Wednesday, November 27, 2013


As everyone travels near and far to be with family and friends this holiday season I wanted to take time out to wish everyone a joyous Thanksgiving.

Let's take some time to reflect on where we are today and where we've been.  Let's look forward to the future and learn from our past mistakes.

Let's be thankful for the food on our tables, the people in our mist and the things we have at hand.

From me to you may you have a blessed Thanksgiving! 

Now the madness can begin! 

Coming up - more crafts including crafts to give as gifts, a blackboard door and a tour of my house decorated for Christmas. 

Happy Thanksgiving!    Victoria

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas decorating inspiration

I have a large tree for Christmas.  I have 15 foot ceilings in our living room so we have a 9 foot tree, otherwise the tree would look lost.  We got our tree at St. Nick's (Littleton Colorado) at the end of the season about 10 years ago.  Before that my hubby and his Grandfather would get a permit and cut a live tree from the mountains.  Unfortunately to have a live tree we'd only get it the week or two before Christmas.  So now we have a fake one but it looks like the real thing.  I just burn a lot of pine scented candles because in the end it's the smell of the pine I like.

In the past I have done the normal Christmas colors of red, green and gold.  I inherited my Mom's Hallmark ornaments so I've done the tree in all movable and playing ornaments, yeah that was way too loud.  They are now in a box in the back of the attic.  For the past 5 years I've had a blue and silver/white tree and I really love it.  This year I am adding lime green and orange!

I get my inspiration for decorating from many places, TV, Magazines, online images, friends and even store displays.  I take what I like and mesh it all together and it comes out how it comes out.  If I love it then it works!  I also don't decorate till after Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it is all about family and food, thinking back over the past year, realizing where you were and how far you have come.  I also think about those that passed and reflect on how thankful I had been to know them and have them in my life.  So I decorate after Thanksgiving.

Here are some of the places I've been looking at for this years decorating inspirations.
Country Living has shown some really nice settings this year.
I really like the simplicity of this silver tree on the table, which gave me an idea... I'm going to buy real tree's and light them, put them in silver buckets on put them on my table.  
This silver bowl gave me another idea, I've got a metallic silver pot and I'll put ornaments in it and set it on my coffee table.  
Don't forget to decorate other rooms in your house.  Remember Christmas should be everywhere not just in the living room!  I love, love, love these ornaments, the color and shape.  I also really like the real trees in the silver buckets.  They will be on my dinning room table!  So this year I will hang some dollar store snowflakes and some home made mid-century modern ornaments in my kitchen window.  
I have a large brick fireplace and I love this idea of the pine branches hanging off the mantel and the large silver mirror.  I think I may hang some pine branches off my own mantel.  
House and Home also has some really nice ideas for Christmas. 
I love the idea of the white tree on the table.  I'm using real ones but I will light mine up and possibly put ornaments on them.  I may also put a small fake tree, maybe even a white one on my family room table.  
Here's a big wreath and the traditional red and gold Christmas.  I really like the big wreath.  
Southern Living has some really great ideas for Christmas.  One that I really like is the idea of a non traditional tree topper.  This one is bells!
I also like their idea for a door decoration. 
For me, this is one of those, Why didn't I think of that?! moments.  I have a large all glass storm door and 3 smaller wreaths on it would look awesome!
Southern Living also put ornaments in a silver dish.  LOVE IT!
Southern Living also had a cute idea of doing something else on the front door beside wreaths... me likey.  
HGTV showed this as an idea for a table.  If you have a chandelier you can decorate it up and down.  
I love deer and they really go at Christmas.  I don't normally do gold but I just love these deer I found on Google images.  
Simple and very pretty. 
HGTV has a holiday house, it is the 2nd year, who knew?!  You can get some great ideas there.  I like that they use non traditional colors, here black, white and red.  I also really like the 'JOY' sign, it lights up.  According to the site they bought MDF board and wrote out JOY then drilled holes and pushed white lights through the holes.  You could do the same thing with pre-cut letters, Joann Fabrics has large 3 dimensional letters for $10.00 for each letter, so for $30 bucks you could re-create this.  

HGTV also showed an entry table arrangement that I thought was interesting.  To me it is country meets 40's.  

They also showed an all white tablescape.  All white can be beautiful.  
I also really like Southern Livings peacock piece.  I like the rustic outdoor vessel with the gold and silver balls with the peacock feathers and the white country looking sticks.  This is a perfect example of where modern, classic and rustic/country can all come together to make a great centerpiece.  
What's your Christmas inspiration?  Do you decorate the same way every year?  There are some things I do the same year after year - tradition baby! I'd love to hear about where you get inspiration!
I'll be back on Wednesday, till then have a great day!  Victoria

Thursday, November 21, 2013

First Christmas craft of the season

I had promised myself that I wouldn't be one of those bloggers who is already decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  The problem for bloggers is that to help others with decorating and craft ideas you have to be at least a 1/2 season ahead of everyone else.
So I succumbed to bloggerland and completed a Christmas craft before Thanksgiving.

I bought a dollar store wreath, it is made out of floral foam, which is great but messy.  Since the wreath is green I bought wide white mesh ribbon from Hobby Lobby.  The ribbon was originally $6.00 but I got it 1/2 off.

To start take the end of the mesh ribbon and glue it to the wreath form.  Take a straight pin and put it through the mesh where the glue is.  I used craft glue.
Then wrap, wrap, wrap tightly around the wreath and end where you started.  Another bit of glue and a straight pin and you good to go!
For this wreath I decided to use some knitting yarn because I thought it was pretty and would make an interesting wreath.  Famous last words!
Bad news first if you use this stuff, it knots really easy, I mean really easy.  I don't knit or crochet (I'd love to learn though) but I knew enough to make a ball with this stuff.  This is where I went wrong.  I mean it knots really easy and is difficult to work with.
To start, I made a knot in the end of the yarn (once I found it) then I put a straight pin through the knot and pushed it into the wreath. I started where the glue was.
Then I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped.  I used all the yarn.  To end I made another knot in the yarn and put the straight pin through the knot and pushed it into the wreath.  
For all the trouble with the yarn I think the end product turned out really good. 
To hang it I used the brown ribbon I bought for my Thanksgiving door wreath and took a length and folded the raw ends about 1/2 inch.

The I put the two together and pinned them with a safety pin.  Then flipped it so the pinned part is behind the wreath.

I hung it on our front door inside and out to see how it looks.  I love it.  Simple yet elegant and fuzzy.  What I really like the most about is that it is unconventional, not your ordinary wreath.  

Another thing to remember about the yarn, other than it knots really easy, it is messy.
But pretty

Let the season start!  I'll be back on Monday with another Christmas craft.  Have a great weekend. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The most imperfect perfect Thanksgiving table

I am a big believer in 'if it works for you then it works'.

Take table setting for example.  Did you know there is a right and wrong way to set a table?  I say, unless the Queen of England or maybe Martha Stewart is coming to dinner, who cares!!?
BUT...and that is a big BUT.  I do think creating a nice tablescape for people coming to dinner does tell them that you care about them and that you took the time to make your table look nice for them.

OK before you set your table, something to take into account if you want people to converse:  think about the height of the centerpiece.  You don't want people to be looking around a large piece or object to talk to the person on the other side of the table.  Everyone needs a clear view of those at the table.  You can even sit and make sure that everyone, no matter their height, can see everyone else at the table.
Personally I like round tables.  Not only can you squeeze more people around a round table but they lend themselves better to conversation.  Unfortunately I have a square table.  It is inherited, like a lot of my furniture, from my maternal Grandmother.  It came all the way from England on a boat with a buffet, server and china cabinet.  All of which I still have.  A lot of furniture for my little house but it is a family heirloom.

I don't host Thanksgiving but I still set the table, if I don't the kiddo's start asking questions.  In our house our table is always decorated for something AND since I like dishes so much it is an adventure for me.
This is what our table centerpiece looks like this year.
I went for a walk in the woods and collected pine cones.  The cake stand is from Southern Living at Home.  The acorns are fake, Pottery Barn.   
The wire stand the silver candelabra is on is also Southern Living at Home.  The faux pumpkins are Hobby Lobby, on sale last year at the end of the season.  The silver candelabra was my Mom's.  

The little owls are actually candles from Home Goods.  The black iron candle holder was a gift years ago.  The place mats are Walmart, the napkins Pier One and the tablecloth is Bed Bath and Beyond.  The white leaf bowls are Martha Steward from Macy's.  

So now to setting the table.  I did several kinds of settings.  Again, do what you like, if it works for you it's GREAT! Don't stress about which side of the plate the cup goes on or if the napkin should be on the side or on top of the setting.  Do what you think looks good. 

For this setting I rolled the napkin and layered several dishes on top of one another.  The soup bowl on top and the coffee cup is my good china.  I like getting it out and using it.  Why else have it?  
Here is another angle.  
In the next setting I rolled the napkin and put it in the water glass.  That makes this more informal, but, I have a bread plate (the leaf plate - Walmart a few years ago) which makes it a more formal setting.  
I really like mixing china.  You can mix patterns and styles.  The black plate is Home Goods, on sale, $2.00 each!  My everyday plates are white.  I like this because it is a blank pallet and anything goes!  The bowl above is my everyday dish.  The little shot glass is from Crate and Barrel.  The silverware is my everyday, I don't own good silverware.  The glass with the dark bottom (it looks black but it is actually purple) is inherited from my Aunt Kass.  

Again, do what works for you, what you like.  Everyone will love it.  
If you want the setting to be correct though, there are books and websites you can go to for help.  
If you Google 'how to set a table' then go images there are a lot of picture tutorials.  The rules for setting a table a numerous.  You can find rules for everything from which fork goes where or where to put the butter knife to which way the blade of the knives are supposed to face!  Who knew??  (The blade should always point in toward the plate as the the example above).  There are even rules about glass ware - in all the pictures I have shown you the glass ware is wrong, per the Google Images site pictures that is.  But I like it, this works for me and I don't think anyone will notice that my coffee cup and drinking glass are out of order or on the wrong side of the plate.  It is a right-handed world people.  
So relax, shop the woods and decorate your table.  Pine cones btw, make wonderful name tag holders, if you have assigned seats for your dinner.  
Till Friday!  Have a great rest of your week.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Who's got what for Christmas?

On Saturday I went out looking to see what stores had their Christmas decor out already and let me tell you the stores were full of Christmas!  Not only was the traffic crazy (it took me 20 minutes to find a place to park at the Shops at Briargate) but people were crazy buying Christmas things!  OK, so I did also buy a few items but I passed people with carts full of Christmas.  I was behind one lady in line who bought over $200.00 worth of decorations.  I am not judging because I was behind her buying something myself but can we have Thanksgiving first before we go insane?

So let's start with Big Lot's.  I was actually impressed with their selection of Christmas things.
I bought these cute little snowmen and snowflake's for vase fillers - more to come on what I'm going to do with them exactly.  They are a steal at $3.00 for the box.  The store had different kinds and colors as well.

Big Lots also has a few ornaments and a whole isle of greenery.

Their selection of trees wasn't bad either.  
Call me cheap but I still think ONE HUNDRED dollars is a lot for a 7 foot tree.  Big Lots also had nice and moderately priced outdoor light up things. 
This year they are carrying the Mr. Christmas - last year Home Depot had it, you hook it up to your tree lights and it plays music from its list and the lights will blink in time with the music.  Last year at HD it was $90.00, this year Big Lot's has it for $60.00.  Still pretty pricey in my book but if you have younger children or a coupon it is pretty cool.
Over-all I was impressed with Big Lot's.  I hadn't been in the store in 2 or 3 years and they have a really big selection of Christmas.
Next I went to Home Depot.  
They have live mini Colorado Blue Spruce trees for $5.00 each.  I bought 3 and plan to put them in dollar store colored buckets on my dinning room table.  I also bought 3 sets of multi colored battery operated and on a timer mini Christmas lights.  A strand of 15 of these was $10.00 at HD.  They also had clear, blue, red, green and the multi.  
Home Depot also has a nice assortment of Martha Stewart Christmas decor.  Everything from fake trees to lights to ornaments. 

As usual, Home Depot also carries a wide variety of outdoor decorations and tons and tons of lights.  Right now they have a deal going.  If you turn in your old regular strand of lights you can get a coupon for money off LED lights.  

Sorry I love peacocks but I don't get them for Christmas, just like the flying pig and the flamingo's.  
This year, HD, is again carrying the whole house light show system.  It is pretty pricey at $200.00 but I've seen it in action and it is pretty cool.  My hubby has been eying it for a year now.  
16 functions!  If you've seen our house decorated in years past you'll know this is just what we need!  
New this year (I think) at HD is this juke box.  I think it is replacing the Mr. Christmas.  The juke box was $100.00 and you plug it and select your Christmas songs.  It does have quiet a few to choose from.  This one is wireless and will make your Christmas tree lights dance!  
Next I went to Pottery Barn and Pier One.  I was pretty frustrated that it took me over 20 minutes to find a place to park at The Shops at Briargate and is it me or are those parking spaces SMALL? I mean tiny... 
Unfortunately Potter Barn wouldn't allow me to take pictures of their displays or anything in the store.  They do have really nice ornaments again this year.  They are pricey, but sometimes you get what you pay for. 

 Pier One is a happy place, all of their ornaments are bright and very colorful.  Again, they are a lot more expensive than Big Lot's or Home Depot. .Sorry the picture is a bit blurry, they must have like 100 different nut crackers in Pier One!   

And foxes - something tells me foxes are going to be the new owls..
They are $21.99 each.  The gold stars were $9.99 each.  The sled below the foxes was $14.99.  

Then I went to Gordman's.  It is a trek but I made it.  
Gordman's has a nice selection of Christmas though there was noticeably more country/rustic. 

Gordman's also had several rows of Christmas, including lots of deer.
I love deer, except the ones that eat my tulips in the spring. 
Gordman's also has an extensive selection of paintings and things painted on wood.
A whole isle full of these.   
They also had some yard stakes and standing Santa's and Snowmen.  

 So if you do country or more rustic, Gordman's is your place to go this year.
Finally I went to Home Goods.  They have quite a selection of Christmas as well.  Lot's of nutcrackers here too!

Home Goods also has a nice selection of Christmas dishes if you collect or use those.  They are pretty reasonably priced as well.  They are also carrying several options for paper plates and napkins.  The napkins are crazy, just too many to choose from!  
I came across this, whatever it is.  It is a candle and Home Good's had it in several colors.  I just have no idea what it is!  I 'think' it is supposed to be a tree but it is weird, but bright and sparkley! 
Next weekend I hope to hit some other stores and let you see ahead of time who's got what for Christmas!  On my list is Lowe's, Kirklands, Hobby Lobby, Micheal's and Joann Fabrics.  
Have a great week.  Victoria