Hello everyone. Time for the Kim Klassen texture giveaway! It's my birthday today so I thought it would be fun to give away a gift today. It will be a day of relaxing and hanging out with some old friends who are coming to town for a visit. That will be lots of fun. My boys will be going back to Atlanta tomorrow. Soon the house will be quiet again. That can be both good and bad.

On to the winners! I hope you both enjoy playing around with your new textures. I think you'll find them quite addicting.

The first winner is Maya of Completely Coastal.

The second winner of the Ben collection of textures is Michelle of Shell's Shabby Shack.
Congrats to you both!!
I will email both of you with the information you need to download your textures. Have fun :)

see ya later,


Giveaway Reminder

Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays. I know I am. One more week left for us here. I am playing with my new camera Santa brought me. Lots to learn. I will have more time next week when it's quiet once again. I don't plan on cooking again for about a month!

I just wanted to remind you this is the last day for the Kim Klassen texture collection giveaway. You just need to leave a comment on the giveaway post to enter. You can click here. I will pick a winner tomorrow.

Henry after using two textures from the Ben collection. Lots of fun to play around with and get different looks.

see ya later,


Merry Christmas!


And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
~Dr. Seuss~


We can all learn a thing or two from Dr. Seuss.
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas in your own little Whoville!

Don't forget my giveaway on the previous post :)

see ya later,


Giveaway Time!

Christmas is almost here. Are you ready? Are you excited? How about a little gift for yourself? I think we should have a giveaway!  I've been lucky to win a few of my own lately. So I think it's time to give back and let you all have some fun.

I was introduced to Kim of Kim Klassen Cafe when I took her Skinny Mini course. Which was free by the way. She was a miracle worker in helping me understand photoshop. If you are in need of some help with photoshop or if you have a love of textures you should check out all of the courses she has to offer. You can find them listed under her header.

Speaking of textures. Kim has put together a new collection of 7 of her wonderful textures. It is called the Benjamin Collection. I am giving away two sets of these beautiful textures to two of you! Something to play with over the holidays. I know Santa might be bringing some of you a new camera. These would be a great creative addition too all of your new pictures. Textures like these can help you achieve the soft, time worn shots like you see here. Of course Kim is an amazing photographer too so that does help! The Benjamin Collection includes seven - 12" x 12 " 300 dpi hand painted textures. Here is what they will look like.

Gorgeous aren't they? Why are they called the Benjamin Collection you are wondering? Well, they are named after this little guy. This handsome guy is Kim's dog Ben. Say hi to Ben! Isn't he cute?


 He even has his own page over at the Cafe. He is quite the popular guy. We all love seeing his sweet little face. But a horrible thing happened last Saturday. Ben was hit by a truck. He will be going into surgery tomorrow. If you are a pet lover then you know just how costly surgery can be. So Kim put this collection together to help Ben. Ben was the ray of sunshine that helped Kim get through her sadness when she lost her beloved beagle Andy. I know how hard it is to see your pets in so much pain and you want nothing more then to take it all away. They are part of the family.

I hope you will stop by and leave Kim a word of encouragement. I know this must be a stressful time for their family. The more well wishes the better. And if you can't wait for the giveaway you can go here and purchase the collection. You can also read an update on how Ben is doing.

 click here to go to Ben's page

Thank you all so very much. I truly appreciate each one of you and all the time you take to leave your wonderful comments. It's nice to know people are reading.

If you'd like to enter the giveaway then just leave a comment here on this post. Please leave your email address if it's not on your profile so I can get a hold of you. I'll end it on the night of the 29th. Two winners will be randomly chosen and announced on Dec 30, my birthday. My gift to you!

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season. I know it's a hectic time. Stop, take a breath or two and remember....it's okay if everything on your to do list doesn't get done. I'm trying to convince myself. Can you tell? Besides, after a couple of glasses of wine everything will look great! ;)

An Update From Kim on Ben!

Dearest Friends......

I have no words to express my deepest gratitude.  Please accept our most sincere 
thanks for the love and support. My family and I are completely overwhelmed.

You know the saying it takes a village to raise a child?  well... it seems....it 
takes a blogosphere to raise a pup....  'sigh'

truly speechless.... truly grateful!

My connection is poor in our hotel. 

But I wanted to let you know that Mr. Ben... Benjamine, Benji Boy, Bennigan, 
Gentle Ben....made it through the surgery.  The fracture was severe and the vet 
was unable to make a 'perfect' correction.... But he is confident with lots of 
TLC ....  at least 8 weeks....  Ben will be up and running again...

I expect a long road ahead.... he can not put any weight on his back end....so 
it will be a lot of lifting, carrying supporting....etc....  I better get doing 
some pilates.... or my back will be toast.... 

If you have any suggestions to make the whole lifting/assisting thing easier.... 
pretty please send them my way....

Who woulda thunk......  just a few months ago.... we didn't even know Mr. 
Ben....  and here we are today .... 

Before I sign off....I just have to say.... I know that there are many of you 
going through so much more than this...... I am so sorry .....truly, deeply 

I promise I willl put all of this amazing love back out into the universe.....  
with all my heart....

love to all.... talk soon.... xxo, Kim

see ya later,


A Thank You and More Burlap

Look what Santa brought me! Okay, it wasn't from Santa. And my mail lady brought it. But it was like an early Christmas gift. A couple of weeks ago I won a giveaway from Freckled Laundry. I was just thrilled! So when it arrived on my doorstep I was so excited. I wish you could have smelled the package. Even before the box was opened the heavenly scent of lavender was filling the air. I'm sure the mail lady just wanted to take a nap after carrying that around with her all day. Jami was overly generous with her giveaway. She is just the sweetest blogger ever. If you haven't ever visited her blog you really should take the time. She also has her new Vintage Market set up. You'll just have to stop by there and see what that is all about.

I received a lavender filled pillow made out of vintage french fabric and a smaller sachet with natural stripes and filled with lavender too. They both came from Maria at Dreamy Whites

I also got a huge square of lavender soap which came from Ruth at The Beautiful Life. Oh the scent is amazing! 

Also, a little bling made out of a vintage key and a charm that reads,"Amour." Really sweet. That came from Debra at Common Ground.

And, (I know, there's more), a sheet music wreath ornament made by Marian at Miss Mustard Seed. I loved the size of it and I new right away where I could put it.

I had already painted this frame white couple of weeks ago. It looks like wood but it's not, it's just plastic. I never got around to glazing it but I didn't want to wait. So, here's what I did. I can always glaze later.

I took the lovely artwork that was originally in the frame and wrapped it in burlap. I had some on the kitchen table that I had used on our huge Thanksgiving table. Yes, I know that was over a month ago.

 So I cut a piece off so fast that I didn't check on how it looked. It has a worn and aged look which is good. Then I just....

used some duck tape to secure it to the back. Classy I know.

I had a small upholstery tack that I poked through and secured the back with one of those lapel pin dohickies. I'm sure it has a name. Or you can use a piece of cork. Something to keep in it place. And that's it. Took all of about 10 minutes. I love it! I love it all. And the lavender pillow is right next to my computer so it is helping me keep calm throughout this stressful and busy week! Thank you so much Jami!

What are you all doing to stay sane this week? Or have you thrown in the towel already?

Blogger is acting up so I'm hoping this post will turn out correct. The font seems to be wacky.

 linking up with 
Funky Junk Interiors SNS: Burlap

see ya later,


The Magic of Giving

Children and dogs are naturally givers.
Givers from the heart.
They want nothing more than to please those that they love. 
They will gladly share whatever it is that they have to give. 
No matter how little it may be. 
A ratty old bone or a sweet holiday treat, even if it's their last one.
They have no expectations.
A warm hug or a scratch behind the ear is what makes them happy. 
Isn't this what giving should be? 
To give when love truly guides you. 
When you expect no gift in return. 
When the simple act of giving is all you need.
When the smile on that person's face warms your heart. 
That, in and of itself, is a gift.
That is the magic of giving.

my great nephew and his furry friend
photo taken by my son

I'm joining the Mortal Muses.
There is always so much creativity and inspiration over there.
today's prompt: Giving
tomorrow: Lights
18 Days of Holiday Prompts and Daily Giveaways
December 15th - January 1st

see ya later,


Wintery Welcome

Old man winter has arrived. In Florida where we are usually in flip flops and shorts we have been in sweaters, scarves and gloves. I know what you are thinking, you wimpy southern girl. But it will be 25 degrees tonight and it was colder then that over the weekend. In my post showing my mantel there was a bucket of logs all nicely staged on my hearth with some greens and a huge pine cone. Gone. Hubby promptly threw them in the fireplace when he got home from work.  A duraflame log doesn't look quite as pretty in the bucket.

I have a stack of baskets and right now they are holding pool towels. We won't be needing them anytime soon. But the top one I opened up and filled with my Christmas books, a wool blanket and a small pillow. 

I love my curly willow. I added some icy looking twigs to the bunch. Then stuck some greens inside the lamp. Which needs a bit of adjusting.

My old box got filled with an assortment of candles. There are really only 3 sizes. Here's a tip: use cans to change the height of the candles. One is on a real candle holder but some of the others are on tuna and water chestnuts. The greens hide the cans.

I have a storm door so I needed something rather flat to work between the two doors. This fit the bill. More greens, a red bow and a sparkly reindeer.

I pooped out when it came to my front porch and didn't really do much. Little Gourdman got put outside and my twig sign was put up in place of the iron scrolly thing.

My tree is sill naked. Well, it has lights. I suggested we decorate it tonight and son #3 said he wanted to wait for his brothers because it was a family thing to do it all together. Sweet I know. Need a tissue?  Don't let him fool you with his touching tale. He just didn't want to be stuck doing it. I've got news for him. Son #1 isn't getting here until Christmas eve and we aren't waiting until then. I'll keep out a few of their own ornaments and they can put them on when they get here. I think that sounds like a plan don't you?

Linking up with :
No Minimalist Here Share the Decor

see ya later,


Christmas Mantel

We had some sunshine today so I could take some pictures of my mantel. I know I'm a little slow. I tried to decorate more wintry since I like to keep it up until after the new year. I am not the person who rips down the tree the day after opening gifts.

I have these two curved mirror that have been sitting in my closet. I remember grabbing them on the last day at an antique market.  It was one of those "I have to get one more thing" moments. So, I paired them up with my old window and hung my little starfish up. Almost like a coastal snow flake.

The greens were plopped in my champagne bucket along with some pine cones that I found out back still on the branches. I just tipped them with some with paint to match the ones on the wreath.

It seems blogger is feeling a bit fussy tonight and not letting me upload any of my other pictures. So, I will have to leave you with just this for now. Have no fear, I will try again in the morning. Hopefully I will have better luck tomorrow.

see ya later,


Thank You Grace!

I got a surprise in the mail the other day. I won this wonderful magazine a few weeks ago from Grace over at Sense and Simplicity. I had forgotten all about it. What a treat to receive it instead of all the junk mail that usually clutters my box.

I'll be spending the evening browsing through all of these beautiful pages.  Thanks so much Grace. I am such a magazineaholic and I just love it. If you haven't been over to Grace's blog you should stop by and visit. Lots of wonderful inspiration over there. Lots of beautiful photographs too.

She is planning a trip with her friend Kim to go to Bangladesh this summer. They are both Speech-Language Pathologists and are going over there to teach in a Speech Therapy program.  She is selling some of her wonderful photographs to help raise money for their trip. She has a button on her sidebar that shows all of her wonderful pictures. I'll have it on my sidebar as well. I hope you will take a few minutes and check it all out.

I will leave you with some wonderful shots of my new magazine.

Look at that tree!

see ya later,


It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

The tree is up and it's feeling and smelling more like Christmas now. I've been working on inserting tree clippings them here and there. I'll let you know when the tree is all dressed. It's still naked right now. Spreading it's branches and drinking up lots of water. Here's a peek at the mantel. I'll be back with more pictures when I clean up my mess. I hope the sun comes out tomorrow.

Also, today is son #2's birthday. He is 22.  Holy moly. That went by so darn fast. He is in college in Atlanta so we can't spend the day with him. But he will be home shortly after his exams are over. 
We were living in Arkansas when my middle son was born. I had miscarried right before getting pregnant with him so I was a bit anxious throughout the pregnancy. I had so not wanted a December baby since I am one and always hated that my birthday blended in with Christmas. But that's just the way it worked out.

 why can't we dress them up like that anymore?

 I remember going into labor late on the 10th and feared it was going to be a long sleepless night. Which it was. I had an epidural but it did not take. There were lots of colorful words flying around. It's all a big blur. 

One thing that stuck in my mind was when we got back to my room we looked outside and saw that it had snowed. It was so beautiful. We had a new member to our little family. A blanket of fresh white snow. It was a great Christmas that year.

see ya later,


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