Monday, December 31, 2012

Warm Hearts, Cold Buns

 As you can see, it's pretty cold outside here lately.
And this is the warmest place in the house.
Happy New Year Everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Family Portraits~ Gifts from the Heart

 These photos were taken by my daughter Kate, and gifted to us by Carly and Jeremie

Katie, i see a new career possibility in your future. These portraits are professional quality, and SO Beautiful! And Carly and Jeremie, you sure do make beautiful children! Thank you all!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Favorite Kind of Gifts

 My Favorite kind of gift is anything made by hand. That kind of gift usually comes straight from the heart. My daughter Kate, who is very talented in so many ways, made me this wool felt teddy bear for my birthday,which happens to be the week before Christmas. She named her Millicent.
 Millie will be well loved and will be happy living here with all the other teddy bears in the family! (You can see she is feeling very relaxed here already!)

 And for Christmas, she made me little guinea pig dolls! And not just any guinea pigs, but replicas of my very own piggies who live here, Maggie(red and white) and Dolly (black and red) They came dressed for the Holidays

But are just as cute naked! Thank you Katie, I LOVE my new toys!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Zoey and Gumma, Christmas Eve

 Zoey in her "My First Christmas" outfit
 it took a little tickling to get her to smile for the camera

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Today~Inside and Outside

 Outside today we are having our first real snow storm of the Winter Season. After a snowless Winter last year, i am glad to see the snow fall again.

 The roads are getting plowed but it is pretty slippery out there and everything is covered in a blanket of white, clean snow. It looks so pretty, but i am not going out there today!

 So i am staying inside and working on my knitting and crochet projects. I have hats and scarf sets to tuck the ends in on, cowls to finish, teddy bears to seam, stuff and sew together. And everything needs to be tagged, labeled and priced. It's a good day to stay inside my cozy little house with a hot cup of coffee, a good movie and the dogs and kitties all tucked in around me while getting some work done. Life is good...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day, Open House

 On Christmas Day, we always have a celebration here. The event starts days ahead in preparation, but the doors open at 2:00pm, and they stay open until the last person goes home. I didn't get many pictures of the action here. But because we decided on a more "relaxed" menu, there was no slaving over hot stoves, attempting to keep food hot, or piles of dishes to do! It was all about sandwiches and LOADS of homemade baked goods, cakes, candies and cookies, with some dips and appetizers here and there. This year, there was more time to visit with loved ones, and to just enjoy the day

At the end of the day we counted 26 happy Christmas visitors, most who came and stayed for the day. My house is not very big, so we were crowded, and there are never enough chairs. But nobody seemed to mind, because we all love each other. The dogs and cats, even Safou, were all well behaved. The kids ran back and forth, screaming and laughing and playing tag, and climbing all over poor Seth(the big cool cousin!)

Zoey was such a good baby all day long. She never cried and never got fussy. Everyone took turns holding her and kissing her. Here she is in her Christmas dress with her GG.
Bepa held court at the head of the table when he wasn't in the living room watching basketball with some of the guys.
And Aunt Kathy wore a Beautiful shirt made by her grandson Ross, who is super creative. I can see a top fashion designer in our family's future. When the day was over, i was very tired. But all the work leading up to this is so worth it. We are a very big, loving, close knit family. And i think we are most happy when we can be all together. This Christmas was very special to me, because i am well aware i almost wasn't here for it. So for me, getting us all together is so important. I missed my sister Nancy and her family, who live in Florida, and could not be here for the day. But they were definitely here in spirit. Thank you Everyone who came and made this day so wonderful. Family is everything to me. Love, mare

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 On Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, i feel just like a little child again.
It is still such a magical time for me.
I wish You and Your Loved Ones a Very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

I Love Christmas Eve

(for more magical art like this, click here:!/FairiesDragonsAndOtherMythologicalCreatures )
When i was young, my Grandmother Mary used to come to our house on Christmas Eve, and bring her special cookies and our gifts. We used to open our presents and sit and visit with her, and that was a very special time for me. So now, my grandchildren come to our house on Christmas Eve, and they get to open their gifts from us a day early. Christmas Day tends to be very busy here as we have open house from 2:00 on, and up to that point we are cleaning, setting up and prepping food. The day seems to go by with a blink of an eye. So Christmas Eve is still pretty magical for me. I hope it is magical for you too.... 

Last minute touches....

 Here it is, Christmas Eve morning, and i am just finishing up on some little gifts for baby Zoey. I needed to tuck in loose ends and give everybody a bow or scarf. My supervisor Rosie is making sure i do it right...
 i made a soft little Bunny Buddy blanket for Zoey to sleep with. She's crocheted with a 
soft boucle yarn
 and her features are embroidered on so she is safe for babies
 And i made 2 little Christmas Elves, one for Zoey, and one for her little friend Avery, who is also celebrating her very first Christmas.
 The girls can pop these little guys in their mouths and they are totally safe for them to chew on...
 i love these little bunny buddies...
I've been so busy getting ready for Christmas that i kind of look forward to making hats and scarves for the coming cold weather of January! After making what felt like hundreds of them this past Fall for the upcoming Winter, i never thought i would say that again!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hide and Seek with cat and bird

While cleaning and wrapping gifts for Christmas this morning, i noticed a little hide and seek game going on around my feet. I grabbed my camera and thought i would share it with you. Any time Safou is playing with the dogs and cats, the play is supervised for obvious reasons....Please excuse the mess in the background. The bag holds gifts to be wrapped, and the box, dustpan and broom are part of a barricade to keep Fouey from eating the legs off my cabinet. Remember, free range parrot in the house = destruction!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Many Sisters~ a group from Peru

I used to raise guinea pigs for show, and worked with a local 4H group. I love guinea pigs, and have 2 piggie girls as pets. So whenever i see people who want to raise guinea pigs or improve the care of their animals, i contrubute. Of course, in Peru, guinea pigs are served as protein on the dinner table. But as long as they are well fed and cared for, i feel really good about that.
Santa Rosa De Lima De Conchacalla Group

Update on Santa Rosa De Lima De Conchacalla Group

The group are members of the communal bank "Santa Rosa de Lima de Conchacalla". The communal bank is located in the district of Anta in the province of Anta, department of Cusco.

Bernardina is in a civil union, is 46 years old and has one child. She works in her business, which is a grocery store. She sells basic needs items like rice, sugar, milk, and oil. She has had the business for 20 years and she also has a business raising animals like pigs, guinea pigs, and chickens. She fattens them up, raises them, and then sells them in various markets. She wants to get her child ahead through these businesses. Her dream is to have a storefront where she can sell her animals. She is requesting this loan to buy chickens and guinea pigs.

The members whose photos have been added to the group photo took those photos later because they asked to miss the meeting due to work obligations. The other members make their livings selling milk, corn, food, and livestock.

The member is grateful to those who are part of realizing her dream through this medium and she has committed to making her payments on time.

There's an Elf in the house!

 And a really cute elf at that!

MY what big ears you have!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Many Sisters~Sharofat from Tajikistan

Sharofat is a Baker. I love Bakers!
Sharofat is a woman of 50 years. She is married and has children. Sharofat is engaged in making flatbreads. This is a family business. She is helped by her husband, son, and daughter-in-law.

Not long ago, she installed a big new tandoor (national oven) and now ever day they bake through four bags of flour which yields about 1,200 flatbreads.

From these earnings, they also increase the family budget. This business is the only source of income for the family. Therefore Sharofat is trying to develop this business.

Sharofat plans to use the received loan to buy wholesale flour and coal for the winter. She sends her thanks in advance to Kiva for the financial support.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lola's favorite things

 Every once in a while. i'll let Lola take my camera and take photos from around the house...Here are some from her latest photo shoot
 Zoey falling asleep
 Photos from my china closet. This is an interesting combination!

 more china closet

 the little mermaid piece i bought because it reminded me of Lola
 the ceramic Mary my Grandmother Mary made for me just before she passed away
and Joseph
and my Gram's Santa cookie jar
and the teddy bear Lola gave me in the hospital so i wouldn't be scared or lonely(He still sleeps by me every night and holds my glasses)
and the little teddy bear i bought her at the hospital the day she was born. I'd say she's pretty good with the camera!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Many Sisters~ Felicita, from Peru

When i first saw Felicita and her little lambs, i wanted to help her be successful with her business. How could i resist?
Here is her story from the Kiva page- Felicita is 69 years old and is a simple woman. She lives with her husband, Pedro, and her two grandchildren, Luis and Sergio, whom she loves very much. They live together in the home she inherited 50 years ago. She learned what she needed to know to work in the fields when she was young. Thanks to her parents, she got the farmland that helped get her family and seven children ahead. They are all healthy and on their own, “each with his own family,” she says.

A few years ago she decided to sell some food in the local school cafeteria in order to earn extra money and provide the best for her grandchildren. She is a member of the “Manantiales de Ullusca” communal bank and this is her third cycle with MFP. She is grateful for the loan because it helps her improve her business and she promises to be on time with her payments.

Felicita will use the money from this loan to buy compost and alfalfa seed to maintain her crops and be able to feed her livestock.

more blogging with cats

Lately, for some reason, me sitting down in front of my laptop to work on my blog and email is code for the cats to come and visit. They leap on my shoulders...
or walk across the keyboard, climb up my body and hit keys with their paws that causes me to loose my typed email before i get a chance to save or send it...
Maybe they figure i am sitting still there for a bit, and it's prime time to get some good lovin.....It's a miracle i get any work done on the computer!
(photos taken with the YouCam feature on my laptop. Not great quality but it is the only way i can get the

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sparkle Bear~ Noelle

 Noelle is a sweet little hand knit Sparkle Bear. She is ready and waiting to go home and play with her new best friend. Noelle is knit with a special easy care acrylic yarn(vegan) that has a very fine sparkly thread running thru the fiber. So when she moves or sits in the sunlight, she has little bits of bright sparkly color that looks very much like tiny Christmas tree lights! She is a very fancy bear indeed!
Noelle is a pointed snout bear. Her facial features are hand embroidered on so that she is safe to be played with by children of all ages. She wears a nice comfy crocheted scarf around her neck, and just for Winter time, she has a special jingle bell necklace tied around her neck. Noelle is just over 8 inches tall. The scarf and bell can and should be removed before giving her to children who still mouth their toys. Noelle is stuffed with allergen free polyfil stuffing. She was made with love by me in our animal friendly, smoke free home. All while i am knitting and crocheting these little bears, i am charging them with Reiki healing energy. So these bears are truly made with LOVE. My little Etsy shop has been closed since early Spring. Noelle may be one of the first little bears to open it's doors again! Stay tuned!!!

Many Sisters~ Mirian from Kiva

(From her Kiva page)Mirian is a brave woman of many virtues, who defines herself as a humble person with a noble heart and who works very hard for the deep love she has for her two children, to whom she teaches values such as honesty, responsibility, humbleness and hard work. Her children love her for this and her neighbors respect her for the sacrifices she makes to provide for her family.

The loans she has requested to Fodemi will be used to invest in her small activity by buying a new oven to bake her biscuits, as well as in purchasing basic ingredients such as butter, cheese, eggs and flour, all essential items she needs to prepare her delicious biscuits.

Mirian’s dream is to own a big café where she can make her biscuits to then sell them in her own locale. This would allow her to improve her children’s standard of living and to grant them a good education that in the future will help them become good professionals she can be proud of. To learn more about Kiva and people like Mirian, click here. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winter Bears~ Rory

Meet Rory, a fuzzy little Winter bear who is looking for his forever home. He was hand knit by me, using an easy care acrylic(vegan) yarn that feels very much like wool. Rory let me know that he is all boy while i was putting him together this morning. He's chubby and fuzzy and loves to be hugged. If you hurry, he's the perfect little bear to tuck in a Christmas stocking, or put under the tree. And he'd love to cuddle up for the night next to someone special, and he promises not to take up too much room....
Rory is a pointed snout bear. His facial features are hand embroidered on so that he is safe to be played with by children of all ages. He wears a nice comfy crocheted scarf around his neck, and just for Winter time, he has a special jingle bell necklace tied around his neck. Rory is just over 9 inches tall. The scarf and bell can and should be removed before giving him to children who still mouth their toys. Rory is stuffed with allergen free polyfil stuffing. He was made with love by me in our animal friendly, smoke free home. All while i am knitting and crocheting these little bears, i am charging them with Reiki healing energy. So these bears are truly made with LOVE. My little Etsy shop has been closed since my stroke in early Spring. Rory will be the first little bear to open it's doors again!