Christmas Prep Week

This weekend, I put all of my fall decorations away, and pulled out several bins of my christmas decorations. I found the lights, tinsel, wall hangings and wreaths, and what I have left of my christmas tree ornaments.

I started putting a few things up inside the house, and made plans to string the outside lights this week sometime.

I also processed the last of the pumpkin, so I can make cookies and other things with it through the winter season.

The tree will probably go up late this week, with all of the other decorations preceding it. Watch this week for my snowflake display tutorial, as well as several different cookie recipes.

This year is about making new traditions and starting new memories. I love the weeks in the end of november and the beginning of December, as they are all about preparation, and the hustling bustling spirit of christmas is so easily caught, felt, and passed on to others.

 

Winter Wonderland… At Night

Nothing is better than a delayed winter… nothing except the 3rd significant snowfall of the season being a large flake, no wind, Christmas spirit wonderland.

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I needed to get some shopping done earlier in the evening, and surprisingly it WASN’T busy in the stores. But I did hear my first Christmas Carol of the season, and it put a smile on my face.

Later, as I was driving and watching the snow fall, I decided I wasn’t ready to go home just yet, so I headed for the park downtown, took my camera and took some night time snowfall shots.

Other than the snowy vortex of doom while highway driving at night in the winter months, along with slippery sidewalks and roads, and the wind that causes chills that make old bones rattle, there is so much to smile about when the snow flies.

I love snow, especially at night. Everything sparkles, and once you get cold, you head inside for some mint hot chocolate, crisp apple cider, and warm hugs.

Candle Making, Take 1

Who doesn’t love the smell and aura of a burning candle? 

I make votive candles from already burnt or broken candles, old wax, crayons, scensy bars, and other materials. I buy my wicks with the anchors already attached and pre cut off of Amazon

I have 8 votive molds, and some glass vases that I use as pillar molds. I mix scents and colors, and love creating my unique candles.

My next batch of candles will probably be a citronella batch, as I have some old garden stake candles that need to be refurbished. Check back soon to see my candle making process in action!

My Crafting Center

I was lucky to move into a house with a sunroom… an extra space that I could create things at my own pace. This room has become my crafting center.

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I have supplies here for candle making, sewing and mending, making epsom salt blends, coloring, and miscellaneous paper crafts.

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I have supplies here to do seasonal displays around my house as well. River rocks, colored marbles, baskets, leaves, and flowers, both dried and silk.

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On the other side of the room, I have gift wrapping supplies and my stash of greeting cards and envelopes, painting, glitter, pottery, ribbon, string, tape, wool, and so much more.

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This is my organized mess of art supplies, craft ideas, and a few unfinished projects. As I find time, I will organize, create, and muddle through new ideas here.

*editors note* If you see something in my supplies that you have questions about, or if you see an idea you would like to develop, please let me know!

My Favorite Hideaway

The mountains are calling… I must go to my getaway spot in Canmore. Spring, summer, fall, and winter, it’s beautiful any time of year.

It takes about 4 hours to drive to one of my favorite places in the world… Canmore Alberta

http://canmore.ca/visitors/about-canmore/town-statistics

This is a gateway city: the first stop in the mountains on the Trans Canada Highway, and the last stop before entering the national park string that starts with banff up in that same area. From Canmore, it is an easy day trip into the parks to see banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and everywhere in between. Wildlife viewing opportunities are very common, and breathtaking views are a given.

The tourism, art, and recreational activities in this city also go above and beyond to deliver the best possible experience for the traveller while they stay here.

 

Regardless of when you choose to come, this city, my favorite Canmore is always alive, and will help you to relax, unwind rejuvenate yourself, and promises to bring the best of nature, art, and convenience to you at your pace. It is hard not hard to fall in love with this place, and once hooked, it will be a spot you and I return to again and again.

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It’s a French Toast Morning

Yesterday I had a craving for breakfast. All day. And today too. So I decided to make french toast, because I have all of the ingredients right now, and because it’s quick and so easy to do.

I mixed 3 eggs with a little vanilla extract and some cinnamon. Then I added about 2 cups of milk, and whisked it all together. I preheated my fry pan to a little higher than medium, and gathered all the pieces to french toast assembly onto the stove.

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then I double dipped the french toast into the batter, and placed 2 slices side by side in the greased pan. I waited for about 3 minutes, and flipped the toast just after it turned golden brown.

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I made 8 slices of french toast today. I love to dress them up with a little peanut butter and syrup, topped with a dusting of icing sugar. Then they turn into a gooey, messy, and delicious treat.

 

Planting the Bulbs

It is hard to believe that it is already November. It’s only weeks till Christmas, and then a long winter ahead. After winter, spring will come again, and planting season will start once more. But there are some plants that can weather the frost ¬†and cold, and survive in the ground all winter, to show their faces first in the spring.

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I planted my bulbs this weekend. Looking at the plot I wanted to put them in was a little bit daunting at first, because it was filled with leaves and weeds, was uneven and needed a bit of work to prep for the flowerbulbs.

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I cleared all the debris, pulled out the weeds, and cleaned up the leaves, and levelled the ground as I went, using a garbage bag to keep mess to a minimum. I used a small rake to loosen the soil and collect the leaves and twigs.

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After I finished clearing the plot portions that I wanted to use, I replaced the stepping stones, and planned my smaller dig spots. I ended up planting in three different areas. One was a mixed bag of tulips, hydrangeas, and other bulbs, another spot was strictly for crocuses (my favorite). The last dig spot was for the yellow tulips, and planting them all didn’t take very long at all after the ground was prepared.

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Now I will need to wait for spring to come to see the flowers themselves, but the hard work is done. Planting bulbs is one of the last chances in the year to get my hands in the soil outside. I am looking forward to a new growing season, beautiful flowers, and eventually, a brand new harvest to work away once more.

A Photographer’s World, Take 1

I love to take pictures… I like vivid colors and finding new angles on whatever I am taking pictures of. I only have a simple Canon camera, but it is all I need in order to do what I love. I never photoshop any of my pictures, although I do play around with camera settings to catch the best lighting and pull out the colors.

Whether it is here in the house, out in the yard, somewhere in a hidden corner I found here in the city, or somewhere across the western Canadian provinces, I take pride in my work, and love to share my findings with the world.

 

MY FLICKR:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/143967890@N07/albums

 

Q, R, S, Tea…

What is the best way to settle down after a long day? What’s the best way to wake up in the morning? What’s one thing you reach for when you aren’t feeling well? What is one thing you share with good friends? 

Tea is the answer that can answer all of these questions… whether it is green or black…. oolong or chai, te has the ability to calm and energize depending on the blend that is used.

Have you ever walked into a store that sells tea and been overwhelmed? (Don’t worry, it happens to many of us) there are so many colors, flavors, uses, blends, and brands to choose from, that it is fairly easy to get lost in tea.

I usually let my nose lead me… I am not particular about any specific blend, and have not yet been presented with a reason to be. I prefer fruit blends and berries for the morning, peppermint and chamomile for sick days, chai or a rich vanilla blend for cozy night after a hard day, and will share any of these with a friend.

How do you take your tea? 2 spoons of sugar, a little milk… or honey? I like all of the above, but not all at once. In green and peppermint teas, I prefer regular sugar. In fruit teas, I prefer honey. And in chai and dark teas, I prefer sugar as well as a little milk to tone down the bitter edge.

Regardless of the flavor, strenth, or sweeter, tea is a great way to both relax and unwind, and start a busy day with just the right touch.

The Colors of Fall

Fall is a beautiful season… the sunrises and sunsets, the changes in the trees, and the variations in the weather all make for an incredible display of brilliance and color.

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As the seasons turn around us, we are reminded that change and transition can be beautiful, and is a necessary part of life and growth. The beauty in our world, from the smallest leaf to the biggest sky shows us that we can find something good in everything around us, even if it is not immediately apparent.

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Sing To Me, Autumn

By Patricia L. Cisco

Sing to me, Autumn, with the rustle of your leaves.
Breathe on me your spicy scents that flow within your breeze.

Dance with me, Autumn, your waltz that bends the boughs of trees.
Now tell me all the secrets you’ve whispered to the seas.

Sleep with me, Autumn, beneath your starlit skies.
Let your yellow harvest moon shimmer in our eyes.

Kiss me, Autumn, with your enchanting spellbound ways
That changes all you touch into crimson golden days.

Love me, Autumn, and behold this love so true
That I’ll be waiting faithfully each year to be with you.

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poems/nature/fall/

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Autumn

By Miteshwar Singh

Thou tomb of summer
Vaulting its great might
Threshold of frosty weather
Into view of end a bite

Painting of nature
Earth’s view enchanted
Thou leaf of Transition
Root of death’s bed

Dilapidated souls- crunchy leaves
Picturesque of thy might
Dancing flames of fire
Singing death even bright

Red, Gold, Orange and green
Rainbow fall foliage
And pumpkins of corn fields
So drowsy a gaze

Thou dirge of the dying year
In whose charm dance scarecrows
Ripe nuts brown shake and fall
Mesmerizing thou pose

Thou leaf bright and dark
Barrier of youth and age
Piercing trumpet of winter
Truly the trick of the mage

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poems/nature/fall/

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