Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Since that time is nearing, just thought I'd pop in one last time to say Merry Christmas to you all!  As you can see, this is the year we finally have a good Santa photo!  You can take a look here to see some of the not-so-good ones from years past- some are quite funny!
 The kids were even all brave enough to talk to Santa this year!
 In addition to seeing Santa to request gifts, we also did something to give back a bit.
We signed up to be Salvation Army bell-ringers!
And I have to say that we were quite good at it- we really pulled out the big guns...
 I mean, maybe you could pass up a handsome seven-year-old...,
 ...and possibly even a cute five-year-old...,
...but could you really pass up this adorable three-year-old?  Most people couldn't- ha ha! 
It's been a fun holiday season so far, and we're all getting excited about Christmas next week.  It's just so much more fun with kids, isn't it?  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and I'll be back to show you any exciting gifts I get (can you tell I'm crossing my fingers for a "new" dollhouse, maybe?!?). 
Hugs and blessings to you all!
(I'm linking up with The Paper Mama for her "red" photo challenge!)  

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I didn't intend to post anything on my blog about the events of last Friday.  Everyone is mourning for the sweet angels from that awful morning, and my blog doesn't change that. 
Although the ages of the victims really hit home with me (my boys are 5 and 7), I hadn't actually shed tears about it.  My eyes were definitely moist at times, but no real tears.  That is until I read this.  My cousin's wife sent it to me this morning, and the waterworks were opened!  I just thought I'd pass it along.  It's a beautiful way to look at things in spite of the horror of it all...

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38

When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate. Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.

They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.

They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

"This is heaven." Declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,

But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.

Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring

Those children all flew into the arms of their King

And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,

One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had

He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."

Then He looked down on earth, the world far below

He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe

Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,

"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"

"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools"

"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"

Then He and the children stood up without a sound.

"Come now my children, let me show you around."

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.

All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,

"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."


Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Saturday, December 08, 2012

This Year's Christmas Dollhouse

 I changed things up a little from last year's Christmas dollhouse display.  I thought I'd try a different house just for fun, so I used my tin Marx one.
 The colors and scale work wonderfully.  I didn't do the twinkling lights like before, but it's just as sweet!
And the bonus is that this house has a front door upon which to hang a wreath!  (The one I used last year was missing the door!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Christmas Decor 2012

As promised, here is our Christmas decor for this year.  I haven't added anything new, but just changed things around from last year.  I was in the mood for something a little different! 
 Above is our family room.  This is where the fireplace is, thus the mantle gets decorated and the stockings get hung here.  In the past, I've put my vintage Santa collection up on the mantle, but I decided to try my Putz house collection here this year.  With all the pastels of the houses, the stockings I made matched beautifully!  We have two sets of stockings, so the others are hanging in the hallway.
 Here's a closer view.  Yes, I do have doll furniture on the shelves.  No, my husband does not like it!  And yes, I also get to decorate around a hamster cage setup as well!
 Here's just the fireplace without all the extraneous other stuff around!
 Ah, those pastel colors are all just so pretty cropped in like this!
 Also included on the mantel are some of my vintage ornaments in glass urns.
 I mounted the little Santa and sleigh up on the wall- I think that's my favorite part!
Besides the fireplace, the other area I decorate is our front room.  We keep our tree there, as well as the large hutch below.
 Most of the decor in here is the same as last year, but since the Putz houses are on the mantle now, the Santa collection has moved into the hutch.
 They fit rather nicely on the top shelf!
 It's so hard to get photos because of the glass doors!
The tall guy in the middle is my very favorite!
This is how far I've gotten so far.  Our tree is decorated as well, but I didn't take a picture of that.  I still haven't put up the Christmas dollhouse or the tree in our bedroom to hold my vintage ornaments.  I may skip out on the second tree this year- I'm feeling a little lazy- ha ha!  But I do hope to put out the dollhouse again.  Or perhaps I'll do up one of my "new" dollhouses this year.  I'll have to think about that!  I'll make sure to show you what I decide!
Hope you're all having a fun start to the Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Christmas Kitsch on Ebay!

Hi Guys,  I've done a little cleaning out as I'm decorating for Christmas this year, so just wanted to give you a heads up on some Ebay auctions I just listed.  Click on the photos for links!
 (Dang Blogger!  Why oh why can't you deal with verticle photos???  To see him standing up properly, click over to the Ebay listing!)
There are also several cute vintage Christmas clothes over in my Etsy shop if you have little ones!
(I know this coat isn't specifically Christmas, but wouldn't it be perfect for church on Christmas Eve??)

Happy shopping!  I'll be back soon to show you my Christmas decorations- I've changed things up a little this year, and I love the new look!

Monday, December 03, 2012

More Handmade Christmas

 As I mentioned in my last post, my sisters and I are trying to keep Christmas inexpensive this year, so I've been making some handmade gifts.  For all the kids (my three and my niece and nephew), I decided to make pillowcases.  I was inspired by the cute ones in this Etsy shop
I decided to go a little more fun and colorful, and also personalize them, because what kid doesn't love something with his name on it??
I did run into some problems- I used interfacing on the clouds, but it didn't adhere the greatest, which is why there are a few bumps and buckles.
And on Noah's, I messed up writing the name(!!), but a little extra cloud provided a perfect fix!
But, what the heck?  They're for kids, and once they're on a pillow, they work great!
I just love the look of them all folded up together- such pretty colors- yum!
Also, I failed to mention that the sweet Chelsey at The Paper Mama posted my tutorial for vintage inspired felt stockings last week.  Go check it out!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Silhouette Gifts

 My sisters and I are trying to keep Christmas inexpensive this year, so that means homemade or small gifts.  So I put on my thinking cap and came up with a perfect gift idea that was virtually free-silhouettes of their families!
Last week, we all ended up taking a walk on the beach, and it fell into my plan beautifully- the ideal time to shoot some photos.  However, it wasn't as easy as it sounds... The family with the children were all over the place, and never once held hands with each other!!  So I just shot lots of pics, hoping I could find something to work with! 
When I got home, I did some major cropping and editing on my computer- an arm from this photo, legs from this photo, the faces from this photo, the dog from a different photo, you get the picture!  And I fudged to make it look like they were all holding hands- ha!
 But in the end, it came out beautifully! 
My other sister was a little easier.  She and her fiance just got engaged, so they're still pretty lovey-dovey and naturally held hands!  I did a tiny bit of editing, and it turned out great as well!
I thought it would be fun to do something different in the backgrounds, besides just a solid color.  The stripes worked out really well- fun without being too distracting.  These are done on 1" thick plywood, and are about 12" tall.  I plan to mount them on another piece of wood so that they "float" out from the wall.
I've been so busy lately- working on different Christmas presents, etc.  I'll be sure to show you more once I've finished them!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Little Art & Family Pics

I've made the time this week to do a couple spreads in Avery's journal.  I've been busy trying to play catch-up with the boys' journals, so I've neglected hers a bit lately.
 First is a spread about writing her name- she's really grown up a lot in the past couple months, and her brain seems to be putting things together so much more easily than it did before.  This includes writing her name.  I was so lucky to find the vintage image of the little girl writing to include in the piece!
And then this spread about she and me.  It's so fun getting to spend alone time with her while the boys are at school- I hope that it's strengthening our bond as being the two girls in the family.  She loves to point out that, "It's just two girls!" when we're together! 
I also wanted to show you the family photos my sister took of us.  I wanted a recent photo to include in our Christmas cards, and also to hang on the wall in our family room.  It was a tough session, trying to get a shot where we all looked decent.  And it got even harder when Avery bonked her head right at the beginning and started crying!  But we got through it and came out with some acceptable photos!
 The one above is what will be on our Christmas card.
And this is the one I ordered to hang on the wall.
Well, in case I don't make it back here before Thanksgiving, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!  I feel so blessed to have the kind of lifestyle where I can do things like make art, shop for antiques, play with dollhouses, and hang family photos. I'm so thankful for that, and I'm also thankful that I'm able to keep a blog where I can share those things with all of you!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

1906 Dollhouse Tour, Part 3

Okay, we are on to the last part of my dollhouse tour- the third floor!  To see the first two floors, see here and here.
If you look at the photos of the whole dollhouse (at the end of this post), you can see that the third floor appears to possibly have been added at a later date.  The size of rooms is slightly different than on the the other floors, and the trimwork is also a little different.  Regardless though, I'm glad to have the two extra rooms, because they are two of my favorites!
 The first is the nursery.  Above you can see it the way it came to me.  Definitely some cute things, but not quite as cute as I'd like.  And so I changed it to this:
I showed you the above picture a couple months ago.  I loved the way the nursery came out; however, it has changed once again!
 Now it looks like this!  I found this pink furniture and fell in love with it.  But it's pretty large in scale and wouldn't fit into any of my other dollhouses.  Since this room is so large, it made sense to move it in here.
 There are two beds up here for the big sisters, a crib for the toddler, and a play table as well.
 I absolutely love that dresser!
 And you know I love those decals on the crib and the rocker!
The last room in the tour is the bathroom.  The bathroom furniture is originally what attracted me to this house- it was the first I had seen of Strombecker furniture, and I fell in love!
 Here it is as it came to me- so sweet!
 As you can see, really the only change I made was to the wallpaper (in this photo, the reflection is a little strong on the paper).
 This is really wrapping paper, but it reminded me so much of the kind of wallpaper you'd see in your grandmother's home!
 Mother is busy pretty-ing up at the vanity table!
 And a cute little toilet vignette for our last shot!
 I thought I'd also show you some photos of the whole house put together. It's so large, it's a bit hard to get good perspective on the whole thing, so I tried to take several photos!
And here are the things that reside on top of the house right now!  It serves as a nice display shelf!
Well, I hope you've enjoyed the tour!   I've had such fun decorating this house- it's nice to have internet friends to share it with, since the people in my "real life" just think I'm crazy- ha ha!