Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Wreath

Christmas at Glenwood has a decidedly Grinch feel this year. I'll get into the whole explanation in another post but basically all you need to know is, we are seriously half-assing it this year.

However, there are some things that can't be skipped and the annual wreath-making at my Mom's house is definitely one of those things. Here are a few pictures of the wreath that I made this year.

I knew I wanted to have Princess Pine in my wreath this year, so I cut some. Apparently, that is frown upon. I suppose I will know better for next year. But once I arrived with my greens, I wasn't really sure where to start or what to do. So I just started throwing stuff on the wreath form. Eventually, I ended up with a fairly bushy wreath of greens (though not quite as bushy and wild as last year). I was stumped.

What color bow?

What "add-ons"?

Where is my beer?

But eventually with a few suggestions and a lot of messing around, I decided to keep things fairly simple and natural by adding the different types of pine cones. For that special winter glitz I tossed in the silver berries and jingle bells.

I know I say this every year, but I think this is the best wreath I've ever made.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 7th

Do you know what tomorrow is? You know, aside from December 7th and Pearl harbor Remembrance Day? It's my kissiversary. Tomorrow will mark the date of my first kiss with the Mister, ELEVEN years ago. It's also the date I would have gotten married to him if the whole Labor Day thing wasn't going to work (see #10 on the list of Things That Go Wrong).

So I thought it would be fun to give you an idea of what that winter wedding might have looked like. First things first, it would still be very casual in feel. Winter doesn't always mean formal, sometimes it means exceedingly cozy, near cabin-like. So naturally, I would have found a barn or cabin or something like that for the location.

I don't know of any around here off the top of my head, but you guys know how relentless I am. The decorations would reflect that cozy winter vibe as well.

But, I'd also like to get some plaid in there somehow. A sweet grey-ish plaid napkin would look great tied in a green velvet ribbon.

Of course the invitations would reflect that cozy, natural winter vibe as well.

Given the time of year, wooden ornaments would make great favors!

As for attire...

Either of those options would be truly beautiful, though the first probably does a better job of being casual and would match this more rustic bouquet.

Here is where I get a little unique... winter weddings always see bridesmaids in long satin dresses. Useless, absolutely useless. Whereas a cute little cashmere dress can be worn again (at least in theory).

And while we are being unique, we should probably have a Hot Chocolate Toddy Bar.

But, let's face it. The coolest thing about my wedding plans were that they incorporated other activities that lasted an entire weekend. Did someone say wedding sledding?

Or perhaps rehearsal dinner skiing?

My main point is, it would have been fun and beautiful. And perhaps we could have avoided the whole "Irene" thing...

Probably would have been a Nor'easter instead.

Happy Kissiversary Dan.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Remember the Rug?

Remember a while back when I excited announced that I had bought a rug? Remember when I said I would post before and after pictures?

Yes, that was a while ago, wasn't it?

Well, here is how things looked before the pillows that inspired the rug purchase:

And now...

See how the rug and pillows match the couch and the walls and those two chairs over there? It's like magic.

Why yes, that is a new coffee table. More details later!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Log Love

Do you remember when I told you about that thing I do, when I discover something I have been missing out on for a while? How I tend to go overboard, a la my maple flavored everything?

Well, this is that... house style. I'm suddenly obsessed with log cabins.

A few weeks ago, the Mr. and I were looking at a house that didn't quite fit our parameters and our real estate agent asked, "how do you feel about log cabins?" Both us admitted we had never really given it much thought before, so she agreed to send me the link for the cabin she had in mind. 

I checked it out and decided that I am totally in love with log cabins... they are awesome. 
Here is why they really fit the bill:

1. They generally tend to be in the middle of no-where, far back off the road.
2. They have a warm rustic look and feel that says, "I am not just 4 walls"
3. (still related to #2) There is nothing cookie-cutter about them
4. (also kinda related to #2) They "feel" like something. To me, a farmhouse feels like spring - a log cabin feels like a cozy winter by the fireside.
5. The cabin shown above is a. the right price, b. has a ton of land and c. has some non-log walls inside.

So here are some additional photos of the cabin above that I have started to obsess over.

So... yeah, it's pretty outdated. BUT if you didn't know... that's exactly the kind of thing Dan was hoping for. Also, yes, I can totally see that it is a TON of wood in that master. And it is totally possible that I would get real sick of all the wood. 

Pinterest to the rescue:

While I think part of the charm of a log cabin is the actual logs, I do think it could be overwhelming, and white washing a few walls or painting an accent wall could really lighten things up, don't you think?

And, as you may have noticed, there aren't any wood floors. So there is the option to put in very pale wood floors or lighter carpets to keep things from being too dark.

Don't like that cabin? Here's another one to consider:

We expect to check out both options next week, so stayed tuned!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pottery Painting

I've gotten some angry comments lately about my lack of blog posts.

It's been a wild ride the last few weeks, but I did manage to squeeze in a crafty day with my mother-in-law Diana. We painted our own pottery. Check this out.

And.... the finished product all glazed up. It's amazing how the colors were changed by the heat and the glaze while cooking in the kiln.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mandy's Misadventures in Stripping

Did the title get your attention? It was meant to... but I think we all know the kind of stripping I'm talking about.

So about 2 weeks ago, I took my Grandmother's table in an effort to refinish it for her. The table was a bit odd because it always felt a little sticky. My thought was that it had a varnish rather than a stain on it. It seems I was right. Luckily, it being varnished helped while I was stripping it. In my experience, varnish strips much more readily than stain does.

one side stripped, pre-sanding.
I was so pleased with myself. "This is going to be so easy!" I practically cackled. So after the stripping, I sanded down the same side. It looked lovely, such nice naked wood anxiously awaiting a stain.

Why did I only strip and sand one side at a time? Good question... because I didn't know which stain would match the varnish color. Since the pedestal of the table was the same varnish color, the table top had to match. So with one half of the table displaying the original varnish, I found that "provincial" was the correct stain to use (as you can see towards the top of the sanded half).

So then I stripped and sanded the other half of the table

see how easy the varnish stripped off?
After I sanded and cleaned the other half, I got busy on the stain... Only, the stain didn't take evenly. Aside from which, even after 2 days, it was still wet/sticky.

By this point, things were not going as easily as anticipated. So what did I do? I stripped again.

But nothing came up.

So I sanded... and EVERYTHING came up. Everything, as in, the entire layer of veneer that was on this table that I didn't know about until that very second. I stopped sanding when I noticed the dark spots.

"Oh shizzle" I thought... "I just ruined my Grandmother's table."

So that's where we stand right now. I didn't take any pictures of the ruined table, but I'm pretty sure it can't be saved... not for staining anyhow. I'm trying to convince the Gramma to take my table, but she's being ridiculous and wont agree to it. Although I don't think she truly understands that I don't care about my table, and if she has it, then I have an excuse to find a new one.

Anyway that's the story of my misadventures in stripping. Hopefully we will find an answer to this crisis on Friday when Gramma finally comes to see the extent of the damage done.

And while I'm here, I want to catch you up a few things:

1. the Blue house I was obsessing over has sold to someone else. Probably someone with far less vision. Tear...

2. The Pumpkin cinnamon rolls were just OK  I think maybe letting them rise overnight was a bad idea. They seemed a bit heavy for rolls.