Saturday, November 29, 2008

~ Decking the Halls ~

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was a pretty full week here and getting ready for a sit down dinner for 18 kept me very busy! But the food turned out great and nothing was burnt, so I consider it a success :) The day after Thanksgiving is my Christmas Decorating day, and while I have a few things still left to do, I figured I'd share some things I've done so far... I cannot wait to visit all your blogs again, I haven't had a minute this week, but I'm so looking forward to a nice glass of wine tonight and a long tour! Hope you all have a fabulous Holiday Season and Thank you so much for all the wishes you sent for Thanksgiving, I was so touched and appreciate all of you so much!

The Tree :)

Above are a few close ups of my trims and ornaments...I love collecting crystal trim!

I few years back I started a "Santa" collection and the one above was my very first one...
Most of the decorations I have are Vintage 1940's, with some dating even farther back....they have all been handed down to me from my Mom. The glass /sliver beads on the chandelier are so pretty in person, if you click the picture and make it bigger you can see the detail. The insides are all hand painted red ...
I hung my Jenny's Bake shop ornaments on the kitchen chandelier, I have some on here but only the sifter shows in this shot , I figured they were fitting for the kitchen :)

In addition to Santa's I collect anything with a Vintage Christmas feel. Luckily I didn't have to "find" these original cardboard houses or the bottle brush tree's ....these were again from my Mothers collection when she was young...I just love that they have all that history! as you can see they are a little "worn" from use, but all the better :) As a little girl, that Santa and snowman on the bottom shelf were my favorite things to play with! The middle shelf has things I've found over the years or were given to me. My Christmas style is really a mix of everything I love, I little bit of this and little bit of that :)
Cute little felt stocking I hung on the cabinet...
My growing collection of Santa's.......I made the one on the far right from a kit, what fun!
I got this beautiful letter "C" above from Glitter and Bliss, she does such pretty work! you have to click the picture to make it bigger to get the detail she puts into her work! and of course I love the glitter added too! :) There's a beautiful crystal hanging from the bow, its hard to see here, but its so pretty !
This folksy Skiing Santa is probably my absolute favorite. I can't say exactly why, lol, but he just speaks to me :) Maybe its from my visits to the ski house as a kid, or the beautiful hand crafted wooden ski's , his outfit? or the tiny gold glasses he's wearing? Don't know, I just love him :)

This church above was the largest of the cardboard houses my Mom collected, and its the most "worn" too. argh :) ....As a little girl I probably tried stuffing my "kiddles" or little figurines in there or something, but its hanging in there :) The wooden house's behind it are fairly new, I had a show a few years ago and they were the only things left , so I took em home :) The roof of the pink and red one is full of sparkling glitter! and I love the crackle finish too! The grouping of these house's are now my kitchen table centerpiece :)

I hope you all have a wonderful decorating season !! and Thank you for stopping by, your comments mean so much to me!

Happy Holidays!

~ Hugs ~ Cynthia

Saturday, November 22, 2008

~ Art for the Home ~

This Beautiful Mosaic basket was made by Penny over at Lavender Hill Studio, we collaborated on the choice of colors and the finish on the basket, and after just one email she showed me the plates she would use for the design and I flew that email back with a : "Yes!, Perfect" :)!! Her talents are amazing !! Thank you so much Penny for such beautiful work! I will treasure it always!
This is a better shot below of the detail in the mosaic's... and the gorgeous pattern she created!
I'm just starting to contemplate my Christmas decorations this year, I've had these mini topiary's for a few years and will probably light them with little white lights, or maybe some gingham bows, what do you think? Its my kitchen table so it's gonna need some charm ;) and the chandelier was an old find that I spray painted Bronze last year. The shades I bought at a craft store for $1.00 each and covered them with fabric and trim. It was a whole lot less expensive than the $25.00 a piece I was eyeballing before I decided to make them, lol....The day after Thanksgiving is Christmas decorating day for me and then this chandelier will be adorned to the max! :)
Here's a closer shot below of the fabric shades, just some left over fabric , some trim and a glue gun! wah-la ... :)
Well, I'm off to go start baking! If there are a few things I can get done before Thanksgiving day itself, I do! The less stress that day the better, and who better to inspire the baker in me than Jenny's Bake Shop!, I got these little ornaments from her collection, as you probably know by now, her Vintage bakery themes are a little addiction of mine :) have glitter, need I say more? :)
And last but not least, I hope you all have a beautiful , cozy and yummy Thanksgiving!!

Much love and Thanks , ~ Cynthia ~

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

~ If I could, I would.... ~

If I could, I would... live here in this pretty cottage....
But it isn't for sale, ( or at least not that I know of, lol ) and it was once the beautiful shop of Niki Fretwell.
Just yesterday I received her beautiful new book in the mail...Living with Nostalgia...I know all of you have probably seen so many decorating books and books with Inspiring pictures, but I have never seen a book packed with so much beauty before! It truly is one of the most gorgeous books I've opened. My photos of just a smidgen of it, are not doing it proper justice! so if you'd like a better peek go here....Living with Nostalgia ... you can see a few more photos and also order it from there too. This is a rare Gem of a book and it has the most photographs I've ever seen in any book like it! Niki has a way with putting Vignettes together and photographing homes that is so natural and will make any cottage lover in awe.....!
.... and..... did I mention "ideas" too?! she has crafting ideas, and full explanations of how to get the perfect cottage look! and stories too... I could go on and on...excuse the flash mark, that's me, I'm aiming to better my photography skills, but as you can see, I'm not there yet :)
She features her home in it also and it's as sweet as Cottage can get! The other homes she features are purely stunning and exude this type of warmth I dream to achieve!
I am going to savor this book for sure. Last night I sat for hours , just absorbing every photo and word.
Thank you Niki for bringing us such Beauty...
You can visit Niki at Nostalgia at the Stone House ( her blog ) and also at her website , where she sells her "pretties"...... Thank you so much for all your comments, I read each and every one and try and respond to all of you. Isn't blogging so much fun?! I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

~ Hugs ~ Cynthia xo

Friday, November 14, 2008

~ " Have you ever ?? " ~

Those were my exact words I spoke ( Have you ever?? ) out loud when these arrived! Of course I was talking to my daughter, who just doesnt jump up and down like I do ( unless its electric hot pink or black or something )..." Have you ever seen anything so pretty??" Sorry, I know I'm gushing at my latest purchase. But this girl ( me, lol )hasn't shopped for her self in a long time. But , I have bought a few things lately from my blogging friends and I am always in awe by all the talent I've seen since opening my blog... Thank you so much Elyse, as you can tell, I love these Shutters to pieces!! I think Elyse must be blushing right now, but girl, you are so talented!!
I wish my photography skills would show the detail on them, so I took a few pics, but where the pretty sage is rubbed off, there's a hint of red coming through ! which is perfect for my kitchen because I adore red, pink, soft green and of course Robins egg blue...there are details near the roses and a wash of antiquing that just makes these so lovely to me....

I have always thought my kitchen hutch needed a little more strength, and this is exactly what it needed. I'm so happy :)......isn't it funny how "things" can make us happy sometimes? I've always known that Art evokes emotion ,but ... I was like a kid in a candy store happy :)
and of course, the other fun part is having an excuse to rearrange the shelves to work with the new , fun....
Elyse is new to blogging and I "met" her because she won my give-away last week. She is wonderful and so talented and did I mention "sweet" too? when my package arrived, it had the cutest tags and extras too! I just adore this logo card, Thank you so much Elyse! lol, it matches my kitchen too :) hehe
These sweet clothes pins and pencil holder were in there also!....they are sitting on my desk in my studio...I needed one in here :) and the clothes pins will hold some pretty vintage hankies in my bedroom...
Your attention to detail is fabulous ! Thanks for brightening my day Elyse! If you'd love to see more of her things , just click here: Cottage....

Thank You also , to all of you who leave comments and come by for a visit! and all the fabulously talented women out there , who make spending time in your neck of the woods a huge treat for me! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

~ Hugs ~ Cynthia

Monday, November 10, 2008

~ Plate Play ~

I love the holidays, it's such a fun time to play house :) Aside from all the stress that shopping does to me ( I'm a pretty last minute girl, lol ) I try very hard to carve out some time to spend decorating and getting ready...Getting ready for Thanksgiving is much easier than Christmas, all I have to do is clean the silver, decorate a bit , and cook my heart out. I try and pick out my place settings a few weeks before and that's what I've done today....Ive set them up to see what I'm in the mood for :) Casual Country, A Tad of Elegance, or a Full blown Fancy...I usually end up with a little of each, that's just me :) This is my first year blogging so I figured I'd throw some of my samples out there and get feedback as to what all you wonderful girls thought too...I'd love your opinion and tell me what you do for your Thanksgiving table also!.....

First, A little bit Country.....soft and casual. I tend to mix my sterling silver with very casual pieces, there's just something about quilts and silver mixed together that I love...
I have such a hard time deciding what I want to do for a table setting, but I have yet to do one of my favorite ideas ever.....and that's to have 4 separate tables all done in a different way, but I'll have to wait for the "home extension" first :) ....but truthfully , that's my dream idea :) This one below is with no table cloth, I love the wood planks on my farm table , and again, with the silver on top of rustic wood, I'm very happy...its the contrast of both that I love next to each other...
If you click on the picture below, you'll see what the place tag says... that's where my kids know to sit :) The Vintage frames were done one year as a gift for each guest. I put an old picture of the person who I wanted seated there as a "place tag" ...they had fun figuring out who was who :)
Even if I bring out the China, like below, I still tend to keep it somewhat casual...

Then there's the Ralph Lauren look I love too, much more silver on the table and lots of plaid , but even with my china out, I somehow always have to add a touch of casual, like the raffia napkin ties....
I tend to keep the centerpiece small, I want the food to stand out most :) and fit on the table too :) I have a big crowd coming to dinner this year, so I think the beaded fruit won't even get an appearance this year, lol...
I hope you are all having fun deciding what you'll be doing!...or, if your the guest ?, sit back , relax and enjoy...
~ Hugs ~ Cynthia

Sunday, November 9, 2008

~ We have a winner !! ~

Well its November 9th and this morning I used to draw the winner to my very first give-away, and its ......Elyse over at Cottage ....Congratulations Elyse!!! Go give her a visit, I'm sure you will love her blog , its so beautiful and filled with visual treasures and she is so talented too!!......All the comments that each and every one of you left were so sweet!! and I'm so glad you visited my blog! I wished I could have given every single one of you a gift, but, if your name wasn't pulled this time, stay tuned..... I had so much fun doing the give-away, that I hope to have many more in the near future and feature some of the same items or similar !!
I hope you are all having a wonderful and cosy weekend!! and again, to all of you who entered, it warmed my heart to get such a big response , Thank you!!!

~ Hugs ~ Cynthia