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 . . .


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


all over the house.


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


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.


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






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.


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).


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


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!


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


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


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.


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 ??  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
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.


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 😛


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.


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

Christmas Finery from Farrow & Ball

Christmas Past is today’s post … a fun one from 2015.  Enjoy.

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!

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.


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