A Little Work While Waiting … for SPRING.

Yesterday was gorgeous here and revived spirits and senses.  Even though it’s still March in Minnesota and could snow like mad again any moment, one day of warm weather and walks outdoors does amazing things to a person.  I decided to “Spring” things up around here and got to work.

The credenza shelves in the hallway entrance were changed from this look, which has been up since Christmas was stored away.

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BEFORE

I thrifted some wonderful dishes recently, and the colors steered me towards light blues and whites.

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AFTER

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The new arrangement has those dishes with some of my mid-century Japanese blue ware, and several of my glossed white figurines.

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Newer Artzzle readers and followers may not know that I have lots of favorite things that have been collected over time.  Plates, pottery and miscellaneous decor items, just to name a few.  And I know a couple people who would say I bring home “anything I fall in love with”.  Well … ?  One of my other favorite things is thrifting which doesn’t help!

Plates and pyrex, creamer/sugar sets and salt/pepper sets are just a few items I love.

We live in a small home and like things to be straightened and uncluttered.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

I should probably say that we need to keep it that way, because there’s not much free space available for stuff.  Now although I’m not a hoarder, I do have me some stuff.  So we’ve had to be inventive.  I’m a stager/decorator and among my Husband’s many talents is woodworking.  Between the two of us, we’ve redesigned all of our closets to better utilize our spaces, and Hubs has made several shelves for displays throughout the house.  These wonderful features allow me to change out displays as often as the urge hits me!

I designed this shelf to fit beneath the cabinet bottom.  The shelf itself, has two grooves cut lengthwise, to hold several plates.  Also, the width is deep enough to hold cups, small bowls and decor items (see earlier picture).  We then added cup hooks on the bottom of the shelf for a different display look.  This takes up very little space (great for apartments as you can take it with you), and keeps my counters clear.

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The front door, with its’ new coat & color of paint, got an Easter Look for Spring.

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And scattered about . . .

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are smaller glimpses . . .

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of Easter and Spring.

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I know many of you have small apartments or smaller homes such as ours.  How do you use your spaces to display your treasures?

Just want to give a big HELLO & WELCOME to recent new followers.  I love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment.  Know that you need to mark the box for follow-up comments.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend.  We’ll talk again soon.

Later  –  Cheryl

 

 

 

 

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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

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

 

 

 

 

Criss-Cross Christmas

For anyone, there are so many things to do and places to be, during the holidays.  People have lots of contenders vying for their time.

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Those of us with “blended families” have extra scheduling difficulties in this season, as people have to multiply the visits and celebrations.  It can be stressful, especially to kids, even after they’ve become adults.

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In the past two years, I’ve tried a different approach.  We combine Thanksgiving and Christmas into one get-together, and we celebrate in mid-December or early January.

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The thought was to aim for less stress directly on the holidays, when so many other duties call.  It has worked quite well … except … this year.

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So, for the first time – in a long time, even the single celebration has to be split, as schedules just can’t come together.

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This year, grandchildren are older, and teenagers have jobs and sports activities and everything included.  So even if we’re not trying to use the exact holiday for our gathering, there are still conflicts.

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Solution:  One family is coming here to our home, and we’re having a brunch instead of a turkey dinner w/fixings.  I’m really looking forward to it, as the kids AND grandkids are doing all the cooking.  Sounds like fun, don’t you think?  Can’t wait!

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The other kids who are local, have been remodeling their home and wanted us to visit their place for a get-together.  We headed over there last weekend, and had a blast.  My daughter-in-law is a marvelous cook and this time, she even made a big vegan dish for my husband.  And it was fun to see the new looks in their house.

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So, Readers … how will you be spending your time over the holidays?  I love when you share in the comments.

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And if you’re looking for last minute decorating ideas, you can do a search in the menu bar up-top.  Just type Christmas and you’ll find all of the projects and ideas I’ve posted previously, lots of stuff there.

OR, visit Artzzle’s Facebook page.   Lots more fun projects there and many are “kid” friendly too.

In closing, I’ll just say that

Whatever your Beliefs or Reasons for the Season,

be Happy, stay Safe and Best Wishes to all!

Later – Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today … of all days …

I’m in the mood to send out a post.  My logical side (is that left or right brain?) says “you can’t take time today, to write posts!!!  Your ladies are on the road, headed up for their annual July visit”.  The other side blurts “Yah, yah … I know … but”.

Logical: “NO but’s.  You’ve got laundry to do, beds to make, dusting and dishes.  And for pete’s sake scrub out that fridge and the bathtub!  Geesh!”

Other side:  “I can’t help it!  The pictures and writing are just working for me today.  I gotta do it!”

Logical: “Well, stop with the ‘buts’ and get your ‘butt’ going then!”

So loyal followers and readers, sharing some fantastic finds for you to drool over.

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Added a new glass bird to this collection recently. The pretty, purplish blue one, fourth from the right. $2.00 LOVE IT.

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The bird closeup, on the right end.

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Recent thrift store haul. The napkin sets were 25 cents for each pattern set, the gorgeous velvet table runner (or mantel liner) was also 25 cents and the vase a whopping half dollar.

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Here, the beautiful Fireking serving tray from the previous shot ($2) joins many of it’s relatives in my hutch.

 

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I bought that pretty vase noted earlier, to complete this grouping on my dining room table. Love two-toned blends in colored glass.

Oh, just a thought.  The scarf pictured above, while NOT a “Vera”, was still a great buy, long-time back, @ $0.75.

TIP:  Interesting scarves, of any shape or size, always make both great fashion AND decor statements.

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You know of my love of books. Hubs was recently given (free) some wonderful walnut boards, and this little unfinished project was part of the package. I’m using it “as is” to hold books in our family room.

Haven’t mentioned it on ARTZZLE, but I joined a really fun group on facebook.  It’s called “Decorate with Pyrex”.  A blogger buddy of mine invited me to join.

These people – a few fellas too – collect pyrex, fireking and many other glass and pottery items.  They post displays and finds of all kinds.  It is a blast, and if you’re interested, I’ll put links at the end of the post.

While I don’t have much Pyrex, I do collect glass (as you regulars know :o) and recently I discovered something I had NEVER SEEN.  So of course, I shared it there, but want to show everyone else too.

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A unique discovery ($4.75) from our local thrift store.

 

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NOTE: The pitcher has no handle. You hold it at the stem and gently push the back over to pour.  A Pyrex pal says this is called “Blendo” so I’ll be researching soon.

Ok, for me, this has been a pretty fast post.  But now, Ms. Logical is demanding I get all this housework done.

Yikes, I only have three hours!!!   ARGH!

Always nice talking with you.

NEW BLOG FEATURE:  Going forward, I’ll close with FYI links, mentioned in the post.  Here are today’s.

#1.  The Decorate with Pyrex sign up page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/317294351810256/?fref=nf

#2.  My ARTZZLE facebook page.   I post often here, sharing fun I’ve found from other blogger buddies on fb, including some fantastic AND easy projects.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Artzzlecom/386346584831653

#3.  This is from my Pyrex Blogger buddy.  Besides a number of other interests we share, I originally found her here because of the recipes, which work well for T2D’s like me.

http://www.glutenfreepoodlehome.com/

I’d sure love to see ya’ at my fb page, but HERE too, so replies are always anticipated.

Later – Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

From Gloomy to Good

For a host of reasons, I’m always glad to see
the third month of the year disappear.
Though someone in my life seems to be
on a mission to start a new tradition
to brighten my March with cheer.

It began last year with this little lovely.

And late afternoon today … another knock at my door … brought this beauty.

Artzzle March 2016 post

Though March will be my least favorite month … forever,
my daughter Bri is determined to make it better.

Thanks, Breezer. Luv Ya lots! … Love, Ma

Artzzle March 2016 post

Later, Readers.

 

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 😛  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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 😛

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

“READERS NOTE:  Following are three collages.  As you click each one, you are taken to a photo on a black background, and you can then arrow to the right to review the complete collage.  TO EXIT a collage, click in the very upper, right corner of the screen and you’ll be taken back to the entire post, and on to the next selection.

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