Top Five Things a Decorator Might Say

I am many things.

I am a thrifter, a painter, a glitterer, a sander and a trash spotter.

I am a mother of four, a wife, a friend, a maid, a restaurant take-out orderer, and a chauffeur.

I am many things,

but I am not a professional decorator. 

Not even close.

As a matter of fact, I shudder at what a professional decorator would say if they ever visited my home. 

So, in honor of professional decorators everywhere, I decided to come up with a list….

A list of the top five things a decorator might say if they ever dropped by for a visit. 

Drumroll please…..

5.  Are those pumpkins next to your nativity scene?

4.  Is that vinyl on those plates?  Really.  That is so 2010.

3.  Last time I checked silver trays belong on the side table, not on trees.

2.  Lowe’s called and they want their drop cloths back from your windows.

and the number one thing a decorator might say if they visited my house……

1.  You got that bench out of the trash? 

Seriously….what’s next….old windows you turn into chalkboards?

Professional decorators everywhere, I salute you.

Just please don’t stop by for a visit.

Full Disclosure

Mirriam-Webster definition:

bur * lap  noun

1:  a coarse, heavy, plain-woven fabric usually of jute or hemp used for bagging and wrapping and in furniture and linoleum manufacture

2:  a lightweight material resembling burlap used in interior decoration or for clothing

Blogworld definition:

bur * lap  noun

1:  fabric of the gods

I actually think I understated it a bit.

Burlap is a wonder fabric.

You can paint on it….like my sister does.

If painting’s not your thing, you can make labels that go on buckets from transfer paper…

(total aside here….I think a tutorial on this has been done at least 500,000 times….but please, if you have any questions about this, just e-mail me)

Not up for painting or transferring….why not create:

* favor bags

* seat covers

* ribbon pillows

* letters (as in the alphabet)

* flowers

* banners

Or you could just use burlap to….

….wish someone special a Merry Christmas!

P.S.  For the purposes of full disclosure, I think it is important to reveal that I was not compensated by burlap in anyway for this overwhelming endorsement of its versatility and general fabulousness.

You’re My One and Only

Why do you think that people count the Christmas trees in their homes? 


If you haven’t noticed, the number of Christmas trees in a person’s home is definitely a hot topic of conversation on the party circuit this year. 

All over America right now at Christmas parties, people are asking that all-important question…..”How many Christmas trees did you put up this year?”


“Why?” is the question I want to ask when they ask me.  

When Santa’s checking his list does he say, “Well….they haven’t really been that good this year, but they do have 18 trees.   So load ’em up.”

I think to myself, sometimes it’s not the number, but the simplicity of one. 

One extra-special tree that glitters and glistens and signifies all of the wonder and joy of the Christmas season.

One special tree with glittered birds and tiny nests and mirrored snowflakes.

If I were stranded on a desert island and I could only take one tree along for my desert island stay, it would be this one.

And I would contentedly lay on a sandy beach and gaze up into its glittered branches.

So the next time you are at a Christmas party and you are asked that age old question about your Christmas trees.

Just smile to yourself and say, “I have one….

                                                                    ….and it’s spectacular!” 🙂

Can I Sit Next to You?

I wanted to say thank you.

Humbly, sincerely, and from the bottom of my heart.

Writing a blog can be a little scary sometimes.  It’s like walking up to the popular table and hoping that someone will invite you to sit down.  You walk up to the table and you stand there trying to make eye contact, holding your tray awkwardly, shifting from side to side, and waiting.

Waiting and hoping…..hoping that someone will like you for you.

This blog has been a lot like that.  You love your house (and it’s already been established that you are having an affair with your porch)…..but will someone else like it?  Will someone care that your vintage, thrifted, painted, sanded and glittered rooms are in blogland.  Will anyone listen?

And as I typed and posted and typed and posted….so many of you were encouraging me, in ways perhaps, you will never know.  I guess that’s what makes this wonderful, scary, thrilling blog world so exciting. 

I feel like I am at the beginning of a very long race and each little comment you leave only makes me want to walk faster.

So I couldn’t go another day or post another post without letting each and everyone of you know how treasured your encouragment is to me.


And I want to send a special thank you to Kelly from Eclectically Vintage  for a fantastic feature she posted of my curbside treasure turned chalkboard.  Her blog is an ecletic mix of old and new, sprinkled with humor and creative genius.  Please stop by and check it out.

PS  Note to self:  when you post a picture of chalkboard that is then featured on a fabulous, fantastic, well-written blog like Eclectically Vintage, please, please make sure your children know how to spell “Environmental Science Club!”  🙂

What Would Betsy Do?

What do you think Betsy Ross would have thought of the white Christmas tree?


In 1776 would the white Christmas tree have been all the rage?  I mean, I

know they were fighting the revolution and all, but what would they have thought

of this new take on the traditional Christmas tree?

Would Betsy put down her needle and the stars and stripes to embrace a white Christmas tree? 

What if the white tree were covered in red velvet HO HO HO’s and red oraments and red crocheted Christmas garland, with tiny red stools tucked under it’s glistening white branches?

What if the white Christmas tree was next to a fireplace decked out with red


….next to a mantle with a glitter covered snowscape with 25 tiny advent candles….

….next to white chippy plates spelling out the sentiment of the season.

Or would Betsy have preferred the traditional green tree…..cut down on the farm….drawn by a horse drawn sleigh.

But something tells me that Betsy would have approved of my new look….the bright, white shining branches decked with red ornaments and festooned with red garland.

For after all….

….we all know she was a big fan of the….(get ready for it)

…, white, and blue 🙂 


Merry Christmas!

An Affair of the Heart

It’s official.

I am having an affair with my back porch.


I can’t help it.  Seriously. 


If I wasn’t already married, I would be on the first plane to Vegas with my porch.

I love its wide grey planks and its stately molded columns.

I love that little wink it gives me when I sit down outside to eat.

I love that my porch lives on the wild side with it’s Christmas decorating…..

… adding leftover black tags and letters to wire trees.

The worst part is…..

I think my husband is catching on.

The problem is….it’s getting serious.

So if you a girl with blonde hair and shellac nails on a plane to Vegas with a porch….

mum’s the word.

Curbside Conversation

Do you ever have a curbside conversation?

You know what I mean….

….you are driving to some undisclosed location….

….minding your own business…..and suddenly…..

….you hear your name.

Trash:  “hey….pssssst…….I’m talking to you.  I know I look like an old window, but, I need to go home with you and become a chalkboard.”

Me:  “How did you know that I needed a gigantic, over-sized chalkboard in my family room?”

Trash:  “Ma’am  (the trash called me ma’am because I only stop and speak to very polite trash) …..I knew a trash spotter when I saw one.”

Me:  “You had me at …..pssst.”

So that’s the story of how a very large, oversized window left behind on someone’s curb became a chalkboard.  And hung on the wall in a very busy family’s living room to keep track of all of their comings and goings (and host an occasional chalk picture or two). 

Now on the other side of the room there hangs an old chippy tile from a yard sale that was calling my name, too.  Are you noticing a pattern here?

That well-spoken yardsale find hangs over pinecone trees and white trees tucked into metal buckets with burlap tags I made.

That’s next to a very simple Merry Christmas banner I made from cardstock, my favorite Christmas font and ribbon.

So that’s it folks. 

That’s the story of how an old vintage window came to reign supreme in a family room filled with yard sale finds.

Note to self:  Never turn your nose up at a curbside conversation.

Dear WordPress

WordPress gave me a gold star. 

I think they generally have very low expectations of me and are giving me the gold star to spur me on.  When I published my first post, they cheered and told me “Congratulations…. you have published your first post!” in large letters on the side of the dashboard.  I think they thought I needed a little encouragement.

When I published my second post, Wordpress felt like it should give me a goal.  “Five posts,” WordPress said.  “You can do it!!”

I couldn’t let WordPress down.  So I diligently worked and wrote and worked and wrote some more and after a hurculean effort I wrote my five posts.  What do you think they will do now? 

I truly believe personal congratulations are in order, WordPress. 

I think you know my e-mail 🙂

Enough about WordPress….onto Christmas decorations in the dining room.On one side of the room is the tree ….

On the other side of the room is the hutch filled with my version of White Christmas. 

There’s Mary and Joseph and a Christmas tree and a sleigh and

…..two pumpkins??

 Really?  Really. 

Nothing like trying to be fancy and holding your head up proudly, only to be brought low by two pumpkins. 

WordPress….I’m sorry.  I’m not really representing well.

Let’s just concentrate on the sweet nativity and forget, “Hark the Pumpkin Angels Sing.” Here’s a close-up of the tree.

I tucked little silver platters into the branches to give it some sparkle. 

Okay….truthfully…..the platters were sitting on the table from the fall display and we had company about to arrive….so I tucked them in the tree so I would look creative, not messy.  This last statement sums up a lot of thistlewood farm decorating.

Here’s a close-up of the dining room table centerpiece.

And tiny little ornaments….

tucked under glass with “Merry Christmas” wishes.

So Merry Christmas from the dining room, WordPress.

And I’m truly sorry about the pumpkins. 

I hope it doesn’t affect my gold star rating.

Please link up your “Impossibility Challenge” by clicking the link below:

I Heard the Bells

On Christmas Day in 1864, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” to symbolize the country’s tumultuous feelings about the American Civil War.  The war raged on as he penned these lines about the conflict and the uncertain times ahead.  I love the beauty and simplicity heard in these simple stanzas:   

 I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
        And wild and sweet
        The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
        Had rolled along
        The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Till ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
        A voice, a chime,
        A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
        And with the sound
        The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
        And made forlorn
        The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
        “For hate is strong,
        And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

  Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
        The Wrong shall fail,
        The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men.”