Tuesday, December 28, 2010

christmas past

Another Christmas past
I’m not sure how a day so anticipated can come and go so quickly.
So much work goes into making this day happen and be special and then poof!, its done, gone, over.

I admit, I put way too much energy into trying to make it as good as I possibly can. I do love doing it because I love Christmas time. But, when its over, it leaves me feeling a big fat let down that its over too soon, or when it doesn't all go Martha Stewart perfect or when I feel that everyone is not as happy as I hope they'd be. And there always seems to be a bit of drama with my extended family when it comes to big holidays. Who's hosting, who's coming, who's bringing what...and so on.

I vow not to do it again next year, but I know that next year I will be tempted to do the same thing all over again.  Because when you get it right, its the best feeling ever.
But there must be a better way to make it special without killing yourself trying.
As adults, we shop, bake, cook, wrap, decorate, stress, plan…when in reality, the magic is right in front of us. Its in your family and friends. Its in your home.

What I did this year that I loved, and what I could do without and what I missed that I want to do next year...

Loved baking cookies with Jen.
Could do without the complex, time consuming sugar cookies that I ended up throwing away because nobody ate them.

Loved watching our favorite movies on Christmas Eve
Could do without the big dinner on Christmas eve. Next year, Nachos and more movies

Wish we would have taken a drive to see holiday lights...we need to scope out some good holiday neighborhoods

Wish I would have taken more pictures before Christmas. The few that I took on Christmas day didn't come out very well...grainy and blurry.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

terrariums ... my version

so after the inspiration post last week I had to give a terrarium a try. 
I have lots of potential lidded glassware to use but I needed to round up some smaller plants that would fit in them. I found some small 2" plants at a local nursery so I picked up a few.
Here's two I planted last week and I've got plants for a few more.
I put some polished rocks and bits of moss in each jar

These were really fun to make and I like the fact that because of the lids, they need little to no care or watering. I'm bad about watering ...
We'll see if these survive

Thursday, December 09, 2010

terrarium love

 Another post to add some terrarium ideas to my crafty folder.
Terrariums are making a comeback and I'm seeing them tucked into corners and on windowsills everywhere. I remember making these when I was younger, out of big glass bottles.
Now I see them in everything from  beautiful apothecary jars to mason jars. I think they look so pretty in groups and the small bulbs that hang from fishing line are adorable.
I'd love to make one of these self contained eco systems for my desk. They require so little care I think they would work much better for the office where I often forget to water plants. Heck, I forget to water them at home too.
thinking about making some for Christmas gifts....hmmm

 love this little hobbit stump house and some cute little mushrooms

Saturday, October 23, 2010

boiled potato, steamed carrots and chicken breast

Chicken pot pie?
the dogs dinner
Lately she's been suffering from a food allergy from something in her dog food.
We're not sure what it is, but something is causing her to itch.

So, we're going back to the basics.
Chicken, potato, carrot and green beans. Nothing else.
If she's okay with this, then we'll know what she's NOT allergic to and we can start adding.
In the meantime we all need to get some sleep, and with her insistent scratching, none of us are sleeping well.
I just hope she will eat dog food again after this

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

decorating dilemmas

It must be fall. Fall always makes me want to cozy up our indoors. Reading decorating blogs, thumbing through decorating magazines, studying pottery barn catalogs and pouring over paint chips is an addiction of mine.  Paul and I love watching HGTV shows. These photos are a few of what is inspiring me now. Red red red. Im so in love with the red in each of these pictures.  
The top two are from Pottery barn. 

and these bottom two are from Sarah Richardson
We have nightstands in our bedroom that look a lot like the one in this bedroom photo, except that ours have a bottom drawer.  Im thinking that it would be an easy thing to do to pull out that bottom drawer and remove the drawer glide so it can be an open space, and paint them. They look so much better dressed up in red, but any other color would work. I don't have red in our bedroom, but tan or blue would work just as well. Spray paint the shinny brass hardware with some Rubbed Oil Finish paint would really update the look of our 20 year old bedroom furniture.

Yesterday I used all my willpower and did not paint my coat closet door red. Adore this entry way. Red paisley curtains, baskets, a sitting bench and a vase full of fall branches crate such a welcoming entry. But that door. I love it.
Yesterday I decided I need to vent this need to paint something red so I took a little trip to my favorite antique store downtown.  Its a great store and I found tons of stuff I could use, but ended up bringing home just a few projects to start with.
First off, I couldn't resist this little chippy ladder for less than $10.

Right now I've set this little ladder in the guest bedroom. It makes me smile every time I walk past it and see that flash of red. I think it will find its way into lots of different spaces around the house. Maybe next to the christmas tree or even out on the front porch. We'll see where it travels to. Its already red, but it needs a coat of clear polyurethane to keep the paint from falling off any more. It flakes off everywhere when you touch it.

The second thing I brought home with me is this little bench for $23.

It fits this little wall in our entry way and looks perfect against this red wall and it gives Paul a place to sit and take off his work shoes.  It does need a little cleaning up and I intend to paint it, although we haven't decided on a color yet. Paul thinks it would look good black, I'm leaning toward a butter cream or even a khaki tannish with a stripe cushion like the one in the pottery barn hall tree photo or a pillow like the Sarah Richardson entry way.

Least you think Im seriously stuck on red, two last photos. I'm seriously in love this blue/grey wall color from potterybarn. The color is Newburyport blue- Benjamin Moore HC-155. I will be picking up a sample to test it on the dining room/living room wall. It looks very dark, but I think it would look really nice against the brick fireplace. That room gets light all day long so it may not be too dark. I really love the black and white photos and the yellow/golds which is what our sofa and carpets are, and even that little touch of a red rug :).  My uncertainty is whether or not this would just be on the focal wall,  or the entire room. I think just a focal wall balanced out with a cream color on the other walls, something like jicama Benjamin Moore AF-315. Dilemmas...

edited to add...picked up paint samples and this is incredibly dark. But I picked up two other lighter versions and the lightest is so far the best. Still a dilemma...

No dilemma here. This craft/sewing room is perfect...thinking a couple of old dressers, or maybe that old credenza I saw at the antique store yesterday for $30, painted this pretty blue, would make the perfect sewing corner.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

thank you to my husband

Dear Husband,

I just want to say thank you. 
Thank you for the 2,314,872 cups of coffee in the morning.
Thank you for doing the laundry, even though I can fold better than you even if you don’t think so, I’ll just let it go, so thank you.
Thank you for not getting too offended when I seem to get annoyed at you for interrupting me when I appear to be doing nothing.
Thank you for listening to me rant on for hours about pretty much anything.
Thank you for not suggesting things to solve those problems because Im ranting about, you know at that point, it’s not really the point. Just listen.
Thank you for tactfully ignoring all the time and money I seem to spend at the hairdressers to cover the grey hair.
Thank you for watching chick flicks with me even though I won’t watch yucky sci-fi action movies with you.
Thank you for being kind and funny especially when I really need you to be kind and funny
Thank you for listening to my radio station when I know you’d probably rather be listening to a different radio station
Thank you for the best twenty five years any woman could possibly wish for

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Its coming home with me

My sister was gathering some of her artwork to sell at the fair.
Lucky for me I spotted this one leaning against the wall.
I bought it from her right away, but then had to fight my own mother for it because she hadn't seen it either and wanted to try and out bid me :-)
But I knew I had the perfect brick red wall for this picture in my entry way.

It was a little hard to photograph because of the glare on the glass, but I love the old overgrown house with the chippy paint shingles.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

finish one before starting the next

I'm a one project at a time person. I need to finish a project before starting the next one...which is good, but also frustrating at times. I just finished my first quilt and I loved each step of the process. I know I hear some people say they love the top but hate to quilt, or love the quilting but hate the binding.
I loved it all. So much so, that I couldn't wait to finish my first quilt to start the second one. That's how I know I loved quilting. When I knitted by first pair of socks, after I made the first sock I had to push myself to finish the second one.  Then I thought the next pair of socks would come easier, making it more fun...but it wasn't.  I guess knitting, at least knitting socks, wasn't for me.
But Quilting certainly is. Its like scrapbooking with fabric
Here is quilt #1
The front

and the back detailing
I just have to say, free motion quilting is really fun, but hard on the back, neck and shoulders. 
My mom just taught me a faster way so I may try that on my next one.

Quilt # 2 is getting cut today.
This is the quilt kit I bought at the Sisters Quilt show last month.
Didn't take long to cut 2 1/2" strips.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

basket love

I've been wanting a basket for my bike since I got it a few years ago. I don't even remember where I saw the Nantucket bike baskets, but I didn't forget that I wanted one.
And today I found one :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blogoversary and summer crafts

July 20th was my blogs 5 year anniversary!
I just realized five years ago I wrote my first little blog post here. It's really hard to believe its been that long.
It has never once felt like an obligation because I've always enjoyed writting. My personal rule: I won’t write unless I want to write. There are weeks, maybe months when I don't feel I have anything I want to write about. But then there are days that I could write several posts each day. If you've been around since then, I want to humbly offer a sincere thank you to you for being my friend :-)

This has nothing to do with my Blogoversary, but I found this fun craft idea I wanted to share.
I've seen a bunch of these cute tile pendants made from scrabble tiles. Adorable.
Even cuter when the letter on the back is one of your initials.  I think Im going to be on the hunt for an old scrabble game at the goodwill so I can make some. I love them on a chain, but think they would be really cute on a ribbon or a silk cord too.
I may have an old scrabble game somewhere even, or maybe tossed it. (*slaps forehead)
Could be some really cute stocking stuffers!

Instructions and photo courtesy of this adorable Etsy shop peachy pendants
She's got some beautiful already made pendants for sale.

Here's another craft that I'm itching to try. When I was younger we made all kinds of things out of magazines. Not having a lot of extra cash my Mom was always on the lookout for ways to keep us busy during the summertime and not spend a lot any money on supplies.
Magazines seemed to be readily available so we did a lot with them. We spent hours folding Readers Digests into Christmas trees and spray painting them gold or cutting the pages out and rolling them around a pencil or wire and gluing them to make beads.
Lately I've seen rolled magazine art reappear in trendy boutiques everywhere. I'd like to use up some of the brightly printed pages making something like this sometime.

This craft project was posted on rag and bone but they havent yet posted the promised instructions.
Apparently its made from a wire wreath form. I think it would be really cute with a round mirror attached to the center.