Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Round-up and Review

2016 was a fun year for me full of changes and new adventures. The year started off rather slow. After Christmas and a brief break from the blog I struggled with what to jump back into blogging about, which project to tackle, do I have time, do I have anything to say.... blah, blah, blah.

Visits to the blog were as slow as my postings.  I watched the numbers of visitors trickle in. Then bam! My numbers started going crazy. I didn't know why. I could see that people were looking a post from 2015 but didn't know why the attention.

I did a few small projects like the Craigslist night stand and mirror.

We finished the room switch upstairs with the completion of the office/music room.

 Easter came and went. Then Mister called me one day in April and said something like "Did you know your blog was on Huffington Post?" What?? Wait...WHAT??? He sent me the link and there was my daughter's bedroom. Crazy, right? Turns out HP doesn't tell you when they use your work on an post; no warning, no collaborating, just boom~!

So, here are the top three posts visited this year.

#1)  Bedroom #2-Reveal (actually a 12/2015 post but it took off in 2016)

#2) A Craigslist Hutch Tutorial

#3) My Summer Kitchen

Top 3 posts according to Hometalk

#1) Old Girl-New Gig, Part 3- Bathroom Makeover Completed

This was the first "job" I've ever done for someone other than myself! (And, yes, I should have ironed that shower curtain!)

#2) Evolution Of A Gallery Wall

#3) DIY Art With A Sharpie

Top 3 posts according to me (my favorites).

#1) Stay Close

#2) Dreams, Fears, Miss Mustard Seed and Me

#3) Counter Chairs

Why this one? I LOVED the fabric on these chairs, number one. Number two, I dream of someday having a beach cottage and these chairs are what I envision in my beach home. Number 3, they are fun and a big change from how they started with little money and a little work.

There you have it; a year of writing and painting and fixing and making things around my home. I wonder what the new year will bring and what I can get into. A friend stopped over recently with her sons for a Christmas visit. They were amazed that nothing had been painted recently. I reassured them that there plans in the works for a couple of rooms to get a fresh coat of new color.

Just thinking about it now makes me want to get started but first I have to put away the Christmas decor. Ugh! I don't like that part but I do like the feeling of space when everything is put away.  And, school is back in full swing next week so I had better get busy!

Happy New Year to you, friend and thanks for the visits throughout the year! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

An Unexpected Christmas Gift In The Living Room- 2016

Christmas. I love this time of year. People are scurrying around to get that special gift for family, friends, cookies are baked and homes put on an opulent array of colors and sparkle.

I thumb through the blogs and magazines in October and November featuring bloggers and home decor lovers alike making preparations ahead of this procrastinator. I ooh and ahh over the lovely photos and make plans for what I will do in our home. This year I had dreams that I would decorate in gold, white and silver theme; snowy and frosty with a touch of warmth.  In my mind it was going to look something this:

This frosty scene ended up somewhere else and my home went a different direction. Honestly, I couldn't have gone farther from this wintery image! It all started with a painting that my mother gave me. You can read about that here.

The nostalgic feel, prompted by my village painting, migrated into the dining room and finally I finished the living room. Today, that is what I am showing you.

Making existing pillows Christmas ready took nothing more than some wired-edge ribbon and literally less than a minute. 

The pillar candles make their way into the decor in my home year round. Corralling them in a metal tray surrounded by some leftover roping and adding some pine cones gave a vintage inspired centerpiece for the coffee table. 

Remember the gallery wall from earlier this year?  A felt wreath and a little green, bows around the wooden animals and it's ready for Christmas. 

And because I can't help but play with the filters....

Now, about the tree...

I love shiny and new. I love the pretty whites and the monochromatic trees. I love seeing everyone else's beautiful creations...but....try as I might I can't seem to let go of the little things that help make my Christmas special. This little angel with a bucket of stars has been on the tree since I was a young teenager. 

And there are the ornaments that serve to keep me grounded in what we celebrate and why we celebrate. 

As I sat tonight editing these photos and thinking about the many blessings that are mine because of Jesus, the One I celebrate at this time of year, I was given a gift. I wasn't looking for it. It didn't come wrapped in pretty paper. 

Do you see it? Look again, see the perfect star? No filter, no trick done by me to make that! Wow.

Wise men followed the star, seeking the King of Kings. I would like to think myself wise but too often I prove myself foolish as I focus on the temporal. I love this blog and I love sharing with and hearing from you all. I am blessed by the sweet comments and the friendships forged here.

We have a week til Christmas. I am putting away these fun things to focus on Him, who called me by name and made me his own. I will, God willing, be back after Christmas. 

I pray your celebrations are filled with the knowledge, love and joy of Jesus Christ. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Blessed be the name of the Lord! 

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Just Us in the Dining Room-2016

Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. When this happens it is always a good reminder to me of what we are celebrating. Our slow paced Christmas morning, leisurely opening over-filled stockings and carefully wrapped packages in our jammies, is laid aside. Stockings stay stuffed, presents stay present under the tree and our traditional cinnamon rolls will have to wait as we hasten to ready ourselves for Sunday service. We may be a little blurry-eyed because of the late night before at the Christmas Eve service. Dinner will be courtesy of Pinterest recipes that will allow for a meal that can be cooked in the oven while away or go into the slow cooker.

Come on in.

It will be just the four of us for dinner this year. It allows me to take the leaves out of the table and make it a round.

A wood round pedestal purchased at Home Goods acts as the base for a glass hurricane vase that hosts a paper house. It is nestled in epsom salt accompanied by a bottle brush tree. (I am loving these little trees this year! You can see more here.)

A 60" round plaid table cloth, purchased for less than $10 at Marshalls, goes well with my plaid ribbon that found it's way into my decor this year. Since the living room seemed to be taking on that vintage feel I decided to carry it into the dining room. Dressed with my plates from thirty+ years ago and a set of chargers I have used before the table seemed to need a little warmth so I added the woven place mats that you have seen here before.  My great-grandmother's cloth napkins, gold flat wear from our wedding, and crystal goblets finish the table. All this makes for an intimate dinner table for four.

The chandelier is adorned with a circle of fragrant greens.

More evergreen roping drapes around the mirror. I brought the tiered tray in from the kitchen and put it on the buffet giving me a fun place to add color.

The dining room is the first room you step into when entering my home. Even though it is just us for dinner I want it to feel warm and welcoming; a place you want to stay and visit a while in.

There are dessert plates and red mugs ready for cookies and cocoa.... If you're in the area stop in for a Christmas visit - friends and company are always a welcome addition to our home and who doesn't love cookies!
~Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas on the Front Porch-2016

I am a creature of habit and change is not something that I like to mess with too often... I know, funny for someone who is constantly wanting to paint or move furniture, right. But there are things that work for me and it doesn't take a lot of effort recreating the look year after year. Not really what you're coming here for? Well, I did change it up a little on the front porch this year.

Mister hung the icicle lights for me. I try to get this done when temps are still warmer to make it less of a dreaded chore. Sometimes lights are up for a week or two before we actually turn them on. I got some pictures taken the day after Thanksgiving, which is when I usually decorate outside. The weather was warm. A week later we got our first snow and I had to run out with my camera. You will notice the difference in the photos.

I changed the bows on the wreaths to plaid. I don't know why my decorating has taken this turn this year....

Maybe it has something to do with a side project I was working on for someone else. Their was Winter Wonderland so everything was white, gold, and silver. That is what I thought was going to happen in my home this year but then the backward hutch top happened and here I am.

I found this fishing creel last month at my trip to a local monthly market! I changed the bow out to match the wreaths.

I bought a 4 foot tree for $15 from a local yard sale Facebook page. I crammed it into the bottom of my cart and slapped my hand painted sign on the front.

I gathered downed branches from the yard, added some greens and some holly from my neighbor's huge bush. They always come over to let me know I am welcome to cut from the back for anything I may need.  I pushed all that into the old crock and placed it on the church pew.

A wreath, with a matching plaid bow, adorns the front gate.

I consider our decorated home a gift to my neighborhood. My snowman welcomes people as they go by.

I love looking at the lights and decorations on people's homes and I assume others do, too. We often take drives through pretty neighborhoods during Christmas. It makes me happy to see all the twinkling and sparkles. Even the worst home in a neighborhood looks pretty at night with the Christmas lights on. Kinda like us.... Simple humans, tattered and worn, covered in the grime of our transgressions can become beautiful when adorned with the light of Christ.

Now, I need to work on the inside! Happy decorating and preparing!
                                                           Merry Christmas!

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