Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of the Year Lists

My favorite thing about this time of the year is all of the lists.  My stocking was full of magazines with the top ten movies of the year, books of the year, and (my most favorite of all) best and worst dressed.  Yes, Santa knows that I love a good list!  I decided that my final post of the year should be a couple of lists.  Here's a list pf my top ten favorite canvases from the wonderful year that was 2012...

10.  K, L, and Y monograms - this made the list because I think they are so pretty together and a true complete set.  There is a lot of detail work (and dots!) in each one.  Also, the mom was so sweet and has ordered so many pretty pieces for these girls' rooms!

9. Merry Christmas from the Blacks -  this made the list because it marked a challenge overcame for me.  Getting dots, stripes, and a Santa all on the same canvas was no small feat.

8. The Meredith Prayer - this made the list because I sort of tear up every time I paint it.  I've painted it lots of times since, but this is the original.  All of the things a kid needs are right here.

7. The Bathroom Set - this made the list because it is a classic.  I don't know how many bathroom sets I've painted over the years and I know there's too many dots to count.  This one particular set was my favorite of the year because of the color combination...all of my favorites!

6. I Love You Forever - this made the list because it is an experiment that turned out beautifully.  I tried the scalloped edges and dots in varying sizes for the first time.  It turned out just like I had it pictured in my head and, trust me, that doesn't always happen!

5. Teacher's Canvases - this made the list because this is probably what I paint the most.  I also happen to love honoring teachers and creating special gifts for them.  I chose these two to represent teacher canvases because that owl and that worm in the apple are just so bright and happy.  I know the kids like to see them coming down the hall!  

4. Mary Claire - this one made the list just because I love it.  Plain and simple.  I love everything about it from the colors and the font to the stripes and little rosebuds.  Love it.

3. The New Wedding Design - this one made the list because it is the new hit of the year.  This design first showed up with the Avett Brothers song lyrics pictures above with a wedding name and date below.  It quickly look off into lots of other wedding songs and then to special Bible verses.  

2. The Pooh Quote - this made the list because it never gets old.  I've painted this super sweet Christopher Robin quote so many times and in so many different ways it's not even funny.  I even shipped one to Australia!  This one was chosen out of all of the others because it is so different.  It was meant to match the little girl's bedding and just turned out perfectly.  I love it when that happens!

1. Austie - this made the list because of the unusual color combination and challenging pattern combinations.  It moved up the list because I love "The Help" and Audrey Hepburn quotes.  It topped the list because the whole entire set works so well together.  So pretty!

Okay, that was my top ten.  Here's the top ten looked at posts by viewers like you!

Was you favorite on there?

Friday, December 28, 2012


I've got tons of Christmas orders (and before!) to share with you all.  I've got a few here and there that don't really fit in with any others to create a complete blog post.  Here's one of those "random" posts to get a few of those painting out there!  
How about something for you Alabama fans?  I personally am ready for all of this bowl nonsense to be over.  I've had my fill of football for the year!

This little 6x9 design has been very popular, especially on etsy.  I actually painted it several times, but am just sharing one.  They all looked exactly the same!

This 10x10 was ordered as a Christmas gift.  It's perfect for all of you dog lovers.  I am a cat person!

Here's some pretty pink paisleys on a lavender background.  This 10x10 is so sweet for a little girl's room.  I love the name over the initial.

Finally, a 4x12 canvas for a lake house.  The distressing and burlap ribbon add to the rustic look and make it the perfect fit for the lake.  I love this size and these colors...I might need one of these for my entryway!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

We had such a nice Christmas.  Thankfully, ours are all spread out so we never really feel like we have to rush from place to place.  We got more than we needed and everything we asked for - pretty nice.  More importantly, we spent time with family in warm houses with lots of food.  This is my aunt Carol who lost her husband, Hugh, this year.  I am so glad that she was able to come up from Alabama and spend the holidays with us.

Christmas Eve is always spent at my grandmother's house.  To me, Granny P is the queen of Christmas.  There are five children, thirteen grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.  Plus, there are spouses and boyfriends and girlfriends.  She makes sure every single person gets a gift!

We have an early Christmas with Mike's sister, Michelle, so they can be home in Franklin for Christmas.  It is always a nice way to sort of kick things off.  Here's the kids with their cousins - they are all growing up so fast!

It was the year of the headband!

It was also the first year that this guy didn't ask for some kind of toy.  It was all video games, gift cards, and clothes.  I never thought he would ask for clothes for Christmas!

Little bit got exactly what she asked for, a new dollhouse!

I don't know who was more excited, me or her!  I had a dollhouse growing up and loved that thing.  I can still remember the names of my family members!  Christmas morning at our house started a little later, was a little quieter, and moved a little slower than years past.

The kids didn't want a picture with Santa this year.  They opted to posed beside the cool polar bear display at Opry Mills instead.  Another sign that they are growing up!

We all spent the day after Christmas in our pajamas - sort of cleaning up and sort of playing around.  I think there may have been a nap or two involved!  Whew!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve and the Mansfield house is smelling pretty good!  I am taking a break from making a cranberry salad, sausage balls, and banana caramel pie - yum!   We are all excited about the holiday and all of the magic that it brings.  
I painted custom artwork for the kids' teachers this year as gifts.  I really don't do that every year because sometimes I just don't have the time.  I started early this year!  I love this snowman and woman couple for Mrs. Tena Self.

Carter's basketball coach, Miss Kim, is a huge Alabama fan.  I did this one in the crimson red with her in mind.  She loved it!

Our principal, instructional coordinator, and guidance counselor all got these glittery little signs for their front doors.

I had a couple of teacher canvases ordered recently as well.  This one shipped out a couple of weeks ago and was an etsy order.  This little 5x5 size is so cute and I love those bright dots!

Look at all of the pretty highlighting on this one...

Mrs. Stephanie at Bobby Ray Elementary here in town ordered this one for herself.  She was very specific about wanting the black and white damask with the aqua.  She also requested very simple printing for her name because she teaches younger children who are learning to read.

The timer is going off...back to the kitchen!
Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Show Us Your Life - Christmas Cards

It's Christmas card day at Kelly's Korner!  I love giving and getting Christmas cards and can't wait to go look at all of yours.  I shared this little side table with my new ruffled burlap runner before.  It had a canvas picture of my son above it.  I finally found a way to hang all of my cards so everyone can see them.

I used clear double sided tape to attach a small strip of burlap ribbon from window frame to window frame.  This is the area right in between our kitchen and den so we get to enjoy them.  I found these really cute tiny clothespins for half price at Michael's.

Here's our card this year!  I love it with all of our smiling faces and that big strip of polka dots.

The very talented Dawn Winton took our portraits in late summer.  These were all taken in a local park.  I wanted us to coordinate but not be too matchy.

Look at my sweet girl!  She looks so pretty and grown up.

Speaking of grown up!  Baby boy looks like a little man.  Yikes!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Happy birthday to the love of my life and the best dad in the whole world.  We all love you!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life's A Party!

Tomorrow is party day at school!  We had movies today and some of the kids left for a day basketball game, but it was a wild one!  I am ready to party and then hibernate for two weeks.  Seriously,  recovering from this illness has completely wiped me out.  
In the "Show Us Your Life" series this Friday, it is Christmas card day.  I love designing our card each year.  I've done it every year since Mike and I were married.  One of my favorite things to do is look back through them at how we've grown and changed.  Look how tiny and sweet the kids are in this one!

This is last year's photo and look how much we've changed in just that small amount of time.  I actually got a little depressed thinking about how much time in our lives is already gone and we can't get it back.  Sometimes I want my kids to be little again and let me hold and squeeze on them a little more.

After a night of tossing and turning last night, I realized that I wasn't depressed about my own family.  I was sad for the all of the families who lost their children in the school shootings.  This event has effected me more than I thought as a parent and a teacher.  They won't get to see their children grow and change.  Their Christmas card will have a blank spot.  They don't get to go back, but they don't get the gift of going forward either.

So, where do you find comfort and answers?  I don't know.  I don't understand how someone could do this.  I don't think it is best for me to look for explanations, but rather to enjoy and appreciate the time that I do have.  We never know when we go to work, wherever that may be, if it is going to be our last day or not.  We don't have a guarantee that when we drop our kids off that we will be picking them up again.

My resolution for 2013 and the rest of my life, no matter how long or short, is to make sure that my husband and children know that I love them.

Life is a party - celebrate!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Show Us Your Life - Christmas Decorations

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today to share our Christmas decorations.  This is our first Christmas in our new house and I've had so much fun!  As I was unpacking all of our older decorations, I realized how dated some of them were and just how many of them I really no longer use.  I had a big clean out and purchased some new items!
Here's our main tree in the living room.  I replaced our silver garland with some wide natural burlap ribbon from Ballard Designs.  I also replaced our blue and silver snowman tree skirt with a red burlap ruffle one from this etsy shop.  They had tons of beautiful stuff at a very reasonable price!
I've wrapped all of my presents in the same lime paper this year - one version in diamonds and one version in damask.  I used red grosgrain ribbon taped down flat with pretty gift tags.  I like that I can stack them on top of each other without worrying about squishing the bow!

We used to have Disney stockings and my kids have just outgrown them.  I ordered the classic burlap stockings that come with a burlap wrapped initial from this etsy shop.  This shop owner was so sweet and easy to work with!  My dad brought me some real poinsettias!

I have a large collection of Department 56 Snow Village houses that were handed down to me from my mom.  I don't put all of them out but I did a special display on our mantle.  My husband loves baseball, so I put our stadiums and a few specials houses out.  There is also a natural burlap garland in the background.

There's my art studio Snow Village house on top of our secretary desk in the entry hall.  This super cute joy banner came from this etsy shop.  It is so well made and I just love it!

This candy themed tree was always displayed in my kitchen at the old house.  In our new house, I had to put it in my office.  The window faces the main road so at least the pretty lights show!  This is where I always put my bagged presents that don't really match my wrapping theme!

Finally, I kept the knick knacks to a minimum this year.  I just rearranged some pictures that I usually have scattered around the house in one display with my Christmas penguin family.  My natural burlap ruffle runner fits this little side table perfectly.  Yes, that's my basket of exercise stuff just in case the mood hits!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  Happy Holidays!