Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A rainy holiday morning in the kitchen ~

Last night Santa came early and brought us rain. No gift could be more welcome.


It was still raining when I went into the kitchen this morning and turned on all of the little lights and Christmas music, the rain outside made the room seem extra cozy and festive.


A little peek out of the window shows a lovely soft rain; everything seems to turn green instantly.

Although we needs lots and lots of rain to end our serious drought every bit helps and this is certainly going to do wonders for the lettuce and strawberries I just planted.


I decorated this little tree with some of the snowball ornaments I made last week. and then added a twig garland, snowflakes and sugar plums. It is fairly simple, but that's what I was aiming for this year.



Of all the rooms in the house I find the kitchen the most fun and the easiest to decorate for the holidays, and since it is a room I spend a lot of time in it just adds to my enjoyment.


And,

I finally got something up on my chalkboard, I find printing on chalkboards quite challenging but I am pleased with the way it turned out this time. 


I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Joyeux Noël

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas in the living room ~

I made a real attempt to be more restrained with my Christmas decorating this year, to cut down a bit on glitter and go for a more muted effect. I am pleased with the way it turned out.

Here, starting with the mantle, are the main decorations in the living room and entry hall.



One of my Christmas gifts to myself is a new fireplace screen, but I can't open it until Christmas morning because it is a surprise! So you might not see it until next year. this is my second attempt to replace this screen...I bought one last year too and ended up sending it back, I hope this year's version will be right.

Across the room on the little credenza I did a big floral arrangement of Poinsettias, holly and berries...nothing looks as good here as some type of bouquet


In the entry hall I put trees, without any decorations, just twinkle lights for sparkle at night, I wanted it to look like a little forest scene with the deer and Santa's sleigh.


And finally the tree! Pink and clear ornaments this year, lots of sparkly fruit and my favorite  crystal garlands. This little table top tree is only 5 feet tall but it is the centerpiece of the room.

No wrapped gifts yet, that will come next week.


There you are!

I hope that you like it, I had so much fun doing it and I love spending time in here especially in the evening with a glass of wine, the lights twinkling, a fire in the fireplace, listening to my favorite Christmas music, and Miss Twiggley snoozing on the mantle...her favorite and most naughty place to be!


Joyeux Noël


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Making snowballs ~

A few years ago I needed some inexpensive ornaments and decided to make snowballs. They turned out to be my favorite addition to any Christmas decor, be it wreaths, trees, mantles, tablescapes, or anything else. They add sparkle, glitter, go together with any other color, and can be used as an accent with greenery.

This year I decided to make a few more. They are so easy to do that I almost feel embarrassed to give you directions...but here goes!

You will need glue, inexpensive clear glass ornaments and some sort of artificial snow, I use the opalescent kind which gives the maximum shimmer. You could also use silver or gold glitter but that would give a completely different look.



I just dribble the glue over the top of the ornament and swoosh it around with a brush. I like to add drips down the sides.

Then either roll them in the artificial snow or dust it over, it will adhere easily. Shake off the excess to be reused and...


set them to dry. I use the same container the ornaments came in.


Then add them to your tree, or whatever. There is something about the combination of clear glass and the opalescent snow that captures the light beautifully, adding a lovely effect without being overwhelming.

Carefully wrapped and stored these will last for years and can be used like any other ornament over and over again.


It is too late this year as my Christmas trees are already decorated but next year I think I am going to use this technique along with white paint to flock my artificial trees. 

Good idea...?
 
Joyeux Noël

thank you for visiting.

This post has been linked to: http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Express Christmas decorating ~

I had so much fun today!

My daughter asked me to come over and help decorate her house for Christmas. She has a very busy holiday schedule and needed to get it all done quickly. We did 'express' Christmas decorating: done in 4 hours including a break for lunch.

She has recently redecorated both her living and dining rooms so the theme this year was an emphasis on: elegance, gold ornaments, a fairly pared down style and re purposing things she already had.


We used gold ribbon with greenery and red berries on the new mantle.


The tree is all gold with some clear glass for additional sparkle, lots of gauzy fabric, and what seemed like tons of wired ribbon.


It ties in well with the new leopard print ottoman.


The living room was finished with a vignette of small trees.



Now on to the dining room!

Here, on the buffet 
 we gathered together her collection of silver bells and combined them on a silver tray with pillar candles, snowflakes, more greenery and a few berries...just a tiny bit of red makes all the difference.


Lastly...

 a Christmas box for the dining room table filled with silver trays, linens, and more wired ribbon.


She still has a few details to add but the main part is finished and the rest can be done at a more leisured pace.

 I can't believe how much we got done in little time and had such a great time doing it. A perfect start to my holiday season. 

Thank you for visiting. 
I hope your holiday season is off to a good start too.

This post was linked to: http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas decorating, now what shall I do ~

 It is officially the Christmas season and I have brought up all of the decorations from the basement but before I decide what to do this year I wanted to sit down with a nice cup of tea and look through some of my books, magazines, and Pinterest pins to see what will inspire me.




There is so much to choose from, Santas are always cute and add a touch of wimsey.


 Then which color ornaments should I use? They are all  pretty, but I am really favoring the clear glass ones this year. What about candied fruit and sugar plums, pine cones and snow flakes...wired ribbon, a favorite and so versatile.


Little birds are fun and a woodland themed tree is one of my favorites. (Miss Twiggley would love these too I think).


And there is always snowmen. Maybe they would be perfect for the mantle.


 Do I want glitter and glitz or should I be more restrained; beautiful greenery is classic and lovely. 

It's almost impossible to decide but it is such a fun dilemma.

Enjoy the season!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mini pumpkins for Thanksgiving ~

My daughter recently hosted a event that required party favors.

After a lot of thought
we came up with the idea that to go along with the Thanksgiving theme she would place a succulent filled mini-pumpkin at each table setting: economical, fitting for the season and surprisingly easy to do.



The only thing she had to buy were the mini pumpkins. I  harvested the succulent cuttings and we combined them with other items from our gardens including acorns, berries and some dried flowers.


 Once the prototype was put together we were ready to set up an assembly line in my kitchen.

We put down a bit of moss as a base and then attached everything with a glue gun.


Voila! Once done each pumpkin was placed on a fall leaf to give it more definition.


 These can be made several days ahead of time and set out the day of the event, they will last for quite a while. I think they would be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving dinner table.


I am fortunate to have lots of succulents to take cutting from but you could also make these using other material; silk flowers would be very pretty.

( Postscript, the party was held last night and these were a big hit, it is always nice when people like what you do.)

I hope your Thanksgiving plans are going well. 

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Saving beauty ~

Last summer I did a post on Gompherna Fire Works, a new plant for my garden and one that was very successful. It bloomed consistently throughout the season, required little water and was great for cutting.



As I am always looking for new flowers to dry to make bouquets for the winter months and since I know that other Globe Amaranths dry well I thought I would see if this variety would too.

 I waited until they were ready to be cut back and harvested the blooms.

So pretty!




I had enough for several  bouquets.



And here they are...several weeks later. They dried perfectly keeping all of their brilliant color and form; I am delighted. After the holidays when I put all of the Christmas decorations away and the house seems a bit drab I will bring out the flowers I have dried over the summer, including these, and combine them to make bouquets to brighten up the winter months.


Flowers really make me happy!

Wishing you some 'happy' too.