Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Little Bit of Hall Decking!

I'm not sure why I'm just finishing decorating when we had that early Thanksgiving! But I'm more or less done (you won't see the bedroom here) so let's deck the halls! (Cue the Music.)

Let's start with the entry! I have bad outlets and worse extension cords (and lights that don't seem to fit into the cords I have, and I've no idea what that's about!). So my little ladder is quite near the door. That's a tree behind the cat, though it mostly looks like a giant swag here!

But that's OK! It looks cheery! The gate with the wreath on it was a Southern Exposure project and not my favorite but it works at Christmas!

My work friend Mary Jane made me the Santa several years before she died. It's a real treasure!

And I promised I'd show you the wreath I did at Southern Exposure earlier this month. It shaped up.

So, c'mon in! The greeting angel will welcome you. (I've yet to decorate that wee tree behind her on the wall; it will have my mini-Radko ornaments and a few Shiny Brites.)

Head straight to the living room. I was glad Rick helped me with the big tree! It took awhile.

But it is my favorite. I call it my autobiographical tree. My story. Everything on there is something related to family past and present, good friends, our trips together and pre-Rick, the cats, a gift or something I bought just because I liked it!

I have a few trees in there. This is the woodland tree. It will stay up into January.

No Santa or Christmas-specific ones here --  just winter.

I think it's my favorite.

In the corner, a Santa and wonderful poinsettia that I haven't yet killed.

And yet another Santa! I do like Santa!

Look the other way and in the dining room you'll see the winter tree (another one). This stays up later, too.

These are the branches I was working on during our Crafternoon. They worked out well here.

The hutch was filled with my Santa buddies.

Lots of them! (The snow people will replace them after Christmas.)


And atop the china cabinet, yet another scene. Oops! What's that Paris postcard doing there? Bad blogger photographer! Well, you get the idea!

A wider look.

Come on into the family room.

It's my favorite because it reminds me of all the knotty pine at the cottage, so it's my cottage room!

I was very big into my bottle brush trees and fairy forest this year.

So, they didn't just get on the window sill...

...they were all over the mantle, too.

There's something about them -- the texture, the color, the old-time feel.

I especially love the bottle brush wreath!

I have lights in the fireplace. In front of it, my little wooden shoes...

...and of course the Christmas cards!

And cards on the wall too, but these are the old ones!

There are a few wreaths in the family room. This one was a revamp of last year's Southern Exposure project (HERE).

And I found this one at a ridiculously low price on Black Friday and glitzed it up a little.

I love the lighted branches.

And in the corner, this little dry sink serves as my bar area.

Let's take a quick wander down the hall opposite the bathroom. I took down the "France" paintings and photos in honor of Christmas. Here you'll see a Christmas card painted by my dad; several Christmas cards from Debra and Carrol Spinney, who has played Big Bird and Oscar on "Sesame Street" since Day One and the nicest guy ever; a Mary Engelbreit that was a gift from a friend; a photo by my Cork Popper pal Cheryl and a couple of art fair finds, along with a grand old angel that was my parents. The spacing is odd -- but I didn't want to put up new nail holes!

And a peek into my office/art room. I made these snow folk several years ago.

And this little tree has mostly ornaments made by me or my creative friends!

And finally, a quick look at the kitchen. I love my little shelf with lots of teeny friends from long ago.

And the little marshmallow tree, complete with holly and a wonderful teapot.

And yes, there's more. Trees in the bedrooms and bathroom and little bits here and there. A creche or two or three. A little evergreen over some of the picture frames, Lizzie's cat tree and more.

But don't you think this post has gone on long enough? I do!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Crafternoon and the Best Christmas Present Ever!

Christmas came early at my house this year! And it gave me a big smile!

I got my biopsy results back and no thyroid cancer! Benign is such a nice word!

And the lip is healing well, at long last. All is good. So many of you have been so supportive, with messages and good wishes -- I wanted to let you know. And thank you!

I wasn't sure what the results would be on the day of my appointment so I decided to pack the day full of good things -- like a crafternoon with two of my fellow Southern Exposure fans. Instead of doing a single project, we'd work on what we most needed to get done! But first a celebratory toast, with Kate's delicious prosecco!

It's always fun to drink to your health when you've had a good report!

Then lunch. I prepped up a nice batch of Julia's French Onion Soup with some Jeanie Crostini and did up the table.

Jan made a wonderful chopped salad and dessert was Christmas cookies from Whole Foods because baking comes soon!

Then it was creative time!

Kate was creating her own gift bags using stamps she'd carved. When these are done they will be a Christmas tree with several different blocks in diminishing sizes.

Jan was taking a container from an earlier Southern Exposure workshop (HERE) and revamping it for Christmas.

Looked great!

I had a couple of projects. The quick one was to cover a crack in the glass of this little glass house and when I was done it made a lovely home for a wee nativity I had bought at an art fair years ago.

The other was inspired in part by Barbara at Fairmeadow Place. I recommend checking out her easy how-to post HERE When I was at Gardenviews on that horrible, rainy greens market day, they had some branches I loved that were overpriced at $15 each with flocking and pine cones. Then they had plain flocked branches for $3. I bought five, the same as one fancy branch and a $2.50 box of mini pine cones.

Using white paint and crystal glitter to tip the cones with "snow," I adhered them to the branches with gel medium. A glue gun would have been faster but I wanted it to dry clear.

(Barbara used epsom salts for her snow and I forgot I had them or would have but the glitter is subtle and fine.) They're currently on my chandelier but that's for another post.

I sent them home with Jeanie Crostini, which is my go-to appetizer and wonderful with dips or as a crouton.

 Included was my feta dip recipe and two Susan Branch bookmarks that she shared in a recent post.

Such a wonderful day, capped off by the beautiful musical "Finding Neverland," based on the film that tells of how James Barrie came to write Peter Pan.

And guess what?

Baking is next!

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