Saturday, December 31, 2016

I'm getting on my Soap Box...Don't Take Down Your Christmas Tree!

Every year a few days after Christmas, I want to slap some sense into people.  It makes me crazy that Americans insist on decorating for the Christmas season BEFORE Thanksgiving, or the day after it, and then take everything down the day after Christmas!!!  What the you decorate for Easter on MLK day or for Halloween on Labor Day?  

This is all thanks to good 'ol American consumerism and marketing and has really ignited over the last 25 years or so.  Before that, the first or second week of December was the norm.  In my parent's day, you brought home a tree Christmas week and decorated it as a family, many times on Christmas eve.  Of course, they decorated simply back then and reflected on the meaning of Christ's birth in their lives, not on how adorable they can make their homes look with glitter flakes, miles of ribbon and garland, and wayyyy too many wrapped gifts. 

Pay attention to your churches...they aren't celebrating Thanksgiving with red and green florals, and in fact, you won't see any adornments except for the Advent Wreath until Christmas week.  This is all for a reason...

Christmas Season begins with Christ's birth and ends on the Epiphany, Jan. 6th.  Most homes in America packed up their decorations and have stored them in the attic at least a week prior to this day.  I'm giving you a big spanking...STOP IT!  

I challenge you - next year, consider decorating your home slowly and beginning no sooner than Dec. 5, or the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas. Certainly do bring out your Advent wreath and calendar at the weekend after Thanksgiving, but slow down the process so that you can focus of the message of the season of Advent, which is to prepare and pray.  

Keep it simple to reflect on the season!

Christmas Decorations at My House

It's New Year's Eve, there's a huge pot of gumbo on the stove that my husband made this morning and we're watching LSU in their bowl game.  For the moment, all is right with the world.  I know many of my friends are taking down their decorations today or tomorrow, but I prefer to keep mine up until the Epiphany.  Here's what it looks like around here...and if you see splatters of paint in some of these pictures,  I'll eventually get around to cleaning it up!  Just enjoying being lazy after all of the craziness!

Our Advent wreath...

 In the kitchen...the English cupboard with way too many things on it, but I don't care!

My cherished miniature manger scenes...

and treasured Christmas cards

hung on all the doorways in the kitchen.

My Dad's sweet cherubs statue adorned with wreaths
and my waiter with mini vintage glass ornmanent...

How I love my parent's glass ornament collection piled high in a bowl in the dining room/studio looks like candy!

and this groovy collection of 60's Christmas tchotchkes that I marvel at when working!  

Sweet vignettes in the foyer...

that celebrate the reason for the season...

 and our St. Nicholas collection.

Our tree is new this year!  After 11 years and a whole section of lights not working, I decided it was time.  How technology has changed for the better...self fluffing, in stand connectors with white or colored lights!  I love my husband's grandmother's handmade felt ornaments,  gold crowns, fleur de lis, silver crosses,

and a few Jesus, Mary and Joseph ornaments to keep the tree focused on the season!

I think that LSU football man falls in that category!!

My boy's elementary school principal, Sharon Blentlinger at Immaculate Conception School, gave the kids a religious ornament every year for Christmas and signed every one.  What a treasure!

Crosses and crowns...

and our manger scene is front and center on the mantle.

 I put this little vignette up right next to the tv so I know that it will be seen!

These Santa candles in the powder room are more that 25 years old...
can't believe they are still around!

This is how I feel when I have to take it all down...

 Happy New Year to you!!

Friday, December 30, 2016


What's the process on some of my designs?  Let me walk you through it!  My friend wanted to give a special gift to her friend that would celebrate her Farm/Lake house.  She said she liked the illustration I did on this year's Christmas card and wanted to use something like that on a sign that would have a picture on it with the family's name...

Here's my 2016 Christmas card that I painted with acrylics...
and here is the sketch she sent with how she would imagine it to look.  She also sent the picture of the meandering path to the lake in an autumn setting pictured below.

I sent back to her a cleaned up version of the sign and asked her to choose which she liked better...

 She chose the bottom sketch.  With watercolors, I colored in the sketch with how I would like to paint it, choosing a summer scene rather than autumn.  The picture looks inviting!!  This is a lake somewhere in Oklahoma.

Here's the final product and I am happy with it.  
I love the challenge of a custom order and hope her friend enjoys it! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

So Thankful...

I'm grateful to have customers who are excited about my work and want to share a few of Christmas 2016 "crop" of Little Houses!

 St. Louis, MO

 Ocean City, NJ

 Annapolis, MD

 Richmond, VA

 Reynolds Plantation, GA

 Chesapeake, VA

 Sherman, TX
(here's the pic!)

 Hartford, Arkansas

 St. Louis

 Fort Smith, AR

 Fort Smith, AR

 Fort Smith, AR

 Fort Smith, AR

 Tulsa, OK

 St. Louis, MO

 St. Louis, MO

 Annapolis, MD

 Roswell, GA

 Cranford, NJ

 Arnold, MD

Lombard, Illinois

Friday, December 23, 2016


My friend and I organized a funeral reception for a dear friend's father recently.  The gentleman was a devoted hunter, nature lover, father and grandfather with a personality larger than life.  His daughter wanted the reception to reflect his personality, so this is what we came up with.  I think they turned out well...

Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord!