Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fireplace or Entertainment Center?

So is this mantle part of a fireplace or an entertainment center?

Well . . . here in Houston we don't have much need of a fireplace -- especially one that needed a lot of work done ($$$) before it could be safely used! For years our solution was to use the large opening for our TV. When we inherited a TV that was too large for the opening, though, St. Michael built a shelving unit for me that fits right under the mantle and uses the hearth for its base.

(And I have no idea what Baby Daughter was watching when I snapped this pic.)

The tree sitting on the mantle, to the left of Santa.

The mantle itself was plain ol' 4 x 4 piece of wood until I covered it with old, dis-mantled picture frames (sorry, I couldn't resist!), fitted together like a puzzle.

A little chair I found
at Salvation Army: $2.

The "Wise Men Still Seek Him" sign sitting on the chair came from Value Village a few years ago: $1.

The message: PRICELESS.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas in the dining room

This is looking into the dining room from our foyer. (Our front door is to the left of this pic, beside the plant stand. Our family room is to the right.) My table and buffet were given to me by a friend who moved into a huge new house and wanted all new furniture to go in it. (Yea for her, yea for me!) It was white, but the paint was flaking off somethin' fierce. (Not cute chippy, just flakey!) St. Michael spent part of October and November sanding it all down (including the six chairs) and completely stripping the top of the table and buffet. He then stained the tops of the table and buffet for me and then painted all of the chairs black. I painted the "body" of the buffet and the "apron" of the table white, "speckled" both pieces with black and golden khaki (to match a piece I already had) and then painted the legs of the table black and added a few black accents to the buffet. Such a difference! I love them! (And they all look great on my room-size rug that I snagged at a garage sale last summer for $50!)

A little closer still . . . Sorry for the poor quality of the photo -- I'm still working on those skills. Wish you could be here in person to see for yourself. (The closers are really much richer all the way around.)

Top of the buffet with St. Michael's mom's silver tray and an assortment of garage sale goodies. (The pear print came from Dollar Tree, and I simply put it in a big ol' frame I already had. It's perfect for this room. Love me some Dollar Tree!)

Nestled under the buffet tree is our first nativity set. We got it after Christmas more than twenty-five years ago from a Sears hardware store for $5.

A friend of mine said that judging from the size of that baby, compared to his mama, truly his birth WAS a miracle!

Reflections from the antique mirror we inherited from St. Michael's childhood best friend. (Middle Daughter from over at Sugar and Spice made the gold hanging ball out of styrofoam, beans, and gold spray paint when she was in intermediate school, and it hangs out somewhere every Christmas.)

My "hutch" used to be in my girls' rooms. The same paint treatment turns a room full of odds-and-ends furniture a sweet blended family!

A close-up of my garage-sale-, gift-, and Tuesday-morning-filled hutch. The little sign by the "clearance" rooster lamp is a recent birthday gift from my sweet sistah-friend, Bev. It reads, "Jesus * coffee * Joy" . . . how perfect is that!

Hopefully, I'll have some better pics to post next week (if I have time to practice on my photo-taking skills). Meanwhile, I hope ya'll are having fun out there in Blogland and enjoying the preparations of the season!

Happy Saturday, Sistahs!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Joining Marty's Christmas "Cloche" Party!

I'm stayin' in the bloggin' groove by joining Marty at her Christmas Cloche Party! Rush over there, and check out all of the gorgeous-ness under glass! Here are the ones scattered around Casa St. Michael . . .

Okay, so I don't actually have REAL cloches, but I like to pretend that this is a real, mini-cloche. I found it in a little antique shop on the way home from Austin a few weeks ago. It's sitting on my favorite cake stand -- a birthday gift from my sistah-friend, Debbie, a few years ago. (And speaking of real, in real life, the little Dollar Tree Santa salt and pepper shakers don't look blurry and distorted like they do in these pics!)

Yes, I know this is really a cake plate and cover . . . but a girl can make-believe, right?

And last, but not least, a cheese "cover" pretending to be a cloche! (Another bargain on the way home from the Austin trip.) I have it sitting on a garage sale "Dreaming of a White Christmas" plate that's sitting on top of another garage sale toile-patterned plate. And I got the height I needed in the center of the table by stacking it all on a white vegetable bowl turned over!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Starting to Look Like Christmas!

I'm celebrating Show and Tell Friday today with Cindy (unquestionably the ultimate goddess of romantic homes), so after you've checked out my dollar-sense "Fruit of the Spirit" Christmas tree that welcomes family and friends into the foyer here at Casa St. Michael this season, run on over to My Romantic Home and check out what everyone else in Bloggerland is showing and telling today! Enjoy!
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control"
(Galatians 5:22-23a).
I quit putting up a big tree a couple of years ago and, instead, now I put little trees throughout the house. Here's a close up of this year's foyer tree. It's full of "sugared" fruit that I've found at thrift stores and garage sales, and miniature gold-framed fruit that I painted. (Found the lusciously chunky mini-frames years ago at a dollar store. Loved 'em then, love 'em now!) Add some Sam's Club ribbon to the mix, cover the bottom of the tree and the stand with left-over fabric from the dining room chair seats, and it's ready to go!
I got this gorgeous nativity set at a Christmas party several years ago. We did the gift exchange that involves "stealing" one another's gifts, and everybody was trying to take this beauty home, but look who won out! (We had a ten-dollar limit on the Christmas decorations we could bring to exchange, and the lady who brought this had purchased each piece at Dollar Tree! She had picked through lots of figures until she found the "perfect" ones, and they are so beautiful in person.) The little gold-framed cross-stiched picture behind the right side of the nativity set came from Value Village for, I think, $1.80, and reads, "Love came at Christmas." How perfectly simple and true!

Later today, when I get back to my own computer, I'll post a close up of the antique $1 garage-sale shelf behind the tree and take you on in to the dining room . . . ahhhh, I love Christmas decorating with all of my "found" treasures! So much fun!