My Christmas Mantle!


I think I am still digesting my Thanksgiving Dinner and recovering from my Black Friday shopping trip.  I vow no more Black Fridays for this gal, just too stressful.  I will stay home and shop online and wait until the crowds die down a bit.   The Christmas Decorating has begun and I usually start outside and then onto the mantle.  I needed an inspirational pic and I found it with the December issue of Midwest Living!  Now my Mantle isn't a copy but it's an inspirational pic, to get me in the mood!   But first, I will share with you my Autumn mantle as kind of the before:  I've had it up since the first part of September and I was itching for a change!

Christmas Mantle 2009 @
Applestone Cottage

I wanted to use lot's of splashes of red, similar to the Midwest Living Cover.

I wrapped my pine cone wreath which was a gift from my daughter a couple of Christmas's ago in red velvet ribbon with the white trim.  The little boy angel was a recent find, only 4.95 marked down from $30.00.  It's heavy too and I love the old fashioned look!~

I took my lantern that I had purchased on clearance from Wally World and cleaned it up, added a white candle, some ribbon and I have a whole new look!  The lantern had been marked down to $8 and we used it all summer outside on our patio.

The clock was a Christmas gift from my brother Tim many years ago and I always think it deserve's a place on our mantle.  He built this beautiful clock and little Christmas mouse always finds a home above. 

Santa finds a spot in front our fireplace screen.  He was an after Christmas purchase last year and quite cheap.  Home Goods I believe.  I love our screen, I found it on E-Bay and I think it was about $50.00 which I thought was quite reasonable.  It's very heavy, made of cast iron. 

The Mercury Glass candle holder was a recent purchase from TJ Maxx.  I think it was about $6.00 and has a soft bronze glow to it.  I  used extra ribbon as a trim for the candle.

My wire cloche was set on a plate I had decoupaged in red and white check.   I filled it with one of my vintage ornaments (homemade), a santa and berries, green's and pinecones.

I used my pinecone wreath from my Autumn Mantle as trim around this basket.

A closer view of this little angel.

I found this little swag of mittens and stockings at last year's after Christmas sales.

Another View.

A Mosaic for my Mantle, oh yah!

And a little farewell from the cutest baby of all!  Ok, I know I'm prejudice but isn't my niece Chloe pictured with my niece Noel and nephew Ben about the cutest thing!  We all fought over her at Thanksgiving!  The poor baby, she was passed around more than the turkey and pumpkin pies!

I am joining the following blog parties:
Met. Monday @  Between Naps on the Porch
 Mosaic Monday @  Little Red House
Deck the Halls on Tuesday @Thoughts from over the Rainbow
How are you all coming with the Christmas decorating!  It's a job isn't it!  Now on to the tree!!  Cindy


Mosaic Monday/ Met. Monday and a Winner!


I am joining Mary @ Little Red House for my first ever Mosaic Monday and Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Met. Monday.     But first, I want to thank all of you who left such awesome notes about the column my Mom wrote.  You are all the best and I am so thankful I found blogging and all of you.  If you haven't read it and  would still like to just scroll down to the next post. An update on my Mom:  Her last mammogram was clean and clear and she has since met a very nice man and she is head over heels in love. Yes, at 73 you can fall in love!   She still has some hard day's when she misses my Dad so very much but she is living again and it's a wonderful thing!  I also what to thank everyone who entered my pass it along give-away.   And the winner is,...... Laurie @  Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie.  Laurie has a fabulous blog and I am sure most of you know about it by now.  Laurie is one of the first gals I found when I started to blog and she was so kind and so welcoming too!  Last summer, I thought I might make it to Arkansas to meet her.  Hubby and I were on our road trip and we just ran out of time.  It's like our eyes were bigger than our stomaches.  We thought we could fit the whole Southern half of the United States in our week long trip.
     Last week for Met. Monday I showed you my old shelf and how a coat of red paint and  inexpensive tile could bring it back to life!  You all left some great comments and suggestions for my empty wall.  Yesterday, hubby hung it for me and it just screamed for some Christmas decor.  Normally, I wouldn't decorate a guest room for Christmas but I think this room is just made for it.

 The before:  Old and Dated.

The new after, gussied up for the holidays!

This room is very hard to photograph, but as you can see I now have a start to filling up that blank wall.

My Guest Room Mosaiic.  Remember, I'm a beginner at this Mosaiic stuff.

I'm also finding so much inspiration in Bloggy Land, isn't it great!  I see projects and I want to do them.

 I found this cool fabric at Wal-Mart of all places and I bought a yard for $5.  Don't you think it would make a lovely table runner?  So stay tuned and Happy Thanksgiving to all !    Cindy


Outdoor Wednesday or Where's our Snow?


We have been unseasonably warm for Wisconsin this time of year.  Today it got up to 51 degrees!  Now I know, some of you are thinking hey that's cold.  But our average high temp for this time of year is only about 38 degrees.   While  I am enjoying  this warmer weather, today I actually started wishing for snow!   I had started stringing lights and decorating our front porch for Christmas and this may have been why.    Now, bite my tongue!  Come March, I'll be eating these words as we get slammed with snow over and over again!  The pic above is of  my daughter and step-son taken about 10 years ago.  Look how happily they are shoveling our driveway.  Boy, have times changed!

Every year Dan and I try to make it to a display of Rotary lights in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  These pics were taken last year before I started blogging and right around December 1st.  As you can see, we already had a lot of snow on the ground.   This is just a phenomenal display of  over 2.5 million lights!

 Riverside Park is located right next to the Mississippi and with all the snow last year it was a true Winter Wonderland!

They have live nativities, carolers, and even a steamboat lit up with lights! There are Christmas songs playing, hot cocoa for sale and even a warm igloo to thaw out your toes while you listen to local high school choirs!    Now that I'm a blogger I will be sure to take lots of pics this year and hopefully you will see some of that white stuff too!   So how's the weather in your neck of the woods?  Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?  Please Join our hostess Susan @  A Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday Posts!   Cindy


Met. Monday/ And a Pass it Along Give-away!


Hi all my lovely blogger friends!  I am joining Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Met. Monday.  Last week I showed you my guest room and the progress we have made. 

Off to the right is a big empty wall that has been giving me fits!  It's hard to see here but it is as blank as can be and I am looking for ideas to fill it.  The ideas need to be frugal too with Christmas just around the corner.   I would like bead board but that will probably have to wait until next summer.  In the meantime, I decided to paint an old shelf I had and use that as a starting point.
The before: an old pine shelf very popular in the 90's. 

A couple coats of red spray paint and it's looking better already.  I would like to fill it with white ironstone for a pretty contrast.  The other thing I wanted to change was the big heart. So last night when hubby and I were shopping at Home Depot we came up with an idea.  Why not buy a decorative tile to cover the heart and add some architectual interest. 

We found this, it's a pretty big tile, about 5 inches across and has a  neat scrolly design.  I think the cost was about $2. 

We are using Goop glue and letting it dry overnight  .  Instant, presto, brand new shelf with an updated look!  Next week I'll show you how it looks mounted on the wall.   Now on to my give-away!

A few weeks ago, I won these darling apple placemats from Dawn @ Cottage State of Mind.  This was a pass it along give-away meaning that I would have a give-away in the future to pass along some cheer.  Well, with the spirit of Christmas upon us I thought this would be a great time!   The rules are that you are a follower or become one and that sometime in the future you will have a pass it along give-away too!
The winner will receive...

This cute little Christmas angel.

A gingerbread oven mitt perfect for keeping your little fingers from getting burned.

And this victorian looking Christmas ornament handmade by me!   They would look cute on a tree or hanging from a peg as I have shown here.

Here's another one I made.  Just leave me a comment and  I will announce the winner next Sunday !  Have a great week everyone and if you have any frugal decorating ideas for my blank wall please let me know.   Cindy


Harvest Table/TT Thursday


Welcome to Tablescape Thursday with our hostess Susan @  Between Naps on the Porch.  Join her and the rest of the participants for tables galore! I am also joining Leigh for Thrifty Thursday please check our her beautiful blog.     A couple things I learned this past week.  Don't try to wash your braided rugs in the washing machine, don't  argue with a sick teenager- it's like  tangling with a skunk and don't try to finish your tablescape on the day you  spend time in the emergency room with previously  mentioned sick teenager and then open a case with a new family, (I am an outreach worker and I work with families who children have been removed from the home and it can be very emotionally draining) enough said.  So without any   further excuses I give you my Harvest Table.

Tom Turkey is centerstage!  He was purchased at T.J. Maxx and I loved him because of his creamy white color.  My plates are Royal Stafford ( Hay Ride) also from T.J. Maxx.   I found these last winter for only $3 a plate and I have not been able to find the bowls yet but I will keep a lookin.   I made the napkins and runner last week-end and what I was so happy about was that the runner has a very similar print as the plates.

I  used red placemats from the dollar tree for a dash of color, and  the tablecloth is white battenberg lace from  K-Mart marked down to $5.  YOOHOO!  It had been $27 but for $5 it was mine.  The napkin ring holders were also a thrift store find and they are so cute!  There's a chicken, pig, rabbit and duck!


A closer look at the edge.  I love that lacy look!

The little dessert plates are a lenox pattern and they were brand new and only $1.99 for all four. I love the lacey delicate look.

A closer look of my centerpiece!  Red chunky candles, Mr. Turkey on a silver platter (also a thrift store find) and some Autumn decor to round it out.

Another view.  Thanks for coming by and I am starting to really get excited about the upcoming holidays~!  But then I kind of get that anxious feeling about all the things that need to get done.  Happy Thursday,   Cindy


Met. Monday/Fluffing the Guest Room and a itty bit of sewing!


Did you all have a nice week-end?  We had two glorious days of unseasonably warm weather.  Saturday reached 70 degrees and Sunday was in the mid-sixties.  Quite nice for November in Wisconsin.  I spent the week-end fluffing the guest room and doing a few crafty/sewing projects.  The pic above is my attempt to create a viginette.  The  little antique chest  is one I've had forever and wanted to use in the guest room.   See my new wire cloche?  I'm  doing a little practicing for Marty's upcoming cloche party. The lemonade sign was in a local thrift shop for $7.00.

I found these cute little wall placques for only $5 at a fabric store.   I think they add a frenchy touch!

The wall placques sit above this little wicker chair.  It was a $10 garage sale find.  I made a pillow and added a clearance cushion I found from Bed. Bath and Beyond.

I didn't care for the way the window treatment looked  in the guest room so I took this old shelf, painted it an off white and...

mounted it above the window.  A decoupage plate and two for one dollar figurine's from the Dollar Tree complete the look!  The plate is attached to a plate hanger so it won't fall .

I used some red balled fringe I had left over from a sewing project to tie back the curtain panels.  I like them open much better and next I need to find something to replace the ugly blinds.

A little black table purchased at IKEA for only $20.00 and the lamp also from IKEA but  purchased several years ago.  The little boy and girl in the pic are your's truly and my brother Tom.  Our guest room is still a work in progress but I think it's coming along.

And finally my itty bitty sewing project.  I made this table runner and napkins to use for an upcoming Tablescape Thursday.   Easy Peasey and only  $5 for the material. 
 I am joining Met. Monday please visit our hostess Susan for some wonderful transformations.  Thanks for stopping by, I so appreciate all your lovely comments and I will be visiting you just as fast as I can.   Cindy