Monday, January 26, 2015


I’ve been gone so long from blogging. I have that feeling that you get when you’ve not seen or talked to a friend in a really extended amount of time. And there’s a hesitation about reaching out. But then I think about my really good friends . . . they’re the ones I can reconnect with, we pick up instantly where we left off, and there’s no guilt, shame or blame. And so, with that as my guide, here I am. I may have lost some of you, tired of coming back and seeing over and over again the December 21 post. But for those of you who haven’t given up and are happy to reconnect, here’s to you, really good friend.

Here are some straggling images from the Christmas break. (Most, if not all of these, were originally posted to Instagram.)

Over the holiday break, I catalogued my collection of decorating books.
Sometimes when I'm at a bookstore or the library, I forget what I have.
So images like these on my phone (and this isn't even all
my decorating book!) serve as a great point of reference.

I wish I'd been more creative this year for Christmas gifts for the neighbors.
But my good-ol'-standby poppy seed cake is just so doggone easy and super good. 
One of those cakes you can eat  for dessert AND breakfast.

Harleigh graduated magna cum laude from Georgia Southern University on December 12.
So proud of her!
(It looks like I cut out an image of just her head and put it on another picture of just a body.
What what???)

Ever since we've lived in our humble little Chateau Gahan (since 1999), 
I've dreamed of putting up Christmas lights, especially icicle lights. 
But without a man around the house, the effort
has always seemed too daunting.

Well, 2014 was the year of the lights.
I drove home from work one evening, and this greeted me.
I came to a halt in the driveway, literally gasped out loud, 
and took it all in, with tears streaming down my face. 
A gift from my dear daughter, no doubt.

She had gone to Ace Hardware with measurements in hand, 
and turned to the red vests to help her figure
out how many strings to get, how to hang them from the gutters,
and how to handle hooking them up to an electricity source.

She got up on a ladder and got them all strung.
She then had the idea to hang lights along the top of the 4 windows you see above the roof level.
She got on the roof (if she weren't 22, I'd have spanked her hearing this!), 
got scared, and luckily had her phone on her, so she called Mr. Clif next door and he came over 
and helped her down. Then he loaned a better electrical cord and a timer!

Most nights when I was home, I'd stand at the open front door and wait for 6:00 to hit
so that I could see them light up. It never got old.

While down in Statesboro for graduation, we ate at a Cracker Barrel.
All their Christmas stuff was on sale. 
I scored this light-up plastic, life-size baby deer.
And this large ceramic tree with lights.
Money well spent.

Our boy.

Christmas morning at Chateau Gahan.
It really wasn't cold enough to warrant a fire, but
for pete's sake, it's Christmas!

This was our second year in a row getting matching pajamas.
Harleigh told me last year that she always thought that was a cute tradition,
and she'd wish we'd done it when she was a little girl.
It's never too late to start traditions.
(And one more nod to a parent's "wish I would have's.")

This year Harleigh wanted scottie dogs.
The search proved successful at Kohl's.

For gift wrapping, I usually use a variety of papers, ribbons and baubles.
But this year I found this beautiful kraft paper with pine cones and greenery, and I 
decided to dress all my gifts alike.
I ripped red and white seersucker for ribbon, and used vintage
postcards for the gift tags.

I'm in the process of redoing all six Sunday School classrooms at church.
Over the holiday break, I managed to complete one.
They're all underwater/ocean themes.
This one is a "find the hidden" object picture.
Since it didn't take up the entire wall, I painted the empty sides a glossy deep blue,
and then added little water bubbles.
One down, five to go!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chateau Gahan at Christmas

The advent calendar on our fridge. I open up a door each morning while drinking my coffee.
This year's calendar has glitter on it. 
I just may keep it and pack it away to look at next year. Much too pretty to throw away.

Christmas books collected since Harleigh was little (and a box of vintage Christmas cards).
On the coffee table to enjoy.

With a tree in the living room, and one in the ken,
I alternate my breakfast each morning between the two room.

The old pail is a $1 garage sale find.
Stuffed with greens and fake candy canes.
(Gideon watches from the window.)

Thanks to Pinterest, we've all tied a tree to the top of a toy car.
This car, in Harleigh's bathroom (and, off-season, atop a pile of clean washcloths)
usually has a surfboard on the roof.

I have a church, a sweet shop and a tavern that are all lit and have little 3-D scenes inside.
They grace my mantle.

This S.D. Kluger toy/decor plays the actual Fred Astaire version of
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."
[NOTE: S.D. stands for Special Delivery.]

And our Santa from The Forum.
Is he not the best?

And on a side note, here is the kindergarten cabinet that I saved from the dumpster 
and is now for sale in my booth.



Stay tuned for more pix to come of our holiday decor!

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Bit Out of Sorts

Lots going on as of late. The office moved. Harleigh is wrapping up her senior year, graduating next month. Been busy with church volunteering, and am ready to embark on redoing all six Sunday School classrooms (I've come up with a grand design, if I must say so myself). And already working on decor for our 2015 VBS, Everest (because it's a snow theme, shopping now, with all the Christmas stuff out, is critical). The booth is keeping me busy (and is ready for a holiday overhaul). Wrapped up a backyard wedding; will share pix soon. Am starting serious planning for my niece's wedding next October.  Also gearing up for a minor surgical procedure, and the bottom line is that I ain't got no time for dat. I'm at an odd place right now. Feeling a bit unconnected, to myself and the world around me. In limbo. Chapter II of my life is still a big question mark. I had hoped that I'd be seeing a clearer picture. I'm not. And I'm struggling with being OK with that.

All that to say, my blogging has truly suffered — both posting and looking at other blogs. I'm much better at Instagramming these days; it's more mindless. For those who follow me on Instagram, these images will be yawn worthy. But if you don't follow me on IG, then enjoy!

Until I can get up to the attic and pull down my generic fall decorations, 
a little chalkboard with my heartfelt sentiment
will have to do.

The craft room is in shambles.
Which makes no sense at all, since I have no time to craft. Pity.

My little Ferdinand the Bull. But instead of smelling the flowers under a cork tree,
my sweet boy is watching the world from the overgrown monkey grass.

Some of the dining table flower arrangements from the backyard wedding. 
I used bold-colored florals, white hydrangea, and a hint of pink.

Little man.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Wedding This Weekend

I was honored to be asked by a past co-worker, Steve, and his fiancee Beth, to do my thing for their big day! The wedding is tomorrow. Atlanta promises to be in the 70's with no rain. Keeping our fingers crossed. It's outdoors. A bonfire (with s'mores!). BBQ. Tubs of cold drinks. Corn hole. I came up with a plan for decor, presented it weeks ago, and am now putting the final touches on all that I'm crafting.

A little peek—I hand-painted all the dinner napkins. The color palette I'm using is matched down to the paint used on the napkins. As with all events I do, I use Pantone chips to create my palette, and make a little card that I carry with me everywhere as I'm planning and shopping.

When I made my design presentation, I staged some of my ideas. 
Beth loved the idea of using pumpkins (our Pinterest board was so very helpful 
in honing in on Beth's tastes), and in order to pull in the teal blue from the palette,
I bought a fake pumpkin and spray painted it using Montana paint.
(If you're not familiar with Montana, it's the spray paint that graffiti artists, the pros, use.
It comes in 204 colors. I buy mine at Sam Flax. I'm like a kid in a candy store.
It's not that much more expensive than the spray paints you buy at the hardware store,
it goes on flawlessly, AND you can find any color, a-n-y c-o-l-o-r!)

This staged arrangement used silk flowers, but will be real flowers for the big day!
The flowers I'm using:
Orange lilies
Peach stock
White hydrangea
Viking poms
Light pink garden roses
 Purple lisianthus

I had hoped to use lilac, but the order I would have had to place (flown in from Holland)
would have busted my flower budget. Bummer.

Teal-blue wooden dowels with jars of flowers will be stuck in the grass 
and line the aisle at the ceremony.

Blue Mason jars on the dining tables will be used for candles.

My vast array of aluminum ware will be put to use. 
Accented with teal rick rack, each piece will be different and hold an explosion of flowers.

Will share more images from the event itself. Lots of little touches!

 Two miscellaneous Instagram images from the past week: 
My fruit bowl "dressed" for Halloween.
And Gideon asleep on my bed. Maybe one of my favorite pictures of him.

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