It's six a.m. and the leaden sky feels pregnant with snow but the weather man assures me blue sky and warmer weather are on the way. Cold makes the scrape of the backdoor louder and the frost bites my bare feet when I nip outside with kibbles and water for the stray. There is always a stray. Maybe I can't save them all but I know God has His hand on them, and has given me a heart for animals so I take the ones who show up on my door as answers to my prayer, "Lord use me where I am." This stray is a large mackerel tabby with a scarred right ear.
Overhead the cardinal couple remind me that they'd like breakfast too. I love the bright dot of red and the stark charcoal slashes of tree branch against the pewter sky. I slather a thick layer of shortening, seed, and fruit bits between slices of stale whole wheat bread and slip on shoes before going back outside. I place one in the big plant container by the backdoor. Watching the birds up close is high entertainment for the housebound kittens.
When I bought Christmas fabric featuring cardinals and snowy branches I wasn't sure how I'd put it to use. But it was on sale and I had a coupon. Two of my three shopping rules - good enough!
The fabric ended up being part of a cheap and cheerful winter spruce up in the dining room. I covered the side chairs with the cardinal fabric.
And the arm chairs with a coordinating plaid.
Dollar store garland - silver and gold and red beads - and two boxes of inexpensive glass ornaments dress up the chandelier.
I bought the ornaments at Kmart, (yes, on sale, with a coupon, and I knew how I was going to use them). They are part of the Sandra Lee line and I am not impressed with the quality of the product but the color and shine are perfect.
I love the opulence of the over sized mercury glass candlesticks, the beaded place mats, and the bling chandelier against the oak and cast iron harvest table.
The pressed glass bowl is an estate sale find.
Along with the cheap and cheerful department store bargains and the estate sale finds the dining room spruce up included this china cabinet and a matching rolling buffet. This vintage Broyhill beauty was a curbside treasure. I added some lighting for twelve dollars. Ironically I had been looking at a similar piece for sale by one of my favorite shabby chic shops - priced at $850.00.
Best of all are the whimsical objects that through the magic of time and familiarity fill me with that hopeful Christmas spirit.