Monday, December 24, 2012

Front Door Greetings

Sharing the entrance to our home decorated for the holidays….


I used natural greens for the garland surrounding the doorway. I started out draping the door frame with a single strand of white pine, but it looked way too straggly. I like a fuller, more lush look, so I added in some lacy chartreuse greens and a strand of of strung pinecones and sticks. 

The ceramic garden candleholder urns have stayed in front of the sidelight since last year. They are designed to hold a single candle about halfway down the urn. When the candle burns, the holes in the urn dissipate the light and cast some great shadows.



On the opposite side of the door, my metal reindeer came out to play and I surrounded his neck with a collar of acorns, twigs, and berries. I tucked in a few sprigs of greenery to frou-frou him up, too.  Doesn’t he have some great curly antlers? 



We have exterior lighting that highlights specific features on the house façade, but because I wanted to see the garland in the two story entryway without having the porch lights turned on, I focused two of the spotlights more towards the door.  I just tell people not to look directly into them so they don’t get blinded as they are coming out of the house!


grapevine trees

I filled two urns with greenery, plopped grapevine trees onto them, then lit them with a strand of golden lights.



We’ll be having more company after Christmas Day, so this décor will stay up until the second week of January.  I hope the garland stays fresh and doesn’t shed  all of its needles. I keep forgetting to go out and spritz it with my water bottle.  It’s gotten rained on numerous times, so I guess that has helped. Southwest Ohio winters are notorious for providing us with downpours. Very strange for me, coming from New Mexico, where we never saw rain in the winter- just lots of snow!



Here’s wishing all of you


very Merry Christmas!



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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Red, White, and Blue Holiday Basket



basket 2

When I found this metal basket at a Tipp City antique mall last month, I knew that it would be perfect for Christmas, all filled with greenery. My dilemma, however, was a theme. Why I think I have to have some sort of direction to follow, instead of just rolling with the flow, is just another quirk in my personality. Knowing that I wasn’t going to decorate an old fashioned country tree this year, I pulled a few out ornies out of a storage box that were what I termed to be Americana.  Yes, I was going to put together a patriotic red, white, and blue basket.



basket on basket

I set the filled basket on top of a vintage wicker hamper that was a barn sale find in Granville, Ohio several years ago. The hamper’s latest home is now at the end of the kitchen island and it seemed the perfect spot for my holiday basket.



soldier 2

I used a wooden soldier as the backdrop to the basket. This guy is dressed in full regalia, topped with one of those pompadour helmets. It’s amazing how long he’s been around. I can remember buying him back in the early 80’s, when country décor was so popular. 


patriotic basket

I wanted to be able to see the Fraser fir greenery in this display, so I only inserted a few items into it. A few flags, some glass balls and some country themed ornaments were the perfect amount of things to bring this themed basket to life.


uncle sam's hat

Uncle Sam’s hat, with its stripes and stars, was a purchase for one of our first themed trees about 30 years ago.



Another toy soldier sits among the red, white, and blue….



I had to tuck in some more Americana in the form of  some napkin rings perfect for Independence Day. I found a set of eight at a yard sale a few summers ago and they only cost me a buck. The flag on the left is constructed out of a crinkly paper whose name escapes me and the small one on the right is made out of wood.


glass balls

Shiny red, white and blue glass balls….



A glazed, ceramic star and another of the napkin rings….




Thinking of my hairdresser’s son currently in the military and serving overseas is what finally gave me the inspiration to put themed basket together. He will be away from home and his family for the first time this Christmas. Please keep all of our troops in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mississippi Magnolia Mantel



magnolia mantel

I wanted to keep this year’s holiday decorations much simpler than in years past, so I just left my moss-filled urns in place and filled in the top of the mantel

with two different kinds of greenery.

But the mantel didn’t get fully dressed until I received a special gift from blogging friend, Teresa Parsons, from Our Southern Country Home and Farm.

I had commented on one of Teresa’s recent blog posts about her own fireplace mantel, telling her that she was so lucky to live in the south and have access

to unlimited magnolia cuttings.

She then e-mailed me back to say that she would be happy to cut some more branches and send them to me.

I took her up on her offer and I received my box of Mississippi magnolia branches a few days later.

Was that not one of the most generous offers you’ve ever heard of?

So when you’re done here, pop on over to her site to see her gorgeous mantel as well as an adorable photo

of her dog, Sophie, and Santa Claus.



magnolia branches

I took these photos of the mantel at the blue hour, so there is a bit of a yellow cast to them as the sun was rising.

You can see that I kept things balanced and placed the bunches on leaves in three spots on the mantel.

Then I filled in with some large pinecones and a couple of votive cups.

When I stood back to see my handiwork, the fireplace still seemed a bit empty;

so I swagged a long strand of clear beads from one end of the mantel to the other.

I think it made all the difference as far as completing the look I was after.





I just love the symmetry of the branches and the glossiness of their waxy leaves.

Can you see that lovely blue cast to the sky outside the window?



magnolias 3

Here’s one of the giant, spiny pinecones tucked within the greenery.



fireplace 2012

This is another view of the fireplace looking from the opposite direction.




I placed my stenciled cheese box on one side of the hearth. It’s topped with two trees I found last month at a church holiday sale.

I paid $6.50 for the pair. A bargain, if I say so myself….


little angel

The ceramic angel is a vintage find from last year.




A garden lantern balances the opposite side of the hearth.

I placed four battery-operated grunge candles into the holders. They really do flicker this warm, golden color.


stone fireplace



Now that my head has stopped spinning and the vertigo has gone away, I’ll be able to finish editing my photos and get them posted.

I have never been this late showing my home all dressed for the holidays!

The trees pretty much all look the same- changing the themes for all of them every year could get expensive.

I didn’t put up the 12-footer this year.

When I got my new furniture for the great room, I re-configured its placement and there was no room at all for that big,fat tree.

But eight trees still made an appearance. Big, small, minis…..

You’ll see them soon!




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Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Decorated Kitchen Hutch


Styling the kitchen hutch is always fun and creating a theme it for the Christmas season makes it all the more special.

I nearly always display everyday white dinnerware on it, then add other patterns to accent it. I didn’t deviate from this method for this year’s holiday styling.

This Christmas season, I added a set of luncheon/dessert plates with a rocking horse theme into the mix.


full view hutch





rocking horse dinnerware

These plates and mugs were my first set of Christmas dishes and were purchased the first Christmas after we moved into our new house.

They’re perfect for serving appetizers and desserts, as well as for sipping hot spiced cider or coffee.



rocking horse plate

The rims of the plates and mugs are accented with white poinsettias- my favorite color for this holiday plant- and small bugles tied up in red ribbon.





Now before I show you anymore of the hutch, I want to refresh your memory as to what it looked like before I made a little transformation to it.


hutch 1

I never liked the brown paneling that was the back panel of this piece of furniture.

I contemplated replacing it with beadboard, but never seemed to get around to it.

At one point, I went so far as wrapping cardboard inserts with fabric and placing them in the two lower shelf areas of the hutch.

When I tried to install the top shelf where the plate rail is, the insert wouldn’t fit without bending the cardboard out of shape.

The rails couldn’t be removed because they were built into the frame of the cabinet, so the attempt was a lost cause.

That was two years ago and I just have lived with the situation.

That was, until this past weekend, when I spotted some wonderful wrapping paper at my local Marshall’s Store.

Paper is much more easily maneuvered than stiff cardboard, so it was the perfect solution to creating an interesting background.



wrapping paper

Here’s what a roll of $3.00 paper looks like…..

It’s a musical staff in a neutral Kraft paper look-alike. The rolls were such a bargain that I bought 3 other patterns.

And I don’t think I’ll be wrapping any presents with them, either!



So this is what the wrapping paper now looks like as the background for the hutch’s shelves.

paper  background closeup

I think it’s perfect for the holiday season!

It took me a while to measure twice and cut once so the inserts would be just the right size for the shelf backgrounds, but the time was so worth it.




I love the shape of this little white tureen that I found while out thrifting a few years ago.

I simply surrounded it with some greenery to take away the starkness.

It needed a lift to match the height of the dinnerware on the opposite side of the shelf,

so I just placed it on top of a small suitcase.



stacked dinnerware

Here’s the stacked dinnerware on the other end of the shelf. It’s my go-to white Gibson stoneware purchased before

Old Time Pottery closed its Dayton location. Now, the nearest location is in Columbus- I really need to make the trip to see

what goodies I can find.



decanter tops

To the right of the stacked plates, I used greenery and berries in these little “vases.”

Except, they really aren’t miniature vases….

They are the tops to glass decanters turned upside down and filled with water to keep the greenery fresh.

They were a thrifty find from the booth of my friend, Jean, who is also my stockist for Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.




In the center of the shelf, I used the dinnerware serving platter as the backdrop for a framed Scherenschnitte picture.




Adding a touch of vintage are these wooden spools.

I have a large stash of these and they come in so handy as filler material and candlesticks.




I had to include a little touch of whimsy to the tabletop with this game.

It’s a little framed picture with five little steel balls that you have to maneuver into holes,

without dislodging the other balls that may already be in their place.

Do any of you remember these things?

I always seemed to get a cheaper version of them in my box of Cracker Jack’s when I was a kid.



ball filled cloche

The middle shelf of the hutch is is only 15 inches wide and it was just enough room for this ball-filled cloche.




clock knob

Before I forget, I have to show you the new knobs I put onto the drawers and doors.

The original knobs were plain wooded ones, stained to match the brown paneling. Not very pretty….

Why did I wait so long to change them out, I’m wondering?!



vintage rocking horse

Continuing the rocking horse theme on the top of the hutch is this guy.

This stained wooded rocking horse once graced our son’s room when he was a baby.



christmas hutch 2012

I’m happy with the holiday look. 

Now I just need to get the room’s Christmas tree up and decorated.

I have three trees completed so far, but many more to go.

And then there’s the mantel that’s awaiting some real southern magnolia branches……

More on that as soon as they get here!



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