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Saturday, December 31, 2011

When there are no words…

I write when I am happy. I write when I am sad. But right now I find that once comforting words seem to evade me.  

Sometimes when I read other blogs it appears that the people who pen them live such wonderful lives I imagine them to be like storybook characters. 

Perhaps even my family may have seemed like a fictional wonderland for some. But right now, the reality is that we are living a life in which we have had to turn the helm completely over to God.

It’s scary and to be honest who wants to bring that experience to the blogging party?

Just for a moment I thought about making my blog private, because the pain that might seep through in future words might be too much for some.

Truthfully, it’s almost too much for me.

But to close myself off is not the answer. I take comfort in that there may be someone who will find strength in my ill grasped words and seemingly cheesy statements such as “ I won’t give up”.

I can also never begin to thank all the wonderful people who have sent an outpouring of love, friendship and comfort which arrived via comments, letters, and emails.

It is said that during times of trial you often see the true character of yourself and others.

While the door bell and phone has remained largely silent at our home, you, dear readers, have supported us with your words. People that we have never met in “real life”.  To those who say that relationships formed in the blogosphere aren’t real, I will argue that point until the end.

It is not an understatement to say God has worked through all of you. You have been a beaming lighthouse for a family currently sailing stormy seas in what feels like a sinking vessel without life preservers.

As for myself and my character, I have decided that no matter what, each and every day I will find something lovely. 

I will seek out the often overlooked beauty that occurs everyday for all of us.

Of course in the midst of it all lies the elephant in the room. The five W’s. Believe me, in the me you know me to be, when I say I am right there with you. 

What I have learned these past two weeks is that if I have Him, my husband and two children, then I truly do have everything. The rest is just….stuff.  

So the search begins. Because a glorious gift awaits those who perhaps feel like an empty shell. You may have to walk an entire beach, and carefully sift through a lot of sand to find your treasure, but it is there.  

I have temporarily turned off the comments as I must take care of my family and am unable to reply. I offer instead to bring you little bits of bliss and beauty in the days ahead. As always, you are welcome to contact me on the Décor To Adore Facebook page.  

Laura

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Star To Light Our Path

There are times in life when you may walk in darkness.

But there is a great light to lead the way.

Shepherds Field Nativity Painting~ Munir Alawi

“Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,

Here come the wise men from Orient land.

The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;

In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,

Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!

Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!”

    “Oh Holy Night” ~ John Sullivan Dwight

Adoration of the Shepherds ~ Charles Le Brun

Our family has truly been blessed by your precious friendship during this difficult time.

Heilige Nacht Art Print

Heilige Nacht

There is hope, because there is LIGHT.

We ask for your continued prayers of peace. Not only for ourselves, but for the world.

The Gunn family

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Time Away

Due to a very sad and heartbreaking event I will be stepping away from my blog for awhile as I am needed by my family. I am not sure when I will return.

Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

Laura

Gifts To Make #6 ~ The Five Second Anthropologie Sweater

Years ago fur and crochet collars were all the rage.

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You may have noticed that they have made a comeback in a big way.

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Two summers ago my Grandma Jingles sent me a package of some of her long ago favorites. They included this blue collar and broach that have since sat in my closet.

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I decided to pair them and now wear them.

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My kids call me the cardigan Queen. What can I say, I like layers.

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While I adore Anthropologie sweaters, I have a bit of trouble wanting to pay Anthopologie prices.

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I found the other vintage collars at various estate sales and thrift shops. Some received a dye bath and new buttons. All received tulle and silk ribbon.

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Vintage and antique millinery nestle into the softness.

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The Fashionista also likes them on collarless coats.

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The collars look pretty cute on crew neck tee’s too.

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You can find these collars in my Etsy shop.

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Be merry and bright!

Laura

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gifts of the Heart~ Oh Tannenbaum

I have the tutorials for “Gifts to Make” 6, 7 and 8 almost finished. But they require a bit of spray paint and it has been raining in Phoenix for the past two days.

I like the rain. It reminds me of the Christmases I experienced as a child in Northern California.

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My mom would load up six kids in our white Dodge Dart and drive us to the Walton Volunteer Fire Department tree lot. As the littlest I would ride on someone’s lamp. (No seatbelt? The horror!) After we picked out a truly perfect specimen it  would be strapped down to the roof of the car. Driving home everyone would roll down their windows so that the smell of pine could envelope us. 

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Once home my brothers would steady the trunk in a old metal stand. Bing Crosby would croon carols and cocoa would be made. We did not have much money, although I didn’t know it at the time. The majority of our ornaments were handcrafted by our family. It is a tradition that I continue to this day.

A blogland favorite was the “When You Wish Upon A Star” ornament that continues to make the rounds after its initial debut two years ago. The tutorial can be found HERE.

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Or the super easy “Cute As A Button” glass ornament. Directions can be found HERE.

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I really like this years creation of the Darling Deer Fauxglobe Ornament.

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Every year the overall theme of my tree changes. This year I was inspired by my almost 90 year old Grandma “Jingles” (Ingalls). She ran a doll hospital for over 30 years and sent me a few of her favorites last year. During a recent phone call she confided that she missed “her toys”.

Sometimes the very best gifts are those which are created from the heart. So I decided to set up an antique toyland town that she will now, no doubt, enjoy very much.

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The cast of characters includes a little drummer bear who can still rat a tat tat.

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This lovely bisque doll holds a silver star made for me by Miss Sandy.

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Mr. Button in Ear and Wendy Ann enjoy a spot of tea.

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Old ornament favorites can still be found on the tree such as the German snow man….

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… and Mr. Décor’s Bavarian Santa.

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The tree was once again crowned by the Anthropologie inspired tree topper.

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I’ve always loved the symbolism of the dove at Christmas time: Peace one Earth, Goodwill towards men.

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The base of the tree was covered up with a new favorite given to me by dear Andrea. The antique sheet bears my initials beautifully.

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Most of the gifts have once again been wrapped up in the fabric bags that I made HERE.

But the vintage laundry bag is a recent acquisition that I found at a flea.

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The stitching is nothing short of spectacular. This marks the only time I will love laundry. :)

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It still has the original owners name tag.

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Even in the daytime our little tree sparkles. Perhaps because, faux or no, it is loved.

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This post is dedicated to my mother, Nadine, who was the essence of Christmas. Happy Birthday Mom. You are very much missed.

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Mom, half of me and the ultimate Barbie dream house, Christmas, circa 1975.

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother." ~ Abraham Lincoln

Laura

 Linking to:

Thrifty Décor Chick

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gifts To Make #5 ~ Winter Wonderland Under Glass and a GIVEAWAY!!!

Happy Monday!  Welcome to the fifth installment of inexpensive gifts you can easily make.

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If I had to select the most knocked off project of the season it would probably be the Anthropologie tree in a jar. I have seen several interpretations of this darling idea all over blogland.

I thought it might be fun to take the idea to another level.

I began by searching the cupboards for cups, bowls, dishes and any other vessel I could find in a selected Christmas color palette of white, silver and green.

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I then gathered up my collection of vintage bottle brush trees. (You can find vintage trees on Ebay or new trees at any craft and hobby store.)

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A snowy scene in a gumball machine? Yes, yes and YES! Even the eye sore of a center support pole came in handy as a place to hot glue on a flying reindeer.

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To keep the other pieces upright and in place I first hot glued them onto a piece of sturdy cardstock.

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Just add faux snow! A handy dandy pencil helps to set the scene.

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Of course you don’t have to use faux snow. You can also use flour, powdered sugar, Epsom or table salt. (Just make sure you don’t use salt in a silver dish as it could pit it. )

I opted for sugar as it reminded me of glitter.  Perfect for nestling a darling deer in a wee coffee cup. (The glass cloche was removed for photography purposes.)

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You could also have a cup of tea. I’ve set up a hot beverage tray on my kitchen island. A display was created using some of my antique ceramic food jars.

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This masked bandit stole my heart.

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A side table received a glass compote filled with sugared, happy sliders.

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A tiny treasure that’s fun to give is this little Frosty in a vintage spice jar.

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Vintage spice jars can be found very inexpensively in thrift stores. A bit of snow, a tiny tree and a top hatted fellow complete the vignette. Bakers twine was wrapped around the lid and holds a simple handwritten tag.

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Come back on Wednesday with number 6 in the Gifts To Make  series.

If by chance you have had your eye on a few things in my Etsy shop you are in luck! I am sponsoring a giveaway of $25 gift certificate towards anything in the DTA shop over at my friend Karena’s blog, Art By Karena.

More handmade treasures and European antiques will be added to the shop later this week so head on over and enter to win!

Laura

Linking To:

Centsational Girl