Tag Archives: Christmas

Are Your Holiday Decorations MIA, Why?

Are Your Holiday Decorations MIA, Why?

By now, I’m sure all your holiday decor is all neatly tucked away in storage boxes in a closet, attic or garage. Except for a vintage ornament wreath I want to enjoy just a little longer, I have put everything away as well. But if our holiday decor brings us joy, why not find ways to keep some of that goodness sprinkled around as a reminder of the peace, love and joy in our hearts not only during the holidays but 365 days a year.

With that said, these felt poinsettia flowers

felt poinsetta

via

can be used to embellish a heart shape wreath for Valentines Day.

poinsettia poinsettia wreath

via

Lose the pine needle and this holiday trim morphs into window jewelry.

hanging ornments with curtains

via

The message of Joy shouldn’t be restricted to the holiday season. Blending so beautifully with the surrounding Transferware plates, it’s worthy of an extended stay.

joy hanging plates

via

Now if this magnificent goodness was in my home, it would always be on display for two reasons; one, it is beyond gorgeous and two, I wouldn’t have a space big enough to store it. LOL The ornamental texture is breathtaking.

ornament tree

via

And these vintage ornaments are more about fun and whimsy, like those found at Patience Brewster, so deserving of extra time and enjoyment. In fact, it would be pretty darn cute and partner well with an Easter egg assortment in a similar color pallet directly underneath.

ornaments and branches

via

So why not reconsider tucking away the holiday decor for another year and think of creative ways to enjoy their presence each and everyday. Upcoming holidays, like Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter etc.or sprinkling a few items into your everyday decor  might be the perfect reminder to rock that holiday spirit all year long.

What do you think? Do you have holiday items that you use in other ways?

 

Post Holiday Thoughts

Post Holiday Thoughts

How was your holiday? It was a very different one for me. Simple, less hectic and laid back. Actually, I had no choice but to pull back as I had foot surgery earlier in the month. Yes, I’m rocking that infamous designer surgical shoe. LOL

I’m so happy I was able to repair my vintage ornament wreath that had fallen apart. Made a banner using mailing tags

Christmas decorating 2014 IMG_1099

and created a swag of small pine cones using jute string.

Hung some ornaments here

Christmas decorating 2014 IMG_1080

and there.

Christmas decorating 2014 IMG_1092

Dyed a drop cloth remnant blue and added some felt trees.

Christmas decorating 2014 IMG_1106

And when my holiday basket dried out way too soon

I came up with this super quick alternative instead.

Christmas decorating 2014 IMG_1121

I  also made some Christmas stockings using drop cloth fabric but can’t seem to find those pics.

Anyway, “use what you have” decorating is my favorite thing to do and was a great distraction from my healing foot. I actually enjoyed pulling back and not getting lost in the usual hustle and bustle.

Thankfully, no holiday blur this year. A detour from the usual holiday routine and traditions can be a good thing. Do you agree?

Burlap Holiday Tree

Burlap Holiday Tree

This Christmas, I decided to to forgo a traditional Christmas tree now that the children are older. They have lost interest in decorating a tree so I thought I would decorate in a different way. I even sold our fake reusable tree. It was a little too big for our living room and this would be year two of it not being used and taking up much needed storage space in the garage. It was time to let it go and be of use to another family.

Quickly, I went into “use what I have” mode and came up with this beauty!

burlap tree IMG_0829

It evolved effortlessly from what I had in my craft stash.

I attached some Christmas lights along three lampshade rims that I slipped on a metal rod and secured in place with rubber washers.

burlap holiday tree

The rod is threaded on one end so I screwed it into a scrap piece of wood and topped it with a picture frame for the base.

burlap tree IMG_0844I

Then I began draping the burlap tirm and securing the tucks and folds with clothespins, my new favorite thing.

 

burlap tree IMG_0854

Used pine cones for a tree topper,  securing them around the rod with a fabric remnant.

burlap tree IMG_0835

 

I so adore all the little pockets and folds that I stuffed with tree branches and paper packaging materials.

burlap tree IMG_0837

Every angle is unique and interesting.

burlap tree IMG_0836

Here is an upshot from underneath. The paper adds volume and additional texture.

burlap tree IMG_0833

Added a little trim and a few ornments. Done!

burlap tree IMG_0831

And there you have it, a burlap holiday tree. I love, love, love it, especially because, with the exception of the tree branches, I made it from what I already had along with some remnant items I had laying around. I went to a Christmas tree lot and picked up a large bunch of clippings.
burlap tree IMG_0829

Although I’m in love with my holiday tree, I realize it’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me!

Happy Holidays!

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Wreath Disaster

Wreath Disaster

After Thanksgiving, I began pulling out the Christmas decorations. I went straight to my ornament wreath from last year.

wreath close up IMG_9912 500 x 492

Last year, I hung it up unfinished with spaces left to fill. Although the spaces are obvious in this close up, they are almost unnoticeable from a distance. Needless to say, it never got finished but I enjoyed it just the same.

I bubble wrapped and stored it in a wreath bag. Imagine my horror when I opened up the bag and and found my wreath had fallen apart.

broken wreath_0758

I was mortified

broken wreath_0762

Not only had the ornaments fallen off the styrofoam base,

broken wreath_0759

some of the ornaments had shattered as well.

broken ornament wreath

My heart sunk. I’m not too sure why the hot glue held up in some areas and not in others. I’m guessing the seasonal temperature shift in the basement closet might be to blame. Unfortunately, I don’t have room anywhere else to store it. I tried a couple of other glues and had no luck so I went back to the glue gun.

After removing the broken pieces, I reattached most of the ornaments. However, I’m on the hunt for some more ornaments since I didn’t have enough to replace all of them. Boo Hoo:( Wish me luck!

Note: I think shatter proof ornaments are the way to go for this design.

Belated Holiday Greetings!

Belated Holiday Greetings!

Post holiday greetings! I hope that you had a blessed holiday and are looking forward to the New Year. Although I adore this time of year, the holidays always seems to get the better of me. Even though my children are older, 22 and 12, and Christmas this year was very simple, I still found myself turning into the energizer bunny running on E. However, the many hours of preparation and endless tasks are a small price to pay for the joy and love floating in the air.  And the beautiful lights and decorations everywhere make my heart sing!

Speaking of decorations, I did manage to almost finish my vintage ornament wreath at the 11th hour on Christmas Eve. It was my Christmas gift to myself.  And here it is:

vintage ornament wreath IMG_9912 600x362

I love it!  Although, I had 100+ ornaments, I still had to do another thrift store run halfway through. I had too many gold ones and not enough silver. However, as you might already know, you can’t go to a thrift store and expect to find just what you’re looking for. I did find another box of pretty teal blue ornaments though, and incorporated them into the wreath as well. As for the silver ones I needed more of, I decided to strip some of the gold ones I already had.

strip ornament IMG_9827

Most vintage ornaments are usually silver on the inside no matter what color they happen to be on the outside.
After a few seconds in water, the color film crinkles and peels right off. But in order to retain the silver on the inside you have to avoid getting water inside the ornament. However, if a little gets in by mistake that okay too; If you pour it out quickly it might result in a mercury glass look like this one.

mercury glass IMG_9884

Just know that it’s not an exact science and requires some experimentation. As for my wreath, I still have a few more spaces to fill. From afar the gaps are not too noticeable but close up they stand out like a sore thumb. When I take it down, I will fill them in at my leisure.

wreath close up IMG_9912 500 x 492

While working on it,  I had a lot of casualties; some of the ornaments rolled  right over the edge of my work surface and shattered into a gazillion pieces. I will definitely have to wrap it in bubble wrap and find a sturdy box to store it in because it is very fragile. I think if I make another one, perhaps, I can find some vintage looking shatter proof ornaments instead. I’m not sure if there is such a thing but the new glittery ornaments in stores today just don’t do it for me.

As for our Christmas tree, my selection turned into a teachable and reaffirming experience. My intent was to have a cute table top tree instead of using our pre lit one. I wanted to try something different.  The tree I bought home, however,  turned out to be too big for a table top and too small for the floor. So I stacked it up on a crate to give it a little more height and called it our Charlie Brown tree. LOL. The poor thing sat bear until two days before Christmas. Finally, I asked my sons to have at it. I added a few pine cones and ribbon trim and,voila,

pinecone IMG_9878

our too-big to-be-on-the-table and  too-small-to-be-on-the-floor Christmas tree that can’t be taken too seriously.

tree IMG_9912 481x500

The last couple of years, I’ve been learning the importance of going with the flow and allowing what will be to be. The strive for perfection is so overrated and I have decided to move on and choose a different path. And although that path may be filled with many unfamiliar twists and turns, I am embracing and appreciating the imperfect goodness and uncertainty along the way. Each step brings me closer to the authentic life I want to lead.

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Wreath Obsessed Again!

Wreath Obsessed Again!

Every year as the holidays approach, I get obsessed with DIY creative wreath ideas. This year, I have been dreaming of making an ornament wreath. But before, I set out on this creative journey, I needed some inspiration. First, there is true vintage.

vintage ornament wreath 2 mommyiscoocoo
source: mommyiscoocoo.com

I remember some of  these ornaments from my childhood; so different from the ornaments today.

georgiapeachezwreathblog

source: GeorgiaPeachezWreathBlog.blogspot.com

Georgia Peachez Wreaths is a blog devoted to vintage wreaths 24/7, 365 days a year.

ornament-wreath-2 bluevelvatevintage
source:BlueVelvetVintage

The next two are more contemporary versions if vintage is not your thing.

ornament ball wreath 2 mattandbecky
source: Matt-and-Becky.blogspot

wreath live love diy small
source: Live Love DIY

Not into ornaments?  How about frames showcasing your favorite holiday memories?

Beautiful-DIY-Christmas-Wreaths_13

source:justasmidgen.com

or buttons maybe?

wreath-white-buttons good housekkeeping-1200-fb
source: Good Housekeeping

I started out wanting to make a vintage ornament wreath, but now, I’m not too sure. I love them all! What wreath are you hanging for the holidays?

 

Little Grey Chair

Little Grey Chair

Have you recovered from your holiday festivities? I love the holidays but I love the day after even more. Wondering why? Because I spend it in my PJ’s, lounging with no plans and eating way too many leftovers. With that said, I sure hope your holiday was everything you wanted it to be and more.

Lately, I’ve been having a blast experimenting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP). I truly wish I could find the before picture but it was deleted or misfiled. Sorry about that. I assure you, it wasn’t anything to write home about.

After two coats of Paris Grey followed by some wax, VOILA.

The paint is so easy to work with.

The distressed finish looks rather authentic, don’t you agree?

ASCP is my new BFF:)

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A Lamp Tree Display for Christmas

A Lamp Tree Display for Christmas

Have you ever heard of a lamp tree?

Are you sure? It’s a tree made with lamp shade parts of course. I just made that up but that is what I did.

I used lamp shade frames in assorted sizes and placed them on a metal rod, all of which I just happen to have laying around. Each tier is held in place by rubber washers. It was the easiest thing to put together. I just slid each tier and used a washer on top an bottom to hold it in place.

This broken clock frame was used for the base.

The rod happen to be threaded on each end so I could screw it into a piece of wood and secure it using a metal washer and nut. Then, I hot glued the clock frame to the piece of wood and painted the base with ASCP Paris Gray.

I used a wooden drawer knob for the topper, but I think I am going to search my house for a lamp finial to use instead.

I thought of this idea to display ornaments at the craft fair but I realized it could be used to display cards at home as well. By the way, the craft fair didn’t go well but I’ll leave that story for a later post.

I adore burlap and love to think of ways to use it. I wrapped styrofoam cubes like a present, secured it with hot glue and added some trim. Again, all things I already had on hand.

Here are a few more closeups. I’m having a ball experimenting with blurry backgrounds. Finally getting the hang of my DSLR camera. Yeah!!

Pine cones are another one of my favorite things.

I love to create things from odds and ends. It’s so much more rewarding and requires that extra ounce of creativity and resourcefulness.

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Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday

Domestically Speaking: The Power of Paint Party

Holiday Blessings!

Holiday Blessings!

Merry Christmas! Hope the holidays are treating you well! I have a story, apropros for the holidays, I would like to share with you that reminded me of my blessings, gratitude and unanswered prayers.

Two short days ago, it was my birthday. I had a plan. I was going to drop No. 2 son off to school, head into Manhattan, wonder around aimlessly and escape from responsibilities and the holiday frenzy for one day. It’s my favorite thing to do and would have been my birthday present to myself. However, when I woke up I kept hearing the automatic water feed on the boiler turning on. When I went to investigate, I found a large pool of water near the boiler and hot water tank. Ughhh! Immediately, I grabbed some towels to sop up the water and tried to figure out the problem. Was it the hot water tank? The boiler? I located a hissing sound from a nearby pipe, but couldn’t figure out the exact spot where it was coming from. I called the emergency number for the plumber I use as the $$$ signs started rolling in my head. Thankfully, I remained calm. I got a call back shortly, they could come around 10am. So I got No. 2 Son ready for school, asked one of my mom friends to drop him off for me and continued soaking up the water while waiting for the plumbers to arrive. I sent Mr. DIY a text that read “boiler problems, basement flooded, Merry Christmas!”

Turns out, the return pipe of our heating system was leaking. They temporarily patched it to last through the weekend. It could be patched or the entire pipe could be replaced which means ripping into our recently renovated bathroom and basement. I heard $500, $1700, not including all the repairs to the walls, tiles, etc. that would have to be done afterward. Although I tried to control my face, I felt it contorting as the plumber told me my options. After he left, immediately I started thinking about Plan B. I called my neighbor contractor who finished our basement and explained the problem to him. He came over within minutes to take a look and called his plumber friend for back up. My neighbor advised me not to rip into the walls and patch the spot instead. Best of all, they could do the repair. Sounded good to me! I love having a handy neighbor friend next door because , as handy as Mr. DIY and I are, we don’t mess with plumbing and electricity.

By now, you must be thinking, “exactly why am I telling you this story?” Here’s the thing. My birthday took an ugly turn and at first I was a little disappointed, but almost instantly I began to count my blessings. We have a home, food to eat and our health. This is a small problem that can easily be resolved. In the midst of discord, upsets, strife or setbacks, I choose to count my blessings.

And since my birthday plan took a nose dive, what is a DIY girl to do? Yeah, you guessed it! I completed a project that was begging to be finished. Actually, another one of mom friends, Andrea, asked me if I could repair a chair for her months ago; July to be exact. It sat and sat and then It was one of those fabric covered parsons chair. Even the legs were covered in fabric. The chair was made of plywood and her sons leaned back on the chair and the one of the legs just snapped. I had opened it up and removed the fabric, and Mr. DIY repaired the leg long ago, but I wasn’t motivated to redo the upholstery. Well, it is now finished! It lifted my spirits and took my mind off of my spoiled plans.

When I went to pick up No. 2 Son from school, another one of my mom friends, Geeta, made brownies and all my other mom friends and our children sang happy birthday to me in the school yard. It was payback (the whole point is to embarass the recipient). I started this when Geeta aka “three-six” and the youngest one in our mom circle was belly aching about turning 36. I had made cupcakes and we had also sang to her in the school yard. Anyway, it was freezing and everyone shivered as they sang, laughing all the way through. It was funny, touching and reminded me of the Garth Brook’s song “Unanswered Prayers”.  

Had I gone into the city, I would have missed this experience. An unanswered prayer or birthday wish can also be a blessing and my plumbing mishap was a reminder of that.

For all who celebrate, have a Blessed Christmas. Enjoy!