One way I've been enjoying the season is from the decision I made to do less decorating. For the last few years I've gone all out, even to having 4 trees and lots of decorations and even made Christmas toppers for my kitchen windows. But this last couple of years has been awfully hard, and now that I'm trying to learn how to live my life without the stress of caring for my Dad, I've decided it's more important to do less and enjoy more. Doesn't that make sense???
Our tree this year - forgive the weird bow on top ~ I've got more ribbon to add to it, but haven't gotten it done yet!
So, last week was neat. On Thursday my hubby took his last vacation days and I had to leave the house so that he could wrap my Christmas gifts from him. I left the house @ 9:40 and didn't get home again until almost 8 pm! I took my mom shopping, and to run some errands, and then we went to my aunt's house for a visit. She had brought us some goodies back from her trip to Connecticut, and wanted us to come get them and see their house decorated for Christmas.
On Friday, hubby was home, too, and we had planned on going riding in the mountains to get some greenery for the house, but it was really cold and rainy, so we decided to stay home. I worked in my office/studio all day, going through most of my paper crafting supplies and reorganizing and trying to make room for the new Cricut I'm getting for Christmas.
Three more favorite ornaments ~ The white poodle is to remind me of my little Max, a poodle I had some years ago. I don't think you can tell, but it has angel wings! The old teardrop ornament was one of several a former neighbor gave me. There was a whole box full of them, many broken, and she was putting them in the garbage. I threatened her with her life (not really) and she gave them to me instead. I still have 8-12 of them. And the German pickle ornament from the Germany pavilion at Epcot Center.
Here is my mantle with it's simple decorations this year. The nativity set we've had since our first Christmas together, our stockings, and the banner that I made. I cut trees and stars out of "Joy to the World" Christmas carol sheet music (you can find it HERE) that I printed on ivory cardstock. I put sprigs of greenery and berries on the trees, and vintage clip art pics of birds and holly on the stars, highlighted with Stickles. I put gold German glass glitter around the outer edges of all the pieces. I threaded them together on a shimmery off white organza ribbon.
For the letters J, O and Y, I printed them out with a basic font the size I wanted, cut them out with a craft knife, leaving the paper around it intact like a stencil. I brushed glue onto the stencil, removed it and spread the letters with the gold glitter.
Another project I'm really proud of is my lace tree that is under the cloche on my dining room table.
I saw this idea on a blog (I'm so sorry I can't remember who's it was!) and knew when I saw it that it would work perfectly for some lace I had. I bought it this past summer at an estate sale between Helen and Cleveland, GA. There were 4 pieces of @ 1 yard each, in two designs. They are hand tatted lace, and I was afraid to cut them because they would ravel, so this was the perfect use for them.
I put a bow of a gold colored seam binding ribbon holding three vintage skeleton keys on top of the cloche, tied around the knob on top.
I tore a strip of fabric as close to the color of the lace as I had in my stash, twisted and turned it until it covered a styrofoam cone. I pinned it into place with straight pins. Then I took the first piece of lace, winding it around the cone, pinning it here and there along the way. And I repeated it with the next two strips of lace. For the fourth strip of lace, I kind of wound it loosely like a garland.
Then I took old buttons and jewelery, as well as beads and bells (mostly gold tone or deep red) and stuck them into the foam with wire.
Then I put it onto a footed cake plate, placed green moss around the bottom, along with a few silk poinsettias, topped it with the cloche and keys, and it was done! I still want to put something on top, but I haven't found just the right thing yet. It makes a great everyday centerpiece for my dining room table when it's not in use.