Monday, December 29, 2008

This little elephant is so cute in person. She also has books and a website where you can print off a cute coloring page here.


If you are or live with a techy... this is a good film to share. You might have to watch it twice!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Inn...

This film is tons of fun. I felt a little sorry after seeing this film that we didn't see the leading lady Marjorie Reynolds in more films. She is just lovely. Her voice was dubbed in the film by the very talented Martha Mears who sings in a beautiful clear style that I really enjoy. I can't believe this is the first Christmas I've seen this one. It's fabulous.
I don't know about the rest of you... but there are 11 more days of Christmas for me.. I hope you are enjoying your holiday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas...

Dear Friends,
I hope that each of you will have the merriest of Christmases...
and may God bless and keep you and your families throughout the coming year.
Love, Tiffany

In Search of the Christmas Spirit...
"Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. During His earthly ministry, He taught men the higher law. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. To us He has said, 'Come, follow me.'"As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others" (Thomas S. Monson, "In Search of the Christmas Spirit," Ensign, Dec 1987, 3)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Spin Tops...

I have one or two gifts left to wrap (oh please hurry Mr. UPS guy), but we basically have Christmas wrapped up over here and just want to either go to the movies or order up some Netflix. I should clean my house more, but I just want to play board games, artroom (artroom is the game where we make stuff) and baking with c. I need to get some popcorn for all the movies. I wanted to paint some this week. I made a few spin tops over the weekend and they will be in the shop today.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Prince of Peace...

... and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace... Isaiah 9:6
(text, spelling and punctuation taken from the King James version)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Marionberry Jam...

No corn syrup added. This Walls Berry Farm Marionberry Jam from Oregon has almost knocked chocolate down on the treat scale. Made with berries, pectin and sugar (that's the ingred. list).. this stuff is the best and it's available right now at Costco... delish!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lunch at Corbin's...

Today was a special treat. C had the day off and so we went on a date in the middle of the day for lunch at Corbin's. I love a lunch date. There are no crowds and little noise and the meals almost half price... what a deal that is here especially. Everything was delicious! Get a salad with the citrus vinaigrette... yum!

Shepherds Abiding...

I love Jan Karon's books so much that I wish Father Tim and Cynthia lived in our neighborhood. This is the story of how Father Tim who has found love and married at 60 makes a present of a beautiful nativity scene for his new wife by restoring an antique. I read this last year as well.. if you have moment to read it.. or even better listen while you wrap your gifts up (because the reader is fabulous!) I know you'll really enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

San Francisco Ballet's Production of The Nutcracker...

This aired on PBS tonight and it was amazing. The prince was one of the best dancers I've ever seen perform and the staging was thrilling. When the snowflakes came out to dance.. they came in a blizzard. And, the Sugar Plum Fairy was dressed in pink... all is right with the world.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yellow Rose...

Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love.... Mother Theresa

Wrapping Up... My Favorite Part!

In my mind, the key to good wrapping is goop. More is more to a Christmas freak and so the more goopy goop you can slop on there the better. The only thing is I get a little boring because I purchase bulk paper from Xpedx and bulk ribbon from Costco so those items last through several Christmases. It does save quite a bit of money to do it this way, but I get paper envy walking through every craft store. I love pretty papers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Freaks...

We admit to being Christmas Freaks at our house. We love Christmas and almost everything about it. Last night we went to hear our neighbors play at a Christmas concert (they were amazing) and then drove around a few different neighborhoods to see all the twinkle lights. We'd had about a foot of snow during the day and so it was truly lovely.
You can pick out the other Christmas Freaks fairly easily looking at twinkle lights.
It's not always obvious on the outside though. Sometimes a person is a Christmas Freak on the inside and that's good too.

Little c sometimes gets an aversion to Halloween. She only likes the fun part, but grosses out on some of the more ghoulish aspects of that holiday. This year was one of those years and so the Christmas music started on Halloween Night. Yep. c was ready to put the tree up the next day. Sadly, we didn't get it finished until last Friday, but she did most of the decorating this year and I thought she did a great job!
To Simplify... is not something I believe in. It's more to go full speed at all the traditions and plans that make the season fun and skip what has become a burden. I used to always make homemade candy... then, that wasn't as fun anymore so I stopped, however it's starting to sound fun again so I might make a batch.

I love to fill the house with Christmas flowers, which isn't expensive if you go to the right place. We paid less than $50 for the 7 poinsettias I purchased this year. That is much less than a nice flower arrangement goes for these days. Grocery stores over-charge for Christmas flowers and the quality is usually not very good so go to a greenhouse to get them. Mine usually last until Valentine's Day.

I love to paint Christmas boxes and listen to Christmas books on tape. Right now I am listening to Shepherd's abiding by Jan Karon. Father Tim is restoring a Christmas angel with a broken wing. Lovely.

I didn't paint any snow guys this year. Next year maybe. I did have to slow down a bit this year, but come January. I will start making big plans for next year. Christmas freaks celebrate all year long.
I hope you are merrier and merrier everyday.

The Bill of Rights...

Today, as it is every year, is an important anniversary in American History. It is the anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, which happened December 15, 1791 and which guarantees to all citizens of the United States of America the following:
"The Bill of Rights protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, the freedom of assembly, the freedom to petition, and freedom of the press. It also prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment, and compelled self-incrimination. The Bill of Rights also prohibits Congress from making any law respecting establishment of religion and prohibits the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. In federal criminal cases, it requires indictment by grand jury for any capital or "infamous crime", guarantees a speedy public trial with an impartial jury composed of members of the state or judicial district in which the crime occurred, and prohibits double jeopardy. In addition, the Bill of Rights states that "the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," and reserves all powers not granted to the federal government to the citizenry or States. "
(Paragraph quoted from Wikipedia see the rest of the article here.)
I am so grateful for this document and for the gifts of liberty it guarantees. I am grateful for the men and women throughout the history of this country who have fought to preserve it and to make it's principles apply to every citizen. It is more important than ever that we know these sacred rights and are watchful that our government does not impose upon them or limit them.
Happy 217th Birthday to the Bill of Rights... May you live forever.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Barenaked for the Holidays...

I always get a few holiday recordings to add to our collection of Christmas stuff. I haven't heard this entire CD, but I love the song God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen that is performed with Sarah McLachlan. In fact, figuring out who was singing this song on the radio has been bugging me for days. I should have asked some of you music aficionados. Anyway, I hope the rest of the titles will be as much fun.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lion House Rolls for Dinner...

We ate well last night. If you live in Utah, you can pick up this cookbook at any store that sells local Mormon stuff and make the famous Lion House rolls inside... (That's Sting of the Bee cake right there by the way... and if you haven't tasted it... you haven't lived.) ... Or you can just drop by a local Deseret Book looking for Christmas gifts and think... O lovely Lion House Rolls for dinner! Hooray! Please pass the jam!

Things Good Mothers Know...

Alexandra has just announced that her new book will be available February 15th. I am so thrilled! If you haven't been reading her books... don't miss Happiness For Two. Every couple should read it I think.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mary Hamilton...

For as long as I can remember Mary Hamilton has been one of my very favorite artists. I wish that I could show you more of her work, but it seems to be disappearing. Mary Hamilton has been an artist for Hallmark Cards for over 50 years and all her practice with a paint brush shows. Best of all, I love her little angels, fairies and nativity scenes. When I was about 10, I started getting her Psalms calendar every year for Christmas. Hallmark no longer puts those out, but I sure wish they would. They were wonderful in every way. The art of Mary Hamilton is sweet and inspiring in it's delicate beauty with a touch of glitter here and there... I still look for her work every time I pass a Hallmark store. What an amazing career and to have spent all that time creating such loveliness... is just what I aspire to as an artist. With 40 years more practice.. who knows! Thank you Mary... it's all so beautiful!

Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband...

This is some of my favorite Christmas music. Music is something that I'm the last to know about, but I love the cheerful style of this group. This is happy music... I love it!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008


by Janie Bynum
"Otis is a little pig with a BIG problem. He doesn’t like mud.
His mama and papa are convinced he will someday love the stuff, but Otis isn’t so sure. And, in the meantime, he's lonely. It’s not easy being the only pig in the county who hates getting dirty.
Will Otis ever find
a friend?"
I have hang ups that I hate to admit to. Dirt is a thing that I not only despise... but it kind of scares me, so I relate to little Otis and his big problem. This little book shows that you can be OK even if you are wired a little bit different from other folksies... which I expect everyone is...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Making Jewels...

Next to painting, I really enjoy making jewelry although the things I make are pretty basic. That's what I spent yesterday doing. It's good activity if you are in a situation where couch time is something you need quite a lot of. Anywho... my friend Michelle who has a darling shop as well... (check it here) introduced me to MissFickleMedia who makes these little clay pendants. I love them especially the little chickadee. Right now she is running a special... buy anything in the shop and get a chickadee for free... What a deal! Anyway, I'm waiting for another chickadee because c has 2 bffs and she loves it when they all have the same of anything so I need to make one more necklace unless I decide that I need one too.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thank You Vetrans...

Normally this is not something I would share, but it was such a great experience and I promised my neighbor that I would spread the word. My Sunday school teacher is a veteran of the Korean War and 2 Sundays ago he mentioned that he is a volunteer at the Veteran's Hospital. I had never been there and I asked him if he would take little c and I to the hospital and show us around. We were not allowed back into the rooms because the hospital is very protective of our soldiers. There were more than a dozen police officers around. I think that is a good thing. However, little c and I had made these thank you notes that have Pancake and Mints on the front waving the flag and on the back they said, "Our liberty is our most precious gift. We are eternally grateful to those who have provided it to us and to those who have maintained it for us. May God bless and keep those who have fought to preserve our freedom. Thank you!"
We were able to meet with and talk with many Veterans just in the waiting room. I was so impressed with their kindness. They were just sweet to little c. It was touching to see and learn how they look after each other. We met several Vets who are volunteer drivers. One guy was pretty grizzled. He had long hair and was missing teeth, but he drives Veterans 3 times a week to the hospital from Nevada and waits all day for them to finish with their treatments and then drives them home out of the kindness of his heart. He looks a little rough around the edges, but he is an angel on the inside. We literally saw 5 different guys who could pass for Santa and one told me that he had been growing out his beard for months so he could help Santa out during this time of year. I guess that's all I'm going to say about that other than it was such a great heart expanding experience that when my baby grows up a bit, I hope to find myself there more often. And, without sounding dumb, can I say... take the time to thank the Veteran who lives near you. They have sacrificed so much.. and they can't hear it enough.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Ultimate Christmas Movie List...

We collect Christmas shows around here. My very favorites are:

1. It's A Wonderful Life
2. The Miracle on 34th Street (both old and new)
3. Albert Finney's Scrooge
4. Elf
5. White Christmas

and after that... not in order

6. The Family Man
7. Frosty the Snowman
8. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
9. The Little Drummer Boy
10. Home Alone
11. A Christmas Story
12. The Shop Around the Corner
13. The Ultimate Gift
14. Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
15. Patrick Stewart's version of A Christmas Carol
16. The Christmas Card
17. Holiday Inn
18. Christmas in Connecticut
19. The Santa Clause 1,2 & 3
20. A Charlie Brown Christmas
21. While You Were Sleeping
22. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

This year we are going to try:

Joyeux Noel
The Bishop's Wife (w/Cary Grant)
Scrooged (w/ Bill Murray)
The Dead
We're No Angels

Are there any must see or at least pretty good films on this list that I've missed?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Our Mutual Friend...

The BBC does it again! Put this on your Netflix list or see if you can get it from the library. It's just fabulous!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In addition to Christmas Boxes...

I made this little box for a lovely dark haired baby named Lily.
... and put together these little favor bags for little c's b-day party. Do you see Pancake peeking out of there. c and I collaborated on that one. She didn't realize how difficult it is to get to the final design. I think she had to draw a simple sketch 9-10 times before we got the exact shape we needed. I was proud of her for sticking it out with me. There are a few Pancakes in the shop.. but no blue lilies I'm afraid although there are yellow and pink.

be happy: A little book to help you live a happy life.

I received this little book as a gift recently. I love it. It has some great advice inside that I need to follow.
Here are some examples...
1. Give away what you don't need, to someone who does.
2. Do a one day news fast.
3. Listen to music.
I'm a listen to the news person. You wouldn't believe the difference in your mood if you trade news for music! It's amazing.
I might not go back... OK I watched Frontline last night and that probably counts and it gave me nightmares and made me mad as heck before I went to bed. Hugo Chavez... what a jerk! See I need a change here.
I need to give away some things too. I would love to have one of those homes where all the clothing in the closet fits and is in good repair. Where the drawers have order and make sense. I used to have that when I lived in such a small space in the city. Chaos reigns here in the burbs.. but I'm going to work on this one too.
Find this little book. You'll love it. It will have something that will inspire you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage...

I loved this movie. Peter O'Toole is brilliant as is Marcia Gay Harden. I loved the comments that Peter O'Toole's character makes about art.. so true.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bound for Glory...

This film about the song writer/musician Woody Guthrie was an interesting history lesson and well filmed. However, it was not an inspiring film to me. While the man Woody Guthrie often had his heart in the right place... he was no angel. His story reminded me of the quote by David O. McKay, "No success can compensate for failure in the home." No matter who you try to help or how magnanimous your intent.. if you fail your family all your victories may seem as hollow as this film.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jesus The Christ...

I enjoyed this book immensely. It is a chronological biography of the life of Christ carefully researched and referenced and based on events recorded in ancient and modern scripture. Everyone should read this once. I thought it would be a challenging book, but it was not and I really enjoyed how Talmage compares the different gospels when they reference the same event.

Finding Noel...

This is the kind of book that I often complain about because I didn't learn anything reading it and that always makes a book less exciting to me. It's a sweet little Christmas story and I listened to the entire book in a marathon painting session yesterday. I wouldn't sit down and dedicate myself to reading this book, but if you have lots of dishes or ironing or something like that.. it's a nice diversion.

Good Manners Thursday...

Hooray! My sister Jackie sent in this lovely contribution to Good Manners Thurs. I just love this quote and hope that you will enjoy it.

I thought you'd appreciate this on a good manners Thursday. I've been studying about the music, and culture of Bali as it pertains to music. Here's a quote for you:

"Refinement (halus) is what everyone strives for, as indirectness, self-control, humility, and polite deference are important aspects of character and social interaction in Bali. They can be seen in business and social negotiations as well as theatrical performances. As cherished ideals for behavior, they are external representations of the inner power and potency (Lisa Gold, Music in Bali, p. 94-95)."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sarah Jane Studios...

I love the sweetness in the art work of this Utah artist.
See more of her work here!