decorating with dodi

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Onward We Go!

We are having the dreariest weather this week...warm, muggy and overcast. Mostly the kind of weather where you just want to stay inside so that is what I am doing. The perfect kind of weather to sit at the computer and maybe get in another post before something changes my path so, here we go! On to the dining room.

I found this chalkboard download at Chrisyt's Customs and decided it would work well in this vignette...not only did I need something a little St. "Patricks-y" but I thought the black would help ground everything as well. I like it but I am thinking to make it look more authentic, I might need to remove the glass in the frame.

I love this bone china. It was my moms and was given to her by my dad. At one point in his Air Force career, he did much traveling as a flight inspector. He would be gone weeks at a time and whenever he returned, he would come bearing gifts. Many times my mom's gift would be new bone china for her collection and, because of my Irish heritage, the ones with shamrocks or thatched Irish cottages always meant the most to me...although the lily-of-the-valley designs are beautiful too!

Finally have the time to start making plans for our St. Pat's weekend with the kids. I am trying to come up with some new ideas but I know we will be repeating the rainbow spaghetti because I had a special request from a special little girl. I love how much they remember and how much these moments mean to them. I love building memories with them! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Best Laid Plans

I am not sure if it is because we are now "officially" retired or just because I am getting older and lazier but I am seeming to have more and more trouble fitting into my days the things I plan to fit in when I make my morning to-do list. Seems like just when I have a day all planned out, something unexpected pops up to send me down a totally different road. I keep moving the same chores from one day's list to the next and have many, many, many still left to do.

But, since I never actually finished showing you my Valentine's decor, I am going to try to do better with St. Pat's. I am doing this for you...the wash, weeding, vacuuming, etc. will just have to wait-haha.

Now that we have moved the baker's rack into the end of the kitchen and are actually using it for its intended purpose - sort of - I am wondering more and more how I ever lived without it here!? It is so easy to reach for holiday dinnerware every time when it is right here out in the open!

Still "hanging" around from my embellished Bingo card obsession days!

May be time to make some more "napkin decoupaged" plates again. They are pretty foolproof and I always love the end result!

So that is the kitchen this year. There are a few things I am thinking about making so if time permits, there may be a few tweaks still in order. If not, I can live with it. I love the calming effect the color green has on me...and somehow, it makes the house feel cleaner as well. Maybe I should keep the green all year long - haha. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Here We Go Again!

Even though Halloween and Christmas are my favorite "decorating" holidays, I have to admit that I do LOVE my St. Pat's decor. Well, not so much the decor but the colors of the day.

Having a bit of an Irish heritage, I do love all things Irish. I also love green. It is my favorite color for all things. I have come to realize that all colors go well with green since it comes from nature and all colors of flowers look good with green leaves and grass.

And so, I started my St. Pat's decorating the other day in much the same way I do all of my holiday and seasonal decorating-I first get out my containers full of holiday goodies and then I start grabbing everything else in the right color family. I knew I loved green but didn't know quite how much until I saw my "green pile" getting larger and larger. There was no way I was going to fit all of that green into this decorating session but the stuff that didn't make the cut will surely be back when I swing into "spring". That is another of those serendipitous things that happen when I can use a color for much more than one holiday or season. Much of the green that I just put out will now stay out through my spring and Easter decorating...and may even make the cut as we go into summer. I love it when that happens!

Lots of the things are pretty much as they were last year with an occasional new idea or purchase thrown in here and there. I have a particular affinity towards vintage postcards so when I saw this metal image on sale at JoAnns, I knew I just had to have it. It fits right in with the vintage postcard banner that I made a few years back.

I still love this arrangement the girls and I made so many years ago. Since I am "into" larger statement decor these days, I simply prop it on top of a candle holder and it can "hold its own" against the "big boys".

This vignette is a perfect example of holiday decorating without a lot of actual holiday stuff and more with just the colors of the day.

The only true St. Pat's decoration here is the vintage postcard I printed from one of many sites available these days placed in the simple shamrock frame. The rest of the decor is finished with just the colors of the day!

So that is the beginning of my St. Pat's decorating. We still have much more to see so stay tuned.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Be Prepared!

Once a G.S., always a G.S. I have used this mantra all of my life for everything I do. Sometimes it is easier than others. For example, I am not very good at following my own advice when it comes to prep work on home repairs. I am always too anxious to get started. But, when I am preparing anything to do with children whether it be when I was teaching, leading Sunday School, Bible School or scouts or simply doing something with my own kids or grand children...if kids are involved, I am prepared.

For many years, I led G.S. leadership seminars and the questions that always came up were how to handle "discipline". My answer was always the prepared and always plan too much - a busy child doesn't have time to get into "trouble". And so, when I am getting ready for one of our holiday sleepover weekends, I take great pains to have everything ready to go. Right before this weekend, things looked like this:

Because we were not going to have as much time as we usually do, I pre-painted the canvases with chalkboard paint.

I also got the first row of sequins glued along the heart pattern. This way, the kids could just come to this whenever they didn't have anything to do and know where to glue the sequins.




I also pre-painted the wooden hearts and decoupaged on the paper. This is something I would normally let the kids do, but there was too much "drying and waiting" time involved and I knew they would have more fun doing the stamping and embellishing.

Patterns drawn on parchment and all supplies ready to go for the Whoopie pies.

These are some of the supplies for our Valentine "Minute-to-Win-It" games. We had so much fun playing these games that I forgot to take any pictures. I found these ideas on Pinterest and they can be adapted for any holiday so we will surely do this again!!

The little kids always love making these pink chocolate chip cookies, so they are ready and waiting as well.

Here are the kids piping the red velvet cookie cake mixture into the heart shaped patterns. They were so diligent as they did this. But, all the diligence in the world could not help these things. I'm thinking we may have over beaten the dough - and that is my fault as they each want an equal number of jobs so we do a LOT of beating as EACH individual ingredient gets dumped in by eager little hands! The cake cookie didn't rise as I think they were supposed to so they had more of a play dough texture. But, they were filled with yummy homemade cream cheese icing so how bad could they really be?

We are usually eating many more heart shaped food items, but again, time was running short and we wanted to play "Minute-to-Win-I"' and watch a movie before bed, so we "made do" with heart shaped garlic bread. The kids and Papa made this from scratch and it was delicious!

I found the game ideas on Pinterest and we all enjoyed the challenges so much. All I will need to do is swap out the candy and these games can be used for any holiday so we will definitely be doing this again!

The pancakes under the heart shaped one are round with a heart piped into it and really pretty-can't believe I didn't get a picture of them. I just used the little bit of red batter that was left to make each child a "topper" pancake.

Every year I try to come up with something that the kids can work on together to give to their parents. This year I decided on the chalkboard canvas sequined heart that I found on Pinterest. I thought it would be easy for the kids to just fill in the area with glue and then sequins but it really was more difficult than it looks and required some fine motor skills to make sure the sequins were close enough so as not to allow the black background to show through.

Harrison (the oldest) was the only one to persevere and he and I ended up finishing it just in time.

Every year we make pink chocolate chip cookies and this year was no exception!

And, every year we make a kid craft that they can use in their own room or wherever in the house they want.

I like to find something they can keep but also something that they can make "their own" with the way they choose to decorate it.

For some of us, more is less...

...and for others, more is just more!

Right after Jen picked up the kids, we were off to Gainesville to help daughter #2 celebrate her birthday one more time. We enjoyed a nice visit with all of her family and got home yesterday afternoon a bit tired but loaded with many new memories from a wonderful weekend. And to think, there is still a week until Valentine's Day is really here. How am I going to top this? Stay tuned.