Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Bling

I love to wear sparkly rhinestone pins but no time more than at Christmas.  I have many, many Christmas pins and keep adding to them yearly. 

This is probably my favorite.  I love the simplicity of it, especially the colored stones offset with lots of white.   

This is my close second favorite.  It looks equally good with jeans and a sweatshirt as it does with my best Christmas finery.  I usually wear it with a pair of everyday rhinestone earrings with little green flowers that just match these green flowers.

I have four wreath pins but the following two are my favorite.  This one is just so simple but elegant with the red and green offset by the white rhinestones.

I made this one after seeing a similar one years ago on a lady who was probably 30 years my senior.  She had a little red ribbon on hers but I added the beaded bow because I thought it just looked so cute.  I love to do tiny needlework and this one fit the bill for me.  I wear this one a lot!

This one is special to me because my best friend gave it to me.  I kept admiring it all season long so she bought it for me.  

Then there’s this one that was very inexpensive but I really like it.  It doesn’t have so many rhinestones but it’s just fun.

I have lots of patriotic bling that I’ll share in the summer.  What do you like to wear to celebrate the Christmas season?


I'm linking to the following parties:

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia's Tuesday's Treasures

Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jolly Christmas Kitsch

I loovvve anything kitschy! 

I love to add kitschy things all around the house just for fun but no time more that at Christmas.  I love to decorate with the kind of stuff I saw in homes at Christmas when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s but I also love anything that looks like it came from the 40s or 50s. 

Here is one of my favorite displays of kitsch at Christmas. 

Most of these items are contemporary and were gifts from my daughter or items that I bought at after Christmas sales.

But . . .

There is one item in the display that I bought at a garage sale years ago.  I think it was 10 cents.

Do you see it there in the center?

Here, I'll point it out to you . . .

Isn't that just great? 

It's made of plastic.  All plastic.  The letters are white plastic with gold glitter.  The poinsettia is shiny red plastic.  They didn't even try to make it look real by adding fake velvet.  Just left it shiny red plastic.  Ditto with the holly leaves.  Shiny green plastic. 

I. Just. Love. It.

Does that make me weird or something? 

I hope not, but even if it does, I still love it.

I think this is one of my favorite, if not my very favorite, Christmas decorating item.  And someone let it go for only 10 cents!  Can you believe that?

On another, totally unrelated subject, my daughter and I randomly pick a word-of-the-day and it stays the word-of-the-day until another is picked.  We pick words that are fun to say or are pretentious or whatever.  Just any word that strikes our fancy.  I think our all time favorite since we began this several years ago is 'foodstuffs'.  Come to think of it, foodstuffs is rather a kitschy word.

Anyway, our word-of-the-day for the last few weeks has been 'jolly'.  Target is using jolly in their advertising this Christmas.  We get points for using our word-of-the-day in our everyday tete-a-tetes.  Sometime we have a phrase of the day.  Our latest is 'tete-a-tete'.  Notice how I just naturally used both jolly and tete-a-tete in the sentences above.  Those are worth a point each.  Except I think I should get points everytime someone reads my blog and reads jolly and tete-a-tete.  Don't you?  I used jolly in the title of this post too.  That's worth a point. 

Wow, if you add up all the jollys and tete-a-tetes in this post I get 12 points everytime someone reads this.  So now I'm way ahead of my daughter.  Thanks for helping me.

By the way, today is my daughter's 24th birthday.  Happy Birthday Ms. Neat Stuff!  I'm ahead!

Have a Jolly Christmas (13 points) everyone!


P.S.  I'll make sure my daughter reads this.  If you want to use jolly (14 points) and tete-a-tete (15 points) in your comments, I'll let you have points too.

P.P.S.  My daughter just informed me she's starting a blog called 'Jolly Blog' and she'll use jolly 3,827 times.  I just earned 2 more points. 

Linking to:

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia's Link Party

Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell

Monday, December 6, 2010

Some Simple Christmas Decorating Ideas

I like to decorate for Christmas, but I really don't like to un-decorate after Christmas.  I'm always looking for ideas that are easy to put up and easy to take down.  Following are some great decorating ideas that could be easy to do quickly but pack a lot of style.

This is so simple and doesn't involve putting up a tree or lights.  Just use a pretty footed dish and add ornaments and garland.  Notice that the ornaments are all new silver ones.  You could use any color you have on hand and put wadded up tissue paper underneath because the top layer of ornaments is all that shows anyway.  This garland looks vintage, but a new one would look great too.

Here is another take on the last idea but with clear glass.  In this picture a beautiful glass hurricane is used but even a glass mixing bowl would look elegant with pretty ornaments such as these.

Martha Stewart shares this idea.  There are lots of pretty jars available for purchase at places like the Dollar Store, Target or Walmart.  Or do what I do and save jars during the year and spray paint the lids.  I especially like Krylon's Cherry Red spray paint but use any color that fits your Christmas decor.  These make great decorations when displayed together and they can also be used as gifts and they don't require any baking.  Notice how Martha layered candies by color and type.  I used this idea last Easter with pastel M&Ms.

I love this ribbon candy but any pretty Christmas candy or even cookies would work.  This doesn't even require a footed dish.  Embellish with a few sprigs of greenery.

How pretty and simple is this?  Just a few solid, plaid and gingham ribbon spools in a large glass jar.  Notice the peppermint sticks in the jars; another take on Martha's idea.

Besides the beautiful walls, bed and linens in this room, is a cute little tree in a bucket.  A small tree is quicker to decorate and quicker to take down after Christmas but adds so much to a room.  Think about this if  you plan to have overnight guests at Christmas.  And don't miss those pretty wreaths in the windows.

This is another take on the small tree idea.  On this tree, all the ornaments are the same color.  Continuing the monochromatic theme are the jars of ornaments and the while lilies and poinsettias.  Use this idea on your kitchen table or a side table.  This could even be modified for your mantle.

This tree is covered in what looks like favorite family ornaments and toys.  I love that it's in the kitchen and the tree skirt appears to be a dish towel.  You could decorate the tree with kitchen gadgets, cookies or even small wrapped toys or gifts for the kids to open as an advent calendar.  Even a small tree with only lights would be pretty and add that holiday cheer to the kitchen.  Notice also the bottle brush trees and reindeer on the shelf in the back.

Now, this one may not be so simple but isn't it cute?  It spells out C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.  Each letter of Christmas is the first letter of the item hanging below.  C - candy cane, H - heart, R - reindeer, I - ice skate, S - snowman, T - tree, M - mitten, A - angel, S - Santa!

I Looove this tree!  If you look real close, you can see that there isn't one ornament on the tree; only garlands.  Notice that the garlands are mostly red and white but you can use any that you have.  I liked this one because my garlands are easier to pack away than ornaments.  I always go for easier if it can look just as good.

So there are some simple Christmas decorating ideas that really dress up the spot they occupy but only take minutes to take down at the end of the season.  What easy ideas do you have to share?


For some budget friendly Christmas ideas, join the Beautiful Christmas on a Budget series at Beneath My Heart, Cha-Ching on a Shoestring

I'm linking up to:

Dittle Dattle

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm not Decorating for Christmas This Year

Yep, you read that right. 

Absolutely not at all. 

You see we're supposed to be closing on our new house on December 30.  Instead of bringing out Christmas decorations, I'm packing for our move.

So I thought I'd share some pix from previous Christmases.


I love the pastels.

I'm big time into kitsch at Christmas.


Isn't Santa cute getting ready for his Christmas Eve ride?  He has a whole passel of reindeer to pull his sleigh.

 Probably one of my favorite Christmas decorations.  And it's made it through five moves so far.


There are no pictures of Christmas 2007 on my computer.  I'm sure they exist somewhere in e-space on my husband's computer, but not on my computer. 

It's actually rather symbolic because this was the year I had a miscarriage and my first child left home. 

You'll see a difference in my pictures after this.  You'll see more pix of my kids.  My boys are at school in New York and I live in Texas.  I only see them twice a year and maybe three times if I'm really lucky.


I love this picture of my daughter enjoying decorating Christmas cookies while my oldest son enjoys some quality time with BD in the backyard.

2008 was the year my second boy joined his brother at West Point.  It was so good to have them both home and looking so handsome.   

This picture of the kids being serious cracks me up.  Not only that, but they're actually being quiet here.  That's pretty rare when they're all together.


This was my kitchen island last Christmas.  We were getting the house ready to sell.

In the background you can see the same island a few days later with unpainted beadboard.

My boys are filling their marshmallow shooters and BD is watching attentively so he can eat up all the ammunition when they're done.  Smart dog.

This is the undecorated tree and that's how it stayed for the whole season.  It looked so pretty all lit up and that way I didn't have to unpack or repack ornaments.

A month after these pictures were taken, we had 750 square feet of family room, kitchen and entry floors torn up for the new tile my husband installed.  He's a beast!

The next time I saw the boys was for just a few days in June; at the same time that we moved!

So guess what we're doing for Christmas this year?  Yep, moving!

I hope that many years of visits to come will be to the same house so I can concentrate on hospitality instead of moving.


This is what I'm doing instead of decorating for Christmas this year:

This year my youngest graduated from high school and joined his brothers at West Point.  At the same time we moved three hours away from my daughter.  But all four kids will be with us for Christmas.  Here is a sneak preview:

This was taken Thursday night after the West Point Christmas dinner.  Steak and lobster and cigars after dinner.  It's a tradition.  That's my oldest in the middle.  He's a Firstie (senior).  My middle boy is on the left.  He's a Cow (junior).  My youngest is on the right.  He's a Plebe (freshman).  Don't they look fine?

I don't really care about the decorations this year.  I'm so glad to have all six of us together again if only for a few days.

Thanks for letting me share and I'm enjoying all your Christmas decorations on your blogs.

Merry Christmas!


I'm linking to the following blogs:

Southern Hospitality's Christmas Vignette

Very, Merry Vintage Style's A Very Merry Holiday Home

Hooked on Houses Impromtu Holiday House Tour Linky Party

Home is Where My Story Begins Home and Family Friday
Home Is Where My Story Begins

Pink and Polka Dot's impromptu link party

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fabric Flowers

We’re moving in 28 days.  That means I had to put all crafty and decorating projects on hold. 
But, you know what?  I finished packing the china in my china cabinet as you can see from the following pictures:

Empty, except for the dust.

I guess that means I can do something fun!

In the course of cleaning out my closet and finding a pile of clothes I can get rid of, I found these t-shirts that I don’t ever wear but are still pretty. 

That’s when the idea of making fabric flowers came to me.  I love how so many blogs show these flowers used for everything from decorating purses to baby clothes.  I really, really want some to dress us my wardrobe. 

I googled fabric flowers and one of the first blogs to show up was Little Birdie Secrets.  They have several different fabric flowers but my favorite was the one on top.  They suggest starting with a 20” x 4” piece of fabric.  I decided to start with an old piece of knit t-shirt fabric to see how it works since all the shirts I’m using are knit.

 This is what my first one looks like.

I also made one from a piece that was 20”x2 ½”.
Here they are together.
These are the steps I used to make them.

Cut a piece the length and width you want to use.  This is the one that is approximately 20”x4”.

Fold it in half lengthwise.  I turned the edges in a little before sewing because I don’t want the raw edges to show.  That’s up to you.

I sewed it using the largest stitch on my sewing machine.  I didn’t even bother to change the thread because it won’t show when it’s done.  I didn’t back stitch; just left the thread long for gathering.

After sewing, I gathered along the length of the piece.

Then I rolled it up.  Here is the front . . .

. . . and the back.

I’ll just sew the roll together by hand so it doesn’t show from the front, add a pin and I’m done!

I'd love to see what your's look like.  Leave me a comment with a link to your blog.