Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ending the Year on a Stupid Note and an After-Christmas Sale

 OK, I'm telling on myself.  I did two stupid things in the last few days that ate up time I intended to spend on more important things.

First, I wanted to set up some after-Christmas sales in my shops. I had not used it before, but I went to www.craftopolis.com to use their "edit express" function.  I should have checked the etsy forums about the function before I used it.  I would have found out that it sometimes gets hung up while processing your instructions. And I might have found out that once it stops churning, it may default to some instruction that you didn't want, specifically the instruction to "match exactly" what I intended to put "at the beginning" of my item descriptions.  But, alas, I didn't check the forums.  What happened? It blew away ALL of my descriptions from five pages of products!!  Yep, all of them. My advice - before you hit "save" make sure it's doing what you want it to do.

I am now on my second day of rewriting all of my descriptions in my anotherbrightidea shop.  I had been putting off revamping the entire shop; it really needed to be updated. So I guess this was a message from the universe to me:


Once burned, twice shy. I decided to try www.etsyonsale.com for my morebrightideas shop.  That went much better. All of my Christmas items are 20% off right now at morebrightideas.


So here's the second stupid thing I did this week.  I suffer from throat, nose, and eye dryness during the night in the winter.  I have my furnace humidifier turned up as much as I dare without causing ice dams at my upstairs windows. (Did that last year and it was a disaster!) So I now use a small humidifier in my bedroom.  It has a little plastic "funnel" at the top that directs the mist up toward the room. Like this:

However, after I filled it the other night, I forgot to put the little funnel on top. Here's what it did all night:
I awoke to a mess - everything on my dresser and everything in the general vicinity was soaking wet! I spent the morning mopping up and drying everything. 



I'm glad this all happened at the end of 2010 and not at the beginning of 2011. I would hate to start the year that way and have that kind of klutzy luck for the entire new year.

I hope your year is winding down nicely and that you're gearing up for your New Year's celebration!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gettin' Through the Holidays

I had three straight days of food, family and festivities over the Christmas weekend.

Stopped to see the Christmas lights on Main Street in Rochester, MI ...
 
Enjoyed some beautiful music ...
 
Got a spinning demonstration from my niece ... I tried it; didn't do very well ...
 But she has the magic touch ...

Three of my nieces had fun during our extended family Christmas party ...
Had time to sit and relax by a warm fire for awhile ...


But mostly it was great fun to spend time with loved ones, "laughing all the way." 

I hope your Christmas was warm and joyful and filled with oodles of love.  Mine was.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

  
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  
 ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

I expect that for me the next three days will be sweet, joyful, loving and busy! In case you don't hear from me until next week, I wanted to wish all of you much love and the very best of times for the holidays.

I want to thank all of you, my on-line friends, for your kind support through the year.  It has been a good year for me, and your friendship has meant more to me than you know.  A very special thanks goes to my artist friends in Hawaii, who I was most fortunate to meet "live and in person" last May.  I still have fond memories of my dream trip and hope I can visit again some day.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two New Treasuries

 I don't know if was by accident or on purpose, but TWO of my photographs are in this new team treasury:  VAST Xmas by valeriatelier.  How cool is that?




My Winter Berries is also in this gorgeous treasury called Cherries in the Snow by artfields.
 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Three New Treasuries

 My Winter Berries Digital Photograph is in Fine Art Friday Treasures by artfields.




My Little Love House is in Evergreen Christmas  by DutchTouchBeads.



My Brown Paper Packages Gift Tags are in My Favorite Things by HeartstringsByJanice.



My Christmas Card

I mentioned before that "Favorite Things" is my theme this Christmas.  I sent out my cards but I'm not sure everyone is "getting" it. That's kind of surprising to me - if nothing else, the message should have been a big enough clue.  Here's the front and the inside message.  The photograph doesn't show it very well, but the front of the card has a gentle gold shimmer to it.



 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Memories Shared ... Priceless!


How sweet it was to have so many of you share your special holiday memories and traditions!  There's something very special about them, perhaps more precious than any other life's memories.

I was amazed at how some of your memories were so similar to some of mine.  For instance, Ayala's cat in the manger (except ours was a puppy), or Carapace preserving those old salt dough ornaments.  (I still save the cookie ornaments my nieces and nephews colored for me, even though a mouse nibbled at them when they were in storage one year!)

Christina talked about her traditional Ukranian dinner, and waiting until the first evening star before they could eat. We always had (still do) a traditional Polish dinner, and my sister's family always made their youngest child watch for the evening star. (They complained about the cold outside, but I think the youngest were secretly proud of their singular importance when they happily and loudly announced the appearance of the first star!)

Many of you spoke about your gift opening traditions, or those special ornaments you were given, such as the ornaments that Olivia's boyfriend gave her. The caroling, Nativity calendars, riding home from visiting family.  (I always fell asleep and wished we would ride forever so I didn't have to wake up and run into the house because it was so cold outside.)

 I loved Christina's story that her dad would wake them on Christmas Eve and point out that red light in the sky and tell them it was Rudolph's nose!  Awww - how sweet!  I will probably think of that now every time I see the red lights of an airplane in the sky!

I also smiled at Lisa's story of creating a different kind of very untraditional tree every year.  My artist heart loves that idea!

It was such a treat to read ALL of your stories. I thank you for sharing them.

I said I would choose one story that resonated the most with me. The story I chose reminded me that my childhood Christmases were modest ones - nine children in one household did not make for very extravagant holidays.  Sometimes I think the only gifts we got were the care boxes delivered by the local Goodfellows charity. But we always had a traditional meal, and we always had a Christmas tree, and we always sang carols, and we always had each other. That's why this story by VERYMARRIED reduced me to tears of sweet remembrance:

This one is a nice one for me to remember this year when I'm looking for work and the recession has hit a little harder than expected: When I was 6 and my parents had just divorced, I was living in a 4-plex with my mom and sister. We had a pine tree out front that we decorated with off-brand fruitloops on a string. We couldn't afford to go out and buy our own tree. I think singing along to Christmas music while stringing those fruit loops is my favorite Christmas memory - it reminds me that total happiness can come even when you don't have the fancy things that others might have.

Thank you, verymarried, for so eloquently expressing the true meaning of the season. 

The second winner's story chosen by random number generator is #10:

Lizzie Brown said...

My favorite Christmas is THIS Christmas! We've already had Christmas in our house because my husband is deployed. About a week ago I was sewing (with my crappy old machine) on the dining room table (my work station which is never used to actually eating at) and my husband came and told me our 11 month old son, Adam, had something to show me. I followed him back to our guest room and I saw a new wooden work desk and a new fabulous sewing machine (that I had pointed out to my husband, but decided it was too expensive to get right then) all set up and ready to go! It had a card that said, "Mery Crismas Mommy! Luv, Adam". I cried and laughed. I have the best two guys in the world. 
 
Thank you, Lizzie. That is sweet, and it will be one of your special Christmas memories for many years to come! 

Once again, thank you, everyone, for taking this stroll down memory lane with me.  One last message:

Mery Crismas!!
Note: I cannot find an email address for either one of you.  Please contact me immediately at a-b-i@comcast.net.  And, people, PLEASE either include your email in your post, OR put it in your profile, OR put it in your blog.  Better yet, do all three.  
 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow outside, candlelight inside

I will never, as long as I live, learn to love the cold weather. I dread its arrival, tolerate its months-long visit, and celebrate its departure.  But I must admit that my artist's soul loves the shimmering, icy beauty of winter. Especially when I can admire it from inside, wrapped in the warmth and coziness of the Christmas holidays.  I just listed these new photos in my shop.




I had no sooner listed this Christmas Starbright Digital Photograph when it appeared in a treasury called Let There Be Light ... created by firstlightphoto, a shop full of some gorgeous photography! Take a look.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Gift for Holiday Memories

Have you taken a minute to share your holiday story or tradition with me?  The stories so far are just delightful and sweet and some have brought tears to my eyes.  I will choose one story that resonates with me, and then I will use random number generator to choose a second one. Both of you will be able to choose one gift up to $20 from either one of my shops - anotherbrightidea or more bright ideas.  You have until this Friday at noon to post your story.

Can you make me cry? I want to hear it. Come on down!

Two New Treasuries

 My Candle Light Digital Collage Print is included in a very pretty treasury called The Glow of Candlelight by TheCheckerdRabbit.



My Gift Tags are included in another fun Favorite Things treasury, These Are a Few of My Favorite Things by eMBeandT.


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Big Snow Job

Although here in Michigan we haven't been hit as badly as Minnesota and points north and west of us, this weekend we did have a big snow and below zero temps which turned roads into sheets of ice. When we have a particular snow like this one, heavy and wet, it coats every tree branch and everything else it touches to create a stunning winter wonderland indeed. Unfortunately, it also creates treacherous conditions on the roads. It always amazes me that something so beautiful can be so dangerous.  

Another thing that amazes me is that the urge to capture that winter beauty will make me venture out there voluntarily to take pictures! I froze my patooties but I got some pix!  Enjoy!

Majestic evergreens ...


Who can resist red berries against the snow ... 



These trees sit at the corner of my street. I take photos of them in every season.


The street where I live ...



I did have to get to a medical appointment early this morning and I breathed a silent thank you for the all-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes on my Saturn Vue. Nevertheless, I took my life in my hands to snap some Blackberry photos of the trip home.


Now that I'm home, this is what I plan to do until I absolutely have to leave the house!  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Three New "Favorite Things" Treasuries

I can see I'm not the only one with "Favorite Things" on my brain this Christmas! Here's three treasuries featuring  my vintage gift tags "Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String." 

"A few of my favorite things" by Elzy Studio.


"These are a few of my favorite things" by ElmsEcho.


"Musical Etsy" by Owlbot.
So sweet, all of them! Thanks for including me.
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