Monday, December 14, 2009

DIY Christmas Decor

Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles ~ Anonymous

For the past couple weeks we've been busy with a few, but very time consuming DIY projects.

Griswald Christmas. During the holiday season Hubby loves to watch Christmas Vacation. I can't tell you how many times we've seen it. Yet, no matter how many times he watches it, he laughs as if it's the first time. Well, it must be where he gets his inspiration because like Clark Griswald, Hubby likes to light up the night with outdoor Christmas lights. Whew...try saying that three times. So here's a tailored version of a Griswald Christmas.

Hubby is very meticulous about hanging lights...yes, he measures and marks the space between the light strands to make sure it's even. He had plans of wrapping all the posts like the three on the deck. Unfortunately, Longaberger bought all the red lights within a 30 mile radius of Dresden. So, we'll just have to wait till next year.

Stockings. Browsing through the Ballard's catalog, I was inspired when I saw the most colorful and whimsical stockings. I had to have them! But, at $35 a pop, I don't think so! Undettered, I scoured the internet until I found a crafty blogger named Jenny Garland. On her website, Jenny has an awesome tutorial, complete with pattern, for sewing up one of these darlings for yourself.

No problem! I thought. I'll just whip up five of these in no time.

Did I mention that I'm a beginner seamstress? No kidding here, it took me an hour to figure out how to thread the bobbin and load it into the bobbin compartment.

Well, a week and five stockings's what I got.

Pretty good, huh? Yeah, I'm proud of myself.

I estimate this project took me about $20 in materials and 20 hours of time. I tweaked Jenny's pattern to my preference and used the cheapest fabric I could find at HobLob. I love pleats and wanted lots of them, so I set my pleats 1.25" apart. Honestly the hardest part of this project was attaching the pom-pom fringe and pleated cuff to the stocking.

So what do you think? Do I have future as a professional seamstress?

Thanks for dropping by. Please check out the following links for more creative inspiration!

Sincerely, Lisa

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Home for the Holidays at Southern Hospitality
Christmas Tour of Homes at The Nester
A Christmas Tree Party at Thrify Decor Chick
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous (Creative Home Expressions)
Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ornamental Highlights of Christmas

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall ~Larry Wilde

It's Party Time! I'm joining the Holiday Fun at Centsational Girl and Southern Hospitality.

This year's Christmas has been very exciting for me and Hubby. It's the first time, since becoming parents, that we've stayed home and attempted to go ALL out decorating for the little ones on a modest budget.

So, while Hubby took care of the outside, I was in charge of decorating inside...particularly the Christmas tree. Sounds easy enough?

Not exactly...

First lesson learned, pre-school children do not like it when they are NOT the center of their parent's attention. Second lesson, when you buy a new ornament, put it with the rest of the Christmas "stuff" so you don't spend valuable time searching for it.

Once I resolved the first issue with naptime, I was given two hours of partially uninterrupted time to work on the second issue.

It took me a week, but I am proud to say my Christmas tree is almost finished. Here are the ornamental highlights of my search.

Family Heirlooms. My grandmother bought these ornaments in 1988 to decorate a special tree...just for her grandchildren. They've been handed down through the family and now I am priviledge to share them with my children.

In our travels. Hubby and I love to travel. These are some of my favorite ornaments that we've picked up along the way.
  • Nassau, Bahamas (Dec 2008). This starfish is by far my prettiest bauble! Covered with iridescent glitter, this picture does not do it justice.

  • Isle of Palms, SC (Aug 2009). Where Hubby and I hope to retire!

  • Hawaii (Dec 2006). Picked this up for my MIL (pictured off her tree). This was a special vacation to restore my soul.

  • Massachusetts (Sept 2008). Nothing prettier than autumn in New England.

  • Disneyworld (Dec 2008). Where Hubby and I went on our first vacation together. Fifteen years later, it's still a magical place!

Thanks for dropping by! Please come back soon so you can see the rest of our Christmas tree and Hubby's version of a Griswald Christmas.

Sincerely, Lisa

Monday, December 7, 2009

So Easy {a child can do it} Wreath

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up ~Pablo Picasso

One of my favorite things about the holidays is spending time with loved ones. This weekend I got to spend time with my "chosen family" dearest friends from childhood.

Most of us have know each other since we were little ones crawling about our parent's feet. Despite distance, death and divorce our friendships have presevered. They've become a source of strength, support and lots of fun and laughter.

Each time I visit my friend Shelly (this weekend's hostess), I also look forward to hanging out with her daughter Alexis. At eleven years old, Alexis is wise beyond her years. Unlike some girls her age, she is mature, sensitive to the needs others and very selfless!

On a recent trip, her mother informed me that Alexis loves crafts and is becoming "artsy fartsy" like her Aunt Lisa (that's me). Imagine my delight...I found a craft buddy!

So, as I traveled to the City for our "girls get together"...I was also thinking of a quick holiday project that Alexis and I could do.

Well, as the adage goes, "Time flies when you're having fun". So with thirty minutes to spare, Shelly, Alexis and I made a quick trip to the Dollar Tree. She picked up the last six tubes of red and green bulb ornaments. I stood there, in the middle of the store and gave Alexis directions on how to make the infamous "Eddie Ross Ornament Wreath".

Well, less than 24 hours later, Alexis called me and asked me to check my e-mail. She sent me a photo of her completed wreath. How beautiful! Her mom confirmed that Alexis did this all by herself and in less than two hours.

If you read this, please leave a comment for Alexis and tell her how great she did. I know she'll like it!

Sincerely, Lisa

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Traditions

Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget. ~Hugh Downs

As Hubby and I celebrate 13 years of marriage this month, we'll also begin a new tradition. Instead of going on vacation for our anniversary, we'll be staying home.

Over the course of our marriage, Hubby and I have been blessed to travel to some great destinations during the Holiday season. Last year, as I was six months pregnant, Hubby and I drove 10 hours with a 19 month old to take a cruise. While it was a wonderful experience, Hubby and I returned home and exhausted ourselves to decorate and give our little one the Christmas we dreamed of. After that we decided to temporarily forego (I hope) our anniversary vacation and celebrate Christmas at home.

For the past week, Hubby's been working hard to hang lights while I've been thinking hard of affordable ways to decorate our home for the little ones.

Although our Christmas is still Under Construction, I'll leave you with a sneak preview of what's to come.

Please look at the lights....and not the window "mistreatment".

Sincerely, Lisa