Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Musings....

There's not much Spring going on outside my windows so I have forced myself to try and bring some inside. I actually just took the winter décor off of my front porch. The calendar says Spring but I can't say that "Spring is in the air" yet.

We are living in a sea of brown, bare and dirty.  Whatever is green has been all winter. No new green anywhere yet. The beginning of Spring is not so pretty in Upstate NY.

My new black patent rain boots are waiting patiently by the side porch door, ready to get dirty in the garden.

I should have had them on when I went scouting for thistles to fill a basket. I got the thistles on the side of the road, along with a few thorns in my fingers and one foot ankle deep in the swampy brush.

My Spring/Easter decorating includes vintage, of course, and lots of bunnies that hibernate all winter in the many cupboards around my home. When they come out to play, they hang out mostly in the parlor (the cranberry/pink room) and my dining room.

I am always delighted when I coax them out of their deep sleep to rediscover what I have. Some just cannot wake up!

This White Rabbit is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, a story that I have always loved. My husband bought him for me years ago and Mr. Rabbit was just recently found hiding in the dining room closet.

I changed my mantel for Spring, moving all but one of the pictures of my family to another cupboard top and added some vintage books and architectural pieces, including the paned window I found at a yard sale last summer for $5. The crown candleholder is from Antique Farmhouse.

Of course the mantel had to include a pink mercury glass bunny, a thrift store find.

My bunny banner is from an Etsy seller a few years ago.

The bunnies are hand cut out of thin wood and arrive separate from the string. You string them yourself and hang them however you want to.

This pretty Granny Square lap throw is a recent thrift store find. The colors just say Spring. It is available here.

The first picture is of my dining room centerpiece. It is hand made out of a crystal pedestal and a square metal pan. I filled it with a nest from my yard, eggs I painted aqua, my small lantern and more bunnies including a vintage flocked bunny and a metal chocolate mold. This is a closer look.

and the back.....

The sun is out today and our temps are supposed to rise to around 50 by the end of the week and weekend.

Yup, we are still wearing winter coats and scarves and warm boots.

I have Spring in my heart though!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Do You Reply?

Been thinking about the comment and reply part of blogging and get the feeling it's changed.


This post is NOT about being a no-reply comment blogger....there are tons of articles and tutorials out there to fix that.

It's about whether or not you reply to the comments you receive on your blog.

So I am just wondering....what is the latest protocol?

When I first started blogging it was all about following each other and listing in your comment all the ways you just followed that person....bloglovin', pinterest, facebook....etc.

Then I noticed that when I left a comment, the blogger not only replied to it but visited my blog in return. I adopted this practice because I thought it was a great thing to do to connect with others and do all that networking stuff.

Unless you came up as a no-reply comment blogger. Then I couldn't.

There are a handful of bloggers that reply consistently to all my comments....

.......some visit in return...

.......there are some that used to reply and don't anymore.....

.......and there are a lot that never did.

I guess it is that middle one that makes me wonder if the protocol has changed. That maybe now it's not the "thing" to do....reply to a comment on your blog.

I just don't want to clog up someone's email with my comments that they will most likely delete.

But that's just it.

It's those reply comments that has helped me create friendships with other bloggers by chatting back and forth via email.

We have traded recipes and links, sympathized, offered prayers, and just plain wished each other a great day or weekend.

I understand the busyness of everyday life. If that is it, that's fine.

I purposely don't post on my blog when I know I may not be able to respond to comments, post in the blog parties and then visit all of those blogs, although I love doing that. I find so many great recipes and ideas at those parties, and a lot of new blogs to follow.

But you have to have the time.

So, has something changed?

Or is everyone just busy with life?

Is it just me?

Just wondering....

P.S. I don't mind at all if you don't reply by email to my comments, but I always welcome a visit to my blog!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:
Share Your Cup
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Best of the Weekend

Saturday, February 18, 2017

DIY Suede Lariat Necklace

I bought myself the sweetest necklace on Etsy to go with my faded denim shirt. It brings out the cowgirl in me :-)

I am not a button-down shirt kinda girl but I just love the look of a faded denim shirt with jeans, the front tucked in with a worn leather belt. You'll have to use your imagination on the tucked in with jeans part. This manny is so skinny that I couldn't get my jeans to stay up!!

The lariat style necklace is a hot trend right now and I especially like it in suede with beads.

When I find something new I love I immediately want to share it with my daughters and girlfriends. When it was about 5 days before my 60th birthday party, I had an AH HA moment. I could cover my daughters and girlfriends all in one shot. I made 18 of these necklaces as party favors for my sweet guests.

I went to good ole' Walmart for the supplies. They had real suede cording but it was either a large spool, more than I needed, or the pieces were cut too short. I opted for the faux suede that looks so real, I couldn't tell. It comes in four colors for about $4. The other colors that I used up are black and brown.

There weren't any beads that I liked at Walmart. I found the wooden beads and silver tone beads in packages at JoAnn's and after using my 40% off coupon, they too were very reasonably priced.

The supplies you will need:

faux or real cord with a length of 60"
assorted beads

Other helpful tools to have are:

a measuring stick or tape
an iron and ironing board

When you unravel the cord from the card, it is wrinkly. You will want to iron it out so that your necklace hangs right.

I measured a 60" length and then with a hot iron laying down, I just ran the cord under it and it smoothed the cord out perfectly.

It is just a matter of choosing your bead combination and stringing them on both ends and tying a knot in the cord. Depending on the size of the bead, you may have to tie a double knot. It is your preference whether you leave a long or short tag on the end of the knot.

It was fun to come up with 18 different different combinations of cord color and bead style. Because I waited till after my party to do this DIY, I don't have pictures of the others to show you!

Now that your lariat is made, you might want to know all the different ways you can wear it. It is quite a versatile necklace.

My favorite necklace right now and way to wear it is this black blingy beaded one. You just double the necklace first, then put it around your neck. Loop the loose end with the beads through the other end and it drapes down your neckline.

Here is the same style in a lighter color....

Or start by wrapping the necklace from the front to back, crisscrossing in the back and then bring both ends back around to the front.

I find that this style moves and ends up choking my neck! I have a solution! When you bring it around to the back, loop it in a loose knot and then bring back to the front. It helps it from slipping all day.

For a longer version, simply loosely tie it in front.

For a girly, cowgirl look, try this bow style....

...and if you don't mind things up around your neck, this is a funky way to wear it....

Just start in the back and wrap around twice, finishing in the front with a loop over.

I wear my necklaces with a variety of tops and styles. You will find that they go with a lot of your wardrobe.

They are easy, use minimum supplies and are inexpensive to make.

And once you make one, you will want one in every color!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:
Sweet Inspiration Link Party
Anything Goes Pink Saturday
Best of the Weekend
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Cooking & Crafting with J & J Link Party
Happiness is Homemade
Share Your Cup

Monday, February 13, 2017

You're all caught up...

Well, where has the time gone?

Since my last post, that is.

Other than crazy busyness, I have had writer's block and/or not enough to write a whole post about in the last month or so.

Oh, there were definitely things happening....

** I could have shared my 60th birthday celebration....

My birthday cake....home made Carrot Cake....

The food we ate.....

Fettucine Alfredo, Greens and Beans, Artichokes French, Chicken Wings, White Pizza

and the family and friends that attended....

Some of my besties

Irene and Me

My daughters Candice and Jena

Darlene and Kim. Kim is wearing the necklace I made for all my birthday guests.

Granddaughters Chloe and Cassidy
and a few of the gifts I received.....

Garnet is my birthstone

Is this me or what?!

** I could have shared all the treasures found from the non-stop thrifting and picking I have been doing.....

I have been thrifting like crazy the last month or so in anticipation of moving into the full room of the booth I have at Rustiques. No time to post about the stuff I have accumulated....been cleaning and researching, pricing and tagging them all. It all happened February 1st.

The sweet yellow dresser has sold already. I have a new passion for offering furniture in my booth and will be thrifting this Spring and Summer for small pieces at the many yard and garage sales that will start popping up. For now I have my local Goodwill which has had some pretty good stuff lately.

** I could have shared a ton of recipes from all the baking I have done.....

I have been baking up a storm lately too, for the Dessert Theatres that our traveling community theatre, Impact Theatre puts on in our area. I have been using my tried and true recipes that I make a lot, like New Jersey Crumb Cake.

I need to slow down now for awhile and will be forced to soon in March. That is when I will have carpel tunnel surgery and removal of a cyst on my finger, all on my right hand.

Not looking forward to that but it must be done.

Two fingers will be bandaged together but I may still be pecking away at my computer with my first finger and thumb!

** I could have.......

I guess I just did!!