Sunday, December 24, 2017

it's Christmas week! 
here in minneapolis we have snow but not a lot.
some is better than a brown Christmas though right and the weatherman
is predicting a fresh inch before the weekend!
: )

i'm still waiting for one package to arrive on our doorstep but
other than that my shopping and wrapping are done.
i did the majority of my buying online- did you too?
man it makes it easy, and i saw an idea on instagram that i thought
was so nice. someone put a box full of snacks (water, granola bars etc.) on their front step with a 
little note their child had written that said:

ups, fed x, mailman,
we know how long your days are.
we appreciate you~
help yourself to a little snack as a
thank you from us!

by the time i saw this, my packages were pretty much all here
so i didn't do this too, but next year if i do a lot of online shopping
i'm going to try my hardest to remember to do put out my own box.

*because my hubbie worked for ups for 26 years and helped
deliver a lot of Christmas's, i think the drivers would really appreciate it.

i snapped some photos of our house decorated for Christmas.
like always when i show you my house, these are close photos that shows
you a snippet of the rooms without all the messes that
surround them.

hello piles of papers, vacuum cleaner, clothes that need to be put away and
piles of shoes.

i plunked this birch star in the kitchen window box. lars installed new windows in the
bay this summer and there used to be 2 windows in this middle section.  now there's just one big one  instead and i love the bigger view out the front. isn't our neighbors house pretty?

if you have a kitchen pig, why not light him up?

every year i am more drawn to scandinavian style decor. tomtes or nisse are a form of mythological creature from Nordic folklore that are associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. i have a few of them that i like to decorate with.

this reindeer was a $4 target find. he had a white nose and hooves when i bought him and i thought he'd look better with them brown so i just painted them.
bottle brush trees are another big favorite of mine when decorating for the holidays.

i took all these pictures at night so they are pretty grainy, but this is my favorite Christmas card of all time. i found this vintage baby shoe to display next to Colton, our precious 
new grandbaby.

i like having fresh  greenery in the house this time of
year too. (although it does get messy). i use the boughs that
lars trims off the bottom of our Christmas tree here and there.

the family room fireplace got a splash of Christmas added to what was already there. (the pallet MN that cole made, antlers and the plaid thermos and bag). i can't find the larson's Christmas stockings for the life of me but did put up these simple ones i'd bought for our new family members.

our youngest, cole was born on Christmas day 29 years ago.
you've heard me say it before but hey this is my blog so i get to say whatever i want
and i
always have to say it.
he was the best Christmas present EvEr!

(i delivered him in a clean hospital, not a stable- can you even imagine?)

i got this glittered peace sign at pottery barn after Christmas last year and left it
hanging up all year in our dining room.

i put a tall spruce top in a pot of dirt on the deck and worked hard to get it to stand up straight. wouldn't you know it listed to the side one windy night and froze in that way? haha. i haven't been able to get it to stand up straight since so it stands proudly leaning to the side, looking in through the doors and makes me happy anyhoo.

this joy sign is many years old now but you know how you have favorite things that you
just hang on to? i made each individual letter out of real botanical items.
the J is apple peeling.
the O is a eucalyptus leaf that i cut a hole in the middle of and
then used glued the berries around.
the Y is birch bark.
i framed it in a shadowbox frame and bring it out every winter.

the tree

i  put a gilded crown on the top this year. you know, king of kings...lord of lords. it's regal and sparkly. a crown for baby Jesus.

salt and pepper shakers. 
lars picked one up at supper last night and asked if there was
anything in them. "nope" i said, "just like them for decoration".

: )

well, that's all for now but i just want to wish you the most
with lots of glitter, sugar, warmth and love.

xoxoxo, beth
(and my little friends below)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

she was raised by a mother from the south
and she has an elegance about her that she inherited from her southern mother.
 when you're with her you are treated to the kind of hospitality and generosity of spirit 
that i just don't think those of us born and raised in the frigid north country can quite pull off.
we can't help it, it's just not in our half frozen DNA. : )

*think mint julips, wide brimmed hats, confederate homes, wide front porches
and collard greens.
 tator-tot hot dish, jello, ice fishing and moon boots.

today i'm talking about my friend leslie.  we've been friends so long now that
we don't quite know where our stories begin or end. we've 
spent over half our lives sharing each other's lives and families.

it had been over a year since i'd traveled the 2 1/2 hours to spend 
time at her house, so in November we both carved out a few days and 
up the interstate i went.

i wish i could bring y'all (that's southern talk) with me sometime so
you could experience what it's like to stay with a friend who treats you like royalty,
but since that's not really possible
(come on people, she's great and all, but she doesn't really want to wash that many sheets and towels) i walked around their beautiful home so
i could share a bit of my experience with you once again.

she and her hubbie's home is always changing and always endlessly interesting.
it takes me forever to see every little detail (and i do so love the details) and of course
i've got questions and i have to take pictures.
these two are retired and they love to travel around the usa, stopping in
every little mom and pop antique shop and church basement sale so
you just never know what new treasures they'll have to show me!

anyhoo, here we go,
here is the tour i took so I could share their delightful home with you.

both sides of the front entry hall are lined with treasured family photos and i
always love to stop and look at them all. 
(i'm honored that some of mine are even included.)

walking into the kitchen the coffee was on and i loved her reindeer bowl (target) that she'd filled with coffee beans and tea lights. she lights candles everyday. (see? she's got this appreciation
for the little things one can do to make life more pleasant).

this house was leslie's parents home. it's where leslie and her two sisters grew up.
when bob and leslie bought it they did quite an
extensive remodel, adding on to both sides, but keeping the original middle of the house
like it had always been. it was great before, but they made it work a little better
for them and we all love the nostalgia of it still feeling a lot like it did when
her wonderful mom and dad lived there.

in the hall right outside the guest room I slept in hangs this embroidered
picture that 3 of leslie's grandson's made for her.
isn't it dear?

here's my bed and here are my bed prizes! 
leslie introduced me to this wonderful tradition many years ago and now it's a
given that she and i and her two girls look forward to 
when we stay with each other. 
*it's like mini Christmas's throughout the year. : ))

love the simplicity of the white rocker with the white polar bear pillow.

my little brother does these european mounts with deer and leslie wanted
one real bad, so he gave her one.
*he's nice like that and she may have sent him a nice tip.

the studio

leslie made this beauty!

so many interesting things line all the shelves- it could take a whole day
just to explore in there.

tiaras for everyone!

we've both got a thing for vases.
another vase? why yes! thank you~

after a lovely dinner out, we decided to stop at a friends to forage for things
to make an ice lantern. it was a beautiful foggy night.

so handy that our phones are also our cameras now. always there when you need them.
: )

I was assembling her ice lantern here on the kitchen counter- and made a big mess
but she doesn't care about stuff like that- it's all about the fun.
*in case you'd like to try making one, an empty ice cream pail works great and you
just fill it with whatever you want, we used bittersweet vine, cranberries,
various evergreens, sliced oranges, nuts, pinecones and cinnamon sticks.
then you fill with water and tape a small plastic container down in the 
middle (this becomes a place to put a candle) and freeze till solid.
to get it out of the pail you just set it in some hot water for a couple minutes 
and it pops right out.

now don't you feel like you've had a tour of a house in the south?
leslie's decorating style is very much like her mothers and
we all just feel cocooned here in this beautiful space.
 leslie has lived in 6 different homes in the 35 years we've been
friends and no matter which of those homes she's lived in,
some teeny and some grand, the feeling is always the same.
come on in, all are welcome here.

it's almost Christmas now and i may or may not be back but
if i'm not, 

blessings~  many, many blessings to you and your family.

xox beth