Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Centerpieces

These are pics of my prototype centerpiece for a Christmas 2009 banquet that I decorated for.
You can see the 2010 centerpiece here
My 2009 centerpiece is a spin on the pomander centerpiece (pictured below) that I had spied at Martha Stewart.

Where do you find your inspiration for decorating?

Linked to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special

In Memororium

This picture of my mom's family was taken the Sunday before her oldest sister bravely boarded a boat
to immigrate to Canada (1953).  Later, my mom boarded the same boat to make the same journey.  They would leave the rest of their family in the Netherlands. 
My mom is the beauty on the far right.
As a child, my mom used to say that she always wanted to be able to see the tower in her hometown. 
Our ideas are sometimes so different than God's purposes.  
Love and providence took her across the Atlantic to settle in Canada in 1954. 

Yesterday one of my mom's sister (the one standing in the photograph) in the Netherlands went to be with Jesus.
I only knew her a little bit. 
but I remember her to be kind, real, and full of life.

She will be greatly missed. 


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


days left.

In case we don't get back to blogging
before the big day
Merry Christmas
to you and yours.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas is Messy

I have this idyllic image of Christmas in my head.

It goes something like this:
I calmly and peacefully
enjoy each precious day of December
counting down to the glorious day.
I float from stress less shopping at the mall where all the ideal gifts are free and fancifully wrapped,
to effortless Christmas pageant rehearsals where the children and I always remember our lines.
Smells of gingerbread mingle with pine
as I wake up to my perfectly tidy and pristinely clean house where the
tree is decorated,
the stockings are hung,
and each hall is decked out in Christmas glory.

But the startling reality bombards me. 
It goes something like this:
I scream through
each exhausting day of December
dreading the impending arrival of the anticipated day.
I race through shopping malls looking for gifts to express my appreciation and love
for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, dear friends, teachers, bus drivers etc.
wishing that my bank account and I were both inexhaustible.
I arrive at Christmas pageant rehearsal
praying that my children and I will remember our lines
and find a suitable costume
in time.

I wake up wishing I could smell the iced balsam candles
over the lingering scent of last night's supper and wondering if today might be the day that I 
move and throw into the sea
the mountain of laundry in my basement.
I hope that tonight
when I lay me down
there will be some presents wrapped and under the tree.

But as I sit here
far too early this morning
I wonder about
Jesus' mama
and how she felt that first Christmas day.

When a beautifully perfect baby boy was
born into a
to travel weary parents
experiencing a very chaotic socio-economic atmosphere.

Let's face it:
Christmas is messy. 

So I think I might just
drop the idyllic image in my head
and embrace the reality that Jesus was also
born into this messy life.
He came to make us clean
and free
and full of peace.

I will probably spend the rest of the days of this month
scurrying around trying to get everything done.
I'll probably enter January
utterly exhausted.
But in this moment
I am putting a new idyllic image in my mind.
It's the one above
of Mary and Joseph
holding that precious baby Jesus
in the middle of their messy, chaotic,
and hard to understand circumstances.

I pray that both you and I will
experience the embrace
of the Saviour
this season.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Banquet Decor

This past week I had the privilege of decorating
for a banquet that our church puts on
for the pastors of all the churches in our area.

A friend and I tromped through the snow to find that branch and
Dr. Pepper sawed it into pieces for me.
I like the texture that the natural bark adds.

I always decorate a table for the workers too.
Often, it is slightly different than the other tables. 
I used a rectangular tray instead of the square that I used for the others.  The jumbo tea lights were on inverted water glasses instead of the bits of wood that the other ones were on.

Resource List:
I found the natural cedar and pine, the glittered twigs, as well as the jumbo tea lights at Walmart.
I picked up chestnuts at the grocery store.
The tree ornaments and pine cones came from the stash we have at church.
The white trays were from Costco, but that was a few years ago now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


To all of my friends south of the border, "Happy Thanksgiving". 

I just wanted to let you know that I'm out and about
getting inspired these days.

I'm looking forward to posting all about it soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

what I've been up to this week

I've been out of the classroom for a few years (taking some precious time with my boys)
but I've been back this week
substituting teaching in a Grade 2 class.

I've had so much fun playing with this:
 I don't know if your child's classroom is equipped with one of these,
but they are truly amazing.

Pictures just don't do it justice.

I hope that you are having a great week too!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pocket Pillow

I finally finished this today,
I had a "tiny bit of consulting assistance" from my dear friend Tracy putting this pillow together.
OK- she did it and I watched
whilst surfing the bloggyworld
showing her all the cool stuff that y'all are doing.

We took a Gosa Slan pillow (20x26 inch)  from Ikea and
cut it in half.
Tracy measured, cut, and worked her sewing magic.

I cut out the other pocket left on the jeans after using the first on the bulletin board,
and glue gunned it on.

Wahoo for glue-
I can do that all by myself :)

This project was brought to you by the Letter T (for terrific Tracy)
and the Number 1 (for first class help from a first class friend).
Thanks Tracy!!!!

Linked to Crystal's Craft Spot's Accessory Challenge

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monogrammed Bag

Ashly Ann posted this great project a while back. 
She monogrammed a simple bag beautifully.
Today I found a bag that I thought might work for my take on it.

It has been a bit of trial and error so far.
Canvas vs. burlap
12 inch diameter doily vs. 6 inch diameter doily.
Here is how mine turned out:

I started with:

I used a little painter's tape to attach the doily in place
and then used a Sharpie to colour in the holes.
I placed the chipboard letter in the middle of the pattern and traced it with a pen.
I coloured that in with Sharpie too. I wanted a little bit darker finish,
so I dug out the craft paint and brushes and tried again.
I cut out the center of a larger doily, taped it in place, and painted the holes in order to make the lacy pattern larger.
And Voila!

I'm giving it to a bride to be at a shower on Friday.
I hope that she likes it
and the present inside too.

e.j. & emma

I am so excited to announce
that a good friend of mine
just opened a
fabulous etsy store.

We lived together in college
and she has a knack for making
BEA-U-TI-FUL  things. 
Look at these amazing things listed in her shop:

This last one is an extra large receiving blanket perfect for
baby boys.
My boys still use their blankets from when they were babies when they are watching movies etc.
If they had had these ones they would be stylin' now :)
A few months ago Rachelle did a giveaway
on her blog mom'ents
and I won this
fabulous bracelet.

Thank you Rachelle! 
I wish you much success on your new endeavour! 
You go girl!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dutch Meatball Soup

Although my married name has put me in cognito,
I am from 100%
Dutch heritage.

Growing up Sundays always meant
going to church twice,
baked goodies and coffee right after morning service,
and soup and buns for a mid-afternoon lunch.

Mom always made the soup Saturday night
in an effort to keep Sunday as a day of rest -
as much as possible anyway.

When I moved so far away that I couldn't come over for Mom's Sunday soup anymore,
my sister wrote her version of Sunday Soup out
for me.  I've been making it ever since.

It works for late Saturday night suppers too :)

Happy Sunday!