What is THIS all about?

Thanks for coming to my Blog! I am a Daughter of a King, Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of five, MomInLaw of two, and Gram of three. Designing and creating feeds something inside of me! This blog will be sharing about my faith, my family, my life, my creations and collections. I am on a journey to learn balance and will be sharing about that as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!


Silent Night Lullaby
Sleep little Baby, sweet little Baby,
The sky is alight with one star shinging brightly.
The air's filled with music, a song on the breeze.
All nature in harmony echoes the peace,
And the angels of heaven are singing Thy praise...
So, slumber, my sweet Little Baby.

~Darrell Crowther

"And there were in the same country shepherds, 
abiding in their fields and watching over their flocks by night.
And Lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the Glory of the Lord shown 'round about them,
and the angel said unto them,
"FEAR NOT! for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy which shall be to all people!
For unto YOU is born this day, in the City of David,
a Savior, which is Christ the Lord..."

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of
heavenly hosts praising God and saying,
"GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST! 
and on earth peace....good will toward men"

Family Traditions hold us and carry us, remind us and renew us. My birth family tradition that has become my own family's Christmas Tradition is Christmas Caroling on Christmas Eve. I have done it as long as I can remember and my family cannot do without it....it is as much a part of us as breathing....

We love to sing and harmonize the songs celebrating the birth of the Savior and once again tonight we enjoyed it, even though there were few of us. I love my sister, and her family who we go with each year that we are together. And our harmonies are much more beautiful with all of us together. 

The verse at the top is sung simultaneously with "Silent Night" and it is a beautiful arrangement that we sing every Christmas. Tonight I was priveledged to recite this section of scripture, the full extent of it, while my family and extended family hummed in 3 part harmony the second verse to Silent Night. My father always recited it when I was growing up, but if I could learn it "by heart", he said he would let me recite it while caroling. So, I worked hard to please my father and he allowed me to recite it. I have been able to recite it ever since. After my father passed away in 1993, my family let me be the one to recite it while Christmas Caroling. In turn, my son memorized it and has been able to recite it, at about the age of 8 he started doing that. This year, at the age of 20, he is on a mission to tell the people of Brazil about Jesus Christ and the difference His life and atonement can make in their lives. He has had the opportunity to recite these scriptures during the second verse of Silent Night in Portuguese. He loves music and sharing his testominy of the Savior. 

I am so grateful for my Father, for my Son, for my Heavenly Father and for His Son, Jesus Christ. I am grateful to be blessed with a love of music, and a desire to praise the Lord of heaven and earth with song!

Happy Christmas to you and yours! May the songs of Christmas tug and tighten your heartstrings around you and your loved ones, blood family or adopted family. And may we tie ourselves to God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, who loved us first!

Christmas Hearts to You,
Betsy


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dutch Inspired Christmas Tags as Ornaments


I had so much fun making my Grandgirls' Christmas Ornament Tags, I decided to make some for my sis~in~law. She loves vintage things, she quilts, she cooks, she decorates and she loves old silver. And it was her birthday! I found in my vintage images two pictures that were a Dutch theme.

This vintage windmill charm is so sweet and isn't that salt spoon amazing? It is so tiny! I am not sure which things I will finally use...we will see!




Her husband, my husband's brother, went to The Netherlands on a mission for our church 35 years ago, and as a family, they have continued some Dutch Christmas traditions. They put out their wooden shoes as well as stockings on Christmas Eve, they have a really wonderful Nutcracker Collection. They have purchased one or two each year. Their home is beautiful and she is an amazing decorator. Her Christmas Decor is fabulous....it is a gorgeous Christmas home at Christmas time.










I got so excited, you know how fun it is when you find something you are pretty sure someone will love....I got all my stash out..well, only part of it...it is too much to get all of it out at once!
I chose some vintage laces, vintage glass buttons, heart charms, and glitter, and I began working on two Christmas Ornaments for her birthday.

I love the look of the snowy glitter on the images. I found some vintage silver items in Germany when I was there this summer, and I wanted to incorporate some of them into the tag/ornament.







This snowy windmill scene is on the back of the tag with the girl carrying the mistletoe. The spoon will be attached to the tag back with a lace tie, so she can remove it for a different use if she would like. The  windmill charm will be attached to the back of the tag with the couples skating and carrying mistletoe. I love these images.....





See..........my tags end up being very busy....I don't know if I even am able to make something simple.... LOL, I'll have to work at being simple.....work....at simple?....THAT sounds like an oxymoron to me.....*rolling eyes at myself*....




This is the finished product.....the windmill charm attached to the back of the couple tag/ornament....
I have had such fun making these...I learned lots about what worked and didn't work, it was fun to try different products and learn how to use them. I might have to make myself a set of these tags, with different silver pieces.
                         

I finally decided on a spoon with dutch wooden shoes on the handle, it is very sweet.

But the tags are so busy....
It seems that everything I do is busy...  ;P.... what to do about that, I am not sure....Any suggestions?  
My heart just loves elegance...don't know why, I am NOT an elegant person....but that is what warms and tugs at my Heartstrings. Guess I'll have to live with it !
I don't think my sis~in~law can have as much fun with these as I had making them...but I am good with that, too!
Hugs to your Heart!
Betsy



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Funny, Funny Mother!

The very first time I read this poem years ago.....I laughed so hard I was crying real tears before I got anywhere near the end of it....
You may have read or heard it before, but it is always a great reminder of what to AVOID this time of year!

FUNNY, FUNNY MOTHER!
See Mother. See Mother laugh. Mother is happy.
Mother is happy about Christmas.
Mother has many plans. Mother has many plans for Christmas.
Mother is organized. Mother smiles all the time.
Funny, funny Mother.
See Mother. See Mother smile. Mother is happy.
The shopping is all done. See the children watch TV.
Watch, children watch.
See the children change their minds.
See them ask for different toys.
Look, look, Mother is not smiling.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother sew.
Mother will make dresses.
Mother will make robes.
Mother will make shirts.
See Mother put the zipper in wrong.
See Mother sew the dress on the wrong side.
See Mother cut the skirt too short.
See Mother put the material away until January.
Look. Look. See Mother take a tranquilizer.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother buy raisins and nuts.
See Mother buy candied pineapple and powdered sugar.
See Mother buy flour, and dates, and pecans, and brown sugar, and bananas, and spices, and vanilla.
Look. Look. Mother is mixing everything together.
See the children press out cookies.
See the flour on their elbows.
See the cookies burn. See the cake fall.
See the children pull taffy. See mother pull her hair.
See mother clean the kitchen with the garden hose.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother wrap presents. See Mother look for the end on the scotch tape roll. See Mother bite her finger nails. See Mother go.
See Mother go to the store 12 times in one hour.
Go Mother go. See Mother go faster. Run Mother run.
See Mother trim the tree.
See Mother have a party.
See Mother make popcorn.
See Mother wash the walls.
See Mother scrub the rug.
See Mother tear up the organized plan.
See Mother forget gift for Uncle Harold.
See Mother get hives.
Go Mother go. See the far away look in Mother's eyes.
Mother has become disorganized. Mother has become disoriented.
Funny, funny Mother.

It is finally Christmas morning. See the happy family.
See Father smile. Father is happy.
Smile Father smile.
Father loves fruit cake.
Father loves Christmas pudding.
Father loves all the new neckties.
Look, look. See the happy children. See the children's toys.
Santa was very good to the children.
The children will remember this Christmas.

See Mother. Mother is slumped in a chair.
Mother is crying uncontrollably.
Mother does not look well.
Mother has ugly dark circles under her blood shot eyes.
Everyone helps mother to her bed.
See Mother sleep quietly under heavy sedation.
See Mother smile.
Funny, funny Mother.

 My children usually quote this at some point every year....
But usually it is their own version of a line or two.....
I usually hear...."Go Mother, Go! Faster, Mother, FASTER!" and we all laugh and I sit down and reevaluate what I am doing and what truly is most important to get done.
I much prefer the uncontrollable crying while reading this to the uncontrollable "crying slumped in a chair..."

Happy Christmas to you, Happy Last Few Days Before Christmas" to you, and especially Happy Christmas Memories of Christmas 2012 to reflect on later...So, take a little time in getting things done. Many of the things on our lists are only held there by our imaginations.....
Happy Christmas is the goal....

Happy Hearts to you,
Betsy

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Memories of Christmases Past

 I have been thinking about Christmases past. . .
A gorgeous snowy night walking downtown in a large city with
my arm around the love of my life.... It was romantic...
 Visiting a Castle and looking over the surrounding landscape...
I was in awe....
 The details in the decor at EVERY Christmas Market
were so amazing to me...
 Walking on snowy roads from market to market in the moonlight,
holding hands with my Hubby,
watching most of our children walking ahead of us
having a fabulous time in the freezing cold December weather
and loving every minute of it, yet missing the family
members unable to be there with us.
(For some reason, my camera decided to flip out and the above picture is what I got...
I thought is was pretty neat for an accidental picture. After that night, it wouldn't work correctly, but I love this picture and distinctly remember  where I was standing and how magical it all felt to me.)
I just kept pinching myself....I couldn't believe I was there.
From the day we landed in Frankfurt until the day we left,
we enjoyed the feeling of a Christmas 
in Germany with loved ones. 
These pictures are of ONE of the wonderful Christmas Seasons of my life....
There have been 52, all different and all full of wonder,
if not wonderful.....and full of Gratitude for family,
for music rejoicing in the Celebration of the Savior's Birth,
for Love, for gifts seen and unseen,
for another year of growth and learning 
and for the blessing of The Savior of the World in my life.
This Nativity was placed near the Visitors Center by the
Frankfurt, Germany Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The grounds were snowy and beautifully lighted, 
and focused on Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Christmas begins with Christ
May may we invite Him into our lives every day of every year.

My heart is full from many wonderful memories of
Christmases Past...
and so full of Hope for Future Christmases because of whose birth
We Celebrate!

Hugs from My Heart to your Heart,
Betsy

Saturday, December 15, 2012

With a Heavy Heart....


Today has been a heart wrenching day,
Full of shock, disbelief, sadness and tears for so many. I have prayed for strength and comfort for those in Connecticut, and everywhere, who are in need of so much at this time. I pray that the Healing love of the Savior reaches each one of our hearts, so we all might have increased ability to reach out our own hands, offering care and support for those who are hurting or in need of assistance of any kind in our own communities as well as in Connecticut specifically.
I pray for the Perfect Love of Christ to fill our hearts so that fear is cast out and we can be His hands and minister to His children now in need....
We are all hurting together,
Love will see us through,

Love and heart hugs to you all,
Betsy

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Transformation of a Christmas Wreath

Do you have any Christmas decor that did not turn out the way you had envisioned?   I do.....
I made two wreaths some years ago. One I gave as a gift and that was the one I liked the most....

The other wreath.....not so much.



It just wasn't doin' it for me, you know? I tried to sell it an a Christmas Boutique...but no sale...
Two years later, two weeks ago... I decided I was going to redo this so it might sell.  It was pretty, but something was just not right....




So this is what it looked like next......I moved some of the pine cone bows and pears to the right bottom corner. . .  Better.... but I wasn't done yet...and those white jingle bells on the left needed to be rearranged...or some removed...and something else needed to be added.......



I added more icy vines around the poinsetta and pears....that is much better. I liked it hanging in my bathroom like it is now....but I want to be able to sell it.....and how many people have lavendar, blue and sage green, with purple~ish raspberries for Christmas decor? .....hmmmmm........*LIGHT BULB MOMENT*...IT NEEDS TO BE RED!







I CAN DO RED!!!! So...down to the work room....(okay, it is really a play room, but I can't call it THAT!!! I am trying to come up with a more.....prestigious name for it.....Oh! Maybe the DESIGN Room! That is MUCH better!) So down to the DESIGN STUDIO we go...me and my wreath. I used my red spray paint and look what happened....And I even had more icy RED grapes....I like how that looks!







I had to wrap the wreath in plastic wrap and pull the berries through to keep the rest of it from being sprayed. I sprayed each individual poinsettia petal, trying to keep the different tones showing through. It looks kinda "funky" only partly finished....soooo...

TA DA!!!!! I am REALLY loving THIS wreath! The purple~ish berries were pretty with the red spray, but the round previously made RED grapes added another shape and texture and I just liked them.  For the picture I added one of the vintage cookie cutter ornaments I made and it looked so sweet  in the wreath! I thought two of them might go in nicely, but then I would have to charge too much for the wreath. And I was hoping it would sell, even if I do like it better now!

When I post about the Christmas Boutique I will show you the close~ups I took of the cookie cutter ornaments I am selling. But if this wreath doesn't sell now..... I will be happy to keep it!

Christmas is my favorite time of year, maybe because my birthday is this month. But I just love the red and green and pine scented everything and the candles and the lights and the music and the caroling and the giving.....I love to give happiness ...

This wreath gives my Heartstrings a bit more Happiness!

Hugs to your Heart, Hope your Heart is Happy Today!
Betsy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Tag Ornaments

It is December!
......it has been for a few days! I have had such a busy two weeks I haven't made time to post anything on the blog! But I have been taking pictures of what I have been up to......


I have been trying to learn how to make tags....and I decided that I would make one for our oldest Grandgirl for her Christmas ornament this year. I wanted to give her a play baking set for Christmas and the tag/ornament could be a reminder of the gift!




She loves to help her Mom, Daughter*1, make cookies for herself and for her Daddy. She sits on the counter or a stool and helps. She has her own apron that she wears, but that doesn't mean Mimi can't give her another one for Christmas!! "Mimi" is my Grandma name.



This was really fun for me.  I think I make tags very full, and somewhat busy...just like me! I can see how less can be more, but for this ornament, I really like it busy. I used some fun mini ornaments I purchased quite a few years ago for the cookies. I painted and antiqued them so they looked more the color of real cookies.
I thought the baker's twine was a fun addition for the cookies to be "hanging" from. I also threaded it through the lace on the bottom of the tag. It doesn't show up very much, but I thought it was just the right touch.
Then I made the tag string out of mulitple pieces of pearl cotton so it also has the appearance of baker's twine.









I had so much fun making this, I just had to make one for myself!

There are a few differences in hers and mine, but I did that on purpose. I will make the back of mine just like the back I put on hers. Her name, the Year and a "We Love YOU! From Papa and Mimi" on the back. This way when she comes to our house at Christmas, there will be an ornament on our tree similar to the one on her tree at home, but different.  I am also  making one for her baby sister. I decided that for a few years, at least, these will be the ornaments the Grandgirls get from us for Christmas. And they will be similar to their actual gift. Later in their lives, they may no longer have the gifts, but they will have a gift memory on their ornaments.

There are only three differences between her ornament and ours......Can you find the differences?

These ornaments will always tug at my heartstrings, because they remind me of my Grandgirls and the gifts we gave them and the things they love to do at each Christmas.

Hearts,
Betsy