Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Hello!   I've had these old K & Co vintage tags for awhile and I needed an anniversary card for a couple in my church, so I decided to put them to good use!  I used designer paper from my stash that coordinated with the tag.  Three paper dots were added for embellishment.
The adore sentiment came with the tag,  the other sentiment is a stamp.
Have a great day!  Amy

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fashion Over Fifty: Vintage, Country Style

Hello!  Can someone who IS vintage wear vintage?  LOL!  Just kidding.  I found this dress on clearance over a year ago at Charming Charlies.  It hung isolated and alone in my closet begging to be worn through four seasons.   I gave it some attention.  Occasionally I would pull it out and try it on with various items, but  I always struggled with the nude color against my skin tone, and also the sheerness of the fabric.  It is also short and sleeveless:  two big no-no's for a vintage woman like myself.  But, I felt guilty that I had this never worn dress just hanging out in my closet, even though I only paid $20.00 for it.  So I tried it on with jackets, and tights, and boots, and well, just about everything you could imagine, and I just wasn't happy with any of it.   Finally I decided that instead of going against the grain and trying to make it trendy, I would go with the grain and keep it old fashioned.  I added more neutrals and 'granny accessories', and you know what?  I liked it.  It turned out pretty good.  I didn't feel the vintage look aged me, but actually kinda made me look cute and playful.  And it was comfortable to wear too!  
 To keep me warm, and hide the sleeveless top, I wore a boyfriend cardigan by a.n,a  purchased from J.C. Penney (sold out, but here is a similar option).  I put a bra cami underneath since it is sheer and more low cut than I am comfortable with.  I put a belt around my waist to cover up the elastic and added a simple beaded necklace for jewelry.  On my feet, I wore my granny shoes!

 I bought this dress because I loved the pattern.  Isn't it lovely?
 My granny loafers are from Famous Footwear (sold out).  I love the unique stitching and the lace inlet on these shoes.  They also came with two different types of shoelaces:  the ribbon shoe lace seen below, and a traditional pair of shoelaces.
 My necklace is from Ten Thousand Villages.  It is a non profit company that sells items that artists make in third world countries to help them.

I really ended up loving my vintage, country outfit and I was happy this old dress finally got some attention.  Now I'm thinking of wearing it with tights and cowboy boots and creating a whole new look, what do you think of that?  Well, maybe not cowboy boots….I don't own a pair of those and have no plans to purchase any in the near future.  But, we'll see what else I can come up with so I can wear this dress again.

Until then, Have a Great Day!  Amy

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Colors in the Home

Hello!  Today I have a home decorating post to share with you.  I scrolled through my blog and realized that I haven't shared a Fall Decorating post in two years.  My main reason is that I don't buy new decorations every year and I pretty much decorate the same way with very little variance, so, why post the same thing every year?  However, I do change my decorations slightly, and, I have a lot of new followers through Bloglovin who have probably never seen a post from two years ago, so, I'm back with another Fall Decor post!  If you'd like to see the post I did two years ago and see if you can notice any changes, you can read it HERE.

As most of you already know, Fall is my second least favorite season.   Only Winter trumps Fall for my displeasure.  I always see it as such a sad time of the year, when everything is starting to decay and die, and then there is that awful chill in the air that I just can't stand.  But, with every cloud, there is always a silver lining, and that is the fall color.   I just wish the color part of Fall wasn't so brief only to be followed by months of endless grey and drab.  

My house is the perfect home to decorate for fall or Christmas, as the earthy, Tuscan colors harmonize with it beautifully.  Decorating for Spring on the other hand, with all it's pastel and pretty colors, can be a true challenge.

I love to bring these outside colors into my home by using artificial fall garlands, flowers, and berries.  I    cover all the major tables and surfaces in each room with these arrangements.   The picture below shows the top of a hutch in my dining room.  I added a antique fall plate as my main focal point, a tan candle for some warmth, a little bit of a harvest gold napkin peeks out to add some softness, and a wheat arrangement in the back provides a little more height to an otherwise flat decor.
 For the most part, I try to decorate around the existing items in the room, like the picture of Jesus below.  I'm not Catholic, but my father was.  This picture hung in his living room for most of my children's lives.  Every time they went over to Grandpa's house, they camped out in the living room and he would turn the night light on in the picture before they went sleep (it's hidden under the top gold part of the frame).  They've always connected this picture to the warmth, security, and love of their grandpa and his house, so when he passed, this was the one item I asked if we could have.  And it has sat on top of this hutch ever since.  Because this picture has so much meaning to us, I decorated around it with fall flowers.  They are actually just two floral bushes.  I simply tucked the stems behind the picture.
 I have a plate rail that goes all the way around the dining room.  I have collected hundreds of antique and holiday plates over the years, and I change them out with the seasons.  Would you believe I picked up the entire collection of these harvest gold wheat plates for only $10.00!  It was one of my life time buyer's achievements!

I know it's an odd place for a piano, but we have our piano in the dining room.  As soon as one of my children buys a house, it will be going to them as neither I nor my husband play.  It actually was the perfect place to have a piano when the children were small as they were always in sight when I was in the kitchen or living room;   however, it did prove difficult to watch t.v., if someone was playing the piano at the same time.
 I have an old lamp, and several old pictures of our home in the late 1900's sitting on top of the piano.  I just strung some garland around the lamp and pictures, and put a pumpkin floral arrangement at the end.  The lamp and the various heights of the picture frames keep the display from looking to flat.
 The 'Blessings' plate on the right I found at Walmart a couple of years ago.  It is an example of how I love to mix inexpensive, modern items with antique ones.

Below you can see a far away shot of the hutch in the dining room.  The same collection of harvest gold antique plates echoes the one on top of the hutch, tying everything together.

Because I don't like to clear the dining room table just to eat or work, I try to keep as little on it as possible.  Most of the year a clear vase of sand and shells from our Pensacola Beach vacation sits in the middle of this table, but this time of the year it is this candle arrangement.

 Do you remember THIS POST where I talked about preserving memories and how I loved to clutter my home with my pictures of my family?   Well here is one example:  I have a variety of my favorite pictures of my 'us' staggered all over the top of my t.v. stand.  I put books underneath the pictures to raise some up, and then I wove leafy branches and white sunflowers around the frames.
 This is my favorite picture of my son.  It was taken at Pensacola Beach last Christmas.  I just think he looks so handsome in this picture, and I love the smile on his face.  The picture behind him is of all three of my kids and it is my favorite group shot of them.  I always tell the kids that it is a picture that looks like it belongs on a record album.  They setting is very 'cool' (do they even say that anymore?), and all three of them look really hip.
 This is my son's high school graduation picture.  I wanted a picture that truly showed who my son was so we had his picture taken with his drum set because music has been such a huge part of his life.

 Here's a better view of the group shot of my kids that I talked about above:
 There is a small round table at the base of my staircase that I have a picture of my daughter on, a candle, and a vase with filled seasonal flowers.  I chose very muted tan, vanilla, green tones for the foliage in this room because of the blue/green/tan colors in the room.
 In front of the clock on a side table, I place another candle with a fall candle ring.

 My husband built this plate rail wall hanging for me when he renovated our kitchen.  It is one of my favorite pieces in our home.

 There is a very small guest bathroom off the kitchen.  I always put my fancy towels in here, because I know they will never get ruined by being used.  LOL!  I like to change these towels out with the seasons.
 For the office, the shelves have become more cluttered with books than they were two years ago (as they should), so I only added a fall swag to the bottom of a photo collage that my daughter Ashley made for me.   Check out my Preserving Memories post (the link is mentioned above) if you want to read more about it.

 In my entry way is an old phonograph player.  I have this unique lamp sitting on it, and I added a ceramic jack-o-lantern and some fall garland around it's base.
 This Italian vase is the first thing you would see if you stepped inside my entry.  It sits here all year, and it is usually empty, but this year I filled it with some pretty fall flowers.
 And I scattered more fall garland across the entry table, along with another ceramic pumpkin and a tiny rock that says 'Welcome'.
 A sunflower door swag hangs on my entry way door.
 In the family room you will find family photos scattered on every end table and in my entertainment center.  I added this cute little fall arrangement to each table.
 On the top of my entertainment center I placed a hinged window that spells out FALL and strung garland and sunflowers around it.
 This is the centerpiece of the coffee table in the family room.

 I bought this grass years ago at a craft fair.  I can't believe how long it has last.  This grass grows like a weed in my area, and you can find it growing along the roads.  I probably could have cut down some for free in a field, but it was a lot less work to just buy it!  I leave this up all year, except at Christmas time I have to move it as our tree goes in that corner.
 This is a close up of the other side of the entertainment center garland.  This end is anchored with a trio of burgundy candles.
 Many of these candles are part of the decor of my home all year long.  I just add a little flower arrangement to their side.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at the beautiful colors of fall in my home.  Check out my post from two years ago if you would like to see more far away shots of these rooms.

So what about you?  Do you decorate for Fall or any of the seasons?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day!  Amy

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Let's Party!

Hello!  Are you ready to party?  If you are, I have a fun birthday card to share with you today.  I used a retired Stampin Up! Christmas Stamp  "Crazy for Christmas", to make my card.  I simply turned the Christmas presents into birthday presents!  Using a stamping guide, I stamped the image multiple times and then colored them in with pastel markers.  I then stamped a dollar stamp sentiment onto vellum and glued just the edges to the present panel.  Using Nestabilities, I cut out a large Kraft frame to hide the glue.  I finished the card off with some pastel embellies, but it would have been fun to put some confetti in-between the layers too.  Maybe next time.
 Because of the vellum, it was a hard card to photograph so here are a couple of different angles for you to get a better idea of how it was constructed.

Have a great day!  Amy

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fashion Over Fifty: Kimonos

Hello!  So what do you all think of Kimonos?  I have to admit, I'm on the fence about them.  I finally broke down and bought one, wore it a couple of times, but I'm still not sure if I like them.  When I first started seeing them this spring, my initial thought was "Kimonos are notoriously known as something old ladies wear.  I know all the 'young people' are wearing them now, but will they just make an older person look even older?"  I just couldn't get past the old lady look and kept picturing myself in an episode of 'The Golden Girls' walking around my house in a kimono and high heels. (Yeah, like I ever dress like that at home!  More like yoga pants and a sweatshirt!)   But as the months grew on, and the weather started to cool, I thought, 'You know, it might just make a nice sheer cover up  to wear during these chilly mornings and nights.', so I gave in to my fears and bought one.  The first time I wore it, I styled it with shorts and went shopping.  When I came home, my twenty something son asked me why I wore a robe outside the house.  Not a good sign.  The second time I tried it with a pair of boyfriend jeans and heels.
 I wore this outfit to church when I wasn't scheduled to sing on worship team.  (This outfit also shows another trend I finally succumbed to:  boyfriend jeans and distressed denim.  More on that later.)  Comfort wise, a kimono is the perfect item to wear in the late spring or early fall when a blazer or jacket would be too much for the temperatures.  Because a kimono is very big and loose, most women wear them with shorts, or tight fitting pants so that they are not baggy from head and toe and their outfit has some kind of structure.

The kimono was purchased from Francescas.  I have found that they have the huge selection of Kimonos compared to most  retailers.  I wore my metallic tee shirt from The Gap underneath the kimono.  I played with the shirt tucked in and out, and felt my tummy flab just showed way too much tucked in, so I left it out.
 This is not a flattering pose, but I wanted you to see the back and the shape of the garment.   Look!  I have wings!
 For jewelry I found this really neat silver feather bracelet at Old Navy, and I wore a very old pendant for a necklace.
 Now for the Boyfriend Jeans.  O.k. this is another item I've been debating for awhile.  Should a 50 -something year old woman wear boyfriend jeans and/or distressed denim?    Well first of all, it depends on the amount of distressing.  Some of the distressed jeans out in the stores right now are SO distressed there is barely a thread holding them together. I'll leave those extreme distressed jeans to the young ones.   But a little distressing, like the pair I have on, are o.k. for the older fashionista like myself.   Now for the style.  I love the boyfriend style, I'm just not sure I like it on me, and it's not because of my age, but because of my shape.  I think the style looks great from the front, but from the back my butt looks non-existent.  Talk about a flat butt!  Where is it?  I'm a very top heavy woman:  the majority of my weight is from the waist up, and my bottom half is quite small.  So baggy pants, really do nothing to flatter my figure.  I bought the smallest size these pants come in, and I could still barely keep them up.  From a comfort viewpoint, they are the most comfortable jeans I have ever owned (with the exception of the constant tugging I have to do to keep them up).  I will probably wear them again, but with a blouse that covers my butt, like a long, slender tunic or something.  But for the most part, I think I will stick with my skinny jeans as they are the most flattering cut for my body type.  I bought my boyfriend jeans from J.C. Penney.
 So what do you think of these fun shoes?  I actually bought them last spring from Francescas and this is the first time I've worn them.  I love them, but the color is so different, they clash with most of my outfits.  The material is suede, and they are super comfy.
 Here is a close up of my very old necklace.  I think I've had this since my high school years.

And now, here are some pictures of some real fashionistas on Pinterest who look much better in a kimono than I do.  All of these lovely ladies paired their kimonos with shorts.
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This kimono is the one I own.  
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I love this look pictured below, and will have to try my kimono with a blue jean pencil skirt.  I don't think I've given up on wearing kimonos just yet.  I will just have to keep experimenting with it, till I find a look that is right for me.
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This model has her kimono paired with skinny jeans.  Another look I'll have to try!
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This lovely lady is one of my favorite fashion bloggers.  She found her kimono at Target of all places!  I just love her style!  She has boyfriend jeans on too, but they sure look a heck of a lot better on her than they do on me!
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What about you?  Would you ever try a kimono?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day!  Amy

Kimono | How to Wear & What to Wear With & Where to Buy