A Midwinter’s Spring Cleaning

Hello everyone! I hope the new year is being good to you, so far.

Believe it or not, we are seeing trees begin to bloom in the area. What!? Yes, trees beginning to bloom in this, so far, very mild winter we are experiencing here in coastal Texas. So, I’ve been taking advantage of some necessary “spring” cleaning. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like clutter, and a “little birdie” is telling me some really good things are about to happen. So, cleaning and uncluttering is a must to let in the good about to manifest. Also, by “behind the scenes” happenstance, the rest of my Knittington Fairy cards are in a new tea room that opened recently in our town. It’s a wonderful place and a co-owner loved the fairies. I’m keeping my heart opened for good things to begin to find my work. And with prayer, I’m keeping opened to God to be led on the perfect path for me.

As you may have read in a previous post, I have semi-retreated from the job I have, so I’m only working about 2-3 days a week. That has done wonders for my well-being and energy level.

What about you? Are you having some good feelings about 2019? And what is your weather inspiring you to do? I’d love to hear from you.

Well, that’s all for now. Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

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Novellas are Making a Popular Comeback

Check out my author’s page to see this and more books.

 

Hi, everyone. Hope you are enjoying the beginning of this new year with good health.

Allow me to tell you why I love writing shortstories and novellas. I can pack a lot of story into a short amount of reading time, which allows the reader to relax with a good story (and their favorite cup o’) without having to take too much time out of their busy schedules to finish it. I believe novellas are seeing a popular comeback. I’d love to hear what you think about the subject.

Thank you for stopping by Leisure Lane, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Happy New Year for 2019

Wishing you all a happy new year and a very healthy, prosperous and blessed 2019. Thank you, my friends, for your visits, your comments, your presence here on Leisure Lane. You have made this past year a blessing, and I am looking forward to many more delightful visits with you while sharing more wonderful things with you in the coming year.

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Note: The above image is by Marianne Coyne 2018.

Merry Christmas Blessings From Leisure Lane

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2: 7-13

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“Good will toward men.” This Christmas, dear friends, may you be blessed without measure, contemplating in your hearts the depth of God’s great Love for you. If you were the only person on the earth, God would have sent Jesus for your sake. The above scripture is not simply a story heard over generations, but the Truth worth meditating on within our hearts. That “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.” John 3:16  Isn’t that the reason for the season – the reason we give from our hearts? God gave His best and we wish to give our best. But let us, in all our giving, not forget to receive – receive the greatest Gift of all times. The one and only True thing for which to get down on our knee.

Merry Christmas from Leisure Lane, and..

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

 

Norwegian Almond Bars Christmas Treat


Norwegian Almond Bars

Happy Thursday, everyone! Are you getting ready for the holidays? I didn’t do as much as I thought I would, but I managed to make some cookies.

I have a friend whose ancestry is half Norwegian, so when I found this recipe for Norwegian Almond Bars on Pinterest, I simply had to make them for her. The recipe is rather easy, and though they came out fine, mine seemed to lack the almond flavor that I expected. Perhaps my extract is too old, though I bought it last December. I’ve used it in recipes and they had good flavor, but as I said, these lacked the rich almond flavor I was hoping for.

Other than the flavor issue, they came out very nicely. If you decide to make the recipe, let me say that the dough will spread while baking, so when you’re flattening out the bars, although they may not seem like they are wide enough, they will be when done. Follow the recipe I’ve linked and you shouldn’t have a problem.

I made two adjustments to the recipe: I cut the sugar in half, as I like to control the sugar in my baked goods, and I used water for the sugar glaze instead of milk, as I didn’t want to have to keep these refrigerated.

Norwegian Almond Bars blog link

My Pinterest Goodies and Desserts Board

I think my friend will like them. And I’m glad I got to use one of my tins for cookie giveaway. Lord knows I have enough in my collection. Every time I see one I like I get it thinking how nice they will be for making and giving cookies – then I don’t, and they pile up – does anyone else do that?

Thank you for strolling by Leisure Lane today. Be blessed, my friends, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Note: the Norwegian Almond Bars recipe is from Grandma Mae’s Norwegian Almond Bars on Key Ingredients

Felt Gingerbread Men and No-Sew Mini Gift Bags – Christmas Crafts for Any Age

Welcome to Leisure Lane on this fabulous Tuesday, my friends. I hope you’re enjoying the day.

I’d like to share two easy-peasy craft ideas that are perfect to do with children or alone – felt gingerbread men and fabric pouches. Last night, while looking through my container of Christmas decorations, I came across these. I had made them with my son when he was a child, and took them out for nostalgia’s sake and to share with you. So, let’s get started.

Felt Gingerbread Men

The gingerbread men are so easy to make, you’ll whip up a batch in no time.

You’ll need:

small gingerbread man cookie cutter (you can also use a star, stocking, etc)
scissors
pencil
brown felt
craft acrylic paint (any colors of your choice)
small squeeze bottle(s) with pointed nozzles (to put the paint in for decorating the “cookies”)
decorative string (if you’re going to hang them)

Lay the felt out on a clean surface. Using the cookie cutter as a guide, place on felt and trace around the edges with a pencil. Repeat throughout the felt just like you were cutting out real cookies from dough. Cut out the designs with your scissors and decorate with paint as desired – just have fun with it. Once the paint is completely dry, if desired, you can thread a needle with some regular or decorative string and make a loop on the top of the cookies for hanging on the tree.

They also look yummy arranged on a cookie dish. But don’t leave any milk nearby, or Santa will think they’re for eating ;).

No-Sew Cotton Fabric Mini Gift Bags

These mini gift bags are even easier to make and so pretty. You’ll want to make extra for decorating your packages.

You’ll need:

Cotton fabric of your choice
Ribbon (narrow works best)
Pinking shears
Ruler
Fabric glue (or any craft glue that works well on fabric)
Piece of cardboard, paper, or anything that can be used as a pattern

With your ruler and paper, mark out a size that you would like. My mini bags are approx. 2 3/4″ h x 3 1/4″ l. Cut out pattern and place on cotton fabric. Using pinking shears cut out fabric shapes. You will need two pieces for each bag (front and back). On wrong side of fabric, glue along sides and bottom. Place wrong sides together and adhere gently with fingers to ensure all sides are secure. You will be leaving an opening at the top. While glue is drying, you can cut out strips of ribbon approx. 4 1/2″ long. These will be for the handle and bow on each bag.


Once glue is completely dry, take a piece of ribbon and glue the ends inside and to the back of the bag, as shown above. These will be perfect for hanging on the tree or attaching to a package. With another piece of ribbon, make a bow and glue to outside front of bag. Let glue completely dry before using the bags.


Your mini gift bags are now ready…


You can stuff them with money, candy, or any little surprise. If you make the bags slightly larger than a gift card, you can add one of those, as well. Have fun, and if you make any of these projects, please share…I’d love to see. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Well, that’s all for now, my precious friends. I hope you enjoyed these Christmas crafts. Have a joyful and healthy Christmas, and take some time to breathe and reflect on the true reason for the season.

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

 

 

 

 

Naughty Doggy Christmas Card

Good day, everyone. Thank you for strolling by today. I hope you enjoyed your weekend.

I have something to share, which is a bit out of the ordinary for me to do. After seeing the cat sketch I added to the manila envelope I sent to my El Paso friend, another friend asked if I would do a sketch of her “precious” doing naughty on a Christmas present. As I’m not a fan of most animal card humor, I told her I’d give it the old college try. So, though the topic may be a bit off color, no pun intended ;), I think the card came out pretty good. Though the lighting the day of the photo was not so good – very cloudy, once again – so the white card looks terribly gray.

Naughty doggy!!

I began with a light pencil sketch, then an outline of black waterproof pen (I like the Micron brand. Lastly, I lightly colored in with watercolor, Much like how my Knittington Fairies were done.

Well, that’s all for now. Enjoy your day, keep your thoughts positive, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Christmas Wreath Card

Welcome to Leisure Lane today. I hope you’re all enjoying the day. It’s full of promise – I promise!

Today, I’d like to share another Christmas card. I painted the wreath and decorated it with some craft stick-on “pearls” and some cute gold flecks. The flecks were from a package I bought at the dollar store in the cosmetics department. They’re for finger nail decor and the package came with different colors and shapes, like iridescent and silver stars, green circles, etc. So, next time you’re in the cosmetic section, look around – you may be surprised to find things you can use for craft projects.

Finished off the wreath with a raffia red bow and added one of those silver star flecks to its center. I used the corrugated cardboard as is; I think it adds something nice in its raw state.

Thank you for strolling by today. I hope you’re inspired to do something fun to decorate your home or give as a gift.

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

 

Christmas Card Bonanza

Good day to all and welcome to Leisure Lane. I hope you are enjoying the day.

I’ve been making some Christmas cards and thought I’d share some with you today. I did the above card for my son. I like the way it came out, but my writing leaves much to be desired. I practiced and practiced on scrap paper, but when it came time to write in on the actual card, my flow choked, and well…but, I think he’ll like it anyway. I painted the tree separately, then added it to another piece with a splattered paint border. I was looking to create something I could use with this pretty plaid scrapbook paper. Overall, I really like the way it turned out. Made one for his dad with a different painting, and I’ll share that one soon.

In a recent post I mentioned I got started with making the cards because of a friend in El Paso. I decided to send him the Snowy Christmas Card. If you didn’t see that post you can view it here. It’s already to mail off, and on the envelope I added a little extra something – he has a cat, so I think he’ll appreciate this sketch. I’m hoping it will bring some cheer the mailman, as well. Hmm…maybe another Christmas card there, too.

Giving this card to a friend – it’s sort of her Christmas present. I first painted the watercolor and tore the edges. Then mounted it on painted corrugated cardboard using those 3M mounting sponge stickers – they are perfect for giving that raised effect. I mounted a “merry Christmas” tag with the same 3M stickers and added a raffia half-bow on top. Simple, but sweet. We rarely get snow here, so this will give her the desired Christmasy effect without the slipping and sliding ;). But Oh, to be sledding down that hill!

That’s all for now, friends. Have a sweet day, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

 

St. Nicholas – a.k.a. Santa Claus

Greetings everyone! It’s almost Christmas, and I’d like to share a wonderful article from Kenneth Copeland’s site about St. Nicolas, a.k.a.Santa Claus. I hope it inspires you for this most wonderful time of the year.

Each December, images of Santa Claus are everywhere. We see visions of a large man in a red suit with a long white beard and rosy cheeks. But the real Santa Claus, or St. Nicholas as he is known, was not some marketing invention. He was a godly man whose giving spirit became an example of Christ’s love.

From what is known about St. Nicholas, he lived during the third century in Turkey. He was from a loving Christian family who taught him the importance of loving God and honoring the Lord with his giving spirit. At 19, he joined the priesthood. His uncle, a bishop, prophesied that Nicholas would lead and encourage people. He also prophesied that Nicholas would become a bishop and lead a spiritually fulfilling and devout life. In fact, Nicholas did help the poor, became a bishop and lived with a desire to honor God in everything he did.

He was known to spend entire nights tirelessly studying God’s Word just so he could bring fresh insight and revelation to the people in his congregation. He was known for reaching out to those in need, praying, fasting and relying on God’s Word completely.

The true story of St. Nicholas is a beautiful picture of the giving that Christmas is all about. The greatest gift that anyone can ever receive is the gift of Jesus Christ. He was given 2,000 years ago to all mankind by our Heavenly Father so that we could have a relationship with God. Jesus is our hope, redemption and victory. He’s the reason we can experience the Blessing in our lives. He is our advocate with the Father, our blood-covenant friend who will never leave us nor forsake us and continually works to bring to pass the New Covenant. In Him we have the joy of living a heavenly life on earth.

St. Nicholas, the real Santa Claus, exemplified the real meaning of Christmas. Christ mass means “anointing celebration.” It’s the celebration of “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” It’s the celebration of how the anointed Jesus “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38). It’s the story of our triumphant Savior, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings! Merry Christmas!

Thank you for visiting today. See you soon, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Note: The above article is from The Real Santa Claus/Kenneth Copeland Ministries

 

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