Holidays, 2015

Holidays, 2015
A Winter Scene - red door, a dusting of snow, and a vintage bicycle

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wedding Details

the 'ewe' makes an adorable door knob fanciful....I love you

The wedding day is fast approaching----the guest room is all cleaned and all the little 'fancies' that I've collected over the years are out and about for our guests to enjoy........

                                     the MOST IMPORTANT part of a wedding, however, 
                                       is that LOVE brings us all together......                        

Friday, August 27, 2010

The German White Glove Test

My mother is coming to visit in a couple of days and all of us want to have our homes looking their best but my mom is German.  'nuf said, right?  Yes, I've ironed my pillowcases, cleaned out the tracks in my windows, emptied my refrigerator....even washed the little curtains on the window in the garage! 

Many of you know that I want to own a bed and breakfast; this has been a dream/goal/passion for many years.  I have a room in the house I call 'The Bed and Breakfast" room--it's the guest room, but I just love walking past it---I fuss in it.  I guess that's what you'd call it---it's a mixture of log lodge, victorian farmhouse, and plush amenities.... (there's a bottle of Lollia's WISH on the antique dresser).  Let's just say that WISH is pretty special...


Well, with that said....I 'fuss' in that room in extra special ways when company's coming, but my German mom's coming and she doesn't come very often.  She's coming for the wedding and she's staying more than two days.  Not only did the sheets get ironed, but I sprayed them with lavender linen spray....I'm telling you, it smells good in there!

Mom likes lace..... 
I pulled back the coverlet to show the lacy pillowcase....I know, I know...

I've put out a fresh stock of unread magazines, the bathtub is sparkling clean, and the windows are getting washed tomorrow---couldn't do that TOO early---the wind might blow dust on them again! I washed the coverlet, the mattress pad....I mean EVERYTHING's been cleaned.  I've got to pass the white glove test.  No, she doesn't really come with white gloves, but she sees everything and she doesn't mind moving things to look for dust....
There's a fresh stock of neatly folded hand towels by the sink and Jurlique rose hand lotion will just beg for her to try it....she'll love it, by the way. 

I mean....doesn't everyone put doilies under their hand towel stand?

The 'bed and breakfast room' is called 'Moose Lodge' might say that I like Moose, but we won't go into that too much right now....we're going to stick with the guest room, but the house has a significant amount of 'moose' items, you might say....

this is the 'rustic' part of the room...
The big log bed is cozy and I've tucked extra pillows nearby in case one is not enough.  I've emptied the closet so there's room for her will be interesting to see what she decides to wear to the wedding.  I asked her a few days a German accent she said, "I'm vearing a black skirt; is long."  Is that it mom?  What are you wearing on top?  "I don really know...maybe a lil lace jacket".... that part scares me.  My mom is known to wear white stretch pants with a halter top; I'm seriously not joking...and she's like 82.  I may have to get a bigger corsage...just in case!

This is the Victorian meets rustic lodge part

An incredible seamstress friend made the little hearts for me...

I even have a little birdhouse named Moose Lodge in there!

Well, you're getting the message that I've tried to make it special for my mom; I want all my guests to feel special.  I called my mom today and told her how happy I was that she was coming...I got kind of teary as I explained how much it meant to me; I really did.  She couldn't hear me though and just said that she made a lot of cookies that she's bringing and that she's bringing me her old sewing machine because she doesn't really use it.  She's also bringing me her old bedspread because she got a new one and doesn't like this one anymore....and some dishes and glassware.  I'll take a picture of my china cabinet some day; I don't need any more dishes.  I have her Franciscan desert rose dishes in there now because she doesn't like them anymore...I've actually grown rather fond of them.  I recently used them for a tea party I put on for a child's 8th birthday party....all the girls brought their American Girls was very special, actually.  Thank you Mom....I'll find a spot for the dishes that are coming...



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tiffany Blue and Chocolate Brown for Her Wedding

My daughter and future son-in-law came over last night to see all the things I've been creating for the wedding. I'm having a ton of fun doing some of the 'little things' for the wedding---it's less than 2 weeks away; I can hardly believe it! It's fun to see myself in one of the roles that I can see myself doing in the future---so while my daughter has been away for the summer, I became the wedding planner. If I was the MOM, I'd be too worried about her---this way, I played a different role. You see, she spent the chunk of the summer in Africa as part of her education to be a veterinarian and it's something she's wanted to do for most of her life.

Instead, I've been working on centerpieces, headpieces for the flower know what I mean.  If I owned a bed and breakfast, I might be helping brides do this sort of thing, or at least make, it's good practice!  

Here's the future bride just 2 weeks ago...testing for tuberculosis in Africa on Maasi cattle

I mean, while she's helping to better our world, I've got to be doing something important! I've left teaching behind me and the school year has started without me.....I need a purpose!  Let's make wedding favors!!

This is the 'toss bouquet'
I'm also making the bridesmaids' bouquets.......

There will be 3 bridesmaids
Every wedding has got to have a meaningful cake topper, right?  When my daughter was 3 years old, she and her sisters got into this white gazebo, and out of the blue, she says, "I want to get married in here," and then began to sing, 'Here comes the Bride.'  That's PART I.   PART 2 is that she has a lab and 'he' has a collie---
so.....voila!  The meaningful cake topper!

I was going to have them say, " I Do-Do, " but felt it might be inappropriate for the wedding
Are you having fun yet?  I am!  Let's keep going!
This is just a 'practice' cupcake, but cupcakes are going to have edible butterflies on them.
They will be having a large cupcake tower with a small cake at the top---the white gazebo will go atop the small cake.  I'm also making chocolate bouchons.  I got the recipe from the Bouchon Bakery from Yountsville, CA--I was so impressed with the novelty of the little 'cork' as the word 'bouchon' means in French, that I made them for my daughter and she agreed that the wedding needed a little chocolate.  You see, all of the cupcakes will be like Magnolia Bakery's 'vanilla vanilla' cupcake----

This is it--THE BOOK

The bouchons have already been baked and frozen

They are doing a 'wedding wishes' tree instead of a guestbook
I made the wedding wishes tag to hang on the wedding wishes tree!  See, this all ties in with their 'tree' theme.... 
This isn't 'finished', but you get the idea
Here's what sold us on the idea:

Looking for something unique to display at your wedding reception and stay green? Move away from a traditional guest book and use a Wish Tree. The Wish Tree is a Dutch wedding custom where guests are given a piece of paper, either shaped like a leaf or made of card stock. The guests write their wishes to the bride and groom and then hang it on the tree. This creates a gorgeous centerpiece and the tree is placed at the entrance to the reception to wow your guests right when they walk in. Anchor the tree’s design on the theme or color palette of your wedding celebration.

Alright, well, I better get to work---it's getting close and I've still got lots to do.....besides, I've got a lot of cupcakes to sprinkle! 

Are you guessing yet that their colors are tiffany blue and brown?


Monday, August 23, 2010

I've got an April Cornell tote in hand and I'm going to the Farmer's Market!

NOOSA yoghurt is amazing- you're just going to have to taste it

Hats, scarves, bags....all hand-made and artfully designed

Saturday's Farmer's Market....step on in!

Don't you just LOVE a stroll through a local Farmer's Market?  me, too!!
This past weekend, I made it a priority to go before doing anything else.  I just ordered this new tote bag from April Cornell and well, I just HAD to use it! I don't work for April Cornell nor do they pay me anything to tell you this, but they're having a BIG SALE and it was only $12.00.  I have another one from last year and I get so many compliments on it.  They are sturdy and made of gorgeous fabrics that look like you've just come from Provence!

Anyway, the local Farmer's Market is FULL of vendors who offer produce from all over Colorado and right now, peaches are the big thing!

Yes, I bought an entire box.  Cost?  $25.00

Not only are there lots of vegetable and fruit stands, but many people do photography, crafts, honey, salsa, and so much more!  Here's some of this weekend's vendors that I visited.  And yes, people were giving me funny looks for taking pictures.....but hey, I knew you'd want to see it!

This gal did dried floral wreaths alongside fresh bunches of cut flowers

Many farmers came from hours away to sell at this market!

Stone Soup is a group of volunteers who take leftover vegetables after the market is done for the day, make soup, sell the
soup, and then give the money to the local food bank.....that's really, really special.

I had so much fun, got out in the Colorado sunshine, and was completely energized to get home and do yardwork!
If there's a local Farmer's Market near you, go out and visit it and reap the health benefits of fresh, local, organic food!


Monday, August 16, 2010

The 50 day project

It's been nearly 10 years since I purchased a townhouse; it was brand new, but for the most part, the contractor's 'brass & glass,' original spray-on paint, and large wall-sized bathroom mirrors gave the place a 'so yesterday' kind of feel.  My youngest daughter has been living in there for some time and is getting married here shortly.  To make a long story short, she spent most of the summer in Africa, as part of a lifetime dream that coincides with her education in veterinary medicine.  Her fiance' and I decided that during her absence, we'd keep busy w/ a project to not only update the home, but to also make it more 'Manny friendly' as he likes to say.  Eco-inspired was the theme.  So, what was done?  First of all, over the last 9 years, I've done a few projects in the house every summer.  One time, I added a newer deeper kitchen sink w/ a fabulous faucet.  On another occasion, I replaced the contractor's dishwasher which was failing miserably.  On another occasion, I changed the 'brass and glass' light fixtures in dining room and in a few other places.  On still another, I changed out the fluorescent light panel in the kitchen to a halogen direct-able light fixture which added warmth and appeal.  All in all, the little changes helped, but the overall look of the place was the same--same contractor's flooring throughout, and I must admit, it was pretty skimpy carpeting.

The project has increased the value of the home, but mostly, it was a labor of love for a young woman and her adoring fiance' who will be a great couple in this vast universe.  That's a pretty grandiose statement, but I feel very confident that that two of them will do some amazing things together and many people, animals, and environments will benefit from their passions.  The home is a launching pad for that love story.

                      So, let's begin:

A bamboo floor was selected from Home Depot- my daughter had expressed this interest in a sustainably grown flooring product, but never really thought she'd come home to one. We got a great deal on a FABULOUS product~ Shop top deals at  It was a long road.  We had 56 days, and during that time, a lot happened, including the sudden death of her fiance's grandfather.  It was a tough couple of weeks as he dealt with events and emotions, but he powered through it all w/ grace and dignity.

In a previous blog, I talk about the floor, so I won't go into all of that again.  I am, however, going to go into some of the details that made all the difference.

Here, the flooring is assembled prior to loading to take to the project site.

Carpeting, pad, and tacking was removed and floors vacuumed

Furniture was covered, discarded, given away, or donated

The 'working space' was created OUTSIDE the home!

Underlayment added prior to floor installation

                                                     The floor is the 'groundwork' of the place.....but here are some of the little details that make all of the difference! 

Removing the big flat mirrors and adding framed mirrors in all baths

Add hardware to existing cabinetry really made it look more special

New fixtures were added throughout; shower enclosure added previously

The closet was completely 'gutted' and reorganized

Martha Stewart 'cubes' were added to help separate 'like' items

a special 'wall words' touch added above the bed

A few 'outdoor-in' places to warm it all up

1 bath got cabinets painted black....and new bamboo-look water faucet

Removed 'brass' from fireplace screen with high temp black spray paint

Stainless appliances for a fresh new look...and the microwave was $60.00 from a scratch and dent 'back room' sale @ Home Depot....make sure you're NOT in a hurry when you do these kinds of projects---it PAYS to shop and wait for bargains!

A few little touches on walls and countertops for a fresh look

The dogs' leashes get hung up and out of the way!

The whole house got a fresh coat of paint--protect carpets w/ old sheets, etc.!

Add some soft lighting

New shower curtain and a shelving unit for special things

A few special touches here and there....

Front door gets fresh blinds and a good floor cleaning

Dining area is completely re-done w/ a refinished cabinet that was just taking up space in the garage!

A few new pieces added from Target!

Looking GOOD coming down from upstairs!

I think she liked it....and LOVES him!!

Good Work....Mission Accomplished!
Shop top deals at
And Thank you Home Depot!