The rain has been pelting down all afternoon!

As I rummaged through my long~time collection of vintage Valentines

I am inspired to make three or four of my own...

using material from my brimming box of recycled paper,

ribbon and doily scraps.

These are a few of my favorites...

I think I'll borrow the doily and silhouette motif to start with!


Are you making Valentines this year?

How about envelopes?


Kindling More Light...

Still inspired by light...


and ordinary things...

we continue to kindle bright ideas !!

Click HERE to see more photos!


Inspiration to Illumination: More About Candlelight Graces and Winter Luxuries

Yesterday I posted about these Winter Luxuries & Candlelight Graces

on our Frugal Luxuries blog

I made a promise to tell you more about them...

from Inspiration to Illumination!

Here's how this idea was born out.


I was rummaging through my tea cupboard

looking for ways to bring light to an ordinary day...

when I spied these teacups. (Below)

Note: I sought out cracked and chipped cups for this little project.

I still had the tart pans in mind from my

Magic Mason Jar project a few days ago...

(see post below)

I thought it would be fun to see if the tart pans would work well

in conjunction with the tea cups...

and came up with this look (below).

A tea cup atop a vintage tart pan.

I perched it on this log~slice that Mike had cut for me a few months

ago for our Thanksgiving buffet table.

(By the way, if you haven't already,

you need to see all the creative

things Clarice at "Storybook Woods"

does with these little log slices.)

I then began thinking about some crystal coasters I had

in my craft pantry (see below)

and began playing around to see how they looked with the teacups.

When I put them beneath the cups,

as with the tart pan above,

they too imparted a romantic, pedestal-ed look!

I then took out my Dollar Store Candles

and the Earthquake Wax/Adhesive Stick~Em Putty

and rolled little bits of it into tiny balls and

tucked them inside the center of the teacups...

firmly pressing my candles atop the putty until they were quite secure.

This is what makes the candles stand upright!

A Note of Caution:

While we've been doing this in our kitchen for years

(using all manner of holder) with no problems,

I wouldn't advise you to leave any candle unattended...

especially wispy yet charming little lights like these.

Even still,

they are lovely on the table during a meal

and they brighten~up a dark kitchen while I'm cleaning and/or cooking

...and add charm when the girls and I are

sharing a story and a pot of tea!

Here's a closer look a the tea cup atop the crystal pedestal

(formerly known as a crystal coaster).

If you'd like to see the original post click HERE!


De Mystifying the January Gift Pantry TM

Understanding the Gift Pantry TM

"The only thing we ever have is what we give away."


The Gift Pantry TM (along with your year~round Christmas planning guide) may become your most valuable tool for celebrating each phase of the year in a joyous, creative, simple fashion.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Gift Pantry is a collection of gifts and packaging materials~~homemade, home grown and/or purchased~~kept readily available for future use.

By stocking a Gift Pantry year~round you....will save time as well as money. Most importantly, a Gift Pantry greatly contributes to your peace of mind, allowing
you to relax and enjoy the festivals of the seasons.

Excerpt taken from our book, "Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons," published by Bantam Books, NY, NY, 2000.


Here to see more photos and learn how to make these...


Magic Mason Jars

filled with (potential) light!

They are also charming when used for organizing and storage!


Growing Dinner: Looking Ahead to the Spring Garden

Photo: Terrain

My wish is that you are enjoying the new year thus far!

I am already looking ahead to spring...

and found this wondrously interesting article...

filled with homespun advice and practical information on

Growing Dinner!

I thought you might find it useful & interesting as well!

Please click below to learn more: