Thursday, December 31, 2015


Today I write my 422nd post--I can hardly believe it.  Thank you to my friend, Susan, for giving me that nudge and creating this blog for me to write about my crafting projects. When she emailed me back in November 2011 with this development, I never would have thought that I could nurture this gift so long.

 I hope to continue and have some exciting projects ready in my mind.  A quilt, an armoire and stenciling a wall are at the top of my list.  Thank you for continuing to read my posts.

So let's move on to today's posting.

This is how I picture my sister Terri now in the postcard below.
  While writing the last month's blogs since her death, I felt stagnant for  a few weeks.   In the third week, I said to myself, 'today is the day' and my rapid fire brainstorming began again.  About 20 minutes into my fury, I stopped and looked up to heaven.  Thank you Terri.

A sense of calm came over me and I felt at peace.  With or without Terri here on Earth, she will guide me during my future postings.  I would think that she would be crafting on her own somewhere in heaven.

A Joyful New Year to All
 Graphics Fairy

Thursday, December 24, 2015


I haven't made a collage for a while, so I thought that I could make one for Christmas. While making a home-made Christmas card, I always try to incorporate part of the collage.  What am I going to create this season?

I had a frame that I found on sale years ago up in the craft room.  I wasn't crazy about the image inside the frame so I didn't have a problem taking it out.

My friend Tara had given me an image that she had used in making her Charms and Flourishes charms.  To this image, I pulled out a vintage Christmas music score, some bejeweled embellishments, lace fabric and laser cut scrapbook paper.

Flipping the frame over, I removed the brown paper.

Then, using a pliers, I removed all of the staples from around the picture.

Unfortunately, the image was glued to the mat.

 So in order to not cause damage to the borders, I found a piece of scrapbook paper to lay over the image and secured it with scrapbook adhesive.

To add dimension, a piece of fabric lace was used.


After layering the items, the collage starts to take shape.

The delicate scrolling of the frame compliments that collage.

The lights of the Christmas tree enhances the collage.


The collage hangs over the Nativity scene in the dining room.

Let us remember the real reason behind Christmas.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015


I enjoy decorating with smaller vignettes around the house to make it more festive.  I started with an estate sale silver plated bowl filled with peppermints.

My dear friend Tara has given me numerous charms and ornaments throughout the years.  I was ready to dress my slate grey lady bust.  Draping necklaces adorned with baubles and charms around her neck worked beautifully for this space.

The little touches of Christmas green and red added color to the scene.

The final step was to create a fascinator made out of an evergreen bough.

The library table behind the couch now has that touch of Christmas spirit.

After a few days, I decided to move the bust into the front foyer.

I like the background of the black toned table.

Its a nice welcome when you first enter the house.


Friday, December 18, 2015


 I wanted to share a easy make-ahead appetizer for the holidays that is just as cute as a button.  I was watching Food Network on Sat. and came across different ideas in making cheese balls.  One of the reasons for making this recipe was I love recipes that you can make ahead. 
So, lets begin.  I went online and scoured cheese ball recipes.  I found this one.
I used:
2- 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
8- oz. white cheddar cheese, finely shredded
****salt and pepper to taste (optional)
I tasted it and was not wild about it.  Granted, I should have waited until the flavors melded for a day, but I chose to react instead.  So I added:
1 package dry Ranch Dressing mix
Blend ingredients and roll into a ball and put it in parchment paper.  Chill.
The next day the cheese ball tasted so much better. 
 Ok, so at this point, I had the cheese ball wrapped in parchment paper.  I took it out of the fridge and with the paper still on, began molding the cheese ball into a tree shape.  After 20 seconds, I put it back in the fridge and chilled it again.  Important--it is much easier to repeat this step as once the cheese begins to warm, it becomes difficult to mold.  On my 3rd trip from the fridge, I unwrapped the cheese tree(as we will call it at this point) and while wetting my fingers, finished the last step of the molding process.
I placed the 'tree' upright on a red plate.

To begin decorating the 'tree', I rinsed a bunch of regular curly parsley**I normally use only Italian parsley- I guess you could say that I am a parsley snob, but with this recipe, the curly parsley worked better because of the vibrant color.
When I married Mr. Thrifty, he came with this cute small grinder.  It was perfect to chop the parsley.  Rinse and make sure to cut off the stems first.  To chop easier, I filled the chopper with the parsley and then added water to about the half way point.  It chops so much better but remember to drain in paper towels before laying the parsley out on parchment paper.

I placed the chopped parsley onto a piece of parchment paper. 

Taking the chilled 'tree' out of the fridge, I rolled it in the parsley making sure to cover all the surfaces.

To create ornaments, I used sweet red pepper and diced tiny squares to place on the tree.

To top the tree, it called for an star, but after taking out my mini-cookie cutters,

I decided to go with the angel-a cheddar cheese angel.
I took a block of cheese and cut a piece that was half the thickness of the cookie cutter.  Once sliced, I made the angel.

To make sure that the angel would stay on top of the 'tree', I put a toothpick up the bottom...

to keep it secure. Ritz crackers were placed around the tree.

How cute is this?

After taking this to a holiday party, I am pleased to tell you that adding the Ranch dry dressing was the key to giving this cheese 'tree' its wonderful flavor. 
If you have your own favorite cheese ball recipe, I'm sure it could be substituted for the one I used.
This was really fun to create.  Make ahead and serve. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Christmas this year is quite bittersweet.  After losing two precious family members in the last 6 months, I wanted to honor them.  I took some of my sister Terri's Swaroski glass star ornaments and wanted to create a tree on the foyer table. On second thought, I thought that they would be lost in the branches, so I took some of my naked tree branches and adorned them with the stars.  Every star now hangs in all its glory.
The clear cylinder vase was filled with red berries to bring a bit of color to the display.  The berries complimented the red ribbons that held the stars on the branches. 
In order to bring more sparkle to the table, I added my vintage rhinestone makeup compacts on a silver plated candy dish.
In 2000, I started a family tradition between the four of us.  Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, each one of the four of us write in a journal expressing our gifts and blessings of that year.  When the girls were little, they drew pictures, but as they grew older, each one writes their own journal entry into the book.  This will be the 15th consecutive year.  The journal is now almost half filled with beautiful memories. This particular journal is covered with a red velvet fabric.  How appropriate to add this item to the memory table. A sprig of holly and berries adorn the journal.  This too is laid in a silver plated estate sale tray.
Adding a few holly berries to the candy dish bring in more crimson color.

A crystal beaded vase holding a battery lit candle brings in yet more sparkle.

The individual glass stars reflect the light all day long.

This serene scene recalls many happy family memories.

The brilliance of the stars  makes me think of all those special loved ones who are awaiting us in heaven.  None of them will ever be forgotten.

An added note:

What a surprise to find these personalized ornaments of Terri in my mail box this past weekend.  My dear friend Tara and her friend Maureen created these ornaments for my 9 siblings and Terri's 2 children.  The children's ornaments are worded with dear mother.  I know that all of us will treasure these special gifts in Terri's memory.

Thanks to these 2 special people for brightening up our Christmas this year.  The Christmas foyer is now complete.