About Me

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I LOVE to design and to paint whimsical items that will put a smile on your face. Each day I share my simple life with you as I try to encourage, to inspire and sometimes JUST to make you smile as I recount my life growing up on a dairy farm! I've never had many material items in my life, BUT I have been blessed beyond words with love and encouragement from WONDERFUL Parents who instilled in me WHAT was important. I have had EVERYTHING that I needed and WAY too much of what I wanted. I am slowly learning to be a better person each day through my interactions with my friends on Facebook. Some day I hope to be as good as people seem to THINK I am! I am BLESSED! Welcome to my little corner of the world...Please stop by and visit often!

Monday, December 26, 2016

On the First day of Christmas...

On the First Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

I thought I would start the First Day of Christmas by Sharing my treasures that I received from friends, far and near.

Of course, Santa did NOT forget about sweet little Charcoal..

EVEN though he was very naughty, he STILL made out like a bandit, proving again, it might not matter if you are naughty or nice, Santa still forgives and delivers...

Never has Charcoal had more than one tennis ball at a time, and he was hilarious!  I took one ball out of the bag, and soon, he had 5 out!  Yep, 2 are who-knows-where...time will tell.

Spoiled baby got some treats from Miss Gloria...so did Mommie! 

Crystal sent me and Charcoal some treats...
Always happy art, a reflection of her!

Jolanda, from the Netherlands, 
sent this hand-painted Charcoal...

Christine, from Germany, sent these beauties for me.  
Beautifully painted and I love the domino!

Sweet Lynn, who sends treasures 
all over the country, 
made this awesome Santa for me.
Now, here is the problem...
I got ready to take the picture 
and a four-legged, furry child, 
STOLE and ATE my candy Cane...
heavy sigh--PAPER and all!!  
This was the only Candy Cane 
I had in the house to use for the photo...

He LOOKS all 
sweet and innocent and laid back, 
but I tell ya, he has some "thievin'" in him!!

Miss Linda sent this to me, 
but CHARCOAL thought it was his 
since it has "Labrador" written on it.  
We are still in negotiations...

And then, Wendy sent Summer Sausages...
He is getting his share....

I took time on Christmas eve to do this drawing 
with Prismacolor Pencils.  
It was fun to just play! 
I am getting a bit better, 
but so much more to learn.
Design is by Amy Mogish.

Yes, Charcoal...I SEE YOU...

I brought a little bit of my 
Christmas Tradition with me on Christmas Day. 
 I cooked Country Ham, Biscuits, 
Garlic Cheese Grits, 
Creamed Corn, Fruit Salad 
and a Tomato.
It was so very yummy and brought back precious memories.
Served on Mommas white plate.♡

My friend Wanda brought us this Nativity Flag...
And a bucket of 3 flavors of Popcorn
I love getting Popcorn!

Karalee sent me these cute ornaments!!
I adore them!

Nancy set this pretty ornament with a planning calendar.
 Do I dare TRY to plan?!!  LOL

This is a better picture of the mug.

I got this cute Gingerbread Ornament from Michele...

This is DA Naughty Boy with his haul from Santa...

As we enter the 12 days of Christmas,
 may we NEVER forget to keep the 
Spirit of Christmas Alive all year.

I am beyond blessed for those 
who thought of me.
My prayer is that I will take opportunities 
in this coming year
to Pay it Forward with 
Random Acts of Kindness.

I hope you will each do the same.

I am GRATEFUL and BLESSED!...~charlotte♡

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Snowman Bottle

I was looking for some painted bottles that I did several years ago, and I think I gave most of them away.

So, as I was thinking about painting another one or two, I saw my 3 packages of DecoArt DecouPage Paper sitting near my work area, and I thought, I think I will try to use some of this on the bottles and then paint a snowman on the paper!  

This paper is very thin and easy to work with.   It is similar to wrapping paper.

Of course, my favorite is the music paper~~I have used it for several projects.

I am not going to go into how to paint a snowman, but I am sharing this link with you for some fun Circle Snowmen that a friend did to show me HOW to paint them.  I love to learn new techniques.

The bottles I used are from the Dollar General Store--they were Sparkling Cider--one of my favorite Christmas Treats, each year.
I don't drink alcohol, so this is just a fun change from my REAL COKES...lol

You can find some neat drink bottles

To prepare them, I simply rinsed them out, and then pulled the labels off.  They weren't sticky labels, so I sanded them and wiped them clean--they are going to be covered in glue! 

I cut several pieces of paper and found that longer, skinny pieces of paper were best and didn't wrinkle so much.

I used an old scruffy brush to add lots of DecouPage (Matte is what I used) on the bottle and smoothed out the paper with the brush.  I made certain to have glue under all of the paper and on top of it.

Just keep gluing and smoothing until you get it all covered.
I then brushed a very heavy coat of the DecouPage
 on top and allowed it to dry.

You will find some spaces that weren't covered, so just add them

I free-handed the snowmen bases with 
circles of a medium Blue.

This is one of the snowmen.

And the other snowmen...
just some different angels of the snowmen, 
so you can see.

These are the colors I used.
I used the Matte Decou-Page  to seal my snowmen, 
and then spinkled this fine dust over them and they are sparkly!!  LOL The pictures don't show that, though...

Just another fun idea for you to enjoy.

I hope that you are taking time to enjoy this Advent Season!

I am simply Blessed to create~charlotte♡

Uodate: after meaning to paint a Tag, for over a tear, to add to tgem, I out fur around the tops! Aren't they fancy smancy?!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Serendipity Sunday--A Week of Giving Thanks

I am sharing LOTS of pictures today.

It has been a week full of Thanksgiving.

Don't get me wrong, I do my best to say THANK YOU to God every day, and I try to be mindful each day on my fb wall to remind us to use our gifts and to be KIND.

This is the first time since Mother died that I felt like making her Chicken and Dressing and actually making a Thanksgiving meal for me and Charcoal.

It felt good to be ME again, for just a little bit...

BUT true to form, Satan threw his darts and I allowed someone to steal my JOY, BUT I am doing my best to turn the other cheek and forget about them. 

I shared Mother's recipe with lots of people.
Some people, again, true to form, thought I was saying that they should use my recipe and not theirs...
All of the ingredients gathered and ready to mix

That ABSOLUTELY was not my intent.

I am the last one in my family to make this recipe.
I have no one to pass it to.
I was simply sharing MY RECIPE, in hopes, that someone could carry on the tradition, IF they didn't have a recipe.
I mix everything together before I add the chicken broth so that the spices are evenly distributed and so that the egg won't cook as soon as that boiling broth hits them!
I believe that You SHOULD love what you were raised with.  
I think you SHOULD love your tradition and carry it on.
Nobody has a better tradition than anyone else.
We SHOULD embrace the things we love. 
Look at that beautiful broth!  Made simply by cooking a whole chicken in water.  Nothing fancy, but oh, so yummy.

BUT I also want to remind each of you, that things change.
People come.
People go.
It is the cycle of life.

This was after some broth was added.  I let it soak a few minute so the broth can be absorbed
SOMETIMES, traditions have to change.
Don't hold on to things that cause too much stress.
At some point, the one who always did it all will need help.
Help them with JOY.
Look forward to spending time with the PEOPLE 
and not focusing on the THINGS.

This is after another round of broth has been added.  Again, let the cornbread absorb the liquid, but I think this is just about the right consistency!

As we get older and look back on our life, 
most of us,
 if we have allowed our hearts to absorb the moments, 
will notice that it really was not 
the THINGS that mattered, 
but the people that were important.

We debone the chicken and place it in the bottom of the pan and pour the dressing on top.  It is true, in the South, we tend to turn most everything into a casserole!  LOL  I am OK with that!
What mattered was/is the
Moments spent with people who are no longer around.
Those empty chairs can spark memories
but they sure can bring guilt to a person, too.

Oh, and that yummy golden brown of the prepared dressing!!  Do I dare taste it before Thanksgiving?
Love people while they are HERE.
Give them flowers while they are around to enjoy them.

Yep, I couldn't wait and I tried it BEFORE Thanksgiving~~The NERVE of me!
I tried to give Charcoal a bite of the dressing, too.
He isn't the biggest fan of Cornbread, but he does eat it..
He was CERTAIN this must be terrible...

When I showed him that it was CHICKEN, 
He decided that maybe I was not trying to torture him.

Ah, it must have been good and it made him sleepy...
Or maybe he was saying a prayer of Thanksgiving!

I don't think that Life can get must better than this!
To have him cuddle with me or 
to lay his head on my leg, 
this is the life!

For those who judge me and think I would EVER give Charcoal food to harm him, Then they know NOTHING about me at all.
He eats healthier than I do.
NEVER would I ever cause any harm to him, so get over yourself!

Charcoal got a REAL treat from his Uncle Kevin.
I wasn't sure if I should cook it, or just give it to him.
He nuzzled and sniffed the package for a day.
I then cut open the package--more sniffing.
I partially pulled it from the package--one lick and more sniffing.
He then pulled it all the way out--a lick and more sniffing.
He put it on the couch, where all of his treasures go...
I threw it back on the floor...
FINALLY, after his Thanksgiving meal, he decided that I was NEVER going to feed him again, because he whined and begged and pouted...
So, up on the couch it went.
I heard a few crunches and then he hopped down.
No more Pigs tail!!

Wuf, Wuf, Uncle Kevin!

Aunt Cheryl Sent him a stale cookie...no sniffing, just CRUNCH!

Cheryl finds the cutest cups/containers!  
It is just PERFECT!

Cheryl's husband, Jerry, is a master craftsman.
This phone holder is a work of art.
I can't wait to get it painted!

Oh, my goodness.
Those Cadbury Candies were so yummy, 
I went and bought a package to put in with some of my orders.
Yes, I still have some left.
No, I would NEVER feed Charcoal dark chocolate, because dark chocolate is TOXIC to animals.

I LOVE when Cheryl goes to playing with cookie dough, 
and if there is a frog,
 I am so happy when it HOPS to my house!
I LOVE the posite!!

                                    We are NOT going to share 
Jerry's comment about this frog...bad, Jerry, bad...
Santa Clause is Watching YOU!! ;)
Poor froggie...

Charcoal had several POUTING moments...
He does NOT like the word NO.
His head might be lowered and turned away, 
but those eyes are cutting to see what I am doing!
Poor Charcoal... 
Maybe Mommie needs to throw that towel away!

I was so excited to find LifeSavers
AND Butter Rum Lifesavers
When I shared on my FB wall, 
I discovered that I was not the only one 
who had fond memories of these treats!!

I am going to send a few to some special friends.

I also made Mother's favorite Cranberry Relish.
She loved this stuff and made it for Christmas and for Thanksgiving
AND she took some each time to 2 of her special friends.
I remembered those times fondly.

Now, this stuff isn't for everyone, but it is PERFECT 
for anything that is salty.
Yes, we will NOT speak of the amount of sugar involved, either...
it is only twice a year, right?

It is simple.
Grind the following in a food processor:
Bag of Fresh Cranberries
2 oranges--with peeling.
2 Apples--with peeling

Add sugar to taste .  Start with 3/4 cup of sugar and add until you are happy with it.  With this batch, I used 3 small halos, cutting off the thick peeling at the top, and 3 Jonathan apples, since my fruit was small AND boy, HOWDY, it was SOUR!  I added 1 1/4 cups of sugar--just keep your mouth closed!
If I use navel oranges, I always cut off the thick part of the peeling and much of the sides, since it is so thick.  A little bit of peel goes a long way.  You don't want the bitterness to overpower the relish.
And yes, cut out the center of the apples. 

The color is absolutely beautiful!!

This was my Thanksgiving Feast:
Green beans cooked with onions, ham and potatoes, 
and always, at the end, a splash of vinegar is added.
Cranberry Relish
Chicken and Dressing
Macaroni with a can of Crushed Tomatoes and Cheddar Cheese.

Served on Mother's White Grape Plates she got for Christmas in about 1972 as a gift from her Sisters.

This is Charcoal's Plate...no onions, no salt and he did NOT 
like that I put the Cranberry Relish on his plate...
Well, he LOVES oranges, so I tried!!

He LOVED his Thanksgiving Meal...
and wanted more...more...more..

He thought that STEALING the rest of the PupPeroni 
would fill his stomach...
Those things STINK and are far more toxic 
than any food I make to feed him!

It looks like his is crying
Maybe he is just starving....

 My friend, Lois, finds the cutest frogs to send me.
This was a Birthday gift.
Oh, how fun is this!

AND she hand painted these 
adorable magnets that were in 
the www.paintingezine.com
I love them and they will stay
 on my freezer all year long!
I am so blessed.

I made these Taco Bites this week, also.
Yum, Yum, YUM!

I had to send them to the Testing Lab...
He did the ole turn my head and get that away from me...
Oh, and for those that are fearful,
His had no salt or seasoning.
Hamburger, cheese and Flour Tortillas.

Ah, but YES...

If you aren't a member of the Marketplace, please join.
I have some items listed in our latest Album, and you will find a code ONLY available on my pictures to receive a discount to use for any item in my Etsy shop.

Click here to join the Marketplace, if you haven't already joined.

I hope that you all are Thankful.
We ALWAYS can find something to garner our Thanks.
Some days, we have to look a little harder...
We get stuck in a "funk" sometimes, 
But YOU have the power to MOVE to a better place.

By being Thankful, 
I believe that it stirs us to 
To offer Kindness
To spread HOPE
To, well, BLOOM!

I tell you...Life just doesn't 
get much better than this!!

I am simply blessed to create~~charlotte♡