Quiet As A Mouse

'Twas the night before Christmas and singing, eating, laughter and paper from unwrapped gifts was found through out the house.  A blizzard during the day gave us the white Christmas we all had hoped for.  It made for some exciting travels coming up the hill.  But once all the girls and their families were safely here the party began.  The party was big and loud and fun......and now it's very quiet as everyone has gone home to snuggle in there beds where hopefully they will sleep and dream of sugarplums.
It has been a whirlwind of activity leading up to Christmas Day.  Sunday Mr. T and I sang in the choir at church and pretty much maxed out our voices for the rest of the day after singing the Hallalujah Chorus. It was a beautiful program of music and messages remembering the birth of our Savior. 
 A bit of Christmas decor.  On the mantel are six girl angels, and one boy angel which represents Mr. T.  These little angels have witnessed many a happy Christmas.  A garland of peace, joy and love.
 All the little treasures of Christmas.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas...I'm off to bed before Santa gets here.


Mr. T and Me

It's hard to believe that Mr. T and I are celebrating our 39th anniversary today.  But sure enough 5 children and 14 munchkins later we are as busy as ever.  Nothing could be better than being married to your best friend.  A friend that loves to travel, go discovering, watch TCM movies, go shopping with me (ho, ho). We love the life we have together.  We believe that families can be together forever and we strive for that goal each day.  It's a festive time to celebrate our anniversary along with all of the rest of the hustle and bustle.


City Sidewalks

 Nothing warms my heart like seeing Christmas lights on all the trees downtown, surrounding windows in the neighborhoods, blinking lights to music and in general bows, candy canes, Santa Claus and all the reindeer (we have plenty of deer roaming the streets around us).  When we drive up the hill and then down our boulevard it looks like a Christmas village tucked into the hills.  All very cozy and wonderful.
 The traditional candy windows are back at City Creek Center after a long absence while downtown was under a 2-3 year renovation.  These ornaments are amazing...all made from candy.  Mr.Nutcracker is covered in white and colored jelly beans and strips of black licorice.  I wonder how many jelly beans were eaten for every one glued on :)
 It's a most wonderful time of the year.  It seems as if we are all on the same page.  Busy shopping, devising secret plans for serving one another, baking, partying, seeing the events of the season....Nutcracker, Savior of the World, music and dance recitals.  Smiles and jolly moods.  Only a week left!


A Place of Christmas Inspiration

 One of the dreams I've always had which has not diminished in desire is that of owning a big fancy Victorian house and turning it into a stunning shop full of delightful treasures tucked into all the nooks and crannies only a Victorian house would have.  Such a place was found off the beaten track in a small town in Ohio.  Oh if only the walls could talk and tell us of life and time of another era living in this grand old house.  This columned mansion, which reminds me, the name of it was 'The Columns', had  three stories of everything you could imagine.  Antique furniture, clothing, the kitchen areas were stocked with linens, dishes and jars of delicious sounding condiments, decor, well you get the idea.
 One of the ideas I loved was how they put collections together in their beautiful antique cabinets.  It was just the inspiration I needed for displaying many of the small figurines and Christmas mementos that we have collected over the years.
 Making a Christmas display with various sizes and shapes has a bold and enchanting impact rather than spacing single items around the room.
Each little snowman, Hummel, tin and antique car brings to mind special friends,  fond memories of Christmas past with parents and siblings, husband and children.  Each year we add  to our memories.  Another year with family and friends, strengthening ties of love and finding ways to serve one another.  Isn't that what Christmas is all about?  By serving and loving one another we honor our Savior, Jesus Christ whose birthday we celebrate.  Happy Holidays!  And by all means if you know where there are any fabulous old houses turned store let me know :)


A Sparkly Season

 Can you feel the excitement in the air? The holidays are offically upon us!  Time to create, dress up and sparkle.  This is a Christmas project that I did a few years ago inspired by my mom.  As a young girl I watched her gather broken costume jewelry from drug stores and hit the wholesale markets in L.A. for rhinestones and other goodies.  She spent hours putting together these jewel trees.  One was for her and then all her friends and sisters wanted one.
 This is my own replica using vintage jewelry from my grandma (think early 1900's), my aunt (1930's-40's), and mama (1950's-60's).  There are even a few of my own pieces in there  like the black bow earring.  This is a great place to use those earrings that have lost their mate, or unstrung and broken clasp necklaces.  Each one of these jewels have a special meaning to me.  They bring back all kinds of happy memories...seeing my mom and dad go out on a date, my aunt always dressed up in suits going to a meeting or visiting on holidays, and my grandma telling me of the fashions she wore as a young girl. The jewel on the top of the tree is a shoe clip from an early era, probably 1915-20.
Here's the how-to:  Cover a piece of plywood with Burgundy velvet.  Make a Christmas tree template and place it on the plywood.  Drill nine holes from the backside at the branch ends.  Glue the velvet to the front of the plywood.  Arrange lights in the holes cutting through the velvet.  Tape the wires to the backside.  Rhinestone rope outlines the tree.  Then the fun begins...placing and layering jewelry until you get it just how you want it.  I used a glue gun to fasten the jewelry. Frame.

Our sparkly tree has a special place in the dining room  on a beautiful carved easel.  It's one of the pieces of art that I like to gaze upon in the quiet darkness. I think of the women who have played an important part in my life and how they have influenced me... I think I know why I love sparkly baubles.


Beauty In Contrast

 For a couple of cozy wintry days we felt like we were the only ones on the planet.  Enormous snowflakes gently fell, stacking higher and higher on the ground. Only the muffled roar of the snow plow was heard every forty five minutes or so scooping up the snow and dropping another load of salt on the road.
 An all white world on the hill.  It just so happened that we had a trip to Arizona planned so we left our white world behind and found the sun.  Open air cruising to beautiful Sedona, Prescott (pronounced Prescut by the natives), reminding us of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  A very western old fashioned town.  Also Tucson, which had changed dramatically since we passed through on our adventurous honeymoon to Mexico a few years back.
 The open road.  Weather felt great to us, 70's.
 Amazing rock formations which Mr. T and I like to name. I say that rock on the right looks like a howling coyote.  Therefore, Coyote Mountain it is.
 There is beauty in the desert..in it's starkness and contrasting color.
 'Church in the Rock' tucked right in there.  What a construction project!  It's right across the street from our winter home. hee, hee.
 When the week was up I said to Mr. T, "Where shall we go next?"
And we agreed the best place to be right now would be somewhere brisk, and wintry where family will be gathering for Thanksgiving, followed by holiday lights and celebrations and wonderful days ahead.....There's no place like home.


Our Last Frolic

One of our last great times in the glorious October Fall, checking out all the spooks and witches adorning Gardner Village before Halloween.  Indeed that was fun and so was the Halloween party held a few days later.  Now we have a mountain of snow.  Two feet over the weekend.  I say it's time to make some snow angels and jump off the deck into the feathery white stuff.  It definately was a cozy weekend in our winter wonderland.


November is Here!

How could this be?  The first weekend in November has passed us by, an election come and gone, what's left of the beautiful fall colored leaves are tugged off the trees by the chilly wind  bringing snow tomorrow.  Preparations are beginning for the holidays ahead; baking, Thanksgiving dinner planning, cleaning and making ready for guests.  Once blank calendar pages for November and December are filling up fast with activities.  What a happy time of year!  We shall forget the troubles and disappointments of the year and celebrate all that is good, and for the many things we have to be grateful for.

When I turned the calendar from October over to November there in bold letters was Piper & Chloe,  scheduled for this weekend.   Well, needless to say girls that is definately not going to happen this weekend.  And I must say it feels a little strange and kind of sad but it has been a very busy fall for the PC girls.  Cristelle and Lacey have adorable new babies to care for, Tiffany is busy with her Interior Design business, Ashley is a busy professional photographer and just returned home to Pennsylvania after a 4 month stay with us while Eric was doing Medical school rotations around the country.  As for me I am in the remodeling process, the party planner,  Mr. T's traveling companion, and keeping an eye on 'My thirteen little kids', a writer and a life style expert (he, he) 
This outfit from our Spring show is now hanging in my closet.  Lucky me :)  I'll miss our midnight shopping spree after the doors closed.  Always the best shopping.  We'll look forward to next Spring.
Just a thought.....Love God and thank Him.  Just be happy everyday.  Work hard and do your best.


Come Fly With Me

It has been a week of reflection as three family friends have passed on to a better life leaving us to take peace and comfort from the beauties our Heavenly Father has blessed his children with.  When times become challenging I've always believed the best remedy is to look up for there is so much beauty up; the mountains, the clouds, a sunset.  Jetting across the horizon also puts things into perspective for me.   Life is so short.  Live it the best you can, love one another and appreciate the gift we have been given.
 In my design work I always seek inspiration in beautiful landscapes, architecture and craftsmanship.  Here are a few of those inspirations from the Mediterranean,  Rome, Tuscany, Florence and Spain.

   So enchanting.  There's nothing like a secret garden door.
 Ring the bell, knock on the door.  Come in!
 Beauty that has stood the test of time.
 The Vatican in Rome.  Not a great picture (result of jostling in the crowd) but to ponder upon the talent and craftsmanship of an artist so many centuries ago is amazing.  Thank you Michelangelo for your tender portrayal of Christ's death.  The great sacrfice of our Lord and Savior.  It is in dying....that we are born to eternal life.
 Find joy in your days.....take a walk (in the rain, snow) and discover something new to love.


High Spirits and Happy Feet

I have a delightfully feminine wall plaque that sits front and center in my workroom that says, "I can do anything with the right shoes."  Those that know me best know that I have a passion for fashion, which includes a handful of shoes in my closet, about 40 pair at last count.  Shoes, not just any shoes, can take you to wonderful places, through every season.  Therefore on our trip to Arizona last week I was sooo lucky to have my honey take me to the Fiesta Mall.  And what should I find there?  Four pairs of must have shoes!  I needed them to spruce up the fall wardrobe...gray alligator flats with black zipper bows, black suede flats with black beads, knee high leather rideing boots and brown suede heels with strap and buckle.  I think I'm set.  Anyway until I pass another shoe store.  I better not go to Hip & Humble anytime soon.
While in Arizona under beautiful skies and perfect weather we attended the wedding reception of my forever friend's daughter.  My 'nutty buddy',  short for best friend,  has been an inspiring part of my life since Jr. High, High School, amd as my college room mate.  Isn't she gorgeous?  We have many silly, tender and life changing memories  together.  We don't see other often but when we do it's just like the good ole' days.  Thanks my friend for being a special part of my life.



 I love these buildings!  So full of character and charm.  Walking down a street like this takes me back in time when I imagine going to town was a special adventure.  The windows would be decorated with the latest housewares and fashions.  Store names written in black and gold calligraphy.  Ladies and gents dressed in their fine attire,  for you never knew who you might see when you went to town
 This is the home of Mr. Hershey of 'Hershey's' chocolate in Pennsylvania.
 Love the windows and the attention to detail.  Philadephia where it all began for a freedom loving people.
 I'm proud to be an American.

My dream would be to own this whole street and have the most inviting shops you could ever imagine....one of course being Piper & Chloe.  Another one would be an arts building...a dance school, a music studio, art classes.  I'm still working on that dream.  That's what it is to be an American.  You can dream and work at making those dreams come true.  It's all up to you.


Catching Up

We absolutely love the Fall.  The leaves changing from the greens to yellows, gold and vibrant reds.  The temperature drops about 10-20 degrees and we can breathe again.  Intense fiery blooms are at their peak bordering landscapes.  Riding down our canyon road we are greeted by rows and rows of happy yellow sunflowers nodding their greeting..'How do you today?'
September has us shifting gears to prepare for what's ahead...rain, show, wind.  Have we done all the activities we wanted to do in the summer?  Although we never think we want this time of year to come we truly love it when it gets here. 

Bostyn has been looking forward to going to a fair all summer.  This is the day she and Nixon went to Lagoon (the goon).  They were over the top excited.  We were there for 7 hrs. hitting the pavement and many, many rides.  A great time to go.  Halloween was in the air and the crowds were smaller and the weather was perfect. 
 Free your mind by sailing through the air over the lagoon.  Enjoy the pretty mountain tops.
 Nixon was trying to climb through the hole.
 All of our pre-schoolers found great adventure at Wheeler Farm.  Plenty of chickens, horses, sheep, turkeys, rabbits and some intimidating ducks that were about to take a bite out of anyone who crossed their path.
 Our newest babies, Sadie and Paden.  Paden says, 'enough is enough mom' or did one of those ducks get to close?  A fun day for all.
 The amazing Ashley finishes another 26 mile marathon coming in at 3hr 56min.  We got there just in time to see here running down the last stretch.  Top of Utah race in Logan.  Way to go Girl!

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