I'm still not sure how it got here so fast, but I am desperately looking forward to February, with all of it's winter crispness, and ever-so-slightly growing longer days. With Valentine's day coming up in two weeks, and lots more birthdays to celebrate in my no-longer-so-little family, I for one, am ready!
I am beyond weary of all the not-so-civil-at-all online war going on, and the unimaginable hate and ugliness on every. single. news. edition I see a glimpse of.
Please, let's all be kinder to one another in this shortest, sweetest month of the year.
As I said in my last post, I am going to be adding a birthday section to one spot in my booth space at Camas Antiques, as well as in my etsy shop, and therefore, I happen to have accumulated several little animals that I plan to foofy up. Last night I took a peek into my collection, and chose this little giraffe.
A tutu didn't seem to hang well on her, and so she ended up with a foofy collar of sorts. Truth be told, I like her just as well, if not a teensy bit better than the little hippo, and she most certainly is not scary by any definition of the term.
I sent my both of my daughters some pictures of the newest party animal. The auntie, who was not so much a fan of Miss Hippo, liked the giraffe, and Natalie's Mommy still like the hippo.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and that's what makes the world go round. I'll be showing Natalie's Mommy the animals in person before the party, and she can decide for sure which cake topper is going to grace the top of the cake. The remaining one will arrive in my booth, ready to party somewhere else.
Maybe it's because I have been so busy, or because I am a little...ehem...older, but the days leading up to this Christmas (and Thanksgiving, for that matter.) flew right on by. We're enjoying the lights twinkling on the incredibly dried out Douglas fir tree in the corner of the living room, and I am debating whether or not to take down all of my Christmas decorations today (as I usually do...) or leave it all decked out through New Years.
One of my best gal-pals is coming up next weekend to ring in the new year with us, and I always feel like my cottage looks so bare when I put away the Christmas decorations, you know? Still, I am leaning that way. Otherwise I will risk being one of those folks with their Christmas stuff still up at the end of January, because I will be back at work.
I think I just talked myself into putting things away today.
On the plus side, if I do take down the decorations today, I can deck my mantle out for New Year's Eve. And, truth be told, at this point, the tree isn't the only Christmas decoration looking dried up and tired. The little live tree in my kitchen has been sitting on a stool right near the heat vent, and I am now wondering if it will survive when I try to put it outside, or if it will go into complete shock. (I moved it to the garage tonight as an ease-into-going-back-outside to live transitional move.)
I had this crazy idea of having a little live tree in the kitchen each year, and then planting it, one after another, in the back yard along the fence, with little markers stating the year. (We'll see how this plays out.)
When do you do your holiday tear down? Right after Christmas? (Are you too busy today hitting the After-Christmas sales?) After New Years? In February? Am I the only one that rushes to put it all away after the holly-day is passed?
We bought items we both would love to bring back home; Goodwill gift cards from me, and state lottery scratch-offs from him. The dilemma then became how to wrap them, and with the party less than an hour away, I tossed each item in a gift bag, and the last gift card went into a brown box.
I printed tags to designate whether it was a girl or a guy gift, and with a few snips of ribbon, tissue and netting, I was pretty much done.
I have a vintage laundry basket on wheels in my craft room that holds all of my snippets of ribbon from past projects. I also keep a basket of Walmart ornaments, (They work great for lots of party themes, and most of them are only a dollar or two!) along with dollar store mittens in every color, ("coz they're a dollar!) just for decorating packages and baskets. I added an ornament and a sprig of fake greenery to the boxed gift, and a pair of dollar store mittens to the girl's gift bag.
Done, and done, all within fifteen minutes.
I love the entire concept of New Year's Eve celebrations surrounding reminiscing over the old year as it ends, and looking forward to the new year with all of it's infinite possibilities and opportunity that it holds. I don't think all that many folks share my sentimental feelings about this holiday, and I am not sure why.
I know, I know. We don't have to wait for New Year's Eve to make a resolution. We've all heard the quote from L.M. Montgomery's Anne in Anne of Green Gables say “Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” and I heard Oprah once say you can make a resolution any time and any day, and yes, she is right. Still, to me, there is something so magical about the ending of one year and a new one beginning, and I always feel so filled with hope when I think of it.
One of my dearest friends is flying in to welcome in 2017 with us, and so I'm even more excited this year.
My booth space at Camas Antiques has a nice collection of New Year's goodies. I've added banners and flags, and a few cool little treasures to help celebrate the holiday.
It was hard for me to part with those huge mugs, as I can envision us sipping some cocoa out of them on New Year's morning, but....I'm really out of room in my cupboards to store them.
How about you? Are you a die-hard romantic who loves New Year's Eve? I'd love to hear!
Turns out you can glue gun googly eye balls to wine bottles, then wrap the bottle in medical gauze, and create a memorable Halloween season hostess gift. (Thank you again, Pinterest.)
I added some homemade tags and it was ready to go to a friends house for Monday night football, (Download Hallo wine and boos tags ) followed by watching the last eight of what turned out to be thirteen innings of the San Francisco Giants and the Cubbies. (Served up with a repeat performance of my seasonal Pumpkin Crunch dessert!)
I spent a decent portion of my weekend tinkering around my home, adding little harvest touches here and there. My mantel is always a focal point, and after borrowing back some pretty fabulous arched side mirrors from my daughter, (I originally found them at the Goodwill bins for a steal, when they were stained dark brown.) I began building out this year's white pumpkin theme. (I still need to add some white taper candles in the holders up there...)
I added two of my latest banners (Available in my etsy shop at at Camas Antiques later this week!) for a fun little Halloween touch, along with a black crow, a spider and a number thirty one.
I still plan to paint my brick fireplace white, as soon as I find the time.
(Ha! A girl can hope...)
The housing market has gone completely bonkers here in the Pacific Northwest (again....) and it's a seller's market, with homes going faster than the realtors can get the signs in the yard. Because of this, families shopping for homes are paying more than asking price, and losing homes to higher bidders left and right.
One of the guys I work with was thrilled when he and his wife finally secured a home after a pretty hairy house hunt, and they closed on it last week. I put together a quick and easy gift basket for them to be used on moving weekend, with a take n' bake Pizza gift card (with a couple coupons) a pizza cutter (because you never know if you can find a knife, let alone a pizza cutter on moving day!) some Parmesan Cheese and red peppers, and of course napkins and paper plates. I was able to purchase everything except the paper plates and napkins at the pizza place, so it was one easy gift!
I put it all in a small brown box (like a moving box...are you seeing my theme here?) and added a strip of my cute "Packed with Love" packing tape, and lastly, added a little handmade tag.
Easy peasy.And I had so much fun whipping it up.
I printed a single line on the computer cardstock in my cheesy little Broderbund Printshop Ensemble III Program (in the postcard setting) and cut each paper into four pieces. I then cut a bunch of squares, and glued them in place above the typed line. I topped the little square off with a punched heart from pink paper.
(I made the sweet little banner from scraps of paper leftover from other bridal projects...)
You can make anything nice fabulous, and take ordinary to extraordinary by simply adding a few personal touches. My latest case in point would be the wedding shower beach bag I ordered from etsy for my sweet friend who will be honeymooning in a tropical paradise this summer.
The bag itself arrived in record time, and was in an absolute perfect shade of blush pink. (So pretty it was, that I ordered one as a little surprise for myself as well!) It also came in several other mouthwatering colors! I am currently jonesing for the aqua one, but then of course I could see the practicality of the fabulous natural or grey. (Her shop is currently closed for holiday until July first, but you can click the button to have etsy email you when she returns.)
It was nicely lined with a little inside pocket. The straps are super sturdy, (Strong enough for me to carry my 15" laptop around in it.) and it was pretty just the way it arrived.
But I wanted something that subtly whispered "I'm on my honeymoon" so I needed to foofify it a bit.
I made a little pom pom out of some of my scrunchie vintage seam binding (In equally three perfect shades of pink)a fun "diamond ring" (Napkin ring) and a home crafted tag that reads "honey-moonin'.
Now, this sweet bag is unique adn special, just like my friend.
You know I am as much about presentation as I am about flavor when it comes to entertaining, whether it's for big shindigs or intimate little noshes, and I always keep a stash of thrifted pilsner glasses in my freezer for an added treat. My latest obsession is Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light. I like all of the lemonade flavors, but this one is my all time favorite. It comes in these little sleeves, and one sleeve makes a half gallon.
I make my pitcher of raspberry lemonade, and chill it in the fridge. Then, when I want to have some, or someone stops by, I add some frozen raspberries and a couple of lemon slices into the glass. (You can add ice cubes too, if the lemonade isn't chilled enough...)
And so pretty.
Trust me, this little beverage makes everybody feel extra-special.
(....and that is what I'm after, even if it's just little old me.)
Thanks for all of the cottage compliments yesterday! Yes, I am having a ball making my house a cozy home, and I have so many ideas spinning in my head at all times, that it is all I can do to saty focused at work during the day.
I love it when I see a fabulous vintage idea, and then, at some random time and place, find it for myself. Case in point is this photo I pinned a good while back....
Oh, how I loved the look of the weathered canning jar basket, with canning jars filled with old silverware! A few months later, I saw the same concept at the Farm Chicks Show. It wasn't filled with silverware, but other items, but my heart jumped when I saw it, because I could not believe my luck, and I thought I could buy it.
Sadly, it had no tag, and when I asked about it, I was told it was not for sale.
Time passed, and when the Other Tracey was up helping with my booth, we went out thrifting. She spotted the wooden plate pedestal; she thought it was a lazy Susan, but then we discovered it was a pedestal. I had a cheap moment and was not going to buy it. (It was $2.99, for gosh sakes, and as I said, I was having a cheap moment.) She was horrified, and pointed out that I could paint it my signature robin's egg blue, which I could picture, and so I ended up buying it after all.
It sat in the garage for a week,and then I stopped by the Goodwill bins. I spied with my little eye, from an entire row away, the weathered metal canning basket.
I quite literally gasped out loud and scampered over to it, scooping it up out of the large bin full of crummy junk.
Could it be that it might fit the wooden cake pedestal at home?
I drove straight home, and rushed into the garage, grabbed up the pedestal, and set the two treasures on my workbench.
It was a match made in junk heaven, for sure.
I washed my canning jars and filled them with some of my favorite old silverware.
Too fabulous for words.
sigh Like I said, I love it when stuff like this happens.
You know I have a mad crush on the dollar store as one of my first go-to places for entertaining items, as well as little prezzies. I found these cutie-patootie duck cups for the little grands to use (and take home) from Easter brunch this year.
They were actually cute enough in their original state, but I always like to take the extra step to make things just a little more special. Adding little name flags was a quick and easy edition that took them over the top.
(and it didn't cost me a dime.)
Pretty adorable, am I right?
Pom pom garlands!
(A crazy-good find, if you ask me.)
And, for only a buck.
I bought the black, but they had several other bright colors as well. I think I'm gonna put mine in my workroom somewhere, and I just might pick up a few more to go with my New Years decorations.
I mean, they are just a buck. (I know I already said that, but gosh, that's pretty spectacular.)
For the entire garland of little pom poms.
Oh, and they had packages of two large pom poms too. (I bought a few of those in Robins egg blue!)
Do you need some of these? If so, you'd better get down there, before they are gone!
It's no secret to anyone that knows me that I love to entertain, and I especially love entertaining with a theme. I surprised my Rock n' Roll Buddy with a road trip themed breakfast for Valentine's Day this year, and I had an absolute blast planning each and every step of it.
(I got the idea well in advance of Valentines Day, so I got a little carried away with details.)
(Thank you, Pinterest. You are both a blessing and a curse.)
My Rock n' Roll Buddy and I both have lots of places in the good ol' U.S. of A that we want to see, and we've made it to a few of them already. We've been debating the pros and cons of traveling in an RV as opposed to using a car and hotel stops, and the idea of buying a motor home instead of renting one. The biggest plus I see with a motor home instead of a car or flying, is the fact that you can buy bigger(and more) stuff on your trip to schlep home. (And I have no problem accumulating stuff on any and all trips.)
I decided this year to capitalize on all of our recent travel conversations and bucket lists of places to visit with a road trip theme for Valentine's Day. I started with a vintage colored map of the US. (Can I just pause a moment here to tell you how much I heart Amazon Prime?) I glued it to a piece of sheet insulation from Home Depot, and then put it in a simple frame.
I added manila colored paper blocks bullet pointing the trips we have taken together (these were actual vacation type trips, and not the usual trips to see family)
I placed flags on the locations, and tethered the boxes to the flags with embroidery thread.
I personalized it a bit further....
I wanted it to be a complete surprise, so I hung it in the hallway just before breakfast, and I made sure to have him sit on the side of the dining table where he would not be able to see into the hallway.
I built the entire Valentine breakfast theme around the map, however it was the last present I presented to him, so let me change gears here now.
The more I planned this theme, the more ideas I came up with and the more all-too-perfect (In my humble opinion) gifts I came across. (The internet has made the world of shopping far too easy.)
I set the table with a matching map. (Okay, truth be told, I mucked up gluing the map the first time to the insulation board. If you do this idea, us a simple glue stick, and not heavy duty spray glue. I used the spray glue the first time and it bubbled up hideously for some reason. I managed to peel it off, but it was a bit crumpled, so I quickly ordered another map, and used the first one as my table cloth....it works, am I right?)
To add to my travel theme, I used a couple of my vintage suitcases, and then made a couple small signs with road trip quotes.(You know I am a quote junkie...)
I wrapped the accompanying gifts in my signature brown kraft paper, with more quotes....
I got a copy of one of my personal all time favorite movies, The Long, Long Trailer, with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez Jr. (Which was why that package had Lucy and Desi sitting behind the wheel on the tag for that package)...
And a couple of too-perfect books on road tripping...
...and then I added a sweet little box that gave him instructions on how to find the fabulous map...
...hanging in my hallway.
Oh! After he opened his Valentine prezzies, we had a yummy Valentine breakfast of heart shaped waffles smothered in butter and warm maple syrup....
In the end, I am 100% positive fairly certain that I had far more fun plotting and planning and prepping for all of this than my Valentine did in receiving it, as he tried to figure out where I was going with this Valentine's theme, (Oh, the vast difference between men and women.) as he was much more interested in the waffles. (I can't really blame him...they were yummy!)
I had spent a portion of my weekend before the gathering working outside on my patios in preparation for the little outdoor soiree. (The photo above was on a prep night when I was playing with the table setting...)
Yep, that's plural, on the word patios.
Technically one is supposed to be a covered carport I think, but I park my car and truck in my garage, and don't need it for that, so I've made it into the outdoor dining area.
Wait. I'm jumping ahead.
You might remember the first patio from last summer, here. It's set for winter entertaining now, with my outdoor living room type patio furniture complete with blankets tossed for folks to cover up with if necessary, although I needn't have been concerned, as I lucked out with an actual semi-dry day and evening, and we our high last Wednesday was a balmy 57'.
So, now on to the other covered carport patio. The round dining table and chairs is gone from the original patio layout, and has been replaced on this second patio, with a longer harvest table and chairs in more of a full-on dining area set up. I have the two propane heaters on either end of the harvest table to keep us warm. I hung strands of Edison lights (from World Market) around the perimeter, (I wanted to zig-zag them, but they can't be hung too close to the propane heaters) and two vintage windows I bought at a Christmas faire hang above the season's remaining stacked firewood. I wanted to zig-zag the lights, but the instructions on the lights specifically said not to hang them near a heater, so that put the kibosh on that idea.
My outdoor harvest table is a craigslist find, with Ikea bistro chairs (You can't beat fifteen bucks a chair, and they fold up for easy storage if need be!) Five dollar Ikea throws adorned the backs of the chairs, in case that iPhone weather guy was wrong, and they added to the welcome look. With my fire pit going, and two outdoor heaters flanking the dining table, we were quite toasty.
A centerpiece of assorted canning jars with birdseed and votive candles added ambiance and light to the table. I used my metal chargers that are now painted in black chalkboard paint, (A great way to update any outdated charger plates you might have!) and reproduction French grain cloth napkins and runners (From World Market) I had bottles of chilled water at each end of the table. (A great entertaining staple to have on hand are tall closable bottles for water, and I always find them at the thrift store.)
My old enamel top table works fabulously as a buffet server, although I really didn't get any great shots of that, and the food came out perfectly. Easy, tasty, and more than enough.
I'll share my menu tomorrow!
After I designed it, I printed it, and matted it with a piece of black scrapbook paper. Then I realized it as just going to be easier to text my friends, and so I added the invite to a text as a picture. (I know. Still probably a bit too much, but I am pretty sure my friends know that is just my style.)
Anyway, this little invite is going to set the tone for the girl's night. I'm talking soup, or chowder, or chili, and s'mores on the fire pit, all done up on the covered patio, using my outdoor heater.
Can you see it?
I can hardly wait!
What a weird, unusual, surprising, entertaining football season it has been this go-round! My beloved Seahawks are officially out of the running to play in the big game this year, and the games next weekend will reveal who those two teams will be, but it's time to start planning, and printing, and cutting and pasting all of the fun details for your annual Superbowl party.
Those of you who are not football enthusiasts might want to skip this post, although Superbowl parties sometimes have much more to do with food and fun than the football game itself.
I am updating my Superbowl and football printable kits in my etsy shoppe this week, if you're looking for paper goods to add to the festivities, with Team banners coming after next weekend, when we know who will be playing in the big game. You will see them all later this week in the shoppe, but for now....
My latest chalkboard printable is now available in my shoppe. It adds a whimsical element to my fireplace, and works for the entire football season, really.
Are you ready for some football?
I love coming up with themes when shopping for presents, and I am especially thrilled when I can carry the process over to my wrap job. This weekend I gave a friend who is interested in hiking and fishing a birthday present. I was not sure what all he had in his hiking supplies, (To be honest, until this weekend, I was unaware there were hiking supplies.) so I had settled my mind on a gift card. I am not really a huge gift card fan, and so I decided I would give him a small hiking item to go with the gift card to get the theme going.
I found a compass. I figured it was a good item to have in your back pack, in the event you are out of cell tower range and find yourself lost. So far, not a terribly exciting present.
I printed a map of Oregon on computer paper. (I googled it and there it was.) I then wrapped the present in the map paper. I found a hiking quote on Pinterest that I liked and copy-pasted it on to a page, then printed it, along with a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" tag and cut them both out.
I used extra chunky baker's twine to tie the tags to his prezzie, and I was done. Now, it was a much more meorable presentation than just a quick-wrapped gift card.
(And I didn't even have to buy wrapping paper!)
I'm motivated, and on fire for the new year. I've got myself a solid game plan, and I'm optimistic that I just might be one of the eight percent of Americans that end up sticking to their resolutions. (Do you think you're one of those folks too?)
Last year I managed to wrangle my inner hoarder quite a bit, and I purged a lot of things in my cottage that I clearly was never going to use. (Four different colorful shades of polka-dot french fry holders from "Pick Your Plum"for one.)
(What was I thinking?!)
(I gave them to my fabulous daughter-in-law, who is a kindergarten teacher.)
Anyway, I made several small steps forward last year, and now I am feeling very much like the little engine that could.
Keep my organization resolutions, that is.
The weight and exercise resolution is another topic entirely.
I designed a New Years Eve sign to go on the flip side of my giant three by four foot faux chalkboard sign. I ordered a printed blueprint (Engineered) copy of it from my Staples Store, and last night I attached it to the back of the giant sheet of Styrofoam-like insulation (from Home Depot) and replaced my Christmas mantel decor. (I will be adding this, along with a few other a few other New Year's eve Printable kits...)
I added my collection of old clocks and I am now ready to ring in the new year.
My son, daughter-in-law, and two grands arrived today and are staying with me for part of their visit, so I wanted it to be extra special for them. I put my red ticking duvet cover on the comforter, and added my most favorite ever Ralph Lauren pillow cases with faux cross-stich alphabet on them. (I found them in a clearance bin at Macys years and years ago!)
I placed one of my thrifted Christmas trees on one side of the bed in the corner, as well as some of my Santa hats at the foot of the bed...
I added four pair of mittens across the headboard for a winter feel....
A few scattered throw pillows and blankets in a basket for an additional pop of color...
...a few more pops of red, here and there...(I swapped the smaller slipper chair that is usually in the guestroom with the larger chair from the living room for the holiday season, as my Christmas tree took up most of the corner of the living room...)
...and the Christmas spirit arrived, full force, in my guest room.
I am having one of my favorite friends over today for lunch for her birthday, and I had the sweetest gift back (WalMart!) for her prezzie, but I had no tissue in the right shade to go with it. I dug through my craft room and came upon an entire bolt of tulle I had bought for my cupcake fairy costuume adn not used.
Coudl it work?
It was worth a try.
I loved it!
Like I said, I am most likely the last person coming up with this idea, but I had to share it anyway.
I mean, it is so cute, and just the right texture to go with the glittered bag, don'tcha think?
And, even better? A bolt of tulle is so cheap, (I bought mine online, here.) and will go a lot further than tissue paper.
I shared yesterday that I hosted my first-ever-in-this-home girls cocktail party last week. It was the first time I have entertained anyone beyond family in my sweet little cottage, and I had forgotten just how much I love entertaining.
So much fun!
I can hardly wait to do it again, and already have my next soiree plans whirling 'round in my head.
I've been meaning to share the handmade invitations I designed. They turned out pretty cute, done up in red and a fun lime Seahawk green.
I served appetizers, and had an assortment of things to drink, both hot and cold. I am a huge fan of the signature drink for any event, and this was no exception. I found a slushy coconut drink that looked perfect online, but I wasn't thrilled with the name, so I made up my own....(Oh, you're not even a little surprised that I made a sign to go on the kitchen counter, are you?)
I made a sign to go with the water as well...
A grand time was had by all, and as I said, we will be doing it again!
My kitchen is pretty far down on my home improvement list, mainly because it needs to be completely gutted and that is going to take a chunk of change. In the meantime, it's not so bad that I can't live with it. My dishwasher is newer (from the 90's?) and my harvest gold range works like a champ. (plus it's a fabulous 40 inches wide, with storage for pots and pans!) My cupboards have definitely seen far better days, but I'm ignoring them for now.
All needed restorations aside, I added a few Christmas touches to the kitchen, and I think it added a warm feeling in there. The shelf I put next to the doorway was holy-jollied with a few red touches...(Isn't it amazing how well that old bookcase fits there? When the Other Tracey came to visit last June, she thought it was an original built in!)
I also added a bit of Christmas to the side of the fridge where I keep my tall hamper. I took an old thrifted crate and filled it with some of my stash of red and white table linens.
A vintage juice glass of candy canes add a little punch of color on the counter...
And the open cupboard above my range looks ready for the holidays too.
Speaking of my range, here it is...
I have a mad crush on the fabulous tea towel one of my daughter's got me for my birthday. (See how it matches my truck?)
My big apothecary jar that holds my flour has a sweet gingham bow and my vintage colander is filled with cranberries.
Even the closet door got into the holiday spirit, with a hook holding my two favorite holiday aprons...
Do you deck all the halls in your home, or do you keep it confined to the room with your Christmas tree?
I don't have an actual entryway in my cottage. You open the door nd simply come into the living room dining room combo.
(There is a sweet little bookcase that was built in long ago, that sticks out there to kind of give an illusion of an entry. I was going to remove it when I moved in, and changed my mind. I am glad I did.)
Here is what you see as you enter....
My Mom gifted the sled she used for years with my kids to me, as my Mom doesn't have a spot for it in her condo. (Lucky me! Lots of fond memories of little silly gifts filling this old piece!)
Throw pillows on the sofa...
...and one of my Santa's has taken his place in my cloche...
Tomorrow, the dining room...
First, let me state the obvious: The more I do to the outside of my cottage, the worse the stuff that isn't done looks. I'm basically set for Christmas outside, but that seems to magnify the fact that I have no landscaping.
Oh, and I'm one window wreath and two red bows short, but plan on snagging them later today at WalMart, so imagine them there, okay?
So....with the oodles and toddles of projects to do outside of my cottage, and all outside painting is on hold until spring, when it is warmer and dry, I still had fun foofifying up the outside of my home this year. (Heads up, if you are one of my local friends, expect an invite to a fence painting party in your future.) Oh yes, just watch out, next year! The fence and chairs will be painted, and I'm hoping to have some landscaping in and add outside Christmas lights.
Okay, on with the tour.
First, let's start with the mailbox and gate...(Sorry, I never did get an actual close up of the mailbox adornment, but here it is...)
...and my sleds and ice skates nestled near the front door....
...the front door... (The jury is still out on the door color, by the way.)
....I added a stocking on the front door...
I added a few touches by the laundry room door, too. (I realized as I was cropping the photo that my hose is lying there all neglected on the ground. Yeah, gotta tidy that up.)
Even my adirondack chairs got into the Christmas spirit....
I think it looks welcoming, and gives a hint of the homey-ness you'll find once inside, don't you?