Saturday, December 25, 2010

December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas to my friends and faithful followers.  May your day be full of joy and laughter.


Christmas Eve brought a lovely blanket of snow to dress up the outdoors for the holiday.


This kind of snowfall adds such elegance to the landscape and allows us to see again, differently, what we take for granted at other times.


We pause, and maybe even stop for a moment, to admire the beauty before we rush on to our busy life.


The bright white of the snow makes other color even more spectacular.


Berries that went unnoticed yesterday are popping out beneath the brilliant green to wish us a Holly, jolly Christmas.


So, if you “escaped” to a warmer climate for the holidays, just remember, a white Christmas has it’s own magic.


Some of you may be a little behind in the preparations, like I am.  My advice is not to worry.  Just take some time to enjoy the day.


Take a walk like I did early this morning and let the beauty of the day surround you.



The hustle and the bustle is all part of the day, and someone does have to cook.  But sneak a little time out for something unexpected that is just for fun.


Enjoy where you are and who you’re with.


I hope there is something special under the tree with your name on it.


Whatever you unwrap today, may it bring a smile of gratitude to your face and love in your heart for the giver of the gift.


Reflect on the memories.  I will be thinking of family and friends who are not with me today. 


So get the Scrooge out and the Ho, ho, ho in.


May Santa find you where ever you are.


May your day be filled to the brim with only good times.


And may your Christmas Day be “just right.”


Don’t over do it at the buffet table.


Rest in between festivities.


Create some new memories.


Come back soon to see what is in store for the NEW YEAR.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

When in Doubt

Christmas, like Halloween, is one of those holidays where it’s hard to go over the top.  You can just keep adding and somehow it works.  When I question whether to add something else, I think, “When in doubt, bring it out.”  Now, keep in mind, that phrase is turned around to mean the exact opposite the rest of the year.  I know gaudy is possible and I have seen some borderline lawn decorations, but, most of us reset the gaudy meter this time of year.  It’s just JOLLY.  What the heck.
I mention this now for those of you who are wondering what all this stuff looks like in one house.  Rest assured that 2-3 days after Christmas it will be going back into boxes.
Some decorations move easily from one holiday or party to the next.
My menu board is going to be one of those items.  Thanksgiving was its first venue.
Christmas will be the second.  The red lights are plugged in and lit but not obvious in the daylight.  Hopefully I will come up with something clever to write in the next few days. 

027-1     028-2
I managed to get these garlands up on either side of my studio door on the very last warm day of the year.  Two days later we received 4 1/2 inches of snow and the weather has not improved since.
They are pretty to look at from the house.

I should have taken my flower pots inside before I took this picture so ignore those.
Now for the front door.
I hung onto this sad little tree way too long, or maybe not.  It looked better when I pulled off the dusty and broken ornaments.  Recycle is what I do and what better place to start than in my own closets.

Some ribbon, sparkly reindeer, and a red beaded garland started things off.  I rewrapped the little packages in the same ribbon and hot glued a strand of glass beaded trim to the base.  These were all things I had on hand. (I see now that a couple close ups would have been nice.)  Maybe I can snap those and squeeze them in later.

Another item that has been around awhile is this tree.  In fact he has a twin brother.  I had them in black pots for a few years but decided to go with the burlap this year.

Adding a little sprig of berries took these burlap covered candles from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Away with the fall leaves to make room for the beaded fruit.

That was a speedy transition.

Now, back to the little trees.  Some of the lights were not working so I switched those out and added the sparkly red balls.  Putting the reindeer on top tied it to the front door decoration.  A few pine cones from the previous holiday and the foyer was complete.

Now for the living room.  Actually I held back a little here.  It's the room where you get to catch your breath.
A little greenery around a candle chandelier that hangs low over the coffee table was all this room needed.

I should try this shot again with the sconce lights on.

I tried getting a mirror shot which was just as frustrating as it was in the dining room where I was trying not to get a mirror shot.  One of these days I’ll figure this out.

I am lucky to have some nice architectural elements like this pocket door .  It makes simple work.

My favorite shot was taken just after blowing out the candles.
And with that, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

I have linked to:

Funky Junk Interiors

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Balls in the Air

How many balls are you juggling this month?  It seems like I have 35 things in the air.  Lots of holiday projects have been started but I am forced to throw one into the air to catch another.  I think I may be close enough on some to give you a glimpse of what I have been tossing around.  It’s a little more difficult to get good pictures this time of the year so please cut me a little slack there.
I decided to do the dining room in mostly silver and white with touches of black and red.  I had white branches that I had tucked into the tree one year.  But I needed containers so I could use these on the mantel.
I found these vases at Goodwill priced way too high at $3 and $5.  I found a manager and got them down to $3 apiece but, seriously, this is Goodwill and one still had the 25 cent garage sale sticker on it.  However, time is short and yard sales are scarce right now in Missouri.
I brought them home and sprayed the inside with Looking Glass Spray paint.  This was my first try at spraying the inside of a cylinder so it took a while to get the hang of it.  I tried spraying it in my garage but I think the glass got too cold and the paint just slid down to the bottom of the vase.  I moved to the back porch which was warmer but I still had some problems.  The manufacturer suggests several light coats (5) with a minute of dry time in between.  Good in theory but my vases took about 15-20.  Maybe more.  I didn’t count.  Part of the reason for that is, you cannot spray all sides at one time.  I would hold the vase outside the door, give it a quick squirt, dash back inside and lay it sideways on the table to keep the paint from running.  Then repeat and repeat and repeat.  In spite of the hassle, they turned out quite well.
I wrapped the stems of my twigs in paper towel to keep them from scratching the paint.  Stuck a few smaller silver branches in the front and added a little bird from Deals.  I had the black and white stripped ribbon in my stash.
Another shot before the bird.
I had some silver bells and some red beads.
I also had a silver tray, some silver acorn ornaments, and candlesticks in a variety of styles and heights.  The silver balls were 3 for $1 at deals.  (unbreakable which is nice since they are just resting on the top of the candlesticks.)
x13    x15
I added some tea lights to fill in around the vases and add a warm twinkle.
If you remember, my walls are chocolate brown so it’s difficult to get decent light for pictures.
This would probably look better if I included the entire mirror and the bottom of the mantel.  But since my table is set for 12, I really wasn’t anxious to move it so I could get a good shot.  The other issue is the reflection of the doorways and artwork on the other walls in the mirror.  I just realized some of you would not know that the fireplace surround is mirrored mosaic which does add to this display. Hmmmm? Guess I should try for a shot that includes that.  I will have to add that later.  It is after dark now and it will be impossible.

This is my insert so you can see the mirrored mosaic surround.

In the meantime, another close up.  Seems I took lots of those because they were easier to snap.
I attached some large ornaments to the bottom of my chandelier and added a red and silver bow. (I know it looks a little pink but it really is red.)
I know, even less convincing with the red shades.  You will just have to take my word for it.  This was the start of the table decoration.
I dug out a black and silver tablecloth that I had used before during the holidays and started to build from there.  Of course, I have the red and white dishes so that was really all the red I needed.
Which tableware do you prefer?  Actually, I have to use a mix since I don’t have a 12 piece place setting of either one.
Napkin rings I have had for years.  You can’t really tell from the photo but they are glittery.  Note the pattern on the tablecloth in this picture.  It is like a faux animal print…maybe alligator but in black and silver.
Years ago I covered a paper mache reindeer in silver beads.  It has held up extremely well so I added a black bow and a couple red ornaments to make it the focal point of the table.
The Christmas trees on either side of the candleholder are an inexpensive Walmart find.  I just thought they had a shape with a lot of flair.
You can see the shape here.  I thought about running a ribbon through the little hole in the star on top.  I’m still contemplating if it is better without it.
I realize these are not the greatest pictures.  I’m thinking or dragging the stepladder up from the basement to see if I can get a shot of the entire table.  Stay tuned.  If that works out, I’ll add it later.
I laid a wide ribbon down the center of the tablecloth and placed all the ornamentation on top of this ribbon.  It is simple but with all the other decorations in the house, it really is quite enough.

I am linked to :
Funky Junk Interiors