March Means Greens

     If you don’t already know  . . .  I’ll tell you now, March is my least favorite month.            I’d prefer to skip it entirely and go straight to . . .  April.

This year, I’m trying to kick myself in the rear, and steer clear of the doom & gloom.  March is associated with many things green, so let’s put some of them in a room.

People associate greens with landscapes, and that may be why they feel comfortable using those colors in their home.

A light wallpaper and darker accents are fun here.

A larger concentration is used below.  Notice they’ve chosen a monochromatic scheme.   This is where varied tints and shades of one color are used.  This can be done gradually for the hesitant decorator.  Choose one color you enjoy, and work it throughout your space, using light to medium tones, then darker as you become more confident.

The idea of any saturated decor colors is frightening for many of us, though.  Greens are not the first choice on my walls either.

Our home has a very open floor plan.  Entering the front door, you are immediately in the living room, from which you can also see through the dining room, into the family room, and down a hallway to the private areas.  This room (below) and down the hallway, are done in a light, neutral; a custom color I have used for years in other homes as well.

Neutrals’ accomplishments are many.  Here, it provides a clean look, a feeling of spaciousness and light, and is a wonderful backdrop for large art pieces.  Finally, it visually leads your eye down the hallway, and out to the adjoining rooms.  Your rooms should “play nice with each” 😀 , and continuing colors helps unite them, giving your spaces a comfortable flow.

Longtime readers and followers know that I’m NOT afraid of bolder colors and deep tones, but I have a definite plan with all colors as they play throughout my home.

If you are a neutral person, or just not ready for prime time, take baby steps and do a little experimenting, using accessories for your color and interests.

Greens are such fun to work with, and as noted, are the colors of nature which often puts people at ease.  The easiest green in decor is PLANTS.  Easy as 1-2-3 … colorful, affordable and moveable.  (And easy to replace if you have a brown thumb 😦  ).

Set a plant most anywhere and add a few favorite pieces with it.  Here, we’re using the MAGIC #3 Rule of Display; 3 different objects, 3 different textures, 3 different weights and heights.  Three items are always a great way to start any display, then it’s easy to go from there!

The above plant (variegated hoya) provides it’s own three, with light and dark, and white sprinkled leaves.  This plant can also produce cream colored leaves.

USE WHAT YOU HAVE.  I’ve had this versatile baker’s rack in three homes.  Here it helps me group big plants in one space, for light and easy watering.  But small plants work too.

These two are African Violets.  They need light but not bright sun.  More importantly, they need to be kept damp … NOT dripping but, damp.

And below is a simple (but super) philodendron.  It takes quite a bit of abuse.  Throw a little water on it, once or twice a week, give it a little light and room to grow.  Mine is supported with a little metal stand (thrift store find), but a simple wood stake or branch will work too.

 

Nature items i.e. wood pieces, stones and collected items, work especially well with greens – but just about any other color too.  Pick up several color cards at your favorite paint supply store.  Then shop your home for decor items, fabrics (even scarves from your closet).  Put all together and just live with them for awhile.  It’s a great way to start and then take it from there . . . when you’re ready.

 

I owed you all a long post, as it’s been quite a while since we connected.  I always enjoy your thoughts, questions and comments . . . BUT BE SURE to mark the box below the post, to receive follow-up comments.

Later – Cheryl

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A January Jumpstart

The house looked a little empty today,
with the Christmas color packed away.
Even though the day was sunny and bright,
I’m too tired and lazy, to set things right.
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 source links. They’re sure to jump start 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 😀

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.

 

Still Hangin’ Around

Promptly on January 1st, the decor changes in our house.  Ornaments are carefully removed, wrapped and safely stored away.  The Christmas tree is dismantled and enters it’s box for another year of hibernation.  All on New Year’s Day . . . but not this year.

We’ve kept the holiday hanging on a while longer this time.  More family coming on Saturday, so I just couldn’t change things out yet.

Red and gold are primaries on the tree and . . .

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a lot of red and white pop up too . . .

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all over the house.

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Our kitchen cabinet tops are one of my favorite decorating spots.

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This season was no different, including the stacked shelves,

and a few side arrangements.

This creche of cute characters was a new addition this year, and these other funny little pieces too.

 

Well, with only two more days to get ready for my company, I had better sign off.

Before leaving, I want to share the beautiful gift I received from a special friend.  Thanks Nadean, it’s perfect and I absolutely LOVE them.

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Just want you to know that Artzzle is “Still Hangin’ Around” too, and I hope to connect with you more often this year.

Here’s wishing all of us a Wonderful New Year.

Later – Cheryl

 

 

 

 

ORANGE . . . one of my Favorite Colors

Combine it with clean lines, lots of light and plenty of white, and see how orange breathes new life into this neglected mid-century home featured over at HOUZZ.

 

Hope everyone is having a safe and fun 4th of July.

Later – Cheryl

 

 

 

Loving This Look

Our winter has been a light one, meaning little snow.  In Minnesota, it’s what is sometimes called a “brown winter”.  It does look a bit more friendly, but temperatures still restrict you to inside projects.

This is the exact time of year that we get antsy to do something.  The cleaning and purging could use a little more work, but at this point … boring.  Coming up with a project or two is easy enough.  The problem, as usual, is limited funds.

Long-time followers will remember nearly 4 years ago, we restyled and refinished  the cabinetry in our bathroom.  It has been  is holding up quite well and we still enjoy the look.

Bathroom cabinet redo with Rustoleum Kit

The bath color is a muted, dusty gold, although this picture doesn’t capture it well.  Most of the other tones in our open living areas are similar and neutral, and I do want to stay with those.  But we’ve been wanting a bit more color and the bathroom walls seemed a good place to add some.  This means paint of course.  In this case, the colors in my stash weren’t what I had in mind.  There was a good paint sale in the area, but it was still above what we could spend.  And then …

At Wal-Mart, on a sale table, I discovered a gallon of their “grab n’ go” paint in the aqua color.  At $11.00, it was a good price, but I had big reservations.  It was a semi-gloss finish which I felt might be too shiny.

I was considering a turquoise color that would match the current accents in the room.

 

This color seemed too bright, so I decided against but I kept thinking about it all week.  The next trip in, it still sat on the sale table … but now it was at $5.00 on markdown.

Now, most of you know I am a big proponent of mixing my own paint colors.  I bought the aqua gallon, and a quart of light gray in the same brand and finish.  At home I removed approximately 1/3 of the aqua (saving it, of course), and added most of the gray.  The result was much tamer so I did a sample wall.

Bathroom Wall

Still much too bright for us.  I wanted a much “dustier” shade, and so did a bit more experimenting.  For my darkening color I used a warm, deep cinnamon brown in a finish just one step below semi-gloss.  Each test got a wall splotch, until I hit on what I was going for.  I settled for the very top color in the picture below.

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We’re very pleased with our results

Aqua Bathroom

We have a few more small projects for this room.  We plan to frame the mirror, and replace the wooden backsplash with glass tile.  AND … I’m changing up some of the accessories, starting with this gorgeous shower curtain that is an early Mother’s Day present from my daughter (thanks, Breezer)!

91FLpewC-6L._SL1500_

I’m lovin’ the coral, purple and all the aqua and greens in this.  Can’t wait to buy towels LOL.

I’ll keep you posted.

Meantime, I would LOVE to hear what you think about our latest project.  Remember, when you leave a comment for me, check the box to receive answer comments.  My site systems don’t allow an automatic answer sent back to you.

Thanks for stopping over.

Later – Cheryl

 

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 😀

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

Easing Into an Easy Christmas

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone,
Black Friday past and Small Biz Saturday nearly done …
it’s time to think about Christmas.

We usually ease into Christmas gradually, but this year since our family is combining the two holidays, and celebrating in Mid-December, I began early, pre-Thanksgiving, even.

The most difficult and time consuming part (and a great relief when completed) is the tree, so it goes up first. Then after a few nights of pretty lights, I’m in the spirit to do the rest. Often, I work with a definite color scheme and theme, continuing it through the house. Not so much this time.

Easing into Christmas Feature

I brought out all of our “special” family ornaments and memory pieces, added a bit of sparkle with some beads and garland, and finally, added multi-colored ornaments through-out. The result is a very old-fashioned, homey look, especially since we placed the tree right by the fireplace.

I have a collection of Dayton Hudson Corporation “SANTA BEARS”; small in quantity (only 3) because the guys themselves are big and a bit difficult to hibernate for the rest of the year. In 2014, it was just Hubs and I around, so no giganto tree. I put all three bears atop the piano, around a small table tree.

Christmas Decorating at Artzzle

Did ya notice the reindeer antlers on the tree top 😛

This year, the bears are taking up individual little spots in the living room.

Ease Into Christmas "Feature"

At a younger age or earlier stage, your holiday decor collection will just be starting. Don’t feel you have to rush right out and grab everything on your first official holiday. One of my favorite tips applies at Christmas too.

TIP #1: Start with what you already have, and build from there.

Ease into Christmas "Feature"EXAMPLE:  A plate and figurine, a metallic (musical tree) and bright colored books with metallic print. You may already have a piece or two that you treasure. Pull some ideas and color from that.  Cost on pieces:  Plate = $2.00; Santa Bell = $0.75; Tree = $1.50 (silver plated, musical) .  All are thrift buys, but keep in mind, all purchased at different times.

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

If you’re a complete beginner, shop for two or three items you really like, then try a boost with a little greenery, faux or real. Also in this season, take advantage of the beautiful wrapping papers and fabrics. No sew … just fluff up a remnant fabric, tuck under the rough edges and top it off with some pretties.  Above, I just wrapped three sizes of boxes, held together with ribbon and topped with a bow.  I put one of my houseplants in a bright red basket (thrift store $0.25) for a holiday look.

USE YOUR IMAGINATION … and HAVE FUN!

TIP #2: This is a great time of year to shop all of your local thrift stores. There are beautiful pieces for just pennies. Good for the budget (and not as crowded as the big box stores).

The stars below were $3.00 and $0.75.  I get most of my books at a local Goodwill in their end-of-day sales.  Last time I purchased 10 beautiful HARDBACK books for $2.00.  That’s $0.20 each, guys).  I never pay more than a dollar for any book unless it’s stupendous!

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

TIP #3: Remember the Magic # 3. Those arrangements and little vignettes are as easy as 1-2-3. Start with three items varied in height and interest. Work with the 3 essentials; color, pattern and textures.

Be sure to “ground” your grouping; use a pretty fabric, or perhaps a seasonal placemat; maybe a book or two. If your objects are just sitting in the middle of a table, they give a disconnected look; just floating around. That’s why it’s important to ground.

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

Our place isn’t finished for the coming celebrations, but here are some 14 vs. 15 looks at the kitchen cab tops.

2014 …
Ease into Christmas "Feature" Ease into Christmas "Feature"

vs. 2015

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

2014, single cabinet …

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

vs. 2015 look.

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

Finally, a 2014 shot of one of the hutch shelves.

Ease into Christmas "Feature"

I’m using this one again.

Okay … I’m “holiday’ed” out for this time.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend and remember … staying positive is a good way to stay productive.
We’ll talk soon.

Later – Cheryl