Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa Ornaments with Dangling Legs...Finished!

Here are a few of my finished Santa ornaments; waiting to go live their new lives with my family members. Each one is a little different from the next; some fatter, some have bigger beards, hands in different positions, etc.  I was in such a hurry on Christmas morning, I didn't get a chance to take many pictures of them.   I thought they turned out pretty cute and my family loved them.  I'll try to post more on them later.

**You can see Santa's humble beings here or brief instructions for these ornaments here.
Blessings, Tracy

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Is that you Mr. French???

Last year, I decided that I should try to make Christmas ornaments each year for my family members.  I was inspired by the snowman ornaments that I saw on "Michelle my Belle's" blog.  This woman is SO creative!  I just love her blog.  Since it was my first attempt at making ornaments, I decided to follow the instructions she posted for her snowman ornaments.  I thought they turned out really adorable and my family loved them.  This year, I came up with an idea to make Santa ornaments with dangling legs .  I am way behind with making these, since I just finished forming the main body of...OMG (sweating and wringing my hands)....the FIRST ornament last night.  Oh yes, did I forget to mention....I have to make 6 of these guys!!!  I seriously think my brain has been in denial that Christmas is only a week away!  While making my first Santa last night, I thought he looked familiar, but couldn't put my finger on who I thought he looked like.  The first thing this morning, I looked and him and thought, "Oh my gosh...Mr. French!"  Not sure any of you are old enough to remember the television show Family Affairs; which aired possibly in the late 60's, early 70's? One of the characters was a very proper gentlemen's butler named Mr. French; played by the actor Sebastian Cabot.  I faintly remember the show, since I was pretty young at the time, but I do remember the characters.  Don't you agree that my Santa looks like Mr. French?
Left to right - Mr. French, Uncle Bill, Jody, Sissy, and Buffy. Not pictured, but also a popular character on the show, is Mrs. Beasley, Buffy's doll.

Here are the snowman ornaments I made last year. I will try to post more on them later. 
**You can see the completed Santa Ornaments here.

Blessings, Tracy

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


We had to go remove some 4+ foot snow drifts from my mom's roof yesterday.  She was in the 20 inch range from the snow storm last weekend.  After blowing and drifting, her house and roof were buried. The bad thing about removing snow from a roof, is that when it falls to the ground, it packs really hard.  This make shoveling miserable.  First, you almost have a heart attack struggling to get the snow off the roof, then shoveling the (packed) snow from the driveway and sidewalk almost killed us.  It doesn't look it, but the snow bank on the right side of the sidewalk is just shy of 5 feet high, at the tallest point.  I'm 5'8", so it was up to my shoulders.

I ache so badly this morning, that it almost hurts to take a deep breath. GOD FORBID I have to cough...ouch.

Blessings, Tracy

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Our brother-in-law returned from his second tour in Afghanistan on Wednesday.  Since his return, he has been at a base in Florida and was supposed to arrive home today.  BUT, as luck would have it, we are having a good old fashioned blizzard today (ahem, 2 feet of the dreaded white stuff), so the poor guy is stuck in an airport in Florida.  Even though he is safe, I know we will all feel better when he steps off his plane in Minnesota and is truly home.
He has been gone for so long and we have all been very worried about him.  For me, this type of anxiety/worry almost feels, at times, like it takes my breath away. I know it is odd (and proves I need some type of therapy), but I have been almost afraid to say his name out loud while he was gone; worried it would jinx him in some strange way.  If I utter his name or my worries out loud, it makes them real.  Strange and dysfunctional....yep, but that's how I dealt with the craziness that swirls around in my head each day.  I am now also feeling guilty for being relieved that he is home, when so many soldier remain in harms way.  I know....I am a lost cause. I may as well just start blocking out weeks at a time for therapy.
After he returns home, he will have some time off then return to his other "not so safe" career doing police work.

Blessings, Tracy

Amazing Stained Glass Window!

Last weekend, I saw a story on CBS Sunday Morning, showcasing the completely refurbished Eldridge Street Synagogue and Museum.  This synagogue was originally built in 1887 and is located in lower Manhattan; in the heart of New York's Chinatown. Due to a shrinking congregation, who were unable to maintain it, the worship area was closed in the 1950s and soon fell into disrepair.  It has taken 20 years to refurbish the synagogue to how it looks today.  As part of the renovations, they had a magnificent stained glass window designed by avant-garde artisit Kiki Smith and architect Deborah Gans. The story on CBS Sunday Morning, highlights the design, construction and installation of this stained glass window and how the design is carried out on to the surrounding wall.  The pictures below don't really capture the true beauty of this piece, so if you have a few minutes, I highly suggest you watch this short video on the process.  

The Synagogue is a National Historic Landmark and after watching this story, I understand why.  
So beautiful!  If I ever get to visit New York, this will be a "must see" for me.  
Photos via The L Magazine & CBS News 

Blessings, Tracy

Friday, December 10, 2010

Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow!

I used the Picnik website to edit this photo of my mom's house.  I like the Picnik site for the days I'm not into dealing with the complexities of my  photo editing programs. The site is so quick and easy to use! 

To edit this photo, I converted it to black and white, then popped just the colors of the house and, last but not least, added the effect of falling snow. I think it looks so pretty. 

Blessings, Tracy

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Stroll Down Memory Lane...Funny Commercials.

I haven't seen this commercial for a few years, but it still kills me.
Nissan "Doggie Mind Control" commercial (Dogs Driving SUV) w/ Clint Culp...

Blessings, Tracy