Friday, December 30, 2011

RING IN 2012 - graphic for you!

I've whipped up a quick & handy "eye test" graphic
for you to use in your New Years decorating.
Just right click on the image and save the pic to your pc and Print!

(hang tight- reposting this!!- under remodeling!)

Happy Happy!

xo Jeanne

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Everyone Needs a Hobie.

It was still dark on my way into work this morning. No snow, thank goodness, but still cloudy and grey.  No traffic due to the Holiday week, Amen! I kept the radio off.  Sometimes I enjoy the quiet. No sports, no Katy Perry wanting to have sex with aliens at 7:00 am.

It was one of those days when the car drove by itself. I love it when that happens and I somehow get to my destination safely.  On the unusually empty highway, I looked over and saw a van. It had a logo on it: Hobart Industries. And there it was.  The little spark that I’d waited to come, but didn’t quite know what I was waiting for.  I just knew that it would. Hobart.

I had an Uncle Hobie.  He was married to my Aunt Lucy.  He was probably in his 60’s when I was born. As a child, to me he was always older. But darling. He was tall, with dark hair, always combed back. A jacket and tie. And the cigar, always the cigar.  It is impossible for me to smell a cigar in a room and not think of Uncle Hobie instantly.  He had a deep raspy voice and was always good to all us kids.  I can hear him, see him and smell him even as I type this. I can hear his loud chuckle, “Ha HAA!”  I miss him. 

Aunt Lucy, Aunt Eunice and my grandmother were sisters. Muriel, Lucy and Eunice.
Eunice doubled as Boonie.  More often, we called Aunt Eunice – Aunt Boonie. Got that?
We'd celebrate the three sister's birthdays together, a reason to party. Aunt Boonie would come stay with us.  She loved the old Archway windmill cookies. My mom bought them only when she’d come. A giant treat – to have Aunt Boonie and the cookies.  Heaven in 1975.

In their older years, Uncle Hobie, Aunt Lucy and Aunt Boonie lived together.  They’d go on a drive every day. Hobie would cross his feet over to use the brake and the gas pedals. Yikes!  Always dressed up, they’d go out to lunch.  On the days when we were growing up in the big house, all 7 of us kids home, my mom would be exhausted. Just when she’d be at her most tired, about to steal away for a nap, she’d look out the front window.  Here Lucy, Hobie and Boonie would come - walking up the driveway for a visit. Hobie in his jacket and tie. Lucy in her hat and costume jewelry. Boonie, with her perfect dark hair. Out would come the coffee pot.

 It seemed by the time I knew them, they were already old and had lived their whole lives. Now they had time to lunch and visit and come to baptisms and first communions. So many family functions and all three would come together.  

Now all of them have been gone for over 20 years. Impossible. How can my children not know them? Hobie, Lucy, Boonie and Gram They are no doubt with my two in Heaven.  They must’ve been a giant welcoming committee when my dad got to Heaven himself.
“Tommy! There you are, we’ve been waiting!”

Well now I am verklempt, thinking of these wonderful people.  Who knew the little Hobart van I saw this morning would make me so nostalgic?  Perhaps Hobie did and he’s popping through to say hello. 

I’ve reserved a booth at a greasy spoon restaurant. Let’s have lunch!
How fun that would be.

xo Jeanne.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Show and Sip

Hi! We've made it through Christmas.
The kids are out of school for a week and now we wait for New Year's Eve. 
Kind of like a Party Holding Pattern. 
To make it through the week:
 Don't destroy the house. Make sure there's enough groceries.
Put away the holiday decorations you just put out.
And finally, get busy testing Martini's. Your girlfriends are counting on you.
While you're testing, I'll show you this:

As usual and once again, I am cleaning out the old, and bringing in the older. 
 When I was cleaning out my mom's house a few weeks ago,
I showed you a few Christmas decorations I'd saved. 
You bet your bippy that wasn't all I brought home....
I packed a whole suitcase full of odds and ends. 
I've been waiting for a table not to be full of tape and wrapping paper so I could show you some of the fab and fun vintage things mom had saved for me. 

Turns out my mom had this lovely silver I hadn't remembered.
Surely I'll think of something delightful to do with these sweet pieces.

My sister spotted this Little Golden Book we've had in the house
 as long as we could remember.
It was in the give away pile. (gasp.)
She snatched it up and saved it for me.
 (thanks cathy.) You good little kitten!

These things may look as common as can be. Don't be fooled.
That little tin measuring cup has been working like a dog for 60 years.
It's measured more flour than you can imagine. I am so happy my mom saved it for me.
She also saved the biscuit cutters
after she'd seen the ones I'd put on the red dresser.
I'm happy to have 2 more.
The keys & bolts I grabbed from my dad's dresser and garage.

Last but not least, a little box full of Rosaries.
How sweet is that?

They are old and and well loved.
Now go say 12 Hail Mary's and promise not to hit your brother.

In case all this has made you uncontrollably thirsty:
To aid in Martini searching and testing, I've found this site:

xo Jeanne.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Making Merry.

 It's December 20th. I'm running a bit late this year.
My Christmas decoration boxes are finally put away!  Seriously.
Am I the only one?

Well, no matter. The living room is looking quite merry and unique.

I brought an old trunk in from the garage.
I brought in an old bed frame spring.
Oh, and the Mary statue from the garden.

Husband: "Um why are we dragging this stuff in?"
Me: "Because it's cool, you'll see."

I whipped up a banner off the computer.
(paper glued to cardboard, cut and hole punched, strung w/ twine - voila! banner.)

I pulled out the bulb wreath I made last year.
The mantle is brighter this year with the tar paper being gone
&  with the white crown moulding.

I used the Tonka Truck I'd used for Halloween.
I couldn't resist. It looks fun haulin' a tree.
The books to prop it up - are actually antique file/accounting folders.
I bought them at a garage sale last summer for $4.

While I was cleaning and arranging, the kids and I watched
Seven Bride for Seven Brothers.
Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank(incense) & Gideon.
We'll be humming it for days.  Those dancin' Ponitpee's.

Happy Tues!
xo Jeanne.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Square Wreath gets a Silver Save.

Last year I put up a square boxwood wreath
on the window above my kitchen sink.
Now that it's dry and faded, it's been demoted to front door duty.  
 It hung there lonely for a few weeks until I felt like getting crafty.

Then I saw my inspiration at the Bachman's Winter Ideas House -see it here
Well that did it.  I knew I could fancy up my square wreath.
I have some silver coffee pots already, but they seemed big for what I wanted to do.
Just my luck - I spotted 2 child size pots at Goodwill. Score.
 Darling. (Or should I say Darjeeling?)

The big one was $5.99The smaller one was $2.99.
I snatched them up. (mine!)
I bought the checked ribbon at Goodwill too. 99 cents.

The pots were pretty tarnished and usually I'd just leave them that way.
But I had the hankering to clean them up.
So I gave them a quick polish with toothpaste and a damp paper towel.

I strung them up and tied them to the back of the wire form. done.
It took me 10 minutes.

I can easily change the ribbon color and toyed with putting a bow in front,
 but I like the boxwood fluffiness. 

A nice $10 save for an old wreath.
Merry Merry!

xo Jeanne.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Goodbye House. Hello New Beginning.

Not my house. My parent's house.
With my dad's passing and my mom moving into a much smaller space - nearly everything had to be given away.  She didn't have the energy to organize an estate/garage sale and I live so far away. Everything she wasn't taking with her was given to family members or given away to The Salvation Army.

When I got there, it was basically all gone and the house - nearly empty.  
This is NOT a pity party.  I live too far away to really bring anything home. I know that.
And, my mom did a great job of filtering out what she did not need.  I am so proud of her. But the kid in me mourns for what I did not see go.  Me, the one with the decorating blog and lover of vintage things. I was able to save some small things and have plans for them.

But, since it's Christmas time, I really wanted to find some old ornaments I'd remembered.
I had some time alone at the house one day.
So I searched. And I found them. 

I especially wanted to find these old cardboard houses.
They are brittle, battered and crusty.
And I love them.

Can I give this little chapel new life?
I hope so.

These Santa's hung on our family's tree ever since I can remember.
The ornaments too.
When I asked my mom about the silver garland, she said "old, OLD." 
There is a string of pink too.

I will probably make a wreath out of all these things.
Keeping them together so they don't get separated and forgotten.

{Good god, this sounds depressing.} 
But I assure you, it is not. It's just change.

Wendy: Where do you live?
Peter: Second star to the right, then straight on till morning.

                                                                ~Peter Pan

I love you Pat!
Tally ho!

xo Jeanne.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thar She Blows.........

Last week I was in California to assist my mom with moving.  
 However, the week did not go as planned. I arrived a day before wind storms hit.
  There was talk of the Santa Ana winds coming - and come they did.
The worst storm in years.

On Wednesday, before the wind, I spent time with my mom.
She's moved to a hip retirement living place.
 Being the 'new gal' my mom was invited to dinner. We sat at a table of 9.
All were in there 80's and 90's. The conversation was darling. 
How can it not be? Two of the gals names were Phila and Jetsy!? 
 In her prime, Jetsy did movies with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Pretty cool. 

When I got back to my sister's house on Wednesday night, trees had already fallen and the power was out.  My sister and I stayed up listening to the wind hit the house and creek through the walls. When we woke up the next morning, we went out to look for a cup of coffee.  That was when we saw how bad the wind had gotten.  Trees were down everywhere. Huge trees, we'd seen our whole lives - down.  Power lines down.  Brush was everywhere.

  This was on every street.  It was quite surreal. Traffic lights were out. Whole huge trees had fallen across whole streets. Blocks of shopping centers were without power. Everything was closed.  We finally found one open donut shop, happily bought coffee and a few remaining donuts. The shop owners were overwhelmed. 

The weirdest part is that it stayed this way.
Because of the widespread damage, there simply weren't enough crews to clean it up. 
We didn't even see any power trucks or crews until day 3. Our power was out for 4 days.
I didn't have my camera with me, here's a few pics I snapped later:
See that wall of green in the street? Giant tree.

This is an historic landmark in town. It was sad to see the huge branch down.

But good memories were made too.
We did a lot of card playing by candle light. 
I had a few heart to heart talks with my sis by the fire.
I found out I really like Screwdrivers! (vodka and orange juice, a dreamy combo)
 I got to spend more time with my fantastic niece Courtney. ( i f'n love you, girl.)

But what do you when the power is out
 and all stores are closed except Nordstoms?
You get make-overs of course!
 My family does power outages right.  Seriously, Nordstroms was on a generator.
(They're not fools. It was December 1st, prime Christmas shopping.)

 We hit the NARS counter. I was a NARS virgin.
Have you heard of NARS? I hadn't.
Ohhhhh, but now I have.
We had to go with a 'fresh face' (sans makeup).
So there's me, no makeup and non-blow dried hair. (remember, power was out.)
It was basically a nightmare. Walking into Nordstroms with crappy hair and makeupless.
Somehow, I survived.
Here's my embarrassing 'during' and the fabulous 'after'.

How about those peepers! I bought everything on that face. LOL.
Whoever that gorgeous woman on the right with the great eyeshadow is -
I hope I meet her again. Ha!
NARS has fabulously named their products.
My blush is 'Sin.' My lip gloss is "Hotness."  Hello. True.

Next up:
I have a few treasures that I was able to bring home from my parent's house
 - before all was given away.  (boohoo)
xo Jeanne.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bachmans 2011 Winter Ideas House, Pt. IV. Finale.

Whew! The final pics of the Winter tour.
The master bedroom and a craft room.
Both were delightful.
 In the master, this time they turned the bed to be under the window.
The bed is made with porch posts. Old and chippy.
Gotta love that vintagey mirrored wall and repurposed dresser.

I admit it.  I'm a sucker for dress forms.
Notice the vintage crib spring.  I'm kicking myself for not buying that.
How fun it would be to have a vintage photo themed tree in your bedroom.

Getting Crafty.
I enjoy it when the designers make a craft room.
The desk/table is industrial and fabulous. I'd take it any day.

The old metal accessories in the room were super cool.
I think most of my supplies deserve a room like this.

We must not forget the important things.
After the tour, Decorating co-captain Linda and me went shopping
in the Bachman's store, of course.
We were wacky and tried on hats. We were pose happy.

We thought we were pretty hysterical. And adorable.
The little blue number came home with me.
The high temp in Minnesota today is 15 degrees.  
If I'm going to freeze, I might as well be cute, right?

Stay warm and be cool.
xo Jeanne.

** Please note**
I had nothing to do with the design or decor in the Ideas House.
I am merely a spectator.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bachman's 2011 Winter Ideas House; Pt. III - Kid's Rooms.

Hi! I'm back.
I've been out of town for a week. 
Before move on to tell you what I've been up to, 
Let me show you the rest of Bachman's Winter Ideas House. 

The rooms upstairs were fun and creative. Two of my favorite things.
Their little girls rooms have been super popular. This one was no exception.
This giant tree is pretty darn fabulous. I like the swing shelf - A lot!

Arbor for a headboard. Hello. 

Pretty Clever wood plank valance up there.  And...
Don't forget to add a tree in a darling sled! Little Sally would love it!

Boy's room Crossing!
This is 'right on track' with a railroad/roadway theme.
Magnetic paint holds those cars.

I thought the old tires were super cool as a the bed's platform.
(I'm sorry the pic is fuzzy, my camera was copping an attitude.)
And I liked the traffic cone as a light fixture. Awesome patterns on the ceiling.

I've got two more rooms to go!
The more the merrier!

It's good to be back online and back to the BKB!

xo Jeanne.

* I had nothing to do with the designs in the Ideas House.
I am merely a spectator. *

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