decorating with dodi

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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Wearing of the Green

I know it is still February, but you know my house has been decorated since I took down my Valentine's Day stuff so let the tour begin!

I am in love with the Pottery Barn spring catalog. I could literally jump into the pages and live there. But alas, we don't have a Pottery Barn nearby and there isn't a trip to one planned for the very near future, so this vignette is as close to a page from the catalog as I can get right now.

The olive jar is from my last trip to PB but anything else new was found at Hobby Lobby or Home Goods. The large candle holder is one of a set I bought at a local interior design store here in town. It looks like a piece of architectural salvage - a look I love.

As you can see, I am still using the mercury glass that has been out since Christmas. I love to use it for any occasion I can...especially if it means one less thing to pack up!

The rest of the room is pretty straight forward. The cloche holds a little "story of an Irish dancing girl". I downloaded a picture of an Irish lass and then added my little statue, some glittered shamrocks tied with some holiday ribbon, a fedora, some gold coins and scattered shamrocks. As I was posting this, I realize that I have already changed the coffee table. I found several bird cages at HL the other day for 50% off and just had to have them. One of them now resides on the coffee table. I will take another picture and post it soon. Stay tuned.

I'm Movin' On Up

Or at least I feel that way. This has been a bit of a whirlwind week ending with 2 granddaughters spending the weekend with us. While here, I mentioned that I would like my blog to be updated and before I knew it, I was getting a lesson in computer things I didn't even know existed! How do you like my new banner? I love it and my goal is to update it every month to match the season or holiday. Of course, that is assuming that I will even begin to remember what they taught me...and that is a mighty big assumption!

In any case, my granddaughters asked if we could make this a St. Patrick's weekend like we used to do when they were little and I was only too glad to oblige!

Sadly, we didn't get to any crafts as we had so much else we wanted to fit in - including swimming (them, not ME) in my pool which had to be at least 10 degrees below zero. I couldn't believe they did it but I guess it's great to be young!

The one thing they really wanted to do was make a "green" meal for Papa. In the old days, this was easy...a little food coloring in your mashed potatoes and milk and a meat loaf in the shape of a shamrock and you were good to go. But, these days we had to work around vegetarians (me) and picky eaters (the rest of them!). We settled on whole wheat pasta with pesto, fresh broccoli, sauteed spinach and a big, green salad with lots of fixings to each person's specifications.

The picture below of the food does not make it look all that appetizing, but it was delicious and we all ate lots! The girls decided on the table setting. We had lots to choose from as I have MANY sets of dishes in all colors and patterns...not to mention tables linens and glassware of all colors and forms. They decided on a casual look as we were sitting in the sunroom not the dining room. We filled the table with so many pretties that we had to move my tea cart out there to use for the food which delighted me since it is probably one of the few times I've actually used it for its purpose since I found it many years ago in an antique store in Maitland...but I digress!

In any case, a perfect weekend was had by all culminating with a G.S. cookie booth sale in Gainesville on Sunday afternoon. The weather was picture perfect but more than that, I was reminded of the goodness in people there still is in this day and age. Not everyone bought cookies, but everyone was still incredibly nice to the girls and encouraging. Many shared stories of their G.S. experiences and many more gave us donations just because. It was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful spring afternoon and the enthusiasm of the young is contagious! I think I sang in the car all the way home!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lucky Me... have all of these neat grandchildren who are willing to humor me with my "eccentricities". Even though they occasionally complain, I think they really like it when we do our dress-up photos. These again are from last year, but I have a birthday coming up so I hope we will be together some time soon and can take some new pictures for this year.

How lucky am I also that my grandchildren not only enjoy doing crafts with me but they sometimes are even the ones who instigate our craft sessions. The leprechaun below is one of our go-tos - for home, school or scouts. When making him when money is no object, we use terra cotta pots. When I used to make them at school, I would substitute heavy plastic cups. Either way they are cute and we usually fill them with green wrapped Hershey Kisses, so the kids are very partial to them.

This is kind of a play on the same idea, but I was looking for something a bit different since we have done the other one so often. We had lots of fun making this hat, but when we were done my grandson asked me where we were going to put the candy! Guess I forgot to think about "the most important" part!

St. Pat's rendition of our famous (or by now infamous) paper napkin decoupage plate. I just can't get enough of these things!

A few years ago I was desperate for a St. Pat's craft to do with the kids and came up with this shamrock made out of 3 hearts. I was O.K. with them when we made them, but now I'm thinking they may need some bling. Have some thoughts going on that subject and if time permits, I may get in there and change it up a bit this year - we'll see.

And this is my all-time favorite St. Pat's craft. It is a flower pot glued on an inverted flower pot saucer and embellished. I love it because it has a bit of a presence. This one sits on a large black candle holder in the living room. The kids enjoyed doing them because they each got to do their own flower arranging and each one is so different on just that aspect.

My house is almost finished being decorated but I took a bit of a break today to paint some furniture...I told you I was getting antsy to do some quick changes and there is nothing like paint. I had actually painted the bottoms of 2 pieces in my dining room black a year or so ago but I left the top stained as I had a lot of other stained furniture. Little by little, the stained furniture made way for painted furniture and this morning I took a notion to finish off the tops of these pieces as well. I will get some pictures soon and show you the befores and afters and see what you think. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green.....

....unless you LOVE St. Patrick's Day as much as I do!!! This picture was taken last year and I'm hoping we can all get together to do it again this year. Of course, St. Pat's Day isn't like Halloween, Christmas or even 4th of July. No one else in my family seems to feel the need to celebrate as much as I do. But, in all fairness, they do try to accommodate my obsession. Last year, they even gave me the above green cowgirl hat to add to my collection as an extra birthday present.

I LOVE decorating for this day and as soon as the Valentines come down the St. Pat's goes up. I also just love green. I think it brings a certain tranquility - a feel of nature and calm. I don't have as much St. Pat's stuff as I do for other holidays, but I would guess I have more than the average bear. And, of course, I love my holiday crafting!

I love surfing blogland as I sometimes see others as obsessed as I. Last year I found a download for these Bingo cards at "My Crafty Little Page". I printed them and made this banner that hangs on the hutch in my dining room. I simply matted the cards, embellished with glitter shamrocks and frills made from cupcake liners, punched holes and strung.

Because I love vintage postcards so much, this banner seemed like a no brainer. It hangs across the armoire in my living room. Once again, simply print, mat, embellish and string.

Here is the obligatory Bingo card from last year - seems like I made them for every holiday!

This canvas was the beginning of the subway art that is so popular this year. When this idea first came out, everyone was printing them on real canvas - which I think is still my favorite. But, now, so many people are offering free downloads of digital subway art for every occasion. It is so easy to just print and frame that I have started doing it that way myself...literally a 5 minute craft but it really doesn't give as much bang for your buck as the original. Never-the-less, I just printed the first St. Patrick's Day one I've ever seen and as soon as I buy a frame, it will find an empty spot in this year's decorations.

The last craft for this post will look familiar. I loved the Valentine frame so much that I decided to do one for St. Pat's. I used my trusty Cricut once again for the numbers and then embellished the frame with a twisted fabric flower, stamp and shamrock charm.

I am always jumping the gun on holiday decor so once the stores and the blogs catch up with me, I am sure I will see some more new ideas for this year. Stay tuned and I'll let you know!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Change is Good

I will be the first to admit that I DON'T LIKE CHANGE! But, this time of year always gets me itching to do something new and fresh around the house and life is so crazy right now that I can't even begin to formulate thoughts about any project of any size. So, as I was starting to take down my Valentine decorations, I realized that I am about over crystals. A few years ago, everything I bought had to have crystals. If it didn't, I probably added them.

I bought this candleabra in Bombay Co. many years ago. I also bought two matching wall sconces. I don't use the sconces any more but the candleabra has had many homes and is now nice and comfy hanging above the coffee table in my living room. I like that it is in an unexpected place.

But, I no longer like the crystals. So, before putting in the new candles, I pulled off the crystal roping. I left the dangling crystals. Didn't want to over do the change factor. I think I really like it better now. Not to mention that it will be so much easier to clean. Although I will admit that more often than not, all the cleaning it got was a hit with the feather duster. Very rarely, I would clean the crystals with ammonia and they always shone so much brighter when I did but it was a MESSY job so I could easily convince myself that too much shine could be dangerous to our health. Why those things could reflect the light into our eyes and we could walk right into something. And, at our age, the results could be disastrous. One very good reason to keep those crystals dingy a little longer!

In any case, I survived the change and it felt kind of good. Who knows what may be next. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Red, Pink and White...Oh My!

Valentine's Day is officially over and boy did I have a fun-filled 5 days! The kids kept us on our toes and as you can see, we stayed busy! Beside their treat mailboxes and conversation hearts, we had to make a Valentine mailbox for Hudson's school - I saw the monster idea on-line somewhere, so we went from there - and a sack for Harrison to carry his Valentines to school. He quickly got hooked on my Cricut machine and battery operated heart punch. He was so enamored of them, that we have a bit of a heart overload, but it is his sack and I told him he could decorate it any way he wanted - you should see the back! We also made the handprint pictures as gifts.

Then, just when we thought we had finished our Valentine crafting and cooking, Mommy called to ask if we could "whip up" a little something for the 7 teachers. Good thing I've been doing this forever and have quite a go-to file. If we had had a bit more time, we would have crafted something, but time was short so we went to my Red Hot popcorn recipe. It is YUMMY and relatively easy. Sometimes the hardest part is finding the Red Hots. This year after sending my husband on that task, he finally found them at the Dollar Tree. We just downloaded the tags and tied them on some Valentine bags and we were good to go!

The mailboxes were wonderful "motivators". Nana would put a small treat in them and raise the flag when "requests" were being followed. Then, when they weren't, treats would be removed. It was amazing how quickly they caught on to that concept. We only had one lost treat the whole time.....and thank goodness for that, as it was one of those "this will hurt me more than it hurts you" moments. Look at those faces. How could you really get mad?

We drove the kids home on Sunday afternoon and our daughter and her husband returned that night. We stayed over and then headed home by way of Dade City where we got to eat in our favorite restaurant. It is always decorated for Valentine's Day and this year was no exception. This has kind of become a tradition of ours and it is surprising how something so simple can be so important. I guess I'm a simple kind of gal. Don't need the reservations at some fancy restaurant and waiting in long lines. We sat by the fire, had a glass of wine and our favorite meals and life was good! The place can only be described as "eclectic", but we love it!

Now we are back in Ocala. I have commitments the next few days but am looking forward to Friday. Our weather is breathtakingly beautiful ...72 degrees and not a cloud in the bluest of blue skies... and I am chomping at the bit to decorate for spring with all of my St. Pat's thrown in for good measure...can't wait. Stay tuned.

Candy is Dandy....

Can you say sugar high? I picked the kids up Thursday morning and we have been having so much fun. I have just a few minutes while the two youngest are sleeping, so I wanted to share a bit - believe me, you will see the rest at a later date. But the "funnest" project we have done is making the conversation hearts. Any one with children should try this. It is a relatively "clean" project - sort of like Play Doh even thought you are using sugar.

I got the recipe I used from The recipe said to use a few drops of coloring and flavoring. Because I was worried that the extract would give too strong a flavor, I adhered to the recipe. The mint and orange flavors are delicious, the lemon a bit too weak and the cherry flavoring totally missing. When I do these again, I will make adjustments.

The hardest part of this project was that you had to make the candy one day and then let it dry over night before you could write on it. That is what the kids were really anxious to do.

As you can see by the pictures, they all had a good time. Our initial plan was to use these as gifts, but after the amount of "fingering" they got - not to mention Presley chewing on the rolling pin - we decided it might be better not to share...candy or germs!

Here is Presley working so hard on one of her candies. Interesting how none of hers made it to the plate. That is because she was too fast for me and they all made it into her mouth before I saw what was happening!

If you are looking for a gourmet treat, these might not be for you, but both the kids and I had so much fun with this, that we will definitely do it again. Wouldn't anybody be won over with the plate below?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love is in the Air

What a weekend we have in store! Our youngest daughter and her husband are off to a wedding in Pennsylvania - barring another snow storm - and their children will be staying with us. As soon as I entered these dates on the calendar and realized it would be the weekend before Valentine's Day, I knew we would be diving into the holiday head first!

I have so many things planned, starting with the mailboxes everyone was talking about in the Dollar Section of Target. I am going to let them decorate to their heart's content and then we will use them to get little treats all weekend long. Stocked up on lots of pre-sticky decorations so the kids can pretty much really do these any way they want without Nana's input. Should be fun.

Then, we're going to try to make the conversations hearts that have been floating around the internet. I think the kids will enjoy both making the candies and then decorating them. I will say that they may turn out to rival Godiva in cost per pound as you want several different flavors and the pure extracts are not inexpensive. I did use a coupon for the food safe markers...every little bit helps as they say.

We are also going to make Mommy and Daddy and Papa a present. I saw these handprint hearts the other day and since we have 3 sets of prints, this is a good way to squeeze them all into one picture. Plus, everyone knows how much I love crafts with handprints. Especially since my oldest 4 grandchildren are already so big we can't do handprint crafts with them any more...time goes too quickly!

I also downloaded some candy bar wrappers to make some more easy. Just buy a candy bar of choice and wrap with Valentine wrapper. If time permits, I will let the kids embellish the wrappers.

We are also going to do lots of pink, red and heart shaped food, play lots of games and just enjoy our time together. I know I will be exhausted next week as these 3 have lots of energy at almost 6, 3 and 1 1/2 but I have the rest of my life to catch up and opportunities like this don't come along every day. I will be picking them up on Thursday afternoon and then taking them back to Lakeland on Sunday evening so I will be missing in action for awhile but I will be taking lots of pictures and will have lots to share when I come back. Stay tuned!