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Friday, October 30, 2009

Boo To You!

How are your preparations for Halloween going? I am starting my Friday at school and then will leave a wee bit early to attend an Arizona bloggers luncheon. It should be great fun.

Marty from A Stroll Thru Life planned the luncheon. There will be about 12 ladies attending the event. I am so excited and didn't want to show up empty handed so I made up some goody bags to pass out to everyone.

Of course I wanted to bring something for our hostess to thank her for planning the event.

Start with a bottle of cider. (Or wine will do too.) Find a nice linen dish towel. (Terry cloth is a bit to bunchy.) Grab a few straight pins with enamel heads, a bit of scrap ribbon and a pretty tag if you desire.

Fold the towel almost in half and begin rolling the bottle up in the towel. When you've reached the end of the towel secure the seam closed with 3 straight pins. Fold the bottom up like you would wrap the end of a gift and secure it with 2 more pins. Tie the top shut with the ribbon. Attach the tag. Pat yourself on the back for giving not one but 2 gifts, cleverly wrapped.

Here is another bottle in a towel gift I recently gave one of my instructors who invited all of his students to tour his ASID (American Society of Interior Design) award winning home. I just can't wait to show you the pictures of that day!

In case you have a present that won't roll up very nicely in a towel here is another idea based on some bags that I did last summer. Once again I just repurposed paper shoppers and added a few bootiful images I downloaded from the computer. Add some rafia and ribbon for a bit of fun fluff.

Here is a closeup of one of the bags.

After the luncheon I will be spending what is sure to be a delightfully frightful afternoon with a classroom of 7 and 8 year olds. I will be assisting with the costume parade, a candy filled party and of course giving an art lesson. Today we are making bats.

You begin with a wooden clothespin and paint it black. (I bought this package at Joanne's for less than $2.00 by using a coupon.)

Cut out some wings and a body.

Add a smile with fangs and a spooky name with a silver pen or acrylic paint.

The end result looks so cute tied onto a gift, hanging from a Halloween tree or as a place marker on a table setting. It's so easy, even a wee goblin such as this can do it.

May you have a spooktacular weekend!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Cock~a~doodle~doo to you!

A week old and very thirsty!

This Nanny had good taste...she loved my friend J's purse.

Buzzin' around.

Making our way through the hanger onto the plane ride.

Oh no! In a turn of events the damsel must save a boy in distress before the train comes.

The hired hands cruise around the farm on these. I want one.

After enjoying a pig race and a hayride I knew exactly which cute pumpkins I wanted to take home with me.

Happy fall ya'll!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall is Paradise

For many people when they hear the word "Arizona" an image of a barren desert wasteland comes to mind. Yet in the fall, winter and spring there is almost no other place I would like to be. I thought I would share a few pictures of homes from a neighborhood I recently visited in Paradise Valley, which is a suburb of Phoenix.

This home has its architectural roots in Spanish Colonial design. Look at how high the palm trees are!

The home below has an adobe feel. I love the xeriscape~ which is landscaping that is planned based on climate and gardening zones and reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental irrigation.

I adore the look of the bougainvillea plant with its beautiful pink flowering branches. But like the rose, it does have thorns.

I adore the wrought iron gate.

This home is a combination of an Italian villa crossed with Spanish Colonial that has a bit of fieldstone thrown in for good measure.

What a front entrance.

I am currently working on a post that will feature a tour inside one of these glorious homes.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of fall in my neck of the woods.

Don't forget to enter the Spooktacular Giveaway one post down!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spooktacular Adornments / GIVEAWAY

I have been getting into the Halloween spirit and feeling crafty with my vintage charms and cabochons from the 1950's and 60's. Perhaps you have a favorite ghoul that would like a Spooktacular Adornment? This bootiful vintage comb was christened "Autumn Delight".

If you need to rattle a few chains how about a gem entitled "Purple People Eater"?

Perhaps you are more in a "Green Goblin" mood.

A sweet bit of bliss you can FALL in love with is "Harvest Time".

Sweep your elegant tresses to the side with "Autumn Sky".

This is one occasion you'll be happy to have a "Cobweb's Delight".

This vintage bit of bliss is entitled "Indian Summer".

Now onto the GIVEAWAY!

I've never thought much of the orange and black combo. I thought this Halloween giveaway could have a nice purple theme. I adore the party plates and napkins. There is also a nice note pad, a black and white vintage cameo ring made by yours truly and vintage trims and buttons in the inspired colored palette.

But if you are more of a traditionalist, I have included a cute wooden sign and a few skulls. (Don't worry my children are still alive.)

For those of you who love the taste of blood um I mean chocolate, how about the New Moon variety? I've included a set of fangs to help you suck out the filling. (Carmel is my personal favorite. It has nothing to do with the fact that Edward is on the package. Really.)

Edward. Sigh. Anyone else counting the days until New Moon?

eye candy

Oh right, forgive me, the GIVEAWAY. I had to include my other favorites: candy corn and peanut M & M's. If you promise to not remind me of the time I ate 6 Reese's peanut butter eggs in one sitting I will include a few of their pumpkins. You might need a set of rotten teeth to eat them all with.

Now for the fine print. The Spooktacular Giveaway is for "Adorable People" only. (Also known as Decor to Adore followers.) If you would like 2 additional entries you can link the giveaway on your blog.

The Random Number Generator will select a winner on Monday morning in the hopes that the winner will receive the package in time to enjoy all the goodness before All Hallows Eve arrives.

UPDATE: The random number generator has selected Liz of Rose Vignettes. Congratulations Liz!
As we are entering the holiday season there will be many more giveaways to come.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Make A Difference

Hello my friends~ I miss you so all very much. A big hug to all of you who have sent well wishes and prayers.
I am interrupting my bloggy sabbatical to speak about something very close to my heart. I am praying it does not come across as me getting up on a contraption such as this:

Many of you know that I grew up in foster care. I am here today because of God's grace, my own will and determination and because people cared. People I knew well, and strangers who came into my life fleetingly and gave their time~ energy~ and I am sure on occasion, ~money so that I could become who I am today.

Years ago I often wondered "How do I ever begin to pay back everything that has been given to me?"

Situations presented themselves. Such as when the local chapter of the NOCC (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition) asked for design volunteers to create healing havens for women currently battling or recovering from ovarian cancer. In donating my time I encountered several fabulous women who blessed me more than I could ever begin to bless them.

I know that some people avoid volunteering because they think it is a bore or that it involves tremendous sweat.
This is a misconception. You can shape volunteering to whatever suits your life. It is absolutely ok to give of your time doing something that you love or believe in. To be honest I am not one for car washes, selling cookie dough, or hocking magazines to raise money.

Here is another example of doing what I love while volunteering: Our church recently bought a warehouse space that used to house a gymnasium. They needed to transform the room below into a sanctuary. They asked for my help.

Gulp. Um, I don't have ANY experience in the area of churches. This was totally out of my comfort zone completely. While I have done work in some commercial spaces, I specialize in residential design. But I didn't say "No." But you better believe I prayed. Almost immediately I was given this thought: SALVAGE.
The dictionary's definition of salvage is:
  1. To save from loss or destruction.
  2. To save discarded or damaged material for further use.

Wow. Kind of like what God does for us.

I shakily presented this concept to my minister with photos of old stained glass windows, relics from churches, pipe organs, etc.

He loved it. So now I am on the hunt for salvage in which to decorate the walls of our church. Did I mention we have no money? That's ok. I am voluteering to find cheap (read FREE) salvage. I believe it will work out.

Don't be afraid of going outside of your comfort level, you will be blessed immeasurably.

I can remember as a child that art was my favorite subject. I want my children to have the same opportunities as I did to love art. But sadly, there is not funding.

A wise teacher of mine once said: You can complain about anything you want to. I will listen. But the condition is that you must follow up with a possible solution that could correct the situation.

So while I can complain about the lack of art in my child's school, the solution is to volunteer my time giving art lessons. Now let me stop right here and say that I don't have an art degree. I have never even taken one art class in all my years of college. I do not let these facts stop me.

Once a month I go into my son's class and give an art lesson. I wish it could be more.
Which brings me to the TIME issue.

The majority of people don't volunteer because they don't have the time.

Time is tough. But time is relative. May I use my own life as an example?

Currently I own my own business, which is steady. I am taking 3 classes this semester that are drowning me in home work. I don't have a nanny, a cook, a cleaning service, a dog walker or a gardener. I wear those hats. It is exhausting trying to be a good wife, mother, friend and relative. I also on accasion help Mr. Decor out with his 9 wolf cub scouts.
Right now I am so busy that I feel like I am about to become Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

But one thing I have learned is that something can wait. It might be the dishes, the laundry, the mani~pedi or even GASP! Blogging.
Because volunteerism often has situations such as children who can't wait. I know that kids need to experience and develop a love for art.

I think perhaps that I am making a difference. It may be to an entire church, it may be to a woman battling cancer or it may be just one small child.

This week is Make A Difference / I Participate week. One person CAN change the world. Let it be you.

To sweeten the deal here is the link to a free pass offered by Disney Theme Parks.