Friday, February 1, 2013

Prayers needed!!! Valentine's Heart & Arrow Wreath, Mantle, And Little Touches of Love



This post was written yesterday and scheduled to go up today at 6 am.  I went to bed last night at 10:30, and woke at 11:45, to Chris touching my arm to tell me something. As soon as I opened my eyes, I could see the flashing lights through my window, and I could hear the screech of sirens.... several of them.  Chris told me, "Cassie, wake up!  The neighbor's house is on fire!"  I looked out the window to see not only the flashing lights, but big, bright orange flames.  Trucks arrived from the surrounding towns' fire departments as well to put out the fire.  I tried to go back to sleep since I was getting up at 6 to meet a friend at the gym (I did not go and am updating this post instead because we also got an inch or so of snow, and with all the trucks and action, our street is not plowed.)  ANOTHER UPDATE: My friend just heard on the news that two children died in the fire.  I have tears in my eyes as I type this.  They have also lost most of their home.  I didn't know them well, but I know in times like these all the help is needed.  Please keep my neighbors in your thoughts and prayers.... they have a long road ahead of them.  I am hoping to see them outside what's left of their home soon, so I can offer up any help I might be able to give, and if nothing else, just let them know we are here.  I still am in shock as I type this.... The kids and I have already mapped out our escapes and where we would meet in case of a fire, and they know that once they get out, they do not go back in no matter if Mommy and Daddy are with them or not.  Today, we will revisit that escape route and plan.  You never know when something like this could happen, and if you don't already have a fire escape plan with your family, I strongly encourage you to make one.

Now back to the scheduled post:
I don't do a whole lot of decorating for Valentine's Day, so I figured I could cram what little I did into one chock full post for you. :)  Yesterday I shared with you my winter mantle, which carried us from New Year's Eve all the way through Emmy's snow fairy party.  After Emmy's party I was ready to switch gears to Valentine's mode, but I wanted to keep it pretty simple.

I kept the mantle itself clean in all simple whites and silver, and then re-used the banner I made last year.




 On the right I kept the same pitcher and silver branches I had on my winter mantle, and added some white paper hearts.  I also added a couple white candles.

I had some help from Emmy with the cutting out of hearts....

 And some I cut.  Can you tell who did which ones?

On the left side, some simple thrifted silver candlesticks and white candles....

And below, the pink and white zebra banner I made last year.  I still love its simplicity and hand made look.


Aside from the mantle, I have just a couple other little touches around the house.

In the dining room, a line from my all time favorite movie is written on the chalkboard, and I draped a simple pipe cleaner garland I made last year.



And the buffet also has a couple small touches... (and a paper dog that Sawyer made).

And the one thing I really did want was a new Valentine's wreath for my door.  I made one a couple years back out of candy hearts...

Unfortunately over the course of a couple years and a move it had lost some hearts, and it just looked too pitiful to me.  So I made a new one yesterday.  I had a straw wreath on hand and I wrapped it with a fuzzy white yarn.  That was the longest part!  I also had some papier mache hears I had purchased from the craft store and had covered with book pages.  I had not used them for anything as I had felt uninspired and left them alone.  I decided to use one of those hearts, and I also added some watercolor paint to it in shades of pink and red, and a touch of purple.  I really wanted to use the side of my heart that had an image, but once I had it all painted, I preferred the side that was mostly text.  Here are the two sides so you can see...


I searched my yard for the perfect twig with the shape of the fletching of an arrow.  I made the point of an arrow by using a piece of thin metal I had. (My neighbor who knows I am craft gave me a bunch of stuff and this metal was in there).  I folded the metal in half, cut a triangle shape with the long side at the fold.  Then I cut a piece in the fold to slide onto my twig.  I hot glued the points and sides of the arrow closed so it stayed in place on the branch.  And finally, I hot glued the heart and arrow to my wreath.
Ba-da-bing.  Ba-da-boom.  A heart and arrow wreath was born.



All in all, it was pretty inexpensive and easy to make!

And now, WOO HOO!!! It's Friday!  I have family fun night at the neighbor's tonight, basketball game and my first local wine & design at my house tomorrow, and sunday, SUPER BOWL!!!  We are having some friends over, and I am sure it will be a good time, seeing as we live in Maryland!  Go Ravens!!!!
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45 comments:

Courtney said...

Gosh how scary for you all, our thoughts and prayers are with your neighbors.
I have not seen much in the way of decorations for valentines day (it's not that hugely celebrated here) yours are gorgeous Cassie - unpretentious and the true meaning shines through :-) something that will help at this time. Xx

Christy @ MCH PHOTOGRAPHY said...

Wow! How scary, and tragic your poor neighbors they do have a long road ahead. Does make you think about how your life can change in the blink of an eye.

Feral Turtle said...

I am so saddened. To lose two kids is incomprehensible. I will say a prayer for this family.

The Refeathered Roost said...

I am beyond sorry to hear about your neighbors. You probably don't know this but our house was struck by lightning four years ago. Because it hit a gas line, the damage was pretty devastating and our home had to be rebuilt. We were so extremely fortunate that our two girls were not upstairs. This was repeated to us over and over again by the fire chief and insurance adjuster. (The strike ran up the side of the house and into a gas pipe upstairs) We knew it then and we know it now that houses can be rebuilt but lives are irreplaceable.
As I started reading your post I thought I will give Cassie my email so this family can contact me about the things you can't know until your there as far as the demolition and rebuilding of the home.
Then when I read about the children I knew that I have no words for this family to ease that pain. I am devastated for them.
Please know that any gesture you make at all... any hug, gift card, meal or act of kindness will be appreciated, cherished and remembered by this family. No small gesture will be small to them.
I will pray and pray for them.
melinda

Suzan Sweatman said...

What a horrific tragedy - those poor poor parents..........
How totally unfair like can be at times.
Much love,
Suzan

Sabrina said...

My heart breaks for your neighbors. I just cannot imagine in the pain and grief they are going through. I will be praying for them.

Julia Konya said...

Oh my God. That is horrible! That poor family...and two children!! It happened to our neighbor's house a couple of years ago too but they all got out including their 2 cats. They lost everything. Ever since that day I'm paranoid. We all helped them out as neighbors and they really appreciated it.

The Far Fifty said...

Oh boy, that's so tragic. I can't even imagine that. My thoughts are with them.

Our Pinteresting Family said...

My heart breaks for your neighbors. I'm so sorry to hear about this.

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

So sorry for your neighbor's tragedy.

Dana Frieling said...

I'm glad God put you next to them to offer the shoulder they're going to need for a very long time. Praying for them.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Oh gosh Cassie, what a sad story! My thoughts and prayers today will be for that family!

Julie Boarder said...

My thoughts and prayers to your neighbours. A good friend of mine lost her house to a fire (luckily they were away at the time) and I know what a stuggle just that part is, but I can't imagine losing your children too. Any gesture you do will be appreciated and welcomed I am sure.

Upscale Downhome said...

That is so horrific. I can't imagine. Thank you for letting us know. I will keep this family in my prayers.

Dear Emmeline said...

Josh asked if I had read you blog yet this morning (he reads it too) and when I said no he told me what happened. My heart literally caught in my throat. I can not even imagine losing my children and my home. My heart aches for them. I will certainly pray for your neighbors. That they will be granted supernatural peace and healing of their hearts after this tragedy.

Mary said...

I am so sorry to hear about your neighbors tragic loss. I will pray for them. Glad you are all okay.

The Golden Sycamore said...

Praying for your neighbors, Cassie! That is such a sad and scary thing to happen!

Also, I love your wreath! The arrow is so cute! :)
Allison

17 Perth said...

Cassie--that is so super sad. I am so so sorry. Prayers for them for sure. Great idea to talk to your kids about an escape plan. Can you tell I don't have kids yet?

On another note--I am so impressed with the stick you found for that arrow. Hahaha. It is so straight! Love your valentine's day decorations.

Karah @ thespacebetweenblog said...

Oh my goodness, my thoughts and prayers are with your neighbors for sure. If nothing else you will be a welcome friendly face in this time of struggle for them.

And love that wreath ... that's the perfect stick for an arrow!

Robin @ Happily Home, After said...

I cannot imagine the depth of despair and anguish your neighbors are experiencing and I've had a house fire. My heart aches for them and I pray they are surrounded by angels on this earth to guide them through this horrible experience. I suspect they are so numb right now they can't comprehend what happened and haven't even fully recognized that their loss also includes their home. They need everything right now and for a long time to come ... from someone to sit quietly with them and at some point to hold their hand to every item you need to get through a day. After our fire I was so moved by the simple / small gestures of kindness; about 24 hrs into events I was handed a small bag of supplies including a toothbrush and toothpaste and I was so relieved to try and "clean" myself of that day. Anything to let them know they are thought of will be comforting to them.

And to add to your point Cassie that this event underscores the need for everyone to have an understood and practiced fire escape plan, I would add to check your smoke detectors to ensure they operate and especially if there are children in the household to consider adding "talking" smoke detectors now available at any hardware store. I've blogged about studies showing children under 16 may not awake to the sound of an alarm but are more likely to awake to the sound of a familiar voice. Also, you can record on the talking alarm it's location {ex: "fire in the upstairs hallway"} ... imagine how helpful that info could be to any age when making split-second decisions about how to escape.

Catherine L said...

My house burned down when I was nine and my family lost everything. Fortunately everyone made it out alive, including the animals. I can't imagine what it would be like to have two children perish in such a way.

Even though the fire was 17 years ago, the memory of the kindness of friends, acquaintances, and strangers is still firmly etched in my mind. Even though you don't know these people well, they will remember any gesture you make to them for the rest of their lives. My family still talks about people who came over with Starbucks the next morning. It seems trivial, but it brought us tremendous comfort to have something warm to drink and know that people care.

If you want to help, go to Target and fill up a laundry basket with everyday necessities - hair dryer, shampoo, soap, towels, toothpaste, etc. Give them a card with a gift card to Target or Wal-Mart or the grocery store. Bring them some coffee and pastries.

One thing we still talk about is that my mom's acquaintance called the local dry cleaner and picked up her clothes and paid for them so that she would have something to wear.

Good for you for having a fire plan. Like many families, we didn't pay much attention to our smoke detectors. Make sure you replace the batteries frequently. Our smoke detectors were out and it was the sound of our barking dog that woke us up and saved our lives.

Twice Nice said...

What a heartbreaking moment. I will definitely include them in my prayers. A great reminder to constantly review our fire escape plans which we will definitely do this afternoon.

pam {simple details} said...

I'm so sorry, Cassie ~ my heart aches for the unimaginable days they have ahead of them. They're in my prayers.

Renee said...

This is truly heartbreaking. I will go over our escape plan again today. I am saying prayers for these poor parents.

Katie @ Wildwood Creek said...

So sorry to hear about your neighbor's tragedy. Sending thoughts and prayers.

Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

Please pass along MC's and my prayers to your neighbors. I can't even imagine live through a tragedy as this!

Allison said...

I am keeping that family in my heart and prayers. So very very sad. Cassie, if there is anything we can do to help from afar please let me know.

Jane Craske said...

Oh, that is just terrible. Prayers to them all.

Lynn Fern said...

Oh Cassie how incredibly sad. There are just no words that can describe the feeling this family will be feeling, but also know that you & your family will go through some pretty strong emotion. Like Melinda, my family & I went through a devastating fire that totaled our home. Lucky we were not there, had we been not sure we'd have our lives. Our neighbor which is our family doctor called in the fire. They suffered some pretty heavy emotions for a few months. Again as Melinda said..any type of gesture is appreciated. Gosh..so much I could write as we just experienced this a mere 7 months ago. Please know our thoughts, prayers & heart is with you as well with the family.
Lynn

Mel Mac said...

Incredibly sad :(

I will keep your neighbours in my prayers.

Carmel @ Our Fifth House said...

My heart hurst - I just can't even imagine. I need to talk to my kids again about what to do if there's a fire.

Your V-day touches are so sweet - I really need to get on the ball over here!

Hetty said...

Very, very sad Cassie, I will also pray for your neighbors and for your family as well. Stay strong for them.

amber-wills said...

My heart is broken for that family. What a horrifying loss. I'll be praying for them.

Ali Richardson said...

So sad for your neighbors, such a scary tragedy. Makes me count my blessings and kiss my babies.

On a happier note, I love the wreath and the V-day decor. I love you friend!!

Erin @ His and Hers said...

That's so sad for your neighbors. :( Even though you didn't really know them, it still hits so close to home (literally). I will pray for them!

Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} said...

Devastating news and that poor family! I cannot imagine how hard it would be to loose your home and everything, but *TWO* children??? I can't even think about it without crying. Sending prayers to this sweet family...

Kelly said...

I'm just broken over this. Thanks for sharing the fundraising link. Praying for them!

Catherine said...

How truly heart breaking for your neighbours - we have been revisiting our fire plan too and it's such a terrible thing to think about. Emma and Harry are not yet at an age where they really understand and could do any thing for themselves and it does weigh on my mind. Sending thoughts and prayers

Jenny said...

Oh Cassie, I'm so very saddened to hear about the loss of the children in the fire. I got a pit in my stomach just reading about it. I'm truly at a loss for words and can only offer my prayers for the devastating loss this family is enduring.

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Cassie, how very sad for your neighbors. My heart goes out to them….just another reminder that we have to make the best of today while we have it.

I love your pretty, cheerful, simple Valentines decor. I don't have anything up yet, but I do have some fun ideas for Valentines surprises for my munchkins!

Hope you have a good weekend my friend.

DecorandtheDog said...

That is so horribly awful. Prayers headed East!!

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

Your poor neighbors! All my prayers to them. Let me know if there is anything they need that we can send.

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Of course, prayers have been lifted for your neighbors and for YOU, Cassie, that you can minister to them during this horrible time. Timely reminder to love our neighbors. Be blessed!
xo Heidi

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

Oh no. Losing a home to a fire would be devastating enough, but to also lose two children? I don't know how I'd be able to go on. My thoughts and prayers are with your neighbors.

Eclectically Vintage said...

That is the perfect stick - it was fated by cupid! Pinning this beauty - because I LOVE it!
Kelly