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Not Just a Cookie Cutter!

use holiday cookie cutters for napkin rings, tree ornaments, and more - all year long!
"Can't see the forest for the trees".
Ever heard that?

Something has happened to me REPEATEDLY over the past three weeks.
At first, I thought 'huh?'. Then I laughed. Finally, I got creative.
And that's when I realized my brain was trying to tell me something....

So, here's the situation:
In my new position in retail at the Happiest Place on Earth, 
I see a LOT of certain products. The ears, for example. They are EVERYWHERE.
And there's this ONE item that is right by the registers, 
where people routinely pick it up. They look at it. Some buy it.
But many - and I mean MANY  - many more than you would expect -
pick it up and look at cashiers and ask 
'What IS this? What's it FOR?'

May I present said item?:
use holiday cookie cutters for napkin rings, tree ornaments, and more - all year long!
words FAIL me.
I just don't get how people do NOT know what this is.
I am not talking about people from far-flung foreign lands here, friends...
These are people from first-world countries with stores and books and web shopping.

It's a cookie cutter. 
In the shape of Mickey Mouse ears.
Pretty standard item. At least, I THOUGHT it was!

Anyway, after wiping the astonished look off of my face and replacing it with a suitable Disney smile,
I began to share different ideas for using this apparatus with those who asked about it.
I solve the mystery for guests and expound the versatility of said item,
sharing 'value added' uses with them.

The guests and my co-cast members have repeatedly told me that 
I have a very unique way of seeing things.
Is that a compliment???!

... and that's when I realized that the reason I HAVE this blog
is because I do not think like other people do,
and I need to take the things that smack me across the face on a daily basis 
and turn them into blog fodder!

continue reading to find out the ideas I had for the Mickey Ear Cookie Cutter
[ which are borne out of things that I've done for YEARS in my own home ]
because they are applicable to ANY cookie cutter at ANY time of year...


Even MORE Easter Eggs on Parade!

OK, this really is the last of it!
I just keep finding more and more great ideas to share with you...
 Surround a pillar candle in a glass vase or trifle dish with plastic eggs.

 Gather up your real or plastic eggs and display them by COLOR!
Use all one color containers - white or clear glass, for example - 
or use containers in colors that coordinate with the eggs, as shown above.

*** One of the BEST Easter Egg Hunt ideas I have seen recently is along these lines:
Assign each child one color - They can only collect eggs of that color.
This enables you to hide eggs by age/ accessibility, 
and make sure even the youngest children find eggs!
I think it's BRILLIANT!

 Coordinate your eggs with a vignette of special items...
this simple display focuses on warm colors that coordinate with a vintage container.

My Mom found this little manzanita branch mounted in a box at the craft store,
and she decorates it for every season using purchased mini-ornaments...

You can hang regular-size eggs from a branch gathered from your yard or roadside,
using thread or ribbon:
image from thedomesticcurator.com

One Last Idea for you:
When my daughters were young, they would clip plastic eggs into their long hair!
(no image, sorry - the girls would kill me!)

shared online:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}

Common Ground | Be Inspired


The Grass Is Greener When It's Not Plastic!

I have a deep-seated dislike of plastic Easter grass.
With four children, the mess was just more than I could handle!
(and I can't even begin to tell you how many vacuum cleaners that stuff destroyed!!)

So years ago, I started finding alternatives....
the easiest one is just cutting up paper into small strips and crumbling it a bit.
Vintage sheet music, construction paper, wrapping paper - anything works better than plastic!

Another is shown above: fuzzy green 'eyelash' yarn, piled luxuriously in a basket or bowl.

My favorite solution for an abundant bed of 'grass' for a large Easter basket?
Made from soft, fuzzy green yarn, it's always reminded me of grass...
 I used it to cover a footstool in my home one Spring years ago:

A fuzzy green (or pink, or yellow!) SWEATER would work as a basket liner, too!

One final option is HAY. Yes, REAL hay!  
OK, maybe I mean STRAW.
Grab a mini-bale at the craft store, break the strings that hold it together, 
and fluff it up by shaking it around in a paper grocery bag.

Then fill baskets, galvanized pails, etc. with it to nest your eggs in!

Neutral Easter Eggs on Parade

Perhaps the brightly-colored Easter eggs in my last post aren't really your style...
Here are versions of my photos and ideas in a more elegant neutral palette!

This just goes to show how everyday items can be used as details in your decor,
no matter WHAT your style is!

I also gathered up some of my props and created this soft, neutral display
as a centerpiece for a Spring tablescape:
This centerpiece started with a thrifted ceramic pedestal bowl, 
which I covered with a ceramic platter, then accented with a white lace doily.

A nest made from dried daffodil foliage has been lined with shredded vintage sheet music,
and my wooden eggs nestle in along with a spray of vintage white faux narcissus.

My wire birdcagelet covers it all, 
and a 'Spring' scrapbook charm adds a final detail.

If you can't locate wood eggs at your craft supply store,
the neutral style shown here can easily be replicated
by using natural brown eggs, which have been blown out and rinsed!

More ideas in my next post? EGGzactly! 


It's a Small, Small World!

 Guess where I am this morning???
 I'm at the 'It's A Small World' attraction at Disneyland!
( 3:30 AM PDT report time! )

Disney Cast Members, characters, and special guests 
are gathering at Disney Parks around the world 
to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 'It's A Small World' attraction 
with a live sing-a-long of the sweet theme song on a live Good Morning America broadcast.

Edited to add:

I was on the train that pulled into the It's A Small World attraction facade 
during the GMA segment - 
back row, second car, and you couldn't see any of our faces on television!

But that's okay, because the point is that I was THERE to participate,
and I loved every moment of it! What a dream!!!!

I became an official Disney Cast Member just over a month ago, 
after waiting all of my life to do so....
The timing couldn't be more perfect!

My grandfather was an electrician who helped to install the Small World attraction at Disneyland, 
and I could not be happier to be able to participate in honoring him 
and his part in the history of this attraction today.

Thank you, Grandpa Ward, for this gift 
that has touched every generation of our family...

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.
It's a world of hopes and a world of fears.
There's so much that we share,
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small, small world.

There is just one moon and one golden sun.
And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide,
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small, small world!" 



Easter Eggs on Parade!

Pinterest is awash these days with a plethora of ideas
for coloring and decorating Easter Eggs...
Well, I'm throwing my hat in the ring
with a few SIMPLE ideas for using 'everyday items' as bases to display your colorful eggs ON!

Sure, you can use an egg cup. 
My faves are white ceramic ones from Pier 1, which are a very affordable $1.50 each.
 I used them when I created this sweet ornament for someone's very special First Christmas:

They work for Sweet Sweater Snowbabies, and they work for eggs...
but I tend to like to be a bit more original with the way I display things, don't you?!
Using an egg cup to display an egg is just so.... normal.

continue reading to find more
 easy and unique ways to display Easter eggs:


Vintage Door Bulletin Board

I have a thing for old doors. I love 'em. I collect 'em.
I use them for tabletops and wall art and headboards and shutters and fences and.....
I've made bulletin / inspiration boards out of them!
um... that would be the thing we did BEFORE Pinterest... pinning items on an actual BOARD...
Here's the basic 'how-to', Deb version:
First, you need an old / vintage door with an opening in it, like mine shown above.
The opening used to be a window... some doors have inset wood panels,
and you can remove those and use the opening, too.

I bet you can't guess what the bulletin board part is made from!
[no, it's not corkboard! you know that I never use things the way they are expected to be used!]

Here's a clue:
Any guesses?
How about now?
Yup, it's made from an acoustic ceiling tile!

They are large, porous (easy to stick pins and tacks into) and pretty cheap.
And when I first made MY board, I found a tile in the garage - so I used it!

You'll need a large rectangular sized acoustic ceiling tile to fill the opening in a door.
Measure the opening on your door, and draw lines on the acoustic tile as a cutting guide.
Then cut the tile by using an electric carving knife!
[ Just like styrofoam. Wait, you didn't know that about cutting styrofoam?!]

After the tile is cut, wrap the cut edges with duct tape to prevent crumbling.
Then paint your tile and the duct tape with regular house paint -
and because it's already primed white when you buy it, it takes paint really well.
You could cover it with wallpaper, gift wrap, etc if you wanted to.

Then fit the tile into the door's opening from the back side...
most of them have a lip that held the old glass in place, and that will keep the tile from falling forward.
Secure the tile to the back of the door using metal brackets attached across each corner
[ much like the ones used on artist's canvases and frames ].

Or you can do what I did... and just hot glue the tile to the back of the door 
and then add a buncha' duct tape all around the edges for good measure.
It holds the thing in place, and no one is going to SEE the back!!!
Now comes the fun part...
fill it up with clippings and cuttings and photos and quotes,
even dimensional objects and souvenirs and special things
that inspire you and make you smile when you look at them.


Finding Your Way Through Wonderland...

I've previously shared info on this marvelous event for women, 
but wanted to share it once more so that no one misses out!

Held once a year in sunny Southern California's vintage & antique community of Orange,
the Launch Your Creativity networking & educational event 
is geared toward women who HAVE a business or who want to START a business.
Whether you will offer your own artisan work, a store, a service, or a franchise 
(natural oils or makeup, for example),
here is where you will find resources, inspiration, encouragement, support, and connection
to women who UNDERSTAND and can EMPOWER you and your business!

The two-day event is coming up soon, and you don't want to be late for this very important date!

Come to Launch, and learn how to navigate 'Wonderland'
("I wonder how to start... I wonder what to do next... I wonder if I can DO this...")
and you'll find yourself on the road to SUCCESS!

Visit the Launch Your Creativity Website HERE 
to learn more about the event and to purchase tickets
Limited seating available
PS: The DoubleTree Hilton Inn is located just two miles South of Disneyland !
[ If my Disney work schedule permits, 
I'll be participating in the 'Truth Over Tea' Panel Discussion on Saturday morning ]