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11.29.2022

it takes a (gingerbread) village

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how many of you have dreamed of making REAL gingerbread houses...
and then tried it? UGH! it's an exercise in futility, in my opinion!
(i'm a pretty good baker...
it's just getting them to stay together and upright that stumps me!)

i've found a totally 'deb' solution to that dilemma: 
just PAINT some ceramic houses to LOOK like gingerbread!

i took some little ceramic houses that i've had for a few years now
and gave them a simple makeover with brown and white paint
and now i have a darling 'gingerbread' village on my mantel
that matches the big 'gingerbread' dollhouse shared in my last post.

continue reading for details (and a peek BACK at how i used them before!)

11.22.2022

a 'gingerbread holiday' dollhouse

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because i squeezed in my last Thanksgiving post on Friday of last week,
it's finally time to share holiday decor!

 this first project was inspired by some halloween decor that i saw online
and you probably saw it, too...
dollhouses painted as decrepit old haunted houses.

i saw so many amazingly creative 'takes' on that idea on social media,
and decided then to create a gingerbread dollhouse for Christmas.
and that idea launched an entire theme:

welcome to my 'Gingerbread Holiday'!

once again, i'm making use of elements i have on hand already
along with a few CHEAP additions from thrift & discount stores
to create a whole new holiday decor theme to enjoy.

continue reading to see the before shot and all the details...

11.18.2022

words of Thanksgiving wall art

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time for a BONUS POST!
i just had to fit this one in before Thanksgiving...

here's a 'fast, cheap, & easy' last-minute decor idea
that will add a touch of personalized meaning to your celebration
( and might just help to keep the kids busy, too! )

make word art to decorate your front door or entry wall

all it takes is a word program, paper, a printer, 
and some interesting 'frames' to display the completed word art...

11.15.2022

salvaged wire fan fall wreath

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i don't just make things from repurposed materials - 
i re-use the things i MAKE, too!

this wreath includes two of my recent fall decor projects
PLUS an element that i used several years ago (posts linked below)
to create a new look for this November.
perfect for a front door or hanging on a wall in your home,
it's an easy project perfect for these fall days.

continue reading for the easy details...

11.08.2022

diy tomato cage cornucopia

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one of the enduring traditions of Thanksgiving is the familiar image of a cornucopia.
also known as the 'horn of plenty', this cone-shaped basket (originally an animal's horn)
laden with an abundance of harvested food in fall
reminds us of the many ways we are provided for on this earth.

i had an element on hand that i knew would be perfect
for transforming into a cornucopia for our Thanksgiving decor,
and boy does it make an impact!

continue reading for my not-so-easy diy tutorial and detailed photos...

11.01.2022

realistic paper leaf tutorial

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dearest readers, i'm not ready for the holidays yet.
i get to this point every year, and struggle with it. why??
i feel like i need to keep up with the popular bloggers and influencers
and start posting holiday / Christmas content earlier every year.
but... i can't do it. i honestly can't. my brain revolts against it.

after spending 45 years as a retail visual merchandiser / designer / stylist
and pushing every season months beforehand,
i want to just enjoy the season i'm IN. that inspires my creativity!
and it's one of the reasons i started this blog a decade ago.

so here we are on November 1st and Deb is not even dipping a toe into Christmas decor.
instead, i'm gonna' share some simple ways to decorate your home this month,
for Thanksgiving, for Friendsgiving, for the fall season. 
because if you're looking at this the way i am, we can just enjoy this month
and the chance to embrace the lovely autumn atmosphere
before the holiday hullaballoo kicks in!

so - grab some scissors, some scrap paper in a color you love, and a branch from your yard,
and let me show you how to craft some pretty paper leaves in a jiffy...

10.25.2022

happy MAHALOween!

i read that term - happy MAHALOween - on a tiki bar's website.
when this fun phrase gave me a way to incorporate my love of
tropicana decor and tiki culture into October celebrations, i was IN!

(truth is, i'm not really into Halloween anymore - fall, yes. pumpkins, YES!
the 'scary horror bloody zombie creepy clowns and witches' kinda' decor? nah.)

since i have NO intention of dressing up in costume, 
 i simply decided to give a pumpkin a costume. with a tiki mask!

continue reading for the details and an easy paint tutorial...

10.18.2022

coco fiber planter liner pumpkins

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i spied this item one day at Lowes - do you know what it is?
in my endless search for things i can turn into tropical decor for our home,
i'm always looking at textures and colors that work - on the cheap - 
and this looked for all the world like a giant coconut to me!

turning it into a pumpkin was easy-peasy - 
so much so that creating the tutorial for this post took me MUCH longer
than actually MAKING the pumpkin!

have you figured out what i used yet??
continue reading to see the answer... plus a few variations!

10.11.2022

coconut tiki mug pumpkins!

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i was cleaning our indoor tiki bar the other day,
and as i moved some of the tiki mug collection off of a shelf to dust it,
i sat the two ceramic coconut mugs upside down on the bar top.
my hand stopped in mid-air as i looked at what i had done
and an idea came to mind...

 yes, i turn a LOT of different things into pumpkins!
first it was plates. now it's mugs. 
and it's so easy it's not even funny!

continue reading to see the details...

10.04.2022

let's make plate pumpkins!

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this project was hatched when i started to throw something away...
and then thought twice about it!

my 'thing' is to embrace the 'trash to treasure' approach
to life, decorating, crafting, etc -
using up stuff from the recycle bin and the waste basket,
stuff like junk mail and empty containers. and sometimes, even bonafide trash. 

why? because it's cheaper, it's easily accessible, it's good for the planet
AND it makes me stretch my creative muscles to use what i have.

that said, you don't HAVE to use 'trashed' plates for this project.
there are many possibilities and permutations - any kind of plate would work!
(check out the ones i made using ceramic plates the end of this post)

continue reading to see them all...

9.27.2022

NEW! faux painted bamboo pumpkins

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my penchant for tropical decor and tiki culture inspired this new pumpkin project...

our So Cal home is filled with tikis and bamboo and leafy palm fabrics,
because during the pandemic lockdown we had to cancel our trip to Hawaii
and decided to just make HOME feel as much like Hawaii as we could.
and we love it!
so, i like to create seasonal decor for us that coordinates with that theme.
pumpkins that look like they are made from bamboo are a perfect fit!

continue reading for my paint tutorial...

9.20.2022

pumpkins + mushrooms = 'shroomkins!

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last spring, when i created my new Original Sweet Sweater 'Shrooms,
i ALSO had the idea for this project. i just ran outta' time to make them!
 and forgive me, but i gotta' be honest
and say that they are one of my FAVORITE creations ever!

since mushrooms are still having a moment,
and pumpkins are my JAM, i combined the two
to create these whimsical fall decor pieces
that i'm calling " 'shroomkins"

continue reading to learn how to make these -
from cheap styrofoam pumpkins and a pool noodle!

9.13.2022

NEW! Pyrex pumpkins

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what happens when a girl's been surfing Insta too much because she's hiding from the heat,
and is following five or six collectors of Pyrex?

said girl decides to let their collections and her own pieces inspire some
Pyrex pattern painted pumpkins
(try to say that three times fast!!!)

last year, my sweet lifelong friend Miss Kim
(yes, she of the Farmhouse Makeover!) sent me a thoughtful gift
of some happy 'Vintage Charm' Pyrex-inspired bowls in sunny yellow:
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they sit in my studio holding miscellaneous tidbits,
and one day i looked at them and had the brainstorm to replicate them on pumpkins.

i started painting dish patterns on pumpkins a few years ago,
when the blue and white Chinoiserie trend hit...
that's not my vibe, so i made decor that IS my vibe!
this is just one more way i'm incorporating what i already have into new decor ideas.

wanna' see how easy this project was? continue reading!

9.06.2022

NEW! faux 'sand' painted pumpkins

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let's just jump right in to pumpkin season, shall we?
during my summer break, i let my creativity + imagination run wild,
which resulted in a bunch of fun new pumpkin decor projects for 2022.

first up, a new idea that is the perfect transition from summer to fall:
faux 'sand' painted pumpkins

if you're a beach lover like me, or a tropical / tiki culture lover like me,
or perhaps a 'coastal grandmother' like me??! ha!
this idea may be the perfect way to bring some beach vibes home...

continue reading for my easy paint tutorial!

9.01.2022

hello, september!

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september has arrived,
with nary a fall temperature in sight here in So Cal...
it's 106 here today, and was 113 in Palm Springs yesterday. :P
but i'm attempting to accept the inevitable arrival of 'pumpkin season'!

while i'm finishing up some NEW and original pumpkin decor ideas
and prepping those blog posts to begin (next week!), 
i thought i'd post here to link up ALLLLLLL of my past pumpkins.
and that's a lot of squash, my friends.
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i've used a variety of materials (recycled, repurposed, thrifted, and found)
over the past few decades to decorate my own home
and have shared many of those ideas with you here on the blog for the past TEN YEARS!

click HERE to see all of my pumpkin posts!

... and watch for NEW posts starting next week!

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8.26.2022

DIY boho pumpkin decor tutorials

boho style is still going strong in decor trends,
so i thought i'd share three currently popular boho tutorials here on the blog:

Faux Terra Cotta Painted Pumpkins
Lace Pumpkins   Lace/Doily - Embellished Pumpkins

continue reading for links to these budget-friendly tutorials - and more!

8.15.2022

Deb's top three pumpkin tutorials

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it's still summertime,
but i know many of you are looking for diy ideas for your fall decor, so....
here are my three top pumpkin tutorials:

Sweet Sweater Pumpkins
Faux Concrete Painted Pumpkins
Glass Globe Pumpkins

continue reading for links to these budget-friendly tutorials - and more!

7.05.2022

summer break

this was unplanned, but is necessary:
i'm taking a break from 'content creation' for the rest of the summer.

if you care to know why, continue reading...

6.30.2022

Miss Dot goes to the county fair!

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the past four posts have shared some of the decor i created
for a recent 'county fair' themed camping/glamping event.

and though most of the photos i took of trailers DIDN'T turn out :(
i have a few of ours and a few shots from the event
to share as inspiration for you when you host events or go 'glamping'!

continue reading so Miss Dot can show herself (and her COUSINS!) off...

6.23.2022

county fair centerpiece

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when planning for our recent campout with our Lemon Drop Divas group,
i knew i would incorporate the 'county fair' theme in our trailer decor
along with lemons and yellow - it's a thing with us ;) 

so i did what i always do - looked around my studio
and house and garage and backyard
to see what i already had that i could incorporate into the decor.
it wasn't hard to find useful items,
especially considering that i have an entire studio filled with yellow stuff i've made!

continue reading to see how it all came together...

6.16.2022

easy-peasy county fair bunting

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it's not a party without some fun decor,
and this easy-peasy bunting project is perfect for summer fun!

whether you're hosting a backyard bbq, a block party, or a birthday party,
making cute pennant bunting banners doesn't have to be hard.
i hate hard. i love easy.
so i'm always trying to find the easy way to decorate!

i recently made these bunting banners and they came together really quickly -
without sewing!

continue reading, and i'll show you how...

6.09.2022

county fair award ribbons

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these fancy 'county fair'-style ribbons appeared in my last post,
as accents on the 'Dime Toss' game sign and the end of the game table.

they were pretty easy to create  - and are MUCH larger than anything i could find
in stores or online. plus, they had to be yellow!
so in typical Deb fashion, i made my own
using the fabric, ribbons, and other detritus stashed in my creative studio.

do you have plans for games at a Fourth of July or summer birthday party?
these could be the perfect decor accents -
or use them as actual prize ribbons!

continue reading to see my easy tutorial...

6.03.2022

county fair dime toss game!

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it's SUMMER and time to party!
and quite by accident, i just created a HIT of a party game...
when our fabulous girl camping group the Lemon Drop Divas plan an event,
we go ALL OUT. WAY over the limit. everything is themed, with coordinated decor.

a campout in May was themed 'Lemon Drop Divas County Fair'
and it was packed with references to old time fairs. 
including a midway. yep!
we were all given the opportunity to create a 'carnival games' booth
as part of our own fair midway, to enjoy with our friends.

i was stumped... until i was sorting through a bunch of stuff we had here at home
and realized 'we have a LOT of wine glasses that we don't use!'
and when that thought combined with the carnival game concept,
i had a light bulb moment.

continue reading to see how easy it is to set something like this up!

5.31.2022

what i did with all of my May flowers!

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after creating all of my flowers for the Instagram #flowermonth2022 challenge,
i decided that i wanted to enjoy them a bit longer...
so i combined almost all of them into one big flower arrangement!
but that's not all i included.

continue reading to see some interesting things tucked in with those flowers...

5.30.2022

May flowers: art challenge recap

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over the past month, i've been participating in a creative art challenge...
the #flowermonth2022 challenge on Instagram
was sponsored by three artists,
with thousands of creative people around the globe participating.
each interpreted the prompts - an alphabetical listing of flowers - 
in their own style and method.
it has proved to be not just a fun exercise for me,
but also an educational experience,
as i've seen many variations on the themes in many different art mediums.

my own creations for this challenge
were all made from materials & elements that i have here at home - 
all reused, repurposed, recycled, and turned into flowers & foliage:

scrap paper, paint, paint pens, colored pencils, felt pens, fabric, gift wrap, 
wood blocks, vintage crepe paper, tissue paper, wire, sweaters, yarn, 
vintage jewelry, sewing pins, even plastic parts from dollar store flowers.

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though my original plan was to make 12 different flowers, as shown here,
it quickly expanded to a plan for 14 blooms - 
and then i added one more at the last minute!

continue reading to see all 15 floral creations from my studio...

5.26.2022

May flowers: yarrow & zinnia

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it's a two-fer!
i don't have enough time left in the month to add more posts,
so this one is doing double duty.

the two last letters of the floral alphabet challenge - Y and Z -
just finished up on Instagram,
and i made a Yarrow blossom and some Zinnia blooms...

continue reading to see the easy ways i created these flowers
using everyday materials here in my studio...

5.19.2022

wire lampshade mobile

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you've all read my statements that 'i see things differently'
and 'i never really use things the way they were intended to be used!', right?
i'm very into 'use what you have' decorating & crafting using 'everyday' elements.

one day in 2020 when i was bored outta' my skull here at home,
i looked at a stack of wire lampshades and wire domes in the corner of my studio,
 and just played around to see what i could DO with them.
they ended up as a giant kinetic sculpture / mobile hanging from my studio ceiling.
and i shared that version here on the blog.

since then, i've changed it up a bit, and added a new element that makes me smile.
wanna' see?

...continue reading for wire lampshade mobile part 2!

5.12.2022

what's your inspiration board style?

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in the past few weeks,
i've shared some flowers that i've created with paper.
well, there's something else i've done with paper for many MANY years -
i make pinboards / bulletin boards / inspiration boards
and fill them with all kinds of paper detritus that i've collected
over several decades.

they serve as not only inspiration and a way to corral my 'vision',
but also as a decor element in my studio.

i recently re-read an
old Houzz.com article about inspiration boards - 
and how the way you create yours reveals
if you are a
left-brain creative or a right-brain creative!

Artists and Creatives know that we are right-brain people, for the most part.
but apparently, our left-brain compulsion for order can often over-ride
 the instincts that we associate with creativity (um... that it's messy!).
that was new info for me.
the houzz article has a LOT of visual inspo, too!

more on that in a bit...
first, see what reading that article inspired me to RE-do in my studio,
and learn how I make inspiration / bulletin boards using simple materials. 

continue reading for more...

5.07.2022

May flowers: gerbera

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May 7 Day 7: Gerberas

this is another 'trash to treasure' assemblage / collage project
for the May Month of Flowers art challenge on Instagram.
this sunny bloom grew right outta' my recycle bin!

continue reading to see how i turned garbage into art...

5.04.2022

May flowers: daffodil, daisy & dandelion

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D is for daffodil, daisy, and dandelion!
(and a bunch more, like delphinium and dahlia and daphne)

continuing with the May Month of Flowers art challenge,
i've shared those three on Instagram on May 4 / day 4 / letter D -
and thought i'd share them here, as well!
several are older projects, and a few are brand new - created just for this challenge.

continue reading to see them all and learn how i made them...

5.02.2022

May flowers: buttercup

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'chin up, buttercup!'
ever heard that one?

in my last post, i shared info about a May art challenge on Instagram.
i'm not posting a new project there every day,
but i did share my first one on May 2,
and i chose 'buttercup' for the letter 'B' prompt.

this was a new project for me, using materials in my existing stash,
and i had to work out the details as i went -
and now i'm sharing it as a tutorial here on the blog.

when i was finished making my buttercup, i added it to a larger art piece
that i had in mind when i chose this specific flower!

continue reading for my easy tutorial...

5.01.2022

'month of flowers' May art challenge

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flowers are always on my mind in springtime...
and they are one of my favorite things to create.
this month, i'm excited to revisit some of the flowers i've made in the past
(and whooooo have there been a lot of them - some shown above)
and create different flowers for something NEW:

the 'May Month of Flowers Instagram Challenge'!

continue reading to find out the details!

4.28.2022

happy May Day flowers

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May Day is just a few days away,
and i'm ready to add some happy spring vibes with some small flower baskets.

first created back in 2013, i'm sharing them again this spring,
and i think you'll LOVE how easy my tutorial is.
and you might just laugh when you see what they are made of!

continue reading for my easy tutorial...

4.21.2022

a new sweet sweater 'shroom for spring!

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last fall, i created some Sweet Sweater 'Shrooms,
using ceramic bowls and vases covered with sweater scraps.

then i found something that caused me to create a new 'take' on the 'shroom idea,
with a nod to spring...
i am really happy with the results, and the process isn't hard at all.
I hope it inspires you to give it a try!


continue reading to see how it started, and how it ends up!

4.14.2022

the old rugged cross

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in my last post, i shared my new faux Kintsugi painted eggs,
and in the background of a few shots you saw a small collection of wood crosses.
today, i'm focusing on those and how they are made from 'everyday' materials.

Easter arrives in just a few days, and it is one of the most important days of the year to me.
my faith is built on the miraculous events celebrated on this day centuries ago,
and my hope resides in the promises God made about what it all means for the future.

Easter is also the day that my sweet Dad went home to Heaven seven years ago,
just as the sun was rising and beaming through the windows onto his peaceful face...
a precious reminder about what is really important in this life.

having a cross (or collection of crosses) in my decor is important to me,
and i love being able to make them unique and personal.
i hope these ideas inspire you!

continue reading for details...

4.07.2022

faux painted 'kintsugi' easter eggs

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last fall, when i created my faux painted 'kintsugi' pumpkins,
i knew they were just a 'practice project'...
because i always envisioned that paint treatment on eggs, for Easter.

honestly, i couldn't be happier with the results!

this is a simple paint treatment with elegant results,
one that can be applied to any type of egg - paper, ceramic, wood, glass, or real eggs.

continue reading for my easy tutorial...

3.31.2022

daffodil sun catchers

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daffodils are my very favorite flower...

i have loved them since i was a little Debby,
and saw the happy, silly, bobbing heads in Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland' - 
'Daffy O'Dill' made me laugh!
later in life, William Wordsworth's poem about dancing daffodils enchanted me,
and when i first saw hundreds of acres of daffodil fields in Washington's Skagit Valley,
my eyes filled with tears at the beautiful sight.
i used to visit those fields every March when i lived nearby.
now i take any chance i can to find other ways to enjoy daffies in spring - 
even if i have to make it myself!

this simple craft project combines the sparkle of light via crystals with silk flowers,
and is a lovely way to add some spring fresh style to any room.

continue reading for my easy tutorial... 

3.24.2022

paint palette eggs!

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this one came to me one day while i was going through my bins of spring decor.

back in 2020 i made some simple Easter eggs with varied finishes on them,
and as i saw those in the bin, i realized that their shape was very much like
the paint palettes that artists use... and a new creative idea was born!

...continue reading for this easy project
(and to see what those 'paint palettes' are REALLY made of!)

3.17.2022

repurposed bottle brush carrots

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i was out running errands this morning when inspiration hit me...
an item at the store i was in reminded me of something i had used before,
still had in my stash, and could use again to replicate the thing i saw - but in MY style.
(which is what my approach to decorating is all about!)

when i arrived home, i dug out the components in excitement, 
ready to 'hop to it' (see what i did there?!) and get this project done.
it took me all of ten minutes to make these cute lil' veggies!

continue reading to see what inspired me - and what i used to create my own version!

3.10.2022

tiny thread nests

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springtime always brings me back to making different kinds of bird nests...
they represent spring, and also connect to the practice of 'nesting',
making a home fresh and clean as well as warm and welcoming. 

today i am sharing a new nest i've created this month,
inspired by talented artist and designer Cathe Holden.
i recently saw a photo of one of her sweet little nests made from sewing thread,
and was so charmed by the utter simplicity of it that i just had to replicate the idea -
 using yellow thread, of course!

this was a truly 'fast, cheap, and easy'TM project that i think you'll love,
and it would make a perfect treat at each place setting on your Easter table!

continue reading for the easy details... and more about my muse, Cathe!

3.01.2022

my sweet sweater birthday cake!

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hello, friends!
i've been enjoying my sabbatical over the past month and a half,
and have made a MAJOR dent in my very long and very overlooked 'To Do' list!
(such as: get my truck running again  get some appliance repairs done   
get some yard work done  buy a new mattress to help my back pain )

since it's March 1st, the beginning of my birthday month,
it seems a perfect time to return to the blog and share a recent project with you!

* this post was created in mid-February and scheduled for March 1.
given the world events that transpired in the last week of February,
 i actually thought very seriously about not publishing it, 
 seeming too frivolous a subject to focus on in light of reality.

 i have decided to publish it, in the hope that anyone who sees it
will be reminded that there are still things to celebrate in this world
even in the midst of darkness and conflict. *

as much as i love to bake (and eat) sweet things,
i decided that my birthday cake this year needed to be a bit different...
you know it wouldn't be a birthday cake for ME unless it was made of sweaters, right?!
(my waistline and thighs appreciate the total lack of calories in this one ;) ) 

continue reading to find out the unusual way this fun decor came to be...

1.20.2022

show 'em some love!

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just poppin' in with a recent discovery in my files...
this project didn't make the blog last winter
and since I'm not currently making new things,
 I thought I'd share it for your Valentine's Day inspiration!

we've all become familiar with offering a little 'thank you' to the many service people
who deliver food and goods to our homes - especially during a pandemic.
our isolation is made more comfortable by them bringing us what we order online.

last year, I created one with a Valentine theme
from an old wall mailbox, all 'shooszhed' up with hearts
to express my gratitude to our USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Instacart delivery people...

continue reading to see how!