Thursday, December 31, 2009

thE thInGS I MiSS oUT On!

Living a few hours away from family, I of course miss out on quite a few fun things throughout the year. The latest 'miss' of 2009 was the ugly sweater party at my aunt's house. It looks like fun was had by all (which is not at all a surprise) and my mom took home the the golden barbie prize for sporting the 'ugliest'. Tough call for the judges, I'm sure.

my aunt dede has way too much time on her hands! :) If you're going to win an award though, that's definitely one for the mantel.

so proud, so proud!

a furry dickey......santa's gonna be looking for that, lady!

Are there no brunettes anymore? I mean, really.

Cheers to even more fun, more laughs and less 'misses' in 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

thE GiFt OF HoW To

As the parent of a 7 year old, I work really, really hard to generate and support an enthusiasm and appreciation for hands-on doing, and creating, and individuality in her. I'm of course up against computers, video games, television, her little peers that are already into cell phones, labels, and a bunch of other stuff that I think robs kids of some of the imaginative, creative, hands-on experiences that those devices and interests can't give you. While I'm a big believer in balance and moderation and not anti-technology, by any means, I really want her to know how to do other things, basic things like gardening, cooking, sewing and creating. I won't deny that I love it whenever I ask her what she wants to do on a saturday and she says she wants "to go make stuff in the shop".
So while her friends and cousins were receiving nintendo DS game players, she got a sewing machine. I, of course was very excited about this gift she got from her grandma, and most importantly Madeline was thankfully, very excited about it too. She is always wanting to sew at the same time I am and it's a bit hard to get my work done while getting up and down every few minutes, changing out the thread and letting her sneak in with her 'urgent' tasks. For her to have her own sewing station next to mine will be a wonderful thing. My mom also gave her a vintage sewing basket filled with all kinds of old trims and accessories along with a stack of fabric scraps and some patterns for doll clothes. You have no idea how relieved I was to see her getting as excited as we were with it all, and digging through the basket talking about all that she was going to make and do.
It's only natural to want our kids to genuinely share in our interests and love a lot of the same things we do, but at the same time I want her to come by it naturally without feeling as though it's being forced upon her. A bit tricky since that's everything that this family is all about, but if we throw in a few moments of 'video time' and such here and there, hopefully we'll maintain a 'creative balance'.

Cheers to gifts that encourage 'creating'.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the LoVE foR a weLL UsED 200 Yr oLd giFT

You gotta love when someone really nails it with a surprising gift. This year, my parents gave us an old block table made out of a cypress tree. I don't know much of its' story other than it's been around since the 1800's and came from a bakery. I've oohed and aaahed over it the past couple times my mom and I were visiting one of our favorite little antique shops along the river, and I never in a million years would have guessed that was what was 'under wraps' Christmas morning. I'm sure not everyone gets as excited about an old (really old), used gift as I do, but man I LOVE this thing. I'm debating whether to use it in the shop as a workbench or to clean it up and make it a part of the kitchen. I'm digging the thought of having it in the kitchen to roll out breads and pizzas and would also make for one pretty sweet cutting board......hmmmmmm........

Friday, December 25, 2009


To the merriest of holidays, all!  Enjoy every moment, my friends.

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air." w.t.ellis


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

feStiVE sToCKinG reVaMP

We can only hang so many stockings, right?  And over time we tend to accumulate a few extras. Sometimes we get a gift or two packaged in them or someone creates a special new one for us, or our decorating tastes change.  Well, you can always regift them and use them as your gift bags this holiday season...or another fun way to utilize them is to turn them into holiday throw pillows.  Simply stuff them with filling, stitch the top closed and embellish with buttons, patches, etc.  These new upcycled stockings are also a fabulous gift idea!  Take it and run with it, my friends!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

kiTscHy HolIDaY WaLL ArT

They're great fun to collect and make!  I love the look of these and like to swap out some of my other prints on the wall with these holiday versions.  A quick easy way to decorate and they cater to my love of festive little surprises scattered throughout the house.  

Look for them at flea markets and antique stores or create some for yourself.  
  • Cover the backing to your frame with desired fabric.  Be sure you have a firm, not flimsy backing as your foundation.  (can create one out of a thin wood product or just be sure it's a very durable cardboard.) I use spray adhesive to adhere the fabric, so it's adhered securely and doesn't buckle after adding your 'gems'.   A lot of the ones I find at flea markets are some sort of a velvet type fabric. 
  • Arrange found objects, old necklaces, earrings, and other novelty items into a holiday inspired design. Try a stocking, or ornament, or of course the classic tree.  
  • Adhere to your fabric covered backing using a good quality adhesive. Hot Glue works great and gives you quick grab. Weld Bond is another one that delivers success.
  • Insert back into your frame and hang proudly. Create a large grouping for a jolly ole WOW!

Make them big or way to display those loose mementos or broken bits.
Cheers to creating colorful holiday decor!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Empty out that junk drawer and go to town creating the most playful, colorful wreath ever!  I shared these on one of our past episodes of B. Original and to this day enjoy creating new ones each year.  I'm aspiring to build quite a collection so I can display a really unique, festive arrangement of wall art.   All in good time, All in good time. :):)

Start with a foam wreath with a flat back (found at any hobby shop in the floral dept)

Cut a piece of thin wood or heavy cardboard in the same shape as the wreath for a backing

Secure the two with white glue and then wrap with metallic tape.

Cover with metal pot scrubbers. Staple to the backside if using wood backing or secure to foam using two pronged floral pins dipped in glue.

Add jewelry and other found objects using large head straight pins, beads, sequins, and a bit of glue on the end to secure into the foam.

Hang proudly and enjoy!

Cheers to kitschy holidays -- my favorite!
More kitsch to come this week, so visit often!