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Archive for December, 2008

Preachers love to get Jesus stuff.  Just ask them, they’ll tell you.  One of the former preacher’s wives at our church once got a velvet Jesus pillow.  That was probably the best gift she ever got!

Seriously, though.  Our current preacher and one of our associate preachers (who happens to be my mother) really do love tacky Jesus stuff.  In fact, my mother has a bobble-head Jesus on the dashboard of her car.  I think they would both enjoy a Last Supper painting with dogs.  You know, like the picture where the dogs are playing Poker.  Except, instead of Poker, they would be having the Last Supper with Jesus.

Personally, I’d like a figurine of Jesus in a sombrero.  I’ve always wanted one.

On that note, I was super-excited to find the following gifts for my fearless spiritual leaders.  The first one I want to share is the chocolate praying hands.

How great are those?  I was kind of curious why the hands were so dark yet Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus are white.  But that’s a topic for a different sort of blog.  Nonetheless, Preacher Brent thinks that it would be creepy to eat them, so he put them on his shelf.  Next to the Happy Bunny Poison Cookies that he once received.

Then we come to the socks.  Holy Socks! to be exact.  Rumor has it that my mother wore hers to the Christmas Eve service, but I did not personally see them.

For some reason, whenever I look at that picture, the song “Spirit in the Sky” comes into my head.  “…so you know that when you die, He’s gonna recommend you to the Spirit in the Sky…”

The final item is not so much a Tacky Jesus Item as it is a Tacky Jesus’ Brides Item.  It’s a calendar that I found called “Mischevious Nuns”.  I’d like to share June with you.  Why June?  Perhaps because of the aforementioned song that is now stuck in my head.

Is it just me or does the one on the left look super-drunk?

Well, there you have it.  The 2008 Tacky Jesus Stuff.  I was serious about the sombrero clad Jesus, by the way.

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Wow.  Eleven days without a new blog post.  My minions readers must feel very let-down.  Well, don’t despair!  I bring you glad tidings and great homemade Christmas gifts!

I love love love to receive handmade gifts.  Yes, I know that pretty much everyone says that.  I suspect many of them just say that because they do not want to look materialistic.  But I don’t care if everyone knows I’m materialistic because I am – I still love handmade gifts the best of any.  I think people know that I’m sincere when I say that too, because I receive a lot of nice handmade things for my birthdays, Christmas, etc.  This year was no exception and I’d like to share them with you.

My favorite TV show is “Corner Gas” which the evil minions at CTV in Canada have taken off the air except for the syndicated re-runs.  Boo hiss to CTV.  I also like to write letters.  So my friend Melissa just knew I would love these great Corner Gas notecards that she made me.  There are 3 of each of 4 designs.  “Hello, Jackass” is my favorite.  If you have never seen the show, you are missing out on some seriously funny stuff.  And you can even watch it with your kids and grandma without being mortified.

My faithful readers will remember that I shamelessly asked my mother to embroider a page out of a vintage cook book for me.  If you are not a faithful reader or are a faithful reader with a sluggish memory, here is the post: https://marybt.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/vintage-thingies-thursdays-funny-cook-books/  (nope, still can’t figure out how to insert a link).  Anyway, wonderful mother that she is, she did indeed make me a redwork picture of that page.  You can’t tell from the picture, but she mounted it on what I think is an artists’ canvas and then trimmed the outside in red and white ribbon.  It is now hanging in my kitchen. 

On Christmas Eve, I received a gift from my mom Santa’s Elf.  (Isn’t that strike through thing cool?  I way over-use it though.  That’s okay, because I know apostrophe rules, so I am allowed to break any other rules that I want.)  Santa’s Elf made me some pillow cases.  Isn’t that the cutest fabric?  They fit standard pillows, they are just folded in this picture.  I have already put them on my bed.

My sister made me a poured candle.  It is lavendar in a two-handled teacup.  Very cool.  I burn candles almost every day.  (My husband is kind of stinky.  haha.  Just kidding.  But I really do burn candles almost every day.)

My aunt made me some recipe cards for my book.  In case you can’t tell from the picture, they are 6×6.

My grandma also made me some recipe cards.  I think the sock monkey is awesome!

My daughter also received some really great homemade gifts.  My mom made her this baby doll blanket to go with the doll baby that she and my dad got her.  Mom embroidered Eyeore and then colored him in with Crayola.  She chose Eyeore because we are always teasing my dad for acting like him.  Once, we gave my dad a stuffed Eyeore doll which he carried in the oh-shit-bar in his truck.  He was involved in a head-on collision and when we found Eyeore, he was missing a leg.  My dad swears that Eyeore still occasionally says to him, “Remember that wreck?  My leg still hurts.”  In case you are wondering, the stitching/sewing gene is not hereditary.

My aunt made my daughter this Crayola tote bag.  I’m sure you have seen them on Etsy; I bought one for my niece’s birthday this fall.  I think they are really great.  I had to get new Crayolas for this picture since my daughter ate the original ones within about 32 minutes of receiving them.

My mom made fire starters for my husband since we mostly heat our house with a wood-burning stove that he made.  I didn’t take a picture of them because, well, they aren’t much to look at.  But they burn really well.  She makes them for him every year and he always uses them.  She uses dryer lint, and the melted remnants from candles and then pours it into a cupcake holder.

As you can tell, we made out like bandits this year.  We are truly blessed.

My daughter made her own wrapping paper.  Because of the nature of my business (construction), I have access to old prints.  They make great wrapping paper because they are about 34″ x 44″.  This year, Shelby colored the back side of the prints and we used that as the wrapping paper.  Here’s a picture of her coloring (which she loves to do, but you have to give her every single color, she isn’t having any of that red and green only non-sense) and a picture of one of the boxes we wrapped with her paper.  And, yes, that is pizza on her face.  I guess you will have to revoke my Jingo Mom card.  Oh wait, I never got one issued to me in the first place.  Things like this are probably why.

Isn’t that ribbon nice?  I got it at Costco.  It takes a stronger woman than I will ever be to pass up 50 yards of ribbon for $6.99.

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Have you all heard of this Twitter thing?  I think it’s some sort of cult.  What you do is, you find all these “followers” to subscribe to your Tweets.  (Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, think you’d see that last sentence in anything other than text-based porn?)  Then you send out Twitters to your Followers letting them know what you are doing at any given moment.  It’s supposed to help you keep in touch with far flung kith and kin.  It just looks like a royal pain to me; perhaps because I am missing the gene that allows me to be competent at texting.  Besides that, even I’m not narcissistic enough to believe that there are that many (or even any) people who want to know what I am doing at any given moment.

I imagine that a day in the life in Mary Twitter would go something like this:

0500:  I just woke up.

0515:  I just got out of the shower.  Shit.  Got electrocuted – do not text while wet.

0530:  I am dressed and have my make-up done.

0540:  I am eating an egg.  I just gave Shelby a banana and some egg.

0550:  I am telling Shelby good bye.

0600:  I am driving to work and swerving maniacally.

0615:  Rude people!  Honking at me while I’m trying to text!

0620:  TALK TO THE FINGER, JERKWAD!  I’M TEXTING!  LEARN HOW TO DRIVE DEFENSIVELY!

0630:  I am at work.

0632:  I am working.

0730:  I am getting up to stretch my legs.

0735:  I am working.

[Short-hand.  This working non-sense could go on for several hours.  I’d hate to subject you to that.]

But you get the idea.  Think of the most boring person you know and then imagine getting 98 messages a day from him or her letting you know what he or she is doing.  Yawn. 

It sounds like an excellent way for burglars to scout out my house.  And with the recent rash of melon baller thefts in my area, I just can’t risk it.  Oh wait, yes I can; I’m a second amendment proponent!  I can do whatever I want!

My alert parents sent me this picture of some crackers they bought the other day.  They were trying to figure out what flavor they (the crackers, not my parents) are.  I think they are sardine and black olives with other natural flavors.

I bet if they were fluent in Espanol, “quattro formaggio” could provide a clue for them.  But I’m not sure if formaggio is the natural flavor or the other natural flavor.  Remember the slogan from, well, now?  “Quattro Formaggio: The Other Natural Flavor.” 

Or is it the other white meat?  Tweet.

1802:  Just consumed dos quattro formaggios.

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Before I talk about the art of understated elegance, I have to make some announcements.  First of all, remember how I learned to comment back on my own blog?  Well, WordPress has updated their site and made it much better.  Except that now I don’t know how to comment back again.  So thank you all for the nice comments on the ornament post.

Secondly, I have a draft for a post called “How to Be a Good Fall-Out Hostess”.  Since the change over to the new and improved site, it has been dated as 1 January 1970.  Which I guess isn’t so much an announcement as just something that I thought was a hoot.  Especially since Al Gore hadn’t really invented the internet yet by 1970.  What?  The Al Gore joke has been over-done?  And I’m beating it into the ground?  Okay, sorry.  Scratch the Al Gore joke.

Now, onto the art of understated elegance.  PSYCH!!  This is my blog!   Have you people learned nothing about me by now?!  If you want understated elegance, buy a magazine.  Or go to Sears Grande.  Motto:  All our “holiday” decorations are white and/or light blue.  If you want awesome, then you have come to the right place!

My most important decorations are my Nativities.  I have several scattered around, but I’ll share my newest one with you.

 

Isn’t the red tinsel great?  Someone (who will remain nameless) commented that red tinsel might not be the best choice in which to nestle the Baby Jesus.  Bah humbug!  The child received gold, frankincense, and myrrh as baby gifts – I’m sure He’d be all about the red tinsel!

And just in case the red tinsel was too understated for your tastes, I have my glitter critter deer and a silver aluminum tree watching over the Blessed Babe.

I really really really wanted a red aluminum tree.  Turns out, I couldn’t find one.  So I went with red plastic instead.  Many of the ornaments are handmade and many of them are old.

You will notice Rudolph under the tree.  He walks and sings while his nose blinks.  The Shelbinator hearts him.  She follows him around and pets him.  She also helped me decorate by wiping pizza sauce on my white tablecloth.

And what home would be complete without a pick up truck ornament collection?  These are special to me because my grandma bought them for me over the years.  Please try not to be jealous of the awesome paint job on my walls.  I’m sorry, but at this time, I am no longer accepting requests to paint homes.  I am all booked up since I got the contract with the custom faux finish paint contractor here in town.

And here is evidence of my super duper Christmas ambition.  I even decorated the Shelbinator in some new Christmas PJ’s.  She looks like a little Who!  Her hair is not greasy, just wet.  It got that way because she was playing with the shower curtain while I was trying to take a shower.

On a more serious note, someone broke into my home and stole my melon baller.  He or she bypassed my laptop – I’m sure because he or she enjoys reading my blog so much and did not want me to give that up.  To the person who stole my melon baller: I beg you, please bring it back!  It’s such a pain to drop cookies without it and it’s like pulling teeth to get me to make cookies in the first place.  Thank you.

Good night, everyone!  May you have sweet dreams of blue glittery deer and red tinsel.

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As promised, tonight I am bringing you a guest crafter.  My friend Joy made these darling wood Christmas ornaments.

Aren’t those great?  Okay, here’s how she did it.  She bought the pre-cut wooden ornaments; you can get them unfinished at any craft/hobby store.  Next, she traced around them on a piece of patterned paper and cut out the shape.  Then Mod-Podged the paper to the ornament and glittered over the top.  How easy is that?

I’m not sure if I’m allowed to spill the beans on this but, since she told me, I guess she won’t mind … She plans to make oatmeal cookies, tie them up in a little bag and attach the ornament to the bag.  I sure hope I’m on her gift list!

Thank you, Joy, for providing me with Part 7 in my series!

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Before I continue with the eagerly-anticipated Parts 5 and 6 of my Easy Handmade Christmas Gifts Series, I have to tell you all something that I just noticed.  Apparently, WordPress has a blog category about “blogging”.  If I wasn’t so afraid that I’d forget the funny creative things I want to tell everyone tonight, then I’d certainly go take a look-see at the blogs about blogging.

For our fifth treasure, I bring you an altered tin.  I really like altering items like this.  It’s easy, cheap, and plus I just have a thing for little boxes and bowls and stuff.  Here is the before picture of the tin I used – in its former life, it held butter pecan cookies.

Judging by the sheer quantity of these things that I find at thrift stores, garage sales, etc., I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who has a million of them lying (laying?) around.  Anyway, some paper, glue, ink, stamps, sequins, embossing powder, and ribbon will turn a 25 cent thrift store find into this gorgeous piece of art.

First, I cut my paper to size to cover up the lovely ladies in the picture.  Then (surprise surprise), I, the Self-Proclaimed Mod Podge Queen of the Universe, Mod Podged it on.  Once the glue dried, I stamped the snowflake images using white pigment ink and then used a holographic embossing powder to emboss them.  I glued a sequin to the middle of each snowflake and put a dot of glitter on the ends of them.  For the bottom, I sprayed it lightly with my best friend glitter spray paint.  Hot-glued a pretty ribbon around it, and added a metal snow flake embellishment from Making Memories.

Part 6 in my series is a gift that you will want to give with discretion.  I, for one, would love to receive this.  However, I am a hillbilly who also wants a red aluminum Christmas tree, so take my love for it with a grain of salt.  You will probably want to shy away from giving this to your more high-brow friends.

What is it?  It’s an altered deer – yes, you read that right – an altered deer inspired by Suzie Millions’ The Complete Book of Retro Crafts.  If you do not own this book, you must ask Santa Claus to bring it to you.

Here’s my deer in his former, more dignified  boring life.  I got him at the thrift store for 50 cents.

Poor thing.  It doesn’t look like he’s having any fun at all couped up like he is in that ugly old plastic bag.  But add some glitter, a couple google eyes, and a strand of jingle bells and you have a hap-hap-happy glitter deer!

Here he is posing with his muse …

I used Martha Stewart glitter.  It’s one of the few products in her line that I don’t feel is outrageously priced.  I mixed Elmer’s white glue with a little bit of water and applied it with a paintbrush.  Then, obviously, I sprinkled the glitter on.  I hot-glued those gorgeous eyes.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 7.  I have a guest crafter coming to show you her goodies.  Oops.  Not her goodies.  Some nice ornaments that she made.

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Hams Don’t Have Wings.

A few weeks ago, I bought some meat from one of my neighbor’s kids, who was selling it for an FFA fundraiser.  Incidentally, did you know that FFA no longer stands for Future Farmers of America?  True story; it’s just random letters that don’t stand for anything now.  But it’s still a good organization.  Aaaaanyway, I bought some meat and then forgot about it.  A couple nights ago, she knocked on my door with her parents and they said, “We brought your ham over!”  After my memory kicked in (I have a mind like a steel trap – but it has some surface rust), I remembered that I did, indeed, buy a ham.  Or a turkey.  I couldn’t remember.  But they said ham so I figured it must have been a ham.  I mean, really, an FFA member ought to know if she’s holding a ham or a turkey – even if she isn’t going to be a farmer.

The next morning I was on my way to the grocery store when Meat called (sometimes I just call him Meat instead of Meat Galore) and asked if I wanted him to take the ham out of the freezer to thaw.  I said that would be wonderful.  A couple minutes later he calls back and says, “I don’t think this is a ham…”  I asked, “Why not?”  And he said, “Because it has wings and 2 drumsticks and hams don’t have wings and drumsticks.”  We were both sad because we had each spent the night dreaming sweet dreams of ham-plum fairies.  The turkey was delicious – but it sure wasn’t no ham!

You know how they say that everyone who has ever taken a shower has had a good idea?  Well, I figured out something in the shower yesterday that had perplexed me for weeks.  My new curling iron has this warning on it (sorry for the blurry picture, I can’t seem to get it focused – I think because the paper is shiny).

I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out why the manufacturer would warn the user that it could burn the user’s eyes.  Sure it’s true, but you’re more likely to burn your forehead or the top of your ears when you use a curling iron.  Suddenly, as I was standing in the shower yesterday, it dawned on me!  Some nitwit must have tried to use her curling iron to curl her eyelashes!  Freak!  It’s made even worse by the fact that this thing has a 1 1/4″ barrel.  I think that whatever dum-dum did this (and you know someone did or else they’d never have thought to put that warning there in the first place) should just be locked up in a padded room somewhere because she is obviously too stupid to be out with the general public.  Who the heck would do that?!

I was also reading the instructions for my new smoke alarm.  Did you know that smoke alarms can wear out?  They are only good for about 7-10 years.  Even if the test button works, the sensor could still be bad.  Anyway, we have a wood burning stove so, once I learned this little tidbit from the fireman who lives down the street (the one who’s kid sold me the wing-ed ham), I went and got new smoke detectors.  I tried to take a picture, but I won’t subject you to 2 blurry pictures in one post.  Suffice it to say that, under the heading of “Fire Safety Tips”, it says that you should not smoke in bed and that you should keep matches and lighters away from small children.  Which is really going to cramp my style since Meat and I just put a pack of USA Golds and a box of matches in Shelby’s crib so she won’t need to wake us up every single time she wants to smoke or play with matches.

Here’s a picture of our wood burning stove.  Meat Galore built it himself from scratch.  The legs are sprocket segments.  I’m sure you can tell that by looking at it, but I like saying the word sprocket.

Wow.  He needs to get the shop vac out!  We keep it in our basement and heat the whole house with it.  That black mark on the background is a shadow or some kind of lighting issue – it’s not soot.  Here’s how hot it was down there the other day.

It’s a nice dry heat, so it only feels like 98.  It keeps our toes warm, but you can see why I am adament about having working smoke detectors.

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