One of the things we love the most about our new home is our backyard – lots of trees and wide-open spaces. The recent snow has made it even more appealing, and we’ve spent the last couple of days pretty much stranded at home, making fires, baking and playing in our yard.
When I started decorating for the holidays this year, I was largely inspired by the view above (minus the recent addition of snow, of course) and a desire to bring some of the natural elements that we love into our home. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post for Modern Parents, Messy Kids sharing our nature-inspired fireplace decor, and now that I’ve finished decorating for the holidays, I thought I would share a few more holiday decorations.
We have quite a few traditional and not-so-traditional trees in our house this year. My favorite is a driftwood tree that we purchased while on vacation in Fairhope, AL over Thanksgiving:
I also love this tree that my husband made out of firewood:
We also have quite a few traditional trees without decorations, except for the occasional strand of white lights. I think the trees are beautiful in themselves:
I haven’t shared much about our upcoming charity event, but as part of the event, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn have each decorated one room in our home. I’m super excited to share these rooms next week, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at the Pottery Barn room. I love these birch trees:
And while the rustic theme doesn’t dominate every room, I have tried to incorporate a few elements of nature throughout:
I love tartan plaid this season, but haven’t seen many plaid Christmas decorations, so I decided to make my own using this tutorial for ribbon wreaths. As the post says, it’s almost too easy to have a tutorial. I wrapped the ribbon around a styrofoam wreath form, attached the final piece of ribbon with sewing pins, and, instead of making a bow, I added a small holly berry garland. That’s it.
This holiday season, we are decorating nearly every room in our home for an upcoming charity event. Nearly. Every. Room.
Not only is it a bit more work than I realized, it’s also pretty expensive to put up decorations in rooms that, in previous holiday seasons, had no trace of Christmas cheer. It’s caused me to get a bit creative in the decorations department, and, in a couple of rooms, I’ve turned to Christmas lights to bring a festive look without spending a lot of money.
Here are two ways I’ve incorporated Christmas lights in our house:
This is my favorite BY FAR, and I’m hoping we leave it up after the holidays. To create the bedroom lights, I purchased four sheer curtain panels from Target along with two sets of white Christmas lights. We used push pins to attach the lights to the wall behind the bed.
For the wall tree, I started by measuring the top center point of the tree and then measuring equal distances from the center for the outermost left and right points. I drew dots on these points in chalk and then attached striped burlap ribbon using pushpins. The white garland and battery-operated lights were purchased at Target.
Today I’m posting on Modern Parents, Messy Kids about how to create a modern rustic holiday mantle. Check it out.
This weekend I made a really simple paper garland to serve as a backdrop for a cookie party.
I started by creating a large batch of paper circles using a 3-inch paper punch.
To make each paper ornament, I folded the circles in half and glued the halves together, using 5 circles for each ornament (4 to 6 circles work the best).
I left one side of the ornament unglued until all of the paper ornaments were created. Then, I attached the ornaments to twine by gluing the twine inside of the remaining two sides.
And once the garland was complete, I placed in along our kitchen windows, behind the table where I’ll set up the cookie display.
It’s not even Thanksgiving and I can already check ‘Christmas Cards’ off my list. Am I on a roll this season or what?
I took our Christmas photos early this year, with the idea that we may need to go a few rounds before getting that perfect shot. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but by ‘perfect’ I mean: everyone is smiling, in focus and looking in the general direction of the camera. My expectations have been rather low based on historical evidence (see last year’s outtakes). This year, I’m happy to report that our shoot went fairly well, and we ended up with quite a few adorable shots of this brother and sister duo. I’ll be sharing our cards (selected from the Tiny Prints holiday collection) along with a DIY project for displaying holiday photos on the Tiny Prints blog soon. In the meantime, here are a few outtakes:
Thank you, Tiny Prints, for our gorgeous holiday cards!
We made much progress on the holiday decorating front this weekend. Our successes were largely due to a visit from my mom, who arrived with a car full of great vintage finds, and styling assistance from my friend, Tara, who knew just want to do with said vintage greatness.
Have you started decorating for the holidays? We started the day after Halloween, and we’ve received a bit of criticism (via social media, of course) for what some perceive as an inappropriately early start to the holiday season. I don’t actually disagree, but we had our reasons. We’re hosting a holiday charity event in a couple of weeks. One thing I’ve learned: nothing makes your critics look worse (or apologize faster) than explaining that your actions have been put forth to raise money for those less fortunate.
What are your plans for the weekend? Me, I’ll be decorating … and scouring the web for inspiration. And speaking of inspiration, have you seen Lowe’s Deck the Halls Event? I need a little of that action at my house.
One of the things that continues to amaze me about my kids is how they integrate seemingly unrelated elements into their games. At times it’s intentional – like when Jason told Jenna that they could play Star Wars birthday party in order to combine his interests (Star Wars) with hers (parties and cupcakes). Other times it’s seems more natural, like when Minions, Angry Birds and other characters inhabit Lego structures and drive Lego vehicles. My favorite combinations are those that involve the interpretation of a digital game in a non-digital format – like when Jason was grounded from the iPad and decided to make his own tablet … out of Legos.
Seeing their imaginations at work is pretty awesome, and every once in awhile, I like to attempt a toy mash-up of my own. So this Halloween, I converted Jenna’s dollhouse into a haunted house using toys and crafting supplies I had on hand. Jenna was pretty excited when she came home from school to find her dollhouse had been taken over by evil spirits. But she also requested that as soon as Halloween is over, we decorate her dollhouse for Christmas. Oh dear.
We had an amazing couple of days and I couldn’t seem to sum it up in a single ‘snapshot,’ so I’m posting two: the first covers our stay at the Gaylord Texan, where we spent the Fourth of July holiday, and the second covers some highlights from our downtown Dallas adventures. Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend too!
Fourth of July