Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas in Dubuque

We spent Christmas in Dubuque with my inlaws, complete with ham and drama. Isn't there a person in all our family trees that just can't help but cause trouble? We managed to celebrate anyway, and a mostly good time was had by all.

After seeing the gorgeous light displays in Dubuque (just off Grandview Ave, was a luminaria display you wouldn't believe, streets lined with thousands of the pretty bags glowing in the cold night), I have decided to name Iowa City Scroogetown USA. I would guess less than 30 percent of houses have any Christmas lights, something I credited to the cold snap we had at the first of the month, but now I think it is a bad excuse. Dubuque is way colder than here, and I would say lights were on about 80 percent of the houses. Happy to say, even my husband, who works an 80 to 100 hour work week, put up lights on our house. Bah, humbug Iowa City!

I have been busy and more busy finishing projects, just took 350 photographs, so you can imagine what I have to list! Here are just a few...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Little Blue and White

Things have slowed down, giving me some time to indulge myself with painting stuff. I took my favorites, blue and white and prettied up a few old kitchenwares. I still love my dry milk paint bowls, will send them out for another try to sell them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Greetings

My first Christmas cards arrived this week, the first all the way from England--Thank you Karen, and Merry Christmas (it will probably be a New Years surprise, but the girls are working like elves making a little surprise for you)--the second card came from one of our China group families. These women work as nurses in intensive care units, one for burn victims, one for critically ill infants. Besides that, they have adopted 3 children, and still they get a card full of photos and a lovely letter sent out before I do! Man, if that wasn't enough to make me sit down and address cards, I don't know what will--it is definitely no excuses time.

I took a few photos of things on my wish list at Gatherings while I was there, if Santa brings me a check, that little rocker may be going home with me! I absolutely fell in love with the leather book display, and thinking that might be the next thing I need to collect...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inspired by Homesteaders and Gatherers

Well, if you haven't checked the blog for Homestead Deppen, Teresa has about the most beautiful house ever. After looking over her wonderful Christmas displays, I decided I needed to get my house in order! I went to Anamosa to Gatherings for a little more inspiration, came home and cleaned and decorated all over again. The blue pie safe has sat at the top of my stairs in the way, moving ropes attached and stuff piled on top. I took the ropes off, moved it to the front entry and put the church pew that used to be there around the corner. Now why didn't I do that 6 months ago? It looks very nice. When I was cleaning, I stuck this bread board in an old dough bowl just to put it out of the way and voila, another why didn't I do this before? I put the garland on the pie safe, it fell off, I put it on the chair as temporary, then again decided it needed to stay. Add a sampler and a snowguy from Gatherings and it is a display. It actually looks like Christmas here for real now. Oh, I just won the reinder needlepunch from ebay, he is sooo cute with my blue Santas. Thanks to the homesteader and the gatherer for all the inspiration!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Political Kids

I've seen lots of videos on the internet where parents coach their kids to ask a politician a question, which just makes me sigh, but also very curious about what a real kid would really like to ask a politician. So, I did my own home survey and asked the girls if they could ask the president any question, what would it be, and must say I love the results. Anna "Mom, I would not want to ask the president anything." Me "It's only make believe, so just think about it." Anna, pauses and thinks, and finally "I guess I'd want to know what is the best thing about being the president, but really, I think it would be a lot more interesting to talk with his kids." Grace had no hesitation, she wants to ask "Do you have a hamster?" Now that is a great question that I would adore seeing at a town hall meeting.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Decorating the Tiny House

Back home in Iowa City and finally got the tree decorated last night, had to move Anna's desk to find room for the tree, so she is squished in the corner for the season. I've had so much fun getting the girls Christmas presents, actually found some of Grace's impossible requests. When she was little, she swore all she wanted was a bucket of rubber fish to feed her stuffed penguins. Do you know buckets of rubber fish are rather hard to come by? This year, all she wants is Tom Riddle's diary, and I about screamed when I found a replica from Warner Brothers. Anna used to be so easy, just get anything with Princess Jasmine on it and you are set, but she has outgrown the princesses., Fortunately she has found Alice in Wonderland, so I got a really cool Mad Hatters tea party clock that runs backwards and a White Rabbit necklace. I think I may be more anxious now for Christmas to get here, can hardly wait to see their faces!

Tree up, Santas displayed and Christmas farm assembled. Note the very prim tree that still got the Princess treatment!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rooms with a View The Clarinda Version

I worked like crazy getting the house cleaned and rearranged into a two day store, and think the results were good. The shoppers were a bit few and far between, but it was nice to catch up with those that did come, there were new babies and grown up babies, mine included! I'm not sure I'll continue with the shows, we'll just have to see how next year progresses...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Organized People Will Never Know the Joy of Finding Money in Their Coat Pocket

Being forgetful has its up side, take your winter coat out, check pockets for lost gloves and find a $5 bill you put in last spring, what a kick! For me, it is look for the dough bowl, and find a bag of forgotten whisk brooms and mashers. Just in time to Christmas them up, these are really prim and pretty.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Clarinda Open House or the Nightmare Before Christmas?

I've done it again, decided I can do a show all by myself and how much work can it be? Well, there are hours to go before I sleep, is all I have to say. I worked at the house this weekend and got a few displays up. As with all things that can go awry, my only chance to photograph was on the gloomiest day of the year. It's 10 am in a house with one million 9 foot tall windows and the light was feeble at best. This is only a tiny bit of what I have, the Christmas needs unpacking still, husband says my inventory is out of control, so I hope you all stop by and help me out with making that a bit smaller! The big post office cubby should be filled up by the time I'm done, and I still have the ornaments to hang, wreaths to put out, entryway and living room to decorate.

We had a nice Thanksgiving in Clarinda, my good friend Lisa invited us to be with her family and oh my, what a dinner! Anna said "There are so many things to choose from, I don't know where to start!" DEEEEELicious! Company was good too, an all around nice day.

Christmas Tree Hunting

It was a gloomy day here, but very fun out at the Christmas tree farm. Handley's is outside of Solon, a little town near Iowa City, and it reminds me so much of visiting my dad's sawmill in California when I was little. Of course, Dad's trees were a bit bigger than these, but the sound of the saws, smell of the pine and sawdust, brought it all back. We picked out a good one, now just need to find time to decorate!

The little bridge over the creek was perfect for a game of Pooh sticks, which most people look at me in horror "you are playing WHAT sticks?" Winnie the Pooh, people...You throw your stick on one side of the bridge and see who's stick gets to the other side first!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Clarinda Antique Sale Dec. 2 and 3, Friday and Saturday

This is just a bit of what I have for the show in Clarinda, I'll have lots more photos posted on Sunday evening, come back and check!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Inspired at Sisters Garden

We took a drive to Kalona and I actually took my camera. Here are just a few reasons a stop at Sister's Garden always makes me happy, they have the most wonderful displays, and I love the whimsy--isn't the teapot door hanger the best?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Holly and the Ivy

Here is my dark red and green collection up for sale today if all goes well...

Christmas Crock

For Teresa, here I am forgetting to measure, but this is a size smaller than the others you have, probably an inch shorter and smaller in diameter.