Sunday, January 31, 2010

My New Tassel

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch had a giveaway a couple of weeks ago and I won the tassel that was being given away from Angela at http://www.etsy.com/shop/thetasselhouse/
I received the tassel Friday in the mail and I was so excited win I opened the box and saw my beautiful tassel!
I was having a "bad" day and when I received this gorgeous tassel I was feeling much better!

Look at all the beautiful trims Angela uses in her tassels.  The tassel matches the colors in my house and I can use it in almost every room.

Another look! 
Right now I have it hanging on my china cabinet in the dining room.

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch and Angela at The Tassel House for the opportunity to win.  This week is my birthday and I think this is one beautiful gift!

I will be posting a wedding update later this week.

Thanks for visiting and God Bless,
Donna

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mud Pie Cookies

My husband and I wanted something sweet today ... so I decided to bake cookies. 
  I am trying to watch my weight with the wedding coming up and this recipe makes just 24 cookies (unlike some recipes that make 4 or 5 dozen cookies) so I decided to give it a try.  I figured if I had 12 cookies and my husband had 12 cookies we couldn't gain much weight! LOL
 
They are called Mud Pie Cookies.
 
I remember making mud pies when I was a little girl a long time ago with my sister.  Isn't it funny how a recipe can bring back so many memories.  Believe me these don't taste like mud :)

Mud Pie Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl beat together butter and sugars until creamy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, combine flour and cocoa.  Add to butter mixture  and mix well.  Stir in oats and pecans.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet before transfering to wire rack.  Makes 24 cookies.
If you like chocolate and you need something quick these are very easy.

Thanks for visiting.

God Bless,
Donna


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tote Bag & Sewing ...

Thank you for all the sweet comments and emails on my last post.  I read each and every comment and it makes me feel better.  I think that the cemetery owner and I have come to an "understanding" as I will say :)
He has made other people mad as well and I have not been the only person to complain.

Oh well on to other things.  I have been doing some sewing and I can't post some of what I have made because some of the recipients  read my blog.  Jennifer knows I am making a wedding quilt for the bride and groom and I have "fussy cut" so many squares .... like 150 squares.  I will post a little of it when I have more of it completed. 
I just don't want Jennifer to see it!

The other day I was in my closet trying to organize a little and saw this bag I carried last summer.  So many people have stopped me and wanted to know where I bought it and I told them I made it.  I thought I would share it with you.


I had purchased the embroidery CD from Loralie and embroidered the lady with her flowers.  People say it looks like me. LOL  I do love to garden and look at that big hat... I do not have one like it but it would be fun to make one to wear like it to work in my yard!  But I sweat too much or as we say in the South we southern gals "glisten".  I am a GRITS... that's short for "Girls Raised in the South".


  I decided to make a tote bag and took my embroidered piece to my local quilt shop and they helped me pick out the fabric to coordinate with it.  It looks as if the fabric was made for the embroidery.  It was just fun to put together. I have carried this bag everywhere and it holds everything!  Every gal needs a large tote bag! 

Oh well I need to go and sew.  I have a ringbearer's pillow to make.  Jennifer saw one in a bride's magazine she liked and I am making one similar to it.  Very simple ... they only wanted $95 for it!  We purchased everything to make it for less than $10.  I am go glad I can sew!!

Thanks for visiting!
God Bless,
Donna

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Heart Aches...

My heart aches tonight.  Tomorrow will be 6 long months since Amber went to Heaven.  Six months tonight when we took her to the ER.  How time flies by.  My husband and I miss her so much along with Jennifer our youngest daughter.  I always wondered how people went on after losing a child...now I know.  I get up each morning and take one day at a time.  Somedays are better than other days.  This has been a BAD week.  The tears have come so freely this week.  I thought once I made it through the holidays I would be okay.  Jennifer and I cried one night this past week about how we wished she could be here for the wedding in June.  She would have been so excited!  We cry all the time together but the tears were really flowing the other night.  She loved her "big sissy" so much and still does!
I feel so bad sometimes that maybe I missed something going on with her body other than the muscular dystrophy and it was my fault.  Maybe I should have gotten her to the ER sooner.  I have gone through feeling so guilty.  I was with her 24/7 and how could it happen so quickly?  I have come to terms that it was all God's planning and his timing and I knew that all along.  It's just the mother in me I guess - if maybe I had done this or that.
I was so upset this week.  I go to the cemetery everyday sometimes twice a day to check on her gravesite.  I had gone Thursday morning and everything was in place.  My husband and I then met Jennifer in Birmingham for wedding plans and we came home and went straight to the cemetery.  I jumped out of the car and her snowflake was missing, along with her shepherd's hook and her little snowmen on her headstone.   She loved snowmen.  My first instinct was someone must have stolen it and then I began to look around and things from other gravesites were missing.  I know the cemetery well by now and knew who had windchimes and birdhouses from shepherds hooks.  Then I knew the maintenance men had taken her things off her headstone.  You talking about one mad mother!  I immediately went to the dumpster and my husband and I found Amber's things - some broken : (  Not only has my heart been broken forever but the thought that the cemetery owner's could do such a thing just hurts even more!  I have cried and then been so mad the last few days.  Needless to say I was at the cemetery office first thing the next morning and expressed my feelings to the owner, he knew I was UPSET.  I said what was on my mind and I do feel better.  I told him we would personally see to our daughter's gravesite and it would be well maintained.  I still don't think he "got it".  I asked him if he had ever lost a child or someone he truly loved.  He really gave no response.  So sad that people live like he does...all for the money.


This is the way it looked.   Do you see anything wrong with this?  I arranged it for winter and I have things planned for Valentines and Easter.  I feel that is the only way I can do something for her.  I know she is in Heaven but this is her final resting place.  My husband and I own the plots on either side of hers where we will be one day.  We had sodded it ourselves and planted winter grass.  The owner's will do it if you ask but we wanted to do it ourselves... it is sacred ground to us. 
So just pray for me and my family... it has been so hard this week and I know there are so many other families grieving as well and my heart aches for them.
I have watched the tragedy unfold in Haiti and it breaks my heart as well.  So many people lost and dying from just a broken leg.   It is so sad.

Thanks for visiting and maybe I will be back to happier things next week.

God Bless,
Donna

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cracker Barrel Skillet

Today is my first time to join in at Tales from Bloggeritaville's Thrifty Thursday at
http://lbratina.blogspot.com/
If you haven't visited before stop by and see what other bloggers are sharing this week.



 If you live in the South we all know that any good cook has got to have an iron skillet in her kitchen.  We use our iron skillets for just about anything ... frying chicken or country fried steak and definitely cornbread.  Some cooks even bake cakes in their skillets. 

Cracker Barrel has the Front Porch Friends rewards club they began recently.  If you join you earn so many points for meals or store purchases.  We have a Cracker Barrel close to our house so of course I signed up before Christmas and began earning my rewards points. I signed up online and I received an email a couple of weeks ago that I had earned so many points and I could get an iron skillet FREE! 

 
I love anything free... especially from the Cracker Barrel store.
So of course the next day I went in to get my skillet and was told that I had enough points that I could get two skillets free.  I had purchased after-Christmas sale items and I had more points than I thought : )


Here are my skillets!  They are already seasoned and ready to use.  They regularly sell for $9.99.  I really like my new skillet... can you tell?


This is the botton of the skillet.  Cornbread cooked in one of these is the perfect size for two people.  
So if you have a Cracker Barrel near your home you should sign up and begin earning your reward points.  We really don't eat there much ... I just like to shop there.
 I am going to keep one for myself and give the other one to my daughter. 

Thanks for visiting.
God Bless,
Donna


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lamp Makeover



Susan  at http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/ is having her weekly Met Monday.  Please visit Susan ... she has the best blog and is such a sweet person.

This week I am sharing a lamp that my daughter had in her dorm room in college.  She had the lamp for 4 years in college and then it retired to my basement where it is has been now for about 7 years.  I needed a lamp for my sewing room so I painted it and covered the lamp shade.

Forgive me for the quality of the picture ... I had to search a long time just to find a "before" picture. Her dorm room was blue and yellow and was really cute at the time.  It was very inexpensive.
I knew I would eventually do something with the lamp someday.


This is after a couple coats of paint and cherry fabric to cover the lampshade.


I covered the lamp shade and added the large rickrack.  It was very simple. I just used a glue gun to attach the rickrack. I had the fabric along with the rickrack.  My window valance matches the lamp shade.  My sewing room has Mary Engelbreit pretties and cherries!  I will show you pics of the sewing room when I organize it! LOL
That may never happen! :)


Here's my "new" lamp on a small baker's rack in my sewing room with my other goods.  I really am trying to organize!  This project didn't cost a penny and I really love it.

Thanks for visiting and please pray for the poor people in Haiti.  It is so sad and heartbreaking.

Blessings,
Donna

Friday, January 15, 2010

Relaxing Weekend



This is what I am planning on doing this weekend.  Reading some of my favorite magazines that I have not looked at in weeks. 
My daughter Jennifer and I have been busy planning details for her upcoming wedding in June. She worries about every little detail and I keep telling her it will all work out.  The latest issue was whether the color of the chair ties would clash with the color of the seats of the chairs where the reception is being held. 
She has decided the colors will be fine.  Thank goodness!   I did find my dress this week.  It is Amber's favorite color!  I feel like Amber led me to the dress I should wear.  We have missed her so much during the planning of the wedding and we know she is here in spirit.  I have been asked numerous times what I am wearing.  That was the least of my worries ... but I am so glad the "hunt" for the dress is over for me.   Gotta start toning my arms and losing a few pounds!  Jennifer's dress should be here in February and then she can have her bridal protraits made.  I can't wait to see her in "the dress"!
 I think most everything else is taken care of for now.  The invitations are picked out.  "Save the Date" magnets in process.  We never had "Save the Date" anything when we were married 32 years ago! LOL  Oh how times have changed!  We are meeting in a couple of weeks about food for the reception and cake tasting.  I can't wait to taste the cakes!  I will eat cake anytime ... day or night...I have a huge sweet tooth :)
We are planning on going to a bridal show in Birmingham on Sunday just to see if we have missed any little thing we hadn't thought of.  Jennifer says she has thought about this day for 28 years and she wants everything to be the way she wants it and I don't blame her.  After all it is one of the most memorable times of our lives!

Thanks for visiting!
God Bless,
Donna

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Noccalula Falls


Susan at
http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/ is hosting her weekly Outdoor Wednesday and I thought I would join in this week.  I took these pictures yesterday at Noccalula Falls in Gadsden.  The falls is a 100 foot natural wonder.  It is beautiful all year long and rarely looks like this!

We had a dusting of snow last week and combined with the freezing temperatures the mist coming from the
falls has frozen and is beautiful.  If you look closely you can see the chapel in the top of the picture.  

This is looking into the gorge below the falls.  In better weather you can walk under the falls and along the Black River.  The rocks are huge.

The falls is named for Noccalula (in the pic above) who was a young Cherokee maiden who plunged to her untimely death rather than forsake her true love. She is memorialized by a statue and the engraved story of her fate. The park also has a pioneer village, a group of rustic, hand-hewn log buildings representing a display of pioneer living conditions.  It is a great place to visit when it is warm and the flowers are blooming, but not on this cold day! BRRR!

Thanks for visiting me this week and please go visit the other participants in Outdoor Wednesday.

Blessings,
Donna

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Composition Book Makeover

Susan at http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/
is having her weekly Met Monday and I thought I would share this simple inexpensive idea.



My daughter Jennifer is getting married in June and I have so many notes and memos accumulating.  The other day I needed something quick to jot down notes in and found this ugly composition book in my sewing/craft room.  It cost a dollar at Walmart when the school supplies were sold last summer.



I knew it would work for quick notes but it needed "brightening up" so I got out my scrapbooking supplies and went to work.


I used my paper cutter, paper punches and glue and went to work. 


I decided to use the flower punches since it is a wedding I am helping to plan. Jennifer's bridesmaids dresses are purple and they will carry bright colored bouquets ao I covered the book with purple paper and embellished the book with flowers I punched out.  So simple and much better than the ugly one I started with!


Here is my finished  "wedding notebook" with the purple background and bright colored flowers.  I like it so much better and I used the things I already had around the house.  There's one thing for sure I can easily find it at a glance because it is so bright!

Please go over to Susan's and see what other bloggers are sharing this week.  There's always so many inspiring ideas.

Thanks for stopping in.  I love reading your comments.

Blessings,
Donna

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Silly Saturday

This is the first Silly Saturday hosted by Susan at  http://www.blackberrycreek.typepad.com/

Cats seem to find the most unusal places to lay...


This is Flip (she's a girl) laying in our bathroom sink.  Look at those adorable eyes!  No matter how sad you feel some days ... animals can bring a smile to your face when nothing else can :)

Thanks for visiting.
Blessings,
Donna

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow in the South ...


Snow was predicted in our area today - possibly one to three inches. This is all we got!
How disappointing!  We get all excited when snow is predicted.  Everyone goes to the store to buy their bread and milk.  It's hilarious to people from the north that have moved here and how we react to the thought of snow!  The schools close down and everything is canceled when the word SNOW is mentioned.
 It has been so cold here for us ... the temperature has not been out of the 30's in days and the teens at night. BRRR!  Our normal temperature during January is in the 50's.

The "snow" on shrubs in our front yard.  I can still see the mulch! 

Oh well the weatherman has missed this one again.  The only measurable snow I remember was in 1993 when we had the "Blizzard of '93" and we really were snowed in for days.  We had nearly 2 feet of snow ... a once in a lifetime event for us!  We were without electricity for a week, but we enjoyed it. My girls were small at the time and it was fun to play in. 

As I was typing this post I heard 2 loud booms and there has been an accident in front of our house...  a car and a truck collided.  I went to check and everyone is fine and no one was hurt thank goodness.  We just don't know how to drive with snow and ice in the south.

Well gotta go and watch the Rose Bowl game.  Football is huge in Alabama... hopefully the Crimson Tide will win or there will be sad faces around town tomorrow!

Thanks for visiting.
God Bless,
Donna

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sweet Tea Quilt ... A Work in Progress

I have always had a love for teapots.  I honestly don't know how many I have : )
So when I saw this Sweet Tea quilt pattern and kit while vacationing in Tennessee I had to purchase it.


It is by The Quilt Company and I love it.  I have had this kit for at least 2 years and finally decided to start it this summer. Then my life changed forever : ( and I am trying to get back to my quilting to keep myself busy during these cold winter days we have had here in the South.  We are NOT accustomed to this kind of weather.  It did not get above freezing here today.  You northern gals are used to this cold weather, but this is why I live in the south.  I DO NOT like cold weather!  They are even predicting snow this week!  We rarely see snow. 


This is my favorite teapot block.  The buttons are just laid there for the pic... they are not sewn on yet.


No this may be may favorite!  It will have a button also for the lid.  I just realized this one is facing the other direction from the pattern.  Oh well!  I am not a perfectionist!


Paper piecing was used for the "body" of this one with an appliqued handle and spout.  I have the "tea bag" made and it looks real with the method they used.   Forgot to take a pic of it!

I used rick rack around my blocks, the quilt pattern was a little confusing about the borders and it did not measure correctly when I began sewing the blocks together so I took out the tiny inner border and added rick rack and the blocks fit perfectly together.  The rick rack was much easier and I like the texture of it.


This teapot must have hot tea in it ... it is steaming out the top with the lid off. 


There are four of these blocks.  Again I used rick rack for the border.
So hopefully I can press these really well now that I have them out again and begin making the teacups along with the ribbon border. 
But before I begin sewing I better go to the store and buy bread and milk.  If you live in the South you know what I mean : )   We get a little bit of snow and EVERYTHING closes.

Thanks for visiting.  I love reading your comments.
Blessings and Hugs,
Donna

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Made a Boo Boo :)

In my last post I mentioned Amber as Jennifer's honorary bridesmaid .... she corrected me and says that Amber is her only Maid of Honor!  I had to make sure that was clear.  It means so much to Jennifer.  Jennifer thank you so much for correcting me about the last post.  Love you!  I have mentioned before my mind is not the same as it was before July 24 : (

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 and the New Year

2009 was the most difficult year of my life.  I had many blessings throughout the year and then the loss of my oldest daughter Amber.  July 24, 2009 and the days following were the most difficult days of my life.  We knew after Amber was diagnosed that she would never live to grow old ... but we never dreamed this time last year she would not be here with us this year.  She seemed to be healthy and so full of life despite her muscular dystrophy. I always prayed for a miracle that she would be healed.  It never happened.  I do know she is in Heaven walking again and that gives me comfort and I do know that we will see each other again.

We began 2009 completing a new addition to our home for Amber.  She needed a larger bedroom and a roll-in shower.  She had decorated her new bedroom and bath with the paint colors she had chosen.  Her closet is so organized and labeled the way she had me organize it with everything labeled.  Her closet is full of unread books that I will read one day.  We made a major purchase for a roll-in shower chair for Amber. It made life much easier for me and her.  She enjoyed it for 7 months before she passed away.  It now sits in her new shower unused.  My heart is broken.  I will never be the same person I was before her passing.  But life goes on...

My youngest daugher, Jennifer had met her "prince charming" as she calls him last year about this time.  I think God sent Jeremy into her life at the right time.  God knew Jennifer would need Jeremy to get through the difficult months that were to come.  Jeremy asked Jennifer to marry him on August 16, 2009.  I was told later that he had purchased the ring before Amber went to Heaven and was going to ask Jennifer to marry him on July 25 the day after she passed away. We had planned a family get-together at my sister's lakehouse that Saturday and Jeremy was going to ask my husband if he could marry Jennifer.  It did not happen the way it was planned.  Instead we were planning a funeral.  My family gathered together but not the way we had expected.

So now we are planning the BIG event Jennifer has waited years for!   The wedding will be in June.  All of the major details are planned ....the church and reception booked, the DRESS ordered and the bridemaids dresses picked out (Amber's favorite color - purple).  Jennifer still has so many little details to think about and it is fun and sometimes stressful to plan a wedding!  I am letting her make all the decisions.  If she asks for my opinion, I am glad to give it but the day is all about her!  We are very excited about the upcoming wedding and adding a son to our family.  We know Amber will be attending the wedding in spirit and watching down on Jennifer as she and her daddy walk down the aisle.  Amber is Jennifer's "honorary bridesmaid" and there will be a special candle lit for Amber during the ceremony. 

We all have difficult times in our lives whether it is the loss of a job, illness or the loss of a loved one but life goes on....

I hope 2010 brings you all good health and happiness!

God Bless,
Donna