You truly will not believe the musical light show you are about to see!
It's amazing....and best of all....only a few miles down the road from me in the nearest
town to my home, Caledonia, Ontario!

Turn up your volume and play this fantastic Christmas Light Extravaganza!

Seriously!?  Can you believe that?!

If you'd like a little history on the building you can head over to
Caledonia Old Mill's web page, but if you'd just like a brief
synopsis of that page, read on.....

Built in 1853, this 3-1/2 story Mill was made of timber frame and constructed
with a rough wooden board exterior.
In 1857, it began being used to process wheat into flour, powered by water
and was in operation until 1960.
In 1975, the Mill closed after several owners had changed hands and
in 1983 the Grand River Mill was given Heritage Status.
It is presently owned by a non-profit organization entrusted with it's care.

Picture
Caledonia Mill, 1877 & circa 1910-1920
_
 Caledonia Old Mill
Festival of Sound & Lights

 See Caledonia's 160+ year old mill like never before:Covered with thousands of Christmas lights! Local volunteers Adam Harrison and Mike Montgomery, among other members of the Caledonia Old Mill Corporation have been working hard all year to present one of Southern Ontario's biggest winter light displays. 
Thursday, November 24th 2011 till' January 2nd 2012
Tune your radio to 88.1 FM to hear the music synchronized with the lights.
 For information on sponsoring the light display click here 
For more information contact The Caledonia Old Mill
ianthompson@creepycaledonia.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I hope you all enjoyed the show!
I totally loved it!
Kudos to the planners of this!

Merry Christmas Everybody!
I'll be back next week sometime!

xo
 
 
Santa came early!
Yay!
Dan took me to buy a new camera!  Yeehaw!
Can you tell I'm so excited?
All I did last night was follow him around snapping photos of everything!
It was nuts!  He was such a good subject though!  He even posed for me....
with different hats!  Talking on the phone, working in the garage, cooking in the kitchen!
Well, gosh....it's a little hard to cook dinner with a camera in your hand!
The dogs however, were not cooperative at all.

Plus...we have our first grandchild coming in February and are super excited
to take awesome photos!
 
Check this out....(and I haven't even learned anything yet from the manual!)
Just clicking away....la,la,la!

So this is one of the photos from my Christmas Tree Posting yesterday.....
Taken with my iphone4 (as most of the photos in my blog were!)
I doctored it a bit in Picnik.

And this is one taken last night, undoctored by Picnik except for the
addition of my name.
Isn't it amazing?  Can you see why I'm so excited?
I just have to learn how to use it properly.
Anyone have suggestions on a blogger that does a course that's easy to follow?

I'm now the proud owner of a Canon Rebel T2i!
Yes!
I love my husband....er.....Santa!
Merry Christmas one & all!
Hope Santa brings you something this awesome!
I feel so lucky!
(knock on wood)
xo
 
 
In all the hubbub of getting other things ready for Christmas,
my Christmas tree has sat looking forlorn (as it did for the whole season last year) waiting to be decorated above and beyond the pinecones, berries and lights that
came with the tree!  Although, that is nice and simple!

Apparently ALL the photos I took of before of the complete tree didn't turn out....
and I wasn't about to un-decorate it for a photo shoot!
This is just a piece of it ....barenaked.

_Last year, I was in the hospital on Christmas Eve (which is when we celebrate and have our big dinner) conveniently, with an appendicitis attack right during dinner
and went back home on Boxing Day!  I wondered why I had no energy for a month before Christmas and just let all the decorating go to the wayside.
This year, I'm going to enjoy Christmas alot more!

Like I've said in past postings, I'm usually the throw it together girl in a
very quick way...not the designer touch type.  With my Christmas Front Porch
being so much fun to create, in one sense I'd love to leave my tree at the
"golden" stage, like here......
(Does everyone have a problem taking a photo of a whole tree or is it just me?)

...But, I'm a sucker for sentimentality and absolutely will always have
all those little homemade ornaments the kids made, lovingly placed ON THE TREE!

I wanted to share some of the ornaments, but not all...not to worry!...that are
special to us year after year after year!

First up....the kids homemade specials!
Megan & Miranda made these in ceramics class one year...preteen age.

Sunday School Art

Miranda was really great at making these Reindeer!
Wait for it......
Squeeze the sides of it's mouth and it opens to reveal (a Hershey's Kiss....
nope...didn't have any of these on hand yet!) a Christmas candy!
Cute huh?

Dough Ornaments are always such a welcome addition!

Coloured Santa wood ornament by Alana, circa 1992.
(she'll love that I said "circa" cuz she's turning 30 on the 27th of this month!)

K...I know this is long...but bear with me please!?!

Here's a couple I made...over the years....simple ones...don't get excited!
BERRY KISSMAS
And, er, yes...Maureen....apparently I have cross-stitched something in my life!
Only this....for Dan!

Snowflake

Here are some photos of other ornaments, given to us by friends or
purchased over the years that I love!

Golden Treble Clef & Notes + Icicles

Snowglobes...fun....let's shake the tree!


Antique Reflections....in more ways than one.
Some happy memories with family past.

and special new ornaments from good friends!
Thanks Shelley & George!

Finally, the tree topper!  We used to have a large angel on our tree, but when we got the slim-line tree, it was a little overpowering up there, so she's relegated to a table in the livingroom and I made this wee 5" across glass ornament into our Star!
_
Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my Christmas memories
assembled on the tree....
Merry Christmas to you and your families!
& Happy Memory Making!
xo
 
 
So, you know those company Christmas Parties you took your kids to
for years and years religiously?
Mine was the Police Christmas Party and it was always on a Sunday after church.
There would be the Balloon Man, lunch, donuts (shock), and lots of hugs &
kisses with the finale, of course, lining up for a photoshot with Santa.
Now, not only did I take my two girls there because I was a 911 Operator/Police Dispatcher, but I also grew up going to these
same parties with my Mom & Dad because my father was a police officer for 34 yrs.
And, after Dan & I met, we continued to go with our blended family
because Dan is also a retired police officer.
....just keepin' it in the family!


I'm thinking that some of you may have had this same "little issue" with
one of your children.
They're terrified of Santa Claus!

Every year, I pull out the cards that hold the photos that were taken over
the years and KILL MYSELF LAUGHING at the following three years worth of memories
that I absolutely have to share with you, so you too can have a chuckle!
Oh yes...this is my youngest daughter, Megan!

1992 - 3yrs old
So, there's Alana trying to be all prim and proper for her
photo with Santa (big moment you know?!) and
Megan is losing it!

1993 - 4yrs old
No way is Megan getting on Santa's lap!
"If you want a photo...take it now or I'm outta here!"
Alana was probably a little distraught due to her sister's behaviour....
not like her to ruin a photo shoot!

1994 - 5yrs old
It only took three years to get her to "sit nicely" for the
photographer at the parties!

Hope your memories are as special as mine will always be!
Do you have any to share with me?
xo
 
 
Good Morning!

A couple days ago I received an e-mail from Sharon @Mrs. Hines' Class,
nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award!
Although I feel super pleased and happy about this, it took me a couple
days to decide whether to accept it....I know...I felt rude even contemplating!
My reasoning was...I had been awarded with another award a couple months ago and
declined it because I had to pick "10" other bloggers I felt deserved it
and I truly, at that time, didn't feel confident enough as a newbie to be picking
who should or shouldn't get this award.
(Why do I analyse everything to death you may be thinking?)
As a result of my lack of confidence at that time and my total inability to
juggle my own blog, let alone figure out 10 people I felt were deserving of an award,
I posted this in my sidebar.....
But now....
I FEEL BETTER ABOUT IT!
Confident no less!  So, I'm removing it.
Thanks Sharon!!!

The five up and coming blogs I'd like to pass this onto are:

1
It's All Connected
Maureen is a professional decorator, gardener, mother, grandmother,
caregiver, historian, and very creative crafter!

2
Sisterkins
Bessyboo, Oonga, Eeesh & Kermits Corner will keep you
coming back for more with their amazing crafts and homemade herbals.

3
In All Claireness
Claire has a uniqe, classy talent for crafting and although she
hasn't had a blog for long, you really should visit her...I do...every time she posts!

4
L'Heure Bleu At Home
Chloe has such clean, crisp lines in her decorating with many
whimsical pieces and an entertaining way of storytelling!

5
A Creative Space
Shelly uses ingenuity for her fabulous crafts and can she cook?
Oh yah!...She can whip up some mouthwatering desserts!

All the above bloggers are going to be BIG someday soon!
I look forward to reading their blogs every single day.
If I could keep adding blogs I would, because there are so many inspiring,
talented and sweet bloggers that I follow!


If you have been awarded the coveted Liebster award, here’s what’s next:

* choose five up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers to award

*show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.  If you not already a follower of their blog, that might be a great way to show appreciation for the award.  ;)

*Post the award on your blog.  Be sure to link back to the 5 blogs you awarded so that others can visit them.

Have a wonderful time checking out these blogs!
& Thanks again Sharon!
xo

 
 
The inspiration for my craft I'm showing today came from
Unrefined by Lindsay (Etsy)
who was featured by My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia last week.

Lindsay makes these beautiful photo blocks for sale....
...with a choice of your photo on the front and a pretty pattern on the back.

So, inspired, I had wanted to make something out of a gorgeous photo
my friend Lynne's daughter had posted on facebook of her children (Lynne's grandchildren) and remembered seeing Lindsay's photoblock. 
Our theme for gift giving with myself and my three other childhood friends,
for our quarterly appetizer & wine gathering, was something small that you could
pull out every year to remind you of each other at Christmas.

And here's what I did.....

Side I of Lynne's
Side II of Lynne's
Side I of Karen's
Side II of Karen's
Side I of Melanie's
Side II of Melanie's

Notice my pictures DO NOT fit the blocks!
I said, "Hey, Dan.....could you do me a favour?" (very sweetly of course!)
"Could you cut me some 6" lengths out of a 2x4 if you have one hanging around?"
"Of course Darlin'!" was his answer....or something like that....hahahaha!
Little did I know that when you print off a 4x6 photo....it's not really a 4x6 photo.
Nuh-uh.  It's more like 4-1/2 x 6!
So, I just downsized them and of course, they no longer fit in length....but
that was okay...I had a plan.

I liked that there were cracks in the 2x4 chunks...alot. Because I wanted to make the background/base like Elmo's stool (Le Chien Etape here) with the
Benjamin Moore Atmospheric (blue/grey) base and antique white homemade
chalkpaint (see Maureen's directions at It's All Connected) on top.
Then distress the white back to the blue and the wood.
That all worked out lovely.
Like this....
But then....it came time to decoupage my photos (Picnik enhanced to be Sepia)
on one side and my vintage
Christmas Cards from The Graphics Fairy on the other.
Glitch.
While trying to rub out the bubbles on one of the photos, I rubbed the photo
out in one wee part and thought....hmmmm...do I rip this off and start over?
Nooooo!
I decided to incorporate the cracks from the wood base right into the photos
and I love how they turned out.
It took a bit of fussing with an exacto knife and some brown craft paint,
then the blue paint, then a titch of the white chalkpaint, but it all turned out in the end!


_I used modpodge to coat the whole block and wrapped some matching ribbon
around them (for the life of me I couldn't get Mel's straight!) topped with
wee silver "bead caps" (found at Michaels) for some bling!
I call them Sofa Table Block Art because of the fact they are two-sided!
You can put them on your table behind your couch or on your floating counter
and they look pretty, no matter which side you are standing on!  Better yet, in front of a mirror would be pretty  as well so you could see both sides at once!
Best of all, I'm giving my friends a precious memory of cherished ones
to have for always!
Hope you enjoyed this...I loved, loved, loved making them!
I didn't get the opportunity to give these to my friends as 2 out of the 4 of us were sick yesterday, so if they see it here first...Merry Christmas guys!  But, I'm going to try to
deliver them today!

xo

Thanks so much Brooke for featuring me
at Get Outta My Head Please!
you are talking too much
And Thanks to Christina from
I Gotta Create
Also featured by:
{Junk in their Trunk}
_sharing this with:
Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
Funky Junk Theme Party - Picture Frames
Sunday's Best Linky Party!
you are talking too much


It's Overflowing
It's Overflowing

Momma Hens Coop
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
vif187
 
 
One of the very first items I pinned to my Pinterest page was this....
It was posted originally by So And Sew Productions blog and it came from
either The Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware.  But the idea
inspired me to try this at home!

So, for the last month...everywhere we go out in the vehicle or on foot, I've been
searching for the perfect branch.  It's actually quite funny, because I've even got Maureen involved in finding the perfect branches. A couple days ago, she hauled over a fairly large branch from her backyard she found for me!  I wonder what people were thinking watching her walk down the street with a giant branch!?
But...it wasn't the one I wanted....I know...I felt bad!

Dan & I went for a walk up the sideroad with the dogs yesterday morning and after
much chaos with the dogs getting tangled in the brush with their leashes wrapped around small trees and weeds, muck on our boots, and juggling...we managed to get these.
Whatever branch you pick, it has to suit your tastes...of course, but it also
must have branches wide enough to hold the candle holders.

Which leads me to what I used for candle holders.
These are called "Nail-On Glides" and come in a box of four.  They're used
for the bottom of chairs to help them glide across the floor, but I spent a long time
checking out the hardware aisle for something that would work to
hold my candles on....and this was it!
The beauty of having nails is your candle slides right down and if, by chance
(something I'd never do....hahaha....did it), your candle nail is on crooked, you
can actually adjust the candle by sticking it into it on a wee bit of an angle.
After trimming up my branches to how I wanted it to look and twisting the branch
upside down to see which way it sat flat best, but still looked interesting,
I hot-gluegunned the Nail-On Gliders in spots here and there, trying to keep
them level and spaced out sufficiently.
I actually enjoyed trimming it up....felt like a crazy artist sculpting something!
This is the Gold branch before.

And....this is my Silver branch before.

Having affixed the candle holders, I spray-painted two coats, top and bottom,
including the candle holders and here's some photos of
the finished product!
This Silver one was actually a secondary thought for me, because as you
can see from the photos, silver in my house...not so good!
But, I quite like it  and feel in the right environment, it could look
completely excellent!
In this close up you can see how lovely the silver metallic paint is
and how the real look of the wood shines through.
I can't decide which one I like best, but I obviously can see the gold branch
looks preferable here over the silver.
Dan & I both liked that there was moss and knarlyness (is that a word?) to
this particular branch and it's definitely a unique piece because
it's been given such texture as a result...shiny in two tones.
You could add some Christmas Bling to it as well. 
I kinda wanted to keep it simple looking, but will definitely play with it some
more and add perhaps some boughs from the tree or some holly berries?
I realize it looks monstrous in some of the shots here, but in reality, there
is plenty of room to share a meal around it at my table.
I quite like the meshing of nature and metallic.
Which one do you like best?
And, do you think you'll try this at home?
I'd love to hear back about this....
xo

Sharing with....
you are talking too much


Momma Hens Coop

vif187
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
Sunday's Best Linky Party!
 
 
Good Morning!

Today, I'm going to show you our Personalized Christmas Card
we're sending out this year!

One year, we sent out a photo of Dan & myself on a magnet for the fridge
to our special friends (that'd be the ones who actually wanted a photo of us on their fridge looking at them everyday!)

This year, I decided not to make "us" such a permanent fixture in other
people's homes.  Wasn't that nice of me?  hahahaha!

So, here it is......
The idea came to me because....I have a picture frame right at my front door that holds a 4x6 photo and I change it up with the seasons/occasions by putting
either a photo or a particularly funny card in it.
This year, I was playing with Picnik and did this to one of our photos for the frame...
so it's a photo as well as being particularly funny!
Then, I thought....hey, what a fun way to personalize a card for others?!

I don't think I have to give you a tutorial on this because it's glaringly obvious
how I did it.  But, I'll tell you the supplies I used.

Folded Cards and Envelopes
A photo (duh!)
Decorative Photo Corners
Ribbon
Gem

In the inside I used some Black Card Stock paper I had and a Silver Glitter Gel pen.
(I know...it's hard to tell in the photo that it's glittering...but it is!)

Dan even signed his own name....Imagine?!  hahaha!
I'd love to see your homemade cards too!
Merry Christmas!
xo

ps...we're only sending these to family members, so please don't be offended if you
don't get this card in your

 
 
...where the heck I went!
I'm here!
Just working on a few things...little things and trying to get things
done for Christmas which is (hard to believe) only 11 days away.

The photo I'm showing you was Christmas in our old house "3" years ago!
Time flies by so quickly.
That house had a beautiful fireplace with the original wall sconce lights on either side
and a glorious 3" thick slab of maple that wrapped around for a mantel.
(I know it's hard to see.....but just squint....lol!)
Best of all....it was woodburning!
Christmas was always so warm and cozy in that old place.
I'm super crazy busy this week, cuz I'm also helping my mom who has had two eye
surgeries within a month, due to complications and needs me to chauffeur
her around to shop, pay bills, etc.
And, a couple of outings are coming up....THIS WEEK!  Yikes!
So, it's going to be hit and miss for me to post things, but I'll post on the weekend if I
miss too much!

I hope your Christmas Season is happy, healthy and full of love!
xo
 
 
This is so totally not related to Christmas....
and I'm loving that after immersing myself in the Christmas Front Porch!
I actually didn't want to blog the last few days....just needed to relax and be, but I'm back now!  Hahahaha!  With a vengeance?  Hmmmm.

You know you want it......
Go HERE
to
In The Kitchen
for the how to and what for on
Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna!
Yum!
xo