Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sunshine on a cold winter's day.

It's amazing how much more energetic I feel with just a small dose of sunshine!
 I've been busy filling holes in the walls and making lots of new ones, too.

I got tired of the busyness of my picture gallery wall, so I gathered what I could find
to create a quieter neutral grouping.  I took the mirrored panes out of my old window
and turned it around to the chippy white painted side.

  I bought this rickety old window on July 4, 1999 at my hometown antique shop
 (I can remember that day vividly, but I can't remember where I put my car keys 
10 minutes ago).  I'm amazed that the old window trend  
has lasted 2 decades and it's still going strong!  Our girls were high school students
 when I bought it and now their kids are starting school!!

 I replaced the old hats on the wall in this corner with a woven basket
found for a steal at an antique shop.  The folk art carved angel was also purchased
at an antique shop, but neither are old.  She was a medium wood tone
when I found her, but I lightened her up with whitish paint.

 She's kind of a hot mess right now, because I mistakenly added
sanded grout to my chalk paint.  Looks a bit like she's been flapping
around in a sandbox.  Poor thing.

 Gone are all the reds that filled our house over the holidays.

 I'm not much of a frilly flower girl, but these funky pom pom flowers
in a nice earthy green are just my style.  On sale for only $5 a bunch at Hobby Lobby,
I splurged on 3 bunches, two for this bucket and one for the mantel.

 Any room looks better with sunshine streaming through the drafty old windows.
Lots of fresh -20 degree air blowing in, too.

 Little fuzzy green snowballs.

 I painted over my dark wood candlesticks, which look like
I unearthed them at an archaeological dig (same gritty sanded grout 
 chalk paint finish as my sandbox angel).

A new basket holds another wool throw I've been knitting during
long car trips.  It's almost finished.

Side note:  My cedar Christmas garland stayed green for a full month!
It was dry and crispy, but it still looked good and that's all that matters, right?

 I gathered all my woven goodies together to fill this tray.

 I wound a discount greenery swag (also from Hobby Lobby)
 around a grapevine wreath to add some life to this corner.
  Years ago we had a hand-me-down tabletop Christmas tree at work that we nicknamed
"Swamp Thing".  Just thought I'd add that tidbit that came to mind
while I was making the wreath.

 I think it's supposed to be some type of eucalyptus and I chose it because
but it was the only greenery that looked somewhat real to me.

 I bought and returned several styles of lamps to replace the dated buffet lamps
 I sold a few years ago.  I'm still on the fence about these,
but I'm afraid Target's pinned up a photo of me at the return counter,
so I'm keeping them.  I've got another spot in mind for them, so it's all good.

More faux greens fill an old sugar bowl.  I can not keep house plants alive,
 so If you can't grow, go faux! is my motto.

I've had a lovely day off with the house all to myself,
way too many cups of coffee
  and a few pieces of orange chocolate biscotti.

I'll probably be up all night.

Thanks so much for visiting and stay warm!

*I'm joining:
Making it in the Mountains The Creative Gallery

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?


Let me turn the music down so we can visit.  I've got speakers wired into
our kitchen so I can play all my favorite Christmas tunes while I bake.
I think it's my favorite place to be at Christmastime.

You've seen the wall above numerous times, but this winter it feels warmer
in the room with the stenciled wallpaper.  Our big window faces north
 which tends to give true whites a chilly bluish cast during the winter months.

Since our kitchen wears red and green all year long, decorating for Christmas
takes just a few minutes.  I keep the few things I put out in a small basket
 on a little used upper cabinet shelf, so I don't even have to leave the room to decorate!
I moved this set of coasters way up high and out of reach of little fingers.
There are only 2 smiling faces left and I want to preserve them.

Do you hear that Maggie, our little climber?
Future firefighter perhaps?

Note to self:  Hide my ladder.

It's nice to be able to add small pops of color on my open shelving.
The ( Holt Howard?) salt & pepper shakers I've had forever
are a favorite of mine and that's why they're on the high altitude shelf. 

I finished painting the remaining kitchen walls a slightly warmer white
as you can see under the bakery sign.  Leftover kitchen "greens" and a pine cone wreath
decorate the space above the coat rack in the back entryway.

I've now got enough Santa nut cups to fill my sterilizer cabinet.

The reclining elf-on-the-sewing-machine-drawer-shelf is joined by
 vintage mushroom candle holders that I found on clearance after Christmas last year.

This is the room where we coffee drinkers like to hang out,
the kiddos eat breakfast and lunch, and the cooking happens,
so a few holiday accents bring a festive feel without taking up valuable space.

FYI, the chalk painted table and chairs finished with MMS clear furniture wax
are holding up nicely, and clean up easily with a mild vinegar and warm water solution.
Kid tested, grandma approved.

One tiny change here is the red & white crocheted romper pot holder
on the wall above the green scale.

Once again, the boss man keeps an eye on what's happening below.

View from the dining room before the baking starts.

Now it's time to crank up my Christmas tunes and bake some cookies!

This year's Christmas selfie (gift bought for one's self) is the set of 3 bowls
for only $5.99 at Walgreens, of all places!  I could not resist.

For years, I've marveled over the pretty gingerbread houses
and beautifully decorated cookies displayed in Scandinavian kitchens,
so today I made time to bake and decorate my own.


They are way more labor intensive than one would think,
so of the 5 dozen cookies my recipe made, this is as many as my
stiff slightly arthritic hands could decorate at one time!

Unfortunately they will not be hanging in the windows and strung across shelves.
  They will be locked up tight in covered containers.

Have you read KariAnne's story about her disappearing gingerbread men?
(If not, click on her name for the lowdown.  Let me tell you, it's all
 fun & games when you're reading about somebody else's house.)

 Much to my horror and dismay, we discovered a pair uninvited guests
  stirring in our house this holiday season.  Eeek!!!!
  Let's add a few more !!!!!!! to let you know how I really feel about them!!!!!

 They've now been "escorted off the property", so to speak, and I don't think I'll be
 inviting them back in any time soon for biscuits and tea.

To all creatures, great and small, Merry Christmas!

Do you remember the rhyme from your childhood that goes like this....

Group:  Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
   Mousie stole the cookie from the cookie jar!
Mousie:  Who me?
 Group:  Yes you!
 MousieCouldn't be. 
GroupThen who?
 Mousie:  (insert name here) stole the cookie from the cookie jar!
Repeat until everybody in the bus has a turn.
I'm joining:
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