Friday, December 9, 2011

Gearing up for Christmas

Yes, the Chat House is getting in the Christmas spirit.
Come with me while I take you on a tour of what I've been up to.
Step up.
Come on in.

This is just something we threw together. I have a very nice nativity set. But we have a lot of little ones coming to the Chat house this year. I don't want too many little pieces sitting out. We have to be careful with those little ones, you know.

Next, we have some of the ornaments that are hanging on our tree. I would show you our tree. I have a picture of it on my camera. But it was taken sideways and without loading it onto my computer, I don't know how to flip it. I flipped it on FaceBook but I can't find a place to do it on Blogger. My computer is getting low on memory...whatever that means. I know it can't be good. I don't want to risk over stuffing it so I'm not taking any chances. You'll just have to look at a few of the ornaments that are hanging on my tree.

And here is my table.

I was going to use a different table setting because this set is missing a plate. But they belonged to my grandmother. I consider it an honor to display them at Christmas.

For a couple of years, my employer gave me sets of Stemware for Christmas. I think this set goes quite well with my table setting, don't you? And I found the cutest napkins to match!!

Even though I can't show you my big tree, I'll show you my table top tree.

Well, that's all I've done so far. I may or may not add more. It just depends on if another wave of creativity hits me.

My town is not doing a holiday home tour this year, so I hope you will be sharing your Christmas decorating pictures.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Great Finish to a Rocky Start.

After subjecting you to the rantings of a chocolate-deprived lunatic, I thought I would change things up a bit and share something fun.

This afternoon I attended my niece's bridal shower. It was not your ordinary bridal shower, either. This one had a theme. Chatty and two of my nieces are very nostalgic. They love old music. They like most things from the 40s, 50s & 60s. They grew up talking to each other about old clothing fashions, old movies, old cars, etc. When my youngest niece started planning her wedding and asked Chatty to be her Maid of Honor, I suspected things would be a little different from the traditional showers and the usual wedding events. So it didn't surprise me when the Bride-to be's sisters and Chatty announced that they were giving the Bride a 1950s themed Bridal Shower. Chatty is making an album for her cousin that will be full of pictures of every event leading up to the wedding. She left me in charge of her camera for taking pictures of the bridal shower. I was so busy taking pictures with her camera that I didn't have a chance to take many pictures with my camera. But I will pick a few of what I have and share with you.

                                               Chatty applying the Bride-to-be's make-up

                                                The Maid of Honor and the Brides' Maids

                                                                        The Cake

                                                 The Bride-to-Be and her Maid of Honor

                                                     The 50s Diner the girls created

                                                             The Groom's mother

                                                                     The girls again

                                                    My sweet mom. Grandmother of the Bride

                                                   Yes, I had to get my 2 cents in, too.

And last, but certainly not least, this is a prize that I won.. I answered the most questions correctly on one of the games. I got to choose my gift. Of course I picked the Movie Night gift. It has a movie, popcorn, a Coke, a box of some kind of gummy fruit....AND 2 boxes of chocolate. You can rest assured that I won't be having another  melt down tomorrow morning! I won another game, too. I was gracious enough to donate that gift to the bride-to-be....but I refuse to give up my chocolate!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Work in Progress

My blog has been pretty inactive lately. My excuse...I'm spending my free time being creative. Those who know me, know that requires a lot of concentration on my part.

1.) I'm not crafty or creative. I've spent most of my life making my house sterile, staunch and easy to clean. So this whole warm and cozy decorating is all new to me. And you would be able to tell if you looked closely and were able to see the different nail holes in my walls. Usually once I see the finished results of my created masterpieces, they look pretty awkward and child-like so I move them elsewhere.


2.) Since middle age has set in, I can't chew gum and walk at the same time~~~so blogging and creating would short fuse this old brain of mine.

Speaking of changing my mind. Do you see the "Fresh Coffee" sign above? I was so proud of it when it was delivered. Originally, it was above the display below. But when my metal sign came in, I moved things around again. It was moved above the kitchen door leading out to the garage. 24 hours later, I decided something didn't look right. It was too heavy or lopsided or something for the room. Then... Bingo! It hit me. We're going to hang wooden shutters on our kitchen window above the sink. This would look perfect hanging over it. And it would be in the middle of the room so it wouldn't look so heavy. That night during supper, I showed Chatty & Mr. Chat what it would look like hanging over that window. They both agreed. It was a much better look. It would be better balanced and would compliment the shutters nicely .....Before I go on, I must tell you that it's been a rough couple of weeks at work and my mind has been on over-load (that's my story and I'm sticking to it)..... Did I sit the plaque down in a safe place until supper was finished? NO! I hung it back over the door. Did I make sure it was hanging securely? OF COURSE NOT! No, not me. That would make too much sense. Half way during supper, we heard a CRASH. It was one of those family moments. We just sat there with stupid expressions on our faces while the plaque hit the floor and broke into 3 different pieces. Most of which I had to rescue from the bottom of the stairs leading down to our basement. Hmmm. Not to fear, though! Mr. Chat applied Gorilla glue. It looks as good as new. After many years of marriage, Mr. Chat is an old pro at covering up my clumsiness genius moves. ANYWAY...I'm ordering vinyl lettering for above this door.

The spaces on the sides need something. I was going to try to get really crafty. Remember...craftiness is a new concept to me, so if I say something novice or just plain stupid, don't laugh too loudly. I was thinking about staining 2 small cheese cutting boards and putting coffee decals on them. But I've found some vinyl wall art that I think would look really cute here. Don't worry. I'm getting the removable kind just incase I change my mind.

This is just a start. I know it needs something. I took the coffee cups off the ceiling. Chatty said it may look better if I add another vase of weeds to the end. Since this cabinet is smaller than the other ones, I'll have to arrange the cups differently. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

This wasn't quite what I was thinking but it will do for now.

A friend suggested a doily or a scarf added here. I haven't decided. It's on top of my refrigerator so I don't think a scarf or doily would be seen. But it would be less to dust and protect the top of the refrigerator from being scratched.

I'll be adding more periodically. With the economy and things being the way they are, I will only add things if they are affordable (or dirt cheap). Some day I hope to show the finshed product. But for now, it's a work in progress.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. I know I did.

First of all...I am truly blessed:

1.) to be allowed to be a mother
2.) to have a truly amazing Mom
3.) the Lord has blessed us with good health and we were allowed to spend the day together.

Chatty and I started the day out attending church with my Dad & Mom. The Pastor delivered a wonderful Mother's Day message. When church was dismissed, the door attendant gave each mother a Woman's Daily Devotional. Mr. Chat didn't attend with us because he was making a 40 minute trip in the opposite direction to have breakfast with his mom before she left for church. Normally, I would have felt guilty for not going with Mr. Chat but we had attended his niece's wedding and reception the night before and I spent quite a bit of time with my MIL.

Later that day, Mr. Chat barbequed and we had a nice family visit......Now for the goodies:

This was delivered while Chatty was at work. She knows I prefer carnations over roses. She was disappointed because she had ordered a red and white arrangement. But I love this arrangement anyway. I'm thinking I need to buy colorful scarves to swirl around the base of  future flower deliveries. Mr. Chat and I have been married for over 22 years. We dated almost 5years before we were married. To this day he does NOT know my flower preference. Why haven't I ever told him? Because he never asked. After years of all of the presents of roses, I don't want to hurt his feelings by telling him now. However, I have mentioned it to other people in conversations over the years and he was present during said conversations. But since society says roses are the symbol of love and romance, I guess he didn't relate those conversations to his gift giving.

HOWEVER, he is the master of listening to other kinds of conversations. And he is great at finding true treasures. This is what he brought home from a recent business trip:

This will look great in the coffee theme I'm planning for my kitchen. I don't know if I'll keep it on this shelf or move it to a cabinet display. If it stays here, I'll definitely have to re-stain the shelf because the coffee grinder blends too much with this shelf.

Anyway, Mother's Day isn't about material things. It's about the love, relationships and time spent between mothers and daughters. The material things are just added perks! LOL!  

Monday, April 11, 2011

I Won't Give Up My Day Job.

I'm a very visual person. But I'm not a good photographer. Up until Christmas I didn't own my own camera. When personal pictures have been shown on my blog, it's because I plan a girls' day with my daughter Chatty. I would tell her ahead of time...."Save next Saturday afternoon for a girls' day. Bring your camera. I'm going to need pictures for my blog." We haven't done that for awhile. So I've had to "borrow" pictures from the internet to spice up some of my stories. I was given a camera for Christmas. But I always forget to take it with me. OR I'll take it with me on special ocassions, but forget to take it out of the car or out of my purse while the function is in full swing. Somewhere between the place of action and home, it dawns on me that I didn't take any pictures. 

Well, this past Saturday you all would have been so proud of me. Chatty was Maid of Honor in the wedding of a young woman that she attended grade school with. Yes, I remembered to take my camera. Thank you very much. I'll just wait here and bask in all of the praise that I know you all are giving me. I appreciate all of your admiration. I know, I know....I am so wonderful. But hold the applause.....Just because I took the camera, doesn't mean I took great pictures!!!

Oh, I remembered the camera while the wedding was in progress. It was a gorgeous church. A beautiful ceremony. The wedding party looked great. Nobody puked or passed out. The problem??? I have never had a camera at such a special event, so I was camera shy. I mean, when is it proper or allowed for anyone other than the photographer to take pictures? I just knew about the time the flash from my camera would explode would be the exact moment the photographer and the bride had set to get that planned "perfect---never again moment" captured for future generations on film. So my camera stayed holstered and in my purse.

My next chance came when the wedding party was receiving guests. Did I get a lot of great pictures? NOPE! Not one. I was too busy visiting with everyone. If it's any conscellation, the weather outside was lovely. But you'll have to take my word for it because there are no pictures to prove it.

My next opportunity to redeem myself as a great photographer came at the reception. almost didn't happen. However, halfway through I remembered to take pictures. Ta-dah!!! Happy dance, happy dance. Don't get too excited. I...uh....uh... well, I'll just show you~~~~

 Isn't this just lovely? Why would I decide to take this picture? Most of the wedding party was elsewhere. But doesn't Chatty look lovely? I'm trying to make lemonade here with me!!!

 I didn't get the bride tossing the bouquet. But notice Chatty standing in the back? She's in no hurry to get married. Well, I guess she needs a special fellow to come into her life before she starts standing in front of these kinds of lines.

Wait!!! Hold the bus!!! This one is not my fault. This has nothing to do with my timing or my photography skills. This is ALL Chatty!! While she and her dad love each other dearly, they do not have an ooey, gooey kind of relationship. They have more a punch each other on the shoulder, sarcastic kind of relationship. They understand it and they are comfortable with it.  I insisted that they share a Father/Daughter dance together. They humored me and danced one (count it slow dance. When the song was over, Chatty said, "That was weird." And as you can see, she made sure I captured it on film for all of our future generations to see. Can you feel the love?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dining room Update

Here are some of the changes I have made to my dining nook. I haven't had time to shop for new stuff. I decided to dig through some of the things that I have stored in the basement. I thought that maybe I could get creative and come up with something that would work well on my wall. Turns out....not really. I tore a couple of silk flower arrangements apart and tied some of the greenery together for the wall hanging you see here. You might think I was trying to be very artistic. The truth is...I needed something to cover 3 or 4 nail holes I had made when I changed the spacing of my shelves.

The trouble is I haven't had the time to go browsing through stores. I'm from a very small town. The closest store is a Wal-Mart Super Center. I'm not trashing this store, but in our area, when it comes to home decor....Wal-Mart just doesn't cut it. Not because I insist on more high-brow stuff. No, it's because they are limited in the home furnishing/decor department. And what they did have, they are eliminating or down sizing. And it seems the other stuff like canned goods and paper products are being replaced with a white label brand. What's that all about? You would think since they use less ink for the color of their labels, prices would go down. Not so!!!

Anyway, I found a little Mom & Pop store in the old part of town that carries a few Tuscan wall pieces. I bought the two metal plaques that you see on the one side of the mirror and the stone "10 Commandments" plaque you see beside the door. I may change or add to the wall display if I get the chance to spend time browsing in stores outside of town...but if not, I think I may add a rug under the table and replace the globes on the ceiling fan. Then I'm on to re-do the kitchen into a coffee theme.

So what do you think? I need some suggestions just incase I get to leave town for anything other than work. I'll need your help with this. As far as the kitchen....I've been specific of what I want and I have left hints with  Mr. Chat & Chatty for this year's Christmas list. Pretty smart, huh?

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Table

Now what? new table was delivered last week. It may be a little too big for my informal dining nook but I like it. The problem...I decorated my wall to match the cheesy little table that was in there for the past 17 years. Now I have to go back to the drawing board to find a look that fits the personality of the new table. My other table was small so I limited the wall decorations so as not to overpower the table. My new table is counter height. Now the table over powers the wall. And it also looks like I hung everything wrong and too uniform. Any suggestions? (PLEASE)

I'm thinking maybe dark brown shelves with cute what-nots on both sides of the mirror. (Or taking the mirror down altogether) Removing the green scarf from over the French doors and replacing with a creamy beige swag. I'm going to take the green cloth (the one that looks blue in this picture) off of the small desk against the wall but leave the lace doily on it. It may even look better if I remove the small desk. I'm hoping that I can leave it there. I don't want to have to store it in the basement because my grandpa made it for me when I was 14 years old. 

Geez!!!!! I'm in need of a decorating tutor! I'm not good at putting a "LOOK" together. I just know what I like when I see it AND this isn't it. It seems all out of kilter and out of whack. For years I had a sterile white house. Oh, it looked clean but it was not cozy at all. We have always planned on selling so I never put a lot of investment into the decor. My thoughts were always, "When we sell this house and get the house we want THEN I will be a decorating fool!" 17 years later, here we are. So, as I've said before I've bitten the bullet and decided to re-do our look. I've started on the living room. I have just a couple more things to do in there before I have the look I want. Once you all help me with ideas here in the dining room, it will be done. I already have ideas for the kitchen. I think we're going to do stone around the bar and back splash. I want to paint the cabinets a darker brown and get a mid to light brown counter top. The cabinet tops will have a coffee theme (maybe coffee cups and old coffee pots displayed on them).

My house needs help. It has about 3 different looks going on. Any suggestions from those of you who have not been putting off showing love to your homes all of these years would deeply be appreciated.
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Have Camera...Will Blog

Surprise!!!! Chatty bought me a camera for Christmas. I promised you that I would start doing more personalized blogs if someone in my family showed some sympathy and added a camera to their Christmas list for me. (I mean, it wasn't like I wasn't leaving strong hints to anyone that would listen. I think I even went outside the box. I grabbed a hold of I may have mentioned to Chatty's best friend that...., "Oh! How I wish I had a camera. I wonder if Santa will remember that I've been extremely good this year? Hmmmm?") But I must warn camera skills are a work in progress. Like all other modern devices I get my hands on, it'll take awhile before I'm able to produce even the most basic of novice pictures. Anything more advanced than point and click is way above my reach at this point. I'm afraid to try using some of the other functions on the contraption my new sleek beautiful camera. Mainly because I don't know where they are or what they are. The contraption  my new sleek beautiful camera came with instructions. Hello? You have to understand photography and machinery lingo to be able to understand or follow along with the instructions. I can tell you right now----That pretty well leaves me out!! The chart is pretty handy, though. It comes with pictures. I learned the difference between the front of the camera and the back of the camera. I'm pleased to announce this will spare all of you any close up pictures of my nose hairs. Probably after a year or two of constant use, I'll have that "AH-HA" moment and I'll be able to dazzle any 5 year old with my photography skills. But until then, the rest of you will have to bear with me.

Since I've been busy getting all of my 2010 End of Year and January 2011 paperwork caught up...  AND the weather has been just awful this winter, I haven't been able to take the contraption my new sleek beautiful camera on any blogging adventures. Plus, Chatty is usually my sidekick on these adventures. There's no hope there for awhile. She's still knee-deep in tax season. All she wants to do when she gets home from work is to change into sloppy clothes, turn off all phones, grab a cup of coffee and let her brain turn to mush. So until we're able to scoop some life back into her and it turns just gorgeous outside, I'm going to do a Walk-About.  Not the kind of Walk-About that John Locke wanted to do in the Outback. No-no! I'm going to do a Walk-About on the inside of my house. I've decided to try my photo cropping skills on mine and Chatty's decorating abilities. We're big on picking different themes for our displays. I'll show you more of what Chatty has on display in her room, because I'm still working on mine. Í just discovered that I LOVE Tuscany decor and colors. Who knew? So I'm in the process of changing everything over. Once our Bistro table is delivered and I have place settings added, I'll share those photos with you,too. I may even show you the WHOLE picture. Before I sound too high and mighty...or like I don't have a clue that the economy is struggling, let me tell you the little dining room table that is being replaced is over 17 years old. It was very cheap when we bought it and we raised and fed 4 active kids while using said table. And as you will see, the decor used in our displays are bargain basement items.

                             Eastern wall of Chatty's room. Yes, she inherited my love of coffee.

Wall going into Chatty's walk--in closet

On opposite wall going into her walk-in closet (Above What-Not Shelf in an upcoming picture)

                                                     Above the computer in her room

                                                                 Above her bed

Chatty's gift from work a couple of years ago. Everyone who knows her, KNOWS her love of music.

Part of Chatty's childhood toy box. She couldn't part with it. So she kept the top half, bought the bottom shelves and made it into a what-not shelf.

The beginnings of my Tuscan make-over in the living room

I just had to show this. These flowers were from my parents for Valentine's Day. I know..."AHHWWWW", right?

I added this above the mirror in my dining room

And that concludes the tour of my Walk-About. Crude, I know. But, hey! I'm a simple person! It doesn't take much to make me proud.
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