Monday, December 31, 2012

Your 2013 Chapter

It's New Year's Eve.  The end of another year.  We can tuck 2012 away as the latest chapter
in the history-of-our-life-book.

Tonight, at midnight, we turn the page to start the next chapter.

New chapters always begin half way down the page.

The top half of the page is blank. That blank spot is the transition area. The blank space gives us time to take pause and recount the important points of the last chapter.  The blank space is needed to whet our appetites in the anticipation of the next exciting chapter.

The transition space is followed by The Title in bold print.

What is The Title of your next chapter?

Enjoy today's transition.

Take time to reflect on 2012. 

Take time to create a title for your 2013 Chapter.

Happy New Year, y'all!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012 Wins the Popular Vote

Hope you enjoyed your Christmas.
Grandson Jack and Santa
Me and BFF Virginia enjoying a Party
Ours was the best Christmas ever.

Our families didn't exchange gifts this year.  Two year old Jack was the only person to make a haul.   We had no anxiety over shopping or wrapping.  Only the joy of watching a small child jubilant over his Christmas presents.

I've read that many of you kept your holiday decorations simple.  I went to the deep end of the pool: 7 illuminated trees, lots of lights and candles, many tabletop vignettes, and wreaths, garland, and greenery out the wazoo. Each and every room was dressed for the holidays.

We also had fun experimenting with new recipes.  I made my first apple pie for Christmas dinner and it was a triumph!

Last night after the greeting phone calls ceased, Christmas texts stopped binging, and our kids had departed.  I sat alone in the living room staring at the Christmas tree and realized I didn't want the day to end--it had been that good.

Before Christmas dinner, DIL Kristen gave me a big hug and said, "This is the best Christmas ever."

I treasure her words.

Monday, December 24, 2012

JOY, JOY, JOY and the Absent Minded Santa

2012 has been an outstanding holiday season!  Friends and family seem to be embracing and seeking joy and comfort in being together.  We've attended more Christmas gatherings than usual.  Friends old and new thoroughly enjoy our little party.  Maybe the tragedy of Sandy Hook has made us all more grateful for every relationship and every opportunity to be together.

I've have been an Absent Minded Santa this year.
  • I left a platter of chicken salad canapes in the refrigerator instead of serving them at our party.

  • I failed to send my elderly Aunt Julia in Arkansas a Christmas card and chatty update.

  • I made a goody basket of towels, etc. for my SIL to celebrate her new kitchen remodel (which is awesome, BTW)!  We had our Christmas visit this past weekend and I left it home. 

  • We adopted 4 needy kids for Christmas. I was about to deliver the toys when I realized I had not bought a guitar for the 3 year old.  God Bless my BFF, Virginia, who ran to Target, found the perfect one (after texting me many of selections) and bought it for me...  Rutt Row--I haven't reimbursed her yet.

  • I didn't buy heavy cream to make the Pioneer Woman's Potatoes Au Gratin for Christmas dinner. So, I will be hitting the madhouse mania of the Christmas Eve Grocery Store.
Pioneer Woman

Truly inconsequential inconveniences that are easy fixes.  I used to strive for perfection and make myself an anxiety-ridden mess.  Now, I realize it will all work out. 

May you and your families enjoy the magic of Christmas.
Laugh a lot, eat a lot, love a lot, hug a lot.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Visit from an Angel

My friend, Jim was pumping gas.  A child approached him, said "Merry Christmas" and handed him this cookie.
Chase Kowolski, age 7, was one of the victims of Sandy Creek.

Today, Jim was visited by an angel.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The End of the World As We Know It?

Hey Lovelies!

Don't forget the world is going to end tomorrow.

I should have planned better.

We hosted our annual Open House last night. In the words of Frankie Valli, "Oh what a night"*.
Yes indeedy, we had a White Christmas.  White Russians were the featured beverage.  Nuff said?

So, I am moving slowly today.

I don't think I am going to get this house cleaned up before the end of the world.

I don't think I am going to have finished Christmas shopping before the end of the world.

I don't think I am going to get the last of my Christmas Cards out before the end of the world.

I do think I am going to feast on fattening-calorie-laden-leftover-party food and take a nap.

Thank goodness, I had a memorable fun-filled night with my friends and family before the December 21 demise.

What are y'all doing today?  Anything special before the end of the world?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Little Christmas Fun

Aren't the Christmas posts great! I adore looking at all the pictures of beautifully decorated homes.  I kinda-sorta yearn for that custom look but can't pull it off.  I am too sentimental. I have to include my now-33-YO son's handmade ornaments from preschool and a few other wacky items full of memories old and new.
Laminated Holly Wreath with 3 YO portrait
Construction Paper Santa-Movable arms & legs!

Fabric Ornament with Personalized Stitching

The first Christmas Kristen was dating John she swooned over seeing his childhood masterpieces.  (Such a precious memory of her ogling the tree.)  Now, she tells their son Jack, "That was your daddy when he was a little boy."  So Sweet....

And, not so sweet....John's handmade ornament addition from our family Christmas game.  (Recognize the kitty from the kitty litter ad?  TMI?)
Laminated Kitty Ornament

Remember how I was stripped of my tiera (and feathered boa!) during Dirty Santa?  Neighbor Connie was on my doorstep last night with a marvelous replacement!  Thanks for my Tiera Santa Hat!

I found 2 white ceramic "Joy" pillar lights at Marshall's for $16.99.  Love!
Mz. Clause Loves Her Bling!
Make Shift Hat Stand

Friday, December 7, 2012

Oh Deer!

Are you a fan of traditional Christmas decor?

I love it all.  But unique Christmas items always seem to call to me.  I was shopping at a local store, Hillary's Interiors, when these deer happened to catch my eye.  I had to have them.  

Aren't they gorgeous?
I was telling a friend about my beautiful, "glossy yellow dear with green sparkle swirls and ornate gold antlers". She gave me the stink eye and said, "ooooo kk...?"  Ha!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

Maybe she'll like them when sees them...

Oh Deer! What do you think?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sherwin Williams 'New' 2013 Colors & Gag Gift

My job as a stager is to create environments that a potential buyer can relate to.  Relating to your buyer is Marketing 101. I was recently invited to attend a Color Mix 2013 seminar presented by out-of-town-high-rollers at Sherwin Williams.

Sherwin Williams is only holding these events in 7 states.  I was all a twitter about attending.  I was anxious to get the scoop on the latest colors! I couldn't wait to write a post about it.  That was last month.
Vintage Moxie          Honed Vitality        High Voltage            Midnight Mystery

I couldn't figure out why I was so uninspired by this event. There were lots of folks (many realtors) in attendance. You can spot a gentleman NC realtor from 500 feet. Their uniform is khaki pants and a button down shirt. The ladies realtors, in their sensible shoes, were en mass. Oh yes, the interior designers (most dressed like a Bravo Housewives) were there too.  I enjoyed chatting it up with them.

Anywho, last night I  started a fire, poured myself a glass of Merlot and pick up one of my many coffee table books. As I was thumbing through a book on artist Mary Cassatt, it hit me that one of her works "A Cup of Tea" had a similar color palatte to one that Sherwin Williams is lauding for 2013.

Here are the colors of  SW's 'Honed Vitality'.

I know I am old school.  I know I love art and it isn't every one's cup of tea. (Yowzer, a pun!)  I'm just saying, if SW had included at least a few images by renowned artists corresponding to their color palettes maybe I could better relate to their 2013 colors.

What's old is new, right?

Maybe SW's images of Steampunk and a Biknit Chaise are most relevant for marketing in 2013. 

Steampunk - SW's Midnight Mystery colors
By Patricia Urquioia-Honed Vitality
What do you think?  What piques your interest when it comes to experimenting with new colors?

Gag Gift Christmas Gala

I snagged a black sequined feather boa and rhinestone tiera at our neighborhood Christmas Party Monday night.  I soooo loved it!
Party Pose after Xmas Cheer
Wouldn't you know it, on last round a new girl in the 'hood stole it from me!  
I ended up with a Santa boot with a silver tensile tree sprouting from the top.

Ain't it the way....

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Gnarly Good Time

I must admit that one of the things I love about staging is that I have is little to no business during the holidays. (An ambitious entrepreneur, huh?)

Tonight we have our neighborhood Christmas Party.  We each bring a snack to share and our favorite beverage.  We do a annual food drive and end up with so much food it take several trips to the Food Bank.

We also do some sort of gift exchange.  This year it is a gag gift.  It is one of those progressive-trade-for-three rounds kinda thing (is that Dirty Santa?)

Here's my Gag Gift Contribution:

It is interesting to see how competitive our loving and generous group becomes. I bet lots of incriminating pictures show up on Facebook. 

Happy Monday!