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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye to 2011

Another year counts down to it's close and I have great hopes for the new one.
Thank you for sharing your journey and traveling along on mine.

Peace, joy, magic, and a dream or two come true, is my wish for you in 2012.
Good Night my friends.
See you in 2012, P.
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Christmas Wish for You

Merry Christmas sweet friends,
It is time to put down the dust cloth, wrap that last package and call it done.
No fretting about what isn't "perfect".
No last ditch effort to add one more "little" project.
Just rest and savor the days.

No worries about that bit of cat drool sliding down the window.
Who will even notice once the lights are lit and the candle's glowing?
The joy of being together is all the "perfection" we need.

So what if that suction cup holding the star didn't get covered by a beautiful brown satin ribbon?
This season comes and goes too quickly to get caught up in minutia.

We love the part of the season that calls for decking the halls and making our homes lovely for visitors.
Now it is time to relax.

What didn't get done is not important.
Life and hope and joy are.

So light those candles and put on some beautiful music.
Revel in the beauty.
Laugh with friends.
Shed a tear for Christmas memories and make lovely new ones.

If a bottle of Febreze shows up in a photo of your Christmas home tour, hey, at least we know the house smells fresh!

If an angel is missing an arm or a wing those chips and imperfections show how well loved the pieces of Christmas past have been.

I wish you joy in your hearts throughout the season and my hope for you is that all is calm and bright.

Take it slow and taste each delicious moment.
Drink in all the faces of loved ones.
Be at peace.

I will see you in the New Year.
Love and hugs, P.

This post is linked to Donna at Funky Junk's Home Tour
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More Favorite Things

Hello my friends,
Why is it when I say I am taking break I post more than ever?
Must be the season and being surrounded by so many pretty things.
It makes me want to sing, and play, and visit with you all to see what scrumptious bits you are posting.

So...indulge me in sharing just a few more.
You will notice they all have one thing in common.
This one is my favorite of all hubby's Radko ornaments.
It reminds me of over the top Christmas displays from childhood...
a gorgeous illustration from a children's picture book...
some of our first Christmas's as a young family...
All lovely memories.

Pink Ornaments, gaaahhh, I just can never get enough.
My mom had a white flocked tree that stood each year in the picture window of our 
little suburban ranch house.
The tree rotated in a white stand with gold stars and my dad hooked up the revolving cellophane covered pink and white spotlight to shine in just the right spot.
While he was taking his time finding the perfect angle for the spotlight, my brother and I would play in the big tree box.
The tree was covered in pink ornaments of varying tones.
Very 60's.
I know I am telling my age but what a wonderful time to grow up!
Pink ornaments will always say Christmas to me.
(Oh my, I wish I had that tree now!)

Silver, gold and red.
Grandma's house. 
I made these candlesticks from two wooden goodwill finds, glittered until they could not hold anymore.
Then I needed a flame.
Two red strawberry pincushions on the drawing table in the studio.
A glittering flame now tops each one.

When I think of my grandma's house I always associate the colors of red and gold at Christmas.
Not sure if that was her main color scheme but her warm and welcoming home always glows with sepia tones in my memory.

She was often at her sewing machine when we stopped by 
so the strawberries evoke those memories as well.
Oh, can you just die over that glitter?

Silver, gold and red mixed with old paper.
Not sure why this gets to me but I think of all the childhood Christmas's and the shiny department store displays downtown...
Christmas's long gone still living in our hearts.
Those we love who are no longer with us but still a huge part of our lives.

Oh and let's not forget glitter...
and sparkling glass.
I am like a moth to a flame when it comes to shiny things.
There is no resistance.
Since this is the most glitter filled season of all...
well you get it...
I am off to hunt down more glitter.
Speaking of which, Laura reposted some perfectly lovely words.
Stop by for a moment, I think you will be happy you did.

"Silver and gold, silver and gold,
Everyone wishes for silver and gold,
How do you measure it's worth?
Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth."
Johnny Marks (sung by Burl Ives)

Yours in glitter and kitsch and the Merriest of Christmas's, P.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

A Few Favorite Things

Hi Friends,
Can't seem to stay away.
You have probably heard the quote from William Morris concerning the decoration of a home.
"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
A perfect golden rule.

I have been trying to cut the excess from my surroundings and take a careful look at what I have both on display and stored.
Taking measure of each thing and appraising it's value as useful or beautiful.

What can be let go of and what would be missed.

What someone else may cherish for a time that may have lost it's luster to me.

A year end exercise in taking stock.
A form of inventory for collectors.
Making room for new vintage obsessions.
I have found much I do consider to be beautiful still.
The top of the family room desk contains all the things pictured here and it brings me joy to see each one displayed. The sweet little thermos bottles and the owl silhouette are new to me and make me smile.
Thanks to Carrie and her wonderful eye I picked these up at the City Flea last weekend.
The stack of crafty books from an Omaha antique shop reminds me of all my Silver Bella friends.
The cocktail glasses etched with K are from my in-laws and the shaker reminds me of
my parent's parties in my
childhood home.
The old typewriter from Joe's mom and dad's attic because how could it not make make me happy?
The burlap shaded lamp from TJMaxx that I couldn't pass up on clearance...yeah!

I was thinking of you and wanted to share these with you because you "get it" too.
I hope you are enjoying this week before Christmas with a twinkle in your eye and a carol in your heart.
I am.

"The things that we love tell us who we are."
St. Thomas Aquinas

Yours in being, P.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Thoughts on Christmas Fluff

Hello my friends,
Now that every little corner reflects the shiny bright memory of Christmas past it is time to do a bit of personal reflecting.

Decking the halls with trinkets and baubles brings much pleasure once the work is finished.

However I sometimes get testy while in the process. How un Christmas like is that?

Is all the fluff worth doing if it isn't a joyous process?

Once complete I would have to say yes.
Visual people need to create just to fill their eyes with something that speaks to them.

So we do this thing once a year that really has very little to do with the real Christmas.
Perhaps though, the fact of bringing some cheer to a dark world, hope for something better, is all a part of Christmas too.

My nativities are always on display but so is all the candy colored, sparkling finery.

I think it is OK to love both sides of the season. The celebration of Christ's birth and the hope it brings each year as well as all the tinsel filled memories of our childhoods.

To savor the peace of the season as well as the hustle and bustle of preparation.
We are preparing to celebrate the greatest birthday of all so let us do that each in our own way.

When the big day ends, my favorite time is the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany when Christ is revealed to the Magi. 
Time to reflect and enjoy family and friends and the last days before taking it all down and starting with a clean slate in the new year.

I will be taking some time from posting to reflect and enjoy this wondrous season. 
To visit with more of you and revel in the ways you celebrate in your homes.
To go out and enjoy the season stripped of baubles. Just the clear, crisp beauty that nature brings.

Have a blessed Christmas, a sparkling New Year and all the happiness that simply living brings.

"Epiphany:  A sudden, intuitive perception into the essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely or commonplace occurrence or experience."

Yours in reflection, P.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Frippery Farmhouse Christmas Tour

The halls are, for the most part,decked and I am ready for some downtime.
Hot chocolate with peppermint marshmallows and white chocolate chips and an old movie.
My latest sugar, carb and calorie laden indulgence.
Please disregard the crazy path through the rooms. 
Apparently NO attention was being paid to the layout of Frippery farmhouse when loading these photos.
Must have something to do with all that sugar

I made a conscious effort not to give in to my tendency to use every ounce of Christmas decoration in the bins this year.
They really need to be de-stashed. A chore for later days.
I just fluffed and added to those things that I display, love and use on a daily basis.
Peppermint stripes in the kitchen. What could be happier?

Simplicity in the lavender gray stairway.
(I have a story about that tree stand for a later post.)

View from the kitchen to the much more subdued family room.

Back to the entry, are you dizzy yet?
Just a small touch or two on the black shelves.
(That box? Part of the tree stand story. Later...)

 Looking from the entry into the dining room.
I will post glimpses of more detail this week. I didn't want you to end up head down on your keyboard,  drooling and softly snoring from photo overload.

Back to a view of the family room through the kitchen.
This year a woodsy themed walk in a snowy forest.

Turn around and you can see the entry, vintage pastel against black and white. 
A color scheme that I have fallen in love with.

A second look at the owl mantel in the family room.
Okay, I really must lay off the chocolate, my head is spinning from running back and forth.

Even the typewriter is dressed in vintage finery.

Tiny winter scenes under glass.
The watercolors have a snow theme too.

My husband's Radko ornaments are displayed in the pink dining room this year.
Such a happy little tree!

Back to the entry to say a fond farewell for today.
Candy colored dreams to send you on you way.
(Poet and don't know it.)

I am linking to these fantastic Holiday Home tours today.
Grab a cup of hot chocolate and go visiting.
Take my advice and leave out the white chocolate chips.
Too much of a good thing you know...

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.
In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall."
Larry Wilde

Yours in evergreens and fairy lights, P.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tablescapes and Mantel Parties

Hello friends,
Craft show season has ended with a sigh of relief.
Now I can play!
Slowly making Christmas is like rearranging toys on a shelf.
Fun, joyful...relaxing?
Let's not get carried away.
I am feeling a touch behind but no rush.
I am going slowly, using less, and savoring each little snippet.
Using more of what is already on display and leaving that multitude of bins fairly untouched.
I did however, want to join the Holiday Home Link Parties being hosted by Layla, Rhoda, Kate and Sarah.
Nothing I love more than peeking into other's homes at Christmas.
Well, maybe less creepy, but you get my drift. 

So...Better late than not at all, I am sharing two posts in one.

 A little intimate buffet at the breakfast table.

I am going in a different direction this year. 
Colors of the woods surrounding Frippery Farmhouse.
Everyday items that will last past Christmas and into the winter winds of the New Year.

Colors of warm cognac and bare winter tree limbs.
Soft paisley pashmina used as a runner.

A rusted metal garden tote from my friend Carrie holds glittery florals.
(Side note, I had filled my home with fresh greens from my trip to the garden center. Due to severe allergic reactions from a few family members they are now lovingly displayed on the porch.
Decorating buzz kill!)

Simple, everyday festive.

Of course I must have that glitter fix.
Loving the sequin tips.

Won't you join me?

On to the mantel.
(Keep in mind the fragrant greens that had to be removed. OK just let it go Pam!)
Actually I have found the white mantel to be quite soothing.

Winter on a snowy evening.

Owls keeping watch over us all.

A quiet woodland scene.
I can almost hear the snow falling, that hushed magic.

Black, white and brown, the colors outdoors in the frosty months ahead.

Plus, no evergreen needles to sweep.
(See, I couldn't let it go.)

I hope you enjoyed your little peek inside Frippery Farmhouse.
I am linking to Layla and Rhoda's parties today. Go check out all the other lovely homes.'s OK...they invited you don't have to peek through the windows...

"Christmas is the time for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart."
Washington Irving

Yours in hospitality, P.
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