pre-christmas activity

While the rest of you shop, cook, bake, decorate and wrap, 
you might be interested to know what I'm doing! 
~ Click HERE to find out ~

more is more

 I traveled with my father to his home town for a routine doctor visit.
 I asked him to drop me off at the local library to wait while he had his appointment 
 and ran another errand or two.
 The library is a lovely one with a comfortable seating area
 and many fine decorating magazines.
 I was not bored OR disappointed as I perused the current House Beautiful magazine.
Can you tell I agree with Dolly Parton who is said to have said:
"Some people say that less is more. But I think more is more."

another day; another puzzle

Another day; another puzzle.
We finished this one - which was NOT easy -
since the cars were not arranged like the photo on the box!
After taking it apart this afternoon,
we started another.
We find puzzles to be a simple and satisfying way
to spend cold, winter days!
(Frequently our puzzling is accompanied by a mug 
of hot chocolate or eggnog with a bit of nutmeg sprinkled on it
and some instrumental Christmas music playing in the background...)


 These sweet cutouts
 from a magazine insert years ago
 found a place among the few other ornaments on our little white tree.
Loving them!

sheep may safely graze

 My motley flock of sheep
 graze safely on the mantel in our dining area.
Gathered randomly throughout the years,
they assemble here at Christmastime.

"Sheep may safely graze and pasture
Where a shepherd guards them well.
So the nation ruled in wisdom
Knows and shares the many blessings
Which both peace and plenty bring."

a little here and a little there

I'm a bit random with my Christmas decorating.
Starts and stops and no clear plan.
Candles and traditional Christmas music contribute much to the general atmosphere.
These are a few of the most recent (and random) pieces I've added...
And my husband created a new base for a damaged nativity stable
I must not have been able to pass up last year.
It houses unrelated figures and suits me just fine!
A simple tree made of weathered wood
sits atop one of our wardrobes among red trees.
And so it goes.
A little here and a little there...

on the way to friday

Going with the flow this year.....
Traditions don't seem to come as easy for us as they do for other people.
The Thanksgiving holidays officially kicked in last night
as we attended a Thanksgiving service at our church.
Today, one of my siblings will pass through on their way to Friday..
We'll have a relish tray, crackers and cheeses, etc.
as we visit around our kitchen table.
Tomorrow - Thanksgiving Day - one of our children, her husband and 6 children
will pass through (also on their way to Friday).
Together with us, they'll attend a lovely community meal for folks
who don't have family plans.
(Our family "plans" came together rather spur-of-the-moment
without time to prepare turkey and trimmings,
so we're especially thankful for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church's hospitality.)
I'll take a sweet potato casserole made with apples and dried cranberries.
Then on Friday, we will get up early and together with my father,
drive over to Sauder Inn in Archbold OH to celebrate with extended family
(over 50 people).
Meanwhile, this rusty turkey joined autumn-colored everyday place mats
to remind us of this season while we're on the way to Friday.

Tradition-less, but SOOOOOO thankful. 

all hands on deck

 The addition of two hands in our household
helped make quicker work of this puzzle (which definitely deserved the name "puzzle")!
My husband cut a piece of pegboard so we could move it from our dining table
to rest on the arms of a chair in our living room between meals.
Unfortunately, he didn't cut the board BIG enough to accommodate
the two NEW puzzles I acquired this morning when I met friends for breakfast!
I selected these two out of several my friend was going to donate to a thrift store.
What fun we will have.
What a fun and inexpensive way to keep all hands on deck occupied...

finally grey

When it became necessary to replace the carpet in our recently-repurposed room,
I chose a remnant with grey tones.
We'd painted this room less than 2 months ago, 
but the paint we THOUGHT was grey when selected
turned out to be too blue to coordinate well with the new carpet....
sooooooo, my husband suggested that while the furniture was all out the room,
it was a good time to change the color.
SO glad we did!
Finally.  Grey.

visually and functionally...

"Free," said the facebook post.
I was ON it.
My husband picked it up that morning.
Brought it home; fashioned a couple of pieces to replace missing ones;
and applied Restore-A-Finish.
Though "my" bathroom is small, it is greatly enhanced
both visually and functionally by having a piece of furniture in it!

door dressing

 Our lives have become simpler in many ways since my father moved in with us.
I've come to enjoy cooking again 
(as opposed to running over to the local cafe frequently).
My crockpot is currently working for me,
wafting scents of a combination of pork, potatoes and green beans
covered with cream of chicken soup and a bit of dried Ranch Dressing mix.
I'll add some applesauce to our menu, frozen earlier this autumn.
Meanwhile, outdoors...
my husband is putting finishing touches on our front door.
New paint and a brass kick plate.
"Novembers have never been more beautiful," I think to myself.

one more mirror

 I'm really happy with how this panel we purchased long ago for $1
turned into a full-length mirror. 
It's middle part was removed and replaced with the mirror.
It will serve as a unique top for a sofa table, I think.
Meanwhile, I enjoy the architectural impact
this wood piece has made on our stair landing,
thanks to the creative work of my husband!

making do

Dear oh me!  These curtains have been hanging FAR too long.
The color scheme in our living room no longer goes with the rose color in them.
Budget constraints prohibit new curtains in the immediate future,
but as I looked at them in the dark, morning hours 
I had a brainstorm!
I removed them from the rod,
eliminated some cobwebs,
and to the washing machine went the curtains.
Once washed and dried, we rehung them THIS way...
Yep!  Inside out. 
The colors look a bit more faded.  The red/rose colors aren't as prominent.
 I'm going to try hanging them straight up and down yet.
That may make it even better!

Use it up;
Wear it out.
Make it do
or do without! 

"i love it so"

I moved into this darling 500 square ft house in January 2012. The bones were perfect for my cottage style. The most important thing I want to show is that I believe the only new thing you will see is the sofa, my sunglasses, and some dishes. Everything else is old. I don't care that much for new. I love it so, enjoy. (Scarlett Fiona Reed, here)
 I don't care that much for new either!  
....don't judge you if you do,
but it's how I "roll"...

significant results

After painting the base, My Guy attached it to the top.
A final waxing over the stain resulted in a great looking board.
It just fit the space it was meant for!
I put pottery pieces on (and below) it....
but looking at the photo helps me see that there are too many "smalls".
I shall work at arranging this to be less cluttered.
I learn much from My Guy who accomplishes so much.
I watch him patiently fill his spare minutes and hours 
with chores and tasks (small and large)
 that add up to Significant Results.
 Above:  Improvement
Below:  A different mirror was the perfect finishing touch.

repurposing. again.

When we moved this shelf from it's perch on the stairway landing
to the "new" room, I knew I would need to replace it with SOMEthing.
Looking around - outdoors, even -
I eyed the rusted base to a patio table.
Topped with a beautiful oak table leaf,
it is well on its way to being the perfect replacement.
Thanks to the skill of my husband,
the top was given a classy edge and the base will be painted black.
Use it up;
Wear it out.
Make it do
Or do without!

the dark side

However light the current decorating trends may take us,
I remain charmed by the dark side.
Sitting in my rocking chair this morning before the sun rises,
 I am more at home than ever with my dark wood, candles, books,
and simple furniture.
 Accessories, recently re-curated, catch my eye
as I sit back with a fresh cup of coffee
to enjoy the dark side a wee bit before the day turns busy.


It was the perfect size for this spot in our "new" old room.
This called for a makeover!
Yes!  That's more like it!

fit and trim

I wanted corner guards to protect some corners from gouging.
We'd added some to a few corners upstairs some time ago.
I'm CERTAIN we didn't pay the $30-$50 they "go" for now on the internet,
and no local lumber or big box stores had them available.
we purchased 8' lengths of corner trim at $2.98@.
My handy husband cut proper lengths and carefully fashioned trim
from a piece of scrap trim to top each piece.
The photo turned out light, but you can get the idea of how each guard is topped.
I'm ecstatic!
Now five new corners in our house are fit and trim
at a very affordable price.

masculine vibes

 While not finalized (is it ever?),
I've had a good time adding masculine vibes
 to our newly remodeled bathroom.
This shelf & its contents, for instance...
Hubby attached the wooden towel rack to the bottom
after a few adaptations to make it fit.
Everything here was repurposed, by the way,
and probably purchased at a thrift store or garage sale.