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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Where the Heck Have I Been?

Slack, slack, slack. That's all I'm gonna say. I cannot believe I haven't posted since August but I have a very good reason. I have gone re-design cold turkey. Since losing my job in June, I have lived in limbo. I do not know where my next job is going to be or who I am going to be when I grow up.

As such, I haven't touched nary a paint brush or darkened the door of a fabric store since Charlotte Ruth Bradford was born the day after my last post.I have discovered it is great to be a grandparent but better to be employed.

I have toyed with the idea of shutting the whole thing down but the truth is, I enjoy playing with design and other creative projects and if I do move, I'll have plenty of re-design projects to blog about.

It has been very difficult to resist the urge to rush out and paint rooms and cabinets when I have so much free time, especially when pinterest is my crack. But you'll be pleased to know I have stayed strong.

So what have I been doing for the last six months to stay off the streets, you ask? I found some new hobbies.  I admit they are a bit like the boyfriend you are dating only until the one you really want asks you out, but a girl must keep busy! So here is a whirlwhind catch-up.

At the end of August my basil was going crazy in the garden so I learned how to make my own basil pesto.

It kept well in the fridge for months in a jar. I just used the last of it on my first ever homemade veggie pizza I baked this past week. Around September I finally put my toe in the water of bread baking and found that I love it the best!

I learned how to make this crusty bread in my dutch oven. It has the texture and qualities of sour dough bread. I have purchased all of the ingredients for making my own starter for sour dough, but like a lot of things in my life, I put it on hold. I didn't really want to worry about transporting my starter somewhere. 

My daughter and I visited the Charlotte Farmers Market. Let me just say I wish I could shop there every week!

The food was so colorful and fall is my favorite time of year. Football, chili, and gorgeous leaves!

My next adventure was one of saving money. I learned to make my own laundry detergent. For about $11, I made this batch of soap and it has not run out yet. Well worth the 30 minutes I spent grating the soap and mixing it. Plus, who doesn't love, love, love this jar?

Then came Thanksgiving with my favorite people in the world. My own children and my brother's children.

We are a family of cooks and I was bringing the desserts. I made a Paula Dean pumpkin cheesecake and mini pumpkin pies I found on pinterest. 

Oh, and here is a shot of the Great Pumpkin:

Cute, huh? I had to sneak Ms. Thing in here as I could just eat her with a spoon! Then it was time to decorate for Christmas. I have to admit, my heart has not been in the holiday spirit as I just want a job and to stop living in  this place of uncertainty. But by gosh darn it, we will have Christmas! I had to do everything on the cheap and get creative.

I decorated my chandelier with garland and bulbs. Some of you may recall this was my $9 chandelier I picked up at Sleepy Poet and that Graham hung for me. In the background is my chalkboard I painted this summer while my daughter and I worked on projects for Charlotte's nursery. It was hard to take a picture of  becaue of the flash.

I hung the same bulbs from the chandelier on my winter limbs. It adds to the sparkle of my gold-framed mirror. I am telling you folks, gold is going to make a comeback!

I then went outside and collected some pine cones to add to my bird cage. I wrapped them in lights and at night they make the whole table glow. I have been slowly evolving into a more shabby chic style and this just fit. It was also free!

I filled my spray-painted wine bottles with some twigs and berries I picked up at World Market for $3.

I then filled a tin tub I had with white candles, pine cones from the back yard and a bit of dollar store garland.

Last was this red vase. It was the last gift my mother ever gave me before she died. I had a lot of red in my house at the time, which I will probably be bringing back because I miss my fabulous red club chairs (I'm stealing them back soon Sean)!

I wiped a tear or two away as I filled it with more cheap grennery from the dollar tree.

My daughter and I made some homemade cinnamon ornaments I found on pinterest. They came out great even though this picture does not do them justice and they smell fantastic!

The past few weekends I have been baking, but not like I usually do. Everyone in the family is on a diet, including me, so we have mostly baked to give away as gifts. 

Yummy, huh? All of which goes to show you that you don't have to spend money to have a wonderful holiday. The time I spend with my children is the best anyway. When my daughter was concentrating on painting her sugar cookies, it took me back. Way back to Cearfoss, Maryland. I remember a Saturday of non-stop backing for Christmas with the kids. At the end of the day, the kitchen was a disaster and I was bone tired!

So that's my life in a nutshell these past six months. Please continue to pray God will open a door for me exactly where He wants me to be. My faith has sustained me but I am a person who must have goals and a direction. Then again, who doesn't need that? Happy holidays ya'll!

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