Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Beginning to Smell Like Christmas

I took a vacation day from work today so I had the entire day to make live greenery arrangements.
As soon as it was light outside I took my pruners and went out to cut greens.

I thought I had plenty with these two pails full, but I ended up going out twice more to get refills. That red plastic container in the big basket is a Folgers coffee container. It works well to hold the water and floral foam.
All of the arrangements I made are very simple--just greenery and an accessory or two--like this mini quilt. Is that a little foot I see on the left side?

Oh, my goodness, there's a little elf hiding in that arrangement!

In addition to this kitchen arrangement, I made some to fill the entertainment center shelves.
As you can see, the shelves are no longer bare!
Here are close ups of each one:
This one has a gold glass tree top in the center.

This one has Santa.

This is my favorite. It has a gold star and I put it in a sleigh that my friend at work made for me. The branches with berries are from my burning bush shrub.

This one just has a gold reindeer.

Like I said they are all very simple to make.

Every time I came from the garage to inside the house, I could smell the evergreen. I like that.

Here is my little snowman quilt that I bring out every winter.

For those who are quilters, the snowman is actually made from tiny little log cabin blocks. It's from a Crystal Carter book.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reindeer Land (Top of Entertainment Center)

I've been waiting to post the family room decorations until I finished filling up the shelves, but I still haven't figured out what to put on them, so I will just show you the top. I will probably end up putting some village houses on the shelves when I muster up the gumption to haul them up from the basement.
It continues the gold, white, bronze theme of the main tree.

I guess you can't really see the colors, but the twirly stuff sticking out is a bronze color.

As I work at the kitchen counter, this is what I see.
Baking is such a pleasant experience with the room aglow in Christmas lights.

I rarely bake on a work night, but I just finished these banana cookies. The lights must have motivated me. :) DH says they are good. I would post the recipe, but I don't remember where I found it and I can't post without giving the proper credits. Was it on anybody's site who reads this blog? I guess if you are really interested in making them you could google "big soft banana cookies" as that is what they were called.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trees for the Flower Lover

I did two more trees today.
This sunflower tree is one of my all-time favorites. You will probably have to click on it to get a good view.

It has 35 sunflower clusters of 2-3 flowers on each. It also has red apples, yellow pears, some fruit cluster picks, plaid ribbon, burlap pulled through the branches as well as used for a tree skirt, and crocheted twine for garland. There are red/gold icicles hanging from the tips of many branches. The lights are all white and there are 800 of them on this 7.5 ft. tree.

My Mom just bought a red sofa. I bet this tree would look great in her living room. If my home could take these colors, it would be in mine for sure!

This tree is mostly hydrangeas and liatris. I am not sure if you can see the liatris. Maybe if you click on it. (I hope it looks a bit better if you enlarge it because I don't think it looks very good in this pic!)

It has oversized gold balls, silver apples, gold ribbon swirled throughout the tree, some dangly beads, and some burgundy swirly icicle things.

Have you noticed that I always use ribbon on my trees? And a LOT of it, too. In my humble opinion, it's the ribbon that makes or breaks the tree. It adds color, sparkle, pattern (plaid ribbon in the sunflower tree), covers holes, softens, adds dimension, texture.............I just can't say enough good things about ribbon.

I use some unusual ribbon.

Just look at this pink holey ribbon that I have on my angel tree.

I bought this about 15 years ago. It's a great one for hiding holes (because it's so wide) and adding sparkle.

Pasta Angels

When I was doing the angel tree, I came across a little black box buried under all the decorations. I pulled it out and found these two little angels made from pasta.

Aren't they adorable?

I can't remember who made them for me. I feel bad about that.

I think it was someone I worked with many years back.

The head is a wooden ball and the candle is a tack turned upside down! Too cute!

Here is the back (sorry it's blurry). It's a bowtie pasta.

After regluing the arms and candle on the pink one, I put them both on my angel tree.

As I was previewing this, I may have remembered who made them for me. I do believe it was my son's ex girlfriend. Gosh, that had to be something like eight years ago. Where does the time go? They have been sitting in that little black box in the basement for all those years.

I have quite a few different angels hanging on china cabinet knobs around the dining room. I call these pa*nty*hose angels because that's what I made the faces out of.

I guess this one is not really an angel--just a pretty lady.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Decided on a Centerpiece

It's very simple--just an oversized Margarita glass full of clear glass and pink glass marbles. It's sitting on a glass heart embedded with pink flowers.

It couldn't have been easier and it maintains the light airy feeling that I think it needed to for this particular table.

See the QVC Quilt, See the UGLY Oil Painting

Now see the quilt stapled on top of the ugly oil painting!

Sunday I spread out the quilt, looked it over and said, "Should I or shouldn't I?" Then I took the scissors and hacked it into unmeasured chunks. I needed something for this wall to blend in with the pink Christmas theme. I was going to make a wreath, but while hacking away I thought of framing a part of the quilt. When I went to the basement, I could not find the frame, but I saw this hideous oil painting...the rest is, as they say, history. LOL. It's not too beautiful, but I think it will stay through the holidays. This table holds my entire houseplant collection--two cacti and one Snake plant. I am not into indoor gardening. I guess I get enough of it all spring and summer.

I also needed something to toss over the sofa so it won't fade in front of the window. I have a loveseat in this room and I put a hunk over top of it, too.

I put a piece around the big planter holding the snake plant, and I used a piece for a tree skirt. There is even a piece or two in the sled. All in all I got a lot of mileage out of the quilt. It was actually in pretty good condition and I am sure at some point I will regret cutting it up.

As soon as I typed that last sentence, I remembered that I used this quilt as a table covering for Valentine's day. I really liked it and it fit perfectly on my large table. Oh, poo! I am already regretting it. I guess now I will be forced to come up with a different idea for Valentines Day.

It's not like I'm short on table coverings, so I am not going to fret another second over it!

I was planning to do the trees at work today. I just couldn't bring myself to do them. Part of the reason was that I was wearing a jacket that might get snagged from sticking my arm into the trees. I simply must show you the match with my jacket and my nails.
It couldn't have matched better if I had planned it!

I guess tomorrow I will have to do two trees at work. That's all I am doing this year because I think I have done enough trees for one year!

Monday, November 26, 2007

You Better be Good around my House

because there are little elves watching you all over the place!

This one sits on the wall sconce.

Some of them peek out from under the Christmas tree.

Others sit in a stocking on the back of the dining room chairs.

I am sure they all report back to the big guy, so we are trying to be very good around here! ;)

What do you think of this hair accessory I wore today?

Personally, I like it, but I wonder if maybe I am the only person who does.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a Pink Christmas

Betty asked if I was going to show more of my Christmas decorating pictures.

Does Santa wear red? Of course, I am going to show you more! I live for blogging days like this! :)

I made all of these pink ornaments years ago.

They are hand sewn of felt and embellished with all sorts of things--beads, lace, glitter paint, etc. The wings on the angels are made from my wedding dress veil. I know I've mentioned that before, but a lot of readers probably have not trudged through the archives. I no longer have that husband, though we are still friendly. He knows I made angels from the veil. We get a good chuckle out of that every now and then. He said he was glad I turned it into angels and not something more negative. :)

This year I decided to go all the way with a pink color scheme. I did two trees that flank the dining room entrance in pink. I also used pink across the archway connecting the two trees.

Of course, the table is all set in pink, too. I have a set of very old Haviland china that has tiny pink flowers. Don't you think those napkins are reminiscent of peppermint sticks?
I was thrilled when I found them in my napkin stash. I am always buying napkins and I never remember what I have. The table needs a bit more work. I need to come up with a centerpiece.

Remember when I said I was going to put a Christmas tree in a sled? Well, here it is.
It's the same sled I used on the deck for a planter. I just cleaned it all out and now it's a holiday decoration. I really like it with the tree. I may not use it outside anymore.

The sled has a few toys in it. This is my son's first teddy bear. I always find a way to use it during the Christmas season. That little snowman is attached to a sled. A friend made it for me quite a few years ago. He passed away last year so just bringing it out made me stop a moment to remember him.

Here is a view of 5 of the trees. When eating at this table, we are surrounded by the spirit of Christmas!

This is a close up of the archway decorations. I have dozens of little pink/white mice peeking through the greenery.

Here is the same view after dark:

I will show you more some other time. I am pretty well pooped for tonight!

I noticed that not many were blogging this weekend. Maybe everyone else is decorating, too.

I Have a Real Bird's Nest in My Christmas Tree

This is a nest that a Robin abandoned years ago. There were three eggs left in it. Over the years two have broken, but I still have this one beautiful blue egg. I like to add this nest to my Christmas tree.

According to Bronners (a huge Christmas store in Frankenmuth, MI),

A bird nest is a symbol of the home. It reminds us that we strive to make our home a place where family members grow and prosper. Considered a good luck symbol, the bird nest represents all the love and warmth, enthusiasm and commitment required in creating the happiest of homes.

Tradition says that adding the nest to your tree will bring you good luck and good fortune during the coming year. Isn't that a wonderful tradition? Of course, it was never my family's tradition, but who cares? Since I've done it a few times, I guess I can now call it my own new tradition. :)

I am still decorating.

Janet asked me how many trees I will put up. Well, it looks like 9 is the magic number this year. Six of those are just small 2-footers, so it's not as crazy as it sounds. I've been working 4.5 hours this morning and I still have a ways to go, so I guess my coffee break is over!

I wanted to make a small post to let you all know where I've been.

This little elf must now get back to work!

Friday, November 23, 2007

On to the Next Holiday

While everyone else was cooking turkey, I was decorating my new 9.5 ft skinny Christmas tree.

We didn't go for the family dinner until 5:30 p.m. so I had plenty of time. By the way, Betty, I did take the cheesecake time left to try to garnish it. It was just fine the way it was. :)

Before beginning to decorate DH attached the stand to a very heavy round of wood. 9.5 feet of decorations can be quite heavy. This tree is never falling over!

We awoke to 6 inches of snow on Thanksgiving. You can see how white it looks outside.
It matched my mostly white tree nicely. Thank you, Mother Nature.

Most of the white on the tree comes from using 120 feet of white ribbon.

Two of these 60 foot rolls worked perfectly. The ribbon has small blue checks on the edges. I didn't even notice that when I bought it. You can see the blue checks at the top of the pic below. I wish the blue was not there, but it is what it is.

I got to use the birds and the bronze balls I bought at last year's after Christmas sales.

and the white poinsettias, and the bronze beaded icicles.... it's so much more fun when you have all kinds of new adornments to try out!
Here is the front view. You really must click it to see how it truly looks. These pictures are just to small. I removed the curtains and put the two wreaths up to cover the rod hardware.

Now I need to buy some bronze and gold wrapping paper so I can wrap a few fancy boxes to match the tree.

All in all I am happy with the new tree.

I am already humming Christmas music!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nine Years and Counting

While cooking tonight, I asked DH to go to the pantry to get me something for me.

He came back carrying this soup can while shaking his head.

This can expired in 1998!
I guess we don't like cream of potato soup!

I just finished baking a pumpkin swirl cheesecake.

It looks like it turned out pretty good. There are only a couple of small cracks on the top.

I tried putting a bowl of water in the oven under the cheesecake as it cooked.
I think that did help it from not cracking more.

Now I don't know what to do to garnish it. I hate to take a naked cheesecake to dinner tomorrow!
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