Sunday, December 16, 2012

Retro Christmas

 


  I love everything retro because they remind me of my childhood. Funny thing is I love things that are even older than I am. I know that is true of many of us after checking out Pinterest.
My favorite retro items are the holiday treats, especially those from Christmas! The items above are fun ceramics, mostly made in Japan. The Santa bank in the back was a give-away from a bank and my Daddy brought it home for me. 

 These angels were a gift from my dear friend, Madeline Schaaf. They sit atop our bathroom mirrors to decorate for the holidays.

The little ceramic angel ornament my "birth angel". She has a pink faded ribbon to tell her apart from my sister's blue ribbon. They were always the always our most special ornaments and still are to this day. I hang her and reminisce each year. Just ask my friends and family.

The blow mold Santa on the right is a special find from traveling last summer in the North West. I didn't pay much for him but oh how he brightens up our hearth!
 
The little hot pink elf has been a treasure as long as I can remember. He sits atop a little white Christmas tree in our bathroom. I like the greens and pinks in there year round.
 
Old ceramic clip on Santa ornaments from my childhood tree. I am missing one of the originals.
 
 
I love this old felt Santa card holder from a dear old friend who passed.
It is living on with us as she does in our hearts!
 
Wishing you a Happy Christmas surrounded by the people (and things) that you love! 
Melin

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Advent Season

The season of Advent was created by German Lutheran's to celebrate the days preceding the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus. We have broadened this observation to count down the days leading to Christmas in the anticipation of Christ's birth or Santa's coming or both.
The calendars used to mark advent come in so many varieties. There are the ones with pockets that adults can fill with daily surprises for the little ones. Love notes here are there are fun too.
 
There are the chocolate filled cardboard variety that are found most everywhere now with a treat behind every window. I love the old simple and beautiful German or Danish paper type with perforated "windows" you open each day with a surprise image and sparkles. They are usually glittered...love that! 
 
So many types from which to choose. You can use the metal ones above year after year and simply move the magnet forward each day with excitement as Christmas draws nearer. If you are crafty, check out Pinterest at this link, http://pinterest.com/search/?q=advent+calendars. They have so many ideas. I do love the idea of stringing mittens or hats too. I want to collect some with that in mind, since I don't knit. You place a treat inside the (upside down) mitten or hat. It's a great way to recycle some great thrift store finds.  
I still have an old worn out folded 3-D pop-up version from my childhood. We often were gifted with the chocolate versions but HAD to open the doors of the old "Christmas House".
Enjoy your advent season!
Melin
PS ~ I took my grand-daughter to two of the free make-it sessions at Michael's from my last blog. We both had a great time! Cheers to these companies that support our families like that. I love the encouragement of celebrating holidays in simple ways.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holiday Workshops

 
The holiday season is a perfect time to learn something new! We all want a bit of help coming up with new ideas for decorating our homes for the holidays and our local craft and home improvement stores are eager to help us. I did a bit of searching this morning and thought I would share what I discovered. You will need to go to the websites and enter in your local store for their schedule.
 
The Home Depot has Do-It-Herself classes that sound fun. The class near me is Thurs. 11/15 from 6:30-8 pm and it will teach, Christmas Décor• Build an interior two-tiered wreath chandelier• Build a wreath duo for an exterior door• Build an exterior lighted snowflake• Create “hand crafted” holiday décor accents.
They also have free kid's workshops on the first Saturday of every month for 5-12 year olds from 9-noon.  Here is a link, http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=HT_WS_DIHWorkshops&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053.
 
Michael's has a full schedule of workshops, http://www.michaels.com/Store-Events/store-events,default,pg.html. This Sunday, 11/11/12, they have a free holiday ornament event from 1-3 for kids 3 and up (while supplies last). There are many great holiday events for kids and adults, some are free and some have fees. You can learn more about new crafts that you haven't tried yet.
 
 
 
Jo-Ann Crafts have free demos on Saturdays. Call or check your local store for details.They offer many for fee classes for kids and adults all year long. They host birthday parties, as does Michael's.
 
Lowe's has great ideas on their website at http://www.lowes.com/Home-Decor/Holiday-Decorations/_/N-1z0ycu4/pl. Look at the bottom for links to Tis The Season and Holiday Articles.
For the kids they have free Build & Grow classes every other Saturday from 10-11 am. You need to pre-register for these classes online.  On 11/17, you will build North's sleigh, 12/1 Sandman's plane, 12/8 is a Gingerbread House. Register early as the classes do fill up.
 
Preparing for the holiday season has begun for most of us. It is a creative time for getting our idea juices flowing. What new ideas have you been thinking about? Please them share with all of us here. 
Enjoy each creative moment!
Melin
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Garland

Easy steps for a fall garland or centerpiece.
 
A fall garland like this is easy to put together. The best part is you can add your own touches and it will still be a wonderful addition to your fall decor. I put mine up when I decorate for Halloween and leave it up until I take down my Thanksgiving decorations.
Start with a faux leaf garland. This one is glittered for fun.
Add some pumpkins and gourds. I bought these at the grocery store for $4.99 a bag.
Add some bits of nature's beauty, like dried berries, acorns and the like. These can be faux too but  I like to mix a bit of the real deal in. I have re-used these dried berries for years.
These are perfect for a garlands along your mantle or a shelf. You can also center it down your Thanksgiving table, like a runner, or round it up in the middle of a table.
No matter how you spend it...enjoy the crisp fall weather and your warm home.
Melin
 
 
 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sweet Lady Jane



We were recently visiting Southern Cali for our high school reunion and our school's 50th reunion. We had such a fun time catching up with friends of the days gone by and and sharing fun memories.
 
We did a lot of the usual things like the beach and Disneyland plus a wonderful musical. The weather could not have been more perfect for us. I wanted to try a new place I read about on a blog I follow.
 
 
Sweet Lady Jane www.sweetladyjane.com is a fun bakery and lunch spot. We went to the Santa Monica location on Montana Ave. We were all starving by the time we got there, so we ate some lunch. This leaves little room for the reason you want to go, which is...dessert!
 
 
I was so busy eating that I didn't pause to take a pic of lunch, darn it. My husband decided that this is a chick place and not manly food but he went along with the group (all ladies).
 
 
These chocolate covered macaroons were the favorite! Don't you just want a small bite?
 
 
This little lady looks like she can't wait but truth be told, she isn't partial to sweets. It looked amazing! This was my lemon meringue tart and it was yummy! Next time, I will skip lunch and try more desserts, even if I have to take the leftovers home. Stop by next time you are in LA!
PS ~ There are great little shops on the same side of the street going west, including
Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic and a wonderful children's store, Peek!
Melin
 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Red Picnic Basket


I love this little still life I created in my family room for the fall. I will move it onto my porch and set it in my little red wagon a bit later in the month. I just love decorating for fall!
I was so lucky to find this wonderful old red picnic basket this past July while exploring Oregon. I love to go antiquing and thrifting and was blessed with this treasure for only $5.99 at a Goodwill. I also bought the big jar next to it at an antique store in Washington. The old Mason/Ball jars were found in both states at both types of stores but all for good prices.The flowers can be found in my store.
The basket's sides were a bit caved in but I shored them up with card board and a box. This basket has a cool red metal top layer compartment that sets on top which is perfect for display and carrying food so it won't get smashed.
Hope you enjoy my sweet find as much as I do. Happy fall decorating!
Melin

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It gets worse before it gets better!


 How does my decorating cupboard get to look this disorganized? Must be that I toss things in and pull things out when I am in a hurry (which is most of the time) and nothing seems to get back in it's correct location. Sounds like everything has a location, might be part of the problem. How lucky am I to have a husband who built our home with this closet in mind? He knows me well!
 
 
I really need to figure out a better way to store all these candles. Any suggestions and buying less isn't an option, for me? I just love candles and the new ones on timers...bliss!
 
 
My current dirty secret is that I am just now taking down the July Fourth decor and yes, it has been up before Memorial Day! I will go right into fall. I have good excuses for this, really I do.
 
 
So, as it says in the title of this post, I have to take a lot of the treasures out of the closet and set them down the hall in order to get things back to a reasonable order. Do any of you have hints to share with us about organization? I could sure use some tips and I just know I am not alone. Now, back to it.
Melin

Monday, July 30, 2012

Shopping in Snohomish


My current favorite shopping town, for several years running, is Snohomish, Washington. It is a charming historic town on the Snohomish River. They have a fun website with all the specifics for you at http://www.historicdowntownsnohomish.org/. Let me know what you think of it.


There are a wonderful combination of antique stores and stores with fun home decor and ideas.


There are antique malls, stores with vintage, primitive and French style. So many for each taste. I enjoy most all of them but a few of my favorites are Annie's on First, Ruffles & Rust Square,


Joyworks and Antique Station but you really need to go to All of them. I start at one end and hit most all of them. As you can see here, you get plenty of decorator tips in every store.



There are many restaurants that are great, so pick what you like. When you feel sluggish later, grab a cupcake from Simply Sweet Cupcakes. They have the most delicious flavors and one of my favorites is salted caramel. Sorry they were closed the day of this trip or I would have a photo for you.


I love the use of the original buildings and the tile entries. You can see in the photo above the original tile of the old Snohomish Drugs...so charming!


Don't leave without a pie to go from the Snohomish Pie Company. The marionberry and apple crumb is so wonderful, you'll want it for breakfast and dessert for the next week. I did.


Please share with us your favorite shopping towns or stores. I always love to check out new ones on my travels and antiquing or junking towns seem to be my personal favorites. What's yours?
Melin

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

White Pitcher And Peonies


I was at Ikea and checked out the bargain bin. I found this white enamel pitcher for $4.00 and had to bring it home. We find the coolest things there, don't we?


I added some bright peonies from my garden...perfect. The tablecloth is a flea market find.


I love peonies and from what I see on Pinterest and other blogs, many of us do.


I am attracted to the hot pink color although all peonies are delightful.
Enjoy the sweetness of summer today.
Melin

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wedding Details

I had the honor of helping my daughter with the planning  of her wedding. I love party planning and a wedding is the ultimate!
Her family nickname is Birdie (it's a long story) and she agreed we could use that as the wedding theme. The wedding was held in April at the Flower Farm www.flowerfarm.com. It was a perfect setting and even has chickens to carry the theme further. She grew up in a rural setting, as a young girl, and loves it. 
I will share some of the details with you here. Maybe you will take an idea or two with you for your next party or special occasion.


A small chalk sign in the entry welcomes guests.


The welcome and gift table on the patio of the entrance to the reception.


And they lived happily ever-after...a fun way to share pictures of the bride & groom growing up and their courtship. The birdcage is a perfect place for the guests to put cards.


This print of a tree with two birdies lets guests put their fingerprints and add their names.
We bought this one at www.michaels.com.



Cut out birds in different shades and patterns of blue, the color theme, were placed in a nest for the guests to write a message and hang them on a wire tree. They will be great keepsakes.


The centerpieces on the tables were all different tablescapes made up of moss, birdhouses (from www.joann.com), my milk glass vases from my collection (see my collection Blog), nests, moss, flowers, birdies and more. The salt & pepper shakers were even little white birdies.You can find them at www.partypail.com. Many of the items can be purchased at our store at www.wrenelizabethgifts.com.



This is another tablescape using a real nest we found.


The bride and groom's sweetheart table.


The bride's sister and matron-of-honor painted and his this little thrift store gnome as a surprise.
  

The cake topper was a gift from the bride's sister-in-law and brother. The bride hand painted it to match her wedding color. The cake was a delicious as it is gorgeous! It was made and designed by the talented Brita Geiger from www.britasconfections.com. She added fresh flowers with a perfect designer touch. Could it be any more perfect? You will die for Brit's chocolate cake!


I glued faux moss to a ready made cardboard N to honor the groom's, and now the bride's, last name. The arbor was decorated with faux flowers and bows.    


The ring bearer carried the rings in a nest that is actually two nests together with a few faux flowers added and ribbons to tie on the rings. The flower girls carried our hydrangea baskets. What cute kids!


A great photo of the rings in a tablescape nest.


I love making bouquets, especially for my daughter's weddings! I added the butterfly brooch as a keepsake for the bride. It's the small details that make it so special.


The favors were our bird card/photo holders. The bride and groom selected a special thank you message for their guests. We used the same nest stamp on the back that was on the invitation.

I hope these ideas will inspire you. Party decor is such fun, especially when there is a running theme throughout.

Melin