A New Years gift for you.

Here we are again. Another year gone by. How can 2008 feel so brief and so long at the same time?

In case you're new here or just looking for a little recap, here is the year that was with my most popular posts (based on Googles stats). Its a little bit of a surprising list - I wouldn't have guessed these were the most read but what do I know? It certainly gives you a feel of how much has (and has not) happened this year.

Jan - Backyard Peak
Feb - Ideal Headboard
Mar - Parlor Bathroom
Apr - Coffee Table (that never arrived)
May - Goodies from the Garbage
June - Guest Bedroom
July - Magnetic Chalkboard Door
August - Pretty Patterns
Sept - Lemon Yellow Inspiration
October - Halloween Decorations
Nov - Holiday Blog Header
December - Rate My Space

Now here comes the gift part...

As a tiny thank you for reading all year, I'm having some extra sets of the blog giveaway photos printed up.

One set will go to one lucky random winner. To enter, please leave a comment with your favorite blog Brooklyn Limestone post. I'll pick a winner next week.

One set is for the woman who gave me such a wonderful surprise this year - Patricia of PVE Design.

The other sets are for the 9 blogs that have been my #1 referrers this year. Thanks so much for honoring me with your mentions and blogrolls.

Mabel's House
Sippycups are for Chardonnay
Newlywedisms by Bryn Alexandra
Door Sixteen
Restyled Home
Making it Lovely
Rambling Renovators
Just Beachy

If you'd like the photos (no pressure, of course!) please email me at bklimestoner@aol.com with your addresses and I'll get them out to you next month.

Master Bedroom Pre-Progress...

One of my goals for 2009 is going to be to make some progress in the Master Bedroom. Its somewhat unfunny how unfinished this room is considering we spend a good deal of my life inside it. Sure, our eyes are closed for 95% of that time - that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve SOME attention!

First things first, we've come a long way from where we started a few years ago.

MasterBedInProgress copy2

Once the renovation was done, the chandelier that once hung in my in-law's living room got added. Then, I got some draperies up. That was quite a milestone if you consider I still don't have window coverings in my living room.

Master Bedroom CurtainsMaster Bedroom Curtains

And then in July, I scored this headboard from a wholesale bedding showroom.
New Headboard Close

I had intentions of completing the room in 2008. But then I decided I didn't expense of new furniture so I turned my gaze toward my office which was a cheaper undertaking.

And then my brother got me the comforter I wanted for Christmas. I know, I know - I have damask overload but I love the pattern. And I like that it appears in various forms throughout the house. Its like my little touch of continuity. Isn't it pretty?

So I'm newly energized to complete this room. I'm giving myself the entire year to get it to a more finished state. That should be enough considering I really don't need that many pieces. Two end tables, one dresser, some art on the wall and some accent pillows. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

So what do all you fabulously stylish readers suggest? Lay it on me please, I'm taking notes.

Final peek into a limestone Christmas...

Here are those other photos I promised. We both worked hard the few days leading up to Christmas to get everything just right. Hope our guests enjoyed it.

If its not obvious, I used snow and snowflakes as the central idea. I found these gold glittered snowflakes at Target for a few bucks and strung them up with white thread. They are hard to photograph but the string isn't as noticeable in person as in the photo. Next year, Ill hang more if I have time. They look pretty with the light shining in.

At the suggestion of my friend Michele, I attempted these little house cake place settings. They didn't turn out quite as perfect as Martha Stewarts version but they were a fun touch anyway. Not sure everyone realized they were supposed to look like little houses. What do you think they look like?

In addition to my personal Christmas soundtrack playing in the background, I had the ol' yule log on the television. Its a Christmas tradition.

Speaking of living room, we rearranged the furniture to put the tree more on display (the couch is normally on the other side of the room).

I had to try Eddie Ross' suggestion of using a cabbage as a dip vessel. My version didn't look nearly as nice as Eddie's. I think I may have used the wrong cabbage but making it into a bowl was very easy. I'll be doing this again for sure.

Couldn't resist making an igloo cake once I found the mold on sale at Williams Sonoma. It was a big hit come dessert course.

Centerpieces were small rectangular vases ($2.50 each at Ikea) filled with cranberries and 3 orange roses each. They made for a pretty pop of color without up taking a lot of valuable table space. And best of all, they broke into pieces so that each female guest could take a couple home with them. I think that idea is a keeper for next year.

Hope you enjoyed the peek into our celebration. Santa was EXTREMELY good to me so Im off to play with my new toys. I hope to catch up on everyone's blogs this week.

My camera is on vacation.

In the hubbub of saying goodbye to our guests last night, my camera stowed away in my friends bag. So its on a little vacation until it can get a ride back home. That means I can't get at the photos I took for you to see. But I can show you the ones I took on Christmas Eve...

First off the tree. Let me say that I absolutely adore trees that are themed and the decorators that have the discipline to use only one or two colors. I open my ornaments box with a plan to be just as practical but then I see some of my favorite ornaments from my life and I just can't leave them in the box. Its as if they call out to me and demand to be displayed. So in the end, I never have a theme tree.


And some of my favorite ornaments:
Homewarming gift from a friend, my wedding favor, a blown glass souvenir from Venice

On the other hand, theme gift wrap is very me. Too many colors give me a headache.

Here is a close up of the message board I used to display my cards:

And the dining room just before I shut off the lights to wait for Santa.


As soon as my camera finds its way home, Ill share a few more.

Thanks whoever you are...

I popped over to one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy and saw that they are collecting nominations for the 20o8 Homies. All the usual suspects are nominated en masse (and very deserving of the award) but I was surprised to see a lone nomination for my blog from a member named 'knov89'. So whoever you are, thanks so much for the vote and thanks for reading!

God bless us, every one!

Its a flurry of Christmas preparations here at the limestone but I wanted to drop by and wish you all a very merry christmas (or whatever holiday you may be celebrating this week). We're hosting Christmas dinner for 13 here so I don't have much time to post.

Until then, here are the Christmas cards I sent out this year. I thought a whimsical card would be fun this time around. In the little pocket are bookplates.

I took some quick photos last night of my decorations. I didn't go too crazy. Not that I didn't want to but I just didn't have the time. But I think its festive enough for the occassion. I'll post about those later. Until then...

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who submitted a holiday idea for my blogiversary giveaway.

Not to get too preachy about this topic but I find that the type of person who puts the little extra effort in their holiday decorating/entertaining/gift giving is a dying breed and it makes me a little sad. I'm happy to see there are plenty of "us" still around. Thank you so much for letting me a peak into your minds and homes - its definitely a treat for me.

So down to business - picking a winner was REALLY tough. There were quite a lot of great ideas. So in the end, I threw a few favorites into a hat and picked out the winner at random. But first, here is a little collage of some of my favorites.
Can you spot the winner????
bloggiveawaycollage copy


Congratulations to Tricia of Fabulous Since 1961 for this simple but genius wreath made of pages from old books.
A great way to reuse something beautiful that might go unseen/unused otherwise as well as make a festive but modern adornment. Love it.
Honorable mentions to all the other fabulous entries from Preppy Mama, The Stamford Wife, Shoot Scoop aka Laura Bruen Photography, Shorehouse Chic, Nesting Place, Restyled Home, Pajama Mama, Pve Design, Lime in the Coconut, Melanie, Kimberly, Andrea, Carolyn, Colleen & Brooke. (I think I mentioned everyone but if you entered and I didn't mention, please let me know)
Hope everyone enjoys this as much as I did.
For those that mentioned wanting the photos, Im happy to send you a copy if you cover whatever it costs me to have them printed and mailed to you. (Probably about $5 each?) Just email me directly please.
Im sorry to say I don't have much to show of my own decorations because Ive barely done any. I had big plans but working late almost every night this month has put a kibosh on that. Darn my pesky career for getting in the way of blog fodder! At this point I can say for sure that my Christmas Day decorations will be on the low key side but whatever they are, I'll share with you. My Christmas cards should just be all but delivered in a day or two so I'll share those as well shortly.
Hope you're having a great December and warm holiday season.

Catching up on the holiday to-do list...

I haven't forgotten about the annivesary giveaway but Ive been completely overloaded at work and with holiday related errands that Im way behind. I should have a winner picked this week with kudos to my runner up favorites - so keep an eye out.

Other than that, I still have to wrap all of my gifts, finish decorating the tree, turn my dining room into a winter wonderland, decide the Christmas menu and a host of other to-dos. Normally I would have a lot of this done already but Ive been working late nearly every night. This job thing is really putting a crimp in my holiday prep time. :)

But I do have some good news, my holiday cards went out. I wish I could say they ALL went out but I have a few people I can't locate addresses for. Hopefully their card will come soon and I can swipe their info from the return address.

Our Tree Topper

As you may remember from my Top This post last week, Ive been struggling with what to put on top of the tree. I did buy a tree topper from Target but once it was placed on the tree, it just didn't look right. So I decided to take Linda's suggestion and use our monogram initial.
I had the glitter and glue and I found a cardboard letter at Michaels. Not too shabby for $3. I wish they had a more formal script as this looks a little collegiate but it will do.
Big Cat doesn't care too much for the topper but he definitely approves of the velvet tree skirt. Comfy!

One last reminder...

Sorry for sounding like a broken record but I wanted to give one last call for entries for the holiday inspiration contest. Just post or email me your own holiday idea before Sunday.

Winner will be announced next week!

Have a great weekend!

Flea Market Finds

In an attempt to find some unusual Christmas gifts, I ventured out with my brother to a independent gift fair organized by one of my favorite blogs, http://www.brownstoner.com/

While interesting to browse, it was a bit of a bust in terms of finding anything. Empty handed after the gift fair, I braved the frozen temps to cross the street and go to the outdoor flea market. There were only a few vendors with their wares due to the tempatures but I did find a few gems of my own amid the other knicknacks.
Im hoping to use the salt and pepper shaker for Christmas. Anyone know if there are any health risks to using old metal pieces for this?
I'll need to get a piece of glass and cardboard backing for the frame but other than that, its perfect. Im not sure what photo to put in there but I ♥ it.

Can't wait til next spring when all the flea vendors are back in full force. Hopefully I can find some more little pieces like these.

Holiday Inspirational Giveaway: 6 Days Left

Thanks for everyone who has entered so far! I'm loving sneaking a peak at all of your holiday genius.

Just a reminder to please include at least one photo of your holiday idea in order to be eligible for the prizes. Feel free to enter more than once. You can post a link to your blog post, comment including a photo link or email me directly at bklimestoner@aol.com

Giveaway: Prizes!

I'm officially accepting entries to my blogiversary giveaway and will close the contest next Sunday, Dec 14. (No worries to those who have already sent in, I've got them!). In order to "enter" please post or email me at least one photo with your favorite holiday craft/decor/idea.

And if you wouldn't mind showing some love, please tell your own readers about the contest too. I'm just dying to see what everyone is doing to celebrate the season.

Now on to the good stuff...what will you get if you win?
First off, two fun "reference" books. I call them a guilty pleasure because they are essentially porn for the home obsessed like me. Where Women Create: Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women by Jo Packham profiles some fabulous creative spaces that are beautifully styled and wonderful jumping off points for those working on their home offices.. Celebrating Home: Decorating for the Holidays and Seasons is full of ideas for decorating and entertaining all year long.
In addition to the books, Im enclosing two photos I took on my trip to Paris last year. These are just a couple of my favorites and have no value whatsoever. I thought it would be nice to give away something a little bit personal too. No pressure to hang them of course. Feel free to use them to line your junk drawer or as kindling :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Coming Soon: Blogiversary Give Away!!

Technically, the blogiversary isn't until January but I'm in the holiday spirit so I'm celebrating early. Hard to believe its been close to two whole years!

I don't have any fancy gifts from from sponsors to give away. Instead I'm going to be sending a few items from my very own collection of goodies that I think you might enjoy. Lets call them mystery gifts for now but I'll share more next week.

pretty gift packing ideas ala Martha

In the meantime, I wanted to give early warning to anyone who wanted to participate. The rules are simple:

Share your best Holiday creation/craft/decoration/ideas.
It could be anything - your holiday card; a favorite gift you're giving; a clever centerpiece; a personal ornament; a beautifully decorated room. Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, Winter Solstice - whatever floats your boat. I don't even care if you thought up the idea yourself as long as you share the version you executed.
Enter as many times as you like, in anyway you want. (Emails, comments or links to your own blog post with your idea) All I ask is that you share at least one photo so I can pick my favorite. And don't forget ladies: POISE COUNTS! In other words, a good photo and description helps.

I'll pick my favorite to win the prize but we'll all be winners by enjoying the entries.
So get ready with your good ideas to get your hands on my goodies! Wow, that sounds really naughty. I promise they are very G rated prizes :)
**Feel free to start posting/emailing now...I'll post more on the prizes next week **

English take on HGTV

It will probably come as no surprise that a house peeper like me loves to watch HGTV. Their logo is probably burned into my television screen since Im tuned in so often.
Well what do you know? Our friends across the pond might have a similar need for all things home decor. Last week I received this article from UKTV which prompted me to spend a little time looking at all the pretty photos on their website. Unfortunately, I can't watch any of the programming from my Brooklyn living room :( Any of you lucky enough to get this channel?
Who would have thunk Ty Pennington would appeal to a British audience? UKTV seems to think he is an "American Superstar". Hmm..interesting.

Ty's Great British Adventure ???

Ironic categorizations of overenthusiastic handymen aside, there is some lovely eye candy on this site. Particularly loving the Christmas inspirational photos:

What do you think?

Rate My Space!

I know everyone in bloggerland already knows about HGTVs Rate My Space but I just have to give credit where it due. I love peeking into others peoples homes whenever I can so this is the ultimate porn for me. Ive wasted way too much time lurking and finally threw myself in for the peanut gallery's comments.

Take a look at some of the fabulous rooms Ive been spying

I added my own office on the site - if you happen upon it, please leave your vote or a comment.

A small complaint: Whats the deal with them not having an office category? I had to post in "girl's rooms". Not that far of a stretch as I am a girl and this is my room...but I dont think thats what they had in mind.

Maybe if I ever get close to feeling Ive finished any of the other rooms in the house, Ill add those as well.
Please be gentle:)

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