Monday, December 28, 2009

My Crafty Resolution, Part Two - Free Basket Pattern Links

Time for basket weaving needs to be factored into my Crafty Resolution for 2010. Below are some links to FREE PATTERNS for some of my favorite "must weave" projects for next year.

Basket Maker's Catalog has a lot of free basket weaving patterns. OK, they're not just patterns, many of them are complete tutorials with very detailed instructions and lots of pictures. Click here for the free pattern for the "Simple Gift Basket" pictured above.

There are tons of FREE patterns for beautiful baskets at Suzanne Moore's NC Basketworks - I love the Summertime Wall Baskets (free pattern here), and will definately be weaving these. Don't you love the colors and embellishments?

These sweet teacups were made by my blog friend, Juliana Deen at "A Handwoven Life". These have a high priority on my weaving list, as I'd really love to give them as Mother's Day gifts to my mothers-in-law and Aunt Judy. (Click here for free pattern.)

I, of course, can't forget to mention some baskets I intended to weave in 2009 that were posted by my "real life" friend, Nancy Jacobs at Basketmaster's Weavings. The first is this awesome and useful Recipe Basket. I'm going to weave two of these... One for "tried and true" recipes, and one for new recipe clippings. (free pattern here)

I also want to weave a collection of Nancy's Kitchen Counter Baskets (free pattern here). I think that if I modify the dimensions a bit, they would be perfect to store my "keeper" magazines like Cook's Illustrated and A Taste of Home.
Oh... Nancy has a YouTube Channel with amazingly detailed and simple-to-follow video tutorials of how to weave several different baskets, including the recipe basket pictured above. Please visit her here for more weaving inspiration.
Until next time...
Hugs and blessings~

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Crafty Resolution / Linky Love - Part One

2009 is coming to an end, and what an amazing year it has been! I've collected links to a bunch of projects I am going to find time to craft in 2010. (Seriously, I have so many grand ideas that it is not realistic for me to think I'm going to be able to complete them all in a year.)

One of my "resolutions" for the New Year is to find/make time to craft. This can be a challenge, so in my efforts to make this an attainable goal, I am going to commit to completing one new project per month.

I'm excited about sharing some of what might be on my "craft plate" next year... And I will keep you updated on each of my monthly projects.

See below for some fun ideas and tutorials. More links will be posted soon.

Hugs, blessings, and Happy New Year!

Cute, cute, cute! I have to make this one in several colors... But first I need to figure out how I'm going to make and attach wings :-) Check out Q.D. Patooties for the easy-to-follow tutorial.

These Hedgies were made with car wash mitts from Dollar Tree. I think my Barkley would love playing with them, but I am certain the pom-pom nose would only stay on for a minute :-) Please visit Darling Petunia for the tutorial.

I'm loving these water balloon luminaries from The tutorial they provide makes this look like a fun and affordable project, with tons of possibilities.

Amazing punched tin butterflies from Gingerbread Snowflakes. Yes, Pam provides a full tutorial, and if you browse through her site, you'll see a bunch of other suggestions for punched tin ornaments, as well as a bunch of other fun projects.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas in Mexico

Feliz Navidad! No... I'm not spending Christmas in Mexico, but I have met a new blog friend who shares all things Mexico. Her name is Angie, and her amazing blog is called At Home in Mexico. Angie is an educator who is very excited about sharing details about her life in Mexico. She posts amazing pictures of the country, churches, celebrations, and food, as well as providing very detailed an colorful explainations and commentary.

Below are just a few pictures from her posts about December celebrations in her country:
December 12 - The Celebration the miracle of the Virgin of Guadalupe

A A beautiful young lady with traditional embroidered attire and decorated braids.

Scenes from a marketplace selling figurines for Nacimientos (Nativity scenes). I love how Angie explains that people continually add to their collection each year. I also enjoy that in Mexico, the true spirit of the season is celebrated... If a family has no money for a Christmas tree, they still have a Nacimiento. Beautiful!

How cool is this? The Holy Family made out of corn cobs! The 5th grade girls at Angie's school had to make Nativity scenes from any materials they chose. Click here to see some very creative ideas. Great job, ladies!

Oh... One more thing. Angie hosted a giveaway for a bag she made and a scarf from Mexico. What do you see on the slips of paper that were the winning draws? Yup, that's me, third one down. I can't wait to post pictures of Angie's generous gifts when they arrive. Thanks, Angie!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Candy Cane Cake and Tiny Gingerbread Houses!

Wow! Christmas is almost here and I've been so busy that I've not been able to do much along the lines of crafting this month. (I can't really complain, though. Kumon has been really busy, which is definately not "normal" for December!)

I was able to find time to make a "Candy Cane Cake" (Betty Crocker's recipe here) for my staff Christmas Party

I baked a Cranberry Apple Pie with Vodka Pie Crust and will be posting the recipe later this week. I also made peppermint truffles, dipped pretzels, and Fire Vodka so I guess I'm OK in the holiday cooking/baking category :-)

Wait! I'm not finished yet... Below is one of the cutest and most original Christmas ideas I've seen in ages...

Tiny gingerbread houses that sit on the rim of a cup! I know I'm out of time this year, but I am totally adding this project to next year's Christmas "must do" list! For complete instructions and a pattern, please visit Megan at

If you do make these sweet little houses (you know you want to!), please leave a comment/link so I can live vicariously through your creativity...

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In Memory of my Father (Dec. 1928 - Mar. 1997)

Happy Birthday, Dad. I miss you every day.

Just to let you know... I created a Kumon scholarship fund in your and Mom's names. I wanted to honor you and your commitment to childhood education. This fund will allow children whose families are not financially able to participate in the Kumon program, the opportunity to enroll in and benefit from our services. We already have three worthy (and grateful) participants!

I know this makes you happy. I also know that you and mom are smiling upon me in my successes and (and supporting me in my challenges) in regard to my Japanese-based (thanks Mom) self-owned, educational business (thanks Dad)!

I would not be the woman I am without you.

Quietly, tearfully, lovingly, and respectfully~


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Congratulations to Ed and a Reminder to Sign Your Donor Card

Woo hoo! We just recieved a call from my husband's longtime friend, Ed. He has been on the national donor list for a long time, and finally recieved a kidney AND a pancreas today!!! (If any of you have listened to TJ Trout's morning show on 94Rock, Ed is a frequent contributor who goes by "Spesh Ed". ***Sorry, but he came up with the name himself***)

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the individual who agreed to donate his/her organs to help improve Ed's life. Our eternal sympathy is with the loved ones of the person who lost his/her life. All of you will be in our prayers forever.

If you are not currently an organ donor, please become one. It could make a difference to someone you love.

Hugs and blessings~
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