Wednesday 12 November 2014

Sleighbells ring . . . are you listening?

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 I've been collecting these altoid tins for a couple of years now.  I love small tins and have a collection of them, some of them from Celestial Seasons herbal teas, etc., in my craft room holding pins, tiny buttons and other things.

I've been exploring all the altered altoid tins on Pinterest lately.  Some are quite fascinating and I have long been wanting to do something with mine.   This week was the week.   I did one altered tin with a Christmas theme using one of my tins.  It involved several days work . . .  I was really quite pleased with how it turned out!

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I am not sure why it looks pink in the photographs.  It's actually red and white.  There's no accounting of how a camera will make things look however  . . .  so you will just have to use your imagination to pretend that it is red not pink.   I made use of several scrap book papers on this project . . .  a red with a white pin dot on it and a red and white candy stripe for the outside of the tin.    I just traced the shape of the lid onto the red and white pin dot first, and then cut it out inside the lines so that it would fit on the lid and then applied it with mod podge.  (Don't you just love mod podge?)

The Lettering was done via a word document using a chunky script. Cameo Antique, in red.  I really liked the way it looked.

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This corner is from a package I had bought a couple of years ago from Crafty Secrets in one of their Christmas Postcard kit packs.   It's a little print of a postage stamp with bells on it that I put on a little cardboard stamp square.

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The bluebirds are from the same packet.  I cut them out and applied them with mod podge and then created a little nest of holly using glue and green flower soft and several red holly berries which are tiny red pearly scrapbook jewels.   I like the way that turned out.

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I applied red and white butchers twine around the edge of the lid.  I also cut scrapbook paper strips in applicable widths to apply to both the top and bottom edges all the way around.   On the bottom I used another scrap book paper which is identical to the one I applied inside the lid.

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It's a textured one and kind of looks like the textured wall paper we have in our lounge.  I added the second line of the carol . . .  then I applied a bunch of small imaged i cut out from the same post card pack.   A small Santa, some children bringing home the tree . . .  a small snowman . . .  some angels listening and a few stars.   There's another one beneath the bells which says December 25th but it didn't show up in the photo because the bells are hiding it.  I threaded tiny bells onto red embroidery floss and then tied them together, added an embroidery floss bow and then applied it to the inside of the tin with more mod podge.  If you shake the tin you can hear them ring . . .  really!  Sleigh bells ring . . .  are you listening!

I wanted to use this image in the tin.  It's from one of my Christmas card designs from last year.  I didn't do any this year.   Not sure why . . .

Anyways, I cut out the little girl, the brick wall and the bird.

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First I applied some blue scrapbook paper to the bottom which had white pin dots over it, which I thought looked like a sky with snow falling.  I also applied some red textured paper to the inside lip all the way around.   Then I applied the little girl over top of the bottom half.  I used some more glue and white flower soft to make it look like there was snow on the ground and falling from the sky and settling on the ledge a bit.  I may go back and add two really tiny sparkle red pom poms to her scarf ends, but I am not sure yet about that . . .  in any case it looks like she and the bird are indeed listening to sleigh bells . . .

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At least I thought it did.     I did not apply anything to the inside lip of the lid or the bottom top of the base so that the lid would shut properly.

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I was really quite happy with how it turned out.  Now that I have done one, I will probably do some more.

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Creating something new, that is what makes me happiest . . .  be it a cake, or a painting or something else.

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"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul."
~President Dieter F Uchtdorf

I've been a tiny bit blue lately.   It's a bunch of little things.  I have so much to be joyful about and grateful for . . .  a husband who loves me, a warm and comfortable home, a beautiful dog who adores me . . .  and all of my needs are met . . . I have my faith and a deep love for the Saviour and all that He and the Gospel bring into my life . . .  but there is this under current of sadness that I cannot seem to shake no matter how hard I try.  I can stuff it down for a short while, but then something will happen and it will raise it's head again and smack me in the face.  I feel sometimes like there is this tiny crack inside my heart that no matter how much I try to glue it together . . .  it weakens and then starts to spread apart again and it tints the edges of my days and nights with a tiny hue of sadness that is always there, no matter how hard I try to pretend that it isn't.

I think it has to do with my perceived failure as a mother.   Todd keeps telling me I should be happy that I have three of my five children's love and respect . . .  but my mother's heart cannot help but mourn and grieve for the two which I feel are lost . . . it even invades my dreams.   I awoke at 4 am today crying because I had been dreaming about my youngest son and in the dream he had been telling me that his mother didn't like him driving a truck . . .  and in the dream I realized that he had been talking about his step mom . . .  not me.  I think that it all has to do with the fact that he told me a few years ago that I had done nothing for him at all during his life.  His dad and I divorced when he was 12 years old, and for some reason he has chosen to discount or not remember everything that came before.   I wanted shared custody at the time, but was told that he cried everytime it was mentioned and so I agreed to give up custody.  In retrospect that was the wrong decision.  But I can't change that now.

I don't know how to make it better.  I think it is just something I am going to have to learn to live with.  I have ever so much else to be grateful for.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

"The simplification of life
is one of the steps to inner peace.
A persistent simplification
will create an inner and outer well-being
that places harmony in one's life."
~Pilgrims Peace 

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Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  a Swedish Almond Cake.  Delish!

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May your Wednesday be filled with joy and blessings.  Today and all days may your cups runneth over.



  1. Good morning Marie. Please accept my loving thoughts. I fight the blues often and it uses so much energy! Anyway my darling what is flower soft? We have most things now but I haven't heard of that one. Mind you I spend most of my time nose in book and miss things.

    God bless you and may he chase those blues away.

  2. Hi Suzan, thanks very much. Here is a link which will take you to the UK homepage of flower soft and explain it all to you! xxoo

  3. I love your little tin. It's just full of Christmas magic. I think we've all fought those blues at one time or another. That is why I started On The Bright Side. There is always a brighter side, if we look for it. I find myself delighting in each day as I look for something to celebrate. We are so blessed and there is much to be thankful for. So try looking on the bright side and count your blessings. It's the best remedy I know of. Sending some hugs your way today !


  4. I wish I had the magic potion to fix this..
    It is a shame to carry these thoughts through your life.
    I know we cannot always be up and happy..
    But in this would just lighten everything if they could just open up to you and vice versa..and the wounds could start healing.
    You are their biological gave them love and life.
    I am wondering if you ahve ever tried sending them a letter?
    Yu write so well..they would have in hand ..your deepest feelings and wishes for a warm relationship.
    They should not live with regrets.

    Suffering comes in many forms.. relationships..losses..ill health..
    Never ever give patch things up Marie.

    And the tinwork:) Adorable.


  5. can add a string ..and make 2 ornaments:)

  6. I do try to look at the bright side of things Pam. It just gets on top of me sometimes. THanks always for your positive slant on things. xxoo

    Thanks Monique. I have tried communicating and writing letters which are totally ignored. The damage has been done and to try to undo it for some reason sounds like I am trying to cause problems, or is perceived as such. I just must learn to live with what is. I did think of two ornaments. It is fun to get lost in creativity sometimes! xxoo

  7. You are just so amazing I love that little box you made. It was just so awesome. I wish I had a creative side. My mother loved to create items that were small and adorable like this one. She loved using hodgepodge.
    I didn't get that gene. However, some of my children are good at creating things.
    I feel sad that you are feeling down. I can imagine it is hard to have two of your children not as response to you.
    I have a few struggles with two of my sons and one daughter. We aren't as close as I would like to be with them. Some of this occurred when I had to work for a few years.
    I do think that sometime Heavenly Father will bless you with a moment to heal your relationships.
    Meanwhile, you are such a light in so many lives including mine. I admire and love you on so many levels.
    Blessings, prayers, love and hugs for you!

  8. Hi Marie, Very late to comment today...however I did come in as usual early this morning but "your day" had not arrived !#These boxes are BRILLIANT,,,maybe for sale..please send me price...
    I have tears as I read about your tears what a pair we are...I too have a heavy heart at the moment but like you not a lot we can do about somethings...just keep praying to lift our hearts...Tomorrow is another day..
    lots of love flying it's way north xxx

  9. Sweet Marie I've been there and done that...I will e mail you hurts and always will, I'm sorry to say. We all been hurt in someway, whether it be with family, friends, health etc...but until they have walked in your footsteps it hurts..and they have but in different parts of our Heart..But oh hurts!

  10. I can feel your aching heart Marie. I am so sorry about the situation. If it were me, I would mustard up the courage to call them and explain. Even if it's been done before, I'd do it again until he/she understands and there is healing between both parties. Also, another family member could talk to them and try softening their hearts.
    Sending extra love and hugs to my sweet friend! xoxo

  11. Thanks everyone. I appreciate your kind and loving thoughts and words. I have tried to communicate with these children, but all of my efforts are largely ignored. I know my eldest son has spoken with them and they deny that there is any problem, when clearly there is. I just keep stuffing it down, but every so often it bubbles up and breaks loose and I need to talk about it. It is hard when it even invades my sleep. xxoo

  12. Thinking of you Marie and sending you lots of love xxx

  13. Thanks Kate! Lots of love winging it's way back! xx

  14. I had to read your post three times before I could convince myself that you had written the words and not me.

    Soul sisters is all I can say to this.

    That tiny bit of sadness is never far from my own heart either ... and I wish it were otherwise but I don't know how to fix it and I never have.

    That doesn't mean we don't laugh and feel joy, though, or have fun. It's just that little tinge that reminds us that our hearts hide away sorrow we can't quite banish.


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!