Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Decorations - The Master Suite

Decorating my bedroom for Christmas was one of my favorite things to do as a kid. My sister and I shared a room most of our childhood and we had a little faux tree we got to decorate with our colored lights and cast-off ornaments. Our mom let us help with the big tree too, but we liked having our own personal Christmas night light. I guess I haven't really grown up because I still enjoy it!

This year, my bedroom has just a touch of Christmas with the tree and pillows.



 I wrapped my handmade stocking garland around the tree this year, to mix it up a bit from last year. I liked the stockings across my headboard but I'll need to find another way to secure them in the future. I kept having nightmares the stocking holders were going to fall on my head while I was sleeping!

 
I kept it simple and neutral by adding some of my up-cycled ornaments, silver beads, jewels, and topped it off with a burlap bow.
 
 

I finished another chalk art pillow and decided to put it on my bed: "The Stars are Brightly Shining."




And just for the fun of it, I grabbed some cotton scraps and made these wonky little stars to go with it. That's why they're so wee! Aren't they cute? I pinned on some jute twine to the back of them because I thought I might hang them. Not this year, but maybe in the future.


I'm a little obsessed with my initial mugs from Anthropologie: A giftie from my sissy the Christmas I got engaged.

 
 
I wish these cookies were homemade. I'm going to my parents in a few days to stay right up until Christmas Eve, so I only made ONE batch of cookies: Pecan Tassies for Justin. He already polished them all off!  These gingersnaps are very photogenic though. Mmmmm...I'm getting hungry!



Hope you're enjoying all the wonderful things this season brings!

~Amber

Don't miss the other rooms on this tour:

The Entryway

A Meaningful Tree - The Living Room

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DIY Christmas Chalk Art Pillow

Yesterday, when it was snowing and freezing, Justin and I decided to drive on down to IKEA. We've been needing to go return a few items for his customer, so we thought, "why not?" There was hardly anyone there! Like twenty customers in the whole store. It was AWESOME!

I headed straight to the textiles and snatched up a couple of $3 black canvas pillow covers so I could make THIS pillow today! That's the cost of a zipper. Ridiculous. If you don't have an IKEA by you, these pillowcases are probably available online. If not, Hobby Lobby has something similar for around $6. That is still less expensive than buying fabric and a zipper(use a 40% off coupon for extra savings there).


I freehanded my favorite lyrics from "O Holy Night" with a white charcoal pencil and traced over it with a felt tipped white paint marker. If there's any charcoal pencil showing when you're done, just rub it off with a clean white dry cloth.

 I bought the marker over a month ago so I can't recall how much it cost, but it was probably only $3 or $4. I took out a pillow insert from an old pillow that was falling a part (zero $) and that's all folks. Try your own design on any of the multitude of colors they offer! Endless possibilities.



~Amber

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Meaningful Tree

"O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the earth in sin and error pining.
Til He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices.
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!
 O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!" - Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure

Trees are a common symbol in the scriptures. Most are familiar with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the tree infamously connected with sin and death. It was on a "tree" that the Son of God bore the sins of the world. But there was also another tree in the garden, the Tree of Life. It's fruit is for the healing of the nations and it is a symbol of eternal life. The evergreen tree, because of its perpetually green needles, was decorated with fruit to represent the Tree of Life in early Christian passion plays. The fruit was eventually replaced with colorful balls, but the symbolism remains the same. Because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, the real reason for the season, each one of us can be reconciled to God and receive the gift of eternal life through Him.

This year, I'm just putting up the smaller of my two full size trees. It will be perfect for the formal living room.

The ornaments I worked on last year were inspired by Jennifer over at Dear Lillie. In the 2012 special interest edition of Better Homes & Gardens, She typed out lyrics to Christmas carols and printed them on cardstock. So perfect! What a wonderful reminder of what Christmas is all about.  "O Holy Night" is my personal favorite.

I wanted my version to be a little more permanent than delicate paper, so I found old caroling booklet images and attached them to pieces of 1/8" MDF. I used leftover scrap Justin had leftover from a custom closet system and he cut the pieces to my specifications (3.5" x 5"). I adhered the paper to the white side, left the back natural, and sealed them with Modge Podge (I use that stuff on everything!) Of course, I couldn't forget the MS fine crystal glitter. I also aged them with some Distress Ink. Gold bows were added to the plainer ones.



I love the sheet music and tiny illustrations.

 

This year, I made popcorn and cranberry garland for just a touch of red and nostalgia. I haven't done that in many many years (since I was a kid) and never with cranberries. I got the idea to coat the strands in aerosol Modge Podge (of course!) from Pinterest. Not sure how it will hold up, but I like how glossy the berries look. No incidents yet.



The stand is also a new concoction.  I took a faded planter from my backyard and we filled it with concrete and a plastic pipe. Justin is very resourceful, so we didn't have to purchase anything. Works a lot better in this space than a tree skirt.



It's handmade things like this, fruit, nuts, and natural elements that would have been used on those trees of yesteryear. Glad we have the modern convenience of incandescent lights though. Candles on a tree? Who thought that was a good idea?

 
I still don't have any curtains up, which made it a little tricky to take photos facing the window. And please excuse the rug situation by the front door. The runner isn't big enough, but I'm keeping it here for now because of the snowy weather. It's like 8 degrees today and light flurries. Brrr... Makes me want to curl up by the fire and drink some hot cocoa!
 

Can you handle the asymmetry? I have always put my tree dead center with the window, but that just didn't seem right with my new furniture arrangement. It's good to push oneself out of her comfort zone sometimes.


I wrapped up a few gifts in brown paper and faux newspaper wrapping paper (purchased both for a dollar). I decorated them with evergreens I had leftover from the front table, jingle bells, candy canes, and mini marshmallow-filled glass bulbs. The ribbon was just whatever I had in my ribbon box. I save ribbons from everything - pajama sets, blankets, you get the point. Cloth ribbon can be reused quite a few times so it is therefore more economical than plastic.



 
It doesn't have to take a lot of money. It just takes some creativity, resourcefulness, and time. Are you making any of your own decorations this year? What's your inspiration?
 
~Amber
 
Missed the First Stop? Click on the link here:
 
 

Monday, December 2, 2013

How To Hide Electrical Cords

As I was taking photos of my living room for Christmas, I noticed a lamp cord dangling under my entry table.  Ugh. Why does a little cord have to ruin a perfectly good shot? Well, it doesn't, and here's how to fix it quickly and cheaply.




You know those little adhesive clips everyone uses at Christmastime to hang their Christmas lights?



I used a couple to adhere the cord to the leg of the table.




See? Much better. No more cords messing up my shot.

Remember to follow the instructions for the product you purchase! These ones aren't safe for walls. Good luck! ~Amber

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Decorations - The Entryway

"Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room.
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing"
- Joy to The World


Time to deck the halls! First stop on the tour: The Entryway






Now that my living room is complete, I've been anxious to get my Christmas decorations up. I actually went out on Black Friday just so I could get some fresh greenery from Lowe's. I've never gone the fresh route before. I'm experimenting this year.  Luckily, it wasn't very busy. I was looking for Paper white bulbs but ended up with this lovely poinsettia instead. I thought it would fit perfectly in that vintage bucket, but I was wrong. I totally had to re-pot it and add those plastic bulbs around the base.  Oh? You thought I did that on purpose? Nope. Just rolling with the punches.  The shatter proof ornaments are great for applications likes this where something will get wet. I added some to my outdoor wreath (above) as well.



I know the clock kinda sticks out against all this blingy silver and mercury glass, but it was a wedding gift from my Mother-in-Law and it plays the prettiest Christmas music. Since this is the electronic free room, it makes the most sense to put it here.


I found this carved nativity from Home Goods last year. I'm kind of picky about my nativities. I still haven't found one I really love.  I  broke up my sterling silver nativity set that I've had for years and placed the figurines under glass.  If you want to make something special, all you have to do is put it under glass. How I do like a cloche.


My husband and I went to Nick's, our local garden nursery, for their Holiday Open House this weekend. I go there all summer, but this was a first and it was so gorgeous. I was totally inspired! I picked up a huge bundle of evergreen boughs and found paper white bulbs there. They take some time to grow though, so I am very glad I purchased the poinsettia to fill the space in the meantime. I added the evergreens to the table to pull everything together.  It smells great in here, by the way.





That's all for now. Come back later to see the rest.

~Amber