Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thank you 2011

As the last few hours of 2011 come to an end, I think about all the events that occurred this year. A year ago, this blog didn't exist, I didn't have an etsy store, a Twitter account, Pinterest, or know anything about all the craft blogs that existed out there.

I am thankful for all of you that follow along with me here on my blog and all the other social media outlets, the customers who have purchased items from my etsy store, and the ones who have featured my work and pinned my projects. I appreciate your support as I venture along with my creative endeavors and share stories from our farming life.

I've yet to fully explore Pinterest, but am tickled these projects have been pinned this year!

The pictures above are from my blog and the items below have been pinned from my store!
I opened my etsy store, Gypsy Farm Girl on February 2 and my first item sold 3 weeks later...O happy day!
Spring is my favorite time of the year as flowers start to bloom and color returns after a long cold winter.
In April, we took two trips to view the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails. Our truck broke down the first day and Farmall Man used his incredible skills to rig our truck when the clutch bracket broke a hundred miles from home and all auto parts stores in the area did not have the part we needed. We had to drive home from Ennis without using the clutch. A hammer, channel locks, and card board from a clothes hanger held the clutch assembly in place. We had lots of rolling stops on the way home. That was an adventure, but the beautiful scenery was so worth it. I hope we can go back in 2012!

In May I shared some of my rustic garden decor and pictures from my yard. The drought hadn't hit yet.

June brought more flowers to the yard, but I was kept busy as Farmall Man was still recovering from his broken collar bone. The horses helped me mow the yard this summer! A motorcycle wreck slowed down his activity and I had to complete almost all the farm chores for a while as he heeled.

We celebrated the 4th of July by photographing a fireworks show on the lake. I learned about new camera settings for photographing the fireworks.

My Burlap and Belt Buckle Chair Covers from August were featured on Tip Junkies Top 10 Crafts to Make this Week and is my second most popular blog post to date! I jumped up and down and squealed with delight when I found out I had been featured!  

August also brought about an opportunity to be an affiliate with My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software. I held my first giveaway on my blog thanks to My Memories, and anyone who uses the promotional code : STMMMS41634 can receive $10 off My Memories Software and a $10 coupon to the online store!
I've enjoyed working with the software and have actually used the scrapbooking software more for blog work (designing headers and photo collages) and for making my Christmas cards this year.

August also brought about a Makeover on our Gazebo. I love how it all turned out!

By September, the Texas drought was becoming drastic and wildfires were occurring everywhere. Our county was struck hard and one large fire happened less than a mile from our house. I was mentally making evacuation plans as we watered everything we could as the ashes dropped on our property. I've never been so scared of fire before.

December has been kind to us in the way of rainfall. Thankfully we have begun to see regular rainfall again, the burn bans have been lifted, and the ponds are filling up. I know that some of my plants in the yard have died from the drought, along with lots of trees in the area. Its sad as you drive down the roads and see the toll the drought has taken on everything. Many farmers and ranchers are hurting and hay for animals is in short supply.

I entered my moth picture in  our county fair photo contest and received honorable mention in October. 

In October, I received some photography advise from Donna at Funky Junk Interiors and in November, she featured my Rag Wreath on her facebook page. The wreath had already sold before her feature, but another fabric wreath from my etsy store sold that day! I love Donna's junky style and have linked to her Saturday Night Special several times. She suggested I take my photos with natural lighting and have started taking my product pictures under the gazebo.
Christmas shoppers purchased several items from my etsy store this season. I will definitely be more prepared with more items in stock for next years holidays. My rope wreaths were featured by Handmade in Texas and all the Christmas wreaths sold. I am making more wreaths and hope to get more items restocked soon.

I took down my rustic, junky, shabby chic Christmas tree today. I've never left my tree up this long and was kinda sad to take it down. I'm trying to figure out how I can decorate with the pattern paper ornaments and bed springs in the house. I'm thinking some type of wreath or garland. I'll let you know what I come up with!

I didn't realize how long this post would be or the time it would take me to write it, but as I look back on my blog and through my pictures, overall, its been a great year! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along on my journey and supporting me with your comments and encouragement. I appreciate you ALL! Now I can't wait to see what all 2012 has to offer! I'm dreaming big and hoping its a great year for us all!

 Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Handmade Man Gift!

Each year I try and make as many of my gifts as possible. Each year I struggle with what to give the men on my list. They do not care about decorating items, wreaths, picture frames, jewelry, or candles.

We didn't draw my Father-in-Law's name for the Christmas at their house this weekend, but I still wanted to give him a little something. My husband has been in love with these vintage inspired coke bottles and had drank a few of the cokes, so I had empty bottles. I decided to refill them with a few goodies!
 I looked for snacks that would fit in the bottles and came up with peanuts, red hots, and M & M's. I left one full bottle of Coke in the 4 pack. My f-i-l doesn't need a lot of sugar, so I got him some sugar free candy so he won't get in too much trouble and I'm sure he will share the other candy with his grandkids!
 A few ribbons to fancy up the bottles...
Now I'm not usually the type to use shiny wrapping, preferring to use more rustic tones, but I'm also a frugal person, who accidentally got this foil type wrapping several years ago. The roll has been in the closet for several years and its perfect to gift wrap baskets with, so I used it. The paper is more like a printed cellophane than regular wrapping paper.

 Now I have a little something for my f-i-l, we have left over candies and nuts to eat or make sweets with this week and my husbands is happy because he got to drink the cokes! Win-Win all the way around!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gift Wrapping

My gift wrapping is done...there's just one gift making is NOT. I still have 2-3 sewing projects that I keep putting off and I've got to get busy this weekend and finish making a few things. I love to creativly wrap my gifts and my family says there is no need to ever sign who my packages are from, because they just know!
 When blue jeans are too worn out to use, I cut the pockets off and add the pocket to a natural colored gift sack. I come from a family of Cowboys, so Wrangler jeans get repurposed for gift wrap!
 Can you believe this is a Foldgers Coffee Can covered in burlap? A great gift "box" and useful storage container.
Pretty bows are a must!

 I had the instruction sheets that were part of the patterns I got at Goodwill to make my Christmas tree ornaments and decided to wrap a Pioneer Woman Cookbook with the vintage instructions. Since the paper was small, I wrapped the box top and bottom seperate, so the lid will just lift off the box. I took  a strip of the pattern package and made a flower with names on the leaves.
Basic brown craft paper is my favorite thing to use. I can use so many different types of decorations and colors to finish the wrapping.

So are you finished with your gift buying/making and wrapping or are you like me and still have a few things to go?

Friday Funny

I came across this recently and thought I would share with y'all! Hope you have a great weekend!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Live Your Dream

This week I went shopping and came across a sign that really spoke to me. I loved all the words it said and new I just had to have it. The only problem was that the colors did not match my house and I refuse to pay top dollar for something when I can make it for much less.
 This was the original sign and photo I took with my iPod. Please forgive my pictures as I had to take my Canon camera for service at Best Buy after it started giving me an error message. I'm glad I purchased the extended warranty and hopefully I will have a working camera before Christmas. In the meantime, I still have my point and shoot camera to work with.
On my shopping trip I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a canvas (and lots of other supplies) and came home and cut out a template with my Silhouette machine and painted the sign in colors to match my house.
My project was completed for less than a third of the store asking price and they claimed their price was half off the suggested price! Now I have a sign I like in the colors that fit my house much better. I have several gifts still to make for Christmas gifts, but this sign was something I felt I had to make right now. I think I need to be reminded daily to discover my dreams and to start living them more.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Poinsettia Watering Tip

Christmas and Poinsettias go together like a hand and glove, the only problem is, so often the poinsettias die from lack of care. I wanted to share a little tid bit of info with you about watering a poinsettia.
Actually, you don't "water" at all - use ICE CUBES instead! Yes, you read that right. A plant wholesaler shared the tip with us one time and it really does help.

Poinsettias like consistant moisture - not too wet, not too dry. A few ice cubes a day keeps a happy plant. The ice slowly melts and waters the plant and you don't have to worry about water splashing on the leaves and causing spots.

So each day as you fill your glass with ice, give your poinsettias a 2-3 cubes as well (for a 6 inch plant) or when you finish your drink, place the "used" ice cubes in the pot. One time I had a customer tell me that she gave her poinsettia the last drink of her coke each day and her poinsettia was thriving the next summer!

{I wanted to say Thank You to everyone who has voted for my Christmas Wreath
 in the Better Homes and Gardens Pretty Wreath Contest! I'm currently in first place for the week and would appreciate your VOTES each day through December 11.}

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, December 5, 2011

Please Vote for My Wreath!

Hey Everybody!
 Its my Birthday Week and I could really use some help from all of you! I entered the Christmas wreath in my gazebo in the
Better Homes and Gardens Pretty Wreath Contest
 and now I need you to please go VOTE for my wreath.
 You can vote once per day, everyday this week. So please go vote on all your devices - computers, phones, ipods, and ipads.
Pretty Please!
It would make my birthday really special if my wreath was the weekly winner and gets to compete for the grand prize.
You don't have to have an account with Better Homes and Gardens. Please click the vote button and enter the words in box and then tell all your friends to please vote as well.

I would greatly appreciate your votes for my wreath and helping with my birthday wish!

P.S. Just want to shout out a "Welcome" to my new followers! Glad to have y'all as new friends and followers!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December Roses

Frost has killed all the cold sensitive plants in my yard this week, but there are still a few roses blooming!

It's a rainy Sunday here! Yeehaw!!! Now I need to get busy in my sewing room as I've got orders to fill and gifts to make for Christmas. Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Rusty Junky Shabby Chic Christmas Tree

I finally finished decorating my Christmas Tree today! I don't think there is another tree like it anywhere! The best way I can describe it is Vintage, Rusty, Junky, Shabby Chic with a touch of Bling! The best part - it cost me less than $10.00!

I found this tree at a garage sale for $5.00 when I was on vacation a few weeks ago.
Our house is too crowded for me to put up our big tree this year {read we have way to much furniture in our little living room.} I set the tree on our antique Queen Sewing Machine that came from my Father-in-Law's Step Grandmother.
I found 2 vintage patterns at the Goodwill and made lots of tissue paper flowers. The patterns were from the 70's and cost 59 cents each. I made tissue flower balls, rolled roses, a star flower, and little puffs from the patterns. Not a single piece of pattern went to waste.  That was over 40 ornaments for $1.18!
 I found a few springs off of a seed drill for rustic ornaments while bed springs made a rusty garland circling the tree.
 I used a few of the ornaments I already had and then tied some of the strips of material that I use on my rag wreaths to the branches.
 I came across three vintage, cross-shaped rug beaters recently and had intentions of listing them in my etsy store, but they found their way on the tree instead!
 This ornament was made by my sweet Grandmama. I would stay with her at night (because of her health)and we would make ornaments together. She made this one just prior to her last Christmas. I will always cherish those memories and even though the ornament is not perfectly stitched, its perfect to me.
This little angel was given to me many years ago by an elderly man at church. We shared the same birthday week (coming up soon) and we would always stand up together as the church sang Happy Birthday to us.

 I made a star flower out of the pattern paper and added touches of gold, brown, and lime glitter branches for a little sparkle.
 My only other purchase was one string of lights. The tree was pre-lit, but needed some more lights.  Everything else on the tree is upcycled and reused.  I used an old burlap potato sack for my tree skirt.

I got a few gifts wrapped today and now I have to get busy making the rest of my gifts! So what do you think about my rusty, junky, shabby tree?

P.S. Please come see my Gazebo decorated for Christmas. It has some unexpected decorations as well!

I'm linking my Christmas tree to :

Unskinny Boppy

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Sew Woodsey

Savvy City Farmer Thrift'n on a Thursday

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special