Monday, December 31, 2012

Catching Up or Starting Over

Hi, everyone! If you hadn't noticed, it's been awhile since I've posted here. Cairn Cottage, along with its inhabitants, has been extremely busy. On top of that, my camera has been giving me some issues. I know, that's no excuse, but it's all I've got! :)

Since I'm a little behind the ball, I didn't know whether I should try to catch you up on what I've been doing or just get ready for the new year and start over with new projects. So I decided to do a little of both in this post.

I've been on vacation for the past week and finally have a few days of rest before it's back to the old grindstone. (what a strange old saying!) Anyways, I hope you have all had a beautiful, family-filled Christmas. We did some basic decorating ~ putting up the tree, stringing outdoor lights along the roof-line, hanging the stockings, etc. I didn't do as much as usual, since we would be away from the house during the holidays. So, I didn't get a lot of new Christmas decor/crafts made, like I had planned. 

One simple project that I had been wanting to do was to make a light out of a glass block. I found and purchased a block made for lights at Lowes. Basically, I took Christmas ball, pine cones, and beads and poured them in intermittently with a string of Christmas lights. I used battery operated lights so that I could put it anywhere without worrying about needing an outlet, but any kind of small string of Christmas lights would work. 

For instructions how to put one together check out this video. I actually used a block with a pre-drilled hole, found at most craft stores (I got mine at Lowes in the Christmas section). 

HERE is a Pinterest page with some great ideas on how to decorate a block light for more than Christmas.

I also wanted to add a little bit of a coastal feel to my Christmas decor. So, on my tree, I added a string of starfish and a couple of sand dollar ornaments that caught my eye at "Family Christian Bookstore". 

Since I knew we would be spending Christmas Eve at a hotel in South Carolina, I took a small artificial tree and some lights along on the trip. I wanted at least a little Christmas cheer in our room.

Well, guess it will soon be time for starting over. Just a few things I hope to be posting:
1. We will be getting some new windows in the next few weeks. One especially will make a big change in our living/dining room.
2. We also hope to completely remodel our main bathroom. Lots of new things to show you!
3. As Spring approaches, we'll be working on landscaping and I will get to plant some new perennials.
A new year looms ahead and as we anticipate all of the decorating and seasonal changes that we will experience in our little Cairn Cottage, I hope to share many posts with your all! Starting over isn't so bad. In fact, it's gonna be pretty doggone fun!! 

See you next year!!

“Better joy in a cottage than sorrow in a palace” Spanish Proverb

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter Outfits

Hello everyone! Happy Friday!
Today, I want to share 2 ensembles I put together,  as I start to pull out some of my favorite winter pieces. I also recently purchased a few pieces to add to my winter selection, that I just love!

I picked up this plum pea coat at Walmart. They had them in several colors, but since I love purple and have a nice selection of outfits in this color, I went with the plum.

I combined this with my black skinny jeans, a purple cowl neck sweater, and long-sleeved top with a colorful native American pattern. I added some shape by wearing a gold chain belt.

I wore my black ankle boots, along with my new knit leg warmers.(Picked up at Payless Shoes) I love the button detail.
This is how the outfit looks without the jacket.
Other details I added were purple nail color, with Confetti nail enamel as a top coat.
I also coordinated the outfit with my shiny black alligator pattern purse. (I don't remember where I got this, since I've had it for a while.)


For my second ensemble, I incorporated a black and tan mock turtle neck and tan vest. Both of them were recently purchased at T.J. Maxx.
  I think the faux fur vest was an especially great purchase, as the first day I wore it, I had several compliments from co-workers, as well as people I didn't know, but met throughout the day!
 My tan Rider Lee jeans coordinated well with this outfit.
 For footwear, I wore my tall riding boots, purchased at Target.
 The vest had come with a tan belt, but I had this black studded belt, which I thought went better with the ensemble colors.

Well, those are my two newest outfits. I think I will have a great start, in preparing for the winter months ahead!

Have a wonderful weekend.

“Better joy in a cottage than sorrow in a palace” Spanish Proverb

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Creative Fall Projects

October has come and gone, and it seems like November is quickly passing by, as well! I have been so busy with house projects, along with some family health issues that have kept me on the move, that I have not even had a few moments to share some of the things I've been working on over the past month. So today I'm going to share those with you! I have a lot of catching up to do, as I've been working on some projects that I found on Pinterest and other blogs. So, here it goes...
My first project was a fall bunting...
 I used scrapbook assorted designs and colors
 I folded the paper in half, drew the size of each triangle evenly(with the wide part on the folded side) and cut them out, still folded.
 This is what each one looked like, when cut out.

I used Jute string(any medium thick string could be used) and lined up each piece in the order I liked, leaving plenty of string to tie to where I want to put it up.
Because it's almost Thanksgiving, I added some cutout lettering. I put my bunting across a window, leaving the shade down bit to bring out the colors.

My second project was painting and decoupage pumpkins..
I used white acrylic paint on a couple of pumpkins, that I later used on my front porch. The decoupage was done by tearing strips of some decorative paper napkins I had. I then glued the strips with decoupage glue, making sure each piece overlapped the next one, to cover the entire pumpkin. For an added 'beachy' touch, I added a pointed shell to the top for the stem. (You could also leave the stem on the pumpkin and glue up to it.)

 Here is a picture of my pumpkin in my dining room fall table centerpiece.

With the painted pumpkins, I attached small letters to the side of the pumpkins (one had 'autumn' and one had 'blessings', but I only took one picture, as an example.) I then stacked them with natural orange pumpkins, getting smaller in size.

These were some of my favorite fall projects. I am already planning some really cool winter and Christmas projects. Hopefully, I get them posted much sooner than I did with these. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful fall and Thanksgiving Holiday! This coming Saturday, November 17th, is our church's annual ladies tea, which I plan on getting plenty pictures of. I always come away from this event inspired and full of new and creative ideas!

“Better joy in a cottage than sorrow in a palace” Spanish Proverb

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Words Expressed at the Table

Well, it's been awhile, actually almost a month, since I've posted anything on my blog. Needless to say, life has kept me very busy. We have lived in our new lakehouse for about 2 months. In that time we have gotten the house re-roofed and I got a part-time job. It's so hard to believe that we are almost halfway through the month of October! 

I have been working on a few "fall" decorating projects. There is so much I want to share, so I will be posting more posts in the near future to be able to let you see all the neat crafting projects I have tried. 

I also have set up a fall table-scape for my new dining room, which has a window with an amazing lakefront view! I will be sharing this with you today.
 As you can see, leaves, pumpkins, and gourds are all main staples on my table! Several weeks ago I found the leaf plates, with different words on them at WalMart. Each plate displays a word that expresses what is important to me.
The larger plates, underneath each leaf plate have multiple lines of matching colors. I found these at the Dollar Tree. They definitely were a perfect match! I also bought the leaf-patterned place-mats at Dollar Tree.
 The bubble shaped goblets were also from WalMart. Our town was fortunate enough to open up a new T.J. Maxx a few weeks ago. On their grand opening day, I got the pumpkin napkins! Love them SO much!!

My centerpiece was mostly older items I had around the house that I put together. The silk leaves and flowers, candle and candle holder are all items I already had. I added the pumpkins/gourds, which came from WalMart's craft/floral department.

Another view.
 What a view! Dining here is so relaxing! As you can see, the fall leaves outside are even starting to change their colors.
As a special treat, I made Cream Cheese Pumpkin Rolls.
 Also, on the table are mixed nuts and Snickerdoodles!
I also love the leaf/flower-patterned serving plates. This is what they look like when I don't have them full of goodies. The two on the left were purchased at Pier 1 Imports last year and the leaf on the right was purchased at Dollar General.

Well, that's it for today. Stop in again soon to see some of my upcoming fall projects. Have a wonderful week!

“Better joy in a cottage than sorrow in a palace” Spanish Proverb

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Come, Sail Away!

Welcome, Landlubbers! The breeze is light and steady, here at Cairn Cottage. The sun is high in the afternoon sky and I am ready to sail away in my nautical 4-season sun room. This is my favorite room in our quaint cottage on the lake. Fortunately for me, the previous owners also liked the nautical theme and had decorated the walls with a lighthouse themed wallpaper. The colors went perfectly with many items I already owned. I have recently been decorating our entryway, which is on one side of the room. My padded wood bench is the perfect spot to put on shoes or just rest a bit before going outside.

Pillows were added for comfort and color. A southern window ushers in lots of natural light!
 Here is a close-up of the stitching on the blue pillow. I just love the nautical theme of a map compass. The pillow also came with rope surrounding the outside of it, attached with loops of material.
I have also hung a shelf on the wall with hooks for hats, totes, and jackets.
Today, I decided to take my lunch on deck, {that is, here at the bench}. I just propped up one of my folding TV trays. It was quite a comfy little spot for a quick bite.
I had a turkey sandwich on wheat bread, pototo chips, and fresh cucumbers. Yum! Cool, fresh bottled water was my drink.
For dessert, Reese's peanut butter cup cream pie!! It was a store bought pie(actually made by "Edwards" and was in the freezer section of the grocery) , but still so deliciously rich!!
After lunch, a cup of tea just hits the spot. We have some very friendly neighbors here. I have 2 teacups set out, just in case one of them stop by for a chat. I'll be ready to pour them a cup. This dry sink sits next to the bench. A perfect spot to serve tea (or set my keys or purse down as I get ready to go out the door). I collect cobalt blue glass (much of this display was handed down to me by my mother, who had collected several pieces before I had gotten into collecting them).
Boats, especially sailboats, are a new love of mine. I found this teapot at an antique mall this past week and decided it would fit in perfectly with my nautical theme.
There is printing on the bottom, but it is very fuzzy and hard to make out. I did look up sailboat teapots and found out that it says "Porcelier Vitreous Ware China Made in the USA."  It also came with a metal coffee filter that fits on top of the pot when the lid is off, if someone prefers coffee, instead of tea! (Not sure if it originally came with it or not.) The Porcelier Company went out of business around 1954, which would date the teapot to at least that year or older.
This cobalt blue sugar and creamer set are also perfect for my nautical tea party.
I decorated the window behind the dry sink with fishnetting and attached seashells that our family has collected from beaches at the ocean on various vacations. You can see the lake out this window, too!
I love how the sun brings out the vintage blue color!
Well, I hope you enjoyed your visit to my nautical entrance area. All this beautiful sunshine, food, and tea has made me a bit sleepy. Think I'll go down to the cabin and "Stretch Off the Land" - Old sailing ship term for taking a nap.

“Better joy in a cottage than sorrow in a palace” Spanish Proverb

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