Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in review

Well chickees...this is my 99th post! Holy crap, I'm not kidding. Interesting, because I started this blog in May, and only had about 20 posts in my first four months. Shows you how into this bloggy stuff I got in about...September or so?

For my 100th post I have a very cute (but small) giveaway to give to one of you. Can't wait to show you. It's not really a big deal, just fun. :)

What's with me just DYING to take down Christmas early this year? I usually wait till the 1st or after but I have been chomping at the BIT to get it down this year. What's the deal? I can barely wait to get it up and LOVE it during the season. There is just something about this time of year though too -- the clean, fresh house. I swear I fall it love with our home all over again right after the holidays. It's so cleared out and simple.

So Jules over at The Roost is having a fun New Year's Party that I thought would be fun to join. I put a different spin on it though, and picked the top ten commented posts to highlight here for your pleasure. (Or to help you take a nap, whatever works.)

Heeeeeeeere we GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

No. 4: Big Fat Honkin' Monogram.

No. 2: One of my favorite before and afters.

Well there you go ladies! A year -- well, eight months, in review. I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing and sharing. Here's to another year of fun ideas and tons o' comments!

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post Christmas hacks

Now that all the feasting is done, I have a couple of post Christmas hacks.

Christmas chalice
Tara says, "I made a Rattvik white wine glass into the Ye Olde Pimp Chalice! I used a Rattvik white wine glass, faux gold leaf, decoupaged images I made using digital collage of copyright-free clip art, resin and faux rhinestones to make this pimp chalice for my man for Christmas. I was my first attempt at doing any of these things on glass and my first use of resin at all and for the most part I'm really pleased with how it turned out! The inside of the bowl really does glow like movie special effects gold in the light! If I had to do it again, I'd use higher-quality rhinestones, though." 

See more of the chalice on craftster.

Digital Ribba photo frame
John from Australia shares with us his Ikea hack, put together as Christmas presents this year.

He says, "I decided to purchase two cheap 7" digital photo frames on sale from K-Mart for $30.00 AUD and mount them in Ribba frames.

The larger frame is the 30 cm x 40 cm Ribba ($20.00 AUD). Since the window cut out of the mat board that comes with the frame is larger than the LCD, I had to get a mat board cut to size with a window that matched the size of the frame, this cost me another $20.00 AUD. I simply removed the clear plastic frame from the digital photo frame before mounting the LCD inside the mat board. Total cost was $70.00 AUD.

The smaller frame is the 18 cm x 24 cm Ribba ($9.00 AUD). The window on the mat board was smaller than the LCD, so it was simply a matter of cutting out a larger window before mounting the LCD. Total cost was $39.00 AUD.

I apologise for the poor lighting in the photos. I don't have access to a digital camera at the moment so my iPhone had to suffice."

Counting Blessings

C'est la vie

As the year comes to a close we have the opportunity to take a moment and reflect on our blessings. I count you, my readers, as a huge blessing in my life. Thank you!!! Willow Decor is labor of love and my sincere thanks for reading, and sharing your comments. I never imagined when I started writing this blog it would reach so many readers in so many countries. Your emails, comments and questions inspire me to be better each day. Wishing you all the best for the Holiday Season! I look forward to continuing the journey with you into 2009!



Monday, December 29, 2008

Cheap gift tags (FREE!)

First of all, thanks for your kind words about my last post. I appreciate hearing from all of you and to know I'm not the only one who feels that way sometimes. I know it is a GOOD thing to be so grateful, but I should try not to worry so much too. :)

So I have seen this idea a couple times in blogland and the first time I saw it, I knew this easy peasy project was just for me. Do you keep your old Christmas cards every year?? I do. Don't have a clue why -- I do the same thing with birthday cards, I can't let go of them.

Well it's like I've kept them all these years JUST for this! All you need is a puncher outer thingy:

(Ignore my banged-up coffee table. I like to call it "rustic" a la The Bub.)

Grab a card:

You may have to do some trimming to get it to fit in the puncher right. I turn mine upside down to see what I'm punching. I do it on the floor too -- much easier to punch. (These things are a work out!!):

Voila!! Instant tags for next year! I even cut out some of the messages inside the cards:

Aren't they just ADORABLE?? Caaaauuute I say! I am dying to get my hands on more cards from this year. I'm trying to be patient and am keeping them up just a couple more days. Argh, I HATE delayed gratification!!

These were some of my favorites:

The puncher was originally about $15, but I got it half off. Otherwise, this is F.R.E.E. chickees! Have fun!
**Edited to add: YES the photo cards make this harder -- I know they are easier people, but come on...I need tags!! BUT I forgot to mention that I took the puncher thingy to some of the cardboard gift boxes that were torn up. (The one's with a design on top.) Those are adorable too!

ALERT!! The puncher thingys are half off at Hob Lob this week! Run, don't walk!

Don't judge a book by its cover...

I think my reaction to hearing that the Olsen twins were coming out with a book was "what-ever" but even I should remember not to judge a book by it's cover or in this case authors. I happened to flip through it at the bookstore recently and was pleasantly surprised. The book is titled Influence and it's less about the Olsen twins themselves and more about fabulous influential designers, artists and interesting people. I think it was the interview with David Collins that sold me though. As you know if you read my blog, I very much heart David Collins and I loved reading more about him. Others interviewed include Diane von Furstenberg and Lauren Hutton below, as well as Peter Beard, Karl Lagerfeld, Jack Pierson, and Christian Louboutin and many others. Check it out and you just might be pleasantly surprised too!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are you ever waiting?

For the other "shoe" to drop?

I can't tell you how many times a week I have this exact thought in my head. Tonight I thought it again.

How is it possible I could be SO blessed? So lucky? So fortunate?

I have a home I love. Friends that are always there when I need them and a family that loves me and puts up with me no matter what. Most of all: a beautiful, sweet stepdaughter, my incredibly patient and loving husband and my out-of-this-world, I-could-not-love-him-any-more-I-swear, son.

I wonder, what did I do to deserve this? I try to live a good, honest life. I try to be a good friend. I try SO hard to be a good Mom and a good wife. I think I succeed for the most part. But is that enough to deserve this life? I hope so. I pray so.

I have paid some dues. Years 16 through about 22 weren't very fun, to say the least. I was tested and I feel I came through stronger. Maybe I have earned some of this joy that is my life, but my happiness SO exceeds any pain I've ever felt. Can my dues that have been paid be nearly enough to make this all mine for good?

Sorry to get all deep on you. Maybe it's the season, maybe it's the coming new year. Maybe it's that I got to go on a date with my husband tonight. Any time with him is treasured. I am thinking DEEP lately, and just had to get it out. :)

Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy your blessed home and life this evening too.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Aftermath

First of all, YES! the tree is still standing!! Yahoo!! I usually leave it up through New Year's but wanted to take it down early this year. It is stressing me out. But Hubby thinks it will be fine so up it stays. I really do love long as it stays put. :)

Secondly, before I show you how Christmas blew up in our house, check out the GORG wreath I got today at Tar-jay!

My girlfriend bought one this year and it was GORG on her door. I got it this morning for only $17! But I'm thrifty, so it took some convincing from Sister for me to get it. I am SO glad I did:

Sheesh it's purdy. So did anyone get up before dawn this morning? I've only gotten up that early on purpose maybe four times since my son was born. Two of those times were from the two previous December 26ths! I have to do it though, I must be first to get the deals. BUT it was dead around here this morning -- I could have slept in, darn it!

OK, now onto the PIT that has been our house for the past two days (you can't walk in this room and it looks worse now):

(And much of it had already been thrown away!)

Let's just say we have a VERY lucky and happy two-year-old on our hands. My stepdaughter wanted small expensive things...he got HUGE monstrous toys, like TENTS:

What the heck was I thinking? I was thinking fun-unfinished-basement-play-area. But failed to remember that is is freakin' freezing cold down there right now so not one of us will brave it. The heating company is coming this week because I can stand about one more day of this and then everything needs to find a home. :)

But we had a WONDERFUL few days, and I wouldn't change the mess, the toys, the pile of trash for the world. We are blessed.

Hope you had a great holiday! I'm going keep taking some time to check in with many of your sites and will be back soon. And I am ITCHIN' to get back to my molding projects -- I'm going through withdrawal! I have a few projects in mind I cannot wait to get started on.

Oh, and remember to keep in mind how you organize things in your home so you can share them with us on the 12th!! We are going to DECLUTTER and ORGANIZE ladies!!

Mr. Mlinaric at Home

I'm off to Shadyside to shop with friends and then catch my flight back to New York so in my absence, I thought I would leave you with a little treat. The New York Times had a lovely piece on interior designer David Mlinaric (pronounced mill-in-AR-ik) and his lovely flat in London. Just goes to show what you can do in a small space. For more information, click here. Cheers!

Hopen/Komplement walk-in wardrobe

Laura turns a spare room into a walk-in closet with parts from the Hopen/Komplement range. The results look pretty good too.

She says, "Recently my hubby and I moved into the downstairs part of this house and we decided to create something new in an old little room. So we decided to do awalk in closet!

We found someone selling the Hopen/Komplement system really cheap on Craigslist, and we just went for it. The whole closet could not fit inside our little room, so my husband had to take it all apart and start from scratch. After a whole week end planning, measuring, cutting, and drilling, we end up with this:

Tah dah!!

We are planning on hacking the closet doors into sliding doors for the closet, but that will be another week end and another hack!"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Memories

I was telling my friend Kelly recently about my favorite Christmas memory and she couldn't believe that I had one. It happened one Christmas when I feel asleep on the sofa waiting for Santa. The next morning I awoke in my room with a new canopy bed with Holly Hobbie bedspread and linens as if by magic. I think it was also the same year that I received a doll house. Now you know why it was so memorable. Do you have a favorite Christmas or special holiday memory?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish all my fabulous friends and readers a very Merry Christmas!

Card from R. Nichols

Polarvide tumble mat

Hey you, Merry Christmas! My folks, sisters and their families are converging in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate. Turkey is on the menu (we cheated, we ordered one from the deli!), a shrimp version of Nigella Lawson's Christmas menu, bruschetta, baked potatoes and more stuff my more domestic sisters will whip up. Yummy. Hope you'll be having a Christmas filled with joy, laughter and love too.

I'll be taking the day off tomorrow. Which means, no blogging. But I'll leave you with one more with the Polarvide blanket. This one's from Kerstin of Germany.

She writes, "I wanted to sew a blanket for tummytime and playing for my son, but could not find any fabric I liked. I did like the children's quilt covers at Ikea, so I simply cut them in pieces. For the other side I just used a green Polarvide blanket. Really easy, the whole blanket was finished in a day! My son loves to play on it!"