Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ending With A Buy

What better way to end the year than with a thrift store makeover?
If you don't know by now, there are certain groups of items that I have a hard time resisting when I thrift store shop. I love white plates and vases, bowls, old glassware, clocks, metalware, and baskets. So when I saw this little item it caught my eye.
How could I pass up such an interesting metal basket? Look at those little details on the corners! I'm not sure what they were meant for, but I immediately had an idea for what I would do.As much as I loved the original galvanized metal finish, there were spots of rust that didn't look very pretty. So out came the black spray paint. Yes, I still manage to do a little spraying even with snow outside!
Next, I took a trip to a shop that sells chemistry supplies (another fun place to shop!) and I purchased some test tubes for fifty cents a piece. I was so excited when I found out they fit perfectly into those corner pockets.
Now I have an unusual, yet very pretty way to serve dishes at my holiday buffet!
I wish you all

Thank you SO MUCH for your friendship!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Little New Year Decor

Almost every year I like to decorate
a small New Year's tree.

It's a fun little tradition to help celebrate the new year.
I make it as glitzy and sparkly as possible
with silver and mirrored ornaments and foil streamers.
A few years ago I found some ornaments
that look like champagne bottles
(we prefer to think they're non-alcoholic)
with "Happy New Year" written on them.
I bought little glitter "cheers" words for 70% off.
I top the tree with a metal horn, and add more horns
on the branches and tucked at the base.
Won't this look great as the centerpiece
for the holiday buffet?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Greatest Christmas Gift Ever Given

"Never has anyone offered so much to so many
in so few words as when
Jesus said, 'Here am I, send me.' "
---Neal Maxwell

Wishing You a Very
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It Takes A Village

The living room tree is known as "mom's tree" because, traditionally, I really enjoy decorating it by myself. I turn on Christmas music and wax nostalgic as I hang the real glass ornaments. Many remind me of the ones from my childhood. Usually I break at least one ornament every year, and if I don't, then our cat or a son does. I chalk it up as part of the Christmas tradition. Fortunately, most ornaments were purchased on clearance or at the thrift store, so I don't make a fuss. This year the tradition changed a bit. I was blessed to have my newly married daughter and son-in-law help decorate the tree. It's so fun to have them here visiting. And, I enjoyed EVERY minute of their help.
After the tree is decorated, the real fun begins. The village gets placed underneath the tree (which is why our tree is on stilts). It's a tradition to have my boys set up the train track before the houses get placed. If you look very closely (click the picture to enlarge) you'll notice lego men on the train track. That's a tradition too! Right after everything is finished, my boys have each enjoyed giving their toys train rides. . .or train crashes.My kids have all grown up with the village as part of our Christmas tradition. We like to lie on our tummies and tell stories about all of the village people. Every year there are certain villagers who have to go in the exact same place.
Santa and the elves are always high on the "mountain" so they can look to see who's been naughty or nice.The kissing couple, my daughter's favorite, always go in the gazebo. The "rich lady" is always leaving her large home to go on a trip for the holidays. The dog always chases the boy on the bike. . .except for the year that my third son decided he needed that little dog and would take it to his room to play. The family is always place by the nativity scene at the church as a reminder of our Christmas Eve tradition of going as a family to see the lights of the city and hear the story of the birth of Christ.I hand painted some of the villagers many years ago. None of the houses cost very much. Super glue is used to repair something almost every year. Our village isn't all that special, but the traditions and the memories associated with it are very, very special and dear to our family.

Monday, December 22, 2008

How Does Your Tree Stand?

The kitchen tree stands proudly in an old crock.It's decorated with fake gingerbread cookies,
cookie cutters,
glass candy ornaments
and vintage pieces from a child's kitchen set.
The tree in our stairwell sits in a burlap sack
with it's red ornaments and red bead garland.
The tree in my daughter's/guest room
stands a top a pretty plant stand.
It's decorated with all things girly and pastel.The orphan tree in the bathroom window
sits humbly in an old tin can.
The family room tree is in a rusty metal garden urn. It's decorated with ornaments
made or
given to us by family and friends,
as well as the cute toy kind.
The tree in the computer room has been
plopped in a big basket.
It's decorated with stuffed Christmas bears,
felt stockings & mittens and red wooden bead garland.
The living room tree, the largest in our home,
stands on a stilt-like box.
This helps it look taller and
also serves another purpose.
BUT. . . .
you'll have to come back tomorrow to see.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dining Delights

I apologize for being so sporadic with my posts these last few weeks. While most people were Christmas decorating and shopping, I decided to make-over my daughter's room. Yes, I know I'm crazy, but look at it this way, I'll have posts to share during the long, cold days of January.I finally finished tweaking the decorations in the dining room. I hung little wreaths on the china cabinet, this time I used beads instead of ribbon. Actually the wreaths are hanging on those little stick-on hangers and the bead string is just taped to the backside of the door. In the kitchen, the wreaths are actually hanging by the ribbon that's tacked on the back of the cabinet.I placed some mirrors on the long shelf/mantle (I've been gathering mirrors to hang a wall of mirrors in the stairwell). I pulled together a bunch of apothecary jars and vases and placed them on the shelf. I poured "snow" into the jars, which is actually Epsom salt from the dollar store. I added strings of white lights along the shelf and trailing in and out of the jars and vases. Then I piled in vintage ornaments and strings of silver beads.
I love the finished look.
It's even more beautiful at night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blessed With Good Friends

It's such a blessing when you find a good friend! Someone who is always there to laugh and cry with, to listen as you vent your frustrations, who cheers you on, and inspires you to be a better person.
It's an extra special blessing when your husband finds a good friend in your friend's husband.
What kind of Christmas gift do you give to your friends to show your love and appreciation?
How about a personally designed, hand built entry table made from a door.
The shelf on the bottom is specially designed to house the family's shoes when they take them off as they enter their home.Don't be too impressed with our gift. We delivered this table unfinished, unsanded, and with a gallon of paint. Minutes before the delivery I called my friend. I told her that I had started too many projects and asked if she would be willing to help me finish one. Without hesitation, and not even knowing how big the project might be, she replied, "I'd be happy to help you out!" That's what I call a good friend!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dollar Store Martha

I have always loved the festive look of
simple wreaths hanging from kitchen cabinetry. There is something so "Martha" about it.
I decided that I could still have that Martha look,
even without Martha's pocket book or her staff.
Don't you just love the dollar store!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Old and Dear

Every Christmas there are certain decorations that I take out and display first, even before a single tree goes up. I've had them for years and they're very dear to me. None of them cost a lot, but they mean a lot to me.A vintage looking Santa, given to me more than twenty years ago by my mother. I love him. A few years back, he had a little mishap. Thank goodness for super glue.
I love to stand him next to the little family of carolers that I bought for myself many, many years ago when I had just two children.
A buggy filled high with gifts and a happy couple, given to me several years ago by my mother-in-law. Each of these decorations, with their vintage look, remind me of years gone by when Christmas was a lot less chaotic.I always display them together in a prominent place in my home. And even though my decorating tastes have changed over the years, these decorations still bring a smile to my face and warm my heart when I unpack them from their boxes.
Do you have a favorite decoration that you enjoy bringing out each Christmas?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Simply Sweet

I KNOW that I am so very blessed
to have one of
sweetest daughters in the world!!!!!!!

Thank You My Darling Daughter!
(For all of you young mommies who are struggling through temper tantrums, that last post is evidence that they DO grow out of it and turn into WONDERFUL adults. So have patience, and give them an extra hug on those days when that's the last thing you want to give them.)

Speaking of sweet, I thought I'd share some sweet little scenes from around my home.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I may get in trouble for this...

Hey blogland, this is Joys daughter! I hacked into my moms account because I wanted to tell ya'll what an amazing mom I have. I am a newlywed who lives about 2,000 miles away from my parents in a TINY apartment. Growing up in Joys home was wonderful because she always made every holiday special. It was hard for me to move so far away. 
But my sweet mom knew how important the holidays were to me and last week I received TWO HUGE boxes in the mail from her.  Guess what they were??? 
CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS just for me and my husband! I was so excited! 
I wanted to share with you some of the things she sent me:

{A Christmas tree. Yes. She sent me a Christmas tree, and ALL of the ornaments with it. Can you guess where she bought this tree??? The thrift store. It was $6, and it fits perfectly in my home. The ornaments fit my sparkly style exactly. I love the silver and green Christmas theme I have in my little home.}

{She even sent me Christmas hand towels}
{I love all the star ornaments she sent}

{And even a little tree for my kitchen}

{This is only a glimpse of everything she sent.}

So, sorry that I hacked into your account mom, but I just wanted to let you know that I love you and that I appreciate everything you do for me!
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