Friday, October 30, 2009

Decorating with Pumpkins

I found these two pictures on Better Homes and Gardens. Sooo cute!
This first idea could be done with real pumpkins and fresh flowers. Or you could buy a pumpkin from the craft store and glue silk flowers onto it - then you could re-use it every year! Which is what I would do.

And this next picture is just so clever. Cinderella's coach - made out of junk and a pumpkin! How cute is that? This would be an adorable centerpiece for your dinner table.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

All About the Food - 12 Weeks of Christmas

Week 4 of Red Writing's 12 Weeks of Christmas is All About the Food.

For Thanksgiving and Christmas Day we have the same menu every year. It's my favorite meal!

Turkey, Dressing, Gravy and Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Beans
Cranberry Freeze Salad
Chocolate Pie
Pumpkin Pie
all the traditional southern holiday foods

But sometimes I like to make a "holiday-ish" meal that we can eat any day, but that won't take two days to cook!

This recipe is for Yum-Yum Chicken. It is layered chicken, a layer of sauce and dressing on top. It is reaaally good.

Layer the chicken, then the sauce. . .

then the stove top dressing on top . . .
and bake. It is saucy and yummy! And it's a little bit of Thanksgiving that you can make any day of the week.
Yum-Yum Chicken

6-8 pcs of chicken, boiled and cut up
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
2 boxes dry stove top stuffing mix
2 cups chicken broth
1 stick butter, melted
onion and celery, chopped and sauteed

Boil and cut up chicken. Spread in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Mix 2 cans cream of chicken soup and 16 oz sour cream. Spread this on top of chicken. Pour 2 boxes of dry stove top stuffing over the sauce. Spread sauteed onion and celery over stuffing. Mix 2 cups chicken broth and 1 stick melted butter, and pour over the top of the stuffing.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serve with cranberry sauce.

So easy and so good.

To see more holiday food ideas, go to Red Writing's.


Christmas Accent Craft - 12 Weeks of Christmas

Red Writing's 12 Weeks of Christmas - Week 3 is a Christmas Accent Craft. I posted about this last Christmas, but it is so easy, and turns out so pretty, that I thought I would share it with you again. I am really late joining in this week - but I hope this is something you will enjoy.

If you love vintage Christmas balls and you love silver, this project is for you!

I have bought a few boxes of old glass Christmas ornaments at Goodwill and un-painted them to get this look. It's soooo easy! Hopefully in these first two pictures you can tell that some of them have an old, faded silver look. Those are the Shiny Brite or other really old ornaments. The shinier silver balls are "newer" old ornaments that the color does come off of, but the silver inside is a more solid bright silver look. I do not un-paint the balls that start out silver or gold, because a mixture of those two colors is what I am going for. I love the old, faded look. And mixing it with the shinier silver gives more dimension. So - I will buy any of the old balls - but definitely the Shiny Brites.

Just hold a ball UPSIDE DOWN under hot running water. You do not want the water to go inside the ball, because if it is one of the older balls, the hot water will wash all the silver out of the inside. After just a few seconds under the hot water, you will be able to rub off the colored paint. It usually just rubs off with your finger. Every now and then you may have to scratch at it with your fingernails. But it is really soooo quick and easy!
To see more great Christmas accent crafts, go to Red Writing's!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Procrastinator Party - The Reveal

This is my new favorite thing in our house!
But I am not sure that you will think my Procrastinator's Project was completely successful. It has some issues. And it underwent some changes-of-plans. I started out with the plan to paint and hang four different large frames in four different rooms - each with it's own design plan. Well, two of them did not work out quite like I envisioned. So I have not hung them where I had originally planned to. I have to do some more thinking about them.

BUT last Friday I just suddenly decided that I HAD to paint our bathroom so that I could do this wall with one of the large frames. I have had this plan in my mind for awhile. But my bathroom has been painted in a lovely Kilz-Primer-over-ugly-70's-blue-striped-wallpaper for a very long time. I couldn't very well hang all of this pretty stuff on that Kilz primered wallpaper! So Friday I bought paint and painted (most of) my bathroom so that I could assemble this wall. All of this came from Goodwill - I mean, Bonne Volonte - or estate or garage sales. I paid $6 for the large frame on clearance at Hobby Lobby, $1 for the round frame and $1.49 for the rectangle frame at Bonne Volonte, $1 for the pair of silhouettes, and all the necklaces were $1.49 or less at Bonne Volonte or garage sales. I did buy the hooks new at Hobby Lobby. But they were not much.

I even hung all of this by myself. (I know - So what?) But in the past I have always gotten my hubby to help if I had much to hang, especially if I had to screw something into the wall. I don't know why. But this time I hung it all, and even screwed the hooks to the wall myself. And it's all straight!

Oh, yes. I am woman! Hear me roar!

Ok, now that I have shown you the pretty part, I have to confess. I did not finish my bathroom. I could have finished the ceiling, but I ran out of steam. And I knew that I could not paint around the tub, because my hubby has to finish floating out and sanding the new sheetrock here. Soooo, this is what part of it looks like. I know. Pathetic. But now that I have gotten this far, it will inspire hubby to finish around the tub, and then I will finish the paint. AND then I will get the black toile shower curtain that I want! I will show you when all of that is finished.
So, do you see why I say that my project was not entirely successful? But I have a good start on my bathroom, which otherwise would still be really ugly all over!

The frames below are what I had planned on painting for my project. Only one is up on the wall.

But I did get these two painted - so now I just have to decide what to do with them. So, even though I did not do exactly what I had planned, I did get a good start on my bathroom. So I am still happy. And without the push from Melissa at The Inspired Room and her Procrastinator's Party, I would not have even started any of this. So, many thanks to you, Melissa!

To see more Procrastinator's Projects, go to The Inspired Room!


Guest Post On Decorating

My name is Peter. I’m a freshman in high school. I’ve been homeschooled all my life. I’m writing a guest post on my mom’s blog. I take a few classes a year in a homeschool co-op and one of them is writing composition. I have to write a ‘human interest story’ for my assignment. So I have decided to write a guest post about ways my mom likes to make her house beautiful. I figured since her blog is about decorating, I should go into decorating here.

My mom loves to decorate. Especially at Christmas time. That’s her favorite time of the year. She starts listening to Christmas music in September! Sometimes even earlier than that! There are lots of things my mom decorates with that are beautiful. Like her three-tiered tray that she sets on a small old table, which she has currently decorated for fall.

My mom loves to stain furniture to a dark brown color and she likes to put old books, keys, jewelry and so forth on the furniture. One of her oddest decorations is the feather trees that she puts around the house. My family always teases her about her weird feather trees.
My mom also loves to decorate her dress form which I call a ‘crash dummy.’ She writes posts and takes picture after picture after picture about her dress form! I just think to myself, “What is so interesting about a limbless, body-shaped crash dummy that you can put clothes on?”

She gets various ideas from decorating shows, decorating magazines, other blogs and so on for new ideas to decorate with. Some of her ideas I think are plain weird, but they always turn out good in the end. Even if I do think they’re weird.

Well, writing this post was a lot easier than I thought because I didn’t have to worry about formal writing rules, such as sentence fragments or run-on sentences. Writing conversationally is a lot easier than the paper I now have to write about blogging for my co-op teacher. Who, I might add, is a groovy teacher.


Monday, October 12, 2009

How to Make A Feather Wreath - Cheap!

I absolutely LOVE feather wreaths. But they are really expensive! I have an adorable little red feather wreath that is usually on my wreath hanger on the mantel. But this year I was trying to decorate my fall mantel in chocolate, green and silver. So I realllly wanted a brown feather wreath. Cheap.

So I thought I would try to use a cheap feather boa from Hobby Lobby. And one of these wire wreath frames from Hobby Lobby.

I just cut lengths of wire and wired the feather boa to the wreath frame - put a wire about every 2 to 3" so that it stays in a nice full circle shape.

I wired all the way around the outside wire of the wreath frame, then wired all the way around the inside-middle of the wreath frame.

One feather boa was the perfect length to go around twice on the 12" wreath frame from Hobby Lobby. The frame was $1.99. The feather boa was $6.99 (I think) - and you could use a 40% off coupon on the feathers!
It was a little tedious. So you might not want to do this on a day that people have been getting on your last nerve like I did. But even on a day when I had used up all my patience at work, this only took me about 30 minutes.

And then I had a great, cheap, chocolate-colored feather wreath for my fall mantel. It looks great!

I'm going to make a black one sometime soon! Because every room needs a little touch of black!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Christmas Memories and Traditions

Here we are in Week Two of Red Writing's 12 Weeks of Christmas - Christmas Memories and Traditions!

I think one of my favorite traditions, with lots of memories, is our tree decorating party. All of my growing up years, my parents and my sister and I would go out one night to several Christmas tree lots to find our tree. Then a day or two later we had our tree-decorating party. We always had some food and Christmas music to go along with the evening. My dad always put the lights on the tree first, then we would all decorate it together. My mom always made this night feel like such a big deal for all of us.

So when my husband and I got married, I carried on this tradition.

Every year my husband and I and all three kids go shopping for our main tree together. (This is for our main, real tree - I do put up other trees around the house.) And the night we decorate it, we have an assortment of party foods. This is not hard - I buy things from Sams or Costco like those little frozen quiches, taquitos, deli spiral roll-ups, etc. I try to get 3-5 different non-sweet finger foods. And I get 1-2 sweet items that are ready to go. I do make a batch of fudge. Because fudge is required for your tree-decorating party! I put all these finger foods out on the coffee table on pretty Christmas platters. And we have Christmas music playing.
My hubby puts the lights on the tree. I put the beads or garland, with one of my daughters helping. Then hubby and I watch the kids put on all the decorations. Then we all just sit and eat and look at the pretty tree and talk. It's just always a perfect night.

Every year since they were born we have let the kids pick out at least one new ornament to buy. They range from Disney characters, to sports-themed, to traditional, to really pretty blown-glass. It's fun to see all of their interests over the years displayed in their choices. We have marked all of their ornaments with their initials and the year they purchased them. When they move out, they can take all their ornaments with them for their trees.
It is really fun to watch them sorting through all the ornaments so that each child ends up with a pile of their own ornaments to hang on the tree. They have sooo much fun looking for all of their ornaments from over the years - I highly recommend this tradition! Your kids will love it!
Ok, thinking about that night really puts me in the Christmas mood! I'm ready to start decorating! Aren't you?

For more Christmas Memories and Traditions, go to Red Writing's -

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dear Santa, Here's My Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa,

Hope your year has been a great one! I have been counting down till Christmas since December 26th of last year. So I am reallllly excited that we are finally getting close. You know, I think my dream job would be to work for you! Creating new things every year for all the people who love Christmas as much as we do! If you ever have an opening in your "Dream It, Create It" department, please let me know!

Well, here is my wish list for this year. I don't want all of this (well, I do, but...). I am just giving you quite a few options to choose from, so you can surprise me!

  • some silver trappings for my house (duh!) - I love old sugar & creamer sets, salt & pepper shakers, tea pots, butter dishes, serving pieces, elaborate candelabras, etc.
  • vintage, sparkly, rhinestone jewelry
  • vintage pearl jewelry
  • heads to add to my collection of ladies and gentlemen
  • a beautiful, old chandelier dripping in crystals for my dining room
  • and I always love to get new Christmas decorations!
  • a new cell phone - WITH internet access - I want one with a full keyboard, and probably a touch screen - you see, I want to be able to post to my blog and twitter and facebook from my phone AND be able to read all the blogs I follow from my phone - I really need the internet access!
  • and while you are at the Verizon store, could you get me a Verizon wireless card for my laptop so I can get internet access on my laptop from ANYWHERE
  • a vintage dress form with the wire cage at the bottom so Francesca has a friend

I can't wait till I can start actually decorating for Christmas! It must be wonderful to live at the North Pole and be able to keep your Christmas decorations up all year round! And have a fire always going in the fireplace. Hot chocolate or Starbucks Peppermint Mocha every night. Christmas cookies every day. Oh, really Santa, if you need some help, please call me!

Red Writing had a great idea to help us keep in touch with you better - you should get Mrs. Claus to set you up a Facebook page!

I can't wait till you stop by! I will leave some milk and fudge out for you!

Much love,


For more Christmas lists, be sure to follow Red Writing's 12 Weeks of Christmas!

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Procrastinator's Party!

Melissa at The Inspired Room is having her second Procrastinator's Party! Just in time to get some of those projects done before the holidays get here!

The project I am proclaiming is the frames below. I have four large frames in my garage that I have had for a couple of months now. I want to paint them - three black, one possibly creamy white.

I have plans for them all - four different rooms, different uses in each room. None of them are for framing a picture! Now that it is cooler outside, I think I can stand to go outside to spray paint. Until now it's been so dang hot I wasn't about to go outside to paint!!! No way!
I bought them for $6 to $8 each on clearance at Hobby Lobby.

I think I will need my boots when I paint because in Kansas the wind is allllwaaaaays blowing. Here is my tip of the day for you - if you don't want your shoes to also be spray painted, you, too, can wear boots just like mine!
I started to choose my bathroom for this project, which is STILL painted in Kilz-primer-over-ugly-wallpaper. But I was afraid I wouldn't get it done. I'm still thinking about trying to do it, too. But I don't know. Uuuuhhh. Pathetic. Well, if I do it, you can be sure I will show it at the reveal in two weeks, too.

Go to The Inspired Room to see more before photos - and then come back in two weeks for everyone's after photos! I can't wait to see what you do, too! I need some more inspiration from you!


Thursday, October 01, 2009

An All Natural Christmas

I just bought the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication called Christmas Ideas. It has a lot of great stuff in it. But these pages just took my breath away!

Natural materials are added to the home's regular decor. The collections of old books and creamware on the mantel take on a whole new level with all of the nature-y items added. Lots of pinecones and feathers in the "wreath" above the mantel, and on the garland that is hanging from the mantel. I LOVE that garland!!! Little pinecone topiary trees, pomander balls, rust colored bows, a sprinkling of snow.

I think this might be my ALL-TIME favorite mantel. It. is. PERFECT! (Well, minus the deer head.)

I am thinking about doing my fall mantel similar to this. Then I can do a little changing around after Thanksgiving - like adding my stocking holders (which are cast iron fleur de lis shapes - so they would go great with this look) and stockings. Then I can have this look from now through the end of the year!

These pictures came from the magazine shown below. It's got some other good stuff in it, too.

I can't find my box of fall decorations. I think it is buried way, way back behind all my Christmas boxes. I think today I will have to empty that storage closet and unearth my fall and Christmas greenery. I will show you my mantel when I get it done. Soon. Not today. I don't know when. But soon.