Monday, December 31, 2012

bye-bye two thousand twelve.

I can't believe today is the last day of 2012.
Then, again, I can definitely believe it.
This year feels like 1 wild and crazy week,
but it also feels like 10 long years.
Of course, the best part of this year has been a healthy nugget that joined our bunch.
                                          january                                                                                              october
                                                                                                       
same hospital.
same jean jacket.
same nugget.
definitely different pants.

Thank y'all again for being part of this...
from the transition with tiny snapshots to Creek Junk.
It's been fun to see the regular readers and some new names join us.

As the hubs said this morning before he left for work,
"Bye-bye two thousand twelve.  You brought us a baby."

Lookin' forward to 2013.
-S

Saturday, December 29, 2012

the holidays.

Like most of y'all, we have been super busy with the holidays - opening way too many gifts, munching on sugary sweets, rushing around doing last minute shopping, drinking lotsa cups of coffee, attempting to sing along and dance to Christmas music, constantly making to-do lists, baking at all hours, hugging relatives, avoiding others (those who were and are still sick!), etc.  We've had a fun and crazy season though.  Best tiny moment during all of this was getting a sleepy, but extra sweet baby out of his carseat  for the family to see him while singing Hallelujah at Midnight Mass...He was proudly sporting a cheesy grin and his Santa's, little helper pajama jams.  We've been attending a Midnight Mass service for years, and I'm so glad it's a tradition that has continued during the midst of holiday madness.

Here's one of my favorite photographs from our first, Christmas season with nugget...

grandpa, son, and grandson opening presents.


Hope you made sweet memories with good company.

-S

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

tree six.

May you have a sweet and simple Christmas...
-S
our living room tree decorated with a hodgepodge of family ornaments.
Christmas Eve nugget.

Friday, December 21, 2012

trees three, four, and five.

So my trees continue... 

I decided to put a three-in-one post together, because these 3 don't have any decorations - just the twinklies.  Plus, I'm all out of Fridays before Christmas!  Anyway, enjoy the rest of the tour...
one:  This tiny cutie is set-up in our bathroom.  I guess that's kinda weird, but we like it.  It's the "after bath time" tree.  We take nugget over to it after his baths...his little, fat, squeaky-clean self just grins so big.  He's not gonna know what to do when his trees are all gone.
two:  This is the ghetto, upstairs tree.  Look people, you can't see the bottom from the road.  No need to put lights on the back either.  This is an older tree (thanks parents) that requires EACH branch to be put on individually in color-coded rows.  I happily just threw these branches on (and tossed some in for filler).  It looks pretty cool from the road - I promise. 

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three:  Okay.  Let me explain our last tree for today.  We've had a real tree in our living room each Christmas since we got married.  However, since we have the woodstove (this year and last), we can't get it too early, because it will dry out.  This year, we weren't able to get it until late due to being crazy busy and rain.  

When we finally did get out to one of the small, local tree farms, a lot of the good ones had already found homes.  The owner of the tree farm mentioned that he had the "bigger ones" on the back of the farm, in case we wanted to get one and trim it to fit our room.  Why did he say this to us?  We headed straight for the back.  Then, we had that moment in National Lampoons Christmas when Clark sees the obviously-way-too-large-for-any-average-person's-living-room tree.  Yes, it was perfect...and glowing.  I asked the husband, "Are you sure that will fit?"  His response, "Oh ya, I can make it work."  Here he is "making it work:"
See it splits at the bottom, so there's no way to trim the bottom like he thought...and we were NOT trimming the top off, because I wanted a tree topper (just call me Mom).  Be glad you didn't have to sweep the mess it made trying to get through and back out the front door.  Please, notice National Lampoons Christmas is on the TV.  Coincidence?  
So, that tree became our deck tree.  I was kinda bummed we still didn't have a tree in our front room when Mom texted me later that night saying it wasn't too late to get a real tree, because her sister (my Memaw) and her husband (my E.T.) used to get a real tree on the 15th of December every year.  I thought to myself, "That's really late.  We probably will get our's at least before then..."

On the 15th we went back to the tree farm.  The owner was so sweet.  When we explained the "split" in the tree, he thought it had split on us and offered for us to get another one for free.  He didn't know we are crazy tree people who secretly wanted a deck tree and one for our living room.

Anyway, the story continues...

We ended up getting the cutest, little tree for our living room.  This was after I heard the "I can make it work" comment again when my husband was eyeing another tree that was NOT going to work.  

We got home, and we couldn't find a tree stand.  Daddy swears there is one in the back shed.  We've all looked - multiple times.  Then, after a family, Christmas party, we drove around town trying to find one.  Sold out.  My deck looked like this for a little bit...

We were bound and determined to get it set-up that night (the 15th), so we decided to jack the tree stand from the deck tree.  The deck tree is now somehow wrapped to the deck (redneck), and it falls over when the wind blows.  You can bet it just stayed sideways yesterday for all of y'all who know how windy it was here.

My goodness. I might get a fake, "real" tree this year during the after-Christmas sales.

Happy Friday, y'all.

-S

Thursday, December 20, 2012

before+after antlers.

I'm taking a break from wrapping presents...and by wrapping, I mean this:
Not all of 'em look like this.  I promise.

Anyway, I wanted to share with y'all a before+after I messed with a few days ago.  I've had this little guy in storage for awhile...and recently, I decided it's time to bring him out.  He desperately needed an update though, so I added some white paint and burlap...and of course, some festive attire.  

I like him.  He was actually my first deer while hunting Daddy back in '96. :) 
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Hope you're enjoying these last several days before Christmas.  I certainly am...Nugget and I have been out and about all over town this week.  He loves to be right in the middle of the crowd.  

He is just the best little elf.

-S

"old" holiday decor.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is seeing the handmade and store-bought decorations from when I was little(er). Mom and Dad still decorate with a bunch of this "old" stuff.  They actually have a pretty good bit of holiday decor...They (Mom) saved every. single. thing. my brother and I made during elementary school.  During the last several years, we've sorted through and thrown out some stuff...like the "snowmen" - jagged edged cardboard circles with cotton balls barely hangin' on.  But Mom has still kept some things, especially if they have our lovely, cursive handwriting anywhere visible.

This kinda stuff takes me back...and I'm not even that old.  I love it...  
an angel??
created by yours truly.
I apparently wasn't aware of the
silent H in Christmas.
In recent years, I've tried to suggest that Nathan created this,
but unfortunately, my cursive signature is smack dab on the bottom.

I know I'll catch up to Mom and Dad's holiday (and non-holiday) collection of handmade creations.  Heck, I've already accumulated a whole buncha nugget's "stuff," and he can't even draw yet.

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Hope you get to enjoy aspects of Christmas that take you back to your childhood...

-S

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

continue.

Yesterday, I took an intentional day off from writing about Christmas projects and such to continue to think about the families who have lost so much after this past Friday.  The strong, common bond of parenthood has made my emotions so much more intense, particularly while I've watched several interviews with parents who who have lost one of their babies.  While I watched one interview through tears, I saw two, devastated parents in their living room, which was completely decorated for Christmas, and then, I glanced over at my little boy who was trying to stand and walk towards me...giggling with each attempt.  

We have to continue to hold tight to our faith and hope...continue to love and continue to find the light in the absolute darkest situations.

Continue to pray with me for Newtown...especially during this holiday season.

-S


"...the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves, and binds us to something larger -- we know that’s what matters." 
-President Obama, Sandy Hook Prayer Vigil

Saturday, December 15, 2012

DIY Christmas Card Display

I'm actually in the middle of baking a couple things for a family, Christmas party tonight, but I wanted to take a quick minute to share a post with you...

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I try to do different things with the cards we receive from family and friends each year, and this year, I am absolutely lovin' our display!  I love it so much, I just can't wait any longer to share it with y'all...
the deets: 

vintage, metal headboard {the one we're using is a full size}
bright red ribbon {scissors to cut & tape to secure ends}
clothespins

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Happy Saturday!
-S

We have received some beautiful cards so far this season...
Thank y'all!

Friday, December 14, 2012

tree two.

walkin' elf.
Happy Friday, y'all!  Can you believe we're so close to Christmas?!  This time last year, my house was ridiculously clean, presents were wrapped, and I was baking homemade cookies that took hours to make.  This year, my laundry is piled as tall as me.  I have maybe one person I have finished shopping for and their gift is still in the store bag.  And I'm obsessed with baking break-n-bake cookies.  This year is way, way better, because I have a little elf right by my side...crawlin', standin', and wobblin'.

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So, today I'm sharing another Christmas tree...

It's nugget's tree!  Last year, I decorated it with tiny, blue ornaments and big, silver bows, since we didn't know whether nugget was going to be a Mason or a Madison.  I had to ditch the bows this year, so it looked kinda bare...then, I thought, why don't I use my "old" (1993) advent calendar ornaments...

Nugget absolutely loves them.  He pulls them out of the book and waves them around while I read him each daily story of The Nutcracker.  It's the best.  Way better than doing laundry or baking cookies that take hours to make.

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Also, special thanks to all of our new fans on our Facebook page...Welcome to Creek Junk!

-S     
elf with his static hair-do.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DIY Peppermint Serving Tray

So, I saw a photo on Pinterest....

Y'all already know where this going.  The project looked easy, I tried it, and now, I'm sharing.  

Here's whatcha need:

Bag of mints - We used 1 bag (10 oz) per tray...
Parchment or wax paper - We used parchment, and it did the job.
Cookie sheet
Oven!
the deets:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place wax paper on cookie sheet.
3. Arrange mints in any design you wish on top of wax paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  One site suggested leaving extra room on the sides...
4. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes.
5. Take out and allow to cool on cookie sheet - 5 minutes ish.
6. Remove wax paper from bottom.  Be careful, tray is FRAGILE, and can break easily!
7. Please, remember that they will be kinda sticky!  Not too bad, but you get what I'm sayin'.  One site recommended cutting parchment to "fit" underneath...
8. Add cookies, candy, whatever, and you're done!

Let me know if you make one...or several!
-S


before.

after.

ta-da.

Friday, December 7, 2012

tree one.

Each Friday during the month of December last year, I shared a picture on the blog of different Christmas trees throughout our house.  I had 5 trees last year.  I know, I know - I have a problem.  Well, Michael asked me last night if I planned on posting 'em again this year, so I guess I will.  New tradition, maybe?  Anyway, today I'll share our guest room/office tree (the reason for that slash is in the pictures below).  It's my completely girly, pink, and gold tree.  I LOVE it.  It's just so darn pretty.  

the deets:

-Most of the ornaments are plastic, but there are a few glass ones...gotta hide 'em this year.

-I made the topper out of some wire ribbon and floral wire.  It's not the best bow, but it's going on 3 years, so it stays.

-The tree skirt is actually one of my high school prom dresses.  Mom suggested adding it last year, and I was like, "My PROM dress?  Uh, no."  Then, reality hit, and I thought where am I going to ever where a hot pink, strapless, open-back gown?  Then, reality really hit, and I thought can I even get IN it?  So, it is now an upcycled, tree skirt, and it works perfectly...especially with the tulle underneath, because it just naturally poofs.

-Do NOT analyze the backside...refer to this post for further explanation:

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Happy holiday decorating!  

Oh ya, please post a photograph of your tree(s) on the {Creek Junk Facebook} wall.  I wanna see 'em!

-S
little elf approves.
sparkley ornaments are THE BEST.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

FREE Photo Session!

I'm taking a quick break from homework to tell you about a little drawing we are doing!  Now through tomorrow night, we are offering a drawing for a FREE, 30 minute Christmas photo session for one deserving family!  The family can be nominated by a friend or family member by submitting a private message through Creek Junk's Facebook page located here:

Creek Junk on Facebook

We would like for the family to be located in Clarksville, Tennessee; however, we will consider surrounding areas.  The location of the photo session is to be determined.  Vintage photo props will be used, and the family will be given full rights to edited photos on a CD.  An estimate of at least 10 photographs will be provided.  

Please, consider nominating someone you know who deserves family portraits this holiday season!

Thanks, y'all!

-S

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

downtown Christmas spirit.

Saturday, my family and I went to a Christmas parade that traveled through downtown Clarksville.  I just love our downtown.  It's especially pretty this time of year...The weather was perfect and the sunset was gorgeous.  The parade was held at night, so floats decorated with lights were extra pretty.  The TSU band even made an appearance, which was probably one of the loudest parts of the entire parade...and nugget was asleep. :)   

Hope you're enjoying some local, holiday events!

-S


Franklin Street.




Around the World parade theme

sleepy nugget.

Monday, December 3, 2012

DIY Christmas Printable Display

This is way too easy, y'all...

1.  Search Pinterest for Christmas printables - most are FREE!  Here's the one I picked, which has a chalkboard-look:
2.  Save + Print - I used resume paper...it's just a little fancier than printer paper.
3.  Metal Tray + Magnets - When I realized this printable was too big for my 8x10 frame, I remembered I had this tray, which belonged to my Grandmother, in the attic.  It's perfect!
4.  Display!

And yes, those are wine corks...acquired during our pre-baby days. :)

-S

Saturday, December 1, 2012

yella, redneck, & Santa.

Christmas boxes have traveled from the attic to the main floor as of last night.  There has been a stall in decorating due to an unforeseen issue.  One of my four-legged babies decided they wanted a yellow tree instead of the pearly white.  Oh ya.  My favorite white tree has a yellow branch.  They must have decorated it last year, because it's good and set.  SO, for now, I've turned the yella part towards the wall.  Is that gross?  I'm thinking we can maybe spray paint (possibly DIY project???).  However, it's a pre-lit tree, so we would have to avoid the lights.  I know.  Ridiculous, but you can seriously tell.  I almost cried when I got it out of the box - tears of frustration and laughter.  ANYWAY, we'll maybe mess with it today and if not, if you come to my house during the next month, don't fully examine my guest room tree!    

Last weekend, we jotted down all of the activities we're wanting to do this month, and we are CRAZY busy.  Can anyone else relate?  I love it though - really I do.  I don't look at it as stressful.  I think being busy allows you to appreciate "downtime" that much more.  So, I'm lookin' forward to seeing family and friends AND Santa during the next several weeks. Speakin' of Santa, we stopped by Santa's, Redneck Wonderland last week on Black Friday. A quick visit to Bass Pro at Opry Mills for the men to buy hunting gear that they didn't need, women to walk around aimlessly, and Mase to sit in Santa's lap for a sec...

hello, December.

-S
not a fan.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

few degrees cooler.

I love cold mornings in the hollow.  
Smoke is puffin' from the chimney.  
Frost decorates the deck.  
Sun beams filter throughout the branches.
The dogs are extra frisky.
It's beautiful.
...and it's home.
Dad's always said that it's a few degrees cooler in the hollow.
That's fine with me.
We'll just add a few more logs to the wood stove.

*

Happy Thursday...

and yes, that's our new watermark thingie for our photographs. :)

-S

Monday, November 26, 2012

still on a turkey high.

I keep asking my husband if something is wrong with me.  It's a rhetorical question.  I'm sure he has plenty of various responses he could choose to say!  Seriously though, I'm just not ready for Christmas yet.  At this point, I typically have at least two trees fully decorated.  I haven't even brought one box down from the attic.  Yesterday, I slowly started bringing decorations out of their boxes...but I just don't feel ready yet.  I'm still on a turkey high from Thursday.

Please, don't think I'm being a Scrooge...and yes, Mom, I will put up a tree this year (she asked me last night, "You are going to put up a tree, right?").  I'm still just enjoying a holiday that some chose to completely bypass and sprint straight into Christmas.

So, this post is still about Thanksgiving, which I think we should celebrate throughout the year.  We should all learn to gather more and give thanks for our many, many blessings.  

Here's to still eating turkey leftovers and being thankful.
To support small businesses, we decided to purchase fresh, green beans for my annual, green bean casserole from a local business, Cash and Carry Barn, located off of Laffayette Road in Clarksville.  We bought two, MASON jar fulls, and they were delicious.  They weren't my Uncle J.T.'s, but they were pretty darn good.  Thank ya, Cash and Carry!
The Campbell's Green Bean Casserole recipe I've been using for years...ripped straight out of a magazine...wrinkles and all.
One of my tables...I know I shared another picture of this table with y'all last week, but I just love it!  I love the mini centerpieces I threw together (thank you husband for gathering some of the weeds that mornin' from the farm), and I love my grandmother's beautiful china.  We actually ended up having two, round tables in the front room, instead of our big-ish table.  We used that for food instead.  It worked out a lot better.  Everyone had more elbow room while eating.  And that's a BIG deal.
The goods - and this is even without some of our dishes...including the ham!  It got left on the stove-top...whoopsie.  More for us throughout this week.  Maybe it was intentional?
Above: Our group photo from my house...yes, Mase was still in his adorable P.J.s (thank you New York fam).  Below: Group photo from my cousin's house...Mom, Michael, Mase, & I decided to pile in Mom's Jeep later Thursday night and go over to Susannah's house for a quick, surprise visit. :)


...and last but not least, the main man everyone wanted to see.  Our blue-eyed turkey. :)

-S

Thursday, November 22, 2012

food, jibber jabber, & simple.

I am so full.  And I keep eating.

I love Thanksgiving.  No gifts.  Tons of food.  Just the way I like it.  

Ours was so fun...mostly due to a little man who jibber jabbered through the prayer.  He is so full of sweet.  There really is nothin like it.  

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Side note:  I've almost been 24 hours without signing into my personal Facebook account, and it feels pretty darn good.  I realized I wasn't able to completely deactivate my account, for fear I would lose the Creek Junk FB page.  So, I'm just not logging into my personal account...and I completely removed the app from my phone.  Ya, I've found myself mindlessly trying to press the home screen on my cell phone that had the blue icon positioned perfectly for my right thumb.  I apparently had gotten in the habit of automatically pressing it whenever....whenever there was silence, whenever I was "bored," whenever there was a commercial break, whenever I didn't want to genuinely listen to somebody. AND this is one of the main reasons I chose to take a break.  It's just excessive.  

Today, my mind was less cluttered.  Simple.  

That's what I'm wanting this holiday season.  A simple focus.   

Hope you and yours had a nice Turkey Day...
one of our tables today...
Blue Onion China was my Grandmother Wanda's,
homemade flower arrangement with weeds from the farm (and roses from Kroger),
and
some mismatched chairs.

Happy Thanksgiving!


As I filled out my "thankful notecard" last night, 
(we started this little tradition once Michael and I got married), 
I couldn't stop listing thankful thoughts. :)

I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving...

I'm gonna go turn up the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
and get back in the kitchen while nugget is snoozin'!

-S

Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard Source:
http://twistylane.blogspot.com/2009_11_01_archive.html

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DIY Thanksgiving Banner Tutorial

Want to make a quick, simple Thanksgiving banner?  I'll give ya the deets....

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Materials:
FABRIC Scissors - Seriously, invest in a good pair of fabric scissors.  They cut like butta.
Burlap - I have extra burlap in my craft area (pile) upstairs...I got mine at the local Rural King. :)
Paint - I used left over black paint from my mirror project a couple months ago...
Small Paint Brush
Old Magazine
String/Craft Ribbon/Twine/Whatever you want to use
scissors, burlap, paint, brush, magazine, & string.
 Process:
1.  Determine the word you want to display and cut triangles!  Harvest, Blessings, Thankful, etc.  Cut triangles from the burlap material with the fabric scissors.  You may want to consider where you're going to display your banner, so you can determine how big you want your triangles...

2.  Paint some letters - Freehand!  You can do it!  A lot of the tutorials I found suggested using stencils...I chose to just go with it, and I only had to re-do one letter.  My "U" looked like the PSI CHI symbol (for those of you who aren't psyc nerds, google it).  Really though, you should try freehanding it.  You'll be prouder of the finished product. :)

TIP:  The paint will go through the burlap, people!  So, when you paint your letters, do one burlap triangle at a time using your magazine beneath.   As you finish, just rip the page, and toss aside to dry.  I tossed mine on the floor.  This allows you to have a smaller work space.   
drying triangles.
 3.  Cut some slivers!  With the tutorials I kept finding, many of them referenced using a sewing machine.  No thanks.  I know how to use one, but that's too much effort right now. Then, I found one banner that had holes punched in it to simply "sew" the string through.  I didn't want circles, so I used that trick we all learned in elementary school to fold the paper (in this case, burlap) and cut a small little snip.  I did this at the top to corners of each triangle.

4.  String 'em together!  Ta-Da!  Quick, simple banner...
I'm thinkin' about puttin' ours over the Thanksgiving food table...or in the living room...not sure yet.  I was so anxious to put it up though, I had to display it over one of our fireplaces!  So, right now it's in our bedroom - ha!

Let me know if you try this...Please, share a pic to our Creek Junk Facebook wall if you do. :)

-S

Thursday, November 15, 2012

SIMPLE HOLIDAY FOCUS.

I already know some of y'all aren't going to like this post.  But I'm doing it.

For those of you who have been "friends" with me  for awhile on Facebook, y'all know I've not always had an active account.  In fact, I didn't have an account when my husband and I got engaged several years ago....and I loved it.  Why?  Because I had the opportunity to tell the news to some of my family and friends in person.  FACE-TO-FACE.  Besides my mom, she received a cell phone pic of my min pin posing beside my new bling the night Michael asked. 

Anyway, since having a little one, I've realized time is going way, way too fast.  Mason is standing in his crib, has 2 teeth, and babbling nonsense like his Daddy.  Every moment I am refreshing my newsfeed on my cell phone or responding to a comment (more than likely about one of Mason's pictures), 

I am losing that time with him...
or my husband...
or my house...
or my homework...
or myself.  

It's just too much to keep up with right now, and I am choosing to fully focus on the simple things during the holidays.  So, starting Thanksgiving mornin', my Facebook will be no more.  I might come back after Christmas or after the New Year - I'm not sure which yet.  Depends on if I'm still sane or not, but I'll be back (like that Arnold reference?).  

So, there ya go.  Hope you're not too mad at me.  I'll still try to post some stuff on the blog, so you can either save the blog link or register your email address (look to your right) to receive updates.  I'll still have my email address and, of course, a cell phone where you can reach me.  And, if you're really cool, you can send me a letter...with a stamp.

Happy one-week-from-Turkey-Day-Thursday!

-Stephanie
happy nugget.
standing+teeth+little, itty, bitty piece of hair.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

{robinson family}

Last Friday, my husband and I had the opportunity to set-up Christmas decor and snap some photographs of my cousins in our yard...Although the kids were more interested in throwing walnuts in the creek (I don't blame them - I did the very same thing when I was little), I did manage to get a few, neat photos!  Plus, this was the perfect excuse to get out some Christmas stuff for Mase. :)

Thank you, Robinson family, for stopping by our creek bottom! :)

-S