Saturday, December 26, 2009

I wish upon a...

boxwood star. Ok that does sound a little funny. But I have to say it's pretty cute! And super simple with little to no cost!

First take a wire hanger and shape into a star

Cut some boxwood

Take floral wire and attach boxwood to star. Keep going until all the way around.

yes that *may* be a beer in the background - what?? I don't know a better party than a CRAFT party!!

You can hang them on the wall - on a chair - from the mantle - even outside for great decorations... The possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here come Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus...

right down Santa Claus lane. Which happens to be in our den. We don't have a lot of collections but I do have to say I love our Santas. I love the fact that I normally get one a year from someone but it's not one of those collections that people have gone crazy with. It's just here and there; a lovely surprise.

Enjoy strolling down Santa Claus lane at our house!

This reminds me of the Three Muskateers - Santa style!

He's made out of a lightbulb, I know what you're thinking - bright idea!

"A little round belly, that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly"

Now this guy, he's special. And when I say special I mean makes me stop in my tracks each year we unpack him. My sweet Aunt made him for us. And not that just that would make my heart go pitter patter but she took it to the next level... You see all those sweet little items in Santa's pocket... Well those all are items from my family members. My Granddaddy's pen, my Memama's thumble pin, my great aunt's pin and it goes on and on.

Isn't that the coolest! I think I even caught you wiping that tear from your eye!
Well I hope you enjoyed your stroll down Santa Claus Lane.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cookie Swap

Don't you just love a good reason to whip up something sweet? I know I do!! I was invited to a cookie swap this past weekend and it was so fun! There are many ways to do a swap but I have to say I really enjoyed the fact that we were a small group -a) you didn't have to make dozens and dozens of cookies (only 3 dozen which is a normal recipe) and b) you can individually wrap your cookies to give away. The reason I love this is because when you put peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies in the same container with Aunt Pine's Gingersnaps you end up with a weird mixture of flavors!

So for my contribution, I made our family recipe for Aunt Pine's (that's short for Pauline you just put the "p" on the "ine" and get Pine - like "bean" ) anyhoo... I am going to share this recipe even though it is a family secret that could truly make a million but you are my friend and I trust you will use this gift wisely. And after all it is the season of giving!

Aunt Pine's Gingersnaps

3 sticks unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 c Molasses
2 c sugar
4 c flour
4 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves

Melt butter and add the molasses, sugar and eggs. Beat well. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to molasses mixture. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning form into balls (1" scoop) and roll in sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until deep brown color and start to "crack" on the top.
They may look a little under-done but that creates the best crunch edges and chewy center.

For packaging the cookies for the swap, I took simple brown paper lunch bags, folded them at the top, and then cut a slit for the ribbon to run through. I used some nice thick red ribbon with wired edges and tied in a simple knot. Then used a cute label to put on the bags. Super simple but super cute!

It was a great time to hang with some ladies I hadn't met before and eat yummy cookies!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cards

I wanted to do something a little different to display our Christmas cards this year. So I decided to hang 2 small wreaths on our front closest door and use clothespins to attach the cards to the ribbon and wreaths. I think it turned out super cute. It adds a nice splash of festive-ness in that area of the room. Is festive-ness a word? Yeah probably not but it totally should be!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Ain't she purty!

And some close ups...

I love just sitting on the sofa enjoying the glow from the tree.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A great hostess gift idea...

I found this cute idea here and made a couple up. Holiday Zucchini Bread - YUM! It's a great gift to have in the fridge for any Holiday Parties you are invited to!
(this will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge.)
Compile all your ingredients

Layer in the jars

Ta da!!

Make cute little label and DONE!
That wasn't hard at all huh?!?!

Z Mantle...

Can you hear my cute accent with this title??? (this isn't an ad for Z Gallerie or anything) just corny Katy! Any hoo...
I am finally posting pics of the Christmas decorations. It's so hard to get any good shots with all the dreary days and the lovely "day-light" savings time. But here they are. Yes I even took some with the flash. I know! Ridiculous. But I thought if I waited any longer Christmas would be over and what fun would a post about decorations be?? None, I say. So... moving right along. Here is the good ol' mantle.

I love our mantle - the joys of a 1950's ranch home. Dentil molding, lovely crisp white semi gloss, long and lean brick surround. What can I say - I love it! OK now for the decorations upon thee lovely mantle. I found the gold Christmas tree-esque orbs at Target a few years back. But I wanted to mix it up a little bit by adding in some natural materials. So I took my happy little self outside with my clippers and got some pine limbs from the front yard and then snuck down the street to a neighbors house (that's for sale mind you -aka: vacant) and cut some magnolia leaves. This is when I am thankful for darkness @ 5:30 - covert operations!Then cut some Nandina berries and I was ready.

I took 3 sprigs of the Nandini berries and tied them together with floral wire to give a little better punch of color. I love that it's not really red but not orange either. A great splash of color!

Then layered in a few candles that I had on hand for some contrast in texture and color.
Added our JOY stocking holders - I love that Annie, Joe and myself can be expressed with JOY - can I just say it's a perfect expression of my blessed life! And viola - a finished festive mantle!

Not to shabby if I do say so myself.

So... What ya think??? Do you do the natural thing? Do you switch up on your mantle each year? Or do you have your good ol' stand by you love to see? Please share with us any links to your lovely mantles!!

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Other ideas from Spiced Saturday...

Isn't this great! I loved this idea of mixing in the old photos with the centerpiece! I think she said she saw this in Southern Living.

A baroque kind of feel. Nice and monochromatic color scheme.

I loved the punch of the bright green with the mesh fabric in the center of the table. Unfortunately the picture doesn't give it justice.

This table's theme was "Manger Scenes." A great idea!
We have so many talented women in our church.
I wish I had more shots so you could see them all!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Winter Wonderland"

We have an annual Spiced Saturday at my church. This is a time to gather with the other women of the church and get inspired for the upcoming Holiday season. This year they decided to do the "12 tables of Christmas". They got 12 volunteers to decorate a table in a specific theme. Thankfully the theme was up to the volunteer. I chose to go with "Winter Wonderland."

The first thing that popped in my head to go with this theme was a painted tree for my centerpiece. Have you noticed all the silver natural decorations? Like here, here and here.

So out to the yard we went and found a pretty tree and whacked 'er down. I put it in a small bucket with some plaster of Paris for stability. Then the tree and my spray paint bottle got right friendly. Of course the week before Spiced Saturday it rained almost every single night, so the evening before set up I'm outside in the dark painting. So needless to say I touched up the tree with some silver craft paint, which worked just fine! I hung pretty little iridescent ornaments on the tree for some nice detail on the table.

The color scheme was to be white, silver and ice blue. I found a major deal on some nice wide satin ribbon at the good ol' Wally world for $5.00 for 25 yards!! (Comes in multiple colors check out the pink here.) I used this ribbon to make a snowflake of sorts from the center of the table. The tails of the ribbon went through each place setting adding a nice elegant touch. I did a basic white tablecloth for the table. Once the ribbon was down I added a mirror to the center of the table for an icy effect. The bucket was covered with a white cloth and some tulle to add the look of snow. I used my silver chargers, white plates, and glass plates with a winter wonderland scene (thanks to my Aunt the queen of "stuff".)

I liked the idea of doing the napkins in the glasses to add softness and the look of snowflakes.

Then I added different candles all around. Some silver tapers in crystal candle holders, some that look like snowballs (thanks Aunt Mark), and some white pine cone candles.

And the overall effect...
What do you think??

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tree Trimming Party

Shannon, a friend of mine had a "Tree-Trimming" Party this past weekend. Can I just say what a fun idea!! Why you ask... Because...

1. A great way to motivate you to get your house decorated early on (I always love a gathering to get some things done around the house!!)
B. A great reason to have the pals over
III. Outcome = beautiful Christmas tree!

We had a little craft session before the party so she would have some new ornaments to hang. This was major FUN! Shannon picked up clear glass ball ornaments and paper/cardboard ornaments (round, star & heart shapes). We used all kinds of things for decorating the ornaments. Tissue paper, scrapbook paper, glitter, buttons, ribbons and more! Shannon has an awesome craft room. Every idea we came up with she pulled it out from her stash!!

Here's our work area - yes that is a snack in the middle of the table... What?? We had to keep up our stamina! :-)
So here's what we created... What do you think???

Scrapbook paper + stickers + felt= Pure joy!!

This guy was just not finishing out quite like I wanted it to. And then all the sudden Shannon came up with the idea of putting in a fabric bag - GENIUS!

Decoupage tissue paper with accent of glitter - super sweet!

Is that totally precious - the toothpicks as drumsticks... hehehe!

The party was a great time! Wish I had more shots of that and the finish tree - maybe Shannon will share with us? Has anyone else had a gathering yet for the Holiday Season? Would love to hear about it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Craft Show

A few weeks back my friends and I participated in a craft show. Thought I would show you how our table looked at the craft show. We had a nice array of products. Check out those precious hand painted onesies!! Uber cute! That's the freezer paper technique. I "lurve" doing these! Check out how Jessica at How about Orange used the same technique for totes.

Doesn't the Holiday Zucchini bread look great in the jars and you can barely see the Russian Tea Mix hiding there. Great gifts for neighbors, teachers, etc.

Aren't these sweet! They take a little elbow grease but low overhead! It's just a hanger shaped into a star and then boxwood attached with floral wire. A little ribbon at the top and you've got a precious little wreath. I've hung these on the backs of my dining chairs for an added touch to my table scape!

I am loving the Santa pot!! Isn't that adorable! What do you think about the "boo" frames (interchangeable with the "joy"). Great idea right?!?! The plaques turned out cute as well! My friends got a Cricut and have been going to town ever since!

Do you see those sweet little peg families? Wouldn't that make the sweetest gift! You can check them out close and personal over @ Three Queens and a King. I totally think she would sell you some if you're interested!!

Overall I think we did a great job for the craft show. Granted we didn't sell out completely but what's left over will make great gifts!

Score - 2 birds / 1 stone