Merry Christmas in the kitchen 2013

The baker’s rack that I like to decorate for every season is decorated for Christmas.. This year I used those pretty and popular blue mason jars and red ornaments along with just a few other decorations. I made the NICE wreath last year and it’s looking great above the baker’s rack. Have you been naughty or nice this year or a little of both?

nice square wreath

Here’s some homemade hot cocoa mix complete with marshmallows, candy canes and festive Christmas mugs. There’s nothing like hot chocolate on a cold winter night!

bakers rack2 christmas

santa figurine and blue mason jars

I’ve had the little red snowman since I was a child and love to put it out every year.

wooden snowman and tree

This wooden snowman and tree were given to me by a sweet friend a long time ago and I love displaying them every year too. The jar is filled with vintage cookie cutters.

chalkboard wall Christmas

Around the corner is a little hallway full of doors that leads to the garage. I never knew what to do with this space and I recently painted the whole wall with chalkboard paint. It’s now the perfect place to post appointments, grocery lists and seasonal art. I’m not a great artist but I do enjoy drawing on the wall!

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The cow’s head, from Décor Steals is fancied up for Christmas with a wreath and a necklace of bright red Christmas ornaments.

icon wall sticker, collage

The focal point of this wall is a pretty frame decal from Icon wall stickers and I’ve got a generous giveaway from them coming soon.

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Even the microwave nook gets glammed up for the holiday.

shelf in kitchen christmas

My collection of Jadite looks so festive with a little Christmas décor. The cute little signs came from the dollar bins at Target. The sweet little Santa boot was given to me by my 4th grade teacher. He was my first male teacher and I was terrified of him but he ended up being one of my favorite teachers. I was so happy when he moved to 5th grade and I had him as a teacher 2 years in a row!

Christmas decor

The branch hanging above the island was a Pinterest inspiration.

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Christmas kitchen with branch. 2JPG

We had a Christmas party on Saturday and the branch was a big hit! You get a big impact from something as simple as a branch! I love it!

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Merry Christmas

                  and Happy New Year

to you and yours

from the Bungalow blog!

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Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Christmas Fireplace 2013

The fireplace is all dressed up for Christmas. I try to come up with a different look every year but sometimes I think it all looks alike!  I’m calling this mantel, rustic glitz, a little rustic and a little sparkle. But anyway, this year the centerpiece is a big twig star.  I had the twig frame left over from a long ago project and added many more twigs to it, painted it white and added Epsom salt snow and glitter.

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At night, with the twinkle lights lite and a fire going it looks so pretty.

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I’ve had the garland for many years and it’s seen better days for sure. I tuck in some fresh greens to fill it out a bit.

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The burlap ribbon is new this year.

star on mantel

Antlers are layered on a short tree stump.

frosted branches

The urns hold more Epsom salt snowy branches and are wrapped in burlap scarves.

Fireplace hearth greens

More fresh greens are in a galvanized bucket on the hearth.

Fireplace hearth star

The other side of the hearth with another star, more stumps and natural elements.

tree stumps on hearth

I still have some Christmas decorating pictures of the kitchen to post soon. We’ve been busy around here getting ready to host a Christmas party on Saturday so the kitchen has been in a perpetual state of messiness! But it’s a good thing. Smile

Fireplace hearth banner

I hope you are enjoying this season and are remembering why we celebrate! Merry Christmas!

Linked to Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Unique and creative ways to give money at Christmas

Every year we give money as gifts at Christmas. With some people being hard to buy for. it can get pretty frustrating , that’s why we just give money. I know, I know, lots of people think it’s an impersonal gift but it works for us.  I think teenagers appreciate getting dollars over something  they’ll have to return, like that sweater you think is perfect but is so NOT. I searched the web and found so many cute and creative ideas appropriate for Christmas gift giving.

Creative ways

I searched the web and found so many cute and creative ideas appropriate for Christmas gift giving. Here is just a sampling of what I found. I know I’ll be trying some of these cute ideas.

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From Then She Made, this is a version of a money tree in a Christmas tree shape. It looks cute in a red pot and even has a star on top. It doesn’t look too difficult either. That’s always good!

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Here’s another Christmas tree on a home made card featured at Stephanie Lynn. She shares more great ideas on giving money at her site.

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Over at Hog Wild About Stamping I found this cute wreath. It looks to be made from 15 ten dollar bills. Yes please, but I wouldn’t want to take it apart.

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This star shaped fold looks pretty impressive. You can find the directions and a video tutorial at Hand Made Gifts Made Easy. You’ll hear plenty of oohs and aahs over this one.

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This is from I can’t keep up with a blog with instructions HERE. I think these pretty creations would look great tucked in a potted poinsettia.

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From How About Orange, how about a shirt for your best guy, uncle, son, dad or grandpa? It’s sure to put a grin on his face.

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Mom and dad or grammie and gramps would probably like this. I think it’s a great idea to give to any couple. Also from HomeMade Gifts made Easy.

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Money Origami shows you how to make a cute little box to hold a special treasure….or more $$$ maybe. Smile 

If you don’t think you could master the art of folding money into shapes, here are some ideas for you.

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This idea is from The Seasonal Home, she used a cheap umbrella and added money. Surprise! I happen to love this idea!

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From Photo Place, a mason jar with gum balls is a fun way to hide some bucks. It doesn’t have to be candy, it could be nuts, homemade granola or even pennies. Would your grandkids like getting a jar full of pennies? Probably not, but open it up and voila……big bucks inside!

One year I gave my grandkids a one dollar bill in a card with an apology saying that I ran out of money and was so sorry. My granddaughter gave me a disappointed look that said are you crazy?! My grandson said, “oh, it’s ok.’” I let them think that was my only gift to them  Later I remembered another gift Winking smile and gave them a new unused quart paint can and a paint can opener and said I had just one other thing for them and to open the can. Inside each can were 99 crumbled up $1 bills!  That was so much fun, They were fooled and very happy unfolding and counting the money.

That’s a great Christmas memory. Do you give money gifts at Christmas?

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Christmas in the dining room

Christmas has arrived in the dining room at last. I used fresh greens with silver, gold and brown accents, a sort of woodsy sparkle theme. Here’s the sideboard with the horse art that came from Home Goods, a thrifted horse head figure and a Christmas ornament tree. This room was painted recently in Sherwin Williams Anew gray. It’s a taupey gray and I never thought I’d love a gray room but I do! Christmas sideboard 1

I like using fresh greens to decorate at Christmas but the clean up is a mess! My husband loves that part…….if you knew him, you’d know what I mean. He has the shop vac sitting in the little bedroom all ready to go. christmas horse figurine

The chippy horses head is wearing a collar of gold stars.

Christmas tree made from ornaments

Here’s my ornament tree made by threading ornaments on a knitting needle. I tucked in some white feather boa to hide the needle. It’s sitting on a silver platter with sparkly pinecones.

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Snowflakes and silver on the painted bombe chest on the other side of the room with pinecones and tree bark under the cloche.

dining room silver

I love the look of tarnished silver but one day I just might decide to polish it for a different look.

Christmas hutch at Bungalow

The hutch is full of white ironstone and more greens and pinecones.

Christmas greens in white tureen

Here’s the sweet little deer that I’ve had since childhood. I put it out every year.

Christmas dining room at Bungalow

The tablecloth is the only new thing in this room. I got it at Target. I used old wedding ring china and thrifted silver trees on the table. The napkins are folded into a Christmas tree shape.

Christmas dining room2 at Bungalow

Stars and icicles dangle from the chandelier.

tablescape Christmas

See the almonds on each end of the table? OH  MY they are delicious! Honey cinnamon almonds from Target. I have them hidden now so someone……ahem…doesn’t gobble them up!

napkin Christmas tree shape

These are vintage napkins that I’ve had for years. The snowflake tags will be used as place cards.

So that’s the dining room, next will be the kitchen and family room. I still didn’t do anything on the front porch because it been so cold, in the 20s this week. I better get out there when the sun shines today or it won’t get done.

There’s so much Christmas in blogland, too much maybe…. what will happen when it’s over? A collective sigh on relief I think.  Smile

Linked up at Open house party at No Minimalist Here

It doesn’t have to be perfect at Nesting Place

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Decorating for Christmas, the Christmas tree is up

The house is all dressed up for Christmas this year and I’m anxious to share our Christmas home. Let’s start with the tree and the living room. I recently painted this room a soft gray, Sherwin Williams Agreeable gray. It looks good with the teal and aqua accents in here. Christmas living room1 , Bungalow blog

The rug is from RugsUSA, the ottoman and lamps are from Home Goods and the mirrors are from Lowe’s. You can see just a peek of the Christmas tree on the right.

Christmas living room2 , Bungalow blog

Here’s the tree decorated in blue, silver and gold and everything is so glittery and sparkly. The only new things are the ribbon and wrapping paper and poinsettias, I had everything else.

Christmas living room , Bungalow blog

A wooden tray on the ottoman holds greenery from the yard and an oversized Christmas ornament.

Christmas tree at Bungalow blog

The polka dot wrapping paper is from Target. I think it’s so cute and the colors coordinate well with the tree. Do you do that too? For a tree skirt I used a throw from the couch.

Christmas tree2 at Bungalow blog

Lots more sparkle and glitter on the top of the tree. There is glitter all over the house and I know I’ll be vacuuming it up for months!Christmas tree3 at Bungalow blog

Here’s looking into the living room from the dining room. You can see a glimpse of the crèche on the table below the initials. It’s so easy to lose track of the real meaning of Christmas but we need to keep focused on the reason for the season.

Since my fabric order was delayed I didn’t have time to sew the curtain panels so they’re pinned on the rod! Ha ha, don’t tell! I’ll sew and line them after New Years.

Christmas desk at Bungalow

 

Christmas tree4 at Bungalow blog

Merry Christmas!

We recently moved my husband’s mother to a nursing home and I wanted the house to be especially festive for her this year. I know she’ll enjoy the decorations. At age 97, she won’t be with us forever.

I’ll be sharing the dining room, kitchen and the mantel in the family room soon.

 

Linked to Nesting place holiday house tour.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Town and Country Living, Friday Feature

As a single mother of two, Jennifer from Town and Country Living,  bought a Victorian cottage, circa 1875. Later she remarried and decided to stay in her beloved, well worn home. With wide baseboards framing painted floors, ample sunlight washes in through two-over-two windows, some with wavy glass. No floor is perfectly level and the need for small props under furniture feet is a necessity. It sounds perfectly delightful!

living room

In the living room, she used landscape burlap to create window treatments, using sticks as curtain rods. This room features Aunt Marion’s blanket chest made over with Annie Sloan chalk paint and the clock has been made over too!

crafting closet

With not much closet space, an Ikea cabinet was made over and serves nicely as a crafting space.

stairs,

Adding to the charm of the old house, the stair case is narrow and twisted.

buffet

In the dining room, this beautiful buffet is dressed for Christmas. It’s gorgeous!

dining room

Another peek into the dining room, I love the bamboo floor mat!

Christmas kitchen

A spacious built-in, beadboard cupboard graces the kitchen. Boxwood wreaths dress it up for the holidays.

kitchen

The other side of the kitchen is decorated simply with greens and red ribbon and looks so pretty!

claw foot tub

Two claw foot tubs are in this home and this one is all set and full of bubbles for you to slip into and relax! Click on the picture to be taken to post to see how this tub was transformed.

Go on over to Town and Country Living and visit Jennifer. You’ll find lots of furniture makeovers and beautiful tablescapes to inspire you in her lovely Victorian cottage.

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow I hope to be baking Christmas cookies and have decided to make an old recipe I haven’t made for years! Wish me luck!

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Merry Christmas 10 ways from Pinterest

Today I’m sharing pins from my Christmas pinterest board, creating a virtual Christmas party! Have a look at all the prettiness and see if something catches your eye. Subdued or over the top, what’s your style?

 

Let’s start at the front door by welcoming guests with sweet little skates displayed in a square frame surrounded by greenery.

 

The silver trays create quite a statement when displayed this way. I love this look and am on the lookout for old trays wherever I go. Silver, green and white go together beautifully.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

This year I’ve decorated our home with lots of greenery and Christmas ornaments so this centerpiece caught my eye. A recycled can with greenery and pretty Christmas balls is so simple and so pretty!

 

This idea is just too darn cute. Imagine your guests delight when you serve hot chocolate with little gingerbread houses!

 

Holiday sweets are a weakness of mine and I know I couldn’t resist this colorful treat.

 

A red tree is something you don’t see often! White ornaments are the perfect touch. This is really unique and I would definitely ohh and ahh over this tree.

Source: fieldstonehilldesign.com via Bungalow on Pinterest

 

Blue and green ornaments in a large silver bowl, another look I love.

 

Here’s the a kitchen sink with more of the green that I’m partial to.

 

Maybe your Christmas style is more fun and funky like this decorated window.

 

Share some yummy looking eggnog fudge with your friends as they leave the party. My mouth waters just looking at this!

Merry Christmas!

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Christmas mantle 2012

This year the mantle is decorated in aqua and teal blues, paired with shades of lime green. The center focal point is a new, large ornament from TJMAXX but everything else came from my huge collection of Christmas decorations. My mantra for Christmas decorating this year should be greenery and Christmas balls everywhere!

Christmas mantle

For the past several years I haven’t put up a tree, but the house can still look festive and pretty without one! The kitchen, dining room and family room are all decorated with plenty of greenery and pretty ornaments.

Christmas wreath trio

I’ve always liked the look of a trio of wreaths, so I added them above the mantle.

Christmas urn

A faux wreath is surrounding the twigs in my thrift shop urn and freshly clipped greens are tucked in.

large aqua ball on mantle

Every year after Christmas, I think about replacing the old faux swag and replacing it with a fuller one. For now I just tuck in lots of fresh greens.

green blue Christmas ornaments

Most of these plastic ornaments are from Walmart. They do have a nice selection of ornaments.

green blue mantle fareplace 3

On the center wreath, I pictured a loosely draped, satin ribbon but I couldn’t find what I was looking for so I settled for a metallic mesh ribbon.

green blue mantle fareplace 2

That’s the Christmas mantle this year! It’s hard coming up with a new look every year.

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This was the mantle last year, done in silver and white. The ‘O holy night’ got recycled this year in the dining room. I’ll be posting that soon. Lots more past Christmas décor and recipes HERE.

Added to Inspire me Monday at Create with Joy

The Lettered Cottage

 

Are you finished decorating? Got all those cookies baked? Shopping done? Isn’t Christmas exhausting!   HO HO HO……..!

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Baker’s rack made over for Christmas with Annie Sloan chalk paint

In the process of decorating for Christmas, I decided to redo the baker’s rack with a little help from Annie Sloan, in old white.  The kitchen and family room were done in gold and red back when this before picture was taken. Since then, these rooms were given a new look with board and batten and Palladian blue, from Benjamin Moore on the walls.

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The after is bright and beautiful! at least I think so and gives the space a completely different feel.

baker's rack christmas

I added lots of greenery clipped from the yard and red and green Christmas decorations. The old wooden box was holding newspapers in the garage and it’s now looking great in its new home serving as a sort of shelf.

Annie Sloan old white distressing

A little distressing makes the baker’s rack look aged.

white ironstone christmas

I ‘m guilty of having way too many Christmas decorations in all colors, but I really like the red and lime green combination.

red green Christmas 2

This little elf boot is one of my favorites.

red green Christmas

I love this sign, let’s not forget the real reason for the season!

red green Christmas 3

So there’s a little Christmas in the kitchen 2012.

Christmas 2012

No Friday feature this week….I’m so behind on my blog posts, I hope to catch up soon!

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra(((xx)))

 

White Trash, A sweet treat for gift giving.

A sweet and salty concoction, this treat is commonly known as white trash. Personally, I don’t like that name much, but I do like to snacking on this delicious mix.
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Here’s the basic recipe;
In a large bowl mix together,
3 ½ cups honey nut cheerios
3 cups rice chex
3 cups wheat chex
1 lb. m & m’s, Christmas colors
2 ½ cups salted nuts
2 ½ cups mini pretzels
Then stir in in melted white chocolate. I used 4- 12oz. bags of white morsels.
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You can alter this recipe to use ingredients you like, any kind of cheerios or chex and whatever type of nuts you prefer. After it’s mixed together, lay it out on cookie sheets to dry.
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I found some clear bags and white boxes to package up the mix for gift giving.
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I wanted to line the box with parchment but used wax paper because I was out of parchment paper.
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I folded it up neatly, added a Christmas sticker and tied it up in a pretty ribbon.
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The bags look so festive tied up with ribbon and are all ready to give to neighbors and friends.
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This recipe gave me 6, 8 ounce bags and 1, 24 ounce box of candy.
Do you make sweet treats to give as gifts? I know I sure like anything home made!
Merry Christmas!

Linking up to  Tutes and Tips at Home Stories A 2 Z.

Debbie (((xx)))

How to create a trio of wreaths on your front door.

This beautiful trio of wreaths from Martha Stewart inspired me to try and recreate the look on my front door. Because we have a metal door, it wasn’t all that easy to put together and took several attempts to get it right.
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If you are considering this look and have a metal door like me, here’s how I did it.
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Start with the long ribbon, about 7’.  Easy right? But how do you get it to lay flat and stay that way? After trial and error, I ended up using little dabs of white glue. There’s probably a much better glue for this purpose, but I wanted to use what I had on hand. The ribbons that are wrapped around the top of the wreaths are added later.
I have a permanent wreath hanger ( a screw) on the door, but it was too low to hang the top wreath, so I attached a wire to the top of the wreath and secured it over the top of the door with heavy packing tape.
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A wire holds the bottom of the top wreath to the top of the middle wreath and the bottom of the middle wreath to the top of the bottom wreath.   Another wire is attached to the bottom of the bottom wreath and is taped under the door.
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Silver florist’s wire is almost invisible with silver ribbon.
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Next take a length of ribbon and wrap it around the top of the middle and bottom wreaths. I just used a safety pin to hold it on.
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Some fresh greens were tucked in to plump up the fake wreaths and there it is!  Merry Christmas!

Linked up to these parties,
Making the World Cuter MondaySkip to my LouLife made Lovely
Between Naps on the Porch    
Ivy and Elephants

Debbie (((xx)))

Red and green Christmas poke cake

Have you ever made a poke cake? Basically, you poke holes in a cake and pour jello over it. And it’s a cake mix, easy peasy, got to love that! This is a Christmas version in red and green.

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Here’s the recipe from the jello web site. Their recipe uses Cool Whip for icing, but I like to frost this cake with 7 minute icing. It’s a cooked meringue-like icing that is so delicious!

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Seven minute icing

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cold water
2 egg whites at room temperature
2 teaspoons light corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine in a double boiler, sugar, water, egg whites, and corn syrup. Beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Place over boiling water. Do not let the top pan touch the boiling water. Cook and  beat, for  7 minutes, on high. Frosting should start forming peaks. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Beat 2 more minutes.

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Look at those luscious peaks! So good!

 

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It’s so festive looking, tastes great and would be a great addition to a dessert table.

Are you baking any goodies this year? Cookies?

Only 10 days til Christmas, Happy Holidays!

 

floral-white-and-brown-free-scrapbook-paper-4Inspiration Friday Graphic-1Potpourri Party

 

 

Debbie (((xx)))

Front porch Christmas decorating 2011

 

Welcome to our home!

This year the porch is decorated with a trio of wreaths on the door and greenery filled urns flanking each side.

Using sparkly silver ribbon on the wreaths and touches of spray snow on the greenery in the urns makes it feel like a winter wonderland.

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The greenery in the urns was clipped from shrubs and trees in our yard, and a few sprigs of greenery are tucked into each faux wreath.

 

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For height in the urns, I added a few longer twigs and sprayed on a little fake snow.

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I added a few pinecones, snowflakes and silver ornaments.

 

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Creating the trio of wreaths was a bit trickier than I imagined and I’ll explain in another post.

I get asked a lot about the iron piece on the stone wall; it’s actually supposed to be a door mat, but because it’s iron, it’s hard to stand on. So, it hangs on the wall instead.

I’ve been doing some baking and will post a few recipes soon.

Hope you’re enjoying this holiday season!

My Christmas 11 posts are here.

Linked up at a la Mode, Holiday Home Highlights

Debbie (((xx)))

How I created this year’s mantle/Christmas crafts

 Let’s start with the focal point, the center frame of the mantle.
A piece of plywood I found in the basement fit perfectly in the frame, I didn’t even need to cut it. I used Mod Podge to glue on hymnal pages, then put a thin coat of Mod Podge on top and allowed it dry to over night.full2011_12_10_3120

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The letters came from Michael’s and were spray painted white, then outlined with a little dark brown paint. I added some Martha Stewart glue and glitter. Next I glued the letters onto the center of the hymnal pages.
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Next project, the white rose tree. I will not roll a felt flower again for a long, long time. I’m estimating I rolled about 200 for this project!
Beth from Home Stories A 2 Z has about the best tutorial for creating rolled felt flowers HERE.
rose tree
I created a cone from an old yardsale sign I found in the garage. The cone got covered with a piece of scrap white fabric, because I didn’t want any  brown cone to show. Then I started creating roses from felt squares, gluing larger roses on the bottom and gradually becoming smaller toward the top. When I was finally finished I rejoiced!
twigtree
The twig tree was a quick project. Again, I created a cone, this time from a cereal box, and glued on twigs of different lengths, adding pieces to fill in empty spots. Spray paint and that’s it’s!
I think these twig trees would look great left natural too, on a piece of a wide branch for a base.
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And last, the glittered pinecones I dried and created HERE.
Holiday craft link party at Centsational Girl.
Today’s creative blog, get your craft on.
Coastal Charm, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Seeing the Christmas décor at linky parties all over blogland is fun. It’s like peeking into other peoples homes and it helps get you in the Christmas mood. Well, it does me anyhow.
I received so many wonderful comments about the mantle this year. Thank You all so much! Big hug and kiss!
Next, I’ll be sharing the front porch.
Debbie (((xx)))

Christmas mantle 2011

The carol O Holy Night, inspired snow covered greens, white, silver and sparkle, for the mantle this year. It’s always been one of my favorite Christmas songs. On this mantle, the stars are brightly shining.
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Decoupaged sheet music from an old hymnal and sparkly letters create the focal point.
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The white rose tree was a craft project that made me crazy. It took forever! I was rolling flowers for days!
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All the greens are freshly cut from our yard and sprayed with snow.
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The twig tree was another project, but it was was quick and easy.
twigtree
The right side of the mantle with the twig tree perched on an urn turned upside down.
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The left side, with the rose tree sitting on an old wooden pedestal that I never got around to painting white.
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My glittered pinecones looks so pretty nestled in the greens.
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Last year the mantle was done in red, and while I liked it, this one I love! It’s definitely a bit over the top but that’s ok, it’s Christmas!
I’ll be sharing more of how I created the mantle in another post.

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Happy Holidays!

Debbie (((xx)))

Drying pinecones for Christmas Decorations

Gathering pinecones for crafts is a fun family activity. Everybody can get involved picking them up off the ground or taking them from trees. Later you can try to identify what type of tree they came from.
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The cute feathery cones are from a Douglas fir and the long ones are from a spruce tree. The small ones are from Mugo pine.
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It’s best to dry the cones before you use them, and it’s super easy to dry them in the oven. Just place them on foil lined baking sheets and put them in the oven at 200 for about 2 hours or until they open.
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You can see how the petals have opened.
To make them pretty, after the cones were dried, I painted them white with spray paint, allowed the paint to dry, then brushed glue all over them, then sprinkled with glitter. I used plain white glue watered down to make it easier to get into the petals.
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See how pretty they are! My 3 year old granddaughter helped and she wanted to use pink and blue together. After that she wanted to play in the glitter like it was sand!  What a mess! She actually did about 3 cones by herself and was so proud.
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I love these and claimed all of the silver ones for myself and will be using them to decorate the mantle.
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For hanging on the tree, I tucked wire in under the petals around the stem end of the cone, and twisted it together. I left plenty of wire so they’d be easy to hang.
Added to Creative me Monday at Southern Institute
Tutes and Tips at Home Stories A 2 Z

 

Do you love the cinnamon spice smell of those bagged pinecones that are sold in stores like Michaels and AC Moore? You can make them using this method. Don’t paint them, just brush on glue (that dries clear), and sprinkle with spices of your choice. They smell yummy!
My Christmas decorating will officially begin tomorrow. I’m anxious to work on my mantle this year and have a craft going that seems endless. It’s one of those projects where you ask yourself why you ever started!
Happy decorating!

Debbie (((xx)))

Inspiration, Christmas Trees

This beautiful wreath is part of the outdoor decorations at Country Cupboard in Lewisburg PA. I had the opportunity to stop there again this year, it’s one of my favorite places to view decorated Christmas trees. You’ll find tons of inspiration and amazing displays that will have you ohhhhing and ahhhhhing!

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This white tree greets you as you enter. I’ve always wanted a white tree and this one done up in red and green was delightful.

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Do you remember shiny aluminum trees? My grandmother always had hers in the front window with a rotating color wheel on the floor that made it appear different colors.

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Notice the old fashioned feather tree in the background. This was such a pretty vignette. I love the bottle brush trees.

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Mia had fun pretending to eat a giant sized ice cream cone ornament. She said she matched the tree!

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She really wanted to pick up baby Jesus.

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bubbles2011_11_27_3050Bubble lights!

They also sell clothes and have a bakery, green house and a restaurant. I could spend hours just looking around.

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You’ve heard of Southern Comfort, well now there’s Northern Comfort!2011_11_27_30412011_11_27_3045

I haven’t started my own decorating yet, but I am working on a few small projects. It won’t really seem like Christmas for me until the weather gets colder.

Are you done decorating? I think I better get with it! White Christmas is my theme this year.

 

 

Debbie (((xx)))

Planting amaryllis and your Narcissus {Paper whites} need a little cocktail

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Narcissus, known as paper whites, looks so pretty in holiday décor, but
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
unfortunately for me, I’m one of those people who don’t find the fragrance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
pleasant. However, that doesn’t stop me from planting a few bulbs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
They’re so easy to grow and don’t even require soil, just a bed of pebbles will
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
do. Make sure to pack them in tightly so the roots intertwine to give the
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
stems a little added support.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Paper whites are so pretty paired with mercury glass and silver. I love the way they look at Christmas.

 

 

 

Here’s a little trick I recently learned. Paper whites enjoy a little cocktail every now and then!

In a warm house the stems grow too tall to support the weight of the flowers and fall over. You could tie them up in pretty ribbon or twine, but instead give them a cocktail of vodka and water! 1 part liquor to seven parts water. The stems won’t grow as tall, but the flowers will be the same.

Any alcohol will work, except beer and wine because of the high sugar content. If you use rubbing alcohol (isopropyl), the ratio is 1 part rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to 10 parts water. . Start giving them the a cocktail when they’re about 3 to 5 inches tall. And since no one likes drinking alone, have a little nip yourself! Your family will wonder why you’re so happy and your paper whites will stand strong!

peatThis year I bought paper white and amaryllis bulbs at Lowe’s that were packaged with a plastic pot and a dehydrated cylinder of peat. Just add water and the peat turns into something that resembles coffee grounds. Instead of using the plastic pots that were in the bulb kit I used some white urns.

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Not loving the coffee grounds look, I added moss that grows in our yard. I really wish you could see the color of the moss in person, it’s a bright limey green.  Instead of moss to cover the soil, you could sprinkle on a little grass seed or add some fake snow. Christmas balls were added in the pictures above from bhg.com. Get the kids involved and use legos or army men.  The possibilities are endless. 

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I like watching them grow and get anxious for the blooms.

 

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Here are some narcissus about to bloom in a Valentine’s day centerpiece from  2010.8_thumb[3]

I planted this very tall amaryllis in early 2010 and it bloomed at Easter. It reminded me of an amaryllis beanstalk.

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There’s still time to plant paper whites for Christmas, give it a try! It’s probably too late for amaryllis to bloom for Christmas, but you could look for them on sale after Christmas and have beautiful blooms 8 weeks later.

 

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Debbie (((xx)))