Shiny Brites & Cards

December 21, 2014

My reader and good friend Charlotte sent me the cat Christmas card. Because she has two cats she loves to watch be their silly cat selves. 

And the one next to it was a card for the pupsters. It looks just like Charlie Ross. 

Thanks Charlotte! She's been a reader for a long time and such a sweet person. We communicate via email pretty much on a daily basis.

At the same time I found that in the mail, I saw a box sitting on my small porch stoop. I knew another reader and dear friend said she was sending me something. 

Inside were these vintage shiny brites. She apparently had taken note when I happened to mention somewhere that one day I wanted to have some. And she took it upon herself to make sure I did. 

I cried when I opened them. For the fact that sometimes people are just so kind and thoughtful.

Thanks Mary! 

These are the best pics I can get right now of the male cardinal. It has been overcast lately and the skies gray and full of shadows. He seems to have a berry of some variety in his mouth. 

Strange as it might sound, I have always loved overcast days. I love the sun to nurture my plants. But overcast days, for some reason, make me feel cozy inside my little space. 

There are no better presents in life than good friends and pretty birds to watch and photograph.

On another note, I am working on a writing course I will be teaching online (and at your own pace). It will teach you how to train yourself to look at things with a creative eye. And then transfer your thoughts into words of description. 

I will tell you how to do away with the stress that keeps you from letting your "inner writer" shine, through what I call "brain yoga."

This course will be offered the first of the year. 

Bohemian Style: The Way We Were

December 20, 2014


I've been hearing the words "bohemian style" a lot lately. Seems it's become trendy. So what is it? 

Here's what it says in the dictionary...

 a native or inhabitant of Bohemia.
(usually lowercasea person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of  regard for conventional rules and practices.
the Czech language, especially as spoken in Bohemia.
a Gypsy.

When I look at the elements of bohemian decorating, I see much of what we did back in the seventies and eighties. Lots of house plants. Jewel tones. A sort of hippie meets gypsy style. 

Some of you probably don't remember hippies. They were avant garde. Sometimes they formed communes. Everyone's hair was long and bell bottom jeans were all the rage. 

Many doorways had strands of beads instead of doors. Rooms were a bit disheveled by today's standards. Lots of layering and billowing fabrics.

Welcome to bohemian decorating.


A real work of art is this beaded spider web. It perfectly reflects that era.

Styles were mixed. Different cultures were explored and represented. There were lots of prints mixed together.


Macrame was in. I never quite liked it somehow. The pots didn't hang too straight. And I hate when things aren't straight. I read that this year, macrame is back in fashion.

You saw lots of these. Pier 1 was the hottest place to shop. There were pillows on the floor. And mattresses. And shelves put together with stacked concrete blocks. 

The word kitschy comes to mind. 

Justina Blakeney is a blogger who embraces the bohemian lifestyle. She even has a new book.

So what do you think of the bohemian, or boho, style of decorating? Could you embrace this lifestyle?

Creating Hot Chocolate Stations

December 19, 2014

Can't you just see the delight on a child's face when they spot a hot chocolate bar at a friend's house. 

Not only for the holidays, this would be a great theme for a birthday party. And I hear they're all the rage at weddings these days.

This one looks mighty snazzy all decked out in gold. You can decorate the jars and make them shine and sparkle for the holidays.


Kevin And Amanda sure found some adorable mugs for their hot chocolate station.

This one by Stephanie Lynn (Under The Table And Dreaming) is outdoors. A wonderful place to place your mittens around some hot chocolate to warm up.

Infarrantly Creatively shows you how to style one of these hot spots. There are so many creative ideas!

Take a gander at this one by The Crazy Craft Lady. She's all ready to serve her guests in style.

Don't you just adore those cute little wooden scoops from Pen & Paper Flowers? I don't know if I'd know when to stop piling these sweets on.

Go here to print off these cute labels for your hot chocolate bar. How sweet it is!

Are you considering one of these for your gathering?

The Future Of Decorating?

December 18, 2014

Homemade in 3D: The World of Printed Household Goods

It's no fun to spend money on mass-produced, tacky decorations and furniture for your home. Generally, those inexpensive items are poorly made and don't even look good. Why settle for unoriginal products? 

Using a personal 3D printer, you can craft your own customized objects to display in your living room, dining room, and kitchen. From home accents to practical tools, these versatile printers will quickly produce what you need. Below, you'll find some home goods separated by room, which all can be made with a 3D printer.
The first time you walk into one of those well-known household stores to buy something, you might be shocked to realize how pricey it is. $500 for a fruit bowl? Seems criminal, especially when the product in question is a simple one. 

3D-printed items are a better option, because they spice up your living space and don't cost a ridiculous amount of money. For the kitchen, you'll find intricate serving dishes, glasses, and yes, fruit bowls, all made with durable materials. Many of them can be ordered online and shipped to your door, but if you have a 3D printer, you'll want to make it yourself. 

Furthermore, those who appreciate cooking and design can have the best of both worlds with a 3D food printer. Print candies, cakes, and pizzas for your guests, and then serve them all on 3D-printed tableware.

Dining Room
Sometimes, plates, wine glasses, and quality cutlery can be even more expensive than kitchen goods, so make your dining room table stand out with a few printed items. 

For example, the design brand Freshfiber offers a set of Macedonia Napkin Rings as a free download — you can grab the design file, print the beautiful coral-esque rings, and have them ready for your next dinner party, at no charge. 

If it's a gorgeous summer day and you decide to have an early dinner with friends in the backyard, add some flair to your wine glasses with a few 3D-printed charms. Attached to the wine stem, these detailed and fun charm designs help guests remember which glass is theirs, and they're available in a few unique themes. 

Living Room

While we're not at the stage where most people can afford a 3D printer that is capable of creating furniture, you can still print your own lampshades and picture frames in the meantime. Freshfiber has designed a gorgeous Origami lampshade, which fits a small table lamp and recreates the polygonal look of Japanese folded paper. It's printable on home devices and is currently available to download, along with a few other shade designs that are also striking.

To decorate your living room walls, don't settle for generic picture frames that feel bland and unoriginal. Instead, take advantage of your 3D printer's software to create custom-designed frames that reflect the pictures on display. Use your imagination to add geometric shapes and text to the frame; then, download your 3D file and send it through the printer.

(This was a guest post)

Last Minute Holiday Inspiration

I love this setting with the tree on top of the coffee table. Why not?

Color abounds!

Another tree on a coffee table. Pretty in pink.

A rustic Christmas scene.

Green and blue, a serene scene.

A little nostalgia.

White as snow.

An almost beachy scenario. 

So many ways to decorate our homes for the holiday.