Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa is on my "naughty" list

We have only one "believer" left in our house this year. So, we went to see the big man in red yesterday at the mall. Chase came along, because he still likes to "see" him, but he would not be sitting on his lap this year because "he is a cool middle-schooler now". Brooke was very excited. In the morning yesterday before school, she started to get a little teary eyed though. She said, "mommy, I think I might be on the naughty list!" Why, I said, did you do something that would put you there. (this was gonna be good)- "Well," she said, I was arguing with Chase the other day." I assured her that Santa knew that was normal brother/sister behavior, and that she was a very kind, sweet girl- and is definately on the nice list. That seemed to put her mind at ease, so she was excited to see Santa!
When she got home from school, she changed into her fanciest dress, combed and sprayed her hair, and we were off to the mall. We entered the mall and could see him sitting on his chair, the excitement grew! There was nobody else there, so we went right in. BUT.....you won't be seeing a sweet, priceless picture of this moment of her childhood, that will never again be recaptured. Why??? because you couldn't take your own picture. You would have to pay $18.00 if you wanted a piece of this memory!!!! I asked the "elf" if I could simply take a short video on my camera instead. NO... Mind you this is the same exact Santa and spot that my dear friend Julie visited 3 days ago and got oodles of pics (taken by HER own camera). I was NOT happy. I was dissapointed. I didn't want to make a scene, so I dropped it. AFTER i asked the head elf once more why my friend could take photos and I can't. His reply? I must not have been on duty that day. Great.


Here is the picture I did get... Look real hard, can you see santa WAY in the backround? Nice.
Brooke has been wearing these play glasses around, because some of her friends wear real ones, and she thinks it's pretty cool :)


This pic is in the little tunnel area you walk in before seeing santa.


We did have a great time at the mall though, the kids got a drink at the Bubble Tea house and Subway for dinner. Brooke rode the merry-go-round and we had fun browsing around!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Daily Reminders

About a year ago I was over at a freind's and saw a really cool picture hanging on her wall. It was her family's last name spelled out with letter art. Soon after that I started to "see" letters all around me in every day things, and started to start a collection of my own. My first attempts were not so pretty. It is a lot harder to do than it looks, but it is fun for me. I recently made some framed art for some friends to buy as gifts for Christmas. It is DEFINATELY more of a challenge when doing it for a paying customer....I want it to be perfect. Here are some of the 'words' I made for them. They serve as great daily reminders of God's love. I also had the challenge of doing a LONG last name. "PRAY"
"BALLARD"
'JOY'
'HOPE'
Sorry for the Blessed path scribbles.....have to protect anything on line :)

We had our Women's Christmas Banquet last evening at church and I got the opportunity with my sister, Kathy, to make little plaques using some of my letters and her crafty skills for table hostess gifts!!
"JESUS"


I don't know if anyone finds these interesting at all, but I would love the opportunity to make something for you....maybe to give as Christmas gifts or for yourself. $5.00 a letter plus frame or you can frame them yourself :) Thanks

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent tree tradition time


Last year I started doing an advent tree to help the kids get excited about Christmas (okay, like they really needed help in that department)! Each day they take turns opening the numbered boxes, to discover a small surprise of some sort. It is the very first thing they do when waking up! I put things as simple as gumballs, chocolate gold coins, chapstick, toothbrushes, new christmas socks, make your own card kits and ornament kits, note pads, pens. Most of it comes from the dollar bin at Target (not the candy or toothbrushes (made in china). This year I found some adoreable little pots that look like santa and a snowman, to grow grass hair. I put a note in box #1 for them to 'ask mom' for the gift of the day, since they wouldnt fit into the tiny box. I decided to give them these the first day so they could hopefully have grass 'hair" on them by Christmas. Box 25 is always the same. I tell the kids it is the most "expensive" and biggest gift of all. They open it to find baby Jesus. Then we all go over to the Nativity scene and place Him in the manger.

This year it is a teaching tool in a different way as well. Chase opened #1 so he will be opening all the ODD numbered boxes, so Brooke gets all the even #'s. She has been really learning all her odds and evens, because she wants to know all the ones SHE will get to open! :)
What are you doing with your loved ones to get you in the Christmas mood??

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A new tradition





We had a great Thanksgiving with family. Ate too much. I still cannot believe it is this time of year already. We went to my brother's house for Thanksgiving. They have graciously hosted it for the past many years. It is always sooo good!! My sis in law makes some great popovers and her desserts are to die for!! Anyway. For the past year or so, my parents have all the grandkids over the day after Turkey day to help decorate their house and tree for Christmas. The kids really enjoy this time with Grandma and Grandpa and of course their cousins. My parents also love the time with all of them, but mostly enjoy all the help putting the ornaments on the tree and setting up their Christmas village. They have decided to make this a new tradition! What kinds of Holiday traditions do you all have with your families or friends??





Monday, November 15, 2010

A sweet friend's room rearrangement

Hi everyone. Hope you are enjoying this week before Thanksgiving. Is anyone else in denial, that it is this time of the year again? I usually start to listen to Christmas music early, however last yr I started wayyy to soon (in October) and grew tired of the songs by this time. One of the local radio stations just started playing Christmas songs this weekend, so they are starting to put a pep in my step and get me excited for the Holidays. I do have my shopping done for the kids :)

Anyway...God really has given me so many opportunities this past month to do what I love to do. My neighbors staging, my parents living and dining room redo, and then my sweet friend from church asked me if I would come over to her house and help her change around her family room. All totally different types of tasks, one to help sell a house, one spending money and repurposing by painting for a whole new look, and then this one, just moving and removing items to make her room more user friendly. This is her room before (yeah!!!! Carol actually remembered to take a before).

I have to say, I have never been to her house before, so have never seen the room until the moment I walked in. It was kind of cool to experience that. My mind just started to process, think, wonder, plan...FUN!!! I started our time together, by first listening to her. What does she DO in this room, where is her favorite spot to be in it, what other functions does this room have. What are the trouble spots or things that just aren't working for her in the room. The biggest thing was there was just too much furniture in the room, making it feel smaller. But, her family gathers there, so we needed to leave much of it in the room. Another issue, there just isn't enough light. Also, a craft table that she uses, has become her "catch all" place. I assured her we ALL have one of these places in our homes, mine is my breakfast bar! We talked and I bounced some ideas off her and then told her I just need to start moving things - it's easier to see if an idea is going to work or not. You can see the before and then after pics to see what all we did. A few things were: removing one of the bookshelves from the room. The other one, we removed the backing of it to let the taupe paint on the walls show through to really highlight her stuff and to update the look. We moved that bookshelf to the back wall and flanked the 2 chairs around it. The chair on the left is her "spot" to read, craft etc. So we shopped the house and brought in a great floor lamp to place behind her chair. We also placed a smaller antique table that was hiding in the corner before, by the othter chair with yet another lamp for that side of the room. We replaced her beautiful (but too big for the space) trunk she was using for a coffee table and again shopped the house and found a smaller one that we left on its side. This takes up less visual space in the room. We changed some artwork around, staged her items on the bookcase and temporarily hung curtain she bought on the existing rod. I think floor length panels actually make your room look bigger than just having a valence. They also make the room look more cozy and current. Well, I am rambling now. Here is the after pic. I had great fun doing this for her and she is happy with how the room turned out. Oh, yeah, about her craft table. I suggested she get her son to make her a fold down table that can mount to the wall with door hinges, it can fold up to do her crafts, but she can drop it down against the wall to hang so it can't be her Catch all place anymore :)It will also free up more space when her family comes over!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My mom & dad's living room redo

*** okay. I was able to find this pic of my parents living room "before". You get the idea of what it looked like by the curtains and pillows. Please note, unfortunately we CANNOT go back in time and REDO our wedding look. That is all I am gonna say. :) We did keep mom's same couch, but look how different it looks just with new modern pillows and throw.
Mike and I went over to my parents' house yesterday to hang the remaining 2 light fixtures. One was their old brass chandie, turned brushed nickel with black shades. I painted this, but I have to say, it was NOT my best work. Of course when you are trying to do your best work for someone else, you always encounter problems, don't you?! Anyway. It looks pretty good, I took my camera with me yesterday, but did I remember to take pics? NO. I will get pics of the dining room next time I am over there, but here are some pics of the living room. It really feels inviting for a living room. Makes you want to go in there and actually sit. Most people hardly ever use their living rooms, because they look to so, so. My sister picked out the great wall colors!! My parents chose the awesome club chairs. It really was FUN to do this with them. We are almost ready for the Holidays over there. Again, wouldn't a 'before' pic be nice....ugh. Picture tailored floral curtains with shears, mauve and blue plaid wingbacks and all the fixins. It really was a beautiful room in the 90's, but times change :)


This lamp used to be a brass beauty too. Look at that gorgeous artichoke now that it is white. Love the shade too. The candlesticks above were brass too with crystal middles. I just taped off the crystal and used the nickel spray paint. We did the same with many things, it really updates the look of things you love without spending money. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Easy Artwork

I shared in my last blog post how I have been redecorating on a budget by repurposing the things I already own. Well, you know how expensive new artwork can be, so how do you change things up without breaking the bank?? I have a ton of frames. One trick I learned over the years is to buy a big frame, even if your picture is small. It makes soo much more impact on your wall to have an 11x14 frame with a 5x7 or 8x10 pic in it than to simply hang your 5x7 photo in a 5x7 frame. Also, buy (or spray paint :0 ) frames of the same color. Have some old outdated brass pic frames in the basement?? Whip out the ole black, brushed nickel or white spray paint and go to town. You'll be glad ya did!! I had an old framed piece of art from Pier1 that I got over 15yrs ago. I was tired of it. It was in a brass-ish colored frame, so I of course sprayed it black. Then, I took the back off the frame and turned the pic around to reveal a solid cream piece of paper that already fit the frame. Next, I took the matting from another frame and placed it in the middle of the cream paper. Next, go to Joannes or Michaels, armed with your coupons and brouse the hundreds of possibilities in the craft paper/scrap book paper aisle. I have recently fallen in love with fleur d'alis (how DO you spell that). I found several differnt pieces of craft paper for .50 to $100 each. Place it behind your matting or on top of a plain piece of black or cream construction paper so it looks like matting! and Voila..new art. Here is what the finished product looks like. (I have GOT to get better at taking more "before" pics).

Here is another piece I made for the bedroom.
And....the hallway.


And, if there weren't enough fleur d'alis yet....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

quiet but not "still"

Hello bloggy friends, that is, if I still have bloggy friends out there. I check all of your blogs daily, but haven't been feelin my own lately. I HAVE been busy though. I have found my new passion. I love to watch staging shows and love to help others repurpose, redo and rearrange what they already own. Let's face it, in this tough economy, we still love to redecorate, or just want to freshen things up a bit, but without spending much money. I actually spent an hour and a half at a neighbors house last week staging there home that is on the market. Keep in mind, that I really don't know these ppl all that well. Just in passing and waving and the occasional conversation. But, they invited me in for my 2 cents worth, and ended up getting an hour and a half worth. :) THat was SO MUCH FUN!!!! I also just helped my parents redecorate their dining and living room and bath. We bought some new pieces, pillow, accents, but we also repurposed a ton of stuff with by best friend, spray paint. Again it was a blast!!! Oh, to make a living at this. Unfortunately my own house lacks... mainly because of money. But I try to update and change things with paint. I will take some pics of my parents rooms after we find the last items to complete them. We are having problems finding just the right overhead lighting, but man are the rooms GORGEOUS!!!
I have finished our master bedroom. It is just simply decorated in neutrals to make it look bigger. It is a very small space. We got a new Queen bed ( we downsized from a king) and it has made the room much roomier. I sprayed the curtain rods black for a punch of contrast, hung new curtains, new bedding. I think I may end up painting the tall candlestick lamp post black for more contrast too. What do you think. That lamp was from Goodwill for 8bucks! Oh yeah, I also pulled up the wall to wall old carpet to expose the hardwoods!


I finally painted my old green desk white and found some cute pulls at Marshalls. I like it with the brown walls and other green accents in the room.


I finally painted my kitchen table. It too was green. What was up with me and the dark green?! Anyway it is now black and I love it. I also sold my old kitchen chairs on craigslist and bought "new" ones from the same. They are orig. from Pier1 from a nurse gone stager!! go figure :) This is the only pic I could find of the before. You can see the chairs at least.


The little black table is a score from my new next dr neighbors recent garage sale for 10bucks. It was already black. What have you all been up to???

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