Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year & Shannon's Giveaway


I know my blog post have been sorely lacking lately and like all of us I have high  hopes for a new beginning this year.  So here's a quick post on the first of many giveaways to be found I hope.  
This giveaway is from Shannon @ SWEET HOME CONNECTICUT.  I just love this beautiful stone.  I want to dive into it and swim away.  It reminds me of the beautiful Caribbean Ocean.  Here's a description of the necklace from Sweet Home Connecticut:

Beautiful stone pendant on high polish finish cable chain. Each stone is unique in shape and size. Lobster claw clasp - 29" approx. chain length, 3" approx. length x 2" approx. width.
Shannon will chose a winner on Wed. Jan 5th.  Good Luck.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Urgent - Dear Friend Needs A Prayer Chain!!!

Dear Friends, 

I hope you all had a glorious Christmas with your loved ones.  I'm sending out this post trusting that it will be read by each of you.  You can make a difference in someones life today.

You have all made such a difference in my life. You have all come to my rescue and the Lord has heard your prayers and blessed me and my family immensely.  I'm coming to you with a request for a prayer chain for someone who has always had only the kindness words and heart for me.

is going through so much right now.  Her shoulders and heart just can't carry the burdens alone.  She needs your deepest prayers  and could use your kindest words.  

I won't go into what she has shared with me but I know frightened, scared, heartbreaking pain when I hear it.  Her family has had many strains this year.  Depression is seeping in and loneliness and sadness seem to have invaded her home.   She could use our love.  Her health is not good and the stress and worry she is under at this time is making her susceptible and weak.  

Please pray for her peace of mind, pray that loving and understanding fill her home.  I hope our words will give her the strength that she doesn't possess now.  Let our voices and prayers rise up to the heavens on her behalf.  Let our prayer chain be unbroken in the name of our Father.   

Miracles happen when two or more gather in his name!

I hope you stop by and leave Kym a kind word, it will mean so much.

Love to each of you....Tracy :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Room In The Inn

Room In The Inn
And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in
swaddling clothes, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2: 7 (KJV)
Read Luke 2: 1-20

Years ago in a nearby school, the First Grade was presenting the Christmas Play. All children had learned their parts and were anxious to win the approval of fellow students, parents and guests who were the audience. The children playing Mary and Joseph came to the door of the inn; they knocked and asked for a bed.
The child playing the innkeeper knew his line well and said loudly, “There is no room in the inn. Go away.”

The audience sighed, “Oh” sympathetically. Then the student innkeeper felt distressed (not pleasing the
audience), SO, he ad-libbed. “There are no beds in the inn, but come on in and have a beer anyway.”
The audience clapped and student Joseph said ,”Well, I think we will go to the barn,” and the play went
on as planned.

Now, some think this might have spoiled this program, but not I.
I thought it showed the real spirit of Christmas...offer what you have. Help those in need. I am sure this little boy might have heard this at home as a gesture of hospitality. No matter, it was a heart of hospitality.

Do we have a heart sensitive to the needs of others?

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, give us a sensitive heart. May we open our hearts to You and be ready to
invite all into your kingdom and our lives. Amen.

Thought for the Day: Is there room in your heart and your life for Christ the Lord?
by Bettye Quinn

I just heard from Kate @ Auntie Cake's last night that her sister Libbie's in-laws just lost their home in a fire.  The entire home will have to be bulldozed.    How devastating to lose all your belongs anytime of year and especially at a time of celebration.  I don't have anymore details but am assuming that the family is okay physically.  
Please keep this family in your prayers.

From the bottom of my heart I wish each one of you 
The Very Merriest Christmas 
Love and Hugs......Tracy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cheryl's Having A Giveaway - YIPPEE!

How could I be so late in finding out about this.  Oh' yeah, that's right I never get blog hop time anymore.  Shoot, I can't even get post on my own blog time.  But luckily I found it when I just stopped by to see what my sweet friend was up too.  Cheryl over at Zany-Mayd is having a big ole' just because, vintage giveaway!  Oh lots and lots of fun goodies to wish for.  And I just love the comment question she's asked readers, "Every blog name has a story, What's Yours"?  It's fun just reading everyone's answers.  So go by and let us know how you chose your blog name too.  You may just be the winner of gaggle of goodies!

Can  you believe Christmas is only 3 days away?  Where did December go?  Hope y'all are enjoying the spirit and fun of the season.  What a miracle we celebrate when we celebrate our Christ birth.

Warm, Warm Hugs Y'all.....Tracy :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Would You Like To Do the Easiest Christmas Swap Ever?

It's a little late notice but I guess if you know me you're not surprised.  I thought I would get so much more done this Christmas Season but it was not to be.

Which brings me to why so little got done.
The nursing home called and was sending MIL back to the hospital yesterday morning because her  potassium levels were too high again.  So back to the emergency room we go to meet her.  This time we had her sent to another hospital in hopes of better care.  Luckily the Dr said her potassium level was fine.  The nursing home must have been a miss read.  She does still have a UTI though.  So back to the nursing home she went that afternoon.  She looked fine and is in no pain.  Thank goodness it was just a scare.  At least the nursing center isn't taking any chances.

Anyway, back to my original thought.....
Would any of you like to do a last minute one on one swap?  No creating necessary. Handmade (which of course we all love) or store bought, it doesn't matter all will be loved.  I love Christmas cards and really wanted to send them out to so many of you in blogland who I consider dear friends.  Well I didn't get around to making any special homemade cards or have time to contact you for your addresses.  So my thought is if any of you would like to swap Christmas cards/Christmas wishes I'd love to do that with you.

All you have to do is email me your address and I will give you mine in return and then I will post a Christmas wish of cheer out to you.  It sure would make me smile and my Christmas just a little brighter and I hope it would do the same for you.  So what do you say?  Are you up for the easiest swap ever?  

Okay, then just email me your full name and mailing address to cottonpickincute@hotmail.com.

Have a blessed and joyous weekend doing lots of Christmasy stuff.  Hugs....Tracy :)

Marie's Giveaway Ends Soon - Hurry

Have you heard yet?  Sweet creative Marie over at Spun by Me is having a giveaway to celebrate going on 800 post!  I can't imagine ever getting there.  

Marie has created the most beautiful items to give to the lucky winner.  While  you're there you'll want to see all the beautiful matchbox ornaments that she has received in her 25 days of Christmas swap. 

Marie is such a dear sweet friend not to mention how extremely creative and talent she is.  I know you'll love her as much as I do.  Her giveaway ends on Sunday, December 19th ~ So HURRY!   Just click here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Country Cabin Christmas Tree

This year the outside of our house didn't get decorated at all.....but the inside got a double dose.  This is the tree I put up in the dining room.  I love a colored lit tree and I had a lot of country, cabin, fishing type ornaments so a few years ago I bought this one.  It's thinner to fit in the space.  I would still love to have a feather tree.  I've taken pictures of more ornaments that are special to me.  The tree's filled with teddy bears, and black bears, birds and fishing, boating items.  This one reminds me more of a kids tree.  It also reminds me of Neils brother who passed away a few years ago.  William loved fishing and even hunting.  He loved the outdoors.  He always made me feel so welcomed in the family.  Neil misses him so much and I couldn't help but tear up when I thought of him while decorating with these ornaments.  Even the angel on top has grapevine wings and a birdhouse!  I love the canoe with Santa inside and the fish hanging under it.  The little boy hanging a stocking at the fireplace is another of my Grandson Zack's ornaments.  It's hard to see in my photos but there are about 20 faux gingerbread snowflake iced cookies hanging on this tree too.

I really wish these pics were better.  There's a country church, several little snow topped cabins.  Lots of fish and several boats to remind us of our home here on the water.  There's even a fishing bob.  Little foam mittens made by the Grands to be cherished forever.  Ice cream cones, merry-go-round, and a gnome.  Some new and some thrift store finds.  All perfect little favorites that made me smile when I found them.  Do you see the little hallmark ornament with the kitty hanging from the brass birdcage.  That was a 25 cent find this year.  I thought is was too cute.

The horse is the ornament I choose for my Granddaughter Ki'a last year.  They had been living on a ranch in Nebraska the year before and loved having a horse.

The little Victorian boy in the airplane was an ornament chosen for Zack a few years back.

The snowman ornament was one I found for my son Ty to commemorate the year he was serving in Iraq several years ago.  Oh you can barely see the cute cuckoo clock to the right.  I just loved it and picked it up for a quarter this year too.  The snowman holding the "Think Snow" sign was homemade from a friend in a swap  years ago.

The little boy in his riding habit on the horse is another of Zack's (remember one new ornament each year).  Between you and me it really reminds me of his Dad a lot.  I had decorated Ty's room in fox hunting polo riding style when he was young.   Underneath the horse is a snow globe ornament with Santa in a canoe fishing inside.   I love the little birds drinking from the bird bath too.   I don't know what these cute black bears are made of.  It's a nature material like straw.

Here's Zack's horse ornament from last year.

Kia's little Victorian ornament to match Zacks the same year.  She's so cute.

I even have snow shoes to go with my woodsy theme.   Moose, doggies, birds all flock this tree.  And one of the Grandchildren's hand prints below. A precious felt acorn that a swap friend made last year.  I always think of Donna from Brynwood Needleworks when I hang it, even though it wasn't from her.  She just loves acorns.  A little toy rocking horse is just propped in the branches.

Now that it's all up on the tree, I think it's time to dress up the little fur bears hanging and sitting beneath.  I think they deserve new ribbons don't you?

I hope you enjoyed seeing my trees.  If you missed the first tree you can click here and read that post.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

O' Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree

After 2 years of not putting up a tree (which broke my heart), I'm back in the spirit again.  I only wish I had either better photography skills or a better camera.  It's really hard to take pictures in the house.  We have the basic wiring done but have not had it finished or the ceiling fixtures installed.  Crazy hun?  Light switches but no overhead lights.

Anyway, we (meaning I) put up two trees this year.  I love ornaments and have collected them for years so I just couldn't resist.  The photo above is of the tree I refer to as my formal tree.  Lots of white and pink with spots of burgundy.  Covered with angels and dolls.  It's so much prettier in person. 

This year I decided to have a dove help me decorate the tree.  This reminds me of the old Disney Cinderella movie (or was it snow white)?  The one where the birds helped trim the dress with lace and ribbon.  Loved that.   I really wanted to add two more doves, everything is better and more balanced in threes, but I didn't leave enough slack in the beaded garland.  It was so simple to do.  I hot glued the garland to the beak, then took a couple of strands of  white embroidery thread and ran the needle right through the back of the dove, ouch.  With a straight pin stuck through the thread I just pushed it into the ceiling.  Easy!  I could have gone out to the shed and dug out so nylon fishing line but it was too cold for me.  With the flash on you can see the string in the photo but you really don't see it in person.  Here's a photo of  it without the flash.
The next photo is my son Ty's first ornament.  Yep, it's 31 years old!  Gosh my life is starting to consist of vintage/antiques in my time frame.  I love that ornament and so does Ty.
My first Grandchild Zack's first Christmas ornament is below.  I love the precious little deer on this Fritz and Floyd one.  It's another of my favorites.  Each year I by the Grandkids a new ornament.  Buy the time they get married and are ready to decorate their own trees, they should have over 20.  And hopefully a very special collection.  I marked them each with their names and the year.
These sweet little pink baby shoes are my Granddaughter Kia's first ornament.  I get chills every year as I unwrap each of these beautiful treasures.  This is my one real collection.  I don't look for the most expensive ornaments for this tree just the ones that are really beautiful to me. These baby booties are the softest pink glass and so sparkly.
Neil is the collector of antiques in our home.  We have at least 3 big Wurlitzer jukeboxes, way down from the 21 he bought  a few years back.  Yes, I pretty much flipped over that!  One is a bubble Wurlitzer and the two others are even older in big wooden cabinets with reverse painted glass.  They are in a back room and not displayed right now so it's hard to remember.  Then there about 5 counter-top juke boxes.  One comes with it's own metal stand. And I can't even guess as to how many horned phonographs, like a Victrola, I'm sure over 30.  They're beautiful but I'm not really a Victorian era girl.  I really like more of an eclectic look.  Boy did I get off track.  Anyway, I'm not a big hallmark ornament collector but I found this cute little diner jukebox that plays old Christmas songs and had to get it for him.


I have used these pretty little flocked violets for filler for years.
I also take the silver grape bunches and just lay up on the branches as fillers.
I love the sparkle of these Swaroski crystals I found last year.

A little traveling suitcase and airplane below to remind me of my love of travel.  And to remind not to forget my dream of wanting to travel more. I've never been out of the country.  There is also a world globe that goes with this set hanging on our tree.

I bought the angels years ago and love to spread them throughout the tree.

**Another little tip.  I haven't come across any pine tree scent to spray my artificial tree with so I bought one of the hanging pine tree car air fresheners for each tree and just laid it in the middle on the branches.**

Now if only Santa wasn't so busy granting all the deserving boys and girls their Christmas wish list, I would find a new camera under my tree and you would have a year of better pictures from me.  Of course I want a lightweight laptop for blog reading in bed/couch.  And I've really being wanting a Cricut Expressions too.  

This is what I told Neil I wanted for Christmas.  AN ALL ANIMAL CHRISTMAS LIST:

  1. A new kitty.  One that likes to be squeezed, hugged and loved like a Rag Doll kitty.
  2. A Cricut Expressions.
  3. And to top it all off, I thought I would add a Jaguar
In reality this is not the year for any of them.  But it's fun to dream!

So friends what is it you're wishing for this year?  I've love to hear.  And I'm not talking about peace and love but totally materialistic Wish List!

Hugs...Tracy :)

Come back later this week and see my other tree.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry Giveaway Ending Soon - Low Entries

I just found out that one of my dearest friends is having a giveaway and it ends TONIGHT. Yep, that's right, Keke of Cherry Kingdom is having a giveaway and it's ending tonight, Saturday, Dec. 11th at Midnight! So hurry right over. There are a small number of entries right now. Go visit, and enter, who knows you just might be the winner of her cute, cute gingerbread apron and goodies! She's such a sweetheart too! Just click the link below.

Cherry Kingdom: Matchbox Day #8 and #9, Mr.Holiday Presents and My First Ever Give Away...

Good Luck Y'all!  Hugs...Tracy :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Things are Slowy Getting Back to Normal

Well at least for the next few hours.  Our Lord is teaching me patience in the moments of panic.  In this rushed season I'm an learning to take things as they come which can change at a moments notice.

One thing I am blessed to have is my joy back.  My joy for Christmas this year with no expectations.  I'm happy to have the blessing of peace in my home.  The tenderness of love so long missed.

Our days are like a roller coaster now but there is an underlying calm and security knowing God has answered so many prayers for my family and me.  I know this is due to the links of a strong prayer chain.  You can't imagine how I hurt last year at this time.  If you would have asked me only two months ago what my future held I would have told you I had no idea and no real hope.  I would have said my family life was hopeless.  Thank God our sweet, loving Savior didn't give up on the girl with the poor attitude and low self esteem.  The hopeless seeming girl who couldn't bring love to anyone around her.

But I'm drifting off subject again....
My MIL Nadine has been transfer back to the nursing/rehab.  Neil was in a good mood after seeing her the night she transferred but the next evening came home in tears.  She was in bed, not responding, and moaning.  He must have cried the whole way home.  I could see it as soon as he walked in the door.  

Yesterday we went together to visit her and found her in her room sitting in the wheel chair.  We were both so surprised to see her looking well and being in such a good mood.  See, this is what I mean about a roller-coaster.  Bless her heart, she's kind of hard to understand now and not much makes sense but still it was a big relief to Neil and me too.  Neil didn't sleep at all the night before.  When we asked her what she'd been doing, she said making beds and cleaning the bathroom, washing clothes, stuff like that.  She told us about riding out to Callahan to get something for Neil.  She said she told her Mom that Neil would be coming by.  Of course her Mother has been gone since Neil was young.  I don't mind hearing these things if she's happy and she certainly seemed to be.  We took her for a stroll in the wheel chair and they have a sweet little ice cream parlor opened for 2 hours, 3 days a week.  We went in and got her some.  It was the first thing she has literally  put in her mouth in at least a month since she's been on the feeding tubes and pegs.  It was wonderful seeing her enjoy it but you could tell she's weak and really doesn't remember how to eat but it all came back.  She doesn't even realize that she doesn't eat food anymore.  Then we went in the dining room where they had someone come in to play the piano and sing.  There were lots of Christmas carols.  He even sang Route 66, a Nat King Cole standard, that made me think of Paula from Paula's Altered Palace of Art.  And my favorite "Fly Me to the Moon"!  Oh' how I love those beautiful old songs and NO I'm not that old.  

So to tie that up with a bow we had a very nice day.  We came home to record cold weather (low of 22 degrees), That's cold in Florida!!!  Luckily I had made a big batch of chili a week or so ago and taken some out of the freezer.  YUM!!!

Between the hospital and trying to keep up with a couple of swaps that I had already committed to I haven't been able to get to you wonderful, sweet and loving friends that have comforted me through this.  But I've got my swaps done and the trees started so I hope to get online tonight or tomorrow because I want to let each one of you know what you've meant.

So here's to hoping and wishing that in your hearts you already know how much you mean to me, that you're keeping warm and cozy today and that your enjoying the spirit of the season as much as I am.  I could just cry in the most wonderful way today!!!

Loads of love, hugs and happy wishesGod bless y'all,
Tracy :)

A Christmasy Giveaway to Share

Gwenny's Place is having a giveaway with Christmas spirit and I thought y'all would like to hear about it.  I think I could enjoy relaxing on the sofa in this chilly weather with the tree lit and Gwen's beautiful prize package.  What could be better than playing some Christmas music with a warm cup of tea and a platter of  my favorite treats while enjoying Ms. Streisand's decorating book.

Since I am new to Gwen's blog, which I found while searching nativities, I can't tell you I know her but I did notice the first thing in her profile was that she is a Christian woman, wife and mother.  I'm hoping to get to know her better and hope you stop by and introduce yourself as well.  I'm sure she would welcome you with open arms.  Don't forget to enter this lovely giveaway before Dec. 18th.

Warm Hugs, Y'all!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The life care center called just now and is sending my MIL back to the hospital now.  Her potassium levels are too high.  Please prayer for the family.

Also my cat just died about an hour and a half ago and we've been crying about that all evening.  I just can't believe he died.  I had held him all day.  I'm a wreck and so is Neil.  We certainly didn't expect to get a call from Life Care telling us this.  I don't know what else to say .

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Biggest Basket Full of Christmas Giveaway

Don't y'all know I'd like to take credit for this one.  I'm ashamed to say I don't even have a giveaway planned yet and Christmas is getting so close.  Can you believe today is the last day of November.  Where did it go?

Anyway to let  you know more about what you popped in for.  I just visited a friend who had a post on this fantastic giveaway and after I went to check it out I knew you'd wanna hear about it too.  Cindy at Thimbleprims Studio is giving away this huge basket of goodies.  How can you girls afford to ship all the HEAVY prizes?  Does someone know something that I don't about USPS or UPS?  Not much time left so click here and enter for yourself.  

And if any of my readers friends wins something I've told you about I love to hear from you, so come on back and share!  Also let me know do y'all like reading about these giveaway opportunities?  Let me know if you do so I keep posting them.

Have a wonderful day Y'all.  Hugs...Tracy :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Charming Swap Indeed

Hi Y'all.  There are so many things to catch up on lately.  I've been doing lots of reorganizing and then going back to bed sick, then more of the organizing,  back to bed sick, so on and so forth.  But I have managed to get a few swaps in between all that.  And now I'm finally finding time to post some.

Sarah @ Gypsy Mermaid decided to have a charm swap.  I thought well that sounds easy peasy and fun too, so sign me up.  Boy was I wrong....about the easy part not the fun part.  I was going to soldier up some charms.  I went out and bought the glass slides, the soldiering tool, tape and flux.  Yep, check, I'm ready.  HA!!!  What do you have to do practice with these thing for 6 months after going to school for it.  Well after several hours for 2-3 days and a couple of burns, I was done.  DONE, do you hear me?!  Well maybe one day I'll take a class and then someone can show me what I'm doin'.  It just looked so darn easy.

One idea down and nothing new popping in my head.  Finally I decided to go with little metal disks and scrapbooking paper glued to the back.  I then added little crystals and filled with a glazing liquid.  On the back I glued a little circle of velvet scrap paper.  I also had some little wooden bunny shapes which I drilled a hole in.  Then I painted them and added polka dots and a bow.

The easy part was making the packaging.  I actually did that before I made the charms.  I made little matchbooks out of card stock.  The outside was covered with decorative paper, the inside was covered in a thin cheesecloth like muslin and I unraveled the edges.  I stamped the outside and inside.  Stapled the bottom, added a touch of ribbon  and punched holes at the top for more ribbon to hang the charms.  Added my little cards and was done.  At least that plan worked.

Sarah made cute birds with the alphabet to coordinate with a list of who made which charms.  That was a smart idea and cute.  Then she sewed little bags tied with ribbon to hold them all.

Thanks Sarah for hosting such a fun Swap and making me work my brain.

Not only did we get one of each charms but we also had a special swap partner that we made fabric hearts with to swap.  Jodie @ Everything Vintage, who is so creative, was my swap partner. And she sent me the most beautiful heart.  Isn't the heart she made above just swoony gorgeous!!!  I love it and am so proud to call it mine.  Thank you Jodie for taking so much time to make such a beautiful heart.
The heart above is the one that I made for Jodie.  I really hope she liked it.  It can't compare to hers.

Thanks to all the wonderful girls who made this so much fun.  I love all the charms and all the individualism.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Was a Pairre Flower Farm Winner

I won Linda's giveaway at Prairie Flower Farm!   Her cookie won 2nd place in Create and Decorate Magazines Holiday Cookie Contest!  Linda  is featured in the August 2011, Holiday Issue 2011 and December 2011 Issue. How exciting is that!!!  And since I was one of two winners she chose I received one of  her delicious snowman cookies (just like the top photo).  Oh' it was so hard to eat because it's just too darn cute, but eat it I did and it was delicious. YUM!  I also received a copy of the Create and Decorate Magazine that she was feature in (pictured above). 

Linda also asked her readers to contribute recipes for the Prairie Flower Farm Cookie Cookbook she's creating.  I can't wait for that.

And if you've never visited her shop Peace Creek Collections
you really should stop by and see just how beautiful her creations are.  And you'll love visiting her blog Prairie Flower Farm.   You'll feel happier every time you visit her. 

Wow I Won Wendy's Carmex Giveaway

 I knew I won this a week or so ago but I usually wait to post when I receive the prize so I can tell you a little about it.  And I'm glad I waited.  This is awesome.  Wendy over at Ramblings From the Sunshine State  who I hope to meet one day since we're in the same general area of Florida and I feel like I've know her forever just from blogland, hosted this giveaway from Carmex  which I blogged about earlier.    I never even knew that Carmex had hand creams until now.  I love Carmex lip products. We've used it in my family for years.  It works great for cold sores, fever blisters and chapped lips.  I love fresh cool feel of the Menthol and Camphor.  It's thick with Cocoa Butter and stays put on your lips.  I still have a ceramic jar of it and it still smells fresh.  

Well now they have a whole wonderful line of lip products, healing lotions and creams.  And they all came in a wonderful toiletry bag in the giveaway.  Thanks to Wendy and Carmex , I'm ready for winter.

Wendy's is mother to 3 young children  and always creates the best birthday parties for them.  She also has a Etsy shop called Blake's Crayons.  She makes the cutest crayon shapes.  Just click on her banner below to stop by and see for yourself.

 Y'all have a blessed day now....Hugs, Tracy :)