Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pier 1 nearly redeemed

Ever since I set foot in Pier One decades ago, I've loved to shop there. I rarely buy much, but I enjoy looking. I always thought, "if I had more $$$ I might buy a bit more." But for the past couple of years I just haven't found anything in there that I wanted. I even had a $30 gift card, and just could not spend it! Finally, Thanksgiving Weekend I found several things I wanted. Now I kinda regret paying $6 for a small bag of rocks (especially since I bought more than one!!!) -- but I think the final result just may be worth it (see below.)

They have lots of great Christmas ornaments, and of course their selection of candles & candle holders kept me mesmerized for over an hour. But sadly they do not have a single menorah or other Jewish holiday item in stock, neither in the store nor online (as far as I can tell -- it's hard to know for sure, since THEY DON'T HAVE A SEARCH BOX ON THEIR WEB SITE!!!!)

They have several mult-candle holders, but they only hold 5 or 6 or 7 or 12 candles -- not 8 or 9. So I made my own Hanukkah menorah from Pier 1 stuff.

And I got another candle platform, maybe it will go in the fireplace. Candles are from Ross (cheaper than Pier 1!)

This year we are going to celebrate the LIGHT in the darkness: Solstice (shortest day / longest night), Yule (burn a huge log), and Hanukkah (8 nights of candles.) We'll see what we celebrate next winter (hopefully we'll be living someplace cold and can have SNOW!)

Scandinavian folk-inspired holiday decor

I've been seeing these great Scandinavian-themed decorations in several stores this year: red & natural wood in JoAnns and/or Michaels, red & white in Target, and red & yellow & green in KMart.

Target red flocked ornaments

Target metal ornaments

KMart Martha Stewart "Yuletide Cheer" felt tree toppers

Crate & Barrel felt mini-stocking ornaments (I haven't seen them in person, but oh my are they cute! and pricey...)

KMart also has some cute table runners, tablecloths, and napkins that go with the theme -- sadly, they are sold out...

I'm trying to stick to blue & white & silver stars & snowflakes, but if I had the $$$ to really decorate the whole house, I'd have to get a bunch of this red stuff too. It's so cheery, and would fit in with the "northern Europe" look I'm creating for my whole house.

Martha Stewart winter holiday decor

Normally I'm not a fan of Martha Stewart or KMart, but someone gave me a KMart gift card, so I took a look. And I found quite a few "winter holiday" decorations that I really like! This will be our first year celebrating "winter holidays" and our budget is tight, so I restrained myself... but I did pick up a few things.

Martha Stewart "First Snowfall" wood snowflake garland (9 feet of bead-y goodness!)

Martha Stewart "First Snowfall" painted white wood snowflake ornaments

Here they are on my dining table. Not sure if they'll end up on a wall or a tree, but I'll post pics later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

soup tureen

Country Home magazine runs a regular feature, "What's Hot." In the November 2008 issue, they featured soup tureens.

Now, I've had this Pfaltzgraff Yorktowne soup tureen since 1993 -- but never really had a place to display it. It has lived in the back of the cupboard for ages -- and I don't think it's ever been used.... In October, I was doing some cleaning & decorating to prepare for houseguests, and I decided to pull it out. This was before I read the magazine, actually. Guess I was on the same wavelength!

My tureen is shown here with a vintage platter I won on ebay a couple years ago. I had intended to hang the platter on the wall, maybe surrounded by some other blue & white plates, but it just hasn't happened yet. It did come in very handy for holding the turkey last week! :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

getting crafty with the desk organizer

My new workspace is more visible to the general public, so I *should* keep it tidy. My old "desk organizer" just didn't seem appropriate anymore (and frankly, it never worked that well anyways...)

So I shopped around (see my previous post here for some ideas) and ended up finding something kinda nice at Target for $19.99. It's really a "letter holder" but I figured I could adapt it to my needs. I always love a chance to be creative! (BTW, if you buy one of these, it says the photo openings are 2 x 2 inches, but they are more like 2.75 x 2.75 inches.)

The two compartments are rather wide, and I wanted separate areas for pens, pencils, and other stuff -- so I made some impromptu dividers from my old business cards and stuck them in with double-sided tape.

I think the final result turned okay...

But after looking at it for a few days, I feel the need to paint it a soft white with a pink-ish tinge... or go all the way pink!

The pink thing on the left is a magnetic dry-erase board I picked up at WallyWorld. Rather than attaching it to the wall, I put it on an easel from Joan Fabrics. To attach anything to the wall, one must fill out a requisition form and schedule a state carpenter to install it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I live in the desert with a gnome with no name

And no face, either.

He was needle-felted by Mel (see her etsy shop Haddy2Dogs for lots of great gnomes & friends.) When I saw him for sale over a year ago, I just *had to* have him. And now he sits forlornly in my sewing room, leaning on his buddy the donkey (one of my many finger puppets.)

Of course, who knows what a gnome does at night...?

(The title of this blog is like the song "A Horse With No Name.")