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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Pleasure of Giving (and receiving)

One of the things we all love about Christmas is the pleasure we receive when we are able to see our friends and loved ones light up with joy when they open a gift that we painstakingly searched for or took the time to create with our own two hands. I wish that my friend Cindy from Lilly's Lace could have seen my face when I opened a most unexpected package the other day. I could not believe what a beautiful and thoughtful gift she sent me.
 The detail she put into this was incredible. The Santa wore a coat embellished with vintage wedding lace, buttons and a beautiful hand pleated ribbon.
 The basket he carries has bobbins, buttons and more bits of lace.
 There are so many wonderful goodies it takes time to soak it all in!!!
 I don't know if you all remember the beautiful belt buckle that Cindy made for her first Giveaway, but I should have known after seeing that, what an extraordinary artist Cindy is. She collects these treasures everywhere she goes until she finds just the right project to use them on.
 She really personalized it to fit me. I think this is one of the most beautiful and thoughtful gifts I have ever received...

And in the spirit of giving... I have created a little sidebar button for anyone who wishes to take it. It is one of my favorite quotes. I thought it might be particularly appropriate for today's times, that we remind ourselves that the only really important things are our friends and family.  

(You can grab the code from the sidebar
of my design site Valentine Design. )

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of laughter, love and eggnog!!!!
You all mean the world to me! 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas in my Living room

Don't forget you can make any pictures larger by clicking on them!
The garland is back up and ready for it's 2010 debut! I can't believe Christmas is only a week away!! We are finally, I'm happy to say finally ready for it's arrival. So I thought I would take some time and show the Dining Room and Living room of the house.

As I said last time, I am currently obsessed with balls. (Cindy, get your mind out of the gutter) This is what I do with them. They fill jars and containers....

and get hung from Chandeliers.

This is the view from behind the Dining room table into the Living room. I got that milk glass plate at a garage sale recently for $5.00 and could kick myself for not buying the second one she had as well. 

I did something a little different this year for a tree topper. I hung the music sheet snowflakes from fishing line and suspended them above the tree from the ceiling. I will admit, this is the only benefit to popcorn style ceilings. (no holes from the tacks after Christmas)

 The tree has a bird theme. Here are a few close-ups of some of the ornaments....

And, at last the infamous garland. I couldn't quite get it the same as I had it originally without taking it completely apart and putting it back together and I just was not going to do that!   I am happy with it for the most part and no one else would know it all came crashing down last week if I didn't tell them.

 It has lots and lots of snowflakes all over it and many of them hanging from the branches and from crystal garlands. The effect is quite pretty in the day when the light is shining through them, ans also at night with the  sparkling lights.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour.  Now I am going to go make a cup of cocoa and and read a good book!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

White (and green) Wednesday

Well, the garland disaster got fixed for the most part last night, although I still have a lot of fluffing and fixing to do before I show it to you. So for today I thought I would link up with Kathleen's White Wednesday and share pics of the Family Room.
The decor is pretty much the same as last year, so many of you have already seen it, but many have not... I hope you enjoy it in any case.  :)

This is one of my favorite corners in the house. I do love my collection of vintage style Christmas trees displayed in slightly tarnished silver teapots and such.

There is usually a tree where that chair is. I have been doing two trees every year for as long as I can remember. This year, there was just so much going on that I didn't have the time (or energy) to do the second one. My sweet hubby is very disappointed as he is a HUGE kid when it comes to Christmas.
(I promised I would do it again next year)

This is the garland and mantle decor above the fireplace.  There are loose Glass balls scattered all over the mantle in clear and silver. I am currently having a strange obsession with containers filled with shiny Christmas balls.

All the paper ornaments on the garland are hand made. Every year I am trying to make more but try as I might, I only seem to manage a couple before time runs out.

This is a view of the Family room from the other direction. This garland also has handmade ornaments although slightly different in style than the other.

The vintage style glass garland is new this year from a wonderful store called Rustic Stuff in Scottsdale.  Paul does amazing Christmas displays there and never miss a visit before the Holidays.
He also has wonderful sales on stuff the closer it gets to Christmas so go check it out if you can!

I hope you enjoyed my little tour. Now I'm off to go visit the rest of you who are joining Kathleen for White Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The weight of the world isn't on my shoulders.... it's on my drapery hardware.

This is a picture of last years garland that hangs in the front window. Why am I showing you a picture of last years garland instead of this years, you might ask????? Because I was going to shoot the whole house to share with you this week.....

But this is the scene of mass destruction that occurred at my house last night!!! Unfortunately I did not have time to break out the camera and shoot pics of the disaster in action, but basically this is  what happened. My friend Devon came over and we were going to have a nice relaxing evening playing in the studio. All of a sudden we hear what sounds like someone had thrown a rock through our window!! We all go running into the front room and see my beautiful Christmas garland and the brand drapery rod broken off the wall, and crashing to the floor!
Thank goodness Devon was there to add a third pair of arms because the garland is HEAVY!!!!
(Hence the broken drapery hardware below)

 I couldn't believe that after thoroughly  inspecting it all, there was very little damage to any of my pretty glass snowflakes. Tonight we will try some new (and stronger) hardware, and I will work on repairing the damage that was done....  :(
And I thought I was finished with all my decorating!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What I got in the mail..... (thank you Sandy)

I know I told you all I was going to do this days ago... What can I say?  Life happens. :)
Anyway, I really wanted to share with you all,  the beautiful package that arrived on my doorstep a couple days after returning from PA. When sweet Sandy told me she wanted to send me a little something in the mail to say thank you for her blog design, I was cool on the outside and jumping up down for joy on the inside. Sandy's style is so totally amazing and exactly the kind of stuff that I love so much.
The box was filled with goodies that were so beautifully packaged that,  although I am sure they were meant to be used as art supplies, I find myself wanting to just display them in my studio just as they are. They are little works of art in themselves.

She wrapped the ribbon not on a plain card but 
on a pretty silver frame.

There was vintage ephemera, music paper, and a pretty silver spoon filled with buttons.

The silver tray is filled with all sorts of sweet tidbits of vintage goodness. Can you see the little cone attached at the top???? It's tiny!!! The generosity of the women in Blogland is such an amazing thing! If you haven't been over to visit Sandy's blog Quill Cottage please go over and say hi. You will not be disapointed!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fun in PA.

Hi everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Our trip to Pennsylvania was a lot of fun. It was good to see loved ones again.Thankfully, although most of the Fall splendor was over by the time we arrived there were  still a few trees hanging on to their beauty for a little while longer.

We kept ourselves busy while we were there. One of our favorite things to do on vacation is to visit any aquariums that might be around. I have a thing for them. I love them and will go any chance I get. I had fun trying to get good shots through the thick glass but I had some pretty good success.  Can anyone say... NEMO????

Beauty and danger all wrapped up together.

My hubby had to drag me away!!! I could have just hung out and watched these things for hours. (I know... weird right??)

Is he cool or what???  I was lucky enough to actually swim with one of these guys while snorkeling in Hawaii. It is one of my favorite experiences ever.

cute, cute, cute.

and speaking of cute.... It's Mr Bumble and my sweetie! He always makes me laugh. Just one of the MANY reasons I love him.  :)

On Thanksgiving morning we woke up to a wonderful surprise.  It was snowing! Now I know that many of you cannot understand my excitement at this, but to an Arizona girl this was really cool!!!

It snowed for a few hours and we hopped in the car. Every so often I would say Stop! I'd jump out of the car and snap away!!! I'm sure the locals thought I was crazy...

but for me, it is what will make this trip memorable.

I really liked these two shots. There are a perfect mix of Fall and Winter.

I hope you I didn't bore you to much!!! Tomorrow I will be doing a post about the beautiful package that arrived in the mail yesterday!!!
See you soon!

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