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Friday, November 30, 2012

This Years Outdoor Decor

     I love getting the after Christmas decoration deals. There are always a lot of great ones, if you are willing to look. But, what is so awesome about those deals is forgetting that you got them and being so surprised when you open your decoration boxes the following November. I'm telling you its just like Christmas all over again! ;)

     That happened this year! I completely forgot I had purchased some lighted garland {along with a few other things}, and now I have something to add to my porch pillar! I love that!

     This isn't a dramatic reveal since its pretty much what I did last year. The only major difference is I used one of my monogrammed pots for my Christmas tree on the porch and changed up the decor in the window box.


     The little tree is made from garland wrapped around a tomato cage and just pushed into the dirt in my pot to secure it. Here's last year's tutorial.

     It was an engineering fete to get everything plugged in and working. {I still can't find the right cord to hook up the wreath light yet}.

     Here's what I can tell you about outdoor decor for Christmas:

  • Its a lot more pleasant of an experience to put up if its relatively warm outside.
  • Anchor everything well so that on a blizzard-y day things don't end up in the neighbors yard. {I used 7 inch pieces of an old hanger bent into "U" shaped pieces to hold my garland in the window box~it still has dirt in it.}
  • You will need far more extension cords than you think you will.


I'm sharing this here:

Tatertots and Jello
Too Much Time

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Decor

     I was so inspired by the post I shared earlier this week on Christmas center piece inspiration that I spruced my own up. Sometimes it takes a little inspiration to get those creative juices flowing!

     I've had this arrangement for a couple of years now and I still like it but wanted to change it up a bit. Adding a tray and some extra decor from around the house was just the trick!

It was lonely before:

     I was challenged this year to come up with decor for my hutch shelves. I painted the background aqua this year and the old red and green decor just didn't look the same with that background {yuck!}.

     This year we moved the red and green to other areas of the house {here's last year's version} and focused more on silver plus brought a few aqua tones in as well. Flipping my books backwards keeps the tones neutral allowing that aqua to pop. I will say that flipping the books around was a little unsettling for my husband but I assured him all would be restored after Christmas! {Men~sometimes they just don't get the whole decor thing!}

  Things still have to serve their purpose and that basket with things peaking out is where we dump cell phones, keys, receipts and any other pocket treasures. My husband was glad I was still able to incorporate his antlers, but I like them glammed up a bit more! ;)

   I will be back this weekend with ideas for the outdoor Christmas decor from my porch! 

I'm sharing this with:
Homa Style
At the Picket Fence
House of Hepworths
Tatertots and Jello
Too Much Time
Its Overflowing
Between naps on the porch
Southern Hospitality

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Center Piece Inspiration

     This year I'm in need of some center piece inspiration for my dining room table. Right now I have up the same  old same old. Its pretty and simple but lacks the wow factor. So while I was perusing the web for inspiration I thought I'd share some with you!

     Enjoy the eye candy! I hope it motivates you as well!

 Both from

The Lettered Cottage


Here's what I have so far, but I think it needs a little work:

     Well, now I'm a little more motivated! I will be back again to show you how this inspiration pushed me.

I'm sharing this here:
Skip to my Lou
Between naps on the porch
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
The DIY Dreamer
Tatertots and Jello

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Tree Garland

     I hope that you all had a blessed Thanksgiving yesterday. I am so thankful to all you of my readers who humble me by your visits. Thank you!

     We had a wonderful Thanksgiving although it started with the house filling with smoke {from an unattended toaster that forgot to shut off} and ended with a trip to the ER for my precious niece who fell of the couch and hit her head on the coffee table. These events served as powerful reminders of all we do have and in whose hand they are held. I have a precious family and it was a blessing to be with them yesterday.

    Today I want to share with you a simple garland that I made this year for our Christmas tree and another version for our mantle. In years past I feel like I went way overboard on the Christmas decor to the point that things were in the way and I was so sick of it all by the day Christmas came. This year, I'm keeping it simple and this simple garland is a great touch.

     It was made to go along with this year's tree skirt and last years PB knock off pillow.

     I started by gathering my leftover felt leaves from the tree skirt. If you want to start from scratch, simply cut leaf shapes out of felt. I found it easier to cut 1-1/2 inch strips of felt to cut my leaves from {I just did these free hand and I like the little bit of randomness that results} so they were all relatively the same height.

     You will also need little poms and silver thread. I was saved by a kind cashier at Jo-Ann's from buying the super expensive thread that I had mistakenly picked up. Believe me there is a huge price difference. This is the brand I found and with Jo-Ann's 40% off coupon it was only around $1.70.

     With this thread you can use a regular needle to stitch it all together. I found with the poms that it was better not to go directly through their center otherwise they were on the thread really tight and didn't slide as well down my thread. {Poke them slightly off-center}.

     Start by weaving in and out through one of your leaves and then just start adding leaves and berries in whatever pattern you wish. I did two different gray colors for some variation. As you add leaves and berries you just keep sliding them down your thread {that you don't cut from your spool until you're done}. If you find it getting long and cumbersome go ahead and tie it off and cut it from your spool leaving a little bit of thread at that end to tie it to the next section you make.

     For my mantle I added an aqua leaf. I love the color in this one.

     To add a little more color to my tree this year I did a simple crotchet knot to make this one out of yarn in my aqua color. This was simple to do following any of the crocheting tutorials out there and adds a little homey touch to our tree.

So have fun trimming your tree this year and give one of these garlands a try!

I'm sharing this here:
Tatertots and Jello
Too Much Time
Its Overflowing
Skip to my Lou
Between naps on the porch
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
The DIY Dreamer
At the Picket FEnce
Centsational Girl

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A New Way to Hang Christmas Lights

     My least favorite part of the whole putting-up-the-tree-business is the lighting. We use a fake tree every year due to allergies and when we put the tree in the basement we don't take it apart we just throw a sheet over it with the lights left on. So really I shouldn't complain! It always seems though that one of the strands doesn't work or they don't look evenly dispersed. My kids stand there with ornaments in hand waiting for the lighting to be fixed so they can pounce on that tree with their ornaments.

     I determined this year to come up with an easier way! I love the overall glow of a Christmas tree but can't seem to ever achieve that. So I decided to go swag style!

     This is a super easy look to achieve and it even impressed my husband! I used four strands of lights and started by laying them all out on the floor.

     I attached them all together so there is only one plug to plug into the wall. Grab your strands together and start with the end opposite of your wall plug at the top of your tree. Keeping them together you only need to go around your tree two or three times {unless you have a really tall tree!}

How's that for easy!

     We just need to add the ornaments and we're all set! Now if a strand dies, it will be a lot easier to extract it from the tree without dismantling the whole thing! 

Come on back on Friday for a tutorial on how to make my tree and mantel garland.

Check out the tree skirt tutorial here.

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