Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Memories

It is so hard to believe that in two days it  is Christmas Eve! Yikes ,where did the time go this year? Since Christmas has always been near and dear to my heart,probably because of my childhood memories, I thought I'd share a few of them with you all. 
  As many of you can probably relate to living in a rural area things are not always readily available when you need them.Well 40 + years ago living in this small town things really were hard to come by for most folks.There were only small mom and pop type of grocery stores and no big department stores either. Our big department store was a small Ben Franklin that went out of business many years ago.My dad and mom were farmers,mainly tobacco and a smallish dairy farm.We, like a lot of the area grew up in a time when you grew  most of what you ate and I can remember momma making a lot of our clothes ,and thinking back I consider those the good old days.Christmas was always big at my house ,because through out the year there was not a lot of toys or gifts bought ,times were tough and it just did not happen .It was not that my family was poor but you just used your money for things that were more important .As a child I had all the necessities and  had plenty of toys don't get me wrong .We were a  happy family and always took joy out of the smaller things in life ... going on a picnic down by the creek ,playing ball out in the yard or on hot  summer evenings just sitting out in the yard on a quilt looking up at the stars listening to momma and daddy talking about their day. Oops ! I started to ramble to much, now getting back to those Christmas memories.... At Christmas we always had the same tree was daddy and momma's first tree.Wow, is it ever special,the lights screw directly  into the end of the  branches and momma has lots of the antique German glass ornaments.They were paper thin when I was a tiny thing so you can imagine how fragile that they are today.That tree is still the family tree ,it gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling when it goes up for the holidays. It was an old tree when they bought it at a second hand store.

As those of you that grew tobacco know ,December is usually the month that you sell your crop if you are blessed to have had just the right conditions to get it processed for market.Well daddy  and momma usually managed to do just that and it meant  that they could give their kids a big Christmas  and that is what happened most years.They always managed to make our wishes come true,but it wasn't about the gifts it was about the winding down of all their hard work for the year and joy of sharing . Momma always cooked yummy things  and cleaned  the house till it was gleaming . When it came time for the tree to be trimmed, daddy would get the limbs straightened out and  the bubble lights burning, then mom and all of us kids would gently hang the ornaments. Just seeing a bubble light today brings a smile to my face.

As I said earlier there were not any big grocery stores ,so soon after Thanksgiving there would be vendors sitting up tables usually on main street selling holiday fruit ,candies and  such.My dad hardly ever went to town, he was content to stay at home and do his farming duties but at Christmas time  you just knew he would be going to town .He and momma would go shopping and oh  the treats they would bring home!One thing I can say about them ,they always treated us kids equally.They made sure that we each had a favorite  fruit or candy by the time that they came home. My parents always bought a car load of fruit and candy, not just for us but so that when people dropped by house  that they could send  fruit and candy home with them ,they always  shared what they had with others. I learned early on that Christmas was about giving not receiving.Our home was open to all at Christmas time.

Back when I was a child, Kentucky would get snow and lots of it, that doesn't seem to happen much these days.Some of my fondest  Christmas memories are of us all bundling up late in the evening and going for car rides to look at Christmas lights .There was just something magical about being in the back seat of a car,  with your brother and sisters on a cold winter's night watching for Christmas lights,squealing there are some..Daddy would dress our house and outside trees  up with all kinds of lights and momma took care of the inside.It was such a  special  feeling then and even now as I wander down memory lane.

There is a memory of one particular Christmas morning that has always stood out in my mind.It is of me (probably 5 years old) sitting in the doorway of the kitchen coloring .I had opened up a new coloring book and one of those big boxes of crayons and momma was cooking breakfast.I can still feel the warm feeling of love I had sitting there watching momma cook for all of us .I was happy as a lark ,with just my crayons and book.See folks it is the little things that matter.Momma's smile that Christmas morning still warms my heart today.

As a child, a favorite Christmas treat was to have an orange fixed momma's special way.She would make a hole in the top of an orange with a knife and insert a stick of candy ,you know the old time sugar cane sticks, and we would use it like a straw to suck the orange juice from the orange. A triple treat in one ,a sweet stick of candy ,slurped orange juice and then the yummy orange. Looking back I wonder if she did that so that we wouldn't be so messy while peeling the orange.LOL! Can't say I would blame her with four kids in the house.

Christmas day was a day spent with the family at home.We would be up early, have breakfast ,open our gifts and always have a wrapping paper fight till we just about giggled out. Cleaning up the mess was never as much fun as making it.LOL! By the time we had that done momma would have our Christmas dinner ready, we all loved chicken and dumplings so you knew that along with the turkey and fixen's  there was going to a big  old pot of dumplings.I  can still see daddy standing at the stove stirring the pot for momma.

To me this is what Christmas is about... the loving  memories that families make together and the true reason... Jesus.It is not about driving yourself crazy to buy that one perfect gift or worrying yourself silly that someone is not going to like what you have bought.Don't misunderstand,Christmas is about being generous,caring and wanting to bring others happiness too but you don't have to spend money to do it.How about a homemade Christmas gift ,giving a hug, visiting someone that is house bound , and yes even a simple smile can make someone's life a lot brighter.I am not a scrooge and don't have a problem with gift giving ,in fact I love to do it but Christmas should not be such a stress on people.It has become far to commercialized in my eyes and thus a lot of people have lost that special Christmas joy.So I have said all  that to say this ...let's enjoy the day for what it is really about ..our family , friends and Jesus!My family is missing one of it's key elements with Daddy being gone but I know that with my memories he is still enjoying the day with us.

To all my blogging friends ,I wish you the Merriest of Christmas's ! If you are traveling to be with family I pray that you have a safe and happy journey!Thanks for wandering down my lane of Christmas memories with me. God Bless You All! Hugs,Jen

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thank you and a few more Christmas pics...

My thanks to all of you for the sweet comments on Oscar's passing. The friendships made online really help to pick you up when you are feeling so down.Oscar is now forever resting in his pasture where he liked to lay and sun on pretty days.Big hugs to you all !

I have a few more Christmas pictures to share ,as I have said before I really did not do much this year.It feels unreal to think that Christmas is only a few days away.It might be a little more Christmas like if the temperatures were not close to the 60 degree mark.Am I ready for the big day ?Honestly, no I am not! I have not done any gift wrapping ,grocery shopping or even finished the shopping for gifts.Perhaps someone else should take over those duties.LOL! That is not going to happen either,I am sure.LOL!

These pics are mainly in the kitchen and dining area of my home.I just realized that I more pictures than I thought so I will be breaking it up in two posts.Are you comfortable? Then lets go take a look see...

My stove board that I made a couple of  years ago with a small tree in a tiny firkin and a trencher  with cinnamon buns and a beeswax ginger from my friend Kristy.

The snowman ,salt dough snowflakes and yummy smelling wax tart snowballs were made by my friend Rox.She does wonderful work! The candle mat is another swap goodie from Kristy, it has such pretty colors and she attached a cute tag and sweet little gourd to it.She knows  that  I love gourds.

My kitchen window.The lovely beeswax Father Christmas was sent by Kristy.

In my kitchen .I redid the little drawer cubby a while back.

 Sweet snowmen stars from Kristy and my sweet pillow tuck from Linda Claus.I redid the firkin bucket back last year,I think.

This display is more goodies from Kristy and my friend Susan.Susan did a wonderful job on the sign! Love the chunky potpourri ,beeswax Santa ,towel , and the cardinal make do from Kristy.It just looks great in the antique tote.

Closeups of the potpourri ,it smells delicious, and that gorgeous beeswax Santa.Gosh, but I love blackened beeswax goodies!!

 My faux blackened fruit in antique wood trencher that  is sitting on my dining room table.I made this using Robin's tutorial from It's a Kattywhompus Life  ! If you haven't been to her blog please check it as you are missing a lot.

Love this old butter paddle ! I found it when we went out shopping on Black Friday.I only have a few  paddles but this one has become  my favorite.

Thought that I'd share where I put my needle punched Father Christmas that I shared a post or so back...

 The candle is the one I won from Dena at Morning Glory Vintage and Prims, and the beeswax Santa is another one that Kristy sent me.She sure spoiled me in this swap!

Kristy did a beautiful job when she made this Santa from an antique Griswold mold, love the sweet tag she added to it .

Well ladies and gentlemen I guess that is the end of today's tour so please stay tuned as there are a few more pics coming  in the next couple of days. May your day be filled with merry thoughts and delightful things.Hugs,Jen

My winnings and thanks

Good morning friends.It is nearing the big day are you ready???? No, then guess we are paddling downstream in the same boat.LOL!

I recently was blessed to win a giveaway that Dena at Morning Glory Vintage and Prims hosted and I wanted to share my great goodies with you all.I got a prim cinnamon battery candle,3 grubby tealights, a bottle of room spray and some yummy fixin's scented  in Grandma's Kitchen .They all smell great ,so ladies if you are looking for some great scented goodies be sure and check out Dena's awesome selection.Thanks so much Dena for the yummy goodies !

Just look at the wonderful things I got in the mail from Dena! 

Lookie at those darling grubby tea lights!

A big thank you to the ladies the following ladies Tricia from Hillcrest Home Prims, Angela fromThru Nana's Window and Teresa from Deppenhomestead 1862 for the lovely Christmas cards.Tricia included a sweet little mitten ornie that will be going on my prim tree. If you haven't been by these wonderful blogs then click the links above and go for a visit.I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Well since Christmas is only a few days away, I best be getting busy.Hugs and thanks,Jen

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sad Morning

I am heartbroken this morning as I have to say goodbye to my friend and pal of 17 years.Oscar was a birthday gift for me and what a wonderful gift he was to,so much more than a pot bellied pig.I knew that this moment was fast approaching and thought I was prepared but I was so wrong.I knew he was gone the moment I stepped into the barn because my good morning grunt was not to be heard. Goodbye my sweet loving friend will always be missed!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Few Frosty Friends

Good Saturday morning to you all.It is a cold one here in Central Kentucky but that just makes it feel more like Christmas.I am still not ready for the big day,we did get out and do a bit of shopping yesterday.For some reason I have struggled with just being in the mood for Christmas this year.I don't know if it is the fact I am getting older, the health issues that bug me or if it is the fact my son is no longer a child.Anyone that knows me very well would tell you I have always been  crazy about Christmas to the point I plan for it all year long. I have already promised myself that the Lord willing ,I will do better next year.

Along those same lines I want to apologize to all of you ladies that I have been slack in visiting your blogs.I know that I have been missing a lot of the posts and for that I am truly sorry.The other day I was shocked to learn that I had won a giveaway that Janice over at Prims By The Water had hosted as part of her birthday celebration.Foolish and embarrassed also went right along with that shocked feeling,I was experiencing.Thank you Janice for letting me know,for hosting such an awesome giveaway and I truly hope that you had a wonderful birthday. My apologies that you had to contact me about it. My goal is to try and do a  better job at keeping up with all of my blogging friends.

I thought that I would share a few of my favorite snowmen this morning ,so grab a cup of coffee ,tea or hot chocolate and we will get started with the show.

This is sitting on my fireplace in the living room.I did the needle punch and made the snowman on the basket.

A little snowman head that I made last year.

Look closely and you will see a mouse or two.Love those lil mousers. I made this guy and his mice friends last year as well.

My son's girlfriend brought this guy home for me the other day. Isn't it cute ?

 A few snowmen ornies on my primitive tree.See that cute kitty angel ornie ,it was a gift from my friend Susan.

This wonderful hooked snowman makedo is sitting on my settle ,it was also a gift from Susan.

This is on  my dining room wall.

My sweet friend Roxanne sent me this awesome stocking in a swap a couple of years ago.

Another awesome snowman makedo from Susan.She did a wonderful job creating him.Love it! 

This is a wooden chest that I made over a  couple of years ago, it is a favorite of mine.I made the snowmen hats and the snowman.

Last of all another snowman that I made last year from my own design and pattern.I also made the big fluffy  snowballs.

I hope that the show wasn't to long or boring . I have a few more Christmas pics to share as soon as I get them uploaded,maybe tomorrow after church. The big day is fast approaching and ready or not it will be here,it is my wish that you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the season. Christmas Blessings,Jen

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A few finished projects

Good morning my friends!I hope that your day is going well.It is so hard to believe that Christmas is almost upon us.You sure would not know it with the weather we are having here today,the temperature is supposed to hit 68 degrees!  Yep,you read that right ,unbelievable.  I plan on enjoying the warmer temps by getting outside a little later on.I have a sinus thingy happening today and it's trying to make my life miserable but I am still going to enjoy the day.

I have finished a few more needle punch projects and would like to share them with you all.Please forgive my poor photography skills.I really should try reading the instructions that came with the camera ,probably would make more of an effort if the print were larger. 

The first one... I call " Frosty Fun" ,it is my design and I did over dye thread for  some of it too.It is roughly 7 inches wide and 10 inches long.I have not mounted it to anything just yet.
 This pic shows the truer color of the piece.

The next one is" A Partridge in A Pear Tree" ,again it is my design and I over dyed thread for it.The needle punch piece is 7inches wide and 13 inches long.I stitched this piece to a black wool pear that I made out of recycled wool.The wool pear is around 10 inches wide and 16 inches tall not counting the stem.

And my last one is one that I just finished punching yesterday.I cut ,sanded and painted the wood piece this morning.I haven't came up with a name for this one yet.LOL! It is my design with more over dyed thread. 
I can't remember where I got the graphic for the tag ,I am sorry about that ,if it is yours please let me know and I will give you the much deserved credit for it.

Yesterday I received  a sweet package in the mail ,it tickled me pink!So I would like to send a big thank you out to Linda Claus ! Yes ,she has been spreading her cheer  all the way to Kentucky! Just look at the sweet pillow tuck she made and sent me! It had a beautiful  Christmas card with it too.

Thank you Linda !It really made my day , you sure know how to make a person feel loved! Hugs to you!If you haven't been to Linda's blog then click here to check it out.She has a wonderful blog and is the kindest of ladies.

Well friends I guess I will say good bye for today.I hope that you all are enjoying your holiday preparations and are not being to stressed out by the whole shebang.  The big day will be here in the blink of an eye,guess I really should start my shopping .Have a wonderful rest of the day!Christmas Blessings,Jen

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

Good morning friends! It is warmer out there this morning and I for one am grateful for that fact. I'd like to take a moment to thank all of you that have left comments.They have all been read and I am so sorry that I have failed to respond lately. Things have been hectic to say the least and on top of that I have been dealing with a stomach bug the last few days.A big old welcome shout goes out to all of my new followers ,I am so glad to have you along for the ride. I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends in my life.

This morning seemed like a perfect time to share one of my Christmas trees with you all.It  is my largest tree and it is in my living room.It is not really prim but it holds lots of memories. It took me longer to get started decorating this year and I have cut my decorating way back but it still took several days for me to finish it.On this tree most of the ornaments have been hand made by myself or else they were gifts from others. 

The snowman topper is one that I made using a gourd,his nose lights up.
The two little kitties are favorites of mine! I made them from gourds and paper clay.If you look closely the first one is having a mouse sandwich and the next one is having an orange soda.

The mail cart is from a gourd and the Santa is a small light bulb.
This gourd was a perfect shape to paint into a strawberry.

I have two of the antique pink reindeer,that I just sit on the branches.This Santa is a gourd that I used paper clay to sculpt the face and then painted.The longer faced Santa is one that is done on a light bulb ,I used puff paint for the beard.

The Elves's Cookie Factory is painted on a tiny canteen gourd.

The socks that my son wore home from the hospital .Gosh they look so tiny but I remember that they were far to large for his tiny little feet. 

He was wearing these little shoes when he took his first steps.If you were here in person, looking at my tree you would find a few of his favorite pacifiers.An egg that came from a chicken his fourth grade class hatched and he brought home.I will never forget how huge the box was that he was toting this one little chick home in either.It was all he could do to reach around it to hold it securely. It took me forever to get him to let me take the chicken outside ,I am talking months! 

You would also find oodles of these penguins that are made from recycled light bulbs.Almost all the penguins tell a little story,notice the clay soda and hotdog.I have mailmen,baseball players,stitchers, punk rockers, get the picture I am sure.Hubby always said that I went into another world when I was working on them ,to the point of conversing with them.LOL! I never claimed to be sane.

This is what I have displayed on my coffee table at the moment.I love the rusty can candle ,the rusty cookie cutters with the greenery and  snowballs.

Well I hope that I haven't bored you to tears with my little tour of some the memories that my Christmas tree holds for my family.I have much more to share and even a few new needle punch projects.I would like to thank our very special  Raggedy Angie for the lovely Christmas card she sent. Thanks hon , it was like getting a big old hug .It is my wish that you all have a lovely day and that your hearts are filled with happiness.