Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

This image is my own, from my bedroom.

Today is my Sweet Escape day. For those of you who are new here, every Friday I escape here on my blog into someplace magical, relaxing, fun or otherwise delightful. And as you know, I am all about my new motto in life, which is to have fun listed at the top of my to do list. And pretty much ignore everything else. But really, who am I kidding?! I still have things to do, even if I did feed the list to my shredder. So today I didn’t have time to prepare an escape into an exotic land or fairytale houses, but that is a good thing because I was busy dreaming of fun things I can really do and not getting carried away by things I can’t.

Sweet Escape: Holiday CraftinessSweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Now that we have established that we are only going to have fun this holiday and not go crazy with the Martha Crafts (just speaking for myself here, you do as you wish, but here were my thoughts if you missed them), I do have some holiday photos to share with you, just to get you in the holiday frame of mind for the weekend. I think if I focus on some easier ideas I can feel festive without having panic attacks. I know crafting can be fun if you keep it in perspective and within your ability talent and timewise.

Sweet Escape: Holiday CraftinessSweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

I found some very cute images of holiday garland that looks somewhat crafty but like something I could actually do without injury to myself or others in the room. Some of them are a bit on the cute side, maybe, but you could always change the things dangling from the garland to something more suited to your style of decorating.

Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

I know I say I am not crafty, and by comparison to most of you out there, this is true. But I do think the holidays can be a time to enjoy some crafts even for those of us who are normally challenged in this department. The thing I like about crafting for the holidays is that if you can pare down your holiday ideals and look at the crafts as something FUN to do, it can be a way to slow down with your kids or grandkids and create or bake together. I would even enjoy doing crafts with my husband for a date night, although I am pretty sure he wouldn’t like that idea.

I would much rather have a holiday baking or crafting day with my kids JUST FOR FUN, than to spend all day doing it myself in a rushed frenzy for a holiday party. That is what Costco is for in my opinion. I’d rather create ambience or happy memories and use Costco to fill in the gaps to make it all happen. I can’t do it all so I have to take shortcuts somewhere.

Here are a couple of garland ideas that we actually made here at my house. I’ve shown the cookie cutter one before, but that is the easiest one ever so I am showing it here again.

Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Both of these images (above) are my own, from my bedroom and kitchen.

I have some EXCITING things in the works coming up in the next couple of weeks. Including another giveaway courtesy of someone and someplace delightful! It is top secret right now, but all will be revealed soon. I can hardly wait for it myself! We are REALLY going to get in the holiday spirit and give you some great ideas too. Hooray! Happy weekend! Do something fun, dream big dreams and create the kind of life you want!

The Rodent Update: Just so you know, I have not step foot in my laundry room since the incident. My dear hubby put out the appropriate Thanksgiving meal for our new little intruder (which he says is clearly only a mouse, not a rat as I imagined after seeing the dropping) and he (the mouse) has partaken of what I hope was his last meal in our house. Do you think that Martha ever has rodents in her laundry room? I don’t see any. But then again, she has some fat cats living in her basement.

Sweet Escape: Holiday CraftinessSweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Images of Martha’s laundry from Martha Stewart online
Garland images not otherwise identified are all from Better Homes and Gardens online.

Downsizing Your Home With Style

Downsizing Your Home With Style

I am a small house person. I am! Even though I have always dreamed of Old World mansions, castles and I currently live in a not-so-small house of 4300 square feet, still I am a small house person at heart. I like to be cozy and snug as a bug. I love the feeling of being in control of my house and not having my house in control of me. Bigger houses mean more stuff, more heat, more painting, more cleaning, more everything. And more is not always a good thing, contrary to popular belief. Remember the saying Less is More ? Good advice.

Lots of people these days are following that motto and trying to live a life of less. Less junk, less clutter, less stress and less house. So how do you downsize your world when you’ve spent your life accumulating stuff? I can tell you from personal experience, I downsized at one point many years ago from a larger house to a 1900 square foot English cottage and it was a complete disaster. I had stuff out on my lawn that wouldn’t even fit in the front door of my new home. So embarrassing! I was selling stuff for cheap just to clear the yard before the rains came. Eventually I worked my way through my stuff and found great delight at having only what I needed in my little nest. I learned a big lesson, planning your space before you downsize is essential. I had to learn the hard way, downsizing requires some careful thought!

If I had only had a guide to helping me with my move I could’ve have saved myself countless headaches and lots of money trying to make my big house stuff fit into my little house walls. This is why I am pleased to announce the release of a new book that is certain to help anyone through this difficult and emotional process.

I had the pleasure of speaking to interior designer and author Lauri Ward recently about her new book, DOWNSIZING YOUR HOME WITH STYLE: LIVING WELL IN A SMALLER SPACE. This handy book would be perfect for just about anyone wanting to live with less, from homeowners squeezing into a tiny apartment, to families who want to downsize from the stress of a large home, to people wanting to plan a second home on a small scale, or even for people just wanting to have less to manage in their current home. Empty-nesters and not-so-empty-nesters alike will find tried and true principles to get them through the challenges. Downsizing doesn’t have to mean losing your style either. In fact, when you do this right, you can end up with even more style with less stuff. I like that idea.

Downsizing Your Home With Style

The author of several best-selling books, Lauri Ward, is known for her common sense approach to stylish interiors. The founder of Use What You Have® Interiors in New York, Lauri revolutionized the interior design business in 1981 with a simple concept, using what people already have in their homes as a foundation for a more stylish, comfortable and updated room without spending a lot of money. Lauri is widely recognized as the pioneer of the groundbreaking redesign approach to affordable interior decorating.

Downsizing Your Home With Style

As a way to bring her unique philosophy to people around the world, Lauri founded the Interior Refiners Network®, a professional organization comprised of Interior Refiners she has personally trained and mentored with proven design principles and methods. Lauri has appeared on The Today Show, Oprah Winfrey and HGTV as well as countless other programs and publications. She is also a contributing home design expert at iVillage.

Downsizing Your Home With Style

I am fortunate to have been trained by Lauri and be a part of her incredible organization of women who help clients take the stress, expense and mystery out of interior design and help them to find beauty in what they already have. It is my privilege to recommend this book to you, knowing that it too will help countless people learn to use what they have more effectively to create beautiful and livable homes. Figuring out ways to have less stuff and more style sounds good to me, I just might get inspired to move back into a tiny cottage. Less is more, and this book will help you find the perfect balance.

Downsizing Your Home With Style

“Ward offers helpful advice for a difficult problem–how to pare and purge if you plan to downsize, then stylishly rearrange what’s left. ” – Chicago TribuneDownsizing Your Home With Style

Photo descriptions and credit: Real-life homeowners and solutions to make the best of less space as featured in the new book (click to go to amazon.com): Downsizing Your Home with Style: Living Well In a Smaller SpaceDownsizing Your Home With Style

Downsizing Your Home With Style
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