Sunday, January 31, 2016

3D hearts on my Valentine tree

Holiday decorating...yes I love it:) When I was a girl I always looked forward to my mom's holiday decorations. She created a festive holiday mood inout home with each poster board heart, plastic cornucopia, and Christmas goodie table. I have carried on the tradition! This is my official holiday display shelf. I have evolved as a holiday decorator through the years moving from scattering things around the house to this condensed bigger impact display. I walk in the door and smile with every holiday vignette:)



While trolling Pinterest I saw some hearts that sparked an idea for 3D valentine ornaments for my wrought iron tree...yes I needed more hearts on my tree:)
 This is the project...

I love Valentines for many reasons. One is the mixing pink and red, which reminds me of the bedspread I had a girl:) It had 70's style flowers and red fringe on the edges, and my sister and I wore them completely out!
Paper crafting projects are more interesting with a variety of papers, most of these are from Anna Griffin, my favorite fancy paper girl.


Next came scoring a line down the middle of the heart for easy folding.


A perfectly scored heart:)


Bakers twine makes a great material for hanging ornaments. I did make a mistake and only used adhesive the first time around. The heart ornaments began to fall of the tree so I used tacky glue the second time around.


Three hearts were paired together for a 3D ornament.


As I took this picture of my Valentine tree I noticed the reflection, the multiplying effect of the hearts.
It came to me that love freely given does the same thing, it reflects over and over again in our lives and the lives of those we love. Valentine decorating isn't just about the display, it is a reminder to me all month long to love not only those in my inner circle, but also those I may not notice at first glance, or those that seem less easy to love. In the words of a song I love "What the world needs now is love sweet love" it's the only thing that there's just too little of..."  


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy Birthday girl's trip to me!

My birthday day week this year was an extravaganza with several days of fun events. 
Enjoy the journey:)

In recent years during my birthday week I have made the 2 hour trek with some girlfriends to Sam Moon to shop for costume jewelry and purses! We wander around this mecca of inexpensive but shiny trinkets of happiness for an hour or so and then transfer our fun to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. My favorite cheesecake is white chocolate macadamia nut! The best part of the day (besides the cheesecake) is the 4 hour of uninterrupted visiting we do in the car as we drive. We share the joys and trials of life, give advice on parenting, and opinions on fashion. I always feel emotionally filled on these occasions, maybe it should be more than once a year!



My favorite meal is the Bang bang chicken and shrimp and my very favorite cheesecake is white chocolate macadamia nut! It is a day of no judging calorie indulgence:) The best part of the day (besides the cheesecake) is the 4 hours of uninterrupted visiting we do in the car as we drive. We share the joys and trials of life, give advice on parenting, and opinions on fashion. I always feel emotionally filled on these occasions, grateful for my connections and friendships. It makes me wonder why we only do this once a year!



I began today with a sweet handwritten birthday card from Annabelle, who was so proud of her "I love you" and full page of xoxoxoxo:) Scarlett then came bursting through the door singing in full volume "Happy Birthday" to you! As the day went on with phone calls, text messages and facebook comments I became more excited and grateful to be celebrating another birthday. Aging is a good thing, living each day as a gift, a great thing, and sharing life with those you love...priceless! I want to embrace the years and be proud of my well earned middle age status. Having lost my dad when he was 46 really helps with my perspective. Who has time to be consumed with the fading of youthful looks, who really wants to waste precious time on petty pursuits or complaints? Life is fragile and should be treasured!



The rest of the week was filled with Italian creme cheese cake by daughter Brittany, family dinner at Frankie's Italian restaurant, and a fun girls day creating pallet art at Junkin Gypsies...


link to that post


Happy birthday week to me!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pallet JOY with my girls!

I was super excited to open my Christmas gift from daughter Brittany and find a gift certificate for a trip to Junkin Gypsies, a local crafty workshop for pallet art. I am always up for creating! We headed out one Saturday afternoon with good friend Samantha to have a girls outing surrounded by paint of every color:) My chosen project theme was simple..."Choose Joy" with shades of turquoise blue. Life can be tough some days, and I wanted a reminder on my journey to find the happy in even the storms!



After choosing our preferred size of pallet project, nailing the boards together and sanding... we began by staining the wood before painting. Stain soaks in and dries quickly and acts as a "primer"...good thing to do unless your finished project is bright white.






I seriously need a workspace like this...a lovely messy space filled with glorious paint colors and no worry of ruining the flooring!





Stencil a section, blow dry...repeat over and over again...



Brittany chose an all over light grey stenciled pattern over a darker grey background, with a popping orange family to match her cute house:)




For my project background I dry brushed several layers of grey shades of paint, rubbing the wood with a cloth after each layer. Stenciling was next on the agenda. I just kept layering stencils with various shades of turquoise and mint green until I felt done:) That is my biggest creative challenge...calling it done!




The wall backdrop picture was a must! Brittany needed to leave to cater dinner for a Nellie's Cottage retreat while I stayed behind to help Danielle finish her Texas creation. Brittany's saying is perfect for a little family."Some call it chaos, we call it family!" Just wait till her 3 girls are teenagers...


Adding our sweet friend Samantha to our day was delightful:)



Danielle is my super loyal Texan! She chose a more complicated project which took a bit more time, but it became everyone's favorite. She stained the 2 pieces of Texas, painted the white backer boards, then stenciled the blue grey pattern for the Texas shape. A deep rose color was chosen for her saying "Deep in the heart of Texas"
Danielle thinks she isn't very crafty because she took a bit longer than the rest of us...I disagree:)
Like I tell my scrapbooking retreaters...this is a craft project not an English assignment!







What a fun team we made for creating, crafting, and visiting!
All you need is wood, paint and a few girls in your life for a joyful day:)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

This is me...under construction


I am a DIY addict. For better or worse I find myself always looking around to see what can be made more beautiful. Redo, remake, remodel, renovate. These words have dominated my life. I've been thinking about this idea, and realize that I am and should be my most important DIY project. This is me....under construction...always and forever. The need to change & remake myself, to add this talent, to eliminate that bad habit, to learn this skill or subject is a life long pursuit! It's only been recently that I've become okay with the idea that improvement of self will not, and should not, ever end. As an oldest child with a type A personality raised in a home with high expectations, being patient with progress is a bit of a challenge. Thankfully age has helped me to feel a little kinder about my failings. I am more at ease with the fact that I'm not perfect and won't be soon. No embracing excuses or giving up here... I firmly believe that we are responsible for our actions, that our actions have consequences, and that we are accountable for the progress, or lack there of, we make in this life. Middle age finds me more willing to enjoy the process rather than listening to that discouraging, berating and potential limiting voice in my head. 

My New Year's resolution list has always been extreme & exhausting with multiple goals in many categories. I am simplifying even though the need for change hasn't lessened. My character still has many flaws, my self discipline is still lacking, and I have yet to tap into my full potential and yet there is a new found acceptance that change is a very long and almost imperceptive process rather than a one time glittering event. 
As a 14-year-old the year 2000 seemed so far away that I decided that I would be perfect by then at age 36. No more flaws or bad eating habits, just all patient, loving, and successful. When 2000 rolled around it found a 36-year-old overstressed and overtired mom of three teenagers and an eight-year-old trying to do and be everything to everyone. How discouraged I was to be at my "goal" and failing miserably.
Fast forward a few years with more difficult life lessons, experiences, and realistic expectations under my belt.  Now I feel a little more hopeful, a little more patient with myself and much more patient with others. 2016 finds me still pondering and paring down my resolutions. I really just want to spend more time with my family & friends, work on writing family histories, and trying to make a little bit of difference in my little hometown. 
Dad always made up a rhyming jingle for each new year. 
In keeping with that tradition here is mine: 
"Learn to be happy with the "in between" to find more joy in 2016"

  
p.s. The inspiration for this post came from this song 
"Change in the Making" by Mercy River. You can buy it on iTunes 

There’s a better version of me
That I can’t quite see
But things are gonna change
Right now I’m a total mess and
Right now I’m completely incomplete
But things are gonna change
‘Cause you’re not through with me yet

This is redemption’s story
With every step that I’m taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I’m a change in the making

Wish I could live more patiently
Wish I would give a little more of me
Without stopping to think twice
Wish I had faith like a little child
Wish I could walk a single mile
Without tripping on my own feet
But you’re not through with me yet

This is redemption’s story
With every step that I’m taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be

From the dawn of history
You make new and you redeem
From a broken world to a broken heart
You finish what you start in everything

Like a river rolls into the sea
We’re not who we’re going to be
But things are going to change

I’m livin’ redemption’s story
With every step that I’m taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I’m a change in the making
I’m a change in the making


 I hope this year finds you happier, healthy, and a little kinder to yourself which will make it easier to become your best self:)                                                                             Kimberly

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Retreat Giveaway time again!

Hello girls...
It's that wonderful time of year when I give away a retreat!
January 2016 marks the 6th anniversary of Nellie's Cottage!
We had a great 2015...here are our stats:
My 5th year anniversary celebration
40 retreat groups
5 business events
4 birthday parties
4 baby & bridal showers
3 church group events
3 slumber parties
2 anniversary celebrations, 
a 50th & 65th!
Aunt Betty's 90th birthday
(Nellie's 2nd daughter)

Our family ended the events this year 
with Savannah's princess birthday



And very lively family luau:)



sincere thanks to all of you for supporting this cottage dream:)

Anyway back to the giveaway!
To put your name on the drawing list
Look on the left for a blue box "Join this site"
Click the box.
Follow the prompts to become an official blog follower
This puts your name on the list of names I will draw from!

The winner will be announced here and on our Facebook page
January 14th @ 8pm
Good Luck!


*If you have trouble signing up email me at
 nelliescottageretreat@gmail.com

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Winter decor, my kind of cold:)

Winter has come...at least inside my house:) December was so busy with renovation that I didn't get my tree up until the 18th! New years rolled around and I wasn't ready to take it down, so it became a snowflake tree. I gathered all of winter decorations from Danielle's wedding out of the attic and created my very own Texas winter wonderland:) The icy (glass) branches are my favorite!





My blue shelf (designated for holiday decor) in the kitchen became a mecca of snowmen I've gathered over the years.



Totally in love with this white wrought iron tree! I use it for every holiday! These wooden snowman and snowflake ornaments were handprinted by a friend, and the felt snowflakes were an after Christmas find at Target last year.




The blue candle got a washi tape make-over which made it much more interesting:)




Having a beautiful table was a dream all the years my children were home...now it is part of any holiday decor!
I did have every intention of doing a winter dinner party but life and schedules got in the way...again. 
Combining gold with the silver made for a dreamy seasonal tablescape to blend with my dining room decor.  




The final winter touch...
Adding a cocoa bar made my kitchen just a bit more cozy, and who doesn't love hot chocolate?!!! 
FYI-that silver tray was a wedding present (1982!)


And that is how we do winter here in Texas:)

Other winter posts:
A snowflake charger project http://nelliescottageretreat.blogspot.com/2015/01/winteran-embellished-charger.html

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Today is the day.
A new beginning
Re-do, re-new, re-make
Improve, conquer, triumph
A chance to start over!

So many possibilities!
Making my list and checking it twice:)

A girl under construction
always and again
beginning from this New Years Day!