So, what I ALWAYS find time to do is DECORATE. Yep. It's my thing. This is my porch following Christmas and before Valentines Day:
(More porch pics to come in a bit…)
Anyway, I did finally graduate from Culinary School…and I am was offered a consultant position teaching Adult Continuing Education Cooking Classes at that school! Which is great, because I know where everything is in the kitchen so it makes my classes really fluid…almost like being in my own kitchen! I started teaching in January, and very soon I will start posting some of the recipes over on my other blog at Come2myKitchen.
Following graduation, I did my Internship at the magnificent Grand America Hotel in the bakery. And I have to say, I was as excited to leave that opportunity as I was to start it!! I learned a lot, yes, but I also struggled greatly with the mentality there. It's not about saving money at all there…it's about spending as much money as possible and throwing away A TON of food. It made my heart ache and my soul hurt for the excess and the waste. That's just not who I am, so when I had done a little more than my required hours, and finished up the ginormous Gingerbread House, I let the position pass. They had even given me a $3 an hour raise, and offered me a permanent on-call position. I know they liked me and my work ethic, but I just couldn't give them the full availability that they wanted. In the end, it wasn't a win-win for both parties. Thankfully. I really did not want to stay working there. But I am glad I had the experience and I'm grateful to have learned all the things that I did. And, as a bonus I paved the way for future students from the program at my school to do internships there. I know that I left a good impression and I made my instructor proud. That's the most important thing.
Oh, and of course there was the Holidays to get through, and Festival of Trees to complete. And I've cleared out my storage unit so we can save money every month…and since then I've been sorting out all the things I am now selling online! So yes, I've been busy!
So, back to my porch, and more pics:
I love all things Vintage…and while a lot of these things look like heirlooms, with one exception every thing I used in this design is from my stash of items from either thrift stores or on a severe retail discount! The yellow tin can with the greenery and berries is what inspired my entire design. I knew it would be a great match to all my other items…and it was from a thrift store. For all of $1.00. Score.
The set of Thermos' was a thrift store find from years ago. They have made their appearance in MANY vintage photos…with the bag and everything! Old skates…love the patina and old laces on these ones.
I do Vintage photography, and this is a photo I did of my very cute step-daughter. The old car is in my husband's parents back yard. It's got great character. I edited this photo to make it look like an old Christmas card painting! Isn't it cute? I used the same blanket from the scene to have her sit on for the photo. And other bit of interest…the sweater that she is wearing used to be my Grandma's…which she gave me in High school! I used to wear it quite frequently as a young adult.
The yellow and red wood basket is new to my collection this year and the first time I have used it. Another $1.00 find. The red pinecone metal ornaments were from clearance at Wal-mart a few years back. I really like them for the in-between season and they matched my elements perfectly.
So, I discovered a new trick last fall for highlighting the decor on my porch, and I'm going to always use it from now on. You can see it most clearly in the photo above. I use ground staked SPOT-LIGHTS to shine on the decor on my porch. I love the look it gives, though for actual pictures it's not the best because of the shadows it creates. But, I took one photo with the light shining to show what a warm glow it gives to the vignette.
I waited until there was a lovely fresh dusting of snow to take these pics…I think it's dreamy. The lone snowshoe is vintage from my grandparents cabin. That's all that I inherited of all these items!
More thrifting finds!!
I used a bow left over from last year's Christmas for this wreath, and added some red metal snowflakes from my Christmas tree (Which by this point was taken down and put away anyways). Normally I do more elaborate wreaths, but I felt like this one had plenty going on to fit the entire scene. My new wrought iron wreath holder was found thrifting as well! Another $1.00 deal!
And here's one last look at the scene. The berries over the door were in my stash, and just happened to match the ones in the yellow can. Lucky, eh?
Although this was my AFTER-Christmas look, it certainly would be a good one for the actual Christmas time decor. The problem is, I have so many other looks that I enjoy, and I tend to like my Christmas porch to be Wow-za with some bling. This isn't a blingy look, but I loved it for January. Hope you enjoyed seeing it!