Monday, February 25, 2013

I made it through the Holiday season, that's the good news.  The bad news:  I lost my Dad on January 14, 2013.  I am still trying to wrap my head around him being gone.  I have lived with, and taken care of my Dad, the past 8 years, since my Mom died.  He was my rock, after my Husband died, 6 years ago.  Now he's gone.  There's such an empty place in my life.

It wasn't that we weren't expecting something to happen to Dad, it's that now he's gone.  It's not that he was the one who always told us: "Don't be sad.  I've had such a good life, marriage, kids, job....", it's that now he's gone.  I'm nobody's little girl, anymore.

I'm the caretaker of the family.  I worry about everyone.  It's my job to take care of what needs to be taken care of....Now I have so much to take care of, and no one to take care of.  Out of habit, I still put his cereal bowl out on the counter, every night.  Then remember that I don't have to do that, anymore.  I still make sure there's a full jar of coffee in the cabinet. Then, I remember that he won't be here to drink coffee with me, ever again.

When I lost my Mom, it broke my heart.  When I lost my Husband, it shattered my life.  And, now I've lost my Dad. There simply aren't any words....

Friday, October 19, 2012

Crazy, Crazy Year!

My niece got married, last weekend.  It was absolutely gorgeous!  It has been exactly one week since the rehearsal day.  Guess what?  I'm still tired!

This has been such a crazy year!  I've not had a single weekend that something really, really important was going on.  On one hand, that's a good thing (idle hands, all that...); but, on the other hand I'm exhausted! hahaha 

And, here we are coming into the Holiday season.  I have so many great ideas!  But, I'm really re-thinking my Holiday decorating for this year.  Just not sure it's really worth all the time and effort to clean it up.  I absolutely LOVE the decorating part.  If only those little elves would come take it down, and put it away....

I know I'll gather the energy.  But. today, I just simply can't. 

Anybody else tired?

Till next time....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Amanda's Kitchen Bridal Brunch Shower

Amanda's Kitchen Bridal Shower Brunch
Last weekend, I was honored to host a Bridal Shower for my niece, Amanda.  My co-hostesses, and I, decided to make it a "Kitchen" themed brunch.  I haven't been very creative, lately.  But, suddenly I got inspired! hahaha  After seeing all the darling "retro" decorations on pinterest, I decided to give it a whirl!  Now, mind you, I have been doing paper "pom poms" and "fans" since I was in elementary school....everything old is new again, so they say!
As one of our gifts for the shower, we ordered the most darling white apron, and had it embroidered with red letters.
That's where the whole "red white Apron" theme took off.....
My daughter made the cutest Apron Invitations:
I decided to try my hand at a cupcake liner garland.  Now, I love, love, love some of the garlands, I have seen....but, I also love, love, love being different!  hahaha  So here is my apron-esque spin on a cupcake liner garland:  Super Simple, Super cheap...and I think it turned out cute as it can be!

Sorry for the quality of the pics!  I'm working from an Iphone, with not so great room lighting...
After I finished the cupcake garland, I wanted something bigger, for a banner with her name. It also had to stay in line with our whole apron theme.   I grabbed a package of long red napkins, a package of summer clearance gingham napkins, and some paper doilies:
And, last...I wanted to try my hand at some small paper pom-poms.  I took one of the gingham clearance napkins. It was 2-ply, meaning that the top layer of paper had the checked design, and the back layer of paper was white.  I separated the 2 layers, and made a checked pom-pom and a white one, with 1 napkin:
I did a couple other decorating items, but forgot to take pictures.  I'll see if anyone else happened to snap them.  If so, I'll post them.
Till next time!
These are for my Pinterest pins:


Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the Season! (To get sidetracked)

I know on my last post I was going to post about the drop-cloth curtains, that I had made. Well, it's the time of year that I wait for all year long! It's Christmas time!! I have, and always have had, an obesssion with all things Christmas. Maybe it's because my birthday is Christmas Eve...Maybe it's because there is nothing more precious than seeing childrens' eyes light up with the magic of all the lights, and presents, and candy, and...Or, maybe it's because this is the time of year when we all become kids again. I just love it, ALL of it! I still remember the smell of that new baby doll that I got for Christmas, every year. I still remember trying to stay awake and hear Santa bringing in the presents. I still remember the Christmas dinners when my Grandma had the most beautiful table set, with her finest china.

I was so very lucky to have married a man that loved Christmas, as much as I did. He was the biggest kid of all Christmas morning! And, he always made sure that I had both Birthday and Christmas presents. After we had our children, we had so much fun with Christmas! He had to have the biggest Christmas tree he could find. There were several years that we had to bolt the top of the 14' tree to the wall in order to keep it from falling over. And Christmas lights...Oh My Gosh...We lived very near a small community airfield. Everyone used to tease him that we were going to have planes landing in our front yard, if he kept adding Christmas lights.

I have to admit, that since losing my husband almost 6 years ago, the Holidays just don't hold the same magic. I have grand-kids, now, and what I wouldn't give for them to spend Christmas with their Grandpa. He would have spoiled them even more rotten than I do!

My late husband started a tradition of giving me porcelain villages about 25 years ago. My best friend collected Department 56 houses. I thought they were the most gorgeous Christmas decorations I had ever seen. He always blamed her for his decision to start my collection...Truth be known, he loved them as much as I did! Each year, for weeks, we would plan the layout of "The Village". Over the years it has grown immensely. I do still receive houses for gifts, and I buy a few myself. But, nothing will ever compare to the older buildings of my collection, that were gifts from him.

My kids, and most especially my grand-kids have never known a Christmas without "The Village". It's a tradition, now. Here are the pictures from this year's creation:

At the top of the page is a picture of this year's Christmas tree and one of my Santa rugs. One year, when we were out Christmas shopping, I found the most beautiful Christmas rug at Sears...of all places! It was huge!! I had to have it! Unfortunately, not only was it beautiful and huge, it was sold. I tried every way in the world to convince that salesman to let me have that rug. He called all of the other stores in the southeast Texas, and this was the only one left. I was heartbroken. A little something to keep in mind...this was waaayyy before the days of the internet, and the instant gratification of finding anything, anywhere in the world. I proceeded to finish my Christmas decorating...whining the whole time. I don't care that I was a grown woman...I needed that rug!! You will never know the thrill I felt when I not only got the big Santa rug, but also a smaller version (the one in the picture), for my Birthday! My husband, and my Dad, bless their hearts...managed to find the only 2 Santa rugs left in the whole state of Texas...and they were mine! I still think they are the most beautiful Santa rugs, I have ever seen. And NOOOO, they have never been used for rugs! I have always hung them as a tapestry-type of decoration.

My Santa rugs lead me to my other Christmas obsession, errr I mean collection: Santa Claus. Over the years, not only did my Husband collect Dicken's Village houses for me, but I also started a pretty substantial collection of Santas. Now keep in mind, that they have to be the right type of Santa. I'm a very traditional type of Santa collector. Here are a few of my most treasured Santas:

I've got every Santa imagineable, from the most expensive Fitz and Floyd to the least expensive Dollar Store variety. The only criteria is that he has to "look" right.

The last Christmas collectible that I have are my Hallmark ornaments. Starting the first year we were married, we collected dated ornaments. My childrens' first Christmases, our First House, 10 years together...then 20...and our last: 25. It saddens me deeply every year to put that ornament on the tree. It is a keepsake ornament to mark milestones together. Heart-shaped, cream-colored porcelain with a small medallion included for each significant milestone together. I will never get to use the 30, 40 or 50 year really breaks my heart, over and over again.

So bittersweet...this Holiday I love so much. There are days it really makes me sad, and then I just have to remember all the wonderful memories. And, I have to look into my Grandkids' faces to find the happiness and joy that Christmas is supposed to bring. My Christmas gift this year...a new Grandbaby on it's way! For that I'm so thrilled...and it's time to start planning next years Village display, or better yet, how to keep the new baby out of "The Village".

Merry Christmas Everybody!
Till next time...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Crafty Side: The Barn-Craft Room: Gift-Wrapping Cabinet

Opposite the Ribbon Caddy, in the craft room, I had another 2' x 2' corner...that needed something! I had seen different ideas for storing gift-wrap, and came up with this idea.
I found a small cabinet at the local thrift shop. It cost less than $20. The cabinet was the perfect size!

I removed the drawer and the door. I used the drawer hardware to make a bottom shelf that would slide out. I then used a lazy-susan mechanism, that I had left-over from another "never-happened" project, to mount a wooden circle base to the pull-out shelf. I drilled holes to hold left-over dowel rods. These rods would support the rolls of wrapping paper. I could now slide out the whole base, and rotate to see different paper rolls. I made a new door, and painted the whole cabinet white. I used small tea-cup holders, and dowel rods, as well as, pieces of elastic, on the door to hold tissue paper, bags of filler, scissors and tape. I added a small pink glass knob, that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. Yay!! A re-purposed, DIY, perfect-fit, Gift-Wrapping Cabinet was born:

Next Up: Drop Cloth Curtains

Till Next Time...

My Crafty Side: The Barn-Craft Room: Ribbon Caddy

Over the years, I have collected LOTS of ribbon! I needed someplace to have the ribbon displayed, and accessible. I had a 2' x 2' space to the left of the farmhouse table, in the craftroom. I decided to design/build my own ribbon caddy. I'm sorry I didn't take more pictures, while I was doing this. Here's the finished product:

I wanted something that would fit in the aforementioned 2' x 2' space, that would hold all my ribbon, and that could be moved easily. I put the caddy on rollers. I used 12 - 3' dowel rods. I drilled holes in the bottom frame to hold the dowels in place. But, I needed some way of holding the tops in place. I used clothes pins, tacked to the top of the frame, thru the hole in the middle of the clothespin. This allows the clothes pin to open and close freely. And allows the dowel rod to be clipped into place, when not needed...or unpinned and tilted out to be able to access the ribbon on the rod. I tiled the top of the table with cheap 4" x 4" tiles, that I "hot-glued to the wooden top. I then purchased very thin trim boards from Michaels, for the border. And purchased some ready-to-use "grout-in-a-tube", to fill in between the tiles.

Next Up: My Re-purposed Gift Wrapping Cabinet

Till Next Time....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Crafty Side: The Barn-Craft Room: Trundle Bed

After completing our Barn: Craft Room, we wanted some type of couch/seating area in the room. We had an extra set of twin mattresses and box springs. The original "couch" had a daybed type of feel. This provided the wanted seating and the sometimes-needed sleeping space. I placed some of my Mom's old quilting hoops on the wall, along with a heart-shaped wreath and a few accessories. It was comfortable, and fit with the decor:

After several months of barn became apparent that we were going to need more sleeping space for weekend guests. I started trying to figure out how to make our twin-size space into a pull-out king sized bed. The answer was a trundle unit.

I shopped for different daybeds with trundle pull-outs. But, nothing fit the decor of the room. Well, I say that...but what I mean is that nothing affordable, fit the decor of the room. So, of course the logical answer to the problem: make something!

I wanted a Victorian/Rustic/Front Porch type of bed. I know, I'm just a little crazy when I start getting ideas... Here are the pictures of how I built the bed:

For the back posts of the bed, I used 2" x 4"s attached to the wall. For the Front Posts, I wanted something more decorative. I went to Home Depot and looked at 4"x4" posts. I looked at landscaping timbers, and I looked at Porch Posts. The landscape timbers were "treated wood". I didn't want those in close proximity to sleeping guests. The Porch posts were tempting. But, they were wood core, with a white painted/laminated exterior. I didn't think the white would be a good match for the room. So...I found these Newel Posts. They were natural wood, not treated or painted, and they had a nice "turned" section.

The only problem with the newel posts was the heighth. They were 54" tall. So, I used 2- 2"x4" boards screwed together to match the dimension of the newel post, and achieve the heighth that I wanted.

I stripped the padding and fabric from the one of the box springs to reveal a wooden frame. Who knew that there are actually no springs, in a "box spring" foundation? I needed something to finish out the desired porch-look at the top of the newel posts. The exposed box spring frame was perfect. And, it provided a base for extra storage on top of the bed, as well as, a support for the roof of the actual bed.

I attached the bed rails to each post.

Because I was going for a "porch" look bed, I used turned spindles on three sides of the bed. I then placed a "hand-rail" along the top of the spindles.

For the ceiling of the bed, I used 2 pieces of left-over corrugated tin, framed in with 1"x4"s.

I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to fit for the top mattress.

I had to purchase the "trundle" unit. That was the most expensive part of the whole project. This unit was $75.00. The unit raises up to the same heighth as the stationary twin mattress. This makes a full King-sized bed, when needed.

I added some small details to the front posts: iron scroll brackets, and wood-burned Texas stars.

I think the bed turned out perfect! All-in-all, I spent less than $200 for the whole project. But, I had access to the mattresses, and lots of scrap material. I have plenty of storage on top of the bed. And, it could have been easily finished out for a bunk, on top. I think I achieved my desired goal of the "Front Porch" feel. The bed is king-sized, when needed; and, twin-size seating area most of the time...No wasted space. I am using one of my Great-Grandmother's quilts for the bedding. I Love It!

Till next time...