Monday

2013 Project Collage

I realized as I was putting this 2013 project collage together that my computer holds a lot of pictures.

And in those pictures there are a lot of projects I never posted about in 2013.  If you would like to see the projects I did post about, just click on the Gallery of Projects link at the top.

2013 Project Collage Bliss-Ranch.com

My favorite post of last year?


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Thursday

A Christmas Project FAIL


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and nary a problem......

A large piece of subway art I finished up as a gift turned out fantastic......


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Faux Crates & Real Bells

I'm a little behind this year on everything.  Even with letting some things go that I do every year, I'm still watching the days fly by trying to accomplish and prepare for some of our family traditions.

Faux Crate Christmas Tree Stand Cover

These gift crates, or faux tree crates are almost finished and will be delivered.  If you would like, you can read last years great crate post, to see who gave me the inspiration, and find out how I made them.

This year I made three - three piece, backless, bottomless, three sided crates.  When they are easily screwed together they slide under the Christmas tree and hide the tree stand. 

Faux Crate Christmas Tree Stand Cover

Now don't be telling my friend Dii, who reads my blog, that one of those is hers.  Just in case she doesn't recognize her last name, and the year she got married. 

I wanted her to have it under her tree before she hosts a big family Christmas bingo party,  but it's still on my dining room table.  Have I mentioned I'm behind this year? 

Bell Ornaments

That same friend made me some red, green and bronze bell ornaments.  I love them.

 Dii ..... I'd like about 100 more of these please.  In your spare time is fine.

Bell Ornaments

I also have a giveaway winner for some Rockin' & Roastin' coffee from Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer ............

Joey Kramer Aerosmith Rockin' Roastin' Coffee

Random number generation / Random Numbers

Generate a random number between and  = 21  

Cassie from the blog Primitive & Proper, come on down, 
I've got some coffee for you that is gonna rock your world!




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Simple Decorations at the Ranch

Last night I sat down to do a rather lame decorating post and instead spent the whole time on phone help with our cell phone provider who had messed up our account.  I'm over it, as long as my phone works when I check it in a few minutes.

 Now I can get back to the lame decorating post I intended.


Yes, those are plastic ornaments, from a garage sale, under a cheesedome cloche.  I bought them to use outside on my decorated window ledges.

My window ledges have not gotten decorated.

I had excellent organization - cutting the greens and red dog wood branches before the snow flew.

I simplified this year.  Not because I wanted too, out of necessity.  I needed that extra week we usually have between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Brawn is responsible for decorating the top three feet of our tree, so don't judge it.  It's about 15 feet to the tip of it, and I'm not standing on a ladder and leaning into the tree.  You know what would happen.  And saying each year "don't put all the same kind of ornaments next to each other, mix it up",  I guess falls on deaf ears.

I realize vintage measuring apparatus turned into a star are not anything new.  However when our tree top star fell from the sky I had to find something proto while Brawn was up on the top of that ladder.  Hence the big star - it's 17 inches across - but I love it.

I wanted the lights to twist between it, but I dare not ask for too much for the top three feet.

There is nothing else vintage on my tree this year.  We went a different route.  So of course the star is a bit out of place with all the glass bulbs.

These glass bulbs never made it any further than in a pottery bowl on a very dusty willow coffee table.  Festive enough, and fuss free.  They are staying.

We have poinsettias all over the place that have white lights strung through them.  Big punch, pretty impact, and easy.

The nativity has it's prominent place. 


The only thing that involved any effort, I didn't even do!  My daughter wrapped a big picture in the dining room.

Me?.... I stuck an upside down poinsettia arrangement in the light fixture and called it good.  10 second decorating this year.

And I'm really ok with all of it.  I'm putting my effort into the things that matter, like enjoying my family.  Don't get me wrong, I love decorating for Christmas and making it warm and cozy for all who are here, and fussing and making new things, but not at the expense of running myself ragged.

There are only so many hours in a day.

So this year at the ranch, it's plenty Christmasy inside, just simple.  And there is not one thing wrong with that.


The metal yardstick tree topper thingy is linked up at:

Salvaged Junk Stars @FunkyJunk
Super Saturday Link Party @ItAllStartedWithPaint


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Saturday

Rockin' & Roastin' Coffee Giveaway


I'm gonna talk a little bit coffee...
        a little bit the life of Bliss...
and a little bit rock & roll.

 Joey Kramer's Rockin' & Roastin' coffee, music to your lips. 

Rockin' & Roastin' Coffee Bliss-Ranch.com
How do you like your coffee?  Rocking?

Served roastin' hot on the deck like that photo above?

With a side of 6 inches of snow and a 39 below windchill?  Yes 39 below ZZZEROWW.

You can't see the steam that was wafting up from the cup for all of 3 seconds before it turned into ice, but it was there.

You also won't see a picture of me falling on my asss because I had snow stuck to the bottoms of my slippers after taking that photo, and slippers get slick on a wood floor when coated with ice.

Someday I'll remember that snowy Midwest fact.

Rockin' & Roastin' Coffee Bliss-Ranch.com

I'm a rock n roll gal, an original California Valley Girl.  Old enough that the very first concert I attended was in 19&%.  (What... you can't read that year?  Tuff.)

I also drank coffee back then, and it was the only bad habit I had, I was a good girl.  Well... ok... I did like the boys......

My boyfriend in those days was a drummer.  He used to put his headphones on so only he could hear the music, then make me sit and listen to him bang on his drumset.  It left a bad impression on me, mostly because he was a jerk and I really didn't like him all that much.

I told my daughters they could never date a guy who played the drums on the dashboard of his car.  The air drums as we call it.

Rockin' & Roastin' Coffee Bliss-Ranch.com

And then it happened..... first one of my kids took percussion in school.  Then another.  Then another.

And now I'm surrounded by drum helll.  But I like it.

Rockin' & Roastin' Coffee Bliss-Ranch.com

We have snare drums and bells for school, we have Zildjian cymbals, wood blocks, and all sorts of musical stuff on stands by a deep red metallic drumset.

And cowbell.  Yes it's true, there is a cowbell because well, you know, you always need more cowbell.

We have electric guitars, a Les Paul, and soon a custom handmade guitar from Guatemala.  Guitars and coffee are both better from Guatemala.

There are a couple acoustic guitars, mics, amps, cords, banjo's, bongos and bass. 

Piano, harmonica, mouth harp, and rain-stick.  And more speakers than you can shake a rain-stick at.

Spoons, we have a set of spoons.  Did you know spoons are a musical instrument?

We even have a didgeridoo.

Don't know what that is?  Look it up.

Whose kids ask Santa for such weird stuff?

Mine.

So really, it's no surprise then, that Little Rocker has the coolest dresser in the state right?

Rock & Roll Dresser, www.Bliss-Ranch.com

Anyway, so back to that first concert... it was Aerosmith, at the Forum in Los Angeles.  Yup, contrary to what my kids think, I was young once and I thought I was cool.  I wore my little white tank top with a couple of perky girls tucked inside, along with freshly tanned skin showing at the midriff - no muffin top then - and off I went with the beautiful people to see my first live concert.

In those days the Valley Girls didn't talk all stupid like that 80's movie, but we did hit the beach every chance we could to get as much bronzed skin as possible over winter. 

If someone would of told me then I'd live in a state that has a 39 below zero windchill, so far from Malibu that I barely remember what hot sand feels like, well I'd of thought them nuts.

Rockin' & Roastin' Coffee Bliss-Ranch.com

But here I am, freezing my once perky girls off.  I must be the one who's nuts.

But I drink pretty cool hot coffee.

So what does all this rock and roll drumming and reminiscing stuff have to do with coffee?

Rockin' & Roastin' Coffee Bliss-Ranch.com

Joey Kramer of Aerosmith has a coffee company.
Joey is the drummer in Aerosmith.
I drink Joey's coffee.
I have two drummers, a pianist, and one guitarist with a band.
And I'm cold because it's freaking below zero here.

Rockin' & Roastin' Coffee Bliss-Ranch.com

The tag line is 'Music to your lips'.  Drinking it doesn't make me sound good when I sing, but I do moan "mmmmmmm" when I have my morning cup.  

I think my favorite of the three roasts is the one from Guatemala.  Maybe.  Definitely maybe.

I won't claim to be any kind of an expert on how coffee is roasted, how to pick beans, or what the real differences are in organic, and regular coffee.  

But I do know what tastes good. 

I've had plenty of the fancy coffees from coffee houses, and ordered way too many beans claiming to make the best cup of joe out there.

I wasn't sure a dude who plays drums for a living was gonna be capable of making a coffee I would like. 

I mean come on, surely Mr. Kramer played dashboard drums once or twice right?  The type boy I warned my daughters about?  Well someone's daughter married him.  Wonder if he uses his fingers as sticks on the dashboard of his RV? 

One of my sons brings me plenty of coffee beans back directly from Guatemala.  In fact, he's there now, so I'll probably be getting coffee for Christmas.

But this Rockin' & Roastin' stuff is good.  The drummer dude wasn't lying.  We have gone through 6 bags trying to decide which roast we like the best.  Maybe #2 son will bring me back Rockin' & Roastin' this time?  I can hope.

Joeys coffee is smooth. 

No bitterness, it really is the best coffee we have ever brewed.  It comes in ground or whole beans.  I like to grind my own.

Coffee & Hot Cocoa Condiments Bliss-Ranch.com

How do you drink yours?

I like mine with real cream and a few lumps of sugar.  Mmmmmmmm......

And now, because sometimes it's just who 'ya know, 
I've got a giveaway of some Rockin' & Roastin' coffee for one of my readers.
  
All you've gotta do is leave a comment - winner will be chosen at random by my top secret scientific method of winner picking (drawing a number out of a hat).

Giveaway closes Monday December 16th, 2013.  Winner will be notified via
email, so make sure your comment is linked to an email in case you win.


Now Kramdog.... what about getting those K-cups on the shelves?

**Update, the K-cups have arrived.


Oh, and Joey, just so you know..... 
we've got a long driveway for your RV and Tina isn't the only one who can dog sit!


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Monday

Wood Spool Christmas Tree & Link Party

Wood Spool Christmas Tree Bliss-Ranch.com
Hold on to your tinsel folks, 
this post is packed full of Christmas cheer!

Wood Spool Christmas Tree Bliss-Ranch.com












The Christmas Junkers United Team and the 12 Days of Christmas bloggers are combining for Day 2 with holiday inspiration and Christmas junk.

So many ideas, 
you won't need your eggnog spiked to make your head spin!


My creation is an upcycled, recycled, junktastic project......

Remember these spools my son in law brought me this summer?

One of them has been taken apart.  Cut to shreds.  Sawed in half.  Just like magic.

Husband magic.


The spool top received a masking-tape tree shape and the Brawn of the operation took pity on me and got out his DeWalt reciprocating saw to cut the tree out.

As I repeatedly thanked him, the only instruction I gave was not to make a perfectly shaped tree.

Wood Spool Christmas Tree Bliss-Ranch.com

The spool is about 2 inches thick.  I'd still be at it if I had to cut it myself.  Probably minus some digits or with a gash in my thigh.

I gathered some junk and sort of made up the whole thing as I went along.

These are some heavy solid glass bottle stoppers.  I wrapped wire around them to hang on the tree ends - my version of icicles.

Or would that be junkcicles?  Glasscicles?

I know... they are re-cicles!

Glass Bottle Stoppers Upcycled to Icicle

This tree is big...... from the base to the top of the star it's 5 feet tall.  I'm just an ornament or two taller.

Wood Spool Christmas Tree Bliss-Ranch.com

My oldest daughter collects snowmen and I picked the .25¢ star up at a garage sale for her.  Don't tell her she can't have it now.


I painted it white and left some of the rust color showing through.

An old bed spring is stapled to the tree top and the star is wired on.  I left the little bells on, because like I said, I was making this up as I went.

Upcycled Tin Star with Bed Springs Bliss-Ranch.com

To celebrate Brawn's German heritage, the tree got a little O Tannenbaum chalkboard.

I'm not German, I'm Irish.  For me it's O'Tannenbaum.  Get it?

Wood Spool Christmas Tree Bliss-Ranch.com

The base is made from the center of the spools, cut down to size, which I coated with a white wash and I also hit just the tips of the branch ends to clean my brush off.

Totally recycled.....
spool, bed spring, star, and glass bottle stoppers, turned into a rustic 5' Christmas tree.

Wood Spool Christmas Tree Bliss-Ranch.com

I thought about adding some vintage glass ornaments I bought this summer.  In fact, if I ever find them I will probably do just that.

I spent as much time looking for those darn ornaments as I did putting the project together.  Don't even ask if I'm mad that I can't find them.

The tannenbaum will probably move to the front porch.  Can't you just picture it outside all sparkly and cozy surrounded by piles of soft billowy snow, it's white lights illuminating our entry?

Are you insane?  I am NOT counting the days till it snows, and if it held out till December 24th I'd be happy.

Wood Spool Christmas Tree Bliss-Ranch.com
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Bl├Ątter


A spool top Christmas tree isn't all I've got for 'ya, no siree! 
There is a whole lot of holiday cheer being spread around the ranch today.  
Different than the usual 'stuff' I spread around.


If you want some wonderful inspiration for the season, 
take a peek at the Pinterest Junkers United Christmas Pin Board

Junkers United Pinterest Board


The 
just might have 12 projects too... 
they are 12 elves each rolled into one, 
and leave me in the glitter dust!

Angie - Knick of Time


PLUS the 12 days of Christmas bloggers have a new post each day 
for 12 days which means at least 12 ideas each to make your holidays bright.  
Lets do math....  if I'm correct (and I rarely am with math) that would be 144 ideas.


That's a lot of junk to be inspired by,

so follow along with everyone.
 

And last but not least, it's time for the

 Junkers United Christmas link party. 


 We will be pinning our favorites to the Junkers United Christmas Pin Board
where 47,000 of your best friends can see what you have created.



I've rolled the old wood spool over to these link parties:
Christmas Extravaganza Party @TwoTwentyOne



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BB
Disclosure Policy for Bliss Ranch:
From time to time there might be a written review of services or products on this blog for which Bliss Ranch may or may not have received that service or product for free. Receiving a product or service for free or at a discount will never dictate what is written on this blog or guarantee a favorable review. All opinions here belong to Bliss Ranch and Bliss Ranch alone. Bliss Ranch is not monetarily compensated to write anything on this blog... period!