Happies in my mailbox

Several days ago, while recovering from a seriously uncool stomach virus, finding a little package in my mailbox just made my day. It was from my Secret Santa in the Arkansas Women Bloggers Handmade Ornament Exchange.

My crafty friend turned out to be ‘Kelly Jo’ at Delta Moxie from waaaayyyyyy on the other end of the state (seriously, we’re about as far away as we could be). Here’s what she sent me.

A pretty little bundle with a sweet note tied up inside…
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… that contained these 2 cute ornaments. Here’s the front…
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… and here’s the back of the ornaments.
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I love them, and I thought it was especially neat that she personalized one with my blog name. So, thanks a bunch, Kelly Jo, for these pretties!

I sent ornaments to Simple Words By A. You can read what she thought about them here.

Y’all can go check out all the other cool handmade ornaments that have crossed the state in the last week by going here and checking out all the link-ups.

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Giving Christmas, Parts 2 and 3

One of the latest projects Honey Bear and I finished for our holiday giving was buying Angel Tree gifts. We had a great time exploring the toy aisles and goofing around while checking out all the cool stuff.

Here’s what he picked out for the 4-year-old boy he chose:

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Here’s what I picked out for an 8-year-old girl (that little thing is actually her “big” gift – an mp3 player):

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The other thing we did recently was Honey Bear’s project and one of his favorite things to do this time of year. There’s a business owner here in our city that collects kids’ coats and then distributes them at local schools. I think the school counselors and teachers keep an eye out and give the coats to the kids that need one.

Here are the 6 coats that Honey Bear bought (and picked out himself):

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Giving Christmas, Part 1

Honey Bear and I decided not to buy each other any big gifts this year, and instead we are using our money to donate items to causes we support. We have done this to a lesser degree in the past, but this time we are doing more and only buying a few little stocking stuffers for each other.

I have several things in the works, and I’ll try to write about them as we go along. We have had fun so far picking out things and thinking about what we want to do.

Our first project was putting together a hygiene items basket for a family of 4 — 2 adults and 2 children.

3B2D (or 3 Bags in 2 Days) is partnering with a local children’s organization to provide these baskets for the holidays. Honey Bear and I picked out some things such as shampoo, body wash, bar soap, brushes or combs, deodorant, razors and shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste for individual family members, then added some things for the entire family: toilet paper, dish soap, wash cloths, hand soap, facial tissue.

To keep things organized, I divided up the items for each person into festive zipper bags. After we turn in our basket, the folks at 3B2D will add laundry soap and wrap the baskets up all fancy for giving.

Who else has holiday giving projects in the plans for this Christmas season?

Bringing crafty back

It’s been awhile since I’ve made anything, so Saturday I cleared out a little space on my craft table (cluttered with partially finished projects, sigh) and made a few ornaments.

Coming soon to a Christmas care package near you:

Sifting through a box of felt I found printouts of clip-art in various shapes I’d printed off the Web last year, so I selected stars and cut out two sizes of paper templates. I just used felt, embroidery floss, bits of ribbon, beads and buttons. I had fun varying the colors of thread and trying out different details based on what I had on hand from those previously mentioned unfinished/unstarted projects.

There are a ton of felt ornament tutorials on the Interwebs, and I don’t claim to have invented this idea. πŸ™‚ Check out Pinterest for more inspiration.

 

Notes on Halloween

We’re having a pretty low-key Halloween.

With no kids, it’s too weird to just show up to parades or random local trunk-or-treats by yourself. I feel like you become one of those people that folks want to call the cops on or at least check and see if you arrived in a van with no windows.

With a broken-footed Honey Bear, going out to any grown-up parties is out, too.

I could write a whole post on all the bummer points of being childless, no trick or treating, being at home while on vacation, boohoo. But that’s boring and pitiful, so I’m doing my best to amuse myself. I wasn’t sure if we’d get many trick or treaters (I can only remember being off work one other time on Halloween, and we didn’t live in this neighborhood then), but I dressed up anyway. So far I’ve had 6 kids come by, and hearing one little girl say, “Mommy, that lady was a cat!” was reason enough.

A few Halloween observations:

  • Naughty Kitty does not like that I’ve dressed up as a cat. He keeps forgetting it is me, then turning sideways and puffing up his back and tail hair. It is hilarious.
  • Cats like to play with tails. This is not limited to their own tails. If you’re dressed as a cat, this includes your tail.
  • Cats don’t really like to wear costumes. However, mine are pretty good sports if you want to briefly humiliate them by dressing them up as a chicken. Briefly. Quite briefly.
  • Cats appreciate being offered the chicken suit for beating up on after you’ve taken it off them.
  • Naughty Kitty is a poor watch-cat. He sat in the window and watched for potential trick-or-treaters alright but sure didn’t alert me before the doorbell rang. πŸ™‚
  • Halloween can be awkward when you can’t tell if someone is in costume or just normally looks that way…

We’ll probably spend the rest of the evening watching TV, maybe even It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which I DVR’d.

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Yesterday I did get Honey Bear out for a few hours. We took a scenic drive to check out the fall foliage and stopped for lunch and a little art-gallery shopping (OK, that part was just me). I wore my cat ears and some whisker makeup, and sometimes it was funny because I’d forget I was wearing it and when people would laugh or smile at me, it would take me a minute to realize why. πŸ™‚

BLOGtober Fest – Halloween Memories

My gramma sewed a lot of clothes for her grandchildren, and she made a lot of my Halloween costumes when I was a kid. When I was very little, she made a red-polka dotted clown costume. A little older and I was a flower, complete with red petals to go around my head. I was a witch with a black hat and a rubber, warty stick-on nose. In 6th grade I was a princess, with a pale blue gown and a cone hat with fabric draping down from the tip.

I remember having a few store-bought costumes as well. Snoopy for one. Another one was this, but for the life of me I can’t recall what this character was:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We lived in a rural area, so I didn’t have the door-to-door in the neighborhood trick-or-treating experience of a lot of kids. My sister and I dressed up and went to visit our cousins and our grandparents. Gramma usually gave us fruit for our buckets. Sometimes our parents drove us to some of their friends’ houses to get a little candy, but we all had a lot of allergies, so our candy choices were limited.

I remember going to several Fall Festivals at my mom’s church, where there were a lot of games and booths set up for winning candy prizes. At my dad’s church I remember bobbing for apples and having punch and snacks.

I haven’t done a lot on Halloween as an adult, I’ve usually had to work. I did try to get my cats to wear a funny pet hat once, but they really hated me for it. πŸ™‚