Little Things Mean a Lot

Valentine’s Day isn’t the elaborate celebration it once was, around our place.  It’s more of a “stay home and snuggle” than a “reservations and retail” type of holiday, after being married for 31 years .  We kind of like it that way … especially in a freezing February!  So, it was unexpected (and sort of cute) when, while shopping this week, Hubs wanted me to pick out something for a Valentine gift.

An obvious starting point was the display of mixed bouquets.  There were three different prices and assortments presented.  Now, don’t get me wrong, many of the choices were fresh enough, that one may have worked.   But remember I’m a former florist, so I looked them all over closely.  Still, those prices for something that would be gone in a few days gave me pause.

I wanted to keep looking.

We went back to the normal garden department and while the variety and choices were very limited, there was a good sized foliage plant I liked, for a bit more than the flowers.  Similar price points. Live plant (non-blooming) vs. soon-to-be dead flowers. Hhmm.

I wanted to keep looking.

Jewelry?  Too spendy.  Towels … or how about a colorful little throw-rug.   Nah.  We went past a Valentine’s Day display with candy, cards and bunches of fresh (sort of) tulips. I’m diabetic, so any big time candy purchase, well prob’ly not a great idea, as it’s hard for me to stop on that, when I get going :P  Just sayin’.  The tulips were okay, but Hubs wanted to spend more.  Well I was up for that, so . . .

We wanted to keep looking.

We were almost to check-out and I saw a young gal with a little mini rose plant.  She pointed to yet another display area.  Okay, enough already, people.

Here is what I chose for my Valentine’s gift.  A live and blooming plant.  A cute little pink and purple cyclamen.

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It will bloom for quite a while yet, a week or even longer.  And, the foliage will give continued interest until next bloom season (if I don’t kill it first).

Next, a bundle of orange tulips (one of my favorite colors and blooms).

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Some low, broken stems were discovered when we got them home . . . so

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they got a special “short” vase.

Finally … chocolate.  Not just any old candy, but … crunchy M&M’s.  These happen to be a triple play of pleasure for me!

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First, one of my favorite things.  Second, affordable and third, small so I can have just a few at a time without messing up my sugar #’s (with a little supervision from Hubs)!

These all make me smile, and at that $$ amount, I don’t have to feel guilty.   It really is true … Little Things can Mean a Lot.

Thanks Dugger.  Love you still!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  If you still need some decor ideas, search valentine(s) here on the blog, or check out my pinterest and facebook place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Right Time to Think about Gardens

It’s Super Bowl Sunday … end of 2nd half … my team’s leading (Go BRONCOS) … and we’re in the midst of a nasty snow storm.

Hey, I think it’s the perfect time to be thinking about gardens.  Don’t you?

Hubs is way ahead of us, having already built seven above-ground planters for our backyard.  Four are designed to work together, and three will be positioned individually. Sorry, no pictures of these tonight, though.  It’s cold and too dark in the garage.

Instead, I’m sharing some gardening pretties … in particular SMALL SPACE gardens. Tonight, my muse is Benjamin Vogt, a favorite HOUZZ contributor that I follow; owner of a prairie garden design firm a.k.a. Monarch Glen.

So much to see, savor and learn here.

COMING SOON . . . pictures of the Hubs Projects.  Meantime . . .

It’s.Back.To.The.SUPER BOWL !!

 

 

DINING ROOMS In Tight Spaces

night-23

Source: DINING ROOMS In Tight Spaces

We all have to eat . . . and maybe we can all have a dining room too.  Check out this fun article from Rowe Spurling Paint.  Love their site.

Have a great weekend, and remember . . . staying positive helps you stay productive too!

Later -Cheryl @ Artzzle

Following Trends … or NOT

Long time readers know that in the past two years, Hubs and I have been redoing the cabinetry in our little house.

The one and only bathroom was attacked first,  with B4’s featured here and resulting AFTER’s here.

It was not too difficult, but very time consuming.  When finished, we decided to live with it for a bit, wanting to evaluate the products chosen, to see how they held up under wear and tear.  And then too, we were just pooped and needed a break.

The kitchen project ahead, took more consideration.  Go with all one color on those cabinets, or the two-color combination, then a big TREND.

And if two colors were used, would uppers be one, and lowers another?  Would everything on the walls be the same and only the island different?  While on break, a color strip from our local True Value store was agreed upon, and a dark tone from that was used for a quick redo on our island.

Newly Redone Kitchen Island

Through the next year, we painted all upper cabinets in a lighter tone (from that strip), and the remaining lowers were done to match the island.  Will the two-color look go out of style?  Honestly, we don’t care.  Our decisions were based strictly on what we liked and thought we’d enjoy for a long time to come.

Artzzle KITCHENS, COUSINS and CABINETS feature

AND, it’ll be just fine, because . . . we’re not going through all that again … at least not for a very.long.time!

There needn’t have been any worries about styles, then or now.  Trends in kitchens continue to be varied in styles and materials, as well as colors.

The HGTV newsletter recently featured this great collection of kitchens.  Every color – or combination of, along with woods, steel, glass, copper.  And cabinets – modern, closed, glass doors and/or open shelving.

HKITC108_After-Full-Kitchen-Orange-Cabinets_4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725

Above is one of my favorites from the article.  Ya all know I love cozy spaces, AND the color orange, of course.

GH2012_Kitchen-01-4-Hero_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725

↑↑  Here’s a definitely different look . . . and unique combination of materials.

DP_Renewal-Design-Build-White-Kitchen_s3x4.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.1288

↑↑   This could be considered a combination of old and new looks, with the glass doors and open shelving.  Nice use of small spaces.

H2DSW206_Blue-Kitchen-2_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725

↑↑ Talk about color.

Be sure to check it out.  The article has 100 different lovelies to look at.

TIP:  Treat Trends as Treacherous Territory
TREND is one of the words to be used very selectively in decorating. There are always certain looks, colors, objects and so on, that are popular at any given moment. That’s fine and can be fun when with small items or a can of paint; things that can be easily and cost effectively changed out.

TIP:  Take time with MAJOR decisions, changes & purchases
Make sure you go with something you like, enjoy and will be comfortable with for an extended time.  Don’t do something big, just because someone says it’s the trend.

When in doubt, it usually works out to go a bit more neutral in expensive areas, and dress them up with smaller items as “trends” change.

I’ve never really cared to fit myself into y specific “Style”.  I approach decor and design differently, especially when working with others, and that “what style am I” question comes up.  For me, it’s important to stress that they explore and not to trap themselves into one concentrated look.

We’ll talk again soon.  Meanwhile, do a little decorating to chase away those January gray days.

Later – Cheryl

A January Jumpstart

The house looks a little empty today,
with the Christmas color packed away.
Even though the day was sunny and bright,
I’m tired out and lazy tonight,
with slim initiative to set the place right.

So, from my favorite chair, I took to the net,
to see what inspiration I could get.
Color and clean lines are two boosters for me,
add some great displays to make it three.

Enjoy the pics and explore the links for their sources. They’re sure to jumpstart your January!

Upon discovering this photo quite some time ago, I literally gasped and knew it had to be saved for a future post. A wonderful example of how display can be so very simple but achieve such breathtaking reactions.

This is from one of my HOUZZ Ideabooks “Color”. It’s really In Your Face but in a nice way.

Ah, can I ever stress “Simple” enough? Substitute “easy” if that’s the word you prefer. Either way, this look could be done by anyone, It just made me smile.

Speaking of smiling.

Simple, simple, simple but so effective! Okay, you get the idea.

Everything just fantastic here and it all works together perfectly. Wonderful display with my three “C’s” Clean, Comfortable, Colorful. Wow.

I’m not even much of a “yellows” gal but how could anyone not enjoy this (at least just to look at)!


And MORE color here! Ahh. And once again, simple. Start with a neutral wall color (will work with lots of themes), choose an inspiration piece (the beautiful toss pillow), bring in colors from that item and finally add an accent color for some extra pizzazz. Here it’s the coral flowers on the nightstand. This is also a great example of some of the “rules” I use. The nightstand has 3 simple items at 3 different heights. There are 3 smaller toss pillows and yes, only two bigger pillows BUT together, you’re still working with an odd number in your display. Unlike what we’ve always been told, ODD is good, DIFFERENT is delightful.

Remember decorating is personal so make it “YOU”. And don’t forget that decor rules are the stairway to your design, but it’s OK to skip a few steps. My Magic #3 is a suggested place to start, but once you get your motor revved up, take off down your own road.

Think my guests would appreciate this guest room. I sure would.

And finally, sometimes we just need things to be black and white.

This is such fun, I could go on forever, but have to get going on my house. Well, I’m cheered and this has kicked me into, if not HIGH Gear, at least to a bit more driven speed. So I best get goin’ while the gettin’s good!

January can sometimes be gloomy, but find ways to stay positive and you’ll stay productive too!  We’ll talk again soon.  Leave a comment and it’ll be even sooner :D

Before I sign off, I want to thank the author of Leaf and Twig for allowing me to use her beautiful photo in my newest header.  Hope you enjoy it and the background change.
Have a most Happy New Year.

Later – Cheryl

You’ve just read “A January Jumpstart” featured first on Artzzle.com. You’re invited to ask a question or leave a comment. I look forward to your input.

 

Last Minute Christmas Fast Fixes

There are ALWAYS A FEW OF US who need some décor perks FAST, especially during the extended holiday seasons.  So, keeping with my 1-2-3, EZ PZ philosophies about such things . . . here ya go!  Be sure to catch all the TIPS and the LIST of supplies.

1.  BANNER of Christmas Cards

EZ PZ Christmas Banner

Use the actual cards you’ve received, or like these, that I purchased for crafts, at “After Christmas Sales” last year.  FIRST, cut cards in half down the folds and trim rough edges.  NEXT, cut out the front sections from your colored envelopes, like my example, for hand lettered messages EZ PZ Christmas Banner

OR you can simply use the inside message section of your card (the back half).

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

NOW punch holes in the top corners of each piece. USE twine, yarn, ribbon or whatever you want, to string the cards and form your banner.  It is light weight and can be hung with thumb tacks or push pins, without damaging walls.

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

TIPS:  Re: After Christmas sales:  1.  Look for designs that instantly catch your eye.  For banners and many other projects, you’ll want variety so choose cards that have several designs in the box.  These screamed my name right away.  The design is big, colorful and generic themed AND the images are glittered = sparkle and interest.  2.  Look for cards with COLORED ENVELOPES.  That’s just more colored paper for any crafts!
3. Faux Flowers:  Bushes of flowers rather than single stems, give you more bang for your buck.  Just snip off individual blooms to scatter through the house.
4. Wrapping paper:  I always buy the widest, longest rolls … not the short, skimpy ones.  I look for paper in colors that can be used ALL YEAR ROUND not just seasonally.  I buy as many coordinated patterns and colors as I can afford.  Paper doesn’t spoil, right!  5.  DON’T MISS your local thrift store sales, both before and after Christmas.  TON’S of deals there and you’re supporting your community, too!   6. Always start with my golden rule . . . house shop first, use what you already have before buying more! 

2. ORNAMENTS in Anything

Simply put a few colorful ornaments in any container you have;

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

a basket, a bowl, any glass jar or vase available.Christmas Fast Fix Decor

EZ PZ with things you already have.

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

Below, the ornaments are in a beautiful, giant copper leaf piece, a gift from one of my daughters.  The little “Russian Doll” snowmen another daughter and I saw years ago while shopping at Sears.  They were on the check-out counter and I said how cute they were.  So the clerk said “Here, you can have these!”  A memory moment for sure.

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

YES … you know it.  Even my bathroom gets decorated.

Christmas Fast Fix Decir

BLING belongs everywhere. . . you knew that, right!

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

3. PLANTS, PINES & BRANCHES

Pointsettias are everywhere.  Buy one or two for important spots in your room.

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

Pine branches are easy to come by and so are fake pine garlands.

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

A small grouping of pine, a faux flower and a Holiday item are an instant little vignette.

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

See, you don’t need a lot.  Sometimes simplicity is elegant, effective … and FAST.  And putting that blue plant container in a Christmas colored basket would be great too!  The table runner is paper and ribbon.  See below

3. BASKETS, BOXES and PAPER

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

Put one of your houseplants in a bright basket.  Wrap some empty boxes in varied sizes and papers.  Only takes a few minutes.  OR you could wrap small items you’re giving as guest favors and throw them in a big basket.  NO TREE . . . take a bamboo basket or tub, and put all your gift-wrapped presents in them.  Lots of bang with what you have already.

RIBBON

This is one of the most easy and fun ideas.  No pictures but just use your imagination.  Make one  big bow for a centerpiece.  Make several small bows to scatter here, there and everywhere.  Make a quick tree garland or wall banner with thick ribbon and a few unbreakable ornaments.  Wrap jars with pretty ribbon and use as serving pieces … hold candy, silverware, extra napkins, etc.  HAVE FUN.

CANDY

?? Candy ??  YES, that’s what it says.  Hey talk about multiple duties: decor, gifts, food AND inexpensive.  C’mon people, candy is perfect!Christmas Fast Fix Decor

Stores have tons of beautiful foil wrapped chocolates and candies for the holidays.  USE em!  OR Candy canes are cheap, pretty and edible.  Hang them on the tree, put em’ in a jar (with a ribbon tied round it).

The next shot includes Paper, Fabric, Pine Branches and Ornaments, used in pieces I already owned.  AND this arrangement carried me during Fall through New Years that year!

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

SUPPLIES used in these projects

Christmas cards & colored envelopes
Wrapping paper
Fabric remnants
Unbreakable Christmas Ornaments
Houseplants
Candy
Christmas decor pieces (you already have)
Already owned vases, jars, holders, etc.

FINALLY . . . I know, this has been a long one, yikes.  But here’s the EASIEST.

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

Christmas Fast Fix Decor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take down some of your wall art pictures; wrap them with pretty paper and ribbon, then hang em’ back up. There you go … instant Christmas decor.

CLICK THIS TO FIND MORE EASY IDEAS.

Hope these have been positive inspirations to help you eliminate those last minute stresses.  We’ll talk again soon.

Later – Cheryl

Best Ways to Use the Time … During Football Games

YES I KNOW it’s Christmas time, but it’s also the weekend.

Ahh … and a winter weekend … YES.

Sleep in, laze around with coffee and chocolate. (that was gonna say “sweets” but truthfully, I always have something chocolate with my coffee!) Quiet mornings, just good coffee and good conversation. No noise, no television. Well, none until … game time, and even then, it has to be the right game, or the screen stays black and quiet.

Quick, fast, exciting and then BAM … DONE!

That’s why hockey and soccer are my favored sports. The stupid, ever-changing clock and all that instant replay baloney in football, make me crazy! Ggrrr!
Having no extensive knowledge of or patience with any sport,
I need diversions to survive.
Well, lets just say “I have my ways”.
Hubs is usually patient about providing me any necessary updates.
Thank You, Dugger :P

MY BEST WAYS TO USE TIME DURING FOOTBALL GAMES

1. The TV is visible from the kitchen, so I can do dishes, mind the meal, clean or whatever.
2. I can throw in a load or two of wash, fold and put away. The laundry room’s next door.
3. Gracie gets lots of close-contact lap time in. With her on my lap, I don’t go anywhere!
Today I’m typing, so Dad’s gettin’ all the lovin’.

Artzzle Christmas Feature4. A big stack of magazines helps the monotonous sports time.
5. Finally, those who know me will be nodding yes,
when I say “my best use of football time is, of course, on the laptop”.
I have no problem answering emails, working on a post or cruising the net.

Today, it’s football, Chicago, here against our Vikings ..
UPDATE: end of 3rd qtr, Vikes lead 24-10,
but with that stupid football clock, there’s still plenty of time for them to screw up.  Meanwhile, there’s laundry done and more in progress.
No dishes yet, but the bed is made, and I received some great email like this.

Gift Bag Wall Hanging

A SUPER quick, EZ-PZ project for some last minute Christmas color,
from Kim over at Exquisitely Unremarkable.
You all know how I love to share. This year, Hometalk asked me to be a contributor to their Christmas Pinterest Board, so I shared Kim’s article there today, along with some others.

HOMETALK CHRISTMAS PINTEREST BOARD

Go over and see …
halftime works great for a visit.
And, that’s my Q. The game’s over
the Vikings won … OMG … final 38-17,
not a slaughter but pretty good guys!

So now everyone, stop stressing over the holidays … just relax and start something fun.

WOW, it’s 4 o’clock and I haven’t eaten yet … and OH NO, now my guy Peyton is playing.  Geez!  We’ll talk again soon :)

Later – Cheryl

Glimmers of Christmas

This Season’s clock is ticking
The time for calm is near
So take a little rest and
Click the Pics for some Christmas Cheer

Christmas Present
Those now Past
All Cherished Memories
Forever will Last

The Christmas Tree
so noble and bright

Each year’s may be different
But all are Just Right

 

UNTIL NEXT TIME EVERYONE … stress less – accomplish more!
Later – Cheryl

 

Friday Favorites #80

YES . . . I know it’s only WEDNESDAY, but found this fun site today.  You’ll enjoy Kim over at Living Vintage Co.  She’s sharing a variety of visions here :)

How ’bout a Christmas-themed Friday Favorites for the month of December?

Source: Friday Favorites #80

Christmas Finery from Farrow & Ball

A favorite online place of mine is the Farrow and Ball site.  You’ll never fail to find something beautiful to enjoy; color and decor ideas, crafts and more.

Today I’m sharing this Christmas post … have fun!