decorating with dodi

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

So Much Sweetness!

Oh sure, there's lots of sweetness on this plate, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the sweetness in these three little people. I love that they love coming to Nana and Papa's house. And I love that they don't mind doing all of the silly things I think up. We finally got to put the sayings on our conversation hearts. We may not be ready to go into major candy production just yet, but we had fun getting this far. This really is a fun project to do with the kids. This year's batch included almond, mint, lemon, orange, cherry and vanilla-and our "taste testers" tell me they are pretty good-although I'm not sure how discriminating their taste is since they will eat just about anything that even looks like it might contain sugar!

In any case, if you are interested in trying this with your personal taste testers, the recipe can be found at or several other places on the internet but I think they're all pretty comparable. It is fun and if your little munchkins don't keep licking their fingers while they're working, these would make fun gifts for teachers, friends, etc. Let's just say that ours are sticking pretty close to home!

Still a bit more Valentine's to come-stay tuned.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Can Spring Be In The Air?

What a beautiful day-in so many ways! I was invited to another awards ceremony for my oldest grandson. It truly never gets old. I am always so proud to hear their name called and watch them walk across the stage to receive whatever the award of the day is. Today it was an accelerated reader medal and an honor roll certificate for Harrison. After the ceremony they hold a short reception out in the courtyard and the weather was absolutely picture perfect-in January! I know Mother Nature is just trying to lull us into that false sense of security when you rush outdoors and do all of your pruning only to wake up to freezing temperatures the next morning and all of your plants no longer going to bloom. I am trying so hard to resist temptation because I have been fooled so many times before but it is so hard! Everything needs a good trim. This morning I actually spied a new blue bloom on my hydrangea-I am not the only one to be confused!

And then, there are tulips everywhere you turn. I love all spring flowers but these red tulips just spoke to me the other day. They couldn't be more perfect to set the mood for Valentine's Day!

And while you're at it....take a look at the new white urn that the tulips are in. I was at Jo Anns the other day and saw this on a clearance shelf. It reminds me a bit of my favorite PB olive jar so I picked it up and looked at the price. It was 8.97. I looked for the SKU to see how much it originally sold for but it wasn't there. I still decided I wanted it so a few more things go into my cart and I am off to the cashier. Well, to make a long story short, the missing SKU was necessary for the cash register. The cashier called back and asked for someone to find anything of that price so he could have a SKU. Time went by and I just gabbed and joked with the guy. He kept apologizing and I kept saying "no problem". He finally told them to get him anything with a price that ended in 7 as apparently that denoted "clearance". When they finally got back to him and he plugged in the numbers, my urn rang up at 3.97. When I thanked him, he thanked me for being so patient...and I walked out of there with huge smile on my face. Now I REALLY wish I knew how much it originally sold for!

Spoiler Alert!!!! If you're on my gift list but you want to be surprised, now is the time to STOP reading this post.

I finally finished my Valentine crafts. I have told you before that an original idea never goes through my brain, so this year's crafts are my adaptations on the "Love Letter" bundle that I recently posted about and a hanging, stuffed heart I think I saw on a blog last year. Mine are actually a very loose adaptation as I had trouble finding the supplies I needed. I know you can't get a real good look at them in the above photo but I planned it that way so that those of you who shouldn't still be reading-but are- can still have a bit of a surprise when yours arrives at your house.

Still have a few Valentine tricks up my sleeve-stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time For a "Potty Break"

The last room I have photographed is the guest bath. It is one area where I have to show constraint because it isn't very big. Just some seasonal towels, some soaps and a few odds and ends and it is ready to go. I like to decorate this bath as it is off the hall to the 3 guest bedrooms and gets passed a lot. I like it when someone can peek in and still see a continuation of "the theme".

I am off for a few days. When I return I hope to be able to show you my crafts for the year. I know you will be on the edge of your seats until then! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

K is for Kitchen

These pictures don't really give you many decorating ideas. Most of the stuff is the tried and true- pot holders woven by the girls when they were young, the myriad of decoupaged plates I have shared before, hand painted wine glasses, tissue paper votives-you know, the kitchen essentials.

I think the reason I included these pictures is because 1: this is the only room in the house currently clean enough to actually photograph and 2: I still can't believe I have a white kitchen! You see, when we bought this house 38 years ago, the style was partially Spanish. The cabinets were a dark laminate with carved out designs colored avocado green. The counters and appliances were also avocado green as well. The floor was a hideous linoleum. One day I woke up and realized I couldn't live in it one more day. I took a notion to change it all. It has been through a few transformations since and some day I will have to post about the process. It was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done-I did it all by myself as that was part of my bargaining power-but the most satisfying to be sure. And, it was done on a fairly small budget. I will bore you with details at a later date. Suffice it to say that there is not one square inch left of the original design!

Even the coffee has to match the holiday in this house-ha-ha.

Finally got motivated to start some crafts. Nothing done for reveal yet but maybe soon. Still not sure I absolutely love them-it has just been one of those years. Maybe I have been around so long that I have seen and done it all. As they say,"everything old is new again" and I am getting bored. I crave some new brilliant ideas. Even Pinterest isn't helping here! Stay tuned. I am sure inspiration will strike soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Still Not Happy

Still having trouble with some of my decorating. I did not like this vignette so I decided to add MORE STUFF!. Still don't think I like it.

I have had this victorian looking wire photo holder for a long time. It has heart shaped holders so of course it reads "Valentine" to me. And, I have a lot of vintage valentines that I have used in many ways over the years. I thought a few displayed here might work.

Then, I saw this love letters decoration featured on Pinterest and I had to order it. It is made of coffee stained muslin and gauze and I don't know why, but I love it. It would be easy to make and, who knows, maybe I will try to get a few done as gifts before the big day.

I also added a few things here in the livingroom. I copied the picture of the little girls carrying Valentine presents because it reminded me of a picture I have with my friends when I was young. I may have worn that exact coat or dress-they all feel so familiar. Of course, what does that say about me when I could be the person in a photo that the world is now using as "vintage"?

I stopped in Micanopy the other day and was disappointed in their Valentine choices. Not much at all but I picked up a sheet of paper covered in vintage valentines. My first thought was to frame it, but short of doing a custom frame- and even I have my limits on Valentine decorations- I was stumped on how to display. After walking around HL today and checking out any idea I could muster, I settled on a piece of black foam core. I spray mounted the picture and left just a tiny border around the edges. Then, I set out to see where it would go. It didn't look good anywhere I had imagined because the proportions were off so for now it will sit here. I will think more about it when my brain is fresh tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Can We Talk?

Or have a conversation? A conversation heart that is. We made these conversation hearts last year and the kids had so much fun, they wanted to do it again. My son-in-law was out of town for a few days, so it seemed like the perfect time to do something to help keep the kids busy and pass the time for them.

As we were doing this today, I began questioning how I could have remembered it being such a clean craft last year and here we were swimming in powdered sugar. Then I remembered that last year I mixed the dough up before the kids arrived so it had some time to rest. And, I gave them plastic cutting boards to roll the dough instead of the waxed paper I used today. It was a bit more difficult and a lot more messy but still as much fun!

Some of us actually made the hearts and others just ate the dough and the sugar-just saying.

The floor under Presley looked like this. Why does this not bother me? I guess I have finally arrived at the point where "the ends justify the means". And when you look at these faces and listen to their giggles, who wouldn't arrive at the same place?

It was a fun afternoon and after 24 hours the kids will come back and add the "conversation" to the hearts. All it takes will be edible markers and we will be good to go. They are easy to find now-think the ones I use are from Wilton.

I also finished my glittered hearts this weekend and very haphazardly threaded them together. I wanted them to hang every which way but I'm thinking I should have planned out my "haphazard" because these look too "planned" to me. But, so much glitter was falling off as I strung them and moved them around that I decided I would leave well enough alone! I am going to take these pictures to my mom this week and see if she remembers making these hearts all those many years ago and then show her what I have done with them. Hope she approves. I think she will. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Painting the Town Red

The mantle is a little different this year. Somehow I am hooked on the garden look for all seasons. I think it starts with my current love for lanterns.

Thought the Valentine French flower tins looked nice with the verdigris lantern. I got these tins a few years back at "The Barn".

Another lantern, my old garden dove (who is now holding a little love note in his beak) and the glittered chip board letters I made leaning up on a canvas that felt "valentiney" to me.

The side table sports some frames, spring flowers and the "dozen long stemmed poses" that I made so many years ago. I recently "pinned" the poses on my Pinterest board and I think it has had more repins than anything else I posted with the exception of an autumn banner-which, to be quite honest, was never one of my favorite projects but, I digress.

When I went to take the pictures of this window I realized that the valance above it is made out of a Waverly fabric with French writing that looks very romantic to me. It is perfect for this vignette and I am going to see if I have any fabric left over. I think it would make an adorable holiday pillow with just the addition of a simple red heart. Maybe the next post?

And, here is the next edition of the glittered hearts saga. Think I am just going to string them together and use on the hutch. Just waiting for them to dry.

Finishing up with some pictures that my sister-in-law just sent me. They were taken at my mom's 91st birthday luncheon. For once, we all look sort of good so I thought I would share. A bit more Valentines to come. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Soup Is Good For the Soul

I live in Florida. I know that our winters aren't anywhere near as bone chilling as those up north, but to those of us with "thin blood", 31 degrees can be daunting!

We have had a few nights around that temperature although I will admit that it has warmed up pretty nicely every afternoon. In any case, this is when I am on the look out for comfort food. And, since my comfort food almost always involves carbs-and lots of them- I was looking for something a little healthier.

Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest? I still like to peruse recipe books but time has been short of late. One trip to Pinterest and I found 2 soups calling out my name. The first is called "The Best Vegetable Soup". I think it must be a WW recipe because it says it is worth "2 points". I chose to make it because I am a vegetarian (well, I think I am more of a pescatarian but who cares). I truly LOVE vegetables. I really can't ever get enough. This soup has them all. And then, the recipe gives you permission to add any more that you want-although I guess when you are cooking you always have that option. I am one of those people who pretty much follow a recipe so I loved it that this soup even had brussel sprouts. I got even more wild and crazy and added in some cauliflower and spinach. It is delicious-especially when you are dunking a fresh cheese pesto ciabatta roll into it! With lots of butter! Told you I love those carbs!

The second recipe I tried was Tuscan Vegetable Soup-also delicious but very different. The first soup is tomato based. This one is not. It does have 1 fresh tomato.It also has cabbage along with celery, onions and carrots. Then, lots of fresh spinach and cannelloni beans. So good.

While these soups will warm my belly, I need the candles lit and a fire in the fireplace to really warm my soul. I guess I am not a gourmet of any kind. I really don't care much about what I am eating. It is all about the ambiance of where I am eating and who is with me. That truly makes the difference and a bowl of soup at home with my hubby at my side on a chilly evening can make it seem like all is right with the world. And so it is for the moment!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Can You Ever Have Too Much Glitter?

Many, many years ago, I saw a Country Living Magazine spread on Valentine decorating. They had an old pine hutch hung with many crocheted hearts. My mom was a master crocheter so I asked her if she would make me some using the pattern provided in the article. Well, she went to town and made me many hearts in many different sizes. I stiffened them, added ribbons and bows and hung them off of my hutch for many years. And, I loved them. Then, one day, I simply found them too "country" and they have been sitting in storage ever since.

Fast forward to this past Christmas when I was giving everyone one of my mom's doillies that I had glittered. My oldest daughter saw it and said "I wonder if we could do that to Nana's hearts?". That got me thinking and so today, I took one out and tried it.

I love it although at the moment, I am not sure what I am going to do with it. I am leaning towards perhaps stringing them all together and using them as a banner. I think I will like that more than the way I used to hang them individually. We shall see.

One down...many more to go! Stay tuned.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Shall We Continue?

Moving on to the dining room, you can see the sugar mold is once again running down the middle of the table. I am still debating whether I want to add my red runner underneath it-what do you think? It is hard to see but there are some glittery hearts hanging from the chandelier. I have a number of those feathery-bead things that are meant to be wrapped around candles-and that is where I like mine-but I am thinking about adding them to the chandelier as well. We will see.

The hutch still sports some of the Christmas mercury glass. I like the feel of it-not to mention once again a no-brainer as I had less to pack away if this stays out. Again, trying to simplify a bit.

This is a frame that daughter #3 made me. She simply glued on conversation hearts and then gave them a spray of clear coat. She finished it off by adding a Valentine sentiment but you could use a photo. I wasn't sure how this would hold up but it has done fine. I do make sure that it gets stored in the house where the temperature is controlled as opposed to in the garage where it gets really hot in the summer!

I left the glitter shaker-photo holders that the girls made out because I like them. They were nothing more than a $ store salt shaker filled with inexpensive glitter-not MS this time- and decorated with a vintage valentine and twisted wire. They look very victorian to me.

No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to lessen my number of family photos. In fact, every year the number continues to grow as I keep adding more. I think it is a sickness!

I switched the niche up a bit this year. I put my winter branches into my red Southern Living olive jar and moved the banner I made down across the branches. I once again put out the little one's "hand hearts" and the vintage Valentines.

I still really like this vignette and it is one of the easiest things to do. I just cut the 14 out of black cardstock using my Cricut (but you could certainly free hand them ) and glued them on to a Valentine scrapbook paper and slipped them in a bargain frame. The February calendar was a download from the internet. How exactly did I ever decorate before I learned to print downloads??!

Still not happy with this so I will continue to play with it. It is the empty frame that I hung several months ago and up until now, I have found fun things to hang inside. I had a couple of ideas but all of the things I thought of were already happy somewhere else so I decided to try this. For some reason it is not "talking" to me! Don't know if the scale is off or what but I think I will be heading out soon to see if I can't find a fix for it! I'll let you know.

As you can see, I still like my glitter. There is just something about it for certain holidays. I have an idea or two perking and all I can say is that more glitter will be involved. I have a busy month ahead of me so I need to get my ideas finalized and get the crafting show on the road! Stay tuned.