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holiday craft from an un-crafty gal......

Don't get me wrong, I love gettin' my glue gun on as much as the next gal...... what I lack in patience, I make up for with desire.....I wish I was more crafty!  I am results, not process, oriented.

My friend Jane Hall, owner of Mustard Moon, a crazy good occassional sale shop, is more optimistic than I when it comes to my crafting skills.  When Jane heard I had broken my ankle and may have some spare time on my hands, she asked if I would create some burlap products to include in her holiday sales.

  After purusing the internet for inspiration, I headed to the thrift store for supplies.  I was lucky to find canning jars and some vintage lace.  I paired those items with the burlap sacks I sewed myself, thank you very much, some 18 gauge wire and voila!

These little {vases} can be hung on a cupboard like I did above, on a window sill, on a wall and filled with winter greens or fragrant herbs {like the rosemary in mine}.

If you are in Minnesota, Jane's December sale begins this Thursday!  Check out her blog for details!


Always about this time of year I find my mind dreaming of house projects, mostly changes and tweaks I want to make in the new year.    Perhaps it's the weather and the amount of time spent indoors?  Whatever it is, this year I find myself craving more color in my home.  I am not talking crazy color, like a red sofa or anything.  More like a move beyond the linen, tone-on-tone that we have seen everywhere FoR. So. lOnG.

I declare Ikat my new "go to" fabric!

 Ikat is graphic.

 Ikat has perfectly muted color variations that provide just the right amount of color in an otherwise neutral palette.

Ikat, the cure to my winter blues!  Is that too much to ask from a fabric?

All fabric swatches were found on a recently discovered online fabric source!

Hope everyone had a wonderul Thanksgiving holiday.  We were at home and enjoyed a yummy meal with some friends in our cottage.  And today, four weeks after breaking my ankle, I was able to get my "ate too much pie" self on an eliptical trainer and actually worked out a bit - a small step towards feeling "normal".

Thanks for visiting my Forever* Cottage, come back later this week....I have a great giveaway planned!


photo from Country Living

Lord be with us on this day of thanksgiving
help us make the most of this life we are living
As we are about to partake of this boutiful meal
Let us not forget the needy and the hunger they feel
Help us to show compassion in all that we do
And for all our many blessings we say thank you

~Helen Latham

Among my many blessings, I count all of you.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Remember my "bah humbug" post from last week?  I failed to mention that in addition to receiving Christmas cards, I really like the process of creating our family's card. 

When I learned that Shutterfly, my go-to source for our family's Christmas card {for at least the last five years}, was giving 50 free cards to bloggers who posted about Shutterfly I said, "shut the front door, where do I sign up!?" Cause the one thing that I have discovered since living in Minnesota is that everyone sends holiday cards to even your next door neighbor!  So my ordering numbers have gone way up since moving here and 50 free cards would certainly help my bottom line, thank you very much.

So dear friends and is a look at the fabulous Shutterfly card you will be receiving from us!  I went with the picture jumble this year - and just the kids.  I go back and forth, sometimes the whole family, sometimes just the kids.  This year is a just the kids kind of year.

And I am not lying when I say, I am a very good Shutterfly customer.  I order photo books from the site and last year ordered calendars for auntie's and grandma's for Christmas gifts!  I am a former scrapbooker and when the guilt of not continuing became overwhelming, Shutterfly's photo books saved me! 

I found that this year Shutterfly has something for everyone! Go check them out!

~ Giveaway Alerts!

Head on over to my friend's Joe and Jermonne's Barn House blog to enter a super Barn House Marketplace giveaway!

Then head over to my friend Ki Nassauer's Junk Camp blog and enter for a chance to win $100 in her Junk Revolution store!
Have a great weekend!

holiday compartments~

Generally, I have discovered that I tend to compartmentalize in my life...finishing one thing before moving on to something else...and I tend to do this naturally and sometimes it works and sometimes it completely backfires and I am left unprepared for something because I have been so busy tending to other tasks....{like that run-on sentence?}....

As for the holidays, my crazy compartmentalizing habit serves me well.

Our Christmas tree does not go up until December {sometimes even the - gasp! - second week of December}.  I happen to love Thanksgiving and I think it deserves our attention - pausing and giving thanks for our many blessings, enjoying a meal with family and friends gathered together and just being, at home.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but not for the reasons that our insane retail driven society wants me to.  I love it for:
  • baking with my girls
  • advent calendars
  • advent candles at church
  • Sunday school Christmas programs
  • Visiting Santa
  • Watching A Christmas Story as a family {also Elf, The Grinch and The Peanuts}
  • Getting Christmas cards from friends and family near and far
  • Christmas music
  • Spending time with family
  • Reading Twas the Night Before Christmas to my girls before bedtime
  • Candy canes in our hot chocolate
The rest of the holiday activities - decorating, shopping, etc...seem like one big chore for me {insert a bah humbug here?}.

How about you?  Is your tree or trees up already?  Am I missing something? 

Forever*Cottage Tag Sale....

Welcome to my tag sale! 

My broken ankle, while incredibly inconvenient, provided me alot of time in my home and I vowed to be productive {can't say that I was entirely successful at that - unless you count  watching Nate Berkus and the Real Housewives count as "productivity"}.  But I did manage to cleane out closets and purge unwanted items.  I thought  some items were just too good to turnover to Goodwill so I saved them for YOU. 

I am offering the following items for sale.....for a song!  They are offered on a first come, first served basis.  Payment will be accepted through Paypal and standard shipping rates will be added.  If you would like a specific item, just leave me a comment!  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

{the immensely popular} "Nest" pillow from Pottery Barn Spring 2010
$25 ~sold!
Anthropologie Letter "E" on stand
Anthropologie letter "M" on stand
$10 Sold!
Pottery Barn King Sized duvet, popular {and Layla from the Lettered Cottage's favorite} 'Medici' pattern
$50{originally purchased new from eBay and did not work in the room}Sold!

Anthropologie letter "O" on stand
Set of two Pottery Barn white 20x20 pillow shams (does not include the pillows, just the shams)
$30 for both
Happy Shopping!

~ found

 at Michael's.......
in the dollar bins {do the happy dance}......

p.s. - it snowed this weekend....and still hasn't melted.....winter has officially begun.....NOT too happy about that fact.  Must make hot cocoa in my stylish new mugs....

{what i'm collecting now}

I may be late to this party but, I am loving the silver and silverplated pieces I have purchased recently.  You can use the small footed bowls for holding lavendar, sea shells, jewelry or whatever your little heart desires.  In my humble opinion, anything looks better in a little silver bowl!

My ironstone and brown transferware collections are a great compliment to the silver, if I may so myself.  I even like the silver in it's imperfectly, perfect unpolished pantina!

What new collections are finding their way into your home these days?

An Ideas House to Inspire Your Own Holiday Home

I had a serious case of cabin fever last week after breaking my ankle and literally being forced to stay home and take it easy. In addition to not recommending breaking one's ankle for all the obvious reasons, sitting so long in ones own home can also be harmful, especially to those of us with a serious case of design ADD....oh, the plans I hatched while sitting on my couch!

Anyway.....I had planned {before breaking the ankle} to meet my friend Ki Nassauer for lunch and a little preview of the Bachman's Holiday Ideas House. I was NOT going to miss it, so my driver {oh, you didn't know I have a driver} also known as my husband made sure I got some fresh air and some fresh inspiration.

For those of you who may not know that in addition to being the Editor of Flea Market Style magazine, Ki Nassauer has also been consulting with Minneapolis based floral/home and gift retailer Bachman's. Bachman's has spent the last year adding wonderful vintage products in their retail fun!

On the Minneapolis Bachman's property sits a wonderful craftsman style home that has been transformed each season into an Ideas House complete with tons of vintage items and inspiring project ideas.

The picture above was taken in the totally tricked out craft/wrapping room. One wall is a plexiglass calendar backed with scrapbook paper and perfectly suited for writing on and then voila! erasing!

I loved, loved, loved the stack of old books shaped just like a.......Christmas tree!

A picture of the craft/wrapping room!!!

Presents wrapped and under the tree, in a vintage sled, no less!

A gorgeous mantel featuring a vintage window box! Love it!

Another use for Scrabble tiles!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sitting in reverie....

"Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind" ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Fate and dumb luck have forced me to "sit in reverie", which more accurately could be described as .....sitting on the couch with my ankle elevated and on ice, daydreaming and watching Nate Berkus.

And while on many days I have wished for the opportunity to just sit and be still, it has been challenging for me to slow down and rely on my family to do all the things I typically handle here at our cottage.

I have found myself doing alot of daydreaming the last four days.....

Of how I can be a better "me" - and just where I want my creative goals to take me.....

Of how I am really craving color in my neutral house these days.....

Of how I can't wait to be able to lace these puppies up once again......{and oh, how I will need to by then}.....

Of how I have always wanted one of these.....and maybe it's time to "just do it".....

Of family vacations to the beach........

Of how our recent elections confirmed that ultimately Americans value our freedom and our liberty.

What have you been daydreaming about lately?


how i got out of trick o' treating.....{don't try this at home}

It was an interesting Halloween....and definitely did not go as planned.

Just in case you are wondering, yes, that's my foot {in bad need of a pedi}. I took quite a spill on Saturday night in the dark front yard of a friend while picking up my daughter at a birthday party. I knew immediately that I had done something serious. An emergency room x-ray Halloween morning confirmed a fractured ankle.

The last 48 hours have been interesting. Afterall, I am a mom with a very needy family who relies on me to cook, clean, do laundry and provide taxi service to activities. I can't do any of it! Life certainly has a funny way of teaching you, perhaps I am to slow down a bit and my family will learn just how much I really do! Wish us all luck! {and lots of patience}....

Fortunately, my bad foot did not stop my girlies from heading out for trick o' treating. My little girl went as a girl from the 50's. The entire costume {with the exception of her cat-eye glasses} came from the thrift store! I found the skirt last year. It was made so well that I had to buy it and hope that she would wear it this year.

My big girl is 12. Those of you with kids of that age {particularly girls} will "get" this costume. I have learned that at this age, the costume must not embarrass, have a "cool" factor and preferably also be worn by your best friend. This is my big girl and her best friend - I can't really tell you what they are dressed as.....they are 12....that's the only explanation I have.

Have a great week everyone!

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