"...at its core....art is simply the language of the soul" -Robert Redford

Thanks for stopping by. Please enjoy your stay here. Have some Sweet Tea, grab a chair and sit a spell. Rekindle your SOUL, Embrace the ART and Believe your DREAMS. Stay as long as you like and come back soon. Friends are always welcome here.

Wednesday, December 31

Sharing a recipe.....

We had left-over Smithfield spiral ham and I wanted something hearty. I combined and tweaked several recipes to create this. John and I thought it was excellent!! Enjoy!!

Rustic Scalloped Potatoes with Ham & Peas

6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4-1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4-4 1/2 cups milk

8 cups thinly sliced potatoes, with skins on
2 cups chopped fully cooked ham
1-1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Slice potatoes thinly, retaining skins. I used my food processor.
Add to large pot of boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt, thyme & pepper.
Gradually add milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, until thickened.
In a large greased baking dish (11 x 15) layer half the potatoes, ham, peas and cheese.
Top with half the sauce. Repeat.
Bake at 365 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until potatoes are tender and casserole
is hot, browned and bubbly throughout.

Monday, December 29

Winter Blooms and such in Georgia

....gotta love winter in Southern Georgia. Snapped these pics yesterday afternoon around the neighborhood. :::smiles:::

Sunday, December 28

Christmas Money....

....was the gift we rec'd from several family members back home. John and I decided to pool our money and buy some things for the house. In addition to the computer chair you saw already, we also bought a gorgeous new floor lamp and this awesome love seat and velour throw. I totally LOVE it. We found it in a great little antique store here in town. We are also going back for another wooden bench they have there too tomorrow I think. I love having this love seat in the living room. It's a great place to have some quiet time to grab a book and a cup of tea. I am thrilled and grateful for the ability to have purchase it with our Christmas monies.

Goodbye Christmas....here comes 2009

We had a good Christmas. I've some pics to share. These are some of my faves.

This was my surprise present from John. I saw this gorgeous vintage basket in a local antique store. He kept saying things that he didn't like it, it was too expensive.....well, silly me....fell for it. He said he went back first thing the next day and got it. I love it. It's old, it's glitzy. I love the visual of the lady who spent all this time make it. I wonder where it sat in her home. It just has such a story....that's the kind of things I LOVE.

My wonderful new computer chair. The old one was so bad.....no cover, just foam!! I fell like a queen!! :::Smiles::: Bad thing is, it slides so well I nearly went through the patio door the other night!! LOL

You've seen my nutcracker collection here: http://shellyraewood.blogspot.com/2008/12/catching-up-whew.html . These are the 2 new additions for 2008. I picked out Indiana Jonescracker. He just cracked me up. To commemorative our first Christmas in the South, John found this adorable snowman beachy guy.....isn't it a riot?? I LOVE the sunglasses.

My big present from the guys. They bought me this amazing new flat screen monitor for my 'puter. It is 22 inches!! It is HUGE!! I LOVE it!!

I had a great day.....even far away from Friends and family!! Can't wait to see what 2009 will bring!!

Thursday, December 25

Merry Christmas!!

Just had to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!! We had fun opening gifts with the fam, via the internet and the magic of webcams. Next best thing to being there. Of course the great thing is no driving in the snow and cold and it's, like 80 degrees here today!! I'm thinking I could used to this Southern Christmas!! :)

My guys were good to me.....I'll share some pics later after I get the meal cooking. We're having spiral sliced ham, cheesy potatoes and scalloped pineapple casserole. Yumm!! We had sausage biscuits and cinnamon rolls for brunch. There are of course piles of cookies and candies and pecan pie as well.
More sharing later.......

Wednesday, December 24

Wow.....it's finally Christms Eve.....

....seems it's been "coming" for so long. I'm glad it's finally here. This being our first Christmas away from family and friends. I'll be glad when it's over. We'll have fun here and we will definitely be warm!! I can't believe how bad the weather has been already this year back home in Illinois. We definitely picked a great year to move South!! We've been enjoying our cards and packages as they come in the mail. Here's a few more pics of our decorations to share......Have a Blessed Christmas everyone!!


He came not to a throne, but to a manager.
He lived not as a king, but as a servant.
He chose not a kingdom, but a cross.
He gave not just a little, but everything.
This is how God showed His love among us:
He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. - I John 4:9 NIV

Friday, December 19

Catching up!! Whew!!

Seems my guys decided to bring home some funky virus and since it's the season of giving....they decided to share!! Ugh!! Good thing I LOVE them a lot!! LOL Anywho, we are back. So what to share......maybe I'll share some of my Christmas decorations with you.

This is my first Christmas ever, away from home and family in all of my 45 years. We are making the best of it....at least the weather is heavenly. It has been near 80 all week and we are soaking it in. I did decide I should decorate the house even if my heart wasn't in it. We had to buy a new tree this year as my beloved 9 foot tree will not fit in this house, so that was sad. We did get a great deal on Black Friday though and bough this tree for only $25. :::Smiles:::

Two things I had to have were my snowman collection (well part of it anyway) seems strange in Georgia though and my nutcracker collection. DH has bought me at least one every year since we've been married. I treasure them. I'll share them here:

Thursday, December 11

12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

This wonderful swap is coming to a close. Today was amazing!! Wowzers!! This giftie came from Virginia Madison. It is a gorgeous freshwater pearl necklace. I will wear it and treasure it Virginia!! Thanks so much!! :::Smiles:::
One more day.......

Wednesday, December 10

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells......Christmas is coming fast!! Today is get a fun giftie.....Day 10. I'm thinking a gift a day is a good plan!! :::Smiles::: Today the giftie fairy brought me this wonderful Slide Collage Ornament from Susan Tidwell at http://susan-artfulmusings.blogspot.com/. It is so much fun!! I love it!! Thanks . I've always been going to try my hand and these....maybe this will be my inspiration!! :::Smiles:::

Tuesday, December 9

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

Today is Day #9 and it is mine!! Yippee!! I can't wait to hear what the gals think of my gifties!! I totally LOVE how the packaging's came together in the end!! But then, I LOVE snowmen and have quite a collection (which seems a bit strange now that I live in Georgia LOL).

So, here again are the gift pouches I made. I made them by ironing freezer paper to snowmen napkins. The pouch is the pull treat pattern from http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/. The project lin is here: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/resources/tutorials/pull_treats/ You don't untie it to open it, you just pull on the bow and it "magically" brings out your treat!! Pretty cool!! They are embellished with blue candy canes I found (who knew??), satin ribbon, and these nifty linking metallic sequiney snowflakes that were actually a linked garland. I thought they made cool tags!!
My gifties are bamboo tile necklaces made with gel transfers. This is a technique I truly love. I learned from a dear Friend and fellow 12 days participant Angie Haviland. Her awesome work and bamboo tile tutorial can be found at her blog here: http://angiehallhaviland.typepad.com/angiesartfulllife/
"Jenny Kissed Me"


"As it should be"

My tiles are strung on waxed black linen cording and embellished with various beads and charms. Each is unique. They are then packaged onto vintage playing cards for gifting!! Here are a couple of my faves. I also have some that are available for purchase in my Etsy shop http://www.shellyraewood.etsy.com/. As always, custom orders are always appreciated. :::Smiles:::

Monday, December 8

Days of Christmas - Day 8

Another day another giftie!! Woo Hoo!! A girl could get used to this!! :::Smiles::: Today's present comes from Jeri Aaron at http://artfulgathering.typepad.com/. She is the wonderful gal who organized this swap!! Thanks so much Jeri for letting me play with this fun group!!

Jeri's offering was the cutest pincushion made into a teacup and saucer. It is adorable!! What a clever idea!! Thanks Jeri!!

Tomorrow everyone opens MY gifties!! Can't wait!!

Saturday, December 6

12 Days of Christmas - Day #7

Just like the Energizer bunny.,....the fun keeps going and going and going. Today brought an amazing ART piece from Gwynn Thoma. It is the prettiest paper dress I have ever seen. I am in awe of it. I just kept wanting to touch it and play with it!! LOL Wow.......I wanna make these!!

12 Days of Christmas - Day #6

I'm really liking this getting a present a day idea!! Thanks Jeri!! :::Smiles:::
Well, the fun continues here on day #6. I rec'd this gorgeous package containing an incredible ART piece. It is a spoon, masquerading as a piece of ART. I love it, love it. The colors are pink, which I also love!! :::Smiles::: It was made by Gloria Hanes at http://fromtheheartofhanes.blogspot.com/.

Friday, December 5

12 Days of Christmas - Day 5

It just keeps getting better!! I was thrilled to open today's giftie. It is from my long-time friend Diann, http://diannsartspot.blogspot.com/. She sent these stunning blue crystal earrings that she made for me. Aren't they gorgeous?? Thanks so much Diann!! I LOVE them!!

Thursday, December 4

Snowman Iris Fold Card for a friend

I was asked to make this card for a friend. I LOVE this Snowman Iris Fold Pattern. He just seems happy to me!! This pattern can be found at the http://www.circleofcrafters.com/ site here: http://www.irisfolding.circleofcrafters.com/irisfoldingsnowman.html. Every time I make another Iris Fold I remember just how much I really enjoy it!! :::Smiles:::

12 Days of Christmas - Day #4

It's beginning to fell a bit like Christmas......and here it is ......Day #4. From the basket today comes this treasure from Cris Cunningham at http://www.enchantedheartsstudio.blogspot.com/. It is a beautifully decorated soap cube!! It is lovely and fun!! Thanks so much!!