Wednesday, December 3, 2014


This is the time of the year that I LOVE wreath making! 
SOOOOOO I thought that I would share with you how I make my wreaths.  They are easy and fast!
Just a little background on this project!  In 1991 we were renting an old farmhouse!  I LOVED IT, however it had soooo many windows!  I loved that too, but since I always made our wreaths with fresh greens from the yard and leftovers from the tree I KNEW I would never be able to do that in this house!  We had this great outlet store nearby so I decided it was time to go "Faux"!  Much to my surprise this store had wreaths for $1.00 each!!!!  They weren't the most pretty but they were going to be so high up on this wonderful house that I decided to go for it:)  They looked pretty good after being fluffed out, but I still made a real one for the front door:)  A couple years later we are in Newport RI!  Now this place was a dream come true!!! There were wonderful weeds, rose hips, BITTERSWEET! AND ohhhhh the FLAT CEDAR!!!! be still my heart!  We lived on a part of the Navy base that was actually a park so I sort of thought we might not be able to cut it.  I went to the grounds keeper and asked if we could cut anything and he thought we were crazy!!! He showed us the things that needed cutting! YEP BITTERSWEET!!!  We happily helped him out:)  By the way, the WE in this was my sweet talented friend Barb.  You find her over at "TheEverydayHome  Soooo, he did say that it was against the law to cut the flat cedar, but went on to say that we could have what ever we found on the ground! Everyday I took a walk through the beautiful park and picked up whatever cedar I could find!  There was actually a good bit!  Still not enough for a big full wreath, but I could add in lots of extra things and put the cedar on the top.  I just had 4 windows so I was thinking that I needed 4 rings or straw wreaths.  I went to measure the faux wreaths and then I thought hmmm why not wire the cedar to the faux wreath and create a base with the faux wreath and the good stuff on top:) It worked!! And it was so fast!!!  AND it doesn't take half as many greens for the wreath to look nice and full!
 So here is how to do it:)

First find the cheapest faux wreath possible, they have the most wiry stuff!

This year we pulled loads of ivy from our yard so I decided to try using that!  It worked pretty good, but I think would be better for the spring!! I hope I remember that IN the spring:)  The point is that you can use anything you can find! Cover most of the base with your choice by getting together little bundles and wire them into the wreath using the wires of the wreath.  Leave a few spaces to fill in with the good stuff:)
When it is covered the way you want, begin to add the rest. Until you are happy with it!
I had some boxwood, cedar and nandina berries.  I sprayed the berries with Mop and Glo!  So far they have held up.  Usually they fall off every time the door is opened:)  I learned about the Mop and Glo while decorating at James Madison's home Montpelier.  The garden club there had loads of greens from the property and sprayed them all with Mop and Glo!!!!  They said it HAD to be Mop and Glo, it seemed to be the only one that worked! Sooooo I have used it off and on ever since!  I used it on this wreath because of the delicate ivy leaves and berries.
Put the undiluted wax into a spray bottle.  You can spray before you put the wreath together, but be sure to let the greens dry thoroughly.  I didn't want to wait for drying period, so I finished the wreath then sprayed.  
Here they are drying.  You will see a white milky coating on your greens at first but it will dry clear. It also gives a little gloss to the greens.
Soooooo  Out with the old:
And in with the new:)
It turned out pretty good, I will still add some fruit and maybe some of the frasher fir left from the tree!
It was a beautiful warm day to just get to sit outside and make a wreath!! YAAAY!

Now, get out there and look for some weeds and stuff for your wreath:) 
Have fun!!

Monday, November 24, 2014


 Its been a while my friends! We have had a crazy summer! 
After returning from Japan in May I came home to a new kitchen!! I knew this was being done while I was away and kept up with things via facetime.  It was finished by July, with a few touchups to be done.  July 4th our son from CA came home for a family reunion. He started to feel a little bad by the 8th when he was visiting friends in DC, he came home on the 9th and we were to go to NC on the 10th! Instead of going to NC we ended up in the ER at our local hospital and he was diagnosed with Leukemia!!!  We were so shocked!!! ANYWAY, long story short he was taken by helicopter to VCU Hospital in Richmond and is still home.  He is doing great and has 1more Chemo treatment. Sooooo here I am very late with my lil blog:)
 I have been having camera problems, so I decided to share my stitching room since I already have pictures of it.
 This is a tiny room that was once my husband's office.  Even though it is small,  I have managed to get quite a lot of my favorite things in here! I was planning to change the wall color, however, I just didn't get around to it! I like the color so its ok.  I really need to get to making a window rag to go over those blinds!
 This is a twin bed, which isn't great now that our family has grown so much! We need a larger one in here, but I am reluctant to give up the space:)

I really love this little fireplace mantle. It  is a great addition to my little room:)

Of course, I need a small TV so that I can watch all of the Hallmark movies while I stitch away:)

This is my sweet little rocker that was on the screened porch! I love having it in my little room!
I suppose eventually I will have to give up this twin for a queen size, but I am putting it off as long as possible:)  I have been known to take a little rest and watch an old movie in here:)

I have been working on some punch needle projects, its so fun.  I will share those later!
I hope you are all safe a warm and NOT buried in snow!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014


Hello all, I thought that I would share some of my time here in Japan with you!  
These are beautiful cherry trees that line most of the streets! This is near our daughter in law's townhouse.  The side walks are wide and so clean you could eat off of them! That goes for the streets too!!  AMAZINGLY CLEAN!
I would have to say that I am enjoying the food a lot!!!
The sushi is wonderful and is delivered, not by a waitress!!! BUT via conveyer belt:)  Yep it goes around the cafe and you can either just take what you like, or you may order using an ipad type device. Either way it is delivered on a little train that looks like a dragon that comes  around on the conveyer belt and stops at your table!!
Then there is Korean Bar B Que!!! De-lish!!!
This is raw meat that comes thinly sliced.  It is cooked by you right at the table on this lil grill! At first I was  thinking that I was gonna be hungry, BUT it was surprising how full I was!  Then there was the wonderful rice and sauces to dip into right at the table along with a hot water tap and some powdered green tea, that I think is called Matka!!! Real fun and filling!!!:)
We also went out for ramen noodles! This was sooooo good, great comfort food:)  This is ordered from a vending type machine.
This is where we ordered and paid, then it was delivered to the table. Soooo efficient:)
This past weekend we went to Kamakura, this is pretty much a touristy place because of the "Great Buddha" !! When our daughter in law mention visiting I was thinking uhhhh ok:) I LOVED HIM!
We were able to attend a short tea ceremony, which I was soooo excited about! 
Here we are being served our tea, after being served a little small sweet cookie shaped like a little bird.

Just outside the park are several snack stores.  These are sweet potato and green tea ice cream! Sounds strange, but sooooo good!!!!
 We walked to a Hawaiian restaurant, near the beach, for good ole "American Hamburgers"!! 
It was pretty cold and cloudy but no worries, there are vending machines all over that have this wonderful warm drink:
Royal Milk Tea!!! soooooo good!! not tooo sweet but delish!!  

Then back on the quiet, spotless comfortable train and onto a bus, then we are back home!
A wonderful Easter Sunday!

So far there are mostly modern buildings, haven't seen any antique stores (thank goodness :))!
I hope you have enjoyed my little tour!
Have a Happy Spring!!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


We finally got through all of the construction!  I have to say that I do like it, I have to call it an "Un-Tavern" room, since it is soooo different.  The new sofa is nice, but I still like the old one better.  That one was a little taller and easier to just sit on.  This one is comfortable to snuggle on and watch a movie,  unfortunately I don't do that too often. I am in the process of making pillows so that maybe I can place one behind my back and be more comfortable.  The room ended up being crowded, but cozy.
 Here are some pictures:

I think that this is my favorite arrangement.
We enjoyed eating here by the fire.

Here is the After:

We removed the huge entertainment cabinet.  I think it looks a lot less cluttered.  The TV is not so obvious when it is pushed back into its cubby!! :)

Sooooo here is the final results!  NOW we have to work on the kitchen!!!

It is said that when you own an old  home that there is constant work.  I am wondering what you call it when you own a house in a suburban neighborhood and there is still constant work???  At least with an old home it is a labor of love and not "we have to do this before the cabinets fall off"  LOL On the other hand, we could never replace our neighbors!  They are so fun!
 This IS home sweet home:)
 I suppose change is a good thing!!