(Holiday) Guest Amenities

The holiday bed.

The holiday bed.

I am always looking for simple ways to make guest feel special, but simplicity is a must.  In my holiday guest room this year, I have a quilt fold that yields a special surprise and an amenities kit using a simple lunch sack.  Both can be easily done on the fly, without too much effort.

I hope you find inspiration.

All the best,

Cindy

Holiday greens, dressed bed and some special surprises...

Holiday greens, dressed bed and some special surprises…

A gift on the bed side table.

A gift on the bed side table.

A simple lunch sack folded over, left plain or using holiday stamps and embellishments as I have done.

A simple lunch sack folded over, left plain or using holiday stamps and embellishments as I have done.

Bottled water, simple snacks and personal care items.

Bottled water, simple snacks and personal care items.

Travel sizes all wrapped in a muslin bag decorated with simple holiday stamps.

Travel sizes all wrapped in a muslin bag decorated with simple holiday stamps.

Simple folds create a place to tuck in a little gift.

Simple folds create a place to tuck in a little gift.

A special gift for guests. Nothing fancy. It could be a favorite candy bar, event tickets or even a lottery scratcher. Anything to bring a smile to the face of visitors.

A special gift for guests. Nothing fancy. It could be a favorite candy bar, event tickets or even a lottery scratcher. Anything to bring a smile to the face of visitors.

The holiday bed.

The holiday bed.

Holiday Birch Logs with German Glass Glitter

A random smattering of German glass glitter. A little like moss growing on a tree.

A random smattering of German glass glitter. A little like moss growing on a tree.

My house is by no means opulent, but every now and again, I can’t resist a little sparkle when the holidays arrive.  While spending some time with family in Dahlonega, Georgia in October, my cousin helped me find the perfect birch tree on my uncle’s property to harvest for this project.  It had been broken off by storms and we felt it would be okay to chop what was left into a few pieces.

I got home and randomly dabbed watered down glue in various areas and added some coarse silver German glass glitter.  I can’t really say the pictures do it justice, but it looks lovely.  Place them in an old tub found at the Round Top Antiques show, along with fresh greens and smattering of artificial embellishments and it makes for a lovely arrangement throughout the holidays.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

A warm welcome in front of the fire.

A warm welcome in front of the fire.

Nature's finest. Birch logs and Christmas greens.

Nature’s finest. Birch logs and Christmas greens.

The additions of scented pine cones.

The additions of scented pine cones.

Arrangements aren't just for flowers.

Arrangements aren’t just for flowers.

 

Quick Christmas Candle Lantern

Leftover wrapping paper from last year, a simple ribbon and some live mistletoe.

Leftover wrapping paper from last year, a simple ribbon and some live mistletoe.

I love burning candles.  Especially at Christmas.  I needed a quick way to make a plain looking candle fit in with the festive décor.  I just grabbed what I had at hand to make a simple paper sleeve for candles around the home.  I was partly inspired by the live mistletoe that I bought from some very resourceful boy scouts outside of the local Lowe’s.  They picked it from a local park and were selling small bunches to support their troop.  Smart thinking and well done.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Paper, ribbon, a way to create a decorative edge and some live or artificial embellishments. Simple as that. My one tip would be to make sure the paper you use has some transparency to it in order to diffuse the light and create a warm glow.

Paper, ribbon, a way to create a decorative edge and some live or artificial embellishments. Simple as that. My one tip would be to make sure the paper you use has some transparency to it in order to diffuse the light and create a warm glow.

 

A simple lunch sack worked for this sleeve. The seaming inadvertently became part of the design, highlighting the scalloped edges.

A simple lunch sack worked for this sleeve. The seaming inadvertently became part of the design, highlighting the scalloped edges.

 

Because Christmas is here again…

Sprigs of fresh greens, vintage glass ornaments in a simple ironstone bowl.

Sprigs of fresh greens, vintage glass ornaments in a simple ironstone bowl.

All my decorating is done.  I started earlier than normal this year and now that I am done, it mostly means I can coast for the rest of the year and devote my weekends to baking.  Indeed.

Here are a few snippets of the inside of the house.  You may notice there aren’t a lot of long shots.  It’s mostly because I am holding back on wide shots so when the feature in Country Living comes out, you won’t already be bored with it. 😉

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

A simple fresh green wreath flanked by antique mercury glass beaded garland.  The bed is simply dressed with vintage linens and ruby red washed velvet pillows and a quilted velvet blanket at the end of the bed in a subdued neutral color.  It all makes for a cozy place to be.

A simple fresh green wreath flanked by antique mercury glass beaded garland. The bed is simply dressed with vintage linens and ruby red washed velvet pillows and a quilted velvet blanket at the end of the bed in a subdued neutral color. It all makes for a cozy place to be.

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An old sap bucket is a terrific alternative to more expensive vessels to house a holiday arrangement.

An old sap bucket is a terrific alternative to more expensive vessels to house a holiday arrangement.

A papier mache Santa boot that I painted then adorned with German Glitter Glass and a holiday embellishment, topped off with a fresh sprig of greens.

A papier mache Santa boot that I painted then adorned with German Glitter Glass and a holiday embellishment, topped off with a fresh sprig of greens.

A stair landing arrangement.

A stair landing arrangement.

Trying to tuck in a little Christmas in each room, both great and small.

Trying to tuck in a little Christmas in each room, both great and small.

A simple Home Goods pom pom wreath hung with sweet cotton red and white striped ribbon.

A simple Home Goods pom pom wreath hung with sweet cotton red and white striped ribbon.

Who says wreaths are only for doors?

Who says wreaths are only for doors?

Another Sulphur Springs, Texas find. This lovely blue antique cupboard is a great way to store and display my vintage textile collection and ironstone pitcher collection.

Another Sulphur Springs, Texas find. This lovely blue antique cupboard is a great way to store and display my vintage textile collection and ironstone pitcher collection.

My antique chandelier with a crown of fresh Christmas greens.

My antique chandelier with a crown of fresh Christmas greens.

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An old print befitting of such attention.

An old print befitting of such attention.

Sprigs of fresh greens, vintage glass ornaments in a simple ironstone bowl.

Sprigs of fresh greens, vintage glass ornaments in a simple ironstone bowl.

Etched footed bowls found on walmart.com

Etched footed bowls found on walmart.com

Simple fresh greens, footed mercury glass bowls and my vintage, hand blown ornaments.

Simple fresh greens, footed mercury glass bowls and my vintage, hand blown ornaments.

The use of NOEL is apropos of the French farmhouse window above the kitchen sink.

The use of NOEL is apropos of the French farmhouse window above the kitchen sink.

Beautiful old silver footed bowl I found I an antique shop in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Beautiful old silver footed bowl I found in an antique shop in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

 

The Pumpkin Conundrum…

 

Out with Halloween naturals and in with Christmas décor.   The leftover green pumpkins were too pretty not to find a way to use for the Christmas Holiday, so I created this transitional arrangement to greet friends and family.  It could easily adorn a kitchen island or fireplace mantle, too.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Fall pumpkins, stacked and tucked with moss, followed by a Christmas garland presented in an old cast iron urn. It's one way to transition from fall to Christmas, using what you already have.

Fall pumpkins, stacked and tucked with moss, followed by a Christmas garland presented in an old cast iron urn. It’s one way to transition from fall to Christmas, using what you already have.

Jingle All the Way…

Time is clicking by and it’s time to get decorating for Christmas. This year is special because it is post renovation and I’m really excited to decorate.  Roughly this  time last year, my stress level was off the charts because I was packing up and temporarily relocating.  So glad that is behind me.

I am sincerely happy to be back in my home.

That said, my mandate is to do as much as possible with what I have on hand or can acquire on a budget.  It starts with the porch. I am actually trying to break old habits and not hang a wreath on the front doors as I usually do.  So far, that means a simply crafted jingle bell garland using vintage jingle bells and seasonal arrangement in an old sap bucket.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Red Velvet Ribbon, vintage bells and craft store millinery make a fine welcome.

Red Velvet Ribbon, vintage bells and craft store millinery make a fine welcome.

A sap bucket, artificial greens missed with seasonal greens and an old galvanized tub filled with logs.

A sap bucket, artificial greens mixed with seasonal greens and an old galvanized tub filled with logs.

A happy welcome. Merry Christmas!

A happy welcome. Merry Christmas!

The Autumnal Porch

It’s been a while since I have posted anything not related to the renovation.  I am still settling into the house and figuring out how I want to live within my walls.  I have a ton of pictures, but I have to show some restraint in sharing them because there has been some interest in featuring the house in national publications and/or books, so I don’t want to flood the market with more pictures.

In the mean time, I have been trying to get back in the groove of design, crafting and creating projects to publish on the blog.  For the first time in a while, I have actually completed a project: my fall porch.  Trying to create a hybrid between all out Halloween décor and something more subtle, my mandate was to work with what I had on hand with the exception of purchasing pumpkins.

Forgive the graininess of the pictures.  I misplaced my battery charger for my good camera and the battery ran out.  I have a new one coming so that I can offer you better quality pictures. (Thank God for Amazon Prime :))

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

xoxo

An arrangement of silk hydrangeas, bittersweet berries and ethereal looking paper wisps compliment the Halloween picks found at the local hobby store.

An arrangement of silk hydrangeas, bittersweet berries and ethereal looking paper wisps compliment the Halloween picks found at the local hobby store.

Gauze and lights give a nice, eerie affect.

Gauze and lights give a nice, eerie affect.

A pile of pumpkins and gourds round out the overall design.

A pile of pumpkins and gourds round out the overall design.

Inexpensive tea lights provide a sweet, nightly glow.

Inexpensive tea lights provide a sweet, nightly glow.

Vintage light globes with Halloween embellishments.

Vintage light globes with Halloween embellishments.

Not too much, just enough to make me feel that fall is in the air.

Not too much, just enough to make me feel that fall is in the air.

A fall arrangement in a galvanized tub that I purchased at Round Top.

A fall arrangement in a galvanized tub that I purchased at Round Top.

Drop cloths provide a nice treatment for the windows.

Drop cloths provide a nice treatment for the windows.

A House into a Home…

This has been a busy two months.  Moving into an unfinished house with construction dust was not what I envisioned at the end of the renovation, even though it’s still not done yet.

To say it has been stressful would be an understatement.  Slowly but surely, I am digging out of it.  Sometimes with the help of family and friends and sometimes going it alone, each weekend I accomplish something that helps me feel better about all the trouble.  Washing and vacuuming every surface, setting up proper bedrooms so sleep can be peaceful, editing collections, figuring what I can do without, working hard not to fill every square inch of storage so there is room to grow, cleaning the outside of the house, removing construction debris that wasn’t removed, having a pop up antique sale, arranging furniture, hanging pictures and just generally setting up house that will be the place I call home.

This weekend, I had the help of one of my most special friends, Vince Maggio.  He is the truly undiscovered master of arrangement.  He worked on my living/dining area and what a great job he did.

These are iphone pictures, not using  my Canon camera, so take that into consideration.  These two pictures are just snippets, I’ll do a more comprehensive article when I am closer to finishing with setting up the house.

I hope you find some inspiration.

All the Best,

Cindy

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A $65 Craigslist table that was partially stripped. I like it just the way it is. $25 One King’s Lane bamboo directors chairs that match the tone of the table and the linen press. A grouping of vintage nautical print from The Round Top Antique Show placed in floating frames and a variety of other collected pieces.

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Antique linen press full of curated items, a comfy couch across from the fireplace (pics of that later, it isn’t finished) and inexpensive IKEA pillow, along with a French ticking stripe pillow from Home Goods all come together to make a beautiful, comfortable place to set a spell and take a load off.

 

Little Snippets

Wow.  The last six weeks have been overwhelming.  Finishing the renovation (it’s still not complete yet…but a small list of items to finish), staying in a hotel with my parents and two dogs, trying to unpack boxes and make the house more about living and less about chaos and finally, laying my head on a pillow in the place I call home.  It’s a lot to take in.

Little by little, I am pushing through, so I thought I would share a picture of the downstairs bathroom vanity.  There is so much more to see, but I am not quite ready to take pictures.

Thanks so much for your patience since my last post.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Cindy

xoxo

An inexpensive wrought iron base, Carrera marble remnant and a simple bowl sink.  White is the backdrop, but I have added splashes of vintage green by way of the vintage Jadeite towel bar and old farm mirrors with their original green finish.

An inexpensive wrought iron base, Carrera marble remnant and a simple bowl sink. White is the backdrop, but I have added splashes of vintage green by way of the vintage Jadeite towel bar and old farm mirrors with their original green finish.

The One Minute Mile

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The perfect contrast of light and dark

 

Big things happen in little minutes and that just about describes what will happen in the next 5 days.  Floors, cabinets, tiling, plumbing finishing, electrical finishing and painting.  And that’s just the inside.  The rain has hampered working on the outside but it makes  no difference to me.  I just want to sleep in my own bed and fall asleep staring at my own ceiling.

Here are the lastest pictures.  Everything is in a state of being completed.  And then, with a wing, a prayer and a good tail wind, it will all come together.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Stained new wood (left) against sanded old wood on the right.

Stained new wood (left) against sanded old wood on the right.

Windows that were in another part of the house, reset in the upstairs sitting area

Windows that were in another part of the house, reset in the upstairs sitting area

Simple silk shade lamps throughout the house

Simple silk shade lamps throughout the house

Kitchen cabinets built around an original feature of the house, the brick chimney

Kitchen cabinets built around an original feature of the house, the brick chimney

Kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets

Newly built kitchen cabinets are lovely.  We have used an antique piece as the base for the kitchen sink.

Newly built kitchen cabinets are lovely. We have used an antique piece as the base for the kitchen sink.

More kitchen cabinets.  Note the bun feet instead of a toe kick.

More kitchen cabinets. Note the bun feet instead of a toe kick.

Exterior lighting used for interior lighting.

Exterior lighting used for interior lighting.

Barn door hardware to close off my very small office/work space

Barn door hardware to close off my very small office/work space

Stylish and budget friendly, these stock zinc light fixtures picked up at Home Depot

Stylish and budget friendly, these stock zinc light fixtures picked up at Home Depot

More kitchen cabinets

More kitchen cabinets

This wall/door didn't exist before the renovation, but you would never know that.  It looks like it is original to the house.

This wall/door didn’t exist before the renovation, but you would never know that. It looks like it is original to the house.

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The interesting angles, windows and walls of an old house