decorating with dodi

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's Next???

As most of you who follow this blog regularly probably know, this is about my LEAST favorite time of the year!!! I am not a summer kind of girl!!! Don't like the heat or anything associated with it - except my pool and the occasional day at the beach. I love the ocean when I'm there, but it's all the preparation to get there that bothers me. I grew up in south Florida and the lake or beach were an every day thing back then. I guess I got kind of spoiled at how close they both were. I love the sand, salt water and waves. None of that is an issue for me. So why do I dislike summer so much? I think it may have something to do with how my beautiful plants and yard react to the Florida heat - everything LOOKS so sad and droopy no matter how often you water! And then, we get to the blessed relief of our summer storm pattern and that takes away most of what I can tolerate in summer - the afternoon dips in the pool.

So, you see, no matter how I cut it this just isn't my time of year. I am busy this week getting ready for our trip to St. Pete and our much looked-forward-to 4th of July celebration with the entire family and friends we only see once a year at this party. This I love. But, in the back of my mind is the idea that when we return next Tuesday, I will be taking down my 4th decorations and I go into the black hole of decorating....NO HOLIDAY to plan for!!!! I will probably once again use my sunflowers and "hot" colored items for the rest of July and August, but rest assured the minute September strikes, I will be pulling out the autumn storage containers and there will once again be a smile on my face!

If things go as they usually do this decorating time of the year, I will struggle with even remembering what fills what spot as it has been so long since I haven't had something seasonal or holiday out, but I will take pictures and keep you up to date as it unfolds.

I have found a few cute new 4th of July ideas and if time permits, I may try to make a few of them before we head off. If I do, I will be sure to share them with you. If not, expect them to pop up next year as gifts and crafts for the grandchildren.

Until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful happy and safe, family-filled 4th of July. You can bet I will have many pictures to share when I return!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

After Thoughts

Happened to be walking through the house and saw these 2 decorations that I don't think I've commented on - forgive me if I am repeating myself!

The above Mary Engelbreit print was taken from her magazine when it was still in publication. I liked the fact that every month she published a removable print in her magazine that was seasonal. It was also printed on a heavier, dull paper and one sided so that framing was easier. It was always an odd size, so you couldn't just stick it in an 8X10 frame, but because it was just for my house, I would buy a standard 8X10, cut a piece of mat board or scrapbook paper and mount the picture on top. Of course, this meant having uneven edges and would have looked so much better if the mat had been cut, but somehow I didn't mind the way it looked. And, since I wasn't buying a custom frame, it was done once again on the cheap, cheap!

This was our 4th decoration the year the girls and I were using the letters to spell out a word for almost every holiday: JOY, LUV, BOO, HOP and of course, USA. I would wait until the wooden letters were on sale and then buy up a bunch. We used paint, scrapbook paper and all sorts of embellishments to put these together and everyone's came out looking different. I think we simply cut small pieces of popsicle sticks and used them on the backs as connectors for the letters. You really could make many of these and no 2 would be exactly alike - unless you wanted them that way. And, you really couldn't make a mistake, so everyone had success no matter what their age. Sure wish I could come up with another one of these ideas for future projects. I guess we have been crafting for so many years, that there really aren't any original thoughts coming down the pike - just adaptations of old ones!

For those of you who are worrying about me because my house is rather quiet this week since daughter and grand children have returned to Lakeland to begin the packing process, have no fear. We are babysitting our "other" grand children this week and believe me, the house is far from quiet!

We really do love these animals but at our ages and with our current lives, we do enjoy the fact that we can "borrow" theses puppers whenever we need a fix and then give them back when we're ready! We are finally having rain, so I am pretty much housebound and enjoying the company. And, as long as they're here, house cleaning is pretty non-existent as hair, drool and "dog nose marks" are pretty much everywhere. I just say "I'm waiting until they leave to clean". Can you believe, most people buy that?!?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Excitement Is In The Air!

There is much excitement in the air here at our house! Our daughter and family have found a large house with everything they were looking for only a few minutes from our house! They will be moving here in the next few weeks and we are all getting very excited at the thought of having them so close.

This past week, the kids were visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Gainesville. Since my middle daughter and her family live there, they used the opportunity to get in lots of visits as well. The kids had a great time and Jennie and I went up to get them yesterday. They were having a Junior Champs track meet and we went to cheer everyone on! My brother has been in charge of this program for Alachua County for as many years as I can remember - in fact, my girls used to spend a week with them every summer and do the same track program. In any case, that will explain the following photos. The kids all had the greatest time and were oblivious of the colors of the ribbons they won - they were all just excited to win them. Hudson and Presley were too young to actually be in the program but they were able to run in a sibling's race so they too were thrilled with their ribbons!

My oldest granddaughter, Hannah, worked as a counselor at the camp all week. Here she is trying to encourage Presley to run up to that crazy group of people yelling for her at the other end of the track!

Here, Aunt "Key" and Harrison are showing Hudson how it is done!

Granddaughter #3, Morgan, spent the week with the kids helping out. I think she had as much fun as the little ones did!

You can't tell by this picture, but Presley's shoes are glittery. This child is only 22 months old, but she is "into" shoes. She notices all the womens' shoes and points or "comments". Today, there was a lady with a greyhound and while all of the other kids were enamored of the dog, Presley was busy pointing to her sparkly, fuchsia flip-flops - seriously! Might have a budding diva on our hands!

It truly was wonderful to have so many of our family so close! It just felt right! We were sharing simple things together that families that have always lived near each other take for granted. I am looking forward to so many more treasured times together without everyone having to drive somewhere! Now if we could only get daughter #1 and her family to move a bit closer.....Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cheap, Cheap...

No, this is not an Easter post. It's not that kind of cheep! I was looking to tweak once again, but not really wanting to buy much more 4th of July stuff. The internet is always a wealth of ideas with so many free downloads. I love the subway art below. I found it at "The Crafting Chicks". I did go buy the frame at HL - at 50% off - because I wanted it blue but I could have used one I had around here and then it really would have been cheap, cheap. In fact, it would have been free!

I saw this idea somewhere and just went to a free download site, found a flag I liked, printed and matted them and used left-over craft clothespins to clip onto twine.

Here is my Uncle Sam candy holder. I admit he is not one of my favorite decorations, but I own him so I might as well use him. He has been sitting with "empty arms" because everyone was sold out of 4th of July candy or not carrying any this year. Lucky me! I was walking into the Dollar Tree just as they were opening a new shipment of holiday Tootsie Rolls and I snagged a bag. Probably should have snagged several as he looks a little more empty each time I walk by....and there are NO kids here this week. Hmmmm!

This is another idea and download I found and once again I have lost the source. I am still looking and will let you know if I find it as it is such a simple craft but I love the way it fills in a little spot just calling out for something. I used a black shadow box frame from the Dollar Tree and it worked perfectly and still stayed in my cheap, cheap category.

I happened to be in Kohls the other day. I not only had a gift card and $5 off coupon, but this table runner was 50% off to start so it ended up being totally free to me. I thought it would be longer so I'm not thrilled with how it looks here but for the price and until I have time to look for a new home for it, here it shall remain!

My last little tweak wasn't cheap, but it did come from Cherry Nelson and I love her stuff...especially her 4th of July, Valentine's Day and Halloween. Her use of vintage embellishments always speaks to me. You can follow her blog at Cherries Jubilee. I will probably use this banner as a jumping off point to create some of my own but it will probably have to wait until next year as this month is flying by and "life" is getting in the way of crafting -ha-ha!

My youngest daughter and family have been in town looking for a house. They were so lucky to find just what they were looking for so they should be moved and settled in by the end of July. They will only be just a few minutes away so for the first time ever, I will be able to get my hands on grand children whenever I want! I am sure they will give me fodder for many interesting blogs to come! Stay tuned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Celebrations

I hope everyone had as wonderful a weekend as my family and I did! We were ALL (well almost...oldest daughter and her family are in Curacao) here and celebrated 2 birthdays and Fathers' Day. My other 2 girls planned and carried off the whole weekend, so I got treated as a queen as well! I must say, I could get used to that...ha-ha! The weather co-operated although it was hot - which sent even more people into the pool than usual!

Our Sunday meal started with lots of munchies - white bean dip on toasted baguette rounds, hummus with crackers, cheese and sausage, fruit and dip and veggies. Then, dinner was grilled steak or chicken, the yummiest red potatoes with onions and dill, sauteed veggies with garlic and homemade baked beans. There was tons of food and everything was delicious - and not just because I didn't have to cook!

This is where the guys spent most of their day - or watching Gator baseball or Nascar races. Of course the girls didn't spend all day in the kitchen. They managed a dip or two in the pool as well!

Lots of happy faces - just the way it should be! Not to mention the happy face on yours truly as I begin to see the end of "the patio" growing ever closer! I bought a love seat and ottoman and moved a few things around. We lit the chiminea on Saturday evening and even the guys sat over there, so I am happy. I like it when areas of the yard look pretty but I love it when they are actually functional as well. This area is close enough to the pool that you still feel a part of things but just far enough off that you also feel like you're in a private little area. I think I may be done... well, as done as I ever am done when it comes to decorating and tweaking! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


And with this view, it's a wonder I ever came home! We were in St. Pete this weekend for a dance recital for our #2 and #4 grand daughters. They were wonderful and the recital was lovely as to follow!

On Sunday, we all decided to leave all of "the world" behind and just do what we wanted - even if it was NOTHING!!! I must say, it was really a treat to do nothing and not feel the least bit guilty about it. We pretty much ate, talked, sat by the pool or swam, ate, sipped wine and did I say ate? Before we knew it, it was way past all of our bedtimes!

I must say, I could have spent many more days down there "doing" the same thing, but reality reared its ugly face and we had to return to our lives on Monday afternoon.

Then, on Tuesday, daughter #3 and her 3 children arrived for a long visit as they are now looking for a house here in town and for the first time ever, I will have family living in the same town as we do! Still having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I will be able to see these grandchildren whenever I want! Now if I could just convince the rest of the gang to move home...

The hammock is empty now, but it was occupied most of the day!

So here are a few of the recital pictures. Both girls danced in two numbers and they were aweome! We have been going to recitals for something like 12 years now and even though you know who may grumble every year, we really love it and are so proud of our grand daughters. Wasn't it just yesterday that they were little and bumping into each other on stage? Where did these beautiful young women come from...where have the years gone?!

It was a wonderful weekend and we have another to look forward to this weekend thanks to my husband's birthday and Father's Day. The above group won't be with us as they are off on a cruise to Curacao but everyone else will be here and it promises to be so much fun! Stay tuned. And, I just returned from buying a wicker love seat for the new patio so more tweaking to come. Stay on the edge of your seats for that as well-ha-ha!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Tweaking Begins!

I can't help myself! Whether it's indoors or out, I HAVE to tweak. As I said, I have been shopping the house and today I shopped some of the outdoor areas as well and found some things that have been where they were for so long that I no longer even noticed them. Today I looked with a "new eye".

This old bench once served as a coffee table in my family room when I was very country and then on my porch for awhile. Recently, it has been out by the potting bench kind of holding the over-flow of pots and saucers. The elements have not been kind to it and the front edge of the top is rotting off but I think that makes me love it all the more for my "old world" patio.

The standing candleabra has been in my dining room for years but the only time we use that room is when everyone is here and when everyone is here, we're pretty filled up in there so the last thing I want is a candleabra sitting in a pathway full of lit candles! I have used it on the family room hearth before and loved it there as well, but now it will have a chance to weather and rust and I am sure I will love it all the more when I bring it indoors again!

I will fill the empty planter soon and put tapers in the small candleabra when we use it. Tapers don't fare too well in the Florida sun so I usually just add them as needed!

Somehow I have begun "merchandising" this area as if it were a shelf in a store. I just started grabbing up anything that even looked old world and sticking it there. I love the way it looks but it will kind of make my original "serving surface" difficult to do, so we'll see how it ends up when I actually have to put it to use. Youngest daughter and family will be here for awhile soon and we will be out by the pool a lot, so I will get a chance to see how I like everything then.

When I brought out the dried topiary, I realized how much I like that look, so I will now be the search for some live topiaries of all sizes. I will probably end up cutting my own from an inexpensive shrub as the last time I checked, ready-made topiaries were a fortune but we'll see. I have a beautiful one in a large metal urn on a pedestal by my front door and am considering dragging it around for now. I paid a lot for that when I first bought it and then realized that it was just an inexpensive plant that I was giving lots of money for simply because someone took the time to trim it in a pretty shape. I think I can do that myself. We'll see! I think I'll start small.

I dragged a bunch more out here, but haven't gotten them looking the way I want just yet, so I will save them for another post. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Getting There!

The patio is done with the exception of scrubbing off the film from the mortar. The contractor was supposed to return on Monday to do that, but he has still not been here and I got tired of waiting...and, I'm sure the film will wear itself off if he never shows up - or I will do it - in any case, I had to get started. So far, I have decorated by doing nothing more than shopping my own house and yard and I'm starting to like it.

As you can see, I moved the chiminea. Apparently, it is much safer not situated so close to the fence. I really never thought about it, but I burn mostly the citronella logs and I guess they burn even hotter than a regular fire - who knew? Of course, this info came from my currently MIA contractor, so who knows!

I planted some things in the ground but wasn't happy with the heights, so I decided to intersperse some of my potted urns. I like this better for the moment.

I wish I had another chaise I could have carried over here. I love the position of my other chaise on the pool side and didn't want to give that up so I brought over one of my "bouncy" chaises - not as comfortable but great for right now because literally 30 seconds after seating myself here, the most beautiful iridescent green hummingbird came over and proceeded to flit from flower to flower within feet of me! I am totally in awe of those gorgeous birds. I have a copper "sprinkler" tree on the other side of the garden and the first time I witnessed a hummingbird land and sit on one of the branches I thought I would pass out because I held my breath for so long for fear he would fly away and I had NEVER seen a hummingbird sit still before.

The only change I have made to this is the addition of the rock. I found it as I was digging holes to plant the flowers, stuck it there for the moment and liked it.

I feel like the patio needed something of size. I will probably look for a wicker loveseat but until then, I found this old wrought iron table over on the other side of my yard. We do have almost an acre, so I'm not as ditzy as it sounds. Seems I put this in an inconspicuous spot many years ago. The chairs are long gone, but the table frame was still there as I walked by it for about the millionth time and actually SAW it. I thought it would give the patio that old Mediterranean feel but didn't want to spend money on the topper. Well, lo and behold, there was the original glass sitting not too far away. My first thought was to paint it, but it has been 3 different colors just under my ownership and I bought it in a little antique shop in Maitland many years ago, so I kind of like all of the other colors peeking through all of the chips. I brought out an old iron candleabra and sat it on the table along with a pretty pot of geraniums and an old birdhouse. I think this will look pretty as a serving table for snacks in the evening when the candleabra is full of lit candles - can't wait! Going through lots of magazines and coming up with more and more ideas, so stay tuned!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I love water features in my yard. I think the only reason we don't have a pond is because we have a pool and enough is enough! But, I would have a fountain every 6 feet in every nook or cranny of my yard if I could.

The above fountain is right outside the door to the pool. I love this fountain. I am thinking of moving it to the new patio area but then I will have an empty spot here and I don't think the bubbler fountain will look good here.

This fountain is on the path to the gazebo and also right by one of the pool sitting areas so the sound is wonderful and calming. The bucket is supposed to dump but I have tightened it so it is stationary. I like the constant dipping sound better than the dumping sound.

And now we come to my problem. I know its not the stuff restless nights should be made of, but it is the little stuff that can keep me awake. This is the bubbler that used to be in the middle of my "meditation" patio when I had constructed it. Remember, it was just some stones thrown on the ground, so electricity was easily accessible. Now, the patio is stone and concrete. It is also larger so I think we will be using it more for sitting and entertaining. Hence, I decided I didn't want to lose valuable real estate in the very middle. I decided to move the fountain to the garden area along the fence line. But then, I realized what a chore it would be to clean the filter and maintain the fountain in that small area. This thing is HEAVY. We could barely take care of it when we could approach it from all sides. I decided that I want to make my life easier rather than more difficult so I did a bit of re-thinking.

And this is my temporary solution. I simply took a ceramic pot that was lying around and flipped it over the pump. A bit of paint, a few bricks as risers and, voila! Am I crazy about it. Absolutely not. But, I can do everything it needs by myself and without injury I might add. I will be on the look out for a different bubbler pot but for now, I am O.K. with this.

Of course, that means that this beauty is now the world's most EXPENSIVE plant stand. I like the way it looks, but can't quite justify its use so I will continue to think and I bet before too long, I will find another nook or cranny that could use just such a thing! Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Let's Pretend!

So, let's pretend that this guy has on a red, white and blue suit, is holding an American flag and sports a long white beard and tall hat. Can you see it then?! O.K. I admit.... I went off in search of unique Uncle Sams and instead found this guy. He isn't my all time favorite but do you see his tag? Bethany Lowe. That says it all. He is different from any of the "pumpkin heads" that I already own and what can I say, he spoke to me! Even I was a bit embarrassed to be forking over money for this guy when it was about 100 degrees outside, but the saleslady, store owner and I quickly agreed that when you see something you like you had better buy it before someone else does. The odds that anyone else would have snatched this guy out of my grasp were probably pretty slim because 1. as I said, it IS June and 100 degrees and 2. the owner had to drag it out of the attic when I asked about any Bethany Lowe items and I'm sure he would have been shoved right back up there if the crazy lady hadn't plunked down her money.

Any way, my heart does always beat a bit faster when I spy orange and black and I will probably win this year. Yes, my oldest daughter and I have an unspoken contest going to see who finds and purchases the first Halloween goody of the year. I'm not sure this will qualify as it wasn't actually on display. Rules will have to be determined but I'm still standing a bit taller and am pretty proud of myself for this matter how I had to cheat! Now I just have to find a place to store him and hope I remember where he is when October rolls around.

On my way out to what I should be concentrating on - the decorating of the new patio. I must admit I am a bit overwhelmed as I know things need to move but I don't know where. Normally I would just drag things where I want to try them - over and over until I got it right - but we're talking about a really heavy fountain and chiminea here and the idea of that gives me pause. Think I'll just head out and see where it leads me. See you soon!