Welcome to my little world! My name is Donna and I'm the mother of one very spoiled kitty named Clarice. I was a banker for over 20 years but now I'm a SAHM and loving every minute of it. I'm a super, huge Bon Jovi fan and an avid cross stitcher. I love decorating my home with flea market finds, primitive style items and vintage items. My hubby says if the last three generations threw it out as trash it'll end up in our house as a decoration.

Friday, December 6, 2013

My first Christmas swap

and OMG, it was a grand one.  I finally got to participate in Amy's  over at Bumble Bee Lane annual Christmas swap and it was a blast.  I got paired with the lovely Francine over at http://primitivestars.blogspot.com/ and a match made in heaven we were.  We both our packages arrived on the exact same day and since they involved international mail that was amazing.  Francine was so thoughtful in everything that she sent and I just couldn't wait to put everything in it's place.  Here's the bulk shot of my wonderful gifties and then I'll show where they ended up in my home.  Can you just feel my excitement?
She sent me this cute pie bird for my growing collection.  My first one was a wedding gift from a customer of mine at the bank and she said if I knew what it was I was old enough to get married.  It was amazing that I not only knew what it was but I've held onto it for the last 26 years and multiple moves.  I know my collection is not staggering huge but each one means something to me and I can tell you a story behind each one.  Thank you Francine for adding this wonderful little blackbird to my flock!

I cleaned, sorted and repacked our Germany boxes Monday and I dug out my awesome bread board.  When I opened my grungy snowman package I just knew he'd be perfect hanging on the board.  He looks right at home there and really added some much needed décor to that area of the breakfast room nook. 

She also sent this cute enamel tea light holder in of course, my favorite color!  And it looks great with my treats for the realtors and clients that come to view the house.  I keep small water bottles, cookies and candy out for them.  I know I'm weird but hope it makes them remember our home after they leave.
These vintage soaps were just the thing I needed in the display in the guestroom bath.  Nope you can't use them but don't they look festive in my old wooden bank safe deposit box?

And finally the whole package was kitty sniffed and approved before I could even look at all my goodies. 

I have to wait until the Christmas stuff comes down before I can put out my adorable kitty cat doll and the sewing notions which we all know is another serious weakness of mine.  You can head over to Francine's blog to see what I sent her and it was a pleasure putting her swap box together.  Thanks Francine again for such wonderful goodies and being such an awesome partner.  And of course, thanks to Amy for hosting us all and allowing us to make new friends!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wow all this for $30.25

Mark flew back home today so on my way to the airport I hit this wonderful estate sale.  This sale has been going on for over a month and they haven't even made a dent in this hoard.  Everything is 75 to 85% off this weekend because this is the END!  I scored this fantastic stool for $10 and that was the most expensive item I bought.  I'm not kidding guys all this for $30.25 which included the sales tax.  Oh my gosh, I may have to go back Saturday because there were a couple of crocks but nothing unusual so I passed on them but if she goes 90% off they might be worth checking out again. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas 2013 in Georgia

Told ya I'd get pictures posted of what little décor I'm putting out this year.  I know, I know, I said I'd post those pictures on Monday but hey I have a valid excuse.  I have somehow thrown my back out and have really no idea how I did it.  I mean it's not like I've been extremely active or anything.  As best as I can tell, I did a lot of slow, browsing walking thru Target, 2 antique flea markets, grocery store, ect..... so yesterday was spent laying on the floor of the den watching Parenthood last and current seasons with my feet elevated on the footstool.  Yep, I bet it was a purdy picture.  I finally ordered myself a pizza around 2:00 and drug myself downstairs to answer the door and then the young delivery boy makes a comment of "Oh, I really like your pj's".  Lucky for him I had already included the tip when I ordered the pizza or he wouldn't have gotten anything. Smart aleck kid!

Welcome and come right on in for a quick little peek



So there it is folks....sweet, simple and done!!!! 




Monday, November 18, 2013

Rainy, Relaxing Weekend

Hi everybody and I hope no one falls and hits their head when they realize that I've posted twice now in this month.  It was a rainy, dreary weekend in Georgia but I used my time wisely to decorate for Christmas and spend time with my treasured friend, Maria.  Mark left Saturday for Germany and he'll be gone until Thursday so let the games begin.  You know that when the cat's away then Clarice and I play house.  LOL!  It has been heavenly to sleep in our own bed, stay up as late as we want and watch mindless tv and eat donuts for dinner and breakfast.  I'll post pictures of the house later today after I finish filling in with fresh greens.  Now remember that I have to keep things scaled way back since the house is on the market.  But ya know, I'm starting to really like the less is more concept in some spots.  Don't get me wrong as soon as the house sells, I'm dragging all my stuff back out because I've missed it but less/more sure makes cleaning easier.  LOL!

After lunch yesterday with Maria, I made a quick stop at an antique store and I found these wonderful old, chippy painted trim pieces.  The wheels started turning...ok they turned with loud squeaky noises since they don't get used much nowadays.  Let's see...now where was I going with this...oh...I stitched up Love Letters last year from BBD and it's a small cutie but I just couldn't decide what I was going to do with it.  Then I had a wonderful idea, what if I took the block of wood and attached the stitching to it.  Oh that would be amazing but how do I do it?  I mulled that over last night and finally came up with this.
I'm just loving this idea and it fits perfectly in with the BBD Noel that I stitched in 2009.  I still need to add some greenery to the cabinet so try to imagine a little fresh cedar laying there.  I paid $8 for the wood and the stitchery was done from stash odds and ends but I think it makes a real statement. What do y'all think?

Monday, November 11, 2013

No title because I've lost my mind!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted but I just haven't been able to get back into a routine since I got back from Arkansas.  My trip was extended an additional week in order to help my MIL and FIL get settled into their new routines.  Jack's really in a great place with caring people and he seems to be slowly adjusting to his new environment.  It's been probably harder on Kay than it is on Jack.  She's been caring for him every day for the last 54 years so she's having to get used to only seeing him a few times a week instead of every day, all day long.  I'm hoping that her ladies group will keep her busy and she will take up some of her hobbies again like painting, flower arrangements and sewing.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do but I'm so thankful that I'm not working now so I could be there to help them.  I decorated Jack's room to make it feel more like home and the pictures aren't the greatest but here they are:
Back Wall with metal wall art

Family photos

Snack table
His hat rack with his military ball caps

And lastly his new quilt

I just got back from another vacation as Mark likes to call my time in Arkansas a vacation (NOT) but my parents took me to Asheville, NC and the Biltmore House.  My Mom had a convention to attend so I got to go and keep my daddy company during the day.  It's such a special time of laughter, tears, family stories and just enjoying time alone with my parents.  I always come away from our trips with a new appreciation of just how amazing my parents are as people as well as parents and grandparents.  The Biltmore was just beautiful and is decorated for Christmas already.  Of course, the house is very grand and elegant and as usual I was more interested in the servants quarters and the kitchen.  The house did not disappoint any of us but I do have to say the kitchen was one of my dreams!  The copper pots and pans are original to the home!
And this is how Clarice reacted when she saw my suitcase come out again when I was packing for my NC trip.  I think she misses her momma a lot when I'm gone. I looked for her in every room until I finally saw her little white chin 'cause with her eyes closed she blended right into the suitcase.
I have lost my stitching mojo right now and haven't picked up a needle since the first of Oct.  I unfortunately I had joined Vickie from
A Stitcher's Story but I just didn't get anything more than part of the tree trunk stitched.  There was just so much going on in Arkansas and then again in Georgia and Tennessee when I finally got back home.  I hate that I just couldn't finish or really even get a good start on this SAL because it was Vickie's first and as you know, I don't do WIPs so this is a first for me as well.  I will finish it but think I'll wait until after the new year. 
While I was home I got to see my wonderful, smart, gorgeous, witty nieces (yes, I could go on and on about these special girls forever!) Rachel is a senior in HS so it was extra special that I got to be there to see her.

And this was Josi's first homecoming so I was thrilled to be a part of it with her as well.  But an even more special time was that I got to see her baptized into the Christian faith and I have to tell you that I was just so touched to get to be a witness to that event in her life.  I get all teared up just thinking back on it now. 

No new news on the home in Atlanta but we are still praying that the right family comes along really soon.  I would love to be in Tennessee before winter really sets in and then I could "nest" in our new home which we haven't even started looking for yet....LOL!  I just don't really want to look until I have a contract on our home because I just refuse to carry 2 mortgages at all. 
Hope everyone has a wonderful week and do something today that makes you smile!  I did because I had a starbucks pumpkin spice latte and snuggled with Clarice this morning so it's been a special day already.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Musings

It's just one of those days or weeks or months lately and I'm feeling a little down.  We're still waiting on the house to sell in Atlanta and making weekly trips back and forth to Tennessee.  We basically drive up on Monday mornings and back Friday afternoons which isn't that bad in the over all scheme of things.  We're together and that's really all that matters right now.  Mark's job is so much more demanding that ever before and he's comforted by being able to come home at night to me and Clarice.  The apartment is small but we're adjusting to it and more importantly, Clarice likes it.  The first car trip was hard on her and us but we've learned now the tricks that make it easier.  We put a big pillow on my lap which she perches on so she can see out the windows.  We also stop about half way thru the trip and walk her around so she doesn't get car sick thru the mountains.  And yes, people stop, point and stare at us but hey, who cares because we look strange walking a cat no matter what country we are in....lol. Mark's gonna have to make the trip alone with her next week because I'm headed home to Arkansas to a long visit.

Yep, I'm going back for two weeks and I have so much stuff I want to see and do.  Of course, the most important thing is seeing my kiddos  Rachel turned eighteen this month and I just don't know where the time has gone.  She has grown up into such a beautiful young woman both inside and out.  And I'm going on my girl's trip to Hot Springs with Dana and Kathie aka Dirty Martini Queens.  I've missed the last few years trips due to work, life or living abroad but nothing was gonna stand in my way this year.  I have missed them so much! 

Well it's almost time to go pick Mark up at work and I'm still sitting her in my pj watching trash reality tv so better go jump in the shower. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Fall Y'all

It's my favorite time of the year!  Now y'all know that I love, love, love decorating for Halloween and getting the house all ready for our punkin carving party and all the trick or treaters but sadly with the house on the market (I know....big eye roll....still????) I had to scale my décor way, way back.  Since last year we were living in Germany, it's been a couple of years since I've seen all my stuff but I keep telling myself it'll all feel new when I decorate next year.  LOL! I decided to just use my fall stuff and nothing that is halloweenie.....I know some people don't like the holiday or observe it so it's just scarecrows, punkins and other generic fall stuff this year.  I don't do scary, gruesome or anything like that but I do use a lot of black cats, witches and jack a lanterns so in order not to offend, they stayed in the storage bins.  AUGH.....please, please just sell my house already so I can resume my life again.

Ok enough about all that stuff and let's move onto the great things that have happened in the last few weeks.  I rejoined Weight Watchers in order to follow the dr's orders to lose weight and because I know the system works when you apply all the guidelines.  I've lost 7 pounds in 3 weeks and just feel so much better already.  I'm in control and accountable which works great for me.  I need to add exercise and then I'll really be able to drop some pounds.  I'm just taking it day by day....meal by meal....but it's getting easier all the time.  This weekend Mark really tested my will power by deciding that we were going to 5 Guys for cheeseburgers and fries.  There is nothing I love more than burgers and fries except maybe chocolate but I did wonderful.  I ordered just as I always do but I cut my burger right away and only ate a third of it.  I made sure to put it down between bites so I could thoroughly enjoy every bite and I even ate 20 fries with ketchup but again I made myself appreciate every one.  This is the first time I have ever left this place without feeling miserable and sick from overeating.  It was a HUGE DEAL for me and I'm so proud of myself. 

I also took part in my very first blog swap and what a wonderful time I had.  Amy from http://bumblebeelanecottage.blogspot.com  put together this awesome swap and I just couldn't get signed up quick enough.  I have always wanted to participate in one of her swaps but because of work and living overseas, I never felt like I could commit 100%.   Now the stars aligned and Amy picked Marsha from  http://www.tatteredchick.net/ to be my partner and what a partner she was!  Marsha is so talented and creative and I just loved everything she sent me.  Each little package was just amazing and let me share what we swapped with y'all.  She made everything from a tote bag to pantry cakes to punkin to black kitty.....well just see for yourselves what all she sent.  I was just blown away!!!!!

Just look at all my treasures!
You can hop over to Marsha's blog to see what I sent her because I forgot to take pictures of everything.  Oops!  I did snap a quick pic of these 2 little jewels.  The birdie's nest was an old canning jar lid set atop an old pewter candle stick that I found at an estate sale.  The patina on it was just wonderful and I just couldn't pass it up.  I also stitched up the black cat on 40 count over 1 and it's a Blackbird Designs pattern which I know just surprises everyone.  LOL!  What can I say, I've never seen a Blackbird Designs chart that I didn't just fall in love with.  Now I need to stitch this little one again for me. 

Well it's about time to go pick Mark up from work so I'd better get my shoes on.  Clarice and I have been staying in Tennessee with him during the week and then traveling back home on the weekends.  Clarice has adjusted really well and it makes Mark and I happier to be together with her during the week. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Good Dr report

Today has been a great day!  For starters today is our 26th wedding anniversary and Mark surprised me by coming home!  I think that this was the best anniversary present EVER!!!!!  I called him this morning and sang "Happy Anniversary,  Baby  Got You On My Mind" and even then he didn't tell me that he was driving home.  But more importantly, he still came home after my awful singing.  So here we are 26 years ago and who'd have thunk of all adventures life would take us on.

I had my follow up cardiologist appointment today so he figured he needed to be with me and I'm so very glad that he made it home for it.   She said that my heart looks good, no damage and this is a congenital heart defect that I was born with.  I'll need to take meds for the rest of my life but losing weight and shaping up will help me greatly.  So next step is to join weight watchers.....again.  It works and I have made my mind up that this time I'll lose the weight and keep it off because I don't want to go thru this ever, ever again.  Basically what I have is called a Bridged Artery which means that my artery is trapped inside my heart muscle and the only way to fix it is bypass surgery but we can control it with meds so I'm all for that option.  I do have to carry nitro pills with me as a precaution but again losing body mass will help the condition immensely. 

I have been staging the house....again....I know, eye rolls all around.  I just can't help myself I watch way too much HGTV!  The trick is staging the house to show people how they can "live" if they buy the house not how you currently live in it.  So that being said I went on a thrift store hunt for staging items for the "terrace level".  Now when I was growing up, we called that a patio but nowadays it is referred to as a terrace.  I hit a couple of flea markets/antique stores and struck gold.  I found this awesome potting bench to put on the upstairs deck which allowed me to move the very weathered aka rickety table downstairs.  I staged it using my existing good will finds from a couple of years past. I need to take some pictures of the deck now that it's completed.

This picture was taken before
And the same little shop had these great wicker chairs so I was able to bundle them into a package deal.  Yes, I watch American Pickers too so Frank would be so proud of me.  Then I had my starting point so I started hitting the thrift stores where I found pillows, rug and wall art to complete the look. Again I staged it using only my prior good will finds from a few years ago.
I had foam seat cushions from a previous craft project and beige upholstery fabric in my stash so I duct taped it underneath instead of sewing in case I want to use it again for another project. 

Close up of the table scape.  I used mossy twigs from the yard clearing that we did last week to make a display.  Hey, you'd pay big bucks for those kind of props at Pottery Barn.  LOL!  I really wanted a hanging chandelier to make it look elegant and I was going to use candles in it but dang it all, there wasn't one to be found at any of the thrift stores I went to and I went to several.  I did find this metal wall art which I thought fit in really nice.
So there you have it folks for less than $125 I now have a relaxing terrace level sitting area! So what do you think?