Category Archives: house

Christmas 2013 is on it’s way!

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I realized it’s been a while since our trip to the Buchanan house post. Having a late Thanksgiving kind of put me in a tailspin with Christmas this year. After all these years, I have it pretty down pat to what I do and when, but I switched it up a bit. I just finished sending cards as I wasn’t sure I wanted to even do so. I send out about three different styles. I saw a box of Charlie Harper cardinal drawings in the Longwood Gardens gift shop that were calling my name. I have a few of his stylized designs in cross stitch that I should do.

We got the tree up a little over a week ago. We have been having early snow this year in Pennsylvania, very unusual. I trimmed the tree in a wintery theme of white snowflakes, clear and blue balls and silvery things. No red! Well there is a wee bit on a ‘Phillies’ ornament and a Santa ornament of Sean as a baby.
I think a tree has to be pretty with the lights off too! #DecemberDaily

This is off my phone. I should set up the tripod to get some more shots with the Canon. The mantel had to be redone as the greenery started to fall a week after it was placed up there. No fire or anything-just a dry house. It was a terrible mess to take down. I replaced it with two garlands-a silvery one wrapped around the aqua snowflake cord and one with pine cones just laying above that. I added the sparkly leaves back. I like it better as it is reflecting the mega lights from the tree.

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I like this tree a lot! It’s from the Habitat store, but I think it will be retired for a few years so I can so some color. I do like themed trees.

All day deorating....silver, white and blue...snowflakes, clear balls. Lots of new ornaments.

I love those snowflakes in front that are a bit iridescent and the snowball garland. But I love the over all effect.

Did a 'Sweets' tree for the front living room window. Its my 'Sandy Hook' tree as I put it up last year, though with a heavy heart....but for the kids and teachers. Mainly cupcakes and goodies.

Remember these are the phone’s camera photos. I just put this pink foil tree up a few days ago. I like how it gives a pink glow. It is a little close to the big tree, but it makes its own statement. I bought it last year and was going to put it up on the 14th, the day of the Sandy Hook tragedy. I went ahead and put it up and adorned it with cupcakes, lollipops and sweets and dedicated it to them so I could honor them. I also put this up on the 14th this year.

Did a few shelves of Snowbabies on my vintage hutch that belonged to my great auntie.

The snowbabies made an appearance again this year! #DecemberDaily
And today I put up some of my ‘Wizard of Oz’things. I could do a little tree too as I have Oz ornaments. Finding them in my stuff would take a little effort!
Set up my little Wizard of Oz collection in the family room as Sean gave me an WOZ domed clock as a Christmas gift last year and I wanted to hightlight it this year. #DecemberDaily
I’ll never say never!

One of my favorite collections is also on a tree, but a feather tree. It is mostly covered with hand-stitched (cross stitched) ornaments that I made and a few pals made too. I am trying to find a second one!

Just put up the feather tree which has mostly hand stitched items. I have two more ornaments to add. Think I need a second tree soon!

I’ve added a few new ones too! It’s getting really full. I nearly knocked it down the other night when I tried to add one to the side. About 10 fell off at 1 in the morning. Not fun fixing it.

We did some lights on the outside hedges and stars along the brick sidewalk. I like a spotlight on the door and also on Brian’s old sled.

Between doing all this, I worked (still one day this week left) and made cross stitched ornaments for coworkers.

Assembled this last night and will give it as a gift tomorrow. Turned out cute for this horse lover.
I made everything. The little horseshoes were really hard to cut out of felt. I made this after our ladies’ tea at work.
Made a 'lady dancing' for a coworker who is also a dancer. Personalized with her name.
Our teen helper is a dancer, so this was for her.
I also made an ornament for Sean’s new co-worker who loves nutcrackers. I burnt the midnight oil on this one and put it around the neck of a big bottle of Moscarto wine for her. She loved it!
Burning the midnight oil getting this ornament made. Stitching errors set me back an hour.
I am busy making something for my mom. She asked for it, so I found a pattern which was giving me a headache at first, but I think I have it figured out now. Will share when it is finished and/or she receives it.
Next on the agenda is cookie baking. I know I will do chocolate chips and 7 layer cookies (Sean’s favorite). Presents will be wrapped a few days before Christmas.
Things are flowing along….there are still areas that need to be tidied up-at least I clean well at Christmas!
Happy Holiday-Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 everyone!

Day tripping again to Lancaster Co.

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I’m not going to let the wintertime stop me(us) from taking daytrips up to the Lancaster area. There are many unclaimed geocaches in the rolling hills of this county! Plus I am loving the little market about 16 miles or so away. Brian is usually off on Fridays now. He got a flu shot Thursday and decided to get the oil changed the next day. He would be in for a rude awakening! We usually go to the same place and I located a coupon for a repair shop offering the deal for much cheaper. Well the man came out and told Brian he had 1 quart of oil left in the SUV that usually holds 6. The previous place put in the incorrect filter…it’s been slowly leaking for almost 8 months.  Brian hasn’t checked it lately. I don’t understand why the previous place would risk hurting our vehicle.

Anyway, we headed out a little too late…2:45 pm. It then started to rain, when I thought it was going to be an evening rain. We need to get moving sooner! We were going to Intercourse, the town where part of the movie Witness was filmed. I had wanted to find about 4-5 geocaches. We ended up walking a little in the rain for the first one. It was a big ammo box right next to a fabric store! I dropped off the little gingerbread man tb and took a couple to pass on. This guy was watching us:

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The cache was to the left of him a few feet away under another bush.

I was tickled to see that a few stores over was The Old Candle Barn. Sean and I had been in this area back in March of last year. They have the cutest things. I got a little wrought iron fairy holding a bird, a nest and a little ceramic bird. Oh I could have done  retail damage!

Cute display!

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If you recall last year I took a photo of the bunny made out of the pearl buttons and made my own. It’s hanging in the family room.

By 4:15, it didn’t look like many places were still open for business! On a Friday? We went to one cache that was easy to locate quickly. We then headed down the road to Leacock Presbyterian church about 4:45 pm. We had to park across the street. I got smart and put a hat on, but Brian was getting drenched. We were ‘this close’, but we didn’t want to go inside the stone wall. I will bring my camera next time when we get the geocache.

We headed to the farmer’s market for their buffet dinner. There aren’t many places you get dinner for $13.99 (and all you can eat)! We enjoyed prime rib, ham, sides and dessert. I mainly tasted a lot of things like the pineapple bread, butter beans, etc. All starchy!

Afterwards, we went in the grocery store and got some great deals. We had a terrible drive home. Today it was warmer and sunnier. I have to watch the weather better. I did do a few things around the house and in the basement, but I do have to downsize. I did find some things for Valentine’s Day!

I’m really having issues with using the bigger vehicle-it’s hard for me to climb in and out of it. I have been terribly achy today, especially my knee. I can hardly go up and down the basement steps.

Bringing in the spirit

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Well of course it’s been a rough week, but after I left the lights off Friday for the CT school, they did come back on again the next night. As my dear pal Carole said, each light represents a bright shining face of a child that use to be with us. : )

I have been doing better, but I am definitely feeling achy in my hips now. It’s better than stabbing pain. Had some insurance woes, but got one at least straightened out. That was some what of a relief.

Brian and I were in Big Lots and I saw a pink tinsel tree for $10. Pre-lit with pink lights too. The next day he went back and got it for me and I decorated with the children from CT in mind with cupcakes and cookie type ornaments.

pinktree

That’s  my Amaryllis that is blooming sweetly also! It’s on my work table. I had to find a place for it and my house is a little crowded with the big tree too.

I did finish my window scene. Because it has children (my sweet dolls like Zuzu) it is extra special.

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My little sofa table had favorite houses on it plus a terrarium with an ice skating gnome inside. His wife is watching him.

I wanted Brian to get his old sled out of the shed for our outside decor. No easy task when the chairs are put away already for the winter, but he managed.  I wasn’t sure if I still had ice skates. One time, years ago, I ordered an ice skating rink kit and although it was set up, it never got cold enough to use it. It got stuffed in a bag and forgotten. We all had brand new skates and never used them, ever! So Bri again rummaged and I still had my skates, one wasn’t even laced up. Don’t think I’ll be using them, so they look nice hanging over the sled.

CmasDecor

I finished wrapping gifts and need to continue to tidy up.

Haven’t made one cookie, but have my brisket for Christmas dinner- bought from the same place where we bought it last year. I really want to make a sticky toffee cake too.

And here’s the ornament I just finished tonight:

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It was a free chart…just the owl. I added the branch, hat and moon and of course date.

A few more swaps

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Not the most exciting week with rain off and on. I have been doing swap pieces between things breaking. Yes, it seems that our bathroom is calling out for repairs now. We put in a new vanity many moons ago-like 25 years ago when Sean was sitting in a little baby seat. The drawers are shot from opening and closing and being overfilled. We have to get a new one. I was looking at the home center sites and found a few I liked. I then went to Pinterest and followed a link and found one, with the lovely glass bowl for a good price. It would have cost $60 to ship, so might as well take a hop, skip and jump to the Home Depot and see if they carry it in white, though I would go for the dark too.

I also need a new toilet, so we might as well get that put in at the same time. And maybe further down the road, we can get Bathfitters or the tub reglazed.

Sean is in his last few weeks of his classes this semester. His professor kind of threw them for a loop as they have a few powerpoint presentations to do. I think he is worried and may be over thinking it. Wish him luck.

Here are a few other things I just mailed off:

We were to hand drawn something and also include a ladybug

This is a ‘skinny’ and  what would you do in the summer. The lady who got this likes dolls, so I added Barbie-the ‘original’ Barbie.

Hope to get some annuals soon and get working in the yard.

Heirlooms of one kind or another

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Brian saw this tomato last night and didn’t think it was ripe! I doubled checked the tag and it’s a heirloom Yellow Brandywine. We had it with our roast beef, smashed red potatoes, peach applesauce and zucchini for dinner. Very meaty!
Today, I decided to sort out more of my craft books (and other books), but first I tidied the books next to Brian’s chair. That man must have every Ford Mustang book ever written as the ones next to the chair were overflows from the bookcase. (Speaking of cars, Bri is really enjoying the PT Cruiser. He checks the tire and put Fit a Flat in it as it has a very slow leak). He’s so happy he found it on the internet for me.
So during my sorting, I found this:
Print of girls with lanterns
Framed Girls with lanterns print
I had ripped it out of an art book, found a pale pink mat mom had bought me and dug in the closet for a frame (with a Jamesway sticker on it, now Big Lots and must be 10 years old). I added the border to two sides of the print as white would show. I think it’s sweet.
Then these floral prints were leaning against my ‘paperbacks/novels basket’ (another job to sort). They use to be over the computer:
Flower prints over the sofa
So we hung them over the sofa!
I found some art items to play around with-Do you remember the ‘Country Diary of the Edwardian Lady’ nature book from the late 70s? I have a little book that teaches you how to draw nature art with colored pencils.

I try and share things of my own on ‘Pinterest’ and here is a bamboo salt box I bought last year at QVC that I love. I fill it with salt and pepper and it’s right next to the stove.
Two tone salt and pepper box
So….I am praying for some rain as many of use are. All the back breaking flower planting seems to be going to pot. So many things are drying up despite our efforts of keeping them watered every single day. The watering that seems to be paying off is with the veggie patch-it looks peppy. Yay.
Hope you all are getting relief from the heat.

Happy 4th of July!

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Happy Birthday big brother Dave!
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Sean always likes to light some of his own fireworks!


New York City Macy’s Fireworks


Philadelphia Fireworks in front of The Art Museum

We’ve had a very low key day. My mom was suppose to come out with her friend Jim, but she decided her dog needed her more! Little Kelsey is really afraid of fireworks.She was doing some clothes sorting and Jim was helping her out too.

Brian and I did some tile repair out on the front steps-14 came loose this past winter. Between the cold and ice-or-the paint underneath may have just gotten loose. Probably a combo of the above. We were trying to chip off the old cement and broke a few tiles, so we worked around that. It looks ok, better than the gray showing underneath. We had extra tiles saved from 12 years ago which saved us using the broken ones.

I did make bacon and egg potato salad, a cold green bean salad and had some store bought macaroni salad. Also cut up watermelon (I’m the only one who ate the watermelon so far). I went to clean up a bit out front and Bri let the burgers go ‘extra crispy’! He put on enough charcoal for 10 steaks! I had grated and pressed onion in them too. Oh well. Sean got in from work at 6:45 and enjoyed his feast.

The guys just went to the fireworks. I am fine sitting here in my bug free and cool family room. I would have enjoyed the show in Philly with Michael McDonald, etc. but we just aren’t crowd lovers.

French inspired paper fan

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French inspired fan for Art n' Soul-closed
I just finished this fan tonight! Whew as the deadline is tomorrow. I had all the ‘blades’ cut and attached, just needed to figure out how to embellish it. I really like the ‘eyelash’ fibers along the top edge. The lady was part of a paper doll. The rhinestone piece is one of my grandmom’s, but it was missing a few stones, had ‘spares’ and glued them in this. I added ‘amour’-yes, French for love as I think it makes your eyes glide across the fan. : ) Neat stickers for the lettering.

Thanks for asking how our basement was. It only got ‘somewhat’ wet as I didn’t see what was dumped out of the wet vac. I still haven’t gone down to check my stuff-I have mostly plastic boxes now and Brian said he moved a few cardboard ones out of the way.

What the people in Japan are going through is so horrible. I can’t handle anymore looking at the film footage where the houses and cars are swept into the water so quickly. I know there’s been other things happening in Ohio, Oklahoma and flooding in some areas around here too. I haven’t heard anything bad about the west coast. Praying lots!
I have a busy day coming up and will tell you about it tomorrow. Going to a family event and may take the camera.

Have a great weekend!
PS-Sorted mostly scrapbook paper for 2.5 hours today. I still need to resort stickers, ‘scrap’ papers and embellishments. It looks better near the desk, not so much in the middle of the room where the sorting is going on. It’s nice to know where stuff is.