Thursday, December 28, 2006

I can't believe I'm posting this picture...w/ Update....

During the summer months our business takes almost all of my free time. Things around here sometimes get totally out of control to put it mildly. I manage the public areas of my home pretty well. But far in the back corner, where I wouldn't dare let anyone in is...The Room from H-e-double toothpicks! My art and craft area. This is what I have... And this from Martha is what I want... So for the next couple of weeks my goal is to organize the before and make it look as much like the after as possible. I'm starting today by purchasing some photo storage boxes and a couple of file boxes. So if you don't hear from me for awhile, send out the rescue dogs. I'll probably be buried somewhere under all that junk. UPDATE Progress has been made. Getting a little more Martha like. Instead of buying new, I've covered some shoe boxes in white to match the boxes I already have. I've cleaned out a bag of garbage. I'm sorting and organizing my art supplies. I'm feeling much better about the situation. Another day or two should get most of the work done. I chose white because I find white and soft greens to be the most calming colors. They help me clear my mind of mental clutter and focus on my projects. I'm looking forward to creating in a orderly space for a change.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

$14 challenge

To make things more interesting I challenged myself to decorate my home for Christmas and only spend $14 or less. The figure $14 came from the amount I spent on the tree for the charity festival. I allowed myself to use what was in the one box I had unpacked this year: My tree, lights, my Christmas angel I painted a few years back. I also allowed myself to use what I had in my pantry, which turned out to be only 2 glass bowls and some candles, some fruit and nuts. I started by making paper stars, 3D and flat for the tree. I was lucky enough to go to the thrift store on half price day and made out with a bag of white ornaments, a bag of vintage ornaments, 2 Santa head vases, and a wooden Christmas tree decoration all for the great price of $4! I bought a roll of red ribbon for outside decorations for $1.39, a Poinsettia for $3 for a total of $8.39 + tax. Not bad. I used candy that was left over from Christmas presents etc for decoration so it was free. I also collected greenery from our yard. The results may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm happy with the results and enjoyed the challenge. Greenery from our yard Planters in the yard were turned into arrangments. I think I'll remove the bows and leave these all winter. The front door. The ribbon came from an old package. I painted this angel a couple of years ago. The bowl came from a yardsale. Pictures of Grandmas and Grandpas. I used the vintage ornaments as an accent. My wooden tree from the thrift store. Greenery from the yard, candy. There were some green ornaments mixed in with the white ones from the thrift store, I painted them red. I made an arrangement in one of the Santa heads, the other has a lid. I love these. Fruits and nuts mixed with greens and pepper berries. Finally, the tree. The instructions for the 3D stars are at HGTV under the Carol Duvall show. They are very easy to make. I also used some of the vintage ornaments that had lost some silvering. I painted the insides white and added glitter. I like the look. The best part...I can throw almost all of this away after the holidays and not feel any remorse! I hope everyone has a wonderful day with family and friends. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holiday Thoughts

I was sitting here last night thinking about the blessing of another Christmas with people I love. This is the 19th Christmas in our home. We have some wonderful memories here. I also thought a lot about how Christmas has changed for me over the years. It has gone from the excitement of my youth, the bustle and hurry of a young mother, to a much easier slower paced time to reflect. I made a decision a few years back to no longer take part in the blur of activity that Christmas has become. I still take part in Holiday parties and celebrations, and I still buy presents, but now I make a point to spend most of my time reflecting on what it is really all about to me and trying to do away with activities that bring stress instead of joy. I make a point to spend time with people I care about and touch base with those I haven't heard from in awhile. I try every year to contact an old friend or a family member I haven't talked to in awhile. What I don't do it unpack the 304,000 boxes of Christmas decorations I have in my shed. In fact this year I've only unpacked one. And you know what? Not one person has said anything negative. I thought I would be letting everyone down if I didn't put out their favorite thingamaChristmasjig. But it seems I'm the only one concerned. Randy and I aren't buying presents for each other and we have limited our present buying for the kids. Of course there will be plenty of food as always just not wall to wall giftwrap. It does make it easier to do that when only 1 or 2 of the kids will be around come Christmas day. Laura will be sailing the Caribbean. Juliana will be working both Christmas eve and day. Jesse I'm not sure about yet. I'll find some time during the season to spend with them all. So Christmas day will be just Randy, Tyler and me. Time to start new traditions and make new memories. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Trash to Treasure Part 2

The best thing about Trash to Treasure, to me, is that something doesn't have to be a permanent fixture in your home. Items that are cheap or free can be used until you can afford to replace them. You are guilt free when you pass the item on to it's new home. I picked up this dresser at a yard sale. I needed a large table for my side of our bed because I have stuff. Lots of stuff people! Well, mostly books. I usually have 3 or 4 books in the process of being read. I also need drawers. I prefer small items to be contained because I have a tendency to be a clutterbug and I need to have somewhere to keep it all. Neatly. After sanding and gluing down some loose veneer I decided to paint it and stamp the top. I used regular craft paint for the base and the stamping. I finished it off with a coat of clear spray paint from Wal Mart. Perfect side table for the perfect price of $8 total. I'll keep this until we get around to remodeling our bedroom and get new furniture.

Trash to treasure Part 1

I love to decorate my home. I love doing it with spending as little cash as possible even better. I think even if money were no object I would still enjoy the challenge of taking something that seems destined for the trash and turning it into something useful and hopefully, beautiful. Not to mention the value of keeping something out of the landfill. My current project is a lamp picked up at Goodwill that I am taking apart and converting to a candle holder...I hope! One of my favorite projects was this stool I picked up off of Freecycle. Sturdy and comfortable and perfect height for my work area. I decided to go with a Mary Englebreit look. I enjoy her artwork and wanted something cheerful but not overbearing. Seating problem solved. Now all I have to do is get everything organized in my work area and I'm all set. I think that will take a whole lot more than sandpaper and some paint!