Warning:  if you don’t share a love affair of silver you’ll just think I’m nuts here!  Run away~run away!

Laying around sick has made me about nuts.

I’d try to work on -SOMEthing- to find it just exhausted me more.  Nothing has been getting done in any kind of fast –motion, but I DID manage to accomplish a FEW things.  YaY!

One thing loooooong over due for attention was cleaning up and REorganizing my (cough-cough hoarder) collection of silver service ware.  Instead of cramming it all in varying cabinets that would leave me fearful to ever open again—I organized everything and put things away PROPERLY.  About time!

*Oh please tell me I’m not the lone hoarder!

Below:  Beginning with the forks—I decided to (temporarily) use folded heavy card-stock paper as dividers.  Basically, supporting and separating the varying patterns.  *I love the “hotel silver” idea of mixed pattern place settings!  But instead of buying the expensive store collections, I’ve collected patterns over the years found in flea markets that I love!

REorganizing the silverware drawer

REorganizing the silverware drawersREorganizing the silverware drawers

It was wonderful to have things out and enjoy their use for Christmas—I have some truly great service pieces!

The next 2 pictures are of things cleaned up but yet to be put away.

some of my nice service pieces!

some of my nice service pieces!

Yes, some may think it’s a bit much, even over the top, but I love it all and how special it makes a meal feel.  PLUS all my beautiful china, silverware, and crystal.  I used it daily in my former home in Chandler, AZ –I miss that.  After all, shouldn’t EVERY day the Lord grants be treated as a celebration?  Just saying. . .


*I removed the cabinet backs before installing them back to back creating an island.  I added the “floating shelves” before it was all closed in~now they’re kinda’ stuck in there permanently so I HAVE TO make them work.

REorganizing my nice service pieces!

REorganizing my nice service pieces!

REorganizing my nice service pieces!


I’m not off to a good start.

My computer “crashed.”  I’m struggling with the new one.  EVERYthing didn’t transfer as they said and I still haven’t figured out where my pictures are loading—just TWO of the issues.

this is not the life I ordered~Apparently I got a bit run down with my big To Do List before Christmas ~which all came crashing in on me.  Surprise, surprise.  No matter the flu shot, I always seem to catch something.  I am NOT a winter-girl.

Whatever I caught this time really took hold—mostly all in my chest.  And so goes the cycle of taking expectorants to cough out the gook, but cough suppressants to get relief  from the super sore throat-pounding headache-no sleep from coughing.  And the Dr’s office says it’s just a virus~not antibiotic grade.  The OTC stuff is making me loopy -so power tools are off limits- and I’m not level-headed enough for painting.  I’m bored silly.

It’s been 3 weeks and I think I’ve coughed out a gallon of mucus.  I’m finally getting some quality sleep and this morning can finally feel a difference breathing.

I’ve put away virtually all of the Christmas decor— s l o w l y.  It’s about all the energy I could muster.  Just one item remains—the upstairs Christmas tree is the last vestige and one source of –comfort while I’ve been sick.

A n d  Christmas songs and Christmas movies!

the last vestige of Christmas~

But since I’m not a Christmas baby and tomorrow is my B’day. . .

I guess  I should take it down now.


yeah-its my birthday

birthday cake


Actually~ where’s the wine

w e l l, Hello!

Guess who started the New Year with a


C R A S H.


Yep~ my beloved computer died at Christmas.  How FuN.


my NEW vs OLD computerObviously, I’ve got a new computer—picked it up 11am this very morning, wOO hOO!

And WHEW! No more trying to function by phone!

But it’s new and it’s different and I’ve got some adjusting to do.

Like—WHERE are my pictures loading to?  I am NOT appreciating the hide & seek!

I went SMALLER~yet they’re the SAME.

More portable.  Light weight.

The OLD screen and keyboard FRAMEWORK were so generously proportioned that they’re virtually IDENTICAL to the new streamlined laptop–as you can see below (which doesn’t seem possible).

The visual screen only dropped from 15″ to a 14″ screen.

my NEW vs OLD computer

my NEW vs OLD computer

The new screen is a TOUCH screen too~LUV THAT!
And the whole unit folds backwards to be used as a tablet!  The screen is folded under in the last picture so I could compare keyboards.

Omg, ME–with such NEW technology!

Now I just have to learn how to USE IT!

HaPPy NeW YeaR!

~from my new computer!


Now be patient with me as I learn where my pics are to post on…

-decorating the lamps at Christmas!…as a Christmas


My body, my energy, my motivation has called a big ole time out on me.  I spent the 2 days after Christmas doing…absolutely…NOTHING.  Nada.  Zilch.

It was  W O N D E R f u l !

W e l l~ I did finally do the Christmas day dishes early Wednesday morning.

I sorted and organized everything Christmas night and then decided—

I just didn’t FEEL like doing the rest.

After 2 glorious days of slackin’ off, I’m getting back in gear (uhgh!).

This year’s decorating seemed to stick close to just Reds and Whites…including decorating all the lighting!

decorating the lighting too!

decorating the lighting too!

decorating the lighting too!

...and little wreathes on the cabinet doors...

the simple extra touches~

Decorating stayed very simple–and mostly just little touches of Reds & Whites.

the simple extra touches~ the simple extra touches~



And then there were

the TREES!

the beaded tree~

the UPSTAIRS tree~


If you’ve followed my blog long enough, you know I do something FuN & crazy every year for the kiddo’s Christmas tree!

I revisited the long-time-idea of going UPside down!

When I stumbled onto a stuffed lower half of Santa…well, it was meant to be!

hanging a tree UPside down!Starting with a TREE…

Couldn’t be fake—the “hinged” arms would just fall down.

Okay, REAL.  Would have to be smaller to emphasize being off the floor.  Would have to have firm branches to stay straight out.  Would need to cut the trunk LOW to the bottom branches to lay flat on the ceiling.

I screwed an eye bolt into the bottom of the trunk, and a molly bolt & strong cup hook into the ceiling~& hung it up!

The Santa came with a hook to catch the trunk, and I happened to already have a stuffed Santa Hat to poke through the other side of the tree—HoHoHo!

Santa’s legs were wired so I manipulated them to look like he was climbing in the tree.  Wait a minute~is that really Mr GRINCH stealing our tree?

I strung the lights, I added “snow,” and decorated with lots of CANDY!  (Including licorice tinsel)  The kiddos like to “EAT” the tree here!

The UPside down tree candy decor!

This is After Christmas with much of its candy eaten!  But it still looks fun!  The kids LUV’d it—and so did the adults!  I noticed several walking over to take another look at it all!

I found some amAzing lights to put on the kiddo’s tree this year—below are the color options it gives!  You can pick a color or some combo of—that’s not a filter!  There’s also a CANDY-color option of white-pink-purple-orange-red.  Then you can select solid-flashing-chasing-twinkling-fade!

~some really cool tree lights!

With just the white lights to see (what’s left) the “decorations!”the kiddo's tree!

This year we TRULY took pics UNDER the tree!


Merry Christmas!

I used a softer light-scheme!

DIY Home Depot workshop~ CHRISTMAS TREE SHELF!

About a month ago,

my good friend Gail wrote a post on her blog

My RePurposed Life

sharing HER version of the DIY Workshop Home Depot challenge going around~

the Holiday tree shelf!

I thought it was such a cute idea and I wanted to play too!

Especially after she shared several versions by fellow bloggers—all SO adorable!  Aren’t they fun!?!

Gail's DIY Home Depot workshop~ CHRISTMAS TREE SHELF!

First Gail’s

and then some fellow blogger’s creative versions!
See!  Adorable, right?!

Now go check out the great tutorial she wrote so

you can create YOURS too!

DIY Home Depot workshop~ CHRISTMAS TREE SHELF!

And now here’s MY version!

MY version of the DIY Workshop Home Depot challenge~ CHRISTMAS TREE SHELF!

I used scrap cuts from varying projects–which dictated its size.  And you can see I was still playing with the end of my stamped pallet board supply!

I also decided to miter all the joints of mine for a tight, rigid fit AND cut very crude, wonky ends on the “branches!”

Wouldn’t it be even more fun to use live edge boards for the “branches?!?”

What a FuN and simple project!

Thanks for sharing Gail!


MY version of the DIY Workshop Home Depot challenge~ CHRISTMAS TREE SHELF!

Keep Calm.....or whatever....It’s easy to be

over-taken &


BY LIFE, in general.

And YES, I needed a blog-break.  But dang, I’ve just been outright neglectful, and even I’M surprised.  Well, a New Year is nipping at our heals…full of

Fresh Starts and a REfocus of Priorities and

I’m back!


If you follow me on Instagram

you’ve seen a few things along the way, otherwise~

let me get REstarted with this quickie!

One of the best things about being a “Construction-Girl” is that when you NEED something ~you can generally just go build it!

I realized I needed a VERY LARGE TRAY to cover my tufted ottoman during our Christmas gathering.  There’s always a minimum of 17 adults and 15 big-to-little kids.  So there’s a LOT of nibbles, goodies, and dinner food to make room for!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!

I’ll use the over-sized tray for nibbles, a 5ft sofa table will become the dessert bar, and the whole kitchenette becomes a buffet-styled dinner!  PLUS, a hot chocolate bar for the kiddos, coffee bar for the sleep-deprived adults, and/OR Christmas Spirits bar~where you’ll find me by the time I’ve finished all the work it takes to get this party ready!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!This picture~  trying out service pieces for the What-Why-How!

The tufted ottoman is 41″ in diameter, the new over-sized tray is 37″!

Now~how I did it!

•I happened to have a former table top (Craigslist-find that was gutted for parts!) that was 31″ & also an octagon!

•I ripped a long pine board to 3″w, cut 8 generous sides,

•ran them through the router to create    1-a rabbet & 2-a finished beveled edge.

•Cut/mitered each side on a 22.5° angle, and glued & nailed each piece to the 8 sides.  The rabbet gave a stronger connection and the bevel gave a finished edge!

•Finished the wood to look as much like the ottoman as possible (different woods) and added over-sized lion head drawer pulls.

A N D, things are getting finished in the lower-level!



this scrap cut shows you the RABBET & BEVEL

*you can see the Herringbone pattern through the paint










with the new sides extending the diameter~

I’m sure I’m not the only one

who has seen and glossed right over these commonly-found wood lamps in the thrift stores.  Don’t know WHY, but, this time I actually LOOKED at this pair—

with a different eye. . . . ?

Uuuuuugly wood thrift store lamps!

Uuuuuugly wood thrift store lamps!

Something spoke to me.  Their shapes perhaps?

What if I cut them up and give them NEW shapes and a NEW use?
Candlesticks come to mind.  Hmmmmm. . . .

alternative CANDLE STICKS

The cut pieces became puzzle pieces. . .

and 3 candlesticks!

I did run them through the router with a dado bit to counter sink the area for the candle to be seated more securely.  I also decided against -just painting- in favor of a raw wood.  I tried sanding them but bailed pretty quickly for stripping.

Much better!

the finish~ sanding vs stripping

UGLY old thrift store lamps REbuilt

alternative CANDLESTICKS
Now I’m playing with (cutting up) varying table legs, bed posts, and vintage porch spindles!  Some will be painted- and some left completely alone!


alternative CANDLESTICKS
alternative CANDLESTICKSalternative CANDLESTICKS