decorating with dodi

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 4 Autumn

So we're on day 4 of our autumn tour of my house and even I am running out of things to say about acorns, leaves and pine cones.

The family room is kind of large - not large by today's standards in the new homes that are being built - but large for a room in a 37 year old home. It has quite a bit of autumn, but somehow doesn't photograph that well. I promise it looks cozier in real life.

The mantle is looking a bit tired to me. I looked at some gorgeous, new swags today that were full of leaves , acorns, etc. and very, very lush. They were 50% off at Hobby Lobby but even at that, they were not cheap and the thought of having to store more things that large almost gave me apoplexy! I truly don't think there is one square inch of hiding (storage) left in this house - and that includes under beds, inside decorative boxes, in drawers and on every gorgeous, huge floor to ceiling shelf my son-in-law installed on every wall of my garage. There is barely room left for a car, so I'm guessing it's time to call it quits!

The rusty leaf candelabra on the mantle is another of my treasures from Shannon Roth. I think I bought each configuration of this thing when I found them. I love their "rustiness"!

I do love the colors, scents and glows of autumn. They always calm me down and allow me to slow my pace just a bit and take more time to just sit and enjoy.

The entrance and bedroom are the only rooms left I am going to show you. I have been waiting to take the bedroom pictures until the TV and its large TV stand were put back in place. They have been pulled out from the wall for the last 4 days waiting for a TV technician - yes they still have them - who knew! - to show up. It has been forever since we needed a TV repaired. Now we have this monster, hi def thing that cost a fortune (except my husband thought he got such a good deal, he bought 2 hence the big monster thing in my bedroom that required a very precise sized piece of furniture to go on that couldn't be found so I had to pay way too much for one that isn't even well made....but, I digress! ) In any case, he finally showed up and of course, the thing that is broken is the biggest part there is apparently and not something normally carried, so it will be at least 7-10 more days until the part arrives and then who knows how long before it gets installed - but again, I digress!!!! We have now pushed the monster back against the wall so we can walk and the carpets can get cleaned this weekend. I am getting used to not watching TV in bed. I really would much rather read any way, but my eyes have gotten so bad that they get tired rather quickly at night and I find myself turning off the light before my husband has even made it to bed. Then, I wake up when he comes in. He doesn't have to come to bed early because he has been watching his normal sized TV in his office but then again......

It's a good thing my house is decorated in autumn right now. I will be putting those colors, scents and glows to the test! I feel the need to sit and calm down - can't imagine why my blood pressure is on the rise??!!??

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 3 of Autumn

I FINALLY got the dining room table clear again! Really didn't know it would be the task it turned out to be, but for the moment, I am done Halloween crafting and no longer have all of those ideas hanging over my head. Guess it's time now to take a look around outdoors as I have been neglecting the gardens, gutters, etc. for far too long! UGH!!

Here are a few of my autumnal decorations in the dining room. Others I left out as they somehow look better in person than in picture form. I am feeling the need for LARGE branches of fall leaves. I think I used to have them but I guess when I went on my "clear out a bit" binge, I got rid of them. After a number of seasons they just became dust collectors, but now I feel something is missing. Too bad I don't live somewhere where I could just go out in the yard and cut some but about the only thing here to cut right now would be ugly Live Oak leaves. I think I'll pass. Of course, the more I cut of those ugly things, the less would wind up in my pool, so maybe I should give it a try!

The lanterns on the niche I bought at Pottery Barn last year. Just HAD to have them because they looked so good in their huge store on their HUGE mantles and tables. Somehow they never quite translated that way in my house and I have difficulty using them in a creative way. I know there are so many more things I could do with them but I think I'm already thinking ahead to Halloween and just glad to have them up somewhere right now. Any ideas?

The apothecary jars are also just filled with the usual, but I'm O.K. with them. I do love all things mercury glass and will snatch that up whenever I see it! I even found a bunch of large orange mercury glass votive holders ( pretty green ones as well ) on a very rare trip to Big Lots. I bought all they had because orange and green will cover many holidays when mixed with the silver, gold and red ones I already owned. I love the glow the candle gives off coming through mercury glass.

And again, lots of rust seemed to pop up. The rusty leaf candleabra I bought a number of years ago at a gorgeous home decor boutique here in Ocala called Shannon Roth Designs. Her store is chock full of beautiful, European style decor. I can always count on finding something unique there and she is faithful to the seasons as well. The only problem is that uniqueness often comes at a pretty steep price and that is the case here! I get into big trouble every time I step in the door. I can't help myself. Something comes over me. I am helpless. I am a kid in a candy store again. I must have one of get the idea. I try to stay away!

I actually have today to myself. Don't know how that happened as my week was fully booked last night but appointments have been changed and I am looking at a day to do only what I want. I'm leaning toward going through old magazines, e-mails, etc. but will probably give in to my guilt and hit one of the chores on the ever growing to-do list. Maybe I'll even tackle one of the outdoor chores as I detected the slightest hint of coolness in the air this morning!

More Is More

Taking a break from pictures of my autumn decorations as I finish off a few Halloween projects so I can clean off my dining room table so I can take pictures to show you my next installment of autumn decorating. So..... these are a few of my "cheap" crafts - always good - because apparently I bought all of these things in the past & just got around to making. On second thought, I guess they aren't that cheap, but I digress......

The 2 postcard tags came from a kit. I think it was to make a banner but because I think I made enough banners last year - we'll see when I actually unpack - I thought a few different things for my spooky branches would be good. I didn't actually like the way they were meant to be made, so I changed them a bit, but they're still not a favorite. There are 4 more left in the kit to make but I think I'll put it away & wait for inspiration!

The other 2 tags are cards I bought from "Cherry's Jubilee" but I wasn't spending that much for a card, so I decided to change them up a bit & hang as well. Now that I think about it, those branches may be getting a bit crowded.

The last tag is one I made myself. I'm just getting started in the altered art, but I love it. I used a lot of Tim Holtz products and techniques. The flower is made from a scrap of black taffeta left over from a past costume. Never want to keep all of those scraps, but somehow I do and I never use them again. I don't know why I thought of this but everywhere you go you see these wrapped flowers and how easy was it - just twist, wrap and glue! Then, of course, a little glitter never hurt. It will probably hang on a jar lid or cloche.

The 2 pictures in the middle were really an after thought. I had seen where a blogger embroidered "The Raven" in the shape of the bird. I used to embroider a lot and very momentarily considered doing one myself but then sanity prevailed and I thought "why not just write the poem?" So. I found a raven outline and did just that. Somehow, that didn't move me, so I decided to cut a mat out and use it for the bird shape. I'm O.K. with it - still think something is missing, but when I had the bird that I cut out in hand, I didn't want to waste it so I thought I could use it for the reverse and hang the two pics together. I actually like this one more. I had the frames sitting around and thought they looked a bit gothic. Was going to paint them but decided against that idea in case I ever want to use them again.

Poe seems to be big in Halloween decorating this year, so I might go in that direction in one of my vignettes. Did I just say that? - I couldn't begin to tell you what is "big" in fashion this year, but I'm ALL OVER Halloween - I HAVE TO GET A LIFE!

Anyway, I'm going to clear the table today and then put out my autumn bedding so I should be ready with more pictures soon. I know you're on the edge of your seats, but you'll have to wait another day!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 2 of Autumn

Today we're in the kitchen. Not really much exciting to talk about. I did discover how many pieces of Fitz & Floyd I have and remembered how many times we made "emergency" stops at their outlet store in Orlando when we were down there for other business. It's funny how things that are once so much a part of your routine become lost somewhere and are reduced to memories. I guess we just don't get to Orlando as much as we used to when the girls were younger - Disney, Sea World, cheerleading competitions, school shopping at Altamonte Mall, dance outfit shopping at Danskin, etc. In any case, I can remember rushing into F & F to get a glimpse of all of their new items every season or holiday. I guess I may have stopped when storage became a really big issue - after all, how many large soup tureens can one use (no matter how gorgeous) and where can you store them between seasons?

The rest of the decorating is pretty straight forward. Most of it is stuff I've had forever! I did show you my "wine corner". Dorky, I know, but I love to drink out of different wine glasses for each season or holiday and I try to find a wine bottle that will complement the vignette. These little things are my way of "stopping to smell the roses" and it is amazing how they can reduce my blood pressure! Who needs drugs when you have seasonal decorating?

I am still working on a few more Halloween crafts. This morning I found a stash of ideas I had pulled last year and never got to do. Some of them I really like, so I will see if I can fit them in before costume sewing begins. I have done a few of my largest areas the same way the last few years, so I am beginning to think of some new ideas. I wish I could pull all of my Halloween out to remind me if I bought anything new at the end of last season that I am forgetting, but once it is out, it will stay out as it is pretty overwhelming!! I will do my best to try to remember. Thinking I may compress my witch collection and do a bit more of a graveyard or laboratory feel - we'll see - stay tuned!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Less Is More

So, yesterday was the day I had been waiting for for so long - autumn decorating day! After I got out all of the containers of autumn "stuff" and remembered all of the other places I had "stored" things, I took a good long look and decided this was the year that I would show some restraint. I would not use everything I owned. Of course, that only lasted a few hours as I began digging through my "old friends" and realizing that I couldn't really exclude anything without hurt feelings - mine, not theirs.

I always take pictures of my seasonal decorating to use as a starting point for the following year - and also to save countless minutes of me walking around trying to decide just the right place for this particular acorn. That being said, I am always adding new purchases or craft projects, so things do end up getting moved and tweaked a bit.

My best new friend this year is the squirrel download from Graphics Fairy. I bought several boxes of faux acorns at Kohls when Indian Summer items first appeared. I also picked up a metal acorn pot with candle inside. That kind of set the theme and when I saw this download, I knew right where I was going with it. And, to make matters even easier, the next day they showed a completed project using the download. Exactly what I would have done if I had thought of it myself!. So, no brain cells were lost in the completion of this project and I love it! I just copied the picture, distressed it a bit and tied it on some pages from an old book with twine. I then propped it (because I apparently packed away my flower "frog" with Valentine's stuff and don't have the energy to go find it) up and added some autumn leaves and acorns. I love the cloches and apothecary jars and have many but sometimes I am at a loss as to how to fill them - you will see what I mean when I show you the dining room. I'm hoping some inspiration comes before I have to show that to you!

It is very obvious who my favorites are - I use them in places of prominence every year - the sunflower arrangement in the LR (bought at Julies in Indian Rocks Beach. Have a trip planned there in a few weeks and can't wait to see what she has this year!), the papier mache' pumpkin that I made many years ago (I saw one in a VERY pricey catalog and knew I couldn't replicate it because of the beautiful, velvet grapes. Lo and behold, I was in a little shop somewhere, and there were the grapes. They weren't cheap themselves, but I just bought a paper pumpkin at Michaels, painted and antiqued it and embellished with ribbons and the grapes. It really looks almost exactly the same, but cost SOOOOO much less. I don't think it would have worked with just plain, plastic grapes, so I'm thankful), my large candleholders from "The Barn", my glitter pumpkins that my grandchildren and I made last year and the beady candleholder I found at Z Gallerie a few years ago.

I also noticed another theme, but it doesn't surprise me. I love Rust. The older, the better! And, I will pay lots of money for things that look old and beaten - go figure! My husband always asks "how much did they pay you to take that off their hands?" After all these years, he knows me. Sometimes in this very chaotic world, it is the little things that matter and if it is not being with family, I will take my peace from a lovely, rusty anything!

So that is the living room. I still may add or move a thing or two, but it is the most "visitor ready" room in the house. When I finish with this, I am heading back to the dining room to try and finish my Halloween crafts so I can photograph that room soon. The table is still piled high, but that didn't stop me ! No way !! I just decorated around the mess - quite a sight to behold!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Do the Ends Justify the Means?

This is a question I ask myself a lot. I am a firm believer in "where there's a will, there's a way". As you can see, my mess got bigger as the day wore on. Don't have the heart to show you what it looks like as we speak!

In any case, I am now done with the things I want to use as Halloween gifts this year. I bought some altered Bingo cards from "Cherry's Jubilee" last year and loved them. Spent this past year searching out supplies so I could make them myself. I hang mine on some large, spooky metal branches I purchased from Pottery Barn a few years ago, but they look equally as nice hanging from branches, cabinet knobs, large apothecary jars or over the corner of a mirror or picture frame.

I love all things vintage and can never have enough pictures of Halloweens past, so the vintage image blocks fit the bill.

The thing in the middle is a faux canvas I bought at HL this past summer for 50% off. Since it was a black chandelier, I immediately thought of Halloween (yes, even though it was 105 degrees in the shade. That's how my brain works) and thought it might add a touch of class to my decorations - if there is such a thing?! So far, I spritzed it with copper Glimmer Mist, glittered the crystals and added glittered embellishments. I'm not sure if I'm done nor am I sure I even like it but I will leave it alone for a bit and see how I feel next week. Moods and opinions change around here momentarily!

Now that I've spent 3 days crafting, I have a mountain of cleaning up to do - refer to top of page only imagine it even worse. Then, the rest of the week is pretty well spoken for. But, come Saturday morning you will find me dragging out the autumn Rubbermaid containers and my favorite season of the year will begin - at least in my world it will!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

And So It Begins

O.K.! So this is my designated crafting, sewing, blogging, etc. area. It is also the "dorm" for grandkids. The area you can't see on the left houses bunkbeds and trundle bed. It has worked out real well for sleepovers but not as well for me as I thought when I designed it. Of course, now that I'm looking at the space through "new" eyes - it really doesn't look that bad to me in person- I see why I can't accomplish much in here any more. The desk area at the right is covered in 4th of July pages in the process - and I haven't touched them in over a year!!!!! I like to think of myself as a fairly organized person. Maybe I just have too many irons in the fire. Maybe this is why I keep putting off all of the things that I REALLY want to do. In any case, I'm set up in the dining room for my next craft foray and we'll see how far I get before all of this mess gets to me!

O.K. Fast forward several hours and this is the new mess I've created. The plan was to work in the dining room where I had everything separated in areas - glitter, paper, embellishments, ribbons & fibers, rhinestones, etc.,etc.,etc. When I was finished with something, back it would go to its designated area. I thought that was a good plan. If only I had stuck to it! In any case, I turned out a few Halloween gifts - many more to come today if I can just find the paper, ribbon, etc., etc., etc. I promise I will have pictures of finished projects by tomorrow! Those of you receiving them as a gift will either need to look away or act surprised when I give them to you!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Still Remembering

It has now been almost a week since P's birthday party and I'm still thinking back on the day. It is always memorable when all of my family can be at the same place at the same time these days. I love how my girls try so hard to continue to work these days out, as I know it gets harder and harder as my grandchildren get older and have more commitments of their own. I cherish each and every time we can pull it off. Usually try to get a picture of my husband and me with all 7 but they were all going in different directions and having so much fun that I forgot about it this visit.

Thought I would share a few more images from the party as well as one of the boys from a recent stay in Ocala. We had spent the day at the park (well, mostly in the car trying to find the shadiest park, but that is another story) and came upon this NASA space module that "just happened" to land in Ocala. You can probably tell how "excited" the boys were, but Nana couldn't miss this photo op!

I know I have been promising Halloween -or at least fall- for awhile now and yesterday I set out to deliver. I took some time to organize both my thoughts and supplies. Seems that since I love this time of year so much, I apparently purchase anything in autumnal colors or black & orange all year long. Then, I must have a tendency to just "stuff" wherever I can find an inch. Before I start any seasonal anything, I really have to dig around and remind myself what I have. I also bookmark many, many ideas which need a little prodding before they come back to me. In any case, that was all done yesterday and the plan was to start today bright and early on Halloween crafting.

And, there was really nothing wrong with that plan except that I awoke to the most glorious rain storm this morning. It is really coming down. That is the perfect reason to give myself to today to light some candles and either curl up with my book or watch "Howard's End" or "The Shadowlands" (both of which I have been craving lately). Don't know which way I will go just yet but I can't really go wrong whichever I choose. I love rainy weekends!

I know my life is exciting - keeps you on the edge of your seat, doesn't it? Stay tuned for more adventure!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sweet P's First

I have been missing in action for a week or so as I have been busy with end-of-the-summer fun with grandchildren. First, I spent several days in Gainesville helping daughter #2 get her classroom ready for the start of the new school year. We had fun designing and constructing her new bulletin boards. Then, I got to "steal" her 2 daughters and bring them home with me for several days. This may seem like a simple task for a grandmother, but as those of you who have been there know, the older they get, the harder it is to find free time for Nana & Papa as their schedules get progressively fuller and fuller.

In any case, we had a wonderful, stress free time and then headed to Lakeland for Presley Paige's first birthday party. The theme was "Sweet P's Sweet Shoppe" and was so much fun. Jennie & I got most of the decorations assembled at my house on her last visit and then she filled in the blanks with lots of yummy candy, cupcakes and food. It turned out to be a beautiful day - rain is always a worry this time of year in Florida - but blistering hot. Of course that didn't stop the fun and all of the kids had a great time! I actually heard a few of the adults who want the same theme at their next birthday party! It was a special day as all of the family and many friends were able to gather and celebrate Presley turning one. When I look at my oldest grandchild who is now 14, I know the years will fly by in the blink of an eye, so I am happy to celebrate each and every milestone as they come.

Since I was gone or occupied for so long, I am running a bit behind on my chores, but rest assured, once I am caught up, I will be starting on autumn and Halloween, All but one of my grandchildren have decided on costume ideas for this year, so I am off to Hobby Lobby and JoAnns tomorrow to begin buying patterns while they are on sale. Truly can't wait to get started! And maybe I'm "wishful thinking", but I thought I detected the slightest hint of coolness in the air this morning!!!