Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Your Seat is Waiting and Trick #5

There were 8 valid entries in the 
Love Is All Around  Giveaway.
There were more comments but there were many
who knew that they would not be able to attend.
So I used the Random Generator thingie
but it won't let me show it on here,
or more precisely I cannot figure how to show it,
and I am done fussing with it, 
especially since I never did get that nap.......
Number 2 was generated randomly,
 and the second entry was
Your seat at the table is waiting for you.
Love Is All Around
I am very  happy that  you will be joining us.

I wish I could have you all sitting around,
chatting and creating for the day.
We do have fun, and oh my, 
the topics we cover!! I blush..
Stop laughing girls! I can so blush!
Just cause I haven't in over 40 years.. hush now.

Howie ( Eisenhower)
Right after we adopted him.
Who could resist this guy with his different eye colors?
Everyone could but us.  No one else wanted him.
This has absolutely nothing to do 
with this post, I just came across the old pic today.
I know the typical advent calendar is for 25 days,
but my countdown as of the first, 
is a mere 21 days.
21 days till my chicks come home.
All you moms who have your family close by,
or close enough for weekend visits, count your blessings.
This long distance dance is awful,
but oh, the visits are so dear to my heart.
Tanya is planning to post good pics 
of her pendants on her blog today. 
Check them out...
Trick # 5

Pair up for decorating.
Gather 1 or two friends together and 
take turns going to each other's
 homes to decorate.
Draw numbers to see whose home 
is done in what order..
Preset definite days for decorating,
and no excuses, this is pinkie swear.
The home host feeds the friends.
You will get fresh insight into your decorating, 
it will get done much faster with friend help,
( we know we rarely get any other holiday help)
and you'll have fun.
I would recommned no more than
 three sign up together.
Too many opinions can slow things down,
and save the margaritas for after.
Tis the season to be merry,
Just not THAT merry!


What I planned to do and what actually happened

See this beauty? It is one of dozens 
of incredibly gorgeous art jewelry made by
 Tanya of Bead and Needle
Yesterday I asked Tanya to bring them 
over to my house so that I 
could photograph them, as they are
 so incredibly beautiful I wanted you all to see them.

Tanya will be taking these to the local Boulder City
Doodlebug show this weekend 
and if you don't get one now 
you may have to wait  until she makes more, 
and with the holidays coming 
who knows when that will be?
Tanya makes these beauties out of antique
 tin plates and then painstakingly beads
 them for many long hours
 into these pendants that are traffic stopping, 
and yes those are beaded ruffles you see.
They are impeccably finished 
and all are done with her one little needle,
amazing patience and incredible talent.
Do you want a breathtaking vintage piece
 that everyone will covet?
Have a little black dress that 
will grace a party this holiday, then 
top it with one of these for the WOW factor.
Want to own a one of a kind piece of
 art jewelry or give one to your BFF?
They are enhanced with vintage buttons,
crystals and hand dyed beads from 
Vintage Meadow Artworks.

So the plan was, I was going to take 
some great shots and
share these pieces with you.
What  happened was I photographed 
them on vintage tin, on greenery, on glass, 
on mirror, on snow, on burlap.
I photographed from 8 -10:30
I did not even make coffee, so I feel a mite
Do you see any of the photos?
Because all the shots sucked.
There - I admit it.
All 147 of them
They were down to the bottom 
of the muck and the mire, bloody awful!
So here is the new plan.
Take my word for it, I have not lied to you yet,
Well, I did take the first 2 shots here, 
so yeah I lied a little,
these are scrumptious, and 
if you go to Tanya's blog
you can see them in progress
the colors are very muted not 
as bright as they look there, 
and Tanya just got a new camera,
so pick a tintype and maybe she can send 
you a decent shot of your necklace of choice,
or go on blind faith,
 ( I would, there is not a loser in the bunch)
and have her hand select one for you.
Quite a few already found homes when
 she brought them to our recent craft day, 
and we can be a persnickety bunch. 
So, coffee is needed,
camera instruction is needed,
and since I have had 4 hours of sleep, 
a nap is needed.
It's what I plan to do...
but if I were you, I would not lay odds.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Decorating Made Easier Trick #4

Let me rephrase that. 
It may not make your decorating easier,
 because that depends on just how much 
holiday decor you have, but you will have less
chaos and mess.
No matter which tree I am decorating, this one,
 or the next one, they all get the same treatment.
A box system.
Everything that goes on a tree goes in a 
specific box for THAT tree, or 2 boxes, or three.
Lights from that year, hangers, all of it. 

When I decide which tree to do on any given day
 I bring in the tree and the corresponding boxes.
 I don't have to haul in 16 different mismatched tubs,
 taped together boxes etc. No fuss, no mess.
If I remove anything in that room to decorate,
 I place it into those same boxes
 for storage over the holidays. 
I can do a room at a time 
or all the trees first, my choice.
All other decor is placed in large tubs via category;
Garlands, large picks, wreaths, stuffed figures etc.
I can then easily go through the rooms adding garland,
picks, or the figures, all the while my home is
undisturbed except for a tub or a few boxes.
The guest rooms have so little decor, 
that the entire room fits in one small box.
If I change a tree a certain year, and I frequently do,
I simply change the labels on the box
 during the take down process. 

( these are not all the holiday boxes - if you enlarge  lol)

If you haven't seen it before,
 this is my system in the garage.
These boxes and tubs are 2 deep with the box contents
behind each front box labeled on the shelf 
for easy retrieval. When I first started many years ago, 
the set of boxes at Costco were around 10.00
 and I bought 2 sets at a time as I could afford them.
 Now they are around 16.00 I think but 
this system could save your sanity.
 Just think how easy I can pack
 when it comes time to move.
 Oh yeah, I'm done already.

Right now this box system in the garage 
is being completely draped with drop cloths
 and twinkle lights are going up and tables set for 
a classroom studio for my next Gathering. 
I always planned to do this, but was happily forced 
to do so because of the upcoming photo shoot.
This class will be a trial run for the system
( it has to be entirely removable, so cars can
be re-parked in here). I am not truly  happy 
with the effect so far but just like my box system,
 this will evolve and get better.
I will drape better, paint more things out,
 figure out how to hide the ugly etc.
We are usually having so much fun, no one cares.
(I hope)

coming up next
Sharing the Decorating Trick #5
Rant update:
just so ya know
I received almost 40 emails
All positive - no negatives this time
I coined "pop up bloggers", 
don't know any other terms, if there is one
please let me know.
I shut off comments because I guessed
( correctly) that many would hesitate to 
comment publicly about their opinion of the practice
..and boy did they have opinions.
A sampling...

"bravo on the rant!!"

" me it seems selfish and so while I may “see” what they are doing (promoting themselves, manipulating stats, etc) I guess I don’t “get it” as you do.  For me, it’s just all out selfish and I can’t and won’t do that."  

"'s about what you think to be right and fair and true for you and the people that matter to you. I recently switched my blog links to this format and was appalled to see from the beginning that this is done as often as it is.... "

  "Some of the ones that bump are ones I like, so I put them on their own blogroll.  Now they just bump each other all day long......."
( This 4th one may be a solution for some of you who wish to keep following these gals. I love the image of them jumping over each other all day long, no one staying on top for long)

"I'd never heard of pop-up bloggers before. At least I've never noticed them on my blog roll anyway. As a blogger I can't imagine ever doing something like that. Some people will do anything to be noticed!
 You know, now that I think about it ... is _______one of them?"

"I wanted to thank you.  I had been having this happen recently and had no idea why
and I thank you for the education...uh duh - I didn't know. (And happen to agree with you whole-heartedly.....)  Rant on my friend....rant on..."

Don't forget the Crazy Giveaway for a free space in 
my Gathering class December 10th 
Love Is All Around.
You must comment on that post to be entered.
Please do not enter if you 
do not plan to attend if you win.

 You must comment before midnight
November 30. 
Good Luck!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Small Detour

Taking a small detour this evening because of something that just happened to me.
I was pleased to see a new post from a dear friend tonight, and as I was scrolling through her lovely  pictures.....I saw right behind her words..another post, a post I had missed. An important post, and behind that another missed one.
Every blog I have on my blog roll is a blog that I read every post as they happen that day. I have others not on my roll that I read and mutually enjoy but I may read them over a weeks time or even a month, catching up as I can. We all suffer from time crunch, I depend on my blog roll being up to date and accurate, not manipulated.

The past several weeks I was struggling again with two blogs on my blog roll that had become "Pop Up " bloggers. I have been through this before and faced the wrath of a couple gals when I spoke about it last, who felt it their right to do as they please and I agree. Of course you may do what you wish, it is YOUR blog,  but I will no longer follow you, or keep you on my roll, no matter HOW MUCH I like you, because it causes such disruption for me as I desperately try to keep up with all my friends.  If you don't know what a  Pop UP is, it is a blogger who goes back into a post and manually resets the date and time so her previously posted blog post "Pops back up" at the top of every one's blog roll that has her listed. Some of these gals will do it several times a day, some as many as a dozen.

They do it to be noticed more often. I get that.
The do it to bring in customers, I get that.
They do it to tweak/inflate their advertising hits like Blogher so it shows more hits to make more money, I get that.
They do it to garner more followers so they can get more and bigger sponsors. I get that.
I get it. I GET IT.
Here is what many do not get....

Here is what I had to write to a dear friend this evening, my heart truly hurting because I thought I had perhaps caused her pain.

"OMG I had missed the two prior posts! I had 2 more damn pop up bloggers wreaking havoc on my roll that I have since deleted but that is how I must have missed these posts. I saw your post tonight and by accident scrolled hard and saw What? another post I had not read? and then ANOTHER! I was wondering yesterday why you had said nothing of your ____and was afraid to ask in case you did not wish to say anything. F**&^%$ pop up bloggers!!!
So sweetie I feel so badly that you would think for even a second that I did not care. I have always held my pom poms at the ready for you, and I am so happy that you were shown the love. I hope you know you have mine.

much love 
z "

Is it the end of the world in blog land, of course not. Is it everyone's right to do as they please, of course it please don't write me and tell me I should only follow in reader ( I choose not to) my blog roll works efficiently and fine for me without pop ups. Do not write to me and tell me that I should change my ways because you see, I am not saying you should change yours and not do it, I am explaining why I cannot have you on my blog roll if you routinely do pop ups, and I will miss you.
I am also attempting to explain to some new bloggers and some experienced ones what is happening when they begin to miss posts or find themselves rereading something they already read this morning, and yesterday and this afternoon and earlier tonight, the same post regurgitated anew.

I got blasted the last time I brought it up, by of course, pop up bloggers. They felt I was saying they could not or should not do it. Nope, NOT saying that. I am not "outing" anyone or shaming anyone, etc etc etc. Most of you already know if you have ever commented or emailed to me, that I attempt to respond to every single comment and email I receive. I may miss a few but many of you can vouch for my attempts to succeed. My relationships with my fellow blogger friends is of utmost importance to me, so I am not in this to make money or influence people or drive my numbers up, or play it fake, or play it safe. Now I am facing additional fallout, so you can bet this friend is important to me.
Again, if you are blogging for different reasons than mine....  Great! and I do sincerely mean that. It is YOUR blog.

I am explaining me, moi, Z

I have said what it does, TO ME, in my world. I am saying in my very small world, by having them on my blog roll, and by their actions I may have accidentally hurt another dear, dear friend. That is enough explanation for me to say nope, not having any of that. goodbye.

I just heard about pepper spray in the stores today so that one customer can get their wishes met at the expense of all others? That is not the reason for the season in any way, be it Savior or Santa now is it?

Will return with Christmas later in the weekend. Rant over.

Picks are the Answer Trick #3

The only difference between this mantle and this one

is that greenery picks and lights have been added.

Same goes for this trough

  I removed the wool balls, 
and added a sense of winter to the display.
 I have done this all over the house.
 I add to my existing displays, 
I don't change them,
it's easy peasy ...
and it makes for fast take down also.
Of course you vacuum snow well into February.
If you remember my earlier photos 
you can see that in nearly every display I have 
only added picks and then some trees,
OK LOTS of trees but this year is special remember?

I'm not big on removing things to make way for 
Christmas. I simply add picks and ornaments and snow,
LOTS of snow, to what is already there.
I've collected picks, always on clearance, 
for many years now and yes, they are
 in those green tubs in the garage.
If I find I do need to remove  anything 
for the holiday period, I place it in the box 
corresponding to the area where it was removed.
which brings us to Trick #4 coming soon.
My Holiday box system.
Hope everyone is enjoying their
 long holiday weekend.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas White for a Guy

My son stays in this room when he visits.
I try not to "girl" it up.

I do a simple little tree and greens
 in the hanging baskets.

He's a very modern style guy with
 touches of industrial in his decor.
I add some macho red ... lol
even if some of the red is floral...

So his room does not scream white
but hehe it's still there.

Joining up with White Wednesday
cause uh, there IS still white.
Happy Thanksgiving all!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tricks #2 Pete Pete and Repeat

If one small burlap wreath looks pretty 
on the porch,

Then a big one would look great 
on the fireplace screen.
( I started this the evening of craft day
 on Saturday and finished it up last night )

Now I have brought all the burlap 
 from the tree on the porch

 and tied in to the burlap ribbon 
on the family room tree
 with added bling on the ribbon
to go with the matte and gleaming ornaments 
here on this tree

and matches  the living room tree with
 all the mercury glass and glitter


which bounces across the room to the other tree
 with mercury glass and black burlap ribbon!

This is second nature to me and
 I barely even think about it now.
The easiest way to explain is to remind you 
to pete pete and repeat.
Pick one or two or more
textures or colors or themes and 
bounce them off each other all over the
house. It can be subtle or grand.
I have birds and nests 
in the living room and upstairs in my bedroom.
I have House of Hatten in red/ green in the den,
and in pink / green in Darling daughter's room.
In son's room, mercury glass and nests and burlap.

Most of you have already done this in selecting 
things that you like year round, be it seashells, 
or ceramics, flowers etc.
I do not sit down and plan to do this a certain way,
I just love mercury glass and burlap and birds and nests
and I tend to make and buy them repeatedly, so 
why not use them for holidays too?

and then just....

Pete Pete and Repeat.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Time Proven Holiday Tricks #1

I have been decorating for the holidays 
with joy and abundance for many, 
( oh dear, many many ) years.
I have also worked as many years with clients
 to make their homes festive, whatever their style is.

One of my standby tricks when I am decorating tables
 is to always do displays in a container,
 a box, a basket, a trough,
anything that fits the table size
 and mood of the room.

At a moments notice, you can remove the display and
 make room to set the table for an impromptu
 dinner or extra guests etc. 
If you also set the table with a cloth
 and then a guest, or klutzy me, spills food or drink 
on the cloth, the cloth can be easily removed,
 laundered and put back.
If you do standard tabletop displays
 and you need more room or  
there is an accident, you need to remove each thing,
set it aside  and so on.
My way?
Whisk the container off and store
 temporarily in the garage or on a coffee table, 
or even on top of the washer.
This exact thing occurred yesterday when 
an impromptu gathering of crafting friends
 started to gather at my home, 
and as the dining table grew more crowded,
 we simply removed the display in the second photo, 
threw a drop cloth over the table
 and they painted, stitched,
  beaded and glued away.
You also can easily remove to
 set the table for a formal dinner, and then post dinner,
return the table to your regular holiday display

We had a blast yesterday.
The first pal came at 9:00 am Sat
and I said goodnight to the last gal 
( who happened to be the same pal lol)
at 12:45 am Sunday.

My heart is full of glad tidings
 and friendship for these women.
What a great bunch of great friends.

Tanya from Bead and Needle (link)
referred to my home as a Christmas Palooza to our 
mutual friend Carole at Maynard Greenhouse.(link)
Like Scarlett had Tara, I now have
 my oldgreymare estate. 
Christmas Palooza 
It fits me.

Check Tanya's site for 
the tin type pendants
Tanya was/is making.
We all went bonkers for them.
You local gals, Tanya will be at Doodlebug in
Boulder City on the 3rd.

Carole is going to tease us daily
 with wonderful photos from 
her Holiday shop in CT, 
so check them out each day and if you are
 within driving distance,
 please go visit her fabulous shop.
 I will be so jealous.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Call me craZy Giveaway

and I am feeling the love,

and feeling thankful, so..
Call me craZy
here is my idea.
I am giving away
1 space to Love is All Around
on Saturday December 10th at  
my house.
If you can get here from wherever 
you are, you can stay with me
 Friday and Saturday night.
(My guest accommodations are nifty - trust me)
If you're local, that is up to you.
I cannot pay for your transportation,
but I will house and feed you well 
(OK - I'll try to cook well)
 for two days 
and waive the class fee of $130.00
You will meet some lovely gals,
experience my crazy life and friends,
and put up with Justice and Howie.

So here's the deal.
Just leave me a comment on this post
 by December 1.
that's it...
just so I have something to count.
If you want to drag my giveaway pic
 to your sidebar I would love it.

Please DO NOT enter 
if you have no intention of coming, 
that would spoil someone else's chance.
I really want to give this gift to someone to say 
thanks, I am ever so grateful.
 I will use random generator.

To be fair, this is open to students who are 
 already signed up.Your fee would be refunded
and I will open another spot.

so call me craZy.
I have no idea if a gal from Utah or CA
  feels like driving over or down or 
anyone from anywhere for that matter, but if you
 can get yourself here, I would love to have you, 
so take a chance.
(This one time only I will not 
be responding to comments)
Love IS all around

Ms. craZy

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Almost Done Yippeeeee

I tried to get shots quickly before the sun went down. 
I was not successful.
So take them as they are.
I am tired, and done for the day
and it's only 7:00pm.
The birdbath in the dining area is not staying. 
It was moved from it's normal spot (tree there)
and it weighs a bloomin' ton 
so I'll move it tomorrow

Anyway, you can get the idea
bad lighting and all.
I will continue to tweak and fuss 
over the next few days.
I'll add garlands and ribbons
 and lights and snow as needed,
but the bulk of it is done
and I plan to play tomorrow.

All mercury glass

I always add lots of floral pics to my trees.
Makes them fat and full.

I see that birds nest needs adjusting.
I just stopped minutes ago and started snapping,
so there will be a few things ajar.

Chandelier- blurry..sigh

Now it is really dark.
This is when I really enjoy it though.
All the trees reflect off of mirrors
and glass all over the room.
I can see the flocked tree in here 
from the couch in the family 
room I showed you the other day.

Mercury glass, crystals, glitter stars, birds,
paper ornaments, sheet music, 
canvas script and black burlap ribbon. 

Managed these shots around noon.

So that is the main room.
Are you keeping up so far, or have I lost you?
I have some tricks I use every year 
in my displays and at clients homes
that I will share soon.
I'll be giving you some tips about
all things Christmas over the next few weeks
and throwing in some great recipes too.
I hope you will spend some 
of your holiday time here with me. 
I so appreciate each and every one of you.