Let your soul stand ajar, always ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. ~ Emily Dickinson

Saturday, December 31, 2016

~JOYFUL NEW YEAR~

Resolved, that I will take each precious minute,
and relish all the joy within it!  ~ Kathleen Rice

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A number of years ago, my husband bought me some prints by Pat Fischer!
They all feature pastoral scenes filled with painted houses, willow trees, and sheep,
and many of them also have simple sayings!
 I still love them!

One of my favorites is this one!


Blessed is the life that finds joy in the Journey!

It hangs in my living room and is a constant reminder to me that life is a journey and I have choices to make as I travel my personal road!!

As I look to the upcoming year and make my resolutions, perhaps my most important one for this year is to....

CHOOSE JOY! 

~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~

As we all prepare to welcome in 2017, may we truly be Blessed with Good Health, Peace, and Hope for a better future!!
Happy New Year, my friends!!

Wishing each of you  ~ JOY~

Julie 

Monday, December 19, 2016

~FINISHED........ALMOST!~

Happy Monday to you, dear friends!!
Can you believe it is only a few more days till Christmas??

Are you all finished with your preparations?
Have you been checking off things on your list?

Perhaps you are like me and say, "Almost!"
Hopefully, we will all get the last package wrapped and the last errand run
just in the nick of time!!

======*======

I actually did get something finished.......almost, anyway!
I punched my last loop on my Horse Pull Toy punch needle design
created by my friend Lori of Homespun Prims!


I just love how it turned out and hope you like it too!!!

I still have to figure out how I am going to complete it, whether I frame it, make it into a pillow, or just add wool to the back for hanging,
 but that will be something to look forward to later!!
It is such a fun design and one I know you will love!

If you decide you have to make one, just contact Lori
 and I'm sure she will be happy to get you a pattern!! 
Thank you Lori, for this wonderful design!

===========*==========

Something that I actually DID FINISH is my newest album on my Picture Trail called
Christmas 2016!

I had so much fun creating some different displays this year and hope you will stop by for a visit when you need a little break from all your busy activities!! 


You can visit the album HERE!

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I want to take this moment to say THANK YOU to all of you
 who have been a part of my life this past year,
 by visiting my blog, sending emails, leaving comments, making purchases, praying,
and sharing the gift of friendship! 
 You are truly a BLESSING, and my heart if filled with MUCH GRATITUDE!!!

Wishing you days filled with Finished Projects, Quiet Moments, and Gratitude~

Julie

Saturday, December 10, 2016

~SIMPLE PLEASURES~

Hello, dear friends!!

Reading is one of my favorite things to do so I was thrilled when 
I received a surprise in my mail box today!!

It is the new book by Stacy Droit called,




A Christmas Cabin
Presented by....Arnett's Country Store!

Have you seen it yet?
I only turned to the first page and then decided I needed to sit down with a snack, another one of my simple pleasures!





This is my absolute new favorite!!





It is called The Mix and is a combination of 
cheddar cheese and caramel corn....YUM!!!
We buy ours at Safeway here in AZ!
If you haven't tried it yet,
 IT IS A MUST!!!

~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~

I have also been slowly working on my punch needle horse by Lori Rippey in the evenings
while watching Christmas movies,
 two more simple pleasures!




Here is my progress!

Hoping to get more of the background done tonight while we watch our next movie on the list!
I wonder what it will be tonight?




In the meantime,
  I am ready to sit down with my favorite snack
 and enjoy my new book!!!

~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~

Wishing you an abundance of Simple Pleasures, my friends~

Julie

Thursday, December 8, 2016

~A Most Kindly Welcome To You~

My CHRISTMAS GOODES UPDATE is OPEN!

Click HERE to go directly to the album!!

Thank you for visiting with me and have a wonderful evening!

Christmas Hugs and Wishes to you~

Julie

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

~THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS, AND AN UPDATE~

Good Morning and Happy December, my friends!
I don't know about you, but during this time of year I pull out all my favorite movies and CD's to get into the spirit of the season!!



I gathered together a grouping of some of my very favorite CD's to share with you!




An Old English Christmas, Hillsong, Kenny G, Barbra Streisand 




Michael Bubl'e,  Avalon, Christmas Treasures, and
NSYNC was a gift from my daughter as it was our favorite when she was a teenager! 
Still love it!!


Point of Grace and Mannheim Steamroller!



Amy Grant and Kelly Clarkson, and the list goes on and on!!

What are your favorite CD's or songs at Christmas??

((((((*))))))

Then there are the movies we always watch!


Just a small grouping of some favorites!



The Holiday, Miracle on 34th Street,




 Trapped In Paradise, A Christmas Carol,




The Bishop's Wife and White Christmas,




And my all time favorite......A Christmas Story!!  

Of course, we also tape so many on our DVR
 and have a long list of other favorites as well,

Christmas in Connecticut, Holiday Affair, Holiday Inn, and the list goes on!!

What are your favorite movies to watch this season?

((((((((((*))))))))))

I always have some kind of project in the works and my latest punch needle project is by my dear friend Lori Rippey of Homespun Prims!


It is a wonderful Horse Pull Toy and I am really enjoying it!




Here is my progress so far, just working on it at night as I watch those Christmas movies with Jeff!!

Are you working on a special project?

((((((((((*))))))))))

I have also been hard at work creating some items for my next update!

I hope you will join me on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8th, at 8 PM, EST
 for my UPDATE
 on my PICTURE TRAIL SHOPPE!



The album is closed for now but will be open promptly at 8 PM!
 I would so love to have you stop by!

((((((((((((*)))))))))))))

For the rest of the day I will be busy taking pictures to add to my Picture Trail
 for my 2016 Christmas Decorating around my home
 and hope to have all the pictures uploaded soon!!
Now to put on some lively Christmas music and get busy!!!
  Fa la la la la, la la la la!!

Wishing you a day filled with the
 beautiful
 SIGHTS and SOUNDS
 of this Blessed Season,
 my friends~

Julie

Thursday, November 24, 2016

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Wishing Each of You a Wonderful Thanksgiving

Filled with Love and Blessings

From Our Home to Yours!

Julie

Monday, November 7, 2016

~SIGNS, A TUTORIAL~

Hello, and Happy Monday to you, dear friends!!

Do you have any signs in your home?
Are you ever looking for THE PERFECT SIGN, and just can't seem to find it??
If that sounds like YOU, then I have the solution.......

Make your own sign!!!!



I have wanted 3 signs and just could not find what I was looking for so Saturday, I decided to make my own!!

You may already have these materials, but if not, here is a list of what I used in making my signs!!



Pieces of wood!  I happened to have some old boards in the garage and they were already cut to a good size! I just use old cardboard boxes cut open to paint on!



Paint!  I already had some flat black from some previous projects and
Stencil paints!  I chose these three colors and actually mixed the darker brown with the straw to tone it down a bit!


Paint brushes, stencil brushes, and something to hold the paint in!



Stencils and pencils!  I didn't have any letter stencils so I used a 40% coupon at JoAnn's to purchase the ones I used!!  I actually prefer the Mylar stencils, but this one is heavy card stock and hopefully it will hold up if I want to make any more!  For the smaller sign, I actually made my own pattern and traced it on!



Yard stick, measuring tape, or ruler!!  It helps for spacing, even though I tend to "eyeball" things!



Antique gel, stain, or wax! I LOVE the paste wax by HOWARD!!
 It smells SO GOOD!!



  Also you might want to use Matte Poly Spray if your sign will be outside!




Hammer, saw tooth hangers or wire for hanging!


Paint your board base coat first and make sure it is completely dry!
Also be sure to have a cloth or paper towels, just in case of a spill!

Once you have your word picked out, you lay your stencil on your board, dip your stencil brush in your paint, dab it on a paper towel, and use a POUNCE MOTION!  Make sure you don't have a drenched brush or it will leak under your stencil!  If you think it needs more, then repeat!! Once you are done, just lift the stencil away and........VIOLA!!!  You DID it!!!! 
Repeat for each letter, carefully dabbing your brush each time you dip it in the paint!! Then let the paint dry well before you add your wax or antiquing gel!!


Since I collect baskets, I made one sign with the word........BASKETS!!!!



My next sign was WELCOME! 
 Everyone needs one of those, don't you think?



My third sign says PRIMITIVE!!! 
 This was the hardest of the three as I could not find a stencil to fit the width of the board, so I ended up tracing out each letter on a small square of paper on the front
 and filling it in with pencil on the back!! 
 Then I placed the letter on the board, colored in the front of the paper and it actually left the pencil impression on the board, almost like tracing paper!!!
 I was able to trace around the letters and then with a small flat brush I outlined each letter
 and then filled it in with a larger flat brush!!
  This sign definitely took longer, but I am really happy how it finished up!!


I actually sanded the letters on this sign since I wanted it to live up to the name.....PRIMITIVE!!!
For some reason the camera is showing some shiny spots but it must be the light
 as this is flat black paint!
Once all of the sanding if done, wipe it off with a cloth and then apply your stain, gel or wax!
  I chose wax so it would make the letters "pop" out more!!



On the WELCOME and PRIMITIVE signs, I chose to use saw tooth hangers!



Since I was hanging the BASKETS sign differently, I chose to use heavy wire and screws! 




FINISHED!!!!!!

Now I will share with you where I hung each of them!!



BASKETS sign now lives inside my large tobacco basket!!! 



WELCOME sign hangs under my Harriet Angel I made using a Netty Lacroix pattern!!!
Love the black and mustard together!!



The PRIMITIVE sign ended up in my bedroom, above a wonderful hooked rug I actually won, made by Joanne of Snippets and Scraps blog
 and above the sign is a cheese basket with a sweet bird rug made by my dear friend
 Lori of Homespun Prims!!! 
 I just love how it all fits together perfectly!!!

~*~*~*~*~

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and that you are now ready to make your own special sign
 for your home!!! 
 It will be extra special because it personally fits your home and
 YOU actually made it!! 
 Now get out those pieces of wood, paint, brushes, stencils, and all  your other tools and
 GET CREATIVE!!!
 You will be so glad you did!!!!  I promise!!!! 

I would love to see any signs you might create, so please share them!!!
(If you  have any questions or need some help, just email me!)


Wishing each of you a WONDERFUL and CREATIVE DAY~~

Julie      

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

~WE HAVE A WINNER~

Happy Wednesday to you, dear friends!

Many thanks to all of you who entered my Giveaway!!
I truly enjoyed reading each of your comments and special Christmas stocking memories!!
Some of them made me smile, a few tugged at my heartstrings, one made me laugh out loud and all of them were a pleasure to read and I thank you for sharing them!!  Though some of you didn't actually have stockings, you began the tradition and passed it on!!   

I wish I could gift each one of you something, but sadly could only choose one winner!
After putting each name in a random name picker, the winner is-



Vicki Jo!

Congratulations to you and please contact me with your address so I can get the stocking mailed to you!!!!

Thank you all again so much for entering!  Your kind words, comments, and stories truly warmed  my heart!!!

****************

I am still slowing working on my Old Cat punchneedle piece and the operative word is

S   L   O   W!!!


Not much to share with you, but I am really liking the background so far!!




I added some darker brown squiggly spots and am loving how it is blending with the lighter brown!




Normally I would punch the cat first, but am still deciding on colors, so will just keep going with the background and keeping mulling color choices!!! 





Then I need to move on to Turkeys and Tallowberries, as I have been wanting to make that design for some time and love all the different versions I have been seeing others punching or hooking!!! Such a fun design by Lori of Notforgotten Farm!!!

***************



I collect Stone Fruit (when I can find it inexpensively) and recently found a wonderful Persimmon!
(What do you think, Lauren?)


I just love the color of this and that stem is amazing!!!
Do any of you collect Stone Fruit?




Speaking of fruit, I added Lauren's wonderful paisley strawberry to my wire basket of cloth fruits and veggies!




It fits in perfectly among the other pieces!!!  Thanks again for this lovely gift, Lauren!!

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I have been busy creating new items for an upcoming update and hope to post more about those things soon!!! Please be sure to check back from time to time!!!!  

The temperatures are FINALLY cooling off here in Arizona and I am just loving the cool mornings during my walk!!  Hope the weather is lovely where you are, too!!!

Wishing you a Beautiful and Creative Day, my friends~

Julie