Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays to You

Merry Christmas to you dear friends and blog readers.  I hope you are having a wonderful time with your family and Santa brings you everything on your list! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Favorite Things Pt 2

So today it's all about the special ornaments that I love that aren't necessarily home-made.

First up is a prized Christmas ball from my parents first tree together.  They are small, inexpensive balls with a snowflake pattern.  A few have been crushed over the years.  I was so happy when my mom gave me a couple for my own tree. 

Next, is my little drummer boy.  It's another of my parents old ornaments.  It came in a little box of three.  It was always one of my favorites to unpack and I loved to play with them as a kid.  Now I have one to enjoy every year (though he has already survived a decapitation once!)  You can also see another of my parent's first balls hanging behind him. 

Next is an invitation to a great Christmas party my friend Rachel threw when we were in college.  Her mom lived in the next town over and it was so nice to dress up and have a little Christmas cheer in a real home to break up the stress of the end of the semester push.  It's also a great memento of that night.  Rachel still throws amazing holiday soirees, though I sadly live much further than the next town over to enjoy them.

This Altoids tin always makes it onto the tree.  It is from my Husband's collection.  Really, who couldn't love a little Abominable Snowman?!

I have a collection of colorful snowflakes and balls that I actually picked up on a trip to Ikea several years ago.  I love the little bit of sparkle they add to the tree.  The glowing ball behind the snowflake is also one of my most favorite things for the tree.  It's a set of large, golden and slightly iridescent balls that actually snap onto the lights of the tree so that the whole tree glows.  It makes me think that I've sprinkled the tree with little Glinda the Good Witches descending into Oz.   The balls actually don't fit the lights on my big fake tree very well but I make them work somehow. 

This little bird came from the Husband's collection.  I don't know the story behind him but he makes me happy and I'm glad he's on our tree.

The Husband is a bass player by love and profession.  These two are a small sample of our Christmas basses.  I especially love the reindeer playing bass.  Behind him is another from my husband's collection.  It's a Star Trek shuttle craft (I may have gotten that wrong) and it used to play Spock's voice when you plugged it into a light.  Again, our lights don't cooperate very well.  I love it and it makes the Husband happy too.

Thanks for taking in a small sampling of the things that we love.  What are some of your favorites that you can't wait to pull out every year?

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Favorite Things Pt 1

Our tree doesn't have a specific color scheme or theme but I love all the ornaments that we have collected.  Today I want to talk about my favorite home made ornaments.  My mom usually makes a Christmas ornament every year.  I now have quite a collection of beautiful handmade things that I love.  It makes me so happy every year to get them out of their box and put them on the tree.  I actually store them in a special box in my office instead of the attic with all the other decorations because I don't want them to melt or freeze in the attic with everthing else.

This dough wreath is one of my oldest handmade ornaments.  My Mom made a lot of these when we were babies and gave me one when I left the nest.  It's a dough wreath the a gingham bow and pine cones.  It's also a little sticky from years spent in my parents attic.  But it still makes me happy to see it every year. 

This little skater came from either my Mom or my Aunt Elsie.  They made lots of skating and sledding boys and girls.  My sister and I used to love to play with them but would get in trouble when we took them off the tree.

My Mom made this mouse in a stocking with my name on it and made one for my sister too.  It was always so exciting as a little kid to put something on the tree with my name on it.  He was also fun to play with.

Speaking of names I LOVE this one made by my Sweet Husband when he was in kindergarten.  I always laugh and think of it as Brian's (as in he's laying claim to that heart) but it's actually Brian S (there was another Brian in his class so he was always Brian S for Sulser)

I really loved these ornaments as a kid.  It is an egg shell with the yolk blown out and carefully filled with wax and covered with velvet.  It's then staged with a little diorama  of a chosen Christmas scene.  The one that I have has these sweet little dears in them.

My Mom was on an angel kick for a few years.  the top one is made of tulle and is really easy to make.  So easy that I made a few for gifts several years ago.  The bottom one is made of a shell that Mom collected on the beach in Edisto SC.  She saw something similar in a gift shop there and thought she'd make a few herself.  She's very crafty and quite handy too.  Too bad I didn't inherit more of that!

These last two santas my Mom painted a few years ago.  The top one is painted on a shell and the bottom one she painted on a tongue depressor!  (she's a nurse and she finds inspiration everywhere!) 

Tomorrow I'll show you some of my not so hand-made favorites.  What are some of your favorite ornaments?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Kind Of Cocktail

My Sweet Husband came home late from a gig the other night with a late night snack.  He shared a little with me too.  I love the cold, sweet, hot, salty goodness of a Frosty and a few fries.

Now that's my kind of cocktail.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Cheer

I don't really have anything to say today, but I came across this Southern Living pic over at High Street Market and it made me smile.

When I design our "Someday" house for the Husband and I in my head (and occasionally on paper) this is what I have in mind most of the time.  The Christmas wreaths, red tin roof, and white picket fence don't hurt either.   

Friday, December 10, 2010

Starting Over Before Your Begin

 via Cottage Living

I've been thinking a lot about starting over recently.  A client came to me last week just as we were putting the finishing touches on the design plan and getting ready to move into the construction phase for their new sunroom/screened porch/deck to say that after "living" with the plan for a while they have now decided that they want to start over and go in a different direction with their project.  This is not what we wanted to hear obviously, but it was the best thing the client could say.  Construction hadn't started.  We weren't ripping down walls and building them back again, yet!  It is much easier for me to move walls on paper than it is to re-design a project in the middle of construction or for the client to realize AFTER the project is complete that it isn't what they really wanted. 

via Coastal Living

The client did a brave thing coming forward.  They admitted that their inital requests for the project, after some reflection, weren't what they really wanted.  By choosing to mentally live in the new space over several weeks they came to realize that the existing room we were working with wasn't big enough for how they planned to use it; that they would rather increase the size of the existing room and move the new screened porch to a different location.   Had they not thought about it in those terms they would have had a finished space that wasn't big enough to use they way they want.  All of that time and money would have been spent and they wouldn't have gotten what they wanted. 

 via Cottage Living

The trap to avoid in situations like this is to not just be second-guessing yourself though.  If you want to make a big change to your home at some point you have to say yes and make the change.  It's good to re-evaluate your choices but at some point you need to make a decision and actually do the work. 

In your own life and home do you feel like you are good at making decisions or do you always second guess yourself and hold up progress by your unsure feelings?   

Sorry no great project photos, but obviously we haven't built anything yet!

Monday, December 6, 2010

And The Stockings Were Hung...

The mantel is starting to take shape.  I still need to add votives to the candle holders and maybe some fresh holly.  I'll also be posting about some easy stocking labels I'm working on later in the week.  Did anyone notice that the white feather tree that was on the mantel in the previous post is missing?  I'll show you where that went too.  In the mean time can anyone guess which stocking  belongs to the cat?

check out all kinds of holiday inspiration on the Hooked on Houses Holiday Tour

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Welcome to December!  The tree is up, the mantle is almost finished, and I'm waiting for the Christmas cards to be delivered so that they can be sent out.  Our tree is a pre-lit faker but I like it.  It's easy to set up, I love the twinkly lights and my allergies don't seem to bother me quite as bad.  Though I love themed trees I could never scrap my favorite homemade ornaments.  My mom usually makes a new ornament every year so when I left the nest I had a collection already.  When the Husband and I combined houses we combined Christmas stuff too.  The tree topper this year is from his childhood.

So when do you start decorating for the holidays?
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