Saturday, December 29, 2007

mosaics

I was just visiting Barbara Jacksier site "The Book Blog" where she has some amazing photos of mosaics. Inspired me to take a few shots of my own mosaic pieces...... This mirror is in my foyer (foyer sounds a bit grand for my 4' x 6' entry hall....) and I actually did the mosaic myself. It was a rather plain gold mirror with an ecru paint under what is now pink and green mosaic. Fortunately for me, we often received broken ceramics with our shipments at Chloe's and I got to take the pieces home! By the way - my stairs in the background, I recaulked yesterday....what a chore, but old stairs have a way of seperating from the risers and stringers and looking fairly shabby. Much better now!

I can't take any credit for this table, also currently in the "foyer" under the mirror. I'm can't remember the artist's name (Sue can you help?), but it was purchased from Chloe a few years back. Much more intricate design than I achieved! I did paint the lattice work in the background - inspired by the photo on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens book "Garden Style".


Friday, December 28, 2007

Too soon for spring....

This is the photo I am currently using as my screen saver....
Here in Michigan we are expecting another big snowstorm - 6 -10".
Although it will be beautiful (in it's own way), I so long for the flowers,
the warmth and the sunshine of spring! With another 3 or more months of winter
I'm resigned to pretending it's really this beautiful outdoors!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a Blessed Christmas with family and friends.
Glad you've come by to visit this year.
I've enjoyed visiting your blogs and being
inspired by your homes and creativity!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dinner Party

Wednesday night was the 3rd annual Christmas dinner with a group of my dearest girlfriends.
My sunroom was tranformed into the dining room, with a mixture of tables, chairs and tablecloths. The green cloth is actually a silk throw, but works perfect over the farm table. A couple of the chairs have smaller tablecloths thrown over them, tied in place with red ribbon.
I would love to "re-pose" myself, but Cheryl's photo captured the rest of the room so beautifully that I will let it go.... My two main elves! Cindi and Cheryl not only dressed the part, but cooked and cleaned up a storm. Cindi made a fabulous linguine with clam sauce and Cheryl provided a tenderloin and somehow kept up with keeping the kitchen cleaned up! I can't tell you how much joy it brought me having 8 girlfriends in my kitchen, each prepping their own offering to the meal!
Elf Cindi in an apron from my mother's collection....not sure if the wine was going in her linguine or a glass.... Sarah brought a tasty squash and granny apple dish, Nancy a couple delicious dips and crackers for appetizers. I was so grateful to have a reason to use my Christopher Radko Christmas dishes!
Dinner is served! Barb brought a salad of greens with Gorgonzola cheese and pears. Our 2 Sue's topped off the meal with the bread and a blueberry topped cheesecake for dessert!
After dinner we moved to the family room for our "Chinese Gift Exchange". So many fun gifts passed from one person to another - a couple of the favorites that were "fought" over were Barb's 4 Christmas plates w/dishtowels and Cindi's basket of Italian goodies. Dancing, singing and enjoying each others company followed until almost 2 a.m. !!!! We just didn't want the night to end...... Thanks friends for a wonderful evening!


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Thanks Be To God

All of the blessings I have in my home, in my life, come from one source - God.
As much pleasure as I receive from decorating my home for the season,
finding the perfect gifts for family and friends,
sending greetings to those I seldom see,
remembering those less fortunate and
those serving our country overseas;
there is only one reason all of that happens this time of year,
the Birth of our Saviour - Jesus Christ.
The creche has been in my home for 25 years,
the angel created by my cousin Linda from a
handkerchief saved from my great aunts "farm".
It is the first "decoration" I set out every year,
but the message lives on throughout the year.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

And yet more Christmas....

My pink and green living room is a bit more of a challenge for Christmas decorating, but in the past 4 years of living here, I have managed to find more than enough decor to create a "look" I can enjoy.
The pink angel on my tree is a card I received on my first Christmas 55 years ago! It has adorned a Christmas tree every year since. My Great Aunt Mabel was the sender - I'm sure she had no idea it would be cherished for so many years.
I was telling Sue about these sweet "sweatsuits" I found at my favorite store, TJ Maxx.
They are for Emma for Christmas - tho she'll no doubt get the green one ahead of time to wear to her Holiday parties! Their regular price is $44.00, but at TJ's $12.99!!! Now you know why I love that store! Time to start some wrapping now and get some packages under the tree...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More Christmas Spirit...

My favorite area at Christmas time is the family room. A roaring fire, my Santa collection and friends and family stopping by to celebrate the season.
Santa's taking time out for a game of checkers and a little nap....
Emma dreaming of Santa's all around....
A Mark Roberts Santa warming his toes over the fire........
and a small tree adorned with Radko and Old World ornaments to top off a table.... As Emma says as she goes from room to room "oooh more Christmas!" I thoroughly enjoy the decor of the season, but it's made even more magical through the eyes of a 3 yr old!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cottage Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all!
We received a fresh coating of snow last night, so seemed the perfect time to dash out and snap a shot of my cottage - time 5a.m. Good thing I'm an early riser cause 5 minutes later the guys showed up to shovel. Some year I may get around to having icicle lights hung on the eaves and garland wrapped around the porch columns. Would no doubt be charming, but so far I try to keep the outside simple and let my 2 trees be the focus. A bowl of fresh pouporri, 3 crystal trees and a MacKenzie Childs bell (I've yet to hang) grace the pass-through in my kitchen.
Blue & white porcelain pieces with garlands of blue & silver sleigh bells decorate the tree in my office. One of the 2 trees in my front windows.
A touch of my Swedish heritage adorns a table (brought in from the patio...) The candles remain straight for about 10 sec., the chandelier is too large, and I see Emma's bright pink chair peeking out from a corner - ah well, that's how it goes around here! The covering on the table is actually a tree skirt my sweet mother hooked several years ago for me. A work of art I will treasure always.


C

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Redo and t-day

Our Miss Emma is who we were most grateful for the Thanksgiving. Here she is modeling the Mayan crafted woven wreath. Who knew it was a garland?! Now on to the redecorating....
Having stripped the wallpaper in my office, I was in need of a quick fix before company arrived. Discovered a can of "Twine" paint, so rolled that on the walls for the time being. Since this was 95 yr old Aunt Norma's bedroom for the night (the chair converts into a single bed) it was important this room be presentable. Some day maybe I'll learn not to start these projects the week before company ..... For now the color works - actually turned out to be the same shade as the background of the pillows!This victorian shelf moved from across the room to it's new location over my desk (which actually is a sofa table, but works fine as a desk) You can see the reflection in the mirror of the "Thelma and Louise" painting, which use to hang in the family room. Also my screen saver which is from our trip to Lake Michigan. So pleasant to look at now that winter is on it's way! One might notice that the desk chair has lost it's Cousin Itt look.....decided the whole chair needed to be painted white and well, just haven't had time to tie those "rags" back on again!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Thing Leads to Another.....

When Sue gave me the beautiful botanical prints one thing led to another and "art work" got shifted from one room to another.... This piece now above the piano in the living room was hanging over the couch in the family room....which now has.....
this arrangement above it, which still needs some tweaking, but fills the area....

My "boozing" buddies have moved from the family room also, into the kitchen above my small bar area.....
This landscape was above my desk in the office and lives above the fireplace now, which left a huge gap on the office wall.....
which had this adorable Morning Glory wall-paper. I say had because after the picture left I noticed I could see exactly where it had hung on the wall. I tried cleaning off the grime, but to no avail and besides I'm just not crazy about living with "busy" wallpaper, so....
at the moment my walls are bare of wallpaper in the office. That is the yellow backing from the wallpaper, which I spent yesterday morning scraping off! The window treatments are now in the wash and as yet I haven't quite decided what color I'm going to paint the wall, but I'm leaning towards trying white with a thin greenish stripe....We'll see when I find time to do it!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Botanicals

Thank- you Sue for my beautiful new botanical prints. They have found a home in the family room! Of course hanging them led to a complete overhall of all the artwork in the room...which led to the living rm, kitchen, sunroom and office....... you know how that goes! I am content with the results, tho I am looking at a blank wall in my office now, as that piece is now over the fireplace...... I love the prints - perfect for my little cottage!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Snow White

Sweet Emma became Snow White for Halloween
and she was definitely our "treat" for the evening!
She had thought she'd run upstairs at Nana's house,
but more trick or treaters showed up at the door,
so she hurried back down to pass out candy
Taking a break in between kids
hanging with the pumpkin...

This little guy wasn't moving fast enough for her, so she took the candy out to him! Had I know she was going to be so adorable I would have juiced up my video camera battery to capture her enthusiastic "come on kids", her putting the candy in their bags saying "there you go" and after hearing thank-you she'd say "you're welcome" Not nearly so cute in writing, but I'm sitting here smiling remembering her....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fussing Day

Well Sue, knowing how I listen to your decorating advice, a couple plates have been added. Now you have a choice of the lavender or green plate on the right hand side!

I spent much of the rest of the day ironing some white napkins, cleaning out the china armoire and placing the napkins on the shelves. So nice to have the linens out and not sitting in a drawer unappreciated.


For those of you who don't know - my candlewick is from my mother. She and my father received it as a wedding gift in 1948! The violet china was inherited from my great aunts. Am I a lucky girl or what?
While I was on a roll, I cleaned out and put some delicate white with blue stitching placemats in my everyday cupboard. Am searching for more coordinating linens to finish the remaining shelves, but afraid I'm out of steam today. Many trips to the cedar chest in the basement and back up to the ironing board on the 2nd floor and then back to the 1st floor for arranging. Hmm, and people think I'm organized.......

Violets

This ones for you Sue....remember the violets print you gave me when you moved? It has found a new home and I don't know what took me so long to realize it would be perfect above the guest bed! It had been practically hidden in the "china" armoire, behind my violet china.
The other day when I was cleaning the armoire (that dust gets everywhere...) it suddenly came to me that I had a much better location for the picture than as a backdrop to china! Then I had to decide whether to center it on the queen size bed or the king size headboard (I opted for the bed since the chandelier is centered on that....and I'm still wondering why I thought I needed to keep the headboard when I moved, but I do like how padded it is...) Anyway it's hung in it's new locale and I like it! Hope you will too!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Emma turns 3

From 3 months to....3 years - our Emma celebrated her birthday yesterday!She was dressed to go get her picture taken, but shortly after I snapped this shot she discovered she couldn't finger paint while in this attire and last I saw her she was sobbing the uncontrollable cries of a 3 yr old in the backseat of her mommy's car.,.... Something tell me the photo shoot didn't happen.....
I unfortunately (: had to leave to go buy a new car. Seems mine had engine and transmission problems and was going to be thousands of dollars to fix. I opted for a trade-in and now have a 2005 SRX with more bells and whistles than I know what to do with! I do like it though and finally I have a vehicle again that I can load furniture "finds" into!!! Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Cousin Itt

So this week-end I happened to see someone redoing a chair by tying rags to the spindles on HGTV. Have had this office chair for about 7 yrs and had yet to decide what to do with it - other than paint it white, which is what I tend to do with about 90% of what doesn't move in my house. Deciding that it was way to hot outside, I opted instead to begin cutting/tearing and tying. It rather resembles Cousin Itt from The Adams Family and there is more work to be done, but it's kinda fun so far....


Spider Lake

We YaYa's seemed to be fairly mellow this week-end and this scene from the deck was the only photo I took! With all the talking, the heat outdoors and the unwritten rule that no photos are taken of each other the morning after our all night gab fest - well other than this gorgeous morning view that's it! So good to see my cuz's again. Somehow we never seem to run out of things to talk and laugh about.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The YaYa's

The above photo shows the "Sinclair girls", four sisters who are the mother's of the 7 cousins shown below. About 3 years ago we cousins realized how much we enjoy each other and decided to get together a couple times a year. This week-end we will gather together at Libby's on the lake, where the photo was taken. Obviously we have all read or seen Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood, hence our moniker. (not many secrets between us, other than the one's we keep from the "Sinclair girls"), but a sisterhood it truly is!
Two of my cousins are "double" cousins - our fathers were brothers our mothers are sisters - sounds a bit dicey, but it meant that we were at all family gatherings together on both sides of the family! Libby is back row left, Chris back row right and I'm next to Libby. There are 3 callgirls.......oops, Call girls - Marsha back row, Susie & Jeanne left and center. And cousin Linda who grew up with 6 brothers!! Occassionally 1 or 2 of our male cousins can't resist and join us for a bit and hopefully 2 of our cousin-in-laws will join us again this year. They have been married to our male cousins for so long, they are just naturally part of the sisterhood. I am so excited to see them all!