Dec 24, 2010

Twas the night before Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Pictures of Christmas’ Past!

Christmas 2003


Christmas Santa Pic 2004

2004 (Hmm! What should I ask Santa?)



2005 (We drove from NC to NY about an half hour after this- I do not recommend

driving through six states on Christmas Day)

Christmas 2006 (3)

2006 (Breakfast with Santa and missing his two front teeth! Ignore the date it’s wrong.)

Christmas Card Pic December 2007

2007 (Goldie’s first Christmas with us)



2008 (This was our first Christmas in our home but I can’t find one picture-

I‘ve had a few virus’ since moving in, I guess they were destroyed)

Christmas Day 2009 006



Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Dec 16, 2010

Craft Fair Fiasco leads to Crafter Rut

I just love this title.  It almost makes the weeks I spent crafting, money spent on supplies, and time sitting at the craft fair worth it. 

I signed up to participate in a craft fair in early November, it was a first year for this particular craft fair.  I probably should have checked out the venue because had I seen it upfront I would have saved myself a lot of work and time.  There was a much larger craft fair the same day but it cost more to participate and I wasn’t confident that I would recoup my investment.

Let me tell you upfront I didn’t sell a single item.  The few people who showed up had no interest in my stuff. This put me in a big funk.

Here’s my crafts and pictures of us making them for your enjoyment.  This was the start of my 30 day crafting rut.  I think it might have passed.  I had the urge to go to Michaels today.

My yarn wreaths. 


I made 2 of each of these rag wreaths.


Scented Pinecone Ornaments (some just have spray glue and glitter and others are painted with glitter)


I might pull all the glued on ribbon off the white ones and make a wreath. 


My husband was so nice for helping me out.


My 3rd degree burn ribbon station.


I still have all this stuff.  I put the wreaths all around my house but I want to give the pinecones to someone who needs decorations.  If you know someone in the Triad who needs decorations please email me or comment me your email address.

I made some other things but they are just too cute and I’m saving them for a future post. 


A hidden memo board from Thrifty Decor Chick


Memo Board Thrifty Decor Chick

I have been totally burned out from crafting and projects, but I just saw this adorable post on Thrifty Decor Chick. I feel like breaking out the glue gun and hitting the hardware store.  This is so darn cute!

Last Christmas, I was in the middle of painting our cabinets and we had just installed raw wood floors so to say it was hectic would be an understatement.  Add to that the fact that I was doing end of the year accounting audits at work the past two Christmas’.  My husband was in Canada last year setting up the Olympics and only got back at Thanksgiving.  This year we are enjoying our trees and making lots of cookies and cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning.  My house is not perfect but at least there are no sawdust piles in my living room, paint cans all over, and paint brushes lining every sink. 

I have still been going room to room organizing and revamping our systems to reduce clutter. Today I am working on an pantry inventory. I need to start meal planning differently. I started couponing and I have many new and exciting foods in my pantry. My usual 10 lazy girl meals (Hot Dogs, Spaghetti, Hamburgers, Tacos, Salmon, Pulled Pork, Chicken & Dumplings, Pork Ribs, & Shrimp w/ Pasta) are getting boring.

Christmas 2010 050
My son has Asperger's and can be very picky and unwilling to try new foods. I have this awesome cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens New Dieter's Cookbook, that has great photos. Well I gave this book to my son and a bunch of those sticky page flags and told him to flag the recipes he would be willing to try.

He flagged a bunch.  I am excited because he is never willing to try new foods.  I’ll let you know how it works out, but so far it seems like a genius idea.

Christmas 2010 051Christmas 2010 052


Dec 1, 2010

Life whizzing by….

I had to take a break from blogging to get caught up on life.  I had too many projects in progress and was sleeping 4-5 hours a night.  I am homeschooling and no longer work so there’s no reason I should be staying up all night just to get things done.

I decided I need major organization.  I am going room to room and overhauling our current systems.  We have three hampers in our house yet there is always clothes on the floor (I don’t have a solution for this yet).  

I have a built in office/craft/laundry room but it had tools, decorations, laundry and everything else in it that does not have a home.   I have slowly been working on moving the junk out of it.  It has been full of junk since 2008, it was briefly cleaned for the realtor earlier this year.  Today I got it majorly clean.  We our now moving our home school from the kitchen table to here.


Did you notice the basket overflowing with fabric?  Those are the future curtains for this room.  All projects are on hold until this house is organized and functioning.  The basket next to it is all my papers that need to be filed.  All my files are on the top shelf color coded by category.  I haven’t purged my files since 2008.  I hope to do that next week.

 IMG_5090 IMG_5091

I also built that blackboard over the summer.  Here is a closer look.


Homeschooling was not working for us either.  We were disorganized and I was struggling with lesson planning.  I was photocopying worksheets out of the workbooks everyday.  This was such a waste of time every morning.  

I was sick of the photocopying but wanted single-sided worksheets.  I found the books online in EBook form.  I wish I had known about this earlier this year.  I printed the sheets and divided them into the 40 weekly folders.  I am using a 40 week workbox system.  We are schooling for 37 weeks, reviewing for 2 weeks, and leaving the 40th week for testing.  I put the teacher sections in a big binder.  Each week he has a checklist of what needs to completed.  Some of the subjects are everyday and others are 2-4 sheets a week. 



The folders are color coded to our academic year calendar.  If the week is blue on the calendar the corresponding folder will be blue.  This is the same for yellow.  Gray means vacation.  We are pretty close to the actual school calendar.



I participated in a craft fair in the beginning of the month, had a yard sale, painted all our ceiling fans and made over a few lamps. I will post about that later. 

I hope to have my life back in order soon, since I will be giving up my weekends soon.  I agreed to do some contract accounting for an old client of mine.  My heart is not in it, but they really needed my help.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  I had a nice and uneventful Thanksgiving.


Nov 6, 2010

Master Bedroom Part 2 (Maine Cottage inspired)

Ok this is going to be a quick post with a bunch of pictures. My husband is going back to school and I have one week left with him home. I am basically cracking the whip helping him get all the little construction odds & ends finished on our home projects.

I have also taken up couponing and added that to my list of a million things I want to do in a weeks time.

The bedroom is basically done except the curtains need to be ironed and two pictures need to be hung. You should take bets on how long it takes me to accomplish those tasks. I am a terrible procrastinator.

So here is the painted Sleigh bed and habitat restore nightstands.

painted nightstand painted sleighbed painted sleighbed

The evolution of our painted dresser. Here it is in our tiny apartment in 2007 painted white with all my mess on it.

white dresser

Stripped and stained pecan in 2008.

refinished dresser

Stripped and stained again in 2010. We tried to match the dark wood on the sleigh bed, it was close but it still didn’t match. I don’t like mismatched wood. I don’t mind mismatched painted furniture though. It stinks that I had to strip and stain the furniture to see I hated it.

American Walnut & Rosewood Stain 293

Painted again in 2010. Knobs changed to matched new paint color. (this TV is no longer in this room, we had to move TV's around after our family room TV quit working.)

painted dresser

The only splurge so far was the Home goods lamps at $30 each. Funny that $30 is a splurge. The nightstands were $15 each and the sleigh bed was $80 on Craigslist last year.

Ok my inspiration was Maine Cottage. I cannot afford their lovely painted furniture so I did the next best thing. I ordered their color sample cards and had Home Depot color match them. This color is called Bark.

painted nightstand

painted nightstand


The white artwork above the bed looked off to us so we took it down and are going to hang two framed pictures instead.


Hope you enjoyed my Maine Cottage inspired bedroom. Hopefully I finish it soon! :)


Linking to these parties……

Oct 27, 2010

The Master Bedroom Part 1

When we moved in this room was hunter green with white trim.  It is a very small bedroom at about 10 x 13.  This is the big downfall with split level homes, they all have small bedrooms.  We have a family room and a living room and that was a huge selling feature for us, so we sacrificed bedroom size.  Obviously the people before us had a thing for outlets.

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A lot has happened in this room since then.  We never had a bed  frame, our furniture was refinished in a pecan stain, and we had an ugly blonde nightstand.  We put up board and batten and bought a sleigh bed.  You can read about that here.

101_2296 101_2289

Last fall we ripped up all the upstairs floors and put utility oak hardwoods down from Lumber Liquidators.  We opted not to stain them and just polyurethane them.  This may change in the future, but I will hire someone to do it.  My marriage will not survive anymore diy floor installations.  You can read about the floors here.

House Makeover 023 House Makeover 026

I stained the furniture American Walnut & Rosewood to try to match the bed but in certain lights it looked very red and light. 

American Walnut & Rosewood Stain 295

We put this dresser in my husbands closet.  The furniture felt too dark for the room so we opted to paint it.  The furniture is done and was inspired by one of my favorite stores.  I will go into all the details in my next post.

This week we painted our ugly brass ceiling fan.  To save money we used oil rubbed bronze on the brass parts, painted the blades black and replaced the glass.

This was $40 to do.  We had everything but the new globes, which we bought at Lowes.


 House Makeover 023



IMG_4805IMG_4808   IMG_4794

We just have to touch up some paint, put up some art, and finalize our knick knacks.

Next post I promise to show the furniture and reveal the inspiration store.


Linking to these parties:
Beyond The Picket Fence giveaways IhookedupwithHoHlamespice