Friday, December 31, 2010

My Sister's Christmas...

Hi friends... how are ya?!

We had a wonderful Christmas... and what an exhausting one as well!  Hours of shopping, hours of wrapping, even more hours of baking and gifting - but what a special time of year; my favorite, to be true.  Even though I've been listening to Christmas music since before Thanksgiving (yes, I am one of those people), I was still sad when I tuned in on the 26th to the same old mainstream radio.


Now on to the good stuff.  My sister is an amazing chick with the most charming home and decorating taste.  She always goes all out for every holiday, but this Christmas she really outdid herself.  And since she doesn't have a blog (no matter how hard I try to get her to start), I get the fun of sharing her holiday home with you.  Enjoy!

This display is on her front porch.  She and her husband are avid cyclists, so of course, she had to have a tree dedicated to their shared love... the garland on the tree is a deflated tire tube... and the "wreath" is an old wheel.   Combine that with a vintage bike, complete with flat tires and a basket full of gifts, and it's a fantastic entry!

Once you walk through her fabulous yellow door, you're greeted by this, the piece de resistance...

Oh yeah... the kids went wild over the gigantic pile of presents!  In addition to all of this, my sister has Santa Sacks for each child.  Full size Santa Sacks, filled to the gill with gifts.  There is no question who's the favorite auntie in the family.

This is the rest of the tree, adorned in red and green and rustic metal bows.  This girls knows how to decorate a tree, ya'll.  Not a branch goes undecorated in this house.

Now on another tree - in her dining room:

This slender tree is covered in shades of gold and copper.  This picture doesn't do it justice - when the lights reflect off of the ornaments, the tree appears as if gilded in gold. 

Her dining table centerpiece mirrored this tree, with golden ornaments suspended in a vase as if by magic.

If you're feeling like an inadequate Christmas decorator, just wait.  It gets better.  Even her kitchen is decorated!

This antique icebox held a small tree decorated in the theme for this area: Santas.  My sister's kitchen is painted a pale shade of grey with accents of black, white, and yellow, so the red in all of the Santas really popped.  Her kitchen also has this huge window over her sink that lets in the most amazing light, a perfect backdrop for this:

She put this vinyl message on a piece of plexi-glass, suspended by clear fishing line, giving it the illusion that it was simply floating above the sink.  It's so gorgeous, I think she should leave it up all year long... just sayin'.

If you're not jealous yet, you will be after you see these:  her vintage aluminum trees.

I KNOW.  She is a lucky girl to have these gems, right?!  She even has the accompanying color wheel but was worried about the fire hazard... maybe I can get her to take it out next year for at least a little peek, no?

And now, on to my favorite tree in the house, decorated just for the kiddos, in "their" room at Aunt TT's house:

This tree is a little girl's dress-up dream, with a candy-colored pom pom garland and ornaments that are... costumes!

Dress-up high heels, play jewelry, and old dance costumes that once belonged to my sister and I are scattered all over this tree, in a room that is set up for playing.  And here's the tree topper:

That's right... it's TUTUs!!!!  I think even the grown ups wanted to play dress up after seeing this tree!

I love that my sister dives in to Christmas the way she does, decorating every room with the magic of the season and making it so memorable for everyone.  She puts so much time and effort into every detail to make each room tell a different Christmas story.  The presents are just the icing on the cake, as far as I'm concerned.

I hope you enjoyed your little peek into my sister's holiday home... have a safe and wonderful New Year!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mobile Blogging Is Not Fun

Hi guys. My Internet is not working and the serviceman won't be here til Thursday. Drat. I've got some great Christmas pics of my sister's home to show you once we're back online. My iPhone's pretty amazing, but I have yet to find a USB cable plugin!! Stay tuned. 2011 is gonna be awesome!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

And all through the house... there were POMS!

Thanks to Kim over at Retro Mama, I discovered the wonderful little gadget that is the pom-maker.  (How can I have crafted this long and never heard of this?!)  And since I have a pretty good yarn stash from my old knitting days, I decided to make good use of it for gift-adorning this year.

My pom-poms aren't quite as thick and fluffy as Kim's but I still adore the handmade touch they add.  I made some homemade goodies for some of my neighbors, and the poms wanted to tag along with those too!

Mmmmm.  Freshly baked Toffee Biscotti and coffee to enjoy on Christmas morning!  This is my favorite biscotti ever - you can find the recipe here

Recognize the cutie-pie labels?  They're from the Modern Frills giveaway for TomKat Studios... that I was lucky enough to win.  They also match the vintage Rudolph tee from Kristina at Modern Frills that I received when I traded some Lollipop Kids sweets. 

The cookies are set out by the fireplace for the man in red, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care...the girls are snug in their beds... and papa and I are not quite in our kerchief and hat.  In fact, Big Sis just asked us to hurry up and go to bed "So Santa can get here sooner". 

So with that being said... "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I know Christmas isn't even over yet, but my mind is already brewing with resolutions for 2011, including some for ye ole blog.  I have so many things I want to accomplish and share with you all next year, after leaving behind the craziness that was 2010... and I'm ready to make it all happen!

How about any of you?  Wanting to resolve to make some changes?

And now... back to your usual scheduled Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Craft Oops

After my in-laws picked up my children yesterday for a sleepover, I knew my crafting clock was ticking by so I hopped in the car and quickly headed to the local quilt shop to grab some fat quarters destined to become coffee cozies for my girls' teachers.  I fell in love with the fabrics from the Summertime line so much that I decided to make all the cozies from the same line. 

Using the free pattern from House on Hill Road, I whipped up these beauties in no time at all:

Feeling all accomplished, I was ready to wrap these up... but thought, I'll leave 'em out so Big Sis can pick out which one she wants to give her teacher.

Enter Oops moment here.

Being a first-time kindergartener mom, I completely forgot that Friday was her last day of school til after the New Year!  Doh!  Guess that means this Christmas gift will turn into a New Year's gift... Mom's gotta get her act together next Christmas.

Oh well, the best things in life come to those who wait, right?


I finished Big Sis' christmas dress last night and hope to finish Lil Sis' today.  I think it turned out pretty cute, but it has to pass their ever-scrutinizing fashion test so keep your fingers crossed for me that the little prisses  princesses like it!  I've also decided to add a special little accessory, inspired by Kate.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

School Days Jacket...

She finally wore it!  (All it took was Big Sis wearing it and loving it...)

The lighting is not ideal, and I would've preferred a nice, staged photo session, but with this little girl, I had to take what I could get!  The fleece is already getting soft and nubby with wear, the adorable little owl lining is still, well, adorable, and the whole thing is simply one of my favorite projects thus far.
Too bad these little girls grow so quickly and won't fit it next year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Christmas Story

I took the girls to see Cowboy Kringle (aka Santa) last weekend... it was a little amusing.  Lil sis was not so fond of the big man in the red suit, no matter how many times we told her how he brings presents on Christmas, nor when he handed her a teeny candy cane, nor when he tried to make her laugh by telling her "I know what happened... some other kiddo told you Santa bites, didn't they?"

Um yeah, jolly old St. Nick.  Soooo not working...

So, we somehow finally convinced her to get close enough to fit in the frame for the picture (the whole reason for the traumatic experience!) and this is the end result:

She's holding on to the candy cane for dear life... and she wasn't getting an inch closer.  But she's smiling - that's what it's all about!

And if you love the girls' shirts, you can find them here.  I was lucky enough to win Kristina's TomKat Studios Vintage Rudolph giveaway, and even luckier when she traded her adorable shirts for some of my felt cookies and a felt cake stand!   Yay for Etsy!

Nine days til Christmas... are you ready?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Deckin' the halls

Yes, I've still got boxes to unpack and no, I haven't figured out where everything is going to go... but by golly, it's Christmas and there's no way I'm not getting in the Christmas spirit!

Truth be told, I can't take credit for this tree.  My fabulous big sis is responsible for this gorgeous display!

And this is my new favorite spot.  The drop-leaf table was left by the previous owner, and it makes for a great crafting table in the interim.  Life is sweet when sewing by the glow of twinkle lights!  I have admit though that there is a clever crop job here - I had to make sure you couldn't see all the boxes and other stuff taking up the floor space! 

My in-laws are keeping my chickies this weekend, so I will be taking advantage of the solo time and finishing up my Christmas list and some Christmas sewing.  There are coffee cozies to make for teachers and, of course, outfits for my girls.  December is just going by too quickly!

Fa la la la la, la la la la!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Yarn Wreath... my first ever!

I was inspired to attempt this wreath after browing the many yarn wreaths for sale on Etsy.  It was one of my "I could make that" moments, of which I tend to have too many.  It turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself...

I went wreath-shopping on a Sunday, meaning my go-to crafts store was closed.  I ended up going to WalMart and found the only wreath form I could find - a grapevine one.  I had wanted a straw or styrofoam wreath, but wasn't patient enough to wait!

To smooth out the bumpy texture of the grapevine, I first covered the wreath with strips of batting.  It smoothed out most of the area to provide a better canvas.  Then I began wrapping yarn... and wrapping yarn... and wrapping yarn.  For more visual appeal, I used a boucle-type red yarn, and then added stripes of a smoother-ply turquoise yarn on top.  Then came time for the felt poinsettias.  I don't have time these days to reinvent the wheel, so I found the template here.

A hot glue gun may have been of my best purchases ever after making these flowers in about fifteen minutes!

At this point, I thought I was done until I found an adorable little mushroom on the half-off aisle at Hobby Lobby.  Perfect.

The wreath now adorns the door leading to my back patio from my kitchen.  I'm loving it... something tells me I'll be making more yarn wreaths in the future.  Spring, perhaps?!

Oh, and I've finally set up a little area to get some sewing done.  Good thing, since my man is leaving for a hunting trip come Friday and I'll have idle hands.  Oh Pearl, how I've missed you!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different... Act Normal

I've linked up to the Saturday Show and Tell... now go check out all of the fantastic ideas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Better Homes and Gardens-Inspired Wreath

The current issue of Better Homes and Gardens has some amazing decorating ideas for Christmas, one of which was a fabulous wreath adorned with yarn "ornaments".  As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to do the same for my front door.  Here's their version:

And here's mine:

I used a large wreath that I found at Target, complete with berries and pinecones.  BHG's yarn ornaments were made by pinning the end of the yarn into a styrofoam ball and then wrapping away.  I decided to use some plastic ornaments that I bought for 50% off and used hot glue instead to hold my yarn, tacking every now and then as I wrapped.  I had some flashback moments to making center-pull yarn balls by hand...  The copper glitter ornaments were too pretty not show, so I threw some of those in there as well.  Then I wrapped the yarn tails around the top of the wreath form and tied in a knot to anchor.  Easy peasy!

And gorgeous... it's beginning to look like christmas around here!

Stick around - I've got another wreath to show you later... and it involves yarn too!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmastime is here...


I.  Love.  Christmas. 


I have been listening to Christmas music on the radio since before Thanksgiving, and I'm itching to decorate the house.  Unfortunately, the keys to the storage building that houses my Christmas tree are MIA... fortunately, I've improvised with the things I can find buried in the garage and the things I can make myself.

Enter the christmas apron from last year's christmas outfit mishap:

And some felt gift bows based on this tutorial from How About Orange.


Fun!  Now, if I can only find those keys so the real decorating can begin!

Another great thing about this time of year is hot chocolate... specifically peppermint hot chocolate from Williams Sonoma.  It is the best, trust me,  Totally worth making it on the stove with milk.  Yum.

By the end of mug, she had chocolate all over her from trying to get the marshmallows off the bottom with her tongue!  How's that for a mug shot?

And if you're still looking for great Christmas ideas, Kim from TomKat studios just released her 2010 Holiday Gift Guide, filled with fabulous ideas from some pretty fabulous ladies.  Hop on over and check it all out, if anything to see her vintage rudolph collection.  To Die For!

Deck those halls!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The View versus To Do

With Christmas quickly approaching, I am desperate to get my house in order and get back to some creating... unfortunately I have a few distractions: two gorgeous little girls that are excited about having a little holiday in their new home!

So the to-do list sits temporarily on the back burner while I enjoy a little baking (the best kind!):

and while I enjoy the view:

Have a fantastic weekend - hope the view is as great where you are as it is from here!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We're moved!

So, we've moved for hopefully the last time ever - we're all exhausted but so excited to be in our new home.  There are still boxes to unpack and room arrangements to figure out and christmas decorating to do... luckily we're about to have some holidays to try and get some more things in place. 

That also means setting up my crafting nook so I can get back to some handmade goodness... now, where is that sewing machine?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Home Lovelies.

I've been perusing home items lately... can't imagine why  ;)  Here are some of the lovelies that want to come home with me:

from Anthropologie  (sensing a pattern?)

Ahem.  Also Anthro.

From Etsy seller ArtinTouch.

More Pyrex!  From Etsy seller bluebell.

From Etsy seller CurryKayDesigns.

I'm a little obsessed with the kitchen things... as you can tell.  Wonder what I'm leaning towards for an accent color?  Can you tell?


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