Pinecone Decor - Cottage at the Crossroads

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Today's Guest Blogger is Jane from Cottage at the Crossroads.

5 Fun Facts about Jane & Leo

1.  Jane & Leo live in South Carolina on land that has been in Leo's family since the 1700's.
2.  Jane & Leo have an incredible garden!  See it HERE.
3.  Jane is awesome with DIY and last Christmas she made this adorable Peppermint Twist Pillow!  See how to make your own HERE.
4.  Jane & Leo have a shop where they sell hand picked vintage goods.
5.  My favorite thing - Crossroads Radio.  Take a listen HERE.

Decorating with Pine Cones

Hi everyone! I'm Jane from Cottage at the Crossroads, and I'm bringing you some ideas today for using pine cones in your holiday decorating. I love to use natural materials in decorating and since we have a pine tree in our yard, I naturally turn to pine cones as a decorating source. 

I've used pine cones in making a winter wreath, on mantels, and one year I even painted some and hung them from the ceiling. But one of my favorite ways to use them is to just display them in bowls. 

Decorating with Pine Cones

Today I'm starting with a silver Revere bowl but you could use just about anything as a container. I really like the way they look in vintage colanders as well as in wooden or ironstone bowls.

Decorating with Pine Cones

And, of course, you need to paint your pine cones in advance. Here are some that I recently painted with a flat, white spray paint. 

Decorating with Pine Cones

Here is one that I "flocked" several years ago by brushing some glue and Epson salt on the tips. I had put a little blue paint on the tips as well so I hit them with the white spray paint recently. 

Decorating with PIne Cones

And some of them I painted with silver spray paint that mimics mercury glass.

Decorating with Pine Cones

This is the spray paint that I used to get that effect, and I found it at Hobby Lobby. 

Decorating with Pine Cones

As it gets closer to the holidays, I will tuck some real greenery into the display, but right now I used some faux that has some natural colored pine cones attached. 

Decorating with Pine Cones

All of those went into the bowl to make a very natural, pretty, and inexpensive display.

Decorating with PIne Cones

And I think it makes it more interesting when there is a mix of sizes, colors, and finishes.

Decorating with Pine Cones

But them I got to playing a bit by lining the bowl with a couple of handmade doilies and tucking a little heart-shaped ornament inside to add more interest. It totally changes the look, doesn't it?

Decorating with Pine Cones

So don't be afraid to start playing around with this because there is no right way to do it. The good thing about pine cones is that they look good any way you display or paint them. I just love to use them in decorating!

I hope I've given you a few ideas to begin your holiday decorating. If you have time, stop by to see how I used red painted magnolia leaves on our Christmas mantel last year. I'm always spray painting something!
Jane from Cottage at the Crossroads 

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Extra Holiday Seating - Savvy Southern Style

Monday, November 17, 2014

Today's Guest Blogger is Kim from Savvy Southern Style!

5 Fun Facts About Kim!

1.  Kim and her beautiful home were featured in an 11 page spread in French Country Style magazine and her dining room was on the cover!
2.  Kim hosts a blog party each week WOW us Wednesday.  If you are looking for home decor, DIY, or recipe inspiration - look no further.  Each week there are hundreds of bloggers who link up to her party!
3.  Last year  Kim and some of her friends went on a little shopping trip - to FRANCE!  Read about it HERE.
4.  Miss Bailey is Kim's sweet pup, who will occasionally write a post for Savvy Southern Style - like this one HERE.
5.  Kim is the master of rearranging!  She will "shop her home" by moving pieces from one room to another to get a completely new look!  Because I've seen Kim do this so well, I have intentionally changed the way I shop by purchasing items that can be interchanged and used in different areas of my own home.

Hi, y'all, I'm Kim from Savvy Southern Style. The holidays are quickly approaching and I thought I would share with you some ideas for extra seating you may need for your guests. Our family has certainly grown in the last six years and I had to come up with creative ideas last year to seat even the smallest members. I hope this will help give y'all some simple ideas if you need them this year. These are two of my extra tables from last Christmas.

This was the first year that I set a kid's table for my three granddaughters. At first I was wondering what I was going to use and then it dawned on me that the sunroom coffee table was just the right size.

I pulled the table into the breakfast room just in case there were any spills they would land on the hardwood floor and not on the rug in the sunroom.

Of course I used paper plates and these snowmen ones fit the bill.

I saw these cute stockings with markers at the store and thought the girls would enjoy coloring them.

Since I moved the coffee table out of the sunroom it made the perfect spot for one more adult table.

I grabbed some place mats, snowflake napkins, my everyday white plates and poinsettia bowls for the chili.

For a centerpiece I grabbed a tiny vase and added some cedar clippings from my fresh garland.

Publix snow people salt and pepper shakers.

Both these tables were put together with things I had on hand. Quick and simple.

I get to skip entertaining this year, but will be back at it next year.

 Thanks, Doreen for letting me help you out.

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My Surgery Story

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wednesday, November 5
I was feeling positive before surgery, all dressed in the latest hospital fashion of ugly bootie socks and gown, that if not closed properly, walking to the bathroom could be like a runway mishap on Project Runway.   I had seen the nurses, anesthesiologist, and finally the surgeon came in for one last visit before the procedure.  I can't say it was a great pep talk - it was more like, I'm going to do everything I can to make this surgery a success.  But, even if it is "successful"; you may still have numbness or complete paralysis.  I had some tears when he left, but pulled myself back together because - like he also said - No surgery meant complete paralysis with no chance of regaining that loss of feeling.   Having faith in a sovereign God and knowing that you are in His hands, is so comforting at times like these!  I can say that I truly felt everyone's prayers for me and my family.  I am normally an anxious person and this kind of surgery would typically be cause for great anxiety, but I felt at peace.  My sister and niece came down to sit vigil with my husband during the six hour procedure and I was so thankful that I got to see them before the surgery and having my sister pray with me, meant so much.  

Soon there was a flurry of activity as they took me back to the OR and before I knew it, I was off to dreamland! The surgery lasted six  hours, which is what the surgeon had predicted.  He came to the waiting room to talk with Mark and my sister about the procedure and that it had been a success.  Five vertebrae were removed to gain access to the tumor and the tumor was removed completely with no complications.   The removed vertebrae were replaced with rods and pins.  He told them that it would probably be about two hours until they would be able to see me - since it was a longer procedure, it would take longer for me to come out of the anesthesia and be moved to a room.  They were shocked when they were paged a half hour later to tell them that I was already awake and in my room.  

The next thing I remember is seeing Mark, my friend, Cindy, my sister and niece surrounding me!  They were all laughing and crying!  Apparently, I was being hilarious as I came out of the anesthesia - asking Cindy how my hair looked and then declaring - vanity, vanity!   I kept moving my feet and toes and touching my thighs and abdomen - I was so excited to have some feeling in these areas where a few hours before I did not!

The surgeon came in to see me that evening and again the next morning.   It was the first time I had seen him where he was animated and happy - I think the demands of my surgery had been weighing on him.  He kept telling me that I was NOT a textbook case and that from the first time he saw me and saw my MRI with a tumor almost totally compressing my spinal cord, he couldn't believe that I was not completely paralyzed.    I felt great the day after surgery and was up and walking around in the morning and physical therapy cleared me to go home the next day.  On Friday,  I came crashing down with lots of pain and nausea!   By evening, the pain and nausea were both under better control and they discharged me to home.  I had an absolutely horrible weekend at home (but, I probably would have felt worse in the hospital).  I think my body just needed an adjustment to all the different medications I was taking for pain.  I wasn't eating much, thus the nausea from the pain meds.  By Monday morning, I finally felt a bit better and was able to get a shower and that was amazing!  The remainder of the week was mostly good - feeling a little better/stronger each day.  

I had a follow up with the surgeon on Thursday and the bandages were removed. The tumor that was removed showed no signs of cancer!  I have a lovely brace that I need to wear for the next six weeks, but how can I complain about that!   I'm restricted in certain movements - no twisting, no bending, no lifting!  But, I have regained the feeling from my toes to my upper abdomen and I'm so thankful!   I've already started to pester my hubs to get the  Christmas things down from the attic so we can slowly start to decorate!   He's not going to let me get in over my head and will make sure I take things slow!  

I have so many things to be thankful for, but I'm especially thankful for my friends and family who have blessed us with meals, gifts, and gorgeous flowers to cheer me!   And, my blog friends who have given their time to post here for me while I recover.  

I had a new furry friend waiting for me when I got home.  Her name is Sadie.  I couldn't wait to show her off today, but I'll be back to tell you all about  how she came to live with us!  She has been the purrr fect companion for me!   If  you want to see more of Sadie, I've been posting pics on Instagram #50shadesoftabby.   

Tomorrow, Kim from Savvy Southern Style will be here to share some tips for extra holiday seating!  I can't wait to read it myself!  
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Apple Oatmeal Cookies - On Sutton Place

Friday, November 14, 2014

Today's Guest Blogger is Ann from On Sutton Place!

5 Fun Facts About Ann!

1.  Ann is an ahhh mazing seamstress!  Click HERE to see some of her sewing tips and HERE for sewing projects that you can try!
2.  Ann's favorite decorating colors - Blue & Yellow!   When I see an awesome combination of blue and yellow, I think of Ann!
3.  Ann has a shop - Sutton Place Designs - handmade textile furnishings for your home.  

I recently purchased these petite grain sack stockings from Ann!  I can't wait to use them this Christmas season!
4.  Ann's work was featured in Miss Mustard Seed's Book - "Inspired You".
5.  Ann has the most adorable miniature schnauzer named, Kelly.  Stop by and see the cuteness HERE.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies Recipe |

Hello everyone here at Hymns & Verses. I'm Ann from the blog, On Sutton Place and I'm so happy to be here! Today I'm sharing a recipe for Apple Oatmeal Cookies. These little cookies are moist and have the best, sort of nutty taste. The bottoms crisp up a bit so that adds to the texture as well. These are perfect for after school snacks or to pack in a lunch. They stay moist for days as long as they are in a sealed container or ziploc bag.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

  1. 1/2 c. butter softened (1 stick)
  2. 3/4 c. sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 t. vanilla
  5. 1 c. flour
  6. 1 t. baking soda
  7. 1/2 t. baking powder
  8. 1 t. cinnamon
  9. 1/2 t. salt
  10. 1 1/2 c. quick cook oats
  11. 1 large apple finely chopped (I used Honeycrisp and did not peel it)
  12. 1/2 c. walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer combine the sugar and butter. Beat 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and oats.
  5. Whisk gently to combine.
  6. Slowly add to butter/sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until combined, scraping sides of bowl when needed.
  7. Fold in chopped apples.
  8. Drop by small scoops onto cookie sheets. (About the size of a golf ball.)
  9. Bake 15-20 min. Watch closely the last 5 minutes so bottoms of cookies don't overcook.
  10. Makes about 30 cookies.
By Ann Drake
Adapted from The Sauder Village Apple Lover's Cookbook
This recipe could easily be doubled and you can certainly leave out the walnuts if you are not a lover of nuts...or are allergic. It's the oatmeal that gives them such a great texture.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

I have been known to eat these little cookies for breakfast...they are amazing with that first cup of coffee. Thank you again to Doreen for having me over...enjoy!
Ann from On Sutton Place
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Burlap Table Place Setting - Debbiedoo's

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Today's Guest Blogger is Debbie Manno from Debbiedoo's!

5 Fun Facts About Debbie!

1.  Debbie has "a thing" for roosters!
2.  Debbie and her hubs built their own outdoor pizza oven - see it HERE
3.  When I first began blogging, Debbie had a fun weekly party for new bloggers - The Newbie Party!  Every Monday, it was the place to be!
4.  Debbie's tag line is "Home Wasn't Built in a Day"
5.  Debbie is a Rit Dye Expert - See how she used Rit Dye in some DIY Projects HERE, HERE, & HERE.

Hi there friends of Doreen!
My name is Debbie and I write and create over at Debbiedoo's.
I am so happy to be here today and will share with you a quick and easy Thanksgiving place setting idea.   Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!

Burlap personalized table place setting

Now, I am no stranger to these place settings.  In fact, I have made burlap table place summer settings.  I have also made drop cloth table place settings.   I had some of these cute burlap gift bags left over from a graduation card holder I made back in the summer.  You may have missed that post about Southerners and Monograms.  I thought why not use the extra bags, buy another set and have them for our Thanksgiving table this year.

It is tradition that my Mom and sis come in from Buffalo, NY and we always have the most enjoyable Thanksgiving week.  It is just our family for the day and we certainly chillax, pig out, and then of course hit the couch.   like to set the table nice though for us. These burlap table place settings will be perfect.

Burlap utensil holders for Thanksgiving or Fall table scape

As you can see some simple inexpensive supplies.
Burlap bags
faux leaves
and the burlap letters.  
All the above found at Walmart.

Burlap utensil holders for Thanksgiving or Fall table scape

First wrap your ribbon to size on the bottom of the bag.  I only had to use a dab of hot glue on the back, and one each corner to keep the ribbon in place.  Add your faux leaf tucked under the ribbon with a dab of hot glue on the stem.  You can add some hot glue on the back of the leaves as well to keep it flat on the bag.

Burlap letters with adhesive back

Take your burlap letter and hot glue it to the leaf.  These letters do have a peel and stick option, but quiet frankly, they aren't very sticky and I found them to lift.  Nothing a dab of hot glue can't fix.

Burlap utensil holders for Thanksgiving or Fall table scape

CUTE as cute can be!

Burlap utensil holders for Thanksgiving or Fall table scape

Burlap utensil holders for Thanksgiving or Fall table scape

Add your napkin and utensils and you have  a personalized place setting for you and your guests.  Enjoy.   Thanks Doreen for having me over today!
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