Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

For some reason New Year's celebrating makes me think of top hats so I thought you might like to ring in the new year with this gentleman I have on a shelf in my guest bathroom.   He is sporting a vintage top hat.

This flapper is out on the town dressed for New Year's with her 1920's rhinestone headband.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Home Tour Continued at Gail's

The next to the last stop on our Christmas Home Tour was at my house.  Many times when I have passed by homes with the Christmas tree lights reflecting on the window, I wish I could step inside and see what is in the room and in the hearts of those that live there.

The lights of this Christmas tree reflect from my guest room.  You don't have to peek in this window, you can step on in.

Besides the decorated tree, I love to dress up the dress form for the holidays.

This room has tall ceilings so there is plenty room for a vignette on top of this armoire.  There is a vintage violin that my husband restored.  I wish I could play it but for now it is on display.

The guest bath reflects a Woman's Christmas.  This book states "Returning to the gentle joys of the Season".  I love looking through this charming book each year.

This bath caddy I placed on the tub reflects a calming escape as the season grows hectic.

This angel has her suitcase packed for Rome.  She may be traveling for the holidays.

Dimmed lights show off  the half tree in the Master Suite decorated in red and leopard ornaments in all different shapes and sizes.

The carved antique armoire that is draped with a leopard and red garland has beaded red reindeers that glow.  I love stepping into every room of my house and remembering it is Christmastime.

I served 2 by 4 soup in the Dixie Dogwood bowls that I collect.  I used an oval Fiesta platter in the lemongrass color which goes so perfect with the dogwood flower color. 

The 2 by 4 soup was brought to our family during the time when my mother-in-law passed away last April.  I always think of it as comfort food.  I cooked it in my crockpot so it was ready whatever time we returned from our tour.  I always think of her when making this recipe and remember the greatest gift she gave to me when I married her son.

The soup is called 2 X 4 because you use 4 ingredients with 2 parts each.

2 lbs    Seasoned Browned Hamburger Meat
2    10 oz cans of Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
2    15 oz cans Minestrone Soup
2   15 oz cans Pinto Beans

Season and brown meat and  start opening cans and pour into crockpot.  Let it heat and it is ready to eat when you are.  There are many variations I have put different types of beans and my crockpot can hold 3 cans of each ingredient.  I served with cornbread muffins, toasted sourdough artisan bread and used sour cream, and shredded cheese for the topping.  It is easy and yummy for a cold winter's supper.

Merry Christmas

Christmas Home Tour Continued at Beverly's

Even though our tour took us to my house next, I wanted to share Beverly's home which was our last stop and featured our dessert.  I'm always for going right to the desserts first.


We entered Beverly's customized home for dessert and her candy cane Christmas tree set us in the mood.  Every ornament and ribbon displays candy cane designs.  What a yummy feast for the eyes.

This cabinet was customized to display her Dept 56 houses.  Her living room comes alive with these lighted houses and wintery scenes. 

This little musical Christmas tree has a train circling the bottom which she says is for her grandchildren but we all enjoyed it too.

I probably wouldn't get many clothes washed in Beverly's laundry room because I would be gazing at the snowy Christmas tree with glittered white birds perched on the tree limbs.  What a fun place to work.

Beverly not only designs and sews she is a great cook.  We made the right choice in choosing her house last for our dessert time. 

If you would like to see more of Beverly's creative talents and get the recipe to these mouth-watering Golden Rasberry Thumbprint cookies, visit her blog at

Beverly displayed this book intitled "Christmas House".  Her house is a workshop of her many talents and we all go to her when we have designing projects. 
Thank you Beverly for letting us tour your Christmas House.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Home Tour Continued at Linda's

The moment you walk up to Linda's front door you are welcomed in by the peaceful Christmas entry.

Even the deer at the bottom right corner of this picture make you feel there is a  restful retreat waiting for you as you step through this door.

The peaceful foyer draws you in so you know you are welcome.

This beautifully set table is a gathering place for friends and family.
If you would like to know more about Linda go to her blog at

The candlelight on the beautifully decorated mantle casts a glow in the room.

Red and green are the classic colors of this Christmas tree along with the gold accents. The added red cardinals go back to Linda's heritage in Indiana.

Her collection of cardinals is even found on this cute tea set.

This book says it all "Christmas is the Heart of the Home".

Linda decorated her home even with a broken arm.  Thank you for making your home where everyone will enjoy gathering around to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Home Tour Continued at Ruth's

The moment you walk through the door at Ruth's home you know she is a collector.  After you enjoy the view of the golf course from the expanse windows out the living room your eye is drawn back in by the beautiful rich colors of her Christmas tree.

The gold bulbs and crystal icicles along with the deep rich colors of the burgundy red poinsettias give Ruth's home a rich warm welcome.

The warmth radiants not only from her fireplace but from the tree topper collection she displays on the mantle.

Shelves on both  sides of the fireplace hold full Dept 56 cities.  It tells a wonderful story.

Churches and houses are displayed in a mound of snow inside cloches.

Ruth's  collection of vintage candy jars are filled to the rims with Christmas candies.

Most of her vintage Christmas bulbs have beautiful designs and writing.

The mood of Ruth's home changes with the seasons.  Thank you Ruth for sharing your collected treasures. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Home Tour Continued at Sally's

How we decorate our homes is an expression of our individual style and Sally has style.  Sally has been updating her tudor style home.  She has transformed her home to showcase her many treasures. 

The minute you walk through the front door you are welcomed by this beautiful Christmas tree.  Can you believe she works full time and already has her gifts wrapped.

A closer view shows the soft colors of the ornaments and ribbon.

Sally's dining room is draped with elegance.

The tree by the staircase highlights diamond studded red bulbs that give this area glam and glitz.  I'm sure the snowman was placed there with her Grandkids in mind.

This built-in lighted cabinet is the perfect place to showcase her silver.


Sally was fortunate to inherit several silver items including these ornate silver nut spoons from her
Grandma "Who Who"

Sally has transformed her home into a glowing retreat for friends and family.

Off the Christmas Home Tour for Courtny's Candle

I just had to take a break from the tour and tell you a funny story. 

My son, the great husband that he is, wanted to do something special for his wife's birthday last Thursday and this is the email he sent me.

I wanted to light a candle for Courtny.  It would be on when she came home with a cup of tea next to it.  Something nice after work.

But this candle was weird and I was having trouble lighting it.  I had never seen a wick like this one but I was determined to get it started.  After I used up both pistol lighters, I moved on to matches.  Courtny arrived after the tenth match had failed.  "Argh...this candle won't light!", I exclaimed blowing out another match.  "oh, that's one of the candles your mom got me for Christmas last year", she answered, "they are battery powered". 

Off to the store to get real candles.

I told him all he had to do was flip the switch.  Ha

While I was  talking on the phone to my son, he took a picture out his window in Philadelphia because it was snowing and 24 degrees.  He knew I wouldn't be seeing snow at our house in California because  it is sunny and 61 degrees right now so I love the new technology that lets me keep warm and still enjoy the snow.

Christmas Home Tour Continued at Sandra's

Sandra is a single parent of four children, now grown, and has three beautiful granddaughters.  She is a care giver to her Mother, she works full time and in this process she designed and built and remodeled her bungalow cottage styled house.  I'm privileged to be surrounded by strong women.  She loves to collect and fill her home with treasures.

The minute you walk through the door of Sandra's home you  see her collections.  The antique ruby glass lamp gives off a warm glow to her collection of Christmas girls and holly berry dishes.  The reflection in the mirror shows her niche with her Christmas girl sisters and her choir boys, which she has named.  Her jadite cake stand and glass dome give her Christmas girl a prominent place in this vignette.

I wanted you to see up close Sandra's Christmas Girl Sisters

Sandra's kitchen island is large and gives ample room for displaying her collection of candy jars and books as well as hosting food for a buffet.

I loved this snowman she placed by one of her kitchen sinks.

This vintage box "Granny's Baked Goods" is surrounded by yummy goodies.

Sandra's vintage tablecloth covers her kitchen table.

Thank you Sandi for sharing your beautiful home and treasures.