Sunday, November 29

SMILING'S MY FAVORITE...

Greetings, dear reader!

I have spent a few glorious days with family and find myself smiling ridiculously all day long.Even on Black Friday, hubby dear and I braved the crowds and went to the unique and wonderful stores of Market Square in downtown Knoxville.


 



Wonderful stores...did I already say that? Some of my faves: Bliss, Earth to Old City, Ten Thousand Villages, and daughter in love treated me to a fab lunch at Oodles...a noodle bistro. DELICIOUS!

We've also spent time watching some favorite holiday movies...went to see (again) Julie and Julia (WONDERFUL FILM!) and watched our new favorite classic, "Elf" on DVD. Such a sweet film...



Priming my Flip video cam for the Christmas Craft How To Vids...stay tuned!

Hugs,
Paula Clare

Friday, November 27

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE...

Greetings, dear readers!

I hope all of you spent a day of warmth, food, family and fun this Thanksgiving! I was with my dear son and daughter in love and my 3 grand kitties and 2 grand gerbils...so much love in such a little house! We had a wonderful time! Behold the veritable feast that my daughter in love created for us:


video

Stay tuned for exciting information about my "how to" videos for Christmas crafts!

Hugs and kisses,
Paula Clare

Friday, November 20

GRATEFUL...AND A FREE GIFT!

Greetings, dear reader!

While I have been feeling rather puny the last few days, I have used the "down time" to create a little gift for you...something useful as well as decorative that you can download and print yourself! A little calendar made with ATCs digitally created. Here are just a few of the images:



 

 

Here is the link to go get the zipped file:
http://www.4shared.com/file/156341026/f853fbb1/atc_2010_calendar.html

I am so very grateful for each and every one of your thoughtful comments and for those of you who are following my blog, following me on Twitter and/or Facebook! I've made so many wonderful friendships with those of you in blogdom! Thanks so much for all your support!

Gratefully,
Paula Clare

Wednesday, November 18

A THANKSGIVING TALE...

One year, feeling a bit more Martha Stewart than usual,I volunteered to host the thanksgiving meal. My mom, sisters, nieces, nephews were all present (yes, all in my 750 sq. ft. cottage!) and the sounds of laughter and anticipation filled the air as I worked busily in the kitchen.




Our meal was to begin at 2 pm...and around 12 noon I started hearing murmurings in the living room..."Why can't I smell the turkey? That's half the fun of Thanksgiving is smelling the turkey..." "What about the pumpkin pie? Do you smell any pumpkin pie?" "She DID say she was making turkey and all the fixings, right?"

As the concern began to reach its zenith, I proudly announced "Dinner's ready!" The starving troops began making their way to the table...as they did so, my husband noted that the turkey didn't look quite as brown in the bag as he had expected. "Oh, it's done" I assured him. "Just wait til you cut open the browning bag and smell it!" As he cut open the bag, no glorious smell came wafting forth. In fact...he said, "Hmmmm." Concerned, my mom and sisters looked at him then looked at me quizically..."what's the matter?" "Uh....I don't think it's done." "What do you mean it's not done? The directions said 2 hours..." "Well, it's still very pink right here...and...ewwwwwwwwww. It's frozen on the inside..." "Frozen?! That's impossible...look."



I quickly grabbed the cookbook and showed him, "Cook turkey in microwave for 2 hours on high..." He said, "YOU TRIED COOKING A TURKEY IN THE MICROWAVE?" "Yes." I replied mousily. "It SAID..." trying to justify my actions, "That cooking in a brown-n-bag 'assures your turkey will be golden brown'"... The turkey had an unnatural shape...more like a cube than a turkey. The bird was apparently a little large for the microwave and I had to kind of "stuff it" in and slam the door closed. "Well, at least there's dressing, that should be done..." someone said with false hope..."Oh yes, I put the dressing in it..." As I got a spoon and began to scoop out the completely uncooked dressing, a piece of paper came out..."What's this?" I asked....

"The giblets" my mom replied. "You didn't take out the giblets?" "Take them out...from where?" She stuck her hand in and pulled out a bag of frozen meat...I stared in horror as she took the neck and other "body parts" out of the other end of the bird. "That's just disgusting" I say...almost in tears.

"Fine...I'll just put it in the oven for a few minutes and let it get brown"




"BROWN?! It needs to COOK!" 

Chagrined, I replied, "Well, okay, while it's cooking, why don't we go ahead and have dessert? Pumpkin pie anyone?" I proudly remove the whip cream covered pie from the refrigerator and began slicing. Well, TRYING to slice. It actually ended up being more of a dipping motion. "Hmmmm" I said. "It didn't set up in the frig..." "My mom said, "SET UP?!?" "Well, yeah...isn't that how you make the pie all firm and stuff?" Stifled gales of laughter began emanating from the group..."WHAT? You didn't COOK it?" "Well, YES I COOKED IT...the pie crust...look!" I showed them proudly the golden edged pie crust...however it was little consolation for the gooey orange mush that was now oozing over everyone's plates.




Realizing something had gone terribly, terribly wrong, I said quickly, "The can SAID "READY TO EAT PUMPKIN" Gales of laughter. "What?!" I look around and see everyone's disappointment now fading into hysteria..."Look" I show them the can, so as not to be made out to be a liar...I read aloud: "Libby's, Libby's Libby's READY TO EAT PUMPKIN." "AND there was NO recipe on the inside of the label...how was I to know?!"

Suddenly we realized we were all standing in water..."What the...????" The water pipe under the sink burst and water was leaking all over everything..." Suddenly visions of Ziggy are dancing in my head...

The story of the "ready to eat pumpkin" and the "cubicle turkey" is now told annually at each Thanksgiving. And when I ask the family what I can bring...everyone says in unison, "THE DRINKS!"



Grateful for a family with a sense of humor...
Paula Clare

Tuesday, November 17

IN ANTICIPATION...


Greetings, dear reader!

As promised, here is the advent calendar I completed yesterday. You can print, assemble, and finish it in 2 hours! Easy peasy! Just type "Advent Calendar Template" into your search engine, and BAM! Lots of fab ideas for calendars, gifts and traditions!


It's a mere 8x10, so you can print it on regular size letter paper. You could also mount it on canvas board and then frame it with a pretty 8x10 frame! Because space in my little 750 sq. ft. dream cottage is at a premium, I decided to keep it simple and just add a ribbon to the top for hanging. Voila!



For each of the days, I took my December "to do" list and incorporated it into the calendar...for example, Day 2: Make 2 Christmas ATCs to trade.  Day 3: Watch 3 Christmas movies. Day 12: Address 12 Envelopes for Christmas Cards. Day 15:  Rubber Stamp 15 envelopes and mail. Day 21: Dust 21 things in the house...

I thought it might make the preparations for the holiday a bit more fun...YAY! Christmas! It IS the most wonderful time of the year!

More soon! Hugs!
Paula Clare






Monday, November 16

GOD IS GREAT, GOD IS GOOD, LET US THANK HIM...

Greetings, dear reader!

Can you finish the little mealtime prayer that titles this post? It was a standard practice at mealtime when I was a wee girl...me, or one of my sisters would bow our heads and begin the prayer...

God is great...(kicking my sister under the table)
God is good...(opening one eye to scope out the primo piece of friend chicken)
Let us thank Him...(clasping my little hands together as though folding them more tightly means I am a more sincere pray-er)
For our food...AMEN!

I remembered this little prayer as I was creating the following Christmas gift for a dear relative who shall go unnamed at this time...



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 The above is my very favorite page...such insight! Such wisdom! And SOOOOOOOOO true in my thinking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





I am going to include photos of the family member who made the recipe "famous" (or infamous in my case) and recipes for favorite meals...breakfast, lunch, dinner and family faves. THAT PART has to remain a secret...don't you just LOVE the Cosmo Cricket Early Bird papers?

I'll be back to show you the advent calendar I created...100% paper!

Hugs and smoochies!
Paula Clare

Friday, November 13

ALTARED CALENDAR

Greetings, dear reader!

I am just now finishing up the calendar started in Red Lead's incredible Altered Calendar Workshop. First of all, the calendar itself is a real beauty...


And Chris Schwartz, artist and proprietor of Red Lead, taught us some wonderful techniques for altering our calendars...behold...

 


 

But wait! There's more!



 And then I was inspired to create my own pages, using other old calendars from previous years...

 
  
It's inspiration run amuck!


I hope this inspires you to find and create your own 2010 calendar...every DAY can be a day of inspiration!