Wishing you a Beautiful Holiday


Christmas Wreath Idea

As you can see this wreath is a bit small for this wall and although I do like it, I needed to make it larger. So how do I do that?

Easy...I went out to my own backyard and snipped some braches off one of my pine trees.

I then began to add them to my wreath by poking them into the wreath's base. I didn't use glue because at the end of the holiday season, I want to be able to  pull out the dried pines and throw them away.

And here is the finished product...a nice full wreath which is substantial enough to fill the wall behind my sofa.

This is much more nice and full then the original wreath...


....here is another look at the original a little closer so you can compare the two.


Christmas Garland...

I love white lights with green garland, to me nothing is more magical! To highlight my large bay window with window seat, I strung garland using floral wire thus allowing the garland to look draped over the valance. Gold ribbon was also used to give the garland the look of elegance!

I then carried the ribbon straight onto the Christmas tree! I adorned the tree with white lights, red ornaments and poinsettias. A lovely firelplace and mantle with more lights, ribbon and garland, gives a warm feeling to my living room!

Santa looking out from the center of the mantle's wreath is the perfect focal point for this wonderful holiday setting...now all we need is just a little snow!!!


Coming Soon...

               Christmas Decorating Ideas!!!


"Spooky Spirits"

I think this is adorable and extremely easy to make!

Items Needed:
Old wine bottle
white spray paint

First I took half of a regular sheet of all-purpose printer paper...folded it in half, and then again on each side of the center fold. So now there are 3 folds in the paper.

The two outer folds are where I drew half of each eye, folded the paper and cut. I used the center fold to make the mouth. So when I was all done cutting I had the ghoulish droopy eyes and moaning mouth shapes on the paper. I then loosely taped the paper to my old wine bottles bottles and using regular white spray paint I put the faces on the bottles.

Then I just added old candles I had lying around. I slightly heated the bottom of each candle before placing it in the bottle to secure it in the bottle opening!

This post has also been linked to the following...


Transformation Thursday


More Ideas for Halloween...

One of the things I like to use are orange light bulbs to add a warm and mysterious glow to my rooms. This is the buffet in my front entry which I have adorned with both Fall and Halloween decorations!


Decorating the Front Porch for Halloween...A "Witch's" Welcome

I decided to go with the theme of Witches (surprise) for my front porch. So I created a cozy little nook that any witch would be delighted to take refuge on.

I used an old mirror which use to hang in my daughter's room...it was pink so I gave it a nice coat of black. The table vignette was inspired by all the little items I have collected over the years related to Witch Living.

I added a Spell book and candelabra along with a pumpkin and black cat to complete the look. I also found a freaky shroud to lie over the top of the mirror.

Lots of pumpkins and mums for the girlish side of every Witch...they soften the look and add tons of color.

A little cobweb action to add ambiance...and I have a fun and festive welcome for all the little Trick or Treaters this Halloween!!!

                    Happy Halloween!!!

Another Shout Out for Krud Kutter!

I just have to plug this product again...

Last evening the can of that wonderful green paint I used in my recently decorated powder room, got knocked over and both my daughter and the dog traipsed it through my kitchen! Krud Kutter saved the day! It not only took the paint off the floor with ease, but with a little elbow grease, I was able to get it out of the carpet under my kitchen table!

I had to saturated the stains on the carpet...but I got the paint cleaned up! Now I have to run out to buy more...it's something I know I am going to need in my home on a regular basis!!!


My New Coffee Table...for under $10.00

I found this beauty sitting on the side of the road one Sunday afternoon while out driving around. Most likely it was a garage sale casualty, but for me it was my new coffee table!

I began by lightly sanding down the legs and table base.

Then I wiped it and applied one coat of antique white paint.
For the top I sanded it down by hand and then added wood putty to even out the veneer, then sanded again.
Wiped it down and sprayed it with a nutmeg color
Added a new draw pull and I was done!


and After...

Since this was a roadside find all it cost me was the price of two cans of spray paint, one drawer pull, and a couple hours on a Friday afternoon!


Something Different...

Look at what my friend Audrey does with gourds! She is a Gourd Artist right here in Hunterdon County, NJ. She carves gourds into all types of usuable and decorative things like birdhouses, luminaries, baskets and more!

Take a look at more of her gords at...


Audrey also displays her work at local art and craft shows so make sure to check her calender for locations and dates.


Time in New England...

This past summer I had the opportunity to spend some time in parts of the northeast United States I have never seen before...and I was very impressed! The New England states are such an inspiration for me...I just love the classic look of the homes with the bright white exterior accented with the black, dark green or blue shutters. On the Cape the siding is typically cedar because it stands up well against the elements...particularly the salt air.

Woods Hole, Mass.
The Headlight in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
The beautiful gardens with the unbelievable hydrangea which grow effortlessly in the acidic soil are simply breathtaking. I never tire of the coast and all its light houses and beautiful harbors. The water is a crystalline blue and as clean and clear as that of the tropics. The New Englanders are also very friendly and welcoming people. They take great pride in their history and possess the desire to share it with all visitors who express an interest. I plan to visit Cape Cod and the New England states again and again...there is so much beauty to see. Time in New England is always time well spent!

Plymouth, Mass.

Fun Product Find for Halloween!!!

This is a fun find for the holiday...these lights are avaiable at Wal-mart in both orange and purple. Sets of 100 lights are $3.50 and sets of 50 lights are $2.00!


Here are a few more Decorating Ideas for Halloween...

1. Replace your regular light bulbs with either orange or purple...it really gives your room a spooky illumination.

2. Purchase some of the giant cob web cotton and spread it over areas not typically used. For example place it on the light fixture in the dining room and then gently pull it over the room's table and chairs and anchor it underneath the chair legs. Then add little plastic spiders to the web to make it look a lttle more authentic!

3. I also mix real pumpkins with faux pumpkins bought at a craft store like Michaels. If you display them together, at a quick glance it is hard to tell the real fom fake ...and this way you don't have to purchase a whole truck load of real ones each year!

4. Glam up you pumpkins by adding glitter to them . I did this one year as part of Grace's birthday party activites...you can use regular glue and sprinkle on the glitter or buy glitter glue. Mix the glitter colors together to create a really splashy and unique look!

5. Pick up items on sale before the holiday. I know many stores like Kohls will sharply discount items as the holiday grows near. Then get out early the day after Halloween for some real bargains!!

6. I also like to add some music to the whole evening so I have collected a few really good CDs of Halloween tunes like the themes from "The Twilight Zone" and "Ghosts Busters" along with classics like  "Monster Mash".

27 more days until Halloween!!

This is my Halloween countdown! Today I officially begin my decorating for this All Hallows Eve event.

I am starting with my mantle...I love decorating my mantle for Halloween as much as I do for Christmas. I typically start by adding pumpkin and leaf garland and various types of faux pumpkins to put the fall feel into the backdrop of my mantle scape.

And then I add the theme of Whitches...I have collected all kinds of Whitches and Whitch related items. One of my favorite items is in the picture to the right...the metal Whitch  piece hanging against the mirror...I actually purchased in Salem, Mass
 A spooky candelabra sets the mood and the light is doubled when place in front of a mirror!

...and even more Whitches are added!


Happy October!!

It's the first of October and it really feels like fall. It is the time of year I start thinking Halloween, thus Halloween Decor. I go nuts for this holiday...I like it as much, if not more, than the kids. I have trunks of treasured Halloween decorations of which I will soon be displaying as I tranform my home into a spooky setting for the end of the month festivities!!!
Happy Halloween Gracie!!!

New News!!!

I just signed on to be an Amazon Associate so you can now shop Amazon right from my blog!

I have a host of home decorating items from lighting to area rugs to choose from, and I will be adding more as time goes on!

Enjoy shopping from the comfort of your own home and keep tuned for new product and decorating ideas!

(mmm...I'm liking that semi-flush mount light fixture...)

Coffee Table

Since it has been raining I have been unable to tackle this coffee table. Upon closer look...the top is most definitely a veneer, so I am really not sure how I am going to approach this. I like the idea of a natural top, I just have to see if there is some way I can preserve it by fixing the little bubbles.

I will have to search the net for ideas on how to do just that.

So for now...I have to wait until we have less moisture in the air!

It's hard to see in this photo but where the wood looks worn away, that is where the bubbling is happening. You can feel the rough edge of the veneer peeling up when you run your hand over it!


My Next Project... a New Coffee Table for Moi!

My husband and I picked this beauty up off the side of the road one Sunday. It was probably a garage sale casualty...it had a "Free" sign on it.

We stopped to look at it and I decided it was worth taking home. We have had coffee table issues since we moved into our home 8 years ago. They would either be on loan from someone or they broke, got fixed, then broke again. Just recently the dog jumped off the sofa and Boom...it was broken yet one more time.

I like the shape and style of the table and especially the drawer which really does pull out. (It also seems to be very durable...something I look for in a coffee table.) Although it appears to be solid wood for the most part, I am suspicious that top is a veneer...it looks as if it is bubbling up a little.  I'll know better once I get it into the garage and start working on it. But no matter...the price was right so I have absolutely nothing to loose!!!


More on Garage Sales

Just as an FYI on garage sales...the wicker rocker in my "porch" photo was actually a great find at only $5.00.
(OK...so I forked over 20 bucks to Lowe's for the seat cushion...but still a great buy overall!)

It's the Fall and Garage Sales are in the Air

My sister Kim is the complete Guru of garage sales. She has one very important motto with regards to finding great pieces. It is "Old neighborhood, old junk...new neighborhood, new junk." So depending on what you are looking for...a great old piece of furniture or newer items like artwork or accessories...choose wisely what neighborhoods you plan to shop.

The main rule Kim has as far as what to pay for any given item is that you should never pay more than 10% of  it's original cost. Case in point...I was out with Kim one Saturday and we came across a rope hammock. It looked like it was in fairly good shape, although you could tell it was used, and the owner said she wanted $30 for it. I looked at Kim and she shook her head...no I did not buy it, instead I went on to the next house and I ended up purchasing a beautiful wood dresser with mirror for $60. My sister actually negotiated it down from $75.

Don't be afraid to barder with the owners...especially when it is getting into the noon hours. Their stuff will just have to be hauled back into the house or to a dumpster, this will provide you with more room to haggle on the prices.

Also...when looking at items, keep in mind the possibility of refurbishing them or repurposing them. You can really make a killing and have a lot of fun with only $20 in your pocket when heading out on a Saturday morning to garage sales!


The Results


                                                                                    ...And After

Final Touches...

By adding touches of natural elements such as metal and stone to accessorize this space, I have completed the project achieving the Zen inspired powder room I desired.  

The finish on both the wood and metal pieces are done in what is called an oil-rubbed brass finish.

This wall piece was just the adornment needed for the long wall in this space. I really wanted something in a free flowing form and the metal and mother-of-pearl like leaves add shimmer plus lots of interest to the room. I did pay full price for this piece at Pier One Imports...it was simply too perfect to pass up!!!

By placing river rock in the sink basin, a wonderful water feature has been created in my powder room.

River rock can be purchased at any craft store for just a few dollars.



Zen is becoming more and more popular... it is both sleak and sheak and is being infused into many aspects of today's room design elements.


The 2 basic concepts in Zen design are simplicity and balance.

Simplicity...keeping surfaces unclutterd and clean is the number one rule if you are incopreating Zen into any of your design spaces. 

Balance...select a few contrasting natural materials like wood, stone, and bamboo to to create a harmonious enviornment,

Choose a neutral and warm color scheme. The softer colors of nature are very Zen. An earth inspired palette is typical of Zen design...colors you see in nature are:

These soothing colors create a calm atmosphere.


Natural light...window coverings should be as simple and unadorned as possible to allow the flow of natural light into a space. Plain white or natural sheers with no ornamentation are a perfect choice. If more privacy is desired, bamboo blinds will harmonize with other natural elements in the room.

Artificial light such as recessed lights, keep the clean and simple component in your room design. If task lighting is required for your space...choose lamps with shades made of natural materials with plain lines.


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