Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reflections of Joy

Last Saturday my hubby found a couple of antique shops we hadn't known existed. He knew I'd love them, so I went out to meet him there and found this "JOY" reindeer ornament. As mentioned in a previous blog, I collect Christmas "JOY" ornaments - mainly for my daughter who has the name "Joy".

I love Christmas and December and winter weddings! One of the happy occasions of December is my anniversary. On the 29th I will celebrate 32 years with my husband! Then two weeks after Christmas my nephew is getting married - on my birthday!

Last October at another nephew's wedding, my Joy caught the bride's bouquet outside the wedding chapel. Now she is planning a wedding.

One year later...

 ...the proposal outdoors at a sentimental location!

A tour down memories lane in 2008 and 2009 with outdoor Christmas and anniversary celebrations with hubby...

Christmas party in Newport Beach...

...our cabin backyard...

our 30th anniversary!

Happy Winter Holidays!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Nostalgia

Christmas is a joyful season yet mixed with nostalgia of yesteryears. I remember my mother spring cleaning once several years ago. She showed me a few things she didn't need anymore that I might like. One of them was a Christmas pillow. I've treasured it ever since. I always loved that pillow. Now it goes wherever I go. In the RV, across many of the States. Now in my cabin. It makes me think of Mother. I miss her all the time. Today, I missed her even more. She loved Christmas, decorating, cooking, celebrating with family. Just a pillow, but it's a token of love, a mother's love that stays with me.

I have a daughter named Joy. She's my miracle. Each Christmas I buy her something with the word "Joy" to add to her collection. Below is a "JOY" reindeer ornament I found this past weekend at an antique store.

These two Christmas characters, the teddy bear from last year and the Santa from today, are a gift from a vendor at my day job. His wife makes the peppermint and white chocolate candy (Santa). Since last year's candy she made is long gone, today I made my favorite No-Bake Chocolate goodies to go in the teddy bear. The two characters are sitting on a mirror I purchased recently at
at an antique shop.
Leaning in the background is a board I found in a trash pile. I couldn't resist making it into a chalkboard!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cabin Christmas

Let's begin with a little cabin history. This desert cabin is my fixer upper that is about to be remodeled in a major way. There's a story behind this little cabin. When hubby and I first went to look at it, we couldn't see it from the road. 

It was hiding behind a forest of trees. We learned that the couple who had owned the cabin both died. The man died first, and his wife died not many months later. And they weren't old. A relative had inherited the house and let a business acquaintance live in it. The acquaintance became a squatter. As I walked through the house, the squatter tried his best to discourage me from buying the cabin. Squatter lost. We won. Cabin became ours. It took us nearly a year to clean up the junk, the yard, and the cabin. The squatter had moved furniture from the cabin to the outside. So much junk. Ugh! I did save a few old treasures like two vintage windows, one of which hubby and I closed off a kitchen opening with. 
Another treasure I've spray painted chrome. 

Since I moved from an RV to even a cabin, it's like starting over. My furniture is scattered around Texas in my parents' home and in one of my daughters' home. So, it's like starting over - and it's so much fun! I get tickled when I see the beautiful furniture and homes in blogs and then I see my little abode with a futon that I picked up at a yard sale for $15 and an old desk I dragged from the trash by the road and...oh I could go on, but I'll save it for another blog.

Terracotta Christmas Tree
The cabin has a fireplace, and I am decorating it daily for Christmas. Hubby and I went up to the mountains last month and brought back bunches of huge pine cones. I've been making pine cone topiaries, painting terracotta pots, and making terracotta and pine cone gifts. This morning I made a tiny Christmas tree with branches from outside. I found the little chili pepper ornaments at a craft fair last weekend. The snowman globe and Santa I picked up from an after-Christmas sale last year. 
Our plan is to begin house renovation in January. The cabin foundation and a wall or two are staying. Since next year I should be in the Mediterranean beauty, this is the last Christmas in the little cabin as it is. I'm decorating rustic and cabin style. 

The pine cone in the vintage tub was one of my Christmas craft projects from last year...
and more pine cones below that I dipped in wax ...

 Whether family is near or far, you can have Christmas joy in your heart. The secret is to give of what you have to others. No matter what situation you find yourself, someone else in the world has it worse. As you bring joy to others, the Christmas spirit will find its way to you.
I'm joining Sister Saturday at Southern In My Heart

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Old to New Cottage Design

Fixer upper houses - should you fix them up or tear down and start over?
 Our story:
The fixer upper is a cabin with mountains in the distance. Within half an hour you're in the mountains. The first time my husband and I saw this little place, it was surrounded by trees. I fell in love with the cabin and could imagine fixing it up. However, the place requires much work, and we decided to do a major remodeling. Like keep the foundation and a couple of walls. Our designer came up with a plan...


...a Mediterranean plan. Designer Bill is a custom designer. He designs to fit our ideas and needs.
This is it, my friends - our custom design! The plans are complete now. The building phase is coming soon. Until then I get to enjoy decorating my little cabin for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chalkboard Terracotta Gifts

One of my choices for Christmas gifts this year is a chalkboard terracotta pot. It can be given with a plant, or stuff it pretty with festive paper and candy. The terracotta costs less than $1.00, a box of chalk for about $1.00, and a can of chalkboard paint for $7 or $8 can make lots of terracotta pots.   
Happy Crafting! Oh, and don't forget to add a box of colored chalk!
I'm posting to Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home.
I'm posting to Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Terra Cotta Painted Christmas Topiary Pot

This is the little terra cotta painted Christmas topiary I gave to my friend on Thanksgiving Day. It was so much fun to paint. The huge pine cone and stick used for the trunk were handpicked from the mountains nearby. Acrylic paints were used. Painting crafts reminds me of the time I was about five years old. We had moved into the new house my dad had built. Mother told me, "You're going to have your own room. You can decorate it any way that you want." She reminded me in later years that one day she didn't hear me so she went to check on me. I was very busy drawing colorful pictures all around my walls with my crayons. She said it was so funny and that she couldn't bear reprimanding me because, after all, she had told me I could decorate my room however I wished. I suppose that's why painting makes me feel like a kid again - it's so fun.