Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Christmas Card To You....

To all of my blog followers.....

A Christmas Poem
by Helen Steiner Rice
I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book
And every year when Christmas comes, I go and take a look,
And that is when I realize that these names are a part
Not of the book they are written in, but really from my heart

For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime,
And in the meeting they've become the rhythm in each rhyme
And while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel that I'm composed of each remembered name

And while you may not be aware of any special link
Just meeting you has changed my life a lot more than you think
For once I've met somebody, the years cannot erase
The memory of a pleasant word or of a friendly face

So never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine
Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between,
For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
It is because you're on the list that I'm indebted to

For I am but a total of the many folks I've met,
And you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget
And whether I have known you for many years or few,
In some ways you have a part in shaping things I do

And every year when Christmas comes, I realize anew,
The best gifts life can offer is meeting folks like you.
And may the spirit of Christmas that forever endures
Leave its richest blessings in the hearts of you and yours
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas!
AnnMarie xoxo



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Still Decorating.....the Final Touches

I like to have the month of December to add the final touches on the decorating, put the cookie tins together to give away and maybe find a few last minute special gifts.

I really thought I was done with the gifts and wrapping but found three more yesterday and forgot about two I still have to get!

I am in a very generous, almost to the point of spoiling, mood this Christmas, so that is good for my family and friends!

I am still decorating too! While I am out and about I tell myself I don't need anymore Christmas decorations but that seems to be when I find them! Like this fabulous 18" ceramic tree glazed in a white luster finish with blue lights.

I was NOT going to buy anymore of these vintage classics to sell because of breakage in shipping but I did not say I couldn't have another one for myself! I could not pass it up at Goodwill for $10! The only place I have to put it is on top of my fridge. Perfect! My kitchen is blue and white.

Even the grocery store is not a safe place to avoid temptation with Christmas goodies. Especially if that grocery store is Wegmans. Have you heard of this huge family chain? They have EVERYTHING your heart desires including these gorgeous Christmas dish towels. Couldn't resist adding a little more red to my kitchen.

While cleaning out the back room I came upon this sweet, vintage lamp post, given to me by my friend Kim. It was her mother-in-laws. I was going to list it on Etsy but it looks so cute next to my vintage Snowman that it will stay there for awhile. Love the retro green bulb!

After a few weeks of adding and changing and adding some more, the front porch is done. On a girls day out with my friend Bonnie I fell in love with this grapevine snowman, handmade by the owner of Thistlewood Farms in a nearby town. Jen is a true artist when it comes to forming grapevines from her large farm into lovely decorative items. I had to have him for my front porch!
He lights up at night and welcomes you first thing when you approach my porch.
My enamel bucket of sticks and twigs that is out year round got a simple Christmas makeover with some red twigs and pine branches from my tree in the yard.

 The vintage sled that I used to bundle my girls on 30 years ago (it had a seat attachment) and tie to my waist while I cross country skied is a staple on my front porch in the winter. The plaid bag holds my childhood ice skates.

The vintage jingle bell wreath with the snowman head is a find I couldn't part with, originally bought to sell on Etsy.

The metal bells and snowman have a wonderful worn patina on them.

The front door is always a challenge to decorate with the wind and opening and closing all day, being our main entry door. I used the Command hooks this year to hang the garland and so far so good.

This is my last post until after Christmas so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas with love, joy and hope for the New Year!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Vintage Charm
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Pink Saturday
Home Sweet Home
Best of the Weekend
Let's Talk Vintage

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Vicky's Ornament Exchange


This was my first time joining the ornament exchange at Life on Willie Mae Lane hosted by Vicky.

You just fill out a short questionnaire and then Vicky pairs you up with someone to buy for and someone who will buy for you. Until the package arrives in the mail it is a big secret! Fun!
Isn't this a cute idea to wrap the box in wrapping paper? Wish I thought of that!
When I received my box of goodies I was surprised at how much was stuffed in the festive package. My fun ornaments came from Pam at Virginia Retro. She loves to craft so I got some really cute hand crafted ornaments, some vintage ornaments and a Hallmark one too! Pam put a lot of thought and love into the special things she sent me.

How cute is this snowman ornament hand made by Pam!

He is reversible!
Here is the sweet 2015 Hallmark snowman. I love the old fashioned look of a classic snowman.

This is another sweet hand made ornament with a vintage girl, some lace, candy canes and a silver tree all tucked inside a tart tin. So nostalgic!

She came in a vintage box that matches perfectly with my kitchen colors, which I will display after the holidays too.
Actually this sweet girl is the star of my kitchen island centerpiece.

This pretty bird ornament is so vintage and clips on the branch of the tree. It is marked Made in Japan.

Some mini ornaments and a wreath pick brought back my childhood Christmas' in a real way! The Snowman is flocked and the angel is wood.

Pam said she loves sending vintage cards. So cute and also so nostalgic.

 I was happily paired with Donna at Distressed Donna Down Home. I loved the information that I got from Vicky about Donna's style and color choices because they are all the things I love too. I decided to make a rustic star ornament for her to match her den and then I added in a winter mason jar to match. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures but you can see them over at her blog post by just clicking on the link above. She is a blog friend and I love following her blog because I am continually amazed at the great thrifted treasures she finds and the makeovers she does. Plus I love her humor!

It is fun to find and buy gifts for family members and close friends every year for Christmas. But I find it is just as much or more fun every once in awhile to join in on an exchange or secret Santa game during the holidays.

And how nice it is to extend and receive joy and blessings and love to people you have never met but you can call friend.

Merry Christmas Friends!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with:

Vicky's Annual Ornament Exchange Reveal

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Simpler Christmas....and my Decorating Dilemma Solved!

We were so excited to adopt our two kitties in September. We never thought about having to worry about the Christmas tree in December. My last kitty never bothered the tree or any of my decorations.

And then there was Cyrus. To catch up on my Christmas decorating dilemma, you can click here.

So to solve this dilemma I decided to go with a wall tree as seen in my last post. Except my tree would go on my double pocket doors instead of a wall in the living room.

I bought some Command hooks and just started sticking them to the door. I have had the garland from when we first moved into this house 19 years ago (I save stuff!) so I just shaped it in a tree pattern.

Some red bulbs and my hand made paper tree topper and done! I didn't do any lights because of the cord hanging down for playful kitty eyes to see.

Lots of room underneath to put the gifts

I found the small vintage ornaments at the public market. They add just the right touch.
The simpler tree inspired me to go simpler everywhere else I usually decorate in the house for Christmas. You may not think some of it is simpler, but for me, it is!! I have so many decorations, but this year only a quarter of them will be used.

I have at least four nativity sets that I love to display and this vintage one is my favorite. When I saw
how Lori  at Dining Delight displayed hers, I fell in love and had to try it.

I just happened to find the glass cloche at JoAnn's on sale. I set it all up on a red cake plate with a
small light to shine through.

My parlor mantel changes every year and it is usually done up with a huge wreath, stockings hung from the mantel, and a yule log in front of the fire plate. Not going to work this year.

I found the vintage picture at an estate sale on my street this summer. It is a woven tapestry framed in a gorgeous vintage frame. It makes me think of "over the river and to the woods to Grandmother's house we go"! I knew it would go great with the vintage ceramic set of trees, carolers and a horse and sleigh I found last year at my favorite thrift store.

On the opposite side of the room are my wing chairs and antique table with the window seat behind it. I usually really embellish this area but again, not this year. I am taking a huge chance with just the three trees on my table! The one on the left is a thrifted safety pin beaded tree.

Just some hand made star pillows from my sister on the window seat.
In the dining room I always decorate the top of my cupboards. I have been collecting vintage deer so it is a woodland theme again this year.

The table centerpiece gets changed up every year. I was inspired to use my fabulous snowmen made by my artist friend Michelle. The little trees were made by Donna at Distressed Donna Down Home. I had to have them!
This is where the aqua tree I made of vintage, rusty metal parts a few months ago is....for now. I keep changing my mind on where things will stay every time I walk through the house. Do you do that?!
That blue thing to the left near the baseboard is a kitty toy!

Or maybe it looks better here?

 My husband and I both had to sacrifice putting up our own tree this year.....his is a super hero tree and mine is a snowman tree. He found a solution for his....

Just a simple centerpiece on the kitchen island with a few other things here and there and the kitchen is decorated.
The ornament is just one of the many treasures I received from Pam in an ornament exchange I joined. She made this one.
This is one of the other things in the kitchen and it covers three categories....thrifted, vintage and kitschy! I had to have him.

The snowman plate is from an Estate sale. The woman sold something her grandchild made her!! I bought it for $1!

If you are still with me, I have one more thing to show you. Every year I make a few things for gifts.

Totally forgetting that I bought a stocking last year at an after Christmas sale (I have too much stuff to keep track of!), I bought this one at a sale recently to decorate for my daughter and her husband. I still hang stockings on the hall banister for my  husband, son, daughters and their husbands, and my grandchildren, and fill them every year. I never did like the one I had for my oldest daughter Candice and her husband Matt. They live in a cottage in the woods and their house is decorated in woodland colors. This stocking is just their style (even though it will be hanging in my house!).
I printed out some cutouts online of trees and a deer and cut them out of felt. I added some snowflakes and snowballs. 
With this post too!
AnnMarie xoxo

P.S. The edit version does not show all the misaligned sentences for me to fix. Drives me crazy trying to fix them....I've tried everything I know. Anyone have any suggestions?
I am linking up with these great blog parties: 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Christmas Decorating Dilemma

Debby Ray of My Favorite Things sent me this. Too funny!
 I can't believe it has come to this.
The decision had to be made.
After years and years of decorating for Christmas to the nines, it is just NOT going to happen this year.
No bottle brush jars and beaded tree on the parlor table. No more vintage red tree decked out in Victorian style. No more window seat nativity scene and village (there's a small peak of both in the background).
No more snowman tree (with a cool new tree this year).
No more hubby's tree (with a cool new tree this year!).

   No more decorating the dining room bench.
        And especially no main tree in the living room!
So why, you ask?
Because of him....Cyrus the Terrible!
I know he doesn't look terrible but he already took down the window treatment from the bay window over my couch. He knocked over my antique brass lamp and broke it. How many more disasters can my heart take?
It is so hard to be mad at him for long, because, like a baby, he is so sweet when he is sleeping.
I could try this.....
 But I may try this instead....

or this...


We have double pocket doors in the living room that the tree usually stands in front of. It would still have to be high enough because Cyrus can jump pretty high.
Not crazy about those ideas though.
Putting all common sense aside, I am still on the fence about getting a main tree, even with the window treatment and lamp disasters in the same room the tree would go! I really, really, really want one but I just don't want to get it all up and then regret it and then have to take it all down.
The decision has to be made soon! Instead of beating the crazy crowds for Black Friday,
we are usually out in the woods picking out a tree. It is supposed to be in the 60's on Friday, not snow as usual!
There are all kinds of tips online to keep a kitty away, like orange peels on the base, or dryer sheets. Neither one sounds appealing to me to have laying around.
Next year should be fine because both kitties will be 1 1/2 years old. But for now I don't think having two 4 month old kitties and a Christmas tree will work!!
Can anyone help me decide? Do you have horror stories of cats and Christmas trees that would steer me away from the idea? Or maybe you had no problem with cats and trees....convince me that way!
Any suggestions or help would be great!
AnnMarie xoxo

Many blessings to you and your family for this Thanksgiving Day!

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Roses of Inspiration
Wake Up Wednesday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Best of the Weekend
Pink Saturday