December 31, 2012

My favorites of 2012

I did a whole lot of creating in 2012.  I have compiled my top 5 6 (I couldn't narrow it down to 5) to share with you, in case you missed any of them.

In no particular order:

An awesome project creation that I made for my son's preschool auction.  I bought it back, I was so happy and proud of it that I just couldn't let it go.  It was also the perfect bookshelf to hold all the odd shaped kids books we have.

This has been my only craft to really go viral.  It's been pinned thousands of times, ripped off and posted in more languages than I can recognize and also received the most scrutiny (apparently I am making squirrels obese with it).  Either way, I love it, I get to see some of my local wildlife, squirrels realized quickly that their success rate in getting into the feeder was not high enough and I haven't had a squirrel in there in about 5 months.  I've made a few as gifts for others that love watching/feeding the birds as much as I do.  It's funny to think that my 15 minutes of crafting fame is  a bird feeder made from cheap melamine plates I bought on clearance at Target.

I have been doing lots of free online tutorials to better myself in Photoshop.  Even after 14 years experience using the program, there is still a lot more to learn about it.

This was definitely the year to improve our back yard.  This stone patio was the major undertaking and I am still very pleased with it.  Now if we could only figure out a really good way to get rid of mosquitoes and we would be all set.

This was created for SYTYC.  It was the first piece I created that felt like fine art to me.  I love how it turned out and I was able to play with a few new techniques (like dying wood). 

 This was my finale piece for the SYTYC competition.  It is still hanging in my entry way and I love it just as much today as when I first completed it.  It holds a serious sense of pride for me.  I cannot believe that I built it in 4 days!  I also am elated that it was the piece that got me first place in the competition.

December 29, 2012

Zentangle Bird

I've done some more drawing recently in my Skywriting Journal.  I really am loving drawing in it.  The only downfall is that I wish the pages were thick enough to stand up to markers.  They handle drawing pens fine, no problems with pencils or colored pencils, just no markers, unless you don't want to draw on the page behind the one you are using markers on.

I drew a bird using zentangles as inspiration.  If you haven't tried drawing/doodling with zentangles, it's really easy and fun.  Zentangles are drawing with structured patterns.  Check out the this link to learn how to do zentangles. 

December 28, 2012

The Gift of Glass

Each year, I like to make gifts for teachers, close friends and family.  This year I mass produced stained glass Christmas lightbulb ornaments that were given to teachers and my close friends.

I think they turned out great.  I used one of my Cricut Christmas cartridges to make the template.  I made 10 and gave away all but one.

I had to keep one to put on my tree.  I kept one of the aqua colored one and it looked amazing.  I love how textured glass catches the light.  On the left, no light bouncing off the front, on the right, how it looks when the light catches it.

I also tried making a paperweight for my mother-in-law.  For my first attempt, I was very proud of it.

The seashells and sand came from the beach that is a favorite of us both: Ridgevale Beach, Chatham, MA.  I used four different kinds of glass.  Clear with ripple, white and milk swirl, aqua with ripple and dark blue.  I cut enough glass to finish one for myself and plan on doing that soon.

December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!  

I hope you are enjoying being surrounded by family, friends, love and peace this holiday season.

P.S.  This awesome family photo was taken by my friend Lex.  You can find more of his photography here.

December 21, 2012

Christmas Programs

Want to know what I love most about a children's Christmas program?


I love that kids have no shame.  They do what they feel, when they want and you just have to laugh about it.  This is my kid, the nose picker.  I also love the kids who do all the other really embarrassing things and hope that their parents took photos and laughed for what it was; a three year old, being a three year old.

At least he wasn't staring at himself in the projectors behind him! 

So, were you the parent of the nose picker, dress lifter, loud singer or any of the other embarrassing classics?

Sharing this over at:
Simple As That: Simple Things Sunday No. 112

December 18, 2012

Photo 366 #50 & 51

We are in the home stretch!  I apologize for not getting last week's up sooner, but I took off for Nebraska with my husband and father-in-law for some hunting.  Now, I feel like I am barely treading water while trying to get everything done in time for Christmas.

December 4 - This is a paperweight that I made out of stained glass and put inside of it, sand and seashells from Ridgevale Beach, Chatham, MA.  It's the beach where my mother-in-law spent a significant amount of time at while growing up and where our family has spent some amazing vacations at.  This is a gift that I already gave my MIL. 

December 5 - Another fun day with the boys at the playground.

December 6 - While getting preparations for our hunting trip at Bass Pro Shop, my husband pointed out to me a fishing pole called the, "Lady Ugly Stick."  I would have to agree that a pepto bismol pink fishing pole should be called an ugly stick.  Don't take offense ladies, there is one geared towards guys.

December 7 - View from the cheap seats.  My view of the road from the back seat.  Off to Nebraska we go.

December 8 - We made it to Nebraska just fine and were greeted with some spectacular wildlife.  One of my favorites was seeing so many bald eagles around.  This is my first time photographing one.  This one is a juvenile and will get it's signature white head later on. 

December 9 - This is me, in our hotel room getting ready to go hunting.  Sporting my blaze orange hat.

December 10 - A gorgeous Nebraska sunrise.

December 11 - My sexy husband getting ready for hunting.

December 12 - Loved the way these cattails looked with the sun setting behind them.

December 13 - On our way home from Nebraska, I stopped at the World's Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, KS.  Here is my FIL appeasing me by getting his photo taken with it.  His wife insisted I do this.  :) 

December 14 - The glitter from inside a snow globe that has a color changing LED.

December 15 - A musical Santa that I got after my mom passed away.  I loved playing these as kids and love that my children enjoy them too.

December 16 - YAY!  We finally decorated our Christmas tree!  Now, I have a whole lot of presents to wrap.

December 17 - Look!  I have cauliflower growing!  This is a cheddar cauliflower.  And yes, it's still warm enough in southeast Texas to be gardening.  I have three tomato plants still producing tomatoes.

I will be posting my last series of photos on January 1st to wrap up the Photo 366. 

December 4, 2012

Photo 366 #49

Welcome December!  Here comes the Christmas crunch of not enough time and too much to do.  I do love this time of year and some of the goodness you can be witness to.  I am excited, the kids are getting excited and I hope that excitement is buzzing in your home as well.

November 27 - This is Jeremy Grubb.  He is an amazing woodworker and came to speak at my woodworking guild about marquetry and showed off the latest project he is working on.  I learned an incredible amount about the topic and hope to try it in the near future.  If you want to see more of Jeremy, I highly recommend that you go check out his website.

November 28 - I photographed steam rising up off of my breakfast eggs.  I have never tried to photograph steam before. 

November 29 - Maben owning those monkey bars.  He can do the full run, 37 monkey bars! 

November 30 - I have been working like crazy on some Christmas presents.  Here is a batch of Christmas light stained glass ornaments.

December 1 - Breakfast with Santa.  It's Christmas time in Texas, as you can see by my kids donning shorts.  Santa must have been dying in that suit.  Poor guy.

December 2 - My bib from the Graffiti run.  What a blast that was.  Pictures to come.

December 3 - I spotted these leaves laying just as they are on the sidewalk.  I found it absolutely beautiful to see a heart shaped leaf laying so perfectly in the center of such a beautiful yellow colored leaf.  Nature is so incredibly beautiful if you just stop to admire it.

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