decorating with dodi

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Starting to Conjure...

...all my new ideas for Halloween. I have to admit that I am waaayyyy behind my normal Halloween schedule. Usually by this time of the year I, at the very least, have my gifts made or started. I usually also know what other decor crafts I am going to be doing and what new items I may be on the lookout for. This has just been one of those summers-life happened and I am behind.  That being said, this is all I have to show you so far but that doesn't mean my brain hasn't started conjuring up a few ideas!

Do you see a pattern? I guess I just love mercury glass and I think the glow it lends when hit by light is exactly what I am looking for for Halloween. It is a bit eerie and spooky while classy at the same time!! I bought the large, round vase on my last PB expedition. Didn't really buy it specifically for Halloween. I mostly bought it because it was a great deal and, have I mentioned, I love mercury glass. Knew I would use it sooner or later. But, when I realized I had purchased the mercury glass skull from PB as well, all of a sudden I could see it holding black roses or dead sticks filled with ravens or a configuration of bones or .....

The green potion bottle is something I picked up at Ross this weekend. It will find a place in the apothecary vignette-always need "one more potion bottle", right?

Now, I think there is a saying about people who answer their own questions but, I don't care because I think you might get a kick out of this! In one of my last posts, I posed the question "does that mean I have too much stuff?". Well, after my little fiasco this morning, I guess I am now ready to answer "yes!".

As I was beginning to pull out the new Halloween items (since I really AM starting to conjure), I couldn't put my hands on the new "raven" pillow. I remember it coming and usually I stack this kind of thing up in one of the guest rooms until I am ready for it. No luck there. I then proceeded to check EVERY closet in the house as well as under beds. I knew this was a full-fledged 20x20" pillow so it couldn't be hiding in a small space! I started to wonder if there was any way I could have thrown it out in a cleaning frenzy-no wait, that couldn't have happened cause there has been NO cleaning around here in a long time!! On to plan B-which will really have you doubting the state of my sanity. I went to my husband and asked him if there was any chance in the world he had seen it sitting somewhere obtuse and wondered why there was a Halloween pillow in that spot. Now remember, as also recently posted, this is the man who STILL hasn't mentioned a large, wrought iron tea cart that has been sitting in our dining room for 10 plus years and is now MIA. Bless his heart, he actually got up to help me start looking. We were going to "retrace" my memories of the life of this pillow since it arrived on our door step. Suffice it to say, as we were walking through our living room, I glanced at our couch, saw the hand painted pumpkin pillow currently sitting there and FINALLY remembered that I had used the other pillow as its pillow form. Thought that would alleviate storing the Halloween pillow until it was needed. Yep! Great idea-if I had just remembered it 30 minutes sooner.

Oh well, all's well that ends well as they say. I will soon be heading out to look for a full sized skeleton. About the only big change I think I will make this year is a new mantle or cabinet top display featuring said skeleton. I have a good idea-hoping it pans out.

Exciting times at this house right now. As I also previously posted, my daughter and I were filmed for a TV commercial. I kind of forgot about it until someone told me she saw it running on TV. I actually saw it myself and it is quite a strange feeling-seeing ME looking out of a 42" TV screen. A bit off putting to say the least but once I got over the shock, I am having fun with it! Hearing from different people now that they have seen it as well. I SO see how "fame" could go to one's head-haha. Who knows what doors will now open...stay tuned.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

And There It Is!

Not a lot left to see. I kept it pretty minimal this year because I know it is just a matter of weeks and I will be on to Halloween decorating.

All of that is pretty self explanatory and not really anything out of the ordinary but when added to the candles, lights, etc. it all contributes to the feel of home and warmth I get this time of year! I just love autumn! I think I will be heading out into the yard this week-if the rains stop long enough that is. I got a good look this morning and I am sorry I did as weeds are everywhere! It looks like one of those insurmountable tasks, but I just start in one area and keep going and before I know it, I will be done-in 3-4 days if I am lucky. Then, I am hoping to fill in all of the pots with fresh mums and the outside will be good to go as well.Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Truly a "Family" Room

I don't know how we would live without our family room. It was once our garage and we had a much smaller family room. But, we had 3 children who, along with my hubby and me, were joiners. We always had a crowd at our house be it from church, cheer leading, Anchor club, Girl Scouts or just friends and family. We were usually a large group and we needed more room.

It is kind of a funny story how the new room came about. One day my husband happened upon a build-in fireplace on sale at a DIY store going out of business. So unlike him, but he bought it-without a clue what he would do with it. He stacked ALL of the boxes in our garage and that was that...until, one day he bumped into someone he had helped with a tax problem (for free) at a gas station. He asked how he was and the guy said he was keeping busy installing a fireplace in his house. Hubby relates his story, guy offers to help install ours but when hearing we don't have a place for it, he offers to also help enclose our garage and the rest, as they say, is history!!!

It took this man and my husband many, many months of weekend work to finally get the room done. My husband really doesn't know anything about construction, but I guess he takes orders well-and must be a quick learner-because he would get "homework" on Sunday afternoons and have it done by the time work was to start again the next Saturday. The room is still standing, so I guess they did fine.

When the room was first built, it was very country with a full brick fireplace and hearth. Over the years, my taste changed and the red bricks went to white and then eventually I covered them with a Venetian stucco as they are now. This is my favorite look but I am feeling the need to change the color and possibly the mantle. Just wish I could get off the fence about a color!!

When I first decorated for late autumn, I tried putting tall, real candles in these sconces. It didn't take more than one night of trying to not only light but then blow out at bedtime and I was online ordering these from PB. They were WAY TOO expensive, but sometime you have to bite the bullet. These are a graduated orange to rusty orange color, so I think I will use them from my late summer decor through Thanksgiving. I am hoping I can find some a bit less expensive in red for Christmas and Valentine's Day and then I will go back to the light green ones I bought last year for Easter and spring. The other thing I love about them is that they are programmable. I have mine set for the 3 hour time slot we are most likely to be in this room in the evenings. I had really hoped to get the ones with the remote control but they weren't available in the color and size that I needed. 

I am still loving the new sign I made. This was totally a FREE project and I had so much fun doing it!
I am glad I like things rustic and beaten up because then there really is no right or wrong-the shabbier, the better! I got that big, ole realistic looking pumpkin at Michael's in Dade City when we were down there the other day and the large brown candle holder is from PB at the end of last season, so a bargain! Actually, the urn and the lights are from PB also-I love that place!

Wish I had waited to take this picture because there is now a big, beautiful pot of fresh mums filling that crock.

That is about it for the family room but when the lights are on, the candles are lit and there is a fire going in the fireplace, I really don't want to be any place else! More to come. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cause I Can...

Not sure why, but we are heading into the dining room today. Not my usual path, but hey, I like to mix it up now and then. Plus, I want to see if YOU notice anything as my husband, who has lived in this house every bit as long as I have, has yet to notice-or at least mention-the change!!

I took this off center picture to see if you notice anything missing. When last we saw this wall, it looked like this...

Well, sort of. I actually had to go back to Dec. 2012 to find a picture of what used to be here and in this case, it isn't even a full picture which kind of reaffirms to me that I never really liked the way this area looked. I had an antique, wrought iron tea cart next to the hutch-in front of the side light window. It would have been great if I had used it for my original purpose-which was to hold extra food when we had large groups around the dining table. But, I only actually used it that way a few times. Instead, I used it as one more "merchandising" surface and it was then too much trouble to clear it to actually use it.

And so, I somehow decided to move it. Right now, it is in the gazebo-not sure where it will end up! I wish I could have that side light window removed. Way back when...this was a set of French doors leading to a patio and the extra light was welcome. Over the years, this area changed in many ways and I finally removed the French doors after we had the room enclosed in windows and climate control. If I were just a little more sure that I wouldn't have the roof fall in, I would try to deconstruct that window myself-we shall see.

Anyhow, I think the room looks so much larger now even if I have lost a decorating area. I know I will miss it come Halloween!!

See those four mercury glass pumpkins? Somewhere in this house, I have more of them...I just can't find them. They are some of the treasures I found last year at Kohls after the season and I remember they were crazy cheap. I knew I would do something with them. At least one of the items MIA is a large pumpkin. I vividly remember buying it on my first trip. Don't know where that bag is hiding. Then, several weeks later, I was back at Kohls and found these guys marked down even further and bought the last four. I have searched high and low and just can't even imagine where I stashed them-probably somewhere obtuse just to get them out of sight. Does this mean I have too much stuff?

I'm happy to be using my rusty candelabra once again-even if it is WAY more rusty now. I found this candelabra many, many years ago in a gourmet food and candy shop in downtown Ocala. I just fell in love with it-probably just because it was so rustic. It was really kind of expensive but I have learned that if I really love something-and just can't stop thinking about it-it is probably best to just give in to the impulse. If I remember correctly, hubby actually was the one who gave in and bought this for me as an anniversary gift. I also just remembered that it was decorated with grape vines and bunches of grapes-very lushly decorated! Over the years, the faux leaves and grapes got tired looking and one by one I stripped them off until I had a plain candelabra. Then, I just kind of got tired of it and it went outside to the new patio. Just recently, I focused on it once again and brought it back in. For this vignette, it was a simple fix to tie on some leaves I had lying around. It gave the vignette just the height and "odd number" that was needed to please the eye-really funny how that works but odd numbers always look better-try it. It works.

As always, when I look at these pictures, I see some tweaking to be done. All in good time. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Did You Feel That Hint of Cool Air?

Neither did I but I just couldn't help myself. Once I finished making my autumn sign, there was no turning back! I was just yearning for the warmth of the orange glow and sweet smell of "pumpkins"-even if I did have to resort to hanging seasonal lights and burning candles or smellies in wall sockets to get them. Let's start in the living room as I had grandson #2 with me the last two days and the living room was the only one without Legos, juice boxes, etc. at the time I was ready to snap some pictures. He was a real trooper because I dragged him all around town for a lot of those two days but we did eat out each day and he got to have his Mickey Mouse chocolate sundae as well as a new Lego set so I guess it was a win, win for each of us.

Some of the living room vignettes got changed this year because I made the new sign for the family room mantle.That meant that I had to find a new home for some of the stuff that used to be on the mantle and so on and so on. It was kind of fun and, once again, I am trying to simplify-sometimes more successfully than others!

I love this old water bottle that daughter #3 helped me find. I actually just "pinned" a tutorial on turning just such a bottle into a lamp. It would actually be very much like the green glass lamp we recently purchased from PB and since I know how much I paid for that, this would be a real bargain. I am seriously thinking about it- we shall see.

I made so many velvet pumpkins last year and thought I was done but, just the other day when I was moving around some craft supplies, I happened upon a whole pile of stems that I now remember collecting last year on each pumpkin patch visit-and lots more velvet-so I guess there will be more pumpkins in my future!

I truly love the calm that comes over my house - and me - when I decorate for autumn. My husband and I are trying to get caught up on everything that fell behind with his recent surgery so that we can take off for some quiet weekends before my favorite season is just once again a memory. I know, it hasn't really even started, but with all of the other obligations we have this time of the year, it seems we blink and it is gone. Much more to come. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finally the Big Day!

We started the day by making our cupcakes. The kids are really pretty good at baking and could do most of this process on their own. I am not a lover of cake mixes but for this, I chose a butter cake mix and was pleasantly surprised by how good it turned out.

Of course, we did have to have three independent taste testers before we were given the go-ahead on quality control!

Next came the fun part-frosting them. Once again I cheated a bit and bought butter cream icing in the bakery department of our grocery store. But, we did have to dye it red and green!

The kids did these all by themselves and I think they did a great job. They stuck a pretzel into the cake for the stem, did a little squeeze of green for the leaf and added a gummy worm. Yum!!

Believe it or not, these three had specific ideas on how they wanted the table decorated and set. It wasn't fancy, but it definitely followed our theme.

Don't know which had more frosting-the cupcake or Presley's face!

Getting silly with his sandwich!

We managed to get a shot with Daddy but somehow Mommy and Papa managed to avoid the camera today!

This was the last picture after MANY!. Would like to say that it a favorite but I will take what I can get....

...especially when the first dozen or two looked more like this-just keepin' it real. We had a really fun time and it really is all about the quality time I got to spend with my grand children and the memories we made! We were invited to dinner at their house after their first day of school and it was such fun to hear the things they choose to share as the day's highlights. We always went out to dinner when our girls were young and they would share their day-can't believe that was so many years ago and can't believe I am blessed enough to still be sharing a tradition with my grand children.

New school year has officially started and everyone is happy with their classes and teachers-should be a good year!

Sweetest picture ever-Harrison walking his younger brother Hudson into school and reassuring him what a wonderful school it is and how much fun he will have in kindergarten at 8th Street. Growing up much too fast for me!!

I couldn't help myself-autumn decorating has begun and I will be sharing next! Stay tuned.