Monday, November 30, 2009

Trunkful (or Boot as Sharon would say) of Goodies

Like Bettie was saying in yesterday's post, we took off early Saturday morning for a day of thrifting...thought I would share my "loot" with you gals too...I was primarily on the hunt for items to use on the outdoor tree I'm putting on the patio this year especially bird or woodland themed items...won't this birdfeeder look cute nestled in the branches?

Notice the flannel backed tablecloth? I'll use that for a weather resistant tree skirt..... the North Pole ornie in the bag? thought I would attach to a birdhouse I already own and add to the tree? the little red boots could hold goodies for the birds as well...the elf was a real steal...I plan to use that in the kitchen to hold snacks/goodies..the photo folding screen? Stay tuned for a cute holiday idea I plan to try this year.....if you've never tried really need to give it a can find some amazing deals at times plus it's the ultimate way to "go green" and save some green at the same time.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What to do - what to do with all these new finds???

Took a short drive with sister Gayle to a small town south of where we live and came across five neat thrift shops. Lots of goodies were found among loads of stuff, placed there for thrift shop seekers and we were at the top of the list. If you live near Roxboro, NC - google thrift shops or consignment shops and you can venture out to this type of treasure hunt. It's fun, really affordable and you can always plan on picking up something different. As Gayle mentioned in an earlier post - think OUTSIDE the box - Check back later for a post to introduce some of these finds - used in another setting.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How to make Christmas Tree Napkins

I received an email for this pattern from Nancy's Notions but was unable to share the video with you but it's very easy to whip these napkins up in a flash.....To make the Christmas Tree napkins, cut two circles 14" diameter in coordinating fabrics. For ease in sewing I place something 1” smaller and mark outer edge with marking pencil or pen. This will assist when you are sewing a round circle – you need to keep it EVEN. With right sides together, sew all around and leave an opening for turning. Trim edges close to stitching and make slits every few inches. Turn and press. Slip stitch opening, making sure to keep it even and round. Now for the fun part and when you will see the Christmas Tree literally come to life before your eyes – Fold 1/3 toward you on your favorite side of fabric – Turn circle to the right and fold 1/3 again, then back to the left to make tree shape. Press – and place at your table setting. So cute and I bet you’ll be the first one in your circle to have these complimenting your Christmas table this year. Enjoy

Thinking Outside the Box (or Shoe)

An easy way to bring some holiday cheer into the kitchen is to think a bit outside the box and incorporate holiday pieces into your decor...I keep my utensils right by the stove and thought this Santa shoe would be the perfect vessel for holding them...this same shoe could be used in the bathroom to hold guest towels or even used on the tablescape with a bowl to hold food...try thinking outside the box shoe and see how many ways you can think of using the same item. For fun, tell me some other ways I could use the Santa shoe in my holiday decor....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Introduction to Christmas with a simple brunch

Table is set for four - possibly a breakfast brunch or perhaps a generous serving of an excellent Christmas Coffee Cake with whipped cream and your favorite brew of coffee. Why not start your Christmas shopping with several of your closest friends and kick off the season or perhaps schedule some local tours.

Happy Thanksgiving and Let the Decorating Truly Begin!

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I started decorating a teeny bit last week and thought I would share a little bit of my mess with far I've finished one Gingerbread Display in the dining room....The most time consuming task I typically have is putting my village up. I took temporary leave of my senses and decided to set it up on the hearth in the den this year. If you'll notice in the photos below my hearth is wider than most and in a semi-circular shape; and not that high off the floor..I have a vision so trust me; in the end it will look okay but right now it basically looks like Christmas threw up in several rooms of my house. I'm the type that works on several things at the same time so I'll work on the village a bit, put in a load of laundry...paint some on my salvaged Goodwill elf...go back to the Village, etc...I thought you might enjoy seeing the Village and other things I'll be doing in the various pleased understand this is NOT the final product...

Is this not the most hideous thing you've ever seen?????? someone (should be shot in my opinion) painted this sweet elf PINK and BLUE!!!! who does that? I'm trying to rescue the poor thing by painting in traditional red/green...Keep coming back and you will see him later nestled amongst my Christmas books on the built-in book case in the den. I have decorated those shelves for the holidays in every manner you can think of and was really stumped for something different this year...and  my friend Barbara suggested doing an elf/book thing. PERFECT I thought and recalled this sad little guy languishing on the shelf in my basement.

Here's a shot of the's where the fun begins and I use all kinds of lifts/props to achieve a truly 3D effect. If you're just setting your villages out in a straight line formation; I would encourage you to use some varying will make an amazing difference.

Here's some of the buildings I'll be using in my Village...I must tell you I use a variety of sizes/brands/etc and not so concerned with using just Dept 56 pieces...I have pieces from Goodwill and the dollar store in addition to the pricier Dept 56

Now this Dept 56 piece was bought strictly for the name of the boarding house owner...Miss Mae! and the person with that middle name knows who they are (I won't spill the beans) so this one's for you!

Here's a few shots of my dining room table...did I say DINING? a good thing we're eating with Mama today because this is EXACTLY what my dining room table looks like on Thanksgiving Day...can you imagine such a mess?

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

This is such a special day!

Hope you all have a lovely time!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It is my birthday this Sunday and...............

................. not sure whether to celebrate or mourn!
Seems to me that it is getting harder to get out of bed each morning.
Old age?
Or exhaustion??
Or a little of both!

The 'kids' have finally asked me what I would like for a present.
And, this time, I can tell them!!!
I desperately want Michael Buble's new CD.
Funny, when he first became popular, I just didn't 'get it' but now, I LOVE him.
And I really want a nice pair of PJ's. Really cute , summer ones.
Because it is HOT here!!!
I would LOVE a BIG coffee cup.
A REALLY big coffee cup
With Santa on it.
That might help me wake up in the morning and not feel so old.
Maybe a gorgeous smelling candle would be nice, too!
And I want to have a meal together.
The six of us!
All together.
For at least a couple of hours.

You see, I am a simple girl with simple dreams!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Who has finished their Xmas shopping???

We went to the local mall this past weekend!
After battling to find a parking space , we ventured into the mall.
To say it was CROWDED is an understatement!!!
There were lots of 'sales' but nothing inspired me.

I really need to carefully think about what I need to buy everyone.
I am giving the kids $$$ because that is what they WANT!
So that is easy
Just need to get things for their stockings.

I am getting my mother some gold hoop earrings.

My mother in law??? She says she wants nothing.......... WHY do people say that?? They know you will get them something. Just TELL us what you want!!!

I remember Adrian (DH) told Lauren (DD) he didn't want anything one year.
And that is what he got!!
A jar of nothing.
He thought it a VERY clever gift but I have noticed, since then, he always has a list of suggested gifts.
Funny about that!
Adrian is very present orientated. :)

I need to buy a few friends some presents.

And I want to make some cookies etc
I LOVE home made goodies!

I ordered the meat from our local butcher so I can check that off the list.
Pork roast.

Still working out the menu though.

We are having friends over for Boxing Day but that will be a 'left over' lunch.
Xmas left overs are always so yummy!!!

So, off to the mall today, again.
JUST in case there is something there that is a 'must buy'!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Wonders of Glass Containers and Mason Jars

I simply adore glass containers and  use them to help keep me somewhat organized (I need ALL the help I can me) Years ago I bought the larger container in the picture at a local coffee shop. I use to hold some of my cookie cutters...yes some of them as no way I can get them all even in a jar that size. I use similar type jars to hold flour, sugars, etc and place on my island or in this pic,I utilized some corner counterspace...notice the tiny jar made into a lamp filled with peppermints...double duty items are one of my favorites too and the tiny lamp fills that bill nicely don't you think?...the tiny lamp casts a soft glow in that corner when the kitchen lights are off and I can change out the contents as needed or according to seasons...There are literally hundreds of ways to use glass containters/Mason jars in your decor or organizational endeavors. I'm wondering if anyone else has a love affair with Mason Jars or glass containers? If so, please share your thoughts with us; we'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Making Plans for another get-together

Christmas Books – they introduce us to recipes, wreaths, decorating tips for windows and doors – decks and porches – everyone has more books than any one single item in their homes. I enjoy books to the point that I purchase them and really dislike having to place them on a bookshelf, sitting idle until a notion strikes to pick it up again and peruse its pages again. Books compliment any room and I love to display all my Christmas related books together. This year I took a few minutes and grouped my entire collection into one section at the end of my counter in the kitchen. Many ideas are born here in my 12x17 space. I live in an old house, so additional space has been created over the years to accommodate another area to define an area of use. The books look great – I even have them in date order, by author. I could launch any dinner menu from the pages of these books. I could decorate any theme from looking up references I have marked throughout the years. The only thing that is hard for me is deciding what recipe to use or what look I wish to convey to my guests as they enter my home. I love to entertain and look forward to each person that ventures over the threshold. Coming to my house may be my guests’ best venture on that day and I wish to convey my thanks for their presence.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Starting to think about Christmas decorating!

It is almost that time of year.
Time to drag up all the boxes of decorations and 'Christmassy' the home!
But I have a few things to do first.
Like clean the house.
I mean REALLY clean the house.
Because it IS clean.
But not Christmas worthy clean!
So, I will go through each room and declutter.
Then move the furniture one last time and vacuum.
Some rooms are easier than others.
The sitting room and dining room are almost done already.
As is the family room.
But the room that always overwhelms me is the kitchen.
It isn't that big, really.
But I think, since it is the hub of all things good and happy, it is the most important room for me.
I want the pantry clean and ready for grabbing ingredients to whip up some treat...........cookies, home baked goodies, dinners.
So that is my chore today.... get that kitchen ready!!!

I will let you know how I go.........

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Collection or Obsession?

Do you have collections of items you simply love or do you have obessions like I do? I started collecting Gingerbread Men years ago....back when I first started collecting them; they were very hard to find. If you look over on the sidebar and view the video, you can clearly see how much I love the little devils...Unfortunately, I also have collections obsessions with several other things too such as snowmen, cookie cutters, spreaders, elves and books...Tell us about your collections and what got you started collecting what you do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just a quick 'hello' from the third member of this blog!

I have just got back from a whirlwind three weeks in USA.
Truly, heaven!
You girls who live in USA are blessed.
Not that Australia isn't paradise.
It is!
But I have a special place in my heart for USA.

Anyway, we flew into LAX on October 26.
Picked up a car.
Headed off down the highway towards San Diego.
We stayed here for a week.
The food, the weather, the people...everything was lovely!

Then, flew to New Orleans.
I could go on and on about NO
Beautiful city.
So sad in the outer countryside.
Broke my heart!
The ones who are suffering the most are the real backbone of that area.
They are the ones who have NO in their souls but can't afford to live there.
And the lack of services in those areas is beyond belief!
Anyway, we stayed here , in the French Quarter , for four magical nights.
Caught up with friends and had a wonderful time

Then, got a BIG car and headed off for our six day road trip.
I had forgotten just how BUSY the traffic is in USA!!!!!
And how FAST!!!!

We headed off through Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Stayed in Hilton Head
And then onto our 'old' hometown of Atlanta.

Then, it was home!

Thank heavens we now have Christmas to look forward to and plan.
Keeps my mind and hands busy!!!

Looking forward to boring you with photos of our trip soon
Sharon xx

Pillows for Fall Compliments

I’m sure many of us have purchased these nice suede-like giant leaves for placemats in the past. Over the years, I have changed approaches to how I dress the table for company and I became tired of using the leaves. They stayed tucked away for a couple of years in the bottom drawer, lying flat, to avoid being wrinkled and I made sure to place something heavy on them. Recently as I started fall decorating, I came across the leaves, still waiting and I decided to bring them out and present them in a new fashion. Why not make a pillow? Using a piece of beige linen fabric from my stash, I sewed the leaf on, carefully stitching on the existing lines which allowed me to evenly stitch the leaf to the pillow front. I made the back of the pillow as usual and wow – for hardly any money, I reused a previously purchased item. I make pillows with an opening to allow for reuse of pillow form for another theme. Recycle – that’s what it’s all about.

Let's Get Organized

Instead of waiting until the week before Christmas to do your Christmas Cards, why not consider getting organized beforehand?...Start by finding a container to keep your cards/stamps/pens/stickers/address book in so you can dash off a few at a time as you are watching tv or when you find snippets of time throughout your busy days. Years ago I bought this decorative box full of premade cards and decided to keep for this very purpose..the box is a decorative element and looks quite festive left sitting out on my desk in the den. I love the little ties myself and you could easily add some ties to a sturdy box you might have tucked away...Instead of buying something, why not look around your house and see what could work for holding all your card writing supplies...Some "out of the box" ideas to consider:

  • a pretty festive basket

  • a photo box you could embellish

  • a pretty tote

  • a large tin (those type the popcorn comes in would work great)
If you could start now and write a couple cards each day, you could be ready to mail the first week of December. I know with the cost of postage going up..up..up; lots of folks are not sending cards these days and I think that's kinda sad...for less than a dollar, you can mail a card to brighten someone's day and perhaps give them a bit of Christmas's hard to not smile when you go to your mailbox during the holidays and pull out a Christmas Card to read.....Please share your tips how you make Card Sending as easy as possible with us, we would love to hear your thoughts!

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Christmas Tree Napkins

    To compliment your best Christmas dinner to be served - how about adding this Christmas Tree napkin to your tablescape? It's easy and you can make them in a flash. Check back in a few days for "how to" instructions.

    Easy Treat for Thanksgiving

    A member of another message board I frequent posted the link for these "Edible Acorns"....I made a platter of them recently for my husband's birthday and the grownups were crazy over them...No baking involved so super easy...The "acorns" would look cute on a tray covered with faux leaves but I had used all  of mine in my Fall arrangements, so I had to settle for a doily...Here's the "Recipe":

    • bag of doughnut holes (found mine at Food Lion and had about 2 dozen in bag)

    • partial bag of toffee bits or you could use finely chopped nuts of your choice

    • icing of your choice (I used chocolate) or you can use peanut butter

    • a few pretzels, broken for little short stems

    Ice top part of a doughnut hole with either icing or peanut butter. (I iced the tops of the doughnut holes and coming down the sides a little bit too)..roll iced part in toffee bits or finely chopped nuts...insert pretzel "stem" and place on tray...It's that easy!

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Wall Hanging to Pillow

    The cute Christmas wall hanging was handmade by someone. I was lucky enough to pick this cute thing up at a thrift shop in northern Virginia for $1.75. Didn't want to take the time to repair some of the threads on the blanket stitching, so I decided this would make a better holiday pillow in my house. I love pillows - never saw one I didn't like or wish to embellish with something else, more suited to my taste and decor. The blanket stitching was removed along with the wooden dowel and string. Then I top stitched all around the inside (just like a picture frame) and added a backing with an opening and now have this cute Christmas pillow that will greet guests. Think outside the usual box - you don't have to use an item in the same way it was intended. I like making pillows in this shape because they fit most chairs and I can remove the pillow and use it in another project to compliment another season. Try it - you'll be pleased at the money you save and you won't have to store all the pillows - only the item you make. Enjoy!