Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Friday, December 31, 2010

Gifts and the New Year

 Laura, at White Spray Paint, wrote such a touching post on her words for the year that you really must read.  I had been wondering what words I would choose myself when I read her post. I am so grateful to her for putting her thoughts out there.

Gracious, open, ready, prayerful, hopeful, attentive, optimistic, abundant... words I have been thinking about as my personal theme for the New Year.  Time's around Frippery farmhouse have been trying, to say the least, this past year and a half. I need a shift in perspective for the new year. I have always been a glass half full kind of girl, but 2010 really put that sunny outlook to the test. No more...I will embrace whatever comes my way this year with open arms and grateful heart, knowing that there is a reason for everything if only one is willing to accept what comes and see the blessing in it. So much of life can be wasted in fighting what we cannot change and fretting over the past. This year I do not want to waste a moment. I will make a conscious decision to begin each day with the intent of savoring each occurrence and every task as a gift. It is a gift. We have an abundance of gifts right before us each day.

 Each and every moment we are here on earth to enjoy the beauty and love that surrounds us is a profound gift. No more wasted time worrying about "if only", just joy in the fact that we are here and so much opportunity surrounds us. I will work at finding every opportunity to grow, love, be at peace and enjoy the bounty of the world around us.
To commit myself to being more open and accepting of what life brings in 2011, is my wish. To be gracious, content with what I have, open to what is possible.

What is your word of the year? What changes would you like to embrace? Will you make resolutions or just find a theme to guide you? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 2011 I welcome you with a gracious, open and hopeful heart.
Have a year filled with gifts, large and small, my friends. You are a gift yourselves, P.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Still Celebrating in Cincinnati

I hope all of you enjoyed a merry and bright Christmas. Ours, here at Frippery farmhouse, was just lovely. We enjoyed a Christmas Eve annual get together at our dear friend's Sue and Tom's and had a quiet and cozy Christmas morning opening gifts with the kids. 
We always host Christmas dinner for the family at our home and each year seems more precious than the last. My brother's boys are growing so swiftly that I can see the men they will be in glimpses here and there.
When all the Christmas excitement was over, we prepped for round two with hub's sister and her family visiting from Chicago. They arrived Monday and we have had some great times. Once again the children are growing before our eyes!
Yesterday we all met my son and his girlfriend in Mt. Adams for sushi at Teak (one of our favorite places). A table for ten and four platters full while we caught up on everything and everyone. Then across the bridge to Newport on the Levee to view our beautiful city at dusk.
 The light was just right and the cold wind definitely still held the scent of celebration.
 Mt. Adams, the neighborhood where we devoured our sushi, can be glimpsed to the right of the bridge. You can see the steeple of Holy Cross Immaculata Church at the peak.
(I could go into a history lesson about my beloved city but I will save that for another time.)

Looking west as the sun set you can see Covington Ky. and and the riverboats floating on the icy Ohio River.
Luckily we found a spot to warm up and have a little photo session. My niece and daughter are in front, oldest nephew and brother and sister in law follow and hubs brings up the rear. My middle nephew was hiding somewhere behind everyone. 
What a week this has been so far!
A few more shots of Cincinnati as the sun set. I don't know which season I would call my favorite. There is so much to love about each one. The stark and chilly winter sky can be so amazingly beautiful. A perfect backdrop to my hometown on this December night.
If your week has been half as special as ours you are blessed indeed. I know we are.
Have a happy last week of 2010 and may the promise of a fantastic new year live inside your heart.

Have a warmhearted Wednesday, P.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

A White Christmas

We will have a white Christmas here around Frippery farmhouse. I couldn't be happier! A few more inches falling tonight, on top of the 14 and a half we have already had this winter. 
I cannot think of a lovelier gift.
Visiting friends and family as the snow falls this evening will bring memories of childhood Christmas's when all the world was encased in layers of wonder.
I hope your Christmas is magical.
Look at this day through the eyes of a child and keep that hope in your heart that all will be well and every wish will come true.
Be safe and warm and merry.
Enjoy the gift of love this season brings.
I wish you peace, quiet joy and comfort, today and through the new year.
Have a Merry Christmas my friends. You make all my days brighter.

All the blessings of Christmas to you, P.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frippery Farmhouse Snowy Evening Part #2

Welcome back. Have a seat at the table and I will put the kettle on.
This year the dining room is dressed with a definite woodsy feeling.
Fresh greens accented with a little bit of fantasy silks, all on a bed of earthy burlap.

A gorgeous silver glitter star I picked up while doing a craft show in Blanchester, Ohio last weekend.
The only "new" piece I purchased this year, although it is a second hand purchase, so only new to me. I placed it over my large mirror so the gleam could be reflected.
Glitter and the holidays go hand in hand, don't you agree?

I always add some real pine into my faux arrangements because the scent is heavenly.
Do you love the scent of evergreen and balsam too?
My favorite nativity. This one is the one I grew up with. The dear angel is missing here arm now and her wing has been broken, but she is so beautiful to me. One of my first memories of Christmas.
I placed the scene under glass this year for a different look. My Fontanini creche sits atop the china cabinet. I shared some photos last year from the old (new) dining room.

Would you like a peppermint stick in your chocolate or just a few marshmallows?
How about a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a splash of Bailey's?
Let's just sit and chat and enjoy a moment or two of peace. Reflecting on the year with good friends is a cherished part of the Christmas season.
My year has been blessed with friendship, love, new beginnings, wonderful meetings and shared experience that I will never forget. These are treasures beyond any. There is no gift so lasting and precious as memories and I have an abundance of wonderful ones.
 I hope you have a joyous evening whether you are staying home and snuggling in or celebrating with dear ones. We are having a few of our oldest friends join us for a bit of reminiscing and catching up.  

Have a wonderfully wintery weekend, P.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snowy Evening at Frippery Farmhouse

It has been snowing steadily since last evening. It finally tapered off about 1:00 this afternoon. We have been tucked up cozily here at Frippery farmhouse. I have lots of decorating to finish but I am having trouble tearing myself away from this...

I won a give away from sweet Sonya at Dime Store Thrift and received a personally signed copy of The Find from Stan Williams, the Elegant Thrifter, himself. Don't hate me because I'm lucky. What a fabulous early Christmas present! Thank you Sonya and Stan.

Speaking of Christmas, I took a few shots around the house last evening as I finished up some of the decorating. I have been having trouble getting good photos since the sun sets at 5 o'clock now.  Even during the day there hasn't been much light. But, oh, the snow is so pretty I will sacrifice the sunshine for now.
                          My hubs and I share this room as our office. You may remember last year this           this spot was our dining room but that is back in it's original space now. I have furniture and decorating ADD as you should know by now. You have it too don't you??? I love blogging from my little marble topped desk. Not photographed here because, well, it needs tidying.
My kitchen is decked out in red for the merriest season of entertaining. As you may see by the pizza on the counter there was not much cooking going on in the farmhouse last evening. When decorating is happening dinner is whatever we can pull from the freezer.

 Hubs and I added this little additional storage area in October. A trip to Home Depot for an unfinished cabinet and some lumber and I now have a pantry and shelves for storage and display. The open shelving above the sideboard is from IKEA. Now I can keep my dishes and glassware close at hand during holiday parties. My cookbooks have a home here as well.
 I just love twinkly little lights when it is dark and cold outside. Would it be wrong to leave them up until Valentines Day?

 Our everyday dinner spot is off the kitchen in the family room. This is where we LIVE most days. Of course the big tree has to be in front of the windows so we can see it from the side of the house as we come up the hill and know we are home. Where better to be on a frosty night?
 I think we need to build a fire. Don't you agree?
 There is no such thing as too much sparkle when it comes to the holidays. The feeling of being a child surrounded by all all the magic of Christmas is what I love at this time of year.
 The gold and silver of tinsel and red and white candy cane stripes!
I wish a peaceful and cozy beginning to this last weekend before Christmas to all of you. Thank you for sharing your homes and talent and friendship here in Blogville. I cherish the comradery and inspiration from each one of you.

Have a delightful day, P.
I am linking to these great holiday parties!
Hooked on Houses

Shabby Chic Cottage

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Making Christmas

 Do I  see Christmas decorations finally showing up at Frippery farmhouse?
It is about time, don't you agree?
With all the hustle and bustle of craft shows this past month I am very late...
I am joining in the Nesting Place Christmas Tour of Homes  and Kelly's Tour of Homes to light a fire beneath my feet and get me moving!
Of course, Mother Nature has already decorated for Christmas and the beauty of falling snow cannot    be surpassed, especially at this time of the year.

I have set myself a deadline now that I have finished crafting...first floor by the end of today and the basement by Wednesday...I will forgo the second floor this year as I am in the midst of a redo there.

Just some fluffing up and a bit of color for the entry, white, silver, pink and red...

Fairy lights amidst the silver and red...can you really have too many lights...not around here!

              Snow babies frolic on the bookshelves along with a snowy white collection
                                                            of milk glass.

My favorite reindeer figurines sit in silvery dishes filled with "snow". Glistening ornaments in          peppermint colors encircle the wreath above their sweet heads.

 Vintage blown glass on a small white tree adds to the cheer.

The powder room is dressed in small traditional touches of red, gold and green vintage trinkets.

A bit of the woodland for the front window in the entry, to reflect the out doors.

Our tree in the family room is ceiling height and I choose to leave the top section off this year to add a crown of flowers and ribbons for a garden feel...tulips, peonies and geranium in reds and white.

Outside the window, the best decoration of all, snow. I am sighing with contentment. Hey...
I better quit dreaming and start doing if I want to finish by my deadline. Hope your December is going smoothly. See you back here when I've finished!

Have a merry Monday, P.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scenes from a Small Town Christmas

Snow falls on a chilly Saturday morning as a small town prepares for a Christmas celebration.

                         The flag flies proudly among the flakes above the village homes.

      Nestled in the Ohio valley among three rivers, a little spot on the map that has seen much history...

Dressed in bows and greenery to celebrate this most joyous season. 

Snow covering all, silently, magically.

Soon the streets will be filled with families. Children laughing and shouting with glee.

Dancing and singing and all that Christmas brings to a small village will be celebrated.

              Parades and carriage rides, candy canes and cocoa and rosy windblown cheeks...

                              and of course the Master of Ceremonies, Santa himself.

Have a snugly Sunday, P.

P.S. You don't know how hard I had to restrain myself not to make a comment on that adorable fireman...I know, I know, I need to grow up. But really, what fun would that be?
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