Getting and Giving a Bouquet


I was contacted by asking if I'd be interested in reviewing their flower delivery service. I'm not one to turn down a bouquet of beautiful flowers so I said Yes!I went on their site and picked a gorgeous bouquet. They have bunches of sunflowers in all different pretty arrangements. I picked my favorite and placed my order.
I was excited to see a fresh flower delivery
on my doorstep!I followed the instructions for opening the box and found a lovely bouquet inside.I must admit that although the flowers were beautiful, they were smaller than what I had anticipated from how they appear in the photos. They came packed in moist florist foam ready to be placed in their vase. You pick the color of vase included with the flowers. Mine turned out to be an odd color of green. Of course we all know that a little spray paint can fix things---unless the original paint wasn't applied correctly (oops!). The plain galvanized vase would have been a better choice.
Oh well, my bouquet looked even more elegant in a vase from my collection.
The flowers have an eight day guarantee. Mine didn't quite last the full eight days, but they did last longer than others I buy.
I enjoyed my pretty bouquet from and now
here's your chance
to try out their fresh flower delivery.
Go to their site and have a look around.
While you're there register to win a year of fresh flowers
(who wouldn't love that!).
Then come back here and leave a comment.
On Friday I'll announce the winner.
Good Luck!

At last! A LIST!

>May I first say thank you for your words of kindness, empathy and encouragement and most of all for your patience. Hopefully this post will make it worth your wait.

Before I begin my list, let me share some great ideas from my very creative readers.

*Bonnie wrote:
I had my kids draw pictures of what they thought Christmas was about (my daughter is quite prolific). Then I copied the pictures onto muslin and I am going to stitch out the picture with a cute Christmas saying, frame it and give it to my mom and Grandmother. I bought the frames at a second hand store for about a dollar a piece. Other than my time, it will cost me about $3.00 per gift.

Also I bought cute Christmas plates for about 33 cents a piece at the second hand store and I am going to give some of my neighbors their treats on them with a plate stand. Total cost under $3.00.
*Andrea posted some wonderful ideas. Be sure to spend some time looking through her December and November posts where she shares ideas for making your own ornaments, topiaries, coasters, bath salts, and MORE!
*Amber made and posted three great gift ideas here, here and here.
*Immortal Beloved shared her recipe for yummy peppermint bark.
*Cheryl has a great recipe for five minute fudge wreaths that would make a delicious gift.
*MARYANNE420 has a TON of Martha's ideas that she's been crafting.

If YOU have a some inexpensive gift ideas to share, please add them to the comments on this post!

Now, on to my list.
I purchased almost everything from the dollar store to show you these ideas. Remember that I am giving you a SIMPLE version. It's up to you to customize it and make it special.Practical gifts are always nice. Who can't use an extra extension cord this time of year? Attach a tag that says, "EXTENDING special wishes your way, for a Happy Holiday!"
A multi-purpose lighter is nice for lighting candles. Give it with candles and a tag that says, "We're de-lighted to have you as our neighbors."
The tall glass candles (referred to as religious candles) look very special when covered with foil wrapping paper, beautiful scrapbook paper, or vellum. Add on ribbon, bells, a monogram, or scrapbook letters that spell out JOY or NOEL.
Give a gift of art. You or your children can paint a special picture on canvas. Or paint your child's hand and print it onto the canvas and mod podge the saying, "Hands down, you're the best grandparents in the world!" You could even use spay adhesive to make a collage of special photos.
Paint or cover the wood plaques with scrapbook paper. Add a monogram or spell out a name, or another word with small wooden letters. Mod podge on
a meaningful scripture or poem, or paste on several words that describe the person. Don't forget to replace the string with pretty ribbon. Give a photo album with a tag that says, "Have a picture perfect Christmas!" If you want to spend a little more money, add a disposable camera or place the album in a basket filled with travel sized toiletries.
Try filling a basket with a board game and lots of edible goodies and present it to a family with a tag that instructs them to "Enjoy a Family Fun Night!" You could also fill the basket with drinks, packages of popcorn and a movie.
How about giving a cute apron with a tag stating, "Hope you're cooking up a Special Christmas and a Happy New Year!" Include some hot pads and say, "From our PAD to yours."
Who doesn't love cinnamon sugar? Pour it into a pretty container, tie it with a ribbon and include a recipe or two that uses this ingredient (snicker-doodle cookies, for instance).
Give a box, refrigerated roll, or a frozen home-made batch, of cookie dough with a tag says, "Everyone could use a little extra DOUGH this time of year!"
Bake a batch cookies, stack them in a bag of cellophane, and place them in a pretty glass or mug. Write on the tag, "Santa's not the only one who loves milk and cookies."
Or fill a mug with packages of hot chocolate and add a pretty spoon or two that's been dipped in melting chocolate.
The cute ice cube tray could be given with packets of drink mix and a tag that states, "It's such a TREE-t to be your friends!" Or how about filling the tray with delicious melting chocolate and sprinkles and tying it with a pretty bow? Or use the tray to make several batches of chocolate trees and present them on a pretty glass or festive plate.
Tie a ribbon around a seasoned salt grinder, or two, along with a tag stating, "SEASONS Greetings."
Another easy treat idea is to make a batch of chocolate rice krispie treats. Press portions of the mixture into a large funnel sprayed with oil. Wait a minute or two and gently remove the mixture from the funnel form. Notice how you now have what appears to be a big chocolate kiss? Repeat this process until you have several. When cool, wrap the krispie kisses in foil and include a long, thin tag that says, "We wish you a Merry Kissmas!"
I bought these simple gift ideas from a friend. The star is made from branches tied together and spray painted. Wouldn't it be extra special when given with scripture or quote about a star?
The tag is made from thin wood with the word stenciled on. It would be so fun to give a stack of these tied with string or hanging from a small wreath or tree.
My theory for giving gifts is much the same as decorating, you don't have to spend a lot to make it look like you did. What you save in money, you should make up for in presentation. Put a little time and love into your gifts. Adding a tag with a cute/corny saying can make the gift seem special. Tie your gifts with REAL ribbon or at least be generous with the curling ribbon (use five strands instead of one). Add on a bell, unbreakable ornament, or a candy cane. You can even use wrapped candy for filler in gift baskets.
When a gift looks like it's had love, time and thought put into, it doesn't really matter how much it cost. It really is "the thought that counts."

Another Shelf?


I found this lovely shelf at the thrift store.
(Yes, it's upside down)
Do I need another shelf?
So with the help of hubby and a hammer,
to remove the shelf part,
I have a neat little architectural piece
to hang above a door.
(Some sanding & paint touch-up was required)

Silver Where?

>As I ran my errands on Saturday I tucked in and pulled out my silver
olive-fork-handle key fob in and out of my pocket.
Each time it made me smile to think of it's uniqueness.
It also made me think of all of the silverware projects I've done. I hope you don't mind that I took a little time to compile them all into one post just to satisfy my own curiosity.

Using the same technique as the key fob, a spoon with
the initial J was turned into a necklace pendant.
I took a small collection, given to me as a gift,
and with an inexpensive tray, scrapbook paper and hot glue,
it became a pretty little display.
It looks even better tucked inside an apothecary jar
sitting along with the collection of silverware from my in-laws.
I used a spoon to embellish a treat tray.My hubby helped me bend forks to use as small easels. Years ago, I framed a small fork to hang over
our bent fork coat hanger
that was made by our niece and her husband.
I've even hung spoons from our dining room chandelier using copper wire. It may be a little odd, and be the start of a few conversations
("Why do you have spoons hanging from your light?"), but
why not accent with the things you love!
So there it is---
a collection of projects
made from a collection of silverware!

Is Gray The New Black

>Lately I seem to be having a love affair with the color gray. A few years ago it was black but now when I envision a makeover for thrifted items I see them in a shade of gray. Perhaps it's because there are so many pleasing varieties of gray----light gray, dark gray, charcoal gray, blue-gray, gray-brown, gray-green and the ever popular greige. Whatever the reason, gray has become my go-to color.

What is your go-to color lately?

***Put your name in for the M.Bellish'd giveaway here***



What if you could have the
in the home you're living in right now.
How would it look?

Most of us have a list of things we'd like to do to improve our home. I don't think I know anyone who lives in their ideal home.
But, do you find yourself saying "If only..."
If only I had hardwood floors, then I would be happy with my home.
If only my appliances were beautiful stainless steel, then I'd have my dream kitchen.
If only the furniture came from a high end furniture store instead of a thrift store and hand-me-downs, then I'd love to entertain.
If only my walls weren't decorated with children's hand prints and the floor with toys, then I could decorate my home with beautiful things.
If only my house was bigger, then. . .
If only we had enough money to make home improvements, then. . .
The problem with the "If only's" is that you choose to delay your happiness and miss out on JOY you could be having right now.
If you learn nothing else from my blog, I hope you learn that every day you should do a little something to find the JOYS of home. That's my goal. Let me illustrate with photos of my own home.
Our main bathroom looks picture perfect. It's not! The tile floor has cracks, the top drawer falls out if you pull it too far. The cabinets are low end wood laminate and the sinks have rust stains that cannot be removed.
I could have chosen to live with the "If only's." Instead, I
painted the cabinets, replaced the hardware, and stocked the linen closet with fluffy white towels.
The flooring in our home was not pretty, at all. If I lived in "If only" land I would not have torn out the ugly carpet and tile, painted the subflooring and personalized our stairs. Would I love to have beautiful hardwood? Of course! But look at the creative opportunities that I would have missed. The kitchen has the same cheap cabinetry as the bathroom and the appliances are white. It had the ubiquitous U-shape of the 1970's until we decided to tear it apart and make improvements on a budget of a thousand dollars. The "If only" attitude would have robbed us of wonderful memories of working together and of preparing our turkey on top of the washing machine because hubby was installing the sink on Thanksgiving morning.The beautiful fireplace I told you about yesterday is still not finished. It's missing the surround on the firebox. No one notices because I painted the whole thing black and loaded it with pretty candles. Would I love to have a finished gas burning fireplace? YES, but I can enjoy it this way until our finances allow us to finish it. Our master bedroom has painted subflooring and a master bath that needs major work. The furniture is from the thrift store, the draperies are drop cloths, the walls are painted with mistints. But it can still be beautiful and on a budget.

With an "If only" attitude I would never have discovered the depth of my creativity. I would not have had the opportunity to help others design their homes, and I certainly would never have started a blog.
Don't let the thief "If only" rob you from the JOYS of home that are at your finger tips.
Please stop living with the "If only's" and do what you can, with what you have, to find the JOYS in your home. This weekend would be a great time to start!

Guest Ready

>I was contacted by Better Homes and Gardens to see if I would review some products in their line at Walmart. They asked if I'd like to use $100 to get a bedroom guest ready. I was excited because, although I liked my guest room the way it was, the bedding was never warm enough for my guests during the winter months.I picked the beautiful BHG Fleur de lis comforter set because it goes well with the colors already in the room. It's a gorgeous grayish brown with accents of green and yellow. The all-over ruffles pillow is the perfect accessory to tie in the existing browns in the room.While I was freshening up the bedding I added the branch over the bed and hung a framed botanical. I think that my guests will be very comfortable in this updated room.I'm excited to give one of you the chance to win a $100 gift card to Walmart so that you can make your home guest ready.

To enter all you need to do is:
*go to their site and pick a Better Homes and Gardens item you would love to have in your home.
For additional entries you can:
* "like" BHG on their Facebook page, thank them for this awesome giveaway and tell them Joys of Home sent you.
* Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway.
Be sure to leave a comment for each entry.

The giveaway will go until Tuesday, October 11th. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced shortly afterward. Good Luck!

Dear Mother Nature

>Dear Mother Nature,

I am so very tired of Winter. I am wondering if you can bring on Sprinter---the season where it's just warm enough to spray paint outside but not so warm that the weeds begin to grow. I am grateful for the snow and the water that it provides for the summer but it seems that lately we have had too much of a good thing. I am hoping that you will contemplate this change in weather. I have a long list of things that I would like to do but each one requires warmer temperatures.Thank you for this consideration,


***This is the last day to enter the 31 GIFTS giveaway here***

To Top It Off


The guest room needed two bedside tables. I like having mismatched tables, especially if they have character. I had the pedestal part of a table stored in my garage. I can't even remember what happened to the original top. I just know that, much to my husband's dismay, I had kept the bottom as a project-in-waiting. All it needed was a pre-cut round top and a little paint.After giving it a couple of coats of paint, I wasn't happy with the overall look. It just called out for a little something extra.
I ran to the fabric store and found some trim and some heavy weight fabric that has a great texture---like a combination of burlap and linen.I turned the table upside-down on the fabric and traced
and cut about an inch wider than the tabletop.I sprayed a generous amount of adhesive
to the tabletop and applied the fabric,
pulling and gluing the extra fabric along the edge.
I used hot glue to adhere the trim
along the center of the edge.
(click on photo to enlarge)
I love the look of this table!

It adds such texture and beauty to the room.