12.24.2010

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

 

Symbols of the season:

Christmas Lights = Spiritual Light of Jesus, our Savior, the  Light of the World!

Christmas Tree = Reminder of the wood of the Cross.

Advent Wreath = 4 candles = the centuries awaiting the true Messiah.

All these decorations- symbols have a meaning! They should inspire us to reflect on the mysteries of Our Lord as we prepare ourselves for the Christmas Season which is only about to begin tomorrow!

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Here is our manger- missing baby Jesus until Christmas Day!

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We got a balsam fir this year and it smells wonderful! 

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Presents are all wrapped up! Next year I’ll try and vary the wrapping paper and I’ll do cute gift tags.

 

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Here’s our altar decked out for Christmas.

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I absolute love these antique ornaments for the beautiful scenes they depict!

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I spray painted a little tree- next year (again) I’ll do the rest!  IMG_3252   IMG_3256

I used my little chalkboard signs all month for a countdown!

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I used my little chalkboard sign all month for a countdown

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The profits of this real wreath went to the Women’s Crisis Pregnancy Center

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View out our bedroom window! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It’s Christmas Eve!

Here’s the advent wreath burning for the last night!

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  Catching a snooze before Mass!

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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

*Psst! Notice any hilarious out-of-place/ oops forgot-to-fix that-before-taking-the-picture in some of these photographs? Keepin’  it real!

12.07.2010

Where did that sticky note go (again)?

Sticky notes are the bane of my existence! So undependable! As soon as I’m done writing myself a reminder it is sure to disappear. It floats away and probably ends up stuck to the bottom of some old bill or something.  I wonder how many sticky notes and paper we’ve gone through this year just for little messages or to-do lists!

This system certainly wasn’t working. I mean the box to be mailed sat around the kitchen for FIVE days and we kept walking past it without noticing that tiny white colored sticky with the ‘MAIL ME ASAP’ message. . . and when my husband finally took charge made it out to the post office, the address was missing- only to reappear a week later stuck to the bottom of a shoe. . . yeah. . . time for something new! Do I hear a PROJECT coming on?

For a tiny apartment we decided on tiny chalkboards!  This way we can cross out, delete, underline, or even take over the whole message board! That board isn’t going to go floating away!

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chalkboard
                                                                             You can pick one of these cheap items at any craft store in the unfinished wood section. I found mine at the will for some pennies- but the original tag said Wal-Mart.

I got to work on that unfinished wood. This time I used some leftover plain, white paint I found in my apartment from the landlord. It was a little old and gooey so I stirred it a lot- good enough for this tiny thing.
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Then I hot-glued a strong magnet to the back. . . and stuck the board on the side of the fridge!

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It’s perfect because it looks rustic and cute (white on white!) without cluttering up the walls, and the contrast of the chalk and the black makes it totally visible from the front door, the kitchen table, and it’s right next to the most used cupboard with the dishes and glasses.

A few weeks later I saw a pile of these wooden things. . . I don’t know who would ever buy this. . . obviously no one since the overstock ended up at Goodwill.

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I grabbed three! These would make great canvases!

little wooden dumb cat saying boards + twine + chalkboard paint
= cute mini chalkboard signs!
No chance of missing any messages here!

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Other cute uses for the future:
  • Powder Room sign at a party
  • Food or Beverage Labels
  • Arrow directional signs!
  • Personalized welcome messages
  • Basket/Crate labels
  • Gift tags!
What’s your organization system for messages and reminders?

12.04.2010

"Leisure is the Basis of Culture"



Josef Pieper called leisure the "basis of culture."  In both The Lost Art of Letter Writing and My Love Affair with Letters, this phrase has popped into my head.  Is anything more leisurely than writing a letter?  As a follow-up to both of these posts, which spoke to the heartfelt reasons to return to a pen and paper, here are some practical suggestions for rekindling the enthusiasm for letters!

1. Get a cute wax seal and seal all your envelopes the "old-fashioned way." Super charming.

2. Buy cute stamps.

3. Use colorful markers or pencils to add personality to your messages.

4. Add a stamp or embellish the note with small pictures on the borders of your stationary.

5. Think up cute "closings" -- instead of "your friend" use things like "very sincerely yours,"  "I remain, faithfully,"  or other equally charming Jane-Austen-esque phrases.

6. Use Parchment Paper and a calligraphy pen (or feather quill pens? Available here.)

7. Learn calligraphy and make your own "Thank You" stationary using words from other cultures like "Merci" "Grazie Mille," etc.

8. Write letters while drinking a cup of hot tea sweetened to perfection with local honey (other honey will work, too, lol)
And now for the "high-falutin'" reasons...

9. Contemplate the fact that letters can be a form of art, and thereby infuse the world with beauty simply in the writing of them. 



10.  Consider how receiving a letter is such a sensual experience; everything from the physical handling of the paper, the smell of the ink, the particular curvature of the writer's hand-writing, lends itself to an experience of being in the room with the person in a very real way… their presence lingers long after the letter has been read, a continuous reminder of their affection for us.
11.  Finally, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, now is an ideal time to contemplate the gift of friendship in your life.  Each friend contributes something unique and irreplaceable both to one's life, but also to one's sense of identity, helping to form the ways in which to view reality, life, one's place in the world.  Some friends waltz into our lives and out of them leaving footprints on our hearts that impact us for years.  Perhaps some small comment made in passing is something you have never forgotten; a bit of wisdom that continues to be applicable as each new phase of life reveals more intricacies to us.  In either case, take a few moments to express gratitude for the gift of these friends.  Speak from the heart -- a short poignant note can be the light that brightens someone's entire day, week, or month.  The power of love expressed in the spoken language is not to be ignored.

  


Got any more ideas for creating fun letters?





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