Some Seasonal This & That

In our home this year, I’m keeping seasonal stuff simple.  From foods to decorating, it’s quick and easy all, especially through November.

With this in mind, I scanned through my photo stash and in doing so, discovered the “sweet and simple” idea is not a new one around my house.

Of course a bit of sparkle here and there isn’t difficult to achieve.


A little color and shine can go a long way.


Or sometimes just a nice floral arrangement has a lot to say.

And if a big arrangement isn’t your thing . . .

try a basket, a couple plants or garden picks, a scarf and some sparkly items.

Before closing, I wanted to again share this simple and fun poem and kid’s project.

Thanksgiving preparations are at hand.
Menus being made, days being planned.
Arranging rooms for extra seating.
Cleaning, cooking, talking, eating.
The youngest crowd might be ignored.
They get restless, they get bored.
Keep all kids busy with fun projects they’ll like.
Have the older kids help the little tikes.

Cheryl Brindle



I really enjoy and appreciate your thoughts and comments on my posts, so let me know what you think.  And remember, it’s okay to share as long as you give credit where credit is due … to me 🙂

Have a wonderful holiday and make lot’s of special memories 🙂

Later – Cheryl




Quick Non-Food “Stuff” for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving preparations are at hand.
Menus being made, days being planned.
Arranging rooms for extra seating.
Cleaning, cooking, talking, eating.
The youngest crowd might be ignored.
They get restless, they get bored.
Keep all kids busy with fun projects they’ll like.
Have the older kids help the little tikes.

§ § § § §

Finger puppets and velcro turkeys can be found in my 2013 Thanksgiving post.  Everything you need is over there, including the full color printables and easy supply

§ § § § §

Below, the adorable turkeys are only one of the cute ideas you’ll find from Jamielyn Nye’s post over at Baby Center.

10 Thanksgiving crafts for kids Jamielyn Nye


§ § § § §

You’ll have lots of paper projects to pick from over at Enchanted Learning.

I especially liked their construction paper turkey decoration
which lists what a child is thankful for.


If you’re in need of last minute decorating fixes,
click the pic’s below
for some easy ideas!




The project above is both pretty and pretty easy to do.  The version below is prettied up even more by just adding some sparkly wrapping paper.


And that’s all for today.
You’ll remember from last time
that at our house. we’re celebrating the
Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays together this year in mid-December.
Different dates but sentiments are the same.

Stay safe until next time.
Later – Cheryl


It’s reality time around here today.  Well … yesterday, today and a few more days following.  If I am brave enough to post the pictures, this article will prove once and for all, that indeed, I don’t always have a spotless house!

Yes, this post involves one ugly mess AND toilet paper . . . but don’t worry, one has no relation to the other (at least not today).

Toilet Paper & One Big Mess

True, we’re barely at the brink of the Thanksgiving holidays, and still far away from Christmas or Hanukkah, but I have a great reason for considering them all, at this very moment.

Toilet Paper and One Ugly Mess feature

Our tribe is located far and wide, with many blended family members and obligated gatherings they must attend.  It makes holiday plans difficult for everyone to schedule.  And of course, our Midwest weather often compounds the problems.

The photo above is from a previous year.  Right now, our weather is great … but I put emphasis on the RIGHT NOW part!

We always tell the kids that our celebrations don’t have to be on the exact day or holiday weekend.   It has become a successful plan, as everyone is less harried and more relaxed when they don’t have to “eat and run”.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

For a change, this year instead of two distinct celebrations, our house is having one big shindig … on December 13th.  A date between the two major events, and as thus, there’ll be no specific turkey or menu item, just a giant potluck.  My attitude is sort of  “eat what’s here or fill up when you get home”.  I figure if everyone brings things they enjoy eating, it should be just fine.  Right?!  I say “bring on the baked goods”!

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

But back to point.  My big mess is the holiday ornaments, trappings and wrappings strewn everywhere.  Hub’s dragged up the Christmas tubs from the crawl space, and got the tree down from the garage attic.  And here it all sits, not beautifully arranged as yet, but simply opened and stacked throughout the rooms.

My master plan began with an early evaluation of ALL of the pieces.  It’s part of my “get rid of it, clutter-free” campaign.  Facing facts, we don’t need even half of this conglomeration.  I won’t say exactly half will leave, but I’m really trying for that result.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

First, I sorted and threw out any broken or damaged pieces.  Next, I chose several items or groups of ornaments and listed them on Craigslist.  The idea being whatever doesn’t sell, will be donated to the little thrift store where I volunteer.  As this will happen before December 13th, they’ll still have plenty of time for Christmas sales.  And, actually, we make quite a bit on our “After Holidays” sales too.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

There were literally hundreds of unbreakable ornaments, all shapes, colors and sizes.I DID keep a few of each type, but the majority was divided evenly. Two sets of 150 ornaments each, with mixed colors and designs, will go to Craigslist or the store.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

Amongst the Christmas things, I found a few Fall and Thanksgiving items as well.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

Those also went on Craigslist.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

The tree is up and skirted, but stands naked by the fireplace at the moment.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

And yes, in the shot above, that is Gracie’s rear end in the upper right area.

My SANTA BEARS came out of hibernation.  They will all be STAYING.  Right now one of them is atop the piano.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

The new shelf unit Hubs made me this summer, previously held my vase collection.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

Now, it’s showing off my mini Christmas tree collection.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

You can see I’ve done a good editing job with this group.  Below are the items for Craigslist.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

That’s where we’re at today.  And this mess should prove to you doubters that my house isn’t always picture perfect.  But don’t count on many more examples of it, because I was REALLY HESITANT to feature these!

So, that’s the UGLY MESS … but you’re still wondering about the Toilet Paper, right?

Well, another Cher, my friend over at Craft Alternatives, sent this out last week, and I just had to share it.  C’mon, pretty, right?

The Craft Alternative Link

And YES, it is too “Toilet Paper” in there 🙂 Be sure not to miss the optional container ideas!  Thanks, Cher.

The Craft Alternative "Link"

We’ll talk again soon.  And remember, positive equals productive, and staying so, helps you feel happier, for all those special days coming up.

Later – Cheryl

It’s Thanksgiving … already?

With so many “Thanksgivings Past”,
you’d think I’d have an overload of turkey tales to tell.


 Well … let’s see.
Around here, we’ve had some terrifically. tasty. turkeys!
That’s probably because “thankfully” (no pun intended) …
Hubs is the bird cooker at our place … not me.

ARTZZLE.comHey now … I do make a mean green bean casserole though,
and I’m expert at finding great deli side salads!

I read once where someone well known
said “I don’t cook … I buy pretty food”.
It was probably Erma Bombeck or maybe Mary Engelbreit ?!?

I say “I don’t cook … I buy great food and serve it beautifully”!

I remember my mom worried about how her food would turn out.
Funny, no matter how much my dad grumbled about things …
he always chowed everything down quick enough.

Mom was a good cook. She needn’t have worried.
Things were always tasty.

I do remember one holiday meal.
My cousin June and I were squished together in a chair,
in the front room, plates on our laps … laughing and being silly.

Okay, I know some most of you are thinking I was goofin’ off
and dumped my plate or some stupid thing.

Nope, fooled ya! I took one big bite of mom’s mashed potatoes
with all that great gravy …
and I passed out!

NOW, there was absolutely NOTHING WRONG with ma’s potatoes …
except, I tried to eat them when they were too hot and it made me faint.

Here’s what I blogged around this time last year.
Thanksgiving for the Kids
Sometimes the little kids get lost in all the holiday hoopla.
Maybe these could help.

And This Project works for any occasion.
I used mine last year for Thanksgiving.

So there you have it. Some Thanksgiving throwbacks.

I wish for all
a Safe, Warm, Wonderful and

Later – Cheryl

Thanksgiving … for the Kids

Hi All,

The next few days are all about those finishing touches for Thanksgiving. On the day itself, with all the adults talking over the cooking and eating, sometimes kids find themselves needing something to do, too. I played a while on the computer today and designed some cute print-ables just for them.

Just print this file THANKSGIVING PRINTS

Cut them out and they become either …
finger-puppets or …

pins for the kids.

All you need … besides scissors and a little time … is

1. White cardstock
2. Scotch tape … or
3. Adhesive Velcro dots

Just print and cut out the images. TIP: For puppets just remember to cut side strips that can fold to the back and be taped in a loop. They’ll fit over one finger for older kids, or two for the little ones.

For pins, one velcro dot goes on the back of the piece, and the other goes on the front of the child’s shirt. Voila you have a cute little pin.

Until next time, don’t stress, just start something.

And have a wonderful, safe and … HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Later – Cheryl

I love your feedback. Email readers can reply below and online you can click on the little cloud at the top of the article, by the title 🙂

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Small Changes ….

… can make a Big Difference.

Anyone feeling anxious or rushed yet? You know … those holiday hurries and worries that usually start about now? Before the big boys come out; those crates and boxes of lights and lovelies, try to keep calm. There are still “easy little” things you can do to spruce up a bit for Thanksgiving.


Our piano is always the “elephant in the room”, but I love it, and it’s actually very easy to decorate with.
Here this nice, big plant adds brightness and draws the eye to the colors and themes in the photography wall grouping. This was a quick buy at the local Big Box store, for under $10.

TIP: BE SURE to have something under your plants to protect your fine furniture from any moisture or spillage. Mine is both in a plastic lined basket AND I have a clear plastic plate beneath the basket.

WIth the piano, a dramatic change comes with simply opening the lid (and I get a lot more “oohs and ahs” with the lid up)!

2. Swap out Wall Art

Refresh your main rooms quickly by swapping your wall art with something from a different room.

In the above photo, note that the wall display photographs have been changed. Below, both the wall art and plant are new. A larger watercolor (mine) is now paired with one of my silk floral arrangements.

3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t sweat it but don’t forget it either! Switch out your accessories from room to room.

Yes, Thanksgiving is still Fall, but if you’re tired of pumpkins and Halloween colors, try trading the orange lamp in the living room for the lighter one in the den. Put the pumpkins out on the front steps and bring different Autumn colors into your rooms, with glass, metals and books.

Earlier Autumn version of living room.

Quick change shot.

Credenza before …

… and after

Coffee Table before …

… Two different vignettes for Coffee Table. These are nice examples of how colorful scarves make easy accessories for decor and fashion. Nice double-duty items there, and very affordable at your favorite thrift stores. I never pay more than $2 per scarf.

A few new, colorful kitchen towels and pot holders are always an inexpensive and quick refresher. Likewise, a new bath towel set or two.
Items above were all purchased new at Wal-Mart and my area Discovery Thrift store for between $1 and $1.50 each. I began buying one or two a trip, a few weeks before the holiday season, so no big financial bite all at once.

Replace throw or accent rugs if they’re showing wear. Especially around holiday seasons, many of the major department and big box stores have fantastic sales on household items.

The end of year holiday seasons are also the “colds” season. It’s a good idea to have tissue available for guests. Buy a few pretty boxes while you’re at it. Just another simple way to add color, so why not?

Final TIP: Books are always wonderful decorating accessories. Yes, use them for their colors, but I like to display several picture books as well. People seem to enjoy having something fun to do during those “slow periods” before and after the holiday meal.
That’s it for this time. Remember my articles aren’t absolute must-dos … just suggestions and ideas to get your imagination going. I hope you’re sharing your favorite posts with friends. I’d love to have them join us too!

As always, don’t stress, just start.

Later – Cheryl
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Thanksgiving Thinking

Hi All,

Thanks for the wonderful comments and emails on the Halloween posts. So glad you enjoyed them. Karianne at THISTLEWOOD FARMS has inspired me to come up with some cutout printables for Thanksgiving as well, so expect a project soon. Checkout Kari’s site over there. She is a Hoot! 🙂

With that said, I know I’m not the only one who’s glad that Halloween is done. The pumpkins are pooping out and any color other than orange, is much welcomed at this point. Still, it’s a bit odd that the BIG BOX stores are already decked out in red and green. What about that holiday in between? You know, the big Gobble-Gobble with the green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.

After my latest budget “fun finds”, I’m into some fun Thanksgiving designs. I found several great fabric pieces in the remnant bin at Wal-Mart. Two are for more easy make table runners, like the one I’ve already finished, pictured. The tutorial is at the end of this post.

The others are for another RAG WREATH . If you missed that post, check it out. I’m tickled to tell you that the Wreath for All Seasons was one of my most popular posts yet! A friend wants help making hers so thought I would do another along with her as a demo.

The wonderful works of world renowned artist MARIE THURMAN have inspired me to get creative with some decorative glass and ceramic ware. You’ll love this easy, inexpensive project. Found the perfect glass and plates to use, at my local Discovery Thrift Store. Article coming soon. Also coming up, a twenty-five cent TV tray will get a remarkable re-do and new use.

My continued search for cool, new blogger buddies means another “FEATURED FAVORITES” spot in the very near future as well.

But today, look how easy and inexpensive this table runner is to make. And it only takes about an hour.

I’m using two compatible fabrics and some decorative wired ribbon to make three runners that will criss-cross over the table top.

First, I cut the polka-dot fabric lengthwise, to create two equal pieces. Then I trimmed off the end edges.


Next I pressed the fabric with my iron on a low-steam setting. It had some heavy wrinkles, so I placed a lightly dampened wash-cloth over those areas and did another light press over. Just don’t have the wash-cloth too wet or the steam setting too hot.

Now, I cut four pieces of my metallic, wired ribbon; two that are two inches longer than the length sides, and two that are two inches longer than the width. You want your ribbon to have an extra inch on each end, so that you can miter/match your corners a bit later.

While my low temp glue gun was heating, I covered the top of my ironing board with wax paper. This will catch any glue goofs and protect the pad. Place your fabric FACE SIDE UP on the ironing board. Beginning on a length side of the fabric, I lined up my ribbon (with one inch hanging beyond the end) then pinned down the ribbon and pinned down a few areas of the fabric. TIP: be sure to allow a one inch overhang of ribbon, beyond the end of the fabric. AND start your glue line down an inch or so from the end of your fabric. You’ll have one inch of ribbon unglued to the fabric and one inch over hang.

Now begin to glue. I ran a very thin line of glue about a quarter inch in from the edge of the fabric, going as far as one glue pull would take me. Now begin placing the ribbon on top of the glue line, gently because it is hot.

Go back and pat down the ribbon onto the glue. Continue until you are an inch from the opposite end.


When your first edge is done, go back to the beginning and glue your inside edge, following the same procedure, placing glue about a quarter inch above the inside edge of your ribbon.

If you go crooked and off line with your glue, DON’T WORRY, just leave it alone for now. Correct your line and continue gluing.

When your ribbon is attached, and glue is dry, you simply go back to the extra glue on your fabric, rub back and forth a couple times and gently pull it up and snip it off.

Complete both glue lines of one length edge and then do your width edge next. BEFORE YOU BEGIN to glue this second ribbon piece, overlap your loose end pieces. Then cut a miter cut through both pieces. Pull away the excess ribbon and you’ll have a mitered corner. Now begin gluing this edge, following the same steps as before.

Do each remaining side in the same manner.

Here’s the final project.


FABRIC, cut to preferred width and length; this project was 13.25″ width by 43″ length.
GLUE GUN, low temp and 2 GLUE STICKS were used for this project
WIRED RIBBON; I used a 1 1/2 inch width ribbon.

I’m going to make an identical runner, and then two long runners in the striped fabric. Not sure if I’ll use the same ribbon on those. One will be used in the table group, and the other in the next room on the piano, to keep the look going.

This is a quick and easy, economical project that can add a little perk to any table. I’m using mine for Thanksgiving! Let me know what you do with yours.

Later – Cheryl

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