Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decking The Halls: Tree 1

OK that sounds a little "Cat In The Hat"...Thing 1 and Thing 2. They're not quite that wacky! And, you're probably wondering: "How many trees does she have"? Don't ask. Just kidding. 4. Well 3 that I do, and 1 that the boys do and I'm not allowed to touch. And 2 are little 4ft trees that I got because I liked the idea of different themes. It's the one time I went out early the day after Thanksgiving to get a deal at JoAnn's.

"Tree 1" is my whimsical tree, with lots of red and lime green. I like the quirkiness of Patience Brewster Krinkles ornaments, but *sigh*, they rarely go on sale so I buy them sparingly. This is also becoming the Santa tree where I put Santa themed ornaments:
My favorite ornament on this tree:
When I decided to add more trees to my life, I didn't go out and buy all the ornaments because that would have been expensive and we make things right? So I did a bunch of these beaded snowflakes in my color scheme:

And part of the fun for me is finding deals after the holidays like a beaded garland I picked up at the Restoration Hardware outlet store for 75% off.  Christmas for me also means Teddy Bears and Mark Roberts Fairies:
HELP! A crazy lady has me in a bowl of ornaments. It's undignified!
At least she didn't put me in the bowl, like the bear!
I want Christmas all through the house so this one sits at the top of our stairs.

Linking Up At: 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Decking The Halls: The Mantel

Somewhere, buried in the bins I'm still going through I have some greenery that I'm going to add to this, but it's 90% finished so I thought I'd share it anyway. I changed things up this year and went with shades of green, white, and brown. I shared the banner tutorial the other day.
I used the candleholders and candles that are on the mantel all year round but added small white and clear wreaths to them. 

The "NOEL" framed art is something I showed earlier, in preparation for my Christmas mantel, along with altered candles and my $1 Store footed hurricane vase ( vase plus candlestick so I guess it's $2) filled with epsom salt snow and different shades of green and brown Martha Stewart glass balls. The sugar pine cone we've had for years.
The other side of the mantel has my other all year round candlestick ( re-finished Goodwill find), another altered candle and a glass block I found at JoAnn's this summer on sale for $1.97. I bought all the ones they had of course and luckily Mr. Chocolate was with me because those puppies get heavy, so some will be gifts. The ribbon is from Michael's this year. It has a snowflake print along with a little gold glitter and the green and brown went perfectly with my theme!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Homemade Holidays" Guest Post

I guest posted yesterday over at Michele's blog "The Scrap Shoppe" . She's hosting a fun series called: 
I shared some more of my altered candles.
You'll need: 

  • Glass Jar Candle ( also known as prayer candles, Novena candles) You can find these lots of places.  I first found them at the grocery store but subsequently ordered a case of them from Dollar Tree's website. 
  • Scrapbook or wrapping papers
  • Embellishments...ribbon, buttons, beads, die cuts etc.
  • Mod Podge

I like to combine patterns and textures so I used three different papers:
Decide which paper you want as your base. Cut to 8x8 then tear top and bottom edges. Cut remaining papers to 8 inches length and decide how wide you want the next layer, I did 4 inches for the middle,  and then 3 for the top paper. Tear top paper across the top and bottom as you did for the base layer. Mod Podge your papers together to form your candle wrap. Should look like this:
Patterned paper base, music paper middle, patterned paper top
Mod Podge candle wrap to candle. Cover top with more Mod Podge and you'll have this:
You can make the "wrap" cover as much or as little of the candle as you like. Now it's time to embellish which is the fun part! I used various things I had on hand like buttons, self adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, silver tinsel pipecleaners.  I chose a couple of diecuts from a package by K&CO and adhered to the center with Mod Podge. Then I added these strips of rhinestones ( Michaels Dollar Section):
I also added some buttons using a dimensional adhesive or you can use hot glue:

And some more coordinating self adhesive rhinestones on top of the buttons. To finish, I like to wrap the top "lip" of the candle with ribbon or you can use wire, beading thread or whatever you can think of. I used some vintage looking ribbon yarn and a silver tinsel pipe cleaner on these.

Hopefully this made sense but if you have any questions, please leave a comment  or email me! There's really no right or wrong here. Thanks so much Michele for having me over for Handmade Christmas! 
Also linking up at:

"Paper Source" Inspired Wreath


I love Paper Source. It's like a candy store of papers. But just like a candy store, I can't have everything in it. Well I could, but I don't think I'd feel too good after! So while in there the other day, their wreath kits caught my eye but being "us", I also had that moment of ( stealing this from my friend Christine @ Christine & Co) ICTMTM ( I Can Totally Make That Myself) or at least a version of it. Here's one of theirs:
which sells for $19.50. That's a lot of candy, I mean paper, for me. I didn't necessarily want an exact replica but I liked the idea. So I went to my cardboard stash ( recycled cereal boxes) for a base:
and cut out two "wreath forms" which I stuck together for stability. Then I went to my candy paper stash and chose the papers I wanted:
I cut my papers into 4x5 pieces and then folded in half down the longer side using my bone folder . I drew a holly shape freehand and cut out the leaves. I think I cut out 18. Then I started hot gluing them to my wreath form:
and went around until I filled the wreath form. For the "berries" I punched out gold circles from some scrap cardstock and glued some even with the leaves and used foam dots to give some dimension to others and finished with some gold adhesive rhinestones:
I haven't decided whether to hang this or leave it on my mantel where it is now so I didn't put a ribbon on it. And while my leaves are bigger than the Paper Source Wreath , I think it works?  

Linking Up At:
504 Main

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Guest" Where I Am...

I'm over at Michele's place, The Scrap Shoppe today! She's hosting a wonderful series called:

and I was honored that she invited me over for a guest post! You  know that in addition to my banner addiction, I've loved making altered candles. Come see the latest ones as well as get some great ideas on gifts and decor to make and give. And while you're there, check out Michele's wonderful blog filled with all kinds of creative ideas...papercrafts, scrapbooking, amazing flower necklaces, not to mention VERY helpful tutorials that have saved me hours of frustration! Look at this gorgeous PB knock off pillow:

And you should see the adorable Grandparent's frame idea she has...come on over!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Glittery Garland

I was on such a garland / banner kick for Thanksgiving that it shouldn't be a surprise that it's carried over to Christmas. I knew I wanted to change up my mantle this Christmas and had an idea to do an alpine / woodland theme with greens, browns, and whites. I also knew glitter would be involved so it would sparkle in the firelight. I was at Michaels and saw Martha's tinsel glitter but wasn't sure how much I would need and had something else I already wanted to use my 50% off coupon for and it was $9.99! Sorry Martha. Plan B. Found this stuff with the "kids" crafts for $2.99:

It's super lightweight and reminds me of shredded mylar. I cut out the letters to spell "BELIEVE" using my Cricut. I chose a mossy green cardstock for the letters and mounted them on panels I'd run through my XYRON adhesive machine. This let the letters stick as well as provided a sticky surface for the glitter.  Then I adhered the glitter panels to a panel of COLORBOK snowflake paper, brown metallic paper, and finally cream:
Of course I had to add some "bling" so put some clear and green rhinestones in the centers of the snowflakes
To finish things off, I covered clothespins with some coordinating green scraps I had leftover from a previous project and punched snowflakes from more scrap cardstock with a green rhinestone center:
The mantle's not done yet but here's the banner:

Now I need to figure out an alternative to Pottery Barn's $12 snow that I really want for my hurricane vase.
Linking Up At: 




Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our "Black Friday" Traditions...

do not consist of getting up before the chickens and waiting in long lines to shop. For as many years as I can remember, we have gone to downtown Seattle to see the Christmas decorations. The Fairmont Olympic hotel ( which used to be the Four Seasons Olympic) is a very special place for us. It's where we got engaged; where we spent our wedding night; where we've celebrated birthdays, Mother's day, or just gone for a weekend getaway. Every year, the hotel is host to a huge gala fundraiser (which we don't attend!) auctioning off gorgeous, professionally decorated Christmas trees. The proceeds from the auction benefit Seattle Children's Hospital.  They're only on display the weekend after Thanksgiving before they're whisked away to their new homes.
I'm very into the red and lime green color combo right now so this one caught my eye. Each one of these trees is so detailed , words don't do them justice. Of course this one with a chocolate dipped strawberry was one of my faves!
Even once the trees are gone, the hotel remains a magical wonderland: 
One of the traditions we love the most is visiting the "Teddy Bear Suite". The hotel decorates one of their junior suites with, as you can guess...teddy bears, and its open to the public to view:
Here are some of the bear friends all comfy on a beautiful bed, surrounded by the spirit of Christmas. After the Fairmont, we usually head over to the Seattle Sheraton which hosts the annual gingerbread house village...giant gingerbread houses decorated by their pastry chefs with amazing themes. The line this year was waaay long and we decided not to wait but maybe another day during the season.  From downtown, we headed over to another area we love, University Village, near the University of Washington, which is an outdoor shopping center that's beautifully decorated. Seattle weather being what it is, I didn't take a lot of pics here because of the rain but guess who we found? Not Santa but his helpers!
Waiting for the boss man to kick things off. A few years ago, our own hometown started its own holiday celebration called "Snowflake Lane" ( well it's called that until 12/26 and then the week between Christmas and New Year's it's called "Celebration Lane") where every night live toy soldier drummers appear to perform to a music and light show complete with "snow"...the fake kind...we've had enough of the real stuff! Giant drum shaped stands line the road on both sides in front of the mall with lighted snowflakes on top.

Remember I'm short! So this pic was an "up shot"
Every night there are other toy soldiers walking around on stilts handing out candy, as well as Sugar Plum Fairies and other Winter Wonderland guests. Isn't this a lovely couple?

Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and a giant polar bear and Christmas Mouse also made an appearance. It was a great day, just focused on soaking in all the seasonal fun.