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In the tune of ‘Rubber Ducky’.

Saucer pendant, you’re the one
You make bath time lots of fun
Saucer pendant, I’m awfully fond of you
Bo-bo-bo-de-oh…

We made more progress in our bedroom yesterday by hanging our beloved $8.00 Nelson Saucer Pendant Lamps. Here is a snapshot of what I call ‘boob lamps’ before we started painting.

I call these 'boob lamps'.

But before we could get that accomplished, we needed to clean off some serious ick. They’ve gotten progressively dustier over the last several years {and being stored for 7 months now} and even had bird poop on one of them! A bird got into the house – it flew in through the torn porch screen and through the open door – just before we moved last year and must have been in our bedroom for quite a while before we found it perched atop one of the lamps. Poor thing was terrified.

Bath time!
{ I have no idea why the pendant looks so small while Michael is holding it. Maybe it’s because he has giant bear paws! }

This was totally by the seat of our pants. We have no idea if there is a recommended process for cleaning the funky, skink-like plastic material (you know we could have actually tried Googling it), but Michael suggested a little Oxy Clean. I’m happy to say that they are greatly improved.

Saucer Lamps

Installed! Lowe’s didn’t have any flat white ceiling caps so we had to go with the decorative ones.

Bonus! Michael found the ground attached to a live wire when he pulled off the second boob lamp. As you can see, it had been slowly sparking. This is the second electrical snafu we’ve found in the house. One of the outlets in my studio sparked and caught on fire in late August.

Wire Cap

We’re a little concerned about this.

Frozen Cranberry Wreath

I was scrolling through Craft blog posts this morning and this charming wreath. So simple and can be disposed of in the woods when you’re ready to take it down. This is so tempting to try but I think we’d have to wait until January/February to do this around here, as December can still be quite warm in the Lowcountry.

Please head over to Nest Full of Eggs for the tutorial!

Happy Belated Birthday to My Beloved!

I treated Michael to a night at the wonderful Inn at Middleton Place just down the road from us. The modern design beautifully counters the 18th-century buildings and landscaping of Middleton Place next door. Last weekend also played host the the Grand Illumination – Christmas 1782 Tour. It was perfect timing as I found the tour information while booking our room!


Loving the brrrrrr chilly December weather in the courtyard in front of our room!

I picked up Michael’s cake from Normandy Farms and drove it, along with some of our absinthiana, out to the Inn on Friday. I requested to have the fountain, glasses, absinthe, ice and water set up in the room upon our arrival and the cake to be delivered to the room while we were out on the tour. We woke up Saturday morning to the sound of pouring rain and my heart sank. I had no idea if the events of the evening were rain or shine. I decided to follow the flow of the day/evening without panic. I gleefully learned at check-in that the event was going on as scheduled. We brought our umbrellas and learned that the rooms are supplied with those AND flashlights for walking the grounds at night.

We had a fantastic time during the tour. We actually ended up on the tail end of an earlier group when we got to the house. It wasn’t until we finished our supper {the food was delicious} that we learned that we’d missed half the tour! Silly us, we thought that maybe the gardens portion was cut short because of the weather. We all had a good laugh and Michael and I joined a small group heading toward the gardens. We had several good laughs at ourselves for the rest of the evening.


{ Click on the numbers to enlarge photos. }

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Deck the halls…

We were completely stumped with how to finish our dining room tablescape. I wanted to go for a whimsical outdoor winter scene, and I started by pulling out my favorite vintage mirror and our little green trees. We picked up more on sale last week along with a bag of the crystal pellets and the white glass balls. I was determined to use the snow we made, but we needed a way to keep it contained. No solution was making itself know to us until we worked on the snow scene in the jar for Duncan. That’s when I had the ‘Aha!’ moment to use the glass cylinder vases from the Food Bank Benefit.

I also made new place mats using leftover fabric from a corset I was commissioned to make for a wedding about 5 years ago, and my remaining white coutil. I figured that if I was going to make them, then why not make them to last?

The silver & white plates were purchased at Target two years ago.
The crystal is vintage Boda, from my mother’s wedding registry.
The clear trees on the plates were purchased four years ago.
The mercury glass votive holders were purchased at Home Goods for our wedding.
I think we all know the story of those green acorns! 😉

tablescape

Remember that snow tutorial? Well here are more of the results!

The blue sleigh one of my favorite ornaments and my parents bought it for their first Christmas after they were married, in 1955. The body is flocked paper and it’s missing a few things but I always insist that it and a few of the other battered treasures have their place every year.

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Snowflake Garland DIY

We originally bought the snowflake punch to make placemats similar to the ones I made for Halloween, but I discovered that they didn’t quite work the same as the cats in the mats. They’re not solid shapes, they’re shapes within shapes. I could salvage this, I thought. So my next attempt was to glue the snowflakes on red poster board, only…I haven’t been able to find poster board in a shade of red or green that doesn’t make my eyes bleed. Needless to say, that was scrapped in favor of sewn placemats. I still had a pile of snowflakes begging to be used. I was reading some of my favorite blogs this weekend and saw photos of various dainty looking garlands, and thought to myself that these might look just as good.

Materials needed:
Poster board
Thread & needle
Snowflake Punch (we bought ours at Michaels)

Cut out snowflakes. I averaged around 50 per garland. Tie a snowflake at one end. Thread a large needle with the thread and work it through one hole, and then back through another. Slide the snowflake down a bit and continue. Once you’ve reached the desired length, tie off another snowflake that the end. I finished off the knot with fabric glue. It’s not necessary, just force of habit. Hang the garland and space the snowflakes.

I’m very pleased with them!



{ Images click through to larger versions }

We kept the little punched out bits and used them for paper snow, sprinkling them around one of our candle displays.

Snow Dog

This past year has been marked by events both wondrous and unbearably heartbreaking. My father passed on the 20th of this month, and I’ll share a more fitting tribute to him then. The second great heartbreak of the year was in June when our beloved dog Duncan passed just after we moved into this house. He died of congestive heart failure and a massively enlarged heart. The irony is that he had been the heart and soul of my family for 10 years. He was there when I had to be in Atlanta during the hard months after my brother died eight and a half years ago. He was there for my mother a year later, when she got home from her countless journeys to the hospital to be with my sister-in-law before she died. He has been there for my niece and nephew, offering unconditional love to them. He was there when my dad’s real decline started not long after my brother’s death, sending him in and out of hospitals and rehab centers for years. Again, my mother spent countless days going back and forth to be with him, and when she got home Duncan was always at the door to greet her with a smile on his face and a wildly wagging tail. A gently placed muzzle on her shoulder kept her comforted so many times. When dad was misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s he was there to support them and he made visits to the rehab centers and helped others.

My mother has a beautiful, large glass jar in which she has created beautiful displays. We wanted to create something for the holidays, so we removed the current contents and then filled it with buffalo snow, a small tree, our green acorns, a tiny pinecone and a Dalmatian figurine we always use for the season. I sprinkled our snow over the setting and now Duncan is set to play in his winter wonderland.

I still miss you big guy. It’s not the same around here without you. ♥

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Michael and I decided to forego the holiday shopping traffic during the weekend and hit up Michaels yesterday in search of supplies to finish decorating. One of the things we needed was fake snow, preferably the loose stuff. They sold out over the weekend and were not expecting any more for the season, so we used our coupons for what we could find and went down the road to A.C. Moore. Sure enough, they too were sold out. Heavens forbid, we thought, the Charleston area may be experiencing a snow shortage! We found the last bag of Buffalo Snow and put it in our basket. It wasn’t what we originally wanted but decided to adapt to our very limited options. We picked up a few more things that we couldn’t find at Michaels and headed to the check-out.

While we were in line Michael decided to run next door to the dollar store and try his luck. He returned in about 30 seconds. We asked our cashier if she knew possibly where to find some. She said she thought everywhere she could think of was sold out. Then she asked, “Would you like to know how to make it?”. Yes, please! She told us she had tried to demonstrate the process to another customer just minutes before but he said it was ‘too much effort’. We put our things down on the counter and headed back to the floral department where she grabbed two blocks of white styrofoam and starting rubbing them together. And right in front of our eyes it started snowing! We grabbed two blocks of styrofoam and headed back to finish our purchase.

This is the result we got from our efforts. Behind the cut are a few more photos.


We used a bin top to collect the falling particles.

Flurries!
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Finished! We thought it would look nice to have some fine powder and even some chunks in the mix. Notice the blocks have been rubbed down to almost nothing.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

I can’t believe we didn’t get her name, but thanks super awesome A.C. Moore employee! I’ll post photos of the project we made this for when it’s finished.

I KNOW YOU WANT TO SEE THE MORE SNOW IN ACTION! >>

Ever So Lovely

I’d like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to Brandi, from Ever So Lovely for featuring my shoes in the wedding wednesday :: green inspiration post.

EverSoLovely

WOW.

Holy cow, my work has been featured in two beautiful Treasuries today! There are some really lovely items in both that I’m adding to my favorites! Michael is going to have a time when I send him that link. 😉

etsyTreasury

etsyTreasury2
{ Click images to view Treasuries }

Thank you waterwaif and Team Discovery!

Black and Red Candy Apples


Image and recipe taken from The Hive.

Red & Black Candy Apples

8-10 medium sized apples
8-10 wooden twigs, trimmed
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup of water
several drops of cinnamon flavored oil
1/4 teaspoon of red food coloring
1/4 teaspoon of black food coloring

Clean and dry the apples. Try to remove as much of the wax as possible. If you purchase them from your local farmer’s market then chances are they have not been treated with the food grade wax that makes then shine. Remove any stems or leaves and insert a twig into the end of each apple. To facilitate easier twig entry you can carefully sharpen the end of the twig or use a candy stick to create a guide hole. Set apples aside.

Heat and stir sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan until sugar has dissolved. Boil until the syrup reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer. Don’t go over 310 degrees or your candy burns and then you’ll be sad.

Remove from heat and stir in flavored oil and food coloring.

Dip one apple completely in the syrup and swirl it so that it becomes coated with the melted sugar candy. Hold the apple above the saucepan to drain off excess. Place apple, with the stick facing up, onto a baking sheet that’s greased or lined with a silpat. Repeat the process with the remaining apples. If your syrup thickens or cools too much, simply reheat briefly before proceeding. Let the apples cool completely before serving.

A note about the black apples: Lighter colored apples (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious) work well in making the red appear bright and glassy; darker apples like red delicious help the black candy appear as dark as possible. Muy spooky!

You can make one batch with red food coloring then re-heat the candy mixture and add black food coloring. Adding black to red will make it darker. Repeat the dipping process. Black food coloring can be found online or at specialty baking stores.

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