Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 - A Year in Review

It's always fun, and nostalgic, and interesting to reminisce about what you have done over the past year - the changes that have taken place in the family, our casa, and my life.  2011 was a particularly busy one for our family and me in particular, so there were fewer house projects and craft projects accomplished and more travel and family events that took place.  

So here's the run-down:

There are now six people in our family - and no I didn't have a baby - we now have a lovely daughter-in-law.  In May we celebrated our oldest son, Malcolm's marriage to Christie in a charming, simple, relaxed wedding (which you can read about here and here).

One of the things I enjoyed about the wedding was that Christie asked me to do the flowers.  It was a steep learning curve, but it was wonderful being able to contribute in such a creative way to the wedding.  The bouquets turned out just as I had envisioned them and best of all Christie loved them.  (You can read more about making the bouquets here and the centerpieces here)

The other big news in our family was that my husband's siblings contacted him for the first time in fifty years.  Being adopted, he had not seen four of his siblings since he was a toddler so it was wonderful and surprising to meet his siblings after all these years.

Framed copies of photos I gave my husband for Father's Day of him as a toddler with his parents

And finally this was the year that hubby and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  One of the things I did to celebrate was to make a photo album that highlighted the main events for every year we were married (you can read about it here).  It was a surprisingly difficult task to piece together what we did each year.

Front page from the anniversary album I made 

This was a big travel year - I think I traveled 13,000 kms in total.   There was gorgeous France (which you can read about here and here),

busy Bangladesh (you can read more about what I did there in these posts here, here, here, here, and here), 

and amazing India (which you can read about here and here).

Given all the other things that I did this year, I didn't really accomplish too many home decorating or crafts projects, but what I did do I loved.

I wanted to pretty up the back of the open kitchen shelves so I painted a piece of foam-core board using some of the leftover gray paint from the lower cupboards (you can read about it here and here).  I've enjoyed decorating the shelves with yellow accents in the fall, 

and red accents at Christmas time.

In November, I made several different containers to package baked goods and give them to family and friends over Christmas (you can read about them here)

For Christmas I used a red Sharpie to decorate some dollar store plates that we hung above our sideboard (which you can read about here).

I decorated the sideboard in different ways throughout the year  - there was the snowy winter sideboard, the global trends fall sideboard, and the red-and-white Christmas sideboard.

The mantel also got changed-up with each passing season or holiday - there was the Valentine's Day mantel, the beer bottle inspired mantel, the Steven and Chris inspired summer mantel, and the Christmas mantel.

In January, I not only got to be in the same room with Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe and tour the rooms they had designed for the Interior Design Show (you can see the photos here), 

but I got to stand outside of the house they were decorating for Sarah's House 4 (you can read about it here).  I know, I know - Sarah and I are practically best buddies!

2012 seems like a calmer year with no major events scheduled to happen.  It's fine in my books though, as sometimes years like that are just what one needs after such a busy year.

One of my great pleasures in life these days is all the support and encouragement I have received through this little ol' blog of mine.  It has far surpassed my wildest expectations I had when I first began it.  January 1st is my two year blogging anniversary and I'm thrilled with all the people I have met, the inspiration I have found, and the things I have learned.  Here's to another fine year!


  1. Thanks for the tour! I love reading your blog, and Sarah Richardson . . . are you kidding? (I know you aren't which is why I'm headed over to that post . . .) Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year to you Grace. Thanks for a great year of posts. Deb

  3. You've had a fabulous year! Love that Bangladesh photo with people walking in water ankle deep.. the colours still pop despite the water. Interesting about your husbands family. I have been slowly meeting my fathers family over 2 years. I never knew my grandparents or cousins or anyone. Some really good surprises there..

    Have a great new Year.

  4. What a fabulous year it's been for you and your family! Sounds like you and your daughter in law are off to a wonderful start. How sweet that she had you help with her wedding! That's such an honor! I'm living vicariously through you and all your wonderful travel!!! Excited for all that 2012 has in store for your precious family!!!

    XO, Aimee

  5. Thank you for your inspiring blog - I loved your december biscuit- project:) - I hope you a nice and interesting New Year 2012!