Sunday, December 23, 2012


Dear Friends...

Today is the Sunday before Christmas and I'm excited about attending church with my family for both the early morning and candlelight evening services.  I love singing all the old Christian Christmas Hymns and hearing the choir sing special holiday music.  I love hearing our Pastor speak and I always feel honored to partake in Communion.

I love Christmas and everything about it.

I love the baubles, bangles and beads and even the hustle and bustle that goes along with hunting down and choosing the perfect gifts for those I love.  I love the decorations and the sparkling lights and the hanging of the greens.  Mostly though, I love celebrating the birthday of my personal Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have all of what I need.  I hunger only for more of Him.

I have so much to be grateful for this year.  God has been so good to me and I'm thankful and so appreciative of His blessings.  I'm not quite sure just where He is leading me right now...but I'm trusting Him with my future days just the same.  I know He has placed a hunger deep inside my heart for something new, something different, I just can't put my finger on just what that is! I said I'm asking Him to lead me as I seek His purpose and direction for my life.

In early January I'm on track to begin my 5th year of blogging and honestly, at this moment, I believe I've shared all I can and all I know.  With both my hands scheduled for surgery on the 28th I'm hoping by the time I'm healed up (sure to be a few weeks plus!) I'll feel better about where I am, where I've been and where I am going.

While at church this morning I'll be praying for you!  May your Christmas be beautiful and your New Year blessed.

I wish for you good things and promise to share more soon.

Love to you...

Friday, December 21, 2012


Last Monday I celebrated another birthday with my family and friends.

I just LOVE LIFE...don't you?
 I sometimes dreaded my December birthday when I was a little child because someone was always gifting me with a 
Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas Present 
 and I just hated it...I was SURE I was being cheated out of something!!!  I suppose when you are little kid the grateful gift-giving & receiving spirit hasn't kicked in quite yet and I don't even like thinking today about how I might have behaved back then.
 These days I'm just happy to be remembered at all during what I know is one of the most busy, hectic and costly times of the year.
 Usually we dine in the evening with our children but this year my Mr. AGPMan and I enjoyed breakfast with our daughter and then spent our lunchtime  with our son and daughter-in-love. They are all sooo generous and never fail to bless me year after year.  I received wonderful, personal gifts and will enjoy each of them...  There is NOTHING quite as satisfying to me than my relationship with my two grown children and I love it that we all enjoy peace and laughter when we are together.
One amazing thing didn't come until yesterday because it was coming from far, far away!  My daughter knows how much I love all things French and couldn't resist a little extra gift for her momma.
 She ordered me a HUGE LOAF of French Bread from the Poilâne Bakery in Paris, France, and I was totally speechless when it arrived.  She ordered it on the 12th and it was baked this past Wednesday morning and shipped to America OVERNIGHT and I received it yesterday mid-day...
Now...I've had Americanized French Bread lots of times in my life.  But NEVER have I had French Bread baked in Paris, France, and then eaten it the next day.  It is WONDERFUL.  The loaf is huge and there is more than enough for several meals...
I know for certain the bread isn't expensive, but the shipping can be!  I'm thinking that next year I may order several loaves myself and combine the shipping to save money via the International Post!

My exercise bike is already calling out my name.  That's OK though!!!  The bread is soooo worth a few more minutes of stationary pedaling!  (Thank you, Adrienne & Brandon!)

Tomorrow I'll be signing off for the year.  Christmas is only a few days away and I want to spend as much time with my family as possible...

Blessings as we await the miracle of Christmas Day.

Love to you...

Thursday, December 20, 2012



You would think with all the Christmas Stockings I make each year that my own child, my daughter Adrienne, would have a pretty pair for their home.  Not so.  What is it they say about Plumbers?  They always have clogged sinks or something like that!???  Actually...I think it's more about her not being able to decide WHAT she's wanted more than me not getting on with making them if you want to know the truth...

Since I know she's cramming on last minute work for college (she and her hubby graduate in May!!!) I'm pretty confident she's not going to see this Post.  So...I'm sharing with you the "By Special Request Christmas Stockings" fashioned just for her and her handsome hubby.

My girl doesn't do WHITE like I do, nor did she do PINK like I did.  She's a fairly traditional girl and favors comfortable and yet classy decor.  Not too frou frou even though she's very girly.  Her Christmas colors are berry (a light burgundy) with silver, gold and soft white.

Last Winter while shopping at Penney's I found a gorgeous soft berry velvet drapery panel on clearance for $7.  It had originally been priced at $98 and since I loved the color (and so did she) I decided to  bring it home.  At the time it matched the sofa we had in our home. girl now has that couch and so I decided to use the fabric to fashioned her Christmas Stockings.

 I tucked the remainder of the fabric back for the BABIES I know she's going to have some ONCE SHE'S OUT OF SCHOOL! :)  (I can't wait!)

Just a few more days and Christmas will be here.  Can you believe it?  My Miss K is coming today and we are baking cookies this afternoon and then going to see the LIGHTS in Chickasha, Oklahoma...  Such a fun tradition for our family.

Love to you...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



Christmas will be here before we all know it and so just like every year I've been busy in my kitchen creating yummy holiday treats.  Now that my three "S's" are done (Shopping, Selling and Shipping) I can finally get my head back into a wee bit of Christmas baking fun!!!

I've shared with you in the past how we've gifted either homemade ALMOND BRITTLE or SUGARED PECANS to our co-workers, neighbors and friends for many years.  It's become a little tradition and we love remembering the special people in our lives in such a SWEET way.

Finding containers to hold our goodies is a yearlong process (think thrift stores!) and this year proved to be no different.  Year after year I hunt down glass jars to hold the most delicious and easy to prepare confections possible and when I can snag jars for .25 or .50 I'm sooo happy!  If you'd like to read my Almond Brittle post from last year you can go HERE.   Sugared Pecans (from 2009) you can go HERE.

Incredibly I found just enough jars this year to make twenty separate gifts.  I opted to do Almond Brittle again this year because it's our personal favorite and unlike the Sugared Pecans they have CHOCOLATE.  Who doesn't like CHOCOLATE????
Instead of wrapping the jars up with cello wrap I decided to place them into decorated bags!

I'm lovin' how they came out!

A few days ago I was in BIG LOTS (do you have those where you live?) and I found gift sacks in natural paper for 5 for $2.  I opted to decorate them up with a ruffle of doily shelf paper (edging) and then attached a sweet customized tag.  The edging was hand pleated and stitched like a fabric ruffle and then hot-glued to the bag.  

The graphic was originally the cover of some antique/vintage sheet music and I just changed it up a bit!  Reworking the graphic took a little time, but it was fun!  Just added more of the paper edging to the bottom of the tag before tying it onto the bag's handle.

A little white tissue inside and DONE for 2012!

Here it is again!  I've had the edging for years and I'm sad to say I'm clueless as to where it came from!  If I can hunt it down I'll let you know! 

Blessings as the Joy of the Season continues!

Love to you...

Sunday, December 16, 2012



In Paul's letter to the Church at Corinth (1st Corinthins 13) God's love, says the Apostle, will never fall to the ground, wither and decay.  By it's nature it will never die but will live on through eternity...

Today, more than ever, I'm holding this promise close to my own heart, for like many of you I'm horrified and saddened by the violence and killings at Sandy Hook Elementary. 

After two days I'm still at a loss for words.
The only thing I'm honestly feeling today is a profound since of calm and peace as I see the good people of America unite.  Despite what we sometimes bear witness to, I believe the goodness that lives inside us will prevail and in the end God will bring something good out of what was intended for evil.





Blessings as you seek to both heal and minister in your own beautiful way.

Love to you...

Friday, December 14, 2012


Busy morning for me as I work on finishing up special projects for last minute Christmas orders.  I'm always amazed and grateful for the business that comes my way year after year...  These are truly tough days in our economy and so I thank you all so very much for the biz.  You bless me.
 Yesterday I snapped a few more pics of my La Chaumière de Briarwood dressed in her Christmas best.  I've had so much fun decorating this year with our new wood floors and the opened-up-wall.  
 After owning it for a couple of years I finally decided to use the vintage tinsel I found at one of the estate sales I camped out at for days and days.  I love how it looks on our mini Christmas Tree.
We use this vintage vanity stool (with the tufted cushion removed) for extra seating when need be.  My Miss K routinely sits on it and it's become her chair!
I have a thing for chairs.  

I do.

They just find me and I'm happy to give them a new home.
This is the first time in years we've had a mirror over our fireplace.  I love the simple white floral wreath hanging in front of it so much that I decided to skip hanging my OVER-DONE Christmas Wreath up this year.  I also toned down ALL our Christmas Greens again this year...painting them out with my favorite soft white paint.  Last year I spray painted our big Tree.  This year I dry brushed tons more of her branches and now she's even whiter than before.  Love it!
 Our mantel's greenery was also brush painted.  I love Magnolias and I've had these for fifteen years.  This year they also received a wee bit of paint.
My Mr. AGPMan ended up making 22 large Christmas Tree Baskets and 14 small ones and they all $old but one.  Next year I plan on offering them on my website.  With all the problems with my hands this year I didn't do too much painting... :(  Sure miss it!  Next year will be BETTAH!
  Breakfast room is white, white and more white. 
A little outside view!
So there you have it for now...

Tomorrow I'll be finishing up the Christmas Goodies for our neighbors and friends.  Can't wait to show you the simple and INEXPENSIVE wrappings this year for our traditional Almond Brittle gift-giving!

Blessings today!

Love to you...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Working in my studio today and still having fun creating a few new designs.
Loving this vintage wreath graphic with added Christmas sentiments!  Fashioned in vintage soft white linen with a flirty ruffle.  I made a set of these for my own home this year...

HOW I squeezed that in I don't know!
In just a little bit I'll be uploading each of these French Farmhouse looking Pillows onto eBay!  I'm pairing them with a Christmas Stocking Sachet Hanger to make a sweet little set!
Loving these tattered little Angels, too!  It's amazing what you can do with paint!
Are you having a wonderful Christmas Season?

I still have lots of shopping to do and tons to wrap.  SUCH FUN!  Tonight I'm making treats in my kitchen for family and friends and I'm going to TRY not to eat any...  I'm focused on saving my SPLURGE TIME for Christmas Eve Night!

Blessing for a great day.

Love to you...

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