DIY: Update Your Old Christmas Decor

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Happy December!  It’s that time of year again where the red Rubbermaid boxes with green lids come out of hiding and my house explodes in Christmas décor.  I love, LOVE, L*O*V*E this time of year!

Question: Do you have Christmas décor items that you put back in the box year after year without using them in your holiday decorating?  Stuff that you LOVED way back when, but now no longer fits with your Christmas design style or colors?  I decided to update a couple of items that I haven’t used in the past few years and I couldn’t be more pleased!

First, I have this wooden holly swag that my friend gave me many years ago (thanks, Renee!).  It’s super cute, right?

Green Red Wood Holly Swag

I have decorated with it and loved it for more than a decade, but my Christmas décor colors have changed over the years and it no longer matches my style,  plus the raffia was all snarled up.  For my DIY, I removed all of the raffia then painted all of the pieces with flat black spray paint,

Black painted wood holly cutouts

then painted the round “berries” white and the leaves a light greige color.   I did this to both sides to make the finished project look good from all angles.  After the paint dried I grabbed an old spoon and scraped the edges to reveal the black paint beneath for a distressed look.

distressing paint with a spoon handle

Using the spoon handle to distress the paint edges was way faster than sandpaper would have been.  If you notice how I was holding the spoon, it felt similar to peeling potatoes.  I just love the little center vein that was routered down the middle of each leaf.   That, coupled with the distressing, gives these holly leaves nice dimension.

Once all of the pieces were distressed, I grabbed some light blue ribbon and inserted it in the holes.  I added the 3 round “berries” to 3 of the leaves with the ribbon and laid it out on my counter in the approximate way that I wanted it to hang…

wood holly swag

…and then I tied a knot at the top.  So, here is the finished swag:

Just in case you are interested in making a set of your own, here is a pattern for the holly leaves and round berries.  This would make an awesome neighbor gift, right?

My other project was an item that I painted sometime in the 90’s which was in sore need of a makeover in order to come out of the Rubbermaid this year:

Green red wood JOY sign

Again, it wasn’t horrible, just didn’t fit my current décor.  This little “JOY” sign got the same treatment as my holly swag and I kind of love it now:

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I half thought that I would paint the stars with silver nail polish.  Who knows, maybe next year.  I am really liking the subdued whites this year, so for now, it’s just how I want it.

And, here is the final resting place of each for Christmas 2016:

green wreath holly swag

I’m liking the new looks…for now.  Who knows, I may change it back to bright colors in another decade.

So, do you like the before: colorful versions, or the after: distressed shades of white?  What Christmas color scheme are you liking right now?

 

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Snowman/Scarecrow Craft

scarecrow-snowman

Scarecrow/Snowman Craft: My Version

Lookie, lookie!  I am finally posting my version of a craft that I’m sure most of you have seen out there in the crafting/Pinterest/blog world:  A dual purpose, two-side craft with a scarecrow face on one side and a snowman face on the other.  I designed this craft for our Super Saturday craft day event in 2015 and promised to included a tutorial way back then.  Yep…I forgot to do that, so now I’m keeping that promise.  All of the other versions of this craft that I have seen are done with pallet boards or bead board, but I wanted a simpler-to-make version.   If you go to Pinterest and search “Scarecrow Snowman Reversible”, you will see oodles of versions of this craft.  But, here is how I did mine:

Supplies:

Supplies for Scarecrow Snowman

2 x 8 Lumber-  13 1/2 inches

Wood trim- 13 1/2 inches (can be flat or decorative trim)

White, black, brown and orange craft paint

Textured paper for noses (mine is wallpaper)

Q-Tip (to add dimension to the carrot nose)

Two large flat marbles (Dollar Tree)

Two large buttons

Misc. embellishments for decorating

Black Sharpie

Noses Pattern

Powdered blush (raid your makeup drawer!)

Glue gun

Ready?  OK!

First, figure out where you want your wood trim hat brim angle to be.  I just placed it where I wanted it, traced down each side of the trim with a pencil, then roughly painted white on the bottom and black on the top.  Don’t worry about painting the sides of the wood…just the top only, since this craft is reversible.

Snowman Craft rough painting

The board is sturdy enough to stand, so you can paint the scarecrow side, as well.  Matching the angle from the snowman side, roughly paint the top only of the opposite side brown.

While you have black or brown paint on your brush, paint both sides of your trim pieces, one side black and one side brown.  To be clear, when you are looking at the snowman side, you will be able to slightly see the back of the rim from the scarecrow side so you want to see black paint, and vise versa, so each trim piece has one side painted black and one side painted brown.  A hair dryer comes in handy to help speed up drying time !

Painted wood trim hat brims

Next , create those snowman eyes.  I just dipped my finger tip in black paint and dabbed a fairly thick coat of paint on the back side of each flat marble.  I think these “eyes” look so reflective and dreamy!  Don’t you agree?

snowman-eyes-and-nose

While the paint is drying, cut out and paint (if not already orange) the textured paper noses.  Click on this blue Noses Pattern link to print out the pattern that I created, or make your own shapes.

Time to assemble:

Use hot glue to secure both hat brims.  I also added a small flat head screw to ensure that brim will never fall off.  You can hide that with embellishments.

The faces are where you can get creative.  Play around with the “eyes” and “noses” to see how you want to place them.  On my scarecrow, I placed one button eye slightly lower then the other for a playful look.  For my snowman, I place the eyes fairly close together.

I added “stitch marks” with a Sharpie for my scarecrow nose.  To add dimension to the snowman’s carrot nose, I grabbed a Q-Tip  and glued it right where I wanted the nose placed, then hot glued the carrot shape on top of it, securing all of the edges.

The scarecrow got a large Sharpie-drawn smile with “stitch marks”.  The snowman didn’t get a mouth, but I used my finger to rub a bit of blush on his cheeks.

Personalize:

Give these two some personality by adding silk or glittery flowers, patches of fabric, raffia, ribbon…whatever your heart desires.  To distress, or not to distress- that is the question.  You get to choose whether or not to take sandpaper to the edges.

Now, here is the best part…

You can pull this cute craft out for your holiday decorating in September as you decorate for fall, using the Scarecrow side.  After Thanksgiving, flip it around to display the Snowman side and let him stay there all through January.  I love that!

All in all, this is a super-simple, super-cute craft that gives double your pleasure.  They make super cute gifts!  I should know…I gave mine away last year.  I’m off to make another one, (well, two) right this very minute.  Why don’t you go do the same?

scarecrowsnowmantitle

 

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Super Saturday Crafts 2016

Super Saturday 2016

It’s almost Super Saturday again!

Super Saturday is my favorite crafting event and it is coming up in just 2 short weeks.  Last year I posted what crafts we did for our local Super Saturday and I figured that I would do the same this year.  Uggh.  I just realized that in that post I had promised a tutorial for the Scarecrow/Snowman craft that I made and I totally did not do that!  Shame on me! I will do that very soon.  This time I really mean it!  Promise!

***UPDATE: Here is the tutorial***

To decide on which crafts to make, I consulted my two Pinterest Super Saturday boards: Super Saturday Craft Day Ideas and my group board, Super SUPER SATURDAY Craft Ideas.  You should check these boards (my other boards too!) out for some awesome, awesome crafting ideas.  (I will link below to show the original crafts that I copied for this Super Saturday activity)

Now, on to this year’s Super Saturday crafts:

This first craft is what I will call a Ponderize Board.  The thought is that you take scripture verses or other quotes that you want to incorporate into your life and you print it up in cool fonts and post it on this board where everyone can see it often.  It can just be a nice thought to ponder or you can try to memorize, hence the name, Ponderize.  The great part is that you can easily change your chosen verse or quote, maybe change it out every week or month.  Or, keep it up forever.

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Next craft is a cute Picture Display Board.  I cut the rounded long edges off of 2 x 6 lumber so it can easily sit on a shelf, countertop, table, etc. and not fall over.  Tiny clothespins are hot glued in place to hold the pics.  The lettering is vinyl, (Café Rojo font) and I just used a stencil to add a little detail.

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This Quart Jar Kleenex Dispenser turned out so cute!   Let’s face it, Kleenex boxes- no matter how stylish the print is- are really not that attractive.  To get this look, I first painted the jar with a dark color, then added a heavy coat of white chalk paint and sanded a bit to get the distressed look and to highlight the raised lettering.  You can click the “DIY Mason Jar Tissue Holder” link below for the tutorial on how to get the dispenser to work correctly.  This decorative jar is a really fun way to keep Kleenex’s handy:

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We will also be offering this O Holy Night Banner.  I was hoping to be able to download the banner letters directly from the site that I got the idea from, but the link wasn’t working.  I created my own version and had my local print shop print it up on cardstock.  If you want to print up your own set, here is the link for my version of the O Holy Night banner.  The top and sides of each page just need to be trimmed off (I removed the song title), the bottom cut into this banner-like shape and string added. Easy peasy!

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I’m sure that these Microwaveable Neck Warmers will be a Super Saturday hit.  They make fabulous gifts!  Look here for my tutorial.

DIY Corn Microwavable Neck Warmers

Lastly, during Super Saturday, we are going to do a demonstration to show just how easy it is to make a Square Wreath.  (Here is the tutorial.)

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Here are the images that inspired some of our Super Saturday craft choices:

Kudos to these awesome crafters!

Verse of the Week

Count Your Blessings Board

DIY Mason Jar Tissue Holder

O Holy Night Banner

Yep, Super Saturday is going to be awesome!

And, there you have it!  Our 2016 Super Saturday crafts.  What do you think?

Do you participate in a get-ready-for-the-holidays crafting event?  I would love to see what you are making!  Please send pics!  Maybe we will do them for Super Saturday 2017!

 

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Peacock Blue Furniture Re-Do

peacockbluetitle

If you are anything like me, you love a deal.  Am I right?  Of course I am!  Lowes recently had their paint samples on sale for $.99 so I snagged a few for a project that I have been itching to do for a long time.  Did you know that they can custom make any color in the 8 oz. sample size?  How amazingly cool is that?

Do you like the color Peacock Blue?  I do, I Do, I DO!  What exactly is peacock blue?  Well, it isn’t teal or navy…it is something in between.   Lately, I have been drooling over blue painted furniture.  Check out this beautiful leggy table from Create Inspire

createinspire-table

…and this awesome distressed peacock  blue cabinet (isn’t that stenciled wall amazing?!)

peacock blue cabinet

…what about this stunning and black dresser (swoon!)

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… and this glossy dresser

peacock-dresser

They are all amazing, don’t you think?

I have been craving me some peacock blue and guess what?  I got some!   Here’s a peek:

Olympic Celestial Blue Paint

This is what I started with:

Before: Black stereo cabinet

It’s an old stereo cabinet that I painted black years ago, but it was pretty beat up looking.  Ugly!  Before painting the whole thing, I had to decide which of my paint samples I was going to use:

Blue paint sample colors

I chose Blue #3 which is Olympic One Celestial Blue.

Those of you who haven’t painted furniture before might think that it is a big undertaking to paint a piece furniture, but…it’s…not!  This project took me no more than 90 minutes start to finish, including drying time.  Less than two measly hours!  And, the coolest part was that I was able to get 2 coats of paint from one little $.99 paint sample with paint left over.   Even if you had to pay full price for the sample, $3.48, that is a killer deal for a “new” piece of furniture.  And, trust me, it does seem like we have a new piece of furniture.  Check it out:

Peacock Blue Cabinet Re-Do

Let me just say that it is really hard to photograph this color accurately in my dining room.  In real life, it is the perfect peacock blue.

You may recognize those door pulls from my haul that I got at the Roses and Rust Vintage Market in Redding, CA last year:

Various furniture hardware

They were 3 for $1!  What a deal!  What a steal!  I guess that if I were being realistic, I would tack that extra $.66 on my title, but I’m not going to.

Are you craving some peacock blue, too?  Grab a paint sample, pick a piece of furniture and do a re-do, too!

Peacock Blue painted cabinet

 

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Painted Furniture: Say “Yes” to Distress?

painted-furniture-distress-title

Happy day friends!  In my last post about the free Craigslist nightstand that I painted, I told you that I wasn’t done with it yet.   This is how it looked when I finished painting it:

White chalk painted Craigslist nightstand

Not half bad, right?  Whenever I paint a piece of furniture, I always get to this point and wonder, “Should I distress it?”.  Do you do that?  It almost goes against the grain to make something look so nice and then take sandpaper to it, doesn’t it?

My experience with distressing painted pieces goes way back to the late 1980’s.  I had attended a church craft night with my sister and after we had painted the wooden craft, they passed out sandpaper to distress the edges.  I thought that they were crazy.  I had just painted the piece to perfection…why would I want to sand off a perfectly good painting job?  I refused and my craft project came home with me with pristine edges.

Let me just say that, in the decades since (holy cow, that makes me sound SO old!), I have come to embrace distressed painted furniture.  Embrace it with big open arms.  Want to see my distressed painted nightstand?  Why do I ask?  Of course you do!

Distressed Painted Nightstand

Yeah, I know the picture is kind of dark.  Sorry about that, but, can you see the difference?

How about some close ups?

Here are a few other painted items in my home that I have done this same subtle distressed finish on:

 

before-after-distress-collage
Unfortunately, the lighting in these Before and After pics is totally different, but you get the general idea, right?

Here’s the distressed nightstand in its final resting place, our guest room:

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So, what do YOU think?  Do YOU like the clean, pristine perfect paint look, or do you like the look of subtle distressing?  Personally, I like…both.  Wimpy answer, I know, but sometimes I prefer the subtle distressed look, sometimes I don’t.  I have found that, if I end up hating the distressing on a project, all it takes is a quick brush of paint on the sanded areas and “poof”, we have the pristine look all over again.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezie!

So, again I ask…what’s your take on the matter of painted furniture?  Do you say “Yes” to distress?

distressed-paint-collage

 

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My Price-less (seriously, it was FREE!) Nightstand

Cover Pic Free Nightstand

Do you want to know my favorite price?  Free, of course!  Same with you?  I like to peruse the Free section of Craigslist every once in a while.  Have you ever done that?  People give away all kinds of stuff:  pianos, boats, yard sale left overs, plaid couches, building supplies, pets, etc., etc., etc..  For the most part, I’m not the least bit interested in what I see, but a few months ago I saw this awesome nightstand posted:

Free Craigslist Nightstand Unpainted

School lesson:  The suffix “less” means “without”.  In other words, without a price.  Free.  Remember…that’s my favorite price.  Yep, this nightstand was price-less.  You can bet that I snapped it up!  Once I got it home, it went straight to the back of my garage, where all good projects go to wait their turn to become awesome.  Soon thereafter, HomeRight kindly sent me this awesome paint sprayer:

homeright-finish-max

The HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP Sprayer.  Imagine a choir of angels singing…I swear that’s what I heard when the package arrived.  Thank you HomeRight!

My free (I love saying that!) nightstand was the first project that I decided to tackle with my new sprayer.  Piece of advice…read the instructions + follow the instructions when you are tackling the unknown.  Smart people wrote those instructions, but, after reading them, I decided that I know what I’m doing.  I have painted a lot.  I mean, a lot, so I decided that there was no need to thin the paint.  Big mistake.  Once I humbled myself and thinned the paint like I should have in the first place, the thing worked like a dream.  I think it took about 3 minutes to paint the whole first coat.  Seriously, it took more time to open the paint, mix a batch of chalk paint (thinned a bit…the instructions show just how much), and walk out to the garage than it did to paint my nightstand.  I was insanely impressed!

Hold it!  I’m getting ahead of myself.  Before I started painting I had some prep, of course.  Worst part of painting furniture, wouldn’t you agree?   Actually, it was just a bit of hand sanding.  I lived through it, somehow.

Even though it is widely known that chalk paint can go on pretty much any surface, I decided to spray on some canned primer just because.  I remember watching a YouTube video years ago of Annie Sloan hand painting a dresser and she painted the handles at the same time with the same paint that she painted the dresser.  I really like the look of the handles being more of a texture, not a standout color, so I decided to also spray a coat of primer on those.

Spray Primed Decorative Nightstand

Ready for the after?  Want to see what 2 coats of paint and about 6 minutes of total spraying time with my new HomeRight sprayer can do?  Well, here you go!

White Painted Decorative Nightstand

Do. You. Love. It?  My price-less nightstand?  I totally do, but I’m not done yet.  Check back soon to see the finished product.  I also plan to share some things that I have learned by using my paint sprayer.  I’ll keep you posted.  Now, head right over to your local Craigslist and check out the Free section.  Hope you find something good!

 

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Accepting My Liebster Award…Finally!

liebster-award

I’m feeling a bit sheepish lately.  Ashamed.  Kind of embarrassed.  For the second time in less than a year, I have been nominated for the Leibster Award.  I mean, how nice is that?  In fact, the word “Liebster” is a German word meaning, “dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved…”.   Awwww.  So, what’s the problem?  Just me.  For some reason these nominations have put me into a blogging tailspin.  More like a crash and burn.  Weird, right?  I really enjoy blogging:  the projects, the picture taking, the photo editing, the writing process, the proofreading, the editing and finally, pressing the “Publish” button. But, oddly enough, after each nomination, I have put off blogging for months because, accepting the award seems like so much work and it would be downright rude to blog on any other subject without responding to the nomination, right?   Do you see my dilemma?

That said, though,  I seriously see these nominations as a super sweet gesture from fellow bloggers and I am finally ready to get on with my blogging life.  Onward and upward!

My first nomination came in July 2015 from Kimberley at Seaside Ave.  You should really go check out her blog… she writes about a variety of topics, is a bargain shopper (like me!), does homey DIY projects, has great taste and a really nice writing style.  Thanks, Kimberley!

Here are the questions that she asked me:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I decided to start a blog a while back because my family lives far away and I thought it would be a good way to share what projects I am doing with them and others.

2. What’s your favorite hobby?

I love to find items for super cheap and figure out how to make them look, well, not super cheap!  This includes furniture, accessories, clothing, jewelry, etc., etc.

3. Which blog post are you most proud of, and why? 

I would have to say my Textured Wooden Pumpkin post is my favorite, because I really love the finished product.  This was a “let’s just see if this works” kind of project that turned out better than I had hoped it would.

4. What’s your favorite baked good?

My first thought was brownies with walnuts, marshmallows and chocolate frosting, but then I thought about homemade bread with melted butter.  Mmmmm.  I’ll go with the bread!

5. Coffee or tea?

This one’s easy…neither.

6. If you could move anywhere, where would it be?

That dream move would be to Utah state where 4 of my 5 children plus 2 daughter-in-laws live.  Also,  my parents, 8 siblings (I know, right?!) and their families plus a whole host of aunts, uncles and cousins live there.   Yep, it would have to be Utah.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

“You’re never fully dressed without a smile” 

8. What is the first blog you remember reading regularly?

Tidbits from the Tremaynes: Mandi is a hilarious writer and does amazing, over-the-top projects.  Seriously…read her blog!  I don’t know her, but I do know that she lives in Utah.  I want to be her next door neighbor. 

9. What are 11 random facts about yourself?

1) My birthday is 9/11…kind of a downer, right, but I share my birthday with my grandpa, a cousin, my best friend in high school, and my niece.  2) When I was a teen, my family owned a pizza place called Purple Pig Pizza and I ate pizza every single day.  3) Pizza is still one of my favorite foods.  4) I have been to Australia 3 times in my life.  5) At age 18, I got hit by a taxi cab while in a crosswalk, crossing a street in Australia…threw me up on the windshield and down to the pavement.  6) The taxi driver yelled, “sorry” out his car window as he drove off.  7) After being married for almost 30 years, every day I make my bed because, and this is the thought that goes through my head each day, “I don’t want Scott (my husband) to think that I’m the kind of person that doesn’t make my bed”.   8) I didn’t make my bed every day when I was single.  9) I went to a One Direction concert with my older daughter last year and acted like a teenaged girl singing along with every song.  I’m kind of a teen-y bopper.  I currently have the High School Musical 3 soundtrack playing each time I drive my car.   10) Every Friday, when I pick up my 16 year old daughter at high school, we break out singing, “Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday!”.  If you aren’t familiar with that song, don’t look it up…it is probably the most obnoxious song ever written.   11) I am currently working on an online program to finish my bachelors degree through Brigham Young University.

10.  What 5 things would top your gratitude list? 

  1. My family including wonderful in-laws
  2. My faith
  3. The blessing of healthy, able bodies for my family and I
  4. I’m proud to be an American
  5. This world that we live in is so beautiful in such diverse ways

11.   What is your favorite color?

Currently, I love all shades of blues.

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Secondly, I was nominated by Caitlin at Flannelgraphs way back in March 2016.  Her blog is a sweet blog that provides great mommy and family tips, as well as providing hope and encouragement for those who are grieving and in need of healing.  You really should check it out.  Thanks, Caitlin!

Caitlin’s questions for me were:

1. Who’s your favorite blogger?

This one is a repeat…Mandi at Tidbits from the Tremaynes.  I can’t say it enough…she is hilarious and you have to see it to believe the huge scope of projects that she takes on.  Amazing!

2. What’s the thing/person/place that motivates you most effectively?

I would have to say my home and the people in it are what motivates me most effectively.  I’m always looking for ways to make my home look nicer,  more organized, and easier for my family to live in.

3. Where do you physically do most of your blogging from (couch? bed? kitchen table? sandy beach?)?

I do all of my blogging at our computer desk in our family room.  I do like the idea of doing it on a sandy beach, though!

4. If you could have dinner with any one person, here or gone, who would it be?

My great-grandma Sadie Tolley Harris.  She died when I was a senior in high school, but we had a super strong bond.  She was sweet, and soft and hilarious and thought I could do no wrong.

5. When is your most productive time of the day?

Hmmm…this varies from day to day.  I guess that I use mornings to try to get things done, but sometimes projects scream out to me at 10pm and I dig in and get them done.

6. Watery expanses or mountain ranges?

Ooooh, can I have both?  My parents do, along with city lights at night, and that is the view that I crave.  Is this too much to ask for?  If I have to choose one, it would have to be water views.

7. What’s your favorite season and why?

I love summer because the kids are out of school and life is just simpler.  My hubby can come home early from work, load up the boat, and within 3o minutes we can be out on Shasta Lake.  It is also when  our out-of-state kids come home to visit.

8. It’s Friday night:  what are you most likely up to?

Pizza and a movie.

9.Sweatpants or leggings?

Leggings.

10.Who has been your biggest supporter on your blogging journey?

I would say that my mom is my biggest supporter.  She thinks that everything I create and write about is amazing.  Moms are great that way, aren’t they?

11.Cat crazy or doggie lover?

This would be a big, fat…neither!  Let’s just say that I had a bad experience that included a mouthful of fluffy St. Bernard fur in my mouth as a teen.  Ruined me for life!

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Wake up, wake up…are you still there?  This post is getting quite long, so, on with my nominations for the Liebster Award:

Nicki at The Peace Notes

Renee at Food + Fitness

Hayniedi at Empty Nest Remodelers

Cari at Saltwater and Sawdust

HERE ARE YOUR 11 QUESTIONS:

  • Why did you start blogging?
  • What is the first blog you remember reading regularly?
  • If you could add on one room to your home, what would that be and why?
  • If you could have dinner with any one person, here or gone, who would it be?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  • What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?
  • Water or mountain view?
  • If you could live in another time of history, when would that be?  Why?
  • What is the best advice you have been given?
  • Do you make your bed every day?
  • What is your favorite piece of furniture or accessory in your home?

For more information about the Leibster Award, you can read this very well-written post by Lorraine on her Wording Well blog.

Thanks again, Kimberley and Kaitlin for your “dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved…” Liebster nominations for my little blog! 

Whew!!!! Now I can get  back to blogging.