Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 IN REVIEW


Cindy at My Romantic Home
is hosting a Year in Review party to give us all a chance to post some of our favorite pictures from posts in 2009.

Below are my favorite photos and experiences from this past year.

Favorite sewing project:
After thinking about it for 10 years, I finally made cushions for our eight dining room chairs.

Favorite home improvement project:
Removing the entry hall closet to open up the dining room
Favorite Tablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday photos:
Favorite Season in Colorado:
Autumn

Favorite New Experience in 2009:
A helicopter ride over our town.

Favorite outing with the grandchildren:
A day trip to Bishop's Castle

Pure fantasy without the glitz!

Favorite people watching experience:
Attending the Antique Roadshow in Denver

Favorite antique finds:
Additions to my brown transferware collection, thrift-store linens, and antique apothecary jars.

Favorite new shopping mecca:
A farm equipment salvage yard

It has been a great blogging year for me, as I have met so many wonderful bloggers online. Plus, what fun it was to meet Mary of
Mary's Meanderings and Chari of Happy to Design in person. I've truly been blessed by the blogging experience. Thanks to everyone!

Don't forget to stop by Cindy's blog
to check out the other participants in today's party.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

CHRISTMAS WRAP UP

Christmas is over for another year! I always thoroughly enjoy the season, but I'm always glad to start a new year, too. There is something about taking down all of the Christmas stuff, cleaning and reclaiming the house that invigorates me.
Our immediate family is small with just our two kids, our son-in-law and the two grandkids; but we always enjoy getting together for lots of food and to watch the young kids opening their gifts.

For some reason, we didn't take a lot of pictures this year. But, here are a couple of mosaics of our favorite moments. It is always special to celebrate a birthday or a Christmas with our daughter after she was diagnosed with the worst kind of brain cancer 3 1/2 years ago. Isn't is wonderful that a seven-year-old can still get excited over a new soccer ball? And,
all boys no matter their age still like to play with legos.

And, a teenager is still filled with wonder?

And, now tomorrow, I will start dismantling the decorations to begin a new year. I'm excited, and I hope the joy and reason for Christmas stays with you throughout 2010.

I'm joining Mary at Little Red House
for her weekly Mosaic Monday party. Please go visit her blog for wonderful photography and for a list of the other participants.

Monday, December 21, 2009


JOY TO THE WORLD

THE LORD HAS COME!

May you have a glorious Christmas celebration.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

FINISHING UP PROJECTS!

It is the beginning of Christmas week, and I still have some loose ends to finish; but I did manage to complete these projects this past week.


I made these two potholders using Irene Berry's paper-pieced patterns. They will be enclosed with home-made candy for a long-time friend.




It is so hard to shop for my 95-year old Mother-in-law, so this year we went through some old pictures of her ancestors and family. I scrap booked a small heritage book for her.



And finally, I actually managed to finish knitting our youngest grandchild his Christmas stocking. He has been neglected, in that I have made every one's stocking for their first Christmas. He is 7 years old already - bad Grammy!!


I'm about finished except for the mountain of cooking necessary for the week. How are you coming on your preparations for the celebration of the birth of Jesus?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SANTA SNACK MIX


Just a little snack for Mr. & Mrs. Santa as they prepare for Christmas.

The snack mix is yummy, especially with a cup of hot chocolate. Don't forget the 'snowman marshmallow peep'!!

I found this snack mix recipe in the new December 2009 issue of Southern Living magazine.

I substituted dried cranberries for the raisins.

I do believe Mr. and Mrs. Santa are becoming addicted to it.

I'm linking to Designs by Gollum
for Foodie Friday. Check Michael Lee's blog for a list of the participants showing off great food.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

THE BOTTLE BRUSH TREE EXPERIENCE

I'm in love with the IDEA of crafting, but I'm just not very good at it. Give me thread and fabric and I can create; but glitter, glue, and I have never learned how to play together very well. But, I was so intrigued with Manuela of The Pleasures of Homemaking
and her bottle-brush bleaching project that I just had to try it.

I didn't take any pictures of the bleaching process, because Manuela's tutorial is so good - you can click here
to follow her instructions. Basically you buy those little non-plastic bottle-brush trees that are made to accessorize villages. Then you put them in a combination of bleach and water until they turn white. Rinse them in water, and let them dry. From this point on, they can be dyed with Rit dye and/or decorated any way you want.

I chose to leave mine white and glitter them. The thing that I did different was to remove their little white plastic bases, and replace them with wooden blocks that I decoupaged with scrapbook paper. I then covered the blocks with two coats of Mod Podge to seal. We predrilled holes in the blocks and reinserted the wire stems in with a dab of Elmer's glue.

I am enjoying my finished trees, and have given some away as gifts.

I'm still not too fond of the glittering and gluing process, but had lots of fun choosing the scrapbook papers.

Since Susan of A Southern Daydreamer is allowing indoor decorations during the month of December, I'm linking to Outdoor Wednesday
for this week's party.
Be sure to check out Susan's blog for a list of the other participants.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

TOUR OF HOMES

Today I thought I would take you on a tour of our living room all decked out for the Christmas season. But first, let's look at Bob's and my very first Christmas tree. The year was 1958, we had been married 3 months and we were poor college students. We probably paid $1 for the fresh tree, and then bought one red ball to write the date on. We strung popcorn and cranberries and called it good. Those red blobs are some red net doodads I made.

Now, 51 years later the tree is basically the same - just more loaded and bigger. There are now 52 red balls with the year written on them, plus other ornaments with meaning that have been added over the years. I guess I don't decorate, I accumulate. That pretty well sums up my whole decorating philosophy - Christmas or anytime.


In the mosaic below on the upper right, you can see that 1958 ball.

We have been putting up a second tree for about 20 years now after we inherited Christmas ornaments from our families. This tree contains only blown glass ornaments - some old, and some new from travels and friends.


The huge (about 8" in diameter) green mercury glass ball below was made in Belgium and belonged to my parents.
Bob started the Hummel Nativity set for me 41 years ago. That Christmas he gave me Mary and Baby Jesus. He then added to the set piece by piece as finances allowed.

The Hummel Madonna and Child belonged to my mother.

The grandkids came home with us after church on Sunday. They were so quiet after lunch, I thought I should check on them. They were busy decorating the doll house!


I was happy to see that they considered the whole family around the table as part of the Christmas celebration.

What a joy it is to celebrate the Christmas season.

I'm linking this post to The Nester's Tour of Homes
and to the Deck the Halls Tuesday party at Thoughts from over the Rainbow.
Also, I'm linking to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
for Metamorphosis Monday and to Mary's Mosaic Monday at
Little Red House,

So many parties to attend, but be sure to stop by these blogs for a whole lot of Christmas joy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

SUSIE Q HAD A GIVEAWAY


Long, long ago and far, far away (from Colorado at any rate),
Susie Q at Rabbit Run Cottage
had a giveaway. And I won! Well her ditsy friend (that would be me) didn't even know she had won, so dear Sue had to contact me to tell me that she needed my address to mail me the book.
She mailed it out, and I received it Thanksgiving week; which was the most opportune time. I had been cooking up a storm and on my feet all day when the doorbell rang, and there was my gift from Sue.
Now there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down to peruse a good decorating book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, "Waterside Cottages" by Barbara Jacksier.

But then, of course, I had to finish up Thanksgiving and move right into the Christmas season. Now, Sue's friend is not only ditsy, but negligent also in thanking Sue for this great giveaway.

Be sure to go by Rabbit Run Cottage
and meet Sue if you don't already know her. She is the best - the type of person you wished you lived next door to.

Thanks, Sue!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MY EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT

I have been looking at these four antique apothecary jars for about two years. They have been at a local antique mall for so long, but NOW they are at home with us. I told Bob that I knew what I wanted for Christmas, but I wanted my present early. So, last week we went shopping. I remember these types of candy jars in the ice cream/ bakery/candy stores of my youth. I loved them then, and doubly love them now!

Three of the jars are matching with the tallest one about 12 inches with the smallest at 7 inches. For now, I have filled them with old, special ornaments from my parents. There is one orange ball that reminds me so much of my mother, as she loved anything orange. There also are a couple of balls that have cardboard hangers from the WWII era when all metal was going to the war effort.

The fourth jar is very similar to the others - just a little different. I put one of my vintage bottle-brush trees in it.

I just know that I'm going to enjoy this present on every holiday. What should I put in them for Valentine's Day?

There are so many parties going on, and I hate to miss a good party; so I'm linking to the following blogs. Be sure to stop by to check them out. You won't be disappointed with all of the wonderful ideas being displayed.


Home for the Holidays, hosted by Rhoda at SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY


Vintage Thingies Thursday, hosted by Suzanne at COLORADO LADY

Show and Tell Friday, hosted by Cindy at ROMANTIC HOME


Sunday, December 6, 2009

MOSAIC MONDAY & DECK THE HALLS TUESDAY

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!



I'm joining Mary at Little Red House
for her weekly Mosaic Monday party. Stop by her wonderful blog to see what she has going, plus there will be a list of participants of the mosaic party.

Also, please check out Thoughts from over the Rainbow
for the Deck the Halls Tuesday get together.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

THE LONG-AWAITED CLOCHE PARTY



Thanks to Marty of A Stroll Thru Life
for hosting this event. Be sure to check out her blog for a list of all of the participants. I'm sure there will be so many creative ideas for using cloches and apothecary jars in Christmas decorating. I can't wait to view every one's posts.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ALMOST A NEVER ENDING PROJECT

I've been thinking about this project for at least ten years - pondering it, dreading it, avoiding it!!!

We have eight dining room chairs that are old, but very sturdy. They are comfortable except they do not have upholstered seats. They desperately needed cushions but I never could find any that I liked in my price range. So, in September I decided I just needed to bite the bullet and make them myself with a deadline by Thanksgiving. In my frugal mode, I needed to use some of the various fabrics that I had in my stash. There are five different versions using a total of seven different fabrics.

I made 32 yards of cording, inserted 8 zippers, made 16 velcro tabs, used 2 spools of thread and 8 yards of fabric, and used up about all of my patience. It seems that the older I get, the shorter my attention span is.

I had a hard time deciding what to use for the inner cushions. Locally, foam was VERY expensive. I finally found a place online that cut the foam, then wrapped and secured the batting over the foam. All eight inner cushions with postage only cost $48. If I had done the inner cushions myself, it would have cost almost three times as much. I was very pleased with the quality, too.

After I received the inner cushions, it was very intimidating to see the stack on the left knowing the work that was coming. But, here they are all done. I prewashed all of the fabrics and inserted zippers in the back boxing, so they can be removed for the laundry. The cushions on the six chairs that are always around our table can be flipped over so that they all match.
The other two chairs are used elsewhere, and only brought to the table when needed.


I'm joining a couple of parties today. Please check out Susan at
Between Naps on the Porch.
Susan is hosting Metamorphosis Monday where there is always so much inspiration.
Also, I'm joining Cielo at The House in the Roses.
Cielo is hosting Show Off Your Cottage Monday. Here you will find cottage lovers with ideas to make a cottage more comfortable and charming.
Edited to add: At the suggestion of Miss Mustard Seed, I'm also linking to her Furniture Feature Friday. Be sure to check out her blog for the most amazing painted furniture and accessories. She will also have a list of the participants of this week's FFF.

Friday, November 27, 2009

LET THE CHRISTMAS SEASON BEGIN!

I hope you all had a joyous and bountiful Thanksgiving. I know I'm stuffed! And as soon as I finish attacking this mess, it will be time to start the Christmas decorating.

The first thing I usually do is get out our Hummel nativity scene to remind us the reason for all of the Christmas hoopla.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

MY PERSONAL PILGRIM

Granted, it is a stretch during this Thanksgiving season to call him a pilgrim, but he definitely was my personal pioneer. This is my great, great Uncle Asa.
Uncle Asa was a logger in Parkman, Maine in the 1860s. He was involved in a logging accident and lost his leg. They told him that there was no place in the logging business for a one-legged logger; so he should go West where he could ride a horse.

So, with $100 loaned to him by the local Masonic Lodge and only the possessions he could carry; he headed West on the train to Denver. Once in Denver, he then walked to southeastern Colorado to homestead to farm and ranch. The year was 1876.


After Asa's brother, my great-grandfather, was widowed he soon was lured to Colorado by the promise of free land. He came to farm, ranch and raise his sons alone. And that is how I became a Colorado native.

I've been fortunate to inherit what few possessions Uncle Asa had. Among them was this walking stick. With a peg-leg, I'm sure this was a very important belonging.

We don't know the story behind this sampler, but evidently it was brought from Maine on his journey and was important to him. Was it made by his mother, or perhaps made by a lost love? He was a life-long bachelor.

The kitchen tools of a pioneer were simple. Most of these were hand-made.

And probably the most special is this bible. It is only 3x5 inches in size, and the print is so tiny. The inscription indicates that it was given to Uncle Asa's mother, Nancy, by a friend in 1846. And, she passed it on to Asa for his journey in 1876.

I never look at these few material things without thinking about the hardships endured by the pilgrims and/or pioneers in their efforts to establish America. How blessed we all are to live here and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Cindy at My Romantic Home is hosting show and tell Friday. Please check out her blog for a list of the other participants.

I'm also linking to the weekly party hosted by Mary of Little Red House.
She will have a list of participants showing off their creative mosaics.

Be sure to check out Cindy's and Mary's blogs for a special treat.