Dec 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sweet friends....
I am ready for some time off with my family and I'll return soon after the new year. 
I wish you and your family all the best this Christmas...
time to reflect God's goodness...the awe and wonder of his son's birth. 
As I reflect on 2011 I am grateful for too many things to list here 
and on that list is you...
Even though I don't know many of you in person, 
I know you're reading here 
and your comments, e-mails and letters have found their way to my mailboxes and my heart.
So here's our card this year and I'll share it with you here. 




May you experience His love and grace and mercy this Christmas and always...
Joy to the world!
See you back here early 2012...exciting things to come!!!!
xoxo
Caroline

Dec 21, 2011

light bulb snowmen and holly wreaths

Today we made 2 fun crafts....I took a few step by step photos in case you want to try these at home.
We made lightbulb snowmen which we'll wrap and hang with twine tomorrow when they dry.
Easy breeze...grab a light bulb and paint with a thin layer of glue. 
 Sprinkle white glitter all over the glue and shake excess off.
 Use puffy paint to create eyes, smile, buttons, and a nose.
Find thin twigs from your yard and use the glue gun to add as arms. 
 Cute!


Next project was a wreath. 
I bought this package of two chipboard wreath forms from Paper Source.
LOVE that store!
Wasn't sure exactly what we were going to do but it evolved with items I had in the studio.
I drew and cut holly shapes from the thick glittered green papers (from Michaels)
and then the kids folded them a bit to give them a 3-D effect. 
They painted the wreath form with green paint and we used the hair dryer to speed the drying process. 
Then they lined up their holly leaves in an alternating pattern and we secured them using hot glue.
Then we added the sparkly holly berry pom poms.
We topped it off with a ribbon on top which I pre-tied and then hot glued to the top center.
These will be going on the door of their bedroom and will come back out every Christmas.
Fun!


Back here tomorrow!
Christmas blessings!
xoxo
Caroline

Dec 20, 2011

around the house Christmas...

Look where we found our elf, Mr. Jingles this morning...
he was taking a relaxing elf bath in the sink! (lucky fella!)
on the chalkboard wall....
 The girls had a friend over today and they made these...
gota love Michael's ceramic ornaments for $1 
and with a few Sharpie markers they created these...names and dates on the back.
And we had a silly idea to create their own wacky tree 
wrapping green pipe cleaners around twigs from the yard...
I added a little floral foam inside the small pots to keep their twigs secure.
They hung scripture gift tags I designed long ago on the trees using ornament hooks.
You could add anything you'd like
They turned out fun and quirky...
almost like a Dr. Suess tree
but they loved it and it was just fun to create together.
We have a few more planned this week. 
Happy creating!

Dec 19, 2011

are you ready? are we ready?

 just love this!
(click here if you can't see the video)


I posted this last year but really feel led to mention it again this year...
for me, for you, for others...pass it on if you feel called.


Ok, everywhere I go in the month of December people ask me,
"Are you ready?"
"Are you ready for Christmas?"
I even have caught myself asking other folks too.

All this asking got me thinking...
Are we ready for the world's view of Christmas, the earthly view?
the one with a million items on the "to do list,"
the mad rush to the mall and to Target and Walmart...
the mad rush to and from the grocery store (think I have been 2 times since Friday...sigh)
the mad rush of preparing teacher gifts not only for family, friends & neighbors,
but also for the children's teachers, administrators, and bus drivers...
the mad rush to wrap all the gifts and plan holiday meals...
the mad rush to all the parties and celebrations,
the mad rush to bake and tag and clean,
etc, etc, etc
In the mad rush 
do we miss it all?
Do we miss the point?
Possibly, probably...
I guess it depends on how you define the word "ready."
Are we ready for Jesus?
This puts the idea of being ready in a completely different category, doesn't it?
All this asking also makes me think of Mary and Martha.
Luke 10:41
MarthaMartha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,
Luke 10:42
but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her …
Luke 10:40
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “ …
Luke 10:39
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.

To be completely honest, I really struggle with this!
I yearn to be more like Mary, but I behave more like Martha.
I want to sit at Jesus' feet daily in all that I do and say,
 but often the world and my own sin gets in the way and allows me to feel "too busy" to do so.
Anybody else with me?
I am 99.9% sure I am not alone on this.
I found this very convicting poem and wanted to share it with you:

READY FOR CHRISTMAS?

"Ready for Christmas," she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high.
Then wearily sat for a moment and read
Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.

Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream!
"Ready for Christmas! What do you mean?
When only last week
You wouldn't acknowledge your friend on the street."

"Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge!
Perhaps you better let God be the judge.
Why how can the Christ child come and abide
In a heart that is selfish and filled with pride?"

"Ready for Christmas, when only today
A beggar lad came and you turned him away
Without even a smile to show that you cared!
So little he asked, he could have been spared."

"Ready for Christmas! You've worked, it is true,
But just doing the things that you wanted to do."
Ready for Christmas, your circle's too small.
Why you are not ready for Christmas at all."

She awake with a start, and a cry of despair,
There's so little time, and I've still to prepare!
"Oh Father forgive me, I see what you mean;
To be ready means more than a house swept clean."

"Yes, more than the giving of gifts and a tree,
It's the heart swept clean that he wants to see,
A heart that is free from bitterness, and sin,
Ready for Christmas means ready for Him!"
--Author Unknown---

Wow!
Let's get ready for Him this Christmas!
*enjoy this video too!
(click here if you can't see it)

xoxo,
Caroline

Dec 18, 2011

DIY Christmas

Hope you all had a great weekend!
Wanted to share a couple of easy Christmas ideas with you.
The first one is a fun idea to give to someone who enjoys cooking and baking....
We WHISK you a merry KISSmas!
How cute is this?
(oops, my writer missed the "h" in whisk)
We snatched the idea from Pinterest
It's a whisk from Crate and Barrel and we filled it with Hershey kisses.
Then we wrapped it in a clear baggie and tied with red raffia.
We made the big lips using white card stock and the kids colored it with red marker and wrote:
We WHISK you a merry KISSmas!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
My mom actually created this one:
(think she saw it in Southern Living)
it's a rosemary wreath in water hanging on a cinnamon stick. 
I just think it's beautiful, don't you?
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

a few other beautiful things from my parent's home this weekend...




Have a wonderful start to your week!
xoxo,
Caroline

Dec 16, 2011

new

Just dropped off a few new mixed media pieces today at FABO.
If you're thinking about giving a unique piece of art to a family member or friend,
please stop in for a peek.
I added 2 new Christmas pieces.... and they would actually look great side by side in the same home,
but they also look nice individually.
I incorporated burlap, lace, hymns, raffia and even some of the fabric I design here.
Hang on the wall every December or lean on an easel along with your other Christmas decorations.
I just love these two verses...Isaiah 9:6 and Psalm 19:1


and the heavily textured 
ALLELUIA HEART
is new there too and a great reminder 
to sing songs of praise this advent season.
speaking of songs of praise...
Wow! Loved this version with carrie Underwood and Vince Gill.

Amazing talent.
click here you can't view it on the blog

b e a u t i f u l

Christmas blessings!
xoxo

Dec 15, 2011

driftwood creations...

I have made a few crosses from driftwood
which we found on the beach here
over Thanksgiving.
Aren't they pretty and so unique?

I collected an entire box full...
 Have made small ones into Christmas ornaments like this
and large ones to hang on a door or wall.

A great reminder of our beach we love so much
and also a reminder of Christ's mercy, grace, forgiveness, and passionate love for us.

I had been inspired when I was shopping here and saw these precious driftwood reindeer ...
aren't they darling?
 and then I just loved the driftwood angels so much too....
 this one came home with me.  
If you find yourself at the beach soon, you should collect some driftwood and try making a few. 
Fun for all ages!
Christmas blessings,
Caroline

Dec 14, 2011

love and love art....with all your heart

Hearts are everywhere!
May we keep our eyes open and our hearts open for that matter, 
and we'll see them in all sorts of places. 
Promise!
God just loves to surprise us that way, I believe.
Spotted this one the other day on the sidewalk just outside of the place 
where I have a weekly breakfast date with my 13 year old before he heads to school.
I love that it's there, because now I notice it each week and just smile. 

Also realizing how often I use hearts when designing.
I guess I'm a sucker for love....hee hee.
You'll remember the heart pattern here for the Finally Free fabric
and the Love Heart for the Magnet Works products
and here's a decoupaged puffy heart ornament I made recently.
You'll likely be seeing more of these...

front & back
and here's a mixed media heart (already sold)
 and a peek at my new
Alleluia Heart mixed media in progress...
 I guess I've just got so much love in this heart of mine I want to share it.
Bet you feel the same.
And I feel so thrilled, honored and fortunate
to be partnering with manufacturers like Demdaco
who understand sentiment-driven gift giving from the heart...
making gifts which are truly meaningful and make the recipient feel loved and special.
I am about to bust with excitement to share some peeks of my new line with Demdaco
which launches in just a few weeks.
Perhaps I'll get the green light to share just before market....stay tuned.
Enjoy these love videos below...
because everybody, everybody
wants to be loved
*(if you can't view the video click here)

*(if you can't view the video click here)

with a heart full of love and gratitude,
Caroline

Dec 13, 2011

life-sized gingerbread house & The Nutcracker

Recent "girl outing" to see the Nutcracker here in Charlotte....
It was special, as always.
We also walked through the Ritz to see the gigantic gingerbread house...wow!
and stopped by to see the singing bears in Founder's Hall


speaking of nutcrackers....your kids may love seeing and hearing 
and a peek at some crafty Christmas gifts from our kids to people they love...
We even managed outside painting on the patio.
Warm wishes from Charlotte to where you are...
xoxo,
Caroline

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