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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Will Return Soon

Dearest friends,

I am taking an extended leave from my dear little blog. My dad is now with us at our home and is very weak. He has been in the hospital all of last week due to failing kidneys and some heart issues. Over the past couple of years he has had several trips to the ER and some long hospital stays with problems varying from blocked carotid arteries, replacement of his defibrilator unit, mini-strokes and a few falls at home that left him a bit bumped up. His appetite is almost gone and he can only swallow soft foods and liquids. He can no longer eat his favorite food, pizza. We have him on Ensure and any soup or juices that he wants. He can eat mashed potatoes and gravy, but that is about it. Sometimes he just takes one or two bites and says that is all he can handle. It is VERY hard for me to see my daddy withering~my big strong daddy....

He says that he is tired of hospitals and doctors and has opted to come here to finish out his life with us. At his request, we have Hospice Care helping us. I am heartsick over it all. He is saved and has been a wonderful witness for our Lord and Savior. He says that he is ready to go home and is just waiting for the Lord to take him there. My mom has her own health problems and just can't handle seeing daddy becoming weaker. She wants to help him, but she is also not as physically strong as she once was. Her wonderful neighbors have been most generous and kind hearted to help take her to doctor's appointments and lend a hand when needed. We are very blessed to know such fine folks! I know that our Lord is faithful and that He will be there with us every step of the way! I am still having some issues with my fibro, but praying that the Lord will sustain me and keep me strong through all of this. I hope to be back sometime in January and maybe put on an occasional quick post just to keep in touch. Keep us in your prayers.

God bless you all and keep cozy,
Charlotte

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Secret Storm...

Good morning dear friends. I am taking time to try and get a new post on my little blog today. I have not been on here for so long that I would bet that some of you thought I had vanished from the Land of Blog. I will assure you that I am still around and have been visiting your dear blog sites to read about what is new with you. So many pretty posts, I love all of those with fall foliage, pretty new household ideas and wonderful stories shared. You girls are all so talented.

It is very hard for me to write my post today. I am having some issues with muscle pain and a horrible headache. I probably should just forget about it and go lie down, but that is what I have done for the past couple of days. I had a really good morning on Tuesday, but then my energy just drained and I ended up taking it easy the rest of the day. I have so much that I would like to get done, so many projects started that are just waiting to be finished. I have been able to work with Caleb on his schooling, but not to the degree that I would have liked to work on things. This is not a new thing for me, but it is part of a larger condition that I rarely mention that has affected me in some degree or another over the past 6 years. I have my good days and then my very painful bad days (those are the ones that no one but very close family and friends ever hear about). Over time, the bad days have become more frequent and painful and I am now going to share that I have, do I dare say it, Fibromyalgia. There, it is out.

I have thought about posting this before, but have hesitated due to the reaction that some have toward the condition. I will tell you that my pain is VERY real and that I have chosen not to take Lyrica at this time. I have made several changes to my diet and would like to make even more. I am working on that. I have a real problem with "signing up" for activities or commitments only to later discover that they are all just too much for me. I would LOVE to do so much more than I am able to do. I have found, however, that when I fill my days with too many activities, I suffer painful retribution for 2-3 days afterward.

I am not meaning to sound negative and I am not hoping for an outpouring of sympathy here, dear friends. I am simply posting this to let you know that if you don't see me around for a while, this is probably the reason. My parents are both at home and doing somewhat better, but are still calling on us to help in taking them to appointments and running some errands. My dad has given up driving, this was very hard for him. I will try to get back to my regular recipe and decorating posts, soon. But for now, I am just hurting and it is hard to think when you hurt. For now I am sending you all hugs and hoping that you are all having a good day and week.

Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY

Outside my window...
It is a perfectly wonderful chilly, rainy, overcast, October morning ( just the way it is supposed to be ;o)

I am thinking...
about fixing a big pot of chicken and dumplings. This type of day is just meant for chicken and dumplings~real comfort food weather. We had chili yesterday~YUM!

I am thankful for...
Peggy hosting this Daybook. I have not been able to blog very often, due to my dad being back and forth in the hospital and the Daybook makes it easy to take time, at least one day a week, to come to my blog and share some time with my sweet blog friends. God bless each of you, you have no idea what you all mean to me. I have found so many kindred spirits through your beautiful blogs.

From the learning rooms...
We are watching a lot of wonderful educational videos. Most of these were gifted to me by my dear and beautiful Mom-in-law. She is a retired educator and has given me so many excellent resources for our learning room. Over the last couple of week we have watched videos on the lives of diVinci, Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton and these have lead to some interesting and scholarly discussions. We are trying to watch one a week added to our regular lessons.
From the kitchen...
Fresh coffee smells are eminating and we will be having some pancakes for breakfast with WV apple butter to go on top. Then the chicken and dumplings for dinner.

I am wearing...
A warm robe over my favorite gown.

I am creating...
Looking into making some felt crafts. I would love to make a few penny rugs and eye-glass cases. I craft just for the fun of it and that is why I am always making something different. Sometimes we incorporate crafts into our school day and sometimes I revisit craft techniques that I used to love when I was younger. I had thought that I would start selling my handicrafts, but that took a little more discipline and time than I was willing to give the effort. I will just keep crafting for fun and gift-giving for now.

I am going...
to go to the hospital to visit my dad after we finish with our lessons. He has really had a rough couple of months. He had BOTH carotid arteries cleaned out within a month and is now facing the replacement of his defibrilator device. He has had his current device for a little over 5 years and it is just not working like it used to. The doctors say it is time for a new one. He is 88, please keep him, and my mother, in your prayers.

I am reading...
"When Will This Cruel War Be Over~The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson" and "Folk Medicine" by D.C. Jarvis, M.D.
I tend to like older books and have, literally, stacks of them from which to choose. These are the ones that have my attention at this time. I have also pulled out the Autumn Ideals poetry magazines from the bookshelves to the coffee table for easy reading.

I am hoping...
that all goes well with my daddy and that he gets to come home, soon. I am hoping, too, that we have a sunny day this week so that Caleb, Robin and myself can take in a day at our local favorite park. I need a park day.

I am hearing...
the sounds of morning, my hands happily tapping on the keyboard and some peaceful and beautiful music on the radio.

Around the house...
much to be done, rooms to be cleaned, laundry (again~praise God for clothes to wash!), and life to be lived.

One of my favorite things...
Warm pumpkin bread and a hot cup of coffee on chilly Autumn mornings! I need to start some baking.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
taking life one day at a time, trusting the Lord and following His leading!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My Dad's family, Randolph County, NC circa 1948 or 49.
He is the second one from the left on the front row.
(What a handsome young man~look at those curls!)
I pray that you are all having a blessed, beautiful and productive week. Sending warm ((HUGS)) to each of you!
Stay Cozy and Warm,
Charlotte

Monday, September 27, 2010

What's Cookin' Monday!!!!!

     Good morning, dear blog friends!!! I am in an exceptionally good mood (especially for a Monday ;-) I think that the older I get, the more I have come to appreciate the sense of motivation that we feel on Mondays. It is that inner longing to get things back on track after spending time relaxing or enjoying favorite activities on the week-ends. I have also had week-ends in my life where I worked outside of my home, and then it was even more important to think of Monday as a chance for new beginnings and a springboard to re-organizing my world.
     This past week-end our family had a wonderful mini-trip to Ohio to visit my husband's beautiful family. His sweet momma will be having a birthday on the 30th of this month and my Sis-in-Law (the supreme planner of our family-Sis, you are AWESOME!) got together with their Ohio relatives to plan a wonderful surprise party for her! My Mom-in-Law was so very surprised and HAPPY!!!! We all enjoyed seeing everyone and having some time to visit and catch up with each other. You just can't beat time spent with family!!!
     So here I am on this first Monday of the fall season, rested, energized and ready to start a brand new week of work here at my dear Cozy Home. My little grandson, W, will be coming to spend the morning with us, Caleb and I will be having our homeschool lessons, I will be doing my usual cleaning and business activities and then our son and his family are coming over for dinner this evening. No wonder I am so "twittery"!!!
     I have a wonderful and tasty chicken recipe to share with you today. Easy to fix and yummy to eat!!! I use my good old Bean Pot when I fix this, you can use your Bean Pot, or, if you don't yet have one, you can use a large covered casserole, thought your outcome could be a bit different. I really do cook with my Bean Pots and highly recommend them. I would never recommend anything that I don't LOVE and use to my friends. Here is the recipe for today:

CHICKEN DIVINE

6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 envelope Lipton's Onion Soup mix

Place the chicken breasts in the Bean Pot.
Add the cream of chicken soup, then the cream of mushroom soup
Sprinkle the Lipton's Onion Soup over the top.
Put the lid on your Bean Pot and bake the chicken at 250 degrees
for 6-8 hours. Serve with buttered egg noodles and your favorite
vegetables or tossed salad. DELISH!!!

Happy Monday and Keep Cozy!!!
Charlotte

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY


Outside my window...
Sights and smells of a beautiful day on its way. You can now see the leaves clearly changing and, on more than one morning this month, smell the faint smoke from a neighbor's fireplace.

I am thinking...
that I love my simple little life in my small town.

I am thankful for...
the blessings of family and home! Thankful, too that both of my parents are home from their recent days in the hospital and that they are recieving some home health care assistance.  Thankful to neighbors and cousins who are helping out in getting them to and from Doctor appointments. I am also very thankful that they have wonderful neighbors that are always looking out for them, bringing them good things to eat and lending a hand with errands now and then. God bless them for their help!

From the learning rooms...website
Caleb started French language lessons on Live Mocha's website yesterday! Ooo-la-la :-)

From the kitchen...
We will be having Cream of Wheat cereal for breakfast this morning. I am going to make a crock pot full of  Broccoli and cheese soup served with hot rolls for our supper this evening.

I am wearing...
My favorite leaf print shirt for fall and blue jeans.

I am creating...
A new fall wreath for our front door.

I am going...
nowhere today, just enjoying being at home!

I am reading...
An old favorite: Taylor Caldwell's Ceremony of the Innocent, my poetry books, lots of magazines, several decorating books.

I am hoping...
that the next few months are filled with blissful, quiet days.

I am hearing...
the sound of my family stirring upstairs and the radio playing sweet music for the morning.

Around the house...
time to take down some curtains for a bath and time to clean those windows-yep.

One of my favorite things...
Cream of Wheat with brown sugar and cinnamon for breakfast on cool autumn mornings!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Getting ready to start a little Fall Housecleaning around the old Cozy Home Cottage.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Rooster on top of my china cabinet
Hope that everyone is having a beautiful week. A great BIG thank you to sweet Peggy for hosting this Daybook!


Monday, September 13, 2010

What's Cookin' Monday

Happy Monday, friends!!! I hope that you all had a wonderful week-end and are getting back into the swing of things in this brand-new week! Today's recipe is a real Spears' family favorite, especially during the fall and winter months. As you have surely guessed by now, I like recipes that are convenient and easy to fix. This one is really good served with a fresh green salad and some home-baked garlic bread or Texas toast. A real stick-to-your-ribs supper!!!

Mama Char’s Italian Casserole

1 pound ground beef (the leaner, the better)
1 small onion chopped
1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce (your family favorite, or home-canned)
1 can mushrooms (you can use fresh, sliced white mushrooms, if you prefer)
1 can tomatoes with basil and garlic
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Ex-virg Olive Oil
8 oz package rotini pasta (cooked according to directions)
3 cups Colby-jack cheese shredded
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Brown the ground beef and the onions in a large dutch oven or skillet. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, sugar and olive oil and cook covered over low heat. Stir often and cook until the liquid reduces and it becomes thickened. In the mean time cook the pasta in a pan according to the directions on the package. When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and set aside.

Assembling the casserole: Pour a thin layer of the finished sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 oven safe baking dish. (Of course, I would most highly recommend one of our Celebrating Home Casserole bakers ;-) Pour ½ of the pasta into the pan and top with ½ of the remaining sauce and ½ of the two cheeses. Repeat the layering, finishing with the parmesan cheese on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Serve with toasted garlic bread and a fresh salad.

Tuscan Home Casserole
Hope you enjoy today's recipe. Let me know what you think.

Hugs to all and Stay Cozy!
Charlotte




Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook~September 8, 2010

FOR TODAY


Outside my window...
The sky is dotted with silver soft clouds that predict the possibility of a wet day to come.

I am thinking...
that life is a complicated experience. There are so many hills and valleys for each of us to travel and that I am so very glad that I have trusted Jesus, the good shepherd to lead me along the way. I watching my dear parents go through the valley of their golden years and many of the health problems that come with that time of life. They are steadfast Christians and have faith to see them through and good doctors, also, but it is never easy to watch people you love experience a decline in health.

I am thankful for...
each day that I have and the strength that God gives me to keep on going.

From the learning rooms...
we are getting ready to start back with our local Co-op this Friday and I have been working on the art lessons that I will be teaching to the children there.

From the kitchen...
fresh coffee is on and for this evening I am planning to fix pulled pork BB-Q, seasoned oven potatoes and green beans.

I am wearing...
a floral tee shirt, jeans and socks.

I am creating...
color wheel project kits for co-op on Friday.

I am going...
to the hospital in a little while to take my mom home. She and dad were both in the hospital all of last week and she is ready to be released, dad will have to stay a bit longer. Please pray for them and for us.

I am reading...
only time for magazine articles right now, but I love my magazines.

I am hoping...
that the next few weeks will become less stressful.

I am hearing...
sweet Christian music from a local station.

Around the house...
the vaccuum needs to be done and laundry, always laundry ;-D

One of my favorite things...
time spent visiting with a good friend over a cup of tea.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
that all depends on what comes up with my parents.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
My Sweet Mom and Dad


Sincere thanks to Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook for being such a dear hostess!












 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook (August 31, 2010)

FOR TODAY

Outside my window...
I am looking at the sweet little fruit trees that have been planted by the railroad tracks that run in front of my house. They were planted about 15 years ago and never cease to bring me joy as the seasons change. In the spring they are bursting with pink and white blooms, in the late summer, they are often loaded with small apples, and in the fall they come into full color...just beautiful!

I am thinking...
of the friends that I have made in my lifetime and how the Lord has always surrounded me with dear and gentle people in my life.
I am thankful for...
My dear husband and family, our sweet home, my precious friends and most of all my Lord who is the provider of ALL in my life.

From the learning rooms...
We are reading The Book of Virtues and Boatsong,  brushing up on math skills, studying economics in Social Studies and many other interesting things, besides.

From the kitchen...
starting the day with a bowl of raisin bran cereal, not sure what I will be cooking for supper tonight. We might have chicken, we might have pork chops.

I am wearing...
my good old summertime gown with the little roses on it...loves my roses!

I am creating...
small collages with Bible verses written on them. Kind of a new little hobby for me.

I am going...
to visit my mom and dad later today.

I am reading...
my many poetry books and magazines.

I am hoping...
for prayers to be answered: for my mom and dad's health, for this country and our economy, for my children and their families' needs. We each have so many prayers that may or may not be shared here on our blogs. I am hoping that you will keep us in your prayers as you are each kept in ours.
I am hearing...
soft sounds of traffic outside, my morning music playing softly from my computer, morning sounds.

Around the house...
I am getting ready to get out the fall decorations. I am thinking of making a new wreath for our front door and changing out the table decor for the season. I love this time of year and look forward to the beautiful colors of the changing leaves and the cooler days!

One of my favorite things...
A great big cup of hot apple cider served with a huge slice of homebaked apple crisp!!! YUM! Apples and Autumn, what a wonderful combination :-D

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Decorating work for a couple of clients, articles to finish, housework to tend and a couple of outings with some homeschool friends later this week.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
 

One of the little fruit trees;
across the street, right in front of my house.


Thank you for stopping by and reading my entry for this week in The Simple Woman's Daybook. If you would like to join the fun and post your entry, then stop by and visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook for instructions to get started and to add your link. This post brought to you by:

Monday, August 30, 2010

What's Cookin' Monday

     Sometimes my life can seem so busy with my daily responsibilites; home schooling, home business, daily chores and such. I sometimes think that I am just going to collaps from it all. Those are the times that I step back and remind myself of just how much has changed over the last couple of years. It is hard to believe that I used to have to go to a job outside our home where I took care of up to 100 people per week, ordered furnishings for them and kept track of deliveries, went out on outside design calls, raced with other commuters to work, had only 1/2 hour for lunch and then raced again with even grumpier commuters back home from work. When I got home, I helped my dear hubby with our dinner, helped our very disgruntled little one with his homework, took care of evening chores and bathtime routines, prepared for the next day to do it all over again. At the same time I was also active in our church choir and helped with my parents as much as posible and managed to fit in some time for friends–WHEW! I realize as I reflect on these hectic days just how wonderfully simple my days have become. I LOVE working from home!!!!
     I have been thinking about returning to my weekly posts to Peggy’s The Simple Woman’s Daybook for some time now, but just have not taken the leap. I guess my greatest fear is that I will not keep up with the commitment to post every Tuesday. I have really been praying about it and have decided that I will do my best to stay dedicated and to join in on the fun. I truly miss taking time to examine my week and share the simple things that I am doing and that I am most thankful for in my life. I will start posting these again tomorrow.
     We have had a wonderful day together. Caleb and I are reading through the Book of Virtues together and love some of the poems that are included there. Caleb helped his dad make a simple vegetable soup for our lunch and then one of his little neighborhood friends stopped by after his school day to play for a while. I am getting ready to go in and make some homemade pizza for our dinner this evening. Nothing fancy, just packaged pizza crust mix and sauce from our local grocery store. We top our pizza with Mozerella cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms and whatever else we might have on hand that sounds yummy I love to cook them on my Baking Stones! They always turn out just right with tender crusts not burned on the bottom-MMMmmm! I am a self-confessed "Pizza-holic" ;-D We have pizza at our house at least 2-3 times a month!



     I am so glad that you stopped by today. I loved visiting many of the blogs that I follow this past week-end and am trying REAL hard to be better about posting a comment to let you know that I stopped by. Your blogs add so much joy to my days!!! I never tire of seeing what is new in your lives.

Until later, HUGS and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte
   

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday's Decorator Storyboard

     When I was in college studying design, one of my favorite parts of any project was creating the final "storyboards" for our presentations. I still LOVE to do storyboards, but I don't often get the opportunity in the real world of decorating. Most of the time I am working with my clients strait from the fabric books and paint swatches as we match them to the decorative accessories that they have chosen for their homes or offices. As i have stated in previous posts, I have gone back to my good old retail roots and am working with Celebrating Home and Oddity in order to help clients, friends and family develop their rooms. This is a much more comfortable fit for me as a business model than the "charge-by-the-hour" consultation model that many designers use for their businesses. Both are wonderful business models, it is entirely up to the decorator/designer to choose the one that works best for them. My perfect fit is direct sales and private appointments so that I can help my clients one-on-one.
     Anyway, back to the promised STORYBOARD~I can't wait to show you what I have put together this week. (Drum roll.......) TA~DA!!!!

     The beautiful framed print is called First Impressions and is a wonderful large~scaled sofa print from Celebrating Home. The sconces beside the print are the Ellington Wall Sconces and these are large~scaled metal sconces with a crackled glass hurricane that is capable of holding pillar candles 3" in diameter. My suggested paint color would be one in the sage or golden range, however, the picture would make a dramatic statement on a berry colored wall, also. I found the fabrics through one of my suppliers, Greenhouse Fabrics, and loved the way they set off the colors in the print. The little Bergere Chair and Ottoman are from Ballard Designs~so CUTE! The colors and fabrics on the board are only suggestions. I think it would make a very pretty traditional setting, what do you think?
     Thanks for taking time to stop by and see what I'm up to this Friday, God bless each of you and I am praying that each of you is well and that you will have a beautiful week~end!

Cozy Hugs,
Charlotte
    

Monday, August 23, 2010

What's Cookin' Monday!

Good afternoon, sweet friends. I am just now getting around to my little blog and, as promised, will post the recipe for this week. We started back to our homeschooling today and had a wonderful start to the new school year~very enjoyable morning of lessons. I will post more about that on my other HS blog. Without further ado, here's what's cookin' at our house today:

Slow-Cooked Beef Ribs                              

4 lb. beef short ribs
1 large onion, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee
1 tsp. potato starch

PLACE ribs, onions and garlic in your Celebrating Home slow cooker /Bean pot. Combine ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, coffee granules and potato starch; pour over ingredients in slow cooker. Cover with lid.

COOK on 350 degrees for 3 hours.

REMOVE ribs and onions from your Celebrating Home slow cooker /Bean pot; cover to keep warm. Skim and discard excess fat from sauce. Return ribs and onion to sauce; stir gently until evenly coated.


Celebrating Home Veranda Bean Pot

I am serving our ribs with baked potatoes and California Style mixed vegetables. Cooking in a Bean Pot slow cooker is an easy way to fix your meals early. You can add the side dishes to your oven according to the time they need in the oven. I like to bake my potatoes at 350 for anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour. The mixed veggies are frozen and can go into the oven in a covered casserole with 1/3 cup of water during the last 45 minutes of baking seasoned with butter, salt and pepper to taste.  Everything comes out at the same time, set a pretty table and call the family to dinner. Enjoy!!!

Hugs to all,
Charlotte




Friday, August 20, 2010

Been Thinkin' and Prayin' and Here is What I'm Doin'

     Dearest blog sisters, I hope that you are all having a wonderful sunny day in your corner of the world. We are still having some of those "soupy" summer days here in WV. I am hoping things start to cool down a bit with the coming of September. I LOVE autumn and cannot wait to see the leaves start to change, neighbors sitting out pots of mums and foddershocks by their front porches, and to smell that wonderful first whiff of someone burning wood in their fireplace~ahhh!
     I have truly been thinking and praying about the direction that my life in the land of blogs and writing, and I believe that the Lord has directed my decision as to what needs to be done. I will be combining the Cozy Home Journal (simple living tips, recipes, poetry, etc) with the Cozy Home Cottage. I am going to try and post three days a week and will have specific goals for the posts. You can look forward to a new recipe on Mondays. I am keeping the weekends for visiting and reading your wonderful blogs. Since Mondays mark the beginning of my business week, I try to plan easy "pop-in-th-oven" or slow cooker dinners for my family. I will be posting the recipes for these simple, yet yummy, meals here in a featured post I call "What's Cookin' Mondays". Wednesday posts will be something inspirational or personal or both.  The posts might include news about happenings going on around here at the old cottage, tips I have found that simplify my days or short devotionals or something poetic in nature. Just whatever strikes my fancy that day. Fridays feature will be something entirely new for the old CHC blog. I will be featuring a new "story board" each week showing various color schemes and ideas to inspire your home decorating. All of my posts will remain as chatty and friendly as ever, I never want to sound "teachy" or stiff. Blogs are about sharing with friends and having fun. I don't like "know-it-all" posts and I never want to sound that way, either.
     I will also maintain a new Cozy Home Academy blog here on Blogger to chronicle our homeschool happenings. I realize that not all of my dear CHC readers homeschool, so this way you will not have to read all about our lessons, field trips and adventures, unless you are so inclined to go over to that blog for a bit. We are very eclectic in our learning, sometimes things are great, sometimes they are not, but we always have lots of fun. You are welcome to check that one out anytime you wish.
     I will be starting the new changes this coming week, so don't forget to pop in to see "What's Cookin' Monday". I hold each of you dear in my heart and love that you count me as a friend in blogland. Hugs and prayers for each of you. Hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Friday, August 13, 2010

      Can you believe it is August already!!! This summer has FLOWN passed and I can't believe it is already time for us to get started on homeschooling again. I have been working on a schedule for our days and our lessons as well as taking time to visit with friends and family as they drop by. I am usually not real good with posting details of my day to day life and my kids say that they prefer not to become part of my blog life~gotta respect their wishes, I guess. We had a wonderful "surprise" visit from our daughter who lives in NC at the end of July. She and her hubby and son decided to come up and she called us the night before to make sure it was OK...of COURSE it was OK!!!! We were thrilled to see them and had a wonderful time together. The other kids came over and we had a wonderful dinner together. Hope they can come back again soon. I always love to have my kids come home, even if it is just for a little while.
     I am also trying to decide on the course of my blog life. I could really use some wise advice from my sweet blog sisters on this one. I currently have three blogs and two of them are on another blog server. I have had one up since 2006 and one from 2007. Each of my blogs cover a different area of interest in my life. One is homeschool, one is thrifty living, recipes and organizing and, of course, this one that was intended to be all about decorating, but we all know how that is working out~lol. This is where I need your imput. I am thinking of bringing all of my blogs here, but I am wondering if I should keep them all separate, or just combine everything on this one little blog. What do you think?
     I am posting a recipe for you to try. You can use a covered casserole dish to make this in, or your favorite pretty salad bowl, but I use my Bean Pot from Celebrating Home to make it. You know, of course, that everything tastes better from a Bean Pot ;-) This just such a summertime classic and there are still more good picnic and family reunion days left before the official end of summertime.


All American Potato Salad (In a Bean Pot, of course :-)


Ingredients

5 pounds red potatoes
6 eggs
2 cups mayonnaise
1 onion, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain, cool and cut into cubes. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

In a large bowl, combine chopped potatoes and eggs. Mix together mayonnaise, chopped onion, green onion, green pepper, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, then mix well. Place in your chilled Bean Pot, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The chilled porcelain Bean Pot will keep your salad cold for 2-3 hours.
 
I pray that all is well with each of you. I have been having fun visiting many of your blogs, I may not always comment, but I so enjoy pleasant afternoons reading about what is new with you. You are all dear to me and I am always so blessed by your posts. If you try the recipe, let me know how you like it and don't forget to let me know your thoughts on what I should do with my blogs.
 
Until later, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not So Chatty.....

Hmmm, what to say, well, come on brain, think of something to tell your blog friends. There must be something new around the Cozy Home Cottage to write about in a post...brain, wake up brain....(sigh)...Well, Ladies, maybe soon. Right now I am just having a bit of trouble getting this old brain to come up with something cleaver for you to read. It must be the heat and humidity (good excuse, even though the air conditioning is set to 77...;-) Hugs to all and hope you are are all staying cool and comfy.

Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Monday, July 12, 2010

A True Southern Beauty

Wow, how quickly time has passed me by this morning (and most of the afternoon)!!! I had grand intentions of blogging first thing this morning, but it is now almost 3:00 and I am just now getting on my dear little blog to post something new for you to read. I have been busy straightening the office/classroom, vacuuming and taking care of all the usual Monday morning chores. In addition, I have been flipping through fabric books for a client that needs something pretty in brown and gold to cover a window seat. I LOVE flipping through the fabric books...so many PRETTY fabrics! I have to get some other things started, but wanted to post a link to a GORGEOUS set of house plans from EPlans. There are hundreds of plan sites on the web, but I love their plans the best. They have so many nice cottage and traditional styles to choose from and their room layouts are wonderful. This one is a REAL Georgia PEACH, if ever I did see one, I do declare!!!



I just LOVE the side porches and the fan light over the front door!!! Not to mention the HUGE Livingroom/Dining room combo with dual fireplaces~WOW!!! If you are building and want to order the plans, please enter the site through one of my banner ads. I would be ever so appreciative of your kind thoughtfulness. Sending you sweet southern hugs and hoping that your day is going well!!!

Stay Cozy and Cool,
Charlotte




Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Artistic Endeavors

Good morning all! I know that many of your are "Wordless" on Wednesdays, but, those that know me well know that I am rarely without words ;-)  I wanted to share a couple of pieces of art that I did a few years ago. I love to paint, but have always done it strictly as a hobby and have been a bit shy about sharing my "masterpieces" with anyone other than my closest friends and family. My art tends to be on the whimsical side and a bit child-like in nature. I would love to develop my technique in painting more realistic scenery, but when I pick up my brushes my silly inner child comes out to play, and you just never know what that girl is going to do. These two paintings have been hanging in my office until recent changes called for their removal so that HUGE maps could be hung on the walls as part of the room's transformation to our new "learning room" for homeschool. I love the first one as it reminds me of those early spring days where you have sun one minute and rain the next. You know the days; slightly breezy and then the wind kicks up and things begin to swirl in the cross winds...March or early April weather. I called it "Whirly~gigs" and painted it about 8 years ago. I used sand and paper shreds and fibers to create texture on the canvas and then painted it using several favorite brushes and a spray bottle filled with diluted acrylic paint for the effect of gentle rain drops. It was messy, but so much FUN!

The second one is called, "My Favorite Blanket" and was inspired by my first sweet kitty, Patty Paws. She was my dear kitty-friend for 16 years. I got her when I was 7 and she was 6 weeks old. I wanted to pay her homage on canvas. It is abstract in nature and the colors in the background are intended to create a dream-like effect as that is where my dear Patty now exists~in my sweetest memories and dreams. She is poised on a leopard print "blanket". The print is suggestive of her "wild cat" personality while the fabric is soft flannel; just like Patty-Paws had her "soft-side", too. When I look at it, my mind floods with memories of sweet times with her.

Well, there you have it, a little sample of my artistic side. I know that I may never be another Rembrandt, but it makes me happy. I guess that is the purpose of art in the first place, it makes us smile!

Hugs to all, and Stay Cozy!!!
Charlotte

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweet Summer Days


     Happy Summer dear blog friends!!! I looked at my little banner yesterday and noticed that it stated "Today is the Last Day of Spring". Today is the first official day of Summer! It has felt like summer here in beautiful Wild Wonderful WV for at least the last month and we have had some days where it felt like we were walking around in a big bowl of chicken broth~very HUMID!!! But, then, that is part of the 3 H's that make up our summer climate here in the Mountain State; Hazy, Hot and Humid. But I wouldn't live anywhere else in the world (well, unless that somewhere was Ireland ;-)
     I went out on my front porch for a bit yesterday after church and sat in our rockers for a bit. I spend a lot of time out there on nice days, and yesterday was not too humid or hot, so it was very enjoyable to just sit and rock a bit. We did our Father's Day celebrating the day before at mom and dad's so we just enjoyed a quiet day here at our home and had some barbequed chicken, savory oven potatoes and baked beans for our dinner. It is one of those dinners that requires very little prep time and then you get it all in the oven to bake for about an hour while you sit back and relax. That is my favorite kind of cookin'.
     While I was outside, I took a couple of pictures of my tiny little flower bed. The hostas are blooming and I also got a shot of the new little Dogwood seedling that my dad gave me from their yard a couple of months ago. It has already grown about five inches and has gained three new branches. I am thinking that if it keeps doing well through the summer and the fall that I will transplant it to the center of the yard next spring to give it more room. I will close for now, I have been busy writing this morning and my eyes are feeling a bit strained. Hope you are all having the start of a wonderful summer, wherever you are! 

Hugs for Now and Stay Cozy!
Charlotte

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Wonderful Find

Good morning, dear ones,

I am having one of those days where my mind just seems to be traveling to old and familiar places. You know the kind, quiet, reflective, focused on family life and home and the things that matter most in this life. I had started yesterday with many worries on my mind, real and perceived.  I was concerned with our finances(never enough no matter who we are, right) my parent's health, the problems of the grown children (no matter how old they are, they are still our babies) and other things that occasionally cross my poor, weary brain. I took a little break from work and worry and retreated to my favorite chair in our living room, the one beside the big round table where I keep some of my favorite poetry books. I was reading one of my favorite Helen Steiner Rice books when I happened to think about something I saw in the small cedar chest in our dining room the last time my daughter was snooping in there. I went and got it out and realized just what a TREASURE I had in my hands, the very thing I needed to help lift me from my self-indulgent worry. About 17 years ago my cousin, Kay, had typed up some of the wonderful family stories told by my mom and my oldest aunt. She did this for a family reunion and everyone there got a copy to take home. I was SPELLBOUND!!! I had forgotten some of these and had totally forgotten that my mom had her own section because, as the last little un-expected baby, she had memories that were much different than those of the older siblings. It was a wonderful, sentimental journey and today I am just feeling wistful and so very grateful that God saw fit to place me in such a wonderful earthly family. I am also so very glad that He has given me a wonderful inheritance into His family through my loving Savior, His son, Jesus. I am a very blessed girl, indeed...

Love to all and
Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Friend in High Places....

Look who I spotted WAY up high, first thing in the morning~where she is NOT supposed to be lying.....



She was so comfortable and curled up in a little ball until she spotted me coming in to make my coffee and she sat up and struck the pose as if to say, "Take my picture, mom"...she is such a priss-pot! It was easy enough to get her down from there, however. A little bit of left-over chicken breast always works wonders when I am trying to get her away from mischief ;-)

Hugs and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte
   

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Bath Blog

Hello friends of mine,

I have been meaning to start posting more photos from around my Cozy Little Home and the other day someone asked me a question concerning the way my bath is decorated. Well, I broke out the camera and snapped a few pictures. As you all know, my favorite colors (the ones that make me smile) are the pretty pastels that can be found in a spring garden. These colors can be found all through my house and my bath is no exception. Here are the photos:

The wall paper on the top half of the walls was here when we moved in and we have kept it because the neutral tones go well with the flooring. Another plus is that the neutral color makes changing accessories, towels and rug colors very easy. The little chest beside the, um, potty :-} is wonderful for storing extra rolls of paper. The small basket on top of it makes a great place for after bath lotions, a candle and the can of air freshener. It is a simple room and not one that will be featured in any magazines any time soon, but it has a certain charm that is sweet to me. Just thought I would share it with you. Hope you are all having a BEAUTIFUL Friday!!!!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wishing You a BEAUTIFUL Mother's Day

Dearest ones,

I have not been by here to post anything for a bit, but I wanted to take a few minutes today to wish each of my sweet blog friends a Happy Mother's Day!!! I spent Wednesday with my momma and daddy and we had just the BEST visit together! We had a nice lunch with some of her good cherry cobbler for dessert. We took time to have a long walk around the yard to look at all of her newly blooming coral azaleas and the rhododendron that I got her about 16 years ago; they were LOADED with blooms. She shared some newspaper articles that she had saved for me. It was just filled with the kind of moments that make being mother and daughter so special. The very kind of sweet moments that our mind saves for remembering to get us through the hard times that are sure to come into our lives. If you are a momma, I wish that today you will take time to spend with your sons and daughters. If you are a grown daughter or son and your momma is still with you, my wish is that you will have a wonderful day with her. I know that some of you have lost your own mommas or children and I am hoping that today you are able to think about all of the sweet memories that you made while you were together on this road called life. Our mommas are our FIRST friends and our BEST friends and we learn so much from them in our lives. As mommas we give the BEST we have to be the MENTORS and FRIENDS that our children need. I hope that, however you spend today, there will be LOTS of special memories made with your families.

Love and Hugs,
Charlotte

Saturday, April 24, 2010

HOME

Good (quiet) Morning, all,

I have just been sweetly enjoying a morning filled with simple, serene moments. I woke at 6:30 after a night filled with not-so-nice dreams. I had some disturbing images of someone wanting to hurt me all night long and I slept very fitfully...so much for fried potatoes just before bed...quothe the momma, "NeverAgain"! Anyway, after I had my first sip of good old, refreshing water, I got to my computer in my quiet little office and my good old kitty, Zoot, was asleep in the chair beside of mine. Now watching that kitty sleep is the quintesential definition of "peaceful". She was even snoring~so CUTE! I did not dare to pet her, I was not about to disturb HER sweet dreams~I was just glad that someone in the house was having a good sleep. I read my email and my good old Facebook page and had 2 cups of good coffee and some toast with butter~ahhh. I am realizing more and more just how VERY much I enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life at home. This good old house just wraps her walls around me and I feel so safe and secure. The funny thing about my dreams last night was the fact that, even in my sleep, the place I headed to for safety was my room in this house...I could see it in my dream and my husband was there to hold me tight so that no one could hurt me. It was a wonderful feeling and the one that I woke up with that was the settling end to my restless night. My hubby and my son are just now waking up for the day and I am looking forward to a nice quiet Saturday together. Later in the day, my step-son is coming by to take Caleb to the Circus with his family. I will probably work in a good nap sometime this afternoon, just my kind of day!!! Hope that you are having a good week-end, too.

Sending you BIG HUGS,
Charlotte

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Week (at A Glance) :-D

     Good morning, blog sisters!!!! I have been up since 6:15 and have had my quiet morning time with God, and my fun on Facebook and I am now getting ready to hop off of my old computer and get started with my day! I am hoping to get a couple of articles written for Two Lane Livin' and for Shiloah Baker over at the Homemaking Cottage. It seems that my life as a writer might be taking off, after all! I am also working on a brochure for the future Historic Preservation Society for our little town of Dunbar, WV. I am working on this project with our mayor's wife and I am VERY excited about it!!! I will let you know more about the Society as it comes together. We are having our second meeting tomorrow at 11:00 AM.
     This is also the last official week of Caleb's school year!!! We are finishing the last of his lessons so that we can start enjoying the beautiful weather!!!! We love to get out and have picnics at the parks in our area, go on hikes and Caleb loves to ride his bike. I will finish his portfolio by the end of next week and have it all ready for our review. Then, maybe, I can get this classroom/studio back into shape!  
     I wanted to share another one of my little poems with you before I go. This one also serves as the philosophy for my business and our home:



I hope that you are having a Cozy week wherever you are!!!

Hugs from WV,
Charlotte

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Poetry: Music to Sooth Your Blues

     Good morning all! I am taking time to write a much over-due posting this morning before I travel from my Cozy Home to join friends at our monthly Poetry Club meeting. I really look forward to this every month and this month I have 3 newly penned poems to share with my fellow poets in progress. Our life is a good one here at our sweet little cottage in WV, but I still battle with some depression from time to time. I think that may be the very reason that I love my poetry group. The group is more than just a creative outlet for me, these friends are wonderful in the way we support and encourage each other.
     You see, I have been feeling a bit down this past week due to some of the changes that have happened in my life over the past couple of years. I am still taking my momma to the wound care center once a week for her legs (yes, now both are bandaged for ulcers-this does not make either of us happy, especially my very independent mom-about-town momma as she cannot get out and go like she was always used to doing), my little business is not as busy as I would like for it to be. This means that the money is not as plentiful as we would like, the necessities are taken care of, but things get pretty squeaky around the last week of the month. I am having some real issues with being in crowded situations and I am wondering if this has anything to do with the sharp decline in estrogen since my surgery last June. Anyway, all of these things have had a real negative affect on my mood and especially this past week for some reason. 
     This is where my poetry friends and our group come into the picture. Now, believe me, I know that the Lord is my strength and my hope, and my prayer life is very active. But, sometimes I turn into such a whiny little child and that is when I turn to pen and paper to try and get some of these bitter-teared-emotions down on paper. I sometimes feel like the Psalmist because as I am writing the strangest thing happens. You know how even the saddest and most plaintive of the psalms always end with praises to the Lord...well, that is what happens to my poetry, also. I sat down yesterday to write some soul saddened works, some poetry that would epitomize the scope of saddness that I was feeling. I was hoping to relay just how encumbered my life is with care...oh, woe is me! Well, it wasn't long into my writing that I read back one of my poor, pitiul pennings and realized just how it must sound to my Creator, my Redeemer and my Friend who gave all so that I may have life, and more abundantly! WOW, what a silly little cry baby I am...I forgot to count my blessings and I was letting the old adversary get the best of me. I turned my creative cap around and got busy writing a "new song", one more befitting a daughter of the Lord Most High! I will share it at my group today. I am shy about posting very personal poetry here, but I will this time in the hopes that it might help someone. It is about my quiet morning devotional times:

Time Alone With God

Charlotte Spears
April 2010

In the sweet, calm hours
Of the early morn
Before my family stirs
Ready to rouse and
Begin a brand-new day,
I am surrounded by soft darkness
That belongs to the hushed
Hours, just before the sunrise.
These are the golden moments
Where I meet my LORD, alone
To offer Him my thanks
For all that He has done,
Where I strain to hear
His still, small voice
As I ask His direction
To guide my day ahead
In these tranquil times
Spent with Him alone
I find the sweetest peace within
There truly is NO GREATER JOY
Than our quiet time together! ©

     The other sad, sad, works were tucked away, they may or may not ever be shared, but they will remain to remind me of the way I sound to others and to my Lord when I complain about my life. All that will be counted in the end are my works for Him, I always want to be a good witness for all that He has given to me.
      I am currently working on Caleb's homeschool portfolio which is the biggest reason that no pictures of the new classroom/studio have been posted. You guessed it, no sooner did we get all organized than the stacks of homeschool books, papers and projects just kind of took over the room--oh, well it is worth it!!!I will try my best to get some pictures up some time in May as our review is set for June the third--WOOHOO!!! I am sending BIG HUGS to you all and hoping that you are all having a wonderfully blessed week!

Until Next Time~Stay Cozy!
Charlotte

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Do It Yourself Ottoman

Question to my sweet blog family: How can you tell when a blogger's days are really busy? Yup, you guessed it, they temporarily disapear from Blogland! Well, guess what? Yup, my days have been really busy around here lately! I have been really getting down to the wire with my young one and his studies as we are trying to pull together a really good portfolio for his Homeschool review. I have also been doing more writing and have several articles and some poetry filed away for future blog posts, poetry club meetings and my monthly installment for Two Lane Livin'. All of this plus, I have started to work on some of those projects for the craft fairs that I am planning on attending this coming fall. I want to take plenty of time to get things ready for these so that I have a good assortment to take with me, so I am starting on them early. I also do not want to feel rushed to get them completed. I am never sure when my mom or my dad or my MIL might have to call on us and I like to be on stand-by, just in case.

I have found the cutest DIY project to share with you from Better Homes and Gardens:

Do It Yourself Ottoman

I LOVE the bright colors and the French Country feeling of these ottomans. The instructions are included in the article. I am thinking that it would be neat to make some matching pillows to sprinkle around the room along with them for added impact! I hope that you are having a wonderful day in your Home-Sweet-Home!!!! Stay busy, but not too busy to come out and visit Blogland for a bit of rest and inspiration. You ladies are the BEST!

Stay Cozy 'til Next Time,
Charlotte

Monday, February 22, 2010

Color 101: Picking Your Palette - Photos - MyHomeIdeas.com

Hello and good morning to all!!! I am excited to tell you that yesterday the temperature in our little corner of the Big Cozy World reached 48 degrees farenheit!!! We were ecstatic!!! Caleb got to go outside and ride his skateboard, Robin sat on our backporch and had coffee while talking to his mom on the phone and I even ventured out on the porch for a bit, myself! It was WONDERFUL! Now, while they are predicting some more of that cold, white stuff for us later in the week; that little taste of things to come will keep me twittering (no not the social network, rather literally bubbling over with excitement) for days! I went online this morning looking for some beautiful decorating ideas and came across this article on color:

Color 101: Picking Your Palette - Photos - MyHomeIdeas.com

I never grow tired of talking about color, or seeing new ideas for color combinations. Hope you enjoyed the article and I hope you are having a little taste of SPRING wherever you live!!!

Until Next Time
Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cute Spring Accessory for You to Make!



Good morning blog buddies!!!! I am just getting ready to hop of of my old computer and start my day, but I wanted to post this cute little lesson from Oddity Inc. for you to see. I LOVE the garden cloches that I see on so many blogs, but did not know where to go to find them. Oddity has them in all different sizes!!! This is the latest 5 Minute Decor video with a quick lesson on putting one together. I am SO ready to start decorating for SPRING!!!  Click the link under the picture to watch the video, but please, do me the great favor of going to my store link (located on the right side of my blog) if you would like to purchase the items for your Cozy Home. My family would graciously thank you for that courtesy.
I have finished the new classroom/art studio but have not taken time to get any new photos of it to post here, yet. Caleb and I are enjoying all that room for learning and creating our art projects. We have decided that Fridays are our "Art Days"!!!! That gives us something to really look forward to all week long. I will get the pictures posted as soon as time allows. For now I am sending big hugs to all of you. I have had a wonderful morning visiting with some of you. It is always so much fun to stop by and read about what everyone has been doing in your little corners of the world! I hope you all have a wonderful week!!!

Stay Cozy, 
Charlotte 



Saturday, February 6, 2010

More Snow, Still Organizing and A Little Aboout a Bobeche

     Good morning to all and Happy Saturday!!! I love Saturday mornings, always have!!! I guess it goes back to my childhood and having my daddy home on the week-ends. There was something so magical about that-he worked so hard during the week that we did not get to see him very long each week day. Week-ends were like mini-holidays to me then and I guess some of that magical quality has remained with me over the years.
     We are having more snow here in WV this morning. It was fun the first couple of times this winter, but I am so ready for springtime, now! My silly cat loves it and is out on the back porch for a minute watching the flakes fall to the ground. Whenever it snows, she goes out and in all day just like a kid. She is part Maine Coon Cat and I think that the cold feels good to her, especially with that extra thick winter coat she gets. She will be back in momentarily to get another bite of food and a fresh drink of water and maybe a cat nap, but for now she is porch sittin' and watching the snow! Caleb is watching an old family Christmas video from when he was around 2 years old and my sweet hubby is frying some bacon--mmmm. I am just taking a break from our cleaning out and organizing to catch up on a blog or two.
     The office is coming along nicely and I am still clearing out and sewing my window treatment. We have gotten ourselves into a MAJOR cleaning spree around here!!! It all started out so simple with the re-vamping of the office, but the effort has now expanded into cleaning out all of our closets and cupboards! Where does all of this STUFF come from??? I called a local charity and they are coming on Thursday to pick up the things that are in good condition so that someone else that might really need them can put them to good use. We are on a roll and it feels so good to clear out the un-needed clutter from our home and lives.
     I have also been taking time to promote my online businesses a little more this week. This is a large part of how I contribute to our family income and I love to talk about it every chance I get. I had someone call the other day asking about the fundraising program from Celebrating Home. They are having an expo for businesses to share their fundraising opportunities with Relay For Life team captains and wanted to know if I would be interested in attending to share mine. It will be in April and I told them that I would LOVE to be there. The other little web business, ODDITY Inc. is also a fun place to shop and find many interesting little "jewels" to add that extra sparkle to your home. I am crazy over their collection of  bobeches.


     These are so beautiful and add such an elegant touch to candle sticks. They have some that are more modern without the crystals dangling down, too, but these are my favorites. If you want to see the others just follow the link: http://www.oddityinc.com/customer_stores/shop/search.asp
     I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday morning wherever you are! I am going now to eat some of that wonderful breakfast that Chef Robin has been working on for us. Hugs for now.

Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Transition Begins



Oh my goodness, here it is the last weekend in January and this is the FIFTH time this month that I have been here to write!!! This could become a habit--LOL. Well, at least I am hoping for that! We are having a cold and snowy day here in WV. Outside the temperature is a VERY cold 20 degrees with a WCF of 11 degrees--BBRRR! Nice day to just sit inside, drink hot coffee and blog a bit. I am going to try and post some photos of the new craft room/school room as I go through the process
of weeding-out and re-organizing. Somewhere, I have a really good photo of the office when it was first finished for me with some of my now gone fabric books on the shelf and everything looking pristine and organized.....hhmmm, as you can see by the photos from today, this is NOT currently the case. I have a LONG way to go! The beautiful piece of fabric at the window is what I am using to make the new window treatments and I have a gorgeous piece of coordinating fabric about the same color as the walls that will be used for trim and ties. Caleb is excited about getting his maps and classroom posters up on the walls, we have a LARGE selection! Notice the nice wooden easel in the center photo. I have had it there for 6 years, just waiting to be used again!!! We will be using it now on a regular basis as Caleb will
have his paints in the classroom. I will be so glad to have everything finished, but for now I am just continuing to sort everything out. The window treatments should be finished by next weekend and then I can post photos of the finished project for you to see. For now, I am going to go and enjoy some of the nice lunch that my very sweet husband has fixed for us-chicken patties with maccaroni and cheese--mmmm. Hope that everyone is staying warm and cozy wherever you are!!!

HUGS, 
Charlotte                                                 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Changing Direction

Good morning to all! Hope that you are having a wonderful and productive day so far, no matter what your chosen activity of the day might be. I posted last week about my return to sewing and I want to thank everyone for your kind and encouraging comments. I am starting on my first project this week and have decided on making a new window treatment for my soon-to-be-defunct design studio. Yes, after much (MUCH) prayer and evaluation, I have decided to end my focus on in-home consultations. I am packing up my fabric books and my wall-paper sample books to be shipped back to their suppliers. No, this does not mean that I am giving up my WAHM business, it just means that we (royal "we" meaning ME) are taking a different approach to the focus and primary business of Cozy Home Designs. I have been under conviction about this for some time and the New Year seemed like the perfect time to take the plunge! The office will become my craft room and also a more suitable school room for my sweet little Caleb. He is 10 now and requires more room for projects and lessons than just our dining room table. I will hang maps and posters in there for him and he will also be learning to sew later on this year. The business will still have plenty of room for my crafting of the following: custom lamps, small painted signs, table runner and placemat sets and whatever else comes to mind. I will be setting up at a few craft fairs and special events starting in August of this year, and hopefully a few more next year. I will still be selling my beloved Celebrating Home both at the events and online at my personal web page (see the link at the right). I will also keep the personal web store for those nifty Oddity accessories (also has a link on the right). My husband will be making some of his wood crafted items for me to sell at the fairs. I am so excited right now, I could just about POP! Pray with me that all will go well for us. I will post some pictures of my projects on here from time to time as I finish them.

HUGS to all and Stay Cozy!
Charlotte

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sew What???

No, this is not a smart aleck-y remark, it is more like me making a challenge to myself for the New Year. I use to sew a LOT way back when I was in High School and then as a young wife and momma. Then, well, I just QUIT! Dropped it like a hot potato and have never returned--sigh. Yes, for those of you that have followed me here and on my other blog, I have been threatening to pick it up again for a couple of years...my procrastinations skills are endless, or there have been extenuating circumstances beyond my control at times to make myself sound more justified. Nonetheless, this year for sure!!! I have the sewing machine all set up and a couple of prime projects already lined up; now the only question remains---which one gets started first or "Sew What"? I will be posting as soon as I figure it out.

Until next time, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow



I am thinking about doing some re-decorating in my dining room. Right now I have dark green Cape Cod curtains up at the two long windows in there and they make a bold statement, but I am really TIRED of them (they have been up for close to 10 years (you see what I mean). I am thinking of replacing them with a pretty valance and panels made from the Moire Plaid at the left. The colors would complement the hues in the adjoining living room. I am also looking at adding the cute chair pads to our dining room chairs. I am just needing some inspiration around here since we have been under a white blanket of SNOW for close to a week now--it was fun at first, but VERY cold (in the teens and twenties-not good "play-in-the-snow weather) BBBRRRR! My spring decorating catalogs started rolling in on Tuesday, just in time to add some wonderful color to my gray-drabby WV winter day! I have been really pouring over them and am convinced that this is the year for something new. What do you think?