Decorating for the Season

This post is very photo laden.  You have been warned.

Today, I realized that I’ve been working so very hard on getting my pedestal table stripped and stained, that I had been neglecting the Christmas decorating!  Yes, I did have the Advent Wreath complete, and the hallway partially decorated, but I’ve been really slack on everything else!

So, here is my entry hallway, decorated for Christmas.  This is what it would look like if someone ran ahead of me and lit the candles before I opened the front door.

HallwaySanta’s writing out his “naughty/nice” list.  I’m choosing to believe I’m on the nice side of the page!

Here’s a look at what’s on that shelf…  Santa may welcome me home, but the Nativity prints certainly remind me what it’s really all about.

Nativity1This little hummingbird was a Christmas present from one of my work associates.  The gold stars were a gift from an elderly neighbour a few years ago.  Together with the icicles and a mixture of real cedar branches and a faux garland, the space fills up nicely!  4 votives in sherry glasses and two in the wall hung candle holders gives a very nice glow.HummingbirdThe wreath was made from cardstock.  “Joy” was printed at home on photo paper (as was Santa’s “Believe”)  The carollers and shoppers are from Canadian Tire and fit nicely into the jars that once held Dollarama Candles.  The red bottom of the jars are two Dollarama candle holders, spray painted red.joynativity2

Except for the “Baby, it’s cold outside” print on the back of the front door, that just about does it.  Next time, the living room.

There’s still the garland above the patio doors to decorate, the creche to put up, the tree to trim, stockings to make and the table and appropriate dishware to put out, but it really feels like Christmas here now.

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Christmas starts here…

With this…

Chandelier

And this…

Wreath
When I was a child, my family celebrated every aspect of Christmas, beginning with the Advent Wreath.  During Advent, we’d gather together in the living room after the dinner dishes were done, dim the lights and get on our knees for prayer.

Mom usually read the prayers from a sheet she got from the church.  Dad would lead the rosary, and the littlest one of us (with help) would light the candle of the week.

That little candle, and the ones that followed, brought light to the dark room, and a sense of connection and warmth to all of us.  Each week, the anticipation would build, until Christmas Eve finally arrived.

It’s been 30 years since I lived at home, but the warmth, joy and love of this season speaks to me even more loudly than it did then.

And it always started with a candle laden wreath.  Mom and Dad’s was always made of fresh fir branches Dad gathered.   Mine will not be.

To start, I used a defunct, wired, wrought iron “chandelier” light fixture that had been stored in the basement by the previous tenants.

I dismantled it totally, removed the wiring and gave it a good cleaning.

Then, the creative fun started.  I wanted this piece to be able to sit flat on a table, so I played with the pieces until I got a configuration that would work sitting on a tabletop or hung by ribbon.

I scavenged greenery from the Salvation Army wreath I purchased last year.

Using florists wire, I secured the greenery to  the chandelier.  A few ribbons and candles, and my Advent Wreath is ready!

chandelier top

At the moment, I’m keeping it on the table that will house the 3 ft tree I’ve got stashed somewhere.  It may migrate as I work on more decorating.  For now, though, it’s a touch of my family, my childhood and Christmas – front and center in the living room.

Advent Wreath

candle

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

We kicked sod!

Well, my sister Carolyn did, anyway.  Literally.  The sod in my back yard was so poorly laid that kicking it raised large portions.  The rest we pulled by hand.  I bagged up the sod once she liberated it from the soil.

Many bags later, and my sister KNOWING exactly where her quads were (and not overjoyed by that knowledge), my back yard looks like this.

Officially grass free.

This little guy came to visit.  I’m not sure WHERE he found the nut!

Now to work on leveling it out for a patio!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by!

Seasonal Decorating

I’ve never been much for seasonal decorating.  It’s always seemed to me to be much effort and expense for little gain.

I’ve recently rethought that position.  Since planning to move to our new rental, I realized that I’ve always thought of where we live to be temporary – not as someplace to really settle in and celebrate.  However, we’ve lived in this same city for 7 years – and have no plans to move on.

Now is the only time we have.  Right now is where I live and breathe.  Today is where the Ogre and I exist.  And that, in itself, deserves celebrating.

I’ve also realized that I really do like the idea of celebrating many things.  I’m not a fan of winter and the cold, but I did want to acknowledge that it is, indeed winter.

I followed a tutorial from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-3D-Paper-Snowflake to make 3 different sized snowflakes, strung them together with white thread and hung them in the small window in the entry. 

This is as far as I’m going to take the “Winter” decorating this year.  Partially because I’m not done with the unpacking and partially because I’ve decided to get the fundamentals in place BEFORE I go nuts with the decorating.

This little window and the door beside it will be my “celebration” location.  The snowflakes will stay until January 31st.

Then, I’ll replace them with a DIY wreath for Valentine’s Day.

The wreath was made by following See You There’s how-to (http://www.seeyoutheredesign.com/2010/12/diy-toilet-paper-roll-wreath.html).  I mounted it on a wire clothes hanger that I wrangled into a circular shape.  The hearts were drawn free-hand on craft foam, cut and glued on with my glue gun.  The pink navettes were added for extra bling.

Because February is still winter, once Valentine’s Day is over, it’ll be back to the snowflakes…. at least until I decide what to do for St. Patrick’s Day!