Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Crafting

This is a bonus photo. You're welcome...
I wanted to show you what I've been up too. Remember I said that I made wreaths with my mom and sisters while in Texas? Well, here is the look I was going for...

Here is what I ended up with...

So, I liked the burlap wreath idea. It was pretty fool-proof. Just weaving burlap in and out and around a wreath frame from Michaels. I found that I needed about twice as much burlap as the tutorial claimed. I must have had a bigger wreath form. Anyway, I liked how the brown burlap looked, with the contrasting holiday printed burlap, but it didn't come off as very Christmas-y.

I stewed over it, and pinned more images, and finally settled on 3 clusters of 3 balls. But, it still wasn't right. That's when I found my ribbon in my bin, and decided to make a bow. This bow...

I even learned how to make a bow...(here)
The bow tutorial was awesome. Seriously, if I can whip up a bow in less than two minutes, and it can actually look good? Well, that is an amazing tutorial! I ended up clumping 6 Christmas balls together, opposite the bow. I like the end product, plus, after Christmas I can remove the balls, and add some flowers to make it more everyday. Talk about efficiency!

LC also wanted to make a wreath. I saw this one on Pinterest and thought it was one she could make. Cut ribbon and tie sweat....
this became...(here)
Except, Pinterest ideas have a propensity for no being as easy-peasy as they look. I bought ribbon with wire. No bueno. We couldn't tie it into bows. And, it certainly wasn't turning out like the one above. 

We decided to just tie the ribbons on with a regular knot-no bow. It looked cute, but wasn't quite what either of us were going for. Then I had a moment of brilliance...

We used a pencil to curl the ribbons. That was easy, and it looks way better. Trust me on this. We added a couple balls, hung it on the girls' door, and everyone is happy.

We have most of the house decorated now. I have no idea how everyone gets those nice photos for their "open house" blog posts. My photos are not fantastic. I have to actually read the posts I've pinned about how to photograph Christmas lights. And then I can try another post.

Or not.

Our tree. Glorious in it's eclectic-ness. The kids did most of the decorating. I had to do a bit of rearranging and spacing so there were no glaring bare spots. But, it is beautiful and it is ours.

Not only do I stew over how to make bows and what embellishments to add to wreaths, I also spend several days thinking about how I am going to decorate my house this year. Do I do basically what I always do? Or do I mix it up a bit?

I moved the nativity to the hutch this year. It makes the dining room more festive. Plus the greenery and lights on the top give off a lot of season cheer.

One of our favorite decorations is this music box from my great grandma. It has the year we were married on it. It plays God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I love it, because I loved my great grandma and it reminds me of her. The kids love it because they love winding it for the song. Here I am teaching Meres how to wind it properly. I guess we were pretty intense about it...

I played with my open bannister this year. I saw an idea in an old Southern Living book that used small wreaths, and the 12 Days of Christmas ornaments on the bannister. I ran out of time and/or money for 12 wreaths this year, so I tweaked the idea. I used the ornaments sans wreaths, but still hanging from ribbons, and then hung some greenery from the top of the railing.

I like how it turned out.

I decided to send out Christmas cards this year, and to write a letter to accompany them. I used Snapfish to print the cards and then I just wrote up the letter today. I love receiving Christmas cards-don't you? I think it is because it is fun mail (not junk or bills). I figure that since I like receiving them, others probably do too. I try to send them out every other year or so. We actually don't have a recent family picture, so I used a picture of the kids, plus the rocking triathlon pictures of Mr. Hippie and I from this summer. May as well show our good sides....

I started on my baking. I made frosted sugar cookies. And I let the kids decorate them. Which was...well...they used more colored sugar on their pans of cookies than I usually use in a couple years worth of decorating. They made them fanc, all kinds of designs. They are beautiful. And I didn't have to do all the work-so it is worth the colored sugar. 

I always make tons of Christmas cookies and bars for the season's gatherings. I will probably do a big baking day next week. Pans and pans of seasonal goodness...

Speaking of goodness, I whipped up a batch of sugar scrub this week. Talk about an easy gift! I love it! It takes about 5 minutes to mix together, and 10-15 minutes to package-depending on how fancy you make it. Find some sugar scrub recipes (here).

All my Christmas shopping is done except for 3 things. I will finish up next Monday. The wrapping still is not started. I have even thought about putting it on a to-do list yet. I have a friend from Chicago who might swing around the pond one of these days and help me wrap. That would be a hoot. A ton a laughter to make the job lighter.

Well, that's where we are in the midst of the Christmas hustle. Frankly, not hustling much. Just enjoying the elements for what they are.

How is your Christmas stuff going?