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My Christmas Gift For You…

"Merry Christmas" By, Nancy Alexander


My Christmas Gift For You…

As I was thinking of what I would like to do for my customers and friends for Christmas this year, I was looking through my emails.  Many were from friends and acquaintances who may have purchased a DVD, or have looked at some of my You Tube videos.  Lots of them were on the exact same subjects; making an inexpensive Christmas wreath when funds are tight, and making Christmas bows.  I had an "Ah-Ha" moment when I realized a FREE video for all of you showing how you REALLY can make an inexpensive wreath with just the green wreath and ribbon.  Also… I KNOW… I JUST KNOW… that every one of you can make your own bow if we go over the steps enough, and if you practice.  So — the idea of my Christmas gift to YOU was right in front of me!  A VIDEO!!

I Know YOU Can Learn to Make a Beautiful Christmas Wreath and Bow!

THE VIDEO ABOVE IS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR YOU FROM LADYBUG WREATHS:
Enjoy this special video I made especially for you.

 

 

This time of year you may catch me reliving the memories of the past when our children were young. We didn’t have much money, but we had each other and had SO MUCH FUN! I remember back when I had time to decorate our home early, bake cookies, cakes, and an unbelievable selection of treats ahead of time. Our home was full of these gooey, yummy, fattening, sugary concoctions! Shopping was finished, gifts were wrapped and under the tree, and the house was perfect, inside and out.

“Our Stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
and Christmas trees were everywhere!
Elves were hanging upside down,
as Santas were placed all around.
Presents strategically placed ‘neath the tree,
would fill each wide-eyed child with glee”! …teeheehee…

~Nancy Alexander~

I wanted to do something very special for YOU, my friends and customers during this holiday season…so, yesterday, my friend and employee, Kim, helped me filmed this video. In it, I show you how you can make an absolutely beautiful wreath with very little money and time invested! Actually, you can go to your local hobby store, just as I did for an inexpensive wreath and ribbon! Have lots of fun making your wreath and decorating your home. Enjoy your family as we celebrate this most wonderful season!

Here's an update on our lives:  things have changed a little around our house from times past! We will still have a “magical” Christmas as we always have, this time enjoying our four grandchildren along with our boys and their wives.

I have been working many long hours lately. These days are spent making, listing, and shipping wreaths, filming videos, and duplicating DVDs for anxious customers. I write on this blog about our lives and our business as often as I can. And…I am being interviewed by an author who is writing “my story”.

Then, thanks to my dear friend and partner, Linda Joseph, we’re updating my website, which is long overdue. Time is spent choosing colors, fonts, logos and styles to give LadybugWreaths.com the functionality it needs as well as the look we want it to have.

Our coaching site, “BestOfNancy.com” is growing by leaps and bounds with many new members! This most certainly is where my heart is. This site has been a “gift from God” as Linda and I help, encourage, and teach many women wanting to sell the fruits of their new-found hobby online. This is where God has led me to make a difference in the lives of others as we have so many plans for the upcoming year.

~CUSTOMER FEEDBACK~
My World Has Changed Since I Found You…

“I stumbled on your website by You Tube because I wanted to make a bow with more than one kind of ribbon and I wasn’t exactly sure how to do that and make it look right. However, my world has been changed ever since. I can’t seem to stay away from looking at your work. I ordered your vendor list book yesterday and can’t wait to read it. I have made several wreaths for Christmas and no more than get them to work and they are sold – some for $100.00. I love to use a variety of materials, but I can only go to a Hobby Lobby or a Michael’s and that is not satisfying enough to me.


The greenery you use in your wreaths is stunning and amazing. It makes me feel so good to make something that someone else thinks is beautiful. I am sure you know your work is outstanding but I know one more email never hurts. All of your wreaths are breathtaking and they inspire me to want to make more. I hope you have a truly blessed day!!”

~Debi~


~CUSTOMER FEEDBACK~
Just Knowing You Put a Smile on This Ol' Lady's Face Today…

“Thank you so very much for the most gorgeous Christmas Wreath I EVER laid my eyes on. How did you know I love the oval wreath…and most of all the “little baby Cardinal” tucked safely away on a branch. Our front door is white, so it shows beautifully.


By all means, use this letter for an endorsement. I highly recommend your work. For years, I would watch a dear friend of mine while she designed in her shop. I know a little of the trade. Over the years I have looked on eBay for high class designs, such as yours. I’m sure your designs are not South Carolina’s secret. They’re known all over the world!


Just know you put a smile on this ol’ lady’s face today. One of the most perfect gifts I ever gave to myself!! This will be a “keepsake” for many years to comeYou will definitely hear from me again in the “spring” Merry Christmas & a healthy, happy New Year!

~Connie~

Decorate Your Home With Me…

"Decorate Your Home" By, Nancy Alexander


With Nancy of Ladybug Wreaths…

A week or so ago, I posted some pictures of our home at Christmas since many of you have been asking to see how it looked all decorated.  I didn't have time to post many that day, so I will put up a few more today.  Okay… I know already what you are going to ask.  The answer is:  "No, I still have not had time to decorate this year — I am working on things for others!"  Well, that is the life of a designer… 🙂  Steve and I will get it done soon!

We have been blessed with many wonderful Christmas decorations that I just had to bring home from my shop each year.  Many are unique and one-of-a-kind.  There is only one problem!  As special and unique as they all are, it is a MAJOR ordeal to bring them down from upstairs each year.  I have so many, that we never put them all out, but we still have to bring them down anyway as we decide which to display, and which to pack back up.  Okay dear children of ours…lol…now is a very good time to take a few of these special "treasures" off our hands!

"Sebastian Greystone Piece de Resistance" is no longer with us, but this is still one of my FAVORITE pictures!

I LOVE a mantle decorated with fruit such as pineapples, apples, pomegranates, pears, as well as many types of greens and berries!

 

Close-up view!

 

An antique kerosene lamp (now electric) looks great stacked on my old gardening books and displayed with an antique (and very valuable) Tom's peanut jar from my Grandfather's old country store.  It is filled with treats for our Christmas guests!  And our grandchildren just 'need' a bowl of M&Ms sitting around for them to eat and eat and eat… lol

 

Started not to use this picture of our Christmas Tree!  My hair is way too short, and this was before I lost much more weight — but… oh well!  We have a very full 9 foot Christmas tree and that will still not hold all of our ornaments, berries, flowers, and ribbons.  We just stop when it looks full enough!

 

Do you spend much time on your Christmas packages?  Well, we do.  That is very important at our house.  I save many ribbons on the ends of rolls throughout the year.  I pick out about 3 to 4 patterns of wrapping paper which look good together and use those along with our left over ribbons.  I then use left over berries from my shop.  But the rest — the greens — are picked out in my yard.  They look very pretty with their stems tucked underneath a bow and smell great on our packages.  Our guests get so excited about the way their gift looks that they really don't want to open it…

 

We go UP with our Christmas decorating too!  If we didn't do that, then everything certainly would not fit.  I love one of my favorite Santas sitting on the top of my china hutch.  This hutch is filled with my red and white Johnson Brothers "Old Mill Stream" China.  This china has been discontinued for years, but a dear friend found most of it for me at flea markets in Switzerland.  She was an International airline attendant, which gave her access room on each plane to stash filled suitcases for the trips home.  She never broke a single piece!  And… this red and white looks so beautiful for Christmas!

Next week, we'll go outside with out Christmas Decorating!  That is always SO much fun…

Have fun decorating!  Be creative!  Use things you have never used before!

Decorating for Christmas

"Decorating for Christmas" By, Nancy Alexander


I'm Receiving MANY Requests for Pictures of our Home at Christmas

So many of you lately have been sending me requests for pictures of our home at Christmastime!  I thought I had some posted somewhere, and I can't find them online either!  So, I'll put a few pictures here.  I have had one special request for the wreath I made out of my Grandmother's old ornaments and lights which I hang inside my kitchen window every year.  This one is not as fancy and pretty as those we make and sell online, but it fills and warms my heart with so many fond memories with each glance.

Now, these are not of our home this year, because I have been so busy re-writing my Secret Vendor List, working on wreaths, selling on Amazon, and getting other eBooks listed in Amazon Kindle that I haven't had time to think about decorating!  I wonder why!!  :o)

 

I really LOVE filling up my kitchen window at Christmas!  I change it every year!  But, there are two things that always stay the same…first, I ALWAYS use my favorite antique stained glass windows which are propped up on my window ledge.  Those are there year round because the morning sunlight shining through them everyday warms my heart — it us such a great way to start my morning.  And, secondly, at Christmas, my wreath you can see in the picture below ALWAYS hangs on the inside of my window.  It is filled with old ornaments, balls, and antique lights (which actually still work) that all belonged to my dear grandmother "Mama"…  I miss her so, but when I look at this wreath at Christmas, I am reminded how much she loved Christmas!  Actually, I think she is the one I inherited my own love of color and decorating from!  "Thank you…dear Mama"

 

 

My kitchen window at Christmas is probably my most favorite place to decorate.  Sometimes I use poinsettias, and sometimes, I use live orchids.  I really like live orchids, and from time to time, can keep them alive for a couple of years!  lol

 

 

 

I have a lot of fun filling my table for Holiday parties.  I usually use all fresh — I know, I know — that seems unusual huh, since I work with and sell artificial!  Well, I just LOVE the fresh look of greens and berries and even more so when Christmas arrives.  I have many antique dishes, platters and vases which I pull out and use for our parties.  Some of these were pieces which have been in my family for many years, but, also, some of them are special 'yard sale finds'. 

 

 

I'll add some more pictures of "our" home at Christmas in the next few days… in the meantime, please have fun decorating your own home!  Pull out old platters and dishes which belonged to your mother, grandmother, or other family member.  Lay out an old child's storybook about Christmas.  I have the one I was given at 4 years old, and it goes out to my coffee table each and every Christmas!  Look for the Christmas stocking which hung from your mantle as a child.  It doesn't matter that they are too old to fill with treats anymore – just enjoy them – enjoy the memories they bring from the special places they hold within your heart!

 

New Book: “Yard Sale Treasures”

"Yard Sale Treasures" By, Nancy Alexander


My Newest eBook is Finished


"YARD SALE TREASURES" … has been so much fun to write.  It is always fun when you are writing about a subject you love as much as I love yard-sale-ing!  


I have sort of a reputation in Anderson!  Actually everyone wants to go to yard sales with me because I really DO find unbelievably exceptional "stuff" on a regular basis!  I am flattered, I am honored, and I do enjoy friends going with me from time to time…but truth be known, I can move much faster all by myself!

 Okay, dear friends, you know I don't want to hurt any feelings here…I really do love the company, but I guess I might be just a little obsessed when it comes to moving from sale to sale as quickly as possible.  I know…yes…I just know…what treasures await and I'm afraid I may be too late!  Tee hee hee!


I am giving out all my secrets in my new book on yard-sale-ing!  If you are new to this "sport", you really need to go with someone who is experienced the first few times!  (Okay, I can't believe I really said that!  And yes, you can all remind me of that next Saturday morning when you're wanting to go with me!) 


I became obsessed with yard sales when I was managing partner of "Straw Basket at Brook Green Court" in Anderson.  We had around five partners and up to 50 consignees at any given time.  I kept the books, and my partners and I priced all the items as they were displayed.  We knew what price to put on an item for it to sell fast; we know what customers were really looking for and didn't mind paying a tidy sum for.  I learned very quickly that many of these precious "treasures" could be found at yard sales and estate sales for unbelievably cheap prices!


In my new yard sale book, "YARD SALE TREASURES",  I tell and show you pictures of many of these items that I am always on the lookout for at yard sales.  These are items you can use to spruce up your own home, or you can opt to clean and paint a little to resell and earn some pretty good cash.  Frames…Frames…Frames…I cannot stress enough how creatively much you can use these easy to find items:

In the picture above, you'll find some of the frames I have purchased.  I can't even begin to count how many I have purchased that are hanging on the walls in my home, the homes of relatives — not even counting the frames which I have sold.  They are so easy to paint!  It is very inexpensive to put a mirror in an old painted frame.  You can even purchase windows like I have in the bottom of the picture.  Hae you seen one of these with a mirror in it?  They are really striking!  Frames and old windows can be found for $1 to $3.


Another favorite of mine is small tables.  Use these on a porch, or to sit beside a chair, a couch, or a bed.  You can find some really pretty tables with pretty lines.  Don't look at the paint or the finish and don't even worry if the legs are a little wobbly!  All of these can be fixed easily and you will end up with an absolutely beautiful table!

The table above has really pretty lines…just look at the way the legs are cut!  This one didn't cost much at all; it was a really old one and not too pretty at that. 
But I noticed the lines and thought to myself how great it would look if it were painted!

 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Price $37.00

 Yard sales are fun, exciting and addictive.  You can furnish a child's room, stock a nursery, or re-do your entire house!  (I know… I have practically done it!!)  The best thing is that you can earn money selling your treasures at consignment stores.  Yes, you too can become addicted just as I did.  But…that is not a bad thing!

 

 I hope to run into you at a yard sale on day as we compare our GREAT finds!!

Decorating on a Budget

Decorating

Are you ready for a new look, but just can’t afford to redo
everything at once?  There are a couple of major things you can do
which will not be expensive, but will make such a big difference in
your living space.

First:  I know you have heard this before, and probably think you
don’t have time, or it’s such an ordeal, or that you really can’t
afford it right now.  Have you guessed what I am referring to?  If
you guessed paint, well, you are exactly right.

If your room is dark or drab, or so bold that it’s downright
irritating, then it certainly is time for this kind of a change.
I’m telling you, a couple of gallons of paint can make such a
difference; it will make your room look like it has totally been
redone.  And that’s without recovering or buying any new furniture.

Here are several tips on paint.  I always buy Benjamin Moore paint.
It costs a little more, but it covers exceptionally well.   If you
take your time, buy as good a paint brush as you can afford (none
of these .99 specials!!), and a little more expensive roller with a
little nap on it (awh, come on now, how much can a nice roller
cost?), then you can do a professional job yourself.  If you are
not making a drastic change on paint colors, one carefully applied
coat will probably be enough.  Most professionals say always use
two coats, but remember, we’re trying to change our lives on a
budget.

If your doors and moldings look half-way decent, then leave them if
necessary.  However, a little soap and water can make most of them
look like new.  Now, this one step has saved you lots of time and
money.  Next, with a nice angled brush, cut in on the walls around
your windows and doors.  This is the step which takes more time,
and you really won’t see how great it’s going to look while you are
tackling this job, but your persistence and hard work will pay off!

Next comes the fun part; where you can really begin to see a
difference in your room… roll the paint on your walls.  Roll
slowly overlapping as you go.  Keep your roller filled from the
paint tray, being careful not to load it too full, or you’ll have
drips.  Get as close to the trim, lapping over where you have
already cut in with your brush and slowly go all the way around
your room.  If you have to stop for a while, never stop in the
middle of a wall – always in a corner.  The same hint applies if
you run out of paint and have to buy another gallon.  Even though
you purchase the exact same color, you can often tell a difference
in colors which are purchased at different times.  So starting and
stopping in a corner takes care of this little problem. Continue reading