Monday, December 15, 2014

You Can't See Me

Buddy is hiding. Can you see him? He burrows in so we won't notice him and put him outside. Spoiled dog!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Primitive Garland For The Mantle

This year I made a primitive garland to hang from the mantle. I LOVE it!

First, I had to dehydrate the oranges and apples. I cut them into slices and filled the dehydrator- for three days! One day of oranges and two days of apples. I had to do the second day of apples because my family and I kept snacking on them. They are delicious!

Once I had the apples and oranges dried, I had to drill holes in the walnuts I bought. I put them on a piece of firewood the cradle them and so I didn't put holes in my counter. The firewood worked perfectly and kept the nuts from slipping and moving all over.

Then, I just strung them on a string, alternating pieces, in about 4-foot sections. I didn't want the string to get tangled, so I kept the pieces short and then just tied all four pieces together to make one long strand.

And here's the final garland hung on the mantle. I'll be interested to see if any scent is given off when the fire is burning and the heat reaches the fruit.

Monday, December 8, 2014

This Year's Snowmen

On Black Friday all five of us went on our annual hunt for our ornaments. In case you are new here, the ornaments have to have a snowman on them in some way, shape, or form. Over the years we have accumulated so many different snowmen.

Here are this year's. First up is Mr Farmer's. Unfortunately, he decided it would be fine if his ornament was looking up the skirt of the angel topper. It has arms that are tied together so he is " hanging in there".

Next up is my ornament. It kinda goes with the primitive style I have switched over to this year.

Sissy's ornament has glasses to remind her of the fact that this year she got glasses.

The Boy's snowman has a hat. That's why he chose it.

And finally, Baby's looks like candy. It's sweet like her.

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Christmas Decorations Exploded All Over The Living Room

After decorating for Christmas this year, it looked like Christmas exploded.

I have some new things this year. This antique baby strolling sleigh is so cool! I got it at an auction. I put in a lap quilt, a snowman (of course!), a sock monkey, and my antique teddy bear. I adore the scrolling of the runners.

Also new this year, are my old ice skates and snowman figurine.


More antique skates and a sign I made on burlap.

I added greenery to my firewood basket.

And lights to my antique popcorn popper and lantern.

 And finally, a new birch twig wreath.

I also added some burlap pieces with writing on them to my antique sleigh bells. And also to my little sleigh. I'll show you the technique for doing this in a later post.

And just some pictures of the rest of the decorations.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Our Perfect Living Room Transformation

It's been awhile since I last posted. But I haven't just been sitting around, eating Bon Bons and watching soaps. I don't ever watch soaps since they leave me feeling dissatisfied with my reality. And I have never actually seen BonBons, nevermind eaten them.

I have been busy making over our living room. We have wanted a wood burning fireplace for years. Most of the homes we have lived in during our marriage have had a fireplace of one sort or another and we loved that. We love the smell of a fire, the cozy warmth, and the homey look.

During our journey on this project we have changed our minds many times. We bought 2 different cast iron wood stoves. And we sold those 2 different cast iron wood stoves. We found this wood burning insert on Craigslist for only $150. It looked almost brand new as it was in the basement of a newer home. They switched it out for a gas insert. It was much larger than what we were looking at purchasing new but only a fraction of the cost. PERFECT!

I picked it up. The guy was so nice! He left work as a school principal and helped the kids and I load it in the truck even though he was wearing dress clothes. He helped strap it in and away we went. I love Craigslist! We have one of the best in the country, I think. We buy and sell on it all the time and have only run into one jerk. 

Now I've found my way back from that rabbit trail. We also changed our minds on whether it should go in the corner or in the center of the wall, the mantle and surround, the shelving on the side, and what materials we would use for the chimney cover.

Most of these changes took place before we started that particular part of the project. All accept the surround. That we literally made up as we were building it.

The wood-look ceramic tile floor. We laid it. It was a first for both of us, but I think we did a really good job.

The wood surround. We wanted it to look like an old farmhouse would have looked. No frills. I think we accomplished that.

The mantel and the chimney front. We looked at fireplaces in Menards and they have used this bead board as a surround. I loved the farmhouse feel of it, so we went with it.

We used the same materials for the bookshelves on the one side. I had an antique baby bassinet that was missing the lining and the bottom, so I added a heavy-duty canvas bag lining and simple bottom and it's perfect for a day's firewood supply. The ash shovel/ poker set was purchased for $20 at an auction. It was the look I was going for and very sturdy and heavy. I saw the exact set at a fireplace store for several hundred dollars! I am using an old canning pot for ashes for now until I find what I want. The suitcase/box is where I hide my newspaper, fire starters, and lighter. I covered all our electrical components with a black burlap curtain. We tried it without the curtain but they were just so cluttered-looking and odd next to all the antiques.

The other side of the fireplace is our old "blanket chest" and a doctor's bag I picked up.

I repainted the walls, trim, and doors in the living room, dining room, and hallway. Have I ever told you I hate painting? I abhor it! Detest it! But it looks so fresh, clean, and cozy when it's done. And it's almost instant gratification. That's why I continue to paint. I love fairly in-expensive, instant gratification.

And finally, the only part of this project that we hired done was the carpet. It's Silk Strand by Mohawk in Sepia Tones. I have never felt a carpet so luxurious in all my life! I went in to the carpet shop just to look. I made the "mistake" of feeling the silk carpet and a week later it was ordered and installed. If I had to scrimp and save for another year, nothing was going in my house but that carpet! He gave us an awesome deal- one that a dealer friend of ours couldn't even match. It's guaranteed against staining and soil or they will replace it for free.

I still have a lot of decorating to do, but I need to go to another auction or two to find what I'm looking for. I don't even know what I'm looking for specifically, but I will when I see it. I don't see how this project could have come out any more perfectly than it did. We absolutely love it!

UPDATE: After another auction I now have my final wall decorated with an old tobacco basket, and antique mirror, an oil painting, and a hand scythe.

In the evenings now I just sit, watch my fire, and think about how blessed I am to have my perfect living room.