decorating with dodi

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

This guy usually stands guard by the front door, but since I moved the garden house from this area, I put him there temporarily and there he still stands. He was made by a friend of mine many years ago. He is very simple if you have the right tools but I think he could easily be duplicated with an inexpensive picket from Lowes. We used those once in GS to make snowmen and they were so fun and easy. Every year I keep this guy as a reminder of an art project in case I have grand children visiting this time of year, but varying spring breaks usually mess up any chance of that. In any case, some ears and carrots added out of chipboard, foam core or balsa wood and a little imagination and they would be adorable!

Not real happy with the flower balls in the apothecary jar but they fill the space for now. The egg next to these jars was another project that we have used for kids, grandkids, school, scouts & S.S. - a simple paper mache or styrofoam egg covered in ripped napkin or tissue paper pieces and embellished any way you want. No matter the age of the person doing this craft, they are fool proof and always come out pretty! The first was done with patterened tissue paper and the second with napkins.

This pot is a simple terra cotta flower pot painted and decoupaged with vintage images. I used them one year as Easter baskets for gifts. I like to put the goodies in something that can be used again instead of just another basket. In more recent years I have begun using things that don't even have an Easter theme. That way, they can be used for many months. I have used vases, candle sconces, lanterns, etc. The garden store is a great place to look.

The little "cabbage" basket was from MS. I was going to make them as place cards one year, but if I remember correctly, even using all of my coupons, they were too expensive to make for the end result. So, you are looking at the only one I made. I like it, but it just didn't have enough "bang for the buck"!

Having really bad weather today and is giving me trouble so I am going to get this published before it self destructs. I'll be back tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

All That Glitters...

Many years ago I was obsessed with antique candy/candle molds. I made beeswax candles or figures as gifts for every holiday. I enjoyed displaying my own bunched together with the antique molds I used to make them. That was then. The last number of years, I haven't even bothered to get them out of the boxes when I unpack my decorations. Last year, I saw "the glitter lady" on MS and she was glittering rabbits. She purchased her rabbits at some un-named boutique so we (or at least I) couldn't replicate her creation. I loved the end result, so I kind of shelved the idea in the back of my mind.

Fast forward to unpacking this year. I once again left the beeswax rabbits in the box. Suddenly I had a flash of glitter cross my mind and I thought I would try to glitter the beeswax. I wasn't sure if it would adhere, but since I already had everything, what was there to lose?

I used MS glitter glue and MS glitter - it really doesn't compare with other glitters on the market. You might be able to find some less expensive but for this kind of project you need to splurge. That doesn't mean that when I had all of my grand children glittering large paper mache pumpkins that I didn't revert to HL brand. I'm just sayin", in this case, you get what you pay for.

What do you think? I love them because they are glittered but as of this minute, I haven't really found what I want to do with them. I know they will find a home befitting their "sparkly" personalities soon!

I've had to stay close to home these last few days as I have picked up a pretty nasty infection and am supposed to be taking it easy. That has given me lots of time to fuss over things. I messed with the mantle a bit. Actually found a large bouquet of spring flowers in storage, so I swapped them out with the ones I previously had in this jar and then used a few of the old ones to scatter amongst the dogwood to bring a bit of color down to the white. I think I am liking it better, but my drugs are making me a bit loopy, so I'm having trouble concentrating. Think I will wait to judge when I'm a little more clear headed.

I also bought 4 gorgeous antique glittered eggs from Heidi Devlin. Couldn't wait for them to get here and now that they are, I haven't a clue where to use them. They have already been 4 different places and I dislike them all. Sure hope inspiration strikes soon. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Easter

I always have trouble decorating this mantle for Easter. I don't know why but I do. I don't really like the white dogwood blossoms along the eggs lights, but I use them to help disguise the ugly wires. Once again, I have these flowers and don't want to buy any others but I think the white of the dogwood somehow fights with the spring flowers in the olive jar.

Some years this area becomes the "dumping ground" of all homeless things termed "Easter". I didn't want to do that this year so I tried to go basic, simple and natural. I am still not totally pleased so if life slows down at all, this will be an area to be tweaked. Until then....

It looks like I may be leaving those shutters up. Every time I take them down, I miss the height they bring to this area. The white Pottery Barn olive jar appears in a new place filled with some silk flowers that I bought one time to replicate a HUGE display that I saw in a beautiful decor & gift shop. The only problem was that I decided that I could find something else to use beside the ALSO HUGE container they were displayed in that was for sale at an exorbitant price! I am not sorry I didn't buy the container - I AM still alive after all - but I must say that I never quite found anything that made my very close-to-the-real thing flowers look anywhere near what they should have. I have kept them hoping I would one day find the right thing but alas, I have given up on that hunt and simply stuck them in here. They were meant to hang and droop so they're not exactly right for this jar, but I already own them, so that is a good thing - at least as far as my husband is concerned!

When I put this nest on the green pedestal, I fell in love with the contrast of the purple and green and find myself leaning towards those colors a lot this season. I also love to use these old sap buckets that I bought in Dade City several years back. They (or just one or the other of them) will pop up in my decorating most seasons of the year somewhere in this house.

The tall white candlestick holds a purple vase filled with ferns. I started out to put a big egg on the top of the candleholder as I already had enough candles out this year. I didn't have one available and didn't want one more thing on my "to-do" list so I tried this and I like it. In fact, I like about anything other than a candle on a tall candleholder these days. It is a great way to add height and presence of something smaller when needed.

I can't remember where I bought these guys. They have been around a long time. They are two of the things I still use simply because of tradition although I must admit, I'm kind of O.K. with them in this area.

This is my rusty Easter hanger that I bought in my favorite shop in Dade City along with the sap buckets. It just spoke to me. I really don't think I have found its best use either. Right now it hangs across my old red cupboard in the familyroom but some day creativity will strike and I know I will do something really wonderful with it. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Just wanted to check out my new banner. I have been wanting to change ever since St Pat's Day was history, but was afraid to try without Hannah sitting right here beside me. In any case, I got up the courage and was able to remember how to change the pictures on the banner. I'm not quite sure how to fix the wording, but I will see her later this week, so another tutorial is in order. That said, I am still pretty proud of myself because not that long ago, I couldn't do ONE THING on the computer. I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

I use this spring wreath that I got at "The Barn" in Lake Alfred as my Easter wreath. I just add a small Easter plaque that I picked up at Michaels a few years ago and it works. As I'm looking at it now, I realize that it is not the greatest and maybe I should put a little more thought in it. Amazing how seeing things through "blog eyes" can change your perspective!

Close-ups of the stuff on the "hutch" area at the end of the kitchen. It all pretty much speaks for itself. The cloche holds a small pot decorated with an Easter egg. I bought the original of this at a large craft show in Tampa and then "stole" the idea and made them as gifts for everyone one year.

I love my bunny jar. I got him at the online store (Too Chic Boutique) that two of my daughters own. I have another smaller one in the guest bathroom full of egg shaped soaps. I don't think they are carrying too many seasonal things any more, but I'm sure you would enjoy seeing all of their other goodies - new things arriving all the time as they just got back from the Atlanta gift mart. Check them out!

I'm on my way to make a white cake with a hint of fresh orange filled with fresh strawberries and frosted with real whipped cream. Sure hope it tastes as good as it sounds!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring, Spring, Beautiful Spring

Bird on the wing.
Bird on the wing? Absurd!
I thought the wing was on the bird!

Am I the only one who remembers this rhyme? Every time I hear the word "spring", it comes to mind. The very first time I heard it was from a "brainiac" that was the brother of a friend of mine. I remember all of his friends laughing and thinking it was so funny. I remember my friend and and the rest of our group laughing also so the older boys would think we were cool. Then, we had to run to one of our moms and have it explained to us because we didn't know what "bird on the wing" meant....but, I digress.

Thought I would show you a few more of the pictures from my living room before heading back out and painting myself - I mean my pool furniture - although I'm not sure which of us has the better coverage! My coffee table holds another of my vintage bunnies. I got him at Shannon Roth. I used a downloaded vintage postcard - as I am often wont to do - to finish it off.

The egg wreath was a birthday gift from my brother and sister-in-law a few years ago. I love it because the eggs are very mellow and it hints at vintage and works well with all of this stuff. The lantern holds a "foil wrapped" bunny that my youngest daughter gave us all a few years ago. He reminds me of chocolate bunnies I got as a child.

This vignette is more "springy" than Easter. I just moved the cages in here and added my stone saucer raised on a stone pedestal holding a plaster bunny I bought so many years ago at a store in Gainesville called The Country Sampler. I loved that store but like so many others, it is now gone. This bunny will move into the middle of one of my pots of real grass when it has grown (the grass, not the bunny) and will be on the Easter breakfast table surrounded with all of the beautiful eggs the kids will color. We do the same thing every year but it is tradition and the eggs just look so pretty nestled in the grass!

This little guy always sits on the blanket chest. Many years ago when my now son-in-law was just dating daughter #2, this bunny showed up at my door step on Easter morning. He was sitting in a basket which I'm sure must have been filled with goodies of the chocolate persuasion. Todd had delivered it while we were at church along with a beautiful gift basket for my daughter. That could have been when he won my heart as well as my daughter's although I now suspect that his mom must have had a hand in the gift for me. In any case, that bunny comes out every year and recently I have been good enough to find him a lovely lettuce and some carrots for him to nibble on! He really is one of my treasures!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

I am pretty much done with my Easter decorating and NONE TOO SOON! I am chomping at the bit to get out and do some heavy duty gardening but I don't get release from the doctor officially until tomorrow and believe me, if I did anything to mess up my surgeries, I would never hear the end of it from my family! I have done a few things when I was outside because I am one of those people who can not sit and enjoy if there are weeds, leaves, etc. around me and boy are there a lot of both right now!

The gardening aspect is kind of overwhelming as I know I have to pressure clean all of the pool deck, gazebo roof, walk ways and parts of the fence - and that is just the backyard - but once I get going, I really enjoy it! I think this may be the year that the deck needs to be resurfaced and there is still a lot of furniture to be painted, so I won't be sitting with nothing to do for a very long time!!

In any case, I tackled the decorating first and I think I have said that I am not into the "cutesy" Easter things. I do have some as they were either gifts or have sentimental value but for the most part, I enjoy the natural feel of spring for Easter - lots of green, flowers, grass, etc. Every year I plant a lot of pots with rye seed and use that for decorating as well. They look so pretty with just an egg or small purple pansy nestled in. I have a number of wire pot holders that I store out in the elements on my potting bench. They get nice and rusty so they are just as I like when I bring them in for spring and summer decorating. What is it about rusty? Maybe I'm getting old enough to really relate!

I do still love the vintage look and this vignette in the living room has most of my vintage things.

I found this egg at Home Goods several years ago. It is actually a Bethany Lowe creation and I got it for way less than I would have in my favorite store in Micanopy that carries this brand. Bethany Lowe is a designer of reproduction vintage holiday items and her prices have gotten obscene! Guess I'm not the only one who likes vintage! This egg is a box and if they had more, I would have scooped up every one. Now I pay a little more attention as I go through the aisles and check the bottoms of a lot of things to see if they are signed.

This is probably the only area where I may purchase something new this year. In fact, I have plans to stop in Micanopy on my way home from my trip up to Gainesville this week. I will pop in on my mom Thursday morning and run some errands and then head for Micanopy. It is PERFECT this time of year. It is not "The Villages" kind of perfect - I call that place Disneyland for adults....almost too perfect. Micanopy is just a small old town with all of its quirks out there for all to see. All of the buildings are old, some are in disrepair. But, it really just lends to its charm. Wonky sidewalks, gardens a bit over grown unless the owner has finally found time to tackle it ( can we relate?) , leaves piling up, etc. But all of this pales to the feeling of old time warmth I get every time I drive up. I eat lunch in a little old cafe where a kitty may jump on your lap to join you. The people are wonderful. Kind of like you are an old friend - and with the number of times I have dropped in recently, I feel like I am. This place always lowers my blood pressure a few points and if I find a "treasure", all the better!

The small basket is from The Shop last year and the large basket and bunny are from Shannon Roth. The chick in the basket I found at HL just the other day - 50% off!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this garden house. I bought it at Target many years ago when they were featuring shabby chic. As you can see, it is one of the things that sits outside and gathers rust and crude. Am I the only one who finds that delicious? Inside I put my ever present hydrangea and a bunny that my cousin "felted" for me. I love that little bunny. He too travels around the house and this year I love the way he in peeking out. I think the dark pink on his ears and bow make your eyes go right to him. Thanks Diane!

The most current bunny pictures are a must and they sit by a small nest with lots of little tendrils shooting out. I found that in a garden shop in High Springs and it just "spoke to me". Don't really know why but I love it. Then there is my metal rabbit that I bought forever ago in a garden shop in Winter Park. I loved that store. It was in an old cottage and carried the most beautiful decorative items. I bought so many things there and then one day I stopped by and they were gone! I hate it when that happens!

I volunteered to bring dessert to a dinner we are attending on Saturday and have no idea what I will make as quite frankly, I thought my offer would be denied. I really am happy to do it, but also really have no idea what I want to make so I am heading outside with a cup of coffee and will start going through my favorite recipes. Sure hope I can ignore the weeds, leaves, etc. We'll see!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Last Hurrah!

This has been a super busy week! But, with everything going on, we were able to sneak in one more little celebration. All three kids were willing to do photos so I guess that is why we hurried ahead and completely FORGOT about all of the "props" sitting just one room away. Guess the hats, leis, necklaces, glasses and green hair will have to wait until next year. Never-the-less, we got a bunch of cute shots. Lucky you, I am only sharing a few!

A girl is never too young to start wearing "the bling"!

I had been in Gainesville over night and hurried home to squeeze in a "green" luncheon with the boys - Presley couldn't hold out and fell asleep before I got there. Boys being boys, they didn't really care about decorations - hence the lonely pot of shamrocks in the middle of the table - or the food - hence the "green peanut butter" (even they thought it was gross - all the better for boys) sandwich cut into the shamrock shape. We did put out some broccoli for dipping but gave a pass to the chips!

Managed to pull off green mint chip ice cream sundaes and St. Pat's cupcakes. The boys thought it was the greatest thing ever. If I had known how easy it was to please little boys, maybe I would have had 3 of them instead. Of course, I can't begin to make sense out of Legos, Transformers or Hot Wheel Racetracks, so I guess I'm happy the way things worked out. Raised my 3 girls and now I can enjoy the boys when things are good and "hand them back" when things get too "boyish" for me.

Anyhow, we had a fun week. Even managed to squeeze in a little birthday celebration for Harrison since we missed his real day. Pictures coming soon - stay tuned.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"My Life"

I love my life. I like to think it is what "keeps me young"...or will make me really old before my time! You see, I have 3 daughters - none of whom live in the same city as I. Actually, no one else in my family lives in the same city as my husband and I. That means I am on the road a lot! As I am getting older, the trips are getting harder but I recently had cataracts removed from both eyes, so I am hoping that will help a bit. The last year or so has been really hard as darkness, headlights, merging traffic, rain, etc., etc. were all making my life difficult and being able to see is kind of a prerequisite to driving.

In any case, I have learned to find back roads and drive a little slower and I try to keep up my routine as best I can. Hence, last week's busyness. As I previously posted, daughter #3 and family were here. I had to take a quick trip up to Gainesville for my weekly visits with my mom and that just happened to coincide with the induction of grand daughter #3 to the National Junior Honor Society. I am so proud of all of my grandchildren. Don't have enough room to list all of their accomplishments but the one I am most proud of is that they are all really good kids. And I mean deep down where it counts. They may live in the day of back talk and eye rolling (the oldest 4 ARE girls), but when you sit and talk to them, they "have their heads on straight". They are all fairly privileged and have what some may consider more than their share of niceties, but that has never been what drives them. They really care about others and their place in the world. They are people I am not only proud to call grandchildren, but friends. In any case, I love my life and all of the places I find myself and the silly things I might find myself doing!

As I previously posted,we squeezed in a birthday celebration for Harrison. He recently turned 6 and due to my eye surgeries, we weren't able to be there with him on his "real day". He is a Legos junky! He loves the things and is amazing with them! I gave him a set for 8-14 and he did a great job of figuring them out. I on the other hand, COULD NOT put together one of the sets for younger kids - with the instructions right in front of me! It took all I had not to pitch the thing through the window! I wanted to prove "we old folks" could do this, so I encouraged my husband to help. Yep, you guessed it. The 2 of us together couldn't do it either. I like to think that I am too artistic and imaginative for such mundane, directed things but I know deep down that my brain just doesn't work as well as it used to and that darn thing got the better of us! But, I digress!!!

All of that to justify why we made a Legos cake. I wanted to go the easy route as I knew the boys just wanted to dive into the decorating, so I succumbed to Sara Lee pound cakes, canned (yuck) icing and marshmallows. Just some basic cuts and we were off.

Harrison chose his favorite 4 colors and the rest was easy. Simply spread over cakes and add marshmallows at strategic places.

Some of us got into it more than others but since I knew we were the only ones who would sample this marvel, I figured it would be fine!

The weather was so gorgeous that the kids swam all day. We decided to eat outside and after a wonderful Chinese feast (Har's choice and fine with me as I didn't have to cook), the "beauty was unveiled! The kids loved it and the Dads looked on in amazement. Think we could have a side business in our future? I can see it now...Dorine and Grandsons - Cake Decorators Extraordinaire!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Pat's Day is finally here! I have had so much fun celebrating it this year with grandchildren. We have turned about everything we have eaten "green" and somehow it tastes so much better!

Gotta love Hobby Lobby. I just "felt the need" for one more cloche and there they were on sale 50% off. I am using it with my new stone saucer as a leprechaun trap and it looks like I caught one!

Found this light green urn at Dillards. It is quite large and has a bit of a presence. I thought I could have it out with other olive jars most of the year. When I took the goose out of this vignette and added the pot, it was a bit off balance so I put it up on the metal stand from a large copper bowl that I use in autumn. I think I like this area better now.

I will be enjoying the rest of the day. We have had a full week with our youngest daughter and her family visiting. Have lots of photos to share soon. I will be in the yard getting caught up on "spring cleaning" out there and pulling out Easter decorations as well. Most of my Easter is spring decorations with some bunnies and baskets thrown in. I love the vintage Easter, so that will creep in too but I'm not big on the cutesy stuff so this is an easy holiday to switch out. Back with all of that soon. Stay tuned.