Merry Everything!

For Unto Us a Child is Born.  A very Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  And for those not celebrating, a super swell Tuesday to you.


The Monster says hello with her new hat and I’m off to make the roast beast…

kisses,  mrs. V


Christmas Tree Porch Canopy

I believe wholeheartedly in ‘better late than never.’  Admittedly, I was a little tardier than my normal tardy with Christmas decorations this year.  We have a tradition at Chez V of putting up the tree and decorations on the Friday after Turkey Day but this year was a different story.  And to think I had grandiose ideas for decorating this year with you lovelies in mind.  Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men…

But never you fear, I did finally get the tree up and I was able to execute at least one of my large marge schemes.  At long last!  I call her the Christmas Tree Porch Canopy.  This is the second time I have rocked this lil lassy and she’s even more fantastical than I remembered.  

The first time I did this was on a freezing December weekend back in 2004 when I was living with my sister.  mr. V and my sis helped me the first time – you know back when mr. V was still my fiance and up for anything so long as it impressed me.  Let me assure you those days are looooong gone.  So what took 3 of us one weekend to complete the first time, took me 2 weeks to do this time because I was Hans Solo and insanely busy with work.  I should say that this go ‘round mr. V did give me the go ahead, albeit begrudgingly (because I have been threatening to do this at Chez V ever since that first execution), and he did build my frame.  But no help for the labor intensive part which is weaving greenery, lights, and ornaments on a 20’ by 7’ porch ceiling.  Side eye.  

lots of this...

went into this - the frame with chicken wire

same view - completed

Not going to sugar coat it – this is a total pain in the arse.  It’s a lot like climbing up a ladder, bending in half backwards with a craned neck and up stretched arms to attach a sprig of greenery, climbing back down the ladder, moving the ladder a few inches and doing it all over again.  Times 50,000 times.

Pieti loves to photo bomb

I can not take one ounce of credit for the idea – only my execution.  I got the original idea from a 2004 feature of Lawrence Adkins and David Dempsey’s Atlanta bungalow in Cottage Living (RIP).

with lights on

Totally worth the shredded hands and herniated spine.  I walk out on the porch each evening and feel like I am under a huge Christmas Tree, dreaming of sugar plum fairies or red soled shoes…

kisses,  mrs. V


The Power of Paint

Happy Monday, in spite of the brrrrrr around here!  Here’s a quick BEFORE/AFTER for you today about the amazing power of a few buckets of paint.   A certain eagle eyed chica commented about my painted brick on Instagram last night and it occurred to me that I hadn't shared this scary BEFORE with you folks.  A few years back I painted the brick fireplace wall of the living room in our ranch.  Now, for a little backstory, understand that this was battle royale between the mr. and me for about 4 years.  I begged him to let me paint the horrible orangey 70s brick – it was terrible, horrible, no good, very bad and dark in an already dark North facing room.  After years of my whining, he finally caved.

Christmas 2009 - so many sad shades of orange, brown and red - everywhere

Christmas 2012

What a difference!  The paint immediately brightened the room and had an enlarging effect.  Sorry about the grainy shot - late night Instagram pic.  Here are two from last year to give you a clearer picture.

Victory is always mine!

All photos by mrs. V
kisses,  mrs. V


Looks a lot Like Santa's Workshop

In spite of the fact that I no longer have feeling in my right index finger, things are steadily coming off the Chez V production line.  Fueled by coffee during the day and wine in the evening, I hope to emerge on the 24th with everyone’s name crossed happily off my list and perhaps a tree put up.

Love your busy but happy little elf

kisses,  mrs. V


Happy Birthday to Me, You're Welcome

Today is my birthday and rather than bore you with all the things that I will never get, I give something to you instead...

My sister and I visit with Santa in 1983.  Messy Marvin meets Ralphie much?!  And that Rick Springfield concert tee?  Wore it every day as evidence of my first rock concert.  Bah!  The real crime here is that our mother actually cut our hair like that.  As in, she’s a hair dresser and willingly cut off my hair.  Then stood by while I chose the most masculine pair of glasses.  Ever.  And then let my little sister follow suit as is the case with littlesI also blame her for soap poisoning.

So, Happy Birthday to me.  You know what sucks worse than looking like Ralphie?  Having a birthday in December that gets folded into all the holiday shenanigans.  If you want to remain my friend, never buy me a combined birthday/Christmas gift. Ever.

kisses,  mrs. V


Bamboo Trim! I've Died and Gone to Heaven

First things first, a huge thank you to Christine Price, owner/operator of  LaDeDa Salon for hosting me and to everyone who came out on Wednesday evening for the Open House.  We had loads of fun - if you mix gals, vino, sparkly bits, and monogrammed wares – you have a recipe for a good time.  I took many orders for custom glassware and as I expected, the beverage bottle was a huge seller but I must say the star of the show was the vintage, one-of-a-kind  jewelry.  I sold many of my favorite pieces, in fact, one right off of my arm!!  As I was packing things up, ladies were inquiring about when I was having the next show.  I’ll take that as a good sign. More to come!

Secondly, I want to have a minute with this little piece of awesomeness.  Seriously, shut up with that tortoiseshell-looking bamboo molding.  And custom-painted grass cloth.  I mean.

Really I just adore everything happening about this little situation.  Kudos to Kevin Isbell who is responsible for the design.  It is in the Dec/Jan 2013 House Beautiful.  Newell and his crew continue to be at the top of their game.  I very much appreciate that he is dialed into the blog world and has featured many bloggers in this month’s issue in conjunction with the features.  But what is up with the website?    Am I missing something?  Help me to understand why I can’t ever seem to access the pictures or the features.  Is there some sort of secret knock? As a magazine subscriber you would think that I could access the ding dang website.

So ya get a picture of a picture.  Dumb.

Anywho, I am one tired lady.  I need this wknd to recharge like nobody’s business but I have a little something up my sleeve that requires mucho energy.  So here’s hoping that coffee and vino push me on through!

kisses,  mrs. V