Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Finally Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Hello Friends, how have you been?  Long time no see...I could regale you with all of the reasons for my absence, but I think instead, I will just share this year's mantel.  It is quite a departure from last year's very white and very peaceful "Mary Did You Know?" theme.  I have to say here that I admire all of you who get your decorating done right after Thanksgiving and every year I think that "next year,  I'll be one of the early ones" and every year, I get to it when I get to it, usually, well...about now.  I guess that's just how I roll and maybe instead of stressing over it, I should just embrace that it takes me a little longer to decide I want to get my holiday on.  Yeah, I think that's what I'll do...I'm 50 years old now, I can do stuff like that.  LOL!  

As usual, I digress.  Back to the mantel.  I made this vintage ornament wreath several years ago when they became kind of popular and you could only find them in a few cool shops and they were made with real vintage ornaments and they were super pricey, like close to $100.  I, being the dedicated DIY'er that I am, proclaimed, "I could do that and it wouldn't cost $100 either."  I began scouring eBay for vintage ornament lots and the glass garlands on the cheap.  In usual fashion, I'm sure I went overboard and bought many more than was necessary which is probably how I came to have like 10 strands of vintage glass garlands and boxes and boxes of vintage ornaments.  I'm fairly certain if I were to add up the cost of this baby, it wouldn't be a dime over $95 plus my time, so chalk up another shrewd business deal to my column.  OK, maybe not that bad, but after all of the glue gun burns I incurred on this one, I'm not sure it was really worth it.  Digressing again...anyway, I'd not had it out in a couple of years and I decided I'd really like to use it so, I cleared my mantel that is usually layered with several white mirrors over top of the big antique gold one and suspended the ornament wreath with a fishing line.  I took a couple of big glass jars that I already had and filled them with some of the aforementioned glass garlands and vintage ornaments.  I liked the look of that and wanted to keep it simple in a fancy way, so I just added a couple of mercury glass votives and called it good.  That is, until a day later when my cute 9 year old boy was helping me with the tree and just disappeared, going up to his room.  He reappeared a moment later carrying his treasured nutcracker that he got at an estate sale a couple of years ago.  He put it on the mantel in front of the wreath.  Despite my control freak tendencies, I had to admit, I liked it.  Then my 13 year old disappeared and came down bearing his Christmas snow globe which he added to one side.  I liked it, too.  I told the 9 year old to go bring HIS Christmas snow globe down and we added it to the other side.  Then, we ALL liked it.  Best of all, it was a family effort and that is really special.  What do you think?

On a completely different note, I have to tell you that on Friday, my local Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint stockist, Shades of Amber, brought in the awesome Marion Parsons, aka Miss Mustard Seed, to do a few little workshops and book signings for her book, "Inspired You".  I had signed up for one of them, mostly because I really wanted to meet THE Miss Mustard Seed.  I know, I'm kind of nerdy like that...anyway, the seminar was very fun, Marian is SUPER nice and down to earth as well as being unbelievably energetic and talented. AND I got a picture with her.  Pretty cool, huh?  I'm hoping that being that close to her maybe rubbed off on me, but time will tell and I guess you guys can be the judge at some point.

Thanks Marian, for sharing your life, your home, your talent, and even some of your sources with all of us.  You're a peach!

I see by the computer clock that it is WAY past my bedtime, so I guess that's it for now.  I'll be back this week with a little more Christmas inspiration as well as some chit chat about Marian's book. 

Until next time,

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

August in Review...

Hello my dear friends,

So I'll bet you are wondering just where has this French Laundry chick been?  August is kaput!  She posted ONCE.  What happened?  Well, for starters, we went on vacation...see if you can guess where???

Nope, not the beach...but it is the tallest sand dune in North America.  And it is right here in the state of Colorado.  The Great Sand Dunes National Park was one of our stops on a week long grand tour of southwestern Colorado. 

The kids loved it...nothing better than running full speed and jumping off of the huge dunes.

We did some hiking at some beautiful places like Maroon Bells outside of Aspen.

And Lost Lake in the Grand Mesa National Forest...check out that aqua water!  It really was that color.


The pups came along and did pretty darn good.  Momma Bella...

And even Diego, aka Little Bit...who in their right minds travels with a 12 week old puppy?  Seriously, who?  We OBVIOUSLY are not in our right minds!

I enjoyed getting reacquainted with our beautiful state.

Some of the many cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park.  These amazing structures are over 1000 years old.

We visited Bishop's Castle.  It's an interesting story.  You can read about it here.  One man, working for over 40 years building his castle...

There's even a dragon.  He presides over the castle.

We came home for a few days and cleaned like fiends getting ready for my brothers' visit and then came the first day of school.  Could my boys be more excited?  Really?  Is it possible?

A couple of days after school started, the much anticipated visit of my brothers arrived.  My bros and their wives came down from Texas to celebrate my birthday.  I turned FIFTY.  50.  The big 5-0.  Began my 6th decade of life.  Over the hill.  SHREEK!!!

Despite the slightly disconcerting nature of the number, it was a WONDERFUL birthday.  We had a great dinner at a local Italian place.  My whole immediate family, my 2 brothers and their wives, and my BFF and her husband shared the day with me...I feel so blessed.

We did a lot of this in the couple of days the siblings were here...

We took in the local sights such as Garden of the Gods, one of my favorite places in Colorado Springs.

The uncles took pictures of the nephews...

We took pictures of each other...

Mr. FL reminded me of one of the many reasons I love him...

He loves our kiddos and I love him.

And a good time was had by all.  They returned to Texas and we enjoyed a second bloom of many of our flowers in our garden and enjoyed the cooler weather that almost always seems to come with the arrival of August.

And that, my dear friends, is where August went.  Time flies when you're having fun.  I hope to get back into the groove of posting and sharing with you some of the many ideas that are rattling around in my head.  I hope my U.S. friends have a lovely long weekend and the rest of you have a great normal weekend.  Enjoy the weather while it lasts...and look for beauty everywhere.  It is all around you.

Until next time,
A little older and hopefully, a little wiser.  LOL!

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Art, Puppies, and Birthdays...

Hello my dear blogging friends,

I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted.  Wassup with that???  I apologize for the random musings, but I just have been in a real blogging doldrums.  Nothing I particularly have to share that I think would be of much interest.  I know we all go through this from time to time, so I know this too shall pass.  One thing I do want to share is the beautiful mixed media art book I got from the very talented Judy McCallum.  She is from Bakersfield, CA and she is an amazing artist.  This book makes me so happy just to look at it.  Makes me want to go play in my studio instead of just organizing it (yes, STILL). Enjoy looking at some of the beautiful pages she has made with fabric and lace...yum!

Part of my busy-ness as of late is with regard to my little sweet pea Bella.  Bella the Yorkshire Terrier had a visit with a Yorkie gentleman friend back in March (on purpose) and the result was...

These two precious ones.  A little girl who, after about 24 hours of life, had to try to explore every inch of their pen, gaining her the temporary name of "Dora the Explorer".  Her brother, by default, became "Diego".

They were so cute.  My house smells like doggie pee, but it has been fun.

We had a deal with the stud's parents that in lieu of a stud fee they would get a puppy.  We were going to sell the second pup. 

Yeah, like that happened.  Diego is now a part of the family.  My house still smells like dog pee, but I love the little stinker and this too shall pass (the doggie pee smell, not the love for the doggie).  Moving on to more random, unrelated thoughts, once a year, in August, I always try to buy some pretty gladiolas as they seem to be cheap and they are my birth month flowers. 

This birthday is a big one-holy cow!  I am taking a week off work to "celebrate".  I am actually excited as my two brothers and their wives are coming up from Texas to help me commemorate the 50th anniversary of my natal event .  One has only once before been to this house when he was in Denver for business (drove down for dinner) and the other one has never been (yes, I actually have been here 13 years-time flies).  We've seen each other, just in Texas at my dad's before he passed away and at their homes, but I am very excited to have my ELDER siblings come to visit me.  So, I know I am rambling about nothing in particular, but I hope you have found something that will make you want to come back.  I love reading your comments and while I am sometimes very slow at responding, know that I read and cherish every one.  I hope to be able to share some pictures of my eldest son's room which has been a work in progress as well.

Until next time,
Linking up with:
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Feather Your Nest Friday
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where This Blogger Creates...the Closet of Dreams

Hello dear ones,

I have been wanting to share my studio with you FOREVER.  Problem is, it is still in progress (don't ask how long it has been in progress, it's just embarrassing).  However, this year, I did at least get the closet finished.  I call it my Closet of Dreams because it makes me so happy whenever I go in it.  I'm joining in with Karen's Where Bloggers Create party, so without further ado, please come in and have a look around.

The door was an old Victorian front door that we dug out of the dumpster salvaged from a neighbor's renovation project.  I stenciled the "lace curtain" on the window.

Everything a girl could need to create wonderful things is in here, in addition to things that inspire me and bits of art from other people who inspire me.

The modular storage unit is from Michael's.  It felt so good to finally have a place to put all of my supplies-I labelled the drawers and actually can put my hand on whatever I need with a minimum of effort.  LOVE that!

I had great fun making storage containers to hold my bits and bobs.  It's amazing what you can do with peanut butter jars, spice tins, and tin cans when you have a can of white spray paint and lots of pretty papers...

Below are my beautiful lace cards made with oodles of graphics from Karen at the Graphics Fairy.

Storage should be functional, no doubt, but it simply must be pretty if you ask me.

Doesn't everyone have a basketful of doll heads?  And googly doll eyes, don't forget those...I see you!

I love having a place to both use and display pretty things like this awesome antique ribbon embroidered pincushion.

Organized 1920's ribbons-no more digging through boxes and risking damaging the merch.  Swoon...

Make it pretty was my mantra throughout this project...

A shell bowl filled with vintage chandelier crystals shares space with a little ANRI carving that my parents bought when they went to Switzerland.  I brought him home with me after my parents passed away.

Little dollies waiting to be dressed...

Lots of inspiration in this pint sized book.  I loved the cover as well, so it stays out on the shelves.

Vintage tins in pretty colors hold various bits and bobs and yes, the candy lights are up all the time.  Pastel yumminess abounds here.

Little dolls I made a few years back...

Baskets from the thrift store make great storage for my rubber stamps.

A very pretty vintage shoe holder that hasn't quite been filled up yet, but I'm sure it won't take long.

My mermaid reminds me to be who I am...

That's about it for this time.  I hope next time this party rolls around, I can show you the rest of the studio instead of just the closet.

Until next time,

Also partying at:
Pink Saturday
What's It Wednesday
Home Sweet Home
Fridays Unfolded
Feathered Nest Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Simple and Sweet Friday
Shabbilicious Friday
Rustic Restorations Weekend
Make it Pretty Monday
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