Personal style is like playing the piano.
First you must learn to play by the rules,
then you must forget the rules 
and play from your heart.
(copied from somewhere; no source cited)

 These are a few pieces from my "piano collection"--many found at garage sales and thrift stores.;
one a gift...and my treasured piano and small keyboard that works like a charm!

my christmas/birthday gifts

After the furniture was moved back into our kitchen/dining room, I told my husband that I'd love to have the mirror over the mantel painted white for my birthday present.   He went out to the garage and primed it, painted it before he went to bed, and hung it this morning.  I am SO blessed!  The floors for Christmas and this beautiful vignette for my birthday!

If you want to see a few more photos of the (mostly) finished room, they are HERE!

Merry Christmas, Friends!
It's been a highly unusual season for us.  Yesterday, THIS was our pre-Christmas scenery...
By the end of today we will be admiring our new laminate floors and possibly will have moved our appliances, kitchen island, and dining room furniture back into the room.

After seeing the process, I'm VERY thankful we weren't SO "thrifty" as to decide to do this job ourselves.  We really appreciate the professionals who have been courteous and have cleaned up after themselves so well.  Our floors were quite unlevel - as much as 2".  With the leveling, we won't have to use shims under every piece of furniture as we did before!  Stay tuned for our new, improved thrifty kitchen style update!

christmas bling

...and so many more pieces. My favorites are on coats and jackets!
I DO need a better way or organizing them!  Such fun to wear.

"all is calm..." - NOT!

Go HERE for the whole story!
I DO want to say I've been having success with Craig's List lately...
We sold these four large items in a matter of days!
The $$ sure will help pay for our project!

merry christmas

After I comb my hair, I'll be ready to go to church! 
Christmas colors in "separates" - all thrifted before LAST Christmas!
See another Christmas tree pin?
This week I added 5 (or maybe 6) red bulbs to the tree. It made ALL the difference in its appearance!

A close up of one of the brass ornaments scattered around the tree...

christmas accessories

When I saw the beautiful Christmas apron 
that Darla  received from a friend,
I remembered that I had purchased one
last summer at my favorite thrift store.  
Here it is! 
I think I'll wear it all day!
(Be sure to click on the green above to see Darla's!)

A transparent piece of fabric covers the pocket. 
It puts me in the baking mood! 
I'm wearing a shiny, gold snowman pin, too...
What Christmas accessories are YOU donning this season?

the stockings were hung...

This smallest one is for our youngest grandchild, added to our family this year...
I only hung seven this year.  Our two oldest grandsons will be at their home getting acquainted with their new sister who will join their family a few days before Christmas (God-willing).  Our son and daughter-in-law will leave Friday and travel to Ethiopia to pick her up and return her to their home.  Looks like I'll need ten next year!

I've picked the stockings up at thrift stores over the years...all are simple and VERY inexpensive.  I've been picking up small items to stuff them with throughout the year.
Speaking of stockings, what do you think?  These are some knee highs that I've worn recently with my black velvet skirt and black boots.  A stranger at the grocery store the other day asked me where I got them!  I couldn't remember.  I've had them for a long time!

a doll house christmas

After seeing Susan's dollhouse all decked out for Christmas, I decided it was time to get the trees up in ours.  My husband did the finish work on this one during the past year.  So....the trees are up, but there is a lot of decorating to do.  I think I'll fashion some curtains in time for Christmas Day.  Santa has set up his workshop in one of the attic areas (top right).  The octuplets even have their own little tree (bottom middle). The wreath in the bottom left photo is the same one above the fireplace in the picture directly above it - just to give you an idea of the scale of the nativity set.

In a few days, I'll photograph the rooms up closer - with a few more decorations thrown in!
Everything in this doll house has been re-purposed or purchased in thrift stores.
It's not FANCY, but it's FUN and soon will be very FESTIVE!

in my dream

In a quiet dream last night, I was walking snowy sidewalks toward a house we lived in thirty years ago.

I saw ONE first.  Then the other.  White, high-heeled shoes.  Not leather, but fleece-- COVERED in pure white fleece.  To my amazement, they were my size, 7 1/2 B!

I looked both directions and saw no person or footprints.  I picked them up and carried them with me into the house.

I woke this morning disappointed that the shoes had disappeared with the night.  The snow, however, is very much WITH us.

Interpretation anyone?

In other news from the cold front, yesterday morning I listed the small sectional bookshelves and the black toy/storage chest on our local Craig's List.  By afternoon, the shelves were gone, and I had 3 inquiries re. the chest. Someone is coming to see it this afternoon, and if she doesn't take it, I have two others in the wings!

The de-cluttering continues.  (Of course, now I have decisions to make about the contents of the storage chest and bookshelves...)

a grey sunday morn...

close up to our tree...

A casual wool vest brings color to an otherwise drab palette. All clothing items thrifted, including the Christmas tree pin on my vest!  Photos of the Nativity Display will be posted later today.

See a few Nativity Display photos HERE.

dressed in (casual) holiday style...

Dressed to go out to the church to set up tables and prepare for our 2nd Annual Display of Nativity Sets tomorrow...I'm standing in front of the newly hung wreath made out of bed springs!  I'm trying to figure out how to decorate it to keep it VERY simple...
(To see the process involved in making the wreath, see my husband's blog,)

slowly but surely

December is my birthday month.  A local restaurant sends a coupon for a free meal anytime during the birthday month (which is great for me, because MY birthday is on Christmas Day).  Few restaurants that offer a free meal on a birthday are even open on my birthday.

We took advantage of the coupon for a mid-afternoon dinner today.  I wore a gray sweater and my elastic-waisted black velvet skirt to best accommodate the shingles pain I'm still experiencing.

 I brought out the red candles this morning and created this vignette.  
It looks warm and cheerful when the candles are all lit...
 I've hung a small "wall tree" between the two windows in our dining area. 
I used vintage blue bulbs and other blue and white ornaments to decorate it.
All thrifted, of course!
The decorating continues--slowly but surely!