Friday, December 31, 2010

Giveaway at Shabby Texas Cowgirl

Happy New Year, All!  Teresa over at The Shabby Texas Cowgirl is hosting a final giveaway for 2010. She's hoping to meet up with some wonderful fellow bloggers and gain a few more followers. Check out her site for a chance to win and to meet a sweet gal.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Water Mess and Itchiness

What a mess! A couple days before Christmas my husband stepped in a spot of damp by our patio door, which is on one wall of our dining area.  We patted and felt around and did some sniffing (have the kitties been naughty?) then laid down towels and dried as best we could. We had had a LOT of rain the previous days, and seeing as how there was a lot of water in the tracks of the patio slider door, we figured it was rain water that had been too much at one time coming at the door. Not much to do for it at the time, we reckoned, and hoped it would dry out when the weather did.

It was a laying down of dry towels every several hours at that point up till Christmas, but by a day or two later, the smell of musky wetness coming from the carpet there worried me, so I persuaded my hubby to pull up the carpet and see what was going on there. Our do-it-yourself abilities are pretty amateur, so this wasn't something that came naturally to us, ripping our carpet out. But once the carpet was pulled away, it was obvious how much water had been sucked up by the padding and into the carpet.  The carpet seemed to be able to be dryed out okay, we've just put it in 4-5 years ago, but we needed to remove a 4 feet x 6 feet section of padding. Easy enough, we also removed the carpet tacking which had gotten soaked.  We set a fan to dry out the concrete, spraying it with Lysol to ensure against any mold growth. This was done during a few days between rainstorms, so we figured we'd keep it pulled back when the rain came last night, see if any more water came in. Guess what?  It did. 

Now, we're not talking major flooding here, but again, my hubby and I are amateurs when it comes to home repairs, so we're kind of at a loss of what to do about fixing this. From what we've been reading online, it could be as easy as caulking and weatherstripping the tracking (I don't see where this would go, frankly), or as complex as replacing flashing or some 'water pan?' on the outside. Since we live in a condo, I've suggested calling the homeowners' association, see if they can tell us if this is an exterior issue. We are really hesitant to do this, however, as they'd probably say it's the fault of the wood deck we've had outside for the past 25 years, or in the case of it being a problem with the door casing, it would be our responsiblity. Then they'd probably charge us to tell us this. (Don't care for our homeowner's association.)

Any suggestions, anyone?

I don't deal well with disrepair. I tend to be a bit controlling anyway, when it comes to clutter and stuff being left lying around when it should be put away, a constant point of contention between me and my teenagers.  I hate walking around furniture displaced, which is why we don't do a lot of big home improvements, I'm not comfortable with anything which can't be done in a relatively quick timeline and the least amount of disruption possible. I admit to this. So this makes me rather crazy, to have my small condo crippled like this. Yes, it's just one corner, but because half my diningroom is in pieces, my chairs are in the kitchen, being moved from one area to the other, as we need to access the stove, the laundry, the bathroom. We can't all eat sitting at the table, so we've been eating in the livingroom.....there's reasons I don't encourage this.

So now I'm seriously itchy to get my house in order. Christmas was wonderful, and I usually enjoy having the decorations up till January 2nd, which is traditionally when my mom took hers down, and my goal for cleansing the holiday decor as well. I've been known to take things down on New Year's Day, if I need to go to work the following day, so I don't have to wait till the weekend to remove the decorations. Since I've been climbing over pulled up carpet and rearranging chairs for the past few days, I'm starting to eyeball the holiday items. Let's face it, I usually get rather itchy right after presents are unwrapped, and my livingroom, even with the wrapping paper tossed and boxes stacked, still looks like assorted heaps of clutter, with presents left carelessly on couches and floor.

I am trying to hold out till at least Saturday before I start putting stuff away, but frankly, with as much stuff being jumbled on what was put out so lovingly for the holiday, I don't think anyone will miss it if I start cleaning off a few surfaces now.  And it might scatch a few itches, at least for now.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Joy to the World!
Wishing everyone joy and peace and good times surrounded by loved ones. May we all have a peaceful and glorious Christmas, keeping the reason for the season in our hearts and homes.  Hoping you find Blessings for the new year, with good health and prosperity for all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Very Merry Vignettes

I am enjoying having the house decorated for Christmas. I reached a point about a week ago where I stopped rearranging displays, fretting over vignettes, and made peace with the fact that my Christmas ceramic house will remain in the curio cabinet this year. I would like to share the arrangements I have settled on.  In this first arrangement on one of the corner tables in the livingroom, I have a favorite Santa Claus presiding over a candle display. I put some ornaments in my Depression glass compote to add sparkle. I really like the way the warm gold colors blend with the antique brass finish on my lamp.

I picked up this silver deer at Rite Aid a week or two ago and have enjoyed coupling him with other silver pieces I have. The poinsettias in the silver basket make a perfect background for the deer and Santa snowglobe on my other livingroom coffee table.  Isn't it just too bad I didn't realize my Santa in the globe was not facing forward?  How did I not see that?  I am going to have my glasses/contacts renewed right after the first of the year, I swear, I am missing a lot of details lately.

This corner setup makes that area on my kitchen counter look wonderfully classy. It overlooks the dining area as well, so we get to see it from both sides. I love that little angel plate I have displayed there, the Christmas mini tree started off as a topiary-type piece I bought on clearance one year and have filled out with additional picks, flowers and embellishments. The candle was a last minute replacement which works well for this grouping.

Okay, this Santa and Nutcracker is not a tabletop display, but I wanted to share how sharp they are, keeping guard in front of my curio cabinet.

Hoping everyone is enjoying all their holiday pretties.  I'm linking up with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tannenbaum Treasures

My Christmas tree is covered in ornaments, the most of which I associate with a certain person or memory.  I used to have a collection of glass balls and bells and such, but they've been replaced with a wonderful mosiac of pieces, each with a certain image of a person or event. Many of them are collected for my daughters, I started a number of years ago putting an ornament into each girl's stocking, marked with their name and the year given. Then when they have their own homes they can display it on their tree. I reminded my oldest of this last year (she was 18 then) and her response was 'Why? I don't know if I want those.' Hmmm. Hopefully she'll rethink that when she actually has her own tree. There are also many ornaments they made at school or church, plus plastic toys and little stuffed animals we began using on the tree when the 2nd daughter discovered how fun it was to pluck the glass ornaments like fruit and smash them together to see them shatter.

See the little wooden sled in the top left of this photo?  My mother sent that to me in a Christmas box probably 27 years ago. I believe she may have sent a few others, and I'm embarrassed to say I don't know what has since become of them, but this one is treasured. The white dress was one of 3 I picked up for maybe a quarter on clearance when my girls were very small and into Barbie dolls. I was going to make them into dresses for the Barbies. Instead I put one each in their stockings, one in mine, and the tradition of the ornament a year was started.
Precious pictures of the girl's visit to Santa (Liz's is elsewhere.)  This is the year Jen threw a tantrum on Santa's lap, she did not appreciate being handed over to a red robed stranger.

Jen made the adorable manger scene at Church while at a happy birthday to Jesus sleepover event. She was maybe 7 at the time and did a wonderful job. The drummer was a special ornament my hubby bought for a gift, and Lucy is one of two Lucille Ball ornaments I received at a gift exchange from my work.

I had won $150 this year to a local museum's gift shop and purchased this hand-blown glass ornament.

This Cracker Barrel ornament was sent by my sister from Tennessee.  We don't have Cracker Barrels in California. I look forward to eventually eating at one, and visiting their famous gift shop.

More precious picture ornaments, the bottom one made with macaroni, cardboard and a school photo, circa 2nd grade.

There are 4-5 of these which the girls made from a kit at home. Glitter and glue on felt at the kitchen table, and it gets more valuable with every year that passes.

I know this picture is overexposed, so you can't see it very well, but the white box is the 2nd daughter's 1st Christmas baby ornament. Every year she fawns over it, and every year I have to explain to my firstborn why she doesn't have a 1st Christmas baby ornament. 'We just didn't think about it at the time, I'm so sorry.'  The cigar box was given to my husband by one of the girls in reference to a cigar-smoking stage he went through and has since dropped, the Lucy from Charlie Brown ornament is from a local amusement park, and the Santa is one of several I fell in love with and passed out to my friends at work.

This train is a Hallmark production, the date is of the maybe 2nd year my husband and I were together as a couple, before we married in 1989.

So many pictures of so many ornaments, everyone a story connected. So many pieces of little moments of my life during the holidays past. Is it any wonder we all are so nostalgic during Christmas?

Hope everyone is having warm and wonderful memories of thier own holidays past and present.  I'm linking up with Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.
I am also linking up with Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show off your Christmas Tree Monday.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Every Day Enjoyed

This was the second to last weekend before Christmas. Things I did NOT do:
1. Go to the mall and shop for items for my daughters, as intended.
2. Start addressing Christmas cards.
3. Even purchase those Christmas cards.
4. Get a head start on the cranberry sauce for Tuesday's luncheon.
5. Make up the cookies for Wednesday's cookie exchange.
6. Do any cleaning of house or organizing of decorations.
7. Catch up on those blogging parties I was hoping to participate in.

Things I DID do this weekend.
1. Spent several hours Saturday pulling out a sewing machine I haven't used in many years to help my daughter with a sewing project for her fasion design class.
2. Went out Saturday evening for a hot dog outside Costco with the family and some window shopping with them later (research).
3. Spent most of the day Sunday out with my husband, beginning with a local museum gift shop I had a certificate for.
4. The intended trip to the mall turned into a hike at a local bird sanctuary in honor of the warmer than usual weather.
5. Lunch with husband and running errands with him.
6. Bought one silver reindeer at a local pharmacy while picking up meds.
7. Counting my blessings on this blog.

Hope everyone is enjoying every minute of the Holiday Season.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Angel on High

I have discovered that one of the few surface areas I have readily available to be decorated and left undisturbed is my curio cabinet. Fair enough, it does call for something be there, it's one of my favorite, possible my very favorite, piece of furniture. I can put whole displays up there without worrying that they'll be shoved aside so the space can be used for something more practical. It sits just out of the cats' reach, so there is no danger my pretties will be dumped off by furry beauties attending to their bathing rituals. And because it's out of the general traffic pattern, my husband won't bother it. (Can you believe that man removed my Christmas tablecloth and placemats? He said it was to wash them, but he replaced it with the fall linens I had just removed this past weekend, and the Christmas ones were clean and folded.)

I got a little carried away with decorating there this year.  The focal point is the angel, which was a Christmas present from my younger daughter a couple years ago. I love her white robes and wispy feathery touches. She presides next to a favorite gold gilden star-shaped box. I've filled in white poinsettias and snowmen and candles. The cake plate has been transformed into a cloche with doves nestled on my grandmother's ruffled doily and beaded garland.

If I'm going to show off the top of my curio cabinet, you may as well see how I finshed off the front. This gold stocking gets added impact from another white poinsettia and a glass Santa ornament. A lovely Christmas card peeks out of the stocking top, my aunt carried through the angel theme on her card to me.

As I posted this, it occured to me that someone may want to see what the entire curio cabinet looks like. This picture is from last Christmas, so you can see I have some of the same elements, just less in the space. Hopefully I've not gone over-the-top in my toppers this year.

I'm joining up with Marty for Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life. She has a lovely curio cabinet to top as well.