Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Holiday Decorating

I mentioned in an earlier post that this is the first year in many I've been interested in Christmas and the inevitable decorating that the season brings with it. The decreasing sunlight and my energy and mood start to go downhill the beginning of September and, this year at least, I managed to get help and extra support early enough in the season that the holidays weren't as traumatic as they have historically been. That doesn't mean that our Christmas cards for 2014 are out yet though so if you haven't received yours yet, I hope to have them in the mail soon. December 25th is just an arbitrary deadline, right?

This post is never going to make it to the 'who's who' in the decorative blogger world and I'm posting it after the holidays which seems to be a faux pas as a lot of other gorgeous decorative blogs posted their genius before the big day. I figure they must have taken their pictures last year to make them look so good for this year. Or in July. Obviously they have also managed to do away with the 24 hour in a day problem I have despite their having four children, six dogs, three cats, home schooling all children full time and maintaining a gorgeous and active blog. Yes, I'm jealous and a big enough girl to admit it!

So, just in case you are more like me and have not yet scraped all of Christmas dinner off the floor underneath the dining room table, here are some little Christmas vignettes I created for the 2014 season that made me smile each time I saw them. Nothing fancy or expensive and I usually did one a day or every other day keeping the pace slow and simple. The only frantic decorating bit was when the boys helped me decorate our upstairs tree and their downstairs tree (artificial so we can put it up and start decorating eons before a live tree would survive to Old Christmas Day around when the decorations start to disappear). Apart from that hour and a half of scarred for life memory, things were downright civilized.

Our decorations this year were edited from previous years. I haven't even opened all of our Christmas boxes. I bought a Martha Stewart turquoise and silver shatterproof ball set in late November and  used those to freshen up my whole scheme. I think that was a good investment of decorations that we will have for many years and shatterproof is pretty much a necessity as, as usual, a few much loved decorations got destroyed by too much boy loving again this year.

Other than that one new package of Christmas balls, I wanted to use what we had in and around the house rather than going out and buying more. The boys and I found four small trees from the local area to dig up, pot and use rather than me buying more small artificial trees. I have hopes of keeping them alive until Spring to replant them on our property. I am also considering turning the one above into a "Winter Tree" to assist Eldest and I with the post-Christmas 'take the tree down' blues.

A small ironstone platter (a Kijiji score from earlier in the fall - 5 for $20!) and a $6 ironstone jug also from a fall purchase at Value Village made the cut. The branches and geranium are real and from the window sill (flower) and back yard (branches cut from the real Christmas tree).

Thanks to my generous now UK located friend A, we inherited this gorgeous silvery gold frame. I took it, added a drawing from a chalk board print I saw on Pinterest that I 'Sharpied' (a new Patty word meaning 'to use a black Sharpie marker') onto a piece of brown paper bag and voila! Instant art. This particular piece was for the bedroom my sister and niece are sharing during their visit here and I wanted it to be as warm, welcoming and Christmasy as I could make it. 

An easy bowl of Christmas delight for the guest bathroom. 

The silver owl was a $5 purchase from Target and the
fleurs-de-lys in the background? From the ROD
garage sale!!!
These icicle decorations and the fact that they are currently hung in my home is a major accomplishment for me this year. These gorgeous things are made of glass and are ones that either I or my friend ML purchased for me from Weihnachtsmarkt's all over Germany when we lived there. However, they are too delicate and too precious for me to have hung on our tree (where we used to hang them pre-children) so they have remained carefully wrapped and stuffed to the back of one of our hutch drawers until this Christmas.

This is a Christmas 2014 Market in Prague. The picture was sent to
me by my friend L who was lucky enough to be there over the holidays.
It made me downright home sick! The wee market stalls, lights and
surrounding market square are common themes for European
Christmas markets. 

I had dried roses all along the top of this hutch but decided to purge them, and the years of dust that went with them, for some fresh Spruce branches. I then tied ribbon (from my craft room) and made sure each icicle was carefully hung far enough back on each branch so they wouldn't be jolted onto the floor by some scampering child. You can't see the heavy hardcover books on the ends of the branches making sure that they also didn't take a dive... Another 'free' vignette.

The boys love having their own tree in their bedroom. This was quick and easy and only used Christmas decorations that I already had in my - ahem - fairly massive collection. The stocking is made from Newfoundland tartan and is one I've had for years.

This is a new idea for me. This typewriter belonged to DH's paternal grandfather and is usually front and centre on our bookshelf on the stair landing. For the holiday season, I moved it into the second guest room that my parents are using and coupled it with some branches, the by now familiar ornaments and my piece of MacQueen tartan in tie weight wool underneath. Striking, no?

Finally, and for anyone else who lived in Germany when we did, the Nurenberg Bridal cup (no, I'm not getting a commission! This was the best description I could find from a quick Google search) should be familiar. I thought she looked grand next to my new Christmas decorations.

There you have it, frugal and child friendly holiday decorating by necessity. Did you do anything unique and inexpensive when you decorated this year?

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