Wednesday, November 30, 2011

These are out of control!

For the past handful of years our family has gone to cut down our Christmas tree in Elgin. It's a fun little tradition, but sadly, it's not going to happen this year. Due to the drought we've been experiencing, the Christmas tree farm has decided to preserve the trees that have survived thus far and not cut down trees this year. They'll be offering imported trees only.

This change of circumstances has me thinking about our options. A quick little google search led me to some interesting finds. Prepare yourself...

Wow! You've got to love shock value if you're willing to go as far as a pink Christmas tree. Really? I'm all about doing things in a non-traditional fashion at times, but several of these choices would be a big stretch! Out of control, friends, out of control! If these trees toot your horn, you can find them at Christmas Tree Market

I'm sure we'll be finding ourselves a real tree again this year, just not one we get to personally cut down. We'll pray for rain and hopefully our tradition will continue next year! 

What about you? Are you brave enough to pull off one of the above beauties?

If you'd like help decorating your home for the holidays, contact me

**Gift certificates available for design services. Get yours today!**

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nature's Gift

    I was on one of my usual runs several weeks ago and happened upon the coolest thing!
    So picture this, I'm running and look over at a tree. I see the strangest thing sticking out from it. I think to myself, "What in the world did someone stick in that tree?" Curiosity gets the best of me and I move in closer. This "thing" was actually growing out of the tree. The texture and shape were so amazing that I knew immediately it needed to be framed and hung in my house!
    I snapped of the end and ran the next 2 miles holding it and trying not to jiggle it too much. I bet I was quite the sight!
   The tree that produced this wonderful gift was a Mountain Laurel. I have the same tree in front of my house and I've never seen it produce anything like this.
   Due the the wavy edges and pretty little spines, I knew it was going to be tricky to frame. I entertained the idea of a shadow box, but I couldn't find the right shape. 
   Here's how I solved the problem...
I bought a perfectly good picture, in order to tear it apart. Logical, right?
   You can see in this shot that the insert is 3-D. I figured this would give me the wiggle room I needed so my "thing" wouldn't get smooshed.
   This is the part where you hold your breath, as you destroy this picture, and hope that your idea will actually work.
I precede to cut...
Good so far.
Remove the ugliness. 
 I bought 2 pieces of paper to act like the mat for the new creation. 
Two rectangular cuts later and I'm all set. 
I dabbed a little mounting putty on the back to secure it into place.
Ta-dah! It's okay to stop holding your breath now because you've seen the final product and lo and behold, it turned out nice!

  Here it is in its new home. I'm sorry, poor tree, that I stole your creation but I promise to appreciate it every time I gaze at its wonderfulness!
For those of you who are wondering, it was hanging upside down when I found it in its natural state. Okay, so who's going to be the smartie that fills me in on what my "thing" is?

If you're looking for someone to help you create beautiful "things" in your house, contact me so we can get started!

**Gift certificates available for design services. Go now and drop a few hints to your best gift buyer!"

Linking to the following sites:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh's a happenin'

After 3 years of patiently waiting for something to adorn our TV niche, this is what began this weekend...
Can you hear the victory music playing in the background?! If you'll take a second to reflect back with me,  you'll remember this post where I shared that I was promised a built-in 3 years ago when we first moved into our house. Today, friends, I'm happy to report we've had some major progress in the right direction.

Don't get too excited. I don't have AFTER pictures just yet. These things take time. My sweet husband worked solid for the last 2 days but we he still has some finishing touches to complete.

In light of keeping it real, here's what the "process" looked like.

Nothing wrong with a little child labor, right? It's all about making it a family affair!

What? You thought I was going to paint it a bright, bold color? Yeah, I'll admit it, I got scared and stayed neutral. It's easier to bring in color through accessories than to repaint!

Take a second to appreciate my husband's mad skills here, you see any cords? Oh no you don't, because they're hiding behind the bead board.

What's next? Lots of trim to give it that nice, finished look. A little accessory love and a few more design decisions. Off to buy baskets today for the floor. When can you expect the AFTER shots? Not quite sure, but let's keep our fingers crossed that it's in the very near future!

If you'd like a little help decorating your spaces, contact me!

** Gift certificates available for design services. Add it to your gift list!**

Sunday, November 27, 2011

For some Sunday reading...

Bonnie, from Revolutionaries, has started a great new series called "Share your story Sundays." I'm honored that she asked me to share my story! Head on over an give her a visit.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Random Act of Kindness #12

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Today's RAK challenge may be a sensitive one. It, quite possibly, could be the most difficult challenge to date.

RAK challenge #12: Forgive someone today!

In reality, holiday's can be very stressful and often, full of tension. One way you can help stop the madness is to find forgiveness in your heart. Isn't it crazy how we can hold onto hurtful words or past situations that made us upset? Have you ever stepped back to realize how these feelings can begin to control your life? It can even make you dread the holidays, instead of enjoying them.

Forgiving someone doesn't have to be a huge production. In fact, the person you're forgiving may not even need to be involved. Make a conscious choice to free up your mind and your heart by showing a little grace. 

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." -Lewis B. Smedes

Have you ever stepped back and realized the control another person has over you when you're experiencing strife with them? I had a "friend" in high school who was very mean-spirited. Would you believe that even as an adult I still had dreams about her and her antics? I was bothered by how she was still a part of my life all these years later. One day I realized this was happening because I had never forgiven her for the pain she put me through. I decided to let it go and began praying for her. I'm happy to report that since this realization, I haven't dreamed about her once! Forgiveness is powerful, friends!

So, I challenge you today, to not harbor hard feelings but rather allow yourself freedom from ugliness. Forgive the person in your life that's hardest to love.  

I'm sorry for a heavy post on a day that's supposed to be full of gratitude and fun, but God placed it on my heart for this to be shared today. If you're the one this post was intended for, I hope you're brave enough to take action.

 I'm thankful that you shared your time with me today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Exercise, Kids and Decor...Do they mix?

Last year I did something really fun with my kids on Thanksgiving morning. We went for a nature walk. We were armed with scissors, a bag and a mission. Their mission was to find things that are interesting that could be used to create the centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table.

I was giving myself a little pat on the back as I realized they were getting in a little exercise before hitting the yummy desserts. Also, you should have seen their little faces as they realized they contributed to making something that got lots of ooohs and ahhhs!

I piggybacked on this idea, just recently, as I sought out their help to decorate our living room.

My workers in action...

Yes, it is November and my daughter's wearing a tank top. That's how we roll in Texas. We cross our fingers and pray for chilly weather on Thanksgiving day so it actually feels like fall. Doesn't look like we're going to have such luck this year.

We used a mason jar to arrange their findings. The yellow berries made for great vase filler and brought in a splash of color.

daytime look

nighttime look

So, tomorrow morning when your hovering over the stove, send your kids out to find treasures in the yard. Then help them realize just how awesome they are and that they can make pretty decorations too!

**Gift certificates available for design services. Add it to your Christmas wish list!** Contact me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2 Quick Ways To Add That Special Touch

Only 2 more days until Thanksgiving...have you thrown in the towel when it comes to decorating and gone straight to food mode yet? If not, here's a few little ideas to add a personal touch to your Thanksgiving decor.

First up, a "String of Blessings."

All you need is a little cardstock, glue, a pen and some jute.

I cut the jute about 6 feet long then added 20 strips of little paper. Using my Fiskar's paper cutter made this step quick and easy. It also kept the sizes accurate and the sides straight.

Next, I folded the tiny strips in half and wrote "blessings" on each piece. Now, fold your blessings over the jute and glue into place.

I made sure to alternate the direction each blessing was facing so it would lay nicely on my table.

This next idea is along the same lines but a little different. Have you ever thought of adding a Thanksgiving tree to liven up your house?

Throw some branches in a left over vase and you're half-way done already! Dress up that vase with a pretty bow then all that's left to do is cut out some leaves. I used this template for my leaves. After I cut them out, I handed each family member 5 leaves and asked them to write 5 things they're thankful for. 

I think the most amazing part of this is having all our different handwriting hanging on the tree. It was fun to see the duplicates. Also, if serves as a great conversation piece when entertaining. You get a quick glimpse into our family just by reading what we're thankful for.

I hope you've seen something that has inspired you today. I'm thankful for each of you that shares your time reading and leaving me nice comments!

If you'd be thankful to receive design services, contact me. And, don't forget to add a Decorating Gift Certificate to your Christmas wish list.

Monday, November 21, 2011

K.I.S.S. Project

Happy Monday, friends! I survived what quite possibly was one of the busiest week's of my life last week. Hosting both decorating parties then throwing my brother-in-law's wedding shower set me up for a crazy one, but it was all worth it in the end!

I survived by following the K.I.S.S. model...Keep It Simple, Stupid! I thought about naming our decorating party this but didn't want to offend our guests!

I feel strongly that you can pull off great entertaining/decorating with simplicity and should always avoid sending yourself over the edge.

Here's one of my K.I.S.S. decorations made for the party.

Now, it's not the most gorgeous wreath you've ever seen, but it filled the space nicely, it matched my decor and it took all of 30 minutes to complete. Score! Even better, I made it generic enough that I can carry it through to enjoy until Christmas!

The "Simple" process:

Purchase an oval wreath, floral sprigs and ribbon. I found the wreath for $5.99, the sprigs for .50/each and the ribbon was 1/2 off for $5.

Loosely lay your sprigs to determine placement. Then, literally, just stick the sprigs into your wreath.

I used a tiny bit of brown thread to secure the "balled" end of the sprig into place and help create a cohesive, rounded look. Next, loop your ribbon around the top and hang from your curtain rod. Lastly, tie a bow onto the ribbon to finish off the look and add a little softness. Using the wire-edged ribbon helps create a perfect bow and lends itself to add the "curled" tails.

One last look at the finished product.

Simple, simple, simple! Anyone can recreate this project. So if you need a little extra something before your house fills up with Thanksgiving guests, run to your nearest craft store and get started!

If you're looking to add some simple elegance to your house, contact me so we can get started.

**Gift certificates available for design services. Add one to your wish list today!**

Friday, November 18, 2011

One down, One to go!

Last night's Decorating and Design Party was a hit! Twenty lovely ladies blessed us with their presence and we hit the ground running. They arrived, grabbed a drink and some yummy snacks then the presentation and crafting began!

Want to pretend you were here? Let's take a picture tour.

A little candle light to set the mood! Love how warm and inviting candles make a room.

We spent a little time in the dining room and I helped friends understand how to build a tablescape and how to decorate with intention.

Next, we moved on to the living room where I gave out a few tips on how to decorate on a budget without breaking the bank!

Do you spy the jute string with little papers attached? This is a "string of blessings" and I'll share this simple how-to in a post next week.

On to the kitchen...this is where I shared how to incorporate your family into decorating. I think it's really important to do this since they live in the house too, after all!

They kindly listened and acted interested then they started making their own cinnamon stick candles.

This is a very simple project that took less than 10 minutes to complete. Look for this next week, too! There are so many ways to adapt this craft.

Each guest left with a little "thank you" so they can make their own "string of blessings" at home.

Think it's over?...Oh no, lots more fun to be had up the street at Jennifer's house. So our friends packed up their goodies and took a short stroll. Jennifer shared tons of great ideas and let us in on the secrets of floral designs.

After her demonstration, it was a floral fantasy! Friends began to construct their own pretties.

There was so much excitement during this part! Everyone was shocked to learn how easy this design is and tickled pink that they could create something so beautiful.

So, it's one down and one to go...we are repeating the fun this morning with a second group of friends!

If you're looking to add a little something special to your home, 
contact me. I'd love to help you out!

*Don't forget to add a gift certificate for design services to your Christmas list. They're available now!*

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Sharing the fun at: The Shabby Nest
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