A Touch of Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas?  Just a couple more weeks until all the festivities begin.  I have been planning and making lists (what a surprise) with the goal of having every present purchased and wrapped, every meal planned and shopped for, every cookie baked and decorated, and the house ready for guests by Friday, Dec 21.   From my perspective the partying starts on Saturday, Dec 22 and I can not wait!

In preparation I have been adding a few Christmas touches to the house including the new pillow covers I made this weekend.  The poinsettia pillow was inspired from the Taste of August blog.

pointsetta-pillow

Joy-and-Noel-pillows

I had some fun with the chalkboard that usually hangs in my office and decided to display it on my entryway chest along with just a few of the snowman from my collection.  The chalkboard was a total copy of one I saw on-line but unfortunately I did not write down the source.

entryway

I added a few candles, some greenery and a little bling to my dough bowl.

Doughbowl-candles

And speaking of dough bowls, the last time we visited my brother-in-law Steve’s workshop, we found this in his scrap pile.  He felt it had too many imperfections, I thought it was perfect for a candy dish.

candydish

I also added some fresh evergreen to a few places in the house.

Mantle

bathroom

Now on to tackle that mountain of presents waiting to be wrapped.

A Cabin in the Woods

Anytime Dave and I start a project that is related to woodworking, we always start with a visit to my brother-in-law Steve.  On this particular visit, Steve walked Dave through the building of a new bathroom vanity.  There will be much more on that project as we progress.

Steve and my sister Linda live on 5 wooded acres which is a perfect spot for someone who can pick up a fallen log and turn it into something beautiful.  A few months back I posted some photos of several items Steve has made from the wood on his property.  You can see those by clicking here.

Today I thought I would give you tour of their little “cabin in the woods” and a peek of a few of the many projects they have completed.

Here is a view of the cabin from the end of their driveway.

All visitors are greeted by Bogie, one of the sweetest (and largest at 130 pounds) puppies I know.

The next shot is the front porch followed by the peaceful, quiet view when sitting in one of the rocking chairs.  I always feel like I have gone camping in the Ozarks when I am at their house.

A couple of years ago Steve purchased an old barn that was going to be torn down and reclaimed the wood for building projects.  One of those was the storage shed on the right where the mowers and tractors are held.  The potting shed on the left was built for Linda and all of her gardening supplies.  Isn’t it adorable?  I really love the red pump.

Their most recent project is a new flower bed next to the potting shed.  Notice the thin edge of blue at the back of the shed?  That is one of several rain barrels they have on the property to catch rain water for watering all their plants.  I love how the flowers are cascading out of the old wheelbarrow.

Next to the flower bed is a current project they are working on.  Besides the great tree trunk flower pots, they are laying down a bed of wood slices.  This is one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  I absolutely love it!

The next shots are of the back of their cabin and the firepit.

Next to the firepit is another garden area complete with tractor seat benches.

They have done so many fun things on their property.   One of these days I will do a post about all the cool things inside their house….one I just have to show you now because I love it so much………it is a wood carving Steve did for the front of their kitchen sink cabinet.

They are a very creative and talented twosome.  Click here to check out Steve’s Etsy shop.

EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT

A few weeks ago I received an early Christmas gift from my sister and brother-in-law, Steve.   I was so excited because I had seen something similar at their house a few weeks before and had gushed over how much I loved it.  That phenomenon is not all that uncommon given the many cool things at their house, many handmade by Steve.

Steve is a retired trim carpenter by trade, but in reality, he is an artist who not only can reproduce about anything  he sees in wood, but also comes up with many unique ideas on his own.   He has incredible vision and can go out on his wooded acreage, pick up a downed log and carve it into something spectacular.  On that particular visit to their house, I fell in love with the Dough Bowl replica that was sitting on their kitchen table.  A dough bowl was used many years ago for bread rising before it was baked.

Here is the gorgeous hand carved bowl I received as a gift.   At first I just put a few simple candles in it.

Then I decided to put my fruit in it.

I had also thought about arranging evergreen sprigs with some pine cones but did not get around to it for this Christmas season.  I have lots of ideas for other centerpieces and cannot wait to try them out as the seasons change.

Steve has just opened an ETSY shop called WOODSTALK and has several other items available, including this cutting board,

And this spoon rest which I just love.

Here is another rustic dough bowl which happens to just look like ones being sold on Pottery Barn for up to $250.00.

He even has a firebrand on the back to identify his work.

Steve has created many things for me over the years including shelves, bookcases, filing cabinets, tables, and even all the trim in one of our houses, but I think this dough bowl is my all time favorite.  I love the idea of it starting as piece of wood from his backyard and hand carved into this wonderful piece of art.

Check out his ETSY shop by clicking here.