Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

As 2011 comes to a close, I want to thank all of you who have read my posts, followed my blog, Face Book and/or Etsy shop, offered encouragement, mentoring, laughter, love and friendship! The year would not have been the same without each and every one of you and I so appreciate you being such an important part of my life! Wishing all a very Happy New Year! Be safe! May 2012 bring you much happiness, joy and the fulfillment of all your dreams and goals! Love, Leena
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fingerprint Friday at The Rusted Chain

Beki Hastings at The Rusted Chain blog took inspiration from the following song to host Fingerprint Friday. I thought this was a great idea and wanted to contribute a short post. The song by by Steven Curtis Chapman says:

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

This makes me think of my wonderful and adorable grand babies, whom I have posted about so often. In my world, the fingerprints encourage me to slow down, to see things through the eyes of these babes, to be excited, happy, filled with laughter and awe at each moment that is presented to me. I can share in their enthusiasm for the smallest of details, reveling in the realization that what we are experiencing truly is a miracle, beautiful, fresh and new. It makes me look and think deeper and brings peace to my soul. Everything from the smallest bug to the loudest noise qualifies as new and unique. Oh what joy it brings! My little ones are covered in God's fingerprints, sharing their unconditional love and undaunted spirit for the world around them with anyone who will take the time to share in the moments. I for one, love to share! I hope you have beautiful and blessed fingerprints too! Love, Leena

Linked to Fingerprint Friday

Precious Family Treasures

I really think that I take after my mom in a lot of ways. Mom was a keeper. She liked to hang on to things that had sentimental value; items with family connections. I am very much this way as well, opting to give away or sell newer pieces of furniture, for example, to make room for items with family history. If I can't get my hands on the original, I am drawn to things just like those I recall from visiting my grandma or favorite aunt's farm. What may appear as a box of rusty old junk sitting in the back of my uncle's garage was a gold mine to me! Grandpa's old screwdriver? The horse shoe that hung over the garage? My grandma's chicken scale - these were all parts of my heritage and I gladly give any cast-offs a new home. What also made these items important were the stories that went along with them. I often encouraged my mother to record her stories and I'd type them up for her, but sadly, she never did and I don't remember all of the details nor do I have the flair for retelling them like somebody who lived the experience did. Mom passed in 2007 from a massive stroke, at the age of 87. Since then, I have clung dearly to anything that reminds me of her and helps to fill the void in my heart.


During a recent visit with my dad, he bestowed upon me some items that warmed my heart to the core; Mom's doll collection. I remember these dolls from when I was a child. My mom and I would take them out, admire them, and she would tell me stories about how they came to be. These are true treasures; ones that Dad thought could be handed down to Abigail when she is older. In the meantime, I will act as their guardian and enjoy having them in our home.

The first little lady is Chuckles. I have no idea why she is named that, but I do know that Mom said when she was 4 or 5, all the kids would frequently go to the store "in town" to see what toys and other items were in the window for Christmas. Mom saw Chuckles and instantly fell in love with her, telling everyone else that she was hers. There was another admirer who claimed she would be getting Chuckles, but my mom was tough. She exclaimed that no, Pop was buying her for her to have for Christmas. In other words, hands off! One day, during her routine visit, she noticed that Chuckles was gone! She was heartbroken, thinking that a competitor would be receiving her beloved baby doll. Saddened beyond consoling, Mom awoke on Christmas morning with a heavy heart, only to be overjoyed by the sight of Chuckles waiting for her under the tree! Seems that my grandpa had secretly purchased the prize and hid her in the house. Today, she wears a dress, socks and bonnet that belonged to my oldest daughter, as the fabric of her original outfit finally wore out, but she herself is in remarkable condition. Her eyes even still open and close and there is very little crazing to her plaster or chalk ware (I'm not sure what she's made of) body.

Chuckles

Chuckles and antique cradle

Next, we have Farina. I don't know all of her history, but she too was a doll Mom fell in love with and was lucky enough to receive. Even spending a few dollars for a doll during The Depression was a big deal, so she took extra good care of hers. Farina has three little braids on her head and is wearing her original clothing, except for her undies. She had rubber bloomers imprinted with "So What?" on the backside. Maybe this was to discourage young boys from making fun of her "unmentionables", I have no idea. I just always thought it humorous. Farina's arms and legs move via large internal springs that creak when manipulated. She is quite unusual and has the sweetest face and an adorable pudgy tummy.

Farina

The last little one, I call Baby. I cannot for the life of me recall his name. I keep thinking it starts with a B, (Buster perhaps?) so I've settled on Baby for now. He is the littlest of the three, about six inches tall and is made of celluloid. His clothing looks very old and hand-made, but I am not sure if it is original to him or not. He has a little dent in his head and a couple of tiny holes, but considering how extremely fragile he is, that's not too bad. All of these wonderful darlings are at least 80 years old. Chuckles is probably more like 87, and are so very precious to me.

Baby

Farina and Baby are currently up on high shelves in my china cabinet, where little doll lovers cannot reach them. Chuckles is peacefully napping in her cradle, as shown. The cradle, by the way, is hand-made and about 100 years old. It too is an heirloom worth preserving.


Mom's Dolls
I am so happy that, during times when modern tastes and trends dominated old and antiquated, Mom loved her dolls enough to keep them. I am also very appreciative of Dad entrusting them to me. When Abigail gets older, I will tell her the story of Chuckles and of Farina's rubber undies and maybe by then I can also tell her what Baby's real name is. I hope that she will cherish them as much as Mom did and as I do.

Thank you for stopping by and reading today. Comments are always welcomed. Have a wonderful and special day! xoxo, Leena

Linked to: DebbieDoosNewbieParty

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Give-Away!!

Pamela, over at From My Front Porch To Yours writes:

You can enter to win one of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Holiday Baskets being given away by over 100 Stockist across North America! Each basket will include two fabulous pots of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Annie Sloan soft wax in clear & dark, and Annie's book Quick & Easy Paint Transformations.



Plus there is even MORE!


In addition to the holiday basket giveaway, a lucky winner of the holiday basket from EACH shop across North America will be entered for a chance to win a $350 gift certificate from Annie Sloan Unfolded. It will be good toward your choice of a credit on your Annie Sloan American Tour registration fee or $350 in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! The big winner will be announced on Annie's blog on January 10,2012. Can it get anymore exciting than that!?
I've already entered - hope you will too! I'd love one of these wonderful selections of Annie's fabulous paint and supplies! Hugs, Leena

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year, New Word

I was just reading Beki Hastings's blog, The Rusted Chain, and she suggested assigning a word to the new year. This word would have meaning, would help shape and define the coming year and how we deal with life on a daily basis. I've always referred to certain words to inspire me, to cheer me up or to motivate me. For 2012, I think I will concentrate on the word BELIEVE

I shall believe in myself and my abilities; in my faith and in the knowledge that I am following the path that I am meant to take. I will believe in my strengths when I feel weak, in my intelligence when I feel foolish, in my individuality when I feel odd. I will strongly believe in who I am, no matter if others feel I should be different. I am me, the only person I know how to be, and I believe that is just fine. I shall continue to believe that growth comes from taking chances, that opportunities present themselves more to open minds than to closed ones and that each day is a chance to make everything new.

BELIEVE.....my word for 2012. I believe I like it!
Take care and thank you for stopping by, dear friends! Hugs, Leena
Photo courtesy of Thoughtsstorieslife.blogspot.com/Google

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

To all of you who have stopped by, read and followed my blog, left your wonderful comments and supported my craziness and dreams, I wish you a very Merry Christmas or other holiday observance, filled with joy, love and many blessings! May the coming year bring you much happiness! Looking forward to seeing you more during the coming year!
Much Love from my family to yours,
Leena, aka PinkCherubMoon

Friday, December 23, 2011

More Fun With Photos!

I've been playing around on picnik and photobucket and have had the best time! Here are some of my latest projects:

Is that holiday fun or what? Ho Ho Hugs, Leena

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Visit From Santa Claus and Friends

One of the nice things about living within town limits is that there are always special events during the holiday season. We can drive or walk to parades, shows, special shopping nights, the tree lighting and other fun activities. A favorite annual tradition is the arrival of Santa Claus via fire truck. You can hear him all over the area, as the siren wails and the horn honks, letting folks know he is in their neighborhood. This nightly visit takes place for four days, and Jamison loved tracking Santa's progress on the computer as he made his way to our neighborhood. We all went down to the corner as he approached - even Sullivan our dog was excited to see the man in red! As the truck drove by, we waved at Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and the firemen. The little ones loved it! (us big ones enjoyed it too!). Here's a picture of all the excitement:
Merry Christmas to All!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hand Prints On My Heart

Look at what my sweet little grandson Jamison made in preschool the other day! He was so proud of his artwork - and so was I! His mommy hung it on the back of the front door so we could all see it when in the living room and when going up and down the stairs. He's thrilled that it has become part of our Christmas decorations and I know that it will be for many, many years to come! I just love little kid's hand prints! They warm my heart! Have a wonderful day! Hugs, Leena
Christmas wreath made with Jamison's hand prints

Thursday, December 15, 2011

From The Mouths of Babes

It's no secret that my grand babies crack me up with their antics and the things that they say. Abigail, who will turn 22 months old on Christmas, is quite the comedian,  just like her brother, even when she doesn't mean to be! Here's the latest little giggler:

Abigail insists upon carrying something to the house to deliver to me when she gets home from daycare. She primarily likes to bring home a piece of mail, but often will carry a small, light-weight bag if they've stopped at the store. The other day she saw me at the door, and came squealing up the driveway with a grocery bag in her hand. In the bag was a big piece of chocolate cake her mother had bought...ooohhhhhh  forbidden chocolate cake! Sorry. Anyway, as I assisted her up the steps, Sullivan, our dog, came to greet her and she lost her balance. I straightened her out and headed her towards the door. As she staggered around, I said, "Stagger much? What have you been drinking?" and, without missing a beat, she replied, "Appa juch". I just about fell over laughing!

I know I'm biased, but you have to admit she's a keeper! LOL!
Hugs and Have a Great Day! Leena

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Combating Cranky Car Chaos

During the holidays, we all seem to spend extra time in the car. There are errands to run, shopping to do, trips to see relatives, school and social events to attend and, even while the destination may be enjoyed by all, getting there can often lead to crankiness, for children and adults. At this point, all is definitely NOT calm! I remember the "she's breathing my air", "he's looking at me", "her leg's on my half of the seat", and the ever-popular "are we there yet?' "no" "are we there yet?" "no" "are we there yet?" "NO". Yes, my siblings and I were quite a handful! So, when I had my own children, I came up with little games to keep away the boredom.

1.  Pick 5 or 6 colors and have the children count how many cars they see of each color. The non-driving adult or an older child can keep track in a notebook and the results can be tallied at rides end.

2.  Look for license plates that begin with the letters of the alphabet in order (first plate A, second plate B, and so on). See how far into the alphabet you can get.

3. Watch for license plates from different states. This is easier if you are traveling a longer distance, but it still can work for short trips. Children can be given maps and color in the states that they spot.

4.  Count live Christmas trees attached to car tops. We do this every year for the entire Christmas season.

Hopefully, your travels will be uneventful, but if not, give one of these diversions a try for a Holly Jolly car ride and a Silent Night!

Thanks for reading! xo, Leena

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fun Postage Idea

When Jamison was 5 months old, we celebrated his first Christmas. Being crazy, insane and loving grandparents, Jim and I went all out to make sure that the little guy was the star of the show. Jim heard an ad for Photo Stamps and we decided to check them out. It's a really neat website, where you can upload your photo and they make a postage stamp out of it, you order as many as you need and they mail them to you within a couple of weeks (our order only took a few days)! You can use pictures of your kids, pets, family, wedding, engagement, baby's birth, favorite scenery, artwork - basically anything that isn't obscene or copyright protected. I had bought Jamison a tiny little Santa suit so we knew exactly what we were having our stamps made of! Jim and I propped him up in a big chair with his stuffed reindeer and took about 25 pictures of different poses and facial expressions. The poor baby probably thought we were bonkers, and, well, he'd have been correct. We picked our favorite photo and had our stamps in time to place on Christmas cards. Our friends and relatives were so surprised to see that little face on the envelope, that many of them cut the stamp off and kept it! I actually kept an unused one myself. Here is the pic that we used back in 2007:
That little face still melts my heart today! Anyway, I'm not being compensated for this, I just thought it was worth passing on. If you make stamps, please let me know! I'd love to see a picture of what you decided to use. Have fun! xoxo, Leena

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Coffee Filter Wreath

This is the neatest project and it looks like it is so easy! A little time-consuming, but inexpensive and with a beautiful result! The link below leads to the tutorial from Lowe's Creative Projects Magazine. I get the hard copy and saw this wreath and just had to come online to see how it was made. I could tell it was coffee filters but that was it! If I can squeeze any additional project time in before Christmas, this one is going at the top of my list! Ho Ho Hugs, Leena
Coffee Filter Wreath

Operation Christmas Decorating

Operation Christmas Decorating has begun at our house and right now, there's so much to do! There's boxes to keep Abigail out of, for one thing. She dumped a whole container of ornaments out last night, but fortunately, they were unbreakable ones that I'd gotten for their little tree last year and she's such a good girl, she picked them all up and gave them to me. Jamison, on the other hand, decided he was decorating "all by himself", as he put it, and gathered up a bunch of stuffed animals, some Christmas themed, some not, and lined up several rows on top of my piano. Such a character! The following picture sums up his level of excitement:

Jim and I got the garland with lights hung around the garage yesterday. Sounds like a simple task but it was anything but. I remembered that some of the lights were burnt out at the end of last year's season, and had purchased replacements. The idea was to unwind the old lights and wrap the new ones around the garland and wreath that hangs in the middle. Remember I said it "sounded" simple. After about an hour of attempting to untangle everything, Jim came into the kitchen dragging his project behind him, looking somewhat defeated. The solution? I took a pair of scissors and cut the rest of the lights off! Done and done! I suggested that it was easier to wind the lights after the garland was hung up, but he didn't think so and set to doing it his way. No problem. As long as it got done I was fine with that.

Well, he ran into problems and somehow got the garland longer on one end than on the other and the wreath was backwards so that the plug for the whole things was no longer on the side it needed to be on. (Jim normally has a colorful vocabulary for things like this, but kept his cool LOL!) OK, hmm...let's run the garland through the wreath so that the sides will be switched. This worked, however, the short side was now shorter and, I hated to say it, looked really bad. Bless his heart, he tried so hard and we make an excellent team, never losing patience with the other, so I rigged up a temporary solution so we could plug it in. I found more lights and garland in my stash, so tomorrow I'll extend the short side a bit and it will be good to go.

Anyone who has little ones in the house knows that flexibility is key to keeping things sane. Since the family room is now the play room, aka the room where things fly through the air and everything gets touched and played with, I decided not to do my usual mantel decorating with all the glass and breakable items. Those will go on top on my piano, the Santa collection has been moved from the piano to the small sideboard in the dining room and their little tree and stuffed animals will decorate the fireplace mantel. This way, they have decorations where they spend a lot of their time and, hopefully, everything will be safe :::keeping fingers crossed:::. I'm also thinking of making changes to how I decorate the banister. Normally, I wrap garland and lights around it, but since Abigail is just getting to where she can master walking up the stairs holding onto the railing, I hesitate to put anything up that may impede her and therefor be dangerous. I'll be sure and post pics of my solution once I come up with it and give it a try. I have a bit of an idea for it.

In the meantime, I dug out a couple of mantel pics from Christmas past to share, as I feel so behind in getting everything done and posted. Hopefully, the current decorations will be photo ready in a day or two. Have a wonderful day and if you're decorating too, have fun! xoxo, Leena


2005-Angel Theme. Bunting made from gathering the center of a fan folded antique lace tablecloth, securing with a rubber band, then "fluffing" it out into a poof and stringing beaded garland along it. I made the wreaths from grapevine ones, painted gold, then added gold angels and white ball ornaments, along with white and gold ribbon. Wish I had a better picture of them, sorry.

2010-My pink tree! This was a pink and white theme-white garland, white lights, white angels and Fleur de lis, pink candles, huge pink and clear "diamonds", white and mirrored candle sticks. This is most of what will go on the piano this year, with a few changes to keep it new and different. I always have to change something-isn't that what decorating's all about? :)
 This post is being shared with From My Front Porch To Yours mantel link party and My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia Mantel Block Party. Be sure to click the pics on my sidebar to join in on the fun! Great inspiration and Christmas decorating ideas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Home For Santa

Several years ago, there was a wonderful antique store nearby that was housed in an 1800's school house.  Each year, the shop would hold an open house for Christmas, featuring many antique and vintage decorations as well as ones from local and national crafters and artists. My friend Judy and I loved to attend this soiree, browse the items and taste the yummy tid-bits the owner offered. We'd make a day of it, visiting other shops during the remainder of our outing.
Each year, I would purchase a hand-carved Santa. Each one was unique and had their own personality, and it was fun to watch my collection grow. The artist left one year and the shop has since closed, but I still have my "addiction" to finding a new Clause each Christmas. I began my own campaign, rescuing orphaned Santas from thrift shops and yard sales. This weekend, it was time to go get the jolly old elf and bring him home! I can't quite tell you what I look for in my jelly belly buddies, but when I see the right one(s), I know it. Here they are, the 2011 Santas who now have a new home and a lot of new friends! I still have a bit of work to do on the tree, but wanted to show off my newest guys.
The skinny one has arms - they're behind him and he's holding a green bag with a teddy bear peeking out
I hope that you have special Christmas items that bring you joy each year too! I am sharing this post with  DebbieDoosBloggingandBlabbing Copy Cat Link Party. I was inspired to share my Santa collection by this photo I saw on Pinterest:

Photo from MarmeeandCompany.blogspot.com

Join Debbie's Copy Cat Link Party!
http://debbie-debbiedoos.blogspot.com/2011/12/holiday-edition-copy-cat-challengeits.html
Also linked to http://www.savvycityfarmer.com/2011/12/thriftn-on-thursday-2.html
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