Friday, December 9, 2016

There's always enough to go around

Glitter, that is.

When my favorite holiday (Christmas)
marries one of my favorite loves (glitter)
then we have a sparkling and magical event.

We've been walking on glitter,
swiping it off of our faces,
brushing it off of our clothes
and just keep on going.
We never skipped a beat!

It's the season, I say.
It's supposed to be like this.

Good thing I am sharing the glitter
because there's lots here.

The other day I delivered this to a friend.

And I then drove down the street
and delivered this one.

Since I was out and about,
these three angels made their way
to three other friends' homes.



Received texts from friends
that received our Christmas cards.

First one was from a long-ago good friend.

Last year, my dear friend, Vicki,
wrote this under a photograph
in this blog post:
"this photo would make a beautiful Christmas card..."

I immediately dropped what I was doing
and printed the image and made the card.
And saved it for nearly a whole year.

She tells me they hope to go back to Appalachia
next week.
Who knows ... perhaps she'll take a picture
of next year's card!

Later on today I'll be giving these
to two sisters and a brother.
Cute little kids and I think they need
some Christmas joy.



I hope they're surprised
and enjoy a pre-Christmas gift.




Thursday, December 8, 2016

It was all about you!

Yes you, Sheneen.
I'm sure you did whatever
your heart desired.
It was your birthday
and that's what that day was all about.

I hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy (belated) birthday, Dana

If you know Dana, you know how special she is!
I know her birthday was
as special as she is.
This one was from her friend.

And this one is was from her other friend.
The plan was to take Dana out for dinner.
To her favorite Italian restaurant.
And she asked for an "Italian theme" ... hence the spaghetti.

Not sure if that happened or not.
You see, the birthday girl recently had strep throat.

If it didn't, I'm sure she'll get a rain check!

I'm sure you had a happy birthday, my friend.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sister Swap - Part Four, Fourth Quarter

Moving right along as we finish up the year.

October, to me, means one thing - Halloween.
And that's the THEME I went with.
All things spooky:
black cats
spiders and spider webs
skeletons
and definitely some bats.

The happiest place on earth,
according to my sister.
That is why I chose this PLACE photo
for the October tag.
She and her family love The Magic Kingdom.
They were there and helped celebrate
the 45 year anniversary.

Just like October means Halloween,
November means Thanksgiving,
therefore, that was my THEME for this month.
Not only did I always think of family on Thanksgiving,
but now it is even more memorable.
I will always think of my sister on this day.
You see, I couldn't be with her
as she stood at my father's bedside
as he took his last breath on Thanksgiving evening.

On their many trips to/fro Disney World,
they passed this "balcony."
As they were returning from one of those trips,
she took this picture.
Yes - I had to use it for the PLACE tag.
I don't think I'd be very comfortable
taking a rest in one of those lawn chairs.
Nope.
How about you?
Actually, I can't help but wonder
if anybody actually sits there.
If they do, they're crazy
because it looks like it's about to fall.

I have to give a shout-out to my friend, Lynne.
She made this flower and "rusty" leaves
for me many years ago.
I've moved it from spot to spot
and it never felt comfortable anywhere I placed it.
The colors are perfect for this tag
and I decided to part with it
and now my sister can enjoy it for years to come.
Oh - and now the flower is "comfortable" here.
It told me so!

December THEME?
You guessed it.
Christmas.
What's not to love about this little girl?
I couldn't resist.

My sister's pictures for this month
were difficult to choose from.
Initially, I chose one the person one.
Then I changed my mind and chose the thing one.
But finally settled on the PLACE photo
since I spend so much time there
(and so does she.)
Not only do we spend our time there,
we spend all of our money there as well.


The inside of the back cover
needs some explaining.
Once we decided to swap tags,
I kept obsessing on how I was going to do mine.
I didn't want to just "make tags" ...
I wanted them to be extraordinary.
But for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to do that.

On New Year's Day 2016,
The Runner and I went to the mall.
As we were aimlessly walking around,
I looked up and saw the tags hanging in the window
at Banana Republic.

Gasp.
My heart skipped a beat.
Marched myself right inside
and asked what they did with the decorations
once they took them down.
(I knew that would happen soon
since the theme was 'Christmas'
and gift-giving,
which was now a thing of the past.)

The person I spoke with didn't know
so I asked if there was a manager on duty.
Sweet Kendra soon appeared from the back
and told me she "thinks they throw them away."

Gasp again!
I briefly told her what I wanted them for
(without going into too much detail - you know how
non-crafty people's eyes glaze over
when you 'craft-talk' ... and I didn't want to bore her.)

Politely, I asked if I might be able to have them.
She took my name and number and said she'd call.

Right.
That's exactly what I thought as I walked from the store.

!! RIGHT !!
Four days later, I got the call.
The tags were in a bag with my name on it
and I could pick them up any time I wanted.

I was a mess that day
but didn't want to take the chance that they be thrown out.
So I fluffed as much as I could
spare the time to do it
and out the door I went.

As I walked down the mall concourse,
my heart was beating so fast.
With each step, I kept saying
"please be there - please be there - please be there"
And they were.

Late Spring, I stopped in to see Kendra.
I thanked her over and over once again
for her generosity.
I promised, once the tags were finished,
I'd bring them up for her to see
(which I did on the day they got mailed.)

I had to do a "shout-out" to her and to the store
and decided the inside of the back cover
was the perfect spot.

Actually, this picture was one of the ones
I took and sent to my sister
... and she used it on one of her tags
as a PLACE tag.
(Check out her blog - she posted it on December 4.)

I need to back up just a bit
to describe my work on these tags.
You see, my sister is an over-achiever.
Every month she'd say,
(in her best "neener-neener-neener" voice, I must add)
"I just finished my THEME tag for this month."
or
"I just finished my P/P/T tag for this month."

At one point, I even told a little white lie.
Told her I was caught up and would be finished
in plenty of time.
(I think she bought it!)
I later confessed!
I am pretty sure I heard a big sign of relief.
She said when I told her that,
she worried that she'd not be finished in time.
Just sayin' ...

Was I in a state of panic?
You bettcha!

I'm sure you knew this - we moved in July.
Prior to that, I was in the process of getting rid of stuff
and preparing for the move.
And then the move and the unpacking.

One thing led to another and I still hadn't started.
Then it was the big Christmas push in The Playground.

One rule was "the tags must be postmarked
no later than December first."

Know when I began?
November 19.

Yikkes ... will I finish in time?
Or will I have to beg for an extension?
Counting the fronts and backs of the covers,
I had 28 tags to complete.
Then photographing and mailing.

I did it.
They were in the mail on November 29.
One day ahead of schedule.
I actually bound it and gift-wrapped
it on the counter at FedEx!!!
I was that down-to-the-wire on this swap.

My sister's "Partner in Crime"
came through.
Was there ever a doubt in your mind?

Haha ... lots of doubts in my mind.

The printing on the front cover
(The Girl Who Has Everything)
and the printing on the outside back cover
were tags from Banana Republic.
I thought they were perfect.
Because, you see,
we are each other's Partner in (Art) Crime.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture
of the "binding"
so I asked her to take one for me to post.
(Just so you could see how I did it.)
Nothing fancy - but it holds them together.



Thanks so much for seeing me through the process
and looking and the pictures she took
and my interpretation of each one.

Once again,
if you are interested in seeing
the PERSON, PLACE and THING photos

that I sent to my sister.
And which photo she chose for her tags,
as well as her THEME tags.
Then I invite you to visit her blog at


and see the tags she created for me.
She will be posting from now until Christmas Day
so be sure to follow every day.

Next year?
Oh, don't you know,
we've already got the ground rules etched in stone.
Come January first, we'll be starting.
Hmmmmmmmm - wonder if that's when I'll start
or will I wait until November?
Only time will tell ...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sister Swap - Part Three, Third Quarter

July.
I love all things patriotic
so how could I not focus on The Fourth of July
for my THEME tag?

This flag is one that I had outside,
either in a pot of flowers
or in the ground,
the entire 20 years that my daughter
was in the United States Navy.
Once she retired, I saved the flag.
It was dirty so I washed it,
which caused it to fray even more.
And I love the look of Old Glory.

The PLACE picture I chose
is this piece of art in downtown Naples.
I'd love to see it in person, wouldn't you?

Back to School.
And that's the THEME I went with
for the August tag
since my sister is a school teacher.
She can relate.

All three pictures she sent me for this month
had prisms.
Initially, I chose another one.

Then I decided to go with the PERSON picture
that showcases her hand.
Not only is it a perfect and beautiful prism,
but every time I see her hands,
I think of our father.
Her hands so closely resemble his.
Be sure to notice the three hearts in the flowers.

If I had to choose a favorite tag,
it would have to be the September THEME tag.
Not because of the way it's created.
Not for the way it's embellished.
But because of the content.

My sister was born in September
and I wanted the focus to be on that event.

See?
The tag isn't anything that exceptional
that would make it my favorite.

Except ...
inside that envelope
is where all the good stuff is.
Here is a letter that I wrote my sweet mama
the day my sister was born.


I know it's difficult to read
and I want you to hear what I wrote:

J.M.J.
(Jesus. Mary. Joseph. - I went to Catholic school!)
Sept. 14, 1954

Dear Mama:

Are you allowed to walk yet?  Do you know when you are coming home?  I went up to get prunes up the road.  Will the baby come home with you?  I hope so.  Did you like my letter?  I liked yours.  And now all ready to get washed and get my p.js.  Good-night Mama and sister




Wed. 8pM. - Just came from playing at Nancy's.  Did you find a name for the baby?  Grandma is going to take a bath now.  And I just got thrue getting my bath too and getting my p.js. on too.  And Grandma is going to put on the skirt on the bassa-net.  And now it is time for me to get to bed.
night-night
xo xo xo xo
God Bless you and sister

Love
Susan 


Of course, Mama replied!


Dear Susan Honey,

Mamma got out of bed to use the bathroom but I couldn't stay up.  Maybe tomorrow I can.  Your little Sister is pretty.  She is just a tiny tot.  About as big as your blonde hair doll.  She has dark sort of curly hair.  I don't know what color eyes because she slept all the while I held her.  She is as soft as butter but you're still my butter ball.  Aren't you?  How did school go today?  Didn't I tell you that you'd have a surprize when you got up this morning?  Remind Daddy to call Leta and Ann Knorr & tell them about your sister or you do it.  Also have Daddy bring a mirror to me.  Be a good girl for Gramma & Baba.  Here's a big kiss & hug for you.  Do you miss me?  I do you.  Be seeing you.
Love,
Mommy

Times sure have changed regarding births, haven't they?
Ummmmmmm - it's about the "butter ball" part.

PLACE.
My sister is always telling me
how much she loves their bedroom.
Often, she's referred to it as "spa-like."
And that's why I chose this picture
and used blues and browns.
The bed sure does look comfy, doesn't it?

Once again,

If you interested in seeing

the PERSON, PLACE and THING photos

that I sent to my sister.
Or which photo she chose for her tags,
as well as her THEME tags?
Then I invite you to visit her blog at
and see the tags she created for me.

Another quarter finished.
Stay tuned .
Tomorrow I'll wrap up the year.




Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sister Swap - Part Two, Second Quarter

GOTTCHA!
Again.
Seems like you weren't counting.
There are only three months to a quarter, right?

My last post regarding the tags?
Well, I snuck in April.
As in April Fools all over again.

Therefore, this post will only feature May and June.

My THEME tag I chose for May
is Mother's Day.
Even though she's sitting
in front of our Christmas tree,
I chose this picture simply because
I had never seen it - nor had my sister.
Not until after both of our parents were gone.
Another picture that generated many laughs.

Funny thing is - neither one of us
ever saw this "evening wear" outfit
she was wearing.
Hmmmmmmmm ... makes ya wonder, doesn't it?

The PLACE photo I chose
was The Garden of Courage and Hope
in Naples.
This looks like such a peaceful setting.
My sister tells me she took me there
but I don't remember
so it's nice to have this picture.

Naturally, my THEME tag for June
was all about my father.
His birth month as well as Father's Day.

This picture of him is one of our favorites
and I'm sure you've seen it here
and on Facebook.
Wasn't he the cutest ever?

This Butterfly Garden
in my sister's neighborhood
and I used this photo for my PLACE tag.
One more peaceful setting.

I invite you to visit my sister's blog at
onecraftycreature.blogspot.com.
Check out the photos I sent to her
as well as which photo she chose for her tags,
as well as her THEME tag.

Stay tuned for the third quarter.
Tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sister Swap - Part One, First Quarter

I'm sure you've heard me mention
the tag swap my sister and I did, right?

This is the front cover
and the inside front cover of the set
that I created and sent to her.


Well, here's how it came about.
Last year, we decided to make tags for each other.
Not just any kind of tag, mind you.
But special tags.

We were to make a total of 24 tags for the year.
Two tags for each month.
The first one typically pertained to an event
for that month, as in a holiday.
We called these "THEME" tags.

This is my THEME tag for January
and this is my New Year's wish for her.

Additionally, each of us took
three pictures each month
of a "PERSON" and a "PLACE" and a "THING"
and then e-mailed it to each other.

Each month she took a picture of each of these
and I got to choose just one for the tag.
Of course, this was a secret.
The big reveal was this week
when we each received a box in the mail.
My box from her arrived on Tuesday.
Her box from me arrived on Thursday.
Yes, we face timed
as each of us opened our treasures.

This is the picture she took
that I chose for January.
This was her fifth grade classroom - a PLACE.

And this is what I did with the photo.
See if you notice anything different.
Her photo (above) and what I did to it (below)
is different.
Can you find the two things?

And bam - it's already February.
I chose to highlight Valentine's Day
as my THEME tag.
Many years ago,
The Runner e-mailed me this card.
I treasure it to this day.
And it still makes me laugh.

I cannot and will not
provide any details about this PLACE.
It's a family secret and only a few of us
know the details.

What I will tell you is this.
My sister called me nearly 10 years ago
and then she patched in my daughter.
The three of us were laughing so hard
we couldn't even understand each other.
Happy memories
over something so crazy
that you wouldn't even believe me
even if I did decide to share.
Which I won't, so don't ask.

What happens in March?
Well, St. Patrick's Day, of course.
And that's the THEME I went with.
I have no idea how this happened
or if she ever found it,
but see the real four-leaf clover
just below the month?
Somehow, in transit, it fell off the tag.
I found that many years ago and have held onto it
for myself.
Until I decided to share it with her.
Does this mean now I won't have good luck?

She took this picture of a THING
because of our mother.
Her favorite flower was the pansy.
She always said "... little faces looking at me."
This one's for you, Mom.

April.
first day of Spring?
Not in 2016.
Easter?
Not in 2016.
Then why did I create an Easter tag
for the THEME?

I didn't.
Well, actually, I guess I did.

What else happens in April?
April Fool's Day, right?

Since I had my heart set on using
the St. Patrick's clover picture in March,
and since the first day of Spring is in March
and since Easter was in March,
I created an Easter tag
and made the THEME tag
be April Fools Day.

Why?
Why was I so determined
to create an Easter tag?

If you look closely,
you'll see the box of candy called Daggett's.
That's our maiden name
and I had to use this image.

Did you notice the "FOOL" under the month?

The PERSON photo I chose is of Oliver,
my sister's grandson.
He's getting his first haircut
at Walt Disney World.
(I wish he would have had his eyes closed
so that you could see how incredibly long
his eyelashes are.)

Well there you have it.
The first quarter finished.
I'll be posting the remainder of the year
at another time.

Are you interested in seeing
the PERSON, PLACE and THING photos
that I sent to her?
How about which photo she chose for her tags,
as well as her THEME tags?
Then I invite you to visit her blog at
and see the tags she created for me.