Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Christmas Card

This Christmas was as hectic as ever. Possibly more so, since my daughter "gets it" for the first time. Last year, she knew what presents were, but this year - there was a wish list. Her list was simple. A bike. A big girl bike. Santa always delivers, doesn't he? Santa brought my son a new laptop, too.

Yes, Santa is very good to my kids. I think Santa knew I was also feeling very grateful - even more than usual - that my kids are healthy.

The Sandy Hook travesty took a toll on more than just my husband and myself. You assume that parents are horrified. But my son was very distraught, too. Enough that his teacher called to let me know how upset he was. More than the rest of his classmates - at how senseless and unexplainable it all was.

He has little empathy for his little sister, but when it comes to the world - he wants to fix it. He cried and told me that he wanted to invent a time machine to go back to Thursday and warn everyone - to stop it from happening. Not that he wanted "someone" to do that - he wanted to do it himself. That's a lot of weight on a little man's shoulders.

I received the Christmas cards I ordered 2 days after - and all I could think about was how one of those mothers may have gotten their Christmas cards that day, too. With photos of their child smiling.

I planned on starting to address my cards that morning, but found myself reading news articles and crying instead. For several hours I thought that sending Christmas cards seemed so trivial and insignificant. But then I realized that I love receiving them and seeing all the beautiful faces of my family, friends - and more than anything the children. So I got my act together and mailed them in case someone else was having a rough day and my children's faces can brighten it just a little.

From my family to yours... a belated, but heartfelt... Merry Christmas!!! 

And Warmest Wishes for a wonderful New Year!

Please note: These images are from Tiny Prints, Inc.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting in the spirit

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my home! Not outside, however. Cold and very, very grey! Not excellent photo opportunities so some of these images will be a bit grainy since I had to brighten them up.

This is a small vignette in my entry. I moved my little desk to another wall to make way for the "fancy" Christmas tree. This is my White Christmas area. Our family tree, in all its color-filled glory, is in the family room. Guess that's a bit redundant.

Somehow we ended up with two trees 10 years ago, and I decided the tree in the foyer would be all decked out in white and silver. I'm still loving it a decade later. My husband and kids love very colorful Christmas decor. And I agree - a family tree should be as fun as possible. So it was a great compromise.

This little fella is from Kirklands. I liked his neutral colors, the book pages peaking through and his dusting of snow. Oh, and 50% off doesn't hurt at all. :)

One of my favorite garage sales finds of the summer was 2 boxes of vintage silver glass ball ornaments. Still in their boxes, no less. I think I paid a dollar for them. Gasp! The patina is gorgeous. I wish it were more obvious in the photos, but as I mentioned, grey, grey, grey skies around here.

I added a few bottle brush trees under a bell jar. Then sprinkled them with coarse kosher salt. Isn't it the cutest? Glass bell jars and teeny tiny trees - honestly this little piece makes me smile inside and out.

I have an old silver sleigh - don't even remember where I got this one. I filled it with a bag of pinecones I got at Goodwill for 50 cents. I was really happy to find them, because the scented pinecones at stores are so potent they give me a headache. And make my husband sneeze. These were completely odorless and crazy cheap to boot!

Pinecones are such an easy way to add texture to any setting. I got 3 large sugar cones from Home Goods that I so badly wanted to add to my Christmas decor. Unfortunately, when I got home, realized they were scented - and not cinnamon - something like heavy floral soap. They would be perfect in a basket in a bathroom, or tied with ribbon hanging in front of a window. But just opening the bag made me itch like crazy. Super sensitive to perfumes around here. Boo hoo...

So that's my peak at my entry table. Hopefully I will have time (and natural light) to post more soon. I have photos to upload of my fancy tree and want to do a post about handmade ornaments. And of course, my treasured childhood ornaments.

Are you getting in the Christmas spirit, too? Or has the bug not bit you yet?

Sometimes I link up with the following fabulous linky parties: The 36th AvenueA Ruffled Nest, At the Picket FenceAtkinson DriveBe Different Act Normal,Between Naps on the PorchBeyond the Picket FenceBlissful & DomesticBowdabra BlogCheerios and LattesThe Chicken ChickCoastal CharmCommon GroundCountry Momma CooksCrystal & Co (The Mommy Club)The Dedicated HouseDIY Show OffElizabeth & Co.Embracing ChangeFaded CharmFamily Every AfterThe Farmhouse PorchFinding Fabulous, Fine Craft Guild, Fireflies and JellybeansFree Pretty Things!, French Country CottageFresh Eggs Daily, Ginger Snap CraftsHappy Hour ProjectsHigh Heels and GrillsHome stories AtoZHouse of HepworthsHubby Made MeI Heart NaptimeLil' LunaLadybird LnLife on Lakeshore DriveLittle Becky HomeckyMandatory MoochMilk & CuddlesMod Vintage Life, My Repurposed LifeMy Romantic HomeMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaNap Time CraftersNifty Thrifty ThingsNot Just a HousewifeOne More TimeProject Inspire, Primp Your StuffRedouxRooted in ThymeSavvy Southern StyleShabby Art BoutiqueSimple Home LifeSix Sisters' StuffSkip to My LouSomeday CraftsThe Shabby Creek CottageStuff and NonsenseTatertots and JelloThirty Handmade DaysTimewashedTip JunkieTwigg StudiosUncommon DesignsUnder the Table & DreamingThe Vintage Farmhouse, Western Warmth, ...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our Thankful Tree

In my never-ending battle to raise my children to be upstanding citizens of the world, I was inspired by other blogs I had seen to start a new tradition in the month of November.

Our Thankful Tree...

I had cut down a few birch branches that were breaking from an especially windy storm we had in October. Up until very recently, the leaves stayed fairy intact.

This week, however, they were falling like crazy. I got a little annoyed with picking them up constantly before the dog would eat them. When they would fall, I would just put them in the bottle for later.

I printed up tags and cut them out {and used a decorative punch on the corners}. They say "I'm thankful for..." I started in a print font since my daughter is just learning her letters, and then realized my son is learning {and surprisingly loving} to write in cursive. So I added another version with cursive - and got extra creative with the next version - I added a bokeh overlay. It looks so pretty and soft.

The thoughts we each write on the tags can be very meaningful. For example:

I'm thankful for...
"... the saleswoman today who reminded me of something my grandma would say to me." {She has passed away, and it was such a bright moment in my day to hear her words.}
"... everyone helping to feed Molly." - that's from my husband regarding the dog duties.
"... us having enough money so I can play hockey." ~from my son {he plays semi-travel - apparently, our comments about not taking it for granted are sinking in}

Or somewhat simple and even silly at times, such as:

I'm thankful for...
"... my sweet baby girl" ~ I also did "... my wonderful son"
"... goggles" ~ 3 year old - she tends to wear them around the house, to the store, and every now and then in the pool :)
"... ice cream" ~ BOTH kids - and who am I kidding? - me, too

I don't want my kids {or husband} to think it has to be profound each time. We should be thankful for everyday things, as well.

I have put all the extra tags in a vintage silver sugar cup. I punch holes and hang them with twine when we are done. 

I think I mentioned once before that I wanted to make my own velvety pumpkins this year. Well, I did it! ONE! One lonely pumpkin! :) But he's awfully cute, don't you think? Real stem again and a real dried leaf. 

As I said, I was inspired by many different blogs, but the most recent post that spurred me to action was Jones Design Company

So to all of those wonderful blogs and to all of my wonderful readers, I would like to say...

I have added an image below with the tags I used for our Thankful Tree. If you click on the image it should appear larger and can be printed or downloaded. 

To you and yours from me and mine...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I'm Pinning Wednesday

So, for lack of energy {yes, wah wah - I'm still not feeling 100%, which means my level of creativity is fairly nonexistent}, I am starting a new post today called What I'm Pinning Wednesday. Because lack of energy, does not translate to lack of interest on my part. Just can't seem to get motivated. So...

Here's a little eye candy for you...

I have been pinning a lot of Christmas ideas and pretties lately.

Especially the vintage variety. :)

So precious... and I have something going on right now with wanting to live on a farm.

I have been thinking a lot lately about wanting a piano. 
Mostly for the kids, but I would like it, too. 
{Because we definitely need more noise around here, hee hee!}
An old painted piano would make my heart happy.

I really need these to grow in my garden!

Gotta have a little "Hey Girl" in my life. :)

Loving this idea to fold a strand of pearls in half and add ribbon, preferably vintage.
I would use a similar soft-hued velvet ribbon for the holidays.

Must find a vintage pair of ice skates for holiday decor.

Even though it's missing a cozy blanket, this room looks so elegant and dreamy.

One of the best funny photos...EVER! 
The tagline on this photo said, "Lemonade is for Losers"
Don't get me started on how much this would fit my daughter's personality.
She wants her own Harley for Christmas. And not a pretend motorcyle. The real deal. She's 3.

Could be not feeling well, or the fact that I live in yoga pants, but I think this ensemble would fit me to a T, or technically a North Face hoodie. Sans the makeup and earrings. I won't kid you, that would take a lot of effort on my part. So, it would be a waste of money. But Starbucks, never a waste of money. :)

I find these dresses stunning. And so is the styling and photography.
Makes me wish I was a runway model so I could wear such lavish clothes.
But then, the outfit above is a far closer reality - but boy, these are glamorous.

I am definitely loving the aqua and red of this simple, stylish tablescape.

Lastly, here's a quick snapshot of some of pins today...

If you decide to follow along on Pinterest with me, leave me a comment and I will follow back :)

All photos shown can be found on my Pinterest boards.

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thrifty Find: Royal Kent China

I just found a gorgeous set of Royal Kent china at Goodwill this week. I couldn't pass up such beautiful and classic china for the price. I got 54 pieces for $28.00! I just think it is crazy the amount of quality that can be found for so little money. 

It inspired me to start getting ready for hosting Thanksgiving dinner. This is an old bookcase that I use for extra surface in my dining room when we host a lot of people. It's one of those pieces that you've had forever and you don't LOVE it, but it's practical. 

{Please excuse the photos, the weather has been overcast around here all week. And I do not like using flash at all. So, I did my best with natural light and brightened them up a touch in photoshop.}

Told you it was dark outside (this was mid-day, too!) I threw in a few pumpkins for color. I adore white pumpkins, but unfortunately, our local farmers did not have a plentiful crop this year. The handful I picked up have mostly rotted by now, with the exception of the two shown here.

Normally, I am not a very gold kind of girl. Silver, preferably antique, is my thing. But the gold rim was so pretty on this set. Not heavy or overpowering.

Is it just me, or do these photos with the pumpkins look like something from a 1980's Better Homes & Garden magazine shoot? 

Not for their styling or expert photography - hee hee - but for their coloring {soft and washed out}. 

A few pieces from the set were missing, which doesn't bother me a bit. But there were 8 berry bowls. I love berry bowls! These would be perfect for holding jewelry on a vanity. Very shabby chic.

I didn't find the cream and sugar pieces for the set, so I added some mismatched ironstone to the display. I prefer my ironstone as mix and match actually. 

I used a small collection of vintage doilies as a makeshift runner. I'm still not feeling 100% yet, so this is as far as I have gotten with my inspiration I mentioned in my last post about decorating with doilies. :)

The set I found included 8 demitasse cups and saucers. I love teacups, but demitasse teacups are so stinkin' precious! This pattern is so dainty, that the diminutive size makes it so much more pronounced.

This photo is much larger than actual size, but it shows more detail of the pretty raised scrolls. Whether you prefer tea or coffee, this cup requires pinkies in the air. Wouldn't you agree?

Funny thing - I realized after I set it all up and snapped a few quick photos, that I was less concerned about my 3 year old breaking anything - and more concerned about the dog licking the plates on the lower shelves! Agh! So, they are now stacked on the top until turkey day arrives.

Further inspiring my doily obsession was this beautiful glass platter I also found at Goodwill. Look at that intricate white doily pattern! And the gold trim works perfectly with my new-old china! As I was paying, the clerk at Goodwill said to me, "Wow, you came in on the right day!"

Yes, ma'am. Yes, I did. :)

Have you had any great thrifty finds lately? Or a new inspiration to get you started on your holiday decorating?

Sometimes I link up with the following fabulous linky parties: The 36th AvenueA Ruffled Nest, At the Picket Fence, Atkinson DriveBe Different Act NormalBetween Naps of the PorchBeyond the Picket FenceBlissful & DomesticBowdabra BlogCheerios and LattesCoastal CharmCommon GroundCountry Momma CooksCrystal & Co (The Mommy Club)The Dedicated HouseDIY Show OffElizabeth & Co.Embracing ChangeFaded CharmFamily Every AfterThe Farmhouse PorchFinding FabulousFine Craft GuildFireflies and JellybeansFree Pretty Things!, French Country Cottage, Ginger Snap CraftsHigh Heels and GrillsHome stories AtoZHouse of HepworthsI Heart NaptimeLil' LunaLadybird Ln, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Little Becky HomeckyMandatory MoochMilk & CuddlesMod Vintage Life, My Repurposed LifeMy Romantic HomeMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaNap Time CraftersThe Nature of GraceNifty Thrifty ThingsNot Just a HousewifeOne More Time, Primp Your StuffRedoux, Savvy Southern Style, Shabby Art BoutiqueSimple Home LifeSix Sisters' StuffSkip to My LouSomeday CraftsThe Shabby Creek CottageStone GableTatertots and JelloThirty Handmade Days, Timewashed, Tip JunkieTwigg StudiosUncommon DesignsUnder the Table & DreamingThe Vintage Farmhouse, ...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Treasures: Decorating with Doilies

I've been missing in action for too long. My 3 year old is still getting over croup, and I am on my own second round of antibiotics and excuses... 

It's about time for a new post, but weather has not been cooperating for good photos around here. Must be feeling my pain. Until then, and very much along the same lines... I bring you a current craving of my own - calorie free!

I've been loving vintage doilies for quite some time. And my affinity has overflown to items decorated with doilies, vintage, handmade, paper, etc. I do not discriminate. :)

Here is a round-up of some creative and lovely doily-inspired crafts and decor for your viewing pleasure.

This photo is from my post about The Ruffled Nest Studio shop. I loved her delicate doily banner hanging in an open wood frame. Come to think of it... I should have bought the whole display! :)

Lovely tablecloth embellished with vintage doilies.

An etsy wishlist item: doily wooden coasters 
{they got me with that sea glass colored background, too}

Monster sized doily-inspired wall art. {And a super cozy, lush looking daybed}

Embroidery hoops with vintage doilies

Oooohhh.... and add some material, buttons and embroidery... Love it!

Wooden circle tags with doily overlays.

Gorgeous flowers in simple ball jars with doilies and twine.

3D Hanging Doilies from

Doily lampshade {love that this is paired with a rustic wooden background}

Easy drink parasols from paper doilies

I used paper doilies to pretty up some goody bags for Mother's Day

So in love with this idea to use doilies in the window to look like snowflakes this winter.

There are lots of packaging ideas floating around with doilies. 
I think this craft paper package and floral ribbon are oh so pretty.

This gorgeous handcrafted scatter rug from etsy is on my Christmas wish list!

I am very inspired to make a vintage doily runner for my table. 
I think it looks great against wood tones.

Lots of eye-candy for today. Hopefully I will have some luck taking photos of my doily-inspired decor very soon. I will share as soon as aesthetically appealing.

Happy Election Day!

~ All photos with original links can be found here. ~