Friday, November 30, 2007

Decorating Dilemma and Inspiration Friday

First, the dilemma ... I recently bought this fabric to make curtain panels for my living room (there is only enough fabric to make one panel per window and there are 2 windows right next to each other). I brought it in while decorating the tree, so I could see how it looks. I also had put this huge wooden chest by the tree. It wasn't working all by itself, but I think it looks kinda' cool with the fabric draped over it. My dilemma is that the window looks naked, and I want to put the curtains up, but it also looks good at the bottom of the tree. Do I just put the curtains up and forget having fabric at the bottom of the tree? (I'm going to hang one curtain and post a picture later.) Does anyone have any other ideas for this big chest, or should I get rid of that too? Or do I have pretty fabric at the bottom of the tree, and a naked window? Even if I do leave the fabric off the window, the arrangement still needs some tweaking. Any ideas from all of you wonderfully creative ladies?

**Update** Here is a picture of the curtain panel on the window (I think I put the tie-back too high).
Here is the trunk moved away from the tree. I've kept it because I know I will use it for something cool someday, but so far it has only been used to hold kid costumes.
Now, I must tell you one *very* important thing: I GOT THE FABRIC ON THE $1.00 RACK AT WALL-MART! Oh, sorry to shout. I was just so excited! I got 21 feet of this fabric for $7.00, my friends. Yes, and I was unsure about whether it would work when I was at the store, but now I LOVE IT. If they had more, I would buy more.

Next is Inspiration Friday, and I thought I would show you my banister garland. It is so simple and easy. Every year, I purchase cheap little frame ornaments and put pictures of my kids from that year, and then wire them to the garland. I tie a few bows, stick some flowers in here and there, and this year I added an organza ribbon I got from Martha Stewart at K-Mart. The other new addition this year is 4 tassels I found at the thrift store, tied around the posts. Woohooo, I was so excited when I found those!

These are the ornaments I added from this year's pictures. I will add some more to my Flickr photos some time this weekend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What Works For Me Wednesday

Do you have any vinyl flooring in your house? Is it looking a little dull, not shiny, scratched up or stained? My laundry room and my garden room have this wonderful flooring product (teeny bit of sarcasm here), and this is what I have discovered to keep it beautiful, clean and shiny:
Use this Armstrong Floor Stripper and Cleaner. This gets dirt out that you didn't think was *ever* going to come out. Wipe it on, let it sit a couple minutes, then lightly scrub with a brush and wipe off with a clean rag. Then . . .

get the Armstrong floor polish. Wipe it on, let it dry. Then your floor is amazingly shiny. You'll keep going back into the room just to look at how beautiful your vinyl floor is. Now, did you ever think you would love your vinyl floor?

I buy both of these products at The Home Depot. And, here is a link to get a $2 rebate.

Stop by Rocks in My Dryer to see more What Works For Me Wednesday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lest you think my house is tidy (this one's for you, Martha) ...

. . . here is what my beautiful children did on Friday. Mr. Jones brought in all the boxes of Christmas decorations, and the kids were setting up the miniature village in the family room. I had been busy picking up and cleaning each room, and I decided to sit down and rest for 5 minutes. Then, what I call the "Wack-a-Mole Phenomenon" occurred: I'm housecleaning, and as I clean a room, my children (namely the VERY energetic youngest) zips to a different spot (usually one that I have already cleaned) and destroys it. In this case, there were so many packing peanuts in my family room, that it honestly took us hours to get it all out. It's not easy to pick those things up. You get a handful and try to dump them in a bag, but they stick to your hands. They find every little crevice of the room and hide there. They are too big to be vacuumed up. Corgis run through the house, disbursing them everywhere. I snapped off the photo of the peanuts to share with you, and then I read about the packing peanut incident at Elizabeth Hill Cottage and just about died with laughter.
Here are a couple pictures I took on Thanksgiving. I was playing with the camera to take better pictures with backlighting, but I really, really, really want to take a photography class, especially one like this one.

Now I need to get some ideas for the Christmas card picture.

Friday, November 23, 2007

What I Know About Silver . . .

. . . nothing really. Except I absolutely despise polishing it. And I dislike tarnished silver even more than I dislike polishing it. I have no idea what is good silver and what manufacturers are good. I don't know much about silver plating vs. the good stuff. I buy what I love and what I will use.

This cute little dish was calling out to me the other day. It was didn't cost very much, nobody wanted it. I rescued it and with a little bit of work, it sure is pretty. I know I had to have it when I saw the fleur de lis around the rim! Get out! I couldn't believe my eyes. For a while I had no idea what I would use it for. Then I realized, I NEVER put my keys on the key rack because I am always dumping them on the table. Why not make this a key dish? Of course, my keys weren't worthy of being in a pretty dish like this, so I had to find a big skeleton key and add it to my key ring. (Yes, I am that anal-retentive ... although you would never know this if you walked through my house. The thing about ARs is that we never have enough time to be AR about everything, unless I sent my family to live in a motel. Add being a creative-distracted person, and WOW -- my house can fall apart really fast. I digress . . . )
Now again, I know nothing about silver, but when I saw these salt and pepper shakers for $2.00/set, I had, had, had to have them. They are really heavy and solid. The pepper shaker is a pepper mill (I have been wanting to get one of those). They actually have a home right on my kitchen table so we can use them every day. I use everything I have on a regular basis, with one exception: My china. I use my nice china for a cup of tea every night, but I don't want the kiddos to break the dishes so I don't use them for dinner.
The other items in this picture, left to write: a cream urn (which has shells in it) and a creamer, again - 2 things nobody wanted and I snatched up immediately. I have a thing for cream dishes lately. They are beautiful and simple. The mossy urn I recently picked up at The Old Lucketts Store. I haven't been able to go buy a topiary for it, so instead I filled it with packing peanuts and topped it off with moss. If you try this, wet the moss and then squeeze it out first. This will help you to shape it better. It doesn't smell very good, but it dries out and the smell goes away.

I recently found one more REALLY COOL silver piece, but I'm not ready to show it to you just yet. It is a very tricky one to polish and is going to take me a few days to clean up. It has a very unique shape. Curious? You're just going to have to wait.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Have you ever wondered what to do with . . .

. . . old Christmas cards? I have saved mine for years, and have never used them for anything. I have the best of intentions. Well, this morning I found a cute, easy project on You can make monogram tags with their Free Template, and you can adhere them to old holiday cards or scrap paper, so the back is cute, too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hi everyone. Stop by Amy's blog, at Raz Pizzaz Boutique. She is an amazing paper artist, and is having a fun giveaway!

As for me, I have been way too busy lately. Last week was American Education Week, and I was at the school every single day (couldn't we have American Education Day??). The kids are in school 2 days this week, because my county gives them Wednesday off (who thought of that?!!), and I have 2 days to get ready for Thanksgiving. Oh, wait, my husband and son are home sick today. Scratch that. Anyway, sorry I haven't been posting or visiting your blogs. I'll try to get with the program soon.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Vintage Baby Shower

... buy baby shower decorations at Party City. I just could not do it, friends.

There is a sweet lady at our bunco group who is having a baby girl next month, and we surprised her at bunco last night with a baby shower instead. I was in charge of decorations! My favorite. The baby shower decorations at Party City looked just like the ones that were for sale back when I had my first baby (12 years ago!). Come on people, we can't do better than this!?

I am also on a budget, so mostly using what I already had (which was probably too much because I am a craft/scrapbook supply hoarder), I did a vintage baby and sunflower theme. I will post a few pictures and the rest you can see on my Flickr page.

Anyway, a few years ago I bought a cd of vintage baby images from The Vintage Workshop. They have awesome images you can download into your computer. I printed images of those on file folders because I was too lazy to go upstairs and get card stock. I put sunflowers from the grocery store, and moss from WalMart into floral oasis in metal buckets I took out of my sewing room (got those from Home Depot). I used shish kabob sticks to stick the images into the flower arrangements. I used baby bottles for place cards/buffet cards. I had some vintage milk bottles from a previous baby shower I did, and used those for some more flowers. I ironed a vintage image onto a little onesie and found some tiny clothes pins at WalMart to hang them up. I took a feather boa from my daughter's room and some silk sunflowers to put on the gift table. And last, I found 3 cute wine glasses at the thrift store that I used for candles. I think it worked!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Creative Blogs

Creative Blogs

Awwwwww shucks . . . me? . . . really? . . . featured on Creative Blogs? . . . yep, that made my day! I just *love* Kim's blog, and stop by every day to see what cool new blog she has featured. So to say that I feel special today is an understatement. And wow, I think I was actually blushing after reading her post. Thanks Kim!

So, since I love to have a picture with every post, I thought I would share Rascal and his Halloween costume I made at the last minute. Because my dogs have 2 inch legs, I had to do a little cropping on the necktie. You know, when I see dogs who actually have legs, it almost looks weird to me. Anyway, more on where I got the idea for the necktie later in the week when I post pix of the kiddos in their costumes.
Have a great day everyone!

(oh, and p.s., can anyone hear the music on my blog? My music player is on there, but it isn't playing music when I view the blog. Thanks)

Friday, November 2, 2007

What to do with my can of chalkboard paint . . .

I bought a can of chalkboard paint the other day for a different project, and now I have this urge to turn everything into a chalkboard. It's so much fun. So I thought it would be fun to make a charger that doubles as a seating card. I took one of those chargers from Target, you know the gold ones that aren't really metal (a scratched up version I found at the thrift store is what I used) and I spray painted it with the chalkboard paint. I put a coat of primer on it first, and 2 coats of the chalkboard paint. It isn't the fanciest charger in the world, but it's kinda fun. I'll let you be the judge . . . does it work?

*Update . . . I found this website that shows you how to make your own chalkboard paint. This way you can pick prettier colors. You can also check out the recipe from Cottage Living on the blog Rowhouse.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Look at what I found . . .

at Target Dollar Spot. They were putting their Christmas stuff out yesterday, and I snagged these cute rolls of wrapping paper for $1.00 each. That's 40 feet of paper in each roll, ladies. They are narrow, though, maybe just the perfect width to wrap a shirt box which is just fine with me because I'm always chopping off the sides and throwing the extra away. And I just love polka dots, don't you?
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