decorating with dodi

Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Welcome My Little Pretty!

As so often happens in my world-and probably yours as well-plans change at a moment's notice. When we last spoke, I told you I would be starting my Halloween decorating today. But that was before my beloved refrigerator decided to have a small electrical malfunction.

I loved that frig. It featured a "measured pour" option, a spin out spigot and a pull out tray. I could set it for the amount of water I wanted, set in my coffee pot -or cup or pitcher or whatever- go put the coffee in the basket and come back and my lovely, precisely measured filtered water would be waiting. I really can't tell you how much I came to love this feature. I had my morning coffee making down to a science!

But, the frig was 7 or 8 years old and we didn't want to start spending a lot on it as we have had a French door style in mind for awhile.

So, with very little prodding from my hubby, I headed off to Lowes. Still held out hope that I could find a new frig with my favorite features but it was not to be. But, I did find this beauty and I love it! It will take some getting used to-I will actually have to stand there and hold my coffee pot, but I am sure I will get over it every time I fling open those doors and the LED lights pop on. It is huge and it is beautiful-almost makes me want to run out and buy some groceries and start cooking-almost! I know I will most enjoy it when I have the whole gang here and there actually IS some kitchen action going on.

With the delivery and set-up of this beauty taking the better part of the day, and having since gotten an invitation to "Johnny Appleseed Day" at my grand children's pre-school on Friday as well as lunch in a wonderful little cafe afterwards with my daughter, I decided to enjoy the autumn decor just a bit longer and plunge into Halloween next week. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it-unless a better offer comes along again. Stay tuned. 

By the way, after I saw this picture, I got right on those finger prints so not to worry! Always had all the kids' drawings and pictures on the old one so finger prints weren't as noticeable but, alas, this beauty isn't magnetized-sigh! One more thing to have to get used to!

Monday, September 24, 2012

And So We Begin!

I just couldn't HELP myself! I awakened this morning thinking today would be the day I start my Halloween decorating-"start" being the operative word. I have told you before that this is a loonnngggg process in my house and since we have a doctor's appointment, hair appointment and delivery of a new frig (that is for another post) all scheduled for tomorrow, I decided I wasn't ready to live in that turmoil quite yet. So, decision made....I would wait and start on Wednesday. But, somehow, that message took a detour between my brain and my heart and before I knew it, I had this!

These are just the things from one guest bedroom's closet. There is still stuff in both of the other guest room closets as well as under my bed and in the familyroom closet. And, those are just my special things that I deem necessary of climate control-things like delicate linens, photos, paper mache' items, etc. Since we live in Florida, the things stored in the garage must be up to lots of heat and humidity but believe me, there are many, many Rubbermaid containers waiting out there as well.

As I write this, I am convincing myself that I am only pulling things out but will enjoy the peaceful ambiance of autumn for another day or so. But that being said, we all know about my "best laid plans" so we shall see. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The "Eyes" Have It!

We recently lost my mom. And, even though she had a wonderfully long, happy and healthy life, it is still hard to say good-bye. My mom always decorated for holidays and this is probably where my love of seasonal decorating was born. I can vividly remember the windows of my first house being FULL of the Halloween die cuts that everyone considers VINTAGE now! Guess that makes me vintage also! As she got older, I'm sure she was wishing that I would stop making so many silly things and dragging them to her house for her, but she was always appreciative and every year, each previous year's goodies would appear as well. I would kid her about it finally being time to "edit"-especially when I saw the Mexican Christmas angel I made oh so many years ago of felt and layers of neon pom-pom fringe for the skirt. What was I thinking?!

In any case, when Mom finally had to give up her house and move to an independent senior living facility, one of the first things I did was make her a changable holiday wreath for her door and cull down her decorations in storage-keeping enough so that her life would still feel like it was going on business as usual-just in a different place. And, the facility decorated for EVERY holiday-even more than I do-so she felt very at home.

When the need came for another move-this time to a nursing facility, things that were familiar to her were even more important and we continued her holiday decor in her room. She got upset that she could no longer shop for gifts for her grand or great grand children so I assured her that I would find a way for the legacy to continue. Since there really was no extra spending money, I set out to make family gifts from some of Mom's own handcrafts.

She loved to crochet and we were all lucky recipients of many, many, many handmade doilies and table runners-not to mention placemats and holiday goodies. Since there are only so many small round doilies any one person can use, I started to take the doilies and use those as jumping off points for family gifts. I have used them for Valentine cone linings, glittered them for Christmas and stiffened them for something else-can't remember what.

I have a few more ideas up my sleeve but nothing else for Halloween and since that was coming up next, I was drawing a blank. Until I once again happened upon my friend Pinterest. Janet Hopkins blog had done a skull with antique button eyes. Since I have my mom's button box, I went rummaging around and found some buttons that would work-not the best but they were my mom's buttons so that makes them special even in their simplicity. Wasn't real sure what to do with the rest of this guy so I just kind of let him lead me and this is what I came up with. Is it the best thing I have ever done? Not by a mile. But, will it hopefully always hold a special place in our hearts and homes because it was the last gift from someone very special? You bet. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if special gifts keep popping up for many years to come-as long as I can count on my secret friend Pinterest that is. Stay tuned to see what might be next.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Celebrating a Life Well Lived!

                                                                   Ann Dunphy Granger
                                                             Jan. 11, 1921-Sept. 21, 2012

                                                                     We love you Mom!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dem Bones, Dem Bones....

Ever since I saw the above picture on Pinterest, I knew I would be doing something like this this year. Since I didn't want to do it in my "real" fireplace-as I love fires during the Halloween season-I decided to do it in a faux fireplace that I keep in the sun room right now.

I bought this fireplace many, many years ago before we added our large family room, fireplace and hearth. It started out in the living room then went to the bedroom and has now found a home here. It has authentic looking ceramic logs that sit in a real log holder and is fueled with jet fuel in cans. It has real flames and gives off some heat. I very rarely use the real flames as we almost always have a fire going in the family room during fall and winter but I do light the candles in this fireplace candle holder often when I am sitting in the sun room.

I also like this piece because of the shelf space it has. Always need room for more frames with those precious little faces or more holiday merchandising.

In any case, I decided this would be the perfect spot for my new vignette. I have been on the lookout for an inexpensive bag of bones and until today, I was having no luck! Don't know if it was just my local Wal-Marts, but mine were LATE on putting out Halloween. I went to Wal-Mart this morning to pick up more of their beautiful fresh mums when I finally spied the Halloween displays. I was ecstatic to see the bag of bones-just what I wanted! Can't wait to scatter these in the fireplace with lots of candles. May have to try out some of those battery candles in this area so we don't have plastic bones going up in flames!

While there, I also picked up these skeleton plates and napkins-they spoke to me. And then, I spied the candles. I love the look of this old fashioned candle holder nestled in vignettes for Halloween. I actually have a few but these caught my eye. They are battery operated LED lights and they are on timers if you wish. You simply tighten the bulb and the light comes on and stays on for 5 hours and then goes off and stays off for 19 hours. This will be perfect during parties or if you have guests and don't want to bother going around turning off candles. If you only want them lit for a short time, you simply unscrew the bulb and it shuts off. These little gems were only 3.97 so I'm a bit dubious about their quality but they look cute just the way they are even if they don't work as promised so I grabbed 2. If they do work as promised, I think I will head back for more.

It is definitely getting closer. Haven't decide when I will start decorating but it will be soon. Can't wait. Stay tuned

P.S. This is my first post since Blogher changed their posting format so I guess this may serve as a bit of a test. So far I have had only a few minor glitches so we will see what this looks like when I publish it-if I can figure out how to do that. I don't like change so we will see! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Eat Your Heart Out Nell Hills

This beautiful piece of furniture is for sale in Nell Hills-or their sister store Garritys- and I love the finish on it. PB has also had some pieces with this finish that I have been drawn to. It is the kind of finish that always prompts my husband to say "how much are they paying you to take it off their hands?". I really don't know why it talks to me-it just does!

Since I really don't have any big projects on the fore-front right now-not that there aren't many begging to get done. There are just too many other things going on right now for me to zero in- I was passing through my dining room the other day when the thought struck. Why not grab a piece of sand paper and see what trouble I could get into.

So that is exactly what I did. I started on the small side board in that room. Mind you, this is not an expensive piece of furniture. And, since I have personally taken it on all of its transformations starting as an unfinished piece of pine furniture to walnut and then on to black sides and front with walnut top and most recently to all black, I didn't have the slightest doubt about tackling his transformation.

Here is what it looks like now and I like it. After I sanded off some of the black paint, I hit it with a pretty heavy coat of furniture paste wax. Those dull area that you see are where I didn't get enough of the wax buffed off. And, when my arm recovers, I will head right back there and get on it. None the less, it was a really quick fix and gave me a new feel to this piece. I have 2 more black pieces in this room and I think they are going to get the same treatment as well. After all, it didn't cost me a cent and if (when) I tire of this finish, there are so many more left to try.

Looks just like it could be sitting on the showroom floor of Nell Hills-well, almost. But, it works for me. Think how great all of that black furniture will look very shortly with all of my Halloween decorations. Coming soon! I can't wait! Stay tuned!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You!

I love vintage Halloween! I have had the idea for these boxes ever since I saw one from Bethany Lowe- I think. This year Kristine McKay did one on her site and I felt like it was an omen.

Now, shopping for supplies in my city can sometimes be challenging and I knew this project would give me a run for my money because it required paper mache boxes. The original (and Kristine McCay's) both used larger, flatter round boxes. After searching everywhere in Ocala-and we have a HL, JoAnns & Michaels- I could not find 6 of the size box I wanted. In fact, pickings were mighty slim! A lot of the paper mache boxes are only available now in nesting sets-at about $20-$25 a set! Hardly an inexpensive little craft project. But, I have done sooooo much shopping in these stores that I seem to have an innate sense of scoping out things. Kind of like the truffle sniffing pigs. After I found the paper mache aisle in JoAnns-where they did not have what I needed- something told me to persevere! I went up and down every aisle and there, way in the back of my store, I found some bins that not only had 6 boxes, but at only $1 to boot!
And, I actually like this shape and size so much better!

I headed to the Dollar Tree for the crows-although you have to look very carefully to find even 6 that have eyeballs where they belong not to mention feathers, black chests or beaks facing front-but, I digress! I also bought a pumpkin and a cat decoration wrapped in tinsel. They were the ugliest things I have ever seen and I kept wanting to tell everyone in the store that I wasn't buying them to decorate my house but for the tinsel. You see, when you disassemble them, you get just the right size tinsel for this project. That bit of info came to me via Kristine McKay's site and I am ever so thankful or I may have used my much too expensive stuff from Bethany Lowe-trying to save that for very special things as it is obscenely over priced!

I actually had everything else needed:Halloween cardstock, candleholders (still from my stock of many, many, many bought for daughter #1's wedding), paint, glitter and download from Kristine McKay's website for the crown and "Nevermore" sign.

This was a fairly easy but very time consuming project. Since I love crafting, I was in my glory. I painted the top and bottoms of the boxes, covered the middle with cardstock, twisted together and hot glued on the tinsel, made holes in the lid and attached the crow, printed, cut out and glittered the crown and sign before gluing them on and painted, glittered and attached the candle holders. They pretty much took the whole day but I lit the autumn lights and candles and kept my cup full of pumpkin spice coffee so all was right with the world. Hope everyone had a Saturday just like this. Now, I'm off to make some crustini, pour a glass of wine and get ready for tonight's Gator game Go Gators!!! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Fun Begins!

On my last trip to my youngest daughter's house, much talk-and even pictures- came up about this year's Halloween costumes. That is usually my head's up that time is getting precious. Since I make most of the kids (I say that because as some of them get older, they are wanting to put together their own looks now) costumes as well as my husbands and mine, days start to fly by rather quickly. If I am going to have any planning time as far as decorating or crafts, it had better be now!

So this is one of my "think tanks". It is my sunroom and many ideas get started right in this chair. I will peruse magazines, Pinterest downloads and pictures from years past.

One day my daughter dropped by as I was decorating for a holiday and she saw the pictures I had by each vignette. I heard her say "so that's how you do it". Didn't realize it was a big deal....kind of thought everyone did that. I can't tell you how much time it saves. I try to change things up every year-but, that being said, the pictures give me a good jumping off spot.

Do I think they sometimes stifle my imagination? Maybe. But, I am out and about enough-plus I have privy to all of the "latest" via Pinterest-that I see lots of new things and constantly hatch new ideas. Sometimes I like to keep things the same just because I love them so much.

You probably know by now that seasonal and holiday decorating are a passion of mine. They make my heart beat faster and all seems right with the world when I am amongst those treasures. But, I DO have over 18 Rubbermaid containers FULL of Halloween decorations-and those are just the inside things-so it really takes me a FULL 3 days to get things out and then several more to Tweak. I need my jumping off points!

So I will begin by looking at last year's pictures and making notes of what I want to change.

Then, I begin to gather up the new things I have acquired through the year. I am always on the hunt for a new seasonal or holiday decoration and many times when they are out of season, they are real bargains. Also, if you shop for "colors" after a holiday you can many times find things that will work perfectly for another holiday-e.g.-red after Christmas can be used for Valentines or July 4th. The fun really starts as I try to decide where my new goodies will look best.

And, lastly, I must finish up all of the crafts I have started. I always have the best of intentions when I start my crafty gifts early but somehow I never have the impetus to fully finish them until I begin to see that holiday creeping into the stores and magazines. Somehow it takes that last little push to get me going.

So, I am heading into the dining room to finish up a few things and then off to the stores tomorrow to buy more supplies for a new idea or two.

Am I already feeling a bit overwhelmed? You bet! But in the best of ways. I love to feel as if I will never get done. That is what really gets me moving. LOVE to have all of the projects waiting for me. But, I will also take time this year to enjoy all of the other things this beautiful season has to offers-sights, smells and tastes-before it is once again just a memory and I am on to my next decorating adventure! Stay tuned.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taking Time to Smell ......

...anything that is still blooming this late in the season-after the intense heat of summer and torrential downpours of Isaac!

Everything still blooming that got put in at the beginning of the season is really overgrown by now but I really have difficulty cutting them down as we saw 3 hummingbirds in the above garden the other day and the pentas in the top photo attract dozens of butterflies-literally! They put on such a beautiful show in late afternoon that I can't quite bring myself to do the pruning that is long over due!

This was the first pot of mums I found this year and I couldn't wait to get them home and potted. Since this picture, they have all opened up in bloom and are just gorgeous!

I have been adding pops of orange and gold all around the yard. For some reason I am not having trouble this year with the autumn colors intermingling with the holdovers from summer and spring. I still have lots of blooms left to cut for big bouquets and I love that!

This is my absolute favorite place first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon. Even though we live smack dab in the middle of the city (albeit a small city ), with 17 undeveloped acres behind us, it is incredibly quiet-only the whistle of the trains going through town will break the silence most days and I kind of like that-and sitting out here listening to the sounds of the 2 closest fountains, birds and owls and watching the antics of the birds, butterflies and squirrels is sheer paradise-as long as my eye doesn't travel to a newly grown weed. When that happens, I find myself down on my hands and knees and one weed always leads to another but I don't even mind that. Nature is beautiful and free for the taking-well, free as long as I stay away from my favorite nurseries but that is another story.

Hope a touch of autumn has come to you wherever you live and you are taking time to smell the....mums? Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Autumn Tour Wrap Up & Tweaks

Kept the guest bath pretty simple-just this sachet, some guest soaps, an autumn towel or two slipped over regular towels on racks and a small scarecrow or pumpkin nestled here or there on the shelves.

Did manage to get something a little better under the foyer table. Just used the old, dried hydrangeas that had turned the perfect shade of brown in the wooden boxes and added the small velvet pumpkin.

I also added the white candles to this box. I think the addition of white in the candles balances the one white pumpkin I have in the box. I am usually a "purist" when it comes to holiday color, but I find myself pinning more and more white pumpkin vignettes. There is something very mellow about them and I think I will probably be using a lot of them in my November decorating.

Kept it pretty simple in the sunroom as well. Since I just added the soft aqua and taupe valance, I really wasn't in a hurry to take it down and go "all out autumnal colors" again. So, I just left everything as it was and popped in a few hits of orange. These wooden pumpkins sit on top of the hutch that sits on the self-contained fireplace I have out there-will have to do a post on that piece some day. I actually have big plans for it in my Halloween decorating so maybe we can talk more about it then.

Since I didn't use this runner on the DR table this year, I tried it out here and I like it!

Front entry about the same as last year. Those leaves around the door are getting a bit worse for wear, but they have become sort of a tradition as they annoy my husband so much as he enters and leaves through this door that it is almost a joke by now....and he has come to expect it. He will twist them up around the lantern or back around themselves and then I will come behind him and hang them back in his way again. Oh the fun of old age!!!

Sneaking in two self indulgent photos of grand daughters just because I can. It is that time of year again and since just about every one of my grand children is involved in some sort of team activity, there are many opportunities to find oneself sitting in the bleachers of a gym or field somewhere on just about any given night. So far we have only made it to one volleyball game for Hannah-last on the right above-because hubby is under a huge deadline at work. Once we are free of that, we will hopefully be off to see many more of their events.

Here is Caitlin at a practice for her Devilette dance squad. Hope to get down to see her in action some Friday night soon. She performs at all of the football games this time of year. Takes me back to the "good old days" when we had 2 girls cheering and had to sit through many a football or basketball game-never thought we would be back there again.

Hope to have pictures of all of the other kids soon. Know it will keep you on the edge of your seats. Stay tuned

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We Interrupt This Tour....

I think somewhere of late I have been quoted as saying "I am not buying anything new for Halloween this year". Guess I should amend that-quickly! "I am not buying anything new for Halloween this year unless it speaks to me". I will be the first to admit that I do NOT need one more Halloween decoration. It is OVERKILL at my house as it is! But, if I happen upon a good deal, who am I to snub my nose? I bought another mercury glass apothecary jar several years ago at "The Barn" and I know what I paid for it. When I saw this beauty at T.J. Maxx, I snatched it up. After all, what laboratory vignette doesn't always need just one more jar?

I found the frame on sale & on sale again at Kohls and just liked the silver bone border. It will probably go in the same vignette-which will probably be in the hutch in the dining room because it is about the only display area I have big enough for all my goodies. In fact, I'm already fretting about where I am going to use my "new" typewriter to its best advantage for my Poe vignette...problems, problems!

O.K., so back to autumn. Here is this year's mantle. I swapped out the rusty candleabras (small for large) and added the candle holder but then pretty much as it was last year. I still really like the orange and white contrast.

Ending with this close-up of the felted pumpkins that my cousin (thanks Diane) sent me a few years ago. I love them and always nestle them on to a shelf somewhere. We still have a room or two to go, but I think I am off to pull last year's Halloween photos to try to start some decor planning. After all, in my world Halloween will be in the picture in less than 3 weeks!!! Can't wait to get this little beauty out front! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hidden Treasures!

Can you see it? My little hidden treasure! I love it when things happen like this. Serendipity some would say. I have to agree.

I needed just the perfect little accent for the one still empty spot in my house. But, since I was in the middle of refinishing the chest in the LR, I didn't stew over this issue too long.

Instead, I decided that while I had the drawers from the chest emptied out as it was being painted, I would use that opportunity to purge some of the things crammed in there.

I really never think of myself as overly nostalgic, but there are some things I have a very hard time parting with. They mostly concern children-mine or those I "borrowed" while I was teaching and thought of as "mine". Now, we are talking about going back many, many years. Seems as if I kept copies of every bulletin board, craft project, field trip, citizen of the week, etc. I love those little faces and the memories of all things "classroom". I decorated my classroom as I do my house-as a matter of fact, I think my love for the seasons and holidays only grew all the more from living with them day in and day out at school.

I always had double sets of prints developed and at the end of the school year, I presented each child with a pictorial memory book. The parents loved them but I'll bet even all of theirs have found their way into the trash by now. Funny how so many of the names came rushing back as I looked at these memories. But, it was time to let go. After all, these pictures were filling drawers....which I needed... as I guess I have kept every card for every occasion that my daughters and grand children have given us as well. These I had to keep! And, while simply perusing them, I saw my treasure.

Now this treasure was in the form of a handmade Grandparents' Day card from Caitlin and Olivia from 2002. It was made in collage style from the most beautiful hand printed tissue papers-I think.

It is made in the way Eric Carle illustrates his books. My daughter has always had one framed in her autumn decor and I have always loved it. Now I have one too and it has been here all along! Oh yeah, the frame was also a "drawer find". Maybe I should tackle a few more drawers or telling what might turn up!

Most of this room looks like it did last year. I tweaked a few things and added a few new items. I bought the leaf plates in the hutch last year at Wal-Mart. They were from their BH&G line. I bought 4 with intentions of getting more but never made it back. When I ran in the other day, hoping to find the same plates this year, I should have known better. They are a completely different look and I am not a fan. So, I guess I will be using only the 4 I have for ever after. If anyone sees this design pop up anywhere else, please let me know.

They did have the same chargers as last year, so I snagged one of them to use on this rack. I needed something to fill a gap and this charger is pretty light weight. Figured it would be safe up there even if someone closes the cabinet door on the other side of the wall a little too hard-ask me how I thought of that??!

I liked the muted tones of the PB runner (which I still haven't officially shortened but somehow it doesn't bother me any more) so I found a new home for my autumn leaf runner-stay tuned to see where it landed this year.