February 28, 2014

Coming Soon . . .

Hello, all, I hope your week has gone well so far.

I've been looking ahead to switching out the Valentine decor and moving on. That will happen tomorrow, but meanwhile, here is a mini project in honor of the season:

Starting with this:
add a little glitz and nail polish, and voila, you, too, can have a:
portable, pocket Mardi Gras kit! You've got beads and confetti and are set to let the good times roll!

Have a wonderful weekend,


February 26, 2014

A little touch of green

Hello, friends, how is your week so far? Ours has been cloudy with a chance of car repairs, but that's okay. Our wonderful mechanic stayed late to replace a bearing in my car's wheel, then delivered it when it was ready. What a guy!

It has been cool, gray and dreary most of the time during the past few weeks. Not to complain, we'll have way too much blazing sun before long, but still, it's a little bit old at this point. Even though most of the Valentine's Day decor will stay up until March 1, it seemed like a good idea to jump the gun with the terrarium on the dining room buffet.
I found two big fake plants at the Salvation Army store Monday, and added the little fern bought last year. Flossie seems to be critiquing my arrangement. It would be nice to have real ones, but the cats always, always eat anything live brought indoors, plus in this room with only limited north light they probably wouldn't make it anyway.
A view with no cat in it. The four bird stone coaster are lined up in front for a touch of color.

That's my minor effort for today. It's been raining all afternoon now, so welcome for the live ones that survived the winter outside.

Take it easy!

February 25, 2014

A Book Review - The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Hello, all,

Can you believe it's nearly the end of this month? With all the cooler and wetter than normal weather we've had in February I've spent a lot of time inside with a book.This was a title I'd heard about and wanted to read, so it was great to find a copy of the ARC at a sale a few weeks ago. 
Told from the points of view of three women involved in a chain of events stretching back years, this is a gripping account of the results of an unforeseen "what if" taking place. The characters are believable and engaging. The setting of Australia makes for an interesting backdrop to the working out of the plot. Things crank up when Cecelia finds a letter from her husband addressed to her to be opened after he dies. She reads it, and life as her family knows it is forever changed. Some people will not like the ending, although it works, because it's heartbreaking. I like following the way the three protagonists dealt with the sudden upheaval and unexpected shocks dealt out within a relatively short period of time, their behavior, motivations and thoughts. The epilogue was very satisfying for someone who often wonders about details not covered in the pages of a novel, or what happened after the last page. 

The author has written four other books; the only one I've read is What Alice Forgot, but it was excellent, too. If you've never had the pleasure of reading this talented writer from Down Under, get online or to a store and check her work out. I predict you'll be glad you did.

Happy reading!

February 20, 2014

New on Thursday

Hello, all,

First new is a rainy afternoon. Since the area is still officially in a drought, this is a welcome event. Yesterday while meeting a friend out of this neighborhood it seemed a fine chance to check out a couple of thrift stores I don't get to often.
Some artificial pears, two little bowls, a Mardi Gras mask and more books. A vintage apron, pedometer, two print napkins and little box of puzzles and questions. The bag with an H had to come home with me for oldest daughter, Hilary. I forgot that inside it is a movie, of  (at least it used to be) her favorite Anne Tyler book, Earthly Possessions. I am really taken with the brown metal squirrel, and am pondering how best to utilize him. It just occurred to me, not shown is a huge fancy bar of soap, new from Neimann-Marcus. Flossie is checking out the mask. 

How has your luck been lately for finding treasures? We have great hopes that yard sales will start to appear on Saturdays any week now. 

Happy hunting!

February 18, 2014

Late and little

Hi, folks,

An unexpected visit from Middle Daughter Mary this afternoon derailed my plan to write a blog post then, but at least a picture had been taken already. Now that it's time to move on from Valentine's Day, my thoughts turned to the next holiday, after hearing a news segment about Mardi Gras in Galveston on the radio. Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold. Something from Christmas and a few hearts from this month and I came up with:
A mini-cloche to start our thoughts turning in the direction of "Laissez le bon temps rouler". 

Till next time,


February 17, 2014

The last gasp, I promise!

Hi, Friends,

How is your Monday so far? We have warm sunny skies, so it's quite a relief from the past couple of weeks.

Heading to check the mailbox it occurred to me in all the Valentine frenzy, you never got to see the hanging peg rail by the front door, so here it is:
An ornament, a love bird sign, a decoration in the fake fern and an old heart-shaped pillow. That was bought years ago at a store called Iowa-Guatemala. 
It was split down the middle; all merchandise on one side was from Iowa and the opposite from Guatemala. It was fun to visit and I was sorry when they went out of business.

Now we're on the downhill slide to March which = Mardi Gras all too soon followed by Lent. Is this year skipping days or something to be going by so fast? I'll be sorry to see all my red things put away when the new month arrives. How about you?

Take it easy!

February 14, 2014


That's Thank God It's Warm, in case you're confused. It is a beautiful day here, heading into what looks like a beautiful weekend.

You may notice I seldom show whole rooms or sections of this house. Nor is it ever featured on other blogs, where people have gorgeous, well put together rooms and inviting spaces. Because of size limitations and the fact that it's a rental, that isn't likely to happen, either. However, I can claim points for honesty. A recent trip to Goodwill offered us a chance to state the obvious:
See? I rest my case.

Have  a good one!


February 13, 2014

Steals and deals

Hello, all,

We are finally having some more typical weather for this area, along with long overdue sunshine. After many days indoors hiding from the cold and rain,  it was great to go to Bible study today. Since the church is less than a block from the Sand Dollar, it seemed a fine idea to head there after leaving St. Andrew's.
Today I got one book, the magazines, and two mugs. In previous weeks the coasters, tray, dish, cloche and sweater came home with me.
I like this little tray from the Salvation Army. The pattern seems vaguely Swedish to me, and the bright colors impossible to resist.
This April Cornell dish is very appealing with its leaf design and curved shape.
This j.jill cardigan has a kind of petal effect round the neck and pockets and looks never worn.
The coaster set has bright colors and a bird design on each one--Sold!
Look for this little seahorse to make an appearance this summer when the theme is shells and beachy.
Last, but not least, this is the best recent score of all. It is a glass cloche with bird knob on a ceramic stand by Martha Stewart. It was new in box for $7.57. Looked up online it was being sold for $43.99 to $49.99, so I'm delighted, even though $7+ is pricey for me. 

Has the weather been interfering with your hunt for treasures since the first of the year too? We need to get some dry days without frigid temps to keep our thrift skills honed!

Have a great day,

February 12, 2014

Mid-week Kitties

Hello, Friends, how are you doing this week? I hope you have power and are warm and dry wherever you are. We have sunshine today, for the first time in weeks; it's positively startling after so long.

This post is nothing but cats, the ones who would cooperate, that is, rather than the ones who stopped doing anything but sitting like a lump when the camera appeared.
Here's Freddie, in a high spot good for observation.
That's him checking out the street that runs beside our house and the activity across the street.
Freckles prefers to stake out her spot where she can block part of the picture on the screen when the television is on.
Trixie is ready for Valentine's day; the mark on her side is almost a perfect two-tone heart in black and buff.
Junior had been standing up full length scoping the birds in the yard outside the window; of course, he sat down immediately as I grabbed the camera.

 That's a few of our furry fiends, I mean friends. Maybe some of the others will be more cooperative another time.

Take it easy,

February 11, 2014

On Tuesday . . .

it was cold and miserable again. I've stayed inside all day and continued to work on holiday things in hopes it's warm enough to go out to the post office  tomorrow. Yesterday a matchbox was upcycled. Today, it was time to pretty up this:
The top and bottom were covered with fabric. I started to use some vintage seam binding around the rim:
like this, but then found in my stash some hot pink glitter rickrack; who wouldn't go for that sparkle?
A few embellishments and it's ready to be filled with candy and go:
One last look:
The fabric was from a small stack of various patterns that came from Big Lots and cost $1.00. The flower came from a bag of assorted things from a thrift shop, and the button brad in the middle from Tuesday Morning.

This effort is moving like a herd of turtles, but I'm trying to get it together. Now, off to clean up the mess made making it.

Have a great evening, and stay warm!


February 10, 2014

Rainy days and Mondays . . .

Hi, friends, it is a rainy Monday here, sure not good for venturing out. It seemed like the ideal day for a little sweet distraction. We have an old stove called a Chambers range. It is gas, and you have to light the burners when you use it. With my love of the upcycle, today's project began here:
A little scrapbook paper and glitter, a few embellishments, and we have:
This is an ideal container to hold a baggie full of dark chocolate cherry M & Ms.
And here it is, ready to give to a family member or friend:
The ribbon has "Love" printed on it.

Valentine's Day is a perfect time to show our loved ones just that. Do you like making homemade things for the special people in your life, or do you stick with store bought treats?

Stay dry!

February 7, 2014

Heading for the weekend,

this is just a quick hi and bye. Since most people use our back door (long story) it seemed too mean to leave it bare of holiday cheer, especially during a week so drear. A couple of years ago I made this using scraps of fabric, rickrack, old hankies and such. Here it is in use:
It's on a cheap styrofoam base and was made with the rag bag in front of me while watching television. There are pins with colored heads and a few beads, too. 

I hope wherever you are the weather doesn't prevent you having some fun before Monday!


February 6, 2014

The lazy decorator

That would be me. Hi, friends, how are you faring as winter keeps on keeping on? It is colder here than usual, although it promises to be warmer by Saturday. We shall see.

To continue the heartification of our house the buffet got my attention today. Because of a variety of reasons, it turned out Simple with a capital s.
There are three candy boxes in the terrarium and a red candle. Some twig hearts are strung on a ribbon above. Now it's obvious one of the candy boxes slipped before the picture was taken without my notice. Sorry about that!

That's it for Thursday. See you tomorrow!


February 5, 2014

Sweet eating

Hello, all,

Inspired by my friend Tricia's gorgeous table setting at The Dull and the Dutiful I decided to give it a try, although it's not possible I'll live long enough to have her touch of tablescape magic. Check it out: http://thtolbert.blogspot.com/

Meanwhile, over here in honor of February, I started with a red Ralph Lauren cloth with white top stitching, layered with a white runner with a red design. I used plain white plates topped with polka dot red and white with a third that have hearts round the rim. 
The crystal is from a set Mr. B gave me on an early anniversary and the silver belonged to my in-laws.

The napkins don't match because they are two embroidered dish towels found new at a thrift shop.
I can't use real flowers or plants because our cats eat them so here is a fake fern in a paper mache pot, chosen for its heart-shaped blossoms on the side. It's set upon a beautiful tray that was a gift from Tricia, scattered with some stickers.
The polka dot plates also came from Tricia; aren't they cute?
Here are the ones with the heart drawing borders, bought at the Sand Dollar a few months ago.

One last look at a sweet table for a couple:
Thanks for looking at my modest effort! Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Till next time,

February 4, 2014

A little more sweetness

Hello, all,

I'm still working on sweetening up our living space, so here are a few more places:

The end table by the sofa has a little red plate that says "Cutie Pie" sitting in the twig chair, along with a miniature suitcase with a heart on it. The handle has a rose and big net bow. Sorry about the light from the front door.

The little red box has its full share of hearts and flowers in all forms. Candy is available too. The little basket above the Queen of Hearts has some of Mr. B's candy in it.

The desk has a big twig ball wrapped in glitter curly wire on a red crochet doily.

The little suitcase on the bookshelf has an assortment of items. At the back is a framed Mary Engelbreit picture draped with a string of alphabet beads that spells out "Love makes the world go round. There is a cup with a vintage hanky in it, a small dish of wooden hearts, and the Mercury glass bowl is full of that string of hearts bought a while back, separated to be piled up loose. Sorry about the eerie glow. That's part of a candle holder with mirrored sides reflecting like an alien craft just landed in our living room.

That's where we are so far. There are still a couple of areas not yet tackled, so stay tuned!

Take it easy,


February 3, 2014

The Sweetest Month

Hello, all,

How are you this fine February Monday? It is very dreary, overcast and cool here, all the more reason to be grateful for an excuse to decorate for Valentine's Day. Here are some of my efforts so far:

Some seasonal M & Ms on the coffee table for Mr. B.

A wool felt garland of hearts on the bookcases, directly from a Target run today.

Ditto the little yellow bird carrying a heart in its beak that has perched on a corner shelf in the dining room.

We can't forget the front door. It has its usual grapevine wreath with curly wire and silver paper hearts from Ikea. Boy, was that ever a thrifty choice. They were bought at least 15 years ago, if not 20 and have held up amazingly well outside, year after year.

Do you enjoy the opportunity to have fun with Valentine's Day at this normally dull time of year? I think it's great to have an excuse to bring out more red after the letdown of putting Christmas away. 

Have a good evening, and stay warm!