Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Christmas Tree...2012

     In keeping with my "keep it simple" outdoor theme this year, my tree topper took only a few minutes to make. My tree toppers seem to be what I am most known for, at least according to, I will share the simple steps that I went through to make this one.
I started with a few "frosted" branches...

...and two sprigs of airy evergreen.

On top of the twigs and evergreen, I centered
this large pick that had a hint of red and a single pinecone.

I wired them all together
(it is so hard to see the twigs, but they are there).
     I wired the topper to the top of the tree and then fluffed it a bit to get the look I wanted and added a single red cardinal. What really makes this topper special is the bow "crown" under it. Because my tree has no real ornaments this year, I wanted to feature the plaid ribbon. I made four large bows and simply wired them one at a time to all four sides of the tree, fluffing the loops to make it look like one continuous bow. I think a tree should always have a front and back bow on the topper, it adds fullness. In this case, four bows make a statement.

     I bought the bird ornaments after Christmas at Cracker Barrel a couple of years ago. I loved the rustic look and the large size.

I found more red cardinals at the dollar store 2 for $1
 and they are scattered throughout the tree.

I placed red berries and frosted twigs all over the tree.

I found a tree skirt that pulls it all together.

I've just started wrapping a few packages in rustic kraft paper
with just a hint of red and more plaid in the bows.

     I love the look of the packages under the tree, of course so does my 1-year-old beagle. I'm not sure they are going to get to stay there this year. I think this is worse than having a toddler. At least my kids didn't try to eat the packages!

     My husband took this picture this morning in the early hours. I sort of like how the lights played some tricks with the photography...a little haunted looking!
     I am joining Tammigirl at If You Could See What I See for Show Me Your Tree. Please take a moment to visit her!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How About A Little "Whine" With Those Decorations

     I hope no one minds if I start this blog post with a little "whine". You know, as bloggers, most of us tend to give the impression that everything just goes along beautifully at our houses. We wake up perky, prepare perfect meals and between jobs, children and husbands, we find all the time we need to create, craft and decorate our homes. Well, my life is never like that...but, the past month has been the extreme opposite.

     It started with my food poisoning event (it was an event) on October 28th, which landed me in bed on both my birthday and Halloween. It was 5 days before I had the strength to even get dressed and in truth, many more days of trying to feel like I hadn't been hit by a truck. Coming on a few days later, my husband and I both caught colds that we simply could not shake. I was functioning, but didn't feel great...and then last Tuesday, my cold turned quickly into a sinus infection and bronchitis. I lost my voice which has not returned, ran a fever until yesterday and my cough is like a barking seal and can't be controlled. Thanksgiving was spent in bed. I did get up for a few hours Thanksgiving morning to make a pie and put together a meal because my son was coming...but, he didn't show up (that is another story). Needless to say, my husband had more than enough to eat...alone...on Thanksgiving.

     Bronchitis isn't something new to me. From the time I was a child, if I caught a cold in the fall...I ended up sick for weeks. The problem now is, I'm an adult and Christmas is coming! I have been able to get a few things done between naps the past two days, but I am really having fantasies of sitting on a beach in the sun, breathing in the salt air until I feel like myself again. Instead, I am drinking so much tea I could float, napping between cyber shopping and I must be feeling a little better because I'm getting mad! Merry, Merry and a Ho Ho Ho...

     So, I hope that all of you are feeling better than we are at my house. I hope you are perky, cooking up a storm, crafting, decorating and enjoying every minute of the holiday prep. I am getting there...but I apologize for the lack of visits to your blogs and comments on your posts. I will try to do better, now that I'm sitting up and can keep my eyes open!

     I have done some decorating the past couple of days. Luckily, I had already decided on my "theme" for this year and it was much more simple than some years. I decided I wanted something more natural, outdoorsy and winter looking than prior years. I went back to traditional red and green and there is not one silver, gold or colored ornament out in my house. In fact, much of what I have out will be able to stay out all winter.

     I always decorate the top of the china cabinet almost as if it were a mantel. The picture is one we have had for many years, the wooden trees, birdhouse and moose are part of my attempt at bringing a winter lodge feeling to the decorations this year.

     The library table behind the love seat has been draped with a vintage quilt that my husband's grandmother made. Twigs, pinecones, birds and reindeer continue bringing the outside into the house this year. My husband made the twig garland for me. We saw one very similiar in Michigan for a much higher price than I was willing to pay for some sticks!

     I am happy to say that I'm finally joining Marty again at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday. Make sure you stop and say hello to her.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tablescapes and More Tablescapes

     It is that time of year again. Wrights Furniture in Dieterich, IL hosted the Annual Settings for St. Anthony's event. It is always a fun event, with beautiful tables, delicious refreshments and if you are lucky (I'm not) you might even win a great prize. I think the pictures speak for enjoy and be inspired!