Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just a journal entry with no rhyme or reason....just my thoughts of today.

I love this time of year. Seriously, a New Year, it's like a bunch of Mondays! I love to reflect on the memories of last year. I LOVE to plan a new year! It's like starting over. What do you want to do with your life? What did you want to do last year that you did or did not do? It's not too late, people! Quit worrying about what might have been. Do it today! Or tomorrow! Or next week! Just don't wait too long. I don't like to give myself goals I can't complete. I have a hard time starting projects unless I have someone to push me....or fund the project!

I do love to decorate. My style has been a little uncommon for a while. It's finally THE thing to do. Texture, natural color, lots of hard pieces and very masculine for some. We built our "dream home" back in 2007 and it was all heart pine flooring, beams as posts with old paint still on it, a brick wall as the focal point in the main rooms. I used an old concrete trough for a sink in the powder room and lots of granite. There was tongue and groove breadboard 3/4 up the walls in the back foyer and keeping room, where we had a stone fireplace with a salvaged beam as the fireplace. You can pretty much see those pieces in a lot of homes now. I love it still. I hope it continues for a long time. All of our crown molding was pine wood stained dark.

We live at Hansel and Gretel now. It's exactly the same. Rock fireplace, heart pine flooring, beams as mantels, and beautiful wood all over the house. This house was built in 1964. Well, the original part of the house all with reclaimed and salvaged architectural pieces. It was a two story with spiral staircase in the middle. A built in bed for the master suite and one more bedroom for the 2 kids. Downstairs was the den, kitchen, bath and laundry room. I need to ask, but I think it was about 1200 square feet. They came by today. The man that built this house and his kids. I was so giddy. I couldn't wait to meet them. They brought pictures and a camera. Everyone had their phones out to video the stories from Pappy. I think I love him. He can do anything. He kept asking if I had questions. I couldn't think of one. The stories were flowing like faucets. I couldn't keep up! There's the part about Pappy building the original part of the house all by himself....literally, or the stones for the fireplace that came from a speak easy on old 280. How about Momma....she like to throw things out the door. The tv they had? had to be small enough for her to pick up and throw. Seriously, they said that....and she did! There was a M-I-L door. Didn't know this, but it's a door without a place to step, you would kinda fall if you tried to go out! She just threw things out this door! The door is still here and we have a deck to walk out on...thank goodness!! OH, the wallpaper! I really wish I could see it behind all the paint. Roosters, big roosters were on the walls in the kitchen! How fantastic is that? Baby girl took lots and lots of photos. Middle sis had lots of stories....there's one about a snake and I'm trying to forget that one! Big brother had lots of stories and kept asking if he was telling it right...I think he embellishes a little. $50 an acre or $500 an acre.....that's close, right?

It was a perfect day. They were so glad to be here and I was just as glad. Connor even said he liked the house more knowing all the stories. I can't wait to see the photos and the videos of stories. We might cook up something good out of this magical house. I hope so! I didn't take one picture or write down one thing...I was afraid I would miss it...and now, I'm teary.

Now you know why I'm rambling :) Thanks for reading...if you made it this far!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

One Little Word 2013 - ENJOY

I know it's so sad when Christmas is over. We prepare for it in our homes, with our kids, in the classroom, and thinking about what to buy each person is pretty stressful! Not to mention all that money that is spent! It's over. 

Today is the day after. I have a fire going with all the wrapping paper and am trying to put away all of our treasures! We are a very blessed family. My husband and I both come from "broken homes". It's amazing how when you embrace your life, it is wonderful! It has been a very long time since I've thought of my life being from a "broken home". We celebrate holidays for weeks. Seriously, it's awesome! We have created new traditions and I love being with everyone! We don't hang out at home. We aren't the hosts for Christmas dinner. That is a good thing, right? We left our house yesterday at 9:30am and got home at 9:30pm last night. We got to see two sides of the family. Connor's Dad's family and my Dad's family. A lot of people, a lot of presents, a LOT of food! I didn't take many pictures and I was sad at the time. Now, I know that without the camera in front of my face, I got to ENJOY every moment. 

We are blessed that we have so many moments. I want that to be a part of my 2013. I want to ENJOY this wonderful life I have been given every single day. I want to be with the ones I love and ENJOY our moments together. I have lots of plans for 2013. Not really resolutions, just plans. I have had so much fun with my blog and lucy lockets. I hope to grow both of them this year. But, I will try to slow down enough to ENJOY all of it. That does NOT mean I will not take photos. I will have my camera with me always and document our lives. Do you have one little word for 2013? Read a little more about it on Ali's blog and let me know if you are going to participate! 

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and will plan a beautiful 2013. 

The Lettered Cottage

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas from Lucy Lockets

I want to thank all of you for the support of my Lucy Lockets. I have had so much fun in the past few months making necklaces and bracelets for my friends and family! You do not know how much it means to me that you like something that I made and want to wear it in public!! 

I have lots of plans for 2013 to try and grow this hobby into something a little more. 
Thanks for all your love and support! 
Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

DIY Food Labels for a Party

I love to be crafty! I made these several years ago for my Annual Ornament Party. I had the buffet set up in the middle of the kitchen. My friends are very informal, but I thought this would be a cute addition to the table.

I went to the office supply store and picked up some extra large clips. I got home and went through my stash of paper. It's a large stash, but I knew exactly what I would use. October Afternoon. They have some of the best papers! This christmas line, Very Merry,  had so much personality! I loved the peppermints all over this one paper...I have a thing for circles!

I picked one sheet. It's two sided, so I used both patterns. Sorry the picture is pixelated, I pulled it from their site. You can check out the other papers that go with this line and the newest releases at October Afternoon.

I cut the paper to fit the width of the clips. Next, I just held the paper up to measure the length. It just wraps around the bottom of the clip. On my last Talk of Alabama appearance, I showed these little cuties! You may remember seeing them!

Voila! You have a place card or food label! 

You can add tags to write the name of your dish on....or the person, if you are using for a place card. I used these tags and embellished them with some flowers and twine I had in my studio.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Mantel at Hansel and Gretel

I always have so much fun decorating my house for Christmas. Since we have moved, I have been chomping at the bit wanting to get all of my decorations from the storage units. It really stinks to not have my Christmas closet anymore! Shelves to the ceiling held all of my rubber maids! I also kept 3 trees in there! Only one was out of the box and standing. Now, I have to drive a few miles down the road and load up the car and a trailer and then make another trip to get it all to Hansel and Gretel! I really didn't mind this year since it was a new house and I could re-do everything! I had lots of fun over Thanksgiving weekend when my fellas were off in the woods hunting. I had the house all to myself and got so much done!

I have this HUGE fireplace. It's like chateau-in-the-mountains-huge! I can literally stand inside! I didn't really have an idea of what would make it onto this monstrosity. The area from the mantel to the top is not very big. It's just really wide. As I was opening all the boxes on the porch, I found my Penny McAllister collection. This stuff is gorgeous, y'all! I absolutely love it. It's all handmade and since she passed away a few years ago, my pieces have become even more special to me.

The window painted like a santa belt and believe spelled out is courtesy of my talented sister, Natalie! She made this for me several years ago and it's one of my favorite pieces!

A close up of a few Penny McAllister pieces and my favorite wood Christmas Tree!

There is a smaller den off the kitchen at Hansel and Gretel. We use this room a lot. It's where homework gets done and dinner gets eaten! I wanted some real garland for this mantel, but haven't found any. Maybe someone has extra and they want to share? Or maybe, I could actually go and buy some. hahahahaha, I'm still in my pj's and it's 2:15!

This mantel has a few things on it from my first decorating attempt. That's one of my favorite pieces, the clock, the 4 and the small foundry pattern were all there before. I added John Connor's first kill. It was hanging over the mantel last year with a Santa hat! Oh, that shed was there before, too. I just moved it over to allow for those fun trees to have a spot! 

The two frames are from one of my favorite frame makers, Leah. That santa is part of my collection that is in another room. I needed a space filler and he fit the bill! I picked up those two small reindeer in Tennessee at Marshall's. I am loving reindeer this season!

I'm linking this Christmas mantel to:

The Lettered Cottage

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Wood Project for Christmas

Ashlee called the other day and said she had a project for us to do on Tuesday. We had our day planned to hang out at the Barn at Hansel and Gretel. Well, Emma hurt her neck at gymnastics...that threw a kink in our plans.......literally! 
She is ok, but she couldn't move her neck at all! I took her to the doc and they helped her work it out! 

Ashlee and I changed our plans to Wednesday. She came over around 10am and brought some old wood from her neighbor's fence! It was old and grey and worn out! Perfect!!

We were making mangers for Baby Jesus! Ashlee saw one her friend's husband made and knew it was the perfect project for us. 

We didn't have a pattern, just a picture. We totally just figured it all out. First we cut the long side pieces. The first cuts were a little too long. The proportions had to be right. We just cut 5 or 6 inches off and then cut the other 3 the same. 

Next we cut the pieces for the ends. Those pretty much needed to be a square. It would square up on the ends. We did no official measuring. 

Here are several of the cuts. The top one is probably too long. We cut it to match the two smaller matching pieces. That little piece was going to be an end. We love the rustic-ness of it! 

We didn't have any extra hands to take pictures of us screwing all the pieces together. We just lined up the smallest piece to on of the longer pieces and put in two screws. Next we took the other "side" piece and screwed it to the small pieces matching up the corners. 
The next step was to cut the legs. All of our pieces were the perfect widths from the fence. These smaller pieces made the best legs! We just held them up to the bed area and cut them to fit. The last step was to screw in the legs under the base. We made it and X shape for ease. 

Our finished project! Do you think it is as cute as I do? I was thrilled with the outcome! We literally were finished in an hour. That included Ashlee going through the house looking at all my Christmas decor and finding screws as we went along! 

This project was so simple and fits perfect with my wood Christmas tree and tiny tree with burlap! I added a bit of straw. I do not have a baby to put in my manger, but I may take the top of a post or just a wood ball and wrap it up in a blanket to make it look like a baby!

Ashlee posted a pic of hers on Instagram with this precious star and her "baby Jesus". I'm smitten!

Sharing on Funky Junk Interiors SNS for the first time!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly!

Sing it with me.....fa la la la la la la la la! 

I was decking the halls this weekend! I really just finished. And by that I mean, I have 90% of it up! Seriously, like late last night, I decorated the last tree. I'm not completely satisfied, but it will have to do! I have a few odds and ends laying around and I need garland for one more mantel...but, other than that. Gah, I have a lot of stuff!

Tomorrow I am making a manger for Baby Jesus! Ashlee is coming over with some old wood from her neighbors fence. No, she didn't steal it. At least I don't think she did! He put up a new fence and this was laying-there-not-being-used! I can't wait to get it finished. It's going to be so adorable!

I thought I would share a few in-the-process pics of the house as I was up to my eyeballs over the weekend!

This is a portion of my front porch on Friday as my boys were leaving to go to the hunting camp.

This is THE tree. It will be full of red and white goodness when I'm finished with it! The lights. The lights are going to be the death of me. Every year, I say I am going to take all the lights off and start over. I never do. I add more lights on top of the lights that do not work. If I could fix those measly little bulbs that cause all the trouble, I would probably have thousands of lights on this tree! Notice how it is a couple of feet taller than the ceiling there. Thankfully, the ceilings are high in the middle of this room. The only spot for this tree is right where you see it. In the middle behind the couch and right next to the dining room table!

I love my upside down tree! It's so fun and non-traditional! This is how it came home to me from the storage unit. Mesh was all out of order and those paper flowers are a little catty-wompus! Notice how it is flush with the ceiling. It had to be tilted and shoved into place. We have low ceilings at Hansel and Gretel, like less than 8ft. ceilings! The lights. ugh

Just a pic of some of the sticks that go into THE tree! You will see those again, but that's another post!

I can't tell you how much I love this wood tree. It is by far, my favorite! I have several of these wood trees, but this is the one I love! Of course, Southern Accents Architectural Antiques is where this one was born. I went to Cullman one day with Daphney to get a tree for her. She had seen the one Shane delivered to me earlier in the week and she HAD to have one, too! So, off we go on a road trip. We were in the wood shop with Kolby, Garlan and Shane. We were picking through the pieces of wood and I saw this green trim on the floor. I picked it up and immediately saw a tree! The guys all thought I was crazy. This was before I started working for them and bringing them all of my out-of-the-box ideas. They were used to living inside their little world and not being too creative with it. I'm sure if they saw this one now, they would all gawk at it. It's like a Charlie Brown tree. It needed to be made and loved. Now it sits by the giant fireplace at Hansel and Gretel. I may not ever take it down!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

So far, 2 Christmas Casualties

Thursday morning, aka Thanksgiving Day, Connor went over to the storage unit to get our Christmas tree and decorations. A full car and full trailer later, he brought back 85% of the decorations. We went back on Friday and got trees and several more boxes. I will be back again on Monday to see what's left!

We were heading out the door for our family gatherings. 2 stops for the day. We unloaded the trailer and filled up the front porch. Hansel and Gretel now looks like the Grizwalds/Clampetts.

As we were loading up the car for the day, I opened the back of his Yukon. I know better than to do this with my car. It is always full and something WILL fall out on you or it will break. Well, guess what? My most favorite Christmas decoration of my childhood was the first thing to fall out. I heard the crash and saw the bubble wrap and knew in that instant it was THE Santa. The one that as a child, I would go into the attic each year looking for. I would avoid everything else until I found that Santa.  I couldn't wait to put him on the mantel. He just looked like the sweetest Santa in the world and I knew that is what the real Santa Clause looked like.  Once he was on the mantel all the Christmas magic filled the house and the countdown could begin.

I cried. Real tears were streaming down my face. I was so upset that he was broken. I was also upset with myself that I had opened the back without looking. I wanted to blame in on the hubs, but how could I when I was the one that should have gotten it all myself. Then I would have known there was more back there. So, after assessing the damage and picking up every single shard of pottery, I can't give him up. My sister, Natalie, said I could cover it up with a hat. It was the whole hat that was broken. I don't know if it will look right. Maybe you have an idea?

After putting up 2 trees and covering one with lights, garland, sticks, and ornaments, I was fluffing the tree and off came a Radko angel. Ahhhhh, she already had a broken wing. I bought her when Emma was a baby. She shattered into many pieces. She got swept up and out the door. May she rest in peace.

It's too devastating to leave on a bad note. I will share this adorable snowman with his bokeh background to bring you happiness! He is a cutie!

I will get more pics up of Hansel and Gretel all aglow this week. I have several more runs to get more lights and I'm thinking I need real garland instead of the fake stuff this year. Which do you use? Real tree and garland or fake? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Craft Night with The Smoking Glue Guns

The Smoking Glue Guns: Crafters who get together once a month and craft. and eat. and drink. and talk about girl stuff. 

Filling our bellies was the first priority!

Ashlee is the hostess with the mostess. Seriously, I want these turkeys. the feathers, oh my! Her house is amazing. I'm going over to take pictures after Christmas so you can see her fantastic decorating skills!

Craft: Stamping salvaged wood. aka vintage to vogue. The beginning: stamps and ink.

A sample....or two

The mess:

The action: 

We used rubber stamps and clear stamps. The creativity was flowing along with the punch!

Nichole made these cute wedding blocks! We decided she should hang them together and link with a little piece of chain. 

And this "my sunshine" she wrote on the back to her daughter! #swoon

This is one of my favorite shots! A pile of thankful goodness!!

There were a couple of these! Too bad we didn't have more long pieces. 

Christy's stash. She knew what she wanted and got right to it! I love her "stack"

I'm giving these as hostess gifts this year! Wine or Champagne? It WILL have a cute tag on it!

Lori gave me the idea to do a house number! It's my FAVE!

22. twenty-two. 2-two. twenty-2 
It's her number.

Ashlee's finished products! She was full of fun ideas!
Does anyone see a Christmas tree? or is it just me?

The group shot. Missing Krista :-(

So glad to get to know this girl! 

Lori even did a little impromptu photo shoot for Lucy Lockets

All of the photos were taken by Lori Gordon. She is an amazing photographer and if you want fabulous photos of your family, she is the one to call! If you want to learn how to take photos like her...she will teach you! Click Workshops