Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Shopping

I will just start out and say that I don't have a single photo of Thanksgiving. Not one.  Once the family starts to arrive and begins milling around preparing their contribution to the feast, it's fairly hectic, and warm and loving. Just the way Thanksgiving should be :>) And I just can't be bothered to run for the camera and stage a bunch of pictures to post. There is too much going on and every moment is to be savored and enjoyed. Everyone looks for their favorite dish, and there are hugs and greetings and the latest tales from Uncle Clarence. This year the story was about how earlier this week his car was hit by a semi and he walked away unscathed. Another thing to be thankful for! And typical of the adventures he has lived through. We love Uncle Clarence and his stories of survival!

So here we are the day after. The house is still clean and, I don't know about you but I am not one to brave the crowds for the Black Friday sales. Can I just ask? Why do people even go to WalMart on Black Friday? It seems every year someone gets trampled or a fight breaks out. Christmas spirit anyone? At any rate, I have been doing a lot of my shopping online. And that doesn't mean I hit the big box websites and Amazon exclusively.  I love etsy and I love buying products from cottage industries who really care about my business. This year I purchased this beautiful photo for my brother who has been looking for some pastoral art for his walls.
 It's from Jenn Diguglielmo's beautiful etsy shop, and it is a photograph that has the feel of a gorgeous vintage painting. My brother was up for a visit last week and I gave him the gift early and he loved it. Her prints come in a variety of sizes, and the delivery was lightning fast
I also admire the products in the Happy Little Cottage shop. Oh my, the gorgeous colors and the wonderful work that Debbie does will make anyone's heart happy! A darling pincushion stocking stuffer, pillow, quilt or holiday banner is like a little drop of sunshine for your home. Go. Look. You will be so glad you did.

My dear friend Trish is a sewing dynamo. She does quilt pattern testing and still finds time to make beautiful things for her shop natnkat. Adorable tissue holder covers for your purse make a great stocking stuffer, but she also has pretty Christmas pillowcases for sugarplum dreaming, and a candy colored scarf that will keep your loved ones so warm and cozy:>) I have one of her scarves and it is a favorite that I pull out again and again.
Last but not least is my sweet friend Karen Harvey Cox. I have several of her lovely watercolor paintings throughout my home and I love their vibrant color and the dreamy style she paints in. She
has an etsy shop called French Script where she sells her fabric designs in totes, pillow covers and by the yard so you can make your own beautiful creations if you like. She even has cut and sew tea towels by the yard so you can make a set for someone special, or for yourself! She has delicious designs that take advantage of her original art in so many different ways. I have ordered from Karen and always been thrilled with my purchases.
So there you have it. Some of my favorite shops this year and all accessible from the comfort of your home with a nice cup of coffee and preferably still in your cozy flannel jammies. Don't forget to check out my shop, I have my sparkly Christmas stocking marked down for the Black Friday weekend.  So who needs to get trampled at the big box stores?  If you have a favorite shop please tell us who it is! Do you go out on Black Friday?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wreath Pillow

Just checking in.  I'm still around but enjoying family time with all the kids home.  I mentioned in my last post that I would be decorating for Christmas early this year since we would be having Christmas with the newlyweds while they are here. Can I just say, I don't think I will ever go back to decorating after Thanksgiving again? I have been pulling out the decorations slowly, as the fancy strikes, and it has been glorious to realize that I won't be cramming all the joys of Christmas into three short and hectic weeks! After Thanksgiving I will have most, if not all of the shopping done and the decorations will be twinkling. I have really relished the extended enjoyment of having them up, and those weeks between the two most wonderful holidays of the year can be devoted to baking, wrapping, and all the fun aspects of the season. I even had some time to sew this wreath pillow, not for the shop, just for ME! You know the old saying, "the cobblers children go barefoot?", well I am a bit embarrassed to say that what I sew usually gets offered up to etsy. Well lets face it, my house would be full if I kept everything!  But I had some felt and some canvas that were just itching to be a new Christmas pillow and I whipped one up. I love it and I may have time to make more since the decorating and shopping are out of the way :>)
I have a bit of cleaning and some last minute details to finish up for Thanksgiving. It has been a joyous bit of family time with all the little chickens back under my roof.  I hope you all have a spectacular Thanksgiving with lots of good food, and warm family time together.
Do you usually decorate for Christmas before or after Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Let the Holidays Begin!

The newlyweds arrived Sunday morning feeling a bit under the weather from a stomach bug after driving all night from New Jersey.  I was able to point them to a comfy fresh bed in the guest room for a little rest, but oh, I am so happy to have the whole family under the cozy little roof of this cottage!
Brian was able to rally enough by afternoon to start preparation for the big family hunting trip at the family cabin up north. It's an annual event with all the men of our family cozying up in an extremely rustic cabin complete with wood stove and outhouse. They love it. They hunt and we send loads of food up with them for a nightly feast around the wood stove. This will be Brian's first trip and I think he would crawl there if he had to:>) We women plan a girls night, pampering and some chick flicks while they are gone.
 Yes, it's a bit early to start talking about Christmas, and I am usually not one to begin decorating for Christmas before celebrating Thanksgiving, but it feels like Christmas came early this year with my kids home! They leave the day after Thanksgiving and we won't be able to have Christmas day together, so we are having our little family Christmas early this year. I'm breaking out the decorations early, I may see if the boys will look for a little Christmas tree to cut and bring home from the cabin and there will be cookie baking and gift giving and all the things we love. 
Can't. wait.
And just so you know, I'm not one to follow trends. Burlap is pretty, but for me Christmas is about sparkles and glitter and light, so I made these sequined stockings for the shop. Lined in satin and backed with various metallic brocades, I think they'll reflect the candles, firelight and Christmas lights quite gloriously:>) 
Add a vintage rhinestone brooch for even more sparkle!
 I don't have a mantle, but we usually set the table Christmas morning with our prettiest dishes...
 and hang the stockings from the backs of the chairs or lay them beside the plates...
We always have breakfast and stockings before we open gifts.
There are a few sets of these in the shop if you want them.
Are you thinking of Christmas yet or totally focused on Thanksgiving?
This year for us seems like both holidays rolled into one :>)