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December 31, 2009

Hey 2010.....It's On!

It has been a challenging year to say the least.....both personally and professionally. Alot of changes have come with the wonderful birth of Tater and the sad death of Papa George, and the economy, although improving slowly, has been a serious challenge for a small retail store......but you come to learn that is what life is all about, and you couldn't change a bit of it even if you tried. So I'm determined in 2010 to change what I think needs changing and improve on what is going right.
I'm going to rid my life of people and situations that cause me undue stress....both personally and professionally......
And fill my life with people and things that make me happy, because really, isn't that what it's all about?
So with all of that having been said, I wish you untold happiness, new adventures, good health, and the courage to change what you can in order to be happy...

Happy New Year to this whole new world of friends
I have found through blogging and some of the nicest people I have come across yet........hope you hang around for next year's ride......it promises to be a wild one!

Blessings, Jana

December 30, 2009

Announcing "Quick Project Thursday".....do you wanna play?

The thing I have especially noticed since I started blogging is the fact everyone is so very willing to "share". To share their families, thoughts, creations, and ideas. So, that is what this is going to be all about.......the projects that are out there, whether original or our own, that can be completed in an afternoon but with a wonderful "bang for your buck" end result. I will be posting each Thursday with one of these type projects and hope that somewhere along the way others will want to join the fun as well. All you have to do is let me know you want to participate in this Thursday event so I can add you to the "participant's list" and grab my "Button button" on my sidebar (which will be ready SOON, but not quite yet) to link back to all the other participants that decide to join us along the way......Right now, I'm the only one, and it may continue to be that way, but I will still offer up what I think to be a fabulous, quick project that anyone can complete in an afternoon.....it can be food, clothing, art.......anything!

The first quick project is this wonderful embroidered button idea... made simply by using small embroidery from old dresser scarves, hankys, or table linens and self covering buttons.......All you have to do is cut your design using the pattern you find inside the package of metal self covering buttons you buy at any fabric store and follow the simple directions for using the particular brand of buttons you buy. Can you just imagine how beautiful these would be piled in a crystal bowl......or use them in other projects on frames, clothing, jewelry, or millions of other things........look for these to start "appearing" on some of my Heart & Soul Bags and Sweaters soon
Wanna play?......grab by button and comment to let me know to include you......

December 29, 2009

A White Wednesday at Remember House

If you read many "Texas" blogs, you know we talk about the weather alot.....in the summer it is too hot.....then we have the tornadoes and the hail, but very seldom do we have snow....and never at Christmas or anytime thereabout. Well, we did have snow on Christmas this year, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Not the mounds and mounds that the North is accustomed to, but just enough to cover the trees and houses and remind us of the serenity of the season. As I sit here this evening, I can hear it again snowing outside my window......we never know what the morning will be bring.....but never really have to worry as it is usually gone by the afternoon.........that's the kind of snowy season to have! This is my home at the break of dawn.....absolutely beautiful, and even more so because this is also the house I grew up in. We named it "Remember House" because of all it reminds of us and all that the memories it holds. It's my own little slice of heaven .

Remember to comment or follow for a chance to win the monthly Victorian cone giveaway....winner to be announced January 1st.
xo jana

December 28, 2009

I Have Two Bags Done.....Well, That's a Start!

I have not had more than one day off at a time since the store opened almost 4 years ago......the store is a very large part of my life, so you can imagine the withdrawal I am having being off FIVE days in a row.......I have cooked, I have cleaned....I have decorated and undecorated....I have moved furniture around, and I shopped........goodness, can I tell you how much I dislike malls........I just can't do it....I just can't. So while others are out there creating havoc and stress in their lives, I choose to stay at home sorting through bins and boxes and creating. There is nothing more soothing than the creative process for me......and when it is all things old, then I am in heaven. I have lots of plans and ideas for the new year, and one of them is being very aggressive about developing my own clothing line......I have the sweaters, some purses, and skirts, but when you only have a couple made at any given time......how can you expect to be "in the business" of selling these. I plan on devoting a whole corner of the store to a whole inventory of these items.....wish me luck on that one :) . That is at least the plan, and I have gotten a start on some sweet lace purses that have been knocking about in my head for some time now.....I like the way they are turning out, so I know I have at least two "ready to go" ...lol

The lace weaving and the "ends" which will come part of the back when woven into place.

The bag as it started.....

This bag is the result of just playing around with a vintage crochet bag that had a very loose and open pattern....I purchased it years ago at a local thrift store and just never did anything with it. I used various shades of white and ivory vintage laces in widths from 3" down to 1" and simple wove it in rows through the crochet at different intervals making for a random pattern. I liked the texture of simply tieing them together when they met each other at the back so I just left it that way.....I have attached one of my silk hand dyed roses on the top corner, but am trying to find an ivory velvet to add ruched roses instead.....not having much luck with that one yet, but I'm still on the hunt.

This bag will be my next "venture" as I attempt to dye lace this color green.....or maybe I will use some of my antique velvet for weaving......have to think on this one a while.........

It's not too late to comment and/or follow for a chance to win my monthly drawing of Victorian handmade wire cones..........just leave me some "love" and I'll throw your name in the hat:)

xo, jana

December 26, 2009

It's Not Too Late to Win........

Was December as much a blur for you as it was for me???? It seems we are going at such a fast speed all month that when it is here and gone, we wonder what happened........ I just realized I never even posted WHAT the monthly giveaway was for December......what was I even thinkin! Because I had such a tremendous response to the wire hand made Victorian cones I'm just gonna make that this month's giveaway as well. SO.....to win the drawing, just comment for one chance and follow for two chances.......anyone that has already done that this month will be included as well, but it doesn't hurt to comment again :)
Here's hoping everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as my family did and also, a huge "thank you" to everyone that was so sweet to send me wonderful words of encouragement.......
you are the very best!

December 23, 2009

A Christmas Present of Life..........

It has been a long 12 weeks.......and although I don't normally share really, really personal things here, simply because it just isn't good reading.....but more importantly.......who really wants to know "bad stuff". I am definitely a person that "goes inward" in the face of adversity, and this was no different......WELL.....this is just so big and has dictated my entire being for the last 12 weeks, that I just have to put it out there...especially at this very special time of year when we are all about being grateful.

I am a seven year breast cancer survivor.....you know, they say once you get past the first five years the rate of survival is good....not a "given", but really, really good. So you can imagine my surprise when my November breast MRI can back with an abnormal reading........I took a deep breath and scheduled the cat scan to determine what was going on......I had gotten through this once before and knew I could do it again if I had to......But then I got the report that, although the abnormal breast reading was nothing to be concerned about, there was, however, a lesion on my hip bone......DO WHAT??? I asked "is this bad"......he said "it could be"......but how can that happen? I'm seven years into this thing....wouldn't it have shown up before? "Not necessarily"......OK.....lots and lots of tears.......lots and lots and lots of fear........and finally a full body bone scan for the results I just knew would tell me I had bone cancer. I knew I just wasn't ready to let go and still had so very much I needed and wanted to do....I mean, my Tater is just four months old....how would she ever remember me if I was going to die.....and I felt certain that was my fate. That is what your mind does to you, you know. Well, I got the results yesterday and was told the 1/2" lesion had no malignant properties.......I then realized I had not taken a deep breath for at least ten weeks and was able to finally exhale.........and I also knew I had just received the absolute best Christmas present I would ever get.....

I got on with the "business at hand" and completed Kristi's wedding trunk and Tater's memory chest....I have planned my whole new year and am just so very excited to be here.....I can't wait to start on my "to do" list and conquer 2010.........Life is good :)

My daughter's wedding memory trunk finally got finished just in time for Christmas....it's amazing what you can complete when you think you might "run out of time"......

So, it goes without saying just how very, very fortunate I feel for the way my situation has turned out........I realize just how much I am loved.....how much I want to do....and how much I have to be grateful for. Here's hoping your Christmas is full of love, family, and all the things you hold dear........life is so very fragile, so love with all your heart......it's just not worth it any other way.

many, many blessings, jana

December 21, 2009

I just love Christmas!

Family and traditions are a wonderful thing.....you don't really realize that you are building your own traditions until your children grow up and start talking about all they love about the season....you then realize the tassies are important, and that Christmas just isn't "Christmas" without the homemade peanut brittle. Yesterday my daughter spent the day with me as we baked, and talked, and talked some more. She learned how to make the delicious pecan tassies she has known since she was little and why they are so important in our family.......and how not to use a non microwave bowl to make your peanut brittle as it breaks and causes a huge mess to clean up.........we are a small family, but an extremely close one and I am so thankful they are mine. Here's hoping your holiday is as special as our families' and that love abounds!

Kristi's childhood stocking has hung on my mantel since her very first Christmas.....this year it goes to her home with her husband and new baby girl, Tater......

And, of course, Eddie's stocking.....because you are NEVER too old for a special stocking.

Tater's stocking....just needs her name added and it's ready for Santa......

Traditions and family are the absolute best, and so very, very important. As this Christmas week begins, I hope you are surrounded by those you love and hold true to your beliefs and traditions....whether new or old.

blessings, jana

December 18, 2009

Donnie, Dicky & Me....A Christmas Pink Saturday Memory

Growing up I know I had a stocking.......I remember it being cotton with a glittered name.....I may have made it at school.. I had wonderful Christmases, I just don't remember having a special stocking. When I married my husband he brought with him a stellar hand made wool felt stocking that had his childhood name of "Dicky" across the front. It always hung next to one I conjured up for myself, because who knows what ever happened to that old red cotton stocking I called mine......I was secretly so very jealous of how wonderful his stocking was and how gorgeous our daughter's was.........So can you imagine my absolute delight this year when perusing Ebay and running across a fabulous matching stocking to my husbands.......it had obviously been a kit and the one I found matched perfectly.....other than the fact it had "Donnie" across the front. That didn't bother me a bit....I am crafty enough to know how to remove that and replace it with my own name. Although I haven't done that yet, I am still quite proud to be the owner of something I always secretly wanted. I have taken the liberty of removing Donnie's name and adding a vintage red wool felt rose....just so there's no mistaking it's mine..

The sequin stocking was made for my only child by me when she was just two months old.......although you were supposed to only outline the figures, I took it upon myself to cover the entire surfaces with solid sequins....well, of course I did! I wouldn't let her have it up until now because I was so afraid it would be misplaced somewhere along the way, and it was way too important to risk that happening. This year the stocking will go to her home with her husband and new baby girl....my sweet, sweet tater. I am busy working on stockings for both Tater and Eddie so they will have something just as special as Kristi. Although I will miss having this hung on MY mantel, I love what it represents......and that is the beginning of her family and all the fun they have instore for them building their own traditions and ejoying each other. Want to see more wonderful Christmas Pink Saturday.....jump over to Beverly's using the button on my sidebar and tell them I sent you......it's always alot of fun!

I'm Gonna Tell on Myself Now......

To share this with you I have to be able to "tell" on myself because it was totally my forgetting to clean up a mess I made that caused all of this to happen. While I was aging silk roses with distressing ink, I found they would "bleed" much better for me if I also dipped them into water. I finished that project and left my cup of water on the work table, not realizing that later I knocked it over.....when I did realize the mess I had made, I was on my way out the door and simply threw a couple of paper towels over the water to soak it up........then forgot about it the next day....When I did find it, the paper towel had dried and soaked up all the distressing ink and also other colors from scrap papers on the table........Now to tell on myself further, I just couldn't throw this beautiful rainbow paper towel away because the colors were so incredibly beautiful.....doesn't that just show the hoarder in me??????? Still, I just couldn't do it. Then today I found myself twisting and turning the beautiful paper towel into a rose.........you know, if I tried to duplicate this process, it would never work......so this is the one and only one there will be....but isn't it lovely!!!

Who would have thought spilt inky water, combined with scrap papers on my workbench would have ever resulted in such a gorgeous verigated "paper towel" that then became a paper rose.......sometimes accidents are a good thing!


December 15, 2009

A Soothing Holiday White Wednesday......

Because of several things in my life at this moment, the whites of the season are soothing. I have brought out only a minimal amount of decorations at home, but the ones that make me smile the most are the ones that came out of the boxes. I am definitely NOT a fan of resin, however, when I found these lovely chubby angels at a local store about five years ago, I fell in love and forgave the material they were made from. I think because I am truly a Texas girl, I loved their size....not just the chubby, but the fact they are almost two feet tall as well.......you just gotta love a chubby girl!!

The remainder of the night was a challenge as Lola and Punkin just had to join in the decorating. I have so many antique and vintage Christmas decorations, but don't dare put them out for obvious reasons. I always go with brand new inexpensive ornaments because not only do the cats knock them off the tree, but my three very large dogs can bat them across the room with their large wagging tails...... My life is a zoo.....and they keep me smiling!

And Punkin eats anything in sight....could be why she weighs 22 lbs.......

And could it be that before the night was over the tree was leaning a little to the left.....yep, it was 'cause Lola was up in the top "checkin it out"......I was just greatful it was still standing!!
Want to see more whites today? Jump over to Kathleen's Faded Charm, our wonderful host of White Wednesday, using the button on my sidebar. I'm sure you will find other beautiful whites that feed your soul. Here's wishing everyone a peaceful, joyful, loving Christmas surrounded by those you love.....
blessings, jana

December 10, 2009

It's Not Too Early to Start Thinking About the New Year......

As I prepare for the holidays here at the shoppe and most importantly, at home for my family, I cannot help but also think about what the next year will bring and all that I want to do. Ideas are rolling 'round in this little head of mine and all will be defined in writing after the first of the year, but the ONE thing I could do NOW was to put the first quarter workshops and classes out there. Anyone in the area just might want to ask Santa for one of these wonderful classes, so I wanted to get them to everyone as soon as we had them. We will be adding a few more, like the glitter houses, the lace bottles, and such....but those dates have to be firmed up. Take a look at http://collectedtreasuresshoppe.blogspot.com for all the info you might need....and feel free to call with any questions......make 2010 the year you "learn it all"......have a great evening!!
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