Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Rusty Junky Shabby Chic Christmas Tree

I finally finished decorating my Christmas Tree today! I don't think there is another tree like it anywhere! The best way I can describe it is Vintage, Rusty, Junky, Shabby Chic with a touch of Bling! The best part - it cost me less than $10.00!

I found this tree at a garage sale for $5.00 when I was on vacation a few weeks ago.
Our house is too crowded for me to put up our big tree this year {read we have way to much furniture in our little living room.} I set the tree on our antique Queen Sewing Machine that came from my Father-in-Law's Step Grandmother.
I found 2 vintage patterns at the Goodwill and made lots of tissue paper flowers. The patterns were from the 70's and cost 59 cents each. I made tissue flower balls, rolled roses, a star flower, and little puffs from the patterns. Not a single piece of pattern went to waste.  That was over 40 ornaments for $1.18!
 I found a few springs off of a seed drill for rustic ornaments while bed springs made a rusty garland circling the tree.
 I used a few of the ornaments I already had and then tied some of the strips of material that I use on my rag wreaths to the branches.
 I came across three vintage, cross-shaped rug beaters recently and had intentions of listing them in my etsy store, but they found their way on the tree instead!
 This ornament was made by my sweet Grandmama. I would stay with her at night (because of her health)and we would make ornaments together. She made this one just prior to her last Christmas. I will always cherish those memories and even though the ornament is not perfectly stitched, its perfect to me.
This little angel was given to me many years ago by an elderly man at church. We shared the same birthday week (coming up soon) and we would always stand up together as the church sang Happy Birthday to us.

 I made a star flower out of the pattern paper and added touches of gold, brown, and lime glitter branches for a little sparkle.
 My only other purchase was one string of lights. The tree was pre-lit, but needed some more lights.  Everything else on the tree is upcycled and reused.  I used an old burlap potato sack for my tree skirt.

I got a few gifts wrapped today and now I have to get busy making the rest of my gifts! So what do you think about my rusty, junky, shabby tree?

P.S. Please come see my Gazebo decorated for Christmas. It has some unexpected decorations as well!

I'm linking my Christmas tree to :

Unskinny Boppy

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Sew Woodsey

Savvy City Farmer Thrift'n on a Thursday

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


New Rope Wreaths

If you missed the western rope wreaths that sold in my etsy store last week, I made a couple more new cowboy Christmas rope wreaths and listed them this week!

They are rustic with a touch of bling, because all cowgirls and cowboys are rustic and one of a kind, but always in search of a little fun and bling!

You can click the link on my side bar to go straight to my store so you can have one of these country wreaths hanging on your door to greet all your Christmas guest!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas in the Gazebo

 When we completed our gazebo makeover in the summer, I knew that decorating it for Christmas would be so much more fun! Now I've had a few months to plan...but I didn't...I just flew by the seat of my pants decorating it this weekend! That's the way I roll and when I feel the most creative!

Last month, while looking for a place to take photos with indirect, natural light for my etsy store items, I propped this door up in the gazebo. Its been a great backdrop for my wreaths and to be honest dragging it back and forth is not appealing, so I have left it in the gazebo.

I started decorating by hanging my garland up around the gazebo and found an old green wreath in storage and tied it to the old window frame and hung on the door, but it was just too blah. So I set out to spruce up the wreath. I went out back and clipped a few snippets off several cedar and pine trees and gathered a few pine cones. The fake green wreath provided a good base for the fresh greens and I was able to tie the fresh sprigs to the base with the wired branches. A wide scrap of burlap provided the finishing touches to the fresh Christmas wreath.
 While I was digging out my decorations, I decided to place my pencil tree in the gazebo. (Its the tree I usually put up in the house.) It already had lights on it and I placed it in my wash tub along with a few pots of fountain grass. I decided to display some of my watering cans on the tree as ornaments. Then I placed my small gardening tools on the tree as well. After all, its the time of the year when the garden tools aren't used for anything, so on the tree they went! The pencil tree looked kinda blah as well and I had a few extra cedar sprigs left over from my wreath, so I started tucking in the fresh greenery into the fake tree. Ahhh, that made it look so much more natural and fit in with the outdoor rustic feel. Why haven't I done this before?

 Suzy always finds her way into a gazebo photo shoot! She loves this place!
 You know, I might just have to add fresh Christmas greens to my junky tree in the house! That would give the house a wonderful "Christmas" smell....the wheels on the bus are spinning right now!
I had a customer at the flower shop tell me today, that a Christmas Tree Lot give her a few broken tree limbs for free. She was going to make her own centerpieces with free Christmas Greens! We have plenty of trees on our property, but if I didn't I would certainly stop by the tree lot to get a few branches to decorate.

I'm tickled pink how it all turned out and you know the best part - it didn't cost a penny! A nature inspired tree and wreath with fresh tree clippings and ornaments straight out of the greenhouse - no trip to the store for this project! I've had the garland since our very first Christmas here and now that I look at it, fresh greens would be so pretty added into it as well. next day off project!

I'm linking to:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Help Me Choose a Christmas Card

Help! Ever since I bought my "good" camera last year, I have lots of pictures on my computer. I take all these pictures, but don't do that much with them. This year, I have decided to use my pictures to create Christmas cards. Now the hard part - I can't decide which card to send out! I created these cards in the
 My Memories Suite Scrapbooking software and can print them at home on photo paper. I should be able to get 2 cards per 8 by 10 paper and mail in regular envelopes.

The first card is very simple. Just a scene from last winters snow storm on the same road I took the fall pictures last week.

 Card 2 and 3 are basically the same, except for the font color. This cardinal graced our yard during the snow and ice last January.
So, I need your help! Which card do you like the best?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

I had to work a couple hours at the flower shop today and then I went shopping for a few hours! Don't fret though, it wasn't bad! Our town doesn't have a mall or any of the huge stores that lure the masses of crazy people. I had a 20% off coupon for Bealls and found a pair of warm and fuzzy lined boots already on sale for 50% off. $75.00 boots for $30.00! Next week is suppose to be much colder and my feet are always cold, so I'll be wearing my new boots alot!

Then I decided to venture to Wal Mart. I was needing a few crafting items and had a few items in the sale paper circled. Wal Mart seemed calmer at 1:00 today, than 5:00 any other day of the week. I didn't even have to wait in line to check out! I wasn't in search of the big tickets items, so there was no disappointment here. I got a iPad accesory kit for $15.00 with a screen cover, car charger, USB plug, and stylus. We looked at a stylus last week for $12.00, so it was a good deal. I found some cute clothes for my little nephew and got him a Cars table and chairs. I found a new jacket for me too! Hey, its gonna be cold next week...Me cold = bad mood!

When I got home, I decided to decorate my gazebo before the frigid weather gets here. We are expecting rain in the morning, so I didn't know when my next opportunity to decorate would be. I finished at dark tonight, so I'll take pictures and share soon. I have a garden themed tree in the gazebo.

Never before have I put a tree up before Thanksgiving, but I did get started on my indoor tree last weekend. I'm not completely through decorating it though. I got the tree at a garage sale a few weeks ago and decided the small tree would fit in our house better than my large tree. Our cat, Annie, loves to sit by the tree on top of the sewing machine and gaze out the window. The tree has a very vintage theme and I will share more pictures soon.

So what did you do on Black Friday? Shopping, Decorating, Eating leftovers, Spending time with family?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish each and everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

We are heading to my in-laws in a little while. My sweet mother in law said not to bring anything, but I feel as if I can't go empty handed so I made a pecan pie this morning.

My grandmama's pecan pie was always my favorite. Every pecan pie she ever made had chopped pecans, because my granddaddy didn't have teeth! I was in high school before I realized most everyone else didn't chop their pecans to make pies! Of course I always think the chopped pecans make a pretty pie and it's just the way I was raised, so I follow the tradition and chop my pecans .

I am thankful for each and all my blog friends and hope you all have a wonderful day and don't eat too much!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fall Flowers

Frost killed some of my flowers last week, but thankfully there are a few blooms left in the yard for the butterflies to feed on.

 A few marigolds and the oxalis survived the frost as well.
Yard clean up is now in progress as I clean up the frosted plants and tidy up the flower beds in preparation for winter days to come.

I don't know about yall, but I'm ready for spring! I despise daylight savings time and cold weather, so we can fast foward a couple of months and all will be well here!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Fall Drive

With the drought this year, we feared the fall colors would be rather boring. Lots of trees have died and turned a sad brown color, although over the past two weeks, the leaves on many of trees have transitioned into brilliant colors.
 This winding road takes me into town each day and one afternoon last week I stopped a few times to take a few pictures.

Sometimes you have to look back on your journey and see where you have been. Its true what they say about turning around and taking pictures of the scene behind you.
We had our first frost last week and some of the plants in the yard were damaged, yet it was over 80 degrees today. (I was wearing shorts while putting up my Christmas Tree!) So what are the leaves looking like around you?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You Shoudn't Try This Pumpkin Cheesecake!

Yesterday, the Mr. and I went to do our usual town shopping and decided to go out to eat. No big deal, you say, but we don't eat out much and eating Mexican food is a treat for us. When we walked in the restaurant, a stack of newspapers and brochures greets you and my man can not pass up reading material! As we sat down and glanced through the paper full of advertisements and very little content, I noticed a few fall recipes and one for Pumpkin Cheesecake caught my eye.

I didn't give it too much thought, but then when Farmall Man saw the recipe, he said "wow, that sounds goood!" Just so happens our next stop was the grocery store and we made a check list of the items we would need to pick up in order to cook the cheese cake. (And we just thought eating before the grocery store would help us save money!)

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This morning I made my very first, from scratch cheese cake. Let me tell you, it is delicious! So with Thanksgiving coming up, I think I just might be making another pumpkin cheesecake with maple pecan glaze.

Here's the recipe, if you really want to try it. (I made a couple changes from the printed recipe in the paper. It called for raisins in the glaze and I didn't like the sound of that. You could add them if you want to) 

Pumpkin Cheese Cake with Maple Nut Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (Tip - buy the whole crackers and make crumbs yourself and save several dollars and have crackers to eat later. About 12 crackers or one tube makes 1 1/2 cups crumbs. A potatoe masher worked good to make crumbs.)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 3- 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1- 16 oz can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (I thought I had nutmeg at home, but didn't so I substituted pumpkin pie spice - it has nutmeg in it after all.)

Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press firmly in springform pan.
With mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy; gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes (or until edges springs back when lightly  touched, (center will be slightly soft.)
Cool and chill.

Maple Nut Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 chopped nuts (I used almost a cup of pecans)
Combine water and cornstarch. In small saucepan, melt butter. Add syrup and cornstarch mixture. Cool and stir until slightly thickened. Add nuts. Spoon over chilled cheesecake.


Let me know if you try it. I would love to hear what you think about this cheesecake!

Friday, November 11, 2011

I was featured at Handmade in TX!

Cindi from Handmade in TX, showcases arts and crafts handmade from all over the state Texas.
I recently came across Cindi through Twitter and began following her blog recently. She lets you link up your etsy store and products for sale that are made by Texas artisans. I love the idea of her blog and supporting the residents of our state. What could be better than supporting fellow Texans and their creativity?

 Last week I linked up my Western Lariat Rope Wreath with Pheasant Feathers  to Lonestar Showcase #11. I recently listed this item for sale in my etsy store and was excited this week that Cindi picked my rope wreath as one of her favorite 3 items in the showcase!
Ever since I was in Floral Design in my high school ag class, I have been making rope wreaths. You see, my dad, brother, and I were all team ropers and we always had used ropes laying around. I remember the first rope wreath I made with yellow sunflowers that hung on my bedroom door. Soon after I was making a rope wreath for our FFA banquet decorations and have had a rope wreath in my house ever since.  I've made rope wreaths for wedding presents and have made several "Little Cowboy" wreaths for baby shower gifts as well. A few years back, I sold the wreaths in a local western store, but a change of management didn't allow me to continue with consignments.

I want to say THANK YOU to Cindi for all of your efforts to showcase Texas Artist and for featuring my
Lariat Rope Wreath. You made my day!

If yall get a chance, stop by Handmade in TX to see all the showcased items!