December 31, 2011

Here's to the Future

HAPPY NEW YEAR
from all of us at
 GraciousJaneMarie.com!!!

May we all treaure the gift of reading...

Jane Marie Malcolm
Nancy Kamp
Martha Bear
Pickle bearling
Pansy bearling
Art bearling
Teddy O
Airborne
Wink E Bear
Mr. Buzzbee
Spew
Bird
Breelan Dunnigan
Carolena Dunnigan
Jack Patrick Dunnigan
Marie Dunngian
Michael Dunnigan
Miss Ella Dunnigan
Peeper
Grammy
Aunt Noreen
Nora Duffy
Aunt Coe Fries
Warren Lowel Duffy
General Dogsbody
Mr. Wickers
Taffy Wickers
Lil Cheese Wickers
Bruce Malcolm
Bob Harkins
Kate Brown
Captain Fancy Patch
and all the others who contribute to and participate in our stories, website, blog and wild, wacky and wonderful world at GraciousJaneMarie.com in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries!

December 22, 2011

Annual Holiday Letter 2011

My Own Dear Friends,


Since our lives on Amelia Island, Florida are chockfull of dubious delights, artificial adventures and loony-bin hilarity, we want to share just a part. Here goes:

Father works in a factory. A rat fell from the ceiling onto his shoulder. Father became disgruntled when they changed brands of pencils. Management offered him a lateral transfer from white socks sock stretcher to black socks sock stretcher. He realizes this is an honor.

Daughter only run one marathon and three triathlons this year. She is 7/8 inches shorter than she was twelve months ago, using the excessive pounding on her feet, as the reason. The family knows better. She's just lazy.

Auntie Rantie took Lucky to the store and they never returned. We sure miss that dog.

Cousin Freddie is considering being either a lingerie model or a lady cab driver.

Son-in-law is much better now.

Father enjoys having his eyebrows licked by the cat while he watches the wrestling channel.

Mother's orange crop was abundant this season, but blemished because she used no pesticides. Embarrassed by their spots, under cover of darkness, she left a box on the church doorstep. Dreada, the nasty neighbor, saw the whole escapade, and is now blackmailing Mother. Her price? The use of our paperclips on demand. We wonder how long we can endure.

Son ate his finger.

Bird passed away and Father put him in the freezer until the ground thawed enough to dig a hole.

Granddaughter learned how to drink from the left side of the glass.

The cat, we'll call him Gleet, hacked-up a big one.

Father stubbed his toe and said, "Shucky darn!"

We had a frozen pizza on Wednesday.

The Atlantic Ocean is still in the same place.

Merry Christmas from Amelia Island

PS To find earlier Annual Holiday Letters from Our Family and to get a better understanding of our exotic lifestyle, visit http://www.greenlightwrite.com/newsletterarchive.htm

December 18, 2011

Say It Ain't So, St. Joe

Take a look at the picture of our front yard to the right.  Note the absence of one, Saint Joseph.  Yes, friends, in the middle of the night, someone absconded with the third member of our Christmas family. We thought perhaps it was the wind but after searching the neighborhood and asking any and all if they'd seen him, the sad answer was the same.  No.  Because he lights at night with a bulb, he not only was snatched, he was unplugged! This means the crime was premeditated!
I used to work at our local downtown Christmas shop.  One day I discovered the Baby Jesus was missing from his little manger. I was horrified until I said to myself, "If they want and need him that badly, they can have him."  I'm thinking along those lines with regard to Saint Joseph. If they need him for some good reason, to their minds that is, then you have him with my blessing.  If they took him only for the purpose of vandalism, then I suspect their little prank will haunt them every Christmas of their lives. A mild haunt it may be but a haunt, nevertheless.

Merry Christmas one and all- and I include YOU!

***
from The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Miss Ella
December 1880s
Fernandina, Florida                                                                              

Dear Jane Marie,

Thievery of any kind is abhorrent, but to steal a symbol of the Holy Family is near unspeakable. May we all be so forgiving as you. May your Christmas be blessed and may the new year being the best of delights.

With sincerest love,

Miss Ella


December 16, 2011

Santa Paintbrush Ornament

I saw a similar Santa Claus ornament made from a paintbrush in a Lowe's magazine. I ran to the dollar store, got a few inexpensive brushes in different sizes and we were off!  I goosed mine up from the sample photo in the magazine and the result is pretty cute.  It can be made in an afternoon with paint you have around the house if you do much crafting at all.  Add some cotton balls for his hat trim and a mustache and  wahoo!  This is a fun family project for the children, too.

You'll need:
1 paintbrush, any size
paint for handle- 2 colors
paint for face- white mixed with a splash of pink & pink for cheeks
paint for eyes - black with white for reflection
cotton balls
glue, ribbon to hang & scissors                                                  
glitter paint (optional)

1. With scissors, trim the corners off the bristles, rounding the edge to look like a beard.
2. Paint the handle, front and back, one color.  When dry, paint a second, contrasting color on the handle making stripes or dots or whatever design you want.
3. When dry, mix a splash of pink paint with white and paint the face on the metal band of the brush, front and back. 
4. When dry, dot two black circles for eyes with the tip of the handle of a large craft paintbrush or the eraser of a pencil. When eyes are dry, add tiny dots of white for the reflection which will bring the eyes to life.
5. Dot pink on the face for cheeks in the same manner.  When dry, add clear glitter paint, if desired.
6. Stretch several cotton balls to look like fur and glue all round the the paintbrush, front and back, for the fur trim.
7. Take a small piece of cotton, stretch for the moustache, twist in the middle and adding a drop of glue, only in the center, press in place.  When dry, gently twist the tips of the moustache to make them pointy, if desired.
8. Cut a 6 or 7 inch piece of narrow coordinating ribbon, slip it through the hole in the handle that is hopefully already drilled when you purchased the brush, knot the ribbon, and hang your decoration. :-)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

December 13, 2011

Gingerbread House of Your Own

We made our Gingerbread House from a kit purchased at the grocery store. We bought extra gumdrops thinking there would not be enough candy in the kit to make it fancy.  Wrong.  There was plenty of candy. We were forced to eat the gumdrops so as not to waste them, of course.

The gingerbread roof and walls were pre-made.  All you have to do is follow the simple instructions and "glue" everything together with the white frosting which is included. The frosting sets in a few minutes so you can complete the house in an afternoon.

One thing I learned and will do when I make another ginger house is that rather than putting the walls and roof together, then decorating  the whole thing, I will decorate the walls first as they lay flat. Once dry, I will glue them in a vertical position, completing the house.  The reason for this is that it's difficult to keep the decorations from sliding down the walls until the icing sets.  You have to hold the decorations in place until they are stuck where you want them.

This project was much fun and I understand why building a Gingerbread House is a tradition with so many.

Merry Christmas all!