Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year's Wishes With Love and Remembrance

Happy Greetings!

It seems like forever since I've been
 really connected here.
But it has been a glorious 
season for us with so much fun
and blessings galore!

I so hope that you all had 
a wonderful season as well.
And now I think
that most of us are relaxing and 
resting after the busy time of cooking
our favorite holiday foods,
creating those warm memories
 going to special outings,
working together and celebrating
the season as each family
does in their way that is 
unique to them!
How wonderful is that?
I really enjoyed seeing pictures and
hearing about your special times. 

And now we are getting on with
everyday life. I was thinking last weekend
how fond I am of everyday life.
Just tending to the normal things.

And, yet, there is still some celebrating to be done.

A New Year. A fresh start.
Hopes... Goals... Dreams and the responsibilities, too. 

Without going into much detail,
I will say that 2015 was a tremendous year of growth
for me personally. And though my blog following
is quite small, I must say that 
I have some of the kindest, most sincere
friends here. 
 Followers and visitors alike. 

It has been an amazing year of
inspiration for me as I have read your blogs 
and learned so much from you.
Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents!
And I have been so blessed by your kind, 
enthusiastic and generous spirits!

Friendships have grown and my little
spot here has grown a little as well. 
And for all of this, I am very grateful.

And so it is with
love and remembrance 
of all my friends
and visitors here that I say with
gratitude and affection...

In plant language, Rosemary is the symbol of love and remembrance.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart
for being my friend and supporting me here.
I wish for you, in the coming year, all 
that your heart desires!
As well as peace and contentment
in whatever you find yourself doing. 
Life is made up a lot
of "ordinary"  things and I hope you 
find the extra-ordinary in it all.

Happy New Year!

Tamara xo

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Paper, Stars, Angels and Thoughts of the Season

Christmas time is here.
Happiness and cheer.
Fun for all the children call
their favorite time of year.

Snowflakes in the air...
Beauty everywhere....

Oh that we could always see such spirit
through the year. 

Those words belong to a song that I
learned for the Christmas season.
And yes. 
There is so much beauty everywhere.

What have you been doing?
My days have been filled with
the work, wonder and 
excitement of the season.

There's always an abundance of it all.
But in spite of all that...

Time has been waltzing so slowly
through these past couple of weeks. 
It has been the most peaceful of Christmas'
that I can remember.

There's a quiet acceptance of the things that
I can't get to and a deep contentment that has washed over 
our home. We're still "doing" and "going" but
not quite as much and with a different heart.

This Christmas seems to have brought an introspection
and attentiveness to pray for others.
I'm sure this has been one of the very things
that keeps me counting my blessings.
Which are many.

Here's a sampling of moments from
our Christmas memories so far...

*a surprise visit from distant travelers...
*a gathering of daughters to practice our song of hope..
*making cut out cookies to frost and share...
*waiting for the cranberry pecan bread to come out of the oven..
*watching Christmas movies..
*taking in the excitement of bright-eyed children
*tending the ever-hungry fire in our wood stove...

so many more.

 And I always have such good
intentions to share about them.

Such as The Christmas in My Heart books.
If you are a read aloud family or just
like to read stories that will warm your heart
and build your faith or just make you laugh,
you will love these books. 
Some of the stories are true. 
Some very, very old.

 Many of our books are falling apart
  and have the bindings burned off.
It was almost Christmas, 9
years ago that our house burned.
But we don't want to replace them
because every time we read a story,
we record something memorable
about that day or week!

One thing that I have not done much of is blogging.
I have just been at such a loss for words
and have been so touched by so many blogger
friends as they share their hearts
and wonder.

I can't seem to get passed
the thoughts of reverence and awe for
this season of hope that has settled
in my heart.
Why is it that anything seems possible during  
 the Christmas season?
Faith abounds and hope just seems
to rise up!

 But I decided to go ahead 
and share a handful of photos of some of my work and
just a few other things that have held some special 
meaning for me.
I'm hoping that all of you are enjoying your days.  
Peace and joy to you.
Thank you so much for coming by.

~Warmest of wishes~
Tamara xo

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Simple, Handmade Paper Ornaments

Hello Friends..
I hope this finds you well
and enjoying the peace and beauty of these
almost winter days.
There's so much to take in!
I have to remember to 

*breathe and notice.*

I'm not quite sure what to write in this post.
Last evening, I spent an hour or more 
working on a post and published it.
This morning, I opened my dashboard
and the post is just gone.

Has that ever happened to you before?

Anyway. I guess I'll try again!

Last week did not go as planned. 
I have been busy with many things.
Mostly getting back on top of this 
rambling home of ours after our
most glorious and fun, and memorable Thanksgiving.

We had sleep-overs
with kids and grandkids.
Guitar music and sweet voices
filled the room as we sang some of our 
old favorites and new songs.
To celebrate
the beauty of the season and everyday
life in song is one of my favorite things.
And there's something very special in that
kind of singing.

 And to hear our grand children lift their requests
to heaven during family prayer
was one of the sweetest things I can think of.
So sincere and pure.

Our Apples to Apples game got 
very wild and crazy.
My oldest daughter said, "It was a blast!" 
She's 33.
A little organized chaos always adds fun and laughter!
And watching the little to pre-teen kids play Twister
was a highlight for sure!

Blessed would describe our time together best.
And I'm so grateful. 
It won't be like that every year because
the travelers can't always break away.
They were very brave to drive
900 miles with a 6 month
and two year old. And then back
home again through icey Texas and Oklahoma.

Are your hands busy with creating
gifts and offerings for this wondrous season?
I hope you're having a most enjoyable and fulfilling time.
And that you're experiencing the warmth that just
seems to surround us during this time.

delicious hot drinks
sweet treats 
wild birds and
 animals outside your window
working with your hands
the lights
(we have ever so many lights)

Here's a bit of what I've been doing.
They are pretty quick and easy.
One could use them as ornaments,
gift tags or package embellishments.

I made a pattern and cut two pieces
of the chosen card stock or paper.
The plan was then to sew them together
and stuff them with pillow filling.

After finishing the sewing,
I used my crop-o-dile to set 
an eyelet in each one. It makes them stronger
and I like the finished look.
I, then, trimmed around the outside edge with
a pair of zig-zag craft scissors
to give them a tree branch look. 

Then comes the fun of embellishing.
I just used whatever I had that
co-ordinated with the paper that I chose.
I enjoy this kind of detail work very much!

And these days, I'm lighting a candle
to remind me, while I'm working, to 
pray for my friends and family.

Thank you so much for stopping by. 
And thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging 
comments that you leave here.

What kind of things have you been doing?

Peace and joy to you all..