Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Moose Wonderful Time of the Year (and a winner!)

It's here! It's here! It's the Moose wonderful time of the year!

And when that moose is curled up inside with a nice latte, watching the snow gently falling out the window...well, what could be better? Add some Christmas music or a Hallmark movie, and he's all set!

{Today's Brew: Merry Christmoose (MFT stamps), Lawn Fawn papers, PTI card stock, COPIC markers, Memory Box window die}


Sandy Kay! You won the Thanksgiving prize package! Drop me an email with your address, and I will send it to you! (But I think I may have your address from PTI forum, am I right?)

Sandy Kay wrote:

Congratulations! 9 years is a milestone! Looks like some really nice goodies there - thanks for your generosity!

I so enjoyed reading all of your comments! They really made my day!

Next week, I'm giving away ANOTHER prize package geared for the holidays!

Blessings on your holiday weekend, cafe friends!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Travel Cup Wishes

We are traveling this holiday weekend...for the first time in many years. We're excited to spend Thanksgiving with my sister's family. There's nothing like a house filled to the brim with people you love, and the chatter of conversation over good food and drink. What a blessing!

Here's a little travel mug card for wishes on the go!

{Today's Brew: Love You a Latte stamp set and die (lawn fawn), lawn fawn papers, PTI card stock, COPIC markers, lawn fawn snowflake twinkle, washi tape, silver twine (SU), paper doily}

Don't forget! Today is the last day to enter my blogiversary contest!

Saying prayers for all of those travelers this weekend!

Warm wishes, cafe friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Holiday Door Knob Hanger

I started working on this Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings pattern last week, but oh the pain! I only got two rows in before my joints were killing me!

I texted my friend Beth and asked for her advice. She recommended a therapy glove. So I went to Walgreens and picked this one up, and it has made such a difference! I think the compression and the Velcro cuff at the wrist really helped stabilize my hand while I stitch.

And here it is! This one is going in the 24 presents of Advent box!

I added a little row of lace, but decided it still needed a little something. That's when I had the great idea to use PTI dies, felt, and buttons to make these little holly corners.

Here's the blue fabric. It covers the back and peeks out the sides of the front.

This project was also the first time I finally learned how to use my Janome Sew Mini sewing machine! I think I'm in love!

Blessings on your Thanksgiving holiday, cafe friends!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

IKEA Inspired Advent Calendar


I love Scandinavian style at Christmas, and IKEA has a wonderful assortment every year. The only tricky part? You have to get to the stores early before the good items sell out.

I made a point of visiting the store at the beginning of the month to stock up on some holiday items like paper napkins, gift bags, wrapping paper and such.

I also managed to grab some of these lovely Advent candles before they were gone!

I found this fun display and had to take a closer look!

These little bags come in a box of 24, with matching number stickers. A Make-Your-Own Advent calendar! What a great idea!

I decided to pick this up and use this to create a special gift for my mother-in-law. She also celebrates a birthday in the month of December, and I thought this would be a fun way to let her know we are thinking of her, even when we are not there.

We are going to visit family over Thanksgiving, so this will be a great opportunity to drop off a box filled with 24 presents.

What did I fill the bags with, you may wonder?

I decided to put an assortment of silly, useful, practical and thoughtful gifts. Not all of them fit inside of these little bags, so I will have to tie the bag onto those larger packages.

Here are some fun items I included in the bags:

*hand lotion
*car fresheners
*dish soap and Scrub Daddy
*Christmas socks
*dish towels
*holiday hand towels
*holiday CD
*Tic Tacs
*chicken soup base with a small bag of orzo
*beef soup base with a small bag of barley
*shower scrubby and shower gel
*books and devotionals
*gift cards for restaurants
*gift cards for Speedway gas station
*gift cards for the grocery store
*assorted holiday coffees and teas
*battery-operated twinkle lights

You could also include:

*Christmas cards and thank you cards with postage stamps
*plug-in air fresheners
*small perfumes
*bottled herbs and spices
*frosting and sprinkles for holiday cookies
*Christmas ornaments
*photos in  frames
*photo brag books
*Scotch tape and package labels
*cookie cutters
*vitamins and portable tissues
*cough drops
*game books and new pencils

I've been stitching a new holiday door knob hanger to include as one of the 24 presents. It's nearly complete! Hopefully, I can show you the finished project tomorrow.

Has anyone else done a make-your-own Advent calendar? If so, I'd still love to hear ideas of what to put inside!

Blessings, cafe friends!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fixer Upper House: A Coffee Table Makeover

Our coffee table had seen better days.

We purchased this furniture from Value City back in the year 2000 or so. American Signature Sea Island Pine. I still love it, too. But the table really took a beating. Kids scratched it, husbands used it as an ottoman, little boys who shall remain unnamed pushed a knot of wood out of one corner. It was a mess.

And then we brought home a puppy who is part mountain goat, and things went downhill from there.

My husband started talking about getting rid of the table completely.

I began to think "If it looks this bad, then anything I do to it can only improve it, right?"

For starters, I cleaned the whole table with Simple Green.

Next, I got some DAP plastic wood putty and got to work.

I over-filled the missing knot hole, then  let it all dry.

This stuff goes on pink and dries natural.

The next day, I sanded everything.

Including the filled knot hole area.

Then I cleaned the surface, removing all grit, and laid a coat of Minwax Polyshades in Mission Oak.

First coat came out a little drippy, so I let it dry overnight and then lightly sanded and applied a second coat.

Here you can see first coat next to the old stain color.

And then second coat, which is darker and richer.

Now, it was time for two coats of Caromal Colors ReClaim paint in Licorice. I love that stuff!

And voila. A totally transformed coffee table!

My husband could not believe the difference when he came home!

The table, paired with our rug that we swapped out last week, looks so nice! It gave the room a coziness that is perfect for the colder days ahead.

Now, the table has a classic yet updated look. A little rustic, a little traditional combined.

The licorice black color of this addition to the family room now ties in with the kitchen chairs in the adjoining room. A big improvement!

I figure I saved several hundred dollars when compared to the cost of a new table. Hooray for savings!

Thanks for visiting the cafe today! And don't forget to visit Sunday's post for a chance to win some blog candy!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

9th Blogiversary Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Hello, cafe friends!

As I mentioned earlier this week, November is my blogiversary month! I've been blogging for nine years now! Four states, four houses, and countless paper crafting and needle work projects later, and here we are...still serving up cups of creativity on a weekly basis.

As a thank you, I put together a prize package for November AND December!  I went through my stash and found some items that need new homes!

A brand new stamp set from Paper Smooches, and an older retired set from My Favorite Things!

Three paper packs from October Afternoon, along with a new ink pad, ribbon, Tim Holtz stencil and more!

Just leave a comment here at the cafe and I will draw a winner on Black Friday!

And make sure you stop back in December for a holiday themed giveaway...more stamps, papers, inks and surprises!

It's been a blessing to be your cafe barista, friends! I'm so thankful for all of you!

EDITED ON 11/30:

Sandy Kay! You are the winner! Drop me a line with your address, and I will send this to you! Congrats!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fixer Upper House: Creating A Prayer Corner

I had this idea to use a neglected spot in our bedroom as a prayer corner...just a spot where I can have a chair, a bible, a few books, and a quiet place away from the noise.

I thought this art piece that I purchased from Dayspring years ago would really be great in the spot. It's been in storage for a long time, and I think I know why. I never liked the cherry/mahogany finish. Well, that's easy to fix!

I was at the local Ace Hardware store when I spotted this Amy Howard One Step paint, and thought I'd give it a try.

For starters, I cleaned the piece with Simple Green, let it dry, and then gave it a first coat using a sponge applicator. Maybe I should have used a chipping brush and lint free roller instead. I didn't like how this paint behaved. It was drippy, not self leveling, and you can see where it bubbled and did not adhere well on the first coat. And weirder still, there were a lot of spots where pink dots began to bleed through, as if the cherry color underneath was peeking out in a random way.

I guess I'm just used to the wonders of Caromal Colors ReClaim paint.

I applied two coats, ignored the abundance of pink dots, and gave it a light sanding to distress it.

And here it is, in my prayer corner! I love it! The color is perfect for the softer tones in our bedroom.  It makes me so happy when I can take a neglected piece and give it new life again.

And here's another neglected piece. I found this magazine rack at someone's! I thought of painting it, but decided I liked the tone of wood for its vintage appeal.

It is filled with some great material! My new study bible, my study journal, C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Spurgeon and others.

I confess, when it comes to prayer, I am not great orator. You would think that a writer would construct eloquent prayers, but I'm a bit of a simpleton. "God, help me!" is an oft-repeated prayer.

Sometimes, I feel like Jodi Foster in the movie Contact, when she sees the beauty of space through a worm hole, and the only thing she can say is "No words!"

When I am at a loss for words, I have learned to appreciate the beauty of a prayer book that can encapsulate my thoughts when I cannot.

I read this wonderful thought regarding prayer this week. It comes from author Lori Smith in her autobiography "A Walk With Austen". She wrote this:

"I've grown to love the more formal prayers because they often remind me of things I cannot remember myself, a strong rope of what perhaps in some cases may become rote, but to me helps bind my heart and my faith when I don't have words of my own, when I can't entirely remember exactly what I believe. I feel tied by them to generations of Christians who prayed the same words, thought the same things, had the same doubts."

Now, I have a place where I can ask, seek, knock.

It is a good place to be.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Moose With A Mug

Hello, cafe friends!

I've been busy on some home improvement projects this week. Lots of painting jobs before the weather gets cold this weekend! (more to show you soon!)

And speaking of cold...who can resist a moose warding off winter's chill with a warm mug?

{Today's Brew: Merry Christmoose (MFT Stamps), watercolor paper, PTI card stock, tag die, washi tape, gold twine (SU), Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, wink of stella}

Warm hugs, cafe friends!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thank You, Cafe Patrons!

Thank you, cafe patrons, for voting for me in the Papertrey Ink Star Search video contest!

I was not chosen as the winner. Or the second place winner. Or the third place winner. But I was chosen...maybe I'm Miss Congeniality! ha ha ha! But did you see my competition?! Those ladies had some amazing projects and videos! So talented!

This morning, as I prayed, a thought about the contest popped into my head in that "Oh yeah, today the winner is announced" sort of way. And just as quickly, I knew with complete certainty "You are not meant to win this one." And I was totally okay with that, because I know that in so many other ways I have been blessed beyond measure.

And to be completely honest here, I haven't even touched the new stamps I ordered a month ago. So do I need one more thing, when I'm working hard to let go of things I already have? Absolutely not.

And speaking of that, I realized this morning that I have been blogging here at Mary Rose's Cafe for nine years this month. Nine years! That's a LONG time, cafe friends. And to celebrate, I'm putting together a little blog candy prize package this week, so stay tuned!

The real winner today is my son, Samuel, who worked so hard on that video and really showcased his amazing talents. This proud mama is coming up with a prize package for him, too.

So I guess today you could say that I'm not a winner...everyone is a winner! Today, I am indeed blessed to be a blessing!

I made this wreath earlier this month, and thought I'd show it to you today!

{Today's Brew: Thankful word die (PTI), Leaf Prints dies (PTI), burlap, grapevine wreath (Michael's), sunflowers and bittersweet stems (my stash)}

Bless you, cafe friends!