Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Dollar and a Holiday Place Setting

Hello dear friends! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and are taking some time to relax now.

I am a Target shopper by nature. I love many of their selections at reasonable prices, and though I only go there about once a month, I do usually come home with something for either Plum Tree or The Nest. After I finished my actual Christmas shopping and wrapping, I went over there to pick up some bagged kale salad mix (they carry the one that's my favorite), and stopped in to browse the bargain section. If you shop there you may have noticed that right at the entrance, where you pick up your cart, there is usually a small section of items on sale, mostly seasonal. I couldn't help but notice that some of the Christmas doo-dads were things that had not previously been in the main Christmas department, so they must ship the inventory in from other stores.

I couldn't resist buying 
two packages of these...

...seasonal greetings printed 
on burlap-style fabric...

...and at four for a buck
who could resist?...

Of course, the red string did not do it 
for me,

...a bit of a quick-change act
to black and jute twine...

...tied with some faux rusty bells
with silverware 
and taupe linen napkins
(also from Target)
and we have a place setting
for not-so-much-money-or-work...

For the first time I actually found chargers
that suited my dishes.
They were from Kirkland's for $3.99 each,
and believe it or not,
they are a nice grade of plastic
and won't scratch the table!
No place mats or table cloth necessary!
Love it.

If you're wondering where the wine glasses were,
we were already drinking out of them,
as these photos were taken just prior to
our Christmas Eve dinner!


Did you incorporate any budget items into
your holiday decor this year?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Some Little Touches: The Last of Our Christmas Decor!

Hello to all!

I just thought I'd share a few of my little holiday touches, though certainly they are nothing spectacular!

This is our entryway.
Kept pretty minimal because 
hubby likes red and we
don't have a lot of it throughout the
rest of the house. 
He picked out the picture last year
when we were in the mountains
(it actually has some very cute twinkle
lights that we can turn on),
so I tried to work around it.
This is the area that I usually play
around with using stuff that I normally 
wouldn't put elsewhere.
The sign was done by a sign painter
on Etsy.
You can find all kinds of signage
there if you like it as much as I do!
The shelf is from an old fireplace
surround that I bought years ago when
I lived in Florida.
It originally came from an old house 
in NC, so I guess that you could say
it found its way back home!...

This is a pretty little apron that I bought 
in Walmart and matches the little 
deer plates that I featured a few days

Thanks for coming by.
What little things have you decorated with this year?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Our Great Room at Christmas

Good morning. I hope that your week has gotten off to a good start! Continuing with my previous post, here are some shots of our great room.

This beautiful 1800's glider horse sits on top of our 
entertainment center.
Shortly before Christmas last year,
I frivolously took the plunge on eBay winning the bid for it.
I never showed it on my blog because I could not get a 
decent photo of it, and still can't, 
as you see here. 
But it is such a beautiful antique that I am sharing it anyway.
She sits up there all year round,
with different seasonal pieces surrounding her...

This year we decided to go with a small,
4-foot country Christmas tree
which I decorated very minimally.
I purchased it on-line through Walmart.
On it there are tiny star lights 
(LED, and battery-operated) 
strung on beautiful bendable silver wire.
I purchased them on-line from the
baby division of Restoration Hardware...

...and lightly larger ones drape down over
the gifts,
antique galvanized milk box
(remember the days of the milkman?)
and bench.
We bought the milk box in Hendersonville
and I love it because the front of it says
"Willow Brook Farms".
The bench,
which I painted with Annie Sloan 
Chalk Paint (Olde White)
and finished with her clear wax, is one
that you may remember
from this post when it was 
an ugly shade of yellow...

To the left of the milk box is a basket 
filled with birch logs (from Michael's),
greenery, and a twig star
(which was originally a Walmart
tree topper from which we cut off
the red berries).
The basket is actually one that you
would use for serving utensils...

On the tree I put just 12 small mercury glass
ornaments, all different.
They were purchased on-line at Luna Bazaar
found here 
A lovely company to deal with!...

...and some hand-felted small acorns
through Etsy,
and found here...

...and then added about twelve crystal 
Can't remember where I got them, but
I think it was Target...

The best part about trimming this little tree
was that I could sit down and do it,
and then was able to move it to the bench.
This was a real bonus to my back,
which has been aching considerably

And now, for our big accomplishment of 
the season.
You may recall that a few years ago we 
bought an old black china hutch top 
and installed it over the fireplace.
You can see a post about that here.
It was nice for a time, 
but truthfully I got tired of figuring 
out how to decorate it seasonally
without it looking like it was always 
filled with "chotchkees".
So, Mr. Perch and I, who are
avid fans of HGTV's "Fixer Upper"
decided to rip out the shelving,
take off the top layer of the mantel,
which he had put on to support the hutch,
and add a beautiful piece of wood as
the top part.
He went to about five stores in search 
of the wood, since we knew that
we didn't want something typically found
at a big box store.
There is a wood-workers' store in Raleigh
called Klingspor's Woodworking Shop,
and there he found a beautiful piece of
butternut wood (not the squash!), 
which is also known as
white walnut, and more rare than
black walnut.
He cut it to fit,
sanded it smooth,
and I applied three coats of a wood 
finisher product that they recommended
(not a stain).
And of course, above it he planked the 
wall for a ship-lap look,
adding crown molding at the top.
As with the farm table 
and all of our diy projects, 
DH does the woodworking and building,
and I do the painting and staining.
Fair deal!...

We kept the rest of it simple by adding some
 glittered pine cone branches (bought at Michael's)
 to the mantel (the glitter looks like rock candy)...

...and swagged a glittery star and jute
 garland underneath it...

And since I couldn't find any decent
candle holders, I used, of all things,
two antique wooden bobbins
that I had upstairs in my studio!...

In this photo you can also see that we 
added greenery to 
the tops of the windows
(now minus curtains!)
which flank the fireplace...

There you have it!
Not quite what you would see on those 
beautiful, but heavily sponsored 
and advertised decor blogs,
but home just the same.
Home is where the (humble) heart is!

As ever, thanks for spending this time with me!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Our Dining Space at Christmas

Hello, and how are you?

I had some fun shaking things up a bit with my holiday decorating this year. We were a little slow due to finishing the table and something else, which I'll share in my next post. I thought I'd start with our dining area. Since we have no formal dining room this space opens up into our great room, so I try to decorate it in such a way that it all flows together, and use a lot of (fake) greenery throughout. We wanted to keep it casual, so here goes!

Now you see where those old rakes went.
And in between them is the ladder
that I featured in this post...

Over the sideboard I put up the old frame
that usually sits in our entryway,
and added a wreath that I have had for a 
few years...

I had some fun with the glittery deer garland,
recently purchased on Etsy...

Since we took down all of our 
way-too-formal curtains,
and have not yet decided what will 
replace them, 
we added a garland around the
sliding glass door...

Some greenery on the table,
along with the same candles I used
during the Thanksgiving season...

When I saw the little burlap-covered snowflake ornaments,
I couldn't resist hanging them on the backs of the new
(old) chairs.
The thin burlap ribbon found at Michael's was great...

Do you remember the rakes,
also seen above,
 that I featured here?
They were way too beautiful
to stay outside.
Only normal people use rakes
for their intended purpose!...

Thanks so much for visiting me today!
How are you coming along with your 
seasonal decorating?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Oh, Dear! (I mean, oh deer!)

Good morning deer dear friends! In case you are wondering whether or not I am having some issues with the English language today, read on!

As we were completing our farm table, I started to shop around a little for some Christmas and seasonal decor that would better suit our farmhouse look. I wanted to keep it simple this year and give our spaces a more rustic and casual feel. Before I knew it, and with no real intent on doing so, I found myself leaning towards one particular design element. I guess I don't have to tell you what that element is!

They are on the dresser...

and on wall art...

on a  garland...

on pillows...

on gift tags...

on snack plates...

and even on sweaters...

...and you should have seen the look on
Mr. Perch's face when I jokingly told him 
that I bought this one for him
because it looks like Ollie 
wearing bells and antlers...

Oh, dear, even my cards ended up with
well, you know what!...

We usually have real live deer running around in this neck of the woods
at this time of the year,
but for some strange reason there is not one to be seen.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Season of Promise: The Christmas Cactus

The promise of Christmas is always signaled by the early December blooming of my beautiful Christmas Cactus. She is so happy in our downstairs guest room, which seems to receive exactly the right amount of light to suit her. She started off as a wee little plant purchased five or six years ago for pennies. She is now so huge that she takes up about one third of the dresser, where she proudly resides asking for not much more than a drink every so often and to be turned slightly now and then. She is my "miracle baby" because though I am an avid gardener, I don't have much luck with indoor plants, probably due to the lack of good light that we receive in this house.

That all of God's creations
would be so content,
and expect so little.