Sunday, November 30, 2008

'Tis the Season...

Christmas decorations go up around here on Thanksgiving weekend. This year I've had a terrible time waiting until then after seeing all the gorgeous things you ladies out in Blog Land have shown us! Usually we don't drag everything out until the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but this year we did it on Friday, since we ended up buying a new tree (the old one was literally falling apart!).
Here's our tree in the living room. (I'm still trying to figure out the secret to taking good pictures of a Christmas tree!) I couldn't begin to tell you how many ornaments there are on it. Each one is different and most of them have a memory attached to it. One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time is to find new ornaments. I bought 4 at Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving!
We don't have a fireplace, so we decorate our piano as we would a mantel. Here's the garland, but it still needs something, I think. I'll have to dig into my candle stash in the closet to see what I have. I've had the garland for years, but all the fru-fru came from Dollar Tree this year.
I have had this nativity set since was a little girl in Michigan. One year I apparently wasn't thinking when I set it up because I put the cow in the loft. Now, everyone knows that cows can't climb ladders, but that's where our cow ended up. Derek got such a kick out of it that we left it and its been up there every year since.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Christmas in the kitchen...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks...

Give Thanks

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks unto the Holy One

Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks unto the Holy One

Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"

Let the poor say, "I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us"

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"

Let the poor say, "I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us."

Give thanks

Friday, November 21, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

Just take a look at what we woke up to this morning...
You know what that means...NO SCHOOL! Its our first snow day of the school year! I don't know who is more excited, my students or me. I know, some of you are thinking, no school? For just that much snow? I teach in a rural, mountainous area where the roads of the hollows are very slippery when covered by snow and may not melt off for days, even when the main roads are clear and dry. Its just too dangerous for the buses. My brother in Detroit used to laugh when I'd get out of school on days like this and say that our district would cancel school when we got a heavy frost. In our district's defense, there are actually several other school systems that cancelled school today. That's how it is in the mountains.
The problem with this snow is that it makes it so much harder not to drag out my Christmas stuff (I am determined, though, to wait until the day after Thanksgiving). I've been enjoying the Christmas decorations that I've been seeing on several blogs. I'm loving The Nester's gorgeous garland, and Susie's tree is beautiful! I've definitely been inspired!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some Weekend Projects...

Here are a few things I've been working on today...
I finally hung up my rooster hook in the kitchen. I don't have a tassel handy, so I hung up one of my antique keys...

Here's something I made with some scrapbook paper, a metal "S" (our last initial), and a $1 frame from Dollar Tree...

And here's one that I think I'll probably re-work. I'm thinking maybe a cream paint for the frame...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who Knew?

Jill and I have been friends for 16 years. We were undergraduates together at Union College while we trained to be teachers , and got hired at the same elementary school at about the same time (the same one where I still teach). We've been best girlfriends for years, and just when we think we know just about everything about each other, we learn something new. Recently, Jill and I had a rare "Girl's Day Out", and we spent about 5 hours shopping at our favorite spots: Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Goodwill, and even hit the big sale at JCPenney's. On our way home, I spotted an antique store downtown, Alley Stuff, and asked Jill if she'd like to go in. Much to my surprise, she told me that she loved antiquing! Who knew? Well, that's all it took. Now, we can add "antweeking" to thrifting as one of our favorite Girl's Day Out activities.

Here's what I found at Alley Stuff on our first visit:

I am a sucker for dishes, so when I found this one for $2, I couldn't resist. Now just because this is all I bought doesn't mean that I couldn't have spent some serious money! There were some beautiful pieces, but I was trying to excercise restraint. Sure wasn't easy though...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Salute You...

May we never forget those who fought and who are fighting to protect our freedom.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Whole Lot of Clucking Going On...

When is one more rooster TOO many? If you look closely at the pictures of my kitchen, you'll see a recurring theme going on: roosters. I love the Country French style, so when we re-did our kitchen a couple of years ago, I searched out black furniture, dark metals, and roosters. I picked out a rooster wallpaper border:

And that's where the chicken theme began. In this post, I showed you the two rooster prints I made from images off the internet. And in yesterday's post you saw my new rooster plate from Hobby Lobby. Then there's this rooster hook that Derek found at HL that he thought I needed to add to the ensemble:
You'll never guess what he said I should hang from it--a tassel! I think he's been checking out The Nester's or Susie's tassels behind my back! Maybe I should add one or two to my Christmas list...
So I think I've established the fact that there are more than a couple of roosters running round here. I'm guessing I'd better put the brakes on any new poultry purchases for a while, otherwise we may risk being taken over by this guy:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Road Trip...

This afternoon, we drove up to Richmond (about an hour away) to do a little shopping with Mom and Dad. While we were there, I stopped at the new Hobby Lobby, the first one in this part of the state. After perusing the store, all I can say is, Hobby Lobby, where have you been all my life?! I think HL is my new favorite store. Not only do they have crafty stuff to make, they have stuff to pretty up my house (and the prettiest lamps I've seen anywhere). If I'd had an unlimited budget, I'd probably filled up the back of the van and made the rest of the family sit on the roof, but I did have to restrain myself. I got a few things for a couple of projects that I have planned, and I got this beautiful rooster plate for the kitchen:Did I mention that it was only $8?

I can see that I'm going to be making the trip to Richmond every so often. Its a good thing gas prices have gone down!

Friday, November 7, 2008

And Then There Was Light...

Okay, I think the kitchen finally done (at least until we find "just one more thing" that we want to change/redo/update). This time, it was the light fixture over the table. We got this fixture a couple of years ago, and it came with some paper shades that, after a few months, literally started falling apart. The heat from the light bulbs apparently was too much for the glue that held the shade to the wire that fits over the bulbs, and I had to (I can't believe I'm admitting this) scotch tape them back together. I know, scandalous. After all, any self-respecting blogger knows that one must use a hot glue gun! Well, mine was at school, and I never could remember to bring it back home, so I used tape.
Derek always hated the shades, so he soon began planning their replacements. We had a heck of a time getting ones that would fit, but we finally came up with this:(Have you ever tried to take a picture of a light fixture? At night? When it is turned on? Not easy.)
I'm not entirely sold on these, but I think it may be because the 60 watt bulbs we put in are so bright that small aircraft in search of a landing strip are starting to circle around the house. I'll try some lower wattage bulbs and see if we can put away our sunglasses during dinner time.
So now, you ask, what project do we have planned next? Well, thanks to Carrie, I've been inspired to work on my laundry room. Well, actually its just a laundry closet, but its in serious need of some attention.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Until I Started Blogging...

I've only been part of BlogWorld for a little while, but since coming over to the Dark Side, I have learned a lot. The ladies that I follow are endless sources of inspiration and knowledge, so I thought that I'd share some of the things that I didn't know until I started blogging:

  1. You can spray paint dang near anything that doesn't move
  2. There's no excuse for a bare naked window if you have a piece of fabric and some upholstery tacks.
  3. A lot of those beautifully decorated houses you see on blogs? Decorated with stuff from yard sales and the Dollar Tree.
  4. You don't have to spend a fortune to make your house look nice.
  5. There are a lot of creative, funny, generous ladies out there!

Happy blogging!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A little update...

Here is one of the new drawer pulls on the cabinet. We still haven't gotten all of them put up yet, but you can see how well it looks with the new counter.

And here are those two incredibly cheap rooster pictures I made last night. Not bad for a couple of bucks.

p.s. Sorry for the bad picture quality. Rest assured I've put a new digital camera on my Christmas list!

The New Kitchen...

The countertops are in! Stan the Man finished them up this afternoon and what a transformation! Here are some pictures (keep in mind I haven't painted around the top of the backsplash):
Now that we've got the countertops in, we're getting ready to change the hardware on the cabinet doors and drawers to better suit the new look. We lucked out on this one. Derek was looking at handles at work when the kitchen designer showed him a box of handles that she was trying to get rid of. $1 each. And there were 24 of them--we need 20 for the kitchen, and the other 4 are just enough for the bathrooms. They weren't my first choice, but the one that Derek brought home looks really nice, so he's bringing the rest home tomorrow. Here's what we're getting:

Meanwhile, Derek is beside himself because he coordinated this whole project so well. I have to give the guy credit. He picked out the new floor, the new counters, AND the new hardware and picked something I like. He did well!

Since its too late to paint, I fixed up some new rooster pictures. I got the frames at Dollar Tree Saturday morning and the pictures were ones that I actually printed off the Internet. I changed them from color to black and white, printed them out, and put them in frames.
Not bad for only $2. I haven't exactly found a home for these yet, but I'm sure I'll find a place for them in somewhere in the kitchen.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nothing is Ever Simple...

Work on the new countertops has begun! One side of the kitchen is installed and after the sink goes back in, the small piece will go in between the stove and fridge. It is going to be pretty!

That said, no project seems to be without its setbacks. First thing we realized is that the designer didn't order a side splash for the end of the counter against the wall. So for about a week, we'll have a lovely piece of damaged sheet rock to look at until the piece comes in.

The other problem (that the designer failed to tell us about) is that the backsplash on the new counter is about an inch shorter than the old one. So there's about a one inch gap between the paint line and the new backsplash. A new project! Guess I'll be painting soon!

I'll post pictures when we get things put back together. I do like it and the problems are easy fixes. I'll have something to do while I'm off tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Make Your Voice Heard...

No matter who you're voting for, make sure your voice is heard! I'll be excercising my civic duty tomorrow (and probably excercising my patience if the lines are as long as everyone is saying they'll be!).