Saturday, December 23, 2017

An easy Christmas table setting ~

I wasn't going to do another post before Christmas because I am really running out of time to get everything done. But I set the main table in the dining room for Christmas Eve dinner today and it turned rather pretty so I thought I would share it.

This table seats eight, with the additional leaf it can seat 12, but it gets too crowded, so I set up another table in the living room to seat six more. In recent years it has become the table my grandchildren seem to enjoy - It is a bit more casual.

One of the main reasons I wanted to share this was to show how pretty a table can look using...tacky, I know...paper plates and napkins. The Christmas crackers are a tradition at my house.

I found out that having 14+ people for dinner calls for some adjustments on my time and energy. Washing so many dishes on Christmas morning wasn't much fun. Besides its kind of enjoyable changing the dish pattern every year. This year I choose snowmen.

Whatever you use to serve it on or however you do it...buffet, formal or casual, I hope that your Christmas dinner is fabulous!

~ Merry Christmas ~

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Christmas Elf ~

This year I once again got to play the Christmas elf. While my daughter was at work I went over and decorated her living room for the holiday.

 A Christmas surprise!

Well, it really wasn't a big surprise because we had discussed it before hand. But she certainly was pleased when she came home that evening to find her tree up, and her mantle and dining room decorated.

She had decided on a woodland themed tree this year. She had lots of ornaments already...birds, birdhouses, mushrooms, butterflies and  some wonderful feathers. I added boxwood, eucalyptus branches, a few silk flowers and a couple of my crunchy garlands.

I really like the tree, but my favorite thing in the room is the mantle.

This mantle is a bit tricky to decorate because it isn't very deep. I went simple with this adorable owl. He is far to cute.

Then a repeat of the tree decorations with boxwood, eucalyptus, more feathers, flowers and a scattering of ornaments..  I love it...and so did she!


This will be my last post until after Christmas as the time is getting close and there is still far too much to do. I want to wish you all a blessed, happy, and joyful holiday.

 ~ Merry Christmas ~

Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 holiday living room ~

This year in my newly redecorated Living room I decided to do a little something different with my holiday decorations. I wanted a softer look that reflected the room's new color pallete and formality.

Since the tree is the main focus I started there. I used pink ornaments, to compliment the pattern in the drapes, lots of fresh eucalyptus from Trader Joe's, which is almost a perfect match in color with the two bergere chairs, and finished off with a combination of  silk and dried flowers culled from my collection.

It turned out pretty much as I wanted. 

I always try to coordinate the mantle across the room with the tree, so I simply used the same materials on the mantle. In this picture you can see a close up of what I call, my 'crunchy' garland. This is one of my favorite decorations, it compliments everything and adds sparkle.

Finished! And now to be enjoyed.

Tomorrow I am going to my daughter's house to decorate while she is at work. It should be fun, this year we have decided on a woodland theme.

Thank you for visiting

~ Merry Christmas ~

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas past ~

Every year when it is time to decorate the house for the Christmas holidays I like to look at  the pictures I have taken over the previous years. It can give me a starting off point - sometimes, with minor changes, I repeat something I really liked, and sometimes it is fun to do a completely different look. 

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of these pictures of Christmas past.
Starting with the media/library room. I love this wreath and will use it again this year, but my little, wooden train, full of gifts, will be an addition below on the window shelf.

This was a very pretty mantle, but because I always coordinate the mantle with the living room tree  I will be doing something different this year. The magnolia leaf garland will be making an appearance at my daughter's house.

I love this picture and came very close to using it for my Christmas card this year. Although the tree will be different and this wallpaper is gone, I will once again use a lace tree skirt.

Santas!  Yes, again in the kitchen.

I love my nutcrackers but they will not be making an appearance this holiday season - maybe next year. 

Last year I was still in the midst of finishing up the redecoration of my living room so I didn't put a tree up, instead I put one in the dining room. but I will definitively repeat this again some time because it was so pretty.

 As I said before, the Santa's will back. I mean, what is Christmas without Santa's?

 I am still deciding what to do with the pastisserie stand, last year it was new.  But I think that once again, sweets and bakery items will be included. Even empty I love the way it looks on my kitchen island.

In my opinion there is nothing as much fun as decorating my house for the holiday season. I hope that you are having as much fun doing it as I am.

Thank you for visiting.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A bit of cuteness ~

I have had this little footstool sitting out in one of the storage sheds for a very long time, I have no idea where it came from. Poor little thing was so unattractive, with ugly, dirty upholstery and badly in need of repair and refinishing. I have a thing about footstools and have quite a few scattered in different rooms throughout the house. So, I held onto it thinking that one day with some work and a little effort it could be nice. 

Well, last week that day arrived. I took it into the garage, stripped off the old fabric, sanded down and refinished the wooden base and added a top coat of polyurethane.


I came across this brocade fabric for the cushion - perfect!

Now my little footstool is residing in the living room, a far cry from the old shed. 

I am regarding it as a kind of pre-Christmas gift to myself.

I think it is so cute!

The word for footstool in french is, tabouret, so much prettier sounding, so now I have added a new word to my french vocabulary.


Today I finished all of my Christmas decorating. I hope to be sharing it with you over the next couple of weeks. It's nice to have it done early enough to enjoy all of the work and effort. Now I can concentrate on all of the other wonderful events of the holiday season.

Thank you for visiting


Monday, November 13, 2017

Painting pumpkins (or a nice way to while away a long winter night)

I haven't tried to do any painting for a while, in fact when I got out all of my materials I found that some of the paint tubes had dried up and a couple of brushes needed to be replaced having been used for other less lofty purposes when I was redecorating the living room last year.

 I had some nice sketches but rather than take on anything too complex while I re-familiarized myself with everything, I decided to pick a very easy subject. This I decided would be a pumpkin.

Why a pumpkin?

Well, when getting out all of my fall decorations, I thought it would be fun to have a pumpkin painting to set out for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Then for the rest of the year I could store it away.

 just a few details...

I have a a couple of frames in different sizes that I use to pop in paintings I have done. I only display one at a time. When I get tired of looking at it, changing it out for another one is easy to do. It's kind of fun.


All things considered I am rather pleased with my new pumpkin. I had forgotten what a pleasure it was to spend time involved in something so engaging as painting. It is a particularly pleasant way to spend these long, dark, winter nights.

As as for the results...the only one you have to really please is yourself!


A special thank you to my sister, a truly talented and excellent artist, who has given me endless help and advise on painting and art. 

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fall and ornamental grasses ~

I was working in the garden last week, it was a beautiful sunny, but not too hot day, and I glanced up from trimming and weeding to noticed the Red Fountain grasses, highlighted in the morning sun. I put down my clippers, went into the house and got my camera.

There are quite a few of these scattered around the garden and they all do well. But this particular morning these in the gravel garden were truly wonderful. I think it had something to do with the clarity of the fall light, but it is also that although these have been lovely for many months ornamental grasses seem to reach their peak of perfection in Fall.

They are inter-planted here with lantana, another great fall bloomer, succulents and salvias.

The only care I give them is a little water and an annual pruning. Each winter they are cut to the ground and in the spring the dried looking clumps slowly send out new burgundy colored  blades of grass eventually interspersed with tassels.

Light filtering through the seed heads - so pretty!

Thank you for visiting.

I hope you have a lovely day.


Friday, October 13, 2017

The gentler side of the season ~

I haven't done a lot of fall decorating in the living room in the past, somehow the colors just didn't work. But now that the room has a completely different color pallet fall just seemed to gently float in.

The perfect place to add a holiday accent was on the coffee table. I found bouquets of eucalyptus at Trader Joe's then added white pumpkins, green gourds, berries and dried flowers.

It is very subtle, and doesn't scream but rather whispers the season. I love green accents in the room and am now thinking about a Christmas tree with touches of apple green colored ornaments.

This is my favorite time of the year, first Halloween then Thanksgiving, all leading up to Christmas and all of it's wonders and joy. It is definitely a time do some planning.

Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Simple pleasures - ghosts!

I really enjoy Halloween, probably because you can decorate for the holiday doing such goofy and silly things and somehow it all works. A perfect example of this are these ghosts.

I don't like grim and scary but I do like cute. And so all of my little ghost visitors are very, very cute...and not frightening at all.


Here is the original little ghost on the kitchen blackboard, I enjoyed him so much last year that this year I decided to add more ghosts throughout the house - in some unexpected places.

So I tucked another in the dining room mirror...

and two in the living room. One above the mantle...

and another above the credenza.

It is amazing how such a simple thing can bring me so much pleasure. Four little ghosts made out of white poster paper, total cost: $1.50. Time spent, about 20 minutes. I don't remember where I got the pattern, I think it was in a Martha Stewart magazine years ago. But it certainly wouldn't take much artistic talent to come up with one of your own.

Sometimes I can be very easy to please and as Martha always says, "That can be a good thing".

I hope you have some fun little visitors in your house this Halloween..