decorating with dodi

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Greetings...

Wishing everyone all of the blessings of this beautiful holiday!

Almost Ready....

for Turkey Day!!! And no, I don't mean the decorating. That has been done for awhile. I am just now getting around to showing you the last of it. I mean my appetite. I have been in training for the big day for awhile now. Eating a little more each day until I was stuffing anything I wanted into my mouth. I would like to say it is in preparation for all that turkey I will consume tomorrow but since I am a vegetarian, that isn't exactly the case. But, if I can get away with that excuse, I'm sticking to it. There is just something about this time of year that makes food so much more comforting and cozy. Think of the trouble I would be in if I lived somewhere where it really got cold and I got snowed in.....

I am using today to tie up loose ends. We have 2 birthdays to celebrate in the next few days as well as Thanksgiving. I am getting the house in order for anyone who may end up back here and I am thinking of what I will need to pack on Sunday as we head off for my husband's yearly tax seminar. Plus, it looks like we might have 5 of the 7 grandkids here as their parents attend the "big game"-FL vs. FSU. So, before this season is gone and I am on to all things red and green, I will walk you through the rest of "autumn".

This is my old tureen set on my old "Publix Pilgrim platter". Somehow I think they look like they belong together. I am taking very good care of all of my old Publix pilgrim things. I don't think they are making them any more and I have seen them in antique shops already. Some day, they may be worth least a few dollars more than I spent-ha-ha.

The bottle at the left of the above display has a Thanksgiving label on it that I downloaded from Better Homes & Gardens. They have so many label downloads and would make the perfect gift to take along to any affair this holiday season. The bottle on the right is one I found years ago and just keep it for this vignette every year.

I love this pot. My youngest daughter made it for me last year. I think she said she painted a large washer with some gold paint and used electrical tape for the band-so simple, but pretty. I wanted to fill it with a live mum plant, but when I got to Lowes, the mums were all gone and the poinsettias were everywhere! I stuck these silk leaves in until I could search further and as it turned out, I like them just as much so they are still here.

These few pictures show some of my turkey gifts made over the years. That is what I love about this holiday-it is all about family (although that is pretty much what all of my holidays are about). I can continue to use my "gifts" no matter how shabby they get. The bottom turkey in this picture was actually made by my youngest daughter and she has her own children now making turkeys, so you can guess how many years that has been hanging around.

This guy was made when the kids were really young. I think I cut everything out and then all they had to do was glue on the feathers. The body is a coffee filter that we simply dropped drops of food coloring onto. Used to do these back in my teaching & Brownie days to include a lesson on color mixing.

Always love anything made with hand and foot prints!

I can't tell you how old these guys are. I am pretty sure I bought them the first year I was married-and that was 46 years ago-and before that, I remember a pair just like it in my home as I was growing up. They are candles and were available in Woolworths for probably cents apiece. I love them. They say Thanksgiving to me!

Cross stitch I made many years-and eye surgeries- ago.

I hope everyone has a beautiful, family-filled Thanksgiving. Our family has always had so much to be thankful for but this year is a little extra. We just learned yesterday that my middle daughter, after a 3 month chemo battle with Hodgkins lymphoma, is cancer free! Now she will begin a radiology protocol and before we know it, this will be behind us. I haven't talked about this on this blog before today because I didn't want this to be a place of sadness but those of you who know me might have realized that my thoughts were a bit more scattered than normal recently. This is the 2nd time my family has faced this horrendous disease-the first time was when my 3 month old grand daughter was diagnosed with liver cancer-and I know that all you can do in these time of crisis is to gather everyone together and hold tight...and somehow, your strength will flow from one to another. When one is down, there will be someone there to hold him up and so on. People always say to me "I don't know how you got through it". My answer is always that I didn't know I had a choice. We are not alone. Millions of people are going through this and other things so much worse every day. All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and forge on...and love each other. That is what this day is truly about-family and friends-for in the end, that is all that really matters. All of the crafts and decorating and cooking are fun, but without the love of family and friends with whom to share, it all seems kind of pointless.

Tomorrow is one big photo op for me so I will try to be back before I head out of town again and share with you. Stay tuned.

And by the way, once again, I am in love with Pinterest. Today I went through my "Christmas board" and actually downloaded the ideas that I think I might want to use for my decorating and gifts this year. I will take them with me to Tampa and while there, the plan is to shop for supplies so that as soon as we return home, I can begin my crafting and decorating. Hope also to buy the tree this weekend before we even leave. So much to do but so much fun!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Big Day

It is hard to believe, but Hudson turns 4 today! He just recently went from being a chubby faced toddler to a (still chubby cheeked and probably always will be) little boy! He carries on real conversations and I can understand him now. He definitely has a mind of his own and can be stubborn at times, but I think that's a good thing in this day and age. He knows who he is and what he wants. He is super sweet and very empathetic and mostly, he always seems really excited to see Nana and Papa. We are on our way to surprise him at a little party in his classroom at school. Then, we will have a family party later this week when everyone has come to town.

And, he is the reason for this mess.......

which has finally turned into this book. I love making these books. There really is no pressure to "make it perfect". It is just random pictures relating to a letter sound so I can have lots of fun with it and take lots of "poetic license".

This is how I do the pages and it seems like I continue to find new words for some time to come. I haven't even given the book to Hudson yet and I already have several more things to add. It is their own special scrapbook and I find they look at this much more than they do their "official" scrapbooks which take so much more time to do that I think I may have retired from that!

Thought I would share a few pictures of our recent sport adventures previously posted. This is how we "defend" the goal!?

Here is Harrison's football team. Most of the kids are at least on their feet and heading in the right direction, so this was a good play!

But, when all is said and done, this is the reason we do it all. He is so proud of himself and he had a good day. In fact, he had a great week as he received a special academic award at the first quarter ceremony and was also asked to read his paper at his school's monthly literature gathering. Guess first grade is agreeing with him!

Today, after the party, I am actually looking forward to having some time to re-organize. I have been grabbing, using and shoving for some time now and I finally decided it was time to get things back in the right places. Don't know what has come over me, but I am going with it before the mood changes!. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gobble, Gobble

Don't know if anyone has been to Wal-Mart lately, but they had some nice autumn table settings in their Better Homes and Gardens area. I bought some great salad plates that have beautiful leaves on them-very PB"ish". I will use them for next September's decorating. While there picking them up, I spied this turkey plate. I love him and if I remember correctly, he was only $10.

Here are the salad plates I have on the hutch this month. I got them last year at Home Goods. I had fully intended to get back there this year and see if they had anything else in this pattern, but it was not to be-and I have survived!

As you can see, I have two downloaded subway art pictures in this room alone. There are so many out there right now and I was going to look for some new ones to replace these from last year, but until I finish Hud's alphabet book, I am not adding any new projects to the table.

That's it for the dining room-not much innovation. I will get better, I promise. We are back in town for a few days and will then be on the road again for Thanksgiving. This is the year for our family to all be together on the "real" day and I am looking forward to it very much. This will also be the day that my husband and I try to get our group picture for our Christmas card-wish me luck! I "pinned" some cute props that people have been using. I guess the idea is that if the kid is concentrating on holding the prop, he/she may be more amenable to just smiling for the camera. It sounds like a good idea. I may try it if time permits me making some cute props. Of course, it could totally backfire as well....oh the possibilities! I'll let you know how it turns out. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Taste of Autumn

After being out in the beautiful crisp autumn air, I wanted the smell of autumn in my house. What to do o
r where to go? Straight to my "autumn" board on Pinterest where I have pinned so many ideas that I probably won't ever live long enough to try them all. But the recipe for "pumpkin doughnuts" popped out at me. They are actually mini-muffins rolled in melted butter after baking and then rolled in a sugar-cinnamon mixture. How could they be anything but delicious? And delicious they were! I will definitely make them again. They even got a thumbs up from the 3 and 2 year olds in my family. You can go to my boards via the button on this blog and try these yourself. Let me know what you think,

After sampling a few doughnuts to make sure my energy level was up to par, I headed back to my project of the moment-an alphabet book for Hudson. Consider this my sage advice to future grandparents-or parents for that matter. Be careful what you do for the first because you're never sure how many more are to come. I should have remembered this from when we bought our first daughter a new car. I should have learned my lesson. When grand daughter number one was about 3, I decided to make her a book using photos I wasn't scrapping. I filled 2 pages per letter and when I couldn't find a enough photos to work with that letter, I filled in the pages with stickers or pictures. It was very well received and Hannah used it to learn not only her letters but the spelling of lots of words.

Fast forward two years when grand daughter 2 was going on 3. I decided to do this again and then for the next 3 as well. Now I am at number 6 and his birthday is next week. I am going to be out of town all this week so I kind of put myself in super drive. But look at my house. It looks a lot like my husband's office where he swears if I clean it up, he won't be able to find anything. Now remember, I have a room devoted to crafting. Why am I using my dining room? I was actually just going to separate the pictures out there but before I knew it I had just shoved some things aside and started. And before I knew it again, I had so much going it would take longer to pick up and move than continue working in the mess!

I have finished A-O so I am beginning to feel that I will be able to get this done on time. Hope Hudson enjoys this book as much as I have enjoyed making it for him. I always love looking back at all of the memories. How fast time seems to go and how much fun we have had! Kind of makes me sad that there is only one book left to go! If I were smart, I would start soon!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

As Seen on Pinterest

Only time for a short post today as I have spent the better part of the last 24 hours watching one sporting event or another. Anyone who knows me knows that that statement doesn't sound quite right as I am really not the world's biggest sport fan. I would so much rather be reading, crafting, decorating, gardening, cooking, get the idea. But, put my grandchildren out on the field or court or wherever and I turn into a fan!

That being said, I'm not real sure why 3 and 4 year olds are playing basketball because it is mostly running up and down the court with equal baskets made by each child (no matter how many tries it might take and how much assistance is needed) thrown in with lots of running into the padded back wall (apparently more fun here than I was able to see), climbing the goal post (not as dangerous as it sounds because it is only about 4 feet high) and numerous other diversions when the idea of running up and down the court became boring for them.

All that being said, the kids did look like they were having fun even if it wasn't exactly as the YMCA or coaches had anticipated. And as my daughter said, "where else could you get this much entertainment for free on a Friday evening?".

Today started out back at the Y but this time outside on the fields where my oldest grandson (still only 6) was playing flag football. Now this was exciting as the coaches acted as quarterbacks and would throw the ball and some of the kids actually caught the ball and ran the right way. The weather was picture perfect and it was a lovely way to spend a beautiful morning. The kids that weren't playing were rolling down green, grassy hills or just having fun in the sun. I loved it.

I must give a shout out to my son-in-law as not only was he the coach of the football team (which he signed up for) but also the coach of the basketball team as their coach is moving and he stepped up when asked. And another shout out to my other sons-in-law as they too coach soccer (Rich) or serve as booster president, score keeper for the H.S. volleyball squad and coach at the Girls' Club (Todd).

Then we just got home and the Gators were in S.C.-enough on that subject.

So, that is my reason for this short post. Wanted you to see the velvet pumpkins I made. They were all over the blogs and Pinterest before Halloween so while I was fabric shopping for costumes one day, I picked up some crushed velvet on sale. I also found some loose pumpkin stems at Lowes with the intention of getting more at the patch but I never made it to the patch this year. Luckily, my youngest daughter made many trips there with classes or her family and got in good with the guy working there. She got a bunch of pumpkins for her front porch and has promised me their stems when they get soft, so there are more velvet pumpkins in my future.

All I did was cut a circle from the velvet-wasn't even particular how I cut it. I then put a running stitch around the edge and pulled it up. Put a few dry beans in the bottom for stability and then filled with polyester stuffing. Last was to push in the stem. I have seen these made with a thick twig for the stem and it will do in a pinch but I like the way the real thing looks.

Going to be working on an ABC photo album for Hudson for his birthday coming up very soon, so I might be missing in action a bit. Have a few more things to show you, so stay tuned and I'll try to be back soon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Warm Fuzzies

Back when I was teaching or doing Brownies and Sunday School, we did a lot of lessons on and talking about "warm fuzzies". I always ended the story by giving each child a pom-pom ball to use as their "warm fuzziy" with the encouragement to go out and share it with others who made them feel special and all warm & fuzzy inside. That is what the autumn season does for me. As much as I love Halloween, once I have gotten over my initial depression of it coming down, I quickly begin to rejoice once again at the beauty of autumn and the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with Thanksgiving.

The house is no where near as cluttered as it usually is with holiday decor but it feels right. Not too many tchotchkes-just beautiful nature. Of course, if you live in Florida as I do, you have to rely on the man-made kind if leaves and branches-but that is O.K. This year, Mother Nature is helping us along as well as we are having absolutely beautiful, cool weather and crisp, blue skies. Everything feels right.

All of the above may sound like a cop out as to why I haven't used more Pilgrims, Indians and turkeys in my decorating, but I really do like the the feel of nature with a hint of the holiday. I guess Thanksgiving really is more about the warm fuzzy feelings than the cutesy things I usually have scattered about. That being said, let's get on with the tour.

The ever present holiday frames and pictures.

I strongly dislike this corner. Can you believe that back when my husband enclosed this garage to make our new family room, our TV fit in this spot under this cabinet? The cabinet disguises the circuit box but leaves more than enough room to access it. If we were doing this room now, I think I could come up with a much better solution now that our TVs have grown to be 42 inchers and would no longer come near fitting in this space.

I actually took this picture to remind me how much I truly dislike this space and how no matter how I choose to decorate it, I am never happy with the way it turns out. Think re-doing this area may have to be the first project of the new year. I have toyed with some ideas for re-creating the mantle and the wall and shelves around it, so I will have to give this some more thought and we'll see where it leads. Believe me, if I come up with some grandiose plan, there won't be many "warm fuzzies" flying around here for awhile!

The banner that I made last year downloaded from "At Second Street".

Don't you just love "free" decorations? I have always loved pine cones used for autumn or Christmas decorating but the pine trees on my property (and there are many and they're not my favorite tree...but I digress) don't produce a pretty cone. They are much longer and tighter-they never seem to open. So, you can imagine my delight when I was waiting at my grand daughter's school one day to pick her up and noticed these amazing full, rich brown, open cones just laying at my feet. I immediately began snatching them up and trying to get them all before 2 "juvenile delinquents" smashed them all with their feet. What was wrong with these 12 year old boys that they couldn't see the same beauty in these cones as I did? In any case, I may be old, but I am fast. And, in their defense, they asked me what I was doing and when I explained that I wanted to use them in my decorating, they actually stopped crushing them under their size 12 Nikes. If they had been true gentlemen, they would have asked me how they could help but since my own grand daughter couldn't get to the car fast enough when she saw what I was doing and only contributed her help when I threatened to make even a bigger scene than I currently was, I guess I was lucky to get out of there with what I did!!!

In any case, aren't they gorgeous? They truly stand on their own. For Christmas, I can see a few fresh branches of pine nestled in and maybe a touch of red somewhere.

All I can say is thank goodness for all of the subway art downloads now available all over the internet. I have tried to see where I originally found this, but I am coming up blank. I'm sure you can find many more out there if you are interested. As a matter of fact, as we continue around my house I have a few others and hopefully I can tell you where I found them.

The little turkey is something the kids and I made a few years back. The feet were fashioned out of Fimo clay and the body is fun foam. We simply wired a small clothespin to a piece of copper wire and then just glued it all together. When we gave them as gifts, we put an old postcard greeting like this into the turkey's beak but then I have replaced others that I have with photos and it is a nice break from so many frames. If you are eagle eyed, I'm sure you will see lots of these as you travel my house.

Have you noticed that I never put away those magnet frames that I made from a tutorial from "How Does She"? I made them as gifts for everyone one Valentine's Day and I just keep changing out the sentiment or photo. Love them!

That's pretty much it for the family room. A bit more to see in the next post. Hope you are catching many warm fuzzies yourself this beautiful season and finding just as many family members and friends with whom to share them. You have to love a holiday that makes you feel so good and doesn't require the first present!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome Autumn

And welcome to my autumnal home! I will be the first to admit that I have trouble saying good-bye to Halloween. As a matter of fact, just when I thought I was done putting it all away, I realized that all of my Halloween shirts, sweaters and jewelry are still out as well as a file of new magazines and craft ideas-not to mention boxes of Halloween craft supplies. I'm not sure where all of this will go, but as long as it doesn't show in the pictures I have taken for you, let's get going!

Seems like we always start in the living room so we will once again. Showing you my long wooden box again just because I really love it and it was a no-brainer. I love it when things work out like that. To the left of the box is my brown jug with twigs and to the right is a straw turkey sitting on a large candle holder.

Not a great shot but wanted you to see that the autumnal color is back on top of the armoire along with the bird cage and 2 Pottery Barn lanterns.

Not a lot of change in other parts of this room. That shiny thing in the picture above is a turkey that I bought in a tearoom gift shop in Tampa. We used to go to a witch's tea every year and they had us go through the gift shop to get to the tearoom. Kind of like waiting in the country store to be seated at the Cracker Barrel. The day usually ends up costing more than just the price of the food. That turkey is really pretty in real life-just not very photogenic! His wings are autumn leaves tipped in tiny glass beads and his wattle is made of hanging crystals.

Still love the picture that I downloaded from "The Lettered Cottage" last year. The verdi gris lantern is a new favorite. I got it on my last trip to The Barn and I think I will be able to keep it out for all seasons and holidays and just dress it up a bit with a tag or ribbon. It is low enough that I can also use it in the center of my table for luncheons or dinner parties. I like finding treasures like this because that means one less thing to store away after the fact. I know that is kind of funny but I truly have so much seasonal decor that I have completely run out of storage space and unless I write myself a note, I spend way too much time the next year trying to find where I "stored" things. Let's just say it's a good thing that most of my beds are pretty far off the floor and I have long, heavy bed skirts!

Next post we'll head to the family room. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sneak Peek

Since I didn't get to all of the Halloween projects I had wanted, I decided to try and do a few for Thanksgiving. I haven't been happy with the decorating I have done on this sofa table throughout the autumn season so when I saw that gorgeous, long wooden box on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to try it. Now, no excuses, but time has been of the essence lately and the hardest part of doing some of the projects that I want is getting out and buying the supplies. So, when I was decorating for Thanksgiving and remembered this, I headed out into my yard where I had a few old cross "beams" from an old pergola stacked up. We had had a day or two of rain and then the sprinklers had gone off that morning, so I was greeted with wet wood covered in lots of green algae.

Now, a saner person would have either brought the wood into the garage and given it a few days to dry off or headed to Lowes to buy new wood. Me, being the patient person that I am, did neither.

I grabbed that wood and my chop saw and went to town. If I was purchasing new wood, I probably would have gotten it a bit wider. I also didn't make it the entire length of the table because I knew that I would want a little room on either end for some height decorations.

After I got the whole wet, gummy thing put together, I realized that I could take a wire brush and knock off a lot of the algae-too bad I didn't realize that before I was done. Never-the-less, I love it. It fills the space without lots of little things and gives me just the feel I was looking for. And, when I was grabbing other autumnal things from the shelves, I found this old brown jug that I haven't had out in years. I simply stuffed it with a few branches and I love the rustic feel that it gives. And, I think I will like this wooden box filled with greenery, lights, pine cones and ornaments for Christmas-we'll see.

I am still tweaking my current decorations and have a few other things going but my next post will begin the tour-I promise. Stay tuned.