Handmade is better

I know that everyone is not crafty, but I am always determined that I am going to help those that say they don’t have a crafty bone in their body.  I remember a Christmas at our house, 36 of us in total, and I announced a couple of months ahead that it was going to be a homemade Christmas.  Each person was to bring something they handmade, one thing each, and we would do an exchange.


I remember hearing some grumbles, and many “I am not crafty, I can’t make anything” comments, but in the end, each and every person showed up with a handmade gift in hand, all wrapped up and ready for the exchange.  We did the exchange where you can snitch the gift from one another (I forget what it’s called) and we all waited till everyone had their gift and then we each took turns opening a gift so we could see all the different creativity.


Oh my goodness, what a bunch of different things, all so cool, so different, and everyone put a lot of time and thought into each and every gift.  To name a few - knitted afghan, quilted wall hanging, hooked rug, tied blanket, a case of homemade wine, a wooden shelf, a Christmas wreath, outdoor golf game (this came from a welder), some framed photographs, a cross-stitch picture, a carved wooden deer … seriously, it was so cool to see them all.  This still is one of the top talked about Christmas days at our house, we all loved it.

Today I will share another one of my Mom’s favorite recipes, which is now one of my favorites.

Rickety Uncles
1 cup softened butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 cups oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
Mix and press into 9×13 pan (lined with parchment is a good idea).
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cut into squares while hot, cool, break
apart and enjoy!

(When I bake this, I bake on a cookie sheet and do 1.5 times the recipe and bake 20 minutes.)


I have a picture of this on my phone somewhere, but it seems I need to clean up my photos … over 10,000 to go through.  So, I searched the web and found this one that looks almost exact to what mine does.

Posted under Design Team Inspiration

This post was written by Lori on December 16, 2016

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Some of you would know that my dad passed away recently.  He was elderly and unwell and although its an adjustment for all of us to contemplate a world he’s no longer a part of, his passing was not unexpected and because of the way he lived, we are comforted and assured that all is well.  I hope this is not too morbid a topic for today’s post, but I wanted to show you some of the lovely touches that were part of his funeral, as we tried to infuse the day with as much of his personality as we could. (I have so many words that are trying to squeeze out, in an effort to express our appreciation of his quiet, faithful life, but this is neither the time nor place.)

We set up a table at the front door of the luncheon hall where our friends and relatives could see and touch and smile to remember some of the artifacts of his life.  Included in this were some of the tools of his mechanic’s life and trade, his battered old lunch box and thermos, cufflinks from a very long ago era, just a very FEW of the great gobs of keys he carried around (I doubt even he knew what most of them unlocked) and of course his loved and worn Bible.  And photos.  LOTS of photos.  He wouldn’t have a scrapbooker for a daughter and not be represented in photo-form.


Then on each table we adorned with 1 of 2 kinds of photo candle votives.  Of course Pinterest was the inspiration and the Dollar Store was the source!  For the tall votives, we printed a photo onto white vellum and wrapped it around the outside of the glass.  The 8.5×11 size was a perfect fit for a horizontal photo.


I wish I’d had the presence of mind to snap a photo of them while lit, because the candle makes the photo glow and it’s beyond lovely!!

The other style of table decor was a shorter, fatter candle votive (approx 5″ tall).  Mr B came to my rescue and went out and cut me some branches of varying heights that fit into the jar around the candle.  I printed an assortment of black and white photos from the 50’s and 60’s and tucked two each into the jar between the branches and the glass.


And in the end, these candle votives made a sweet way to say “thank you for coming” to several close friends and extended family, as we invited them to choose one to take home with them.



Once again I’m reminded how little effort it actually takes to make something even more beautiful and memorable than it might ordinarily have been.


Posted under Design Team Inspiration

This post was written by Norine on April 22, 2015

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