Make Your Own Christmas Ornaments & Gift Tags

Each year I save my favorite Christmas cards & re-purpose them into different things. Here is a card that I turned into a Christmas ornament. I just added a bow that came from a different gift that year.

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Last year I kept all of my Christmas cards! They come with such beautiful colors & pictures, that I knew I’d think of something to do with them!

This year, I decided to cut out all the pictures & use them as this year’s gift tags!

Cut out whatever shapes you’d like, punch a hole in the corner, & tie on with ribbon. You could also tape them right on the package if you’d like.

Because you’re cutting out the picture from the front of the card, the back is normally white & not written on.

Use a pretty color gel pen & write your message on the back.
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Christmas card display
Hang varying lengths of beautiful ribbon from your curtain rod. As you get a Christmas card, pin it on one of the ribbons with a straight pin. Hopefully, you have lots of friends & can fill the whole window with cards! =) The end product looks like a holiday window treatment.

* You could also use last year’s cards for an instant display.

Re-purposing – Vintage Sewing Machine Drawers

While visiting local yard sales, auctions, thrift shops, etc, look for items that catch your eye! You might think to yourself… I really like that piece, but I don’t really have a use for it. I want to encourage you to look through “creative eyes” when you are making a decision about a particular piece.

If you really put your mind to it, you could almost always come up with an idea about how to use a piece creatively.

As an example, here is an item that I picked up at an auction for just a few dollars. It’s original purpose was a set of drawers on a vintage sewing machine, but I have found many other uses for this piece!

I’ve used it as a place to store silverware, cloth napkins, napkin rings, letters, lace, and most recently it is standing in as my tea caddy 🙂 I love getting up in the mornings, opening a drawer & selecting whatever tea I happen to be in the mood for. There is lots of room for many different types of tea, as well as tea bag holders & a tea ball for the loose leaf varieties.

Here are the main questions I ask myself before purchasing an item.

1. Can I afford to spend the money on this piece?
2. Do I really love it?
3. Do I have room for it?
4. Then – what can I use this for?

I have found, that if I really love a piece, I usually find many different uses for it over the years.

Now… I think I’m off for a cup of tea 🙂

Blogging From NYC

Rockefeller Center

Even though I am away on vacation with my husband, I was so excited to post today!

My husband & I decided to go away for a few days & spend some time together, since we are not able to do that very often. My parents came up to be with our children, so we don’t have any worries while we’re gone.

We decided to go away “last” minute, since we were both feeling a little “under the weather”, but because my parents were kind enough to come up & be with the children, we decided to pack up and go.

We wanted to do something that we’ve never done before, so we decided to head down to NYC for the annual Christmas lights, and store front displays.

As we were walking down 5th Ave., we saw the wonderful New York Library (that’s were I’m sitting right now :), and I thought that would be the perfect place to catch up with all of you! You would love it here! The ceilings are so high & very ornate, the walls & floors are marble, there are murals on the walls, lots of nice lighting, and moldings as well. Dan & I have gotten some nice ideas to use in our library back at the cottage. We especially liked the darker colors with the spotlights that highlight the books & artwork.

There are so many wonderful things to see here in the city!

Lots of people (so diverse), wonderful smells of food on every corner, and glitz & glitter everywhere. We’re looking forward to seeing everything tonight as the sun goes down & the lights come on!

Well, it’s almost 4pm & we still haven’t stopped to eat, so I’d better go for now.

I’m looking forward to sharing lots of pictures from our trip, as well as piles of holiday ideas with you in a few days! Tomorrow we’re off to visit Sturbridge, MA & celebrate Christmas in the early 1800-1900s.

Writing from the city that never sleeps,
Pearl

Happy Thanksgiving!

This morning my husband & I woke up early to pray & give God thanks for everything He has done in our lives. As we were sharing all of the things we were thankful for, the sun starting waking up as well. We’ve had quite a long season of rain, so you can imagine the joy of seeing the sun – especially on this joyous occasion of giving thanks.

I decided to put on my coat & shoes and go out to save a few memories with my camera.

This is one of the beautiful views from my office window. I love the way the sun was sparkling like thousands of tiny dancing crystals as it kissed the frosty blanket that the forest woke up with this morning.

As I was walking through the woods with our 2 little dogs, I could hear the church bells playing Thanksgiving hymns such as “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, and “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” down in the little village below. I love to hear the bells, especially on holiday mornings such as this.

It has been our tradition for the last several years to come together as a family at my brother’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. This year we will bring, sauteed green beans, candied carrots, and apple crisp. It is always such a wonderful day.

I tend to cook a lot like my great grandmother Pearl. I usually go by how something feels & tastes more often than what the recipe says 🙂 My family really enjoys these carrots, so I wanted to share them with you. They are so easy – but so yummy!

Candied Carrots:

– Peel & chop carrots (I like to use baby carrots)
– Cook in a pot with water until tender – but not to soft
– Drain water
– Mix equal amounts of maple syrup & brown sugar enough to coat carrots.
– Add to the pot
– Add 1/2 stick of butter and salt/pepper/garlic to taste
– Heat through

A few thoughts for the day…

No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”
~ H. U. Westermayer