Thursday, December 27, 2007

Salle De Bain

For Christmas I got this fabulous book, written by one of my favorite bloggers! One day when I go on one of her shopping trips I will have her sign it! Anyhow, I read it cover to cover last night before bed...
...So when I woke up this morning I knew I had to do one more project before our six hour road trip. Below is my downstairs guest bath. Yesterday when I was at a great store, click here, I found some gorgeous taffeta with velvet. At $6.99 a yard I took it all... voila! A little of The paris Apartment for me! Merci Claudia for the inspiration!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tween Room #1

My nine year old daughter is basically getting a "new"room for Christmas. She got all new bedding, and stuff to make a wall display. Here I am beginning our knock off of Pottery Barn's tile wall set.

Here is our version. It is pink, black and white with a little green. Here she is "making it her own". My baby is growing up!

The fabric for the curtains will be arriving any day now. And I have a few pieces of furniture in the garage that are waiting for me to work some magic on.

But for now, we are driving to LA for New Years! I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year! Thank you for taking time to take a time out with me! I'll see ya in a week...


My sweet hubby was in New Jersey on business last week. He went all the way into Manhattan to pick me up my Christmas gift, THE silver chain that I wanted. I am a lucky girl! My new motto: I am not a jewelry girl, but I am a Tiffany girl.

This decadent piece you probably saw at Costco. I coveted it and my sweet mom gave one to me. Yay!

This is, by far, my favorite gift of the day! Both of my children went to the "Santa Shop" at their school to shop for us and eachother. E. bought me this cute little frame and she put her picture in it. I honestly cried when I opened it. She is only nine and knows her mom so well...anything with flowers and her!

My sister and I decided to go to a few of our favorite little stores to see what good deals we could find. I sure did! Lots of glittery joy! Above is Lily's Emporium in Turlock, CA.

Above is a treasure trove! It is called Juda's Country Gathering in Ceres, CA. The barn is stocked full of antiques while the outside is a gardeners delight. There is also house next to the barn that is decorated with vintage, shabby decor...soooo me!

Below is my sister's living room. Of course she is nice enough to have one my chandeliers. I love her English Country style!

Christmas Day 2007

December 25-12:15 AM

December 25- 9:00 AM
It was great fun hearing D. say over and over "I wanted this! This is the best Christmas ever!" He is six and we know that the "magic" of Santa will soon come to a close. Especially since his nine year old sister became the wiser this year.

We had family over in the afternoon. It was great to talk to my nephew who is in Switzerland for two years serving a mission for our church. We also always do a "silly" gift exchange along with our real presents. I got the best is a plaque that reads
inside me lives a skinny woman
crying to get out but i can usually
shut her up with
cookies and chocolate.

Could not have said it better myself!

Little moments of pure joy...

We have the opportunity to have a general store in our neighborhood. We all pick up our mail there. Each year I put a sign up sheet in the mail room where houses can sign up for us to carol to them. All the kids really look forward to it and the smiles on the faces are one in a million.

A couple big highlights of my holiday this year were from some little friends of mine. A nine year old boy said, while making himself a steaming cup of cocoa in my kitchen, "I really love caroling every year. Please don't stop doing it. Thank you." It was so sincere I gave him a huge hug and told him that if we are in Japan next year he would have to hold up the tradition for me.

Another highlight was the next day. I lead the music with the children at church. When I was in the middle of singing a little girl, who is almost three, came up to me and grabbed my hands and said, "I need to thank you for the crown you made for my brother and the crown you made for me. " This was in the middle of my song and her mom was no where to prompt her. It was so sweet!


Cookies Galore

Well since my house was not torn apart by my twenty five first graders, I am ready for the cookie exchange. By the way, I was SO happy my shower was clean. Gathering my homemade almond joy bars, cellophane bags, recipes, and extra special santa oven mitts for distribution.
We had nine bakers exchanging, but about fifteen here to enjoy. This really is one of my favorite things to do at Christmas!
In honor of some Italian guests I served San Pellegrino and Blood Orange Italian Soda. YUM!
*How to Arrange Your Very Own Cookie Exchange*

  • Stress that only serious bakers should commit! Do not guilt your friends into participating. This is the first year where I have not had someone bail out at the last minute. It can be overwhelming for someone who does not LOVE to bake and very stressful when people are expecting a certain amount of goodies to take home.

  • Send out an invite six weeks before and give them a definate date to reply. Hold to that date.

  • After the reply date has come, send out information to each participant. They will need to bake a dozen (or half dozen) of the same cookie for each participant.

  • They will also need to bring a dozen to sample and a recipe attached to each batch.

  • For added fun I make it a little competitive with voting for the most interesting ingredients, tastiest cookie and most creative wrapping. This year I handed out homemade soaps for prizes. At the event, I hand out voting ballots where each person votes.

  • Each guest should bring a bag or basket to take home their goodies. This could be a favor from the hostess too.

  • Last year we had almost 20 participants. I do not like to split dozens so we had two different groups exchange. We had a snowflake group and a candy cane group. Thanks Laura for that great idea!

Friday, December 21, 2007

No More "Crowning" Around

Well, I have finished my last crown for my neighborhood kids. Here is a final picture of the tree.

So tonight I will be having my twenty eight first graders to my house for our class holiday party. For some reason I have told myself that I MUST clean my shower!?! Will they really be looking in my shower? Go figure. Then, tomorrow morning I will be hosting my annual cookie exchange. I am so excited as I have deviated from my regular chocolate peanut butter balls. I am ready with 10 dozen new goodies. Finally, tomorrow night M. and I are hosting our annual caroling event. We usually have 35-50 people over before we head out to ten neighborhood houses. Lots of excitement this weekend and can't wait to post all the pictures!
With so much to do, why am I on the computer?????

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

my favorite view (today)

Okay... so I would like to know where the pot of gold is?????

I am not usually a rain person, but as I was driving there was not only the end of the rainbow in front of me, but it was a complete visible arch and a double one! Amazing!

The second picture was just a quiet moment this morning as I was taking the kids to school. My 9 year old (on the right with the polka dot backpack) quickly kissed me and hurried ahead to chat with her girlfriends. For a second it took me back to fourth grade and the excitement of what might come from a day at school. It also made me smile to realize that she loves school, loves being social, and loves herself. So cute! Love that kid...

I just wanted to give a thank you to all who visit my blog and leave such sweet comments! It has been so fun to chat with you, especially from around the world. I really appreciate you enlightening me and encouraging me! Thanks!

I also have to give another plug for my fabulous iphone! I take ALL my blog pictures with it. Without it, I would not have been able to capture these two amazing pictures today.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

my favorite view (today)

This is my mom and dad's house and the house that I grew up in. They have always placed the tree between the living room and family room. On the living room side the ornaments are very traditional and formal, while on the family room side they are fun and toylike.

Below is a picture of her dining room and her victorian tree.

I just threw in this picture because I love this bathroom. I helped my mom redo it about two years ago. I actually made those curtains. Check out the handpainted sink. You cannot see it in this picture, but the faucet is green verdigris medal that looks like garden plumbing.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Favorite View (today)

My little village is finally done!

What I learned from this project...

  • There is a reason they are so expensive to buy, each house took about four hours.
  • Even the most common box can be formed into something. See there was a reason to buy those truffles.
  • Hot glue and I have a love-hate relationship. I love it because it holds it all together, I hate it because it hurts so darn bad!
  • Snow-Tex hides any structural mistakes, a very cool product!
  • Go smaller than instinct tells. It barely fits in the space I envisioned it for.
  • Chimneys are hard to construct, hence the crooked one.
  • There are many miniature picket fences out there to choose from.
  • "If you can't afford it...make it yourself!"

Which brings me to my next won't be until January to start that one. I'll give a is a large piece of furniture. Stay tuned...

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Favorite View (today)

Christmas Baking

One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking. This is probably because that's what my mom did when I was growing up.
So everyday when my kids are at the table doing their homework, I make a batch of cookies.

So far I have made fudge, white chocolate dipped gingersnaps, dark chocolate almond bark, chocolate hazelnut bars, chocolate & mint bars, chocolate peanut butter balls (above) and coconut pyramids (above).

My poor friends who don't like chocolate probably hate my cookie plates!

I always host a cookie exchange also. This year it is small, just nine of us, as many dear friends have moved. It is always a lot of fun and the treats NEVER disappoint!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cherry Blossom Manor

Here is my second house in my little village. A great friend and I gathered this morning to each make one. Hers was a castle with a turret, soooo cute! I wish you could see them in person as the pictures do not highlight all the sparkles and snowflakes. The best part has been naming them, this one inspired by the color. Stay tuned for my final addition...I think it shall be named "Old River Chapel".

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Winter Dreams

I had seen a village here and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, I could not afford it. This is my first attempt at creating my own. I will soon add a church and another house. I named this one "Cotswold Cottage".

This tree is in my dining room and I am still working on crowns to fill it. We have lots of little neighbor children that we are close to, so when they come over they will choose a prince or princess crown to take home from the tree.

They make cute tree toppers too!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Enchanted & Royal

Here is the final product of the romantic cottage chandelier. What you cannot see is all of the sparkles from the glitter dusting I did. I really enjoy making these chandeliers and everytime I do one it quickly becomes my favorite!

Below are some of the crowns I have made. I set out to make them to add a little shabby Christmas to ones decor. Some are made of fabric, stiffened to make the unique shapes. Others are made of paper, stiffened also. All are embellished with rhinestones, ribbon and glitter.

I have also adapted these to ornament size. I will soon post those as well. As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope something here inspires you like so many others have inspired me!

Happy Creating!