Hot Spiced Cider Punch

Hot Spiced Cider collage Hot Spiced Cider Punch

On a cold winter evening, serve your guests Hot Spiced Cider Punch as they arrive. The aroma in the room will be so inviting and the hot punch will be just what is needed for a quick warm-up! What I like about it that it is ready to go when your guests arrive. There’s no last-minute preparation and anything left over is still good to use the next day. I use a large coffee percolator to keep it warm and ready to serve. This is a great non-alcoholic cider punch for any winter get-together.


Hot Spiced Cider Punch

1 gallon cider

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick cinnamon

5 whole cloves

Simmer these ingredients for 30 minutes.  You can make this in a saucepan over the stove or in a coffee urn.

When I use a coffee urn, I place the first ingredients in the basket and pour the cider in the coffee urn. I let it perk through the cycle and get hot. Then, I remove the basket and add the O.J., Lemon Juice, tea and mix together.



1/2 cup orange juice concentrate – do not dilute the concentrate

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon instant tea or 2 tea bags

Let everything get hot and serve.


 This is so quick and easy to make. We served this at the last Christmas women’s event at church and they loved it!

Hot Spiced Cider pic Hot Spiced Cider Punch






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Christmas Tablescapes – Part 2

Christmas Tablescapes – Part 2 is another tour of the wonderful tablescapes that many women from our church did for the Christmas Extravaganza.   It’s a beautiful way to begin the Christmas season. I’m sure you’ll find lots of inspiration to spur your own ideas for your Christmas table. I hope you didn’t miss the first post, but if you did, here it is….. Christmas Tablescapes 2014

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2 PM Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2

I’ll first start with some traditional red, white, and green tablescapes!

Red and white  always make a striking tablesetting!

Christmas Tablescapes cardinals Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


Traditional red,  green, and white can be changed and dressed up many ways. The red candle centerpiece, surrounded by greenery and red berries, is set off by the addition of the white cutwork table-topper. Red and green patterned napkins add another festive touch.

Christmas Tablescape red green with candle Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


Use glittered branches lit with small lights and place in a vase. Accent the branches with red and silver balls and you have a quick centerpiece!



Christmas Tablescape red white twig Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


Red, brown, and gold are the colors of the next Christmas tablescape. The color brown is repeated in the napkin rings, tablecloth, pinecones,  and twigs in the centerpiece.


Christmas Tablescape red and gold Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


This year, I’ve seen lots of mixing of gold and silver. This table shows that trend.

Christmas TAblescape gold silver jewelry Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


Burgundy, white, green, and gold are the next Christmas tablescape combination. The colors in the plates are repeated in the centerpiece, placemats, chargers and glassware. This was the second table that I decorated (first was Duck Dynasty Tablescape). Would you believe I found this set at a thrift store? Yes, a placesetting of 12 for $22! I couldn’t do better at a dollar store! I must have hit the store at just the right time. (Not that I needed more dishes! Ha!)  The napkins are rolled with a burgundy bow attached with wire.! Simple and inexpensive!

Christmas Tablescapes burgandy 1a Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2



This black, red, and white tablescape has a nature feel with all the birds placed around the centerpiece. The white snow on the bottom had lights underneath which illuminated the centerpiece.


Christmas TAblescape white woodland Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2



Carolers with a church in the background, look lovely with the Christmas china used on this table.

Christmas Tablescapes carolers church1 Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2



A white tablecloth sets off the deep red, antique dishes. The centerpiece is a red mosaic glass candle holder. Around the candle holder is greenery with woodland animals and pine cone accents. Peeking out of the greenery are birds, fox, owls, squirrels and other creatures of the woods.

Christmas TAblescapes woodland Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2

Here come the blues!

 The “in color” of turquoise is lovely with this silver and white accented tablescape!  The woman who did this tablescape got her dishes at a thrift store, too! Nice bargain! Those silver and white dishes will go with anything!


Christmas Tablescapes turquoise 1 Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


More turquoise, silver and white! This centerpiece started out as a garland. The raised 5 candle holders are a glass dish glued on top of a dollar store glass candle holder. The garland wraps through and around the candle holders. The placemats are  from a paper napkin and coordinating paper napkins are placed in the water glasses. I hope you can imagine this table lit as my picture of it all lit up didn’t turn out. Sorry! 

Take notice of the ribbon on the plate! More color and texture are added to plain white plates.


Christmas TAblescape turquoisesilver 1 Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


A lighthouse is the focus of this tablescape! How does this fit into Christmas? Well, Jesus is the Light of the World! He came to save the world! A lighthouse saves those who may be lost and can’t find their way, too!  Blue toule surrounded the base and was lit with small Christmas white lights!


Christmas Tablescape lighthouse Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


If you have a beautiful set of blue dishes, a white tablecloth and silver accents really enhance the blues!

Christmas Tablescape Blue white Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


A glowing candle centerpiece surrounded by peacock feathers features the color tones for this table. Peacock ornaments, turquoise glasses and beautiful peacock feather, textured salad plates make this a very unusual, but gorgeous table for Christmas or New Year’s.


Christmas Tablescapes peacock table Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2



Christmas TAblescapes peacock placesetting Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2

Here’s “The Little Drummer Boy Table!”

How sweet is this Drummer Boy? Criss-crossed burlap runners have some of the lines from the song written on them. The candles are filled with tiny drum ornaments.

Christmas Tablescape drummer boy 1 Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


Individual Drummer Boy ornaments with a tiny drum are wrapped around the napkin.

Christmas Tablescape drummer boy 2 Christmas Tablescapes   Part 2


The women of our church really came up with some gorgeous tablescapes, didn’t they?

Hope you enjoyed the Christmas Tablescape inspiration!


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13 Creative Holiday Party Favors

I love setting a beautiful table at Christmas time. One thing that adds so much detail is placing  holiday party favors at each placesetting. It’s especially fun to use a theme throughout your tablescape and add a favor that goes with it. Sometimes I use a favor as a napkin ring or a placecard holder. Here are some favorites that I’ve pick out. Check out all the details and directions on Hometalk or click on the picture below.

grandparentsplus0912 13 creative holiday 13 Creative Holiday Party Favors

I’m sure all these holiday party favors will give you inspiration and ideas for your own tablesetting!  If you don’t have time this holiday season, save to use next year. 




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Shrimp Christmas Tree

I needed a quick appetizer to bring to a party. There was no time to make something so I grabbed a bag of shrimp, went home, and shaped them into a Shrimp Christmas Tree! I lined the tray with spinach leaves. A cheese star is at the top, celery for the trunk, and sliced stuffed olives for tree balls. Along side the tree I placed a small bowl with cocktail sauce. 

Shrimp Christmas Tree 1 Shrimp Christmas Tree


Now, that’s fast and easy!



Shrimp Christmas Tree P Shrimp Christmas Tree


The Shrimp Christmas Tree tastes good, too!





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DIY Gift Bags


DIY Gift Bags are fun to make, easy to use and delightful to receive! They make gift-giving even more special when it’s in one of these cute DIY Gift Bags! Kids can make them, too. It is a wonderful classroom or individual project. 

( OK, this is another DIY Gift Bag idea. I got going by doing a snowman and then Olaf and then couldn’t stop with the ideas. So now you also have a reindeer, penguin, puppy and Santa! )


Gift Bag Collage lettered DIY Gift Bags

Materials are inexpensive and easily found. The bags are under $2.00 for 50 in the grocery department of Walmart next to the regular lunch bags. Other materials include fun foam or construction paper, felt, and glue (if using foam, be sure you use a special glue).  I used a combination of fun-foam and construction paper on these samples, but if you’re doing it in a classroom, all construction paper works fine and keeps the cost down.

Personally, I like a bit of dimension that the combination gives. For kids, it is harder to cut and more expensive to use the foam.


First, gather all your materials…..

Fun foam or construction paper, white bags, scissors, glue, pom-poms, cotton balls, permanent marker and felt

On the following pictures, there are approximate sizes for each piece. 


Santa Gift Bag

Santa Gift Bag 1 DIY Gift Bags


 Puppy Gift Bag

Puppy Gift Bag 1 DIY Gift Bags



Rudolph or Reindeer Gift Bag  


Rudolph Gift Bag 1 DIY Gift Bags


Penguin Gift Bag 

The only difference for the Penguin Bag is the face piece. Cut from a piece of white  3 1/2 inches by  2  3/4 inches. The orange triangle beak is 3/4 in. by 3/4in.

On the Santa and Penguin bag, add a touch of blush on the cheeks with a q-tip. 

When you have placed the gift in the bag, secure on the sides with a small amount of tape. Now, watch for the comments on your cute DIY Gift Bags. These aren’t just for kids! 

Gift Bag 3PicMonkey Collage DIY Gift Bags




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Christmas Tablescapes 2014

The annual Christmas Extravaganza at our church with all the wonderful Christmas Tablescapes, is always a spectacular event. Women decorate a table with their own Christmas Tablescape ideas. Each year, they are unique and beautiful! It is a wonderful start to the Christmas season with great fellowship and a program focused on the real meaning of Christmas. Some tables are whimsical and fun while others are just plain elegant! This is Part 1 of two posts with Christmas Tablescape ideas.


Christmas Tablesettings collage part 1 Christmas Tablescapes 2014


 This tablescape states what Christmas is all about “The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us”   Notice all the details they included…..


Christmas Tablescape word made flesh 1 Christmas Tablescapes 2014


 Old Bibles tied with twine, gold and black accents, along with burlap ribbon make a beautiful combination of textures on this table….

Christmas Tablescape word made flesh 2 Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 Antique buttons also add interest…..

Did you notice the tablecloth covered with pages of words from an old dictionary?


Christmas Tablescapes word became 3 Christmas Tablescapes 2014


 Antique button napkin rings look beautiful with this setting. 


Christmas Tablescapes 2 Christmas Tablescapes 2014



The next tablescape features three wire angels holding candles. 


Christmas Tablescapes gold black angels Christmas Tablescapes 2014

An ornament is used as a napkin ring.  Black, white and gold look stunning together.

Christmas Tablescapes goldblack napkin ring Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 Using a window box as a base, adding a unique metal piece in the middle, sure makes a stunning table centerpiece. Just add lights, candles, pinecones and ribbon! Sounds simple, doesn’t it! This took a bit of vision along with creativity!

Christmas TAblescapes Arch 1 Christmas Tablescapes 2014


Christmas Tablescapes arch21 Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 Red, white and silver are the colors of this table. Fill a glass cylinder with silver balls and another one with red balls. It is simple to do and looks so elegant. 

Christmas Tablescape Silver and Red Table Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 Extra glass vases are glued on top of a dollar store wine glass. It elevates the candle light and becomes a unique piece as part of this tablescape. Alternating the color of the napkins is another great idea.

Christmas Tablescapes red Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 Adding burlap to a Nativity scene makes a lovely centerpiece.  A simple sprig of pine sets off the napkin. 

Christmas Tablescape 2014 nativity Christmas Tablescapes 2014

This is such a cute, whimsical snowman tablesetting. Notice the hat and hands! Snowman mugs awaited the guests.

Christmas Tablescapes snowman individual Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 The centerpiece has a snowman collection to delight the guests. A cute snowman tablecloth is another added detail to this wonderful tablescape!

Christmas Tablescapes snowman table Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 Black and white nutcrackers stand at attention around a sparkly, mirrored tree.

Christmas Tablescape black white. silver Christmas Tablescapes 2014


Beautiful black dishes topped with a silver salad dish add more glitz and detail to this elegant table! 

Christmas Tablescapes black white silver nutcracker Christmas Tablescapes 2014


 Here’s a beautiful Caroler setting. The mirror underneath reflects the candlelight.

Christmas Tablescapes carolers on mirror 1 Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 Antique china accented with green chargers compliments the entire setting.

Christmas Tablescapes carolers with china Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 This tablescape also features Carolers, but these are handmade by her elderly mother. Individual Carolers are at each placesetting. This will be a keepsake for the family! Christmas is full of memories!

Christmas Tablescapes caroler by Healy1 Christmas Tablescapes 2014

 Yes, this is a Duck Dynasty Christmas Tablescape!  I give more detail on this Duck Dynasty Tablescape post. This is one of the tables that I decorated.

christmas tablescapes dd4 Christmas Tablescapes 2014



As I said, this is Part 1 of Christmas Tablescapes 2014.  Part 2 is to follow! 

Hope you enjoyed the variety! Perhaps it gives you some ideas for your own Christmas tablescapes or tablesettings! (I never know which one to call them)



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Duck Dynasty Tablescape (for Christmas)

Just for something fun and different, I made a Duck Dynasty Tablescape for a women’s Christmas event. The women at my table were great sports with this unusual Christmas setting. I’ll tell you about how I made the details of the tablescape. It would also work for Thanksgiving if you have hunters or Duck Dynasty fans in your family. I used the green camo as it seemed to go better with the Christmas decor.

Duck Dynasty Collage2 Duck Dynasty Tablescape   (for Christmas)


I wanted to have a hunting scene so I downloaded a silhouette of a man hunting ducks. Then, I copied it through a copy machine on an overhead projector transparency. It fit perfectly around the dollar store vases. Just before our first snowfall, I went into a swamp area and cut some cattail leaves. At a local floral shop, I found pencil thin cattails for 10 cents each! I expected that I could just add water and stick the cattail leaves in the vase, but when I tried it, the cattail leaves floated up! (Guess that’s why they stand up so good in the wet swamp) So, I used floral foam covered with a square of burlap and secured them down in the vase. I used submersible LED lights down in the water to illuminate it.

Christmas Tablescape dd2 Duck Dynasty Tablescape   (for Christmas)


The burlap poinsettias were on a pick from the Dollar Tree. There were five blooms on the pick for $1.00! The chargers were $.38 on a closeout at Michael’s because they were shiny orange! I painted them green. (Be sure to use spray paint that adheres to plastic.)

christmas tablescapes dd4 Duck Dynasty Tablescape   (for Christmas)

 Christmas greenery,  battery operated lights, along with a few antique duck decoys, decorated the center of the table. At each placesetting, I used burlap ribbon along with wood slices to compliment the napkins. I found duck stickers and just adhered them to the wood slices which my husband had cut for me. I made Duck Dynasty phrases and placed them at each placesetting.  The phrases were:  “Jesus, God’s Son, is born! – That’s a fact, Jack! “, “Happy, Happy, Happy, to know Jesus!” – “Jesus came to save us! That’s a fact, Jack!”, “Jesus – God’s plan for Salvation”, “Happy, Happy, Happy – That Jesus died for me!”


Christmas Tablescapes dd3 Duck Dynasty Tablescape   (for Christmas)

Another view of the table……

Christmas Tablescape dd6 Duck Dynasty Tablescape   (for Christmas)



Christmas Tablescape dd7 Duck Dynasty Tablescape   (for Christmas)

I tied the chairs with camo cloth. I found a thin fleece blanket at Walmart for $2.88. I bought two of them. One I used as a tablecloth and the other I cut into 6 inch strips and tied them on the chairs. I made felt beards, glued a straw on the side and stuck them on each chair. The felt was too floppy so I backed it with cardstock. Christmas Tablescape beart Duck Dynasty Tablescape   (for Christmas)

Here’s my table guests…..

Christmas TAblescapes p Duck Dynasty Tablescape   (for Christmas)


For a hostess gift, I wrapped a box of  party “Quackers”  (crackers)  for each guest (in Duck Dynasty paper, of course)!

We had a great evening!


Are you a Duck Dynasty fan?

Hope you enjoyed the Duck Dynasty Tablescape! I had fun coming up with ideas and arranging it.  

Here’s a link to Duck Dynasty shows…




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DIY Olaf Gift Bag

The movie “Frozen” is a big hit with kids. I even like it (just a kid at heart)! This Olaf Gift Bag makes a cute craft for kids to do at a Frozen party! If the kids are too small to handle the small pieces, just make the bags ahead of time to hand out as treat bags. If using as a craft, simplify it by cutting the small pieces out ahead of time and let the kids put them together! Whatever you decide, I know kids will be delighted with this Olaf Gift Bag! Patterns are included below.

DIY Olaf Gift Bag 1 DIY Olaf Gift Bag



White fun foam for the face and teeth (this makes it sturdy for the pipe cleaners) If you use white construction paper, use black curly ribbon instead of the pipe cleaners.

Black, brown, and orange fun foam or construction paper – either works   The brown for the arms works better with fun foam or cardstock paper.

Black pipe cleaners

White lunch bags  -( I got mine at Walmart next to the regular brown lunch bags in the grocery section)

Glue that works with fun foam

Hint: some of the pieces are easier to cut out of construction paper. It is cheaper, too!

I used a combination of foam and construction paper.



Olaf Gift Bag Pattern 530x730 DIY Olaf Gift Bag





Fold down the top of the lunch bag 3 inches


Snowman Gift Bag 2 DIY Olaf Gift Bag



Cut the face from white fun foam or construction paper.

Tilt and glue on white lunch bag and trim the folded down part of the bag to fit the fun foam face.

Olaf Gift Bag b DIY Olaf Gift Bag


Olaf Gift Bag c DIY Olaf Gift Bag

Cut and glue face pieces.  The black centers for the eyes are hard to cut for kids. Use a black permanent marker for the small eye circles, if you wish.

Make the eye brows with a black marker

Cut sticks out of brown fun foam for the arms

Cut pipe cleaner into thirds. Twist together and stick through the top of the foam face or glue on the back of the head. If you used construction paper, use black curling ribbon and glue on top of the head. Thin black strips of black construction paper works, too!

Because the fun foam has more weight than the construction paper, secure by sides with a paper clip or tape so that Olaf stands up straight.


Olaf Gift Bag a DIY Olaf Gift Bag

What a fun gift bag for under the tree or favors at a Frozen party!

DIY Olaf Gift Bag DIY Olaf Gift Bag





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DIY Snowman Lights

Here’s an easy project for Christmas! The DIY Snowman Lights are so cute when lit at night. They make a great night-light for a kid’s room or a decoration anywhere. Because they are snowmen, you can keep them out through the winter. They don’t take long to make, either!


Snowman lights 1 DIY Snowman Lights

I found this idea on Craftsforallseasons.  They used wire mesh for hats, but when I found the material at a craft store, it was very expensive! Instead, I used those cheap one-size-fits-all gloves. I ,also, just painted the faces with acrylic paints. I will use these at our grandchildren’s place-settings at the Christmas table. Afterwards, they’ll become a night-light in their room.

DIY Snowman Lights Materials:

Small clear glass “fish bowls”    (The small “fish bowls” are found at the dollar store. ) aka “rose bowls”

“One-size-fits-all”  gloves

Krylon Frosted Glass Spray Paint (use a coupon on this if you can)  Be sure to read directions and follow closely!

Acrylic Black and Orange Paint or Glass paints

Acrylic Spray Sealer – optional


PB300004 300x300 DIY Snowman Lights


Spray clear glass bowls lightly – let dry and repeat with several coats

Apply faces with paint (glass paint may also be used, but it is more expensive)



Make hats as shown…… Snowman Globes mittens DIY Snowman Lights




Snowman Globes mitten tied DIY Snowman Lights



Now, fit the hat over the top of the vase or fishbowl…..   An LED tea-light or glow stick is easily placed inside by removing the hat.  Do not use a regular candle tea-light!

Snowman Lights p DIY Snowman Lights

I like the white light of the LED tea-lights…..

Snowman globe lights DIY Snowman Lights

Wasn’t that easy? 




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Nativity Ornament Craft

Nativity Ornament Craft 011P Nativity Ornament Craft

Christmas crafts are not only fun to make , but also create memories! I especially like Christmas crafts that relate to the real meaning of Christmas. This Nativity Ornament Craft is one of my favorites! It is easy to make, too, with some adult supervision!! Not only is it great for a tree ornament, but it stands on its own for a nativity display!


Total of 17 whole wooden popsicle sticks.

2 flat wooden clothespins

small wooden ball (1/8″ diameter) or Sculpey to make your own ball

small piece of cloth

thin gold string or thread


wooden star

moss or hay(cut up raffia)

Glue gun


Cut 4  popsicle sticks in half at a slant.

Nativity Ornament Craft 003p Nativity Ornament Craft

You need 2 Flat Wooden Clothespins for each Nativity. (2  1/2 inch size)

Cut as shown…


Nativity Ornament Craft 004p Nativity Ornament Craft

Nativity 033 picmonkey Nativity Ornament Craft

Start by laying one stick across the bottom and gluing two half sticks at each end. Be sure the angles are as shown.


Step 1 Nativity Ornament Craft


Glue two sticks at the top, crossing in the middle…


Nativity Ornament Craft 002p Nativity Ornament Craft

Repeat 4 times.  (more if you want your stable deeper)

On the back, glue one stick in the middle as shown….



Nativity Ornament Craft 006p Nativity Ornament Craft

Lay two other sticks along side to measure proper height. Mark with a pencil and cut with heavy scissors or small saw.


Nativity Ornament Craft 007p Nativity Ornament Craft

Glue in place on the back…..


Nativity Ornament Craft 009p1 Nativity Ornament Craft

For the baby Jesus, use a small square of material (I cut-up an old t-shirt ).

Since I couldn’t find any small wooden beads, I made them using Sculpey. I baked several sizes to get the right one. The bead was approximately 1/8-1/4 inch in diameter. I made these ahead of time as they were so tiny that it was hard for kids to manage. I cut a piece of gold thread and glued it on for the halo. Now, fold the material corner to corner and then the bottom corner up (like folding a baby in a blanket). Glue together and glue the head sticking out. The kids just had to glue baby Jesus on the nativity scene with a little “hay” underneath.


Nativity Ornament Craft 010p Nativity Ornament Craft

 Glue Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the manger.

Add a raffia bow and wooden star.

  Nativity Ornament Craft 012p 300x168 Nativity Ornament Craft


My grandchildren wanted to add faces to their nativity ornament craft! They made the details before gluing them on. Cute! I love that they added their special touches. Besides, kids don’t like faceless people!


Nativity 009 picmonkey Nativity Ornament Craft



Nativity Ornament Craft 011P1 Nativity Ornament Craft


Now this is the reason for the season!




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Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring

This Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring is an easy craft that either kids or adults can do. I made these and used them for napkin rings one Christmas. Later, we used them as ornaments on the tree.

snowman ornament3 Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring




1″ wooden ball with hole*     

1″ tall wooden flower-pot with hole

Black  & White acrylic paint

Permanent Marker – 1 black and 1 orange (or use a dab of orange paint)

12″ of raffia for each ornament or ribbon    (be sure to use a ribbon that will make a knot big enough so the ball doesn’t slide through)

 *To use a larger ball, adjust the size of the wooden pot accordingly. It should just rest on top of the ball. Use a thicker and longer piece of raffia, too.

snowman napkin ring craft 003 e1342046628243 225x3001 Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring



Fold raffia in half and tie a knot approx. 2/3 of the way down from the loop

Paint the flower-pot black

Paint the ball white

Add face by making little dots with a permanent marker

Add eyes and an orange nose  (Color the end of a toothpick orange and then cut off and glue on for the nose.  It is easier, however,  to use an orange marker and draw a triangle)

Push the loop end through the ball from bottom to top

Push through the pot the same way. 

Push the ball and flower-pot down to the knot and you’re done! So easy! You can use this as a napkin ring and then hang on your tree.

SNOWMAN ORNAMENT1 Snowman Ornament or Napkin Ring


Your guests will be delighted to find these at their place!



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Merry Cherry Bars

If you want a quick, easy, colorful and delicious cookie bar, this is for you! The Merry Cherry Bars are an old recipe of my mom’s that I changed a bit. They look so colorful on a Christmas cookie plate! No need to drop or roll cookies, but simply bake them in a pan, ice, and cut!

Merry Cherry Bars 1a Merry Cherry Bars


These bars are crisp like a cookie, but you bake them like a bar.They are so simple!


1 cup sugar

1 cup margarine

1 tsp almond extract

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

Generous 1/2  cup chopped red candied cherries  (you buy these in the baking aisle) You can also use maraschino cherries. Be sure to pat completely dry with a paper towel before adding to your dough…

Generous 2/3 cup chopped red and green M&M’s


Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. almond extract, and 5-6 tsp. warm water



Mix sugar, margarine, almond extract, and egg.

Stir in flour and salt

Add chopped Candied Cherries to the batter

Press into an ungreased jelly pan. (a bit of flour on your hands keeps the dough from sticking to you)


Merry Cherry Bars Merry Cherry Bars

Press dough into ungreased pan.


Chop M&M’s and sprinkle over the top and press into dough.

Merry Cherry Bars 2 Merry Cherry Bars

Press chopped M&M’s into the dough.


Bake at 300 degrees for 27-30 minutes.

Cool slightly. While warm, cut the bars, but do not remove. Cool completely in the pan.

When completely cooled, drizzle with glaze consisting of 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. almond extract and 5-6 tsp. of warm water. Glaze should be runny enough to drizzle over the bars.

When frosting is set, remove bars.

Using a spatula, lift bars from pan.

I cut the bars on a diagonal. This looks pretty, but you do lose some small triangles along the edges. My family, however, gobbles those up and I serve the pretty diamond shapes to guests!

Merry Cherry Bars 1 Merry Cherry Bars

Now, I need to share a story about my baking Christmas cookies when my kids were in Jr. High and High school. I would always bake cookies early and freeze them for Christmas time. My kids would find them in the freezer (whenever I left the house) and soon they were gone! One year, they couldn’t find them. At Christmas, I brought out the full containers of cookies and they asked, “where were the cookies? We couldn’t find them!”

My secret was to place the containers in the trunk of my car. When I left home, I smiled to myself as the cookies were safely with me. I could just imagine my kids hunting all over. We live in a northern climate so they stayed frozen the entire time. We had a good laugh at Christmas when I brought them out! I was able to outsmart my teenage kids!


Merry Cherry Bars a Merry Cherry Bars


These Merry Cherry Bars freeze well, too! (you might want to place them in the trunk of your car – HA!)




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Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder


Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder 003p Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder

For my grandchildren at the Christmas table, I like to have something special at their place-setting. This Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder is a cute and easy detail to add to your Christmas table. Slip a lollipop into it and set it along side of their place. You might want to add a little more “greenery” by placing a dollar inside along with the lollipop! In fact, use this as a money holder for an adult gift, too! Either way, it will delight the recipient.

Materials for the Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder:

Felt ( the stiffer, the better) sparkle felt, if you like

Gold and green thread

Gold glitter paint writer

1 sheet of gold glitter fun-foam (or pre-cut gold glittery stars)

Brown felt (for trunk)



Start with Two triangles 4 1/2 inches across the base and 4 1/2 inches in height. (keep pinned together)

Cut the sides to look like branches.

Cut a trunk from brown felt  1 -1/4 inch by 3/4 inch

Start by stitching across the bottom of the Christmas Tree to include the trunk piece. Stitch only the front piece!

  Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder 005p Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder


 When you get to the left corner, add the back piece and stitch them together around to the beginning.

Use the Glitter Paint Writer to add the tree balls. Let dry overnight!

Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder 006p Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder

Add a foam glitter star on top!



Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder 004p Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder

This Christmas Tree Lollipop Holder is easy, isn’t it?




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Snowman Gift Bag

This Snowman Gift Bag is a unique way of wrapping any small present. It’s a gift that will get noticed for sure! This DIY project is simple enough for kids to make, too! Use it as an art project in the classroom or a fun craft to do at home.

snowman gift bags 2 Snowman Gift Bag

Do you give friends homemade candy at Christmas time? No need to buy those tins! Use these cute Snowman Gift Bags instead!

The materials are inexpensive and easy to find.


White bakery bags or white lunch bags (I found these at Walmart next to the brown lunch bags – 50 bags for under $2.00)  The white lunch bags are slightly smaller than the bakery bags, but I’ll give you the adjusted sizes for each bag.

Orange and Black Fun Foam or Construction Paper (Fun Foam looks better, but either works)

2 black buttons

1  or 1  1/4 inch wide ribbon any color

1 small flower or yellow construction paper for a buckle (optional)

Permanent Marker or black crayon



Fold the bakery bag down 3 1/2 inches. (Lunch bag size – fold down 3 inches) The top of the bag has one side that has a notch in it. Fold that notched side down so it is on the under side of the fold.

Snowman Gift Bag 2 Snowman Gift Bag

Curve the folded bottom edge to look like the bottom half of a circle.

Snowman Gift Bag 4 Snowman Gift Bag

For the hat, cut a black rectangle about 6  3/4 inches wide and  3  1/2 inches tall. (for the bakery bag)  For the lunch bag, make the rectangle about  5  3/4 inches by 3  1/2 inches.

Leave a brim of about 1  1/4 inch.  Cut in about an inch or so to form the top of the hat.

Add ribbon to the hat along with a flower or buckle.

Glue hat on top of the folded part of the bag.

Glue buttons on for eyes or draw black circles.

Add black dots with a permanent marker for the mouth.

Cut an orange triangle for a nose and add last.

Your bag is done!

snowman gift bag 1 Snowman Gift Bag


By making templates for the hat and nose, kids can easily handle this craft!  If using for a classroom project, drawing black circles for eyes cuts down on the cost of buttons.

Now, bag your homemade goodies in this cute Snowman Gift Bag and take to a neighbor or relative! These cute bags make great treat bags for a winter party or place a gift in it for a special child.  Whoever receives it, will be delighted!




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Preschool Pumpkin Craft

Here’s a quick,  easy, and fun preschool pumpkin craft. It looks great, too! Just a little prep by an adult and your preschooler can handle the rest! I always try to come up with something that fits the short attention span of a preschooler.

Preschool Pumpkin Craft 7p Preschool Pumpkin Craft


Tag board (if you are going to hang this up)

Orange and Black  Construction Paper

Glue, scissors

Brown Crayon

Orange pompoms –  1  1/2 bags for one side.


Preschool Pumpkin Craft 2 Preschool Pumpkin Craft

First, cut a pumpkin shape out of the tagboard. This pumpkin pictured is approximately 5 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches. Cut the same shapes for both the front and back out of the orange construction paper and glue on the tagboard. Color the stem brown.


Preschool Pumpkin Craft 1 Preschool Pumpkin Craft

The orange construction paper will prevent the white showing through while the tagboard gives it strength for hanging.  If you don’t intend on hanging the pumpkin,  the construction paper alone will work.

Prepare a shallow dish of glue so that the pom-poms can be dipped. It is so much easier for kids to do it that way. Start by gluing the pom-poms around the outer edge and then fill in.


Preschool Pumpkin Craft 3 Preschool Pumpkin Craft

Add black triangles for eyes and nose.  Cut a black mouth and glue on top of the pom-poms.  If you wish, do the same to the other side.

Preschool Pumpkin Craft p1 Preschool Pumpkin Craft

Looks cute to hang on a window or from a chandelier.

Have fun!


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#4 Fall Idea House

This #4 post of the Fall Idea House has more unique and fun decorating ideas. Remember, they’re not just for fall, but adaptable for anytime of the year. As always, I  like to show you one simple idea that I have used in my home from this tour. I’m sure you’ll find several ideas that you will want to use, too, both now and later.

PicMonkey Collage 5p #4 Fall Idea House

There were two bedrooms in this Fall Idea House that showcased many unique ideas. This is the master bedroom…..

Fall Idea House 2014 bedroom1 #4 Fall Idea House

Notice the headboard? It’s an old wooden tabletop! Here’s a closer view…..

Fall Idea House 2014 headboard #4 Fall Idea House

Another re-purposed item is the salvaged metal gate behind the mirror!  Under the table are vintage suitcases used for extra blanket storage. Look at that colorful table runner! It’s a dish towel!

Fall Idea House 2014 bedroom3 #4 Fall Idea House

The unique twine pattern, added to a wooden room divider, has lots of texture and repeats the design in the pillow. Now, there’s a DIY project for you!

Fall Idea House 2014 bedroom2 #4 Fall Idea House

A peek into the second bedroom…..

Remember these macrame’ wall hangings? (You may be too young to remember these. Oops! Showing my age!) Well, they’re now “new” again when used as a headboard.

Fall Idea House 2014 macrameheadboard #4 Fall Idea House

Curtain tie-backs made of wide burlap candle wraps and accented with a textured flower compliments the tan and cream curtains.

Fall Idea House 2014 burlap tieback #4 Fall Idea House

Cream, blue and beige work nicely together in this bedroom. Notice the wire basket table beside the chair.

Fall Idea House 2014 guest bedroom #4 Fall Idea House

Don’t forget the bathroom when decorating for fall. What could be easier than punching a whole in an artificial leaf and putting it in the ring?

Fall Idea House 2014 bathroom2 #4 Fall Idea House

Another tablescape caught my eye  in the retail center.  I love the little pumpkins that they used as part of the napkin ring. The ring itself is black yarn wrapped around the napkin and the pumpkin is just attached to the yarn. Simple!


Fall Idea House 2014 pumpkin napkinring1 #4 Fall Idea House

I couldn’t pass up those little pumpkins and use them myself. I didn’t have any chunky yarn so I just used rope and attached the pumpkins to the rope. Twine or ribbon works, too!

I, also, used the little pumpkins in this easy centerpiece. Along with the pumpkins, there’s dried fungi (purchased), dried rose-hips, and amber votives all arranged on a long, wooden, french bread board.


Fall Idea House 2014 tablescape3 #4 Fall Idea House

Back in a shed, they set up an idea for a pumpkin decorating party. On the table was Duck tape, Washi tape, sequins, paint, buttons, brads, mini-mirrors, tacks. and more.  This is a great party idea! Offer prizes for the cutest, weirdest, most artistic, fanciest, funniest, etc. Guests get to bring home their creations! I’ve got to do this next year!

pumpkins11 #4 Fall Idea House

Sorry to say, this is the last post of the Fall Idea House Ideas for 2014!  What ideas did you like the best?

But wait!!  It won’t be long and there will be the Christmas Idea House!! You might want to subscribe so you don’t miss all the Christmas ideas to come!

If you missed the earlier posts for the Fall Idea House, here they are……  Fall Idea House 2014,  Fall Idea House #2,  #3 Fall Idea House Tour

Thanks for stopping by, 


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Fall Arrangement in a Vintage Caddy

Fall Arrangement in a Vintage Caddy….

Fall Arrangement in Vintage Caddy 11 Fall Arrangement in a Vintage Caddy

The patina and worn look of an old wooden piece is very appealing to me.  I like to use wooden items in arrangements throughout the year and change them with the seasons. I don’t think I ever do the same thing twice. At the end of the season, I find little things marked way down to add to next year’s arrangement to make it a little different.

My color scheme in the great room is burgundy, green and yellow so I wanted to blend those colors in the arrangement. I bought three fabric pumpkins from a woman who exhibits at Silver Dollar City. They were so well done and I loved the wooden stems! The little pumpkins had sunflowers in the fabric so I stuck some silk sunflowers in for the yellow color.

Remember I said that I always find something on sale for the next year? Well, this little burlap owl was on sale for 75% off. Such a deal! So, in the arrangement he went!

Fall Arrangement in Vintage caddy 2 Fall Arrangement in a Vintage Caddy

Last year the Fall Arrangement in the Vintage Tool Caddy looked like this….

Thanksgiving table 016pm Fall Arrangement in a Vintage Caddy

Go to Idea House – Part 1 for more fall decorating ideas.


The lantern on the right of the picture, balances it with weight and height. Lots of texture and pattern makes this arrangement interesting.

  Fall Arrangement in Vintage Caddy 3 Fall Arrangement in a Vintage Caddy



This is now on my coffee table for the fall. Hope you’re inspired to try a fall arrangement  in a vintage wooden piece. Why, even a small crate would make a wonderful wooden base.


Fall Arrangement 51 Fall Arrangement in a Vintage Caddy

Happy Fall Decorating!


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15 Garden Tablesettings

Garden Tablesettings

I am crazy for dishes,  love a beautiful tablesetting, and beautiful garden flowers so going to a garden luncheon was my cup of tea. The 15 Garden Tablesettings were absolutely lovely and each table had a flower centerpiece that accented the colors in the china! It was so gorgeous! Perhaps they will inspire you!

Garden 01 15 Garden Tablesettings

Garden Luncheon Tablesetting 1 15 Garden Tablesettings

Each garden flower centerpiece accented the colors of the tablesettings. The mirror reflected the flowers beautifully!

Garden Luncheon Tablesetting 2 15 Garden Tablesettings

This was our lovely table!


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Garden Luncheon Tablesetting 4 15 Garden Tablesettings


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Garden Luncheon Tablesetting 7 15 Garden Tablesettings


Garden Luncheon Tablesetting 8 15 Garden Tablesettings


Garden Luncheon Tablesetting 9 15 Garden Tablesettings


Garden Luncheon Tablesetting 10 15 Garden Tablesettings


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Garden Luncheon Tablesetting 15 15 Garden Tablesettings

Close-ups of some of the garden centerpieces…….

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  Garden Centerpiece 3 15 Garden Tablesettings

  Garden Centerpiece 5 15 Garden Tablesettings

The luncheon was lovely to say the least.

Did these Garden Tablesettings inspire you?

Hope you enjoyed viewing them!



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1-Dollar Vases Upscaled

1 Dollar Vases Upscaled- 4 different Ways!

1 Vase Upscaled 1 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled

When I saw these cute vases at the Dollar Tree, I knew they would look great upscaled.  They look fine just plain, but by upscaling them, they look even better! They make a great gift with a few fresh or artificial flowers. They come in several colors, but they don’t last long on the shelves. You may want to ask when they get a shipment in so you know when they’re available.

Some of the supplies I used…..

1 Vase Upscaled 2 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled

I purchased 3 items from Dollar Tree. They had some nice grasses and a small bunch of chrysanthemums – total $3.00  The rest of the supplies I had on hand……various ribbons, a little bling, and some twine.


Let me show you four different ways to make these vases upscaled…….

#1  Add twine around the top neck of the vase!

This gives it a casual look.  Wrap the twine around the neck a few times and adhere with clear tacky glue. I added some fall flowers and grasses using only half the mums.  It makes a nice  centerpiece for a small table.

1 Vase Upscaled 3 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled



#2 Add some bling!

By adding a bit of bling, it really dresses it up! I used a rhinestone ribbon for that extra sparkle touch.

1 Vase Upscaled 4 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled

#3 Add ribbon!

Whatever the occasion, Christmas, Wedding, 4th of July, Easter, etc., you can always find cute ribbon to accent the vase. Add a single rose, ferns, Baby’s Breath, and you have a beautiful gift!

1 Vase Upscaled D 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled

#4 Add hot glue!

This method gives lots of texture.  This vase was also from the Dollar Tree. I used hot glue for the bottom only, but you certainly could do the entire vase. Mine is not perfect, but it still looks great!

I  saw this method used on the back side of a glass window on a piece of furniture in an exclusive furnishings store.

1 Vase Upscaled c 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled

Take a hot glue gun and start going around the vase. It is best to set it on a paper plate or something that you can turn and get all sides. You’ll need lots of glue sticks, too! This method, however,  is permanent.

1 Vase Upscaled 15 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled

Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect….. It still looks great!

1 vase upscaled b 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled

Do check on these vases ASAP! As I said, they don’t last long. The slender vases are 8 ” tall. The red vase with the rounded base is also 8 ” tall. I figured that if it didn’t turn out, I was only out one dollar!

So easy to get these 1 Dollar Vases Upscaled – many ways! You may want to keep a few extra on hand for gifts.

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Front Porch Tour

Welcome to my front porch. It is a place where I love to sit and take in all the nature around me. There are hummingbirds, turkeys, deer, and I’ve even seen a bear! We live in a wooded area so nature is all around us. Sitting quietly and watching with a cup of coffee in the morning or a  cold glass of lemonade in the afternoon is so relaxing and refreshing!



Front Porch 1 Front Porch Tour


Front Porch 023p Front Porch Tour

When we built this house 10 years ago, one thing I wanted was a large front porch. It is something I’ve really enjoyed! Let me take your on a tour.

The front door entrance is at an angle into the house. On the left side is a $5 bench (I found at a garage sale) that I painted white. The little concrete dog was a piece that my dad found and always had at their front door. Now, it greets people at my door!

Front Porchp Front Porch Tour

To the right, I have an antique red wheelbarrow. In the summer it holds ferns and in the winter I put evergreens and birch logs. An old weather vane adds some height.

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Further to the right is a wood burning stove. This was the working stove in the cottage that was originally on this property. The cottage needed so much repair so we tore it down, but saved the stove.

Front Porch 001p Front Porch Tour

Peeking through the ferns and window boxes, you can see the vintage wrought iron table and chairs.



Front Porch 024p Front Porch Tour

I had a wicker sofa and chairs, but the squirrels chewed on it so I went with wrought iron! You can see the redo of this set at Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo.

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Now, to the left of the entrance on the front porch……


Front Porch 011p Front Porch Tour

The little antique table and chairs is a French Barrel Garden Chair Set (I think that is what it is called). I found it at a little out-of-the-way antique store where a woman was bringing it in to sell. I asked the price and bought it right away. It was a steal! You often see these in garden magazines.

Front Porch 014p Front Porch Tour

Front Porch 016p Front Porch Tour

The rocking chair is where you will find me in the morning with a cup of coffee! It has the best view of the hummingbirds and the hosta garden.

Imagine yourself sitting on my front porch in these rocking chairs and this is what you see close up.

Front Porch 047+p Front Porch Tour


Front Porch 036p Front Porch Tour


Two of the hummingbird feeders hang from the vintage Dutch girl weather vane. I had to add a bit of “Dutch” since we are of that heritage! I found them in Alpharetta, Georgia at an antique store that was closing. I’m sure, because they were a Dutch girl, not everyone wanted it so I snagged them at a very reasonable price.

Front Porch 037p1 Front Porch Tour

So that’s my front porch tour. I hope it gave you some ideas for using some old vintage pieces. If you want a tour of my hosta garden, go to Hosta Haven! I have over 60 varieties!

Front Porch 1 Front Porch Tour

If you’re in the area, drop by for a glass of lemonade on my front porch, of course!



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Flower Arranging Using Hosta Leaves


With an abundance of garden flowers this time of year, think of using hosta leaves along with your fresh flower arrangements to give more dimension, color, and texture. Fresh flowers from the garden sometimes don’t have enough leaves to compliment them in an arrangement (especially Asiatic Lilies). Combining them with hosta leaves gives you lots of dramatic possibilities.

This little vase has Angel Winged Red Begonia along with Kabitan Hosta Leaves. It makes a striking color combination.

Hosta leaves 002p Flower Arranging Using Hosta Leaves

Another idea is using a shallow glass bowl and adding water. Now, float lilies on top of hosta.  Asiatic lilies have spike leaves that don’t work in an arrangement, but these leaves look beautiful with the lilies! I used a combination of Christmas Tree and Chiquita Hosta.

Hosta leaves 009p1 Flower Arranging Using Hosta Leaves


Hosta leaves 011p Flower Arranging Using Hosta Leaves

I happen to have a green depression glass dish that I like to use to display flowers. This is such an easy arrangement to do!

Hosta leaves 006p Flower Arranging Using Hosta Leaves

Try some climbing roses with Fanfare Impatients  – and, of course, some dramatic leaves!

Hosta leaves 006p1 Flower Arranging Using Hosta Leaves

This little arrangement uses Dark Victory leaves….

Hosta leaves 025p Flower Arranging Using Hosta Leaves


 These are Guacamole  leaves….

Hosta LeaveS p1 Flower Arranging Using Hosta Leaves

Don’t you think the hosta leaves add a great dimension to these arrangements? Have you used them in your flower arrangements? If not, try it!

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Spring Idea House 2014 – Part 4

  PicMonkey Collage4app1 Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4


 The living room and sunroom, from the Spring Idea House 2014, provide more interesting decorating ideas! While these ideas are done by a team of decorators,  perhaps you’ll be inspired by some of their unique designs to try something similar in your own home.

As you enter the living room, you are immediately struck by the blue color scheme and the focal point of the fireplace.  The soothing  sound of water from the fountain makes it such a relaxing and inviting place. Backlighting  the plant arrangement give lots of drama, too!  It makes me wish that I had a non-working fireplace to decorate.

The wall art above the fireplace is a wall mount light fixture! Very striking when lit.

Spring 2014 Idea house 044pp Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4

What a beautiful arrangement in the fireplace!

Spring 2014 Idea house 046pp Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4

To the right of the fireplace……..

Spring 2014 Idea house 045pp Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4

Notice the candles in the blue shell? Here’s a closer look…..   just stuck in sand!

Spring 2014 Idea house 048p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4

The small table to the left of the blue chair had an interesting detail. At the top of the table, it had about an inch depth to it. White sand along with colored rocks, that matched the color scheme, made a interesting design. Glass covers the top!  Now, with little kids, this may not be the perfect idea for you! I can just see this getting tipped over, ugh! It is a beautiful detail, however.

Spring 2014 Idea house 049p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4

Opposite the fireplace is another seating arrangement. Notice the unusual light idea using a re-purposed vintage post.

Spring 2014 Idea house 052p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4

I thought the drape detail was beautiful! Instead of one color of drapes, they used a blue and white combination. The finial at the end is a wicker-type ball.

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  Hung on the wall are two huge industrial drawers showcasing beautiful items to highlight the colors of the room.  The smaller boxes inside add more dimension and display areas.

Spring 2014 Idea house 051p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4

Upon entering the sunroom, so bright and cheery, a white loveseat sits in the middle highlighted by plants and colored glass. Spring idea house 057p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4

To the right of the loveseat is  an indoor garden. This garden reminds me of the Chihuly glass exhibit that we visited in Arizona. Everything is arranged in an old water trough. The gazing ball, glass bowl and orbs give lots of color against the various greens of the plants. I thought this was spectacular!

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  Spring 2014 Idea house 053pp Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4  

This picture shows the trough and how it is elevated on top of an old wooden box.

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Across the sunroom on the opposite corner, the Spring Idea House decorators added another beautiful grouping.

Spring 2014 Idea house 055p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 4


Wow! Enough decorating ideas for you? I certainly will be on the prowl for some of those vintage items. How about you?  Did it generate new ideas for your own place?


Thanks for stopping in and Happy Decorating!


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Spring Idea House 2014 – Part 3

p3collage Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3

Come with me for a peek into the Spring Idea House Part 3, where we enter a bedroom, den/reading room, hallway, and small bathroom. Many of the ideas, the decorators used, have the ability to be incorporated into your own home.  I know you’ll be inspired by their beautiful rooms.

Walking up the stairs to the bedrooms and den, the decorators  hung  framed wall panels backed with teal colored fabric and embellished with large artificial flowers. Very striking, don’t you think?

Spring 2014 Idea house 064p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3


At the top of the stairs is the Reading Room/Den with many re-purposed vintage items.

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The shelving is made from re-purposed gym benches.

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This lighting fixture was one of the most unusual ideas. They took a plastic lampshade and cut slits all around the outside. At each slit, they pushed in a folded book page. Perfect for the “reading” room!

Spring 2014 Idea house 067p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3

Here’s a better look at the inside….

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You need to make sure the bulb is a safe distance from the pages!

The coffee table in the room is a re-purposed industrial cart!


Spring 2014 Idea house 074p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3

Have a shadow box that you don’t know what to do with? Fill with artificial succulents! Succulents look artificial anyway, so no one will really know! This makes an  interesting wall accent!

Spring 2014 Idea house 073p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3

The master bedroom color scheme is navy blue, white, teal, with an accent of the bright green! The main wall is dramatic when painted navy blue. The stencil  goes right around the corner. Half of the stencil is painted as a blue shadow against the navy background. Great look!

Spring 2014 Idea house 103 547x730 Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3

Here’s a closer picture showing the stenciling. Love the chevron drapes, too!


Spring 2014 Idea house 101p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3

Next, is the spare bedroom……

The wall pattern is repeated many different ways in this room. Look for the repetition.

I may be showing my age, but before computers, we used these metal stands for typewriters. It now serves as a night stand.

Spring 2014 Idea House 117p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3


Look at how a vintage luggage or mail cart is re-purposed as a bench/coat rack with storage below.

Spring 2014 Idea House 118p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3


Because of this house being very old, there isn’t a large master bath. However, the small bathroom always has some unique ideas.

The decorators used a bookshelf as storage for towels and various bathroom items. Also, a piece of driftwood makes a “one of a kind” wall shelf!

When the ice is off the lakes, I’ll be looking for that perfect piece of driftwood to use in my home, too! 

Spring 2014 Idea House 122p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 3

A dish towel with a napkin ring highlights the small bathroom window.

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Now, that’s easy to do for a small window! Do you remember the kitchen windows in Part 1? This is a variation of that  idea.

I have a small kitchen window in our cabin where this treatment would look great! Just need to wait for warmer weather to get there. Until then, I’ll be looking for the perfect kitchen towel to use.

Did you get some decorating ideas from the Spring Idea House Part 3? Well, there’s more good things to come! Be sure to subscribe to be notified of future posts.

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Spring Idea House 2014 – Part 2

PicMonkey Collage2ap Spring Idea House 2014   Part 2

Today’s tour of the Spring Idea House takes us through the dining room, kitchen and small bathroom. This is an old house so some of the ideas are unique to this house, but certainly can be altered to fit other places in your home. I love that it gets the creative juices flowing!  Some ideas are trendy and some are timeless just by incorporating vintage items. 

 Upon entering the dining room area of the Spring Idea House, your eyes are immediately drawn to the white sideboard.  Above it,  squares of garden art with mirrors are hung in repetition on the wall! The mirrors are an addition to the back of them.

Spring 2014 Idea house 025jpgp Spring Idea House 2014   Part 2

The same garden art is hung in the windows and used under the glass top table.



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Here’s a better view of how it is used under the glass top table…..

Notice the candles wrapped in twine! Great look and easy to do!

Spring 2014 Idea house 030p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 2

The napkin rings on the table are like “beaded bracelets”.  I found a beaded bracelet in my jewelry box and used it, too! For a women’s luncheon, wouldn’t these be a fun favor to make for your guests to take home!

Their version…..

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My version…..

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Here’s a unique dining room light tied with macrame cord. This might inspire you to try something like this with a lamp shade you own. The macrame cord is supported by a wire ring both on top and bottom of the shade. This is above my patience level! How about you?

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Next on to the kitchen…..

The window treatment was awesome! What a simple and cute idea to secure coordinating kitchen towels with a colorful napkin ring! Do you have a small window where this idea would work?

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Open shelving in the kitchen shows off the color scheme.

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There’s a small niche’ in the kitchen.  A cute hand-painted, whimsical tree gives life to this space. Attached to the tree are three-dimensional flower magnet accents.

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Here’s the secret of how they stay in place……

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That’s right! They put a screw in the wall! The magnets now stick! So clever!

The bathroom off the kitchen used a unique wire piece as shelving storage.

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Here’s another easy accent idea for a small window…


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They used rebar for the rod and set it on hooks! Another easy idea!

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 Which decorating idea, from the Spring Idea House, inspired you today ?  There’s lots more to come!

Happy decorating and thanks for stopping by!


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Spring Idea House 2014 – Part 1

PicMonkey Collage1ap12 Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1


The Spring Idea House 2014 in our area is always a treat for creative minds! There are  new decorating twists and ideas to start your own creative juices flowing. This old house is redone each season by several decorators and  open for tours in Spring, Fall and Christmas. I always look forward to going to be inspired! The home reflects the current trends and mixes them with vintage finds.

There are so many ideas that I will take you through separate areas of the house for each post. This is Part 1!

The first part is the porch entrance. As you walk in there is an old rustic table set in turquoise and greens.

Notice the cute bird cages on the table and the turquoise trivets used as coasters…..

Spring 2014 Idea house 012p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1

Spring 2014 Idea house 011p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1

I noticed that they used floral foam wrapped in a sheet of artificial moss. Vials are filled with astromeria and stuck into the floral foam along with rocks and an artificial bird. OK! I can do that!  I knew I had most of the supplies at home.

Spring 2014 Idea house 009p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1

Here is my version although I didn’t use the vials, but just stuck the artificial greens right into the floral foam.

Spring 2014 Idea house 002p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1

Here’s my version on my table. I loved the narrow centerpiece as my table is long and narrow!

Spring Idea House 026p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1

On their table, they used a simple idea of brown paper wrapped around a napkin attached by a pin and used as place cards.

Spring 2014 Idea house 010p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1

This display was on a side table of the porch. The candles are wrapped in an artificial palm leaf. They used artificial Boxwood balls throughout the house on candle holders, in cages, window boxes, and hanging from lights.

Spring 2014 Idea house 019p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1

A salvaged window is hung as art with metal butterflies added as an accent.

Spring 2014 Idea house 021p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1


Interesting spring window box inside the porch.

  Spring 2014 Idea house 015p Spring Idea House 2014   Part 1



Did you find some spring inspiration for your home?

What was your favorite detail in the Spring Idea House – Part 1?

I’ll continue with Part 2 – the Dining Room and Kitchen – in another post!

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Easter Cross Puzzle Piece Craft

PicMonkey Collage Easter Cross Easter Cross Puzzle Piece Craft

The real reason for celebrating Easter often gets lost with the bunnies, eggs, chicks and Easter baskets. I’m not against all those fun things, however, let’s get across the real message of Easter, too. This Easter Cross Puzzle Piece Craft is an easy reminder of what Easter is really about. This craft is simple enough to use for kids’ Sunday School classes, Wednesday church activities or just for a special craft at home.

The materials used are inexpensive and easy to come by simply using mis-matched puzzle pieces. Planning ahead involves spray painting the puzzle pieces. Depending on the size of the cross, plan on about 25 pieces per cross.


2 sticks per person

I used craft sticks that I had on hand. They were 8 inches long. I cut the horizontal stick to 5 inches.) Crafts sticks may or may not be painted. Popsicle sticks work, too! If you are doing this cross on just a piece of paper, no sticks are needed!

Small Puzzle Pieces  and spray paint (Yellow)


Step 1

Glue sticks together to form a cross.

Easter Cross Puzzle Pieces 001 Step 1 Easter Cross Puzzle Piece Craft


Step 2

Glue puzzle pieces on the vertical stick.

Easter Cross Puzzle Pieces 002step 2 Easter Cross Puzzle Piece Craft

Step 3

Add puzzle pieces to the horizontal stick and repeat so that each area has double pieces.  Try to use the border pieces with a straight edge on each of the ends as the final piece.

Easter Cross Puzzle Pieces 004 step 3p1 Easter Cross Puzzle Piece Craft


Glue onto a piece of cardstock and add the words. (Print the words out on computer, cut and add.)

Talk about how God loved us so much that He gave His son to die as a payment for our sin. We have the gift of salvation by accepting what Jesus did for us and living for Him! It is not a “puzzle”, it is a gift!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.  Whoever believes in Him, has  life everlasting!

Display the Easter Cross Puzzle Piece Craft to remind you of the free gift of salvation that Jesus offers to us!

Happy Easter!



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