Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Christmas in July

So about a month ago, when we were rafting down the American River instead of camping, the kids came up with a fun idea-- have a Christmas in July...on the 25th! Dinner, gift exchange, the whole sha-bang. We drew names from a hat and the catch was we had to buy our gifts for the person we had drawn at a thrift store or garage sale!! Our limit was $10-$15.

I roasted a turkey breast, ham and served appetisers, Steve made mashed potatoes, Courtney (front of pic) made Sweet Potato Bake, our friends, Jenni and Brian (in back of pic) brought brussel sprouts,corn, stuffing, and dessert of apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake, and Kristen and Caleb (left of pic) brought the sherbet punch and Pistachio Salad. We ate our dinner with Christmas music playing in the background..
After dinner we adjourned to the family room to open presents!
Kristen had Jenni...
Jenni had Steve.....
one of the gifts Jenni got Steve was a Santa tie that lights up!!
Steve got Courtney--she loves the "How to Host A Murder" game--and found two of them at a thrift store! (Well, CALEB found them and sold them to Steve) ;-)
I had drawn Caleb's name..he'd been wanting a land-line phone--I found this old one at a garage sale...they've got a cute old home and decorated it all vintage-style, so this will fit in perfectly!!Brian had Kristen's name--here they are before she opened her presents from him....we all got several gifts--it's amazing how much you can get at thrift stores and garage sales for under $15!
And Courtney had my name. These are all the gifts she gave me! I was thrilled! She knows me SO well!!
A fun time was had by all....

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our Favorite Things

I KNOW!! Two posts in one day!! But I just found out that Cindy at Romantic Home was having a "Show Us Your Favorite Thing" shin-dig and I wanted to join in the fun!! I just recently changed this little vignette on my dry-sink in my dining room, so I thought I'd show it to you....
The picture below is what the dry-sink looked like before--I just took out all the blue dishes (I use them as my every-day dishes now) and left it with soft pinks and pastels. It's only one of about a zillion of my favorite things, but Cindy request we show only one, so there you go!!
Thanks, Cindy for hosting this--it was fun!!

Mind Wide Open Revisited..

When I entered and posted my art piece in Mind Wide Open, I received some lovely comments that really encouraged me. But the one that was the biggest compliment was from Lilla,
who not only liked my piece, but asked if we could swap!! I was THRILLED, because I LOVED HER entry--not only that, she came in Third Place, so a whole lotta other people liked it too!!
It arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon when I was getting ready for a dinner party (more on that later), so I didn't have time to place it in just the right spot of my home, but I snapped a quick pic to show you. Isn't it just so lovely and romantic?
Thank you so much, Lilla!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TMTA Challenge

Every Monday TMTA offers an ATC challenge...my friend Jann at A Vintage Heart has inspired me to join in the fun.
This week is Nostalgia...about the good old times in which everything seemed to be a lot more beautiful and better. This is my interpretation. 'Twas a fun project!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Toni's cloche

Thank you all for the sweet compliments on my new vignettes! I "lightened" things up for summer--I'm glad you enjoyed them!

I wanted to share this picture that my sweet friend, Toni, sent me via email....she said she was inspired by my cloche display and wanted to show me what she did with hers...isn't it beautiful?
She said she filled the little pedestal dish with buttons, including 6 beautiful crystal ones she bought in an antique store from her recent trip to Victoria, BC that she took with her husband. The darling little bird is like a limoge box that was a gift from her husband for their 35th anniversary (what a great guy!) and she finished it off with a neat old key and antique lace. Toni has such a flair for displaying her 'heirlooms'. Her house is done in the cottage style and she has wonderful vignettes throughout. It's warm and enchanting. She happens to live two doors down from Laura, who I stay with usually when I'm visiting San Diego, so I get to "pop" in and see Toni for a quick visit and get inspired by her latest project. But even more than that, I come away so blessed--because of her deep, abiding faith in the Lord. She has been like an older sister to me, one that's been a little bit ahead of me in life and can encourage me when I've come to her with my problems that she's already been thru, survived, and lived to tell about God's sustaining grace. I've watched her go through some very trying, and difficult circumstances and remain faithful to God, knowing He is in control and standing firm in that knowledge. And by watching her increases MY faith, MY resolve. And isn't that what the Christian life is really all about? Just living out your faith, being loving and kind, trusting God. Because you never know if someone's watching and needing their faith encouraged... Thanks, Toni!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The House of Belonging

This is the bright home in which I live. This is where I ask my friends to come. This is where I want to love all the things it has taken me so long to learn to love.

There is no house like the House of Belonging.

David Whyte

Friday, July 11, 2008

Should you ever come to visit me...

This is where I'd usher you in to sit and chat. These 60+ year old love seats were my mom's (they've been recovered several times).....
Or these wing back chairs that are 20+ years old. They were recovered when we moved here.
This is my favorite room. It would be called 'the sitting room' or 'parlor' if this house were a true Victorian. My friend, Barb, who lives in a 110 year old true Victorian house, informed me. Here I like to daydream, read decorating books or magazines, or- best of all -visit with a friend. It may look 'busy' to some of you, but somehow it quiets my soul when I sit in here. I'm surrounded by pretty things that make me smile. I can break the decorating rules because we usually don't have more than 4 people in this room....well, I tend to break the decorating rules everywhere in our house ;-) but in this room I get to play around more.

Just wanted to share --should you ever come to visit me....

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mind Wide Open....

Here's my entry---I used all vintage elements, except the stamped "remembrance" and the image--It was so much fun to make...I'm looking forward to the next one!!

Go check out Mind Wide Open and vote for your favorite!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Joined a New Creative Blog Group...

..called Mind Wide Open. Gail started it, describing it as "A gathering spot for like minds to find their inspirational spark,
to create, to play. A place where thinking outside the box is encouraged and the stretching of your artistic wings hopeful." It sounded so wonderful and just the thing I needed to get motivated! Here's a little 'sneak peak' at my creation. Gail will post all the entries on the blog on July 8th and you can vote for your favorite...who'll then win a $20 shopping spree to her online store Shabby Cottage Studio !

Steve and I had a bit of an unconventional Fourth of July, but we enjoyed it. Steve worked in the yard, I worked in my studio..Dawn got me all motivated to get it organized--you should check out her studio!! It's not as big as her room--mine is outside in a dinky little shed-- It's going to take me a few days, but I feel like I'm on a roll!
Later in the afternoon we went to see the movie "Get Smart" and LOVED it!! Laughed and laughed through it--it was a wonderful homage to the original TV series which Steve and I loved growing up...
After the movie we went to our favorite sushi place and were told we were the second customers all day--I guess sushi just isn't the typical American Fourth of July dinner!! ;-)
Then home to play dominoes in the backyard while fireworks went off all around us. It was a beautiful evening....
The weather has been so nice...but have been alerted by the weatherman it's all gonna change by Monday--we're expecting a heat wave to arrive with the temperature in the triple digits!
Gonna have to crank up the air conditioner!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Camping Trip That Almost Was...

....So the day before we leave to go camping, I can't help but notice all the smoke swirling around us as there were about 1000 fires going on in Northern California! I get the wise idea to call the local forest ranger up in the area we were to camp...and was told there was a fire near THERE, too! Only one way in, too, as the other route was closed. My husband, recalling the training of his former boyscout years, announced you never go somewhere where there isn't at least two ways out. Our hopes dashed, I got online to see if I could find ANYPLACE to go within a reasonable distance before calling everyone with the disappointing news. Nope. Nada. Everywhere was smokey and/or on fire.
So, instead, the next day we all motored down to the American River with picnic and rafts in tow and spent the day floating our cares away down the river. It being a Friday, very few people were on the river which made it even more tranquil.
That evening everyone came to our house for our camping supper of bar-b-qued tri tip, salad,garlic bread that we had planned, and corn on the cob that Jenni brought as well as homemade individual vegan cheese cakes that were delicious! Our friend, Jenni, is vegan and is a wonderful cook. Our daughter-in-love, Kristen recently celebrated her birthday and her favorite treat is cheese cake..Jenni was so thougthful to remember that!
Sunday evening after church (we go to a church that has the same services on Saturday night and Sunday morning--it's nice to have the choice!) everyone came back over to roast marshmallows and make s'mores over our outdoor fire pit. We laughed, bonded, had a good time....hopefully later this summer we'll make it up to our lake.

The above picture came from an old photo album of my grandmother's when she was a teenager. I suppose they are relatives of hers. Anyway, it was fun to use to illustrate with!!