Pieced Pastimes: December 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Reflections

This year is coming to an end so it's time to look back and reflect on the days gone by.  We accomplished many things this year, but there is still so much more to do. If only the days were longer.....
Looking back at 2013 and how we spent some of our time:
2013 Winter Mantel
A chilly winter prompted the inspiration for a warm and cozy winter mantel using simple gathered items from our home.

Gray and White Striped Desk with Faux French Grain Sack Chair
Our ever changing desk is refreshed with some painted stripes in my favorite shades of gray and white. The desk chair was updated as well with a distressed gray finish and a faux grain sack seat cover. Paint is such a simple way to transform a piece of furniture.
Ruffled Pillow Tutorial
I love to create new throw pillows for our home. It's such a quick and easy way to change the look of a room. I created this 'Ruffled Pillow' and shared a tutorial on how to recreate one for yourself. I was so happy to see this become a very popular pin on Pinterest. 
A tarnished silver gravy boat, some bits of lovely fabric and a longing for warmer days were all the motivation I needed to create this 'Bird Pincushion'. I have said it before and I'll say it again, 'a girl can never have too many pincushions'. 
My husband has built several pole gates over the years and I share his latest gate project in this 3-part post. This DIY involves heavy equipment and some even heavier family contemplation, but we are more than happy with the end result.
If you find yourself looking for a great beginner sewing project, I would suggest you try to make some throw pillows. They are a fast and easy project and are a wonderful introduction to the world of sewing. In this post, I share the method of assembly line sewing.
My husband and I spent many days working on this property to bring it back to life. I explain my MIA status in this post and show off the fruits of our labor.
Continuing my fixation with throw pillows, I came up with this pleated version. I combined dropcloth fabric with a pretty floral decorator fabric for the knife pleat and an iron on transfer for the welcome message. 
My family loves their comfort foods, but they aren't the most heart healthy choices. With a desire to satisfy their cravings, I have come up with some healthier versions of their favorite meals starting with this recipe for Stuffed Peppers.
March of 2013 found me longing for the garden. Knowing the growing season was still months away,  I created these terrariums to quench my thirst for digging in the dirt.
An upcoming baby shower had me trolling the internet for ideas. I found this oh-so-cute project for a 'Tricycle Diaper Cake' that fit the bill. Everyday baby essentials are combined in a fun way to welcome the newest member of our family.

2013 Fall Mantel
Our Fall mantel was made up from found objects and arranged to highlight the natural beauty of the outdoors.
Prayer Request
The Friday before Christmas, we were given the sad news that our 4 year old pomeranian 'Charlie Boy'  has lymphoma and there is nothing than can be done for him. While the diagnosis is devastating, we are blessed to have him in our lives and will revel in the time we have left with him.

This year has been a mixed bag of projects, ideas and emotions. No one knows what the future holds, so we shall continue on living life to its fullest using the gifts God gave us and hopefully inspiring someone along the way.  I raise my glass to 2014 and wish you all a Very Happy New Year.

Linking up to the following parties:

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday Sparks Link Party 43

Welcome to Saturday Sparks 43!
The links from the last party were a feast to the eyes and the celebration of Christmas was once again the continuing theme.
Now, onto the Fabulous Features from Saturday Sparks 42.
Christmas Mantel 2013 from Vintage, Paint and more... - Cathy decided to simplify her Christmas decor this year and came up with this lovely mantel. I love the neutral and calming colors combined with the different textures.

O' Christmas Tree from Bohemian Junktion. Shannon shows us her "rustic glam neutral" Christmas Tree. It has a The combination of burlap, cotton and glitz turned out wonderful.
Christmas Cottage Kitchen from Salmagundi. Sally has decked out her Hoosier cabinet with a fabulous plaid filled country Christmas theme.

Christmas Mantel from Fort Ledbetter. Marie shares her Christmas mantel that she was able to create using most of last years decor. Easy on the pocketbook and it looks gorgeous to boot!
Holiday Foyer from The Life of a Craft Crazed Mom. Mellisa shows us her Foyer in all its Christmas glory. The vintage blue dresser anchors the other festive touches with an oh-so-pretty blue and white theme.
Free Printable Gift Tags from Carrie Elle. Continuing her '12 Days of Christmas Printables', Carrie created these cute gift tags that she says are "easy to cut out with no crazy edges". We always seem to run out of gift tags, so these will come in very handy.
My First Mesh Wreath from Bohemian Junktion. Shannon was a bit intimidated by some of the mesh wreaths her sister had made but got over her fears and created this beauty with some help from her sister.
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Fudge from Kleinworth & Co. - Gina is known for her decadent treats and this recipe sounds like another winner. She says it "melts in your mouth" - and I am sure it does.
Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies from My Sweet Mission. If you are like me, you have a handful of really great cookie recipes that you turn to over and over. Heather shares one of her favorites with this delicious Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie recipe. Definitely a must try...
Classic Coconut Macaroons from Yesterfood. Joy shares a classic recipe for Coconut Macaroons that she says is "sure to win your holiday heart".

Many thanks to everyone who sent their kind thoughts and prayers to us over our 'Charlie Boy'. At the moment, he seems no worse for the wear. He is holding his own and is his usual energy filled self  but his veterinarian's tell us it's only a matter of time. We are taking each day as a blessing and savoring the time we have left with him.
Pieced Pastimes

 Thanks to everyone for linking up to last weeks party.
If you were featured, please grab the featured button to add to your blog.

Now, onto the party!

Link up your latest inspiring posts including:

Home Decor
Crafts
Sewing
Gardening
Recipes
DIY
Repurposing

Links are open through Friday morning.

I will post features next week to Pieced Pastimes, Facebook and Pinterest.

I can't wait to see what you have been working on!

Pieced Pastimes

 Party Guidelines:
- Post the party button (above) with a link back to the party on your post.
- Share your own projects - something that is made by you.
- Follow Pieced Pastimes via one of the social media links at the top of the sidebar.
- No advertising, Etsy shops or giveaways.
- Pin feature photos to Pinterest from the original source and not from this blog.
- Visit other links and leave a kind comment.



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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Prayer Request

There will be no party this week, as our 4 year old pomeranian - 'Charlie' has been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and it is inoperable.  Our hearts are broken and I ask that you might say a prayer for my family as we go through this difficult time. Thank-you.
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Sparks Link Party 42

Welcome to Saturday Sparks 42!
The Christmas spirt was in full force at last weeks party.
Now, onto the Fabulous Features from Saturday Sparks 41.
DIY Metal Salvage Marquee Letters from Just A Little Creativity. Molly's love for vintage Christmas decor had her creating these wonderful Faux Metal Marquis Letters and she shares all her steps along the way.
DIY Christmas Snowflake Ornament from The Crafty Blog Stalker. A Handmade Christmas Ornament Exchange had Katie making these pretty snowflake ornaments and she shares a tutorial on just how she did it.
Snowman Kit from Making Your Sustainable Life. Vickie shows us how to make a fun and easy Snowman Kit. This is perfect timing for us here in New Hampshire, as we are expecting a big snowstorm tonight.
Christmas Past from Artsy VaVa. A review of her blog stats shows Artsy VaVa that some of her most popular Christmas posts are from past Christmas's. Delightful never goes out of style, so I can see why these posts continue to be a favorite.
 A Handmade Christmas - Pillows from Vintage, Paint and more... - Cathy continues with her series 'A Handmade Christmas' with this post featuring some of her pretty 'Pillows'.

Rusty Junk Christmas Tree from Glass Slipper Restorations. Cindy had fun creating this unique Christmas Tree using some rusty bed springs and other assorted materials.

8 Reasons Someone Envies You from Darlene Nemeth. Giving pause to reflect on the blessings in our lives, Darlene shares '8 Reasons Someone Envies You'.

Homemade Christmas Gifts, Random Acts of Kindness from Kleinworth & Co. - Gina's husband is a firefighter, so she knows the meaning of sacrifice. She came up with this sweet idea for a goodie container to show her appreciation and say 'thank-you' to those who give so much.
 Cornmeal Stars with Orange Glaze from Yesterfood. Joy says this recipe is a "lovely cross between a sugar cookie and shortbread".  They look and sound delicious to me.

I will leave you with this fun Christmas cartoon and the hope that you are filled with the Christmas spirit. 
Pieced Pastimes

 Thanks to everyone for linking up to last weeks party.
If you were featured, please grab the featured button to add to your blog.

Now, onto the party!

Link up your latest inspiring posts including:

Home Decor
Crafts
Sewing
Gardening
Recipes
DIY
Repurposing

Links are open through Friday morning.

I will post features next week to Pieced Pastimes, Facebook and Pinterest.

I can't wait to see what you have been working on!

Pieced Pastimes

 Party Guidelines:
- Post the party button (above) with a link back to the party on your post.
- Share your own projects - something that is made by you.
- Follow Pieced Pastimes via one of the social media links at the top of the sidebar.
- No advertising, Etsy shops or giveaways.
- Pin feature photos to Pinterest from the original source and not from this blog.
- Visit other links and leave a kind comment.

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