Thursday, December 18, 2008

The $10 Snow Village

I started with 5 messily painted little village houses I found at WM for $1. I've seen these garish knock off Christmas houses at everywhere this year. Even thrift stores, garage sales and drug stores. I decided to do an all white snow village but the possibilities are endless. How about a pastel pink or blue glittered village for a little girls room? So cute!

To do this project you will need:

Village houses and trees
1 can of grey primer
1 can of flat white or off white paint
small bottle of acrylic white pearl paint (found in the craft paint section)
glitter fine clear or white
Glass glitter such as diamond dust
Faux snow flake
glue to adhere glitter (I used marthas brand)

Prime all pieces let dry, spray each house white and let dry over night. As soon as the paint is nice and cured you can glitter each piece. I dry brushed my houses with some pearl paint before I used the glitter for a little extra depth. Apply the glue in sections and sprinkle with glitter. I did the fine stuff first and then went back with the diamond dust in some sections. Spritz with a watered down aging solution if you want a vintage look. (aging solution can be as simple as burnt umber acrylic paint and water in a spritz bottle, Tattered Angles has a line of glitter mist that have pigments and sparkle. Very cool stuff.) Seal with clear sealant if desired.

The Church was a experiment with aging solution. Now that it is finished I kind of like the vintage looked of it. I will probably go back in and try to duplicate the look with the other pieces. First I need to buy back ups in case the aging project goes awry.

I arranged my snow village in cloches but of course villages look wonderful anywhere and they don't need to cost a fortune to be a lovely addition to your holiday decor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Click above or on the link on my sidebar to join in the festivities!
Here is a little unfinished holiday cheer from my foyer. I still have an advent calendar garland sitting in my workroom waiting to be strung on the banister. It's a little late for that, don't you think? Oh well, maybe I'll throw it up there today and pretend we've been playing along since Dec. 1.
For the foyer table I re-purposed my wire Halloween tree and wrapped a piece of plywood and a town house cracker box for the faux presents. That was my "green living" move of the week. Sweet eh?

These are actual real gifts I stacked here because I'm sick of my bedroom looking like an elf yakked up.

Tomorrow I'll show you my finished thrifty snow village. Don't forget to join the Holiday fun over at Kimbas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hey...It's been awhile. I felt so bad abandoning this silly little blog for more than two months I almost gave it up, the whole blogging thing that is. I'm flighty lately and I've kind of retreated into myself a bit after everything that has happened the last few months. It just feels safer I guess.

Well, all it took to put me back in the mood was visiting a few of my favorite blogs, yours. I am so inspired by all of you and your beautiful projects and homes. So here is a little peek at what I have been up to the last few weeks.

I promise to be better about posting here and visiting you all. I also promise to share a fun snow village I am working on made from some serious ugly ceramic houses I found for a dollar, spray paint, glitter and my cloche.

Check back soon!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finding My Peace

Our trip was wonderful. I laughed and cried, found time to be a kid, and time to be totally with my kids. It was truly healing. While we did spend the majority of our trip at Disneyland, we also found a few days to venture out and see some of my favorite Southern California sites. My favorite, and a place that I wish I could spend days and days taking in, is the Mission at San Juan Capistrano.

The only way I can explain the Mission it is that it is amazingly alive. You can feel and connect to an incredible array of energy, past and present, happiness and sorrow, struggle and calm. It's all there and it envelopes you as soon as you step foot through its 4 foot wide adobe walls.

The fountains and gardens were so inspiring. These gold, green and red, lily pads were my favorite. The huge brightly colored Koi fish were icing on the cake. Everywhere we walked there were artists painting on small canvases and easels. They painted pictures of of small sections of the old adobe walls with their amazing patinas, doors, arches, fountains and gardens.

The tiny Church was gorgeous. The oldest part dating from 1777. The richly decorated Spanish architecture was awe inspiring, the colors took my breath away. You can tell with no uncertainty it has been well loved over the years.

I took over 100 pictures that day with my silly little 100 dollar point and shoot. I was burning it up! It was easy to do.

The 300 year old Baroque Alter is from Spain. Brought from Barcelona about 1806 its 196 parts are hand carved and gold leafed.

As much fun as we all had I'm glad to be back to my haven, my home, and am really looking forward to the Holidays. We didn't do holidays when I was growing up due to my parents religious beliefs. Let's just say I feel like I'm making up for lost time now. :) I have mental lists a mile long of all the projects and baking and fun I want to do. See you soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

We are off for a week at the Happiest Place on Earth for some fun, laughter and maybe a few moments of being a kid again. I love all the holiday decorations at Disneyland, I always come home inspired. Look for some fun projects to come next week. See you soon!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wire Halloween Tree

Hi everyone! First I want to thank you all for your prayers and support, it truly kept me sane during these last few days. I loved opening my email every day to so many loving thoughts and stories. Blog land is so wonderful that way!

Things are slowly getting back to normal, and I have been trying to keep busy. My version of the Glitter Lady's wire tree is done and is sporting some scary ghouls, ghosts, ribbons and spiders. I am working on few more spooky items to add to this display. I'll share them another day.

Here is the finished TV nook. We found a buffet that fit perfect and I really like how it turned out. These nooks can be tricky and expensive to find furniture for. Once I finally stopped looking for an "entertainment center" there were all kinds of furniture pieces to choose from.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's been a brutal, confusing, heartbreaking 4 days. My Mother passed from an accidental drug overdose, yesterday at about 11:30 in the afternoon. 19 hours after we made the decision to take her off life support. My sister, brother, grandfather, and Dad were all with her.

My sister Kristen and I arrived in Santa Barbara California on Sunday afternoon, at that time Mom had been on life support for approximately 24 hours. In the ICU we were greeted by a group of apparent drug addicts (one of which claimed to be her husband) all giving us their condolences "I'm so-and-so I knew your Mother...I'm so sorry". My mind was screaming, my head feeling as if it would explode at any second. "You don't know my mother!! You don't even know her name!!" I wanted to scream it a thousand times into their faces. I wanted to claw their lieing, smug, unfeeling eyes right out of their sockets. I wanted to kick and punch and pummel all of them into tiny little pieces of blackness. Instead, I smiled a pain filled smile, acknowledged their pain and went on.

My 90 year old Grandfather (sharp as a tack yet far to trusting) had been sucked into my Mothers illness, believing and using her excuses to protect her. Right off the bat, before we had even had a chance to see her, he blamed my sister and I for abandoning her. His denial, made my head spin, it enraged me, it hurt me to the core.

Kristen and I were shown into her room alone. As soon as I saw her I knew she was no longer with us, I didn't feel her energy or spirit I didn't feel the deep deep anguish and pain she carried. As broken as she was she still had a very strong life force that I was very connected too. My first reaction was the feeling of wanting to pull all of the machines off of her. To see her reduced to a machine breathing for her was surreal. The sound of it is still ringing in my head. It's amazing the quantity and variety of emotions that goes through you at times like these. Minutes feel like hours, there is no night or day, no month or year. It's like a vortex, a tunnel. You see nothing around you except for the things you are profoundly paying attention to. Everything is deafening and silent, you can't see your face in the mirror, you can't taste yet food tastes so wrong. I think it's an alternate universe. I think you can forget to breath.

After we were given some time with Mom, we starting the process of sorting through the facts, establishing who she was, her birth date, her history. The people that had brought her in had not know her but for a few months. And had unknowingly giving false information, they knew her as "Summer Choura" 45 years old. Her name is Debra Keating 53 years old. I think she had been using aliases and false identities to be able obtain the Morphine she was so desperately addicted to.

Family started arriving, her sisters, brothers and their spouses. My mom was the baby of the family. The youngest of 4. The room just spun as I tried to explain her addiction to her family, she had thought she had hidden it so well, however almost every single person I spoke with had some idea of her troubles. And all where not surprised she had finally lost her life to them.

I had decided before I got there I was not going to play into the despair of losing her and that I had to for myself be very real about who she was to me. Make no mistake, I am in a great deal of pain after losing my Mom. But there is also a sense of relief, knowing where she is and that she no longer lives in pain, that shes not cold or lonely, that maybe now she knows how much we all love her and only wanted her to live a sober healthy life.

I walked out of the Hospital yesterday after she took her last labored breath and went straight to the airport. I am done. I didn't say goodbye to anyone, I didn't hug my family, I didn't look back.

As she lay dieing I did all that I needed to do, I said everything I needed to say, I brushed her hair, and listened to her heartbeat, I laid my head on chest, kissed her eyes, smelled her hair, held her hand. I read her my favorite poem, I prayed. I was there when they took the tubes out and she labored and moaned, coughed, and gagged. I rubbed her legs and told her to let go and that the next time life will have a better one.

Well this update turned into more of a jumbled ranting emotional journal, so I will stop. There is much more to share, and I will. There is an criminal investigation that goes along with this story too, but I'm finding that part something I can't do right now. I'm glad there are people in my family that can. But for me, it doesn't matter in this moment. She made the decision to be in the situation she was, and unfortunately she paid the biggest price.

She lost her life at 53, alone in a house full of strangers.

Thanks to everyone who was thinking and praying for us. I could feel all of you and it fed me. It kept me focused and strong. I can't thank you enough for that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Mom's heart stopped this morning, she is on life support. She is only 53. We have been estranged for over a year, and have had a strained abusive relationship my whole life. This is incredibly difficult.

I'm leaving in the morning. any prayers or good thoughts would be so appreciated. I'm just numb right now and have a long journey ahead.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What I want to be Doing VS. What I have to Do

Isn't that tree darling?!?! I saw Laurie Davis the Glitter Fairy show Martha Stewart how to make it on her show and have been obsessing over it ever since. You can watch the segment on Martha's website in the link above. I went out and bought the wire and have been formulating my plan. I decided on black wire instead of copper so I hope I can make it work. I can't wait to show you!

For the last three days I've been doing the "have to do" instead of the "want to do" projects. We finally found a furniture piece for our TV that fit perfectly into the TV nook. I have been searching for 4 years! So I'm jazzed to finally be able to paint the nook and get it all put together. I ended up with a sideboard instead of a entertainment center. It just seemed more practical as quickly as technology changes and TVs become obsolete. I wanted something that would work other places in the house, and certainly didn't want to be stuck with a $4000.00 entertainment center that wouldn't fit new components in 5 years. Been there done that.
Here is a little peek of the sideboard and my painting project. I'll update tomorrow with the finished nook and hopefully my finished wire tree!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Objectionable Pretend Plants

Hop on over to the Nesting Place to see what all the hub bub is about! It's a party, you know you want to...

Here is a sampling of my (Fall) Objectionable Pretend Plants.

A urn of fall leaves/abandoned nest in the dining room.

If I still lived in California where produce and flowers are plentiful and cheap. I probably wouldn't do fakes. Paying $3.99 for one pomegranate, $1.99 for a lemon or ten bucks for a small bunch of sunflowers about kills me when I think back to my childhood. I grew up in a town where we could walk out the kitchen door to gather lemons and eucalyptus for an arrangement. I miss that.

A little fall arrangement on the book shelf in the family room.

Here in the mountains it's different. Lots of pine cones, bark and rocks, which I do use in a lot of my displays and arrangements. I love to add found items to my decor. Especially stuff brought home to me by my boys. It just makes the room extra special and cozy.

I do have a few rules for the fakes that I pick, and I happen change and redo the fake flowers a lot. Pretty much instead of dusting them I rework, toss or redo. I guess it works out to be every couple of months or so. Another rule I have is to not have them on every surface, or make them to big. I don't like them to be a focal point of the room. Just a textured accent.

So there you have it! My fabulous excuses for using faux flowers and plants. Don't forget to go to the Nesting Place and join the party!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Different Door Hanging

I decided the porch was on fake fall foliage overload with the addition of the pumpkin topiary earlier this week. I still wanted something for the door because it just seemed naked without a little something. I went shopping (you all know how much I hate shopping, Hobby Lobby especially *hee*) for a welcome sign and couldn't find one I liked.

I did however find a metal initial that I thought would be perfect with some ribbon, raffia, beaded twigs and a little nest. It turned out really sweet! I like that it's something maybe a little unexpected. You may even have an initial laying around your house just waiting to be re purposed as a door hanging.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mr. Hobby Lobby is Loving Me This Week.

Yes he is...

I've been in there everyday this week. I went to two different ones on Wednesday. I need an intervention.

When you need some fall stuff you need some fall stuff. What can I say? I did take inventory of my fall decor stock before I went so I wouldn't over do it. The ceramic pumpkins are all I purchased new for this foyer table. Hubby dropped the box of years past pumpkins when we were bringing them out of storage. Every single one broke, I was so sad and he felt horrible.
It was nice that they all had been purchased for 90% off two years before so it wasn't a huge loss. But it's still sad when innocent ceramic pumpkins go to waste.

I'll probably regret this but, I have to brag on the 58 degree sweater weather we are having today! I even turned on the heater *gasp* this morning. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Happy Fall

Hi everyone!!!! Sorry I've been such a bad blogger lately. Getting three teenage boys back into the swing of school, homework, and waking up at 6:00am has proven to be a bit more than I could handle. Anyone have a xanax?

It feels like Fall! I've caught the fall decorating bug and am buzzing around changing everything for the coming season. I wanted to share my recycled Pumpkin Topiary with you all. It's been around for 3 Autumns and I think this may be it's last. The excessive use of hot glue is finally showing. I fluffed it up with a few new fall picks, a bit more moss and gave it a go. We will see if it will weather the Fall wind storms. I may be chasing after it in my bunny slippers at 6:30 in the morning. The neighbors can only hope.

I hope everyone is enjoying the new school year and hopefully you can feel the promise of Fall in the tiny bit of crispness in the air.