Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year & A Look Back

Before moving on to a new year, I wanted to share with you some of the transformations that have occured here at our house in 2010.

We bought this little house in 2007.
Here is what it looked like when we first saw it - For Sale sign and all.

We had looked around for a while and were finding nothing in our price range that we liked. This little cottage house came on the market and we were the first to look at it. Every - and I do mean EVERY - room needed redone. We decided to take the plunge knowing that we could fix it up ourselves. (You see I married someone who knows how to do stuff...I ain't no dummy!)

That first summer we redid the dining room, living room, and bedrooms so that we could move in and live here while finishing up the rest.
Here are some of the cool things that happened this year.

Bookshelf Project

The previous owners had removed the fireplace that was originally on this wall and then covered the entire wall - windows included - with drywall and a painted mural.

When we first looked at this house I didn't even realize there were windows in this wall until later when we were driving by the house and I saw them from outside!
We ripped down the mural, put up new drywall, uncovered and redid the windows and added wood trim.

Above picture taken 2007 - after drywall is put up.

Armed with a Lowe's gift card (thank you Lee & Frannie) and Mark's skills we built this bookshelf in a weekend.


New Windows in Our Bedroom

This is what our bedroom windows looked like before:

Not bad, but you couldn't open 2 out of the 3 windows for fresh air.
We decided to replace them and here is the finished look.

New Roof & Siding

July came with a total home transformation, thanks to a new roof and new siding.
Here is a pic of this poor little house before:

People laughed at us when we told them we wanted yellow siding.
I think it turned out nice.

The finished result.
We decided to remove the porch railings and I love how it looks.
The year before we removed the garage door and driveway, filled it in, and we now have a large front yard.


For years now Mark and I have wanted to give the girls a playhouse. 
Mark put alot of thought and preparation into this project, wanting to make it just right for his two princesses.
Here is how it looked the first day as the walls went up.

The finished product - lights & all!

This year we hope to finish our kitchen and do some work to the basement to turn it into another living area.
We hope you will come along with us on our journey by visiting here often.

I wanted to leave you with this picture of Hannah, Gaby & friends playing a game called Hedbanz.

 If you are planning a fun family night this New Year's Eve (or anytime), get this game. It is a blast! The kids and I giggled the entire time we were playing it
(Thanks to Naomi - Hedbanz ringer!)

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy New Year

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Handmade Decorations

Today I'm showing off some of my handmade ornaments. I have been finishing these up the last few nights in a burst of creativity.

Some vintage-inspired ornaments:
They are covered with vintage paper, vintage trims, glitter, lace & buttons.

Paper & Felt Flowers:
These flowers make a statement with vintage paper backgrounds & felt flower & leaves in the center.
Each ornament is bordered with silver glitter & punched out stars.
I attached some of these to the branches of my tree using clothes pins.
If you have some of my "pin-ups" this is a cute way to use them.

Little Houses:

 These little house ornaments were made to be gifts for some lucky people in my family. I love how they turned out. I am keeping one of the pink ones for myself and gifting the others. They are made of heavy-weight paper & decorated with vintage papers & trims.
I still have a few more in the works - hopefully to be finished tonight.  I was looking for a way to give out the girl's school pictures but wanted to do something different than just a wallet or a pic in a frame.
I think I will make a new one of these each year and start a collection!


If you would like one of these for your tree I am selling the supplies as a kit.

Little House Kit includes:
1 cardboard house, paper in the color scheme of your choice, vintage trims & elements & a 2010 hand stamped date.
You add your own pictures & decorate it the way you like.
Kit price: $5

 Or, I can make the entire house for you if you prefer - you provide me with the pictures.
Finished House: $10

 If you are interested, please email me.

More Snowman Plaques:
I can't decide which one of these to keep for myself & which ones to sell or give away.
Any suggestions?
(Sorry about the dark photos - when I went to use the flash I got a glare.)


I had to end with this photo of Hannah playing with "Penny Brite" a doll from the 1960's.

 Who needs Barbie when you have a retro doll with great "vintage" style!

If you saw anything you would like for your own tree, please let me know as I would be happy to do a custom order. Each of my ornaments is one of a kind.
Thanks for looking & have a great day!
Please stop by tomorrow for more Christmas pics.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Vintage Christmas

As promised, here are some pictures of some of my favorite vintage Christmas decorations. I didn't put much out this year because of our kitchen remodel, but have enjoyed what pieces did make the cut.

My front door. I made this wreath by glueing on some vintage ornaments & a tattered dime store house to a basic artificial pine wreath.

I just bought this at the thrift store for 50 cents. It is plastic.

I have 2 white chairs in my living room. To keep them a little cleaner for a few weeks I covered them each with a vintage Christmas tablecloth. The green cloth was just thrifted yesterday for $5. Hannah laughed a critical laugh when she saw it on the chair. I guess it didn't meet her approval. LOL!

These crazy quilt stockings are one of my absolute most favorite possessions. I will be putting these babies in my will! They are hand stitched velvet and these pics don't do them justice. I have 5 of them all together. I bought the first one at the Oakmont Methodist Church Christmas Bazaar before I was married and was decorating my first apartment. One of their members had hand made them. Not thinking ahead I didn't buy any more.  Years later I went back to the church during their bazaar hoping to find more, but none were to be found. Fast forward another few years...and I happened to mention the stockings to a wonderful lady from Oakmont, Jean Hackworth, who owned 4 of them... also from the church. She didn't want hers and graciously GAVE THEM to me. Each year when I pull these out I think of Jean and say a quiet thanks. See, we never know how we can touch a person's life by the little things we do.
(note: Hannah put on these paper signs with our names on them so Santa would know whose stocking was whose - I am Katie but Mark is Dad, Ha Ha!)

Some of my cherished "putz" village. These were made in Japan and sold in 5 and 10 stores during the 1950's. They are made of cardboard and have a small hole in the back for a light. Two years ago Mark gave me a wonderful Christmas present of roughly 50 of these houses in a box, found on Craigslist. He practically had to beg the woman to sell them to him as she was going to send them to some guy in California. He pulled the "devoted husband" card and it worked. I love them.

An old photo from the 1900's. How romantic to take a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

A box made from old greeting cards. I love these and rarely see them in antique stores. I love how someone recycled their used cards to make something beautiful.

Another recent thrift store find. An old snowman candle.

A paper santa cutout

A paper and chalkware manger scene

We put up a white tree this year. I didn't bring out any of my vintage glass ornaments, but instead stuck with the family favorites.

This ornament was made with my dear friend Lisa one Christmas a few years ago. It was made by cutting up old neckties and decorating a styrofoam ball with them. Whenever I see these ornaments I think of my kindred friend. Isn't it great that Christmas ornaments can bring memories to mind each year that they are brought out?

Another thrift store find from just yesterday. A lighted tree topper.

Last, but not least, is a beautiful old book by Hans Christian Anderson, The Christmas Tree. This book is almost 100 years old and is still in wonderful shape. It is actually a family heirloom given to my grandmother Hulda and her sister Martha in 1912.

Years later my grandmother passed the book on and gave it to my brothers Lee and David, in 1966. My mom gave it to me several years ago. (I don't think Lee and David realize that I have it...they may try to claim it back from me!)

I hope you enjoyed looking at some of my favorite Christmas decorations. I have enjoyed sharing them with you and reliving the memories associated with them.

God Bless,

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