Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Living Room Mantel - Christmas 2010...


I had only one objective for this years Living Room Christmas Mantel...

keep the grapevine garland that I used for my Thanksgiving Mantel up on the fireplace, and incorporate it into the design.

That's it.

For one, I like it there. I like that it gives a whole new dimension to the fireplace, on top of being natural and rustic. But my other reason (which is probably the real reason) is that it was such a pain to get up there in the first place that I need to keep it up as long as I can and make all of the effort that Owen and I put into getting it to stay in place, worth it!

Luckily, it was easy to incorporate, and I think it worked out wonderfully...

The grapevine garland was the perfect (and obvious) place to hang Christmas balls - in red and silver to match our Christmas tree on the other side of the room...


The rest of the mantle came together easily, using just a few simple items:


a recycled glass bowl to hold red glass balls and pinecones...

large lanterns to hold red candles and a bit of faux snow...

(the best faux snow I have found, in fact!)

another swag of cedar garland (see, I told you I couldn't resist!) and some twinkling lights...

a basket of cozy blankets, which are a must in our house...

my birch logs...

an inexpensive cedar wreath (just $8 - seriously!) hung with some sturdy indoor/outdoor ribbon...

and the "Christmas" sign that I made a few years back...

...was all it took to create this Christmas mantel.




The ottoman sitting in front of the fireplace came with our sectional that we purchased for the Family Room this past summer, but I'm not big on "sets" and like to break them up as much as I can. So the ottoman sits here. Unfortunately, we don't ever use this fireplace - it has a glass front that gets really, really hot and with three kids and a puppy running around, I'd rather not take the chance at someone brushing against it and getting burned.

But this way actually works out quite well. The ottoman gets used in the Living Room, in that spot, way more than I thought it would, which is great...

Our Family Room Mantel - Christmas 2010...


The goal this year was:


1. Use what I have (as much as possible).

2. Keep it fun, colorful, and whimsical for the kids.

3. Make it glow.

4. Bring the outdoors in.



Did I achieve all of my goals?


I think so! And I love it.


And so do the kids, which is what really makes me happy!


I started with cedar garland. I cannot resist cedar at Christmas time. Cannot. It makes its way into our home every holiday season. I love how it looks, how it smells and how it ages over the month of December.
(Live greenery can be such a mess, but in my opinion, cedar is one of the least messy of all the evergreens!)

I buy it at Costco or at Fred Meyer, which sells 15' lengths for $14.99.

(This was my one purchase for this mantel. A must-have at a darn good price, if you ask me!)


Then I added a single strand of C-7 Christmas lights.

Want your mantel to glow? Use C-7's. You will not be disappointed!

Then I added some bead garland to add more pops of red into the overall look...


I bought this Advent Calendar last year at one of our local Holiday Bazaar's. It is made to stand on a table, but I wanted it to stay out of reach from little hands, so I added a sawtooth hanger on the back and hung it up here...


Next...the hanging ornaments.

My absolute favorite part!

I just used thin gift wrapping ribbon, looped through the top of each ornament. Then I used small, white thumbtacks to secure the ribbon to the ceiling...


The ornaments are shatterproof (ie: plastic), so if something should happen and they were to fall, I don't have to worry about broken glass across the hearth and wood floor...


I finished it off with my ribbon wrapped candles, and the J O Y sign that I made last year, to sneak in a little bit of that fresh lime green color...

and last, but certainly not least, our spot for the kids to put their letters to Santa...


My mother-in-law made our stockings for us year's ago, and as we added kids, she made more stockings. They are the perfect colors and fit in beautifully every Christmas...

The kids were in charge of the tree in the Family Room this year, and I love how it all looks together...


And there you have it...


Our inexpensive-use-what-you've-got-colorful-whimsical-glowing-cedar-loving-Christmas mantel.

Whew!


Now...time to sit down on our cozy couch with a mug of hot chocolate and a magazine, and enjoy it.



Happy Holidays!




P.S. I am posting this at:

Layla's Holiday Home Mantel Party, Today's Creative Blog, The DIY Show Off, Blue Cricket Design, My Backyard Eden, Somewhat Simple, The Shabby Chic Cottage, Beyond The Picket Fence, Funky Junk Interiors, Tatertots and Jello, Chic On A Shoestring Decorating, The Shabby Nest, Finding Fabulous, Thrifty Decor Chick,

Monday, November 29, 2010

That's A Wrap...


I've been working on my mantels for the past few days - putting a holiday twist on the main focal points of our family room and living room. For the most part, I am using what I have and, patiently, going with the flow. I didn't have a plan or direction that I was aiming in, at all. I just knew that I wanted it to be...

festive, colorful and whimsical.


So far, so good!

But my plain Jane white candles just weren't cutting it for me.


Luckily, all it took was a little of this...

Inexpensive sheer, wired ribbon and some of that indoor/outdoor ribbon that you can get, well...everywhere right now. I had both sitting in a bin from last Christmas and it turned out to be just what I needed for my candles this year.

A little wrap, and they take on a whole new custom look that fits perfectly with my Christmas decor this year...


So easy.

Too easy, really!

Which is just how I like it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Feeling Inspired...


Christmas time is here...

and with it comes an endless amount of shared inspiration!


These are just a few of my favorites over the past few days:


from Alice Lane Home, a gorgeous Holiday mantel...



From PK at Room Remix, an entire post dedicated to decorating with Christmas ornaments...

(lots of great ideas and beautiful pictures!)



From Mod Podge Rocks, an awesome DIY big, box Advent Calendar...

(my kids would flip out if this was what they had to look forward to for 25 days in December!)



From Eighteen25, super cute Christmas Subway Art (which I have already printed and put up in a frame!) along with an adorable Christmas banner...



From Martha Stewart, Mulling Sachets...

(These are definitely on my T0-Do list!)



And from My Sweet Savannah, DIY ornaments using Scrabble letters...



...........................................................................................



The kids and I are in full decorating mode, with plenty of Christmas music and hot chocolate to keep us going strong.


How is your Christmas home coming along?


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks...


Thanksgiving Day is here and I couldn't be happier!

Why?

Because Will is home.

The five of us get to be together today, and for that I am so very grateful. Being married to an airline pilot, I'm lucky to have him home for any of the holidays, but for the big one's, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am especially grateful when we get to share them with him.

Our day will start with our traditional Thanksgiving breakfast, the Macy's Day parade, lots of cooking and baking, then heading over to my parents house to spend the day with them. We'll finish off the evening with Will's family, then come back home for some fun and games.

And to top off the excitement and anticipation...it snowed while we were sleeping. So we have a fresh coat of white covering the landscape. It couldn't be more beautiful outside of our windows.


Whatever your day may hold, I hope that you enjoy yourself. And remember...

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."

~ Frederick Koenig




Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!





image courtesy of Craftily Ever After

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DIY - Flurries In A Hurry Garland...


Yesterday, the latest Land Of Nod catalog came in the mail. I love The Land Of Nod. But this time of year, my kids are all about it!

When the catalog comes, I have to quickly flip through it before they get their little hands on it, never to be seen again.

As I was flipping, this page caught my attention...

More specifically, the snowflake garland.


In our house, paper snowflakes are created from the first frost until the first signs of Spring. We must make hundreds of them (seriously!) from Fall through Winter.

I am happy to make them and I got lucky enough to have a child that, quite possibly, likes making them even more than I do. That's my Owen!

The colorful snowflake garland from The Land Of Nod, called "Flurries In A Hurry" (cute, right?) is made of felt...

...but who needs felt when you have construction paper? On hand. Ready to use.

Since today was a Snow Day and the kids were home from school, Owen and I got to work right away...


19 snowflakes later, we had our own festive garland!

And I love it!


I used regular string and thumb tacks to attach it to the ceiling - one on each end of the string, and one in the middle...


Every year, we always do white snowflakes, but with these,
it feels like a party in here!



So, not only is that more than $30.00 saved, but we didn't have to wait for it to be delivered, and...

the best part was listening to Owen point out all of his creations tonight during dinner, as we dined under a canopy of colorful snowflakes...


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Happy Holidays!