Friday, December 14, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This year I decided to simplify my holiday decorations.  The goal was to have displays that were quick to assemble, easy to store, and budget friendly.  The best way to achieve this is to use items that you already have on hand and to use real plants and foliage (preferably the free kind from your own yard).
Here's a look at my final Christmas decorations.  For someone without a newborn, it would probably take about a day to complete.  For me, it took about two and a half weeks.  That means I only get to enjoy them for two weeks before Christmas.  I should have started decorating sooner!!

On the sideboard in our kitchen, candles and ornaments are arranged at varying heights atop leftover cuttings from the Christmas tree. Hanging ornaments and a lighted wreath add some sparkle.


My treasured handmade cross is displayed above the mantle.  A manger scene is featured the center of the cross.  Fresh cuttings from the pine trees and berry bushes in our yard were added to the pre-lit garland.

Stockings hang from a garland adorned with ornaments.
And finally, the Christmas tree.  This is not a decorator tree, this tree is filled with all the special ornaments we have collected over the years.  The repetition of the red glass ball ornaments and the gold twig fillers pulls all of the various elements together. 
Now we just need a visit from Santa.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Devine Miss M



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Little Luxuries

Don't get me wrong, if the hubs wants to buy me some bling for Christmas (just a little something like this) I will happily accept it, but sometimes I get just as much joy from the "little luxuries".  These are small things that make everyday life just a little sweeter.  I thought I would share my list in case there may be a great gift for some of your hard-to-buy-presents-for family and friends.

Personalized stationary makes me feel like a very important person
HERRINGBONE Custom Notecard Set of 16 - Personalized Stationery / Personalized Stationary
 A pretty tray to hold my small earrings
Vintage Paper Mulberry Leaf Virginia Metalcrafters / Decorative Gold Leaf Tray, Brass Dish Sand Cast Key Holder Vanity Tray Ring Holder
My nails will scream "diva" in this Essie Nail Polish

Scented soap makes my morning shower a mini-spa retreat

MAC lipstick is the best and Hot Tahiti is my fave

These books are the best I've read this year

Pastry Art Baby Bites are a little slice of heaven and a lot of calories, but soooo worth it

Pillow mist is the perfect way to pamper yourself

Flowers, especially peonies are always a good idea

A girl can never have too many pretty earrings

I always carry cute notebooks in my bag to jot down to-do lists and design ideas

Chandelier Pocket Notebooks: Set of Two Pink and Silver Embossed Small Journals Cahier Stocking Stuffer

This lotion is for baby, but Mom loves it too
Baby Bee Nourishing Lotion - Original

Do you have any "little luxuries"?  Please share!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Magic of Magenta

Doesn't magenta just make you smile?
Bijou and Boheme for small shop
Magenta/Fuschia, PInks & Green, Ink Abstract Drawing, Pre-matted for you, ready to frame
Yellow x Magenta  (Art Book - Set of 2) ..... Number 1

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Problem Solved

I don't love DIY projects, but I just can't seem to stay away from them. 
 If you saw my Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations (you can check them out here and here) you will remember that I changed the items that hung above my mantle according to the season. 
 This left holes in the wall that will need to be patched before I re-hang the painting that resides there during the rest of the year. 
Not good.
So I got smart and devised this little DIY project to solve the problem of the holes in my wall.  I took the large gold frame that I already had, cut down a cork push pin board to fit the frame, wrapped the board in burlap, and fitted it into the frame.  Here's the result:
This will allow me to attach my holiday decorations to the cork board instead of driving nails into the wall.  Also, the frame makes the Cross that I hang during Christmas a little more prominent on the mantle. 
The best part is that the cork board is multipurpose.  When the holidays are over, I can use it in another room as a message board!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Time's a Comin'

In between feedings and diapers I have managed to spread a little Christmas cheer around the Shaw house.  Here's what's been accomplished:

Next comes the tree!


Monday, November 26, 2012

The Best Thanksgiving Ever

I know that Thanksgiving is officially over and everyone is probably ready to move onto Christmas, but last week was a big week in the Shaw household and I wanted to share.  We welcomed Madeline Ann Shaw to our family on Wednesday, November 21st.  She wasn't officially due until December 6th, but she apparently didn't want to miss the turkey and dressing and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

We are all doing great and are so thankful that Madeline is here and is healthy and well.  We are so blessed!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Printable poster via Etsy
In the midst of preparing for baby Madeline's arrival, planning for the holidays, and thinking about what presents I would like to give and receive for Christmas, I realized that I am so busy looking forward that I had forgotten to look back.  So this is my time to share all of the things I am so thankful for and to praise the Lord for the love, blessings, and provision that he has showered on me and my family throughout this year.  We never know what lies ahead and some years are tougher than others, but we do know that God is good, he is good all the time.
The Thankful List 2012
- Baby Madeline is growing strong and is on the way to becoming part of my family!  Just a few more weeks until we meet this precious little girl!
- My husband has been so blessed with success in his work this year.  This has allowed me to become a stay at home mom full time to care for my growing family.  While it was a hard decision to leave my job, I know this is ultimately the best decision for my family.
-Praise God that my Mom was able to have knee surgery and she aced through the whole thing with flying colors.  She is now up and at 'em with no knee problems and pretty much has full mobility.  I'm also thankful for the time we spent together while she was recuperating and for the support my friends all showed during that time.
-My family's good health.  Everybody says this and sometimes it sounds trite, but when I hear about the health struggles of friends, members of my church, and other acquaintances it makes me realize how lucky we are that we are healthy and well.
-My super supportive, serving husband and my most-of-the-time sweet little girl.  They are the best gifts I have ever received and it's hard to believe they are mine all because of a chance meeting on a New Year's Eve at a bar in Nashville.
-Savannah's incredible experiences at preschool this year.  She started back in March and absolutely loves it.  She has grown so much socially and she amazes me with the things she constantly learns from her wonderful teachers.  We were blessed to find such a great place for her.
-Our trip to Barcelona, Spain (I still need to post about this).  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we had the best time.  It was astounding to see all of the art and architecture that I had studied about in design school and to stand in the square where Columbus announced to Ferdinand and Isabella that he had found the new world.  Truly amazing.
-All of my blog readers.  Thanks for supporting my little endeavor.  Its sort of scary putting yourself out there for people to read and judge, but you have all been so gracious with your support and your comments.
There are a gazillion more things to be grateful for, but those are the biggies this year!
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving sharing time with your families and friends!

Monday, November 19, 2012

If You're In Denver...

...stop by the Clyfford Still Museum and give me a full report. 
If you've been reading my blog, you will probably notice that I have a strong affinity for abstract art and I'm amazed at how current Still's artwork feels although much of it was created in the '50s and '60s.   I love the unexpected color combinations, the bold brushwork, and the overwhelming size of the canvases. 
Here are a few photos of the museum:
Here are a few photos of his work via a post from Design Sponge:
And for those of you who can't afford the real thing, here are a few posters and notecards available online at the museum store.