Monday, December 31, 2007

Lucky Again

In all the rush leading up to Christmas, I almost forgot to show you these. I won another drawing recently, this one from Abbie, of Whimsy of a Staggering Artist. Two beautiful icicle tree ornaments, made from vintage buttons -- aren't they great?

They arrived beautifully wrapped in a piece of old sheet music, tied with a festive red ribbon and adorned with a glittering snowflake and a darling gift tag. So pretty!

If you don't know Abbie, please take a minute to visit her beautiful blog -- you'll be so glad you did. And dear Abbie, thank you so much; I love my new icicles!

BTW, does anyone else have that wonderful upper respiratory virus that's going around? My daughter got it on Christmas Eve, and now I've got it. It's one of those post nasal drippy things -- my nose is perfectly clear, but it feels like there's a wad of phlegm the size of a golf ball in my throat. MITIN? Sorry.
Here's me going to bed at night: Long underwear top, fleece pj's and hiking socks because I'm always cold, eye-cover mask thingy because the tiniest bit of light wakes me up and I can't get back to sleep, and a big box of tissues next to the bed. Every ten minutes, throw off the covers (hot flash!) sit up, grab a tissue, hoick-ptooie. My husband is a saint.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

And the Winner Is...

OK, here's the thing. I was going to pick a winner the old-fashioned way -- put the names in a hat (actually, a transferware bowl) and draw the winner. I figured I would print out the comments, cut them up and yada, yada, yada....


Well, I guess I'm lazy, but there were 24 pages of comments (I now need more ink for the printer) and after cutting up the first three pages, it sort of got old.

So I found a free, online random number generator (thanks for the tip, Abbie!) and got a winner with a few mouse clicks.

I'm blown away by the great response to my 100th post giveaway -- over 100 entries! Thank you all for your comments. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading them, and meeting some of you for the first time! Please continue to visit!

So, without further ado, the winner is...

Number 41.

And the forty-first comment came from...

Cathy, of Partly Paper. Congratulations, Cathy! If you will email me with your address, I'll send it right out to you.
Again, many thanks to all who visited and left a comment. I had a blast reading them all, and I'll definitely do this again soon!

I'm Working On It!

We're all being lazy at the Little Red House this week, staying up late watching movies (Bourne, last night) and sleeping in. So I haven't printed out all the comments, cut them into pieces, put them in a bowl and drawn a winner.

But I'm working on it.

Back later today with the winner.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Tole Tray

Just wanted to show you the tole Christmas tray I got at the thrift store on the Friday before Christmas. It's probably not the fabulously beautiful and wonderful bargain you all were expecting after my somewhat impassioned ode to my thrift store yesterday, but who could pass this up at 75% off? Besides, I think it's kind of cute and funky. They had it priced at $90. (yikes!) but with the discount, it was $23. -- still way more than I normally spend at the thrift store, but something about it just called out to me.

Just a little Christmas present for me, from me.

I had actually picked it up and put it back down when I was in the store, but I later called to tell my dear friend, Robin, about the sale, and thought better of it. She was kind enough to pick it up for me when she went to shop.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. After a few days off, I'm slowly starting to get back to blogging. I got a new camera for Christmas, so as soon as I get the hang of using it, I will hopefully have some great new pictures for you. I feel strangely bereft of subjects without Christmas to blog about, but I'm sure inspiration will strike at some point...
And don't forget -- if you haven't already done so, please take a moment to leave a comment on my December 22nd post, to enter the giveaway. I will draw a winning name tomorrow morning. I'm starting to get excited to see who the winner will be!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Love My Thrift Store

I have a bit of a confession to make -- three days before Christmas, when I had a hundred things to do, I was visiting the thrift store.

At this time of year, I always feel slightly guilty about buying anything for myself. Christmas is about giving, after all. But when you get an email announcing a huge sale at your favorite thrift store, what's a girl to do?

Now, this is a terrific thrift store -- it's in a very well-to-do neighborhood, full of "old money" families. And the thrift store benefits a school for special needs children, so I don't feel too bad about spending a lot of money there. And thrifting is part of the new push to go green, right? So really, if you think about it, I'm giving to charity and saving the earth!

And, of course, getting some really nice stuff dirt cheap. :)

So anyway, the sale was 50% off all items, and 75% off all Christmas items. Who could pass up something like that? Even if it was three days before Christmas!

The lamp in the picture at the top of the post was originally $20. I got it for $10. Here is a closeup, above. I'm a sucker for anything with flowers on it, so I just love this. I do need to rewire it, though, and get a shade for it.

This plate was originally $12.; got it for $6. Pressed glass candy dish -- $2.50. The tiny pitcher below -- 25 cents.

I love my thrift store.

Tomorrow I'll show you the tole tray I also bought. If you haven't already done so, don't forget to leave a comment on my giveaway post -- Saturday, December 22nd. The drawing will be held this coming Saturday, December 29th.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Wishes

And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people; for there has been born to you today in the town of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest,

and peace on earth among men of good will."

I will be taking a few days off to be with my family at this special time of year. Wishing you all a blessed, joyous Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

100th Post Giveaway!

How is it possible that I've reached my 100th post already? And where will I ever find my next 100?! Anyway, I'm so glad to have met you all -- I love reading all your comments, and visiting your blogs and sharing your lives!

So here's the deal: Leave a comment on this post, and we'll have a little drawing. I realize this is a crazy time of year, so I think maybe I won't draw a name till December 29th. That'll give you a few days to stop by and leave a comment on this post.

The prize is pictured above: a small red transferware Christmas plate, and some red berries in a silver cup.

Good luck, and have a wonderful Christmas!
Please note: If you are leaving a comment anonymously and wish to be included in the drawing, please be sure to leave your first name and last initial so I may include you. Thanks!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Still Life

Here are a few closeups of the end tables in the library. I tend to change them every month or so, and here they are wearing their Christmas finery.

Red and gold Christmas balls in a cut glass bowl, paired with some faux flowers and a tiny Santa snow globe.

A tiny pinecone nestles in a butter pat dish. The flowers here remind me of spring yet to come.

A clove studded -orange, and some bright red berries grace a footed candy dish. Antique tea tins in red and green carry on the Christmas colors.

A green Limoges cachepot and a tiny Lennox Santa keep watch over the candy canes.

I wish I could paint these pictures as still lifes. As it is, I will use them to remind myself to savor the little things this Christmas season!


Don't forget -- Saturday, December 22nd is my big 100th post giveaway! Please take a few minutes out of your busy day to leave a comment and enter. The drawing will be held on December 29th, so you have a week to leave a comment on this post.

If I don't see you before the holiday, have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Many Thanks, and I've Been Tagged!

I feel so very fortunate to have become a part of such a friendly and supportive blogging community. Before I discovered blogging, I posted photos of my house on HGTV's Rate My Space. While there are many wonderful people posting and leaving comments there, there are also some rather nasty ones. Let me tell you, some of those people take the rating system WAY too seriously! And their comments could make Simon Cowell sound like Mr. Rodgers.

I found decorating blogs through Cindy, at My Romanic Home, who left a link to her site on her RMS pages. I was enchanted by her beautiful home and loved her friendly writing. I soon found others through her blogroll, including Kathy of Kathy's Cottage and Kim, at Daisy Cottage. I read their posts daily, left a few comments and, after several months, got up the nerve to start my own blog. And thus, stepped into many beautiful homes and met so many inspiring and wonderful people.

And now, Kathy has given me this wonderful award. Thank you so much, Kathy! Kathy was one of my very first inspirations, and I still enjoy visiting her every day. I would like to pass it on to Sue, at Rabbit Run Cottage, who was so kind to me when I first began blogging, and who never fails to leave such sweet comments that always brighten my day.

Thank you all, dear bloggers, many times over. You all brighten my life each and every day.


And I've been tagged by Rose, of Classic Charm, to play Christmas Hoopla -- here goes:

  1. I refuse to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

  2. It ususally takes me about two weeks to get the Christmas decorating done. Until it is done, my house is a total disaster area, with boxes and tissue paper all over!

  3. Growing up, I loved the old Christmas movies from the forties: Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, It's A Wonderful Life.

  4. I love to sing Christmas carols while I'm driving in the car (alone!).

  5. I hate writing Christmas cards.

  6. I love eggnog.

  7. Have you ever noticed that eggnog is a really weird word? Just stare at it for a few minutes -- you'll see what I mean.

  8. One year when we were first married, and living with my mom, we opened our presents right after midnight mass. It seemed so magical, in the dark with the tree lights twinkling. Then we had kids, and opened them at 5am -- still in the dark, but somehow not so magical.

  9. I always make sure that each of my kids has the same number of presents under the tree. This usually entails some frantic, last-minute shopping. You'd think I'd learn, and start earlier, but no.

  10. I love watching my kids open their presents, even now when they are 20 and 16. It's the best part of Christmas.

  11. I'm always dreaming of a white Christmas.

  12. I don't like the actual task of taking down the Christmas decorations, but I love how airy and open the house feels when they're gone. Does that sound weird?

RULES: 1. List 12 random things about yourself that has to do with Christmas.2. Please refer to it as hoopla and not the dreaded m-word.3 According the the creator, Andrea, you must specifically tag your people. There's none of this saying, "if you're reading this consider yourself tagged.4. Hurry, Christmas is coming and Andrea would like as many people to get involved in this as possible so it can make the rounds and we can read 12 things about everyone and Christmas. I tag the following friends to join in the Christmas Hoopla!

Stephanie, of The Hearts of Hartman

Debbie, of The Shady Spot

Judy, of Gracious Southern Living


Remember, be sure to drop by and leave a comment on Saturday, December 22nd. I'll be celebrating my 100th post, and giving away a few goodies!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"All That Glitters..."

"All that glitters is not gold." Who said that? I can't remember, but the phrase popped into my head as I took some pictures of Christmas decorations in the dining room at our Little Red House. It seems that I have a thing for glittery fruit this year. It's kind of funny, really, because I'm definitely not a glitter -type girl. But the sales bins at Michael's had lots of faux sugared fruit this year and, well, one thing led to another.

So here are some quick pictures: Swags of glitter fruit laid sideways atop the hutch. They flank a tarnished silverplated platter -- a thrift store find, and echo the colors of the Clarice Cliffe transferware, also from the thrift store.

Small golden grapes and larger glittery apples and pears deck the dining room tree, along with yards of green and gold ribbon.

A large cut-glass compote holds a bounty of sparkling fruit in all colors.

Golden glittered grapes pick up the dull sheen of a piece of woven tapestry. This belonged to my aunt, and I was never quite sure how to use it, till I thought of draping it here. I think this is actually the wrong side -- it's one of those fabrics that are woven completely through -- but I like this color much better than the other side. And I guess if you're going to go for glitter, you might as well go all out!

May your holidays be filled with sparkle!


Don't forget to leave a comment on Saturday, December 22nd. It will be my 100th post, and we're having a Little Red House giveaway!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look What I Won!

Look at this great bag that I won from Annie over at Firefly Hill -- isn't it beautiful? If you haven't been to visit Annie yet, please do go on over. She makes bags and key chains and belts from the most beautiful fabrics you've ever seen!

She also sent me this cute little sachet. It's lavender, which is my absolute favorite scent! And she enclosed a lovely card, with a picture of her son, Grayson, and his donkey on the front. So cute!

Thank you so much, Annie!


Hey bloggers, we're getting close to my 100th post! On Saturday, December 22nd, I'll be having a little giveaway to celebrate. Please take a minute from your busy day to stop by then and leave a comment. We'll put them all in a bowl (transferware, of course!) and draw a name. Winner to be announced on Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fire and Ice

We had an ice storm last Thursday, and what do you do when you are stuck in the house all day? Make a fire in the fireplace, of course. The next morning, the world outside was all sparkle. Hence, fire and ice.

Oddly enough, although we had the ice storm on Thursday, we did not lose power.  We did lose power this morning, though, so I apologize for this late post.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 14, 2007

And Now, The Decision You've All Been Waiting For...

Remember last week when I asked you all the burning question: "Silver or Gold"? Actually, I'm sure you've all forgotten that by now, and not just because you've had a "senior moment" either! LOL But some of you did want to know what I'd decided, so...

Just wanted to let you know -- gold for Christmas eve, silver for Christmas day. Yes, we'll be doing both here at Little Red House. Antipasto and baked ziti for Christmas eve (sorry, Julie, none of that seven fishes crap -- blech!) and roast beef for Christmas day. And even though there is a moratorium here on desserts (I WILL lose weight, I WILL lose weight...), I'll probably break down and make some chocolate chip cookies for my son when he comes home. He may be 20, and much taller than me, but he's still my baby...

So here they are, in practice form. I'm sure I'll have to play around with them a little more because, after all, they've got to look nice for the season, right? Oh, who am I kidding -- I just love playing with dishes! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Party On, Wayne..."

Did you all enjoy Karla's Holiday House Party yesterday? I know that I did, and I'm still partying! I'm sure you, too, are still going back to follow links to all the wonderful holiday houses. So I'm just going to leave you with a few odds and ends here today...
(If you haven't joined the fun yet, just scroll down to yesterday's post and take a quick peek at Christmas, Little Red House style. Then be sure to follow the link to Karla's where you will find oodles of lovely homes to visit. A great big "Thank you" goes out to Karla for being such a wonderful hostess. I'm sure it was a lot of work, and we are all so grateful!)

I found the little vintage Santa mug at the thrift store yesterday. Isn't he cute? Right now, he's adding some Christmas cheer to our kitchen. I already have one from my childhood, so I feel a collection coming on! :)

This is some greenery above the kitchen range, with red berries, of course. You all know how I love red berries!

Here are two little handmade ornaments that I also picked up at the thrift store. Not sure where they'll go yet, but I'm enjoying just looking at them. Too cute.

Here is some more greenery, with a Santa boot made for me by my dear Aunt Ruth. It sits in the corner of the kitchen right next to the sink, so I can enjoy it daily.

And, last but not least, here is another Santa to add to the horde. (or should that be hoard?) I love the red cardinal on his coat!
Well, that's it for today. It's just started sleeting here -- we're in for some nastiness. I've got to go make some soup; Katie's school has an early dismissal today and I'm sure Dan will be coming home from work soon to avoid the weather.
Have a wonderful day, dear bloggers!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Holiday Party!

Please come and join the fun at Little Red House today. Karla, at Karla's Cottage, is hosting a party -- and it's all about holiday decorations. So come on in, don't worry about taking off your shoes (because this house is definitely NOT a showplace!) and see "What I Love About My Holiday Home."

Because everything in this house is old, and a little beat up, I tend to like my decorations best when the rooms are dark. Candlelight or, even better, firelight, makes this old house glow.

We have our main tree in the library, next to the fireplace. It's lit, but not decorated yet. We'll do that when my son comes home from college later this week. Holiday decorating is very much a family tradition in our house.

We have a smaller tree in the dining room. This is a first for us this year. There's a story behind that, and I'll tell you about it sometime soon.

The dishes in the corner hutch get changed out several times a year. This Christmas, a green, cream and gold theme holds court.

I love using things that remind me of friends and family. The green tole tray was a gift from Cindy, at My Romantic Home, and the cranberry glass wedding compote was one of my mother's cherished treasures.

I love decorating with red transferware for the holidays. Actually, I love transferware all year long, but the red is expecially cheerful at Christmas.

I love that this house is tailor-made for Christmas -- reds and golds are at home here all year round, but they really shine at Christmas.

Decorating with red berries is a constant for me. The pressed glass wine goblets which hold candles here belonged to my parents, and the clock was my grandfather's.

The mantle in the library is home to red transferware plates, votive candles in vintage pressed glass, and rusted iron urns filled with glittering red fruit and flowers.

I love that this is my family house. I grew up here, and my kids have lived here all their lives, too. It is a house that brims with memories in the holiday season. It is filled with things that remind me of my parents, and of my childhood. It is home.