Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sitting Pretty

Hi everyone! Do you still have your Christmas decorations up or have you started taking them down like me? We leave our tree up until New Year’s Eve and then that night when we need some activity( to keep us awake), we take the ornaments off. I’m ready for it all to be gone!

I have few things I want to do around the house and garden this coming year. I got an early start and did one of my projects over the weekend.  My dining room chairs needed sprucing up.
I painted these about 8 years ago and recovered them I think two years ago. They were really looking shabby (and not Shabby Chic)!  So I gave them a quick paint job with my favorite black spray paint – Valspar Black Satin (from Lowe’s).
A few of the seats were really dirty. I recovered all the chairs with a piece of red toile that I already had. If I had more fabric I would have centered a big scene in the middle on all the chairs like the one below. But as it was I had just enough to do the four chairs.



It feels good to  already be able to mark off a project on my to do list!


I’ve been wanting to paint these chairs white for a few years now, but always talk myself out of it. I  really do like the contrast of the black chairs with the white table. But I may just go ahead this summer and paint them white to get it out of my system – it’s only paint after all!

I want to wish you all a Happy & Healthy New Year!  I’m really looking forward to a fresh start.
The January book giveaway will be up Friday morning and it’s a good one. So come back for that, I’m really excited about it!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Cozy Winter Porch

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! We had a wonderful Christmas and I’m all rested and ready to do stuff!

Have you noticed that I have a new look? I want to thank the wonderful Amber of  Sprinkles On Top for designing my blog’s new look.  I think she did a fabulous job at capturing me and what my blog is about.
You know, I’m always looking for ways to make my house more comfortable for family and friends. I also try to get the most out of each of our rooms. Here's what I did with my screened in porch to make it cozier and useable for this colder season .  I live outside of Atlanta btw and our winters are generally mild.

The biggest thing I did was I took a gel fuel fireplace that we had downstairs in our Family Room and moved it up here.  When I originally designed this porch it had a real fireplace about where this one is now. But we had to cut it do to budget constraints (I could either have a vaulted ceiling or a fireplace not both).
Since we’re redoing the Family Room we decided not to use this fireplace anymore and I didn’t want to just get rid of it. So now it’s in the porch and I have my fireplace! See it all worked out in the end!

This print above the fireplace is one that some of you may remember. I got it at Goodwill at the beginning of the year I believe for $3 or $4. It has a small tear on the top that I fixed with some tape. It hung inside  at the top of my stairs for a while (until I found another Goodwill print – which I haven’t shown you yet) but, I always planned to put it outside.  At that price, I don’t really care if it falls apart due to the weather and it’s not in pristine condition to begin with.

This is is what this side of the porch looked like this summer.  I used lots of blues and greens. Which was fun since I mostly use red and black inside my house.
This is what it looks like this winter. Cozy, cozy, cozy!  For winter I added some red to the mix.
I put a quilt on the love seat. The Pusssywillow branches are from my backyard.

This chaise is where I hang out. I often bring my laptop out here and light the fire, cover up with that throw and visit all of you!

Some River Birch branches and a few pine cones. I try to keep it simple since I usually have to remove stuff if it's going be windy!

As you can see this is a second story porch. We’re up here with the trees and birds!

The fireplace is not just decorative. Those gel fuel canisters throw off a good amount of heat as well as having a realistic looking flame. I buy them at Target these days. I used to only be able to get them shipped to me. But these types of fireplaces are sold everywhere now. I saw some last winter at Big Lots!
All the seating is faux wicker and is made for the outdoors. The rocking chair next to the fireplace is also a favorite place to sit. What could be cozier! We really love hanging out in this space. It's even nice when there's a gentle rain!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed seeing our cozy screened porch!


Monday, December 21, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hi everyone!  I have just a few more pictures to share with you. You might have seen a bit of my glitter village peeking out in my last photos.  Here’s  a better view.
silverroof Below is a  little house that I got at Big Lots back in October. It lights up  in various colors!
redlight snowman
My Christmas Silhouettes. The Nativity Silhouette is from Suzanne at Painter of the Past  (she’s a wonderful artist) and the plates I got last year at TJ Maxx (didn’t see them there this year).
silhouettes The mantel looks much better with the stockings hung! We’ve had these stockings since time began! Maxie our dog gets a stocking too. Savanna crocheted him a toy and I made him a toy out of felt and leftover squeekies from previous store bought toys.

I’ll be back after Christmas.

May you all have a joyous and blessed Christmas!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Happy & Colorful Christmas

Hi everyone! I finished the last of my trees and I'm ready to show you some living room photos. I still have a bit more to do and then that's it. Remind me next year to start earlier!

Above is my lovely faux mercury glass collection which I love and have out somewhere in my home all year round. I love all that shinyness.

It's quite easy to find them these days. Even Target has some (I'd wait for the after Christmas Sales). That's how I got most of mine. After Christmas Sales at various stores and catalogs over the past few years.

I put a real pointsettia in  one of my white pitchers and I love how it looks. Hopefully it won't die because it has no drainage!

O.K. I love this! My thrifted chair, with my thrifted red pillows, on my cushion that I made myself!

Oh I had plans to make a banner! I have cute Christmas fabric that I was going to use. I just ran out of time so I bought this one at TJ Maxx. "Tis The Season"

I was going to add some stuff to it to make it cuter and then realized - that was crazy- I was crazy... and should leave well enough alone. I can't make everything! Again, remind me to start earlier next year.

I love my happy looking mantel with all my trees that I made! I'm not quite done but I wanted to show you the trees.

My rosette tree which I think would be perfect for Valentines day as well.

Some trees I decoupaged with Christmas scrapbook paper.

My red yarn tree with a pom pom on top.

These little trees with the polka dot bows are ornaments from Target. The red mercury glass toppers I got from TJ Maxx last year.

Christmas 2007

So I wanted to make a Christmas ornament wreath instead of putting up this "W" wreath like I do every year. This picture of it is from 2007.  Well......

......only... I ran out of ornaments! Yes I did!  It looks a bit odd in this photo, but it is fine when you look at it head on ( but not so great from other angles).  So pretend the ornaments go all the way around on the outside! Thank you. I'll pick up some ornaments when I go to the Target after Christmas sale and finish it then. It's fine for now - it really doesn't look too bad in person.

 I do have a few more things to show you which I will save for next week. I'm going to take a few days off as I am still trying to get back to the lovely people who stopped by for Rhoda's "Home for the Holidays" tour (which was a few posts back)! So be patient with me as I make my way around to everyone!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blog Etiquette

You know I try to keep this a happy & positive place, but something has been bothering me for months now and I really need to say something.

I recently noticed some, what I considered odd, activity on my blog and found a persons blog who's blog is really nothing more than using other people's ideas and I mean EXACTLY with no change whatesoever as if they were her own. For a moment I thought she used one of my pictures as her own, the project  was so exact. Not only did I see projects that I have done, but I saw projects that I know others have done. Recent projects and older ones. Without even saying.... I was inspired by...., I got the idea from....., nothing. Project after project. No link back, no  I saw it on so and so's blog, not even I saw it on a blog but I don't know who's. Nothing. Just post after post of projects as if they were all her own ideas. And from what I could tell she had no original ideas. She does do all the projects, she just never mentions where she gets all her fabulous ideas. And she's not the only one who does this.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing a project you've seen on another's blog and yes more than one person can have a similar idea at the same time. I'm also not saying you have to ask permission to use an idea because that would just be crazy! I also understand not keeping links to everything you've ever seen that inspires you. But, when you are  systematically going through blogs and using idea after idea without giving credit. Post after post. I have a problem with that. Because that's obviously your plan of how you are going to operate your blog and that is just... wrong.

I know that people may have time constraints and can't always take the time to find the link and insert it in a post. But I think everyone would appreciate a mention if not a link back if possible. To me that's just common courtesy.

I used to think we were all here to inspire and motivate each other. But I've noticed that with the advent of the whole "Followers" thing that the atmosphere has changed in the blog world. Are we really so anxious to have the most "Followers" that we're willing to do anything? Is making money off your blog really that important? Is being a "popular" blog what you really want? Is blogging that important in your life? Should it be that important?

One more thing about "Followers", why do "Followers" always get extra entries in giveaways? Why aren't other subscription services included? Why is it only important if I "Follow" and not if I read your blog on Bloglines, Google Reader or get your posts emailed to me? Is it because that's the number that's available for the world to see? If you want to reward people that subscribe to your blog shouldn't it be ALL the people that subscribe?  I could do a whole post about the whole "Followers" issue! It took me six months to even put that widget on my blog and I'm seriously considering removing it.

I'm not  perfect. I have forgotten where I've gotten ideas from or I can't find the link, don't have time to look etc. But I don't do it all the time. I do my best to give credit because I don't feel it diminishes me as a creative person to be inspired by someone else. I don't feel like I have to have all the great ideas. Also, I'm happy if you like my blog enough not to want to miss a post and subscribe but I'm not going to be in the depths of despair if you don't.

Let's try to be supportive of each other and not be so competitive and everything that goes with that. Be kind, be courteous. Treat others as you would like to be treated in real life and in the blog world.

O.K. glad I got that off my chest! More Christmas decorating photos on Thursday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pretty DIY Bookmarks for Christmas

Hi everyone! I wanted to show you a few bookmarks that I made this year to give as presents. I originally saw this idea at Andrea Singarella's blog way back in Jan and then rather surprisingly, my Michael's had a demonstration on how to make them recently!

You can find the flyer at the front of the store and it will give a list of supplies and instructions on the back.

What you need to make the ones I show are ribbon clamps, jump rings (all found in the jewelry making section) various widths of ribbon to fit the ribbon clamps, and charms or vintage jewelry to add to the ends.  You use those straight connector pins if you want to add some beads to the ends but I decided not to do that for these.

  They're really easy to make and not expensive but they look expensive! I think they're a nice present to give to anyone that you know is a bookworm.

Step 1. You measure how long you want your bookmark to be. I made my daughter's (the blue ribbon with the cross) 8 inches.

Step 2. Place one end of the ribbon between the ribbon clamp and close clamp (I used some needle nose pliers). Repeat on the other end. Add the jump ring and your charms to both ends.

They were so easy to make! Really the hardest thing is deciding on the ribbon and jewelry!  I love things that are pretty yet practical.

I'm linky to Cottage Instincts Make It For Monday and Tatertots and Jello's Holly Bloggy Christmas Bash.  **Edited to add:  Also Kathy's Handmade Holidays and  Holly's Thrifty Gifty Party (on Friday 12/18).  Be sure to check out all these ladies blogs for more wonderful ideas!