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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Day #5 GBII Checking in With the Travel Wall

While I was in a decorating mood over the holidays I made some additions to the travel wall – added a few more papers, a bunch more photos, a few new words, and (drum roll, please……..) a new piece of furniture.

There’s a shop nearby called Rodworks that carries a pretty eclectic selection of furniture and gifts. I found this set of drawers that just screamed “JANET!!!” at the top of its lungs. I tried to resist. Really I did. For two weeks I thought about it, and finally, a few weeks before Christmas, I gave in.

But let’s start with the wall itself.

And a disclaimer – the photos don’t do it justice! I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t seem to get good lighting in this area of the house, so you’ll have to use your imagination a bit, and trust me when I tell you it looks really cool, even in its unfinished state.

And of course, it is MEANT to be unfinished. When it’s done, it will mean we are through traveling, and I’m hoping that won’t be for a long time! Or, I guess I could run out of room (wouldn’t that be fun!) and then I guess I’ll have to rotate photos in and out (or use eminent domain to confiscate wall space!)








Note that I’ve added more location words from my friend Colleen Attara. I know it’s a “cluttered” wall, but I think the words help break up the monotony of just photos. And really, unless I had a whole museum to hang the photos in, squishing them together (and TRYING to hang only one photo from each location) is my only option!

I have more “words” than are on the wall…I probably jumped the gun by ordering “Asia” and “Africa” since we haven’t been there yet. I hope I haven’t jinxed myself!


And I haven’t printed the photo for Paris or Cuba yet, so I have the words, but am unsure what I’m doing yet, so those will stay off the wall until I know where I’m putting them. I have one photo from Chile on the wall, but I want to add a second, so I’m waiting on it, as well.



So back to the cabinet… I think it may be my favorite of all time. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!



Day #4 GBII – Moving On – Next Up, Valentine’s Day!

It takes me awhile to make changes, and when I really love what was there before, it’s even harder.

So, making the decision to take Christmas down was not an easy one. I knew it needed to be done, but I wanted to keep it up. Really bad. And since I’ve been known to leave them up through January, I knew I could get away with it.

Then, unexpectedly, the granddaughters were over for the day, so since I had some help, I figured it was as good of a time to get started as any. They were a lot of help, and although we didn’t come even close to getting it done, we made a good dent.

It was more fun than I thought it would be, because I used it as a chance to tell family stories through the ornaments, and pass down some family values. I showed them some of the ornaments I’d made back in the days when when I did craft shows, and their mother’s 1st Christmas ornament (given to her by HER Grandmother) that our dog chewed up, but is still on the tree every year because it is so special. I found the felt teddy bear ornament their mother had made for me when she was about Bea’s age. It is misshapen, and the stitching is messy, but it is over 30 years old, and I still love it because SHE made it. Sometimes they worry that their imperfect gifts to us aren’t good enough, and this special ornament was proof we aren’t kidding when we tell them how much we love their handmade gifts.

They also saw the few ornaments I have that belonged to MY mom, and the ones we get every year and personalize with all our Grandchildren’s names on them, starting with the first ones that only had Gaga, Da and Hannah, then the addition of Bea and Josh in 2008, and the last 2 that include Lexi. It was such a nice trip down memory lane, and hopefully if we do that every year, they’ll remember the stories that go with the ornaments they’ll inherit!

But, the point of this post is moving on!

As a part of taking down the Christmas ornaments, we shifted the front tree to Valentine’s Day.

It’s my skinny tree that normally houses my shabby chic ornaments. Many of them are suitable to stay for Valentine’s Day – the gold and silver hearts and round balls, the garland… Then we pulled the hearts from the main tree (glass, wood, and metal) and a few strands of the red beaded garland, and added them.

I have a few things I keep just for the Valentine tree – the king and queen of hearts, some glitter heart ornaments, a glitter arrow, big sparkly heart and glitter heart picks. Switch out the gold lame skirt for glittery red, and there you have it! An excuse to leave one tree up  A beautiful Valentine decoration! It’s not quite as stuffed as I’d like to see it, but, as always, it’s a journey.












And for the first time in several years, I’m going to do Valentine’s decorations on top of the library case where the angels were. Guess that’s the good part about not going on a January trip – more decorating gets done. Hmmmmmm. Decorating or traveling? I may need to rethink this…

It’ll take me a few days to get everything down, and probably another few to restore the house to its normal decor.

I’m almost excited to do it, because I’ll be putting the Rooster/chicken display up on the entertainment center with the new topper. It should be much easier, I should have much more flexibility, and I MAY have a couple of new chickens to add into the mix (you find such cool stuff when you don’t get into your decorating cupboards for awhile!) I found a couple of older things I forgot I had because I didn’t put them back up after Christmas last year (or was it the year before?)

Anyway, I’m moving on, and I like it. I’ll share as I make progress!


Day #3 GBII – I Need To Say Goodbye, But I Don’t Want to!

Day #3 GBII – I Need To Say Goodbye, But I Don’t Want to!

In case you didn’t see yesterday’s post, GBII stands for “getting back into it,” a reference to getting serious about my blog again, and the 21 days it will take to get back into the habit. So, this is day 3 of 21 of GBII.

And saying goodbye? That’s to Christmas. I’m not tired of the decorations yet, and would love to keep them up, but it’s going to take DAYS to get it all down and put away, so I’m thinking I should get started. It’s not all going to happen on January 1st, like it used to before I had SO. MUCH. DECOR.

I think I’ll take you on a little tour before I tear it all down, since I didn’t do it when it was going up.

The tree itself is my very favorite work of art.




There are layers and layers of fun things, starting with a gazillion lights (2 different kinds.) Next year I’m starting fresh with warm white LEDs (I’ve been waiting patiently for those to come out because the cool whites are just too stark for my taste.) Yes, I’m anal. I admit it. It comes from 20 years of owning a gift shop, I think!

Next up, the Santa collection on the entertainment center. The furniture has a recessed top, so when I display, it’s a mess stacking wood chunks for lifters and balancing everything – a real pain. So this year I invested some time and effort into getting a couple of 2x10x10s, painting them black, and adding them to the top of the unit to make a solid top for display. Best idea ever. It made it sooooooo much easier!


I have snowmen in 2 places, on top of another display case and on the front porch. This year I added a tall snowman, and some cool metal snowflakes. It’s still not where I want it to be, but I keep telling myself, it’s a journey.







The shabby chic tree got a few more additions this year, but the top angel display is pretty much the same.





COMPLETELY new this year is the travel tree. My travel wall has made enough progress that I decided to add a tree for all the ornaments we collect from the places we go – they’ve always been on the main tree, but they kind of get lost in there. Now they are right out where we can see them easily. I love this area. We have so much fun on our trips, and it is great to think about how fortunate we are to have seen all that we have every day.

The tree still needs some more fancies, but it’s off to a good start!






The kids tree moved into the gathering room this year. Hannah and Josh aren’t terribly fond of it anymore, but Bea still loves it, and Lexi can’t believe she can move the ornaments around without getting in trouble!


The gingerbread set-up is in the kitchen. Fortunately there isn’t enough room for a whole tree, because I’m certain I could fill it in no time, but I limit myself to a few special pieces that fit on the counter.


There are a few other treasures here and there, as well.







And, of course, Christmas would not be complete without the kiddle’s advent boxes.


I know, I go a little crazy, but I miss my store so much, even after 10 years, and this is a portion of my therapy. As crazy as it makes Mr. Tattered, even he has to admit it’s really festive.


Day #2 GBII – Like I need a New Obsession


Don’t bother looking in the Urban Dictionary, I made it up! It stands for “getting back into it.”

If I’m going to continue to blog, I need to re-form the habit, and that starts with 21 consecutive days of repeating the desired behavior. This is day #2. I know, it seems kinda grade school-ish, but I need either adult supervision, or a system to self- monitor. Since none of the adults in my life care whether I continue or not, (and at least one – not naming any names here – would probably vote for not) it’s on me.

So, day #2, I’d like to introduce you to my new obsession – Lori Michaels folk art figures. Her work isn’t new to me, I already own a few pieces, but all of a sudden I need more. Get that? NEED!

I can’t remember for sure which one was my first, but I suspect it may have been this Santa.

I think that the bridal couple may be my favorite.


I keep them in my hutch on top of my wedding album and displayed with our toasting glasses (as tacky as they seem now!) and cake knife. I think they look sweet.

Last year I found some little darlings that reminded me of my grandchildren, so I picked up one for each and I incorporate them in my Christmas decor.


Hannah is holding the nutcracker, which is perfect, because she has dark hair and loves nutcrackers. Bea is the blond, also fitting with her stuffed teddy – she loves her stuffies. Then there’s Lexi with her hair covered (which is also fitting because it is taking forever to grow!) and then Josh. I have no idea how he ended up being a reindeer, except that it makes me smile, and so does he!

Then I had the brilliant idea of searching the internet for her work to see if there were figures available for the seasons or other holidays, and woohoo! There are. And, then I gave my paypal account a workout ordering more!

I think I was 6 figurines (maybe 7?) into the orgy of spending before I managed to rein myself in!

Now I have the four kids in Valentine get-ups, and two in Halloween suits ordered, and plans for more! Heeheehee! I think she has an actual Nativity set, as well, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need it! Oh, and there are several different Santas, and some snowmen, and ooooh, ooooh, ooooh, the cutest kids in their swim suits for summer!

This is going to be soooooooo fun!


When Life Gets In The Way of Your Blog…

When Life Gets In The Way of Your Blog…

I know, silly, huh? But it IS!

And all I can do is laugh!

I LOVE blogging. I really do. I love photography, I love documenting what’s going on in my life, I love to write, I love sharing what limited insight I have into life, I love sharing my art… Throw them altogether and you have a blog! Right?

But what happens when you’re so busy living, you have no time (or maybe energy?) to document?

Your blog suffers, that’s what!

I appreciate y’all hanging in there with me.

So, I’ve set a new record (or hit a new low, depending on how you look at it.) This is the longest number of days I’ve EVER gone without posting to my blog.

I think about you all frequently, and sometimes I even think, gee, that would make a great post, but somehow it just doesn’t get done.

Last we met, I’d returned from Rancho La Puerta, basking in the glory of what I’d hoped would be a new outlook on myself and the world, but alas, it was not to be. Seven days is not long enough to establish habits, and before long, I’d gone back to my old ways – not taking enough time to nourish my soul, over-booking my time, eating inappropriately, not getting enough sleep… all those nasty little habits that really are self-inflicted wounds, back to the forefront.

I was disappointed in myself. But it was easier to avoid thinking about what I was doing if I wasn’t being introspective like I am when I’m blogging. No blog, no personal analysis. And besides, I was really busy, or so I told myself.

Then came preparations for our trip to Cuba, followed by the trip and scads of material for blog posts, but my computer was on photo overload, so until I got some of the older ones off, I couldn’t put more on. I let myself get stuck with the notion that I just couldn’t move on. Documenting the trip HAD to be next thing I posted about (I think it was a game I was playing with myself to get me to work on the photo issue, but it obviously didn’t work!)

Then came my total immersion in the elections, the subsequent depression, then Christmas. It’s been one thing after another, and before I knew it, months of inactivity here.

Now the question is, do I get back into it, or let it die a natural death?

I know the answer.  So. Back to it – starting with what my friend calls a “peace break” from the ranch.




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