Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happiness is…..

Little things like…the morning sunlight shining through my favorite drapes
a pretty vintage tea towel
fresh sheets on the bed
Blooming bulbs! Did you force any bulbs? I did two pots of Narcissus. (You “old timers” – notice anything different about my deck?)
I know some people don’t care for the smell of paperwhites but I love it! Every Christmas Target sells various containers of the bulbs and I always buy some at the after season sale (they’re pre-chilled and most of them have already started sprouting by then). Makes it easy to force bulbs cause all the work is done for you!
a bottle of moisturizing handwash with a pretty label that brightens the sink area (I always buy them at TJMaxx – they have an unusual selection and they’re not expensive)
Happiness is…..finding the first bits of green in the garden after a long, cold, (very cold for Atlanta) winter! Is spring here?  Now that would make me very very happy!
Those are just a few little things that make me happy!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wren Bay Winner & Other Stuff!

Hello Lovelies! The winner of Wren Bay is……..
Marcia @ Blessed Mom's Simple Home!

Congratulations Marcia! Please go visit her blog (it’s one of my favorites btw) when you get a chance and congratulate her.

Thank you to all of you who entered! I know Clarice was encouraged by the lovely response. You guys are the best!
Other Stuff….daffodils
I just had to buy some daffodils when I saw that our forecast calls for possibly more snow next week. I can’t take it anymore! Really.  We moved from New Jersey to Georgia to get away from that white stuff!

I re-potted them into this cute bowl that I got at TJMaxx.

I can have a bit of spring inside if I can’t have it outside!

At least it’s sunny today!

Also, for all of you who love BBC programming (like me) or who love Victoriana or maybe you’re just a history buff, there are clips on You Tube of Victorian Farm! I spent waaaaay too much time watching them yesterday when I was suppose to be painting doors! Just fascinating stuff!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wren Bay The Story of Making A Home - Give A Way

Hi everyone! Have you ever wanted or thought you could write a novel? Well my amazing friend Clarice has written and self-published her first  book and you have an opportunity to win an autographed copy!

It only took me two days to read her book. I couldn’t put it down! I was captivated by the charming story, the lovely characters she created and the delicious recipes! If you love homemaking you'll love this book! I could go on and on but I’ll let her tell you a bit about it.

Wren Bay, the story of making a home is just that, a story about homemaking, about taking a house (a charming, old stone house at that) and turning it into a home! This is Wren's dream. Wren Bay is a newly married, Boston socialite, who is wondering how to find her place in this new world, Bay Farm, her husband's 200 acre estate and dairy farm in Massachusetts. She knows nothing about dairy farms but she does not need to, she has the Harrison family. They are the caretakers of Bay Farm.
Wren is intent on using this time of separation from her husband, Devlin, who is serving in France during WW1, to learn the skills of homemaking. She wants to be able to conserve, reuse and make the most of what she is gifted with. Wren has been taught the joy of cooking with perfect ingredients from her Madame Mimi. She has also been gifted with a creative eye from her eccentric Aunt Sophia, a milliner in Boston. Even her deceased mother-in-law's herb garden provides new ideas to help Wren fill her pantry. She was raised to find her bliss with fierce passion and to never let fear pull her down. Wren Bay is hoping her creativity will serve her well as she finds a way to put her own, unique fingerprint on this dairy farm.
My novel Wren Bay is a fictional form of my blog Storybook Woods. I was interested in taking all the subjects I blog about (such as baking, crafting, whole foods, self education, upcycling and more) and turned them into a fictional story. My blog is about taking the simple things in life and making a celebration out of them and Wren Bay reflects this. As Wren grows and learns new skills and ideas, so will you! You can read a sample of the book and see the list of recipes in my shop here and on my blog here
Enjoy and thank you Clarice

Clarice is one of my oldest blogging friends and she (and her girls) have always been such an inspiration to me. So I’m really delighted to be able to have this give away for her!

All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on this post  by Friday evening and a winner will be picked randomly and announced on Saturday. Everyone can enter including all of you outside of the U.S. Clarice will sign and ship Wren Bay directly to the winner.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!
******Thanks everyone! Comments are closed check back Saturday for the winner!******

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What I Did During the Snow Storm

Well I did quite a bit since we weren’t able to get out of the house for four days!
Here’s one thing I did – I changed a few of my candles and candle sticks on my fireplace and…
I made 33 felt circles into a very colorful garland for my fireplace! We needed something happy and cheery to look at as it was so cold and gray outside.
This is the first time I ever did the blanket stitch so some of my stitches aren’t that even :) But that’s the fun thing about handmade items…they don’t have to be perfect to be pretty!
This project is from a tutorial by Anna Maria Horner from 2006 (this is why I have a mile long list of projects I want to do). I’ve been meaning to do it since then!
Since we couldn’t go anywhere I thought it was the perfect time to do this project. All you need is felt – I know 4 squares of felt are $1.00 at Hobby Lobby and some embroidery floss. Last time I bought embroidery floss it was 35 cents a skein at HL. I already had all the materials which was good since I wouldn’t have been able to get out to buy anything anyway!
Here’s the link to her tutorial for the Felt Garland. She has photos and very clear instructions so I won’t bother to do one too. This does take time! Time to cut out the circles and time to stitch them together - but I had nothing but time! I think I've watched about 7 movies this week!
May you have a happy and colorful weekend!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Out On The Porch

….is this.
This is what we see from the dining room. A colorful collection of birdhouses!
I repainted this birdhouse that I got at Goodwill for $4. It was a sage green and white so I made it more me.
Because I’m not a sage green type of person. I’m an apple green type of person.
This is really all I did this year out on my cold screened porch. Since we’re moving I didn’t want to do a whole lot since I didn't want to have undo a lot!
If you’d like to see what I  did out here last year go here for last year's cozy winter porch – fireplace and all (sold the fpl to a neighbor during the summer).
Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Looks like a winter storm is headed our way and I wish I still had the fireplace. Brrrr!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prism Tree & Organizing Book Winner

Hello everyone! The winner of the book is Miss Pink Ponsonby @ Miss Pink Ponsonby's Swell Soiree (isn’t that a fun name for a blog). Visit her blog to say congratulations when you get a chance. Miss PP I need your mailing address and I’ll ship it out Monday.
I’m taking down the last of the Christmas decor today but I wanted to show you the little arrangement I made for my foyer.
While organizing my linen closet (post to come), I found some blue prisms that used to hang on my sconce in the living room (when it was decorated in blues and browns –can you imagine?) and some extra clear ones. I saw this idea in a magazine while waiting at the dentist, but they just used a few clear prisms (don’t remember the name of the mag).
My moss is being blocked by the Christmas boxes in the mess that is my garage,  so I used some filler from a box of Hickory Farms Sausages on top. It looks a bit messy in the photos but in person it looks like ruffles around the edge of the vase.

Just a little something sparkly to greet you on these dark January days.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Fresh Start - Book Give Away

              Happy New Year!


Hi everyone! Hope you all had a fun and safe New Year's Eve.The New Year always feels likes such an exciting time to me – full of hope for what’s to come. All those blank calendar pages waiting to be filled!

It also seems like the ideal time to start something new doesn’t it?  Maybe it’s a resolve to exercise more or maybe learn to knit/bake bread/sew etc. Or maybe you’ve decided this is the year of doing less. Just because it’s a New Year doesn’t mean you have to add more things – you can take away :)

This year I’m not making any “resolutions” or “goals”. This year I’m going to focus on a “Word of the Year”. My word for this year is “Organize”. As we get to the final countdown of listing this house, coordinating projects and decluttering will be top priorities. Then finding another place to live, the logistics of moving, setting up home in a smaller space (we are downsizing) and everything that comes with moving to a new place will be next. I think being organized will go a loooong way to making everything run more smoothly and hopefully result in less stress for us all (especially me since it’s up to me to make sure it all happens)!

For the last two years I’ve given away Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover because I believe in his system - I know it works! But this year I’ve decided to give away Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. She writes the Simple Mom Blog. A really wonderful blog that for some reason is new to me (so many blogs so little time).
All you have to do is leave a (one) comment on this post to be entered. You have until Tuesday night to do so. Unfortunately finances are tight with all this remodeling work that we are doing and I can only ship to the U.S. The winner, chosen randomly, will be announced Wednesday. Both TMMO and the give away book are in my Amazon widget on the sidebar if you’d like to read more about them.

Thank you all for reading this blog - without you it wouldn't be half as much fun! Happy New Year and have a great weekend!

*******Thanks to everyone that entered. This give away is now closed. Check back tomorrow for the winner!****