Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas in the Gazebo

Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair for a tour of our gazebo decorated for Christmas!

Once again, everything is rustic, rescued, and repurposed. 
The decor took on a very natural / garden / flea market style theme this year. 

If you have a few minutes, you can watch my video, as I show you around the gazebo or you can scroll down to see more pictures. I attempted to do a live Facebook video, but the lighting just didn't work out correctly. Wish I could have chatted with everyone as I was videoing...

 I used objects that were all found or taken from nature. I gathered pine, cedar, twigs, berries, and pine cones from the farm. I trimmed limbs that stuck out in the paths (as in nearly scratch the truck as you drove through the gates) and added them to a artificial tree and adorned many other objects with the fresh greens. After Christmas, I'll add all the branches to the compost bin.

garden themed Christmas decor

A twiggy tree top! Instead of glittery ting and branches like some use, I preferred to use sticks and berries for a nature theme. 
For the birds garden tree
 After we got the gazebo, I purchased 3 bushes in small, one gallon containers (because I was on an extreme budget.)  It's hard to believe just how big those little bushes have grown! The bicycle used to sit way out in front of them - now the bush grows through the bike. The lily that is in front of the bike was gifted to me by my mail lady. 

Now for a few daylight pictures, so you can see some different details.

When I was delivering Thanksgiving flowers, one of my sweet friends gifted me some fresh grapevine they had trimmed from their yard. I decided to hang it on the door and then nestled in the Christmas tin sign.
I found this candle stand while out junkin' recently and decided it would go on the gazebo for the time being. 

I loved this metal scroll work fixture for a long time and decided to hang it up this summer. 

For the Birds...
Now, if you recall, last year I had an upside down Christmas tree hanging where that rustic fixture is now and I had a cardinal the would stay in the tree every night. (click the link to read about it.) The red bird family went on to raise babies in the bush beside the gazebo. That's their little nest tucked in the Christmas tree! I've had the red burlap birds for several years and decided they should go on this years tree.
The handy hauler has a load of fresh Christmas greens and berries.

The bottomless rusty bucket - it still has the original flower pot wired inside it from when I did the how to post several years ago. There's still some herbs left in the pot from this summer and I just added the cut branches into the potting soil. 
My rusty, junky wreath from years past returned again and graces the front of the bicycle.

So there you have a tour of our rustic gazebo. 

What is your favorite part? 

P.S. Stay tuned, as I plan to share another video and details from my glamper Christmas! 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The best birthday gift...

So yesterday was my birthday...

Three years ago, I turned in my resignation to my then boss. I had worked at the flower shop for 15 years and 3 different owners. My etsy shop and farm were keeping me busy in every spare minute outside of the day job. As things changed at the shop and my personal business kept growing, it became clear that I should work for myself and leave the stress of working for someone else's dream.

But still, I was scared to leave the world of a dependable paycheck, to go full time self employed. Could we make it? I would be lonely working from home and not seeing my friends... So many doubts from a person who likes dependable and a sure thing.

 I made sure I was there for some obligations and then my birthday rolled around and I knew I had to give myself the best gift I could. So the Friday after my birthday, I finally handed over that letter I had typed and carried with me for weeks. I had to believe in myself and give it a try.

What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly? -e.h.

Since then, I've been blown away by the friends and clients who have supported me. I never dreamed I would be ask to do fresh flowers after I walked away from my former job.

That fear of not ever seeing my friends? Jeff likes to remind me that my tribe is better now than ever before! I have a tight circle of good friends and I'm so thankful for them.

I'm on the go all the time. Quite frankly, I really want a few days that I don't have to go anywhere and just be able to stay home and work on whatever / create some new items.

Anywho... the best gift you can can ever give yourself is to believe in yourself.

Are there days that are still hard? You betcha!

Do I still have fears? For sure and sometimes the anxiety and doubts sneak in.

Would I do it again? In a heart beat! I'm so glad that I finally decided to take a chance on myself!

There's still stress, but those daily knots in my neck and feet that I couldn't hardly stand on at the end of the day - those seldom occur. There were days that I couldn't hardly walk through the grocery store when I got off work, because my feet hurt so darn bad.

Back to my birthday this week - age has never bothered me. Some friends thought we were old when we turned 30, although I never thought that. This isn't a big birthday with a 0 behind a number, although this one has me thinking and looking back on things from the past few years and goals for the year to come. Once again, I must remember to believe in myself!

So whatever it is you are wanting to do - believe in yourself! Chase those wild dreams and make them happen! 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Sewing Stockings and Reminiscing

I've been sewing stockings today, for a custom order and it had me thinking about several things.

For one, I'm a self-taught seamstress. Sometimes that can be a frustrating thing. A couple of weeks ago, I was working on an set of stockings and as Angea would say "I nearly lost my Jesus." It was a disaster and I cut up / scrapped three of them today, because I totally made a mess of them. It was one of those orders that I should have said "No" to from the very beginning, as it was something more complicated than I usually take on...

I really don't know how to use patterns, so I just create my own templates to use. Sometimes getting everything sewn in the correct order - wrong sides together, sew,  right sides together, sew, flip, sew, yada, yada.... gets confusing. Thankfully, today I was able to peacefully sew all of the stockings without any complications! 

While Grandmama was an excellent seamstress and made all my dresses up till 8th grade, she didn't teach me to sew. I watched her quilt and occasionally helped a little bit. As an adult, I wished I would have learned so much from her. You know, there are so many skills that I wish would have been passed down from the older generations. Maybe they thought we weren't interested or would never use the skills. I'm sure she's looking down and surprised to see me sewing and making a living with fabric... I also wish I would have learned more in the kitchen and garden from my grandparents.
rustic stockings
 The first thing I ever remember sewing was a giant stocking for Jeff. It was our first Christmas together and I decided to make a huge stocking and fill it with things for him. I was staying at Grandmama's house that night (she had a stroke and couldn't stay alone, so I stayed with her a lot) and decided to use her machine to sew the stocking. I think my mom helped me some, but I really just made Grandmama nervous with my sewing. The stroke affected her speech, so she couldn't properly communicate and teach me at that point.  It all worked out in the end and if I look in the storage building, I can probably still find the stocking.  After she passed away the next spring, her old Sew Gem sewing machine became mine. I don't use it much anymore, as I have two other machines, although its a treasure I'll never part with. 
rustic stockings
The stockings were hung on the mantle with care... this is a snapshot of our shared booth at Uniques and Antiques. Angea makes the French Country style stockings, while I created all of the burlap stockings. You can also find my burlap stockings in my online shop, with worldwide shipping. 
rustic Christmas stocking
Our stockings are all handmade, right here in East Texas!

What's the one thing you wish your grandparents would have taught you?