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 31, 2013

Graham Cracker Structure Giveaway

For those of you who guessed about 
the structure my hubby made when we made our Graham Cracker Christmas Village,
I would not have guessed what it was either
if he had not told me!


This picture shows what it would look like closed and where
no one would even guess what would be stored inside...

This picture is with the "door" or hatch open...

You must think three dimensional, and realize it is a circular staircase,
descending into a cold storage area.

It looks to me that there are six to nine shelves,
each shelf holding ..a....hmm..... a six foot circle
of "containers" of a similar type item...
possibly a liquid...
with a colored cap on it..
Maybe a Bottle???

He happened upon this picture and knew right away that for his
architectural wonder, made from only Graham Crackers, you must realize,
He would "build", if that is what you want to call it.....a

SHEFFIELD CIDER
CELLAR!

I thought that was such a clever idea, once I got over the automatic thought of
"Is that ALL you are going to make? You cheated!'
I think he would really like to build one of these! LOL!!!

He makes the most unique Graham Crackers houses I have ever seen!

This is the one from LAST year, Christmas 2012...





 It is a Rock Climber Tent hanging from the cliff,
decorated with Christmas lights....
So clever... He makes me smile and laugh every year.
Our family loves this tradition, along with the
other Christmas Traditions we participate in most years.
Decorating our home for Christmas, with the same decorations
we have had for years, adding a few more here and there,
Gifts to each other, of course, our Church Christmas Party that always
focuses on the Birth of the Savior,
(They do have a Santa Visit on another day for the young children.)
Christmas Concerts for the school Choir and Band,
 lots of singing and instrument playing during the month of December,
 adding new Christmas Ornaments for each member of the family to the tree each year,
playing games and laughing until we cry or can hardly breathe,
Watching the movie "White Christmas" as many times as we can, along with
ALL the other Christmas movies we have,
and the sentimental Hallmark Christmas Movies, we LOVE THOSE!
Christmas Caroling and Hot chocolate afterward on Christmas Eve,
 delivering treats to those who are still
willing to open their doors for our singing after all THESE YEARS!!
and we just enjoy each other's company.

Tonight, not quite midnight, all is quiet in our home.
The "invalid parents", Hubby and I,are trying to continue recovering
from illness and the two kids who have
"cabin fever" have gone to New Year's Eve parties of their own,
since we are not up to the games and crying from laughter tonight.

In the quiet, I think about the last year of our lives, and all
the many blessings we have received. The health and strength we
have been given to get through some difficult experiences,
for our Son returning safely from two years in Brazil,
getting to see Daughter*1 and her family after a year,
and for some years free from intense anxiety,
Oh, how grateful to God I am!
I know my life is good, and even without all of this,
I have the love of family and friends that grows and strengthens,
every day. Some years, Christmas has been VERY Difficult,
and I pray that I can be able to recognise "difficult" in the
lives of others, and know how I might lift a burden or
lighten a heart.

It is a wonderful life!

Thank you, friends and followers, for the "wonderful"
you have added to my life over the past year of my blogging!

I was "running" when my "First Blogiversary" happened!

Here's to an AMAZING 2014!!!

I had in mind for this to be a PS to the other post...
"PS" SHOULD mean Pretty Short.....
but you know me!!  (don't ya....)

Happy, Happy, Happy Everyday!!
Betsy

Seasons Greetings to One and All!


I hope you all had an excellent Christmas Day, giving and receiving gifts in
remembrance of God's gift to us of His Son! 

I hope you are all happy and well!




Christmas Hugs and New Years Kisses
to you all!
Let's make it a great 2014!!!

Betsy




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

15th Annual Christmas Tradition ~ Part Two and Giveaway

Welcome back! 
Continuing.....

SonIL*2 creating...he is an excellent artist
and very creative!
Daughter*4 enjoying candy and watching
BroIL fix her wire...What are they making???















Look at what they made!!!!

They were trying to out do themselves after the carousel last year. I would say they succeeded!

Hubby's Mom decided to go easy and made an igloo out of Mini Marshmallows.

I love the teeny tiny marshmallows I got for hot chocolate, but they decided to use them as snowballs
in decorating their Cottages!

I decided that I deserved a pre-made gingerbread house kit after all these years of being such a fun mom
so here is my rendition this year. Usually I just get a kick out of all of theirs.
Just a plain old plain old, but it was fun.
And my hubby??? What was HIS Christmas ... hmmm....  
what would I refer to it as...oh, ... structure!











This didn't take him hardly any time at all to make... 
Was he cheating?? And what is it?

Look closely at the above Picture and if you can guess correctly what it is....
I will send you one of what is in the picture in the mail this week!

He is a sneaky guy when he makes stuff...
**shaking my head**,  but I did laugh and think it was very clever!!! 

Leave a comment below and your guess at what it is....I will contact the winner on Friday and 
get it in the mail to you right away! 

 Here is our completed "Cracker Christmas Village".




It sits on top of our computer armoire. I haven't told you about the armoires... oh boy, what a story!
And that lovely candelabra on the right is a birthday gift to me from my kids!
I will have to tell you about that too!

Too many stories and I take too long telling them!
Hope to be here more often posting.
hugs and Christmas Cottage love,

Betsy

15th Annual Christmas Tradition ~ Part One

I have been a busy bee and have taken lots of pictures, but have not done any blog posts!


 I will begin with Thanksgiving weekend, and eventually post about
the other things! I am sure you can tell what we have done every Christmas for
all these years, and now there is no getting out of it.

Daughter*3 and her roommate, who was here for Thanksgiving.
Hubby, explaining why he shouldn't be in trouble
for his VERY easy project...
Daughter *3



















First, we plan and plot, and see what we can make differently
than what we have done before.

I always wonder what everyone will come up with.
I never cease to be amazed at what they decide to make.

A "Pine Tree House"...can you tell???

Sometimes, they don't look anything like what they are supposed to be, and other times you can tell exactly what it is!

Daughter*2 



And other times,
we are just feeling tired and just stick with what we
do best... Christmas Cottages.

We aren't like everyone else,
we don't use gingerbread cookie pieces,  we are lazy and just like to use Graham Crackers to make our  "Cracker Christmas Village".

When we started making these, our oldest was 14 and the youngest was 18 months and it just made sense to
make them easy and doable.

My MILaw has been a cake
decorator for years.  We use her Royal Icing Recipe because it dries hard and holds the houses together
 very well. This started out as a Grandma and Grandpa time with our family.  It has been so much fun!  I was having extreme anxiety the Christmas my MILaw suggested it and I just felt sick about doing it. It was overwhelming.  But she bought and brought the stuff, and it was great for the kids.

It has become a tradition and even the years I have had anxiety we have still done it.
Candy lasts forever, as long as you don't want to EAT it!!!
 
and her "Christmas Cottage".




We have had many cracker things built through the years...my hubby comes up with the most ....a....clever.... ;) things to make.
One year, it was an outhouse, with a Nerds banana on the side, for the moon on the outhouse...
One year it was a cliff tent, hanging with a string of lights on the outside...
SILaw*1 made a tank one year,...you can tell he works for the Army! SIL*2 and Daughter*4 made a carousel with swedish fish and molded starburst candies as the animals.
We have had a log cabin made from pretzels,
complete with a fireplace and smoke coming out of the chimney.We have had a sled with marshmellow snowmen riding it. We even had a mobile home that looked about like the one we used to live in. A candy necklace was used as the lights around the roof of the trailer.
Once, we had a "Mansion" that collapsed from the  weight of all the frosting and the treats on the roof... It was very hilarious! but you had to be here to understand why it was so funny...

Our only Son
Our son returned from a two year mission in Brazil for our church this last August, and it was so much fun having him here to create with us instead of just sending him the pictures.

He was the "Mansion" architect all those years ago, and still is pretty creative on his projects for the Graham Cracker houses.

We all love music, but he plays the most instruments of anyone in the family,  so what do you think HE made....
"A Baby Graham Piano"

ha, ha, ha....





I bought this vinyl tablecloth a few years ago, on special after christmas,  so we could have a festive easy clean up for our event.

It makes a great backdrop for the pictures. I wish I would have taken pictures each year, I don't know what I was thinking. I will be taking them from now on, however.



One of my nieces came to our home for Thanksgiving because she could drive here with our kids the 650 miles, and she didn't have to purchase a plane ticket to go home back east. It was wonderful spending time with her. Her parents, her mom is my sister, introduced me to my hubby. When I was in high school, they lived across the road from where we built our house. Her father's family also lives here so she was able to visit with them.

Niece from Kentucky
Didn't she make a cute little house?

















This was supposed to be a quick post.... yeah right, I have much to learn...

Okay, it is so confusing on my template right now, I will have to make a Part Two!! Hopefully you'll follow over!  When I get it posted I will add a link HERE to take you to Part Two!

Happy Christmas Cottages to you!
Hugs,
Betsy





Monday, October 28, 2013

Ahhhh...Senior Year Homecoming Dance...... Nightmare Dress...or Dream Come True?

Daughter*4, our youngest, is in her last year of high school.
Just like every girl, she wants to be asked to the Homecoming Dance, 
especially her Senior year of High School.

Since she has chosen to Not pair off with one boy and single date, as the time of a formal dance 
at school approaches and is in everyones' conversations, she is wondering......

"Is someone going to ask me to the dance?
What dress will I wear?
Will I be HAPPY he asked me to the dance? 
When am I going to be asked!???!!
I HOPE I am going to be asked to the dance..(sadness creeping in...)"

Two weeks before the dance, one of her good friends asked her to be his date.
She was so excited! Of course, she told him 
"Yes! I would LOVE to be your date!"
eBay dress...$50!!!
We knew we had to work fast to find a dress. 
She has borrowed dresses for past formal dances, and she is shaped differently
 than her older sisters, so she couldn't use any of their dresses. And she really wanted 
a dress of her own. So, she started looking online. And this is the dress she found.

The picture isn't very clear, but it looks online like it is a beige dress with a 
brown empire waisted area with bling and beads. The shoulders had too much beading.
Seven rows of beads that are very low quality...not nearly as pretty as the 
other strings of beads that hang just below them. 
The color in the eBay description said "Gray", and we hoped gray would 
look just as nice as the picture did. Isn't it a lovely dress?.....well.....

Her date's Mother brought over ties so we could see if he already owned one that might go well.
He owned two that went well!

if you don't have to alter anything...Which we always have to do. . .
I do sew, but we were headed to another state to take her brother to college for the weekend,
 just a few days after the dress arrived. I knew I had only a short time to find 
and purchase fabric that would either match (ha,ha,ha) the fabric or blend with (maybe) or
contrast well, similar to the fabric used on the high waist area (not a chance!).

                         
                                            The dress was from China. . . Anyone know how I take care of this dress?!!!
We checked a fabric store on our trip and I picked up a piece of fabric and a scarf 
that looked like they  might do the trick, but I had a sneaking suspicion that it 
would end up being more complicated than that. 
Doesn't it always?
I worked almost every day on her dress so it would be ready for her.


Her dress needed to have sleeves added, which is a fairly regular thing I have 
done to most of the dresses we purchased for dances.  
My girls are short waisted and I always have to take about 2 inches out of the shoulders. 
On this dress I also had to raise the waist up about 3/4 of an inch.  
It improved the fit so much, on the top and through her hips,
I knew I HAD to make that adjustment so "The Princess" could look her best in her dress.
The shoulder bling, I wish I had a "Before" picture, was so much 
my hubby said in a quiet voice, "She looks like she is wearing a Marching Band Uniform!
She is a petite girl and really, the shoulders were so blingy, you were drawn to 
look at them instead of at her beautiful face!!!
She loved the dress as it was, so I just did that Mom thing and didn't say much.
So first things first. Take apart the dress.... YIKES! SCARY Lookin'!

We went once again to a fabric store in our area, hoping to find something that would match better...
and we DID find it! She did, I was looking for lining and she found a match that
was just a little lighter in color, but you wouldn't know it
if I hadn't told you!

I was in a Van Huesen store and look what I found! The Perfect tie for the dress.
Since we had to take 2 inches off the shoulders, we had to remove some 
of that bling. It was great because when fitting the dress to her shoulders,
 readily agreed that it looked better with less bling on the shoulders. 

The dress was fully lined with a lined lining! Do you know how many seems that 
is to take out and re-stitch and rip and take out again, if you make a mistake? 
Too Many! But I did them all and did many of them AGAIN!

Since the waist band was raised, you see that I also had to adjust........you got it...the loops...on BOTH sides
.Hmmm, maybe this was not such a great idea.
In altering the back, I was working with five layers of fabric on the right side, including 
the loops and the stay strip, and seven layers on the left side, including the lined piece 
that fits in to cover her back underneath the lacing.
It may have been easier to sew this dress from the pattern and fabric up, but
it would have taken me longer than the time I had, I think. 

I used a sleeve pattern from a shirt pattern I have, it is the same pattern piece I have used on ALL the dresses I've altered for the girls. I adjust it to fit the armhole on each dress a little differently. 
But it works, so I keep using it! Someday I would like to learn how to fit sleeves 
and make somewhat professional alterations. I have sewn
for my girls for a long time, but I don't think I am finished sewing for them.

We found the perfect shoes, with the cheap looking bling and EVERYTHING! LOL!!!
She even had white polish with glitter bling on her toes. It was so cute!


While making her corsage and boutonniere, I remembered I had this
vintage clutch I bought years ago at a antique store for $12.
It is in immaculate condition and was still in
it's original box. She was thrilled with it.
Her hair was done in a "Downton Abbey" loose bun,
and she made a braided hair ribbon out of
the tiny braid I used in her wrist corsage.


Don't they just look like good friends? I told her she would have to be on a chair so 
they could talk while they dance! 


Our beautiful sweet princess was so tired when she got home, but she said she didn't want
to take the dress off because she felt so pretty in it. 
She is pretty. She is kind, intelligent, fun, musical, witty, friendly,
and she laughs and works and sings and cries with me. 

(In the background of my typing I hear her complaining to her father about the cost of something....
"They charge me six kidneys per pack......and I don't even HAVE SIX KIDNEYS!")

She warms my heart every day. Even on the days 
I shake my head or want to spank her. . . she is so much fun!
What a blessing she is in my life.

Hope you enjoyed my CRAZINESS, or over confidence, whatever you want to call it. 
It was a successful craziness, and isn't that what life is all about?

Betsy Hugs and Bloggy Love to you all!

Betsy

PS ~ My First Blog-iversary is tomorrow!! I cannot believe it! Can anyone hear me saying "Blog Giveaway?"

Linking this girl and her gorgeous Grey Dress
 to 


Thanks for the party, Michelle!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Christmas in August

All of our children were here in August, when our son returned home from a mission 
for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil. He was there for two years, so 
when he returned part of our festivities was a Christmas in August Celebration.  
Everyone brought small gifts for each other, but Daughter*1 brought me some gorgeous 
linens and crochets from the flohmarkt  in Frankfort, Germany!
 She knows just what I love and I do love it all!!!


This is an oval table cloth or runner that is so amazing.

I received three of each of these, and they are very pretty.

I don't think I have seen a doily quite like this before. I think it is beautiful. 

This doily is made from a silky, shiny thread.

I love the details on this runner. The center design is lovely. . .

Look at these gorgeous old buttons on this piece.... I ADORE this piece...

It's a European pillow sham. I do not have any European sized pillows, but I can sure get some!
This sham has need of repair, but I am looking forward to fixing it up.
It will be perfect in our off white bedroom. I am making a few changes in our 
master bedroom, but it it will remain mostly off white.

All of these pieces need to be soaked and oxycleaned! But they will be 
so pretty when washed and ironed. 
I don't like ironing clothing, but beautiful linens are another thing!

These "lacies" are so pretty and it will be so fun to use them on 
pillows, a curtain and a duvet cover. 


Thank you, Gigi, for the gorgeous doilies, the runners, and the European pillow sham.... 
But thank you most for your love and friendship and thoughtfulness in finding me such beauties!!! Hugs to you and your family, Sweet Girl. 
I want to make you something with some of these amazing pieces, too!

Hope you all enjoyed my gifts, I am really loving them.

Hearts to you all,
Have a great weekend!

BETSY


PS I wish my crochet was so evenly finished! Hopefully I will get better as  go!
PPSS And I also got some other beautiful things from Brazil as well as silver from Germany from my other daughter!!! Show you those soon!


Linking up late to 
at Timewashed, thanks Becky!

And to 
at Faith, Grace, and Crafts, thanks to you also, Doni!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Love Hearts!


It has been a busy summer and I haven't even posted about most of it.

I was able, however, to work on some things while traveling in the car to wherever we 
were going, and I wanted to show some of them to you!





 I have been wanting to crochet some hearts to use for ..... Fun! And possibly for Christmas ornaments. I am participating in a few Christmas Boutiques and I thought some of these in a rustic style might be of interest to a few people. I think I will make a garland as well, we will see.


I saw a picture of these on Julia's blog, Vintage with Laces, in February, 
but could not remember whose blog it was on. I hunted and hunted 
and finally read on a different blog that she had received a gift from Julia 
and included in that gift was one of these crotcheted hearts! I could see it in the picture!


They are called Swedish Hearts, and Julia was kind enough to direct me back to her 
Original Blog Post about finding the pattern. 
Julia saw these hearts on the blog yarnroundhook.
The gal there had found the instructions, but they were in Dutch.
She translated the instructions to English, UK english, so I still had to figure out the specifics. 
What they call a triple crochet is a double crochet in the US, and a double crochet is a single crochet. 
I figured that part out! I am proud of me! (even though it wasn't that hard to figure!)


This one was the first one I made. It was very sloppy slippery. I used a shiny silky thread and it wasn't a good choice to begin with. I love the shine to it, but I couldn't keep the thread tension even at first,
so I just changed to a cotton thread. 
I love the intense red thread, but I think the white and off white and tan colors might sell better.  
This gorgeous handkerchief was made for me
 by my niece, Dawn. 
She loves me and I love her!
We are two months different in age, 
and we have grown up more like  sisters than Aunt and Niece. 
We have taught each other lots of wonderful things, and shared many wonderful memories. 
And I will cherish and use this handkerchief, she is so sweet. She was crocheting lace 
when they came to visit for a week this summer. I LOVE IT!


My crocheting improved as I continued to work on hearts. I want to use some on the top of boxes, 
and make some tiny ones for a garland. I will add some crinkle ribbon, and stiffen them with starch. 
I think that will work. I will post those pictures when I get them finished! 

If you have not visited Julia's Blog
You might want to pop over there and take a look. 
She makes beautiful items with gorgeous detailed accents.....
I really sigh a lot when I visit her blog! LOL

Hope you've had a "Lovely Day" and that your heart is warm! 

Hugs,
Betsy

Posting to Becky's Blog,
Blissful White Wednesdays
(Well, that was the plan, anyway! Hope Becky gets her computer fixed for her sake!)
Also posting to Doni's Blog,

Thanks, Doni and Becky!!!