Hearts Everywhere

dining roomSaturday night my daughter fixed a wonderful dinner and invited my son and his wife over. I was a bad blogger and didn’t take pictures.  I’m still learning to use my fancy Nikon that we’ve had for several years.

heart banner

valentine - lovevalentine stripeIt was a lovely time, and I did manage to get some hearts up in the dining room.

door valentineI also put one on the closet door in the hallway.

valentine fireplacevalentine fireplace -1And a few on the fireplace.  My daughter made the pompoms.   I got the tutorial off several blogs and youtube.  Just google it and you’ll find bunches.   Now, I know that my little vignettes are not really outstanding but as I go along, hopefully they’ll get better.  I’ll try to get some pictures of the ones in my office -they’re a little better.  What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles Movie

Blazing Saddles Movie

Blazing Saddles was released in 1974, and is the most played movie on television.  Quoting from wikipedia, “Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film written and directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Al Uger, and was based on Bergman’s story and draft.[3] The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, and is ranked No. 6 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list.”

burtongulliamI can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the movie, and one of my favorite characters has always been Lyle.

Blazing Saddles Still

Blazing Saddles Still

Lyle was played by Burton Gilliam, who has had an amazing career.  For the first fourteen years of his career he was a firefighter in Dallas.  His first part was in Paper Moon.   Mel Brooks had seen him in that and thought he was perfect for the part of Lyle.  While they shot the movie, he roomed with Alex Karras, who played Mongo..

Burton Gilliam

Burton Gillaim

Today my husband and I went to the newly opened Baskins Western Wear in Katy, Texas to buy a birthday present for him.  We were so surprised when we walked in and saw Burton Gilliam there.

Blazing Saddles SceneHe is genuinely the nicest, happiest man.  He truly loved meeting everyone.   He took the time to talk to every single person who stopped, and happily posed for pictures.   He was glad to talk about his career and said over and over what a great time he had.  He was truly a pleasure to meet.

Celebrating a Year of Volunteering

Don’t you just hate it when you get a post all done and it disappears?  That’s what happened with this one – twice!!!  Oh well, I’ll try again.  In our home outside of West Houston, we live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association.  Our’s is different in that it is all volunteers from our neighborhood.  My husband is Vice President and I’m security director.   Once a year, we all go out and celebrate by having a nice meal together.  This year we went to Atami, which is similar to Beni Hana.chef at Atami

The chef did all kinds of intricate moves with his utensils as he cooked and of course, no meal would be complete without a flame.flame

I had steak and shrimp -they were delicious and there was plenty to take home for another meal.meal

My husband and one other board member have birthdays in January so we had several desserts there.  Charles choose the fruit-topped cheesecake.fruit topped cheesecake

It was a relaxing, enjoyable evening.

On a completely unrelated note, my daughter made me this really cool, french-inspired clock for Christmas.  It’s hanging on the wall in my officeKaty's clock.

The Dining Room

As I surf the web I always enjoy “looking” into other people’s homes.   I thought I’d share one of my favorite rooms with you, from our house in West Houston  – the dining room.  It’s a long, narrow room that you see right as you come in the front door.

The table came from a garage sale – I think I paid $25 for it several years ago.  The chairs came from a shop on the internet and I probably paid too much for them, but I love them.  The Victorian dollhouse you see in the corner was built from a kit.  Charles, Katy and I worked on it for months.  It’s fully furnished and has electric lights that work.  Right next to it is an antique secretary that we bought at a garage sale.  It was in pieces and Charles had to put it back together. (That’s a wedding gift for our son and his wife on the table)

dining room

Down this side you can see the pink, French Provincial chair  scored on Craig’s List, as well as the rooster lamp on the buffet.  I love that lamp – I’ve had it for years.  I think I originally bought it at Home Goods.

left side of dining room

Down the other side, you get a better view of the buffet and mirror, both from IKEA.  The baskets in the buffet are from Target.  The chandelier is really bright in the mirror.  It’s a gloomy, dark day and I had to have the lights on to take pictures.  Charles, my husband, bought the chandelier for me at a resale shop in Katy, TX, several years ago.  It’s one of my favorite pieces.right side of dining room

This is an antique Monk’s Bench.   The top  lifts up and it morphs from a side table to a bench.  Under the seat is storage.  The monks used to enter the monastery after being outside and they would sit on the bench and remove their shoes.  Then they would store them inside and lower the lid so it became a side table again.  The bouquet on the table is my daughter, Katy’s, from her role as maid of honor in her brother’s wedding.  The  tole tray on the wall came from England, on one of my husband’s trips over there for work.monk's bench

Over here you can see my wall sconces.  I found those on eBay and my son bought them for my birthday a few years ago.  I still love them!wall sconce

I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  It’s a dark, gloomy day and I was using my cell phone to snap the pictures.

Feathers in the wind

Almost all of my pillows are feather pillows.  I love how soft and squishy they are.  Lest you think I have lots of money, I get them at IKEA for about $8 each.  Sometimes I design the cover myself and sometimes I copy what’s out there.  Most of my images come from Karen at The Graphics Fairy.

This one is a copy of several I’ve seen out on the web.

french pillow

french pillow

IMAG0687This one is my own design, using a monogram font.

Both of these are made with the simple iron-on transfer paper for fabric.  I make them in  a graphics program – Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw – print them and iron them on.  I always iron them on before I sew them.  That way if there is some mistake I haven’t wasted all that time sewing.   The stripes are painted on with regular craft paint that I added fabric medium to.  The fabric is simply drop cloths from Lowe’s that I’ve washed several times with a little bit of bleach.

Posted in DIY

The Wedding

When I first saw my future daughter-in-law in her bridal gown on the day of the wedding, I cried.  She looked so beautiful, so ready to be married to my only son.   And we were so ready for her to be part of our family.  I don’t really have any wedding pictures yet as we were too busy taking part in everything to stop and take pictures.

IMAG0659This is Nikkii’s wedding cake.  Her colors were black and white with deep red accents.

Groom's Cake

Groom’s Cake

And this is Kaleb’s cake.

Bridal Party

Bridal party

Here’s a picture of the bridal party snapped with Charles’ cell phone.  As soon as we have the other pictures, I’ll post them.

Katy's Hair

Katy’s Hair

My daughter was maid of honor.  We had her hair done that morning.  Here’s a view of the back.

Wedding Rehearsal Day

Yesterday was a long, crazy day, getting everything ready for the wedding

Nikki going crazy

Nikki going crazy

Nikki had so many details to keep track of.

Nikki checking details

Nikki checking details

.Nikki’s mother, Gwen, on the far right, with the help of relatives, worked non-stop getting things ready

Gwen and family

Gwen, on the far right, getting things ready,


But as we began the rehearsal, everyone got in the swing of things.

Ray escorting his daughter, Nikki

Ray escorting his daughter, Nikki

My children are ready – especially the groom and the maid of honor.

Kaleb and his sister, Kathryn

Kaleb and his sister, Kathryn

And we’re ready – ready for my son to start his new life and ready to welcome our beautiful new daughter-in-law, Nicole, to the family.

Charles, Susan, Kathryn, Kaleb

Charles, Susan, Kathryn, Kaleb