Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Decor Part Deux

 Here are some pictures of our Christmas.

It was a beautiful Christmas.
For many reasons.

These are just some of the decorations and a little of what we did here at our house.
I thought about all of you periodically throughout
the passed few days.
For many reasons.

Hope you enjoy the photos.  There are thousands.
Well, pretty close.
nature's decor could NOT be beat

our front door

and entry way

quick candle make over

remember my FREE Lowes boughs & wooden "coasters"?
stuck them inside an SA wreath

don't have a proper cloche?
grab a cheese board cover, add some pine cones
instant decoration
then add one of the very first home decor items
I ever purchased 

"LL Bean, you've been so good to EC.
But he's saying goodbye to this shirt that has seen the mountains, the rivers, the back country on and off for close to 20 years.
Thank you."

Momma has other ideas for you.

Our stockings this year!
Guess whose are whose??

then I made these cute stocking hanger covers after seeing

Thanks Kendra!!!

this is our classroom/family room/music room
It has lots of personality
NOT much style
I pushed the classroom cupboards together
(the boys were very happy to see that their school was being closed for a couple of weeks!  *wink*)
My sweet crafty neighbor gave me the IKEA leaf cloth.
So I draped it over the cupboard.

These "ugly" gourds were part of my fall decor outdoors,
still in good condition.
I gave them new life.
-little black eyes with a Sharpie-
Bitty Birds having a chat!!!

birds were sort of a theme
sort of
here's the BIG Craig's List tree
I think it was $25 a few years ago
Worth every single cent

even decorated the pulled pork for Christmas Eve

But the next photos are my favorite
EC lounging in the family room after the boys went to bed and I finished putting out all the gifts underneath the tree.
Oh and that's the boys tree back there
with their home made ornaments.

Christmas Day going out like Santa's elves to deliver
home made goodies to the neighbors.

This was one of my absolute favoritist things to do EVER!

Happiest of holi-days

and EVERY days!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Decor Part One

seems kinda old talking about Christmas right now
like it should be over
I freaked out for the last two weeks
and because I did
I'm pretty calm right now
what with all the shopping done
the baking started and the zillions of other little things that take hours and added extra minutes to every plan I have for just checking things off the list
but still I am calm

Christmas will be here in 3 days whether I am ready or not
For those of you who are expecting your gifts in the mail,
well just say they may be late
that does not change their gift status, however,
or my adoration for you
or my love

It's out there
my admission to tardiness, laziness, craziness

way back up there in the photo before I started rambling
I added a Santa to my "hurricane chic" toppled over chair "mantle" on top of our computer armoire
I've had him for a l-o-n-g time

this is what I did with the dried orange peels
made a twine and pine cone garland
it's aroma is - sweet as an orange

after the peels were dried and hardened I hot glued them with the pine cones to the twine

then I noticed the mesh sack the oranges had been in and thought, why not?

so I cut it into strips and there it hangs
daytime or evening it looks really neat

here's the table
(minus a chair - EC has it downstairs - gluing it)
outdoor fabric wrapped around the backs,
tied with tulle like ribbon

yes, I covered our large print in wrapping paper
everything in the DR/LR area is in the red/white/aqua colors

with a little twig thrown in

I'm hoping to do another part
there's a huge family room loaded with decorations
my calm may stay
it may go
so either part two will come
I will be posting about all the new storage ideas
I have planned for January
Can anyone say, "Large Dumpster Tote?"

Happy Christmas

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Are we supposed to blog about our birthdays

 Ok, this is very ambiguous.
Do we blog about our birthdays?
Today is mine.
I'm 47 years old.
I share today's birthday with one of  my favorite authors.


She's 235.
47 doesn't seem so daunting after typing that.

Thought I'd share some of my day with you.
Seeing as we do that for each other.

I really LOVE having people say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me.

It makes me feel like a Queen.
Queen of the universe.
Or a small island.

Here's my day:

Woke up to maple sausage and eggs. 
EC loves to cook.
Then EC took the boys out all morning to the mall.
Christmas time.
Did you read what I said?
To buy me some presents.
He attempted this feat yesterday too.
The mall.
The mall.
Sweaty with people.

Do you remember that show with Angela Lansbury?
Dial M for Murder?
actually I just googled it.
she was in a different show.
keep reading, you'll get the point.

They came home with nothin'.

I never go to the mall.
It's like dialing that letter for me.
I'm more of a boutique,
small shop,
talk with the owner,
kinda gal.

He was doing this with the boys while I was DECORATING,

While he was at the mall.

Poor guy.

The boys came home.
The two young ones got to their school work,
after having a show down
one in which I nearly threw one young son across the family room.
not kidding.
EC took a nap.

I did laundry.
Made lunch.
Tried to get back into the HEAVEN that I was just experiencing.
Couldn't find it.

Then I started tickling the boys.
One was crying over having to do his math.
I slithered over to him, look down at his weepy face and tickled the bajeebers out of him.

I mean, honestly.
This is my birthday.
There's gotta be some fun.

Then the other son refused to do his school work.
I sent him to his room.
Then went in after a few minutes,
still looking for heaven
and told him that if he keeps up "the grumps" I'll do to him what I just did to his brother out in the other room.

"Please, MOM!!!!  Please!!!!  Tickle me!"

You asked for it.

Once school was underway I felt like ROSE
All scattered and couldn't focus on anything
and since I was still searching for heaven, which by now,
is in lower case
and slightly slanted,
wandered around the cluttered house
hating dog hair.

Then came the cake.
EC ordered it and went to pick it up.
It's sweet.

 LOVE it when men do these kinds of things.
I don't why.
But it gives me that sweet smile kinda feeling.

We didn't eat dinner.
Just had cake.
How 'bout that?
Living on the edge in our house these days.

Then came the presents.
Just what I needed.
There is a purple pair.
A pair with polka dots.
A pair with navy and turquoise stripes.
Another pair that looks like snowflakes, but the jazzy kind of snow flakes.
And orange wool hikers.

My feet have found HEAVEN!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

TwEeT- tWeEt- TwEeT

up inside one of our evergreens, sat this sTWEETy
can you spot her?

did some outdoor decorating, the edible kind
for our feathered and furry friends
something SWEET to EAT
orange slices
cranberry nut ornaments


Orange Ornaments
Slice oranges
stick with twist ties

Cranberry Nut Ornaments
melt lard in sauce pan
add nuts & cranberries
pour warm liquid in molds (egg carton)
freeze for 10 minutes
insert twist tie
freeze again until solid

Hang on tree!

Popcorn Garland
pop large kernel popcorn
string with needle and thread
I didn't have the patience for more than one strand
We have a vat of popcorn sitting on the counter
can someone say, "Movie Night!"?

Whimsy Bird Painting

my third painting EVER

How do you do with the birds?
(this is a repost...hope you enjoyed it!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Outside the FRAME!

You know those are heading to bed and there's a pile of crafty things sitting on the kitchen table?  You take a look and think, "I could do something with those leftovers!"
(it's the kitchen table over here after all, right?)

So you grab the burlap pieces, a few twigs, pine cones, an odd frame that has NEVER been used in OVER 20 years and you make something.

I leaned the frame up here, against the dining room window.  The placement was not inspirational at all.  So it may move.

But for now, it adds to the earthy simplicity of the Christmas decorations that are slowly taking over my home!

Thanks for coming over tonight!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Home Made Vanilla

Easy to make baking vanilla

Cheapest & largest glass bottle of vodka

Madagascar or Tahitian Vanilla Beans (on line)

Split open beans with knife

Place in bottle

Close bottle


Oh you can shake it every few days or so if you want more work.
I didn't.

Leave the bottle in a cool dark place for about a month.

Again. Done.
Here's some photos.
split the beans to open them up a bit.
throw in 20 or so for a 1.5 liter.
I threw in more.

Madagascar beans are most common.
They offer a rich, woodsy flavor.

Tahitian have a more delicate flavor.

I bought both kinds.

Since I'm giving my baking vanilla as gifts, I had a little bit more work. 

I ordered some cute bottles with cork tops on line.
Bought a hunk of bees wax.
(this is to seal the bottle - I'll be shipping a few bottles and didn't want them to leak.  you can buy wine bottle sealer if you want.  it was too much money and it only came in burgundy red.  I like the natural look and smell of bees wax)

pour vanilla into bottles

melt bees wax in clean tuna can (a taller can will not work for the bottles that I bought)

After the bottle is tightly corked, dip the tip in the wax until you have the seal you want.
I liked mine hardy & thick looking.

And since I have to add MORE STRESS to my life than is necessary I went running all over town looking for those old fashioned envelope wax sealers doodads...and couldn't find them until I called my sweet and very crafty neighbor who knew exactly where to get them and even what aisle they were in.  Yeah.  That's a craft girl, if I ever met one!  By the by, she and I each did this project.  You can click on the link up there and get right to her site!!  Crafty I tell ya!!

Here's the doodad.  I bought one with hearts too!

Here's what it does
I absolutely LOVE the organic - ness of it all!

Here they are getting ready for Christmas!

The label was downloaded and printed onto sticky label paper.
You can get all the info on the links below!

I was trying to do the math and price out how much each bottle would be.  I got tired so I'm guesstimating here:
4 oz bottle 
Under $2


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