Happy Easter! 🐇

Easter is one of my most favorite holidays.

Firstly, it is in my birthday month and I take extra special pleasure in thinking others all around the world are celebrating with me.

Secondly, it is, for me, truly the beginning of spring. It meant that winter in Kentucky would soon be wrapping up and longer days were on the horizon! The whole world was decorated with pretty pastels, which were hard to find colors the rest of the year, and a particular favorite of mine. It meant cute little sheep and multi-colored rabbits and chick-a-dees were speckled around the neighborhood (don’t judge, it was a different time).

Thirdly, it meant the cutest little Easter dresses for church, with adorable little ruffle socks and either bonnets or Easter hats dyed to match. This is a tradition I have, unfortunately been unable to share with my children who look at my suggestions of bonnets and derby hats as ghastly old-fashioned. Bah! As a kid who didn’t have much, I loved my brand new Easter dress and my brand spanking new dress shoes. No hand me downs, but MY VERY OWN <— very important when you are 7 or 8 and your closet can only be defined as hand-me-down fashionable.

Fourth, the candy! Good Lawd the candy! Other than Halloween it was a rare reprieve from the spinach and Brussels sprouts! Especially those tiny little bubble gum eggs… oh, and the peeps! No matter what you say, those things are amazing!

This year, our Easter plans were almost ruined by a thief who stole $1000 from our account. A $1000!!! It seems a bit overkill if you ask me. But luckily we were able to get the money back in time for me to go Easter shopping the day BEFORE Easter. Have you ever went shopping at Walmart the day before Easter? If Walmart existed during the time of Jesus scripture would have said something like this: “verily, verily I tell thee, if thou wait until the day before, you will truly spend thou time in line praying.” Over 45 minutes y’all in line to check out. I tell ya, by the time I was through that line I was praying all right!

Despite our unplanned Easter at home we have had a fabulous day! My brother came over for an impromptu Easter fest, and we started a new tradition in my house. While the girls dyed Easter eggs I read and held up resurrection eggs. I had been wanting to start this tradition for a couple years now but always seemed to miss out on buying the resurrection eggs from the store. Ironically, I found them this year! I had thought for sure that they would be sold out since I had to wait so long, but it must have been meant to be!

If you’ve never seen resurrection eggs, each egg has a symbol or icon from the story of Christ’s resurrection. There’s a book included with scripture and story info, so you don’t need to look up each scripture reference yourself. I found mine at Hobby Lobby for $19.99, with 40% off!

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believe that in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. –John 3:16

What a wonderful holiday! We’ve been so blessed with so many wonderful things: family, a home, fur babies, a successful business, friends, a wonderful church family, and gorgeous weather!

Easter truly is a time of renewal and counting of blessings!

Love,

The Colourful Teacup

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First crochet of 2018!

Well it is officially 2018 and I am ready for my first crochet project! For the next six weeks I will be crocheting along (aka CAL), following Lucy at Attic24. And I love, Love, LOVE her! I’ve been following her blog for ages and she has inspired me to keep going no matter how tough the project!

Yesterday was the kickoff of her Woodland Ripple Afghan. And this time I was totally prepared! I gathered my Stylecraft yarn in all the delicious colors, grabbed a few erasable Frixion pens in a yummy rainbow palette and snuggled under my heated blanket to crochet the night away!

Speaking of heated blankets- Someone has moved Florida to the arctic because jeez Louise has it ever been cold!!! I had to leave my faucet dripping night before last! Dripping y’all! I am in balmy Central Florida. We don’t have insulation on our pipes and our pipes are in the foundation of our houses. That means if it freezes and busts they will have to jack up my whole floor! Nope. Nope. Nope.

It has been so cold I’ve resorted to using both a heating pad AND a heating blanket. And- you better sit down for this- I had to turn on my heat! So for a full fifteen minutes it smelled like the house was on fire as it slowly heated up and brought us up to over 73 degrees, where God intended humans to live.

Your loving ice cube,

the Colourful Teacup

Ornaments: Round 2

I told you I wouldn’t be able to control myself! But seriously, how could a gal possibly resist this delightful addition?

It’s so trendy for 2017! Cactuses are everywhere. I mean they are on everything from shoes to wallpaper. FYI, wallpaper entrepreneurs, cactus wallpaper would be FABULOUS! Seriously… get on that! I’m not sure where I would stick it, but I doubt, if today is any indication, that I would be able to resist a purchase!

Bonus points: more pink in my tree!

You might find yourself asking, “why, dearest teacup, would you purchase a cactus for your Christmas tree, when you live in Florida?” Well, unnamed interviewer, we here in Florida don’t really do Christmas like the rest of the world. We are… ahem, different. We like to celebrate the birth of Christ in quirky, creative ways. I mean, it’s a b-zillion degrees here in December! Seriously, true measurement.

Side note: there are “pet” cactuses 🌵 here, and, believe it or not , there are some species of cactus native to Florida, even though most people are not aware of that. We are more known internationally for all our palm trees 🌴, which we have no difficulty decorating in a variety of ways for Christmas.

(This is one of the local shopping areas. We call it the loop because it’s a bunch of shops in a loop around a parking lot. They are in the Christmas spirit like me. No Bah Hum Bugs in the shopping industry!)

Merry Christmas 🎄 y’all!

Very merrily yours,

The Colourful Teacup

Hello Advent season!

Halloween is over and you know what that means folks! Christmas is right around the corner!

In my house we have a tradition. Every year I head out to the store with my gals (sometimes dragging them kicking and screaming), and pick a few new ornaments for our tree. I love glass ornaments and no ornament is too gaudy, too over the top, too… dare I say, ugly! to find an honored place upon my tree!

I only have a couple of rules. First they must be glass. Second, they have to be unique. And last, but not least, they can’t be mean spirited or offensive. Bonus points if they are traditionally Christmas-y, and/or religious.

When I found myself conveniently next to a Michaels we ventured in for a quick peek at the ornaments.

So, without further ado, I introduce the Ray gals 2017 ornament choices! (Well, full disclosure, there will probably be more. Maybe we should call this round 1!)

First up we have this lovely, cute little church. I love it from its clock tower, down to its adorable little stained glass windows!

We were all 100% in agreement that it’s rightful place is on our tree! I mean, just check out these cute little windows:

And can we talk about how delicious that little Christmas tree is nestled there by the door?!?!

Our second choice was a bit controversial. We liked it, we laughed at it, we made references to it being Jesus’s birthday and in the end we bought it cause we just couldn’t stop taking about it.

Meet Carl (the 8 year old named him), our new special guest for the tree!

What is better than a piñata for the biggest, best birthday party ever?!?! Even though the 11 year old states that this is merely the latest Disney star ruined by drugs. Bah ha ha! Maybe just a little too much egg nog.

Check out how colorful he is!

He’s amazing!

Until next time…

Very truly yours,

The Colourful Teacup

Nan-ghan

I can finally share with you a huge project I started as a present to my hubster’s nanny. I call it nan-ghan!  It is a modification of a paid pattern available from  Kim Miller.  

The pattern called for using 12 balls of Lion Brand Wool Ease thick and quick yarn.  But I needed a bright red afghan for Nan, so I used about 6 skeins of Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in red.  

And because I needed it to be much wider (and because this yarn is considerably thinner than the Lion Brand Wool) I started with chain of 142 rather than the 72 indicated on the pattern.  

The length was likewise adjusted, and worked out to 141 rows, including the “sweatered” bottom and top rows.  

I am not accustomed to using such a large hook (it called for a size N), but I am very pleased with how plush and thick the finished project was.  And, most importantly, I think Nan was pleased as well. 

Yours,

The Colourful Teacup

Girl Scout shenanigans!

 

I promise I have not abandoned you, my lovely little creative space!  But I have been super busy crafting, creating, volunteering, and teaching my two wee ones.

This Monday night at Girl Scouts we began our sewing project.  Although there is, shockingly, not a badge for that, it is something Abby has been begging me to learn and several other girls have expressed interest in as well.  We are creating sit-upons for use this summer when we go camping.  Pinterest is brimming with ideas, patterns and how-tos for all sorts of sit-upons, and ours is a very common concept frequently used which utilizes plastic bags as stuffing and flannel backed vinyl tablecloth as the outside fabric.  This is the example I made shortly before our meeting.  Just two squares sewn together with plastic bagging stuffing.

 

Of course, if your daughter is like mine and obsessed with Shopkins you can buy the same fabric at your local Jo Anns Craft store in an assortment of licensed characters.  Plus it is a tad bit more substantial than the vinyl tablecloth you would buy at the store.

(P.S. YES that IS a virus shawl you see behind that sit-upon!  Shhh…. more on that and other projects later).

Of course, no Girl Scout meeting would be complete without a Plan B activity.  You know, the one that the girls work on quietly while the adults try to repair or clean up whatever disaster befalls us.  I jest…  kind of.  Behold, the magic of the pom-pom catapult!  We made these at VBS, and the one you see pictured here is actually my youngest daughters shooter.   This was a huge hit with the girls.  I think about half of them liked this activity more than the sewing!

Can we take moment to talk about how much fun these girls had crafty and creating something with their hands?  Oh, how I long for the traditional days of Girl Scouts!  I really dislike these curriculum inspired badges and “feelings” activities.  Its not that I don’t think these things are important, its just that I think more gets accomplished if you flesh out “feelings” while you are actually doing something.  Ya know, like sewing and shooting pom-poms at each other.  THAT’s memories folks, and plenty of bonding time to make lasting relationships with other gal pals.

Speaking of traditional Girl Scouts, can you guess what I’ve spent the past few months doing?  Yup!  COOKIES!  And cookies is big business in Girl Scouts!  This is what I have left after everyone picked up their orders.  That’s right, this does not include all the dozens and dozens of boxes already delivered and sold.  We make very little profit per box, but we sell so much that in the end it becomes our primary fundraiser.  The rest of our year depends upon the profit we make during cookies season.  So, next time you see a Girl Scout, buy a box or two y’all (or three)!  And this year my handsome hubster allowed me to keep our boxes at his law firm.  My house is so tiny that last year it was nearly impossible to move around the tower of boxes we had stacked in a little corner of our living room.  But not this year!  Huzzah!

I will have a couple of crafty WIPS to share very soon with you!  I have been busy, busy, busy with projects and shortly is our Volunteer Retreat weekend at Mah Kah Wee (one of the best places on Earth).  Stayed tuned my crafty chick-a-dees!

Yours,

The Colourful Teacup

 

Which house do you belong to? 

I told you yesterday that I’ve been very busy.  The truth is I’ve crocheted so much that my hands have cramped.  And I’ve got so much more to do!  But it’s all been worth it.  And I’ve had a few commissions to do this year that have also occupied my time.  My favorite was a set of four scarves inspired by the four Harry Potter houses.  The scarves used during the Harry Potter movies have changed over time, and differ slightly in hue from the versions mentioned in the books, but they all have 3 things in common.  1.) they are super long!  I mean super!  They are meant to go almost to the waist, if not so. 2.) they are thicker than normal American scarves.  I think this is a British thing.  When we lived in Scotland I noticed that all of our scarves were quite wide, which was actually nice for this Florida girl to hide behind during the biting wind. And 3.) they are one solid color with alternate colored stripes related to the house colors.  I crocheted them using a hdc stitch in the pattern: 14 main colored rows, 3 alternate colors, 3 main color, 3 alternate color- repeat until desired length, in my case 9 additional times.  

So the only question left- which house will the sorting hat put you in?  To find out visit http://www.pottermore.com.  Me? Why, I’m Hufflepuff of course!

Yours,

The Colourful Teacup