Fun Easter Projects and Traditions…..

Easter is soooo early this year!

I’m not quite ready to think about it….but I better get with it.

Here are some of the fun projects we enjoy doing at Easter….you can click on the title of each to be taken to the post with the how-to’s, etc.

Just this weekend I gave these to a lovely group of teen girls that spent the weekend with us…..here’s the how-to….

Vintage German Easter Egg Treats

basket of vintage easter eggs 2

This is our favorite way to dye eggs…..I just love the colors:

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

naturally dyed eggs on silver tray

Ever know the stories behind Easter Traditions?

I shared some in this post:

Easter Traditions

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We had fun making these last year, too….

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs main

Here’s the recipe for

Easter Story Cookies

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Have you started looking for the

Pine Tree Crosses

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I shared about our

Easter Egg Tree …… and how you can make your own….

easter egg tree

And we love the yearly tradition of doing a

Passion Tree

passion tree 2011

Well…those are some of our fun yearly traditions that we enjoy…..do you have any special Easter traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

Blessings~

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Christmas Journaling Day…..

I shared last year in this post how we have a family tradition…..A Christmas Journal.

art journaling

Each year we take turns writing an entry in the journal….whatever each of would like to share about the Christmas season that we just had. When the kids were little they would just scribble or draw pictures. It’s fun to go back and look over everyone’s entries.

That’s what we will be doing today….

Do you have any kind of family journal that everyone takes part in?

Blessings~

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Merry Christmas to All….and to All a Good-Night!

He’s waiting….and he’s ready……..91127592431780083_n4e8Jl0F_c{source}

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas filled with friends, family, heartfelt peace amidst the world’s craziness…..and much delight! I think delight is often left out of many people’s lives today….and I want you to have it to the full this Christmas.

Christmas Eve has such a wonderful energy…you can feel it. Something exciting is in the air……Santa’s coming!

But even more exciting than that…..a Savior came, and He loves you so very much.

Some of our Christmas Eve traditions:

Baking Jesus’ birthday cake

waiting for Nanna & Poppa to arrive!

having a fun lunch with them

heading over to the annual Christmas Eve party….one I have been attending since I was young…and now our 3 play the violin each Christmas Eve there.

Celebrating Christmas with my side of the family…opening gifts and enjoying being together.

Leaving the trees lit all night and special treats out for Santa. {Still!}

There are so many more special things that we do each Christmas Eve….what about you? How do you celebrate on Christmas Eve? Is it quiet and relaxing? Hustle  & bustle?

For Buddy, the Elf, smiling is his favorite. Whatever your favorite is….I hope you get to do a lot of it today!

Much Love and Merry Christmas~

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Olde World Christmas Ornaments……

I’m really not in to ‘theme trees’….. so, it’s kind of funny that I have one. I’m consistent in life like that. This particular tree started by accident. About 16 years ago a friend gave me an Olde World Ornament as a gift…also a housewarming; and that started it all. We now have well over 200 Olde World ornaments….and most of them were gifts from people that have seen that we collect them. They each have a special meaning and stand for something…an event, a special trip, a favorite place, hobby, etc.

After a few years we had so many of them that we needed to dedicate a tree to just the Olde World ornaments.

olde world ornament tree

What are Olde World ornaments, you say? They are glass..usually mercury glass ornaments that are made the old world way. They are mouth blown into antique molds and then liquid silver is poured inside of them. They are then painted and glittered on the outside. I just love them.

varsity ornament old world ornaments

The olde world ornament tree lives in our dining room.

tree in dining room

Are there any type of special ornaments that you collect?

Jiggling Jingling All the Way~

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DIY Victorian Christmas Crackers……

As long as I can remember we have had Christmas crackers at each place on Christmas Day. You can find them at many stores…but we have always made ours. When you create your own you can put inside exactly what you want to!

diy victorian christmas crackers

Each year we have special ornaments for each family…and label them with the last name and the year, then put them inside the crackers. We have Christmas with my side of the family on Christmas Eve at my parents’ home; and then we have a big Christmas Dinner here at our house on Christmas Day for Handsome’s family.

ornaments inside crackers

Want to make your own?

You will need:

toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes cut in half

fun little things to put inside {fun thins are ornaments, candy, paper crowns, small pens and pencils, fun words or wishes, etc.}

string or ribbon

any kind of paper or tissue paper

scissors

inside christmas crackers

How to do it:

Put all the fun little surprises inside the tube.

making christmas crackers

Roll the paper around the tube the long way and tape.

how to wrap a christmas cracker

Tie each end with ribbon or string and then trim the ends to the length that you wish them to be. Be sure to tie the ribbon or string tightly…close to the tube.

victorian christmas cracker

Put them at each person’s plate for a special dinner! We always include tissue paper crowns in ours…and everyone has to wear them throughout the meal.

tissue paper crowns

Christmas Crackers are something that everyone looks forward to each year…they have become part of our Christmas Dinner and Christmas Eve traditions with both sides of our family.

Do you have any special traditions that you started in your family?

Merry, Merry~

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Our Annual Christmas Party……..

For the past 18 years we have hosted an annual Christmas party at our home. The first year we started No. 1 Son was only a few months old and I had him in a sling all night. We initially began the party because we had just moved into Oak Cottage and didn’t know anyone…..we thought it would be a great way to get to know the neighbors. That first year we had around 50 people. We enjoyed it so much we decided to make it an annual tradition. We now have over 200 people coming through here each year…..it is something that our whole family looks forward to all year. For the past several years there are always many overnight guests after the party….our kids’ friends…..so it almost turns into a weekend celebration.

Our family is at its best when we are all together and have a home full of people. Handsome and I knew that hospitality was one of our ‘things’….but it has been neat to see that it is actually one of our whole family’s ‘things’. We love opening our home to others…whether it is just one person for coffee, or hundreds for a big party. Hospitality is wonderful ministry….and we love doing it together.

Here’s some little snippets of the preparation, etc. of our party last week.  I added in a recipe or two……

We use a whole lot of Stonewall Kitchen products around here…and one of our favorites is the Cranberry Horseradish Sauce. We mix the whole jar with 8 oz. of cream cheese….and it is the best dip ever! They also have wonderful syrups…it is the only kind we use. {No, they have no idea who I am…I just like their stuff, and so I am sharing it with you. :)}
cranberry horseradish sauce

Making these mini apple pocket pies is so much fun. To make them I use mini pocket pie molds from Williams-Sonoma, my favorite pie crust recipe, and Comstock apples……I mix lots of cinnamon and sugar into the apples, and then also sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the outside right before baking.

mini pocket pies

Love making cupcakes…regular-sized and these mini ones……I usually make a white cake with white icing. It helps with the Steeped Memories…. 😉

mini cupcakes

I am a list-maker…but also free-spirited, SO that makes me a free-spirited list-maker! ha! I have long used this fun pad of paper called The Entertainment Pad. It’s where I make lists of what will be served, what dishes will be used for each dish, what needs to be done 3 days, 2 days, day before, day of…..you know, it’s where it all happens. One year I accidentally left this out in the kitchen…and I noticed lots of people hovered over something on the counter, taking notes. When I walked over I realized they were checking out the pad of notes, etc. ha! They said that they learned a lot. {Probably a lot about my slight insanity……..}

entertainment pad

Some of the fun treats ready and waiting…..

party collage

Do you enjoy opening your home to others or do you prefer it to only be filled with you and your family?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! We have a party or two and then all 3 of our kids are performing {violin} at a Christmas Tea for the historical society in a lovely old, historical home. Can’t wait to see it!

Warm Christmas Wishes for your weekend~

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Here’s the Story {Christmas Card 2012}

We always have fun with our Christmas cards…..and I wanted to personally send each and every one of you our card this Christmas! Many people ask us about our cards in the past and can they have one….we’ve put them all in one place on the blog….all of our cards through the years. If you would like to see/read them just click the button at the end of the post. I hope each and every one of you are having a wonderful Christmas season!

HERE’S THE STORY……..  

Pitman Bunch Polaroid pic

Here’s the story, of a ballerina

Who was looking for a family to write Christmas cards

When she saw a handsome boy on stage in rehearsal

That’s where it got its start.

 

Here’s the story of a boy named Pitman

Who was looking for a ballerina all his own

He felt sorry for her, she couldn’t write lyrics

So on her finger he put a stone.

 

Then one day the ballerina married this boy

And they knew that it was much more than a hunch

That the two of them would somehow start a family

That’s the way they all became the Pitman Bunch.

The Pitman Bunch…that’s the way they all became the Pitman Bunch!

(duh, duh, de, duh, duh-duuuuuuuuuhhh, de duh)

A bunch: a connected group, a cluster, many acting as one

Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em – you know the Brady Bunch. They’re a team – they stick with each other even when someone breaks the vase or acts like a dork. They get to the bottom of things and celebrate everyone. Every situation has a happy ending. They are a bunch—a connected group.

Sometimes we feel like a bunch of nuts. Or a bunch of fun. Or maybe even a bunch of malarkey. But, we’re actually a bunch of people that love each other deeply – broken vases and all.

HOME IS WHERE YOUR STORY BEGINS….

among your bunch. Our story shapes us. Through our pains and successes we can become bitter or better. Closed or open. More ignorant or more aware. We can be more aware of the gifts that surround us each and every day. Or not. Our family, our bunch, is a great place to grow strong and great character—–grown through hardship, breaking vases, sometimes acting dorky – and having your bunch there to hold you accountable, see you through, and then celebrate.

We are constantly surrounded by so much buzz, gloss, and hype that we can easily slide into allowing our successes, security, and abundance lead to a type of numbing predictability. Paralyzing indifference comes from being too comfortable. But Jesus doesn’t give proper Hollywood, comfortable Brady Bunch endings to stories. He puts us in just the right bunch – the one we need to shape our stories into purposeful adventures. The one that will nurture and grow strong, great character.

There is a legend of an artist who had discovered the secret to a color of red that no other artist could imitate. He never shared his secret, but when he died a large wound was found over his heart. The moral? No great achievement…or anything of great value can be accomplished without the cost of heart’s blood.

Our bunch may not be famous like the Brady one – but when all is said and done we hope to look back and see that heart’s blood was shed and great character formed in our bunch.

This season our bunch is celebrating that first Christmas when we were sent a Savior – right into our bunch. It cost God heart’s blood.

A Christmas red that cannot be imitated.

From our bunch to yours……….

Merry, Merry~

The Pitmans

(©Daune Pitman, 2012)

Christmas Card Button

8 Fun & Easy Christmas Decorations to Make

We are in full Christmas swing here…how about you? I thought I would share a few of our fun little Christmas touches we’ve added this year….really easy ones.  {I also listed with the links at the end of this post the other ideas from last year with the how-to’s…}

I do not like the labels that come on most products….like jar candles, plastic storage boxes, etc. I’m that crazy person that when I see someone has left the label on the plastic storage container I have to hold myself back. I just want to run over and pull it off! Truly. It is all I can do to keep from doing it. And, if I know the person, I actually do it. ha!

SO, to cover up our jar candle labels I used upholstery webbing…..ya gotta love upholstery webbing. It usually comes in red, a dark forest green, or black.

covered yankee candles uphostery webbing

For this little project I just cut the webbing long enough to overlap and hot-glued it together. It forms a little sleeve that can slip off and be used on another jar candle when needed. {But be sure to glue it tight enough that it doesn’t slip down.}

yankee candle cover yankee candle covered

Another way I used the webbing was to add a little fun to the pillows that we have on the porch swing…..

webbing on pillows

Another fun, quick project we did was make some little word labels for two of our vintage silver foil tabletop trees.

vintage silver tree with labels

Using craft paper….we printed some fun words, cut them out, outlined then in German glass glitter {my favorite!}, and then glued hangers on the back. For the hangers I just used wire ornament hooks and straightened them out, then curved them to make a hanger for each word.

hangers for word tags word tags for tree tree labels

I am noticing that I really liked using the word ‘fun’ in this post. Fun!

Here are some other Christmas projects from last year {just click on the title of each one to be taken to the post with the tutorial and any free printables}:

Snow Balls with No Snow! Includes free printable!

snow balls on porch in basket

Initial Wreath

Initial Wreath

Russian Tea {Great for teacher or neighbor presents!} Includes free printable!

Russian Tea and TeacupBaby Jesus’ Bed….a fun activity for the whole family

baby jesus' basket bed

Christmas Journals

art journaling

I hope you all are having a great week so far…..the days are just flying by, and I’m trying so hard to slow them down.

Blessings~

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Christmas Around the Cottage…….

I’ve almost got all the dust bunnies wrangled! This Saturday is our annual Christmas party….and we just might have a clean cottage. 🙂 This will be the 18th year of our party…it is something we look forward to all year.  Can’t wait!

Here’s a little view of Christmas around our home this year.  Just a few little peeks….

No. 1 Son made this little nativity when he was 3…it is one of my favorite decorations. It sits atop a Bible from the 1800’s, open to the Christmas story.

nativity and bible

My grandmother’s creche….complete with rooster and turkey. 🙂 {And a pomander that needs to be replaced….good grief! Just noticed that. ha!}

creche

12 Days of Christmas table setting…with the original meanings of the 12 days printed on a scroll and rolled up. {I’ll be sharing this free printable I created in coming days….}

christmas dining table

Olive wood nutcracker from Israel……

olive wood nutcracker

Vintage cameras join the snow globes….

vintage camera christmas

On December 1st we start the advent calendar…made from small muslin bags with numbers stenciled on them. Each little bag holds a treat, coupon, etc.

advent calendar

Vintage chocolate mold from France…..

vintage chocolate mold

We added this fun felt mistletoe this year….we collect all things mistletoe…..couldn’t pass up this cuteness…..

felt mistletoe

We had fun making our centerpiece this year.  We gathered tons of glass jars…all different shapes and sizes, and vintage salt shakers….filled them with ‘snow’ and trees.

snowglobe centerpiece christmas centerpiece

The cars are ready, too…….

wreath on c

What kind of decorating are you doing around your home?

Merry, Merry~

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Our Mistletoe Story…..

Mistletoe is big at our house….and even though most people would think mistletoe is fun and they enjoy it as part of their Christmas decoration…..there’s a reason that it’s a big deal around here.

Handsome and I had been friends and dance partners for quite a while. I had listened and  advised him with his girl issues…..and he had listened to me with my guy issues. We were good friends. I don’t know exactly when it officially turned into more than ‘just friends’….but it definitely did on one particular night.

Handsome asked me to stay after rehearsal to work on a new lift for the choreography we were working on at the time. A pas de deux had been choreographed by the artistic director of our company…just for us. It was entitled Moonlight Waltz. Here’s a pic of us  rehearsing it……..

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I think the artistic director knew something that I {or we} didn’t…….he must have seen something that neither of us were acknowledging yet.

So, I agreed to stay after rehearsal and work on the lift. When we finished working Handsome walked over to his dance bag and pulled out a very squooshed piece of mistletoe that he had, earlier in the day, climbed up a tree to get.

I blushed and blinked and even giggled. And stupidly asked him what it was for…..I mean, after all, this was my good friend…why would he bring mistletoe??? {duh-uh}

He quickly put it back in his dance bag..almost embarrassed and then informed me that his car was broken down {he had a classic mustang that seemed to constantly have trouble} and asked could I give him a ride home.

Of course I did.

In his driveway as I looked over at him to say goodnight…..it happened. The most incredible kiss…..the firework and tingly kind.  That mistletoe might have been squooshed, but it was powerful!

When he got out of the car and we went our separate ways…….it had only been 1 or 2 minutes, but time seemed to stop……neither of us could sleep that night.

So, that’s when we say that we both acknowledged that we were more than friends.

We still  have that exact piece of squooshed mistletoe. We preserved it and attached it to a frame. It hangs on our wall to this day….as a reminder of the night that it all changed and a new chapter was begun…….

mistletoe mistletoe 2

So, each year Handsome and No. 1 Son go out on their annual mistletoe hunt. They bring back HUGE balls that we hang in our home…..and gallons of extra that we put on our front porch in galvanized wash tubs to give out to visitors and friends.

What about your story? When did it all change?

Underneath the mistletoe~

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