awesome! 2010 the year of the tiger - check out the complete zodiac by michael wertz!

i've been told that this little blog makes some certain children squeal with delight – so for little penn's 3rd birthday...the posting is completely dedicated to you! 
happy birthday little penn – from all of us here at the linder ranch! we love you and wish we could have made the trip up for your train party. can't wait to see you soon! have a wonderful day! xoxoxoxox
{your happy birthday wishes from top to bottom: good ol' kitsune - who misses you very much, a train at the strasburg railroad - that wishes you could ride him all the way from your house to pennsylvania, and clover - the chicken you so cleverly named!}

hope everyone's christmas was happy and bright!!! and here's a happy holiday from us all at z-town made... {check out that awesome z-town ornament made by our own jen lindsay!}

hey! some new gift-giving-inspired prints in the shop... just thinking of some artwork for my yoga master of a sister-in-law has brought out these "centering thoughts" for those particular spots in your home... hope she's not looking - if she is? love you neener! xoxoxoxox

wow! i'm in timeout new york! my dirty little wooden postcards (picture 08) are out there for all of new york to see... xxxblushingxxx hope they don't all hold it against me... hee hee

in addition to all the holiday orders, shopping, and decorating i was commissioned to do another one of my fish paintings! (little history - just out of college i was painting these fish and working in a coffee shop - which ultimately lead me to work for the great jack murray and then sorrelli jewelry - who's owner bought one for their father.) anyway, i haven't painted many since then – so i really relish in the time i get to spend on them when someone wants one as a holiday gift. i also especially love hearing how it makes the recipient so happy since i have such a hard time buying holiday gifts for the men i know!  {this beauty is a male brown trout painted on a 5 1/2" x 16" cherry plank and is even more beautiful in person - just like the real thing!}

finally!! our little booklet is finished and ready for christmas!! so much thanks to Cally Graham who researched and wrote all the great recipes that can be found in "my chemical-free home" .... and lucky you, now it's for sale in my shop!

my illustrations make the booklet not only informative but happy and fun, too!

here's to joyous and "chemical-free" cleaning in 2010! xoxoxoxoxoxox
oh, happy tree! so, our tree is almost finished... it looks a little scraggly but charming all the same. we didn't have enough of my childhood ornaments so i decided to stick with a very specific few objects. only using blue and white balls, kraft paper, found objects from our back yard, and all-natural ornaments made with found objects from our back yard – is what made our first tree completely unique to us and our home. next year we may try a new tradition... it's a secret for now.

here are some up close shots in the tree...

in addition to the tree i strung mini globe lights (left over from our wedding) across the "mantle" and added some happy flags for zest and celebration...

the glow in this room is incredible and really makes me want to keep the lights up all year round!

just a little sunday lovin'... this breakfast set by ninainvorm makes me sooooo happy!

ooouuu-weee do i LOVE this little bag! so pretty and only $39! find many more drool-worthy styles at bagatelles&co...

finally, just the start at bigcartel! i think i'm going to have to dedicate a bunch more time than i have at the moment - but i thought it couldn't hurt to get something up there for now... and who better than little ol' kitsune to head that project! xoxoxox
hooray! our very first christmas in the new house is becoming soooo fun! we never got a "real" tree in our past apartments - only the scrappy, charlie-brown styles. so, this year is our very first experience!

 just a mile down the road was this awesome little place i remembered walking the dog past in the summer. (i like to think of our tree growing back then in the hot sunny weather!) 
lenhart's tree farm is so beautiful and dutchy!

their barn was spectacular in the snow-glinting-sun and the workers were especially jolly for being out in the snow all day! i especially loved how they would tell you all about each kind of tree if you ask, and then you simply whistle them over when you find the special one...

i really love how tree farms have the hand painted signs everywhere. so nostalgic. 
ahhhhhh, how it reminds me of my good old sign painting days...

also these days they have new and incredible modern-style tree stands that make everything super easy! 
this one has a heavy rubber base with a steel rod that holds up to an 8' tree!

here's our bad boy all ready to get decorated! i'll be sure to post the finished product...


and while we're in the holiday spirit – check out my super easy and inexpensive house decor! 

i went to my all-time-favorite dollar general and picked up 5 of these really large holiday balls. then, i trimmed some greenery from the trees below, added a ribbon, and that's it! $1.50 a piece really beats the overpriced plastic wreaths out there!

keeping up that holiday cheer and inspiration! hope you are too! xoxoxo

booo. i'm home sick while everyone's having fun at the Sewing Circle: Modern Expressions of Needle and Thread show at Hello Bluebird! i was hoping to bring the happy little cross stitch cards i made – inspired by the show (parts shown above and below) - but i guess i'll just have to send them along later... they'll be in my etsy shop, too asap! xoxoxoxox

since holiday garland is a little out of my budget this year i've been experimenting with some happy alternatives. hope this inspires you to do the same!

since i have some beautiful white fur trees in my yard i decided to try making a simple "swag" for my doorways...

first, i strung fur branches about 5 inches apart on some twine. then, i recycled some leftover cards by turning them into little paper flags to sit between each tied stem... and wha-la!

i just love holiday decor that is inexpensive, simple, and not so traditional. i think that's just what i got it with this paper + pine garland! happy pre-holiday decorating! xoxoxoxoxox melanie

holiday gift cards! i've just added some of these lovely holiday gift cards in my shop - perfect for a stocking stuffer, work gift, or white elephant... extra bonus: the lucky recipient gets to receive the 20% deal up until jan 1st! whooohooo!