Friday, January 31, 2014

Gratitude - Day 31

(Again, no photo today)

Today was a hodgepodge day, lots of little things, but all of them good.   Lots of in-the-moment times, being fully immersed in what's happening right now, right here.   Lots of fully-focused energy.

I'm grateful for the variety in my day, for all the different things I get to do.  I love that I can structure my day how I want. I love that I can choose where my energy goes.

It's a good life.


Click below to see all of my posts for my


I'd love for you to share in this project.  What's making you feel grateful today?
Please leave a comment to share your thoughts today.

Gratitude - Day 30

No picture for this Gratitude Project post.  

I'm grateful for a busy day yesterday that went by so quickly that I forgot to take any pictures.  

Sweater Pillows


I feel like a domestic goddess today!  Look at me, I actually sewed something!   ;-)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Tuesday 4/2014 - The Joys of Coaching

Welcome to the 4th Happy Tuesday of 2014!   I hope you'll join the link party today, and share something that makes you happy!  Check out the info at the bottom of the post and join the fun!

Happy Tuesday

This past weekend I've had the great privilege of coaching others in their quest to become better a cappella singers.  I've talked before about my love of singing, my involvement in Sweet Adelines International, and my quartet,  but I haven't talked much about the other side of this hobby for me - coaching others!

Gratitude - Day 27


Thursday, January 23, 2014

What I've been Pinning Lately

I've been exploring lots of new blogs lately, as I browse through all of the DIY and crafty link parties that are out there.   It's resulted in lots of new pins on my Pinterest boards.   Here are a few of the things that I'm thinking of doing in the next few months.  (Just click on the pictures to visit the original blog articles.)

Gratitude - Day 23


Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Tuesday 3/2014 - Our Living Room So Far

Welcome to the 3rd Happy Tuesday of 2014!   I hope you'll join the link party today, and share something that makes you happy!  Check out the info at the bottom of the post and join the fun!

Today I'm giving an update on my Living Room So Far.  While it's definitely a work in progress, I'm very happy with this room and how it's coming along.


Gratitude - Day 20

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gratitude - Day 17


The Guest Bedroom So Far

From Door

When you move from one house to another, sometimes the furnishings you bring with you work really well in your new rooms, and sometimes they don't.   We were pretty lucky because most of what we had in our old house fit pretty well in our new house without too much trouble.  In this post, I'm sharing how our Guest Bedroom looks pretty much straight after setting it up after moving in.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Confessions of a Half-Hearted Blogger

Thank you for visiting my blog, and for taking time to read this post.   Because, see, the thing is, I'm really not very sure about what I'm trying to do here or why.  Can I ramble for a minute?

I imagine I started out like so many others... I love to read blogs, and for 7 or 8 years now I've subscribed to several blogs of different genres that I read each day.  After a long time of lurking, I put together this blog somewhat on a whim.  It was coming up on the holiday season, and I love to decorate for Christmas, so I figured I'd put together a Holidays decorating blog and see what blogging is all about.

Looking at my archives you can easily see that I went fairly strong for about two or three months, and then, nothing.  Crickets.   I disappeared for a long time.  Years!

This year I came back, and have been somewhat active for about a month or so.   I've vacillated between two points of view:   "I'll just post what I want and if no one reads it, that's ok."  and "Let me try really hard to get more page views, comments and pins."

I feel like I haven't found my voice yet.  I haven't been sure what I'm aiming for.   Do I want to have lots of readers  - which probably comes with more of a concerted effort and potential for feelings of obligation for putting out content?   Or do I want to take things as they come, post what interests me, and not worry about gathering up a big viewership?   (Is it just me?  Do other bloggers have these questions as they go along????)

In everything I do, I'm usually an "all or nothing" investor of my time and interests, so it's kind of strange to consider a "chill out" approach.   But I think that's how I'm leaning.  I mean, I'm retired now and I don't want to do something that feels like a job!   I have goals in other areas of my life, most notably my Sweet Adelines singing, performing and coaching efforts.  I want to focus there, and I don't want this blogging thing to get in the way of that success.

So,  I think I'm going to take this approach:

  1. I'm going to make my Gratitude Project 2014 my highest blogging priority.   I treasure the daily practice of focusing on gratitude, and I like the continuity of a daily thread of affirmations of the blessings in my life.
  2. I'm going to continue to host my Happy Tuesday link party - I love the idea of people gathering together with their positive, inspiring, uplifting posts.  The party may never grow to be a huge thing, but I'm grateful for everyone who joins in, no matter how large or small, and I believe in the idea of sharing a positive message, so I'm going to keep it going.
  3. I'm going to continue to visit and read lots of other blogs of different types.  It's my favorite thing to do each morning!  I'll make more of an effort to comment and interact with the blog owner, since I know how much I appreciate comments on my own blog.
  4. I'm going to allow my blog posts to occur naturally, organically, out of things that are happening in my life.  If that means home decor, craft, food, gardening, then great.  If it means more reflective, narrative pieces, ok.  I'm not going to worry about the fact that my blog title references "Holidays".  I look forward learning and creating and stretching my boundaries here.
  5. I'm going to relax about "marketing" my blog.  For instance, if I have time, I'll join in link parties, but if not, that's ok.  I don't want this effort to be about how many views I get.  
Thank you so much for sticking with me through this rambling post.  I feel better having put these thoughts down, thanks for listening.  I appreciate your time and interest, and I do hope you'll be with me on this creative pathway, wherever it leads!   I'd love to hear from you - please leave a comment if you could.

Gratitude - Day 15


Getting Organized In The Craft Room


After the whirlwind of the Christmas season, my craft room / office was a complete shambles.   I've not had a chance to full organize this room since we moved in last September, and then the holiday season just made things worse.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy Tuesday 2/2014 - Using Souvenirs As Home Decor

Welcome to the second Happy Tuesday of 2014!

I love to travel, and have been fortunate to visit some wonderful places around the US and around the world.  It makes me really happy to display souvenirs from my travels around our home. There are a lot of ways that can be done, but today I'd like to share one of the ways that I incorporate travel mementos into our home decor.

This gallery wall is in our guest bedroom, just inside the door from the hallway.


Gratitude - Day 13


Gratitude - Day 12


Monday, January 6, 2014

A Simple Console Table Display

Now that the Christmas decorations are down, the house is looking a little bare.  Things are more empty than they normally would be because we haven't really settled into our new house all the way.  We just moved here in September last year, and we haven't painted, done any window treatments, or really even found the right furniture for all the right spots.  So in the interim, while we're making decisions about all these other things, I've got one section of the house put together pretty well, at least for now.


Gratitude - Day 6


Happy Tuesday 1/2014 - Singing makes me happy!

Welcome to the first Happy Tuesday of 2014!

I want to share with you one of the greatest joys in my life:  Singing!   I've loved singing since I was a little girl.  I grew up in a musical family, my mom was the church organist, and my three sisters and I were always in the church choir.  My mom would play the piano, and our family would stand behind her and have sing along time.   Singing was just something I took for granted, assumed that everyone could sing and loved to sing.  I didn't realize until much later how special it is to have the gift of music in my life.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Project To-Do List for 2014

I'm excited to get started on some projects around the house now that the holiday season is over and (mostly) cleaned up and packed away.   The blogs that I visit have inspired so many ideas, and then there's Pinterest that always seems to lead me down a path of "I could do that!".   Here are some of the projects, both large and small, that I'd like to tackle in the coming months:

Gratitude - Day 5


Happy Tuesday - A New Link Party

I'm excited to be re-invigorating a weekly link party called Happy Tuesday. The idea is simple: Let's share things that make us happy! It could be a project you completed, a photo that makes you smile, or a yummy recipe that worked out great. Maybe you want to write a short reflection of something that happened to you. Maybe you found some great new music, or went to a movie that you really enjoyed. Really, it could be ANYTHING.  Hopefully you'll have no shortage of things to post about, because hopefully you're finding things that make you happy all over the place.

Happy Tuesday

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Quick Tip for Using a Light Box

So I was taking photos in my light box today, and ran into some trouble.  I wanted to take photo of an ornament shaped like a Mickey Mouse head, but I couldn't get a good angle of it. It kept laying down.  This was not the view I wanted of my ornament!

Tape 4

Making Your Own Photo Shoot Light Box

I'm starting an ambitious project this year.  I'd like to take photographs of all of my (hundreds of) Christmas ornaments, and then have a photo book made of all the photos, including the stories of where the ornaments came from.  To get high quality photos, I needed a photo shoot light box.  I could have bought one, but why not make one?  The great thing about this is that I didn't have to buy anything - I had everything I need already on hand.  In this post I'll try to share how I went about it (though I forgot to take step-by-step photos as I went along, sorry).


Gratitude - Day 2


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gratitude Day 1


Gratitude Project 2014

Always one to be a bit late to the party, I'm just now seeing the "Gratitude 365" phenomenon that has swept the blog world in the past few years.  (Note: I'm not new to the gratitude party, just the "project about gratitude" party.)  The idea is to take a photo each day that reflects something you're grateful for.   Sounds easy enough.  But if this video is to be believed, it just might change your life.


Easy Pinecone Bird Feeders

A few days after Christmas, I had some spare time and spare pinecones on hand, so I put together some easy pinecone bird feeders for the back yard.  I remember doing this when I was little, in Girl Scouts and in church camp. Then when I had young kids, we did this together.  And even now,  I like to make these now and then just to add a little something different to the bird feeders.