Tuesday, November 28, 2017


I showed this picture last week 
of our new faux tree.

 How many of you thought
 this was the actual tree set up? 

 my daughter did,
 so I just wanted to 
set the record straight.

  This is not the real tree. 
 This is only a picture on the box
that the tree came in.
Just let me say right off 
that I am not 
being compensated 
for this post in any way. 

 I just wanted to tell you how
 special and remarkable 
this tree is. 

 It is not only 
big, and full and realistically pretty, 
it also does tricks
 and was priced
under $200.


We have not had
 a large faux tree
 for a few years.
We always had a large tree 
when the kids were growing up, 
and it was always a real one 
that we cut down ourselves,
 but the last few years
 we had a small faux one
 that sat
 on a table...


...then we had a white one
 that also sat
 on a table...


...the first year
we decided to have a real tree again
 and it was found 
on a lot...


...we thought it turned out
 pretty well 
so we thought we would 
do it again...

...I think I mentioned
 that after that
 we decided 
it was an experience 
that we did not want
 to have 

 now back to the story of 
this amazing tree 
that does tricks.

 The tree comes in three sections 
that are easily marked. 
 They click together 
with no problem 
and if you are looking for a place
 to hook the lights together 
at each section 
(like the last one we had)
 there isn't any. 
 The wires are all concealed 
in the trunk of 
each section.

When the tree is put together
 you have to fluff the needles 
at the back of each branch. 
 They are made of 
something like paper and 
are easily moved
 to fill in blank spaces.
  The tips of the branches are 
hard and not easily moved and 
really look like
 real needles.

There is no getting down
 on your hands and knees to find
 the on and off switch.  
Just a tap of your toe
 gets that job done, 
and this is where the
 amazing tricks 
come into play.

  You can tap your toe 
nine times, 
and each time the lights change.

  It goes from
 white lights to colored,
 to white lights blinking,
 to colored lights blinking,
 to white and colored lights blinking, 
slow, fast or not at all.

 You get the picture.

 did I mention 
that you get all of the above
for under $200?

You will notice 
the paper lanterns that I put together 
and I'm still waiting for
 the larger lanterns to arrive
 which will fill in 
any blank spaces you might see.

 after all the bragging I have done, 
there is only one thing 
that I don't like about this tree.

 I may be alone 
in my thinking 
and could, possibly,
 be putting my neck 
on the chopping block, if some
 die hard environmentalist
 heard me say this: 


They are too bright and
 the white ones have a yellow cast...
I have seen white ones 
with a blue cast, 
and I don't love those either, 
and I find them all 
very hard 
to photograph.

 2017 to infinity

 the Captain or I 
like any of the flashing tricks. 

 I prefer the white lights
 and he likes the colored ones.
So we have compromised:

  We leave the white lights on 
during the day
 and tap it to the 
colored ones 
at night.

Even though 
I don't love the LED lights, 
I don't not love them 
to turn them off and...

...don't tell the Captain,
 but I am really enjoying them
 at night time


We bought the tree at
 and it was on sale for
 under $200.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I have been as busy as
 the frantic squirrels, 
hiding their bounty,
 in hopes that they will be ready 
for the days ahead
 -- in their case, winter 
-- in my case, Christmas. 
 There is so much to do 
and so little time 
to do it in...

As someone who loves to decorate
 and who keeps Christmas 
as the very best time to do just that,
 I still want to keep in mind 
that Christmas is a time for
 peace and joy 
and all the incidentals
 that come along with it,
 should not take away from
 the main focus.

One good way for me 
to keep a clear head is crafting.
  Even though I don't do
 as much as I used to, 
I still find it comforting
 to be able to see a plan and
 then take it through to the end. 

 At this point in my life, 
I find that being original in my designs, 
is not as easy to come by 
as it once was 
or as important, for that matter.
If I see something
 that has been done 
and I like it,
 it is not above me to be
 a copy cat.

 Cases in point:

 posted about the paper lanterns 
she designed for her tree.

 Since I already use the lanterns 
throughout the summer months
 as the Grand Illumination,
 it seemed like a natural follow up 
to try a few for our tree.

  These are tiny,
 to be used as fill-ins.

 I am still working on larger ones.

I'm sure you have seen 
the pretty throws with pom pom trim.
This throw came from Target ($14)
 and with the help of my
 handy little pom pom maker,
 this will be a warm addition 
to the front porch rockers.  
Also a new mat from Lowe's 
to welcome the season and guests 
to this old
 Christmas Cottage.

For the 4th of July,
 I turned an old fence board 
into Old Glory.
 Now, for this time of year,
 I just used the other side 
to state
 the obvious...

...now the board 
will stay out of storage 
just a while longer!

If you really don't have
 any ability to draw,
 a good stencil 
will always be your friend.

  These are a few of
 some other signs 
I've been able to get done... 

...and here is one example 
that illustrates my point exactly!

With all that being said, 
when I have reached my comfort level
 of hand crafting...
there is always shopping...
 how I really seem
 to shine
 at that!

Thanks to some craft fairs
 and a few good stores, 
I have found 
these treasures...

Such a
 precious and delicate 
little beauty...

I love quirky little things
 and this is a great example 
to my eyes.  
It needs a little moss
 to finish it off, 
I think.

Antique Farm House 
is always a great place
 to find 
something unique...

...and Target
 has some great items,
 like this large bowl and
 festive wreath,
 for great prices.

a real evergreen tree 
is the ultimate 
Christmas enjoyment, 
those dead needles
 covering everything,
 took their toll
 after a couple of years and
 we have decided to go 
once again...

...this one from Lowe's 
can go from colored to clear lights,
 blinking or calm,
 with the tap of a toe.

  We can change it up 
whenever we feel like it.

 Right now 
I'm feeling clear and calm,
 but you just 
never know.


Have a 
wonderful and grateful