Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Luke Chapter 2 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Magnolia Garland

I hosted a Christmas luncheon on Wednesday and the night before I thought the stairs needed a little decoration. So I pruned the magnolia trees in the front yard and made a garland. Who needs to finish cleaning the rest of the house if the stairs look beautiful?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Glitter, Glitter Everywhere

A few years ago I found a huge box of the old Christmas lights with big blue bulbs. I always thought I would make one of those huge trees with lights, but my husband informed me how not energy efficient these lights were. So they have sat in the barn for a while. This year I grabbed a bunch of the bulbs and glitter them.
I then filled vases of different sizes with the bulbs and added them to compliment the displays on my china hutch and buffet.
SO find some old bulbs and glitter away. Use Martha Stewart glitter of course.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Display on Top of the China Hutch

Just a quick post to show you the top of the china hutch. A big floral arrangement and glittered French hens and roosters. I used Martha Stewart's new glitter paint. It takes several coats to get good coverage but it is a beautiful result.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Cards are Finished and in the Mail

I have been making my Christmas cards by hand since I was in college. They are now an expected part of the holiday season. This year I had a chance to a Paper Source store in Georgetown, a crafter's delight. Here are the "ingredients."
I found the Third Day image on Etsy and printed it on crinoline fabric. All the tutorials I read said to affix the fabric to cardstock but I just sent the fabric through the printer and it did just great.
Here are the finished cards.
Each day of Christmas is supposed to have a biblical meaning. The Three hens are faith, hope and love with the greatest of these being love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Vanilla

I try to find a homemade gift to give each year. This fall has been so hectic I needed something simple. I found this great post at Whipperberry for Homemade Vanilla Extract. It really is quite simple. All you need is vodka, vanilla beans and time (about 60 days)> Here is my finished product.
Head on over to Whipperberry. She has a great tutorial for the vanilla and the packaging.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My True Love Tree

Yes, I have a brown Christmas tree. It goes perfectly in my dining room that is painted a color called Cowboy Boots.
In keeping with this year's theme of three French hens, I decorated the tree with feathers in red and brown and "love" glittered in red.
I used the upholstery webbing for the ribbon and topped the tree with brown velvet hydrangeas.
Many more trees to show you. I just have to take the pictures.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Wahoo Tree

Each year, I create a small tree in the hallway that has ornaments from my alma mater, the University of Virginia. I have thought many times about doing an all blue and orange holiday theme, but I think that's probably a bit much.
I also created this wreath to match. It hangs above the tree.
I created several of these for our tailgating friends at the end of the season. I found the mesh ribbon at a site called Trendy Tree. You can find lots of ribbon choices, wreaths, garlands and other holiday decor.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

15 Identical Wreaths

I love that our house has so many big windows. That is until I have to create 15 identical wreaths for the holidays. But I did create them once again.
The ribbon is burlap upholstery webbing. Since my theme this year is three French hens, I am going for a French shabby chic look with lots of burlap and red. I found all the glittered words a couple years ago at Michaels for $1 each. Here is a detail shot of one wreath.
Hope you have hung all your wreaths!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Frankly, Miss Scarlett

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Some of the first ornaments I put out every year are my Gone with the Wind ornaments. Gone with the Wind is my favorite book and movie.
The box that holds the ornaments are actually old post office boxes. Our property once had an old country store that served as the local post office for our area. The store was burned about 10 years ago. But as luck would have it, someone had put the mailboxes out in the chicken coop years ago to serve as nest boxes for the chickens. My dad took the boxes, cleaned them up, fixed any holes and sealed the wood. It makes the perfect display for ornaments. And this year I filled the last box with this year's ornament.
I hope you enjoy the first look at my holiday decor. I'll share more each day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not a Big Fan of the Pot Roast

I have never liked Pot Roast, even as a child. A dry, stringy, tough piece of beef is just not what I want to have for dinner. Then I found this crock pot recipe on Pinterest. BTW are you addicted too? I just love all that I can find on Pinterest and create boards where I can actually find what I liked and then be able to recreate it. Now back to the Pot Roast.
3 Packet Crockpot Pot Roast 1 beef roast, any kind, sized to fit your crockpot 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix 1 package brown gravy mix, I used Lawrys 1 package Italian dressing mix, I used Good Seasons 1/2 cup very warm water Directions: Place roast in crockpot. In a bowl combine the envelopes of mixes together. Sprinkle on top of the roast. Pour in 1/2 cup warm water. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. I did not have a package of Italian Dressing mix, so I just used regular Italian Dressing. I also added some cubed potatoes about 4 hours into the process. Everything was delicious.

Monday, December 5, 2011

You Know You're Martha Stewart When.....

I have followed Martha Stewart and subscribed to her magazine from the beginning. I admire how multi-faceted her life truly is, from the designer clothes to the sheep, chickens and horses. I found this post from Liz Logan at Make It Better that I thought was really great.
You Know You’re Martha Stewart When … We put together a checklist of “Martha” characteristics after meeting the domestic guru at a recent Evanston luncheon for the American Cancer Society. Martha shared stories from her everyday life and her new book, “Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations.” You know you’re a Martha wannabe if … 1. Your children could make a living by making fun of you. 2. You have “never ordered a pizza.” 3. You have never sipped wine by yourself. 4. You raise your own chickens at home. (Martha brings the farm-fresh eggs with her to the office to distribute among her co-workers—“only four per person!”) 5. You’ve been to jail and talk openly about your time there. 6. You own multiple homes. 7. You can feed your family almost entirely from what you grow in your all-organic garden. (And your green house is as large as many people’s homes.) 8. You treasure the ceramic nativity scene you made and painted yourself (in Martha’s case, while incarcerated). 9. You do yoga nearly every day. (Martha has private sessions with the head of the Iyengar Yoga Institute in New York.) 10. You believe it’s okay to indulge in dessert every once in awhile, “when the flavors are fresh and pure.” 11. You simply could not function without your personal chef. (Martha’s chef is Pierre Schaedelin, who worked at the famous restaurant Le Cirque in New York, and he got her through her house arrest.) 12. You rarely eat anything that comes out of “a can or a box.” 13. You enjoy horseback riding. 14. On Christmas Eve, you eat caviar. 15. Before leaving for work each morning, you have to feed all your animals (for Martha, 5 cats, plus dogs and birds). 16. You consider Julia Child your hero. (Martha’s actual words: “a mentor.") 17. You love being a grandmother and cherish every moment with your grandchild. 18. You are open to an artificial Christmas tree, as long as it’s beautiful. (This seemed unorthodox for Martha—might it have something to do with her Kmart line of artificial trees?) 19. You make your own eggnog from scratch. 20. You have no plans to retire from reigning over your empire … EVER. I can check off quite a few of these. But how can you live without Papa Johns.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Are you ready for some football?

UVA second home game is tomorrow.
It's a 3:30pm game so we'll serve 2 meals sometime before and after the game. Here's the menu: Brunch: Waffles made on site. (Generator plus waffle maker=fresh waffles) Maple Bacon Eggs "Crack" Potatoes Dinner: 2 inch porterhouse steaks Marinated Mushrooms "Crack" Potatoes Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookie Oreo Brownie Bars Recipes will follow in the next couple days!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Amazing Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

I found this recipe via Pinterest from The Crockstar. It is absolutely delicious!
2 pounds cubed stew meat 2 cans Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup 1 largish onion diced 2-3-4 tabls of Worcestershire 1/2 water 8 oz of cream cheese couple of dashes of Garlic Salt couple dashes of Hot Paprika In the slow cooker stir in all the ingredients, except the meat AND the Cream Cheese, together. Once combined add the meat and mix together. Cook on Low for 8 hours. Cut up the cream cheese into cubes just before serving and turn crockpot on high. Stir the cream cheese in until all combined. You might have to put the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes. Serve over egg noodles. This is just amazing! Also if you have not discovered Pinterest, let me know and I will send you an invite.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Super Simple Shrimp Etouffee

I love Etouffee but not the time it takes to make the roux, chop the vegetables.

So here is my super simple recipe:
1 lb. of shrimp peeled and deveined
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Golden Mushroom Soup
1 can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies (If you want the non-spicy version, use one can of Italian Style Diced Tomatoes)

Combine the soups and tomatoes in a skilled and heat until well combined. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are done.

Serve over rice.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Colors of Fall

With the cool nights,chilly mornings and the coming of the harvest moon,fall is here.

Pantone has released their Fall 2011 colors. Each year Pantone conducts a survey of NYFW designers to announce what to expect on the mannequins and models starting…now!

This is a gorgeous color palette.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Little Holiday Inspiration

For Holiday Decorating and There I am working my way through the 12 days of Christmas. This year is 3 French Hens.

I am struggling to come up with a color scheme. I would rather do "French chic" and not something like red, white and blue.

Any suggestions??

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Martha Stewart has a New Decorative Paints Line

I walked into Michaels this morning to find this.

New Paints and all the tools to go with it. The paints come in 4 finishes: satin, pearl, high gloss and Martha's famous glitter.

The paint works on all surfaces and is made for indoor and outdoor use. So no more buying multiple kinds of paint.
And there are so many tools.

Many of the applicators actually fit on top of the paint bottles.

Sheer genius! I cannot wait to see all the amazing crafts that are created with these.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Best College Town in the South

Although I live about an hour south of Charlottesville, at least a little piece of my heart still lives there. Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia, Monticello (the home of our third President Thomas Jefferson), vineyards, culture, scenic beauty and many other amenities (One of which is a world class teaching hospital that until this week, I did not realize is an essential).

Southern Living has named it the Best College Town in the South. You can read the article here.

If you have never traveled there, it's worth the trip.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quote of the Week

When summer gathers up her robes of glory,
And, like a dream, glides away.
~ Sarah Helen Whitman

Friday, August 12, 2011

Keys to My Kingdom

I got the idea for this from the cross stitch design from Rosewood Manor called Keys to the Kingdom. I hope to one day stitch that and have it hang beside this piece. Someday......

I took a 12 x 12 canvas and covered it with burlap.

I used Modge Podge on the front and then stapled the fabric on the back.

I then looked for old keys at antique stores and found they were $5-$10 a piece. Luckily, I found these keys in the scrapbook section at AC Moore. $5 a package and they are metal.

I then positioned the keys and used E6000 to attach them to the burlap.

Here is the finished piece.

Maybe someday I'll get the cross stitch piece done, but then again I have a whole drawer of finished pieces that need to be framed, turned into ornaments etc.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sorry I've Been Away

Tried to grab one last bit of summer before school starts next week! Hope you are enjoying the summer!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Football Season in about 45 days away

It's hard to believe, even with the 90 degree temperatures, that college football season will be here in 6 weeks. And college football in the south is above all a social occasion where some football is played.

I attended the University of Virginia where the dress code for games was Laura Ashley/Lilly Pulitzer dresses for the girls and blue blazer and school tie for the guys.

I found this site a couple days ago and just love it.

Dress for the Game

Happy shopping and get those tailgate supplies ready!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Decorating another Very Small Wall

Each bedroom at our summer house has a small sliver of wall between the bathroom and the closet. I put the Lilly Pulitzer shift prints in the master bedroom and need something for the 2nd bedroom.

I have had these plaster angels forever and spray painted them. I think they kind of look like the carvings that used to be on the fronts of old wooden sailing ships.

The shells are from a trip to Duck, NC last fall. And the boat was attached to a wedding present. I found it in a drawer while I was cleaning out.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Very Inexpensive Doormat

I saw this great project on another blog but cannot remember who to give credit to. But anyway, all you need a 4 bamboo placemats from Dollar Tree, Duct Tape, Scissors and a piece of fabric(I used duck cloth) for the center.

Then lay the placemats out in a square.

Then duct tape everything together well.

Here is the finished product. Let's see how long it lasts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monogram Ribbon Canvas

I am slowly trying to redecorate Miss K's room and make it a bit more grown-up. I'm trying to combine a pink and green theme with Tinker Bell.

So I took a 16 x 20 canvas and 9 different ribbons, cut the ribbons to length, and put then in a basketweave pattern.

I used push pins to hold the ribbons in place.

I then stapled the ribbons in place.

I then glittered a chipboard letter K and glued it to the canvas.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My New Secret to Great Deviled Eggs

When you have chickens, deviled eggs are always a super easy thing to take to a party or make when we're having people over. Last weekend I had what I thought was my own brilliant idea to use cream cheese instead of mayonnaise for the filling. So used used the yolks, 8 oz. of cream cheese, garlic salt pepper and 1 tablespoon of Old Bay. The centers ended up being much firmer and much easier to pipe out of a piping bag.

I then put the eggs in this great new carrier I got at Walmart.

After the weekend we went back home and I found these great for deviled eggs that includes cream cheese as an ingredient. So it was a brilliant idea, just one I'd already seen in a magazine.