Tag Archives: Holidays

Mandala Monday ~ Christmas Ornaments

I’ve been back in painting mandalas mode over the past couple of weeks making Christmas ornaments as gifts for friends and family.  I’ve had a lot of fun painting them and I really hope they like them.  Here are a few of the designs I created.  They’re all a bit similar, especially color-wise (red, green and white), but each one is different…

The ornaments I used were clear glass, so they pick up whatever is in the background.  It really affects the look of the design and I’m not sure if I like that or not.  I tried using an etching cream on one of them to create a frosted glass look, but omygosh that was a complete fail.

The lighting wasn’t the greatest trying to photograph them indoors, so I brought them outside and snapped a few photos of them hanging from the branches of my arborvitae…

I don’t know if you can tell in the photo, but I put fake snow in the bottom of this next one.  I thought it’d be a whimsical way of providing ‘snow’ for loved ones who don’t get snow where they live…

I also put rhinestones in the center of some of them for those who might like a bit more bling, but at the time of this post, I’ve already wrapped them up for giving and don’t have a good picture to share.  Oh wait, here’s one…

It’s not very sparkly in the photo, a real crystal would look prettier, but I couldn’t find any flat-backed ones in the proper size.

I made them in two different sizes and the details got a bit muddled up trying to paint the tiny dots on the smaller ones, so they don’t look as nice blown up in a photo, but they’re pretty and dainty in person.

Due to the same color scheme, they all started feeling like they looked too much alike, so I tried to create different patterns, at the same time as keeping the person I was making them for in mind.  This one turned out be sort of a star burst design…

A few of the recipients of these ornaments follow my blog and I’m hoping they don’t see this post before they receive their ornaments, but I wanted to share because it’s one of the things I’ve been up to lately.

I know I’ve been a bit absent from my WordPress community this December (posting and reading) and I’m sorry I haven’t had the chance to stop by your blogs as much, but please know this… I’ve still thought of a great many of you quite often during this time, truly I have, and I’ve been sending love and good vibes your way as you’ve come to mind.

Please be well my friends.  Sincerely wishing you all that is good and lovely in this world, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and lots of love to you and yours…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

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Mandala Monday ~ Circle of Thanksgiving

Circle of thanks

Obviously, I created this one before the snow fell, while there were still colorful leaves on the trees and green grass on the ground.  😊

I created it with the thought of welcoming the month of November – which I always think of as a season of gratitude.  It’s not too cliche to be mindful of gratitude during the month of November, is it?  😉  (For those of you not with me here in the States, our Thanksgiving holiday falls on Thursday of this week). 

Regardless of the month or where we reside on this beautiful planet, being mindful of all that we have to be grateful for is always in season.

 

Thank you all for being in my little circle here on WordPress.  Much Love and many blessings to you and yours…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

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Brewing up Something Special

 

My daughter is “brewing” up something special this Halloween…

She was due yesterday, and late last night she had a few contractions.  Nothing further so far this morning, but it could be any time now!

Because her due date was so close to Halloween, she thought it would be fun to have a little Halloween-themed maternity shoot.  So a couple of weeks ago we went to one of the local parks where we had done some maternity photos when she was pregnant with my granddaughter and took a few photos.  I think they turned out pretty cute.  Look at that precious belly!  😍  I can’t wait to meet my new little grandson! 💙  Maybe it’ll be today!?

We’re just going to go about our regular Halloween business today and will have to wait and see if he decides to come…

My little granddaughter is very excited to go trick-or-treating later, it’ll be her first time going.  She’s going to be Skye from Paw Patrol  – she’s obsessed with Paw Patrol haha!  She’s had lots of fun over the past few weeks doing various little Halloween type of activities.  And thankfully, I’ve had both her and the mother-to-be staying with me these past few weeks because I live closer to the hospital where she plans to deliver, so I’ve been able to be a part of those Halloween activities – baking, decorating, etc., as well as going to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch.  Such a blessing…

 

Happy Halloween to all those who celebrate, and happy regular day to all the rest!

🎃

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Flowery Fireworks

 

A different type of bang

A different sort of boom

Bursting forth, summer’s blossoms shoot off a few fireworks of their own…

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2015

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And they’re every bit as dazzling as the explosive variety.  Though… much more quiet in their display.  😉

 

To those of you here with me in the States, have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!  To those of you elsewhere in the world… well, I hope you’re safe and happy too!  ❤

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Perspective

I’ve been avoiding writing lately.  Oh, I’ve got plenty of “material” roaming around in this ol’ noggin of mine, there’s never a lack of reflective or contemplative thoughts to share, it’s just that I haven’t felt especially inspired or able to really formulate any of it into words for using my “outside voice.”  And I still don’t, but I wanted to share a little story with you about perspective.  The perspective of gratitude.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a bit cliche’ to talk about gratitude while we’re having our Thanksgiving holiday here in the states, but so what?  So what if it’s a particular holiday that springs up a certain way of thinking?  And regardless of ones views or opinions about what Thanksgiving is really all about (where it originated or to whom it is that we are to express our thanks to etc.), isn’t the idea of giving thanks still of value?  And isn’t it better to have a season or a holiday where our awareness of gratitude is a bit heightened, than to not have one at all?  Obviously it goes without saying that we should live our entire lives (all year round) in a continual attitude of gratitude.  But sometimes things are going on in our lives that get us caught up, and we lose that perspective of gratitude.  Because after all… life can be really, really difficult at times can’t it?

Here I am in my own world, living each day, doing my thing, going about my business, dealing with my own set of various struggles and difficulties, and doing my best to live in such a way that brings love and light into the lives of others.  But sometimes I get “caught up” in all the things I have to do, and sometimes I become resentful of all the things I have to do.  I never used to get like this.  Honestly, I lived in a little joy bubble, lalalalalala.  But now I have pain.  Pain has invaded my little joy bubble, and now, anything that I have to do that requires any considerable amount of walking or standing, brings excruciating pain to my knees.  I have to do a lot of planning ahead and prioritizing, and I have to pace myself as to not to overdo it or I’ll be paying for it dearly for days afterward.  But sometimes there’s simply a lot of shtuff that needs doing all at once, and because I have other people depending on me to do all that shtuff, I have no choice but to take care of it.  This is always a very busy time of the year for me, we have family birthdays going on, not to mention the holidays and everything that comes along with them, in addition to the regular every day things pressing in as well.

This story begins at the grocery store…

First let me mention that I HATE the grocery store.  Not all grocery stores, I don’t mind going to the smaller markets and the local co-op, but the big warehouse type of grocery stores… = hate.  I always have, even before I had any knee pain.  It may sound sort of strange, but sometimes I actually used to have to do a little bit of mental preparation before going in.  I’d breathe deeply and determine within myself not to let the other shoppers’ vibes affect my mood.  I’ve always been sensitive to peoples vibes, but shopper peoples’ vibes are the worst.  Seriously, they can be so rude.  Sometimes I’d play a little game and purposely go out of my way to be extra kind, especially to the really crabby people (a little kindness can go a long way), but then someone would ram into my heel or nearly run down my daughter with their cart, and then it was game over!

Well, I needed to go to the warehouse type of grocery store the other day to go shopping for our food for Thanksgiving dinner.  My mom and my daughter came along and surprisingly, we had an enjoyable time of selecting our turkey and other fixings for our meal.  It was early in the day so there weren’t many people there, no one ramming our heels or running us down with their carts.   😉  We came across an elderly gentleman and I made a bit of small talk with him and teased around with him about us being in each others way in front of the lettuce.  My mom and I were both in tears after leaving him because he made us think of my dad.  The holidays are especially difficult when missing a loved one.  😦   We also “played” around a bit with an elderly woman who was riding in one of those scooters for the disabled.  Those scooters are such a wonderful idea.  Kudos to whoever thought up the idea of providing them for customers at those larger stores.  In fact, this whole story may could have been avoided if I had used one of those scooters myself.  I have used them a couple of times in the past when I’ve had a lot of shopping to do, but the stores normally only have a few of them available, and I always want to leave them for the people who are more in need than myself.

The problem with our little shopping trip arose when we went to pay for our groceries.  The lines weren’t too long, because as I mentioned, there weren’t many shoppers, but lo and behold the line we got into was a nightmare.  A nightmare for people who have pain when standing for long periods, anyway.  There was only one woman in line ahead of us, and she didn’t have many items, so we thought it would be semi quick.  We weren’t in a hurry, but like I said, it’s painful for me to stand in one place for very long, so in that respect we were in a “hurry.”  Well, I don’t know what was going on, but this woman was taking for-fricking-ever.  Seemed like it anyway.  I had to leave my mom and daughter and squeeze out of line to go and find a place to sit down nearby because the pain became so unbearable.  I don’t know how long I had been standing there prior to my going to sit down, but I sat on that bench for at least another 10 or 15 minutes before my mom and daughter came up.  How one woman, with barely any items, can take over 20 minutes to check out her groceries was beyond me.

I was feeling pretty annoyed, but of course once I was sitting down I felt better because I was no longer in pain.  And as I sat there I began contemplating about whether or not I am a patient person.  I strive to be, and I think I generally am, but am I patient while I’m in pain?  Nope, definitely not.  Am I kind?  Yes, definitely.  But am I kind while I’m in pain?  Well… I’m still able to be polite.

As I sat there contemplating whether or not I’m a patient and kind person, I was also thinking about how much it sucks to be in pain and how embarrassing it is to have to go and sit down because I can’t even stand in a line for 5 minutes.  That train of thought led to thinking about all of the other woes in my life, and as I became aware of that, I stopped myself.  I began a different inner dialog that went something like this… “Gosh, ya know, I’m thankful I even have the money to buy this Thanksgiving dinner”  many people don’t.  And then “I’m thankful I have my little family to share it with” many people don’t.  And on it went, more thoughts poured in about how incredibly fortunate I am, and all the things I have to be grateful for.  It completely shifted my perspective.  Even to the point of feeling genuine compassion in place of annoyance toward that unbearably slow woman in line.  God only knows what her situation is in life.  Here I had my mom and daughter shopping with me, while this woman was alone.  Maybe she is even all alone in this world.  😦

As I sit writing this, smelling the delicious aroma of the food we bought that day wafting up to my room, I’m saying a quiet prayer for that woman, hoping that she isn’t all alone, that she has someone to share this day, and all of her days with.  And I’m thinking about all of the other people in the world who may be alone, or hungry, or cold, with compassion and with profound gratitude that I am not.

Peace & Love…

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Pumpkin Eyes

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Our cat Sugar is such a curious little kitty and always has to be smack dab in the middle of things whenever there’s any action going on.  Last night while we were carving pumpkins she hopped up onto a chair so she could get a closer look at what we were doing.   She looked so cute sitting there that I wanted to snap a picture of her.  Well, much to my amusement the “red-eye” effect from the flash turned her eyes orange.  Just like the pumpkin guts!  Haha perfect!  And kinda spooky.  Now that’s really getting into the spirit of things!   😉

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Oh and incidentally, I carved out a cat on my pumpkin…

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Meow!

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But lest you be inclined to compliment my expert pumpkin carving abilities… not my artwork, I cheated and used a pattern.  😉

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Peace & love…

And happy Halloween!  😀

Fruit Pizza

I don’t post many recipes here, but this one is definitely worth sharing…

We had a BBQ yesterday for the 4th of July, and while talking to my sis about the dessert menu, she came up with the idea of making my fruit pizza.  It’s been quite a few years since I’ve made one, so when she mentioned it I thought “Oooh yeah, that sounds reeeally good!”

And good it was!  If you’ve never had fruit pizza before you’re seriously missing out on something yummy.  I’ve seen many variations out there for it, and I’m sure they’re all quite delicious, but this is a very old recipe that I got from a friend of mine a long time ago (before the internet came along filled with a plethora information on everything and anything), so I’m sure it’s better than all the rest.  😉

Here’s a photo of the one I made yesterday…

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Yeah, I know… the crust edges are smashed in a couple places (oops!) and that the design isn’t very imaginative, but it was still really tasty!

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Here’s the recipe:

1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1 package (8 oz) soft-style cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the fruit you can use whatever happens to tickle your fancy, but for this one I used:

1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced (it’s strawberry season here right now and I’m in heaven!)

1 kiwifruit, peeled, halved, and sliced

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh pineapple, sliced

The original recipe calls for 1 banana peeled and sliced, instead of the pineapple, but I was in the mood for pineapple so I substituted.  If you wish to add bananas, be sure to toss the banana slices in lemon juice to prevent browning. 

Directions:

1.  Press cookie dough evenly onto a lightly greased 12 inch pizza pan.  Prick with fork.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.

2.  Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Spread mixture evenly over cooled crust.  Arrange fruit as desired over cream cheese.  Refrigerate at least one hour.  To serve, cut into wedges or squares.

The original recipe also calls for a 1/2 cup orange marmalade or peach preserves combined with 2 Tbsp of water to be drizzled or spooned over the top, but I forgot to get some at the store so ours was naked.  😀   It was still yummy, but topping it with the orange marmalade really adds to the flavor and gives it a delicious added touch.

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Sure, it’s overly sweet and packed with sugar, but it really is a light and refreshing dessert for the summer time.  Besides, I used organic fruit so that makes it healthier, right?!

😉