Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Country Christmas Decorations - My Living Room Decor

Just a few pics of my living room decorations...
 My Christmas tree - about 8 foot tall and loaded with our ornaments - musical, Santas, mercury glass, etc. 

 One of my smaller trees - loaded with bird houses and skis.

I love the Scandinavian look to them - the skis are my favorite! 
I always love a woodsy Santa - he has a Fox at his side. 

My newest ornaments - pretty little pine cones.  So cute!

 I love globes and ancient maps.  Also pomegranates

This woodsy Santa seems to have come by sled.

And back I go to working to get ready for the holidays!  So many cookies to bake!  ;)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

O Christmas Tree - My Little White Christmas Tree...

 Every year I love to decorate a little white tree for my bedroom.  I put it on my dresser and enjoy it every evening as I read and get ready for bed - the soft light soothes me and I am able to put my own personal style on it so it truly reflects my aesthetic.  I love mercury glass, musical instruments, antique keys, fleur de lis and light shabby chic colors.

Each year is better than the year before as I find more ornaments for the tree...

Shop note - I sold the Paris sign seen here - we were sad to see it go, but we do need money so I'm glad to have made the sale along with the Paris typewriter key necklace/bracelet listing - guess someone loves Paris for Christmas as much as I do! 
The topper for my tree varies from year to year as I try to find just the right one - I used a new glittery sign that says 'Believe' this year.  I strung antique keys on ribbons, used tiny mercury glass ornaments I've collected and a few pastel round ornaments for color.  There are two different style violin ornaments on the tree, too.

This year I found some incredibly cute cupcake ornaments for just a dash of sweetness.  I got one green and one red.  They are SO cute!
I also added a large white fleur de lis ornament (subtle against the white tree) it had a tacky crystal on the bottom of it, but I cut it off.  I also added a glittery snowflake ornament - I love the antique pink glitter!!

And on my bedroom door is my antique white bottle brush wreathe I found last year at Joanne's!! Exactly the type of wreathe I was looking for and also my tiny metal sign that says 'Snow' - because that is what I always wish for on Christmas!!

More decorating posts to come as I make progress.  I'm going to get a tree this weekend and work on my new gingerbread house! 
Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Inspiration Wednesday - Making a Cloche Miniature House Christmas Display

I was at Target on Black Friday after Thanksgiving and I saw a rather cute bit of Christmas Home Decor - this cute miniature winter scene in a cloche:
I thought it was a cute idea, but a bit on the modern (and a bit cheap) side so I thought I'd go home and see what I could do with what I had...
I made these little old fashioned glitter houses a few years back and I took the smallest one and put it in my cake jar with some very cute antique white bottle brush trees I just bought.  I think it looks better than the one from Target. 

I found the antique white bottle brush trees at Michaels, FYI.  

Whew!  I've been trying to blog about this for over a week now.  Blogger seems to be having problem uploading pics, but tonight it finally worked!  Yay!  Be back with more very soon unless another blogger problem crops up.  I've decorated my bedroom white tree very cute this year and I'm working on the major Christmas decorating when I can.  I pulled something in my back over the Thanksgiving holiday and it has really held me back from doing too much, but I'm feeling a bit better now. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Tarts and Mincemeat Traditions

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it) and a great weekend.  I tried to post these pictures a few days ago, but had problems uploading them.  I just wanted to share some pics of my tarts.  I only just managed to take a picture of the last few before family members grabbed them up and finished them off!
I made my usual mincemeat tarts and then experimented with a few pecan tarts since I made extra pecan pie filling. They aren't quite as cute as the mincemeat ones, but they were really tasty!  Also, by making little tart versions we were able to eat one apiece the night before instead of staring longingly at our pecan pie and telling ourselves we had to wait.  Mmm!

Aren't the squirrel silhouettes cute??  They are my favorite little cookie cutters.  We also gave the traditional weaving top a try, but it was so much more effort we stopped after one.  LOL  Also used my acorn, maple leaf and turkey mini cookie cutters. 
The mincemeat tarts are a Thanksgiving Tradition in our house, I learned how to make them from my grandmother - if you are interested in trying an old fashioned (and VERY yummy) treat - just buy a jar of mincemeat at the grocery store - should be in the baking and/or holiay section - can be hard to find, but well worth the effort.  I then put it in a sauce pan and finely dice 1 or 2 apples and chop up about a half cup raisins and add to the mix, cook for about 15 min. or so, let cool slightly as you prepare crusts.  I just use ready made crusts normally and cut them to fit the little tart pans, then cut out fun shapes for the tops, brush with milk and sprinkle sugar (you can add some sugar to the mincemeat mixture, too, if you like it extra sweet), and bake at 350F until golden brown on top.  They are great as dessert or for breakfast! 
I also use mincemeat at Christmas, but as filled cookies!  I have a post somewhere in here with the cookie recipe - they are the sweetest, yummiest cookies ever and they go SUPER fast so I end up making tons so I can get a chance to eat one myself.  :)  Give it a try if you'd like to be a little Olde England this year.  I promise that these taste really good and not like meat at all.  I always find it funny when someone won't try it because of the name - they are so missing out on a good thing, but that's okay because it means More for Me!  LOL
If you have any questions about making mincemeat feel free to ask here.  I think it is a shame that it has fallen out of style and we need to fight to keep it in our Christmas tradition along with other older treats. 
Fun Fact - Puritans in England and the American colonies tried to outlaw mincemeat in the 1600's!  There were people called 'mince sniffers' whose job it was to patrol the town seeking out people who baked traditional mincemeat pies!  I'm glad they don't come around anymore - I'd be in trouble.  Check out more here
Back I go to Christmas decorating - I'm rather ambitious this year despite a really bad back and hip.  I'm not going to let it get me down!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Decorating for Fall and Halloween - Orange, Black and White with Gold Accents

Fall is finally here - Let the Decorating Begin!

Normally at this time I'm all excited for Halloween, but I'm feeling a bit low key about it.  I've only really decorated my mantle with Halloween decorations and kept the rest of the rooms simply Fall.  This corner table is an example:

I love this mercury glass lamp I found at TJ Maxx last year.  I decided to pair it with some gold accents - the picture frame (of my parents and I dressed up for the SCA) as well as a little pumpkin I found at Michaels a few months ago.  So cute!  I added some Antique books in gold and blue hues, tying the picture and pumpkin together - as well as some of our eclectic collection of pine cones/seeds from rare trees we've collected over the years.  And a few fake leaves, because...well, just because.  I'll put real leaves down when I find some good ones.

And then there is the Halloween mantle.  Last year I went all black and white, but this year I wanted a touch of color so I used shades of orange, too.  The skull is mercury glass (fake) from Target this year.  Cool find!

 Also, a crystal ball, mask, and some ravens.  Can't have Halloween without ravens!!

This mask is another cool find at Target this year - so Antique cool looking, but great bargain!  On top of black books, of course...

My 'Boo' and palm reading knick knacks...

And finally, another crow/raven on top of some more Antique black books.

Just a few tidbits from around my house.  I love Fall decorating, but Christmas is coming soon - can't wait for the real decorating to begin!!

Have a Great Weekend!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Back to School, Teacher's Pet - Great Gifts for Teachers! Etsy Update

Need a gift for a Teacher in your life? 

My recent Etsy Update has a few great items, I think....

Math was never my favorite subject, but I do have a deep abiding love for fractions...

These keys are very rare and so cool!  1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and '/'!  Too bad my computer doesn't have the fraction keys, too.  Sometimes things don't necessarily improve with technology...

And while there may be a Back Space key on my laptop, there is no Margin Release!

Two very cute keys - rare for being the same small size as the letter keys.

All of these keys are on a scalloped base.  Simple, but elegant.

And also new number key earrings (I already have 7's and 9's up, but 5's are my favorite!) - Lucky Fives!

Teachers are our greatest resource! 
Show one how much you appreciate her today!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mad for Plaid - Getting in the mood for FALL!

I'm in the mood for some plaid...

Labor Day weekend is nearly upon us and I just can't get the idea of a cute little plaid dress out of my head!  But, sadly I can't find anything in the stores right now that I like.  I did find a few google hopping, though.  OH, and since I mention that I gotta say - if you look for plaid skirts through google, be prepared to find thousands and thousands of 'naughty school girl' skirts.  Ick!  The alternative was usually schoolmarm, though, skirts down to the ankles!  What?!  So I changed it to dresses and found these...
 A sophisticated take on the dress and very pretty, but a little prim for my taste.  Would be great if I worked in an office, but since I don't...

 This is kind of a compromise - I think it could be dressed up nicer?  Well, it won't help me, anyway - last year's offering, apparently.  And same goes for all the others I found...

 This is supposedly the same dress worn two different ways by celebrities.  And while Emma looks quite cute and preppy her way, I like the color of the one on the right, which I can't believe is the same dress.  The lighting difference makes them look totally different!  This is a McQ dress - $$.  I love that bright Stuart plaid color, but I can only find it in clothes for the rich or in a slutty Halloween costume skirt.  *sigh*  If anyone finds something that is reasonably priced and currently available, could you share a link??? 

And I thought these tights were awfully cute...

Have a Great Labor Day Weekend!  It's gonna rain, rain, rain here, but Monday is supposed to be nice.  I'd love to go to the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden, but money is tight and my mom has Lupus and it is difficult to near impossible to enjoy outdoor festivals anymore.  (Can't walk far/at all sometimes and can't be in sunlight).  My church will be having their annual Greek Festival with the best Greek food in town.  I don't know if we'll splurge on that or I can make my own shishkabob again.  I finally got the trick down to make them taste as good as the church's!  That plus some nice pilaf and a Greek salad sounds heavenly right now. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Feeling Sad...

A week ago we had to say goodbye to our dog, Fox.  He was the sweetest dog that ever lived.  I'm a cat person, but this sweet little pup won my heart with his gentle eyes, big floppy ears and curled little tail...

We bought him outside a Walmart one day when a lady said she had to move and couldn't take him with her.  She claimed he was a Sheltie and would be a smallish dog so maybe we could handle a small dog since we already had a couple of cats.

Clearly she was wrong as he kept growing and growing, and while his fur did get soft and fluffy in places similar to a Sheltie as well as the floppy ears and a fluffy tail, he must've had a larger dog in the mix, possibly a German Shepherd?  Anyway, he kept thinking he was a lap dog at around 70 lbs.  :)  Everyone that met Fox loved him, no matter how much they might not like dogs or animals in general, because he was just so sweet and loving and eager for you to love him back. 

I had a dream last night that he was in our backyard, but I knew he wasn't alive in the dream.  Just came back to visit me.  I woke up so sad.  I've lost two cats and a dog over the last two years to old age and am now down to just one kitty.  The house seems empty at times.  I don't think I could ever want another dog, Fox was just a one of a kind and it seems wrong to try and replace him at all. 

I'll always miss you, Fox...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Steampunk Typewriter Necklaces with Pearls - an Etsy Update

I've added a few new items to the shop and I thought I'd share the photos here.  I love the typewriter necklaces I've been making, but I thought I'd add just a little bit more feminine touch to them...

(My personal favorite)


So I added a few pearls!  I have them in three shades: Pink, Antique White, and a pretty Lavender. 



The Art Deco necklace is particularly pretty with the romantic addition - it makes it longer and even more elegant.  I love the romance of the pendant.   

Also new to the shop: Antique Brass pendants!  I made my first one with a beautiful glass top typewriter key, A.  I'm not sure if antique brass is the right way to describe it, a dark copper, bronze?  Any way you describe it, it is very pretty and very different from the silver ones...

 The white pearl really shines and catches the eye when paired with the dark chain and pendant.  I love it!

 I simply MUST make one for myself.  :)
The same setting is still available in silver.  I added a pink pearl to this one - pink and silver go so well together. 
 The pearl accents just make the necklaces that much prettier.  I love them.  I haven't even made one for myself, but I definitely am making some now.  I simply MUST have them. 

Want one for yourself or for a gift?  Swing by my shop and take a look and if you need a custom one just convo me for details!

Happy Monday! 
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