!

For All the Foul-Mouthed Martha’s

My dear friend Stephanie Richards from Atlanta, Georgia taught me how to sew…. well, how to sew without using profanity. There’s nothing like tangled bobbin thread to make you lose your Christian witness– am I’m right? Stephanie hosts monthly “Unfinished Project” parties for all of the well-intentioned craft-ies who are expert starters, but who need a little help actually fulfilling their domestic mission. Sewers, knitters, scrap-bookers– this is a very non-discriminatory group. All are welcome and encouraged to exchange their creative ideas and suggestions. Women sitting around drinking coffee, eating chocolate and working with their hands without feeling the pressure to make dazzling conversation? I think its brilliant!! So brilliant, in fact, that I decided to channel my inner Martha Stewart and host an Unfinished Projects Party of my own last weekend.

There were only a half-dozen of us ladies, but between the knitting, quilting, and wreath making, there was not a square inch of living room space that wasn’t covered with someone’s project. I love it!

My girlfriend brought her three-year-old and she and I beaded a bracelet together using recycled necklace beads and some memory wire.

Christyn knitted this cowl by herself! It was her first knitting project, and while she was originally planning to make a scarf, she called me a few weeks ago crying about her oversized green pot holder. We used our imagination and rummaged through my jewelry box. I found this green jeweled bead attached to something with a peacock feather. Well, I don’t do peacock feathers, so again, we recycled the jewel and next thing you know, we made a cowl. What is that phrase? “Aim for the moon and fall among the stars.” Well, aim for the scarf and fall among the cowls.

The girls at my party had so much fun, they want to start holding these parties monthly. Way to go, Stephanie! You have not only helped me curtail my use of colorful expletives, but you are inspiring women across state lines to finished their craft projects. If you want to host your own Unfinished Projects Party, check out Stephanie’s blog for great tips and ideas!

Shhh!

Great Cheap Date Challenge #12

“Put on tweeds and meet at the public library at an appointed time, library cards in hand. Decide on an esoteric topic or writer whose work has always fascinated you both. With the help of the reference librarian or the computer, carry out your literary scavenger hunt and then, treasures in hand (you can fight over who will carry whose books), walk to a nearby cafe for a caffeine fix while poring over your printed finds.”

OK. We might have bent the rules a bit on this one. Regardless of your faith background or beliefs, you simply cannot call Charlotte home without paying a visit to the Billy Graham Library. The locals tell us that Christmas is the best time to go, so last night chose this spot for our Great Cheap Date Challenge #12. Every tree, bush, and building was covered in Christmas lights. We had just missed the carolers, but the living nativity scene was still aglow with a very brave Mary and Joseph posing for passerbys in 30 degree temperature and freezing rain. There was even a live camel! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a camel up close. Awkward creatures. Anyway, the real treat was a tour of Billy Graham’s boyhood home. It figures that while I’m walking through the very rooms that this legendary evangelist was taught the path of Christ, I would be most thrilled with the decor of the kitchen.

I would probably get so much more ironing done if I had one of those fold out wall units.

Anyway, on to more spiritual matters…. The height of our experience was the gallery tour of the reverend’s life and work with a special exhibit dedicated to the life of his late wife, Ruth Bell Graham. I realize it is the Billy Graham Library, but I was most impressed with what I learned about Ruth. The old footage captured both her wisdom and firm resolve. She revealed that from their very first date, which was to a performance of Handel’s Messiah, she prayed that she might be given the great honor to walk alongside the promising evangelist as his wife and partner. Ruth said that if she had only known what was in store for the couple, she never would have had the nerve to pray that prayer. I can only imagine what it would be like to be the wife of a world-renowned gospel preacher. When asked if she had ever considered divorce, she replied, “Divorce? No. Murder? Yes.” I mean, here was this ambitious college girl pursuing a life’s work as a missionary to China when Billy waltzed into her life unexpectedly. She went on to raise 5 children (all of whom went on to work in Christian ministry) all while serving an evangelist who brought the gospel to closed, hostile nations and who counseled 11 U.S. presidents. And I complain about Clark playing his music too loudly. She went on to say that being a wife and a mother was one of the greatest callings in the world, and that one could find God in the most mundane tasks of life. The carvings etched into the wood above their living room fireplace simply stated “Divine service will be conducted here daily.”

This was the wedding dress that she sewed for herself. Later she trimmed the trosseau and used the material to line the bassinets of all five of her children.

Billy Graham describes his wife Ruth, as the “greatest Christian he has every known”. Needless to say, I was so inspired by what I learned of Ruth Bell Graham that I plan to collect some of her titles and read through them in the coming months. This was definitely one of my favorite dates so far, because while I was admiring this great woman who supported a man who’s life work has literally impacted millions of people, I was so challenged to become the wife that my husband needs me to be in order to fulfill what God has called him to do.

Heaven, help me!

 

A Few of My Favorite Things

Every year, my mother asks me what I want for Christmas to which I reply the usual, “nothing”. In recent years, I’ve even taken the extreme approach of the advent conspiracy theorist, ranting about how grossly commercialized Christmas has become, how wild horses couldn’t drag me into a mall during the month of December, the tragic influence of Western consumer indulgence on the next generation, blah blah blah. Well, pride goeth….

Lady Lullabuy’s 2010 Holiday Wish List

That voice! Such passion. Such bitter affliction. I tear up every time I hear it!

I love all things London, including this London big print by Blanca Gomez. Check out her Cosas Minimas collection on Etsy. This one happens to be my favorite, but there are so many adorable prints to choose from.

 

Yes, I do love the movie, but what’s even better is the Paula Deen Signature Pantry Ware Rolling Pin featured in Julie & Julia! Last night I was actually trying to roll out a pastry crust with one of Salem’s plastic sippy cups. I need this rolling pin.

As I mentioned in my Cold Feet post, it is FREEZING in Charlotte, and you can never have enough warm socks.

I mentioned these to Christyn yesterday and she thought I was using profanity when I said I wanted some MUKLUKS for Christmas. Must have been a bad connection.

And finally….

Domino- the Book of Decorating

R.I.P. Domino magazine, but your spirit lives on!

So prosaic, I know…. but this week’s Getting to Know You question is…

What is the most memorable holiday gift you ever received? I can’t wait to hear the responses.

A Rainy Stroll in Paris

It is mom’s morning out, and I’ve settled into my favovrite spot in Amelie’s. I sprang for a chai rather than my usual white tea… I know… I’m a wild woman. It is freezing rain outside and the sun hasn’t come up yet. Ella is singing Summertime overhead (which I find very appropriate on a day like this). I’m sitting next to one of those faux fireplaces that actually makes crackling noises so you almost psyche yourself into thinking you are in front of a real fire, and all that I can think of is a quote from one of my favorite plays of all time,  Steel Magnolias:

“On cloudy days, I feel like God’s not trying very hard so I don’t have to either.”

A Rainy Stroll in Paris by Soli Deo Gloria

Cold Feet

It is FREEZING in Charlotte. I’m sure my Minneapolis friends are snickering even now while I’m complaining about winter weather in the south. Well, to add to my plight, my washing machine has been on the fritz for two weeks which means no warm sock….well, no clean warm socks. Brrr!

These Istanbul inspired Mukluks by Aykelila are going on my Christmas wish list. Check out their etsy shop and keep warm!

December Beadlush Giveaway Winner!!

CONGRATULATIONS ASHLEY CRAMER!!!!!  You’ve won the December Beadlush Giveaway!!

I am currently looking for giveaway sponsors for Lady Lullabuy’s blog. If you make or sell something that you would like to see featured here, please comment below and tell me about it. Perhaps you will be featured in one of our monthly giveaways!

Keep checking back for January’s giveaway coming soon!!

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