Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vintage Book Wreath

Hi! How are you doing? I've been doing a bit of blog hopping and it seems you all had a wonderful Christmas! I'm seeing some Valentine projects show up on your blogs and I look forward to working on a couple myself in the next few days!

If you didn't see my post from yesterday, I've been spending a little time this week re-arranging the shelves in our family room. I thought it would be fun to do a cream, white, glass and metal display. Scroll down to yesterday's post if you would like to see the arrangement I created. I had so much fun with the project I continued on with the fireplace mantel and made a wreath from a vintage history book.

Isn't it fun and funky? Do you like it?

I created this wreath with a wire coat hanger. I bent the coat hanger into a circle and then untwisted the top part, leaving the hanger part alone so I could use it to hang the wreath when it was finished. Then I used an outdated vintage history book, from the 50's. I carefully pulled each page out, crumpled it and then used the end of the coat hanger to jab it onto the hanger. I used the entire book which was about 400+ pages!

Along with the wreath I added a couple sterling silver pieces to the mantel. I pulled these out of a cabinet where they had been sitting for years. You should have seen the tarnish! Black and blue and purple! Ugh!

This next photo shows an addition to the shelves I decorated yesterday. I carefully rolled up some antique 1927 sheet music with some seam binding for an fun display. Later, I'll still be able to use the sheet music for another project.

Yesterday I mentioned that I'd like to replace the colorful poppy wall art for a winter Currier & Ives print my friend gave me for Christmas. Below is the photo of that. Isn't it pretty? Click on the picture if you would like to enlarge it. I think it fits the color scheme perfectly!

Today I'm planning on continuing on to the other side of the fireplace where I have another set of built in shelves. Hopefully, I'll find enough stuff around the house to keep the color theme the same. I'll be back tomorrow to show you what I've come up with.

Thank you so much for your comments and support. I really enjoy hearing from you and it's nice to know if you enjoy my posts. With your feedback, I can continue blogging about the things you want to see! Have a super day! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Hey all! How are you doing? Do you have the week off? Are you working this week? How are you spending the last week of the year? Have you been out shopping the after Christmas sales? I wrote a to-do list yesterday that included a project I've been wanting to the shelves in our family room. I wanted to create a white and cream theme with my pressed aluminum collection and touches of metal. I've seen so many gorgeous photos on some of the home decor blogs I follow. Well, last night after dinner I set to work and here's what I came up with.

What do you think? Do you like? You can click on the photo to make the picture larger. I want to do a little tweaking. I want to change the colorful poppies picture on the wall with a new Currier & Ives winter print my friend gave me for Christmas. I also want to add some rolled up sheet music and a handmade banner or tags. Anyway, do you know what the best part of this project is? I didn't buy anything new! Well, that's probably my husband's favorite part! ;) The next photo is the before picture.

It was nice, but change is good and gives us something different to look at. How about a few detailed photos?

Here's a little shell display. The shells in the vintage Bell jar are those Christopher, Dan and I collected on our summer trip to Carolina Beach.

Behind the flowers is a bell jar housing the adorable little bird music box pictured below. I recently found it for just $12 at one of my local antique shops and thought it too sweet!

Next up is some faux paper whites. I've never really liked faux flowers and plants that much, but some are pretty realistic and I don't have the time to fetch and arrange fresh flowers.

The next photo is a stack of books I gathered up that fit the color theme. I want to add a few more books throughout the shelves so I think I'll wrap some in sheet music or Kraft paper...I believe I have some laying around somewhere.

Next is this adorable iron RCA dog I found last summer at the Raleigh flea market. He was a bargain at only $8!

Look at that sweet little face! I tell you, if it's cute, I have a difficult time leaving it behind! :)

This old bird was too cute to pass up on another vintage treasure hunt. And at just $2 dollars, how could I resist?!?! :)

This last photo is a ceramic plaque a dear friend of mine gave me years ago. Love it! I believe she bought it from a Southern Living party. It's got such a lovely aged look to it!

Well, I'm off to tackle more of my to-do list. Most items on the list are not too fun or glamorous, but I thought you might enjoy this decorating task. Have a super day! :) Kathy

Monday, December 27, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Hi! Did you have a wonderful Christmas? Are you still having a great holiday? It's been a lovely Christmas at our home! We had great fun watching Christopher open his presents and play, play, play! And for the first time since the 1940's, we got snow on Christmas dat! It didn't arrive until after dark, at about 8:00 p.m, but the next morning this was the scene from our front door.

Isn't it beautiful? It was so fun to be snowed in with the family! We drank hot chocolate, worked on Christopher's new puzzle, played in the snow and did a whole lot of nothing much! How often does that happen?!

I got a couple of toys on Christmas that I got to play with too. I set up our new Department 56 skate park, the latest addition to our Christmas village. Also, my sweet husband, who knows how directionally challenged I am, got me one of those navigational deals for the car. I know, these have been out for a long time! Even my old man got one years ago! For the longest time we didn't think we needed one since neither my husband nor I commute and our destinations are usually the same, but lately I've been traveling to little neighboring towns in search of vintage treasures. Now I'll have an easier time finding my way about! The feature I love most...the one touch button that will tell me how to get home from anywhere I happen to be! Ah, there's no place like home! :)

Well, my posts will be a little sporadic this week as Christopher has the week off from school and I want to spend time with him. And it's a great week to piddle around the house doing a bit of this and that. Whatever the week holds for you, I hope its the best! :) Kathy

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Well, here we are on the eve of Christmas! What a glorious month it's been full of holiday activities! The last couple of days have been spent enjoying the fruits of this month's preparations and decorating. The kitchen is full of home baked breads, cookies and a roast in the fridge for Christmas day. There's a puzzle in the works on the kitchen table that the family has been working on. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy every fleeting moment!

Our 2010 Christmas tree.

I spent a little time yesterday doing some design team work for Two Peas in a Bucket. Each week they release some of the cutest digital kits! In the spirit of the season and for those of you who might be wrapping up some presents today, I made a set of holiday tags.

The kit is called 'Christmas Trimmings' by Kerry Stewart. I used the Wizard Die Cutter and some Spellbinder's dies to make the circles and scalloped circles for these tags.

On this close up photo you can see I did a touch of hand glittering. Then I added some baker's twine and little red buttons. One of the things I love about digital products is that you can go to Two Peas in a Bucket now and download these immediately. No need to run to the craft store or wish you had ordered something on-line weeks ago!

My next project is a hybrid card using another new kit called 'Reindeer Games' by Betsy Tuma.

This card was made for one of our neighbors. I intended to make all the neighbors baked goodies, but I just didn't have the time to make enough cookies and candy for everyone so we gave some handmade cards instead.

My last digital share was created with a sweet kit called 'Pick Me' from Polka Dot Pixels.

I adore this image from the 'Pick Me'  kit and he papers are so colorful and fun! The scalloped circle and sentiment tag are also made from Spellbinder's dies. That adorable little flower shaped button is new from
Doodlebug Designs
. Love their new line of buttons!

That concludes my crafty shares for today. Once again, I wish you and your family the best Christmas! I'll be excited to hear all about it and see some photos next week. Enjoy! :) Kathy

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kraft Paper Gift Wrap & Free Download

It's just a matter of days before Christmas is here! Are you ready? Have you been enjoying all the activities of the holiday? I went to my BFF's house to bake goodies yesterday and I've been wrapping more presents. Oh how I enjoy December! Today my husband and I spent the day together. We went to lunch and picked up a couple stocking stuffers. We were in no rush and didn't have any urgent matters to attend to so it was a wonderfully relaxing day!

It was nice to get so many comments and complements on my gift tags from my last post! Thank you! I thought I'd share a few more of my packages today. I've always wanted to do some Kraft wrapped gifts and took the time to do that with the presents for a crafty friend of mine. I knew that more than anyone else, she would really like and appreciate it!

I got the design idea for this little library card to/from tag from Betsy Veldman. Love her work!

I made the vintage looking candy cane by cutting a candy cane pipe cleaner in half, bending the top over and brushing it with a little Distress Ink from Tim Holtz. I also wrote the to/from names in pencil so my friend could reuse it if she wanted.

For this package I didn't use tape or anything to secure the sheet music so my friend could re-use it for some cards or another craft project.

The white felt snowflake is from Target. They come in packages of three for $1! I Love them! I hope there are some left on clearance! Again, I used pencil to write the to/from names so that this adorable tag can be reused along with the snowflake, red jute and jingle bells.

The book pages I used to fill the top of the gift bag are from an outdated history book that I'm using for another project.

Remember a few years back when large alphabets were all the rage? I still have some of those and used one as an initial on this gift. To make the black color a little more festive, I covered it with glitter. The little tag has a Papertrey Ink stamped sentiment, some lace that I stitched to the bottom and a vintage mother-of-pearl button.

I just love vintage images! Isn't this one lovely? I've attached it below as a little Christmas gift from me to you. Enjoy!

Well, I'll do my best to pop back in before Christmas day arrives. The weather man told us we just might get a white Christmas! We're keeping our fingers and toes crossed! It would be the first one on record! We've already had three snows this month as it's been unseasonably cold. It's possible!?!? Do a little snow dance for us! ;) Kathy

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pretty Presents & Giveaway Announcement

Hi! I wasn't in my office to create a blog post yesterday as we had a snow day here in North Carolina! Unfortunately it wasn't the kind of snow day you could go out and play was mostly sleet and freezing rain! Brrr! So Christopher and I stayed in and finished a 1000 piece puzzle he had been working on and then we made a gingerbread village. It was fun to spend time together, drinking hot chocolate and playing!

Here's our little gingerbread village.

Every year I hold out hope that our gingerbread project will resemble the picture on the box a little more than the previous years, but each year they look like this...walls caving in, icing smeared everywhere with sticky pieces of candy attached at random! ;) This village kit was purchased at Target if any of you are interested in making one with your kiddos.

I've also been working on wrapping presents and would like to share some with you. Don't you just love some of the pretty packages people wrap for Christmas? I never put much effort into our gift wrap because I'm concerned about the environmental impact of using so much paper, tags, bows, etc. But then I realized I could dress up the boxes and bags we use year after year!

These two presents are packaged in beautiful, reusable boxes from Nordstroms. I used the Wizard die cut machine with some Spellbinder's dies to create tags for these boxes. The stamped images are from Papertrey Ink. I colored my tags with Copic markers and used little office supply tags to print the to/from names. This entire piece slides right off the box so you don't even have to undo the bow! The box, ribbon and tag can all be used again next year because there's nothing to throw away! I can even remove the little to/from name tags because they are connected with tiny safety pins!

Several years ago, we purchased a set of nesting boxes from Target that are printed in holiday themes so you can use them again and again. I created this snowflake tag that can also be reused by replacing the to/from tag. If I ever get tired of the same old and tags, I can remove them since I attached them with re-positional tape. I could then use the tags to make a pretty cards!

I do use some wrapping paper for our son Christopher. It's fun when you are a kid to be able to rip open some presents! When I buy wrapping paper I look for those made from recycled paper with the highest amount of post consumer content. For this present of Christopher's, I made a fancy tag with bow so that part of the wrap can be reused.

Did you enjoy the free vintage download from my last post? I had a few folks send pictures of cards they made with it! Thank you! I had a chance to make this card for one of Christopher's teachers.

I created a lovely golden frame with a Spellbinders die, added some hand glittered touches and the rhinestone snowflake in the lower left hand corner. I think this image is just the sweetest! If you would like to create something with this it, click here.

For my last share I'd like to tell you about a giveaway on a fabulous blog I follow.

The blog is called Pretties and Posies and they are giving away all the lovely things photographed above! All you have to do is leave a comment on their post! The post also tells you about these gorgeous items and who they are made by.

Well, I've been going on long enough...lots of fun to share with you! I hope you all are enjoying these final days before Christmas. When I go blog hopping I get to see so many great projects, baked goods and decorations! It's been a lot of fun to see what you all are up to! Make it a great day! Kathy:)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Recipe and Free Download

Hey! Are you taking a break from wrapping gifts? Maybe you've been baking something yummy today? I'll be baking next Monday. Oh how I love to share cookies and candies with the neighbors, friends and family. It's another part of this holiday I love so much!

Today I thought I'd share a recipe with you. I'm still working on broadening the family dinner menu and my boys really liked the new dish I made last night!

This dish is called Chicken-Zucchini Alfredo from Food Network. It's quick, it's easy and it's good; the kind of recipes I look for since I'm not a chef and I don't have a lot of extra time to spend in the kitchen each evening. I also try to find recipes that use fresh and reduced fat ingredients. The only draw back to this recipe is that you fry the chicken breasts which I don't like because of the mess and it adds fat. Next time I'm make this, I plan to cook the chicken breasts in our George Foreman grill.

Now I have to share a sweet drawing Christopher made last weekend. He's been holding a Cat Toy Festival over the past several days for our two feline friends, Latte and Java. This is the official festival poster. ;)

At the festival the cats can play a number of games Christopher has created such as Down Ball, Down, String and Bouncy Ball. He also has a festival library that contains all his books about cats. Then there's the oodles of cat toys he has scattered all over the festival grounds! It's quite cute! Poor kid needs a dog! He's having a bit of trouble getting our two lazy boys to join in the festival games! :)

One last share before I get busy with more holiday activities. I'd like to share a free download of a holiday vintage image. I hope you can use it for some cards, a holiday scrapbook page or decor project. If you do, I'd love to see what you make!

Whatever it is you do today, I hope it's a great day! We just had a truck drive by and salt our street. Looks like a storm and our below normal temperatures will bring us a rare snow for the second time this month! Good thing we stocked up on the hot chocolate and I made a pot of split pea soup yesterday! :) Kathy

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gingerbread Boy Ornament

Hi! Is it freezing in your neck of the woods? The east coast is locked in a 20 below normal patterned lately. Even the folks down in Miami are feeling it! Our family members in Los Angeles have been wearing shorts and they get to have the windows open during the day! What a world!

I thought I would pop in for a quick post today and share the ornaments I've been making for some of our friends and family this year.

Isn't he cute? I got the idea from one of my favorite crafty gals, Papertrey Ink design team member, Debbie Olson. She made some of these and I couldn't resist! Hers are a little different if you would like to see some variations. Plus she made adorable tags for hers.

I've got a few more of these fellows to make so I better get crackin'! I want them all to be on trees this Christmas so I need to get the rest in the mail tomorrow morning! Thanks for stopping by! Have a swell day! :) Kathy

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Crafts

Good day! Can you believe we have less than two weeks until Christmas? It's such a fun time of year that goes by quickly so we're trying to enjoy every moment to the fullest!

One of the things I enjoy most about Christmas is crafting! I think I've mentioned that once or twice before! ;) And I love to share my projects with you and see those that you make too! Did you see the latest projects from the Papertrey Ink team this morning? Oh, they get me every time! I want all the new releases that comes out on the 15th! Do you think it's too late to add them to my Christmas list? ;)

Okay, chatty Kathy, get to the projects! ;) Here's a little Christmas box I made with a new digital kit from Two Peas in a Bucket.

The tree on my tag is from a kit called 'Christmas Watercolors' from Wilna Furstenberg. There are nine gorgeous watercolor creations included in Wilan's kit that you should see! I had a difficult time deciding which one to use!

I bought an unfinished birch wood box from A.C. Moore and painted the sides of the bottom piece with white and light blue paints. It has a watercolor looking finish to match the tag. I papered the top of lid with 1927 sheet music and then topped it with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons and chunky snow glitter. Around the sides of the lid I added some lace trim that you can buy in my Etsy shop along with vintage buttons.

With brown card stock and my Wizard die cut machine, I created a frame for the watercolor image. I added some glitter with a glue pen by coloring in the circles on the tree. The final touches include the seam binding ribbon, another pearl button, baker's twine and a couple mini jingle bells.

My next project is also made with a digital kit called 'Clair's Nutcracker Ballet Digital Stickers' from Holly Brooke Jones.

I am smitten over the colorful and fun stickers in this kit! I used two patterned papers from October Afternoon, one from this year's holiday line called 'Very Merry' and one from last year. They coordinate together perfectly!

With this detailed photo you can see that I glittered some of the nutcracker and the edges of the oval with glitter . I'm able to easily glitter small areas by using a glue pen.

I did a little hand zigzag stitching and added a die cut tag for my sentiment. The ribbon was made with seam binding that I dampened and scrunched up to wrinkle it. I tied the seam binding in a bow with some baker's twine , a felt poinsettia bloom and a little red button.

Did you enjoy my projects? I'm in the middle of creating some others that I hope to share throughout the week! I hope you have time during this busy season to come take a peek. Have a wonderful day and keep warm...there's some awfully cold air coming down from the north! :) Kathy

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