simple is beautiful

Sweet Things

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    A recent trip to a local thrift store yielded great finds.  Being a fan of all things bamboo, I was happy to find these.  Well, let's just say, four frames at $1 each.  Yes, that makes me smile too.

You know how the story goes....we don't really need another picture or do-dad, but at this price, we can make it work.  After careful consideration, indeed we have a couple of spots, wink-wink, that could use a thing or two.  Free down loadable art and glass cut to fit, ooh, I have gooses bumps at the possibilities.  I don't know, maybe I should just be proud of the price and leave them like this...price tag and all.  LOL, any takers?  OK, my question to you, would you paint the frames or leave them gold?

       While on the same outing, I found this frame.  Not crazy about the color, but with a little paint on the frame, a plywood back, and either cork, chalk paint or magnetic board, this frame could become a fun little something.  
      What would you do with this frame? 
      Please don't mumble something about kindling....
      I'm sort of jumping around here so please stick with me.  
      Today, my aunt came by to bring me a few things from my grandmother's house.  My grandmother loved butterflies and birds.  Realizing this, my mother got busy with the needle work of birds and butterflies on many occasions.

    This is a stool that Mom made back in the 70's.  Up until last year, my grandmother used it daily to prop her feet upon.

    My grandmother passed away a year ago in November and I am very grateful to have a few of her favorite things.

    My aunt also brought a set of china that Memaw worked very hard to collect.

    Funny how the delicate fruit and flower, and the touch of green is exactly what I would choose if I was picking a pattern for myself.

    OK, if I haven't lost you completely at this point, these are some of the needle point pieces that my mother made for Memaw.

     I am grateful for many things in life, but as I grow older I realize that time spent with loved ones is irreplaceable.  My biggest regret is not making the effort to be with family and connect with old friends.

    If there is someone in your life that you haven't seen in a while, take the time to re-connect.  It will be time well spent.

        Then and Now

        Saturday, December 26, 2009

        Once Christmas day comes and goes, I am always ready to restore order in our home.  After a month of Frazier Fir needles falling on the floor and furniture where furniture normally isn't, getting things back to normal is a welcome thought.  Some of us are sad, and yes, I am a little bit, but I know that all good things must end.  It reminds me of the Sesame Street episode, "It's Christmas Again" when all of the people on Sesame Street were trying to sing "hang some tinsel on the tree it's Christmas again" with as much enthusiasm in July as they once had in December.  It just wouldn't be special if we had Christmas every day....and we would all go broke.

        Looking back...
        On Christmas Eve, Eve, a little elf delivered this.

        This is the giveaway that I won from Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer, one of my very favorite blogs.  At the ripe age of forty...ahem, cough, cough, this is my first apron and I couldn't think of a sweeter person to receive it from.  Sandy always knows just what to say and how to say it, occasionally bringing me to tears.  Needless too say, I have already put the apron to use and am fully enjoying it.  The Hip Hostess, the sponsor of the giveaway, has all sorts of adorable aprons, and I am certain they will be seeing more of me. 

        On Christmas Eve, we went to Mom's for a wonderful dinner and gifts exchange.  We always gather around the tree and visit for hours, eat more food than an individual should, then exchange presents.  This time when Mom got up to play the piano, Mattie Gray was the first to listen. She loves her grandma.

        By the end of the night, our girl was tired.  She wasn't about to take a nap for fear she might miss something.

         As tradition would have it, we didn't leave the house on Christmas Day and with the rainy weather, it was the perfect day to stay at home.  We started our day with yummy Cranberry Lemon Pull Aparts, definitely a do again.
        Also, as tradition would have it, the tree is now at the street, the ornaments are in the attic, and the furniture is back where it belongs.  Some of us are sad.  Some of us aren't.  One of us will be working for days to come, because you never have it all put away.  You just think you do. 

        You may not hear from me for the next few days.  I will be:
        1. Making the playroom more playful
        2. Enjoying the last week of winter break with the boys
        3. Trying to resist the urge to eat yet another piece of chocolate
        4. Giving thought to seat cushions and window treatments for the kitchen 
        5. Thinking about a slip cover for the ottoman
        6. Attempting to get back to some sort of fitness routine, ugh and oink
        7. Celebrating the New Year
        Thank you for all of your kind and supportive words and your constant supply of inspiration.  I really appreciate all of your comments and always look forward to hearing from you.

          Merry Christmas

          Thursday, December 24, 2009

              The gifts have been purchased and wrapped, tree trimmed, and menu planned.
              All that is left now is enjoying the day

               and being with family
              and friends.
              Watching the excitement build in the kids is my favorite part.
              It is a day that I savor
              counting my blessings
              too many to count.
              Merry Christmas everyone!

              Co-Editor Gets a Second Bed

              Monday, December 21, 2009

              By now most everyone has met the co-editor.

              She actually has a name and it is Mattie Gray.

              Mattie Gray is a wonderful companion to everyone in our family.  Her unconditional love amazes me daily.  She greets us with a wagging hind end (short tail breed) and whines with delight no matter if we have been gone for two minutes or six hours.  She only asks for a few of things in return.  Food, a daily jog, warmth, and a cushy bed.
              Lately though, she is asking for a bit more.  You see her bed is in our cozy room, but sometimes we sit in the living room where the Christmas tree is.  There is no bed there and it is cold.

              Mattie Gray wants a second bed, the way I wouldn't mind having a second home.  You know a cabin at the beach or the mountains, or a cushy second bed in the living room.

              When I read the January Martha Stewart issue the other day, I decided to make the co-editor a second bed for Christmas.

              To make a bed you need:
              • two towels
              • batting
              • embroidery thread
              You simply stitch two towels together leaving a side open to put the batting in.  Then stitch closed.
              Next using the embroidery thread stitch down through the layers then back up leaving about 2 inches of thread at each end.  Tie the two ends together so that it looks like this.

              These stitches should be placed about 6-8 inches apart.  Easy.

              She is going to love it...just hope she doesn't snoop around.  She is a pretty nosy girl.

              Beadboard Wainscoting Back-splash

              Sunday, December 20, 2009

              Sometimes you are better off to go with your first instinct.  When it comes to your home and how you want things to look, it's better to think about designs, looks, styles, that you are drawn too.  We live in a cottage.  I like the cottage look.  I must have been demon possessed when we made the decision to go with a Tuscan looking back splash.  Not that there is anything wrong with a Tuscan back splash, it's just not a good look in our cottagey kitchen.  PLUS, the grout line between the counter top back splash and the tile never looked right to me.  The color was too dark and yucky.
              Today, when my husband put on his "volunteer" t-shirt, was he in for it.
              The demolition part wasn't too bad, but it is hard to tear up something that you worked hard on.  We were certain that this was the right thing to do.  Beadboard is to a cottage kitchen as cheese is to pizza.
              I love the way it turned out.  After all, this is what I wanted to do three years ago.  When it comes to your home, go with your gut, and caution your husband about wearing volunteer t-shirts.  It might cause one to miss Sunday football.

              Baby It's Cold Outside

              Saturday, December 19, 2009

              Well, it happened.  

              We got the six inches of snow we were promised.

              Not just a ploy to sell more bread and milk as I sometimes suspect here in the land of it may or may not snow... for years.


              Here in Greensboro, when it does snow, we go hog wild.  Sledding and snowball fights are the norm... sometimes in bare feet.

              Businesses close for the day.  Roads are sometimes impassable.  We're OK with it because as I said, it doesn't happen often.

              We simply carry on at a slower pace,

              enjoying the pretty sights.


              Trying to permanently imprint the beauty in our memories, because we never know when it will happen again.

              A Greensboro Tradition

              Friday, December 18, 2009

              I'm wishing that I could bring all of my blogging friends to Greensboro for a night.  Magic took place here several years ago when a college student came home for the holidays and shared an idea with her family.   She had seen a lighted ball hanging from a tree and wanted to make one for her own yard.  And so the story begins.  A story that has become quite a tradition here in Greensboro, one that gives back to the community in many ways.

              Every year our family hops in the car and heads for Ridgeway Drive in Sunset Hills, a neighborhood one mile from home.  I cannot accurately describe to you what the drive is like, but I will try.  To paint the picture you must first know that this is an older neighborhood with giant old trees that reach over the streets.  These lighted balls are launched up into the highest branches and hang there creating a truly magical display.

              When you have a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, glass of wine, whatever you enjoy and watch this sweet video.  I promise you will not regret it.
              Lighted Christmas Balls

              To learn how to make the balls click here. 

              Eddie Ross Flannel Ornaments

              Monday, December 14, 2009

              on't you just love all of the tours going on in blog land and all of the inspiration everywhere you look?

              Just when I thought that I had made my last thing for the season.....

              Eddie Ross's plaid shirt ornaments were so adorable that I simply had to make them.  You don't have to remind me about resisting taking on more unnecessary projects.  I've been having that conversation with myself all day.  The thing is, these ornaments are so cute and timeless that they could be used well after the holidays and that is where my creative attention is beginning to focus now. 

              Today was 50% off day at a local thrift store.  Shirts were $1...even Banana Republic shirts (that would be the little check with the green, blue, and white).  Next I picked up a few balls at A.C. Moore.  Then followed the tutorial provided by Eddie Ross himself.



              The ornaments looked yummy on the garland that Eddie made for Kathie Lee.

              I could even picture them on a wreath.

              Ornamental balls like these , can be used any time of the year....that is the best part.

              Colors in a plaid shirt can inspire an entire room.

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