Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bereavement Absence...

I'd like to take a moment to apologize for being away. As I said, I was going away for a week to visit family over Christmas, so I would take a five or so day leave from my blog. During that time, however, my grandmother-in-law had a heart attack and I stayed there to help out. Unfortunately, today, she passed away. I, obviously, will be attending to those matters so I am not going to be blogging.

I wish I'd been able to share all the lovely Christmas things with you all, I had been so excited. I'm sure since you all are so sweet, you'll understand me being gone and accept me when I come back. I wish I'd posted everything before I left originally, but perhaps I'll share all my Christmas things after Christmas, just so I get to enjoy part of the holiday with you all.

Sorry for being gone. I'll see you soon. Prayers are always appreciated.







Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas House Pictures Are Almost Ready

Yes, they are coming. I am finishing up everything before I leave on my trip, but I will post TV "mantel", tree and vignettes in the days to come. Look forward...and have patience. ;)

I Am So Honored!



This week, I was given this amazing award by Nita at Mod Vintage Life.


I can't tell you how much this means to me, especially since I am a fledgling blog, with a terrible camera! 

{Which by the way, I'm remedying with a shiny, fabulous new one for Christmas...so look for me to (cross your fingers) appear much more professional. Not that I'll be more creative, but at least what I do will look much better!}

Now, apparently I'm due to tell you eight things about myself and pass this on to eight other fab bloggers. Hopefully, I shall endear myself to y'all (yes, y'all, I'm from Oklahoma...) and we shall become fast friends! 

I'm trying to keep this post to a reasonable length on my front page, so you'll have to click through to see my eight fun facts are. ♥ 



8(ish) Fabulous Sites

My goal here shall be to list some great sites that maybe not everyone is following. Let's face it, we all love The Graphics Fairy, but that's not what I'm going for. ♥


  



 


Which they did, but this was also
the best button too...
She's a bit bigger, but just a great site.



 & the ish
Just love this site, even though it's over 1,000...
She's a bigger, but one of my first blogging friends and I adore
her blog. And she's super sweet.



Eight fun facts...Drum rooollllll...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Want-to-Do List

Here is my official list for Christmas-time crafts/chores. If I put it here, it should move me to look at it and attempt to finish them. Of course, life happens, and I know it won't all get done, but at least I'm making an attempt to get busy.



*  Sew my kitchen-towel and felt Christmas pillow case.
*  Create some Frenchy linen pillows via printer and graphics.
*  Make tons of adorable Christmas tags, using all the stuff I've collected, but have been overwhelmed with the shear amount of options I now have.
*  Add batting and hem ottoman cover.
*  Make skirt for DVD case. 'Cause it's ugly. But marriage is compromise--style isn't.
*  Find a cheap throw to lay over big chair to make it Christmas-y.
*  Figure out how to set a pretty DR table, which I'm totally at a loss for, as of now.
*  Makeover/replace super cheaply, my bad chandelier. Re-hang accordingly to table. Decorate it for Christmas. --Highly unlikely, but a girl can dream....


xoxo

One-Off Wednesday...on Thursday...

I meant to do this on Wednesday, honest! I totally blanked earlier today though, so I'm posting about 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning. I just wanted to share my weekly roundup of stuff here at the House and with me as well.

So here is your One-Off Wednesday--of things not related to design, makeovers or interiors, just me. Just once a week. ♥



Oklahoma Trip
I am heading off to OK to visit with my mother-in-law and grandparents-in-law for a week, come Monday. Then my mother-in-law and I are going to fly to Atlanta (which was the last place we lived) to visit my brother-in-law and nephew, while my husband drives up to meet us. I'll also get to see my best friend and her husband who live there too. YAY! Family and holidays!
Doubt it snows, but thought I'd post one of when it did...

  
Camera
I just got a new Canon Rebel XS. Wooooo-hooooooo! See, my promises of better photos are close at hand! I got it on Black Friday with a 2G card and camera bag all for $479. This is my only Christmas and birthday gift to be sure! But I'm so excited I'm just fine with that!



Chloe
 Fell in love with this eau de parfum when I got a sample page thingy in the mail last week. So, since I don't have $85 right now for the parfum version, I went to Sephora to get a mini version. You can spend $10 on an atomizer, and they'll fill it for free.  Ya, I know, right? Awesome!



Skinny Jeans
 I bought......my very first pair. I am really excited. Beyond excited actually. You see, I'm pear shaped in the near extreme and this is simply a style I thought I could never pull off. I've tried once or twice out of sheer curiosity, and proven myself right that it is not for me. I do not want to look like I'm shaped like a waffle cone. Anyway, for some idiotic reason, which defies all logic why I would torture myself into trying this terribly esteem-deflating item of clothing on again, I did it...

Apparently, God thought to spare me this once, and the first pair I tried looked amazing. They had slim-enough thighs that they sort of squished mine in just the right amount to make me look curvy, not pointy. Now, I wouldn't wear them with flats or anything since my ankles are small and my thighs are large, but when I pair them with my slouchy boots, my calves look larger, thus thighs seem reasonably slimmed. And--get this--they were only $25. I know this will never happen again, so I am reveling in the delight!



❅ ❄
That's all for now! Hope you're doing well, and excuse my slightly less frequent posts next week as I'll be traveling and spending time with family, much like y'all I suppose!

xoxo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Perfect Bows - #2

Ever wonder how to know how much ribbon to buy for making those full holiday bows you see in the catalogs and craft stores? If so, I can help!

You see, I worked part time as a floral designer for Michael's, across several Christmas seasons I might add. I have literally--literally--made hundreds of bows. I credit all to my first job who showed me how to do it once, gave me a spool and said, come back tomorrow and be ready. Crash course! However, it's served me well in my future endeavors to come.


via: www.christmasdecorationsgalore.com
First, buy wired ribbon. Unless you're proficient, satin can look flat. Wired holds it's shape on packages, and if they get smooshed--be it from other presents or snuggly pets--you can bring it back to life in a cinch.

Second, think of bows in yards of ribbon. Hard to believe I know, but that's what a good, fluffy bow takes.
A basic guideline:

3 yards 
Softball size if you're using a wide 2-2.5" ribbon, smaller if you're using a smaller width ribbon.
This gets you a center loop (whether you choose it to be a small center "button" or a loop equal to the size of the others) and three loops to either side of it. You can add another foot to that if you want "tails" or you can just shrink the size of each loops and allow that extra foot to come from the three yards.

5 yards
Medium package-size bow if you're using a wide 2-2.5" ribbon, smaller if you're using a smaller width ribbon.
This gets you five loops to either side. Follow instructions for tails above, allowing/adding 1.5 feet extra for them.
 
10 yards
A good wreath-sized bow, for a 24" wreath, if you're using a wide 2-2.5" ribbon, slightly smaller if you're using a smaller width ribbon.
This gets you five-seven loops to either side. Big, wide loops at five, tighter thicker at seven. Follow instructions for tails above, allowing/adding 2-2.5 feet extra for them.

This is a good guideline to follow. Even if you're unsure exactly what size you're aiming for, you always go slightly bigger and know you have plenty to get the bow just right. But this should help you out if you're standing at the store going, Nine feet is enough to make a bow for my wreath...Nope. Go for three spools or find a 30 foot roll. Trust me. :)

Hope this helped some of you less experienced bow makers. If you're not an expert, or have trouble grasping all that ribbon, I highly suggest the Bowdabra. It's great if you've got un-nimble fingers or are arthritic.

Happy wrapping!

I'll try to post some of my wrapping accomplishments nearer to Christmas. I try to make them different and fun. Really, it's one of my favorite things to do. I love wrapping gifts!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Scents of the Season

Like I did this fall, I wanted to share with you what my house smelled like for the season--this one being Christmas.

I'm burning these candles:
Yankee Candle's Mistletoe, Mulled Cider, and Sugared Plums.



I don't burn these all at once mind you, but off and on of each. I pretty much burn Mistletoe everyday though. It smells just like a Christmas tree. I've searched over and over for that right smell, because typically they always smell too strong, like bad aftershave. A few years ago I found this one and it was heavenly. It's definitely got that sweet smell like Frasier Firs do. So if you're looking, try sniffing this one and see if you like it.

(I also bought their White Christmas, which has a bit of orange mixed in with the cleaner greenery scents. Haven't burned that one yet.)


Wish you could smell through a computer--it's really yummy here. ♥


xoxo

Monday, December 6, 2010

Neato! Mega Tealights!

Yep, these are aptly named mega tealights. From Dollar Tree. And you get two for $1. Just made my day, and I had to share.


Seeeeee....





Update on Hallway/Stairway

Just a quick update to let you know how things are going along.

We put down two coats of polyurethane, with one more to go. Thanks to Nita, at Mod Vintage Life, I knew to search for water-based polyurethane. It has NO smell. And it cleans up with just soap and water. WA-HOO!

Oh, and each coat dries in two hours, and there is NO sanding between coats. It's the best of two worlds. I can't imagine if I'd had to sand it two more times. I'd have gone nuts. I was so lucky to find this! If you're doing floors, this is a must use. 

Here are some shots while we were going along, as well as the name of the polyurethane we used.




I'll post more once the final coat has dried to you can marvel at how great it looks. I'm pretty ecstatic already. :)


xoxo

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Hot Mess...

Christmas is upon us, and I've dragged in all my boxes and trinkets and bobbles and whoodles (sorry, Dr. Seuss got to me).

Anyway, this has turned into a right hot mess in my dining room. Spilling over into the living room...



Here is a picture of half of what I've dumped in here.
This doesn't count the stuff for the tree either.




And here is my helper...
  


So that's what I've been up to the past few days. Trying to get my bearings on exactly what I have, and figure out again where to put it. 

I'm going to hopefully post this week and next, a few ideas I've had while decorating, which are--you guessed it--super cheap. 

Such as:
*Pine cone decoration
*Great gift wrap up-dos (makes any gift look better and more expensive...)
Possibly:
*Do-it-yourself, easy-sew sweater stocking.
*Tea towel updo
(These are dependent on demand and time...If I hear from a lot of you, I will try to make time.)



xoxo

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Perfect Bows Year After Year - # 1

Today's tidbit is how to make all that hard bow-making work pay off--by being able to reuse them year after year. Some of you may already have a plan in place, but just in case if not, I thought I'd share a quick thing with you. Behold.

Left-over bubble wrap and/or a plastic grocery bag makes the perfect stuffing in each loop. Simply wad and stuff.


This is what my bow looks like coming out of the box.



 And here it is freshly unstuffed, no fluffing done yet.
 
Pretty great, right?  Folding your loops flat always leaves a crease, I've found, and your bows just look like you reused them from last year. Not what I'm going for.

 

And here is my bow tied up on my rail. 

Ya, ya, ya, I know I used the terrible flash. My camera stinks (not for long though, I think) but I'd like for you to properly see how it turned out (and my stairway lighting leaves something to be desired). 



Hopefully, this helped some of you. If you've got some other ideas, I'd love to hear them too!

xoxo