Crafting for the 4th of July

This post should be named, crafting with scraps, because these projects were made with fabric scraps from old clothes. Old jeans, a denim skirt, a couple of my husbands shirts and even an old sheet. Here’s a patriotic wreath I made from recycled things I already had.

patriotic denim wreath
I started with cutting long strips from the legs of a pair of jeans……..old jeans that were way too small.  Way TOO small!  Different length and width strips don’t matter, they work out fine.
denim scraps
The straw form was a summer wreath that I took apart. Wrap the strips around the form and secure to the back with straight pins.  straw wreath form

I tried using the floral pins from the old wreath but they were very hard to get through the denim fabric. I did manage to use a few of them.  floral pins
These are the floral pins, a little rusty but still useable.  vintage lace trim
I wrapped some vintage trim around the wreath for a little more color and then added a bow. It took about 15 minutes and I have a cute and very patriotic wreath for the holiday.

The next project is a scrap swag.  patriotic swag from scraps

It’s so simple! I cut pieces of fabric about 10 inches long and tied them on strong twine. You could use rope and can make the fabric strips as long as you want.  patriotic swag
I added in some red yarn that I had. You can see the plaid and some red toile. This swag is about 25 feet long! I’m planning on hanging it on our red pop up shade canopy. I can’t wait to see how it looks.

We’re having a backyard party with classic July 4th foods like hot dogs, potato salad and baked beans. We’ll be playing a little bean bag toss, listening to music, chowing down and then later fireworks. If we drive down the road a little we can see the fireworks at Hershey park.

Happy Independence day!  I hope you enjoy the holiday.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Merry Christmas 10 ways from Pinterest

Today I’m sharing pins from my Christmas pinterest board, creating a virtual Christmas party! Have a look at all the prettiness and see if something catches your eye. Subdued or over the top, what’s your style?


Let’s start at the front door by welcoming guests with sweet little skates displayed in a square frame surrounded by greenery.


The silver trays create quite a statement when displayed this way. I love this look and am on the lookout for old trays wherever I go. Silver, green and white go together beautifully.



This year I’ve decorated our home with lots of greenery and Christmas ornaments so this centerpiece caught my eye. A recycled can with greenery and pretty Christmas balls is so simple and so pretty!


This idea is just too darn cute. Imagine your guests delight when you serve hot chocolate with little gingerbread houses!


Holiday sweets are a weakness of mine and I know I couldn’t resist this colorful treat.


A red tree is something you don’t see often! White ornaments are the perfect touch. This is really unique and I would definitely ohh and ahh over this tree.

Source: via Bungalow on Pinterest


Blue and green ornaments in a large silver bowl, another look I love.


Here’s the a kitchen sink with more of the green that I’m partial to.


Maybe your Christmas style is more fun and funky like this decorated window.


Share some yummy looking eggnog fudge with your friends as they leave the party. My mouth waters just looking at this!

Merry Christmas!


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Christmas mantle 2012

This year the mantle is decorated in aqua and teal blues, paired with shades of lime green. The center focal point is a new, large ornament from TJMAXX but everything else came from my huge collection of Christmas decorations. My mantra for Christmas decorating this year should be greenery and Christmas balls everywhere!

Christmas mantle

For the past several years I haven’t put up a tree, but the house can still look festive and pretty without one! The kitchen, dining room and family room are all decorated with plenty of greenery and pretty ornaments.

Christmas wreath trio

I’ve always liked the look of a trio of wreaths, so I added them above the mantle.

Christmas urn

A faux wreath is surrounding the twigs in my thrift shop urn and freshly clipped greens are tucked in.

large aqua ball on mantle

Every year after Christmas, I think about replacing the old faux swag and replacing it with a fuller one. For now I just tuck in lots of fresh greens.

green blue Christmas ornaments

Most of these plastic ornaments are from Walmart. They do have a nice selection of ornaments.

green blue mantle fareplace 3

On the center wreath, I pictured a loosely draped, satin ribbon but I couldn’t find what I was looking for so I settled for a metallic mesh ribbon.

green blue mantle fareplace 2

That’s the Christmas mantle this year! It’s hard coming up with a new look every year.


This was the mantle last year, done in silver and white. The ‘O holy night’ got recycled this year in the dining room. I’ll be posting that soon. Lots more past Christmas décor and recipes HERE.

Added to Inspire me Monday at Create with Joy

The Lettered Cottage


Are you finished decorating? Got all those cookies baked? Shopping done? Isn’t Christmas exhausting!   HO HO HO……..!


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

For memorial day, red, white and blue PiNspirations

There’s no Friday Feature today, instead, to honor those who serve and have served, I’ve put together a collection of red, white and blue patriotic PINspirations for Memorial day.

Aa flags cl

Let’s kick off Summer by spending time with family and enjoying all that freedom has to offer.

Source: via Bungalow on Pinterest


One of my favorite flowers, classic red geraniums are the stars of this patriotic display.

Proper Flag Display-1

Source: via Bungalow on Pinterest


In the cottage style entry, a vintage flag is displayed with blue hydrangea. If only I had a beach cottage that looked like this!


This is certainly a kitchen with a big WOW factor. The cabinets are beautiful. I like it but it’s not what I would want in my home. You?


I love the mix of fabrics in this beautiful red, white and blue living room. This country-ish color combination created a classic room.

Now lets get to the food! Check out these drool worthy memorial day treats!


Everyone will think you’re a genius when they see this! I’m going to do this layered drink for our annual Memorial day cookout.


Impress your family and friends with this pretty patriotic cake. I’m a sucker for cake. Any cake.


Here’s one you might like better. Chocolate. I’m a sucker for chocolate too.


This berry dessert is so simple and so pretty. What a great idea. I’m a sucker for luscious berries and great ideas.


Blue velvet! Just put a strawberry on top. I’m a sucker for this too.

We’re having a little cookout on Monday and we always have the same foods. Burgers and dogs with baked beans, macaroni salad and some yummy dessert. I don’t know what dessert I’ll make but it will certainly be red white and blue.

I’ve created a Pinterest board with plenty of red, white and blue inspiration that you can see here.

Please take time to remember those men and women in service to our country. I think when one family member is serving, the whole family serves, so think of them and all those who have lost their lives in service. My dad served in the navy in WW2 and talks about his time served often.

Enjoy your holiday!

Don’t miss the giveaway from Royal Design stencils. There’s still time to enter HERE.

The winner of the Pink Giraffe giveaway is Kimberly. A big thank you to everyone who entered!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

White Trash, A sweet treat for gift giving.

A sweet and salty concoction, this treat is commonly known as white trash. Personally, I don’t like that name much, but I do like to snacking on this delicious mix.
Here’s the basic recipe;
In a large bowl mix together,
3 ½ cups honey nut cheerios
3 cups rice chex
3 cups wheat chex
1 lb. m & m’s, Christmas colors
2 ½ cups salted nuts
2 ½ cups mini pretzels
Then stir in in melted white chocolate. I used 4- 12oz. bags of white morsels.
You can alter this recipe to use ingredients you like, any kind of cheerios or chex and whatever type of nuts you prefer. After it’s mixed together, lay it out on cookie sheets to dry.
I found some clear bags and white boxes to package up the mix for gift giving.
I wanted to line the box with parchment but used wax paper because I was out of parchment paper.
I folded it up neatly, added a Christmas sticker and tied it up in a pretty ribbon.
The bags look so festive tied up with ribbon and are all ready to give to neighbors and friends.
This recipe gave me 6, 8 ounce bags and 1, 24 ounce box of candy.
Do you make sweet treats to give as gifts? I know I sure like anything home made!
Merry Christmas!

Linking up to  Tutes and Tips at Home Stories A 2 Z.

Debbie (((xx)))

Thanksgiving 2011 recap

Sharing a little recap of Thanksgiving before we get totally engulfed by Christmas.

Here’s my husband and me. It was so warm outside and extra warm in the kitchen with all the cooking going on that my hair was totally a limp mess. 2011_11_24_2991


My granddaughter Mia, enjoying some veggies and dip before the feast. If it has dip on it, she’ll eat it!

My daughter Dawn and her husband Scott.


Dawn and Mia are making green bean casserole. I planned on fresh broccoli, but the broccoli I bought was brown on the inside and bitter tasting, so I had to come up with something else.




She’s so cute, I love this picture of her cooking like a big girl.


My oven isn’t big enough for all the dishes, so I always end up using a roaster to cook the turkey. If I ever have another kitchen, it will have double wall ovens!nan2011_11_24_3011

Mia had a great time talking to my husband’s mother, Catherine, who’s almost 95.  Mia called her Nona, and told her she had pretty rings and earrings and pretty hair. She can be quite a chatterbox.




Care for a little Kahlua with your chocolate trifle?


It’s so good!dave2011_11_24_3020

That famous after Thanksgiving dinner snooze… grandson, Dave, a student at Pace university in NYC, was sleeping soundly with a smile on his face!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, now let the Christmas decorating begin!


Debbie (((xx)))

Christmas decorating with Peacock feathers. Inspiration


If you want to make a unique decorating statement at Christmas, consider using peacock feathers. Their colors are the perfect complement to the soft blues, grays and aquas that are so popular now.

Imagine a bedazzling peacock feather wreath like this on your front door.

Or this stunner!


Wrap your gifts with a feather accent.





Create attention grabbing vignettes.




Here’s how Beverly Hills designer Mary McDonald lavishly incorporates

peacock feathers in her holiday décor. The look is exotic but warm. I

love how the colors and textures working together draw you in to soak up

every drool worthy detail.


Spot the peacocks? Life size peacocks!




What a tree topper!
Orange paired with blue is an enchanting combination, lovely with peacock


I’d describe this as enchanting.


Source: via Bungalow on Pinterest


A somewhat traditional feel is created with the addition of fruit.




If you’re considering using peacock feathers, they can be pricy, but you


could probably find a reasonable site online.


Sharing at Pinning and Singing at 5 minutes just for me.


No, I won’t be decorating with peacock feathers, but I love this look. It’s

unexpected and fun!  I’ll be dreaming of a white Christmas this year.


Are you?


Debbie (((xx)))


~Sneak Peek, Thanksgiving Table~

It was going to be plain white dishes but I changed my mind & decided to use the red & white instead. So the table is a collection of different patterns. The vintage napkins were washed & ironed, folded simply & tied with raffia and a piece of red twig dogwood! I’ll be adding a few more sprigs of red tinged leaves later. I’m using my Mom’s old peanut butter glasses….I love them! I laid the placemats horizontally with the edge hanging over the table for something different. It looks a bit sparse but I like to leave room for the food.

I hollowed out the white pumpkin that was my Autumn center piece & added carnations, white with lime green edges. After I put in a few springs of lime ting ting and dug out the lime acorn Christmas ornaments, I added some berries from the yard.
So there it is, I like it to be elegant but not too fancy, this is enough work!
Tomorrow I’ll be cooking, baking and doing all the prep work like dicing the celery & onions for the stuffing. It helps to have things ready to go and makes less mess on turkey day too. I’ve decided to add broccoli ramen noodle salad, spinach dip and a fresh apple cake to the menu. There is always so much food!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

~It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like~

A white turkey day! Look at the beauty we awoke to this morning. This is our backyard covered in fluffy snow.
I love how the trees look coated in snow. I couldn’t quite grasp the holiday spirit the day after Halloween that all the stores were pushing, but this should help to bring on the spirit.With Thanksgiving coming quickly, I know I’ll be cooking the same tried & true favorites. Here’s our menu,
roast turkey with gravy
warm rolls
Cole slaw, which is wonderful on leftover turkey sandwiches!
cranberry sauce, must be canned, isn’t that sad?
Pa dutch style potato filling
glazed sweet potatoes
baked corn casserole
green vegetable, probably broccoli
deviled eggs

two different desserts
There you have it, I planned this menu carefully, keeping the carbs to a minimum………of about a million.
Giving Thanks

What’s on your menu? Do you ever try new dishes or does your family demand tradition? Whenever I try to deviate from the menu I hear grumbling, how about you? You will find more Thanksgiving ideas over at There is No Place Like Home.

My H is home from the hospital now & he keeps me hopping! He’s got so many pills to keep track of, plus an ice machine that keeps his knee iced, a machine the bends his knee, a cane, a walker & a thing that looks like a dog leash that helps him move his leg around. But, I do have to say, he’s in extremely good spirits and that helps me so much. I was expecting him to be a bear!

~ Valentine’s Day Table~

Love is in the air & all around.
I like to decorate my dining room table for the seasons & holidays. For Valentine’s day I gathered up things I thought fitting and started playing around with their arrangement.

I began by layering a collection of vintage doilies and then scrunching them up. Now I realize that everyone doesn’t like the scrunched look but I like how you can see the edges of the doilies better that way. The flowers are carnations and I can’t believe how long they are lasting. They are in a glass in a shabby style ribboned urn.
The birdies that I won at Maureen’s giveaway , (Penchants, Ponderings & Posies) are dressed with Valentine’s ribbons. I even pulled out some old Valentine cards from my dear H & placed them in the mix.
Candy corn for Valentine’s day is in a heart shaped dish. I know lots of bloggers who love candy corn. You can see the pretty edges of the doilies and some hearts strewn here & there.
The key to my heart rests in another heart shaped dish on a bed of ribbon.
Other things I could have added are, champagne flutes, chocolate kisses, I LOVE U spelled out with Scrabble tiles and real roses. Maybe I’ll get them on the big day or maybe not….I’d really rather go out for a nice dinner.

How about you? How do you celebrate Valentine’s? I read a story about a young couple who couldn’t afford to spend money on expensive cards. They went to the store & picked out cards for each other, exchanged the cards right there in the store but never bought them, I thought ..oh how sweet. The price of some cards is ridiculous …maybe it should be called Happy Hallmark Day!

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable. -Henry Ward Beecher

~Out with the Old~

In with the new…..
At this time of year people are thinking of new beginnings, clearing out clutter in our lives & in our closets. This past week I managed to clean out the pantry, back hall, hall closet & a bathroom closet. All the Christmas decorations are neatly put away & organized by color in plastic bins. Still, there are lots of things my H would like to see out of here! Sometimes it’s hard to let go of things, but I’m resolving to try in the new year.

This year has a huge change in store for me, I will be retiring. The official day of my retirement is April 1, April Fools Day. I sure hope that holds no significance! I’m starting the official countdown to retirement…..90 calender days, 58 working days! OH MY…what a change in my live! I’m looking forward to spending more time with Mom & the rest of my family & doing so many new things. Some possibilities are, tap dancing class, yoga or tai chi, taking a photography class, studying a foreign language, doing volunteer work & joining a gym. Finally I’ll have more time to work in the garden & I can blog all day if I want to! At this point I’m really looking forward to this new time in my life & hope that I can keep the negative thoughts at bay, like…I’m old, I’m retired, I’m old! I have to remember that I’m taking an early retirement package & what a blessing it is. I’ll be posting more about my job in the next few months as I get closer to the big day.

Here in central PA we usher in the new year with the traditional meal of pork & sauerkraut & mashed potatoes. Pork and sauerkraut is a Pennsylvania Dutch New Year’s tradition dished out in many midstate homes, firehalls, churches and restaurants. Superstition has it that because a pig roots forward, eating pork on New Year’s Day helps a person move ahead. Yesterday we had my MIL over for dinner because she just loves sauerkraut. She really enjoyed it & I dished up a plate for her to take home. We had a visit from h’s daughter & g’kids and played several games of concentration with the kids. It was fun….Samantha beat us all! I think she’s a psychic five year old! How can she know where the matching card is so quickly ?
Wishing ALL a very good 2008!

~Me= Martha wannabe~

This is a picture of the 200 year old house we used to live in, yes it was snowing. Back then I was a real Martha wannabe. I ADORED her & all she did & I wanted to do it to! She inspired my cooking, gardening & just about everything else. I made her turkey with herbs under the skin. It was easy to do & pretty, I thought. You put your hands under the skin to separate it from the meat & place the herbs in a pattern, it was supposed to resemble a mosaic. The whole meal was based on her recipes, not the standard Thanksgiving fare we always had. WELL…..Never again will I go through all that. My family turned up their noses at wine poached pears & roasted root vegetable gravy. My husband wanted his jellied cranberry sauce out of a can, not homemade! The turkey was cooked covered with cheesecloth…I don’t remember the exact recipe…it was very good though….but the whole meal was so much work! The turkey was garnished with home grown sage. Wasn’t it pretty??!!
Her pie dough, pate brisee, is the only pie dough recipe that works well for me, but I don’t care for her apple pie recipe. These old pictures make me laugh at how I staged them…..LOL
This is a black forest trifle…..the cookies on top were made from her cookie cutters. I have about 8 sets of her giant copper cookie cutters. One year I made a personalized cookie for everyone I knew & wrapped them up prettily in cellophane. It was during those crazy years that I had a Christmas party & made everything myself except the bread. I made all the appetizers, 2 main dishes & a salad with a dressing made with blackberry brandy. I cleaned & decorated, shopped, cooked, made centerpieces, planned the music….ugh… was too much for one person & it was then that I started to realize that Martha didn’t do all this by herself……what was I thinking? But she has inspired me to not be afraid to hide the fact that I like things like cooking, gardening & creating a nice home. The last time I was inspired by Martha was when she was released from jail wearing that great crocheted poncho that a fellow inmate made for her, I loved it, so I learned to crochet. Now I never watch Martha & rarely visit her website…..I’ve fallen out of love with her & I’m so glad! So what do you think about Martha, has she inspired you?

If you’re feeling like doing something a bit different with your turkey this year, you might try the herbs under the skin. Wow your guests & they might call you Martha too!
Behind the trifle is a limestone wall in the kitchen of the old house. We removed the horsehair plaster & had the stone repointed. It was beautiful.

~Trying to get the "Holiday Spirit"~

After work yesterday, me & two friends went for tea in Hummelstown & of course had to visit one of our favorite stores, Rhoads. I posted before about all the eye candy there & we were not disappointed this visit either.( I wanted to take some pics in the tea shop but it was small & crowded.)

These were fat bellied bears! really cute.

It’s so hard to get a good picture of a lite tree, but this was gorgeous in person. I’m hoping that these beautiful pictures will get me in the mood to decorate. Then we stopped at The Olde Factory, an antique mall.
This tureen was huge & only around 9 $. No, I didn’t but it….sigh

A cute way to display old skates.
That was it for our little outing, a short but relaxing time with friends.

Thank you ALL for your comments & compliments on my new hairdo. It’s working out great, almost wash & wear! I’m lovin it.

The pajama post was fun! I loved hearing how many of you love your pj’s……there were a few who like nightgowns but most like pj’s best. Thanks to Theresa, Livinthelife, I’m now calling them my “housepants.”

A BIG thank you to T*mmy from My Gentle Retreat for awarding me this. She also tagged me with 6 facts or habits about myself.

I love coffee with cream.

Bullwinkle is my favorite cartoon. I love Rocky, Little Nell, the Mountie, Fractured fairy tales.

I have about 20 pairs of cheap reading glasses that Ican never find.

When I see something beautiful in nature I am inspired to thank God for all my blessings.

I love Thanksgiving dinner.

My sweet tooth is totally out of control. If I see cake, pie, cookies, I’ll eat it!


Question????? Sometimes I’ll get an email from the blogger where I left a comment. How do you do that? When I click on the name of a commenter on my blog, their profile page pops up & you can send them email from there. Is there a way to get directly to an email that says, Re: [blog name] new comment on …..

Have a good day & a great weekend!

~Little family cookout~

Here are some shots from our Labor Day cookout. MOM…….she’ll be 78 on Wednesday.
Me & Mom.
My MIL Catherine, soon to be 91. She looks fantastic!
Me & Catherine. This pic was so dark & I tried to lighten it up but it looks better in black/white.
It was a simple cookout, burgers & dogs, Catherine made macaroni salad. She is still a great cook! H’s daughter made beans that were really good. We had bread & butter pickles, tomatoes of course and a chocolate cake from Walmart for dessert.

 The kids loved the chocolate cake!

Here’s g’pa & the kids playing battleship. Notice Sam’s wings, she was a fairy!

That’s our little Labor Day cookout. I felt good about getting Mom out, but it takes a lot out of me as she can hardly walk now & needs help eating. She still has a quick wit and always has a snappy reply, but says the same things again & again. Each time I must act as if it’s the first time I heard it. God, please bless my dear Mama.


~ Around town~ Memorial Day

We started out heading west to a huge flea market but the sky in that direction kept getting darker and darker, probably rain, so we turned around and changed plans.

Here’s a shot of Chocolate Ave in Hershey PA. I travel this road everyday. Later we took my mostly sweet MIL on a drive to the National Cemetary at Fort Indiantown Gap. It was so moving to see hundreds of flags blowing in the breeze.

Thousands of motorcyclists came to honor veterans.
A beautiful war memorial.

You can’t tell from the pix but it was very crowded, so many people paying tribute to their loved ones.And lastly here is my dh and his 90 year old mom, enjoying some ice cream after a drive.